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!