January 31, 2006

Been there--

don't know WHAT I've done, but I do know that after I got back from going to scope out a possible Golden Anniversary venue, I had a call from the school that Cat's ear was bothering her (as it has been for the past week, and most especially so last night when she climbed in bed with us at 2:00 am and started crying) and that I need to come get her. MEANING--this is it for the day. See you all tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:45 PM | Comments (0)

Maybe I AM getting old!

I mean, I joke about it, but I've never REALLY considered myself that old. But then I get folks dropping by here looking for such things as this: antique painting, franco harris immaculate reception, and it makes me think again.

Was it really THAT long ago?!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:08 PM | Comments (5)

Melvil Dewey!

A very nice compendium of exactly what a great invention the Dewey Decimal System turned out to be.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)

This would almost have been good enough to make me wish we had cable.

Michelle Malkin watches C-SPAN so you don't have to, and witnesses quite possibly an Emmy-worthy performance from Massachusetts'sesses senior senator.

Obviously, Ted needs to watch a nice movie and he could possibly learn something:

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:47 AM | Comments (4)

Well, this is just peachy.

B'ham judge rules sweepstakes machines are legal

Look for them to be as ubiquitous as Coke machines from here on out, folks. This has been quite a contentious little affray between the sheriff and ol' Milt--good to see the po' ol' Christian feller won't be forced to stop taking money from folks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Jack Bauer Update!

Well, what a crappy episode THAT was! Not nearly enough gratuitous bad-guy slapping, way too much time taken up with Deep Thoughts of a Highly Personal Nature.

BUT, to recap--these events take place during lunchtime. Yet, no one seems to be complaining about not eating, not even the Pudgy Needy Dork.

Brokenose Blonde gets lost in thought a lot this week, and interrupts her important nerve-gas finding assignment to moon over Jack, who looks at her and says kind words instead of being crazy mad insane like he should be and saying something like, “DO YOU NOT REALIZE WE’VE GOT NERVE GAS ON THE LOOSE AND THE WHOLE CTU’S BEING RUN BY GOMEZ ADDAMS’ SON!?”

Meanwhile, Crazy First Lady Jean Smart is found hiding in the stable amongst the saddlery and leather goods, which could have been very interesting, but wasn’t because she had on her Crazy First Lady pajamas which were decorated with little cartoon tranquilizers instead of something interesting and slinky. She got out from behind the whips and bridles and desperately clutched at Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy (who I come later to really like) and tried to get him to help her and she spilled the news about the phone call she got and how Nixon’s Evil Henchman had been rustling through her undergarments and was sending her to the crazy farm to shut her up. Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy listened politely (since she is Crazy First Lady Jean Smart) and then let the young guys take her off to repack the clothes she should have packed before she got out of the bathroom window. Her Brunette Assistant, Who Is Very Hot, stood around and moped, but that’s okay, because that’s obviously why she was hired. That, and for being hot.

In other matters, Jack is trying to figure out how to nail Nixon’s Evil Henchman Mole who has been creating all this trouble all along. Jack sets up a meeting with Mike, the Level Headed but Boring Bald Guy, so he can tell him secret things, and, of course, THIS is the one phone call that Stupid Evil Henchman of Nixon manages to intercept and he talks to Ruski Meester Beeg about it, and Ruski Meester Beeg is all POed that Bauer is still alive, and they go back and forth trying to escape blame. They decide unless Evil Henchman Mole does something quick, he’s going to be a Dead Evil Henchman Mole, and so they say ‘bye and hang up. “You hang up first.” “NO! YOU!” “NOoooo, YOU!” Et cetera.

Anyway, Nixon’s Evil Henchman Mole figures out he can manipulate the President, because the President has a brain the size of a bean, and figures he can bust in on Jack and Mike, the Level Headed but Boring Bald Guy’s meeting, get Jack arrested, again, and then sometime in there, Reba got back from the career night at the high school and I lost track of what was going on.

But apparently, after making his plans, Nixon’s Evil Henchman Mole finally told Nixon that he was kinda, sorta, ::air quotes:: involved ::air quotes:: with this whole nerve gas imbroglio--BUT IN A GOOD WAY--and convinces Nixon that it’s not the coverup that gets you in trouble, but the crime. Nixon, being evil and quite possibly the stupidest man to ever hold office aside from Harry Reid, decides, “Hey, whatever, as long as I get to have my own personalized stationary,” and tells his Now Openly Bad Evil Henchman to have the Secret Service be at the meeting between Jack and Mike, the Level Headed but Boring Bald Guy so THEY won’t endanger national security by revealing that there are NERVE GAS CANISTERS all over the place, AND to get CTU off the case so THEY won’t be asking all those uncomfortable questions.

Back at CTU again, the order comes down for everyone to go get lunch or something and forget all about the nerve gas, and everyone gets in a room and starts acting like a bunch of Democrat lawyers talking about needing “evidence” against Nixon’s Evil Henchman Mole and all that kind of crap in the face of a potential catastrophic terror attack (which they ought to already have figured out if they’d just watch the show), and Jack tells them they’re a bunch of babies, and then Gray Haired Boss gets all up in Rudy’s face about being a baby and a kid and a punk and not knowing when to shut up and tells him he doesn’t care if his mama IS Patti Duke, he should quit being such a whiner and make a decision and for goodness sake, cover up his huge hairy feet. Samwise gets his feeling hurt and takes Gray Haired Boss outside the glass room where everyone can still see him pout and almost cry and tells him to let him be boss, PLEASE, and they go back inside and decide to ignore the President, who by this time, everyone figures is stupid as a plank.

Jack runs into the Slacker Kid who Looks Like His Daughter and tells him to get a haircut and then talks to his former landlady, who wants to know if he’s ever going to pay her the last month’s rent he owes her (wink-wink) and he says he can’t because he’s a secret agent man and lives a life of danger. “IT’S THAT STINKIN’ CROOKED-NOSED BLONDE HARPY, ISN’T IT!?” she demands of him, and he thinks about it some, which is great, because he needs to waste a few clock ticks to think about what to say, because he DOES still sorta likes Brokenosed Blonde Girl, but he likes his landlady, too, who not only has a house, but doesn’t need a rhinoplasty OR breast implants, but she does have that slacker kid and he’s all conflicted and all and so he blinks and says “Uhhh..WHAT!? WHAT’S THAT!? Oh, hey, I hear bad guys calling and I gotta go. THE CHECK’S IN THE MAIL!” But it’s really not.

Jack goes to the ranch to meet Boring Bald Mike, and then gets arrested when everyone comes around. He screams at Mike, Etc., who screams at the Secret Service, who scream back, which makes Jack scream AND scowl, and Boring Bald Mike looks helpless. For some reason, they take Jack back to the stable (which as we know is VERY secure, and given his MacGyver-like ability to fashion killing implements from paper clips, seems to be the perfect place to keep him since it only has long leather straps and large heavy metal objects and probably hypodermics full of horse tranquilizers, but NO paper clips). Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy comes to get Jack, because they always send the boss to do such things, and Jack manages to convince him that a) Nixon is a feeble-minded idiot, b) Nixon’s Evil Henchman is in fact, a MOLE, and was involved in killing the Allstate Insurance Guy AND involved in the morning’s little shindig with the airport terrorists, AND helped steal a bunch of NERVE GAS CANISTERS, and c) that they need to do something. Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy thinks, and connects the dots, and adds two plus two, and figures something is rotten in Denmark.

Nixon and his Now Openly Evil Henchman are in the rumpus room when all of a sudden Jack comes storming in with Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy, and Jack starts filling in Nixon on all the ACTUAL bad news type stuff that’s been going on in front of his stupid face, and Nixon stammers that his Evil Henchman LIED TO HIM! Duh. Moron. “Agent Bauer--are you AWARE of what you’re SAYING?”

“YES, MR. PRESIDENT! I’m not a flaming idiot like you!”

“But, but--Agent Bauer--you mean these magic beans he gave me--they’re not…”

“No Mr. President, they aren’t magic.”

“And these X-Ray spectacles…”

“NO, Mr. President--they’re nothing but a cheap toy!”

“And, and Santa Claus? And the Easter Bunny? And professional wrestling?!”

“Well, he had to cloak his lies in believable truths, Mr. President--those things ARE real, as is the THREAT TO ALL HUMANITY BECAUSE WE’VE GOT NERVE GAS OUT THERE WANDERING AROUND!”

“Oh. That’s bad, right?”

“Yes, Mr. President.”

FINALLY, Jack gets around to the action and leaps over onto the Evil Henchman and starts waling the crap out of him like he deserved, and the guy starts crying and being a baby and saying he’s just a humble patriot, which Jack slaps right out of his mouth, and Nixon gets all scared and starts squealing, “GENTLEMEN! THIS IS THE WAR ROOM! YOU CAN’T FIGHT IN THE WAR ROOM!” And Jack turns around and tells him that the Evil Henchman needs to be roughed up some because viewers really want that smarmy smirk slapped right off his head, and then he asks Evil Henchman where the nerve gas is, and because Evil Henchman is trying to be brave, he says he don’t know nuthin’ about nuthin’, which causes Jack to whup out his frog gigger and FINALLY get all psychotic on the guy. He waves around the pig sticker and tells the guy he knows what Jack’s capable of--gouge out that right eye, then the left one, then work his way down. Nixon looks over at Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy, and begs him not to let Jack make a mess on the carpet, but Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy stands there, impassively, wondering exactly how it is that Jack has a knife, seeing as how he didn’t give it to him, and seeing as how the should have been searched before being put into the stable, and that he was slightly peckish, it being past lunch. “Mr. President, as your Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy, I think Jack’s doing a fine job, and if your stupid Evil Henchman would just talk, your carpet won’t have any of those tough blood stains.”

Jack finally decides to start to sawing on the Evil Henchman’s right eye, and he finally cracks and screams like a little girl and tells them the nerve gas is on a container ship, which earlier in the show had been delivered by two double-crossing goons who had to go into a long expository dialogue so people would know what was going on, yet made no sense in reality, because two double-crossing goons are much more likely just to talk about women and sports.

Switching back to important things, back in there sometime, Jack’s landlady somehow finds Brokenose Blonde Girl and tells her to back off, because she doesn’t care if Jack DOES still have the hots for her, Jack doesn’t want anything to do with all that glam secret agent stuff anymore (aside from the current ongoing crisis) and wants someone who actually looks like she eats three meals a day AND who has a spare room for rent. Brokenose Blonde Girl looks at her and thinks, deeply.

Nixon then figures he needs to stop the Funny Farm Motorcade, and runs up to tell Crazy First Lady Jean Smart that he was wrong and he believes her now since he has corroborating evidence from people who weren’t crazy. “And those magic beans--they weren’t really magic!” CRLJS, although relieved not to have to be given the warm sheets in the bathtub treatment, is obviously hurt by her husband’s stupidity and meanness, and you can see in her overly-made-up Tammy Faye Bakker eyes that she has decided Nixon won’t be getting any for a LONG time. Still, you have to give Nixon some credit for trying to get him a little peck on the cheek out of it, but I think he would have had better luck with CFLJS’s hot assistant.

ANYWAY, back at the ranch, Jack calls CTU and tells them to find the boat with the goods, and there is only one shot of Sourpuss Chloe, who acts all harried because she’s asked to do her job rather than sit there and be all needy, but Chubby Putz jumps up to say HE knows which container the nerve gas is in, because he hacked into the ship’s manifest and looked under “Canisters, Gas, Nerve, Secret, Stolen.”

They send a bunch of guys with guns to keep the canisters from attacking them, and then find out that one of the double-crossing goons is dead and all the canisters are gone, which is illegal because they didn’t note that on the manifest. Everyone is puzzled, and so Jack drags Worked Over Thoroughly Evil Henchman in to see what’s happening, and he plays dumb, and can’t believe that the unseen Ruski Meester Beeg he’s been palavering with on the phone might not be a swell guy and might actually just have been using Evil Henchman’s misplaced sense of right and wrong to HURT America!

Amazing, I know.

Anyway, then his phone rings and after everyone checks their phone, they figure out it’s his and he needs to answer it, and it’s another bad guy who tells them he’s gonna do terrible mischief and that they’re all a bunch of silly persons.

Everyone looks at Evil Henchman and he says, “WHA? What’d I do!?” and Nixon says, “Something really NAUGHTY! I think. Maybe. Agent Bauer, was he being bad?”


NEXT WEEK: Jack will yell at someone, and hopefully slap them around a bit afterwards. Rudy will get a foot wax. Nixon will be sullen and stupid. Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy will think about a nice ham sandwich, since it’s now long past lunchtime. Ruski Meester Beeg will sit in his secret private lair and pet a cat and look at all kinds of big screen teevees with nothing but numbers on them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:23 AM | Comments (7)

Yes, I’m here!

I started having to do dumb ol' work the moment I walked in the door this morning. SHEESH! Some people are so inconsiderate.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2006

Transmission Complete.

Took the van in this morning for them to bolt in another transmission, and it appears they have it ready.

And not only that, I also got the deal of the century when they mentioned that I needed a new front motor mount, and they'd replace it for free! If I bought the mount!


It's only money, right?


Anyway, I'll have to leave in just a moment when the driver comes and picks me up, so I'll see you all tomorrow. And I promise not to fly off the handle about shirt pockets.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:58 PM | Comments (3)

Oh, I see.

Florida school has one-man wrestling team

So THAT'S the euphemism the kids are using nowadays...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:52 PM | Comments (0)



There, I said it!

Anyone whose line of "men's" clothing includes an oxford cloth button down dress shirt WITHOUT A POCKET cannot claim to be any sort of real man. Or at least a man who actually has to WORK for a living, who can't afford to hire a team of lackeys to stand beside him to hold PENS and NOTES and LOOSE CHANGE!

I've had a lot of stuff to do today, so I'm already cranky, but the fact that the only nice shirt I had left this morning was this stupid Ralph Lauren shirt that DOESN'T HAVE A POCKET has driven me to distraction all day as I keep trying to put stuff in my non-existent shirt pocket.

It does, however, have a little silhouette of a polo rider, who has up to this point not seen fit to at least hold a pen or two with his tiny upraised arm.


Snobby elitist.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (8)

Well, how about that--

Dominatrix Acquitted in Bondage Death

Talk about beating the rap!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:07 PM | Comments (2)

Helpful Hints from the Schranck Household!

Candles and sinks do not mix.

Probably goes without saying, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea to pour some flammable petroleum products down in there and light a match, either.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:09 PM | Comments (2)

Birthday Fun!

The top was tried on and modelled and looked very fetching (although slightly big around the middle section) and I was almost home free until...



"There's something on here. See?"


Yep--very faint, but in the right light, slightly less faint--a series of small, whitish drops. It looked like it could have been yogurt or some other dairy product that leaves a tell-tale bit of bone-building calcium behind no matter how much you blot it and clean it before hanging it back up on the rack and quickly leaving the store.


But, that was Thursday night. I left the box and the receipt on the ironing board in the kitchen so I wouldn't forget it Friday so I could take it back and exchange it.

And forgot it on Friday.


And took it back and begged the cute squishy girl to let me exchange it. Why beg? Because somewhere between the time I left the box and receipt on the ironing board, and the time that I finally got home Friday evening, box and receipt had been moved by various family members. Thus guaranteeing the absolute disappearance of the receipt.

Thank heavens the store is pretty nice about returns, and since the squishy girl remembered me, it was less of a problem than it might otherwise have been.

Except, well, they didn't have any more of the style I got.

And the one that was similar, except with short sleeves, and in a slightly lighter shade of purple? Too big.


I just had them credit the cost back to her credit card.

Happy Birthday, Sweetheart! This credit slip is just for you!

The ice cream cake was universally praised, though, so I guess it wasn't all bad.

AS FOR THE OTHER BIRTHDAY FUN--one of Cat's little friends turned 9 (I guess) and her parents had a party for a few of them over at a place called Club Libby Lu in the Proffit's store at the Galleria. Being that I am an old, unhip, skinflintish, manly male man, I had never heard of such a place or thing, and so had little idea what she would look like when she got back.

It was, to put it delicately, quite surprising--hair done up in the sort of tangled, braided ponytailed mess favored by the likes of Britney Aguilera (or Christina Spears), feathered plastic tiara, wraparound pink sunglasses, sparkly stick-on facial stars, bright pink nail polish. Quite the fashion plate, she was. "I'm a Drama Queen, Dad!"

Yeah, well, tell me something new. At least she's still at the age where it's all in jest, and done without guile or bile. Anyway, she was quite the little hotsy-totsy thing. Even moreso when she got up and went to church with her hair all still done up that way.


See, she has the sort of hair that does not predispose itself to straightness or kemptness. The only time it's really nice and neat is right after she washes it and it's brushed through with a paddle brush. Five minutes after that, she has a wild tangle of kinky curly curls all over. Sleeping on it makes it much more wooly and underbrushlike. Having all sorts of competing and clashing twists and braids and loops from one side to the other and THEN sleeping on it makes it even more of a study in randomness.

But, by gum, she was so proud of her Drama Queen hair, she was bound and determined to go show everyone at church. We managed to get it somewhat less disorganized, but she still had a headful of fuzz all over that indicated either a night of hard partying at the Golden Globes after-party, or a total lack of regard for the finer details of hair styling.

She was quite the conversation piece.

She finally got tired of all the bobby pins and stuff and took it down Sunday night before evening worship. She kept those pink glasses and stars on, though.

The public comes to expect certain things, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:36 PM | Comments (6)


YAY! Which was pretty much the high point of the weekend. Well, that, and actually getting a few moments of time where I could crawl under my lovely lumpy hunk of Swedish iron and change the oil.

You know how long it's been since I actually changed my own oil? Nope--I don't either. Long time, though. It sure was satisfying. I was waiting on Catherine to get her bath Saturday afternoon so I could take her over to the house of one of her little friends for a birthday party, and there were no baskets of clothes to fold or to put in the washer, and the dishes were in the dishwasher washing, and no one was pulling anyone's hair, and Reba was upstairs cleaning out the nest of magazines on her side of the bed, and so I snuck out the door and got to work.

Wow. There sure is a lot of oil on the underside of my car.

Turned it on and steered all the way to the right to give myself room to ooch under there and pull the plug, shoved my new oil recycling jug under there to catch the outflow, shoved my massive bulk behind the wheel (hoping I had remembered to set the parking brake, just in case the transmission decided to let go), fiddled with the plug, SUCCESS!, wiped it off, flipped the crush washer (not a good idea if you really value all that oil staying in place, but hey), plugged it back up, moved the jug over to the area where the filter lives, ooched back out from under the thing, ran over to the topside and grabbed the filter with my patented oil filter removal tools (i.e., my grubby hands) and thankfully it came loose with no cursing. Primed the new one, put it on, replaced the filter magnet (couldn't hurt, you know), spun it back on, cinched it down, pulled the jug out and let the old filter drain, and poured in the new juice.

Fifteen minutes. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

And quite a nice change of pace from the remainder of the weekend, which consisted of alternately spending huge amounts of money and hauling people everywhere and making sure each family member was appropriately slaved over. BUT, at least there was some ice cream in there, too. And seafood!

Anyway, I have 156 things to get done this morning, so you'll all just have to entertain yourselves for a while so I can get those whittled down to something below a hundred and have time to play.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:53 AM | Comments (3)

January 27, 2006

And now?

Almost time for the weekend, it is, and I have only a very slight idea about what I am supposed to do, or where I am supposed to go, or who I am supposed to carry there, and how long I am to stay, and for what I will be expected to pay.

HEY! Just like EVERY weekend!

All of you have a great weekend, and I'll see you all on Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:34 PM | Comments (4)

Open House? Oh, yeah.

Maybe I was just trying to avoid the subject.

Got there right at 5:30, where the first hour was spent in the auditorium with a parent meeting about changing from block schedule back to seven periods.

My only question (which had to remain shouted inside my head) was WHY CAN'T YOU GO AHEAD AND DO IT NOW!

For those who aren't familiar with the concept, block scheduling is a bit like college, where you take four courses in a semester, two semesters in a year. It does have some advantages, or so I'm told. But none of them have anything to do with making sure surly, time-wasting, hormonal high school students actually learn anything. They were the last school to adopt it when the county made the changeover several years back, and now that we're an independent system, there's a lot of sentiment for a return to the traditional schedule. Fine by me, and the sooner the better.

Next hour was spent going to the various classes. I missed the first one (choir) since I was waiting on Miss Reba to get to the building (she having had to work late), so we just went on to the next one a bit early. Speech class--the teacher seems like the perfect person to teach it. Witty and full of life, and thankfully she seems to enjoy having opinionated students in class who are not afraid to speak out. Meaning that's one where Oldest is in her element, since being opinionated and willing to speak out do not require a basic command of factual information but merely style and volume.

Next up, Honors Geometry. Very sweet girl who seems to be highly capable and willing to help anyone willing to put in the effort to learn. "Effort," however, seeming to induce a reaction in Oldest similar to that exhibited by Maynerd G. Krebs whenever he heard the word "work."

Hard to believe it, but according to our source, this attractive young teacher is apparently an ogre of the highest order and hates everyone with a white-hot passion and is mean and cruel and unfair and barbaric and most especially toward Oldest.


Next up, Honors Anatomy and Physiology. I thought this one would be a pretty good one for us, seeing as how Oldest has now taken to telling everyone she will be going to med school. What better place to get a leg-up (so to speak) on the intricacies of the human machine, to plumb its depths in detail with a teacher who has enough experience to teach college!

A very nice woman who seems to enjoy her work and her students. And afterwards as we met her, one who expressed sincere words of concern that Oldest seems to miss out on so much of class--even when she's IN class--for the most transparently absurd excuses. "I know she has problems with her health--she's told me, several times, but, well..." Her voice trailed off, signalling that same disappointed tone we've heard before that indicates a good teacher who sees tremendous promise squandered.

Come to find out, though (again according to a source close to the situation), this teacher is mean and hard and unkind and brutal and hateful and unfair and selfish and harsh and evil and expects too much, and hates Oldest more than all other children in the world.


Thank heavens med school will be so much easier.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)


You want art?

This is art.

(Via Lileks)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:59 AM | Comments (1)

Nothing pains me so much...

...as to hear that the jackbooted totalitarian government with which we now find ourselves encumbered refuses to acknowledge that basic fundamental human right of full citizenship for imaginary friends.

How dare those mean people not allow imaginary friends to ride along with us as we go about our daily chores!

Next thing you know, they'll be saying you shouldn't let them drive while you take a nice nap on the way home at the end of the day!

Who will we be able to blame when things go wrong?!


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

World's Oldest Aardvark

From Volume One of Encyclopedia Possumica, we learn that the average lifespan of the aardvark (from the Afrikaans word meaning "earth pig") in captivity is approximately 25 years. Thus, we are quite happy to wish one particular Aardvark a very happy 44th birthday!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (4)

You know what's funny?

John Kerry writes love notes to Frank J.

Of course, it wouldn't be nearly so funny if Frank J. did not answer.

"You guys don't even stand up to pee."

Be strong, Ronin.

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

Don't be surprised when someone tries the same thing here.

Judge to Rule on Merit of Christ Case

By MARTA FALCONI, Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 38 minutes ago

VITERBO, Italy - An Italian judge heard arguments Friday on whether a small-town parish priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed.

The priest's atheist accuser, Luigi Cascioli, says the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2,000 years with a fable that Christ existed, and that the Rev. Enrico Righi violated two Italian laws by reasserting the claim. [...]

Cascioli claims that Righi's assertion constituted two crimes under Italian law: so-called "abuse of popular belief," in which someone fraudulently deceives people; and "impersonation," in which someone gains by attributing a false name to a person.

"The point is not to establish whether Jesus existed or not, but if there is a question of possible fraud," Cascioli's attorney, Mauro Fonzo, told reporters before the hearing.

Cascioli says the church has been gaining financially by "impersonating" as Christ someone by the name of John of Gamala, the son of Judas from Gamala.

He has said he has little hope of the case succeeding in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Italy, but that he is merely going through the necessary legal steps to reach the European Court of Human Rights, where he intends to accuse the church of what he calls "religious racism." [...]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

The Churchill Wit

From page 64 of my favorite Little Red Book:

Most of all, I shall refrain from making any prediction upon the future. It is a month ago that I remarked upon the long silence of Herr Hitler, a remark which apparently provoked him to make a speech in which he told the German people that Moscow would fall in a few days.

That shows, as everyone I am sure will agree, how much wiser he would have been to go on keeping his mouth shut.

House of Commons
November, 1941

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

Gatekeepers Need Not Apply.

You know, when even fifth graders pick up on your weaknesses, you've REALLY got some problems to work on.

Fifth-Graders Use Internet To Communicate With Soldiers In Iraq
Students, Soldiers Use Blogs To Send Text, Pictures

POSTED: 8:51 pm CST January 26, 2006
UPDATED: 9:18 pm CST January 26, 2006

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. -- Some students in Trussville are using the latest technology to learn about the war in Iraq straight from soldiers on the front lines.

Students at Paine Intermediate School are sending text, pictures and audio to troops in Iraq via their blogs.

"It's a Web log. It's kind of like a journal, except it's online and you get to talk to other people," said Whitney Webster, one of Paine Intermediate School's bloggers.

Technology teacher April Chamberlain saw blogs that U.S. troops publish while they are fighting in Iraq, so she contacted a soldier nicknamed "Grey Eagle" and asked her to correspond with her class. [...]

"We asked how were Iraqis different from us here, and what did it look like there and how it's different from America," Paine blogger Jordan Capps said. [...]

The Paine bloggers said they have learned more about Iraq, U.S. troops and the war from their new friend "Grey Eagle" than any newspaper or TV show could ever teach. [...]

Emphasis mine, obviously.

The point highlighted being that even little kids can understand when they aren't getting the full story about something, and the idea that they don't have to rely on someone else to filter and frame information for them is something they will not see as revolutionary (as some of us old folks do), but as an expectation.

And, when it comes to that other group of putative information gatekeepers--educators--the problem schools face is going to be not so much teaching the use of the technology, but of equipping children to be open-minded and critical thinkers in order to understand what they are reading and to be able to apply it. (And this does not mean adopting the rigid "progressive" orthodoxy currently exhibited in education in which being "open-minded" is nothing more than slavish adherence to the peculiar socialistic ideals of an antitheistic, relativistic moral outlook and the rise of anticompetitiveness ostensibly for the sake of not damaging anyone's self-esteem.)

Teachers said incorporating new technology improves students' course work in other areas.

"I'm starting to see their writing is a little better. They still have some of the codes they use for the Internet, but I'm starting to see better writing," Chamberlain said.

The students seem to be getting a lot out of their 21st-century pen pals and hope their new friends are, too.

"It's really hard over there and they like to hear from everyone from home sometimes," Paine blogger Sydney Hansard said.

The bloggers at Paine Intermediate School hope to meet "Grey Eagle" someday. She is scheduled to train at Fort Rucker when she comes back from Iraq.

To check out "Grey Eagle's" blog, visit A Female Soldier's Story. To read the Paine Intermediate School fifth-graders' blog, visit their Communication With Grey Eagle And Fellow Soldiers.

UPDATE: A tangentially related post from Hugh Hewitt.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (9)

January 26, 2006

Let's go talk to the teachers, shall we?

As I mentioned, it's open house night tonight at the high school. For some reason, Oldest made a point of telling us we didn't have to go. "None of the other parents ever go!" "We could go do something for Mom's birthday!"

It had rather the opposite effect on the two parents most central to this tale.


See you all tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

Knowing how firmly the scope of history is in my grasp, is it any surprise to any of you that a wishful young querist came Possumblog's way today looking for: one paragraph on jefferson Davis ?

As always, I am willing to help.

"Jefferson Davis was a dry-cleaning magnate who rose from obscurity in the borough of Queens where he lived with his wife Louise and son Lionel, and due to canny business practices moved on up to the East Side, where they got a deluxe apartment in the sky."

Hmm? What!?

Oh--sorry. Wrong guy. Let's try that again:

"Jefferson Davis--first, last, and only President of the Confederate States of America--was not captured by Federal troops while dressed as a woman, but merely while wearing two articles of women's outerwear, not that there's anything wrong with that."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)


Again. Sorry, but this one was unintentionally humorous in a very dark way: Hamas Captures Landslide Parliamentary Win

Leading one to wonder if they will merely hold it for ransom, or videotape themselves killing it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

Let's go!

If you notice, I did not get the ice cream cake I thought I was going to have time to get last night. Nor am I going to have time to pick one up tonight, seeing as how we have open house at the high school that simply MUST be attended. Therefore, I will now make a run to Trussvegas--yes, wasting precious natural resources in the process!--to go purchase my sweetie some sweets from Dairy Queen, then run home and pop it in the freezer, then come back here and do some actual paying work.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:23 PM | Comments (5)

Speak and Spell!

Just had a quick visit from my coworker who thinks "prolithic" is a word.

"When you're pluralizing the word facade, is it s or es?"

Now, reading this in black and white, you see that it should be an s on the end, but you've got to understand that in all likelihood, she has probably been spelling facade as facad. Or worse.


I just hope after making the assumption I did that she doesn't spell facades as facadees.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:07 PM | Comments (4)


U.N. lends backing to the $100 laptop

UN assistance? I imagine the $100 laptop will now cost $5,000 each and weigh 100 pounds. And be completely useless at accomplishing anything for which it was designed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:53 AM | Comments (0)

No, really--I really am kinda dense!

Another Thursday, and another Thursday in which I completely forgot about the most unforgettable, most fun, most engaging and stimulating activity ever to hit the Internets, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

SO, bear with me as I compose something on the fly this morning. Usually in these cases, the questions turn out to be something of a smorgasbord with no central theme. (When I take time and think them up ahead of time, they are usually a smorgasbord with no central theme AND are boring.)

Here's one--our local early morning news shows are constantly doing stuff to try to get an extra viewer or two to tune in on a regular basis. As you know, I wrote one of them off after they dumped the star of the Wendy Garner Show, and so I've been wandering around trying to figure out what to watch now. Kenny Smith gave a hint last week that things might be changing over on Channel 6, and sure enough, it's ("it" being Good Day, Alabama) running from 5-9 (!) every morning now, and the two anchors who can actually read a teleprompter and who actually seem to be awake are now there from start to finish. Still not quite what I'd like to see, though.

Which leads to our first question:

1. What sort of early morning television show do you usually watch?

And the second:

2. If you had your way and could create your very own show, what type of morning television show would you produce?

And the third is somewhat related:

3. What sort of television programming at a local level do you think needs to be improved?

There you are, question fans! Take a moment to leave your comments below or a link to your blog, and remember the famous words of Les Nessman, "Good day, and may the good news be yours!"

As for my answers...

1. Well, I switch back and forth between all the local stations, all of which carry some type of early morning pseudo-Today show type broadcast. I also stop in on the PBS station, which in the mornings runs some kind of adult social education program hosted by some weirdo with an English accent. He reminds me of Vincent Price, sorta. IN any event, none of them really engage me--as with most local media, they rely heavily on the sort of filler stories that I sometimes link to, but by the time they use them on air, they might be weeks old. I mean, come on! Passing along stuff that wasn't really that humorous two weeks ago that I might note simply because it was stupid, seems like not the best use of a television station's resources.

2. I think it would be great to bring back the Country Boy Eddie Show. For those of you who don't know, this was an early morning country-western music show/farm report/talent contest/variety show that Channel 6 ran for years and years--since the dawn of television until it was no longer cool to have local people on local television talking about local things--ESPECIALLY if these local things happened to deal with hardware and feed stores. But doggone it, it was actually entertaining, if a little hokey. It wouldn't necessarily have to be country-western, but something of an early morning variety show with some heavy emphasis on local news and weather and maybe some traffic reports thrown in would be something I'd watch.

3. I think there needs to be more kids programs--and NOT an endless stream of that stupid Japanimation crap. I'm talking about shows like the old Sergeant Jack or Cousin Cliff shows that used to come on here, and everywhere, for that matter. The concept for those two shows was the same as any of the vast range of Howdy Doody Show copies: low budget, genial host, bleachers full of kids, cartoons and puppets and special guests, and ice cream. I think it could still work. And yes, I am volunteering to take over and become Captain Possumroo.

SO, there you go.

(By the way, one of the best resources for the way television was in Birmingham is this site called Birmingham Rewound.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:51 AM | Comments (12)

I am a moron.

Got home last night and immediately set in to try and get SOMEthing cooked for supper before time to go. Luckily, we had frozen quesadillas (rolled flour tortillas filled with cheese, salsa, and armadillo) and some other stuff, so I threw that in the microwave and started scurrying around like a madman to get it on the table. Which I actually managed to do, with approximately 12 minutes left to consume said food.

I was able to accomplish this quite handily, because after it was all said and done, I only actually got to eat one of them. On the other hand, everyone else got plenty, but they were all seeming to eat with the leisure of people who DID NOT KNOW WE HAD TO LEAVE AT 6:00 TO GET TO CHURCH!

Nothing is more top-blowing to me than to be trying to get everyone out of the house, and for them to sit there carefully picking at small bits of food. "We're LEAVING. We need to put the plates in the SINK and LEAVE. NOW. I'm opening the garage door NOW. We need to GO now. All the rest of you kids get your STUFF and let's GO now. PLEASE"

The only thing that made last night bearable was the fact that for once, I could leave in my own vehicle since we were taking both cars. 6:30 rolled around, Rebecca was the only one ready, so we hit the door and left.

Got in, buckled up, fired up the mighty thundering 115 horses of the anvil-like B230F engine, backed out, and headed toward Leeds. We always take the back way up South Chalkville Mountain Road/Roper Road/White's Chapel Parkway (all the same road, by the way, but changes names several times), but when we got close to the stop sign to make the turn, we were at the tail end of a long line of completely immobile cars. It was pretty obvious that at the end of the line must have been a wreck of some sort.





Nothing like being someone who is irrationally concerned with being on time, who managed to leave at the very last possible minute to be somewhere without being late, and then to be stopped in your effort to take the time-saving shortcut. AGONY! I tell you.

I sat there for a minute or two, waiting on something to move or to be magically teleported to my destination, neither of which happened. Alternate route time.

I calculated that I could go back down Queenstown Road, jump on I-459 at Derby Parkway, hit I-20, and be to Leeds almost on time. SO, hung a Uey there in the middle of the street, and took off in a fog of slightly oily smelling exhaust, bombing down the 25 mph limited two lane road at a velocity slightly greater than the statutory limit, but not nearly at the velocity that would cause the tires to complain.


Got stuck behind somebody in a Ford Expedition who obviously was not NEARLY in so big of a hurry to get to Leeds as I was. GRR. GRR. CURSES. DRAT. FIE! BEELZEBUB'S KNEES! (Or, words to that effect.)

All the time, Rebecca is sitting calmly in the passenger seat--probably because she is not aware of the raging internal monologue going on inside of her father's tiny cranium.

"Bec, this guy's turning the way I wanted to go--I think we're going to have to go the back BACK way, you know, back around through Irondale like the way Mommy used to go to work at the daycare."

This way goes past the turnoff through the industrial park, and heads over the bridge over I-459, where you take a left onto Alton Road and follow that all the way to Highway 78, where you take another left and then hook up at the top of the hill with I-20.

SO, the truck does turn, and the pedal gets mashed down with extreme prejudice. My passenger did not seem to notice the velocity building up, which either means I drive like a maniac all the time, or that I make haste with great aplomb. Or that she was too frightened to mention it.

She didn't seem concerned, though, and we talked about all the stuff she remembered from when she used to ride this way with Mom. Of course, Alton Road in this area is narrow, winding, pitch black, and to complicate things further, various trailer parks edge right up to the pavement--especially the one right past the bridge, where the Bent and Dent store is.

It is at this point I realized, once again, that I am a moron. We come across the bridge, engine thrumming and breathing hard, the various front porches of mobile homes seeming to close in on each side, when my headlights glint off of an object in the deep shadows to my left...

It is unmistakable.

"Hey, look! It's a '70 Torino GT!"

Yep--despite being so distracted by being late, by having to find another route, by all the things I had to do when I got to church, by having to find a banquet hall for my inlaw's anniversary, by all the crap that goes on at work, by traveling above the posted speed limits, by life, I still managed to notice something so silly.

It was pulled up behind a carport at one of the trailers on the left side of the road--it was white, like this one, but not quite in such spiffy shape. "A what?"

"Oh, uh, oh, just an old car parked back there. Daddy gets easily distracted."

She just giggled. On we went, and managed to hit the door at exactly 7:00. Reba and the rest got there about ten minutes later--they turned around and went the same way I did--she had called when she got stuck and I told her what I was doing.

Somehow, I don't think she noticed the Torino on her way. Which is probably a good thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (7)

I Is Rubies!

As proof that blogging has reached critical mass, believe it or not, there is such a thing as pet blogs. Not blogs about pets, but blogs actually written by pets! Yes, I know--technology is truly an amazing thing.

ANYway, this revelation was given to me by none other than Ruby, who is the owner of self-surgery guru Megabeth. So, for all of you who hankered to keep up with Ruby's tennis ball chasing and poop eating frenzies and were disappointed not to be receiving regular updates, your wait is now over! Ruby is a highly talented writer who casts a keen (and widely bulging) eye on the world's events. I'm sure you will enjoy reading about her adventures, and if you don't, she will pee on your carpet.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:53 AM | Comments (6)

January 25, 2006


There IS more!

It's just not very good, nor will it really be worth your time to have come back. BUT!

Uh, well--well, nope--I was hoping for a sudden burst of inspiration there and it just didn't come through.

Went to lunch and got some cute birthday cards, and then went to Parisian and found a cute silk/nylon 3/4 sleeve top in dark purple, and then had it wrapped by the same cute round blonde who waited on me at Christmas, and then went out in the food court and stopped at Taco Bell for one of their Fiesta Chicken Taco Salads, which was not the least bit cute. All I can say is if this is what constitutes a fiesta in Mexico, no wonder everyone's leaving.

Tonight, a stop at The DQ (and yes, nowadays all things have to have a two-initial name preceded by a definite article--shortly, this blog will be renamed The PB) for an ice cream birthday cake for Miss Reba. It's not much, and we might be able to get out and do more sometime, but as I mentioned in the comments in the first post of the morning, we have so much other stuff to get done in the next few days, there's not going to be a lot of time for pony rides and Pin the Tail on the Donkey. That wouldn't be nearly so bad but for the fact that all that busy-ness also means that there probably won't be time for all the other fun birthday games such as Randy Pizza Delivery Guy Who Walks in on Unsuspecting Housewife in the Shower, or Randy Pirate Who Walks in on an Unsuspecting Housewife Lounging in the Poop Deck, or Randy Civil Servant Who Walks in on Unsuspecting Housewife and Cites Her for Failure to Comply with City Ordinance 87-108.12(c).

Which is probably a nice present for Miss Reba, when you think about it.

Anyway, in honor of my dear longsuffering wife, I present to you a little thing stolen from the cradle-robbing Mrs. Adams, in which I will present to you a listing of amazing random facts about my better half. And no, Miss Reba is not shy about telling her age, mainly because she's hot.

1. She's hot.
2. Reba is the most orderly woman I have ever been married to.
3. She still has to wear a retainer once a month.
4. She is afraid of firearms.
5. She played the clarinet in her high school band.
6. She is a voracious reader of Harlequin romance novels.
7. She would not eat Milo's hamburgers when we first started dating because her mother would not eat Milo's hamburgers because she thought the sauce that Milo's uses looked like pigeon poop, which is ridiculous since pigeon poop looks like pigeon poop and Milo's sauce looks like A-1 Sauce.
8. She tends to like and dislike the exact same things her mother likes and dislikes, such as black walnuts and blue cheese dressing.
9. She can cross stitch.
10. Her feet are always cold.
11. She is a very poor judge of distance/length.
12. She has worked a paying, full-time job of some sort since she was 16. (Except for about three years when she stayed home with the two older girls.)
13. She and I are distantly related, through two different sides of the family.
14. She has two associate degrees in addition to the bachelor's degree she just earned, and has attended four different colleges.
15. She likes it when the bedsheets are brand new and cold.
16. She has hit a deer with her car.
17. She used to save seats for me in Sunday school.
18. She has a brother.
19. She rides the brake pedal.
20. One time when we were pulling up to a gas station, she exclaimed, "Look at those big jars of mayonnaise!" She didn't realize until a split-second after she said it that she was looking at propane cylinders.
21. She slipped and fell in the parking lot of Olive Garden in Irondale while she was pregnant with Jonathan, carrying Rebecca in one arm, and a takeout box of pasta in the other hand. She still has a small black dot in her kneecap from where a hunk of gravel imbedded itself. (She did not drop food nor child, by the way.)
22. She puts her elbows on the table when she's eating.
23. She has a very pronounced Southern accent.
24. She does not like potato chips with ridges.
25. The first car she ever bought with her own money was an '86 Camaro with a V6.
26. She can swim, but not all that well.
27. She sings beautifully, but not very loud.
28. She once slammed her finger in the door of our van.
29. She thinks she's much better at math than she actually is.
30. Her favorite movie is Gone With the Wind, followed by Pretty Woman. And yet, she fails to see the humor in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
31. She has no gall bladder.
32. Her favorite actor used to be Sean Connery, until we went and saw him in that movie with Catherine Zeta Jones and they kept showing closeups of him slobbering all over Mrs. Douglas, and from that point forward she now gets a little shiver whenever she thinks of Connery, similar to the kind of shiver one gets when seeing a dog clean up after itself.
33. She was once possibly bitten by a spider.
34. She does not like bananas because one time when she was in elementary school, one of her classmates ate a banana that had a giant bruise on it. She does, however, love banana pudding. As long as it has no actual pieces of banana in it.
35. She was baptized when she was 18.
36. She has taken modelling classes.
37. She has visited England, France, Switzerland, and Jamaica.
39. She has a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.
40. She was the director of a daycare for three years.
41. Her favorite breed of dog are boxers.
42. She only has a very faint idea of what a weblog is, and has never heard of something called "Possumblog."
43. Have I mentioned how hot she is?
44. She once said that she wouldn't have minded having more kids--a LOT more--crazy religious cult more--if we could have afforded them.
45. She is a less than graceful runner.
46. She is my best friend.

SO, there you go. Enough for today--see you all tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:51 PM | Comments (12)

Mr. Oglesby?


Endearingly clueless?

Not often enough, but I've also been working on being cluelessly endearing, so that takes up some time, too.

Long morning--meeting lasted two hours, and when you add in the time to set up and clean up, it was three. Got here, had to park on the EIGHTH floor! My usual spot on the third was filled, as was the spot that is usually vacant around the ramp on 4th. Fallback position is ALWAYS the eighth floor, so I can remember where I parked. And I can usually always guarantee myself a spot close to the elevator.

So, here now and there's much to do today, and little inclination to do it, other than some odd sense that it should be done. Go figure.

And I need to do some serious shopping during lunch--tomorrow being the birthday of a certain wife of mine. Not sure what to get for the woman who has everything and is married to me. I wonder if a card of sympathy would be in order?

ANYway, time to do more ::shudder:: work--please do check back in later this afternoon. I'm not sure you'll see any more than what you see already, but you never know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:25 AM | Comments (6)

January 24, 2006

Yet another stunning lack of quantity.

Which, when that's all you have to offer, is a pretty deadly thing for your blog.

BUT, I have to hie me off to Roebuck to pick up the van and try to get it home without it hurting itself. And then tomorrow, it's another one of those marvelous early-morning meetings that I must needs attend every other week or so, which promises no end of mind-numbing delights.

All of which together mean that the normal level of inanity herein will drop to a low ebb for the next couple dozen hours. In the mean time, there are plenty of other diversions for you, such as a virtual staring contest.

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

Oh, hey, remember that Check Engine light?

The one that came on this weekend in the Honda during all of our running around? Well, I don't think I mentioned it, but by Sunday, it felt an awful lot like the transmission was giving up the ghost--lots of juddering and slipping, especially going uphill from a stoplight.

SO, off to take it in this morning to the dealer down the road a bit. Also figured I'd spring for an oil change. They wrote that up, and put down the obligatory 80 buck charge for reading the diagnostic code. (An aside--if there was EVER a profit-center for your service department, it's $80 to read that code.)

Anyway, after dropping it off and taking a leisurely scenic drive into work with their Chet the E-Mail Boy-like driver, I awaited the bad news.

And it got very late.

And so I called.

"Just trying to call you on the other line, Mr. Oglesby--I got some good news and some bad news."

Such words strike fear into the heart of all sane men, no matter how mighty their physical constitution.

"We got your oil change done with no problem, so that's good. And well, it's kind of a good-and-bad thing. The check light indicates you've had a complete failure on your transmission."

Oh, piffle. Is THAT all!?

What a relief.

No, really.

See, this model of Odyssey (built in the former Liberal Party bastion, Canada) had a defect in the transmission, and said transmission was part of a nationwide warranty campaign, which extended the warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles.


Of course, the new one won't have near as long of a warranty, but then again, it shouldn't have a designed-in defect, either. AND, since it's a warranty deal, I don't have to pay 80 bucks for some tech to spend five seconds plugging in a code reader.

AND according to the service writer, we can still drive it until the new gearbox comes in--although I intend to take it home and park it until then--no use getting us stuck in the middle of nowhere with an inoperable vehicle.

Been there, done that.

SO, thank goodness it wasn't something non-warranty. You know you're living an odd life when you're GLAD your transmission is the thing that's screwed up.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:32 PM | Comments (7)

And in other television news...

UPN, WB to Combine to Form New Network

NEW YORK - Two small, struggling television networks, UPN and WB, will merge to form a new network called The CW, executives from the companies that own them said Tuesday. [...]

No other word in the article about what exactly "The CW" is an abbreviation for. Probably would be better to call it The RMS Titanic.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:48 AM | Comments (12)

Jack Bauer Update!

On last night's episode of 24, we find that the hidden nerve gas was outside the secure perimeter at the airport, thus "explaining" how no one noticed it. Not explained was how the hostage who was the terrorist fellow-traveler got through the "secure" perimeter, nor why nobody thought it was a big deal to see a SWAT van come from somewhere beyond the secure perimeter back around to a checkpoint.

Crazy First Lady Jean Smart showed more of her ample acting talents in the early part of the show, although that was about it, because later she ducked out of the bathroom window to avoid being taken on a shopping trip to Straitjacket and Barrel. Television show's director still not heeding my advice for fewer closeups of any area above the shoulder. CRLJS's attendant is hot. Secret Service is inept--if CFLJS could get OUT, couldn't someone get IN to kidnap her?

Some weasely little dude who slept with Chloe Sourface is really some kinda mole sent in by Nixon's chief of staff, who is a bad guy, and the little creepy dude wanders around all over the place playing with computers and acting creepy. What DID Chloe Zellweger see in him?! Dern, woman--look online sometime--they got all kinds of things that only require a couple of D-cells and aren't nearly so creepy. Anyway, she catches him touching the computers in a bad way, and bustes him to her boss, who is now not really the boss since Rudy is in the house, and her chubby needy goomba platonic friend gets all put out and hurt-feelinged because she's always angry and not dishy enough with him, and always looks like she smells someone talking to the herrings.

Anyway, the little creepy guy goes downstairs to let in a bad guy, who we later find out is a REALLY bad guy. Proving that all of that cool lighting and computers and concrete walls and bullet-proof glass and armed guards and security cameras and jarring music and hot babes walking around CTU are pretty useless when it comes to protecting anything. I think they could have spared everyone a lot of money if they'd have just set up in a camper in the Wal-mart parking lot.

Jack is finally brought in to CTU, and Good and Kind Samwise decides he's not the presidential assassin, which he SHOULD already know if he'd been keeping up with the show! I mean, sheesh, dude--how'd you get in charge!? But who could it be!? I vote for a bad guy of some sort, of which, given the general lack of oversight in the place, turns out to be about half the population.

Jack goes downstairs to the hospital to check on his old buddy, the Dark Haired Guy, and meets up with both the kid who looks like his daughter (except I doubt he will be in Maxim) and then goes on to run into his former lover, whom I don't know anything about because I lost track of the show last year (and yet, I STILL know Jack didn't kill the Allstate guy! Stupid Rudy!) but I do know that something must have gone on between Jack and this girl, and that she must be trying out for a sequel to the most popular movie amongst Golden Globe voters, and it will be called Brokenose Mountain. My goodness, that girl must have gotten her nose all out of joint about something--and it STAYED! She's still highly attractive though--as you know, I have a thing for girls with interesting noses. ANYway, they take some time out from a worldwide crisis to catch up and put away hurt feelings. Priorities, you know. ANYWAY, she gets an assignment to interrogate the Mom Woman Who Sheltered Jack, and they Discuss Jack, tenderly.

Jack goes on to see Dark Haired Guy in the hospital, which requires the Guy Playing the Dark Haired Guy to lie there with a bandage on his face, and as Jack's whispering tender nothings in DHG's ear, he sees the reflection of the bad BAD guy that the creep-weasel let in a'sneaking up behind him with a hogleg. Because, as a trained assassin, the bad BAD guy knows he shouldn't just kill Jack the moment he walks in, but wait until Jack can find something reflective, or otherwise the show would be over and it would have to be called 4:30.

ANYWAY, Jack sees him and wallops him with a tray full of hospital food and the guy starts randomly firing because Jack has his arm in an armlock and then they commence to slapping at each other, and I keep thinking Jack should, you know, like, kill him or something, and then they roll around on the floor and the bad BAD guy finds scissors and starts trying to stab Jack with them but Jack's too quick and so he slaps the bad BAD guy some more and grabs those scissors and jabs them in his neck, which is dangerous, because they were the pointy kind and not the blunt kind, and so the bad BAD guy kinda looks at Jack, and then Jack demonstrates again why the scissors are so dangerous by poking them all the way into the guy, who then finally goes to the bad BAD guy place.

FINALLY, the rest of CTU shows up to clean up the mess, and Jack starts ordering everyone around, then goes and plays with a computer and gets a photo of his handiwork and runs in and shows it to the creepweasel, who up until this point had been interrogated by Chloe, whose technique involved acting like a girly girl, and putting on her usual "Would you PLEASE use the air freshener after you're through" look, all of which was aided by the Gray Haired Boss being gruff. Obviously, this had no effect on the creepy weasel guy, until Jack got there, which is when I was really REALLY hoping for some proper interrogative techniques, maybe even some involving scissors. Sadly, the guy rolled over before Jack had a chance to deweaselfy him any.

Finally, they all find out Nixon's right-hand man--who last week got to feel around in the First Lady's blouse for state secrets--is possibly--and we're just speculationg, here--maybe, potentially, theoretically, allegedly, a tiny bit of a bad guy. Good grief, LOOK AT HIM! Of COURSE he's a bad guy! But they all seem to think--despite all the shenanigans with the Allstate guy President--that such a possibility is just CRAZY TALK!

Next week--Jack will get arrested again, and yell, and Chloe will look poochy-jowled and sour, and that woman Jack rented from will ask about getting the final month's rent check from him, and the kid will decide to be just like Jack and GET A FRIGGIN' HAIRCUT so he's not a slacker hippy, yet he will still manage to get Jack in trouble, and Rudy will get to score a touchdown, and Hot Brokenose Blonde Girl will look mournfully at things, and the Russki who's running this whole shebang from his Secret Bad Guy Lair will look at computers and talk on the telephone a lot.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:25 AM | Comments (10)

Fish Talk

In scientific news today, Marc Velazquez sends along this exciting and fascinating article that confirms what I have known all along--namely, that I am in near constant communication with herring.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:37 AM | Comments (2)

Cool Tool!

Famed NASA scientist and regular Possumblog reader Steevil (whose brother is Dr. Weevil) sent me a link to a very interesting website--The Surname Profiler from the University College of London, which you can use to look up the geographic concentration of various surnames in Great Britain (excluding Northern Ireland). Steevil notes that it seems to be overloaded with search requests, and indeed it timed out a couple of times this morning with me--BUT, when it's working, it is very cool indeed.

It was quite interesting to me, because I have alway figured that since the original Oglesby of my family who entered the Carolinas back in the 1760s was from Scotland, that there should be by all rights a greater concentration of them still in that area of the UK. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the distribution for 1998, and saw that most of the few people with that name lived in the southern portion of the kingdom.


The bigger surprise? I looked on the 1881 map, expecting at least THAT one to be more to my supposition, and there were even fewer with that surname, and they were even MORE concentrated, most of them right around Lincolnshire.


Time to do more research!

UPDATE: IN A RELATED STORY, Steevil sends along this link describing the effort to reduce the consumption of haggis in Scottish nursery schools to only once per week. As the article notes, this is the same frequency recommended for turkey twizzlers.

Thanks, Steevil--now you've gone and made me all hungry!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:36 AM | Comments (16)

Now then, time to blatherate!

Got to Granny's, got the kids, went to the drug store, went and got gas, went to the bank, went home, got the kids settled down to finish homework, started the last load of clothes, slobbered on Reba when she got home with Oldest, carefully prepared our evening repast by gently tearing the plastic off of three frozen pizzas and placing them in the oven, ate, continued to urge children to finish homework, went upstairs, found out that we now have (in addition to the other ongoing projects we have) to plan a 50th anniversary party for Reba's mom and dad to be held in six weeks.

It seems that I have been a poor judge of the small signs that surround me.

Reba says her mom has been talking about this for not months, but years , and has mentioned in no small amount of detail the event with great wistfulness and anticipation. This now explains to me why she had their wedding photo blown up to near-poster size at a local photo studio, and why it was suddenly on display on a shiny brass easel in the family room. I'd never known about all the conversations about the party/dinner/reception/event until Reba's brother called a couple of weeks ago and left a cryptic message on our answering machine. "Probably something to do with Mom and Dad's anniversary," said Reba.

Hey, she was right! She finally got a chance to call him back last night, and he will be in town for exactly one night, for around an hour, and "we" need to do something nice.

When I pressed Reba for details--"What, like take them out to eat someplace nice?"--I found out that Mom-in-law wanted a big thing, with people. A reception. And since Brother-in-law lives in New Jersey, it makes it very difficult for him to be involved in the planning, other than to say he doesn't mind the idea of hiring caterers and such. Only problem? This being a half-and-half deal, we don't have the spare change required to uphold our half of the expenses for such an undertaking.

Second, we want it to be not in their house, so they don't have to clean up and get ready for it, and there is the matter of inviting family and church and work people--probably meaning over a hundred people showing up, meaning we have got to find a place to have it. So there goes some money right off the bat. But what's a room without food, so Reba and I figured we're going to have to do this the same way we did our wedding reception--cater it ourselves.

Reba and I have actually done a couple of weddings and receptions for other folks in the past, back before we got so tangled up with so many offspring, so we know what to do and not do. (First rule of what not to do? DON'T DO THIS!) So, after the full realization of what was being expected finally dawned on me last night, we swung back into battle mode once again.

Assemble potential guest list to determine crowd size; get names and phone numbers of possible venues--must be close, must be relatively nice, must have kitchen, must be cheap, must be available at designated date; invitations (from printer down on Main Street); menu (food service items from Sam's Club); cake (Marsh's); decorations; music and sound; photographer; serving help.

::sigh:: Good thing we have so much spare time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:47 AM | Comments (9)

January 23, 2006

And now, in order to spare you more boring stuff...

...I'm headed home to pick up the young'uns. See you all tomorrow, and there might be something of interest here. Or not!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

SO, to get there by 9:00…

It meant we had to pretend it was just like getting up for Sunday school, and leaving at 8:30. This also included the added bonus of me getting up at 6:00 to start a big pot of chili for lunch--we were having soup-and-sammiches for the lunch break, so that had to be done.

And then the race was on to get everyone up and ready and downstairs and fed and a load of clothes thrown into the washing machine and all of us out the door.

Believe it or not, we actually managed to leave the house at 8:30, although not without several of my bolts blowing off like you see in those submarine movies when they dive too deep. After all, we only had a pot of chili with us, and no crackers or sandwiches or tea or stuff like that.

But, despite that, there was something even better than managing to leave on time.

Got to the building, and the parking lot was empty save for two cars. “Reba--was it supposed to start at nine or ten!?”

She looked defensive and perplexed, and said, “Well, I THOUGHT it was nine!”

Got up there, and in one of those marvelous happy things that never happen, we found out we were THIRTY MINUTES EARLY! It didn’t start until 9:30, meaning that WE WERE EARLY! WOO-HOO! So, I had time to run back to the grocery store up the road and get some sandwiches and crackers and tea and stuff! Oh that we could be early like that all the time! Or, even a majority of the time. Or, maybe 10% of the time. Or, maybe, ever.

Ah, well, one’s pretty nice, no matter what.

As for the topics, it was a bit of a potpourri, the theme of which was something of a how-to guide for a variety of circumstances. The first two were about marriage and about children, then the two after lunch were on grieving and helping others who are in grief. Then, there were two lessons on Sunday about Christianity and Islam, and one about becoming and being a Christian. Sort of an odd mix in one way, but it was still very helpful.

Got home late both days, although Saturday required another trip BACK to the building to drop off Oldest to go ice skating with the other teens while we went and did some shopping for girl clothes for the other two and hair cutting for Boy. And, of course, there was ANOTHER trip back later Saturday night to pick Oldest up. And the Check Engine light came on in the van. And the kid’s bathtub faucet has started leaking. And we’re still only halfway through with the laundry. And Reba’s dad had to go in to the hospital this morning to check on the stents in his heart (they replaced one, might have to do two more). And Catherine has come down with an earache that requires her to constantly whimper. And I have to leave early today to go pick them all up, because Grandmom’s still going to be at the hospital, and Reba has to take Oldest for her orthodontist appointment. And at lunch today I mistakenly threw away the plastic basket my food came in because I got all distracted.

But, I do have two new car magazines to read!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:07 PM | Comments (3)

Total moron?!

Hey, count me in.

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

Well, you're just gonna have to wait for the rest.

I have one of my semiregular luncheon meetings with My Friend Jeff TM to swap magazines and eat lunch and complain about all that bedevils the world while offering no viable solutions to said problems other than hitting people on the head with sticks.

And did I mention lunch?


Back in a bit, and you will hear about an occurence so odd that you will almost think it fabricated from whole cloth. BUT IT'S NOT!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

Well, let's see--I've remembered this much so far...

Friday, the school thing was yet another annual pageant that Oldest just HAD to participate in. All part of her PGDS. You know how there is that psychopathy you hear of about people who so totally hate George Bush that they ascribe any bad thing to his influence, and won’t admit anything good he might have done? The pundits call it Bush Derangement Syndrome--well, Oldest has Popular Girl Derangement Syndrome. Absolutely cannot stand it that there are such things as popular girls.

I.e., more popular than she is.

And rather than be popular on her own terms and be her own person, she wants nothing more than to be exactly like the girls she can’t stand. Obviously, this has led to much, much discussion about having the proper attitude and outlook on competitive activities that rely heavily on subjective values, and not getting too caught up in the idea that out of the blue, popularity contests will start awarding prizes to those girls who have PGDS, and who fairly well radiate hate-rays all the time. Logic and the teen mind--not so much like oil and water as like phosphorus and air.

So, anyway, that to do Friday. Reba left work early to make the mad dash home, pick her up, and get her changed and back to the school building at 4:57 for her interview. That’s right, 4:57 p.m.--somehow, they’re able to manage to wrangle these chat sessions in three minute increments.

ON the other hand, I left at my regular time, and got to Grandmom’s to pick up the kids and sometime in there found out from Reba via my cell phone that the doors were now open and they were letting guests in. HOWEVER, Reba had our tickets, meaning she couldn’t go on in and save us a place up front, but rather had to wait in the lobby for us to get there so she could get us in, meaning that the entire auditorium (which was sold out for both Freshman-Sophomore Friday AND the Junior-Senior version on Saturday night) was already packed by the time I managed to get there with the kids, MEANING that we sat in the next-to-last row of seats on the sidewall. Meaning that there was no use in trying to take any pictures. And for some reason, this also meant that we were surrounded by six different sets of restless screeching friends-of-contestants and their dates, all of whom seemed to be able to display both the volume and intensity of oversexed locomotive whistles, and the good manners and taste that would cause them to feel right at home in the finest of warthog mud wallows.

As for the show itself, a special commendation to Wendy Garner’s on-air partner, Ken Lass, who did an excellent job emceeing the event. He had nearly sixty names to keep track of and the whole thing lasted almost three hours, but he did a very good job keeping it moving and not mangling the girls’ names.

Surprises? Amazing amount of girls who want to go to college at Auburn, and two who actually want to study architecture. Get ready to not sleep for five years, ladies. Second--well, none of the popular girls Oldest most wanted to humble won first place. Then again, she didn’t either, but she seemed to take it much better this time than she did last year. Maybe her PGDS is moderating some. Which would be the best surprise, for sure.

ON to home then, got the kids cleaned up and in the bed, so I could get them right back up Saturday morning for our lectureship at church.

Reba said we were supposed to be there at 9:00…

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

Yet another sixty-three hour interlude...

...yet another weekend that managed to leave me bewildered, befuddled, bemused, baffled, and bumfuzzled. Once I manage to collect my thoughts (which seem to have been thrown into a shoebox, shaken vigorously, then tossed into the high grass), I will be back in just a bit to check in and let you know everything you never wanted to know about my weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2006


Oh, I guess if I simply have to. It's certainly not going to be one of the relaxing sorts--tonight is a thing at the high school that'll take up most of the night and is sure to create hurt feelings on the part of one particular child in our family and requires me to leave from here and go straight there without a stop at the house to dewhisker myself, and then this weekend we're having a lectureship at church and it starts at 9 tomorrow morning and ends after lunch (for which we need to find time to make a big vat of soup), and then Sunday the same thing--early start, and go all morning, eat lunch (and find time sometime to fix more food), and then go another hour of talk.

I'm already tired. I'll just go ahead now and ask everyone's patience when my head lolls back and I start snoring during whichever of these activities happens to be ongoing at the time.

SO, all of you have a great (and hopefully less active) weekend, and I'll see you all back again bright and early on Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

I Sense a New Blogseries in the Making...

Learning with Larry.

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


Just took a few minutes to clean out the 2,000 spam e-mails from my Gmail inbox. Lucky for me that anything over thirty days is automatically deleted, huh?

Google keeps adding features to Gmail, such as the one I noticed this morning where deleting became its own little button, rather than an item in a drop down menu. Sure would be nice if they'd make that a bit more obvious for the first few days, because for those of us who've used it since it was new, ingrained habits die hard. It's been frustrating to try to delete, then remember you have a button for it now. (Unlike Skillzy, however, I didn't really get too upset when the menu option changed from "move to trash" to "delete." I never really read it in the first place, and it was at least in the same menu position as before.)

ANYway, in a similar make-it-nicer vein, it would be nice if they'd come up with a way to dump ALL spam at once, rather than having to select and delete. I suppose if I had my spam box set up to display 2000 messages at once, it would be quicker, but as it is, it only shows 100 at a time. Meaning I had to delete 20 times. No big deal, but a single dump button sure would be nice.

OH! And look! Just in the time it took for me to gloat about deleting all that, ANOTHER one just showed up!

Give the spammers credit for persistence, I suppose.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:24 PM | Comments (5)

I forgot.

And I don't usually do that when it comes to my morning toilet. But today, I got sidetracked, and didn't realize it until I got to the middle school, but I forgot to shave this morning.

It really doesn't look good. It has none of the dashing, devil-may-care attitude of your various young Kevin "I Need to Bathe" Federline-types with their carefully cultivated oh-so-scruffy chin shadow, nor does it look like I'm growing a beard--it just looks like I'm an old forgetful guy. AND WHO WANTS THAT!?

It would be better if it weren't so very gray. I joke about my hair going gray, but it didn't realize just exactly how crotchety I've gotten until a few years ago when I grew a for-real beard in order to portray the Bible hero Gideon for Vacation Bible School. (For as we all know, Gideon was a mighty man, white and chubby, with blue eyes and glasses.) Anyway, I got the idea of trying to be a bit more authentic than the norm, so I let my face grow for about six weeks. First time I've ever grown a beard, and WHOA!

The effect was much less Earthquake McGoon, much more Pappy Yokum.

I looked like a fifty year old man, which there is nothing wrong with, IF you're a fifty year old man. It was quite a shock for someone still in his tender thirty-somethings. I figured then that there'd be no more of that foolishness for me, at least not without some of that goop that Keith Hernandez uses on his luxuriant manhair.

So, anyway, today, there it is, all over my face--patchy and white and itchy and bristly, making me look much more disheveled than usual. I thought about getting one of my X-Acto blades and making an attempt at it, but after that deal with the frozen biscuit dough, I suppose having a razor near my eyes or jugular would probably be courting trouble.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:30 PM | Comments (7)

A good question!

Had a visitor drop by not too long ago wondering: What makes some men so sweet.

I can only speak for myself, but I think it is an attitude that no matter what, every day when you get yourself up out of bed, you're going to dip yourself in wild clover honey and then roll yourself in confectioner's sugar. Sure, it's messy sometimes, but doggone it, it's worth it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:06 AM | Comments (4)

The perfect thing--

if Wilson Pickett had written "Volvo Sally."

I don't usually link a lot to my other site, Revolvoblog, because, well, it's all Volvo-related and I understand that such topics can be highly offensive to small children and sane people, but frankly, this find was too good to pass up.

(Oh, hey--be the first on your block to have valuable Revolvoblog junk!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

A Confession.

I hate to admit it when I am second best at anything, but late yesterday fellow blogwriter Kenny Smith sent me a link to a site that forever puts to shame my feeble efforts at Ritualized Taunting of Football Opponents.

The site--Onepeat.com.

Gentlemen, I tip my hat to your inventiveness and vituperativeness.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (4)

Why I Love Alabama, #3,783

Seen stopped this morning at the traffic light at the bottom of the 22nd Street exit, a white Ford Explorer wearing Talladega County license plates.

On the upper portion of the back window, a sticker indicating the owner sells Mary Kay cosmetics.

At the bottom of the back window, a sticker which read:

Will Duck Hunt for Food

Let me tell you, that's hard to beat.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:23 AM | Comments (1)

January 19, 2006

And you thought...

...Alabama's legislators were a bunch of venal do-nothings content to find creative ways of sucking up tax dollars. Tsk, tsk, you cynical person, you!

Look at what we have now! Alabama Senate votes to make black bear official state mammal

The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama has an official bird, insect, reptile and amphibian, but no official state mammal. State Sen. Pat Lindsey wants to change that by giving official recognition to the black bear, a rarely seen animal that lives primarily in southwest Alabama.

On Thursday, Lindsey, D-Butler, got the Senate to vote 25-0 for his legislation declaring the black bear as the official state mammal. His bill still must be passed by the House and signed by the governor to become law.

Lindsey said school children in Escambia County suggested the legislation, and he decided to pursue it because "we've got everything else." [...]

PREACH IT, BROTHER! And let's not sell ourselves short--there's PLENTY of everything else we can be officializing--let's go through and come up with an official state everything! Official State Pastime? MISLEGISLATING!

Anyway, aside from the obvious stupidity, there's the whole issue of "why the black bear?"

Keith Guyse, assistant chief of the wildlife section of the state Conservation Department, said Alabama has a long-established population of black bears west of the Mobile Delta near Saraland. Studies have indicated there are less than 50 bears in that area, he said.

In addition, probably 20 bears have wandered from east Tennessee and northwest Georgia into northeast Alabama, but they haven't settled down and establish a bear population like those in southwest Alabama, he said.

The bears tend to keep to themselves and are rarely seen, although one recently made big news. Deer hunter Kenneth Scoggin of Chunchula reported he shot and killed a 165-pound female bear on Nov. 25 after it ripped the skin off his knee.

Some states allow the hunting of black bears, but Alabama has not since 1940. Killing a bear in Alabama — except in self-defense — can bring a fine of up to $5,000 and up to a year in jail.

The black bears in Alabama tend to be small, typically weighing about 120 pounds, Guyse said. "There are no real big ones. One that weighs 200 pounds is a big one," he said.

70 scrawny black bears. You know, for an official state something-or-other, wouldn't you at least want something, I don't know, special? Most abundant? Biggest? Smallest? Funnest to play with? Something that people actually associate with Alabama? Why not deer? Got enough of those, that's for sure--and they tend to weigh more than the bears. Coon dogs? Bobcats? Squirrels? Possums? Hey, what about People? Why not make humans the state mammal!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:16 PM | Comments (3)

The Wisdom of Beef and Chocolate

I responded to Mrs. Getzler's request for jerky to accompany her Possumblog Home Edition by pouting and acting hurt. I mean, come on, "jerky" and me in the same sentence?

Anyway, she wrote back and said: "No, I just have a hankerin' for some nice beef jerky. All we have are Slim-Jims in the house and they are not the same. Slim-Jims to jerky are the same as Tootsie Rolls to chocolate. They are all good, but not the same."

You know, that is just so true.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:33 PM | Comments (6)

OOOooooo--I want a front row seat!

You know you've really done something in this ol' blogworld when someone manages to get to your site by searching for Screaming Trees movie about obsessive compulsive disorder.

My first inclination was that it had to do with Jack Handey's immortal deep thought: "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason."

You know, that is just so true.

However, Chet the E-Mail Boy says it's probably some kind of reference to a peppy '90s orchestra flannel-clad deadbeat youngsters occasionally listen to. He says they are hip, and I take his word for it, because if anyone knows hip, it's someone who's had two hip replacements.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:59 PM | Comments (5)

If you're going to bribe people...

...you best make sure they stay bribed.

Writer: Scrushy paid for sympathetic news stories amid trial

The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Throughout the six-month trial that led to Richard Scrushy's acquittal in the $2.7 billion fraud at HealthSouth Corp., a small, influential newspaper consistently printed articles sympathetic to the defense of the fired CEO.

Audry Lewis, the author of those stories in The Birmingham Times, the city's oldest black-owned paper, now says she was secretly working on behalf of Scrushy, who she says paid her $11,000 through a public relations firm and typically read her articles before publication.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show The Lewis Group wrote a $5,000 check to Audry Lewis on April 29, 2005 — the day Scrushy hired the company. The head of the company, Times founder Jesse J. Lewis Sr., is not related to Audry Lewis.

The firm wrote another $5,000 check that day to the Rev. Herman Henderson, who employs Audry Lewis at his Believers Temple Church and was among the black preachers supporting Scrushy who were present in the courtroom throughout.

Audry Lewis and Henderson now say Scrushy owes them $150,000 for the newspaper stories and other public relations work, including getting black pastors to attend the trial in a bid to sway the mostly black jury.

The payments raise questions about the legitimacy of the ostensibly grass roots support for Scrushy seen throughout his trial. [...]

In an e-mail response to questions from the AP, Scrushy denied authorizing payments to Henderson or Audry Lewis for any work on his behalf.

Scrushy said he "hit the ceiling" when he learned that the PR firm had paid Henderson but added that he had considered Audry Lewis to be "a nice Christian woman that thought we had been treated badly and she wanted to help."

Now he said he knows they are both "about the bucks."

Lot of that going around, I hear.

Jesse Lewis, whose son James E. Lewis Sr. is listed as the paper's editor, denied being part of any scheme to plant favorable coverage of Scrushy in the paper. "We are in the advertising and public relations business, period," he said.

Audry Lewis' columns were uniformly flattering toward the defense, both before and after money changed hands. After Scrushy hired The Lewis Group, her stories moved from inside the newspaper to the front page.

The day jurors got the case, the Times featured a front-page piece by Audry Lewis saying "pastors and community leaders have rallied around Scrushy showing him the support of the Christian and African American community."

Audry Lewis said she initially wrote the columns and submitted them to the paper for free because she believed Scrushy was innocent.

Scrushy liked the pieces and began paying her to write the articles midway through the case, she said.

"He didn't think he was getting a fair shake in the media, which is why he hired me," she said in an interview. She said she sent unedited copies of her stories to Scrushy and Jesse Lewis, who had them put in the paper.

Scrushy said he looked at some of her stories before publication "to make sure the facts from the trial were correct."

After the initial check for $5,000, Audry Lewis said she later got another $6,000 from Scrushy that was routed through the public relations firm, including $1,000 to replace a stolen computer.

Separately, a Colorado public relations man who worked for Scrushy, Charlie Russell, said he gave Audry Lewis $2,500 during the trial and signed a contract stating the money was an advance payment for possible work after the verdict.

Russell said she didn't do any work for the defense after the trial, but he denied the payment was for her stories. Russell said he gave Audry Lewis money mainly out of sympathy when one of her relatives died in Detroit and she lacked funds to get to the funeral.

$2,500 seems like a lot to buy a round-trip ticket to Detroit, but what do I know. These PR folks are probably just very kind and generous.

Scrushy gave Henderson's church and an associated thrift store five checks totaling $25,000 during and after the trial, according to copies of checks provided by Henderson.

Henderson said he was paid for his efforts to raise support for the defendant, but Scrushy said he had given money to the church because Henderson and Audry Lewis had asked for his help with a church building project.

Donald V. Watkins, an attorney who represented Scrushy in the trial, said the allegations by Audry Lewis and Henderson, along with their requests for more money, "could be perceived as a shakedown. It definitely is a hustle."

And if there is one person in this town who can spot a hustle, I can guarantee you it is this fine attorney.

During the trial, prosecutors had worried that Scrushy was attempting to sway community opinion — and possibly the jury — with a Bible-study program he hosts on local TV, as well as a daily show about the trial that aired on a local-access channel purchased by Scrushy's son-in-law.

U.S. Attorney Alice Martin, who prosecuted the case, said Audry Lewis' claims, if true, don't seem to indicate a crime occurred.

"If you want to pay someone to write favorable stories and can get a paper to print them, I don't know of any law it violates," Martin said.

Yep, that's about right--never start a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Or reporters.

"I am shocked, SHOCKED..."

(And by way of full disclosure, James Lewis used to be one of my coworkers, and around six years ago or so, I wrote a story for him--for free--for his paper talking about a guy who came through town touting historic paint colors for Lowe's and who spoke at a historic preservation seminar in town. The story itself, which I can no longer find a copy of on my computer, was absolutely mangled when it finally got printed.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:04 PM | Comments (4)

38 Years Tomorrow.

Happy anniversary to the fun couple!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:57 PM | Comments (3)

You know, for such a serious topic...

...this sure is a snicker-inducing headline: Feds Seek Google Records in Porn Probe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:52 PM | Comments (0)

My goodness...

...if it's not Godzilla or Rodin, it's giant jellyfish.

TOKYO (Reuters) - A slimy jellyfish weighing as much as a sumo wrestler has Japan's fishing industry in the grip of its poisonous tentacles.

Vast numbers of Echizen kurage, or Nomura's jellyfish, have appeared around Japan's coast since July, clogging and ripping fishing nets and forcing fishermen to spend hours hacking them apart before bringing home their reduced catches. [...]

Obviously Gaia's way of getting us back for not ratifying Kyoto. Along with this: Hamster, Snake Best Friends at Tokyo Zoo . Nature has just gone nuts! Can dogs and cats, living together, be much further behind?!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

Meaningless? Boring?

Meetings?! Nah, that's just silly! Who doesn't love a good hour-long exercise in futility?!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)


Silly old work, among other things. But that’s okay, because it DOES give me a nice little hook for this week’s Protest Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

The questions this week have been sent from that hotbed of campus protest, East Carolina U, by one of those agitating academics, Dr. Jim.

For some reason, Jimbo seemed to have been in a cranky mood last week when he sent these in. I hope for the sake of the contest, he’s still cranky. Or that all of you are. Or were at some time in your checkered past.

ANYway, enough of that. Take a moment and answer these three questions:

1. Have you ever been involved in a protest?
2. Have you been an active member of a political party and campaign?
3. What was the big movement of your generation?

SO, either leave a comment below OR a link to the answers on your blog. That is, if you dare, given the chilling winds of Rovian dissent-stifling that has cloaked our nation in a wet, smelly blanket of fear and trepidation brought on by the reckless cowboy imperialism of King Chimpy McHitlerburton. (Thankfully, I do have some organic aluminum foil available if you’d like to make yourself a mind control ray deflector for your head.) ANYway, answer those, and let’s see what’s what.


1. Not really, although there was an incident in junior high school of juvenile prankitude involving the posting of a posterboard placard in a hallway; an incident that some think I was involved in. Thankfully, as Americans we all know now that such allegations are meaningless unless one can adequately define the word “is.” Likewise, it should be obvious that the various tenses of “is,” such as “was” are also included in this understanding.

Aside from being, or not being, involved in this, there was also the time that I was at Auburn where we had an “edible architecture” contest, involving the creation of building-looking things out of graham crackers and marshmallows and spaghetti and peanut butter. Some of my fellow mush-headed classmates determined such a waste of food was untenable, and circulated a petition decrying this mindless frivolity at a time when the roads and byways of America were choked with the desiccated bodies of victims of Reaganomics. Obviously, I signed the petition, because I was asked to by a girl-type classmate who was put together better than anything in my architecture textbooks. And then proceeded to participate in the contest along with the rest of the folks on my team. I suppose the fact that we did not win should be taken as punishment for being so shallow. Or possibly an indictment of college architecture professors who are so isolated from reality that they don’t know GOOD edible architecture when it’s right before their eyes.

2. Nope. I distrust political parties, although I don’t mind giving my opinion when one of them or their members messes up, or, for that matter, does a good thing.

3. My generation? I think it was whether the Stones had become too disco to still be considered a rock band. That, and the idea that reckless cowboy imperialism can be quite fun. ¡VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

OH, and by the way--Sarah G wins the pool for closest time, being that she was the only one to put down a time. Her guess was 11:35, and the actual time of posting was 11:55:31 CT. Which is pretty close, I'd say. The only problem? Just as I was posting this, MuNu had some kind of conniption fit and went Tango Uniform, so no one can read Possumblog or any of the other fine Munuvians.

Oh well.

In any event, Sarah will be receiving the Possumblog--Home Version board game, with the special commemorative box art and genuine pewter playing pieces.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:55 AM | Comments (7)

Slow-motion screw-up.

Not only describes Possumblog, but also the subject of this post from our good friend up in the Blue Hen State.

Speaking of tractor trailers overturning, which they do around here with regularity, ALDOT has taken to putting up hazard signs at the more likely overtumping places. Big yellow diamonds with the butt-end of a trailer tipping precariously to the left. (The famous and attractive W1-13 sign, courtesy of the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration's Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices [MUTCD], 2004 English Edition of the Standard Highway Signs handbook.) Why don't I like them? Well because they also have a big black arrow on top of the sign, and it points in the opposite direction as the trailer is tipping. Which seems to indicate if you go around the curve too fast and start to flip, some sort of cool magnetic thing will keep it from happening.

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

Tell it to the Marines.

From a proud Marine wife.

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

This is news?

Just got one of those CNN breaking news alerts: "Al-Jazeera airs audiotaped message purportedly from Osama bin Laden warning that plans for attacks inside U.S. are under way."

Uh, well, you know, I was kinda under the impression that they've been planning attacks in the United States for years now. Why this, why now?

Frankly, I believe it's because the big media folks have finally decided it's worth noting that Osama's not been heard from in over a year. I've mentioned it several times, and each time said I believed it was because he'd gone to Allah's Big Frat Party in the Sky. But since al-Qaeda's (rapidly exploding) leadership can read the New York Times like anyone else, they probably figured they needed to trot out some crackly audio to keep up interest in their efforts.

As Martha might say, "that's a good thing." (I imagine Murtha wouldn't see it so, but hey, consider the source.) They realize internally that interest in being blowed up real good by a Predator just isn't as glam as taking it to the Great Satan by punching your own ticket in a shopping mall, and they realize they've got to do something to make wavering potential jihadis think there might be some hope of doing something big here. There still is danger, no doubt, but this tape only proves that they know they've got to do ANYthing to make it look like the whole Caliphate plan is rocking along just fine.

As I've said before, audio tapes might do it for the splodey-types, but in this day and age of advanced, low-priced video, gimme a picture of the old goat, with maybe a live feed of Fox News on a television in the background. Otherwise, it's just the same old-same old.

(Not that this will keep the networks and newspapers from going into breathless, full tizzy mode.)

UPDATE: And Doc Reynolds notes the thing that all schoolkids know: first person to call truce is the loser.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

It's all part of that unpredictability thing.

Yeah, that's it! How better to explain the fact that you probably just now got here wanting to enjoy a fun round of the Thursday Three, and it's not here. Unpredictable, huh!?

Well, there's that, and the fact that I didn't quite get to finish preparing it yesterday because I had my dental appointment. And this morning I have to stuff envelopes. Meaning that there will be a slight delay in satisfying your craving for answering three questions on a Thursday. BUT KEEP CHECKING BACK! It will be up, I just can't predict the exact time.

HEY! Maybe we could have a pool--closest person to the actual time wins a valuable prize!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:23 AM | Comments (12)

January 18, 2006

Open wide.

I have a dentist appointment this afternoon! Along with Catherine! I need to brush! And floss! And be sure and find out the dentist's husband's phone number again, which I lost, so I can call him about refinishing at least one of the two sets of spare Volvo alloy wheels I have squirrelled away in the garage! So, I'll see you all tomorrow!

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! I just saw this headline, and it's one of those grand ones that simply defy parody: Gore, Nader, Aniston stars at Sundance

Unsafe at any screed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Vol. XCVI, No. 2

B'ham couple win $250,000 prize on T-V show

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Birmingham couple are all smiles today after they managed to win a 250,000 dollar first prize on the N-B-C show, "Fear Factor: Psycho."

22-year-old Chad Granger and 21-year-old Lacy [sic] Moulton, both students at Auburn University, beat out five other couples in a series of nauseating and scary stunts. One of the stunts featured Lacy [sic] being dynamited out of the top floor of a mansion.

Another Alabama couple, Ben and Blair Wheeler will get a shot next week at winning a 50,000 dollar prize on the show. The Auburn couple will appear on a one-time "Fear Factor" episode next week.

Chad, Lacey--happy for the win and the money and all, but couldn't you lie and say you were Bama students?

(And aside from all that, since when did the AP Stylebook change so that the hyphens in "T-V" and "N-B-C" are the preferred way of punctuating an abbreviation?)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:39 PM | Comments (6)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Vol. CXVI

Take yer pick on this one--either it's an unstable bureaucrat or hothead redneck (or both--they aren't mutually exclusive, you know): Fired Foley city employee arrested in City Hall assault

FOLEY, Ala. (AP) — A fired city employee has been arrested and charged in an attack on Foley City Administrator Perry Wilbourne, who was treated for a broken nose.

Police charged Craig Cotton, who surrendered on second-degree assault charges in the attack Tuesday in Wilbourne's office, Police Lt. Richard Springsteen said.

Wilbourne was taken to South Baldwin Regional Medical Center, where he was held for observation Tuesday night. His nose was broken in the attack, one eye blackened and his face was cut, said Mayor Tim Russell.

Russell said Cotton, a city construction manager, was fired about four months ago, but did not say the reason for the dismissal.

The mayor said Cotton had appealed his dismissal to the city's Personnel Board and a hearing was pending when the attack took place.

Gonna go out on a limb here and say that I think his appeal hearing isn't going to turn out very well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

Dumb ol' progress.

Bridge on South Chalkville in Trussville to be replaced

News staff writer

A bridge on South Chalkville Road in Trussville will be replaced in the coming months. The road will be closed to through traffic while the work is done.

Mayor Gene Melton last week asked residents to avoid downtown Trussville during peak traffic hours while the bridge work is under way. He urged motorists to find alternate routes around the construction. [...]

I think I remember posting about this several years ago when I first heard about it. The old bridge does need to be replaced, but it's sad to lose the old one, mainly because I know the new one will be big, and wide, and have those blasted Jersey barrier sidewalls. The road in this particular spot is a small, low speed two-lane, and it is overloaded with traffic, but one of the charms of the old concrete bridge is what's missing in all the newer ones--the ability to see down over the side. It has the old-style open concrete rail with square posts, and it's always been nice to look down onto Pinchgut Creek and see turtles and birds and stuff a few feet down below.

You can't do that with new bridges. You can pass over rivers and valleys and because of the side barriers never know what you've missed. The big high bridge over the tracks and the creek at Watterson Parkway, while not really an unattractive thing, would be so much nicer if it had a better view.

I realize the tall barriers are better for traffic safety--they shunt cars back onto the roadway instead of letting them plunge headlong off the side, and the high sides make it easier for folks who have bridge-fear to get across easier. But, still, it would be nice to still be able to look at the water.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:38 PM | Comments (7)

Hey, speaking of singing.

I wonder this every year, but exactly what do these American Idol rejects think? I'm not talking about the one like the guy who dressed up like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, I'm talking about the people who swear everyone tells them over and over how talented they are, and how they could be bigger than Madonna, and how they don't care if they got rejected, America is still in love with them and they'll be rich and famous in spite of Simon, who just be hate'n on them. And second--why do they come in with these lyrics that are pulled from songs that require LOTS of background music and heavy processing in the studio? Like the policeman who kept repeating "I shot the sheriff."

Just exactly what do these people think?

Anyway, I just hope Randy has a new word this year instead of dog.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:21 PM | Comments (7)

What a morning.

Which started last night. Oldest had some kind of stomach distress, which manifested itself in a convenient trash can that Reba had only moments before put beside her at the computer. She'd been typing up some notes for a class, and had earlier mentioned she had to be at school this morning at 7:00 to take a make-up test for having been gone during school on Friday to practice for the honor choir.

For those who've been stopping in for a while, you probably already suspect she had a severe case of malingeritis, but I think this time she might actually have some kind of stomach bug, mainly because after the first trash can heave-arino she actually went back to working on typing her notes.

Onward, then, to the other events of the evening--seemed Reba had to drive to Tuscaloosa today for a meeting, and only had a quarter tank of gas. It was very cold and rainy last night. And windy. And cold. And DARK. And by the time we got through with supper, LATE(ish. Well, late-ish for me, which was actually only about halfway through American Idol.) ANYway, it was cold, rainy, windy, dark, late-ish, AND in my zeal to nest and cocoon last night, as soon as I got home I put on my pajamas. (After taking off my work clothes, of course.) SO, it was cold, dark, rainy, windy, late-ish, and I was in a terrible state of dishabile. ::sigh::

Went upstairs and put on a pair of jeans (leaving on my pajama shirt that almost looks like a regular tee-shirt. Well, all except for the Care Bears.) and got the essentials of travel--car keys, wallet, pocket knife. Put on my shoes, and being that they are of the Rockport mocassin-style deck shoe sort, and being that I am an idiot, I neglected to put on a pair of socks. I mean, you know, how cold and windy and dark could it be!? I'd only be out for a second to fill up, and then back inside!

Grabbed my jacket and off to Sam's Club. Which is on top of a mountain, and in order to place it on top of a mountain, all vegetation within sight was leveled, leaving it exposed to the viscissitudes of rain, wind, cold, and yes, even darkness. And idiocy. Got out and HOLY MOTHER OF SAM WALTON it was cold, etc. Filled up, then drove across the parking lot to Sam's to pick up some soft drinks to help ease someone's roiling gut. It didn't really occur to me until I got home how pitiful I must have looked in my go-get-gas-and-freeze garb.

Eh. Whatever.

Back home, where I found the small trash can that had previously been a receptacle for stomach contents placed neatly on the driveway where I had left it, waiting to be rinsed out. Oh. I forgot I'd done that. And it was so late. And dark. And rainy. ::sigh::

Grabbed the hose, turned on the water, and proceeded to rinse out the bucket while simultaneously making myself eligible for a wet tee-shirt contest. And let's face it--as cold as it was, I think I could have won.

That done, close the garage door, then into the house, where it was warm, and light, and unwindy, and dry, although even more late-ish than it was before. Upstairs, saw that none of the kids had gone to bed yet, although they were close, especially after I told them all to go to bed. Except for Rebecca, who was studying math. And Oldest, who had now migrated from the den to the upstairs with a computer disk that she wanted to use to print out the notes she'd typed.

A disk, I might add, that did not have the file on it. "Did you save it!?" She said yes, which told me it was probably still on the C:\ drive downstairs. As it was. Copied it, printed it, then finished watching Simon make people cry, then remembered after the three younger kids were finally asleep that I had left the soft drinks in the car.

Where it was cold dark rainy windy and the ground was possibly contaminated with stomach germs.


Downstairs, door, trunk, door, upstairs.

Reba went to bed, because she had to go to Tuscaloosa in her freshly filled up Focus this morning, leaving me awake with Oldest to make sure she'd done the rest of her homework. Which she did do--again, one of those signs that she might actually not have been sandbagging.

She finished up, took her shower, I watched Dave interview Tatum O'Neal, who looks like five miles of bad road, Oldest out of shower, came to our bathroom to put her clothes in the hamper, and







Oh boy. I got up and found her at the pot, but unfortunately standing up, rather than in the preferred bowing-at-the-porcelain-god position that directs ejecta into the receptacle, rather than onto it, and the surrounding floor.


I got her a washcloth, and started reeling off toilet paper to clean the floor. We finally got it clean (and I doused it with a barrel of Lysol just to be sure) and she went and changed pajamas. "You want to sleep in the bathroom just in case?" Well, I guess she's outgrown that. Off to bed.

And this morning?

Well, she was not that perky, but she still went ahead and got up, and I took her on to school so she could take her make-up test, and she didn't protest. I think she really must have had some kind of stomach bug.

The rest of them? Well, Reba got to take the other kids to school this morning, and despite her best efforts to reach Tuscaloosa by 9:00 a.m., she found herself at 8:30 sitting in bumper to bumper traffic just down I-459 at Liberty Park. Which is more than thirty minutes away from Tuscaloosa, even if you travel at the normal prevailing traffic velocity, which is 132 miles per hour.

All that windy dark rainy cold late last night managed to freeze over this morning, so just about every bridge from here to anywhere had a nice crispy glaze on it, making traffic slow to a standstill.

She called me to tell me what was going on, and I don't think I quite gave her the supportiveness she needed in her turmoil. "I'm SUPPOSED TO BE THERE AT NINE!"

"Uh, well, you're not gonna make it. Just call and tell them you're going to be late."


Aw, good grief. I don't know what she was looking for, but obviously, rational though wasn't it. I KNEW I should have opened with the joke about the groom and the bride's sister!

The rest of the exchange was pretty terse.

Oh well, I had work to do, anyway. Which I did--mailout day today, and so I've been tearing up the copier and the printer and the envelope feeder all morning, and for some reason everyone in town decided I was the only person who could help them, in my Jack Baueresque fashion, negotiate their way through the bureacratic maze around here. Then, right in the middle of one call, yet another from Reba.

What's this!?

Put the guy on hold, went to the front desk, and she said she'd called the office and talked to her supervisor, who was just leaving. Seems the lady who had just been hired within the last month to take over for Reba after she moved up to her new job, passed away suddenly this morning. Asthma attack, they think.

Sort of changes the way you think about your mornings.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:31 AM | Comments (8)

Happy Anniversary!

I'm sorry I missed it yesterday, but Osmondlandia's own Nate McCord turned three blogyears old yesterday. See his commemorative post here, as well as the follow up here.

Nate's been a good friend all these years, and it's nice to see he's still blogging away, even with the recent loss of worktime blogging privileges.

Happy anniversary, Nate.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:05 AM | Comments (7)

January 17, 2006

Hey! A mystery solved!

A few of you might remember a post from back in November, in which I recounted hearing a fellow on the radio talking about a former farm site out in Trussville, that had belonged to someone connected to the Britling's Cafeteria family, and that someone had the idea back in the mid-30s to turn the place into a rest home for old movie actors.

I had asked if anyone had heard of such a thing, but nothing ever came of it, until this weekend, when a gentleman named Tom Wright stopped by and left this comment:

I spent my summers between 1934 and 1954 on the Holcomb farm east of Trussville. It belonged to the wife of John H. Holcomb, owner of the Britling Cafeterias in Birmingham. It had a dam and a lake and was an operating farm up until it was sold sometime in the 1960s.

FINALLY! Someone who knows something! I thanked Tom in the comments, and contacted him for a bit more information, such as the location of the property, and particularly that part about it being a movie actor retirement home. Here's what Tom had to say:


Coming east from Trussville, there is a road which turns right off US 11 just east of the old admin building (later a roadhouse called "Fred and Gene's). I believe this road now is called "Peggy Lane". This is the old farm road that led into the property.

The developer who built the dam planned a roadway across the top. The roadway was never completed because the Depression came along and the developer went bankrupt. The partially completed dam remained and produced a nice sized lake. My grandfather, who owned the Britling Cafeterias in Birmingham, used a modest inheritance his wife had received to buy the property south of US 11. Hence, she was the actual owner. After WWII, it was sold to the cafeteria chain. During the period from about 1931 into the 1970s, it was a working farm, raising oats, cattle, and hogs. BTW, on the maps, this lake is now named "Holcomb Lake". It is on the Little Cahaba Creek drainage.

I had never heard the story about the retired movie stars and I certainly would have. The road across the dam was graded up to the top of the ridge just south of the lake. For years there were traces of surveyor's stakes up there where I was told a "casino" was to be built. In the 80 years since then, all that has grown up in trees, but the graded contours of the road can still be traced.

Well, I'll be. Peggy Lane is indeed on the map--it's out beyond Deerfoot Parkway and just a bit past Amerex, although on the Carto-Craft maps I have around here, it's called Bethune Lake. Another mystery, huh?

Anyway, if the link works right, the lake is in the bottom of this aerial from Terraserver.

Sounds like it's time to do some exploring.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:22 PM | Comments (4)

Also on the teevee

...I note an increasingly frequent barrage of advertisements and "exciting" pre-events for the upcoming 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Itlee.

I've said this in past Olympics, but it bears repeating--the only event worth watching is the women's biathlon, yet once again it appears that it will get shunted to the side in favor of the popularity-contest activities such as ice dancing. Why is there no Campbell's Soup Biathlon SuperStars show? Why is there not wall-to-wall coverage of the Biathlon World Cup? I blame Scott Hamilton.

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

Some good news...

Study Finds Exercise Helps Delay Dementia

Still, I think it's going to be hard on him to ever win back any sort of House leadership role, even in the event he is exonerated.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:48 PM | Comments (2)

Nice thing about being off?

I don't see much of the news. But boy, it was some more sort of weekend, eh? The irrelevancy of Uncle Walter, compounded with the fatuous tincture of Wooden Al, stirred in with the heavy-handed harridanism of Hillary, and topped with the rich chocolatey goodness of Ravin' Ray.

Funny how holidays bring out the best in people.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:34 PM | Comments (0)

Let's see, what else?

Well, Sunday was entirely uneventful--no one called to say they couldn't teach, Reba was up early and ready to go on time, and despite the fact that the clothing did not get removed from the dryer, a plague of flaming lobsters did not rain from the sky--at least not in our neighborhood. Sunday night? Well, had to catch up on the zany antics of Jack Bauer and the CTU on 24. I lost track of it last season and didn't really watch much of it, but this season seems to be worth watching.

Monday night was really the better one, in that Jean Smart seems intent on showing us her undies (although I could do with a few less extreme closeups of her facial expressions, please) AND we get introduced to Special Government Guy with a Badge, Sam Wise, who seems to think Jack is after the Precious or something, which is probably going to create problems for Jack, and possibly for Gandalf.

I really like the show, but when Jack was up in the ceiling of the airport, I sure do wish he had been a little quieter up there. And I think if I were a supersecret agent, I'd have a little lanyard around my telescope and my cool picture phone from Sprint, just in case I dropped either one by accident through the bars and onto the floor. And why is it when Jack kept saying he was in a "flank 2 position" did not one of the SWAT guys say, "what on earth are you talking about, Jack--there's no such thing as being in a flank 2 position!?" Thank goodness for good Sam Wise, who saved their bacon on that one. And just how is it that all of those armed guys who swarmed over the terminal manage to miss a gigantic gaping hole in the concrete floor where the nerve gas was hidden!? And how did it get hidden there in the first place? I mean, who hides that kind of junk at the Ontario, CA airport!? And do all evil geniuses have a hidden lair with all sorts of cool electronics, and if so, why do they want to take over the world, since they obviously have the really important stuff already in their possession, namely, a hidden lair with cool electronics?

Well, it's all just a mystery. As opposed to Jean Smart's foundation garments.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:43 AM | Comments (13)

Okay, now...

...let's see. Saturday was spent ferrying Oldest back and forth again to UAB for more rehearsals and leaving clothes in the dryer so we could all go back Saturday afternoon for the recital.

Very, very nice, I must say. This was UAB's honor choir presentation, so there were kids here from all over the state. The practice for this one certainly paid off--the last one we went to down in Tuscaloosa was a model of inefficiency, and the hall's acoustics made everything sound like someone drowning in a convenience store restroom.

But Saturday everyone was where they needed to be, and there was little of the uncharming kids'll-be-kids shenanigans. And the sound was very nice--the folks who designed the Jemison Hall at the Alys Stephens Center are to be commended for doing their homework. The room was lively without being harsh, and warm without muffling any of the upper or lower ranges. And the piano accompaniment didn't drown out the singers. AND the doors didn't make loud crashing sounds anytime anyone went out. AND the patrons were a bit better behaved this time, although there was one one right in the front who kept taking pictures during the songs even though an announcement was made at the start not to do that, and it was in the program. There was also someone two rows back who kept "whispering" during various parts. Frankly, I think it's time we start working on a way to fulfill the saying, "if looks could kill."

Anyway, the music was wonderful, and especially that of the hosts of the recital. Their conductor has his own blog (of course--oh, and be sure to check out his blogroll if you think all liberal arts academics are a bunch of fawning, squishy "progressives") and he was a bit tough on them in his comments, but for a rube like me, once you get to that level of talent there's no way I could pick out anything that was out of place. Y'all done good, Doc.

And, of course, so did the junior and senior high kids--it never ceases to amaze me how talented they are and how disciplined they can sound. And how incredible Oldest can sound in a venue like this, compared to how tone-deaf she sounds when she's singing--screeching--along to a CD with her headphones on in the back seat of the van. Oh well--when it counts is what matters, I suppose.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:37 AM | Comments (3)

Coming back for more!

Yet another weekend by the wayside, and not an altogether bad one at that. In fact, a pretty good one, aside from discovering yesterday afternoon a basketful of blue jeans that had not been dried, and a dryer full of permanent press that had been dried Saturday. Funny thing about that wrinkle-free permapress stuff--you leave it in the dryer with a bunch of other permapress clothing, and it manages to get pretty darned wrinkled. And the wrinkles don't want to leave, either--it's permawrinkled.

Anyway, it's staff meeting time right now, so let me go do that, and THEN I will come back and bore you to tears in just a little while with all sorts of luridly bland tales of suburbia.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:30 AM | Comments (4)

January 13, 2006


Time to call it for the day. All of you have a great weekend, and I will see you on Tuesday with all sorts of wonderful tales to tell, some of which might even be true!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

From the "Am Our Childrin Lerning" File

Ohio high school porn homework canceled

BROOKLYN, Ohio (AP) — A high school research assignment on Internet pornography was canceled after parents in this Cleveland suburb complained.

Superintendent Jeff Lampert said that although the teacher's apparent goal — to discuss the harmful effects of pornography — was well-intentioned, he agreed with parents that the assignment was inappropriate for 14- and 15-year-old freshmen at Brooklyn High.

The assignment asked students to research pornography on the Internet and list eight facts about pornography. Students also were asked to write their personal views of pornography and any experience they had with it.

Lampert said he doubted the teacher would face any punishment.

"BILLY! You've been in there for an hour! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!"

"Uh--HOMEWORK, Mom!"

You know, I wonder about people sometimes. And then I have to stop, because it makes my head hurt.

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

You don't really want to know how slow it is today, do you?

Surely not. No one could be so desperate for reading material.

But, just in case you are...

Due to some odd word-association thought that passed through my head that had some small connection to the word "coy," I now cannot get Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" out of my head.

And now, neither will you.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:23 PM | Comments (2)

What better way to spend Friday the 13th?

Congratulations to Miss Janis and Mister Lyman on their big day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:05 PM | Comments (0)

Having just returned from the food court...

...and being well known for my sartorial magnificence, I offer these fashion tips.

Women's fishnet hosiery--most especially the kind with the very very wide network--is appropriate in approximately two scenarios, neither of which involve going to the food court. Further, neither scenario calls for wearing a pair of big ugly tennis shoes or a denim skirt, most especially when the entire garb is intended to be worn as office attire. Finally, the ankle tattoo does not help.

Straight men--I am pained to tell you this, but the whole woodsy, urban cowboy thing, with the leather Crocodile Dundee hat and the Marlboro Man sideburns and Levis is going to have to be put away for awhile, at least until Clint Eastwood makes another movie about cowboys in which they only kiss women or their horses. Further, attempting to macho it up by leering at various women as they pass by your table will not work right now, because most women will think you're admiring their shoes.

That's the bad--the good? There is something very attractive about a redhead wearing a green dress. I don't know if it's the color clash complement (thanks, Miss Janis) or what, but it looks really, really good.

Other good things? Chicken. Mmmm. Chicken is good.

SO, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:30 PM | Comments (4)

Stories I stopped reading after the first twenty words.

Pamela Anderson Takes Aim at KFC

FRANKFORT, Ky. Pamela Anderson is leading a charge to remove a bust of KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders from the state Capitol. [...]

Hehehe. "Bust." ::snicker::

Which reminds me--it's lunchtime. Time for a nice big chicken breast.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:12 PM | Comments (4)

A respected academic...

...a man of no small reputation, contributor to many scholarly journals, holding a doctorate, teaching at a fine institution of higher learning, just sent me this.

Blame him, not me.

A frog goes into a bank and approaches a loan officer's desk. He can see from her nameplate that her name is Patricia Whack.

"Miss Whack, I'd like to get a $30,000 loan to take a vacation."

Patty looks at the frog in disbelief and asks his name. The frog says "My name is Kermit Jagger, my dad is Mick Jagger. It's okay, I know the bank manager here."

Patty explains that he will need to secure the loan with some collateral.

The frog says, "Sure. I have this," and produces a tiny porcelain elephant, about an inch tall, bright pink and perfectly formed.

Very confused, Patty explains that she'll have to consult with the bank manager and disappears into a back office.

She finds the manager and says, "There's a frog called Kermit Jagger out there who claims to know you and wants to borrow $30,000, and he wants to use this as collateral."

She holds up the tiny pink elephant. "I mean, what in the world is this?"

The bank manager looks back at her and says...

"It's a knickknack, Patty Whack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (4)

One thing I am angry about?

I missed My Name is Earl last night. I really like that show, and I'm not really sure why, other than it manages to make me glad I'm not like Earl and Randy (much) but also that I wouldn't mind it (much) if Earl and Randy were my friends.

But I tell you this right now--the NBC radio ad campaign where they have what sounds like four mid-20-ish aged people jibbering away in a breakroom about all the great NBC shows? It drives me absolutely stark raving insane. I would like to put them all in a sack and hit them with a shovel. And then drop them off a cliff in the sack. And when I get down to the bottom of the ravine, I'd like to hit them with my shovel again.

And I AM being nice about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:47 AM | Comments (4)

Oh, that wasn't so bad.

Really. A lot of driving, but I enjoy driving.

To home, pick up Oldest, then to UAB, drop Oldest in lobby and make sure where she's going to be at the pickup time, back to home, get gas, go to in-laws' house, install computer, leave and go back to UAB, park right in front of building, walk in with five minutes to spare, collect Oldest, listen to her jabber excitedly and complain about being hungry, stop at McDonald's for sustenance for her (but not for me), drive home and listen to her eat, which sounded like a hog at a trough. In fairness to her, I have noticed very few teenaged girls with any sense of table manners, the open-mouthed smackchew seeming to be the default mode.

Heaven knows I've badgered her enough about having some semblance of couthness to her, but she (and other teenaged girls, too) seem to think holding their cutlery like clubs, hunkering over their plates like prison inmates, and devouring their food like ravening kinkajous makes them look mature. ::sigh:: But as I told Reba after we got home, I didn't say anything, because she was excited about how rehearsal went, and further, my resolution for 2006 is to be nice. Nice nice nice. No matter how much my innards seeth in a stew of bile, my outward demeanor will be as sunny as June Cleaver's. Yay me! NICE ME!

Not really.

I just figured it was the wrong place and wrong time to get into the expectations polite society places upon its members. And I was tired and hungry myself, which is never a good way to go into battle.

AS FOR THE COMPUTER--it's a Dell of some sort. I suppose I should have looked on the box so I could tell you all, but you'll have to make do with the description I gave Jonathan and Rebecca--"it's black." It's pretty nice, and has a 17 inch flat screen monitor, and I suppose it must be a higher-end model, because is was more expensive than the HP I bought from Wal-Mart a couple of years ago, and it didn't come with speakers or a printer. WTF!? (I abbreviated to myself); I couldn't believe he'd gotten something without a printer. Speakers are nice to have, but not essential for most of what you do, but you really, REALLY need a printer if you're going to get any use out of the thing.

Anyway, "setup" consisted (as with just about any modern electronic device) of setting it up on his desk. This goes here, this plugs in there, you turn it on. It came with 6 months of AOL, so I got that set up for him, and registered the computer and software, showed him where the icon was for Word and for AOL, and that was it. I imagine the kids will get much more use out of it than he will, which is actually an okay thing, I think. Rebecca wanted to know if she could use it if she had to type any of her homework after school while she's at their house. Sure would cut down on some of the wait time that she has now--we have to get them, get home, eat supper, get baths--all that stuff, and then if she has typing to do, too, it can get late. Of course, for right now at least, she'll have to save it and bring it home to print it, but that's not so bad.

SO, anyway, yet another day gone by without being thrown in the slam for public intoxication or participation in a melee or jaywalking. (One of which I actually DID do last night!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:25 AM | Comments (9)

January 12, 2006

Just what I want!

A busy night!


Leaving in a bit to go to T'ville to pick up Oldest, then have to turn around and head right back downtown with her for a rehearsal at UAB for a choir concert she has this weekend. Then, seeing as how there is nothing I really want to do by myself on a weeknight downtown for two hours (being that I am a fusty old fart who doesn't drink, smoke, carouse, or consume freelance pharmaceuticals) it's back to home for two hours to wait, then BACK downtown again to pick her up after the rehearsal's all over.

I suppose I could find something to do to keep from going back home, but seeing as how I didn't quite get around to installing my daddy-in-law's computer the other night, tonight's as good a night as any to get that out of the way.

Or, you know, take up drinking, smoking, carousing, and narcoticking.

Anyway, details on the morrow. See you all then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:59 PM | Comments (4)

Poor kitty.

Just called to check in on Catherine, who's spending the day at Grandmom's house. Seems she (Cat, not Grandma) had some kind of a stomach bug yesterday while at school and had to get checked out early. Some sort of something-or-other that caused double-ended discomfort, and it wiped out her usual full-throttle demeanor.

She stayed home last night from church with Mommy and had noodle soup and a story and went to sleep on a pallet on our bathroom floor at the incredibly on-time time of 8:00. (That's supposed to be everyone's bedtime, but it's honored more in the breach than the observance, something like when the State Legislature unplugs the clock to keep from going beyond their statutory time limit.) Anyway, I managed to only step on her twice during the night.

This morning, she was a bit more perky, although suffering from a bad case of bed-head. Or pallet-on-the-floor-head. She didn't seem to mind. I told her Grandmom would fuss at her for her fur being all out of place (she--Grandmama, not Cat--seems to put great stock in personal upkeep, even when no one would be there to see) but Cat didn't seem to want to have to get out the brush and detanglefy her hair. Fine.

Took her over there early (because I have to leave early today) and from all acounts, she has been okay, if a bit on the uncharacteristically quiet side.

She should be all perked back up tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (2)

Ever'body gotta have a hobby, I suppose, but...

...this is a bit more than I'd be interested in taking up for relaxation.

Although, in fairness, it's probably a lot cheaper than messing with old cars.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:44 PM | Comments (6)


Alito Says He'd Emulate O'Connor's Style

This is bad news--that lace collar ruffle/table napkin just screams for an update.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

You go, girlfriend!

Oprah dismisses claims about Frey memoir

Tell it, sister! And I might be speaking out of turn, but I've heard her next book club author will be Tommy Flanagan!

Yeah, that's the ticket!

(They DO have a past, you know...)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:24 AM | Comments (1)

Delaware--Hell on Earth?

That have Joe, but they don't have Zatarain's.

Thank heavens they have the Schrancks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

Captain! Klingon warbird decloaking off the starboard bow!

Both Jordana and Nate make note that this (or rather, what's left of it) is De-Lurking Week, and invite their readers who are too shy to leave comments to come out in the light and say hey.

I've done this before, and it's always fun to find out who's reading this tripe. And, more mystifyingly, who's enjoying it. I especially like to hear from you foreign folks from exotic places such as Portugal, or Arkansas.

SO, if you come by my little corner of the world every so often, and have never gotten up the necessary wind to leave a comment, now's the time! I promise I won't make fun of you or anything. Much.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:40 AM | Comments (13)


We had a visitor not too long ago who came by Possumblog wanting to know--how to get rid of mice in caravan.

Obviously, there are several different ways, but I've always been fond of stealing their tiny little camels.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:48 AM | Comments (4)

The Duke of Cleveland, eh?

And he would have gotten away with it, except for those meddling kids.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

Please quit digging, Joe.

Sen. Biden suggests scrapping hearings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominees are so mum about the major legal issues at their Senate confirmation hearings that the hearings serve little purpose and should probably be abandoned, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden said Thursday.

"The system's kind of broken," said Biden, a member of the Judiciary Committee considering the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.

"Nominees now, Democrat and Republican nominees, come before the United States Congress and resolve not to let the people know what they think about the important issues," such as a president's authority to go to war, said Biden. [...]

Oh, yeah--the system's broken alright. But it ain't the nominees' fault, Sparky. It's the fault of a bunch of insular, supercilious solons who think anything they spout is of great grave importance to the nation. How about this--quit using the hearings as a forum to make yourself look better. How about coming up with actual questions instead of thinly-veiled personal attacks? How about not insulting everyone's intelligence with rhetoric that would get you laughed out of a junior high debate club?

How about being a grown-up?

And hey, how about this corker down at the end--

"I take him at his word that he didn't know what the group [Concerned Alumni of Princeton, Ed.] stood for, but I'm required to ask him," Biden said. He said membership in the group raised questions about "how sensitive he is to the plight of women."

Yes, Joe, because the shame of it is that not all women can be magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically, beautiful young sophomore Princeton girls. And why not? Why, evil Republicans, that's why.

Twit. Mountebank.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (4)

Good Thursday Morning, Everyone!

It being THURSDAY, you’re probably all excited about participating in another exciting and edutaining round of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, right?

Well, it’s a good thing YOU’RE excited, because these questions have been designed to suck all the exhilaration right out of the entire Internets!

To get right to it, then: Think about where you work, whether it’s in an office or factory or your own home, and tell us--

1) What sorts of activities that you have to do in your normal everyday life that are so mind-numbingly boring that you could just scream, if you cared enough?

2) Although you might think YOUR boring thing is the most boringestest thing of all, what do you see OTHER people doing around your workplace that causes you to think maybe you don’t have it quite so bad after all?

3) Conversely, what sorts of things do you see other people getting to do in their daily tasks that you think would be SO COOL if you could do them?

Now then, either leave your answers below in the comments, OR answer them on your online personal journal, which some people call a “web log,” or “blog” for short.

That is, if you aren’t too bored by the whole exercise, that is.

Now then, since I have the urge, my answers:

1) We have a software system that tracks building permits, and for stuff in certain areas of town, it has a place for our little division to sign off. If it’s exterior work, we have to put a hold on the permit for further review; if it’s interior (gas lines, plumbing, carpentry, furnishings, etc.), we don’t. It would have been nice if the people who set the program up had made a tiny check box for the plans-intake person to click so that interior stuff wouldn’t automatically get routed to us, but they wouldn’t. So, a big chunk of my time is wasted on typing in meaningless APPV indicators in little boxes, and then a blurb that says it doesn’t need further review. It wouldn’t be so bad if everyone else would check the system and see when stuff pops up (since everyone in my little corner has the exact same program and ability to sign off on things) but I’m the only one who ever takes it upon him- or herself to keep it up to date.

2) Well, I sure wouldn’t want to have to be one of the car tag issuing persons over at the courthouse. I also wouldn’t want to be the security guard at the desk down in the basement in our building.

3) Unfortunately, there are no really cool jobs in this building that I would really like to do. On the outside, I’ve always thought it would be fun to have my own bookstore, or diner, or garage, or fine art gallery. Really. And you know, I just got to thinking about it--it would probably be fun to have all four of those all wrapped up into one. Of course, the Barber Motorsports Park is just about that, except on an exceptionally expensive scale.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (9)

January 11, 2006

Oh, good grief.

For the love of all that's decent, someone PLEASE give that poor idiot hole-digging instructions!

What a pathetic waste of corpuscles.

Aside from that, his whole obsessive deal with Princeton, and especially that transcript from when he spoke there in '04, just gives me the willies. Now I'm not generally very shy about my enjoyment in admiring good-looking womenpersons--in fact, there are some fellow girlbloggers I know whom I've noted are quite attractive. But something about his whole, "this magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically, beautiful young girl, was a sophomore, etc.," line just strikes me as being really icky. I've said it before, but if you make another guy uncomfortable with your schtick, you're coming in too hot. He comes across sounding like that creepily dapper uncle who never married and has a subscription to Penthouse Letters. That weird facial tic where he looks like he's smiling when he's not sure doesn't help, either.

Anyway, Joe, for your benefit, when you find yourself at the bottom of a hole with no way out, quit digging.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:29 PM | Comments (2)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

CLERESTORY (or CLEARSTORY). The upper stage of the main walls of a church above the aisle roofs, pierced by windows; the same term is applicable in domestic building. In Romanesque architecture it often has a narrow wall passage on the inside.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition.

This is one of those that you probably know it to look at it, but might not have known it had a name.

Here's an example from the Orvieto Cathedral, (from this website), and here's one apparently intended to cause maximum visual discomfort. (Note especially the ability of the car and shrubbery to cast shadows in directions not at all related to those cast by the building. Nor, for that matter, to each other.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:13 PM | Comments (0)

Because I knew you'd want to know.

Last night's supper: pork roast, black-eyed peas, and turnip greens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:57 PM | Comments (8)

Something new every day, it seems.

I love looking through Lileks' collections of ephemera, especially those old postcards. But the ads and illustrations are fun, too. I've found several sites before with such things (including this nifty Auburn University library website with old Alabama postcards). Anyway, quite by accident, I ran across a site I'd not seen before, Ad Art Gallery, which is just chock full of cool old stuff. Like this '53 Cosmo cover with Jackie Gleason; this ad for the 1955 movie Picnic, starring William Holden and Kim Novak, (and judging by the artwork, that's one crazy picnic, daddy-o); or this 1914 ad for Pabst Extract, a wholesome strengthening tonic made of the choicest hops and rich barley, which apparently is very good food for the nerves of airship pilots.

Anyway, great fun to peruse.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:19 PM | Comments (2)

Consider the source.

Democrats say Alito's answers inconsistent

Coming from a party which has raised inconsistency to high art, this is high praise indeed.

"MR. ALITO! You just admitted you said the sun rises, yet any thinking, rational person knows the sun doesn't rise or set--it is merely an illusion caused by the rotation of the earth! This troubling inconsistency leads me to say that if you are confirmed, you seem destined to turn back the clock on science, and in doing so, kill millions of innocent minorities, women, and children with your backward-thinking medieval views! Now then, I will yield my remaining five minutes to the cameraman, who will take several shots of me preening and looking smugly self-satisfied with my rhetorical brilliance."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)


Saw this story this morning--European tech giants craft search engine and it's sorta funny, especially the part where Chirac had to give a speech and say the names "Google" and "Yahoo."

It's also a bit sad that there aren't private European companies capable of coming up with a competing system without the saddle of the government. Sadder still is the primary idea behind the whole venture isn't to make a better mousetrap, but rather seems to be a move to assuage some sort of governmental/societal sense of tarnished Gallic honor, resulting in wasting great wads of cash to reinvent la roue. (Oh, and thanks, Google Language Tool!)

Well, whatever, I guess.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (0)


I was right! Sorta. Via Instapundit, it turns out that the flaming mouse story wasn't true, but my supposition that this might be a case of trying to get some insurance money doesn't wash either--the poor guy had no insurance.

So, what have we learned?

1. Homeowner's insurance is good.

2. If you don't have it, don't burn stuff near your house.

3. Unlike amateur online hobbyists, newspapers and other media outlets operate under a strict set of reporting guidelines and have multiple layers of editorial checks and balances to insure that rumors and half-truths do not get repeated as fact, and have a wide-reaching standard of ethical behavior that operates to hold them to a higher standard of proof and credulity.

4. If you think about it, mouse fur is pretty short, and like all fur, it would tend to singe off pretty quickly, meaning that if you DID happen to throw a live mouse in a fire, the odds of it surviving are nil, and even worse are the odds of it being able to escape the flames with fur afire, run to a house, up a wall, go inside, and still retain enough heat to start a fire.

UPDATE: BUT WAIT, ACCORDING TO SNOPES.COM, there's MORE! It seems the poor guy can't just keep his mouth shut--now he's saying that the mouse got caught on a GLUE TRAP, he couldn't get it loose, so he threw mouse and glue trap into the fire, THEN the mouse managed to free itself from the melted glue, set itself on fire, and run all the way back to the house and start the inferno.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is one magic mouse.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:41 AM | Comments (2)

January 10, 2006

Overwhelming stupidity.

Sorry, but there's a conversation going on outside my door that is indicative of the people I work with and I couldn't let today go without mentioning it.

Seems someone found a sweet potato hidden in a pantry in her house, and it was still intact after what she said was two years. Some sprouts and such, but that's about it. Still looked like a potato. The conversation, in part, was something along these lines:

"Well, you know, you see these agribusiness-grown things that are gray and full of radiation, and it really makes you wonder what we're doing to our food. I mean, they take these things and irradiate them, supposably [sic] to make them safe, and they'd rot in two weeks, and then you have these organic ones and they last for years!"

The depths (or widths) of the idiocy around here are simply breathtaking.

Potatos, if kept in a cool, dark place, will pretty much keep indefinitely, but I wouldn't eat a two-year old one no matter how nice it looked.

Irradiation does not leave radiation in the food.

Potatoes that have been irradiated are done so to for several reasons, including to prevent sprouting--the potato she found just might have been one grown by one of those filthy Big Agriculture places and zapped with evil radiation.

Correlation is not causation--just because you think you've found something that confirms your warped little world-view doesn't make it so.

And please quit getting huffy about conservatives being antiscientific and close-minded goobs who're out to kill everyone on the planet just to make three extra cents on a potato.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 05:05 PM | Comments (2)

You know you're in trouble...

...when I'm your go-to guy for computer technology.

And thus it is for my father-in-law, who just purchased a new computer and had it delivered today. Being that I am the tech-savvy guru in our family (which consists of my knowing to turn the computer off then back on again when it locks up, rather than waste a call to the toll-free tech support line), I get to set it up for him.

Thank heavens it's gotten to the point where the hardest part is finding a place to put the empty boxes.

His old one? I think it's a Korean-made 286 clone. I seem to recall him getting it while Reba and I were courting, which was fifteen years ago, and even then, it was hopelessly useless. It didn't even have a hard drive--you shoved in a 5 1/4 floppy with DOS on it to operate it. It did have the luxury of TWO floppy ports, however. And a dot matrix printer. And a 13 inch monochrome monitor.

Ahh, the good ol' days.

Anyway, it's not like I had anything to do tonight. Or that the kids might have school tomorrow or anything.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:35 PM | Comments (4)

Well, he's no Rubieses, but still...

...maybe there's someone out there who would enjoy a calm and sweet Boston Terrier, courtesy of his foster mommy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:39 PM | Comments (3)

Whoa--big news on the news!

NBC Universal to sell WJAR, three other stations

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — NBC Universal is seeking to sell off four of its owned-and-operated stations, including the Rhode Island affiliate WJAR-TV, a company spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The company also is trying to sell WVTM-TV in Birmingham, Ala., WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio and WNCN-TV in Raleigh, N.C., NBC Universal spokeswoman Liz Fischer said. She declined to comment further. [...]

Wow--I have no idea how much the revolving door for on-air talent at WVTM (the former Wendy Garner station) during the past couple of years might have played in this decision, but I have a feeling it must have played some part in it.

It will be interesting to see who finally winds up with it.

UPDATE: Oops--that's what I get for being tired yesterday--the story was in the Birmingham Business Journal, but I missed it. It says the reason is the company wants to be rid of the small-market stations, which is as good an excuse as any, I suppose, but the Raleigh-Durham market is 29th overall in size, which seems kinda big for a small market, but what do I know?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:23 PM | Comments (2)


A startling note regarding the validity of certain marriages from blogging-again Greg Hlatky.

I get so few opportunities to prance about in my birthday suit, and now this comes along. Sheesh.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:26 PM | Comments (6)


Interesting....Long time reader and commentor Stan the Government Man just sent me this link to a site run by a nice fellow named Dane Carlson. The widget in question is said to be inspired by "Tristan Louis's research into the value of each link to Weblogs Inc," and incorporates an "applet using Technorati's API which computes and displays your blog's worth using the same link to dollar ratio as the AOL-Weblogs Inc deal." Whatever that means.

As it stands, it seems that as of the moment of posting, the Mighty Possumblog is worth $32,743.32, which compares quite favorably with Instapundit at $3,826,452.12.

Stan speculates that the incredibly high price for Possumblog is the result of "the cumulative value of all those Cornatees." Well, there is that, and there's also my collection of curiously-shaped rocks.

(Surprisingly enough, Revolvoblog is worth $3,951.78, which is about twice what Järn the Volvo is worth.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:07 PM | Comments (7)

Most Destructive Sport?

A gauntlet has either been thrown down or slapped across Fritz Schranck's face concerning his favorite sport, golf, which a fellow blogger has called a destructive sport.

I don't know about that, but I do know that I would be much more interested in golf if it required the golf balls to be shot out of a firearm of some sort. And if women's golfing attire was much more like that worn by beach volleyball players.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:45 AM | Comments (0)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

Seeing as how I am an expert on everything, it is no surprise that someone just came by Possumblog wondering--why does the boll weevil monument have a monument in its honor

Heh, well, first of all, the monument doesn't have its own monument--that would just be too silly, even for us.

BUT, the Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Alabama (erected 87 years ago) is the result of the devastating weevil infestation of the region in 1910-15. Emerging from spaceships, giant boll weevils roamed the countryside eating everything, including things like tractors and barns, striking fear into the hearts of citizenry. The weevils agreed to stop their pillage if the townsfolk would construct a giant statue and worship the beetles as gods, complete with sacrifices of attractive young beauty pagent contestants. The Enterprizians balked at killing off their women just to satisfy a bunch of bugs, and decided instead to build a giant weevil-killing robot, which exploded. Next, they built a giant iron cotton boll, hoping to give the weevils cramps, but this failed because they ignored it in lieu of the actual cotton plants surrounding it. Next, they figured they could use the leftover artillery pieces from the Spanish-American War that they had outside the armory, which did work pretty well, although it was messy to have to clean up the bug parts afterwards. Final eradication did not come until 1952, when the Air Force began a training exercise using tactical nuclear missiles.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:17 AM | Comments (4)

Wow, if I only had cable.

Penn, Redford to appear on Gore's show

I, too, could learn to be an overweening, self-righteous prig.

Oh, okay--learn to be a better one.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)


Legislature has rare problem: what to do with extra revenue

Oh, I am quite certain our beloved tenders of the public trust will find a way to spend every last penny of it. All sorts of numbers have been batted about about exactly how much is available (the fact that no one knows for sure is an indication of exactly how transparent and trustworthy the details of our public finances are)--from $300,000,000 up to nearly a billion dollars.

That's some serious cash. Rest assured it will pay for some nice hotel rooms and meals and consulting fees.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?"

I heard this story on the news yesterday, and it still seems highly unlikely that a flaming mouse could have the wherewithal to jump from a pile of brush and run straight to a house--before himself being consumed in his own little self-conflagration--and set the place on fire.

If true, I imagine there will be an outbreak of mouse-borne fires reported. Much easier to rig a flaming mouse than faulty electrical wiring, you know.

"I think so, Brain, but what if the hippopotamus won't wear the beach thong?"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:59 AM | Comments (2)


For what it's worth, be sure to stick me in the ground when the time comes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:49 AM | Comments (3)

I wonder...

...if he's going to change his name to Larry Ranterson?

#3 on the list is rather humorous--anyone who wants to fight a political fight against evil King George by using Shinseki as an example is so embarrassingly misinformed he risks being labled non compos mentis.

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



I mentioned last week about the hideously atrocious Chrysler Imperial concept car that debuted at the Detroit show, and didn't give a whole lot of attention to the Challenger concept that is also there.

Again, let me say the Mopar guys nailed that one.

Like the Ford guys did with the GT and the new Mustang, it is a modern interpretation of a very attractive past design. Not too slavish a line-for-line copy, but something that picks up the best design elements and incorporates them into a pleasing shape that should do well. (Of course, you have to sorta ask yourself how it is that if Mopar could have designed something so attractive and modern 35 years ago, why can't they come up with a similarly forward-looking design now, but let's not quibble. Or quabble.) And let's just hope that the build quality is nothing like the originals which, frankly, were garbage.

Not to be outdone, I see where Chevy has rolled out a Camaro concept at the show as well.


The linked article chitters on about it being based on the single-year '69 model, which might be what Chevy's telling people, but if that's the case, it only points out just exactly how bereft of historical perspective GM's designers have become. (Op. cit., the new GTO.) IN any event, the design is a bit more 1968--it has the Coke-bottle waist, and no vent windows. The '69 had some agressive "speed lines" breaking from the tops of the wheel arches, which the '09 concept doesn't have. Overall, the look is muscular, but they once more missed the boat with that horrid grinning-Jack-Nicholson grille.

WHO THOUGHT THAT LOOKED GOOD!? The one styling trope that has remained constant throughout the four generations of Camaro's 1967-2002 run is a bold, straight grille--the best probably the '69 RS with the hideaways. Not frowny, not smiley--not an anthropomorphic face at all, but a serious, purposeful, look. And what feeb came up with those taillights!? Did they hear that Daimler/Chrysler were doing a Challenger concept, and so they ran out and got some lamps from a '72 Dodge Challenger, turn 'em upside down, and hope no one notices, just to hedge their bets? And that cowl induction-looking hood--it's almost right, but not quite. And exactly why isn't this thing at least called a Z/28!? Or a Z anything?

Larry Shinoda is probably taching 7,000 rpm in his grave.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:26 AM | Comments (4)

In other matters...

...I wonder if anyone has started the "Senatorial Personal Pronoun Countdown" for the Alito hearings? It is, after all, all about them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:34 AM | Comments (8)

Even tired...

...I suppose I was still able to do something right. Got in this morning and had a work-related e-mail that has already made my day.

It was a thank-you for some files I e-mailed during my torpor yesterday. The lady it was from is a local contractor who's been working with a client to get some stuff done to his building. As is the normal case with our little fiefdom here, it hasn't been a smooth process. Our regulatory regimen combined with things beyond anyone's control has been frustrating, both for her and her client, but she has taken it in stride and done her best to get the work done. Despite our best efforts to stymie her best efforts.

Anyway, she's a smart and pleasant person to talk to on the phone and knows her business, as well as the pitfalls of dealing with a bunch of bureaucrats and with cranky clients. She called yesterday with some questions about utilities on the project (about which I knew absolutely nothing) and needing some copies of the minutes from some of our previous meetings. After I hung up, I sent those to her, and sometime overnight she replied with an acknowledgement of having received them, as well as thanks "especially for being the happy guy at city hall."

It's hard to make me feel much better than to say something like that. Bureaucracies don't easily lend themselves to creativity, or tact, or humor, or productivity, or joy, but those are the qualities I admire and try to have as I do my work. Despite there being no organizational use for them. And even though in some cases, they create trouble--the ol', "No good deed goes unpunished," maxim.

Anyway, though, it is nice to occasionally hear from someone that I was able to help. I just wish I wasn't the only happy guy here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:25 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2006

I am done whupped.

Folks, I just don't have the wherewithal to do anything but sit and drool today.

When you only have a walnut-sized brain to begin with, and when that small amount is removed from its proper place--and upon the Lord's Day, of all times!--and is reduced to a thimbleful of runny goo by the combined effects of a twenty hour day spent at full tilt (which included a 50 mile road race from Pell City to Sylvan Springs that by any reasonable measure should have taken approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, but which I made in fifty minutes), it means that I simply neither the venom nor the joviality to do anything entertaining today.

Believe it or not, I actually thought about calling in sick this morning--the only reason I didn't is that if I stayed home, I'd have to finish the load of laundry that didn't get done over the weekend.

So, I beg your indulgence for a day to allow me sufficient time to reconstitute and congeal my gray matter. As always, there is actual entertainment available to you up there in the blogroll on top, or over in the Munu blogroll on the sidebar. And if I'm not quite as swift in answering e-mails today as I usually am, well, for that I blame Chet the E-Mail Boy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:43 AM | Comments (11)

January 06, 2006

Enough Grumpitude!

It's the weekend! Well, almost.

I intend to sleep somewhat later than usual tomorrow, and do other tasks as assigned by my domestic supervisor. Sunday promises to be chock full of activities, meaning I won't get a nap, and probably won't get to read the paper. But I shan't be grouchy at all!

Well, you know, until Monday and all.

ANYway, all of you have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you all bright and early next week.

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

On the other hand...

...municipal government DOES seem to attract more than its share of persons with the cognitive abilities of planarians.

A discussion of toilet habits follows. Readers discretion is advised.

I usually use the restrooms here when I only have to stand. Sitting down? I'd rather not, but on those rare occasions, I try to find a stall that still has blue water and the seat up. I figure no one else has been on it yet, you know. But still, sometimes you can't find a treasure like that, and so you just have to do what you have to do. [Heh--"do"]

Now, we have those tissue seat cover things, but I've never been that fond of them, and given what it takes to actually catch something, as long as the seat doesn't have a weird crust or film on it, I'll go ahead and sit down on it without paper.

But [heh--"but"] I realize some people still like having the paper on there. That's why someone in our department insisted they hang up those dispensers with the ring-shaped tissue in every single toilet, public or private, everywhere in the building Fine. Whatever.

HOWever, I just walked into the can just now, and despite the fact that there are TWO packs of ring-shaped tissues out in plain sight, someone had taken it upon himself to cover one of the seats with about twelve layers of regular toilet paper.

Yes, that's right--and he LEFT IT THERE.

What kind of moron is so paranoid about getting cooties on his butt (that can only have come from the people he already works with), yet is so patently dismissive of OTHER PEOPLE'S hygiene concerns that he leaves his OWN buttaminated paper on the toilet seat!?

Stupid bureaucrat.

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

And you know what ELSE I don't like?

The fact that municipal government doesn't seem to attract nubile supermodels as employees; and, in fact, seems to be set up expressly to discourage them from even being considered.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:41 PM | Comments (11)

Yep, still cranky.

So, I have an idea for the good folks at the National Broadcasting Company--it's a doozy, too! Lotsa wacky hijinx, but with a message. It's about this imam, see, and he abuses painkillers, has a gay son, a promiscuous (he dates infidels) straight son, a daughter who deals marijuana and won't wear a hijab, and a wife who drives a car. Occasionally, Mohammed appears as a character on the show, discussing matters with the imam. Laffter ensues!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)

Annnd another thing...

I do not at all find the winter winds bracing, brisk, invigorating, refreshing, revitalizing, stimulating, snappy, peppy, energizing, restorative, animating, crisp, exhilarative, fortifying, freshening, quickening, reviving, rousing, or stimulative.

I just went out to go get some lunch and my eyes started watering the moment I walked out the door. I can deal with cold when it's just plain old cold (especially since they got the heat turned on in my office so that I'm not shivering at my desk all day like Bob Cratchit), but this blowing cold air is simply too much.

I suppose I'll have to break down and wear a shirt or something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:00 PM | Comments (4)

Since I'm already irritated...

Worst Christmas Gift this year?

Probably one that Reba's mom got for Rebecca. Seems Middle Girl (who already has a VideoNow player) saw something else that sounded cool and just had to have it--the VuGo.

Now, I didn't know she'd asked for this, and hadn't heard about it until she unwrapped it and created intense jealousy on the part of Oldest, who kept screaming about how much it cost. But it seemed that it might indeed be a pretty cool deal, promising as it did to be able to record TV shows, hold digital photos, and digital music. All with a nice screen to look at.

After the hubbub had died down of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, she finally pestered me enough to get me to get it working for her. It comes with a software disc--first ominous clue. It seems that you can't just put digital files on it--you have to first import whatever MP3 or jpeg or mpeg file you want into the special software, and from there it is translated into a proprietary file format only for the VuGo.

That is, if you can get the software to install properly in the first place. Second ominous clue--the install seemed to be crippled, and getting the program to open in a window was nearly impossible. Sometimes you could click on the icon and it would show up, sometimes not. And sometimes it would tell you it was running, but there were no windows open of any sort or button at the bottom of the screen.

I finally, FINALLY got it to open a usable screen, and proceeded to copy some Christmas photos over into the software converter. Seeing as how there was absolutely NO information in the paper that came with the player or anything usable in the Help file on the software, I had no idea how to get the files out of the translator into the player. I had the USB cable hooked up and tried using Windows Explorer, first filling it up with useless jpeg images (this is where I found out that it wouldn't take plain old normal image files) and then found that even if I transferred files with the proper suffix, it wouldn't read those, either. I was, after several hours of struggling, able to figure out how to keep the VuGo software window open AND how to get it to transfer stuff into the device. It was so counterintuitive it could have been Democratic election strategy.

BUT, I got them tranferred, and then it was time to view them. The picture on the box showed a bright, high resolution photo of girls having fun. What showed up on the screen appeared to be a resolution on the order of 5 to 10 pixels per inch. Ghastly--especially considering the VideoNow she has has decent quality. Not great, but sheesh! better than this pile of crap. Oh, and the supplied USB cable required that you hold your mouth in a particular position and wiggle the plug jusssst-so to get it to establish a connection. An ominous clue, no doubt about it.

BUT WAIT, there's more!

I showed Bec the results and she was less than impressed. "Now, let's see if we can record from the television!" I said, trying my best to salvage the present. We went to her room where her (just replaced) television was sitting and I hooked up the supplied video/audio cables to the plugs on the front of the set. Popped in a DVD, hit record. "Recording Music Now" it said. [Yet another ominous clue.]


I figured out that maybe it wouldn't record a copy protected DVD, and the box did say it would record television programs. Stopped the DVD, and turned over to a station, plugged the cables in again to make sure I was doing it right, hit the record button, "Recording Music Now." Huh!? We tried and tried, and never could get it to record anything at all. The sound it did manage to record off of the television was static.

It was at this point I told her that I was going to have to work on it some more to see if I could get it to work, but what I did in fact was to jump online and see what other people were experiencing. As you can see from the About.com reviews (or rather, the ones written by actual humans and not semi-literate droolers), this thing is a stinker of the highest order.

After I had read all that and spoke to Reba about it, I came to the conclusion we'd be much better off with something else--ANYthing else. Not much else of the sort out there, but better to one good thing that might only do pictures or music but would do them well, than one bad thing that won't work at all. I gently told Rebecca that we might need to take it back since it just didn't work right and let her get something else. Thankfully, she wasn't too disappointed. She'd already gotten enough of that when she saw how crappy the pictures looked.

So, we got the receipt from Grandmom, and I proceeded to go back in and try to remove the pictures that were on it. Now, we had not used the batteries at all--it had been plugged into the DC adapter the whole time. On. On. ON. ON! I pushed and pushed the power button and it wouldn't come on. I figured it must have depleted the four AAAs somehow, and so I got the adapter back out. Plugged it in, on. On. On. ON. ON! No amount of pressing would make it come on. GRR. Finally managed to get it to come on by unplugging the power cable, holding down the on-button, and jamming the jack back into the side of it while I had the button down. That made it come on. I deleted the photos, and packed the cheap gimcrack back into the packaging it crawled out of.

Such a waste--poor quality screen resolution (if a GameBoy SP can look so good, why not this?), cheaply made parts, kludgy software, no useful instruction, and unable to operate as advertised--and the boxtop advertising on the packaging was expressly deceptive as to the video quality one could expect.

Thankfully, we were able to get a refund (of course, the predatory return practices of Target meant it wasn't a full refund, but it was better than nothing.)

Short lesson? Don't buy electronic stuff for your grandkids. And don't let your kids beg their grandparents for this rilly kewl electronic doodad they want. And remember, VuGo rhymes with Yugo.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:46 AM | Comments (4)

You know what I hate?

When you go to your bedroom, and discover someone has come into your house and stolen your mattress. OH, sure--they left the pad-thing that was on top of the mattress, but the mattress itself is GONE! And the SHEETS are still on the bed! How'd they do that?! And when!? And WHY!?

Why? Because it's a stupid STUPID dream, and it carried on with further stupid revelations the longer it went on--I went downstairs and my mother was there in the dark trying to cook something in the microwave, and the display was all weird characters that looked like Klingon poetry, and I asked her if she'd seen anyone stealing our mattress, and she said no, but that someone had taken the coffee pot.


It all started because I had to get up and go to the john at 3:57 a.m. An hour and a half to go back to sleep before time to get up again. The absolute WORST 90 minutes you can spend. And wouldn't you know it, but when I got back into bed, my stupid STUPID pneumonia/kennel cough/emphyzema/hair ball hacking started up.

I haven't gotten good rest for the past three nights because I have some kind of sticky chest crud that won't loosen up, and so it's been one of those irritating, "drop off for ten minutes then cough and wake back up," deals to contend with every night. Last night was some better, except when I got up at 3:57 a.m., it brought it back. So I got back into bed tired, and coughing, and only had a little while to get in a few more minutes of shuteye, and when I finally DID go to sleep, I wound up having the stupidest dream possible.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:11 AM | Comments (5)

January 05, 2006

World's Ugliest Car?

I would rank it right up there with the Pontiac Aztek. Got my latest edition of AutoWeek yesterday, and no sooner had I opened it than my retinas were ripped assunder by photos of the new Chrysler Imperial on display at the '06 Detroit show.

Here it is--click at your own risk.


I've not been a real big fan of the most recent 300C and thought it was a bit chunky looking, but this--this thing--is more eye-watering than pulling out nosehairs one-by-one while watching Rosie O'Donnell reruns with the sound turned up.

It has the graceless charm of a Russian ZIL flatbed, the breathtaking misshapeness of a 1960 Rambler, the low sleekness of Cabrini Green, and yes, the funky chic outdoorsily urban gestalt of the clumsy and lamentable Aztek.

What has happened at the Chysler design studios!? Did they have to lay everyone off and hire monkeys? Are they all smoking crack-laced heroin steeped in toad scrapings? Is this some kind of early-arriving April Fool's joke?

The interior looks nice, though, so your chances of being visually disabled while driving is probably pretty low, unless you look out and see yourself in the reflection from a window, or see another one on the road.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:45 PM | Comments (14)


I also remembered to bring my camera in with me today so I could show you slides of domestic bliss from over the holidays. Run away now while you can!

To start off the show, this is Catherine's elf doll, clutching the remnants of Santa's Raid on the Icebox.

For some reason, she wanted Santa to have a glass of orange juice and cookies. Santa got some milk and cookies, and then apparently splashed a drop or two of orange juice in the bottom of the glass after it was over with to keep from disappointing anyone.

Biggest hit? Fuzzy socks for the girls.

Biggest twit?

Need you ask?

This is my new Adidas cap, which I will add to my giant stash of ball caps that I wear when I don't feel like combing my hairs. The picture is taken by me, because I realized that when you won't let anyone else hold your camera, you tend not to get your picture taken. However, this tends to lead future generations to believe they were spontaneously generated without assistance from Granpa Terry, an idea I stoutly refuse to facilitate. So, I wind up taking photos of myself, if they get taken at all.

Oh, another thing--it's always a popular thing to festoon yourself with things from the discard pile.

Obviously, there was a lot more to Christmas, but you'd probably be bored looking through all 5,349 photos.

MOVING ON, the last day we spent at the park. I had thought the previous two trips how I should have brought the camera, and Monday I managed to remember it.

Here are Boy--

and Girl--

as we head off to the wilderness. Both photos were taken by just pointing the camera at the back seat, so I'm frankly surprised that they both turned out as they did.

This is Main Street where I live. That CVS is the "drug store at the foot of the hill" I am so fond of referencing, and up ahead you see the Sonic, and the bank on the right, and the furniture store beyond on the left.

There's the city hall--

--and after you turn left onto Parkway Drive (which is how all small town neighborhoods should look),

you pass by the library,

and pull into the parking space at the park. That blonde on the right is the mom who had brought the sweet little Sheltie with her and her kids.

She was just as pleasant as the day itself to talk to, and she knew of a person in town who breeds Shelties (one of the breeds other than a Spitz we have thought about getting). As I looked back through the pictures, I noticed that she wound up in the background of several of them, such as this one with Cat and Jonathan swinging like baboons on the tire swing--

I'm not sure, but I think that makes me a stalker of some sort.

Whatever. Earlier in the sequence, Catherine tries the zip line.

I tried it again, too, but this time I didn't launch myself off the platform and painfully yank both of my arms out of socket. I just gently grabbed hold of the loop and slowly let my weight down on before slowly easing myself across with a push of my feet. And yanked both arms out of socket. But with much less unseemly falling and screaming in agony.

After much playtime there, we went and got our picnic supplies (at CVS) and went back to the park at the river.

Here's the bridge--

and here's the river--

Admittedly, it ain't quite the mighty Mississip', but in fairness, it has been dry lately. That little spit of gravel on the right is where we got down and skipped rocks. Before the rock skipping, however, there was the matter of snacking.

After snacking and skipping, it was time for toy glider flying, about which Catherine was alternately thoughtful--

--and maniacal.

Great fun, and too soon, it was time to go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:21 AM | Comments (6)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

This link sent to me by sharp-eyed academic Jim Smith, who asks: "What’s a quabble and why would siblings do it? Is it a new Alabama thing started since I left?"

The nearly indecipherable object of derision--Siblings quabble land man in jail in arson case

The opening paragraph clears up at least a portion of the confusion, but even if the ess were properly positioned, there's still some more work that should have been done to make the headline a bit more readable.

I will say, however, that a theme park named Quabbleland might be kinda interesting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

Fun With Referrer Logs, Part II!

This came in a while ago, and it deserves an answer: should getting married feel scary?

Obviously, this is dependent upon each individual, but in general, experts agree that if the spouse-to-be is a Hollywood celebrity between the ages of 18 and 78, or happens to be one of your backup dancers, the answer is most definitely yes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:23 AM | Comments (0)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

OFTEN, given that the name of this blog incorporates the word "possum," visitors come here searching for information about the beloved Didelphis virginiana. Such is the case with one such person in the vicinity of Pampa, Texas, who wanted to know, simple possum facts to tell kindergarten age children.

NOT BEING ONE to wish to disappoint anyone, I would be glad to supply the aforementioned information about the possum.

1) Possums are not quite as smart as earthworms, but have been able to quite handily outscore Howard Dean, M.D., in various tests of mental accuity.

2) Possums are able to legally drive cars, but few pass the exam without running over themselves.

3) Possums will attempt to evade danger by telling long-winded, humorless stories. Then they will fall over and play dead.

4) Possums have more teeth (50) than any other North American land mammal. (That one's true, actually.)

5) Possums will eat anything, but their favorite snack is kindergarten age children.

6) Possums can grow to heights of over 18 feet tall, and can weigh up to 9,000 pounds.

7) Possums have hind feet with an opposable thumb. The only reason they have not taken over the world is the difficulty inherent in trying to hold tools with their feet.

8) Possums cannot fly, although they can hover in midair for brief periods.

I certainly hope these facts are useful to you as you go about your teaching duties!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:18 AM | Comments (0)

HEY! I remembered to bring my new calendar today!

But, I forgot it was Thursday. Which means today’s Axis of Weevil Thursday Three will start the New Year off in tepid fashion with a Slapdashed-Together Edition of America’s Favorite Online Questionnaire!

Scrounging around through my desk drawer and underneath the file cabinet, I found some vowels and consonants, which I have skillfully assembled using a nearly dried-out glue stick and a twist tie to come up with these questions. We ask that you use caution as you answer them, because the glue isn’t really sticking things together all that well.

ANYway, here we go:

1) What is the most important thing you ever forgot to do?

2) Do you try to keep yourself organized through a routine so you don’t have to rely so much on remembering things, or do you follow a more open approach based on what you want to get done during the day and try to actually think things through?

3) What do you have the most trouble remembering--people’s names, how to get places, or important dates?

Okeedoke--all of you go off and answer! Either leave your answers in the comments below, or leave a link to your blog post.

As for my answers--

1) Thankfully, I haven’t devolved to the point where I forget REALLY important things. Life-and-death, job-related things I can still pretty much keep together. There have been meetings I have forgotten about, and minor details left undone, and occasional bills left unpaid, and I sometimes get sidetracked and forget to order material for the classes at church, but nothing that causes real headaches. Probably the worst thing I ever forgot to do was to remember that frozen biscuit dough should never be separated with a knife.

2) I have a slim routine, mainly because I do have such a fit with minor memory lapses. I keep telling myself that if I really, REALLY think hard about what I have to do and do it out of necessity rather than rote, it will keep me from becoming too familiar with a routine, which I think makes it harder to react in a timely manner to important stuff. That might not be right, but it seems to work okay for me on keeping the big stuff working. Minor details that might be covered if I had a more rigorous routine (writing thank-you notes, remembering names) would get done better, but my life is so full of last minute changes that I figure it’s better to let some of the smaller things go in favor of keeping the bigger ones herded in the right direction.

3) Names are probably the worst, and it goes back to #2--in the greater scheme of things, it’s a detail that just gets left off the list. I remember the people themselves, and what they do, and where I know them from, but it takes me a while before I can accurately remember their names. And yes, I know all the mnemonic tricks you’re supposed to use to do this, but I guess I figure if I eventually get it, it’s okay. Dates are another thing that I don’t do all that well with--anniversary, yes. Reba’s birthday, yes. My birthday, yes. Important dates in history, yes. Everything else, including kids’ birthdays, my mom’s or sister’s birthdays, not so well.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (11)

January 04, 2006

"Ars gratia artia," Great Big Igmoranus Edition

Artist chains feet in desert, loses key

BAKER, Calif. (AP) — An artist who chained his legs together to draw a picture of the image hopped 12 hours through the desert after realizing he lost the key and couldn't unlock the restraints, authorities said Wednesday.

Trevor Corneliusien, 26, tightly wrapped and locked a long, thick chain around his bare ankles Tuesday while camping in an abandoned mine shaft about 5 miles north of Baker, San Bernardino County sheriff's Deputy Ryan Ford said.

The Baker-area artist often sketched images inside mines in the Southwest.

When he finished his chain drawing, he realized he would have to seek help in Baker, the deputy said.

"It took him over 12 hours because he had to hop through boulders and sand," Ford said. "He did put on his shoes before hopping."

Anyone care to wager on if they were Birkenstocks?

Corneliusien finally made it to a gas station on the edge of Baker. He called the Sheriff's Department, which sent paramedics and deputies with bolt cutters.

Corneliusien's legs were bruised, but he was otherwise in good health, Ford said. The artist did not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment.

And the drawing?

"He brought it down with him," Ford said. "It was a pretty good depiction of how a chain would look wrapped around your legs."

Which is just what the art world has been crying out for.

In a similar vein, I will be offering a set of high-quality lithographed prints I have created, illustrating "How String Would Look Wrapped Around Your Finger," "How Pants Would Look Wrapped Around Your Ankles," "How String Would Look Wrapped Around Your Pants," "How Chain Would Look Wrapped Around the Chain-Spool-Thingy at the Hardware Store," "How Leonardo Da Vinci Would Look Wrapped Around Your Refrigerator," and "How Your Money Would Look Tucked in My Wallet."

Operators are standing by. With bolt cutters.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (12)


I'm not really surprised, shocked, outraged, or anything else. Steevil (famous sailor and NASA rocket scientist) sent me a link to this story on the WBAL radio website up there in Baldymore, in which a local reporter is gigged and sacked for plagiarism.

More than anything else, it's just sad, and even sadder is the seeming inability of reporters caught in this type of situation to either 1) come clean and admit it, or 2) deny it with enough forcefulness to be believable. However, the quote that best illustrated this point, which (paraphrased) said it was basically no big deal and only a few paragraphs, seems to have been changed in the time that it took for me to read the article, and the version of the article now in place.

The earlier version read like this, which I had to go and find on the 11:00 am version still carried on the ABC 7 affiliate's website:

[...] "I made mistakes," Olesker said as he cleaned out his desk.

Olesker wrote a twice-a-week column in the Maryland section for 27 years, having served in other capacities for two years. His most recent column appeared Tuesday, his last day.

"I am sorry to say that in the course of doing those columns, I unintentionally screwed up a handful of paragraphs. I am embarrassed by my sloppiness," he said. [...]

Now, why the updated article didn't carry that, I don't know. It now reads much more sympathetically toward Olesker, at least to me, but it does seem strange that the whole article would be rewritten so thoroughly.

In any event, I'm sure it's easy to be caught up in such things in an environment where there seems to be a sort of general understanding of just how much you can steal before it's called stealing. The problem seems to be much more one of transparency--no one seems willing to let the readership in on the secret handshake or high-sign, and at least for me, it leads to a profound sense of mistrust over what gets reported. Much like the updated version of the story, with no mention of earlier versions that might have colored things differently, it's difficult to feel comfortable that you've received factual information.

As for embarrassment and sloppiness, sorry, but there are a lot more media types out there who pump out embarrassing handfuls of slop on a daily basis--either take it like a man and admit it went beyond mere sloppiness, or just shut up about it. If it really was just a matter of slop, no one would be asking you to pack up a paper box with your belongings, and I think you'd probably be having a bigger fit about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:50 PM | Comments (1)

How in the world...

...can it get so busy?!

I thought I was going to have some time to play, but every time I start to get going, I have to stop and earn my paycheck. SUCH INJUSTICE!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:29 PM | Comments (0)


Forgot to mention I had a meeting this morning.

I managed to allow my vacation to wash away all the pertinent time-saving details of such things, and so I found myself this morning without my usual printout I use for note-taking, and I was forced to tear some sheets out of one of the kid's notebooks before I left. I thought about coming in to the office and quickly printing something out, but then I figured it would be more trouble than it was worth.

And I forgot my new wall calendar for my office, as well. Second day in a row. I keep looking up at the wall and am continually disappointed.

I haven't, however, misdated any checks with an '05. That's about the one thing that I seem not to have problems with. Although I do remember sometime in the near past inexplicably dating a check with "1993."

ANYway, I am back now, and have stupid ol' work stuff to get done at the moment. HOWever, there will be time for some play later. Unless there's something I've forgotten about.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:13 AM | Comments (4)

January 03, 2006

Whither Santa?

Well, another child figures things out.

Little 13 year old Rebecca finally got dosed with the realization of exactly how it is that Santa knows when you're sleeping and if you've been naughty or nice.

Seems this year that the Jolly Fat One (not to be confused with Joey Fatone) managed to shove a small TV/DVD combo down the flue along with the usual treasure trove of gifts and stocking stuffers.

The only problem? Well, when Daddy got the set out of the box and put it upstairs, the television part would work, but not the DVD player part. Meaning, either one of Santa's elves messed up, or one of the underage kids working in a Thai electronics sweatshop messed up. Meaning, Daddy was going to have to take it back to a store--in fact, THE store from which Santa procured it--and exchange it for a more workable unit.

Oh, I think she's been suspicious for a while, but she wanted to keep believing, and frankly, I wanted her to as well. I remember when I figured it out, and although I wasn't quite disappointed, I still realized things were different, and in not an entirely pleasant way. I think she might feel the same way--a little bit more of a comfortable, reassuring childhood is now up on the shelf, and won't be back until she has her own children.

At least there are a couple of young ones left in the house who still have no doubts about such things.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:29 PM | Comments (2)


During my time off, I actually got to go to the moving picture show, not once, but TWICE! Good grief, no wonder movies seem to make so much money nowadays--you could feed a family of six for two days on the price of admission, which, of course, doesn't count the equal amount spent on flavored sugar water and a bucket of corn-flavored air. [/grump]

First up was a group effort to go see Cheaper by the Dozen 2, which included all of us, plus meeting Beau #4 at the theater.

The first version was pretty good, although still saddled with a bit too much contrived cuteness. This one, however, kicks it up a notch with even more contrivedness, and little of it directed at the cuteness factor. Somehow Steve Martin is no longer coaching, or he is, but whatever he's doing, it's in Chicago. Piper Perabo is unconvincingly way past pregnant, complete with annoying fake distended belly that keeps poking out from underneath her flouncy non-maternity tops. And she never sweats. Although she holds her back a lot. And when her water breaks, her shorts remain nice and dry.

Anyway, the family goes on vacation for old time's sake to the lake and decide to try to win some sort of stupid trophy from Carmen Electra (who has large breasts) and Earl Camembert (or Stan Schmenge), who doesn't. There is a subplot of one of the girl kids becoming a girly-girl, and the complete waste of film Hilary Duff, who plays a self-centered egotistical teenaged twit. Look, I go to the movie for escapism--not seeing a portrayal of self-centered egotistical teenaged twititude. Get enough of that as it is at home.

The scenes that were contrived to make me tear up and be all weepy worked, although not in a good way. Stuff like that shouldn't make you mad at yourself. It's not a bad movie, but it sure ain't no good, either. I give it two out of five curly possum tails, and I'm being generous.

You want something good? Read the book--the REAL book. (Admittedly, Lil wasn't quite as easy on the eyes as Bonnie Hunt, but then again, Bonnie Hunt hasn't got twelve kids.)

Other movie was one I took Rebecca, Jonathan, and Catherine to, as well as my big sister (detaining her from going home for another day)--The Chronicles of Narnia--The Lion, The Witch, the Wardrobe, and the Goat Man With A Disturbing Lack of Selfconsciousness Regarding his Goatiness, and His Unclothed Nipples.

I have a soft-spot for costume dramas, especially for those involving Jollye Olde, and what's not to like about C.S. Lewis? Overall, I have to say it was a very nice movie, although technical matters tend to keep it from being up in the great movie category. In this day and time, it's possible to do CGI so seamlessly that it's hard to distinguish unless you're just being a pedant, so you really notice it when the lushness of some effects is put into juxtaposition with some really lame-looking green screen stuff that wouldn't have passed muster even in the old Jason and the Argonauts fillum. Ebert's review is pretty much what I would say if I were a puffy movie critic, although I would like right now to call a halt to the use of the term "gob-smacked." It's everywhere nowadays, and really it works only if you tend to use other terms such as "po-faced git" in your usual conversation.

Anyway, the movie is very much okay, and not too scary for anyone younger than about eight or so. Very young kids might be put off by the violence of the battle scenes and the scary White Witch person who has sort of a Midas-like effect on people, in that when she touches them, they turn into mufflers. My kids liked it, and I did, too. With a couple of stupid provisos that deal with matters tactical. Because I can't enjoy anything without nitpicking.

But doggone it, don't insist of fighting a massed infantry on an open field when YOU have the high ground! Make the other side come to you! And if you have griffins who can carry boulders and fly along and bomb the enemy front lines, fly PARALLEL to the lines, NOT perpendicular. And second, unless they have machine guns, DON'T let them fly low enough to get hit by arrows! Stupid flying lion-eagles were just asking for it. And if you've got firebirds that come out of burning arrows, use a LOT of them, not just ONE.

Another thing--the goatman thing is just a little off-putting in more ways than one. Especially given a he-goat's well-known proclivity to vigorously goatify anything that moves, and even some things that don't. And when your goatman's only clothing is a silly SCARF, and he's a MUSICIAN, and he lures children into his lair with a promise of hot tea and scones, well, I mean, come ON! At least get him a nice blazer or something. And some pants, for goodness sake. Either that, or just be sure to have Thomas Mesereau standing by. And we're not even going to get into the minotaur/centaur deal. (Although I will say a couple of the girl centaurs were kinda hot.)

AND another thing--exactly what do people eat in Narnia? I mean, everything has a proper British accent, even the shrubbery. Sure, you can get away with vegetarianism around here, but when your carrots start screaming as they're peeled and boiled, I imagine you'd probably be a bit put off by it. Not me, obviously, but some might be.

Overall, though, despite my stupid nitpicking, I'd have to give it 4 out of 5 curly possum tails.

And those are your movie reviews for now!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:21 PM | Comments (10)

Best Present?

Well, I figure it had to be the combination of the weather and time off. We don't have a lot of just loafing around time, and when the kids asked to go to the park Wednesday, I figured we could do that with no problems. We had a full day planned--go drop Oldest off at her grandparents for a few days' stay, then drop back downtown to pay our property tax at the courthouse, then over to the sheriff's department to renew my pistol permit, then, nothing else, really.

Beautiful day--a bit windy and chilly, but bright sunshine. The kids enjoyed getting to walk around in a real live city with taxicabs and steam coming out of manhole covers (I started to write "and steaming manholes" but thought better of it) and buildings taller than three stories. Did all of our regulatory stuff, then went home to the park, where they played and played and played. Got Cat to lie down on her back on the tire swing and spun her around, and taught her that if she brings her legs in, she twirls faster. She did that for a long time, to the point I figured I might better stop before she had something flying out of her.

Then, we got to go back Friday. Went and got Oldest, who most CERTAINLY did not want to go to the kiddy park upon her return home, so the younger three and I set out for the park again and they swung and ran and screamed and hollered and Boy and I made a sundial out of rocks on top of one of the picnic tables, and I explained about the gnomon having to both point true north and point upwards at the exact same degree as our latitude. I think we must have gotten pretty close on both scores.

And then, there was yesterday. It was a record high--77 real live honest-to-goodness Fahrenheit degrees. Bright blue sky, thin white clouds, absolutely heavenly. Mom was off yesterday, and got involved doing other things with Rebecca and Ashley, so it was just Boy and Tiny Girl and I, but that was fine. We did the whole swing, tag, spin, slide thing, and Catherine got to pet a Sheltie that one of the young moms had brought to the park with her kids. Sweet dog, and Catherine rubbed and petted it so much it probably got thin spots in its hair.

Then, time for a break, and since the community center was closed, we did the next best thing by going to CVS to use their restroom and get some snack picnic supplies--three soft drinks and a can of Pringles. We got back in the car and drove over to the river park. It's just open green space beside the Cahaba, with a wonderful old iron bridge that used to be the Highway 11 span. It's a pedestrian bridge now, and we tromped out onto the middle of the deck and sat down and watched the water and ate chips and plotted our next activity.

Which was stone-skipping. We threw away our trash and made our way down to the gravel bank below the bridge and had a grand time rock-chunkin'. Cat was a bit perturbed by her lack of skill, but she finally got the hang of it. We did that for a while, then we clambered back up to the flat grassy bank and they flew their big white foam glider back and forth until the sun started down below the hill.

It was all so very nice. All together, those three days pretty much make the definition of idyllic.

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

Nothing says Christmas like stopped up plumbing.

Else, why would it have figured so greatly in my vacation?

Christmas Eve afternoon, we left Reba's mom and dad's house (after a giant lunch) to run over to my mom's house to visit with her and my sister to swap pleasantries and gift cards. As is the usual case, we wound up in the kitchen while the children pestered each other in the rest of the house. Nice chat, caught up on stuff, and it got to be time to head back toward home. But first, a certain Tiny Girl had to make use of the indoor outhouse.

Wait. Wait. Chat some more. Wait.

Finally, she emerged from the small powder room looking a bit downcast. Mainly because through the clever usage of giant wads of toilet paper, she had managed to keep the porcelain convenience from properly flushing. Which really isn't that big of a deal, except in this case, she had gifted her grandmother with a giant Yule log, which floated serenely in the bowl.

Merry Christmas!


I figured maybe another pull on the flush lever would get things moving, but I succeeded only in moving the water level to the very edge of the rim of the bowl. I prevented an overflow only by the quickest of action to turn off the supply line, which also had the happy side consequence of bringing me that much closer to the chunky deposit Tiny Terror had made.

"Where's your plunger, Mama?"

"I don't have one, Terry--it's just me here."

Quite right--I should have realized that not everyone is as as blessed as I, being outfitted in a home with both low-water-consumption crappers and four girls, who seem to be able to use an entire roll of toilet paper at each sitting, with predictable results. I.e., me, with a force cup, freeing up the passageways.

But, now, what to do--we couldn't very well leave my mother with a pot full of water and the aforementioned Christmas treasure, so it was decided that I would sally forth to the Lowe's hardware store at the bottom of the hill, purchase a plumber's helper, and return to unclog the clog. Which is just what anyone would want to do on Christmas Eve.

Just as we were about to leave, though, there was a sudden chuggling gurgle, and the poop disappeared with a sigh down the hole. IT'S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! Laughter and shouts of acclamation and relief filled the holiday air, which was now much more breathable, by the way.

Home then, and all that other stuff.

Fast forward now to Wednesday, December 28, and go with us to church for Wednesday Bible study. For once, we managed to get to the building early, and I set in to make sure all the curriculum was ready for the new quarter, which was scheduled to start January 1. I fidgeted and fussed and fixed and did and was in a tizzy, when suddenly I found Rebecca at my arm.


"Hmyeah, what, sugar? Daddy's kinda--uhmmm--Daddy's busy, baby--what do you need?"

"Well, I was wondering--I just walked by the women's bathroom, and it sounded like water running, and I went in there, and one of the toilets was running."

"Jiggle the handle, Bec--wait--is it STILL running?"

"Yes, sir."


"I think so--it looked wet when I looked in the door."

I dropped my stuff and went running around to the other hallway, and sure enough, a perfect storm--someone had clogged up the pot, AND the tank hadn't stopped running. By this time, the floodwaters had reached beyond the tile part of the floor and were slowly making their way to the carpeted vestibule.

I tippy-toed over to the offending fixture and shut the water off. What a mess. Although, in retrospect, not nearly so much of a mess as it could have been, seeing as how there were no solids to contend with, and the water wasn't yellow-tinged.

I searched in vain for the plunger, then ran around to the men's bathroom to get that one, ran back around and unblocked the blockage, then gratefully accepted a mop from someone and we started mopping and wringing. Various passersby noted that there sure was a lot of water in the floor. Smart people.

At some point in there, someone else remembered we had a tiny wet-dry vacuum, which was fetched and plugged in. It was a two-gallon model, meaning it would operate for approximately 30 seconds before shutting down because it was full. Must have dumped it out fifteen times, which would be 30 gallons. That, my friends, is a lot of water. I lost my fellowmopper when services started, and the other guy decided to go home and get his great big wet-dry vac. It was not needed by the time he got back. I think he might have planned it that way.

As it was, I managed to get through about halfway through services. I realize it's probably not up there with washing feet like some folks do, but I figure it's close enough.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:43 AM | Comments (5)

Well, Hello There!

Where have YOU been!?

Me? Oh, I've been out and about--and I found out that apparently I have been a very good boy all year. Either that, or I have a good publicist.

Stories? Yep, got several. A lot, in fact. Ten days away from work tends to do that to a person. And I will be sharing some with you in the coming hours, but right now, I have to catch up on ten days of not being at work, which promises to be a Very Bad Thing. Eh, but what of it? It's a new year, and I hope it will be a good'n.

So, to work for a bit, and then back with Wild Tales of Suburbia.

To start off, though--I figure I might as well let you in on some of the presents I snagged this year. As I said, I must have been very good. Reba (and the kids, with her help) got me a stack of things to read, some new, and some from the library old-book sale. In order of increasing physical size, my prizes were:

The Wisdom of Jesus and the Apostles, compiled by Philip Law

Leadership Lessons of Jesus--Timeless Wisdom for Leaders in Today's World Bob Briner, Ray Pritchard

The Golden Tradition--Jewish Live and Thought in Eastern Europe Lucy S. Dawidovicz, 1st Edition, 1967. (This is one from the library sale.)

Military History's Top 10 Lists--Great Commanders, Improbable Victories, Unlikely Heroes, and Other Martial Oddities M. Evan Brooks

The Empire of Reason--How Europe Imagined and America Realized the Enlightenment Henry Steele Commager, 1977. (Another one from the library.)

World War II--4,139 Strange and Fascinating Facts Don McCombs and Fred L. Worth

The Fall of the House of Borgia E.R. Chamberlain 1st Edition, 1974. (From the library sale.)

The Complete Family Bible Reference Foreword by Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie

Martyrs' Shrine, produced by John G. Roach.

And I got PANTS!!

Anyway, back in a bit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:05 AM | Comments (12)