Hasty Ruminations

Speaking out, to remove all doubt. http://hastyruminations.blogspot.com

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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Lacy Update

Brenda very kindly asked for a Lacy the Doggie update, so here goes.

(Lacy started severe vomiting on Wednesday during our drive back to Maryland from North Carolina. (We are moving from MD to NC.) The vomiting abated about 11:00 pm, to be replaced by diarrhea with bleeding overnight Wednesday. I took her to the vet in MD on Thursday morning, where she has been ever since.)

The vet called me yesterday to ask if I could drop by and encourage her to eat some very bland food. They wanted to see if she could hold it down.

I did, and she ate a tiny bit. We visited for a while. Her color is back, and some of her energy, and she really likes the people there but she really wants to come home. I noticed that her ears are warm again, meaning that there is enough serum in the blood for the body to handle its lowest priority task, warming the extremeties. It had apparently started shutting that stuff down when her blood solids went to 66%. Today they are 44%, which is normal for her. Talk about dehydration! It was a crisis.

But, she couldn't keep even that small amount of food down, so she stayed overnight. Today (Saturday), they said she still has some blood in the stool, but no more vomiting overnight. They wanted to keep her, and I wanted her to stay, too, until she is good. So, I drove a load from Maryland to North Carolina today alone. The trailer capacity is 3,000 pounds, and I exceed that for sure.

Back to Maryland tomorrow. The packer came yesterday (Friday), and the moving truck comes Monday. If Lacy is ready to travel, fine. If not, that clinic is so good, I will reluctantly leave her there during the move and return later in the week.

I'm still very worried, but also optimistic now. We had a GREAT visit today! She was like her old Lacy, even barking when it was time for me to leave! That's the first time I'd heard her voice since Tuesday, and the hospital staff all applauded!

Thanks for asking, Brenda!


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Guest Blogger

I was invited to be a guest blogger for a day on a great blog, Golly Blog Howdy way out on the Left Coast. The author, Mellie Helen, is sympatico with many of my readers here, and I'm sure that you will enjoy her blog as a daily read. My entries for February 24th are there, recounting a terrifying episode I am having with the World's Most Perfect Pup, Lacy. Please read it there, and memorize Mellie's address. Oh, and then, c'mon back here!


Sunday, February 20, 2005

BBC's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Get Ready For Zaphod: "The Guide to Life, The Universe and Everything."

Oh, and other great H2G2 links can be found on a new favorite blog, "It Comes In Pints?" See the blogroll list to the right. I'm sure that you remember the great exchange in Lord of the Rings:
Pippin: "What's that?"
Merry: "This, my friend, is a pint."
Pippin: "It comes in pints?"


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sweet Misa

I might make this, and some fish (next article):

Sweet Misa: "Misa's Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 bananas, mashed (slightly chunky)
2 tsp vanilla
juice of half a medium orange
zest from half a medium orange

Posted by Hello

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a bread loaf pan.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add remaining ingredients. Mix until combined.

Fold in mashed banana.

Pour into pan, bake in oven for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Allow to cool five minutes before removing from pan. "

Cooking For Engineers

'Tis the season (Lent) for fish! Hey, I'm told that we don't eat enough fish anymore, and besides the health consequences, the oceans are going to back up. Soon, vile French frogs will be able to walk to London on the former English Channel.

Looking for a recipe, I (an Engineer) found:

Pan Fried Fish Fillets:
"Last week I roasted a four pound cross rib roast (instead of a standing rib roast because I was too cheap to by prime rib just for an article). Well, I finally finished eating the roast. (After the initial feast, I sliced the roast into steaks and then reheated on a skillet for a couple minutes on each side with some onion powder and celery salt to produce a tender medium to medium-well steak dinner.) After eating steak (and grilled beef of several varieties because of the July 4th weekend), Tina decided she would like some fish.

"We had some fairly thick fillets (about one inch) of catfish that I decided to pan fry (or saute, but I usually reserve this word for food that will actually be constantly moved on the pan). I always use a large non-stick skillet whenever I want to pan fry fish, but I had four fillets of catfish. I decided to do an experiment and cook all four at the same time - two on my non-stick skillet and two on my traditional saute pan."

Posted by Hello

(Click the link for the rest of the article.)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Friday, February 18, 2005

World Photo Journal

Spend five minutes looking at the terrific photographs at JDL, and you come away refreshed! It's TRUE!

World Photo Journal

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Helpful Dog

A Yellow Lab Like JD, which looks a lot like LacyPosted by Hello

In Grapevine, TX, a fellow and two friends were playing frisbee when a policeman who thought he smelled marijuana began asking them some questions.

Meanwhile, the dog, JD, which belonged to one of the guys waded into a nearby creek and brought out a plastic bag with the weed.

One guy was busted for drugs, another for paraphernalia, and the third got to take JD home, where he probably didn’t get any Milkbones.

Polar Bears - Endangered Species?

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A conservation group wants to list the polar bear as a threatened species because of global warming. They think it could be extinct by the end of the century.

The sea ice is breaking up earlier each spring and forming later in the autumn, said Kassie Siegel, head tree hugger.

She said the United States must soon reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a fraction of current levels. She supports higher fuel efficiency standards for automobiles as one answer.

Oh, the end of the century. Well, that’s okay then.

And notice: penguins did NOT participate in the conservation group. They already participate by being on the polar bear’s menu.

Scientific Proof: Drunk Birds Can’t See Windows

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In what some see as a parallel to whales beaching themselves, dozens of birds, drunk from eating holly berries, committed mass suicide by crashing into the glass of an office building in South Carolina this week.

"It was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie," Denise Wilkinson said. "It was spooky. You could hear them where they flew into the glass." Prolly see ‘em, too, I reckon.

Except we don't know why whales do it, but when a bird has a blood alcohol content of, oh, 50%....

Wild Turkeys Like BBQ Town

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A wild turkey flock just moved to a small town in North Dakota, which happens to have a huge turkey barbecue each summer. Wayne Short, whose back yard is now a popular turkey roost, said the birds have been misinformed. "When they find out we're having turkey barbecue instead of a barbecue for turkeys, they'll be gone like a shot," Short said.

Woe is Lil' Bud

Posted by Hello

Brenda at the similarly named Planet posted a sad story of a fine young hamster, Little Bud, who is beginning to behave like a truant from the streets of Newark. Perhaps Brenda will retrieve the little feller, and let him look over her shoulder as we try to cheer him up. (Tapping toe… dum de dum dum … tap, tap, tap) Okay!

Maybe you forgot his birthday:

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Perhaps he just needs to get out for some fresh air:

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Exercise is always good for youngsters:

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Or, he may want to take in an act at a nightclub, like Barbara Streisand-Hamster’s:

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BUT, if you don’t want him joining up with Abu-Nidal-hamster:

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Then, get him a date!

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No actual hamsters were harmed in the making of this public service announcement.

Good Guess

The teacher noticed that Al had been daydreaming for a long time. She decided to get his attention.

"Al," she said, "If the world is 25,000 miles around and eggs are sixty cents a dozen, how old am I? "

"Thirty-four," Al answered unhesitatingly.

The teacher replied "Well, that's not far from my actual age. Tell me...how did you guess?"

"Oh, there's nothing to it," Al said. "My big sister is seventeen and she's only half-crazy."

Giving Pets Their Pills

Nicky, my soon-to-be-daughter-in-law, sent this. She has four cats, and a couple of dozen boxes of Band-Aids.

How to give a cat and a dog a pill...

1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.

2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in right arm (To avoid wound on left arm) and repeat process.

3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.

4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in best arm, holding rear paws tightly with hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.

5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.

6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill, put down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.

7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.

8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow through straw.

9) Check label to make sure pill is not harmful to humans, drink 1 beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.

10) Retrieve cat from neighbor's shed Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door onto neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.

11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw Tee shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.

12) Call fire department to retrieve the f------ cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbor who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil wrap.

13) Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak filet. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.

14) Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and remove pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.

15) Arrange for SPCA to collect the "cat from hell" and call local pet shop to see if they have any guinea pigs.

How to Give a Dog a Pill...

1) Wrap it in bacon. Drop on the floor.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Jig Is Up!

I have been found out as a Criminal.

You know those little flag things all over blogs? For Blog Explosion and Blog This and Blog That? Well, my Blog Clicker thingy went wacko, leaving only the familiar red dotted line corpse and a tiny red "X". Unable to resist, I clicked on the little red "X".

Clouds massed overhead; it became dark as night; lightning struck not far from my pooch, Lacy; the screen cleared ominously, and the MESSAGE DISPLAYED:


You don't have permission to access /index.php on this server.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
Apache/1.3.33 Server at www.blogclicker.com Port 80

Guilt on my face. NOT ONLY attempted breaking and entering; ADDITIONALLY doing so under False Pretenses.

But, hey... wait a minute. That button thingy was put there by the Blog Clicker robot!! See Brenda's blog about Robots! I may have a claim against THEM.

Anybody know a good Blog-lawyer-mouthpiece?

"If the button don't fit... you must acquit!"

Neuro's Blog

Caught a Lite Sneeze

This is neuro's:blog, and it's a riot!

Posted by Hello

(This section is from one post; the link takes you to another.)

February 08, 2005

Christian Conferences have been eating my time like the filthy clock monsters that they are. I don't particularly object to this: I learned how to play drums (badly) o'er the course of the weekend (I don't have time to type the letter V anymore I'm that busy) and now my life is one walking rhythm and not of the circadian variety. Although, the sun has been out and nobody can deny that. It is good when the sun shines. All us pasty irish types get a brief dose of vitamin D that helps us to blossom into the kind of plants that we were meant to be. If I were a plant, I'd be a spider plant. This of course being down to the fact that I've got eight legs and a hairy back. My husband is disgusted with me but I came with a dozen fine cows that spurt out the most deliciously creamy white milk so he wins too."

(Click on the link, and you will understand why I chose that picture.)

A Great Blog!

Planet Potato - an Irish blog

Here's a great blog to check out! Sample article:

Posted by Hello


"Great news on Yahoo opening their European base in Ireland. Really great news. Yahoo and Google represent the 21st century future of Irish employment, it is absolutely essential that we have companies like this embedded in this country. Companies like Dell offer huge employment, and also operate in the 'tech' sector, but ultimately they are no more than a manufacturing company. Unfortunately, I expect them to leave sometime over the next decade. Intel are borderline, they have a hugely skilled workforce, but at heart they are also a manufacturing company. Google and Yahoo offer jobs where the human capital count for more than the working capital."

Circuit City Plane Crashes

Top News Article Reuters.com:

Bad News, Part 1

"DENVER (Reuters) - A twin-engine jet registered to retailer Circuit City crashed on Wednesday about five miles short of the Pueblo, Colorado, airport, killing eight, federal and local officials said. Circuit City said in a statement the plane carried eight passengers, including four employees, and that no company officers were on board. "

Posted by Hello

Circuit City to Close Stores

Circuit City to Close Stores:

Bad News, Part 2

"Circuit City to Close Stores
By Nat Worden
TheStreet.com Staff Reporter

"Circuit City (CC:NYSE - news - research) revealed plans Wednesday to slash a sizable chunk of its operations, one day after a hedge fund offered to acquire the company in a $3.2 billion leveraged buyout. The electronics chain will shut 19 underperforming stores, five regional offices and a Virginia distribution center by the end of February. The 19 stores on the chopping block accounted for $170 million in revenue in 2004, and the company expects to record a charge of $30 million in the fourth quarter related to the restructuring. "

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Let The Good Times Roll!

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I got some great Christmas gifts from some great kids (my kids). I just got around to using my Amazon dot com gift certificate. I will soon be reading Thomas Jefferson by R.B. Bernstein; The Broker by John Grisham; The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, by John le Carre (probably for the third time); Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by le Carre (ditto); and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson.

Yes, I know; they were all out of joke books.

I got the best kids in the world!

Six Boys

Posted by Hello
I got this from a fellow who was in the class behind me at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. It has been around, so it’s verbatim accuracy is questionable; but I am confident that the sense of it will move you as it moved me.
A Tale of Six Boys

On a tour with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI, a person who videotaped the trip gave this account of their visit to the Iwo Jima Memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- the six soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. A solitary figure at the base of the statue asked, "Where are you guys from?"

Wisconsin, they said. "Hey, I'm a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story."

(James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who has since passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up.).

He said, "My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called "Flags of Our Fathers" which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.

"Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game.

“Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out, I say that because there are those who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old.

(He pointed to the statue) "You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. ...a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

"The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, 'Let's go kill some Japanese' or 'Let's die for our country.' He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, 'You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers.'

"The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, 'You're a hero.' He told reporters, 'How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?' So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of 32. ...ten years after this picture was taken.

"The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

"The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, 'No, I'm sorry, sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back.' My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell's soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press.

"You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.

"When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, 'I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.'

"So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."

Suddenly, the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before their eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.

Remember: Everyday you wake up free, IS a great day.

Convicted Child Rapist To Go To Prison…

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Former priest Paul Shanley was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison for raping a boy time and again at a Boston parish in the 1980s.

"He used his collar and he used his worshipped status in that community," said the prosecutor Lynn Rooney, who asked for a life sentence. "There has been no remorse shown on the part of this defendant. There has been no acceptance of responsibility."

Shanley's lawyer claimed the case consisted of "vilification, half truths and lies."

He will be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence. He was also sentenced to 10 years' probation.

Shanley is 74.

… While An Accused Child Rapist Is Hospitalized En Route to Court

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Says He Has The Flu

Michael Jackson was taken to a hospital with the flu Tuesday morning, delaying jury selection for a week in the singer's child molestation trial.

- - - - - - - - -

Me? I think he had an impulse for some last minute plastic surgery. Or maybe a minor amputation. Hospital… for the FLU?! C’mon.

Lawyers Want Celebrities For The Michael Jackson “Fest”

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Michael Jackson's defense lawyers listed Elizabeth Taylor, Jay Leno, Quincy Jones and Kobe Bryant as possible witnesses in Jackson’s molestation trial. The defense also named Jackson's children, Paris and Prince Michael. Possible prosecution witnesses included Debbie Rowe, their mother.

Other possible witnesses included Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Chris Tucker, Corey Feldman, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and younger brother Aaron, Ed Bradley, Larry King, Rita Cosby, Deepak Chopra, Uri Geller, David Blaine, Steve Wynn and relatives of the late Marlon Brando.

Apparently the Pope wasn’t listed due to ill health. OJ Simpson was also slighted, and to me the most interesting omision of all was Macaulay Culkin. Omitted, either because he wouldn’t sing the defense’s song, or because he has his own law problems. He entered not guilty pleas in October at an Oklahoma City court to illegally possessing marijuana and prescription medicine.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Stay At Home

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The photographer of this picture, in Budapest, Hungary, titled it "Stay At Home".

My title is shorter:


Airbus Problems

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What if they made a humongous airplane, but then it couldn’t land?

Some U.S. airport officials are saying that there is no demand for the A380 super jumbo jet, which can carry up to 555 passengers. Certainly nowhere near enough to justify extra runway widening and terminal upgrades to handle the double-decker plane. The FAA says that only JFK in New York, LAX, San Francisco and Miami are working with the FAA to plan changes for the new planes, while Anchorage and Memphis are interested in the cargo version.

Outside the U.S., only London’s Heathrow, Paris’s Charles de Gaulle, Sydney and Singapore are working on modifications.