March 31, 2006

BUT, before I go...

I've never run into it before, but I just wanted to say I think it's pretty cool to find out that both a father and a son have blogs that managed to intersect at Possumblog. All of you be sure to visit Roger and say hey.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

Time to close up shop for the weekend.

I realize there hasn't been much in the way of content today, but I've been terribly sleepy, so I haven't been able to fill the afterlunch time with meaningless tripe as is my usual routine. To make matters worse, my desk isn't very comfortable, so a nap has just been out of the question.

ANYway, as mentioned previously, yet another weekend filled with potential for disaster awaits, so wish me luck and we'll see what happens. All of you have a great weekend, and Lord willing, I'll see you bright and early Monday morning.

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

"And if thy neighbor..."

"...takest him up a ball of red rubber, and whoppest thee upside of thine head, thou shalt not turn thee thy other cheek, but shall hurl him to the ground, and utterly kick him in his bits, yea verily also in his pieces, until he cries out for the brother of his father. Amen." Dodgeball game leads to assault charges

The Associated Press

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) — A youth minister was charged with assault for allegedly knocking a 16-year-old boy down and kicking him in the groin after taking a head shot from the teen in a dodgeball game.

David M. Boudreaux, 27, was charged Wednesday with one count of third-degree assault. According to court documents, the incident happened in February at Crescent Lake Christian Academy.

Authorities said the teen missed Boudreaux with one throw but then knocked the youth minister's glasses off with the next.

The boy apologized, authorities said, but Boudreaux pushed him backward, and when the teen got up again, Boudreaux kicked him in the groin and left.

The teen suffered whiplash and post-concussion syndrome and had blood in his urine after being kicked, according to court records.

Boudreaux later apologized, prosecutors said.

Jeanne D. Hewitt, administrator of Crescent Lake Christian Academy, said Boudreaux had been placed on administrative leave.

Someone's been reading a bit too much from the Book of Armaments, it seems.

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

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, that's why.

Tomorrow; our yard; beach/luau themed birthday party; at which I will be required to cook things on the grille for a bunch of flighty teenaged girls and hulking idiot teenaged boys; for the benefit of one highly embarrassed and unappreciative 16 year old daughter.

George Bush might not have taken his Speedo with him to Mexico, but doggone it, I'm going to make sure I have mine on tomorrow.

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

Heard just now outside my office.

Uttered by the Guy Who Always Burns His Toast, who is apparently trying to heat up something in the toaster oven wrapped in parchment paper.

When confronted about the burning paper smell by The Person Who Is Mentally Unstable, he says, "it's parchment paper--it's not really burning, it's just scorching."


At least he has managed to find something that smells worse than burning toast.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:55 PM | Comments (2)

Back from the D&PS!

That is, the Dog and Pony Show. And no, no actual dogs nor ponies were used in the show.

Three hour meeting, in which my portion came near the front, and consisted of approximately 4 minutes of expository matter, after which I sat back down and waited to leave. Which I couldn't do until the meeting was over.

Got here just in time to go to the bank and to lunch, so I strolled over to the AmSouth Harbert Center, went to the bank, saw that it was full to capacity with other people who'd come to the bank, and decided it would be best to eat lunch first, then try the bank later.

So, I ate lunch. It's always a bad thing when I sit down and stay awhile to eat, because I invariably find myself being highly critical of everyone's fashion choices.

Yes, I realize I have absolutely no room to criticize.

But doggone it, I say you shouldn't wear cheap rubber sandles and clamdiggers to the office if you want people to think of you as a professional.

I think that if you look like the Unabomber you probably should try for a slightly different look. Maybe shave the beard, or comb your hair different, or quit staring at people with your weird, spaced out eyes.

Those tiny little Peter Rabbit coats that the gals are wearing aren't really attractive, but even less so on women who are well past their teen years.

Guys shouldn't wear "product" in their hair.

If you're a girl, and your legs are pasty, ashy, pocky, veiny, lumpy, bulgy, stubbly, saggy, scratched, scarred, bruised, or any combination thereof, it would really look better if you wore hose of some sort. Sorry--I know it might seem like a double standard, but everyone pretty much expects guy's legs to be hideous looking. Of course, this doesn't mean guys should have free rein to wear shorts. Or skirts, for that matter.

If you are a woman and simply MUST have a tattoo, could you at least make it something nice-looking? Something that works with your body's normal bilateral symmetry? Something remotely feminine? I mean, you might like giant block letter prison tats covering your ham-like arms and your wallowing, uncontrolled, watermelon-sized bosoms, but really, it doesn't do a lot to convince people you aspire to greatness.

I realize the current fashion is for closely fitted clothing, but ladies, there's a difference between fitted and looking like your being squeezed out of a Play-Doh Fun Factory.

Men should not wear hibiscus-print Hawaiian motif fleece pullovers anywhere in the continental United States.

There now. I feel all better now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:06 PM | Comments (5)

Playtime Suspended.

Off-campus today for what will probably turn out to be a very, very long meeting, so you're on your own today and will have to search elsewhere for your meaningless drivel.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 30, 2006

Potty Humor!

I saw this headline--Legislature votes to crack down on motorists passing school buses--and it reminded me of what I always say to the kids when we're driving somewhere and overtake a school bus. Invariably, they comment with childlike fascination, "WE JUST PASSED A SCHOOL BUS!"

And I always ask, "Did it hurt!?"

I think they're finally catching on to the joke now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)


...that went pretty well.

A meeting populated by people with better things to do than being stuck in a meeting tends to make for a very efficient meeting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:15 PM | Comments (2)


Yet another meeting to attend, this time as my supervisor's proxy on a committee about which I know absolutely nothing.

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
Contre nous, de la tyrannie,
L'étandard sanglant est levé,

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

From My Alma Mater

Something about this story [3rd story down] just made me chuckle:

The department of Foreign Languages is having a poetry reading April 3 at 4 p.m. in the Eagle's Nest North section of Haley Center. Australian poet Karl Lubomirski will be reading in German and English. For more information, contact Robert Weigel at 844-6350.

I wonder if he has a poem entitled "Irony."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)


Time for lunch with My Friend Jeff!

Be back after while with all sorts of boring stories, and some CAR MAGAZINES!

UPDATE: Well, that was fun, although I think both of us need a vacation or something. We couldn't even work up enough crankiness to complain (for long) about stupid people. Probably because we were stupid enough to sit in the smoking area--believe it or not, people SMOKE in there! Even after we moved back to the non-smoking area (both of which are outside, by the way), we still couldn't work up much dudgeon about anything.

Probably time for a new eating place or something.

Thank goodness he at least remembered to bring his magazines!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:38 AM | Comments (2)

The best seven million dollars

...this country has ever spent.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)


Count me as one of the men who'd love for this product to return to the market.

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

One for the "I am shocked--SHOCKED!" File

Iran defiantly rejects new U.N. demands

Why, it's almost as if they think the UN is a powerless, hidebound bureaucracy more suited to mindless finger-wagging than an effective deterrent to international brigandry!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:05 AM | Comments (7)

A more serious topic.

I read this article just now, and it just struck me wrong--Image of Jesus' crucifixion may be wrong, says study .

Read it yourself first. In my own reading of it, it seems to imply that since crucifixions were carried out in a variety of ways, that the traditional image was somehow just made up out of whole cloth with no basis other than wild speculation. Crucifixions were indeed a widely varied type of thing, and the article rightly notes that sometimes the person was upside down (as Peter was traditionally executed), and there's also the X-shaped cross, as Andrew was supposedly crucified using.

I realize that some scientists are loathe to accept anything other than actual evidence, and seeing that the faithful believe in Jesus' bodily resurrection, and seeing further how the art of photography wasn't quite fully mature at the time of his death, I suppose it's pretty much impossible by any see-it-to-believe-it standard to say exactly how Jesus' body was killed, but the traditional image does, in fact, have a basis in something other than just someone just coming up with something off the cuff.

Although I'm sure that science might not approve, the image of Christ's crucifixion has a rational basis, if you do as early Christians might have done and carefully read the New Testament. Now, you might not believe it's true, but the "tradition" does make sense if you read the Gospels with even the slightest bit of credulity.

To start--head up?

1) Well, in Matthew 22:37, it specifically notes that the sign that Pilate wrote about Jesus being king of the Jews was hung over his head. Not a detail that's likely if his feet had been over his head.

2) In Matthew 27:48, Mark 15:36, and John 19:29, when Jesus is near death and says he's thirsty, someone gets a sponge full of vinegar, puts it on a reed, and puts it up to his mouth. If his head was down, seems unlikely it would be necessary to use a sponge, nor to put it on a stick. Doing so seems to indicate that his head was higher than arm's reach.

3) In John 19:31-33, it recounts the method used to insure the victims were dead, namely to break their legs. This would only make sense if they had been crucified head up. If they had any strength, they could push up with their legs to get a breath of air, but if their legs were broken, they would expire much quicker, not having a way to push up. If they were hanging by their legs, it wouldn't make much sense to break them since they wouldn't have nearly the strength needed to pull up, and pulling up wouldn't make make them live longer anyway.

As for nailing, the most obvious clue is found in John 20:24-28, where Thomas (who hadn't been with the rest of the disciples when Jesus came to visit), said he wouldn't believe unless he could put his fingers in the nail hole in Jesus' hands, and the spear wound in his side. (And thereby giving us the term "doubting Thomas.") Jesus feet aren't mentioned as having nail holes, but the implication is understood that his feet would have had to have been secured to the cross in some manner, and since nails were already being used elsewhere, it's not unreasonable to assume they were used on his feet as well.

As a matter of faith, it really doesn't make a difference as the exact manner of Jesus's crucifixion, but the article's main point seems less about that, than in trying to imply that not only is the faith-based portion of the story wrong, so are the supposed reality-based details of it. Well, faith is faith, but our common image of the historical act itself is based in something other than unfounded and ignorant supposition--it is based upon what the Gospel texts say.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:49 AM | Comments (7)

I Been Workin' on a Chain Gang...

I'm not sure what happened to the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three last week during Spring Break--reports came from various sources about it being seen with a beer funnel and a buxom Tri-Delt in Panama City Beach, but no matter what it was doing then, it's shown up for work on time today!

THIS WEEK'S thrilling set of questions comes to us via known restaurant-haunter, Dr. Jimbo Smith, who wants all of you to please take a seat and answer the following three questions:

1. What is your favorite chain restaurant?
2. What is your least favorite chain restaurant?
3. What chain do you wish was in your town, or at least a little closer to you?

As always, the questions are open for anyone to answer, even if you hate restaurants with nifty theme bric-a-brac screwed to the walls. Second, I think the definition of a restaurant is pretty broad, so it might be good to narrow it down by saying that it means a place with waiters who come and take your order, rather than a buffet place or a fast-food place. (Here's a list of chains from around the world for your edification and amusement.) Just leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to your blog joint with your response.


1. Favorite? Hmm, well, most of the biggies have a presence somewhere in the metro area around here, and I've eaten at most of them. I suppose, based on where we go on Sundays if we have any extra cash, I'd have to say Ruby Tuesday. If we had all day to kill, I suppose I like Cracker Barrel better, but the one in Trussville and the one in Leeds take FOREVER to seat you and serve you, so you have to not really be hungry to go eat there. And, of course, if I'm by myself on the road, there's really nothing like Waffle House.

2. Least favorite would probably be Lone Star Steakhouse--I've only been in a couple, and both times the place seemed as though it were covered in sticky layer of filth, and the service was poor. I've never been to a Logan's Roadhouse restaurant, but the idea of peanut shells on the floor just doesn't do it for me.

3. This one is pretty hard, since Birmingham is a big restaurant town and as I mentioned, we've pretty much got at least two of every national chain somewhere in the area, in addition to all the local favorites. I really can't think of any place that I would just love to have that we don't already have.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:24 AM | Comments (26)

March 29, 2006

Yet another hour gone I'll never get back.

Not that I don't love meetings--I do so love them.

Much like I love repeatedly slamming my naughty parts in a car door while singing La Marseillaise at the top of my lungs.


I really need to get with it and learn to love wasting time talking about the same things over and over, without ever reaching any sort of resolution. I mean, I need the exercise, and there's no exercise like exercises in futility.

ANYway, I think it's about time to go home for the evening.

And do my exercises there instead.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:39 PM | Comments (3)

Well, if it's good enough for their cigarettes...

France to let vintners use wood shavings

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

What's wrong with AOL?

Nothing, really.

Except for the Unnecessary Anger Generation portion of the script that the customer service reps have to read.

I'd had AOL a long time ago, and it wasn't great, but the latest go-'round with them was much more pleasant. I signed up for one of those 1070 free hour deals with a disc I got in the mail, and I have to say that the service was much better this time. Only a few unexpected times when it knocked itself offline, but overall, about as good as any other service, and they had a pretty robust popup/spam/virus blocking system. So, after the free trial, I let it go on for the next few months. Then they had a price increase from $21 (which is too high considering services such as NetZero) to $26.

26 bucks for dialup? When I found out my phone company had DSL for the same price, it seemed pretty dumb to keep paying for worse service--and the inability to use the telephone during the ultralong sessions of Googling.

After I got my new service fixed up, I called AOL customer service last night to cancel it. After the usual round of 5,000 voice prompts to make sure my information is kept secure, I was routed to the pleasant voice of a young woman in Southwest Asia. And then I went though all the same questions again.

Finally got time to say that I wanted to cancel my service, so I had to give some reasons--1) I can get DSL, and 2) DSL is just as cheap. More questions, more reading from a prepared script about how great and wonderful AOL is, more begging to stay with them, last-ditch decreases in price, the reminder that I can still access AOL over my DSL for only $9 extra per month--on and on.

Nope. Nope. Nope. Not interested. Nope. Nope. No thank you.

Until something in the script called for the girl to challenge me--"You say that price is important to you, but you do not want to save money with this plan!? Why would you say you want to save money if--"



"Because I want to cancel my service, and I want to cancel it now, and I have tried to be as patient as I possibly can over the past ten minutes, and I am not interested in ANY additional services, nor in continuing to pay for anything from AOL, and I want my account cancelled now!"

Another five minutes of script reading.


Got an idea, here, AOL--don't be a butt towards me if I decide to cancel my service. My money, my decision, and I don't need you to berate me for it.


Stupid AOL.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:34 PM | Comments (14)

A simple solution, really.

I mean, I really have no idea what to do about illegal immigration, but it seems to me if we want all the illegal aliens to leave, probably the best thing to do is declare that they are now all under arrest and cannot leave the United States, and most especially cannot return, EVER, to their country of origin.

I figure the ACLU will be filing papers immediately to have everyone released and sent back home as quickly as possible, and if there is any delay whatsoever, I'm sure there will be an overnight grassroots movement that will sring up to spirit the poor prisoners out of the country.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:12 PM | Comments (3)

Whaddya mean, 'it's been over two weeks'?!

Well, I'll be--it HAS been! Two weeks and a day since you all were last graced with an appearance by the world's most smartest marsupial, Dr. Possum, who takes the opportunity every so often to answer any sort of questions with which you might be burdened, even if they AREN'T of a medical nature, in his regular feature here on Possumblog, Ask Dr. Possum.

Dr. Possum, whose brain is the size of a walnut, still manages to dispense his tremendous knowledge of the workings of the human body, as well as the workings of life in general, with a calm, witty, and urbane manner very similar to that of other well-known physicians*, yet he never asks for your insurance card!

SO, if you have a question you've been hankering to have answered by a semiarboreal nonplacental mammal with a prehensile tail, fire away! (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

*Obligatory disclaimer. "Ask Dr. Possum," Possumblog Shoe Emporium, Possumblog Farms, Possumblog Kitchens, Possumblog Discount Auto Mall, and any other related corporate entities make no guarantee regarding the validity or accuracy of any information offered, because that would likely involve lawyers, and possibly, prison time. Remember, Dr. Possum is not an actual medical doctor. But it really shouldn't make that big of a difference, right?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:32 PM | Comments (11)

Well, I'll give the Yankees the ability to cope with snow...

...but when it comes to fearsome cats--

Crazy Cat Terrorizes Connecticut Town

FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Residents of the neighborhood of Sunset Circle say they have been terrorized by a crazy cat named Lewis. Lewis for his part has been uniquely cited, personally issued a restraining order by the town's animal control officer.

"He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw," Janet Kettman, a neighbor said Monday. "They are formidable weapons."

The neighbors said those weapons, along with catlike stealth, have allowed Lewis to attack at least a half dozen people and ambush the Avon lady as she was getting out of her car. [...]

--well, they don't have NUTHIN' on folks down here!

Loose Bengal tiger sought in Cullman

Cullman County Sheriff’s deputies and animal control officers have stepped up patrols in the Berlin community since late last week looking for what residents describe as a Bengal tiger roaming the area.

Sheriff’s deputies were first called to a neighborhood off Cullman County Road 1641 in the eastern part of the county Thursday night on a report of a tiger in a back yard of a home, said sheriff’s Lt. Phillip Patterson.

Four adults in three homes on that road reported seeing the animal before it disappeared into a wooded area before deputies arrived, Patterson said. Later, another person was interviewed who had seen the animal earlier in daylight in a field near some cows but had not reported it to law enforcement, he said.

No sightings have been reported since that time.

The animal’s description matches that of a young adult Bengal tiger about waist high and weighing about 200 to 250 pounds with about a 3-inch red collar, Patterson said. There have been no reports of anyone having lost a tiger, he said.

Well, then, it must not have been lost, eh?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:52 AM | Comments (2)

Smart and Strong!

As if.

After I finally got my wondrous new DSL service going last night in its full 300Mbps (not really) glory, I noticed an interesting story that had just hit the news page--

Democrats Pledge to 'Eliminate' Osama

By LIZ SIDOTI , 03.28.2006, 08:44 PM

Congressional Democrats promise to "eliminate" Osama bin Laden and ensure a "responsible redeployment of U.S. forces" from Iraq in 2006 in an election-year national security policy statement.

In the position paper to be announced Wednesday, Democrats say they will double the number of special forces and add more spies, which they suggest will increase the chances of finding al-Qaida's elusive leader. They do not set a deadline for when all of the 132,000 American troops now in Iraq should be withdrawn.

"We're uniting behind a national security agenda that is tough and smart and will provide the real security George Bush has promised but failed to deliver," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday.

His counterpart in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said the Democrats are offering a new direction - "one that is strong and smart, which understands the challenges America faces in a post 9/11 world, and one that demonstrates that Democrats are the party of real national security." [...] [Emphasis mine]

Having become accustomed over the past few years to the way these things work, one senses that at a recent conclave amongst the putative Democratic "leadership," a pollster was trotted out who laid it out for everyone to see--"Ladies and gentleman, poll after poll show that Americans think the Republicans aren't doing as well as they could be doing, but rather than vote for you, people keep telling us that they think Democrats are stupid and weak."

After several hours of trying to figure out what the definitions of "stupid" and "weak" are (and answering the near-constant stream of prank phone calls from Karl Rove who keeps asking if their refrigerator is running, and then being puzzled when Rove keeps laughing uproariously everytime they answer "yes, and would you please quit asking!"), Reid, Pelosi, et al., decide that the best course of action is to boldly tell EVERYONE that they are NOT weak and stupid, but on the contrary, are STRONG and SMART! THAT will show those evil Republicans who keep using the Democrats' own words against them!

AND, in the grand tradition of the party that has very nearly relegated itself to perpetual minority status through constant pandering and overpromising, they up the ante by GUARANTEEING they will capture Osama bin Ladin! WOO-HOO!! AMERICA IS DONE SAVED! (But in the purely secular sense, because to inject faith into the discussion is offensive.)

Well, a couple of things. The reason I think the Democrats are weak and stupid has little to do with the things they say in position papers. It has everything to do with the idea that the effective prosecution of the war on terror is best done by the rote disagreement with President Bush at every single possible turn, regardless of the actual consequences of that stand. Every miscue, every shortcoming, is mindlessly, needlessly, amplified and used as a tool of political gamesmanship--which is fine if all we're doing is fighting over whether to build a big bridge in Alaska.

But the criticism of the war effort in particular has not been the least bit constructive, and seems less directed toward actually winning the war than scoring short-term political points. It's not that the Administration is above criticism--it isn't, nor should it be. But the Democratic response is less an intellectual process than it is the automatic gainsaying of what the Republicans have said. (No it isn't! Yes it is!)

You want folks to think you're smart and tough? Start being smart and tough--don't talk about losing, talk about winning. (And by "winning," I mean winning the war, not the White House.) Quit trying to find common ground with people whose only intent is to kill every one of us. Quit embracing large sweaty men from Hollywood who gleefully equate terrorists with our Founders. Realize that good and evil actually do exist, and that merely spouting off that George Bush is a terrorist pales in comparison to actual terrorists cutting people's heads off.

Second--Osama. Ever since we began operations in Afghanistan the rumblings from the left side of the aisle has been that somehow the whole operation since then has been a colossal failure since we haven't captured Osama. Friends, global jihad is bigger than Osama. Sure, he's got star power and the invocation of his name generates lots of warm fuzzy feelings amongst those on Infidel Elimination duty, but the cause pressed hard by the nonpeaceful parts of the Religion of Peace doesn't rely on the life or death of one man. If he's dead, he's still a martyr and still has the power to serve as inspiration for future attackers. If he's captured, that's good, but it's not the end.

Staking your entire stack of chips on a promise to capture him is foolish, unless you have the willingness to take on the rest of the players who come in to take his place. And what would Democrats do if he happened to be captured?

Going back to the perceptions of those of us who think Democrats are weak and ineffectual in this fight, I have to wonder if there would there be tearful speeches by Patty Murray that he's a good daycare-building man who's simply misunderstood, and that we'd be no better than the terrorists if we tried him? Would the Democrats, with their seemingly insatiable desire for international input and right-of-veto over American power, fall all over themselves to give him the sort of fawning treatment shown to Slobodon Milosovic? Would there be mass marches with big papier mache puppet heads to protest his trial, and demands that George Bush should be tried with him? Or would Democrats simply be satisfied to let him teach at Yale? Maybe go on the Today show with Katie AND Matt interviewing him. Possibly get a nice fat book deal and sit on Oprah's couch. Maybe even get to do a Letterman Top 10 list!

Smart and strong, huh? Well, it's going to have to be more than words on paper.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)

Oh, yeah.

Had to take Oldest to the orthodontist/cash-extractor first thing this morning.

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

March 28, 2006

I have but one hope--

Space Station Crew to See a Real Moon Shadow

That being that the clever rocket scientists that Steevil works with won't take this as an opportunity to have everyone have a Cat Stevens singalong.

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

Aww, how sweet!

Voinovich warms to U.S. ambassador to U.N.

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican senator who upset the White House last year by opposing President Bush's choice for U.N. ambassador now says John Bolton is "a changed man" whom he might support should Bush try to renew the appointment. [...]

I hope this means he can put away the tissues!

As for the putative change in Ambassador Bolton that Mr. Voinovich seems to have discovered, I would counter that neither man has actually changed much--Bolton is still outspoken, demanding, and tough (although not nearly so much as Regis), and Voinovich is still a far cry from Jeremiah, being, as before, a rank opportunist with a backbone the diameter of piano wire and the color of a school bus.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:52 PM | Comments (2)

A nice little jaunt!

Took my lunch hour for to go ahunting to see if I could find the elusive Homelite primer bulb.

I had the foresight (for once) to call the place in Trussvegas to inquire if they had one of these jewels, and surprisingly (to me, at least) they didn't. They did say that maybe Chalkville Small Engine Service had one, so I called, and the feller on the phone said they did.


Stopped first to get gas and get the Volvo washed (it's been awhile), then went and got my free meal from Captain D's (I filled out an online survey while I was off), THEN headed out for Chalkville.

Remember Sling Blade? Remember the place where Karl went to work fixin them engines, mmhm? Well, that place was REALLY nice!

Let me say this, though--there is much to recommend a place that sits hard on the road, in a decrepit old house, that looks like most of the support is provided by equipment leaned up against the walls. The inside were cram packed with shiny new belts and blades and parts and stuff and junk and tools and guys with their names on their pockets, and thank heavens, a Homelite primer bulb for the princely sum of $2.26 plus tax.

Thanks, guys!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (12)

Oh, by the way...

...moths are EXPENSIVE!

I forgot what day it was, but one day last week while I was off, I took my suit coat into the local reweaving place that had been recommended by my dry cleaner.

After buzzing Catherine and me in (it's not in the nicest part of town), the lady behind the counter took a look at the three tiny holes, and then carefully chalked a small box around each one. Next, she took a slim metal ruler and measured the precise dimensions of each chalk box, looked at a chart, then did some figuring on a calculator. "One hundred ten dollars."

::jaw hits floor::

Stupid moths! All sorts of junk they COULD eat, but they have to snack on my only other suit!

Well, there was really nothing I could do--they don't sell the coat separately, and I surely didn't want to pay for another suit. ::sigh::

She said it would be ready around April 3 or so. "Oh, and I need the pants to go with it--that's where we take the material from."

Grr. Had to go all the way back home, get my pants, then go all the way back there.

Stupid moths.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)


Don't want to do it.

I know I could do it--the information is about the ADA, which I've had a relatively good handle on for a long time now, so it would be a nice refresher course for me. I just don't want to have to turn around then and try to teach this stuff to the other folks I work with.

I just don't have the patience for it--I've been in training sessions on other topics with certain of my esteemed coworkers, and it never fails to be a teeth-gritting experience. There's always one guy who thinks he's a lawyer, and wants to drag the discussion down a thousand different tangents, none of which make any sense, except possibly in Bizarro World. Then there's the person who hallucinates, and the guy who thinks he's bright and witty--just like Hawkeye on MASH--except he doesn't have a team of writers and a laff track, then there's the woman who is confused by things like "left" and "right."

Since we have rules that prohibit shouting at people and telling them that they need to either shut up and listen or leave, and other rules that say smiting them with fearsome blows is just right out, I just don't think I would do well in such a position.

Unless I could finagle a way to have a supermodel as my assistant.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

From the Entertainment Industry's "Gee, What Are the Odds of THAT Happening!" File--

Jackie Chan injured by stuntman


'Brokeback' takes top film at gay awards

Amazing, huh.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

Well, I know at least one person who'll be happy...

Jeff Sessions: Immigration reform bill is "blanket amnesty"


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:17 AM | Comments (4)

Speaking of excitement...

Kitchens are warming up with shades of brown

This can only mean that harvest gold is not far behind! HURRAY FOR 1977!

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

Well, that's rather boring.

VisionLand amusement park now `Alabama Adventure'

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — The VisionLand amusement park is getting a new name to go along with millions of dollars in improvements.

Southland Entertainment Group said Monday the park, located west of Birmingham, would now be called "Alabama Adventure."

The California-based company purchased the park three years ago, and president Kent Lemasters said a name change was planned all along. But Southland said the company wanted to make sure it "changed the park" before altering the name. [...]

I was always very partial to "Electric LarryLand."

(Those from the local area will appreciate that.)

Anyway, "Alabama Adventure" really isn't the most compelling name for a theme park. It's not bad, it's just sort of bland. Then again, something like "Knott's Berry Farm" doesn't exactly scream excitement, either, but it would be nice if it had a bit more oomph.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:53 AM | Comments (2)

Jack Bauer Update!


See, last Monday, I was knee deep in various kid related stuff, and so I only caught dribbles of what was going on--there was that leggy brunette Russian girl with the great big bank accounts, and she sold some kind of schematic diagram of something to the bad guys, and she was also doing naughty things with some hippie slacker intelligent German guy, who, if you ask me, wasn't so intelligent, because he allowed himself to fall for the brunette Russian, and Jack whacked him around a bit and got him to give her up if Jack would let him use a WetNap, which Jack had to get downloaded from the NSA by Miss Pinchface (which is illegal, believe it or not) and then the Expresident's Brother went into a place that had a roadblock AND a truckful of goons who were intent on messing up the spinner rims on his new Jag, and they was a'chasing him into a tunnel, and then the Unintelligent German Guy pops in the chip that Jack made for him into his cheap Euroknockoff Blackberry and the whole thing smoked up like the tapes from the old Mission: Impossible teevee show, and the Unintelligent German Guy was all p.o.'ed because he was going to take the WetNap and sell it to some other dirty terrorist who probably doesn't bathe regularly either, but after it burnt up, he couldn't do it, so he shook his fist at Jack, and Jack was all apologetic, but I think in the back of his mind he was laughing at the stupid German and his long hippie hair. But then, in a strange twist, Jack finds out from the Brunette Russian that the diagram she had was very diagrammatic, and schematical, and had been got from BROKENOSE GIRL! Yikes--she gets around.

NOW THEN--as for last night, we ate supper at Reba's parents' house, so we didn't get home until late, and a bunch of stuff had already happened by the time I got the tube turned on.

Best I can tell, Impassive Bald Secret Service Guy is more of a superman than Jack Bauer, and goes out by himself with a wimpy little 9mm and takes on the whole truckload of bad guys with AKs and does a great deal of damage to them AND rescues Expresident's Brother. But not the Jag.

They've got Brokenose Girl hooked up to some bad juice in an IV, and she doesn't know anything, because Jack comes busting in to where the Brunette Russian hotty is being held and slaps a guard unconscious, steals his pistol, and points it at the delicate curvy parts of Brunette Russian and finds out from her that she was only playing with him about Brokenose Girl, and that the schematics are of a natural gas facility. All that gas--someone get me the Bean-O! Interesting side note--either tall leggy voluptuous Russian brunettes are really stupid, or Jack Bauer is so powerful that his threats to shoot Brunette Russian are made real because he can cause a Glock to fire EVEN WHEN THE SLIDE IS OUT OF BATTERY! He was just a'pointing that thing at Brunette Russian, and she was just all weepy and lip-biting, and Jack was all screamy, all the while the slide on the pistol was locked back. And this after he'd already racked the slide to chamber a round--don't those rent-a-cops know anything about Condition One!?

Jack yells and then runs to go find Brokenose Girl, who is screaming because of the bad juice in the IV, and they hug and have a moment together of intense intensity, despite the fact that Jack has left a known Brunette Russian terrorist hooker alone in a cell with a knocked out rent-a-cop, so she's probably already all over him getting his wallet and the key to the handcuffs.

Last part I saw was some cute redheaded high school intern telling Smellyface Chloe that in order to get the nerve gas into the natural gas, the terrorist dudes have to lower the pressure, and so Pinchface Chloe somehow tapped into all the pressure readings of all the natural gas facilities in the area (wow, there's a LOT of those) and found one that was low. Gray Haired Boss thanked them both and went on off to go do Important Bossy Things, and then we find out that Cute Redhead High School Intern is a psychopath who thinks Gray Haired Boss was putting a move on her.

WRITERS OF 24! STOP THIS CRAP RIGHT NOW! I don't want to see anything about a delusional intern chick having flights of fancy about Gray Haired Boss! Let her get kidnapped or let Kim run over her with a forklift or something, but the story line you're thinking about is stupid and I will mock you if you continue to do it. And please--in close shots of firearms, make sure that it's actually ready to fire, or people will start thinking this whole thing is just some made-up TV show.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (8)

March 27, 2006

Oh, and by the way...

...Gmail is STILL messed up, which makes me very angry.

UPDATE: It works now! For some reason, I had to go in and clear the browser cache, which is nearly impossible to do on our computers because the system administrators have hobbled anything that might let people change settings on their desktop machinery. You have to be very quick on the mouse click, because the dialogue box will only pop up for a split second unless you manage to zip down and click on the right button. Silly computers.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:32 PM | Comments (0)


Well, obviously, there was church, which was just as it should have been, and there was a get-together for the elementary kids afterwards, which was also just as it should have been.

It was what happened when we got home that was so far out of the ordinary that it defies all expectations.

I did my taxes.


Yes, believe it or not, I actually broke down and finally bought one of them there new-fangledy eeelectronical doohickeys that you do your taxes with. I chose the H&R Block version, mainly because it was cheaper on the front end versus the TurboTax version. A long-time devotee of paper and pencil, I just got tired of fighting it, and wanted something I could sit down and do quickly, without nearly so much fighting with paperwork and my own propensity for forgetting important math skills such as adding and subtracting.

Mine have always been straightforward, and really, it's not that much trouble to do, but the lure of getting both the Alabama and Federal forms done at once, and not having to worry about mailing stuff in, and then the even better incentive of getting my refund back in only a couple of weeks just made me say, "Eh, whatever."

Anyway, it was very easy. I had to break off so we could go to evening services, but after I got back to it after supper, it only took a bit over an hour and a half to finish up both returns and send them off over the wire for processing.

I'm not sure why this week was the Week of Technology, but the rapid pace of change--RAM upgrade, DSL, and computerized tax preparation and filing--why, it almost makes my head spin! Next thing you know, I'll be doing podcasts like all the cool kids!


Anyway, it has been an interesting week.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (4)



After the requisite large breakfast, it was outside with the ol' edger to get things spiffed up for NEXT Saturday's party. But in a departure from the usual way of things, I actually had some help this time. Cat decided she wanted to be outside, so I had her go get the broom and start sweeping up the edge clippings. And in a minor miracle, she actually stayed after it until we'd swept everything up in to nice neat piles! Which I then blew everywhere with the lawnmower. Silly me.

I was just glad to get the lawnmower started--seems SOMEone left gas in it last season, and didn't put any fuel stabilizer in it, and it was VERY hard to crank. Stupid person, who shall remain nameless!

But before THAT bit of motorized mayhem, it was time to get the fearsome two-stroke whirling fury of death out of the shed and cut down some of the weeds popping up everywhere.

For some reason, that baby fired right off.


Man, I love that thing. Even if attempting to replicate its sound screws up the formatting.

And totally wrecked the cutter head on it. Several seasons back I'd gotten one of those heads with the three nylon swinging blades on it, and while great for cutting big brush, they have turned out to be a bit delicate in actual use. Two of them sheared off, and the mounting plate got a huge crack in it.


No fun!

Well, might as well put back on the string trimmer head, which had been buried under several season's worth of junk in the garage. I did find it, however! Although it was all out of string, which is one of the reasons why I'd gotten the other thing to begin with. ::sigh::

Well, poop.

Off to the hardware store!

String, bright yellow, full of deadly cutting edges.

Home, wrap, insert into end of machinery, and then go to restart the high-pitched drone of destruction, and--



If it's not one thing...

The little clear squishy plastic primer bulb on the carburetor had deteriorated, and was now cracked, meaning it couldn't be squished in any possible way to bring fuel up, and even if there was fuel in it, it couldn't hold it.



All this time, I'm fighting the clock, because we'd agreed to meet Reba's mom and dad and Ashley's other grandparents over at the Olive Garden in Irondale so they could treat her to supper for her birthday. We had to be there at 5, and it was 1:30, and I still had to cut the grass. GRR!

Oh, wait, already said that.

ANYWAY, off to the local yard tool emporium down on Main Street at the foot of the hill, who have all sorts of parts and junk for stuff like string trimmers. They've been in business for a LONG time, although how they manage to do that AND CLOSE AT NOON ON SATURDAYS, I'll never be able to figure out! ARGGHHH!!


No primer bulbs. In fact, few parts of any kind.

Off to Lowe's. GA--oh, wait! PRIMER BULBS! But--but these are the WRONG KIND! And they only have ONE KIND IN STOCK! AARRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

Dang it all. Dingderndangintall.

Well, crap.

Back to the house, put away the weed whacker, and get to work on the lawn mowing. Get the front done, but only the front, before it's time to come inside and clean up.


DINNER, on the other hand, was quite nice. Long wait, but the service was very good, and the food was pretty darned okay as well. And we managed not to have to pay for anything.

Home, bed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:31 PM | Comments (0)


Anytime Reba is home, Reba believes it necessary to get up early and cook a big breakfast, even if there are some in the house who'd like to sleep late THEN eat a big breakfast. Beggars can't be choosers, however.

So, a big breakfast, cooked up nice and hot and very early. Downstairs, with the younger three of the children begging mom to come outside and watch them ride their bicycles all day long. As events would have it, though, there was other stuff to get done, most of which involved planning for Oldest to have her 16th birthday party this upcoming weekend.

The 16 year old was then asked by the children if SHE would like to come ride bicycles with them. Despite the fact that she had been hibernating the entire week.

"I don't have a bicycle."

HUH!? Since when!? Although she rode it exactly one time, she had indeed received a brand new bicycle on her 13th birthday. After that one ride, she did not even mention the bike again after that. She'd complained and complained about her old bike, that it was too small, that she was too old for it, that she couldn't ride it, on and on with excuses, so we thought it would be nice to get her one that was more suited for her age. After she found out that it required effort to steer, balance, and ride it, I suppose the charm fell off faster than she did.

"Ashley, you have a bicycle."

"NO, I DON'T. YOU said you were NEVER going to get me another one."

"Ashley, we got you one for your birthday."

"NO, you DIDN'T!"

::sigh:: I got up, went to the cabinet, got the key to the storage shed (that's not a storage shed but a big plastic playhouse), went outside, unlocked it, and pulled out her shiny red rode-once bicycle and helmet, wheeled it in front of the big kitchen window where everyone was sitting eating breakfast, and came inside. "You have a bicycle. You've had a bicycle for three years--we bought if for you for your 13th birthday. You have ridden it once. But you do have one."

It is my firm belief that she would still deny it existed if there was any way she thought she could get away with it. In fact, I'm not completely certain she would admit it even now. Talk about the human capacity for self-delusion.

Or, hey, maybe it's just me.

Anyway, breakfast (and crow) was finished up and the dishes put away. Reba got ready to go shopping (::sigh::) and as I was doing something I turned around and there was Rebecca right behind me.

"Daddy? Would it be okay if today I rode Ashley's bike? It's smaller than Mom's, and she's already told me she doesn't want to ride it."


I know how these things go--Oldest will say she doesn't want something, until someone else does, or alternately will let someone use something and then complain that it was taken from her by force. Always. Without fail.

"Rebecca, you KNOW that won't work--she'd say you took her bicycle away from her. Just don't worry about it and ride your own."

"Ooookaaaay." She was disappointed, but she would still have gone and had fun on her little bike no matter what.

For all you "nature vs. nurture" debaters, have I got a case study for you.

Anyway, Reba got ready to go, but before she left I ran an idea by her--how about getting Rebecca a similar bike to Ashley's. She still has money left over from Christmas, after all, and she really has outgrown her other one, which could then be passed down to Catherine. And Oldest couldn't be jealous, because she has a brand new one still anyway.

Fair enough, we figured.

Off they went, and then the other three and I did a bit of online looking around for bikes, then went on our own excursion--first to Academy, because Reba said they usually had some on sale, and then to Wallyworld, because I am cheap. Found this one, and she still has money left over.

The only problem was getting it back to the house. For some reason, I thought that it would fit in the trunk of the Focus, which we had taken because it needed gas. I folded down one side of the back seat, which was just enough for Catherine to reach through and hold onto the wheel. Fortunately, the ride back to the house is slow speed all the way.

To the house, then, and after a bit of lunch and some owner's manual reading, it was time to try it out. And, believe it or not, they finally wore me down enough to convince me to get MY bicycle off the back porch, spray it full of Liquid Wrench, air up the (quite dry-rotted) tires, replace the (quite dry-rotted) cushiony seat, and actually climb on it and ride around with them. Boy, it's been a long time since I did that--we had such good intentions several years back of trying to ride around the neighborhood some ever afternoon, but long work hours pretty much did in those intentions.

But, not on Friday.

I rode and rode until I was sore all up and down my legs--I think it must have been 2, or even 3 minutes later.

Despite this, I stayed out with them for many MANY more minutes that was actually prudent given my overall lousy physical condition, which made all the yardwork I did on Saturday even more of a chore. But it was fun, nonetheless.

Reba got home, asked if I'd done anything productive like put another load of clothes in the dryer, and I proudly said I absolutely had not, and then went and put some clothes in the dryer.

The rest of the evening was spent doing more such housework, and then it was MOVIE TIME!

We'd wanted to go see a movie at the theater, but frankly, there's nothing worth going to see right now. So, we popped popcorn and watched that great movie classic, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.

Boy, special effects sure have come a long way in the past 30 years.

The kids enjoyed it, however, and for me, it was nice to see and try to identify all the old new cars. It seems this particular "Trans-France" Paris to Monte Carlo road race had no class structure of any kind--sort of a high-zoot, Cannonball Rally, run-what-you-brung affair. Lots of Porsches, including the Bad Guy's 917, and some older Fiats, and a Triumph, and a surprising amount of Ferrari Daytonas. And an inexplicable Pantera. I will give them points for properly pronouncing Lancia all the way through the movie. Mostly.


Herbie wins the race, and gets the Lancia. Frankly, however, there was a Stratos in the race who was a lot better looking--I've always thought the Montecarlos had a bit too much front overhang, almost to the point of looking like a Saab Sonnet.

Anyway, bedtime then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)


Typing! And MORE biking!

I managed to hold Catherine off throughout most of the day due to the cold wind--it was gorgeous all week, but that cold wind just didn't do it for me. Anyway, at least that allowed me to completely finish all of my minute-writing tasks, so at least that part of my workweek is nicely laid by.


My original intent had been to get the kids outside to the kiddy park all week so they could play, but this turned out to be even better since it didn't require me to go anywhere.

Thursday, Rebecca got her bike out and she and Boy and Cat all three had a several-hour long game of tag on the street in front of the house. Rebecca has gotten so tall now that her little bike looks lost underneath her, so I decided I'd get Reba's bike off the back porch, air up the (quite dry-rotted) tires, change out the (quite-dry rotted cushioned seat) and see if Rebecca could use it any better. After a great deal of Liquid Wrench had been sprayed to break up the huge amount of rust on the moving parts, I finally got it moving again and let Rebecca try it. She wasn't very comfortable, and all the gears and such made her confused. So, back to their regular bikes.

Ride, ride, ride, ride. "Hey, aren't y'all tired yet?"



They did very well, though, aside from one minor mishap where Jonathan decided to cross the street in front of an oncoming car. Luckily, they were going slow, but he got a good chewing out about it from Dad. He did better the next day.

WHICH, surprise of surprises, Reba got to take off as well! Seems that although her boss had been on vacation all week, she burned up Reba's phone line with near-constant micromanagement updates. But, out of some sense of shame or obligation, she decided to let Reba have Friday off to make up for it, so that was just fine.

Although I knew it would create actual work for me.

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



Yes, despite the fact that I was on "vacation," we still had our biweekly regulatory meeting, and seeing as how I am the designated scrivener/roll taker/clerk/table arranger for the event, I had to show up. Which created no small amount of problems at the house, in that Reba's mom and dad were supposed to be off in the mountains on vacation (they actually didn't leave until Thursday), and although the three older kids could be trusted to stay home by themselves, the addition of a certain youngest child created MUCH more potential for mayhem than we were willing to endure. So, the plan was for Reba to take her to work with her at the nursing home, and then I'd come get her after my meeting.

Which is exactly what we did--thankfully, my meeting didn't go too long this time and was over by 8:30, so I scooted over and picked up Cat, and scooted right back to the office to sign off on a bunch of permits, catch up on my work e-mail, transfer a bunch of note-taking/minute-transcribing junk to my thumb drive, and all the while, Catherine quietly sat at my drafting table and colored me a gigantic picture of a dolphin (or a duck-billed plesiosaur) jumping out of the water.

Got my notes together, grabbed the girl, and headed home for the day. Not much bike riding, unfortunately, because we had to get ready for Bible study at church, and I had to get a jump on doing my meeting minutes so I could have time to play with all of you kids today.

Supper, church, home, bed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:35 AM | Comments (2)

Gmail is done busted.

Sorry, but if anyone has tried to contact me this morning, my Gmail account is acting weird and I can't access it right now. If it's an emergency, you can always use the old address of

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


Was better. Went and picked up Rebecca from her overnight stay, then came back and did some cleaning up and stuff, and then it was time to take Catherine for her annual shearing.

She's been pestering us for over a month now to get her hair cut short again, and after FINALLY figuring out where Alisha the Stylist had gone, we made an appointment for Tuesday. It seems that she DID leave her previous place of haircuttery, and all of the confusion was caused by the fact that they had someone else with a similar name who'd come in after her. I finally got someone at HeadStart who didn't mind telling me where she'd gone afterwards, so we tracked her down and made Cat an appointment. Whew.

Fed the kids and took Kat over the hill to the ultra-kute hair-kuttin' place where Alisha works now. Sat. Waited. HEY! No hair! Not really--she has the same turned-under bob that she got on her birthday last year, and she's just as cute as a cute thing.

Home, and almost immediately, she wanted to get outside and ride her bike. Seems one of the things I forgot about Monday was that after a several-month layoff, she'd gotten her little bike back out (sans training wheels) that afternoon and had managed in the span of about fifteen minutes to get the hang of pedalling and balancing and had begun zipping up and down the sidewalk. Boy had contented himself with riding the scooter, but I think he might have been a tad jealous of the fun she was having, witnessed by her maniacal laughter.

Anyway, despite having freshly shampooed and styled tresses, come Tuesday Cat was ready again to put on her helmet and play on her bike again, and Jonathan was, too. She immediately started pedalling as fast as she could up and down the sidewalk, and after I was convinced she had it well under control, I let her get into the street. Boy, seeing all the fun, also got to where he was able to zip around almost as well, but for the time being, he stayed up on the sidewalk. It got toward evening and the wind (which blew constantly--and cold--all week) was getting to be too much for me, so we stopped for the afternoon. They were both red-cheeked and runny-nosed after their efforts, but they seemed to have worked off a good deal of what my mother used to call "silly energy."

Suppertime (and no, I can't remember anything I fixed over the past week, although I do remember we had some spaghetti in there somewhere, and some soup, and some chicken), baths, bedtime.

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

Monday--Just what everyone wants to start off spring break...

...teen angst.


Monday was the designated day for the kids from church to meet up at the building and do some clean-up and some painting. Rebecca was all excited about going, but Oldest kept whining about it on Sunday. But, hey, whatever.

Then comes Monday, and she got progressively worse and worse as the time to go got closer, she began demonstrating all of the hatred and bitterness and, frankly, delusional idiocy, that makes living under the same roof with her something of a trial.


But what can you say about someone who is convinced everyone--every single person in the world--hates her with the same passion with which she hates everyone else? People go out of their way to try to be nice to her at church, but they also have the nerve to talk to other people, too--you know, normal social interaction.

Let me just say, I have learned that some people dislike not being the constant center of attention.

And dislike the idea that to have friends, you have to be friendly. And that if you mistreat other people, it really shouldn't be a big surprise when people don't want to be around you constantly.

Be that as it may, she and Rebecca were taken to the building where we arrived promptly at 9:00 a.m., and despite Oldest's crying and moaning and general ass-making-of-herself in the lobby, she was made to stay. Her (surprisingly, much more mature) younger sister was put in charge of her to make sure that she had someone who would talk to her and take care of her if anyone had the audacity to actually go off and try to get some work done rather than shower her with attention and adulation.

Of course, the entire time Oldest treated said sister like dirt, and from what I heard in the after-action report, pretty much did the same to everyone else, as well.

Around about 3 or so, Oldest called and demanded to be picked up, although Rebecca was still having fun painting and cleaning and being part of the group. Oldest had managed to do a few piddly things in between her bouts of running to the bathroom to hide in an effort to create a greater spectacle of herself. In the times that she wasn't avoiding work, she'd pretty much made it clear to anyone who she could find to talk from 9:01 that morning that she had been FORCED to be there and could not WAIT to go home.

I got there and she had that purse of hers strapped on and was clomping around ready to go, but Rebecca was still a bit pouty about having to quit. "Can I stay until we're done, and you can come back and get me?"

I really wasn't in the mood to take another trip across the county, and no one seemed to have a good handle on just how much longer all the painting was going to last. We were standing there discussing the alternatives when the mom of one of her friends (and, by extension, since we all know everyone, one of Oldest's friends) said she could stay and then go home with them afterwards. "But, you don't have pajamas, and your clothes are dirty, and..."

Said Mom, "Well, we'll find her something to sleep in, and I'll wash her stuff along with my girls'."

"Oooo, pleeeease, Daddy!? Please?"

How could I resist?

I kissed her goodbye and told her to be good, and turned around to see Oldest stalking off with her usual highly exaggerated foot stomping towards the door. ::sigh::

Got in the van, and she starts trying to yank the seat belt out of the roof pillar. Apparently, she'd been under the mistaken impression that if you complain all day about having to be around a certain group of people, and had acted like you hated the very ground they walked on, and told them all you could not wait to leave, and how you wished you were at home alone reading in your room, and all you could talk about was how smart you were and how stupid everyone else is, and HOW YOU COULD NOT WAIT TO LEAVE, and you constantly wondered why you had been forced to stay, and how you HATED it and wanted to LEAVE--well, gee, the mom of your friend might not be all that wrong to have let you GO ON HOME rather than subject you to further humiliation of having to be around people you hate.


In a very sharp exchange, Oldest was told that she couldn't have it both ways. You can't be hateful and expect people to fawn all over you. You can't say how much you want to leave because you hate it there, then have them beg you to stay.

As usual, common sense had no effect.


Monday was not a pleasant day.


Ever since I'd installed Windows XP, my HP Pavilion had been running like a rat in a glue trap. It had 64MB of RAM, but it obviously needed more--a LOT more. I'd shopped around for some in the past year, but I, being cheap, just couldn't see paying $80 for a 128 card, despite the mouth-breathing kid at the hole-in-the-wall computer store telling me that it was a good deal and I'd better buy it now before they were all gone. Seems the PC100/133 hardware was going the way of the dodo or something.

ANYway, Staples had an ad in the paper on the previous Sunday, so after the girls had been delivered that morning to the church building, Boy and Cat and I drove back to the Easy Button Store and picked up two 128MB cards for the princely sum of 40 bucks. Yep--20 dollars apiece. Pretty hard to beat that.

And BOY, what a difference 256MB makes over 64! I got home and after much tearing apart and dustbunny blowing out, I clicked the cards in and buttoned 'er back up, and it was startling how much faster it worked. Even AOL worked better, almost as fast as I'm used to at work!

BUT NOT TO BE OUTDONE--in yet ANOTHER technological leap forward, I actually went and took the plunge of ordering DSL through our local phone company! Goodbye, buggy whips! Goodbye, whale oil lamps!

I figure if it's the same price as dial-up, why not? The service starts tomorrow, but the modem and wires and all came some time during the week, so it's all ready except for the install and plugging in the Ethernet cable. WOO-HOO!

It better be good, or I'm gonna be awfully put out.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:27 AM | Comments (9)

The Return of Maudlin Marsupial Mewling and Mawkishness!

Good morning, everyone!

Now that I'm firmly back in place behind my desk, I can FINALLY get some sleep!

But not before you get the Executive Version Week in Review Recapitulation and Terms of Surrender.

Which will be coming in the next few hours in dribs and drabs, being that I'm going to be trying to reconstruct the events of the past seven days and frankly can't remember anything anyway. Therefore, some of it may turn out to be much more colorful than what actually happened.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2006

Guess what!


Nope, not that either.

Close, but not it.

Uh-uh--not that.

Oh, let me just tell you--I'm on vacation next week! Yay! One solid week of Spring Break, spent at home with the kiddies!


Can't go anywhere because Reba has to work. Which is probably just as well, since money goes flying out of our house like it's being sucked into a giant vacuum cleaner. I figure we'll go to the park a bunch and they can all play and run and whoop and holler, and I can vegetate. Of course, if I were REALLY interested in it, I probably could cut the grass. The wild violets and the clover are already popping up everywhere. I'm just glad that I'll get to sleep later than usual. Maybe.

ANYWAY, since I'm going to be incommunibloggo for the next few days (I really doubt I'll have much free time to blog, although I will have Chet the E-Mail Boy keeping up with e-mail in case you have something too hot to wait) someone is going to HAVE to volunteer to host the Thursday Three, lest the not-having of it for a whole week will make everyone forget all about it, which must not be allowed to happen!

So, volunteers! Leave a note in the comments below if you're a'willing.

As for other stuff, well, there's a lot of it. Which just figures, doesn't it?

Whatever--I'm going to shut 'er down for now, and give you my wishes for a fun time in my absence--remember, it's a big blog world out there, so there's plenty to read other than silly old Possumblog. JUST BE SURE AND COME BACK AGAIN!

See you all again on the 27th.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:53 PM | Comments (4)

What a nice parade!

In years past, I haven’t been quite so charitable to the St. Patty’s parade, which has always seemed to me to be a little lackluster, or something.

This year’s parade was better than I recall from years past, though, and now I could kick myself for not bringing my camera with me today.

But, that’s the breaks.

I went out for lunch and caught the head of the parade just breaking up in front of City Hall--the standard set of convertibles with either pretty girls or pocky old politicians. The Birmingham Irish Cultural Society was set up with a pipe and drum band (I’m almost certain it was these folks, but I will gladly make the correction if not) right at the end of 20th, and the cacophony of cats being strangled was stirring to the soul. Especially, I’m sure, for the Irish wolfhounds who had turned out.

There were more old cars and politicians driving by as I took up my post at the corner of Park Place and 20th (I was the chubby loner by the information kiosk), and then the more interestinger folks started coming by--the requisite curly-mop-haired toe dancers, people with kids on scooters, some Shriners, some cops and firefighters, various Irish pubs, and then something quite extraordinary--a Goth-girl roller derby group known as the Tragic City Rollers, (playing on Birmingham’s motto of “The Magic City”), who were all decked out with a variety of blinding green leggings and panties under their otherwise black ensembles. I realize I shouldn’t--I mean, I have a wonderful wife and family--but I tell you what, sometimes I do wish I were a young single man again.

But not to be outdone, no sooner had they passed than did pull up a float full of women from a local business known as The Furnace. (Sorry--no link on this one--you can use Google just as much as I can.) Anyway, from what I hear, this is a club where, unlike the mechanism on a Coke machine, dollar bills must be folded in half lengthwise before any sorts of refreshments are forthcoming. The girls were modestly dressed in nice tee shirts and shorts (in fact, probably more modestly than some of the onlookers) and were throwing out various caps and foam can cozies to the crowds. Well, to the men in the crowd.

Such a dilemma! I mean, I have tons of gimme caps, and they were FREE, and being thrown everywhere! Do I get one? Nah--somehow, I just don’t think Reba would have appreciated me wearing that particular one around the house or to the store.

Anyway, the girls all seemed as though they were having a wonderful time, and believe it or not, it is possible for them to move in a quite provocative manner to any sort of music, witnessed by the fact that one nicely-assembled brunette was bumping and grinding along to a tune that sounded very much like “Battle of the Tyne.” My only suggestion is that next year I think the girls could use a green, orange, and white striped pole attached to the bed of the trailer. Much safer that way--wouldn’t want any of them to fall off.

Anyway, quite a show this year to be sure--I’ll be sure and bring my camera next year.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:01 PM | Comments (3)

Well, the song DID say...

...he'd been in trouble with the law since the day he and his brother were born:

'Dukes of Hazzard' actor Wopat charged

RINGWOOD, N.J. (AP) — Tom Wopat, who played Luke Duke on the TV series "The Dukes of Hazzard," faces a drunken driving charge in northern New Jersey, authorities said Friday.

Wopat was arrested in Ringwood and charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving, said Bill Maer, a spokesman for the Passaic County sheriff's department.

He was pulled from a Ford Bronco Wednesday night after hitting orange traffic cones and nearly striking a Ringwood police car sent to an accident, Maer said. [...]

Boss Hogg could not be reached for comment. Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrain simply stated, "GYUGggigigig!"

And yes, this is as good an excuse as any to call Daisy on the CB and see if she can bring the bail money.

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

There is an old saying--

--"never bring a knife to a gunfight." However, if you do happen to have the foresight to bring a gun to a gunfight, it would probably be best to remember to bring a loaded one--Auto parts owner, 74, opens fire on robbers

News staff writer
A 74-year-old Birmingham shop owner stared into the barrel of a gun inches from his face Thursday, but said he felt no fear.

Joe Montabana could see there were no cartridges in the cylinder of the snub-nosed revolver. It was brandished by a bad guy and pointed straight at him.

Montabana got angry. And he fought back.

The longtime owner of Joe's Auto Parts near the Kingston community grabbed his own revolver, and moments later unleashed five shots toward the would-be robber.

"When he saw my gun, he went out the door really quick."

The fleeing man jumped into a waiting car occupied by two others. It was unknown whether anyone was injured; police were watching area hospitals to see if any gunshot victims would show up.

Montabana said it began when the man came into his 47th Street North store about 1 p.m. and asked him to duplicate a key. Montabana turned his back on the customer briefly, and when he turned back around the man had pulled the gun.

"He said something like `this is a robbery' or `you know what this is,' and he said `go around to the cash register,"` Montabana said. "I saw all the chambers were empty, so I just walked back behind the counter and got my own gun."

The robber immediately dashed for the front door. Montabana followed him and, once outside, opened fire.

"I just walked right here and started shooting," Montabana said, showing where the getaway car had been parked. "If I didn't hit the car, I don't know how I missed it."

Montabana opened the shop in 1965. The only previous trouble for his business happened 20 years ago, he said, when someone robbed the business, firing shots at his wife, who works there with him.

He seemed relatively unscathed by Thursday's event and said he had no qualms about firing his gun.

"He was robbing me. All I'm upset about is my damn lunch got cold."

Although I am all for self-defense, I am concerned what could have happened had this turned out a bit differently--if the robbers were injured, managed to survive, and found themselves a lawyer.

Although the shop owner might have reasonably believed he had been in danger at first glance of a drawn gun, the owner did state that he saw quickly that the gun in the man's hand was empty, and that he had no fear of him. If he realized the gun was empty, and opened fire anyway, it's possible he could be charged with assault, or worse, if any of the shots made contact.

Second, the robber immediately tried to flee, thus becoming much less of a threat. Rather than stopping at the safety of the doorway of the business, the owner went outside and started firing at him. Again, not a good idea--if either robber or accomplice was injured or killed in the one-sided exchange, the owner could have been facing jail time.

Third, since the owner believed the robber's gun to be unloaded, and fired anyway, if he hit anyone other than the robber, it would be much easier to charge him with negligence in the bystander's injury. It's one thing for someone to be injured incidentally in your effort at self-defense, but when it becomes less obviously self-defense on your part, your liability starts going way up for collateral damage.

Alabama (along with Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Washington) is currently debating a law to ease the restriction on a private citizen's "duty to retreat" from a threat caused from someone attempting to illegally enter their home or vehicle; in effect, giving citizens the same right as a police officer to stand his ground, and to use lethal force if threat to life seems imminent. Even if the law is passed, however, it still would not give people the right to chase after and shoot at persons who are no longer threatening them.

For those of you who do own firearms for self-defense, be sure to know the legal risks inherent in making use of them. An excellent online primer on the subject (and self-defense in general) can be found at the FOP Range website run by local law officer John Grigsby.

And don't let your lunch get cold.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:34 AM | Comments (2)

Why, yes!

I HAVE only had four hours of sleep!

Had a building committee meeting at church last night that lasted from 6:30 to 9:00, then I went home and found a house full of children who had not bathed nor done their homwork, and one particular oldest child of mine was on the computer vainly trying to find photographs of anemia and print them out, and who had very nearly torn the printer up trying to make it work, and another child who was supposed to be finding information on who easy or difficult it might be to travel in Russia, and a wife who was telling me in minute--as in minute-by-minute--details of her day as well as approximately four hundred other topics sprinkled in lest I get too unconfused.

First things first--Boy and Cat to the showers. Next, me into some loungewear. Next, figure out why printer is not printing. Ahh. I see. 13 jobs in the print queue, each one of them something like 40MB. Cancel all. Takes forever to cancel. Try to ascertain just how much information has been gleaned. Between nothing and next to nothing. Oldest needs a title for poster. "Anemia" Takes her nearly thirty minutes of constant fidgeting and screwing around with text color and font. Finally settles on the horrid Jokerman font (quite possibly the ugliest in the whole set of fonts) in red. "IT WON'T PRINT!" Send Oldest downstairs to start working on poster with the information she already has, and print out title. She had a bunch of dialogue boxes in the background that she'd not closed--most likely because she didn't know they were there. Even though she knows EVERY. SINGLE. THING. about computers.

Closed completely out of everything, and started the Internet back up. She'd been blindly searching through AOL for something about anemia, and had wasted hours upon hours not doing anything. Went to Google Images, typed in anemia, and found what I expected--thousands of pictures related to anemia.

Let me just say--Ick. Blech. Ewww. And, oddly enough, Rrowwl.

Obviously, that last one didn't make the cut.

Trouble printing again--seems the thing that causes loud, internal, plastic-on-plastic-on-metal grinding noises had been activated. After much heavy sighing and noncussing cuss word creation, I finally got it functioning again.

Kissed younger two kids and sent them to bed, got Middle One to go bathe, gave other photos to Oldest, who was complaining about all the work she had to do.

Middle Girl out, drag information out of her about what she wanted.

Seems they have a group project on Russia.

They're going to do a presentation.

She had been assigned something.

It was something about something.

Something about movement.

She wanted it on a disc.

She wanted it on a disc so she could take it in today.

She wanted to take it in today so she wouldn't be the only one without something.

Something about if it was hard to move.

In Russia.

She had a sheet of paper.

She went and got it.

I read it--her part was to find out about barriers to movement, or things that made getting around easier. Oh. No problem.

Sent her on to bed, since it was now past 11:00, then Oldest soon afterwards.

Started looking in the likely places, and managed to find some interesting sites--obviously the best place for official information was the Consular Information Sheet from the State Department travel site. Another that was worth checking out was Fielding's DangerFinder. Aside from the self-loathing political commentary (a tip--freedom is not what causes poverty and crime, you ignorant twit) it does offer some good information.

Wrapped up the cut-and-paste work around 1:00 this morning.

Which might explain why I feel rather woozy.

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

From the Fine Chefs at Possumblog Kitchens!

You know, St. Patrick's Day really wouldn't be the same without those wonderful traditional Irish favorite foods--but that shouldn't let us keep from experimenting with foods with a particularly Southern flair. So, our staff of chefs present for your enjoyment


1 corned manatee brisket
1 large head cabbage (preferably savoy)
800 peppercorns
60 cloves garlic, whole peeled
40-50 parsnips
10-20 turnips
200 bay leaves
10 pounds carrots, peeled
60 large potatoes
10 stalks celery, thinly sliced
300 whole cloves
1/2 pound Old Bay seasoning
1/4 pound black pepper, ground

Wash brisket. Make small X slits in the meat and insert garlic and cloves pieces.

Place the meat into a stockpot (at least 80 gallons). Cover the meat with water. Add bay leaves, peppercorns, Old Bay, 20 carrots and sliced celery. Bring to a boil, skim off foam and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 hours, or until meat is nearly tender.

Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Quarter the cabbage, peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and parsnips. Slice vegetables into 2 inch chunks.

During last half hour, add remaining vegetables and cook until tender.

Drain and serve with yellow mustard.


Be sure to look for all of Possumblog Kitchens fine cornbread-battered and deep fried meat products on a stick in your grocer's freezer--Cornatees, Cornguins, Cornorcas, Cornelephant, Cornutria--They're Tasty!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:26 AM | Comments (6)

Would I get to pick where to pinch you?

Just wondering. The Only Attractive Young Woman in the Building came in this morning loudly proclaiming that everyone needed to have on something green or she'd pinch 'em good. "AND IF SOMEONE PINCHES YOU, AND YOU HAVE GREEN ON, THEY GET TO PINCH YOU BACK EVEN HARDER!"

She even accosted me, and because I'm an idiot, rather than let her pinch me, I showed her I did indeed have a bit of green in the plaid on my 'I Look Like a Little Boy' shirt, thus depriving myself of a vengence pinch upon some portion of her person.

Discretion being the better part of valor, I figured it best not to ask the title question of her, lest I be accused of creating a hostile work environment.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:55 AM | Comments (2)

As is my custom upon this date...

...after arising I took a bracing shower with Irish Spring (it's manly, yes, but I like it, too), waxed my shilelagh then quickly donned my work clothes, and skipped downstairs for a hearty breakfast consisting of a bowl of Lucky Charms and corned beef and cabbage doused with a splash of Wild Irish Rose.

Upon arrival at work, I started the day by hurling potatoes randomly at coworkers, which led then to a rousing brawl, after which I was escorted from the building and taken away by Irish limousine.

I have to say I think all of this makes a lie of the stereotype of the Irish as lazy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2006

A Commission!

I knew if I kept hinting at it, someone would finally hire me for my incredible architect skills!

Dr. Jim Smith, well-known professor (although not quite so much as Roy Hinkley, Jr.), made the following suggestion:

[...] Having trouble with the internets thingy today-- especially the world. Also the nap slowed me down-- I'm learning that real good. I might even open a Dr. Jimbo's Nap and Laziness Center. If I added beer drinking I think men would like me better 'n that ol' Dr. Phil.

I thought this sounded pretty good (although I don't know any man who really likes Dr. Phil), and after suggesting he could outfit the place with La-Z-Boy recliners (in keeping with the theme of the joint), my client wrote back with this:

Could you design us a functional but comfortable building that would appeal to men-- I assume some women would be clients but not many. I like modern but I saw your screed on upkeep and this is a center for the study and propagation of advanced laziness. You could be the first test case if I could get you to realize that come Sunday morning, the sun will still come up regardless of what you did the day before.

Well, obviously that last part is just flat wrong, but as for the rest of it, let's do a little exercise and see if we can program--


Okay, first thing--locationlocationlocation. I have always thought that all that land in the medians of the Interstates would be the perfect place to put a building. Easy to get to by car (seeing as how laziness precludes walking anywhere), scenic, soothing sounds of traffic flowing by, no neighbors to come by and borrow stuff when you're right in the middle of a good dream, regular yard maintenance by state highway department crews or prison inmates, and occasionally neat stuff falls off of trucks and rolls into your yard.

Next, the building envelope--although Dr. Jimmy thinks I have an aversion to modern architecture, I don't really as long as it weathers nicely without having to be fixed and pestered with all the time. I figure a nice plain unfinished concrete framework with big expanses of self-cleaning glass. The concrete doesn't really need regular upkeep, and the glass lets you look out and see the great outdoors without actually having to get up and go outdoors.

Inside, there will be a ground floor parking garage, with elevators at each parking space to gently whoosh you up to the main level, where robot attendants will pick you up and carry you over to your favorite armchair over floors that are nice and smooth and easily cleaned by fleets of Roombas. After you've settled in to your chair--which will be equipped with a mini-refrigerator, individualized climate control, and a built in computer terminal/television/radio/rocket launcher--you may lean back and enjoy not doing anything productive.

Now then, since I'm lazy and don't want to do anything else on the project, you're all free to offer your own suggestions for additional features.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:51 PM | Comments (5)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Volume 1,242

Via Skillzy, whom I believe has never forced anyone to drink beer at knifepoint, this charming story from down Mobile way:

Police: Hitchhiker forced to eat at knifepoint

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Staff Reporter

A Tennessee man faces kidnapping charges after police said Wednesday that he took a hitchhiker to a Robertsdale convenience store and forced him to eat pizza and drink wine at knifepoint.

Timothy Lee Hagewood, 42, of Clarksville Tenn., was charged with second-degree kidnapping and resisting arrest after the incident Tuesday evening.

Hagewood picked up Billy Watson, 35, of Jacksonville, Fla., somewhere along Interstate 10 in Mobile, according to Robertsdale Police Investigator Anthony Dobson. Watson entered Hagewood's Dodge pickup truck voluntarily and was apparently headed back to Florida.

The victim told police Hagewood had driven around the Baldwin County area before arriving in Robertsdale. They pulled into the Pride Express Food Mart, on U.S. 90, around 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Suddenly, Hagewood demanded that Watson sit down on the floor of the convenience store and eat ready-made pizza, the investigator said.

The horror. The horror.

Police believe Hagewood was drunk at the time, according to Dobson.

Gee, I wonder what would make them think that?

At one point, Hagewood offered a clerk $40 for a bag of ice and a soda and refused any change, Dobson said.

Hagewood then pulled a 5-inch knife from his pocket and pressed it against Watson's stomach, Dobson said.

Later, Hagewood opened a bottle of wine by breaking its tip over a table, took swigs, and told Watson, "Don't get up or I'll cut you," according to Dobson.

Seems like he should be more concerned about cutting his lip open--those wine bottles can be sharp! Ouchie! Of course, he had to use a bottle, because busting a carton over the counter just makes a big mess. Anyway,

Watson ate some pizza and drank wine "for a moment, to pacify (Hagewood) and to calm him down," Dobson said.

Along with at least four other patrons, two workers were inside at the time of the alleged incident. Each person escaped safely and the workers called police.

Hagewood never threatened either store clerk or the several patrons inside the business at the time, according to the investigator.

"They knew something was up when he put it (the knife) to the guy's stomach, so they got out," Dobson said.

Yep, that probably doesn't happen every day.

A security camera showed Hagewood step behind the counter at some point, but Dobson said it was unclear what Hagewood did in that area of the store.

Hagewood and Watson were inside the store for about 10 minutes before police showed up, according to Dobson.

When officers arrived, Hagewood tried to walk toward a billiard room in the rear of the store. One officer told Hagewood at least four times to lie on the floor. When he did not respond, the officer used a Taser, which uses an electrical charge to immobilize the suspect, Dobson said.

And here was po' ol' Timmy Lee, thinking his day had gone pretty doggone good up till then, and he'd found him a wine-drinkin' and pizza-eatin' buddy to hang out with, and then the MAN had to go and taser him! Bummer, dude!

Neither Watson nor anyone else inside the store was hurt during the incident, the officer said.

"I've been doing this 11 years, and I've never run across anything like that -- I've never seen anybody hold anybody at knifepoint and demand that they drink wine and eat pizza," Dobson said.

That'll be one to tell the grandkids, that's for sure.

Hagewood, who was being held in the Baldwin County Corrections Center in Bay Minette on $16,000 bond, faces between two and 20 years in prison if convicted of the felony kidnapping charge.

The lesson, Dobson said, is "Don't hitchhike. You never know who you're getting in the car with."

That is just so true.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:08 PM | Comments (2)

Are Video Rental Places the Betamax of the Market?

I have no idea--we don't rent movies--we generally just buy them from the sale rack at Wallyworld, but I suppose a lot of people use the places. Just not as many as used to back in the glory days before the Internets. Lileks had a riff on these stores the other day:

[...] We have one in our neighborhood, part of a small chain, and while the owners were always friendly and nice when I went there (I could bring the dog!) the place smelled of wet musty carpet, the new stuff was always sold out, and half the store was given over to VHS tapes. And since the shelves faced big broad windows, the sun had leached the color from the boxes. So you’d walk past the store and see WESTWORLD and SUPERMAN II and other hits of the VHS era propped up like tiny little tombstones for a dying medium. In any case, whatever you wanted, they didn’t have it, unless it was one of 100 popular recent movies. Would I miss it – or rather, will I miss it when it closes? Not at all. It’s irrelevant. Now. Is there a social cost to losing a local merchant? Is the cost lesser if he’s a franchisee? Is the cost greater if it’s a local chain? I suppose there’s an answer, but I’m not sure it’s a useful one – and that’s a recipe for paralysis, anyway. [...]

He had an earlier one, too:

[...] I cannot enter a video store without detecting the faint whiff of death that saturates the industry . . . .the business model seems so 1985, like selling holy precious internet access by the minute in special stores. [...]

I couldn't help but remember what he said after I saw this headline: Movie Gallery amends bank debt, will miss filing deadline for its 10-K, and read the accompanying article.

If the second biggest concern is having a hard time, it doesn't bode well for the whole model.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:43 PM | Comments (4)

Well, duh--

Have Irish been fooling us on shamrocks?

They don't call 'em realrocks for a reason, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

I know you've all been really REALLY missing this feature due to my seemingly never-ending interruptions from having to actually work. But since it's lunchtime, I have a minute or two free so that we can sit at the feet of ancient Chinese masters and learn some eternal truths.

First up:

Use your eloquence where it will do the most good.

Well, after I got through using it to keep the kitchen table from rocking by folding it up and sliding it under one of the legs, I figured Possumblog would be the next most useful place for it.

Obviously, I could be wrong about that.


Truth may be stretched but can never be broken.

Say, when did Reuters get into writing fortune cookies!? Well, good on them!


8 12 25 38 40. 25


8 12 25 38 40. 25

Yes, that's right--BOTH sets of numbers were IDENTICAL today! How astounding is that!? Imagine the odds against such an occurrence! They must be ULTRA lucky numbers, given to especially worthy persons!

With luck like that, NOTHING can go wrong today...

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

Geographic Shoutout!

Every once in a while I'll mess around and see where visitors to The Internet's Most Boringest Place are coming from. Today I thought I'd do that AND say hey to these far-flung folks.

So, a great big hey to:

Ankara, Turkey
Annecy, Rhone-Alpes, France
Asnires, Centre, France
Auburn, Indiana
Auburn, Michigan
Auckland, New Zealand
Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Maryland
Barcelona, Cataluna, Spain
Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
Bayside, New York
Birmingham, Alabama
Bogryd, Vastra Gotaland, Sweden
Bondues, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Bowie, Maryland
Budapest, Hungary
Burbank, California
Chaichiaotou, T'ai-wan, Taiwan
Charlottenlund, Kobenhavn, Denmark
Chesterfield, Virginia
Chicago, Illinois
Citrus Heights, California
Columbia, South Carolina
Findlay, Ohio
Finley, California
Fort Collins, Colorado
Frankfurt Am Main, Hessen, Germany
Gadsden, Alabama
Gnephoek, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
Greensboro, North Carolina
Grimesland, North Carolina
Hartford, Connecticut
Hill AFB, Utah
Hoogbuul, Antwerpen, Holland
Huntsville, Alabama
Iasi, Romania
Irancheh, Chahar Mahall va Bakht, Iran
Irving, Texas
Istanbul, Turkey
Jamestown, North Carolina
Key West, Florida
Leigh, Wigan, UK
Linz, Oberosterreich, Germany
Loretto, Pennsylvania
Marquette, Nebraska
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Nashville, Tennessee
Neder Holluf, Fyn, Denmark
New Hyde Park, New York
Nice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France
Novate Milanese, Lombardia, Italy
Oak Brook, Illinois
Ogden, Utah
Paris, Ile-de-France, France
Plano, Texas
Plant City, Florida
Polgr, Hajdu-Bihar, Hungary
Rainbow City, Alabama
Richardson, Texas
Riverside, Illinois
Riyadh, Ar Riyad, Saudi Arabia
Roehampton, Bromley, UK
Saint-Ouen-en-Brie, Ile-de-France, France
San Antonio, Texas
Shrub Oak, New York
Sioux City, Iowa
Southside, Alabama
Starkville, Mississippi
Stoke-on-Trent, UK
Telford, Telford and Wrekin, UK
Thomaston, Georgia
Thomaston, Georgia
Timisoara, Timis, Romania
Torbole, Lombardia, Italy
Tranbjerg, Arhus, Denmark
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Vico Equense, Campania, Italy
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Villaverde, Madrid, Spain
Waleska, Georgia
Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland
Washington, District of Columbia
Wayne, Pennsylvania
Williamsburg, Virginia
Wilson, North Carolina

If there is one thing that I enjoy most about writing Possumblog, it's that it makes the world a whole lot smaller. All of you have a great day, or evening.

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

SNACK (n.)

{snăk; > ME snak = bite; > snaken = to bite; ? > MDutch snacken = to snap at}

1. A hurried or light meal.
2. Food eaten between meals.
3. The subject of today’s Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Since we had such an overwhelming response to last week’s sugar-infused T-Three, and since everyone loves a nosh, a nibble, or a bite between meals, the Thursday Three Editorial Board decided to produce yet another post along the same lines as the last one, except different, in order to keep things from being too dull. And repetitive. And redundant.

ANYway, this week’s questions are these here ones:

1) What are your THREE favorite sugary snacks?

2) What are your THREE favorite salty snacks?

3) What snack food do you dislike, even though everyone else raves about it?

There now--that should keep you all busy for about five minutes!

As for my answers--

1) Well, I don’t eat nearly so much sugary stuff as I used to, and I’ve really always been more of a saltysnack person. Having said that, though, I must confess an affection for Brach’s Maple Nut Goodies (which are also salty), Necco Wafers, and cheapo, non-brand jellybeans.

2) Again, I have really tried to cut back on these things, but it is very difficult due to their luscious high-sodium, high-carbohydrate contents. First above all others would be Golden Flake Cheese Curls (NOT CHEESE PUFFS!), then there’s Ruffles Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips, and third would be Combos Nacho Cheese Pretzels.

3) I don’t really like any of the gummy (or Gummi) stuff, especially Jujubes, although in fairness, I don't really recall anyone I know raving about how wonderful they are. And I’m not about to ever try either a Baby Bottle Pop or Fun Dip, either.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (16)

March 15, 2006


...Bill Engvall smiles.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:35 PM | Comments (0)

Well, it might sound like the set-up for a really wicked punchline...

Shipping Container Designed by AU Students Becomes Home for Katrina Victim, but it's really kind of an interesting story, and includes some good photos as well.

Having been in a former life a five-year dweller in a 7x22 Taurus travel trailer (at #41 Campus Trailer Court), I think a nicely done-up shipping container would have been something of a step up.

And occasionally, when the other inhabitants of my current abode get very loud, I think even a not-nicely-done-up shipping container would be a nice change of place, as well.

Anyway, the idea of using shipping containers for shelter isn't new, but it does pick up some steam when there is a need for rapid deployment of durable shelter during natural disasters. Here's a site that has some more information on the topic that's pretty comprehensive.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

Saying some of that there sooth.


Ha! Who calls?

Bid every noise be still.--Peace yet again!

Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry "Caesar"! Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Beware the Ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.

Set him before me; let me see his face.

Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.

Beware the Ides of March.

He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.

He should've listened to the old feller, because Brutus (not the same one who kept trying to steal Olive Oyl from Popeye, by the way) and that sorry bunch he run with all had themselves a bunch of cutlery up under their skirts and were going to do some mischief on Caesar, and when they done it, Caesar was still kind and good, because right there in the midst of bleeding out, he asked Brutus if he'd had his lunch yet with the other folks.

Anyway, ever since that time up until the IRS decided to make April 15th the day you're supposed to send in your taxes, the Ides of March has been the most fear-inducing 15th day of the month among all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:46 PM | Comments (8)

You know what happens when you get too busy in real life?

You tend to miss out on talking to your virtual friends--two in particular could use some good wishes right now, Jordana Adams and her family, and Francesca G.O. Yorkielady and hers.

Lots and lots of icky sickness (or sicky ickness) in both their families right now, and I know they both would appreciate any kind thoughts and prayers you'd be willing to send along.

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


Nothing like it.

Well, the plan was this--I meet Reba at her mom's house, get her and Catherine and go to the after-hours clinic. At 5:00 when I left, she was still waiting for the clinic to call back with our appointment time. Did she want me to meet them at the clinic? No, just come by the house and pick them up and we'd go all together.

No worries.

If you think so, you've obviously not read anything I've ever written.

(This one will be longish, so if your browser cuts off too soon, press F11 twice to get it to work right.)

I get to the Trussville exit right at 5:30 (good considering I didn't leave work until 5:10 due to having Reba on the line), when the phone starts buzzing in my shirt pocket.

The voice on the other end says, "Where are you right now?"

Resisting the urge to say, 'in the car,' I told my bride that I was at the bottom of the exit ramp and would be there in about ten minutes.

"Could you stop and get Ashley some poster board? She has that project that's due Thursday and she won't be able to work on it after school tomorrow, so she needs a sheet now--maybe just stop at Target or someplace and get a piece and then bring it over here, then we can take her over to the house and leave from there and leave the other two here at Mom's house."

We have poster board at the house, but I figured if I didn't get some, a certain teenager would swear I hated her. No problem--zip into Michael's and get a couple of sheets, just a few minutes extra.

"Okay. Did the clinic ever call and tell you what time the appointment was?"

"I TOLD YOU--they said that she could come in either at 5:45 or 6:00, so I knew we wouldn't be able to get there at 5:45, so I told them 6:00!"

Uh, well, no, I had not been informed of the time.

No use trying to plead my case.

"Okay, be there in a minute."

But, as I got into the store and picked out my poster board (one full size, one half, just to be safe), it dawned on me that it was now 5:45, and by the time I paid for my poster board, and got to her mom's house, got everyone loaded up, and then drove back over to our house to drop off the student portion of the package, THEN went to the clinic, it would be about 6:45. ::sigh::

Why didn't she just meet me there?

It is a mystery.

Anyway, I figured I might better try to cut some time off this little escapade, so I called her back while I was racing back to the front of Michael's through the dried flower aisle and told her to get Oldest and Youngest and get herself over to the house and I'd be there shortly and we'd go.

I figure we'd probably cut about 20 minutes out of the equation if we did that. It's not that great a distance, it's just all the wasted time getting stuff together and getting people in the cars and out of the cars. Because, you see, as we have often discussed, I am the only one who has a real appreciation for travel time.

I'm so spectacularly smart that way, you know.

Anyway, I paid, rushed out of the store, hopped into the sturdy Volvo, careened through the parking lot, sped down to the foot of the driveway to the traffic signal, and waited. Waited. Waited. You know, Highway 11 is REALLY busy in the evenings.

Light changed, turned left, sped down the road, turned right onto Mary Taylor Road to make the charge up to the top of Talladega Hill, annnnnd--a train.

Long one, too, full of FEMA trailers headed south, and moving slow. Could be five minutes, could be an hour--they sometimes stop and block the crossing. Grr.

And I thought maybe Reba was in front of me, or maybe she even made it across the tracks before the gates closed. Then I saw her back down the road behind me. Time to take the alternate route.

Hung a U-ey, waved to Reba to follow me, blasted back out to Highway 11, turned right, beat the light at Tutwiler Farms, then got stuck in the long line of cars taking the Watterson Parkway detour around the closed bridge on Chalkville Road.

Well, this is just working out great.

FINALLY got home, dumped the poster board in the house, left the garage door open, ran back out to get the mail (since Reba was still somewhere far behind me, apparently). She eventually got there, hopped out and took some stuff inside, Oldest got her stuff and went inside, I got in the driver's seat, Reba went BACK inside for something--ahh--a coat for Cat--then we were on our way.

"Daddy, are we late?"

The clock on the dash said 6:03.

"Mmmyeah, Sugar, but it'll be okay--we'll be there in just little while."

Took the back way through the neighboring subdivision, bombed down Alton Road, turned through the industrial park, and finally wound up at the Birmingham International Raceway, aka, I-459. Hopped on, and started toward Acton Road (yes, "Alton" and "Acton" can be confusing).

Drive. Drive. Drive. Discussed the rash on Cat's back and chest. Dodged slower moving traffic (i.e., everything else). Drive.

"You know, I thought it was a lot closer than this."

Well, it was when we lived in Irondale.

"Yep, it's pretty far away," said me. Listened to the radio, which was replaying the Rick and Bubba morning show. Bubba was telling a story about something. "He's so funny--he really IS a good storyteller, I bet their new book is a hoot."

"Mmm, probably s--,"--had to maneuverate around a slow-moving semi--"...probably so. They DO like to tell stories."

I wonder what Reba will say when she finally finds all this stuff?

Finally got to the exit, turned, zoomed up to the top of the hill where the clinic is located (could it BE any harder to get to!?). Pulled into a space, jumped out, ran in--6:20.

Signed in, then saw the sign that said rash sufferers were to be escorted back and were not to touch anyone (well, in so many words). Reba took her on back and I stayed to fill out the forms.

Did that, gave the clipboard back with my driver's license and insurance card so they could make copies.

Sat. Waited. Looked around.


This building was built just a few years ago, and it's a marvel of that style of faux '50s Modernist Revival that insists on the insertion of various curves and swoops and whoopti-dos into stern concrete structural systems.

The ol' juxtaposition of forms.

OoooooooOOOoo. You are expected to appreciate the playful interplay of space and mass, with the curves setting off and creating a dialogue with the rectilinear skeleton--one complements the other, and creates an exciting synergy that is lively, and yet speaks to an underlying sense of restrained order and precision.

Inside, you are greeted with textures, colors, and forms that speak to a child's understanding of the world, with interactivity and details that are tailored to appeal not only to parents, but children as well. Going to the doctor can sometimes be frightening and therefore it is important to create a soothing space that seems homey and inviting.

In theory.

In practice, a high-traffic clinic like this is akin to a bus station. You have huge amounts of people coming through, very nearly non-stop. But, unlike bus travellers, half of the people coming through are sick kids. Kids are hard enough to accomodate, but sick ones even more so.

Everyone has this unfavorable image of cold, sterile hospitals and clinics, but let me tell you what--I'd rather have a clean, if uninvolving, place to wait if the alternative is a several-year-old ultra-modern place not designed to actually be used by grubby, puking, sneezing, feral children.

All the lovely carpeting, the mood lighting, the swanky seating that looks like it could have been designed while listening to Henry Mancini records, the scattering of highly edutaining toys--all the things that look so great in the product catalogs, that make you feel so hip and jazzy when you pull them out of the box, that win you awards when the slick photos show up in the magazines--those things look so much worse when they are used and not taken care of.

The carpet--a wonderful earthtone pattern of lines and swoops that could be at home in the swankiest restaurants?

It can't hide where forceful bodily fluid ejections occurred.

Those lowslung overstuffed chairs with the restrained exposed ash frames that might be found in the finest clubs?

When they've been pounded and jumped on by a billion baby apes, those carefully French-sewn seams split and the stuffing comes out and it looks like trailer furniture.

Those nifty toys scattered about?

Three days in, they have a sheen of grime on them that 409 can't cut.

Those magnificent plastered walls, with the carefully detailed joint reveals?

That continuous smudge at 2 feet-6 inches is probably not what you thought would happen.

That spectacular full length tubular lighting fixture down the main waiting room, suspended ever so gracefully by the thinnest of wires?

When the maintenance guy sticks in whatever bulb he has, that constant even glow you designed to wash smoothly across the waveform ceiling becomes mottled with alternating yellow and white light--or shadows when the bulbs aren't replaced.

It's all very lovely in theory, but I think very few clients are aware of just exactly how much maintenance is required to keep that smooth jazzy vibe intact. It takes a LOT of effort. There is much to be said for simplicity and durable, easy to clean materials.


The receptionist called me back up to the (fingerprint besmutted, stainless steel sheet clad) counter to finalize our information.

"You still got HealthPartners?"


Not for about five years, which explains why the insurance card I gave her and she had just gone and made a Xerox of was a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT COMPANY.

Sign here. Sign here. Sign here. Here's this. And this.

FINALLY got to go back. They had her down at the end of the hallway since she was being so rash. I walked in and some kid who looked like a cross between Doogie Howser and Opie Taylor was taking her vitals. I realize that male nurses don't get a lot of respect, but it would help if you look like Opie Howser that perhaps you shouldn't wear a grungy sports tee-shirt and if your scrub pants weren't HANGING HALFWAY DOWN YOUR SKINNY BUTT so that your checkered boxer shorts were showing. Gee whiz, Junior!

Wait. Took her to the pot.

Heard American Idol on a television. HEY! TEEVEE!! I went back to her exam room, and sure nuff, they had a television bolted to the wall! THAT'S THE WAY TO DESIGN AN EXAM ROOM! Turned it on and watched everyone. KelliEEE has tooranchlers on her face. I wish!

Doctor finally came in. Slightly older than Doogie.

He looked at her rash.

"When did you start noticing something?"

I started to say that morning, but Catherine piped up, "Yesterdaaaay."



"Well, it doesn't really look like chicken pox..."

Hmm. Looked some more.

"Any different soaps? Detergents?"

No. Hmm. He looked at her back.


"Well, I'm not quite sure what that might be--but it's not chicken pox."

I had an idea--"Catherine--did you by chance play outside at Grandmom's yesterday?"


"Did you play in the woods?"

Not really. Uh-huh.

"Did you fall down or get into any vines or anything?"

Well, kinda.

The woods behind the grandparents' house is full of poison ivy, oak, and sumac--knowing that, I kinda believe she must have gotten into that stuff by accident.

The doctor concurred with my opinion and wrote a prescription for ointment.

Nice to know he had such a good handle on skin problems.

Checked out, went and got a bite to eat at McDoodie's, went and grabbed Boy and Middle Girl, and finally got home about ten minutes until 9. Where I saw that Oldest had not moved the poster board from the kitchen table.

It was still there this morning, as well.

She did, however, waste two hours typing a one page paper and pretending not to be watching the TV while she was at home by herself.


Anyway, this morning, Cat's rash on her back is gone, and the front rash looks a bit better.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:21 AM | Comments (8)

March 14, 2006

Speaking of conspiracies...

...the other day someone at the hair cutting place told me my favorite hair cutter had gone on somewhere else. Not that big a deal to me, but Catherine has been wanting to get her hair cut again, and Miss Alisha did such a fantastic job on it the first time that I wanted her to cut it again. I decided yesterday to call and ask for her again, as if I didn't know she was gone, and then ask where she had gone. (I don't know why I could just ask in the first place, other than it provides some much needed sense of excitement to be all sleuthy-like.)

Anyway, I called, asked if she'd be working last night, and the girl who answered said she'd be there TONIGHT! WHA!? I just wonder if the person I talked to the last time was maybe deliberately telling me wrong, out of spite or something. I'll have to get to the bottom of this tonight, because now that I know Miss Alisha's there, I can take Cat and get her fur trimmed without as much trepidation.

And Catherine can show off her earrings, which I think is why she's wanting to get her hair cut in the first place.

UPDATE: Or not. Just got a call from Reba, and it seems the odd rash Cattypoo had on her chest this morning has spread all over the place, and we might be making a run to the doctor's office to get her checked out.

If it's not one thing, it's a dozen others.

UPDATE II: HEY! Great fun--time to visit Children's Hospital After Hours Clinic!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:41 PM | Comments (4)

Say, I have an idea!

How would you like a little insight into the type of people I work with?

Sounds like fun, don’t it!

I walked by the refrigerator yesterday (where we have a box for empty aluminum soft drink cans), and noticed the following note taped to the side of the fridge and taped to the wall above the can box (transcribed exactly as written):

To whom this matter concerns:

Thou shall not “STEAL” the Planning Division’s re-cycle able Aluminum cans. This Division is in desperate need of a refrigerator. Re-cycling those cans is one of the ways the subject refrigerator is to be paid for. Therefore this is both a notice and a warning to you. The subject cans belong to the people on this floor only. You may not confiscate these for “your sole profit”. The can crusher should be enough of a clue to you that there is now a guided intended use for the cans. Please be honest and do not take the cans. If you continue to do so, you WILL be caught and its not going to be pretty!

Hmm. Well, you know, insanity rarely is pretty.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:30 PM | Comments (4)

Now then, time for some...


My little drawing exercise is now at a close, and after I eat my sammich, the next phase starts, in which I will lovingly bring the lines to life with a splash of color. Or, in the jargon of the trade, "throw some markers on it and get it out the door."

Thankfully, peeve-inducing interruptions have been scarce today, which made it all go much quicker. And there was the smell of 3M Spray Mount in the air, which, just like napalm in the mornings, smells like victory. And although equally flammable, unlike napalm, it is quite handy for sticking paper to paper.

Now then, time to slap on some color.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:47 PM | Comments (7)

Jack Bauer Update!


We had a bunch of weather come through last night, with winds so strong that they blew the blazers off the local TV news stations' meteorologists and caused their sleeves to roll up to their elbows. Strong winds also blew reporters out onto the sides of various Interstate highways, where they pronounced that it was raining, and windy, and dark.

MEANING, that all but the last twenty minutes of The Jack Bauer Show was preempted, and although they promised to show the whole thing after the late news, I just satisfied myself with the sliver I saw.

Nixon and Crazy First Lady Jean Smart had a moment because Nixon's a wuss and keeps crying and pouting. Don't hold his hand, Martha--slap him into the middle of next week!

Meanwhile, back at CTU, the nerve gas is all over the place, and Rudy manages to redeem himself by playing with a bunch of flashing LEDs and a computer and scores a touchdown, but does not survive long enough to be toted from the field on the shoulders of his teammates.

Some long stalky brunette gets out of bed and talks on the phone and plays on the computer while wearing lingerie. Must be one of those bloggers people keep talking about.

The hot but rather angry Kim Bauer wants to leave and never see Jack again, which causes him to used his Anguished Face, then Brokenose Girl comes over and holds his hand, which makes me uncomfortable in the workplace.

Speaking of which, some harpy from Homeland Security calls up from a car phone to CTU to ask if their refrigerator is running, then laughs and says they'd better catch it. Then she hangs up and tells all the other igmos in the limo that she's going to turn CTU into a Wal-Mart of Federal Preparedness, with employee drones who will be forced to wear little smiley buttons. AND she intends to make Gray Haired Boss the little old retired greeter guy at the front door.

Downstairs in the hospital, the Former CTU Agent/Nerve Gas Salesman looks near death, and so Handsome Swarthy Blowed-Up Guy decides to kill him on off, but Jack wants to interrogate the guy some more beforehand and tells Swarthy Guy just to hold up on the vengence thing, but Swarthy Guys, once they get their angry up, just can't let it drop, so he gets a syringe full of bad stuff and then has a moral moment of indecision--at which point the Former CTU Agent/Nerve Gas Salesman has his own little Jack Bauer Back from the Dead moment and LEAPS up off the bed and jams the syringe into Swarthy Guy, grabs a gun, and leaves! That's one tough hombre. Jack runs in and finds Handsome Swarthy Guy getting all sweaty from the self-injection of bad stuff, and hugs him and yells for help and employs his Special Anguished Face, which is similar to his Anguished Face, but includes some extra squinting and grimacing, with heavy breathing.

NEXT WEEK! I have no idea--I missed that part.

NOW THEN, I have more drawing to do, so you people will just have to go read other things for a bit until I'm all through.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:43 AM | Comments (6)

March 13, 2006

How to peeve me.

1) Don't do anything on the stuff we were supposed to be working on together.

2) When I come to help you do it, I'd rather you not just give it all to me.

3) When the boss starts hyperventilating because he told his boss we'd have it done tomorrow, don't decide then that you might need to act busy on it.

4) By "acting busy," I mean hanging around and watching over my shoulder and chitchatting as I draw which, frankly, does nothing but slow me down, and reminds me that you didn't do anything in the first place, and that all you want now you want to act like you're involved. I'd rather not be reminded, thank you.

5) Continue to hang around asking if there's something you can do. Day late, dollar short. It's mine now. And there's only room for one on my board.

See? I told you I was very peculiar about having hangers-on when I'm working. Good thing I'm a nice person.

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

Okay, so I lied.

No Chutes and Ladders. I know, I know--I shouldn't have said anything at all, but I wanted you to come back, and I was afraid if I didn't bring out the big guns, you'd go next door and then I'd be here all alone, looking out the window while I did my homework.


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


Just checked the ol' referrer log, and for some reason, I had over 2,000 page views yesterday. What was that all about?

UPDATE: 10:45 in the morning, and I'm already at nearly 800 hits (pretty much the most I see in a regular day)--with most of the hits still seemingly driven by the mad search for Catherine Deneuve.

Well, good morning all you new Possumblog readers! You certainly are welcome to look around, but with all the silly old work I'm mired in at the moment, you won't see much in the way of the jovial fun that Possumblog is known for. However, if possible, we might play a quick game of Chutes and Ladders later on in the day!

And HEY, you new folks--tell us what's going on with this sudden upswing in visits! I know I don't have the only picture of Miss Denueve out there.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:26 AM | Comments (16)

March 12, 2006

Oh, you knew I’d make it.

I’m big on exaggeration, you know.

The shindig went off without a hitch. The food showed up where it was supposed to, when it was supposed to, the guests all came and had what sounded like a great time, the kids were relatively well-behaved (especially considering what they’ve been known to do), and Grandmom and Pop seemed to have thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone.

Worst familial faux pas? (This is aside from one of the honorees calling and bothering everyone on the guest list.)

I would say it was probably early on, after Jonathan had gone through the buffet line (the first time) and had gotten a stuffed mushroom. I thought they were very tasty, although they were a bit on the tepid-ish side before the steam tray with the Sterno underneath got really good and hot, but otherwise, pretty darned good. Anyway, Boy had gotten his plate full of goodies (and a stuffed mushroom) and come over to the table where I was standing and plopped down. The table was occupied by about six other older folks, including one very nice lady I did not know, but who seemed to know me.

“Son, aren’t you going to eat that?!”

“It tastes weird!”

“Oh, come on! It’s good!”

“No, it’s not--it tastes gross!”

“Jonathan, it’s just a stuffed mushroom.”

“I KNOW, Dad! It nearly made me PUKE!”


Quickly gathered him up and took him over to the corner and explained that in semi-polite company, one does not scream out that the food is liable to cause puking, and, in fact, one should not use the word “puke” in the company of ladies and gentlemen, especially when using our outside voice. (I prefer a quietly uttered “spew chunks,” but I realize this is but one alternative.)

And then there toward the end, Catherine pulled off her shoes and spent a goodly portion of time running around showing people she had no shoes on.


Overall, though, I’d have to give it good marks. Probably had a bit more than a hundred there, and they came early and stayed late. Luckily, the caterer started breaking things down promptly at 8:30 (it started at 6:30--weird hours, I know) which tended to chase everyone out. Got to take home a goodly amount of food, too, which has been nice to have the past couple of days. Had a bunch of little biscuits with cheese and roast beef and ham, which have been quite handy for breakfast. And lunch.

The only drawback was that I had to get out the tiny rechargeable carpet sweeper to gather up some crumbs. I hate to vacuum. And I was kind of thinking the caterer was supposed to have gotten that. I suppose not, eh? Thankfully, it wasn’t much, and then we got to go home.

Up late Saturday, woken by Grandmom wanting to know if we were awake yet. “Uhm ::hack:: yesma’amRebais.” Blech.

Laundry out the wazoo, so that was most of Saturday. Reba took the girls off to spend money sometime in there, which seems to becoming a regular occurrence on Saturdays. They came back with groceries, and a bunch of plants for me to do something with, which means they’ll probably still be sitting in exactly the same place next spring. Some people seem to think that I have spare time to go plant things. And build a fence. And add a room onto the house. Hard to do that when one is also required to do laundry. And when I can’t even get the taxes done. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Heaven forbid! I’d NEVER do that. But, dangitall, I’ll get to the plants when I can, and not a moment sooner. Because not only did I have all that to do, I also had a bunch of work I brought home with me to get done, because I was off Friday, and this week I’ve got to pour on the coal and get some drawings done. Which wouldn’t be quite so bad except, well, I don’t work well with others, and this requires others.

I have my own way about me when it comes to drawing. I don’t like people getting in the way, and I don’t like people asking me questions about obvious things. Oh well.

Anyway, Sunday was our usual churching-up, with the added excitement of Bible Bowl that afternoon. Tried to find some time before or after to get Jonathan a haircut, but it was not to be. He’s looking a bit too much like one of those groovy lads from Liverpool, circa 1963. It’s actually sorta cute, in a raffish sort of way, but he looks better when he’s not quite so raffish. Maybe we can visit the sheep shearer sometime Monday afternoon after work, but before Jack Bauer Time. We’ll see.

As for Bible Bowl, we had to leave early before it finished (and it ran WAY too long due to "technical difficulties," to be charitable) so we could get back to our church building for Reba to have a meeting with some of the kids.

Sat around and waited for a bit since we were a bit early for the meeting, when suddenly the back door came open and a lumpy red-haired woman came briskly striding in. She looked like she knew exactly where she was going, and as if she just belonged there.


“Ma’am, can we help you?”

I came out from inside the kitchen as she was charging by which caught her up short. She limped a bit and came over to me--“I sure hope so. I’m from Brookwood, and we’re trying to get back home and I my brother and me, we’re about out of gas, and I ain’t got a bit of money on me and I ain’t got nobody at home I can call to come get us and maybe someone could go with us over to the gas station and --”


No, I didn’t believe her--everything about it was just all wrong. If you’re really asking for a handout, you don’t just come charging through like you own the place. We call them circuit riders--they make their living going around to churches mooching, and occasionally sneaking in when no one’s looking and helping themselves to what they can run out with. I asked Reba if she had five dollars (since I was flat broke) and I gave it to the woman more or less just to get rid of her as fast as I could. It’s impossible to tell what she might have had planned, or if she was armed, or if she had someone outside ready to come in and help out. And I certainly wasn’t about to go to the gas station with them. A dollar or two would only encourage her to try to bargain for more, but five seems to be enough to get folks like this on their way.

“Thank y’all so much--we really do appreciate it. Oh, hey--by the way--could you give me a cup of water? I’m just real hot and all.”

Oh, you betcha. Made her a cup full of ice water and sent her on her way. After she got out the door, I walked around to the front lobby and watched her and some man drive off in a late model Explorer. Wearing Jefferson County plates--Brookwood’s in Tuscaloosa County. And rather than turning toward the interstate, they went back toward downtown Leeds.

Well, cast your bread upon the waters, I suppose. Maybe they’ll get tired of panhandling and get actual jobs.

I’m an optimist, you know.

A bit later, the folks finally showed up for Reba’s meeting and as usual, Catherine was not interested in listening and being still, so I took her outside and we flew paper airplanes, which she enjoyed with an enjoyment that’s hard to put into words. Like a wild pony. Or a rabid squirrel. She’s a handful, no matter what. But enjoys running after the wind.

We played for a long time and then walked around the building and looked at trees and birds and stuff, then went and sat down inside on the big leather couch in the foyer for about five minutes, which was interrupted by my being sent to the store for a small notebook so Oldest could take notes.

Why just a sheet of paper wouldn’t do, I don’t know. I’m just glad she’s stopped falling asleep during church and snoring.

Home, supper, baths, bedtime, then time for me to finish those minutes, and time to tap out a few words before bedtime for me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 PM | Comments (12)

March 09, 2006

CLOSED!? What the--?!

Well, as you know, we've got this little anniversary soiree to tend to tomorrow, so in a fit of idiocy I intend to take the whole day off to make sure stuff gets to where it's supposed to go, and that we get the various bits and pieces of impedimenta installed correctly, and to be there to pick up the kids the moment they get off the bus so we can run them home and get them to slip into something uncomfortable, and then make the mad rush BACK to the reception room before the party gets swinging. After which will be much tumult, I am certain.

Due to familial interference, what I had originally thought might be somewhat fun little affair is one that I now look forward to with the intense longing one might feel for being repeately punched in the crotch. It wouldn't be so bad if I could use Saturday and Sunday to recuperate, but we know how THOSE days go.

Anyway, though, I've got stuff to finish here, so I can be off tomorrow. LOTS of stuff. Stuff that looks serious, if you look at it just right.

So, I now turn around the "Closed" sign, and invite you to come back around Monday and see if I managed to make it through without insulting every in-law I have back five generations, or crying in a corner.


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

Well, since I seem to have a theme building here...

French named Miles College president

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

Wow, it has been a while. Dumb ol' work. ANYway, today's word is:

VYSE. A spiral staircase or a staircase winding round a central column.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition.

Hm, whaddya know. I always called them a spiral stair (which technically aren't spiral, but rather are helical).

Whatever--as to the actual looking-at of a vyse, here's one from the Villa Savoye, one of the icons of the International movement, designed by Le Corbusier and constructed circa 1928.

It's an interesting sort of building--the biggest shock being the surroundings. All the pictures I'd ever seen in school were of this ice cube looking thing on stilts in the middle of a big meadow. Not quite--it's got a big enough plot of land, but it sits nearby to a huge grim school of some sort.

It was instructive also in that it gave lie to the idea that all French women are tall, lean, sophisticated and lovely. The caretaker/prison matron/troll-under-the-bridge of the place was fascinatingly, repulsively horrid-looking, with all of the kind hospitality the French are known for and a voice with the pleasant undertone of two packs of Gitanes a day.

Anyway, stairways are cool.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:58 AM | Comments (7)

From "going postal"... "going pedagogical"--Ex-teacher takes pupils hostage in French school

NANTES, France (Reuters) - An armed, unemployed teacher took 20 pupils and three adults hostage at his former school in western France on Thursday, local officials said.

Police surrounded the secondary school in Sable-sur-Sarthe in western France and established contact with the man, who barricaded the pupils aged 17 to 18, a teacher and two other adults into a classroom.

Other pupils were evacuated from the school and a hotline was set up for anxious parents.

A spokesman for the town authorities in Sable-sur-Sarthe said the man was a 33-year-old supply teacher who had recently worked at the Colbert de Torcy school but was now out of work, and was carrying a hand gun.

"The man wants to talk to the press about job problems," the spokesman said. [...]

Frankly (so to speak), I think he's got bigger problems right now than not having a job.

UPDATE: Thankfully, it's over, with no one getting hurt.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:20 AM | Comments (0)

::knock knock knock::

"Who is it?"

Package for mrnflm.




Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:03 AM | Comments (6)

Sweet, Sweet Thursday Three!

Thanks go out this week to well-known potater connoisseur Marc Velazquez, who contributes the following set of questions for just about anyone in the viewing audience. Take a moment to jot down your answers on the back of a 5 pound sack of sugar and put them in the comments, or leave a link to your own blog as we embark on the Sugar High Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

With the recent announcement by the "fat" police that our children are eating/drinking themselves to death (1/5 of American's calories are liquid, i.e. from sugared soft drinks), it's time to 'fess up on our sugar/drinking habits. This will be a 3X Thursday 3, and to be even more unpredictable, the bonus comes first!

BONUS - Sweet tea: your first choice of beverage, lemon or not, Lipton or Luzianne?

1. What do you drink the most at work, and do you bring your own?
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you keep candy at your desk/work area?

1. What do you drink the most at home, and do you change on the weekend?
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you keep a candy stash? Change its location periodically?

1. What do you drink when traveling? (Marc had “by plane” for this one, but I’ve changed it to be any sort of travel)
2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)?
3. Do you chew gum to help your ears pop on a flight? (Obviously, this is for airplanes, not cars or buses or trains, unless you happen to be on one that flies.)

SO, there you go, sweetie-pie!

As for my answers…

BONUS! Neither one--Winn Dixie’s brand of artificially sweetened tea sold by the gallon in the refrigerated case! Mmm. That's good tea. No lemon, please.

FOR WORKING FOLKS: (I assume this does include me, even though I am a civil servant)
1. What do you drink the most at work, and do you bring your own? Diet Coke. Bought from the machine in the basement, because I’m not smart enough to get a case and keep them in the refrigerator. I don’t know why I don’t do this.

2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)? What about cyclamates!? Anyway, since Diet Coke has it, I'll guess it must be Nutrasweet. Or so it says on the label.

3. Do you keep candy at your desk/work area? Just eye candy--lots of photos of Miss Reba.

Next batch--

1. What do you drink the most at home, and do you change on the weekend? Mostly water, weekday or weekend. Except for those times when we have some of that luscious Winn-Dixie tea…

2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)? We don’t use much of anything, but we do have a box of Splenda somewhere, and some packages of Nutrasweet.

3. Do you keep a candy stash? Change its location periodically? We’ve got candy all over the place, but no one--kids or us--really get in it that much.

1. What do you drink when traveling? (Marc had “by plane” for this one, but I’ve changed it to be any sort of travel) If I’m driving, it’s usually Diet Coke.

2. Nutrasweet (aspartame) or Splenda (sucralose)? See the question up above.

3. Do you chew gum to help your ears pop on a flight? (Obviously, this is for airplanes, not cars or buses or trains, unless you happen to be on one that flies.) The few times I’ve flown I’ve never needed gum. I don’t chew gum that much no matter what.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:05 AM | Comments (17)

March 08, 2006

Lot going on today.

Long meeting, as usual, and then I come in and find out they've arrested a couple of yutes here in town who have been accused of the church arsons of late.

Amazing what you can learn from the Internet. Although details are kinda sketchy on the news reports, I looked through the Birmingham-Southern website and found that the two suspects in custody were both theater students, which strikes me as kinda odd. And the other guy who's still on the loose been caught this morning did go to Southern last year before transferring to UAB. B-SC must be getting a lot of hits right now, because they've taken down the school directory, but there's always the Google cache of things.

As I've speculated before, given the way in which the events surrounding the fires unfolded I suspected it was going to be a bunch of stupid kids. However, I don't think I would have figured it would have been a bunch of theater students from a private, Methodist-affiliated liberal arts college.

If these young men are responsible for these crimes, I hope they receive sufficient jail time to make them understand the gravity of the acts, rather than just getting a slap on the wrist.


And then, I heard this story on the news last night

TRUSSVILLE, Ala. -- Trussville police are searching for two men who they said robbed a woman and then abducted her Tuesday evening.

Two men took the woman, her purse and her truck at about 7:30 p.m. at Food World on Main Street, police said. [...]

--that's the store right down at the foot of the hill from my house. And it happened at 7:30 at night. I'm not incredibly freaked out by it, since I have long known that bad things can happen anywhere (which explains why I was so put out with myself a couple of months ago when I was getting gas at Sam's Club and got snuck up on by the attendant while I was daydreaming), but obviously it does concern me. Our little downtown area isn't easily accessed from the Interstate, so it's not like this could have been as much a crime of opportunity where escape would be quick--it seems much more planned, and that's for some reason more worrisome to me. I don't feel any more unsafe than before, but I can guarantee you I'll be looking around a whole lot better.

AND, I got my hairs cut last night. Without incident.

Now, back to work.

UPDATE: Criminal complaint filed by US Attorney of the Northern District of Alabama in church arsons here (.pdf file).

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:16 PM | Comments (10)

March 07, 2006

What's that sound?

Why, I believe it is the sound of a rapidly approaching second Wednesday of the month, thus heralding the arrival of YET MORE NON-POSSUMBLOGGINESS!

Off campus tomorrow morning, doing my part to make the city prettier, so there will be no posting here until much later. Which all of you should be used to by now.

Low expectations can be such a trap.

Anyway, see you all sometime tomorrow, maybe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)


Well, poop. It's time to get my hairs cut again, and I just found out my favorite haircutting girl has gone away, which means that I'll have to find someone else.

I tell you what--life is just so darned tough out in the suburbs!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

A new reality show!?

Nope, just trolling through the referrer logs and found something that sounds worthy of the genre: housewife bullies other wives into catfights.

And they came to Possumblog...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)


It's time once again to bring in America's Foremost Physician*, Dr. Possum, for more of Ask Dr. Possum!


As always, Dr. Possum stands by to answer your burning questions, or questions about that curious burning sensation you get when you handle walrus meat. Feel free to place your questions in the comments below, and Dr. Possum will answer them in order of receipt. You can even ask honest-to-goodness real questions about actual real subjects, and Dr. Possum will bend over backwards to try to answer them in a factual manner. No, really! Just remember you're asking a marsupial, and everything should be just fine.

Now then, ask away!

*Obligatory disclaimer. "Ask Dr. Possum," Possumblog Bait Shops, Possumblog Computing Software, Possumblog Kitchens, Possumblog Realty, and any other related corporate entities make no guarantee regarding the validity or accuracy of any information offered, because really, what is truth, right? I mean, you know, that whole "fake, but accurate" thing really is a blessing to civilization. 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. Dr. Possum is not an actual medical doctor. But he could be in some countries.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:52 AM | Comments (22)

Now THAT'S how to write headlines!

Prosthetic legs returned; police stumped

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:51 AM | Comments (2)

Via Nate McCord--

--"Ah jes cain't quilt you!"

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

Just another day at work.

Walked down 19th Street to the corner of 4th Avenue. Two toughs loitering--both had clipboards. Not good. I think one even had elbow patches on his tweed blazer.

I got closer, then one raised his hand, as if to wave a greeting. Without thinking, I quickly withdrew my service pencil, dropped into a modified Weaver stance, and shouted at the miscreants, "FREEZE--I AM A MUNICIPAL AGENT! I HAVE A PENCIL, AND I WILL USE IT!"

After making sure the area was secure and they were sufficiently scared of my scariness, I roughed them up a bit just for sport--"Who ARE you!?" that pleaded as I fanned them with a deck of color samples. "Me? I'm the Pretty Police--NOW SHUT UP!"

I poked one of them with my pencil for effect.

Not really.

We had a sign go up in the wrong place on a building, and I was there to offer suggestions for fixing it, and to offer veiled threats of the consequences of noncompliance. Which theoretically are pretty high, in that they can result in some hefty fines levied by a city judge, and possibly a tardy note that will be placed on the person's permanent record. Luckily, the owner was there, and he was ticked off at the installer, who was not the most careful person, it turns out.

One word of advice to folks--be sure you have your documentation. The big fellow who was most likely to be losing some money on the deal (i.e., the contractor) seemed as though he might be reaching out to see if he could slide some slices of blame onto someone else's plate. But you see, when I have the drawing right there with me, and when I can remind you that I called and TOLD you the day of the installation it was wrong and you needed to stop but you went ahead and did it anyway, and when your client is standing there tapping his foot, well, not only do you not get to put that slice of blame off on anyone else, you also wind up with an extra serving of gristle. Gristle is bad, and is best avoided.

And remember, although I am nothing more than a menial civil servant, I have learnt at the feet of masters in the art of CYA.

Anyway, we got it worked out and it'll be better than before, so that's nice, and it makes little kittens purr. Awww. Kittens!

Now then, more work to do.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

Jack Bauer Update!


Of which I missed approximately 100 minutes.

SO, I have no idea what's going on. The school board had a special recognition meeting last night to honor kids from the various schools and Oldest had a recognition for doing well at the DECA regionals several weeks ago, so we went to that, which I think in the greater scheme of things is much more beneficial.

BUT, for those who might have missed it, just do what I always do and trot over to see what the perky Sarah K has to say.

Now then, I have to go meet with a bunch of sign guys off-campus, so you're on your own for a while.

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

March 06, 2006

March 6, 1836

From the Library of Congress "American Memory" collection:

Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna recaptured the Alamo, a former mission in the Mexican town of San Antonio, on March 6, 1836, ending a 13-day siege. No less than 183 of the 184 defenders of the structure were killed, as were an estimated 1,000 to 1,600 Mexican soldiers. Texans fighting for independence from Mexico had seized the Alamo and ousted Mexican troops from San Antonio the previous December.

The cost entailed in regaining San Antonio contributed to General Santa Anna's defeat less than two months later at the Battle of San Jacinto. On April 21, 1836, Sam Houston, commander of the Texas army, led 800 troops, inspired by the sacrifice of their comrades at the Alamo, in a surprise attack on Santa Anna's 1,600 men. Houston's decisive victory at San Jacinto secured Texas independence from Mexico. [...]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:08 PM | Comments (2)

Very Interesting

Don Siegelman kicks off campaign for governor by targeting Riley

I wonder what would happen if he were elected AND convicted--would they set him up a mini governor's office in the state pen, or would he just pardon himself?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (0)

Obviously something else we should blame Bush for...

Sonoma levee break floods Calif. highway

SCHELLVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A levee in Sonoma County broke early Monday, flooding part of a highway and threatening a half-dozen homes and a winery, the California Highway Patrol said.

Heavy weekend rains weakened the banks along Sonoma Creek, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a flash flood warning.

The levee that broke is on private property about seven miles south of the city of Sonoma, CHP Officer Gerald Rico said. The break flooded the property owner's vineyard and threatened about six other homes and a vineyard about a half-mile south of the site, Rico said. [...]

Does Bush's hubris know no bounds!? Imagine using his secret weather machine to breach a levee in the exact spot necessary to turn water into a winery.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:36 PM | Comments (3)

Technical Difficulties

Well, dern. Something's wrong with Gmail at the moment, so if anyone is trying to send me stuff, I can't read it.

On the other hand, my Szechuan combo is very good; thank you for asking.

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


See! And something else I forgot about that I think about all the time--money! Gotta run to the bank, and when I get back, I'm gonna have me a fiery Szechuan combo platter.


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

Stinky Boy!?

Why, I never!

I have been cruelly besmirched in the comments below by Miss Janis, with further besmirchment added by Miss Sarah, and if no one else dare rise to defend me, I shall do it myself!

In regards the question about whether I ever think of anything besides the act of carnal knowledge, I now offer a long list of alternative things I think about ALL THE TIME! HMPH!

1) Okay, gimme a minute. OH, okay--food! ALL THE TIME, too.


3) Uh. Did I mention food? Okay.

4) Kittens.

5) Diet Coke.

Well, anyway, I can't think of the other stuff right now, but you get the point. I'm a very deep, thoughtful person, and there's lots of things I think about.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:55 AM | Comments (12)


...Valerie Bertinelli is just too much for some guys.

Yikes. You know you're in bad shape when Keith Richards looks better than you.

And is it just me, or does anyone else think that Nicole Kidman looks very unhealthy?

On the other hand, Salma Hayek looks quite well fed. Rrowll.

And for Miss Janis, one of Ms. Lopez. I like everything except the color, which seems odd.

Funniest caption? This one attached to a photo of Michael Bolton and Nicorette Sheridan: "Actress Nicollette Sheridan, right, and singer Michael Bolton arrive, etc."

Hard to figure out who should be more insulted that they had to say who was on the right of whom.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:08 AM | Comments (16)

What am I doing here!?

No orthodontist appointment this morning for Oldest! Yay!

I only wish now that I could curl up under my desk and go to sleep. But I can't.

IN OTHER NEWS, the weekend was full of non-recreation and fitful sleep! Got our bids in Friday on our new addition at church, and they're still higher than what we wanted, so we've got some rasslin' to do with everyone about that. Caterer? Had to go see her at 7:30 Friday night with Reba, and stayed around there until nearly 9:00.

Saturday was spent poring over the various bid packages and typing up a tabulation while doing laundry. Reba took the girls shopping so any excess money we might have had was disposed of as expeditiously as possible. Boy and I later on went to get some late lunch and go to the store for him to dispose of a little more of his Christmas money from various relatives. And I finally found some cedar blocks at Bed, Bath and Beyonce, so let me tell Dave Helton to stop sawing up that big old stump of his right now.

Also made a stop at the grocery store to pick up some sugar-free sweet tea. I realize such a concoction might be anathema maranatha to true devotees of Southern sweet tea, but I know I sure do like it, and we seem to go through about fifty gallons of it a day.

Home again, more laundry, Boy took his bath, waited for the return of the girls. And waited. They'd left around 3:30 or so, and I expected them to be back before dark. As if. 'Silly daddy.' Silly husband!

Anyway, Jonathan got out of the tub and we watched some television and he mentioned that the tub was leaking. "You know, where the water comes out of the wall?" Hmm. Well, it's actually been dribbling for a while, but I just tell them to close the drain plug and they've got a good start for baths the next night.

I walked into the bathroom and rather than a dripply drip ever ten seconds or so, there was a constant dripdripdripdripdripdrip. Hmm. After I stopped to relieve myself (such was the strength of the visual and audible water cues), I grabbed the big single Dagwood-button knob in the middle of the wall and tried to see if there was any position I could move it so that the dribbling stopped.

Nope. In fact, the last little "hmphr" I used to move it in and around made it start flowing as if it wasn't leaking, but was actually being used to run water. Uh-oh. Unscrewed the knob, took off the cover plate, turned off the valves, pulled the valve. Yep.

Those two little rubber cups that fit in the end of the valve were stuck down and wouldn't offer the springy rubberiness needed to fully close the flow. And this was discovered at 7:40 at night. A quick call to the hardware store at the foot of the hill confirmed that they were still open, so I got Boy to throw on some more clothes and we sped off in search of rubber grommetry.

Got there, found my parts, paid, back home, and for once Jonathan was actually interested in helping me, so I showed him the pipes in the wall and the valve and the rubber grommets and plugged it all back in while he handed me various tools.



Buttoned it back up, put the tools away, and the girls finally got home at nearly 8:30. I looked at the stuff they'd purchased, but by this time I was about tuckered out, so after we ate (they'd stopped to pick up some barbecue for supper--mmm--piggy!) they went on and got cleaned up, I folded a few more clothes, and then collapsed in the bed.

Sunday, had to take separate cars because my whole afternoon was meetings. After morning worship, there was the teenage devotional at someone's house, so we all went to that, then I had a meeting at 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, and a brief one at 6:05 which is five minutes after evening services started. That was a lot of jabbering.

Supper, then home, where there was yet more laundry to fold, and more sleep to not get. Meaning, I missed the entirety of the Oscars.

It makes me want to weep that I was not able to see the most socially conscious group of human beings ever to walk the face of planet Earth engage in the social consciousness of a most overwhelmingly conscious sort, and do it socially, and to be able then to watch them as they congratulate themselves for being on such a higher plain of existence. And yes, I'm speaking of George Clooney's fatuous little speech about how forward thinking the Academy was by awarding Hattie McDaniel and Oscar in 1939. Not mentioning it would be 24 more years before another black person got another one. And then 19 more after that before another black person got one. There's only 18 in all. Not really much to hang your hat on there, George.


Anyway, I got a raft of junk to do today, as in weeks past, so bear with me as I try to clear some of it away.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:13 AM | Comments (8)

March 03, 2006

Well, now.

Since I've lulled you into thinking I'm back to regular posting, it's time to yank the plug again!

Time to head out to the church building and see what sorts of bids we get back on the fellowship hall addition. The process to get here has been a year long, which is rather hard to believe. I'm just hoping we can pay for it now that we've spent all this time messing with it.

Much like the anniversary dinner next weekend. Thankfully, Reba's brother has come through with some major financial support for the victuals, so I am particularly grateful for that. But I sure will be glad when it's over. My mother-in-law, God love her (and I most certainly do), has not made this particularly pleasant, either for her children or for the invitees.

Tomorrow? Shopping. Which I'd really rather not get involved in, but I think a certain wife of mine is needing some decompression time.

Sunday? Meetings, meetings, meetings, in amongst all the ecclesiastical necessities of the day.

Monday? Early morning orthodontist appointment, meaning that I won't be posting until much later on in the day.

But you know what?

It's springtime.

When I cooked in the rain last weekend, I noticed that Jonathan's pear tree was in full bloom. Saw a robin hopping through someone's yard on Tuesday when I was taking Catherine to school. The forsythia's all yellowed up, and the daffodils are out, and the non-flowery trees all have that green knobbiness to their branches that signals it's almost time to bust out some leaves again, and the afternoons are light enough now for the kids to spend 10 or 15 minutes outside when we get home to burn off some excess steam, and I didn't have to wear a jacket at all yesterday.

Springtime's pretty nice, I think.

All of you have a wonderful weekend and I'll see you Monday sometime.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

And in related handbasket news...

Schools pay staff for 'doing nothing'

News staff writer

The Birmingham school system is spending at least $400,000 each year for salary and benefits of employees on paid administrative leave, school officials said.

That cost sometimes is as high as $800,000, said school Superintendent Wayman B. Shiver Jr. He wants to reduce that amount as the system deals with cuts in state, city and federal money.

Currently, 21 Birmingham school employees are on paid administrative leave, a result of a backlog in hearings on their alleged offenses.

"We shouldn't be sitting here with people sitting out a year, two years without any action" school board member April Williams said. "Having employees getting paid to do nothing, to me, is us being totally irresponsible and not being good stewards." [...]

Ya think?

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

Why am I in this handbasket, and why is it so very hot in here?

Steevil sends along this link to Tom Elia's post yesterday (which I realize has already been heavily linked by everyone up in the blogroll) about the pitiable state of education in the U.S.

A good read--sad, but good. And frankly, not the least bit surprising, if you happen to have to deal with people on a daily basis.

Anyway, as the product of a small private Christian school, and with a sister and parents who always went to public schools, and with four kids who've spent time in both public AND private schools, what I've come to believe is that if you think you can rely on a school--and a school alone, of any sort--to teach your kids, you've doomed your kids to perpetual ignorance.

There's more to education than making sure your kids get to school before the tardy bell rings. It takes a lot of time, and constant effort, and an unwillingness to accept excuses for poor effort. In other words, it requires acting like a parent.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)




Snockered, bagged, skunked.

Blasted, blitzed, blotto, boiled, bombed, canned, fried, high, hunchpunched, juiced, loaded, looped, pickled, pig-eyed, plastered, ripped, sauced, smashed, soused, stewed, stoned, tanked, tight, tipsy, toasted, wasted.

Paula Abdul last night.

Great gravy, woman--please lay off the Kickapoo Joy Juice.

As for who got let go--the only one I would have done differently is to have gotten rid of Peter Brady before that David kid. He is simply impossible to look at without hearing "Time To Change" running through my head.

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

March 02, 2006

Comment Trouble!

Not sure what's happening on the hap-hap-happy island of Niue, but Dave Helton was trying to post something in the comments and got back a page with a weird string of spam site stuff, and I just tried a test comment to see what was going on and got the exact same message, leading me to believe that something done blowed up real good at Munu headquarters.

I figure it's some kind of server problem. Or monkeys.

In any event, Chet is at work today, so if it's vital, he's standing by. Asleep, but standing by.

UPDATE: (five seconds later) Pixy Misa over on Munuviana says it was fixed, but I'm thinking not completely.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:30 PM | Comments (0)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Volume MCML...uh, oh, who knows.

Another'n from Steevil today, and actually one that gives lie to the idea of lazy shiftless rednecks. I mean, this fellow put in a LOT of effort to the task at hand, despite the stunning lack of success in his endeavors.

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

Guess what.

There's even time for a dip into the referrer logs for an Inexplicable Search Request!

Prima Donna Fish Plate

I have no idea what that means.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:26 PM | Comments (0)

In a blatant rip-off of James Taranto's "Best of the Web Today"--

my own nomination for Bottom Story of the Day: AP newswoman Samira Jafari named Pikeville, Ky., correspondent

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:51 PM | Comments (2)

Well, at least not EVERYONE thinks I'm old.

Got home last night from church and set in to do some computing stuff for Rebecca, so we'd flipped the television on and were watching the tailend of American Idol Guy Night, and they had the recap with Taylor Hicks singing "Easy" and I launched into my own version. Although I make fun of the way I sing, I actually can sing well enough to keep from getting killed if sometime in the future I was captured by Islamic terrorist who threatened to hack me to pieces if I didn't sing "Easy" the way Lionel does, may peace be upon him. So, anyway, I sang a bit and Rebecca, who was sitting in the floor watching the television (instead of helping me do all her work for her) piped up and said, "Daddy! YOU should be on American Idol, not those guys!"

"Nowww, Bec, you know I'm too ol--"

"YES, I know, you say 'I'm too old' but I don't think you are!"


Makes having to do a travel brochure on New Mexico for her social studies class much more bearable.

Hmm. You don't think she was just trying to butter me up, do you?


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

More lint!

Speaking of lunch, something else has been bugging me--the cashier at the Sneaky Pete's wears a little thin string necklace around her throat, and it really disturbs me, because it looks like someone has snuck up behind her and is trying to strangle her.

Second--Steevil just sent me this link to this Ann Althouse post on heinie augmentation for th' ladies. Since we were talking about cuteness in the previous post, I have to admit I think those very-much-lower back dimples are cute, so I might change my new cliche to "cute as very-much-lower back dimples."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

Finally, a break.

Although not really--it’s lunchtime, and I’m choking down some Stuff That’s Bad For You, so I have to concentrate really hard on not letting it make me die or anything. Food can do that, you know.

As I have laboriously belabored the point, ad nauseum and ad infinitum, for the past few days I have been up to my armpits in junk to do, and none of it really important in the greater scheme of things. I mean, it’s not like I’m coming up with a cure for cancer or Stuff That’s Bad For You or a way to make lobsters cook themselves--it’s just silly junk. But, by gum, it’s silly junk that MUST BE DONE!

And who better to do it?

Anyway, all sorts of lint has been accumulating in my mind. Such as, buttons. I’m sure out there on the Internets there are plenty of people who’ve opined on this before, but I haven’t thought about it until now, and I don’t really want to go to all the trouble of looking it up.

I have on numerous occasions said one girl or another is “just as cute as a button,” but I got to thinking about it the last few days and I can’t think of a single button I’ve ever seen that I thought, “Boy howdy, that sure is a CUTE button!” In fact, most buttons I’ve seen are utilitarian and plain. And circular. And have four holes punched in them. And are held (barely) to my shirt with thread. I have to say that I can’t think of a single girl who looks like that. Therefore, I intend from now on to never use that phrase again. I shall use “cute as a cute thing.”

Moths. I guess I got ‘em. I noticed several weeks ago that there was a tiny hole in the sleeve of my nearly almost new gray suit coat.

“Hmm,” I thought. “That is a hole.”

Being rather clever, I tried to camouflage what looked like a bit of white lint on the sleeve (the result of the suit lining shining through the tiny hole) with a dot of black ink. That did not work. Poop.


Then Sunday, I pulled it out and noticed that there were TWO holes, and this time they were in the SHOULDER of the coat.

“Hey,” I thought. “Those are TWO holes, and they’re in the SHOULDER.” As I have often said, I am quite smart like that there.

I had to go ahead and wear it to church because we were ready to leave and there was no changing, but I decided to take it to the dry cleaners and see if they could fix it. All along, I thought these mysterious holes were being caused by careless snags or something. Moths!? Oh, please. Not MY suits! (Which are made of sheepy stuff.)

“I’ve got a couple of small holes here, and they almost look like scissor nips or something--can y’all reweave this?”

“Uh, sir, I think--hmm, yes sir, this is moth damage, not a cut. And no, we don’t have any way to reweave them here. We send them to a lady who has a small shop over in East Lake. She’s, probably, oh, gosh, about ninety by now, but she does good work, and as far as we’ve found, she’s the only one in town who still does it.”

I HAVE MOTHS! AIEEEEEE! Now I know why Mothra is so scary.

Anyway, I stopped on the way home to pick up some cedar planks or balls or cones or hangers or something to hang in the armoire so moths would go somewhere else in the house and quit eating up all my two suits. Except they didn’t have anything with cedar.

Just those plain old stinkin’ naphtha cakes. With either lemon or cedar scent!

Let me say this RIGHT now. There is no way to make naphtha smell like lemon. Or cedar. I put the thing in the wardrobe, but only so long as it will take to kill the little buggers, and until I can find something actually made from a cedar tree to go in there.

The downside is that I smell even more like an old man.

Just need me a splash of Old Spice to go with the naphtha, maybe a touch of Brylcreem, hitch my pants under my armpits, and I’m all set.

Stupid moths.

By the way--did the Japanese ever figure out how to shoot Mothra with great big moth cannonballs? I bet that would have worked good.

Let’s see, what else was there? I’ll get back to you in a minute or two.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:24 PM | Comments (6)

Well, by Jiminy, if New Orleans can have Mardi Gras…

…then the intervention in regular Possumblogging caused by me having to tend to my paid work shouldn’t stop us from producing yet another installment of America’s Favorite Weekday Internet Time-Waster, The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As you all know, lately it has become my custom to rely upon the kindness of strangers to supply questions for the T-3, and this week’s no exception. Thankfully, given that the amount of time I have this week to devote to such diversions is small, the questions are of the short, sweet, and simple variety. (And no, I do not believe this has anything to do with their author.)

SO THEN, let’s get on with the parade! The questions are these:

1. Whatcha reading?
2. …Listening to?
3. …Watching?

AND, in one of the biggest surprises of all, A BONUS QUESTION— Whatcha cooking?

Since our questionist didn’t specify, I figure you can be as literal or figurative as you want to be when it comes to defining things like time and material. Right now you’re reading this, right? Well, if you want to put that down, go ahead. Cooking up a big batch of manatee lasagna in a couple of weeks? Same deal.

Just leave your answers in the comments below or a link to your site and we’ll all come over and see what’s there.

NOW THEN, for my answers--

1. Reading? What’s that!?

Hee-hee. I’m so funny.

ANYwho, I’ve got a couple in the hopper at the house that I manage to read a bit of each night. I just finished one book I got for Christmas, Military History's Top 10 Lists--Great Commanders, Improbable Victories, Unlikely Heroes, and Other Martial Oddities by M. Evan Brooks. It was a jaunty, breezy ride through history, and although the real heavy lifting of the book is in coming up with the categories and possible “nominees” (for lack of a better word), the write-ups rely a bit heavily on excerpts of other author’s works. The author obviously has to know his stuff to be able to sift through all the lists and make comparisons, but I think I would have liked to have heard more of his voice in it.

One that I started at the same time as that one is one that I am in the middle of right now--World War II--4,139 Strange and Fascinating Facts by Don McCombs and Fred L. Worth. It’s basically an encyclopedia, which means great width, but not a lot of depth. It also seems very dated, even though it was published only about 11 years ago. There are some real corkers in there that would bear a bit more research before passing them along. What’s most interesting is the number of famous Hollywood actors who served during World War II, and not just in the “boosting morale” role. I can’t remember them all right off hand, but it would be nice if we had more folks in Hollywood like Jimmy Stewart or Charles Durning.

The other one I’ve got beside the bed is one I’ve barely gotten past the first couple of chapters on, but it is very informative. It’s Last Battle: The Mayaguez, the Lost Fire Team, and the End of the Vietnam War by Ralph Wetterham.

2. Listening to? Well, I signed up for that Yahoo! Launchcast gadget, where you can pick several artists and have your own little desktop radio station. I suppose there are other things out there that are easier to use or with fewer interruptions, but it’s pretty good for background noise. You get to pick several artists, and then they add in more that are supposedly related to your picks. Right now, it’s playing Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City.” I assume this is because in amongst all the baroque late-‘70s pothead/redneck/boogie rock bands I chose, I also picked The Dillards and Bill Monroe as two of my choices. (HEY! “Mule Skinner Blues” just came on! Wheee!) I suppose if I knew more about downloading music I would do that, but this is a lot easier, and it’s blessedly free of Eminem.

3. Watching? Well, there’s basically only four things on teevee right now--24, American Idol, The Office, and My Name Is Earl. I also enjoy watching reruns of the same 11 episodes of Fawlty Towers on Saturdays. I have a bunch of movies that I got for Christmas that I still have not watched.

4. Cooking? Nothing of note--last weekend’s rainy-day meat incineration duties have been about the extent of it lately.

Speaking of incineration, my lovely bride brought home a bunch of meaty shish kebob things Tuesday night, and yes, you guessed it, decided to use the oven broiler to cook them. And yes, as she always does, filled the house with acrid smoke. And the lovely screech of smoke alarms. ::sigh:: Why? I suggested after the fifth or sixth time I had to get up and open up the garage door that maybe we should consider baking stuff like this instead of broiling it. “Well, I HAVE the oven on BAKE!” I looked over there, and sure enough, the little dial was set to “Bake.” And the temperature all the way up to 500º. “Hmm. Well, maybe it’s the temperature, then--possibly we could turn it down to 350 or so--you know, like regular baking temperature.”

Yes, I know, I’m a moron to suggest it.

Anyway, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (12)

March 01, 2006

Wednesday!? Already!?

Okay, whoever keeps messing with the time machine needs to just cut it out RIGHT NOW!

Interesting happenings of late?

Well, let me ask you this--do you know how to make a minor bureaucrat exceedingly happy?

Give him a BRAND NEW PLASTIC SLEEVE for his identity badge, that's what! Got one yesterday and I am quite proud of it. The last one I had finally split where the clippy thing goes on, so I was deathly afraid of losing it, lest I not be able to get into the building and not be able to get to w-...hmm.

I sense a missed opportunity.

In other news, dental appointments yesterday afternoon for three-quarters of the kids. Read a Time magazine, which I haven't done in years. And now I remember why. Although I'm sure that Time's editorial board would vigorously deny it, Entertainment Weekly is actually better written, and serves up more actual news. If nothing else, it's much less self-congratulatory and self-absorbed.

Anyway, back to work.

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