Thursday, May 31, 2007

I Don't Make These Up

Can you say irony, kiddies? I knew you could!

A Georgia man who may have exposed hundreds of people to a highly dangerous form of tuberculosis on a European honeymoon was identified today as a 31-year-old [personal injury] attorney whose new father-in-law studies the disease at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'eel she check out, Laddie?

Nessie? Taken in 1972

...A man has captured what Nessie watchers say is possible footage of the supposed mythical creature beneath Scotland's most mysterious lake.

Hello YouTube!

"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this jet black thing, about 45 feet long, moving fairly fast in the water," said Gordon Holmes, the 55-year-old a lab technician from Shipley, Yorkshire, who took the video Saturday.

Hmm...Photography lab? Special effects expert?

Nessie watcher and marine biologist Adrian Shine viewed the video and hoped to properly analyze it in the coming months.

Analyze, debunk. Potato - Poh-ta-to.

Holmes said whatever it was moved at about 6 mph and kept a fairly straight course."My initial thought is it could be a very big eel, they have serpent-like features and they may explain all the sightings in Loch Ness over the years."

An electrifying discovery, nonetheless! And suspiciously just in time for summer tourist season.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Red, White, and Brown

The Friday before Memorial Day I decided to wear patriotic colors to work; which is a nice gesture of course, unless you're a total klutz like myself and have an iron-clad obligation to spill coffee on whatever white articles of clothing you may be sporting.

I sheepishly called Al from work and thanked him for the coffee, noting there were now brownish blobs all over my outfit where I tried to rub out 'Hazelnut Supreme' with a limp paper towel from the restroom. Ever chivalrous, Al offered to stop by on his way to the golf course and drop off some new pants.

What a nice offer! Since I wasn't meeting with any clients, I declined. No one would notice a few spots. I mean, the way I dress, no one would blink if I showed up in scuba fins one morning. They'd all figure it was the hot thing on the Paris runways and keep typing.

But what if I did have a big meeting that day, and needed some emergency duds? How on earth would the fashion editor at Vogue send the Computer Geek with a pocket protector into her closet for a replacement outfit?

At my house, it would sound a lot like this:

(Via Cell Phone)
Me: Ok, honey, first I want you to get some string.

Al: String?

Me: String. Tie one end to the door knob of my closet, and the other end to your belt loop. I don't want you getting lost, and bread crumbs would attract ants.

Al: Just tell me what you want.

Me: White Capri pants. West Wall, left side.

Al: Ok.

Me: No, not those! Those are winter white!

Al: I haven't touched anything yet!

Me: I don't want anything yellowy or wooly...

Al: Yeah, yeah. White pants.

Me: Capri Pants!! The short ones.

Al: You're five-foot-one. They're all short.

Me: The short-er ones!

Al: Ok, got it.

Me: Not the ones with black trim!

Al: What?

Me: I have on Navy. Black piping would clash. Solid white ones, cotton, short... do they have belt loops?

Al: What?

Me: I'll need a belt, if so. A red belt, or a navy one with silver buckle... helloo?? Hellloo???

Hmmm... patriotic, yet coffee-resistant

Awwww... Poor Kitty

(AP) - In this image made available by Israel's Nature and Parks Protection Authority, nature guide Arthur Du Mosch, 49, holds a wild leopard as park rangers arrive at the scene, in his bedroom in a small community near Sde Boker in southern Israel, Monday, May 28, 2007.

Du Mosch was fast asleep early Monday, his family and pet cat dozing beside him, when the leopard hopped into his bed. Leopards in Israel pose no threat to people and, in fact, this leopard, who was looking for food, was chasing Du Mosch's cat and not the humans sleeping in the bed, an expert said, and added that the leopard was very weak when captured.

(AP Photo/Amram Tzabari, Israel Nature and Parks Protection Authority, HO)

Words to Live By

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."

George Bernard Shaw

You Go, Trent!

Wow, here's some words I never thought I'd type:

"I so agree with Trent Lott."

Ever since he's turned on the insurance industry, he's my new best buddy. We've all had our run-in with 'your fault' insurance, and it's about time we the people took control of the situation.


So I'm researching this post, and go to a nice website,

Oh, goody, I think. Someplace to post all my "Maytag Sucks" and "Hoover doesn't" stuff...

Out of the corner of my eye I see a little link for a recall on Capri Pants. Fashion Maven that I am, I can't help but investigate what that's all about. I envision signing up for email updates that will alert me when something in my closet has gone out of style.

WARNING: Those Acid-Washed Jeans in the back of your closet are now punishable by law. Do not attempt to wear! Please burn at once!

Actually, it was about how a snap could come off of some children's clothes and pose a choking hazard. A bit of a let down. I liked my idea better.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Let's Just Monitor This One

CASSELBERRY, FLORIDA -- Police say they're sure they shot a 4-foot-long, 80-pound monitor lizard that had been lurking in an Orlando suburb for months. Eighty pounds? Hardly. More like 18. Did it breathe fire, too?

Still, neighbors aren't ready to let their children or pets back outside until they see a carcass.The lizard didn't bite anyone, but police officers were authorized to kill it because of the potential danger it posed to small children and animals. Oh, but they're not authorized to shoot child molesters? Only innocent animals?

An officer shot the reptile twice Sunday but wasn't close enough to catch it before the animal scampered into a retention pond, said Lt. Dennis Stewart of the Casselberry Police Department. Sounds like it is good and angry now...
and by the way, it's nesting season! Bet she's pissed.

Authorities said the lizard was likely a pet that escaped or was illegally dumped. Sad but true. Invasive species are a huge problem created by human idiots.

Oooh! Scary.

Al Cicada?

Despite the Cicada invasion in the Chicago suburbs, I have yet to see any here. That's a huge disappointment, as they make great snacks for lizards and turtles.

Perhaps they asked Al if it was time to hatch and he convinced them to procrastinate a few more years... Oh, say, two more years?

Prime. Very Prime.

May I Have Some More?


Above normal temperatures for the month of May! Drought! Eighty - Degree days! It doesn't get much better that this!

Except... for the abnormally warm summer that usually follows!

Yay sunshine and humidity!

I love you.

That's Saucy!

MIAMI (AP) - A Wendy's manager was shot several times in the arm early Tuesday morning trying to protect the restaurant's chili sauce, authorities said.

A man in the drive-through argued with an employee because he wanted more of the condiment, police said. The worker told the customer that restaurant policy prohibited a customer from getting more than three packets. The man insisted on 10, reports said. The employee complied, but police said the customer wanted more.When the manager came out to speak to the man, the customer shot the manager, Mary Walters, a Miami-Dade police spokeswoman, said.

The manager was taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, police said.The customer fled in a brown four-door vehicle with a female passenger.

I HATE it when they don't give you enough condiments! One small shot for a Miami man, one giant leap towards the end of snotty counter employees who act like the ketchup comes out of their salary. Hey, here's an idea, fast food restaurants: reasonably sized condiment portions! Who uses only one little packet??? All those messy little sticky packs are a royal pain. Is someone going to have to die before we solve this problem? Tomato rage. It's real, and it's nasty.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Review Time!

I’ve been reading:

Marx For Beginners by Ruis – English translation

Brief biography of Marx and how his writings impacted the world – in graphic novel format! Nice introduction, I give it a B-.

Alice Cooper, Golf Monster by Alice Cooper with Keith and Kent Zimmerman

Rock star Alice Cooper pays two guys to suffer through his sanitized version of why replacing an unhealthy addiction to alcohol can be aided by replacing it with a healthier addiction like golf and try to make it into a book.

Although, arguably, one could still drink while golfing, I am certainly encouraging towards anyone trying to overcome substance abuse problems. As a non-golfer, I can’t rate his golfing tips.

They seem sensible – mimic, practice, play with those better than you. As a memoir, this gets an F. He’s too nice to say anything truly nasty about anyone, including himself. The reader is told his wife filed for divorce, but was dissuaded moments before entering the courtroom. There is nothing about how his drinking affected his family, or what his wife’s personality might be. A tiny amount of name-dropping is used for comedic relief, but no dirt. Fun, but unsubstantial. Only for the rabid fan like myself. I give it a C- just because it's Alice.

Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

X-Men meets Days of Our Lives meets League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

What if the superheros and supervillans were all romantically involved? What if even they didn’t know each other’s back stories; or in some cases, their own? Overall, this is a light, cute look at being an evil scientist bent on world domination. Who can’t relate? Good premise, has ‘Movie Deal’ written all over it. Can’t wait to see what stars are cast. B-.
I’ve been watching:

Death of a President - Gabriel Range

Awesome! Subtle, believable, and oh-so-straight-faced. Loved it! Just the thing for little malcontents like myself who know the only thing worse than George W. Bush is Dick Cheeny. See this movie! A+

I've Found my Hajj

NEW YORK --Saks Fifth Avenue says its new shoe
department is so big and fancy it's getting its own ZIP code.

The quintessential Manhattan store is revamping
its shoe department, and when it moves from the fourth floor to the eighth floor in August customers will be able to send mail to 10022-SHOE.

"We believe it's such a big move for us it deserves its own ZIP code," Saks spokeswoman Lesley Langsam Kennedy said Thursday. "We wanted to make it a destination."

The U.S. Postal Service said it worked with the retailer on the new ZIP code, which is just promotional. Only the last four characters, which aren't necessary when you're mailing something, are specialized, and they won't be read by sorting machines.

The rest of the midtown neighborhood, which includes St. Patrick's Cathedral, shares 10022.

The new 8,500-square-foot Saks showroom at the flagship Fifth Avenue store will have more shoes, more service and more stock room capability, Langsam Kennedy said. It also will feature a VIP room for private shopping, spacious seating, refreshments and shoe repair on hand, she said.

Saks operates 54 stores in 25 states and two stores in the Middle East.

A destination? Try summer home! So – do you get a special postmark if you send something from that floor? They should sell cute little postcards that say ‘being held hostage on the fourth floor – send money!!’ . Seating and refreshments? I can bring Al!

Stars and Cars

Will the Auto Abuse never end?

Now comes word that
Lindsay Lohan was arrested Saturday after her 2005 Mercedes SL-65 crashed on Sunset Boulevard around 5:30 a.m.

This is Lohan’s third crash in two years. Arnie, make it stop!!

Why I Stayed Home This Weekend

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wish I'd Said That

"The average national price of a gallon of gas hit an all-time record high of $3.15 this week. Meaning that wherever you're going this summer, it might be cheaper to mail your car." --Amy Poehler

"Republicans in Congress are now demanding that President Bush investigate whether the oil companies are engaged in price gouging. Putting the White House in charge of investigating oil companies. That's like putting Dick Cheney in charge of gun safety."

"Given how expensive gas is, today, I saw a van with 50 legal Americans inside it."

"I was watching that movie Mad Max, you know that movie where gas is so precious that people are killing each other for a few gallons. It was set in the future -- I believe it was August."

""There was a sign at the station near by my house that said, 'We take Visa, Mastercard, Discover Card, and American Express.' After I filled up they took my Visa, Master Card, my Discover Card, and my American Express." --Jay Leno

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wait, Maybe There Is...

The Defense Department recently released disturbing images and cartoons showing how to torture a captive found by American forces during a raid on a Al Qaeda safe house a few weeks ago. - "Faux News"

Gosh, are you sure that tract didn't just fall out of some Koran you were flushing down a toilet?

Blog Blahs

I don't have anything to say tonight.

Well... I do, just not to YOU.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Miracle of the Peas and Fishes

One Fish, Two Fish
Red Fish (Daytona)
Blue Fish (Indy)

For those of you* who were wondering how Indy the Siamese Fighting Fish with the swim bladder problem was doing, the answer is much better!

I did the whole fast and feed peas thing, and it didn’t seem to help. In fact, at one point a week and a half ago, I’d say he was doing worse. I figured it was the sewer pipe for my little pet, when all of a sudden this weekend he seemed much better. Perky, hungry, and for the first time in months: raising and lowering himself throughout the bowl with no sign of a struggle!

Hopefully as we approach his ‘coming home from Wal-Mart anniversary date’ he will continue to do well and enjoy all a 3” diameter habitat can offer. I love you Indy! Thanks for hanging in there!

*As a wild guess, I’d say I have about three readers; and only one cared, but hey, that’s 33%!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Rear Window

Visitors to my yard!


Are you superstitious? Or are you above all that?

I get a kick out of reading about other people’s superstitions. You know, some baseball player wears his lucky socks every game – inside out. How silly. We all know that only hard work and practice will affect his game, not some smelly old socks (don’t you just love the ‘don’t wash the luck out’ codicil?). But he clings to his ritual in the hopes that he will create a winning streak. Defying all logic, he doesn’t stop, even if he loses a game. Makes for good copy. Harmless fun. Unless, of course, you’re the virgin being thrown into the volcano…

Despite my usual logic, I too have fallen victim to just such a fallacy. It all started one year when the Veteran’s were doing their annual Poppy fund-raiser. These old WWII vets stand in the middle of a busy intersection soliciting donations. Now if that’s not a blatant attempt by the VA to thin the herds of benefit seekers, I don’t know what is.

So I slow down and give the guy some money in exchange for a poppy. I love veterans, and the flower is so much better than those God-awful Tootsie Rolls or hard candies other groups give out. I give them just a quarter and tell them to keep the gunk.

Poppy – opium – World War I – mustard gas – I think there’s some connection here, but I’m not sure what. Wait! Check this out!

"By the end of the 1930s, Christchurch RSA was even making an oversized Poppy for motor vehicles."

Anyhoo, I decided to wrap the poppy around my rear view mirror as a decoration.

Somehow, I must have had that poppy on my Vette when we took one of our cross-country extravaganzas. You know, the ones where the car breaks down in some memorable way; in a less than convenient locale. Fan Belt – Oklahoma City, Transmission - New York, Fuel Pump - southern Illinois, Brakes – Montana. You get the picture.

So we go a whole trip with no breakdowns. Hmmm. Must be the poppy! Need to get a poppy every year and put it on the car. Sounds great! A talisman is born.

Fast forward two years…

Poppy installed, I’m heading down the highway and hear a ‘thwick- thwick- thwick- thwick-thwick’ sound. Hmm. Need to report that to Al. Could be something. Or not.

(Female Readers: Don’t you just LOVE trying to convince the man in your life that the car is making a sound that indicates a major repair lies just ahead? Are you told to turn up the radio? Or worse yet, “I don’t hear anything,” and its partner phrase, “It doesn’t do that for me”. I’ve heard fuel pumps going, transmissions giving out, lifters wearing, bearings going out…)

So this continued for some time. I would hear the noise only at certain speeds, or on certain days, never anything I could nail down. The car never broke, but I was certain doom was just around the next S-curve. Until…

I sheepishly realized the noise was coming from the damn poppy! They have this big white tag on them identifying the Veteran’s organization. Whenever the car got to a certain speed, the wind whipped the tag causing it to ‘thwick- thwick- thwick’.

Disaster averted. Superstition cured. The poppy now goes in the glove box.

I mean, just in case.

Monday, May 21, 2007

More Difficult By the Dozen

An Atlanta zoo has hatched a rare Arakan forest turtle, the offspring of one of the only twelve in captivity.

Zoo Atlanta is the only facility in the world successfully breeding the Arakan turtle, one of the most critically endangered animals on earth.

Scientists blame the rapid disappearance of the Arakan forest turtle — much like other shelled reptiles — on their popularity in Asia for cooking and medicinal purposes.

"For a species this close to extinction, it is simply not acceptable that they are being eaten," said Joseph Mendelson, curator of herpetology at the zoo.

Captive breeding programs don't "solve the problem of them being overharvested in the wild. It does make sure they don't go extinct while we work to solve that problem," Mendelson said.

The turtle has an abysmal survival rate. Hatchlings often die both in captivity and the wild, and food traders are plundering the population of adult turtles that could keep the species going.

The turtles are very delicate and mate only once a year.

"The animals seem to be extremely difficult to establish in captivity," said Peter Paul van Dijk, director of the tortoise and freshwater turtle program for Conservation International.

Makes pandas look like rabbits, eh? As for our household, no lizard eggs were viable, but Puffy looks up to giving it another try!

Why Me???

The Associated Press
Published May 21, 2007, 5:50 AM CDT

Chicago now has the highest gasoline prices in the nation, according to a nationwide survey released Sunday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Good Riddance!

The Moral Majority is neither. I'm not the only one hoping Tinky Winky is hitting Falwell over the head with a purse for all eternity...

See what these blogs have to say:

Non-Mothers Against Madness

I've had it. First, my favorite decongestant is moved "behind the counter" so that meth-heads can't buy it in quantities sufficient to cook up a lethal explosion in their kitchen.

Now, a mother is campaigning to have dextromethorphan moved as well.

MARENGO – Tina Holley’s teenage daughter nearly died this week after overdosing on potent cold medication.

Now Holley wants to make sure that other teenagers in her town won’t be able to get their hands on Coricidin Cough and Cold tablets, also known as “Triple C,” the over-the-counter medication that nearly claimed her daughter’s life and has become a nationwide concern among parents.

Holley, 39, said that although her daughter, whom she asked not be identified in the story, has a history of drug use and mental-health problems, she believes that the easy accessibility of Triple C was part of the reason why the girl allegedly shoplifted the tablets from the shelf of a local grocery store Tuesday and consumed 14 of them.

“[Children] are doing this because there’s an easy way to get them,” Holley said. “They can’t get to marijuana, they can’t get to cocaine – not easily and not without money.”

(Do I even need to comment on this excerpt? I thought not)

Where will this madness end? Listerine by prescription only?

I have no problem with controlling substances. Many should be controlled. But I resent not being able to buy items I want or need without undue hassle.

Several times now I have passed on buying my decongestant because I don't have the time and patience required to wait in a pharmacy line. It now takes forever to get these once-innocent pills, and it is extremely discouraging. I was looking at the cold remedies when a teenage boy came up next to me to do the same. He shook his head in disgust. I asked what he was looking for, and he explained his choices were now limited, as they wouldn't sell him the 'good stuff' due to his age. He said the alternative choice didn't work for him. He selected something and stalked off. I decided to try the 'other choice' and was disappointed as well. I have to now allot a few hours to standing in line with all the sick losers if I want to ever unstuff my nose again.

Why must this be sold by the pharmacist during pharmacy hours? Why not the check out girl? She could take my name at the front register. Meanwhile, there are other drugs that should be available to the truly ill, but are not. Believe me, just make everyone wait in the Pharmacy Line. The recreational users will think twice.

You Want Stems With That?

The Associated PressMay 16, 2007, 12:25 PM CDT

OTTAWA, Ill. -- A 17-year-old fast-food employee is facing drug charges after allegedly hiding marijuana in a Happy Meal that ended up with a young child.

Ottawa Police Chief Brian Zeilmann said a man and his three children went through a McDonald's drive-through Monday to order Happy Meals.One of the children, an 8-year-old girl, found a lighter, pipe, and bag of marijuana in her Happy Meal, Zeilmann said.

Her father went to the police.

A McDonald's employee, Brandon Scott of Ottawa, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

Zeilmann said the owners of the restaurant cooperated with the investigation that led to the arrest.

Road Sage

Danica Patrick, 25, who, in 2005 became only the fourth female race car driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, will be on that track again next weekend. First, she answers a few of our questions.

What kind of car do you drive at home in Phoenix? I have a Lamborghini Gallardo. The guy who sold it to me said, "It's silver. Silver is a little bit more subtle. You blend in more." I was thinking, "Buddy, do you think I'm driving this car because I want to be subtle?"

By a Nose!

I'm a Winner!!!!

Bet $5 on Curlin to win! Yay me!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

I’ve Been Reading

Choosing My Religion by Stephen J. Dubner

Dubner was co-author of one of my favorite books, Freakonomics. This was actually released prior to Freakonomics in 1998 under the title Turbulent Souls. It is a personal memoir of his growing up the youngest of eight siblings in an extremely observant Catholic family. Understood but unexplored was the fact that both his parents were born Jewish and converted to Catholicism. As an adult, Dubner decides to uncover his roots, and becomes more spiritual in the process. His father died when he was ten, so his search can be interpreted as a quest for his father, or a true conversion to Judaism. At any rate, I give it an A and recommend it as good reading!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Wish I'd Said That

"When reporters of the Associated Press recently asked some of presidential candidates what their favorite reality shows were, Mitt Romney said 'American Idol.' Joe Biden said he didn't have a favorite show. And surprisingly, Rudy Giuliani picked 'Wife Swap.'" --Jay Leno

"The first Republican debate was held at the Reagan Presidential Library. The candidates tried to distance themselves from President Bush. Apparently, the first step in distancing yourself from President Bush is appearing at a library."--Conan O'Brien

"Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Tom Tancredo -- those were the three guys who said they do not believe in evolution. The irony will be on them when their campaigns die off in favor of stronger, fitter campaigns." --Bill Maher

"The Republican presidential debate was held tonight in California, and ten candidates took part. Political experts say that the ten Republican candidates represented all races, creeds, and colors of rich white men." --Conan O'Brien

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

To... Puffy!

Ok, I admit it. I thought Puffy was a boy.

All these years, I just went on that hunch.

"He" was aggressive, puffed out his little black beard, chased off other lizards, typical 'guy stuff'.

Flame and Puffy have been living together for a few years now, and for the most part get along well. Oh, sure, sometimes they play-bite each other's tail, but I can usually break it up before someone gets hurt. Most days are spent peacefully basking in separate corners of the enclosure.

As you may recall, this January marked the first time I've added
sand as a substrate.

At the end of March, I added a new UVB reptile-basking bulb, and really noticed a difference. They were suddenly more active and happier. These bulbs cost $50 each and only emit the UVB for about six months! (Nobody said this hobby was cheap, which explains why I've been doing it wrong for so long - no coupons for this stuff.) My last bulb was still keeping them warm, and spring is the perfect time to change out the light. This way you can get a year on one bulb.

Soooo.... somewhere along the line all these conditions aligned - Brumation, followed by UBV signaling spring mating season, and sand to lay eggs in...

I came home to at least a dozen eggs and parts-of-eggs all over the cage. Amazingly enough, neither lizard ate the eggs (I've seen my box turtles Rodan and Chelsea eat eggs Gamara has laid). Puffy looked very thin.

I threw most of the eggs out. I doubted their fertility / viability for many reasons, number one being I didn't provide proper nesting for Puffy. Had I known she was gravid, I could have done something!

I went online to see what I could learn about geriatric lizards producing eggs. Puffy is at least ten years old! That has to be ancient for a lizard. Most reports say ten is the upper limit of the lifespan of a bearded dragon, some others note fifteen.

First off, I should have been able to feel the eggs inside her and notice she was gravid. Nope. They both are well-fed and look chubby. They have heft to them. Puffy looked really thin now, but not emaciated. I could however, determine she was the one who laid the eggs. I'm not saying Flame couldn't be female as well, just that I don't think she laid any today. Reptiles can produce eggs without the presence of a male, and may become egg-bound. I'm just glad that hasn't happened with any of my pets, as that can be life-threatening.

Secondly, I should have provided a special tank for Puffy to create a nest, and left her there for a few days. Oh, and let's not forget the whole 'trying to produce hatchlings' concept. I totally skipped that one. I didn't monitor the temperature of the cage, keep the male from the females, etc., etc.

Thirdly, eggs should be moved to an incubator and kept upright at a certain temperature for 50 to 70 days.... Yep. I screwed this all up.

I left three eggs in the cage. I'll check them in a few days, but I think I will end up removing them before they rot. I can always try again next year. I have already disturbed the eggs, so little chance exists that they will hatch, even if fertile. They are bright yellow now. I understand if they whiten and enlarge, they are fertile and growing little baby lizards.

There's nothing cuter that a little baby lizard! So, who knows, perhaps I'll be advertising lizards for sale some time soon!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Write Stuff

Principal: Now Stevie, do you know why I called you down to my office?

Stephen: Yes, Mr. Blake.

Principal: Why is that, Stevie?

Stephen: Mrs. Hallfa didn't like my essay.

Principal: It's not a matter of liking, young man. Your essay was very twisted. Sick. Disturbed. We can't have that in our school. Not on my watch.

Stephen: It was just a story!

Principal: Pig's blood? Dirty pillows? Killing people at prom? What kind of sick joke are you trying to play Mr. King? I can't have our youth plotting to ruin a high school institution like prom night. Anarchy, that's what you're preaching.

Stephen: It's fiction. It's about the supernatural. You don't really believe a teenage girl could make knives fly, do you?

Principal: I think you need some time off to think about the gravity of what you've done. You've made a mockery of this school and all we stand for here.

Stephen: Homogenized mediocrity?

Principal: Are you saying there are homosexuals attending this school? How dare you make such implications. We're a God-fearing community, you best learn that now. You're expelled for three days, young man. I suggest you return with an improved attitude.

Stephen: Or a three-book contract.

Read about the student who turned in a violent essay during a 'free write' session at school and ended up charged by the police.
Dig into the archives to see excerpts of the essay, and watch the whole sordid story unfold.

What should a school do if a student turns in a disturbing essay? First, does the student have a history of disturbing actions? Or a 4.2 grade point average? A laundry list of disciplinary problems? That's yet to be proven. Have his parents failed to show for requested conferences? Has he shown physically violent or aggressive behavior towards his peers or superiors? No? Then why would calling the police be the first line of action?

It's a safety issue, school officials say. Police filed two disorderly conduct charges against Allen Lee, after being called by school officials. Sorry, but knee-jerk overreaction does not a safer school make.

Why not bring the student and his parents in for a conference with a psychologist present? Give the student a chance to explain his intentions.

Explain why his comments aren't 'funny' and won't be treated as such. Make it clear that in today's climate such an essay is inappropriate and harmful. Make counseling sessions with a psychologist mandatory before he can return to class. Involve the parents in his treatment and insist on family counseling as well.

Give him a zero on the assignment, and ask that he write another. Not so much for credit, but as a 'teachable moment'. After all, we are supposed to be teaching our youth. Oh, wait, arresting them is so much easier.

Oh, and don't you just love the Marine Corps rejecting him? Like they don't need warm bodies. Especially ones with a propensity for violence. What a joke. Every day our military 'bends the rules' to get recruits, frequently making 'records' like a few disorderly conduct convictions disappear.

Hope Lee gets the last laugh and turns this whole thing into a movie of the week for big bucks. It certainly looks as if the State's Attorney's case is falling apart.

No Betting Sense

Yeah, I'm a loser.

So what's your point?

Street Sense
Kentucky Derby 133

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Wheels of Justice

Will this end the auto abuse?

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The 26-year-old heiress to the Hilton hotel empire will begin her sentence on June 5, the court ruled, following a three-hour hearing at the Metropolitan Court House.

Hilton's parole violation came after she was caught driving on a suspended license following her no contest plea to driving under the influence.

Prosecutors told the court Hilton had been stopped in her 190,000-dollar Bentley Continental GTC on January 15 by the California Highway Patrol and told that she was not allowed to be driving.

On that occasion, Hilton signed a police statement acknowledging that she was not supposed to drive. But just over a month later she was hauled over again in Hollywood when spotted driving at night with her headlights off.

A spokesman for Hilton said his client was unaware she was violating her parole -- but prosecutors dismissed that line of argument, citing the earlier brush with traffic police in January.

Hilton had lost her license for alcohol-related reckless driving and was given 36 months probation.

The charges stemmed from her September 7 arrest after she was found driving her Mercedes with an alcohol level equal to the legal limit.

Court documents described her decision to repeatedly keep driving as a "flagrant" violation of court orders and demanded that she be given a custodial sentence.

Bad Bet

Beating yourself up over spending $3.50 for a Latte?

Sure, there are better things to do with your money, and you really should start being more fiscally responsible.

But at least you didn't pay $16 million for a horse that never raced, much less made it to the Kentucky Derby....

Indecision 08

(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, has been placed under the protection of the Secret Service, the agency said Thursday.

The government is not aware of any specific, credible threat against Obama, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the decision. But his office has received hate mail and calls and other "threatening materials" in the past and during his campaign, the source said.

Call it a hunch, but I'd be checking those envelopes for Hillary's DNA...

Wonder if Hillary will send a little note to Michelle saying the secret service do a great job on security but a lousy job of squealing about your man's extra-curricular activities?

Friday, May 04, 2007

You Are Ready Grasshopper

"When you can take the pen from my hand, it will be time for you to leave. "

Just out of sheer spite I decided to waste his whole weekend and printed out a “Samurai Sudoku”. Difficulty level: Fiendish.


Ok. So the lawn won’t get mowed. Not like he was going to do much anyway.

Gentlemen, start your ballpoints!

Deja Doku

So Al picks up the paper tonight and says, “I think I’ve done this already…”

“Deja Doku,” I reply. “The feeling you’ve done this puzzle before.”

Save Us, Inky Doku

As a Procrastinating Perfectionist, Al loves doing puzzles, or, well, anything beyond something productive. At first it was just the Jumble. Bugs me to death that he’s so damn good at it. While I’m still unscrambling the first word, he’s done. And the paper is facing me.

Now he’s discovered Sudoku.

A little late to the party, but that’s to be expected from a procrastinator.

He fills them all in perfectly, no little crossout numbers, no little ‘mistake scribbles’. Perfectly. In pen. In black ink. Because he won’t use blue.

Now, I’m not sure how this particular super-power is going to save the world, but trust that it is. I’ve taken to calling him Inky-Doku. Wouldn’t that make an awesome Manga character?

Help! Inky Doku! There’s a crazed serial killer on the loose!

What areas of the city has he struck in?

Well, there’s one body on Third Street, four bodies on Ninth Street, and eight bodies on Fifth Avenue…

I’ve got it! The next attack will be at First Avenue!

How do you know, Inky Doku?

It’s the only place that hasn’t been used South of Matrix Boulevard.

Awww! Thank you Inky Doku! You’ve saved us!!

No problem. It’s my Sixth Sense.

I have to go put blue refill cartridges in all the pens now. He's asleep.

24 – Give or Take

“When the going gets tough, the tough get blogging.”
Christopher Buckley

Sooooo sorry to have been gone so long! Brimming with ideas, just a lack of typing time/ambition. So let’s get started!!

As I may have mentioned a few hundred thousand times, my husband Al is a Procrastinating Perfectionist. Everything must be done just right. At the very last minute.

Oddly enough, his favorite TV show is “24”. Must be the same reason I watched “Friends”. No way was I ever going to be that attractive or popular, so might as well live vicariously through someone else. Someone getting a million dollars an episode, no less.

I can’t help but envision what would happen if Al were called upon to save the world in a mere 24 hours.

(Voiceover) The following takes place between 6 and 9 a.m. ….
(Dink, Dink, Dink)


Ok. So he’s not a morning person.

(Voiceover) The following takes place between 9 and 10 a.m. ….
(Dink, Dink, Dink)

(Sound of shower running)

(Voiceover) The following takes place between 10 and 11 a.m. ….
(Dink, Dink, Dink)

Al: Are we out of bacon?
Me: You need to save the world! The terrorists have the President! The First Lady is trapped in a ravine! Tony Blair was calling your cell phone the whole time you were in the shower!
Al: Yeah, justaminute. Do we have anymore bacon?
Me: Yes.
Al: Where?
Me: Don’t make me open the fridge.
Al: Do you have to make a federal case out of everything?
Me: There won’t be a federation of states left if you don’t act!
Al: I’ve got thirteen hours! Would you relax? (spying the morning paper from across the room, upside down from him) Oooh! A Jumble.
Me: Your nemesis has a dirty bomb!
Al: Dirty Blonde? You mean your friend Ashley? Is maxim a word?

Yep. We’re doomed.

Now of course, Al thinks I could do no better…

(Voiceover) The following takes place between 6 and 7 a.m.
(Dink, Dink, Dink)

Al: You need to save the world! The terrorists have the President! The First Lady is trapped in a ravine! Tony Blair was calling your cell phone the whole time you were in the shower!
Me: You realize the only reason I’m getting out of bed is the thought of the Vice President ascending to the post.
Al: Hurry!
Me: I’m not saving anybody with hair like this. There will be reporters, cameras…

(Voiceover) The following takes place between 7 and 8 a.m.
(Dink, Dink, Dink)

Me: Ok, does the navy blue pantsuit with the spectator pumps say “I’m here to save the day”, or should I go with the red “La Femme Nikita” silk dress? Is this purse too “Kill Bill”?
Al: Why are you asking me? I’m an engineer!!
Me: Yeah. Good point. (spying the morning paper from across the room, upside down) Oooh! Lingerie sale at Watertower.
Al: Your nemesis has a dirty bomb!
Me: The fiend! Can I borrow your truck? Do we still have some of that Weed N’ Feed left?
Al: Why?
Me: Oh, like I’d scratch one of my cars…

Yep. We’re doomed.

Already Lucky!

Bet on the Kentucky Derby tonight. Well, with a horoscope like this, wouldn’t you?

“Count your winnings carefully to avoid being cheated. Some of this money will be yours to spend, but some of it goes to others.”

Oooh! The IRS?

So I bet $2 across the board on a half-blind horse. I mean, how many times do you get an opportunity to do that?

So here are my picks, if you care to play along:

Storm in May – $2 across the board
Cowtown Cat - $2 to win
Curlin - $2 to place

Stopping at the OTB parlor is a real experience. I think I contracted lung cancer just making my way to the window. Our local radio station was there at a little folding table. Last year I charmed them out of a hat. This year they had a little slot machine set up that you spun to win a prize. It was cute; they had recording artists and their disc jockeys as the little icons to match and win. I didn’t win, but the guy gave me the Kentucky Derby 133 T-Shirt anyway. Yay! Ok, it was an XL, that’s all they had, but who looks the Free Gift Horse in the mouth?

Feeling extra lucky, I decided to buy a lotto ticket too. I asked at the grocery store desk and they directed me to an automated machine by the exit. A very scary sign informed me I must be 21 to play. Not to mention literate enough to read it, and let’s face it, how many lotto addicts are? Also, the big fat legal notice was way up high. The feed the bill slot, not so much. Again, a great way to discourage the average six-year-old.

Wish me luck!

Oh, also stopped off at Kohl’s to return a broken earring and get a gift card. I earned the Congressional Medal of Retail Restraint by not buying anything past a replacement pair of earrings. Whoo Hoo! Watch that savings account grow. New Corvette, here I come.

Cruise Control

(Actual conversation)

Me: I forgot my cell phone at home today honey!

Al: So?

Me: So if I get in a hideous car crash on the way home from work tonight, you won’t know until the State Police call.

Al: Why would you get into a crash?

Me: Well, with that much of my attention on the road, who knows what could happen?