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  • Woo-Hoo! What a year!

    Just thought I'd sneak in one last post for 2006.

    The Family returned from The Land of Dial-Up yesterday. It was fun, we ate too much fried food and zero vegetables. Unless you can call cole slaw and fried pickles "vegetables," which you can't.

    The campster is still running fine, we're all still breathing on our own, there's still a few bucks left in the bank, and it's not pissing down rain. An excellent end to the year.

    What will 2007 bring? Who can say. Perhaps this is the year I'll actually shed a few pounds and give my ailing kidneys some relief. I might just actually call people and send cards on birthdays. Hell might freeze over, too, but let's not encourage that, okay?

    Hope your 2006 was at least pleasant, and that 2007 is at least a little bit brighter. Love and warm fuzzies to one and all!

    So a man hits a 7-legged deer with his truck....

    Seriously, folks, a guy hit a 7-legged deer with his truck and then took it home for dinner. He said it was pretty yummy.

    So yesterday, we're blogging that story to death on Obscure Store, when someone mentions it should have been stuffed and sold on eBay. Well, as you all know, I live in a housing development run by the military that is exactly like having an HOA, but worse, because I can be evicted for non-compliance rather than just fined. I can't have certain types of lawn ornaments, including plastic livestock and potty plant holders. So my comment about the stuffed 7-legged deer with male and female genitalia was, "Now that's a lawn ornament!"

    Well, the guy's local paper ran a story on his infamy, and quoted several of us, including me! I'm famous! Bow down to your new blogosphere overlord!

    Okay, so I'm not an overlord, but I'm more anonymously famous than I was yesterday.

    My first Fark photo upload...

    There was a thread about cloned cats, and since Sarah looks like Ceiling Cat, I thought I'd upload yesterday's picture. Since I already know blogspot has bandwidth issues, I opened my IP webpage and linked it from there. I just hope the webpage can withstand all the clickies. Not much sucks more than your image going Red X, except perhaps getting your entry deleted.

    Here's the comments forum. Scroll down until you see Sarah. Let me know if I've failed miserably. I'll be treating myself to Photoshop soon, and will definitely attempt a contest before the world ends.

    For those who don't know, I post in Fark as "rollersnake." Messed up with the sign-ups, so get used to my split personality. I don't post there often, since I'm either always late to the party, or whatever I wanted to say has already been said (and flamed).


    Two posts in one day?! Can you really be that lucky? Yes, you can!

    Introducing Dryer Kitty, misplaced twin to Fark's Photoshop Ceiling Kitty.

    Dryer Kitty is watching you!

    Seriously, people. This is my kitty, Sarah. She was the offspring of a stray, and we adopted her two years ago after she had been returned by her first family for being "psycho." She is a little nutty and makes noises like a Wookie, and she does not like strangers, but she's becoming very sweet. Someday, she just may be a lap kitty, but for now, I'm just glad she doesn't shred the furniture!

    News you can use!

    I am an advice column addict. I read two almost every day, and occasionally I will find a nugget of useful information that I can apply to my life, rather than just snicker at the selfishness or obliviousness of others or cry over someone's horrible treatment at the hands of an abuser.

    Today was one of those nugget days. Recently, I informed my delightful readers that they can call the police for assistance if they whack wildlife with their car. Although I am not clear on whether you should stick around, you should definitely call and alert the police to a road hazard.

    An entry in one of today's columns was from a man in his 30s who had seen a young girl by the side of the road attempting a bike repair. He had slowed down and offered assistance, which was refused, so he drove on. But he was left wondering a couple of things.

    Should he have offered at all, given the times and the fact that kids aren't supposed to talk to strangers?

    Should he have stopped anyway?

    The answer is sort-of to the first, and definitely not on the second.

    These are sad times, indeed. Children should not talk to strangers, and should never trust someone just pulling over to help. However, there are steps you can take to help a young cyclist, or any cyclist, for that matter, when they're stranded by the roadside.

    It is okay to pull up and ask if they need help, and what kind--it may be a medical emergency. If they say yes, tell them you will call for roadside assistance, the police or an ambulance for them. If they say no, go ahead and inform the police anyway and drive away. Everyone knows that rubberneckers cause more problems than the initial problem--the police need to be aware there is a potential hazard on the roadside.

    Also, to avoid any future unpleasantness, do not get out of your car unless it is a medical emergency that is life-threatening. Otherwise, let the professional Knights in Shining Armor do the helping out and avoid a lawsuit or worse--like getting your name etched forever into the state sex offender roster.

    Just thought you'd like to know.

    You want Christmas?! I've got your Christmas right here!

    Special thanks to the good folks at Fark.com for this piece of loveliness.

    If you're a fan of the Charlie Brown Christmas special, and also a fan of Scrubs (the best comedy on television), then you'll love this!

    Warning: it does not load smoothly, and hangs from time to time. Still worth the effort!

    It's all just so lovely!

    Mister (The Elitist City Dweller) shows me this advert for a restaurant in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. There's a picture of a toddler wearing just pants and gnawing on a barbequed rib.

    Their slogan reads:

    "Even Babies Know Good Babies!"

    Maybe it's just me, but that's just gross.

    Computer nerds of the world--unite and take over!


    So I'm at Obscure Store, reading this article about a guy who's suing a Dell kiosk because he got royally played by Dell (the company) . He knows that suing the company itself won't even merit the news, let alone get Dell to give him back his computer in working condition, so he's going after his local kiosk. Kudos to the creativity.

    This got the local commentators to regale us with their own personal Dell-hates-its-customers stories, which led to rebate horrors and the like. I postulated that perhaps it was time we start building our own computers, which works out quite well if you shop the right places. (Personally, I'm a big fan of New Egg.com) However, while writing that snotty bit of rudeness, I did recognize that the article was about a laptop, not a desktop. I made sure to point out that since I don't like laptops, I've never looked into how to build one.

    And so having made myself a wee bit curious, and curiosity having not yet killed my cat, I googled "how to build a laptop computer," and found this lovely bit of nerdy comedy. Golden!

    "The two basic components required to build a laptop computer are obviously a lap and a computer."

    This is fantastic! I have to say, however, it's the pics gallery that makes it truly genius!

    You can't have psychosis! Not yours!

    Well, well, well.

    Turns out those psychology quizzes hit closer to the mark than I had wanted to admit. Take the Star Wars Twins Test, for instance. Among other characters, I netted a twinship with Grand Moff Tarkin. Most people remember that he's the guy who blew up Leia's planet, even after she gave him information in order to save the planet from being blown up.

    That pretty much ticked me off. I mean, I'm not really the kind of person who holds grudges that can best be described as "criminally insane." After all, I am a caring, sharing, smooth-operator kind of individual as evidenced by a couple of my other twins: Qui-Gon Jinn and Lando!

    The real reason Tarkin was selected as my "conscientiousness" twin has little to do with revenge, and everything to do with my attention to detail, or lack thereof. You see, just like Tarkin, I can plot the ultimate plan, whether it's a road trip, house moving, or Death Star. However, the test indicated that also just like Tarkin, I am arrogant to a certain point, causing me to overlook "small but crucial details," such as vulnerable exhaust ports or whether my satellite box is actually hooked up to the wall.

    Yesterday, I had to rearrange my living room to accommodate the Christmas tree. In doing so, I unhooked the AV theater and moved everything around. I went through the painstaking process of hooking everything back up (or so I thought). However, all of a sudden the satellite dish wasn't working.

    I recalled that last week's signal check indicated I had about 30% signal, and that I had gone outside to give the post a nudge. The signal jumped to about 60%--not great, but better than before. So I got out the tools, a compass, and got to fiddling. Two hours later, still no signal. I was about to give up and call the cable company when Mister (The Elitist City Dweller) asks, "So, it's hooked up to the wall, right?"

    To which I replied, "GAH!"

    In my defense, my new, albeit unnecessary, fiddling has boosted my signal up to 96%.

    And thanks to the intervention of our local Sith, my Death Star--I mean, directv dish--lives to see another day.

    The Life Psychotic with Soo

    As you all know, I is a po' college stoodent. I am currently frying my brain on linear programming in Algebra being taught by the only high school math teacher I've ever known a pretty girl to go all mushy over. I am also enjoying a particularly challenging 200-level psychology class with a professor who prefers to brew his own beer and brag about it on his website.

    It's the psychology class I would like to share with you all today. Recently, I had to take a series of personality quizzes, and was mostly not surprised to see the results. Some of the tests were terribly funny in scope, such as the Star Wars twins test or the procrastinator's test which was abridged to just 5 minutes. There were tests to determine if therapy was in your future or if you were the office suck-up. I enjoyed looking over the tests, and think you might as well.

    Keep in mind, some of these sites you may have to register to use, but all offer some free tests and results. Some of those results are partials, requiring a payment for the complete readout. I don't recommend paying anyone for the full results, unless you're just that interested.

    Feel free to clicky from the side bar. Enjoy, and don't forget to check back with me--I'm looking for another Grand Moff Tarkin so we can go blow up planets together!

    Shoot-out at the BBC Corral

    Saturday night, I was very excited to see a concert starring Robbie Williams on BBCA. I am a fan, and I thought the children would enjoy his show. He has great energy, and as long as they blur out the naughty bits when he invariably drops his trousers, the kids were going to like it.

    Unfortunately, at the first commercial break, we changed the channel. At approximately 8:10 PM, they showed a commercial for a series shown on BBCA that contained a graphic (and noisy) clip of two people in the throes of passion. I was more disappointed than shocked, since I had given up watching Cash in the Attic (an antiques auction show aired just before lunch every day) because of commercials similar to the one shown during the concert.

    Sunday, I emailed BBCA to complain about the salacious content of the commercials shown prior to 9 PM. I pointed out that they were inappropriate for children during family-friendly programming.

    Today, I got this letter(I added the bold for emphasis):

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us, regarding BBC America's
    on-air promos. Please understand that BBC America is a digital cable
    channel programmed exclusively for adults. We do not broadcast
    children's programming, nor conduct any marketing efforts to attract

    However, please rest assured that BBC America takes the opinions of
    viewers, such as yourself, very seriously, and as such, we will
    forward your remarks on to the appropriate department(s).

    We thank you again for your comments.



    Viewer Relations
    BBC America

    What I don't understand is this:

    Why does BBCA discriminate against adults with children?

    Are we not worth the effort to cultivate as loyal viewers? In recent months other family-friendly reruns such as Ballykissangel and Monarch of the Glen, have been cast aside in favor of edgier programming. They now offer new shows such as Mile High, which details the sordid lives of the randiest flight crew to ever fly the friendly skies, and No Angels, which details the sordid lives of randy nurses of a hospital who also spend a lot of time drinking and fist-fighting in uniform.

    The graphic commercials for those programs and others like them are littered throughout the day's programming. One morning during a home-decorating show, I had to explain to my 10-year-old why two grown men would be together and naked on an otherwise empty airplane thanks to a commercial for Mile High. I've also had to explain the meaning behind the line: "I wouldn't have cared if you'd bagged the entire football league, just not him." (from Footballers Wives, shown during Cash in the Attic)

    Shock value appears to be the main concern of the programmers at BBCA. This is unfortunate because there is a massive potential market being swept aside, nay scoffed, by the programmers at BBCAmerica.

    Until changes are made, I will be blocking BBCAmerica from my children's access, and I urge you to do the same. If you choose to block the channel, please email BBCA and explain why. Perhaps if more people complained of the bad timing of these commercials, perhaps BBCAmerica will begin to show respect to the American family by replacing these commercials with edited versions containing less sex and violence.

    Aw, mom! Do I have to?

    I was listening to the radio this morning, and I heard an advert for a national restaurant chain. I've never been there, but Mister (the Elitist City Dweller) had been, and he says it's "okay." The advert goes on a bit, and then it ends with this stunning slogan:

    "Carabbas Italian Grill: Where People Are Our Specialty."

    I've got one word for that:


    Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb!

    The Boy is having some cosmetic dentistry adventures.

    The backstory is that when he was a baby, he was a human garbage disposal. In trying to eat everything he could get into his mouth, he discovered lemons, and liked them so much, he always wanted lemon slices when we were having dinner out. It continues to this day, the eating like a refugee at the buffet and his love of lemons.

    When his adult teeth started growing in, they were an odd tan color, with the tips of his top two teeth a darker tan color. His first dentist told us the enamel was damaged, but he was too young to do anything about it, except stop feeding him those damn lemons.

    Six years later and a new dentist, who agrees the enamel is damaged, but there's this new product out, let's give that a try. So he makes a "partial" mouth tray for just his top teeth (half price!) and sold us a "touch-up" kit of tooth whitener plus "mineral restorative." Total savings: $400.

    Four weeks later, and his teeth are almost pearly. Time to visit the dentist for an update. The darker tan spots are now light tans spots, and the bland tan on the rest of the teeth is gone. The shine is back as well.

    So the dentist decides he wants to try to buff those stubborn spots off. While he chats with his assistant, The Boy whispers to me, "They aren't going to use sandpaper, are they?"

    I whispered back, "Heck, no. This is a dentist's office, not a construction site. They don't use sandpaper here."

    So the dentist uses this pencil-like tool to buff the teeth and it works! But then he says he's going to "shape them up a bit." He changes tips on this tool, from a pointy-thing to a round, flat disc. The Boy asks, "What's that?"

    The dentist replies, "Sandpaper."

    Oh, for the love of pete!

    People, I have had a rather traumatic experience tonight.

    Tissues, please...

    I was leaving class; it was about 7:50pm, rather dark and cloudy. The college is in a sort-of natural area, and there is a lovely selection of wildlife running around. The street the college is on is mostly a slow-limit 4-lane divided by a grass and tree median.

    As I was leaving, traffic started stacking up in a strange location. I thought there had been a crash, but since I was in the other lane, I didn't worry until I pulled up to the car I thought was involved in the crash. The car and the driver were fine. The baby deer the car was shielding from traffic, however, was not.

    From time to time, idiots will use this road for street racing. Other prime specimens of humanity will buzz down the road well above the posted speed limit. I can only imagine that some deer were crossing the road when one of these lovely subhumans were bopping through, probably yapping on the cellphone, and the poor little guy got clipped.

    It was so terribly sad. The guy was frozen still, perhaps waiting to die. He had blood and saliva coming from his mouth. A quick call to a hunter friend confirmed there was nothing to do but "help nature take its course." I stopped to help the other driver shield the deer until enough police officers could arrive to take our places; it just seemed like the right thing to do.

    But what exactly is "nature's course," when it's the direct fault of a human's carelessness? That isn't natural, so I don't accept it. There are probably millions of people who have hit an animal with their car, but did they stop to make sure it was okay?

    Did you know you could call the police to report the hit, and to get help from the animal control board if it wasn't okay? If you did know, did you call? If you didn't call, how do you sleep at night?

    I was so upset when it was over, I cried. For the deer, who barely had one year of life lived, and who should have had a few more, at least. For humanity, who often puts self before service or compassion. For me, for feeling helpless because I can't protect all of nature's beauty from the selfish and inhumane.

    After a rather rotten day of learning how to detect and report child abuse, this was not the way I had hoped it would all end. Please, God, send me a better tomorrow.

    The Wonderful World of Magic

    Today's word of the day:


    as in, "general jugglery."

    And the North Koreans wonder why they're so damn hungry all the time. Could it be.... Satan?

    Here's the most asinine quote from the entire article:

    "Magicians presented works well representing the dynamic activities and optimistic life of the Korean People."

    Okay, let me get this straight: Kim Jong Il has managed to convince an entire nation that malnutrition is good for them, so much that they're optimistic about it? The nation has been hungry for so long, they're all short. It's as though they've had a national famine, but they didn't. Oh, he and all his government people are fat and happy, but the little people, upon whom Kim depends for his girth, are not fat.

    And so to celebrate, they have a Magic Festival. That's just skippy.

    Thought for today brought to you by Bwa Ha Ha.

    A little juvenile, I know, but sometimes low-brow humor is just the thing.

    So consider last night's algebra class. We were talking about logarithmic equations, and asymtotes and half-assemtotes. Or however assymtote is spelled. Either way, you gotta be real tired and only half-listening to someone going on and on about logarithms. 'Cause they're just so exciting, you know?

    Then today, I read this on BBCnews:

    • Nasa chief Mike Griffin says shuttle astronauts will be sent to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
    Yeah, I laughed. You did too, it's okay to admit it.

    Have a happy, sunshiney Hallowe'en!

    Bill Clinton's Other Lewinsky

    Just a quick note from me. I want you all to read this. It's a bit long-winded, hence my brevity.

    With kids in school, this article hit home like a safe dropping on my head. I was forced to recall the uncountable number of times I warned the kids about certain toys, behaviors, statements or actions that "might get you expelled because of Zero Tolerance!"

    I hate it.

    Consider this: I have to worry about whether my child takes the house key on a linked chain less than one inch long. Apparently, that's dangerous! However, I don't have to worry if I send that same house key on any type of roped lanyard, despite the obvious choking hazard (accidental or otherwise).

    The concept of zero tolerance is turning our nation's children into fearful paranoids who may constantly worry they'll be kicked out of school or lose their scholarship over literally any thing. Our children are growing up learning to fear so-called authority, from school administration to the police, and are losing faith in the courts.

    I used to believe that as long as you were honest, and did your best to follow the law (no matter how stupid it may be), your Personal Integrity would pull you through. Now, my advice is to keep your head down, your eyes and ears closed, and your mouth shut.


    Mass Kicks Ass

    Sometimes you just gotta love those freaks from Massachusetts. You remember them: the Boston Tea Party people.

    • "Damn, they're taxing us to death!" /sips tea
    • "We need to show those evil Tory bastards we won't be taxed into poverty!" /sips tea
    • "But how? I mean, all we've got is this harbor and some boats filled with the main ingredient of our most beloved beverage in the whole world which takes the skank out of our water thus making it palatable." /sips tea
    • "What if we just throw it all into the harbor?" /sips tea
    • "OOOH, you mean just like in Monty Python, where they want to toss the witch in to see if she'll float?" /sips tea
    • "Oh yeah! That'll show those Tory plonks we mean business! Now, let's all dress like Red Indians, so they won't know it's us!" /sips tea

    That particular Tea Tossing got Massachusetts put on the world map of Agitators. And they liked it so much, they constantly search for new, better ways to kick the big guys in the nutz.

    Most recent agitations began in the 1980's when they decided to allow Michael Dukakis to run for President. This threw open the doors to their prison operations, and highlighted the national problem of allowing prisoners to 'furlough' unsupervised. Next came national Outrage, and then came national Reforms. Woo hoo! Go Mass!

    Then they decided to tackle this whole Gays Have Civil Rights Too, You Know issue. No straight applauded their efforts to allow gays to marry louder than me. Everyone has the right to be happy, and since no one could say precisely who would be injured by allowing gays to marry, except perhaps God, who isn't really here, but just sortof there, then I didn't see the problem. Unfortunately, this one really didn't go so well. As an issue, it certainly got people's panties in a bunch. It's just unfortunate that the Ultra-Conservative Power of The Clench is much stronger than the power of the Shiny Happy People Holding Hands group. You tried, Mass, but sometimes you just can't break The Clench.

    Now, Mass is bustin' out the can of whoopass again with this new idea: by converting their state lottery/gambling programs over to IP (that's the intertubes, man!) they may be directly challenging the latest shame to come out of our Grand Master Congress since The War On Terror. (Okay, so not really, but people who can use their imagination, eg Not Politicians, can easily see that Mass will soon be just a stone's throw away from serving up a pair to the Massah!)

    (You know, I gotta tell you, when they came up with the name "War on Terror," I seriously thought they'd put a stop to horror movies and Will Ferrell, too, but that's just me.)

    There is a silly piece of civil-rights-degrading legislation that was tacked on the port security bill that essentially says Americans cannot play poker online for money, and that any company that takes money from Americans, whether that American is actually on American soil or is perhaps somewhere else on the planet, like Nova Scotia or Tongo, that company's employees/founders will be subject to arrest if they ever try to visit America.

    Well, that's no problem. There's a ton of other places way more interesting than here to visit. Hell, even medical care is cheaper in Brazil, so why bother?

    The point is, Massachusetts stands up for the Civil Rights of Americans like no one else. Here's to you, Mass: you totally rock!

    Well, at least you can Electric Boogaloo without spilling your tea.

    If you've got your own tag on Fark, you are The. Coolest. Ever!

    Okay, I'm a late-bloomer in the Wil Wheaton fanclub.

    I enjoyed his work on TNG. Of course I liked Stand By Me. I wish I'd seen more of him, but we moved to England for a while, and I lost track. Okay, I simply forgot he existed except whenever I brought up how much my now-punk younger sister absolutely adored Debbie Gibson, NKOTB, and Wil Wheaton.

    Checking out imdb tells me I need to get on with the catching up.

    He's also a pretty cool writer. His blog is always worth the visit, and I'm buying myself a copy of his first book for Christmas. He's also got me rethinking my DnD days, and whether my kids will get into it the way they went for the Yugi-Oh crap. I think we'll start with Munchkin, a game that seemingly everybody's played except us ('cause we're dorks, not geeks), and see where that goes.

    Why am I going on and on about Wil Wheaton? Because he's got his own tag on Fark. That so totally rocks, I'm completely freaked out about it.

    Absolute respect for Crusher! I mean, Florida's got their own tag, but it's never a good thing when Florida's on Fark. A Wheaton tag, on the other hand, is the pinacle of respect. That's better than winning the photoshop and not using the Mosher Girl.


    You're about as useful as a poopy-flavored lolly-pop!

    Check this.

    Just about as funny as it gets. I mean, there is no mistaking the resemblance. It's an absolute riot factory of joy that only gets better as the article wears on. The 'quote' by the lawyers is just priceless:

    "My client is tired of being the butt of jokes about his sexuality," said Mr. Cruise' attorney Marvin Keister. "The Mission Insertable butt plug is offensive not only on its face but also in its subversion of an orifice that Scientologists believe is next to godliness."

    This is The Best comedy in print I've experienced in such a long time. It was quite a let-down to discover that it was in fact just comedy.

    Thanks, Pug Bus, for the best damn laugh this side of Dodgeball!

    The "Thought for Today" has been brought to you by the letters L, S and D.

    Someone left the cake out in the rain.
    I don't think I can take it.
    It took so long to bake it.
    And I'll never have that recipe again.

    When the aliens invade, will they marvel at our turnips?

    While driving to a band competition, the discussion turned toward those turnip-shaped water towers. I pointed out that I have always wondered about these water towers, but have never been able to get my questions answered. This has been an oft-forgotten lifelong obsession of mine, actually.

    First, why put a water tower up into the air? Why not just leave the thing on the ground, where you could store even more water, with no fear of it falling over because of a natural disaster. Putting the thing on the ground also keeps Bubba and his drunk buddies from climbing up there to paint “I luv u, Bobbie Jo.”

    Second, how do they get the water up there? Mister says the water is probably pumped up, and then gravity helps it get out, but then why store the water at all? Why not just pump it as needed straight from the ground?

    Third, is a water container shaped like a turnip more efficient than one shaped like a peach(but which also resembles a very large arse on a pole)? Wondering what I'm talking about? Just drive down I-85 from here to Atlanta. Eventually, you'll drive by an area with tons of peanut stands and one ginormous water tower shaped like a peach. Except it looks like a chubby butt with a leaf on top. //hears the kids giggling about it now--"heehee! It's the big butt! heehee!"

    Obviously, conversation between the two of us is absolutely riveting. You should have been there for the Great Bearings Debate of 1994! The level of intensity was positively shocking!

    Lunch? What Pho?

    Mister calls me up the other day and tells me They are going to lunch at Pho79, would I like to partake? Absolutely, whenever you're buying -which, as you all know that since I is a po' college stoodent and Mister's Missus, is all the time.

    We are at Pho79, when the discussion of its name comes up. Why '79'? Why not 80, or 16, or 19,500?

    For the uninitiated, Pho is noodle soup in the Vietnamese style. Very lovely, mostly beef broth with a scoop of noodles about the size of a large grapefruit, the most appetizing blend of seasoning and green onion slices, with whatever meat you select. I was skeptical at first; my father was in Vietnam, and his stories of the local cuisine were more for shock value than culinary delight, and most likely severely exaggerated.

    This particular restaurant is one of a pair owned by the same family. The other is called Pho59 (or some other 50-number, it's just too early for me to think about). They have a lovely menu and I swear to God make the absolute best shrimp-filled spring rolls and beef fried eggs rolls you will ever have in America. I swears it, Precious!

    Back to the issue: why 79? I'd love to ask, but since the staff speaks English about as well as I speak Vietnamese, we're left to ponder. Come to think of it, I pretty much only know "G.I. beau coup dinky dou" which, according to my father, means something like "Army soldiers are very insane." I'd agree with that.

    Perhaps 79 was a very good year? Perhaps that's when they discovered Grey Poupon, or disproved Darwin's Theory of Evolution as scientific fact.

    What was going on in '79? Let's consult The Yearbook!

    • Skylab fell from orbit. Heads up, everyone!
    • The death penalty resurfaced without too much complaint. Public hangings still cruel, unusual. No one asked me for my opinion. I was 6, but that hardly matters.
    • "Overwhelming evidence" links smoking to cancer, heart and lung disease. And yet, the world still puffs away.
    • China invaded Vietnam. That was hardly necessary.
    • Ice clogged up the Great Lakes--has nothing to do with Cuyahoga fire.
    • Voyager 1 sends back amazing pictures of Jupiter--your tv reception still sucks.
    • Three Mile Island.
    • Iran votes to be a Muslim republic. Are you listening, Mr. Bush? Mr. Bush? Hello? //hears the wind whistling...
    • Cypriots agree to talk about reunification. O, progress! Thou art the breath of man!
    • Oil was only $20 a barrel!
    • Carter shakes up his cabinet. That was so helpful.
    • Hurricane Frederic hits the Gulf Coast; 500,000 people evacuated in a timely fashion. Nation quickly forgets why we flee impending doom.
    • It's a good year for Russian performance artists to defect to the US. Thankfully the trend doesn't catch on; mimes stay in France.
    • American Embassy in Iran overrun, hostages taken. Joseph Subic begins new career as Tour Guide for Terrorists.

    66-measure musical break: further proof that God hates me.

    Normally, I don't talk much about me. That's not really why I'm here. However, I just cna't let this one go by without comment.

    Last night we're at Karaoke. It's a bar in a bowling alley. A retired Air Force guy is the KJ, and the chickie bartenders are totally cool. I'm there for the, um, atmosphere. I don't sing for anyone, let alone sing for free. I just drive the car, pay the tab, tip the staff, and avoid arrests.

    Back to last night. Hubby chooses his songs to fit his mood. Sometimes he's in a George Strait kinda mood, sometimes he's all over the charts, as he was last night. He decides last night to take a chance on a song he's done at home a few times, but not ever in public: "Life's been good," by Joe Walsh.

    This song is not on my list of faves. Hell, it's not even on my list of songs I sort-of like when I'm taking pain meds and can't be bothered to change the radio station. But he sings it well, as he does most songs, except that stupid song by Tim McGraw and the one that goes "save a horse, ride a cowboy." He should just leave those alone, you know?

    Back to last night. If you don't know how Karaoke works, you might want to get out of that cave, Osama. The lyrics scroll along the screen, and if there's a lyric-free musical break, it'll say so: '4 measures' or '8 bars.' "Life's been good" has a long intro, a long outro, and a musical break that can only be described as "insane."

    66-measure musical break. Two minutes, forty-one seconds long.

    So while we were waiting for the song to start back up, I made an algabraic list of all the things "66-measure musical break" is equal to.

    8-squared plus 2 equals "66-measure musical break"

    Here's my list of other things that a 66-measure musical break is equal to:

    1. too much weed in the 70's
    2. 1 jackass songwriter
    3. too much of a good thing will make you go blind
    4. the time it takes to get your food order from our Wendy's drive-thru
    5. the fight in the bar
    6. the time it takes to chug a double-shot cappuccino and a donut
    7. time for a quickie
    8. the lifespan of certain flying insects
    9. a catnap
    10. the encouragement for yet another unfortunate performance of "Summer Nights"
    Life may have been good to Joe Walsh, but damn! Sometimes you just gotta quit while you're ahead!

    God Don't Like Ugly

    Well, howdy! I finally got my butt in gear and downloaded Blogger for Word. Now I've got tons of crazy fronts and a half-dozen error messages. Woo-hoo! Big time!

    So I'm trolling around the Obscure Store yesterday (as I do every day) and Romenesko has posted an article about a cop who pretended to be in Iraq as a soldier so that he could continue to receive his police pay while on leave of absence. Where was he? Working in another US city as a contractor for Lockheed.

    Let me tell you, my panties bunched up real fast. What an absolute wanker.

    Here's this guy who thinks he's so damn special that he can scam his local taxpayers, lie to his employers and his public, all the while profiting from the misfortune of war. He is, without a doubt, the prime candidate for a bitch-slap.

    Such disrespect for the real soldiers who live the war every day, and those who paid the ultimate price. Disrespect for the families left behind to cope and carry on. Disrespect for the public who trusted him to uphold the law with honesty and fairness.

    To quote a favorite movie character of mine, the Indestructible Mushu: "OOOH! All right, that's it! Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole family! Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow, dis..."

    A regular to Obscure Store suggested the man be sent to Iraq to "earn" the money he wrongfully received through deception. If I were a soldier there, I'd send him back to the US postage-paid. If I lived in Delray Beach, I'd be asking for his badge and sidearm.

    No one wants a liar watching his back.

    Blue Rahja, Where Are You?

    So I'm watching the news, thankful that the kidnapped teen was able to text her way out of a bad situation, when another kidnapping was reported. This time, a week old infant was kidnapped. So that got me to thinking, just how many people are kidnapped/disappear each year, how many are recovered, and what are the chances my kid will be 'napped?

    Crazy stats, these.

    According to Court TV's Crime Library, 2,300 Americans (adults AND kids) are reported missing every single day. Dang! In 2001, over 800,000 people were reported missing, but only 50,000 were not juveniles. The good news (if you call any of this "good news") is that only about 100, yes-just 100, fit the stereotype of a kidnapping in which the person was taken against by a stranger or "vague acquaintance."

    I've often wondered why it was so difficult to find a missing person. Are we too busy to pay attention to the people around us or to check the missing kids posters at WalMart?

    I wasn't able to find stats on how many missing people are found each year, but I did find this. Tons of info on how to protect your kids, how to report them missing, what to do next, and also on how to search for missing kids.

    We're definitely starting text lessons, just in case.

    We are the champions!

    Well, the football team won at home for the first time since anyone can remember, and the band was completely wound up. They played well, which is saying something. Word on the street was that the National Anthem wasn't going to sound all that good, and it rocked! The rest was a snap.

    Oh, and the game wasn't half bad, either. No injuries, no fighting, and the parents were relatively well-behaved. Of course, the other team made more errors than a Dan Quayle spelling test. There was one particularly sweet moment when the other team had the ball, it was fourth down and they just had to punt--when out of nowhere, the punter gets tackled by one of our guys. Awesome!

    Keep it closed, for pete's sake!

    I'm a mom. I have three kids. I got hitched straight out of high school, and had a baby the following year. I've never claimed I was perfect.

    Here's why I'm blathering today. I just read a local news story. I felt a bit sorry at first. A 20-year-old woman is in jail because her 10-month-old child is dead, and the police suspect she did it. The baby's father, who lived in the home, indicated he believed she did it as well. No one is saying how the baby died, but that's not the point.

    For a brief moment I was feeling sorry because I went through post-partum depression. It was mild for me, but still pulled me down. I can easily imagine what a severe depression can do to a family. Unfortunately, this isn't what's got me blathering either.

    What's got my knickers in a twist is the fact that this 10-month-old child is not her youngest!! Plus, she has 2 older children. This means that shortly after the birth of the now-deceased child, she helped create another child, who had to have been recently born. This is an assumption I made because there was no mention of the deceased child being a twin, simply that the child was the "second youngest."

    Holy crap!

    After the birth of my children, I told my spouse that if he came near me before the memory of the birth faded, I'd hit him with a stick. I didn't mean it, but damn! No one can be that good, can they? Sex was the last thing on my mind, considering I had just passed a watermelon, and now it needed feeding all day and night, smelly diapers needed changing, sleep was damn near impossible, and I felt like a mushy bean bag (and probably looked about as attractive).

    I would like to think that some social service failed here, perhaps in educating the family on contraceptives, or something like that, but I'm not sure it would have helped. My sister was on a county medical card, and she got free contraceptive pills. Didn't mean she remembered to take them on time, or take them at all. And I know it takes two to tango, but what we have here is personal responsibility. Yes, two people did the tango. But a woman has to live with the results of that tango for a very long time, and therefore, in my opinion as a woman, shares slightly more of the responsibility of pregnancy.

    What else could have been done? A person's private life is just that: private. But when a woman puts herself in this situation, a 20-year-old with her 4th child, born just 10 months after her last child, perhaps society needs to get on board with helping women like her get a more complete education. Surely, a better education and an employable skill is preferrable to an uneducated baby factory?

    More Crack Here Than Dan Aykroyd!

    So I'm reading this story at my favorite strange-news website about a woman found beside a house. It was late in the evening, she had her pants down around her ankles and at first appeared to be dead. Then she got up, refusing assistance. The police took her downtown, all the while she was insisting that she lived in the house (she actually lived about a mile or so away). The woman was in her 50's.

    There wasn't much detail concerning why she was lying on the ground with her pants down, or how she got the idea that she was home. My guess is she was on drugs and maybe tried to urinate but fell over and passed out. At least that's what I'm hoping is what happened. It could be a rape, but only a doctor's exam would tell, since the woman couldn't even recall that she wasn't anywhere near home, where she'd been or what she'd been doing.

    The thing that gets me is just how very pathetic this is. I have never been inclined to take drugs, although I have been offered some. I'm no longer a drinker because of medical problems, but I recall the days when one drink too many would make me feel like I'd been hit by a truck the next day. I just can't understand why people agree to take drugs in the first place, when these days it seems everyone is aware that most are addictive and self-destructive. In the case of alcohol, I can't understand why people enjoy intoxicating themselves on a regular basis if the end result is feeling like crap for a day or two after. After the second time it happened to me, I kept myself to a two-drink maximum, because it was better to be safe than sorry.

    I don't understand addictions because I've avoided the things that cause addiction, so I can't empathize with how difficult it is to quit. Someone told me once an addiction was like breathing; it's just as difficult to "quit" breathing as it is to give up an addiction. If this is the case, why not be strong enough to turn away from the beginning? Why set yourself up for heartache and pain? Why risk having yourself found half-naked in someone's yard, with no knowledge of where you are, where you've been, and how you got there?

    I just don't understand this.

    Band Camp

    My child is attending band camp for the first time. This is rather new territory for me as a parent. For so long I've just been watching from the stands. Now I'm being encouraged to be part of a "greater event."

    I'd like to think I'm a rather nice person, and that I get along with a great number of people. I have great hope that this will be just as fun for me as it is for my flautist.

    Wish us luck.

    Joseph Subic and the Iran Hostage Crisis

    I was watching the last episode of this mini-series on cable on Tuesday. It was about the hostages taken in 1978 or 1979 by Iran.

    I was wondering about Joseph Subic. I've tried to find information about him via the 'net, but Google doesn't offer up much help. A couple of blogs spend whole servers dedicated to people dissing, dismissing, or defending him, but no one really mentions why he's a topic of discussion.

    The most compelling piece of information I could find was a quote concerning his not receiving a medal, stating the Army did not believe he behaved in a manner befitting his status as a non-commissioned officer. As a former military member myself, I can guess what that means, but i don't want guesses any more than I want disses.

    If anyone comes across this blog while researching Mr. Subic and has information that would enlighten me regarding his role during the hostage crisis, I would be grateful if you would help me out. Feel free to post your information to my blog, or send me a private email. Please note, if you do contact me via private email, please indicate if your information is privately acquired and therefore not for sharing with the public.

    Soccer and Football

    It looks like England's national football is changing direction. Beckham is out. Came as a shock to me, but that's only because I'm a casual fan, and don't follow their every waking move.

    The move to replace David Beckham is a little on the sad side. He's only 31 this year, 2 years younger than me. I lived in England during the time he came out of obscurity and his star could not have shined more brightly. Before he became Mr. Posh Spice, and all the endorsements which took his mind away (ever so slightly, but still...) from The Beautiful Game.

    During the early 90's Beckham's feet were nearly impossible to follow except in slow-motion replay. His goals were like magic to people like me who were new to the sport. While he was very aware of his talent, in those days he still had a bit of modesty, which came off as very sweet to his female fans, at least.

    I can almost credit Beckham's skill alone for increasing my appreciation of The Game. There were other reasons I began watching the sport, one being that it is nearly impossible to go anywhere in England without being caught in a discussion--I didn't want to seem like an idiot. However, watching Beckham moving across the pitch was mesmerizing, and left me with the desire to watch even more soccer, which is something nearer to a miracle since I don't watch American Football.

    Many people have stated that the recent move to replace David Beckham as team captain and relegate him to just a player, perhaps even a bench-sitter to trot out for penalty kicks, is the beginning of the end to his career as a footballer. This sentiment has saddened me. I feel as though Beckham is my link back to England, a country I came to love as my own.

    If in fact his star does fade, I hope he does so with grace and maturity, similar to that shown during the World Cup when he not only gave over captaincy mid-game to John Terry , but helped JT put on the famed arm band. A lesser man would have thrown a fit, but not my Beckham.

    My compliments to David Beckham. He'll always be #1 in my heart.