Hasty Ruminations

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

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

New Rules

Aren't you tired of the endless reporting about journalist Jill Carroll's kidnapping, and the bombing that injured TV Reporter Bob Woodruff and his cameraman, in Iraq? It's like reporters are some kind of victims, nay martyrs, while our own soldiers and Marines are, well, deserving of their fate.

Why do I know these guys names?

Here are Google's headlines tonight:

.....Woodruff's family is encouraged
.....Bob Woodruff talks with US soldiers Sunday in Iraq.
.....Fran Woodruff sounded like an anxious but happy mom Monday.
.....ABC News' Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt Heading Back to United States
.....ABC's Woodruff is recovering (Det News)
.....Woodruff said to be improving (Newsday)

The fact that our soldiers ARE the story, and are not paid the hefty bonuses and salaries of the embeded reporters, is not reported.

How about a new rule: if you get injured or captured or killed as a war zone reporter, your news organization is responsible to (a) get you out, (b) pay you workman's comp, and (c) keep you off the air unless you committed some act of heroism on the way?

Oh, and any news report about a reporter must be offset by five human interest stories about soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines.

Works for me.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Case Is Solve-ed

. We have these two nagging problems: where is bin Laden and his stooges, and where will Cindy Sheehan turn up next?

The Al Qaeda dudes continue their dissing after the detonation at HQ didn't get 'em. "Butcher of Washington, you are not only defeated and a liar, but also a failure. You are a curse on your own nation and you have brought and will bring them only catastrophes and tragedies," Dude #2 Zwahri said, referring to our President. "Bush, do you know where I am? I am among the Muslim masses."

Hey, Dude! WE can dis him; we pay taxes! YOU cannot!!

Last weekend, Cindy met with outlaw Yugo Chavez for an "I-Hate-Bush" rally in Venezuela.

A new low? Not so fast.

Ayman al-Zawahri needs to check with his answering service. I am sure that Cindy is trying to Blackberry him for lunch next week. She's on a mission.

Now, all Rummy has to do is put a tail on Cindy, and we get the whole shebang!

Oh... wait... Rummy?!

I knew there would be a catch!


The folks above are not holding on to the lap bar. They remain seated.

Airtime, to a roller coaster aficionado, involves removing one's seat belt, getting around the lap bar, and standing up with one's hands above one's head during the ups and particularly during the downs of the ride.

Tamar, a Harvard educated MBA, really wanted air time on an older, wooden roller coaster. Considering how MBA's have destroyed American manufacturing, we cannot generate much sadness at the result. However, we also do not ask, "What is one MBA underneath a roller coaster?"

Read the story here about how the roller coaster - and gravity - formed a temporary limited partnership to render her net present value (NPV) = zero.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Frank Capra & Jimmy Stewart


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) was on recently. While I watched, I looked it up on IMDB.com. I recognized some of the actors, so I also looked up another Stewart / Capra film: It's A Wonderful Life (1946). There are an amazing number of folks who were cast in both films.

Check them out, and we can compare lists.

Why can't they make great movies like this anymore?

Old, Mean and Now, Lazy

Oh, Please. Research an Author? Hell, I have better things to do.”

Oh, Please. Research Author? Hell”



Ann Coulter, the uber Conservative author and speaker, recently told a college audience that someone should put rat poison in liberal Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens’ crème Brule.

She shows herself to be the spoiled rich brat who, lacking charm, grace, and social skills, must say outrageous things to get any attention at all. She has no friends with whom to share these over-the-top concepts, so she says them in public.

Later, she told the same audience that the crack cocaine problem “has pretty much gone away.” That drew boos at Philander Smith College in Little Rock.

Ironic for someone who makes a living with her pen and her mouth, to abuse paying customers with such nonsense.

We know that the only effective punishment for such a little horror is to withhold the attention she craves. Ignore her.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday


Help At Last

The Onion

FDA Approves Sale Of Prescription Placebo

September 17, 2003 Issue 39•36

WASHINGTON, DC—After more than four decades of testing in tandem with other drugs, placebo gained approval for prescription use from the Food and Drug Administration Monday.

"For years, scientists have been aware of the effectiveness of placebo in treating a surprisingly wide range of conditions," said Dr. Jonathan Bergen of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "It was time to provide doctors with this often highly effective option."

In its most common form, placebo is a white, crystalline substance of a sandy consistency, obtained from the evaporated juice of the Saccharum officinarum plant. The FDA has approved placebo in doses ranging from 1 to 40,000 milligrams.

The long-awaited approval will allow pharmaceutical companies to market placebo in pill and liquid form. Eleven major drug companies have developed placebo tablets, the first of which, AstraZeneca's Sucrosa, hits shelves Sept. 24.

"We couldn't be more thrilled to finally get this wonder drug out of the labs and into consumers' medicine cabinets," said Tami Erickson, a spokeswoman for AstraZeneca. "Studies show placebo to be effective in the treatment of many ailments and disorders, ranging from lower-back pain to erectile dysfunction to nausea."

Pain-sufferers like Margerite Kohler, who participated in a Sucrosa study in March, welcomed the FDA's approval.

"For years, I battled with strange headaches that surfaced during times of stress," Kohler said. "Doctors repeatedly turned me away empty-handed, or suggested that I try an over-the-counter pain reliever—as if that would be strong enough. Finally, I heard about Sucrosa. They said, 'This will work,' and it worked. The headaches are gone."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Seven More Angels In Heaven

I probably should try to post this later, to give it a little perspective, and distance.

It's about the horrible crash in Florida, where a semi trailer truck failed to brake. It smashed into a car carrying seven young kids. It shoved the car into a stopped school bus, and killed the kids in the car.

All of them. All from one family - brothers, sisters, cousins, some adopted and others born to the family.

When the grandfather heard about it, he died of a massive heart attack.

Oh, God, have mercy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cure Worse Than Malady

An uncle was drinking with his nephew on Saturday night when the nephew developed hiccups. The uncle, a security guard, decided to scare him to get rid of the hiccups, so he pointed his revolver at his nephew. What could possibly go wrong?

The gun went off, killing the nephew. The distraught uncle ran outside and shot himself in the head, killing himself.

This happened in Bogota, Colombia, where booze is just another drug of choice.

The hiccups were cured.

Golf Equipment

Morris had been playing golf for years, and he had the finest equipment, but his technique never improved a bit. As his friend watched, he teed up at the first hole and promptly drove a brand-new ball into the woods. On the second hole, he drove another new ball into a lake. On the third, he lost a new ball in another part of the woods.

"Why don't you use an old ball?" his friend Sam asked.

"I've never had an old ball," Morris said.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sailor Makes Us Proud

Pearl Harbor Sailor Rescues Girl from Submerged Vehicle
Story Number: NNS060124-04 Release Date: 1/24/2006 11:45:00 AM

By Journalist 2nd Class Ryan C. McGinley, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (NNS) -- A Sailor assigned to Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2, Executive Transport Division Detachment, rescued a 15-year-old girl from a vehicle that sank in the Ala Wai Canal in Honolulu Jan 14.

While approaching the Waikiki Yacht Club entrance, Aviation Structural Mechanic (Safety Equipment) 1st Class (AW) Larry Cummins observed that it looked as if someone had dumped a load of trash into the water. He also noticed bubbles rising to the surface. After surmising that it was a vehicle, Cummins jumped into the water to see if anyone was alive inside.“I saw a little bit of white and could barely just see the top of the car,” said Cummins. “I thought, ‘I have to go check and see if anybody is in that vehicle.’ I took my shirt off and jumped in feet first,” he said.

“I didn’t want to dive, because you couldn’t see the vehicle.” Cummins successfully located the car and, during approximately five dives, he tried unsuccessfully to open the passenger-side and rear passenger-side doors. After coming up for a breath of air, Cummins dove down again and opened the driver’s-side door.

After feeling around the inside of the vehicle on several more dives, Cummins located the 15-year-old girl trapped insided and brought her to the surface.“She wasn’t moving and I didn’t know if she was alive, but I was going to try all I could,” said Cummins. “That’s all I could do was try.”

Cummins swam with the girl approximately 15 yards to the pier, where she was pulled from the water and received further assistance from a nurse. The girl was taken to the hospital and has since made a full recovery. Cummins dove down an additional time to search for other occupants of the vehicle until the Honolulu Fire Department and rescue divers arrived on scene.

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen awarded Cummins a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during an all-hands call Jan. 20 at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe, noting Cummins' heroic achievement, initiative, perseverance and loyal devotion to duty. “He performed some heroic acts to save the life of a young lady who was all but gone,” said Mullen. “[He] made a big difference to the family of that young lady and made all of us who wear the Navy uniform very proud.”

Let's Get Three Bids


A Swiss senator (yeah, they got a Senate) is upset. Rather than using prisons in other countries, it now appears to him that the CIA outsourced torture to other countries. Dick Marty (sounds more like a Bronx public defender) said there's no evidence of secret detention centers in Romania or Poland as Human Rights Watch had hoped.

Maybe in addition to his human rights job, as a Swiss guy, he's also concerned that everybody got a chance to bid on the job. Otherwise, you're just paying too much.

A bunch of bunk. They claim the CIA plane above, owned by a fake company, took suspected bad guys from country to country to torture them. Nonsense!

If they wanted to torture them, they would make them fly commercial - EVERY DAY!

Talk about cruel and unusual.

Kids with Guns

GERMANTOWN, Maryland (AP) -- An 8-year-old boy brought a gun to day care. It accidentally shot a 7-year-old girl in the arm.


I lived in Germantown last year. It wasn't that rough then.

Does anyone still think that kids with guns are cute?

Who Wudda Thunk It?

."OK, let's agree that you're an airplane. Make the 'zoom zoom' sound again."

So this guy goes nuts on a Continental flight in Fort Lauderdale. As it backs out of the gate 30 minutes late, he jumps up, screaming to be let off the plane. Bangs on the cockpit door, bangs on the windows. Before the pilot depressurizes the plane (can't open the doors against all of that pressure), some passengers jump the dude to calm him down (i.e., put him down). He bites one of them.

The door gets opened, and he jumps down to the tarmac. Runs to the terminal, where he gives security a hard time (natch) and they taser his butt. Down he goes. Arrested for lots of things.

I read this AP article all the way to the end, where they finally tell me the plane was bound for Newark, NJ.

Well, no wonder. Why didn't you say so in the first place?

Too Much Information Department

.How do they ever pronounce this in China?!

Chinese Use Adult Diapers on Long Trips

Monday, January 23, 2006

Scheiss Weekly

Please see the new blog listing in the right column. Scheiss Weekly by Mamacita G is thought provoking, thoughtful, and fun. Don't let two "thoughts" in a row turn you away; you owe yourself a long visit to the Scheiss!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Medieval Darwin Dude

At a Medieval outing, Adam decided to impress his friends. He would breathe fire.

He was too young to buy grain alcohol, so he had to find a substitute. What flammable liquids could he get at 11:30 pm? Wal*Mart had several choices.

Adam settled on Coleman stove fuel.

See what a spectacle he made of himself.

Dead Man Riding


They found a dead man riding the subway in New York yesterday.

Eugene Reilly, 64, a postal worker may have been riding the subway in a deceased mode for six hours, after his shift at the post office.

Imagine the effect on W.P. Convict, age 19, who spent time trying to roll Mr. Reilly for his cash. ("Roll" = rob, for our midwestern readers). Even stomping on his foot would have had no effect. W.P. (Wanton Perp) would have suffered a serious blow to his self confidence. Probably can sue the transit system.

If he had died at work, it might have taken weeks or months to discover his body. Those guys "go postal" so easily. Why do you suppose they call it a Dead Letter File?

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Time for some more Ortho


This just reported:

California home to 27 new species

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, California (AP) -- Twenty-seven previously unknown species of spiders, centipedes, scorpion-like creatures and other animals have been discovered in the dark, damp caves beneath two national parks in the Sierra Nevada, biologists say.


I use a very good Ortho powder around the tires, braces and cabling of the fifth-wheel trailer. Looks like it's time for more Ortho.

Helpful Advice


How To Clean Your Toilet

1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl.

2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him toward the bathroom.

3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet and close both lids. You may need to stand on the lid.

4. The cat will self agitate and make ample suds. Never mind the noises that come from the toilet; the cat is actually enjoying this.

5. Flush the toilet three or four times. This provides a "power-wash" and rinse.

6. Have someone open the front door of your home. Be sure that there are no people or other pets - like the Dog - between the bathroom and the front door.

7. Stand to the side of the toilet as far back as you can, and quickly lift both lids.

8. The cat will rocket out of the toilet, streak through the bathroom, and shoot outside where he will dry himself off. Don't worry about the floors getting wet; they will not be touched at all, somehow. We don't know how the cat does it; it's a mystery.

9. Both the commode and the cat will be sparkling clean.


The Dog

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Listen To Her

Hillary Clinton's ignorance is encyclopedic. But, when she starts to talk about corrupt administrations, I must listen.

After all, it's one area where she has first hand knowledge.

"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence. I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country," she remarked about the Bush administration.

Notice that, by saying "one of the worst", she preserves her husband's place in history.

She continued about the House being run like a plantation. But, Hillary, like the Senate, the Plantation of Representatives has universal health care! Unlike the rest of us.

Concerning the Clinton legacy, in addition to our already bulging scrapbooks about Monica and bin Laden and so on, just look at the news even today about how Hillary's good friend helped to quash a tax fraud investigation against Henry Cisneros, a former Clinton cabinet member.

Mayor Is Racist


New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's comments on MLK Day, that God wants New Orleans to be predominantly chocolate and he didn't care what the white people thought of that, are racist.

"I don't care what people are saying Uptown or wherever they are. This city will be chocolate at the end of the day," he said. "This city will be a majority African-American city. It's the way God wants it to be."

If I had said that, Hillary, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would have descended to my front doorstep.

Send this guy the way of the Fema guy. Outta there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Good Job

"We have time for one more chorus of 'Nearer My God to Thee', but let me first thank the Process Engineers, who arranged these deck chairs so nicely."

Master, HMS Titanic
North Atlantic

Old Guy Executed

This guy Clarence Ray Allen (when they print your whole middle name, watch out) kills his son's girlfriend, and then in prison arranges to kill three other witnesses 25 years ago. Life changes to death sentence, but he runs out the clock with appeals. Gets diabetes, gets blind, winds up in a wheel chair. "Hey, I'm too old for youse guys to execute. It'd be cruel an' unusual..." So he exhausts his appeals, and they inject him off to neverland last night.

Supreme Court Justice Breyer agrees with Allen and votes to stay the execution because the dude is too old. Liberal. So, Allen's got THAT goin' for him.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Shopping Time


Time for a new wardrobe?

Gotta get me one of these t-shirts:

Bad News for Joisey

New Jersey has suspended executions for a while.

That's really unfair. The poor state is already over populated.

A New Song

. (Sniff, sniff) No, you're not doing it right.

I'm working on a song for my favorite manager. Now, the first four lines:

In view of your bovinity,
Can flatulence be far behind?
Image of sagging weightliness,
Terrible horrors come to mind.

Last One Out, Turn Out The Lights

Walter Cronkite says it's time to leave Iraq.

McCain must've got to him.

Now There's An Idea


Leave it to John McCain. He may have been a goof off as a Midshipman at the Naval Academy, but as a Senator...

He says that the military option against Iran's nuclear idiocy is still on the table.

Since the Army is so thin now thanks to Clinton and Rumsfeld, the Army would have to get out of Iraq to invade Iran.

Cindy Sheehan will probably blow John McCain a kiss.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gun Play


The fifteen year old kid Christopher in Florida who painted the orange tip of a realistic toy gun black, pointed it at people at school and then, in an apparent suicide-by-cop ploy, pointed it at a police deputy and was shot, has died.

It reminds me of the black man Anthony Hayes who was waving a knife around in New Orleans recently while he was surrounded by cops with guns drawn. They soon fired nine shots at him and his 3" knife, and killed him, too.

To me, the cops in New Orleans should have used the natural defense we all have in the case of a knife: distance. Move back, keep him isolated until you get a taser or tear gas or a kung foo dude and can disarm him.

The kid with the "gun" offered no such out for the cops. Unless he revealed it was a toy, his act of pointing it at a person got the expected (and apparently desired) response. One of the kids he pointed it at grabbed it, and found out it was a plastic toy. I wonder why he didn't tell the cops.

His "friend" Patrick, a 15-year-old neighbor who has known Chris for about six years, said he wasn't surprised by what happened. He said Chris was a loner who "told me he wanted to kill himself dozens of times."

How much responsibility does Patrick have, for not telling someone? He had dozens of opportunities.

Our Thing Gang


The Feds in Chicago recently arrested Joey “The Clown” Lombardo, 76, along with 13 others charged with plotting several organized crime murders. Tony "The Ant" Spilotro was one of the victims, long suspected of running the Las Vegas operation for the Chicago "Outfit”. Frank "the German" Schweihs, 75, was arrested in Kentucky; he was an enforcer for “The Outfit”.

The guy who comes up with these titles, and a seemingly endless stream of quotation marks, remains on the lam. Angelo “The Titleist” Paisano has reportedly switched to a HP laptop PC from his 1954 era, 37 pound Underwood typewriter, so he can move more easily around the major turfs of Our Gang Crime, Inc. The G-Men say that once they put “The Titleist” on ice, the underworld’s bit players will go straight.

Meanwhile, their new strategy of looking at personal checks at area banks seems to be working. The bad guys cannot resist putting their title, in quotes, between their first and last names on checks, drivers licenses and return addresses.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Windows Vista

The new version of Windows, due out this year, will probably have new sounds, too.

Robert Fripp was at Microsoft recently.He's in the band King Crimson.

Bob was there recording the various sounds for Windows Vista, for those who keep their computer speakers turned on. Check it out.

We used to live in Chula Vista, Ca. They told us it means "Beautiful View." Put it through a web translator and it comes out Insolent Vista. So will Windows be beautiful, insolent or, as usual, just arrogant?

Senator Feinstein - Twice In One Week

After "distinguishing" herself at the Judge Alito hearings, Senator Feinstein is back in the news, as usual.

She wants answers on an obscure Pentagon agency that put reports on student anti-war protests and other demonstrations in a database for terrorist activities. She asks the Rummy, "Under what circumstances can peaceful protests at universities or by anti-war groups be monitored? What authorities, and under what regulations, do military counterintelligence units have to conduct investigations on U.S. persons?” she wrote. Or people, I guess.

She will probably get Al-Qaeda's Infidel Chick of the Year award on Al-Jazera's SundayNight Live show. But she will have to wear the full face burqa over her face. Forever, they say.

Hmmm....... Now there's a thought.

New Slogan for New Joisey

The guy who wrote the winning tourism slogan for New Jersey - "Come C 4 Ur Self" - is paid by the state of New Jersey to write ... slogans.

He is an employee of the state's transit agency who writes slogans as part of his marketing job. Governor Codey said Jeffrey Antman's employment with New Jersey Transit wouldn't stop him from receiving a two-night stay at a golf and spa resort in Vernon and two tickets to a New Jersey Nets or Devils game.

What happened to "Employees of the sponsor are not eligible..."?

I think they should use the other one: "New Jersey - What's That Smell?"

Thursday, January 12, 2006

New Tool


I usually wax ecstatic when I get a new saw, a new screw gun, a laser level, and so forth. My days building stage sets for high schools, grade schools, and community theaters are not that long past, and I want to do it again. But, the new tool I got today is in a whole different realm.

My oldest son and his wife have been getting spectacular results when they deep fry a turkey for holiday dinners. I have not had one yet, but I am intrigued. The size of the propane fryer for a whole turkey, though, has held me back. Living in a large trailer is great, but space must be conserved. Still, it sounded so good that today, I got a counter top electric fryer.

It was about $30, by Presto, and I got it in a fine grocery store here in California. It takes four cups of oil, and it automatically heats the oil to a pre-set temperature (which I guess is about 300 degrees Farenheit). It takes ten minutes to heat up. Tonight, I used vegetable oil (soybean, it says). Its flavor was nice, and neutral. I also bought some corn oil for another night. Of course, I can re-use the oil as long as I keep it clean and cool.

What to cook? Well, I bought some shrimp, and I always have fresh chicken thanks to Lacy. But I don't have time for a lot of cooking preparation at night. So, I searched the frozen food case, and it was simple. I looked for foods I like, and I checked to see if they had a "deep fry" set of instructions on the back, in addition to the normal stove top, oven or microwave instructions. Sure enough, more items than I cared to get today! I settled on some breaded, pre-cooked chicken nuggets, and some prepared shrimp tempura from Thailand. I cooked six small chicken pieces for 3 minutes, and then five shrimps for 3-1/2 minutes.

Wonderful! I need to cook more chicken, because Lacy didn't even try to hold back out of courtesy or any memory of good manners. I ran the exhaust fan, of course. This is not a diet I will eat every night (though the variety of "healthy" cooking oils is not bad today), but it is definitely fun and also nice to have control of how much time something spends in the oil. Using pre-cooked food is a good idea, I think, because if I cut the cooking time too short (to reduce the time something soaks in oil) I won't automatically poison us with uncooked food.

Next, I will make some simple batter for chicken breasts and plain cooked shrimp, maybe in a couple of days. And maybe a 3" thick slab of turkey breast, to see what the excitement is all about!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Alito Hearings

It's getting worse. They got his wife crying now in the hearing room. What did SHE do to them?!

This is not, I think, an extraordinarily gifted Congress, nor even an average one. It will not go down in our history as having contributed either to our legislative wisdom or to a treasury of good, model laws. We should not look for statesmen, revolutionaries, brilliant philosophers nor inventors in its ranks. Given that the 109th Congress is at least as venal and plebeian as any in our history, it is still not too much for us to ask that they stop disgracing us and drooling down their fronts on television. If they are there to represent We the People, then our recourse is not only to impeach them, but also to wait until their six-year Senate term expires to vote them out, and always we should call them to task whenever they act like ill mannered children. As they did today.

We have had some recent presidents who have not earned all of our respect as perhaps they should have. But when a president, brilliant or lackluster, selects a nominee for the Supreme Court, Appellate Court, District Court, Ambassadorship or Cabinet Secretary, the nominee deserves respect, hospitality and deference from the Senate in its Constitutional role of advise and consent. A nominee testifying before the Judiciary Committee is not in the same category as witnesses from the Mafia, or Admiral Poindexter and his Iran-Contra hoods, or anyone from Enron: felons or crook wannabees deserve the third degree. Nominees of good character for high office deserve respect, thoughtful questions, an opportunity to be heard and an up-or-down vote. They do not deserve automatic confirmation, but the fact of their nomination alone should require respect.

Senators who think that they are above all of this should be censured by the Senate, and kicked off the Judiciary Committee. Those like some we saw today who grandstand at the expense of the nominee should be publicly reprimanded.

Or so say I.

Senator Blowhard



We try to convince other countries to take us seriously; to stand up for freedom; to emulate our civil rights and civil liberties; and to respect our Executive, Legislative and Judicial systems.

Then we put low caliber types like Biden, Kennedy, Feinstein, Schumer and Leahy on TV to question high caliber nominees like Judge Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. 50 cameras and the captive audience at the hearings were too much for some of the most inflated Senators, who began by promising not to go nuts. Then, as usual, they broke their promises. They should be ashamed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Site

This should appear in my Blogroll (to the right) shortly.

This is a great Catholic site, and worth a look for all.

Modern Mummy


When Johannas Pope died at age 61 in 2003, she believed that she would return to life. So she told her family not to bury her.

They didn't.

They kept her upstairs. Sitting in a chair. With the TV on. With the air conditioning on.

She is now mummified.

Any Nielsen Ratings which came from her TV set should probably be disregarded.

Senator Kennedy's New Book

Senator Ted Kennedy has a new book: My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C.

It's about him and his dog, written he said to give kids a "deeper understanding" of their government.

How did the notorious Senator get such a dog's-eye perspective? Well, by getting down on all fours and crawling around the streets of Washington.

He followed the old adage about writing: use your experience, and write about what you know.

Monday, January 09, 2006

76 Dogs Killed So Far

The Diamond Pet Food Company has recalled pet food containing aflatoxin. It only takes a tiny amount of the stuff to kill a healthy dog's liver; and very soon, the dog too. There is no excuse for this.

When I was in charge of packaging engineering at Nabisco, our group included Shredded Wheat, Fleischmann's Margarine, Ortega Mexican Food, and Milkbone (among 17 others). We had a saying that we never, ever wanted to do anything to poison anyone with bad Cream of Wheat, bad Egg Beaters or bad margarine; they would certainly sue us for everthing Nabisco had.

The corollary was that we would never, EVER do anything to hurt a dog with a Milkbone, since THOSE people would not only take the money - they would tar and feather US, too. We made that product to human food standards (with, of course, horse meat and flavors attractive to dogs). They are nutritious enough for a dog to subsist completely on Milkbones. We were also aware that they are eaten by poor people, and of course by children when Mommy isn't watching. So if they fell on the floor, they did not go into the box; just like everything else we made.

"Hurt me, shame on you; hurt my dog... slap leather, podner!"

Culture of Death

The Pope yesterday abandoned his prepared homily, and launched an impromptu, impassioned defence of life and condemnation of the "culture of death", including abortion and contraception.

Today, Andrea Yates, who murdered her five little kids in a bathtub one at a time, pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

Can we reconcile the two? How about finding Andrea guilty and insane, and locking her up with a similar guilty and insane person like Charles Manson?

I agree that abortion is murder. But contraception? The logic escapes me.

Finally, I see that Dick Cheney was hospitalized for heart and breathing problems, treated and released. How come the West Virginia miner McCloy goes into a medically sustained coma, Israel's Sharon goes into a medically sustained coma, but Cheney gets treated and released? His super-pro-Patriot Act position certainly qualifies him as comatose, too, doesn't it?

Arbitrary Homophobia

Just before the movie "Brokeback Mountain" was to open, a movie theater near Salt Lake City, Utah, changed its plans and refused to show it.

There were only sporadic hissy fits.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What Do You Think?

I saw this book at Barnes and Noble today.

I don't think it's a good idea to encourage that kind of thing.

Those Who Ignore History...

...Are Doomed To Repeat It.

One fateful afternoon, 55-year-old Marko retreated to his semi-detached workshop to make himself a tool for chimney cleaning. See what adventures awaited him...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dog Tags

We were taught in the Navy that we wore two notched dog tags so that if we died in the service, one would be forwarded up the chain of command, and the other would be inserted between our upper and lower incisor teeth and the jaw shoved up. This would wedge the dog tag into the body so that we would have no more "unknown soldiers" returning home.

The Urban Legends page cites military sources to disprove this intention.

Yeah, well, ok. But when military academy instuctors tell you something like that, we don't forget it. And a lot of us spent our careers on small ships without doctors, lawyers, and books on "Mortuary Affairs". In fact, I had command of one. Our ship had five body bags, and corporate knowledge about the dog tags thing. Guess what would probably have happened to someone who died on one of our ships?

Medal of Honor Disgrace

In 2002, General Joseph J. Foss (Ret) of Scottsdale, Arizona, who served inWorld War II and the Korean War, tried to board a flight with his Medal of Honor. Read about the disgrace perpetrated by airport "security" dummies.

A Nice Story…An Ice Story!

Eagle River is a small town not far from Lac du Flambeau, where my family took us on a fishing vacation once in the 50's.

They don't let hot women or coffee cups in there. As Vinnie Antonelli said to Crystal in My Blue Heaven, "You could melt all of this stuff."

Warning: This is a Label

Heat Gun Wins Wacky Warning Label Contest

Don't miss second place (label on a kitchen knife), third place (label on a map on a cocktail napkin) and honorable mention (label on a garden pest repellant).

Cow Escapes Meat Plant, Dodges SUV, Train

Wal*Mart Blue Light Special: Sorry!

Wal-Mart blames human error for offensive link
Attempt to promote Martin Luther King Jr. film went horribly awry

Happy Headlines

USA Losing Its Advantage Drawing Foreign Students
By Mary Beth Marklein and Barbara Slavin, USA TODAY


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Mine Disaster

The explosion in the West Virginia mine has claimed 11 of the 12 miners trapped for two days. The news was initially twisted and misreported. Still, it was not like the Avondale, PA, mine disaster of 1869 pictured above, when 110 men and boys perished. We pray that God will comforrt the families.

Things in West Virginia don't stray too far from the norm. Remember the legendary family feud, between the Hatfields and the McCoy's?

The CEO of the mine is Ben Hatfield; the only survivor now is Randall McCloy.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Mr. Stew of Get Stewed has written a wonderful story about the purchase of a new car for his lovely wife. He invited me to comment on his new nom de plume, Mr. Snark.

As I am sure he is aware, Mr. Lewis Carroll of Oxford University, England, wrote not only Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, but also The Hunting of the Snark.

I dare not add, change, or pollute Lew's work (I used to call him "Carol", but that got confusing). Instead, let me refer you to the first part of the work to judge for yourself. (While you are there, enjoy my pictures from Glacier National Park last summer.) Kindly note the parallels to Mr. Stew's story:
  • A slight though clear resemblance to what we think of as "sanity";
  • The Sales Weasel as Banker, perhaps, or Butcher;
  • The lovely Jen temporarily as Bellman, but who will appear in a more fitting role in a later Fit;
  • The receptionist as ... well, you know;
  • And Mr. Stew himself, as Thing-um-a-jig, Toasted Cheese, and Snark.

We will post subsequent Fits, or chapters, as space permits. And as my therapist allows.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rue Brittania


It must be nice to be the richest woman in the world. The things the queen must decide include who gets knighted.

The latest is London-born Jonathan Ive, 38, Apple's senior vice president of design. She gave him the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). That's because he was in charge of the team which made the iPod, the iMac, iBook and Powerbook computer lines in at Cupertino, California.

Guess what Queenie got for Christmas? Yeah, a pink one. Must be nice to be Monarch of the world's most frivolous monarchy.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Tradition, Tradition


We always had a ham on New Year's day until once I asked why we didn't try to roast a prime rib? We all liked to order it at restaurants; why not do it ourselves? "Oh, no!" I was told, "I would not take responsibility for that much meat!" She didn't want to take responsibility for a lot of things, it turns out.

So, I took the responsibility. I did the whole meal every New Year's Day. I bought everything, and cooked everything. Prime rib, bone in; Yorkshire pudding; twice baked potatoes; green beans almondine (fresh); biscuits, sometimes homemade bread; brocoli with Holandaise sauce, or corn; Waldorf salad (homemade); and homemade pie or shortcake for desert.

Today, my oldest son is hosting the dinner, featuring prime rib. She who would not cook it is one of the guests who will eat it. I am 3,000 miles away, alas.

I'm glad that one of my things has turned into a tradition. "Yi-dil-di-dil-dee-dum, ya-dil-yidle-yidle-yidlediddledeedledeeldedum." Like Tevye. If I'd had my choice of which one to make a tradition, it might have been going to Church on Christmas and Sundays.

Fr. Junipero Serra


Please read this story of Fr. Junipero Serra, who founded the California missions, and then tell me you didn't smile.

Transition - New Year's Eve

We reached another milestone, thanks to my gentle readers, on New Year's Eve:


Thank you, all 33,000 of you! It is humbling.

Okay, THIS Was A Storm

I guess that 4" of rain in 24 hours counts as a storm, and that's what we had in northern California. My personal observation - it's a good start at rinsing away all of this dust - is not being popularly received out here, so I have taken down the banner for now.

Lacy had to wait until the waters subsided at noon on Saturday for her morning toilet, since she didn't want to use my pier (formerly known as the wooden steps into the trailer). She would bark and bark and bark, pace to the end of the pier, peer into the muddy water 6" deep around the trailer, and return sullenly to the couch.