Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009! [It has to be better!]

Our annual visit from our own New Year's Baby!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You are where you eat.

Spent $45 for dinner for two. Awful food!

Later went to gas station for hot dogs and pastries.

Yes, the best place to eat in town is a gas station!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I've mentioned the hole in the road...

This is what it cost to repair:

Culvert & Roadwork $230,000
Aggregates (crushed rock) $35,000
Replace water main $41,265.45
Engineering services $9,000
Concrete pipe $188,880

TOTAL $504,145.50, not including the asphalt to come.

It did not seem like that big of a hole!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

But, did he like the popcorn?

The Wizard of Oz was on cable this evening. I usually watch part of it every year, if only to see if I can see the goofs.

Below is my favorite review of the movie:

"Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again."

Rick Polito, Independent Journal, Marin, Northern California.

Bump in the road!

The city is still saying the road around the end of the lake will be fixed b y Christmas. It has had this gap since what was left Hurricane Ike hit the Midwest in September.

For scale, notice that there are men standing in the gap.

Photo from Intelligencer.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I may be sick!

"Burger King Corp. may have just the thing. The home of the Whopper has launched a new men's body spray called 'Flame.' The company describes the spray as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat." BK Flame Website
"The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance." Tolerance, of course is just what Hitler was know for -- "holocaust" article at wikipedia.
"Goldman Sachs’s Tax Rate Drops to 1% for 2008 or $14 Million"

Nope not due to the credit crisis!


"Because of 'changes in geographic earnings mix,' the company said."

That means they moved profits to tax-havens offshore. The firm reported a $2.3 billion profit for the year after paying $10.9 billion in employee compensation and benefits.

The kicker: Treasury Secretary Paulson gave Goldman $40 billion of our tax money! If you tax rate is 1% you probably don't care. Mine isn't and I feel stabbed in the back, yet again!

In the eye of the beholder...

Someone I know who just got back from New Zealand: "It's beautiful. Everything is beautiful. It got boring. Everything beautiful at the same time is boring."

This might explain every party invitation I have ever had!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Here are the TV shows that were the most Tivo-ed (or other DVR-ed) in 2008. I see no pattern. The only one that I ever watch is House, and then it's hit and miss. I don't want to miss the episode where someone finally stabs him!

Ranked by Increase in Households
Rank Programs Network Difference in Households (000)
1 American Idol/Tuesday Fox 2153
2 American Idol/Wednesday Fox 1945
3 Heroes NBC 1832
4 Lost ABC 1793
5 Fringe FOX 1602
6 House FOX 1454
7 The Mentalist CBS 1445
8 Survivor: Gabon CBS 1396
9 Grey’s Anatomy ABC 1358
10 Bones Fox 1331
Source: The Nielsen Company

Here is a parial list of the programs that I have Season Passes for on my Tivo, in no particular order:

Cities of the Underworld.
Extreme Trains.
Jon & Kate plus Eight
Recently deleted Little People Big World because the one son is a bigot at the same time his parents are making money preaching peace, love, and understanding, but apparently only for little people.
Countdown with Keith Olbermann.
The New Adventures of Old Christine.
30 Rock.

Once again, I see no pattern.

“I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” illegal in Missouri, you felons!

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

State Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield, announced today that she “will file a bill to repeal several obsolete and universally ignored provisions of Missouri law dating to the 1890s that restrict the manufacture and sale of imitation butter and in some instances make producing, selling or even possessing such products a crime.”

Among the actions that are illegal under Missouri’s butter laws:

· Manufacturing or selling imitation butter that is yellow (RSMo. 196.755). Virtually all imitation butter sold today is yellow.

· Using the word “butter” in connection to selling or advertising any butter substitute (RSMo. 196.725). Many popular brands, such as “I Can’t Believe It’s not Butter,” run afoul of this section.

· Failing to label packaging for imitation butter with the words “substitute for butter” in Roman type that is at least one inch in length and one-half inch in width (RSMo. 196.760). A spot check of various brands at any supermarket will reveal that none are so labeled.

· Possessing imitation butter that isn’t properly marked, except when possessed for personal consumption (RSMo. 196.780).

Violations of most of the above provisions a carry maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $100 fine for a first offense, with the penalties for subsequent offenses increasing to up to six months in jail and a $500 fine. The exception is RSMo. 196.725, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $100 fine.

Monday, December 15, 2008

This is strange, even for me!

Had a dream last night (Sunday).

Dreamed someone I know was drafted -- not by the U.S. military -- but by Omaha Steaks!

In the dream, the guy tried to beat the draft by claiming ignorance of seasonings.

Then, the dogs woke me up.

[All of above is true.]

Yes, there was a post deleted about here.

Rhabarbermarmelade, lieben, geborgen, Habseligkeiten, and Augenblick were chosen in a worldwide contest as the five most beautiful words in German.

You can click HERE to find out what they mean!

Our Monday Morning...well, you know

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A sign of the times?

They were building this addition to a local shopping center when the bottom fell out of the economy, so they mothballed the two buildings in the picture.

Notice that they have not even bothered to put up a "For Lease" sign.

Friday, December 12, 2008


1. The Post Office website is back up, sort of. This is the first sentence of the email "The Postal Service website,, is working with minor interruptions and we continue to make progress resolving any remaining issues that may exist."

2. Rooty had his one-month checkup. He's perfect.

3. The first book has been delayed from before Christmas until mid-January.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Use coupons. Turn down thermostat. Switch off electric chair.

From Reuters News Service:

The Death Penalty Information Center said on Thursday that 2008 has been the third straight year of declining executions...

High legal and security costs are a key factor behind a rethink of the death penalty in many of the 36 U.S. states that still sanction it -- especially with the United States gripped by a deepening recession.

The report said by one estimate each of the five executions in Maryland in the past three decades cost about $37 million.

"Both New York and New Jersey recently abandoned the death penalty after weighing the merits of a system in which tens of millions of dollars were being spent with virtually nothing to show for it," the report said.

Further proof that God has a sense of humor!

The Post Office has this really great new site where you can print out labels and postage at home (or work). You enter the info, and after a few clicks, your printer spits out the prepaid label. If you use plain paper, you tape the label to your envelop or box. You can also buy sticky-back paper any place printer paper is sold.

Oh, did I mention that the site crashed today (Wednesday)? As a registered user, I received an email that did not sound hopeful! And, a Merry Christmas to you all from your friends in the IT Department at the U.S. Postal Service!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The governor was arrested this morning!

What a shock!
No, wait, this is Illinois.
The last governor is in prison.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The locals have learned a new trick!

It's called Not Stopping Before Making a Right-Turn on Red!

I supposed this would not be a problem except offenders do not take into account that they are pulling into a lane that other drivers are turning into because they have a green arrow! I seem to be ranting.

On any trip through town, I see at least one and usually two or more near misses. And the idiots who have run a red light, and do not yield to cars with a green arrow, always seem to be thoroughly miffed that someone almost hit them!

The picture: I have no idea, but I do have a caption. :)

This might make the Monday Morning Waste of Time at Work All Stars!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Applause from every side as Obama picks all-star team

I thought it said:

"Applesauce from every side as Obama picks all-star team"

Now that's dyslexia!

Friday, December 05, 2008


The value of my very small stock portfolio was exactly $0 as of close of the NYSE today (Friday). Nada. Nil. Nought. Zilch. Zip. Zot.

I hedge (put in an order to Buy at a ridiculously low price for a stock that I own) to keep my average stock price low. The market, however, just kept going lower.

I know that I'm fortunate to be at $0 since many people have portfolios with negative values, but ZERO is still a shock!

Again, I have only a very small sum invested in stocks -- just enough that I can watch the values change during the day. I do the same thing with the weather radar and the price of Rhodium (No, I don't know what Rhodium is and I don't own any that I know of, but I like to watch the price change via a ticker on my desktop. Once again, the phrase "Get a like!" applies.)*

*UPDATE: Rhodium is the most expensive of the precious metals. It is used in catalytic converters (so I do own some!) and in jewelry.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The picture be Charlotte Jane Davis, 7lbs.

Charlotte Jane's Mommy and Daddy were given a $100 ticket by a Massachusetts State Trooper for driving on the shoulder during rush hour, as they were told to do by two other state troopers, because Mommy was in labor.

The trooper took the time to write a ticket for another car. Then he wrote the ticket for Daddy Davis. The trooper also asked Mommy Davis to undo her jacket to see if she was indeed pregnant. She was, but he gave Daddy a ticket anyway.

This is the email address for the Massachusetts State Police:

Sourse: WCVD Boston

Worst Christmas Present #1

Nose-Shaped Pencil Sharper
$3.75 at

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A sign of the times?

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently did an article on tipjacking -- waiters and waitresses illegally increasing their tips. I did some additional research.

I usually leave cash for the tip. Bad. When the waiter enters the credit card info, he just adds an extra tip for himself to the credit card bill.

It's not much better if you add the tip to the credit card slip that you sign. The tip amount still has to be manually typed into the credit card system, making it easy to a a dollar or two to the tip. Not many people match their receipts to their monthly credit card statement.

The third variation is for the waiter to add an automatic 20% tip but not tell the customer, who then adds an additional tip. This is easy for the waiter to do since most food-service computer systems have a special key or function to add an automatic 20% or more tip. (Many restaurants add the automatic 20% or more for parties of six or more.)

If you catch the switch on your bill, the restaurant will usually refund the full cost of your dinner, and maybe a free coupon. Waiters are seldom prosecuted, the restaurant do not want the bad publicity. How much can a waiter make using tipjacking?.

The Post gives examples of greedy waiters adding tens of dollars to checks but the dollar or two approach is probably more common. An extra $100 a night times five nights a week times four weeks and the waiter is taking home an extra $2,000 a month -- $24,000 a year.

Because of the ecomony, tip amounts tend to be lower, so some waiters justify the tipjacking as "we're just getting what we deserve."

Remember, there is no tipping at McDonald's!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Monday Morning Waste of Time!

This is absolutely the single greatest waste of time on the web ever!

I guarantee it or your money back!

Waste time, watch this!


Friday, November 28, 2008

They just don't get it!

The pictures are from a Google image search for private jet interiors.

GM's reaction to the criticism provoked by asking for truckloads of federal tax dollars while flying around in private jets, GM has asked the FAA to prevent public tracking of its jets!

Story HERE.

FAA Tracking Info HERE
. [Many sites use the FAA data.]

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This brings back unpleasant memories!

The men's dorm that I lived in my freshmen college year had one of these odd things on every floor, the only showers available. I don't know who 'Bradley' was but I hate him. I thought it was creepy then -- and seeing it again only confirms that I was right!

I just happened across the photo on the web.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


The head of GM flew from Detroit to DC to appear before Congress to explain why GM needs billions of taxpayer dollars. He made the flight in one of GM's private jets. That might be part of the explanation.

Am I the only one who has never heard of a Interrobang‽

The interrobang, ‽, is a nonstandard English-language punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of the question mark (also called the interrogative point) and the exclamation mark or exclamation point (known in printers' jargon as the bang).

The little thing above is proposed as a punctuation mark to indicate sarcasm. As in:

I think the interrobang is a great idea¡

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is kind of fun!

Minnesota Public Radio has an excellent website showing the difficulties of recounting ballots. You get to vote who gets each disputed ballot and view the vote results. (The voter signed the ballot above, which you are not allowed to do in Minnesota. MPR obscured the signature for privacy reasons.)

View disputed ballots here: MPR

Now that's comedy!

St. Paul, Minn. — As an election judge, Diane Follmer's job is to count sorted ballots and place them in stacks of 25. And sometimes, the counting takes over her verbal skills.

"You begin to speak in numbers. When someone at the table sneezed yesterday, instead of saying 'Gesundheit,' I said, 'Seventeen.'"

Minnesota Public Radio

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maybe I should just buy gas.

We stopped at the gas station today for a hotdog.

Young mother getting herself a soda. Daughter, maybe 6 or 7, busily pulling cups out of dispensers and throwing them on the floor. Mother's only response, "Do you want ice?"

With hotdog in hand, I was waiting to pay. One the the clerks picked up a telephone and announced over the outdoor speakers. "Please put the nozzles back on the pumps. All of the pumps have stopped working." Pandemonium ensued.

Extreme Mash Potatoes

Putting the word "extreme" in front of something does not necessarily make it exciting, or even interesting.

Tonight the Discovery Channel aired Extreme Loggers.

The loggers were were neither extreme, exciting, or interesting.

They used mules. That didn't make it extreme, just outdated.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pick a team!

The dogs and I often go to the gas station for lunch. The hot dogs are great! The donuts are fresh! And the Cokes are really cheap!

I never counted but there must be thirty soda fountains -- places where you press your cup of choice against a metal thing and soda comes pouring out.

Several times now I've noticed people who put soda from three or four or five fountains into a single cup. Not things you would expect -- root beer and Diet Pepsi and 7Up, combinations like that.


Sunday, November 16, 2008


Did I mention that I HATE CHARTER!

No Internet connection yesterday so I did all of the selfhelp things.

Then I called Charter. They have one of those awful voice-activated help systems! After 20 minutes of it telling me to do the same things that I had already done, it decided I needed to talk to a real person.

The real person had me redo all of the things that I had now done twice. He then decided to schedule a service appointment. While he was doing that, he discovered there was a service outtage in my area!

Wouldn't you think that would have been the FIRST THING he would have checked? Or the FIRST THING the automated sytem would have checked.

The video part of the cable went out later in the afternoon. It all must have come back up in the wee hours of the morning.

Did I mention that I HATE CHARTER!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Send caffeine! Buckets of caffeine!

I'm so tired my teeth hurt!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

from the back cover:

The Puppy Bomb, by James Lynch, follows Texas Ranger Jonah LeClaire as he investigates the bizarre and gruesome deaths of several Texas state troopers. All the victims were blond, blue-eyed, and muscular, and in their youths were all members of an all-boy, after-school club called the Lettermen. LeClaire investigates the murders while babysitting a trooper who might be the next target; or is he the primary suspect? Every turn deepens the mystery, as LeClaire uncovers the kinky history of the Letterman, but even the victim’s sordid pasts don’t compare to the bizarre present. As yet another trooper disappears, motives become more elusive and the killings become more vicious. Lynch’s The Puppy Bomb masterfully weaves the nuts and bolts of a first class whodunit with the titillating backstory of male bonding gone terribly wrong. Told with wry wit and twists and turns galore, The Puppy Bomb keeps you guessing and wanting more, while entertaining every step of the way.

[The legal stuff: Copyright 2008]

I paid to have an 'editorial analysis'

The first recommendation from the editor was to change the title, because people would think it is a children's book. You know, like a book for toddlers about puppies exploding! Say 'Goodnight Gracie.'

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The book writing goes swell!

The book selling not so much so. You have to have a literary agent to be published by a traditional publisher. Not been able to get one of those.

You have to be published by a traditional publisher to get into bookstores. The Catch-22 part.

You have to have a publicist. Being dyslexic, I have trouble spelling "publicist" much less finding one.

I do plan to send free copies of the book to regular visitors -- so decide on an address that you want to use.

The book is a mystery, with sexual content, strong language, and -- this will shock some of you -- profanities and vulgarisms.

While trying to sell the first book, I am working on the second in the series.

There will be a third.

Collectively, they will make good presents, and doorstops.

[The legal part: Cover protected by Copyright. Subtitle registered trademark. Image used by permission.]

Things are tough all over!

Home values in Zipcode 90210 have fallen 3.10% this year.

That is a lot less of a decline that many places.

But the home values are so high that -3.10% is still lots of money

With the average price of a home in 90210 at $2,930,000, the average decline is about 90K -- the price of a good Mercedes. I feel so sorry for those folks!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

"Rooster arrested in Benton, Ill."

"Police Chief Mike O'Neill says the rooster has been bothering people lately, trying to keep them from getting where they want to go."

I live in an area where people can be outsmarted by fowl!

That actually explains a great deal!

Full article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch/The Southern Illinoisan

Gas is $2.05 here!

They must be giving it away in Missouri!

Gas is always cheaper in Missouri than on our side of the Mississippi River.

Even though the oil refineries are in Illinois.

Even though if you turn right instead of left when you get off the freeway -- on the way to my house -- you end up in an oil field!

But then, what about the price of gas ever makes sense?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Your canceled check will be your Thank You Note

I sent a check for $1,000 to a church in Missouri in memory of an uncle who died about ten years ago.

I sent it four weeks ago.

At least, I guess, they're not wasting money on stamps.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Our Monday-morning waste of time? What else? Political humor.

Jay Leno

"Hey, I watched 'American Idol' last night, the Barack Obama show. Did you all see Barack Obama’s infomercial? It was called “American Stories.” You know why they called it “American Stories”? I guess it sounded better than 'Barack Obama Running Out the Clock.'"

"Here's the amazing part, this is true, it was the highest-rated show on NBC last night. NBC's already talking to Barack about picking it up for 13 more episodes."

"And after Barack Obama, I watched John John McCain's ad on TV. I thought it was McCain's ad. Turned out it was just Wilford Brimley for Liberty Medical. 'Check it often! Check your blood sugar!'"

"And McCain says he's ready for Halloween. McCain says he's going to wear a Barack Obama mask and go as a socialist."

"And Republicans now say that the $150,000 worth of clothes they bought for Sarah Palin will probably go to a charity. Charity, is that a good idea? Isn't that kind of counterproductive? I mean, you're going to give a homeless woman your spare change when she's wearing a Dolce & Gabbana jacket and Jimmy Choo shoes, you know?"

David Letterman

"John McCain was on Larry King’s show last night, and it got kind of awkward when Larry had to tell John McCain that 72 percent of his ex-wives were for Obama."

"But on that show, Larry King and John McCain looked like two guys who would be fighting over Cloris Leachman."

"And how about last night, when Barack Obama had his half hour infomercial TV special. I mean, thank God! It’s about time this guy got some media coverage, don’t you think?"

"But I thought it was one of those heartwarming infomercials. It had a wonderful ending. In the final scene Barack Obama is adopted by Angelina Jolie."

Jon Stewart

"In Senator Obama's quest to become the president of television, Obama bought a half-hour infomercial and ran it during prime time on seven different networks. Opening with actual footage of amber waves of grain [on screen: opening to Obama's infomercial] presumably to demonstrate he's the type of guy you want to make a beer with."

Conan O'Brien

"I've noticed a number of athletes are now endorsing candidates in this presidential election. Barack Obama has been endorsed by Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley, and John McCain's been endorsed by Ty Cobb and Jim Thorpe."

"Joe the plumber was supposed to appear at a John McCain rally today, but didn't show up. Yeah. So, apparently, the guy really is a plumber."

Jimmy Kimmel

"Obama is ahead in every major poll. One online gambling site has him as a seven to one favorite to win. They're saying the only way Obama could lose this election right now is if they made him bowl for it."

"The governor of California is the actor and former body builder, Arnold Schwarzenegger. He announced that he opposes Proposition 8. Proposition 8 is the proposition in California that would ban gay marriage. ... Arnold also opposes Proposition 14, which would require all Governors of California to speak some English."

Sunday, November 02, 2008

New widget

I deleted the Twitter widget. The military might find it dangerous, I just found it boring.

I added a widget for, the meta poll site. I will leave it up for a few days.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A new demogrphic?

Actually, maybe it's a sociolographic????

Anyway, one thing that distinguishes Red States from Blues States is the Starbucks/Walmart ratio.

From (a meta polling site):

Starbucks:Walmart ratio is exactly what it looks like: take the number of Starbucks in the state and divide by the number of Walmarts. While there is a connotation that Starbucks is a place where liberals go and Walmart is a place where conservatives go, it's probably more strongly correlated to population density. There are rarely Starbucks sitting out in the middle of farmland, and you can't have a Walmart on every corner of a big city.

Either way, though, lots of Starbucks relatives to Walmarts is a good sign for Obama. The ratio in Oklahoma is one of the lowest in the country.

From TS Perspective:
Top 7 highest Starbucks to Walmart ratios:
Washington (13.6:1)
California (12.5:1)
Oregon (8.4:1)
Nevada (8.0:1)
Hawaii (7.4:1)
New York (4.6:1)
All of these states will/should go to Obama on Tuesday.

Now the bottom 7:
Arkansas (0.19:1)
Mississippi (0.29:1)
West Virgina (0.41:1)
Oklahoma (0.41:1)
New Hampshire (0.42:1)
Alabama (0.44:1)
Louisiana (0.51:1)

Except for independent leaning New Hampshire, you get the picture.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Where's Waldo? I mean Rooty?

Did you find him?

A couple better pictures below!

This is so strange... won't get any work done the rest of Monday!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Those damn Methodist-terrorist are using Twitter again!

Twitter is a web-based service that lets you keep asking people "What are you doing now?"

That's it.

It's very popular.

So popular that military intelligence is afraid it will be used by terrorists, you know, people like these:

"Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences."


I've added a Twitter "badge" to this blog so you can know what boring things I'm doing!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Every person she knows needs a "I'm with stupid" t-shirt.

A Republican campaign worker in Pittsburgh claimed she had been robbed at an ATM machine by a 6'4" Black man who punch her and carved a letter "B" on her face because of her Barack Obama bumper sticker.

Police suspected all along that she might not be telling the truth, since the "B" was backward, you know, like you might do if you scratched a "B" on your own face while looking in a mirror! Dah!

[She's from College Station, Texas. Texans feel free to insert an Aggie joke about here.]

How many Aggies does it take to eat an Armadillo?
Two. One to carve and one to watch for cars.

Why do Aggies hate M&Ms?
They're too hard to peel.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Take D to TT to T, turn left for Traffic Court

I have often joked about Missouri Highways T, TT, D, DD, and Z all being bunched in one small part of the state.

If you look closely, you can see that T is the highway heading south out of Foristell -- Foristell is on I-70 west of St. Louis.

Foristell has a population of 350 people, and 16 cops!

Ya might want to check your speedometer!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

There's geeks in the Googleplex!

I went to Google Books today, just see see what's new.
There is a section on the Books page called "Interesting." (see above.)
Below is one of the four books. Says geeks to me!

From Wikipedia: In mathematics, computing, linguistics and related subjects, an algorithm is a sequence of finite instructions, often used for calculation and data processing. It is formally a type of effective method in which a list of well-defined instructions for completing a task will, when given an initial state, proceed through a well-defined series of successive states, eventually terminating in an end-state. The transition from one state to the next is not necessarily deterministic; some algorithms, known as probabilistic algorithms, incorporate randomness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I wonder if it takes requests?

It's a highway that sings!
It's in Lancaster, California.
It's their second.
The first was for a Honda TV commercial -- the road played the William Tell Overture (perhaps better known as the theme for The Lone Ranger). The folks living next to the road got tired of it so the city paved over the William Tell groves.
Many folks sad.
So city grooved a highway in the desert.
It will be Lancaster's major tourist attraction.
That's little sad, but the road seems to make people laugh and smile.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Rooty checked his stocks...

...and decided to hide under his bed!

[His nose is tucked under the sofa. He is under a pillor from the sofa, with his back partially under one of his bed pillows. You can see the tassels on the rugs under the coffee table.]

Friday, October 03, 2008

"By the way... you are either sick and twisted or you have a sick and twisted imagination!"

The headline is from an email from the fellow who is proofreading my novel. A few people die in the novel. Okay, a bunch die. And it full of explatives -- that will shock regular visitors!

More about the novel tomorrow, today's topic is

I just stumbled upon elance. It is a site where you post a description of a project and people from all over the world can bid on it.

I have listed four projects: two programming and two proofreading. I had three responses to the programming project and eleven responses to the proofreading projects. I awarded both programming projects to the same company in Calcutta, how cool is that? One proofreading project was by invitation only and it was awarded to the fellow who is quoted in the headline. The other is still open.

And then there is this guy -- Tim Ferriss -- who wrote a book about outsourcing his life. It was #1 New York Times. The book is The 4-Hour Workweek; his website is I mention him because, among other things, he outsources both his work and personal life. On his webpage, click on Book, then on Sample Chapters >Outsourcing Life. About half way down he tells about using his "remote personal assistant" to compose and send messages to his wife. That's right, he's outsourced talking to his wife.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

That's right! It's a college degree in how to grow grass!

Do they show you pictures of grass and you have to guess what each kind each is?

You could get a degree in grass without ever having to go outside.

Previous experience counts towards your degree. Does that include mowing lawns when I was a kid?

Click the image for additional information.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"What did they do to you?

Friday is Chemo Day. This is right after we got home. Rooty is not pleased that Ozzie is smelling his ear. You can kind of see where they shaved a spot of Rooty's right front leg for the chemo, so I have no idea why Ozzie is smelling Rooty's ear.

Yes, my driveway is cracked.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jim & Rooty & Ozzie go to Office Depot

Actually the dogs stayed in the car. In hindsight, I should have taken them inside for protection.

I needed to send identical printed files to a company in Austin and to my sister in Kansas City.

I submitted the file to Office Depot by email and it was indeed ready when we arrived. Each copy was in its own neat little box.

Unfortunately, at the local Office Depot, the copy center, UPS drop-off, and checkout are all at the same register, manned by the same person.

The little boxes had to be put inside bigger boxes for shipment, so while the clerk did that, I filled out the shipping information.

The computer screen on the counter actually swivels around so you can fill in the UPS information yourself. That's right, Jim, the most dyslexic person on the planet (there are days I cannot read the big green sign over the freeways), had to type in the addresses.

Remember, there are two address and two packages.

I types in my sister's name and address first (along with my name and address). I asked "Should I click CONTINUE?" The guy said "Yes." I did, and the next screen asked for the package size, that kind of thing. So I turned the screen back around so he could see it.

He took one look at it -- and remember I only had two packages to send -- and said "You should only have to enter the shipping information once." And then he cleared what I had typed.

That meant that I had to enter both sets of names and addresses again. If you've kept count, you've realized that meant that I still had to enter all of the information a second time.

Meanwhile, the crowd waiting in line was getting unpleased. They have other registers, but did not open another until the crowd was getting restless.

For the company in Austin, I only had a PO Box. That is what I typed for ADDRESS. Turns out the package could not be sent to a PO Box. I did not know the address -- I knew it was on Austin's MoPac Expressway. So he swung the screen around again so I could access the Internet and find the street address. I did that, as the crowd began to talk of tar and feathers.

Then, turns out I needed the name of a person at the company in Austin. The screen did not say that. No matter. So, he swung the screen around again so I could pick a name at the company in Austin to type into the computer. I did that.

Then, I look inside one of the boxes. On every sheet, DELETE was printed in the top right corner. On every sheet! It was not on the original. As I was beginning to fear for my life, I decided to just ignore it -- there would have been physical violence if I had asked to have both copies reprinted.

So the guy puts the little boxes into their respective big boxes and then he has to weigh and measure each. Remember, they were identical! He made identical copies and placed them into idential boxes but he still had to weight and measure each seperately.

If I go missing, check the credit card receipts from Office Depot from yesterday afternoon. Find mine and then the logical suspects in my disappearance would be any of the people in line behind me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This is new, and annoying...

Drivers on a three or four-lane freeway who follow you, then pass you on the left, then cross in front of you and cross two or three lanes so they can exit!

Why don't they just switch to the lanes to their rights and exit?

Is it some terrible need to be seen?

Can we blame this on bad potty training? Do they expect an M&M?*

I blame MODOT, which I do for almost everything.

*Obscure reference meaningful only to viewers of Jon & Kate Plus 8.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2 + 2 = 5

Am I the only one that did not know that 2+2=5 is a signal that a company uses contracts or agreements that have hidden clauses?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

This actually works!

Although the guy-thing of just rolling them up into a big ball is much. much quicker!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The single saddest TV channel of all time.

This is on the cable system at my mother's house.
The reflection on the clock face is on the clock face.
That's right, it's a non-stop video-feed of an analog clock with a bad reflection on it's face.
I told you it was the saddest TV channel of all time!

Cleanliness is next to stupid

AP August 17, 2008: Police in Wichita said it appears a man broke into a house Friday night to wash his clothes but fled in boxers, with his jeans still in the washer.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fat Biker Chick [a rerun of a favorite post]

I have been know to go a little fast on the Interstates, but only because my speedometer is faulty. It used to say I was doing 90-something -- a clear malfunction -- and something that I promised the neighbors that I would stop doing. It now seldom gives me a misreading above 80, most of the time it hangs right at 80, maybe 85.

When I was on I-44 in Missouri on Sunday, heading back to Illinois, it mistakenly but consistently said 80. Then, Fat Biker Chick passed me as if I were standing still!

I'’m not being insensitive; FATCHIK was the personalized plate on her motorcycle. She was wearing a white halter-top, above which I could see the tattoos on her shoulders and back in the warm glow of the fading September evening sun.

When I got to the top of the hill west of Six Flags, she was already rounding the curve into Eureka. When I got to the railroad bridges at Eureka, she had cleared the Meramec east of Times Beach. When I got to the top of Powder-Dump Hill, she had disappeared from view across the asphalt horizon that weaves towards 141.

Is there anything sexier than a woman who really knows how to drive? I love you Fat Biker Chick! Take care of yourself.

[Originally posted September 14, 2005]

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pretty much how my Monday has gone so far!

See other great signs HERE.
The side shows are to the right of the article.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Your basic 10,000 calories per day diet!

  • three fried egg sandwiches, with cheese; tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions, and mayonnaise;
  • three chocolate-chip pancakes;
  • five-egg omelette;
  • three sugar-coated slices of French toast;
  • bowl of grits;
  • two cups of coffee.

  • one pound of enriched pasta;
  • two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread;
  • energy drinks.

  • one pound of pasta, with carbonara sauce;
  • large pizza;
  • energy drink.
Full story at

Friday, August 15, 2008

All the news that's fits into 1's and 0's

I still don't have TV at home, and I still don't miss it.

NBC has most of its shows on the Internet so I so can still watch Jay Leno's monologue, and 30 Rock.

Fox also has most of its shows online, but there are none that I really watch.

To keep up, I read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch website, and the New York Times site.

I also check Drudge, but mostly for the offbeat stories.

I was on the road this week so I did see most of the Olympics, in the evening, when I wasn't on the road.

I also watched some cable shows. When did CNN and CNN Headline News become exactly the same thing?

Why are there no music videos on MTV or VH1?

How many more wives can Larry King possibly have? The soon to be ex-Mrs. King is the 7th. He must have pre-nups printed in bulk, with a fill-in-the-blank space for Wife!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rooty making himself comfy at grandma's house

He was sleeping but he woke up when I turned on the ceiling light. As I type this, he's back asleep, in a typical Rooty position.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

August 9th

Maybe a good day to stay in bed:

From Wikipedia:

1173 – The construction of a campanile, which would eventually become the Leaning Tower of Pisa (pictured), began.

1945 – World War II: USAAF bomber Bockscar dropped an atomic bomb named Fat Man, devastating Nagasaki, Japan

1969 – Followers of cult leader Charles Manson brutally murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in her Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles home.

1974 – The Watergate scandal: Richard Nixon became the first (and to date only) President of the United States to resign from office.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I cannot float

I sink like a brick.

That's not uncommon, especially among men. I have big bones in my legs and relatively little fat. I go down feet first, like the bow of the Titanic!

All my fat is in my head, it has it's own gravitational field.

I can swim, but I have to keep moving, like a shark.

I've known guys who could not swim under water because they were so buoyant, no matter how hard I tried to hold them under.

Monday, August 04, 2008

How hot is it?

From Carson, Letterman, and Leno:

How hot is it?

It's so hot today that Dick Cheney waterboarded himself.

It's so hot that I saw two trees fighting over a dog.

It was so hot in Palm Springs the Betty Ford Center said, "Screw it, open the bar. Drinks for everybody”

It was so hot out that North Korea test launched a long range Popsicle.

It was so hot today I saw a funeral procession pull into a Dairy Queen.

It was so hot today I saw an Amish guy buying an air conditioner.

Its so hot, the squirrels are handling their nuts with potholders

It's so hot that I have discovered that asphalt has a liquid state.

It's so hot water now comes out of both taps.

Monday already, no way!

This should kill some time, a list of addictions.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Here' something for regular visitors...

Rooty is getting his hair back!

His "wire hair" color coat comes in first, which means he'll look like an over-sized Jack Russell terrier for a while.

Then his soft undercoat will come in and he'll be all fluffy and look like Rooty again.

(That's his Teddy Dog on the floor, he was playing with it when I bribed him
with some food to look up . And, yes, my carpeting is exactly the same as in your local Cineplex.)

Me Tarzan. You Jane, it's Monday!

Guess how many actors have played Tarzan in films.

My guess was 2!

Here are some of them: LINK

Here is a list that answers the question: LINK

["Me Tarzan, you Jane" was never said in the movie, just as "play it again, Sam" was not in Casablanca.]

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Silly fun

This is from a terrific trivia site!


1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hello Dolly (sorry)

Hurricanes that landfall south of Houston usually produce heavy rains in Missouri and Southern Illinois. Thus, Dolly has finally arrived.

Once on land and downgraded to a tropical storm, however, Dolly decided not to follow the neat path like Rita on the oil industry map above. She headed west, way west, maybe to see Moni, then she (Dolly, not Moni) made a hairpin turn and headed back east. So Dolly finally got here!

There is nothing like tropical rain. It looks different (grey skies), it smells different, and it never stops. Sometimes, a tropical storm that came ashore in Southern California will make it all the way to Missouri/Illinois. That rain smells like San Diego.

[Yes, I also was always taught that "sky" is never plural (skies) because there is only one sky. Dictionaries, however, include an entry for "skies." Best bet: use "sky" when it clear, meaning everyone in a given area has exactly the same sky. Use "skies" when the sky might be different from place to place within a given area.]

Speaking of clocks...

China has only one time zone.

Prior to 1995, the International Date Line split the country of Kiribati. The result was that the eastern part of Kiribati was a whole day and two hours behind the western part of the country where its capital is located.

In 1995 Kiribati decided to move the International Date Line far to the east- which placed the entire country into the same day.

The state of Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. The Navajo Reservation within Arizona does change to Daylight time. But, the Hopi Reservation within the Navajo Reservation does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More fun with 4!

You were probably taught to write four in Roman numerals as IV.

The Romans would have written it as IIII.

The use of IV did not take hold until the Middle Ages.

Clocks use IIII instead of IV because clock faces were based on sun dials, which gets us back to the Romans

If you multiply the number 21978 by 4, it turns backwards!

Monday, July 28, 2008

I guess "Clocktower Hidden Behind Tree Plaza" won't fit on the sign!

You can cook your wienies right on your counter! Who Knew.

This might be the scary part: A physics professor at Rice University is warning of a radioactive threat found in some kitchen countertops.

No, this might be the scary part: The professor found that some granite countertops contain levels of uranium that might expose homeowners to 100 millirems of radiation in just a few months — the annual exposure limit set by the Department of Energy for visitors to nuclear labs.

The I feel much better part: "Junk Science" says a spokesman for the Marble Institute of America, a trade group that represents the granite industry

Oh no, it just got scary again: The industry spokesman cited a University of Akron study that found granite varieties used in 85 percent of countertops were safe. [Emphasis added.]

Read more at the Houston Chronicle.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Quick the phylodendrum is trying to escape!

I didn't stage this. I had opened the back sliding-glass door and when I turned around part of the plant was out of the door.

Could it be Saturday night bar-bet time already?

Only number whose English spelling contains the same number of letters as the number itself?

[An unhelpful hint --> Forty is the only number whose letters are in alphabetical order. One is the only number whose letters are in reverse alphabetical order.]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's sorta Johnny Carson![updated]

The political part of Jay Leno's monologue is still not up to Carson-standards, but it's the best of the talk shows.

Jay Leno: "I don't want to...say McCain is running a lackluster campaign, but his Secret Service codename is 'Bob Dole.'"

This is a formula joke. It can be written in several ways, for example.

John McCain is so dull he makes Bob Dole seem interesting.


It was suggested that I needed to add an Obama joke:

Jimmy Kimmel: "It was...surprising" and "kind of exciting. They really love Barack Obama in Germany. He's like a rock star over there," which is "impressive until you realize that David Hasselhoff is also like a rock star over there."

If you like politics, and political humor, you might want to subscribe to US News & World Report's email Political Bulletin. At the each of the daily emails are the best political jokes from the latenight talk shows. The main part is a summary of how the media has covered a politcal happening.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No pain at the pump (Sorry)

At the Shady Lady Ranch brothel in Beatty, Nevada, clients who spend $300 or more this month will receive $50 gas vouchers as part of a promotion to beat the summer slump in business.

From Reuters News Service

Monday, July 21, 2008

Stop, in the name of love!

The Slovenian Parliament Building (above) houses the bicameral legislative body of Slovenia, based in the capital Ljubljana. The Parliament Building is located on the Square of the Republic in the center of Ljubljana. Built between 1954 and 1959, the structure was designed by the Slovenian architect Vinko Glanz.

Look closely. Notice anything really odd in the photo?