Friday, December 31, 2004

Son of More Headline News

From CNN:
Anna Nicole Smith loses $88.5 million ruling
Status lowered from golddigger to cheap whore

From AJC:
Perdue's prudence or pork?
Is Governor's loveless marriage one of convenience or just raw sex?

From CNN International:
Russia to scrap communist holiday
Lining Up For Toilet Paper Day not as popular as it once was

From BBC:
British-born astronaut given CBE
Alphabet collection nearly complete

From BBC:
Cassini targets 'two-faced' moon
Moon was nice to Cassini one day, talking behind its back the next

From The New York Times:
Mercury Tries Online Campaign to Create a Cooler Image
Planet launches new Web site

From The Washington Post:
Capital One Ads Misled Customers, Suit Charges
Couple got card just to avoid Viking attacks

From The Washington Post:
Internet Sparks Outpouring of Instant Donations
Some donations actually go to help victims, not just to site's personal PayPal account

From The Washington Post:
A Resolution You Can Keep
Get drunk and puke on the couch

From WCPO:
51 Cincinnati Police Will Help With Bush's Inauguration
GOP Beat-Down Squad readied

From The Korea Times:
Prominent Historian Sees Bush Softening
Laxative credited

From ABC News:
Women Accused of 'Hot Dog' Prostitution
So, what do you want on your weiner?

From ABC News:
Is Crude Language Part of the Creative Process?
Hell, no!

From ABC News:
Hastert Weighs New Ethics Panel Chief
Rep. Joel Hefley tips scales at 195

From ABC News:
Texas Prosecutors to Drop Sears Charge
Craftsman tools to be returned

From ABC News:
Barry Manilow Signs Las Vegas Contract
To be attacked, eaten by Roy's tiger in New Year's Extravaganza

From CNN:
Silicon chip 'most influential invention'
Just ahead of silicone breast implants

From CNN:
U.S. revises its definition of torture
Seeks new terrorists to try it on

From CNN:
Powell, Jeb Bush lead U.S. delegation to disaster region
President unloads trouble-making cabinet member, family member in one swoop

From Fox News:
Georgia President Joining Ukrainian Celebrations
Waycross residents totally confused by report

Martian marathon reaches one-year mark
Really slow, stupid Martians taking forever

Viva Las Vegas

I mentioned the other day about eating pizza at the Sphinx. That's not the only Wonder of the World where I've had pizza. I also ate pizza at the Grand Canyon. Yes, I realize that the Sphinx isn't one of the Ancient Wonders of the World. It's the Great Pyramid, which is, like, several yards behind and to the left of the Sphinx. But, still. Pizza at the Sphinx. That was awesome. As was the Grand Canyon. And, I realize the Pyramids and the Sphinx are man-made while the Grand Canyon isn't. Unless you believe that Paul Bunyan story. And that's still to be proven. Unless you believe the CBS Memos they discovered from Paul Bunyan's days in the Minnesota National Guard. The jury's still out.

Anyway, about the Grand Canyon. I had pizza there. Or, at a restaurant located nearby. The Canyon itself is a big hole in the ground. But you knew that, didn't you? Well, didn't you? You didn't? Sorry to spoil the surprise. But it's still awesome. And the Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizza was pretty good, too.

We went to the Grand Canyon in 2003. My wife had never been. I had never been. So we went. And, since she left me in charge of scheduling the trip, I looked at the nearest airports. Phoenix looked promising. But so did Las Vegas. Guess which I chose?

We left on vacation a couple of days early. I mean, the flight was Sunday, and we left Friday. Spent a couple of days in Atlanta. No particular reason, other than the flight to Las Vegas was out of Hartsfield. So, we drove up Friday night and spent a couple of days just goofing off. I had a birthday while we were there, so we celebrated and awaited our flight on Sunday.

On the flight out there, the pilot flew over the Grand Canyon. The wife got some great pictures. I was thinking, hey, we've seen the Grand Canyon. We can spend a couple of days in Las Vegas and call it a vacation. But, she wanted to get a little closer than 8 miles high. So we landed at McCarran International Airport, and went to rent a car. Remember when I said I had celebrated a birthday earlier that weekend? Guess what? My driver's license had expired. So, here I am, 2166 miles from home with an expired driver's license. So, the wife rented a car. And got to play chauffeur all week. Anyway, we left the airport and guess where we headed? That's right, to a baseball game. Did I mention that I like baseball?

Anyway, after the game, we got to the hotel (the Golden Nugget) and settled in. During the next few days, we went to several different places in Las Vegas and noticed one something. The only place that didn't have slot machines was Morton's of Chicago, a steakhouse. But everywhere else had slot machines. And grey-haired ladies with cigarettes on their lips and voices like Selma from Night Court and a Kentucky Fried Chicken-sized container of nickels pumping five-cent pieces into the slot machines. In every place we stopped.

For example, when we went to the Grand Canyon, we stopped at a McDonald's for breakfast on the south side of Las Vegas. They had slot machines. Really. Slot machines in a McDonald's. Another day, we stopped to buy a map of the city. Walked into the 7-11 (or whatever it was) and was immediately hit by an cloud of Kool Menthol smoke and the sounds of the slots, with Selma dropping Thomas Jeffersons into the one-armed bandit. Everywhere you went, slot machines and Selma Diamond.

In the churches, there were slots. You prayed, pulled a lever, and "Absolution," "Absolution," "Burn in Hell." Okay, I'm making this part up. But, seriously, everywhere else there were slot machines.

While in Las Vegas, we got to see some things that were really fun and really amazing. And to think, organized crime built it all. But, I will honestly say that I was surprised how much I really enjoyed being in Las Vegas. The hotel was nice and comfortable, the casinos were, in general, all well-lit and clean (except for the cigarette smoke), and the roads, despite the construction, were clean. We had a wonderful time.

I'm scared to go back.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Son of Headline News Returns

From ABC News:
Restaurant for Anorexics Offers Food for Thought
Today's Special: Chicken Soup for the Soul

From ABC News:
Patients Upset Over End of Parkinson's Drug Trial
Hung Jury Leaves All Frustrated

From ABC News:
The Year of the Boob
Man of the Year: Michael Moore

From CNN:
It's Ken Jennings vs. old champs
George Forman wins with knockout in first minute

From CNN:
Family files lawsuit over AIDS drug death
Would rather have died of AIDS

From CNN International:
Grugger claims first World Cup win
After years of grugging, finally a win

From CNN International:
India issues tsunami alert
Better late than never

From Yahoo! News Asia:
FBI Probes Laser Beam Directed at Cockpit
Blofield at it again

From BBC:
Police stations 'need makeover'
Will receive on "Maury"

From BBC:
Virgin soars towards new frontier
Won't remain a virgin long

From ABC News:
Alcohol May Boost HIV Risk from Oral Sex
Drunk girls more likely to go down

From ABC News:
Canada Finds Suspected New Case of Mad Cow
Ontario MP Carolyn Parrish to be tested

AARP poised to fight Bush on Social Security
Bush unafraid: "They're old. I can take them."

From NPR:
Bush Ups Aid Commitment to Tsunami Victims
Tells U.N. "Up Yours"

From Sign On San Diego:
Maelstrom in the middle
"Malcom" sequel to debut in March

From CNN:
'Santa's Helpers' busted in drug arrests
Simpsons' dog faces multiple charges

From CNN:
Twister spins over Southern California
One-third of state places right hand on green

From CNN:
Alleged Elvis water brings $455 eBay bid
Water spews when all shook up

As US Airways struggles, industry ponders 'what if'
More fun than 'what is'

From TheBostonChannel:
Senate Committee Recommends Big Dig Oversight
First porn star to make it through confirmation hearings

From CNN:
Indians return after tsunami alert
Cleveland to open spring training early

From The Washington Post:
Spam Lowers Its Appeal
Now has negative appeal

From NewsNet5:
Official: Teacher Not At Fault For Student's Beating
Student needed his ass whipped

Early to Bed, Early to Rise…

One of the things about old people is that they always talk about what's wrong with them. How their foot hurts and that means it will rain. Or they need new shoes. Or something. Or how they have this spot but it went away but now it's back and they have an appointment Tuesday to get it looked at and while they are at the doctor's they'll get him to look at this thing behind the ear. You know how old people are. They are always talking about something related to their health. And they go on and on about it for no reason other than they must have nothing else to talk about.

Why do I bring this up? No reason.

In a totally unrelated matter, I'm nearly over this cold. I'm still taking some stuff to help with the cough. And, if you read an earlier post, you know that anything stronger than aspirin affects me rather badly. So, I've been riding in to work with the missus. Her schedule is a little earlier than my normal schedule. Which means getting to work some two hours ahead of normal. But, I've been leaving an hour ahead of normal. I guess I should explain that she drops me off, then drives another 30 minutes to her job, then gets off work, then drives 30 minutes to pick me up.

Anyway, getting there early has been an actual blessing. No, this getting up way too early isn't the blessing. But being at work at a time when no one is calling or anything means some actual uninterrupted time. Sometimes that's a good thing. Sometimes not. But, this week, I've actually managed to accomplish some stuff. I might actually earn my paycheck this week. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this nagging cough going away and dropping all meds. But, that will mean being able to drive again. And back to my normal schedule. And I'm really beginning to like this earlier schedule. Oh, well. I see it's time to take my drugs again.

And I may need to get the doctor to look at this spot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Return of Son of Headline News

From AJC:
Between all the giggling, a lesson in baby-sitting
The Michael Jackson Story

From CNN money:
McDonald's eyes PETA-friendly option
Squash McNuggets

From CNN money:
Toy maker equips toy train with condom
O'Jays re-release "Love Train"

From The New York Times:
More Oil Is Thought Spilled From Freighter Off Alaska
It's too cold to actually go out and look

From The Washington Post:
Two Missing, Four Hurt in Plant Blast
Geranium explodes

From The New York Times:
A Bond Tragedy and Time Couldn't Break
Diana Rigg's death in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" recalled

From ABC News:
Judge: Serial Killer Can Decide to Die
... or we could convince him

From ABC News:
Ex-Bartender Loses Makeup Fight in Court
Tammy Faye kicks his butt

From ABC News:
Russia Ends Free Rides for U.S. Astronauts
Edgar Winter CDs no longer allowed

From ABC News:
Why Would-Be Moms Are Liking Vikings
Randy Moss' $7,896,787.00 salary

From ABC News:
Action Figures for Adults Who Won't Grow Up
New from Mattel: Britney Spears

From ABC News:
Ohio Recount Ends, Shows Vote Closer
President's 118,457 vote win throws entrie country into disarray

From The Washington Post:
Endangered Ferrets Make Comeback in Ariz.
Beat Sun Devils in overtime

From The Washington Post:
Ukrainian Victor Backs New Protest
Viktor Victorious in Victory over Viktor

From The Washington Post:
AP: Freed Polish Hostage Feared Rescue
Felt better when told rescue was a good thing

From The Washington Post:
Canada Looks for Spot in the Big Picture
Canada's dog has been missing since Sunday

From The Washington Post:
Thinking Woman
New fiction bestseller

From The Washington Post:
For the Rejects Of Christmas, A 2nd Chance
Island of Misfit Toys reopens

From The Washington Post:
Evolution Shares a Desk With 'Intelligent Design'
But separate lockers

From The New York Times:
A Twisted Sitcom Makes the Simpsons Look Like Saints
... and Futurama Look Like 49'ers

From The New York Times:
Small Wineries Being Acquired by Big Names
Mondavi Winery acquired by Andrjuljawierjuskoutsoghianopoulos Wineries

From The New York Times:
Blockbuster Threatens Hostile Bid for Rival
Crock Pot maker, Industry surprised by move

From The New York Times:
America Online Reports Drop in Spam
Hormel stock plummets on report

From CNN:
High-rise hawks spotted in new nest
Were striped in old nest

From CNN:
Author Susan Sontag dies at 71
Who will sing the praises of the 9/11 hijackers now?

From CNN:
FDA approves new drug for severe pain
Prialt, due in January, not expected to be linked to heart disease until 2008

From CNN:
Asteroid Earth impact in 2029 ruled out
U.N. rejects plan

From The Omaha Channel:
Present, Future Governor To Lay Out 2005
Statement: "We've had our fill of 2005 running his mouth off and we're going to do something about it."

From WRAL:
Man Loses Control Of Vehicle, Plows Through Cemetery
Witness: "It was awful. There were bodies everywhere."

The Pharaoh's Curse

So, anyway, we were in Egypt. If you don't know what I'm talking about, read yesterday's post. You with me now? Good. We were in Egypt, and like I said, I had no clue where anything was in relationship to anything else. We had toured the Cairo Museum (it was great; I'll tell you about that another time). We were going over to the Pyramids.

Let me tell you first that the Pyramids are huge. I'd seen pictures on TV and in movies and such. They looked like, well, pyramids. But, when you are actually seeing them for the first time, it's amazing. I had mentioned that we saw them on the bus ride into Cairo. Actually, the bus ride was to Giza, and then to Cairo. But I couldn't tell when Giza ended and Cairo started. We were in a city with three huge Pyramids, took a left turn, crossed a bridge, and were in Cairo. That little thing called the Nile River is all I could see separating the two. It's like one town with a river running through it.

Anyway, after we finished the Museum, we crossed the bridge back to the Pyramids. We knew we were going that way because the name of the road was "Avenue of the Pyramids." That was the first clue. Plus, those big-ass pyramids taking up all the sky. We stopped and ate at a local restaurant. If you read yesterday's post, you know what I ate. But others ate something at that restaurant. Anyway, after lunch, we took the buses over to the Pyramids. We got off and stood outside, looking at those big piles of rock. And that's all they are: big rocks. Actually, they are big stones. Cut stones. And each stone is huge. And they are stacked up, until they reach a point. And that's your basic huge-ass pyramid.

There were fellows riding camels around the Pyramids. I had a camera with me and stood back as far as I could in order to take a picture of the Pyramids. Well, the camel-riders just kept riding around. So I moved over to one side to get them out of the picture. I just wanted a picture of the Great Pyramid. Well, no such luck. The camel-riders turned Clyde and rode right into the picture. So I watched for a while and noticed something. You know how every image you have ever seen of the Pyramids includes folks riding camels by the Pyramids? Think about it. Every picture or TV clip has them. That's why I thought the Pyramids were in the middle of the desert, because you needed to get there by camel. Nope. The guys were selling camel rides. Really. What they were doing was riding back and forth waiting for some sap with money in his pocket to come by, then offer them a camel ride. And I made a mis-statement a bit ago. They don't sell camel rides. They give them away. A free gift to their "new friends from the USA, Hi-ho, Silver." Yes, that's an actual quote. So, I took them up on their offer of a free ride. So I rode a camel around the Pyramid. When it was over, since I had accepted a free gift from him, he wanted a free gift from me. A green picture of a dead president would fit the bill, I discovered.

Anyhow, after the camel ride, I got into a group to go up inside the Great Pyramid. So, we climbed about a third of the way up the outside of the Pyramid, to an opening. Then we stooped down and went inside to an area where we could stand up and walk around. Some Egyptian was playing tour guide and said a group of us could go up further inside. We had to stoop down and duckwalk up an elevated passageway. About half-way up, we could stand up, then we had the option to go on further. So, we duckwalked even further up another passageway. Now, I don't know if you have ever thought about Ancient Egyptian Electricians, but I don't think they existed. Some 20th century folks had run some electric wires inside the Pyramid, but, like everything else, it needs repair from time to time. It was repair day. So, it was dark. Some of us had chem-lights. I think you can buy similar things and they are called light-sticks or something. Anyway, we had a few -- very few -- of those for light. I was younger and actually pretty healthy and fit then, so I lead the way, duckwalking up a long passageway into heart of the Great Pyramid.

When we got to the top, it was pitch black. I didn't have a light, but some were coming behind me. I stood up and felt along the wall on my left. I slowly inched along, feeling the wall and shuffling along the floor. Still dark. After several tentative steps, I grew a little bolder, taking larger steps and moving further. Others came in, some with chem-lights. They stood back waiting for their eyes to get adjusted to the dark. I continued moving along, then felt the edge of the wall. Instead of reaching an inside corner, I had reached an outside corner. The wall on my left angled 90 degrees to the left. So I felt around the corner and stepped ... onto nothing. The ground wasn't there! I had already committed to the step and couldn't stop. I was in an Ancient Egyptian Pyramid, it was dark, and the floor had disappeared. Every trap that Indiana Jones had ever encountered came to my mind. I was going to fall into a grave-robbers trap and never see anyone again.

All those thoughts came into my mind in the fraction of a second it took for me to realize the floor wasn't where I expected it to be, until my foot actually hit where the floor was, a drop of about 6-8 inches. I decided to stop until my eyes grew more accustomed to the dark. After a little bit, we could see better, and someone actually had a flashlight. Plus, my camera had a flash. But, no pictures are allowed. Unless you give them a green picture of a president. Then, they look the other way. Anyway, we could make out the sarcophagus of Khufu. You've seen the thing. It's a large stone rectangular box with no top. And one top edge is broken off a little. And the ceiling is very, very high. I got lots of pictures.

We spent a few minutes in that very dark, very warm room. One of the soldiers with me was beginning to have issues with his lunch. He had chosen to eat at the local restaurant. Lunch came back up. Since he was by the sarcophagus, he just leaned over and blew his chunks into it. No, I'm not making any of this up. The guy puked into the Pharaoh's sarcophagus. I thought it was a good time to leave, since another tour group was going to be coming up this way as soon as they got the lights fixed anyway. We duckwalked our way back down and went over to the Sphinx.

Pharaoh got us back: none of my pictures inside the Pyramid came out.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Return of More Headline News

From AJC:
Mayor fines Druid Hills club over gay policy
Mayor: "I mean, that policy is just SO gay, we had to do something."

From CNN:
Late Tupac Shakur back at No. 1
Critics agree: If he have died earlier, he'd be bigger than the Beatles

From CNN:
Lopez sued by ex for breach of contract
Couple had agreed to not try to make Ben Affleck appear to be straight

From CNN:
Study: Obesity threatens health care system
Fat Albert receives medical degree

From CNN:
Cancer study yields clues on gray hair
More prominent in older patients

From CNN:
Scientists study orbit of newly found asteroid
NASA: "It will take a while because it goes in circles and makes us dizzy"

From CNN:
High school experiments on way to space station
Latest excuse of why science project is late

From CNN:
Boeing rocket falls short of intended orbit
Told to not be ashamed: All rockets experience that at one time or another

From CNN:
Quake's power = million atomic bombs
Bush demands U. N. sanctions

From CNN money:
Hacker hits McDonald's China Web site
McDonald's China still available with Extra-Value Meals

From CNN:
No new trial despite mistaken confession
Meant to order pizza, confessed to murder instead

From CNN:
Republicans divided on immigration issues
Conservatives want immigrants shot on sight, Moderates only want dogs turned loose on them

From CNN money:
Disastrous holiday dogs airlines
Backers thought canines would travel more at Thanksgiving, Christmas

From CNN money:
Ford recalls more compact SUVs
Former President: "When I was in the White House, SUVs were really small. And useful. And we didn't call them SUVs."

From CNN money:
Sharper Image stock falls on warnings
Warnings receives stitches, released from hospital

From CNN:
Steinbeck's hometown to close libraries
Officials: "We found out nobody really reads his stuff."

From The Pittsburgh Channel:
Bounty Hunter Kills Drug Suspect; Police Investigate
Police find that, sure enough, the guy is dead

From The Pittsburgh Channel:
Murphy Won't Seek Another Term
Goes with first impulse, calls opponent "jerk"

From The New Mexico Channel:
Future Of Los Alamos Uncertain
City must pay fortune teller more for better forecast

From CNN:
Crime motivates inventors to act
Ron Popeil to star in new Oliver Stone film

From CNN:
Airlines' computer systems questioned
Released after passing a polygraph

From CNN:
Man admits Christmas lights Web site scam
Apologises for fooling stupid people

From CNN International:
Forget quits French Fed Cup team
Forgive stays on team

From CNN:
The ultimate New Year's Eve party town
Welcome to Waycross, Georgia

Pizza Hut Pizza To Go

So I was saying yesterday that I had a story or two to tell about the Pyramids. This is as good a time as any to tell one of them. I mean, you've got a couple of minutes, right? Good.

When I was in the Army, I got sent to places I otherwise never would have gone. One of those places was Egypt. You've heard of Egypt, right? King Tut. The Mummy. The Exodus. Camels. The Sphinx. The Pyramids. Yes, that Egypt. Yeah, I went there. And got paid for it. The whole experience was miserable. Except for one day. That day was cool.

I was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in an artillery unit. Now, my MOS was not an artillery MOS. Okay, I might need to explain what an MOS is. That's Army talk for your job. It means Military Occupational Specialty. It's what your primary job is. Just like in the real world, different people do different things. The unit I was in was an artillery unit. They fired those big guns that people say look like tanks. Only they're not tanks. They're guns. They fire big shells and cause massive destruction. And, like any job in any place, some on the people you work with are some of the smartest people you'll ever meet. Some are as dumb as toast. Artillery units are no exception. Some really sharp people. Some dim bulbs, too. America's melting pot.

Anyway, I was in an artillery unit. But my job was not artillery. I had a support MOS. I worked on generators and kept up with small equipment parts. The idea is that I was not one of the regular guys. Most of the artillery guys (and, yes, they were all guys, no girls) had at least their job in common. They understood each others jobs. They weren't too sure about me. Of course, lots of folks feel that way about me. Oh, well. Anyhow, our unit was sent over to Egypt for 57 days. And 56 of them were miserable. We lived in the desert and did training exercises near the border with Libya. Except for one day.

One day, we loaded up into buses and went east, all the way to Cairo. As we approached Cairo, we saw these large pointy things sticking up in the air. I wasn't that big on Egyptian geography and had no idea that the Pyramids were near Cairo. But I found out they were. And they were huge! I had seen on TV and in movies the Pyramids and they looked like they were out in the middle of the desert. Well, they're not in the middle of the desert. They are at the edge of the desert. Oh, and to show how ignorant I was, I didn't realize the Sphinx was right next to the Pyramids. But, it was. And, right next to the Pyramids and the Sphinx was a sidewalk. And on the other side of the sidewalk was a city with cars and people and businesses and houses and everything. It was totally mind-blowing, if you didn't see it coming.

Anyway, we visited the Cairo Museum and stopped by a restaurant before we headed back to the Pyramids. I could talk for days about the Museum. And will, one day; stay tuned. But, at the restaurant, almost everybody ordered something to eat. A couple of us picky eaters didn't. But I was hungry. So I found a phone book, a phone, some Egyptian coins, and an operator that spoke English. So I called the Cairo Pizza Hut. Really. And, guess what? They deliver. Really. So I had Pizza Hut deliver me a pizza and a Pepsi. To the Sphinx. Really. By the time the bus got over there, I could see the Pizza Hut delivery boy standing there with a pizza in one hand and a Pepsi in the other, looking at every vehicle that went by. I stuck my head out of the window and yelled. He saw me, held up the pizza, and I got off the bus as quickly as I could. I paid him for the pizza and Pepsi, and gave him a nice tip. He went away happy, and I sat down and ate me a Pizza Hut pizza and drank me a Pepsi-Cola right in front of the Sphinx. It was awesome.

I have some other stories to tell about that day; you have been warned.

Monday, December 27, 2004

More Headline News Returns

As promised, the latest Headline News from around what's left of the planet.
From The Hawaii Channel:
Airline Accuses DOT Of Corruption, Mismanagement
Sister of Yakko and Wakko denies the charges

From The Bakersfield Channel:
NASA Retires Mothership After Nearly 50 Years
Ceremony at Area 51 closed to public

From The Iowa Channel:
Christmas Standoff Rattles Clive; Suspect At Large
Barker said to be an emotional wreck, writing new book

Red Light Cameras Approved By City Council
Whorehouses watched 24/7 by perves in city government

From The Denver Channel:
High Winds Wreak Havoc Along Front Range
Kitchen door left open again

From The Washington Post:
Redskins Lose a Heartbreaker to Cowboys
Same story for past 150 years

From The Washington Post:
Dad Puts 3 Sons' Presents On EBay
Kids retaliate, put dad's past on EBay

From The Washington Post:
Fire, Logging Threaten Borneo's Rich Ecosystem
Weekly World News to go elsewhere for dinosaur stories

From The Washington Post:
An Arab Politics-Free Zone
The Gaza Cemetery

From The Washington Post:
Fast Food Takes a Bite Out of Chinese Culture
Chinese Culture maces Fast Food

From The Washington Post:
The Proper Spirit Of Getting
A Blue State Christmas

From The New York Times:
As Nuclear Secrets Emerge in Khan Inquiry, More Are Suspected
Ricardo Montalban held for questioning

From The New York Times:
Despite Expense, Europeans Turn to Maine for Holiday Feast
Beats the hell out of eating snails

From The New York Times:
Israel Restricts Cellphone Pornography
Can You Hear Me Now? Good, What Are You Wearing?

From The New York Times:
An 80-Minute Symphony and a Bare Soprano
It's really over when the fat lady sings

Calif. judge hears gay marriage arguments
Top arguments: who controls the checkbook, leaving the seat up

From CBS News:
Bush Spreads Cheer To Troops
Cheney delivers Tide, Rumsfeld offers Gain

From The Washington Post:
Powell Hails Ukraine Election
Thought it was a cab

From The Washington Post:
For Bush, Key Foreign Policy Goals Intersect
President: "And if you hold it this way, it looks like a horsey."

From The Washington Post:
AOL Spam Down 75 Pct
AOL only sending a fraction of what it once did; however, incoming spam still up

From The New York Times:
Peyton Manning Breaks Marino's Record
Manning promises to buy Marino a new "Sgt. Pepper" album

From The New York Times:
Cuba Counters Prostitution With AIDS Programs
Most tourists still choose the prostitutes

From The New York Times:
Now, You Can Eat With Your Hands
New York discovers fried chicken

From The New York Times:
URBAN STUDIES: The Sounds of Silence
Simon and Garfunkel release rap album

From The New York Times:
Rice University Computer Scientists Find a Flaw in Google's New Desktop Search Program
A search for "Yahoo!" returned no hits

From CNN:
Student raises $30,000 for orphans in Uganda
Sold them on eBay

From CNN:
Ban on Christmas carols sparks debate
Topic: Is litigant an a****** or a d********?

From CNN:
Study: Whales suffer the bends
Whalesong actually cries of pain; Star Trek IV to be refilmed using monkeys

From CNN:
H'wood actor freed from Pakistani prison
To star in sequel, "Dude, Where's My Virginity?"

From CNN International:
Maxis duel in Sydney-Hobart race
Kotex, Stayfree battle for lead

From CNN money:
The return of the $6,000 shower curtain
Long Lines at Wal-Mart Customer Service Desk

From ABC News:
Gay Marriage Amendment Not Coming Soon
Thinking about baseball

From ABC News:
George Carlin Entering Drug Rehab Clinic
Entire world shocked that George Carlin may have taken drugs

From Fox News:
Report: Drug Firms on Lookout for Moore
Filmmaker has missed his medications a lot lately

Oh, by the way, my big sister (the one that's 5'4") is celebrating a birthday today. But I won't tell how old she is. Or will I?

Excel Eye Axe.

Work, Work, Work, Hello Boys, Did You Miss Me?

So my vacation gets moved up one week from the week after Christmas to the week before Christmas. And I up and get sick that weekend and spend all of Christmas week in bed eating Total cereal. Gotta keep my strength up, you know.

Anyway, yesterday afternoon I went to Burger King and got a Double-Whopper With Cheese and ketchup. Every time I get over getting sick, I crave a Double-Whopper With Cheese and ketchup. I don't know why, it's just one of those things. But it's when I know I'm all better. Still a little cough, but I can handle that. You can take me of your prayer list, now.

So, Monday and back to work slaving away for the Evil Corporation. It's a living.

Actually, this is the second-most fun job I've ever had. That's not to say it's the most satisfying job, but second-most fun. The most satisfying job was when I was in the Russian Army. No, wait. That wasn't me. I was in the U.S. Army. Didn't spend a lot of time there, but more that one enlistment. Saw some things I never would have seen otherwise. Unless I hit the lottery. I mean, I got to see the Pyramids. Yes, those Pyramids. Got a great pyramid story, actually more than one, to tell. But that's for another time. Sneak peek: I got to go up inside like they do on the Discovery Channel. But, there's a lot more to tell. It was cool. And scary. Oooooooo!!

Anyway, being in the Army was the most satisfying because despite all the hijinks I pulled and trouble I got into, I was part of a team that did a very important job. And, at the end of the day, and at the end of my last enlistment, I knew that what I had done was important. In times of war and in times of peace, the U.S. military (and the Air Force) does the most important job in the world: keeping America safe. Oh, that crack about the Air Force? I had an uncle retire from there. I'm just ragging on them. Meant nothing by it. Or did I?

Anyway, that was the most satisfying job. The most fun was when I was in high school and just out of high school. I worked at a little radio station in my home town. What kinds of music, you ask? Both kinds: Country and Western. No, actually, they played lots more than that. This was the '70s. The little AM/FM radio station played a little of everything. And I was 17-18 years old, being paid to stay up till after midnight playing music I liked. Find a kid that age today and tell him you'll pay him actual money to stay up late playing his favorite music and taking telephone calls from girls and horny older women five nights a week. I think most would take the job.

That job was great. If I did it today, I'd probably hate it. But, at the time, it was the best job in the world, and will always be the best job I ever had. I hope that whatever it is you do (unless it's blowing up airplanes and such) is something you enjoy. When you enjoy it, you don't really look at it like a job or like work. It's more like something fun to do. And you get paid for it. Enjoy what you do. If you don't enjoy what you do, do it well until you find something you do enjoy. It's out there. I think I've found the second-best job in the world. No young girls calling. When I see one now, I think about my daughter. And as for horny older women, there's one in the other room getting ready for work.

Speaking of which, I gotta go to work now, too. Oh, and Headline News later.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

More Headline News

As promised, Headline News left over from the holidays.
From AJC:
YMCA Chief Fired for Transgender Ball Flap
Defends saying "The ball should have been a clue"

From AJC:
Rain to move out, cold to move in
Rain to get deposit back

From CNNmoney:
Oil slips on milder weather
Falls, hurts back

From CNN:
New rules aim for more efficient do-not-call registry
"Do not call" not clear enough

From CNNinternational:
Shooting leaves Montoya paralysed
"Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to -- Wait! I thought we were using swords!"

From CNNinternational:
Europe catches Christmas spirit
Expected to get over it soon

From BBC:
From Kashmir to Kathmandu
New Led Zeppelin/Bob Seger CD released

From BBC:
Cardinal criticises Iraq war cost
Suggests clipping coupons, comparison pricing

From BBC:
Toys have lasting impact on brain
Toy hammers have greatest impact, Nerf balls the least

From BBC:
Epic to open Berlin Film Festival
"Faith No More" reunites for one night only

From The Christian Science Monitor:
Africa fights AIDS with girl power
Powerpuff Girls expected to be at least as effective as U.N. has been

From The Christian Science Monitor:
More signs of Syria turn up in Iraq
Exploding Syrians were the first clue

From The Washington Times:
Education panel proposes floating religious holidays
Buoyancy of Holidays may be a factor

From Ananova:
Strike hits Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve hits back

From CNN:
Fathers' group targets UK queen
Elton John object of wrath

From AJC:
Whale tangled up in the blue
Greenpeace sues Bob Dylan

From CNN:
Teen sues over Confederate flag prom dress
Wants to be placed on pole over South Carolina statehouse

From CNN:
Holiday heartburn -- or heart attack?
Either way you get to leave the noisy kids at the table

From CNN:
Outback life easier with modern tactics
Steakhouse now accepts credit cards

From The Washington Post:
Bookstores' Story Time Not Just for Kids
"Then he was kissing her again. His cool, wet tongue pushing past her lips, finding and stroking her own tongue, tasting her..."

From The Washington Post:
Tribal Money Linked to GOP Fundraising
Finally an explanation of why the networks called them "red states"

From The Washington Post:
Ukrainians Go Back to Ballot Box
The line at that box is huge!

From CNN:
Man gives $35,000 to Denver homeless
Nearby liquor store sells $35,000 of cheap wine

From The New York Times:
Going One-on-One With the Boss
Sleeping your way to the top

Glad we could get together.

The Day After

So I got a book and a DVD starring Chris Tucker and Charlie Sheen and I got another book and I got another DVD starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer and Queen Latifah but I already had it so I'm going to get another and I got another book and I got a thing that heats up the shaving gel that I can use when I shave and I got another book and I got a telescope and I used to have a telescope a long time ago but that was a long time ago and now I got a new one and I got a Aqua Teen Hunger Force DVD and I got a shirt and my cold's nearly gone.

I hope you had a very happy Christmas.

Headline News coming up. Food first. Me go eat now.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas 2004

  1. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
  2. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
  3. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
  4. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David)
  5. To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
  6. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
  7. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
  8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
  9. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
  10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
  11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
  12. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
  13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
  14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
  15. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
  16. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
  17. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
  18. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Son of Return of More Headline News

The cough came back, which means more drugs. Before I lose consciousness, I thought I'd post another edition of Headline News:
From The Boston Channel:
Fishing Boat Survivor Recounts Ordeal
DNC still not satisfied

From CNN:
TSA modifies pat-downs to exclude breasts
Shortage of male TSA personnel expected

From CNN:
'The best-known black man on Earth'
Old whats-his-name

From Washington Post:
Palestinians, Israelis Endorse Conference
Both expect AFC to win Super Bowl, Pro Bowl

From Washington Post:
Two French Hostages Released After Four Months
Terrorists released pair after realization that nobody cared

From The New York Times:
Annan Says Oil-for-Food Produced a Bad Year
What with the US troops keeping things honest and all

From The New York Times:
Bush Says Iraqis Aren't Yet Able to Quell Rebels
President wins bet with Cheney over ability to use 'quell' in a sentence

From The New York Times:
F.D.A. Calls Ads for Cholesterol Pill Crestor 'False and Misleading'
Agency: Patrick Stewart's voice improperly implies Star Fleet endorsement

From The New York Times:
Three Dozen New Galaxies Are Found in Nearby Space
NASA asks: "Can we keep them?"

From The New York Times:
Her Heart's in the Right Place. Or Is It?
An in-depth analysis of Klingon anatomy

From The New York Times:
Methane in Martian Air Suggests Life Beneath the Surface
Professor Farnsworth's smell-o-scope a success

From The New York Times:
U.S. Slips in Attracting the World's Best Students
Victoria's Secret credited

From BBC:
Broadband steams ahead in the US
Coal-fired broadband expected within months

From BBC:
Tourists offered ride on Tito's train
New attraction opens at Neverland

From CNN:
Philadelphia schools experiment seen as model
Was inspiration for "Weird Science"

From AJC:
Clinton Opens New Unit at N.Y. Hospital
Hopes new one doesn't get him into as much trouble as old one

From AJC:
The cornerstone of Waffle House
Uh, Waffles?

From The New York Times:
2 Women Lead Chile's Presidential Race
Either way, Chile's screwed

Good day and may the good news be yours.


I saw in the news where some judge in New York City has rejected a guilty plea from a spammer. You may remember this case. Seems that Jason Smathers of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, while employed by America Online, sold 92-million e-mail addresses to an "internet marketer." You know "internet marketers," don't you? They are the ones who think your penis is too small, that your breasts are too small, that you want horny young girls, that you need a new Rolex, that you want Canadian drugs, that... well, you get the idea. They may be right about one or more of these (I'm not telling), but I certainly don't appreciate unsolicited e-mails.

I'm not sure if I get a lot of e-mail or not, but let's look at some quick stats. I installed Norton AntiSpam on one of my computers on February 27, 2004. Here it is, 301 days later and on that computer I have received 17,358 spams. That's an average of over 57 a day. Now, to be fair, I have more than one e-mail address. But most of the spam comes in on one main account. I don't like spam.

So, anyway, I saw this news story and started digging. So, just who is Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein? He's the judge that said it's okay to sue the airlines for the 9/11 attacks. I may be just a dumb redneck, but I really don't think Boeing or American Airlines are to blame for that. I'm thinking the blame lies with the terrorists, but I'm silly that way. He's made some other rulings that I'm not too keen on. Google him, if you want to know more. I'm not going to do your work for you. What, did I take you to raise?

Anyway, about the spam. The guy who used to work for AOL (they canned him) pled guilty. And this moonbat judge rejected the plea. The prosecution says they guy did it. The guy says he did it. But the judge isn't sure. If he hooked up with two or three more clowns, he could start a circus. So, anyway, if you want to share your opinion with the Honorable Alvin K. Hellerstein, you can reach him at:
Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein
US District Court
500 Pearl Street, Room 910
New York, NY 10007-1312

No, I don't have an e-mail address for him. But, I like the way you think.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Slow News Day?

I don't know if it's a slow news day, or if the after-effects of medication are still making themselves known, but here's the news:
From AJC:
Millions disputed by Grady
Best friend contests Fred Sanford's will

From CNN:
Snoop Dogg sues over alleged extortion
Rapper: "They threatenin' to tell 'em my real name is Calvin Broadus and that ain't right. What? Aww, man!"

From Fox News:
Report: Arafat Invested in NYC Bowling Alley
Was inspired by "Bowling for Columbine"

From Washington Post:
New Rules Issued for National Forests
Do not feed bears with hats and ties, and absolutely no pic-a-nic baskets allowed

From Washington Post:
Several Factors Contributed to 'Lost' Voters in Ohio
Top reason: imagining they existed

From Washington Post:
Suspect Wanted A Baby Desperately, Acquaintances Say
Ya think?

From Washington Post:
Cloned Cat Sale Generates Ethics Debate
Scientists debate whether to take advantage of stupid cat owners

From Washington Post:
Boy After Boy After Boy?
Tonight's Lifetime movie: The Michael Jackson Story

Mexico town bans indoor nudity
Residents must go outdoors to get naked

One year after mad cow, questions linger
Top question: What the hell was all that fuss about?

Homeless remembered across America
"Nice gesture," homeless say, "but we could really use some food. And a place to stay."

Vacuum cleaner claim is settled
Both sides: "Deal sucks"

Good night, Chet. Good night, David. And good night for NBC News.

Purging the System

Moehawk was kind enough to point out that my headlines are showing the effects of the medication. And I'm guessing that's not a good thing. I guess in a couple of days, I'll find out. That's about how long it takes for the little medicine-thingys to get bored and leave the system. I haven't taken anything yet today, and hope I don't.

Anyway, while I'm waiting for the meds to wear off, I have some unfinished business. Last weekend, I went by Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!] in my hometown. I was in my hometown dropping off my son and daughter's Christmas presents. Anyway, I had to buy some stuff. Including socks. See, I left socks at the house Friday, and thought wearing clean socks was a good idea. So I bought socks. When I went to put them on, I noticed the bag was resealable. I paused. Resealable socks? I tried the bag. Sure enough, resealable socks. Well, at least, now I know where Adrian Monk buys his socks.

There was something else, but I forget what it was. Boy, I can't wait for these drugs to wear off. Maybe I'll be clean and sober by Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Son of Headline News Returns Again

Frank J. over at IMAO has posted Holiday Headline Fun. They funny. Go read. Oh, and here are some of my offerings:
From AJC:
Waffle House, Tyrone try to work out sticky differences
Waitress apologizes for spilling syrup on former Notre Dame coach

From WFTV:
Teen Accused Of Shooting Santa With Pellet Gun
Weapon identified as an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, Range Model air rifle with a compass on the stock and this thing which tells time.

From The Washington Post:
Raptor Tests Suspended After Crash
T-Rex tests to continue

From The Washington Post:
Ukraine Candidate Raises Language Issue
... or so we think. We counldn't understand a word he said

From The Washington Post:
Judge Rejects Guilty Plea In Spam Case
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein soon to be deluged with e-mails

From BBC:
UK charity pulls out of Darfur
A frustrated Darfur could not be reached for comment

From BBC:
Should you believe your ears?
I can't believe your ears, either

From BBC:
Four Galileo spacecraft ordered
Supersized, with fries and a Coke

From BBC:
Body in field 'not suspicious'
Police: 'Around here, it happens all the time. Nothing to get worked up over. Move along now.'

From The Times Online:
England find eighth wonder
Brits admit: "To be honest, we had wondered about it all this time. Then it suddenly hit us..."

From The Times Online:
Rowling whizzes out a new Potter
Question of where she gets ideas finally answered

From The Times Online:
China tells Tom and Jerry to hit each other in Mandarin
MGM still hasn't told Beijing that the characters do not speak

From The Times Online:
Mars shows its icy top
"Planets Gone Wild" video released

From The Times Online:
Battle on for Christmas No 1
Jesus holds slight edge over Santa, Frosty

From The Times Online:
Virgin territory, but someone has to visit
Wise men, shepherds expected on the 25th

Consumer Warning

You know how on medications they have warnings like "Do not operate heavy machinery" and such? And you know how I've mentioned that I've been fighting a cold and taking medications? And that I don't do medications well?

Well, they should add "Do not operate a shower massage" on that medication. You must really have all your faculties to keep them under control and pointed in the right direction.

I'm going to go lay down now.

How I'm Spending My Christmas Vacation

One of the worst things about being sick ... other than the obvious ... no, wait, that's it: being sick. I mentioned earlier I'm not a big fan of taking drugs. Not a macho thing; when I'm sick, I'm a wimp. No, that's not it. It's that drugs do things that I don't understand. For example, if I take an aspirin (CH3COOC6H4COOH for those that care about such things), how does it know where my pain is? I mean, if I've got a headache, how does it know to go to my head and make it stop? Why doesn't it go to my knee? Or my shoulder? Does it actually go to all these places, but turn around when the little CH3COOC6H4COOH-thingys get to the head and call out "Up here, boys!" These things bother me.

Another think I don't like about being sick is that people start playing tricks on me. For example, I've been taking some cold medicine tablets (Acetaminophen 325 mg, Chlorpheniramine maleate 2 mg, Dextromethorphan hydrobromide 15 mg, Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 30 mg) and the little medicine-thingys inside them like to suddenly make me want to go to sleep, then, when I'm dreaming all nice and sweet, they run around yelling "Wake up!" Little medicine-thingys are evil. Well, not evil. They do make me feel better. So, they just have a mean sense of humor.

Anyway, people playing tricks on me. The wife has moved all of the light switches. Remember when I said that the medicine-thingys are making me wake up all of a sudden? Well, sometimes, that means in the middle of the night. When it's dark outside. And dark inside, too. And that's why the Good Lord -- or was it Thomas Edison? -- invented electric lights. So, I go to turn on a light. And the wall switch has been moved. I walked into the kitchen and used my right hand to turn on the switch, and nothing happens. No switch. So I try with my left hand. It works! Someone moved the switch. And, she may deny it, but I know it's her. So, I take my orange juice and drugs, turn to leave the kitchen, and use my left hand to turn off the switch. Nothing. That's the same hand that worked coming in! Why doesn't it work on the way out? So, now I try my right hand. It works! It was moved again! I step over to the bedroom and look at my wife. She's acting like she's asleep, but I know she's just lying there, chuckling to herself. I mean, really. Playing tricks on me like that.

I was going to write something about socks from Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!], but I don't see how to get there from here. So maybe later. I think the drugs are kicking in. It's a little after 7:00 AM. Good night, all.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Headline News Returns Again

Sorry, but I'm fighting a cold and drugs. Anyway, here's some news:
From AJC:
Planets march in a winter parade
Gravitational forces wreak havoc on holiday floats

From AJC:
U.S. Election Voted Top News Story of '04
Just like 4 years ago. And 4 years before that. And 4 years before that. And...

From AJC:
Texas Still No. 1 in Executions in 2004
Auburn University disputes, demands playoffs

From AJC:
Mercury hits 17, lowest in nearly 2 years
Is the "bully planet" finally calming down?

From AJC:
Church set to extend its reach via spinoff
Sherman Helmsley to star

From CNN:
Pakistan opposition leader held
Likes cuddling

From CNN:
Science in a spin over spider web
Spells out "some pig"

From The Washington Post:
Accord Reached on D.C. Stadium
How car got up there still a mystery

From The Washington Post:
Ukrainian Candidates Trade Barbs In Debate
Yushchenko takes Streisand, Yanukovych takes Eden

From The New York Times:
Shareholder Sues to Halt Grey Bid
Deal fell apart after picture in attic found

From The New York Times:
Watching as Dusty Disks Slowly Turn Into Planets
Geeks answer to normal folks' watching paint dry

From The New York Times:
Why Students Struggle When Pressure Is On
uh, pressure?

Just Say No ...

So, the other day, I mentioned how wonderful things had gone: my son got his new computer and seemed really pleased. Well, that's still true. But, if you read that one, you saw where I said to not worry, that it wouldn't last. It didn't.

Seems that there's a bug going around. And it's now going around my stomach. That shot this week all to hell. Had to cut short my visit there and cancel plans to bring him here for a short visit. He doesn't need to get here and get sick. I didn't need to get sick, either, but that's how things happen. So, I loaded up, took drugs, and headed west.

Took drugs, you say? Well, actually I said it. But, yes. So, from a place that sells medicine[shameless link = buy stuff!] I had some Day-Quil. Actually, it was an equivalent. Contained all the same stuff. Now, you must realize that I don't do drugs very well.

You see, I've always had a little weight problem. Well, not actually. In high school, I was 6'2" and weighed 120 lbs. Well, I'm still 6'2" but weight quite a bit more. So, both the ex and I had weight "issues." She thought trying Dexatrim was a good idea. This was like nearly 20 years ago. Anyway, popped some of them and sort of followed directions. You know. Like you do. Yes, admit it. You don't always follow directions. You should. But you don't. Until something gets your attention. Dexatrim got my attention. Actually, it was the folks at the place where I worked. One Tuesday, they asked how I was. They all had this weird look in there eye. I was like, "I'm fine, why do you ask." And they're like, "You were acting a little different yesterday?" So I comment that Monday's aren't always my best day. Then they explained that "yesterday" was not Monday, but Wednesday. It seems I had missed two whole days. Oh, I was there. I just missed them. So, I learned to follow directions. Mostly. Oh, and I don't do drugs well.

Anyway, this was non-drowsy stuff, and I had a 4 1/2 drive ahead of me. It went very well. But I don't every recall seeing so many cars with blue lights sitting beside the road, just watching. And I think they were watching me. I drove so slow and careful, one truck passed me twice. Really. But, I made it. Ate a little supper, took more drugs (Acetaminophen 325 mg, Chlorpheniramine maleate 2 mg, Dextromethorphan hydrobromide 15 mg, Pseudoephedrine hydrochloride 30 mg) and went to bed.

I remember getting up a few times. Once to reload the drugs, the rest for other reasons. (See, you should not always click on the links!) So, after the sun came up, I got up and decided to write an entry for the day. I don't know how many of these I might post while under the influence. Also, I tried to talk a little, but my throat is still sore. Plus, I'm only talking out of one side of my mouth. There's no voice coming out of the left side at all. I can hear out of that side, I just can't talk out of that side. I don't understand it.

Maybe it's the drugs.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Every Family Has One, Some Have More

I got an e-mail from my big sister (the one that's 5'4"). She really did her best to include links to the stories, but you know big sisters are. Even those that are 5'4"
These are from AP headlines. I added some comments. They are not really funny but I added them so you could see where my mind was headed. Fix them first and post them on your blog.

Bush: Iraq Bombers 'Are Having an Effect'
However, "the cause" has yet to be determined

Iraq PM: Rebels Want to Cause Civil War
Rejected AM suggestion of Uncivil War

Bush Defends Rumsfeld As 'A Caring Fellow'
President takes part-time role in courtroom drama

Pregnant-Slay Probe Followed Cyber Trail
New generation of video game robotics allows virtual pregnancy

Freezing Temps Stretch South to Florida
Permanent employees found in South America with stolen fur coats

Ukrainian Rivals Face Off in TV Debate
Travolta/Cage nationalities confirmed in latest reality tv scandal

Companies Team Up for All-In-One HIV Pill
Orgy slated for holidays

Prosecutor Accuses Blake in Wife's Death
Prosecutor's wife says she was only drunk...not dead

Uncertain Investors Keep Stocks Mixed photo
If your stocks were mixed, wouldn't you be uncertain?

Owens Out for Regular Season, Maybe Longer
Corningware should still sell many bowls during Christmas season

New Menus Causing Calorie Sticker Shock

And, no, I didn't leave off the comment on the last one.

Return of Son of Headline News

It's been a busy day. Maybe I'll tell you about it later. Maybe not. I don't know. Anyway, here's the news:
From AJC:
Group hopes to form city called Milton
Then set all the buildings on fire after they get their Swingline staplers

From CNN:
Spammers ordered to pay $1 billion
Expect to raise the money by forwarding e-mails to five friends, after which they will receive:
* Cash from Microsoft
* Free merchandise from Nike
* Free trip for two to Walt Disney World or $5,000 cash from Disney
* Free clothing from the GAP
* Free computers from IBM
* $25 gift certificates from Abercrombie & Fitch
* $25 gift certificates from Old Navy
* $50 gift certificates from J. Crew
* Free cases of M&Ms from Mars
* $25 gift certificates from Outback Steakhouse
* Free cars from Honda
* $50 gift certificates from Bath & Body Works
* Free CDs from Columbia House
* Free cases of soda from Coca-Cola
* Cash from AOL Time Warner
* Cash from EMI
* Free cell phones from Nokia
* Free cell phones from Ericsson
* $50 gift certificates from Victoria's Secret
* Cash from the Newell Co.
* Cash from RH Power Inc.
* $50 gift certificates from Cracker Barrel
* Free champagne from Veuve-Clicquot
* $50 gift certificates from Applebee's
* Cash from Bill Gates

Police Arrest Clerk, Say Shooting Not Self-Defense
Regardless, thief won't be trying that again

From CNN:
Powell: 'Doors will open'
Secretary of State amazed by automatic doors at K-Mart

From CNN:
French spy satellite launched into orbit
Rogue nations say, "It's not like they're going to do anything with the information they find"

From Fox News:
Massive Sinkhole Forces Evacuations
Sleestaks escape!

Award OK'd in beaver dam suit
Uncertain how beavers will pay

From The Washington Post:
Abnormal Fish Found Closer to Washington
Abe Vigoda's weird brother sighted

From The Washington Post:
Some Put Money Where Their Politics Are
Democrat backers have more money than sense

From The Washington Post:
Reid Vows to Stand Up to GOP
Daschle: "Let me know how that turns out"

From The Washington Post:
Airbus Hopes Big Plane Will Take Off, Beat Boeing
Passengers just hope big plane will take off, land

From The Washington Post:
On Tape, Bin Laden Tries New Approach
Asks "So, what are you wearing?"

From The New York Times:
The Fox Is in Microsoft's Henhouse (and Salivating)
Windows XP recalled due to fox spit

From The New York Times:
South Korea Lifts Imports of Rice
Just what Korea needs: more rice

From The New York Times:
Powell Quick to Praise Arab Forum
Has nice things to say about DailyKos

From The New York Times:
Taiwan Chief Drops a Post
Lands on foot, causes bruise

From The New York Times:
Militants' Bomb Misfires, Hitting School Bus; Pupil Dies
US, Israel blamed

From: The Ledger
Report: Texas Schools May Have Cheated
Looked on Oklahoma Schools' paper

From AJC:
Iran Shows Persian Gulf Historical Maps
Persian Gulf impressed

From AJC:
Cuba Wraps Up Military Defense Exercises
Place under tree for Christmas

From AJC:
At 75, Fox shines on in gilded glory
Samantha looks REALLY good for her age

From AJC:
Woman won't be prosecuted for shooting father
Grand Jury: "The guy was an ass and needed shooting"

From AJC:
Fiery object seen in Jakarta skies
Identified as "the sun"

From CNNmoney:
EU to rule on freezing Microsoft curbs
France expected to get job of spraying water on Redmond streets

From CNN:
Team to search for elusive Earhart plane
Team leader: "It's been 67 years. We figure she's lost or something."

From CNN:
The debate over travel warnings
One side favors, the other opposes

From The Washington Post:
First Winter Snow Falls on Washington Area
Same thing happened last year. And the year before. And...

From The Washington Post:
D.C. Landmark Disappears in a Cloud of Dust
"DC" Curry expected to do the same

From The New York Times:
Whoops! It's 1985 All Over Again
Reporter forgets to change calendar. Again.

From The New York Times:
Fannie's Fans Must Be in Denial
Boobie's fans more willing to admit obsession

From The New York Times:
Northwestern Bears Hit Hard by Humans
Bears get pissed, beat crap out of humans

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Support A Soldier

The kind souls over at Confederate Yankee (no, not the Columbus GA baseball team of the 60s), send word of a program called "Any Soldier." I looked at the site and it looked like a worthwhile program. According to, "Sergeant Brian Horn ... was in the ... Iraq when he started the idea of AnySoldier to help care for his soldiers. He agreed to distribute packages that came to him with "Attn: Any Soldier" in his address to the soldiers who were not getting mail. Brian is no longer in Iraq but Any Soldier Inc. continues with your support. Any Soldier Inc. started in August 2003 as a simple family effort to help the soldiers in one Army unit, thus our name. However, due to overwhelming requests, on 1 January 2004 our effort was expanded to include any member, of any of the Armed Services, in harms way."

It all sounds like a project worth supporting, so I did a quick check. First, be aware that I like to check my facts. If I get information from a reliable source, I try to find another reliable source. I'm just wanting to check, double-check, and triple-check. So I checked out And guess what I found?

It looks quite legit. I'll be supporting. And, thanks again to our Southern Neighbors from the North, Confederate Yankee, for passing this along.


So, like I was saying, this weekend, I'm spending time with my son. He's a senior in high school. They're out on Christmas break. They still call it Christmas break. Lots of other places don't, though. Others call it something like Winter break. Or something that doesn't offend the druids or the wiccans or other non-Christian groups. Never mind the fact that it offends me that they remove the name of my Lord and Savior. Christmas is a special time for Christians. Never mind the fact that there was no such celebration in the early Church, and that its a pagan holiday co-opted by later Church leaders. The fact that the celebration is only 1600 years old rather than 2000 years old doesn't remove it's significance to Christians today.

So, anyway, he's on break and we're spending some time together this weekend. This means eating out a lot. And buying stuff that I forgot when I left the house. Which, of course, means a trip to Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!]. After all, they haven't kicked the Salvation Army to the curb. So, after eating supper last night, as we were walking out of the Hardee's, I looked over at the Wal-Mart[shameless link - but stuff!] and remembered some stuff I needed. So, we went there and got the stuff I needed. When we left, we went out the entrance (I guess it's also an exit) that has the traffic light. You see, there's a traffic light at the west entrance, but not at the east entrance. There wasn't always a traffic light at either one.

Years ago, Wal-Mart wanted to put a store up in my home town. But, for some reason, the city fathers didn't want one. Maybe they actually did, but maybe Wal-Mart wasn't buying the land from the people they wanted them to buy the land from. Maybe it was something else. Whatever the reason, Wal-Mart went to another town some 30 miles away. See, in that part of the state, Wal-Marts were few and far between. So, the Wal-Mart went to this other town.

Perhaps I was a little harsh on the city fathers earlier. Maybe they were just worried of the effect a Wal-Mart would have on the small businesses in town. Sure. That was it. Of course, it doesn't explain the city fathers driving to the other town and shopping at the Wal-Mart there, does it? Especially around Christmas Time. Or the fact that Wal-Mart was a problem, but K-Mart[shameless link - buy stuff!] wasn't? Hmmm. Okay, city fathers, everyone needs to get their stories straight.

Anyway, this other town had a Wal-Mart. And my home town didn't. Fast forward to just a few years ago. Wal-Mart decided to try again. This time, they either bought the land from the right people, or the coalition fell apart or something. Wal-Mart bought the land and started building. They put up a Super Center. If you don't know the difference between a regular Wal-Mart and a Super Center, I think it's the size. Or that the Super Center carries groceries. Or changes oil. Or something. Anyway, they're Super. At least that's what the sign says.

So, the Wal-Mart Super Center opened. And, you had to drive 45 miles for the next nearest one. Yes, there was a regular dinky Wal-Mart 30 miles away, but my home town had the only Super Center in miles. And then, folks from the town that got the earlier Wal-Mart started driving 30 miles to shop at the Super Center in my home town. So, lots of traffic on that highway. Remember when I said there wasn't always a traffic light there? Well, there wasn't a traffic light there. "Not enough traffic," according to the state. So, then folks started getting killed there. "Not enough traffic," according to the state. That made those families feel real good, I'm sure.

Anyway, later, a Huddle House opened next to the hospital. They put up a light. "Enough traffic," the state said. I wonder if that many people actually eat at the Huddle House. Or if it's all the traffic generated by the ambulances taking Wal-Mart shoppers to the hospital.

Oh, a light finally was put up at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart paid for it.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Son of Return of Headline News

No Headline Fun™ from Frank J. at IMAO Saturday. So, I saved up for nothing. OR DID I?? Here's what I would have posted over there, for those that care.
From AJC:
30318: Atlanta ZIP code rates No. 1 for residents in state prisons
Award ceremony cancelled when award stolen

From AJC:
Inmates to Get Holiday Cheer From Radio
Gimme an I, gimme an N, gimme an M ...

From AJC:
Metro counties on 'dirty danger' list
'Dirty dancing' list was full

From AJC:
Jackets take time to work on skills individually
Still not quite grasping meaning of 'teamwork'

From AJC:
Consumer Prices Calm Down in November
Wants to get on Santa's "good" list

From AJC:
Safety tips keep holiday cheer burning bright
Try using fire

From CNN:
Two screeners reassigned over fake bomb incident
Roman Catholic bishop named new director of Homeland Security

From CNN:
Storm, not sub, sank 'spy' trawler
CBS Morning Show host sought for questioning

From CNNmoney:
Fannie execs could get pink slips
Will go well with matching bra, panties

From KSBW:
Grocery Workers' Union Prepares For Possible Strike
If followed by spare on last frame, will take trophy

From WESH:
Thousands Of Orange Trees Condemned
Florida jury goes on rampage

Sting Nabs Nearly 100 High-Profile Crooks
Gordon Sumner finds part-time work

From CNNmoney:
Amex sees $120M charge; axes 2,000
"Was always so quiet," neighbors say

From CNNmoney:
Refresh your computer
Really stupid person stuck on same page for 5 days

From CNN:
Kansas death penalty ruled unconstitutional
Roasting in Hell, Perry Smith, Dick Hickock appreciate the irony

From CNN:
Studies: Lost sleep equals gained weight
Researchers suprised how many calories are burned by snoring

From CNN:
Review: 'Aviator' a breathtaking epic
Young girls, homosexuals excited about Leo's new film

From CNN:
Review: 'Lemony Snicket' episodic, uneven
Reviewer sees first Jim Carrey film

From CNN:
Dogsledding a winter wilderness adventure
Maine's updated version of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" failing to catch on

From CNN:
Europe air capacity outstrips demand
Wins competition to join Las Vegas show

Bama gets back in pads
Tampons didn't work out

From Washington Post:
Fetus Survives Killing of Mother
441-month old fetus arrested, charged

And that's the way it is. Courage.