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Friday, September 29, 2006

What Has She Been Smokin'?

Oprah's found a good stash. That's the only explaination for this (yeah, I know there's one link closer... I'm not going to link to her... don't ask) :
Oprah's 16 "Real" Sexiest Men:
1. Cory A. Booker--liberal Newark Mayor and Yale lawyer.
2. Larry Page and Sergey Brin--Google founders.
3. David Gregory
4. Albert Pujols--St. Louis Cardinals First Baseman
5. Barack Obama
6. James Nachtway--photographer of the African AIDS crisis
7. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga
8. Robert Egger--founded D.C. Central Soup Kitchen
9. Dr. Drew Pinsky--host sex radio show, used to host MTV sex show
10. Jeffrey D. Sachs
11. Larry Norton--Breast cancer researcher
12. Johann Olav Koss--Olympic gold medalist who uses sports as tool for kids in third world
13. Michael Arad--Architect designing politically correct Ground Zero Memorial
14. Fareed Zakaria
15. Alton Brown--Food Network chef
16. Patrick J. Fitzgerald
For the record, yes, I did google the ones I didn't know... and, also for the record, there are 2 names that don't belong there- one because he really belongs on a sexiest men list, and the other because he's just too cool to hang with these... metrosexuals. And, no... I'm not going to tell you which two they are.

My, Aren't They a Bit Touchy?

I think that most people agree that the TSA is trying to protect our skies- sometimes they get it right... and some times they're just a little bit off the mark. Case in point:
Frequent traveler Ryan Byrd says he was expressing his frustration at air security rules when he wrote a message to the T-S-A director.
That message got him detained Tuesday when he tried to go through airport security in Milwaukee. He'd written "Kip Hawley is an Idiot" on his plastic bag of toiletries.

A Wisconsin businessman, Bird says "too many of the T-S-A rules are knee-jerk reactions to noncredible threats." A T-S-A spokeswoman says there is no prohibition on writing on bags.
So... Mr. Byrd thinks that the Director of the TSA is an idiot. No problem there. And he wrote that on a baggie. Because he wrote it on a baggie, he was held for 25 minutes at the checkpoint. Evidently, the TSA agents took it as some form of threat. When he asked about his First Amendment rights, he was told that they don't apply in the checkpoint area.

Here's the deal, Mr. TSA agent. People waiting in line can't yell "Fire!" They shouldn't make jokes about bombs or guns or box cutters. They shouldn't (this one's just my personal opinion) wear clothes with offensive slogans, or put stickers, etc. on their luggage with offensive sayings on it (like I said... just my opinion on that one). Last time I checked, calling someone a jerk (either verbally or in written form) doesn't break any of your precious rules. Some people don't like your boss... get over it.

Domestic Tranquility

In case you were wondering... 1am is NOT the proper time to be making a lot of noise (hammering or banging on something) in your back yard. It tends to wake the people up who live around you... and at least one of those neighbors gets just a little cranky if she doesn't get enough sleep.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Doggie Definitions

I found this over at Deborah's:

Dog Definitions

LEASH: A strap which attaches to your collar, enabling you to lead your person where you want him/her to go.

DOG BED: any soft, clean surface, such as the white bedspread in the guest room or the newly upholstered couch in the living room.

DROOL: Is what you do when your persons have food and you don't. To do this properly you must sit as close as you can and look sad and let the drool fall to the floor, or better yet, on their laps.

SNIFF: A social custom to use when you greet other dogs. Place your nose as close as you can to the other dog's rear end and inhale deeply, repeat several times, or until your person makes you stop.

GARBAGE CAN: A container which your neighbors put out once a week totest your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with margarine wrappers to shred, beef bones to consume and moldy crusts of bread.

BICYCLES: Two-wheeled exercise machines, invented for dogs to control body fat. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must hide behind a bush and dash out, bark loudly and run alongside for a few yards; the person then swerves and falls into the bushes, and you prance away.

DEAFNESS: This is a malady which affects dogs when their persons want them in and they want to stay out. Symptoms include staring blankly at the person, then running in the opposite direction, or lying down.

THUNDER: This is a signal that the world is coming to an end. Humans remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes wildly, and following at their heels.

WASTEBASKET: This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes, and old candy wrappers. When you get bored, turn over the basket and strew the papers all over the house until your person comes home.

SOFAS: Are to dogs like napkins are to people. After eating it is polite to run up and down the front of the sofa and wipe your whiskers clean.

BATH: This is a process by which the humans drench the floor, walls and themselves. You can help by shaking vigorously and frequently.

LEAN: Every good dog's response to the command "sit!", especially if your person is dressed for an evening out. Incredibly effective before black-tie events.

BUMP: The best way to get your human's attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea.

GOOSE BUMP: A maneuver to use as a last resort when the Regular Bump doesn't get the attention you require...especially effective when combined with The Sniff. See above.

LOVE: Is a feeling of intense affection, given freely and without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail. If you're lucky, a human will love you in return.

An Itsy Bitsy Oops

Last night, the AP reported that Paul Vance, the man who wrote the song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini," had passed away at the age of 68. The only problem is that the guy who died wasn't Paul Vance.
In a Sept. 26 story about the death of Paul Van Valkenburgh, The Associated Press, relying on information from his wife, erroneously reported that he was co-writer of the 1960 hit song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" under the name Paul Vance.
According to Mrs. Van Valkenburgh, her husband told her that he had written the famous song. The real Mr. Vance, who wrote the song about his (then) eight-year-old daughter, was on Fox & Friends this morning, trying to figure out how the woman never figured it out, considered the number of awards he has received over the years (not to mention the royalties from the use of the song).

I want to make some snide remark about an itsy bitsy fib or something like that, but his family is going through enough right now. Maybe later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

More True Colors Appear

Islam is a "religion of peace" that only wants to co-exist with other religions and peoples, right? At least, that's what people who don't know anything about Islam try to convince everyone. But let's see what your average Muslim "teacher" has to say:
"The pope is the spiritual and religious wing of the Crusader ideology," Abu Saqer said. "He is totally coordinated with Bush. Through this dialogue he hopes to break the lines of unity between Muslims and polarize the Muslim world, which has some partisans who will accept this new dialogue. But true believers know Islam must rule all relations. The only dialogue we will accept is when all other religions agree to convert to Islam."

...In an interview with WND last week, Abu Saqer called for holy war against the pope. He declared the "green flag of Muhammad" would soon be raised over the Vatican.

"We did not need the words of the pope in order to understand that this is a Crusader war against Islam and it is our holy duty to fight all those who support the pope, who follow him and who did not condemn what this small racist had to say," said Abu Saqer.

"The day will soon come when the green flag of La Illah Illah Allah (There is no god but Allah) and Muhammad Rasul Allah (Muhammad is the prophet of Allah) will be raised upon the Vatican and all around the world and on the fortresses of those who want to destroy Islam, because they know that this religion obliges them to face the truth that Islam is Allah's favorite religion. And until they join Islam, hell is their last station," Abu Saqer said.
Well, if he's right, I guess I'm going to hell. I don't think I'd look good in a burkha.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Well, I Survived

So, the neurotomy is over. I'm sleepy. Watch this while I take a nap, ok?

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm Getting Cranky

So... I'm watching the Saints/Falcons game. The Superdome is open for business once again. The pre-game and game commentary has been all about the recovery effort (and/or how horrible the Bush administration has been to the people of New Orleans). Yippee skip.

Yeah, I have problems with the Superdome being rebuild a little over a year after Katrina (with the help of some of the fine, upstanding citizens of NOLA) pretty much destroyed it. Why do I have a problem with it? Well... let's see... let's start with the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana paying the owner of the Saints millions of dollars to keep him from moving his team. Then we can add large chunks of the city are still a mess, but the Dome is shiny and sparkly and new. But, by far, the biggest problem I have with it is who paid for the dang thing. Not the owner of the team (remember, he was PAID to stay) ... not the NFL (well, they pitched in a bit... about 10%)... not the city of NOLA (not like they actually HAVE the money right now)... not the state of Louisiana (though I'm sure they'll tell you otherwise). When all is said and done, FEMA (that would be the Federal Emergency Management Agency) is covering 85% of the $170+ million bill for repairs and IMPROVEMENTS.

You read that right. I said IMPROVEMENTS. Think I'm joking?
The improvements

Besides repairs, improvements and upgrades were made during construction. About $42 million was spent. The most noticeable change for fans will be new scoreboards.

Scoreboard system

Two larger (41% bigger) video boards (27 by 48 feet) in the end zones, with high definition quality.

Four LED ribbon boards, or video halo boards (3 feet, 6 inches by 193 feet).

Four color scoreboards (8 feet by 44 feet) replace a black-and-white system. Located in four corners in the 400 level.


All 38 concession stands and three kitchens modernized with stainless steel.

80% will be open for the first game.

Stadium seats

8,000 club-level seats and 4,000 box suite seats replaced with leatherette seats.

Future renovations (September 2006-August 2007)

Four club lounges, each 19,000 square feet (in design) in each of the four corners.

137 suites remodeled and refurbished.
I couldn't find any reference as to whether or not insurance is picking up any of the tab. Honestly, I'm not sure they should pick up much. Maybe the cost of the roof and the water damage inside caused by the roof leaking. If there was any other external damage, that, too. But all of the internal damage? Nope. The fine citizens of the city of New Orleans caused all of that damage, and they should pay for it. Not the citizens of any other state in the Union.

When the hurricane hit, we donated clothes and food and toiletries to the emergency shelter set up in Austin. I was all about helping the people who were in the middle of a crisis. Then I got a little annoyed when I heard stories about people using their FEMA debit cards for manicures and trips to strip bars and who-knows-what-else. Then I got irked when I heard about people in NOLA blowing their FEMA checks on big-screen tvs and leaving their homes in disrepair (and then whining for more money and more help). In fact, I get peeved every time I hear that the "victims" want more money... more stuff... more everything. I pretty well hit angered when the stories came out about increased crime in the cities who took in the Katrina evacuees (I'm sorry- if you're still there, you're not an evacuee/victim... you're an immigrant.)

That's the problem with a liberal mindset (which is all most of the citizens of New Orleans have ever known). The government (or someone... anyone) takes care of them. They are not responsible for anything on their own. They depend on others for their existence. And the libs (the politicians, the celebrities, the activists) keep telling them that they aren't getting enough... that the country needs to do more for them...

What does all of this have to do with the Superdome opening tonight? Well... that cost $170+ million. How many houses could that have built? How many schools? How many people could that have trained for new jobs and new lives? But, no... it went for sky boxes instead.

A Neuro-what?

Tomorrow afternoon, I will have lumbar radiofrequency neurotomy performed on 3 levels of my lumbar spine. What is that? you ask. That's what I wondered, too.
A radiofrequency neurotomy is a type of injection procedure in which a heat lesion is created on certain nerves with the goal of interrupting the pain signals to the brain, thus eliminating pain.

A medial branch neurotomy affects the nerves carrying pain from the facet joints, and a lateral branch neurotomy affects nerves that carry pain from the sacroiliac joints. These medial or lateral branch nerves do not control any muscles or sensation in the arms or legs so there is no danger of negatively affecting those areas. The medial branch nerves do control small muscles in the neck and mid or low back, but loss of these nerves has not proved harmful.
Are you glad you asked?

Here is a really cool animation of the procedure.

And here's what my week will be like, according to the paperwork:
On the day after the procedure, the patient may cautiously return to regular activities. The neck or back will usually be very sore during the next one to four days. This pain is usually caused by muscle spasms and irritability while the targeted nerves are dying from the heat lesion over the next seven to fourteen days. The physician may give medicine to the patient to treat the expected soreness, and the physician may also instruct the patient on how to apply ice (or heat or warm towels) to the sore area to alleviate discomfort. Patients usually will want to rest for several days before returning to normal activities.

If pain relief is going to occur, full pain relief will typically not be experienced until about two to three weeks after the procedure when the nerves have completely died. On occasion, the back or neck may feel odd or slightly weak for several weeks after the procedure.

The nerves will eventually grow back (regenerate), but the patient’s pain may or may not recur. If the pain does recur, a second neurotomy can be performed, and similar results will usually be achieved. Some patients will not have a recurrence of pain.
Needless to say, posting may be pretty light the next few days. Or I might feel perfectly fine. You never know.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Did Typhoid Get OBL?

A fwench newspaper is reporting that Osama bin Laden has assumed cave temperature, thanks to a run in with typhoid fever.
A French regional newspaper quoted a French secret service report on Saturday as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.

..."According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead," the document said.

"The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al Qaeda was a victim while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, of a very serious case of typhoid which led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs."

The report, which was stamped with a "confidential defense" label and the initials of the French secret service, said Saudi Arabia first heard the information on September 4 and that it was waiting for more details before making an official announcement.
Well, drat. It's not that I'm not happy about the prospects of this story. I was just hoping he'd meet a more... Special Forces type ending. But, I guess, in this way, it's harder to make him out to be a martyr. Not that they won't try...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Well, Duh!

Last week, scientists let us know that the arctic ice cap (sea ice) is melting, thus "proving" that global warming is alive and well and out to destroy the planet (thanks to us and the evil SUV, of course). Well, I just heard an interesting interview with a researcher that gave me a true "well, duh!" moment.

Robert Felix pointed out that the sea ice is already floating. "So what?" you ask. Well, think about it. When you have a glass of ice water, and the ice melts, does the glass overflow? Do you suddenly have more water (a higher mass) than when you started? Of course not. The volume remains the constant, even though the state changes.

Then again, Mr. Felix thinks that we're on the verge of an ice age (and no, it's not our fault... it's a cycle...). And I think I'm ok with that. I miss snow down here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Didn't Know It Was a Liberal Stronghold

(I found this at AoS, who got it e-mailed from someone, and there's more info at HotAir.) Evidently, the fine people of the great state of Arizona are a bunch of barking raving moonbats. (Well, at least the boneheads who designed and paid for this monument... a supposed "memorial" to the victims of 9/11). Last time I checked, a memorial to victims of a vicious attack on innocent civilians shouldn't have conspiracy and blame etched all over it.

Yeah... I know... I shouldn't be surprised when liberals act like liberals. I'm not. But that doesn't mean that their idiocy doesn't anger me... more than just a bit.

As If You Needed Another Reason...

Here's reason #2343971 why the Democrats should never be allowed to be in charge of anything... ever again.
Rangel's accession to the chairmanship of the committee would likely end six years of tax cuts by the Republican- controlled Congress. He said he ``cannot think of one'' of President George W. Bush's first-term tax cuts that merit renewal.
Uh... um... then how does he explain this?
US corporate tax receipts hit another record high in the third quarter, reflecting the strength of the US economy and the positive effects of President George W. Bush's tax policies, the Treasury Department announced on Monday.

According to a statement by Treasury Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Randal K. Quarles, corporate tax receipts on Friday's quarterly payment date again reached a record high, with gross receipts on that day the highest ever recorded in a single day in US history, at $85.5 billion. This is 20% higher than receipts on the same quarterly tax payment date last year.
The same article points out that this year's deficit is $111 billion less than projected. (ok... no one is happy with deficit spending, but we're at war. It happens.)

The problem is that Democrats will always believe that they know how to spend our money better than we, the citizens of the United States, do. But, as the tax receipts show, they're wrong. As usual.

To Honor Our Heroes

I combined two chain e-mails to come up with the following tribute. (I did minor edits to remove the obvious "keep the chain going" stuff.) I can't give credit to anyone for either the photos or the poem- I have no idea who put the originals together. All I can do is say "thank you"- both to the authors/creators of the pieces, to those who sent me the e-mails, and to our brave men and women who put it all on the line for us each and every day.

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Your alarm goes off, you hit the snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes.
He stays up for days on end.
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You take a warm shower to help you wake up.
He goes days or weeks without running water.
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You complain of a "headache", and call in sick.
He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward.
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You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends.
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt.
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You make sure you're cell phone is in your pocket.
He clutches the cross hanging on his chain next to his dog tags.
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You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you.
He knows he may not see some of his buddies again.
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You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls.
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists.
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You complain about how hot it is.
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow.
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You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong.
He doesn't get to eat today.
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Your maid makes your bed and washes your clothes.
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean.
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You go to the mall and get your hair redone.
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today.
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You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over.
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months.
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You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight.
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home.
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You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday.
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume.
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You roll your eyes as a baby cries.
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet.
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You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything.
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting.
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You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him.
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded.
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You see only what the media wants you to see.
He sees the broken bodies lying around him.
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You are asked to go to the store by your parents. You don't.
He does exactly what he is told.
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You stay at home and watch TV.
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep, and eat.
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You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable.
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be woken by gunfire.
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You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him.
If only there were more men like him!
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Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American G. I.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Heightened Alerts in Europe

I found this at Strange Cosmos:
Heightened Terrorist Alerts in Europe

The British have reacted to the recent terrorism alerts by raising their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved."

Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." Londoners have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940, when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been recategorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level, was during the great fire of London in 1666.

Also, the French Government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Surrender" and "Collaborate." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

It's not only the English and French that are on a heightened level of alert.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday, as is customary, and the only threat they are really worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels, which might cause their entire economy to collapse.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

True Friendship

I got this from Caltech Girl (but I edited it, just a little):
Are you tired of those sissy "friendship" poems that always sound good, but never actually come close to reality? Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true friendship:

1. When you are sad -- I will help you get drunk and plot revenge against the sorry jerk who made you sad.

2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile -- I will know why.

4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every chance I get.

5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining.

6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.

7. When you are sick -- Stay away from me until you are well again - I don't want whatever you have.

8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at you.

9. This is my oath..... I pledge it to the end. "Why?" you may ask; "because you are my friend".

Send this to 10 of your closest friends, then get depressed because you can only think of 4.

Remember.......A good friend will help you move.....a REALLY good friend will help you move a body....... let me know if you ever need me to bring a shovel.

Friendship is like wetting your pants, everyone can see it, but only you can feel the true warmth!

Somebody Hit a Nerve?

The other day, B16 quoted a Byzantine emperor who thought that Islam was inhumane and evil. He has also made some comments about "the darkness of barbarism" that is islamofascism.

And how does the Muslim community respond to these accusations? Do they condemn the comments and offer to discuss this with civil discourse and debate? (ok... a few did... sort of) Did they explain that Islam is just misunderstood, and they really didn't spread their faith by the sword. (ok... a talking head did try to do that on O'Reilly... but let's not forget that lying to infidels is not only tolerated but encouraged in the Koran.) What did they do? They bombed three churches. Yup... that was the civil way to handle it.

What makes their response so... morbidly humorous... is that only one of those churches was a Roman Catholic church. Evidently, ostracizing other Christian denominations is the way to win friends and influence strangers.

Good luck with that. Really.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Rules

found at Strange Cosmos:
Rules For Entering Texas (or leaving the Blue Island of Travis County -B)

Pull your droopy pants up. You look like an idiot.

Let's get this straight. We have one stoplight in town. We stop when it's red. We may even stop when it's yellow.

It's called a 'gravel road'. I drive a pickup truck because I need to.

No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.

They are pigs, cattle, and oil wells. That's what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-40 and I-10 go east and west, I-35 goes north and south. Pick one.

So you have a sixty-thousand dollar car. We're real impressed. We have quarter-million dollar cotton strippers that we drive three weeks a year.

So every person in every pickup waves. It's called being friendly. Try to understand the concept.

Trucks are made to get dirty. Don't bring your Eddie Bauer Limited Edition to my hunting camp and expect to leave clean on Sunday. It won'thappen.

We all started hunting and fishing when we were nine years old. Yeah, well if that cell phone rings while a bunch of doves are coming in,we Will shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.

Go ahead and bring your $800 Orvis Fly Rod. Don't cry to us if a flathead breaks it off at the handle.

We have a name for that little 13-inch trout you fish for---bait.

Yeah, we eat catfish, carp, and crawdads. You really want sushi and caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.

The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.

Any references to "corn fed" when talking about our women will get you jack-slapped, by our women.

Our women hunt, fish, and drive trucks - because they want to.

Our women are some of the best looking in the country.We open doors for women. That applies to everyone regardless of age.

No, there's no "Vegetarian Special" on the menu. Order steak. Order it rare. Or, you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham and turkey.

When we fill out a table there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables,and breads. We use three spices- salt, pepper, and Tabasco Sauce.

You bring "Coke" into my house it better be brown, wet, served over ice, and plenty of it. You bring "Mary Jane" to my house she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.

Yeah, we have sweet tea. It comes in a glass with two packets of sugar, some lemon, and a long spoon.

That's right. Whiskey is only two bucks. We can buy a fifth for what you paid for that shot in the airport at New York, Boston, Chicago, or L.A.

High School Football is as important here as the Lakers and the Knicks, and a dang site more fun to watch.

Yeah, we have golf courses. Don't hit in the water hazards - it spooks the fish.

Colleges? Try Texas A&M. They come out of there with an educationand a love for God and country, and they still wave at passing pickups when they come home for the holidays.

We have more Navy, Army, Marines, and Air Force than any other state, so, "Don't Mess With Texas". If you do it will get your butt kicked by the best!

Our Military is only used as a back up. Per capita, each man, woman, and child owns at least two firearms and has taken a NRA Certified Shooter Education Course.

Also, remember what Governor Sam Houston once said, "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas.

News of the Weird

Not all of these pieces are weird... but they did all catch my eye.
  • A lot of people would be VERY happy if they'd figure out how to do this to fire ants.
  • Kind of like "Wife Swap"... except it's kidneys. (VERY cool story)
  • uh... this is an interesting approach to evangelism... I guess...
  • Making the world a little safer for the yet-to-be-born...
  • um... oops?
  • Kinky would legalize the funny stuff if he's elected governor of Texas. (Good luck with that, Kinkster.)
  • dang... if he was hungry, he could have just hit the McDonalds just over the border...
  • This guy definitely got lost on his way to seminary. ("Jesus would be Muslim"? I don't think so, buddy. Not a chance.)
  • woohoo! The Swift Boat punching bag is back for another round... bring it on, Lurch.
  • Poisoning Pigeons In The... Bank?
  • Ma "Silver Spoon" Richards has passed away. (and that's all I'm going to say about that)
  • So much for relying on the kindness of strangers.
  • Here, Piggy-Piggy. Here, Piggy.
  • Here Comes The... Goat? (She really did make a... lovely bride... beard and all)
  • They should have been recalled for looking goofy.
  • I guess I can't make the boys eat their spinach now... drat.

A Pleasant Surprise

Just when you think that the NCAA couldn't do a compassionate or generous (or logical, for that matter) thing, they surprise you.
Clemson staff will be able to provide assistance to a freshman football player who is taking care of his little brother, the school said Monday.

Ray Ray McElrathbey, 19, has temporary custody of his 11-year-old brother, Fahmarr, because of his mother's continuing drug problems and his father's gambling addiction. The two brothers have moved from foster homes to sharing an apartment by the campus.

The school had asked the NCAA for a waiver of its rule prohibiting athletes from obtaining gifts, cash or other benefits not available to the general student population.
To me, this is just an amazing story. Ray Ray wasn't just given custody of his little brother. He had to fight for it. And fight he did. And this story might just end in as happy of an ending as possible under the circumstances.

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I applaud Ray Ray for his willingness to step up and be the kind of parent for his brother that neither of his parents would ever try to be. And major props to the Clemson staff, players, and Ray Ray's friends who are willing to do what they can to see that the McElrathbey boys succeed.

And, yeah... major applause to the NCAA for pretending to be a caring organization, even for just a moment.

Puff, The Magic Planet

Hey, don't blame me. I'm not the one who called it "puffy."
A newly discovered planet has one-quarter the density of water and would float if placed in a bathtub large enough to hold it.

"It's lighter than a ball of cork," said study team leader Gaspar Bakos of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).

Called HAT-P-1, the planet is about half as massive as Jupiter but about 1.76 times wider—or 24 percent larger than predicted by theory.

... HAT-P-1 is not the first low-density planet found outside our solar system, but it is the largest. HD 209458b, the first transit planet ever discovered, is also swollen and about 20 percent larger than theory predicts.

...It's still unclear what's puffing the planets up. Additional heat must seep into the planets' interiors to cause the swelling, but scientists don't know how this is happening. Simple solar heating by a star would not work, scientists say, or else all hot-Jupiter's would be expanded, not just two.
So... it's being super-heated from the inside... kind of like popcorn... without the explosion.

Hey... you know... there could be a perfectly rational explanation for the puffy planets. I'm thinking a galactic Tex-Mex... or a really big pot of ham and beans.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Purse Meme

RightGirl tagged the Cotillion with the "What's in your purse?" meme. Well, this will be quick.
Boring, eh?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Following the Rules

I think everyone agrees that kids should follow the rules at school, right? If the handbook says no chewing gum, then toss the Bubble Yum in the trash. If the handbook says no music players or cell phones in the classroom, too bad, gang. And, if there's a dress code, by all means you should follow it.

But what if wearing something patriotic was against the dress code? Would that change your opinion?
Ben Lewandowski says he was only trying to be patriotic when he wore a homemade T-shirt featuring an American flag bumper sticker and the words "Remember 9/11" to Lincoln Park High School on Monday.

...Lincoln Park Schools Superintendent Randall Kite said the high school held a moment of silence Monday to give students an outlet to show their patriotism. He said some students had asked last week whether they could wear shirts to commemorate the day, and they were told no.

"We didn't think it would be appropriate, because of the dress code, to wear T-shirts with writing," he said Tuesday.

According to the dress code, students are allowed to wear school-sanctioned clothing, such as T-shirts bearing the school's mascot or clothing that supports school organizations.
I love that the kids were trying to be patriotic (although, there's a part of me that thinks they were just trying to stretch the dress code to the limit.) But the rules are the rules. "No shirts with writing or drawings" means just that. Unless it's a pic of the school mascot with the words "Lincoln Park High Athletic Department" on it, it's not to be worn at school.

I guess it's easier for me. I spent twelve years in Catholic schools. We had uniforms from 1st through 8th grades, and then uniforms or a strict dress code in high school. We had about 5 days a year that were non-uniform days (and those were goofy Spirit week days, where you had to dress with a certain theme). For me, this is a no-brainer.

In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I wish public schools had stricter dress codes. There would be nothing wrong with requiring collared shirts and khakis, would there? (Yeah, I know... this coming from the woman who lives in jeans and t-shirts... ) Kids are in school to learn, not to be fashion plates. Honestly, some of the things I see the kids (well, the girls) wear in middle school terrify me, even though I know I shouldn't be surprised.

The schools are trying to crack down on the dress code problems, but you can only do so much. Kids will stretch the rules- that's what they do. But there is no reason for the girls to go around looking like Brittany-wanna-bes and the guys walking around holding on the waistband of their jeans because they're 5 sizes too big so that everyone can see whether or not they're wearing clean undies. Clean, tidy, neat... is that too much to ask for?

So... to the kids of Lincoln Park High... Old Navy makes some really nice solid color t-shirts. Take the hint.

Well, This Is Interesting

It's not getting a lot of press in the US, but Pope Benedict XVI (from here on out known as B16) is visiting Germany this week. And he's firing on all cylinders. He is evidently at odds with JPII's view that "Christians, Jews and Muslims have the same God and have to pray together to the same God". He must be, considering some of these statements:
  • He said that violence, embodied in the Muslim idea of "jihad," or holy war, is contrary to reason and God's plan, while the West was so beholden to reason that Islam could not understand it.
  • He began his speech, which ran over half an hour, by quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, Manuel II Paleologus, in a conversation with a "learned Persian" on Christianity and Islam —"and the truth of both."
    "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword by the faith he preached," the pope quoted the emperor, in a speech to 1,500 students and faculty.
  • He went on to say that violent conversion to Islam was contrary to reason and thus "contrary to God's nature."
  • Last year, during his inaugural trip as pope to Cologne, Benedict chastised Muslim community leaders for failing to steer their youths from "the darkness of a new barbarism," and he has asserted the fundamental importance of Europe's Christian history and character.
um... is it wrong of me to say, "Preach on, Il Papa!" ???

Christian One Liners

Mom sent these to me. They sound like the slogans that you'd see on marquees outside of many churches. (Not saying those are bad or anything like that.) Some of them are a little cheesy, but... some days we all need a little cheese.

Don't let your worries get the best of you; remember, Moses started out as a basket case.


Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited until you try to sit in their pews.


Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors.


It is easier to preach ten sermons than it is to live one.


The good Lord didn't create anything without a purpose, but mosquitoes (and fire ants!!! -B) come close.


When you get to your wit's end, you'll find God lives there.


People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church.


Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your front door forever.


Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.


If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has.


God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should you?


Some minds are like concrete thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.


Peace starts with a smile


I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?!


A lot of church members who are singing "Standing on the Promises" are just sitting on the premises.


We were called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges.


Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.


Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.


Don't put a question mark where God put a period.


Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.


Forbidden fruits create many jams.


God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.


God grades on the cross, not the curve.


God loves everyone, but probably prefers "fruits of the spirit" over "religious nuts!"


God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage


He who angers you, controls you!


If God is your Co-pilot - swap seats!



Don't give God instructions -- just report for duty!


The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.


The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.


We don't change the message, the message changes us.


You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to..........discourage him.


The best mathematical equation I have ever seen: 1 + cross + 3 nails= 4 given.

Michelle's Pledge

On this year's anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country, Michelle Malkin made a pledge- one that I like. That pledge:

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In case you're a little rusty on your Arabic, that means "I will not submit." As opposed to the Arabic word "Islam"... which means "to submit". Get the idea?

Well... in case anyone was wondering... my birthday is coming up... and a t-shirt (XL... black or grey) is always a nice gift... just sayin' is all... Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Let Me See If I Got This Right

Coalition forces can't bomb a group of almost 200 big-wig Taliban goons because they're attending a funeral at a cemetary (that would violate the rules of engagement) ...

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... but they can bomb the funeral of a member of the Afghan government?

Did I get that right?

Yeah, I know... we need to be better than them. Blah... blah... blah... War is ugly. And, in case no one has been paying attention, this is a war.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Patriot Day

Patriot Day, 2006
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

On the fifth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, we recall the fire and horror at the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. America will always remember the thousands of innocent lives taken by the enemies of freedom that morning.

In the face of these unspeakable attacks, we were reminded that the great strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of our citizens. We witnessed firefighters, police officers, other public safety officials, and ordinary Americans demonstrate extraordinary courage, risking their lives to save innocent victims. We saw our country united in compassion as Americans came together to provide relief and bring hope to others.

Today, America is fighting a war that is testing our Nation's resolve. We are once again answering history's call with confidence, and we know that freedom will prevail. Our brave men and women in uniform have stepped forward to fight our enemies abroad so that we do not have to face them here at home, and we are grateful for the courageous individuals bringing terrorists to justice around the world.

We are also confronting the extremists in the great ideological struggle of the 21st century. September the 11th made clear that, in the long run, the only way to secure our Nation is to advance liberty and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism. By working together with our friends and allies, we are helping spread the blessings of freedom and laying the foundations of peace for generations to come.

The events of September 11, 2001, will always be a defining moment in our history. We hold the victims and their families in our hearts, and we lift them up in our prayers.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2006, as Patriot Day. I call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff on Patriot Day. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and remembrance services, to display the flag at half staff from their homes on that day, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent Americans and people from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.


Joseph A. Lenihan

How do you honor someone you know so little about? How do you get past a few words in a newspaper to pay tribute to a man who was so much more than what he will always be known for- being one of the 2,996. Many people have found a wealth of information about their 2,996 person, but there's just not all that much out there about Joe. But I will do the best I can.

Joseph A. Lenihan was an executive vice president for Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, Inc., and was in the World Trade Center South Tower on the morning of Sept 11, 2001.

That's what many of the sites say about Joe. Some may mention that he was married, or that he had three children. Still doesn't tell you much, does it? He and his family lived in Cos Cob, Connecticut. He was well-respected in the financial community. He was honored by Irish American Magazine as one of their "Wall Street 50" just before his death. He was a member of the Veterans Appreciation Council and St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Riverside, Connecticut.

What struck me as I read about Joe was his sense of humor. So many people mentioned his humor in the comments and tributes they left. His brother mentioned it. So did his cousin. He loved cracking jokes. He enjoyed doing impersonations of people that he met. He was full of life.

Like I said, he was married. Joe and Ingrid had been married 13 years. One of his friends joked that they were often late for the train back to Greenwich because Joe had stopped to buy flowers for his wife. That tells me something about him, you know? He had 2 daughters and a son. His girls are 15 and 13 now, a rough time to be without a father. His son, Joseph, was a year old when the Towers fell. He never really got a chance to know his dad.

The more I think about Joe, the more I think that his name is perfect. He was a Regular Joe. He lived a good life, had a good family, worked hard, and kept a sense of humor about him. That's about all any of us Regular Joes and Josephines can hope for.

The only difference is that his family has to live without their Regular Joe.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Lenihan family and the rest of the 2,996 families today.

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