Showing posts from 2008

Went "Home" for Christmas

to Shreveport. Man, that's a long drive! 760 miles! Anyway, it was good to visit my brother and sister and their families. On the way over, the temperature never got above 32 degrees, then on the way back, it did not get under 70 degrees until I hit Atlanta! I LOVE winter in the south!
Brought home a "CARE" package - items I can't buy here locally. Of special note: Slap Ya Mama! Cajun seasoning, sort of like Tony Chachere's, except less salty and more peppery. Mmmm, good stuff! It's made in Ville Platte, LA, so they know Cajun!
Took a side trip on Tuesday down to Natchitoches, which is the oldest settlement of the Louisiana Purchase - 1713. Some will remember that the movie Steel Magnolias was filmed there. Not my taste in movies, but it's a quaint, historic area. I had wanted to visit the library at Northwestern La University to verify the existence of my family's bible. I had several relatives tell me of it and that it was now in the college's lib…



Yep, a new look

Just playing around with the templates. Thought this one was neat-o for Steve-O

What Do YOU See

in the picture below???

An explanation can be found here.

17 Ways to Cook A Turkey

Go buy a turkeyTake a drink of whiskyPut turkey in the ovenTake another 2 drinks of whiskySet the degree at 375 ovensTake 3 more whiskys of drinkTurk the basteyWhisky another bottle of getPonder the meat thermometerGlass yourself a pour of whiskyBake the whisky for 4 hoursTake the oven out of the turkeyFloor the turkey up off of the pickTurk the carveyGet yourself another scottle of botchTet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkeyBless the dinner and pass out

So Here Is My Nerd Theme Song...

courtesy of my all-time hero nerd, Weird Al...

Can't help but laugh at this guy!

Uber Cool High Nerd

Yep. That's me!
Or at least that's what the survey said.

Click on this thingy above to find out how you rate, if you dare...
Weird test questions, but some are pretty funny.

Timeless Style...

Last weekend I was at a flea market and found this:

A JC Penney catalog from 1977. It's not often e-mail fodder just falls in my lap, but this was two solid inches of it, right there for the taking. I thumbed through it quickly and found my next dining room set, which is apparently made by adding upholstery to old barrels:

Also, I am totally getting this for my bathroom:

There's plenty more home furnishings where those came from, however I'm not going to bore you with that. Instead, I'm going to bore you with something else. The clothes.

The clothes are fantastic.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in elementary school:

Just look at that belt. It's like a boob-job for your pants. He probably needed help just to lift it into place. The belt loops have to be three inches long. And way to pull them up to your armpits, grandpa.

Here's how to get your ass kicked in high school:

This kid looks like he's pretending to be David Soul, who is pretending to be a cop who is…

Who Says Chocolate and Diets Don't Mix?

Check out this simple, lo-cal dessert recipe. All of 117 calories!

If This Doesn't Pull Your Heart Strings

Then you are cold, cold.

This'll make your day...

What handicap???

Grow Your Own Organs?

Ain't technology great?
In Britain they have now transplanted a new windpipe into a woman. The amazing thing is that the trachea was grown in a lab with the woman's own cells, so the risk of rejection is minimal.
How soon before it becomes commonplace?
Grow your own organs.
I can't wait to grow my own guitar...

Afterthought: will this replace Viagra?

There Goes my Budget

I went to a wine-tasting last night, more out of curiosity of trying new wines than in anticipation of buying any.
And I did well through all of them. Almost.
The wine expert gave an interesting presentation of sparkling, reds, and whites, Old World compared to California; and I reinforced what I had already knew, that I preferred reds from the latter area.
None of the wines, however, did anything for me, especially considering that as the tasting proceeded, the prices rose in unison. I figured I could slip out without buying anything and that it could end up a cheap evening.
I had spouted off earlier that I did not think I could really appreciate a $60 bottle of wine, that my taste had a $20 high-side limit. As the wine guy kinda laughed at my comment, I felt I would fade into his memory as just another wine cretin who would never appreciate all the subtleties of the more elite grape offerings. Fine by me. Wealth is not one of my attributes.
So you probably know where this is headin…


No, that's not a typo. Kinda fits, though. I like the word...

600 Miles

I hit a milestone while walking last night.
I have now walked 600 miles since beginning my walking program last April 1. I needed to walk only 4.25 miles, but ended up doing 7.6!
I started thinking about how far that distance really is. It's the equivalent of my house to the Mississippi river at Vicksburg, or to Tampa, or St. Louis.
I am on my fourth pair of walking shoes. Perhaps I should be reed-thin by now, but I do like to eat, and enjoy an occasional - heh! - bottle of red wine. Hey, life's a compromise! If I'm not losing pounds, then I seem to be losing inches. Slowly, but surely.
I have to force myself to walk over 60% of the time, but I always seem to be rewarded by something. Right now, it's the fall colors. They are amazingly rich!
So, I'll keep on trucking, as it were. Go, Forrest, go!

Post Election Humor

From The Onion:
Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job
November 5, 2008 Issue 44•45WASHINGTON—African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation's broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind. The job comes with such intense scrutiny and so certain a guarantee of failure that only one other person even bothered applying for it. Said scholar and activist Mark L. Denton, "It just goes to show you that, in this country, a black man still can't catch a break."


more animals

Ok, so I'll give you an update on my weight loss...

This hasn't been exactly a piece of cake, no pun intended! I last wrote in August about hitting a plateau. Well, I have managed to break through it. Gradually. Persistently. Painfully slowly.
So far, I've lost a total of 40 pounds. Please, spare the applause. I have a long way to go, no time to sit back and dwell in it. The biggest effect has shown up in my waistline - I'm down 6 inches there. I am now wearing pants that date back several years. They're still just a little tight, but once I get past them, it will require investing in some new ones.
I am still eating healthier - more fruit and vegetables, fish a couple of times a week, whole grains, smaller portions - but I haven't exactly given up on certain indulgences, as in - and not limited to - a good bottle of red wine. I guess I could have lost more weight faster, but my approach was to make lifestyle changes, and look longer term.
Walking has been the key. It's gotten to the point where I can't not wal…

I Just Haven't Been Motivated Lately

So I haven't written anything on my blog lately. (My friend Christine, recovering from a little back surgery, doesn't suffer from a lack of words. She's a natural.) I just haven't had much to say lately.
So, in the spirit of motivation, here's a few of those motivation-like posters. I think a few of them are pretty funny, but I should warn you - language alert! Still worth a look...

Thank God Election Day Is Almost Here

I'm really tired of it all. The ads, the sound bites on the news, the debates - all of it over, at least for a little while, until everyone and their neighbor starts posturing for the 2012 election!
In sizing up all 4 candidates, after all the dust has settled, after all the blah-blah, after the ridiculous amount of money spent on each side, I see only 4 politicians.

Two of them are lawyers.
Two of them aren't.
Two of them are polished and eloquent.
Two of them aren't so polished and eloquent.
Two of them talk about a lot of things.
Two of them make things happen.

I don't think the choice is difficult.

Be sure to vote...

The Bayou Folk Museum in Cloutierville, LA

where my grandmother was born, is no more. Fortunately, I went by there in July and snapped a few pictures.

RIP. October 1, 2008.

I Feel I Have Lost a Member of My Family

This picture is from the Shreveport Times on October 2, 2008.

This really makes me sad.The Kate Chopin House in Cloutierville, LA, also known as the Bayou Folk Museum, is where my maternal grandmother was born. It burnt virtually to the ground yesterday.Thankfully, I went by there and took a few pictures while I was on my grand family vacation back in July. I also have an original painting of the house hanging in the foyer of my own home. My grandmother, deeply loved and known to all as "Mamie", was born Dora Marie to my great-grandparents, Thomas Jefferson and Marie Aline Rachal Cockfield on June 17, 1888. Along with 9 siblings, she grew up in Cloutierville, which is on the banks of the Cane River, a region rich in Louisiana history. The area was settled around 1700 mainly by the French who built Fort St. Jean Baptiste 20 miles to the north in Natchitoches, but the Spaniards, who had come up from the Rio Grande in Texas, had also established Fort Los Adeas only a few miles …



This Is Cool, Part 2

I wrote earlier about receiving a comment on the family tree website I am working on. Well, it ends up that the comment was left by a somewhat distant relative - her name is Sally and we share the same great-great paternal grandfather! And to top it off, she has done extensive study on our family history. She has since been spoon-feeding me bits and pieces of genealogical data, and I have actually been able to give her a little info back, mostly thanks to my Aunt Shirley.
I am slowly being drawn deeper into family tree research; I only wanted to see what the structure looked like, learn a little bit, and be done with it. Instead, I am finding out there's more to it than birth and death dates - I am uncovering stories about different forebears that paint pictures of real people who lived rich lives, only in another time. It is both profound and humbling, for without just one of them, I do not even exist!
I have found something that is more than just a hobby, and something that I can …

A Blog Is a Great Way

to express yourself. No rules, just whatever comes to mind. I have been pushing my friend Christine to start one, and she has, at long last!
You can find her here. She has a nice way with words and I think she may have found her calling...

Final Last One

more animals

Last One

more animals

OK. One More!

more animals

I Have Lost Several Friends to Cancer

over the last few years, and it's nothing to laugh at. But I have to chuckle and admire columnist P.J. O'Rourke's approach to his challenge. Opening paragraph:
I looked death in the face. All right, I didn't. I glimpsed him in a crowd. I've been diagnosed with cancer, of a very treatable kind. I'm told I have a 95% chance of survival. Come to think of it -- as a drinking, smoking, saturated-fat hound -- my chance of survival has been improved by cancer....I have, of all the inglorious things, a malignant hemorrhoid. What color bracelet does one wear for that? And where does one wear it? Rest of the article here.

This Year's Presidential Decision

is not much different from any I have voted, except maybe for the sheer amount of information available, due to today's technology - internet, 24 hour news channels, etc. Bottom line: we seem to always try to pick the lesser of two evils, the candidate who will hurt us least.
I always lean a certain way, but I have a quick exercise I use as a sanity check against my own biases: I mentally reverse the party alliance for each candidate. That is, Obama becomes an R, McCain becomes a D, etc. This way, if I am leaning toward voting R, Obama becomes my favorite guy; I am biased for him. Now examine the candidate from a positive point of view, rather than negative.
For example, if you are Republican, pretend Sarah Palin is a Democrat running against a Republican Joe Biden. Do you still like/dislike both's qualifications, ideas, track record, etc. equally? From a Republican perspective, what things make Biden the better candidate?
I find this exercise forces me to vote the person rather …

This Is Cool!

I received a comment on the family tree website I am working on regarding my Great Aunt Jess. She was the older sister of my paternal grandfather, who was also his surrogate mother (although I don't think they used that word back then). According to my Aunt Shirley, it seems my grandfather was a late birth in my great-grandmother's life, and she was not "up to raising" him, for whatever reason. So, the raising duties fell to Aunt Jess.

Anyway, the commenter described himself as the descendant of one of Aunt Jess' cousins, and said he had a copy of Aunt Jess' obituary, and that said obit describes quite an accomplished life.

I sent him an e-mail with my address, so I hope to get my hands on that copy. I'll share it with both of my readers...

Good News

the polyp removed during my colonscopy 2 weeks ago was benign. The only down side is that they want to take another look in 7 years. Oh boy. I can't wait.

A Little Monday Humor

An Irishman was running close to being late for the christening of his brother's new baby. He especially did not want to be late, as he was to be the child's godfather.
As he approached the church, all the parking spots appeared taken, so he said a little prayer, "Heavenly Father, I need your help. I can't be late, so if you can help me find a parking place, I promise to give up drinkin' for a whole year!"
Just as he turns the corner, lo and behold there's an empty spot right alongside the church. He tilts his head upward and says, "Never mind, Lord. I already found meself one!"

Some Shakespeare

for some reason came to mind the other day. This is one of my most favorite soliloquies:
The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown. His sceptre shows the force of temporal power, the attribute to awe and majesty, wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. But mercy is above this sceptred sway. It is enthroned in the hearts of kings. It is an attribute to God himself. And earthly power doth then show likest God's, when mercy seasons justice.From the Merchant of Venice, Portia's eloquent entreaty to Shylock to spare Antonio from parting with a pound of flesh.

All Done!

Got back home about 11:30, ate a PB&J sandwich and laid down for a 2 1/2 hour nap. Ahhhh!
I don't remember much about the procedure, except that it was pretty dream-like. I do remember watching the little TV screen and seeing the doctor remove 2 or 3 polyps. There was no pain at all, just a little discomfort in the recovery room due to the air injected during the procedure. This should have been called the fart room, because you could hear the other patients let 'em rip! In fact the nurses said, "Make us proud!". And I did!
Overall, it has been a fairly mild experience, its anticipation was far worse than the event. The benefit far outweighs the annoyance. I'll know more once the biopsies have been performed on the polyps, although there was no concern on the doctor's part. My only concern is that this will require a future follow-up. At least I know what to expect.
I think I'm gonna veg out for the rest of the day. Doctor's orders!

Slept just fine

Only one interruption at about 1:30 am. I am totally cleaned out as of this morning!
I'm still not as hungry as I thought I'd be. Rather, I'm pretty thirsty. A nice cold glass of ice water would be great!
Weight loss since yesterday morning at this time: about 5 lbs.
Gotta go - heading over to my neighbor's - great people who will be providing "ambulance service" for me this morning.
Back in a few hours. I hope.

Not so bad...

So far, so good. I've not had anything solid to eat today, and I am not as hungry as I thought I would be, although I have to resist the temptation to watch the Food Network! Thank God for the Olympics. Also, beef broth at 11 am and chicken broth at 6 pm have helped a lot.
The purge process has also been tolerable. Not nearly as explosive as I had anticipated. In fact, it's been about the same as an upset stomach, except more numerous! The first dose of Drano, I mean laxative, was at noon, and only 30 minutes later it had snaked its way through. All afternoon has been 8 oz doses of Gatorade, 30 minutes apart, so the overall experience has been numerous #1's and #2's!
It settled down just about the time for my second and final dose of that stuff. That "stuff" was only a 1.5 oz bottle to be taken with a carbonated beverage (no, not beer!), so rather than mix it, I just tilted my head back and threw it down the hatch, followed by a Mountain Dew chaser! Mmmm, good!

Gosh, I'm Looking Forward to Monday Afternoon

because I'll be on the right side of an interesting little medical procedure called a colonoscopy! Gulp! My throat tightens just to say the word. Scheduled for Monday at 10 am.

Actually, though, since I have never had one, I don't have the first-hand experience to say I'm actually dreading it. It's just one of those things in life that everyone needs to go through, hopefully only once. I guess...

It's the prep portion I'm most apprehensive about, not so much the "cleansing out" part, but the fasting part! Beginning Sunday morning, no solid food. Only clear liquids. Nothing to eat all day, and into Monday! Cardboard slathered in BBQ sauce will sound good! I can man-up only to a point. Foul-tasting liquid? ok. Frequent potty trips? ok. Exploding entrails? ok. But no food? Awe, man, that sucks!

Anyway, I've decided to weigh myself first thing Sunday morning, then again on Monday morning and see what the difference is. That way, when someone tells me I&#…

So, how goes the weight loss, you ask?

It's sucking right now! In a word - plateau. I am still sticking to my walking program - over 115 miles in July - and limit my calories to 2,000 - 2,500 a day, but the scale has stuck!
However, I was expecting it, as my 75 year old fellow walking mentor, Don - the guy in my neighborhood who inspired my to get off my butt - had warned me he went through stages where there would be no weight loss, despite his efforts. (It took him 18 months to shed 60 pounds.) This seems to be supported by articles I've read on line.
It seems that once you lose about 10% of your body weight, your body takes notice, and begins to try to maintain the status quo. This is logical, as eons of evolution has hard-wired into us a defense mechanism to avoid starvation. Unfortunately our bodies are still stuck in the olden days, when monster-burgers and planet-sized fries were undreamt of.
But I trudge on and stay on the plan. After all, it's only been about 4 months, and it took 20 years to develop this…

Still here...

but I've been busy evenings sorting through the pile of pictures and old letters that my Aunt Shirley gave me on my last visit, as well as working on posting names and dates into a family tree website.
This family tree thing has been extremely interesting, especially as I've never been much of a history buff, though this is different. Based on the information I've received from cousins on my mom's side of the family, our great-grandmother's line can be traced back to pre-1700 France, while our great-grandfather's lineage goes back to Charleston, SC in the early 1800's. There's lots of ancestry around Natchitoches, LA, and along the banks of the Cane River - perhaps that's why I have always been drawn back to that area. And to top it off, our family bible is safely stored in the library of Northwestern (LA) State University!
Not much info on my maternal grandfather's side, who was born in KY not far from Bowling Green. That might necessitate a visi…

And Presto!

I'm back! Drove home today from Baton Rouge - 10 hours and 683 miles! I'm beat! Glad I decided to take tomorrow as a vacation day, too! Shreveport, Houston, south Louisiana - overall, I drove about 2,500 miles, plus kept up with my walking!
This was one of the best vacations I ever had, and it has sped by at an unbelievable pace. I spent some really quality time with many of my relatives and gathered a lot of family history information, from both my mother's and my father's sides of the family. Now to figure out a way to manage all the information, add to it, and make it available to other family members.
This is going to be an early night, however.

I'm Off

this a.m. on my wondrous 2008 vacation. Don't know if I'll be able to post anything while I'm gone, but if I happen to come across a computer, and if I'm so inclined... Well, who knows?
I'm outta here!

And now a word from a Gitmo detainee lawyer

I can find no words to express my reaction.
A lawyer for some detainees at Gitmo decided to drop his drawers at a press conference, trying to make some sort of point.
Check out the pic here!
He could indulge in a little more Tap! Tap! during his bathroom visits.

Ah, vacation, Part II

A thought struck me (I'll wait a minute to let the laughter subside) that perhaps a driving reason for my vacation choice of visiting family members, as opposed to the beach or some such activity, could be the recent deaths of Tim Russert and Tony Snow, only 58 and 53 years, respectively.
I have always admired and respected these two men, Tony Snow especially, and their untimely demises have bothered me. All the cliches have more meaning now - life is too short, live while you can, etc. - and has caused me to reflect more on what is important in life. I find that work does not rank high on that list, except as a matter of necessity, although I do enjoy what I do, whom I work with, and the company I work for (hey, I'm not complaining!). But I have always worked since I was a teen, and sometimes to the exclusion of those other, intangible things in life, one of which is exploring your roots and knowing your family better. (Or is that 2 things?)
Thus I set off to go visit relatives…

A new source of energy?

Or is it 21st century snake oil?
Interesting article from CNN Money about a BlackLight, a NJ company which claims to be able to convert hydrogen from water into energy, with no pollution.
The timing is interesting. At a time when oil prices are the highest in history, desperation can lead us to believe in any alternative that sounds plausible. Still, the company claims to have been able to already secure significant capital financing.
I wish them luck. If the process is valid, the implications are profound. Just sounds too good, though.

Ah, vacation!

Yes, friends, I am about to depart on a road trip and get away for a while. Gas prices? Who cares? Well, sort of.

When it's all said and done, few things are more important than family, and from that truth hath sprung my mission, er, vacation purpose. (I think a vacation should have some sort of, at least minimal, reason to be. It gives you something to anticipate, even if you only plan to do nothing.) And the sole reason for this vacation is to visit family. It started as a desire to visit my younger sister and brother in Shreveport, LA, then it took a life of its own.

My sister Pam recently underwent a second surgery to put a rod in her right leg in place of her femur which was shattered in a wreck on July 4, 2007. (Those things can be a slap in your face and make you think how quickly you can lose a loved one.) The original surgery was performed with the wrong parts, so she had to endure the second one, this time with a much better doctor and without trauma from the wreck. She ha…

This housing/credit mess

... did not just happen out of the blue overnight. A lot of people and institutions share the fault - too easy credit, lax lending practices, borrowers who bit off more than they could chew. That's why there was such a housing boom over the last decade or so, and the part of it that was artificial has now come home to roost. That's why you might look around your own neighborhood and not find any of your neighbors affected (unless they need to sell). That's why the American taxpayer should not have to shoulder the burden of loose credit when 95%+ of us acted responsibly.
CNN Money has an interesting article written by a former subprime lender. One is his main points is that lenders did not even check to see if an applicant could even afford the loan payments!
I hate to see anyone put out of their home, but if all parties had acted responsibly, many of those who are defaulting would not have been in the house in the first place! And now you and me - who still diligently pay ou…

Oil - $66 a Barrel!

...a year ago.

What a difference a year can make!

June Recap

for my on-going weight loss "project":
Lbs. lost so far - 27
Waist size loss - 4"
Miles walked in June - 70
Average length of walk - 5 miles
For various reasons, I only walked 14 days in June. I generally don't walk when I have done other activities such as golf or yardwork, but towards the end of the month, I did walk in addition to those other activities.
I think I've hit a little plateau with the weight loss, so I guess I'll have to increase the number of days I walk in July. My new "minimum" walk is now 5 miles, which takes about an hour and 25 minutes, or approximately a 17-minute mile. It's a comfortable length. My long Sunday walks still max at 8 miles, and those I really start to feel at the 6 mile mark.
Portion control is progressing well. I went to dinner with some of my Corvette friends last Friday, and could only finish half the meal. (I did, however, managed to force down my 1/2 carafe of the house red!) In past times, I would have plowed…

The Biggest Thing Wrong with Politicians Is...

they are politicians. And frankly, I do not understand how they think (a word used loosely in this context).
Victor Davis Hanson has the right idea of a sure-win platform:

I don't quite understand why one party or the other doesn't campaign on delivering more energy to the American people to lower costs, keep the world price down, and money out of the hands of terrorists, and to address U.S. debt and the falling dollar. There seems no contradiction between wanting nuclear power, clean coal, tar and shale, more drilling off our coasts and Alaska — and more conservation, more money for hydrogen, biofuels, more solar, wind, etc.Providing both short- and long-term energy policies would be most beneficial to our country's well-being, and we would stop sending billions and billions of our dollars to countries who do not wish us all the best.
Come on, politicians, stand up for America for a change and use some common sense! That's the "change" we really need.
VDH is an …

O Charlie, Where Art Thou?

While walking, I always have my portable FM radio with me and among the stations I listen to, Charlie 106.3 FM plays a really cool, diverse mix, so it occupies the number one spot on my preset list.

Well, I guess it was too good to last. It now has been replaced by a local all-talk, formerly AM radio station! What a bunch of horse hockey! I have a bunch of friends who also feel the same way. Actually, if the talk station had moved to a different place on the FM band, I would have listened to both. But now, I listen to neither one. You would think their marketing people would have more savvy.

More reason to love my XM radio!

If You Walk

or you are considering taking up walking, a decent pedometer is great to have to track your results. I have calibrated mine with the help of a really neat Google website called Gmap-Pedometer. You can zoom in measure your walking route. I saved a few routes and compared the distances to my pedometer, then calibrated it so the distances were very close.
I like to vary my route a lot, plus do some walking on the golf course (now closed until October due to their replacing all their greens), so the distance on the pedo is now pretty accurate.
Rufus at Dirty Harry's Place has some very interesting comments on weight loss and walking here. Take a couple of minutes to read it. It's good.

Back Again

But a little less of me. I have been sliding into a weight loss mode lately, and it's starting to have some results. I'm down about 25 lbs. and 4 inches in my waist. I'm nowhere near svelte, but it's a start. I say "sliding" because I'm taking it a baby step at a time.

Back in January, I weighed in at a monstrous lard-ass 312 lbs., (I'm really being honest and open here!) and my 46" waist pants with the 2" extra-stretch waist were maxed out! I went shopping for some new pants, but the only sizes for me were in the Big & Tall department. I found that to be a bit embarrassing. I guess I could blame it all on a divorce, related stresses, blah, blah, but the reality is more calories coming in than going out. It's really that simple. It was time to do something about it. Failure to take corrective steps could not be good.

I decided my first step was to start reducing my portion size. A quick retrospection of my eating habits was no so much

My Kind of Woman

John McCain is a very lucky man, and I'm sure he knows it. I had wondered about his wife Cindy, as she prefers to stay in the background, and there's not much in the press about her.
Maggie's Farm has a great summary about Cindy McCain, based on the Wall Street Journal bio article.
You can judge a person by their spouses, friends, and associations, and Senator McCain's wife of 28 years is a gem.

Episode MCMLXXI - The Marriage of Sulu

Giggle. Giggle.
Especially the recommendation as to where the wedding was to take place. I can't stop laughing!

I Haven't Found the End of the Internet Yet,

But I have found the center!

(Actually, the end is here!)

Your life is now complete. Live long and prosper.

Oops! I was wrong!

Congress does have a plan for solving the high gas prices after all! At least, Maxine Waters does.
What an idiot!

More on "Big Oil"

Did you know that the US oil companies are really fairly small? At least when compared to oil companies around the world, the majority of which are state-owned. Check out this article. Our largest - Exxon Mobil - is only 14th largest world-wide! Note the size of the Chinese and Indian oil companies - very small, and the emerging economies of those two countries are booming.
Our own US Congress could greatly help alleviate high cost of fuel if they wanted to. So why don't they? (Of course, all they can think of is to sue OPEC!)
One more thing to remember at election time...

A Gasoline Price Drop In Our Future?

Everybody wants to blame the oil companies for $4 per gallon gas, but here is an interesting report from today's London Telegraph. A few salient points from the article:
Between 2004 and 2007, US oil consumption grew only 7%. Compare this to China's increase of 34%, Middle East - 25%, and Asia at 17%.
Those countries subsidize fuel prices, so their costs are artificially low. However, those subsidies will have to be removed or reduced in order to curtail inflation, thereby helping to reduce demand.
Non-OPEC oil production will increase by 600K barrels per day (bpd) over the next few months, despite decreases by Norway, Britain, and Mexico.
The Saudis have agreed to increase their production by 300K bpd. This was a result of President Bush's latest visit there.There's nothing to stop a short-term run up, but in the longer haul, with a decrease in demand and an increase in supply, shouldn't we - at least theoretically - see an improvement in the price of gas? Maybe not n…

"Lay Off My Wife"

Oh, I thought Obama was talking to Bill Clinton! HAHA!

When Incontinence Is Excusable

I'm not sure I have enough testosterone to try this one out. It's a new roller coaster in Ohio, via Marginalizing Morons (a funny, witty guy!)
I wonder what's the head count of the clean-up crew?

Which One Is the Adult?

And which one is the 8th grader? I have a lot of admiration for this group of kids, especially the one at the end, questioning the supposedly adult and more mature politician. This is funny, to boot!

Feast or Famine

I haven't mentioned it before, but I play guitar in a band. We started as a bunch of guys from work who got together to make some music in our "spare time" and are still doing it after over 10 years. The name: Mile Marker Zero, kinda laid-back-Jimmy-Buffet-ish-Motown-danceable-rock-and-roll music, with a few country tunes thrown in for those lovers of that genre. We don't get paid, generally, mostly because we do a lot of charity stuff. But it's a lot easier to do volunteer work when you're having fun and doing what you want to do, despite that when you were younger your mom said such "talent" would never put food on the table! Any funds from paying gigs goes into a kitty, and used for buying shared equipment, such as PA's, monitors, etc.
Anyway, this weekend is loaded! Friday night from 10 to midnight we play at the Mauldin, SC, Golden Strip Relay for Life (for free), then play Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 pm (for free) for the Hands on Greenvill…

My Kids

As the owner of, I mean, being owned by 2 cats, I found this to be hilarious!
(Hat tip: Mostly Cajun)

The Rebates Are Coming! The Rebates Are Coming!

And what do you plan to do with yours? My friend Pete sent me this...
President George Bush said each one of us would get a $600 tax rebate. It was previously slated to be $800, but they dropped it to $600 because of various budget problems.Now, if we spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China. If we spend it on computers, most of the money will go to Korea or India. If we spend it on gasoline it will all go to the Arabs.None of these scenarios will help the American economy.We need to keep that money here in America, so the only way to keep that money here at home is to drink beer, gamble, or spend it on prostitution.Currently it seems that these are the only businesses still left in the U.S.I'm Elliot Spitzer and I approved this message.

More Political-Speak

Last night during the 3,453rd Democratic debate, both Clinton and Obama stated they would not raise taxes on individuals whose incomes were under $200,000. (And that group would include me by a pretty fair margin!)
But does that mean they would still allow Pres. Bush's tax cuts to expire in 2010? Technically, they could let the cuts expire and still claim they did not raise taxes. Which, to me, would be a tax increase, purely from the standpoint that I would pay more taxes when the cuts expire.
So, what did they really mean?

I think McCain won this debate...


It'sh an honor and a privilesh...

I'm a Hazelnut

(With a green aura!) What about you?

You Are a Hazelnut

You are very unique and distinct. You may even freak some people out.

Most people don't really know how to interact with you.

You get along best with anyone who is super sweet.

But you really do get along with almost anyone. You just need a chance to wow them.

What Nut Are You?

Go ahead - take the quiz. If you dare. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Other Stars,

other planets. Where, you may ask? Why, there's one of them right there, orbiting HD 189733, in the left center of the picture, or at least where you'd find it. A Jupiter-size gas giant. One of many that are being discovered now that scientists are really beginning to take a look. It adds more credence to the theory that we are not alone in the universe. Hundreds of billions of stars, in hundreds of billions of galaxies. I'd say the odds are pretty good there are at least a few other civilizations out there. The universe is so incredibly huge, so beyond our ability to really comprehend it's scope, how can you not marvel at God's work? I do not think that science and theology are at odds; what is known scientifically points to the existence of a higher Being behind it all.
Check out the rest of this incredible site. It's NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive. But don't blame me if you get lost there for hours just looking at the spectacular pictures…

Drugs are bad.

Don't do drugs, um-kay? ...Mr. Mackey
These pix say it all about the effects of drugs...

Simply Wondrous

Origami to a higher level. Imagination and talent have no end!

Tax Time Approaches

So here's a little humor on that subject:

At the end of the tax year the IRS office sent an inspector to audit the books of a Synagogue. While he was checking the books he turned to the Rabbi and said, "I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?"
"Good question," noted the Rabbi. "We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles."
"Oh," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way: "What about all these bread wafer purchases? What do you do with the crumbs?"
"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. "We collect them and send them back to the manufacturer, and every now and then they send us a free box of bread-wafers."
"I see," replied the auditor, thinkin…

And I Say...

This is a funny video...
(Language alert!)

Will I Live To See 80?

From my buddy Pete:

I recently picked a new primary care doctor. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, he said I was doing "fairly well" for my age. A little concerned about that comment, I couldn't resist asking him, "Do you think I'll live to be 80?"He asked, "Do you smoke tobacco, or drink beer or wine?""Oh, no!" I replied. "I'm not doing drugs, either!"Then he asked, "Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"I said, "No, my former doctor said that all red meat is very unhealthy!""Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?""No, I don't," I said.He asked, "Do you gamble, drive fast cars, or have a lot of sex?""No," I said.He looked at me and said, "Then, why do you even give a shit?"Now, that's funny!

I Think Hillary's Out

No news there, as there are many who have already made this prediction. But here's my 10 cents worth.
No matter your thoughts on Ms Clinton or Mr. Obama, I think it has boiled down to a matter of money, and she is losing that race. Some of her bills are not getting paid, but I think that's statistically quite small compared to the bills that have been paid. At the end of the day, though, the most money wins. Unfortunately. There's something inherently wrong when you can buy/spend your way to a candidacy. But that's not my point.
According to their filings with the Federal Election Commission, Hillary's campaign has $24 million in the bank, after debts, and after spending $135 million to date. She is lagging behind Barack, who is sitting at around $38 million after debt, and after having spent a whopping $158 million so far! They have a combined expenditure of almost $300 million, and that's only for the primaries. The winner still has to compete for the golden pr…

Quiz of the Day, Part 1

Man! I don't know how this works, but it nailed me to a T!

Amazing Stuff

I am always amazed by how creative and talented people can be! Check out these "objets d'art"...

All Clear!

Just got an e-mail from Cindy - all is well, just internet speed and access issues. I'd be a whole lot more sympathetic if she and Ken weren't idling around the Bahamas in their sailboat! Nope, I'm jealous, just envious. Nice to know everything is OK, though.

Flitting About the Islands

I'm suffering from withdrawal pains! No, it's nothing related to anything illegal or unhealthy, but it's a fantasy thing.
Two friends of mine, Ken and Cindy - former residents of my area who now live in Brunswick, GA - are currently on their 43' sailboat, somewhere in the Bahamas with their 2 dogs and 2 cats. All safe, I assume, as they have not posted a log entry on their website since March 7. Which is why I am whining!
Cindy does a great job of keeping a log of how busy they stay at doing nothing, so to speak! No, I am not jealous, but rather envious, as the more I read their about their new lifestyle, the more I realize that life is for living, not being stuck in a cubicle in a corporate environment for too many hours a week. Reading their log has become habit-forming; I usually dedicate 2 windows on my computer - one for reading their log and the other for a map of the current island. It has really become a mental getaway for me. Each evening I grab my laptop and ch…

Election 2008

This didn't make the news...

Is Bono Evil?


Time Warp

Today is Tuesday, March 18, 2008.
Arthur C. Clark died tomorrow, Wednesday, March 19, 2008.
Of course, he passed away in Sri Lanka, which is like 35 hours ahead of us, or something, so that explains the time thing. Weird to ponder, though.
He was quite the visionary as well as an author; among other things, he thought up the idea of geo-synchronous orbits, which keeps satellites at a constant spot in the sky above us.
2001: A Space Odyssey will always be one of my favorites, although a lot of the book/movie was too deep for my shallow mind.
Bon journee, Mr. Clarke. The pod doors are now closed...

Tater Bug

I received a package the other day from my Aunt Shirley in Houston. She's my late father's sister who will be 90 this year! Mind is still sharp, but they won't let her drive any more - she quit that at 85. Heck, they'll probably ground me a lot earlier than that!
Anyway, this package - it really was a large box - contained an old bowl-back mandolin. It had belonged to my grandfather, who, according to Aunt Shirley, did not know how to play it, and probably won it in a poker game! But it is in great shape, relatively, and she wanted me to have it, as she had planned on taking up the harp in her after-life. (Her words, in essence.)
I took it to a couple of local guitar shops and a guy at the first place said, "Oh yeah! That's one o' them tater bugs!" I said, "Huh?". He said again, "That's one of them tater bugs!" So I did hear him right, though he didn't know where the name came from. At the next shop, they were a lot more know…

It's A Start

Ok. I've gone and done it. Started my own blog. Bare myself to the anonymous ether of the net.
I'm not sure why I felt a need to do this, but I'll try not to let myself be too big of a bore. I enjoy reading others' blogs and figured I'd try it myself. Thanks to Cheryl at Southern Corvette Lady for getting me thinking about this.
About me: single (divorced), no kids, 2 cats (Snow and Sasha), house on a golf course with a pool (that's why I wanted to keep the house), play guitar in a band (we're pretty decent!), age - classified, but I am a child of the fifties and a teen of the sixties. When I first registered to vote at 18, I listed myself as an independent (boy, was that radical!), then proceeded to vote for Nixon! Ha! Well, that was radical, as I was born and raised in Louisiana, a state known for their colorful Democrat politicians! Oh well...
I find political blogs enjoyable - there's lot of talent out there, and there are folks who take the pains to d…