Thursday, March 31, 2005

Your Monday Photo Shoot: On The Wing

John Scalzi set a photo task this week to photograph a bird. I groaned when I read that. Birds and I just don't get along photographically. To top it off, it's rained or been mostly overcast here all week, and we start a new cycle of heavy rains tomorrow. The exception was yesterday afternoon and today. It was sunny and pleasant, so, SWMBO¹ and I took a ride yesterday afternoon over to the City of Old Town where they make Old Town Canoes and got some photos of the runoff coming over the hydroelectric dam.

Looking at the power station on the Milford side of the river.

Looking at the Old Town end of the dam. It's still ice covered above the dam, but if the water rose another foot the ice would flow OVER the dam and create a nasty ice jam downstream.

I didn't see a bird anywhere, so I took the picture of the birdhouse in hopes that something, a squirrel even, would poke out it's head. No joy in Mudville.

We slowly drove down the other side of the river, crossing back over at Bangor.

Looking upriver from the City Dock in Bangor, next to the SeaDog Brewery. The ice is entering from the Kenduskeag Stream. They'll be running the Kenduskeag Stream Canoe Race in a week or two... Brrrr! (Carly, take note - it was just after sunset and that caused the predominance of the blue color - just like your overcast skies and low light photo of the lighthouse.)

I swung by the parking lot of the city dock, only to discover that the river has nearly destroyed the quay with action of ice and runoff. It was getting dark and I wasn't too hopeful about the lighting. Finally, I gave up and went back to the car. My wife brought my attention to this bird in the tree over the car. Slowly I turned, opening the flash, took aim and fired!
Looked at shot in the viewer on the back of the camera but didn't see the bird, figured he'd flown off. Uploaded from the camera this evening and imagine my surprise -- there's a 5 o'clock Morning Dove shadow!

Also, in the way of the birdies, I got a better shot of the bird that is driving me nuts attacking the house. Here he is, red beak and all.

Guess I got the shots I needed after all...

¹SWMBO = "She Who Must Be Obeyed" i.e. my wife. Go watch an episode of "Rumpole of the Bailey" on PBS. That's how he refers to his wife. I simply stole it from him...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Plagerist Gets Her Due ... Or Does She?

There's a "goat rape" going on over at A Week of Kindness regarding a solicitation by a college student who sought to have a paper written about Hinduism. This is a major gangbang and has all the makings of a soon-to-break media circus. Go get in on the ground floor...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Hump-Day Humor: The Pond

An elderly man in Florida had owned a large farm for several years.

He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening, the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!"

The old man frowned, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked." Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Cause for pause..."Fickle Finger of Fate Award"

I buy the Taco Chili Salad at Wendy's at least once a month. This story, which I first stumbled across in someone else's blog when i was doing a Blogger Blog Jog, using the "Next Blog" button, gives me cause for pause before ordering my next salad. How fond are YOU of Wendy's chili???

Perhaps they can borrow the motto from Kentucky Fried Chicken, "It's Licking Fingers Good!"

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Monday Madness - Post-Easter Edition

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One of my most enduring memories of Easter comes from my incarceration at Saint Paul's School in Garden City, New York (Class of '68). They always did a nice baked ham dinner for those of us who lived so far away that it wasn't feasible for us to go home for the holiday. Naturally, there was left over ham. The cook was a fine fellow, learned his trade in the Army and plied it for twenty years there, followed by thirty years on the dining car of the train that ran between New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Which is neither here, nor there, except I was reminded of his penchant for using the left over ham in the beans he made for Monday dinner. Which the following story stirred memories of how it sounded in chapel on Tuesday morning ...

Once upon a time there lived a man who had a terrible passion for baked beans. He loved them, he adored them, he yearned for them. But they always caused him a great deal of embarrassment shortly after eating them. The reaction of his body to the beans was swift and terrible to behold.

One day he met a girl and fell in love. When it became apparent that they would marry, he realized she might be even more embarrassed and humiliated by his addiction to baked beans. He decided to make the supreme sacrifice and give up his beloved baked beans. A short time later they were married.

Some months later, on his way home from work, his car broke down. He was not too far from home so he decided to leave the car and walk the rest of the way. He passed a small roadside cafe and decided to call his wife and tell her that he would be late for supper. As he entered the cafe, the smell of baked beans overwhelmed him. He still had several miles to go, and decided that he could walk off any after-effects before reaching home. Before he knew it, he had eaten three large plates of baked beans. Even as he left the cafe, the effects began to be felt. He pooted up a hill, and poot-pooted down the other side. As he grew closer to home, the frequency and forcefulness diminished greatly, and he felt reasonably safe.

Just as he reached his home, however, he felt a great rumbling inside and was seized with a terrible urgency. As he waited just outside his front door to release one last effort, his wife threw open the door. She excitedly exclaimed, "Darling, I have made the most wonderful surprise dinner for you." She blindfolded him and led him to his chair at the head of the table. Just as she was ready to remove the blindfold, the phone rang. She made him promise not to peek until she returned and went to answer the phone.

When she had gone, he seized the opportunity, shifted his weight to one leg and loudly broke wind. It was not only loud, but as ripe as a rotten egg. He had a hard time breathing, so he took his napkin and began to fan the air about him. He just started feeling better when he felt another urge. He again raised one leg and let her rip. It sounded like a tuba and smelled so bad that he started gagging. He fanned until his arms ached. Things had just about returned to normal when he felt another powerful urge. He shifted his weight to the other leg and let go. This was the prize-winner. The windows rattled, the dishes on the table shook and a minute later the flowers on the table were dead.

While keeping one ear on the conversation in the hallway, he continued like this for the next 15 or 20 minutes, fanning away each time with his napkin. When the sounds of farewells indicated the end of the telephone conversation, he neatly laid his napkin in his lap and folded his hands on top of it. Smiling contentedly, he was the picture of innocence when his wife returned to the room.

Apologizing for talking so long, she asked if he had peeked. After assuring her that he had not, she removed the blindfold, revealing the dinner guests seated around the table for his surprise birthday party.

While I am pretty sure it isn't the original source, I found this version of the story recounted in an email dated Friday, June 11, 1993 from Jill Harlow J_HARLOW at OJC.COLORADO.EDU. In case she is the original author, all rights to it are hers. I'm only to blame for exposing you to it, gentle reader.

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1. Independence Day is more fun to celebrate than any other holiday.
2. The last vacation I took was to I can't remember.
3. The next vacation I plan to take will be to Hamilton, Ontario and Niagara Falls.
4. I'd really like to be more forgiving of stupid driver tricks.
5. I can't remember the last time I had eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.
6. The book I last read (or am currently reading) is Laurell K Hamilton's "Cerulean Dreams".
7. The last program I installed on my computer was Windows XP Service Pack 2.
8. When it comes to food, my weakness is protein -- steaks, roasts fillets and filets, fish, fowl, beasties, too -- I love 'em all.
9. I really look forward to spending time in my kayak.

Blog Pimping: Also, take a look at Gail Martin's "Life in The 'Burg - A Fictional Place to Lose Yourself" Gail (a nom de plume) is a frustrated writer/mother/housewife who let's it all hang out on her blog, every now and then. Like the rest of us, the mysteries of teens, gasoline prices, high prices and midlife enui are the grist for her mill. Give this Pennsylvanian Prose broker a chance -- she'll grow on you.

It's been raining most of the day and now they are forecasting another inch overnight. The beginning of flood season is upon us. With upwards of two to three feet of snow in the woods still, the runoff will be amazing and catastrophic. Seems like we did this in early April, 1987. Deja vu all over again, Yogi.

Sunday Brunch - Atheist Edition

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Erica is so thoughtful that she provides two memes to chose from when a religious holiday falls on a Sunday. That gal has style... Be sure to leave a link to your answers if you decide to do the questions yourself. And for those Christians amongst you, a very Happy Easter.

"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it." - Frank Zappa

1) What is your favorite medium of visual art and why? (Examples,
painting, sculpture, photography, etc.)
While I love paintings, particularly the Realists, it is the photography of the late 19th and early 20th century, as seen in the pages of Life and Look and Vanity Fair, that I derive the most pleasure in viewing.

2) What is your favorite painting? If possible, post a picture of your favorite painting in your blog.
I did that for another meme just a little while ago. It's entitled "Christina's World" and you may view it here.
3) Who is your favorite artist?
In case you hadn't figured it out from the information above it's Andrew Wyeth.
4) Do you have any artistic abilities of any kind?
Sadly, no. Baby brother got them all, in spades.
5) Do you like to draw or paint?
Yes, but the results are dreck...

Enjoy your week. Here's hoping that Spring is starting to put in an appearance where you are. Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case say goodbye to summer and hello to Autumn :)

Unconcious Mutterings #112

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

1. I’m waiting::Big Deal
2. Speak::Heel!
3. Roger...::Dodger
4. Knock knock::Who's there?
5. Hybrid::Zinnias (I haven't a clue what prompted that, either)
6. Can’t believe my eyes::Get new glasses
7. Hooked on::a feeling
8. Pontificate::Ze Pope
9. Slime::primordial ooze
10. Unwelcome::guests

Each week, Patricia puts on her pink thinking cap and out pop these words, as though channeled via the Sphinx herself! Get on the notification list, leave a link in her comments to your answers, go nuts and trash the place - it's up to you when you visit La Luna Niña.

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Meme: The Who Would You Be In 1400 AD Test?

The Cardinal
You scored 65% Cardinal, 20% Monk, 38% Lady, and 37% Knight!
You are the real power behind the throne. No one dares dispute or refuse you. Which is good because that's how you get things done. You are also, however, completely corrupt and highly immoral. This doesn't bother you in the least as you lounge around your rich comfortable surroundings, reveling in wealth and authority.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 99% on Cardinal
You scored higher than 1% on Monk
You scored higher than 20% on Lady
You scored higher than 40% on Knight
The Who Would You Be in 1400 AD Test

Saturday Six - Episode 50

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Each week, Patrick offers six questions to answer on a Saturday afternoon. Each week, like a zombie, I am compelled to answer them.
This is not a symbiotic relationship.
Get your own questions for your blog from the source and leave a link to your answers at Patrick's Place.
1. Do you believe that Terri Schiavo should be allowed to die or that she should be kept alive?
At this point there can be no "death with dignity" for Mrs. Schiavo. The enmity between her family and her husband, the prolonged court battles and the attempts to win their case in the press instead of the courts have precluded any chance of a dignified passing. No matter what action is taken, it is "wrong" in the eyes of a substantial number of people, ALL of whom have no say nor legal standing in this matter. The bottom line is this -- in the absence of a living will or other documentary evidence, the stated wishes of her husband have the force of law AND MUST BE OBEYED IN A LAWFUL SOCIETY.

2. Has the Schiavo case made you take any action towards creating a living will of your own?
SWMBO and I have reconfirmed to each other our desires to die without application of heroic measures in the event of brain death, quadriplegic infirmities, accidental or organic coma with no hope of recovery, etc. We each have pledged our willingness to risk jail time in order to assure the death of the other in the event we cannot take out ourselves without assistance. We both hope it never comes to that, but if it does, the other has marching orders.
3. Let's forget what we know -- or more likely, what we think we know -- about Schiavo's condition. If you suffered a brain injury that would leave you in a non-responsive vegetative state (whether Schiavo is in this state or not) and your doctors said that there was so much brain damage that there would be no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive no matter what?
NO. Under no circumstances imaginable. Absolutely not.

4. Has anyone outside of your immediate family ever asked you to be their "personal representative" to make such a decision on their behalf if they ever suffer a severe injury? Do you think you could really make the decision?
Yes, and yes.

5. Do you have a special outfit ready for Easter Sunday? Does your family have any special Easter traditions?
No, it isn't a holiday or event I celebrate.

6. What room of your house is the absolute messiest? Would you ever let a house guest see it?
My office and no, I don't let people see it if I have any say in the matter. That isn't to say that it isn't held up to ridicule by SWMBO - it is.
Have a great weekend ... may the skies be blue, the sun strong and true and your belly be full. They're forecasting clouds, sun and 40's here. That is as close to spring as we ever get.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Humor: The Mammogram

I actually kept my mammogram appointment. I was met with, "Hi! I'm Belinda!" This perky clipboard carrier smiled from ear to ear, tilted her head to one side and crooned, "All I need you to do is step into this room right here, stripto the waist, thennnn slip on this gown. Everything clearrrr?"

I'm thinking, "Belinda, try decaf. This ain't rocket science."

Belinda skipped away to prepare the chamber of horrors.

Call me crazy, but I suspect a man invented this machine. It takes a perfectly healthy cup size of 36-B to a size 38-LONG in less than 60 seconds. Also, girls aren't made of sugar and spice and everything nice ... it's Spandex. We can be stretched, pulled and twisted over a cold 4-inch piece of square glass and stillpop back into shape.

With the right side finished, Belinda flipped me (literally) to the left and said, "Hmmmm. Can you stand on your tippy toes and lean in a tad so we canget everything?"

Fine, I answered. I was freezing, bruised, and out of air, so why not use the remaining circulation in my legs and neck and finish me off?

My body was in a holding pattern that defied gravity (with my other boob wedged between those two 4" pieces of square glass) when we heard, then felt a zap! Complete darkness and the power went off!

"What?" I yelled.

"Oh, maintenance is working. Bet they hit a snag." Belinda headed for the door.

"Excuse me! You're not leaving me in this vise alone, are you?" I shouted.

Belinda kept going and said, "Oh, you fussy puppy ... the door's wide open so you'll have the emergency hall lights. I'll be righttttt backkkk."

Before I could shout "NOOOO!" she disappeared. And that's exactly how Bubba and Earl, maintenance men extraordinaire, found me, half-naked and part of me dangling from the Jaws of Life and the other part smashed between glass!

After exchanging polite "Hi, how's it going" type greetings, Bubba (or possibly Earl) asked, to my utter disbelief, if I knew the power was off.

Trying to disguise my hysteria, I replied with as much calmness as possible. "Uh, yes, yes I did thanks."

"You bet, take care" Bubba replied and waved good-bye as though I'd been standing in the line at the grocery store.

Two hours later, Belinda breezes in wearing a sheepish grin and making no attempt to suppress her amusement, she said. "Oh I am soooo sorry! The power came back on and I totally forgot about you! And silly me, I went to lunch. Are we upset?"

And that, Your Honor, is exactly how her head ended up between the clamps ...

Thanks to Mary who shared this via email...

Weekend Assignment #52(!): Going Hollywood

This Week's Weekend Assignment marks its one-year anniversary -- a whole year! That's a lot of assignments and some of you have done nearly every single one. I want to thank all of you for playing along, and here's to another year of interesting assignments for weekend Journaling fun.

For this week, we go west for the star treatment:

Weekend Assignment #52: Congratulations! Hollywood is making a movie of your life, and you get to choose any actor you want to play you -- yes, even if they're dead (the things they can do with special effects!) Who do you choose and why?

Extra credit:
Name the musician/band who will play the theme song to the movie.

Me ~~~~~~~~~~~ Kris

See the resemblance?
What do you mean, no?

Easter Weekend, 2005

Dear John,

First, allow me to congratulate you on a years run of the Weekend Assignment. Propagating a meme for that long is a testament to your staying power. No wonder Krissy married you! :)

Also, it is good to hear your far-reaching intellect is searching out the answers to the important questions. 'Good equals Holy '- OK, I'll buy that. Now explain why Congress declares an Easter recess when the governmental promotion of religion is specifically enjoined by the Constitution? Or why those same numbnuts think THEY have what it takes to resolve a dispute even Solomon would abstain from deciding? Nah, I didn't think you'd know, either.

I do know this, however: if Hollywood ever chose to make a movie, or actually, a series of movies a la Gene Autrey or Lassie, the fellow I see playing me would be Kris Kristofferson. Starting from Kris's return from Germany to the present, he epitomizes the wastrel lifestyle I have pursued, the rugged good looks, craggy countenance and whiskey-soured voice I have. And the man can sing, something I am so completely unable to do...

I think a nice three-parter ought to do it. Unlike the theme of this weekend, my life story ends with the whimpers of an old man, not some jazzy holy ghost flitting hither and yon. But the music... I think "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas" writer Michael McDowell would be great for bringing my story to the screen, while Danny Elfman's score and Tim Burton's lyrics would do the right amount of justice to my checkered past.

Have a great holiday weekend. Teach Athena the true meaning of the celebrations around the spring solstice ~ returning fecundity to the fields and the fillies after the barren winter of the soul has passed ~ That is the true meaning of the Easter Bunny's celebration. The Church long ago realized that to contradict it was a guarantee the Church would fail, while rites of fertility would survive, so the least offensive of the symbols and rites were adopted as a sop to the common woman -- the true leader of home, hearth and society.

As always, our best to you and your ladies. May the weather gods smile upon your venue and offer blue skies, warm sunbeams and silky breezes to accompany your Easter bonnets.

Grins and giggles,


Which Way Did He Go?

My wife received a $5 bill in change yesterday that bore the phrase "Currency Tracking Project" across one end of the bill and "See where I've been track where I go next" on both sides, stamped in red ink, along with a web address. I discovered upon going to that the $5 bill had last been received as change at a Stop 'n' Shop in Worcester, Massachusetts on January 17, 2005! There are instructions on how to participate and begin tracking new bills. Just something I thought y'all would get a kick out of.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Which Newspaper Do You read?

Which Newspaper Do You Read?

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts.

5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country -- if they could find the time -- and if they didn't have to leave Southern California to do it.

6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country and did a far superior job of it, thank you very much.

7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train.

8. The New York Post is read by people who don't care who's running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The Miami Herald is read by people who are running another country but need the baseball scores.

10. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren't sure there is a country ... or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are handicapped minority feminist atheist dwarfs who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy provided, of course, that they are not Republicans.

11. The National Enquirer is read by people trapped in line at the grocery store.

12. None of these is read by the guy who is running the country into the ground.

via Nanovirus

Computer Security: Internet Explorer

This just in by way of Auntie Spam and it's a doozy insomuchas all Windows Computers and AOL for Windows are using Internet Explorer:

New Internet Explorer Attack by “Integrated Search Technologies” Works Even if IE is Closed!

A new type of attack on Internet Explorer has been discovered this week,
and this attack works even if IE is closed! The way that it works is that a user visits an infected site, is given a pop-up window asking them to install an applet from Integrated Search Technologies, and if they agree, the applet downloads and installs a ton of spyware, which in turn opens up Internet Explorer and starts doing its thing.

According to Christopher Boyd of, the attack works regardless of whether Internet Explorer is open or closed, and regardless of IE’s security settings.

Now, there are reasons to hope that this attack won’t gain much traction, not the least of which is that the user is first prompted to install the applet, and one would hope that most users won’t do so. The installation prompt message even says that security certificate for the applet was issued by a company that is not trusted, and that the Integrated Search Technologies certificate has expired or is otherwise not valid.

Still, it is aimed at end users, who are by and large a trusting bunch, and who are occasionally known to click first and ask questions later. Plus, the Integrated Search Technologies attack applet has been showing up on sites which seem the height of innocence, including a Neil Diamond site.

The bottom line? If an Integrated Search Technologies applet comes a’knocking at your door, don’t answer.


PS - I know I often deliver fake news here with a straight face, so be advised, this is not a hoax. It is also why I left the text unchanged and in it's entirety, so you can check the original for yourself via the link up top.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Monday Madness: curiosities

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How Many........

1. gadgets do you own?
Way more than I should own. At last count, there were seven computers here, all but 2 working. And all of their peripherals, terminals, monitors, disk drive subsystems, printers, etc.

2. on your living room walls?
About a half dozen, at the moment. We change pictures on the wall frequently.

3. ...magnets on your refrigerator?
**27** -- I counted just for you! ;)

4. ...reference books in your bookshelves?
A couple of hundred.

5. ...boxes of cereal in your cupboards?
**5** Two are sugared, the purview of SWMBO. The unsweetened "hay" are mine - Nutty Nuggets, Shredded Wheat & Toasted Oats are yours truly.

6. ...lamps in your house?
About a dozen electric lamps; about a half-dozen kerosene lamps (we lose power frequently and for extended periods of time).

7. ...times a week do you shop for groceries?
Usually, twice a week. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

8. ...magazines do you subscribe to?
Only two at present - I take SeaKayaker and the better half takes Yankee Magazine.

9. programs do you watch on a regular basis?
CSI - Chocolate, Vanilla & Strawberry, West Wing, ER, Medium, House, Survivor, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, McLoud's Daughters, Gilmore Girls, Monk, Dead Zone, Crossing Jordan.

10. ...items on your bathroom counter that don't really need to be there?
We don't have a bathroom counter, so things tend to accumulate on the toilet cover and the answer is simple -- too many!

Have a great week. Don't forget, if you want to participate in Monday Madness, get a copy of the questions for yourself and leave a link to your answers in the comments at Otto's Monday Madness Web Site.

Geneaology: What's In A Name?

Geneaology: Surnames Frequency Mapping

Here's something I was referred to by Pharyngula. It's an interesting historical snapshot: a site that uses phonebook and census information to build maps of surname frequencies. Just type in your last name, select a year, and click, it shows you where people with your name were living in 1850, 1880, 1920, and 1990.

This all made possible, gratis, by Hamrick Software, the home of VueScan, an excellent tool if you use a scanner or digital camera. VueScan supports more than 400 scanners and 140 digital camera raw files and you can download a trial version for free here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

The Irish Sunday Brunch: Bushmill's & Bagels

Erica, a teensy bit preggers and a little ditzy, greeted her loyal followers thusly:

"Everyone, I am SO SORRY this is up late! Today is my hubby's birthday,
and with all the preparations for his party, I completely forgot. My

How about an Irish proverb?"

"You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was." -Irish Proverb

1) What did you do to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, if anything?
Nothing special. Gave the world an Erin Go Braugh and went back to sleep.

2) Did you wear green, and if so, what?
No, but, if I had, it would have been a Kelly Green necktie from the early seventies (it's about an inch and a quarter wide!) made of Irish Linen with an embroidered Irish Harp upon it.

3) Have you ever seen a rainbow from end to end?
Yes, out West you see them often. Not so, here in the East. No pot of gold to be found. When you reach the end of a rainbow it moves on you...

4) Have you ever visited or want to visit Ireland?
Yes, I want to, if my health ever improves to the point where I can walk a lot again, I'd like to go. I am half Irish, after all.

5) What is your best St. Patrick’s Day memory?
Nothing comes to mind. When I still drank, more often than not I'd have no recollection of St. Paddy's Day, and then, who wants to remember the loo you're barfing in?

Get yourself on The Sunday Brunch mailing list so you, too, can enjoy making late entries :) Don't forget to leave a link over at the Brunch's comments to your answers.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Meme: Which Twin Peaks Character Are You?

You remember "Twin Peaks", don'tcha? I fell in love
with Peggy Lipton all over again because of that show,
LOL. Well, Patrick stumbled onto this Twin Peaks
Meme that is a hoot. He's to blame -- I'm just telling
you the facts, kiddo.

Albert Rosenfield
You're Agent Albert Rosenfield, the snide and
superior forensics expert. Your tongue is
sharper than your scalpel, and it doesn't take
long for people to start hating you for your
supercilious quips, but you are the very best
at what you do. You don't suffer fools gladly,
but you give respect when it's due. In fact,
you're a good guy at heart, but so wedded to
your sarcasm that you can rarely stand to treat
people kindly.

Which Twin Peaks character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Meme: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 111

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Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 111

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

  1. Stink::Sewer
  2. Renewal::Urban
  3. I remember... ::a time in September, when youth were callow and oh, so melllow...
  4. Loneliness::predisposition to isolation
  5. Ooooh::Chocolate!
  6. For real::No way
  7. Titanium::Boeing
  8. Get down::Platz
  9. Rupture::Dam
  10. Dramatic::Performance
Each week, Patricia, webmistress of La Luna Niña, offers us this tool to tease the corners of our brains. As an added benefit, you get a blog entry and some pleasure responding to the suggestions. What more could you ask for with your tea and crumpets?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Saturday Six - Episode 49

Saturday Six - Episode 49

Each week, Patrick dispenses with six questions and we answer. Get a copy of the queries for yourself every Saturday here. While you are at it, leave a link to your answers in the comments there. Above all, enjoy!

1. You know company is coming: do you panic and immediately begin cleaning house or do you sit back and relax because your place is already clean?
You had it right the first time -- except if I have had a chance to sneak out the back without being seen!

2. Which was a bigger surprise for you:
a) Robert Blake was acquitted
b) Martha Stewart did jail time
c) Scott Peterson was sentenced to death
d) The Michael Jackson trial began at all

3. What was in the last package you received in the mail?
A DVD from Diane of MT Headed Rambling as discussed here. Thanks again, Diane.

4. What commercial annoys you the most at the moment?
There are so many ... Quiznos rat things, Geico's "Fun With Fleece" bit, Oxyclean shouting at me in the middle of the night, likewise the various exercise bikes, treadmills, gizmos and their cousins the vitamins and supplements -- they all piss me off to one extent or another.

5. What charity was the last one to call you to solicit a donation? Did you give them money? Why or why not?
A local fire fighter's organization; nope, I haven't got a job or disability check -- just the allowance my wife gives me, and I'll be damned if I'll give it to an organization which employs professional fund raisers, only to fork over 80% of the donation for the cost of fundraising.

6. What common household product do you hate to run out of the most?
Toilet paper -- should be self-explanatory.

Weekend Assignment #51: Write a haiku about spring!

Each week, John Scalzi, self-absorbed science fiction author
& AOL's Blogfather, issues a writing assignment to his
faithful minions. Each week, said minions comply. Often
hilarity ensues. Get your assignment here. Leave linkage
in the comments there, too, to your haiku. That is all...

Weekend Assignment #51: Write a haiku about spring!

Haiku is three lines:
Five syllables, then seven
And then five again.

Haiku from Japan
Often concern the seasons.
Why shouldn't ours, too?

The Extra Credit:

A drawing or a picture
Showing spring in bloom!

Spring has sprung, they say
Nowhere has it, up my way.
Snow it is, today.

Maine has only three
seasons: Summer, Winter, Mud.
Spring fails, Autumn flails.

A Maine Spring Unborn

Friday, March 18, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Erin Go Braugh -- Ireland Forever

Erin Go Braugh

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, the only nationally sanctioned bacchanal in these United States. For those of us who find one to be too many and ten never enough, it's a lonely day. No one likes a sober bloke hanging about when all around people are losing their heads, or giving head in public... So it goes. *Poof* You're a green fairy!

How do I know it's St. Paddy's, you ask? Simple - at six o'dark this morning I was greeted by a television advert for Foxwoods
-- that's the closest casino and den of iniquity to these parts, so they advertise heavily, attempting to entice deluded fools to drive 300 miles to lose their pot of gold, don'tcha know? Anyway, this morning the advert jingle was all gussied up to sound like an air from the Southern Counties, and there were Green Munchkins chewing on clay pipes and dancing the English Hornpipe, while an elf with Hollywood's idea of an Irish brogue was telling us all about the "Wonders of it all - Foxwoods" while the little green darlings cavorted through the casino and hotel, drunk and rowdy. It finished up with one of them sleeping it off on a king sized bed, curled in the fetal position, fighting the toxic effects of alcohol poisoning.

All very stirring, I'm sure. So go out and have a good one on me, drink your green beer and wear the color of the Boston and New York idiots who started this celebration down the slippery slope of alcoholism it has become. It is only fitting that Americans would miss the whole import of the event, anyway.

Monday, March 14, 2005

State Highway Patrol, in conjunction with the FBI, has issued a warning advising all dog owners to keep their dogs indoors until further notice. Dogs are being picked off one at a time on an almost continual basis through-out the area. They are falling in great numbers. Police in the city advise all dog owners not to walk their dogs.

Thanks to my buddy Pam who forwarded this in email. Sadly, there is no attribution for the text nor for the photograph.

Monday Madness: College Daze

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Otto has made it an easy one to do this week ... just fill in the blanks.... completely random!!

1. I wish I had more _money_.
2. I usually think about changing my blog layout when _a photo or other entry blows the margins to bits_.
3. If more people would be _considerate of others_, the world would be a better place.
4. I really should _do laundry_ more often.
5. The weather we're having right now is _cruel and unusual punishment_.
6. When it's time to plant a garden, I'd like to plant _corn_.
7. When I'm running late, I sometimes forget to _
grab my wallet before running out the door_.
8. When I can't think of anything to blog about, I usually _
clam up_.

Have a great week folks. If you want your own set of questions and to post a link to your answers, swing by the Monday Madness web site. Tell Otto that "Wil sent me!"

Sunday Brunch: College Daze

"Fathers send their sons to college either because they went to college or because they didn't." -L.L. Henderson

1) Did you go to college?
2) Did you live in a dorm or an apartment?
3) Who was your favorite roommate?
4) What is your favorite college sport?
5) Who was your favorite professor and class?

1. Yes, the University of Vermont. I have also taken additional classes at the University of Maine and Eastern Maine Technical College over the years.

2. I lived in apartments -- probably 7 or 8, all told.

3. Philip Rice - we started out sharing a room in a 4 person/ 2 bedroom fleabag in an old cheese factory. It was a horrible apartment, but Phil was a full-time engineer for a local TV station and was gone most of the time working up on the mountain We later rented a duplex apartment together that was surrounded on three sides by graveyards -- it was delightful.

4. I know it isn't PC, but I was fond of Cakewalk and worked the last Cakewalk festivals held at UVM. I met Janis Joplin at one of them.

5. Comparative Religion with Dr. Luther Martin.

Get your own copy of the questions for The Sunday Brunch and leave a link to your answers in the comments here. You'll be glad you did.

Meme: You Know You're From Maine When...

You Know You're From Maine When...

You've had arguments over the comparative quality of Fried Dough.

You call four inches of snow "a dusting."

You don't understand why there aren't fried clam shacks elsewhere in the county.

You know what an Irving is and the location of 15 of them.

You knew all the flavors at Perry's Nut House.

Your car is covered in yellow-green dust in May.

You can drive the Augusta traffic circle without slowing down.

You've hung out at a gravel pit.

You think a mosquito could be a species of bird.

You once skipped school and went to Bar Harbor, Old Orchard Beach or Reid State Park.

Even your school cafeteria made good chowder.

You've almost fallen asleep driving between Houlton and Presque Isle.

You know how to pronounce Calais.

You've made a meal out of a Jordan's red dye hot-dog, a bag of Humpty Dumpty potato chips and a can of soda.

You've gone to a Grange bean supper.

In high school, you (or a friend) packed Deering Ice Cream cones.

At least once in your life, a seagull pooped on your head.

At least once in your life you've said, "It smells like the mill in here."

There's a fruit and vegetable stand within 10 minutes of your house.

You crave Italian sandwiches at least weekly.

Your house converts to a B&B every July and August for people from away that you happen to know.

All year long you're tracking sand in the house-from the beach in the summer and the roads and sidewalks in the winter.

You have to have the sand cleaned out of your brake system every spring.

You do the majority of your shopping out of Uncle Henry's.

You've ditched the car on the side of the road somewhere because you thought you saw some good fiddleheads!

You know a lobster pot is a trap, not a kettle.

You know not to plant tender crops until the last full moon in May.

You go to the dump and bring back more than you brought.

You've watched "Murder she Wrote" and snickered at the stupid fake accents.

You know how to find the rope swing at the quarry.

You take the New Hampshire toll personally.

You always wave when you see a Maine license plate in another state.

When you're supposed to dress up, you wear flannel with a tie.

There's too much "stuff" in your 2 "cah" garage to get either of your cars into it.

You know what a frappe is.

L.L. Bean's not just a store, it's a way of life.

"The City" means exclusively Portland.

"Salt damage" is a viable insurance claim.

All of the traffic lights blink yellow at 10 o'clock at night.

It's not a storm - it's a Nor'eastah.

"Open 24/7" might as well be Greek.

More stores have "Bienvenue" flags than "Welcome" flags.

You eat ice cream with flavors like 'Moose Tracks" and "Maine Black Bear".

You know that a chocolate doughnut is not a white doughnut with chocolate frosting.

You wouldn't eat beans in tomato sauce or Manhattan clam chowder if you were starving!

As a child, you played outside in a snow storm without hat, mittens, scarf and with your jacket open because it was just a little cool.

The area around your back door is referred to as "the dooryard".

You eat potato chips with flavors such as "clam dip", "ketchup" and "dill pickle".

You call the basement "downcellah."

There is only one shopping plaza in town.

You use "wicked" as a multipurpose part of speech

Your pickup has more mud on it then the ground around it for a 15 foot radius.

More than 1/2 the meat in your freezer is moose.

You enjoy a hot chocolate more than a margarita.

If your "luxury vehicle" is a twelve-year-old rustbucket on wheels.

If your dog eats better than you do, and more often too.

If you never say what you paid for an item but how much you "give" for it.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from Maine.

Get Your Own "You Know You're From" Meme Here

More cool things for your blog at

Special Thanks to Nikki over to Running With Scissors

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Unconcious Mutterings #110

Week 110
Patricia plies the ether with an eclectic mix of words this week, although I detect a hint of horniness in the list. Then again it may be me rather than she! Don't forget you can get your own list of words at La Luna Niña.
  1. Shape up::Ship out
  2. New Orleans::St. James Infirmary
  3. In the bedroom::Sleep
  4. All the time::Really?
  5. Philosophy::College
  6. Tyler::Steven
  7. Disturbed::mentally
  8. French kiss::foreplay
  9. Solidify::ice
  10. Furtive::weasel

Saturday Six - Episode 48

Saturday Six - Episode 48

Visit Patrick's Place to get yourself a set of these questions. Don't forget to leave a link to your answers in the comments section there. Here's mine:

1. Have you ever called 911 for an emergency?
Many times in the thirty years I have lived here. Once for a chimney fire -- it's embarrassing when the fire chief has to call in his own chimney fire. Maybe ten times for auto accidents -- the road gets slick and folks fail to slow to a safe speed for conditions and end up off the road and unable to continue their journeys because their vehicle is upside down on my lawn. Once for a brother who attempted suicide by swallowing a vast quantity of barbiturates.

2. Do you spend more or save more?
Than what? Than the average resident of the United States. Best answer I can give is that I am a large pack rat who hates to spend money if it isn't necessary.

3. How many live plants do you have in your home now? Do you give them enough attention?
One. The cat is slowly eating it to death. You be the judge...

4. What was the last thing you did to exercise? How often do you exercise?
Carried 80 pounds 50 yards from my car to the house ... so obviously, not enough.

5. Where do you compare with regard to your parents: do you feel like an adult, or still like the "kid?" If you feel like an adult, when did you first feel that way?

Both of my parents are dead and have been for over 27 years in the case of my father, 40 years in the case of my mother. I have felt like an adult, albeit a pretty stupid one, since I was 13 years old, two years before my mother's death.

6. Who is the last person you received a personal card or letter from that wasn't sent to mark a special occasion?
I can't recall receiving a personal letter or card in over ten years not associated with a birthday or Christmas. Excluding former lovers, it may actually be closer to twenty years, in which case it was a letter from my stepdaughter, Kate.

Have a super weekend. Dodged a bullet today ... only got eight inches of snow instead of the close to two feet forecasted.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Weekend Assignment #50 - Artsy-Fartsy

John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #50: Art for Art's Sake

Time for the Weekend Assignment, and this week, we're getting artistic on you:

Weekend Assignment #50: Tell us about an artwork --painting, sculpture or other visual work -- which had a significant impact on you.
Note this doesn't have to be your "favorite"piece of art, or the one you like the most (although it can be, if you want): I'm looking for the work that made you think, or affected you in an unexpected way.

Extra Credit:
Assuming money was no object, how much would you spend on a piece of art?

Dear John,

Curse you and your thoughts of Spring! Yesterday it was -16° F for a low, the day before was -9° F. Snow, snow and more snow. It snows again as I type this -- another foot expected. Grrr and Brrr!

The first painting I am aware of that grabbed me was a print of a typical mid to late 1800's Romantic Realism piece of a lone wolf at twilight, high on a hill overlooking a small village in winter, smoke curling from chimneys and foals and lambs in the paddocks. I felt for the wolf, empathasizing with it's hunger. At the same time, I was terrified by the primordial fear that would rise inside me when I looked at that painting. That I could experience two such conflicting emotions at the same time amazed me and began looking at paintings in earnest. I was seven or eight. I never did learn who created the wolf painting -- the print was sold at a moving sale in 1963 and never seen again. (Much like my primitive attempts at creating art -- lost to posterity, unsigned and unlamented -- they were horrible.)

The next time I recall taking an interest in art was in my pre-teens. My uncle had purchased an old barn converted into a house in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania, which some artist named Wyeth had owned and my mother got all excited about that. I was curious and inquired as to who this Wyeth was and got myself a mini-education about N.C. Wyeth and Andrew Wyeth. Jamie is only a few years older than I am, so he wasn't a factor ... yet! Although, by then he'd already been studying painting eight hours a day for five years. Little wonder he is this country's best artist today.

Later, I remember being lost in a folio book of Dali; drooling over images by Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, and other Impressionists; and, falling in love with Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" and Jamie Wyeth's "Portrait of a Pig".

You have to know, John, if it wasn't already owned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, I'd spend whatever it took to purchase the original "Christina's World". Millions, probably, possibly billions would be necessary. I'd then give it to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine, which is where I truly believe it should reside, with the rest of the Wyeths that form the permanent collection. Much as I would love to "own" such a piece, I haven't a room in this hovel large enough to do the piece justice. It's a BIG painting. Then again, if money was no object, I wouldn't be living in this hovel in the first place. However, if it's any indication of where art falls in our lives, we gave ourselves full frames and matting for the two prints we bought
for our wedding anniversary last year. It was a lot of money (high 3 figures) by our standards but well worth it.

Give our best to your bride and progeny, keeping sharp instruments out of Athena's hands when the animals are around. Tell her that "Uncle Wil" will be glad to take her out foraging for road kill next summer...

Grins and giggles,


Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Meme: The Which Chemical Element Am I Test

Shelley is entirely to blame. No, really. Read about it here.

P... Phosphorous
You scored 49 Mass, 41 Electronegativity, 27 Metal, and 10 Radioactivity!

You're high energy... really high. Unfortunately, you don't always put
your energy to calm constructive use and sometimes let it all out in
intense bursts. If your energy can be harnessed however, you will
produce truly great things. I suggest you take up a job that runs you
ragged... like opening and closing a Sodium-Potassium pump. Socially
you ought to hang with a crowd that is even more social than you. If
you don't, well... all those people who spontaneously combusted
throughout history... you guessed it, phosphorous people who didn't
have enough to occupy themselves. When picking friends make sure most
of them rated high on the electronegativity scale... Chlorines, Oxygens
and whatnot.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 99% on Mass
You scored higher than 99% on Electroneg
You scored higher than 99% on Metal
You scored higher than 99% on Radioactivity
Link: The Which Chemical Element Am I Test written by effataigus on Ok Cupid