Thursday, June 30, 2005

Weekend Assignment #66: July 4 Haiku!

I haven't been doing the weekend assignments for a while now, owing to topics that fail to resonate or ring far too many bells and other issues of a purely "personal problem" persuasion. So it's nice to be able to participate this week. You know the drill - post a link to your response/entry in the comments at John Scalzi's By The Way AOL Journal.

Weekend Assignment #66: July 4 Haiku! A 17-syllable holiday poem, please!

Independance Day

Blood, guts, and tears.

Soldiers -- millions die for years,
so you can drink beer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Take That!

This showed up in my email today from my friend and former housemate, Doug. He's a mite farther left than I am, heheheh. Enjoy!

Dear Red States,

We're ticked off at the way you've treated California, and we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois
and all the Northeast.

We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of Nueva California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay.

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.

You get Alabama.
We get two-thirds of the revenue, you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.
You get a bunch of single moms.

Please be aware that Nueva California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you don't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home.

We do wish you success in Iraq, and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.

With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80 percent of the country's fresh water, more than 90 percent of the pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation's fresh fruit, 95 percent of America's quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools, plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100 percent of the tornadoes, 90 percent of the hurricanes, 99 percent of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

Additionally, 38 percent of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62 percent believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44 percent say that evolution is only a theory, 53 percent think Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals than we lefties.

By the way, we're taking the good pot, too.
You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.

Author Unknown in Nueva California.

Blogathon 2005

So you like blogging? Think you can pull an all-nighter, blogging every hour, from 9AM Eastern until it rolls around again? Can you find a sponser or twenty to pledge $5 or more?

Whatcha doing on August 6, 2005? Blogathon 2005 is coming to town...

Yep, there really is such a thing as a "blogathon" for charity. While they couldn't get their collective act together to bring it off properly again in 2004, there's a new head with lotsa energy and stamina and I'm pretty sure it will happen this year. All they need now is you and your sponsers.

Got more questions? Check out the FAQ.

via Bacon and Ehs!

Interesting Response To The Recent US Supreme Court Ruling

Check this out - a day after the amazingly wrongheaded decision by the US Supreme Court to allow uphold the eminent domain action by the City of New London who took it into it's collective head to take the property of a private citizen who refused to sell out to a developer and give it to the same developer because they would realize greater tax revenue ... the Loony Left fires back with this amazing exercise!

Thanks to the lovely and talented Pammy over at Lollygaggin for bringing this one to my attention.

Know Thy Enemy...

This interesting treatise is making the rounds of left wing Liberals - particularly amongst the Christian Humanists. I am not, nor have I ever been a Christian. But I find this one fascinating:


Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed on the internet, under the presidency of the Peter Ludlow. Anyone wishing to debate with us, may do so by e-mail at

In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said "love thy neighbor", willed that believers should show *compassion* toward others.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean mere lip service ("I love them, but I hate their sin"), but genuine concern for the welfare of others.

3. Yet the Religious Right has forsaken compassion for a doctrine of institutionalized hatred and violence.

4. Specifically, the Religious Right has taken the Word of God and wrapped it in the flag of Right Wing Politics, replacing God's message of redemption for the entire world with a narrow message endorsing right wing American politics.

5. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus in the gospel of Luke, where He instructs that we are to show compassion for the poor.

6. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a right wing political doctrine in which the poor have only themselves and their alleged laziness and moral weakness to blame.

7. For example, the Religious Right has rejected the needs of poor children of unwed mothers.

8. The Religious Right has rejected the cries for help from the children of impoverished families in the inner cities.

9. The Religious Right, has advocated fewer resources for the elderly poor and for the millions of children now living in poverty.

10. In place of giving to the poor, the Religious Right has advocated political doctrines specifically designed so that
individuals may acquire vast sums of money.

11. The Religious Right has thus seized on a contemporary economic ideology as an excuse to ignore the teachings of Jesus.

12. Item: the Religious Right has ignored God's injunction that we are to be caretakers for the Earth.

13. In place of God's injunction, the Religious Right has advocated policies in which the natural resources of God's creation are stripped from the earth and given to wealthy corporations without replacement.

14. In place of God's injunction that we are to be caretakers for the creatures of His creation, they have advocated policies through which these creatures may be extinguished forever.

15. The Religious Right has rejected laws designed to protect God's creation from pollution, claiming the "rights" of property owners are to be paramount.

16. In each case they have ignored the message of the Bible that this is God's creation, and they have substituted a doctrine in which God's creation may be partitioned and sold to the highest bidder.

17. Again, God's message has been cast aside for a message that supports a narrow economic message with its roots in right wing American politics.

18. Item: the Religious Right has neglected the teachings of Jesus that "he who is without sin should cast the first stone."

19. In place of God's words, the Religious Right has substituted a doctrine in which perceived sinners are to be persecuted.

20. Gays, for example, are persecuted because of their alleged sins. In some cases, leaders of the Religious Right have encouraged acts of physical violence against gays.

21. While the Religious Right has been eager to persecute others for their alleged sins, they have been blind to their own.

22. While the Bible counsels that a rich man can no more enter the Kingdom of Heaven than a camel can pass through the eye of a needle, many in the Religious Right have celebrated the acquisition of wealth.

23. While the Bible enjoins us against pride, the Religious Right appears to be flush with pride in it's holier than thou stance.

24. While the Bible asks that we be slow to anger, the Religious Right is quick to anger -- indeed it appears to revel in anger and in fanning the flames of anger in others.

25. While the Bible counsels that we are not to be "revilers," key members of the religious right have consistently and aggressively reviled their political enemies as well as those who are perceived to be sinners.

26. It seems then, that the Religious Right picks its sins selectively, ignoring the clear Biblical message against avarice, pride, and anger, and emphasizing selected “sins” that have little to no Biblical basis.

27. Item: While the Bible counsels that we are not to bear false witness, the Religious Right has engaged in smear campaigns against numerous political foes, often telling outright lies about “liberal” political leaders.

28. Worse yet, these smear campaigns have often been carried out in the house of God, sometimes in the form of inserts in church bulletins, and sometimes directly from the pulpit.

29. But the Religious Right has not merely spread its lies within the Church; they have done so outside the Church as well.

30. The Religious Right has used its financial resources not to spread the word of God, but to spread lies in the populace.

31. Item: Religious Right has failed to see that God's call to help our neighbors also extends to our international neighbors.

32. International aggression is not a Christian doctrine.

33. Where the Bible calls us to be peacemakers, the Religious Right claims that we have no business trying to bring peace to troubled areas but rather counsels that we should use military might to secure our business interests.

34. Where the Bible, through the story of the good Samaritan, instructs that we are to help our international neighbors -- indeed, even our enemies -- the Religious Right counsels "America First".

35. But "America First" cannot be a true Christian Doctrine.

36. The Bible gives no special status to political entities like the United States of America, and any suggestion to the contrary is to simply lie about the content of the Bible.

37. God does not bless nation states, and if He did, He surely would not bless them for practicing international internal intolerance, and propping up corrupt kingdoms and military juntas that traffic in institutionalized poverty and violence.

38. Item: the Religious Right has claimed that abortion is immoral, yet there is no Biblical basis for this claim

39. Rather, the doctrine appears to be driven by a medieval philosophy of the person, which they have imported into their theology.

40. Why has medieval philosophy taken precedence over the Scriptures? Perhaps the Religious Right never took the Scriptures very seriously in the first place.

41. This is highlighted by the frightening extremes to which they have taken this political dogma.

42. Victims of rape and incest are not to be allowed abortions. What could the Biblical basis of this possibly be?

43. Even when the mother's life is in danger, they would reject the possibility of abortion. Thus once again God's message of love and redemption is tarnished by advocates of a political doctrine of hatred and cruelty.

44. More troubling than their anti-abortion doctrine, however, is the tone with which that doctrine is advanced.

45. Here they use they weapon of hatred, encouraging the harassment of women, the bombing of clinics, and in some cases the taking of human life.

46. Their rejoinder that abortion is the taking of a human life has no basis in Biblical authority.

47. Their anti-abortion campaign is merely a political campaign dressed in the clothing of religion.

48. Item: The Religious Right has failed to distinguish its political message from what is left of its genuine religious message, leading Christians to conflate the two.

49. The Religious Right has engaged in a form of idolatry -- idolatry of certain patriotic symbols.

50. They have wrapped the Bible in the American flag. Indeed, one can find Bibles that contain documents such as the United States Constitution and pictures of the presidents.

51. Such Bibles arguably defile the word of God.

52. The American flag is not a symbol to be worshipped; yet the Religious Right has argued that it should be a crime to "desecrate" the flag. But what religious basis is there for such advocacy?

53. What basis is there for putting the American flag in the front of a church, next to the altar and the cross?

54. There can be no Biblical basis for placing such symbols in the house of God, nor for the undue reverence paid to them.

55. The Religious Right has failed to grasp the full power of God, supposing that spiritual growth for Christians can only come in the wake of political change in the United States.

56. On the contrary, God is perfectly capable of creating spiritual revival without the help of the Republican Party, and certainly without the help of an organizations that espouse doctrines that are antithetical to the teaching of God
at almost every turn.

57. Item: the Religious Right has preyed on people's fears -- their fear of crime, of other races, of the future, of the unknown.

58. Rather than say "fear not, for God is with us," they have used fear to sow the seeds of hatred and violence.

59. They have led their congregations to fear people of other races.

60. They have led their congregations to fear people of other sexual orientations.

61. They have led their congregations to fear our own judicial system.

62. They have led their congregations to fear the teachings of science.

63. They have led their congregations to fear anyone and anything different from their narrow conception of what they consider to be normal.

64. Worse, they have fanned this fear into hatred, encouraging their congregations to despise those who are different.

65. Item: The Religious Right has paid lipservice to the moral development of children, yet their doctrines are antithetical to the interests of children.

66. They appear to believe that moral development can be accomplished solely through discipline and censorship --
censorship of thought-provoking materials and censorship of the findings of science.

67. Yet, as a group, the members of the Religious Right have failed miserably as parents.

68. Jesus said, "suffer the children come unto me," yet members of the Religious Right have physically and psychologically abused their children.

69. They have advocated corporeal punishment, and have carried out acts of indoctrination on their children which, truth be known, are as severe as those of any fringe religious cult.

70. They have made children to be ashamed of and hate their bodies, when they should be proud that those bodies are the temples of God.

71. They have lied to children about the nature of God's creation, teaching them to ignore the great beauty God has revealed through the biological sciences.

72. In place of that beauty, they have taught their children a theory in which God's revelation through nature is ignored, and an ugly doctrine of fiat creation is espoused.

73. They have taught their children to be intolerant of others, to be hateful of gays and persons of color.

74. They have failed to instruct their children in God's message of love and redemption and have substituted for it a message of exclusion, suspicion, and contempt.

75. They have failed to raise their children according to the teachings of the Bible.

76. They have utterly failed as parents, yet they presume to dictate how we should raise our own children.

77. Item: The Religious Right, caught up in its hypocritical attacks on others has utterly ignored the solteriolocial aspects of Christianity.

78. Gone is the message that Jesus dies on the cross to save us from our sins.

79. Gone is the message of salvation, of hope and redemption.

80. In effect, the one core fact of Christianity, it's very reason for being, has been lost in the Religious Right's orgy of hatred and accusation.

81. How many souls will be lost because of their campaign of hatred?

82. At what price do these political triumphs come? Are they really worth the loss of the core message of Christianity?

83. Item: the Religious Right pays lip service to the authority of the Word of God, yet that Word plays little role in the treating of the Religious Right.

84. In place of the message of God's Grace and our redemption, they have substituted a purely political doctrine with no grounding in the Scriptures.

85. Rare are the references to passages of the Bible in the sermons of the Religious Right.

86. Those references that survive, are taken out of context and are merely used to justify preestablished political doctrines.

87. For example, there is no Biblical support for their views on abortion.

88. There is no Biblical support for their right wing economic theories.

89. There is no Biblical support for their campaign of abuse against their own children.

90. There is no Biblical support for their "America First" doctrines.

91. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of persons of color.

92. There is no Biblical support for their treatment of homosexuals.

93. In conclusion: the Religious Right has desecrated the house of God, taking a place of worship and treating it as a soap box in the service or the Right Wing of the Republican Party.

94. The Religious Right has likewise desecrated the Word of God, attributing to the Bible doctrines that are hateful, cruel, and entirely antithetical to the actual contents of the Bible.

95. Christians are to be exhorted to speak out against the Religious Right, as it is a vile heretical movement, wholly outside the teachings of the Word of God.

----------------------Redistribute Freely--------------------------------

Monday, June 27, 2005

Humor: A Priest And A Doctor Were Golfing

A priest and doctor were out golfing one Wednesday afternoon. The doctor gets up to take his first shot. He swings and misses the ball completely.

"God dammit, I missed," says the doctor.

The sky starts to darken a bit becoming overcast.

"Don't use the Lord God's name in vain," says the priest.

"I am sorry, Father," replies the doctor.

The doctor steps up again to tee off and misses the ball once again.

"God dammit, I missed," says the doctor. The sky darkens even more and a low rumble resounds throughout the land.

"Don't use the Lord God's name in vain," says the priest.

"I am sorry, Father," replies the doctor.

Once again, the doctor tries to take a swing at the ball and completely misses. He throws his club to the ground and yells, "God dammit, I missed."

The heavens roared and the storm erupted, sending a lightning bolt down and straight into the priest, which struck him dead.

Then a booming voice arose from the sky and said, "Dammit, I missed."


The Dawg was heard to mutter, "Well, I got such a great response from my first challenge, that I've decided to go ahead and do a second one this week. Remember that there's no right or wrong to this: It's just what YOU think! The same rules will apply except that I prefer the you answer in a comment, if you don't mind. Okay, ready?? Here's this week's challenge:

Name your five (5) favorite entertainers.

They can be singers, musicians, actors/actresses, comedians, radio personalities, or whatever you wish. They can be either living or dead, still active or retired, and from any era you like. You can mix it up, or stick to one category. It's up to you. You don't have to list them in any particular order and you can explain your choices, if you want to, but it's not mandatory to do so."

1. Willy Nelson - Best live entertainer you’ll see, even better than Wayne Newton and Frank Sinatra. He has such an amazing presence for a used up little pip squeak of a guy- LOL

2. Yo-Yo Ma is probably the best cellist in the world and also one of the most versatile, willing and able to absorb the nuances of a variety on genre of music, from classical to rock, he does them all. Jean Pierre Rampal on flute was similar in ability and facility, but lacks the presence of Ma.

3. My favorite rock and blues band is Ian Wilson and Jethro Tull, with Dire Straits a close second. Eric Clapton is right close, though.

4. Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, along with all of Jerry’s bluegrass work with Dave Grisman, well, I can listen forever.

5. Finally, and certainly not least in anybody’s book is Ray Charles. I like Sinatra, I like Nat King Cole, I liked Elvis in his middle years, Manny Potemkin has a marvelous voice ... but for day in and day out pleasure, with a mix of beer barrel blues and naughty mischief thrown in, give me Ray every time.

Those are my picks - let’s see yours in the comments over at MoonDawg’s Parking Lot.

MEME: Where Were You When...?

Shelley of Cyber Chocolate fame has decided to start her own meme, to be called “Where were you when?” You know the drill. Click on the link above to get your own copy of the questions and leave a link in the comments there to your answers. Have fun!

  1. Alan Shepard became the first American in space? On May 5, 1961 I was in the 5th grade at the Plumstead Elementary School. I'm pretty sure a TV would have been on to cover the launch. Space was a big deal to us then, particularly in light of the Russians getting Yuri Gagarin into space the preceding month! I have a recollection of feeling cheated because of the hype associated with the “Race for Space” in contrast to the reality – a 15 minute, sub-orbital flight with a splash down in the Atlantic.

  2. John Kennedy was killed? I was in a Social Studies class in Lenape Junior High School, Doylestown, PA. in seventh grade, after lunch, watching a film on some fascinating topic (cough!) when the teacher was called out of the room by another teacher. She returned shortly, crying, and haltingly made the announcement. A TV was turned on and we watched the news amid fear & confusion. Of note to me personally, it was already an emotionally fraught day – my mother was being returned from a hospital in New York City where she'd been recovering from a severe respiratory condition which later came to be known as “Legionnaire's Disease.” Her heart arrested twice in the ambulance en route from her hotel to a hospital 20 blocks away! Damn good thing she was in NYC when it happened as she'd likely have died on the floor if she had been at home, given the almost non-existent state of EMS those days in rural areas. She had been in hospital for over a month. I arrived home to find her safely ensconced in her bed upstairs, my father tending to her immediate needs as she sobbed seemingly uncontrollably while observing the events of the afternoon on the TV.

  3. Robert Kennedy was killed? I was on Long Island, NY, on the beach partying, celebrating my impending high school graduation the night RFK was killed. I didn't learn about his death until the next morning. It was one more stressor added to an already incredibly stressful day as we were awakened an hour late for our graduation ceremony and therefore we arrived late – in the middle of the proceedings! Imagine trying to sneak into your high school graduation ceremony, badly hung over, reeking of booze, sans shower and clean clothes. It was nigh on to a disaster. But I'll never forget when Bobby was killed because of it.

  4. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed? I was on Spring Break in Williamsburg, Virginia with my father and brothers. We heard about it that evening when we returned to the motel after spending all day at various Civil War battlegrounds (my father was a buff).

  5. Neil Armstrong took that first step on the moon? I watched this momentous event on a small TV in the main lodge with about 120 other folks at a summer camp in Southern Maine where I was a counselor.

  6. Ronald Reagan was shot? Here, at home, watching the tube with most of the rest of the country after a long, hard day working in the woods.

  7. John Lennon was killed? On my way to visit with friends after a grueling trip from NYC with a trailer truck load of commodities for Maine Co-ops when the news was broadcast on the radio I had on in the car. I had to pull over and collect myself before going on.

  8. The Berlin Wall came down? I was working here in Maine for a small town and first heard about the overwhelming of the border crossing guards in East Berlin on the radio news at lunch time while grabbing a bite to eat between inspections.

  9. The US invaded Iraq the first time? Grabbing a quick meal between the regular work day and having to attend a Town Council meeting of the community where I was working at the time, I turned on the news to see the tracers flying from the ack-ack's in Baghdad.

  10. The US was attacked on 9/11/01? I was a very sick puppy at the time, awaiting diagnosis of my ailments. I was awakened from my slumber on the couch (I was unable to climb stairs) by my wife after a phone call from her daughter and told in no uncertain terms to turn the TV on. We and the rest of the viewing audience sat glued in horrid fascination as the TV news coverage unfolded. While we'd missed the first impact, we were watching live coverage when the second impact occurred. My wife was in hysterics and I was in shock, befuddled and confused by the drugs I was on and my inability to understand why people were flying airplanes into prominent targets.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Attention All Terrorists

Found over on bjorn's blog (an amusing young man soon-to-be of the cloth):

Handbook for how to single-handedly defeat the U.S......with your eyes closed and your one hand tied behind your back (The EMP Threat)

Seriously, this article makes it seem pretty darn easy.

Google Maps Hack Of Interest

Thanks to Riona at I Run Seattle I have learned of a neat trick/add-on for Google's Mapoint application - it's the Google Maps Pedometer - a truly useful hack of Google maps. If you run or walk or hike, this is the hack for you. Calculate the distance of any route you traverse by clicking waypoints on the map. Way cool for bicyclers and orienteering urban cityscapes, too.

MEME: Sunday Brunch -- Love is...

Erica was heard to mutter with her mouth full, "I have NO idea where this white space came from. It must be a blogspot problem! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!"

"This thing called love, I just can't handle it-
This thing called love, I must get round to it-
I ain't ready...Crazy little thing called love!"
-Freddie Mercury

Let's talk about looooove. (Rhymes with grooooove)

1) Are you currently married or involved with a significant other? Give specifics and length of time that you have been with that person.

Nosey, ain'tcha? Alright, as Ooshka noted in a comment yesterday, I am SWMBO'd. Get your mind out of the gutter - it stands for "She Who Must Be Obeyed" and it was the favorite appelation of good old Rumpole, of "Rumpole of the Bailey" fame, for his wife.

We were married in April, 1999. Ooshka was a witness to the sordid event, so I guess he has the right to refer to the occasion in disparaging tones, LOL. We got hitched a little over a year after meeting in the flesh (that'd be about sixteen months after meeting online to a noose around my neck, er, ring on my finger).

2) Where did you meet your significant other?

In an adult chat room on AOL. She was cruising through chats, popped in and found something I "said" to be amusing, read my profile, got puzzled about part of it and finally, to avoid bursting with curiousity, had to ask what "frog poaching" is ... it was all down hill from there.

3) What is your anniversary or special day of ANY kind and what did you do on that day with your significant other?

April Fool's Day is our anniversary. I haven't any excuse to forget, either -- my parents were married on the same day, fifty years earlier. We have another significant date, which is the 27th of the month, aka "Renewal Day." The distaff side will have to be the one to reveal what that date is all about.

4) What is the nicest thing that a person that you are or have been involved with has done for you?

She married me despite all of my faults!

5) Do you have a special song or movie or place with your significant other? Describe.

While I am impervious to such tomfoolery, I suspect my wife would disagree and whap me upside de head. Still and all, nothing comes to mind, more is the pity.

Each week, Erica doles out the questions and I answer. You know how this works - get your very own set of questions and leave a link in the comments to your answers over at the Sunday Brunch. You can even sign up to get them in email, hot off the ironing board. Or something like that. Women don't iron much any more...

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 125

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Useless:: get

  2. Radiant:: heat

  3. W:: VMT, WVNY, WRUV (I worked at them all)

  4. Unpaid:: leave

  5. Geek: carnival

  6. Unfaithful:: wife

  7. Reboot:: DOS

  8. No!:: Absoutely not!

  9. Squad:: MOD

  10. Fetish:: heheheh

Get your own words here. Answer in the comments there or on your own blog and leave a link.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

SATURDAY SIX – Episode 63

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Cat's in the Cradle
by Sandy & Harry Chapin
©1975, 2003

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew
He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad
You know I'm gonna be like you"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home dad?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, "Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let's play
Can you teach me to throw", I said "Not today
I got a lot to do", he said, "That's ok"
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, "I'm gonna be like him, yeah
You know I'm gonna be like him"
And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

Well, he came home from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
"Son, I'm proud of you, can you sit for a while?"
He shook his head and said with a smile
"What I'd really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?"

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

I've long since retired, my son's moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind"
He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu
But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad
It's been sure nice talking to you"

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He'd grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin' home son?
I don't know when, but we'll get together then son
You know we'll have a good time then

    Each week, Patrick asks me six questions. Each week, I strain the twelve synapses I have left and answer. I hope it entertains - I have a headache. Oh yeah - get your own bloody set of questions and leave a link to your answers here.

    1. Yesterday, I linked to the journal "Mall Of America," a collection of photos from shopping malls of the 1960s and 1970s. What store do you associate most with your childhood in terms of happy memories and why? Is the store still around?

    I remember the Acme Market in Cross Keys, PA. I suppose because it was the source of most of our food when I was small.

    2. What song makes you the most emotional and why?

    I think it's called “Cat's In The Cradle” by Harry and Sandy Chapin. Ever since first hearing it thirty years ago, it has been a cautionary tale to one prone to leave things until tomorrow. Stupidly enough, I did and it cost me dearly.

    3. Take the quiz: What year were you born under, and what year should you have been born under?

    According to the quiz it goes Tiger -> Horse.

    4. What time do you typically wake up each day? What is the latest you're normally able to sleep? How many hours of sleep do you get in an average night?

    a. 12:30PM, b. 1:30PM, c. 3.7 hours is the current average over the previous 24 month period; recent changes to meds and CPAP machine have resulted in an average of 6.3 hours, but only sleeping 4 to 5 nights a week, so the average is still around 3.7.

    5. What frightens you the most about getting older?

    Being forced by downturns in my health to become a ward of the state and enter a nursing home. Make no mistake, folks – there is no going home from a long-term care nursing home for 99% of the residents.

    6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #56 from Debi: If you found the house of your dreams, right price, then discovered that a murder or suicide had taken place in the house, would you still consider buying the house?

    Don't be silly ... of course I'd buy it! Jeezum crow...

    It's hot and muggy, by my standards. 91°F at 11AM, 48% humidity. Air conditioners are on full. Hate to think what the electric bill will look like for the next ten to 20 days – they are forecasting temps in the 90's for at least that long. Keep in mind, we hadn't gotten over 74°F (and most of the time it was in the 50's and 60's) for the first three weeks of June. Hey, Mother Nature – that's a helluva way to run a railroad, y'know?

    Stay cool, use a strong sun screen and have a super weekend, buckaroos.

Friday, June 24, 2005

How To Stir Up An Idiot...


"Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war. Liberals saw the savagery... and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding to our attackers." -- Karl Rove, presidential adviser

I can hear it now.

Scene: The White House, Oval Office.

GB: "Karl, I need a diversion. Get out there and run interference for me."

KR: "No problem, boss. I'm good for it and the fools will never know what hit them..."

Funny thing is ... they nibbled, bit, and swallowed the bait -- hook, line and sinker.

Now KR is the #2 story of the day. Issues of malfeasence by the Vice-President while running Halliburton are again a distant drone.


Quote for June

"We are living in a kleptocracy."
- Nanovirus, June 22, 2005

Read the whole story here.

Sad News...

Sad news. Pam (AKA "his1desire"), a founding blogger on AOL with her journal Just One Girl's Head Noise announced last evening that she has been diagnosed with lung cancer. She'll let us all know the clinicians' recommendations regarding treatment on Monday.

Pam was the first person I "met" while beta testing AOL Journals back in July 2003. She has been a tremendous resource and was a fun foil for my humor when only a handful of folks were reading our journals.

It was my distinct pleasure to be the "goto guy" when she'd trapped a spider in her casserole dish and needed a venue to dispose of the little monster. Sadly, the arachnid didn't survive the shock of transplantation to the rigors of a Maine winter. And so it goes.

As most of my regular readers know, I'm an irreligious SOB. I can't offer prayers to support my friend in her time of need. I leave that to the devout amongst you. I stand ready to perform hangman's duty for critters of the more than one legged variety that may vex her world, but I have no solution for this problem.

While I'm saddened by her illness and the damage that fear of cancer has already done to her domestic tranquility, such as it was, I rage at the impotence I feel in dealing with the ineffable from 3000 miles away. So I call upon those of you in the Oakland & San Francisco Bay area to form a support system for one of your own. It's going to be a long, hard row to hoe, regardless of the treatment(s) chosen or not.

It's a lot I ask of you so easily from my frozen remove. But what am I to do? My wife would never stand for me taking an active role in the care and mental support of another woman, regadless of the circumstances - she's not that liberal-minded, for sure. I value the bits and pieces I still have that the surgeons haven't seen fit to remove, y'know?

My hat's off to you, Pam. I wish I could do more.


Thanks to the Simian Farmer .

One word

Please leave a one word comment that you think best describes me.

It can only be one word. No more.

Then copy and paste this into your journal so that I may leave a word about you...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gone But Not Forgotten

Stepped outside with Willow the Wonderdog to admire the evening --

and she took an uncommon interest in this object lying on the driveway:

This is an Ermine, I think. Tail-length may indicate that it's a Long-tailed Weasel, but rigor had set in so I couldn't bend it around to check. Both species are very fast, lethel hunters and highly aggressive to larger animals and have been known to back-down coyotes and wolverines -- so one of my cats catching and killing one is pretty amazing!

Of course, they smell bad and taste even worse to a cat, so little wonder it was left to die where it was.

That's life down here on the farm on the first full day of summer. How's the world treating you and yours?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...

Damn... I was supposed to be Harry Potter!

You scored as Severus Snape. Well you're a tricky one aren't you? Nobody quite has you figured out and you'd probably prefer it stayed that way. That said, you are a formidable force by anyone's reckoning, but there is certainly more to you than a frosty exterior and a bitter temper.

Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
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Don't go blaming me -- it's all Paul's fault!!
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Adventures In DSL Land - Episode The First

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My, my. Coming up in the world, am I. DSL did I order from Verizon. End of AOL as we know it imminent.

June 21 was "Service Ready Date." Received DSL modem kit in mail last week. Honored by telephone call on the answering machine from Darth Vader, er, James Earl Jones announcing the DSL "force is with you."

Set out to install. Progressing well until the actual test to see if I had a connection to the Internet. Little wheel showing troubleshooting activity spins for 20 minutes, but no joy. Written instructions tell me to do a "power cycle" of the equipment and computer. OK.

Computer and modem turn off just fine. Computer comes back on as expected; not so the DSL modem. Flick the switch. No joy. It won't come back on again. Switch appears busted. Jeez, why me?

Call to Verizon help -- nice man tells me to perform a "power cycle" - I reply that is what got me in trouble in the first place, but do as instructed. No change. Next, "Brian" wants me to plug the power supply into a different outlet. I explain it is the same outlet the computer gets power from -- he is unmoved. So I scramble to get a long extension cord hooked up (there being no more outlets in this room or the next) and bring power from the outlet under the stairs. No change. Put on hold. Endless advertising of the benefits of various Verizon services interspersed with bad Techno and even worse Hip-Hop.

Brian returns. "Do you live at (address)?" Indeed, I do, I admit.

"We're mailing out a replacement modem overnight. Should get there tomorrow. UPS (sic) will pick up with the morning's mail and have it to you overnight."

Now, I don't know about your understanding of the world ... the original modem came from California; I've never heard of the United States Postal Service having guaranteed overnight delivery from anywhere, let alone across country. At one point I asked if he meant FedEx but he kept saying "mail" and "UPS" in the same breath. So silly me, I expect it to arrive in today's mail. Which has come and gone already today. Needless to tell you that there was no replacement modem in with the bills and offers for credit cards I neither need nor qualify for ...

"That's right, I have no job and no income. So you go ahead and send me that Platinum card and we'll see how long it takes before you are prosecuting me for fraud..."

United Parcel Service's last run in this area is at 5:30 PM. I just checked the porch. Aside from another dead critter "gifted" by his majesty, Pumpkin XIII (the Tom in residence), there was nothing new on the porch where UPS folks leave packages, or notices of signatures needed.

And so it goes...

image shamelessly stolen from the Verizon On-line help site. It's the least they could do, under the circumstances.

Ewww! or "Word To The Wise..."


"A most moving and pulse-stirring honor--the heartfelt grope of the hand, and the welcome that does not descend from the pale, gray matter of the brain but rushes up with the red blood of the heart."
- The Begum of Bengal speech, 1907

Twain handshake
Illustration by Dan Beard for "Travelling with a Reformer"
From the Dave Thomson collection

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Poem and photo as they appear at to whom I am indebted for their effort making Samuel Clemen's work more accessible to the modern era.

During an hour's swimming at a municipal pool you will ingest 1/12 liter of urine.

In an average day your hands will have come into indirect contact with 15 penises (touching door handles etc.)

An average person's yearly fast food intake will contain 12 pubic hairs.

In a year you will have swallowed 14 insects - while you slept!

Annually you will shake hands with 11 women who have recently masturbated and failed to wash their hands.

Annually you will shake hands with 6 men who have recently masturbated and failed to wash their hands.

In a lifetime 22 workmen will have examined the contents of your dirty linen basket.

At an average wedding reception you have a 1/100 chance of getting a cold sore from one of the guests.

Daily you will breath in 1 liter of other peoples' anal gases.

HAVE A GREAT DAY... ...and wash your damn hands!

Monday, June 20, 2005



"The Dawg's Challenge -- it's an interactive thing for all of you. You can respond either in a comment at Moondawg's Parking Lot, or via e-mail to Without further hype, here's my first challenge:

Name five (5) prominent people that you would like to meet and sit down and have a conversation with."

For my response to the challenge, I'd like to converse with:

1. Thomas Edison -- his mental abilities are just so different from mine that I believe it would be a difficult task having a conversation. Particularly as I have no money and cannot further his researches with financial support.

2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt - the man and his times fascinate me and there are very few clearheaded 109 year-olds around...

3. Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) - just because he's the kind of erudite, cantankerous old curmudgeon I aspire to be.

4. My grandfathers - I never got to know them. One died before I was born and the other shortly after I arrived on this plane of existence.

5. My father. He died when I was 27 -- half my lifetime ago. I miss him everyday.

There's my response to the challenge. What's yours?

MEME: Monday Madness -- Anagrams II

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Otto was heard to mutter the following, " Until I can think of more creative questions, let's try another 10 anagrams! An anagram is a rearrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form another word or phrase."

Please list at least one anagram for the following words...

1. rentals - sternal, antlers
2. wreathe - the ware, weather
3. intidy - isn't a word in my dictionary. Untidy works. untidy - nudity
4. ruling - luring
5. peaks - speak
6. imprints - misprint
7. meals - lames
8. reserve - server
9. cosmic - comics
10. heirs - shire

Have a great week folks - the sun has finally come out after a week of rain. Don't forget, you can get your own list of words by clicking the logo above and be sure to leave a link to your answers in the comments while you are there.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

MEME: Sunday Brunch - Organization

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Erica writes, "Inspiration for this week's Brunch came from my current project which is decluttering our home. So far I have done the living room and dining room, and the kitchen and garage are in progress."

"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
- J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

1) Are you an organized person?
Not really. While I tend to know where things are, it's from within a state of (barely) controlled chaos.

2) What is one thing about your home that has to be just so or it drives you crazy when it comes to organization?
I hate searching for the TV remote.

3) Do you have one little nuance about your organization that most people consider to be a little over the top? What is it?
While I am sure there are thousands, perhaps millions of things about me that drive others right up the wall, nothing comes to mind in this category, other than it appears to an outsider that there is no organization whatsoever. That might be annoying...

4) What is your favorite organizational tool? (bins, closet organizers, etcetera)
Etceteras are my favorite.

5) Where is your favorite place to buy organizational needs?

Happy Father's Day to everyone!

You can obtain your very own list of questions and post a link to your answers by visiting The Sunday Brunch.

Meme: Unconcious Muttering -- Week 124

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Each week, La LunaNiña provides a list of ten words. Each week, I reply with the first thing that comes to me in response to that word. Sometimes, I use the words in a paragraph, just for fun. I am always thankful for La LunaNiña, however. She is a web goddess.

Week 124

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

  1. Domesticated::cat
  2. Cask::Port
  3. Wayne::Newton
  4. Insidious:: Invidious
  5. Cool!:Kewl
  6. Dishwasher::A great invention
  7. Little house::Prairie
  8. Stepford::Wife
  9. Hung::jury
  10. Falling:: death
Be sure to get your own copy of this week's words by going to the Unconscious Mutterings web site. And don't forget to leave a link to your answers in the comments there, too.

Meme: Saturday Six -- Episode 62

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Each week,
Patrick asks six questions. Each week, I get sucked into answering. It's the Circle of Life, Simba...

1. Do you do a yearly "spring cleaning" in your home? If so, have you done this year's version, yet?

No, and therefore, no again.

2. Have you ever been blindfolded and asked to identify which of two drinks is Pepsi or Coke? If you haven't, do you think you could tell the difference?

No, but they have distinct flavors. While I'm not real persnickety about it, the wife is death on Pepsi.

3. You find out that you're going to have a child: what baby names will you choose?

Christopher is good for either sex. So's Marion. Sue isn't too bad, either.

4. You must become one of the Brady Bunch kids for a single day: which one would you choose to become and why?

I haven't a clue -- I didn't watch them.

5. Where are you going for summer vacation this year?

Just went to Niagara Falls and have hopes of visiting some model railroading shows and conventions in August and October in places like Massachusetts and Connecticut. We'll probably spend a weekend or two camping up in Canada if the freaking rain ever stops.

6. What is the most religious thing you do on a day-to-day basis?

I soundly curse all Christians as I become embroiled in the traffic jams caused by their stupid church schools and activities on the way to my job burning unsold Bibles.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Meme: How Will You Die?

You know how it goes. You're reading along in your blogroll and suddenly an entry grabs you by the throat, throttles you and refuses to release until you pay attention to it. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. All blame for the morbid character of the quiz belongs to its creator; blame for my participation rests in the lap of Mark at Witnit.

Suicide --- 100%

Disappear --- 100%

Disease --- 80%

Eaten --- 73%

Bomb --- 67%

Suffocated --- 67%

Stabbed --- 60%

Posion --- 53%

Drowning --- 47%

Accident --- 40%

Natural Causes --- 33%

Gunshot --- 13%

Cut Throat --- 7%

How Will You Die??
created with

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Shameless Pimpage -- Part 347

Wherein the heroine flambès her pet ferret¹ as only a displaced-Texan could...

¹ OK, y'all, you KNOW I love animals. But this is too funny not to share and it all turns out alright in the end, so click the link and read. You can thank me after you catch your breath from laughing until you pass out.

Too True For Words...

So why are there so many of them in this entry?

I stumbled on this in Pammy's, of the displaced-Texas Pammys, Lollygaggin blog as I was catching up on my reading and it fits me to a "T" so I'm sharing it with you in violation of about thirty trillion copyright laws and stuff and I'll burn in hell forever, I just know it, but I couldn't help myself, your Honor...

By the way, she swiped it from
Chaos Theory. In case that exonerates me. Not.

Monday, June 13, 2005

MEME: Monday Madness - Anagrammatic Pentameter

Otto, the intrepid memic and proprietor of the Monday Madness
web site writes:

This week we're going to do something a little different ... anagrams. What is an anagram? An anagram is an arrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form another word or phrase.

Please list at least one anagram for the following words...

(my answers are in red)

1. praised --
is raped
2. idle --
3. lamp --
4. tied --
5. lured --
6. sang --
7. hoes --
8. rats --
9. mobbed --
10. rifle --

Monday Madness of a different sort:

Third straight day of temps in the low 90's, according to the thermometer on the front porch. Saturday, I attempted to install a new A/C. Brand new out of the box 8000 Btu GE air conditioner. Followed the directions and everything. Room temperature is high 80's, humidity is the typical summer fare for Maine - too humid to measure. Sweat is pouring off my face and dripping onto the directions, which I followed (more or less) as I went along. Get the whole thing installed and plug it in.

Nada. Nyet. Nothing!

Well, that isn't 100% accurate. The LED screen lights up when power is applied. The thermostat clicks and the compressor motor can be heard to start and circulate coolant. And then it shuts down. Because the bloody fan doesn't start or run. Right out of the box, sealed carton - DOA. Now there's quality control for you!

Do you think I can find the receipt?


Can you say "screwed blue and tattooed?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Meme: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 123

Free association is described as a "psychonanalytic procedure in which a person is encouraged to give free rein to his or her thoughts and feelings, verbalizing whatever comes into the mind without monitoring its content." Over time, this technique is supposed to help bring forth repressed thoughts and feelings that the person can then work through to gain a better sense of self.

Week 123

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

Phantom::of the Opera
Slippery::when wet
Fungus::among us!
"We need to talk”::Joan Rivers
On the spot::Johnny

Get your own list and publish a link to your answers in the comments over at Unconcious Mutterings ... you'll be glad you did.

Meme: Sunday Brunch - The Game's Afoot!

Thus sprake Erica:

Are you game?
"Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music." -Marcus Brigstocke

1) What is your favorite board game?
2) What type of games are your favorite? (ie, board, card, participatory, dice, word games)
3) How many games do you own, and if possible, list them.
4) Do you enjoy computer or video games? Which one is your favorite?
5) Describe a great childhood memory of an outside game.

Have a good weekend!

Who Knew?

I received the following from my buddy Pam in North Carolina in today's email. Pam is the one who sent me the story and photo about the Dobe and the firefighter and I failed to credit her contribution. Silly me. Anyway, to make up for it, let me provide this information un-edited, as requested.


I had a wonderful morning, the heating unit went out on my dryer! Why does everything seem to fall apart this time of year!??? The guy that fixes things went in to the dryer & pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. We always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes. He told us that he wanted to show us something.

He took the filter over to the sink & ran hot water over it. Now, the lint filter is made of a mesh material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. WELL......the hot water just sat on top of the mesh!!! It didn't go through it at all!!!

He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh & that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life
of the dryer at least twice as long!

How about that???!!!! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that.

So, I thought I'd share!


Note: I went to my dryer & tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran thru a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with
warm soapy water & a nylon brush & I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about! So friends, word to the wise...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Kiss

He had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire.

She is pregnant.

The firefighter was afraid of her at first, because he had never been around a Doberman before.

When he finally got done putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest.

A photographer from the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper, "The Observer," noticed this red Doberman in the distance looking at the fireman.

He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do.

As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies, and kissed him, just as the photographer snapped this photograph.

And people say animals are dumb - yeah right.

Meme: Saturday Six -- Episode 61

1. When was the last time you looked your significant other in the eye and told him or her how much they mean to you?
Last week.

2. Which business do you have the longest continuous relationship with: your bank, your auto insurance provider, your home telephone provider, your cellular phone provider, or your cable company? How long have you been with them?
My Bank. We've been through three name changes, two changes in venue of the home office and some 37 years of under the table monetary exchanges, heheheh...

3. What is the most embarrassing question you've ever been asked?
"Do you always do interviews naked?" Asked by Grace Slick when I was interviewing her in the studios of WRUV-FM in 1970. I had a pair of shorts on, but no A/C and she couldn't see below my waist from the studio she was in... very provacative stuff.

4. You have the ability to snap your fingers and be instantly transported to one of three places whenever you wish to go there. Which three places would you select as your destinations?
An unnamed island in the San Juan's in British Columbia, an island off the Maine Coast which will remain nameless and New Smyrna Beach, Florida in March and April.

5. Last week, the Reader's Choice question asked you to identify your favorite movie line. Later this month, the American Film Institute will list the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of all time. Which one do you expect to win?
"I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto."

6. You are given the gift of an original oil painting by any famous artist. What painting would you choose and why?
I'd like some of the working sketches done by Andrew Wyeth in preparation for "Christina's World." I'm being very selfish, because I'd really like the whole painting, but it is so famous it deserves to be on public display at all times and that just wouldn't be any fun for me, would it?

Click the banner above to get your own list of questions.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Kristina's World

A certain young lady, proprietress of the Phoenix Symphony, hitherto unknown to your correspondent, has embarked upon a weekly exercise composing a tale which incorporates the title of various journals to be found in AOL Journal Land™. This past Friday she featured The Daily Snooze amongst others. And, she kindly informed me about it in an email, which lead me to The TGIF Quiz which is also part of that entry. In thanks and because I found the questions interesting, I provide you with the questions and my answers below. Cheers!


1. Between what time do you usually get some sleep?
Most often I sleep between 2:30 AM and 8:30 AM, but lately that has slid to 6:00AM until noon.
2. Have some of your thoughts ever got you in trouble? And do you tend to get over emotionally (sic)?
Of course and I won't tell you which ones -- I might go postal and whup your butt!
3. What do you think of the J Land community?
I try not to -- it gives me gas.
4. Have you ever been in a taxi?
Or what passes for a taxi all over North America.
5. Which do you prefer? Raggedy Ann or Barbie?
For myself -- Barbie. For impressionable little girls? Barbie wins again -- might as well start messing with their little psyches now -- it's not like they'll remain innocent into puberty with the commercial overload they'll be exposed to by the time they're ten...
6. Do you know what a dust bunny is?
Yes, indeedy! My paternal grandmother preferred the term "whore's wool" to dust bunny, but she would never explain why...
7. Do you consider the sounds of the ocean and storms soothing?
Sure do, as long as I'm not near them when they are happening. When I think of ocean storms, I think of some of the worst weather imaginable -- definitely something you cannot sleep through.

(photo copyright ©2001 "ReconRandy" NIF - Used without permission as his web site is gone and I have no way to contact him. Awesome picture, Dude!)
8. Do you tend to act like a monkey?
No and I would probably insist on a 72 hour observation period at the State mental hospital if I did.
9. What do you consider your main attractions?
Aside from the ability to lick my own eyebrows?
10. Do you let everything flow out or hold it all in?
I'm an anal retentive from the git go.

Swing on by Kristina's Phoenix Symphony and grab a set of questions for yourself. Be sure to tell her the Ol' Dawg sent you in her comments. Over and out, Kemosabe!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Advice Requested

OK, folks, I need your advice on a free or very low cost picture editor that will do batch resizing. As you can tell from the results below, I no longer have access to a copy of Photoshop, ACDSEE or Graphics Pro and am going nuts with this cheap ass software provided by AOL.


Vacation Redux II

Vacation - Day 2

So Monday morning dawns gray and dreary, with threats of showers in the air. The grands are cranky from the lack of play time, so any thought by Grandpa of getting on the road early is quashed by the mothers-that-be. Nevertheless, despite their best efforts, we had the show on the road in two vehicles by noon time. Destination: University of Pittsburgh's Natural History Museum.

An hour's drive and a minor crisis when the person giving directions gets turned around by traffic, but we get there, only to find that the museum is CLOSED ON MONDAYS...

Hmm, what to do? Off to the Pittsburgh Children's Science Center, but the realization that it would cost nearly $100 for just the kids and only one of them is old enough to truly appreciate the exhibits leads us to seek out other entertainments, in the form of the Pittsburgh Children's Museum, where the remainder of the afternoon is spent climbing, painting, getting wet, getting dry, and in my case, getting hurt. With the sole exception of the aformentioned injury, everyone had fun.

A stop for a big meal at a local restaurant put most in mind of a nap. Here's where it gets interesting. Daughter No. 2, the one who lives in New Castle and knows her way around, decides we need to see some really cool rock formations in a nearby state park. We agree that rock formations are right up our adult alley and off we go, as instructed by the Mighty D2. Twenty minutes later, as the Ohio border approaches, D2 admits she hasn't a clue where she is or how to get home! Seems she has inherited SWMBO's* lack of direction.

Forty minutes later, I find a landmark that is familiar from our visit to Boardman, Ohio the night before and we are on the way home. All thoughts of side trips to see the pretty rocks are by now forgotten with the advent of dusk and the nightly ritual of turning on the headlights.

Evening consists of a blur of grandchildren wildly playing (indoors, due to rain) while parents and grandparents attempt to converse. Eventually, despite many diversions and side skirmishes, the grand children were bedded and the Mrs. and I headed off to the motel to sleep the sleep of the dead.

This grandparenting is tiring business!

*For those who've already forgotten, SWMBO = "She Who Must Be Obeyed," i.e. my wife. Blame "Rumpole of the Baily" for my getting into the habit of calling her that.