Sunday, October 29, 2006

One Nice Day Must Be Enjoyed

Hey, sorry I haven’t written, turned out to be a busier few days than I expected. First off, I got called to become “Emergency Waitress”. I know how hard it is when a restaurant is short handed so I don’t mind occasionally being called to lend a hand. Problem is, I’m no great waitress. Don’t give me more than two tables at once, or, well, this could happen:

Table #1: Miss, could we have some Ketchup?
Table #2: I need cream for this
coffee – don’t you have real cream?
Table #3: (raising glass and waggling it) Scotch, on the rocks, tall glass…
Other waitress: Your food is up! They’re
yelling for you in the kitchen
Table #4: Can we have our check?
***Five Minutes Later***
Waitress 1: Why is Emergency Waitress lying on the dirty
tablecloths with a napkin over her head, weeping?
Waitress 2: I don’t know, but table five said they just got a large tomato juice with whip cream on top…and a bill for $89.97.

Al got our new scanner (thank you
Kane Citizen) hooked up, but there are some issues regarding how to use the device yet. So far I have been able to scan this picture in that should have accompanied my post “Grab a Hanky” as I could not find it on line. Here’s to hoping I can conquer the scanner soon and get back to writing my Vegas saga.

I need a makeover - and Photoshop!

Check out this You Tube video from Dove regarding our perceptions of beauty!

Direct Hit!

You are Agnostic

You're not sure if God exists, and you don't care.
For you, there's no true way to figure out the divine.
You rather focus on what you can control - your own life.
And you tend to resent when others "sell" religion to you.

Getting Warmer!

You Should Drive a Ford Shelby Mustang Cobra

You have an extreme need for speed, even when you're not in a hurry.

And while your flying by, you don't want to look like every other car on the road!

No Way! (Well, Maybe...)

You Are Bert

Extremely serious and a little eccentric, people find you loveable - even if you don't love them!

You are usually feeling: Logical - you rarely let your emotions rule you

You are famous for: Being smart, a total neat freak, and maybe just a little evil

How you life your life: With passion, even if your odd passions (like bottle caps and pigeons) are baffling to others

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meanwhile, Back at the Blog

Sorry I have not written as of late. Tuesday I was all ready for some blogging and fell sound asleep on the couch! Oh, well. Best laid plans, yada, yada. Then Wednesday the system was down, so that killed that. Tonight I'm pretty tired as well. Eating too many carbs and it's way too cold. To cap all that off, this is the "time-change" weekend. I hate losing daylight. I'd rather drive to work in the dark. Just another reason to move to the equator. Most people just spend that extra hour sleeping anyway. Or complaining about the loss of an hour. I plan to put my bonus hour to good use - shopping.

Spent quite a bit of time this evening sorting my coupons. Call me an old lady (but I've been doing this since I can recall) all you want, I love clipping coupons and saving a few cents. Someone once told me coupons were bad because they could motivate you to buy stuff you don't need. Well now, that describes EVERY purchase I make, so what's the big whoop?

My goal in life is to have the store owe me money at the end of a transaction. The only sweeter thing than seeing a sign that says 'sale' is seeing a sign that says sale on something I also have a coupon for! Score!!

So I spent all kinds of time cleaning out the old expired coupons and replacing them with new ones. I clip far more than I ever use, but that's ok. I have five brands of laundry soap in the coupon folder. When I get to the store I'll just see what gives me the best deal.

Frankly, I'm surprised I ever married Mr. Right without a coupon being involved somehow.

"Look honey, "Make one vow, get the second half off!"

Perhaps we could create coupons for other real life situations?

North Korea...

"Launch one nuclear volley, receive two free"

George Bush

"Start two wars, get one exit strategy half off"

Condi Rice

"Good for your choice of rescuing twenty three thousand flood refugees or one pair designer shoes. "

Jerry Springer

"Present five broken chairs for two ratings points"

Ford Motor Company

"With proof of every thousand laid-off workers, earn one executive bonus"

I'll finish the Vegas story later.

Nor Should They

Remember When?

Remember When?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Grab a Hanky!

Hometown chips in to repair Guardsman's beloved 'Vette
By Kathy Van MullekomMcClatchy/Tribune news
Published October 23, 2006

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- When Adam Stevens applies tire shine to the wheels of the military Humvee he drives in Iraq, his thoughts wander back home to Newport News, Va.

Not to thoughts of a girlfriend waiting for him. Not to thoughts of his parents worrying about him.

Instead, he thinks about the 1980 Corvette that waits for his return later this year. Corvette enthusiasts will tell you a Corvette in any condition, made any year, is always special. But Stevens' black 'Vette is more precious because it's been "refreshed" through the generous help of hometown mechanics and car groups that wanted to do something nice for a fellow car hobbyist who serves his country.

"I have wanted a Corvette ever since I rode in my dad's brand new Corvette when I was about 5," says Stevens, 21, via e-mail from Iraq. "I cannot wait to take the top off this summer and go for a nice cruise."

Luckily, Stevens' father, John, got to keep that car, even though he bought it without first telling wife Barbara. She still remembers that day in 1990 when she saw this gorgeous red Corvette coming toward her.

"As the car got closer, I realized it was my husband," she says. "He waved and smiled as he rode by. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw my two boys, Adam and Aaron, sitting in the back with huge smiles on their faces and waving ecstatically. What a memory!"

Stevens bought his coupe-style 'Vette in 2003 when he was a senior at Heritage High School in Newport News. After joining the Beachcombers Corvette Club in Virginia Beach, Va., later that year, he and club members journeyed to the National Corvette Museum's 50th anniversary caravan in Bowling Green, Ky. More than 300 cars participated in that parade, which ended in Nashville for major events that celebrated the car's history.

"Though I was the youngest driver on the trip, they still welcomed me with open arms and looked after me like family," Stevens said.

"He impressed all the `adults' with his enthusiasm and spirit," says Tony Watson, a club member and Corvette owner. Watson also works with Stevens' parents. Shortly after that adventure, Stevens was accepted to Virginia Tech and joined the Army National Guard to help pay for his education.

Before heading for Iraq this past January, Stevens damaged his car while driving home from Tech in Blacksburg, Va. He left for duty, knowing he could get the car repaired later.

"He was pretty discouraged," his mother says. "He knew it was going to be fairly expensive, so he was pretty down."

Not wanting Stevens to come home to a down-and-out 'Vette during his two weeks' leave, the Corvette club and businesses stepped in to make the car right. Tidewater Corvette in Newport News donated parts, and club member Greg Koteski rebuilt most of the car's mechanical systems. One Stop Painting in Yorktown, Va., gave Stevens' parents a greatly reduced price on repainting the vehicle.

When Stevens arrived home for rest and relaxation in August, he was greeted by a car that performs as it should, Stevens and his dad said.

Now that he's back in Iraq for the finish of a year's assignment, Corvette thoughts are always running through his mind.

"I think about how much I want to get back to it," he writes. "I fall in love again every time I see my Corvette."

So Shoe Me

Dying of thirst, I exited the Wynn. Las Vegas is in the middle of a desert, so they can mark up water extra high. Of course, there are no drinking fountains in any casino. You must pay. Or at least risk the embarrassment of being caught drinking from the lighted fountain out front. Digging in my purse I found sixty-one cents. Frequently on the walkways spanning the strip you can find people selling bottled water for a dollar. Of course these people aren’t licensed, there’s no health department overseeing the dirty ice chest they lug out there, so caveat emptor. But I’m really thirsty and offer the first guy I come to sixty-one cents. He says that’s enough, and gives me a water. Whoo Hoo! That’s a thirty nine cent savings! I’ll have that Latte paid off in no time. I’ll be sure to mention that to the ER doctors as I’m being treated for dysentery. The bottle seems to have its original seal, but one never knows.

Also comes in zebra, but that store did not carry it!
I spent a few hours in the huge Fashion Fair Mall. I was hoping for something different than what the casinos offered, and there were some other stores. A few ‘mall’ staples like Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, etc. It had a few floors and food court where I grabbed a gyros. The only store I could really afford anything in was Wet Seal. Their stuff was cheap and I fell in love with an uncomfortable (but killer looking) pair of leopard peep-toe stilettos. After seeing what a few of the other stores wanted for faux animal prints, I came back and spent the $24.95. Even if I wear them twice, it was worth it. This is Vegas, I reasoned. There’s like a two-animal print minimum. (Sure enough, I later bought a leopard sweater at their Rainforest Café). Now I had even more junk to ship home.

There was also this little Hawaiian Jewelry kiosk of some sort on the lower floor. Lots of sterling silver, lots of turtles! There was this big cuff they wanted $120 for. The young girl said she could sell it to me for $80. Hmmm. Decided on a little silver charm of a sea turtle holding up a hoop for a dolphin to jump through. It was $30. She said she could go as low as $25 on that one. No, twenty, I countered. She took the twenty. I felt a Latte better.

But I still have the nagging feeling I should have got her down to $60 on the bracelet and bought that…. Next time!!

Next: Monty, is that you?

An Inconvenient Flurry

Dear Al,

What do you say now, Mr. Smartypants? This is the coldest October on record. In fact, it’s snowing as I type this and this isn’t even the first snow of the season. Chicago has never had measurable snowfall this early before. Where’s my global warming? Where’s my Best Year Ever, 2005? Oh, you’re blaming the snow on greenhouse gasses as well. I see. Mighty convenient. Fine. Send me a map indicating those areas that will increase in temperature but continue to get reasonable amounts of precipitation. I will then move away and stop bothering you.

But I’m taking both of my high-octane slurping pavement monsters.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Luck be a Latte

Al headed to the conference early the next morning, and I forgot to ask him to corner the Cingular president and ask why his plan didn't include free weekends.

Headed downstairs with a full itinerary of attractions I wanted to hit that day and decided to stop at one of the little gelato cafes to get a coffee before trekking down to the Wynn casino. What the heck, pull out all the stops, calories be damned! I’ll have a medium Latte. Excuse me? How much? $5.60??? Are you kidding? No, I don’t want to charge it to my room. I’ll just give you all the cash in my wallet, and you throw in a stir-stick, how’s that? There’s not enough Splenda to steal in the world that will make up that transaction. But of course, I take five extra packets anyway. I don’t care if I have to carry them home on the plane; I’m getting my money worth here. Should have ordered a ghetto latte. Monsters. Their ‘medium’ is a ‘small’ anywhere civilized, and a gallon of milk is less than $3… If I wanted to throw money away, I would have hit the craps table. C’mon seven, Mama needs her caffeine…

I’m barely across the walkway to the Flamingo when two women from Europe ask me if there’s anyplace to have breakfast that isn’t so costly. I show them my $5 Latte, and say no. I know how they feel. The Flamingo advertised a nature walk by their pool that was free, so I pop in to check it out. Not much, but then, it was free… They have some nice black swans, an Ibis, Crested crane, a variety of ducks, some turtles and of course a few flamingos. Took pictures and decided to take a look-see in the gift shop. Nice T-Shirts and such, decide I’ll be back.

Continue on to the Wynn and enter through the shops. I haven’t figured out how these swanky shops are staying open. First off, the prices are far beyond outrageous. There aren’t that many gangsters with girlfriends who can afford to shop there, and I don’t see any tourists buying anything this trip. In visits past, I would see these little Asian girls loaded down with designer bags of purchases. This year I see tons of foot traffic going past stores, but no buying. Channel, Gucci, Prada, Bebe, the list goes on. One or two bored employees stare out at the walkway as if they can will a shopper to enter. Some are dusting or windexing the glass cases, but in most cases they are leaning against their gilded counters looking very, very bored. Now what is this costing the parent company? It’s the same upscale shops over and over in each shopping area. Caesar’s, Wynn, Venetian and I presume the Aladdin all have basically the same stuff. How can a store staff and light five little outlets across town? What’s the point? Do they really sell one $1800 jacket a month at each storefront and just squeak by?

I dropped into one famous store, but right now I can’t recall the name. I do recall the $600 skirt I looked at, and the eager saleswoman who showed it to me. Now I’m sure she could smell “Kohl’s” on me from forty paces, but on the off chance that I had just hit a jackpot, she was rather pleasant. Nice stuff, but not happening. If anyone local is buying this stuff, I need to hit their yard sale. Excuse me, Estate Sale.

I ask where the Ferrari dealership is, and am given directions by a doorman. That is a nice feature of Vegas. People whose entire job it is to direct you to various points in their hotel. Not like the abrasive greeter at Evil-Mart who yanks a cart out and jabs me with it menacingly, pressing me to Have A Nice Day.

Once there, I am dismayed that after forking over my $10, I am told there are no photographs. What? Can I turn off my flash? What’s the big deal? There are a few cars on the floor and I am directed to a flight of stairs to the basement. There lies the dealership garage, and I think it cool to see some Ferraris on lifts being serviced. I don’t see any mechanics, however. Hmmm.

At the bottom of the steps I see about a dozen Ferraris, all for sale, as this is a working dealership. Of course, you can’t cross the velvet ropes and really look at any of them. I’m starting to feel about as ripped off as a large latte buyer. There is a young woman on hand to answer questions. Of course, she doesn’t know everything, and has never driven one. I find this out because I decide that I’m going to get my $10 worth if I have to bug every person I see.

I start asking questions. Lots of questions. My goal is to have them pay me $10 to leave. If I would have thought of it, I would have asked what weight oil each takes. As it is, we discuss color options, engine specs and transmissions. I learn that there is an electric canvas top that covers the F430 at the push of a button. Cool.

A young guy and gal have a station at the end where you can have your picture taken in a Ferrari for $20. I point out I already paid $10 to look around, and if they would just turn their back a second, I’d take my own picture, thank you. Finally the girl appeals to my sense of reason. I can sit in the Ferrari, and not buy the picture after they take it. Sold.

Once ensconced in $200K of automobile, I start touching things, much to her alarm. Can’t touch anything but the wheel! Yeah, yeah. Why are there two temperature gauges? She doesn’t know. I’m just happy to learn that you get oil, temp (x2), battery, speedo and tach. I hate idiot lights. No gas gauge… must be a lighted display. The speedo goes well into the 200s and 60 mph is a tiny blip in the first 1/5 of the dial. Reluctantly I leave the car, and have no problem declining to buy the picture: she didn’t even get the entire car in the frame.

Upstairs I find actual salesmen and begin a new barrage of questions. I learn this is the only dealership in the United States for Ferrari/Maserati and they sell 25 cars a month. To buy a new Ferrari, there is a four year waiting list, and you must be a present Ferrari owner to get added to the list. Registered owner, which means you must buy one of their overpriced used showroom choices just to get on the list.

Spoke to a guy who claimed to have sold a Maserati to Eva Longoria, and Ferraris to John Lovitz (instilling me with hope that the seats move far enough forward for short people like myself), George Clooney and Wayan family members.

He said many came in without an appointment. Sports stars with money to burn would pay whatever was listed on the tag. He said there really wasn’t any negotiating, because demand outstripped supply, and they knew they could get whatever they asked. Which, for the one I wanted, a F430 with F1 transmission, was $435K.

We discussed the six-speed versus the F1 (paddles, no clutch) transmissions and he explained both oil and coolant temperature was displayed. They come with a 4 year warranty. Several color choices of leather interior. One even boasted easy payments of $3600 a month! After finding out there are no brochures, sales items, or anything of value that I could possibly get out the door with other than a free postcard (took 3) I finally leave. I’ll be back when I have money. And I’ll make them take $10 off! They so owe me.

Any excitement about Exiting Through the Gift Shop quickly evaporates as soon as I see the prices. Their mugs are $30! Things go up from there. T shirts are well over $40, and anything decent is at least $65. This is ridiculous. I see this older woman and her husband looking around, and she picks up the ugliest white leather jacket I have ever seen. I’m not quite sure what it had to do with Ferrari. Amid all the cool red and black prancing horse stuff is this white jacket with Asian-looking lettering and designs on it in purple. This thing is about $800 and she tries it on for a second, then walks to the cash register and buys it! If anyone knows the significance of this jacket, please share it with me. Everything seemed to be tied to racing, and I can only guess they were Ferrari owners and knew what it was. Strange. Finding nothing I could afford, I left for cheaper pastures.

Next: 39 cents down, four dollars to go

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Stingrays Gone Wild!!!

TAMPA - An 81-year-old man remains in critical condition after he was attacked by a stingray.
Doctors were able to remove the stingray's barb from James Bertakis.
He underwent surgery to get the barb out, after it apparently lodged in or near his heart. Rescue officials say a spotted eagle ray jumped into Bertakis' boat and onto his lap - stinging him in the chest.

I told you mother nature was pissed...

So what exactly are the odd that this would happen again?

The man's son, Chris Bertakis, says "I just didn't think it could happen.
Never heard of it until last month. And to hear it happened again to our father,
it's just shocking."
It was just last month that crocodile hunter Steve Irwin died after he was struck in the heart by the barb of a sting ray.
Tom Delaney of Lowry Park Zoo says, "You couldn't even say it's a lightning strike
because it's even rarer than that."

Can Stingrays on a Plane be far behind???

Whose Side Are You On?

Remember when the big question was are you a Stones fan or a Beatles fan? At the time, the two were mutually exclusive. You had to pick a camp. Adorable mop-top or Satan's henchmen.

What about the Clarence Thomas hearings? Were you wearing an I Believe Anita shirt?

Today's pressing question: Heather or Paul?

Right now I'm hearing overwhelming support for Paul. I have to admit some of these allegations are pretty laughable. I've had better fights with Mr. Right over living room furniture. Or where to have lunch.

10.1 The petitioner has been physically violent towards the respondent.
Not to be tolerated. If true, Heather should have left long ago. Point: Heather

10.2 The petitioner has behaved in a vindictive, punitive manner towards the respondent, on occasion thereby exposing her to risk.
Um, excuse me, they were married... (note to self: don't let Al know this is grounds for divorce lest he file against me) Point: Paul

10.3 In breach of his promises to the respondent made when she agreed to marry him, the petitioner continued to use illegal drugs, and to consume alcohol to excess, throughout the marriage, thereby causing the respondent distress.
Oh, come on!!! Nobody's that naive. Point: Paul

11.2 On one occasion in Los Angeles in or about the end of October or beginning of November 2002, in the presence of others, the petitioner (who was drunk) loudly pointed out that the respondent was in a "bad mood." (The respondent was unhappy because hostile comments had been made about her on the Barbara Walters show). When the petitioner and respondent got back to their house they began to argue about the petitioner behaviour towards the respondent. The petitioner grabbed the respondent by the neck and pushed her over a coffee table. He then went outside, and in his drunken state he fell down a hill, cutting his arm (which remains scarred to this day).
Hellooo...Earth to Heather! Like this has never happened to anyone else. Well, like anyone else ever stood to earn about $10K for every hour they were married to the jerk... Point: Paul

11.3 On 12 May 2003 when the petitioner and the respondent were in a hotel in Rome and the respondent was four weeks pregnant, the petitioner behaved coldly and with indifference towards the respondent who was distressed by a derogatory newspaper article about her. An argument ensued between them in the bathroom during which the petitioner became angry and pushed the respondent into the bath. The respondent suffered shock and distress. Notwithstanding this, the petitioner procured the respondent's attendance at his concert that evening by instructing his staff to pester her until she relented.
Please. Point: Paul

11.4 On the same occasion, and following the concert, in a fit of pique because the respondent refused to go to the after-show party and instead dined privately at a restaurant with her sister and her personal female bodyguard, the petitioner directed the female bodyguard to abandon the respondent, leaving her exposed to the attentions of the hordes of fans (500,000 attending a free concert) in Rome at that time. At the end of the meal, the respondent was forced to take a 30-minute walk back to the hotel, no taxi being available and the car driven by the female bodyguard having been withdrawn from her use by the petitioner.
Man, I so hate it when my billionaire spouse leaves me exposed to hordes of fans. Point: Paul

11.5 In Long Island in August 2003 the respondent asked the petitioner if he had been smoking marijuana. He became very angry, yelled at her, grabbed her neck and started choking her.
I recall an interview with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith where he said Paul smoked too much pot. When one of the Toxic Twins thinks you have issues...
So what part of this did she not suspect going into the marriage? Was the fact that Woody Harrelson was best man and Willie Nelson the wedding singer a tip-off? Point: Paul

11.17 The respondent was delivered of her daughter by Caesarean section and was very tired after the birth. Despite this, the petitioner forced her to accompany him everywhere having no regard to her emotional or physical (and especially, her disability) needs. Indeed in this connection some two and a half years later (22 April 2006), shortly after the respondent's revision amputation surgery, she was forced to crawl on her hands and knees up aeroplane steps because they were not wide enough to take her wheelchair. The petitioner had assured the respondent that he had taken care of her disability needs in connection with thee trip (which he compelled her to take with him), but in fact he had not troubled to do so.
A really wealthy British rock star being arrogant and unfeeling? Naw. Point: Paul

11.18 The petitioner often told the respondent when she was pregnant that he did not want her to breast-feed their child, making on occasion the comment "they are my breasts" and on another occasion, "I don't want a mouthful of breast milk." Notwithstanding this, the respondent did breast-feed Beatrice until, after six weeks, the petitioner's constant interrupting of her when breast-feeding (often in the presence of a midwife) had become so intolerable to her that she gave up. This made her feel very miserable and demoralised.
Heather: Two Points (I want to hear the midwife testamony however, as the whole vegan health thing Paul is noted for would not square with bottle feeding a baby.)

11.19 On 19 November 2005, the petitioner required the respondent to defer an essential and once-cancelled operation on her leg for two months because it would have interfered with his holiday plans.
Hey, smoking pot is an important holiday tradition. Point: Paul

11.20 The respondent was expected to prepare two dinners every night, one for the child of the family and one for the petitioner. The petitioner did not like the respondent to be assisted in the preparation of his meals, despite her disability. Even when the respondent had a broken pelvic plate in December 2003 the petitioner insisted that she cook for him while she was on crutches, could barely move and was in agony.
I'm healthy and literate and won't open a cookbook. Well, for billions.... Point: Paul

11.21 The petitioner refused to allow the respondent to get out of bed before he was ready to get up in the morning even though she would wake up early and wished to use the time for essential physiotherapy for her leg and to attend to emails and administrative tasks before the staff arrived or their child woke up.
So what time did he get up, noon? Tie.

11.24 The respondent often needs to go to the bathroom during the night, when he prosthetic limb is not fitted and so has to crawl to the bathroom on her hands and knees. This causes calluses and scrapes on her knees. She asked the petitioner if she could buy an antique bedpan to keep under the bed and use at night if necessary (whilst he was asleep) so as to avoid her having to struggle. The petitioner objected vociferously, saying that it would be like being in "an old woman's home."
OK, so wouldn't a walker or wheelchair be useful here? Point: Paul

11.25 Throughout the marriage, the petitioner refused to allow the respondent to use his beautiful spare office in New York, on the floor beneath their apartment, in a building owned by the petitioner; he told her that he did not want her to have an office in the same building. This was notwithstanding that she wanted to work on charity matters during Beatrice's two-hour nap and also be near to Beatrice in case she woke up. Using the office in the apartment block would also have meant that the respondent could have created a creche area in part of the office for Beatrice to play in for part of the time. The respondent could not understand the petitioner's refusal as he allowed his staff to work in the spare office if necessary, but he remained firm in his view. At the end of September or the beginning of October 2005, the petitioner reluctantly agreed to provide he with alternative office space in the city but in the even insisted that she sue and office that was far too small for any sensible purpose and was 20 minutes' walk away, which meant the respondent would have to leave Beatrice behind during her nap. When the respondent went to view it, she was chased by paparazzi, and was so demoralised by the experience she never used the office. The petitioner called her "an ungrateful bitch" in front of their driver when she explained why the office was not right for her. The petitioner made his position known in front of other people, including staff, which caused the respondent to feel insignificant and humiliated.
Gasp! Point: Paul

11.26 The petitioner promised the respondent that he would protect her and support her in relation to adverse press reports but has failed to do so on numerous occasions, when he has been in a position to do so. In mid-November 2004 the respondent was warned that a forthcoming article about her was to appear in the Sunday Times magazine and included the line "the best thing that ever happened to Heather Mills McCartney was losing her leg" which was distressing and vulgar press commentary. As the petitioner had been asked to participate in the half-time entertainment for the Superbowl on Fox TV owned by Rupert Murdoch (who also owns the Sunday Times), the respondent asked the petitioner to tell Mr Murdoch that he would not confirm his participation in the Superbowl unless he agreed not to run the deeply unpleasant story. However, the petitioner refused to assist the respondent in this way, announced his involvement in the Superbowl and therefore the Sunday Times had no reason not to publish the story.
Whaaaa! Boo Hoo! Nobody likes me! Point: Paul

11.27 The difficulties in the marriage came to a head at the end of April 2006 On Tuesday 25 April 2006, following an operation on the respondent's amputated leg, an argument occurred during which the petitioner poured the balance of a bottle of red wine over the respondent's head and then threw what remained in his wine glass at the respondent. The petitioner then reached to grab the respondent's wine glass, and broke the bowl of the glass from the stem. He then lunged at the respondent with the broken, sharp stem of the wine glass, which cut and pierced the respondent's arm just below the elbow, and it began to bleed profusely. He proceeded to manhandle the respondent, flung her into her wheelchair and wheeled it outside, screaming at her to apologise for "winding him up." The respondent still bears the scar of the assault.
Point: Heather. But why didn't she hit him over the head with her fake leg?

11.28 On Wednesday 26 April 2006, at about 8pm, the respondent asked the petitioner not to leave her alone with Beatrice at the Cabin (because it is isolated in the middle of a forest). She had just had surgery on her leg (a revision amputation), was in a wheelchair, and was anxious about her ability to cope by herself. Notwithstanding this, he walked off. The respondent then telephoned the petitioner, and asked him to return. The petitioner mocked her please, mimicking the voice of a nagging spouse, and refused to return. (Later, she alleges, she) pulled him, staggering, towards the ground-floor bathroom, undressed him, ran the bath and helped him into it. She then phoned the petitioner's psychiatrist for advice and he told her not to attempt to move him (she might otherwise "do herself an injury"), to get a duvet and two pillows, to empty the bath of water, cover him, and leave hi m there. The respondent thereupon dragged herself upstairs, on her hands and knees, she was unable to wear a prosthetic leg as the wound from the surgery had not yet healed), and brought back down the duvet and pillows. She found that the petitioner had vomited on himself. She rinsed him off, and (worried that he might choke if he vomited again in the night, unattended), she got him out of the bath, dried him, and dragged him upstairs to bed. At that time, the respondent also had a broken plate in her pelvis, and she was in agony; she also feared the exertions would cause the stitches from her pelvic scar revision operation to burst.
What a martyr! Leave the guy if he's beating you. Or at least let him choke to death so you get the money. Point: Paul

11.29 On Thursday 27 April 2006 the respondent knew that the petitioner would be too hungover to help her with Beatrice and due to her own incapacity as a result of the recent operation, she had to call the babysitter to ask if she could come to help at 7.45am in getting Beatrice into the car and to the nursery. The respondent went with the babysitter to drop Beatrice at the nursery and collect her later that day. When she returned, the petitioner had woken up and tried to make a joke of the incident the night before. The respondent appeased him, as she reared what would happen otherwise. That evening the petitioner drank very little (a half bottle of wine) and went to bed. The following day, Friday 28 April 2006, the petitioner wen to London but said he would be back in time to help the respondent put Beatrice to bed. He did not arrive back at her bedtime, even though he know the respondent could not cope on her own. The respondent had to ask a friend to help put Beatrice to bed. At 10pm the petitioner returned home staggering drunk and slurring his words, demanding his dinner. The respondent stated that it was on the stove but that she would not be cooking for him again, as he had no respect for her. The petitioner called her "a nag" and went to bed. That evening the respondent realised the marriage had irretrievably broken down and left, crawling on her hands and knees whilst dragging her wheelchair, crutches and basic personal possessions to the car.
He's British, and they don't have a live-in nanny? Point: Paul

Unfortunately, these allegations do not convince me Heather was abused. Some are so silly and flimsy, it seems the gold-digger accusation is spot on. Why add the stupid stuff if the physical violence is true? Can't wait for his kids to cry foul!

Your thoughts?

Wisdom of Willie

Willie Nelson's public statement regarding being caught with a bag of Marijuana earlier this week:"It's a good thing I had a bag of Marijuana. If it had been a bag of spinach, I'd be dead by now."

Price Palace

Totally misleading representation, viewers were not allowed this close to cars

So I get to the car collection and – what’s this? Enter through the gift shop? Now that’s backwards! Oh, I get it. A sign explains that it’s $5 to see the cars or free with gift shop purchase. Can’t beat that. Would have bought something anyway. Er, maybe not. Stuff is really expensive! Settle on the cheapest thing in sight, a $20 Ferrari coffee mug. Really now, wouldn’t I be better off putting that $20 towards a Ferrari F430? Whatever. Ask the salesgirl if it’s dishwasher safe. She doesn’t know, and it is not listed anywhere on the package or cup. Buy it anyway, anticipating that prancing horse turning into a faded, running-down-the-drain nag.

Enter the car corral and am immediately disappointed. As the ad copy on would suggest, I thought I was seeing rare, one of a kind vehicles of particular collector interest. Oh, and they were roped off behind a walkway to boot.

Located in The Forum Shops at Caesars, Exotic Cars
displays more than 40 vehicles with prices more than $1 million. Extremely rare
and sought after, they draw thousands of people to the two-story,
34,000-square-foot showroom each day. If you want to discover more about any of the cars on display, vehicle specifics can be checked out on several interactive touch screens readily available around the showroom.

Two Story? Try you go up some steps and are now looking down at the cars, further than ever away from them. “Prices more than $1M” kind of made me think each car was worth that. Half the touch screens didn’t work, not every vehicle depicted, need I go on? I’m not even sure if the whole room full is worth a million.

It’s nothing more than a consignment shop. An assortment of exotics were strewn about and all were for sale. Nothing notable about any of them that I could discern. A Porsche, few Ferraris, C2 Corvette, Bentley, Lamborghini. Ho Hum. I took a few photos and left, sorely disappointed. What a rip off. Like most stuff in Vegas.

Went back to the hotel to meet up with the Man With(out) A Plan. Should have shopped for a clue for him while I was out. Wait, is ‘whatever’ a plan?

Hey, what’s this? He arrives back in the room with a beautiful glass beer mug with the conference logo on it! And there’s still some beer in it! Oh, yeah, he explains. There’s wine glasses, too. Go back and get me some! I exclaim. I figure I need about four to make up for the overpriced horsey mug. He tells me this is the best conference ever. They had rockin music, much of it live. The president of Cingular spoke, as did an author of business books and some other industry leaders. Oh, and for the last day, they announced the keynote speaker will be Madeline Albright!!!! Get me into this gig! Apparently the people planning this little soirée have Plans. Not to mention matching Clues. Bet their significant others weren’t nibbling the ‘airplane snacks’ they packed in lieu of real dinners. Never mind. Tomorrow is another day.

Next Post: What do you mean, you didn’t have Photoshop back then?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Lap of Luxory

After checking in, we had lunch at the buffet, one of the better in Vegas. Lots to choose from and items were of better quality than most all-you-can-eat emporiums. Still, you had to be choosy. Some stuff was cheapo. Al headed to his conference, leaving me to explore. Went to the solarium that had topiary on it and enjoyed the fall decorations. Gasped at the prices posted at the restaurants and cafes. Couldn’t even afford water. Having a long afternoon ahead, I wasted no time in exiting the beautiful Bellagio in search of adventure. OK, more like overpriced shopping opportunities. Of which there are no shortages of in that town, that’s for sure.

Made a beeline to Mandalay Bay. If you can call people-movers, covered walkways and monorail shuttles a beeline. Anyhoo, I headed straight for the aquarium and paid my $15.95 to see exotic sea life. Or at least whatever the rich underworld figures who run Las Vegas have grown tired of in their personal salt water tanks.

They took a souvenir photo of me and tried to get me to buy a package, but since I was alone, I was afraid that would just scream LOSER and took a pass. Actually, it was a pretty good photo, too bad. Had I been allowed to pose with an actual sea turtle, I would have bought it in a heartbeat, but all they had were cheesy strip backgrounds or a mock up of the ugliest fake shark ever. Never mind.

Enjoyed the fish, sharks, jellies, water monitor and golden crocodile (it’s a hybrid between two species, a saltwater crock and something else, and it’s truly a beautiful shade of golden yellow, very pretty) among others. I have photos, but they’re too big to post, I’ll have to figure something out.

Best of all were the green sea turtles. It was really funny, listening to the comments of other patrons. One woman exclaimed sea turtles were her favorite. Then I saw a bored male trying to hurry his girlfriend out. She kept saying, wait, there’s the turtle, maybe they’ll come back. He just rolled his eyes in exasperation over her ability to squint into the inky water for minutes on end waiting for a glimpse of flipper. It’s so encouraging to know there are others like me out there. Apparently they’re mostly female as well.

We were rewarded with some happy, active turtles floating merrily along the curved glass. Portions of the “tank” were around a pedestrian walkway that formed a tube through the habitat. A glass floor showed the bottom and an arch formed over the top where fish could go over viewers. One turtle came right to the glass and tried nibbling on the faux coral! So alert. It was really nice to see them enjoying themselves. They had three! I asked a gal about them – specifically, what was their “problem”, as I could not see any missing flippers or ‘bubble butts’ among them. She said there were two males and a female, and they were perfectly fine. Another aquarium could no longer care for them, so they came there. I’m still a little skeptical, I really thought the only way you could have a sea turtle was if it was unfit for life in the wild. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume that they were captured before these types of regulations kicked in and now they are too tame to release. I’ll pretend if you’ll pretend. But can’t get the nagging image of Al Pachino gifting his gun moll with a couple of hatchlings…

Then came my favorite part: Exiting Though the Gift Shop! I swear I’m going to open something, a turtle petting zoo or whatever, just so I can have paying customers exit through the gift shop. Might be a good way to sell off all the stuff I buy at gift shops…

Bought some really important items like key chains, shot glasses, and a little tin of mints embossed with sharks…

Next it was on to the Luxor in search of Egyptian souvenirs. I don’t know how old the Luxor is, but it’s time for a refurbish. I’ve gone there over the last ten years, and it always looks a little worn and empty. I noticed some stores inside had closed down and there was definitely less Egyptian-themed stuff than in the past. Only bought a little candle holder with a camel. Tons of really cool stuff that was way too heavy to carry home. One store was ½ price and I saw some cool shadowbox pictures that they offered to ship very reasonably, but I couldn’t decide which of three I liked best! I took a card and they said I could just call and order over the phone, and I may take them up on it.

Exited through Excalibur. That casino always seemed aimed at little kids for me, and many stores bore this out with child-size suits of armor and play swords, etc. One cool store had dragon items, but nothing so great that I lingered. Met Al back at the hotel, and he said there were evening activities at his conference, so he went to get some free food and entertainment. Left to my own devices once again, I headed over to Caesar’s Palace to see their exotic car collection and shop, shop, shop!

Love the shops at Caesar’s. Never forget the first time I went in there and was awestruck by the ceiling. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a cool idea: a blue sky with fluffy white clouds painted on a very high curved ceiling that is lit from behind to give the impression you are truly outdoors. Hallways create a town square feel with shops down the corridors. Cool ‘statues’ of gods and goddesses fill fountains and decorate the building inside and out. I love Greek mythology and history, so this is paradise to me. Unfortunately the Museum Store that used to be there is gone, so my shopping was seriously cramped. I relied on a few hotel gift shops and chose a little chariot statuette. Oh, maybe not-so-little. Maybe nine inches long by four high: just enough to be impossible to pack. I asked about shipping. I was told by everyone, oh, just ship your purchases home. They downright discouraged it at this gift shop. Oh, it’s expensive, as much as the ($18) item. Use your hotel, I was told. Ok, made sense. As a guest, they would help me. This is a tourist destination. These people want to please their guests. HA! Stay Tuned.

Next Post: Not As Advertised

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Exactly 299, 999, 900 Too Many

Hey, You, Get Offa My Continent...

And I want to hand-select that last hundred...

I suppose you've heard by now that America's "Population Clock" is nearing the 300 millionth person in our country.

Read all the depressing details here.

"Right now, the formula is one birth per seven seconds, one death per 13 seconds and one net increase in immigrants per 30 seconds. Because the number of deaths has to be subtracted from the number of births, immigration now accounts for about 40 percent of new growth."

Now if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I favor negative population growth, cessation of immigration and a good ol' flu epidemic.
(Yay 1918! Only one-year decline in the 20th Century)

As far as I'm concerned, this planet has been going to hell in a handbasket ever since reptiles seceded control.

Excuse me, I have to crawl into my cave and be depressed now.

Oh, wait! It's been over run by babies, elderly living longer lives, and immigrants.

I am so hitchhiking to Pluto...

Today's Wisdom

"A friend is someone who sees through you
and still enjoys the view."

Wilma Askinas

Las Vegas, CSI (Have you seen the prices? Criminal!)

Not impressed with Not Enough Indians. Dare I say it? His writing reminds me of my writing! Not quite there yet. Not a novelist, just a few funny ideas. There’s something humorous buried there, but it doesn’t quite hit. As far as a novel, it never quite gels. There are plenty of quirky small town characters ala Garrison Kellior, yet they are not touching, endearing, or even annoying enough. He gives great thumbnails of ‘type’, but there is no bildungsroman. I don’t really see anyone fleshed out, growing or changing in the course of the book. He has this funny premise of small town growth and greed, two topics that are way too close to home for my comfort, yet I never really care about any of the characters. Good first effort, but without the celebrity name, would this have been published? More likely an editor have said nice first try, be sure to send us your third.

So we landed in Vegas and began the anxious wait at the luggage carousel. Al grabbed a black bag off the belt and I had to say, “No honey, that’s quality luggage. Put that back. Ours are from Cheap-Mart.” Thankfully, all arrived intact. Amazingly Al told the cab driver precisely which hotel to take us to… I asked if he’s spontaneously recalled the name, but he admits to one of his coworkers coming through with a phone call. Saved by a geek.

We stayed across the street from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and checked in around nine p.m. We were assigned a room at the furthest building of the complex, number 28. It was a three block hike from the check in desk, and I started to wonder why Al was too cheap to get us help with our bags. Then I started to suspect someone replaced my clothes and three pairs of shoes (four is on my feet, the Keds) with lead ingots. After passing three swimming pools and an outdoor nighttime wedding, I slouched over my bags in order to gear up for the big flight of cement steps to our second-floor suite. Not much of a suite; small, reasonably clean, not very flashy or updated. This place might have been something, oh, say 25 years ago. I pondered why some of the lights don’t work. Al pointed out they lacked light bulbs. What dimwatt took the light bulbs? At least there was a fridge, ironing board and iron. More towels would have been nice. Oh well. Not someplace I would recommend.

We had dinner across the street at the Pink Taco where we were introduced to the Las Vegas standard of “the $8.50 Margarita”. Nice to know I’m too poor to get drunk in this town. Also too poor to gambol anyplace nice – the table limits on the nicer casinos were quite high. Not having $10 bucks or more per spin of the roulette wheel, I never did play the whole trip. I’m kind of disappointed in retrospect.

Quickly realized the hotel room was directly under “Runway 2” as I nodded off to sleep.

The next day was spent by the pool while Al attended his software conference. The cheapos couldn’t even heat the pools in our hotel, so it mostly consisted of sunning. I wrote a nice post for my blog, but they wanted $5 additional to use the internet there, so we figured we’d wait until our third night when we would move over to the Bellagio hotel. They must have free wi-fi. Wrong.

After filling out postcards and reading, I was ready to leave when Al returned. We ended up going to check out the Harley Davidson Café where we got some cool T-Shirts. Then we went to Smith and Wollenski’s for dinner. Al seemed uptight about money the whole trip, which is another reason I’ll never travel with him again. So tell me if we can’t afford a trip. Don’t have a cow every ten seconds just because somebody wants $45 for a steak. Tell me (in advance, if at all possible) if we’re on a budget or I have to pay for my own meals, or whatever. I don’t need the passive-aggressive price whining and avoidance, believe me. Anyhoo, I had a great Filet, glass of wine and Crème Brule sampler. (God forbid I should tack a veggie on. So I didn’t. Wise move. Didn’t need one. But damn it, I’m worth a baked potato the size of a football. )

The next morning it was raining pretty hard and I was worried since I hadn’t siliconed my new Keds, but it cleared up by ten and got even nicer out. Everything smelled fresh and it was even warmer and sunnier than before. Got moved over to the Bellagio – now that was a hotel.

Huge swanky lobby bursting with pretension and a cool ‘conservatory’ area of topiary bushes and massive waterwheel fountain. Tons of people in line waiting to check in, it took us quite a bit of time to get squared away, but the staff there was very pleasant and efficient.

The room was almost as big as our first house. A marble bathroom had separate tub and glass-enclosed shower. Lots and lots of fluffy white towels with a big embroidered “B” on them. Had they been “R”s, I would have stuffed a few in my luggage…

Internet usage here was like $10.95 extra a day and we had received even stiffer warnings about the complexities of the mini-bar. Supposedly it could tell by weight if an item had been removed, and there was no fridge for guest use. No coffee maker, either. These people were out to get every penny from a guest possible.

Our room overlooked the massive pool areas of fountains, Jacuzzis and swimming areas. There was a cool wardrobe that hid the TV and contained two separate ‘closet’ areas with cubbyholes for shoes, etc. Very cool!

Next Post: How much for that dinky Latte??

Monday, October 16, 2006

Words of Wisdom

"It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time."
Tallulah Bankhead

Left Behind, the Vegas Edition

No, wait, I think it was that one, over there, I think there was a fountain in front of it,
yeah, are there any with fountains?

Yes, I’m back. Back with a resolve: never, ever, not even to the mailbox, will I ever take a trip with Mr. Right again. As in “Right At Home Where I Left It”.

Now I’m no Condoleeza Rice fan, but I can tell you one thing: had the old boy network asked, by sheer dint of her chromosomes, Condi would have had a coherent plan of action formulated for Iraq. A Plan A. A Plan B. An exit strategy. A list with little check marks to help her cross each item off in the proper order. A grand think-through. A "What If".

Not Al. No sooner had we gone two blocks from home did he note his sunglasses were left behind. Hmmm. As we were getting a ride provided by his employer and I didn’t want to miss the plane, I didn’t suggest going back. Then I asked if he brought his MP3 player. You know, the one I bought him and never have used. Might be pleasant to have some tunes on the plane. Or by the pool. Or back home under his pile of unpaid bills where he left it.

But wait! There’s more. Not long after, he asked ME if I recalled what hotel we were staying at. Um, no. You never said. You mentioned it was a suite, but never gave me a name. What do you mean, you didn’t bring that info along? Oh, thought it was on the pile of emails you printed out, but it’s not. Of course. Why get organized the night before and review everything? Naw. This is much more fun. We can just ask the cab driver in Vegas to drive up and down the strip until something sounds familiar. No problem. Was it a hotel with a little lion? Did it look like a pyramid? Eiffel Tower? Stop me when something rings a bell…

Now credit must be given to the astute Kane Citizen, who thinks this was all just a ploy by Al to make sure I never accompany him anywhere again. If so, Al and Kane are welcome to procrastinate fleeing the next Tsunami to their heart’s content, while we gals will go out and harness nuclear fission over the lunch special at Chili’s, thank you very much.

Anyhoo… we got to the airport and enjoyed the delights of speedy self-check in. As you may have guessed, there’s no such thing. Actually, my last trip with Louise to Key West was no problem. This was a nightmare (because of Al’s presence, one can only presume). After much bag toting and being pointedly ignored by bored employees, we were x-rayed and on our way. Got hungry and decided to grab a little something before boarding the plane. MISTAKE! Nothing like spending $4.95 on a bottle of water and the most horrible tasting orange ever. I wanted to ask for my money back (in lieu of lobbing so-called fruit through their glass deli case) but didn’t bother. I had bigger things to worry about. Like how Al was on my cell phone frantically trying to reach someone he works with on a Saturday so they could retrieve his hotel email. Yes, this is the man that spent six months picking a cell phone carrier. The guy who constantly grabs mine because ‘outgoing’ calls cost him. Yep. Even with research, he’s not doing too well.

So we get on the Ted plane (I didn’t book this trip, so don’t blame me for a cut-rate airline with a cutesy name derived from a fraction of the letters of the original carrier that reflects the cut pensions of the disgruntled employees who now have nothing but contempt for me and the bucket of bolts we are riding in…) and settle in. Al and I are in different rows, and that’s just as well. My luck he’ll be in the seat with the emergency exit and somehow accidentally engage it. Don’t want to know.

They announce there’s to be a FREE movie! The Devil Wears Prada! I wanted to see that! Whoo hoo! FREE! I love free! Except for the grimy earphones you are supposed to share with the last three thousand diseased cheapos who fly Ted. Oh, I get it, in-fect-TED… So I get out my little handi-wipe and try and scrub the earphones as best I can. Right when I’m done, the stewardess announces, oops! There was a mix up. Today’s movie is Mission Impossible 3. Grumbling something about how it must have been a MAN who loaded the preflight movie, I stuff the earphones back into the seat pocket. My Harry Shearer book, Not Enough Indians will have to do.

Next Post: If this is a desert, why is it raining so damn hard?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Leaving (for) Las Vegas

Running out the door blog...

I'll try to post from the road!!


Remember back in the day when money was a no-nonsense dull grey-green? It wasn't flashy. It wasn't arty. It just facilitated commerce.

Now our currency has all kinds of colors and looks like suspiciously like Monopoly money.
And it buys as about as much.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Iraq for Sale

Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers is the story of what happens to everyday
Americans when corporations go to war. Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald
(Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you
inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have
been changed forever as a result of corporate greed in the reconstruction of
Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private security
companies making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to
do so.

Please click on this link to buy this movie! We need to get the word out!!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Price Sure Snunk Up on Me

Just when did Keds get so darn costly????

Am I gettin' old or what?

As I had lamented earlier, I was looking for a comfortable / fashionable shoe. Five shoe stores later I am assured such an item does not exist. Should I invent it, it would be more valuable than a perpetual motion machine. But I digress.

Decided to get some good old plain canvas tennis shoes. No frills. Basic as can be.

Apparently after October first, such a creature does not exist anymore, at least not in my size. Evil-Mart had a few picked over size 10's, but little else. Ended up a Kohl's (hey, does anyone out there have a goofy name for that store? Like calling Target "Tar-zhay" with an affectation? Or Needless Markup for Neiman Marcus?) and tried on some trendy LA somethings and RocketDog shoes. Not comfy at all, but kinda cute. Found Keds. Tried and true. Red White and Blue (wait, let me check that package...Made in China!!!)

Anyhoo, loved the Keds. Of course they didn't have my size in the style (that was 50% off, to boot) I wanted (need to look at other Kohl's, like Louise does - it can be found). Tried some others and fell in love with the leather deck-shoe type model in tan with navy grommets. Snazzy. Very classic. $36.99!!!!!! That's "On Sale"!!!! Who are they kidding????

Ridiculous. Thank God I had a 20% off coupon. But even that didn't cushion the pain as much as their springy insole cushions my foot.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lord of the Overpriced Housing

Party at Frodo's, dude!

Have you ever wanted everyone in your neighborhood to share your values? Have your unique outlook on life? Enjoy a similar vision of how the houses in the subdivision should look, be maintained or landscaped? Would it somehow make you feel better to live in an outrageously priced town home that is nothing more than a defunct movie set?

Dream no more! Move right in to
Shire in Bend, (as in around the bend) OR. This planned (try obsessively engineered) community has been built to resemble Bilbo Baggin's hometown the Shire. Gosh, just what I've always wanted. To live in a hollow tree with the Keebler elves!

According to the Nanaimo Daily News, the development features "faux thatched roofs, medieval signage, fireplaces with Rohan carvings, and irrigation canal dubbed Brandywine Brook, and maintenance sheds built into the hillside to look like hobbit holes."

The houses aren't all that big, but they sure are pricey:
$600-$900K. Seems it takes more than middle income to live in Middle Earth...

So far I haven't been able to find out how many units have been sold, but it would be of interest.

I'd love to live in a community of like-minded souls. People who are committed to living with nature, deep in the woods, maintaining their exotic sports cars quietly in their 8-car garages. We could call it Walden Pond With Paved Access or something.

As the cartoon strip Sylvia would say:
Which Gender are you? Answer below and find out.

Would you buy a Hobbit House?

A) Like, would Gandolf come and visit?
B) No, but at least it's comforting to know all the geeks are contained in one place.

Read another blogger's take

Covenants Enforcer ?

Back-To-School (Shooting) Season

Am I the only one pondering three school shootings in only a week? Hardly. Certainly makes you wonder what society has sunk to, now doesn't it?

I feel Michael Moore did a great job of raising some excellent questions in his film Bowling for Columbine, and more is needed on the subject.

The Chicago Tribune claims there have been over 400 deaths in school violence incidents in the last twelve years. These events have created heightened security measures in our schools.

Makes me wonder: did Charlie Roberts pick an Amish school precisely because he didn't want to walk through a metal detector or have any teens text-messaging for help?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Knight to P8

ELISTA, Russia -- The future of the world chess championship was in
question Friday when a player did not show up for the fifth game and threatened
to withdraw from the match after he was accused of cheating and locked out of
his private bathroom.

Vladimir Kramnik, a Russian, was accused by the manager for his opponent,
Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria, of taking too many bathroom breaks -- an apparent
suggestion that he was secretly using a technical device or a computer program
to help him with his moves.

Full story here.

King, Queen, Castle, Throne... makes sense to me.

They should make the loser clean out the bathrooms.

Vegas on Two Pairs (of Shoes) a Day

Yes, I’m still alive. No, I haven’t got a life yet, but not having one sure does seem to keep me busy some days.

We’ve sunk into a string of record-breaking cold temperatures, meaning September was even worse than August, if that’s possible. Now comes October first, and it’s gorgeous. Too late for the Vette of course, I cancelled the insurance on that because of the horrible rains and frost. Great. Just great.

Need to bring the turtles in! They certainly must be shivering in their little shells for sure (say that three times fast).

Waxed the Acura today because I just didn’t know if I’d get another chance. If I wasn’t so busy packing, I would have polished it before waxing, but now that will have to wait for spring. If there is a spring.

I see Com Ed is still trying to put some non-existent positive spin on the fact that their rates are about to rise 25%!! Note to self: call Chicago Tribune and ask how much a full-page ad in the first section costs. Then call Chicago Housing Authority and ask how much it costs for a month’s worth of electricity for a small apartment. Then add 25% to that figure. Then divide the first figure by the second to determine how many Grandmothers could have had electricity for a month if that idiot Com Ed president didn’t keep taking out ads to boo-hoo over how they haven’t had a rate hike in years. Hey, here’s a big psychic prediction! House fires will increase by 25% due to homeowners burning candles.

I’m packing for Las Vegas!! Mr. Right (as in Will-Be-Packing-Right-As-The-Car-To-The-Airport-Pulls-In-Our-Drive) has a software convention to attend so I thought I’d tag along! I’m hoping to be able to do some Road Blogs as well! Actually, I love Vegas. I’m not a gambler (Despite marrying Al) but love looking at the incredible architecture, gaudy neon and enjoy the world class shopping! Can’t afford anything at those overpriced designer stores. I’m talking about the hotel gift shops! Where else can you get Egyptian-themed junk, (Luxor) Roman kitsch, (Caesar’s) and Sea Life Stuff (Mandalay Bay) in such proportion! I love it all! Already I’m obsessing about spending too much and how to lug it all home!! Whee! Oh, maybe I’ll bet $20 or so. On some Win A Porsche slot machine. They have lots of gimmicky stuff like cars and motorcycles you can win with a spin.

I’ve already charted all the attractions I want to see: Mandalay Bay’s Aquarium, animals at the Flamingo, the tiger that mauled Roy at the Mirage (he’s not really on display, but how would I know if it was Monty or not? Or they could have had him stuffed so tourists could poke him, or take pictures. Oh, that would be cool, mount him rearing on his back legs swiping a huge paw at onlookers and they could charge $20 for photos where you could stick your head in his mouth…don’t laugh, Vegas is famous for this kind of crap.)

There’s also the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati dealership. That’s right, dealership. Except they charge you $10 to get in!!! NOTHING in Vegas is free. And a lot of the food stinks. But I do love playing Keno while waiting for my entrée. I wish they had that here. Keno has horrible odds, but it keeps you busy with the crayon between courses. More dignified than just using the crayon on the place mat like I have to do at IHOP. Anyhoo, you get to look at the cars in this snazzy showroom display and get to EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP!!! The only thing more expensive than looking at these cars will be the T-shirts, mugs, pens, etc. I buy on the way out…but hey, it’s Vegas!

So I spent hours and hours packing. How unlike a man, who minutes before going to a wedding discovers he’s gained weight in the past three years since he last wore his suit and it’s too late to have it altered now….

Also reviewing what’s verboten in the carry-on department. I’ll have to ask Kane Citizen how his experience was. Of equal importance is the selection of vacation reading material. Nothing as weighty as Kane Citizen’s choices, I’m afraid. Speaking of weight, I consciously chose books that were small and light. Sorry Complete Collected Works of Oscar Wilde and Leaves of Grass and The Girls. I’ll have to get to you another time. I think I’ll bring: Not Enough Indians, Harry Shearer; Metro Girl, Janet Evanovich (new author for me!); A Spot of Bother, Mark Haddon; Apex Hides the Hurt, Colson Whitehead; Thunderstruck, Erik Larson. That last one is pretty large, but at least I know Al would like it, so I’m bringing it.

I fling open my closet (size of 1-car garage) and start picking clothes. Of course, one outfit was new, just for the trip. Why not? The problem always ends up being shoes. I know, I know, how can that be, Imelda, you ask.

Well, I think if I could chart it on a graph you might be able to conceptualize it. Like, let X = number of shoes (currently, oh, 130-ish) and Y = Outfit Combinations, then XY can be a subset consisting of [comfortable yet fashionable matching items] whereas XY is always equal to an Imaginary Number. It’s like I’m convinced there’s a shoe that would be easy to walk in and stylish, but I certainly don’t have one, and I always discover this less than a week away from needing this shadowy perfect shoe…

Really, are there any shoes that look good and feel good? Doubtful. Don’t even mention that stupid commercial where the women were playing basketball in the ugly pumps to prove how comfortable their dress shoes were. Yeah, right.

I’m meeting Louise for a last-minute shop fest tomorrow night. No post, but I will try to get a little more up before I leave. I have lots of great ideas, just very little typing ambition as of late.