Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Late Night Gem


The commercials depict apparently sexually attractive couples talking about how the partial protection from gentile herpes provided by Valtrex has improved their life.

The scenario has one partner free from the disease, the other is infected. The infected partner speaks in haughty tones, portraying himself as the crown prince of responsibility. So how did these two hook up? - and how did they become a couple? Did Herpes Boy mention his affliction before jumping her non-infected bones? Based solely on his reassuring soliloquy, it's hinted that he did at least indicate beforehand that he somehow got nasty sores on his pecker. Did he mention that Valtrex does not offer total protection? OK, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. He fully disclosed everything and read the FDA required literature to her.

Given all this information, the other partner gives him orders to proceed with the seduction. She falls for the tried and true pick up line. "Sure I have genitle Herpes, but I'm taking this Valtrex, so... Whad'ya say?"


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Never again

After a night of drinking and merriment way back in my youth, and subsequently facing the next morning with a severe hangover, I often vowed never to drink again.

This morning, er ...afternoon, I crawled out of bed feeling like a teabag after it had provided its third cup. Listless, unmotivated, heavy. My blood seems to be the viscosity of SAE 40 oil. My head is a block of oak. My brain is running on cheap gas with a dirty carburetor. It pings. It stalls.

I never will eat mass quantities of sugar again.

We visited friends last night and were served some great tasting cookies. They were eaten in moderation and in themselves would not cause any major problems. Maybe I'd get a little squirrelly, but that's about the extent of it. We got home after midnight and I was in the mood for a snack. No fruit, no cold cuts or leftover meat. Nothing to eat. But Patti had a package of chocolate eggs on hand, so I had a few of those. I was watching TV and unconsciously downed a few more and then a few more before I realized I had knocked off about half the bag. The sugar rush subsided at 5:00 a.m.

Today is a lost cause. Tomorrow: a new purpose - a new day. Salads and exercise will be in order.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


You know, about the time a non video-gaming old fart like me is aware of "pwned", one may want to be aware that the term / phrase may have leaked into the mainstream.

When your little brother is wearing your "i pwn u" hand-me-down t-shirt, It assuredly is time to realize that the fad is on the way out.

If Jay Leno says "pwned" in his monologue, you must stop using the word among your youthful friends.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hard Pressed

I planned to balance yesterday's list of annoying celebrity personalities with a list of good guys and post it today. Not as easy at it looks. There is sense of responsibility involved here. If you are on my good list, you have to earn it - over time. I have a responsibility too - because if you are put on my list and fall from grace, it reflects poorly on me too. It's embarrassing.

On the other hand, making the "bad" list is easy. One screw up, too much exposure, or inclusion on good lists of people who are on my bad list, will seal your fate. It's hard to get off the list too.

It took me a long time to get 20 names. Here are the media personalities that are rather enjoyable to me:

1. George Clooney
2. Kari Byron
3. Gilbert Gottfried
4. Lewis Black
5. Glen Beck
6. Chistiana Amanpour
7. Miquel Cotto
8. Anthony Bourdain
9. Charles Barkley
10. Stephen A. Smith
11. Tony Kornheiser
12. Peton Manning
13. Reggie Miller
14. Michio Kaku
15. Heidi Klum
16. Hugo Chavez
17. Katey Segal
18. Kathy Bates
19. Tina Fey
20. Penn Jillette

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The List

Today is one of the days that shouldn't count toward one's life expectancy. I should get an extra day to live because of this uninsipiring, dank, weak excuse for a calendar date.

A great day, though, to reveal a current list (partial) of media personalities that scrape their nails on the chalkboard of my soul.

1, Billy Mays
2. Jack Van Impe
3. Bob Rohrman
4. Nicole Kidman
5. Jim Carrey
6. Steve Carell
7. Howard Stern
8. Paul Teutul Jr.
9. Mike Tirico
10. Bill Walton
11. Paulie Malignaggi
12. Al Sharpton
13. Rush Limbaugh
14. Tony Stewart
15. Mo' Nique
16. Ann Coutler
17. Andew Zimmern
18. Howie Mandel
19. Martin Short
20. Roni Deutch

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

...but he pooped on my car.

— Jerry Lynn Moldenhauer of Colorado Springs, Colo. Offense: Knowingly selling migratory bird parts in violation of Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Sentenced Sept. 19, 1994, in Colorado to three years probation and $1,000 fine -

This guy was just pardoned by Pres. Bush. This had me literally ROFL. srsly

1. Knowingly
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act? Ignorance of the law excuses no one, but come on. How could anyone knowingly break this law? Bush had to have one of his aides look this one up. I had to look it up, and I try to stay on top of legislation concerning migratory birds.
2. parts
So is the whole bird exempt? ..and which parts in particular fetch huge prices?
3. Act
This is a friggin' Act of Congress! It's scary to think that my chicken dinner may have been realized due to illegal activity. It could be argued that the free range chickens migrated from one side of the farm to the other.

I need to be careful in my dealings with migratory birds. I may not be able to even curse at one despite any mitigating circumstances.

Here's the Act. Read it, learn it, live it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Now what?

Only the calendar says it is spring. Easter has passed. Time to get crackin' on freshening up the place. Time to renew.

It's cold, windy, and rainy in these parts. The crud and dirt trapped in the snow has formed into muddy chunks. Our grimy windows look like those of a bail bond office. I can't even wash the dogs. They'll just run outside and come back in with half the back yard on their fur. Same for the car. The plants know better too. Nothing has sprouted.

I'm ready to get out and about.
Hurry up spring.

Ham update: Yes, you can get uncured ham. It still is ham. It's basically a big assed pork roast. There are more lightly cured hams too. That may be the way to go next year. I tire of that sweet and salty taste after a second serving.

Monday, March 24, 2008


I'm going to investigate this:

I like ham. I like turkey far more than ham. Both are meats that are purchased in big clan-sized chunks. They are perfect choices for holiday meals. Ham falls short in the following days. It's distinct smoky and salty nature does not lend itself well to follow up meals. Turkey can live on for a week or more.

Does ham need to be cured to such a degree? Can it be just lightly smoked and cured? Can it be sold without being smoked at all? In other words, what does the meat taste like before it's "hammed"?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

West and We Waxation at Wast

So said Elmer Fudd.

Having fun will wear you out. A gut full of good food and an afternoon romping around with 3 preschoolers takes its toll on ol' Unka Tom. Toss in the burn out from a noon sugar rush and I'm spent.

Ah. The unread Sunday paper awaits me at my recliner. I'll be sound asleep in 15 minutes.

....yep. As predicted. The dogs rousted me from my chair and led me to bed, where the pack curled up for some sweet dreams. I'm back up to turn off the computer, grab a late snack, and turn in for the night.

Place Holder

There should be something else here later, but I want to make sure that I get today's time stamp on this entry. I'll have tales of the big ol' family get together going on today.

I'm running on 3 hours sleep last night and fear I'll doze off after returning home this evening. No cheap posts by me, but I hope to have a list of the most memorable events from today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jesus vs. NCAA

If you don't care for college basketball, you can always switch to another channel. There you'll likely find a Jesus-themed show. That's the way it is this weekend.

My favorite Easter TV offering is "The Ten Commandments". Jesus isn't in it, but Moses is. It's actually more of a Passover saga. Let's just call it biblical. Yul Brynner steals the show. "So it is written, so let it be done." is delivered in a firm and unambiguous tone. I sure as hell wouldn't cross Ramses. Not without help. God jacks the Pharaoh up pretty good in the end, which is pretty much the point of the story. He's God. It's good to have him on your side.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

Good Friday in my childhood community was not a forgotten day. Non-Catholics, as we called Baptists, Lutherans and everything between, were scarce. This was Catholic territory. For starters, we were not allowed to do anything festive or fun between noon and 3 in the afternoon to remember the three hours Christ spent hanging on that cross. Many stores closed for the afternoon. School was dismissed. The non-catholic kids wandered the streets alone and eventually gave up out of boredom. They finally went back inside. If Mom had a car, we would go for Stations of the Cross just to have something to do.

Times changed quickly. Many years later on one March Wednesday, a student asked the prof if the 1:00 p.m. college class would be meeting as scheduled on Friday. When the professor informed him in no uncertain terms that we would indeed meet on Good Friday, the student muttered, "You Fucking Pagan.." The room exploded with laughter.

We did not meet on Good Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Film Noir and Scotch

That's on my agenda for tonight. I still haven't been through the many DVDs I have purchased of these 1940s and 50s tales of people living in the shadows. You can read all you want about Film Noir and single malt Scotch after an easy search. All I want to do is share an observation:

I noticed that almost everyone in these films stores their liquor in a glass or crystal decanter. The decanter is in a convenient spot complete with clean glasses and an ice bucket. Drinks are served before people are offered a seat. Is this the way things were back then or is this just in these kind of films? I don't know. I was raised in beer culture. Beer was taken right from the bottle. If there were spirits - they were taken in a shot glass direct from the bottle in the kitchen cabinet.

Does the decanter of booze in these films indicate sophistication or alcoholism? I guess that the decanter was used to not define what the "drink" actually was. Kids could be told it was iced tea . I just don't see automatically pouring all the folks in the room 3 or 4 ounces of booze (from a decanter) as a tenet of real world etiquette of the 50s.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Game of the States

"I didn't sleep at ALL last night!"

While tossin' and turnin' I often do mental exercises. Last night's theme was the States.
Game 1
Which state has the most straight line segments forming its borders? Wyoming has four. New Mexico has 6. Michigan has 1. That's the idea. I haven't pulled out the map yet to get the definitive answer.
Game 2
Hannah Montana? I can up with Ramona Arizona, Jane Maine, and Bucky Kentucky.
Game 3
A little morbid, but which state has hosted the most assassination attempts on a US president?
Most were in Washington D.C., but my game says state. By my account, California hosted 4. Wisconsin and Florida tied with 2 attempts.
Game 4
What percentage of state capitals are also that state's largest city? I got up to pee and never followed up on this one. I brewed some green tea after that and finally slumbered off at about 7:30 a.m.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Me They See

iTunes has a section called "Just For You". Supposedly these are songs that I would really like. The software is no longer a beta version and Apple has more than 1000 of my downloads to go on. They stopped the force feed of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy and I seem to take them up on at least one of the suggestions each week. Maybe they have at long last dialed me in.

I'll open up my "Just for You" for all to see.
- With my comments, of course.

1. Astral Weeks - Secret Machines.
Sounds like U2 filler material. Six minutes worth of valuable storage to boot.

2. Face Down - The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Not bad, but too much like Yellowcard, Jimmy Eat World, Weezer. Nothing new here.

3. Here you Are - Greencards
Eh. Pleasant but bland - like canned pears or cottage cheese.

4. Hang Me Up to Dry - Cold War Kids
Sure. Why not? A good jarring sound and a spirited vocal. Too much modern folk lately anyway. Click.

5. I Try - Ben Taylor
Macy Gray cover that comes up short.

6. Smells Like Teen Spirit- Patti Smith
Interesting - so I followed the link to an album of her classic rock covers. Are You Experienced? was even better. I'll consider it.

7. In Tall Buildings - Gillan Welch
Just OK. In the context of an album, fine, but it doesn't grab my attention as a "tune".

8. Irreplaceable - Beyonce
I think she's hot, but how could iTunes know that? I have no Beyonce downloads.

9. Nature of the Experiment - Tokyo Police Club
If the economy was stonger, I would purchase it. This represents almost 1 litre of gasoline. Maybe next week

10. Rough Gem - The Islands
Cute, but no cigar. It must be that damned New Soul download that brought this on.

Only one purchase this week. Two on the table. No Gnarls. There it is.


Tonight's the night. I went deep into the freezer and pantry to extract tonight's meal. Many of these items have survived for months. Some merely forgotten. Some avoided. This evening they will be eaten.

Freschetta Brick Oven Spinach Pizza
Its sister pizza was eaten around Halloween. Yuk! Oh, so healthy. Oh, so uninspiring. The spinach turns into a mushy chlorophyll paste after baking. There isn't enough cheese on this low cal frozen delight. Lactose intolerants can safely partake. I was going to jettison it to the trash, but Patti pleaded for its life. "Don't throw it away. I'll eat it." She does not suspect that this is on the menu and she has to make good on her promise.

Ham Steaks
These were sent over by my brother-in-law. There's nothing wrong with them, but they may be freezer burned. They were hidden in their white wrapping paper inside our white freezer compartment. The thin package settled on the back wall. Besides that, I don't usually reach for ham as an dinner entry. Ham happens as, well, a ham. The leftovers go into sandwiches and omelets. I suspect our ham supply will soon be replenished anyway.

Canned Pears
Bland. Colorless. It wouldn't be the highlight of a hospital meal. They have to go.

KFC Biscuits
Patti rescued them from dumpster death. They are tonight's bread.

Sardines from 1989
I love sardines, but never got around to this can. Every time I get the urge for sardines (packed in olive oil), saltines and beer I look at the date on this can and then shy away. Same thing today. They may be a bit past prime. I won't throw them out because the can is approaching the status of a family heirloom. Tough call.

Wax Beans
It's a color issue. Simple as that. Maybe I'll dye them green.

Monday, March 17, 2008


I think the ever present block of xenophobes in this country used to hate the Irish. That sentiment seems to have disappeared even among the most ignorant. In fact, especially today, everybody wants to be Irish. Was it St. Patrick's Day that helped put a positive spin on this red-haired, hard drinking, and hot tempered bunch of foreigners? I think it may have helped. -That, along with Irish Spring soap and Lucky Charms.

Perhaps other ethnics need to exploit a special day to get everyone in on a celebration of their culture. Drinking and food must be part of the celebration as does an opportunity for merchandising the stereotype.

Cinco de Mayo is off to a good start. Tacos, Dos Equis, and Los Lobos are much better on this day.

South Bend, Indiana celebrates Dyngus Day (Polish - Day after Easter) by drinking beer, eating kielbasa, and dancing to polka bands late into the evening.

Kwanzaa needs to be revised. Open it up. Lighten it up. Everyone needs to get in on the fun. The race situation may still be a little hot right now, but we need to start looking ahead. Chess Pie and 40s. I can see it.

Outside of Olive Garden's Pasta Tour of Italy, we see little in the way of a concentrated universal celebration of Italian-American culture. Columbus Day would do just fine if it weren't so close to Oktoberfest.

So many cultures. So much to offer. A monthly party day would do us all some good.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


...or maybe just an old grouch. Nonetheless, here's the short list:

NCAA Basketball Tournament.
If I hear the cliche, "Punched their ticket to the Big Dance." once more... No I won't - I'll be watching the NBA.

National Spelling Bee
Spelling Bees were one of the greatest rolling breaks for classroom teachers. No real teaching. No real learning. All cognition. Limited application to real world situations. Rain Man could win this.

American Idol
I'm a little late chiming in on this one. The church doors have already been rammed and the mob is pouring in. I still see too much of this show's tripe from clips and promos. I'll actually click off to a Bowflex commercial to evade American Idol's presence.

John Adams
A trailer of Paul Giamatti orating lofty words about freedom did it for me. It smelled of one of those old Jesus movies, where the guy playing Jesus speaks every word like a Grand Announcement. I prefer Mel Gibson's Anglophobic approach. John Adams in an ax fight with King George may be revisionist, but I'd be restoring my HBO sub right now if I knew it was part of the series.

That's all the smashing for today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Did the Books Come?

A little bit of nostalgia today. 1957 nostalgia. School nostalgia.

Each month the Weekly Reader would include more than the stale and predigested news, cute animal picture, lame (but funny to a 4th grader) riddle, A 10-clue crossword puzzle, and the always annoying vocabulary exercises. There was an insert for the book club. The book club was a big deal.

The club featured new books for sale. These books were far better than the musty volumes in the school library. The school library seemed to have 76 copies of Treasure Island and little else. Library books were traveling petri dishes. They seldom had a jacket. They were often restored and covered with the stuff that must have inspired truck bed lining. The corner of each page was stained with suppers past.

Did I mention that the book club books were new? Newly printed and new in the sense that they were topical. They also had pictures on the cover. The "Books for Boys" section sported covers featuring robots, army guys, cars, baseball players, and sometimes even a TV cowboy.

It was easy to get book money. A dollar could get you 3 or 4 books and parents were eager to support your education. I'd have my money in the next day. It was about the only thing I'd have in on time. The teacher would set a deadline and finally send away for our books on that same day. About a week or two later we would ask about the book order. We would ask daily, if not hourly. Finally the books were in. Oddly, they seemed to always show up Friday afternoon about an hour before dismissal.

A big part of the thrill of getting the books was smelling them. The aroma of newly pressed pulp and its inks - aah! The books had sharp corners and were pressed into a tight brick. The most satisfying part of the ritual was breaking open the cover and writing my name on the inside. The book was mine! (Not only that, there were probably ten or eleven "Roy Rogers and The Lost Ranch" copies floating around and a war could be fought over an unidentified copy being misplaced.)

Before I get too Jean Shepherd on you, just let me say that I capture just a bit of this magic when I order from Amazon. Books are back in my life and I couldn't be happier

Friday, March 14, 2008

Proof of The Theory of Evolution

An Orangutan sent a mailer to our home asking for money. It was a well designed presentation complete with a gift of return address labels. In fact, it was a better pitch than the political fliers that we have been receiving. It certainly was a more sophisticated approach than that of the "state troopers" wanting 25 bucks for calling you to remind you to buckle up. The strategy was better than sitting on an exit ramp with a makeshift sign begging for funds. Public Broadcasting can learn from our hairy friend.

I'm inclined to give, but I am hesitant. Well funded primates could threaten our position at the apex of the earth's species.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

People of note: Please read this.

Don't make public apologies.

If your indiscretion was premeditated, the apology rings hollow. It's more of a "Sorry that I got caught" message. Druggie ballplayers are famous for this as are philandering Democrats and homo Republicans.

If you spewed out something and it wasn't taken too well, apologizing only weakens your credibility. Either you were rash, drunk, or misinformed, when you made the statement; or if not, you are caving into pressure and abandoning your principles. Stick to your guns if you are right. If you pulled the opinion out of your butt, make a note to yourself to think before you speak in the future

If you truly screwed up, and did so unintentionally, apologize in private to those directly harmed by your words or deeds. The whole population is not entitled to your display of remorse. I sure as hell don't want to hear it.

Seems like every day someone is apologizing to the masses. Why am I offended that someone bought sex for $4000 a pop? Obama's a black guy. Hilary is a female. McCain is 72. Should anyone have to apologize for pointing out these facts?

Just once I'd like someone to say, "I said it. I meant it then and I mean it now." or better yet, "She was worth every penny."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blown Up, Sir.

Like so many Sgt. Hulkas, we see cars, buildings, and other fixtures being blown up at an alarming rate by shows on the Discovery Channel and its cousins. The worst is the rip off of MythBusters called "Smash Lab."

MythBusters does not always deal in explosions and the 5 hosts all have interesting on-air personalities. The cute and bubbly Kari can hold her own with power tools. Grant is is an engineering genius. Tori is an expert modeler and of course Adam and Jamie are passionate about "getting it right". Sometimes explosions are involved. Sometimes not. The show is entertaining and a little light science is involved. At any rate the experiments have a point.

Not so for Smash Lab. All they do is wreck stuff. I don't think they even build their own experiments and I doubt that they think up the stunts themselves. Their job is to watch the explosion and add insights such as:

Did you see that?
Woo Hoo

Smash Lab discovered that detonating a few tons of TNT inside a pickup truck will ruin the cargo bed

Science, my ass.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Big News

Much to my surprise, I was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last night. I knew I was nominated but didn't think I had a chance to win. Besides that, despite an invitation to attend, I had to buy my own tickets and provide my own food and lodging. I passed.

I do get 10% off at the gift shop on my next visit. Sweet.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Count Me Out

Somebody must have gleaned information from my thoughts.* to determine my tastes as far as movies go. With this information, it was easy to construct a formula for a movie that I would absolutely loathe. Coincidentally, this model is one and the same that the studios' big money makers are built upon.

Thus was born "Horton Hears a Who" .

  1. Still another animated feature
  2. Ripped from Seuss book - not original
  3. Steve Carell
  4. Jim Carrey
Say no more. It will be a smash at the box office.

* But how? Through iPod headphones? Cell phones? Security gates? TV clicker? Maybe they actually read my blog?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Time Ain't on My Side

Bummer. I thought I was getting up early today. Come to find out that the time changed and I overslept by an hour.

I spent what was left of the morning finding out which clocks had complied. The radio controlled and half the computer clocks made the switch (some not set for DST), but not the GPS clock in the car (yet). Cell phone, OK. TV, OK. Everything else needs to change.

Let's see. The net effect of the government meddling with our timekeeping has added 24 hours of winter (February 29) but has relieved us of 1 hour of the season last night. That's 23 hours more of winter than I, or anyone else, deserves.

This pretty much left me in a pissy mood today. How fragile is my inner peace?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

I Have a Coupon

After a flurry of purchases that served to upgrade my computer situation, I now have a clutch of small rebates, reward certificates, coupons and other bonuses to places like Best Buy, Office Depot and the HP store. The problem is that I have nothing left to buy. I already have a cache of cables, batteries, blank CDs and DVDs, accessories, and other items that would be normally the object of the redemption. [ Damn, there's a spot on my screen that I thought was an extraneous period. It took me a couple of minutes to figure this out. I thought the delete key was malfunctioning. ] I don't require any software and I am well stocked with paper and toner. I don't buy CDs.

Then again, I don't want to let the free stuff go to waste. We have to get out of this cabin tonight even without a reason. We might see something that costs less than $25 that we might actually want.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Out of the Blue

Patti said that she had a grand announcement for the dogs - "It's dinner time!"

After that the dogs paraded in to the Junior Birdmen Song.

Up in the air, Junior Birdmen
up in the air, upside down
Up in the air, Junior Birdmen
with your noses to the ground

And when you hear the grand announcement
that your wings are made of tin
Well, then you know, Junior Birdmen
it's time to send your box tops in
For it takes: 5 box tops, 4 bottle bottoms, 3 coupons, 2 wrappers, and one thin dime!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Reading is FUNdamental

It has been a long time. No, It has been a very long time since I have enjoyed as many books as I have in the last 2 months.

Somehow, the reading of assigned materials in college days and the professional reading mandated during my teaching career squelched my desire to read for recreation. Over the years, I forgot how to read books in relaxed manner. I raced along at 1700 words a minutes and slowed only when a crucial concept or key fact was presented. Most of my shelf books are reference materials.

I started slowly getting back to books after my retirement. I opened with Peter Guralnick's books on American music including Last Train to Memphis / Careless Love (The two-volume Elvis Presley biography) and went through a number of David Halberstam and Stephen Ambrose titles. Right out of the gate, I only cared for non-fiction. This is still the case today.

I am finishing up "A Bridge Too Far" by Cornelius Ryan. I've been going through about 500 pages per week and have at least 12 more books in the queue. The good news is that, not only are there many current and future releases that interest me, but I can go back through the years of books that I never found the time to read and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fur Inc.

Our dogs are part of a network of pets from the neighborhood. They gather most afternoons at 4:00 p.m. and whenever an emergency meeting is required. Most are fenced or tethered within sight of Bosco and Smooch (pictured ). They try to all get outside at the same time and exchange information about kitty sightings, unacceptable pedestrian traffic and dogs from rival gangs.

Fur Inc.'s roster:

Boomer: Irish setter lab mix. He's the biggest, oldest, and has seniority in the neighborhood. When Boomer barks all gang members are expected to gather.

Smooch: She is second in command. Experience and aggressiveness are her assets. She is the only one to challenge Boomer and seems to be consulted in closed meetings. She is the "muscle" of the family despite her small size.

Bosco: He is Smooch's sister. With her, he has street cred On his own, he is at the bottom of the pyramid. Bosco doesn't act unless Smooch tells him to. He specializes in kitty control.

Hunter: Spitz mix. He is on a short leash as he has jumped the fence. He's all noise. He did teach Bosco how to pee on stuff and get that leg way up there.

Sugar and Midnight: a.k.a "The Puppies" They are lab / shepherd mixes and the youngest members. They love to romp in the backyard and join in on barking sprees. Smooch and Boomer have little control over them. Bosco loves to play with them along the fence.

Rowdy: A pit bull mix. He breaks loose and is a wannabee. All dogs come out to run him off despite his gentlemanly ways with people.

Ricky: Miniature Schnauzer. He too breaks loose from the south side and is held by Bosco and Smooch until the owner rounds him up.

Phoebe: Lab mix. She is behind a privacy fence most of the time and is only a part-timer. She does not like Smooch and Bosco.

Chico: He's a kitty that has been around so much that Bosco even has stopped frantically barking at him. He's the only cat that dares enter the Fur Inc. perimeter.

My dogs live for this. They sit at the window most of the day waiting for something to happen.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Not on a shingle, as the old WW II vets would describe chipped beef on toast, but on my TV screen.

MY beautiful high definition screen is not only loaded with over sized logos and pop up ads for upcoming shows, but tonight, the cowering masses of Indiana, fearing a little ice and snow, are treated to a weather bug in the upper left hand corner AND scrolling school closings and delays transversing the bottom of the display. It even obstructs the station bug in the lower right corner and often the news crawler in the same location.

I don't know if I've sent of salvo of harrumphs toward this problem before. Don't matter. It's worth repeating.

Is the wimps of Indiana that I curse, or the station producer who has gone meshuga with the video toys at his disposal?

Shit On the Screen. No better way of putting it.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Don't Know.

Sometimes the honest answer to a question is simply "I don't know."

I was given that answer to my question when speaking to HP sales about a video capture card. The rep asked someone who did know and got the facts. I purchased the product on the spot. Had he said something like "I think you can..." or I heard that you can..." or had he made up some crap, I would have hung up in short order.

What is good about "I don't know" is that you can go on the Internet and with a little skill and discrimination you can quickly get the information you need. "I don't know, but I'll find out." is an even better response. "

Sunday, March 2, 2008


It's hard to be an elementary school teacher and to get out of "teacher mode" during the weekends. It took me at least a year of retirement to stop constantly scanning my surroundings and correcting any anomalies within my assigned area.

Patti is not so fortunate. Last night I was chomping on a tasty Edy's strawberry fruit bar, when Patti attempted to snatch the only partially eaten treat from my mitts.

"Hey!, I'm eating that!"
It was a good laugh for both of us.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

"It's Ruint."

Those are the words from the old coach.

The colorful Hoosieresque declaration was brought to mind when I read that Coach John Wooden took a spill at age 97. Coach Wooden represents all that is good about sports, much of which has been indeed "ruint"

One thing that is ruint is Indiana High School Basketball. It has been ruint for a long time and every year when Winter is making its last assault on our state, those who remember the days when the big tournament was celebrated by all, lament its reduction to an everybody wins, birthday party game. In years long gone, the draws for the sectionals were even anticipated and broadcast live over every small town radio station. The wailing continues, and must be tiresome to those who wonder what the big deal is.

So NCAA basketball cashed in on the big tournament concept. It is a immensely popular event. Even so, it is not really that BIG. The old high school tournament had hundreds of teams. Everyone was in. It didn't have a committee choosing who was in or out. (Heidi Klum needs to call every college team and inform them if they are "in " or if they are "out".) The NCAA needs to put every one in with no seeds and let them have at it. The tournament is a bit tainted by the big television cash coming in and the network's possible influence on who plays where.

This brings to mind their NBA, which decided to schedule the Miami Heat to play on ESPN and TNT every week. Miami sucks. They have become the Washington Generals as they are almost sure to lose in a lopsided game. Meanwhile New Orleans, an exciting team, is seldom seen on national TV.

Plenty of sports are ruint or about to be. It may be that sports in this country are a just a fancy that will be only an anecdote in the far future.