February 28, 2006

Yes, still hard at non-blogging.

I even took junk home to work on last night. Not that it interrupted me to see if Jack Bauer would get off the probation I placed on the show.

Thankfully, he was real good last night--AND CTU finally came to its senses and Section 112ed that stupid fat hobbit out of his job. All it lacked was him screaming about strawberries and rolling two ball bearings in his hand. I do have to wonder why they hire rent-a-cops to secure that place--they've got more firepower than the entire Army of Northern Virginia had, and they still get Tim and Ricky from Triple AAA Security GuAAArds to look after the joint. Thankfully, they knew Cowboy Curtis was The Man, and backed him up.

Nixon? Could they be even MORE obvious?! I knew the moment he slid off his divan that it was going to be that whole Nixon/Kissinger come-to-Jesus-meeting scene replayed. A bit less next time, okay writers? Anyway, it's about time someone accidentally hit him in the head and accidentally incapacitated him for a while so we can get something done about this nerve gas.

Brokenose Girl? I find her much MUCH hotter when she's angry than when she's mooning over Jack. I do wish she'd kneed Rudy at some point in there, because he deserves it.

Speaking of hot, next week The Hottest Bauer (i.e. Kim) returns. I just hope they don't let her start pushing buttons and junk, or she'll mess everything up.

'Splodey stuff? Had it in spades this week--them terrorists blowed up the Presidential limo real good, but NOT good enough to kill Loyal But Impassive Bald Headed Secret Service Agent, who it's obvious Crazy First Lady Jean Smart has a crush on, mainly because he is a real two-fisted man's man, as opposed to her husband, who not only is Nixon, but also a slimy little Quisling who should be hit in the head with a very VERY heavy object. Anyway, after CTU is FINALLY able to tip off the Secret Service about the plot against the motorcade, instead of running away fastly, these goombas jump out of armored limos and start blazing away with MP-5s. Guys, it should be obvious to you now not to jump out from behind secure cover and start blasting at guys who ARE behind cover. Good way to get peppered with birdshot, let me say. Anyway, they all get taken out and the terrorists come down with machine guns and start trying to blow up the rest of the blowed up limo and Crazy First Lady Jean Smart is a'hugging all over the Ruskie president and his Very Attractive Russian First Lady to keep them from getting hurteder, and then the terrorists get a flame-thrower after them! Which seems a bit silly, especially when Brave and Impassive Bald Headed Secret Service Guy recovers from being stunned by the 'splosion and rolls out the door and starts dropping bad guys like he's in a shooting gallery, and manages to start a bad guy barbecue when he lights off the tank of flammables the flame-thrower guy is carrying.

I like that Brave and Impassive Bald Headed Secret Service Guy a lot. I mean, not like the way CRLJS does, obviously. Really.

Other 'splodey stuff? Jack tries to find out where the nerve gas came from by visiting the place that made it, which just happens to be where some other guy who used to work at CTU now makes millions, except he's really another bad guy, but Jack's spidey sense must be broke, because he lets himself get zapped with a stun gun (which seems to knock him out much worse than being heart surgeried like he was a few seasons back) and then gets lured into a trap where the Bad CTU Guy leaves him locked up in a room with a notebook full of flashing LEDs. FLASHING LEDS!? WHY, THAT'S a BOMB! "Aw, poopie!" says Jack, and he understands where his daughter Kim gets her highly-tuned sense of getting herself into a jam.

BUT, being that this is television, we know that the Bad CTU Guy has to first call someone to explain everything, and rather than just kill Jack immediately, gives him several minutes to MacGyver his way out of yet another sure-death situation. Blows the door of the vault, and hides under the computer flooring. Slick! Although I do wonder why he never thought to use any of his fancy telecommunication devices, or why he didn't just slip the bomb out of the big louver on the wall.

Best line? Chubby Loser Friend of Chloe who says, "But that's illegal!" Someone give that pud a dopeslap and lock him up with the hobbit!

ANYway, next week, Return of Kim! And it's TWO HOURS LONG!

Now then, back to my self-imposed exile so I can do more dumb ol' work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:49 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

Still Hibernating

Charrette went well, although it created yet more work for me that I don't have time to do; weekend was spent cooking hamburgers and hotdogs in the rain for three little squealy girls because Cat had a playdate/post-birthday shindig that required flambéed meat products. The rain was just a secondary annoyance, and one that lasted the entirety of Saturday without respite. It's very difficult to cook meat on a grille and hold an umbrella, let me just say. Interspersed with this smoke-filled fun, I had an emergency phone call from the architect for our building to look at some addendum questions before the bid opening, which will be Friday. Dial-up is not the way to deal with emergency questions. Sunday--church, and then later on, an education meeting.

Today? I got to work at 8:45. I left home at 6:55. It seems that well-known motivational speaker Zig Ziglar is in town, and apparently through nefarious mind-control ray beams, caused all of his acolytes to materialize downtown during morning rush hour, causing an ungodly amount of gridlock. It was bumper-to-bumper, 20 mile per hour traffic all the way from Trussville. You want some motivationalism? Don't waste your time in traffic! How bout that!?

Anyway, I have so much to do that I probably won't even get a nap for the rest of the week, much less play on here. SO, all of you go do other things, and check back next week and let's see what happens then.

UPDATE: Oh, I am so ignert of the goings on around here! I found out just now when I went to get a bite of lunch that not only was Zig here, but Hizzoner Rudy Giuliani, and a bunch of other bigshots like that Forbes guy and the Monster.com developer guy.

And seems Birmingham shares something with Sacramento and Baltimore (a few years back) when it comes to star-induced traffic jams.

Anyway, just remember--there's no such thing as a free lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:00 AM | Comments (5)

February 23, 2006


I just got out of a meeting that lasted from 9 this morning to 1:45 this afternoon, without a stop in the middle for lunch. And tomorrow I'll be having an all-day design charrette related to what I just got through meeting about.

And then there is all the regular bunch of silly crap I'm not able to get done because I've been dragooned into spending all my time today and tomorrow in yet another round of death-by-pencil. All of that to say I have a WHOLE BUNCH of stuff to do that will mean I won't have time to play for the next SEVERAL DAYS! EEEK!

All I can say is that as with everything else that goes around here, I will be back to regular posting pretty soon. I guess. Anyway, all of you have fun out there in the blogosphere, and I'll see you when I see you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:16 PM | Comments (6)

Thursday Three Emergency Broadcast Network

Although I was able to escape the deep dark depths after I got thrown into a well yesterday, I still don’t have time to play with anyone or anything today, so I would like to thank Long Island’s own Skinnydan for today’s questions for the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three.

Although they might seem awfully reminiscent of the Thursday Three from October 6, 2005, they are completely new and fresh, so let’s go ahead and plunge right in, shall we? YES! WE SHALL!

1) Are you the sort of person that's always late, always early, always right on time?

2) Is that true all the time, or are there things that will make you change your normal patterns (e.g. you're always early, but get to the dentist late)?

3) How good are your time management skills? Do you know exactly how much time you have, or do you look up at the clock & realize three hours have somehow disappeared?

Okay, all of you post either your answers in the comments below, or a link back to your blog. Me? I can’t get rid of K-Fed, and he really needs a bath and a shave.

BUT, here are my answers anyway!

1. Before I got married, I was usually always early to everything, usually by a half hour or more. Now that I’m married with four kids who seem to have no concept of time, being on time to anything requires Herculean effort. We usually manage to be (barely) on time for most things, but at extreme detriment to my blood pressure and fragile mental state.

2. No, there’s usually nothing that seems to trigger more lateness than anything else.

3. Most of the time, I know about what time it is and how much time I have left for the tasks I'm working on before I have to move on to something else. Not that it helps any.

So, there you go--now, I got work to do!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (10)

February 22, 2006

T3 In Jeopardy?

Timmy Lee Pewitte

WEEVIL JUNCTION, AL (WNN)--Could the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three be imperiled by unseen forces seeking to eliminate it from the Internet?

Informed sources have stated that due to an increase in what is being termed "work-related" activity by the editor of the feature (sometimes called the "T-3," or the "jeudi trois," and occasionally, "Lorene"), it is possible that the long-running diversion may have to be cancelled for February 23.

Touted by many as America's best online question answering game, hundreds, and possibly even dozens of people, have expressed concern as well as shock, and occasionally irritation, with some indifference, and in some areas of the world, passing disdain, when confronted by the potential shutdown of service.

Mrs. Loujeanne Jones, 49, Godly Hollow, AL, expressed concern when told of the imminent outage, and asked why this reporter was on her front porch, looking, in her words, "so sexy."

After an arduous and time-consuming interview session, during which no alcoholic beverages were consumed, attempts were made to contact a spokesman for the Axis of Weevil or of the Possumblog Literary Consortium, LLC, co-producers of the Thursday Three.

Mr. Chester A. Clabbernaught, Deputy Assistant Vice Chairman for Electronic Mail Distribution, 117, of Cloode's Bend, AL, was asked for comment while attempting to exit via a back door of the editorial offices, located at Suite B, Pinchgut Industrial Park.

Feigning death, Mr. Clabbernaught requested emergency personnel be dispatched to his aid.

Upon arrival of an ambulance approximately forty-five minutes later, he was loaded into the vehicle and taken to the hospital. He offered no comment.

Although several persons could be seen behind the windows of the facility attempting to view the tumult in the parking lot, none would answer repeated knocks at the door.

Telephone calls to the office were not answered, except in one instance when what sounded to be a man answered.

Asked for comment about the potentially drastic consequences of not publishing a Thursday Three, he stated, in English, that he did not speak English, and for this reporter to please leave.

Attempts were again made to contact the office, until suddenly a door opened and a crudely scrawled cartoon of a certain prophet of a well-known religion of peace was thrown at this reporter.

Sensing the possibility of imminent terrible danger, this reporter bravely fled the scene in order to keep anything bad from happening to innocent property or bystanders.

Without being able to rely upon first hand knowledge, it is possible to offer only wild speculatation as to the possible reasons behind this sudden turn of events.

Although uncorroborated, it is felt to be safe to assume that the editorial staff of the Thursday Three has been captured and thrown down a well by aliens from another planet, or by Kevin Federline, possibly in order to finance a rap album by attempting to collect ransom money, or as a way of satiating an appetite for human flesh.

As is typical with the secretive Bush Administration in Washington, attempts to reach the State Department were unsuccessful. Being that the State Department refuses to deny this version of events, it can only be concluded it is true.

At press time, it is unknown whether or not the Thursday Three staff can be rescued from the well, or if the aliens or Kevin Federline have other hostile intentions.


UPDATE! 3:49 p.m. CT

Timmy Lee Pewitte

WEEVIL JUNCTION, AL (WNN)--In a surprise move, the recent non-production scare for the scheduled "Axis of Weevil Thursday Three" seems to have been diverted though the clever use of a "back up plan."

A person close to the situation, known only as "Skinnydan," revealed that he has supplied the Possumblog Information Directorate with three high-quality questions for use tomorrow.

Using supersecret textual information and technology developed by the Israeli Mossad, this skinny "Dan" person was able to travel back in time and deliver into the mail system of the shadowy Axis of Weevil a set of questions that he guarantees will maintain the ultra-high level of gameplay offered in previous Thursday Threes.

Reached for comment, Mrs. Loujeanne Jones, 43, Godly Hollow, AL, expressed relief that the activities planned for tomorrow seem to have been resolved to the satisfaction of many.

After further intensive interviewing, in which no flash photography was used, Mrs. Jones allowed this reporter to continue his investigation.

At this time, it appears that either the aliens or Mr. Spears will release the editorial staff from the well, although there has as yet still been no confirmation from either the Department of Defense or from any other person employed by the federal government regarding whether or not their previously stated demands for ransom or sweet, juicy flesh have been satisfied.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:59 PM | Comments (6)


That was one more sort of meeting. Nearly three hours. I think this is the first one where I have had to get up and run go pee during the proceedings. The only bright spot is that Big Boss did not see fit to castigate our incompetence in front of everyone. It's so much less embarrassing when it's done only around other staff members.

Anyway, I have a whole lot of actual paying work to get done, so no more play for me today. Although I would like to say that I sure wish that Becky O'Donahue girl could sing better, because she looks really, REALLY good.

SO, all of you go off and amuse yourselves with selections from the blogroll, or for you fans of advertising ephemera, you might want to peruse this site recommended by Stan the Government Man. Pretty nifty, if you ask me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2006


My whole head feels like a bowl of oatmeal, or possibly cream of wheat. Long day, full of fun bureaucratic finaglesomeness, and I have my regular off-campus meeting tomorrow morning, and I just spent an hour in a meeting that was half-consumed with three guys trying to get a laptop to work.

So, that's why not much fun today, and why there won't be much tomorrow. BUT THERE'S THE REST OF THE INTERNET TO PLAY ON, so everyone else will just have to take up the slack for me.

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

Why so little in the way of posting?

Good question! And in the spirit of good questions, what better time to bring in American's Smartest Marsupial Doctor for yet another informative and interesting round of Ask Dr. Possum!

As has been promoted by the Promotions Department here at the Axis of Weevil World Headquarters, Dr. Possum is once again available to answer your questions about all matters medical, and all matters non-medical, meaning anything that requires an answer (although not necessarily an accurate answer).

Money? Oh, perish the thought. We don't need money. Just send gold ingots.

Now then, for those who need help--the Ask Dr. Possum Line is open. Leave your questions (which, by the way, need not be limited to those requiring quackery, but might be on any topic for which you require soothing relief) in the comment section, and we will see that they are answered expeditiously.

*Obligatory disclaimer. "Ask Dr. Possum," Possumblog Defense Specialties, Possumblog Publishing, Possumblog Kitchens, Possumblog Lotion and Bore Grease, and any other related corporate entities make no guarantee regarding the validity or accuracy of any information offered, because no one in their right mind should be trying to find out anything useful by using the Internet. So, you are more than welcome to ask serious questions of an intensely private nature, but be forewarned that the answer you receive is worth only what you pay for it. Remember, Dr. Possum is a real doctor, if you define "real" as "fake."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:17 AM | Comments (21)

Jack Bauer Update!

I have no idea. Last night was full of distractions--first of all, Mike the Aging Hippie TM called right after supper to let me know he'd once again been forced to change jobs. He's found himself at a big corporate place out in the 'burbs, so I predict it won't be long before they wonder what on earth they've done. Also found out he's gone and gotten himself a new Suzuki of the insanely fast variety. He's now become one of those silly young kids out drag racing on John Rogers Drive every night. Best I can tell, he would be the oldest guy in the group by a good twenty years, as well as the the most pigmentally-challenged. He has a way of standing out, that's for sure.

In the middle of that, Oldest would not hush her incessant yelling from the bedroom upstairs that she needed help with something, and the kids kept wandering through the kitchen while I was trying to talk, and Reba kept telling them in her loud outdoor voice to be quiet because I was on the phone, and then later in the conversation, Rebecca brought me one of Catherine's little porcelain dolls whose leg had been accidentally broken. Probably owed money to someone.

Add to this that our downstairs furnace doesn't work right (still, after several years) and I got the bright idea that it must be the thermostat. So I was going to go to the hardware store and get a cheapy one to test the thing, so after I got through talking to Mike, Etc., it was only a few minutes to showtime, and then I found out Oldest had managed to wait (yet again) to not do her homework until the last minute and needed a piece of posterboard while I was going to be out anyway. Jumped in the car and zoomed down to Marvin's and found that even the cheap old knob on the wall is just about as expensive as one of the nice thermostats, so I got a better one, then zipped over to CVS to pick up some paper, and got home JUST IN TIME for the show to start.

My plan? Put the television on the counter, and while I was ironing a shirt and a pair of pants for Jonathan--it seems that today he is supposed to give a demonstation of an Olympic sport, and he had been assigned figure skating, and rather than dress him up in spangles and bows, I figured his dark blue shirt and black pants would do for a costume, except they were wrinkled and needed to be ironed, thus my need to use the ironing board--anyway, while doing that, I would watch Jack blast away at bad guys. Or so I hoped.

The moment I started, the phone rang--it was for Reba. I went back to my ironing and wondering why no one in CTU will stand up to the chubby little hobbit in their midst, and then Reba came down and started excitedly talking about the food for the anniversary dinner. It had been her brother on the phone, and so she had to recite their entire conversation three times, and sometime in there Crazy First Lady Jean Smart got dressed and told Nixon he was evil (duh) and there was a whole lot of bad-guy-on-bad-guy hole shooting, and then Jack went and got some guy who was the guy who originally sold the nerve gas, and we're probably going to have the wrapped asparagus, and the roast beef rolls, and the cheese centerpiece, and with the spiral sliced ham, which is good hot or cold, that should be plenty, and Susan is going to have the flowers and the tablecloths all ready, and so then Crazy First Lady Jean Smart gets in the limo with the Russkies, and poor crazed Rudy starts screaming and being all girly and pouty and throws Gray Haired Boss in the holding cell, even though we all know that anyone can just walk out of any of those CTU holding cells if they have a toothpick, and speaking of toothpicks, the cheese and fruit centerpiece really would take the place of one of the flower arrangements since it is so tall, and DERN this shirt's sleeves are so wrinkled that I'm ironing new wrinkles into the bottom of the sleeve.

Reba finally went back upstairs, and after much more ironing, I finally had enough and put that stuff away and figured I'd start on the thermostat. Somewhere in there, Jack was running and shooting, and there were more black helicopters, and I got right in the middle of taking the thermostat off the wall when Rebecca came down and said that Ashley and Mommy were having trouble with the computer because the printer was printing out the wrong things or something equally improbably, and so after a second or twelve of doing a Ralph Kramden slow-burn, I calmly told her that I couldn't come right now because I was right in the middle of tearing apart the entire downstairs in an attempt to get the furnace working so Rebecca's mommy would quit complaining about it always being cold downstairs, and that I would be upstairs in about five minutes after I put everything back the way it was before and deal with the thermostat later.

Rudy finally got fed up with everyone hiding stuff from him and talking on cell phones to people across the room, so he instituted a Protocol 23, Martinet Micromanagement Plot Device, where everyone sends him everything so he can ignore it and try to get back his key card from Courtney Love's boyfriend.

Got upstairs during the scenes from next week, which include Jack shouting, and Brokenose Girl looking longingly at him, and found out that the computer was no longer broken or not working or whatever it was doing, meaning that I had really no reason to have been stopped from my thermostat changing-out in the first place, and probably could have finished it with no trouble.

SO, I suppose I'll just have to watch next week, because I have no idea if this week's show was really any good or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:38 AM | Comments (8)

February 20, 2006

"Well, don't say I haven't warned you! I've laid it on the line to you time and time again! Right! Well…this is it!"

Half of Britons chat to their motor cars

LONDON (Reuters) - Nearly half of motorists regularly talk to their cars, giving words of encouragement ahead of a long trip and lavishing praise for a job well done at journey's end, according to research on Monday.

A survey of 2,000 owners also found 40 percent thought their car had a personality and was capable of being upset whilst 19 percent worried about how their car was feeling. [...]

When I read this, the only thing I could think of was Basil Fawlty.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:30 PM | Comments (8)

American Sportsman.

Sportscaster Curt Gowdy Dies

He was a giant--as a kid, there was no show on television I enjoyed more than American Sportsman. I can still remember him fighting those marlins, and hunting with Bear Bryant and Phil Harris. It was a show where adults acted like adults, but still seemed to be having enormous fun doing it. As opposed to most of what you see nowadays, which is adults acting like children, and not enjoying it very much.

He was a good one, and he left some great work behind.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:32 PM | Comments (1)

Film Trailers I Saw That Guaranteed...

...I Won't See the Movie.

We got to the theater Saturday just in time for the previews. I can't quite recall any that seem compelling enough to have to go see, but there were a few for which the trailer was so craptacular that it's obvious someone made the movie to purposely lose money.

First up, Madea's Family Reunion. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that the whole genre of foul-mouthed black guys dressing up as foul-mouthed women has gone on as long as it has.

Next, Aquamarine. A mermaid movie for teen girls. Please, just harpoon me now.

Third, Benchwarmers, a heartwarming Schneider, Spade, Napoleon Dynamite vehicle. "Heartwarming," as in, "it gives me indigestion just to watch the trailer, which is neither funny, nor amusing, nor humorous, nor witty, nor original, nor clever, but abundantly idiotic. And not in a good way."

The one I hate with a visceral hatred completely out of proportion to all reason? Hoot. The trailer started out so nice, too--kid moves away from the big city to some backwater place in Florida, befriends a little girl who shows him a cool place full of old boat wrecks where the kids hang out and make a clubhouse, then they find some cute little ground-burrowing owls--then it takes a turn where the kids have to Save the Owls. The book it's based on might read differently, but from what I can tell by the movie trailer, the evil earthraping landgrabbing development side of the story is basically a overblown, overwrought cartoon of adult people. It does have Tim Blake Nelson, although sadly he is not reprising his role of Delmar from O Brother, Where Art Thou?, but merely playing some kind of yokel. Frankly, I think it would be more compelling if the kids were trying to save a Hooters from being plowed under.

One that looks simultaneously stupid AND watchable? Nacho Libre--it has religion, masked Mexican rasslin, and the luminous Ana de la Reguera. Rrrowll.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:14 PM | Comments (2)

Time for Lunch!

Or, leftovers, as the case may be--i.e., stuff I forgot about earlier.

Just got back from going next door to get something to eat. You know, if it's going to be chilly, at least it could be sunshiney. Worst thing in the world is that cold gray rainy garbage. Although, I do have to say that such weather does have the nice side effect of making the panhandlers disappear. Only one guy today, with a shopping cart and apparently an invisible person with whom he was quite angry.

For those who wondered, I did want to let you know that the Fish and Grits special is $2.55 + tax. No, I did not get any today, either.

Let's see, what else? Well, Catherine did get her ears repierced Saturday night at Wally World. She was quite, quite pleased with herself, and this time they were actually the same height relative to each other. The last time (we think she was around seven), they were ever so slightly out of alignment, and although no one else could probably tell, it drove me nuts every time I saw them.

This time, they consulted Dad before boring holes in her head. I made the lady redraw the dot on one side, and after that and much holding Cat's head and swiveling it backandforth, I was satisfied. Now, they might still be misaligned, but since I can't tell, at least it won't bother me. It being, after all, all about me.

Anyway, she got a Certificate of Bravery, which she was very proud of, and which she showed (along with the ear decorations) to the older lady she's become buddies with at church. I'm not sure why, but Catherine has really taken to her, and makes a point of sitting with the lady and her sisters and brothers-in-law during church on Sunday mornings. I looked back there this past Sunday and Catherine had leaned her head on the lady's shoulder, and with mouth agape, was sound asleep. Such a kid.


I managed to watch women's speed skating last night. Why didn't someone tell me about this!? I tell you what--those costumes the Netherlandesian women wear, the ones that are orange with the black legs--wooo, goodness, they are quite fetching, for some reason. I think it's because they remind me of the boots Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman.

Second, last night before I collapsed in heap of exhausted blubber, I watched ice dancing. Yes, I know I've said I don't like this stuff, and I don't--it's just that I figure I should not like for a good reason, and not just out of laziness.

ANYWAY, I realize that the whole thing is supposed to be all graceful and whispy and all that mess, and I further realize that there is a limit to how much meat a person can have on him and still skate with some fluidity. That is, I don't think you're gonna see any guys built like an NFL lineman doing this. Meaning further, that although I'm sure these guys are strong, they still aren't quite the strongest guys in the world, so their female partners have to be pretty darned lightweight themselves in order to properly flit and flutter about the ice, and be heisted all over the place like rag dolls. (Even the scrawniest ones still have problems holding on, it seems.)

HAVING SAID ALL THAT, when I saw that American girl, all I could think of was someone needs to hold her down and get some cheeseburgers and milkshakes in her before she crumbled into a pile of bones.

FINALLY--it's "Jack Bauer Night," and I have but one thing to say. If it's not any better than it was last week, I am gonna boycott it. Someone needs to tie that stupid fat hobbit kid in a chair and stuff a sock in his mouth.

That's all I can think of right now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:18 PM | Comments (2)


That guy can take some pretty good snapshots.

(Although I confess being disappointed that there were no shots of Delaware's famed marshmallow farms.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:56 AM | Comments (1)

And now it's time for...


Just got through with a half-hour staff meeting which I am proud to say I stayed awake for in its entirety, and in a few minutes I have a whole bunch of stuff to do until lunchtime. Including a meeting with a developer.


Anyway, the endless supply of meaningless jibberjabber will be somewhat less endless for the next few hours.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:33 AM | Comments (0)

Today would have been a very nice day...

...to stay home and sleep.

BUT NOW THAT I'M HERE, I might as well lull YOU to sleep with more boisterous, rowdy tales of a riotous suburban weekend!

Let's see--Friday afternoon I picked up the napkins for the anniversary party, while Reba took the two older girls over to the church building for a night of loving fellowship amongst the teen girls, then after Reba got back, she packed some clothes for Rebecca, who got invited to spend the night (and no, Oldest didn't, which, of course, meant hours of drama upon her return), but before that, we went back out to Target to do a little bit of birthday shopping for Catherine, who picked out a couple of video games and some movies, then we went to eat supper at Arby's, and then we went home and started doing some laundry.

At 9:30, it got time for me to go pick up Oldest and take Middle Girl's sleeping essentials (pillow, sleeping bag, pajamas, change of clothes, etc.), so I roused myself from an Arby's induced stupor and made the drive over to the building, gathered up Oldest who was in quite a state, swapped the luggage with the mom who was taking Rebecca home, then drove home in silence.

Got home, and I collapsed, while Mom and Oldest stayed up to have a long talk about why jealousy makes you no friends. Neither does being a know-it-all, a buttinski, or any combination of prideful, mean, hateful, rude, insensitive, tactless, etc., etc. Seems she made quite a show. And can't figure out why some people avoid her.

Up early Saturday, to the din of Boy watching television. Couldn't drag myself out of bed to make him be quiet, so after some great effort on my part, I finally got up and got some clothes on. Oh, and look--it's almost time to go get Rebecca. The first of two trips to the lovely wilds of St. Clair county that day.

Grabbed some leftovers out of the refrigerator and headed out. Got there at the prescribed time, she was still in her pajamas. ::sigh:: Waited, talked to Hostess Mom for a while and tried not to doze off, finally gathered up Middle Girl and her stuff, headed home, heard more about the unhinged antics of a certain other child of mine exhibited the night before. Sighed heavily.

Stopped by Dairy Queen on the return trip to pick up a cake for Cat, then to home. Laundry, then time to head BACK to the church building for the contractor meeting at 1:00. The main meeting didn't take that long, but one of our committee members was about to split a seam to talk to one group of guys, and I felt compelled to stay around after the big meeting to make sure he didn't go off on a tangent and say something he shouldn't. It's been very difficult for me to keep everyone herded in one direction over the past year, and some are worse than others, I suppose because they aren't used to following someone else's lead. But now's not the time to mess ourselves up on this.

Back home, laundry still being done, and the added bonus of a certain wife of mine seeming to be in the foulest, blackest mood imaginable, and none of the kids ready to GO SEE THE MOVIE!

Catherine wanted to go see something for her birthday, so I told them to get ready so we could go, and I called and found out what was playing. I wanted to go to something early so we could get back so they could get ready for church on Sunday.

Heh. Right.

ANYway, it looked like about the only thing that was playing close to the same time that we'd actually be able to make it to the theater was The Pink Panther.


Well, remembering fondly the Pink Panther movies of my youth, I was quite ready to be thoroughly disappointed. I really do like Steve Martin very much, but the idea of him as Inspector Clouseau just seems like a very bad bit of casting. Of course, when you're the guy who helped write the screenplay, I suppose there is some latitude granted in casting.

Overall, though, it really wasn't so bad. Martin is a very physical comedian, but in the Jim Carrey mode, not in the Buster Keaton mode. However, Clouseau really calls for underplaying the wild gesticulation and rubber-face things--he thinks he's suave and debonair and in control, and there's a good way and a bad way of doing physical comedy with that in mind. The young Chevy Chase had it. The old Steve Martin doesn't. Then again, the young one wouldn't have, either. Clouseau is not Navin Johnson, you know.

Anyway, aside from that bit of visual distraction, and the incomprehensible appearance of Kevin Kline, and the fact that Cato does not even merit a mention (his work being taken over by a policeman that Dreyfus assigns to shadow Clouseau), and the fact that the plot is even stupider than any of the Blake Edwards Panthers, it was still not so bad. I think it was the scenery and cinematography, which in both cases was wonderfully well done. Speaking of scenery, the lovely musical star Bouncy Knolls was in this movie--she's very attractive, although her acting ability ranks right up there with a squash.

The movie is basically a strung-together series of sight gags, and the kids, most especially Jonathan, thought they were funny. I did, too, although there were a couple of silly scenes of double-entendre visuals--one where Clouseau is helping the secretary off a credenza and winds up with her crotch in his face, and another one later where he is helping to dislodge an egg from her throat by using a variation of the Heimlich maneuver he seemed to have learned from watching badly done online video--that were really unneccesary. They were silly and over the top enough to where kids would just think the grown-ups were goofy, but for adults, it was a bit much if you've got your kids with you.

In the end, Clouseau does manage to redeem himself, and make things right, and in a twist from the usual Pink Panther movies, finds love. And of all the scenes, those are actually the best. There is actually a tenderness and sweetness that isn't masked by spastic arm movements and trouble speaking English.

Overally, an okay movie, but don't worry if you don't get to see it. I give it 2 1/2 curly possum tails out of 5.

THEN, on back home?

NOOoooo. To Wal-Mart. Where we spent the next three hours. Got home late, kids tired, ME tired, and ready to collapse. Which I did, sometime later.

And then got up early Sunday. Shower, dress, get everyone else up, get everyone fed, get everyone in the van, and then have to wait while Reba changes clothes completely in order to put on a slip that doesn't hang down below the hem of her skirt. ::sigh::

ON to church, made it with 15 seconds to spare, class, preaching, then across the county to go eat lunch with Ashley's grandparents, then across the county SOUTHWARD this time to go see my mom at her church, the ulterior motive being to let Reba see the reception room where the anniversary party is going to be.

Because I am a moron, I decided to go get my mom at her house so she could ride with us. And by making Catherine move to the back, I guaranteed that there would be a) fights, b) crying, c) tumult, d) more crying, e) intense embarrassment. ::sigh:: Yes, I sigh a lot.

On to the building, looked around, then went and sat down in the auditorium and met all the people whose seats we'd stolen. People are very territorial about their pews, you know. Good thing my mom was there to run interference for us.

Afterwards, down the hill and across the highway to eat at the lovely and swanky Backyard Burger place. My mom found out that they'd give you a discount if you brought your church bulletin. This created quite a disturbance, in that there were seven of us, and the deal was that if you ordered a combo, you got a free sandwich. NOT another free combo. But, my mother, bless her, was quite certain that it was another combo, and was prepared to create a scene. By the time we got everything sorted out, the line was backed out the door. (The place was deserted when we first arrived.)

Ate, then took her home, then we headed home. Folded some clothes, then collapsed.

I am very tired today, for some reason.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:21 AM | Comments (10)

February 17, 2006

Well, now--

I think it's almost time to get outta here!

Long weekend, again. Birthday, prebid meeting at church, laundry, Fermat's Last Theorem, and I think we might go see my mom Sunday night so Reba can look at the reception room. Or something. I have no idea, really; I just go where I'm pointed, sorta like the wolf (Charles M. Wolf, it seems) in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon who never could remember what he was hunting for.

Anyway, all of you have a good weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:40 PM | Comments (0)

Hello, British Columbia!

Just had a visitor drop by from there--hey, eh!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

One assumes...

School bus drivers join the terror watch

...that this involves looking in the rear-view mirror, if the stories my kids tell of the miscreants they're forced to ride with have even the smallest basis in reality.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:44 PM | Comments (0)

Nine years?!

Oh, that's just impossible.

I mean, she's only just been born, right?

So it seems. But, nine years ago tomorrow morning, the last and wiggliest of my offspring entered the world, in full song, ready to take on the world. It has been an interesting nine years full of bruises and peewet sheets and about a billion hugs and kisses.

She's growing up--she can do multiplication tables, although she does still have a bit of trouble saying "multiplication," and she's gotten to the point where she wonders why some people act the way they do, and she likes it when she's dressed up cute, and she seems to not be able to say anything school-related without also mentioning a little boy named Malachi. "He plays football!" she tells me. I just hope he doesn't try anything with her--she'll squash him like a bug.

Where do all those years go?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:31 PM | Comments (9)

Paging Dr. Howard; Dr. Possum; Dr. Howard--

In all of my vast medical experience, I have never heard of such a tale.

It is, however, true. So all of you be sure to wish Dr. Smith a speedy recovery from his bout of coughitational rib breakius.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:30 AM | Comments (1)

For those who think American Presidential races...

...(until the year 2000) have always been polite, serene things marked by bipartisan respect.

From the Library of Congress, February 17, 1801:

Thomas Jefferson won support of a majority of congressional Representatives displacing incumbent John Adams. Jefferson's triumph brought an end to one of the most acrimonious presidential campaigns in U.S. history and resolved a serious Constitutional crisis.

Republican [sic--more precisely, this should read "Democratic-Republican" Ed.] Jefferson defeated Federalist John Adams by a margin of 73 to 65 electoral votes. When presidential electors cast their votes, however, they failed to distinguish between the office of president and vice president on their ballots. Jefferson and his running mate Aaron Burr each received 73 votes. With the votes tied, the election was thrown to the House of Representatives. There, each state voted as a unit to decide the election.

Still dominated by Federalists, the sitting Congress loathed to vote for Jefferson—their partisan nemesis. For six days, Jefferson and Burr essentially ran against each other in the House. Votes were tallied over thirty times, yet neither man captured the necessary majority of nine states. Eventually, a small group of Federalists, led by James A. Bayard of Delaware, reasoned that a peaceful transfer of power required the majority choose the President, and a deal was struck in Jefferson's favor.

Jefferson was inaugurated on March 4, 1801. Adopted in 1804, the Twelfth Amendment, to the Constitution provides that electors "name in their ballots the person voted for as president, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as vice president." [...]

More from C-SPAN, and Encylopedia Americana.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (5)

Piling on.

I have not commented on this, because I think the entirety of the coverage of Dick Cheney's hunting accident has been overblown by dimwitted pinheaded pundits, and there is nothing to be added that would be of any benefit.

Which is why I cannot for the life of me figure this one out. Chuck Hagel, of all people, is quoted thusly in this article just out:

[...] And Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, a Republican and Vietnam war veteran, told The Omaha World-Herald, "If he'd been in the military, he would have learned gun safety." [...]

If that is actually what he said, it is beneath him as a veteran and as a thinking rational human being.

Is he saying that no one with military experience has ever accidentally shot someone? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

Is he saying that people without military training are somehow less able to understand the fundamentals of gun safety? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

Is he saying that in order to go hunting, a person must have first served in the military? If so, it is beyond ludicrous.

I can't figure out what he's trying to get at here, other than it must have been a while since someone cared enough to ask him about anything, and he got so excited by the prospect of blasting away at something that he shot off his mouth before defining his target.

I hear stuff like that happens in Washington a lot more than people accidentally shooting their hunting partners.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:57 AM | Comments (11)

I think this is what they call a lateral promotion.

Texas candidate acknowledges prostitution

DALLAS (AP) — A man running for state representative acknowledged that he once worked as a prostitute but said he's turned his life around and doesn't regret his past.

Tom Malin, who has also sold Mary Kay cosmetics and now markets electricity, conceded that his illicit past could cost him the nomination in the March 7 Democratic primary.

"I've made mistakes in my life, and I've stood before my creator and I've accepted responsibility for my behavior," Malin said in Friday's Dallas Morning News. [...]

Well, he won't go anywhere in politics with an attitude like that.

UPDATE: Steevil sends along an article that sorta goes along with the above. It also rather neatly fits the punchline, "We've already established what you are, madame; now we're only negotiating the price."

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

The end of an era.

Navy's F-14 fighter jet flies its final mission

By Steven Komarow, USA TODAY

The F-14 Tomcat, the fighter jet that soared into the national imagination in the movie Top Gun, has flown into the danger zone for the last time.

The Navy announced Thursday that the last F-14 combat mission was completed Feb. 8, when a pair of Tomcats landed aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt after one dropped a bomb in Iraq.

Capt. William Sizemore, who flew on that last mission, said the Tomcat will be missed.

"This is one of the best airplanes ever built, and it's sad to see it go away," Sizemore said in a Navy report from the ship. "It's just a beautiful airplane. And it just looks like the ultimate fighter." [...]

For you airplane geeks out there (such as me), this is quite a bittersweet announcement.

Not quite as bad as when the last F-4 was taken out of service, but close.

Well done, Tomcat.


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

Probably not what was intended.

I imagine it probably meant she was a grandma three times over, but when I saw a red Miata pulling into a parking space at the Downtown Main branch of the post office this morning, all I could think of when I saw the personalized license plate that said "3X NANA," was that she was either Triple X's grandmother or an elderly porn star.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:38 AM | Comments (2)

February 16, 2006

Starts with the letter "N" REVEALED!

From II Kings 18:1-4--"1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.

3 And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that David his father had done.

4 He removed the high places, and brake the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan."

So, there you go--Skinnydan with his mad Hebraic skilz was closest (and therefore winner of a pat on the back) with, "Nahash (add the guttural in the middle, please)" which is Hebrew for snake. Read more here, or here, or here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:31 PM | Comments (2)


Dr. James Joyner, well known political sciencey type guy, makes note of yet more startling unrest much closer to home.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

Server Issues

Seems comments aren't working right now, so for all of you snake namers out there, you'll just have to wait for a bit. UPDATE: Well, poop--as soon as I posted this, they started working again. Oh well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

"Just when you think you've seen it all," indeed.

Officials: Middle school kids paid $1 a day to skip gym class

The Associated Press
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — An Escambia County middle school gym teacher let children sit out his class if they paid a $1 bribe daily, netting the Alabama man perhaps thousands of dollars, officials said Thursday.

Authorities said students paid Terence Braxton, 28, of Atmore, Ala., between September and December. He has apparently left the area and is being sought by detectives, who plan to arrest him on bribery charges.

"It's not bad if you can make an extra $100 a day tax free," said Ronnie Arnold, spokesman for the Escambia County School District. [...]

The official charges accuse Ward [sic. That should read "Braxton." Ward refers to Mike Ward, spokesman for the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. Ed.] of taking about $230 from the six students, but Ward said Braxton's actual take from the 250 sixth-to-eighth-grade boys and girls was girls was likely much greater. [...]

You know, you have to be pretty low to shake-down kids.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:55 PM | Comments (2)

Starts with the letter "N"

In between meetings at the church building last Sunday, I had sat down with a copy of one of the publications we mail out once a month. (Also the source for the "Fifty Dollar" joke from earlier in the week.) I don't like to call it "trivia," (being that I think that, well, trivializes, Scripture) but it has a feature each month where you test your knowledge of the Good Book with a series of fill-in-the-blank questions. The questions can get a bit obscure, so I was pleased that I had only failed to figure out 3 of the 20 or 25 questions without looking anything up. They give you a list of verses to consult if you have trouble, and so I managed to get two more of the answers with some reference.

But, there was one that was giving me a fit--'What was the name of the brazen serpent Moses made?' I couldn't ever remember it even having a name, and I looked at what I thought should be the normal place to find it--Exodus--but it turns out my problem was in not looking at all the references listed in the fine print. I kept looking for the references to the Pentateuch, but it wasn't in those.

One of the ladies at church had come and sat down while I was busily working the puzzle, and she was stumped, too. It got time for my next meeting, so I promptly forgot about it until last night when she came up to me and asked me if I had ever gotten around to naming my snake.

Of course, the reference flew right on by me and it took a minute or two of her coaxing my memory before the lightbulb ever lit up. Anyway, she gave me a sticky note with the reference verse on it, and I went and looked it up.

Well, I'll be!

So THAT'S what it is!

Since we're all about competitions today, the first person to correctly identify this "Starts With N" name 1) without looking on the Internet, and 2) without asking anyone else, gets a PRIZE! (Just don't be disappointed when you find out it is a virtual pat on the back.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:54 AM | Comments (9)


The women's biathlon gets some attention!

Alas, not in a good way.

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

So you want some history with that barbecue?

Well, Cletus over at the B-B-Que Emporium has been reading again, and has several days' worth of interesting history-type things for you to peruse.

Although at first, I must admit I surely thought he was talking about Florida Gator coach Urban Meyer.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:13 AM | Comments (2)

Okay, I may be a moron, but I ain't crazy.

You know how you sorta plan things in your mind, and in your mind things look a certain way, and they're done in a certain way, at a certain place and pace?


Well, this anniversary party deal--we picked up the invitations Tuesday evening, and although they aren't expensive engraved ones (they're ones printed in the printer's own shop) they still look nice--simple buff-colored panelled cards, with a neatly composed set of instructions done up in French Script font.

I had thought to myself that we needed to sit down Tuesday and get some of them addressed, but there was the usual turmoil, and we were dead tired. Last night? Usual turmoil, PLUS Bible study at church, PLUS Reba having to work late and thus making us have to wait to eat until we were on the way home to eat and so we had to grab something at McDoodies, PLUS children with homework, PLUS Reba's mom has been driving her nuts lately with interference and just plain ol' crazy-acting. BUT, there are some of those invitations that had to go to her corporate office so the big cheeses Reba's dad works with will have it in their hand TODAY. Meaning, despite being dead tired, we still had to address some envelopes last night.

Now then, the way I had conceived of this going was that we'd clear a spot on the kitchen table, get a couple of nice smooth pens, and neatly address the envelopes so they looked, well, neatly addressed.

Before I knew it, last night Reba had gotten the envelopes, hopped onto the bed with the Fall/Winter JC Penney catalog, found herself a scratchy black ballpoint and had gone to work on them. I looked down at the ones she'd done--quickly scrawled in her "quickscrawl" handwriting that she used for shopping lists, names curving down the page to match the curvature of the catalog upon her knee, some crowding all the way to the end of the envelope, some with big ink blobs where she'd had to go back over a letter. I don't know if it was the constant pressure from her mom, or the pressure of knowing she had to get the important ones addressed IMMEDIATELY, or what exactly, but it was obvious she just wanted to get them done, no matter what.

I started stuffing the cards in, and as the envelopes piled up--"Do you think I can just mark a line through this and write the correct street name?"--I very nearly told her I would be glad to take them downstairs and do them for her.

However, in her state of mind, I know that would have been A Very Bad Idea.

So, for once, I let my idea go unsaid. And if you happen to be on the mailing list, I'd warn you against asking who addressed your envelope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:48 AM | Comments (2)

How soon we forget.

I don't know how it slipped by me, but as I was reminded by fellow cargo-cultist Dr. Smith, yesterday marked John Frum Day, and I completely let it go by without comment.

To make amends, an article from this month's issue of Smithsonian Magazine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:59 AM | Comments (0)

The thrill of victory…

…the agony of the Thursday Three!

In keeping with the current spectacle before our eyes, of the world gathering to compete against one another in specially modified Ford Torinos, we bring you yet another installment of the World’s Finest Sport, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, Olympic Version!

Our questions were proferred this week by famed academician and ice skating judge, Jim Smith, who wonders the following:

1. Do you even watch the Winter Olympics?

2. What is your most memorable Winter Olympic moment?

3. Which Winter Olympic sport would you most like to try?

As always, anyone who passes the drug test may participate in the T3, and in keeping with REAL sports, there will be NO style points. You will be judged purely on objective criteria such as speed, strength, and how nice you look in a Spandex body suit.

ON THEN, NOBLE COMPETITORS! Leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to the answers as performed on your own blog.

As for my answers:

1. Yes, I do. I haven’t watched as much this year as I have some years, but I have watched a few minutes of speed skating, and the luge, and some of the downhill, and a little of the snowboarding. And for whatever reason, since NBC will NOT leave curling alone, I have been forced to see that, as well.

They won’t cover women’s biathlon worth anything (which, as I have noted in the past combines the best elements of sport--guns, muscular Nordic women, and a profound absence of Scott Hamilton) but, by golly, we have curling all over the place. I think it’s because of the absolutely silly nature of it--it’s a lot like the coverage ABC used to give to race walking in the Summer Games. It’s just weird to see such intense devotion to something so totally useless.

You know, kinda like blogging.

2. Most memorable? Oh, I suppose the same thing that everyone else remembers--the savage beat-down Sonja Henie delivered to Dick Button just prior to the ’48 Games in St. Moritz. Absolutely horrid, yet he still went on to win the gold. That takes real guts, you know.

3. Well, skiing just scares the bejabbers out of me when I watch it. For some reason, though, the luge looks like a lot of fun, even though it’s probably just as dangerous. Especially for a large man. Probably curling is more my speed. Or blogging.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (15)

February 15, 2006

Short Day?

Yep--have to take Cat back for her ear checkup this afternoon, so I'm going to sign off for now. See you all tomorrow, which is THURSDAY, which usually means something special!

Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

Not again.

Well, yes.

Once more, had that dream last night that we all have, of being back in school. The only update this time was that the school was very nice, and at least a couple of my kids were there as well. I was walking through a big sunshiney lobby area where a bunch of kids were hanging around, and here came Catherine with her little backpack on her shoulder. She ran up and hugged me and I kissed her head, then I went on just a bit further, and found Jonathan coming toward me as well. Said hey to him, then found myself at a long counter like the once at the driver's license department, and I was asking the lady just exactly how many more classes I had to take to graduate.

Stupid ol' dream.

And no, I never did get a straight answer.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:44 PM | Comments (3)

Well, I HAD heard that after the hurricane...

...construction was booming.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)


From Nate McCord, a question concerning product liability. My only caveat is to avoid trying to separate frozen biscuit dough with it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

Well now, that's a feather in your cap.

Or turban, as the case may be--Pakistani Cartoon Protests Largest Yet

When I see headlines like this, it reminds me of one thing--a plain white business card with the simple inscription: "Wile E. Coyote -- Genius"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:59 AM | Comments (0)

Now THAT'S service!

I got a call a few minutes ago from Miss Reba. Seems the flowers I ordered the first part of the week have STILL not arrived.

She had to leave early yesterday, and I was a bit concerned that they hadn't arrived then, but I didn't think too much about it since I've never had bad luck with the florist over in the AmSouth building. I figured they'd be there today--all fifteen little buds. (It being the 15th anniversary of our engagement and all.)

Anyway, not there yesterday. Or today.


I hate this. I have always liked using this particular florist because the lovely lady who works there is so darned nice, but as those of you who know me know, once a place disappoints me, I simply don't ever use them again.

I tried to call the main number first--on hold. Grr.

So, off to shop. I really did NOT want to have to be mean to this lady. Got there and she asked how I was today.

"Well, not good."

I told her the delivery didn't get made, and without the least bit of hesitation, she offered profuse apology, and without hesitating said she would credit the cost of the order back to my account, make sure it was delivered today, AND give me a $50 gift certificate for my next order. No questions, no trying to make excuses, and genuine concern that they'd messed up.

THAT is the way to stay in business. Thanks, Norton's. And thanks most especially to your downtown manager--she's a peach.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:38 AM | Comments (4)

I always thought it was right around 100%

Test Helps You Predict Chances of Dying

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:01 AM | Comments (5)

Most idiotic car ad ever?

Possibly--I just can't quite get a grip on what they could have been thinking.

My newest Automobile magazine came in the other day, and last night was the first time I've had a chance to thumb through it. As I paged along, I came to a nice slick Saab ad--a new 9-3 silhouetted in front of a Saab fighter jet. Cool. Dark and forbidding and techy, all in one. Up at the top, the Saab logo and the tagline "Born From Jets."

Well, Saab has over the years often made mention of their aeromotive history in close association with their cars--one of my favorite ads is a shot of a Saab car on the ground with a fighter blasting by, inverted, just overhead.

Anyway, the ad in the magazine was a fold-out, so I did--nifty--a color poster inside of a 9-3 on a runway. (I assume the ad was supposed to commemorate Automobile's 20 years in print since it had a "20" logo with the magazine's logo and the dates. I might have missed the ad in previous issues, but this was the first one I can recall seeing.) I folded it back over and saw the ad copy, which had a picture of a lumpy Saab J21 and a lovably homely 92 sitting beside it on a runway.


The caption?

"Before Saab made cars, Saab made jets."

Well, it was kinda comical to me, because as you can see, the J21 in the photo has a very obvious propeller sticking up from between the tailbooms. So, there was that, and I also thought that they started making cars before they got into the jet business. Well, whatever.

Then I turned the fold out over to the back, and saw this corker, which is really what got me all worked up enough to post all this crap--"After World War II, there wasn't a demand for jets anymore. So Saab decided to compete in what the believed would be a postwar automotive boom."


Now you don't have to be a car guy, or an airplane guy, or a World War II guy to recognize that first sentence doesn't make a lick of sense. After World War II, there wasn't a demand for jets!? Jets were the Next Big Thing! That's just stupid. Sure--every manufacturer was concerned about what to do after military orders dried up, but jets were where the technology was going. And further, it made it sound like everyone, including Saab, was making jets during World War II, which is stupid, too--the only operational jet fighters during the war were the German Me262 and He178, and the British Gloster Meteor, and (barely) the Lockheed P-80.

To the Googlemachine!

In five seconds, I found this website that details the timeline of the J21. Read it, and you will note that it did not enter service until 1946 and stuck around until 1952. Which is interesting, in that WWII ended in 1945. Also note that it was one of only two fighters successfully converted from prop to jet power. The resulting J21R entered service in 1947, which is the year that the first 92 prototype was made, and hung on until 1955, when the J32 took over. (Update--the J29 entered service in 1953)

Anyway, in the greater scheme of things, it really doesn't make that big of a deal, but to those folks who are sticklers for such things, it seems like such an easy thing to NOT try to manufacture an alternative corporate history just to suit an ad tagline. If anything, the 92 and the transition to jets at Saab happened together--it was born WITH jets--why not emphasize it as a big brother-little brother relationship?

I blame GM.

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

February 14, 2006


Despite what I'm sure will be great temptation, we will brook NO naughty jokes about Ms. Hurley's latest compensated endorsement deal.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:27 PM | Comments (7)

Speaking of making things up...

...what would Tuesday be without a visit from America's Most Helpful Marsupial? That's right, it's time once again for Ask Dr. Possum!

In keeping with our editorial directive to serve the public good, Dr. Possum is in th' hizzouse today to take your questions about life, the sciences, art, medicine (but not including any rashes or other gross stuff), and things like that right there.

As always, we request no money for this valuable service, except for a small shipping and handling fee, and any other sort of love-offering you wish to bestow. Small bills, please.

Now then, for those who need help--the Ask Dr. Possum Line is open. Leave your questions (which, by the way, need not be limited to those requiring quackery, but might be on any topic for which you require soothing relief) in the comment section, and we will see that they are answered expeditiously.

*Obligatory disclaimer. "Ask Dr. Possum," Possumblog Industries, Possumblog Enterprises, Possumblog Kitchens, Possumblog Farms, and any other related corporate entities make no guarantee regarding the validity or accuracy of any information offered, because, let's face it, who asks a marsupial for advice!? So, you are more than welcome to ask serious questions of an intensely private nature, but be forewarned that the answer you receive is worth only what you pay for it. Remember, Dr. Possum is not a "real" doctor, but his advice has helped many people. Not really.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:41 PM | Comments (16)

Vanity of vanities;

all is vanity.

Subtitled: Them Internets is something else.

Long story on this one--and full, again, of way too much Faulknerian dysfunction for my tastes. But hey, that’s my family.

Anyway, my paternal grandmother’s side of the family was composed of Gastons and Grays, and according to what my folks and my aunt have said, at one time they were well off, having some land and slaves before the war, and continuing to have at least some semblance of wealth afterwards. My aunt relates that her mother (my grandmother, who shall from hereon be known as she was to me, “Big Mama,” and who entered the world in 1894) had told them she didn’t even brush her own hair until she was 16, because her family had a mammy to see after her.

She did, however, marry into a situation quite a bit less genteel, and although Big Daddy worked for the railroad, due to some bad personal decisions and the Great Depression, the whole lot of them--my grandparents, my dad, and his brother and sister--were all brought down to near destitution.

Times eventually got better, but Big Mama and Big Daddy remained quite poor the rest of their days. They held on to what they could, part of which seemed to be a rather strong remembrance of a proud past. Although I think this might have gotten a bit out of hand. Before I get to the point of the story, maybe a couple of episodes from the more recent past might be instructive.

My uncle apparently had a bit of the pride to him, too, and it seems what he could not rightfully claim for a heritage, he never really had a problem manufacturing in order to suit his need. Some men like this go on to become Presidents, but others are just seen as serial confabulators. I recall close to 35 years ago or so, my dad went up to visit him in Maryland, and came back with something I sensed was shame. His brother had served in the Army in World War II, and made sergeant, and went to college on the GI Bill--honorable things, one and all. No need to embellish, but I overheard my dad telling my mother that his brother had shown him “his old uniform” from way back then--which was full of ribbons, and oddly enough, all sorts of gold braid on the hat.

He’d gone and gotten himself an officer’s uniform. I’m not sure if he ever actually tried to impersonate an officer or not, but it turns out, he sorta had a history of big talk.

My mom and dad got to talking about the time sometime back during the early ‘60s when he’d come to Birmingham to visit them. He and my dad were driving downtown with my uncle's then wife, and they passed by the A.G. Gaston Motel, which during that time was quite a fancy place--modern and clean. And strictly for Negroes. For those who don’t know his history, Dr. Gaston was one of Birmingham’s wealthiest men, and made that fortune by managing to turn Jim Crow to his advantage with several large businesses catering to the segregated market.

Anyway, as they drove by, my uncle puffed up and proudly pointed and noted that we were kin to those Gastons.

Now, personally, I wouldn’t mind a bit if we were, but given the situation, my dad felt compelled to point out that although we might have shared a name, we probably weren’t directly related.

What made the whole thing even funnier in retrospect (well, to me, at least) is that Big Mama and Big Daddy weren’t what you would call great lovers of the African race--I still get tickled thinking about the time my mother took Big Mama shopping at the Pizitz store downtown, and Big Mama mortified her by attempting to accost a young black man to carry her bags by shouting “HEY! HEY BOY!” at him. My mother wouldn’t go shopping much with her after that.

Anyway, on to the part of the story that I’m actually trying to tell about.

It seems Big Mama’s familial pridefulness also found another outlet. As you recall, not only was she related to some less-pigmented Gastons, she was also of the Gray family. For as long as I’ve been alive, I have heard my parents say that the somewhat-famous ‘30s and ‘40s big band leader Glen Gray was somehow related to us. I’ve even told the kids before about it, although they have no real concept of what I mean by “big band,” or hardly even “the 1940s,” but I had always thought it was kind of neat. I even bothered one of the young women at church about it--her maiden name was Gray, and I’ve asked her if she might somehow be related to us down the line, or maybe even to that swingin’ hep cat Glen. She didn’t know.

But, no matter. I had no real reason to doubt it--I mean, who would make up stuff like that?

Well, obviously, given all the foregoing discussion, I was in for somewhat of an expected revelation. I have thought on and off over the years that I ought to use the mighty power of the Internet and look this dude up. It has always gotten lost in my mental pile of junk, though, until yesterday. For some reason, that name crossed my mind, and I set in to see what I could find.

Typed “glen gray” into the oracle of Google, and hey!--Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra! Wow--right off the bat a hit! “Rigid, concise style of big band jazz in early 1930s helped blaze a trail for other big bands. Glen Gray's Casa Loma Orchestra never broke completely out of the drill type style but waxed some decent sides in the late 1930s and early 1940s” Cool, daddy!

Then the bio--

Glen Gray
Knoblaugh, Glen Gray (Spike)
Born; Roanoke, Ill., 6-7-1906
Died; 8-23-1963

Knoblaugh?! What?!

Yep, after a few more searches, it turns out that Glen Gray is actually the stage name of Glen Knobloch, (or Knoblauch), (and, yes, even Knoblaugh). That last reference also says he was born in 1900, not 1906 as the first one has it.

In any event, I am saddened to note that barring the revelation of any heretofore hidden genealogical information, there are no Knoblochs (et al.) in my family tree. I fully intend to manufacture some, however, should the need arise.

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

I rarely get short.

With the public, that is.

I really do take my responsibilities seriously, and I know full well who pays my way. So I do my best to go out of the way to be deferential to folks who land on my phone--most of the time, they've been bounced all over the place by people who don't really care to help them--so I do what I can. Which is what everyone should do, so don't think I'm bucking for a medal or anything, because I'm not.

Probably wouldn't get one anyway after this last call.

Young fellow calls up and tells me his name, and starts asking me about notes on a permit application that were written by someone else. The note basically asked the applicant to supply some more details about screening some rooftop antennas. I know about it, tangentially, because we do have to review it as well, but there's nothing to review until those details get submitted.

I listened to his brief explanation and then said, "Those are X's (not his real name) notes on there--you'll have to speak--"

"Well, it says we're supposed to contact you."


"Yes, you will need to speak to us later about the screening, but until you submit the details for it, there's really nothing for me to be able to review. It might turn out to be something that doesn't require any further review beyond me, but you're going to have to submit those details to X before any review can be done."

"Well, just what kind of antennas are they? Radio? TV?"

At this point, I became a very bad civil servant, because even though he had that cocky, young, smart-alecky edge to his voice, and seemed to think it was my job to tell him what was on his own stinkin' permit application, it should not have come across in my voice.

With barely concealed ill-mood, "Sir, that is your permit--you submitted it to us. X has the application downstairs, and he's asking you for details. I don't have a copy of it, and I really can't explain what you need if you don't even know what the application is for."

That was so mean of me, and I realized it immediately, and tried to lighten up a little for the rest of the conversation. Of course, after my terse little lecture, he probably wasn't really receptive to a bit of chuckling, either--it may have made him feel even less capable. So, that was bad, too.

Sorry, young fellow.

But a word to the wise--next time, know what you're calling about.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:00 AM | Comments (4)

"Love is in the air..."

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

I got two very sweet cards and a big ol' sack of peanut butter and chocolate hearts from Miss Reba. I would have gotten an even better gift last night, except for having to find a bunch of junk on the computer for Jonathan about skating, and a list of simple Italian phrases, AND if Miss Reba had not had to go out to the Dollar Tree last night at 9:00 to buy a bag of lil' kid Valentines for Catherine to give to the kids in her class today. And if a certain mother of Reba's would leave her alone about a certain upcoming anniversary.

Such a combination doesn't make for a highly charged romantic atmosphere, let me tell you.

ANYway, it is still quite a nice day, and marks the 15th anniversary of my engagement to my lovely bride. Many years ago now, I wrote a long post that details how our lives became entwined, and every year since I have reposted it (with the necessary update to mark the number of years), for the simple reason that I can't think of anything I would say any different.

She's a keeper, that's for sure.

For those who've not read it, if you will indulge me, the post is in the extended entry.

I never really remember meeting my wife. We more or less grew up going to church together, so I’ve sorta always known her. We went to different grade schools and high schools, and we never socialized outside of church, but we always were friends. She is two years older than me, and with my immense adolescent awkwardness and shyness, I never worked up the nerve to ask her out on a date. But she would always save me a seat in Sunday school. And I would always sit with her. Her name is Reba.

The first time I ever had one of those pubescent rush-of-hormone moments was because of her. One Sunday when we were waiting for class to start, she was standing at the door talking to her dad. She had on a sleeveless blue dress. Just a plain, A-line, to the knee, homemade, God-fearing polyester church dress. But I couldn’t look away from those soft, pale, naked arms. I can still feel my ears turning red, and trying to make sure my Bible was firmly placed across my lap to cover the embarrassing results of my wandering eyes and the machinations of my limbic system.

We grew up together, through junior high and high school, and my mom would pester me to ask her out. I always scoffed and said it would be like dating my sister. Reba went off to college at Jacksonville, and then I graduated a couple of years later and eventually went off to Auburn to study architecture. Whenever we would meet up again in those years, it was always at church. We would talk, although I can’t remember any of our conversations. She would always sit on the pew behind my mother and me. In my third year at Auburn, I got to spend a quarter studying in Europe, and my mom told me that she would ask about me every week. But, I was still in school, and semi-stalking another girl, and well, you know.

I finally made it out of Auburn with two degrees and a minor in business, after going to school for five straight years—twenty complete quarters, breaking only for a two week respite in my very first quarter there, due to my father’s death. I moved back home; bone-tired and lonesome.

I started my first job two weeks after I got back and started the next chunk of my life, which was centered on passing my licensing exam. Not much time for socializing, although some of my well-meaning coworkers would allow their wives to use me as a test case for their unmarried girlfriends. There had to be something better.

Since I was back home, I had started going back to our old church again with my mom. My wife-to-be had gotten a job at a local hospital, and wasn’t around a lot. But I had finally decided that I even though I was still awkward and shy, dadgummit, I was going to ask her out. Then I learned why she had not been around much.

Seems she had starting dating an acquaintance of mine, and he had asked her to marry him.

I went to their wedding, which was held right there at our old church. I have no remembrance of it at all; even watching the video of it I cannot remember anything of it. I guess I was trying hard to forget it. She and her husband left and went on their honeymoon. When they got back, they moved to the other side of the county and moved to another church. A few months later, she was pregnant.

I was at work one day when I got a call from my best friend in high school. “Rick died.” I couldn’t say anything except to keep saying ‘no.’ 29 years old. Married six months. Baby due in five months. Dropped dead of a heart attack.

The funeral, I do remember. There was a group of us who had all run around together in high school, and Rick had been one of the group. When I got there, all of the rest of the guys were just standing there, silent and somber. Reba sat back behind a curtain with her girlfriends on either side of her. She had a wad of tissue in her hands, which were crossed across her small pregnant belly. I didn’t really know what to say—what came out was something like “This may sound stupid, but no matter how bad you think this is, it will get better.” I reminded her of her family, and the folks at church, and that I would help watch out for her, too.

Some time passed, and she started coming back to church at our old place. She grew and grew, and I made a point of finding her every Sunday she was there at church to talk to her. And to flirt. She tells me now that she thought I was crazy for telling her she looked good pregnant. Despite all that had gone on over the years, to me she was still that girl in the blue dress, leaned up against the door of the classroom. And whether I had ever wanted to admit it to myself or not, I was, and had always been, very deeply in love with her.

On March 27, 1990 her baby was born. From then on, I had to flirt with both of them. Which I did, rather shamelessly.

In December of that year, the moment finally arrived. It was time for my office Christmas party. A couple of weeks before time, I sidled up to Reba at the card rack at church and pretended to be looking for something. I asked her to the party. She said yes. We went, and had wonderful time. A week later, we had a second date, ostensibly to look for a kitchen table for me. After that, we have rarely been apart for longer than a day.

15 years ago today, I asked Reba to be my wife. Since then, we’ve been through a lot. Another wedding. Passing my registration exam. Three more kids. Two houses. Eleven vehicles. Moved to three different school systems. Five job changes between us. More college for both of us. More deaths in the family, and more births. A couple of wars. Three presidents. We even moved to a different church. 15 years, but it seems like only yesterday.

And to this day, I still have to be very careful when I see that she is wearing a sleeveless dress.

So Mrs. Oglesby, Happy Valentine’s Day. And thank you for saying yes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:18 AM | Comments (8)

I wonder if they mean McClellan?

U.S. Grant Web Site Doesn't Work With Macs

Maybe it's McClernand--what with that whole Vicksburg thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:39 AM | Comments (2)

Jack Bauer Update!

I give up--Rudy is the stupidest moron in the whole shire--too danged chicken to admit he got his butt whipped by Courtney Love's roadies, but willing to gas a bunch of kids in a mall!? And then next week wants to have Jack arrested AGAIN for doing the right thing?

And NIXON! What in the world is wrong with you people!? Why in the world did you elect this guy!? Poor Crazy First Lady Jean Smart should knock him in the head with an ashtray or something. And then she should run over to CTU and slap the moron hobbit around a bit until he cries like a little girl.

Frankly, about the only thing that will keep me watching is if Kim returns to CTU to be the Special Swimwear Agent.

Stupid show.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (8)

February 13, 2006

Not the Least Bit Obscure Architectural Term of the Day.


I realize some people couldn't spell their way out of a wet paper sack, but if you do construction, and you manage to find yourself in a supervisory-type role, you really should know the difference between SUBSTRATE (a material, such as backer board or primer, underlying a finish material) and SUB STRAIGHT, which, to the best of my knowledge, is something to do with uncurved underseaboats.

But, you know, I can kinda overlook that, especially when the EXACT SAME SPELLING is used in the message to forward the e-mail on to me, and the person using it is a highly-edumacated person who takes great pride in said higher edumacation.



Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:58 PM | Comments (5)

I like food.

Although some of the more exotic ethnic things aren't my taste, I will eat just about anything that you can find in your everyday grocery store.

Such as, grits.

And fish.

But there is something about seeing a sign taped up in the window of the Food Place At Which I Do Not Eat that says,


...that makes me just slightly queasy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:49 PM | Comments (10)

Excuse me.

Sorry about that, but we have a gnat problem in the office. They had the exterminator come by last week, and I think he thinks they're coming from a plant in one of the zoning inspector's cubicles. So he didn't mess with it. So we still have gnats. And they're not even really gnats, otherwise they'd be flying a bit lower. They look like fruit flies, and they have a terrible habit of flying RIGHT INTO MY FACE, which is highly disturbing and makes me appear to be having seizures when I start trying to swat at them. Because I really CAN'T swat them, since they're RIGHT IN MY FACE. People think I'm odd enough without finding me alone in my office slapping my own face.

Anyway, another one just flew by and I managed to stun it by slapping my hands together, and then it fell onto my keyboard, and so I started beating around trying to actually kill it. Of course, if flew away after it regained its composure.

Now then, as I was about to say, I heard a funny joke over the weekend.

There was a farmer and his wife who would go to the county fair every year, and the farmer always wanted to ride the helicopter. "Sure would like to ride that heliocopter." Each time, every year, his wife would invariably answer, "That cost fifty dollars, and you know fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

The years went on, and on the old fellow's 85th birthday, he and his wife once more found themselves at the fair. "I have always wanted to go take that heliocopter ride, and by gum, if I don't take it this year, I might not ever get another chance."

"That cost fifty dollars, and you know fifty dollars is fifty dollars, dear." Their conversation was overheard by the helicopter pilot, who interrupted to make them a sly proposition.

"Tell you what, folks--I'll take BOTH of you up for a ride, and if you don't make a single peep about it, you won't have to pay a thing. BUT, if either of you say anything, you'll both have to pay fifty dollars."

The old farmer and his wife thought it over, and the farmer finally convinced his wife to climb aboard the chopper.

Once airborne, the pilot, determined to plug the rubes for a quick hundred, took the helicopter on a death-defying ride with all sorts of aerobatics for which helicopters were not really designed. Yet, he heard not a word from his passengers. He finally tired of his efforts and decided to land and let the old couple out.

"Looks like you folks managed to get yourself a free--" The pilot turned around and gasped, "WHERE'S YOUR WIFE!?"

"Well, I wanted to say something about ten minutes ago when she fell out, but fifty dollars is fifty dollars."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:08 PM | Comments (2)

Call it what it is, Frank...


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:40 PM | Comments (0)

Fund Raising

Can't stand it. Worse is when the kids want to take their stuff to church to try to raise money--people don't want to say no, and some might even feel obligated, and so for the most part we try to discourage our kids from using that as a venue.

Catherine, being one of those who's rather more mulish about such things, managed to sneak out of the house Sunday with her Jump Rope For Heart envelope. She had already gotten $5 from both Grandma and Grandpa, and she'd gotten another $5 from her great aunt. Which I thought was pretty good.

Came back Sunday with nearly 80 bucks.

I might just have to recruit her to do a little fundraising for me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:43 AM | Comments (8)


I had a pithy post for you, and about halfway through writing it, we had a building-wide power outage. Supposedly, we have an uninterruptable power system. If we do, waiting for more than a minute to kick in probably doesn't do much good.

Anyway, I had a whole diatribe about the meetings I've had to sit through this morning and this weekend. The main point of contention being that the Guy Who Likes to Talk to Me at the Urinal always sits beside me in our staff meetings, and he won't shut up, and to make matters worse, he has coffee breath that smells like a dung-besmeared dead skunk. And he thinks he's funny.

Thankfully, the other meetings this weekend (printer, caterer, building committee, Sunday school) were devoid of such things. Although I still could have done without them. At least there was cake at the caterer's.

Mmm. Cake.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:09 AM | Comments (2)


Nothing causes children in the Deep South to come unhinged quicker than snow. Or the sight of snow. Or even the promise of snow.

Saturday after Rebecca and I got back from her taking her test, Reba took her to go do some shopping. They didn't get back until nearly 4:00. In the intervening time, I did the clothes and stuff, and didn't really pay that much attention to the weather, mainly because I was pretty certain that there wasn't going to BE any weather--that intermittent sunshine during the day had kinda made me think that. The rest of the kids occupied themselves by piling up in their rooms to play, so if nothing else, the house was quiet.

After Reba got back, though--whoo-boy. They came in the door with a blast of cold air--"Hey, it SNOWED outside!"


"No, really--there's a layer like THIS on the trunk of the Volvo!" She held her thumbnail to the first joint of her pinky finger--which to most people would indicate a half-inch or so.


By this time, the other three kids came down the steps--Oldest: "IT SNOWED!? IEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!" Imagine those ultrasonic noises dolphins and whales make. Then Boy and Cat started in, too, wanting to see the SNOWWWWW!

The garage door was still open so we could spend a couple more dollars trying to heat the neighborhood, and so I went out to the driveway to see this blanket of white. Which was awfully hard to spot amongst all the green grass and gray concrete and black asphalt. I looked at the trunk lid of the Volvo--being that this was the only place there was anything on it. There was a light glaze of frost on there, thin enough to where even the faded silver paint of the trunk was easily seen. A few tiny knots--minimoguls, maybe--dotted the trunk lid.

"Reba, I thought you said it had a layer like this on there!"


I suppose I can overlook a bit of the kid in her, so I figured it best not to tell her I've seen heavier frosts. In April.

The rest of the kids took turns running to every door in the house to look outside. "SNOWWWWW!"

As for those of you up there where it really DID snow, you have my permission to keep it up there for safekeeping. We're not used to it, and if you let us have it, we might tear it up or break it.

ANYway, there was a bunch of other stuff that went on this weekend, and I suppose I will get around to talking about it, if I ever get good and woken up.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:35 AM | Comments (16)

February 10, 2006

Time to close up shop.

Not to head home--no, a good while before that happens. Just time to quit fidgeting with this mess and tie up some stuff before the weekend. Which will contain yet another meeting with the cake lady tonight at 7:00, getting up early in the morning to take Rebecca over to Clay-Chalkville High School so she can take the ACT test (yet another one of those deals where one of the kids got involved in the Duke University TIPS program; and yes, I realize "ACT test" is redundant), then a building committee meeting Sunday at 3:00, then another church meeting at 5:00, plus the normal ration of churching-up the rest of the day on Sunday. All of this, and it's supposed to get all wintry again tonight and tomorrow.

I'm already tired and sleepy. I think I probably will be even more so when Monday rolls around.

In any event, all of you have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday. If I wake up on time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:37 PM | Comments (1)

Now this is just plumb weird.

Candidate's vision leads to Ala. arrest

The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — More than five years ago, Rod Spraggins made a sensational charge at a candidate forum, publicly accusing a political opponent of murder with nothing to back up the allegation except, it turns out, a vision.

Now police say Spraggins was right.

Barry Waites, Spraggins' opponent in the 2000 race for Lanett City Council, was arrested this week on murder charges in the 1998 slaying of his wife, who was found dead in their split-level home in this sleepy town of 8,000 along the Georgia line.

In 2000, Spraggins, a bail bondsman, stunned a crowd of 100 when he accused Waites of killing his wife and dared the man to sue him for slander if he was wrong. Waites was not at the forum, never responded publicly to the accusation and never sued.

In an otherwordly turn to the saga Friday, Spraggins disclosed that he never had any evidence to make the accusation and that it was based entirely on Mrs. Waites' appearing to him in a series of dreams.

"She started appearing to me within the first weeks of her death," said Spraggins, adding that the dreams prompted him to enter the City Council race for the sole purpose of making the accusation. [...]

I tell you what--we certainly seem to know how to breed a lot of "truth is stranger than fiction" types around here.

UPDATE: Of course, Haiti offers some pretty strong competition.

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

That sure was one long hiatus...

...but I'm glad it's over, even if only for a day.

Columbiana, Alabama's own Susanna Cornett, with a short but thought-provoking post that well captures the difference between those who seek to fulfill the Biblical injunction--"but sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear"--and those who act like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing! Part II

Now call me crazy, but this just seems like an unfair disadvantage--Olympic bobsledding champ juggles family in bid to win new medal

I mean, I love family juggling as much as the next guy, but I don't really think of it as a winter sport, and to expect someone to do it while riding a bobsled seems almost punative.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:09 PM | Comments (5)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Former Conn. governor released from prison

Now, I'm not usually one to complain when the headlines are spelled correctly and make sense, but still, I think this one just cries out for something like "Ex-Conn. Governor Ex-con."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:54 AM | Comments (4)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

It's been a while, and since we had a related set of Thursday Three questions yesterday, it seemed like as good a time as any to give you another obscure term that you can throw into a conversation sometime. Or not. ANYway, today's word term is:

JIB or GIB DOOR. A concealed door flush with the wall-surface painted or papered to correspond with the walls. The dado and other mouldings are similarly carried across the door.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition.

The ol' hidden doorway, favored by mystery writers and the naughty sorts. Oddly enough, there aren't a lot of photos of this type of door, at least under the name of "jib door." Here's a small picture of one that's not particularly well hidden. The hinges and the hydraulic door closer at the top kinda gives it away.

This one is a bit more fun, from "the Crown Prince of Too Much Time to Spare." Scroll down to the bottom, and click where it says "Rotate the painting."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:52 AM | Comments (2)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

Oh, the people who come to Possumblog...

Criminals? Possibly--maybe it's someone trying to sell some knockoffs--to buy fake possum blogger

You just have to ask, though--why buy a fake possum blogger when you can have the REAL one for FREE?!

Now this is just ridiculous--pontiac aztek vehicle theft deterrent system problem. Now, are you gonna sit there and tell me that there would actually be anyone who'd WANT to steal an Aztek!?

How about Mayberry fans--howard f sprague painting. Can't stand any episode with Howard Sprague in it, so I don't know if there's any about painting or not. And I'm not gonna look.

Lushes? Maybe, or possibly just someone who desperately needs to widen his horizons a bit--ruby tuesday happy hour huntsville alabama. Hey, dude--EVERY hour is happy hour at Ruby Tuesday! Even the hour it takes before a waitress gets your order, and the hour it takes for them to get it to your table.

Anyway, hello to you all!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:23 AM | Comments (2)

Band Concert!

In amongst all the other stuff to be done, Boy had a band concert last night. He's been somewhat nervous about it, at least according to what he kept telling us all the way up until the night before.

Adding to the level of familial stress was the fact that he had to be on stage at the high school at 5:30 so both classes of the beginner band could practice together--there are two separate beginner groups, taught at two separate class periods, and they hadn't practiced the program together. Talk about a faith-based initiative!

Anyway, since Reba has worked so late the first part of the week, she managed to convince her boss to let her off early yesterday so she could go get him, get him home, let him bathe and change clothes, and get back up to the auditorium by 5:30, and I would meet them at the school as soon as I got there after work, which would have also been about 5:30 or so, depending on traffic.

Surely, you see where this is going.

Reba got off at 3:00 and headed home. Plenty of time. Got to Trussville around 3:30 or so, and decided to stop at the bakery to check on cake prices for the anniversary party. Tick tick tick.

Got to her mom's house sometime after 4:00. Exasperatedly told her mom to quit bothering everyone about the anniversary party, and moping, and pining, and hinting, and fuming, and fussing, and acting forgotten, and every other thing she's been doing, because we had been planning the party, and have a room,and invitations ordered, and it was supposed to be a surprise, but we'd gotten so tired of her acting like a pouting child (not in those exact words, but close) that we'd just decided to go ahead and tell her and spoil the surprise just to shut her up about it. Her mood has not been helped by people where they go to church who ask about it, and by Reba's STUPID BROTHER who had first called us several weeks back to find out about what was going on, and then who turned around and called his mom this week and ASKED HER ABOUT WHEN HER ANNIVERSARY WAS, just to get her more upset.

Not that it matters, but such childishness on everyone's part makes me want to get all Old Testament on some folks.

Anyway, rather than being relieved that something was indeed being planned, and no one had forgotten about her, Reba's mom was perturbed about the time and place. GAAGHHHHHARRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's like living in a damned Faulkner novel.

Anyway, Reba left there with the kids around 4:30 or so and went on home to get Boy ready. I left at 5:00, and right at 5:30 was getting off at the exit when my shirt pocket started buzzing.

"Where are you?!"

"Uh, well, I'm just now getting off the Interstate--I should be there in about five minutes."

"Well, we're just now pulling out of the driveway--we got ready to go and left and then I had to turn around and go back to get his music book, so we're just now leaving, and we're probably going to get stuck trying to get out onto Watterson, so we'll see you as soon as we can."

There's a lot of traffic now that the the main north-south route is closed for them to replace that bridge I talked about a while back. And no traffic signal where our subdivision dumps out onto the detour route. ::sigh::

I went on and parked, went in, bought my ticket, and waited. And waited. The kids were already up on stage and warming up when I got there.

5:40, my pocket buzzed again--"We just now got onto Watterson!" A good 15 minutes away. I asked if I should go tell the director why Jonathan was late, and she said yes, but as I was walking down there, they started up again on a new warmup. ::sigh:: Oh, well.

Right at 5:55, Boy came charging into the lobby with his drumsticks and his music book, "Go on, Bud--they're about to start!"

I watched him run down and take his place--if he was nervous before, I wondered how he must be feeling now. At six on the nose, Reba and Catherine came in (the other two girls had to stay home and do homework) and we went and sat down. And waved at Jonathan.

The show started, and doggone it, the little fellow did just fine--not a missed lick. They played five songs--being the beginner band, they were of the slow-tempoed oompah variety--but still, it's amazing how quickly kids learn this stuff.

Concert over, kids off the stage, and I asked Reba if she thought she should go tell the director why Jonathan was late and apologize. "Well, I..." A little too much hesitation, which signaled a change in plans.

"Tell you what, you take Catherine and wait in the lobby, and I'll go tell him what happened."

Which I did. The director was very gracious about the whole thing, which is something profuse abject apology will sometimes lead to, and said he was just glad he got there before it started since Boy had a couple of important parts. "He did great, though--he's a very good student, and he does very well in class."

Hard to make Daddy much prouder than to hear something like that. Boy finally made his way out the door and I gave him a quick hug and asked him if he was still nervous.

"Daaaaad. It's OVER now!"

"Hey, you did a good job, son--and your teacher said so, too."


And he really did just fine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:11 AM | Comments (3)

February 09, 2006

Well, nice to know that for every dark cloud...

...of flaming embassies, there is a silver lining-- European Papers Benefit in Cartoon Uproar

Well, you know, when you've got to burn stuff, newspaper does a good job.

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


Boy, this is just what I DIDN'T want to hear about today. From the school superintendent via e-mail from the school:

Today in a random locker search, a weapon was discovered at Hewitt Trussville Middle School. Dr. Williams [the principal, Ed.] and the School Resource Officer immediately notified Trussville Police Dept. The student involved was immediately detained. At no point were the students or faculty of Hewitt-Trussville Middle School in any danger. The incident has been turned over to the Trussville Police Dept.

The Superintendent and Board will work in cooperation to respond quickly and appropriately. Additional Central Office Administrators will be on site at Hewitt-Trussville Middle School the remainder of the week. Dr. Williams and Central Office Administrators are visiting each classroom and communicating to students that this and other inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated. Consequences will be dealt with swiftly and severely. Our #1 priority is that students attend school in a safe environment.

About the only positive thing in this is that the school has the willingness to send this to parents before they hear about it some other way; and that no one was hurt.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:35 PM | Comments (2)

Of interest only to airplane geeks.

Massive plane, NASA's Super Guppy, lands in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — NASA's Super Guppy, a massive aircraft described as a warehouse with wings, has touched down in Huntsville, bringing with it a habitation module for the International Space Station.

The European-built Supper [sic] Guppy, which left from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, arrived at Redstone Airfield on Wednesday afternoon. NASA engineers plan to use the 8,496-pound habitat module to develop advance life support systems for trips to the moon and other missions. [...]

For those who don't know, this is what they look like.


Looks straight off of a Disney cartoonist's board, but they're pretty darned cool. Read all about it here, and see all the ones that came before, all the way back to 1962, here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (11)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Weren't expecting THAT, now, were you!?

Well, sorry to be so unpredictable and all.

ANYway, after trotting myself over to the aforementioned AmSouth-Harbert plaza, I went by the florist and ordered a special bunch of 15 roses for my sweetie from the nice lady. 15? Why, yes--15 years ago on Valentine's Day is when I popped the question. I also asked her to marry me. So, an extra few stems to mark the occasion.

After that, off to the upstairs for some flavorful Chinese edibles, AND some words of wisdom for all of you.

And strangely enough, quite appropriate to today's previous conversations.

First up--

A warm smile is a testimony of a generous nature.

That is just so true. Those Chinese people sure are perceptive. Of course, they also seem to smile a lot, too, so that message might just be a clever way of making me think they're generous! Clever Chinese! ::shakes fist::

Next we have a very nice one, again in keeping with the sound of plucking heartstrings--

Love is the secret to finding the answer you're looking for.

"Ancient Chinese secret, huh?!" Well, it's not a very well-kept one--everyone SHOULD know that by now. Just ask Sonny and Cher.


5 14 28 36 42. 14

6 11 25 38 42. 18

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

And in the Hard Rock category...

Catherine and her classmates get to go on a field trip here today. She's very excited, and has been talking about it for weeks now.

This makes all four of our kids who've made the tour, and you really have to give Vulcan Materials credit for doing these tours. (Even though they list them under the makes-me-all-itchy title of "Social Responsibility" on their website.)

But the kids always have had a great time, and learn all about the abundance of mineral resources around here--which is pretty much the reason there IS an "around here," around here. They have a handy facility finder to help you or your kid's teacher find out if there is a quarry or other place near you.

Rock on.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

Speaking of other old songs...

Sen. Clinton urges Democrats to speak up

In the immortal words of the Grateful Dead, "please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothing new to say."

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

And speaking of 'Brick House'...

...I got to see approximately 10 minutes of the Grammys last night. Fortunately, I tuned in right at the overdone tribute to Sly Stone, which included an appearance on stage by some girl in a black dress whom I later found out was a singly-named lass who goes by Ciara.

My goodness.

Now, I'm not one to slobber and hoot and drool when attractive womenfolk make a public appearance, most especially when Miss Reba is around. I do have manners, after all. Thankfully, she's not the insecure sort, so I am able to note if a particular woman is especially nice-looking without drawing fire or a swift elbow in the ribs, but still, I give due respect to all concerned and try to give my compliments in as gentlemanly fashion as possible.

So, having just sat down in the chair in the bedroom and flipped on the TV, there that girl was, up there just a'singing and a'walking along.

My goodness, but that girl has some legs.

Reba came by and stopped for a moment--"Who's that?"

"I have no idea, but Reba, that girl has legs."

"Oh, so you like her legs, huh?" There was just a slight edge there, but doggone it, there was no denying the obvious. And after a second or two more, Reba has to admit it as well.

"Well, I got to say--that dress shows 'em off. And they don't jiggle when they shouldn't."

"Yes, they are long, and firm..."


"...and muscular, yet supple..."

"Okay now."

"...and glowing with a subtle bronziness..."


Which reminds me, it's time to order flowers for Valentine's Day...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:19 AM | Comments (12)

Absolute insanity.

Okay, folks--we're seeing another Dutch tulip craze. This is a car-related thing, so if such makes your eyes roll back in your head, skip it. ANYway, I got my weekly e-newsletter from Hemmings this morning, and this article caught my eye--Q-Jet craziness?

So, you're watching one of the televised Barrett-Jackson auctions and you think the prices paid for complete cars is nuts. Well, here's one for the books: Somebody recently paid $3,906 for a rebuilt 1970 Rochester carburetor for a 1969 Ram Air IV GTO.

The seller, Chad Brousseau, sold the rare item on the Internet, and after 24 bids, somebody bought the carb with GM number 7029273 on it. Brousseau said in his ad that the carb was great for that concours restoration and had an NOS choke pull-off included. We don't doubt that. But used Rochesters are a dime a dozen and at most cost $50 in any junkyard.

Brousseau is no dummy, but we question the sanity of the buyer of this carburetor. After all, unless he owns the long-lost car this carb came on from Pontiac way back when, this carb will never be matching numbers correct, will it? In 1969, you could buy a brand new GTO, albeit without options, for about $3,400.

- By George Mattar

Just incredible. But people do crazy stuff for funny colored flowers, too, so I suppose it's to be expected. However, I can tell you this right now--this market is going to bottom faster and harder than the '90s boom for Italian exotics did. Despite there being some rare cars out there due to their top notch condition or rare combination of options (several million-buck Hemi 'Cuda convertibles come to mind) in the end, most of the muclecars everyone is salivating over are much more ubiquitous than their inflated values would tend to indicate. Remember when everyone had to have a Series I E-Type? Prices neared the seven digit mark, and then collapsed when everyone who wanted one got one. There are a lot of potential buyers for these '60s and '70s Detroit cars, because there is a lot of spare change floating around and a lot of guys who want one to relive their second adolescence. But trust me, there are a LOT more cars than buyers out there. And no one should pay nearly 4 grand for a Quadrajet.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:22 AM | Comments (2)

“Awww, she’s a brick howwwz…”

Yes, once more that music means it’s time for America’s Most Popular Internet Game, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, which is almost like the more aged Friday Five, excepting that it is on a Thursday, and we only have three questions.

LIKE THE ONES WE HAVE TODAY, furnished to us by famed back deck carpenter Jimbo Smith, PhD (Posthole Digger), who decided we should concentrate this week upon the king of the fine arts, the noble craft of architecture, specifically as applied to those structures built by taxpayers.

Each of you put on your hardhat and think about the following questions:

1. In your own hometown, what is the best public building?
2. Again, thinking of where you live, what is the worst public building?
3. And finally, either in your own hometown or just in general, what do you consider the best modern public building? (For the sake of argument, let’s let “modern” mean anything done since 1962, and not necessarily tied to the Modern style. Purely arbitrary, I know.)

Now then, think hard and either leave your answers in the comments below, or leave a link to your answers on your blog. Remember, anyone can play along, even if you don’t pay taxes.

As for my answers…

1) Okay, I suppose I have to choose whether I want to consider where I actually live, or whether to take hometown a bit more liberally and apply it to the whole metro area. Seeing as how all the buildings I think are worth anything are downtown where I work, I suppose you know how this will turn out.

ANYway, I must first point all of you to “Birmingham Design,” Randy Sandford’s excellent site that is chock full of great pictures of Birmingham and its suburbs. Of special note is his page on downtown buildings, which can be found here, and includes four buildings I think are quite noteworthy for their stately presence and architectiness. (The linked pictures are his, by the way, and they are his copyright.)

The first building that popped in my mind when I read the question is the Robert Vance Federal courthouse building over on 5th Avenue. I’ve never been inside of it, but I enjoy the fine old thing’s skin greatly. It looks the way a courthouse should look.

As does the county courthouse, that sits across from where I work. Where the Fed spreads out, the county building piles itself up, but both are quite stern and serious as befits a people who had a stern and serious outlook on the sanctity of law.

Coming in third is a similar hall of government, my own little pile of stone where I work. This place was built in 1950, and for all the abuse it’s had in the intervening 56 years, it still looks pretty good. The annex looks like crap, however, and mainly because it was built when no one cared about buildings lasting for eternity.

Finally, another one across the park that always makes me feel good is the Linn-Henley research library, which was formerly the Birmingham main library. I love that building. Looks, smells, acts, and I suppose tastes the way a library should.

2) Worst? There are so many. Having been to the Social Security building where Stan the Gummint Man works, I would have to say it ranks right up there as a very ungood place. (Sorry, couldn't find a photo.) And just about any post office is a hellhole back behind the customer lobby, and I say this as someone who’s designed a few. The USPS has a thick book of hellhole standards that must be met, and frankly, given the oppressive suspicion attached to anyone and anything that touches the mail, it’s no wonder “postal” entered the lexicon as an adjective, rather than a noun describing the carrying of messages to and fro.

3) Best public building since ‘62, huh? Sorry, I got nuthin’. I suppose there must be something out there, but most large public buildings built in the '60s were too cramped and "functional," the stuff from the '70s was just cheap, from the '80s was too faddish, and from the '90s has been too dependent on the name of the architect.

So, there you go.

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

February 08, 2006

Well, hello there!

Yes, I AM breathing! And my heart IS beating! And I CAN walk!

And wouldn't you know it, but those things have tended to make me a highly sought-after person today at work!

What FUN!

Obviously, not quite so much fun as repeatedly smashing myself in the groin with a 10 pound dumbbell. But pretty darned close!

Maybe tomorrow I can have not quite so much fun, and be able to hang around here a bit more.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:59 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2006

And on the morrow...

...there will be my usual enjoyable biweekly off-campus meeting to attend, and therefore there will be little in the way of silliness for several of the morning hours tomorrow. Do be sure to check all the other fine folks in the blogroll, and I will see you when I see you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

Talk about living up to your own expectations...

Steevil, brother of Dr. Weevil, and someone who reads a lot, sends along this link to a Houston Chronicle story, and notes wryly--"not a promising start to a news story." I would have to agree.

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

NEW ORLEANS - When Hurricane Katrina hit, Ivory "B-Stupid" Harris was living at 2800 Perdido, the parish jail. It was his home away from home. [...]

Steevil also notes that perdido is Spanish for "lost."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

Why does it have to be this way?

King eulogists jab Bush at funeral

Can liberals not have a decent funeral for someone, without it devolving into yet another method of denigrating the current Administration?

Self-aggrandizing bunch of nincompoops.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (3)

A milestone, of sorts.

In just a few minutes, the old odometer will kick over 500,000 page hits. In the greater scheme of things, that's not really a lot, considering how long I've been at this, and really, according to the Sitemeter stats, I'm actually at something like 511,000 or so, although I can't explain why the ticker only reads 500, but BE THAT AS IT MAY, it is an interesting little anniversary of sorts.

For those of you who have contributed to this event, I thank you very much for your continue patience and willingness to put up with a rather large pile of poop.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:12 PM | Comments (10)

As part of our ever-expanding list of services...

...the Board of Directors of Possumblog Enterprises have decided to start a new venture, based upon the suggestion of one Jim Smith (not an alias) of Greenville, East Carolina.

Noting that the Possumblog writing staff has a great deal of life experiences between them, and always seem to have just the right answer to any problem--especially those of a pseudo-medical nature--Jim Smith (not an alias) suggested that we begin our very own Fake Doctor's Advice column. This suggestion was prompted by our advice to Jim Smith (etc.) to treat his severe cold by drinking plenty of fluids and petting his dog.

Therefore, we herewith launch our newest venture, Ask Dr. Possum, and request only that you pay our invoice for services as promptly as possible. Or else.

Now then, for those who need help--the Ask Dr. Possum Line is open. Leave your questions (which, by the way, need not be limited to those requiring quackery, but might be on any topic for which you require soothing relief) in the comment section, and we will see that they are answered expeditiously.

*Obligatory disclaimer. "Ask Dr. Possum," Possumblog Industries, Possumblog Enterprises, Possumblog Kitchens, Possumblog Farms, and any other related corporate entities make no guarantee regarding the validity or accuracy of any information offered, because, let's face it, who asks a marsupial for advice!? So, you are more than welcome to ask serious questions of an intensely private nature, but be forewarned that the answer you receive is worth only what you pay for it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:59 PM | Comments (9)

Jack Bauer Update!

For the multitude of you who don’t care enough to watch 24, I have assembled this handy recap of last night’s show! YAY ME!

Okay, so this one takes place after lunch, and nobody seems to care that they haven’t eaten. Silly persons. We pick up with Jack and Nixon talking about something--Reba called to say she was on her way home from work right at the top of the show, and so I couldn’t hear a lot of what was going on, other than Jack was saying something about his briefs, and Nixon talked him into staying on to try to help him find the nerve gas that his Evil Henchman had allowed to get loose. Jack, however, obviously wanted just to leave and go back and find his landlady and her slacker hippy kid and live happily ever after. But, you know, Nixon just reeeeeeled him back in with all this crap about duty and country and “we need you, Jack,” and Jack seems to be a pushover for that stuff, so he says OK and gets on a black helicopter.

Poofyface Chloe is back again in a big way this week, all pouty and sarcastic and rude and mean and adolescent and bulgey-jowled, and she’s just a tapping away on the computer while her big tubby needy friend looks longingly at her, hoping she’ll ask him what he’s going to have for supper, or if there’s a sale at Target.

Oh, good grief--not THIS! Simple trusting moron idiot boy Samwise Gamgee gets a call from Courtney Love, who says she’s working two jobs but needs money. Rather than be a good Republican and tell her to work three jobs, Stupid Rudy decides to go meet her. Which is STUPID. How do they promote at CTU!? “Well, his mom was Patty Duke, y’know, so let’s give him a nice job ordering people around!” Why not just tell Courtney to wait until the end of the day and he’d meet her? Why not leave a couple of bucks at the front desk? WHY NOT JUST START TALKING ALL STATICKY AND SAY YOU’RE IN A BAD CELL!? Stupid hobbit.

Must be the week to introduce new characters, because there’s some old fusty dude who’s contacted the guys who have the nerve gas, and he’s happy as a lark to tell them what they need to know to fix ‘em up to explode, and for once, CTU is doing the right thing and overhearing his conversation, and recording it, and trying to trace it down. Duh. Pshyeah, we’re tracing it. And then it goes dead, I guess, because Catherine came in to tell me she’d found her GameBoy SP that has been lost for nearly a year. Found it right where she left it, she did--underneath the headboard of her bed.

ANYway, CTU dashes to work to trace the call and it’s coming from a hidden lair in super secret downtown building that only has one tenant, and he’s a real evil identity thief who’s never been convicted, and so they divert Jack and his black helicopter there so he can meet up with Cowboy Curtis, the Big Bald Black SWAT Guy. I sure hope they’ve all figured out what a Flank Two position is! Anyway, the guy tells them the have to cut open the canisters VERY PRECISELY because they’re full of nerve gas, doncha know, and that they have to cut round the bottom exactly 20mm up from the base, and that the case is only 5mm thick. Stupid European Measurements! ::shakes fist::

While they’re diverting him, Puffyface Chloe tells the Gray Haired Boss they need the Crap Weasel who let the Assassin in the building several hours earlier help her overcome the security because, despite the fact that he broke her heart and sowed his seed upon her field, he is STILL a much faster clerk-typist/cryptographer than she is, and certainly more so than her chubby blackshirted needy putz cubicle mate. “BUT CHLOE!” says Needy Chub. “SHUT UP, MORON!” After which, he looks hurt. Gray Haired Boss thinks it over and says, “Oh, what the heck--we already have such crappy security anyway, it’s not gonna hurt to let him play with the toys.” Chloe thinks she shouldn’t have let Weasel Boy play with her toys, but you know, she can’t dwell on that, because there’s, like, some sort of bad stuff going on.

Jack, still flying hither and yon, phones up Brokenose Girl and screams into the phone for her to commit a huge error--“Don’t tell my very hot daughter that I’m alive, but bring her in to CTU, possibly in a bikini or a tight tank top, so she can push buttons and tear things up, or possibly get whacked on the head, or create a huge amount of trouble for me and the rest of the country by compromising my mission!”

Brokenose Girl says, “Okeedoke and roger that, Jack darling!”

The Bad Guys with Gas have a fight after one tries to talk some sense. NO SENSE TALK HERE, KOMRAD! Then the show up later at a motorcycle repair shop, “HEV U INNY PREZIZHUN COOTING TOOWELS!?” Yeah, moron, a torch and a hacksaw. Putzes. ANYway they tell the motorcycle repairguy they’re just a bunch of fun-luvin’ freedom dudes, and get to work or they’ll plug him. I swear I thought I heard the guy tell him that the cuts had to be made at 10cm above the bottom. Which, despite being Stupid European Measurements, I figure is not quite the same as 20mm, but maybe I misheard it. And I’m sure the guy has a metric ruler, since he has a shop full of Harleys. Probably doesn’t even HAVE a ruler. But he does have some kind of weird horizontal circular hacksaw deal of some sort. They get one open, and GEE WHIZ, a red LED readout! How clever these danged evil people are! Anyway, there sure did look like an AWFUL lot of room inside that canister after it was cut open--I think they probably could have done just as well with some tin snips.

Back at the Ranch, Crazy First Lady Jean Smart comes in to purr at Nixon some, who can’t figure out what to do, other than look like a shriveled up dog poopy, so Crazy First Lady wallops him across his putty-like face and tells him not to try locking her up in the nuthouse--any!more! He winces and to his credit does not cry, although he does eagerly get Mike the Bald Guy to come in and save him from further humiliation at the hands of his slappyhappy wife.

Mike starts figuring out a good cover-up for the cover-ups that have already been started, and CRLJS says, “WAIT! You’re talking about a COVER-UP!” She goes down the whole laundry list of stuff that Nixon has had happen with his stupid Evil Henchman--the guy got the Allstate Insurance Guy killed, he helped steal nerve gas, he helped get the nerve gas on a truck bound for somewhere, he fondled her delicate heaving chestal region to find her paperwork, he lied, he cheated, he did not raise the seat to pee--surely no President in his right MIND would want to cover that kind of thing up!! Nixon, wavering, still thinks a cover-up sounds hunky dory, but doesn’t want to get his other sallow jowl slapped, so he pretends to be interested in what the Crazy One has to say, and tells Bald Mike to lump it. With a wink and a nod.

Jack and Cowboy Curtis get to the building, and then have to run down the block, which won’t create the least bit of curiosity, since this is, after all, Los Angeleeeez, and Chloe and Crap Weasel figure out the building security and guide them in via their little earpieces. They slap the front desk guard around a lot and turn off the cameras then get on the elevator and slap him around some more and go upstairs, but the upstairs guards have more than just a pair of ugly black Dr. Scholl security guard shoes to work with, and pull out some guns and start trying to use them by standing up and firing into the air. Despite the fact that they took gun-handling lessons from the “Stand up from behind cover and start shooting in the air” school, they still manage to wing Cowboy Curtis, who falls down. Jack, however, does not get hit and quickly dispatches the guards by NOT firing wildly, but rather by the clever tactic of shooting at them.

He runs in and finds the Fusty Old Dude and starts popping shots off at him as he tries to run. RUN, FUSTY DUDE! PING! PING! PING! Dern--old man moves pretty good! But alas, he does catch a slug, and Jack goes and arrests him and then Chloe tells him there’s some other bad guy afoot in the bedroom, but it turns out to be a waifish Kiev girl he got online by Googling for underage Russian brides. This guy’s a real jerk, let me tell you--which is why I am glad Jack gets to rough him up a bit to try to get him to tell him everything.

The bad guy says he wants a lawyer, and Cowboy Curtis lets him have a little jackboot action on his bad leg, and the guy whines and cries and Jack talks some more and the guys and gals at CTU sit around looking Pensive and Concerned, and then the Fusty Old Guy says he wants a deal signed by Janet Reno to leave the country, have a cool secret lair somewhere else, and a Ferrari, and an ice cream machine, and some socks, and a box lunch, and…portentous pause with dramatic ticking and music--


Jack can’t stand this because she’s just a kid and reminds him of either the slacker son of his landlady or of Kim, except Kim is much more filled out. He starts to whack him around some more for even suggesting such a thing, and STUPID RUDY decides they don’t have time for torture! STUPID RUDY! Has he not watched this show!? There’s always time for mindless hurtage of bad guys! But NOOOOO, give him a deal, he says, like he’s Monty Hall or something.

BACK AT THE RANCH, Crazy First Lady Jean Smart, who is still in her pajamas pretending to be a blogger, helps Nixon write his “I’m a big idiot, but you can still trust me” speech that he has no intention of giving if he can find a way to ship CRLJS off somewhere safe and full of powerful narcotics, and she looks all pleased with herself being in the driver’s seat like the old days when she worked with those Sugarbaker gals-- and Nixon looks like he’s suffering from indigestion, and gout, and then Bald Headed Mike tersely calls him on the phone and says terse things about serious matters, and tells him the President he has something to show him, but Nixon is worried about the LAST time Mike tried to show him something, but he and CRLJS get up and go where Mike is, wherever that is, and find that his Former Evil Henchman is now a Late Lynchman, having strung himself up in yet another closely guarded room. Coward.

Well, cut him down, then.

MEANWHILE, silly, dim, Sam the Hobbit stumbles out of CTU into the daylight to go meet Courtney Love, and he tries to give her the name of a good doctor, because he’s an IDIOT, and several of Courtney’s roadies jump Sam and beat the crap out of him and steal his wallet and CTU Secret Spy Agency ID and Discount Card, because SAM IS DUMB. Shouldn’t you have to have mad ninja skilz to be in charge of CTU?! Shouldn’t you take a friend with you when you go to a bad part of town and meet a crack ho in a back alley? Shouldn’t you JUST GIVE HER THE NAME OF THE DOCTOR WHEN YOU HAD HER ON THE PHONE!? Stupid, stupid Rudy. And he didn’t even get lunch!

BACK AT THE FUSTY GUY’S LAIR, Jack breaks the news to the waif that despite the fact that he’d been nice to her, he traded her for some information about secret electric doohickeys and some magic beans, and he’s sorry, but he’ll make sure nothing else happens to her. Somehow. Chick’s not buying it, with good reason. Obviously, SHE’S seen the show before and knows how these things play out. She goes to get dressed, and then comes out, and plugs the old rapist with a double tap from the 9mm she had hidden in her sweater. Somehow. She was so skinny it would seem a hogleg like that would have been pretty noticeable. Then again, Bugs Bunny was able to hide anvils and stuff like that in his pockets, so you know. Anyway, nice shot. Of course, had all the SWAT guys wandering around the place SEARCHED FOR HIDDEN WEAPONS, the Fusty Old Dead Guy might not be dead. But hey, whatever.

NEXT WEEK: Jack goes to meet the Bad Ruskies and give them the codes to blow the nerve gas canisters, and of course, they have to go to the mall, because they missed lunch, but that’s dangerous because there are a lot of people there, and the Chinese barbecue place got a bad health department rating. Rudy goes completely nuts and tells them to blow it up anyway, because he’s run the numbers and although he’s illiterate and isn’t smart enough to keep from getting mugged, it’s still a good idea to gas a smaller bunch of folks than a big bunch of folks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:15 PM | Comments (7)

And in other Stupid People news...

Blast mars Super Bowl celebration in Colo.

SHERIDAN, Colo. (AP) — A couple planning to set off their own Super Bowl pyrotechnics accidentally blew up their own car while transporting a balloon filled with an explosive gas.

Norman Frey, 46, and his companion suffered busted ["busted"!? I don't suppose I should be surprised. Ed.] eardrums in the explosion Sunday as they drove to a Super Bowl party, according to the Arapahoe County sheriff.

The balloon had been filled with acetylene, a flammable gas used in welding, and it had rolled across the back seat, possibly causing static electricity that ignited the gas. The explosion broke windows, bent doors outwards and pushed up the roof about a foot.

"Looking at the car closely, it's amazing that these people weren't killed," Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.

Several people reported the explosion, but when a deputy arrived, Frey and the woman had abandoned the vehicle.

The license plate led them to Frey, who faces a felony charge of possession, use, or removal of explosives or incendiary devices. The woman will not be charged, authorities said.

O! The humanity!

A couple of thoughts--you know, that must have been one BIG balloon. And apparently there is no law against stupidity in Arapahoe County, seeing as how they had to charge the moron with the felonious use of an explosive device.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:46 AM | Comments (6)

A time and a place for everything, folks--

Judge apologizes for Super Bowl cheer

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — The judge who led her courtroom in a Super Bowl cheer before a manslaughter sentencing hearing has issued an apology to the victim's family, prosecutors and others in the court.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Beverly G. Grant had said she was just trying to ease tensions Friday when she asked everyone to say "Go Seahawks" before starting the hearing.

On Monday, after drawing heavy criticism, Grant said she never meant to hurt anyone's feelings and issued the apology. [...]

Madame, Night Court was taken off the air a long time ago. And trust me, you're not Harry Anderson.

Just remember the old stage adage, "Dying is easy -- COMEDY is hard."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (0)

Rainwater + 32º Fahrenheit =


Ice + Southerners =


What a derned mess out there this morning. Every Interstate had at least one major tie-up due to someone stuffing themselves into a guardrail, and I even got into a bit of fun on Highway 11 in front of the elementary school. Not nearly so much, however, as the young woman piloting the Chevy Tahoe several cars in front of me, who did a nifty 193º pirouette right at the entrance drive. Luckily nothing was coming the opposite direction when she spun, and she did manage to stay in the lane, although going the wrong way from where she had been going.

Just a reminder--a tall, tippy, full-size, short wheelbase truck on big hard truck tires is really not that good when conditions get icy.

Then again, a small rear drive sedan ain't so hot, either, but despite the right rear breaking loose several times (and this despite having a very light touch on the accelerator and only a few very spavined horses under the hood) there was little in the way of upset in the handling--just a slight sideways whoops each time, and nothing that felt scary. But then again, I rarely scare myself--it's all those other people who scare me.

But, we're here now, and it's time to get to work. Or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:33 AM | Comments (5)

February 06, 2006


My brain is now sloshy with a 40 of chilled Diet Crack, I've been to the bank and the credit union, I've had lunch of warm greasy carbohydrates, I've talked to eleventy-nine people on the phone, and it's raining.

I figure once I get another hundred ounces or so of caffeinated cola beverage inside me, I should be about ready to launch forth with a windy, foul-tempered, vitriolic rant about just about anything. Or go pee. Probably the latter.

For now, a quick weekend recap: Cat's ears? Still full of paste, but the infection seems to have subsided, at least whatever you might be able to measure based upon the absence or presence of a fever. End result: a generally happy child, who seems quite hard of hearing. Or hard of WANTING to hear. "I SAID GO BATHE--NOW!!" "Me!?"

Saturday morning? No sleep. Awakened about dawn by cartoon show emanating from Boy's room. Stumbled to Boy's room and quietly begged for television to be muted. Got back in bed. Five minutes later, Reba got up and went to the bathroom. Sound of her brushing her hair a few moments later meant it was time to get up. ::sigh::

Saturday's main activity? Done with a minimum of fuss. Thank heavens.

Finding Oldest's Halloween costume from two years ago that was supposedly put in the costume box in the attic, in order that Oldest might wear it as a costume to a movie-themed Valentine's dinner at church on Saturday night? Unsuccessful, sparking a running verbal gunbattle that still simmers, due to the fact that a) the garment in question could not be found, b) obviously the lack of finding meaning that everyone hates her, c) the unwillingness on the part of her father to go out and purchase a pair of white pants solely to wear as part of another costume means that I wish she were dead, d) it is impossible to go to any sort of function dressed as a normal person, e) no other clothing could possibly be worn and still be considered a costume, f) going and looking in the attic for herself and being unsuccessful must mean there exists a great conspiracy by her hateful father to secretly sneak into the attic, steal the garment, hide it, and thus keep her from going anywhere.

You think I'm kidding?

That last item, f)--after the first burst of fire and petulant door-slamming brought on by a) - e), a comment was fired off to the effect that she did not believe I had actually been up to the attic (twice) that morning to look for her costume, and anyway, "YOU are the only one allowed UP THERE!"

Obviously, the only response worth giving, "Go look yourself, if you think you can find it!"

Down came the folding ladder once more, up she went (with no small amount of trepidation--and remember, all the while she is running further and further behind in her need to get ready to go to the fool party in the first place). After she was up, I followed. She started digging back through the same big plastic boxes I had already pawed through myself that morning. Then she went on to the cardboard boxes. To the wrapping paper. Everything. No costume. Of course.

She turned around, eyes glaring with the sort of hate you see in Arab flag-burners, arms akimbo. "Well?"

She just stood there and fumed. Suddenly doing the smart-ass head bob favored by the good ladies on BET, she started in again--"Well, NO, it's not UP HERE, but I put it IN that BOX and YOU are the only one who GETS UP HERE!"


"Ashley, are you going to stand there, and imply that for some reason, I would come up here, take that costume out, and do something with it?!"

::arms akimbo::headbobbing:: "You ARE the only one who puts stuff UP HERE!"

"Ashley, that is just not rational--it would be just as stupid for ME to say YOU snuck up here and took it out, just so you could go buy a pair of white pants! I KNOW you didn't sneak up here, could you at least admit that I would have no reason to do something like that!?"

"YOU put stuff up here!"

Follows a long paragraph explaining that I have better things to do than sneak around my own house, that I put stuff in the attic when I am told to by her mother, that I don't know what's in ANY of the boxes up there, because I just put things away, and don't really care what's in them, that even if I KNEW what was in the boxes, it still wouldn't matter because there would be no reason to get up there and remove it, and in the end, it doesn't matter where the costume is, or was, she was STILL not going to go to the store just to waste money on a pair of pants for the sole purpose of playing dress-up for a party.

Wailing, gnashing of teeth, ululation, etc. upon her descent down the stairs.

After verifying with Reba that she had not entered into some sort of unholy Pant Alliance, which would have served only to provide Oldest excuse to further express her spoiled brattiness, (a confirmation which was met with the same look of puzzlement I initially gave the whole situation, along with the statement, "I'M not taking her to buy pants--she's already told me before she HATES white pants!"), Reba bravely went back into the lair of now-copiously weeping Oldest--without body armor, I might add!--and managed to find a perfectly acceptable costume, namely the one that she just HAD! TO! HAVE! TO! DRESS! UP! FOR! HAL! LO! WEEN! Amazing, huh? And after loudly declaiming there was "Not a thing to wear! NOTHING!"

Reba also had a long talk with her about her inability to think rationally, not taking out her enmity on her family (or anyone else, for that matter) and actually got her to admit that I probably didn't have very much at all to do with the other costume not being where it was supposed to be. I made the mistake of expecting an apology from Oldest, of course. It was a very long, and quiet, ride to the party.

And back again. Made even worse by the fact that when I arrived to pick her up, I asked one of the kids who was leaving if he would run back in and tell her I was outside (since I was dressed in embarrassing Dadclothes). He came back out, I thanked him, and waited. And waited. Now, the only reason I was there is because she had called thirty minutes earlier and said she was ready to go, and I got there as soon as I could to get her. So I waited some more.


Got out, went in, asked the youth minister, who was hanging around in the sound room, if the kid had come in for Ashley, and he said, "Well, yeah, he came in and went in there, I figured he'd forgotten something," so I walked in and found them all in the auditorium watching the movie, and found her sitting there planted firmly in her seat. ::whispered:: "Ashley, time to go."


Grr. Again.

I wonder if she thought I was just going to sit in the parking lot until the movie was over--which was probably another 40 minutes or so. I did not ask, though, because I did not really want to know the answer that bad. My head was hurting enough as it was.

So, a long quiet ride home as well.

Sunday was only slightly better--although she seemed to have decided not to snipe about pants, she spent the rest of the day and evening burning down various embassies and setting off IADs (Improvised Argument Devices) against innocent bystanders.

I sure hope it's only a phase.

In more happy news, I got to watch exactly two sets of downs in the Super Bowl! The one where the Seahawks intercepted in the 3rd quarter when the Steelers were threatening to score, and the one where the Steelers scored on the long pass out of the reverse! From what I hear, that was about it as far as excitement.

Now then, off now to think happy fun pretty birdie in the sky with rainbow clown thoughts! Yay!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:37 PM | Comments (8)

You know...

...I really think there are times in one's life when, if given the alternative of either being tied in a sack and beaten with a shovel or of simply being allowed to continue on with the course of your life, that it might sometimes be a relief to choose the former rather than the latter.

It has been an exceedingly wearisome weekend, not so much for physical effort as for strain upon my mental health. I am tired, and my head hurts, and about the only thing that gives me any comfort in the behavior of a certain 15 year old child in my family is the idea that although we have only one to deal with, God has several billion kids who act the same way, so, you know, in comparison I don't guess we have it quite so bad.

Anyway, a lot to get done today, and few active brain cells able to process any information, and I haven't had my morning libation of 20 ounces of magically delicious Diet Coke, and so the usually stellar quality and abounding quantity that you all have come to expect from Possumblog might be slightly off today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (10)

February 03, 2006

The Weekend?

Just like last weekend, I have no idea what's supposed to be going on, aside from the usual domestic cleaning chores, and going to church, and trying my best to get some sleep.

Every night this week has been something different when it comes to sleep disturbance--there was the Tiny Earache Child (who seems to be doing better now, although you can tell her ears are still stopped up, or that she's deliberately ignoring me), and there were not one but TWO brochures for TWO classes.

There was the Middle Girl one Tuesday and Wednesday for Bahrain, and then last night Oldest had one for her Anatomy class to be done, on the rather icky subject of xeroderma pigmentosa. And she was quite adamant about not wanting to get started on it, because it would require effort on her part.

And for some reason, my injunction--my plea--my desperate begging plea--that she simply type up her information and not worry about formatting it, and making it pretty colored, and attempting to make every single letter a different font (I exaggerate--slightly) was met with a most profound indifference.


"Look, I already said don't worry about that--just type it and we'll get if formatted later."


"Just type it and we can do that later. But you have to start typing it, or else it won't get done."


"Just type it up and don't worry about font size, or font color, or paragraphs, or bullets, or borders, or columns--just type the words."


She finally finished sometime toward 9:00 last night. "Here!"

She handed me the disk, and I pulled it up on our computer upstairs. Probably about a hundred words. And a like number of colors. All centered on the page. And with the words separated by a wide range of spaces, tabs, indents, margin shifts, and more spaces.


That took forever to fix.

But it turned out looking okay, aside from having to use a picture glued onto it instead of being able to steal one from the Internet. For some reason, when I download pictures, they don't save in any sort of usable format. They can be printed, but not saved. Very odd.

But, anyway, that took as long to format as it did to type with all the extraneous frippery added in, and so by the time I finally did get to bed last night, I was very very tired, and was very very tired when I woke up this morning.

The only bright spot of such fatigue is that the dreams produced by it are pretty interesting. Last night I was in an office--a real one, not like the dump where I work now--with quiet music and professional-looking sorts doing Important Things. And we had a fire drill. It was nice, because the drill alarm was a pleasant beeping tone instead of the actual fire alarm--I keep wondering what ambient noise it really was, if it was the microwave, or the answering machine, beeping back to life after having the power cut off. In any event, a nice pleasant beep, and all the nice professionals eased down the corridor and for some reason we all sat down on the floor of a small lobby. I really don't think that's right. I think you're supposed to leave a burning building, even when it's just a drill.

ANYway, I sat down and then this gorgeous tall Chinese girl came around the corner, stood in front of me, and in mock seriousness asked, "Can you see me!?" I think we were supposed to be joking about something we saw on that stupid Jennifer Love Hewitt ghost show, but I was so taken aback by this incredible Sino-Amazon that I was momentarily deprived of my usual gift of stupid repartee. When I finally realized that in this dream I actually KNEW her, and we were COWORKERS, well, everything was fine!

I said, "No, you're invisible, and I don't know why I'm talking to you," and then she laughed and sat down on the floor beside me and we discussed, in rather vague terms, the general health of the company over the past 12 month period, and then the clock went off.

GRR! Stupid clock!

ANYwho, speaking of the clock, I am just about off of it, and so I'll tell all of you to have a good evening, and wish you all a wonderful weekend, and ask you to come back again next week and let's see what happens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:32 PM | Comments (2)

Wisdom of the ages...

Nothing beats blowing off studying for an exam because you are DUI in a zamboni.

Even by late-1980s standards.

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

Which one!?

Maytag posts 4Q loss, wants to sell Hoover

J. Edgar, Herbert, or The City of?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:15 PM | Comments (7)

Get thee to a punnery.

Dr. Smith regales us with news from Carolina.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:07 PM | Comments (0)


I saw this story this morning--Climate change makes Russian bears aggressive: WWF

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russians have had to shoot three unusually aggressive polar bears so far this year, in what environmental group WWF said was a sign the bears' feeding patterns were being disrupted by global warming.

The group said bears used to come ashore in winter along the sea ice to forage for food, but that the ice had retreated unusually far from the coast leaving predators with a long swim.

"This makes them particularly vulnerable since animals in search of food lose their sense of danger, they enter villages and often attack people," the WWF said in a statement. [...]

And then I saw this one--New Siberian cold wave hits Russia, Georgia

MOSCOW (AFP) - A new wave of Siberian cold struck Russia this week, plunging temperatures to record lows in the far eastern part of the country and sweeping as far as Moscow.

In neighbouring Georgia meanwhile one person died and two dozen were injured in the second city Kutaisi as heavy snowfalls collapsed buildings, cut power supplies and stopped a train in its tracks.

"There are no warmer temperatures in sight," said Dmitry Kiktyov, deputy head of Russia's Hydrological and Metereological Centre, adding the freeze would last at least six more days. [...]

Obviously, the only answer is to move all the polar bears to Siberia. That'll teach 'em to be aggressive.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:37 AM | Comments (6)

Oh, good grief.

Fla. children protest candy sale

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — More than a dozen elementary school students refused to sell chocolate bars and potato chips to raise money for trips, saying they had learned in class about the health dangers of such snacks.

"If they tell us to don't eat junk food and then after school we sell it, that disobeys what they said," said 10-year-old Daphnie Auguste, a member of the defiant class of 19 gifted fourth- and fifth-graders at North Side Elementary.

Their teacher, Monique Manigat, who is also the school's wellness liaison, said the students came up with the boycott themselves but finding an alternative hasn't been easy. She said she tried to organize car washes for her pupils but the school couldn't afford the necessary insurance.

"Parents are contributing as much as they can. They just don't have the means to foot the whole bill," Manigat said.

Fifth-graders have until the end of February to raise the remaining $12,000 needed for a weeklong trip in May to Williamsburg, Va., and Washington, D.C.

Daphnie said she hasn't raised one dollar toward her personal $455 goal.

"I'm happy because people won't get fat. But I'm sad because how are we going to get the money to go on our field trip?"

Eighty percent of the school's pupils are eligible for a lunch program for low-income students.

::sigh:: I don't know what's worse--the fact that the school's "wellness liaison" seems to have very little in the way of intelligence, the fact that there's such a thing as a "wellness liaison" in the school, the fact that this school seems only to be able to hire people with mush for brains, or the idea that paying for an expensive trip to Washington might require a bit more fundraising planning and creativity if the kids aren't rich.

Okay, let's see--these are supposedly defiantly gifted children, how 'bout we help them by using OUR brains for a minute.

As a fat person, I can say without hesitation that it's not candy and chips that's bad for you--it's eating TOO MUCH candy and chips that CAN be bad for you, especially if you don't eat a well-balanced diet. This kind of nutritional scare tactic has taken a huge amount of joy out of the lives of kids. You want my idea about what has caused the increase in the number of overweight people? The healthy, eat-more-bread/pasta/baked potato/rice fad that nutritionists got kicked off in the '80s. No, candy and chips shouldn't be all you eat, but having a little enjoyment from a piece of candy won't hurt as much as people are letting on.

Second--are candy and chips the ONLY thing they can sell to raise money?! What about finding a local organic wheatgrass juice bottler who will lend a hand and give them a nutritious beverage to foist on customers? What about wrapping paper? (Or is that degrading to packages?) What about magazines? What about coupon books? These kids are supposed to be smart--can't they figure this out? Well, obviously, they're just kids, and might not know such things--which leaves me wondering why the ADULTS can't make a few suggestions.

Third--how about this: raise money first, and then decide after you've finished what sort of field trip you can afford to take. Yes, it would be nice to go to Washington and Williamsburg, but sometimes those things are out of reach. (And this comes from someone who has to repeatedly tell his four kids that we can't afford to send them off on $500 field trips every six months.) It's pretty sad that these kids seem saddled with people who seem bent on making sure they see every setback as an excuse to accept victimhood.

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

"A Decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind"

From Hugh Hewitt, a rational response both to those who would do violence to those with whom they disagree, and to those who depend upon gratuitous offensiveness as a means of expression.

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

Bread and Circuses

New Orleans still seeking sponsors to pay for Mardi Gras

I don't begrudge New Orleans wanting to have Mardi Gras. And I don't even begrudge them using some taxpayer money for police overtime and such things as that. But I do think it would've been better to have spent about a tenth of the effort and concern given to holding a party and direct it toward making sure elections were held on time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:35 AM | Comments (3)

I blame Hollywood.

Well, that, and people who just generally having a strong streak of idiot in them.

Anyway, I blame Hollywood the most for their cockeyed insistence on perpetuating the idea that you can get anywhere in a building by using various ductwork. Might as well try to go through the plumbing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:46 AM | Comments (2)

February 02, 2006

Ooooh--Time for a SPANKIN'

Congratulations to Megabeth on the anniversary of her birth today, about which you will find nothing on her blog.

Thanks goodness Mr. Skillzy remembers such things!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:32 PM | Comments (1)

Road to Hell, Paving Department

This is just the sort of thing that illustrates the fine, upstanding, hard-working Legislators we have in Montgomery: House urges businesses to say "Merry Christmas"

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — When customers enter the restaurant and truck stop owned by state Rep. DuWayne Bridges each December they are greeted with an enthusiastic "Merry Christmas."

Bridges, R-Valley, wants to encourage other businesses and organizations to say "Merry Christmas" on signs and in greetings to customers rather than using the phrase "Happy Holidays."

The Alabama House on Thursday adopted a resolution, sponsored by Bridges, to encourage use of "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays."

Bridges said he is concerned that many businesses and organizations have dropped the word Christmas and are using the generic greeting "Happy Holidays."

"The whole purpose of the season is to recognize Christ and his birthday. I think we should always honor Christ at that time of year," Bridges said.

The resolution now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Such is the sound reasoning and attention to important issues that has allowed Alabama to claim eleventy-twelve different "Official [insert name of object here] of Alabama." Such as our fine official state booze, which, you will note, "is Clyde May's family recipe for "special Christmas whiskey."

Look, I'm a Christian, and although not a very good example of one, I really don't get all wrapped around the axle when someone wishes me a Happy Holiday. Or, for that matter, if someone says Happy Hannukah. I think it's silly to call a Christmas tree a "holiday" tree, but it's just as silly to sit down there on Goat Hill worrying about what business owners say to their customers, and even more so to get so wound up in it that you think you have to soak up a day's pay to come up with this fool bill.

Hey, DuWayne--if you really think what you're saying is true, why make it an encouragement? Why not make it mandatory? Better yet--why don't you sponsor a resolution to rescind the resolution that gave Alabama its own official Christmas spirit?

Or better yet still, why don't you get off your butt and get to work.

I am paying you, after all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:53 PM | Comments (6)

That just means English isn't the only language...

...that you can neglect to use your turn signal in.

Judge: Alabama may give driver's tests in multiple languages

The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state judge ruled Wednesday that offering the state driver's license exam in a dozen languages is not in violation of a 1990 amendment to the state constitution, which states that English is the official language of Alabama.

Circuit Judge William Shashy said the amendment "makes English Alabama's official language — not its only language."

His ruling came on a suit filed against the state by a nonprofit group called "ProEnglish," which contends that by law the test should only be administered in English. They contend that the Alabama Department of Public Safety's practice of allowing tests in multiple languages not only violates the constitution but endangers all drivers.

Attorneys for the state said administering an English-only test would violate a federal anti-bias law because it would have a "disparate impact" on non-English speakers.

Shashy noted that Alabama is one of about 25 states that have declared English as their official language, but that none of them "refuses to accommodate a limited English proficient person in their driver license examinations."

I think having to administer the test in all those languages is a waste of money, but that's what our government does best. I don't really mind that someone can ask for the test in their language, but given how poorly most people drive here, the argument that non-English speakers will make things more dangerous is pretty weak. Not to mention the fact that before all this crap started, illiterate people could take an oral exam rather than a written one (they still can, for that matter). I'd much rather have someone literate, even if it is in another language, than someone who can't read anything at all.

In a related vein--back in '86 when I went to Europe, all I had was my regular driver's license and one of AAA's (not really necessary) International Driving Permits, and I drove from Heidelburg to Munich with only as much knowledge of German as I was able to glean from Hogan's Heroes reruns--and everything turned out jussssst fine. Mostly.

Having recently seen what passes for driver's education in the state, I don't think the safety advocates are fighting the right enemy--how about working to have driver training actually mean something in the first place?

By the way, the languages the test is available in are Chinese, English, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, Thai and Vietnamese.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

Talk about someone with too much time on her hands!

Just got a message from T3 Question Provider Sarah G., who took it upon herself to produce a photosimulation intended to describe my mood when I am forced to wear my pocketless Ralph Lauren dress shirt.

WARNING: Possibly not work safe.


Grr. Me smash.

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

You know, for my part...

...I think all the alliteration in the headline is a bigger crime: Possum Possession Puts People in Peril

OWEGO, N.Y. (AP) - That's according to New York's environmental conservation laws, which say it's illegal to possess wild animals without a state permit.

A Binghamton-area couple found that out after they had rescued a baby opossum they found in their back yard.

Tina and John Laskowski of Owego were hauled into court after a state conservation officer was tipped off that the couple had adopted the tiny marsupial a few months ago. They named the injured opossum Webster and nursed him back to health.

Webster was turned over to an animal rehabilitator when the couple was charged with possession of small game without a permit.

A town justice found the animal-lovers guilty and sentenced them to an unconditional discharge.

State wildlife officials say wild animals can carry diseases and even little critters can become aggressive as they grow older.

Van O'Cain, New Media Manager

Hard to believe anyone would be such a busybody as to turn these folks in for nursing a baby animal back to health.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

Finder's Fee?

Aw, piffle!

Regular contributor and NASA rocket scientist Steevil sends along this link about the retired Massachusetts lawyer who held on to some stolen pictures for 28 years.

The guy only wants a 10% finder's fee? Hey, just be glad he's not trying to get reimbursed for 28 years' worth of billable hours for providing a holding service.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:40 AM | Comments (2)

Actual Information!

Yes, I know you don't come here to find out much in the way of useful information, but I had an interesting search request this morning, and it piqued my interest to no end, dealing, as it did, with the subject of co-eds, and my beloved alma mater.

The inquiry: Names of the ladies admitted to Alabama Polytechnic Institute when it went coed

Now THAT'S the kind of Fun With Referrer Logs I like. So, first off I did a bit of messing around with the search term to put API in quote marks and took out a few extraneous words, and landed on the Wikipedia page dealing with Auburn University. As you can read, the University started out as a Methodist institution named East Alabama Male College, and was charterd on May 6, 1856, and opened its doors to students in 1859. The college closed during the Late Unpleasantness, and then reopened again in 1866.

In 1872, the college was tranferred from the Methodists to the State of Alabama, and it became the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, and then we finally find a bit of information useful to our task at hand:

[...] In 1892, two historic events occurred: women were first admitted to the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, and football was first played as a school sport. Eventually, football replaced polo as the main sport on campus. In 1899, the school name was again changed, this time to Alabama Polytechnic Institute. [...]

Football AND girls! I bet those guys were happy as larks! Even if they were elitist polo playin' snobs up 'til then.

But, it was interesting to note that the college went co-ed seven years before it became API, and that gave me a little bit more to search around for. Well, the Internet is a marvel, that's all I got to say. In about five minutes I managed to find a truly remarkable paper written by Leah Rawls Atkins, entitled BLOSSOMS AMID THE DEEP VERDURE -- A Century of Women at Auburn 1892-1992. Absolute gold--well documented and well written, with excellent background information on Auburn as well as the long series of fits and starts that eventually led to the decision to allow "young ladies the privilege of becoming students of the college."

From Part 1, the answer to the inquiry:

[...] On the sunny fall morning of September 13, 1892, three young ladies walked briskly toward Samford Hall (called Old Main Hall until 1929) to take examinations for admission to the junior class at A.P.I., the agricultural and mechanical college. Kate Conway Broun led the group, her black hair twisted into a bun at her neck with her "straight-forward gray eyes" under heavy brows watching the path before her. Like her companions, Willie Gertrude Little and Margaret Kate Teague, she wore a long dark skirt and "a snow-white shirt-waist with high, boned collar and long sleeves puffed at the top." Mollie Hollifield recorded that Kate took the girls up the south steps of Samford Hall and into her father's office. President LeRoy Broun smiled, aware of the historic nature of the moment.(55)

For some time Kate had been determined to matriculate at Auburn, and the other two had joined her plea.(56) Willie Little's father was a businessman, farmer, and mayor of Auburn, while Kate Teague had come to Auburn from Arkansas after her mother's death to live with her aunt, Mary Teague Hollifield. Her Uncle Hal had helped prepare her for the examinations. The three girls were taken to a long room where many young men were taking entrance examinations for the freshman class. In order not to compete with the female seminaries of the state and to limit entrance to mature young ladies, A.P.I. had restricted admittance to those who were qualified to pursue the studies of the junior class, so it was necessary for the girls to do well on the exams.(57) They were required to stand examinations in mathematics and either English, History, or Latin.(58)

The three young women received good marks on their examinations and were admitted to the junior class. Strict rules excluded women from the campus except while attending class, but otherwise there were no rules since the girls all lived at home. They were required when they entered the campus to walk directly to class and to leave the campus immediately after class dismissed. No loitering or flirting with the cadets was allowed. Later a room in Samford Hall was furnished as a study and rest room where girls could stay between classes.(59)

Auburn male students made no objection to the addition of women to their classes, and "the general belief is that the association with studious, ambitious, earnest girls is very beneficial to a youth."(60) In 1893 President Broun reported to the trustees that coeducation at Auburn had been "widely published in the state" and recognized it as a movement in "the spirit of the age."(61) He noted that all the women who applied were accepted, and their rank was "with the best students" and their "influence eminently inspiring and beneficial." The Montgomery Advertiser wrote that the girls had proved "their ability successfully to cope with the best of their male competitors, and in some instances to obtain the mastery over them." (62) [...]

Each of the ladies have a residence hall named in their honor on the campus--here is a photo and short bio of Kate Conway Broun, and photos of Willie Gertrude Little and of Margaret Kate Teague.

Special thanks to Leah Rawls Atkins for writing their story. Dr. Atkins (API '58)seems to be a pretty interesting sort of woman herself, judging by her bio. In addition to being all smart and an author and historian and everything, she is also the first woman to have been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. Obviously, I must note that she looks pretty danged hot in a swimsuit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

I saw my shadow this morning, so that means...



Being that there is so much talk today regarding the seasons (and, of course, marmots), it would probably be a good time to ask some questions along the same line. LUCKILY FOR ALL OF YOU, the kind and generous Sarah Getzler of Life at Full Volume fame sent along some pertinent questions last week (when it seemed there might not be a T3 due to my lack of basic cognitive function).

SO, to get right into it, Miss Sarah wants to know:

1. What is your favorite season, and why?
2. What is your least favorite season, and why?
3. Daylight savings--pro or con?

All of you get our your pens and paper and get to work--either leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to your blog with your answers. ANYone is free to play along, even those weird people who live way down below the equator where the seasons are all backwards and sideways.


1. Football season! (Surely you knew that was coming.) As for climatic seasons, I love spring most because everything's blooming and it's not so hot or cold. Fall runs a close second, although it does have something of a melancholy tint to it that sorta makes it bittersweet.

2. Winter. It's not like we have real, Yukon-grade, permafrost type winters, and it only really lasts for about three days, but I don't like it anyway because it's just too cold even if there's NOT twelve feet of snow outside. And when it rains everything looks incredibly dirty and dead and unpleasant. Summer? I like to complain about the heat, but I'd rather be hot than cold.

3. I don't really care so much about which time to be on so much as the changing back and forth. If it's a matter of productivity and energy usage, I think I'd much rather just have revised work hours instead--instead of working 8-5, companies that want to participate can have people come in from 7-4, or 9-6, or whatever is supposed to happen. All the train and plane and bus schedules stay the same, television shows still come on the same time, and the people who DON'T want to save daylight can just go on about their normal business, and no one has to piddle with resetting their clocks every six months.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:45 AM | Comments (9)

February 01, 2006

If it's not one thing, it's another, redux.

First I have to cover the phone for the lone secretary so she could go eat lunch or Librium or whatever she's on, and then had to endure 15 full minutes of chitchat with the Guy Who Talks to Me at the Urinal, who had an appointment to go to, but wanted instead to stand there and talk to me since I was captive.

AND THEN, just now when I got back to my desk and started sorting back through all of the stuff I had to put on hold, I checked my e-mail and found a message from NASA's own Steevil, who felt compelled to let me in on this little gem of information:

[...] BTW, Terry, I have a Ralph Lauren bathrobe. I noticed this morning that it has a pocket, just where the pocket on a shirt should be. The little polo player dude is on the pocket.

Oh, sure, Mr. Elitist Polo Playin' Ralph Lauren can put a pocket on a BATHROBE for rich swells to sit around drinking gin rickeys in while they beat their Honduran houseboy with a 9-iron, but can't see fit to put one on a SHIRT so a WORKING MAN can have a place to put a pen and a PEZ dispenser and that wheat penny he found on the sidewalk! NOOOO!

I tell you what, it's enough to make me want to go take a nap or something!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:09 PM | Comments (5)

A little known fact.

Cashews, when placed as a constituent ingredient upon a prepared salad that was purchased from well-known midlevel retailer Target by my lovely bride Miss Reba, will absorb moisture from said salad; and when said salad is taken out of an insulated cloth lunchbox and placed on a flat surface, such as a desktop, to be eaten, upon opening the lid of the small plastic tray, said cashews will look for all the world like the plump, tender larvae of some obscure tropical caterpillar.

They do, however, still taste pretty much like cashews.

If a bit on the soft, squishy side.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:45 PM | Comments (6)

I wonder...

Should I encourage Rebecca to begin her class presentation of her brochure by singing "Bah-bah-bah, bah-bah-Bahrain"?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:34 PM | Comments (8)

I must console Chet the E-Mail Boy

Era Ends: Western Union Stops Sending Telegrams

Robert Roy Britt
LiveScience Managing Editor
Wed Feb 1, 10:00 AM ET
After 145 years, Western Union has quietly stopped sending telegrams.

On the company's web site, if you click on "Telegrams" in the left-side navigation bar, you're taken to a page that ends a technological era with about as little fanfare as possible:

"Effective January 27, 2006, Western Union will discontinue all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact a customer service representative."

The decline of telegram use goes back at least to the 1980s, when long-distance telephone service became cheap enough to offer a viable alternative in many if not most cases. Faxes didn't help. Email could be counted as the final nail in the coffin.

Western Union has not failed. It long ago refocused its main business to make money transfers for consumers and businesses. Revenues are now $3 billion annually. It's now called Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and is a subsidiary of First Data Corp.

The world's first telegram was sent on May 24, 1844 by inventor Samuel Morse. The message, "What hath God wrought," was transmitted from Washington to Baltimore. In a crude way, the telegraph was a precursor to the Internet in that it allowed rapid communication, for the first time, across great distances.

Western Union goes back to 1851 as the Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company. In 1856 it became the Western Union Telegraph Company after acquisition of competing telegraph systems. By 1861, during the Civil War, it had created a coast-to-coast network of lines. [...]

::sigh:: Yet another technological marvel thrown upon the scrapheap of progress. Poor Chet--he's downstairs at his little desk by the boiler right now, gently rubbing his old keyset.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:22 PM | Comments (2)

If it's not one thing, it's another.

Or, in our case, it's one thing AND another, and then three more, and then there's a clown on a unicycle juggling two live rattlesnakes and a stick of dynamite.

First thing, found out Catherine's previous ear, nose, and throat guy had started his own practice, so we had to see a different doc, which was okay because he's a nice guy, but we had to catch him up on what all had been done before, so there was that. Fever of 100.6, and found out that both of her ears are infected, but one is a more or less common-looking type, and the right ear appears to be a completely different kind. Got a script for Zithromax which is supposed to clear up both. "Supposed to" being the operative words. Follow up in ten days.

Got back to home and stopped in to get her medicine, and found out the prescription for my medicine I had called in last week was still not there, because it was backordered. Oddly enough, they had enough to give me a couple of loaners until the real stuff came in. Why they can't just go ahead and give me a whole bottle of loaners, I don't know. Also got Cat a Yoohoo, because she looked so pitiful.

On then to the print shop to look at invitations--and yes, believe it or not, I left Catherine in the van because I was only going to run in for a minute. Thirty minutes later I got finished up looking and pricing and such and ran back outside to see her fast asleep in her seat.

On to pick up the other kids from Grandma's, on to home, found out Rebecca has an assignment to create a travel brochure for her social studies class on the exciting and beautiful island kingdom of Bahrain. And that she had only just started it, and didn't really know what to do. And we needed supper fixed. And Reba was still stuck in a meeting. And I still had a huge stack of correspondence I had to finish up from work yesterday that didn't get done.

Somehow, most of it got done.

Aside from formatting a travel brochure about Bahrain.

Which someone will get to do in his spare time.

So, anyway, please excuse me if today I appear to be a) distracted, b) unconscious, c) rude, d) crazed, e) unkempt, and/or f) forgetful.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:34 AM | Comments (14)