Sunday, October 31, 2004

Sunday Brunch - Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween!

Erica posts a series of questions each week at her
Sunday Brunch web site. This week, she said:

"I am posting this early today (Saturday) as I'm sure everyone has a BUSY weekend ahead, including me! Have a very safe and happy Halloween!"

1) What candy are you passing out on Halloween night if you are staying home?

If we're home, I suppose it will be something with chocolate in it.

2) What was your best Halloween costume?
I told all about it in a Weekend Assignment entry a week or two ago. Check it out.
3) Are you doing anything on the night of Halloween if you are not staying home to pass out treats, and if so, what are you doing?
SWMBO has worked six days straight at a demanding job as a Wounds Nurse in a 30 bed skilled nursing unit. I imagine we'll be asleep by the time Trick or Treat comes around.
4) What is your favorite Halloween decor? (ie, witch, ghost, pumpkins)
I'm OK with pumpkins, in keeping with the harvest festival theme of this time of year.
5) Do you carve jack o'lanterns?
Nope. While we did for the kids when they were little, as I did as a youngster, Halloween is not a holiday or source of celebration in my life. Add in the whole "pins and needles" crazies and I lost patience with Halloween years ago. For many years, living alone, I merely left the porch light on and put out a stool with a bowl of candy on it for all comers when I left for work in the morning, as I often worked until 10 o'clock at night. After discovering some little rat fink had cleaned out the bowl by 2 o'clock one day when I had to come back to the house for some forgotten papers, I stopped with the whole candy-left-out routine.

Get your own copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers by clicking on the button below. Happy Trick or Treating. Just remember that treats are a gift and tricks must never be mean-spirited, no matter how awful the trickee may be. Stick to TP on trees and shrubs -- it's enough of a bother to clean up that they'll remember, and you aren't likely to be convicted of vandalism, even if charged. Whereas, I have charged and prosecuted kids who set fire to bags of horse droppings on someone's porch -- it's a Class A felony and is known as Arson. Minimum sentence upon conviction is incarceration for three years in a correctional facility. Keep it in mind, kiddies. It's dangerous to play with matches -- the life you save just might be your own...

If a man says something in the woods and there's no women there, is he still wrong?

Blame it on Shelly - Sunday's Meme

Really, it's all Shelly's fault.

You may be more of a nerd than a geek. Do things
because you like to, not because you have to or
you don't know what else to do. Life is for
enjoying as well as producing.

how seriously geeky are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Saturday Six #29 - Halloweenies!

Tearing himself away from the television screen long enough to notice our existence, TV mogul, Executive Producer to the stars, Patrick deigns to ask the rabble a few questions in a feeble attempt to understand why we buy as much toothpaste as we do. Here without further ado and even less falderol, is Week 29 of The Saturday Six!

1. What is the most clever Halloween costume someone you know has worn (that you wish you'd have come up with yourself)?
I recall seeing a jaguar costume once that had my complete attention. The woman was a dancer and the costume was handsewn Lycra. No panty lines. Nigerian blue-black skin and expertly applied make-up. The transformation was electrifying
2. You're invited to a Halloween party that begins in one hour. You have to make a costume only from what is already in your house. So how would you dress up?
As a lumberjack; but, I could also do an odd walrus creature with an old mask on hand. Ko Ko Ka-choo!
3. What is the amount of the last check you wrote?

4. How many keys are on your key ring, and are there any that you've forgotten that you even had?
Seven; no, but I pare the daily ring down frequently.

5. Who was the last musical performer you saw live in concert, and was it worth the admission price? Frankly, I don't know. In general, I avoid concerts without fixed seating -- I do not like mobs -- I tend to become anxious and likely to kill the first stupid lout to step on my toes ... not good, what with today's intolerance for mayhem.

Wait! It just came back to me -- about 10 years ago, I saw Lyle Lovett and his Large Band live in concert. Worth the $50 bucks/head, but then again, he's one of my favorites.

DaBabysBack: What is your favorite day of the week and why?
Back when I worked 80 hours a week, Sunday was my favorite day as I could stay out late Saturday and sleep all day Sunday 3 times a month. The other Sunday I'd have to participate in on-site visits with a Planning Board in a very active community, development-wise.
Nowadays, they all the days run together...

Don't forget to get your own copy of the questions and leave a link to your answers over at Patrick's Place. Tell him "Wil sent me!"

Have yourselves a great weekend, folks. Make sure you examine the kiddies' candy before they get at it. If partying with strangers, drink only from a can or bottle you have opened and never let it out of your grasp... and have a care out there. The life you save may be your neighbor's kid.

Then again, if that zombie has gobbets of gore dripping from him, hitting him is a safe bet - nothing can kill the undead. I've already had my romp in the moonlight this week. It's a shame, too. I'd so like to feast on a wayward child again...

Friday, October 29, 2004

From the "Turnaround Is Fair Play" file...

  Bill Clinton Loves Pressing the Flesh

By wonkette on democrats

no no i can still do it just have to do slow or uhm even slower if you know what i mean

Back on the stump, indeed. . .

From the "Things That Make Me Cringe" file...

  What Red America?

By wonkette on democrats

when nascar moms attack

David Brooks must be shitting himself.

[AP Photo/Laura Rauch]

From the "I Wish I'd Said That" file...

  Bush Casts Out the Demons

By wonkette on republicans


The president demonstrates his proposal for a faith-based approach to Head Start.

Weekend Assignment #31 - Write Your Epitaph

Weekend Assignment #31: Your Own Epitaph

Every week, Blogmeister and AOL Journals' guru, John M. Scalzi, suggests a topic, such as what you see below:
Weekend Assignment #31: Your Own Epitaph

"Boo! It's time once again for the weekend assignment! I give you a topic, you write it up in your AOL Journal or blog, and then drop back a link in the comment thread. Anyone can do it -- but only the beautiful people do.

This week's Weekend Assignment is another reader suggestion, this time from isckwootton, and just in time for Halloween:

Write your own, preferably rhyming, epitaph.
For example,

Here lies Jed,
He fell out of bed.

Extra credit:
Write a cute epitaph for your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet.
Suggestion: keep it light. You might want them to continue being your favorite loved one, relative, or family pet. Nothing is worse than having Fido dissing you over some silly words on a gravestone."

Dear John,

The frost is on the pump handle and the tractor don't start, less of course I haul a salamander out and fire up the oil pan for ten minutes or so. Nothing like a 3 foot flame shooting out under a $150,000 piece of equipment to serve as impetus to fix that fuel leak, don'tcha know...

I have lost my cotton-picking mind and signed up for NaNoWriMo, except I'm doing it as NaNoBlogMo. That's right. I'm writing a novel online for folks to ridicule and line cyberbirdcages with! It'll be schlock, of course. After all, writing at least 50,000 words between November 1 and November 30, 2004, on top of all the other things on my busy schedule (cough, cough), Thanksgiving, my wife's surgery on her knee on the 22nd and subsequent nursing and catering I'll be doing for her... what in heck posessed me? But I'll think of you, banging out the Rough Sci-Fi Movie Guide during the same period and you will have my sympathy. So, if my missives are a trifle tiny or even (gasp) absent over the next couple of weeks, you know whyfor.

Halloweenie theme this week, I see. You want me to write an epitaph for me, and rhyme it at that. And for extra credit, I do it for a loved one? Not bloody likely.

Ho, ho, ho - he's dead meat.
Couldn't float - sank in the peat.

He tweren't hard to find...
being a legend in his own mind.

His corpse bobbed up all covered in goo...
Damned but what his horse did too!

All right, that didn't cut it for you. Something more respectful? Not likely, coming from me. Let's see if any of these tickle your funny bone. Tombstone is courtesy of
"The Original Tombstone Generator" by J.J. Chandler, now consigned to The prose is mine.

There you have it, John. Here's hoping that last night's excursion afield as a ghost in search of chocolate produce naught but fine memories... the cost of fillings keeps going up. Give my best to the women in your life and put those fingers to the keyboard - you have a book to finish in a hurry. Best of luck with it.

Grins and giggles,


Thursday, October 28, 2004

NaNoWriMo / NaNoBlogMo Update.

Well, as of now, I am aware of Turtle, Ladydriversammie, myself and possibly Patrick, all participating in the madness of writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. It'll be interesting - we are all procrastinators to one extent or another.

My blog for the event will be The Four Horsemen. I'm guessing that entries here and in The Daily Snooze on AOL will be severely curtailed. Given my typing speed and predilection for distractions, those 3 to 4 hours needed to produce the minimum wordage for the day, every day, will severely curtail my blog reading time, too. So to all involved, I wish you the best of luck. I'll be around, but not in evidence as much as some have been accustomed to me being around.

Come visit and read the samples I leave for you. Your criticism and encouragement is needed to make this project a success.

UPDATE: Make that Barbara, not Patrick. Seems that Patrick has to deal with "sweeps" in November. I just can't imagine why he thinks that will occupy all his time [evil grin]. Good luck fighting the Arbitron Marauders and Nielson Nasties, Patrick!

The West Wing - Season IV Premiere

Picture from Hometown

Long anticipated, the fourth season of the Emmy Award-winning and People's Award winning favorite one hour drama has commenced with what was essentially a two part episode. Donna is still alive, despite my doubts at the end of last season. But several "regulars" are going bye-bye. Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda are joining the cast. It's a bloody shame to lose "Leo" to a heart attack. It was an ignominious way to go and a cowardly plot line through these two episodes. It lacked class.

And that is my biggest criticism of the series so far this year - it lacks class. It lacks humor. It appears the actors are going through the motions. Looking especially tired this season is President Bartlett. Is it a trick of the make-up, or is Martin Sheen feeling the strain of four straight years of being the lead in an ensemble cast of a one hour drama? Lesser men have faltered and Martin has a history of cardiac trouble. He just doesn't look right.

The exodus of main members of an ensemble cast is never a good sign. The John Spencer and Richard Schiff departures indicate the beginning of the end. It may drag on for a year or two, but the end is in sight. Too bad; it's one of my favorites.

They Did It!

Picture from Hometown

I've said nary a word up to now for fear it would jinx the outcome. I have seen them lose a done deal in the not so distant past. So I have bit my tongue and kept my peace. But no longer.

After an 86 year drought, the wait is over. It's official. The Boston Red Sox are the World Series Champions for 2004 and I can't think of a more deserving team. The "Curse of the Bambino" has run its course. May there be many happy returns of the day in future.

My team has finally pulled it out of their collective ass. About time, too!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

So I get this email from Turtle...

telling me that Shelly has found a new quiz. Now which of Shelly's 127 blogs she might have posted the link in might be problematical for me to find, so Turtle is kind enough to provide me with the link. Which I do for you, too, below.

So just what kind of a writer are you? It appears that I am:

"What kind of writer are you?" - Results:
You're a Smut writer!

What kind of writer are you? brought to you by Quizilla

Republicans Urge Minorities To Get Out And Vote On Nov. 3

MIAMI, FL—With the knowledge that the minority vote will be crucial in the upcoming presidential election, Republican Party officials are urging blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to make their presence felt at the polls on Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Quiz: What's Your Blog's Rating?

So there I am, minding my own business, reading about the different monsters created in the preceding "Monday Madness" entry on others' blogs when I spy this rating at the bottom of the page. You know me - if I can click it or flick it, I will. And away we go...

What rating is your journal?

brought to you by Quizilla

Monday Madness - My Monster

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Otto is in a strange, gholuish mood this week. That, 
or it's his "time of the month" -- almost a full moon! 
Here's what he had to say for himself this week:  
"With Halloween just a week away, I thought I'd use 
these great questions, offered by Bryn, THIS week! 
Thank you, Bryn! =) And thanks everyone, for playing!!" 

My monster has:
Eyes like _the blacksmith's coals, glowing
cherry red in the carbon depths of a
midwinter's night_
Teeth like _the carbide-
tipped cutters of the sawmill's blade_
Hair like _tendrils of seaweed, drifting in

an oily tide_
<>Face like _ground pork, lumpy, writhing
mass of strings of fat and proteins_

But no matter how _horrific_ my monster is,
I love her anyway...Just the way she is!

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Quiz: Who Would You Vote For, If You Voted On The Issues?

"Turnaround is fair play'" someone once said - at least I think that is what was said. Anyway, I've been getting comments here from st0rmwhispers lately. St0rm operates a classy dive down by the docks called "Storms Whisper And Oceans Scream" - I commend it to your consideration. St0rmy stole the thunder on my Classical Literature quiz, which I got from Shelly at Cybercholate which she got from someone (being a meme spreading from blog to blog is the point of these things, after all). The upshot of all this is *I* stole a quiz back from St0rm. It's particularly apropos, given my profound dislike for what President George Bush and his administration has done to the Republican Party and to this country in four short years (but an agonizingly slow passage of time, that).  As you no doubt know, if you read the drivel here on occasion, I have been urging the legal overthrow of Dubya and his cronies since I started this piece of fluff over a year ago.  It's interesting to see how far I have strayed from my Republican leanings in just four years. Utter contempt for a thief and incompetence will do that, I guess.

So, take a look at the
journalistic stylings of St0rmwhispers or jump straight to the quiz. You won't go wrong with either one. But do let us know how you make out with the quiz in the comments here or there.


You preferred Kerry's statements 60% of the time

Voting purely on the issues you should vote Kerry

Who would you vote for if you voted on the issues?

Find out now!

Which Piece of Classical Literature Are You?

You are Lord of the Flies!
You are Lord of the Flies! You teach a great
lesson, sadly this lesson is really depressing
and people probably don't like you too much.
You poor, tormented little soul. Life really is
a shitty as you think, but at least we're all
suffering together...and we're not putting
pigs' heads on sticks. You might be interested
in Fahrenheit 451 and being friends with me.

Which Piece of Classic Literature are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

All because I saw it at Cyberchocolate...

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Pre-frontal Pumpkin Lobotomies

Sadistic New Hampshireites Torture Gourds.

Unconcious Mutterings #90


I say ... and you think ... ?

  1. Blackout:: Blitz
  2. Platinum:: Ring
  3. Leather and lace:: Dominatrix
  4. Court:: Citation
  5. Mind your own business:: What are you hiding?
  6. Gambling:: Foolish
  7. Lily:: Tomlin
  8. Evasive:: Action
  9. Turn-on:: Sexual
  10. Suspect::Investigation
 Get your own words and play along. Just click on the button above. Don't forget to leave a link to your answers over at


Sunday Brunch: Parents

Mistress Erica, blogmother of The Sunday Brunch, has gone off and gotten herself "in the family way," as we used to say when I was a kid. This week, she wrote:

"Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves." -Marcelene Cox

This week's meme is in honor of parents, as I just found out this past week that I am going to become one! I am five weeks (I think) pregnant with my first child!

1) What do your parents do for a living?
They are both dead. Prior to dying, my mother was a coutourier. My father was an industrial and sales training and motivation specialist with The Jam Handy Organization. His primary accounts included General Motors, Coca-Cola, USS Steel, Pittsburgh Steel, Hershey Company and AT&T.
2) How old were your parents when you were born?
My mother had me at 24, my father was 37. I was their first child.
3) What is the most important lesson that you learned from your parents?
To survive, relying on myself.
4) What is the harshest discipline that you ever received from your parents?
Strapping with a leather belt (before you get up in arms about child abuse and the like, I was 14 and I'd earned it, without a doubt).
5) What is the thing that you are the most grateful to your parents for?
Exposing me to a wide variety of cultures and experiences.

Want to participate? Get your own copy of the questions by clicking the Sunday Brunch button below. Don't forget to post a link to your answers at the Sunday Brunch web site.


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Quiz: What Common Breed of Dog Are You?

I was reading through some blogs and Shelly's CyberChocolate had this quiz. Took it and came out a Doberman Pinscher. Odd, that. I bred and raised German Shepherd Dogs (and have been kept by a few Rotties) for a number of years. While I like Dobies, they aren't my favorite by a long shot. Anywho, a big "tip of the hat" to Shelly and take the quiz for yourself and let me know how you made out. The results just might surprise you.


brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday Six - Episode 28: High School Daze!

This very odd man, former welterweight Golden Gloves Champion from Richmond, Virginia, pugnaciously snuffling through his career as a television producer of kiddy porn (except when his Coke supplier is serving time with Marion Barry), offers a set of six questions every Saturday as part of his buildup to a weekend of wanton carousing with the Czechoslovakian editor down in the videotape lab.

This time, he was heard to mutter, "This week's Reader's Choice question will have you remembering your high school years.  But first, here are the people who played last week's "Saturday Six" for the first time (or posted that they had played for the first time):

Welcomes go to Andrea, Barb, Melissa, Jazdia, Lahoma, Diana, Miles, and Holly.

As for the first one to play, Scott was back at the head of the pack, just edging past Jeff

Now, on to this week's questions.  To play you can either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit!  (And if you're playing for the first time, please be sure to say so in the comment!)  Enjoy!"

1. Think back to your years of Trick or Treating:  Which one of your past Halloween costumes are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the time I dressed up as a bohemian, beatnik chick, complete with a black beret, fake eyelashes and makeup, a shaggy, baby-shit tan and black diamonds argyle sweater, a black leotard and black espadrilles. The make-up was done by a retired stage actress and I was simply gorgeous in a willowy, androgynous way. Nobody guessed who the beatnik chick was, standing there cool and serene with a two foot long cigarette holder, snapping her fingers and mouthing, "Hey baby, where's the litter box? This kitty has to like, go!"
2. What is the format of your favorite radio station?  (In other words, what type of music does it play?)
Eclectic...classical music, modern music, jazz, Celtic, world music, alternate rock, punk, with healthy doses of real news, in-depth examinations of the issues of the day, children's stories, radio drama, and call-in discussion shows on local issues. In other words, Public Radio. The best investment Congress ever made.
3. What is the oldest thing in your medicine cabinet?
Probably my razor. It's an antique Gillette, takes double-edged safety blades; they install by removing the handle, separating the top from the bottom and inserting the blade between them. It belonged to my Grandfather. Probably dates from the 1920's.
4. What kind of book do you most prefer:  hardback, paperback, audio or library?
Hardback for most things, but a pain to carry in a jacket pocket, so I end up squinting at tiny print in paperbacks and cursing Time.
5. What is your favorite comfort food and when was the last time you felt bad enough that you needed a big helping of it?
Chocolate. Last week, but the urge is creeping up again right now.
6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #28 from Tara:  
Dust off your high school yearbook.  What was your Senior quote and/or what were you voted ''Most...'' or ''Most Likely To....''?
Sorry, lost track of my high school yearbook in a move years ago. I haven't a clue of what it said, if anything. I am not sure but what it didn't say anything other than name and activities one participated in under the picture of the seniors.

Have a great weekend, folks. Drive safely, drink moderately and send all your troubles to President George W. Bush. He'll sweep them under the rug for you...

Friday, October 22, 2004

Weekend Assignment #30: Bygone TV

Each Week, John Scalzi, AOL Blogfather offers up a Weekend Assignment to help get the creative juices flowing. You can copy the assignment from here, or go to his By The Way blog and get it there. Either way, be sure to leave a link to your blog in the comments for this week's assignment.

Weekend Assignment #30: Bye-Gone TV

Holy cow, it's week 30 of the Weekend Assignment! Where does the time go? By this time, you probably don't need me to tell you how it works, but I do anyway, every week: I suggest a topic for you to write about in your AOL Journal or blog, and then you do, and come back to leave a link here so the rest of us can see what you have to say. Pretty easy.

This week we have another reader suggested topic, offered by NZforMe:

"With the upcoming New Fall TV Line-Up, I get to thinking about the last Golden Age of Television (whenever the heck THAT was).

"Assignment: What gone, but not forgotten, TV series do you miss the most?

Extra Credit:
If you had to be on a game show or reality show, which one would it be?"

Dear John,

Isn'€™t it fun being in a swing state? Don'€™t you just love the calls, the ads on radio and television, the knocks at the door, the virtual assaults as you enter a supermarket? Had enough of the Democrats'€™ attack ads? Heard enough Republican baloney vilifying the Dems to last a lifetime? I have. I just want this election over with - and the first candidate for Congress who supports Presidential Campaign limits of 6 months has my vote - even if it'€™s the candidate from the Communist Party!

Seriously though, I hear tell you need to take a bit of a hiatus to finish up the Sci-Fi Movie Book. Dang! I was so hoping you'€™d participate in NaNoBlogMo this year, too. Sadly, it will be November. What rotten timing that is.

We'€™ve been doing the "frost is on the pumpkin" thang. And truly, I am not thrilled with waiting until the interior temperature falls below 60º to fire up a heater, but with kerosene at $2.29/gallon, what are you going to do? That price is up by 50¢ over the starting price last year. It'€™s going to be an unpleasant winter for those of us on fixed incomes this year. I don'€™t suppose Dubya or Kerry will go cold this winter, or do without food, medicine or other necessities in order to stay warm enough to survive, do you? Bah! Enough, already. The rich get richer and the poor take it up the purse so the rich can enjoy their vichyssoise.

So you want to know what TV show I miss the most, eh? Well, I was a child of the fifties and early sixties. I miss the Ed Sullivan Show. I miss watching all of the comics of the day deliver their punch lines before a crowd of millions, the easy access to the show stoppers on Broadway, the clips of current first-run movies, interviews with stars, dancing of all sorts, "specials" like Victor Borgia or the Beatles, Topo Giggio, Mr. Wenceslas, Sherry Lewis and Lamb chop, the great mimes and jugglers and high-wire acts. There is nothing like it on television today. All attempts at bringing back "variety shows" (and there have been many) have failed because they lack the quintessential ingredient: Ed Sullivan himself. He was an impresario of the first order, an old Vaudevillian who understood show business and the needs of the audience above all else. Without a star-maker of his stature and acuity, all variety shows are doomed to failure from the start, so why bother? I have fond memories of Sunday nights as a little boy, fresh from a bath, in pajamas and robe, seated on the floor in front of the tube with our Mother and, occasionally, with our Father, too. First came the Wonderful World of Disney at seven o'clock. At eight, it was The Ed Sullivan Show. It was a regular part of the week to hear Ed pass along some interesting show biz news of the week past and then listen to him introduce his first act of the evening.

Not every act was a hit, of course. I have seen Ed at a total loss for words as a result of a particularly bad outing on the boards of the Sullivan Theater. Malaprops were always lurking in the wings to trip up Ed. As I grew older and could appreciate the nuances more, it became fun just waiting for that slip of the brain or the tongue to trip him up and leave him looking bewildered.

The end of the show signalled bedtime for bozos at our house, so naturally, I hated to see it come. It saddens me even now as I sit and type this missive to think that another glorious weekend has come to an end - the Ed Sullivan Show is over. There's school tomorrow. What a rotten feeling. Ugh!

So there you have it - my nomination for nostalgic television and the source of a big hole in our lives left by the permanent end of the show.

Give Krissy and Athena solid kisses from us all and behave yourself. Knuckle down and knock out those 30,000 words you're facing by Thanksgiving. We need you to go out on tour for Old Man's War in December and January!

Keep your powder dry; it doesn't work near as well as it should when it gets wet.

Grins and grimaces,


P.S. I can see, if I really had to go on TV, going on to play Lingo. But if you're asking which "lost touch with reality" show would I do (nothing at all like a game show), then my answer would be the original of the current crop - Survivor. I might be eliminated early on due to physical limitations and my irascible personality, but I do know how to survive in the wilderness. After years of female bosses, I know I can survive the petty B.S. that goes on within these "tribes" without killing someone with my bare hands. But then again, eine kleine nacht murder might be just what the ratings needed. Hmmm...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Early Detection Saves Lives


It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in case you've had your head stuck wherever mine has been all month. Last Friday was National Mammography Day - I was wherever I've been lately and I missed reminding you in time.  Florralilia, Queen of Pointless Posting, reminds us with this amazing photograph what a girl's initial reaction tends to be when it's time for another mammogram. By the way, gents, men get "breast cancer" too, so at least have your doctor, or a trusted significant other, teach you how to do a self-exam of both your boobies and your testes. Word to the wise...

October 15, 2004

My Darkest Secret

So there I am, muching on left-over Lo Mein I'd made for dinner on Monday, reading blogs and I come to Shelly's CyberChocolate and this entry. "Hmm," says I. "Self, hie thee over to that site and take the quiz." So a click and an interminable interlude passes before the quiz appears. I took the sucker and what should I see? Nope, no reindeer need apply:

take the "what's your dark secret?" quiz courtesy of where darkness and secrecy abound.

Sammie Cam: Week 2 Round 2

Sammie is at it again.  Where'd she shoot this one?

Leave your one and only guess in the comments section here: Movin On 

Non AOL members, use your AIM id to log into AOL Journal land for access to comments.


Why federal elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November

Frequently Asked Questions About Election Day and Voting Procedures 

Why are federal elections held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November?

A.  The Tuesday after the first Monday in November was initially established in 1845 (3 U.S.C. 1) for the appointment of Presidential electors in every fourth year.  2 U.S.C. 7 established this date for electing U.S. Representatives in every even numbered year in 1875. Finaly, 2 U.S.C. 1 established this date as the time for electing U.S. Senators in 1914.

        Why early November?  For much of our history America was a predominantly agrarian society.  Law makers therefore took into account that November was perhaps the most convenient month for farmers and rural workers to be able to travel to the polls.  The fall harvest was over, (remembering that spring was planting time and summer was taken up with working the fields and tending the crops) but in the majority of the nation the weather was still mild enough to permit travel over unimproved roads.

        Why Tuesday?  Since most residents of rural America had to travel a significant distance to the county seat in order to vote, Monday was not considered reasonable as many people would need to begin travel on Sunday.   This would, of course, have conflicted with church services and Sunday worship.

        Why the first Tuesday after the first Monday?   Lawmakers wanted to prevent election day from falling on the first of November for two reasons.  November 1st is All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics.  In addition, most merchants were in the habit of doing their books from the preceding month on the1st. Congress was apparently worried that the economic success or failure of the previous month might influence the vote of the merchants.

Makes you want to unhitch that mule and start out for the County Seat, now doesn't it?


Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Bush/Cheney'04 Campaign Sinks To New Low

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"Protect our civil liberties" an arrestable phrase

I am a little slow on the uptake. It seems this all went down last week. I must have had my head stuck inside a book again to have missed this. Thanks go to Doug's Dynamic Drivel, Mousemusings, and to Solomon for bringing this to my attention so I may share it with you. - Press Release "Teachers' T-shirts bring Bush speech ouster": News and information from Bend, Oregon:
Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and escorted from the event after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties." All three said they applied for and received valid tickets from Republican headquarters in Medford.

The women said they did not intend to protest. "I wanted to see if I would be able to make a statement that I feel is important, but not offensive, in a rally for my president," said Janet Voorhies, 48, a teacher in training.

“We chose this phrase specifically because we didn't think it would be offensive or degrading or obscene," said Tania Tong, 34, a special education teacher.

Thursday’s event in Oregon sets a new bar for a Bush/Cheney campaign that has taken extraordinary measures to screen the opinions of those who attend Bush and Cheney speeches. For months, the Bush/Cheney campaign has limited event access to those willing to volunteer in Bush/Cheney campaign offices. In recent weeks, the Bush/Cheney campaign has gone so far as to have those who voice dissenting viewpoints at their events arrested and charged as criminals.

Thursday’s actions in Oregon set a new standard even for Bush/Cheney – removing and threatening with arrest citizens who in no way disrupt an event and wear clothing that expresses non-disruptive party-neutral viewpoints such as “Protect Our Civil Liberties.”

U.S. Finishes A 'Strong Second' In Iraq War

Casey (left) and Lt. Gen. John Abizaid shake hands with an enlisted soldier after the war. BAGHDAD—After 19 months of struggle in Iraq, U.S. military officials conceded a loss to Iraqi insurgents Monday, but said America can be proud of finishing "a very strong second."
Full Text » This week's issue of The Onion

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Monday, October 18, 2004

Monday Madness: Computers

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Hmm. I suspect Otto is overwhelmed with computer issues, given his topic of choice this week. If you want to play along, click on the banner above or the button below . Don't forget to let the world know that you are playing too -- just leave a comment over at Otto's Site with a link to your entry.

Now, on with the computer inquisition.

1. I have reformatted my hard drive about __0__ times.
2. I usually reformat my hard drive about __0__ times a year.
3. When I'm working in a document, I save about every _1 to 2_ minutes.
4. I've upgraded my computer by adding memory, modem, hard drives, a CDRW and a new monitor.
5. I've got about _100's of_ CD's/floppies with info on them and about _very few_ of them aren't labeled.
6. Since I've been using my computer, I find the easiest way to organize my files is to be concientious about cleaning out unwanted files and filing things where they belong. (Looking for suggestions!!)
7. I have several email accounts.
8. Whenever I have a computer-related question, I usually call my brother or Ooshka, a good friend.
9. I usually use a search engine when looking for most things on the web as well as searching for images on the computer.
10. My computer is about 12 years old, but not really. The case is that old. The 5.25" drive is that old but the 3.5" drive was replaced about 3 years ago. Motherboard was last replaced in 2000, CPU in 2001. Last memory upgrade was Spring, 2004. CDRW was added for my birthday this year - previously it only had a CD. The HD is 40GB and was replaced about 2, maybe 2½ years ago. The secondary HD is a 5GB in size and is 4 years old. The monitor was replaced in 2000. All in all, the case has housed five motherboards and half again as many CPU's, starting with a 386-40 and ending with a KII-300MHZ. Antiquated by today's standards, I was planning on replacing the whole thing about Christmas, 2001, but then I got sick. No workee means no money for toys.

Have a great week folks - don't take any wooden nickels and shoot the first poltician to cross the threshold - you'll be doing us all a favor. Afterall, most of them are lawyers, too! Twice the benefit for society, eh? Just kidding, no need to get your Torts in a twist, members of the Bar.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004

Unconcious Mutterings #89

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I say ... and you think ... ?


Gil Grissom
Wayne Newton
Babe Ruth
Old age
Cable TV::

Get your own words and play along. Just click on the button above. Don't forget to leave a link to your answers over at

Sunday Brunch: Furniture!

The new Sunday Brunch is up! This week: furniture.

"Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so
beautifully furnishes a house."
- Henry Ward Beecher

1) What size is your bed?
Queen size.

2) Do you prefer fabric sofas or leather sofas? What do you have?
Fabric is my preference for daily living, but leather is a wonderful look. We have a fabric sectional.
3) What wood stain color is your favorite? (Pine, walnut, cherry, etc.)
Cherry. Although, Ammonia-smoked oak is nice, too.
4) What piece of furniture is at the top of your wish list right now?
A queen bed. The queen mattress/box spring is too big for my antique spool bed, so they're on a "hollywood frame" at the moment. SWMBO thinks we need an entertainment center.
5) Do you have a piece of furniture in your home that doesn’t seem to fit but that you can’t bear to part with?
Several. My wife wants a matching bedroom suite. I like antiques, grew up with them and am one myself. I've never had matching furniture and am not about to start now. It's an, uhm, point of discussion in the household.

Get your own copy of the questions and play along. Just click the button above and don't forget to leave a link to your answers in the comments there.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Saturday Six: Episode #27

Patrick, ne'er-do-well TV Producer and denizen of Tobacco Lane
in Richmond (where they make Marlboros) offers the following
queries to tickle your fancy on this mid-October weekend. Go
ahead, click the banner and get your own copy of the questions.
You can answer them on your blog or over in the comments
at Patrick's Place
1. What was your favorite Halloween candy to receive as a child?
Then and now, the miniature bags of M&M's.
2. Of cities you've visited (that you don't live in), which is your favorite and why?
Vancouver, British Columbia - it's on my favorite coast, amongst some really wonderful kayaking territory, it's cosmopolitan with a decidedly oriental flair these days, so one can find the best food in the world now on the North American continent, taxes are reasonable and the natives are far more tolerant than most "Americans."
3. What is the oldest appliance in your kitchen (and how old is it)?
I've got a cast iron waffle maker intended to fit into the hole over the firebox of a "Queen Atlantic" or similar model wood burning kitchen range that dates from the middle of the 18th century. There's also some cast iron corn bread pans of similar vintage.
4. How many broken bones have you suffered in your life time, and when was the most recent?
Probably around a dozen or so. I've broken most (but not all) of my toes at least once, a couple of ribs over time (most recent was from coughing last week), and a metacarpal bone in my hand when I was a child. Other than that, I escaped the broken bones my brothers seemed to accumulate as children.
5. Check your caller ID: who is the last person to have called you?
No can do -- no Caller ID. Last message on the answering machine was my wife.
6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #26 from Nettie: What would you say is your biggest "character flaw?"
Procrastination is the biggest amongst many.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Weekend Assignment #29: My Shoes

John Scalzi, father, husband, author, blogger and blog daddy to the AOL Journals community has once again come up with:
Weekend Assignment #29: Your Shoes!
It's time for the Weekend Assignment -- I write up an assignment, you answer in your AOL Journal or blog, and then come back here and leave a link. Easy, simple, fun!

This week, it's the first of the reader-suggested Weekend Assignments. This one comes from

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? A pair that you wish you could wear for everything because you like how they look or you like how your feet feel inside them? They can be a pair you have now or had when. Tell us why they were so special.

Extra credit:
A picture of them!

Dear John,

I see you are slipping down the slippery slope. What ever possessed you to choose a question from a Registered Podophile, a known foot fetishist? And we aren't talking Carrie in "Sex In The City" run-of-the-mill shoe fetishistas, either! Oh well, live and learn.

Once upon a time I was young and stupid and unem-gainfully-ployed (as opposed to being old, stupid and too lazy to get out of the way of a Mack truck). So I heeded the advice of one of my relatives, "Uncle Jack," and tried out the life of a woodchopper for a while. Secretly, I think Jack was trying to either kill me or persuade me to get a college degree. It almost worked when I pinned myself to the winch with a 28' tree section 2 feet in diameter ... but that's a story for another day. I do digress though, don't I?

Now, I wouldn't be true to my apocryphal astrological sign (Virgo) if I didn't do my homework and find out as much as I could about then-current harvesting techniques. Scandinavian safety practices were sweeping the industry as insurance companies had come to the conclusion it would be cheaper to simply pay out the face value of the policy to the beneficiary after the insured spent only a year in the woods than wait until the double indemnity "accidental death or dismemberment clause" kicked in ... death and dismemberment were hardly accidental in what was then the most dangerous industry known to mankind.

(No, dammit, I don't have a death wish - I'm an adrenaline junkie. There *is* a difference.)

So I went and got myself outfitted with the OSHA-recommended safety gear. A helmet with attached ear muffs and stainless steel screen to protect hearing and sight, heavy nylon gloves with ballistic nylon sewn into the back of the one you wore on the hand that holds the saw (as opposed to the hand that runs the saw's throttle), in case the chain broke on the saw. A high-visibility, tunic-like top so the skidder driver would be less likely to drive over me. Chaps to protect the legs and groin from flying limbs, splinters, rocks and chains. And the piece de resistance, the one that got me laughed at and out of virtually every roadside coffee shop and 'Mom and Pop Store' in the North Country - bright blue and orange, knee-high, bright as the Fourth of July, ballistic nylon filled, steel-toed, titanium-studded "Wellies" made by this oddball company named "Nokia" someplace overseas.

Up until that point in my life, rubber boots were something you wore when it rained. They were black or green. Maybe, if you were blessed with a steel toe in them, the toe cap would be a brick red affair. Maybe not.

These boots were bright. Gaudy. "God-awful." And the most comfortable footwear I'd ever experienced. Cold out? Put on a couple of pairs of wool socks and change out the wool felt liners and you were good-to-go for a ten hour stint in -20°F. temperatures. They had a full nylon lining in them, so you didn't have the sensation of inserting your foot into a metal freezer the way one did in regular boots. They were wide enough that my double D's fit comfortably, despite being built on a European last. And above all else, people either hated them or loved them at first sight, with amazing passion. In my case it was love, but I've met many a chopper who hate them so much they'd rather risk amputation by chainsaw and $20,000 fines from OSHA rather than be caught dead in those "pansy-assed things." That's the situation now. Back then, it was "Who let the pantywaist into the woods," kinds of comments.

I took perverse pride in wearing these things wherever I went. Tore up floors with the studs in the soles, catching them on carpet in stores and new pickup trucks with abandon. And I proselytized the safety features mercilessly.

I quickly discovered that woodchopping wasn't for me, but I continued to wear those boots long after I left the woods. I suppose people just chalked them up to another of my "quirks" (or was that "character flaws?"). They worked great in the garden. Super at streamside while testing my mettle with the local trout. Perfect by-the-door boots to walk the dogs.

Like all good footwear, after a long run, they wore out. The studs had long since disappeared, except for two in the instep that made standing on ladders a thrill. The waterproof nature was compromised with wear holes admitting the wet stuff by the gallon. But they were still the gaudiest things you've ever seen. I hated to see them go, but I couldn't afford to replace them with new because they're very expensive, compared to plain old "Wellies." So I closed the last vestige of that chapter of my life by stuffing some insulation into them and turning them into little nests for feral kittens about 20 years ago.

And so it goes. Give my love to Krissy and Athena and go get them matching bright orange boots so they can go play in the puddles together.


P.S. I figured you'd like to see those monstrosoties from the past, but I can't find any photos of me in them. So here they are, along with a pic of the studding kit. Enjoy!

This high-top is fully-waterproof and features an approved steel toe-cap, protective ankle padding and a lace-up back. Its chain saw protection consists of multiple layers of reinforced rubber, plus tubular Ballistic Nylon material. This combination gives the Logger-F the most effective protection of any chain saw safety boot available.The back of this boot is specially tapered to fit the calf muscle, which reduces slapping and chafing while walking and the drawstring is at the back, where it’s less likely to snag. The Logger-F features a deep-tread,lugged sole for positive traction and is pre-set for the addition of optional metal studs (see below). These boots run slightly large, to allow for the use of optional felt pads and thermal socks, or will accept Nokia felt liners, specially designed for this boot (see below). Color: Safety orange instep / blue top.

Although our safety boots feature excellent non-slip soles, some may prefer a little extra traction. If so, special Nokia-designed traction studs are available. The Nokia studkit contains 70 hardened studs and one stud insert tool. The studs are easily installed by applying downward pressure while rotating the stud inserter in a circular motion. For best results, it is recommended that the studs be installed before the boot is used. (Not intended for walking tree trunks while limbing.)
Item No. NKSK

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Sammie's Show And Tell: Week 1

Check out the rules here.

Look at the text accompanying the image here. Post your answer in the comments section at Lady Sammie's blog. (You'll need to use your AIM screenname if you aren't an AOL or Compuserve user)

My guess this week? Texas. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Quiz: Which Waterhouse Painting Are You

Shelly over at CyberChocolate had this quiz up... I didn't resist. Neither should you.

You are Cleopatra; regal, independent, and
inherently a leader. The power that you exude
is impressive and you are very easily able to
dominate people either for good or bad. You are
respected by many of not all and admired by

Which Waterhouse Painting Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, October 11, 2004

Monday Madness: Seeing Triple, part deux.

Otto is still sipping too much joy juice and seeing triplets.
How else to explain his sudden fascination with threes?

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Name 3 things....

1....your ideal salad has on it. Tomatos, mushrooms and bleu cheese. do religiously in the morning.
Time was, when I was working, I performed the "Three S's" in the morning. Now I'm lucky to get up, make coffee and read email - all else is subject to change. look forward to doing in your spare time.
Reading, watching TV and kayaking.'ve never done before, but think you will at some point in your life.
Skydiving, writing a novel and death. love to do while on vacation.
Sightseeing, learning the history and observing the geology of a new locale. took pictures of in the last month.
Dogs, cats, sheep and ducks. have to do before the end of the day.
Laundry, dishes and pick up SWMBO from work.

Make a point of visiting Otto at his
Monday Madness Workshop
and leave the URL to your replies in the comments.

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Sunday, October 10, 2004

Unconcious Mutterings #88

Free Association. I say A and you think B. This week's offerings:
  1. Spacious::roomy
  2. Crash::box
  3. Autobiography::lies
  4. Sparkly::bubbly; champagne
  5. Wild Thing::Maurice Sendak
  6. Haagen-Das::ice cream
  7. Sci-fi::channel
  8. Voice::vox populi
  9. Boy Scouts::Girl Scouts; rub two together and watch the sparks fly
  10. Grief::death

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Sunday Brunch: Disney!

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
-Walt Disney

1) What is your favorite Disney movie and why?
Actually, I'm partial to the original The Parent Trap.

2) Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
Jimminy Cricket - irrepressible spirit, that's why.

3) What is your favorite Disney song and why?
Zippity Do Dah. Why... because we like you.

4) Disneyland or Disneyworld? Why?
Disneyworld. It just feels less crowded. By the same token, I'd probably have a tougher time walking it than I did thirty years ago, huh?

5) Do you have any decorations or articles of clothing in your home that are Disney and what are they?

No. No - a thousand times no! I'd rather die than say yes...

Thanks for playing and have a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious weekend!
Kumbiyah, m'Lord.....

Don't forget to leave word you've done the deed, or to get your own questions from The Sunday Brunch.