May 31, 2005

Yet More Random Thoughts, This Time Collected Throughout the Afternoon and Then Compiled and Entered As Something of an End-of-the-Day Diversion

-- Found out that the summer school Health class Oldest will be taking is a self-directed course, involving no class time, but rather a series of research papers to be handed in at regular intervals, meaning a) it can be taken concurrently with Driver’s Ed., instead of taking one then the other, and b) the potential for NOT completing the Health class assignments has now risen logarithmically. Maybe her close proximity to the library during the day will offer her incentive to do her work. Please, do not destroy my child-like trust by reminding me of uncomfortable things such as past assignments left undone.

-- So, Paris is getting hitched. To some rich kid named Paris. Well.

I’m sure that’ll work out just fine.

-- It has rained intermittently here for the past several days, and I don’t know how people in the Northwest can stand it like this all the bleeding time. I think I’d start seeing Sasquatches, too. (Which actually isn’t some sort of creature, but just some slow guy who got covered up with algae.)

-- Someone needs to explain to me the purpose of the broiler pan. You know, the one that comes with your oven. Actually, what I’m REALLY looking for is an explanation of Reba’s intense fascination with using this thing. I have no idea why she likes it so much, because every time--and I mean EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. SHE TOUCHES THE BROILER PAN--she smokes up the entire house with it.

Sunday we had a dinner and then our evening service right afterwards, so we were free the rest of the afternoon. I got into my loungewear (after we got home) and puttered around a bit and finally took to my bed for some sleep, while Reba and Rebecca went to Target to look for some big plastic storage boxes for a certain set of two girls’ toys. Unbeknownst to me, this trip included buying YET MORE foodstuffs, because Rebecca told her Mommy that the one thing she has been craving for weeks is a hamburger cooked on the grille by her Daddy.

When they got home, they found that Rebecca’s daddy was asleep, and not only that, it was raining outside. Not that precipitation has ever caused me to be excused from grilling duties, but Reba seemed not to want to wake me up. That was until I was drifting in a fitful slumber and was jolted awake by the rapid EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP of the smoke alarm. ::sigh:: I roused myself up and went downstairs, which had a fine blue haze floating along the ceiling like an Amsterdam strip club. Windows were being flung up, back door being swung nearly off its hinges by Tiny Terror, din of the EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP still going. ::sigh:: Why?

Of course, I dast not ask the question out loud, because there was a certain child’s mommy who was on the defensive, and I know better than to mess with her when she’s like that. “I…” “I’m SORRY I woke YOU UP. I was JUST trying to COOK some SUPPER around HERE and this thing is making SMOKE ALL OVER THE PLACE and I was JUST trying to COOK something everyone would EAT for once…”

Hey, slow down--no one said anything.

Which is again something I said ONLY in my head.

I quietly went and opened the door to the garage (where the EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP was also going on, even through a closed door) and opened up the garage door. In a minute, the noise stopped and I got the low-down on why we were conducting the test of the alarm system. Namely, that no one had wanted to disturb me because I was asleep.

I did quietly say that if she was upset with all the smoke, maybe she could have cooked them in the skillet. “NO! THAT’S FRYING THEM, AND SHE WANTED THEM GRILLED! and BROILING IS AS CLOSE TO GRILLING AS I CAN DO!” I figured I wouldn’t suggest anything like turning the temperature on the oven down to something lower than the flash point of animal fat. That would probably not be real broiling or something.

Anyway, this process of meat, oven, smoke EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP EEEEP continued until the entire package of ground beef had been appropriately incinerated.

A nice supper with broiled hamburger, work with beloved wife to clear the dishes, get the kids upstairs, load the dishwasher, and…hmm. Look, in addition to the mess left on the stove, there’s a greasy broiler pan. Obviously, for ME to clean. Another habit--not only is the broiler used on a semi-regular basis to fumigate our domicile, it always seems to happen that I get stuck with cleaning it.

It might be that one day that broiler pan mysteriously goes missing.

-- Now then, to work some more, and then to home.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:08 PM | Comments (4)

Random Thoughts Collected Throughout the Morning and Then Compiled and Entered As Something of a Noonday Diversion

-- Yesterday when the kids were in the floor playing on the PlayStation, some sort of “conversation” got started, and somehow the word “blog” came up. Ashley, being that she knows every single thing in the world and will let you know it with the most condescendingly smarmy tone of voice possible, turned from her controller and asked Catherine: [dripping sarcasm] “Do YOU even know what a blog is?”

“No, what is it?” said Catherine, genuinely interested in what was to come.

I perked up--slightly (I was, after all, supposed to be comatose on the couch) and I wondered what the definition would be. I was expecting a long drawn out exposition as is usually the way of Oldest, in which she reinforces herself as the Fount of All Knowledge.

Oldest paused, having been caught without actual firsthand understanding of what she was spouting off about, “Uh, well, it’s a computer thing. You wouldn’t understand.”

I smiled and went back to sleep.

-- I ordered one of these for the Volvo last week, and it should be here soon, which means I will get to tear into the instrument panel! YAY ME! Thankfully, this being the Internets and all, there was bound to be someone with a similar broken odometer gear who was kind enough to photograph everything, write a relatively clear set of instructions, and post it for all the world to see. Boy, I like the Internet! It really is a boon for anyone who needs to fix something, whether it’s a car or a house or a cat. Well, maybe not a cat.

Next, I really want to get the windshield replaced. That crack’s making me feel bad. (Windshield crack--not the other kind that you smoke.) But that requires me to pay money for someone else to do it, and I’d rather not do that. But I ALSO would rather not attempt a windshield replacement by myself, so I suppose I’ll just have to pony up the money for it. Sometime. Speaking of which, as I mentioned earlier, I spent a happy few moments one day this weekend going through the parts catalog and making a check mark by all the cool stuff I want to get later on. You know, when I have money. ::sigh::

-- LUNCHTIME! Spent running back and forth to various financial institutions to drop off orders for checks and to make payments on sundry instruments of indebtedness. But I got to drive the Volvo today, so it’s funtime no matter if it does require grabbing something from a fast food place. Milo's. Mmmm.

-- The only way I will eat ramen noodles is when they’re crushed up into Chinese coleslaw. Too many memories of college otherwise.

-- OH! Hey, school’s out! It was actually out LAST week, and Oldest has already had two whole volunteer days at the library. AND SHE LIKED IT! Hallelujah. She and mom have gone today to go register for summer school. Not because she did bad--she did right well for herself in the final grade count--but to register for stuff she doesn’t want to have to take in regular school. Health and Driver’s Ed. Oh, how I wish they were being taught at Hewitt, but for some reason, they’re both being taught at Shades Valley, which means imposing on poor Grandmom to ferry her to and fro this summer. I hope Oldest has fun driving down that long series of moguls on the front drive at SVHS--I happen to know the moronguy who laid those out. In fairness, I had to work with what I was given. Trust me, it could have turned out a LOT worse.

--Now then, back to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (16)

I sure wish--

--that I had remembered to email myself the file I had been working on Friday, rather than two files I didn't really need. That way, I could have worked on my stuff yesterday and probably gotten it finished and been able to play all day today with this Internet thing. Instead, I am now behind in my appointed tasks, and I have to get them done. This discombobulation was made even more frustrating due to the fact that this morning I drove right by the laundry without dropping off my clothes, so I had to turn around and go back, and then I finally hit the Interstate and cruised along uneventfully, rueing the fact that I had not e-mailed my work to myself when I remembered that I had INDEED done something similar by using the handy Yahoo! Briefcase feature, which lets you store files online so you can retrieve them later. So, I COULD have done my work at home yesterday, had I only remembered what I had done before I left Friday. And THEN IT OCCURRED TO ME that when I got to work today, I was going to need my handwritten notes. Handwritten notes that sat neatly beside the computer at home. Because that's where I left them when I left this morning. SO, I had to make a hasty exit at the I-20 ramp and go all the way back home and get the notes, THEN come to work, and then try to explain why this crappy post is probably going to be the only thing you see around here today. Which I have just done.

Highlights of the weekend past? Well, grocery shopping on Saturday, which is Reba's idea of us all getting out and doing something together as a family, and which I tend to think of as one of the side rooms off of something around level 3 in Dante's Hell.

Let's see, there was laundry. As always.

Sunday, I watched the Indy 500 only because it was on. Only saw the last few minutes of it, enough to know that CBS's commentary crew must have been retrieved from an asylum. How else to explain the odd phrasing when one of the goobers said something about Danica Patrick getting out into the lead, and trying to maintain it, and saying that whatever she'd done was the thing to really 'turn the trick.' Ahem. MORON! They were full of stupid crap like that--and I just saw the last few minutes of the race!--and I'm so full of disdain for them I don't even want to go to the CBS website and find out who these eeediots were. Oh, and by the way, nice comments from David Letterman, who was very gracious. I realize it was his off day, but dude--shave, okay? You look like Snuffy Smith with that stubble.

Also watched the Coco-ler Six Hunnert. I'm getting tired of all the theatrics. Run the race, guys. There has always been a certain amount of bumpin' and rubbin' in NASCAR, but it was held in check by the fact that budgets were small time, and if you broke too much stuff, you were out of business. The big time has meant a lot more folks watching, which is good, but the sport is awash in money, which leads to a wastefulness that's not very pleasant. All the smoky victory burnouts and tearing up the infield and such, and the rise in deliberately collisions, I just don't think it's good for the sport in the long run. If I wanted to see the demolition derby, we've got plenty of bullrings around here to see that kind of thing. Run the race, run it clean, and if you win, act like you've been in victory circle before.

Yesterday? Rain. I had intended to cut grass, but it was soggy, so we hibernated and I watched the kids play PlayStation 2 all day. And alternately perused the Volvo parts catalog and snored on the couch. And I got Rebecca to do a bit of learning to type on the computer. And did some cleaning up after a certain wife of mine who isn't quite the neatest cook in the world.

SO. That's the abbreviated version of the weekend. Now I have to do my paying work, or risk ceasing to receive pay.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:43 AM | Comments (8)

May 27, 2005

Memorial Day.

The weekend is drawing near, and given the day of remembrance to come on Monday, I leave you with this.








At ease.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:54 PM | Comments (4)

Rip van Winkle-san

Japan Says WWII Soldiers in Philipines

Friday that two former Japanese soldiers have been hiding in the mountains of the southern Philippines since World War II.

The health ministry, in charge of repatriating Japanese overseas, said it was sending an official to the southern Philippine city of General Santos on Saturday to join Japanese embassy officials attempting to reach the pair. [...]

Yu Kameoka, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's spokesman, said in Tokyo the two men apparently were reluctant to meet with officials because of the large number of people, including reporters, waiting to see them.

"According to a man who is mediating, the two men are rather worried about meeting with so many people gathered in General Santos, including those from the media," he said, adding no time has been set for a meeting.

Media reports in Japan said the two octogenarians lived on the southern island of Mindanao and used equipment suggesting they were former soldiers, with one report saying they were separated from their division and later wanted to return to Japan but feared they would face a court-martial. [...]

Well, bless their hearts if this is true. That's a long time to live in the woods.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:12 PM | Comments (6)


I wonder where I could find me some spider crab cakes?

UPDATE: Not at Captain D's, that's for sure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:46 AM | Comments (0)

Probably not what was intended.

I was driving home last evening when I saw a woman driving a giant dual cab F-250, and it had a personalized license plate--BEVPKUP. I'm sure she meant that it was Bev's pickup truck, but the first thing I thought of was that she must work in a urology lab.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

I think if I lived anywhere near Port Richey, Florida...

...that I would never again set foot in Fletcher Music Center at Gulfview Square Mall, nor would I ever buy anything from anyone named Scott L. Heyder.

Sorta makes one pine for the olden days, when there was a much more ready supply of hot tar and loose feathers.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (3)

Oh, boy!

The Loud Screaming Guy is back in the park this morning. You know, you really have to be doing something when even the other bums won't come near you.

Might just have to go have a nice screaming chat with him later on today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Many nuclear plants lack backup sirens

I didn't realize they had sirens--I would have figured they would have had one of those beepers like garbage trucks have. And second, who knew they could MOVE, much less back up!? I think it would be pretty cool to drive a nuclear plant around the block.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:09 AM | Comments (5)

Hair today...

Against my better judgement, but undertaken in response to overwhelming reader demand, here are two views of my head.

Excuse the quality--you have to understand I was taking a one-handed photo of my own head while trying to keep the whole process hidden from my family, who would be certain to ask uncomfortable questions, such as, "Why are you taking a picture of your head?"

Left side (i.e., "normal")

and the right side (i.e., "high'n'tight")

Now, my hair is getting gray around the temples, and my sideburns are always a bit hard to see because they're so light, but that bright line around my ear is scalp, not light-colored hair. The gap doesn't show up as well, but it is the slight mid-tonish area directly at 12:00 o'clock above the whitewall area. Note also the prominent glasses frame, which is covered by my hair over on the normal side.

I figure there's not much reason to worry--you rarely see both sides of a person's head at the same time unless you're looking at a Picasso, and once I get the braided extensions put in on the right side, no one will have a second thought about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:57 AM | Comments (22)

May 26, 2005

Let's go home!

Tomorrow is Friday, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)


Constitution foes fear for France's soul

By Tom Hundley
Tribune foreign correspondent
Thu May 26, 9:40 AM ET

Such are the depths of Francois Vincent's disdain for the new European constitution that he recently uttered words that have not passed the lips of many Frenchmen.

"I would rather be an American than a European," said Vincent, 63, who owns a vegetable stall in one of Paris' open-air markets. "At least Americans love their country." [...]

Well, maybe the reporter has just been listening to the wrong Frenchmen. But not to worry--he did later find someone to provide the necessary and required contradiction.

For what it's worth, I'd rather M. Vincent were an American instead of a European, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:39 PM | Comments (2)

Sarah G. is a very bad woman.

How else to explain this. Or this.

I will say that at least my hair looks nice in both shots.

(By the way, do you know how dinosaurs became extinct? They were trying to put something together, and one of them lost the instructions, but they went ahead and tried to put it together anyway, and when they tried to use it, they got electrocuted. Buncha morons.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (3)

Now THAT'S a long time to be nekkid.

Mich. inmates sue over being held naked

Aside from the obvious unintended humor of the headline, there is also this sentence from within the story itself:

[...] The county has acknowledged that it held some inmates naked — including [plaintiff Linda] Rose and all 21 of the other plaintiffs — from 1996 through 2001. [...]

Even Ed. nods, apparently.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (1)

More News from the Train Wreck

New note from jury indicates it's deadlocked

The jury in the Richard Scrushy trial sent a note to the judge this morning indicating it is deadlocked on the conspiracy charge against the HealthSouth founder.

The note says: “This question have (sic) been asked, but a simple yes or no to this count will let me know if their (sic) is a need to move on to the other counts. We cannot reach a unanimous decision on Count One Conspiracy.”

The note asks if their decision has to be unanimous and asks for an answer “so we can move on.”

U.S. District Court Judge Karon Bowdre will address the jury this morning.

I believe there's more than one person feeling a bit sic right now.

There's still a lot the jury has to do besides the conspiracy count, but I sense a mistrial coming for some, if not all, of the charges. I think the American jury system is good, and better than the alternative of having "professional" jurors as some have advocated. But, you have to remember there are many folks in this town who respond well to two things: oily demogogues, and walking-around money. And it only takes one person so swayed to lock things up.

I had the same experience when I was on (civil) jury duty a few years back, when there were several folks who were absolutely immune to reason and logic. Just to look at them, you'd think nothing about them was amiss, but once deliberations got started--boy-howdy--the sheer lunacy of their thought process was frightening. It was a wrongful termination suit, and the plaintiff was serving as her own attorney, and although her story was pitiful, there was no evidence the company did anything wrong. In the jury room, one old codger was incensed when this was brought up, and said something to the effect of, "Well, if she was required to have that kind of evidence, then she'd lose!" ::blink::blink:: It was like watching the Witch Scene.

Anyway, I do hope that if any of the charges go to trial again, that whoever the judge is will have the good sense to recuse him or herself if that judge has any ties to the defendant's family, or feels the least bit whiny about taking on a hard case. Although there is some willful ignorance going on in the jury room, there is also some blame for the confusion about the law that has to be spread at the bench as well, and it might have been better had the judge passed the case on to a more experienced gavel.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:04 PM | Comments (3)

Sadly, the increase will be funneled directly into Ted Kennedy--

Senate Bill Would Double Ethanol Use

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)


Dakotasotans dream of Arizona.

I sometimes dream of having a small place around Bon Secour that I visit a couple of times a year, and the rest of the time I spend here. I don't know, maybe I don't have much imagination, but I kinda like not thinking I have to move 1800 miles to be comfortable.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:52 AM | Comments (0)



Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

Skinnydan is a very bad man.

How else to explain this? Really brings out my inner Travis Bickle, don't you think? After seeing this, however, I now know that I made much, MUCH too much out of the tiny gap in my hair, and I should have NEVER complained!

(By the way, did you know that "mohawk" is short for "moronhawk"?)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:24 AM | Comments (9)

What, is it April 1 again!?

How else to explain today's bit of "information" from, in which the idea of sleeping with a bar of soap cures nocturnal leg cramps. The reason for most of my ire is this paragraph:

[...] Slipping a bar of soap into the bed as a leg cramp prevention has been advanced by a number of authorities, both medical and otherwise. Ann Landers has mentioned the soap cure in her column on a number of occasions, with each airing prompting a load of letters from readers thanking her for this information because it worked wonders for them. "They were thrilled and grateful to be liberated from those leg cramps," said Ms. Landers. [...]

ANN LANDERS!? Since WHEN do the Mikkelsons accept Ann Landers as an authority on ANYthing?! (Other than as THE authority at passing along dubious information to a reliably credulous readership.) Vis. this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this. Aww, that's enough--I'm getting tired of wading through all of them.

Anyway, back to the soap thing. A much more reliable way to relieve night-time leg cramps is to send me $100.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (4)

Workplace Zen

In addition to my Practical Feng Shui for Business reading, I also found this helpful toward my goal of finding peace and tranquility in the workplace.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:42 AM | Comments (0)


Texas family finds baby opossum in toilet

By Associated Press
Published May 26, 2005

SAN ANGELO, Texas -- Potty training just became much harder for a West Texas family. A baby opossum was found in the bathroom toilet of Robert and Amy Hamblen's mobile home early Wednesday, when the family was awakened by the sound of splashing water.

Robert Hamblen said he used a toilet brush to coax the animal from the bowl and into a box before releasing it outdoors.

He said he patched a hole in the septic system where he thinks it entered.

Of course, the discovery has hampered the Hamblens' effort to get their daughters -- ages 1 and 2 -- potty trained.

"Having a possum in the bathroom sure hasn't helped," Robert Hamblen said in Thursday's San Angelo Standard-Times.

Aw, come on! It was just a baby possum. If you want toilet-training help, next time find an adult possum.

::full body shiver:: Filthy possums.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

"I Am A Moron" Project SMACKDOWN!

Well, it's come to this, has it. A CHALLENGE. "Begun the Dumb War has," eh?

Apparently so--"peaceful" (heh--as IF!) Lenise over at Paxifist has thrown down the Moron Project gauntlet, putting up this beautiful example of North Carolina engineering prowess against my latest Moron Project.

HAH! And DOUBLE HAH! Everyone KNOWS that you can live in a car, but you can't drive a HOUSE!

Errr, which, I suppose, means Lenise actually WINS this round, seeing as how a house is so much more useless than a car. (At least in Moronthink.) But that's the thing--does the winner in this contest actually WIN, or is it like being "it" when you play Tag? I don't know. Why? Because I am a moron.

ANYWAY, in lieu of the vacationing Thursday Three, and since Lenise seems to enjoy a challenge, is there ANYONE ELSE who wishes to raise the bar even higher, with a Moron Project even more moronic or projectile than hers?

If so, I suggest flooding her with all sorts of e-mails and comments.

UPDATE: Apparently, this whole "Old Car as Moron Project" thing is catching on--now Kim's jumping into the pond, and with what else? A Mercedes fixation! Hat tip to famous NASA scientist and Director of Possumblog Space Enterprises, Steevil, who has his own floating moron project going (i.e. a boat), and notes that he did have something like this, which he sold after buying the boat. Steevil also says that if his wife ever sees a yellow Mercedes convertible with matching hubcaps, though, it would probably be the start of a his-n-hers moron project.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:24 AM | Comments (19)

May 25, 2005

I just had another one.

And let me tell you this, my friends--two two-hour meetings in one day is two two-hour meetings too many.

I'm shot for the day. Come back tomorrow, and we'll see if my gray matter has re-congealed enough to be able to provide you all of the fun and entertainment value for which you visit Possumblog.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:44 PM | Comments (2)

From the Required Safety Rules

More great literary stylings from the General Safety Rules Governing Normal (Non-Emergency) Operations--

8.18. Keep drawers tidy to avoid punctures from scissors or other hazards that may be hidden under a pile of paper.

Obviously, something written in response to that whole Sandy Berger incident from a while back.

Anyway, this is just a good common-sense rule--just remember how your mom always told you to wear clean underwear.

And then, there's this:

8.19 Keep razor blades, thumbtacks, and other sharp objects in a closed drawer.

No word on how to get them out.

Finally, from Chapter 17 Chain Saw Safety:

17.4 Do not handle or operate a chain saw when you are fatigued, ill, or upset; or if you have taken alcohol, drugs, or medication.

Man, I tell you what, they've taken all the fun out of everything.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)

The Wit of Churchill

I told you we'd be having regular doses of this! From page 8, and apropos to all the mewling for Senatorial comity lately:

Mr. Churchill was once asked in the House of Commons about the importance of consultation with his political allies and foes. This was his reply:

Well, one can always consult a man and ask him, "Would you like your head cut off tomorrow?" and after he has said, "I would rather not," cut it off.

And one suitable for any former Klansman who might reach high office:

This conversation took place in the House of Commons in November, 1947.

Sir Winston: Mr Herbert Morrison is a master craftsman.

Mr. Morrison: The right honorable gentleman has promoted me.

Sir Winston: Craft is common both to skill and deceit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)

You know what else is bothering me?

My hair. Or lack thereof.

I had gotten to the point yesterday where I felt like I was wearing a sheep on my head because it (that being, my hair) had gotten so unruly and wooly, growing to near Spector-esque proportions, especially back there in the back above my collar.

So, I called and made sure my most favorite young fleshy stylist girl was working yesterday at HeadStart, and after verifying this information, and after going home last night and eating supper, and then gathering the whole family up again so that we could all travel to the lovely strip mall so I could be shorn and Reba could go buy somebody some sort of baby shower gift, I went in and had a seat to wait on Miss Alicia.

Luckily, the wait was very short, and I was greeted with her usual warm smile and round-as-a-puppy cuteness as she sat me down. "Shorter all over and up off the neck and ears?" But of course!

She sat in to clipping and scissoring and chatting. Turned out she'd been there since 8 that morning, and had another hour to go until 8 that afternoon before quitting time. That's a lot of hair-cutting.

Anyway, she continued to have her way with my follicles, and after what seemed like a VERY short time, I was ready to go again. She dusted me off and I vigorously slapped at my scalp to get the rest of the fur clippings off, ran a brush through the remainders, paid my money, paid her a well-deserved (so I though) tip, and left to go find the rest of the crew.

Fast-forward to this morning, when I am trying to get ready for my early meeting. Shower, wash bits of hair, dry off, go to comb hair, annnnnnd--


Over my right ear, a nice big whitewall with a lumpy gap right in the center. The left side? Lower. Not only did I have a wide irregular hunk of scalp showing, IT WAS ONLY LIKE THAT ON ONE SIDE! I could almost have been more happier if it was equally gappy on both sides.


I found that I can sorta hide it by combing it straight down and swirling it forwards slightly in a Trumpian way (except imagine Trump with short hair), and I can kinda pat the other side down some so it approximates the right thickness, but I still know it's there, and to make matters worse, it was done by my favorite young fleshy stylist girl!

Do I go back and tell her to fix it?!

Do I just never go back?!

Nah. It'll grow back. I'll just be sure to tell her next time to be more careful.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:20 PM | Comments (15)

You know what this world needs!?


Best wishes to the Schrancks!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:47 PM | Comments (3)

I have reached the conclusion...

...that it is an extraordinarily bad idea to have to work for a living.

I believe the best course is to be independently wealthy and idle your days away on a beach somewhere, because if you work for a living, you are bound to have those times when there is someone in charge who acts in such a way that is contrary to all reason or logic, and even though it might not directly have an impact on you, you still regret the impact such irreason and illogic has on others; BUT, you can't really say too much about that person's ineptitude, because if you do, you could wind up as the target of a similar treatment. And that would be bad.

So. Now then.

I see several avenues to reach the state of being independently wealthy. I can inherit millions from someone. This will have to be someone unrelated to me, because no one I am related to has millions of dollars. I can invent something that no one can do without, but ever since that debacle with the Kerosene-Powered Can OpenerTM, I haven't had any other really good ideas. I could win the lottery, which would require me to gamble, which morally I have a problem with, but if someone GAVE me a winning lottery ticket, I figure I wouldn't be nearly so put off. So that's an option. Let's see, what else? OH, I could get a job--but only the sort of one that requires me to be independently wealthy and unproductive, and where I do not have any supervision to see that I am performing my non-tasks properly.

Or, maybe I just need to sit in the park for a while and talk to the squirrels and pigeons.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:25 AM | Comments (16)

May 24, 2005


Stupid work to do. Early meeting, with added agitation. ::sigh::

See you later than usual--please help yourself to some of the sandwiches in the refrigerator.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:08 PM | Comments (9)

From the Mail Bag--

A package, looking for all the world as though it had been trompled by wildebeests, from that great American Dr. James Smith, who sends along a CD-R that promises lots of hot Episcopalian acolyte action (lighting candles and such like), as well as a couple of books.

Now then, I TOLD the estimable doctor of philosphy that his faith in the institution of the Federal postal system was both charmingly naive and naively charming, believing (as I did) that the moment he slipped the material into the hopper that it would be summarily "lost," i.e., that an interested worker betwixt here and North Carolina would take both Practical Feng Shui for Business by Simon Brown AND the 1965 copy of The Churchill Wit (edited by Bill Adler), as said postal employee's very own.

WELL, I was wrong! An admission that both saddens and gladdens me; the former in that it indicates a fallibility I'd rather not acknowledge, the latter due to the fact that I now have new stuff to read! COOL!

The first book, the one about feng shui, Jim was not entirely certain I would appreciate. After all, I place feng shui in the same category as numerology, astrology, figure skating, and Social Security. This is because I do know a bit of Chinese, and know that feng shui (pronounced "fung shway") means "sucker."

BUT, aside from all the hocus-jumbo, the ideas of color, materials, light, composition and spacial order do have a lot to do with making architecture pleasing to its inhabitants. The underlying structure of the practice, devoted to producing harmony and a sense of well-being, is really not so much different from any other artistic endeavor in that all art, whether it's dance, literature, or architecture, has some sort of vocabulary and language. And, being able to read and understand that language can make you feel good.


You just have to remember, though, that art has deep roots in culture, and as such, isn't instantly importable to other places. Meaning, that to walk into a barbecue joint in Brewton and pronounce it unfit for the contemplative peaceful enjoyment of food because the feng shui is ALL WRONG will probably get you a laugh or two, or an escort out the door, or both.

There's nothing mystical about it (unlike hanging up a horseshoe above your door for good luck--because THAT'S REAL!) unless you just HAVE to read that into it, but that doesn't mean there aren't some good, common-sense ideas in it.

NOW, the second book has something of a story that I hope Jim won't mind me repeating--from his e-mail to me:

I finally got the envelope to put your books in and they should be in the mail today. One is a very small volume of sayings by Churchill. I noticed that it was given to my father by my mother. My wife would say don’t send it but I did learn something from my father. I learned that possessions don’t matter—friends do. When you finish it you can either send it back or pass it on to someone who would like it – blogger or not.

The fly is inscribed "Jimmy Smith from M.J."

Stuff like this makes me cry. I promise you that I scolded Jim for wanting to send this to me, and I really was concerned that it would get lost. But, he's rather muley about such things, and so, he was determined. And thankfully, it did get here, which means it will be treasured as only a selfish, Churchill-lovin' book-hog can treasure something. If Jim wants it back, I'll give it to him, but any of the rest of you might have a fight on your hands! Anyway, it's a wonderful little book, and I cannot post this without sharing a couple of zingers.

From page 50:

The human story does not always unfold like a mathematical calculation on the principle that two and two make four. Sometimes in life they make five or minus three; and sometimes the blackboard topples down in the middle of the sum and leaves the class in disorder and the pedagogue with a black eye.

From page 65:

The Prime Minister had been criticized by some members of Parliament for the urbane fashion in which he had written to the Japanese Ambassador to inform him that Britain and Japan were at war. Mr. Churchill replied to this criticism, saying:

After all, when you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite.

And from page 81:

Asked for his reaction to New York City, a young Mr. Churchill is said to have responded with just seven words:

Newpaper too thick, lavatory paper too thin.

And nowadays indistinguishable from each other.

Expect to have more excerpts in the future.

And a very heartfelt thank-you to the professor for such a fine set of gifts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:20 PM | Comments (8)

Turning away.

From Susanna Cornett, a poignant recollection of past happenstances, and the decision that came about from them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:15 PM | Comments (0)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

Or alternatively, a really cool name for an English rock band, or infantry company:

YORKSHIRE LIGHTS. In a mullioned window, a pair of lights, one fixed and the other sliding horizontally.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition.

This being the Internet and all, it's not to hard to find an example of even the most obscure things--so, from our lovely friends at the BBC, a nice site with all sorts of Yorkshirey stuff, including the type of window in question (scroll all the way to the bottom).

UPDATE! An interested commentor, known only as Skinnydan, and not to be confused with Steely Dan, requests further informativeness, thusly: OK, I'll ask. What the heck is a mullioned window, besides a place to hold Yorkshire Lights?

As always, the staff of Possumblog stand ready to grab the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition, from the stack of manuals and books to the left of the editor's keyboard (and underneath the small harmon/kardon speaker), flip to the appropriate entries, and dispense further hearty draughts from the keg of architectural knowledge.

MULLION. A vertical post or other upright dividing a window or other opening into two or more LIGHTS.

LIGHTS. Openings between the MULLIONS of a window.


MUNTIN. The vertical part in the framing of a door, screen, panelling, etc., butting into, or stopped by, the horizontal rails. See figure 41. [Which you are unable to do, since I don't have a scanner, but figure 41. looks almost like this picture. Ed.] In the U.S.A. a glazing bar or MULLION.

You are all very welcome.

And yes, I realize in the illustration the muntin is horizontal and not vertical. In common usage, there really is not distinction anymore between the verticals and horizontals, and at least in the stuff I do, I just call them either horizontal mullions or vertical mullions.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:34 AM | Comments (12)

From that to this.

May 24, 1844

On May 24, 1844, Samuel F. B. Morse dispatched the first telegraphic message over an experimental line from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. The message, taken from the Bible, Numbers 23:23 and recorded on a paper tape, had been suggested to Morse by Annie Ellworth, the young daughter of a friend. [...]

And to this day, blogging is still done in this exact same way.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:29 AM | Comments (13)

Maybe it's just me...

...but this probably isn't the best look to sport in court.

Although I will say Phil looks remarkably like Everyone Loves Raymond co-star Doris Roberts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (14)

Kinda late to start thinking rationally.

Pilot thought jets would shoot him down

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pilot of a plane that was intercepted by the military earlier this month said Tuesday he thought he was going to get "shot out of the sky."

"There was no doubt in my mind," said Hayden L. "Jim" Sheaffer, who also revealed that he was handcuffed and interrogated by federal authorities when he subsequently landed his single-engine Cessna aircraft May 11 in nearby Frederick, Md.

Appearing on NBC's "Today" show with his lawyer, Sheaffer, who has had his pilot's license suspended, held his thumb and index finger about an inch apart to dramatize how close he thought he was to being shot down. [...]

After reading the whole article, I think his thumb-forefinger gesture might also be an indication of the size of his brain.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:03 AM | Comments (0)

A bad idea.

Alabama congressman: HBO comedian's remark "borders on treason"


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An Alabama congressman says comedian Bill Maher's comment that the U.S. military has already recruited all the "low-lying fruit" is possibly treasonous and at least grounds to cancel the HBO show.

Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus takes issue with remarks on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," first aired May 13, in which Maher points out the Army missed its recruiting goal by 42 percent in April.

"More people joined the Michael Jackson fan club," Maher said in giving a comic twist to his commentary. "We've done picked all the low-lying Lynndie England fruit, and now we need warm bodies." Army Pfc. England was accused of abusing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

"I think it borders on treason," Bachus said. "In treason, one definition is to undermine the effort or national security of our country."

In a statement released Monday, Maher defended his support for the American armed forces.

"Anyone who knows anything about my views and has watched my show knows that I have nothing but the highest regard for the men and women serving this country around the world," Maher said in the statement. [...]

"I don't want him prosecuted," Bachus said. "I want him off the air."

Well, the best way to KEEP him on the air is for a Congressman to start spouting off about treason. I cannot fathom why Bachus wouldn't understand that by giving attention to this silly piece of garbage, he is having the exact opposite effect than what he intended. Maher now gets resurrected from obscurity--an obscurity of his own making due to his own shocking ignorance and glib pseudointellectualism--and now comes back as a cause célèbre amongst the Left. All their silly twaddle about censorship and "speaking truth to power" suddenly seems more plausible.

Yes, Maher is an idiot, and his cloyingly professed love of the American armed forces is equalled in mendaciousness only by the former Iraqi Information Minister, but more to the point, if this particular jibe was treasonous, then where was ol' Spence when Fahrenheit 9/11 was released? There's a lot bigger and more influential voices out there who have said far worse--some of them serving in Bachus' own Congress--shouldn't we go after them first? (Actually, that would be kinda fun.)

Bachus is a smart guy, and not usually one of the wild-eyed sorts, but the best thing he could have done in this instance is to allow Maher to take the heat from the "low-lying [sic] fruit" he has such 'high regard' for, whom he sullied with his ill-tempered little diatribe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

Earnest T., R.I.P

I don't know how I missed this, but--

Comic Actor, Director Howard Morris Dies

And more from Mr. Morris's Earnest T. website, and his page from IMDb.

The little guy was a genius, and a prolific one.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:24 AM | Comments (6)

May 23, 2005

Speaking of Larry...

(Anderson, that is), I just looked over in the in-box and found the following, and thought that you might get a chuckle out of. Or not. If not, just remember it was Larry that started it, not me.


Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a woman from Georgia, and bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house-cleaning that needed done at their house. He said that it took a couple days but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were all washed and put away.

The second man had married a woman from Florida. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. He told them that the first day he didn't see any results, but the next day it was better. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done, and he had a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married an Alabama girl. He boasted that he told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He said the first day he didn't see anything, the second day he didn't see anything, but by the third day...

...most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye.

Get well soon, Larry.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:25 PM | Comments (1)

Adventures in Headline Writing II!

Thousands of BBC Workers Begin Strike

At Least Three Citizens Express Mild Concern;
Management Dusts Off, "I know what you are, we're only negotiating the price" Joke;
Reuters, AFP, Others--Big Hopes to Pick up Anti-American Slack

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:05 PM | Comments (1)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

USF shareholders OK Yellow Roadway deal

Lollypop Guild Expresses Concern;
In-depth Report: Who Is Man Behind Curtain?;
Hope to Branch Out into Air Freight--Flying Monkeys 'Looking Good,' Say Execs

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:13 PM | Comments (7)


I don't know how many of you might have noticed it, but the last post I did about Otis the Driving Possum received a comment from none other than Norb Stracker--THE Norb Stracker of the world-famous Kansas City supergroup, Simply Weasels!

Norb fills us in on a few details of what transpired with the music for the ad, and as an added bit of information, gives us an autographed photo of Otis AND his acting bio! WHY IS THIS NOT ON THE EXPRESS OIL CHANGE WEBSITE?! It is a mystery.

But, I do understand now where that flat Midwestern tone of Otis's comes from--his bio says that although he lives in Birmingham, he was originally from Chicago. Of course, people from Chicago sound like people from Chicago and not like other Midwesterners, but I suppose the years down here have knocked some of the edges off his voice.

The whole bio is kinda cute--I assume the ad agency did this as part of their character development, but it sure would have been NICE TO HAVE INCLUDED SOME OF THIS IN THE ADS!

Anyway, many thanks to Norb for dropping by and taking a moment to leave a comment and for the helpful information--helping to further clear up the Mystery of Otis!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:18 PM | Comments (1)


I hate errands.

ANYWAY, the next thing I have to look forward to this afternoon is our Monday Morning Staff Meeting, which has now seemingly become a moveable feast of ineptitude.

For nine years, the staff meeting was at 8:30 Monday morning, until my betters decided they wanted to meet first before filthing themselves with the peons. So, it was decreed they would meet first, and then they would come and dispense wisdom from on high to us at precisely 9:30. Which never has worked out.

Why? Because the Big Kids' meeting can run as long as deemed necessary to insure everyone has had some buttockissing. SO, it can be 10, 10:30, or maybe like today, at 1:00 p.m.

Why even bother?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, I'm still here.

Despite all odds.

GOOD MORNING! Not much in the way of excitement this weekend. Friday night, Reba had to work late--something else unrelated to the half-jesting order to stay the other night, and one that had to get done. ::sigh:: So, laundry and supper for the kids, and when it got to be obvious that she was going to be out WAY past dark, when she called to check in, I told her I'd drive across town to escort her home. Yes, she's a big girl, and yes, she could have done just fine without me, but I worry. So sue me. It's a long drive, done mostly through bad neighborhoods and unfriendly interstate exits, and I would much rather have to follow her home than have to come find her if she broke down. SO, I let the kids have a Stay Up Late Night and they played video games and I went on about my laundress duty until about 10:30 or so, when she called to say she was about ready. Load up the young'uns, drive across town, wait, turn around, drive back.

Into bed with us all, then up early Saturday for Reba, who STILL had one more chart to finish, so while she did that, I went out and planted a pot of flowers of some sort (something blue, with a name made up entirely of consonants), and then we went clothes shopping, which I can tolerate when it's just Reba and me, but becomes quite tiresome when the children are along. Most of the time I have to go take them out to the mall and sit on a bench--keeps them from running and hiding in the clothes, if nothing else. Also have to throw pennies in all the various ponds and fountains and anything else they think should have money thrown at it, such as candy machines.

Found Cat some skorts and tops with all sorts of kitty pictures on them, found Boy some shirts and shorts, found Mom three blouses, and got myself a pair of Haggar plain front navy blue polyester pants to replace the pair the bottom busted out of. Or my bottom busted out of. They last a long time until one day they just die. I'm just glad it happened when I was still at home one morning a few weeks back.

Had some supper in the Salmonella Court, then shopped some more, then finally went home late, got the kids scrubbed, in bed, up early for church, got Reba to substitute in the 4 and 5 year old class since both teachers were out due to family circumstances (I usually complain, but not about these two--they really did need to be gone), taught my class and had another one of the long after-class discussions with Rebecca. She thinks a lot.

Church, then lunch with the younger folks at the house of a friend, then back home where I read the paper and tried my best to take a nap. Never try to take a nap on the couch. In the den. When the kids are playing a Harry Potter video game. It just doesn't work.

Back to church, and had our regular 4th Sunday evening Q&A session, which I always like. Some of you have asked about this--basically, people submit questions ahead of time, and the preacher answers them. Never fails to be informative.

Home, supper, bed, here.

AND NOW, I have several errands to run this morning that will preclude me from any sort of regular posting until much later this afternoon, SO, go visit everyone in the list up top or over on the sidebar, and I'll see you sometime later!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:48 AM | Comments (3)

May 20, 2005

Annnnnd, about that time.

To go, that is.

As usual, I have no idea what sorts of things have been written down on the Big List of Things For Terry To Do This Weekend, but I imagine none of them will be fun, but they will all have great potential for physically or emotionally injuring myself. Which, although wince-inducing, does make for good blog fodder come Monday morning.

SO, all of you have a great weekend, and we'll see you back here again next week.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:45 PM | Comments (0)

I went to the library during lunch.

Yes, it’s true. I do occasionally read things. (Not a lot, though, because thinking hurts my head.) Anyway, I looked around a bit and was about to get on the escalator when I decided to go look in the bookstore. Despite the fact that it never ceases to depress me terribly.

If there was ever a reason that I cannot bring myself to try to submit a manuscript to a publishing house, this is it. I’ve always figured, given the huge number of vapid celebritomes and insipid “Bouillon for the Psyche” books out there that you can just about get anything printed nowadays, including something by some goober like me. But to what end? I looked at the rows of forlorn books, some even By Noted Authors, all for a buck apiece. Come on…a buck!? That’s almost like leaving a dime for a tip. Sure, that may be all the service is worth, but why rub it in like that? I figure I’d be happier just giving this silly mess away, rather than see it neatly bound and languishing on a shelf trying to convince some drunk sailor to part with some loose change.

Anyway, nothing worth spending a dollar on. Walked on around to the record albums. Yet more dreckliness. Normal stacks of obscure classical vinyl music (you know, for the type of people who used go to the library to check out record albums so they could get some free culturing up), some Lawrence Welk, earnest flower-child era folk albums, a few jazz albums from back when jazz meant guys with Brylcreemed hair, a smoke, and a pair of incredibly voluptuous women full of lust and tranquilizers, languorously slathered onto the piano.

And then.

Oh. My.

You know, when you’re growing up, you hear asides and funny bits from the television, not really understanding or knowing why they’re supposed to be funny, but they are anyway. Especially like when, say, Bugs Bunny is imitating Liberace, and he purrs, “I wish my brother George was here to see this.” You know it’s funny, because he imitating Liberace, who was “funny” and he really did say stuff like that, and it was funny, because it was said funny and--so, where was I going with this?

Oh, yes--from Contessa Records, CON-15033,

Dine & Dance with
and his orchestra

Oh, I know I should have a digital camera with me at all times, but there is always the miracle of the Internets. I did a moment’s work, and came up with this jewel.

Not the same album--this one’s from the Beverly Hilton (not Paris and Nikki’s mom--at least not that I can tell) but the cover photograph is the exact same--George, looking kinda like his more famous sibling, sawing on a fiddle, leering at the camera, whilst a couple dance in the background. He--distracted by something over beyond GLiberace; she--imploring him to turn back and feel the warm embrace of a woman. Tension! Angst! THE “GEORGE LIBERACE MAMBO”!

Incredible. I had to buy it. Because now all those years of watching Bugs Bunny and Liberace make sense. (Not really.)

It’s also kinda nice, because it has a K-Mart sticker on it, and it was on "special sale" at some wayback time in the past for 2 for $1.00. So, it’s kinda like the stock on this rare jewel is rising. It’s doubled in value! Or something.

What more finds? More classical albums, then some stuff from the mid-‘80s when everyone wanted to be mulletted Hall and Oates clones. No offense to the Portland Brothers, who have dropped into a terrible obscurity from which even Google cannot rescue them.


And there it was:

Music from the Original Sound Track
Composed and Conducted by Piero Piccioni
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer presents A CARLO PONTI PRODUCTION
“More than a miracle”

Or, as we say in Italian, C'era una volta...

Ahhh, Sophia. On the album she is rendered in all of her mod bosomy 1967 glory in a color pencil drawing. Again, through the miracle of the personal computer and the WWW, we can see a copy of the artwork.

You’re welcome.

You will note the dark and brooding Omar Sharif (or Al Pacino--hard to tell from the picture) in the background as he looks over her shoulder, examining something on the ground about three feet in front of Sophia. Here’s an alternative poster for the French version, in which poor clueless Omar again looks at something less impressive than the obvious attractions.

Anywho, the blurb on the back album cover tells you everything you need to know about what was so dreadfully awry about the late 1960s:

Prince Ramon (Omar Sharif) is everything a prince should be, but, to the displeasure of his mother (Dolores Del Rio) he is more interested in horses than in marrying a princess. One day he encounters a monk (Leslie French) with the power to fly. The monk presents Ramon with some magic flour which, when baked into seven dumplings and eaten, will enable the prince to choose a wife. His first opportunity to put this magic to work comes in the person of a beautiful peasant girl named Isabella (Sophia Loren), but she bakes only six dumplings. After a series of adventures, matters come to a head and seven princesses have made the semi-finals as Ramon’s bride elect. But when Ramon learns that Isabella is now working in his castle as a dishwasher he decides on a dishwashing contest. To everyone’s amazement, Isabella loses to the Princess of Altimura, but the flying monk finds out the dishes have been tampered with, and a joyous banquet is prepared to celebrate the betrothal of Ramon and Isabella.

Oh, the heck with writing a darned book--I’m gonna be a SCREENWRITER!

But, in fairness, it does have Sophia Loren in it, which is one of the things that is very right about the late 1960s. I had to buy that one, too--it had been marked down in some discount bin to 77 cents. So, its value is rising just like George’s!

And then I bought lunch and came back here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:47 PM | Comments (2)

Hit F11.

I don't know why Possumblog has started doing this, but some of you might be experiencing a bug where you cannot get past a certain point on the page. There's stuff on there, but you can't scroll all the way down and read the whole entry.

Again, I don't know the deal (although I suppose I could figure it out if I wanted to) but a quick way around this is to press the F11 key twice. The first time reduces the menu bar at the top down to a little sliver and makes it to where you can scroll as far as you can. The second press returns the menu bar to its normal size.

Sorry for the bother.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:04 PM | Comments (11)

OOoooh--bad mojo!

Russellville mother charged with threatening child's teacher

The Associated Press

The mother of an elementary school student was jailed and may be deported as an illegal alien after being accused of threatening her daughter's teacher.

Police Chief Chris Hargett said Aurora Mercedes Soto, 43, of Russellville, has been charged with making a terrorist threat and second-degree assault. He said she commented that she was going to "hire a witch to put a spell on her and if that didn't take care of her, she was going to take care of her herself."

Officers went to Soto's residence to arrest her and at that time she said something to her 9-year-old daughter in Spanish, and the child attacked the officer, Hargett said. [...]

I just hope they don't use the spell-casting as part of the charge against this loon.

More importantly, though, if you believe in spells enough to go pay good money to hire a witch, don't you think you should have enough belief in what you paid for to not feel the need for a backup plan? I realize it's probably hard to get good spell-casting witches nowadays, but surely a little good word-of-mouth would lead you to someone with some kind of written guarantee and nationwide warranty.

I'm just saying.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (6)

Deliberations. Of a sort.

Hmm. I can see a train wreck coming. Article from today's Birmingham News on the ongoing deliberations in the governmental persecution of well-known black televangelist and civil rights champion [/sarcasm] Richard Scrushy--

[..] Jurors began their deliberations Thursday and almost immediately sent the judge a note asking to hear the digital recordings made by the FBI.

In another note Friday, they asked for clarification of a key conspiracy charge against Scrushy, and asked: "If we can not decide unanimously one way or another, what happens."

Deliberations could be lengthy based on the 37-page form jurors must complete to decide the initial 36 counts against Scrushy. The first charge alone, a key conspiracy count, requires jurors to answer 52 separate questions. [...]

Well, maybe they just wanted some clarification. After all, they've only been going at this a day,

But reading between the lines, it seems they might have taken a preliminary shot at a vote on the conspiracy charge and there wasn't a unanimous decision. Probably there's enough people who didn't vote for it, but who still think Tricky Dick nonetheless might have done something on the shady side, and they want to know if they don't get him on this one, can they still maybe slap him on the wrist for something else.

Again, I just hope they understand there's a big gulf between "THEY AIN'T GOT NUTHIN' ON ME!" and innocence.

I will say it was awfully entertaining to see the Dickie Bird in full song outside the courthouse yesterday, full of righteous indignation and fury and spittle. It was a performance that would have been something to see in open court, that's for sure. Shame he didn't feel the need until now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:12 PM | Comments (0)

Speaking of visitors...

Thanks again to Dr. Reynolds for the traffic yesterday, and to all you new folks who came by. Dave Helton had a big spike in traffic as well, and wondered if Glenn was slumming or something down here around and amongst us microbloganisms, but I told Dave it was probably that Instaman decided to read some quality work rather than the same old crap from that Sullivan guy. (Whose full name I will not, and have not ever, mentioned herein.) But, in any case, whatever the reason, it's nice to see some more folks.

I thought it was a bit odd when I checked the Sitemeter, though, because although there was a noticeable upturn, the total wasn't much higher than some other days this month. Part of the problem was an outage yesterday in Munuville, and then I figured out that the other cause of the less-than-wild numbers were because the Sitemeter is connected only to the main page, not to individual posts. The uptick I saw was from people clicking from the post over to the main page, and when I looked at my OTHER set of stats provided by, I saw that the total coming over from the various URLs of Instapundit totalled up to around 3200 or so (that's pageviews--overall hits for yesterday was around 12,000). Now that IS a lot. At least for silly old Possumblog.

BUT, despite my gratitude for everyone coming by, the general interest in the number is really secondary. I'd be just as happy with one as with a million.

[And thus starts a semiregular drift into introspection--bail out if you wish]

I don't sell anything on here, so more traffic doesn't make me money. (Although, heaven knows I need the money.) I'm not trying to make it onto the newspundit circles so I can get a radio gig and hammer Al Franken into a runny fallacious paste. (Although, heaven knows it would make me warm and smiley all over.) It's a hobby--a deeply addictive one, to be sure--but it is nothing more than it is. I like having someone to talk to, and there's not a lot of folks around where I work with whom I share a lot in common. All the folks I could talk to have run away to more hospitable jobs, and so I could sit and be glumly silent, or I could go make some other friends.

Computery-virtual-type friends, yes; but they seem to go well with all the voices in my head and my cast of imaginary friends. It does make me feel good when I'm able to write something other people like, but I don't think to myself, "I'm going to try to write something other people will like." I just write what I want, put it out there, and see what happens.

Some days, not a lot. Some days more than a lot.

I don't get depressed when no one reads, and although it is vastly satisfying when someone does, and responds. But, it's not something I crave so much that I would dump money into doing this hobby the way I might with, oh, say, a twenty year old Volvo.

The thing I like best about this? I like it when someone comes by, and likes what they read, and thinks to themselves, "you know what, I can do that, too." And they start their own blogs, and get their own readers, and manage to influence the shape of their days, and give them some life and humor and information. That first time you ever read a comment or an email that says, "I read your blog every morning," well, it's neat, and I'm glad I've been able to inspire others to say what's on their minds by what I say on here.

The second thing I like best about this? For close to four years now, I have managed to do this with only the smallest amount of trolls coming by to make trouble. I never have understood that mindset of trying to run around all over the Internet to set people straight, or worse, to just be inflammatory for the sake of being inflammatory. Haven't folks got anything better to do? Well, obviously some don't, but I'm thankful only a handful have found their way here. I don't mind folks who disagree, but I've always believed you can disagree all day long and still be friendly and respectful about it.

The third thing I like best about this? The decision to add comments, back when I was on Blogspot. I was VERY leery about doing that, because it does require monitoring for spam and trolls and potential misunderstandings to be smoothed over, and all that does take away from writing time. But, as I think most regular commentors will agree, the comments are usually MUCH more fun than the original post. That may be because I don't see them as a way for people to use just to offer affirmation or denial of the point of the post, but as a continuation and expansion of the original post. So be sure and read the comments, or you might miss something. Oh, and I still like getting e-mail, too.

Anyway, that's enough soulful introspection for the morning. My head's gonna start hurting in a minute.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:24 AM | Comments (18)

Naked Yoda?!

So says Skillzy.

Joking he is, I hope.

I do wonder if there was ever a Yodette in his past. (Yoda's, that is, not Skillzy's.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (14)

Well, that wasn't quite what I expected.

Then again, it never is.

Got to the in-law's house and was met by several very loud children, some of whom were telling me about Catherine's teacher meeting (which I already knew about) and others were informing me that Reba was already on the way toward home. Which was quite unexpected, given what she had been ranting about on the phone.

Turns out the order to stay until further notice was intended in jest. Kinda. Sorta. But not really. But really. A word of advice to anyone who will supervise Miss Reba--the girl does not do well with trying to read minds. Be explicit, and cut the crap. If you want her to stay and work, she will. If not, don't say it, then turn around and say you were only fooling when you find out she's angry. Reba has a very low tolerance for that cloying, sorority-girl, I-hate-to-be-mean (to-your-face) cuz-I-want-you-to-like-me crap. She ain't part of your Ya-Ya Sisterhood Grrrl Power clique--when there's work to be done, she wants no part of any of that huggy flower power kinder gentler diversity victimhood-of-male-domination silliness. She comes from a long line of women who rose at dawn, cooked, cleaned, raised housefuls of kids, chopped cotton, shucked corn, stripped cane, who knew how to butcher a hog, drive a team, and shoot a pistol--yet never found the time to think of themselves as oppressed. So, she's not really that impressed by the fact that you have a title and an office, especially if you're not getting YOUR job done.

I make this plea for you to do your job, because it makes it AWFULLY hard on ME when you're indecisive and unfathomable--because, as we know, when Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy, so if you're her boss, let me just tell you right now--straighten up, fly right, and in the words of a very wise man, "Git 'er done."

ANYway, so she got to leave earlier than planned so I told her I'd meet her at the school, and I'd go to my other meeting from there. Got to school, parked by her car, went in, followed a couple of other folks all the way back to the gym (wish I'd have know, and I would have parked back there), walked in and sat by Reba. Waited for the meeting to start, caught up on the toil of her day, and the meeting started. With PowerPoint! Yay!

Introduction of the teachers and at the extreme risk of talking about fashion for the third day in a row, I must say I don't recall my teachers looking don't know what.

Look, maybe when I was young, teachers might have worn all sorts of naughty underthings, but I promise you I cannot recall any of them ever dressing in a way where I could TELL they were wearing a racer-back sports bra and thong panties.

Context, people. Context.

I might be unredeemably square old fart, but it seems that there are more appropriate venues for displaying your charms than in a meeting with parents of your future students. Oh, and stay out of the tanning bed. It's really not helping your skin any.

After about fifteen minutes or so, I quietly ducked out to head to my meeting. Big one this time, but thankfully mostly just exceptions for home occupations. There was a small controversy, and a sort of testiness that I don't quite understand, aside from the fact that some people seem to have gotten themselves a fair bit of snootiness with all the recent wave of new development in town. I realize it's good to maintain your property values and such, but it doesn't help your case to keep saying you're the neighborhood president. Why? Because I don't care who you are or what you look like, the law sets forth what can and can't be done, not the fact that you are king of your block. Don't like a law? Go through the process to change it.

SEE!? All kinds of testiness!

Wrapped up pretty late, as these things go, then back toward the in-laws to eat a bit of supper. ON the way, was overcome by my special Moron-Sense, which is something like Spidey Sense, a kind of tingling when something moronic is near. Sure enough, just as I passed by the street that leads to the Mercedes Doctor, I spotted, not a Mercedes, BUT A VOLVO 240! Of course, I had to turn around and go back and look. Hmmm--I wonder if they've branched out to Swedish junk now, too!? I'll have to call!

THEN on to the in-laws, ate some steamed veggies and chicken and dumplings, then rousted all the kids to get them back to the house, which took forever, as did getting them to take their baths. It was very late when I went to bed, which might explain why I am so exceedingly sleepy, grouchy, and testy this morning.

Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:10 AM | Comments (2)

May 19, 2005

Sometimes working isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Just got a call from Miss Reba, who tells me she's going to have to stay very late tonight. They have a very bad habit of not telling her anything, then springing all sorts of important, but arcane, information on her at the very last minute, then acting surprised that she didn't know it already, even though the only way she could have ever known about it is for them to have told her.

So, she's rather upset.

At least it pays better than the last place, but it seems she just can't find a place that runs with any sort of logic. It's like she's trapped in one vast Dilbert strip. Maybe once she finishes her degree she'll be able to find something better.

SO, I'll have to get the kiddies this afternoon, but I also have the local zoning board meeting tonight at 7:00, and I just got a call from a very sweet little girl who says there's a meeting at 6:30 tonight for the parents of all the sweet little girls (and boys) who will be entering 3rd Grade next year. Talk about springing stuff on a body at the last minute! The first I heard about it was when I answered the phone and heard her chewing on the mouthpiece and doing her Darth Vader impression. (I promise, she doesn't get her phone manners from me.)

Anyway, I have lots to do tonight. AND FURTHER, it appears that the nice, uncracked 240 dashboard I've been watching for a week on Ebay has just priced itself out of my reach. Just when I thought I might be able to tear apart the inside of my car in a fit of moronicity! ::sigh::

Oh well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

Let's just hope they don't enlist a giant possum puppet.

Wendy's to Focus on Irreverence in New Ads

That's nice. Although, some might question the choice of wording:

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Still searching for an effective advertising message since the death of founder and pitchman Dave Thomas, Wendy's International Inc. on Thursday served up a new series of ads that replace his folksy appeal with a hearty side of irreverence. [...]

In one of the TV ads, which begin airing Wednesday, a woman dunks her head in a fish tank and a man drinks from a sprinkler, both apparently searching for relief from the restaurant's spicy chicken sandwich. A voiceover says, "If you can't stand the heat stay out of the chicken." [...]

Ahem. Well, alrighty, then, if that's what you want. But I think the double-entendre potential is not NEARLY so rewarding as was, "Where's the Beef."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

Well, yeah, I think that's pretty obvious.

From out in Osmondville, Nate McCord poses a question.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

"Isn't that just the way it goes?!" Episode II

You start off the day with a herd of traffic from some lawyer guy in Tennessee, and then all of a sudden, your beloved new home in Munuvia is blacked out. Don't know what happened there, but it does appear things are working normally again. Good thing, too, because I was about ready to launch into a big "stupid STUPID" tirade. But I won't, because it's not. Stupid, that is.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (7)

Childlike or childish?

Long night last night--church, then back home, dunk Cat in the tub with the promise that I would read her a story after I got home from the GROCERY STORE. Nine pee-em, and I'm headed back out to pick up vittles so we can have supper tonight. But before I do that, I have to look at Reba's car--customer complaining of lack of A/C cooling, power loss. Thinks power loss might be low transmission fluid. ::sigh::

Went out and in the pitch black of the driveway cranked it up and saw the first problem with the air conditioning. Reba has a bad habit of putting the vent control on the spot that makes it blow on the floor and through the dash. When only half of the air gets up in the top of the cabin, it certainly can feel like it's not putting out the cold. Switched that to the dash vent. Air coming out is ice cold. Problem one solved (although my later explanation to her of why was met with puzzlement and a denial that she had moved the knob. Instructed customer to not touch the knob, and check it frequently for movement from intended position.)

Next, the trans fluid. Basically, I knew what I was going to find. She reports power loss, going UP THE STEEP HILL to our neighborhood, with the car filled with FIVE PASSENGERS. Sure, it's peppy, but any little 110 horse box is going to feel sluggish in conditions like that (and with the A/C on.) But she said it felt like it was slipping or something, so I obliged with a check underhood. Got my big flashlight, popped the hood, propped it open, grabbed the dipstick, wipe, insert, observe. Full. Wipe, insert--"Do you need some help?!" AHHGHHHH!

Scared me witless. The young guy from next door had come up, and with the engine running and a total absorption in the task at hand, I hadn't noticed him until he was right beside me. I told him he nearly scared me to death--I think he thought I was mad at him or something, but I thanked him for coming by and told him I was just checking the transmission fluid. In the dark. When most people are about ready to watch the news and go to bed.

Wipe again and insert, observe. Full. Wipe once more, insert once more, observe once more. Well, the thing's full. Customer advised that trans fluid is at recommended level.

Then on to the store--you know those bagged salad kits? I found out that they sell the pieces to those things, and you can make your own salad! Who knew?! Lettuce, mustard, worcestershire sauce, ground beef, Diet Coke, more stuff. Pay, home, unload. Find Cat in bed, with book, lights on, asleep. Poor pooter. Kissed her and turned off the light, made the rounds of other children to see what stage of getting into bed they were in, went back downstairs to do some dirty laundry. Really, REALLY dirty.

I had a pang of deep guilt for all the messy dirty towels and such I'd left stacked in the garage from my recent Volvo-primping session, and I thought I really needed to clean them. Went out, got them and walked back to the laundry room with them without closing the garage door, got them put in with tons of soap and hot water and Shout, and then went to close the door to the garage.

Cat's scooter was there, leaned up against the ladder. I turned the light off, and was about to turn around, but something about the shiny clean look of it, and her extreme joy in playing with it made me wonder.

Should I?

I mean, I might break it. I do weigh more than an eight year old, you know.

But, if I broke it, I would get her another one.

But, still, that's not really the right thing to do. She loves her little scooter and would be angry if I hurt it.

But, if I maybe move to the very front, and maybe don't go far...

I grabbed it and placed my foot on the front, right by the handlebar tube, and pushed off across the kitchen floor. Smooooooth. And quiet. All the way to the doorway to the den. Turn, step, gliiiiiiiiiide. Man, I wish I'd had one of these as a kid. Once more! Turn, step, skimmmmmm. Turn around at the kitchen table, and back to the back door. Boy, that was fun.

I quietly put the scooter back out by the ladder, just as it was before.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:25 AM | Comments (4)



Well, probably not very many other things, but be that as it may, if you've never participated before, be sure to participate today in our little quizzical diversion, because the Thursday Three is going into summer hiatus, and the producers of the show are not yet certain if it will return to the fall schedule.

In order to provide you, the reading audience, with the finest question-answering experience possible, we have a fine young writer named Dan (who is skinny) come up with the following set of burning, must-read, must-answer queries about your darkest secrets. As always, anyone may play along by either leaving your answers in the comments below, or a link to your blog with your answers. So, sit back, turn up the volume, and let's see what happens:

Your food court hilarity (which seems to have brought the lurkers out of obscurity) gave me some ideas. They may need work.

1) What is, or was, your favorite style of dress, or a particular item of clothing you remember fondly from childhood?

2) What style of dress do you remember being humiliated by as a kid, but your mother made you wear anyway?

3) What dress style/clothing choice do you remember as being unbelievably cool at the time that now makes you cringe? Would you actually burn pictures of yourself in the outfit if you ran across them now?

Excellent way to wrap things up for the time being--all of you scurry off and go think up your answers.

As for mine...

1) I have always thought a simple, dark, single-breasted, two button suit with plain front, uncuffed pants, and a white, longsleeve cotton shirt is very difficult to beat, if the suit's cut right and fits. This is what I wear to church, and what I want to be buried in. I never really had any favorite clothes from when I was a kid.

2) My mom always bought me good clothes, and nothing weird or awful. I do remember the husky size Toughskins with the reinforced knees that always faded at a different rate than the rest of the pants, but I never disliked wearing them. Kids were much less concerned about stuff like that when I was little.

3) When I was in the 8th or 9th grade (circa 1975-77), I had a brown leisure suit that I would occasionally wear to school, because it looked so very, very stylish. Swirly brown floral Quiana shirt, collar out, sleeves rolled up a touch, two-tone platform dress shoes.


And there exists a photo of me in the yearbook in this get up. Which you will never see. Unless I'm in a sharing mood.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:25 AM | Comments (16)

Isn't that just the way it goes?!

Your blog looks like a mess, you write like a narcoleptic macaque, and your butt hurts because of your wallet, but you think no one will notice. AND THEN, evil puppy-blending Glenn Reynolds sends everyone over to gawk at you!

Well, good morning, all you new visitor sorts!

This is Possumblog. I would say that you just caught me on a bad day, but since December of 2001, this is about as good as it ever gets. Thank you for coming by. Please do wander around and see what little there is to see, and as always, I ask that you not express your disappointment to my face. I would feel much better if you would just point and laugh at me behind my back.

There will be more posts later in the day, and our promise to you is that they will contain a variety of vowels and consonants, as well as some punctuation. Do drop in again when you feel the urge to read about the "exciting" life I lead, full of self-injury and paeans to Norah O'Donnell.

(Oh, and many thanks for the Instadeluge, Doc Reynolds!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:43 AM | Comments (14)

May 18, 2005

How DARE you!

I am shocked--SHOCKED I SAY! I just had a visitor come here with the unmitigated GALL to enter my humble blogabode searching for reba naughty pictures!

FOUL KNAVE! BOORISH LOUT! Dare you come in here looking for naughty pictures of Miss Reba?! I'll have you know I have NOTHING of the sort here, aside from those several shots of her on various occasions when she stuck her tongue out at me, and that one where she's deliberately walking on the grass even though the sign says not to, and, of course, the candid one I took of her at the grocery store when she had 12 items in the '8 Items or Less' lane.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:28 PM | Comments (5)

Observations From the Food Court!

I don’t usually sit and eat over at the food court in the AmSouth-Harbert building, mainly because when I do go, I’m not with anyone, and I never think to bring along any reading matter, and so I’m stuck with sitting alone and staring at people. Not necessarily a bad thing, mind you, but it’s just so…so obvious.

But, for some reason (I think it might have had something to do with making sure I was out of the office to avoid talking to someone) [UPDATE--just got interrupted while writing this. Had to meet with them anyway, because my supervisor and coworker have both bailed for the day. ::sigh::] ANYWAY, I decided to go sit and eat today.

Now then, first off, I realize I have no room to talk about anyone else when it comes to matters of dress and deportment. For instance, today I am dressed in my brown ensemble, which generally makes me look like a chubby, wingtip-shod gingerbread man. But, here’s the deal--I’m not really going for anything more than just being dressed enough to keep from getting arrested. I’m certain that I won’t be appearing on Access Hollywood tonight, and Snoop and Fitty never call (although I do wish that Paula Abdul woman would stop), but at least I KNOW I’m not out there on the cutting edge of fashion. So don’t feel as though you have to remind me of this--you don’t, I promise.

But there are some folks, folks who think they are REALLY out there pushing the outside of the envelope, and, well, to paraphrase Inigo Montoya: ‘You keep wearing those clothes. I do not think they look the way you think they look.’

So, to start--

First, due to the giant strides made in modern communication technology, it is impossible to tell crazy people who hear voices apart from people with a hidden earpiece and microphone talking to their broker. This is a bad thing. It used to be you knew whom to avoid or not stare at, but now, everyone’s running around talking to the air, and you just never know. I think I may take up screaming at people just to make sure they know I’m not one of the crazy ones.

Second, it is extremely difficult to remain a gentleman whilst using an escalator, most particularly when there is a woman several steps above you wearing a short flowing white skirt and a pair of long flowing tanned legs.

Third, and to the more weighty matters--those shoes you girls are wearing now--the ones with the stiletto toes? Those don’t look good. Yes, I know I have complained about the horrid ugly ‘70s retread clunky chunky shoes, but the needle-nose pliers look really isn’t the best correction.

Fourth, UPS summer uniforms look like crap. Some guys just shouldn’t wear shorts, and that’s all there is to it. Especially if you have knobby nappy legs like a Nigerian marathon runner. Even worse is when you wear giant Dr. Scholl’s shoes.

Fifth, I still say pedal pushers aren’t appropriate office attire, even when paired with an ugly, shapeless, matronly navy blue suit coat.

Sixth, this is much more prevalent amongst up-and-coming mailroom boys, but if you want anyone to ever take you seriously, DO NOT WALK AROUND CHEWING ON A SODA STRAW.

Seventh (yes, there’s a lot of these--just hold on), I saw two women sitting together wearing nearly identical get-ups--short denim jacket, flouncy party skirt, strappy party heels, gigantic purses, along with an assortment of fake melanin, fake hair, fake nails, and a real need to be noticed. (Which seems to have succeeded.) Anyway, I’m not sure of the look they were going for--probably something they saw Jennifer Aniston wearing in People--which is fine, I suppose, for people who are Jenn’s age; but dressing like that really doesn’t make you look ten years younger.

Eighth--YOU!--The dark and depressed-looking fellow carrying the purse. Yes, you. I know you think it looks manly since it’s disguised as some sort of rugged black all-activity sports/camera bag-looking thing, but trust me--other men know it’s a purse. How? Because you don’t have a gigantic ugly wad of a billfold in your back pocket like we real men have, that’s how! (As an aside, I have finally given myself that sciatic neuropathy stuff from sitting on my giant bulging wallet too much. I moved my wallet to the other pocket, and when that leg starts hurting, I suppose I’ll move it back. Why? Because I’m a moron.) ANYway--

Ninth, I am very tired of guys wearing dark purple shirts, white ties, and black suits. Move on, please.

Tenth, and blessedly last: hair gel for men is silly and foppish, but if you INSIST on using it, you might want to look in a mirror first. If you have thinning hair, and you think you really MUST part your hair in the middle and slick it back, don’t be surprised if people think you look like Alfalfa.

SO, there you go. And the chicken fingers were very tasty, thank you for asking.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:14 PM | Comments (40)


I didn't realize he was still with us.

He always kinda gave me the creeps, even when he wasn't in a role. Sorta like Christopher Walken, except without the sense of humor.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:43 PM | Comments (7)

I'm just glad...

...that no one found it in a bowl of chili, or a cup of frozen yogurt.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:39 PM | Comments (2)

Trust me--

--whenever I manage to lop off a digit, I promise I won't show it to the girls in the office, even if they ask.

(Although I might sell it for Volvo parts.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:27 AM | Comments (4)

I told my kids this morning...

...that I saw a picture yesterday of Natalie Portman sporting the Sinead O'Connor look. They were aghast. "WHY'D SHE DO THAT!?" Probably for a movie, but who knows anymore. Whatever. Cute bald chicks don't shock me anymore, but I do wish she would eat some cheeseburgers, and maybe a couple of milkshakes, and a large order of fries.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:49 AM | Comments (9)

This will be interesting.

Scrushy jury gets instructions; deliberations to start Thursday

They're going to hear the closing arguments today, and then start their deliberations tomorrow. It might just be my perception, but it seems that jury trials have become crapshoot when it comes to being able to predict an outcome. From what I've read about the case and from what I know of the organization just based upon personal observation and conversations with friends who work(ed) there, the government's case seems overwhelming.

This is balanced by a defense that seems determined to tout the fact that since the defendant's fingerprints were never found on anything, since he never typed up a big memo stating that he was going to engage in a little criminal enterprise, then he must be innocent. A quote from the News article--

[...] Scrushy predicted a victory Tuesday after court adjourned. "I feel good. We've had a good defense. There is no evidence that ties me to anything." [...]

Sorry, but that's the talk of someone hoping to beat the rap, not someone who's innocent. Whether the jury is able to see the weakness in that argument for what it is, who know? It seems that at one time, such an argument was guaranteed to get you a room at the Gray Bar Hotel, but now it seems too many jurors are much too willing to accept even the most ridiculous assertions as proof of innocence. I have no idea who the jurors are in this case, but I do hope if they don't convict, it's not because they bought that juvenile, "you never saw me do it," line of reasoning.

I'm sure if he does walk, in his mind he will probably be able to twist an acquittal around to salve any sort of wounds his mighty ego may have suffered in this process. He'll go on with whatever it is scandal-clouded rich guys do--maybe play a round of golf with O.J., and they can all talk about Jesus, and how mean-spirited some people can be.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:42 AM | Comments (1)

How'd that work out?

Well, I'll tell you! I got home and Reba and the kids still weren't there yet, which usually means that she got stuck at work. Sure enough, I walk into the kitchen and the phone's ringing. "Hey--I got stuck at work. Can you go get the kids? I already called Mom to let her know."

Off to pick up the kids, wait forever for them to get their butts in gear and get their junk together, then a stop at the grocery store to pick up some lasagna for supper, then home, then answer fifty-leven-jillion questions about stuff while trying to get lasagna put into the oven, Reba finally gets home, I smooch on her a bit, go upstairs to change into my Volvo-cleaning clothes, and in a stroke of extreme luck, one of the girls in Reba's class called to ask her about something, so while she was otherwise occupied with the telephone, I pantomimed that I was going to be outside playing on the driveway and snuck out.

Only to be discovered by the children, who wanted to know if they could ride Catherine's scooter in the driveway while I played with my toy. ::sigh:: This always means I can't REALLY devote as much slavish attention to an inanimate object for having to watch out for them to make sure they don't get hit by one of the interminable number of slacker kids with loud thumping bass tubes rattling the neighborhood as they go screaming down the street at 50 miles an hour. (I am going to install my own speed bumps pretty soon.) Anyway, the younger three came out with helmets and scooter and the inexplicable addition of the red wagon and began zipping dangerously close to all the cars in the driveway, and the street.

But, never one to let such things put too much of a kink in my plans, nor the fact that I was nearly two hours later getting started than I had planned, I set in to work with a giant bottle of Simple Green and some old cloths. Door jambs now look like those of a brand new car. Amazing how much goo builds up in twenty years. Reglued the little retainer onto the back window that holds the center brakelight frame, cleaned the trunk gutters and even cleaned some more gunk from under the hood. Used nearly a half a bottle of concentrated, undiluted solution and a pile of old diapers and towels. At some point in there, Reba came out and talked to me about stuff, although I am at a loss to remember what is was now. I hope it wasn't too important.

Finished up with a trip around the interior with the cleaner, then a vigorous swiping with the stuff to make the rubber shiny. That dashboard is still hurting my eyes, though. All those cracks, in an otherwise like-new interior. I might have to move that to the top of the money-wasting priority list.

Came in at 8:00 for lasagna, found out that I had completely missed American Idol, and had a very good meal interrupted by leventy-seven-gazillion questions about other things of great importance to the children, such as, "why do ticks suck blood?"

Clean up the dishes, send them off to bathe, get off my Volvo-cleaning clothes, and take a few minutes to sit and relax with some fine literature.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (2)

May 17, 2005

You know what I'm going to do?

I think I'm going to go home in just a bit and play with the Volvo some. (I drove it to work today, you know.) Might clean the wheels again, or at least see if I can. And maybe look up under the dash and see how all that stuff comes apart. Taking things apart is very important. Almost as much as being able to put things together!

Of course, by stating plainly what I want to do this afternoon, I have a feeling my plans for automotive time-wasting will be dashed by someone wanting me to do something not the least bit car-related.

Oh well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:31 PM | Comments (2)

Hey, you SimCity players--

--you're all just a buncha pikers compared to Fritz Schranck, who's playing a realtime, full-scale version.

It's a very interesting proposal, but I do urge caution for everyone, for as a very wise man once said, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. Remember, you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.

(Oh, and by the way, not to rub it in or anything, but we've already got one.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:39 PM | Comments (0)


Yet ANOTHER foal from the sprawling ranchland of resident tractor botherer, Dave Helton!

Congratulations all around--he's a cutie. (The horsie, that is.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:16 PM | Comments (2)

It is--

--an absolutely gorgeous day here today. Bright blue sky, light wind, warm but not humid. It is days like this that I wish I had invented something cool like the personal computer, and that I was just rolling in dough, because I would take the entire day off, and go play in the park.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:12 PM | Comments (0)

Good news for SOMEbody...

...but I'm not quite sure who--

New study suggests kudzu helps curb binge drinking

The Associated Press

A curb to binge drinking may be growing over fences, trees and barns near you.

Yes, kudzu.

Researchers at Harvard University-affiliated McLean Hospital say their experiments show subjects who took kudzu drank less beer.

The researchers set up a makeshift apartment with a television, reclining chair and a refrigerator stocked with beer.

Volunteers -- and there were plenty -- who received kudzu averaged one-point-eight beers per session. Those who got a placebo downed three-point-five beers.

Researchers aren't sure why, but believe it has something to do with kudzu speeding up the effects of the beer, allowing the subjects to feel intoxicated with less brew in them.

Lead researcher Scott Lukas says it's only a theory, but it's the best he has so far.

Kudzu is an Asian plant that was introduced across much of the Southeast, including Alabama, during the Great Depression by the Soil Conservation Service, which promoted it for erosion control.

It's been spreading ever since.

Intoxicated with less brew? Ladies, beware of gentlmen touting the health benefits of kudzu supplements before they take you for a night on the town...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:18 AM | Comments (7)

Awww, poor artists.

Artists concerned tattoos losing nonconformist lure

Because, you know, only nonconformity is true art.

I imagine it (that being the sudden concern) also has something to do, not necessarily with nonconformity itself, but with the type of people who've picked it up. I mean, if it was just cool conformists, the poor tortured artists types might be okay with it. But when it's Junior's 90 year old mee-maw sporting a new rose ankle tattoo and showing it off at the Supercenter, well, that's just too much.

My suggestion for non-conformists wannabes? Get a job, cut your hair, shave, bathe, and dress like me. I promise you, you will be unique in amongst your arty friends.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:50 AM | Comments (8)

Somehow, I feel less than confident about a good outcome...

Senate Tries to Untangle Oil-For-Food

Obviously, the search for truth will be subverted by a search for a way to blame your political opponent. (Expect to see Robert Byrd trembling with much anticipation and dementia.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

Yes, I missed a week last week, but this incredibly popular feature is back due to overwhelming demand by the readership. (Not really) ANYway:

IMPLUVIUM. The basin or water cistern, usually rectangular, in the centre of an ATRIUM of a Roman house to receive the rain-water from the surrounding roofs. The term is also used, loosely, for the uncovered space in the atrium as well as the water cistern.

And to complete the definition, the companion word--

ATRIUM. 1. In Roman domestic architecture, an inner court open to the sky and surrounded by the roof. 2. In Early Christian and medieval architecture, an open court in front of a church; usually a colonnaded quadrangle.

(Both definitions, as always, from the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition)

Alrighty then, here's you a very informative website written by a couple of Bowdoin College students, all about the various impluvia and atria you can come across.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

Apparently, I am a bad influence.

How else to explain yet another couple engaged in a Great Big "I'm A Moron" Project? I will say they have stepped things up a notch by getting local law enforcement agents involved. Very nice turn of events, that.

Thankfully, Lucy remains a free bird today, and the motel seems like a much more hospitable place than the alternative.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:08 AM | Comments (2)

Otis Speaks!

Yes, yet another meaningless critique of a minor regional television spot featuring a large non-human mammal. The Express Oil Change, Giant Not-A-Rat-But-A-Possum campaign has a new commercial! Which I think is better, but only because we are told the name of the beast is Otis, and we get a little information from him about why he takes his car to Express Oil.

Otis (whose name we knew beforehand only by a very deliberate search on the Internet through various ad biz sites and some lucky guessing) has a nice little conversation with one of the technicians about car care and bumps knuckles like the best buds they are. Otis has a very mild, Midwestern tone to his voice--which means the weird rap song of the other commercial "I'm Gonna Get My Oil Changed (Today)" is not intended to be Otis singing.

Anyway, this seems like it would have been a better commercial to have debuted the character, mainly because we at least get to hear his name, and that he can talk. Still, however, there is no backstory about the horrifying industrial accident that transformed a mild-mannered chemical plant worker into a giant marsupial, nor why it was determined that a possum is the best choice for clutter-breakthrough.

AND, probably worst of all, there is absolutely no leverage for the character. The corporate website has no mention of it, and there are no stuffed Oti (with bendable prehensile tail and opposable toe thumbs) in the customer waiting area for little kids to beg for--PLEASE MOM TAKE THE CAR TO EXPRESS OIL CHANGE SO I CAN GET AN OTIS!--no guys dressed in Otis costumes standing on the roadside beckoning travellers to come get their oil changed, no interviews on local television, no "Meet Otis Day" at the grocery store. Hey, if you're going to do something, do it right. Swing for the fences, you know?

I do hope in future commercials we find that there is a Mrs. Otis, and that they have a big litter of babies, and that Otis brings in the car one day and the babies are all hanging by their tails from one of those clothes rods you hang across the back seat. That would be pretty cool. Although, given the climate of the times, some moron would probably complain that the babies weren't buckled into an approved child safety seat.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:56 AM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

There is good to be done.

In case you haven't heard, there is a young lady named Jett who came out on the bad end of a meeting with a tractor, and she needs some words of encouragement (to say the least), and if you are able, some financial assistance. Skillzy is handling the collection, and no matter what you can send, I'm sure that it will be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:36 PM | Comments (2)

Oh, and the story about the pole lopper?

This one is from many years ago--after college, but before marriage. At my folks' house, we had several hackberry trees, which are basically elm trees with bad reputations. They grow big and bushy and they grow fast, which means a constant need to tend them so they don't get too dense.

We had purchased a pole-mounted lopper--the kind with the long fiberglass pole and the saw blade on the end--and I had spent the better part of a Saturday morning pruning and clipping the innards out of one of our hackberries.

Time to head in, and in what turned out to be an extraordinarily bad idea, instead of wrapping up the long cord used to operate the lopper head, I just let it drag along the ground. I was carrying the pole swinging low in my left hand, letting it drag just a bit on the ground, when, quite unexpectedly, the handle of the cord trailing back behind me got hung up on a stump. It did this just as my left hand was coming forward as I walked. The lopper stayed motionless, caught by the cord, and my hand jerked forward and then up into the hook part of the tool, and just as quickly the cord pulled down the lever and the lopper blade closed around the web of my hand between my left thumb and left index finger.

I said several bad words, and after freeing my hand, opened my thumb up a bit to see what the damage was. I saw a bright sliver of white down in there, which probably wasn't a good thing. I quickly closed my hand back up, and kept it immobilized with a gauze bandage for a couple of days. It managed to heal back on its own, with no need for stitches or anything else. In fact, very little blood.

Although, when I think back, I suppose I could have lopped my thumb clean off if I had pulled on the cord just a little harder.

Anyway, be safe around yard tools, and don't let things dangle!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:10 PM | Comments (7)

And then, I dug holes!

Sorry for the abrupt ending on the last post.

But there come moments in a person's work life that just cause one to have to take a moment and reflect.

I don't want to discuss it here--it's too personal even for a relative blabbermouth like me--but I will say this: if I ever hear another liberal blow wind about how kind and compassionate and inclusive and thoughtful and empathetic and benevolent all liberals are, you will come uncomfortably close to having every single negative stereotype you might have ever held about openly-heterosexual Bible-thumping gun-toting conservative white Southern men fulfilled. Frankly, there's enough hypocritical idiocy to go around, and your voting record or the color of your skin doesn't magically make you incapable of being just as much of a narrowminded weasel as the guy on the other side of the fence.

So, I don't care who you are or what you look like--if you're going to put on that cloak of moral superiority, you better learn to treat people right, or God's gonna give you the beat-down you deserve.


SO, I was washing the wheels on the van, and decided it wouldn't hurt a bit to see if the spray would work on the Volvo wheels. Which have those ugly flat "aerodynamic-style" hubcaps with the little vanes on the edges. I popped them off the driver's side and spritzed, and...well, not much. Twenty years of caked on brake dust is a bit of a bear to get off. I sprayed them and even gave them a bit of a scrub, but this is going to be much more of a job than the van wheels were. But, no matter. While the chemicals were working, I also cranked it to let it run and then did some more checking of wiring and fluids and such like, and cleaned a little more grime off the engine. (I like cleaning.)

It's also a convenient way to avoid digging holes.

But not really a way to eliminate the possibility entirely, which only death seems to be a sufficient excuse.

SO, to the backyard again. Got my posthole diggers, grabbed a couple of rose bushes, and started hurting myself.

We live on top of a hill; a hill made mostly of sandstone and clay. Sandstone and clay are pretty hard, and won't grow grass, so the developers of the neighborhood were kind enough to add a thin layer of topsoil on top of the hard, hard sandstone and clay. Which is fine for yards, but when you want to dig a hole to plant several bushes, it is a bad thing. CLANG. CLANG. OOMPH.


Time to get out the pick. I hate having to use the pick. It's not a cool tool like a posthole digger, and it's hard to use it with any grace, and it's just plain hard to use, because it means that there's something hard underneath it that probably shouldn't be disturbed.

Three rose bushes, two azaleas, one hydrangea, and I felt like I had been hit repeatedly with a pick. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL!

Time for the last little bit of stuff--fixing some potting soil for Ashley's seeds. We already had some long planting trays, so that was nice--nothing to go buy. Sat down in the rocking chair and proceeded to mix up several bags of material in a big pot, poured it into the six long trays, and then, the ordeal of planting.

This required that I get down at the level of the planters, which were sitting on top of the patio. I somehow managed to get all the way down and sat next to them, although it would have been much easier with one of those little garden scooters old people like to use to roll around on. Tore open each package and carefully arranged the seeds, then covered them up, then gave them a drink.

Finally. Finished.

Well, except for cooking the pork chops. Reba did volunteer to wirebrush the grill for me, which was very nice, but she's a little too girly to give it the manly scrubbing that it truly deserved. Then again, by the time the day was over, I wasn't feeling very manly either, which I think explains why there seemed to be a little too much rusty grit left on the meat when it came off the fire.

Supper, birthday cakery with much singing and candle-blowing-outitude, shower, bed.


Dream of weevils, and inexplicably, the newspaper.

Wake, get ready, get kids up, answer call at thirty minutes before time to leave from one of the teachers saying she couldn't make it this morning, and oh, could you find someone to cover for me?

::sigh:: Yes.

Got to church, taught Boy and Middle Girl and some others that sometimes the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, worship--which was very good with few distractions this week, then off to the other side of the county for lunch with Ashley's grandparents, then back to, where else? WAL-MART! Yea! Had to get some shampoo for Miss Reba, because she picked up conditioner the day before instead of poo, and had to return a present for Boy so he could get what he really just had to have (Pokemon Emerald Version for GameBoy!) and I got a giant box of Stanback to keep in my desk drawer for days like today.

On back to church, meeting, discuss all kinds of important things, evening worship--in which I struggled mightily to stay awake. It was a losing battle. (The old spirit/flesh thing, I suppose.) Home, supper, go get gas in Reba's car, bed.

And now? Why, as my friend down in the computer department says, "Just another day in paradise!"

Indeed so!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:49 PM | Comments (6)


Oh, wait. I forgot.

There is that whole issue with lopping that needs to be discussed.

I lopped. Started with the wild hedge over in the stone planter bed, where also grows poison sumac, poison oak, and poison ivy. It is a testament to Divine Providence that I was somehow spared from getting this stuff all over me. Anyway, it sure is satisfying to use a new pair of loppers. SLICE! Did that, then went to work on the wisteria.

Catherine was very worried about the bird's nest that is up in the middle of all this, but I was much more concerned about getting snakebit. All those long green tendrils, you know. I told her the nest would stay, but we had to get down all the long vines because they were tearing up the arbor and were climbing up the tree.

"Oh. Can I help?"

Hmm. I don't know. She pulled one long runner out, and then decided to go bother the lizards over by the house. "DADDY! HERE'S ONE!" I had to go see, because she caught one the other day, and I am almost certain that if she catches another, she'll let it loose in the house. She left this one alone. I had a branch in my hand and we gently chased it across the side of the house, which she thought was quite a grand diversion. I went back to lopping the wisteria, and she came by after a while and asked if she could pull another limb. Sure.

I turned around and she had a giant branch holding it out to chase the lizard with. ::sigh:: I made her get one slightly less ridiculously large.

Finally finished off the wisteria, and was left with a pile of limbs the size of a Volkswagen. All that, off of one little arbor. Did some other minor trimming of the maple trees, and then Boy's pear tree (and managed to jamb one of the thorns deep into the side of my thumb--yes, it left a mark), then Rebecca's sycamore. Quite a pile, I must say.


Just did the back yard, because after the mowing was over was time to get out the hole maker. I wasn't confident I could do the front and back and still have time to kill myself digging holes.

Mow, mow, mow.

See Dad mow.

Usually, it is during this time that I think of solutions to the world's ailments, and, in fact, have managed to solve most of them. At least in theory. But Saturday my mental meanderings were devoted to prioritizing things that needed to be checked into on the I'm A Moron Project. Odometer fix, windshield, a brisk cleansing, better looking wheels--stuff to keep me indebted for a long, LONG time. That is, IF I could ever get time to play with it--there being, after all, several other persons in the house who count on me to assist them in projects of their own. ::sigh::

Finally got the yard all neatly mowed, and decided that doggone it, I WOULD play with the car a little bit, under the pretext of cleaning the ugly mess off the van wheels.

Got out my cleaner junk and sprayed the wheels, rinse, wipe, rinse, spray, wipe. Say, now THAT looks nice! They never had such chemicals when I was a youngster. All we had was a scrub brush and cleanser.

[Heaven help me, I just got out of another meeting--an hour and a half of the most frustrating pile of garbage, and I really would like it right now if I could just say, "Hey, I quit," get my junk, and walk out the door. I'm going to go eat lunch right now, and I'll be back when I'm in a better mood.]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

Trip Two

Back down to the foot of the hill, get back in line at the checkout, shoving the bucket ahead of me on the floor (ick, weevils), and when it got to be my turn, I hoisted the bucket onto the counter--"Hi, uh--I was just in here, and I bought this, and when I got home and opened it, it was full of weevils."


"Yes, ma'am--see?"

I popped the lid off and the woman--a hearty, stumpy, strapping, leathery thing visibly blanched, despite her tanning bed tan. She looked at the critters for a moment and said tersely, pleadingly, "Please put the lid back on." I think she was given something that will return to her in her nightmares. Heh. I know they were in one of mine.

Anyway, she let me go look for another bucket, and told me to be sure and open it first. The one that had been there before was gone (I wonder if it had weevils in it), so I just got a bag. Paid, then went back to see if they had some loppers. That wisteria vine was going to have to go, and there were several other hedges and unidentifiable trash plants coming up, and for some reason, I have never had a good set of loppers (other than the pole lopper I nearly severed my thumb with). They had several, but they were somewhat pricey, so I figured I'd swing by Kmart on the way to get gas and see what they had.

Off then, stopped at the gas station and got a car wash, eventually, after having to get out and go in and get a car wash code. Finish that, got out to screw the antenna back on and hmm. The grimy wheels were less grimy, but only in spots. The rest was a swirly mess of black brake dust and goo. ::sigh:: I would have been better not to have done anything. Maybe when I get home I can clean them.

On up the hill to Kmart, where I saw that a group of young women in shorts and halter tops were having a free car wash. I very nearly decide to let them clean the wheels, but figure it would be more entertainment than I am allowed, so I just went on to Kmart.

[Interruption here for staff meeting--I KNEW it was going to happen in the middle of this!]

Wandered around, found an absolutely precious lopper/hand pruner gift set by Martha Stewart, vaguely remembered I was supposed to be looking for something else, wandered around some more, remembered I was supposed to be looking for a trellis for the running rose bush in the planter, didn't find one, then checked out. On to Sam's for gas, then back down the hill to Dairy Queen for an ice cream cake. Waited forever for them to decorate it and then to pay for it, then got it to the van and turned the A/C down to "meat locker" and sped home so it wouldn't be a squishy milk cake.

HOME, freezer, lunch, time to feed the birdies, no weevils, time to mow! Hooray!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:20 AM | Comments (5)

False Alarm

Well, the staff sat for twenty minutes waiting for our betters to come back from the Big Kids meeting. No show, yet. So, back at it until they decide to come back, at which time I'll probably be right in the middle of something exciting.

Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:58 AM | Comments (5)

Gifts and Glasses!

Went to Walmart Friday night with the entire brood to pick up various glasses and contacts, and to do a little gift shopping for our birthday boy. Yep, Little Boy turned 11 on Saturday, and as a gift received eyeglasses. He also managed to stock up on several Star Wars action figures, and some Mega Man action figures, but those were hidden until Saturday--the glasses, he got to wear right away. They look pretty good on him, but I think it's because he's just so darned cute.

While we were there, I let Reba and the older two girls go shop for him, while I kept him and Cat with me in the car parts section. We sniffed air fresheners until we reached olfactory overload. But I think I finally found one that will smell okay in Moby. It's not too florally, or chemically, or fruity, or coconutty, or vanilla-y. I have yet to find something I really like. The Febreeze begins to smell too much like Aqua Net, and the Glade evaporates too quickly. Anyway, I'd rather not have to smell it for a long time, no matter what, so if you need a van, please buy Moby so I can get on with my I'm A Moron project.

Home, supper, admonish children before they go to bed to please stay in bed on Saturday morning and not wake up Daddy and Mommy, who were very exhausted, and not in a good way.

Saturday. Ahhh, Saturday.

Up, dress, run to store for potting soil so the herb seeds Oldest bought could be planted, then to Marvin's for some bird seed and weed killer, then back up the hill to home. (Trip One, of Several)

Dump potting soil and weed killer outside, run out to bird feeders to fill them up, zip open bucket full of seed, and AAAGGGHHHHH!

The whole top surface is covered with weevils! It looked like the whole bucket was alive. Never seen THAT before. Slammed the lid back on, and now it was time for Trip Two. Almost. Got Reba to explain to me one more time where all the stuff was supposed to go in the backyard--she'd gotten two new rose bushes the night before at Wally World, and I need to know exactly where they went, as well as the azalea, and her hydrangea, and the other roses that have been patiently growing in pots. I think she must have gotten tired of reminding me, because she pretty much just said she didn't care.

But first, de-weevilling. Oh, and I needed gas in the van. And to pick up Boy's birthday cake. And those spiffy alloy wheels are looking kinda grimy on the van--it won't sell if they're dirty, you know. Maybe a car wash.


(But first, staff meeting.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:33 AM | Comments (9)

Boy, am I sore AGAIN!

Stay tuned for all sorts of fantastic, lurid yarns of life high atop Talladega Hill, including Birthday Shopping, Potting Soil & Bird Seeding, EEEK! WEEVILS!, Caking, Bird Feeding, Foliage Lopping, Fountain Filling, Lawn Mowing, Wheel Scrubbing, Hole Digging, Seed Planting, Pork Chop Grilling, Snoring, Churching, Wal-Marting, Churching, and Yet More Snoring, With Added Groaning!

Fascinating, I know.

Oh, and somewhere in here this morning we have a staff meeting, so be prepared for interruptions in the flow of drivel.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2005


Well, okay--if you insist. It's going to be another one of those soreness-inducing ones, I can tell already. Putting out plants. Nandinas, roses, the Mother's Day hydrangea, azaleas. Then trimming the wisteria so it doesn't clamber on up the maple tree. Obviously, all of this digging will require the full use of my PhD. (Posthole Digger.)

I would also kinda like to take a more indepth look at the Volvo and see what all needs to be fixed. I saw already a repair that looks too jackleg even for me. There's a piece of flexible metal piping that runs from the exhaust manifold to the air cleaner (called a preheat hose), and for some reason the former owner's mechanic cobbled together a fix for the hose to keep the middle part together. The hose is kinda flimsy and eventually falls apart (and sometimes off), but it's also cheap. But the fix on this one involved a Rube Goldbergian piece of thin flat aluminum. with the two ends bent over slightly to hold underneath two plastic zip-ties that circled the pipe on either side of the break. Seems like an awful lot of effort to hold the thing together. Not that it was really working as "designed." Still big gaping gaps in the hose. That little detail could use some fixing with an actual length of the proper hose. And there's other stuff, too; I'd still like to clean it a bit more inside, and clean the trunk out.

But I don't know if that's going to get done this weekend. And then there's church on Sunday, and a trip across town, and a meeting Sunday afternoon before evening worship, and I imagine all sorts of other stuff that will come up. (And hopefully not come up on the carpet.)

ANYWAY, all of you have a great weekend, and we'll see you around here Monday morning sometime!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:43 PM | Comments (0)

From the “Required Safety Rules” Employee Manual

Section 8.0 Office Safety

Many employees mistakenly believe that offices are not dangerous and that they do not need to worry about injuries while working there. However, offices can pose a number of hazards. Among them are dangers from falls, floor surfaces, stairs, chairs, filing cabinets, office machinery, and sharp objects. The following are some rules to remember when working in the office

[…] 8.12 When sitting down in a chair always look at the chair, grasp the chair arms or seat with your hands and then lower yourself into the chair. Report any defects of a chair immediately to your supervisor. […]

If you follow the instructions exactly, it is possible to wind up with your head down in the seat cushion. Which actually isn't nearly so silly as the idea that someone deemed it essential that we have instructions for sitting in a chair.

Stay safe, fellow civil servants.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:20 PM | Comments (5)

Oh, and that sunroof smashin' possum?

One of Smiley Anders' readers, Buz Broussard of Lafayette, ruins a perfectly good story with a reasonable alternative explanation. (Scroll down just a bit to see it.)

And there is absolutely no mention of anything like a robopossum. So rest easy on that score. They don't exist, period.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:20 PM | Comments (7)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Mmm. Hot and sour.

Now then, for the readings:

Love is the secret to success.


Remember, being happy is not always being perfect.

Wow. You know, that is just so true. I think. Or not. I mean, it may depend on what your definition of "is" is.

ANYway, your lucky numbers for today are:

8 19 23 33 42. 20


9 15 23 37 43. 25

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

Hmm. Wonder if she'll ask for the reward money?

Finger Traced to Woman Who Blames Wendy's

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:38 PM | Comments (0)

I think...

...I'd like some soup.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)


You remember my little screed the other day about the giant Express Oil rat? Of course you do. Or not.

Anyway, someone came Googling by around 9:30 this morning, looking for rat express oil commercial. Possumblog was the first returned result (yay for me), and then I got to wondering if there might be some other searches that would come back with Possumblog. I typed in possum "express oil" , and in an astounding bit of Internet serendipity, saw a blog for a young man who is an actor.

And guess what?

He had tried out for a part as one of the technicians in the commercial! AND THE SOLUTION TO THE MYSTERY (or, at least, it starts to become more clear)? It IS supposed to be a possum!

Read all about it here, where our actor says he ad-libbed a bit with the director:

[...] I had to play straightman to a little possum. His name is Otis and he's a longtime customer who wears a hat, smokes a cigar and deftly maneuvers a car. [...]

The director asked if I thought Otis' meticulous attention to detail was overbearing.

"I don't mind if he points out things that need attention. It just makes my job easier. Strange, though. Possums aren't really known for their eyesight."

And to the question of whether Otis gets special treatment.

"Please, I'd treat anybody at Express Oil with the same 5-star quality service as Otis. Of course, possums have litters of 6 to 10, so I look at that as a continuing customer base. If they all survive."

I am not certain why they chose an animal as their new spokesthing that has a violent history with the automobile industry. [...]

Heh. Indeed. And kinda similar to my thinking before.

But, back to this character of "Otis." So, he IS a possum, but he's supposed to wear a hat and smoke. Well, the commercial didn't have him smoking, and I'm sure the ad agency (about more, in a minute) probably didn't think smoking rats clinicked well. But you know, if you're a possum, you're living on borrowed time anyway. I think they need to let him be a woozy Dean Martinesque martini-supial out for a good time before he bites the big one. But even if you live on the edge, car maintenance is still VERY important, you know.

Anyway, if you look at the storyboard photo that accompanies our actor's notes, you see that in the top handdrawn picture, Otis is the size of a regular possum. He's tiny--he's there in the bottom right corner, next to the crudely drawn Jimmy Tech. (Geez, I could be making a mint.) In any event, he's no giant rat.

BUT, what of this Otis fellow. Who thought up this gem!?


In moments, I found this excerpt from the May 3, 2005 edition of AdWeek:

May 03, 2005 -Jim Lovel

ATLANTA Luckie & Co. is launching a new television campaign for Express Oil Change and Service Centers next week that will introduce Otis, an opossum, as the company's spokescharacter, the shop said. [...]

[...] "In a category where we are outnumbered and outspent, our goal was to find a way to break through the clutter and the obvious choice was with an opossum," said Brad White, the independent Birmingham, Ala., shop's executive creative director. [...]

[...] Campaign spending is undisclosed. [...]

The obvious choice to break through the clutter is with a possum, eh?

"Breaking through the clutter," (which sound an awful lot like Comin' Through the Rye) is laudable. But how do I know this is a possum named Otis? It's not anywhere on the Express Oil website, and it's not mentioned in the ad. You know the only way most of the people who might be wondering about this commercial are going to know it's named Otis?

Through blogs like this!

Is that REALLY the way you want to control your message?! Why not have the possum with his own little website? It would make it a darned sight easier to figure out, and there could be things for kids (like little stuffed Otisessesses), and car care tips, and funny possum lore, and MAYBE SOME EXPLANATION OF WHAT'S GOING ON. And it's inexpensive, compared to teevee spots.

To go back, though--what, exactly, makes a slow-witted, nocturnal, semi-arboreal, omnivorous scavenging marsupial the ideal candidate for breaking through the clutter?

What sort of clutter are we talking about? You come in, you get your oil changed.

You know what would help your message? If your client's stores were clean like they used to be when they first started in the business. If they wouldn't try to convince me EVERY TIME I COME IN that my transmission fluid is discolored and burnt up. That when they do safety checks, and I KNOW I have two bad tires, if they don't just check the box saying "Tires Okay." That their A/C technicians don't look at everything with a bewildered look as if they've never before laid eyes on a car before. If "Express" meant 10 minutes, like it used to mean, rather than twenty. Or thirty.

Mystery mammal, for what it's worth, solved. What remains mysterious is if you're being outspent by your competitors, why waste so much money on something so entirely inscrutible.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:32 PM | Comments (3)

" it's root, root, root for the home blog..."

On the evening last, as I sat hunched over my keyboard looking for pictures of Raquel Welch that would be appropriate in a middle school class project, I noted that I had received an electronic mail message. Since it was well past quitting time and Chet the E-Mail Boy had long since gone to his place of slumber at the Slag Ditch Elder Villas Phase I, I almost thought about waiting until this morning before retrieving it. I do so like it when Chet handles all of that sort of thing, and it does give him something to do other than bother me with tales of that totsy in Belgium in 1918.

SO, throwing caution to the wind, I clicked on the missive to see that it had come from someone named William Carroll, who said simply--

One of these days, if you need a baseball writer who grew up in Alabama, I hope the Weevils will axis me.

What a pitiable cry for help. Poor, poor, deluded man.

BUT, knowing how hard it is to dissuade persons from something once they have their minds made up, I wrote Mr. Carroll back and sent along the bundle of information for admission to the Alabama Disc Harrow Fanciers Society.

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I came into the luxuriously appointed halls of the Axis of Weevil World Headquarters building this morning and saw that his reply was waiting on me! Not only that, someone left the screen door standing open last night, and there is a rat snake in the building somewhere. If you left the door open, this is your fault and I expect you to find the snake and get it out of here. Also, whoever is storing the set of old tires in the coat closet needs to get them out.

ANYWAY, on to William's qualifications for entry--

1) Born in, or now live in, or once lived in, or would like to live in, Alabama

Jeez, I might not admit Hueytown, but I'll certainly credit Alabama.

2) Not ashamed to admit to #1

See above. That's up.

3) Staunchly anti-idiotarian, or can at least pretend pretty good

If I can talk to Paul Finebaum for ten minutes without raising my voice, I can pretend anything.

Holy moley. Man must be some kind of ROBOT or something! Onward:

4) Functionally literate

Houston, we have a problem.

I think Whitney Houston has enough problems without having to deal with adult illiteracy. Lord knows I've asked her for help myself enough times.

5) Don't type in ALL CAPS or all e.e. cummings case or MiXeD

I can't hunt and peck in ALL CAPS.

Maybe a hunting cap would help.

6) Update your blog more than once a month

That I do. Whether it's a worthwhile update is a whole other story.

Worthwhile, shmerthwhile. If we start bringing quality into this, we'll shut down the whole Internet.

7) Willing to be made fun of

Didn't I mention Hueytown?

Indeed so. But that doesn't automatically make you the butt of humor. Those stolen "Allison-Bonnett Memorial Parkway" street signs all over your living room, however...

8) Willing to make fun of yourself

But of course.

9) Have a framed picture of John Moses Browning

Engraved into my P-35.

A man after my own heart. I would normally just go ahead and not even worry about any of the other questions, but I suppose I have to, in order to have some semblance of fairness.

I'm very upstanding that way, you know.

10) Personal library must contain more books than you will ever read

Both of them.

11) Must be able to recite Monty Python and the Holy Grail and give an episode synopsis of all Andy Griffith shows from memory

Now, I'm not so sure about Andy Griffith. I keep thinking of the one where Don Knotts does something dumb and Aunt Bea makes a pie. I did interview Gomer Pyle last year at the Indy 500. He wouldn't say "surprise surprise surprise" and seemed a bit annoyed at the question.

Man, he just keeps piling on the good stuff! Anyone who's ever made Jim Nabors mad just HAS to be a member! Might as well make him the president! Except, you know, it would still be a sort of puppet position, because my dream of world domination is still on go. Anyway...

12) Your pickup truck must be in good working order--use of ether to get it started is not recommended, but will be allowed on a case-by-case basis

Ma! Get the truck off them blocks before the Weevils check!

As long as it runs. Being on blocks doesn't mean it won't work, you know.

ANYWAY, after carefully reviewing the foregoing application, and consulting with Screaming Guy in the Park, I can see NO REASON why Mr. William Carroll, columnist for the fine publication Baseball Prospectus,and co-writer of The Juice Blog, AND author of The Juice: The Real Story of Baseball's Drug Problems, as well as Saving the Pitcher, should be denied ANY LONGER the misery and heartache that can only come from being a member of the Cotton States Quilting and Field Artillery Guild, know to many as the Axis of Weevil!

SO THEN, by the power vested in my by Cindy, who runs the batting cages at Funtown, and who has incredible upper body development due to years of fast pitch softball, which is somewhat similar to baseball, except it has girls in shorts and sleeveless tops, which is better, at least to my way of thinking, even if they do get sort of grimy and sweaty, which is really rather alluring in its own way, I suppose...oh, sorry. Rambling, aren't I? SO, I HEREBY PROCLAIM Will Carroll to be a full and complete member of the Axis of Weevil, with all of the duties and responsibilities falling thereto.

All of you are encouraged to go visit Will and say hello.

AS YOU ALL KNOW, every new member receives his very own World Famous Axis of Weevil Gift Basket, containing containing a rack of Dreamland ribs, a gallon jug of Milo’s sweet tea; a G-Lox Wedgee gun rack from Mark’s Outdoor Sports for his pickup, a package of Bubba’s Beef Jerky (according to Dr. Weevil, this is homemade and is available only at the gas station at the end of Highway 82 in Bibb County); a three piece, 24 ounce box of Priester’s Pecan Logs; a box of Jim Dandy grits; a 16 ounce bottle of Dale’s Steak Sauce; AND a six pack of Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Jimmy from next door, who has a condition, is so excited by the presence of a real baseball writer within the building that he has been inspired to create an entirely new genre of baseball-themed artwork. As you all remember, Jimmy uses arts and crafts as therapy for his condition, which he says has taken a turn for the worse lately, although I think this might have to do with the copy of Baseball Hotties that his aunt caught him with in the garage last month. In any event, Jimmy has decided to paint a life-size portrait of Will, entirely in tobacco juice!

Since Jimmy's aunt does not allow tobacco products to be used in her house, Jimmy would like to ask everyone to please save your spit cups for him.

SO, welcome to William, and make yourself at home!

(By the way, everyone wants to know if you will coach the company softball team, and if you can get us some jerseys other than the ones we have that were donated by the VFW. They all smell like Old Spice and phlegm. The jerseys, that is. Well, okay, the guys from the VFW post, too.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:10 AM | Comments (5)


Her first job application. It's a big step, although I'm not sure she will realize it for a very long time. Kids who get sent down into the mines early in life are like that, you know. Got home yesterday and swooped inside and picked up Rebecca and coordinated with my better half on the meeting place at the high school for the concert, and then was off again down Main Street.

Arrived at the facility in question--a small house converted into a hospital for cats--with about ten minutes to spare before closing time. Walked in and spoke to the nice girl at the desk as Rebecca hid behind me. I finally shoved her around so she could be seen, although I never could get her to do much more than smile. She's very quiet, you know.

The assistant let us go back to the back and look at the kitties, most of whom seemed very aloof. Go figure. She explained that they had a couple of other people who had asked about working during the summer, but they always needed some help. Although most of the work would be in the kennel.

She didn't really explain all that was involved in this, but I did later after we left. Cleaning cages and feeding. Which isn't fun, but as I told Rebecca, you have to start at the bottom. You don't just be a vet. Which she already knew, but I'm so used to trying to convince her older sister that anything worth doing requires some hard work, and that you can't just be something without training, that I felt I had to make it clear to her in no uncertain terms. I used the example of when she was learning to ride horses, and they had to help clean them and clean the poop out of the stalls.

Anyway, the assistant gave her an application, which was obviously geared to people older than 12, but that was okay. She filled it out mostly by herself, although I had to explain what was meant by "experience." "I've never worked before." So, what you have to do is tell why you want to start working--I told her to put down that she wanted to be a veterinarian and needed to learn what all goes on in an office. Should be sufficient, I think.

As she filled that out, one of the various resident cats who has the run of the office came by and started swiping on my legs, so I obliged him with various head scritches and pats. And then realized he was shedding all over the bottoms of my black pants. ::sigh::

All done, and she turned her application back in, and now we wait to see if they'll be able to use her.

I wonder if she'll remember filling out an application when she gets to be an adult? I hope so.

THEN, on to the high school for the concert. In a hard-to-believe coincidence, we managed to get there right as Reba and the rest of the kids did, and parked right beside them. Amazing, I know!

Walked in, paid our nine bucks, waited in the lobby for a while for the beginner band parents to clear out. It's a bit like hot bunks in a sub--as soon as one group finishes, another group starts and all their families and friends take over the seats. We managed to sneak in and grab a row after the beginner band and before the start of the middle school concert band's performance.

As always, I am surprised at how good the kids sound, even though most of the middle school pieces are real heavy on the percussion rhythm--variations on oompah and boom-chicka-boom--and just ever so slightly on the slowish side. But no squeakers, so you figure that's pretty good.

Next on the list was the middle school symphonic band--less boom-chicka, more horns, slightly more rapid tempo. The last thing they played was a medley of TV comedy theme songs, and they did a darned fine job of it, especially the theme from "I Love Lucy." Very nice.

FINALLY, time for the high school concert band, which is what Ashley was in. BIG difference. These kids have won a lot of awards this year, and they deserve them. They are good, and not just proud-parent good. Their set included "The Last Battle" by Ralph Ford, which various sources on them there Internets says was written by Mr. Ford as an homage to the last siege of the Civil War, fought at Fort Blakely down in Mobile. To me, not knowing the story behind it, it sounded like a swingy jazzy edgy piece like something from a '50s gangster movie. Cool, daddy-o. Or huzzah. In a similar vein (although I didn't know it at the time) was a medley of Civil War marches called "The Blue and the Gray" by Clare Grundman, which was identifiably pertaining to that particular era, and finally the music from The Incredibles, which really IS a swingy jazzy edgy piece intended to evoke '50s gangster movies. And it was great! I love that hard-edged, synchopated percussion, horn-heavy sound. Wonderful job all around.


Well, it shouldn't bother me.

By now, I should be used to people without the common courtesy not to cough up a lung when the band's playing. I should be used to oafs knocking over their expensive tripods during the quiet bits. I should be used to everyone's proud deaf meemaw bugling like an elk in heat during the music about HOW GOOD THEY ARE WITH THAT THERE MUSIC. I should be used to the ::bip::blip:: of someone's Nextel radio going off. I should be used to people sitting there in the dim din of the chairs with their screaming brat and loudly shushing him. I should be, BUT DANG IT ALL, I'M NOT! Would you people PLEASE. SHUT. UP! You sit there and act like you're so proud of your kids--then show THEM, and EVERYONE ELSE, a LITTLE RESPECT! Sit DOWN. SHUT UP. AND QUIT FLASHING THAT FRIGGIN' CAMERA IN MY FACE BEFORE I TAKE IT AND STOMP IT INTO A MILLION LITTLE BITS AND FEED THEM TO YOU THROUGH A STRAW.

Maybe I'd had too long of a day. Maybe I need to just not care--no one else seems to. But, doggone it, it's just not right. Good thing I'm a very calm and rational person. And that I didn't have a shovel handy.

After they got done, it was time for the high school symphonic band, and they are just great. Began with the overture from "Also sprach Zarathustra" (and given the behavior of the audience, I would not have been surprised for them to have begun jumping up and down and throwing bones in the air, although I must confess in my mind I was kinda hoping for a big black slab to crush the worst offenders), "Poet and Peasant Overture," and "Bugler's Holiday," with three buglers drawn from the ranks of graduates, including the former director at the school. That was pretty neat. Then a musical comedrama of sorts called "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas," by Eric Whitacre, which was pretty darned cute, and played well, to boot. A finale of "Pas Redouble," and then the band awards, and then gift giving, and then a final finale with the combined group marching band, who are tighter than wax. They can really put out the volume, and they know their stuff.

A long night, but pretty fun, even though we didn't get home until nearly ten, and had to choke down some burgers from Burger King. Good thing that plastic-headed ninny didn't show up at the house, or I would have gone and FOUND a shovel.

Kids off to take their baths, at which time Rebecca informed me that she needed some pictures for her Decade Box project in social studies. They're studying the 1960s, you know. And each group has to make something of a time capsule of stuff related to that wondrous time in our history. And to decorate the box, pictures from the era. I tell you, the Internet is a blessing and a curse.

Anyway, I managed to stay up until 1 a.m. printing off pictures--Nixon and Elvis (yes, I know this was 1970, but let's face it, what better way to end the '60s?), JFK, MLK on the Mall, George Wallace, Rowan and Martin, Jimi at Woodstock, a '66 Corvette and Corvair ad, Gilligan's Island cast, Rolling Stones "Paint it Black" album, Raquel Welch (don't worry--I used a demure version, although one with an admitted emphasis on her very, an infantry M-60 gunner in Viet Nam.

My, what a strange decade.

Anyway, I am a bit punchy this morning, so later on when I get my wits about me, I intend to introduce to you a BRAND NEW WEEVIL! And he writes about baseball, whatever that is.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2005

Again, with the risk of jinxing myself hanging heavy over me...

...tonight promises diversions such as Oldest's last band concert. Of the year, and possibly forever. Band just hasn't worked out the way she thought it would. One, it takes a lot of effort. Effort is hard. Two, the teachers seem to have read deeply from the book How to Berate and Belittle Youngsters, especially the chapters on "Having Favorites" and "Moral Inconsistency." Three, the students are all high school students between the ages of 14 and 18, meaning they all have an incredible capacity for both playing victim and victimizing others. "Golden rule"? Shyeah, RIGHT! (Oldest is right there with them on that score, though--wonders why she has no friends, yet can't quite seem to not treat people civily. Go figure, eh?) Anyway, teachers and fellow students are pretty much going to have to remain in the equation, but band doesn't. So, the last concert of the season.

But, she might be volunteering at the library this summer. She seems excited about that, and I think it would be good for her. She loves to read, and she's much nicer around strangers than she is around people she knows. So, we might run by there this afternoon and let her talk to the volunteer lady.

And then, there's Rebecca, who wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up. I encourage this, because she needs to make enough money to support me in my old age. Anyway, I had suggested to her that she might see about being a summer helper at one of the numerous vet's offices around our home town, and she is excited about doing that. Never having had to deal with rancorous animals before and all. SO, I called around a bit for her, and we might run by a small office this afternoon, in addition to all the other running.

So, there's a lot to do. I just hope there's no one sitting beside me with a full glass of milk.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Well, yes, if you don't understand sarcasm.

I've tried not to comment much about this garbage, but this one caught my eye--Journalist on Tape Lauds Jackson As Parent

Uhmm-yeah. Here's the quote:

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The jury in the Michael Jackson trial watched a video Thursday in which the journalist who made a damaging documentary about the pop star actually praised him as a parent.

"Your relationship to your children is spectacular," Martin Bashir said to Jackson during the making of the documentary. "It almost makes me weep." [...]

Well, I don't see that as any sort of praise (although Mr. Neverland probably thinks everything said about him is some sort of praise). This unpraiseworthiness is especially notable if you take the definition of "spectacular" as being, "Of or pertaining to a show; of the nature of a show," or "Adapted to excite wonder and admiration by a display of pomp or of scenic effects; as, a spectacular celebration of some event; a spectacular play."

I saw the documentary when it aired, and I knew exactly what Bashir meant, and I knew he was saying something ambiguous enough that someone with a poor sense of irony and a highly inflated ego would take it as a compliment, even though it obviously wasn't meant as such. Unfair to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed manchild? Probably. It almost makes me weep.

What I don't quite get is why the reporter for the article would want to try so hard to read into the quote the meaning Jackson wanted it to have. Why not say, "Jackson's legal team saw the statement as praise," or some other such phrase--something with a bit less obvious cheerleading to it. Or is that what I hear called "advocacy journalism"?

Anyway, another nice quote from the article, this time from Jackson--

"I'm not a nut," Jackson said. "I'm very smart. You can't come this far and be a nut."

Smart, successful, and crazy aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. But you know, at least Howard Hughes had the good sense to not mess around with kids.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:32 PM | Comments (4)

Ahh, city life.

Just now thought I heard a disturbance outside my window. Sounded like shouting or something.

Sure enough--way out in the middle of the park, a fellow in a dirty t-shirt, walking around, fidgeting with his arms, jumping up from a park bench, pacing, twirling, then slamming himself back down, screaming streams of curses at no one. Maybe two hundred feet away, through two panes of glass, and I can still hear him.

But it's a lovely day outside otherwise.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:22 PM | Comments (8)

Oh, I don't think I would use THAT!

I was checking on a part for the Volvo just now on Ebay, and came across an ad for another 240 DL that a man was trying to sell. In the description, this note, describing what he intends to do to get the polish off the moldings (shouting caps in the original):


Well, that's not going to go very well if you have a chrome fish decal, let me tell you.

This might be the product intended to be used. Cleanliness is next to godliness, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:11 PM | Comments (2)

I dare not say things are looking up...

for to do so would surely cause me further schlamazelry, but I will say that the seminar was okay. Why? Catering by The Fish Market! Greek salad, slaw, fried okra, roasted potatoes, corn on the cob, hush puppies, fried fish fillets, broiled Greek-style shrimp that would cause you to slap your own mother, and a tasty triangle of baklava. I went light on the breaded stuff and filled up on salad and shrimp, and I'm going to take the baklava to Reba. Boy, am I sleepy.

Sprinkler piping? Well, it's important, if you have sprinklers in your building. And plastic pipe is a different thing from black iron, if you can believe that!

For example, it is forbidden to use edible oils such as Crisco as a gasket lubricant. Second, you should not allow pipe sealant to plug the sprinkler head.

Who knew!?

Best malaprop was the information that the chlorine atoms in CPVC are "bounded" to the other molecules. I think he either meant "bonded" or "bound."

Or not.

Second best was the information that the CPVC piping is suitable for potable water supply. With "potable" pronounced using a short-O pot. But, what do I know? It's not like I'm from Cleveland or anything. Anyway, I wouldn't drink out of a sprinkler pipe, no matter what.

Anyway, back to work! Or a nap. I am awfully sleepy now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:37 PM | Comments (11)

An auspicious start.

Got up this morning, showered, saw wife off early so she could be at a 7 a.m. meeting at work. Meaning that I had to get all the kids to school this morning. No big deal.

Went about the house to urge them to ever greater levels of swiftness in their preparations, then went back to my room get dressed. Pants? Hmm. I think gray today. Tie? Red background, with a fine, vertically-oriented pattern of swishy swirly things in taupe and gray. Belt. Shirt--reached into armoire and pulled out a white cotton oxford cloth button-down shirt. Buttoned front, buttoned left sleeve, buttoned right sle… No button on the right sleeve. ::sigh::

Take off shirt and lay it over back of chair to repair later. Reached into armoire and pulled out another cotton oxford cloth button-down shirt. Button check. Front? Check. Sleeves? Check. Collar butto--hmmm. The right button seems to have been repaired by the laundry. A tear-out, thinly repaired with what looks to be equal parts spit, laundry starch, and string. A quarter-dollar sized thin spot all around the button. I try to see if it would be noticeable if the collar was buttoned.

Oh, yeah. And how.

Hang that one back up, and reach in and pull out yet another cotton oxford cloth shirt, although this time one with a spread collar. Run the button check. All in place, with no bad spots or loose threads. Collar stays in, button up front, left sleeve, right sleeve, tuck in, belt buckled, and finish up by strangling myself with a lovely length of brightly colored silk.

Inform children of the need to go downstairs and eat breakfast (mini muffins this morning!) and they start moving toward downstairs, somewhat. (Except for Oldest, who would never deign to do anything her siblings are having to do, saving her slavish behavior-copying for the cool kids at school.)

Boy had already finished his muffins, since he’s a boy and had long been dressed and ready to go, but for the rest, I got down three plates, and placed three muffins on each plate--orange, blueberry, lemon poppyseed. Cup of milk for Cat, glass of milk for Bec, glass of iced tea for Oldest. I moved Rebecca’s plate over to the spot usually reserved for Mom, so that she wouldn’t have to clamber over to her normal seat by the window on the backside of the table. Saving time, don’t you know.

Cat sat down and finished up quickly, then Bec came down and began eating. I got myself a glass of tea and sat there at my spot, reviewing some of her tests with her. At this point, she also began carrying on a conversation with Boy, who was wandering around the kitchen, and in order to magnify a very important point about science or video games or other such important matters, Rebecca decided to make a sweeping gesture with her right hand. This gesture reinforced her point by sweeping the entire 8 fluid ounces of bovine lactational product that had been contained in her glass into my lap and down the right leg of my gray pants, and finally into the floor.


I got Jonathan to hand me some paper towels to get the major portion of cow juice up, then squished my way back upstairs to change into my black pants.


Took them all to school, got here, and found that the work pixies must have gone on strike or something, because the pile of garbage I left on my desk yesterday evening is still here this morning. And I have an exciting continuing education class today from 11 to 2 on the sexy subject of chlorinated polyvinyl chloride sprinkler piping. Oh, and when I went to the manufacturer’s website to make sure of what I was talking about, I accidentally clicked on a .pdf link, which caused my computer to shut completely down, taking with it this entire little tale of mundanity, and made me have to attempt to recreate it as you see it now. It was much funnier before.


BUT, by gum, there IS a Thursday Three today!

Many thanks to Jordana Adams for hosting today’s festivities, in which the question all revolve around gradumicating!

(1) Who was the most memorable (good or bad) graduation speaker at a ceremony you've attended -- not necessarily your own?

Honest to goodness, I can’t remember. I don’t remember who did my high school or my college one. And I can’t remember anyone at my sister’s, either.

(2) Approximately how many graduation ceremonies have you been in as a graduate and how many others have you gone to?

Two for me, and I went to my sister’s three--HS, college, and med school. And my kids have all had kindergarten graduations (for some reason--I don’t understand the fascination with such events, either.)

(3) After finishing high school and/or college what did you do for the summer?

After high school, I had a job during college where I worked for a few months at Southern Research, but it wasn’t strictly a summer job. After I transferred to Auburn, I went to school every summer quarter. I had a two week break after graduation then went to work at my real job.

Bonus Question: What was your favorite graduation gift?

I would have to say my class ring, which is what my mom gave me. The one I wear now is actually a replacement--the one she actually bought for me I flung off my hand one night as I was throwing some tomato peelings into the compost pile in our backyard. Reba and I were married by then, and we looked and looked for that ring but never found it. I even got a metal detector from Radio Shack but couldn’t come up with it. So, I had to get another one. Homeowner’s insurance paid for part of it, oddly enough. But somewhere in the Hampton Place subdivision in Irondale, to this day there remains an Auburn class ring with my name in it. If you find it, please return it to me. Thanks!

NOW THEN--for the rest of the day, I will be busily shoveling manure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:17 AM | Comments (5)

May 11, 2005

It's days like this...

...that remind me why it's called Work and not Fun.


Given the circumstances (namely, a steaming pile of work on my desk) I think I am going to have to cast about unto you, the multitude of regular Possumblog visitors, for a volunteer to host the Thursday Three tomorrow--tomorrow being Thursday and all.

And someone will volunteer, either willingly or by force.

Please drop me a note via Chet the E-Mail Boy, or a comment below. The world thanks you for your willingness to give of your time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:19 PM | Comments (14)

What a meeting.

Thank goodness we had three deletions and a no-show, or the thing would still be going on.

We used to run these things much more efficiently, before certain folks decided they wanted to be spoonfed and not have to use their brains.

Yes, it's probably better to have more information, but at some point, you still have to make a decision about things.

And sometimes, there's such a thing as having so much information available that it all becomes a useless muddle.

And it also helps if you're going to cause a big stink about something in one meeting, to have the common courtesy to show up at the subsequent meeting to see it through; otherwise, the people on the staff who have to try to cater to your imperious whims begin to doubt your sincerity, and start thinking to themselves that maybe you're just trying to show off.

And don't complain about the length of meetings if you yourself sit there and continue to spout snide comments and take up time with impertinent and immaterial jibber-jabber that you think is clever, but that everyone else sees as you being a clueless dunderhead.

Oh, and pay attention to the flow of the conversation. And if you find that task difficult, at least have the courtesy not to blame the person speaking for your lack of attentiveness.

Boy, how I hate going to these meetings.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:09 AM | Comments (8)

Suicide Possum!

How is it that Miss Janis has missed commenting on this story from her favorite columnist, Smiley Anders?!

As if we drivers didn't have enough to worry about just watching the roads around here, now we have to watch the sky too.

Amy Carmouche says it was "the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me."

She was driving down Highland Road one afternoon to pick up her son at school. Her 3-year-old daughter was in the back seat singing "Pop Goes the Weasel."

She says, "All of a sudden, the sunroof of my car explodes with a loud crash … shards of glass start to fall into my car. I'm able to keep my car on the road, but there's no place to pull over on Highland."

At her son's school she gets out to find "a gaping hole in my sunroof the size of a watermelon!"

Back home, she and her husband decide to go back to the scene and find what caused the damage, assuming it was a tree limb:

"There was no branch, rock, stick or brick to be found -- only a dead possum! It had fallen out of a tree and crashed into my sunroof. [...]

Elegiac poetry follows.

I, however, am still alive and well, not having decided to plunge headlong into any sunroofs. Yet. There is, after all, the matter of making sure the NINE HUNDRED DOLLAR and SIXTY-SIX CENT BILL TO THE WAL-MART VISION CENTER GETS PAID! Everyone got an exam. Jonathan required glasses for the first time ever. Rebecca required a stronger prescription and new glasses. Ashley required a stronger prescription, and contacts, and glasses. Reba required contacts. Only Catherine and I escaped not needing anything done, other than paying for the exam.

Hmm. "Pop Goes the Weasel," eh?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:33 AM | Comments (22)

May 10, 2005

Wal-Mart Eyeballs!

In just a couple of hours, I will be meeting my lovely family at the WallyWorld Vision Center to have our eyes checked. Nothing says high quality, low cost ocular health like a trip to a place where you can also buy tires and deodorant.

And then tomorrow, I really will be out of the office at a meeting, although not in the premeeting for the supergigantoterrific Moron Project meeting. All of you will just have to carry on without me. Just remember to bring coffee, or nothing will get done.

Anyway, until later on tomorrow sometime, all of you have a pleasant evening.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:14 PM | Comments (6)

Fake, But Accurate, Redux

Hard to believe. Well, not really.

Faults found in online reporter's stories

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — An investigation over the sourcing and accuracy of roughly 160 news stories by a freelance journalist at a leading Internet news site concluded that the existence of more than 40 people quoted in the articles could not be confirmed.

Wired News, which publishes some articles from Wired magazine, disclosed results late Monday of its review into stories by one of its frequent contributors, Michelle Delio, 37, of New York City. The stories covered subjects that ranged from computer viruses to the September 2001 terrorist attacks.

The review determined that dozens of people cited in articles by Delio, primarily during the past 18 months, could not be located. Nearly all the people who were cited as sources and who could not be located had common names and occupations and were reported to be living in large metropolitan regions.

Almost none of the information attributed to the disputed sources was considered significant. The disputed quotations typically supported details elsewhere in the articles.

Almost none. I almost feel so much better now that that's been cleared up.

Delio said Monday the investigation "concluded that my stories did not contain fabricated news, that key information in all the stories checked out and that all primary sources were located." She said she regretted not keeping contact information for all her sources.

Well, that's just complete vindication, now ain't it! And nice to see she's not the least bit defensive about all the made-up crap that she didn't consider key information. One wonders, however, why it got in a story in the first place if it wasn't considered key information. Don't these people have editors or something? I mean, if I want made-up piles of useless information, I can do that myself. Anyway--

In a private e-mail Delio sent to Wired News executives last month and obtained by The Associated Press, she said she wanted to "present my side of this sad saga."

"I don't understand why my credibility and career is now hanging solely on finding minor sources that contributed color quotes to stories I filed months and years ago," she wrote. Delio said that among hundreds of articles she wrote for the organization, there "isn't one story that contains fabricated news." [...]

Cry me a river, sister. If you can't understand why anyone might take offense, maybe you need to consider an alternative line of employment. Maybe run for office or something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:54 PM | Comments (0)


Frist expects showdown over filibuster

It's like he's some kind of a psychic or something!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:09 PM | Comments (0)

Call me crazy, but...

this just doesn't sound like something I'd want to see--

NASA satellite captures black hole birth

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:06 PM | Comments (2)

Speaking of big ugly animals...

Got another commercial that gives me the heeby-jeebies. It's for Express Oil Change, a regional quick-oil-change outfit. They're good folks--we usually take our cars there, and it's generally pleasant. (They used to be more conscientious, though.) Anyway, they generally have pretty innocuous commercials. For a while there, former Miss Alabama and Miss America Heather Whitestone was a spokesqueen for them, although I never quite understood why. But, she's pretty, so who cares.

But here lately, there's something else ENTIRELY.

A rat.

Not a little rat, like Stewart Little, but a gigantic, the-size-of-a-small-child white rat. Comes tooling down the road hanging his head out the driver's window of a full-size car, pulls into the Express Oil Change, drives into the bay, nods pleasantly to the attendant, hops out dressed in a red sweater and khakis, looks carefully at oil being drained, is a big helper and hands a guy a wrench, nods and agrees some more with another guy. And the entire time, not a single person seems to have a moment where he says to himself, "HOLY MOTHER OF EARL, IT'S A GIANT WHITE RAT DRIVING A CAR!"

I mean, such things around here are USUALLY enough to get the offending rodent beaten to death with a shovel or a bad case of lead poisoning from the wrong end of a 12 gauge, but all the oil change guys are just blithely acquiescing to the demands of their giant rodent overlord.

And I just have to ask myself, "HuhWHAT?!"

It's a puppet rat, and not a particularly cute one like Stewart Little (it actually looks more like a possum--which might have some ironic appeal since possums are usually the ones on the bad end of anything dealing with cars), and he's not handled particularly well by the puppeteers or production company or whoever, and he doesn't talk in a cute cartoon voice like a Muppet--he's just a big derned mute rat.


What does this say about Express Oil Change?

That regular car maintenance will turn you into a yellow-toothed plague-carrier? Is it supposed to be a sly pop-culture reference to the late Ed"Big Daddy" Roth's immortal "Rat Fink" character?

Or is there someone so smart out there they've managed to hoodwink a client with some storyboard idea about a furry fun character--you know, like Mickey Mouse--who can drive--you know, like Fozzy Bear, or that cute gecko--and he has to get his oil changed, because that's what oil change places do, and, and...

Boy, it's a stupid commercial.

And darned disturbing at 5 a.m.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:04 PM | Comments (11)

Horror Ripped From the Headlines!!

From the Bladen (N.C.) Journal

'Armored possum' discovered at White Lake

EEK! The story:

Possums, take note: there may be a new kind of dumb animal in town--armadillos.

Watch it, there, bright boy. That's mighty bold talk for a journalist. Anyway--

Lee Reason was on his way home Friday night when he found an armadillo near the intersection of N.C. 53 East and U.S. 701. The animal had apparently been run over by a motorist.

"I saw it laying there, and I thought, that's not a possum," Reason said. "I had to stop and see what it was." [...]

Well, of course. I mean, who doesn't stop and inspect interesting roadkill? I am overcome with grief, however, that no one seems to give the idea of a dead possum much consideration. I am also overcome with curiousity wondering what exactly the armadillo was laying, and how it managed to lay anything whilst dead. ANYway--

[...] While armadillos are sometimes called 'armored possums,' the hard-shelled mammal is more finicky about its food than the common opossum. They eat insects, some fruits, and the tender branches of cedar trees. Unlike possums, armadillos only occasionally eat garbage or roadkill. [...]

Well, golly GEE! I guess that makes the mystery of how one of these incredibly SMART and FINICKY creatures could EVER have been run over! I mean, they're so SMART and...uh, SMART and all!

Stupid armadillos.

Getting all the good publicity.



[...] While armadillos are occasionally seen in lower South Carolina, the unfortunate beast found at the lake was the first found in the area.

White Lake Police Chief Bruce Smith said he doesn't think local residents have to worry about an invasion of the hard-shelled mammals.

"I think they're harmless," he said, "but it sure is ugly."

Yeah, bub, they said the same thing about the Martians, and we all know how THAT turned out!

Smith said the animal was possibly a lost pet, or more likely, hitched a ride on a load of palm trees headed for the new White Lake Water Park.

Because armadillos, in addition to enjoying a good grub worm, also enjoy relaxing in comfort and style at a water park.

Smith said he personally had no problem with the critters moving in, if one part of their reputation was true--armadillos reportedly love to eat fire ants, and can clean out an entire mound.

"In my opinion, if they'll eat fire ants," he said, "they're welcome around here.

Yes, but when the fire ants are gone, I wouldn't turn my back on them for a second. Again, that whole thing with the Martians should be on everyone's mind.

Stupid armadillos.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:20 PM | Comments (9)

It's time for lunch.

Because if I don't go on and forage for something, I'll fall asleep at my desk. It has been a difficult morning to stay awake, and I'm not quite sure why. I've had several gallons of Diet Coke, and yet just can't get perked up.

Maybe some grease and salt will do the trick.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

Well, that's pretty cool.

I just learned that Mr. Cheney will be visiting Auburn on Friday. (It's been in the papers since the end of April, but I guess I just missed it.)

I don't remember who gave my commencement address, but I know it wasn't a Vice President. Which was fine--I was just glad to be gone.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

I've mentioned it before...

...but it bears saying again. Something is going to have to be done about this:

Bush praises determination of Georgians

Either the Eastern European version is going to have to go to something like Gyorgi, or the Southern United States version is going to have to go to something like Big George. But we just can't keep having two very dissimilar Georgias wandering around with the same name. It just breeds all sorts of confusion.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:47 AM | Comments (2)

You know the best thing about yesterday?

I got my catalog in the mail!

All kinds of goodies for morons like me! Everything that will ever break or go on the fritz and leave me stranded beside the road can all be ordered from these guys! WOO HOO!

I'm just glad that after checking the wiring harness, it appears that either it has been replaced with a good one, or it just hasn't started falling apart yet. Either way, it's a good thing.

You know, I might have to start a separate Moron Project Blog for this if it keeps taking up so much of the important, serious work that goes on here at Possumblog Industries.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:22 AM | Comments (24)

May 10, 1869

From the Library of Congress--

Officials and workers of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railways met on Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory to drive in the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869. This spike symbolized completion of the first transcontinental railroad, an event which joined the nation from coast to coast and reduced a journey of four or more months to just one week. [...]

Like everything else nowadays, it has its own website.

As an historical aside, the spike wasn't actually driven, since is really was gold, and to have hit it with a hammer would have been a really stupid thing to do. It was dropped into a predrilled hole in a ceremonial laurel wood tie. And there were several spikes, not just one. Had to be able to have some giveaways, you know. More about all that here.

IN A LESS NOBLE anniversary, it is also the day in 1865 when the runaway President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, was captured by Federal troops near Irwinville, Georgia. President Davis was dressed in his wife's waterproof cape and black shawl. [Seinfeld] Not that there's anything wrong with that. [/Seinfeld]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:58 AM | Comments (2)


It was a banquet for the kids in theater at the high school, not choir or band. And afterwards, AWARDS! ::sigh:: Didn’t get home until nearly 9:30. That’s way too long for something like this.

Maybe I’m just being a mean-spirited grouch, and I just don’t understand the intricacies of the theatrical mind, but you know, there’s an awful lot of pride going on there for an awful little amount of reason. The productions are fine, and the adults in charge do fine, and the kids learn stuff, but it’s the little details of things that just bug me. The banquet, if it can be called that, was a study in disorganization and inedibility, which is fine--if that’s the best you can do. But, I know these people, I see the cars they drive, and the houses they live in. And they certainly seem to have attitude aplenty. Thus, I expect more than a tough bit of “Salisbury steak” and mac and cheese, served with little-kid plasticware.

The recognitions afterwards? Well, if the best you can do is a fourth-generation photocopy of a cheesy handmade certificate, hurriedly filled in during the course of the banquet with a scrawl of pen, well, fine--if that’s the best you can do. But in a high school filled to overflow with computers and printers, and a year to get things together, and several days to know who the winners are, it seems as though a nicely done certificate printed off on the computer might be just as easily done as some scrap of paper dashed off between the slima beans and the trip to the restroom. The guy in our church who runs the VBS does certificates every year--it’s really not a big deal to give every kid a nice certificate that doesn’t look like a ransom note.

But again, if that’s the best you can do, that’s fine, but I really can’t understand the overweening snootiness of some of these folks, given the general level of half-assery that goes on. It reminds me of the story of the rooster who thought his crowing made the sun come up, and sometimes you sit there eating your cold mashed potatoes from a flimsy plastic spoon, and you just want to look at someone--anyone--and ask just who they think they’re trying to impress. If it’s worth giving the kids a banquet and awards, go on and do it the right way. Don’t give them stage prop awards that sorta kinda look like what a real certificate might look like. Don’t act like the clotted gravy and wilted salad you’re getting is just like what they serve at the Vanity Fair Oscar party--it’s worth springing for something a bit nicer, like maybe some barbecue from Jim and Nick’s.

Anyway, it’s not about me--I was just an observer, standing in the wrong place in the wrong group. Ashley had a good time, and that’s what matters. I just hope that one day she learns that there’s more to the ocean than just wading in the shallows.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:46 AM | Comments (9)

May 09, 2005

And tonight?

I have to escort Oldest to a school function of some sort--I have been told about this an inordinate amount of times, which makes my vague recollection of why and where and all that very unsatisfying. I believe it's a semi-dressy function for the choir kids, or band kids, or someone, but I can't remember, and would have felt horrible asking Reba exactly what it was, seeing as how she already had to call and remind me I was supposed to be taking Oldest with me.

I do promise I will not try to act cool or witty or anything in front of her. That would be SO! EM!barrassing. And I suppose we'll go in the van, just to keep her from feeling bad about arriving in a car with faded paint.

I just wish I could remember what sort of function this is. And I wish that I wouldn't be sporting a 5 o'clock shadow for it--it starts at 6 and I'd never be able to get home in time to shave. Oh well. I'm sure she'll look pretty, and that's what counts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

How to hurt yourself.

Well, first go home on Friday and decide to start things off with a rousing swing through the front yard with the lawnmower. It had gotten tall again (the back has, too, but I didn't feel like cutting it), and it's probably a good thing I went ahead and cut it when I could, otherwise all of my snooty sorts of neighbors truly would have been shocked and aghast at the veritable hoopty yard I had going on Saturday afternoon.

Got up early Saturday, full of glee at the thought of the culmination of the seconds (maybe even minutes) of planning and forethought I had given to my purchase. Rousted the kids, then hopped in Moby to drop him off at the car cleaners for a shampoo of his carpets. I tell you what--four children can be very messy. Thank heavens for floor mats, although they were nearly black themselves. I do wish that the car wash place would have hit them just a little bit harder with the dirty water sucker machine, though. When we got the van back, I had to kneel down and move or fix something inside, and came back out with two big muddy spots on my jeans. Thanks for nothing, Splish Splash on Morrow Road! They also slathered the dashboard with Armor All or some other suitably snotty stuff, and it looked ridiculous. Had to damp that down with a cloth, and thank heavens it did cut the sheen a bit.

Anyway, we got on toward Gardendale (Reba came by and picked me up at the car wash place) and we sat in the parking lot at the Shoney's for a long time. Long enough for me to take this picture of the kids in the back seat.

You will notice them all engaged in a variety of activities--none of which involve interaction with each other. Which is probably a good thing. That's my shoulder on the bottom right. Cat's watching the DVD player mounted between the two front seats, Ashley is reading a book, Rebecca is staring out the window and listening to her CD player, and Boy is somewhere behind Ashley, also watching the DVD player. Ahhh. Quiet.

Man showed up, we did some paperwork, swapped cash, and visited for a while, then his wife and Reba talked forever, and all I could think about was A) I wanna drive my new toy, and B) I wanna go pick up Moby so I can get on with cleaning him up because I don't have all day, y'know, so we need to cut the palaver and GIT!

Luckily, my internal monologue never became audible, so I stood and acted pleasant. THEN we left!


Nice ride--and I'm being serious. It's a bit buzzy at highway speed, but really no more so than Reba's Focus. It tracks straight and true, and for some reason feels much heavier and more substantial than her car, even though they have the same curb weight and about the same power. A lot sure has changed in automobiles in the past twenty years, though. The interior plastic is very hard, and has very deep graining in it, and there's no "Objects In Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear," and no computerized idle control. It does have a marvelous cupholder, however. Attached to the end of my arm. Makes you wonder how people ever did without built-in cupholders.

Home, and then back to pick up Moby, then home again, and NOW, time to set in to clean him up nice and shiny (but not snotty-slick--eww.)

This is really where I got myself started being sore, too.

First step, cleaning the seats. I had them out from when we moved the mattress, so they were pretty easy to get to. While they dried, it was time to move on to the door jambs and underhood area. I don't know what it is, but no one seems to clean their cars up anymore before they try to sell them. I don't get that. I realize it's work, but it sure does help them sell faster.

It should be noted that the work that comes later than the next paragraph would have gone by much quicker had I not taken some time to dote on the Swedish lump in the driveway. The poor guy had slaved over the thing for years, but in doing so had gotten polish all over the rubber. Nothing looks worse than gray filmy black rubber, so on an off chance that I might have a good idea, I grabbed a can of WD-40 and squirted a bit on a corner of the bumper. JUST AS I THOUGHT! Stuff cleaned the polish haze right off the rubber. SO, instead of taking time to clean Moby, I HAD to go all the way around the Volvo with the WD-40 and a rag--all the lower body rubber, the bumpers, the doors, the windows, the windshield, the rear window, the roof gutters--all of it. It looked MUCH more presentable, and ten years newer (if you ignore the faded paint). But now it was time to do what I was supposed to be doing.

I had gotten some vinyl cleaner wipes from the car parts place, and I set in to clean all around the door rubber and the jambs on Moby. Probably should have used Simple Green, but the wipes worked fine, too, although probably more pricey. Driver's door, side windows, rear hatch, side windows, sliding door, passenger door, underhood. It's good to at least knock the greasy dirt off the engine pieces and accessory bits and the filler caps--again, it doesn't have to be perfect, but just a few judicious swipes with a cloth can make it seem much cleaner and better cared for. So, I did that--battery, master cylinder, air cleaner cover, jack, A/C stuff, fan shroud, labels, junk like that. Looked very nice when finished. THEN it was time for the shiny stuff. I don't slather it on, though--just enough to do some good. Start back where I did the cleaner, and then went all the way around again. Very nice. And tiring. BUT--I wasn't done.

Because now it was time to paint the bumpers. This is where my neighbors COULD have gotten mad, because I moved the van right out to the end of the driveway, and had all my painting junk all over the place. Good thing I cut that grass, because it would have just been intolerable with that scene of automotive restoration combined with a crop of dandelions the size of sunflowers.

Anyway, I mentioned before these bumper covers are urethane skins, and the base plastic is a bile yellow color that has been progressively peeking out more and more all the way around. Looks horrible, and I would think make it much harder to sell. I had gotten a price from a local paint shop of $389 to do what I was about to set out to do. For that much, I could screw up pretty badly and still come out ahead.

But I didn't screw up. It helped that my dad and I used to dabble in car painting, so I have at least an idea about the proper way to mask and prep the surfaces. That doesn't mean it's particularly easy--lots of twisting and hunching over and getting up and sitting down. I guess I made it worse by only doing a section at a time rather than the whole thing at once, but that turned out to be a good thing.

SO, masked off the front bumper first--base mask first of a tape line around the grille, lights, side markers, fog lamps; then some added protection for the upper parts and tires with some newspaper. (By the way, always use autobody masking tape--keeps from pulling the paint off.) Degrease the surface, shake up the cheapo can of bumper paint, and have at it.

Few minutes and WOW! That looks darned good! I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it turned out looked very nice. And probably just as good as what the paint shop would have done. Cool.

Next, the rear bumper--open hatch, base mask on lamps and body, then some newspaper on the sides, and the addition of a piece of stiff poster board to use as a movable mask. This is easier on certain areas because of the difficulty in papering the hatch area. Scraped off the dried flecks of traffic striping paint from where I ran through a wet line several years back (grrr), degreased, paint, PRESTO. Man, this stuff does good!

Unmask, then start on the driver's side. By now, with all the bending and squatting and hunkering and sitting and scooting and trying to do it all at a madman's pace, I was starting to feel some twinges. And it was getting dark. It was pretty obvious I wasn't going to get the whole thing done on Saturday. ::sigh:: Masked off the molding on the driver's side, again, piece by piece. Back, middle, door, and the bit behind the front wheel. Finished up at a bone-weary 8 p.m., and only because I couldn't see anymore, even with the streetlight. One of the young ladies around the street came by on a jog with her dog and asked how I was doing all that in the dark. "Very carefully." I told her I actually couldn't see anything, and was calling it quits for the night. As if she cared.

Next day, errrrphgr. Hmmmmph. ::creak::POP:: Hungh. And that was just me rolling over to turn off the alarm clock. Got everyone up and to church, taught my class, Jonathan learned from me that you can't go dipping your toe in Satan's pond and still be okay with God, good sermon on Eve (who made some bad decisions) and then on to meet my mom at the Golden Toilet. Ate heartily of germ-encrusted things, and then we drove around looking at some new subdivisions. She's ready to move, and wants less house. I keep trying to get her to move closer to us, but she's still reluctant.

Took her back and dropped her off, and then back to home. Hmm. Two hours before church. TIME TO PAINT! URPH!

I changed back into some work duds and got my masking tape and paint out again. This time I had the sliding door, which actually worked out just fine. Rear molding, sliding door, passenger door, and the bit behind the front wheel. Ta-DAHHHH! And finished with time to spare. As well as a soreness that lingers to this very moment. But also much pride of satisfaction at not spending $400 to have someone else paint the bumpers.

It all turned out looking very nice, and I finally felt good about selling him. He's not perfect, but he looks much sharper now than he did.

So, anyone wanna buy a '94 Plymouth Grand Voyager SE Sport Wagon? $3,250 and he's yours! (Comes with remainder of can of paint for the bumper.) You've seen the outside, so here's the inside--

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:46 PM | Comments (8)

Okay, you can come up with as many rules as you want, but...

...when you try to apply them to your fellow civil servants, they will usually be smart enough to figure the way around every single stupid rule you put in place.

Which means, I have my car tag now. ::sticks out tongue toward Courthouse::

Buncha maroons. And lunch was very nice with My Friend Jeff. We ate over at the Middle Eastern sandwich shop in Edgewood known by that famous Arabic name of Sam's. Good as always, and with the added bonus of a new toy to look at!

Jeff was mightily impressed--I think I sufficiently lowered expectations enough so that he was pleasantly surprised. Then I got to drive him around the corner to see his fixed up old new home. Very nice and quite a stretch from where it started out. Still some bits and pieces to fix, but overall quite worthy of a magazine spread. AND I got to see My Friend Cathy, Wife of MFJ, and their smallest tot, whom we woke up. Sorry. Oh, and Jeff, please feed Cathy more cheeseburgers.

Anyway, did all that and got back to the Courthouse, stood in line for thirty minutes behind at least three other people who were fighting mad by the time they left (without their new car titles) and when it came my turn, I got my registration handled with no trouble at all. Because all of my papers were very much in order. Nope, nothing amiss, AT ALL. Because I am conscientious. So there. ::backs up to window and moons Courthouse::

So, maybe NOW I can try to reconstruct my long-winded post about the joys of making myself sore through the judicious use of car cleaning products this past weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:09 PM | Comments (4)

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this--

but BOY I really hate having to do anything at the Jefferson County Revenue Department.

Talk about giving civil servants a bad name!

Off to lunch now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (5)


I just had an entire entry right here, of the ordeal with cleaning and painting the bumpers on the van, and it was a spectacular post full of information and pathos, and was doing an image upload of the van, and now the post is all gone. All gone! I feel like crying.


But I do have to go to staff meeting now, and then to the courthouse. Dang it all. But, I won't say stupid STUPID Movable Type. Yet.


But here's what Moby looks like in his freshly cleaned and bumper-painted glory--

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:27 AM | Comments (6)

Boy, am I sore.

Being a moron'll do that to a person. GOOD MORNING! A long weekend, full of extreme physical exertion, heat, and paint fumes, about which you will hear more as the morning progresses. Lots to do today--have to go get a car tag, have to go eat lunch with My Friend Jeff, have to blog, and have to try to move without saying "uhhAAghhumph."

Anyway, stay tuned for more lurid and unseemly tales of suburban naughtiness as the day proceeds.

Oh, and the newest baby in the family says "hi,"
and so does the FORMER baby in the house, who has her own set of wheels--

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:26 AM | Comments (5)

May 06, 2005

You know,

I suppose I really should cut the grass this afternoon. I will probably be too excited tomorrow when I get to play with the new toy. And there's also the matter of getting Moby cleaned up as well. We're going to drop him by the detail place on the way out tomorrow morning so they can bathe his carpets, which are actually medium gray, and not black. Thank heavens for floor mats, I say. If all else fails, I can just swap those out for some clean ones. But I sure hope they're able to get them clean, just the same.

And after the bath, he gets to come home and I have to paint his bumpers. Chryslers of this era (as well as a lot of cars) had flexible painted bumper skins with a hideous yellow inside color. Once the paint starts to wear off, they look terrible, but thankfully a nice coat of new bumper paint makes them look nicer. And then, out comes the For Sale sign. I don't think I will bother with anything like E-Bay, though. Too many squirrels. First, take it to Carmax and let them give me the absolute bottom dollar, then do a little online research to find the upper range, then pick something in between.

AND THEN, there's Mother's Day Sunday. We've decided that Mom can't do without a trip to the Brazen Trough, so we'll do that, and then she wants to go look at houses. She lives in a nice place over in Southlake, but she's getting the itch to move again. Maybe something a bit closer to us. But not too close. She doesn't want to be in our business. Or be called upon at all hours to tend to our rugrats, I think is a more likely reason. Anyway, we'll haul her around awhile and let her wander around the houses and see what she likes. She's got a good eye for construction.

Reba's gift from the children was a pretty little hydrangea (that I will have to plant) I got from the nice lady I always go to at the flower shop over in the AmSouth-Harbert building. Miss Reba was quite tickled with it, as well as the presentation. And there'll be CARDS as well! And dinner with my mom at Golden Corral! Oh well, two-and-a-half out of three ain't so bad. (She loves my mom but has a hearty dislike for the GC.)

SO, anyway, all of you have a wonderful weekend, and if you still have your mom hanging around, give her a call or a visit or a germ-infused meal and tell her that you love her. She'll appreciate it.

See you Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:43 PM | Comments (0)

OKAY--you better enter if you want to have a chance of winning!

The NAME THAT JUVENILE PEREGRINE FALCON BAND CAPTION CONTEST! will be ending in just a few short minutes--the official ending time of the contest will be 2:51 pm Central time, so if you haven't entered, you better get to it!


And the winner is…

In order to keep anyone from getting mad at me (despite the fact that it IS all about me), I have given over the chore of picking the winner to Jimmy, from next door (who sends his thanks to all who have enquired about his “condition”).

Secondly, all who participated, even the losers--although loser is such a harsh term--will receive a lovely card attesting to your willingness to participate in obscure contests, and granting you full membership in the Possumblog Caption Writers Guild.

NOW THEN, the envelope, please Jimmy--

1st Place--Receiving a set of fifteen keys that fit various locks,

Screamin' Willie and the Hot Chix bust out their cover version of "Low Rider"


2nd Place--Receiving a near-mint condition March 1991 issue of Birmingham Magazine,

Peregrine Day (it's the closest I can come to matching the toughness of the trio)


And in 3rd Place, winning a copy of Elmer Fellrole’s searing classic, Non-Directional Transfer Mechanisms and Their Applications in Distributed Conglomerated Fields,

How about that nice trio from Long Island: The Birdie Boys

Sarah G.

Honorable Mention for Sheer Inscrutability goes to--

Pacific Gas specializes in California soul and funk.


Miss Janis will be receiving a cold compress and a glass of sweet tea to calm her nerves.

Honorable Mention for Being so Sweetly Winsome goes to--

Winklin, Blinklin, and Nod

Glory Girl will receive a nice warm fuzzy blanket and a hug.

And the Free Mercedes-Benz Silver Star of Accomplishment goes to Mr. Larry Anderson, who gives us:

They have to be the "New Byrds". In fact, the one in front looks a lot like Chris Hillman or maybe Roger McGuin.

We thank all of our contestants for playing along, and we ask that you please remember that Jimmy’s condition requires that no one shout at him, or make any sudden moves.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:36 PM | Comments (14)

Give it a rest, Bubba.

Clinton: Peace in Mideast a 'tough slog'

Searing insight, there, dingus.

Oh, how I long for the days when after Presidents left office they kept their yaps shut and played golf.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:29 PM | Comments (2)

That went well.

A good couple of guys who run the place. This was the first time we'd met in person, all the rest of the business having been taken care of over the phone. Everything looks fine on the survey except for one odd problem over on one side where a road was cut several years back--some overlapping ownership issues. Luckily nothing close to the building, but it's still something that needs to be seen to.

As for the whole process about the new addition, Jim Smith wanted an update of all that's been going on. Well, the best thing was that a couple of the building committee members went and visited a building up in Florence to look at their new addition, and came away with a plan drawing showing the layout. This helped them more than anything else because it gave them an idea of how much room stuff took up, and how big things needed to be to hold it all. A couple of weeks back, I took that diagram and figured on some square footages and the rooms we're going to need and came up with a preliminary program. Basically, a list of the rooms, and how big they need to be. A multi-use space (i.e., an eatin' room) for about 300, a kitchen, two classrooms (one disguised as a reception room), restrooms, storage for tables and chairs, and utility space. Probably going to come to around 6,000 square feet.

Our building committee sat down back at the end of last month and I explained what I had done, and how big the whole thing was going to be, and we hashed out and discussed all the various pros and cons, and finally I got them to all agree on something. (I think it helped to have the meeting on a Saturday afternoon.) In any event, now that we have a survey in hand, and have finally figured out what we think we need for rooms, it's time to go start shopping for an architect.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)


Gotta take off now and go meet with the surveyors for our church's property. We needed an updated metes and bounds and topo survey, and this one seems to have taken forever. And for some reason, they think they need to point out some things on it to me. That can be good or bad. I sure hope it's nothing bad.

Anyway, I have to run out to Irondale for a little while, and when I get back, I'll write more things.

OH, and don't forget the ongoing contest we have ongoing! Fabulous prizes for the winners, you know!

See you in a little while. I hope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

"I'm a Moron" Project is GO!

V-Day countdown now at -22:32:00 (or so--I mean, by the time I post this, it'll change again, and I just don't have the ability to set up a cool countdown clock to go here, although I did think about putting in a baby due date countdown, but that seemed rather pointless since it only counts days, and not minutes and seconds, so--wait--had to change the time again--okay, so just bear with me.)

ANYway, the deal is on for tomorrow morning at 9:30 at the Gardendale Shoney's parking lot, and I am so excited at having something else to tinker with! Because, you know, I have so much spare time in which to tinker with old cars. It has been fun to do all the research on what all breaks and tears up on these things--in just the last few days, I have amassed a set of nineteen bookmarks to various other Moron Project Enablers. One of the projects for later will be to repair the odometer gear. Seems they all break at 200,000 miles. Tiny nylon gear, with some sort of internal destruct mechanism.

Another will be to see if it needs a new engine wiring harness. I found out these can be faulty AFTER I made my examination. Had I known then to look for crumbling insulation on all the underhood wires, I might not have that weird puckering sensation in my lower gut. It's not a job for someone who's never worked with cars before, but if you have, it's not that hard. Time consuming, certainly, because you have to mark where everything comes loose, and then make sure you plug it all back up the right way. But that's probably worth doing, just so it doesn't burn up into a pile of ash in the middle of the Interstate. Nothing sours a Moron Project like sudden uncontrolled combustion, you know.

Let's see, what else--oh, yes--the lamps. For anyone who thinks that they just don't build cars like they used to, you're right. Cars are wonderful nowadays, and they've figured out how to make good quality plastic that doesn't degrade in the sunlight like something out of a bad vampire movie. Such things were apparently still quite unknown to certain manufacturers, however. So, some particular brands ::coughVolvocough:: of cars need some help in this regard, with plastic lamp lenses that have aged to a be as hard and brittle as Nancy Pelosi. Not a big deal to change them out, but they can be pricey. Which is another one of those things that comes with proving just how moronic your moron project can be. I'm going to try polishing them out first, just to see if that helps.

AND THEN, there'll be the 20 inch spinner rims! And the coffee can muffler! And the wicked cool racing graphics! And the towel rack trunklid spoiler!

Ahhh--so much fun to come. Oh--wait, gotta change the clock again--hold on. There.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:57 AM | Comments (9)

If you like old timey music... might want to visit this event.

I sure wish the online edition of the paper would be more efficient in putting in some related links, such as this one to Tannehill, or maybe this one from a dulcimer maker.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:56 AM | Comments (3)


I wrote this a couple of years ago, but as with some of the stuff I write, I can't think of anything different or better to say than I would have said then. A few of the details have changed due to the passage of time, but it's mostly the same, so here it goes again:

My mother was born in Walker County, Alabama in August of 1929. She was the youngest of six children (three boys, three girls) born to a shopkeeper who lost his store and his livelihood only a few months later as the Depression swept the United States. They moved from a comfortable home in town to a windowless, dirt-floored, two room dogtrot. One of her first memories (she couldn’t have been more than about three or four) was of her brothers cutting a small hole in the side of the wall of the house and filling it with the glass from a junk car. She particularly remembers how excited everyone was. A window, finally!

Her father went down into the mines. When she was still young, her mother died of breast cancer, and she was more or less raised by her oldest sister. She and her father and her brothers and sisters grew most of their own food; hunted; fished; and got by. They never asked for anything, but she tells me of one family they looked on with equal parts awe and pity who received government clothes. They would leave these outside on their fence until the clothes literally rotted away. What could not be eaten of the government food they received was thrown out to the dogs. “Sorriest bunch of people you ever saw. None of them would work; never would take care of what they had. We sure could have used those clothes. But Daddy didn’t believe in that.”

There were no toys, but she knows how to whittle a hickory whistle, and knows how to make a click and wheel, and once she even built a playhouse with her siblings out of pine logs. And very nearly lost part of her foot to the axe that slipped as she was cutting a notch in a log. There was no card playing of any sort. My grandfather was a religious man and believed card games led to trouble. The only game her brothers and sisters were allowed was checkers. She can whip anybody at checkers. Later, as an adult, she learned to play canasta. She’s pretty wicked at that, too.

She went on to school, and excelled. When she graduated in 1948, she even got a small scholarship to the University of Montevallo. But they had no way pay for her to live or buy books or pay for the rest of her education. She went to work as a bookkeeper at the commissary in Praco, where she met my father, who pumped gas there.

They married not long afterwards, and had a little girl in 1954, and along about 1955 or ’56, they moved to a neat little cedar-shake-covered house close to the western side of Birmingham. At the time it was still pretty rural, but it was right on Highway 78 and close to the steel mills where my father had started working. This is the house where they brought me in 1962, and where I spent the first fourteen years of my life.

She has seen a World War, a Korean police action, a Viet Nam, and two Persian Gulf Wars. She has buried two sisters, two brothers, her father, and her husband. She has seen men walk on the moon, and has seen a moonshine still. She has seen thirteen men serve as President of the United States. I just got off the phone to confirm this with her, that of those, her favorite is Ronald Reagan. Her least favorite is Bill Clinton. “He’s a sorry piece of sh*t.” Make no mistake, my mother is a very devout, God-fearing woman, but she has seen her share of presidents, sorriness, and sh*t, so I wouldn’t try to suggest an alternative wording if I were you.

She has lived through the Depression, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Bombingham, the Cold War, and Watergate. She raised a doctor and an architect. She has seen her daughter through a bitter divorce, and continues to see her son through a wonderful marriage. She saw herself through a marriage to a husband she loved more than any man, and late in his life managed to change him into a man truly worthy of her love.

She has four grandchildren. They like to look through her old pictures and listen to her tell stories about their daddy when he was three, coasting a ’59 Mercury down the driveway in Neutral, straight toward the highway, and how at the very last moment the car swerved into the ditch. They giggle bashfully when they hear her tell about looking up one day in study hall and seeing a handsome young Navy man just back from the Pacific, standing there in civilian slacks and a light blue shirt that matched the bluest pair of eyes she had ever seen. They tell her about school, and she always tells them to read and study hard. They tell her about their bumps and bruises and hurt feelings, and she tells them that all that stuff is a learning experience. My mother has always been big on learning experiences.

She'' be 76 on her birthday, but she still works a full forty hours a week as a bookkeeper and office manager for an electrical contractor. She drives an Eldorado, mainly because it’s American and it has a V-8. “When I mash the accelerator, I want to GO!” She has moved twice since the old green house on the highway, and works outside in her yard just about every day cutting grass, pulling weeds, picking tomatoes and okra and squash from her little postage-stamp sized garden in the back. We always try to get together and do something with her, and I suspect this year we'll go over to her house and sit and talk for a while. I'm hoping she doesn't want to go to Golden Corral, but if she does, we'll take her and have a good old time.

I love my mother.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:46 AM | Comments (6)

May 05, 2005

Say, Kids! What about a CONTEST!

Miss Janis has been spending some time watching the Peregrine Cam, and apparently this little grouping got her to thinking of...well, something.

Click for a bigger picture.

Janis thinks (given the banding activities going on when the picture was made) that the little buggers look like a musical band, and so we bring you the NAME THAT JUVENILE PEREGRINE FALCON BAND CAPTION CONTEST!


The winner(s) will be announced tomorrow afternoon sometime. Prizes will consist of a variety of imaginary things that I carry with me in my pockets, such as this Knoxville World's Fair comb, this lobster, a collection of glass eyeballs, and a plug of Old Bloodhound chewing tobacco. All decisions by the judges will be final, unless protests are accompanied by hefty monetary bribes, or offers to cut my grass.

So, on your marks, get set, CAPTIONATE!

For some reason, when I see the wee baby birds, I am reminded of this rather bizarre image from a Beatles coloring book--

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:43 PM | Comments (9)

I have resisted with relative success--

--making any more than a few passing references to American Idol this season, because I thought after last year's show that it has outlived its usefulness as a mindless distraction. Dog. But I have to say that I cannot fathom how Scott "I Look Like A Moldy Slab of Weisswurst" Savol managed to make it all the way to the top five. Good GRIEF he was annoying. Dog.

But the problem is, I no longer care who wins. Even though Bo is from Shelby County and gets hometown hero points, all of the ones who are left are all okay and pleasant and seem nice and can sing. So, congrats to whoever wins. Dog. But there's no real reason to watch now, because the only REALLY controversial thing would have been if Scotty had managed to make it into the top two. Now THAT would have been a finale I would have made an appointment to see.

Thankfully, I don't have to worry about that now.

Dude. Dog. Man.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:29 PM | Comments (2)

Chet the E-Mail Boy--

--our resident Linotype operator and telegrapher, was very familiar with this story, but it was a new one to me.

I went to the basement of the palatial Axis of Weevil World Headquarters Building just now and checked Chet's Merganthaler, and sure enough, it's a fact.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (2)

Is it just me?

Or is it an EXCEEDINGLY slow day around here?!

Maybe we need to fire up the grille and cook us up some nice tender manatee steaks...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:15 PM | Comments (9)

Okay, so maybe I'm the only one who thinks this is kinda cool.

Old fireplugs never dry...
'On Morris Avenue since 1890, hydrant will go to museum'

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

On the passing of Carl Salter.

A nice article from The Birmingham News about the life of well-known local artist Carl Salter.

If you live in Birmingham, I guarantee you've seen one of his paintings of the local architectural landmarks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:36 AM | Comments (7)


I may have to get a couple of these.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:20 AM | Comments (6)

Zero Intelligence Watch

Yes, I realize it's a shameless rip-off of Best of the Web. Sorry.

ANYway, I just saw this one and had to just shake my head--Band banned from performing 'Louie Louie'

The Associated Press

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A pop culture controversy that has simmered for decades came to a head when a middle school marching band was told not to perform "Louie Louie."

Benton Harbor Superintendent Paula Dawning cited the song's allegedly raunchy lyrics in ordering the McCord Middle School band not to perform it in Saturday's Grand Floral Parade, held as part of the Blossomtime Festival.

In a letter sent home with McCord students, Dawning said "Louie Louie" was not appropriate for Benton Harbor students to play while representing the district — even though the marching band wasn't going to sing it. [...]

Dawning said that if a majority of parents supports their children playing the song, she will reconsider her decision.

"It was not that I knew at the beginning and said nothing," Dawning said. "I normally count on the staff to make reliable decisions. I found out because a parent called, concerned about the song being played."

"Louie Louie," written by Richard Berry in 1956, is one of the most recorded songs in history. The best-known, most notorious version was a hit in 1963 for the Kingsmen; the FBI spent two years investigating the lyrics before declaring they not only were not obscene but also were "unintelligible at any speed."

::sigh:: Okay, I figure I'm about as prudish and uptight of an individual as I can be, but this is just stupid. Unless the marching band is also going to sing and not play, and not sing the real lyrics but someone else's dirty made-up lyrics, in which case the woman would have a point.

It might also help her out if she took a moment and read the Snopes article. (Yes, I'm relying heavily on the Mikkelsons today.) A word of caution--the Snopes article does have a nasty (non-original) version of the lyrics, so be warned, because it IS lewd.

By the way, if we start making it against the rules to play catchy tunes that might have some unsavory lyrics to go with them, it might be worth remembering that the tune for the National Anthem is based upon "To Anacreon in Heaven," which itself was full of rather bawdy lewdness.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

Put THAT in your lockbox!

Gore to get lifetime award for Internet


The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Al Gore may have been lampooned for taking credit in the Internet's development, but organizers of the Webby Awards for online achievements don't find it funny at all.

In part to "set the record straight," they will give Gore a lifetime achievement award for three decades of contributions to the Internet, said Tiffany Shlain, the awards' founder and chairwoman.

"It's just one of those instances someone did amazing work for three decades as congressman, senator and vice president and it got spun around into this political mess," Shlain said. [...]

Oh, give it a rest, Tif. It got spun around because Mr. Excitement said something stupid and got called on it, and didn't have the ability to do damage control.

And whatever he did to promote funding for Internet research is all fine and good, but let's remember--IT WAS MY MONEY! Nothing irks me more than to see politicians rifle my pockets for small change, then crow about the wonderful coin collection they have assembled.

Anyway, for the real straight-setting of the record, this September, 2000 article from does a much better job of setting out what Electric Al did or didn't do.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:45 AM | Comments (3)

School days, school days…

O those golden rule days!

Or, rather golden ruler days, when she’d come by and whack you on the back of the head with that great big yellow yardstick from the hardware store and tell you to pay attention.

BE THAT AS IT MAY, the topic for this week’s blog-filler game was brought about during a conversation with a certain East Carolinian as we reminisced about the teachers we had as children who had an impact on us (and not of the paddling kind). SO, without further ado, we bring you The Axis of Weevil “Excellence in Primary and Secondary Pedagogy Edition” of the Thursday Three!

As has always been the case, anyone may play along by answering these questions:

1. What three teachers did you have in grade school or high school who had the greatest impact on you, either for good or bad?

2. Which teacher do you wish you could go back and apologize to for your terrible misbehavior?

3. What do you think is the best thing to happen to grade school since when you were there?

Leave your answers in the comments below, or leave a link to your blog and we’ll all come over there.

As for my answers…

1. I’m not going to use their real names, just to protect the innocent, but I think I would have to say the most memorable teacher was my second grade teacher who was probably ninety and dipped snuff. She was gross. Of the teachers who helped me most in later life, I’d have to say our English/history/social studies teacher who I had for several different classes over many years. I also went to church with her. She was a real whiz, although a no-nonsense sort of the highest order. The fact that I can still diagram sentences is due to her. I think the one who was the most harmful (at least to others) was a guy I had back in 7th or 8th grade for biology. He was the first teacher whom I could identify with confidence as being more ignorant than me. That’s not a good thing for a teacher or a student, but he was extra special stupid. I think I’ve mentioned him before--he’s the one who taught us that whenever you learn something, a tiny crease forms in your brain. Biology, my friends.

2. I never was bad as some of the other hellspawn kids--that just wasn’t my style--but I suppose if I had to pick one I’d have to apologize to the lady who taught us typing when I was a junior. Not for necessarily being a pest in class, but for saying mean things about her out of class. She’s really a nice lady, and went on to marry and have a nice family. I saw her about three years back when we were visiting Nashville and it was very strange because our relative ages are so much closer now. When she was our teacher, she was probably only about six years older than us, which seems like a lot when you’re 16 and she’s 22 or 23, but when you’re 40 and she’s 46, well, it’s just odd. You’re both middle-aged folks, you know? Anyway, her.

3. Well, of all the horror stories about the way public schools and teachers have gone all to crap with the lack of discipline and lack of intellectual rigor, I think our elementary school the kids attend now is pretty good, with smart and engaged teachers who truly seem to enjoy being around kids. And none of them dip snuff or smell like camphor.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (8)

May 04, 2005

Kids? Oh, yeah.

I keep forgetting I have to take off in about an hour to go get the kids after school. Grandmom and Grandad have taken off for a jaunt and so SOMEone has to make sure the kids are corralled. So, I think I'd better start putting away my toys and get ready to go, AND get the place all nice for tomorrow, which is Thursday. And yes, that is a hint!

Of what, I'm not sure.

ANYway, see you tomorrow, if I don't forget to come to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:20 PM | Comments (0)

Time travellin' JWs!

Court orders Jehovah's Witness who doesn't want transfusions back to B.C.

Seems a bit extreme--I mean, blood transfusions weren't common until the early 20th Century, and if you send 'em back in time before 1878, they wouldn't even be Jehovah's Witnesses anymore. No matter, because all this time travel stuff is dangerous.

Hmm? What? "British Columbia"?


Never mind.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:59 AM | Comments (0)

Big deal.

New Computers Make Grocery Carts Smarter

I'd be satisfied to find one with four operable wheels.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

Hey, have I got a bargain for YOU!

On May 4, 1626--

Dutch colonist Peter Minuit arrived on the wooded island of Manhattan in present-day New York. Hired by the Dutch West India Company to oversee its trading and colonizing activities in the Hudson River region, Minuit is famous for purchasing Manhattan from resident Algonquin Indians for the equivalent of $24. The transaction was a mere formality, however, as the Dutch had already established the town of New Amsterdam at the southern end of the island. [...]

It's probably worth at least twice that now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:41 AM | Comments (0)

Here's one ...

...for the guitar players in the house.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:08 AM | Comments (6)

Volvo Trivia!

Well, you know it was bound to happen.

1. Volvo was founded as a ball bearing manufacturer in 1924 by Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson, and the first Volvo automobile was produced in 1927.

2. Volvo is the first person singular present tense of the Latin volvere, meaning "I roll." If you really want to be pedantic, it's pronounced "Wolwo."

3. The circle and arrow symbol is for the shield and spear of the Roman god Mars, who in addition to his day job as the god of war, also sidelined a bit as the god of iron. The same symbol is also used on engineering drawings to denote steel.

4. The Volvo High Mileage Club is open to owners whose cars have gone over one hundred thousand miles. Upon receipt of a simple form, the company will mail the owner a lovely badge. (I will be receiving two. And it is a badge, not a badger.)

5. Volvo is uncomfortably close to a certain word referring to anatomical matters.

6. You do not have to be a yuppie to drive a Volvo.

7. Every Swede receives a free Volvo every year on his or her birthday.

8. If every Volvo ever made was stacked one atop the other, the resulting wobble in the Earth's rotation would cause the Earth to plunge into the Sun.

9. - 14. [Reserved]

15. People will point and laugh at others who drive old Volvos, but it is intended as a sign of respect and admiration, not derision.

16. Good GRIEF, those crappy plastic headlights are expensive!

Thank you for your indulgence. Other interesting non-information will be available in the coming years.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:44 AM | Comments (5)

My first real literary submission.

Many thanks to Miss Janis for providing such rich fodder for ridicule with her tales of the condo board, and for inspiring me with her Fabioescapades to submit the sentence (I made it one sentence by replacing the period after the first sentence with a comma) from yesterday for inclusion in the prestigious Bulwer-Lytton contest. I sent in my opus magnum last evening, and received a very kind e-mail back from the sponsors, reading (in totality):

Your submissions have arrived and will receive the treatment that they deserve.

I am overcome with ennui.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (8)


I might have some time to play today! Still have a few loose ends to tie up, but after that there'll be all sort of fun activities! And cookies and juice!*

So stay tuned, and we'll see what sort of trouble we can get into.

*DISCLAIMER--Cookies and juice available only in selected markets.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 AM | Comments (8)

May 03, 2005

"Unjust winds of criticism..."

Miss Janis, fingers fluttering across keyboard like so many Eclectus parrots, bids her readers to join with her in creating new verse for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest!

"Do your worst," she said, her hands clutching the faultily repaired balcony railings, as he bent her backwards, his long blonde mane gently grazing her neck like the soft touch of the sea oats, or of sand fleas. "I am the condo board president, and you can impose no more on me than I have already had to bear under these unjust winds of criticisUMMMMMMMMM!"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:08 PM | Comments (10)

Not just once, not just once in a while, BUT EVERY DAY!

Sitting here typing and eating my lunch at my desk in order to get something done, and here he comes. Same routine every day.

Older fellow, built exactly like Dilbert, walks with a shambling sort of squirrelly civil-service gait, who comes down to our side of the building to use the toaster oven. It's on a table right outside my door, along with the microwave. He pops in two pieces of bread, and leaves. Since he does this every day, by now I should just get up and go turn it off before it burns, but I'm usually preoccupied with mundane goop and don't realize he's been by until I smell the tell-tale sign of singed bread. And every day, he comes back and acts surprised that his toast is burnt. He stands out there and mutters to no one and gets it and goes on back to his office.

I think one or the other of us needs to get out more.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:05 PM | Comments (13)

In case you haven't figured it out...

I'm still having to wade through some stupid work junk that I really don't want to do, and that's just not good.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

You want to feel old fast?

How about the realization that your 12-year-old is studying history in school, and it's stuff from back when YOU were 12 years old. ::sigh::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:18 AM | Comments (16)

May 02, 2005

As promised, the tale of the hunt.

I had seen this particular shoebox about the same time I started looking for the Benzes, and kept it in the back of my mind for future reference. As you recall from previous maunderings, my peculiar itch that needed scratching was for a smaller, older, boxyish, and reliably stolid car. (I have always been fond of little rolling boxes, for some reason.)

Anyway, after the trip to Georgia, I fired up the Google machine and found the car again, and the price had been dropped by about two hundred or so. Hmmm. The picture you saw of it was the only one, and it was sufficiently grainy and dull that I couldn't tell anything about it other than it looked more or less intact.

But, I had already allowed myself to get too invested based on photos, so I called the gentleman and got the rundown from him. Seemed very promising, as did the Carfax report that showed nothing untoward had ever happened to it. He'd bought it when he was stationed overseas in the military, and took delivery of it in Germany, where he also had added on an accessory gauge package and some better speakers.

And since then, he seems to have slavishly devoted much rubbing and doting on the car. The paint is very thin on top, the combined effect of 20 years of Southern sun and obsessive polishing on his part. Good tires, glass clear, rubber still somewhat rubbery. There are some dings and scratches, and some of the trim isn't as tight as it could be, and the lenses on the lamps could use a good freshening. But, no rust. Anywhere, low or high or in the creases.

Over the phone, he'd said there was a bad place in the driver's seat, and indeed, there was an inexpensive cover over it when I first got there and looked in the window.

Hmm. Never can tell. I'd made a trip Sunday afternoon between church services way down to Childersburg to go look at another 240DL, one that the owner swore had been well taken care of, although it had a little bad spot in the driver's seat, too. And a bit of rust. But otherwise in great shape. I suppose if "great shape" means "ready to drop in a crusher," then yes, it was.

But the car I saw today didn't look like that. It looked...buyable. I went and got the fellow from his office and we walked back to where it was parked and he opened the door. Here we go--the test.

It smelled like...a car. One that had been vacuumed and cleaned, and loved and patted. No smell of decay--sure, it had lost that new-car smell, but what was left wasn't bad at all.

Oh, and that seat.

He pulled back the cover, and there was a tiny hole in the fabric about the size of a pencil lead. That was it. The rest of the seats looked nearly new. The dash does have more than its share of cracks, though, but at least it's not wavy and buckled. And it can be fixed pretty simply. Even by a moron.

We cranked it up and drove it. Tight. No squeaks. Good power. Nice. Different, but nice. Yep, this one's it.

We got back to his parking lot and I told him I'd take it. He fidgeted around with stuff, and showed me the half case of factory Volvo oil filters he had for it, and the two giant shop manuals, and the wax he wanted me to be sure and use. And then he just stood back and looked at it.

"You know, I don't--I just can't hardly stand to sell it."

Yep. You could tell, and it was about to make him cry. I know the feeling. But I assured him I would take good care of it, and it would continue to serve faithfully in the service of another.

We're going Saturday morning to go meet him and pick it up, and I may have to bring along a box of Kleenex for both of us.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:50 PM | Comments (23)

Okay, folks...

Start thinking of Swedish names.

Details later on in the day. But, most important, it has been loved.

(Second most important is it's 350 bucks cheaper than the Merc was.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:33 PM | Comments (37)

Well, Good Morning!

As you've read below, the weekend excursion to west Georgia didn't quite turn out the way I had intended, but hey, that's the way them things go. On to bigger and better things today. Or not. And just now an added stack of crap to do! I realize my usual routine of obsessive posting throughout the day seems to have taken a hit, but for some reason things are busier around here. Nothing substantive, of course, but lots of futility exercises that simply MUST be done!

Anyway, I will be checking e-mail and stuff today in case you've got something interesting, but aside from that, I need to fulfill my paying obligations today, so I'll ask your indulgence. Or, you know, hire me to write this crap full time so I can quit my real job.

Yes, yes--I know--"don't give up your day job." ANYway, as I usually say when I have to go inside and do my schoolwork, take a tour of the blogroll up top or over on the side where all the Munuvians hang out and see what all there is out there, and I'll see you later on today sometime. Possibly with an interesting car story...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)