Monday, November 28, 2005

Tiny Turtle Tragedy

BEIJING — A Chinese nature park is tightening security after suffering a mini-crime wave targeting turtles.

The Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom has lost 13 of its 18 turtles in recent weeks after visitors walked away with them, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported.

The park has put bars around the turtle tank and posted security guards to protect the animals, one of its managers, Chen Min, told the newspaper.

The stolen turtles were about the size of a child’s hand, Chen said.

“It is very difficult for our security guards to detect someone stealing a turtle, because the turtles can be put into pockets, and they don’t utter sounds, even if they are attacked,” she said.

The park also lost a ferret — imported from the United States at a cost of $600 — after a visitor took it out of its cage. The ferret was found later in a hay stack in a sheep pen, the report said.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's Snow Time!

You Are Skinny Heel Boots

You always look great - from your styled hair to your sleek boots.

Upon Further Review

"Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to"

Just like Intelligent Design?

Um, no. That's just stupid.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I'd just like to point out this is the second reptile-related food atrocity this month...

From The Northwest Herald
More than a good fiber source in this can

McHENRY – Brenda Eisenberg of Spring Grove hopes that when people make their green-bean casserole this Thanksgiving, they will look a little more closely at what comes out of the can.

Let’s just start my commentary by noting my absolute horror of all things “Green Bean”. I hate them. Always have. Being told I must finish them before leaving the table confirmed the phobia. I was offered canned green beans as a child, so don’t even try to wax rhapsodic on the wonders of fresh. I was turned against the legumes in a canned state and will forever avoid them at the risk of vomiting. That said, I buy them for both Mr. Right and the lizards. The lizards are crazy about them. Canned, frozen, fresh, they don’t care. Wax beans to a lesser extent. I’m sure the following report would upset them to no end, thinking one of their little friends could be inadvertently embalmed in bean brine.

Eisenberg said she recently discovered what looked like a reptile or frog leg in a can of Allen green beans.

Tough call – looks like salamander, but could be putrefied frog. I suggest Reptiles Magazine run a contest to identify it properly.

"I know with the holidays coming up, if it got mixed up in green-bean casserole, no one would know," she said. "Hopefully, people will think about it. I just want them to know."

Thanks. I needed that image. Really. Actually, I worry more about biting into a holiday dish that has hidden green beans more than biting into something that contains secret animal products.

Eisenberg bought the can of green beans at the McHenry Wal-Mart on Nov. 7. The next night, she opened the can, emptied it into a bowl, heated up the green beans, and served them for dinner, she said.

Same MO I’ve used for years… Quick. Easy. No thought.

As she was cleaning up after dinner, she noticed that one of the "beans" left in the serving bowl looked strange, she said.

Uh, oh. Here it comes.

"It had black spots and looked slimy," Eisenberg said. "I examined closer, and saw four fingers or toes. I got totally grossed out."

Yeah, that would make me jump. Make me count pet legs, at the very least.

Eisenberg said she e-mailed the Allen Canning Co. of Arkansas, and contacted the McHenry Wal-Mart suggesting they take other cans produced at the same time off the shelves.

Nice to know Average Consumer needs to do the jobs of the Health Department, FDA, EPA, etc.

According to e-mails provided by Eisenberg, Allen apologized and offered $25, a variety gift pack, and a copy of Allen's "Can-Do Cookbook." Eisenberg also said she was told that the company would ask Wal-Mart to take the cans off the shelves.

Can – Do? Things you Can Do with lizard parts? “Funny Things Found in Cans” Hall of Shame? Herp Helper? Kermit in a Can? Suddenly Salamander? Newt-A-Roni? Gecko-Olios?

A manager at the McHenry Wal-Mart referred calls to Wal-Mart corporate offices in Arkansas. A call to a Wal-Mart spokesman was not returned Friday.

You think?

James Phillips, vice president of corporate services for Allen Canning, said Friday that the company's products are processed in the can, so everything in the can is rendered commercially sterile and safe.

Sure it is. How many rat hairs per pound allowable again?

Phillips said that the company inspects and washes its product, but Eisenberg's experience does happen on rare occasions with agricultural products.

Sounds like this was packaged in an Asian rice paddy…Disgruntled migrant workers, perhaps?

"When we start growing green beans in laboratories, that will stop, but since we have the farmers of America grow our product, no matter what technology you have, you'll occasionally have this," Phillips said.

Then we’d get human fingers only….Yay Genetically Altered foods! Hydroponics is the way to go.

Eisenberg said she was not trying to extort anything from the company.

Except maybe some antacids and a free barf bag.

"I do not want a gift pack from them," she said. "I just know I don't want anyone else to have to find a frog leg in their green beans or green bean casserole."

I wouldn’t want their lousy gift pack either. Are there Frog Legs in their jars of Pig Knuckles as well? Worse yet...Is a diner somewhere ordering Frog Legs and getting a bean mixed in?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Tryptophan Time

One good thing about being a lousy cook…you don’t walk away from the table with that ‘too stuffed’ feeling.

Speaking of stuffing – Did you hear?

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Ruth M.
Siems, a home economist who helped create Stove Top stuffing, a Thansksgiving favorite that will be on dinner tables across the country this year, has died at 74.

Now I can’t help but wonder – did her family leave her body out in the sun to dry up, then add herbs and seasonings in the hopes of reconstituting her with boiling water?

I’ll bet you’re questioning if primo shopper Getalife will be hitting the stores at 5 a.m. tomorrow…

The answer is no. It’s like when New Year’s Eve comes around and all the real alcoholics and bar denizens stay home because it’s ‘amateur night’. Besides, it’s a shopping-for- others type holiday. No interest there. I’ll just go online and order everyone on my list a Swiss Family Cheese basket or something equally laden with individual wishes and profound thought. Especially if I can find a coupon of some sort…

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Turkey Time

Mmmm! And nothing's touching!

Stopped by the grocery store to get a few last minute items for the scrumptious feast I'm preparing tomorrow (Thank God for On-Cor Frozen Turkey w/Gravy and Ocean Spray can-berry).

Did you know Stove Top Stuffing is unavailable in Australia? Wow. Things are much tougher in the Outback than I'd imagined.

About the only thing the store was having a special on was ill-behaved children. Seemed to be a "Begat One, Get Two Free" special of some sort going on.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dinos on Display

Made the journey over to the Gail Borden Public Library of Elgin, Il (Motto: “We may have condensed milk, but offer unabridged audio”) to see their display of Giants: African Dinosaurs.

What a beautiful library! The huge two-story structure is only a few years old, which I’m sure didn’t cost the community anything, as it’s spitting distance from that lovely riverboat casino designed to generate all the tax revenue you could ever want…yeah, right.

Anyhoo… the facility is gorgeous and even had a dino-themed gift shop! Whoo hoo! My stamp of approval right there! Especially enjoyed the Quiet Reading Room – a huge circular hearth with four gas fireplaces and comfy overstuffed chairs to read in! (And yes, Mr. Right, they all matched in a harmonious style!) I'd apply for a job there, but most likely would be assigned the task of poking the homeless at closing time or something...

They also featured Dinos-on-Parade, one of those community projects where you decorate some statues on a theme like Cows-on-Parade to generate goodwill and civic pride and vandalism and injury…

All in all it was a great evening with some friends from work and I recommend you check it out because most of all: it’s FREE!!!

You Want Zoloft With That?

Check out commentary at:

I frequent a local McDonald’s drive-thru with some co-workers for lunch. It’s more a chance to chat with friends than participate in gourmet cuisine, but I must admit those Happy Meal toys are pretty elaborate. Way cooler than anything I used to get as a kid. Nothing like thousands of dollars of media-tie in’s to drive your tyke’s dining choices.

If you’ve read or seen Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, you are well aware of the dangers these meals posses. And most likely, like me, you really don’t care. His documentary is excellent and I really suggest you check out his website before ordering the next McRib. That said, I can’t help but contemplate why the clown doesn’t go after my demographic – the disaffected office worker suffering from nutritional apathy and career ennui. You know, a Despondent Meal. The toy prize could be a little cigarette two-pack reminding you how your company just cut health benefits yet again, so who cares?

Party Over

Just experienced the coolest November 17 in forty-six years, and I’m none too happy about it. After months of above-average temperatures the crash is hard to bear. It snowed lightly last week prompting county workers eager for a little extra Christmas cash to hit the highways in full force. Passed a huge snowplow on my way to work that spewed salt chunks the size of acorns all over my car’s precious new Nighthawk Black finish. (Remember, I’m just buying black cars until they make something darker.)

Had to wait until Saturday when it warmed sufficiently to wash the car thoroughly. Predictions for the holiday weekend are dismal, and as much as I may love shopping, you won’t catch me in a store on the day after Thanksgiving. Besides, holiday shopping is all about other people. Not much fun in that. I’ll just wait for the after Christmas sales, thank you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Lot of Bull

Hey, am I the only one that thinks the whole thing about Scott Sword (the owner of the Pit Bulls who attacked the little kids) is a trumped-up charge to respond to public outcry regarding the lack of prosecution available in the case? Why did it take so long for the marijuana charges to come to light? The attack occurred nine days ago, and suddenly Sheriff’s police claim Sword was growing pot in his backyard and had more than 30 grams in his house (found by a legal search warrant, I’m sure). Seems to me officials are reaching for a way to ‘punish’ this owner, as the case has received so much attention. In fact, a new Dangerous and Vicious Dog Task Force has been created. Hmmm… what’s that costing taxpayers?

I Don’t Think Snow

Snow not funny. That’s the only way I can describe the weather – the weather that was 60 degrees a week and a half ago and is now 25 with a wind-chill factor in the single digits. I hate the Midwest. A huge plow spewing salt passed me on the way to work today and pelted my precious with penny-sized hunks of corrosive sodium chloride. How am I going to wash it in this weather? It ‘flurried’ all day and high winds drove the temperature down even further. Have to go now. I have some hibernating to do.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is getting annoying

Saw another place all decked out in holiday lights tonight. Granted, it was a Christmas tree farm, but, c'mon. Why are they advertising now? Buy a tree now, and have your house go up in a blaze of glory before the big day! Ok, perhaps they were advertising other Christmas junk for sale ahead of time - like lights. Still, it bugs me. Bah, humbug.

Ugly Couch Cam - November Edition

Monday, November 14, 2005

There Oughtta Be An Ordinace

I had no idea this existed, but now that I do...

There’s this house not far from me that WAY overdoes it on the holiday lighting. I mean, what ever turns you(r 500 amp service) on. But could you do me one itty bitty favor? Don’t plug the damn things in yet! Take advantage of the nice weather to string the lights up all you want, but could you wait until at least Thanksgiving? This house is on 6 acres, and over five of them are covered in lights. It’s ridiculous. Com-Ed sends them a Christmas card of thanks every year. They even send a truck over with the cherry-picker basket to help him do the huge pines out front. And of course the lights are still on far into February…

Good to the Last Mummified Reptile

There wasn't a prize in my can...

AINSWORTH, Iowa - Marjorie Morris just wanted to pour coffee into a canister. What she found in the package of freeze-dried coffee left her shell-shocked.

Morris, 77, of Ainsworth, found a dead baby turtle in the 2-pound package of Folgers coffee last Sunday.

"I thought it was a toy at first," said Morris, 77, of Ainsworth.

Morris said she had been making coffee from the same package for a month before she made the discovery.

"It's a responsibility of the company to check their shipments closer," she said. "It could be much more serious."

Morris said she doesn't plan to file a lawsuit against Folgers.

She said a customer service representative for the company dismissed the find, explaining that because many Folgers plants are based in New Orleans the turtle might have ended up in the coffee as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Sussane Dussing, a spokeswoman for Procter & Gamble, the company that owns the Folgers brand, said it's too early to say how the turtle ended up in the coffee.

Dussing said she wasn't aware of other similar incidents and that Morris' discovery would be investigated.

Morris, who has kept the turtle, said she would continue to drink coffee, but that she is now a more mindful consumer.

Things could have been worse, she said.

"It could've been a snake."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Never Wear Gray to a Hurricane

Good for War Zones or Forest Fires

Thought I was a bit of a fashionista until I read about the e-mails Brownie was sending while New Orleans sank. Ever notice when you really dislike someone, they share a character flaw with you? One you can’t own up to?

I really can see myself worrying about what to wear to a flood. I mean, hip waders just come in that ugly black rubber. What goes with that? I’m thinking a bright metallic purse or belt to offset all the dark muck and reflect nicely off the water…


Heard the gargantuan eyesore formerly known as the Motorola plant has a buyer. I really can’t imagine any uses for the facility that I would personally approve of, so get ready for some serious rants about this development. About the only thing I might like is if Callaway Corvettes moved in. And offered me a job.

A rumor went around town that Mayo Clinic was interested in opening a branch. Great. Helicopters overhead. Ambulances blaring down the street at all hours of the night. Then a friend pointed out that Mayo is more about research. Great. Croesus coming home with two-headed rats. I could open a Slightly Seconds Syringe Shop or something. Must admit to my secret fantasy however: Mayo Clinic calls and says they are out of operating rooms –can they use my master bath? That would validate my quest for cleanliness. I don’t want germs to even think about congregating at my house. The spiders are issued little paper booties at the door so as not to track up my white carpeting. I have so many layers of Future Floor Finish on my kitchen floor that if a drinking glass fell, the floor would shatter into clear sheets of wax and the glass would bounce away unharmed.

I know! Perhaps it will be a company that manufactures modular homes – you know, trailers.
Trailers that no one in town can live in.

[Mayor]“Nolan said he assumed that the building might be used for manufacturing because no one had requested zoning changes.”

That’s because the word is out: whatever you want the City Council to approve, they will, regardless of what the Zoning and Planning Commission recommends, or how many angry citizens show up to protest. It’s a cake walk! No zoning issues here. You want a Toxic Dump? No problem. Nuclear Waste Storage? You bet.

Turkey Thyme

Well, hard to believe, but it’s almost Thanksgiving. Suppose I’ll have to go buy a turkey or something. I’m sure Mr. Right will insist on a
BUTTERball. Tented in TINFOIL.

I despise cooking. Like milking a rattlesnake for anti-venom, it’s a necessity that’s best left to highly-paid professionals or somebody is going to get hurt. On-Cor makes a microwaveable turkey tray, don’t they?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Have to admit, a pack of snarling
Pit Bulls can be a strain on the budget, so I'm going with the basic "Child Predator" red tag on my door to keep the neighborhood kiddies from ringing my bell to sell magazine subscriptions.

Pit Bulls - just one more example of
Intelligent Design. You tell 'em Kansas.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Asleep at the Wheel

Just like to point out I've changed the name of the last post as the new one fits much better.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Sixth Gear

Tickets, I See Tickets

Loving the new vehicle, just wish I could truly appreciate its potential.

As I navigate a twisty road in the colorful November landscape, I can't help but think how much more fun it would be at twice the speed. It's as if the car whispers: Look, we both know I can do this corner at 70. Move away from the brake...No one is looking...

Did you hear about
Coors beer selling brewing byproduct as a fuel additive, an Ethanol type filler? Of course, they claim it reduces harmful emissions and reduces dependence on foreign oil. What they don't tell you is it's still a carcinogen and rusts internal engine parts when used at the 10% level allowed in Illinois due to the corn lobby.

If they don't lower the price of gas soon, I'll be making my own gas in a still out back. Prices have fallen slightly as refineries in the gulf recover from hurricanes, but we still bear the burden of preemptive war at the pump.

Now That's Scary!

Admit it, you'd rather spend Saturday night with us

I don't know about you, but the Halloween Candy-fest has taken its toll by pushing me into a larger size of Levis...

There's so much candy consumed at work that if I cut an artery, I'd bleed Hershey's syrup. The healthiest thing I've eaten all month was a taffy apple. I think there was some fiber in the stick.

Got a flyer in the mail yesterday from Lane Bryant. It's as if they're saying, "Come to the Dark Side. The Dark Chocolate Side. We know you want to wear stretch pants and tunics, admit it..."

Must. Work. Out. Must. Resist. Sugar.

How Can I Go Back to a Typical Temperature?

Global warming is a reality, despite what
Michael Crichton may have you believe, but can this glorious year really be the start of an incredible warming trend for the upper Midwest? This blogger can only hope all her efforts of spraying Aqua Net at the sun and buying gas-sucking monster cars is beginning to pay off. Let's hear it for a Warm Christmas!

Ugly Couch Cam Update