Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Prepared!

You know the part where they are stumbling over the oath of office, and the words just aren't coming out right? That's right where I would have said, "That's OK, I wrote my own oath right here! Let's see ... I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States for the rest of my life."

Oh, like Cheney didn't think of it...

Moving Boxes... Or Bodies?

I'm sure it's nothing a little waterboarding can't cure.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Like You Didn't Think of It

Didn't you want them to put the camera on Hillary's face right when he took the oath???

Free at Last! Free at Last!

I have a dream, and it involves getting alot of freebies...

(Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, not too terribly bright or early)

Me: I'd like my free coffee!!

DDV: Well, OK, I'll do it this time, but just to let you know, it's only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ....

Me: (Looking at very accurate car clock and seeing 6:56) Oh, uh, thank you...

Like what? You have an atomic clock in there? A timer set on the lead-encased For Free Coffee Only brewer that doesn't kick in until 6:59 to prevent evil early birds like myself? By the time I get to "window two" buddy, not only will it be after seven a.m., but the damn coffee will be cold.

On a plus side, this morning's offering was a real size 'small', not that teensy little sampler I got one day. I have overcome!

I was so happy I didn't even pull into that second McDonald's I pass on this route. Maybe next week.

Like it's my fault they put one every four blocks. I can see them radioing to each other over the little drive through headsets... It's that free broad again! Don't give her any more!!

Hey, I'm ecologically conscious. I'd be fine with just filling the first paper cup again....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wish I'd Said That!

"Toyota's developing a miniature, environmentally-friendly car that is powered entirely by a rechargeable battery. Yeah. Meanwhile, Detroit is still hard at work on an SUV that runs on rain forest trees and panda blood." --Conan O'Brien

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Don't Think So!

Foiling Pteranodon Takeoffs Since the Cretaceous!

So the lead story at Yahoo News tonight is the plane crash in the Hudson. What upset me about their little post was their encapsulation of the story as a link to read more.

It read: Birds to blame

Excuse me? Birds? Those cute little fluffy descendants of dinosaurs that have been on earth say, a hundred million years???? While we humans have been polluting up the sky some oh, one hundred? That's one hundred, period. Not one hundred thousand. Not one hundred million. Nope. Using 1903's Kitty Hawk launch, I'd say we were the brash newcomer here, wouldn't you? Not like we've each developed the ability to 'see' the earth's magnetic fields or anything, eh?

Anyhoo, nice to know no one was killed. Well, except for those birds! In the waning days of the Bush administration, I'm sure this incident will be blamed on Hummingbird Hamas or Al-Queda Kites or something... see the NY Times Daily Intel to prove I'm not alone on this airstream.

But my outrage goes on: while researching the whole bird evolution question, I typed in "When did birds appear on Earth" into Google.

Oh, WikiAnswers, that looks good, I thought.

Not so much. Nothing like being fundamentally right.

What to do? Well, frankly this group scares me: Bird Strike Committee USA

They certainly dramatize the 218 people killed by birds striking aircraft, but catch this little line:

About 90% of all bird strikes in the U.S. are by species federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

look closer, and see that it was preceded by:

The nesting population of bald eagles in the contiguous USA increased from fewer than 400 pairs in 1970 (2 years before DDT and similar chlorinated-hydrocarbon insecticides were banned) to over 11,000 pairs in 2007. Over 100 bald eagle strikes with civil aircraft have been reported in USA, 1990-2007. Mean body mass of bald eagles = 9.1 lbs (male); 11.8 lbs (female).

Ah-Ha!! Just remove federal protection from Bald Eagles and California Condors and voila! Problem solved. We can shoot them within a five hundred mile radius of any airport. Call Sara Palin! There's some huntin' licences to be issued!

Why the Chicago Tribune is in Bankruptcy

Received the following e-mail from my paper:

Come join us for this monumental event! The Subscriber Advantage team will be dressed in orange Subscriber Advantage gear, stationed next to the inflatable Chicago Tribune balloon giving out TribCODE cards that are worth 150 TribPOINTS! Come show your support and be apart of history. See details below.

Sincerely, Subscriber Advantage

Gosh, think Sam Zell got rid of, oh, say 2000 too many editors?????????? Whatever you do, don't let history catch you!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I've been wearing the $21 made-in-China down & feather jacket all week and have yet to contract avian flu. We are already in the top ten of both coldest and snowiest winter seasons ever recorded in the Chicago area. Wheee!!!

I have done nothing but eat carbohydrates. I wanted to exercise, but I can't get to the health club, the roads are so bad. Really can't take another three months of this.

When I was a kid, every September I would read my complete boxed set of Laura Ingalls Wilder novels. Although These Happy Golden Years was my favorite, The Long Winter made the most impact. Even then, I was extremely concerned about being trapped somewhere cold with no food. And would you have told Paleface anything if you were that Indian? Heck, no. Let 'em eat each other. I'd have been snug and warm visiting my distant cousins the Seminoles for the winter.

i'd Sell the iStock

Am iMissing something here? Why doesn't he just snap in a new iPancreas?

SEATTLE – Apple Inc. co-founder and Chief Executive Steve Jobs said Wednesday he is taking a medical leave until the end of June — just a week after the cancer survivor tried to assure investors and employees his recent weight loss was caused by an easily treatable hormone deficiency.
Apple's stock plunged 6 percent.
Jobs, 53, said in a letter last week that he would remain at Apple's helm despite the hormone problem, and that he had already begun a "relatively simple and straightforward" treatment. But in an e-mail to employees Wednesday, Jobs backtracked.
"During the past week I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought," he wrote.
Apple's shares have surged and crashed over the last year in step with rumors or news about the CEO's health and his gaunt appearance. While the top executive's health is an issue for investors in any company, at Apple the level of concern reaches fever pitch because Jobs has a hand in everything from ideas for new products to the way they're marketed. Investors fear that without Jobs, Apple will not be able to sustain its growth of the last decade, which has seen Apple branch out from its Mac computers into the iPod and the iPhone.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Free Fits Me to a Tea

Went shopping today and didn't find what I was looking for, namely a long down jacket in any color but black. Tried on quite a few at Bergner's and Macy's. One nice cream colored one was marked down - and it was down filled - but not down enough! I couldn't see $180 for something that would me dirty by the time I got out to the car. Me and light colors don't exactly get along, but it was by far the nicest-looking of all I have tried. A few silver ones were maybes, but not quite. There was a white one that was cute, but who wants to look like the Michelin Man?

I did however find a short black jacket sans hood with down and feather content that was on sale for an astounding $21! Sold! Still need a long one for dress/work, but this is a nice jacket with jeans, etc. I now need to get rid of a few jackets to make way for this new one.

Went to Ulta 3 where I usually do quite well with coupons. I had their $3.50 off store coupon and a few other coupons in their little flyer for razor blades and apricot scrub. They had buy one, get one free on Loreal and BOGO 50% off on Cover Girl. I had coupons for both the Loreal Products but the girl wouldn't take one! She said I couldn't use it on the 'free' item! What's with that? It gets turned in to the manufacture from the store. They just verify it's an item the store sells. Do they have to prove they charged something for the item? It just upset me. I ended up spending way too much in there. Now I'm not happy. Think I'll stay away from them - or at least only redeem their free 'points' item - they didn't make me buy anything to do that last time.

Thank goodness I 'redeemed' myself over at Starbucks... I had this coupon for a free Teatime. Tea is their new drink special and they were featuring Full-Leaf Tazo Tea Lattes and Tazo Tea Infusions. I also had a card for $2 tea after 2 p.m. , so I figured I could buy one at $2 and get one free for Al. The girl took my order for a Berry Infusion and London Fog (Vanilla, Earl Grey and steamed milk). She then announced 'it came up free' and I didn't owe her anything!!! Wheeee!! Nothing warms like free!

I highly recommend either drink - the London Fog tasted like warm milk before bed, and the Infusion was very berry. Also comes in apple, must taste like cider.

I've had too many sweet drinks today, but this record snowfall season really has me depressed. Here's my new favorite drink. I had it in a restaurant that called it a Cherry Turtle. Based on the name alone, I wanted one! How cherry figures in this, I haven't a clue, but if you stop by my house this winter, I'll be glad to make you one.

Hot Chocolate


Bailey's Carmel Cream

Whip Cream/cinnamon topping

Chemical Warfare

As you are well aware, artificial claims can boost your stock price in some very concrete ways...

From the Chicago Tribune:

Chicago-based Merisant Worldwide Inc., maker of the artificial sweetener Equal, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday, hobbled by the global credit crisis and sliding sales.

(blame the no-so-sweet-economy...)

In 2008, Splenda grabbed 60 percent of the market, and Equal had only 11 percent, third after Sweet & Low. (That's not Equal at all!)

The upshot: Merisant's revenues sank 18 percent from 2003 through 2007, when they totaled $290 million. For 2008's first nine months, sales were off another 6 percent from a year earlier.

(causing cancer is a competitive business)

Merisant is betting on future growth through PureVia, a zero-calorie natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the stevia shrub. Tabletop sweeteners under the PureVia brand are rolling out in stores nationwide. (I have a coupon and will try it! My theory is changing cancer causing chemicals every so often helps delay the buildup of any one type...)

Nyah, Nyah

Hey, Burris, I've got Jesse White's signature right here...

On my driver's licence! Hope you plan on getting a ride to the capitol building, dude.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Do You Do This?

Still Dry!

Leave the manicurist's with wet nails and caaaaarefullllly open your car door; slooooowly put on seat belt so as not to smudge polish; start car and blast heat from top vents pointed at steering wheel so you can dry your nails as you drive? (Or, in summer air conditioning?)

Add five points if you drive a stick-shift, as I do.

Subtract ten points if you are male.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I Knew it!!

From the New York Times:

The five-month slide in gasoline prices has come to an abrupt halt, with gasoline rising by several cents in recent days amid indicators that the national average could jump to $2 a gallon or higher this spring.

The Year-End Figures are in...

I don't know about you, but the only thing showed a net gain in 2008
was my annual holiday weight gain.

Pink Iguanas

No, it's not a fruity tropical drink, it's a newly-discovered subspecies of land iguana found on the Galapagos! Darwin must have missed it. I need to book my flight now! I'd love to see these in the wild. Seem friendly. (famous last words of tourists consumed by local fauna)

Monday, January 05, 2009

F for effort

Guess I've found another item to add to the list of "things I am better off not knowing"...

This one is right up there with "stuff my government won't tell me" and "ingredients in peperoni". I was minding my own business trying to jab, jab, uppercut, roundhouse kick in my aerobics class tonight when I saw that nice little dishwater blond girl from the front desk enter the gym. She's not a bundle of charisma or anything, but she does indulge my request for locker number zero, so she's OK in my book.

She strolls over to the drinking fountain at the far end of the basketball court and sprays what I assume to be disinfectant on the stainless steel bowl. Then she swipes a gym towel over it, moves to the other fountain, does the same, and walks away. That's it. Didn't clean the spout. Didn't clean the push bar. Didn't use different towels or leave the disinfectant on sixty seconds. Nothing. Gee, I wonder why I wake up in the middle of the night from flesh-eating bacteria nightmares?

The germaphobe in me is screaming so loud at this point I can't hear the instructor or the blaring hip-hop. Is it rude to rush across a crowded court and give a detailed lesson on the proper way to clean? Do I have to do EVERYONE'S job, from the President down to the idiot behind the counter at the DMV in order to get anything done right? Must I bring my own bottle of bleach EVERYWHERE???

Read about a young man after my own heart here

"..His results shocked everyone. The fountain water was swimming with bacteria while the bathroom toilet water was significantly cleaner.

The cleanest fountain was located in the fifth- and sixth-grade hallway, while the dirtiest was just outside the gym, Katherman said. But even the cleanest fountain wasn't as clean as the toilet.

"The toilet water is usually cleaner with regard to bacteria because toilets get continuously flushed, whereas a water fountain is left open to the environment," said Dr. Phillip Tierno of New York University Medical Center. "You know that toilets are occasionally washed, but I've never seen a water fountain sanitized at all."

The No-SX

Now I am the first to cry foul when the words "Japanese" and "Supercar" are uttered in the same breath, but I also must confess to loving my Acura like no other car since that adorable little X-19 came into my life. So I admit to feeling a little hurt when I read Honda has officially killed off any plans to produce the NSX Acura V10 monster rumored to be in the later stages of development.

I can't profess to being a fan of the whole NSX idea, as my RSX S-Type was discontinued so they could pursue this silly dream of a $100K race car. Why drop your only cheap, sporty, two door coupe? If you can't make those sales figures, why bother with the supercar? Oh, wait, I'm not an automobile executive making millions, so my ideas must be crappy. Although, I understand that Takeo Fukui, Honda's 61-year-old president runs the company from a desk in the center of the 10th floor HQ's and Executives at Honda don't have offices and 36 board members share $13 million in salary and bonus, which is just about enough for one boss at a big American company. They also are taking 10% pay cuts this year, things are so bad.

Bottom Line: Where's that Corvette Coupon? I've been checking my mailbox GM. Don't disappoint your shareholders.

Other item to ponder: What will happen to those basically-finished prototypes??

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Look! The polar ice caps are melting and the seas are rising!

Engaged in my favorite Sunday activity of fusing my spine to the couch during a day-long History Channel fest today. At the end, I came away wondering who won World War II.

Why? Because they did the stupidest special called Nostradamus 2012 that came across as documentary declaring him a prophet who foretold global warming and predicting a global cataclysm for 2012. If that passes as History Channel fodder, I'm concerned Hitler wasn't defeated.

Sorry, but I don't buy the whole mighty prophet thing. I think he was a political satirist. (However, I will buy lunch for anyone who can start a lasting rumor that this blog predicts the future or holds secret Freemason imagery. Bonus points for claiming it cures macular degeneration and insomnia.) Their 'experts' who claimed he predicted global warming were beyond laughable. I recall years ago when the big hysteria was he predicted Hitler, JFK's assassination, and the rise of the Antichrist. Whatever.

Human beings are hardwired to find patterns. Even I have to be on guard to not attribute too much to coincidence, lest I become superstitious or over confident of random outcomes.

The best part of the show was how they explained the significance of the date December 21, 2012* (I kept hoping they would interview Geddy Lee, but no luck.) It was theorized that the Mayan culture had identified a 26,000 year-cycle when the sun would appear to rise in the middle of the Milky Way and mark a time of great chaos and conflict. This one approaching would be Leo. The last one was Aquarius. Al and I shot meaningful smirks across the room to one another. Yep. He's Leo. I'm Aquarius. Look out, universe. By the way, 2009 will be the Chinese Year of the Ox, and that's Al. Always liked their zodiac better. One thing from China I admire! What do you know. Perhaps the planet will explode soon.

Anyhoo, I don't even agree with that appraisal - some say the Mayans just meant that Y26K was a time of great celebration. And like a more recent Y2K event, any doomsday hype is seriously overrated.

USA Today on the sudden glut of 12/21/12 doom and gloom books:

But scholars are bristling at attempts to link the ancient Maya with trends in contemporary spirituality. Maya civilization, known for advanced writing, mathematics and astronomy, flourished for centuries in Mesoamerica, especially between A.D. 300 and 900. Its Long Count calendar, which was discontinued under Spanish colonization, tracks more than 5,000 years, then resets at year zero.

"For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle," says Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies in Crystal River, Fla. To render Dec. 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is "a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in."
Part of the 2012 mystique stems from the stars. On the winter solstice in 2012, the sun will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26,000 years. This means that "whatever energy typically streams to Earth from the center of the Milky Way will indeed be disrupted on 12/21/12 at 11:11 p.m. Universal Time," Joseph writes.

But scholars doubt the ancient Maya extrapolated great meaning from anticipating the alignment — if they were even aware of what the configuration would be.
Astronomers generally agree that "it would be impossible the Maya themselves would have known that," says Susan Milbrath, a Maya archaeoastronomer and a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History. What's more, she says, "we have no record or knowledge that they would think the world would come to an end at that point."

University of Florida anthropologist Susan Gillespie says the 2012 phenomenon comes "from media and from other people making use of the Maya past to fulfill agendas that are really their own."

I think Al summed it up best when he noted: Perhaps the Mayan calendar stopped at 2012 because they were invaded before they could record any further dates...

The other History Channel specials I watched were on the Seven Deadly Sins. How appropriate. Right before I start my diet tomorrow...

These episodes were more enjoyable and informative. They explained who first listed eight transgressions or temptations and how Pope Gregory combined them down to a holy seven figure and declared them Sins. Gotta love those Popes. They're Infallible. Even before they knew they were.

There were lots of good tidbits and examples (I am waiting for Donald Trump's lawsuit for showing film clips of him whenever Pride or Vainglory were mentioned) of how religion and society interpreted each of the sins, etc. Now I did not see all segments, just Greed, Anger and Pride.

I particularly enjoyed it when Al came in and grabbed the remote in that "oblivious to all other's feelings" way only a man who has just bought a 52" TV can, and started seeing what else might be on. "I'm watching a show about ANGER," I growled through gritted teeth. "I don't suggest you change it." He wisely let me continue my sin-fest.

How did this famous list miss the biggest sin of all? Hypocrisy. Oh, wait, the makers of the list were huge hypocrites, that's how. My bad.

No, really, did anyone see this series? Did they fold that one in somehow? Do you agree my point? Are not hypocrites the worst of all? I don't recall it mentioned in the Greed segment, but it seems it may fit there, as a means of personal gain; an I can, you can't type of psychology. Dante threw them in the eighth circle, so I know they're important and fit in there somehow. Along with people who see prophesies in the past-tense only and seem unable to come up with a valid future prediction from either their own or someone else's writings.

Well, it's pretty late, so good night, and until next time... I predict higher gas prices!!

*Hurry! Only some 1460 more shopping days to the Apocalypse!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I've Been Robbed!!

( As the shoes are from Miami, legally none of them can be worn with socks...)

No more loafering around, they're pumped

MIAMI – State troopers are looking for a charity to take thousands of shoes that were dumped on a Miami expressway, tying up rush hour traffic. Lt. Pat Santangelo says the Florida Highway Patrol received a call about the shoes Friday morning.
Santangelo says he's not sure where the shoes came from. There were no signs of a crash and no one stopped to claim them. He says he hopes someone will take them because he doesn't want to send them to the dump.
Workers using a front-end loader and a dump truck were able to quickly clear at least one lane by sweeping all the shoes to shoulder, but delays were expected until they could all be removed.

Bet that "Tied-Up" traffic a bit... What sole-less monster would do this?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Why I Love America

At least we can laugh at ourselves:

Brad Pettet, owner of Pettet Jewelry Designs in Peoria, is selling three-quarter-inch tall charms for necklaces and bracelets shaped as a U.S. Senate seat.“The whole point of this is to have a little bit of fun,” Pettet said Tuesday. “People say they are embarrassed to be from Illinois. I’m not embarrassed. It’s Chicago politics. You ought to be used to it by now.”

Proceeds from the sales are being referred to as “donations,” which will go toward the Al the Jeweler’s retirement fund, Pettet said.

“One caller said, ‘Will you limit it to 100 pieces?’” said Pettet, describing the callers’ reference to the U.S. Senate’s 100 seats. “I said, ‘No, this is Illinois politics. We can oversell.’”

Thursday, January 01, 2009

So True

Check out Jalopnik's Ten Cars and the Type of Women they Attract

Why Me?

Oil Drops to below $39 a barrel.

Temperature drops to below zero.

Not funny, universe. Quit picking on me.

Auto Use Vs. Auto Abuse

Auto Use
(Which should not be illegal when done safely in appropriate conditions, let alone called 'criminal' speeding, punishable by up to three months imprisonment. Criminal speeding could be fleeing a bank you just robbed, not 'hey, it's gorgeous out and I've got a V8.' Intent people. Intent.)
Dillon, 44, who got a 2006 Oscar nomination for the movie Crash, was driving at 171 km/h in a maximum 105 km/h zone, Vermont police Sergeant Tara Thomas told AFP. If found guilty he faces up to three months imprisonment, or a fine of up to 300 dollars, or both, she said. Thomas described the star, also well known for his role in There's something about Mary, as "as extremely cooperative, very polite."

Auto Abuse (sad)

Charles Barkley was arrested early Wednesday in Arizona on charges of driving while impaired. I like him, I was disappointed to hear this. Hope he gets back on track.