Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Do radioactive cats have 18 half-lives?

I made a trip into our cellar yesterday noon for something which escapes me now. It is truly a cellar, dank, mildew-infested and the denizen of the dozen feral cats which patrol the environs, keeping the rodent population in check.

Anywho, I get in there and what do I hear but a kitten crying up a storm! Seems the little fecal flapper had fallen from the shelf his mother has arbitrarily designated as "home," landing on a sack of old wood ashes waiting for the day I have enough fat to make soap.

Upon careful examination the only injury of note was to his dignity, so I replaced him on his shelf with his siblings and went about my business.

That's a little bit of my day. What did you do for excitement?

Monday, September 29, 2003

Monday Morning* Musings

Monday Morning* Musings

Did you ever stop to think ... and forget to start?

I spent most of Sunday afternoon watching the race on NBC. Only now getting my heart rate back to normal. I've been a Michael Waltrip fan for a while now, which is like being a Boston Red Sox fan. It is sooo nice to win one now and again. What a delicious vicarious thrill.

Check this out: The Miami Herald | 09/29/2003 | Safety first -- even in fun a superb description of the defining moments of the NASCAR Winston Cup EA Sports 500 from Talladega.

Also, AP has a super photo circulating of an airborne M&M's car piloted by Elliot Sadler whilst in freefall. See it here or here (#4) if you're an AOL customer.

Italians grope each other in the dark. Government probes cause; results in nine months.

World's oldest man dies at 114.

Copter crash claims famed bushman. "North-West bush poet Johnny James, 56, had lived alone on Yakka Munga Station, 200km east of Broome, and spent 35 years in the Kimberley catching bulls and working cattle."

* Alright, alright, ALRIGHT! MY morning, not yours!

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Where Japanese Commuter Train Ramp Attendants Go Upon Retirement - Somali!

From Reuters via Yahoo! World News comes the following:

"A Somali truck loaded with corn is parked on the side of a road in Mogadishu, September 24, 2003. The delapidated city is the capital of the failed Horn of Africa state, where motorists have the choice of driving on the right or the left hand side of the road, such is Mogadishu's anarchy. Car wrecks, goats, cattle and the tent-like homes of refugees line the pot-holed, sandy streets. The country collapsed into chaos in 1991 after the ousting of former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre." REUTERS/Antony Njuguna © 2003 Reuters

First seen by me at kottke.org remainders - Thanks for the lead it IS a great photo.

This entry has 1 comments:
    haha !! that is hilarious !! looking at the smaller version, i thought it was one of those natural sponges .. i was floored when i realized what it really was .. thanks for the chuckles this am !!!
    Comment from his1desire - 9/29/03 1:28 PM

Words of Wisdom

1. If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it will always be yours. If it doesn't come back, it was never yours to begin with. But, if it just sits in your living room, messes up your stuff, eats your food, uses your telephone, takes your money, & doesn't appear to realize that you had set it free....... you either married it or gave birth to it.

2. Reason to smile: Every 7 minutes of every day, someone in an aerobics class pulls a hamstring.

3. They keep telling us to get in touch with our bodies. Mine isn't all that communicative but I heard from it the other day after I said, "Body, how'd you like to go to the six o'clock class in vigorous toning?" Clear as a bell my body said, "Listen fatty....do it & die."

4. My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely.

5. The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes.

6. The nice part about living in a small town: When you don't know what you're doing, someone else always does.

7. Just when I was getting used to yesterday, along came today.

8. Amazing!! You hang something in your closet for a while & it shrinks two sizes!

9. Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness.

10. I read this article that said the typical symptoms of stress are eating too much, impulse buying, & driving too fast. Are they kidding? That's my idea of a perfect day.

This entry has 1 comments:

Saturday, September 27, 2003


(Copyright © 2003 Chris Bishop)

As a kid I looked forward to the paper with mixed emotions each morning. On the one hand, it mean't getting up an hour or so early to deliver the bloody things. Once that was done, I could sit down and enter the wonderful world of the "News". And the first bit I went to? You guessed it. The Comics.

Dick Tracy. Snuffy Smith and friends. The Family Circus. Peanuts. Brenda Starr. Flash Gordon.

Al Capp was my hero. I wanted to be as darkly funny almost from the moment I managed to tear my eyes from Daisy Mae's err, thighs. So what a sad day it was when I discovered that I couldn't draw worth diddley. I mean, I always was a little embarassed by the stick figure drawings I made in elementary school. I actually thought I'd improved -- until my first art class in Junior High. Then I knew it was hopeless. I'd never be even a tenth as good as most of the people in the class. And so it goes.....

Enough of my childhood traumas. The whole point of this entry, if you are still with me, was this: I've stumbled upon a new comic strip artist I feel is worthy of your time and attention. The artist is Chris Bishop, a starving twenty-something. The strip is called "Her" and is about a girl and her pig. A very sick girl. The pig is worse. Together they are darkly hilarious. Sadly, copyright makes it impossible to share a whole strip with you, but here is a frame
I have cut out and pasted to my computer monitor. Hy thee away to Chris's web site and read the archives. I'm sure you'll be glad you did.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Rest In Peace, Warren, We'll Miss Ye!

Like most of us, Warren Zevon's life and career had its ups and downs. Unlike most of us, he explored the highs and lows, sharing his findings in song. Despite his passing from this mortal coil all too soon (particularly as he was a bad ass, and only (say it with me) "the good die young." For those unfamiliar with his work, heres a nice opportunity to get a taste via a Apple™ QuickTime® listening party of his last album "Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon," featuring 16 of the 22 tracks from this compilation CD, including such favorites as "Werewolves of London," "Excitable Boy," "Hasten Down the Wind," and "Mutineer."

Life as we know it.....

On the first day God created the cow. God said, "You must go to the field with the farmer all day long and suffer under the sun, have calves and give milk to support the farmer. I will give you a life span of sixty years."

The cow said, "That's kind of a tough life you want me to live for sixty years. Let me have twenty and I'll give back the other forty." And God agreed.

On the second day God created the dog. God said, "Sit all day by the door of your house and bark at anyone who comes in or walks
past. I will give you a life span of twenty years."

The dog said, "That's too long to be barking. Give me ten years and I'll give you back the other ten." So God agreed.

On the third day God created the monkey. God said, "Entertain people, do monkey tricks, make them laugh. I'll give you a twenty-year life span."

The monkey said, "How boring, monkey tricks for twenty years? I don't think so. Dog gave you back ten, so that's what I'll do too, okay?" And God agreed again.

On the fourth day God created man. God said, "Eat, sleep, play, marry and enjoy your life. I'll give you twenty years."

Man said, "What? Only twenty years! Tell you what, I'll take my twenty, and the forty the cow gave back, and the ten the dog gave back and the ten the monkey gave back, that makes eighty, okay?"

"Okay," said God, "You've got a deal."

So that is why the first twenty years we eat, sleep, play, and enjoy ourselves; for the next forty years we slave in the sun to support our family
; for the next ten years we do monkey tricks to entertain the grandchildren; and for the last ten years we sit on the front porch and bark at everyone.

Life has now been explained.

Thanks to Danielle for forwarding this to my wife who shared it with me. It's no worse of an explanation than what your preacher will tell you.

One Of THOSE Days

It seemed so simple in my head - drop my wife off at work, pickup two scripts at the pharmacy, get her car inspected while I wander around Sears, stop by Wally World for some sundries, then home, lickety split, and get some real work done.

Late leaving the house because I had to affix the front license plate ( no front plate = no inspection sticker ), off to "The Big City" via the back way to avoid road construction, only to be stuck behind a woman whose head didn't clear the steering wheel, she (we) going 35 MPH, I muttering imprecations to the gods to get her the hell off the road, wife patting my knee and telling me I'll soon be just like her as I'm already old and gray. Finally passed her, only to realize I am now going 50 in a 25 with a car bearing a two month overdue sticker, I slow down as I am bombarded by falling leaves and acorns, dodging squirrels and small children as I make my way through a residential neighborhood. GD squirrels really DO "play chicken" with cars to make us run off the road, y'know?

Drop off SWMBO¹ with only seconds to spare. Phew! Wipe the sweaty brow and back across the river I go, dodging more squirrels and cop cars, arriving at the pharmacy only to discover that it had been closed for a few hours due to a death in the family, so all of the folks who would have been served earlier are now attempting to be served, myself included. Sat in car and did paperwork for about an hour, jogging in every 20 minutes or so to see if my Rx are ready. Finally, 75 minutes later, I hit the road again, fighting through a sewer replacement project for 20 minutes enroute to Sears. Looking good. It's a little before 5 PM. Hardly any cars in the lot waiting to be worked on. Kid at the counter tells me to bring it on in. So I do. And then forget myself, and tell them to fix any "little" thing that might prevent issuance of the coveted inspection sticker. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

So off I go, with "It'll be ready in half an hour" ringing in my ears. I browse through tools, and lawn and garden, camping and fitness machines. Nice sale on treadmills, by the way. Then on to appliances, where I fend off the advances of a half dozen salesmen eager to remove their clothes to prove that Kenmore really has a "Super Capacity Washer." Damned TV commercials.
One Of THOSE Days, continued

About forty minutes have elapsed. I wander back over to the automotive center and stick my head in the garage. Hmm. The car is still on the lift but no one is around it.
I sit and thumb through a dog-eared copy of Newsweek. Another half hour passes. I look at the watch. Almost six thirty.

The synchophantic salesboy who'd written my work order is gone, replaced by an equally fawning young man who's nametag indicates he's a "Service Manager". He calmly explains that he'd sent the inspection mechanic out to dinner before he'd finished inspecting my vehicle, as the mechanic was going to pick up a bulb for a marker light. And, by the way, I needed new wipers, too. It would be only a few more minutes -- after the mechanics return -- for the job to be completed.

At 7:15 PM, $41 poorer, but bearing the new, large-because-cops-aren't-getting-any-younger-either, red inspection sticker, my wife's car emerged from the garage and off I went. All thoughts of outside work have been banished (it's dark already). Next stop - Wally World.

Except. I hadn't eaten all day. I am a diabetic and that's a no-no. So I deviated the route just a mite and scarfed down a decaf and a plain toasted bagel. Good to go, I strode into the 'wonderful world of prison labor and Chinese bargains'. Made quick work of the few items on my list and out the door I go ... after waiting in line 20 minutes for the "Slowest Cashier Not Killed By Customers In 2002". At one point, I glimpsed the front manager snickering from behind her podium while the young mother in line ahead of me birthed her third child. (Sadly, she was near as big as I am and twice as ugly. Where's Natalie Portman when you need her, the one "that birthed the Wal-Mart Baby" in that TV movie?)

Out the door to the car in the rain! It was sunny and dry when I started these errands. And so I make my way from the parking lot, satisfied that the errands are done, and it only took ... five hours. Life's grand, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Man Bites Dog

I'll let this news item's headline tell it: Kazaa Sues Record Industry for Copyright Infringement

Monday, September 22, 2003



Britney goes bhangra for comeback!

X-Rated*: The Unsexy List by the Nerve staff - Fifty genital-retracting people, places and things. *no sex issue*

Censorship Lives: It's the American Library Association's "Banned Books Week". Left- and Right Wing demogoguery, religious fundamentalists of all stripes and persuasions, politicos and police. What have they in common? They all try to ban books. Check out the Top 100 of all time here. (Thanks to MetaFilter)

In the "I Wish I Said That" Department: "Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President. Sorry you didn't go when you had the chance." says former Senator Max Cleland (D-GA) writing in an op-ed piece in the Atlantic Journal-Constitution "Mistakes of Vietnam repeated with Iraq " 9/18/03 edition.

From the "I Wish I Thought Of That First" Department comes "Podzilla". Laptop bags are out and those foo-foo belly bags don't have room for a Colt .45 - so what's a virile American Male (Moi?) supposed to do, carry a purse??? If the "Podzilla" is too over the top, check out the other selections at Roadwired. (Thanks to Boing Boing Blog for bringing this to my attention!)

Sunday, September 21, 2003

It Won't Be Long Now

Autumn is officially here, although we started having frosts a few weeks ago. Snowshovels have been corralled and readied for the onslaught. I've been thinking about doing things like getting the cars inspected (they are only one month and nine months overdue) and putting away the things of summer.

But, truth be told, I can't make myself take it too seriously when the days (and nights) are as glorious as they have been of late. Perfect 68 degree days with breezes and sun and clouds and passing showers. Leaves are turning, the fields are a mass of goldenrod yellow.

I can barely breathe. My head is occupied by cotton-wool and someone has been sneaking cinders behind my eyelids as I sleep. Claritin™ and Benedryl™ are my most constant companions. My wife actually asked why I bought the 6-pack of the large boxes of tissues the other day. She has a short memory of my annual miseries. It tis the best time of year here and probably the most miserable time for my allergies. Can sinus headaches for weeks on end be far away? Nope. They'll arrive along with that nasty cold white stuff that provokes the "S" word... and I'm not referring to feces, neither!

Listen to me rant - the bloody hurricane had no effect upon us here, other than to force an extra week of 70-plus temps with some humidity our way. Life should be so awful for you, too.

Happy Autumn, wherever you are in the Northern hemisphere. Welcome, Spring, for my friends down under y los que vivir en America del Sur und Afrika. Be well, wherever you may be.

How Bananas Grow

Don Ellis shares some of his work with the world at his Kleptography web site. Allow plenty of time as his images will suck you in.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Best 404 Yet

Even better than some of the ones Google sends you to, this 404 error page had me rolling. Strong language renders it not suitable for those who file TOS violation reports at the drop of a word or two.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Too Cool For My Hat

Too Cool For My Hat

This is way cool. Ever wonder whether a correspondant is male or female? Cut & paste that blog entry, online magazine or news article, that IM or email to the Gender Genie at the BookBlog and you'll know 4 out of 5 times what sex the writer is, was or will be. Too cool!

Relations Break Down Between U.S. And Them

Relations Break Down Between U.S. And Them

">Rumsfeld announces that the U.S. has severed ties with Them.

It just had to happen. Here's the details.

We'll Try Harder!

Made the Aol Journals Editors List in the #2 spot, so you can all breathe again - my ugly mug will not be gracing the AOL Journals homepage anytime soon.

Still, as I've pointed out in the past, an honor to even be considered. Look out Erick, I'm coming for ya! Cuidadoso. Un mal hombre le está persiguiendo.


This entry has 1 comments:
    To quote Galaxy Quest...
    "Never give up, never surrender"
    Buena suerte!
    Comment from noirtec - 9/20/03 12:21 AM

Sorry About That...

She's in that Terrible Two's stage -- for the second time. I had no idea a granddaughter could be so destructive. Just ask Kill Devil Hills or Nag's Head, North Carolina. Or the rest of the East coast. Apologies to G.W. for shutting down the guvmint. And more apologies, sincerely, to the families of those whose lives were snatched so precipitously.

Isabella was very, very naughty and she promises to never do it again.

I'm So Ashamed...

I stumbled onto this reference to the ugliest cars on the road over at The G Spot. I read the article and though I desperately wish I could agree, truth is, the Mrs. and I have seriously looked at three of the four that were cited! At least I can agree with Maddox's comments about the Avalanche. Although, how he ever missed the Hummer and Hummer 2 are beyond me.

This entry has 2 comments:
    yeh i was just thinking the other day about Aztec and Element---how they resemble cracker-boxes spray-glued by a special education class, on Lithium!
    "me design car special, when cookies and nap?" But that's more an insult to the
    car designers than mentally challenged students; i don't think the students would
    choose such 'retarded' autos in a line=up. Great blog! Slack Back Mack
    Comment from slacbacmac - 9/19/03 2:29 PM

    Comment from chckd809 - 9/19/03 12:01 PM

    Editorial Note: That comment was the first and only notice I got announcing my placement on the AOL Editors Picks.


Did you play 20 questions as a kid? We did. So how'd you like to participate in an experiment? If you answered yes, check out 20Q.net and give the Twenty Questions Game a whirl - and no cheating!

Special Thanks to Jason Kottke and his Remainder weblog who first placed this into my brain back in July... it's taken this long for the gray matter to process it ... just one of the many differences between twentysomethings and fiftysomethings. And no, memory isn't the first thing to go, either.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Arrrrrr! Phil Spector Sucked Depends, Matey!

Arrrrrr! Phil Spector Sucked Depends, Matey!

In honor of National Speak Like A Pirate Day I will refrain from stealing this Mike Lester cartoon. Instead, I'll direct you to a web site which has it displayed legally (4th one down). Have a nice day, RIAA Pigs!

I Got 8 Out Of 10...

I know you are pretty smart (after all, you'd have to be, in order to read this crap). So test your mental and visual acuity. Just how great a geek are you, anyways? The title tells you how I did. Now it's your turn: Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?

And special thanks to my wife, Tammi, for bringing this to my attention, and to my brother-in-law, Butch. He's the real brains in the family... the rest of us are just pretenders in comparison.

Boudreaux & Thibodeaux At The Unemployment Office

Boudreaux and Thibodeaux worked together and both were laid off, so they went to the unemployment office. When asked his occupation, Boudreaux answered, "Panty Stitcher. I sew da elastic onto ladies' cotton panties." The clerk looked up Panty Stitcher. Finding it classified as unskilled labor, she gave him $300 a week unemployment pay. Thibodeaux was asked his occupation. "Diesel Fitter," he replied. Since diesel fitter was a skilled job, the clerk gave Thibodeaux $600 a week.

When Boudreaux found out he was furious. He stormed back into the office to find out why his friend and coworker was collecting double his pay.

The clerk explained, "Panty stitchers are unskilled and diesel fitters are skilled labor." "What skill?" yelled Boudreaux. "I sew the elastic on da panties, Thibodeaux puts dem over his head and says: "Yeah, diesel fitter."

..... and that's what passes for humor in our household.

This entry has 1 comments:
    hehe i love that one !! i may quote you from time to time :)

    Comment from his1desire - 9/19/03 9:02 AM

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Smiley Test, Part Dieux

This a test of the Smiley Alert System! :-P

This only a test 8-)

This entry has 1 comments:

    grrrr .. try this one lol (as a hyperlink !!)
    Comment from his1desire - 9/16/03 7:39 AM

Thursday, September 11, 2003

So I'm an heartless son of a beech..... Up yours, and the horse you rode in on.

Yesterday was a prime example of what's wrong with the United States and its leaders. Madly dashing from one venue to another, the clown we call a president mouths platitudes to the memories of the dead at the WTC, the Pentagon, Tomb of the Unknown, and his dog Sparky's grave site. I'm pretty sure he can't tell you the name of anyone who was smashed or burned or shot. He might remember the name of the one that was run over by the '63 Lincoln limo.

That all of those folks died in horrible ways is a tragedy on a personal and professional level. But people die. It is what we do and it is inevitable. Regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs, none of us will escape the Grim Reaper. Thousands of people die in this country every day.

Regardless, the media turned what should have been a quiet memorial ceremony accompanied by some subdued saber rattling into a 14 hour circus with squalling children, lights in the sky and street vendors. Shame on us all. Shame on our leaders. Shame on those exploitative sons of beeches using mourning children in that fashion. Shame on their parents, guardians. whatever. But most of all, shame on you and me for wallowing in a national pity pot.

People hate us. Get over it.

People want to kill us. We're rich by any standard employed in the minds of the majority of humans on this planet. If you can't live with that knowledge, accept it for what it is and prepare for the inevitable attacks, why, then, you are prime cannon fodder
-- we don't NEED anyone as stupid as you, so might as well put you on the front lines because you aren't useful for anything else.

The rest of the world is gunning for us. Indeed. This is a suprise to you?

Go ahead. Turn the other cheek. But pass me the rest of the ammo before you do.

In memoriam 09-11-2001.

How Soon Armageddon?

I spent most of yesterday with my wife at the local Breast Cancer Center while she had a Stereotactic Biopsy performed. This was in response to a suspicious area identified recently on a mammogram. The mammagram was at the insistance of our family physician upon learning of the recent radical bilateral mastectomy with additional lymphectomy undergone by my wife's eldest sister. Getting older is grand, isn't it?

The reason for the title above, however, is I was witness to something I didn't know was even remotely possible. I saw and heard a DOCTOR apologize. For making a mistake. And the earth did NOT open and swallow him whole! And this wasn't a garden-variety mini-mistake. This was a "Yikes, I've blown it this time!" kind of blooper.

Pardon my very obvious cynicism. My brother was a Doctor and I don't think he apologized for anything, ever, during his whole life. I have been on the receiving end of a serious cockup by the medicos. So, when my surgeons at the same hospital destroyed half of my breathing capacity with a slice of the scalpel, all I got was "You smoked for 35 years!" When my wife gets a mistargeted biopsy, she got the full blown "I am really very sorry, I don't know how I could have made this mistake." It didn't make the pain any easier, but it did make being charitable a whole lot nicer.

Is that a crack in the driveway? It wasn't there yesterday, was it?

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Let 'Em Eat (beef) Cake!

Seems my pal Pam, over at "Just One Girls Head Noise" got to see her away-at-college son last night via a webcam for the first time since he left home. Gotta love modern technology.

She also noticed his empty kitchen cupboards. So what does she do? Check it out. Know that if my mother had been able to see my empty cupboards in college she'd have simply laughed. Having raised three to adolescence, she knew that boys have hollow legs. LMAO!

Written by olddog299 .
This entry has 2 comments:
    Always a pleasure to help. And remember this, don't go rushing to his rescue quite so fast. He'll never learn to budget his resources if you do! :}

    Comment from olddog299 - 9/19/03 4:24 AM

    lol thanks for the humorous input !!! as far as hollow legs .. i agree !! but i gave birth to those legs and as god as my witness, those hollow legs will never go hungry again !!!

    and thanks for sharing all your insight with me on the complicated stuff

    Comment from his1desire - 9/14/03 2:57 PM


Perhaps it is time for John & Jane Q. Public to refrain from all purchases of CD's and DVD's... say right through Christmas, 2003 and beyond. Perhaps then the "Music Industry", its running-dog lackey, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and their attorneys will get the message: "Don't Mess With Us -- Or Our kids!"

As reported as recently as today by Reuters and the Associated Press, the second round of lawsuits were filed in Federal Courts across this country. Two hundred sixty one lawsuits, according to reports. As you may have read, the RIAA attorneys have targeted grandparents, artists, children and the unemployed, amongst others, in an attempt to terrorize the general populace into halting their illegal music sharing practices.

Well, time to get real here. Music sharing is illegal. It is theft, plain and simple. No, I do not condone theft.

Then again, I don't condone the legalized robbery of my pocketbook by the music industry, either. When the profit on a CD clearly exceeds the cost of production by thousands of a percent, perhaps it is time to start looking real hard at the hand in our pockets. It's too late to correct this legal morass. Congress has given away the farm and are unlikely to undertake discussion of copyright laws any time before the 2004 elections. Hell, they won't cross the street without a favorable poll until then!

So consumers are left with only one significant method of changing the industry's ways. Hit them where it hurts. Buy no tapes, CD's nor DVD's between now and Valentine's Day, 2004. Let's all give the RIAA and their bosses something to contemplate as they look over the Profit & Losses for 2003 - how about an industry-wide loss of, oh, say, 200 billion dollars?

That'll get their attention. Tell 'em "Mom and Pop sent ya'!" And oh, yeah, "Don't Mess With Us -- Or Our Kids!"

Second Night In A Row (pun intended)

Urgent - Weather Message National Weather Service Caribou ME 330 PM EDT Tue Sep 9 2003
There was some killing from last night -- leaves have that 'tinged' or, as the old farmers hereabouts say, "tetched" look to them. And the old saying "Frost on the pumpkin, everyone's ahumpen" only holds true if you live in an old, not insulated, drafty farmhouse, I guess. The newfangled ranch house across the road is totally unaffected -- they didn't even light their stove this morning to take off the chill. Or perhaps they were availing themselves of the climatic inducement.
Anywho, looks like it's going to happen again. Say it isn't so, Farmer John!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Where is that damned snow shovel?

Oh great! The National Weather Service has just issued a frost alert. You thought I was kidding in that entry below, didn't you?

Wazoo Alert!

I really wish they'd all ratchet down the rhetoric. Bush needs to put a cork in it. His numbers are the lowest they've ever been since taking office; $87 billion, my arse. And now Al Quaida can't keep their yaps shut, but have to taunt the West just days before the anniversary of 9/11. It sucks the hairy wazoo, like completely.


Society of Curmudgeons Vying for Digital Blog Awards

The name appeals to my sense of romance and adventure. You see, there's a bunch of folks over on the message boards at Paddling Net who advocate ... well, piracy. Of the 'it's all in good fun' type of hijinks and dirty tricks when out on the water and back in camp. Heck they even have a Pirate Queen, although she's been sidelined of late battling a different scurvy dog - breast cancer. Something I know damn little about, in the up close and personal sense, but I know a few women who have had close scares and others who weren't so fortunate. And remember guys, we are NOT immune.

So I got to thinking about what I'd call a group up here in the hinterlands where piracy was a way of life and means of making a living by my ancestors. Given the nature of this blog and who I am, having used the appelation of "olddog" for nearly 20 years, first on IRC then at AOL, what better than the "Scurvy Dogs"? Particularly in this land of clouds and sea, where Vitamins C & D are tough to come by?

Imagine my disgust at discovering by a google search that the name is far from original? There's even a comic book! And, shiver me timbers and keelhaul the sum of a beach, the National Talk Like A Pirate Day is but ten days hence! Arrrrgh!

Guess I'll have to put that thinking cap back on. And if you'd like to know your pirate name, knave, just click here. And avast ye wenches and half-fast wrenches, my better half advises that "here be a pirate worth getting to know better."

(Fair Warning: Soft core pornography. Do not open in front of eyes which would take offense and maybe, I don't know, fire you? Report you to your state's sexual harassment board? Keep out of reach of children and impressionable prudes. 'Nuff said.)

Further Adventures of A Life Unexamined.....

"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day."

John A. Wheeler

It hasn't been much of a day, I guess. Or worse, perhaps I have become so jaundiced that the atrocities no longer seem strange. That's more to the point. We're so busy propping up petty dictators and shaky sham plutocracies in democracy rags that the true atrocities pass by unnoticed.

Or, perhaps, its just easier to be consumed by the vageries of the Jet Stream, the Mysteries of the Deep, desperate desparadoes. Where's my remote?

Sunday, September 07, 2003

It's Good To Be King... Yes, Indeedy!

Oh to be King -- this bit of info came across my desktop today, datelined September 5. All thanks belong to my buddy Ooshka -- but then again, he always was a horney dawg.

Anyway, seems that being politically correct takes on a whole new meaning in Swaziland. See for yourself. And riddle me this -- how come YOU weren't dancing barechested on my table last night???

Thanks, Bluto, you can put your shirt back on....

Eat Lead, Tomato Flinger! Up Yours, Shotgun Boy!

A sad story from Mt. Hope, Ohio detailing what's known of the death of 23 year-old Steven L. Keim, a local Amish youth.

It seems this man, albeit a product of an insular culture and in many ways a 'babe in the corn rows,' should have thought ahead before engaging in an annoying prank. Plastered motorists don't take kindly to having the $hite scarred out of them in Ohio. One tomato too many and Steven is lying in a pool of his own sauce. I guess his goose was cooked.

While I can understand the rage the driver felt about being pelted by rotten red fruit, his reaction is right up there in the annals of sheer stupidity alongside George W's whimpering tantrums about Sadam. In fact, I think it's time to delete the "cruel and unusual punishment" amendment from our Constitution. A pike pole up the butt, on display 24/7 until 1 year after expiry, might just cause miscreants, like our "I can't take a joke, so lets kill the Amish kid with a shotgun" dude, a moment's pause. Hopefully it will be the moment just before he, and those like him, loads the shotgun.

Friday, September 05, 2003

What Happened?

If you saw it...

would you explain to me exactly what you saw Jon Drummond's feet do on the starting blocks that caused the sensors to fault him for a false start? I didn't get to see it.

Here are the facts according to Jon. But I'd like to hear other folks' take on what went down.



Wednesday, September 03, 2003


Photo credit: root.cellar: ... it's turtles all the way down In case of overdose, seek professional assistance.

All over the WWW today are references to a threatening asteroid recently discovered by a New Mexico, USA astronomical tracking program. This chunk of spatial flotsam has a 1 in a million or so chance of hitting Earth in 2014. Guess its time to break out the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie, huh?

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

So Long... And Thanks For All The Bananas

Apologies to the late Douglas Adams¹..... I couldn't help myself. Seems that a friend of ours had received an email all about the benefits of eating bananas which she sent on to me and my wife. The banana is truly an amazing fruit if one were to believe all this email says. So isn't it a crying shame that in less than 10 years, the Banana nears extinction ?

¹For those of you too young to know, Douglas Adams wrote "The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy" and "So Long And Thanks For All The Fish", amongst other things.

P.S. I really hate the 2500 character limit!

So long... and thanks for all the bananas

What Mary sent: After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at the Banana in the same way again!!


Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose - combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90 minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were! helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives..

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over acidity and reduces irritation by ! coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine," eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, you see, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

Monday, September 01, 2003

It's The Zoning Administrator's Fault I'm Fat...

It's The Zoning Administrator's Fault I'm Fat...that is, if you believe the results of some seminal research published a couple of days ago in the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Health Promotion. All is revealed in this Associated Press article by Lauran Neergaard. Here's a link to the full article: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/6643541.htm

This is something I was harping on as early as 1978 in my first Planning Board position. Although, I was clearly barking up the wrong tree in this town of ultra-sprawled destruction. And, as I think about it, I have been booed and naysayed on the issue of making subdivisions pedestrian-friendly ever since.

Frankly, until there is a radical shift in the average home buyer's thinking regarding the desireability of walking hither and yon, there'll be no incentive for developers around here to include provisions and features, such as sidewalks, bikepaths and other forms of trails within their developments. Here it is the marketplace which rules and all of us take the hindmost when it comes to what developers are willing to do. So, plan on another 6.3 pounds per person in your family and run right out and buy that treadmill you'll never use after the first week of boredom. Come join me on the couch - we'll watch our arteries harden in the reflection in the TV screen.