Monday, July 31, 2006

Two Down...

Anna Nicole Smith has outlived another Marshall man standing between her and some 1.6 billion dollars. I applaud the supreme court’s decision that she may continue to seek money from the estate of oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. I mean, what kind of message would that send to the very important industries of hair bleach and breast enhancements if a poor Texas stripper can’t benefit from using their products? You go, girl. Third time’s the charm.

To Heck With Hezbollah

I’ve seen evidence of the end of civilization as we know it, and it has nothing to do with any Middle East nation. It was my mistake, I should have never turned on daytime TV, but it was really hot out and I came inside to cool off…The next thing you know I’m watching Tony Danza singing on his talk show….
Now that’s scary. Didn’t he get canceled? Back to the Discovery Channel.

Also, I promise to finish my vacation story and catch up on the 30 billion current events I wish to comment on. Stay tuned.

That sound you hear is me and Al Gore having a good laugh…

Well, Chicago is in the grips of a huge heat wave, and I’ve been so busy calling heat-hating friends and family to give weather updates (Oooh! Look! Six straight days of 90+). I ask them to go for a walk, and they say it’s too hot. I don’t see them calling me to ski in the winter, so I think they’re just big fat wimps who should move to North Dakota or Saskatchewan.

Sorry I really haven’t sat down to blog. It’s scorching hot, and it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel – it doesn’t get any better than this!

I tape all forty-seven hours of Shark Week every year, and of course I rarely go back and watch them again, but I do it anyways. I saw this year’s host Mike Rowe last night for the first time, and really like him. Cute. A bit bicep-y for my taste, but cute. (
single, lives in San Francisco...hmmm.)

Far better than the year they put Heidi Klum in a shark cage. Like I cared about that. Unless they were going to do a study to see if sharks preferred to bite thin blondes over chubby brunettes, I really didn’t see the point.

Anyhoo, he did this shark autopsy (yet never pointed out that technically, it was a
necropsy…) where they showed that sharks have no subcutaneous fat. They store all of their fat in the huge bi-lobed livers (some 25% of their body weight). This is why you never see a shark with big hips asking, “Does this remora make me look fat?”

I think Great White Sharks are the most beautiful creatures on earth (Ok, sea turtles and snow leopards are way up there too…) and would love to see one up close. Even if I have to be in a little metal cage to do it. Somehow I don’t see Sea World Orlando offering Swim With a Man-Eating Shark any time soon. But, hey, gotta compete with Sandusky for the Thrill Park tourist dollar…

We need to protect Great White Sharks, as South Africa has. My favorite segment of all time was “Air Jaws”. There’s this seal island off the coast of South Africa where 60,000 seals congregate to give birth. Huge Great Whites leap out of the water to slam into the cute little furry brown seals and devour them.
Coolest. Nature. Footage. Ever.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hello, Summer!

Whoo Hoo!

Just BASKING in the stifling heat of Chicago's heatwave!

The predictions are for a week of 90 degree plus weather, so I'm in my (sweaty) glory.

I really will try to post some this week; I know I have to finish my Vacation Story and have about ten thousand current events to address.

For now, I'd like to refer you to this great blog I've just discovered,
"Two Dykes and Their Cast of Thousands". Gotta love two gals who are trying to single-handedly destroy heterosexual marriage by blogging about their bliss. Not to mention their love of animals! (They have a bearded dragon and many other pets)

A very funny site that should be welcomed to the blogosphere.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pepperoni is More Like It, but I'll Take Beef

You Are Beef

You're big, burly, and maybe even a little stinky. And no one's going to come between you and a good steak.

And you've probably never met a vegetable you like, unless fries and ketchup count.


Sorry, but the temporary break in rainy weather has kept me from blogging. I'll be back soon with plenty of snark to spare.

In the meantime,

You are 73% Aquarius

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Told you so!

If the flea collar fits...

Your Ideal Pet is a Cat

You're both aloof, introverted, and moody.

And your friends secretly wish that you were declawed!

True, True

You Are 72% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.

Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.

But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.

You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Freaky, I thought I would score higher...

You Are 56% Control Freak

Generally, you are in control but not a control freak. You life is usually in order.

However, sometimes you get too obsessed with making everything in your life picture perfect.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Touched By a Crocodilian

As Al observed, "When he grows up, will it say Zilla on the other side?"

SALEM, Wis. -- Michael Wilk was tossing back a few beers with friends when he saw God on the side of his 4-foot-long pet alligator.


Too tired to write anything tonight, but I have plenty to comment on in the coming days, I’ll just have to post when I can. Our power was out 14 hours yesterday – long after the storm passed our area. A major thunderstorm interrupted power to larger cities nearby, but when I left for work Tuesday, our power was working just fine. I returned to a power failure that began at ten a.m. that day. I spoke to a neighbor who said she had called Com Ed repeatedly and could get no answers. News reports said we might not have power until Thursday!

If I wanted long unexpected stretches without power, I’d move to Beirut. Reduced to living like Riverbend, I hunkered down for the evening angry, but only mildly inconvenienced. At most, I could lose the contents of my freezer. Fortunately it was not winter and I did not have to put little wool sweaters on my lizards. And yes, I have some for just such an occasion.

Another neighbor from two houses down met us on the road where we were all congregating in envy of the guy on the hill who had a generator. HE was probably watching Rescue Me. (I’m very ticked I missed my favorite show)

This poor soul told me of his 1200 gallon salt water fish tank that was destroyed by the lack of power. I can’t imagine how much love, labor and expense went into that tank and how he must have felt as each little Nemo and Dory went belly up. I hope he can sue ComEd. He certainly deserves reimbursement.

Al decided to call the power company. I did not think he would reach a live human. I figured at best they would have a recording stating they were working on the problem. At worst, he would be on 'ignore' for an hour while told his call was very, very important to them.

Amazingly, he spoke to an agent who said the power should be on at midnight. We went to bed hopeful. I swear at midnight exactly it was magically restored. Hmmm. First, the neighbor can't get any answer. Suddenly they know when? I think it proved the power was not a 'outage' but a deliberate 'takedown'. They took my power away because I'm a nobody.

Com Ed, the most expensive electricity supplier in the nation, is asking for a rate hike. They are running commercials on TV boo-hooing about how they haven’t had a rate hike in years (we pay triple what neighboring states do) and need to update their equipment. Supposedly it features their CEO or something. I don’t think so. I think they just hired a friendly looking guy to look sympathetic and soften the blow of rate hikes and brown outs.

Coincidence? I think not. If I complain of no power, they will tell me to vote for a ‘system upgrade’. They also run all kinds of ads about how we are working all night in all kinds of weather to give you service. I’d like to run my own ad of workers sleeping in the truck beneath a sparking transformer on a pole or a the quickie-mart security cam footage of a worker on extended break trying to decide if Cheetos or Fritos go better with Yoo-Hoo.
I plan on deducting 1/31 of my bill this month.

I truly believe that our power was taken down to give it to another area. It’s highly suspicious that the only houses affected seemed to be the ones that spoke out against the city’s imperialistic inclinations. Can I help but suspect that the power company called the city and asked what grid they could shut off, and the city happily provided our addresses? It’s all just a conspiracy to get me to annex into their evil city.

I envision the person who facilitated the selling out of my neighborhood to developers (henceforth I shall refer to this person as the Great Satan) as sitting in a hot tub with the air conditioning going full blast. Raising a glass of expensive champagne, they laugh at me and my candles, whispering, “Come over to the dark side. We have power here…”

I will not capitulate. I will buy MRE’s, water purification pills and a generator. I will not be beholden to any city or utility. I will survive. I have matches and a gun. I am not afraid to use them. I have Mr. Right digging a latrine right now..

Monday, July 17, 2006


A: Satan, Lizards, Al Gore, Com Ed and Me
Q: Who is just lovin’ the Chicago heatwave?

Nature No Longer Strikes Back

Are you happy there's an orphan in the woods?

I suspect the "doe gone wild" was most likely a single rogue deer.

But could she have passed her behavior on to her fawns, either behaviorally or genetically? Guess we'll have to stay tuned to find out!

A second year of run-ins with deer that sent some pedestrians at Southern
Illinois University to the hospital was considered odd enough. But why the
encounters appear to have ended, at least for this year, has officials equally

Near where a deer injured three people on campus 13 days
earlier, an SIU police officer got between a doe and a jogger June 5 to prevent
an attack, shooting the animal when it charged him and left him slightly
injured. The animal was found and euthanized the next day.

Since then,
there have been no brushes between deer and humans, leaving wildlife and public
safety officials wondering why.

This supports my theory if you make an example of one, the rest will fall into line. Which is why I also support
this guy... Pin a medal on this dude! Take back our neighborhoods!

Honey, I’m Off to the Mall!

Now where did we put the .357?

Here’s a blurb about some folks who take shoe sales every bit as seriously as I do!

Chaos broke out at a shoe sale in Turkey on Friday, and one person got shot
in the foot, a news agency reported.

The incident occurred in Karabuk, a city about 125 miles north of Ankara,
after masses of people swarmed and overloaded a two-story retailer that was
selling pairs of shoes for as little as $6, the state-owned Anatolia news agency

Yeah, I'd shoot for a shoe. What of it?

Some people have entire armies to do it for them...

Would you call this a product endorsement?

After a six-pack or so, it's hard to find reverse in these things.

I love it so much, I bought the company!

In the irony department, Coors Company president Peter Coors has lost his license due to driving while intoxicated.

"I made a mistake. I should have planned ahead for a ride,"
Coors said in a statement. "For years, I've advocated the responsible use of our
company's products."
I'll drink to that!

(And I'd like to offer a reward to anyone who has a wedding photo of him with the bottle of Mad Dog 20/20)

My Guess is Suffocation

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Robert Brooks, the chairman of Hooters of America Inc. who made his fortune selling chicken wings served by scantily clad waitresses, was found dead at his home Sunday, officials said. He was 69.

It was unclear how Brooks died, but the Horry County coroner's office told The Sun News of Myrtle Beach that an autopsy would be performed Monday.

(and click
here to see how they treat their, like, dumb bimbos, ya know?)

Help Demanded

Retail Store Clerk

Low, Low Pay Every Day!
Must be able to work nights, weekends, mornings, holidays, afternoons, and evenings
– all at the same time!
Includes stingy medical benefits that are difficult to qualify for and generous vacation time
(at our discretion, unpaid)
Must know difference between snipping red wire vs. green wire
Risk-Takers encouraged to apply
As if you needed any further proof of the Evil Monopoly, read about these poor Canadian workers who were told they had to search the store for a bomb. Why risk a specially-trained dog? They’re quite expensive. Non-Union cash register clerks are a Loonie a dozen.

Tombstone Sentiments

“Wanted a Life… Got a Death”

Chicken Soup for the Myopic Soul

As I’ve said multiple times before, cooking is a dangerous pursuit best left to professionals. Unlike Mr. Right, (see
“Cooking With an Engineer”) I have no need for recipes, directions or even a minimal attention span when preparing a meal.

It all started with that Family Valu Pak of chicken…

Unfazed by the threat of avian flu, I frequently buy chicken parts in the jumbo package because it’s cheap. I had quite a bit of ‘assorted legs and thighs’ left over (not to mention a few ‘mystery pieces’ thrown in for good measure) and decided to make chicken soup. Not like I had any idea how to do so. It just sounded like the right thing to do. So… I took out a big stock pot. Hmm. Too big. Let’s use this smaller one over here. Boil water. So far, so good. Add bullion. Chop carrots, celery, onion (1/18 of a medium onion. I don’t care for onion.), garlic, parsley. Throw in pot. Good. Good.

Find box of Letters and Numbers in pantry. Cool! Alphabet chicken soup! * Directions said to add for last ten minutes of cooking time. Excellent. Open and pour entire one pound box of pasta in. Cute! The shapes are so tiny! Ten minutes later I had a tasty bowl of soup. Success! I’ll just let the pot cool down before trying to refrigerate leftovers.

***1 Hour Later***

Ooops! There is no more ‘broth’ to be had. The pot is now overflowing with large pasta letters that have sucked up all the moisture. I now have Chicken Encyclopedia Soup. No, wait, Chicken Thorndike. Large Print.

So, if you want some homemade Pasta with chicken flavoring, let me know. I have plenty in the freezer.

*I’m compelled to bring up the time I was with a group from work and we went out to eat at a Greek restaurant and the waitress said the day’s soups were alphabet and lemon chicken. I asked if it was the Greek alphabet…
Boo... Hoo! $$$

So the next morning we visited both the Old and New Presque Isle lighthouses. The new one had a really snazzy gift shop where I bought a lovely Lighthouse Scarf and some flashing Lighthouse Pins for my friends back home. They charged $2.50 to climb to the top. Oh, sure, the money was supposed to go for upkeep, but I still thought it a bit steep. Steep as the staircase to the top.

I’m not usually claustrophobic, but I did feel the walls a little to close for comfort while ascending the spiral staircase. The steps were metal and had an open grid work. Going up was a bit of a challenge. Not very high, but tiring to walk that fast. There were little windows along the way to look out, but you couldn’t open them. Pretty view at the top, but very windy. I took the obligatory “I can see my car from here” shot and a few of the surrounding grounds.

Then came time to descend. Not so fun. The optical illusion of seeing daylight through the steps was freaky. Every landing I would tap a toe out cautiously as if I would plunge earthward because there wasn’t really a sturdy step there. Oh, sure, I could have looked up while waking down, but that would have required way too much faith. So much for mind over matter. Don’t ask me to get the Holy Grail to save your life like Indiana Jones. I tapped my way down with out incident but had to laugh at how ridiculous I must have looked. Fortunately no one else was in the stairwell at that time.

The Old Lighthouse is the one that was supposed to be haunted. Nothing spooky about it during daylight. A much shorter climb and much less spectacular view. Solid cement stairs. No signs of the paranormal. Well, having to pay the same to climb fewer steps was kind of scary.

We continued on to 75 and headed south towards Flint (former home of Michael Moore, Ben Hamper and Christopher Paul Curtis!) then through Detroit (do not break down, do not break down, do not break down…) to the Ambassador Bridge. Got some cool pictures of the bridge which was amazing since we were moving. Canadian border security is less than tight, I mean they barely squinted at our DL’s from ten feet away and told us to have a nice time. Guess there aren’t many terrorists who drive vintage Vettes. Speaking of, I saw the most Vettes in the UP, probably vacationing like ourselves. But they were all newer. You don’t see many people out joyriding in the old ones, especially driving cross-country like we do.

Went to Kingsville and stayed with Mr. Right’s relatives on a channel leading to Lake Erie. Best boat name on the dock: Eriesponible. Went to get fishing licenses and his uncle said we would be fishing for Pickerel. Al and I exchanged glances. Um, we were hoping for some Walleye
Pickerel are Walleye, you have to speak Canadian. Whew!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Stratford (Wives) Inn


After leaving Madeline Island, we spent the night in a very nice chain hotel. Mr. Right had been hoping for a night on the island, but as he’s Mr. Plan Ahead, there wasn’t much chance to find something on such short notice. The hotel had a log and stone exterior and a great restaurant. Of course the most important feature was parking right outside the door so we could view the car from the window. This is a requirement when traveling with a nice car. Always request the first floor room with adjacent parking and ask for window seating in restaurants that will overlook your parked car. We found the local car wash (another must) and were ready for a fresh day of travel. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was the highlight of the trip as far as driving goes. Very beautiful, very laid back. I would like to visit again some time. They even had a Yooper’s gift shop that advertised Free Restrooms. I should have stopped!

This entire vacationland atmosphere had me thinking about the people whose dream it is to open a little bed and breakfast in a resort area when they retire. You know, like the Newhart Show. (I may be Stephanie, but I’m married to Larry…) Sounds like a cool way to have a neat house and income in an area where there are no jobs, but, let’s face it; I’m not the Hospitality With a Smile type.

I’d be more likely to open the Get Your Own Life Bed and Breakfast(bar).

Me: (banging metal ladle against aluminum trash can lid) It’s 5:30! No more lolly gagging! Let’s get up and hit the road!

Guest: Wha? We just want to sleep in. (Yawn) It’s our vacation…

Me: Get your shower bucket and get a move on, daylight’s burnin’ and you’ve got a long drive ahead of you.

Guest: There’s water in the bucket.

Me: What did you expect?

Guest: I thought we shared a bath and carried our toiletries in the bucket…

Me: No, that IS the shower. And here’s your breakfast bar – do you want peanut butter or yogurt?

Guest: Oh My God! Is that my bill?!!

Me: Of course. I’m not doing laundry! You just bought those sheets. Now fold them up and put them in your trunk, I’ve got another couple coming in a few hours. Chop Chop!

We drove down the Lake Huron coast and eventually needed to stop for the second night. I found this cool place with cabins and rooms right on the lake in Rogers City. It’s called Manitou Shores Resort.* A very nice older couple ran the place and was only too happy to explain that we could hike to a light house a mile down the beach. We rented a cute little room done in pale pine paneling and northwoods art. There was a long deck running the length of the ‘motel’ section, with wooden chairs that rocked overlooking the lake. A fire pit with wood was provided for beach parties, and humming bird feeders placed every twelve feet. We walked down the rocky beach and saw the ‘shipwreck’ we were told washed ashore here eighty years ago: just some wood slats and nails, but interesting nonetheless. The lighthouse was blinking away and I was able to get some nice sunset and night pictures. We would definitely stay there again. There was a VCR in the room with a tape of “Lighthouses of the Great Lakes” where we learned about some of the lighthouses in the area, especially the one we would visit the next day, the haunted lighthouse of Old Presque Isle!

Next post: Cardio Workouts, $2.50 each

*I'd just like to point out their website misspells it Mackinaw!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We Both Came Back Blog

Let's face it, married to either of these geeks I would have way better electronics and vacations...not to mention 53 Corvettes.

Well, my “3/5’s of the Great Lakes” adventure wasn’t a total disaster… but judging from posts here and my personal email account it seems more than a few of you were worried by my long blog absence. Yes, we both made it back. There were no mysterious ‘lake dredged for missing spouse’ stories in the news, so why the concern?

Anyhoo, it all began Saturday when…

Mr. Right wanted to visit his Aunt and Uncle in Ontario for fishing on Lake Erie. Fully aware of my psychopathic dread of large cities, he proposed a northern route that would allow for sightseeing and quality time with the Corvette. We wouldn’t even have to pack fishing tackle, as that would be provided. Great. Agreeing, I began to pack appropriately.

Now a little background is needed here. Mr. Right’s two favorite activities are procrastinating and perfectionism. When he combines the two, it’s like an unstoppable cosmic force. I can ask him to do twenty important, necessary tasks and he will not act on them. If I however make one little offhand comment, one suggestion or “someday it would be nice” type request, he will put off all those needed items to focus obsessively on the whenever chore. This way he can procrastinate on the big stuff, focus on the trivial and drive me up the wall. Win-win-win!

So in a flash of ‘why-on-earth-did-I-say-that?’ that will live forever in infamy, I sarcastically mentioned that the whole reason I bought him an MP3 player for Father’s Day was so he could have portable tunes. (The radio in the Vette doesn’t work. Plus, he could have had the player working by now.)

To clarify: the pets buy me something for Mother’s Day, and him something for Father’s Day. So I went a little wild with the MP3 player. So sue me.
If I knew then…

Instead of the important chores on hand (pack, check car, mow lawn, etc.) he now had a trivial quest to devote his undivided attention to for the next fourteen hours. Suddenly the most pressing matter in the universe was getting EVERY CD WE OWN on that *&#%!! electronic device. This took hours of software downloading, direction reading, CD loading, computer crashing, expletive-laced time-consuming effort. Oh yes, that was way more valuable than a good night’s sleep before a day on the road. Much more productive.

At 3 a.m. he asked what time I would be ready to leave. When I’m damn good and ready, I replied icily. Mr. I Don’t Need Sleep, Right? acted all hurt and dejected when I refused to let him drive after being awake over 24 hours. As I had the most rest, I drove all the way up to Bayfield Wisconsin. It didn’t get relaxing until the very end of the trip where the traffic was light and the scenery tranquil. Actually, the best part of the whole trip was that he wasn’t paying any attention to me, just jammin’ out with his little headphones. Hope it felt good, Captain Procrastinate.

We decided to check out the Apostle Islands by taking a ferry over to Madeline Island. Now I don’t get the whole connection as to which apostle was named Madeline, and I certainly do hope Dan Brown plans on addressing that in his next book, but whatever. For $42 we were granted passage with the car, so it became a big occasion, as this was Baby’s First Ferry Ride and I had to whip out the camera. I can recall how upset I was when I left her on shore to go to Mackinaw Island one year, so despite the cost I was only too glad to take her. Nice to know I wasn’t the only nutcase photographing my car on a ferry, as another couple were doing the same with their little brown Fiat Spider. Awww!

Once on the island, I saw that this was a popular ‘show off your cool car’ destination as we were greeted by Vipers, Porsches and VW Microbuses. We ate dinner lakeside in a nice restaurant and explored the island a little. Very pleasant, I wouldn’t mind going back, but not a must-do. Just a nice diversion on a summer evening.

Who knew how to take pictures at sunset? I did. Who knew how to take close-ups of flowers? I did. Fireworks? Ditto. Extended Zoom? Yep. All in all, I was very impressed with the camera. The only thing I couldn’t find was a fill-in flash. There was nothing in the directions about it, and I guess I need to just force the flash on at all times if I need the extra light, so unfortunately some faces are very dark. But hey, the ones of the car came out ok, and that’s all that really matters. People Smepole. I’ll leave portraiture to the experts.

Next Post: I contemplate opening a Bed and Breakfast(bar)

Become a Famous Writer Scheme #47

Write horror novels under the pen name Stephanie King.
Can’t hurt sales.

Never Happen Here

In Poland, President Lech Kaczynski
appointed his twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski prime minister. Whew! I’m so glad we live in a democracy where that would never happen.

Hey, wait a minute…