Wednesday, February 28, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump -- Ex Libris

Rfduck looks up from the Guitar Today his beak was buried in to exclaim, “Hello readers! Here we are again, doing another Mind Hump. I don't like today's theme (Floral Design Day), so we'll discuss books instead.”

What is the last book you read? Mount Misery by Samuel Shem, MD
Who is your favorite character in the book? The recovering alcoholic senior resident (I forget his name and the book is out on loan...)
Did you enjoy the book? Yes, and no. It IS too long by about 200 pages (paperback) and in need of an “Evil Editor” to cut it down to more manageable size. I cringed at some of the horror stories, having witnessed such abuse myself as a student.
Would you recommend the book to others? If you liked The House of God (also by Shem) you'l love this one. Otherwise, read the first 250 pages and if you are still involved at that point, go for the big finish, otherwise, put it down.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Will YOUR Tombstone Say?

Take this quiz at

I was afraid this might happen...

Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome fame and a former aide de camp at the much lamented Tech TV has had it with Windows Vista after attempting to use it for the past month or so. Read all about it here:

Windows Vista: I’m Breaking up with You

Just one of many redactions to come, I suspect. Anybody know anything about running Apple OS X on a PC?

Monday, February 26, 2007

MEME: Monday Madness -- Monday Morning Rushed Edition

Otto, with one hand full of mascara, bobby pins and coffee mugs, the other grasping her cell phone, car keys, scarf and Uzi (Uzi?!) was heard to mumble past the straps of her oversized purse that she holds clenched in her teeth, “Sorry, folks! I'm running a bit late (again)! Hope all is well and you all have a wonderful week. Thanks for playing Monday Madness. The following 2 questions come from our friend, tricia... Thanks, Tricia, and thanks for the idea!”

1. Do you ever use all caps when typing online messages? Only if I accidentally hit the CAPS LOCK key.
2. Does it bother you when other people use all caps in their messages? Yes, particularly if I take the time to explain how and why it appears rude and crude, yet they persist in the offending behavior. Then its time for the introduction of more persuasive measures. Where's my baseball bat?
3. Do you use abbreviations (i.e. lol, brb, etc.) when typing email messages or text messages? Yes, I do. Your point?
4. Do you ever receive faxes or other correspondence from a professional office that are typed in all caps? If so, what do you think of that? On occasion that happens. It's a pretty good indication the sender is either clueless or a retired teletype operator.
5. Do you rely on the computer program to catch your typing errors, or do you proofread your material before sending it out?
I find it necessary to both run a spell check and proofread everything leaving my computer and still an error or too sneaks by. Damnit all.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Play Me!

Hello! Welcome to another Monday Music Mambo! Today is Blue Jean Day, but I believe we've done that one already. Instead of that, we'll make a playlist.

Choose a good song for each situation listed. You can be as creative as you like:

Going to work in the morning – On The Road Again a la Canned Heat
Finding a $20 bill on the ground -- The Snoopy Dance (Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy)
Starting a new, exciting relationship – In The Air Tonight a la Phil Collins & Genesis
Getting angry – Roadhouse Blues a la The Doors
Needing some peace -- Riders on the Storm a la The Doors; Nights in White Satin a la The Moody Blues
Acting silly – The Monster Mash; Peaches a la Presidents of the United States
Working out – Truckin' a la The Grateful Dead
TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) – Let The Good Times Roll per Louis Jordan

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #153: When Computers Attack

John struggled up onto one elbow to mutter darkly, “So, if being gut-heaving sick today wasn't bad enough (Day 3 of Stomach Flu '07: the Hurlination), my PC decides to have driver issues today, which meant I spent a lot of my afternoon dealing that and not doing too much of anything else. As annoying as that was, however, it's not the worst computer implosion I've ever had -- by far. Which brings us this week's Weekend Assignment:”

Weekend Assignment #153: Share a story of true computer horror. Your computer blow up just before a big presentation? You forget to take down a compromising picture before the in-laws come over? Ever thought you were IMing with one person but in fact were IMing someone else? Share! You'll feel better. Really.

Extra Credit: So, ever actually hit your computer in frustration?

Dear John,

Is there a single word more fearsome to a writer than that loathsome beast, “deadline”? Well, I didn't think so for the longest time and then I discovered a new one... “crash” as in, hard drive heads to platters-type crash.

It was a long time ago, fortunately. I don't think the old ticker would be up to that amount of stress anymore. I was working on a comprehensive plan for a community. The funding was running out, the due date loomed and there were still public hearings and presentations and revisions to be done after the community was finished tearing it up, er, revising to their satisfaction. I had to deliver the manuscript to the printer on Monday. It was Friday afternoon when I came into the office to make the final diskettes for use by the printer. Force of habit, after dropping my keys on the desk, I flipped the switch on the back of the genuine IBM AT and wandered off to get a cuppa, knowing full well it would be at least ten minutes before the beast was ready to be used.

I returned in fifteen, having been waylaid in the break room by some cops sucking down doughnuts and telling tales of their exploits with the local high school bimbettes in the “money maker,” er, reduced speed zone by the entrance to said place of higher learning. “Odd,” I thought to myself, “I must have forgotten to flip on the monitor.” But, noooooo. The monitor was on. Odder still, I couldn't hear the characteristic whine of the hard drive.

To make a long, sad, story shorter, after opening up the beast and cutting myself on the sheet metal cover, it was determined that the hard drive, “she no spin”. This was reconfirmed by the IT guys at the aforementioned high school, they being the tech support for the office PC's (as opposed to the Unix system, which they lacked sufficient brain cells to touch).

Oh my gawd! What the flying fig am I to do now? The hard drive, with all of the current revisions and rewrites is toast and suitable for use as a bookend, only. Calls to data recovery firms reveal it is totally out of the question to go that route. Why, overnight shipping alone would be more money than we had set aside for emergency computer repairs for the entire office!

Well, I spent the next 72 hours, stopping only for necessities like coffee, bathroom breaks and ten-minute power naps every so often, reconstructing the document from previous printed drafts at home on my own machine. One day late, I submitted the disk to the printer. By Friday, as planned, I was distributing 500-page copies of the plan to all and sundry officials who deemed they were important enough to require a copy. Another disaster averted...

Enjoy your snow days and sick days home with Krissy and Athena. They're more important than any ten computers to your ultimate well-being.


Extra Credit: More times than I can count (and I have the horribly swollen and misshaped knuckles to prove it), I have indeed hit my computers. Just like obstreperous kids, they need one upside the back of the head, or in the case of the vile machine, the back of the box, just to let them know who's boss!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 78

They're the familiar landmarks that make you a double-take. Or maybe they're the buildings you'd love to work in, or the homes you'd love to live in. The American Institute of Architects recently published a list of 150 favorite pieces of architecture which you can view here if you need some inspiration. You, fortunately, only have to come up with a list of seven. (And no, your seven do not necessarily have to be on their list.)

But first, though Kathy of Kathmandua, PA was first to leave a comment stating that her responses were up, since she didn't leave the specific link to her post, according to the rules, Chele, of "On the Tip of My Fingers...," is declared first to play last week! Congratulations, Chele!

On to this week's question!

Name your seven favorite pieces of American architecture.

Either answer the question in a comment at Patrick's Weekender blog or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment at Patrick's Weekender blog. (To be considered "first to play," a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.)

My list reflects the fact that the word "America" does NOT mean the United States of America, it is a referent to the continents of North and South America.

  1. The White House, Washington, D.C.

  2. Mercer's Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

  3. Longfellow House, Cambridge, Massachusetts

  4. The Summer House, Shelburne Farms, Shelburne, Vermont

  5. The Fairmount Banff Springs

  6. The Metropolitan Cathedral Or "Catedral Metropolitana" Mexico City

  7. The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings --Week 212

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. Soldier :: Sailor

  2. Lipton :: Tea

  3. Reason :: for being

  4. Terms :: conditions

  5. Positive :: outcome

  6. Example :: For

  7. Legacy :: hardware

  8. Solo :: flight

  9. Instrument :: Flight Rules

  10. Later :: on

Brain Soother

Watch this: Slow Motion Dogs.

I take no credit... John Scalzi was pimping it over at his AOL Journal, By The Way. But I found it to be strangely relaxing, so thought I'd share fore those who won't touch AOL Journals with the proverbial "10 foot pole".

QUIZ: Are YOU a Dumb American?

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.

Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

Thanks to Shelly, she discovered this quiz.

Saturday Six - Episode 150

How do you rate? It's a simple question, really. But then again maybe it isn't. We'll soon find out!

Last week, it was Nichole of "My Two Cents" was first to play last week for the second week in a row and who, like me, ranked as "Bob Barker" in the game show host quiz. Congratulations again, Nichole.

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. Rating them on a scale of one to ten, which of the following aspects of your life would you think rates the highest: mind, body or spirit?

Mind - 5, body – 2, spirit – 2.

2. Rating them on a scale of one to ten, which of the following aspects of your life would you think rates the lowest: friends/family, love or finance?

Finance – 1, friends/family – 2, love – 4.

3. Considering all six categories, which do you think would rank closest to the middle, a "5"?
4. Take the quiz: How does your life rate?

This Is My Life, Rated















Take the Rate My Life Quiz

5. Of the first three questions, how many of your responses match the responses of the quiz?
One matches.
6. Which of the test's responses do you disagree the most with and why?

I think the assumptions behind the questions asked about finances were weighted inappropriately, resulting in a much higher value than should have appeared. Just because you have a mortgage paid off does you absolutely no good if you can't pay the taxes for the place -- you lose your home regardless.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Pizza!

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump – Pizza!

Rfduck exclaimed, “Greetings! Today is a very yummy day for the Mind Hump. It's Pizza Delivery Day!”

1. What is your favorite place for delivered pizza?
Twin City Pizza
2. How often do you have pizza delivered at your house?
Sadly, never. We're beyond the delivery radius of any of the pizza places that deliver. There used to be one that'd deliver out here for an extra $5 per pie. You have to be pretty hugry to take that kind of hit to the pocketbook – and the driver still expected a tip! They went out of business a few years ago, darn it all...
3. What toppings do you want on that pizza?
Me, I want bacon and mushrooms. SWMBO wants the works, sans anchovies. Unless we're having salads and other stuff, we usually get 2 pizzas so there'll be cold pizza for breakfast, too.
4. Thick crust or thin?
Thick crust is my favorite, but I'll eat just about anything. I grew up in Philly, where thin crust reins supreme.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One Word Survey

Here's one, similar yet different from Unconcious Mutterings. Via Gail, who got it from Mr. Social, comes this:


Not as easy as you might think.
1. Where is your cell phone: vest
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: work
3. Your hair: gray
4. Favorite store: Bean's
5. Your father: dead
6. Your favorite thing: lust
7. Your dream last night: nothing

8. Your favorite drink: coffee
9. Your dream car: Mercedes
10. The room you're in: library
11. Your last ex: exhausted
12. You are: screwed
13. What do you want to be in 10 years: alive
14. Who did you hang out with last night: SWMBO
15. What you're not: successful
16. Muffins: blueberry
17. One of your wish list items: hope
18. Where is the: keys
19. The last thing you did: typed
20. What are you wearing: fleece
21. Your TV: AKAI
22. Your pet: snores
23. Your computer: obsolete
24. Your life: uncertain
25. Your mood: chilling
26. Missing: mind
27. What are you thinking about right now: stomach
28. Your car: Saturn
30. Your summer: distant
31. Your relationship status: solid
32. Your favorite color: navy
33. When is the last time you laughed: today
34. Last time you cried: July
35. Work: wish
36. boys: band soccer lust
39. drama: House
40. camera: Optio
41. red: roses
42. jewlry: diamonds
43. school: yard
44. clock: time
46. marriage: serious
47. smell: Scope
48. winter: ice
49. fruit: strawberries
50. pillow: down

Humor: Irish Alzheimer

Irish Alzheimer

Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him. Murphy had never been seen in church in his life.

After Mass, the priest caught up with Murphy and said, "Murphy, I am so glad you decided to come to Mass, what made you come?"

Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like me hat, and I knew that McGlynn come to church every Sunday. I also knew that McGlynn had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of church. So, I was going to leave after communion and steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest said, "Well, Murphy, I notice that you didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"

Murphy said, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest gave Murphy a big smile and said; "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' you decided you would rather do without your hat than Burn in Hell, right ?"

Murphy shook his head and said, "No, Father, after you talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, I remembered where I left me hat."

Courtesy of my octogenarian uncle... there may be snow on the roof, unc, but there's still smoke in the chimbley.

Monday, February 19, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Rubber Room

Rfduck takes a moment from his busy schedule to say, “Hello all! I'm back with another Mambo for your enjoyment. Today is Temporary Insanity Day.”

1. What song drives you mad when you hear it?
The Holy Modal Rounders' “The Spring of '65” will set me off for a good, long, while.
2. Who do you think is the craziest musician out there?
Weird Al Jankovic took over from Captain Beefheart.
3. What is your favorite song with the word "crazy" in the title?
At the risk of sounding repetitive, Gnarls Barkley's “Crazy” from the St. Elsewhere album.
4. If you went temporarily insane, what song or album would be your soundtrack? The “psychedelic country” tuneThe Rubber Room” by, of all people, Porter Wagoner, on his 1972 album of the same name!

(Porter Wagoner)
« © '72 Owepar Publishing »

In a buildin' tall with a stone wall around there's a rubber room
When a man sees things and hears sounds that's not there
He's headed for the rubber room
Illusions in a twisted mind to save from self-destruction hmm it's the rubber room
Where a man can run into the wall till his strenght makes him fall and lie still
And wait for help in the rubber room
From his blurry vision of doom a psycho in the rubber room
The man in the room right next to mine screams a woman's name hits the wall in vain
He's in the rubber room
I hear footsteps poundin' on the floor God I hope they don't stop at my door
Hmm I'm in the rubber room
Now they've come to get me but they find
I'm a screamin' pretty words tryin' to make 'em rhyme
I'm in the rubber room hmm a psycho I'm in the rubber room hmm

MEME -- Monday Madness -- President's Day '07

Otto took a moment from the task of untangling her phone cord to say, “This week's questions come from 3 of our fellow MM participants. Thanks to you all for your faithful participation in my meme!” =)

sleeping mermaid:
If you could rewrite one pivotal moment in history, good or bad, to make a change, which moment would that be AND what are some of the consequences that you believe might come from that change?
This is one that whole books could be written about (and have been). It really deserves more than a couple of sentences in a meme. Suffice it to say, once upon a time, I caused someone great harm. I'd undo that particular moment, if I could. Their life and mine would have been the better for it.

From beth:
What's the most unusual hobby you have? How did you get started with it?
I don't have any unusual hobbies these days. I like wood working, sea kayaking, model railroading (HO & N), “train spotting” (but I don't go out of my way to pursue it) and messing about on the Internet. Nothing unusual there. Perhaps my participation in “Schutzhund” for several years is the most unusual hobby I have was an outgrowth from competing in AKC obedience trials and wanting more.

From shelly:
Name one thing for each of the following: Favorite smell, texture, view, sound, taste.
Lavender, sable, just about anywhere on the Maine coast looking out into the Gulf, a woman orgasming, lobster with drawn butter.

Have a good week, folks. You can get your own set of the questions by clicking on the banner above. Don't forget to leave a link in the comments at Monday Madness so the rest of the participants can find your answers.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 77

It's the Number of the Beast – yep, it's the Seven Seventy Seven! The Blog Beast! Here's Patrick:

Some call it soda, some call it pop. Others call it Coke or Pepsi even if it's the other one. But how ever you refer to soft drinks, it's time to name your top choices.

But first, Frida, of "I Really Hate Blog Names," was first to play last week, and had quite a few interesting selections for Valentine's Day candy messages! Congratulations, Frida!

On to this week's question!

Name your top seven favorite soft drink flavors or varieties.

  1. Diet Coke

  2. Polar Diet Half & Half

  3. Diet Schweppe's Ginger Ale

  4. Schweppe's Tonic Water

  5. Schweppe's Club Soda

  6. Nestea Diet Brisk!

  7. Arizona Tea Company – Ginseng & Honey Iced Tea

Quiz: Cyber Card

Via Shelly's Cyber-Chocolate came this quiz: "What Will Your Business Card Say?"


Food taster for a paranoid millionaire

'What will your business card say?' at


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

  1. Threshold :: weak

  2. Jason :: Friday 13th

  3. Suspicion :: of wrongdoing

  4. Tender :: is the night

  5. Tempted :: Mardi Gras

  6. Crimson :: King

  7. Repulsive :: Monk Fish

  8. Bulldog :: Georgia

  9. Garage :: sale

  10. Racket :: Tennis

Saturday, February 17, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 149 – Playing Games

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 149 – Playing Games

Come on down! You're the next contestant on the Saturday Six! And if you can't figure out the topic of today's themed-edition, then you're on your way to a big loss with nothing but a case of Rice-a-Roni for consolation!

Last week, it was Nichole of "My Two Cents" was first to play last week. Congratulations, Nichole.

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. Take the quiz: What game show host are you? It says I'd be Gene Rayburn...

2. What game show do you think you would be best as(sic) playing?
The Match Game
3. What game show do you think you would be worst at playing?
4. Have you ever applied or auditioned as a contestant for any game show? If so, which one?
No – I don't live near NYC or LA/Burbank and when visiting either I was on business. No time for game shows.
5. If you had to apply or audition for a game show, which one would you most likely choose?
Michael Feldman's Whad'Ya Know?"

(It) “is a two-hour comedy/quiz/interview show that is dynamic, varied, and thoroughly entertaining. Host and quiz-master Michael Feldman invites contestants to answer questions drawn from his seemingly limitless store of insignificant (but also somehow, important) information.”
6. If you found out you had to host a game show, which one would do you know well enough that you could actually host?
The Match Game or Lingo.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Check out The Image Wall

Bloglines | News
The Image Wall is a project by the engineers at Bloglines - that's the RSS Aggregator I and many folks who read a lot of blogs and newsletters use to manage their feeds. In addition to scanning literally millions of pages in an hour, they perforce scan millions of images on those pages. They have created a tool that displays a random sampling of those images, constantly updating as you watch. Tres Kewl!

MEME: Wednesday Mind Hump

Wednesday Mind Hump Love-In

Rfduck took a moment from his busy day, gluing lace to Valentine's Day duck eggs, to say, “Hello everyone! Today is Valentine's Day, so this Mind Hump is all about love.”

1. Who do you love?
SWMBO – She Who Must Be Obeyed – My wife.
2. What do you love?
Hmm, truffles and good food, puppies and kittens, butterflies and fish jumping in the new light of a crystal clear, calm morning at the lake, near misses where no one gets hurt, beautiful women and handsome men, my grandchildren and yours.
3. Where do you love? (What's your favorite place to be?)
Right here in Maine.

I haven't a clue as to why it's taken almost three days to do this. Chalk it up to the anxiety over the storm, I guess. Y'all have a good week!

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #152: Caption This Photo!

I've been out and about, taking pictures in the snow today, and I thought it might be fun for you guys to play with one of these pictures:

Weekend Assignment #152: Caption This Photo!
Try to imagine what's going on between the two in this picture, and put your own spin on it. You can have one of them talking to the other, you can narrate the event -- whatever you'd like. Also, of course, feel free to take the picture from this site and do whatever you'd like with it: post it on your site (naturally), fiddle with it in Photoshop or other photo editor -- Use your imagination and have fun with it.

Here's the photo:

If you'd like to participate, grab everything from the picture on up, make an entry on your blog or web page and then leave a link to your caption here on John's AOL Journal...

Here are mine, John:

Dog: “Go ahead, run! I dare ya!”

Cat: “Can't – my butt's frozen to the lawn.”


Don't even THINK about it, Dog!”

Monday, February 12, 2007

Quiz: What Famous Leader Are You

Via The J-Walk Blog:

MEME -- Monday Madness -- Won't You Be Mine?

Otto looked up from her frantic perusal of catalogs to implore, “Thank you all for playing Monday Madness. With Valentine's Day coming up this week, I thought I'd use questions offered by one of our very faithful MM players, rach. Thank you, Rach! Look for YOUR questions to be used in the future! Have a great week, everyone!” =)

1. How do you celebrate Valentine's Day? By being sappyily romantic – SWMBO loves it!
2. Name a special gift you received during Valentine's Day. I'm all about the giving on V-day.
3. Define Love using each letter: L.O.V.E.
Lusty, oblivious, vacuous eroticism.

MEME: Monday Music Mambo - Grammy Winners Day

Monday Music Mambo

Rfduck took a moment from foraging under the couch for dropped Fritos to say, “Hello, folks! American Greetings says today is Lincoln Day. I disagree and say it's Grammy Winner Day! The 49th Annual Grammy Awards were held last night, so today's questions are all about the lucky winners.”

“Go here to see the list of all the winners (or here if the first list doesn't work for you) and answer the following.”

1. Of all the albums that won a Grammy this year, which is your favorite (or what you think would be your favorite if you heard it)?
In our household, it'd be St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley, hands down!
2. Of all the songs that won a Grammy, which is your favorite?
Personally, I'm partial to Bob Dylan's Someday, Baby off the Modern Times album.
3. Of all the artists that won a Grammy, which is your favorite.
Béla Fleck & The Flecktones

MEME: Sunday Seven - Episode 76

This Wednesday, couples everywhere will celebrate Valentine's Day. So I was thinking about those popular little candies that come in the shape of hearts that have sweet messages printed on them in edible ink. Who comes up with those little messages? Hmm...this could very well be the topic of a Sunday Seven question. And since it's timely, why not just do it this week!

But first, Carly, of "Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly," was first to play last week. Congratulations, Carly!

On to this week's question!

Come up with seven messages, naughty or nice (but not too naughty!), that you'd like to see printed on those heart-shaped Valentine's Day candies.

  1. Kiss Me, You Fool!

  2. Love Sucks; Lovers Swallow!

  3. Two's Company, Three's Fun!

  4. This Space For Rent.

  5. Wine, Women & Song = Hangover!

  6. Firemen Have Long Hoses

  7. Kiss Nekkid – It's Friendlier!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

MEME -- Unconcious Mutterings --Week 210

I say ... and you think ... ?
  1. The best thing :: hot chocolate

  2. Hold :: tight

  3. Rapture :: sunrise

  4. Cover :: of darkness

  5. Restrictive :: requirements

  6. Baker :: Able

  7. Author :: Illustrator

  8. Pill :: daily

  9. Months :: years

  10. Valentine’s Day :: flim-flam

Saturday, February 10, 2007

MEME: Saturday Six - Episode 148

Do you ever think about where you live? Rarely, if you're busy working, raising a family, trying to find a little time for yourself. There's something special about every place. Maybe this week's edition will give you pause to think of what's special where you are!

We had lots of players last week, but it was Wil of "The Daily Snooze" was first to play last week. 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!

1. A friend arrives from out of town and wants to go to dinner at a nice locally-owned restaurant: where would you take her?
There are a lot of choices, but I'd take her to Thistle's. Here's what I wrote when asked a similar question by your favorite game show host:

Well, Bob, depends on what you're hungry for. Bangor and Eastern Maine is not Boston or New York. The best restaurants (3 or 4 star/ Michelin single star) are down on Mount Desert Island -- about 50 miles and an hours drive, at least (Manset, Northeast and Southwest Harbors) and most require reservations well in advance. On the other hand, hailing from Hawaii, I'm guessing you are both seafood lovers. Right across the Penobscot River from Bangor, in Brewer, is the Muddy Rudder Restaurant. It's located on the river, across from the Bangor city docks and an interesting spot to relax, enjoy a cocktail on the deck and then take a meal in a comfortable dining room. Good all around seafood, steaks and chops, fusion cuisine on the odd night. Maine lobster is at its best when steamed, served with drawn butter and a bottle of chilled ginger ale and nothing else to get in its way. Next best in my book, particularly when traveling, is to eat a steamed lobster out of it's shell -- the so-called lazy man's lobster wherein the meat has been removed and offered up with the butter on the side. Sure cuts down on ruined suits...

Sadly, good, home-style food is becoming a thing of the past as we are absorbed into the great mass culture known as "America." Time was, Governor's in Bangor and the Coach House in Brewer both served quality homestyle comfort foods. These days -- not so good. One I still hear good things about is The Lucerne Inn for dinner and Sunday brunch. It's an old hotel and country club in the European tradition overlooking Phillips Lake in Dedham about 12 miles outside of Bangor on Rte 1A (the main drag between Bangor and Ellsworth/Bar Harbor). Reservations required.

However, when all is said and done, right downtown you will find Thistle's, just about the finest restaurant in the area, ie. northern New England. Low key, Argentinian and Caribbean influenced food, good drinks, a waitstaff that knows and likes their jobs -- you really have to travel quite a ways to find the equivalent. The phone number is 207-945-5480, service ends at 9 PM, last I knew they're closed on Mondays. Indeed, Bangor pretty much rolls up the sidewalks at 9:00. Get your night cap at The SeaDog Brew Pub and Tavern. They're directly across the Penobscot River from The Muddy Rudder, by the way.”

2. Your friend then says he wants to learn something about the history of your city: where would you take him first?
Probably take him to The Bangor Room at the Bangor Public Library (the same library they filmed Stephen King at for that American Express commercial).
3. Does your current hometown have any specific kind of weather threats (i.e., tornado alley, etc.) or natural disaster threats (i.e., earthquake faults, volcanic activity) that concerns you?
Our biggest threat is being overrun by tourists in the near term. On a more geologic time scale, the last ice age (only ended 13,000 years ago) resulted in 189 feet of solid ice over where I sit right now, so I suppose you could say that is a (very remote) threat. It was estimated it only took a mite over 50 years to achieve that remarkable accretion! A strong argument for settling next door to you, Patrick!
4. Take the quiz: What city shares your personality?

You scored as Paris. You are Paris, France! You are fiercly independent. You have very refined tastes and enjoy extravegance and a bit of self-indulgence.







Rio de Janeiro




Which city shares your personality?
created with

5. Have you ever visited this city or lived there before? No. I've been to 3 out of the 5, though. I'm particularly fond of Boston...

6. Based on what you know about that city, either firsthand or from others, do you think it would be a good fit for you? Do you think it would be a better fit than the city in which you now live?
The city itself is beautiful and offers lots of opportunities for me to indulge my love of wine, food, song and art. On the other hand, I speak no French and have a rather bellicose personality, neither of which will endear me to the average Parisian...

Friday, February 09, 2007

Too Much Snow, Even For This Guy

Those poor bastards in upstate New York with their eight feet of the friggin' white stuff. Just DAMN!

Via Mainer in ME? -- Japanese Snowplow Robot is Awesome - Gizmodo

John M. Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #151: Valentine's Day -- Fun or Forced?

Next Wednesday is Valentine's Day, the day on which lovers everywhere disgorge flowers, chocolates, cards and gifts for their beloved. Some folks even propose or get married on Valentine's Day. So here's what I want to know:

Weekend Assignment #151: Is Valentine's Day a genuinely romantic day? Or just a big commercial money pit into which romantic people fall? Go on, share how you really feel about the day -- whether you enjoy it, or feel like it's forced on you by greeting card companies, or fall somewhere in between those two poles.

Extra credit: Suggest a nice romantic movie.

Dear John,

Great minds think alike? Fools never differ? Whatever!

As far as I'm concerned, Valentines Day is just another marketing ploy by the Chocolate Truffles, Greeting Cards and Teddy Bear Manufacturers, in association with La Cosa Nostra and DeBeer's, to rob consumers of any disposable cash before the various taxing authorities can get their share. But what I think doesn't amount to a hill of beans. When consulted, the women in my life might respond in less than agreeable fashion.

Not so,” pouts SWMBO1.

Au contraire, si vou plais,” moues my step-daughter.

I'm outnumbered.

It seems the Pettybees2 have spoken. Valentine's Day is a day for remembering romance. It is deemed thus by no less authorities than my wife and step-daughters. A day to reminisce as to why they married the silly blighter in the first place. A time to provide diamonds and chocolates and other suitable tokens of my esteem and affection.

Guard yourself well, wear your Kevlar undies – I know these women all too well. Attempt to mess with their day and you might as well leave a note for the milkman directing where your remains should be buried.

So the cartels get my few scheckels annually and my wife is treated like the Queen she is. I get one step closer to the grave. All is right in the world...

So do keep faith with your women-folk, John, as they are a pretty special lot. And to the rest of you ladies out there, I'm sure there's romance to had from that hard-hearted man in your life. Just give them another half-turn and look them straight in the eyes before they have a chance to utter a complaint. Worked with me, anyways.


P.S. I suggest When Harry Met Sally as a fun, light romantic evening, tolerable by even the most callow of cads.

1SWMBO = “She Who Must Be Obeyed,” the literary invention of Sir John Mortimer, Q.C., the author of the “Rumpole of the Baileyseries of stories, who uses the appellation to denote Hildie, Rumpole's long suffering wife.

2Pettybees = PTB's = the Powers That Be. A literary invention of Anne McCaffrey in the novel of the same name.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Death Prediction Redux

Unlike over at The J-Walk Blog, I actually gained three years when retesting this quiz...

You Will Die at Age 64

You're pretty average when it comes to how you live...

And how you'll die as well.

MEME -- Wednesday Mind Hump – There'd Be Days Like This, Momma Said...

Fur Bikini - See Question #2.

Russ shook the cobwebs from his brain long enough to say, “Hi everyone! I'm not really feeling the themes surrounding today, so I'll use just one question for each.”

Yesterday - Reggae Day

1. What's your favorite Bob Marley song? I can't think of a single Bob Marley tune I can name – it's a genre I've never had an interest in. Sad.

Today - Wave All Your Fingers Day

2. What is your favorite thing to touch? Fur, sable.

Tomorrow - Rebel Day

3. Who is your favorite rebel musician? (Except Bob Marley - we already have a question about him!) Holly Near, specifically her rendition of Watch Out!

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 humped. Be sure your hump is linked back to so others can hump 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!

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

Too Much Of A Good Thing

° F. last night. To borrow a phrase from Dax Montana,
Just Damn!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

David Bromberg's Back!

I never thought I'd see the day when this guitar virtuoso returned to performing...

Whatever: The Sagan Diary: The Audio Version

Whatever: The Sagan Diary: The Audio Version: Free for the taking; a gift of the author.

Monday, February 05, 2007

MEME: Monday Music Mambo – Weather Story

Rfduck stretches, preens a moment, looks at the sky, fluffs up his tail feathers and then looks straight into the camera and says, “Another Monday, another Mambo. Today is Weatherperson's Day. You have one task today . . .”

List five songs about the weather (or with weather-related words in the title)

  1. (They call the wind) Mariah By Alan Jay Lerner, music by Frederick Loewe for Paint Your Wagon.

  2. Rainy Day People by Gordon Lightfoot

  3. It Never Rains In Southern California by Albert Hammond & Mike Hazelwood

  4. Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head by B.J. Thomas.

  5. Snowbird sung by Anne Murray
    (words & music by Gene MacLellan)
    Beneath this snowy mantle cold and clean
    The unborn grass lies waiting
    for its coat to turn to green
    The snowbird sings a song he always sings
    And speaks to me of flowers
    that will bloom again in spring
    When I was young my heart was young then too
    Anything that it would tell me,
    that's the thing that I would do
    But now I feel such emptiness within
    For the thing that I want most in life
    Is the thing I can't win
    Spread your tiny wings and fly away
    And take the snow back with you
    Where it came from on that day
    The one I love forever is untrue
    And if I could you know
    that I would fly away with you
    The breeze along the river seems to say
    That she'll only break my heart again
    should I decide to stay
    So little snowbird take me with you when you go
    To that land of gentle breezes
    where the peaceful waters flow

    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.

MEME: Monday Madness -- Julia Child Edition

Otto rises from her bed, woozy in the head from her Super Bowl Celebration to say,Thanks to all of you who suggested questions. If I haven't been to your site yet to grab them, I will be there soon! This week's questions come from karen. Great questions, Karen!” =)

1. What is your favorite main course to prepare? Steak. There's nothing like good meat...
2. What is your favorite side dish to prepare? Garlic Smashed Potatoes
3. Do you like to bake? If so, what is your favorite? I'm not a big baker. I used to like baking bread because the smell is so wonderful.
4. What one dish would you like to learn to cook? A New York-style cheesecake. Sadly, my arteries aren't up to the task.
5. What is your worst cooking disaster?
That would be the time I ruined 25 gallons of fish stew...

MEME: Unconcious Mutterings -- Week 209

Happy 4th Anniversary!

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

  1. Plaster :: dust

  2. Cabbage :: Kings

  3. Jazz :: Rag Time

  4. Darts :: quoits

  5. Poke :: prod

  6. Bribe :: lubricate

  7. Whale :: oil

  8. Receipt :: Keep your...

  9. Answer :: man

  10. Dentist :: ouch!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Don't Drink The Water, Don't Breathe The Air

Stumbled onto this in my intertravels -- Dr. Shazam's take on things as it appears in his blog Mr. Hassle's Long Underpants:

"Healthcare is dangerous, stay away from hospitals at all costs. If you need to go, find one with the highest ratio of nurses to patients that you possibly can. Your doctor doesn't matter...if your nurses are good, you will be safe. Find the hospital with the highest paid nursing staff. find the hospital that isn't using 'agency' nurses to fill nighttime nursing spots. Find this out ahead of time. In many ways, your nurse is much more important than your doctor.

Better yet, don't get sick. Or participate in adrenaline based sports where you are more likely to just die a sudden death than to have a heart attack or stroke. Try rock climbing, class V & VI white water kayaking, free solo climbing, free diving, ultra endurance running. Whatever. Just don't get sick."

Word to the wise.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Saturday Six - Episode 147

My best friend likes to quiz me each year on who's playing in the Super Bowl, or the World Series, or any other major sporting event. He knows that I'm not much of a sports fan. He might be surprised that I'd dedicate an edition of the Saturday Six to such an event.

But before we get to the questions, it's time to recognize Otowi of "Otowi," who was first to play last week. Congratulations! Also, I must thank Frida of "I Really Hate Blog Names," who was first to visit, and pointed out that I had inadvertently copied a wrong link from the previous week's edition.

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. Who's going to win the Super Bowl?
Illinois? New York Yankees? Beckham? I give up... who?
2. Have you been invited to any Super Bowl parties? (Or are you throwing your own?)
3. If you were invited, would you go, even if you hate football?
4. Have you ever thrown a party focused on a television program?
5. If you were given free tickets to the Super Bowl, would you attend? Why or why not?
No – I really dislike crowds. Hell, I dislike most humans, period.
6. Do you worry about security at such an event? Would those worries prevent you from attending or in any way make you less likely to attend?

It's an issue, but security is an illusion, anyways. So, no, it wouldn't be a factor facilitating or obstructing my attendance.