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  • Twenty-Twenty-Twenty-Four Hours Ago-oh-oh

    There are things in life that are a must-do. I've decided that this one is the ultimate:

    I wanna be Forensicated!

    Trolling Fark, I found this article about British police and a new service fee: pay us, or you have to risk picking up your stolen vehicle yourself. Oh, and we will only check for clues after your check clears. What? You didn't pay? Sucks to be you. Hope that works out well for you and your insurer.

    You only have to read the first three or four paragraphs. The rest is redundant and/or tripe, as per typical British news reporting.*

    Just so you know, 105 UK pounds is nearly $200 USD. A fee to get policemen to do their damn job, which is already paid for by taxpayers. Lovely.

    Also, FYI: the British do not engage in solid registration of vehicles the way Americans do. When you purchase a vehicle, you get a certificate that lists you as the "keeper" of the vehicle, which is supposed to remain in the vehicle at all times. If you sell the vehicle, you just fill out the tear-off portion at the bottom and mail it into their version of the DMV. And yes, forgery is easy-peasy one-two-threesy. When it comes to who owns what vehicle, possession is 10/10ths of the law.

    The Social-Welfare State comes at a price. Apparently, that price is 105 pounds Sterling.

    *Compared to US news reporting, however, it's almost downright intelligent!

    Swangirl's Cygnet Has Arrived!

    Hello everyone! I received this in my email on the 18th, but my system has been down for repairs.

    Here is Swangirl's Cygnet, Sean Patrick. He arrived peacefully and in good health, at 7 pounds and 12 ounces and 21" long.

    Congratulations, Swangirl and family!
    Best wishes from Soo and the entire Obscure Store Gang!

    Please feel free to leave a comment. Just click the comments link, say what you want & include your name or your internet handle, and post as "anonymous." You shouldn't have to sign up as a blogspot member just to post to my board. If the site demands it, copy and paste your comment to an email directly to me, and I'll add your comment for you.

    edited 23 April

    This can only end well, take 2

    So I'm trolling on Fark and discover that the Gods of the Olympics Committee have decided that Chicago will host the Olympic Games of 2016. Yes, I can see how this could happen.

    Because everyone knows that if China can clean up their act (aesthetically, not morally, of course) then bringing the Olympics to a vermin-infested sinkhole like Chicago will smooth out this rough city like a fresh round of Botox on Joan Rivers.

    Let's see about Chicago. What's Chicago really, really like?
    Statistics are from 2000
    /doodly-doo, doodly-doo, doodly-doo/

    • population of Chicago (city only): nearly 2.9 million and growing
    • families with children living in poverty: 84,598
    • families earning less than $10k per year: 68,431
    • adults, age 25+, 9th grade or less education: 225,497
    • grandparents caring for minor grandchildren: 41,328

    Crime statistics aren't that great, either:
    Statistics are from 2003

    • murders are 2.70 times national average: 598
    • all violent crimes are 2.18 Xs national average: 37,684
    • all property crimes are on par, actually: 144,622
    • there were no forcible rapes in 2003.
    Okay, so there is a bright side to Chicago. Sure, you're twice as likely to get murdered, robbed or assaulted, but you're less likely to be raped.

    Yay, Chicago!

    PS: You must click on Joan. I dare you. I triple-dog-dare you.

    Many thanks to About.Com and CityRating.Com for their lovely statistics reports!

    Like you mean it!

    There are few things that baffle me more than city folk and their trucks.

    Exactly why do yuppies need an Expedition, Suburban or Tahoe when it's just the couple, a kid or two and/or a dog in the city?

    Why does my (guy) friend, who lives in an apartment and works only for the military--a very large organization in possession of its own fleet of utility vehicles--need an oversized pick-up truck with 4-wheel drive in the city?

    Why does a soccer mom need a truck-like vehicle with enough horsepower to pull the moon out of orbit, just to drive from dance recitals to Wal-Mart?

    Exactly when do you need that 4-wheel, or even all-wheel, drive feature in the city?

    These are the people who, with a jacked-up truck and 4-wheel drive, will slow down to about .2 miles per hour to drive over a speed bump. These are the people who will swerve to avoid a shallow pothole like they're driving a low-rider pimpmobile. These are the people who take up two parking spaces because they can't maneuver their tank in a modern parking lot, and don't even get me started about parallel parking!

    And then today, on my way home from class, I saw it: the first real, proper use of an SUV in the city. It was marvelous. It was stunning in its simplicity. It made me want to trade in my sturdy minivan immediately.

    I'm waiting in lane one of a five-lane intersection. The direction of traffic is separated by a thin strip of curb. Up ahead to my left, in lane five, a large, white SUV was waiting in the left-turn lane for the light to change.

    Opposing traffic cleared.

    All of a sudden, the driver of the white SUV changes his/her mind, turns the wheel hard to the left, drives over the curb and executes a near-flawless illegal u-turn. Impressive!

    There is hope for humanity after all.

    Never Do It Alone!

    **This is a piece I put together some time ago, but didn't have the time to finish. For lack of anything else about which I'd like to rant, I've finished this piece to share with you now. Enjoy.

    I am not a drinker. My medical status will deteriorate if I imbibe regularly, which is exactly what I would be doing if I did not have a "medical status." So I am The Driver. I am also the bill-payer, the tip-giver, the arrest-deterrent, and excuse-provider. Occasionally I even break up a fight.

    I am also The Voice Of Experience.

    I always encourage people to never drink alone, at home or at the bar. It's just a matter of safety. When you go drinking with a sober friend, that person is tasked with "watching your back." No one will tamper with your drink while you're not looking, gross people will not be able to talk you into going back to "my place," and you will be 86'd before the really embarrassing stuff starts.

    While it seems more like common sense to me, I read more and more articles about people, mostly women, who find more trouble when they're out drinking alone. Sure, they may be with a group of friends, but when everyone is drinking, then they are all "alone." At least, that's how I see it. The bartender may know you by name, may have gotten to know a little bit about you personally, but it's not their job to babysit every single person in the bar. Crowd control? Yes. Personal shepherd? No.

    One more piece of wisdom before I go: always remember that spooning leads to forking.

    Must. Read. This.

    This is an essay I found courtesy of Fark concerning an upcoming push by Congress to phase out the incandescent light bulb. If this is a joke, it's pretty good; not in the haha sense, but in the overall seriousness of tone. Either way, it's got some pretty compelling information that makes perfect sense to me, and at other times it sounds like utter tosh.

    Anyone got any information on this?

    Anyway, for your reading pleasure, click here.

    edited on 8 Apr.

    Once more, with feeling!

    Thank you very much, gracious readers and wonderful friends, for all your love and support during the first week of Mister's delightful deployment. Your kindness has not gone unrewarded!

    We now have An Address!

    For anyone who would like to send Mister some snail mail, but who is not in my email address book, please click the Brand-New Link above! My computer takes me to MSN's hotmail; I am not responsible for what your computer does, just get that email to me! :)

    By the way, while you're clicking on this link, please consider why you're not in my email address book and then prepare the depths to which you will sink in begging my forgiveness for overlooking me in your internet exploits. You will definitely be forgiven, regardless--I may be Italian, but it takes a lot more than not emailing me to incur The Grudge!

    Mister tells me he has now moved out of his 'tent' and into a 'chu.' What's a 'chu'? Bless you. No, seriously. A 'chu' is a type of camper. Picture a POD container with a regular entry door, a/c, a bed and a footlocker. I suggested that all he needs now is a rusty jeep on blocks and an old toothless hound under the boardwalk 'porch' to complete the image.

    As stated above, please email me for more information and to request photo forwarding. I won't send what you don't want, but I also won't post it here. Love, happy chi and excellent karma to all!