Thursday, May 31, 2007

So far, so good.

It's a work in progress, but I am OK with things so far. Some stuff on the sidebar needs adjustment.

I have to go visit a friend in hospital now. I'll work some more when I return.

Change Is Inevitable

I've been avoiding this for nearly six months. What, you may ask? Changing over to the new, easily customizable Blogger templates for the Snooze.

It's getting more difficult to maintain the old one, so I am going to bow to the PettyBees and try to change it over.

Hang on. It's likely to be a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Smelly Feats of Footwork

Image found via Google Image Search at
Spaghettio's MySpace Page

Welcome to the hump! Today's theme is Best Foot Day, so today's questions all have to do with feet.

1. Football - what's your favorite football team (any level)?
Football isn't my thing. So, for geographic solidarity's sake, I say the New England Patriots.
2. Shoes - Describe your favorite pair of shoes.
Can't get them anymore – they don't make them and if they did, I couldn't afford them. Tretorn Tennis shoes, made with sueded leather uppers, pigskin liners and an XLT sole sewn, not just glued. They came in tan and were like walking in clouds. These days I use plastic Crocs.
3. Dancing - What do you think is the best music to dance to?
Sort of depends on what kind of dancing you want to do, now doesn't it, laddie? I mean, after all, ye wouldn't be trying to do Morris Dancing to Peter, Paul and Mary, would ye? Or imagine the difficulty trying to break dance to the Blue Danube waltz! Clog Dancing to nursery rhymes, perhaps? Ye gets my meaning, laddie? Ask a better question, hear?

Now I suppose you want to play, too. If that's so, just click on the link up top and you'll be trnsported on a magic carpet to the land of milk and honey, where all will be clear. Or so says rfduck, the mememeister. Just be sure to read the fine print and remember, “Rumpledforeskin!” There will be a quiz, m'dear.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Death Takes A Holiday?

Another funny. Why aren't more of the adverts on US television this funny?

Funny Commercial

I've been trying to find a favorite commercial from the '90's when I stumbled upon this and thought to share it with you. It looks like Maine in January only winter lasts nine months and the clip is a quickie -- only 29 seconds. About all I'm good for these days...
(wink, wink).

Flags Replaced With Swastikas in Wash.

Flags Replaced With Swastikas on Graves in Washington:
May 29 01:54 AM US/Eastern ORCAS ISLAND, Wash. (AP) -

Vandals burned dozens of small American flags that decorated veterans' graves for Memorial Day and replaced many of them with hand-drawn swastikas, authorities said Monday.

Forty-six flag standards were found empty and another 33 flags were in charred tatters Sunday in the cemetery, authorities said. Swastikas drawn on paper appeared where 14 of the flags had been."

This is just plain wrong. While I am at odds with the current administration and Congress over our presence in Iraq and the wisdom of continuing our endeavors, there is nothing that can persuade me this is an exercise of "free speech" or merely civil disobedience.

Hold protest marches, burn the flag (if you dare). This, however, is desecration of a grave and therefore, a criminal act. It should be investigated as same and those responsible should be caught and tried as adults, regardless of actual age (if you, like me, you suspect this to be the act of very misguided teenagers). If adjudged guilty, I suspect some serious jail time is in order. Particularly in light of the repeat attacks on the graves this Memorial Day weekend.

By the way, parents -- You ARE responsible for your children's acts until they are 21. Perhaps some jail time for you as a co-conspirator would drive that home.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lest We Forget The Reason

Military Honor Roll
Mount Hope Cemetary
Bangor, Maine
Posted by Picasa

Grand Army of the Republic -- Brothers In Arms
Posted by Picasa

Squeeze Play Weird and Dumb Car Crashes

Via Do check out the amazing collection of over 25 "Dumb and Weird Car Crashes"...

MEME: Monday Music Mambo

Memorial Day, No Mambo

Sunday, May 27, 2007

George W. Bush Presidential Library

George W. Bush Presidential Library:
"George W. Bush Presidential Library - Coming January, 2009"

"Welcome to the future home of the officious George W. Bush Presidential Library. This patriotic website will serve as an authoritative digital archive, dedicated to preserving and celebrating the godly legacy of the most honest, peaceful, and intelligent leader in the 6,000 year history of the planet Earth."

Via The J-Walk Blog, in case you aren't a regular reader over there. This was too sick to pass up.

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 91

May sweeps ended this past week, and most network shows have aired their big season-ending cliffhangers. It seems that there are more and more shows that are killing off characters to keep the drama alive.

Sometimes, a show has little choice, because a popular actor who played the role dies and there is no one else who could possibly play the character convincingly. But then there are those deaths when the actor either decides to leave the series or the writers just get the itch to kill someone off. That is the kind of character death that led me to this week’s questions.

But first, Allison of "We’re All Mad Here" was first to play last week. Congratulations, Allison.

On to this week's question!

Name seven TV character deaths that stand out as being shockers.

I'm not sure I can think of seven...

  1. Lem on The Shield

  2. Lt. Colonel Henry Braymore Blake (Season 1-3) on M.A.S.H.

  3. Captain John Francis Xavier "Trapper" McIntyre (Season 1-3) on M.A.S.H.

  4. Leo Thomas McGarry on the West Wing

  5. Mrs. Landingham. on the West Wing

  6. Holly Gribbs, a rookie fresh out of the criminal justice academy who was killed off the first (pilot) episode of CSI (ok, ok, technically she doesn't die until the second episode, but still...)

MEME: Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 225

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

  1. Dancer :: tiny

  2. Intellectual :: Snob

  3. Direct :: Current

  4. Tolerate :: differences

  5. Post :: Notices, No Bills

  6. Instinctive :: behavior

  7. Brink :: Over the ...

  8. Regain :: dignity

  9. Repulsed :: monstrous

  10. Distressed :: furniture

So you want to play along, too? Just click on the banner above and be swept away to La Luna Niña's place, where a clean set of the words for this week and the comment box to leave a link to your answers is located. You'll be glad you did and that new sunburn from sitting out over this Memorial Day weekend will fade from your memory even faster than the balance in your checking account.

A Rite of Spring In Maine

Photo accompanies this story on the front page of this
weekend's edition of the Bangor Daily News

My wife, Louisiana born and bred, was startled and appalled at the thought of leaving caskets full of the deceased in subterranean mausoleums from first frost in early fall until after the last of the frost leaves the ground come spring, when she first came to live here. Now, eight years later, she completely understands this story in the Bangor Daily News:

"Last rites of spring: Waiting is a tradition born of necessity in Maine"

"One breezy, brilliantly sunny afternoon in early May, a small group gathered at the graveside of Everett C. Burns at Riverside Cemetery in Orono. The trees had yet to leaf out, but a nearby rhododendron had burst into bloom, and a flock of ducks quacked loudly overhead on their journey home." (click the link above to continue)

Saturday, May 26, 2007

National Do Not Call Registry

We've been getting a lot of commercial calls lately for mortgage companies, satellite TV dealers and other telemarketers.

I thought they were just breaking the law. Not so, it turns out. Seems that the telemarketing industry got a permanent injunction against my state's "Do Not Call" registry AND my registration with the Feds had expired!

Well, let me tell you, I re-registered my phone just as quick as I figured out the cause of the problem.

To register your phone, or to check on the current status of the registration of your telephone number, go to the National Do Not Call Registry by clicking on the link here. All you have to lose are those annoying telemarketing calls...

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #167: Bad TV You Loved as a Kid

Weekend Assignment #167: You watched some bad TV as a kid. Tell us your favorites. Now, this doesn't mean you realized at the time it was bad. Just now, in the fullness of time, you recognized that your viewing choices left something to be desired. For the purposes of this assignment, try to stick with shows that were aimed at kids, although if you can't think of any, prime time shows are okay as well.

Extra Credit: How much TV did you watch when you were a kid? A lot? A little?

Dear John,

Best heed the wife's words of wisdom and take out the trash.

Speaking of trash (heheheh), Sky King was the trash TV that I remember with that thrill of guilty pleasure, curled up in the big chair in the den on a Saturday morning, all cartooned out, waiting for parents to be functional enough to make breakfast (cereal bowl at my feet, lest you think we were neglected children). Of course, I was in love with Penny King and thrilled when she, too, got her pilot's license like her “dad” Sky.

According to, the Sky King TV show premiered September 16, 1951 on NBC and went on to a nice, four season run, airing it's last episode in March, 1959. As one commenter says on that site, “A man and his plane battle bad guys.” What more could you want? Just add a couple of kids (niece and nephew – Sky wasn't married), a ranch manager, a slightly ambivalent sheriff, cattle rustlers and other malcontents, and you have a formula for a thoroughly modern, post-war, western soap. Truly trashy!

Despite Gloria Winters' portrayal as Penny, the real heroine of the series was Songbird.

She was the King's principal airplane. I think I actually cried when they retired Songbird 1. She'd been crash-landed more times than
Carters has pills, but mechanic Bob Carey (played by Norman Ollestad) had always managed to patch her up and get her flying again. She was a member of the family. I didn't understand the intricacies of network television or leases on airplanes back then. Just because CBS had picked up the franchise from NBC after they'd canceled the show wasn't any reason to come back with two slick new airplanes – it just wasn't right! That was the eye-opener for me. I rarely watched after that... Although, it turns out the plane change occurred because the old wooden “bamboo bomber” had become unsafe to fly and was sold off during a change of sponsors.

I whiled away far too many hours in front of the “boob tube” hoping for a glimpse of the milky mammaries (I was of that generation deprived of the teet in favor of the more modern “bottle” - blech!). Probably 4 hours of a Saturday morning and a couple of hours either side of supper during the week when my mother was working outside of the home or during inclement weather. Far less in good weather and when she was at home – she had no love of the tube.

I do hope you limit Athena's television viewing to a dull roar. I know we did and I am proud of the way our kids turned out. As to what to do with Athena during the summer, take a little advice from the “been there – done that” folks: camp. Summer “Bible Camp” if it will get your mother (or mother-in-law, for that matter) off your back about raising a “little heathen”. Simply because she needs the socialization and playtime with other kids, she's smart enough to question authority and the BS that comes along with the proselytizing, she might as well learn at a very early age what assholes Christians can be, and it gets her out from underfoot part of the day so you can get some writing and other writerly business done. Just be sure to avoid the Baptists and other fundamentalists in all varieties or they'll be camped out on your front lawn forever. Our local Jewish Community Center had a great half-day camp both kids enjoyed a lot (as opposed to the mutiny that arose when exposed to a Baptist Bible School – that only lasted one day). The town YMCA and YWCA had great summer programs, too. Anything that allows Athena to play with others her age and gets her away from your evil influence for part of the day would be a big boost to all of you retaining your sanity through the summer.

As always, look after the womenfolk and behave. You ARE being watched.


Friday Fill-in, #22 – Better Late than Never...


1. 10 years at sea; one _long wet dream_!
2. Why is the _sky blue, Daddy_?
3. Here there be _dragons_!
4. Ah..._Old dogs_ don't know _everything_.
5. The _sound_ from the _rear speakers_ must _be balanced_.
6. Of course it makes you _weep_.
7. This weekend, I _will sleep_, _eat_ and maybe even _freeze my nuts off putting in the water line in the lake at camp_! Happy _Memorial_ Day!

Have a great weekend!.

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 163

There are days when I feel like taking a drive. Then there are days when I can go without even looking at a car. I haven’t decided which kind of day this is, yet, but it at least got me thinking about this week’s questions.

But before the questions, Gabrielle of "Questions of the Day" was first to play last week. Congratulations, Gabrielle!

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. What color car do you drive?
We've got a silver car and a beige one and a very dark navy blue one. Depending on where we are going or what the plan of the day is, I drive whatever meets the needs of the trip.
2. How many cars have you had in the past of this same color?
None. In the past I've had blue of three different hues, three greens, two reds, a fluorescent orange, a black and a fake-wood paneled wagon with a white base.
3. What does this particular color mean to you?
Obviously, nothing special.
4. Take the quiz: What color car should you drive?

You Should Drive a Blue Car

You're the type of driver who isn't hung up on what brand or the color of the car you drive. You don't need a flashy car to show off your wealth or style. Instead, you go for value and reliability. You're quite practical. You're a great driver, but you don't show off. Part of your skill is not standing out on the road.

What Color Car Should You Drive?

5. Would you ever consider driving a car the color the quiz suggests?
Blue? Sure, no problem, so long as I am still in the North. White for the South – it's just cooler. But for melting snow and ice on a sunny day after a snow storm in Maine, a dark color is the thing.
6. Do you consider yourself the most-aggressive driver on the road, the least-aggressive, or something in between?
Just as there is ALWAYS someone tougher than you are, so too when it comes to aggressive drivers. I have driven race cars, but I'd not try to mix it up with someone from NASCAR, for instance. At least not if I was driving in a circle. To the left. Only.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Who By Fire - Leonard Cohen & Sonny Rollins

Watch two masters perform:

Wednesday Mind Hump -- Bobalicious!

Rfduck, just back from his annual eye exam, took a moment to say, "Hello everyone! Ready for another mind hump? Today is Bifocals Day - what a boring topic! We'll just go with Saturday's theme, which is Bob Day."

1. Who's your favorite Bob in the world of music?
Bob Dylan, no question about it.
2. Who's your favorite Bob in the world of movies?
Robert De Niro in Men of Honor.
3. Who's your favorite Bob in the world of sports?
Bobby Allison, a NASCAR legend.
4. Do you have any Bobs in your family? How are they related to you?
Yep. I have a cousin named Bob. Haven't seen him in over 40 years -- don't even know if he's alive. He had a son named Bob, too. Ditto on the time span.

Want to play along? Just click the title up top and "Bob's your uncle!" you'll be whisked across the Inter-webbed feet to Oregon and the mind of our mememeister. Leave a link to your entry and have fun with those apples...

Monday, May 21, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness -- Birthdays!

Otto's been very busy, but she had this to say about that, “This week's questions; all about birthdays! Have fun and thank you for playing each week.” =)

1. Name one thing you received as a gift on your last birthday. A copy of John Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades.
2. What would be the "perfect" birthday gift? A surprise gifting of something I have been wanting for a while.
3. Do you look forward to birthdays? Not really, although I like a nice meal out with my wife.
4. On your birthday, do
you treat yourself to something special each year? I often buy a book or a CD I want, September being the “fattest” time of year in our budget.
5. Do you bother keeping up with your horoscope on a regular basis? No. It's on the same level as tales of carpenters with stigmata rising from the dead.
6. What zodiac sign are you, and do you think you fit the description for that sign? Virgo and no, I don't.

Don't forget to click on the title up top if you want to play along. You'll be magically transported to Mistress Otto's Parlor, where you, too, may join in the madness for price of a few moments of your time answering the questions and posting to your blog or web site.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo

Rfduck sends “Greetings to all! Today is Emergency Medical Services Day. I think I can connect that to music. At hard rock and metal concerts, you'll often see a mosh pit where poor souls get slammed around.”

1. Who are some of your favorite hard rock and/or metal artists?
See below if you're on the front page of the blog. Also, I'm fond of Credence Clearwater Revival, The Doors, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Queen, Lenard Skynard – all sorts of bands, actually.
2. What are some of your favorite hard rock and/or metal songs?
Again, besides the ones below, I've got more than 1500 songs in my play lists, dating from 1906 through 2007. The vast majority are from the middle of the period and covers swing, jitterbug, rock and roll, psychedelic rock and hard rock, along with lots of folk and new age. Picking one or two is an exercise in futility. The selection will change minute by minute. Fidelity isn't my middle name. For the sake of discussion, I'm fond of AC/DC's Girl's Got Rhythm, Aerosmith's Walk This Way, and Poison's Unskinny Bop.
3. Have you ever been to a show where someone needed Emergency Medical Services? (I suppose huge festivals don't really count because odds are someone will be using such services eventually while attending.)
Despite having been an EMT, I never worked a “show”. I've dealt with injuries and illness at public events, but they were either races or sporting events.
4. Ever been in a mosh pit? Never. Before my time.

The rules are, there are no rules!!! All you need to do is copy and paste the above questions into your blog and add your responses. After you've finished, return here and leave us a comment so we'll know you've Mamboed. Be sure your Mambo is linked back to so others can dance too.

Remember, there are no right or wrong answers. If one of the questions doesn't inspire you then simply "pass" it. Just use your imagination and dance like crazy!

If you don't have a blog or you're an exhibitionist *woo hoo* feel free to Mambo right here in our comments section. There's absolutely no pressure ... although it's called the Monday Music Mambo you can Mambo on any day.

Until next time, this is your music-lovin' Mememeister saying have a good Monday and a good Mambo!

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #166: Rock Out

Weekend Assignment #166: Name the three songs you listen to when you totally want to rock out. Note that they don't actually have to be rock songs -- they can be in any genre whatsoever, and from any era. They just have to be the songs that get you pumped up and ready to go.

Extra Credit: And name one song to cool you back down.

Dear John,

I'm going to make this quick – I'm stuck in an era you have neither respect nor interest in. Obviously, there are loads to choose from. Here's just three rockers that come to mind, driving music to get me down the highway a long ways away...

1. Touch of Grey by The Grateful Dead

2. Heavy Fuel by Dire Straits

3. Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull

Time to cool the jets, zone out, trance back, etc. Wolf Eyes by Paul Winter.

There you have it. Wonderful photos of the Missus the other days – do tell her she is becoming more beautiful with each passing day. Give Athena a spanking, just because, I'm sure she's been up to some mischief or another you didn't hear about while on tour...


Sunday, May 20, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 90

When your question writer is on a diet, food is just going to pop up as a topic from time to time. This week, we’re going to belly up to the salad bar.

But first, Wil of "The Daily Snooze" was first to play last week. Congratulations, Wil. (And thanks to Liz for pointing out the adjusted release date for Apple’s Leopard upgrade.)

On to this week's question!

Name seven ingredients you can’t resist at one of those Super Duper Mega Salad Bars.

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs

  2. Bacon Bits

  3. Marinated mushrooms

  4. Spinach leaves

  5. Red Onions

  6. Green Peppers

  7. Crumbled Blue Cheese

So you want to play along? Just click on the banner up there and snag a clean copy of the question for your use. Leave a link in the comments there to your answers, while you're at it. Enjoy, or should that be Bon Appetit!?

How Addicted Are YOU?

A great little quiz, via Shelly:

Saturday Six - Episode 162

Sorry for the lateness of the hour. I had a lot going on today, so this is the earliest I could get the questions posted.

But before the questions, though Angelika was first post a comment, it was Wil of "The Daily Snooze" who was first to play last week's edition, because Wil was the first to leave a complete link to the specific entry in which he answered the questions. Congratulations, Wil!

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

Yay! I won! Where's my prize?

What do you mean, “There's no prize?”

No fair! Hrumph!

1. Do you order Girl Scout cookies each year? If so, how many boxes do you buy in an average year?
My wife does – I used to when I worked in an office full of GS moms. These days, what with obesity and diabetes we try to hold it to three boxes.
2. How long does it take you to finish off a box of cookies?
Depends on who and what. I tend to eat one of the boxes by thirds, so three sessions. SWMBO can do it in one session.
3. What's your favorite kind of cookie to dip in milk?
Oreos. Haven't had them in years.
4. Take the quiz: What kind of cookie are you?

You Are a Fortune Cookie

You're a rather normal person, except that you have extraordinary luck in life.
People want to be around you (even when they're a little sick of you), in hopes of being lucky too!

What Kind of Cookie Are You?

5. If you had to bake cookies for a party, what flavor would you bake?
Either Chocolate Chip or Ginger Snaps.
6. What's the right way to eat an Oreo? As a whole, or by licking off the filling and then eating the two wafers individually? I eat them by taking off the “top” and eating it, then lick up the remaining filling, followed by chomping down on the remaining cookie.

If you'd like to play along, click the banner up top to get your own copy of the questions. Be sure to leave a link in the comments there so Patrick and the rest of us can visit and see your answers.

Unconscious Mutterings

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.

That's an admirable goal, but for the purposes of this excercise, we're just hoping to have a little fun with the technique. Each week I'll post ten words to which you can respond to with the first thing that comes to mind.

"Rules are, there are no rules." There are no right or wrong answers. Don't limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. AND you don't have to have your words up on Sunday. Take all week if you want! Read the FAQ for more information.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Week 224

6 hours, 48 minutes ago

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

  1. Coast Guard :: boarding

  2. Buddies :: list

  3. Nap :: afternoon

  4. Groan :: moan

  5. Sitcom :: M.A.S.H.

  6. Reader :: Rabbit

  7. Heroes :: Unsung

  8. Amazing :: grace

  9. Woman :: man

  10. Don’t! :: stop

If you want to play along just give La Luna Niña a visit to get a clean copy of this weeks words. While you're there, sign up for email reminders and don't forget to leave a link to your answers in the comments.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Fill-in, #21


FFI mememistress Janet decided to go for the MadLibs approach this week. "I'm doing it a bit different this week; below are seven quotes...if you know the quote, feel free to fill it in but it'd be more fun to fill them in with your own words!"

1. How poor are they who have not patience _to wait for Godot_!
2. All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: _lust, gluttony, fear, greed, envy, pride, _and indolence_.
3. It's the friends _who call you friend that count_.
4. Hate _grows exponentially in the absence of attention_, love _withers unless attended to daily_.
5. Everything has its _cause_ but not everyone sees it.
6. I don't give a damn for a man that can only _make money_.
7. The advantage of a bad memory is that _damn, I can't remember... ____

Have a great weekend!.

Such a let down I am...

Who'd a thunk it? The LAST, BEST HOPE for the future of civilization. Hrumpf ... too bad.

If You Were Born in 2893...

Your Name Would Be: Vuis Ara

And You Would Be: The Future's Last Hope

Thanks and a tip of the fedora to Carly for finding this quiz.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump -- Face Time

Rfduck, mememeister extraordinaire, said this about that, "Hello once again! It's Wednesday, so we need to Mind Hump. Today is Face Day."

"Your task: Post a photo of a face. It could be your face, a face of someone you know, or the face of a pet. Or you can post a link to a face on a photo sharing site. Either way, give us a good face!"

Olddog's Mud Season Face
Olddog's Mud Season Face

Monday, May 14, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness -- Lobotomized?

Otto awoke as the gray light of dawn slowly filled the room. She tried to stretch, but the straight-jacket prevented all but the tiniest of movements. Her head felt like they'd been hammering railroad spikes into it for days. Then her vision cleared momentarily and she realized where she was. It was the State Institute for the Computer Insane. With horror, the realization of what that truly meant crept silently through her neurons on stocking feet. Hawking up a loogee, Otto managed to squawk out, "This week's questions are straight off the top of my head again... Here we go! Thank you so much for playing and have a wonderful week ahead." =)

1. Which web browser do you prefer? Firefox
2. Are you a PC user or MAC user? PC user.
3. Will your next computer purchase happen within the next year (do you think)? Not likely.
4. Will you purchase your next computer at a local store or via the internet? Depends. If the next one is a laptop, probably will buy online. A desktop will probably be just a motherboard and other upgraded components.
5. Have you had any experience with Windows Vista? No.
6. What are your feelings about this new operating system (if any)? I used to stay current with Micro$oft's operating systems as I was constantly being asked by others for support. I no longer do computer support. Windows Vista isn't for me. I think that Windows XP is the last Micro$oft product I will buy.

Want to play along? Click the title link (up there at the top ^) for a clean copy of Otto's questions and leave a link to your answers at the Monday Madness web site.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo -- American Spirit

Rfduck struggled up onto one elbow, his head throbbing with a hangover and his nether regions throbbing with morning wood. A deep breath and he managed to croak out, "Hello! I'm back with another Mambo. Today is Stars and Stripes Forever Day. That means today's Mambo is all about America!"

Then he wandered off to the W.C. to see a man about a duck...

1. What is your favorite American band?
The Grateful Dead does it for me -- truly American Originals the entire thirty years the band was in existence. The YouTube video below is one of my favorites. Too bad the original is locked up in licensing issues...

2. Who is your favorite American male artist?
Jerry Garcia -- No surprise, given my answer to the first question. So sad that he passed the way he did. I, too, have the whole diabetes + cardiac issues + sleep apnea that took him out. Sucks to be Old and Grey...

3. Who is your favorite American female artist?
Judy Collins -- a true American Sweetheart. Check out this video with Albatross as the basis for the action on screen.

4. What is your favorite song with the word "America"
or "American" in the title?
John Denver'sAmerican
Child is one, not necessarily better than “America the
Beautiful” or "American Woman" but it has a really nice video to go with it...

Postus Scriptus. I almost forgot. If you, too, want to play along with the Mambo, click the post title up top to be whisked away on a magic carpet ride, er, to visit mememeister rfduck for a clean copy of this week's questions. By the way, the cost of American postage just went up, so you might as well get sky high, too.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Seven - Episode 89

Patrick took a moment from cleaning up after the raucous party he had last night with his visiting family to observe, “Later this month, the latest version of the Mac’s OS operating system will be released. It’s still OS X, pronounced “O-S-Ten,” for you non-Mac users out there, but Mac refers to each improvement over the previous version with an animal name: this new version will be known as “Leopard.””

“That bit of news became the subject of this week’s question.”

“But first, Cat of "Sweet Memes" was first to play last week even though she was the second one to leave a comment. (Though Jackie was first to drop the link for her blog, she didn’t give the link to the specific entry, which is required to get the “first to play” title.) So the kudos go to Cat!”

“On to this week's question!”

Name seven varieties of the same kind of animal (i.e., bears, dogs, birds, etc.) that you would use to differentiate improvements of the next version of the Mac OS system.

  1. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

  2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi (actually equivalent to a Micro$oft Windows Service Pack – the only difference is the addition of a tail. Or, is that a “tale”?)

  3. Border Collie

  4. Briard

  5. Belgian Malinois

  6. Australian Shepherd

  7. German Shepherd Dog (The King of dogs and operating systems)

Click on the banner above for a clean copy of the questions and to leave a link to your answers in the comments there.

TAG – You're It!

Image copyright Roger Freberg ( --
used as located via a Google search of images on keywords "children playing tag"

I've been tagged by Trish Monaco (aka FreeeePeace) to reveal ten things about myself. She's coming home to New England -- started east yesterday -- it'll be interesting to see whether seismic activity increases around here, with the new epicenters being beneath coffee shops...

Being a private person and rather shy, that's going to be a mite difficult. The really hard part is going to be trying to tag others.

    The Rules:

  • I will write 10 interesting (?) things about myself.

  • Then tag 10 people. (no "tag backs")


  1. I wanted to be an oceanographer but my father talked me out of it. Just about the worst decision I ever made.

  2. My breast bone is sewn together with stainless steel wire. Each “stitch” was made by the same device I used for years to tie the SS safety wire together inside of engines when rebuilding them. Some of the stitches have worked an end up that pokes me when I twist or turn in a particular fashion. It has the bonus of preventing me from lifting more than the amount of weight the thoracic surgeon limited me to as I can feel those stitches pulling and popping whenever I exceed a reasonable weight. The days of hefting hundred pound sacks of oats are over, for sure.

  3. I don't like cats, but they do like me.

  4. Same goes for young children, although that is true to a lesser degree on both sides of the relationship.

  5. I suffer from a severe case of “foot-in-mouth disease” when interacting in person with others. You think Don Imus was rude and crude? Try me in person sometime.

  6. I am an atheist. I have very little tolerance for the antics of the “faithful.”

  7. Despite my appearance, my politics are an amalgam of old school conservatism on fiscal issues and decidedly libertarian on social and political issues. I have almost as little tolerance for politicians as I do for Christians, Muslims and small children. However, children have an excuse – lousy parents.

  8. I am now an orphan. Even from this lofty perch in time it is an uneasy feeling.

  9. Almost all dogs like me eventually. Those that don't are usually the paranoid fear-biters that should be put down to protect the public. Even working protection dogs like me – I'm fun to “catch”!

  10. Conversely, most people don't like me. I am too: “aloof, strange, dominant, forceful, scary” -- all descriptions heard multiple times over the years. For whatever reason, I appear much bigger and far scarier than I really am. Go figure...

And so it goes.

There's no way I'm going to come up with ten people to tag. So I'll tell you what – if you'd like to play along and you haven't been tagged yet – blame it on me. I've got broad shoulders and thick skin – just ask my detractors! LOL

Glory How He Blew You!

Ted Haggard's heterosexual declaration as viewed by humorist Roy Zimmerman on YouTube:

Via Respectful Insolence.

MEME: Unconscious Mutterings -- Week 223

9 hours, 50 minutes ago

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

  1. Film :: school

  2. Dragon :: hunter

  3. Hunger :: famine

  4. Plucked :: eyebrow

  5. Dissolving :: Alka-Seltzer®

  6. Executive :: privilege

  7. Ridiculous :: claims

  8. Mist :: morning

  9. Minority :: bloc

  10. Map :: DeLorme

    Wanna play? Click the radio button above.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Was Osama Bin Laden Right?

If you can get past the ultra-conservative nut-job rhetoric baiting of the communists, socialists, liberals, Democrats, moderate Republicans, centrists and the fruits and nuts from the mainstream media, this video asks a very important question you need to answer in your own heart.

Was Osama Bin Laden Right ... does the United States and its people lack the stomach to do what must be done?

Via The Red Voice -- Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Headquarters

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 161

Patrick says, “My parents came down to Charleston for the day to visit. That’s why these are a little late today. Last night, I tinkered with the look of this blog: I hope you like the new design.

But first, it was Antonette of "Jottings From Jersey" who was first to play last week's edition. Congratulations, Antonette!

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. How often do you dream while you’re sleeping?
I'm not sure as I only rarely am aware of dreaming. Could be happening every night, all night long, but I kind of doubt it.
2. What percentage of dreams do you actually remember details from the next morning?
Probably fewer than 5%, if I have to guess at a figure.
3. What is the strangest location you have ever had a dream set in?
Using who's criteria? I have had dreams set inside of an elephant when young. On other planets and in other solar systems and galaxies, even. From inside of a bourbon vat. Atop any number of mountains I have or haven't climbed in reality of fancy. In more boudoirs and brothels than I care to admit to. You accumulate a lot of dream venues over better than a half century of sleep...
4. Take the quiz: What do your dreams mean?

What Your Dreams Mean...

Your dreams seem to show that you're a bit disturbed... but nothing serious. You may have a problem you're trying to work out in your sleep. You tend to be a very productive thinker. Your dreams tend to reflect your insecurities. Your dreams indicate that you have very conflicted feelings. You have a very vivid imagination and a rich creative mind.

What Do Your Dreams Mean?

Now isn't that the biggest crock of shite you've heard today? It was a very limited quiz.
5. Have you ever solved a real-life problem through something that happened in a dream?
Several times and no details remain in concious awareness. That I'll admit to. Ever.
6. Have you ever looked up elements of a dream you have had in a dream dictionary, and if so, did the definition make sense to your life at that time?

Do It Yourself Noise-Canceling Headphones

I have been coveting a pair of Koss Noise-canceling headphones ever since I saw them on an episode of I Want That! on HGTV. Sadly, it's been a really lean period lately and not getting any better with the recent purchase of an Evil Tank SUV ™. So imagine by surprise just now when I happened to click on to the Webshots Blog and discovered a video purporting to tell you how to make a set of these for “next to nothing.” It's cheeky in places and silly in others, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do. Give the video a gander.

Know How: Noise Isolating Headphones

Saturday's Song - O Ri

SKILDA is this Irish rock / celtic fusion band which has become a new favorite in short order. I just wish they'd get their CD's released over here soon.

Visit their MySpace site to hear another really neat tune, An Nighean Dubh M...

Friday, May 11, 2007

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #165: Memorable Birthdays

Weekend Assignment #165: You've had your share of birthdays by now. Relate one or two that stick out in your mind. Could be a happy birthday, or an important birthday, or a birthday when something interesting but unrelated happened. Any interesting birthday works.

Extra Credit: What birthday are you looking forward to? Numerically, I mean.

Dear John,

Congratulations on attaining your thirty-eighth birthday – only eighteen years my junior. May your next thirty-eight be as eventful as mine have, but with less of the pain and heartache. That'll make you a likely great-grandfather and past Grand Master of Science Fiction. It''ll be your name the youngsters have thrown in their faces, rather than Campbell, Heinlein, Ellison, Le Guin, Clark, or Philip K. Dick. Your lovely wife's hair may have greyed but that indomitable spirit should remain. Athena's success as World Dominatrix and favorite darling of stage, screens, and 3D-VD will continue unabated (although, I think her insistence on broadcasting the live birth of her third child throughout the known universe was a bit on the risqué side for this old phartoid).

My most memorable birthday had to have been my twenty-first. My father had had some serious health and financial frights that year and he was feeling Death breathing down his neck. Or at least haunting the neighborhood. I'd had a very successful summer working as a wood and metal shop counselor for a boys camp. Got through the whole summer season with no more serious an injury than a few splinters in campers (the one staff member who “did it all the time” amputated his thumb on the table saw, but I was away on a day off when it happened, so no blame nor foul accrued). But I digress.

On my twenty-first birthday I received a bottle of Chivas Regal – a twelve year old scotch. That was the beginning of a long relationship...

The piece de resistance, though, was a full sized, unabridged Random House Dictionary. You know the type, John. About 5000 pages, ten kilos of paper and hardboard, indexed, full etymology of every entry, those great old line drawing illustrations of people, places and things. Needs it's own stand to rest upon – a book just too heavy to hold for very long. I'd always wanted one. I finally had one!

Surprising how needs and desires change. Twenty years later, I was still acquiring reference books – that time, a Black's Law Dictionary. These days, I'd be thankful to have the equivalent library on a USB dongle ... carrying around all those books would be too heavy, too much like work. Today, I use WordWeb most of the time – the heck with carrying around a dongle.

I also got something else that day. A hint at the wellspring of my father's emotions. Those two gifts personify to me who and what he was about. That has sustained me through some tough times in my life and I am grateful.

But, back then, I was an ungrateful cur. I needed a car and promptly went out and got one of these, in a medium navy blue:

I named her Climb and she was with me for seven years and 250,000 miles of fun, adventure, drudgery and terror. I lived in her or, out of the back of her. Off the top of her, sometimes, too. I came down Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado with the engine off doing over 105 miles an hour. She climbed mountains throughout North America, fought her way through clouds of mosquitoes so thick they blocked her radiator, air filter and heater port intake screens, forded streams over the top of her floor rails on numerous occasions from Mexico to the Yukon and in-between. I miss her to this day. Poor dear, she rusted out. I'm a dab hand at fixing engines and transmissions, but the steel manufactured in the late sixties and early seventies was so poor that vehicles started showing holes within a year of coming off the factory lines.

Come to think on it, I started rusting from the inside out, almost as fast, too.

So there you have my twenty-first birthday reminiscences. Hope they were as good for you as they were for me (ahem). Extend my respect and appreciation to your wife and the demon spawn. Enjoy your homecoming – it's a fleeting pleasure.


Extra Credit: Well, since I should be dead already, anything extra is a bonus. I'd really like to have one hell of a party when I hit 85, right after they amputate my other leg and install the new electronic replacement eyes I'll need, given how this diabetes is progressing...

MEME: Friday Fill-in, #20


1. It's _Firth of Forth Day_! Woohoo!
2. Only 13 more days til _the start of the Memorial Day weekend__.
3. It was _wicked hot_ yesterday! [ed. note: that was for Monique!]
4. I love my _computer_.
5. _Dirt_ is something that doesn't matter, unless you are a _nurse_.
6. Mothers: _A Necessary Evil_.
7. I'd like to do _read a book_ and _get some laundry done_ this weekend.

If you wanna play, you gots to visit Janet...

Matrix Revisits Riverdance

Ok, ok, so Gregorian chants aren't your thing? Give this Matrix Music Video set to a tune from the Lord of the Dance Riverdance show a look.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Is Gregorian Day

A different take on the Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms ... this is Gregorian -- Masters of Chant. Give a look and listen with an open mind.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

MEME: John M. Scalzi's Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot : Take a picture of some machine and/or piece of technology that you have a love/hate relationship with.

Well John, you aren't the only one with lap- problems. This particular beastie has defied the best hacking efforts of deM0nz HazKer$, BOFH's and SysAdmins with 5 and 20 years experience. All have been bested. Used the most sophisticated tools available at their disposal. Nothing got them past this p/w screen, despite tools and techniques that defeated the password on my home desktop running the same OS.

It was my brother's laptop. Yes, he of the University of Maine Webmaster fame. Right, the one that died suddenly last July. You got it, the one who never wrote down his passwords for anything, anywhere. Support desk guru, former Apple & Mac technician, Amiga production specialist, built his first computer from scratch in 1981 when you had to solder components to the board yourself. Turing only knows what he did in the way of securing this puppy. But I can't get into it. So it goes to waste, unusable.

So, while I'd love to be using it, all I can do, every time I fire it up, is hate the fact that it can't be used.

Wednesday Mind Hump – Thanks For The Mammeries

Rfduck, intrepid mememeister, has been burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. On the one wing, it's Spring, and a young drake's thoughts turn to one thing – sex. Yes, friends, the Duck has been bitten by the love bug and has quite the welt to show for it. He's met a duck he fancies and they've been noodling around together, spooning and billing and getting it on in every room of the house and most of the offices in the Music Department at the University of Oregon. At the same time, rfduck has been a diligent student confronting another end of semester round of final exams, papers and presentations.

What's a young quacker to do?

Obviously, not much, when it comes to the matter of “The Wednesday Mind Hump,” as the following shall serve as mute testimony thereto:

Hi everyone! Let's mind hump! Today is Great Northern Beans Day, so we'll just go ahead and use tomorrow's theme - Official Thank You Day. That's all I can think of this late at night! Sorry.

1. What is your favorite song with "Thank You" or "Thanks" in the title?
Thanks For The Memories, Bob Hope's “signature tune” (1937 - Paramount Music Corp.). I prefer the version sung by Frank Sinatra. It was written by the team of
Leo Robin and Robert Rainger, and recorded by Sinatra on July 20, 1981, in New York.
2. Who do you want to thank, and why?
I want to thank my mother and father for not giving in to the impulse to kill me as I am sure that murderous urge swept over them many times during the fourteen years or so we were together (I was such an angelic child and all (cough cough)).

Thanks for the memory
Of things I can't forget, journeys on a jet
Our wond'rous week in Martinique and Vegas and roulette
How lucky I was

And thanks for the memory
Of summers by the sea, dawn in Waikiki
We had a pad in London but we didn't stop for tea
How cozy it was

Now since our breakup I wake up
Alone on a gray morning-after
I long for the sound of your laughter
And then I see the laugh's on me

But, thanks for the memory
Of every touch a thrill, I've been through the mill
I've lived a lot and learned a lot, you loved me not and still
I miss you so much

Thanks for the memory
Of how we used to jog even in a fog
That barbecue in Malibu, away from all the smog
How rainy it was

Thanks for the memory
Of letters I destroyed, books that we enjoyed
Tonight the way things look, I need a book by Sigmund Freud
How brainy he was

Gone are those evenings on Broadway
Together we'd go to a great show
But now I begin with the Late Show
And wish that you were watching, too

I know it's a fallacy
That grown men never cry, baby, that's a lie
We had our bed of roses, but forgot that roses die
And thank you , so much.

Lyrics copyright 20th Century Music
Image Copyright © 1996-2007 Di Stefano Production

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

No Pants Day? Why didn't you tell me?

How'd you let me miss this holiday?

After all, I didn't have much more to take off...

Of course, TODAY, May 8, 2007, is actually


Too bad I haven't got a kilt!

Or a Sporin to hide me family jewels and other valuables in!

It is also the birthday of my dear wife,
She Who Must Be Obeyed!

Hence the costume above.

It's me birthday suit...

Earth's Greatest Law Suit

Become a plaintiff in the greatest mass filing of lawsuits the earth has ever witnessed.

Play your part. Register here so that we can prepare and file a lawsuit just for you against the religion, church, affiliated organization, religious leader, or televangelist of your choice.

Change our world. Bring peace on earth. End religious conflicts and terrorism. Join us as we take away the one thing that is truly the lifeblood of earth's organized religions.

Their money supply.

Via The J-Walk Blog

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday Music Mambo

"At the Second Fret, Philadelphia coffeehouse, Jim Kweskin and Jug Band produce carefree musical cookery from compound of such miscellaneous instruments as kazoos, washtubs, hubcaps, washboards and jugs."
Saturday Evening Post, May 30, 1964, "Just Playin' Folks"
photo by John Launois

[left to right, Fritz Richmond, Jim Kweskin, Mel Lyman, David Simon (seated), Geoff Muldaur]

Rfduck is obviously getting giddy and foolish with the onset of final exams. Witness this week's Mambo: “Hello mamboers! School's in session! It's School Day today, according to my source for daily holidays. We're going to do something really creative and fun.”

Your task: Create a mini-course catalogue for Music University. You can make up classes like Guitar Solos 101, Introduction to British Invasion, Advanced Hotel Destruction - anything you want! You can even list professors if you'd like (Prof. J.M. Osbourne for that last course suggestion, perhaps?) Have fun with it!

The Jim Kweskin & Mel Lyman Memorial Jug Band

College of Music and Tuning at Kazoo U.

Class Catalogue:

Music Theory 001 – “Doe, a deer, a female Deer”

Music Theory 002 – The Motion Is The Lotion

Music 101 – Basic Jug Band Music

Music 102 – Advanced Basic Jug Band Music

Music 103 -- Folk Music Theory

Violin 101 --Fiddling

Violin 102 -- Fiddling Around

Violin 103 -- Fiddle Faddling Around

Violin 104 – Jumping from windows without breaking anything

String Instruments 111 -- Hammered Dulcimer

String Instruments 112 -- Getting Hammered

String Instruments 113 -- Picking Banjo

String Instruments 114 (Banjo 105) -- Claw Hammer Style

String Instruments 115 -- Gut Bucket Bass (Playing Music On A G String)

Guitar Tuning 001 – The E String Is Your Friend.

Guitar Tuning 002 – 12 Strings for 5 fingers – Remedial Callous Development

Performance Theater 211 – Maximizing Time In The Arc Light

Folk Music Theory 101 -- Fundamentals of Folk Music: Sixteen Tons of theory

Folk Music Theory 102 (Philosophy 102/Botany 102) – Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

Folk Music Theory 103 (Gospel Singing 101) – Will The Circle Be Unbroken?

Folk Music Theory 104 (Philosophy 104) – Musical Protests (War? What's It Good For?)

Percussion 101 - Stealing Hubcats For Steel Bands

Percussion 102 -- Washboard, Spoons & Syncopation -- An EclectiCity Course

Well, there you have it, such as it is. Hope it brought you a smile this Monday.