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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Only In St. Louis (sort of)

I found this at Strange Cosmos. It's not entirely correct, but pretty close. No, Foxworthy didn't write this, but the style is vaguely familiar.
This is what Jeff Foxworthy has to might say about St. Louis:

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from October through May, you might live in St. Louis.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance and they don't work there, you might live in St. Louis.

If someone mentions "The Landing" and it has nothing to do with the space shuttle, you might live in St. Louis.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in St. Louis.

If you've seen a tornado touch down and ONLY thought "Damn it, I just waxed the car", you might live in St. Louis.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in St. Louis.

If you measure distance in hours instead of miles, you might live in St. Louis. (I still do this.)

If you have switched from 'heat' to 'A/C' in the same day and back again, you might live in St. Louis.

If you drive 75 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard for some White Castles, you might live in St. Louis. (Or, if you're dad had shoveled 2 feet of snow to reach the grill, you might live in St. Louis.)

If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you might live in St. Louis.

If you take I-Farty-Far to Six Flags, you might live in St. Louis.

If you know what/where the Piasa Bird is, you might live in St. Louis. (Don't forget Our Lady of the Rivers.)

If someone says concrete and you think of Ted Drewes instead of pavement, you might live in St. Louis. (YUM)

If you know what a TRAM is, you might live in St. Louis.

If you design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit, you might live in St. Louis. (eh... this one is anywhere up north.)

If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph -- you're going 80 and everybody is passing you, you might live in St. Louis.

If you've ever skipped school, work, or even a court-date because you had tickets to an afternoon Cards, Blues or Rams game, you might live in St. Louis.

If you can say the words "Cahokia Mounds" and not think of a candy bar or boobies, you might live in St. Louis.

If driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow, you might live in St. Louis.

If you know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction, you might live in St. Louis. (I disagree with this one. There are definitely four seasons in St. Louis.)

If you have more miles on your snow blower than your car, you might live in St. Louis.

If you find 10 degrees a little 'chilly', you might live in St. Louis.

If you actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your St. Louis friends & others, you live or have lived in St. Louis.
Let's see... If you know what a pork steak is (and how to serve it)... if you knew that US Grant had a farm... if you know that the Gateway Arch doesn't actually span the Mississippi River... if you know what "fark" and "warsh" mean... if you think toasted ravioli is good eats... if "where did you go to high school?" is a make or break question...

Friday, May 30, 2008

Today In History

1431 Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

1539 Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto landed in Florida.

1854 The territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.

1883 A rumor that the recently opened Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing triggered a stampede that led to the trampling deaths of 12 people.

1911 The first long-distance auto race in Indianapolis was run.

1922 The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C.

1982 Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles played in the first of a record 2,632 consecutive major league baseball games.

1989 Student demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing erected a 33-foot statue they called the "Goddess of Democracy."

2002 A solemn, wordless ceremony marked the end of the cleanup at Ground Zero in New York, 8 1/2 months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday's Hero

Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin
Gen. Benjamin S. Griffin
U.S. Army

General Benjamin S. Griffin, commanding general, U.S. Army Materiel Command, talks with Brig. Gen. Shallal Abdul Rasool Habeeb

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.
Wednesday Hero Logo

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Long Weekend

Many of you are off work today. Instead of just grilling up some dead animal and tossing back a few containers of fermented barley beverage without a care in the world, why don't you take some time to think about why you have the day off?

Memorial Day is a day to honor those who have given their lives in military service to our country. Just think about them for a moment. Thousands upon thousands paid the ultimate price for freedom. Your freedom. My freedom. Our freedom.

Far too often, Americans take their freedom for granted. Few of us who were born in the US really grasp the incredible gift we were given- we live in a nation of liberty and freedom. We are spoiled by our abundance and blessings. What some have fought and died to attain we dismiss as common place. How sad... for us.

Freedom isn't free, and liberty is bought with the blood of patriots. We should remember those whose blood was shed for this nation every day, not just today. But today is a good start.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Much For Supporting Our Troops

The Left claims that it "hates the war, but supports the troops." Is this what they're talking about? (Yes, this story made the rounds a few days ago, but I just saw it.)
Recently, there have been local incidents in which military personnel have been verbally assaulted while commuting on the Metro. Uniformed members have been approached by individuals expressing themselves as anti-government, shouting anti-war sentiments, and using racial slurs against minorities.
While in uniform, military personnel can't really do much else except just take it. The cowards who assault them know that, I'm sure. Would they be all in the soldiers' faces if they could fight back? I doubt it.

There's no report on whether or not anyone stood up for the soldiers. I'd like to think there was someone who told those expressing their First Amendment rights to sit down and shut up, but I know better. People just can't be bothered to do the right thing these days. Pathetic.

Honestly, if this is how they "support the troops," I don't think the troops want it. Really.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Today In History

IMO, the most important one on this list is the one from 1969. YMMV.
1430 Joan of Arc captured by Burgundians at Compiegne, who sell her to the British
1533 King Henry VIII & Catherine of Aragon marriage declared null & void
1536 Pope Paul III installs Portugese inquisition
1576 Tycho Brahe given Hveen Island to build Uraniborg Observatory
1618 2nd Defenestration of Prague; the beginning of the 30 Years War
1618 Imperial civil servants thrown out a window of Prague Castle
1701 Captain Kidd hung in London after conviction of piracy & murder
1774 Chestertown tea party occurs (tea dumped into Chester River)
1785 Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals
1848 Otto Lilienthal, pioneer aviator
1853 Buenos Aires gains independence from Argentina (reunited 1859)
1861 3 fleeing slaves enter Fort Monroe VA
1861 Virginia citizens vote 3 to 1 in favor of secession
1862 Battle at Front Royal VA
1862 Valley Campaign-Stonewall Jackson takes Front Royal VA
1864 Battle of Dallas GA
1864 Battle of North Anna VA, 1st of 3 days of fighting
1867 Jesse James-gang rob bank in Richmond MO (2 die, $4,000 taken)
1873 Canada's North West Mounted Police Force (RCMPF) forms
1876 1st National League no-hitter (Joe Borden, Boston)
1883 Baseball game between one-armed and one-legged players
1887 1st transcontinental train arrives in Vancouver British Columbia
19-- B.J. & Peg Hunnicutt of Mill Valley's anniversary (on MASH)
1900 Associated Press News Service forms in New York
1903 1st automobile trip across US from San Fransisco to New York, ended April 1
1908 Dirigible explodes over San Fransisco Bay, 16 passengers fall, none die
1915 Italy declares war on Austria-Hungary & Germany during WWI
1916 Heavy battles at Fort Douaumont Verdun
1922 Walt Disney incorporates his 1st film company Laugh-O-Gram Films
1939 British decoration, George Cross, 1st presented
1939 British parliament plans to make Palestine independent by 1949
1939 Hitler proclaims he wants to move into Poland
1939 Submarine Squalis sinks off Portsmouth NH, 26 die
1940 1st great dogfight between Spitfires
1943 826 Allied bombers attack Dortmund
1944 Operation-Buffalo: Allied jailbreak out Anzio-bridgehead
1945 British military police arrest Admiral Karl Doenitz
1945 German island of Helgoland in North Sea surrenders to British
1945 Heinrich Himmler, German Nazi leader & Chief of Police, committed suicide
1945 Lord Haw-Haw arrested at Danish boundary
1945 Winston Churchill resigns as British PM
1948 Ramat Rahel gateway to Jerusalem is repossessed by Israel
1960 Israel announced capture of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina
1962 OAS leader General Raoul Salan sentenced to life
1962 Scott Carpenter orbits Earth 3 times in US Aurora 7
1969 BBC orders 13 episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus
1990 Cost of rescuing savings & loan failures is put at up to $130 billion
1990 Dow Jones average hits a record 2,856.26
1991 Last Cubans troops leave Angola
1991 US Supreme Court bars subsidized clinics from discussing abortion

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Horrible Accident

The five-year-old daughter of Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman was killed yesterday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn - The 5-year-old daughter of contemporary Christian music star Steven Curtis Chapman was struck and killed Wednesday by a sport utility vehicle driven by her brother, authorities said.

The girl, Maria, was hit in a driveway on the family residence Wednesday afternoon by a Toyota Land Cruiser driven by her teenage brother, said Laura McPherson, a spokesman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

...The brother apparently did not see the little girl, McPherson said. She did not have the name or exact age of the brother, only that he is an older teenager. The girl died later at Vanderbilt Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Laurie Holloway said.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Chapman family. I cannot begin to understand what they're going through.

Bad For Your Health

Albert Pujols is bad for your health... if you're a San Diego Padre, that is.
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Young and catcher Josh Bard were knocked out of Wednesday night's game against the St. Louis Cardinals by Albert Pujols within a span of two batters.

Pujols hit a line drive off Young's face in the third inning, breaking the right-hander's nose. Young immediately fell on his backside and put his right hand up to his face. Blood was running down his face.

...Aaron Miles and Pujols scored on the play. But right fielder Brian Giles' throw arrived at the plate at the same time as Pujols, who slid and caught Bard's left leg.

Bard went down in a heap and stayed on the ground for a few minutes before he was helped off the field, dragging his left leg. The Padres said Bard sprained his left ankle.
"Line drive off Young's face"... dang... While I'm happy that the Cards crushed the Padres last night, you never want to see players hurt. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Tylenol all around for the Padres, barkeep!


Here's a great video from Mike the Marine (set to Nickelback's "Rockstar"):

While you're at Mike the Marine's, check out this post. Good stuff. (h't to HDD, who saw it at Harvey's)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday's Heroes

Sgt. John F. ThomasSgt. Ronnie L. Shelley
Sgt. John F. Thomas(Right) & Sgt. Ronnie L. Shelley, Sr.(Left)
33 & 34 years old from Valdosta, Georgia
2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Georgia Army National Guard
July 24, 2005 & July 30, 2005
Army National Guard

Sgt. Ronnie "Rod" Shelley and Sgt. John F. Thomas became best friends in the Georgia Army National Guard.

They both were ex-Marines, both about the same age, and both enjoyed searching for arrowheads and fishing together. As their friendship grew, Thomas often came over to Shelley’s house for steaks and ribs barbecued by his friend. And when their infantry unit was sent to Iraq in May of 2005, they went to war together.

When their unit was mobilized for combat duty in Iraq, Shelley promised to watch out for Thomas. "Ronnie said, 'Don't you worry, I'll bring him back safely,"' said Thomas' grandfather. But neither Sgt. Thomas or Sgt. Shelley made it back safely. Sgt. Thomas was killed July 24, 2005 by a roadside bomb near Baghdad. And Sgt. Shelley was killed six days later on July 30 by another roadside bomb, also near Baghdad.

Shelley was a family man, married with three children, who was obsessed with having a neat yard, his wife said. "The grass had to be two inches," she said. "If the neighbor mowed the grass, Rod had to mow. He also wanted the biggest, baddest lawn mower."

She said she fell in love with his "gorgeous blue ... eyes," and "he had a laid back attitude. I could not make him mad."

Thomas was married but had no children. His grandparents said he dreamed of becoming a forest ranger. "John wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail. Now the only trail he can walk is the trail in heaven," the grandfather said.

Mrs. Thomas, wiping back tears, said the soldier felt responsible for the others in his unit. "He cared for people," she said. "That's why he had so many friends. People cared for him."

Killed alongside Sgt. Shelley were Staff Sgt. David R. Jones Sr., Sgt. 1st Class Victor A. Anderson and Sgt. Jonathon C. Haggin and killed alongside Sgt. Thomas were Army Spc. Jacques E. Brunson, Army Staff Sgt. Carl R. Fuller and Army Sgt. James O. Kinlow.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Keyboard Crusader

One of my Cotillion sisters has done us proud.
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Jane Novak, a 46-year-old stay-at-home mother of two in New Jersey, has never been to Yemen. She speaks no Arabic, and freely admits that until a few years ago, she knew nothing about that strife-torn south Arabian country.

And yet Ms. Novak has become so well known in Yemen that newspaper editors say they sell more copies if her photograph — blond and smiling — is on the cover. Her blog, an outspoken news bulletin on Yemeni affairs, is banned there. The government’s allies routinely vilify her in print as an American agent, a Shiite monarchist, a member of Al Qaeda, or “the Zionist Novak.”
Read the entire article. It's great. Then send a letter.

Jane's getting something done. From her living room, with her keyboard, she's shaking up a country halfway around the world. Great job, Jane!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Today In History

Some of these are just plain odd.
1585 Spain confisquates English ships
1588 Spanish Armada sets sail for Lisbon, bound to England
1643 Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut & New Harbor form United Colonies of New England
1749 George II grants charter to Ohio Company to settle Ohio Valley
1780 About midday, near-total darkness descends on much of New England to this day its cause is still unexplained
1848 México gives Texas to US, ending the war
1857 William Francis Channing & Moses G Farmer patents electric fire alarm
1884 Ringling Brothers circus premieres
1885 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn MA)
1910 Cleveland Indian Cy Young gets his 500th win, beats Washington 5-4 in 11 innings
1911 Philadelphia Athletics are 12½ games back in American League, & win the World Series
1943 Berlin is declared "Judenrien" (free of Jews)
1943 Churchill pledges England's full support to US against Japan
1944 240 gypsies transported to Auschwitz from Westerbork Netherlands
1944 German defense line in Italy collapsed
1951 UN begins counter offensive in Korea
1958 US & Canada form North American Air Defense Command (NORAD)
1960 USAF Major Robert M White takes X-15 to 33,222mph
1964 US diplomats find at least 40 secret microphones in the Moscow embassy
1967 US bombs Hanoi
1971 USSR launches Mars 2, 1st spacecraft to crash land on Mars
1976 Senate establishes permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
1992 Vice President Dan Quayle sites Murphy Brown as a poor example of family values
2161 Syzygy: 8 of 9 planets aligned on same side of sun

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Candidate

I've found him- a candidate I can believe in. Conservative, do or die (hard) attitude. If only he could win... (h't to Kat)

How Do You Know?

From Castle Argghhh! we have this patent from 1718. It's for a machine gun. Cool, eh? Check out points #16 and #17.
16. The plate of the Chambers of the Gun for a ship shooting Square Bullet against Turks.
17. For Round Bullets against Christians.
UH... yeah... from a distance, can you tell the difference? And what bullets do you use if you're fighting Hindus?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Salute The Troops

NASCAR is stepping up to show their support for our military.
Six Sprint Cup drivers and two Nationwide Series drivers will lead all NASCAR fans in the USO Salute the Troops Memorial Day tribute to the armed forces on May 24-25 at Lowe's Motor Speedway to kick off a nationwide effort to raise funds for military families worldwide.
Of course, no good deed can go unmocked, so I give you this (from the same link):
This was a response to the news in other circles:

"Nascar is a crappy excuse for a sport and should be banned for a year to save gasoline."

"That would be the partriotic thing to do. All you nascar "patriots" out there can at least sacrafice a year of no races, right? You can do that small sacrafice for your nation? "

"It's time for all those super-patriotic Red-White-&-Blue nascar fans to write to the organization and demand a year of the races to be called off..."

How very... moronic... If you're so inclined, send NASCAR a message saying how much you appreciate their support of our military. Here's some contact info.
PO Box 2875
Daytona Beach, FL 32120


Wednesday's Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Cindy

Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Davila
Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Davila
From Sierra Vista, Arizona
U.S. Naval Reserve

On the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States, Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Davila raised an American flag over Camp Korean Village, Iraq, he brought with him from Arizona.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008, Sierra Vista firefighter and emergency medical technician Chris Davila presented that flag to Fire Chief Randy Redmond as fellow firefighters looked on. Monday, May 5, 2008, was Davila’s first day back on the job with the department after being gone for nearly nine months, with seven of those months deployed as a Navy Reserve corpsman serving with a Marine unit near the Jordanian and Syrian border area in Iraq.

And, as luck would have it, on his first shift saw him responding to a blaze in Sierra Vista. "Right back to work," he said with a laugh.

You can read the rest of PO 2nd Class Davila's story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Senator Cornyn Live Blog

You can leave questions for Senator Cornyn in this thread. He'll answer as many of them as he can on Thursday.

Round Up! Get Your Round Up!

It's been a while since I did a news post. Here's one:


Democrats Lying Through Their Teeth

Not that there's anything new about that or anything. It's just that anyone with internet access can fact check them. Not that any of the sheeple that still believe anything the political parties tell them would bother doing any fact checking. That would take work, and we can't have any of that, now can we?

What in the world am I talking about? There's a guy running for Congress (special election is today) in Mississippi. He's currently the mayor of Southaven. At some point, he suggested the move of a statue of Jefferson Davis from Memphis to the town. Here's a post about it. If you read through it, a different mayor said that he wanted a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest also. Here is how the DCCC read the article:


It's a moral outrage? No, it's an outright LIE. Jefferson Davis was never a part of the Klan. NEVER. But that doesn't matter, because the DCCC knows that many sheeple will just be angered by the thought and knee-jerk vote against Greg Davis because of a lie.

Whatever works, right? (h't to Conservative Belle)

Running Into Myself

... or at least people who accidently think they're me.

I received an e-mail yesterday from someone wanting to know if yeahrightwhatever at gmail dot com was a real e-mail or just a joke. It's real (but mine has "." between the front words). I asked where that e-mail had appeared (thinking it was some other political-ish blog). He pointed me to this thread on old computer code.
"What is the oldest piece of code that is still in use today, that has not actually been retyped or reimplemented in some way? By 'piece of code,' I'm of course referring to a complete algorithm, and not just a single line."
From what I can tell, whoever left the comment was trying to be snarky and wasn't trying to be me. Whatever. That's fine. But, by then, I was curious, so I read the answers. Some of the answers were very serious (I think the winner was some code written in 1964). Some were serious, but in a different way (RNA and DNA). My favorite?
1 "Let there be light"
2 create universe()
3 while (1)
4 # I'll finish this up later
Reminds me of this cartoon, sort of. No, you don't actually have to know what Lisp and Perl are to get it... at least, I didn't...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I've Got Cool Kids

Today, for Mother's Day, my kids made dinner for me. No, they didn't grab something out of the freezer and pop it into the oven. They went through some of my cookbooks and tried to find recipes that they could make AND that I would like.

Any guesses what they made? I won't make you guess for long because... well... it's an interesting combination. We had toasted ravioli as an appetizer, and then we had corned beef and cabbage with potatoes.

They did a really good job with it. They had a few questions, but they did the work. It was quite yummy.

Thanks, Guys!!!!

Happy Day!

To all of you who are moms, Happy Mother's Day!

To my mom, thanks for being my mom. I love you so much!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Links of Another Type

I'm not a golf fan. Anything but. But here is a story about golf in the Green Zone. Then there's this from the Armorer:
There's a driving range up here, according to a couple of the guys who think golf is actually a sport of some sort. They checked it out last week -- spotted chunks of red-painted rebar driven into a flat spot, figured those were the Permanent Tees, and started popping balls downrange.

Couple of Iraqi Engineer types came sauntering up and casually informed them they were teeing off on suspected UXO markers...
I never said golfers are smart...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Wednesday's Heroes

CSM Robert Prosser and LTC Erik Kurilla
1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment (Deuce Four)
U.S. Army

LTC. Erik Kurilla and CSM. Robert Prosser's story is an amazing one. One that Michael Yon has told far better than I ever could. Warning. The site contains very graphic images. Some may want to turn off images before viewing.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Today In History

What makes history? I guess it all depends on who you ask. I get my information for these posts from 2 sites, and they have much in common, and much that separates them. One is "just" history from a textbook point of view (politics, battles, who ruled whom when, stuff like that). The other has all of that, plus who won the Preakness in 1922 and when Babe Ruth hit his first home run. You know... the important stuff. Photobucket I usually end up editing the longer list- do y'all care when the Council of Vienna ended? (In 1312, if you do happen to care.)

And now... today in history... now with snarky commentary!!!
1527 Spanish & German Imperial troops sack Rome; ending the Renaissance (I expected a little more... culture from the Spanish, didn't you?)
1536 King Henry VIII, orders bible be placed in every church (No, really... there actually weren't Bibles in the churches before that... sad, no? )
1626 Dutch colonist Paul Minuit buys Manhattan for $24 in trinkets (Rivaled only by Seward's purchase for "best bang for buck")
1833 John Deere makes 1st steel plow (Did it look like a Packers team vehicle?)
1840 1st postage stamps (Penny Black) issued (Great Britain) (You know that some moron will get confused by this because of the Stamp Act they learned about in public school... just sayin'... )
1851 Dr John Gorrie patents a "refrigeration machine" (which he then filled with beer and bean dip)
1851 Linus Yale patents Yale-lock
1861 Arkansas & Tennessee become 9th & 10th states to secede from US (what took them so long? They almost missed out on the fun)
1861 Jefferson Davis approves a bill declaring War between US & Confederacy (see? Let's get ready to ruuuuuumble....)
1864 Battle of Port Walthall Junction VA (see above)
1864 Battle of Wilderness-General Longstreet seriously injured (see above)
1864 General Sherman begins advance to Atlanta GA (it's almost over)
1889 Universal Exposition opens in Paris France; Eiffel Tower completed (at least there's something nice in Paris besides The Louvre and Notre Dame...)
1890 Mormon Church renounces polygamy (just in time to become a State... funny that)
1903 Chicago White Sox commit 12 errors against Detroit Tigers
1915 Red Sox Babe Ruth pitching debut & 1st homerun, loses to Yankees 4-3 in 15
1917 St Louis Brown Bob Groom no-hits Chicago White Sox, 3-0
1919 Paris Peace Conference disposes of German colonies; German East Africa is assigned to Britain & France, German Southwest Africa to South Africa (yet another cause of WWII)
1934 Red Sox score 12 runs in 4th inning including record 4 consecutive triples hit by Carl Reynolds, Moose Solters, Rick Ferrell, & B Walters
1937 Dirigible Hindenburg explodes in flames at Lakehurst NJ (36 die) (nope... nothing snarky here... )
1938 Dutch writer Maurits Dekker sentenced to 50 days for "offending a friendly head of state" (Hitler) (At least offending someone wasn't a beheading offense back then)
1941 Joseph Stalin became premier of Russia (Uncle Joe is on the scene!)
1942 Corregidor & Philippines surrender to Japanese Armies
1943 British 1st army opens assault on Tunis
1950 Liz Taylor's 1st marriage (Conrad Hilton Jr) (Ready... set... wed!)
1960 President Eisenhower signs Civil Rights Act of 1960 (Who helped pass that again?)
1962 1st nuclear warhead fired from Polaris submarine (Ethan Allen) (The best weapon is the one you only have to fire once. -Tony Stark)
1984 Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken Jr hits for the cycle
1988 Doughnutgate incident: New Jersey Devils' coach Jim Schoenfeld tells referee Don Koharski to 'eat another doughnut you fat pig!,' he is suspended (No sense of humor, I tell you)
1994 Chunnel linking England & France officially opens (cool engineering... no snark)
1994 House passes the assault weapons ban (morons... did it take assault weapons off the street? Didn't think so... idiots... )
2012 Transit of Venus (uh... 2012? Well... it will be history... in 4 years... )
No, I'm not snarking about baseball history. Why would I snark about America's pasttime? Silly readers...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Horse Races of a Sort

Somehow, somewhere back in the sands of time, political races came to be identified with horse races. Really not sure how that got started, and I'm pretty sure it offends the horses.

This comparison took an interesting twist this weekend at the Kentucky Derby. Senator Clinton made it clear that she was betting on Eight Belles to win, place and show (as a show of solidarity with the only filly in the race). Senator Obama made his bets public also ( Colonel John, Big Brown, and Pyro). I'm not entirely sure why they publicized their bets. You'd think they were pandering for votes or something.

But, I digress. Most of you have already heard what happened at the Derby- Big Brown won, and Eight Belles surprised everyone by placing. As Eight Belles ran out after the race, her front legs buckled due to compound fractures in both ankles (the same injury that Barbaro had in one leg), and she was put down on the track. (PETA, of course, doesn't get it. Horses, especially thoroughbreds, run. It's what they do. They're very competitive, and they live to run.)

Shortly after Eight Belles was put down, comments comparing the Derby results and the DNC race for the nomination began flowing. They almost seemed to write themselves. Here's probably the most concise example of the theme.
Big Brown wins, and the filly is down.
The Democratic primary, ladies and gentlemen
There were other, more... jaded, perhaps?... comments contemplating Hillary's eventual outcome a little more literally than I feel comfortable with. The Derby even rated a post on ABC's political blog, but I'm not sure there was a point to the post, except to say "Hillary's chosen horse died." Did I miss something?

Is politics so tedious that this is what it's come to? Sad...

Getting away from the political race for a moment and back to the real horse race, a commenter at Ace's brought up an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. To summarize, all twenty horses in last weekend's Derby were descendants of Native Dancer- a Derby placer from the 1950s. 75% of all thoroughbreds in the United States are from his bloodline. For those of you who remember your genetics from high school biology, you see the problem.
Like hemophilia in the Russian royal family, Native Dancer's line has a tragic flaw. Thanks in part to heavily muscled legs and a violent, herky-jerky running style, Native Dancer and his descendants have had trouble with their feet. Injuries have cut short the careers of several of his most famous kin, most notably Barbaro, a great-great-great-grandson who was injured during the Preakness Stakes and was later put to death.
And now, a great-great-great-great granddaughter. (Not only did she have Native Dancer on both sides of her pedigree, even closer in, Mr. Prospector was her maternal grandfather and paternal great-grandfather.)

Fortunately, it looks like the racing community has taken notice of the problem, and they're starting to search for new blood.

OK... back to the other "horse race" (I still think that's demeaning to the horses)- one other interesting "comparison" of the Obama/Clinton slugfest to the Derby is that Big Brown, the winner of the Derby, has run in only a few races. Sounds like someone else running in the race, no?

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Friday Funny "Well, that's interesting"

Imagine if you will that you're selected to do a tour on the International Space Station. You have to pack up everything you might need for six to nine months and fit it into a teeny tiny space. You're not working 24/7, so you'll need something to do in your spare time. There is a workout area so you can kind of stay in shape, and thanks to Apple, you can put every song ever recorded on your iPod, but what about books and movies?

There is an international multimedia library on the ISS. Have you ever wondered what you'd get stuck with once you blast off?
Imagine if you will that you are on the ISS for a tour of duty. You can only bring a few things with you, so you're relying on the ISS library to keep you entertained. And you arrive only to discover there is ABSOLUTELY NO STAR TREK. That's right: you can watch every single Star Wars movie, every single Matrix movie (including Animatrix), every Lost episode, all the X-Men, tons of Stargate episodes, and even The Princess Bride (yay!). But no Star Trek movies. No Star Trek TV shows. WHAT THE HELL, people? Why does the government hate Star Trek?!

I really couldn't tell you, but I can tell you that the book selections are a little less mind-boggling. There's a heaping dose of Analog and Asimov's SF magazines, the Foundation books from Asimov, some Greg Bear, some Kim Stanley Robinson, lots of Jules Verne, and an incredibly large amount of Lois McMaster Bujold's novels. (Somebody at NASA must be a fan.) There's also an inexplicably large number of the Xanth books by Piers Anthony, in case you need to jumpstart your 13-year-old humor glands while in orbit.
This is kind of funny. Many scientists credit Star Trek for getting them hooked on science, and this is how they repay Gene Roddenberry? (Personally, I can't believe they have The Princess Bride. What next? Space Balls?)

I can see a day in the not to distant future (especially if the movie studios get into the act) when this will radically change. (Keep in mind that some systems on the Space Shuttle were outdated by the time Columbia launched the first time... but I digress.) Movies can now be stored electronically on a memory card, and movie studios could release new movies to the ISS the same way they show first run movies in Iraq and Afghanistan to the troops. Books will be much the same way- pop a memory card into a book reader, and you have an entire book at your fingertips. Thousands of titles will fit into a shoe box.

The good news? At least, for now, they have A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Day of Prayer

*** The time stamp on this is 11:59pm so that it will stay on top all day.***
"My heart has been changed through prayer. If it can change one heart, it can change the heart of a nation."- Tony Dungy

Today is the 57th annual National Day of Prayer. Here is the President's proclamation, and here is this year's "official" prayer, written by Ravi Zacharias:
Holy Father, in a world where so many are hungry, You have given us food in abundance;

In a world where so many are hurting, You offer to bind up our wounds;

In a world where so many are lonely, You offer friendship to every heart;

In a world longing for peace, You offer hope.

Yet, we are so stubborn and resistant. Have mercy upon us, Lord.

Our nation is at a crossroads this year; we look to you to be our strength and shield.

Please give us the guidance to elect one who will honor you and to respond to the wisdom from above so that our hope may be renewed and our blessings be treasured.

In God's holy name.
On the National Day of Prayer website, they also have a "pray for the election" link. I was getting ready to start my posts on prayer for the election (like I did in 2004), so I guess I'll do my first one my pointing you to this page. They also have a 7x7 prayer campaign, if anyone wants to commit to praying for our country every day.

Apocalyspe Soon

It must be if I agree more with Ted Kennedy than a Republican.
Senators Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday that they believe there is a connection between federally mandated consumption of ethanol, a gasoline additive made from corn, and world food shortages.

...Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) expressed a different view.

"I don't see the link between hunger and our requirements that ethanol be mixed into our gasoline," Craig told Cybercast News Service . "We are still exporting food to the world. The world hunger movement is also tied to the environmental movement. Environmentalists have decided that ethanol is bad and so liberals are arguing that it's connected with food and therefore it is all bad. There has to be a balance."
First of all... didn't Larry Craig promise to resign from the Senate months ago? Yeah, well...

OK... so Senator Craig says that liberals are behind the "ethanol is connected to food shortages" message. hmm... well... here are some scientists (granted, I have no clue what their political bent is, and it could be liberal) who have made the connection. More importantly, they've discovered that their glorious plan to save the environment isn't working- in fact, it could very well be making it worse.

Then we have my own anecdotal evidence. Since the Energy Act of 2005 provisions concerning ethanol went into effect, my grocery bill has gone up, my gasoline bill has gone up, and supplies of many grain products have gone down.

The whole biofuels scheme started as an environmentalism boondoggle. Once they got the media, the farmers and some politicians on-board, they could manipulate the sheeple into believing they needed ethanol NOW. Once the sheeple were in a panic, it was easy to coerce the other politicians into passing harmful legislation that had no scientific backing. The environmentalists used several arguments- oil is not a renewable resource (if that's so, then why do we keep finding more), fossil fuels are killing the planet (which is why the US uses the most and is one of the cleanest countries on the planet), biofuels can stop global warming (which seems to have stopped on its own, thankyouverymuch). Congress bought it hook, line, and sinker, and we're stuck with the aftermath. (This is probably one of the easiest to understand- and funniest- explanations of climate change out there, if you're interested.)

Doesn't it make sense (which is why I'm confused as to why Senator Kennedy agrees with me) that if farmland is being used to grow corn for ethanol, then it's not being used to grow food? Given a choice between getting subsidies to grow food or larger subsidies to grow corn for ethanol, what farmer wouldn't grow the greater cash crop? Granted, ethanol isn't the only reason for the food shortages- drought, global demand, and speculators contribute to the problem, just to name a few. But ethanol is a reason- one that we can eliminate.

Yes, I actually have a plan. It's not even a terribly original plan (I've talked with several friends about this over the years, and this is the current amalgamation of our thoughts.) It would require politicians to actually have backbones installed, so I'm not holding out much hope. First, the President would, by Executive Order, suspend most of the rules that prevent oil companies from building new refineries and suspend any and all ethanol mandates. Then offer the oil companies tax incentives to get the refineries built yesterday. Start drilling in ANWAR. Streamline (IOW severely cut back) the environmental impact statements necessary to start drilling for oil offshore and onland. (Seriously- the Alaska pipeline, according to environmental impact statements, was supposed to kill the caribou. Instead, the caribou herds are growing thanks to the pipeline. EISs are exaggerated at best.) Ditto for the EISs for nuclear power plants. Once we get all of that up and going, then we can talk about researching alternative energy reasonably and not knee-jerk.

But, wait. There's more. One of the reasons in favor of ethanol that Senator Craig cited was that it dropped the gasoline price by $.20. I can do better than that. One little known reason for gasoline prices being as high as they are is the number of blends on the market. Each state (and even some cities) has their own pet standards for what blend can be sold in their area. (This study found at least 45 blends). At certain times of the year, the kind of acceptable blends changes, and refineries need to switch from one set of blends to another set, causing brief spikes in gas prices and occasionally supplies. Here's my plan- The oil companies go to each state legislature and offer a compromise of... let's say 6 blends (3 summer, 3 winter- what gas station offers more than 3 blends, anyway?). They can even tailor the blends to the most demanding standards in the nation (which would make the other 49 states actually have better blends than by their original mandate). By producing only 6 blends instead of the 45+boutique blends, refineries will be able to crank out more product for less cost. (Sure... areas who need to nitpick and meddle will be taken care of by smaller boutique refineries... at a higher cost, of course.)

Did you notice one little detail in the last paragraph? At no time did I say, "the federal government should..." Funny that. Oil companies will make more money this way, and consumers will pay less- it's private sector compromising with state legislatures to get the job done. What a concept... if the state legislatures would climb on board, that is. Come to think of it, except for the tax incentives to jump start the rest of my plan, my plan calls for less government interference, not a government fix.

Which is why it will never happen...

Yom Hashoah

Today, in addition to being the National Day of Prayer, is Holocaust Remembrance Day. For survivors, there is no need for a remembrance day- they relive the horror every day. For those who were not there, however, it is a reminder of what can happen when hatred and bigotry are ignored.


This is the International Memorial at Dachau. From a distance, it looks like a mass of tangled barbed wire. As you get closer, you see that it's not barbed wire, and you're struck silent once again.

We've all seen the pictures. We cringe in horror at the retelling of the evil that happened in the name of a master race. We turn away, because it's just too much to take.

We need to take it in... remember... so that history is not doomed to repeat itself.

Zo Strikes Again

Zo is back with a Jeremiah Wright rant. Language alert is in effect, but I still let my kids listen to it. (h't to Wild Thing)

Black & White on the Grey Matters (Jermiah Wright)

It Had To Be Said

In honor of the communist/illegal immigrant holiday, New Jersey is contemplating the Taco Bell tax.

...huh? It's not Mexican food? My bad...

There are any of a number of sin (Pigovian or sumptuary) taxes out there- cigarettes, alcohol, going to adult entertainment venues... even staying at hotels or going to sporting events. At least New Jersey is being honest about it.
The thought of taxing a Big Mac or a Wendy's burger came up at a New Jersey Hospital Association meeting where Gov. Jon S. Corzine was asked if it could be an option to help fund struggling hospitals. At the meeting, he reportedly called it a "constructive suggestion."
His spokescritter later said there were no plans to tax fast food. uh-huh... I'm just surprised they're not trying to sell it using the tried and true "it's for their own good" argument. Like I said, at least they're being honest about it.

Today In History

We've gone through how many centuries of history, and this is all they came up with?
1707 The Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

1786 Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.

1931 The 102-story Empire State Building in New York City was dedicated.

1941 The Orson Welles film "Citizen Kane" premiered in New York.

1948 The People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was proclaimed.

1952 Mr. Potato Head introduced.

1967 Singer Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas.

1971 Amtrak went into service, combining and streamlining the operations of 18 intercity passenger railroads.

1992 On the third day of the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King appeared in public to appeal for calm, asking "Can we all get along?"

1998 Eldridge Cleaver, the Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died at age 62.

1999 The Mercury space capsule Liberty Bell 7 that Gus Grissom flew in 1961 was found in the Atlantic Ocean 300 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla.

2001 Thomas E. Blanton Jr. became the second ex-Ku Klux Klansman to be convicted in the 1963 bombing of a church in Birmingham, Ala., that claimed the lives of four black girls. (He was later sentenced to life in prison.)

2003 President George W. Bush landed in a jet on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast and, in a speech to the nation, declared major combat in Iraq over.

2007 In only his second veto, President George W. Bush rejected legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq in a showdown with Congress over whether the war should end or escalate.

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