Monday, January 31, 2005

Somebody Told

Well, it looks like somebody told. Word somehow got to Wonkette about this morning's post. Actually, about the supporting blog for this morning's post. My Big Sister (who's 5'4") picked up on it her second time through: If you click on the image inside the post, or one particular link in the Michael Moore character's post, you get taken to another site, the one allegedly for the movie.

Anyway, somehow Wonkette got word of the phony site, and linked to it:
Remainders: I Am So Out of Here

Michael Moore is my secret lover and other reasons you should believe everything you read on blogs. [Bloggers and Me]

She didn't seem overly upset. Of course, if her minions beat me up and make me cry, you'll know she didn't take it too well.

In the meantime, there is so much traffic heading to that site (WonketteLanche?) that I may shut this one down and just run that one.




Bonfire of the Vanities submission.

There's other stuff here. Hopefully, better stuff. The Headlines are a popular choice. Current posts are on the front page.

Headline News 2005-01-31

From ABC News:
'Dummer' Academy May Change Its Name
Would become Jim Carrey High School

From ABC News:
Pennsylvania Woman Charged With Bigamy
And stupidity

From ABC News:
First Amendment No Big Deal, Students Say
ACLU tells students to shut up about stuff they know nothing about

From ABC News:
Accused Soldier Claims Sleep Disorder
Expected to be kept awake many nights once he hits prison

From ABC News:
Iraq Election Too Dangerous for Monitors
Voters identified by blue finger, Monitors by yellow streak down back

From ABC News:
New Gaza Violence Strains De Facto Truce
Ambassador De Facto calls for more talks

From ABC News:
Mad Cow Costs Hurt Tyson Earnings
Former boxing champ unable to cover Oprah's expensed

From ABC News:
WWF: Global Warming May Kill Polar Bears
Also on program, JBL expects to defeat Big Show

From ABC News:
Fish Returns to Aceh, But Disease Risk Still High
Abe Vigoda, personal nurse take vacation

From ABC News:
Hewitt to Marry Soap Opera Actress
Former '60 Minutes' producer, Susan Lucci make surprise announcement

From ABC News:
Democrats Make Pre-Emptive on Bush Address
Prank has all mail to '1600 Pennsylvania Ave.' redirected to a Post Office Box in Secaucus, NJ

From ABC News:
Rembrandt religious works showcased
Liberals torn between supporting art and condemning religion

From ABC News:
David Schwimmer's new direction
Career's downward spiral now moving in counter-clockwise direction

From BBC:
BBC apologises over Iraqi figures
Reporter explains: Was auditioning for CBS job

From CNN:
Former Nirvana bassist calls for election reform
Krist Novoselic: "If being an unknown supporting character for a suicidal pseudo-genius has taught me anything, it's that this nation needs election reform"

From CNN:
Study bolsters cancer-red meat link
The 85% of all cancer patients come from the 85% of the population that eats red meat

From CNN:
Hillary Clinton faints during speech
Actually listened to what she was saying, couldn't believe it

From CNN:
Top Democrats speak ahead of State of Union
Oppose everything Bush says, despite fact address not yet delivered

Big Sister's Headlines: 1/31/05

First Amendment No Big Deal, Students Say
Right before their tongues were cut out...

'Dummer' Academy May Change Its Name
Well, you would too, wouldn't you?

Spellings Promises to Push Bush Agenda
Has begun second term in office with two syllable words for weekly spelling bee (by the way, spelling is singular, not plural...)

Colo. Regents Weigh Prof's 9/11 Comments
Reportedly tipped the scales at 26 lb. 15 oz.

SBC to Buy Former Parent AT&T for $16B
God upset that Baptists think phone company created them...

Is SBC Rushing into Trouble?
Well, if God was mad at you...(See related story above)

Mixed response to AT&T and SBC potential merger
Southern Baptists create Hotline To God; Satan delighted, God not amused

Monday Lunch Special: On The Job

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Monday Breakfast Special: Iraq of Lamb

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

Also, we feature these selections:

Sunday, January 30, 2005

PGH Assignment: Michael Moore's Next Documentary


The telephone rang, jolting me from the most pleasant, but strangely odd, dream. The infernal chirping of the cordless phone continued as I reached over to find it. I must have knocked it off the nightstand, because I heard a small "thump" and the ringing moved down about 3 feet. I got out of bed and picked up the phone. I didn't recognize the telephone number, but answered it anyway.

"Hello?"

"Basil?" came the voice on the other end.

"It's 'basil'" I corrected.

"Yes, that's what I said," came the voice. I didn't say anything. He continued, "I'd like to talk to you about your blog."

"Why?" I asked.

"So, you are the 'Basil' of 'Basil's Blog?'" he said.

"It's 'basil' and it's 'basil's blog,'" I corrected.

"Yes, that's what I said. I'd like to talk to you about your blog," He repeated.

"You remember when I asked 'Why?' Well, what I meant by that was, 'Why?'"

"You're not that snotty on your blog," he said.

"Wait till I write about this conversation."

He tried again, "My name is Michael Moore and I'm doing a documentary on blogs and bloggers. I'm interviewing people who are running blogs. I'm also blogging my research into bloggers.

"Good for you," I said.

He continued, "I'm outside, actually. Can I come in?"

"No way am I letting you into this house!" I almost yelled.

He came back, "Well, then, can I ask you about your blog?"

"Okay, but why me? Why don't you ask some of the big fish in the blog pond?"

"Who is a big fish?" he asked.

I paused. "Well, that depends. Are you talking political, humorous, sports, cats, photography, or what?"

"I like politics," he said. I could hear his grin. "Politics make me happy! Except when George Bush wins. That makes me sad. I'm sad now."

"Okay, why don't you talk with the folks at 'Daily Kos?'" I offered. "That's a big blog and their politics are close to yours."

Michael Moore hesitated. "To tell you the truth, those people scare me."

"I understand," I said. "What about Wonkette?"

He paused. "I can't see her. Brings back memories that..." He was quiet.

"Well, go right wing, then. Try Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs."

Michael Moore hesitated. "To tell you the truth, those people scare me. Not all of them. I have a distant cousin, Gordon, who hangs around there. But he's the black sheep of the family; too conservative, you know. But, I'm not talking to them. They have guns. And bigger guns than my bodyguard carries."

I sighed. "Okay, why don't you branch out from politics? How about humor?"

"What's that?" he asked.

"It's not important. Just be aware that many people go to humor sites. And they're funny. Some of them."

"Sounds fun, which is sorta like 'funny,' so, yeah. Who do you recommend?"

I thought for a minute. "Ever heard of TuckerMax?"

I could hear the contempt in his voice. "He's an asshole. And I'm the only asshole in my movies. Who else?"

"What about IMAO? That site's run by Frank J. Fl..."

Michael Moore interrupted, "Oh, I went to see him already. I didn't know he did humor."

I was silent.

He continued, "I drove down there and some blonde chick answered the door, saw who I was, and beat me up. Then, as I drove off bleeding, she and some crazy-looking fellow shot at me."

"Okay, then," I said. "What about Right Wing Duck?"

He hesitated. "No, I went to see him already, but I left without speaking to him. Them people scare me."

I thought for a minute. "What about Jeff Goldstein?"

"No, them people scare me."

"What about SondraK?" I suggested.

"I saw her already. She beat me up," he whimpered.

"Nickie Goomba?"

"Those people scare me."

"Susie of Practical Penumbra?"

"Tried to talk to her already. She beat me up."

"What about Dave Burge at Iowahawk?" I asked.

"Saw him last week. He made fun of me."

"How about Harvey of Bad Example?" I suggested.

"I saw him last week, too. Some lady there came out and beat me up. Then hung me upside down in a tree overnight."

This was going nowhere. "Right down the road a ways is Beth who runs 'MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy' and she..."

"No good," he interrupted. "I stopped by there already and she cursed at me and then she and a little girl beat me up."

"What about the Flying Space Monkey?" I asked.

"Beth said she'd hurt me again if I came back to that city. I believe her."

I offered, "Well, there are lots of other humor blogs I like that I think you could speak with."

He replied, "Those humor people aren't funny. They're mean."

I smiled. "Okay, what about some of the other big names that cover a wide range of topics?"

"Like who?" he asked.

"Well, there's Michelle Malkin," I offered.

"Those people scare me," he replied.

"La Shawn Barber?" I asked.

"Those people scare me."

I thought for a second. This was going nowhere. I needed to get rid of him in some way. I went to the window and looked through the blinds. I could see him sitting in an SUV wearing a ball cap and a gravy-stained "Fur Is Murder" t-shirt. He saw me and waved. I closed the blinds. Then it hit me. I knew what I had to do. But did I dare? I had my misgivings, but I thought of the greater good. "There's one I haven't mentioned. He's a lawyer, and..."

Michael Moore interrupted, "You mean like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton?" I could hear the excitement in his voice.

"Uhhhhh, yeah. That's right. He's a lawyer, and he's just a few hours north of here. About a six-hour drive. He'd be glad to talk with you. And, uh, stop and pick up a puppy. He likes puppies."

I gave him directions to Knoxville and hung up the phone. I paused. This was like fraternizing with the enemy, and I knew there'd be hell to pay. But, sometimes you just do what you have to do.

I picked the phone up and dialed. "Professor Reynolds, please." She placed me on hold. The music was playing and I was humming along:
When she walks, she's like a samba
That swings so cool and sways so gentle
That when she passes, each one she passes goes - ooh

The music stopped and I could feel a chill go through my body. "Yes?" came the voice of the Evil Glenn Reynolds®.

"I just thought I'd let you know, there is someone coming to see you," I said.

"You dare send someone to me? Who do you think you are, pathetic human?!" came the cry from the other end of the phone. "So, when's he getting here?"

"He just left. He's driving an SUV, but I don't think it's his. He's a hobo; you can tell by the way he's dressed. And he's carrying a puppy."

Evil Glenn® laughed, "Very good, very good. You have earned a reprieve. For now, I let you live. But one day.... One day."

As I hung up the phone, his final few words were still ringing in my ears: "Prepare the altar for the sacrifice. And plug in the Cuisinart."


Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Headline News 2005-01-30

From The Washington Post:
Bush's Exercise in Fiscal Restraint
Step 1: Find a drunken sailor...

From ABC News:
Pope Loses Battle With Peace-Symbol Dove
Dove takes Pontiff in best-of-three falls steel-cage match

From ABC News:
Man Runs Dating Service Out of His Cab
Commonly called pimping

From ABC News:
KKK Robes, Books Sell at Michigan Auction
Money will be used to build the Robert C. Byrd Library

From ABC News:
Tsunami Children Suffer From Malnutrition
Experts: Lack of food may be cause

From ABC News:
Britney's Kid Sister Gets Own TV Show
Jamie Lynn Spears to star in "My Sister's A Slut and I'm Cashing In" on Nickelodeon

From ABC News:
Sen. Barbara Boxer Steps Into Spotlight
Former crack whore now media whore

From CNN:
Pelosi joins tribute to former China leader
Minority Leader: "I always wanted to be a Communist, just like Zhao, and as a leader in the Democratic party, I have fulfilled my dream"

From CNN:
Town in uproar after Nazis 'adopt a road'
Opponents will spend money to protest, but not to adopt the highway

From CNN:
Lights still out for 300,000 in Georgia
On normal day, only 290,000 Georgians without electricity

From MSNBC:
O.J. case will pale in comparison to Jackson trial
O.J. Simpson revealed to be White!

From BBC:
Rappers sentenced over MP threats
If served, will be first complete sentence any have been involved with since early '90s

From The Australian:
Beazley tells Howard to counsel Bush
New White House pup directs Australian policy

From CNN:
Iraq's mark of freedom: Ink stains
Dems, Old Europe criticize; preferred Saddam's blood stains

From CNN:
Former Clinton aide backs Dean for party chair
Harold Ickes revealed to be a paid GOP operative

From ABC News:
Company Won't Pull Straightjacketed Bear
Vermont Teddy Bear Co. calls bear "appropriate way to honor" former governor

Iraq Election Coverage

Like many bloggers, I'm not qualified to talk about many of the things I talk about. But some bloggers know exactly what they are talking about.

Here's one that seems to me to be highly qualified to talk about what's going on in Iraq: Cigars in the Sand.

Sunday Brunch: Milk and Spam

For your weekend dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Will Blog For Food

If you look in the right column, you'll see a "Payola Free" disclaimer button (it looks like this: Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting). Of course, that is in response to all the news recently about columnists accepting money to push a particular agendum, and some blogs who accepted money for pushing, or not pushing, particular agenda.

I feel I must be completely honest and say my not accepting money isn't a matter of integrity. It's because no one wants me promoting their agenda.

However, if you have had no success getting some of the big blogs to promote your cause, I'm for sale. Send money. Big bucks preferred. Or, buy me food. I like pizza. I can be bought. Or at least rented.

And, whatever your agenda, I'm all for it and have been for years. Really.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Headline News 2005-01-29

From ABC News:
S.C. Police Use Stun Gun in Nursing Home
"It's Fun!" They Say

From ABC News:
Vt. Woman Accused of Making Fake Threats
Judge: "Next time you threaten to kill someone, do it!"

From ABC News:
Shroud of Turin Could Date to Jesus' Time
Vatican: "Well duh!"

From ABC News:
Kurds Say They Will Demand Key Iraq Post
Need it to hold up fence

From ABC News:
Jumping Mouse Loses Federal Protection
Will return to Mexico; Sylvester, Daffy expected to follow

From ABC News:
New Films Show Schwarzenegger Hard Act to Finger
Schwarzenegger shows women easy to finger

From ABC News:
Ray Charles to Be Honored at Grammys
But will not attend

From ABC News:
Nixon Son-In-Law May Challenge Clinton
Cox: "I know she has a mean right hook, but I think I can take her"

From ABC News:
John Stossel Takes on Myths, Lies and Nasty Behavior
Inside the Democratic Party

From AJC:
Iraqi President: Most People Won't Vote
It seems Saddam killed them

From CNN:
Life after 'Felicity' for Keri Russell
Mornings at the Department of Labor, evening at the Waffle House

From CNN:
Beverly Sills resigns from Met
Signs with Yankees

From CNN:
Study: If it's unfair, chimps will forgive a friend
Why Dick Cheney kept his job

From CNN:
Jackson judge allows 'sexually explicit' evidence
Will wear extra-ling robe

From CNN:
Police: Man puts staples and paper clip in McDonald's sandwich
New sandwich high in minerals, low in carbs

From CNN:
Serial killer execution postponed
Gets to be raped one more time

From The Hawaii Channel:
Families Reach Settlement In Xerox Shootings
Settlement an exact duplicate of one reached last year

From Click 2 Houston:
Deputy's Gun Fires, Kills Suspect Under Arrest
Sheriff upset, had told deputy to keep bullet in shirt pocket

From CNN:
Colombia arrests head of airport drug dog unit
Brian Griffin expects to make bail

From The Washington Post:
Beyonce Planning to Release Fashion Line
Has Held It Hostage Since 2003

From BBC:
Israelis 'shoot dead Palestinian'
Soldier reprimanded for wasting bullets

From MSNBC:
T-shirt company defends right to 'offend'
'Arrest Black Babies' shirt criticized, 'I still hate George Bush' shirt lauded

From Multichannel News:
Bush Calls for Balance on Indecency
Requires one naked man for each naked woman

From The Cincinnati Post:
Bush trade policy favors P&G goals
Satan pleased

Saturday Brunch: Meihem In Ce Klasrum

For your weekend dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:
Oh, if you don' get the title or understand the link to respublica's post, you need to read more.

Ch-ch-ch-Changes, Part 1

This might be geeky. So, if you don't like geeky rants, you might want to check back later for Headline News or something. Anyway, I'm going to talk about The Move.

If you had visited this site before last Saturday night, you saw a different site. When this blog launched, it was hosted on Blogger. Now, lots of folks don't like Blogger. And I understand their dislike. But I don't share it. I like Blogger. To me, it's like AOL. Okay, lots of folks don't like AOL. But I think it's much better than it used to be. But, even then, it's always been a good thing. I used AOL on occasion. In fact, I still have an AOL account, but don't use it much. And while I was always one to avoid using its browser (the old one), I understood that it gave lots of people an easy way to get to the Internet. And that's not always a bad thing.

I think lots of people -- particularly geeky folks -- considered the Internet "theirs" and if you were geek-deficient, you didn't belong. Wrong answer. Everybody is a novice at first. I mean, how would some over-geeked 20-something feel if I told them to sit down and shut up because I've been going online since they were in diapers. Or still in their daddy's scrotum. The point is, they were novices and eventually learned more and became today's experts. Or, at least, uber-geeks. Now, I'm not an expert. I'm not an uber-geek. But I can get around the Internet okay for a closer-to-50-than-40 Georgia boy.

Same thing with Blogger. It's the AOL of blogging. And the changes and improvements and new features they have added have made it a very good, but not great, blogging service. Plus, it's free! Now, we're approaching great. And while it doesn't do everything, you can get some free add-ons that add some really cool features. For example, HaloScan expands commenting functionality to allow anyone, not just Blogger account holders, to post. Plus, it adds trackback functionality. While it doesn't all work extremely smooth, it works smooth enough to make it worthwhile. And basic service is free. Also, Hello works pretty well for posting pictures with Blogger, since Blogger doesn't allow posting of pictures. Hello isn't the best thing in the world, but it does expand the functionality very well. So, by using Blogger -- plus some add-ons -- you can have a lot of cool features on a blog. And the templates are pretty good. Some are very, very good. And, they offer the ability to modify HTML if you're geeky enough to try that. And, like I said, it's free.

All that means that to me, Blogger is a very fine blogging service. And some of my favorite blogs are on Blogger. Blogger good.

So, why then, did I leave it for TypePad? Well, TypePad offers some functionality that I like and want. I like the ease that they offer the ability to display "Recent Comments" and "Recent Posts." The ability to categorize is also something I wanted. I may be wrong, but I think that most of the folks who come back for second, third, and more visits, do so for the Headline News. And, if someone only likes Headlines and doesn't care for the Alliance Assignments like Filthy Lies and Precision Guided Humor, or standard insane ramblings, or even if they do, they can click on the category and display only those type of posts. If I can make it easier for someone who only wants to read one type of post, then I want to do it. Also, the calendar allows someone to go to a particular day. Like a calendar.I also like that TypePad has commenting AND trackback functionality built in. It integrates very well, I think. And, TypePad does have more good-looking templates than Blogger. Plus, when I got my own domain name for the blog, TypePad provided very easy instructions for integrating it into my blog.

Having said all of that, TypePad doesn't allow modification of HTML without the highest cost service. TypePad isn't free, you see.

So, why would I exchange a free services that I say is very good for a pay service that has only a few more features? Easy. I wanted the features, and TypePad is a quality service. To me, it's worth it. If you have a blog, it might not be worth it to you.

But, there's a lot more to moving a blog than just signing up and modifying some settings. A lot more. A heckuva lot more. That's for later.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Headline News 2005-01-28

From ABC News:
Owner Auctioning Drive-Thru Strip Club
Both Hands On The Wheel!

From ABC News:
Tennessee Judge Convicts Naked Jogger
Defence Attorney Criticizes Ruling: "All that fuss over such a small thing"

From ABC News:
What Color Is Diane Sawyer's Lipstick?
The same color as Sam Donaldson's pants

From ABC News:
Pitts, Ga., Reinventing Itself
Vote to change name to "Boondocks"

From ABC News:
Cialis Impotence Drug Returns to Super Bowl
We knew they wouldn't be down for long

From ABC News:
Bush's Stake Is Huge in Iraqi Elections
Could affect his re-election chances

From AJC:
Storytellers unite for tsunami relief
Once upon a time, there were three bears. They all ran to the high ground and little Goldilocks drowned. The end.

From CNN
Fraternity Group Challenges Colorado's Deferred Rush
Limbaugh Blames Democrats

From The Champlain Channel:
Bill Would Prevent Anonymous Child Abuse Reports
George wouldn't

From Local10.com:
Murder Suspect's Phone Calls Scare Prosecutors
Transcript: "Hello? Is this the District Attorney's office? Boo!"

From The New Mexico Channel:
White Supremacist Threat Keeps Police On Alert
Robert Byrd sighted in New Mexico

From CNN International:
Schroeder: Don't use force on Iran
German Chancellor: "I've never heard of a single instance where force was necessary to stop a radical militant nation"

From CNN International:
Australian Labor appoints Beazley
New White House Pup Goes To Work

From The Washington Post:
Chinese Authorities Plan Invitation-Only Service for Zhao
Former Party Chief Expected To Be Present, Despite Not Returning Invitation

From The Washington Post:
SpongeBob SquarePants Has No Gay Agenda
But he has a lot of gay friends. Plus a huge Streisand collection. And does a dead-on Liza.

From iol:
Bush blaze has tourists beating a retreat
Staff unable to determine who gave matches to President

Friday Lunch Special: Ladies on the Menu

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Before I forget, Jim Treacher is back.

Life's a Blur

I saw on a comment that moehawk's been missing my headlines. Well, I've been distracted lately. Not only have I been working, (as basil commented in the same post) but I have also been trying to memorize a lot of material in the last few weeks.

You see, I am in a play in a local production; it's a comedy called "The Foreigner", and I play an enthusiastic, naive, grumpy old lady who has a "foreigner" staying at her bed and breakfast for a few days. Everyone says I've been typecast.

Betty's the type to holler at someone who doesn't speak English, thinking that if she smiles and raises her voice, she will be understood much better. At one point, right after I have hollered at Charlie, the foreigner, I turn to another character and tell him Charlie didn't really hear me, but he understood me because we have an extra-circular communication going on. It's enormously funny in the play, but I got to thinking about how I act around students who don't speak English. (I'm a teacher.)

I remember a girl who had JUST moved to our South Georgia town from Mexico. Like three days ago. She didn't speak English; I didn't speak Spanish. Well, I could say. "Si, or Adios," but that's it. Anyway, Maria was a shy fourteen year old beauty with a winning smile, and I really wanted her to feel welcome in the US., so, every day I would greet her with a very loud south Georgia drawl, "GOOD MORNIN', MARIA!" (only it came out Murr eee yuh) and then grin from ear to ear, as if hollering would help Maria understand me better.

Well, that's what I am doing in this play...I am hollering and grinning...only a wee bit more exagerrated than I do in real life. Like I said, I have been typecast. Isn't it mysterious how the lines between fiction and non-fiction can blur?

Friday Special: Breakfast Without Pajamas

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Filthy Lie Assignment: Evil Glenn Controls The Weather

You know the scene in the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion are running through the poppy fields towards the Emerald City? The Wicked Witch is watching in her crystal ball and waves her wand while chanting "Poppies... poppies..." and then they fall asleep? Then Glenda the Good Witch appears and causes it to snow? Ignore all those drug references there and stay with me. They wake up and the Cowardly Lion says, "Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?"

That's how I felt recently. Here in this section of God's Country, it was like 80 degrees just days before Christmas. In recent weeks, we'd have ice on the windshield one day and before the week was out, we were running around in shorts and running the air conditioner. Like the Lion said, "Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?"

Well, I found out why. At the Alliance party last weekend at the Southeast Office, it was announced that Evil Glenn Reynolds? has acquired a Weather Control Machine. That took my mind off the Falcons getting their clock cleaned by the Eagles. You could hear a pin drop when Harvey announced Evil Glenn's? acquisition. The implications were enormous. What would he do with it? We had our assignment.

During the drive back to the house I stopped for gas. I'm standing there putting unleaded into the truck while the wife is inside buying lottery tickets, when a sudden chill hit. "Unusual weather we're having, ain't it?" I said the person at the next pump. He just laughed an evil laugh. I realized then, the chill wasn't the weather, but rather the presence of pure evil. The person at the next pump was none other than Evil Glenn Reynolds?.

"Why are you doing this with the weather?" I asked.

"It's all part of my master plan," he replied.

"Stealing the moon isn't enough?" I demanded.

He replied, "Oh, that. I sold it on eBay. It's like that old Vulcan proverb."

"Ah, yes," I replied. "'Having' is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as 'wanting.' It is not logical, but it is often true." He sneered, "No, 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.'"

"Yeah, well, watch your back. 'Revenge is a dish best served cold.'" I countered.

"That's Klingon!" he shouted. "Besides, are we going to swap Star Trek quotes all day? Didn't you have a question?"

"I asked it," I said. "Why are you doing this with the weather?"

"Oh, yeah," he said. "My bad." And he told me. He was trying it out, since he bought the smaller model. The large model Weather Control Machine had all kinds of extra features, but it was yellow. He didn't care for yellow. So he got the green. But that was the smaller model.

The tsunami was an accident, he said. He left his office for a minute and didn't unplug the machine. Kevin Aylward, whose turn it was to get coffee for Evil Glenn?, walked by the machine and started pushing several of the pretty buttons. You saw the rest on TV. Evil Glenn? scolded him and made him go wash the cat and clean the litter box. Turns out that Evil Glenn? was upset, no so much about the loss of life, but that others might be wise to the fact that he owns a Weather Control Machine.

"So, yeah, I understand. Things happen," I offered.

"But my plan is still in the works. I'm going to cause a giant earthquake!" he laughed.

"Whatever for?"

He laid out his plan. "I bought up a bunch of land in Nevada. I'm going to cause an earthquake and California will fall into the sea. Then all my land will be prime, ocean-front property. Just like the song." And he laughed that evil laugh.

I stood there for a minute. "First, the song goes 'Ocean-Front Property in Arizona,' not Nevada. Second, it sounds like a plot from a bad Superman movie."

"Oh, no," he countered. "The bad Superman movie plot was from the one with Richard Pryor that they stole in 'Office Space.'"

I asked, "What about the one with the flying chick that wore that black outfit?"

"Silly. That was Superman II," he laughed.

"It must be from the first Superman movie, then," I offered.

Evil Glenn? paused. "Didn't see that one."

"Sure," I said, "it's the one where Lex Luthor steals the nuclear missles to fire at the San Andreas fault to cause California to fall into the ocean and then his property in Nevada will be worth billions."

He was quiet then. He finished pumping his gas, replaced the nozzled, secured the gas cap, and walked to the door of his vehicle. He pulled out a device from his cloak and punched a few buttons. "Kevin? What do you mean suggesting a plot from a Superman movie? Are you insane? It's been done! What? Oh, don't go blaming Jay Tea for this. No. Cancel all the plans. I'm turning around and heading back that way now. Yes, I'll be there in time for supper. Have it skinned and brought to me raw. What? Tonight? Yeah, the brunette. No, the other one. Yes, her. Bathe her and bring her to my tent. And I'll deal with you when I get there."

He got into his vehicle and drove away. I finished with the gas pump as the wife got back with 20 scratch-off tickets. She scratched (won $7.00 and two more tickets) while I drove. I was deep in thought.

I was happy that his recent plan had been so easily thwarted. But he still had the Weather Control Machine and might still use it. But, so far, the weather had been pretty consistent here. Maybe he's given up on that. Then, again, there is an awful nasty-looking cloud on the horizon.




Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Move That Cat!

Oddly enough, I wrote pieces this week on both Johnny Carson, at his passing, and on Jane Fonda, in connection with news made by her ex-husband.

What makes it odd, is this clip from the Tonight Show featuring these two. It's one of the funniest moments from the show. You have been warned.

Video on Yahoo!

Consider This Your Warning

Along with the move to TypePad, I have the ability to add other authors. So, the Big Sister (who's 5'4'') and the Mean Sister (who's 5'6'') now have author accounts. The Little Sister (who's 6'0'') hasn't expressed an interest in writing anything, so she doesn't have one. Anyway, with author accounts, they can post stuff without e-mailing me and me having to remove all the extanious HTML that their e-mail program add to it. In fact, the Mean Sister (who's 5'6'') has already posted something.

Who knows, you might see them all posting stuff. And that frightens me. I know them.

Headline News 2005-01-27

From The Washington Post:
Ted Nugent Concert Lawsuit to Go to Trial
Suffers from Cat Scratch Fever, seeks to have medical bills paid

From The Washington Post:
Scientists Scan Data From Saturn's Moon
Picard: "These new scanners are amazing. Number One, prepare an away team. Go get Mr. Data!"

From The Washington Post:
Laser Scans Used on Washington's Teeth
Catches fire, burns

From BBC:
Italy to act on Somalia graves
Rome Theatre to perform "Hamlet" in Mogadishu

From BBC:
Man held in Kilroy manure inquiry
Suspect: "These charges are B.S., man!"

From BBC:
Fungus risk for tsunami survivors
Giant Mushrooms Roam Streets Looking For Blood

From BBC:
Make history compulsory - Tories
Space-Time Continuum To Remain Intact

From CNN:
Rice: 'History is calling us'
Wants to talk about the Tories

From CNN:
Sex selling at Sundance
Hollywood's Most Famous Whores Take Utah By Storm

From CNN:
N.Y. GOP chair will ask Giuliani to run for Senate
Talking Furniture Plots State Future

From CNN money:
Riggs pleads guilty, will pay $16M
Murtaugh getting too old for this s#!+

From ABC News:
Minn. Group Denounces 'Whorehouse Days'
Doesn't want kids to know how they worked their way through college

From ABC News:
School's Seven Sets of Twins Earns Record
To share Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours"

From ABC News:
Suspected Meteorite Inspires Prayer
"Lord, don't let that thing hit me. Amen."

From ABC News:
Fat Fight May Be Waged at School
Sherman Klump, Fat Albert expected to throw down in the cafeteria at noon

From ABC News:
AP: Gitmo Soldier Details Sexual Tactics
"First you take them to a really nice restaurant..."

From ABC News:
Factories Humming but Rehiring Is Slow
Might be better situation if factories knew the words

From ABC News:
Peter Frampton Showing Pearl Jam the Way
Helping group get used to being a has-been

From ABC News:
Wife of 'Brady Bunch' Star Seeks Divorce
... yet he was all alone.

From ABC News:
Former Beatle to Voice Animated Superhero
Obscurity Man to the rescue

Thursday Lunch Special: More Rice

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Thursday Breakfast Special: Spam and Eggs

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Me "Basil." She "Jane."

There's not a lot I can add to what everyone has said this week about Ted Turner. But there is a little. I used to enjoy watching and listening to him. Years ago, that is. I remember when he bought the Atlanta Braves. I was working at the radio station in my hometown, many times broadcasting Braves baseball. In fact, the very first day I worked at my first job, Sunday, July 20, 1975, was working a Braves game. They lost to the Expos, 6-5 in 11 innings. The Braves lost a lot back then. The lost 94 games that year, coming in 5th in the NL West.

Anyway, during the years I worked at the radio station, I worked a lot of Braves games. And their new owner, Ted Turner, would show up in the announcers' booth on occasion and help with play-by-play. He was funny. He'd act the fool on the field, too. I remember when he sent the manager on "assignment" and he took over as manager for a game, until the commissioner said he couldn't. Ted Turner was funny.

He's not funny anymore. He's pathetic.

It was big news when he married Jane Fonda. I had already changed my opinion of Turner by that time, so it didn't really surprise me when he did that. Two crazies probably deserved each other, was my thought.

During this recent presidential election, a young fellow at work was talking and make a comment -- I don't remember exactly what it was -- that set me off. It concerned John Kerry. I'm old enough to remember this John Kerry fellow back during his Vietnam War protest days. I saw him on TV and read about him in the paper, and came to the conclusion that I didn't like the fellow. Still don't.

Another Vietnam War protester I didn't care for was Jane Fonda. I'm old enough to remember her going to Hanoi and having her picture taken posing like she was manning an anti-aircraft gun. Those were U.S. aircraft she was pretending she was shooting. And the statements she made about the war really got under my skin. I was too young to go to Vietnam. It ended up around the time I turned 18. They stopped the draft a year before I was eligible. For those that care, I did enlist in the Army years later. But, about Jane Fonda, I thought she was a traitor. So, when she married that crazy (not the good crazy but the bad crazy) Ted Turner, I thought they deserved each other.

Now, what I'm about to say next might surprise you. I no longer have those ill feelings about Jane Fonda. I'm not defending anything she did. However, I became aware that she is now a Christian. She accepted Christ a few years back. And it appears to be genuine. In fact, from what I have read, that was the reason for the divorce of Ted Turner and Jane Fonda. He couldn't stand being married to a Christian.

Now, is the slate clean concerning all Jane Fonda did back then? Nope. But that's because I'm human. In God's eyes, all is forgiven. And because of that, I must temper my ill will with that knowledge. So, I still don't like what she did, but I think I've been able to separate the Jane Fonda of then from the Jane Fonda of today, the one that's a born-again Christian. She has acknowledged that she was wrong and has made apologies for her actions. No, she hasn't looked up each person and made individual apologies. But the media doesn't make much of her Christianity, so you may not have heard of her conversion. Everything I have seen indicates it's real. So, if it is real, what should I do? I mean, if the public people that upset you were to suddenly change, how would you deal with it?

I'm not Jane Fonda's biggest fan, but I'm no longer her enemy. She and I are brother and sister in Christ.

New Drugs For Women

D A M N I T O L: Take 2 and the rest of the world can go to hell for up to 8 full hours.

ST. M O M M A'S W O R T: Plant extract that treats mom's depression by rendering preschoolers unconscious for up to two days.

E M P T Y N E S T R O G E N: Suppository that eliminates melancholy and loneliness by reminding you of how awful they were as teenagers and how you couldn't wait till they moved out.

P E P T O B I M B O: Liquid silicone drink for single women. Two full cups swallowed before an evening out increases breast size, decreases intelligence, and prevents conception.

D U M B E R O L: When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks.

F L I P I T O R: Increases life expectancy of commuters by controlling road rage and the urge to flip off other drivers.

M E N I C I L L I N: Potent anti-boy-otic for older women. Increases resistance to such lethal lines as, "You make me want to be a better person. Can we get naked now?"

B U Y A G R A: Injectable stimulant taken prior to shopping. Increases potency, duration, and credit limit of spending spree.

J A C K A S S P I R I N: Relieves headache caused by a man who can't remember your birthday, anniversary, phone number, or to lift the toilet seat.

A N T I-T A L K S I D E N T: A spray carried in a purse or wallet to be used on anyone too eager to share their life stories with total strangers in elevators.

N A G A M E N T: When administered to a boyfriend or husband, provides the same irritation level as nagging him.

Headline News 2005-01-26

From ABC News:
Town to Use Pig on 'Groundhawg's Day'
Bill Murray to star

From ABC News:
Anheuser-Busch Launches Souped-Up Beer
Become a belligerent drunk in half the time

From ABC News:
Man Allegedly Robs Bank With Beer Bottle
Anheuser-Busch Launches Souped-Up Beer

From ABC News:
Texas Cops Undress to Catch Prostitution
Clinic reports that's not all they caught

From ABC News:
Duke Party Features Bikinis, Baby Oil
"Klansman Gone Wild" video series released

From ABC News:
Tanning Butler Rubs Guests the Right Way
Years after failed sit-com, Brett back to making money the old-fashioned way

From ABC News:
15 Hurt in Fla., W.Va. School Bus Crashes
Runs off road, flips for 927 miles; Speeding suspected

From ABC News:
N.H. Judge Suspended for Groping Resigns
Will move to California, run for governor

From ABC News:
Man Declared Dead Turns Out to Be Alive
Now if he could just get out of that casket in time...

From ABC News:
Italy Sounds Alarm Over Shrinking Beaches
But terrorists walking the streets is not a problem

From ABC News:
Cheney Calls New Ukraine President Ally
Says something about Yushchenko reminds him of Calista Flockhart

From ABC News:
Why Florida is No. 1 in bioterror readiness
Good showing in computer rankings overcome poor showing in AP, Coaches polls

From ABC News:
Astronauts Install Robotic Arm on Station
Station to go berserk, take over world

From ABC News:
Scientists Create Petrified Wood in Days
Viagra for the really, really old

From ABC News:
Microsoft Plans Restrictions on Fixes
Company executive: "Our engineers spend lots of time and effort creating software that's rampant with bugs. We want the end-user to get the full Microsoft experience."

From ABC News:
Scientists Develop Self-Cleaning Windows
Unaware wife comes in at night with Windex and a rag

From ABC News:
Rockers Start Writing, Writers Rock
Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls.
It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world,
except for Lola.


From ABC News:
RNC Seeks Donations to Push Bush Agenda
Want to reunite 'Musique' for a concert

From CNN:
Man begs wife's forgiveness in $17,000 ad
Wife still mad, would rather have had $17,000 ring

From CNN:
Court revives McDonald's obesity suit
Really stupid fat man hires another blood-sucking lawyer

From CNN money:
Thirtysomething for Mister Softee
Time to ask his doctor about Cialis

From CNN:
S.Africa church slams condom use
Likes it rough

From CNN:
Katie Couric talks sex
Wants 'meaningful' perks before agreeing to take Rather's job

From CNN:
Burns doctor honored in Australia
Kept George alive years after Gracie passed away

From CNN:
Bush denounces paying commentators
Frank J., Charles Johnson must now find work


From CNN:
GOP e-mail asks for help with 'liberal media'
Frank J., Charles Johnson find work



Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Wednesday Lunch Special: White Trash and More

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Wednesday Breakfast Special: Turner Classics

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

I Am Not Making This Up

Maybe my Big Sister (who's 5'4") is correct.








Your Famous Blogger Twin is Dave Barry




Funny, witty, and clever!
You always have a ton of offbeat links to share


While I have seen these around, for some reason, it took me seeing it on The Flying Space Monkey Chronicles to give in and click through. If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, I'll try to be brief.

My Big Sister (who's 5'4") has, since this blog started, has said a bunch of nice things about my writing. But she's my sister. Not that her opinion doesn't matter, but she's going to be influenced by things that no one else will. She'll get little things I say that might actually be funny, but you'd appreciate only if you knew the details, or some other little tidbit that gave it a twist. You know what I'm saying?

So, anyway, she always says nice things, but again, she's my sister, and will do that. Since we live 3-½ hours away from each other, she doesn't get tired of me like she used to long time ago. So, she's remembering the nice things about me. Or her memory's fading as she gets older. Or something.

Anyway, she has, since nearly day one, left comments comparing me to Dave Barry. I like Dave Barry. Well, I like reading Dave Barry. He might be an ass, for all I know. But he writes funny. And I like reading his stuff.

I've seen a lot of different sites with little boxes like the one above, with the image of whoever they compare to on that little quiz that you gotta take. Well, SpaceMonkey had a funny twist on it. And I clicked and took the little quiz. Now, I didn't like the quiz. Some of the questions were almost like "Do you still beat your wife?" There's no right answer to that one. So, I took it and answered it as close as to the truth as I could. But the "required reading" one gave a bunch of stuff I don't read.I only read three of those, and all three were in different groups. Anyway, it came back and said I was Dave Barry. But, if I had changed one or two answers to other selecions just as true, I would have come back as Moby or Wil Wheaton.

But, based on what I answered then, it compared me to Dave Barry. I disagree. But I thought I'd let my Big Sister (who's 5'4") know that at least an easily manipulated poll-bot agrees with her. I'm sure she appreciates that.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Headline News 2005-01-25

From ABC News:
Co. to Advertise on Neb. Man's Forehead
HA! SondraK has got that beat hands down! So to speak.

From ABC News:
Foot Massage Machine Snares Woman's Foot
Husband thankful it didn't malfunction about an hour earlier

From ABC News:
U.S. Navy Surveying Waters Near Tsunami Epicenter
Using really long rulers

From ABC News:
One of Kabul's Last Remaining Jews Dies
Mahmoud Abbas asks "How did you do that?"

From ABC News:
Torture Still Routine in Iraqi Jails, Report Says
Rumsfeld counters: "It's good for prisoners to have a routine"

From ABC News:
Device Helps Woman Overcome Stutter
Inventor calls it a "gag"

From ABC News:
Sidekick Ed McMahon Remembers Carson
"He was the guy behind the desk, right?"

From ABC News:
'Harry Potter' Author Gives Birth to Girl
Yet-to-be-named baby girl has a 23-inch wingspan

From CNN:
'No Name-Calling' initiative spreads in schools
Teachers unable to take role

From CNN:
Bill would boost pilot retirement age
George not too sure, however

From CNN:
Study suggests whales may be related to hippos
Second cousins on their mother's side

From The Hawaii Channel
Molokai Nun's Body Exhumed For Beatification
And, boy, did it need it! What? Oh, "Beatification!" Nevermind.

From BAYOUBUZZ.COM:
Academy Awards: No Moore Oscar
Film maker still eligible for "Joseph Goebbels Lifetime Achievement Award"

From The Washington Post:
Sheriff Investigators Deny Jackson Leaks
No problems since last gasket replaced

From SF Gate:
To quote Bush, being original is hard work
In a burst of originality, he invaded Iraq and caught hell from Democrats about the economy

From The New York Times:
Mets Want Delgado to Want Them
They need him to need them.
They�d love him to love them.
They�re beggin� him to beg them.

Tuesday's Lunch Special: Gitmo Soup

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

Tuesday Breakfast Buffet: Multi-Planet Selections

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

Working For The Private Dick, Part 2

I had mentioned earlier that I had worked for a private investigator in Florida some years back. In addition to installing hidden cameras and telephone recording equipment, I also did some work that involved not sneaking around. Well, maybe it was sneaking around. But it was out in the open. I got to go to the movies. And get paid for it.

The private detective, who for the purposes of this we shall call "Dick," did all kinds of security work. You ever hear about the "secret shoppers?" That's were someone goes to a store posing as a customer to report back to someone about the experience. It's often to make sure sales practices follow established procedures. What's that got to do with the movies? Easy. They have established procedures there, too.

For instance, have you ever been to the movies and paid the clerk for a ticket, only to be handed a half-ticket? The idea is that the ticket subs for two sales. Clerk pockets one, the theatre gets one. The theatres like to know if clerks are ripping them off.

Another reason to be secret shopper for movies is on behalf of the distributor, rather than the theatre. There was (and may still be) agreements to vary the split of the take. Now I'm not sure if these numbers are exact, or even close, but the idea is like this: First week a movie plays, the distributor gets 90% and the theatre keeps 10%; second week, it's 80%-20%; third week, it's 70%-30%; and so on. So, distributor gets most of the take, the theatre keeps the smaller portion. But the concessions are kept by the theatre. That helps explain why snacks cost so much.

With the split like it is (or at least, was), some theatres may be tempted to keep more of the take than they are entitled. And some do. As a secret shopper, it was my job to get to the theatre early and be the first (or one of the first) to take a seat. This was not a problem, because that's what I normally do, anyway. So, "Dick" hired me to do it.

Normal procedure was get there early, like I said, sit down near a door in the back, and count the folks as they came in. During the film, I had to count folks as they left (restroom, snack bar, or whatever) and came back in. Then, count again as folks left after the movie was over. Again, not a big deal, because I'm one of those that likes to sit through the credits anyway. And then, usually next day, I'd report the information to "Dick" who reported back to the client.

And what did I get paid to see, you ask? What? You didn't ask? Well, somebody did. Anyway, I got paid to see Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. That was awesome. I'm a Star Trek fan from way back. And, while Star Trek: The Motion Picture was a little lame, the next three films in the series were pretty good. Including Star Trek IV. There were other mainstream movies I was paid to see. Some were box office hits like Star Trek IV (the number 2 hit of 1986), while others weren't exactly blockbusters. Some you would have had to pay me to see. And that's exactly why I saw them.

If you're paying close attention to this, you'll notice I said "mainstream moves" to describe some of the movies. Not all were movies you'd go to most theatres and see. Others were films shown at theatres in, shall we say, unfashionable neighborhoods. Some were advertised as "triple-x" films. "Dick" had what I thought was the best name for them: "flick-nasties."

Yes, your humble servant was paid to watch dirty movies. And, most of them were really, really bad movies. Duh-huh. But, occasionally there was one that you might have heard of. Okay, I had heard of them. You must remember, the '70s and early '80s were the "golden age" of flick-nasties. Yes, some of the movies actually had plots. And, if folks had kept their clothes on, would have been mediocre mainstream films. And, for flick-nasties, that's a really, really good film. Anyway, I was paid to see "The Devil In Miss Jones," "Behind The Green Door," "Deep Throat," and "The Opening Of Misty Beethoven," among others. If you've never heard of any of these, it's probably a good thing.

And the money I got from watching flick-nasties? Disinfectant.




Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Monday, January 24, 2005

Headline News 2005-01-24

From ABC News:
Study Finds No Explaining Weeping Madonna
Maybe her last movie and her last album

From ABC News:
Rotting Carcasses at Wyo. Plant Removed
New "Feed The Mascot" guidelines to be drafted

From ABC News:
Late-Night TV Icon Johnny Carson Dies
Carson to be interviewed by Dan Rather next month

From ABC News:
UN Asks if World Can Stop Future Genocide
It seems to have stopped in Iraq

From ABC News:
Poland's Walesa Ponders Presidential Bid
So, just how many does it take to have an election?

From ABC News:
Kimberly-Clark Quarterly Net Profit Slips
Shareholders ask who can stop the bleeding?

From ABC News:
World's Largest Iceberg Posing Problems
Ice Cube's big brother in trouble again

From ABC News:
Teen Helps Build Firefox Web Browser
'Pamela Anderson' theme explained

From ABC News:
Tests Show Viagra May Help Enlarged Hearts
Side effects include localized swelling

From ABC News:
Scientists Find Sex Differences in Brain
Harvard president still in trouble anyway

From ABC News:
'Alexander,' 'Catwoman' Lead Bad Pix Nominations
'Fahrenheit 9/11' snubbed

From ABC News:
Fallen U.S. Porn King Goldstein Rebuilds with Bagels
Just don't ask how he carries them

From ABC News:
Democrats Stall Vote on Rice Confirmation
Criticize President's 'partisan' policy of nominating Republicans for job in Republican administration

From AJC:
Airport officers to get lessons in getting along
Rodney King gets job as instructor

From CNN:
Branson mulls starting Indian airline
Flights from Oklahoma to Missouri to begin in April

From CNN:
Researchers: Girl passed bird flu to women
Harvey Birdman's daughter quarantined

From CNN:
R 2 many txt msgs bad 4 U?
STFU

From CNN money:
Barbie auditions for 'American Idol'
Has more talent than previous winners

From News4 Jax:
Mayor Needs $200,000 More For Super Bowl Security
Mayor John Peyton: "I could have been prepared if I had been told the game was coming to town"

From The Iowa Channel:
Marshalltown Women Bare All For Charity
Charity begins at home; take US Hwy 80 west...

From CNN:
Microsoft not appealing EU order
Will simply ignore ruling, just like in the U.S.

From CNN:
New findings change thinking on human sacrifices
Maybe not so bad after all

From CNN:
Democrats charged in Election Day tire-slashing in Wisconsin
Republican's blamed for driving cars with tires

From News.Telegraph:
White House tries to allay fears over Bush militarism
Will send 3rd I.D. to answer any questions that remain

From Concord Monitor:
Abroad, doubt on Bush doctrine
Except in Afghanistan, Iraq

From South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Israel's Netanyahu endorses Bush plan
Former PM: "Hey, it worked for Moses"

Visit the Beltway Traffic Jam

Monday Lunch Special: Ecclesiastes and Spongebob

For your mid-day dining pleasure, we offer you to choose from one of these specialties:

And a special thanks to Loren Kohl of Almanac of the Mundane for saying nice things. And an extra-special thanks to sarahk of mountaineer musings for being nice. We heart you, sarahk!

Monday Breakfast Buffet: Philly Special

Try one of these specials with your breakfast.

Working For The Private Dick, Part 1

I once did some work for a private investigator. This was the fellow who did the polygraph examinations for new-hires at a truckstop where I worked. He was quite an interesting character. He knew all the dirty secrets of everybody. Including me. He didn't share everything about everybody. But he did relate things about people that would, in his opinion, help us make a decision on hiring. It was, of course, in his best interest that we make good decisions on hiring. He was good at what he did. Or so it seemed to us a the time. And now, as far as I'm concerned. But he had some stories about the folks we hired. Unfortunately, I can't tell a lot of them. Well, I guess I could. But I shouldn't. But I might.

Anyway, we weren't the only company for which he did business. He did security work for many other businesses. And, while I was not an electronics wiz, I certainly had an interest in electronics. And the private detective ... I need to give him a name for the purpose of telling this, so I'll call him "Dick." That is not his name. But it will do for now. Anyway, "Dick" did work for others. Oh, and he thought I was okay. So I helped install security cameras in some businesses.

One was a restaurant that had been broken into several times. The owners were tired of getting ripped off. On a fairly regular basis, food was taken from the freezer. So we set up a camera in the storage room of the restaurant, and pointed at the freezer. The camera had a long, flexible neck and the lens at the end of it was about the diameter of a pencil. This was about 20 years ago, so most people hadn't seen such things. Anyway, we lifted a ceiling tile and placed the camera, ran cables to an office, and hooked up a VCR.

It was the next night that they struck. So, we went out to the restaurant and watched the tape. Although the video was black and white, you could make things out very clearly. And they recognized one of the thieves as an employee. He walked into the frame and broke off the lock, and his fellow thieves started carrying boxes out. They must have done it before, because they cleaned it out in what seemed like a minute. Anyway, with the video, they had what they needed and the guy was arrested. I don't know if he rolled on his buddies, but he was busted.

We set up cameras in other businesses, too. Including the truckstop. Some of the cameras were the regular-sized ones you'll see today. Others were smaller, like the one I told you about, and couldn't easily be seen. We took turns watching the tapes, to see what was going on, hoping to find which drivers -- or which company's drivers -- were stealing stuff from our travel store. The office manager called me back one day to watch one with him. We saw someone stealing stuff. An employee. This one surprised me. I didn't think he'd steal from us. But there he was, putting stuff in his pocket. And when we checked when we could pinpoint when stuff was gone, he happened to have been working. Like I said, it really bothered me that it was him that was stealing from us. So I called him in and we watched the tape. He was real nervous, but denied it was him on the tape. There he was, face as plain as could be, wearing a trucktop uniform with his name on the shirt, and he denied it was him. I hope he went in to politics. He'd have been good at it. Oh, we had to fire him.

Not every job I did for "Dick" was setting up a camera. One job I remember was setting up a tape recorder. A businessman thought his wife might be cheating on him. So, he hired a private dick. Let me stop right here and let any 12-year-olds reading this know that "dick" is old slang for detective; I'm not sure what you were thinking. Anyway, "Dick" was hired to investigate. And, since he knew my experience with recording telephone conversations, he got me to help. I met the businessman and found out what he wanted. So, I added a phone extension and hooked up the equipment. All stuff you could get from Radio Shack. And that's where I got it. Anyhow, the phone recording device was set up, and I gave him instructions on how to activate it, how to disable it, and how to play it back. If I remember correctly, his suspicions about his wife running around were correct. But, I believe he was surprised at who she was running around with. Don't know what all happened, but the businessman did let me know he was quite satisfied with the work. I bet the wife was pissed, though. And, if she's reading this ... uh, it wasn't me.

All of this type of work was actually quite interesting, and, I'm sure, quite legal. It had to have been legal. Right. Sure. Yeah. Hmmm. Anyway, by far the most interesting work I did for "Dick" was: going to the movies. Yes, "Dick" paid me to go to the movies.

I'll tell you all about that another day.