December 23, 2005

Another year by the wayside.

I've got a few more hours to kill here, but I figure it's about time to hang up the old Closed sign on Possumblog until next year. I'll be on vacation next week, and won't return to these parts until January 3rd.

I bid you all peace and joy, and I'll see you again in Aught Six.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:24 PM | Comments (2)

And what would Christmas be without--

--Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Today those wise Chinese people let loose with some good ones. First up:

Your energy is at a peak. Channel it into creative activities.

You know, that is just so true. How DO they know these things!? But, no matter--it's an excellent idea, and I think I will channel all of my peaking energy into a nap. No use overdoing, eh?

Next, this equally incredible gem:

You are strong and brave. Use your strength to pull you through.

Can they call 'em or what!? I notice that although I am both strong AND brave, I am being told to keep my bravery idling and just slide by on strength alone. Which is fine. Napping doesn't really require the bravery that say, fighting off ninjas or badgers does.

Today's lucky numbers:

7 15 25 38 42. 26


1 19 23 33 42. 8

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

"Have yourselllllf..."

" abnormally obsessive little Christmaaaaas."

Got home with my precious packages last night, and was able to sneak them into the house without Reba seeing, because she wasn't there, which made it very simple. Yes, I realize they were wrapped, but I still wanted to have something of a surprise for her.

While I was fidgeting trying to get them under the tree, I heard the garage door going up, so I scrambled and put away the bright red shopping bag and ran to the kitchen to start getting stuff out for supper. Wife, kids, cold air all came in at once in a happy tumble, kisses, hugs, immediate start of teen indignation that someone had dared touched something of hers, suggestion from wife that if I would continue with the food prep, she would take Oldest with her to go return some pants, to which I quickly agreed.

Fixed supper, fed kids, told them to go get cleaned up, while they did that, I went back to the Wife Gifts to put her name on them. Big pretty gold one, big pretty gold card; swirly silver on blue, with--nothing. Hmm. Looked at the red polka-dot one--no card, either. Grr. I looked in the shopping bag. Nothing. Grr.

Now, in the great scheme of things, this is probably about the most inconsequential thing you could think of, but doggone it, the presents were so pretty, and I wanted my dingderned matching cards to go with them! None of those plain white ones, or the stick-on Rudolph stuff for kids, or scraps of wrapping paper cut and folded--I wanted the real, matching, embossed with genuine foil, heavy paper stock cards!

(And lest you wish to blame this on Miss Squishy, don't--she didn't wrap them, she only took my order.)

Back today, upstairs, go to counter, nice older lady--"Yes, sir--how may I help you?"

"Uhhh, well, I realize I'm going to sound like a big idiot, but I got three packages wrapped here yesterday, and when I got home, only the one with gold paper had a card with it, and I was just wondering if it would be possible to get the other two cards--one was the blue with silver swirls, and the other was the big red polkda dots."

She looked at my receipt, "OH, yes, I remember--I wrapped these. See? It says here 'pink pjs' and I didn't realize that was supposed to be the little pink gown and so we had to rewrap that one. I think we've run out of cards, though, let me look."

She disappeared, then came back, "Here we are--we've been having to use the white ones for most of them." She neatly folded and handed to me two plain white cards.

Very similar to the plain white cards I saw in the wrapping paper box at home.

Which I realize now I should have just gone ahead and used.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:11 PM | Comments (2)

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Looking into the future, I see that I will be absent Thursday next, meaning that if anyone wants there to be a Thursday Three, you might better be volunteering now to host it, or volunteering someone else to host it, or there will be NO THURSDAY THREE! Which would be terrible!

Or not.

Anyway, if you are, or you know someone who is interested in having everyone come over and play, say so down in the comments so we can make sure this is in place and ready to go on schedule.

OR, we could just give it a rest until next year.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

Next, where do socks go?

Science and the private life of teaspoons

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian scientists have proved what is common knowledge to most people -- that teaspoons appear to have minds of their own.

In a study at their own facility, a group of scientists from the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health in Melbourne secretly numbered 70 teaspoons and tracked their movements over five months.

Supporting their expectations, 80 percent of the spoons vanished during the period -- although those in private areas of the institute lasted nearly twice as long as those in communal sections.

"At this rate, an estimated 250 teaspoons would need to be purchased annually to maintain a workable population of 70 teaspoons," they wrote in Friday's festive edition of the British Medical Journal.

They said their research proved that teaspoons were an essential part of office life and the rapid rate of disappearance proved that this was under relentless assault.

Regretting that scientific literature was "strangely bereft" of teaspoon-related research, the scientists offered a few theories to explain the phenomenon.

Taking a tip from Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy books, they suggested that the teaspoons were quietly migrating to a planet uniquely populated by "spoonoid" life forms living in a spoonish state of Nirvana.

They also offered the phenomenon of "resistentialism" in which inanimate objects like teaspoons have a natural aversion to humans.

On the other hand, they suggested, people might simply be taking them.

I always thought the dish ran away with the spoon. But, I'm not a scientist.

I'd like to know who keeps taking all the money out of my wallet. And bank account. And just where DO socks go? Thankfully, the question of where lost airline luggage goes has been answered.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:22 AM | Comments (4)


...of effectiveness.

I gave up on such crazy ideas long ago.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

December 22, 2005

"Deck us all with Boston Charlie..."

Christmas tree possum surprises Pa. teen

ENGLEWOOD, Pa. (AP) — Mary Kathleen O'Connor, 16, doing some studying for school about 6 a.m. Tuesday, said she was the first to be startled by an apparent Christmas tree stowaway.

"I'm looking at the tree and the angel just pops off," she said. "And a second later, this head just popped up. The eyes were, like, glowing. I was thinking, 'Oh my God!' And I screamed."

And like, your eyes would glow, too, if you just popped up underneath the backside of Gabriel.

Other family members came running. "We looked at it and I thought it might have been a fake," said her father, Michael O'Connor, a Frackville attorney. "But then it moved its head. And I thought 'Holy Jeez. We're in trouble.'"

Well, I think you might be in more trouble with Our Lord the Holy Jeez for taking his name in vain. Be that as it may, I do enjoy the name "Frackville."

O'Connor called police, and William E. O'Donnell, a state Game Commission deputy wildlife conservation officer, removed an 18-inch-long opossum from the 8-foot Douglas fir the family had bought, bundled, from a dealer in Seltzer.

As well as "Seltzer."

O'Donnell caged the animal and released it in woods about five miles away. The tree, meanwhile, was still in the front yard where Patricia had hurled it. "The lights are still on it," Michael O'Connor said. "So is the stand."

I'm sure all the other outdoor-type possums appreciate the festive decorative addition to the yard. By the way, who's Patricia?!

Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

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

Yorkie Blogging!

Our impatient patient seems to have gotten in fine enough fettle to do a little pajamablogging!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

Firmly grasping his beltloops with his thumbs--

--and yanking his trouser waistband up to his sternum, yet another person finds he has become a crusty old geezer.

And for what it's worth, I am STILL shivering at my desk.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:56 PM | Comments (2)

Very strange.

I got into an e-mail exchange with My Friend Jeff yesterday on the topic of tires, and, as is our wont, it quickly diverged into all sorts of only barely-related stupidities of silliness. And then this morning, it took right back up where it left off, and I said something about Bulwer Lytton, and then he wrote something silly back and mentioned the word opossum. And then a few minutes ago he asked me when I was taking off for my non-specific holiday period, which is one of those silly phrases I use sometimes.

I wonder--has My Friend Jeff managed to finally stumble across Possumblog!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (4)

As the youngsters say...

..."that's good squishy!" Well, they do, at least according to Lileks. Who am I to argue?

In any event, an entirely appropriate thought as I went over to the Parisian store at the AmSouth-Harbert building at lunch to do some last minute you-know-what. I am really at a loss this year, because a certain wife of mine has just about everything, and the few things she did want were quickly snapped up by the kids as their gifts to her. So I had to think, which is hard, and it makes my head hurt.

First stop was the newsstand/everything-shop, though, just to see if there might be an interesting stocking stuffer. They have everything--cards, cigars in a big humidor, ceramic cats, candles, Spam, newspapers, statuary of Santa playing golf, statuary of Santa in either Alabama or Auburn football jerseys, Precious Moments statuary, Penthouse, pantyhose, Beanie Babies--basically anything a downtown office worker would require to go through the day. But not really anything I wanted to buy for Miss Reba.

On to Parisian, where I browsed the cosmetic counter (she already has a ton of cosmetics), the jewelry cases (ditto), the racks with variations on the scarf theme (promising, but still not quite personal enough), the various leather goods (no comment)...hmm.

Upstairs, which promised Ladies Clothing--and Intimates!

HEY! A sale! Browsed the various racks of suits--she could probably use some more work clothes (ignoring for the moment that she already has more clothes than will fit in her closet), but it's very difficult to buy suits for her because of the Issue of Fit. I figure it's best to stick with stuff I know will fit, and suits must be tried on. ON around the store--too old, too silly, too big, too puffy, too too. Finally got around to some two-piece skirt and sweater sets that caught my eye--now that looks like her! Very nice. Found one that has a dark brown sweater with a light colored ring around the neck and a brown plaid skirt with fringey stuff up the side. Now then. Something else. Again, she has these, but I just couldn't help it--had to get her a nice pair of soft pajamas, and a nightshirt. They just looked like her. What can I say?!

Thus armed with my selections, I went and laid them on the counter for the lady to ring them up. She cast an eye at me very similar to what Aunt Esther might do, and jokingly asked me, "You pick these out all by yourself!?"

"HEY! I can do stuff like that!"

"Well, baby, you did pretty good for yourself! These for your wife?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"I think she'll like those just fine."

Well, we'll see, won't we. We continued to banter a bit, and then I took them over to the gift wrap place, which was inhabited by Miss Good Squishy herself. My goodness--just as cute and perky and doe-eyed and blonde and round and firm and fully packed as could be. She apologized for the wait, took down my packaging requests (the gold stuff, the stuff with the big red dots, and the swirly silver things on the blue background) and said it was going to be about 20 minutes to get mine done. She was just so darned nice I couldn't have complained even if I wanted to.

So I went and ate me some lunch. Got a big salad from Wall Street Deli, sat and ate at the tables, and watched the world go by. I sure will be glad when the affectation of gaucho pants with boots fades. Every woman who wears those winds up looking like they're wearing those goofy high-water pants the guys wore in the original Star Trek.

Anyway, finished up, walked back to the store, stood and waited for everyone else to get out of my way, and asked for my goods. "Here you go, sweetie--just be sure to take the tag off the bag so she won't know what's in there!" I am such a sucker for any customer service person who calls me sweetie or sugar or honey or hon or stuff like that. Especially if it's a she-person. It's almost enough to make me like shopping at Parisian again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:08 PM | Comments (5)


But I dare not say anything else! I would never wish to be accused of saying anyone was a devious hypocrite and heathen.

Despite the fact that the shoe seems to fit quite comfortably. And the fact that the small winged animal walking around the place looks, acts, and sounds like a duck.

O! the persecution...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

A New One!

I just found out that one of our frequent commentors around here, Miss Diane from up Wisoncis way, has started up her very own blog, which promises to be full of things about quilts and cookies and church and stuff. So, welcome to the blogworld for Diane!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:06 AM | Comments (8)

Obscure Architectural Term[s] of the Day!

This one will get a bit complicated--

XYSTUS. An AMBULATORY. In Greek architecture, a long portico used for athletic contests; in Roman architecture, a long covered or open walk bordered by colonnades or trees.

It's also the only X-word in my Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition! Anyway, now we have to look up...

AMBULATORY. A semicircular or polygonal aisle enclosing an APSE or a straight-ended sanctuary; originally used for processional purposes.

And finally, we turn a couple of pages and find:

APSE. A vaulted semicircular or polygonal termination, usually to a chancel or chapel.

Whew. So, to start off with, for all you xystus fans, here's one you'll like from an 18th Century engraving, demonstrating its application to the garden. And from a very comprehensive site associated with the University of Pittsburgh, some diagrams by Jane Vadnal of an ambulatory, and of an apse.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

Ahhh--the raspy-voices brought on by the icy cold blasts of Arctic air

--the annoying high-pitched jangle of Rankin-Bass sleigh bells, the twinkling lights--it can mean only one thing, you know.

That’s right!

It’s the Second Annual Axis of Weevil Ramahannuchristmakwanzavus Thursday Three!


We understand that there are several different types of highly competitive holiday celebrations ongoing at this time of year, so we expect you all to behave and be nice to each other's religious and/or non-religious proclivities and not make the Animated Swingin’ Singin’ Santa Lite-Up Guest Greeter cry. Or Santa Monica, for that matter.

Remember, anyone (theoretically) can play along, and if you don’t do any celebrating of any sort, it’s okay. Just make something up and no one will be any wiser. Just leave your answers neatly gift-wrapped in the comment section below, or leave a link to your blog so we can all come by and oooo-and-ahhhh at your inventiveness.

Anyway, on to the questions, which were once again provided by our favorite East Carolinian, Jim Smith (not an alias, by the way), just like they were last year.

They are this:

1. Are you an early bird in the prep for the holidays, and if so, how early do you start?

2. If you decorate your house, when do the decorations go up, and what are they?

Now, this one is something of a repeat from last year, so you have the option of rewrapping it and giving it to someone else if you don’t want it. Also, it pertains more to those who celebrate gift-giving holidays (i.e., not Festivus), so if you don’t give people stuff, you might just have to come up with another question more suited to your situation, such as, “What is your least favorite Feat of Strength?” Anyway:

3. Do you go out of your way to find special, well-thought-out presents, or are you so harried and confused that gift cards make more sense?

Okeedoke--all of you take a big gulp of cheer and go answer the questions and report back to us on what you have to say. As for my answers…

1. My wife is--she shops and squirrels away packages all year long. I, on the other hand, am easily distracted by squirrels, and so wind up close to Christmas without having done all the thoughtful and tender and loving considerations I should have done. I try to start shopping in December for Reba, but am very often late in getting started. Like this year. I have her a few small things from the kids, but not the big, “Make Her Go ‘Awwww’” present. Then again, it’s only the 22nd, and Christmas is still a full two days away. Next year, I will do better, I promise.

2. We don’t do THAT much decorating, but even with the little bit we do, it’s still something of a last-minute thing. Usually the tree goes up during Thanksgiving--never any earlier. This year we didn’t get all the decorations out, and we STILL don’t have up the few small things I did get out. I blame the ACLU. We put up stockings, and usually some small single white-bulb electric faux candles in the windows, and a wreath on the front door, and a little light-up tree on the sewing machine table in the foyer, and sometimes put itchy plastic garland on the handrails of the stairs, and maybe a wreath on the landing, and the kids usually put up decorative doorknob doohickeys all over the house. And, of course, there's the giant poster of me in red swim trunks and a Santa hat.

Not really.

3. Since Reba does most of the shopping for friends and family, we come off as being one of those highly thoughtful and considerate gift-giving sorts of families. Were it left up to me, people would probably be highly disappointed in their $5 gift cards to the Dollar Tree. I’m glad I have Miss Reba.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (14)

December 21, 2005

I tell you what--those college professors are something!

Jim Smith, Ph.D., just sent me the 2006 Hooters Calendar.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:26 PM | Comments (7)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

This just in: Does McDonald's serve emu meat?

Don't I wish!

Next up, a problem I'm sure all you parents know about: how to get grandparents to stop giving junk food all the time.

My kids' grandparents used to do this all the time, until I called and had the local child welfare agency come and arrest them. But seriously, probably the best way to handle this is discretely, by slipping the kids some syrup of ipecac in their junk food, thus causing the junk food to be forcefully ejected onto the floor of the grandparent's domicile.

Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:07 PM | Comments (0)

Yes, but what exactly is Grinder Girl trying to say to me!?

Letterman Lawyers Fight Restraining Order

SANTA FE, N.M. - Attorneys for television talk show host David Letterman want a judge to quash a restraining order granted to a Santa Fe woman who contends the celebrity used code words to show that he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host.

A state judge granted a temporary restraining order to Colleen Nestler, who alleged in a request filed last Thursday that Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her "mental cruelty" and "sleep deprivation" since May 1994.

Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least three yards away and not "think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering."

Attorneys for Letterman, in a motion filed Tuesday, contend the order is without merit and asked state District Judge Daniel Sanchez to quash it.

"Celebrities deserve protection of their reputation and legal rights when the occasional fan becomes dangerous or deluded," Albuquerque attorney Pat Rogers wrote in the motion.

Nestler told The Associated Press by telephone Wednesday that she had no comment pending her request for a permanent restraining order "and I pray to God I get it."

Sanchez set a Jan. 12 hearing on the permanent order.

Letterman's longtime Los Angeles attorney, Jim Jackoway, said Nestler's claims were "obviously absurd and frivolous."

"This constitutes an unfortunate abuse of the judicial process," he said.

Nestler's application for a restraining order was accompanied by a six-page typed letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her.

She wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his show began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.

She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her, and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time. [...]

Well, yeah. I mean, it was sooo obvious.

It really is sad that this woman does not seem to be getting the medical care she needs, and that the court agreed to even a temporary order in the first place.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:32 PM | Comments (10)

Ill, cranky, ornery, and hopped up on Benadryl...

A persuasive argument ensues.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:41 AM | Comments (6)

Well, A) I don't believe it--

Saddam Says He's Been Beaten in Detention

But, B) If it is true, I offer this tiny violin.gif to Saddam, with my kindest regards.

Given past prison scandal, I cannot imagine how this could be true, aside from the possiblity that he might have tried to grab someone or hurt someone, and had to be restrained. Of course, that might require some small measure of courage, which to date he has not seemed to possess.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)

Enemy at the gates.

Well, it could have been worse, you know.

Yesterday was the last day of school until sometime in January, and Oldest had been invited to a party at the house of one of her friends. Not that I would ever want to be accused of making value judgments about a fellow human being, but I was a bit leery about this party, based upon who I knew was going to be there. And the fact that other details seemed amorphous at best, and tending toward the deliberately vague.

"Where does this girl live?"

"Uh, somewhere over by Camp Coleman."

Big area. "Can you be more specific?"

"She lives over by Camp Coleman. HER MOM WILL BE THERE!"

::sigh:: Since I had a building committee meeting at church last night, it was going to be Mom's job to chauffeur. I'd let her try to drag the information out.

"Who's going to be there?"

[Actual names will not be used] "Uhmm, Girl Who Got Held Back, Girl Who Dresses Trashy, Shrill Girl, Slacker Boy, Stupid Slacker Boy, Boy Who Got Held Back, and, uhhh, some other people."

Why, such a group of boon companions I cannot imagine outside the Oak Room at the Algonquin!

Oh, but it gets better. "She wants the girls to spend the night--the guys'll leave sometime earlier, and then it'll just be the girls."

Right. When she first started talking this up, they were going to leave at 9:00.

Reba seemed to be okay with the arrangement, and because I am a kind and tenderhearted soul, I acquiesced to it as well, despite all the loud voices in my head screaming at me their disbelief. Several of them even stomped their feet and threw up their hands. One of them even said I was crazy. However, there was that one quiet voice over in the corner who said he thought it would be okay to agree, because he had a feeling this would all fall apart in the end anyway, and it would keep me from looking like a heartless schmuck.

But who listens to voices in their head!? Certainly not me.

So, Oldest got her clothes packed and impromptu gifts were quickly purchased, yesterworkday came and went, Reba left work on time so she could go drive Miss Prissy to the party, I left work and had to run home to pick up the drawings I'd left, I saw that the car was in the driveway when I got there (it was late, so I figured she'd already gone and come home), walked in, got the drawings, told the kids to let Mom know I'd been by, and ran back out to the homely Swedish iron box, cranked it up, and headed out for the church building.

Five minutes later, my cell phone rang and I saw it was coming from Miss Reba. "Hey! Did you get her delivered?"

"No, I still have her with me--that's why the car was in the driveway!" [internal monologue--"And I would have known this HOW exactly?!"]

External dialogue: "Oh! What happened?!" [building sense of relief]

"This chick gave Ashley directions and we tried to find the place and couldn't, so we came back here and got this girl on the telephone, and she's given us three different sets of directions and I have no idea what she's talking about." [barely checked glee--resist urge to tell wife 'why not just get her address and look it up on Internet']

"Hmm--that's weird!"

"Yeah, and not only that, Ashley said now that the boys are supposed to leave at 11, not 9, and she said one of the girls said they might be some stuff going on that she knows shouldn't be going on."

"So she's not going, right?" [begin mentally high-fiving all my imaginary friends]

"Well, I don't think so, let me talk to her some more about it. If she doesn't go, would you mind if Beau #4 comes over and they could watch a movie or something?" [internal monologue--"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! No stinking, conniving, hulking, sheath of hormones in my house!!"]

External dialogue: "I suppose not. Is anyone going to clean the house before he gets there?"

Having an answer in the affirmative, I hang up, go meet, become weary beyond measure at having to deal with architect, breathe sigh of relief it's not ME who's agreed to be the architect, finally wrap up around 8 o'clock, leave, head to Wal-Mart to pick up something Santa wanted to give Boy (and find a few simple stocking stuffers for Miss Reba), on the way over called back to the house to see what the status was.

"Well, did she go?"

"No--we talked about it, and I told her if she didn't want to go, Daddy said it would be okay if Beau #4 came over, so she said okay, and called him, and he'll be here in a bit, and the kids have been cleaning all the stuff off the steps and the table and the floor of the den. And you know what!?"

[dread] "UH, no, what?"

"Ashley called that girl back and apologized and told her she was just going to have to pass on coming to the party, and the girl said, 'Oh, that's okay--just bring my present with you when we get back to school in January.'"

[pick up jaw from floorboard of car] "HAH! As if!"

"Yeah, I was pretty shocked, too."

Anyway, made sure of the list of stuff I was to find, hung up, shopped, found a few things, checked out, heard something in the line behind me CRASH, looked around and saw a shopping cart turned over on its side, then saw tiny blue jean-clad legs sticking out and the heard wailing of child, concerned parents tilted cart back upright, saw that not only had it been tumped over onto an unruly child, the cart also had a baby seat on the handlebars, completely filled with a baby. Apparently no one was worse for the wear. Got in car, came home.

Walk in and am met in the garage by excited wife and three children, all anxious to let me know SOMEone is in the house. I am underwhelmed.

Manage to get inside the kitchen where I can put stuff down and get the garage door closed, because it was freezing cold outside and I'd been cold all day, walked in, see that the den lights aren't on (although the kitchen and foyer lights are) and am instructed to go meet our visitor.

He is sitting on the couch. Next to my daughter. WAY next to her. And they are holding hands. A red mist descends across my field of vision, and in a towering rage I spring upon him like a rabid jungle cat, and my flying fists, trained in the skills of obscure Asian martial arts, come raining down on him--ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa!

"Y'all are sitting a bit too close there, aren't you!?" Oldest, Beau #4, and Reba exchange nervous laughter, because they can't quite tell from the tone of my voice if I'm serious or not. Which is how it was intended. "I take it you're Beau #4?" I walked over and extended my hand, wondering if he would do what he was supposed to do.

"Yes, sir."

He stood up and shook my hand.

And looked me in the eye.

Well done, young man.

"Well, it's nice to finally meet you, and--" At this point, several children are hanging over the stair railing in the foyer giggling and trying to simultaneously be seen and hide. "Y'all go on away and leave them along!" I told the two on the couch not to get too lovey-dovey, and made my exit to go get the monkeys upstairs in the bed.

The rest of the evening was uneventful, and Beau #4's dad came and got him around 10:30 or so, and then it was time to fall in the bed.

It was a very long night.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:08 AM | Comments (12)

Do not click here.

Told you so.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:02 AM | Comments (6)

December 20, 2005

Imagine that.

Carbon Hill fireworks stand goes out with a big bang

No word on the formation of new planets.

Anyway, an excerpt:

CARBON HILL, Ala. (AP) — Crazy Bill's Fireworks stand aparently [sic] went out with a bang. A fire erupted in the stand early Monday and the insides were gutted when firefighters reached the scene eight minutes after being alerted.

"You can imagine striking a match to a barrel of gunpowder," Carbon Hill Volunteer Fire Chief Buddy Smith said. "It went quick." [...]

I reckon so.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:25 PM | Comments (6)

In honor of my blog birthday...'s time to play Ask That Guy a Question!

I will answer the first question posed to me in the comments. No guarantee is offered that the answer will be factual. You may proceed.

::ding:: We have a winner! Miss Kathy wants to know, "What was your favorite post?"

I suppose the one that has best stood the test of time is the one I post every Valentine's Day. February 14 was the day I proposed to Miss Reba, and that post is one I have to say is pretty darned good. The most recent posting can be read here.

Second would be the series of entries I wrote before I even had a blog, in the days following September 11, 2001. I'm not sure why I started that, other than to try to grab onto something that would allow me to make some sense of things. I reread it occasionally, and it all seems so very long ago. And like yesterday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:25 PM | Comments (3)

Y'know her, y'love her, y'can't live without her!

It's the return of an old friend of Possumblog, this time with a brand new blog! Now, you might have known her in a previous bloglife as Sugarmama, but she has been rehatched as Megabeth, and her new digs are right here. AND, if you've been hankering for something hot and spicy, rest assured that the Salsa Review is back up and running properly again, too!

Welcome back, ma'am!

UPDATE: She writes to say that "The M with a dot on top is pronounced ememmmmwmwmwwowwuueeeeeu." But of course.

UPDATE II: And for those who like small dogs with bulgy round eyes, it's RUBIES!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:26 PM | Comments (2)

Oh my!

Scientist thinks he's found Mars wreckage

I didn't even realize it had crashed!

Must be still running Windows 95.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)


U.N. OKs new Peacebuilding Commission

Thus guaranteeing that peace will neither be built nor committed. However, we can at least rest easy knowing that there will be yet another forum in which the United States can be complained about.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:48 AM | Comments (3)

Another sign of old age?

Well, today marks the fourth birthday of Possumblog, four blogyears ago in the blogiverse being the equivalent to sometime after fire was invented, but a bit before the fashioning of metal tools. OH! And we couldn't make fire--we had to carry it around with us when we moved from camp to camp. It was a stressful time--ever try to hunt mastodons with a stick? It's pretty hard. So's coming up with a nice color of paint for the ceiling of the cave that doesn't clash with the drapes. Of course, there were some benefits of living way back then in the Blogolithic era, but mostly it was having to deal with pestilence, famine, saber toothed tigers, and frequent Blogger/Blogspot outages.

Anyway, here I sit now, able to look back and marvel at how far we've come, and able to enjoy the golden age of people--individual people-type persons--sitting at a desk typing on a computer.

One day civilizations will look back at this time and marvel as well, asking, "How did these people ever get anything done at work? Why was no one upset at Glenn Reynolds's hunger for blended puppies? Who would ever read something named after a large, rat-like marsupial? Did Mrs. Sanni Abacha ever get that money transferred?"

And, as I do every day, I ask myself, "Why do I keep doing this?"

I really don't know, other than it gives me something to do to stave off raving lunacy. Or facilitate it. Whatever. I do know that it has been funner than fun can be to meet all of you, whether in person or in pixels, and I appreciate all you folks who've been along for the journey so far. I also appreciate your patience in the lackluster spotty quality you're forced to put up with--I promise the next four years will be the best four more years I have ever had when it comes to coming up with stupid stuff. Unless, you know, it's not. In which case I apologize in advance.

Anyway, to repeat that first statement I started this thing with back on December 20, 2001 at 11:29:35:

"Well, it's finally gotten easy enough, so I herewith launch out into the fetid, overcrowded harbor of blogginess, courtesy of some computerized thingamabobber. You know, when they tapped out the old "what hath God wrought" line on the telegraph, I'm sure they figured this is where it would lead. Serves 'em right."

Heh. Indeed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:59 AM | Comments (12)

Have you...

...ever dreamed of walking along a roadside and coming to a lovely pasture, and suddenly you realize there are great big fluffy gophers the size of Labrador retrievers popping up everywhere?

It's not one of the better sorts of dreams, let me tell you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

A little aardvark...

...a little under the weather.

An interesting post, in which urinary output is compared to what’s in cousin Buford’s spit cup, 10W-40, and furniture polish. Hard to get better entertainment value than that, my friends!

Best wishes for a quick recovery, LittleA.

"A newt!?"

"I got better."


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

I wonder if I have gotten as old as David yet?

You know, King David?

Because even though by global standards today it's a relative balmy 25 honest to goodness, real live Fahrenheit degrees, I simply cannot stand it. And it's not like I don't have plenty of rich blubber to keep me warm--I do, but it doesn't seem to be doing the job. I don't like being all hot and sticky in the summertime, but I've never been one of those chubs who long for winter so I can walk around and not sweat. I like it cooler, but anything below 50 or so and it's just as uncomfortable (in the opposite direction, obviously) as if it were 120.

I blame old age.

I remember going to my dad's parents house every Christmas (which is the only time we would go) and they had one of those gas space heaters in the front room. It was like an oven in there--but not in a good way. Those heaters suck all the air and moisture out of the room and it's like trying to breathe with sinuses full of silica gel. And, of course, it smelled like baking musty clothes filled with mothballs. But Big Mama and Big Daddy certainly seemed to enjoy it.

Now that I have entered the door to the long slide into total decrepitude, when it gets the slightest bit chilly outside, I keep thinking how nice it might be if I had a little space heater under my desk, or maybe a natural gas well flaring off. Or, you know, what they did for Dave Rex. It says there in I Kings how David was old and stricken with years and no matter how many clothes and blankets they put on him they couldn't get him warm, so they ran off down to Shunam and got a hot chick named Abishag to stand before him, and minister to him, and cherish him, and all that kinda thing.

In the immortal words of Mel Brooks, "it's good to be the king."

Then again, despite all the troubles David had, he didn't have my wife to contend with, so I might just have to make do with a space heater.

UPDATE: I do take comfort in the fact that I am not the only one who has succumbed to the frailties of old age.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:56 AM | Comments (3)

December 19, 2005

Did I happen to mention...

...what a beautiful day it is today?

As evidence--

Had to go to the bank at lunch and brought the camera along just for grins.

Interesting shot--the building on the left has been restored, the one in the middle is being restored, and the one on the right is a new building built where the old Peerless Saloon once stood.

Not all get such treatment--this is the old Pizitz Department Store building which sits catercorner across from the other buildings, and directly across from the spiffy McWane Center. Every few months there's another press release about it being put back online as condos or lofts or offices, but for the past many years it has looked just like this. I joke to people who don't know any better that it's the Communist Party headquarters. For some reason several years back someone came in and put bright red flags all around the old flagpoles on the building. They've stayed there ever since, getting more torn up with each passing day.

Poor old thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:41 PM | Comments (0)

A Yorkie Lady Update...

...with Volvos and rotten fish!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

When you can't fly any lower below the radar...'s bad for blogging.

It's tough to deal with things like this--you don't really want to say a whole lot to folks in charge or they'll start inspecting you even more closely, and you sure don't want to make anyone mad.

But, where there's a will, there's a workaround. I imagine Nate will find a way, having been around enough bureaucracies to know the double secret handshakes and such like.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

And what would photos be...

...without Volvos!?

Well, they'd be photos, that's what.

Anyway, since I was bringing the camera in with me today to experiment, I figured I might as well get some pictures on the way in to work. Sunday and today were as gloriously bright and sunny as Saturday had been dim and dreary, so it's been a nice little picker-upper to see the sunshine as it is meant to be seen.

This is the first part of the jaunt on I-459 out in Truss Vegas--

A particularly lucky catch this morning was this guy I see every once in a while who drives an old Mercedes 240D. As you recall, this was they type of car I had been interested in to kick off the I Am A Moron Project, and this guy's car in particular is one that made me want one. I just took the photo from the rear, though, because people tend to get weirded out when you pull up beside them and take their picture. I mean, I assume they would...

I hit a particularly good seam of traffic this morning--there is about a ten minute window there where you miss the early and the late traffic. It leaves you with a nice open road ahead

--but if you leave five minutes later than normal, and it's bumper to bumper all the way. Like these poor folks behind me:

Anyway, as I said, it's a very pretty day today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)


I just figured out how to download pictures from my digital camera without having to first transfer them to the flash drive at the house!

I had to get some photos off of my boss's camera last week, and unlike the first time I tried to do MY camera, when I plugged his in, it read it as a regular USB device. I just copied them onto the hard drive and that was it.

"Hmm," I thought to myself, "I seem to remember trying that with my camera and it wouldn't work before--they must have fixed something!"

I think things like that because I'm not very bright.

Anyway, I had the photos from Reba's graduation on the camera, so I thought I would bring it in today and see if it would work now. Plugged it up, and I got back the message that I couldn't install new hardware because I didn't have sufficient security rights. I'VE BEEN DISENFRANCHISED! Or something.

Well, that's odd that the other camera would work, but mine won't. Then I remembered that Boss's camera had a setting so it could be read as a USB device--I wonder...yep--boy, am I a nidiot. Right there in the menu. Plugged it all back in and HEY, pichers!

SO, thus starts today's photo essay, which includes the graduation of my wife with her degree in human resources management.

First up, Catherine, who slept in squishy rollers on Friday night so her hair would be curly on Saturday. I don't know why this was important, but she wound up looking like a maniacal Shirley Temple clone.

In stark opposition to her usual torpor in getting ready to go to work or church (or anywhere else, for that matter) Reba was beside herself Saturday morning to get out of the house by 10:30. Because she had to be in Montgomery by 1:15. It's about 100 miles from our house to Mungummy, Interstate all the way, and takes about two hours. If you're particularly slow. Meaning, even if we were particularly slow, we'd still have around 45 minutes to kill before she was even suppose to be there. And 45 minutes more until the ceremony started.

Well, we made it in an hour and a half. Noon. And nothing to do for the next two hours. But, by golly, we were on time for something for once, so who am I to complain!?

We walked her over to the Rotunda and found her room and let the kids pee and all that stuff. Now, only an hour and fifty minutes to kill. So, another few sets of pictures. I took several, but it's hard to get a flattering picture in a black robe--just ask Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think this one is probably the cutest of the bunch--

After all of those, I figured we might as well go on over to the gymnasium to wait, so the kids and Reba's parents and I walked across the courtyard. Of course, SOMEone wanted to stay with Mommy. Or plunder through the vending machines. So SOMEone was pouty and angry and stomping her little cloven hooves precious feet all across the courtyard. I told her I was going to take her picture if she kept acting like that, so, of course, she kept acting like that.

So I took her picture.

It was an awful gray day--cold, rainy, windy. Yes, she had a coat with her. No, she pitched a fit about wearing it. Whatever.

On into the gym, where we staked out a seat in the bleachers. I didn't realize it at the time, but we actually could have sat down in the chairs on the floor. By the time I DID realize it, they'd already started filling up, and I couldn't get my in-laws and dependents to up stakes and move. So there we sat. Which is why the photos aren't all that great of this part of things.

But, here's one where Miss Reba is about to heist herself up onto stage--

And this is where she gets her sheepskin (no sheep were harmed in the making of this document)--

It was very nice--as with my own graduation, I don't remember the speaker, but I do think he was pretty good. The best thing is that sense of relief once it's all over and done with.

And here's the happy gal at the reception before we left to go out for her celebratory dinner at the Japanese hot burning griddle of death restaurant.

Happy Graduation Day, m'dear!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:06 AM | Comments (11)

Well, that went--

--better? Worse? About the same? as I expected. I have no idea. But I suppose we can count it a positive that no one's in jail or anything, so there's that.


A very long weekend, parts of which I remember with great clarity. Those I will repress so as not to have to continue to relive them; and the others, which left not so great an impression upon my brain cells I will recount, adding generous portions of made-up stuff to fill in what I don't remember.

In a while, though--I have to get woken up enough to be able to press the keys.

IN THE MEAN TIME--this article from yesterday's Birmingham News offers explanation of my oblique mention last week of my sudden desire to change my drive-time radio preferences. Yes--I got a bit of advance info on the change, but at the time it was still confidential so I couldn't be more specific. It's not quite the same as being able to SEE Miss Wendy, but that's what publicity photos are for, I suppose.

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

December 16, 2005

Good grief, where has the day gone!?

Nearly 3:00 o'clock, and I haven't hit a lick at a snake all day.

Almost time for the weekend, which promises to be full of stuff, most important of which will be our trip down to Montgomery tomorrow to see Reba pick up her diploma. It's been quite a ride and I am very proud of her. I promise to take pictures.

As for other stuff, I would dearly love to be able to get some sleep. We've been up late all week, either with doing stuff for the kids, or supervising the kids as they do their homework that should have already been done, or making class Non-Specific Celebratory Season party foods or trinkets, or going shopping for things for Santa to give out. I'm worn out, which explains at least a part of why Possumblog has had something of a drowsy (and misspelly) quality to it the last few weeks. I realize it would be much more entertaining if I had that manic, punch-drunk quality going on like I have in the springtime when the sap's rising along with the skirt hems, but it's just been difficult to get quite as slaphappy with the shorter days and even shorter periods of restful sleep. And, of course, the lack of rising sap.

Anyway, I intend to make the best of things this tiring weekend, and promise not to go to sleep while driving. Much. NONE! None at all. At least while anyone else is in the car.

OH, by the way, I did a quick update on Francesca over on her blog--she's doing okay, although as predicted, in a pretty fair tub of hurt at the moment, so do please remember her. AND, in another bit of good news, it looks like our old pal Charles Austin is cranking the ol' "Scourging of Richie the C." machine back up again (along with buying a whole company--and I thought I had a Moron Project going!) Good for him! And you!

SO, all of you have a good weekend, and if I am sufficiently awake come Monday, I figure I'll tell you what all happens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (4)

Well, now. THAT'S a new one!

Just got a long "dead oil company president with no heirs" spam e-mail, purportedly from Mr. Richard Manjezi and/or Mr. Gerald Nelson, written entirely in German. I wish I spoke German, and then I could tell if their grammar in other languages is as bad as it is in English. Remarkably, the sum in question is very familiar--" $ 27.562.300 $ USD (siebenundzwanzig Millionen, fünfhundertzweiundsechzig tausend und dreihundert)".

Somewhere, Nigerian 419 operators must have had a seminar on coming up with the perfect number to use--something around 27 million dollars seems to be the hot ticket.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:29 PM | Comments (0)

The office Christmas party.

Another year, another cheese ball.

This one was more of a dinner, so the big serving dish full of collards was more appropriate.

I would like to think I could call the whole affair "restrained," but really, it's just plain old strained more than anything else. Everyone generally gets along okay as co-workers (there are some very loud exceptions), but no one I know of around here socializes after work with each other. Mainly because it's a bunch of very odd bureaucrats who share little in common except the floor they work on.

It used to be more fun when My Friend Charlie was here, or Pam the Liberal, or Cara the Tall Skinny Pretty Intern were here. At least then I could have someone to talk to about things other than the latest annexations and deannexations.

Oh well. Looks like I'll have some of the sausage and cracker trays I brought left over that I can take home with me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (11)

World's Largest Small Town

Yes, I know Reno claims to be the Biggest Little City in the World, but that's not what we're discussing. We're talking about something just about anyone around here will confirm, that is if you live here a while, you find out you know everyone. It's sorta like Mayberry on a grand scale.

It's weird, but for a metro area that's spread out over a territory of 4,677 square miles (only slightly smaller than the state of Connecticut, and bigger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined) I continue to run into people I either know from somewhere or who know someone I know. Maybe that's the way it is everywhere with everyone, I don't know. I was always shocked whenever I was little and we'd go to the mall or something--my dad always ran into someone he knew. My mom even noticed it (usually because she was miffed that he would never introduce her or my sister or I). Now I can say that my dad got around a lot and was the garrulous sort, which might explain why he knew everyone. However, I am definitely not the social butterfly.

But I notice I keep running into people no matter where I go. Last night, for instance, we had the town Christmas party for the folks who sit on the various boards and agencies. (At Joel's, by the way--good food and good folks.) Last year, we found out one of the older couples we go to church with served on a board, and they were there again this year.

We sat across from one of the guys on the zoning adjustment board I serve on, whom I knew before I was ever on the board because his firm did some work back in the long ago for us when I worked at The Bad Place. Another couple came in and sat down beside them, and it turns out he's a judge. At first I didn't think I would have anything to speak to him about (not having any outstanding warrants or anything) but it turns out he's represented one of the guys I work with here (the one who brought collards-as-a-finger-food to the Christmas party several years back). Also, it turns out he and the guy I knew previously both managed to serve as interim mayor and city attorney for a small town over to the southeast of Trussville where several of our friends from church live.

On the other side of Reba the local insurance guy and his wife sat--he's on the adjustment board with me (and is the one with all the cool old cars at his office), and we found out the other day that his daughter-in-law is the daughter of the preacher at the church where Reba and I grew up, and where Reba's parents still attend.

Even more strange was this morning I had to make a stop at the main post office in downtown Birmingham, and I was running late, but decided I wanted to go see the building the motorcycle guys are going to move into before I came on in to work. A minute or two after I pulled out of the parking lot, I looked in the rearview mirror to see one of the Birmingham News reporters who comes to report on the off-campus meetings I have all the time.

It's just very strange that I can go for years not ever seeing the people who live down the street, and yet I still seem to run across all sorts of folks I know or who know people I know, without even trying.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

Possumblog was host ever so briefly to an intrepid person searching for boll weevil and farm girl art. In the words of Keenan Wynn as Colonel "Bat" Guano from Dr. Strangelove, I think you must be some kinda deviated prevert. But, you know, thanks for dropping by and all.

Next up, a seeker of knowledge looks for crapulosity meaning. I believe that means Possumblog! I use it to mean something akin to crap with a lot of velocity behind it, again, much like most of what you read herein. However, "crapulous" actually is a word, and doesn't mean what I mean when I use it. Basically, it means being a glutton or suffereing from the effects of it.

Finally, someone mistakes Possumblog for The Manolo! by coming here looking for ladies two-toned oxfords. They must have REALLY wanted to find some, because they went all the way to the number 93 search result to get here. How could I disappoint such a person!? So, here you go--a black and white ladies co-respondent oxford with Cuban heel (not Castro, however, although I'm sure you could paste his photo on the bottom) brought to you by the Gandolfi Company of Great Britain.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (8)

December 15, 2005

Relief, maybe.

Shingles vaccine gets qualified 'yes'

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health advisers endorsed a proposed vaccine on Thursday to help battle an often-excruciating disease that afflicts as many as 1 million adults every year.

The Food and Drug Administration's advisory panel on vaccines said the vaccine for shingles appeared to be safe and effective in people aged 60 and older. [...]

I hope this is the real deal--I've known a couple of people who've had flare ups late in life (one being my father-in-law) and it's one of those that cannot be any more unpleasant.

Next, I hope they come up with a better name for the disease. "Shingles" just sounds too much like, well, like shingles. You expect to see someone walking down the street with big square hunks of slate or cedar hung on them. Might as well be stricken with the drapes, or afflicted by the shrubs, or tormented by the clapboards. It's a horrible, itchy, painful, blistery, crusty, scabby sort of disease that really needs something that adequately describes how bad it is.

Obviously, my suggestion is they call it Howard Dean.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:26 PM | Comments (2)

From the "If Life Gives You Lemons..." File

New Orleans Company to Offer Disaster Tours

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY, Associated Press Writer

NEW ORLEANS - For $35 per person — $28 for children — a New Orleans company is offering bus tours of some of the city's most misery-stricken spots, including the Superdome, the Convention Center and neighborhoods ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Residents disagree over whether the tours are crass and morbid exploitation, or a good way to help people grasp the enormity of the disaster and keep public attention focused on New Orleans' plight.

The three-hour tours, called "Hurricane Katrina — America's Worst Castastrophe," were announced last week by Gray Line New Orleans, with the first one set for Jan. 4. [...]

Somehow I think the idea of it being a three hour tour--a three hour tour--a bit unthought-out.

I just hope none of the buses are named The Minnow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

My job...

...does not have very many perks. But on occasion, one does get to meet some interesting folks. Like a guy who don't bat an eye when he tells you his company makes motorcycles that cost 68 grand apiece.

Rara avis.

(And the press release just hit the wire.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:44 PM | Comments (4)

I am a moron.

How else to explain the fact that I just bought another four aluminum alloy Volvo wheels?

A while back I found a nice set of wheels from a Volvo 740 Turbo on Ebay. The style is called Draco--for all of those who care, which, I believe, is exactly none of you--but in any event, they were going to be a future upgrade to the old Volvo when I finished wearing out the tires that I have on the car now. But, they weren't my first choice of bling. The old 240 Turbos had a similar style (but I think better looking) called Virgo, and I had really wanted some of these when I first started fixing the thing up. Downside? Well, even on Ebay, they routinely go for 400 bucks (plus shipping) a set. Quite a bit more than the 80 I paid for the Dracos. (Which look just like these, except dirty and scraped.)

But, you see, in my searching, I stumbled across a set of the elusive Virgos again, and for some reason, no one else seemed to have found them. I patiently waited and watched the price climb to 30, and then all the way up to 50 dollars. At the very last minute, I put in a tiny bid, KNOWING I would immediately be outbid.

Well, except, I didn't get outbid. Upside? I got a set of four rare alloy rims for fifty-one clams. Downside? I HAVE ANOTHER SET OF WHEELS TO SQUIRREL AWAY IN THE GARAGE!

I am such a moron.

It's time for a Volvo Garage Sale...

UPDATE: Steevil sends a link to show that sailors can be afflicted with the moron disease as well.

Hmmm--I wonder if they make a depth-measurer-thingy for lumpy Swedish cars?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:39 PM | Comments (11)

December 15, 1791

From the Library of Congress:

On December 15, 1791, the new United States of America adopted the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, confirming the fundamental rights of its citizens. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights of peaceful assembly and petition. Other amendments guarantee the rights of the people to form a "well-regulated militia," to keep and bear arms, the rights to private property, fair treatment for accused criminals, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from self-incrimination, a speedy and impartial jury trial, and representation by counsel. [...]

Mr. Nitpick would like to point out that the Second Amendment does not give the people the right to form militias. It says that since properly trained militias are necessary to the security of a free state, people have the right to have their own firearms. And, despite the protestations of some, that right is not only a collective right, no more than any other personal right enumerated within the Bill of Rights. It is both an individual and a collective right, but most assuredly not a right of the government.

But, beyond that nitpick, it is worth noting (again) that the United States as we now know it did not come into being in 1776, but rather with the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 (and probably it could be argued not truly in its final form until the ratification of the Bill of Rights.) That's thirteen to fifteen years of turmoil before we ever got anything worked out. It's worth remembering that as the people of Iraq go to the polls, democracy is an ongoing process. And sometimes progress is slow. But we do everyone a disservice to insist upon immediate perfection.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

The Churchill Wit

It's been a while, and so I give you a couple of quick ones from page 50 and from page 51:

"What most people call bad judgment is judgment which is different from theirs at a particular moment."

"I have derived continued benefit from criticism at all periods of my life, and I do not remember any time when I was short of it."

(If you ever get a hankering for some online Churchilliana, there's hardly a better spot than The Churchill Centre. And, of course, the book I've been stealing these quotes from is still to be found in various places.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:21 AM | Comments (0)

For some reason...

...when I saw this picture, all I could hear in my mind was Kenny Loggins singing "I'm Alright," and Carl Spackler talking in hushed tones about the Varmint Cong.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

I tell you what, them rocket scientists is something else!

Steevil (Famous NASA Scientist and brother of Dr. Weevil AND new father-in-law) just sent me a link to an article in the online version of the Balmer Sun about a pretty darned cool experiment set up between the folks at the NASA and students at the UoMaBC. Go, read! I like hands-on stuff like this.

AND, not only that, Steevil sends a link to a great motivational award that the Gemini and Apollo engineer dudes would hand out to their most smartestest guys. Probably couldn't get away with such shenanigans today. Sadly enough.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

Ah-ah-ahhh…not yet you don’t!

We’ve still got a good week left before even CONSIDERING doing an All Holy Day Version--this week, you’re just gonna have to WAIT. Or, you know, participate in today’s rendition of the game that’s sweeping the nation, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, Unbearable Anticipation Edition!


As is the custom, we will ask you three probing and insightful questions (or three just-regular questions) and you will either answer them in the comments below, or leave a link to your blog so we can run thither and gape at your answers there.

SO, what sort of questions today?

Well, as we noted, this is all about the thrill of waiting, so--

1) Have you ever camped out overnight to be able to purchase something? If so, what was it?

2) If your service in a restaurant has been abysmally slow because of the waiter, do you withhold a tip from the waiter, leave a penny or two for spite, leave something a bit smaller than a 15% tip, or go ahead and tip 15% or more just so if you come in again in the future, the waiter won’t spit in your food if he remembers you?

3) Do you ever listen to “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” on NPR?

Now! Run away and answer the questions as quickly as you possibly can without delay! First one up gets a free autographed picture* of Ralph Waite!

*Autograph not included. Subject to all copyright restrictions.

NOW THEN, for my answers, wait no more!

1) No, of course not. Even when I was young, I didn’t do stuff like that, and I can’t imagine any reason to do it now. I just don't understand the urge to stand in line for something, especially for toys or stuff like that that are supposed to be hot items. Especially those people who wait in the hot sun or freezing cold.

2) I don’t tip for bad service. I’ve heard the arguments some people have for leaving at least 10% or so, even if you get bad service, but I remain unpersuaded that it’s good to reward bad service. On the other hand, I won’t leave a spite tip, either. For good service, I’m a waiter’s dream--I’ll tip well and mention to the manager if I’ve had good service.

3) Yeah, sometimes, but only if P.J. O’Rourke is on the panel. Most of the time it’s just too twee and baselessly smug for its own good.

So, there you go--and just WAIT ‘til next week!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (13)

December 14, 2005

Radio Secret

I generally don't listen to the radio with any tremendous enthusiasm--I only listen to it at home if there's a football game on, or if we're crammed into the laundry room waiting on a tornado. The drive-time usage of Mr. Marconi's miracle isn't any more special--I listen in mainly for something to keep me awake. I can tolerate the occasional dose of NPR, and I do like Whaddya Know and The Tappet Brothers. I like old-timey hillbilly music, which doesn't come on a lot, but not country music, which does come on a lot. I will occasionally listen to the talk radio guys, especially if I'm out at lunch. Mornings I've been listening to the Two Sexiest Fat Men Alive (present company excluded), although not with any really tremendous enthusiasm. I think they're funny sometimes, but sometimes not. But they haven't done anything to make me just turn the radio completely off.

One thing I've never listened to, though, are any of the religious stations in town. But I will say this right now--on January 3, I'm gonna start. And that's ALL I can say about it until later.

Now then--that was an awfully big build-up for nothing, wasn't it! Well, just be patient, and my reasoning will become clear very soon.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:01 PM | Comments (6)

Proving once and for all...

...that there ARE such things as good liberals AND there is such a thing as a free lunch!

Yes, believe it or not, Pam the Liberal bought me my lunch today! Something from O'Henry's today, for a change. Well, sort of a change. It was a gyro, which isn't all that unusual, but I suppose from a faux rustic English coffeehouse sort of place in a downtown food court, it's certainly not the most expected thing. Or something.

ANYway, a wonderful lunch, as IS usual, with talk of life and how to best stay alive whilst raising snotty teenagers.

I just hope my theatrical recitation of the most recent ills and turmoils at Casa d'Possum were worth the price she paid for my sandwich. Which was good, by the way, but not quite up there with the places in the mall that do gyros all the time. It wasn't all that meaty, and it was a bit on the dryish side, and it was consumed without dropping great globs of ziti sauce all down my tie.

Oh well, better luck next time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

Just heard outside my door...

"...yeah, it was real good--I saw that Truman Capote Christmas thing. It was touching."

I'll wager so.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)


I am very happy to let you all know that I spoke with Nick the Marine about 20 minutes ago, and he says Francesca had just finished up her surgery with flying colors and is now in recovery.

Nick said the doctor ("he's squared away!") was very optimistic about what he had been able to accomplish during the surgery, and that after the post-operative pain has worn off, she should have a much more comfortable life. The surgery took about an hour and a half, and in addition to freeing up all the internal bits and pieces (and yes, I do feel somewhat uncomfortable talking about another man's wife's internal bits and pieces, especially considering he could probably crush my skull between his thumb and forefinger) the doctor verified that there were no signs of cancer.

In all, I don't think they could have gotten a better report. The whole Yorkie Family does still require your prayers, though--the next couple of days are going to be rough for the Grouchy (not really) One, and the recovery, as she has noted in previous posts, will be several weeks long. So, keep them all close to your hearts.

I will call the hospital later in the week and give you another update, and hopefully soon you'll have your favorite authoress back to regale you with tales of Starbucks and home renovations.

(Crossposted over on Yorkie Blog, where, despite my threats, I intend not to post anything related to Volvos.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:53 AM | Comments (3)

Annnd, good morning!

Back now from the Bundle O'Joy meeting, with one bit of advice from a very wise man named Winston Churchill. When he was a young man in Parliament in 1913, he responded to a critic by saying, "If I valued the honorable gentleman's opinion, I might get angry."

I concur wholeheartedly.

Now then, I have stuff to type, and some woman to meet with at 10:00, and later on I get to have lunch with Pam the Liberal. YAY!

AND, in more serious news, please remember that our good friend Francesca the Yorkie Lady is undergoing surgery at the moment. All of our thoughts and prayers for her and her family at this time.

So now, off to do stuff for a while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2005

Oh, that wasn't so bad.

At least the meeting part. It went quickly, and no one was impolite.

There was, however, the most odd odor in the outer office--the overpowering smell of cooking onions, with a faint undertone of dog poo.

ANYway, tomorrow you will be spared such mental ima--hmm. Well, not image, since it's not a picture. Mental smellages--yes, that's better. You'll be spared that on the morrow as I have my regular bureaucratic fun day away from the office until later on in the morning.

And THEN I'll come in and do all sorts of puttering about and await news from Miss Francesca on her surgery. She has designated me as the keeper of Yorkie Blog until she's back at it, and so when I hear something from Nick the Gyrene about her condition, I'll post it here and there.

SO, anyway, all of you have a good evening, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

And now?

Yet another meeting. I promise to restrain myself should anyone speak out of turn.

Of course, your definition of restraint and mine might differ slightly...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:49 PM | Comments (0)

What is it with me?

Have I just gotten to the point where I am one of those people?! You know--intolerant!?

I had an off-campus meeting within the last couple of hours (thus explaining my lack of posts) and in what is seems to be becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence, I once again found myself in close proximity to someone who simply could NOT KEEP HER MOUTH SHUT FOR ONE BLOODY SECOND! She sat behind me carrying on a semi-whispered ("whispering" being a skill which she apparently learned while working in a sawmill) conversation:

Jabberjabberjabber--whisperwhisper--HYUCK! HYUCK! SS-Ss-sss--uhuh! --jabberjabber--MMMhhmm!--chatter-- chatter--THAT'S RIGHT--jabberjabber. Jabberjabberjabber!


Great Thor's Hammer, woman, there is someone trying to speak to the rest of the people in the room, and if you would just keep your mouth quiet for maybe even a SECOND, we could concentrate. Because I guarantee, from what I've heard, you don't have anything to add to any discussion other than volume and hot air.

Anyway, I've noticed I am becoming much more bothered by such behavior of late, and I'm not sure why.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:38 PM | Comments (9)

Nothing says poetry like spam.

From Sarah G. up Virginia way, a lovely bit of verse created from the subject lines of spam in her e-mail box. It brought a tear to my eye.

And so, I must now make you cry as well.

THUS, I give you, my bit of ispambic pentametric glory:

3 scores for Alan before Dec 16th
nasty girls date site that doesn't cost anything
Maximize your remaining budget with big desktop savings
What IS 0EM Software And Why D0 You Care?

is it his birthday
salubrious shock intractable doubt we chieftain that demon
I hope that you enjoy this present

Rolex and Omega are Affordable iZB -
Skinny cooks can't be trusted
Three Steps to the Software You Need at the Prices You Want
100% real upshots. Purchase best remedies here

Our Customers can't be wrong
Direct from HGH Customers
Last chance for lower rates
the afro or annie and wrath a herringbone a razor, astonish try

Get one now.
Medical Info - Age should be nothing more than a number
The specialist will review your meadicial case asap

greatly improve your stamina
Eradicate all you owe without mailing another dollar
Abolish all that you are indebted for
Eliminate the awkward

Furrier E. Barr


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:02 AM | Comments (4)


I was going to do a whole riff on the lyrics to "Hair" in honor of my haircut last evening, but let's face it, that song's right up there with Dickey Lee's "Rocky" as one of most idiotic songs ever.

Anyway, I HAVE A NEW HAIRCUT! Yay. Of course, it being so short, and the air being so staticky, it's all standing out like I've grabbed a van de Graf generator.

Shop talk consisted of Miss Alisha fretting about the possibility her cousin might actually consider going to Auburn to play football, which, obviously, would be devastating for the whole family. I laughed my wicked evil laugh, but you know, I probably should have waited until after the haircut.

Also, there was chatter amongst the girls of some woman who recently came into the shop with her pet chihuahua.

And had it stuffed down inside her shirt.

But not in a pocket.

Nope, right there dead center in her cleavage.

I commented that such a cargo would seem, at least upon initial supposition, to be an awfully uncomfortable load. (Especially given how irritable and scratchy and bitey the nasty little things can be. Chihuahuas. Not the chihuahua holders.) "Did she at least take it out while you cut her hair?!"

"Yeah, she did do that."

"I guess it could have been worse, then."

Alisha grimmaced and said quietly, "Well, she still smelled like a chihuahua."

Which I can safely say no one has ever accused me of smelling like.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:35 AM | Comments (3)

News? Commentary? Like it really matters.

It's interesting in a time when news organizations seem to sweat a great deal what to call terrorists, and make great howling noises when anyone dares question their self-proclaimed neutrality, it seems you still can't help but see stuff like this on a regular basis:

12/13/2005, 6:11 a.m. CT
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush says racial issues had nothing to do with the federal government's appalling reaction to Hurricane Katrina.

"Appalling" being entirely a judgment call. Sure, the government could have done better--because it is an organization run by fallible humans, who, despite the mantle of power, are still human and still subject to human error. But appalling? Compared to what? From the few stories that have dared to compare the results of this versus the reaction time in past disasters, it was about the same.

It gets better--

Bush said -- quote -- "You can call me anything you want, but do not call me a racist."

The sentence is IN quote marks--you don't have to SAY "quote" unless you're on the television or radio where people can't see the quote marks themselves. It almost seems as though the "writer" is doing his best to wink and nod and make air quotes with his fingers to indicate he thinks Bush is the reincarnation of Simon Legree.

It gets better, though, when we see that the "reporter" isn't doing much more than reporting on watching the teevee.

In an interview with "NBC Nightly News," Bush said he saw televised pictures showing the government's faltering response to Katrina.

He says his first thought was that there was a breakdown of communications between all levels of government after the August 29th hurricane.

This is when I have to ask again about the supposed superiority the professionals tout when they bluster about those silly biased online -- quote -- "bloggers," who dare print something without the aid of an editor. "Bush said" quickly shifts tense to "He says." Then there's the next sentence--

The president says that rumors that Bush didn't respond more quickly because he is racist are "absolutely wrong." which it seems that the President has now taken to speaking of himself in the third person.

Bush spoke with Brian Williams, anchor of "NBC Nightly News," in the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One en route to Pennsylvania and backstage at the World Affairs Council in Philadelphia, where Bush was making a speech on Iraq.

So, about the only sentence where there were no language gaffes or outright commentary is the last one about the actual source of the information in the article.

Now obviously, one silly short article can't tar an entire news organization such as the AP. But still, if I was the AP, and I put myself out there as a paragon of honest reportage free of bias, and went so far as to publish a language usage stylebook with "AP" in big letters on it, then this kind of crap wouldn't be allowed out in decent society.

UPDATE: An updated story is now out (the original was posted at 6:11 a.m., the update at 7:51 a.m.) that is much better written, and much clearer about who is saying what about whom. It is still, however, a report done sitting in front of the teevee--which is fine, I suppose, but I can't really see how such a setup would give the AP a big warm fuzzy feeling inside. I mean, anyone can watch TV.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:33 AM | Comments (2)

Growing up.

Over the weekend, I was putting up some clothes in Catherine and Rebecca's bedroom, and Cat was in there playing with some of her vast zoo of stuffed animals.

"I'm gonna call this one Alexandra," she said. She was holding some sort of squishy thing, and I wasn't really paying attention to what it was.

"Mm. That's a pretty name. Here, put these in your drawer."

"I named her that because I've decided not to call them things like Kacy and Kelli and...and those types of names anymore. I'm gonna call them regular names."

Now, for the past eight years of her life, she's seemed to be stuck on a default of naming most things something with a hard-K sound on the front end--I don't really know why, other than it's kinda cute and I suppose it was easy to say. Even if an animal or doll changed names later on, it usually started out with a K name of some sort. Kristy, Katie, Kelly, Keekee, Kitty (a favorite)--but now, it seems she wants to change that.

"No more K names!? Why'd you decide to do that, Squirt?"

"Mmm, I don't know--just because I got tired of it, I guess."

It all goes by so fast.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:24 AM | Comments (2)

December 12, 2005

Slay Bells Riiiiing....

Coroner's office offers gift ideas

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Looking for off-the-wall Christmas gift ideas? The Clark County coroner's office can help. Tucked away in the office is a gift shop with items that walk a fine line between humor and morbidity. There's a coffee mug with the inscription "Playing for Keeps," a $10 fake jawbone that holds business cards and a T-shirt that reads "Coroner ... Cashed Out in Las Vegas."

"That's about as risque as we go," Assistant Coroner John Fudenberg told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We certainly don't want to make a mockery of death." [...]

Thanks, guy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:24 PM | Comments (2)

Eugene Volokh...

...chats with the locals so you don't have to.

And trust me, that's a VERY good thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

Somehow, this doesn't seem like the right thing...

La. governor postpones New Orleans vote

12/12/2005, 12:40 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. Kathleen Blanco postponed the New Orleans mayoral election indefinitely on Monday, setting up a legal battle with voters who filed a lawsuit seeking to ensure the election is held as scheduled.

Blanco's executive order cites the recommendation of Secretary of State Al Ater, the state's top elections official, who has said the city is incapable of holding elections in February because Hurricane Katrina caused so much damage to polling sites and voting machines. [...]

Gee, just the other day they were touting the fact that the city has a free wi-fi set up, and they can't figure out a way to have an election? I realize the whole area has been through a devastating storm, but if we can manage to find a way for combat soldiers in the field halfway around the world to be able to cast a ballot, surely this can be figured out without resorting to an indefinite suspension of the right to cast a ballot.

I'm sure Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton are on the way right now to decry this heinous disenfranchisment of the voters of New Orleans. Right?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:41 PM | Comments (9)

You know how addled last night made me?

I was so addled that I just now remembered that this was on Alabama Public Television as part of their incessant fundraising drives. But for once, I didn't care. Rrowlll.

AND, not only that, Saturday night they had on a Fawlty Towers retrospective, and one of the premiums is this! I might consider contributing to get one, if they only had an executive version.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:36 AM | Comments (2)

From a Democrat, to the Democrats

From Fritz Schranck:

[...] There’s no advantage to the Party’s long-term interests to continue to be identified with the folks who hope to see Iraq’s fledgling democracy fail, primarily because they think that an Administration debacle overseas will further their own parochial interests here at home.

And in golf news, what not to get Fritz.

I must say, that set of "Be the Ball" coasters makes me wince when I see it, much as whenever the thought crosses my mind of various times I fell off the seat of my bicycle and landed on my crossbar. So to speak.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)

Maybe, maybe not.

Envoy: Bin Laden may not be in control

I still think he's being rogered with a pitchfork by Beelzebub, but it's hard to say for certain. I've said it before, though--he seemed awfully fond of videotapes back in the day, and we've not seen one from him in a very long time--it's been over a year since we've heard even an audio tape, and far longer than that for a video. Now, either he's grown camera-shy, or he's not fit to be seen by the faithful because he's a grown into a tiny broken-down husk of a madman, or he's dead. And you know, if he does decide to show up again, it would be nice to have a recent copy of the New York Times, just to show the date and all.

He does seem to have been neutralized as far as everyday control of things--but people like Zarqawi and al-Zawahri and various Democratic party functionaries still seem to think it's good to keep mentioning him, Boogie Man-like, so the true believers will continue to fight the good fight.

In any case, it's good we haven't heard from him, and the less, the better.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:49 AM | Comments (2)

Thanks for the tip.

Poll: Most Iraqis Oppose Troops' Presence

This might come as a shock, but I hear that the former Confederate states were none too pleased with Federal occupation during Reconstruction.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)


--one reason is that I stayed up until after midnight:30 last night.


Well, it seems that Rebecca had a project due for school--cutting out a felt Christmas tree decoration, writing a little poem to stick on the back, and putting various bits of sparkly glue on the front.

And also, Ashley had to bring some sort of homemade food item to school to demonstrate...something. I'm still unclear on the reason, but she had to bring the food, and how it was made, and explain how it was made.

And also, Jonathan had to demonstrate a similar food-prep/measurements type thing for bonus points in math class.

Which would have all been done much earlier had someone decided it was worth keeping an eye on the time budget. But I dare not say who that would be.

But when you leave church after evening worship, and you make your husband stop at Wal-Mart on the way home to pick up a) some premade pastry dough, b) some apple pie filling, and c) some green felt, and you spend OVER AN HOUR getting all this stuff (and, of course, more useless junk that was more or less like flushing money down the toilet), and then you get home and eat supper, and then get the kids out of their church clothes, well, it just sorta eats up a lot of time, there.

ADD TO THIS, the insistence of a certain child in doing EVERYTHING else EXCEPT cutting out a piece of green felt, or writing a poem, and the insistence of a certain other child and her mother of making tiny baked apple turnovers in the slowest, most labor-intensive manner possible, and, well, it just turns out that everyone goes to bed late. Except for Tiny Girl and Boy, who went on to bed--way past their bedtimes--but still earlier than everyone else.

Oh, how I wanted to go to bed. But I knew that if I did, I would suffer what the lawyers call "loss of affection." For a time longer than I was willing to endure. And I dared not offer any suggestions on the cooking end of things that might have been construed as a lack of confidence in ANYone's abilities. No, heaven forbid we get things done quickly and cleanly, when it's much harder to do it the slow and messy way! Silly me!

So, I read the paper. I checked my e-mail. I glued decorations on a felt Christmas tree. I gathered up dirty plates and stuff and put them in the sink. And watched the numbers on the clock change and get way up in the high 12s.


Well, the tree is cut out, pasted onto a piece of stiff construction paper, dotted with dots of colorful glitter glue and festooned with shiny wavy rickrack, and a lovely poem is glued to the back.

Approximately 15,000,023 tiny baked apple turnovers have been made and sealed into buckets to take to classes, along with a written recipe for Boy to take with him, and samples of the various implements and ingredients used for Oldest to perform her demonstration.

And I have this lovely set of indentations in my forehead from resting it on the keyboard.

And THAT was just the stuff we did Sunday night after church--BEFORE THAT, there was ANOTHER trip to the grocery store, and a trip to Wal-Mart, and to the Chinese buffet (which has caused my internal tubing to suddenly be overcome with spasms not unlike those performed in the initial steps in preparing chitlins for cooking) and a trip across the county for Bible Bowl, and a stop at the cemetary where, in one of those odd coincidences, both my father and Reba's first husband are buried, and before all THAT was morning services, and before that Bible school, where I had to sub for Boy and Middle Girl's teacher, and didn't realize we had something like two or three other folks who were running late, causing everyone to rush around in a tizzy AND a panic AND to get their panties in a wad AND get them simultaneously wrapped around an axle. Such a mess! I tell you what, there's just sometimes when you wish that jawbones of donkeys were a bit more easily come by.

And THAT was just SUNDAY.

SATURDAY, Reba had to go to work, so I stayed home and washed clothes all day. What I really wanted was for her to get back at a decent time so I could go play in the junkyard. See, one of the tiny plastic clips that holds the end of the driver's side sun visor had ::snapped:: off one morning several weeks back, and it's bothered me ever since that the end of the visor was adrift. So I wanted to go get another one to fix it (new ones costing the equivalent of a pile of gold, frankincense, myrrh, and a new Escalade).

But I couldn't go until I had some relief. I had at first thought I could get Grandmom to watch them, but I figured Wife would be home around lunchtime.

She got home at 3:30. Which is 2.5 hours before Pull-A-Part closes, and approximately 1.6 hours before sundown. Ever try to pull junk car parts in the dark? Well, me neither, but I really didn't want to find out about it.

Needless to say, Reba, who had not seen me all day, wanted to discuss her day's travails. None of which included being at home with a 15 year old daughter with the emotional maturity of someone a full one-third of that age. Sleeps until 10, then wonders where her breakfast is. And from there the rest was rather downhillish.

SO, we swapped notes as I tried my best to get out of the house without seeming THAT eager to run away. Junkyard, paid my dollar, started the process of trying to find unbroken visor clips. Wound up with three, probably could have found more except, well, you know, dark. Also picked up two headrest pads that I don't need, and a power antenna that I'm not sure works! All for the mighty sum of 8 bucks.

Back home by 5:30, changed out the clip, finished debriefing with Miss Reba on the events of the day, and then just as soon as that was done, she and Oldest were off to meet Beau #4 (of Oldest, not of Wife) at the movie house to watch The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. He's been very much more solicitous of late, for some reason, and had no problems at all with Mom coming along as a chaperone. I suppose he wouldn't have minded if the whole crew had come along, but, well, you know--there was still a pile of laundry to get done, and we all had to get up early the next morning to go to church. And, four of us were able to do that. Two, however, were very sleep from the previous night's date, making us late for church.

Friday? Well, I have a vague recollection of getting Boy's hair cut--since Miss Alisha wasn't there, I skipped it, but thankfully, Catherine was able to remind everyone in the shop that I she thought I was going to get my hair cut, too. "Uh, no, sugar, not tonight."


"Not. Tonight. Sweetheart."

It can wait--I could tell no one in the shop was in the mood to cut hair, and I didn't want the same thing to happen as last time when I didn't get Alisha, in which a very VERY large older woman continually rubbed her parts and pieces all over me. ::shudder::

ANYway, it sure was a long weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:12 AM | Comments (0)

Please, forgive my snoring.

And that loud thump my head makes when it hits the desk. And that heavy thud when I hit the floor like a sack of wet cement. And please, mind that puddle of drool by my mouth.

I'll be awake soon enough--just let me lie there for a while. I'm sure I'll wake up soon. You know what's weird? When you have a dream that you're typing an entry for your blog while you're asleep, that's what. It's all so very realistic! Well, except for Janet Reno lounging around in a sheer body stocking--that's kinda gross.

Anyway, when I wake up, I think I'll do a real post that will discuss everything I did this weekend. None of which included any sleep.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:10 AM | Comments (2)

December 09, 2005

You know what?

It's almost the weekend! That's a very, VERY good thing, because I need to be more jolly, and the weekend is the perfect time to make yourself jolly with all sorts of fun things like laundry and dishwashing and housecleaning! Whee.

ANYway, all of you have a great weekend, and I'll see you bright and early Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:49 PM | Comments (0)

Ooops--one slipped up on me!

Yet another referrer log person, this time looking for mechanically separated chicken machine picture

I'm not sure why anyone would want to see something like that, but I'm always willing to oblige. Here you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

Maybe I just need to give up.

I mean, it's obvious no one else cares, right?

What am I talking about?

Why, the Christmas Choir Concert at the high school, of course.

And the inevitable circumstance that arises every time I go to one of these things, in which people who seem to think the best way to show their appreciation for the children and their hard work is to sit there and TALK ALL THE WAY THROUGH THE PERFORMANCE.

It never fails. YOU! The big goomer sitting dead center on the front row with your wife and two little boys. Yes, you--the guy with the patch of gray hair about the size of a half-dollar on the back left side of your head. SHUT UP ALREADY!

He sat there, and when he wasn't singing along in the non-singalong parts, he was chatting with his wife. Loudly. And despite the obvious throat-clearing disdain shown by the man sitting behind him, who just happened to be me. If you think your precious chorister is worth coming to see, SHUT. UP. AND. LISTEN.

But, like I said, maybe I just need to give up and join EVERYONE ELSE, who seem to think these things are some excuse to act like a bunch of drunk quidchompers at a tractor pull. Maybe next one I'll get up and WHOOTWHOOT! at the top of my lungs during the quiet parts where I tend to drift off. Or maybe I can just turn around in my seat and scream "THAT THERE'S MAH BABY!" I don't think anyone would care.


AS FOR THE PERFORMANCES themself, well, pretty good, but I have a few tips. The middle schoolers were mostly girls, and had very pretty black formal floor-length dresses on, with a pretty white pleated bit on the skirt. There must have been fifty of them. Each one seemingly having had a jar of crazed itching-powder-dusted fire ants dumped into their drawers before going on stage. My goodness, I have never seen so much fidgeting in my LIFE. Please, please--hands in front of you or to the side. And stand still.

And second, please refrain from acting like a troupe of hyenas on crack when you've sat down in the audience to hear the high school choir sing. Yes, I was young and enthusiastic once, too, but there's a time and a place for everything, and a loud, raucous WHOOTWHOOTWHOOOT!ing after In Excelcis Deo (and every other song, for that matter) seems a bit out of place.

For the teachers--hey, how about a rehearsal to figure out where everyone is supposed to be on the risers? During the show is not the time to figure it out. And please, don't make the kids who use wheelchairs or walkers or stuff wait OUTSIDE IN THE COLD to come on stage--there's a whole area stage right where they could have stood and been inside. And this--how about a little less banging on the pianoforte. Accompaniment is fine, but remember, we didn't come to hear the piano player.

They all have such beautiful voices, and all the miscues and unforced errors doesn't make me say "Aww, how cute and charming!" but rather makes me wish adults had enough confidence in themselves to not be self-conscious about requiring some level of decorum amongst their charges. Then again, when you have parents who can't keep their stupid yaps shut for five friggin' minutes at a whack, maybe I just expect too much.

You know, maybe we could just have a Jumpin' Baby J. Hannukah Pep Rally or something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:07 PM | Comments (4)

Stupidity Flux

Larry Anderson, well-known wise man and government contractor, mentioned in one of the comments below a concept I was unfamiliar with, namely, Stupidity Flux. I thought at first it was that new movie with Charlize Theron, but Larry was kind enough to set me straight.

Now, this is going to get all technical and scientifical and all, so if you need any explainatory words, you'll have to ask Larry:

From observation, (Note the scientific tone of that phrase) I have noted that stupid people tend to group with similar people (thus the crowd traveling with Mother Sheehan). From this observation, I deduced that a positive correlation exists between the level of stupidity a person exhibits and their proximity to other stupid people. Thus we see that some agent must be present to account for this phenomenon. From the study of Physics (or it may have been 8th grade science), I remembered that a magnet has a field surrounding it that may be demonstrated with iron filings and a sheet of paper.

My startling contribution to human knowledge occurred when I realized that stupid people must be producing a similar field that interacts with the brains of those who are near them thereby producing more stupidity. I believe the effect to an exponential function (probably at least a cube of the number of idiots present).

The effect on non-stupid people seems to be hair loss or the graying of hair as brain cells are killed as interaction with stupidity flux fields emits a gaseous substance that either causes head hair to fall out or turn gray.

You may have noticed falling or graying hair as the “Toast Master” passes your cube.

I continue to work on a unified field theory to explain ear and nose hair growth. all makes so much sense now...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:56 PM | Comments (9)

Fun with Referrer Logs!


For some reason, the overnight hours were filled with some wonderful things to examine and pontificate about. SO, let’s get started, shall we? Please? ::sigh:: Okay, but if we wait for you to get back from the toilet, you might as well wait on me to get back from going downstairs and buying a refreshing, sugar-free caffeinated cola beverage! HMPH!

Okay, now then, if EVERYONE is ready, we’ll start.

First someone wanting to know about the best pocketknives. Not really an off-the-wall sort of question like I usually get, and surprisingly it has nothing to do with various female celebrity body parts.

SO, I prefer older-style pocketknives with at least two blades. And I like them in carbon steel. Stainless is a bear to sharpen, and can be brittle. I've mentioned before that I'm not particularly fond of Swiss army knives, either Victorinox or Wenger, because they seem to be very prone to tip breakage. I know you aren't supposed to pry on things with them, but a bent tip is still much more useful than one that breaks completely off. I carry an old Uncle Henry 885 that I've had for years and it's still quite sharp, although in need of a tune-up from going pocket-dull. I also carry a Smith & Wesson thumb opener--yes, I know, it goes against what all I've just said, but it's very handy to be able to open with one hand, and stainless DOES have the nice quality of staying sharp a lot longer.

Next up, something sure to be helpful for everyone! topics of conversation for the office christmas party. Knowing what a gifted raconteur I am, it is no surprise someone would make their way here to find out what to say! SO,


1) The superiority of Muslim culture to all others.
2) Do you think I should shave this?
3) I don't really hate you-hate you.
4) Looks like Don has his gay apparel on again!
5) Gosh, this bow is getting pretty tight!
6) When I drink eggnog, I vomit. A lot.
7) Peace on earth? Gimme a B-52 and I'll see what I can do.
8) Halliburton!

Happy Holidays!

Next, someone looking for information about that most extraordinary person, Irish Rap Mogul sean paddy combs making the band. It's manly yes, but I like it, too!

Speaking of lunch, we have someone wanting some Kung Pao Fists of Fury. I tell you what, those peppers can make your insides feel like someone has some fists of fury in there.

Next up, a kind, searching soul wants to know what does free refills mean with escorts. Oh, that was a program Ford had back around 1986 or so where they would give you a coupon for a free tank of gas for your new Escort.

On, then, to this person, who for some reason came to Possumblog because
I keep hearing civil sirens. Well, surely that's much better than hearing rude ones.

And then we have this one: baggy clothes to hide curvy lusty figure. I must confess that I do tend to wear looser clothing than is absolutely required, but, well, you know.

Okay, finally, here's one that's actually something worthwhile. Every so often, someone will trip in here and want me to define yankee dime. As any good Southerner will attest, that's a quick peck on the cheek, usually doled out to unsuspecting children who want some money.

HOWEVER, when I looked at the returned results, I found a definition from a wonderful resource I'd not heard of before, and one that goes into my Big List of Reference Websites. It is the aptly named Double-Tongued Word Wrester, compiled and written by one Grant Barrett, who says:

Double-Tongued Word Wrester records undocumented or under-documented words from the fringes of English. It focuses upon slang, jargon, and other niche categories which include new, foreign, hybrid, archaic, obsolete, and rare words. Special attention is paid to the lending and borrowing of words between the various Englishes and other languages, even where a word is not a fully naturalized citizen in its new language.

I am an American lexicographer for Oxford University Press in New York City. This site is not sponsored by, affiliated with, nor otherwise related to Oxford University Press, which does not necessarily endorse, validate, nor approve its contents. In my work for OUP, I am project editor for the Historical Dictionary of American Slang and editor of the Oxford Dictionary of American Political Slang (2004). Outside of OUP, I am also editor of The Official Dictionary of Unofficial English (April 2006, McGraw-Hill) and vice president for communications and technology for the American Dialect Society. [...]


Of course, he's not quite up there with Possumblog as a source of information, mainly because he refuses to make stuff up.

ANYway, off to lunch now!

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

I just hope...

Bill Clinton to surprise U.N. conference

...that he doesn't sidle up behind it and goose it on the butt.

Then again, knowing U.N. conferences, it would probably enjoy it.

[Editorial note: I had to change the link to the story because the AP/Yahoo!News feed seems to have been edited to have a new headline: "Clinton says Bush is 'flat wrong' on Kyoto." I find it interesting that Mr. Clinton would say that, given the details found in this USATODAY story from 2001: Ex-Clinton aides admit Kyoto treaty flawed

06/11/2001 - Updated 08:46 PM ET

By Jonathan Weisman, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — As President Bush headed off Monday to face environmental critics in Europe, he fired a parting shot at the global warming treaty he has rejected. He called the Kyoto Protocol unrealistic, costly and "fatally flawed."

In that assessment, he has some unexpected supporters: Clinton administration experts.

Economists from the Clinton White House now concede that complying with Kyoto's mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases would be difficult — and more expensive to American consumers than they thought when they were in charge.

That reassessment helped fuel Bush's decision to reject the Kyoto treaty, said Lawrence Lindsey, the president's economic adviser. Instead of embracing binding limits on greenhouse gases, Bush pledged on Monday a modest package of actions to combat global warming. They include a research initiative to fill gaps in scientists' understanding of climate change and increased use of renewable energy. But he didn't call for new money. [...]

The treaty, negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, aimed to combat emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that most scientists believe trap heat in the atmosphere. The treaty required the United States to reduce its emissions by 2012 to 7% below its 1990 levels.

At the time, the Clinton White House estimated that the cost of reaching that target was relatively low: about $7 billion to $12 billion a year starting in 2008, when binding reductions would begin phasing in. An average household's energy bills would rise $70-$110 a year, and gasoline prices would inch up no more than 6 cents a gallon, the White House said.

Other government cost estimates were far higher. The Department of Energy estimated that gasoline prices would have to rise 66 cents a gallon — or 53% over a projected 2010 price — to meet Kyoto's emissions targets. [...]

Todd Stern, Clinton's global warming coordinator, says that the Europeans would likely go along with an unlimited trading system if the Bush administration would return to the negotiating table to produce a revised treaty it could sign. However, he concedes that China won't participate for now. [And have again decided it best if the U.S. bind itself to the treaty, but not them. Ed.]

Leaving China out of a trading scheme would double the Clinton cost estimate, says Joseph Aldy, who helped develop the estimates for Clinton. "We always thought the (emissions) targets were very ambitious," he says. "But the thing that made us really uneasy about our analysis ... was that if our assumptions didn't come true, you could come out with costs that were much, much higher." [...]

By simply walking away from it, he is letting the Europeans portray the United States as the villain, even though they privately admit that they, too, may be unable to comply with the treaty. "George Bush has done all the work for the Europeans," says Robert Lawrence, a Clinton administration economist now at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Lindsey, however, insists that the Kyoto Protocol is beyond repair. "The models are not even close in suggesting Kyoto was the right approach," he says. "It was wrong. I think we did the right thing."

Nothing like a little hindsight, eh?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Place your bets, please.

I want wagers on how long it will be before the Moonbat Brigades blame this--

Earth's Magnetic Pole Drifting Quickly

--on George Bush's refusal to sign the Kyoto Accords.

I give it about three hours.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (6)

A knee, if you please.

One of our frequent commentors around here (and e-mail correspondent in private) who goes by the name of Steevil just received word (in a most inapt way, I might say) of some health problems.

Steevil, whose real name is Stephen and whose claims to fame include being a NASA rocket scientist, a Moron Project Leader Extraordinaire (i.e., he has a sailboat), and being the brother of Dr. Weevil, has been quietly wrestling with a couple of health issues for a while now, and has received some additional news that seems to indicate yet more difficulty in the coming months.

UPDATE! 10:45 a.m. I AM COMPLETELY WRONG! No big surprise there, but upon further word from Steevil, it seems that I was under the wrong impression. He received a form letter from one of the medical offices, and I thought it meant he actually DID have something much worse wrong with him than just having a sailboat, and that his doctor just hadn't had the chance to tell him yet. Silly me. HOWEVER, despite Steve's request, I'd still like to ask you all to keep him in your thoughts anyway, because he's STILL not quite back up to speed yet from his current malady. So there.

AND, as you all know, my good friend Miss Francesca will be undergoing surgery next week, and she, too, is in need of encouragement.

Thank you.

The whole thing with Steevil's note does remind me, for some reason, of the old joke about the guy who left his cat and his mother in the care of his neighbor before going on a trip. Upon his return, he asked how his cat was, and the neighbor blurted out, "Your cat got hit by a car and died."

The man was obviously heartbroken and in shock at how tactless the neighbor had been in delivering the news. "Next time, try to be a little more caring! Say something like, 'Well, your cat climbed up on the roof, and we tried to get her down but couldn't,' and then when I ask what happened next, say something like, 'she hopped down, and a dog chased her into the street,' before just coming out and saying she got hit! Okay!?"

Having unburdened himself of this sudden sad news, he then asked his neighbor where his mother was. "Uhh, well, she's up on the roof..."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:14 AM | Comments (4)

December 08, 2005

Sugarmama Makes My Dreams Come True!

I just received an e-mail from the fit and fine Sugarmama, who lets me in on a little secret--

You can have your own replicas of the Alabama Power Company spokes birds, Ben and Micky. I know this is VERY EXCITING news!!!

Oh, those birds. I hate them. I wrote about them last year in this post. And this one. Yet, despite my visceral dislike for them, our local benevolent oligopoly has tenaciously stuck by their creations, and seems to think everyone just loves them to death. Hmmm. Surely I didn't mean to write "death." Anyway, from somewhere deep in the corporate recesses of the power company, this memo floats about:

Ben and Mickey plush toys still for sale


There’s still time to purchase your own set of “Ben and Mickey” plush toys. For your convenience, Alabama Power’s TV spokesbirds will be on sale on the Corporate Headquarters mezzanine Friday, Dec. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pair comes in a handy, clear plastic drawstring sack with the company logo for only $15.

You call it "a handy drawstring sack," I prefer to think of it as a body bag. With the company logo!

Ben and Mickey are terrific stocking stuffers,

Yeah, well so's plutonium.

presents for children

Especially ones you hate, or ones you're trying to make stop believing in Santa Claus.

or office decorations.

Yep, I'm sure the CEO of Alabama Power has 'em in his office. And so does that squirrely systems engineer who doesn't bathe and insists everyone call him "Mister ELECTRO!"

Proceeds will benefit local charities supported by the Alabama Power Service Organization. These special toys are available for a limited time, while supplies last.

I.e., available indefinitely, or until someone finds a way to sneak them into the landfill.

Me? Oh, I might by a dozen or so, just to have something puffy and explodey for shotgun practice.

Boy, I dislike those birds.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:31 PM | Comments (11)

Should be a cinch.

France tries to improve tourist image after riots

Ministers Say "Burning Car Smell Really No Worse Than Gaulloises!"

Officials Note Riots Prompted Downturn in Gypsy Pickpockets, North African Trinket Vendors

Fire Department Officials Proclaim Success In Finally Washing Most Dog Droppings From Sidewalks

Plea for Return of American Tourists, "Gives Rioters, Non-Rioters Common Enemy For Whom to Express Haughty Disdain"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:01 PM | Comments (5)

Finally, something for the smart set...

Via the Birmingham Business Journal, Public TV documentary to highlight Alabamians' generosity

Tiffany Ray

In 2003, Alabamians donated nearly $2.2 billion to charity, Internal Revenue Service deductions show. That outpouring makes Alabama the sixth most generous state in the nation, according to recent results of the Catalogue for Philanthropy's 2005 Generosity Index, a ranking that measures the difference between each state's adjusted gross income and its contributions to charity. [...]

As is the usual case, BBJ is still coming to grips with the idea of providing links to other information, so here's your website for the Catalogue for Philanthropy's 2005 Generosity Index.

Alabama's behind only Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Tennessee in overall ranking, which is pretty nice no matter how you look at it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:39 PM | Comments (3)

One more for the Stupipalooza!!

Ex-officer charged in Taser shooting of partner

They argued on patrol, prosecutors say

December 8, 2005

A fired Hamtramck police officer was charged Wednesday with assault and battery for allegedly discharging a Taser weapon at his partner last month during an argument in their patrol car.

Ronald Dupuis, 32, of Allen Park was charged with the 93-day misdemeanor by Wayne County prosecutors. He is making arrangements to be arraigned, possibly later this week, according to Hamtramck Police Chief James Doyle.

Dupuis, a 6-year employee, is accused of firing the Taser at his female partner during a Nov. 3 argument.

Doyle fired him about a week later.

A police report indicates Dupuis and his partner, Prema Graham, began arguing after Dupuis demanded she stop the patrol car at a convenience store so he could purchase a soft drink. Graham wanted to get back to the police station and drove past the store.

At some point, the pair began arguing and struggling over the steering wheel, according to the report.

At one point, Dupuis used his department-issued Taser weapon to strike Graham in the leg near the intersection of Holbrook and Conant, prosecutors said.

She was not seriously injured. [...]


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

Well, gee whiz--it must just be Stupid People Day.

Iran's Ahmadinejad casts doubt on Holocaust

By Paul Hughes
Thu Dec 8, 9:26 AM ET
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed doubt that the Holocaust occurred and suggested Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by the official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in the Saudia Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map," which sparked widespread international condemnation.

"Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying.

"Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?"

"If the Europeans are honest they should give some of their provinces in Europe -- like in Germany, Austria or other countries -- to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe. You offer part of Europe and we will support it," he added. [...]

Yeah, well, I'm sure he's just being quoted out of context.

(I will hand it to him, though--the European speech repression laws are pretty ridiculous.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)

Oh, and speaking of stupid people...

Train Driver Sacked Over Nude Photo

A train driver has been sacked after stripping off while at the controls of an express train.It is believed that the driver used his mobile to take a naked picture of himself on a Sheffield to London train, which he was operating at 125mph for Midland Main Line.The driver is believed to have sent the picture to a Midland Main Line employee, who alerted bosses.

A Midland Main Line spokeswoman said: "The driver was suspended straight away while we held a full investigation.

"The driver has now been dismissed. Safety is, and always will be, our main priority."

According to The Sun, the sacking of the driver is part of a wider problem.

It reported that a number of drivers had been stripping off shortly before passing other trains.

They were then allegedly alerting their colleagues and encouraging them to look at them as they sped past one another.

Obviously, one must consult the Book of Pythonania for an appropriate excerpt. Ahh, yes--from the Parrot Sketch:

[...] Mr. Praline: I wish to complain, British-Railways Person.
Mr. Praline: I beg your pardon...?
Attendant: I'm a qualified brain surgeon! I only do this job because I like being my own boss!
Mr. Praline: Excuse me, this is irrelevant, isn't it?
Attendant: Yeah, well it's not easy to pad these python files out to 200 lines, you know.
Mr. Praline: Well, I wish to complain. I got on the Bolton train and found myself deposited here in Ipswitch.
Attendant: No, this is Bolton.
Mr. Praline: (to the camera) The pet shop man's brother was lying!!
Attendant: Can't blame British Rail for that.
Mr. Praline: In that case, I shall return to the pet shop! [...]

Very well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:29 AM | Comments (2)

Oh, NO!

What will Lileks say!? Chuck E. Cheese whistles are recalled

I imagine as long as they don't try to take out the skeeball machines, he'll be okay.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:07 AM | Comments (0)

Thank you...

Dean seeks to clarify comments on Iraq

...but frankly, your comments, even in their broader context--especially in their broader context--are quite clear and unequivocal: victory = retreat.

That is the only way they can be read.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

You know...

...some people are so stupid, there is nothing that can be said that could adequately deride their brain power.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:54 AM | Comments (4)

I know I promised…

But it’s still just a wee bit too early for the Christmannukazaastivu3Kingsdastice (and Boxing Day!) Version of the Thursday Three. SO, instead of that, we’ll offer up something ENTIRELY unrelated to anything remotely dealing with the high holydays, or shopping, in order to bring you the Non-Sequitur Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

1. What do you think is going to be the next big fad in blogging?

2. Have you ever stolen anything?

3. What is your favorite fish recipe?

Now then, as is always the case, anyone may play along with the quiz, even if you lived or traveled in the Congo between the years 1978 and 1990, or if you are prone to vertigo or peripheral hallucinations. Just leave your answers in the comments below, or a link back to your blog so we can all come look at your answers in person.


1. I think probably what we’re already seeing--a big consolidation. It’s a bit like the car industry around the first part of the 20th Century--a huge amount of small players. Most were gone within a year, even if they might have been just as good, or better, even, than the ones who survived. But just like all those local, built-in-a-foundry cars died off, I think we’re starting to see the same in blogging. The medium is no longer just a playtoy (as were those newfangledy autoMObeels when they were new), but is now being seen by regular consumers as a viable information source.

Just as the Big Three were built from a variety of small, single-marque makers and suppliers, by the end of 2006 you’re going to see a lot fewer “mainstream” blogs, but their traffic will be much higher, and they’ll be more of a group effort by many people. (You know, sorta like a newspaper--whatever those were.)

Of course, there are some, like yours truly, who seem destined to become the Morgans of the marketplace--an oddball vehicle full of richly-crafted ash wood and leather, and hopelessly antiquated even by the standard of when the technology was relatively new. But, oh! So stylishly pointless!

2. Yes.

3. It’s been a long time since I’ve been there, but the Italian Villa in Irondale used to have the best stuffed flounder I’ve ever had. And you Birmingham old-timers will remember the trout almondine at the Ensley Grill.

Boy, am I hungry.

(Oh, and I realize those aren't actually the recipes themselves, just the name of the dish. I looked, but couldn't find anything like the recipie for the stuffed flounder, and the trout almondine is a relatively simple thing. I suppose you could just experiment and come up with something similar.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:04 AM | Comments (14)

December 07, 2005

Well, that's a new one.

Not sure quite what's going on, but I've had to delete three or four different spam comments, but they don't actually have spam links, but rather links to regular sites such as,,,, and I'm not sure why, other than if you don't clear out the real URLs, MT's blacklist comment cleaner will ban them from being posted in comments. I suppose this is intended to mess up people trying to leave links to news stories, but I'm not sure why that would be desireable. The IP addresses for all of them are part of the domain.

Silly antipodes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)


Coke to launch coffee-infused Coke Blak

Obviously, Pepsi will come up with something like Pepsi Noir. Then Coke will add lime. And Pepsi will add hazelnuts and lemon. And then Coke will offer a fully sugarnated version called Coke Blak Power. And then a diet version called Coke Blak Light. And then Pepsi will offer Pepsi Coffee-free, with all the flavor of coffee, but no actual coffee. And with the great flavor of cherry-vanilla. Then Coke will come up with Sprite Arabica Blast Thirst Quencher with Mango Chutney and Walnut Hulls. And then Pepsi will counter that with Uncoffee 7-Up with Eucalyptus and Echinacea.

I hope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:06 PM | Comments (4)

A bit lighter fare.

As I mentioned Monday, we went to the Christmas parade Saturday, and I took a billion photos of it. Luckily for you, you will only be forced to see a small sampling!

They're down below in the extended entry, but one word of caution--most are taken from an ant's perspective. I figured there was absolutely no reason to stand up when I could sit down.


Well, before we even get to the parade, I figured you might want to see Catherine's wonderful decorating job she did on the Christmas tree

Here she is
and here is the tree

Actually, she didn't do all of that--she tended to concentrate her efforts on the lower two rows of branches.

AND, before we get to the parade, there was the beginner band concert!

AND, before they played, we had to wait! Which created no small amount of discomfort for Tiny Terror, who decided she didn't like having to wait. And so she got a talking-to.

Here are all the band members on stage, finally--

And where is Boy, you ask? Way in the back. I tried my best to zoom in on him, but none of those pictures are light enough to see. Next best thing? Zoom in on that picture above. I think that's his little head floating there above those two girls in the foreground of this picture--

HEY! There's the little stinker!

NOW THEN--on to the parade. In a minute. We have to wait first. Here are the girls, waiting.

And waiting.

And waiting.

WAIT NO MORE! It's the fire truck!

and the marching band!

and the cheerleaders High-steppers! (sorry)

and Boy in his hat!

and canine humiliation!

and dune buggy Shriners!

and hillbilly Shriners!

and much consternation!

and karate do!

and famous celebrities!

and beauty queens!

and despite her very best efforts to avoid having her photograph made, Oldest goes elfin'!

She wouldn't look our way when we were over on the start of the parade route, so we had to walk across the mall to the end to be able to snap that one. You can run, but you can't hide, you know.

SO, there was your parade!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:22 AM | Comments (12)


Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And, while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese Government also launched an attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night the Japanese attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has therefore undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us.

No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.

Franklin D. Roosevelt - December 8, 1941

[…] We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."

Winston Churchill - May 10, 1940

[…] The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. […]

John Kennedy - January 20, 1961

Today, the stakes of miscalculating our enemies are as great as they were when Germany marched across Europe, or Japan subjugated the people of Asia, or Communism sought to cover the globe.

Civilization depends upon a clear-eyed appraisal of those who oppose freedom and human rights, and who would seek to bring themselves closer to their God by climbing upon the slain bodies of the infidel. As opposed to the chatter of certain politicians, who would sacrifice the freedom of future generations for the sake of illusory, short-term political gain, we can win. More pointedly, however, we must win. For to lose--unlike when a politician cannot get himself elected--does not mean we simply go back to our comfortable homes and satisfying occupations, or slide ourselves into the pulpit as the leader of a political party. To lose in this conflict means to lose all.

We fight an enemy who sees no borders, who knows no worldly law, who holds himself sinless in his quest to kill the unbeliever, who will not stop unless first killed himself.

There is but one thing to say to this enemy.

No quarter.

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

December 06, 2005

Well, that's disappointing.

SACS extend Huntingdon College's probation for another year

I hate to see any college on probation, especially one that has figured out the right way to have a co-ed cheerleading squad.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:21 PM | Comments (2)

I would be, too!

NASCAR Annoyed With Absentee Drivers

All those cars, driving around in circles by themselves...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:45 PM | Comments (0)

Tiny Violins A'Playin'

Saddam says he will boycott 'unjust court'

Wow--if only those Kurdish villagers had just boycotted being gassed...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

If only this meant...

...the end to those annoying Geico commercials.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)

What You've All Been Waiting For!

The Axis of Weevil Headquarters Building Staff Christmas Gift List!

Being that they toil in relative anonymity, I thought, as Benevolent Leader, that it would be nice for once to bring our fine staff out of the shadows and allow them to share with you their Christmas gift wishes. Obviously, you don't HAVE to get them something, but I know they would appreciate even a token of recognition from Possumblog's many fans. Because there is no money this year for company bonuses or gifts.

ANYway, to start off, Chet the E-Mail Boy. Chet is quite the valued employee around here, whether it's oiling the Linotype machine or pumping out the septic tank. We love Chet, and even though he is an unpaid intern, we are happy to keep him agile and productive in his waning years.

chet in snappy hat.jpg


No, thank you, Chet! I'll see if I have a toothbrush around.

Next up, Miss Butch. This is Chet's Hmong ladyfriend, and technically, she is not an employee, paid or unpaid, but she keeps hanging around to try and catch Chet doing something wrong or making cow-eyes at the girls, so I went ahead and asked her what she wanted.


Je veux un fusil tuer les communistes culs, et quelques écrous bétel qui sont impossibles à recueillir dans cet endroit, et Chet doit cesser de regarder d'autres femmes!

Um. Okay.

Now then, many of you have spoken to Miss Wanda on the telephone and suffered from hearing loss after she slammed the phone down as she hung up on you. Please do not hold that against her, she is a very nice lady and if you don't agree she will adulterate the yogurt you brought for breakfast. So, here are her gift choices.

miss wanda.jpg

I want all of you goomers to stop leaving your dirty lunch boxes in the refrigerator, and I want everyone to fill our your W-4s right the first time and quit asking me to do it for you, and some mango citrus body wash from Bath and Body Works.

How nice!

Oh, and speaking of Chet and Miss Butch, Chet says that he'd like to request something for the company car, our beloved Mercury Tracer:



Be glad to help you out, Chet. I'll see what we can find at Pull-a-Part.

Now then, for one of our far-flung overseas stringers, Irish Correspondent Pat Slagging, seen here at his most recent swell party in Cork. (Pat is asleep on the floor underneath the girl in the foreground.)


Pat says:

I just want to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and if I had one thing to wish for, it would be me own pub. And to be paid for my last story that you used.

What a nice fellow!

Next up, Ernesto, who handles all of our billing chores.

Ernesto asks for:

I just want a nice gun. Anything will do. And some cartridges for my gun. That's all. Ha-ha. I'm just joking. I really would like a kitten. And an iPod. Really. Oh. And a gun.

Hmm. Ernesto might need a break.

Up next, former Possumblog Sports Center Chief Statistician, the lovely redhead Ipsa Dixie!

ipsa dixie.jpg

Baker and Baker, Attorneys

2314 East North Boulevard
West Covina, CA

December 1, 2005

Dear Sir:

Must we remind you again that Ms. Dixie is no longer in your employ, and that your repeated attempts to contact her violate the terms of the no-contact order handed down by the court? Any further attempts to contact our client will be met with serious legal consequences.

Yours truly,

J.B. Baker, Esq.

P.S. I would like a new Parker pen, and one of those cool laptops that have the armored cover on them. Thanks!

One of our better known hangers-on is someone whose talents we make use of from time to time, and who conveniently lives right next door--that's right, it's Jimmy from next door (who has a condition)!

jimmy from next door.jpg

I would like to have a room of my own that I did not have to share with my aunt, and I would like it if she would leave my stuff alone in the closet, and I would like a box of real pastels and some sketch paper, and a Hello Kitty easel, and a subscription to Sports Illustrated, and a box of those chocolate turtles (not real turtles) and some socks, and a real watch instead of the toy one that my aunt gave me, and a girlfriend, and one of those belts that has your name on the back, or maybe one of the kits where you can do it yourself and make things like lanyards, and a ladder, and my very own pack of cards, and that's about it.

Not to be confused with Jimmy from next door, we now have those two rascally rednecks, Jimmy Neil and Clew.

jimmy neil and clew.gif

(Jimmy Neil) I want some good dope. (Clew) I want that, and some beer, and I want one of them signs that says "FORD TRUCK PARKING ONLY" and I want a fruitcake. (Jimmy Neil) You ARE a fruitcake, man! (Clew) Shut up. (Jimmy Neil) No, you! Oh, hey, I want an iPod with the pictures on it. (Clew) Yeah, me too. And some beer. (Jimmy Neil) Yeah. Me too. And a car. (Clew) OH! HEY, I want like a place where you can get bail bonds like out of a vending machine--THAT would be cool! [This conversation went on for another thirty minutes. The remaining portion has been redacted for space considerations.]

Not to be outdone, Kit the Wonder Cat adds his two cents worth in the discussion.

Kit the wonder cat.jpg

Mmmrrrrr, ::hack::

Stupid cat.

One of the many success stories around the Possumblog Editorial Offices is that of Luther G. Cloode, who has parleyed his lack of ambition and mechanical skills into a high-paying career as a consultant to Cletus' Car Corner.


Luther says he would like:

I woold like to have everyone over to my house for chrismas except for my stupid nephews Jimmy niel and Clew, who are too stupid to live. I wuold also like to have one of those big Crafsman tool chestes that have all the tools in their. And a houseboat.

I'm sure you'll get just what you deserve, Luther!

Oh, and how could I forget dewey soft Possumblog White House Correspondent, Norah O'Donnell, seen here lounging in my office--

norah odonnell-small.jpg

Norah requests from Santa:

Hi! I want a 40 carat diamond ring, a Bentley, and a mansion in Georgetown!

Thank goodness I have enough left in my discretionary fund for just such a request!

Next, Ibrahim Malwad, who runs our computer department.


Ibrahim writes to Santa for:

I have nothing to ask of your filthy saints nor any wish to celebrate the birth of your false prophet! I would like one of the desktop weather station/clock devices, a Playstation Portable, a new Norelco shaver, some new tee-shirts, and a kitten. Oh, and Death to America.

That Ibrahim is SUCH a kidder!

And finally, I suppose it's time to hear from your humble host and despotic ruler.


Oh, I don't know--a kitten, I suppose.

Thank you all for tuning in over the past few years, and for continuing to keep us on the New York Times Best Seller List. We couldn't have done it without you, the finest readership in the world!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:29 PM | Comments (14)

Oh, by the way...

...I am still clogged with dumb old work to do. It would help if I would actually do it, rather than trying to figure out ways to stall.

But, your patience will be rewarded, I promise! Although "rewarded" might be a bit too strong...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:39 AM | Comments (4)


...someone had their chair leg on top of the Internet hose and choked off all outside communication. I hate it when that happens. Even worse is when I really don't have anything to say, but feel compelled to post at least a little something so no one will think I got hit by a bus.

Oh, and by the way, I don't know how you Yankees and High Plains and Rocky Mountain dwellers live up there in all that cold weather mess. I went outside this morning and all the doors and locks on both of the cars were frozen shut. Luckily, the sides facing the sunrise were a bit less frozen, and I was able to get the key in and turned enough to be able to get in and crank them up.

So, anyway, no, I wasn't hit by a bus.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:41 AM | Comments (7)

December 05, 2005

Coffee, again.

I note with no small amount of pride that Miss Francesca has managed to deprive Starbucks of operating capital for an entire five days. Bully for her! She now is deciding whether to buy her own brewmaking machinery, or to sacrificially eschew java altogether.

Obviously, a difficult decision, and one that has only the slightest to do with the following commentary, directed at the Senseo coffeemaker. They've had ads out for a while--a lovely brunette fidgeting with her fingers and making coffee-blowing pursing motions with her mouth, and then the magical juice comes flowing out of the Senseo spout--all very enticing.

Sorta. I mean, the woman's enticing, but the camera shots of the coffee coming out are in slow motion, so that the machine appears to have a sluicy, slo-mo, wavy-looking semi-liquid goo coming out. "Frothy," they say. It does have bubbles on top---but not whipped cream or meringue or styrofoam or whatever it is you gourmet-coffee people ladle on there--it's just bubbly coffee fizz. Which is fine, I guess, but the image on-screen of the gloppy consistency and same-colored bubbles doesn't really look like hot refreshing coffee so much as it does hot redeye gravy.

Now, I love redeye gravy, but just because it contains coffee, I'd rather not drink it as a beverage. (I will say that if someone came up with a gravy machine, that would be pretty neat.)

So, anyway, speed the film up just a little, guys, and let the coffee be coffee.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:45 PM | Comments (7)

And in other celebrity news...

Al-Qaida figure finally gains attention

The hard way.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:59 AM | Comments (3)

How nice.

Saddam: 'I Am Not Afraid of Execution'

No reason to be, really. Unlike your political enemies when you were in power, there is still a chance you could dodge this with some help from the various quislings who've flocked to your cause, merely for the off-chance to pet and groom you the way various species of monkeys fight over tasty body lice. And even if you don't beat the rap, well, no one's gonna feed you feet-first into a shredder, after making you watch your daughters being raped. Nope, it'll be quick and merciful--again, assuming it even happens.

But really, the thing to fear isn't the execution, though, is it? It's what comes after, when you stand there, trying to convince God you were completely innocent. He's not near as big a pushover as Ramsey Clark, you know. Or the U.N.

Anyway, no matter what happens, be sure to say hey to Pol Pot.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:32 AM | Comments (7)

Stupid Joke

What's the first thing elves learn in school?

The elfabet.

Now, for some reason, that joke just came to me when I was driving around with Rebecca sometime over the weekend. I don't remember ever hearing it before, so when it popped in my head, I told it to Rebecca and she laughed and laughed. Then she told all the other kids when we got home, and they laughed, too.

I wish I could tell them I was the first person to ever think of that, but I'm not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

Quickie Recap!

Plug wires: purchased
Supper: cooked
Laundry: started

Saturday--Wife: awoken at 5:30 a.m. to go in to work to complete tasks left over from Friday
Laundry: continuing
Children: awoken and told to dress so we can get Boy to school for concert
Iron: gotten out along with ironing board to iron a shirt and pair of pants that just came out of the dryer so Boy will look presentable for his debut
Phone: keeps ringing with calls from wife who is 1) about to leave, 2) now leaving, 3) getting on Interstate, 4) miffed that I seem distracted by need to iron clothing and get kids fed before getting Boy to band concert, 5) running over a piece of metal in the road, 6) promising to meet us at school.
Children: Mostly dressed, except for Oldest, who is piled up in bed watching television, even though it is nearly time to leave
Ironing: finished, tell everone we need to leave so we can run go get some breakfast before concert so no one will be whining and dying of starvation
Oldest: asks if she has time to take a shower as I am getting children out the door, is told only if she wants to skip breakfast.
Breakfast: discretion, valor, etc., we all are in car and headed toward McDoodies for slop, pay, pull out to go to school
Cell phone: rings, wife on line to say she's in Trussville, asks if her husband bought her breakfast
Heavy sigh: done
Second breakfast stop: Sonic for a BLT, then on to high school
High school: park, have Oldest escort Boy to band room
Cell phone: rings, wife wants to know if we're at school yet. Yes.
Wife arrives: eats, thankfully does not shoot and leave
Concert: beginner band, lots of slow oompah-type music, but overall very, very good considering three months before no one knew how to play an instrument.
Percussion: finest little bell player in the world has a solo on one number and nails it
High school percussion: these guys are GOOD. Wrapped up the day's events with a few minutes of high-impact thunder. Wow.
Home: install plug wires, test drive car, seems much better, go to dollar store to buy candy to decorate tables at church building, keep encountering woman with large bosom
Laundry: continuing
Christmas parade prelude: load everyone back up and head out to designated area, which is jam packed with people two hours before the thing is supposed to start, wind around through blocked streets to finally get to end of parade route where Oldest is supposed to be, dump her and Wife and Boy and turn around and go back to try to find parking spot, manage to find one behind the library at the park, park, go to library for Middle Girl and Tiny Girl to pee, they come back out and then I have to go, and by this time it's not just a Number 1 stop but the other, finish, then try to grab a minute to check on Ebay purchases, am busted by Middle Girl, who was sent in by Wife to see what was taking so long, log off (so to speak), then we all walk back down to the mall area in front of the middle school.
Christmas parade: small town Christmas parade at its finest--fire trucks, band, local judges, gymnastics teams, dog training school, Shriners, hardware store float, various martial arts, cheerleading, and dance academies, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, beauty queens, pizza joint cars, fire trucks, Hillbilly Shriners, and SANTA!
Home: drop off everyone, get Rebecca back, call guy who's supposed to ride with me, go pick him up to go to the church building to set up tables
Church: arrive and four other folks already hard at work, set up tables, chairs, cover tables with paper, sprinkle candy around, run out of candy, go to dollar store and buy another bag, come back, finish, and leave
Home: attempt to download digital photos, so many that the camera keeps crapping out before they all get transferred, swear silently
Laundry: continuing

Church: make sure food is in place, have to go get a few more diet drinks from the dollar store
Worship: sleepy, very sleepy
Lunch: very nice, and we have enough folks serving and cleaning up so that no one complains (it was our group's turn to do all the setting up and stuff, thus all the previous night's decorating and grunting)
Home: attempt to fix camera shortcomings by transferring all older pictures to CD, then deleting the previous 400 pictures, don't get finished by the time it's time to leave and go back to church for round of afternoon meetings
Church: my meeting starts later, so I take drawings for new addition and start marking them up, people keep stopping and talking, thus making certain I don't get anything done, my meeting finally rolls around, meet, discuss, finish with three minutes to spare
Worship: sleepy, very sleepy, but thankfully was able to get someone else to lead singing in my place--ears clogged with concrete don't allow proper pitch to be used and don't want to drive anyone away
Home: supper of leftovers from lunch, then finally fix camera problem--I have all sorts of pictures of Christmas parade. But they're still at home. Forgot all about bringing them this morning.

Work: must do much today to keep up with flow, blogging probably going to take a hit, offer apologies for lack of content

OH! And the laundry? Finished.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:04 AM | Comments (8)

December 02, 2005

The Weekend?

Oh, silly person--you don't know the half of what's in store for me!

Mainly because I haven't said.

Allow me to remedy that--Christmas middle school band concert, requiring Boy to be at school by 10:30 tomorrow. Christmas parade following the concert, requiring Boy and Oldest to be somewhere in town at a staging area by around 1:00 p.m. Saturday, for a parade that doesn't start until 3:00. With Oldest wearing an elf costume. After that, pick up a guy I go to church with (who also has a kid in the parade) and go over to the church building to set up tables for our Christmas dinner on Sunday afternoon. Which will then be followed by cleanup, then by innumerable meetings for the kids, and one big one for me.

In amongst all this joyful seasonal merrymaking, someone will have to do laundry AND someone will have to clean house AND someone will have to finish putting up Christmas decorations AND someone will have to install a new set of plug wires on Reba's Focus, which has been feeling poorly lately. And speaking of feeling poorly, Middle Girl seems to have come down with an indistinct respiratory malady that causes her to mope around and have occasional flashes of fever.

Add all that together, and it sounds like I won't be begging for dreamy sleep so much as a swift blow to the head with a hammer.

SO, here's to hammers!


Speaking of hammers and car repair, Larry Anderson just sent me the following little bit of information for those of you who want to be more knowledgeable about such things:

Common Tools and their Uses:

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted airplane part you were drying.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch...."

ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.

VISE-GRIPS: Also used to round off bolt heads. They can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools which transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.


OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub you want the bearing race out of.

HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for re-raising an automobile after you have installed your new disk brake pads, trapping the bumper jack and handle firmly under the bumper.

DOUGLAS FIR 2X4, eight-foot long: Used for levering an automobile upward off a hydraulic jack hopelessly wedged under the automobile.

PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbors to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.

GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise, but used mainly for getting dog crap off your boot.

TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.

E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool ten times harder than any known drill bit that snaps off in bolt holes you couldn't use anyway.

TWO-TON ENGINE HOIST: A tool for testing the tensile strength of the bolts you forgot to disconnect between the engine and frame.

CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large pry bar that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.

TROUBLE LIGHT: The home mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 100-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells were used during the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.

AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts last over tightened 58 years ago by someone at General Motors, and neatly rounds off their heads.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50� part.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses too short.

HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.

MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts.

FLYING TOOL: Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the shop while yelling "dammit" at the top of your lungs. It is also the next tool that you will need.

EXPLETIVE: A balm or salve, usually applied verbally in hindsight, which somehow eases those pains and indignities following our lack of foresight.

Now then, all of you have a fun and safe weekend!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:40 PM | Comments (4)

A Toast


He just put it in and left it again.

I can't bear to tear up the toaster since I helped pay for it.

I don't really want to make a nasty rude sign because he's an old man and I try to be respectful of old coots like him, even if he is a hard-shell Democrat.

I thought about unplugging it, but other people use it, too, and they seem to be smart enough to figure out the magical thing we call electricity.

So, when I smelled the tell-tale whiffs of scorching bread, I went out there and turned it off. And pulled the door open so it would get the bread away from the still hot toaster element. It still got a bit too black, though, and the smell is still hanging around from yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that.

He just now came back (after many, MANY minutes) and didn't seem to think it odd that the door of the oven was open, nor that his toast wasn't in flames. He has this odd under-his-breath mumble that he does all the time, and he just mumbled "oh toast hm toast huh good," then he got it and walked off. Apparently in his world, toaster ovens open themselves and allow toast to escape, or the toast itself pressed against the door with sufficient force to open it.

In any case, being unwilling to make an ass out of myself over something as stupid as toast, I have now backed myself into the corner of being the official toaster oven watcher. And, apparently, official toast blogger.

My life is complete.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:28 AM | Comments (2)


In the greater scheme of things this is really meaningless, but it still chaps me anyway, mainly because the people who do these things are the ones who tend to miss no opportunity to tell others about their own superiority.

First up, this headline--City's murder rate near 100 with overnight death

No. The amount of murders is near 100. "Rate" is term indicating a ratio, a comparison to a fixed number--for crimes, the usual reporting standard is the number of crimes per 100,000 of population. I realize a lot of people make the mistake, but professional journalists are the ones who keep telling everyone about the superiority of their medium, based upon the idea that they have a staff of trained editors toiling away to insure accuracy both in the overall tone of the article, as well as language usage. But irritating stuff like this gets printed every single day--innumeracy and illiteracy amongst the people we pay to bring us the news seem to abound. And frankly, if they can't get the small stuff right, why should I bother to believe they'd be willing to take any greater care on the big stuff?

Second--the term "1st Annual." I just got through reading our school system's quarterly newsletter, and they had a blurb about the upcoming "1st Annual System-Wide Holiday Celebration" at the central office. Again--I realize many people don't see anything odd about that, but a bunch of highly-qualified teachers should know that "1st Annual" isn't the best way to say that--it's either the first, or the inaugural, or the introductory, or the initial. I know what they mean--they intend to have one next year, so this one is the first of what is planned to be an annual event. But, still, since Christmas only comes around once annually, at least acknowledge that even if the usage is acceptable, it's still redundant in this case. It's like saying annual anniversary.

Again, in the greater scheme of things, it's not a big deal, except for the fact that I keep hearing just how essential all these folks are to my child's well-being. And I don't disagree--but if you're going to set yourself out there on that pedestal, I would prefer not to see so many simple, common, irksome things that cause my teeth to go on edge. Because, just like the newpapers, these sorts of things keep coming to my attention--we get a flood of papers from all the kids every day, and some of what passes for pedagogical excellence simply defies belief. If they can't get the small stuff right, why should I bother to believe they'd be willing to take any greater care on the big stuff?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:02 AM | Comments (3)

My Body, My Friend

You know, sometimes dreams turn out really, really good.

I'm just saying.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:10 AM | Comments (4)

December 01, 2005

My Body, My Enemy

I seem to have pulled a muscle--quite possibly the adductor magnus in my right thigh. Every time I try to lift my leg, as one needs to do in order to accomplish tasks such as walking up steps, there is a very sharp pain in the front of my hip joint. It's done this for the past two days, and I frankly cannot recall doing ANYthing that might have caused any of my muscles to have been moved, let alone pulled in such a way to create such discomfort.

Although, there WAS that time on Tuesday when I got up quickly from my desk to go to the restroom.

Well, I guess this means it's time to get myself one of those portable toilet chairs.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (2)

Remember the guy?

The guy I mentioned before who always burns his toast? Every day? Because he can't quite seem to grasp the idea of time and temperature? And he turns the toaster oven that sits on the small table outside my office on full power and then leaves for five minutes while the bread burns to a crisp? Every day? Him?

Well, he just did it again, and you know, he's gotten on my last nerve.

Time for a mean-spirited sign on the toaster oven denigrating those who burn their toast as buffoons of the highest order, and suggesting that if the toastor cannot bear to stand watch over the toaster for the minute that it takes to properly brown a single slice of bread, then maybe the person perfoming the toastflagration should buy his own derned toaster and keep it in his office where he's the only one who has to put up with the stench of carbonized flour.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (14)

A few words of advice.

Memphis Area Man Goes on Naked Shooting Spree

GERMANTOWN, TN - A Tennessee man who called police after seeing a naked man firing a gun at commuters says he "couldn't believe it."

Eddie Cox was driving home in suburban Memphis when he saw the man wearing nothing but socks despite temperatures in the 40s. Cox called police, who came to the scene and arrested Glen Higgs.

Higgs now faces charges of reckless endangerment, indecent exposure, firing a weapon and public intoxication. Officers found a revolver in a nearby yard. [...]

If you're going to go on a shooting spree, it's probably best to wear more clothing. Likewise, if you're going to drink, it's best to lock up the guns, and keep yourself inside if you like to wander around naked. Finally, if you do like wandering around naked, it's probably best not to go off on a drunken shooting spree, especially when it's cold outside.

It all kinda works hand in glove, so to speak. Or foot in sock.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:03 AM | Comments (3)

A Sad, Weak Woman

In which Starbucks loses a valued and loyal customer for one, or possibly even two days.

Me? I only like my coffee one way. You walk into a dim tired joint, sit at the counter, and tell the beefy young waitress you want a cup of coffee. She turns around and pulls a glass carafe from under a big stainless Bunn coffeemaker, and the coffee comes to you hot and black and fully caffeinated in a plain thick white ceramic cup. You get free refills. If it's a new girl, before you order, you ask her first if they have free refills, and when she says yes, you tell her you'll have one of those. She stops for a minute and then figures out the joke, and says you have to buy the first cup. You leave her a dollar tip.

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

What not to do.

When I was in the process of going to get gas last night, I was struck by a curious craving.

Vienna sausage.

I had gotten a box of cans at Sam's the last time I bought groceries, because I had a craving for them while I was at Sam's, said craving then departing until last night.

Now, I realize some of you are already feeling a bit queasy--I realize what Vienna sausages are made of (first ingredient--"mechanically separated chicken"), and further that they are offensive to at least three major world religions. But, you know, to those of us in the redneck religion, there is nothing else that can satisfy that craving when you get it--aside from potted meat.

Anyway, got home and opened the box and grabbed a tiny tin of the tender pink cylinders, popped the top, rinsed off the yummy chicken broth and gelatinous goo, and had myself a little feast, repleat with crackers. (Because, as we know, Vi-inners just aren't the same without crackers.)

Afterwards, I went upstairs, got my pajamas on, read the mail, helped Rebecca with some homework, did some other stuff, and finally got a chance to lie down on the bed to read a bit and watch Letterman before bedtime.

Letterman's special guest? Maureen Dowd.

Oh, Charlize Theron was on there, too, but Dave saved most of his ill-informed sycophancy for Modo. Having read only enough of Dowd to create a distinct distaste for her cognitive skills, and never having had the opportunity to hear her speak extemporaneously, I can only say that if this is what passes for Pulitzer Prize-winning talent, the Pulitzer Prize must be akin to the chicken broth and gelatinous goo I washed off my Vienna sausages.

So, by way of a caution, never eat Vienna sausages late at night and then subject yourself to viewing a brief television interview with Maureen Dowd. Just turn it off after Charlize Theron is on, and dream better dreams.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:32 AM | Comments (13)

March 24, 2005

You know what that was? The last time I paid $1.999 for a gallon of gasoline--before last night, that is. Went and filled up the van at Sam's, and thought it would be good to look back in my little Volvo logbook and see just how far back it was that gas cost so little.

So, not only is gasoline now back down below the price it was before Hurricane Katrina, it's lower than it has been since before I even moved from Blogspot to Munu. And, in fact, BEFORE I EVEN OWNED MY VOLVO. That $1.99 price was how much the previous owner had paid. By the time I got the car, gas was up around $2.20 or so.

Conclusion? Well, obviously severe natural disasters have the net effect of driving gasoline prices down in the long term. That Karl Rove guy sure is a genius with his Evil Hurricane Machine and all.

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



Unless, of course, you're talking about the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, which today takes up everyone's favorite topic, gainful employment!

Now, since your humble host has been so very busily engaged in just such an undertaking (i.e., remunerative activities), he has had precious little time to cogitate properly upon a fitting and proper set of questions. HOWEVER, we do have the ability to rely upon famed government contractor Larry Anderson from Kudzu Acres, who has graciously blessed us with the following:

If all jobs paid the same and education and training were not an issue,

1) What job would you most want to have?

2) What job would you wish on your least favorite politician?

3) Where would each of the jobs above be located?

As is the usual case, each of you please place your answers in the comments below or leave a link to your blog. Remember, too, that the competition is open to everyone, even if you've never worked an honest day in your life.

SO, get to work!

As for my answers...

1) I have always thought it would be fun to a historical research type person, sorta like the weird goofballs on that PBS show. I really cannot stand those people, nor the show--it's tediously p.c., relies far too much on contrived situations, and just annoys me--but I would like to do the actual legwork and research and travelling to interesting places and stuff. Even the endless microfilm viewing.

2) Well, let's see--there's my usual troika of detestables--Kennedy, Pelosi, and Reid. I suppose being Hell's only boiler-stokers or being Michael Moore's bellybutton lint pickers would be a bit much, so maybe since they seem to think I need to pay more taxes, I'd gladly swap jobs, and paychecks, with them.

3) Since none of these really rely too much on geography (aside from Hell), I guess I would like to be closer to the coast. Really. Even with the hurricanes.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (13)