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?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rooty has a poodle cut!

Rooty is on a 16-week chemo protocol. One of the chemos is given via an IV. So, a few weeks ago, they shaved his right front leg. He had the same chemo this week so they shaved his left front leg. He looks really silly!

His hair is also falling out, because he has hair and not fur. It will come back in beautiful, with the deep colors that he had when he was a puppy.

Let me repeat again: Dogs tolerate chemo really well. The goal is to put the cancer into remission rather than to cure it (as they try to do with people). The dosage per pound of body weight, therefore, is much less than with humans.

Plus, he loves going to the animal hospital -- he pushes the door of the animal hospital open with this nose when we get there. The receptionist claims that Rooty actually smiles when in comes in!

It's lymphoma so there is no way to predict what will happen, but so far he's doing great!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How hot is it?

Last time you were in your neighborhood feed store (yes, we still have one here), you might have noticed a thing hanging on the wall that looked like the picture above, only much, much older.

What was probably being recorded were Heating Degree Days.

In the U.S., we usually use 65-degrees as the base temperature. The idea is that if it's 65 outside, you probably do not need to run your furnace or your air conditioner inside.

"Days" here does not mean actual days.

If it's 40-degrees outside than 65 - 40 = 25 Heating Degree Days (for today).

You do the same to calculate Cooling Degree Days.

Say it's 95 outside, then 95 - 65 = 30 Cooling Degree Days (for today).

Who cares?

Actually bunches of people. As Heating Degree Days increase, the demand for heating and natural gas increase. Forecasts of the number of Heating Degree Days in a Winter are used by your utility to figure how much energy it will have to supply to homes and businesses to keep warm. Forecasts are also used by commodity speculators trying to guess what the prices of energy will be next winter.

As Cooling Degree Days increase, the demand for electricity increases. Same deal, utilities use the forecast of Cooling Degree Days to estimate how much energy they will need to produce or buy during the air-conditioning season.

The Heating Degree Days devices used to be in feed stores so farmers could see when the sun was generating enough energy locally to grown certain crops. My impression is that the devices are still just in the old feed stores because they simply haven't been taken down. The local feed store still has its, I guess, because it is also a propane supplier.

Click HERE for a nifty site that will calculate a Heating Degree Days and Cooling Degree Days chart for your city. Remember, "Days" are not 24-hour periods but rather units of measurement. Below are some sample cities:

Friday, July 18, 2008


If you go to today's New York Times homepage and scroll down the video on the left side, there is a nifty video about all of the apps now available for your iPhone.

Like most online videos, there is a short commercial at the beginning -- for The BlackBerry.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"The Buck Moon"

The moon is full.

Rooty and I were sitting outside.

I was talking on the phone.

I poked myself in the eye.

Did I mention it's a full moon?


I love MODOT

As regular visitors know, no one loves the Missouri Highway Department quite as much a me -- especially the way state highways are "numbered" in Missouri.

An overturned construction crane in blocking Highway 94 this afternoon and evening in St. Charles County, across the Missouri from St. Louis County. [The black "X"] MODOT suggests D to DD as a detour around the road closure. [The black arrows]

Note that you could also take D to T or D to T to TT being careful not to turn onto Z in New Melle (and easy mistake). Defiance (on 94) is where Daniel Boone lived. His stone home still stands. Otherwise, Defiance is now mostly biker bars. The roads are so crooked because they mostly follow Indian trails along the tops of ridges.

I'm so confused

There was an accident on Tuesday where I-64 crosses I-270 in St. Louis County. A truck and trailer hit a line of cars stopped in the exit lane at rush hour trying to get from 64 to 270. The truck literally hydroplaned over the top of the cars and vans crushing and mangling them. Two people were killed at the seen. Sixteen others were injured and hospitalized. Others were treated and released. The story from the Post-Dispatch website is HERE.

One of the persons killed and several of those injured were Amish. On the Interstate. Not in a buggy. It seems that the Amish can ride in cars as long as someone not Amish is driving (they hire a driver.) Isn't that just plain odd. Why don't they let their kids ride in school buses? I'm really confused.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rooty has become the OPEC of static electricity!

He keeps rolling around on a fur blanket. Ouch!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A tale of hills and dales, and probably a Tiffani

As you might imagine, the road around the lake has lots of curves and little hills. When the lake was built (1939), they just graded the road following the natural terrain.

Today, Rooty and I were headed to town. Ahead, I could see heads bobbing up and down. It was six or seven kids, boys and girls, probably 12 yo or so. They were spread all across the road, including on the right-hand side. I was going slow so all but one of them had time to get out of the way. She was in the right-hand lane, headed up a hill right at me, talking on her cell phone!

She could have gotten out of the way but she was holding her cell phone to her ear with her right hand and steering the bike with her left. She tried, but the bike just wobbled a little to the left, and then to the right. It never occurred to her to stop talking or, oddly enough, to stop peddling. I had stopped at the top of the hill and I thought she was going to crash right into my grille.

There is no shoulder so I pulled over into somebody's front yard (sorry about that).

The last that I saw of her she was headed down the hill behind me, still on the wrong side of the road, still talking on her phone.

[Comment for long-time visitors: It made me wonder where Fat Biker Chick might be!]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It would have been a great honor, had the honorees been invited

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Build a Wiffle Ball Field and Lawyers Will Come"

New York Times

Let's imagine the ride home.

I was at the supermarket today.

This is the conversation of the couple ahead of me in the checkout line:

SHE: This package says it serves eight.

HE: My mother is coming over.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Rooty the Dog update:

Rooty is doing great. His lymph nodes shrunk to nothing after his first chemo treatment. He had some tummy problems afterwords but his animal hospital is open 24 hours. His doctor is a certified doggie oncologist. His treatment is called the Wisconsin Protocol and lasts 16 weeks. We are in Week 7. He goes once a week, sometimes for just an hour, sometimes for more. Rooty LOVES going to the vet, so that really helps.

He still plays with his toys as if he was a puppy and still goes nuts with the garden hose, vacuum cleaner, shop vac, shovel, hoe, rake, most any tool.

Rooty will be nine on August 2nd.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wake me up before you go go!

You go to this site and type in the URL for a site you want to go to. It tells you if the site you want is up and running. That's all it does. This says Monday-Waste-of-Time to me!

Friday, July 04, 2008

"When in the Course of human events..."

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

[On July 4, 1776, the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved and sent to the printer for publication. The Declaration was actually signed on August 2nd.]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Hence the phrase 'dumb duck'

You would think these two would bother Rooty, but they don't!
You would think they would realize that the, you know, water is under the cover!

There nothing like a good laugh....