June 23, 2006

I'm leeeaving, on a jet plane...

...in a Honda Odyssey--

And thus once more vacation time rolls around. I'm ready to go--I've gotten all mean and cranky and ill and short-tempered, and nothing can fix that quicker than being cooped up in a small cabin in the shadow of Dollywood with four children who want nothing but to spend every bit of money we have!

See!? I'm being snarkish and rude!

In any event, I'm looking forward to a few days away. If you get lonesome for the odd stew of possumy flavor you usually find around here, there is always the archives, which have lots of things, and some of it actually humorous, written from back when I was sometimes actually humorous. AND OF COURSE, do not neglect my friends up in the blogroll, or over on the sidebar. Just be sure and come back! Remember, it's all about me, and I need constant positive reinforcement!

As for the exact date of my return, as is my usual method, I will leave this as a secret to discourage bad people from coming to my house and breaking in, then leaving in disgust when they see what a mess we've left for them to clean up. Suffice it to say, now that we have a fierce jungle cat prowling the property, our goods and belongings should be safe. And yes, Lightning will be well taken care of by my in-laws. Supposedly.

ANYWAY, I won't be blogging again until July 5, unless I have a free moment or two. Which I'm not planning on. So, all of you have a good time without me, have a happy and safe Independence Day, and Lord willing, I'll see you on down the road.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:46 PM | Comments (5)

Separation of Church and Skate

Doc Smith with a real howler.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:15 PM | Comments (0)


Wireless Freeloader Charged Because He Never Bought Coffee

By Gregg Keizer
Thu Jun 22, 6:32 PM ET

A Vancouver, Wash. coffee shop tired of seeing a 20-year-old man mooch off their free wireless Internet access called the police, who charged him with "theft of services."

Brewed Awakenings employees dialed 911 after Alexander Eric Smith of Battle Ground, Wash. piggybacked off the shop's wireless Internet service for more than three months.

"He doesn't buy anything," Emily Pranger, the shop's manager, told KATU, a Portland, Ore. television station. "It's not right for him to come and use it." [...]

County deputies charged Smith with theft of services after returning to the parking lot after they told him to stop. The crime, which covers such crimes as bypassing a utility meter, stealing cable, and leaving a restaurant without paying, has been used in the past to prosecute hackers who have accessed a computer or network without paying for it. "It's something that is borderline creepy," Pranger said to KATU. [...]

By "not right for him," do they mean, "it upsets me" or "we have a store policy whereby we intend to provide wireless service only for those who purchase, at minimum, a cup of coffee, and no other users are authorized to use this connection"?

Because it seems that unless they have a policy like the latter, merely plucking a signal out of the air, as with broadcast radio, is a bit less than theft of services. If they're so concerned about it, why don't they offer a subscription wi-fi, where you have to provide proof of purchase to log on? Maybe a password generated at the register like they do when you buy a carwash at the gas pump. And if it's not really free access, should they get to advertise it as free wi-fi? I mean, 'that's just not right' for them to do that, is it?

Yes, the guy's mooching, but it might be hard to call it theft of services when anyone can pick up the signal and use it anytime they want.

And are you gonna tell me that in a place of progressive thought such as Vancouver, Washington that borderline creepiness has now been criminalized!? I dare say there are probably several jail's worth of folks who fit the bill around there.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:08 PM | Comments (6)

Mockery Called For.

The still-recovering and not-quite-up-to-snide Man With the Golden Leg, Dr. Jim Smith, sends me a link to a peculiar story out of our saluted state of the day -- Dead Webcast: L.I. Funerals Now Available Via 'Net

West Babylon Chapel Offers Cyber Viewing Free Of Charge

Jennifer McLogan

(CBS) EAST HAMPTON When a Long Island man died this week, some of his extended family, scattered across the country, were unable to fly in for the funeral, which under Jewish custom was held within 24 hours.

But they said they felt a part of it anyway because they were able to watch it LIVE via an Internet hookup.

Emphasis belonging to Ms. McLogan. LIVE! I think there might be something ironic in there, but I'm not sure. Further:

“There is a time frame when families want to bury someone. So instead of delaying the service, out-of-towners, or the very sick, can still take part even if they are not there physically," said Kevin Gray, co-owner of The Star of David Memorial Chapel in West Babylon.

I realize it's kinda hard to pick good hometown names, but I think I'd rather not be reminded of any sort of Babylonian captivity if I were a Jewish type person. But maybe that's just me.

The chapel was recently outfitted with video cameras and Internet servers so that funeral services can be put online. His chapel is believed to be the first in the New York area to have live webcasts of funerals.


“We do it at no extra charge,” Gray said.

Viewers can see the funeral from two angles -- a panoramic view from the back and then from a second camera, a close-up of the speaker.


Gray demonstrated, and the video was clear, the sound audible.

And you were expecting? I mean, it's not like the technology itself is all that new, just the application.

Across Long Island on Thursday, it seemed everyone had an opinion on this.

NO! WAY! I just cannot believe that people might have an opinion about something! PLEASE LET'S HEAR THEM!

“How odd,” said one.

Well, I tell you, you can always rely on ol' One to come up with a kneeslapper--pithy, succinct, and rapier-sharp! MORE PLEASE!

“The infirm and elderly could use it,” added another.

Land's sake--if it's not One, it's Another! But wait, there's MORE!

Other responses included:

“Computers are impersonal.”

Said an unnamed source...

“I hate funerals anyway.”

So why not combine your hatred for funerals with your hatred of the one-eyed beast wrought by Bill Gates and you know, kill two whatevers with something, you know?

“I think you owe it to the loved one to be there in person.”

But, did we mention it's LIVE! And FREE! And that the loved one might not have wanted you there to begin with, since you never could be bothered to even pick up the phone and call? Anyway, you're probably only wanting to come by to gloat, or to go through the house and pick over the stuff your Uncle Edgar said were supposed to go to MY kids! You always were that way, you know!

Some Industry experts CBS 2 spoke with predict that webcasting will become more popular as younger funeral directors take over and Internet connections speed up.

Stealing a bit of Taranto's schtick, "What would we do without Industry experts"?

As for my actual, non-jokey opinion--not that you asked: feh. Whatever. We've already got drive-through funerals and funeral DVDs--this is the obvious next step. As long as it's free. And live.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:31 PM | Comments (2)

Fun With Referrer Logs!

It's been a while, and I'm not sure why I have not been getting as high quality of odd search requests lately, but then, one like this comes along and my faith in the Internets is restored.

We have a seeker today wanting to know where are Steve and Jaime Austin of the six million dollar man today. And they had to WORK to get to Possumblog, seeing as how it was the 108th result.

FAR BE IT FROM ME to allow such a diligent person to suffer the indignity of ignorance for a second longer!

Steve and Jaime Austin currently live in Sedona, Arizona, where they have a small real estate business as well as a shop that sells local craftware. Steve likes to get up every morning just before sunrise for a 10-mile jog and then returns five minutes later for a nice hot cup of coffee. After arising from the comfort of her Sleep-Number induced slumber, wife Jaime does light housework and sweeps up the splintered remains of various tables and chairs she has crushed.

Their time at the realty office and adjoining craft shop are spent chatting with customers and clients who enjoy coming by to talk and try to make the weird "dit-ditditditdiiiiiiiiiiiii" sound effect so prevalent in the couples' mid-1970s television shows. Although the pair laugh easily with their fans, it is apparent that the jokes have begun to wear on them, and thus they tend not to go out as much socially anymore.

They share a home with a Belgian Shepherd named Farrah.

AS ALWAYS, Possumblog is YOUR source for celebrity news!

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

State Visitor Day!

In keeping with my promise of last week, today we wish to salute visitors who come to Possumblog from the place that proudly flies this flag--


That's right! It's--well, hmm.... Let's see, two chicks in nightgowns carrying weaponry looking out a big picture window toward a lake with pretty sailboats, and they're standing on a carpet runner made out of shredded wood.


We would like to thank all of our many, many Empire State visitors who come by Possumblog, and ask you to take a moment and tell us all about your wonderful, lovely, pretty state. Why am I being so solicitous? Because I don't want to wind up in the Hudson wearing a cement shoes, that's why!

For the rest of our visitors, a bit of fascinating information about New York:

1. New York was named New York to keep it from being confused with Old York, the nickname of famed British actor Michael York.

2. At one time, New York was owned by the Dutch, who made a good living trading Dutch rubs, Dutch uncles, and Dutch ovens with the various indigenous Indian tribes.

3. New York is actually a very large state, consisting of the Borough of Manhattan, and other place that no one cares about.

4. New York ranks seventh in the nation in manufacturing, with 805,200 employees (as of 2002). The principal industries are printing and publishing, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic equipment, and instruments. The convention and tourist business is also an important source of income.

5. The capital of New York is Albany, which remained hidden in a dense jungle rainforest until it was discovered in 1973 by Belgian anthropologist Renee Gascoingne.

6. More movies are made about New York than any other place, except for Montana.

7. New York farms produce cattle, poultry, corn, vegetables, and fruit, and the state is a leading wine producer. One of the most looked forward to time is the fall harvest celebration in Central Park, where families from both Central Park East AND West gather together with their threshing machines and combines to cut the vast fields of wheat. The women make large picnic baskets of homemade goodies and set them out on the edges of the fields while children scamper about, and at noontime the men come in from the fields and everyone has a wonderful dinner. There are athletic competitions, where the men will see who can heave sheaves of wheat the furthest, or who can lift the heaviest sheaf. After dinner, the men return to the fields and continue the harvest until it is complete, and when the day is well done, everyone dresses up and takes in a Broadway show.

8. The highest point in New York is Mt. Marcy at 5,344 feet.

9. Famous New York natives include Herman Melville; Ethel Merman; Chico, Groucho, Harpo, and Zeppo Marx; Moe, Curly, and Shemp Howard; Phoebe Doty; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Martin Van Buren; Millard Fillmore; Vince Lombardi; and Theodore Roosevelt. And, of course, Scarlett Johansson.


Whew. God bless New York.

10. New York's Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, Westchester County, is the birthplace of the prison musical.

11. The state animal of New York is the beaver, and the state fish is the brook trout.

SO THERE YOU GO! Such a fascinating place.

As we said earlier, if you hale from the ol' En Wye, take a moment and say hello, or at least grace us with a rousing FUGEDDABOUDIT!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:09 PM | Comments (8)

As I supposed yesterday...

...the Siegelman-Scrushy jury was given an Allen charge and told to go back to work. Mr. Scrushy noted yesterday evening that he'd been through this before, and (paraphrasing) he just knew it meant that in the end everyone would get to go home free and clear.

Only problem being that there was one juror who was replaced in his trial, and that juror turned out to be the lone strong holdout for conviction. In this case, I have a feeling there is probably more than one juror holding out either for acquittal or conviction, and that it it's going to be harder to reach a decision with more than a lone holdout.

As for what will happen--who knows? I've mentioned it enough before, but it seems that some people who have been seated on these types of juries of late are highly maleable when it comes to deciding things based strictly on the law, and seem to be rather more impressed with irrelevant appeals to emotion. And unctuous, self-righteous, multi-millionaire televangelists.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:11 AM | Comments (0)

Geographic Illiteracy

Not kids, this time. Local news.

I really don't want to seem like I take great joy in pointing this stuff out, but it is a pet peeve of mine--that being the ability of local television reporters to misspeak. Not once, but seemingly on a continual basis.

What brought this on? Well, there has been a recent case where an elderly family and their grandson has turned up missing, and although there is a suspect, he has not been charged in their disappearance. Yet.

In any event, the couple lived in a pretty, older section of town called College Hills, over near Birmingham-Southern College. When the story first broke, even though the video showed the obligatory "College Hills" neighborhood signs, the reporters and anchors of whichever station I was watching at the time kept calling the neighborhood "Collegeville."

Now, it might not seem like a big deal, but Collegeville is a completely different place, over to the northeast by several miles, hard up by the CSX yard and Sloss Industries. College Hills it ain't. The error might be one to be expected of a stranger, but the whole thing the local stations talk about is how connected they are to the community, and such a gaffe--repeated ENDLESSLY--tends to make that claim suspect.

What's worse is the lack of self-correction--I KNOW there are people that work at the stations who know the right names of these communities, and to let the slip continue to be repeated on air--no matter if it seems minor (and no, I don't mean Minor, or Minor Heights)--just reeks of unprofessionalism.

Another case in point--a breaking news alert last night on the FOX affiliate in which a police officer was shot while breaking up a robbery at an AutoZone. The anchor said it was in north Birmingham. Which, to my ears, sounds like "North Birmingham," an actual section of the city which, in fact. once was an incorporated town. Then he gave the address--6600 1st Avenue, North. Which is in the Wahouma/East Lake area, nowhere NEAR where North Birmingham is.

Look, TV people--just because an address around here has NORTH in it, doesn't mean it's in NORTH Birmingham. And again, there are plenty of Birmingham natives in these stations to correct such nonsense, and to let it go on and on makes you wonder just exactly how many other things get reported with such disregard for minor details.

And too, in the end, if you don't care enough about the details, it makes you wonder just how accurate the rest of your stories are.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:50 AM | Comments (6)


Although they tend to look no different from last week's photos, this will NOT stop me from posting yet more kitteny soft pictures!

In taking these photographs, it has become increasingly, and frustratingly, apparent that this kitten has absolutely no desire to be photographed, at least in the face. Add to this a very slow-to-react digital camera, and most of the shots wind up being either of his little pink emergency exit as he runs away, or even worse, nothing at all--an empty chair, an empty flower pot, an empty spot on the ground. I'm thinking I should probably get some plastic zip ties and attach him to various places until I get a good shot of him.

UNTIL THEN, here is your weekly ration of toocuteness:

Okay, well, there is ONE way to get a shot of his mug--have the other Cat hold him still. Yes, I know how to hold a cat, and YES, Catherine has been instructed numerous times about how to hold a cat, but he was fidgeting and squirming and rolling and desperately trying to get down in order to chase an imaginary leaf, so please excuse her technique. And you have to admit, it IS better than zip-tieing him to a log.

Once down, he goes into full stalk and pounce mode. Here he is checking out an imaginary something or other--

And here he is after he found an imaginary something that scared him witless. (He spends most of his time bowing up at things, hopping around, and running away at top speed, then coming back and bowing up again.)

Sometimes, he will be still--usually when he's into something he doesn't quite understand, such as this stack of flower tray bottoms. He couldn't quite figure out why they moved around so much. But it has the effect of making him be more still than usual

Okay, now--this will have to do you for two weeks!

Oh, all right--here's an extra one to help you make it through:

All together now--"Awwwwwww!"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (1)

June 22, 2006

Here it comes!

Breaking News from NBC13--Jury Makes Announcement In Siegelman, Scrushy Trial

FOX 6 reports jury has failed to reach a verdict.

I would say the judge probably will now issue an Allen charge, but I suppose there will be plenty to talk about tomorrow. I'm a'going home to work on the Volvo.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Police: Suspect in judge shooting spotted

Oughta make him pretty easy to see in a crowd, I'd wager. Unless he's hiding in a pack of leopards.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (0)

My own global warming experience.

As you've all probably heard, ABC "News" has been having a call-in for people to send in their personal experiences with the fiendish specter of global warming.

Now, I know there are a lot of people over on the right side of the divide who have done nothing but mock this effort as yet another example of how silly and out of touch the major media are about scientific matters, but I have to say, I really think there's something really bad wrong going on, and no one's willing to talk about it.

Okay, yesterday was the summer solstice, right? The first day of summer? But here's the odd thing--even though it's warm HERE, down in Australia where folks like Kitchen Hand and Tim Blair live, it's actually so cold that they're calling it WINTER!

This is just too crazy and mixed up NOT to be the result of man's inhumanity to our beloved Planet Earth! We've ruined EVERYthing now, and it's so insane that one part of our Big Blue Marble is locked into an icy death grip, while just on the other side, it's blazing hot! We have reached a day of reckoning, my friends! If only we'd signed Kyoto, NONE of this crazy mixed up summer-on-one-side/winter-on-the-other would be happening!

And we had the nerve to mock Al Gore. I weep.

(OH, and for ABC, who wanted to know about "unusual animals that have arrived in your community," I did want to mention that the other day I went outside and was confronted by a large black and gray cat that I have NEVER SEEN BEFORE! The temperature was a blazing 85 degrees, and then all of a sudden, here's this strange cat. Coincidence? I think not.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:59 PM | Comments (5)


A little afternoon exercise.

Let's say you are a healthcare provider working at a large, central city county hospital. You were not coerced into your employment situation, and, in fact, being that you work in the state's largest city, and being that this city is home to numerous other hospitals--some of which are next door to your current employer--if you did happen to feel you were being underpaid for the work you do, all things being equal it should NOT be difficult for you to find alternative employment at a higher wage.

Now then, let's say you know that the high school kids who volunteer to work at the hospital are given compensation in the form of a coupon for one free meal in the cafeteria. And further, you understand that free meal ticket is their sole compensation.

When it comes to your attention that one of the volunteers does not use her free meal ticket, do you:

A. Figure she just must not be hungry and not worry about it.

B. Worry that she might not be eating a healthy lunch and encourage her to eat something she won't get sick, and if she still says no, not worry about it.

C. Decide that since she's not using the ticket, you should have it.

If you answered C., upon the volunteer's refusal to ask for a ticket from her supervisor, then turn around and give it to you, do you:

A. Decide that since you do get paid, it would be unfair to take something that you did not deserve and did not work for, and apologize for asking.

B. Begin berating the volunteer and telling her that she should give you the ticket anyway, and continue in this manner for several minutes until one of your fellow employees tells you to stop.

If you answered B., The Possumblog Ethics-o-Meter says "You are just a sorry no-account excuse for a person, and obviously have no shame."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:59 PM | Comments (4)


Yeah, I know, hard to believe if you've invested a lot of effort in using their absence as proof of the essential evil reckless cowboyness of a certain politician, but this is certainly a strange enough story even without all the braying of the lunatics.

The fact is, as best as I can glean, we did find some older chemical weapon artillery shells in Iraq--and I seem to recall reports from the time saying just that--but since that time their existence has been classified, for some reason. As you can read in all of the articles Mr. Goldstein links, there's enough conspiracy theories out there to float an aircraft carrier about exactly why this was the case, but I tend to go with the old bromide about not blaming conspiracy when incompetence offers an equally valid outcome.

I doubt this will get very much play in the old-line press, in that it would tend to invalidate what their party-line has been, just as I doubt any of them would ever assign anyone to track down leads about so much of the manufacturing bits and pieces being spirited off to Syria and Iran.

IN the end, I have the feeling that anything short of Saddam Hussein running naked down the middle of Broadway screaming and throwing flaming wads of anthrax on people would ever be enough to convince some folks that he might have--maybe, theoretically--been dabbling in such things.

There's more to be learned in this, and it will be worth seeing how it is handled.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:50 AM | Comments (9)

You know what THAT means...

IOC picks three finalists for 2014 games

The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Three cities — two from Europe and one from Asia — made the cut Thursday as the IOC trimmed the field for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Salzburg, Austria; Pyeongchang, South Korea; and Sochi, Russia were selected as finalists by the International Olympic Committee's executive board. [...]

That's right! Time for the good folks from Salzburg, Pyeongchang and Sochi to break out the hookers, booze, and bribe money!

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

Well, one thing's for certain.

Study: San Andreas fault overdue for quake

And that is that approximately five minutes after it does happen, there will be a clot of people who loudly claim it is the result of global warming and/or Karl Rove planting a nuclear bomb in the fault line. Because, you know, reality-based things like that are a mark progressive community.

ANYway--if you live in California or Alaska or any other seismically active area, you might better make sure you have a plan of what to do when the Big One does hit. Here's a whole list of places to get information from the US Geologic Survey, but the biggest thing to remember is that the goverment can only do so much, and cannot magically make the ground stop shaking or alter the laws of physics.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:36 AM | Comments (5)

Well, that's odd.

Judge encourages Siegelman jury to keep working

The Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The judge in the government corruption trial of former Gov. Don Siegelman and three others gave jurors a pep talk Wednesday, encouraging them to keep working to reach verdicts following 32 days of testimony and arguments.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller said his comments to jurors, who are on their fifth day of deliberations, were not intended to be what's known as an "Allen" or "dynamite" charge, normally given when juries are deadlocked.

He said he was just trying to encourage jurors to continue working and to remind them that they could return a partial verdict if they all agree on some charges in the 34-count indictment and not others, or if they all agree on charges against some of the four defendants and not others. [...]

Odd mainly because there have been no published reports that the jury has been discouraged or unpeppy. The judge seems to think, at least according to this report, that they might be needlessly rehashing things in order to see if they can reach a unanimous verdict on everything, which he noted to them was not necessary.

If there is a conviction, I imagine this will be one of the items brought up on appeal--the defense is all up in arms that the jury was given this instruction, despite the fact that in their public declamations, none of the charges are true and are all just politically motivated stunts. It's an indication, at least to me, that the defense might just have some doubt that everyone will buy their tales of good friends in high places swapping favors is just what everyone does.

If they really believed what they'd been spouting, I think I would have gotten up and made a big deal in front of the jury that you didn't care if they considered them separately or not because they were all bogus, but just as a matter of formality, I was just going to object anyway.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

Thursday PossumblogTV Pilot Episode Previews!

As noted yesterday, the Thursday Three is in summer hiatus as the writers once again enter contract talks, so for the next few weeks we will be giving you sneak previews of upcoming shows that YOU will be able to watch on the fall season of PossumblogTV.

Obviously, this will be a bit difficult, in that we have no video production capabilities. We must, then, rely on the stack of show pitches on our desks that have a synopsis and some bits of exciting dialogue in them, and rely on YOU, the viewer/reader to use YOUR active imaginations and fill in all the minor details such as people and things moving around.



My Murtha The Car follows the antics of lawyer Dave Crabtree (Jerry Van Dyke from 'Coach'), a typically hapless sitcom family man who discovers that his Democratic Pennsylvania congressman, John Murtha, has returned from Washington as a 1928 "Porter" convertible automobile. It just so happens that Dave was looking around the used car lot for a family station wagon when he made this startling discovery.

Dave (naturally) buys the car against the wishes of his family, who (naturally) think he's gone crazy!* Wacky hijinx ensue! Let’s take a look:

OPENING SCENE: Sunny day, MURTHA parked in front of suburban house. DAVE comes out of house, pats MURTHA on hood, and climbs in.

DAVE: Hiya, Murth! (Gets in, backs out of drive, and starts driving down street) Ready to go to the supermarket!? (Car suddenly does violent U-turn, heads in opposite direction) HEY, WHAT’RE YOU DOING!?

MURTHA: It’s my duty to protect you from that quagmire!


DAVE: Uh, what ARE you talking about, Murtha! I’ve got to pick up some groceries and…

MURTHA: NO! It’s too dangerous--you might get hit by a shopping cart or the cashier might go crazy and plug you full of holes!


DAVE: Roy?! But Roy always seemed so sane! Well, Mr. Murtha, just exactly where do you think you’re taking me?

MURTHA: Okinawa.

(Uproarious laughter)

DAVE: Okinawa!? But, don’t you think that’s a bit far away to go for groceries? And it’s going to be pretty hard to drive all the way across the Pacific!


MURTHA: SHUT UP! Were you ever a Marine? No, of COURSE not! You seem not to have gotten the message that only people who served in the military get to have any say about going to the supermarket, and even then, only if they agree with me and my new pals at Kos Kustom Kars.


DAVE: Okinawa, huh?


DAVE: Oh well. I guess I’m just glad Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t come back as a car!

(Laughter, fade to black, insert sponsor spot)

Such merriment!

*Thanks to TV Party.com for the My Mother The Car reference.

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

June 21, 2006

Thursday Three Summer Vacation!

Given the tremendous outpouring of no one wishing to host the Thursday Three for the next couple of weeks, it has been suggested by a certain college professor that maybe we should do what we did last year, that is, give the Thursday Three the summer off. It is, after all, the summer solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere, so what better time to go a'hiatusing, right?

SO, although many of you wake up all excited-like and run to your computers on Thursday mornings, don't do that tomorrow, or the week after, or for the next few months.

IN LIEU OF OUR REGULAR PROGRAMMING, in order to keep some amount of interest alive in Possumblog, we will instead be having an entire summer full of exciting replacement pilot episodes, such as:

Smell THIS!

My Murtha the Car

Celebrity Smell THIS!

Thrilling Stories of the Old West

Extreme Painting

Lawyers, Lawyers, Lawyers

Insensitive Theater

Judge, Jury, and Executioner Judy

The Wonderful World of Paper, Paper By-Products, and Packaging

Hot-Looking Old Ladies!

Ed Fleen, Pro Bowler

Blowed Up Real Good

Face the Nation, with Britney and K-Fed

Game Show Host Death Match

America's Most Talented Bagpiper

Luther G. Cloode's Special Needs Garage

America's Most Talented Celebrity Bagpiper

Look, A Badger!

Attractive Newswoman Beach Party and Symposium on Sexism in Broadcast Journalism


Ready, Steady, SLEEP!

Godless Commie Super Dance Party

Al Gore Vacation Slide Show

Doctors, Doctors, Doctors

The Danza Code

Decorating for the Non-Gay

Flannel is WARM!

And so many more! I know you're all just as excited as I am! Or maybe even more! Or not! But, be that as it may, just don't abandon me because the Thursday Three is on vacation!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:51 PM | Comments (11)


Inefficiency, Malingering--all perfectly good reasons why I seem to have too much to do this morning!

Oh, and I think I have a touch of the chestnut blight, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (10)

June 20, 2006

Whatever happened to a good, old-fashioned shunning?

Creative sentence given to ex-Mobile County school board member

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A judge ruled that former Mobile County school board member David Thomas Jr. must not speak to school officials for a year as part of his sentence for an unauthorized purchase of $9,033 in Mardi Gras throws.

Thomas, who was removed from office with his conviction in an impeachment trial, also was ordered to pay for five sixth-grade classes to go to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, estimated to cost $3,000 or more, and fined $2,000 plus court costs. He also is to be under court supervision for the next year. [...]

I say make the sentence be that no one else can talk to HIM, either.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

I have a language question.

And actually, it's a semiserious one, too.

I was daydreaming the other day, and I got to wondering if other languages have the same playfulness as English. That is, do people who speak other languages have as many word games like anagrams, acrostics, cyphers, Boggle, crossword puzzles, Scrabble, hangman, word-jokes and other such diversions as English speakers do?

Linguists? Anyone?

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

Adventures in Headline Writing!

This is just dumb--Silence rare among NYC construction boom

Not only is the headline stupid, it has a matching story:

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The biggest burst in construction in New York in decades is making it tougher than usual for people in the City That Never Sleeps to get a little peace and quiet.

In many neighborhoods — especially around the World Trade Center site — residents are assaulted by the noise of jackhammers and bulldozers and confronted by orange traffic cones at practically every turn. Rush-hour commuters have to wade into traffic to get around construction equipment on the sidewalks. Trucks clog the narrow streets, their horns blaring. And the digging often starts before the morning cup of coffee is ready.

"After you've worked a full week, you really don't want to wake up at 7 a.m. to the drilling," said Lisa Hanock-Jasie, who with her husband moved to lower Manhattan a year ago, attracted by the prices and a building that would take in their 85-pound Belgian Shepherd. "We love living down there. We just hope that it ends one day."[...]

It's a CITY, people!

And just when did it become fashionable to keep emaciated Belgian shepherds in your apartment? And what does he do all day--pine for the polders and yearn for his flocks? Play the pan flute? Read Hercule Poirot stories? Poor fellow--and to top it off, being kept by a couple of self-centered, hyphen-named people who can't seem to figure out moving into a construction site might be noisy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:44 PM | Comments (2)

The Churchill Wit

Haven't had a reading in a while from the Little Red Book given me in giftitude by the currently laid-up Dr. Smith, so here goes.

From the section on Politics, Mr. Churchill has this to say:

"It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily and as rapidly as folly."

From a speech before the House of Commons in July of 1954-- "The honorable member is never lucky in the incidence of his facts with the truth."

And finally, one from April of 1951, given out to Clement Attlee--"Mr. Attlee combines a limited outlook with strong qualities of resistance."

I tell you what, clever personal invective is a lost art.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:45 PM | Comments (0)

More Chestnuts

I'm not sure exactly why stories about people trying to repopulate the forest with native chestnut trees get me so excited, but they do. Go figure.

ANYway, a story today about the largest chestnut tree in Alabama, which seems not to be susceptible to blight, and the efforts to propagate it and pass along its genetic material to other trees.

(Actually, I blame this lurid fascination on James Thurber's story about a relative who died from Dutch elm disease. I keep hoping to work in a lie about one of my relatives dying from chestnut blight.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:16 AM | Comments (0)

Ask Dr. Possum!

It's been a very long while since our resident physician*, Dr. Possum, dropped by for a house call. For those of you who've been sick and waiting for his arrival, please accept our apologies and feel free to now send in your questions to him for a swift and accurate answer**.

As you all know, Dr. Possum has a curriculum vitae*** of a breadth and depth and girth unmatched by his peers--if he HAD any peers--and so any question you might have not only on health matters, but also of matters philosophical, social, or mechanical, he stands ready to weigh in with his weighty, uhh, words? Yeah, that'll do.

ANYWAY, in order to prime the pump, so to speak, we have this missive from a certain Jordana A., of Tennessee, who asks:

I have a question about lawnmowers.

I know you got a new one in the not too distant past -- when do you decide it is time to replace and not repair the old lawnmower? Does it have to quit entirely or does the trail of blue smoke from burning oil and the fact that it shakes off several bolts every time you run it (leading one to wonder why we don't find screws and bolts all over the yard from the weekly replacement of said items) seem to indicate that the old Murray is due for the great lawn in the sky?

I'm tending to think this might be the last season for the mower that came with the house. Justin isn't necessarily opposed to the idea of getting a machine that is less rattley and smokey. The main difficulty is knowing whether money would be better applied towards taking it in for a good overhaul with someone who knows more about small engine mechanics than my husband, who has tried all the usual things like changing filters and replacing spark plugs and putting in fuel stabilizer, or if it is just time to give up on the thing and move on.

An excellent question--which means it's a shame you're asking Dr. Possum, but here goes.

For some reason, I have found that it seems that once lawnmowers start running badly, there's not much short of a complete teardown that will make them run well again. Which means it's usually cheaper just to get a cheapo Wal-Mart model. The last one I had got to where I couldn't just get it cranked easily, and the sheet metal covering around the self-propelling feature was just torn to shreds, making it nearly impossible to push. As for shaking and rattling, I do remember fondly one cheaply made push-mower I had, the blade of which was so misbalanced that it vibrated so much that the engine started tearing loose from the mower deck. I finally gave up on that one when the crack in the deck went entirely round the engine, causing it so come completely adrift from its moorings. Anyway, donate your mower to the thrift store, and treat yourself to new one.

I suggest a nice riding one like this, which is environmentally-friendly, and very easy to operate.

Now then, who else has a question for the doctor?!


*Dr. Possum is a real doctor, although his credentials are recognized only by an imaginary licensing organization. Do not actually heed his advice unless it turns out to be accurate.

**Swift and Accurate Guarantee: The SAAG does not mean that the answers will indeed be received swiftly, nor that they will be accurate, nor in fact, that they will be answers at all.

***Curriculum vitae is not available at this time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:36 AM | Comments (8)


Got that stuff out of the way, which means it's time for our newest feature...


Famed NASA rocket scientist and boater, Steevil, sent along a link to this article regarding the decision of the Presbyterian Church (USA) (meeting here in the grand old Magic City, by the way) to consider alternative, gender-inclusive titles for expressing the identity of the Trinity, getting away from the old-fashioned "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Some of their suggestions include: "Mother, Child and Womb," "Rock, Redeemer, Friend," "Lover, Beloved, Love," "Creator, Savior, Sanctifier," and "King of Glory, Prince of Peace, Spirit of Love." (Although I have to say the last one is a bit gender specific, unless women can now be kings and princes, which I admit might have already been taken up in an earlier synod or something.)

ANYWAY, Steevil, ever the sensitive sort, suggests maybe we could use "Rock, Paper, and Scissors." (No word on if he's working on a new hymn entitled "Roshambo of Ages.")

Chet the E-Mail Boy said he always like Kookla, Fran, and Ollie, as well as Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod.

The only problem is that I think Chet is probably serious.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:13 AM | Comments (6)

I wish...

...I was finished with my infernal note-transcribing.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2006

What a tiny little man.

Al says "No go, Joe."

Or maybe it's more along the lines of, "Friends, Democrats, and Koscountrymen..."

Senator Lieberman is a liberal of the old school sort, but I've always thought he was a decent guy, even back in November of 2000 before there was an Iraq war to support. As far as I know, he's been consistent in what he believes, and is willing to say what he believes--at least within the constraints of candidness shown by career politicians.

For Gore to not endorse him I doubt will have any real effect one way or the other, EXCEPT to make Mr. Gore look even more like a sore loser than anyone might have ever thought possible, especially when you read Gore's mealy-mouthed, 'Joe and Hadassah are good friends' blather.

Mr. Albert Arnold Gore, Jr., we have a word for people like you around here--"sorry."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:05 PM | Comments (9)

As for Father's Day--

--aside from the prospect of serious bodily injury, I got some sweet cards from the children (including two extra hand-made ones) and some cool stuff--a DVD of The Out-of-Towners with Steve Martin and John Cleese (and Goldie Hawn, whom I can't stand, but the kids don't know that, so don't tell them), the first season DVD of The Office, a big bowl of Sunkist jelly beans, two books by Paulo Coelho--a writer with whom I'm decidedly unfamiliar, and the book I started on last night, 1776 by David McCullough.

I'm hoping for a good read on this one, but I was getting a bit antsy last night during the first chapter as he seemed to be straining at the seams to draw as many parallels as possible to our current Administration and our conflicts in the Middle East. It's not that parallels can't be drawn, it's that they can be drawn between ANY conflicts. Pointing out obvious similarities and acting as smug as if you've just invented the wheel doesn't really make you look that clever, especially when you're cherry-picking press quotes, no matter if they're from the 18th Century or the 21st. Maybe I was reading too much into it, but then again, maybe he's a much more hamfisted partisan hack than I gave him credit for being. I think not, but we'll see.

Other Father's Day gifts will go unreported in order to protect the delicate sensibilities of Miss Reba.

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

Why, YES!

I DID paint the mailbox this weekend! So glad you asked!

It was also the reason for two of the three trips I made to the hardware store. First trip to go get some paint, and I fell victim to an impulse purchase because they were having some sort of early-bird Father's Day sale. All pocket knives, 20% off.

Like crack, I'm telling you.

Found a nice little Schrade Old Timer for only $7. As those who read this garbage know, I also have long carried a nice old, pre-bankruptcy, non-Chinese-made Uncle Henry in the same three blade style, although it is an inch longer. Why two almost exactly alike? As I said, pocket knives are like crack, that's why.

ANYway, back to the mailbox. While at the store, I also got some new shiny letters, and got home and started scraping and wire-brushing, and finally got most of the rust off the fancy post and the number plate. Sprayed my paint on and...


Well, I bought stove paint, thinking it would be just a tiny bit more satiny-finish than it was. Nope. Dead black. Now, I suppose I could have gotten out the stove polish, but it was just easier to head back down to the hardware store and get a can of shine. So, I did. Second trip of the day.

Went then to get the oil changed in Reba's car. I would do it, but it's more trouble than it's worth. Also, the entertainment value of the Express Oil Change place is hard to beat. I think I had a new kid--he didn't wash my windshield or oil my doors, and more to the point, had an odd way of checking the oil. I think he didn't realize that people can see underneath the big gap under the back edge of the hood, because when he opened it up, he searched and searched for the prop rod. That has a handy bright yellow tip so you can see it.

Then, he proceeded to rummage around under the hood looking at stuff, and managed to put too much oil in the engine. "Uhh--hey, Bay #3, need to drain one quart. Sorry! WAIT--hold on--it's reading right!"

Trouble was, he was using the transmission dipstick.

Not the one marked in big yellow letters ENGINE OIL.

He'd plunge it down in there, then read it again--"IT'S STILL SHOWING THAT IT'S RIGHT!" and shout down to his cohort in the pit. The pit man told him to have me crank it, because sometimes that will make it read different.

Cranked it, and at some point in there he realized what he'd done. He put the trans dip stick down and grabbed the engine oil stick--"YEAH, Bay #3, need to drain a quart!" The pit guy did as he was bidden and asked what happened. "I uh...uh, I'll tell you later."

I imagine he thought I hadn't seen any of this little bit of theater since my face was hidden from his by the hood, but as I said, there was a BIG gap at the bottom.

My advice to Express Oil Change? Forget the friendly Otis the Possum character, and make sure the guys doing the top side work on cars KNOW WHAT THE HECK THEY'RE DOING!

Got home and finished up the spray-paint job as Jonathan and Catherine took turns trying to get as close to me as possible on their bikes. Grr.

Let it dry for not quite long enough and started putting the numbers on. "Daddy, why are you doing that?"

"Because we needed new numbers."


"The old ones were all nasty looking and this looks nicer."

"Oh. You got paint on you."


Yes. Anyway, stuck the numbers on very carefully and now the mailbox and the surrounding patch of black grass look brand new. Time to cut grass!

Boy had already been gotten out earlier in the day before the first trip to the hardware store and had been hitched to the mower to get the front yard cut. Very nicely done--we did diagonals this time, and so the yard looks like the Detroit Tiger Stadium outfield. Sorta.

The front hadn't been bad at all, but the back yard was quite dusty, for some reason. I felt like loading up the Model T and escaping to California. What wound up happening is that it got so bad that the lawn mower actually choked down and wouldn't run. Never have had that happen before. Stopped, took out the filter, and it was as if I was trying to grow plants in there. Shook it out, put it back in, still wouldn't run. Grr.

Got the tools out and went to work trying to see if there was something in the carb. Took off the air cleaner (tearing the fragile gasket in the process), then took the float bowl off and got gasoline everywhere, including all over me. Finally finished off the grass and then went down to the hardware store for the third and final time to get a new filter which, thankfully, fit.

Then Reba took Rebecca shopping and didn't get back until 9.

"Vacation shopping," they said.

BUT, I think they probably did some Father's Day shopping, too. Sneaky girls!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:06 PM | Comments (0)

Say, why don't you write about architecture more?

Mainly because so much of what passes for architecture nowadays is so self-consciously crappy looking. It's like they're going out of their way to make it homely and obnoxious, sorta like Janeane Garofalo, who would be much cuter if she'd resist the urge to put on ugly glasses, mess up her hair, dress in ugly clothes, and talk.

Sorry, but I've just never been a big fan of creating deliberately ugly things just for kicks or in some misguided effort to affect sophistication.

Lileks' new theater example reminds me of something where those pipe-robots on that urinary incontinence drug commercial might go to enjoy a nice enema. (By the way, I noticed that in the latest one of those commercials, the animators saw fit to include a Toledo flare in one of the scenes!) It's angry and frowny, which makes it so much harder to sympathize and ask, "Why so blue, big guy?"

Anyway, it's crap, but the client's happy, so that's really all that matters.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:13 PM | Comments (4)


Went out bright'n'early Saturday, and found that the filthy little brushy-tailed vermin (or at least one highly athletic and tenacious one) had taken it upon himself to gnaw into flinders one of the two plastic perches on my older bird feeder.

I left the round part in the hole, hoping that the birds would still be able to use it, but when I went out this morning, I saw that he'd been back and had chewed on it EVEN MORE, pulling it completely out of the tube. THIS is why I don't want plastic perches, and why you shouldn't either. Wood does no good, either. Squirrels are resistant to only one thing--cold, hard, metal. And they better stay away, or else they'll be getting a brainpan full of cold hard metal BBs.

Stupid squirrels.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:49 AM | Comments (4)


Know what I love about meetings!?


We had staff meeting, and then afterwards I got sucked into a vortex of inconsequence regarding what our little corner of the building would like to have on its webpage. All sorts of grandiose visions were filling the air, and I had to be the one to throw them all under the bus and explain that our main portal has NO information remotely useful in either explaining what we do or the process involved, or even contact information, meaning we could sit around and make all sorts of big plans, but it would be yet another exercise in futility if no one could ever find a way to access the information.

The way I see it, there are two different audiences, and two different sets of information they need--one group is actually trying to get something built, and needs an overview of the process and the necessary hard information about development guidelines and all the various other regulatory things that must be done. The other are people looking for background information about our programs--students, other municipalities, casual browsers--who want pretty pictures and stuff. In either event, right now there's nothing on the main site, and we could have the bested most coolest thing in the world and no one would be able to access it.

So I screamed at everyone to go away and leave me alone. Not really.

But until I took the bold step of suggesting we actually go LOOK at the main website before we got too excited about what we COULD do, I had the idea that the meeting would have lasted another two hours.

Throwing silly ignorant ideas under the bus tends to cut meetings down to about fifteen minutes.

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

Why, yes--

I DID survive!

In fine fettle, as well.

Although there are other stories to tell, the one involving the most potential for disaster went off without incident.

Got to the high school yesterday right at noon, found my man, and found that I indeed would be required to get on the roof--but only because he needed help himself. The plan was to get up on the lowest roof in the courtyard, pull the ladder up after us, get on the next higher roof over the lobby, pull the ladder up after us, then get on the high roof of the gym. Easy, right? Especially for me, since we didn't have time for me to go home and change into my clambering-onto-roof clothing--I still had on my suit from church. (Although I did casual it up by removing my coat and tie.)

ANYway, got the 16ft folding ladder set up, up I went, over the edge, up he came, over the edge, then we pulled it up. "Now--I sure hope we don't drop it when we go to get back down, or we might be up here for a while!"

I really didn't want to hear that, even in jest.

We walked over to the lobby roof, and just as he was about to set up the ladder again, I spotted my prize, still on the lowest roof! Hooray! It had drifted all the way over the gym and landed on the backside on the roof of the courtyard. Had it drifted about ten more feet, it would have landed IN the courtyard and all of this ladder business would have been completely unnecessary. But, no big deal.

Getting down was worst psychologically, because we had to let the unfolded ladder back down over the roof edge onto the sidewalk below. One slip, and the ladder--or one of us--could follow it right down. And the bad thing was, it wasn't a long enough fall to make the ending mercifully quick--it was just far enough to where it would have hurt like a--like...uhh...like falling off a sixteen foot high roof onto concrete.

BUT, no drama. Ladder down, along with the custodian and a very grateful chubby guy in a suit. Did I mention how very much I hate getting on roofs? One of the things I absolutely hated about being in private practice was having to get up on roofs and do inspections, and I could live happily for the remainder of my days without ever getting on another roof. Somehow, I have an idea that won't happen.

After we got home last night (it was a long day) the rocket looked okay, but the film cartridge was messed up and wouldn't advance, so after much mucking about with it, I completely tore it up, meaning whatever two pictures it might have had on it are now lost.

Oh well.

At least I didn't crack my big head open.

SO--more stories of the weekend later, including such fascinating tales as Stupid Gnawing Tree Rats, Painting the Mailbox, Lawnmower Disassembly Made Frustrating, Father's Day Presents, &tc--but I have junk to get done this morning, whether I want to or not, so that comes first.

See you in a bit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:07 AM | Comments (3)

June 16, 2006

And now?

Well, it's about time for the weekend. I don't have any idea what's going on, other than I am supposed to meet the custodian at the high school at noon on Sunday to attempt to retrieve Boy's rocket from the roof of the gymnasium.

If there is no Monday post, it means I probably fell off and did myself an injury.

All of YOU be safe, and check in and we'll see what happens!

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


Boy, I need to do a better job of being a benevolent dictator of the Axis of Weevil!

I was cruising through the referrer logs and noticed a visit from a site I'd not seen before, and after scurrying over to Medic 119's place, I see that this is the same fellow what used to go by the name of Seadoc up in the AoW blogroll.

I regret I haven't kept up with his exploits of late, and so I wanted to make up for that and tell you to hop over yourself and tell him we're all still thinking about him, and to congratulate him on that new stripe of his. Just be sure and wear shoes when you're walking around there, they got big critters.

Seeing him weighted down with his gear on down the page reminds me of one of my favorite possessions--a 1938 Army medic field manual. It's an interesting little guide on being a soldier and a caregiver, with tips on how to live the Army life and making sure the shoes in your locker are arranged properly, as well as things such as small unit tactics and weaponry, in addition to the more pertinent patchin' 'em up sections. The thing that is most notable is that even fully packed, the soldier of back then looked more like he was going on an hour-long hike. Small pack, bedroll, shovel, canteen, gas mask, pistol belt, rifle, and two medical pouches. Certainly wasn't anywhere near 145 pounds!

Anyway, keep up the good work, Corporal.

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

I usually complain--

--about poor customer service.

BUT, every once in a while someone comes along who knows how to take care of their customers.

As you might recall, I was miffed this past weekend when I couldn't find any replacement bird feeders that were as good as the ones I already had. The whole post is here, but it boiled down to the fact that the new feeders had crappy plastic perches and lids (ready to be gnawed away by the stupid tree rats), and I had to fix them with leftover parts from my old feeders. Sorta. I still had two plastic perches, and the bottoms were still nice, chewy plastic.

IN a fit of pique, I e-mailed the company's customer service rep, explained my situation, and asked if they had any of the metal parts for sale--perches and lids.

After a couple of go-rounds where I tried to make it clear I didn't need a whole feeder, just the parts, the lady I was corresponding with said she'd check the warehouse and see what she could find. Which I thought was very nice of her. I told her I would be glad to purchase anything they had if she could find anything.

ON TO TODAY, where, as I was sitting here minding my own business, the secretary brought in a long white box. Not expecting any Volvo parts deliveries, of course my first inclination was to check and make sure it wasn't ticking.

Hearing that it wasn't, I saw that it had come from the Heath company. I had no idea why they'd sent such a huge box for some piddly little bits of pot metal.

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when I opened it up, and inside was the Model 493 Silver Sky PREMIUM feeder--fully assembled, all metal components, and lifetime warranted! Metal cap with a metal rod holding the hanging bail. Metal perches. It even has a metal bottom held in place with SCREWS. This baby is the top of the line!

I just now wrote the nice lady back and thanked her (I hope profusely enough) for sending along a whole feeder, since I only needed the parts, and asked her how much I owed them.

"I couldn’t find any parts so that is why we sent the feeder at no charge. Enjoy the birds!"

So, in the spirit of giving credit where due, I would like to thank the Heath Outdoor Products Company, and most especially their Customer Service Manager, Ms. Nanci Beck, for making me one happy possum!

Take THAT you stupid squirrels! ::shakes fist::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:21 PM | Comments (5)

That obnoxious thumping bass...

...outside my window can mean but one thing--the return of City Stages.

I went out just now to cruise around and see what there was to see, as well as pick up some nice greasysaltysugary things for lunch.

Hmm. That's VERY odd. I went out at 12:30, and there were only about two food stands opened up. There were a bunch around, but most were empty or closed. Usually, the vendors are up and ready to go by 10 a.m. every year, but this year, not. I don't know if the organizers told them they couldn't set up until later, but having people lose a whole day's lunch revenue doesn't seem like the thing to do if you've had trouble with miffed vendors in the past. Oh well.

At least I got something to eat, and a pretty good deal, at that. (Another odd thing. Most of these guys are WAY overpriced.) A nice Italian sub from Firehouse Subs, chips and tea for five bucks. YET ANOTHER ODD THING--nothing sugar-free in the beverage department. I asked, and the managerialesque guy standing there mumbled something about Coke controlling what drinks could be brought in. Well, yeah, I'm sure, but still--seems like it would have been okay to have some bottle of water, or maybe some SUGAR-FREE Lipton bottled tea--I know they make it.

Anyway, this marks my 17th year of non-attendance.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:08 PM | Comments (4)

Sällt Faderntag!

I rarely indulge herein in shameless self-promotion, but just in case you're undecided about what to get dear ol' Dad for Father's Day, don't forget to shop at my super-secret lumpy-Swedish-iron/redneck-themed Cafepress store!

Some of the more popular items include the "Cogito ergo volvo" (I think, therefore I roll) items, such as this gray tee shirt, as well as the slogan imprinted on a genuine mug.

Although not strictly for Dads, believe it or not, I have actually sold THREE of the B230F thongs! There is some young lady in Massachusetts with a wicked sense of humor. Or, not a lot of friends.

There are, as always, things from the "Luther's Garage" Collection, such as shirts bearing his time-worn shop sign, and even some things with pictures of Luther hisownself!

Have a look around, and make Dad happy with all sorts of stuff he'll wear or drink out of or look at with a mixture of pride and mild amusement! Or, you know, embarrassment.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:26 PM | Comments (4)

I did not know that!

I never realized Martin Luther King's dream was that rich white men would be able to swap money for political favors without fear of government intrusion! That's COOL! Now if only I were a rich white man...

Scrushy attorney invokes MLK Jr.


Staff Reporter

MONTGOMERY -- Jurors now deliberating the fate of former Gov. Don Siegelman, ex-HealthSouth Corp. Chairman Richard Scrushy and two others can "make Dr. (Martin Luther) King's dream come true by returning a verdict of not guilty" against Scrushy, famed civil rights lawyer Fred Gray said here Thursday.

Gray's rousing closing argument opened with a Psalm, then segued into a recitation of some of Gray's best known civil rights cases, including his representation of King in the 1960s and, later, the case against the federal government on behalf of black victims of the Tuskegee syphilis study.

As Gray spoke, another member of the Scrushy legal team quietly put up a poster-board of King's, "I have a dream," speech.

With his voice rising to a crescendo, Gray gave the final words from the defendants in this now seven-weeks-long public corruption trial. He implored federal jurors to "fulfill Dr. King's dream and fulfill that old song!"

"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we're Free at last!" Gray sang out. [...]

Amen brother!

Why would anyone dare get up and say this kind of silly garbage about these guys?

One, money.

Two, it would probably work a WHOLE lot better than actually arguing the merits of the case. The defense strategy has grown into quite a show, all predicated on the idea that the government's case is a sham, is politically motivated, is full of lies, and is just ridiculous on its face. So WHAT if people got a little favor or two--that's what friends do! So WHAT if people where strongarmed into giving money for political campaigns--why, that happens ALL the TIME! It's not like anyone said, "Go break the law," so therefore, no laws were broken! So, rather than discuss all that, (which might lend credence to the charges, after all) let's just skip right to trying to pander to emotion, and not JUST emotion, but the raw emotionalism of the Civil Rights era, when Martin Luther King took to the streets of Montgomery to insure that one day Don Siegelman would have the right to walk down the street with his head held high and his hand in everyone's pocket! Where little little petty moneygrubbers could join hands with obsequious little politicians and walk together as co-conspirators free of the injustice of obeying the law.

Free at last?

Oh no, my friend.

Bought and sold.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:19 AM | Comments (0)


It's Friday, and just like all the rich and powerful players in the blogosphere, I went and stole a kitten to take pictures of so people would know I have a softer side.

First up, someone being sad because kitty ran to the back of the yard without her--


Here is one with Lightning taking time to stop and smell the roses, or something.

...which, of course, leads directly to stalking and bringing down big game such as sticks.

This stick was especially deserving of being chewed upon, and it needed a good fright, thus requiring Lightning to fuzz his tail up in response.

This morning he was once again in fine fettle, and only slowed down long enough for this shot of him using the watering can as a stalking blind.



But wait, there's MORE!

I have on occasion commented about some of the squirrelier people I work with. I stopped by the second floor restroom this morning (the one the engineering guys use) on the way up to my office, and there was something new on the countertop. Sitting atop the built in soap dispensers was this:


Well, because, I work with some real squirrels.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:30 AM | Comments (5)


Those of you who've been reading this mess for a long, long time will remember that there was a precursor effort to this blog way back in the mists of time--a Geocities site where I would post some short stories and proto-blog entries. Why bring this up now? Well, I got an e-mail from Yahoo! saying my guestbook was getting full. Guestbook?



It seems that I forgot the thing even HAD a guestbook. I went over there and found that people from all over the place (even the Blogger Formerly Known as Sugarmama) had left notes, but none of them had ever been posted because I had set the thing up to manually add them after review. And had forgotten to click the button that sent a notification when someone had added a comment. So, I had a stack of 45 messages to approve that had been left over the past four years. Most of them were spam, of course, but several were just nice folks who stopped by. It's working now, and in the future hopefully I won't allow myself to get so far behind.

(Even if it is nothing but a silly Geocities site.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

Florida county is nudist Mecca

Hmm--does this mean they're naked under their burkas?

And I wonder how long it will be before that headline gets altered, lest the AP home office be besieged with excitable sorts who are offended by this desecration of the Prophet's HQ?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2006


From notorious antipode Tim Blair, mention of the President's gaffe in making fun of a poorly eyesighted reporter guy's shades, and a call for confessing similar embarrassing moments the rest of us have had.

Hmm. Well, I hate to say this, but I tend to do embarrassing things in twos.

FIRST SIMILAR INSTANCE: The year is 1986 or so, and I'm down at Auburn in my third year of architecture school. A big clot of us are heading downstairs to the lecture room in Dudley Hall (Room B-6), and one of my fellow classmates, Michael, is walking down the steps in front of me, and it appears he has a slight limp. (Remember I've known him now for three years.)

"Hey, Mike--you sore or something--that's quite a limp you got there!"

He sorta looked at me with a quizzical look, "Uh, no--I have a prosthetic leg."

"HAH! No, really--did you hurt yourself or something?"

"No, I really have a prosthetic leg. See?" ::TAP::TAP::

"Oh. I'm sorry--I never knew, and besides that, I'm an idiot!"

I'd never noticed or knew he was missing a leg beforehand because his gait seemed so natural.

SECOND SIMILAR INCIDENT: The year is about 1999 or so, and I am at a city construction site where a park dedicated to former Temptations singer Eddie Kendrick(s) is being built. (And no, that is NOT my design.) We're walking around, and the contractor for the concrete block is walking around the back of his truck when I notice he looks like he's in pain, and he's limping.

"Are you all right? You didn't drop some block on your toe or something, did you?"

"Naw, it's my leg."

"Ow--you scraped your leg on something--you didn't get snagged on that rebar did you?!"

"Uh-uh--I got an artificial leg and it's a'hurting me."

"Oh, sorry, I didn't know!" Left unsaid, 'I'm a big idiot.'

Anyway, it can sometimes be a little too easy to make those kinds of mistakes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:23 PM | Comments (12)

A mind is a terrible thing.

Weird what you think of sometimes. I was just now sitting here and a pang of nostalgia thumped me when, for some reason, I thought about those old black spherical metal kerosene lanterns they used to set out when they were doing street work. The looked like the fused round bombs that Commie anarchists and the Spy Vs. Spy guys were all the time throwing at each other.

Anyway, I don't know what made me think of those lanterns, but I remember seeing them as a little kid and thinking they looked really cool. I figured they'd be easy to find on the Internets, but I've looked for several minutes using several combinations of kerosene and round and lamp and road and warning, but came up empty, which is unusual. Aaaah--but then I searched on kerosene flare, and found out these things are called "Toledo flares." Also called smudge pots (as I later found out--thank goodness for eBay), many were made by the Toledo Pressed Steel Company (among others) and the company even had a Supreme Court case about patent infringement (I think--it required reading and that makes my head hurt). As you can imagine, there are collectors who know all about them, and the company was around at least until 1986, as this picture from Toledo's Attic indicates. Here's an ad from 1944 about their products (again, via eBay).

Don't know if they're still in business or not--how about it, Toledo?

(I love that Internets.)

UPDATE: Well, would you look at that. Apparently SOMEone is still making them. Some here as well.

Ahh--the lamp history guys have it--they ARE still being made, by a company called Fisher-Barton in North Carolina, but wouldn't you know it, the Chinese have a knock-off!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:25 PM | Comments (0)

And speaking of arms...

Here's a quote from a post on feminist big-L-Literature from Big Arm Woman...

[...] This overabundance of sanctimonious, judgemental harpies in all three categories who are hell-bent on "saving women," really just makes me want to go on a three-day killing spree. [...]

::wistful sigh:: What a woman! And what arms!

By the way, a while back in the long-ago, B.A.W. did a post explaining her blog name--she doesn't actually have big arms, naked or otherwise. Big Arm Woman was actually the name of a superheroine cartoon character she came up with in college. And I think that's pretty doggone funny.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:04 PM | Comments (2)

One wonders if he will be allowed--

--one final mawkish maudlin preening MacArthuresque "old reporters never die" (or Nixonian "I am not a forger") farewell speech before he rides into the sunset...Source says Dan Rather nearing CBS exit

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Dan Rather, who has been working at "60 Minutes" since leaving as "CBS Evening News" anchor last year, apparently is in his final days at CBS News.

CBS executives and Rather's representatives appear close to a deal that will end Rather's association with CBS News after more than 40 years, according to an executive knowledgeable about the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Thursday.

Rather, 74, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he has had no conversations about continuing at "60 Minutes" beyond the television season that ended last month. Another story published Thursday in The Washington Post quotes CBS executives who declined to be identified that network bosses have concluded there is no future role at CBS for Rather. [...]

Rather told the Inquirer that he has had no conversation with McManus — other than twice saying hello when they saw each other at functions — since McManus took over in October.

"We've had no conversations about carrying on at `60 Minutes,'" Rather said. "My position is, I want to work. Maybe it's my hubris, but I still think there are things I can contribute, and I want an opportunity to do that."

Dan Rather? HUBRIS? Oh, perish the thought, dearie! Why, I have a letter right here written by Aristotle himself that says you are the single most humble man ever to live!

He told the newspaper that while he would like to stay at CBS News, "the question is whether they have anything for me to do that I think is meaningful." [...]

Yes, that is quite a question there, Dan, quite a question, indeed. "Courage," old fellow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:28 PM | Comments (2)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Have I mentioned I like summertime? It's the Season of Naked Arms, you know.

Anyway, I have just returned from my usual lunchtime stroll, and have returned with a lovely styrofoam tray full of exotic Oriental delights, including a selection of those ever-reliable augurs, fortune cookies!

Today's wisdom of the ancients:

Your talents will be recognized and suitably rewarded.

That's what I'm afraid of.

BUT, things might be looking up! Here's the other one:

Focus on the color purple this week to bring you luck.

Hmmmm--egggggplants...Priiiiiiince...Alice Walllllker....

Golly, those Chinese sure are smart! I just checked my e-mail and it seems I've been chosen to assist in the transference of over TWENTY EIGHT MILLION U.S. DOLLARS ($28,000,000US) out of Nigeria! I'll get a ten percent helper fee, and it's all PERFECTLY LEGAL!

YAY fortune cookies!


6 9 18 20 34 48


4 9 19 22 32 45

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

State Visitor Day!

In our longstanding tradition of honoring the native lands of those who come to Possumblog, we take note that today is June 15, which just so happens to be the date in 1836 when our salute-worthy state entered the Union.

SO, then, if you happen to hail from the state that flies THIS flag--

arkie flag.jpg

--the Editorial Board of Possumblog bids you welcome, and invites you to leave a comment below and tell us a little bit about yourself and your fine state!

I will say that to this point, this feature has had precious little success in getting commenters who actually are from the place being honored to say anything, and I believe I have hit upon an idea that will result in a flood of feisty, proud Arkansasians. I usually try to be nice and give interesting facts about the state in question, but I have an idea I would get a much more intense response if I INSULT the state and its fair citizens instead!

Remember, regular readers, although I appreciate your comments about Arkansas, we really need to see who all from Arkansas actually visits us here at Possumblog.

SO, here are the most INSULTING, HORRIBLE, MEAN-SPIRITED things I could think of about Arkansas.

1. New York Senator Hillary Clinton lived there once, and is rumored to have swapped DNA with a native Arkansan fond of plain, thick-ankled harridans. His name might or might not have been "Bill."

2. The capital of Arkansah is Little Rock, which served as the model for the Town of Bedrock in the Flintstones cartoons.

3. Arkansas got its name from the Quapaw Indian word meaning "Home of Wal-Mart."

4. The Arkansas Razorback football team got beaten by Vanderbilt.

5. Arkansian Glen Campbell was NEVER a lineman for the county.

6. There actually was a person named Orval Faubus. The combination of the two silliest names ever heard catapulted him to the governor's office.

7. A Frenchman, Henri de Tonti, founded the first permanent white settlement. A FRENCHMAN! Now granted, he was born in Italy, and this was back in the 1600s before the French got the reputation for being highly capable surrenderers, but still, he probably spoke all that French jibber-jabber and stuff and ponced about in frilly boots. He did have a hook hand, though, which was cool. And he died in Mobile, Alabama, because he could not stand to be in a land where the football team lost to both Auburn and Alabama in the same season.

8. The highest point in Arkansas is Magazine Mountain at 2,753 feet high, which really isn't all THAT high. Although I suppose it might be impressive since it really is made out of magazines. Ever wonder what happens to magazines that the stores don't sell? They go here and are piled up.

SO THERE! I expect a large outpouring of support for Arkansas now that I have gone and done all that insulting. Remember, leave a comment and say HI!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:23 AM | Comments (10)

Look, not EVERY possum is my offspring!

A chuckle via the Sweetheart of Vidalia, Miss Janis, who sends us to this blog for lots of greasy marsupial goodness.

Again, not one of my kids. They have never gotten onto the stove and eaten grease.


That I know of.

Oh, and by the way, to clear up a bit of the (hopefully tongue-in-cheek) misinformation from the A-PDL commentor, possums aren't aggressive per se, although if cornered they assume a defensive posture and will bare their many teeth and hiss, and they can bite. However, they aren't predators, they are scavengers, and would much rather just be left alone. If one is acting weird, it might be rabid, so it's best not to mess with any wild animal, pouched or otherwise, that you might come across. They CAN stink up the place, though--part of their defense mechanism includes the ability to puke up vile smelling stuff at will, and they do have some kicking scent glands. And, as we all know, as a last resort they will feign death. Finally, possums will not eat you in your sleep. That's simply an old wives tale, spread by old wives who'd accidentally eaten everyone in their house and needed someone to blame it on. Oh, sure, they might lick you, or gnaw lightly on you, but eat you? Nah.

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

Thursday Three Missionary Journey! (UPDATED)

I realize many of you come here bright and early every Thursday in order to play America's Most Popular Parlor Game, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, but in a break from the usual routine, today's T3 will be hosted by famed Long Island archivist and bowling guru, Skinnydan.

At least, that's what I HOPE is going to happen. We had an e-mail exchange earlier in the week on the topic of religion, and Dan said it would make a good question set, and in his last message to me, he said he'd volunteer to make up the questions.

OR, at least that's the way it came across to me via Chet the E-Mail Boy's neatly Linotyped printout.

If I am wrong in my supposition about Skinnydan's hosting today's fun (and I fear I might be given that there are, as of yet, no questions on Skinnyblog), I beg your forgiveness. Rest assured Chet the E-Mail Boy will be thrashed soundly for making such a mistake, and he will NOT be given ANY milk for his bowl of corn flakes this morning.

UPDATE: Ahhhh--Chet breathes a sigh of blessed relief, and is granted a full 4 ounces of precious moo-juice for his breakfast bowl of cereal, because the questions is now done up!

And here is what Mr. Dan has for us:

1) Are you now a religiously committed person, and have you always been one?

Well, I try to be, and I suppose I am better at it than I was in the past when I was more involved rather than committed. (Ref. joke about the pig and chicken and their breakfast meal.)

2) Did you come to your faith on your own, or are you simply continuing traditions instilled by your parents/grandparents, etc. (For the non-believers, feel free to describe your absence of faith in the same vein)

Well, again, early on I didn't have a whole lot of parental guidance, even though I was going to a Christian school from the time I was in first grade. My mom (who had grown up in church then fell away after a while) and my dad (a highly lapsed Baptisterian) didn't take us to church after I was about four or five, although my sister and I started going again when she got old enough to drive. My mother finally did return to the church, and years later my father even became a Christian. But I didn't really become strongly convicted in my faith (although admittedly still not quite there when it comes to follow-through) until I simultaneously became a husband and father. The responsibilities inherent in both of those jobs made me appreciate all the more the depth of our Creator's love and concern for us, and why throughout the Scriptures we are referred to as His children.

3) Have you ever abandoned your faith and its teachings for any significant period of time, or in any significant way?

Well, not abandoned totally, although that's a bit like being a little pregnant--you either believe or you don't. If you really DO believe, you show it by your actions. So, even though I might have never thought my beliefs were wrong, there have been some relatively long stretches of time in my life when I failed to live up to them as I should. Not that I don't still have those moments where I mess up--I do--but nowadays it's much more akin to going into the wrong room on the wrong floor rather than endlessly walking in circles in the desert.

SO, there you go. Thank you, Skinnydan!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:04 AM | Comments (7)

June 14, 2006

Doggone it.

I've gotten wrapped up doing actual paying work and can't break loose.

Maybe tomorrow...

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

The Flag

A very succinct post from Skinnydan on the flag as a symbol of the things that are both right, and wrong, with a nation.

I am proud of the United States. I love it above every other place I've ever been, and don't mind being an American in the least. I think it is the best place in the world. BUT--despite expressing such awful sentiments that lefties might be quick to pronounce as mindless jingoism--it doesn't bother me that people in OTHER countries feel the same way about THEIR country. It's sorta like kids--I love mine and think they're the best looking in the world. I also realize everyone else thinks the same thing about their kids.

EVERYONE should love their country, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy national pride. And in the example cited by Dan, I can't think of a thing wrong with English soccer fans flying the Cross of St. George, or of Scottish fans flying the flag of St. Andrew, or Northern Irish fans flying the flag of St. Patrick, or even of Welsh fans flying their dragon flag.

In the end, if it makes the Offended Victims of Fluttery Cloth crowd unhappy, it can't be all bad.

Speaking of which, the U.S. is blessed with all sorts of flags that evoke discomfort amongst those of a certain stripe (so to speak)--nothing like the First Navy Jack to warm up a crowd.


And, of course, one to upset the Establishment Clause crowd, flown from the armed (guns BAD) schooner fleet outfitted from the personal wealth (profit BAD) of the evil George Washington--


So, fly your flag proudly.

apollo flag.jpg

(And please, this image was not chosen simply to offend moonbats.)

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

And in a similar vein...

Jury convicts Jeffco engineer, construction firm in sewer case

News staff writer

It took a federal jury less than three hours Tuesday to convict a former Jefferson County engineer and a construction company of wrongdoing stemming from the county's $3 billion sewer program.

The jury found Ronald Wilson guilty of bribery and conspiracy involving a $4,500 payment from Pugh Construction Inc. made to UAB on behalf of his son. The jury found Pugh guilty of conspiracy. The verdict came after eight days of testimony before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler.

Jurors agreed with prosecutors finding the payment was a bribe, symbolizing a pattern of rampant bribery involving contracts for court-ordered work on upgrading the county's dilapidated sewer system. Wilson's attorneys had argued the payment was a legitimate scholarship, noting the government's own witness, Grady Pugh Jr., testified that it was not a bribe, but a scholarship. [...]

Glennon Threatt, a lawyer for Wilson, said Wilson was harmed by unrelated evidence of bad acts involving other former Jefferson county officials who are accused of taking bribes. A federal jury in April convicted former commissioner Chris McNair of conspiracy and bribery, along with five executives and their companies. [...]

"It's a difficult environment for anyone who worked in the county to get a fair trial," Threatt said. "You can't escape the stench of unrelated evidence."

Aww. Poor Stinky. I would imagine it IS hard to escape the stench of unrelated evidence, although harder still to escape the stench of RELATED evidence.

Here--I'll play this for you--I know it'll make you feel better, Mr. Threatt.

tiniest violin.jpg

Maybe this couple of verdicts means I was wrong about the juries around here. The one that will be the real test should be reaching a decision in the coming days.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:38 PM | Comments (0)


Germany convicted of misusing county funds

Former Jefferson County Commissioner Jeff Germany was convicted this morning of using taxpayer money for personal gain.

He was convicted on four counts of misapplying county funds and one count of conspiracy. [...]

Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Meadows had described Germany as a corrupt public official who manipulated a legitimate nonprofit agency to enrich himself, a co-conspirator, his wife, former girlfriends and other friends using thousands of taxpayer dollars set aside for use in his district.

Raymond Johnson, Germany’s lawyer, countered that Germany, who served from 1998 to 2002, did nothing illegal and was a dedicated public servant with a good heart in the county’s largest and poorest district. [...]

Germany was accused of illegally funneling discretionary funds through the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, then giving instructions for new checks to be cut and the money to be passed on to other recipients he designated. [...]

Well, I'll be. Frankly, even though I was sure of the prosecution's case and thought he was guilty, it's gotten to where I have little faith that a jury will convict in these types of cases, going back to what I said about the Scrushy Siegelman Sircus going on down in Montgomery, that is, that juries seem to increasingly be willing to believe that criminals write down explicit instructions about all the crimes they want people to go commit for them.

IN this instance, though, it seems that they could see for themselves the connections, and were able to convict him.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

My newest can’t-lose money-making venture?

Why, it would be Car-obics!

You see, you give people a car--say, maybe, an ’86 Volvo 240--and you tell them that you need to remove all the extraneous belts and such that must be removed in order to change a front crank seal.

Doesn’t sound like much, but after wrestling with things in the engine bay last evening, this morning I am sore in places I’d forgotten I had.

Now, I admit it’s been a while since I did any real mechaniking work, and part of my exertion was caused by unfamiliarity with what I was attempting to do. Since I hadn’t taken off the timing belt cover or anything else involved like that, I relied on my shop manual, my Haynes manual, and the multitude of Internet sites to try to determine exactly what I’d be doing. “Oh, it’s easy!” Remove this, take this off, and you’re there!

Well, theory versus practice, you know.

Before I got heavily into that work, I fixed my droopy headlight. That fancy set of Neuropean glass headlamps I bought a while back have a peculiar thing in that the mounting studs in the back are only press-fit into the plastic housing. And all three of them had unpressed themselves on the driver’s side lamp, making it droop down and be slightly goggle-eyed. Fixed that.

Now on to the BIG show.

In order (according to the manuals and such), the parts to be removed to get down to the crankshaft seal were the fan shroud, fan blade, upper timing belt cover, and accessory drive belts. The big pulley on the bottom was to be the end of my work last night, because I am waiting on the arrival of the proper tool to loosen it.

Basically, my intent was that I was just going to spend a few minutes getting the thing ready for the new parts. How hard can all this stuff be to pull off?

Three hours later, as night was falling, I would have to say, “darned hard to pull off.”

Fan shroud--two sheet metal screws hold the big plastic doughnut in place on the back of the radiator. PROBLEM: One was the wrong type of screw, put there by the jackleg mechanic of the guy I bought the car from. There are little expedient-engineered solutions all over the place on this thing and I keep uncovering them. The reason the screw was different? I don’t know, but it was also holding a thin metal strap that had been used to reinforce the fan shroud where it had split and cracked nearly all the way around. SO: I find out I need a new fan shroud, too.

Can’t get it off, either. Seems the proper order of things is to remove the FAN BLADE first, BEFORE the shroud.

Fan blade--four small nuts hold it onto the water pump shaft. PROBLEM: One stubborn nut that had been slightly rounded off by a past Mr. Badwrench, causing me to have to grunt and attempt to hold the shaft in place with a screwdriver in the other hand. Finally got all four nuts off and the blade and shroud were lifted out.

Upper timing belt cover--three bolts, one screw in the back. So to speak. PROBLEM: Each bolt was a different length and size, making it frustrating to figure out which wrench to use, and which will probably create more problems later on when I go back to put it on and can’t remember which bolts go where. SECOND PROBLEM: It’s cracked. Seems that the water pump pulley has been in extra-close contact for a while, and ground a nice semicircular groove and split into the face of the cover. Meaning, I need another cover.

Accessory belts--loosen the tensioning doohickeys so the alternator and A/C compressor can be swiveled around and the belts removed. For some reason, I also thought I needed to loosen the power steering pump. PROBLEM: Well, first, I didn’t need to loosen the power steering pump. Second, every SINGLE belt-driven thing in there was so tightly bolted at the swiveling places that they would barely move, making it necessary to try to hunt down the lower mounting bolts for all of them and attempt to loosen them enough so that they’d move, so that I could get the belts off.

THIS is where the Car-obics class really got intense.

None of these things has easy-to-find bolts--everything is stuffed way down low, behind the whoziwhatsit, bumped up hard onto the famajamma. Stretch and pull any which way you want, and you’re still only scraping hide off your arms. And there was the added frustration of the plastic pan below the engine--a Volvo exclusive that keeps road debris from the engine.

And it also keeps sockets and wrenches from falling onto the ground where you can get them, but rather causes them to tumble into a small, socket- and wrench-sized depression molded in the pan, which is just far enough away that you’d need an orangutan to reach under the oil pan and get it. Also, the handy depression fills with grease and oil and dirt, thus ensuring anything dropped into it won’t roll or move. It’s just stuck there in the goo. ::sigh::

Damnable Swedes! ::shakes fist::

Well, I figured it would come to it, and it did.

Time to take off the bottom plastic pan. Luckily, it was barely held on with a variety of five jackleg-supplied screws and bolts. PROBLEM: Well, wouldn’t you know it, but it’s all cracked and ready to be replaced, too! BUT, by Dingus, I could finally reach under there to the compressor bolts and loosen them up!


I mean, I still could have used a nice compound fracture somewhere in my forearm to REALLY be able to reach what I was reaching for, but I managed to get it loose. Finally.

Belts off, covers off, and when my parts arrive, I will be all ready to put them on!

However, I did have to clean up before going in for the night--all the junky parts were taken inside, and the tools, and then me. Covered from fingertips to armpits in gritty black oil--not from the engine parts--from trying to GET TO the engine parts.

Even after using a pint of Dawn dishwashing soap, a plastic scrubber, a bristle brush, then taking a hot shower and using a manicure brush and a back brush, I STILL had smudges I’d missed. HOW’D GREASE GET THERE!? Magic, I suppose. Wound up wiping the final bit of goo off with some hand sanitizer. I believe it’s time to head to the parts store and pick up a gallon of Go-Jo.

The fingernails are still a grimy black mess, which probably gave pause to at least a few people in my fancy-pants meeting this morning. I was just glad I could get up and get there--my chest muscles all hurt, and my fingers all feel swollen and pudgy. Well, more than usual.

LUCKILY, the meeting was blessedly expeditious this morning. We had 16 cases, and managed to dispose of them in an hour and twenty minutes. Of course, we WERE missing our usual loquacious interlocutor who yammers on and on about people wasting time in the meeting.

Anyway, it’s time to do some work now--something that won’t make my fingernails black.

(Unless I have to change the toner.)

AND REMEMBER GIRLS--be sure to sign up for my Car-obics classes TODAY!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:46 AM | Comments (7)

June 13, 2006

And even worse?

That regular ol' get together I have to attend tomorrow morning where I have to sit there at the big table and take notes and act all interested like.


Anyway, what this means is that the usual dosage of Possumblog will be delayed until later on in the morning. You are reminded that there ARE archives, should you desire to read dusty, moldy passages that are no more insightful than the fresh ones. AND WHO WOULDN'T!?

I mean, besides sane people.

SO, off for now to go work home and work on the car some. See you all tomorrow, unless I don't.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:31 PM | Comments (0)

What's Bad

3:00 meetings. Ick.

Even worse than that are when people attend who like to hear themselves talk, thus lengthening the meeting by a factor of around 12.

It must be that neat echoey sound they hear inside their empty heads or something.

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


Filner issues VA obscenity-laden scolding

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top House Democrat on Tuesday called on the government to assist up to 26.5 million military personnel whose personal information was stolen, uttering obscenities to say Veterans Affairs officials weren't doing enough.

Rep. Bob Filner, the acting top Democrat on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, appeared at a news briefing outside the VA building to criticize the agency's three-week delay in publicizing the May 3 burglary at a VA data analyst's home.

Two VA officials — Assistant Veterans Affairs Secretary Lisette Mondello and spokesman Matt Burns — also appeared and called the briefing a "publicity stunt," leading to Filner's blunt commentary.

"You guys f----- it up," Filner declared. "Stop covering your a-- and figure it out." [...]

There's a time and a place for everything, Mr. Filner. This was neither. Which makes the title of "acting top Democrat" sound much more like it should be "melodramatic acting top Democrat."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:01 PM | Comments (4)

What's Good

Sneaky Pete's Hot Dog Sauce.

For some reason, it's especially good on hamburgers. I just went next door and got one of their (relatively) teeny burgers, and that sauce is just really good. Thin and dark red, with some sort of odd spicy kick in it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:48 PM | Comments (0)

Fairness Doctrine

I admit to taking great pleasure in photos of seemingly serious people making fools of themselves doing things they obviously have no skill at--especially if they are of a certain political stripe.

To whit:

Mr. Dukakis.


Mr. Gore.

al and tipper.jpg

Mr. Kerry.


But I have to say, in the interest of American Comedy, I would be remiss not to add this photo to the list, despite the fact that both guys are Republicans. Because Comedy is sometimes more important than Politics.

I give you Messrs. Snow and Bartlett.

bartlett and snow.jpg
White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, left, and White House Counselor Dan Barlett [sic], ride in a military helicopter wearing helmets and flak jackets for a trip from Baghdad International Airport to U.S. Embassy in the Greenzone [sic] Tuesday, June 13, 2006 in Baghdad, Iraq. Snow and Bartlett traveled with President Bush who made a surprise visit to Baghdad. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)







Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:31 PM | Comments (5)

Such a thrill.

Well, not really, but still an odd little feeling. I was just now making some copies, and as I was idly standing beside the copier, I nosed around in the supply cabinet next to it.


Pens. Tape. Paper. Dymo label maker.

It's been in there forever, but something made me want to mess around with it today. The first clicksqueeze--gosh, do you remember when having a label-maker was the most exciting thing in school? I had a tiny plastic one from Radio Shack--just like this one on eBay--even though it was small, it made regular sized labels, and I labelled everything I owned. Even better was when you got to help the teacher make labels, and they had the BIG chrome one!

There is just something about the act of rotating that wheel and squeezing that lever and seeing those magical white letters pop out the end--it's slow, and the lables are unattractive, but for some reason the whole process is more fun than it should be, and it's something that I think few children today get to experience. Like dialing a phone, or only being able to watch three channels on television.

I did a bit of looking around--figuring this handy gadget had been around since Edison, but I was surprised to find out the company only got started in 1958, and from what I can tell, they still make a version similar to the one that they first started out with.

Now then, I'm going to go label my lunchbox. And my HR Puffinstuff binder.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)

Yeah, THAT'S the ticket!

Candidate says criminal past not his

Tuesday, June 13, 2006
News staff writers

Ronald Wayne Blankenship, a candidate in the runoff for the Democratic nomination for Jefferson County sheriff, says it's coincidence that a man with a criminal past shares his name and birthdate.

It's strange but true, he says, that both he and a man who faked his own death in 1990 are married to women named Judy Ruth Green Stonecipher Blankenship.

Blankenship calls himself an underdog. The Bessemer shoe shop owner received 12,218 votes or 25.9 percent in the June 6 primary last week. He did little campaigning and spent little money. He is vying for the Democratic nomination for sheriff with Ron McGuffie, a former sheriff's deputy and dispatcher. Blankenship, 63, beat out veteran lawman C.D. Horton to make the runoff. [...]

Vestavia Hills police Lt. Rick Miller said he's surprised Blankenship is running for public office because he knows Blankenship is the man he arrested in 1990.

"I will be happy to meet him at the county jail and take his fingerprints and compare them," Miller said. "I want to get to the bottom of it, too. If Mr. Blankenship says that's not him, that way we'll know once and for all."

Police say a Ronald Blankenship, living in Vestavia Hills in 1990, was involved in faking his own death and funeral in a failed effort by his wife to get $340,000 from an insurance company. [...]

In an interview last week, Blankenship was shown the news clippings, one of which bore his picture. He said it was the first he'd heard of the story. "It looks like me in a way, but all Blankenships get to looking alike," he said. He also gave his birthdate, then said it was a different date. He had earlier given a third birthdate. [...]

Give him credit--at least he didn't say his name was Tommy Flanagan, and his wife's name isn't Morgan Fairchild.

Anyway, there must be some sort of thing that's related to identity theft called identity denial. We might, however, finally have an answer to the burning question in Family Circus about who keeps breaking flower pots and spilling things and blaming it on poor Jeffy and Billy and Barfy.

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

More surprises.

Bush meets with Iraqi PM in surprise trip

Yet more opportunity for The Left to get itself into a lather. Which is fine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:05 AM | Comments (2)

Well, now...

This was a surprise of sorts--Defense rests in Siegelman government corruption trial.

The gambit seems to be, "we've been saying all along the Feds have no case, so we don't even have to mount a defense." It might not be that big of a gamble--although the government's case is as strong as any case can ever be against a criminal, there seems to be a big swath of the population who can be persuaded that unless we have a signed piece of paper saying 'I want you to go get me some bribe money' that no crime has been committed. The precept of reasonable doubt has become very squishy in certain cases, especially in those cases where there are defendants can afford to hire clever legal advice, and defendants who directly appeal to a certain portion of society who tend to think of the law in partisan terms.

Be interesting to see how this turns out.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

Oh, that wasn't so bad.

It's been a while, but last evening after dropping Jonathan off at his Scout meeting, Oldest and I swapped seats and she got to practice her driving.

As I said, it's been a while, mainly because she has shown little interest in investing the necessary seriousness to the task, and the fact that after the time she took Mom with her, Mom vowed never to go with her again, leaving the pedal-gogy to me. Me, who has so much free time to go and drive around aimlessly for hours on end. With every nerve in my body stretched like piano wire. With the added tension of trying to LOOK like I'm calm and relaxed and just having a wonderful time as mailboxes and culverts jump into my peripheral vision.

But, after some difficulty pulling out of the parking lot of the Methodist church, the rest of the trip was uneventful. There are plenty of nice, low-speed streets around, mixed in with some higher-velocity sections, as well as the usual assortment of suburban dangers--bags of grass clippings at the curb, joggers, bicyclists, kids, dogs, gaggles of well-toned-and-tanned women doing their fast-walking in tight shorts and sports bras.

Okay, so the last one was more distracting to me, and it was nice to be able to leer and gawk without worrying about driving over a curb.

We stayed out for an hour and some change. A very nice evening for a drive, so much so I rolled down my window and listened to the quiet and to the shush of the tires on the wet road and felt the nice cool air. We had a rain yesterday afternoon, which was great for tamping down the dust and washing away the heat, and the trees and grass were all cool and lush. Even got her to drive down to the service station and fill up the tank, all by herself.

Only bobble was when she was having to do a driveway-assisted three-point turn, and she very nearly got herself a mailbox as a trunk ornament as she was backing up. "I WAS PRESSING THE BRAKE!" Uh, no--the brake doesn't make the engine race. Otherwise, though, she did pretty darned well for herself.

Still, I wasn't able to release the tension on the piano wires until she was in the house.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (5)

Dog Bites Man

Rove won't be charged in CIA leak case

One suspects The Left will, Rumpelstiltskin-like, become enraged and stomp its foot so hard that it gets stuck in the ground, then grab itself by the other foot and tear itself asunder. Or, you know, move to Canada. Either way is fine, I guess.

Anyway, I know SOMEone who will be chuckling about this, if he can pull himself away from his morning bowl of paste.

UPDATE: Of course, there are some in the world who are frightened--and rightly so, probably--about what this lack of indictedness might mean for the rest of us.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:53 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2006

Not only...

...did we have to get dressed up, we also had to go all the way across the county in the OPPOSITE direction to pick up Oldest, who'd spent the last couple of days with her other grandparents, so after everyone was clean and smelling good, off we went. Boy, was I sleepy. Seems a day out in the sun makes you that way. Made it to Forestdale, then made it back to Leeds, and in one of those things that rarely happens, made it exactly on time.

Very nice reception, although it was hard to seee what was going on since they had the fellowship hall lit by candles. Dim, but at least you couldn't see all the scuff marks in the walls and the torn carpet. The wedding had been on a boat on the lake, so there hadn't been room to invite everyone to that, so we all got to come to the dinner, and watch the video of the wedding.

Didn't know it at the time, but we found out yesterday that the groom had dropped the ring. Overboard. They had to hire a scuba diver to find it before the ceremony. There's probably several cautionary tales in there for those who want to tease them out.

We didn't stay long, and then it was back home and to bed for everyone.

Up early Sunday, and spent a long day doing church things. After lunch was nice--I read my paper, and we all watched old home movies. Good golly, I have gotten old.

Also, we need a new video recording device.


I think I might have already asked this question, but we need a new video camera. I don't want to do VHS tape, which I suppose leaves mini-DVD and whatever else there is out there. So, what else is there out there? What can I find that takes excellent pictures, and only costs a little bit of money? What doesn't require special batteries?

Your help is greatly appreciated.

Now then, back to the story--on back to church for evening worship, where it was my turn to lead singing. HEY! I DIDN'T COUGH! Seems like every time I get up, I get a tickle in my throat or a phlegm gusher, and neither is conducive to getting people's edification up. But, didn't happen this time, which was nice. Also, no squeakers or missed cues or beats. I wonder how all this happened at once? I'm sure it'll all get back to normal by the time my turn rolls around again.

Home, supper, and time to order my Volvo parts. Decide to get some other stuff, since I'm going to have stuff broken apart anyway, and wind up with a breathtaking bill. Well, at least it won't be as expensive as having a shop do it. What I paid for parts would only buy a couple of hours' worth of labor. So, it's all good.

Well, sorta.

THEN, our vacation plans.

I have being bugged mercilessly about where we're going, and I have resisted making any commitment until I was sure everyone had made up their respective minds about what they wanted to do.

Seems the mountains were the final choice.

For mine and Reba's family, this has always meant Gatlinburg (or Chattanooga). The idea that there might be mountains elsewhere just doesn't compute. What's a Rocky? A Pocono!? Ozark?! Huh?

So, it looks like we'll be going to the Smokies. It's been a while. We went to Chattanooga back when Reba was pregnant with Jonathan, so that's twelve years ago. The rest of the time has been the beach--or no where. Didn't get one last year due to Reba being cheated out of her vacation days. Not that I'm bitter.

Looked around a bit, and decided I'd see what there was in the way of cabins--I've never gotten to stay in a cabin before. Of course, the cabins people build nowadays should be called "cabins," and you should make little quote marks with your fingers when you say it, because they're really just nice beach houses in the mountains. Pools, hot tubs, satellite teevee, pool tables, kitchens--all the stuff that Thoreau guy didn't know about, or else he'd never have gone and made such a little ramshackle pile of junk.

Finally found one that looks nice over in Pigeon Forge, and although it was more than I wanted to spend, it's nice to have something a bit more private than a hotel room.

Sorta hard to see the beach from there, though.

Anywho, that there's the weekend for you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:04 PM | Comments (6)

Rocket Boys. And Girl.

Got home and de-sweated a bit. (And yes, I did remember to stop at the store on the way back and get Ritz crackers.) Time to assemble the rocketry!

Now, both of them are the fancy premade types with hickeymadoos and thingamajiggers on them to make kids want them more. Back when I was young, just having stuff that could blow up was enough, but nowadays, the youngsters want more. Jonathan's rocket has a little 110 camera in the nose cone that promised to take pictures from 500ft up in the air. Sorta like your own Google satellite image. Sorta. Catherine's rocket has a velocity meter of some sort to tell you how fast it went. Both had shiny metal-toned plastic fins and sparkly mylar covering the tubes. SHINY THINGS! OOOOhhhh!

Catherine's rocket. There's a story. She was with Jonathan and I in the store when we picked out his rocket back in May, and she wanted one so bad she could hardly stand it. Which I thought was kinda cool.


Once we got home that night, she would NOT leave it alone. She was bound and determined to get into that package and start messing with it, even if it was bedtime. After many times of telling her "no" and "put it UP NOW!" I finally told her if she touched it one more time, I was going to take it away from her.

Well, you can guess what happened.

"WAHHHHHHHHHHH!! I'll be good, Daddy! I won't touch it no more!!"


I didn't really say that. But I did tell her she could no longer say it was her rocket, and I was going to put it in the garage, and if it never flew, well, that was just too darned bad.


She finally got over it, and although Jonathan's rocket package sat in our bedroom floor, she never touched it.

So, time to lift her probation.

First step was to assemble the pieces of the launch pad and figure out the mechanisms for the various doodads. Load the film, advance it, close the window, etc., etc., then figure out the speedometer on Cat's rocket. FINALLY, TIME TO GO!

We piled into the car and set out for the high school--big open spaces, no trees, no people.

Aquiver with anticipation, we set up Jonathan's rocket first--connected the leads, backed off, counted down using the NASA standard T-minus nomenclature, and


WHOA! Way cool! Perfect launch, nice and high, even with only a B motor in it--perfect chute deployment, and recover about fifteen feet from the pad.

Now, time for Cat's!

Set the speedometer, connected the leads--she wanted the stronger C motor on hers, stepped back, countdown, launch and


It had gotten stuck on the launch rod, and after jumping a foot up in the air, it quickly fell over and skittered across the parking lot, made an abrupt U-turn and flamed out, then shot the nose cone 10 feet out the end onto the pavement.


Poor Catherine! She was so looking forward to getting to launch her rocket and it had messed up. I hugged her and told her it was okay, and we'd fix it for the next time. I looked it over--seems there had been a big dollop of glue on the guide loop thing, and I guess it stuck to the rod. I got that off, and we redid the wadding and parachute (which got a bit melty) and fixed the end of the tube where it got crushed a bit. New motor, set up the launch pad again, hooked up the leads, stood back, counted down, pressed the button and


Yea! Another perfect flight! It went straight up, the nose cone popped off, the parachute opened right up and it only landed about twenty feet away. And the speed of the rocket was--ooops.

Seems Daddy forgot to turn it on that time. Bad Dad.

Oh well.

Time for Boy's second launch. He was using the stronger motor this time, so we got everything set, wadding, parachute, camera, contacts, leads, countdown, button and


Wow. I mean WOW. Incredible. I love crap like this. Very, very high and--uhhh--uh-oh--it's going over--way over toward--like a textbook illustration of a balllistic arc--toward the gym. Which was close to a couple of hundred feet away. Still climbing--finally it quit and the recovery charge ignited, blowing out the parachute and nosecone. There it goes. Slowly drifting down onto the back of the gymnasium.

"Uh. Hm. Well, Buddy--looks like your rocket is on top of the school."

He was speechless.

"It's okay--we'll get it back--I'll call the school on Monday and they can maybe get the maintenance guy to get it for us. BOY, IT WENT WAY HIGH, DIDN'T IT!?"

He was still a bit disappointed, and I don't blame him. A few puffs of wadding blew off of the roof.

"It really did go up high, didn't it, Dad?"

"Oh, sure--that was WAY COOL! Even if it did land a bit too far away from us."

"Can we go home and get the ladder?"

"Well, I think the school people would get mad at us if we started stomping around on the roof--we better let them do it, okay?"


We packed up our stuff and got our spent motors and headed home.

"I wonder what the picture will look like!"

I just hope it snapped--it would be terrible to have yet another disappointment on top of the first!

I just got off the phone with the school, and thankfully, the lady who took my name and phone number seemed to be quite amused at the explanation of the embarrassing goings-on. Unfortunately, the maintenance guy is in Chicago for the next two days, and won't be able to look for it until Wednesday.


Home, and time for baths--we had us a wedding reception to go to!

NEXT: Boy, it's dark in here.

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

Junkyard? No, FUNYARD!

Up early Saturday, dressed myself in my nicest slovenly duds, and saw that the children were already up and outside bothering the kitten with an assortment of bothering things.

Hmm. Bird feeders look a bit low. Got Catherine to go get me the key to the Not a Storage Shed, and we went out to fill up the tubes with seeds.

@#%$*$&@^^$~!@#%^$%@ SQUIRRELS!

For the past several years, I have been openly prideful about my Heath bird feeders. They have been, up until now, the only bird feeder I have ever had that were so frustrating to squirrels that they had given up on them. They are a clear acrylic tube, with a metal lid, and metal perches. I have them hung from some metal shepherd's hook style poles, and the combination of thin slick metal poles, with a slick plastic tube of seeds, and metal at all the usual gnawy places has meant that although squirrels might get a few seeds, they have never been able to get in there and clean one out like they've done so many times in the past with other types of feeders I've had.

Until this past week. I had seen one fellow manage to get himself all the way up the pole and onto the feeder. Big deal. Then he'd managed to crawl headfirst down to one of the perches. Big deal. He never did get anything, because he fell off. Stupid squirrel.

Little did I know that he was persistent, and had managed after I quit watching to not only get on the feeder, and not only shimmy down it headfirst, he had actually managed to hang on long enough to the bottom-most perches to reach underneath the feeder tube, and gnaw through the bottom plug!

Nice big squirrel-head-sized hole chewed into the pliable plastic bung, and not a lick of seeds inside. STUPID EVIL SQUIRRELS!

It's not like I don't leave plenty for them to eat--I set out some especially for them, and then there's the huge pile of seeds underneath the feeders that the filthy birds drop. WHY NOT LEAVE THE FEEDER ALONE AND GET THE EASY STUFF!?

Anyway, that made us be down to only one feeder, so it was time to get a couple of new ones. And I had decided to get another hummingbird feeder while I was at it. The one I got that sticks to the window doesn't seem to be working too well, so I thought I'd get another bottle type to hang up. On the other plant hook I'd taken up and put in the back several weeks ago.

Which was--gone.

I had stuck it in the ground beside one of the other feeder poles, and now it was gone--so it seems I have STUPID THIEVING SQUIRRELS and STUPID THIEVING NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS.

Why? Why would they take THAT of all the interesting stuff they could steal? Little idjits.

So, a pole, and some feeders, and some seeds. And some Ritz crackers for Reba.

No matter how mad I was at the squirrels and juvenile delinquents, I was still about to get to go play. And not only that, when I got home, I was gonna play some MORE! Jonathan had gotten a model rocket for his birthday (and Catherine gotten one for his birthday, too) and so I told him when I got back we'd all go and fly them. SUCH FUN!

But first, my fun! Because it's all about ME!

I had stopped by the auto parts store on Friday, but the counter guy wasn't really much help in figuring out which seal I needed, and they didn't have all the parts I wanted. I decided just to order them from my incredibly expensive source over on the Left Coast. That way I'd know I was getting the right things. BUT, they'd take a while to get here, so I figured why NOT go play in the junkyard, right? Right!

But first, the stop at the hardware store at the foot of the hill. Hummingbird feeder, annnnd...


What is wrong with Marvin's!? They only had the feeder with the PLASTIC perches! Oh, sure, it's cheaper than the one with the metal perches [and I gotta say, I think 9 bucks extra for 8 metal perches is ridiculous], but do you realize how worthless plastic perches are? Squirrels love 'em, and the birds peck them to pieces in no time.


Well, thankfully, I had the metal perches from the older feeder that got broken, and two spares that I had because one tube didn't have all the holes punched in it. That still left me having to use two plastic perches. Grr.

And I have to say, I'm disappointed in Heath, too--they don't have the metal caps on the feeders anymore, meaning that Mr. Peanut Brain will just gnaw right through the top and have a nice meal.

Stupid squirrels. Stupid hardware store. Stupid bird feeder company.

Oh well.

Got two of the inferior feeders, and some seed, and I was off to the Pull-A-Part!


Walked in, paid my buck, got my hand stamped, and very nearly ran out onto the yard in anticipation of much fun. Past the Japanese car section and--and--Fords? No, wait--this can't be. The Europeein' cars are supposed to be right here. HERE! Boy, it's hot. Hmm. I guess they moved them. But where?

OH NO! What if they just crushed them all!? What if all those fine hunks of junk had been unceremoniously squished, and now they were all out of them, and I had come all the way out here just to get sweaty for no reason!?

I went and looked some more. And some more. Woe is me!

Went back inside, and just out of curiosity looked on their computer inventory (yes, junkyards is now real high tech like) and there were scads of Volvos listed. I asked the goggle-eyed guy behind the counter (he looked a bit like Tim Curry) if the inventory list was right, and he said it was. Well, let's go look for row 87.

Went back out the same direction I started when I got there--ahhh--I see. Row 87 is somewhere over in the other direction. Went that way. STILL didn't see where 87 could be. Finally decided to be unmanly and ask for directions from a guy on a forklift. Seems that since I was last here, the Pull-A-Part has dramatically expanded, and the row I was looking for was way, WAY, WAY over to the other side of the yard.

I had by now wasted thirty minutes in the hot sun looking around. BUT NOW I KNEW WHERE THEY WERE, and that they hadn't been crushed! Yay!

Ahhhh, there they are!

Whew. Boy, it's hot.

I had no set item I wanted, other than to see about getting a couple of instrument panel circuit boards to see if I could finally get rid of that annoying dimmer switch/tachometer short. Uh-oh--two guys are looking at my junker! LEAVE IT 'LONE! I hate it when people start shopping in the same place as me!

Hmm. Let's see--oooooh! Rear headrest covers! It didn't occur to me that they were black vinyl instead of blue cloth. However, should I ever have my long anticipated eBay sale, they should bring a pretty penny. Which is bad, because I paid $5 for them.

What else? Oh, let's see if the Bimmers and the Saabs have any of their tools left. The BMW tool sets get gone quickly, but sometimes the Saabs will still have a wrench or two. SCORE! A pair of the orange Saab slip joint pliers, and a couple of screwdrivers!

Lalalaladee--oooh, hey. Fuses are always needed. Volvos use the old-timey fuses with exposed elements, which just seems dangerous on the face of it, but I suppose they work well enough. Lots of those available for the getting.

I wonder--do I need to get a trailer hitch? Back when they were over on the other side of the yard, there was a wagon with a factory hitch that I always thought would be nice to have. Eh. I'll wait.

What's this? Hmm--a young lady's car it seems. A student at Jeff State. An organ player at a local Methodist church. Also working at a local hospital. Got herself a speeding ticket in downtown Trussville. How do I know all this? Because she left all of her papers in the car--papers that included credit card numbers, and telephone numbers, and addresses, and Social Security numbers. Folks, please--if you are ever in a wreck, clean out your personal effects before they tow the car away, or go find it in the impound lot or junkyard and get that stuff out of there. Unless you really just like the idea of someone stealing your identity.

Well, time to pull some instrument panels. Found a couple that looked like good candidates. I now have pulled so many of these that I can pop the trim panels, unscrew the four screws, and unplug the control plugs in about two minutes. I undid the back and left the housings behind, along with the speedometers and clocks. Two reasons--I didn't want to pay for a full gauge cluster, and someone else might need those things.

Time to go--I was getting a little too rednecked, and red-armed, and I wanted to go fly my--uh, I mean Jonathan's--rockets. Paid my ransom at the counter and was on the way back home.


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


...did not hit a lick at a snake all weekend! And doggone it, I will not feel guilty about it!

So there.

Anyway, Friday evening Miss Reba and I got a few minutes alone together and went out to eat at the Chinese buffet. Odd thing, that place. The guy who seems to be the lead cook and sushi chef (it's sort of a combo Chinese/Japanese place) was having his supper, and despite the row after row of greasy delicacies on display, he was having a sandwich. Something thin, on cheap white bread.


I wonder if he knows something?

ANYway, from there on up the hill to Sam's to buy some chicken salad and some croissants. Reba had agreed to make some little sammiches for a wedding reception on Saturday evening, so she decided to go ahead and get the makings.

That done, then off to pick up the young'uns from the grandparents' house, then home.

"Hey, you know what?"


"What I could do, since you wanted to go do your car stuff tomorrow morning, is go ahead and make these up tonight, and you could take them on up to the building. Because we don't have room in the refrigerator."


Well, yes, I did decided late in the day Friday that I was going to just wait about tearing apart the Volvo in the driveway, and I was going to go ahead with my original plan of playing in the boneyard all morning. So, in order to do that without the dread of having to get a couple of trays of sandwiches across the county by a set time, I figured she was probably right--go ahead and take them on over on Friday night. At 10 p.m.

Of course, it couldn't be that simple. She had six more croissants than she had chicken salad to go in them. Meaning that at about 9 p.m., I had to get out and head down to the foot of the hill to Food World to get some chicken salad. Which, thankfully, they had.

After the sandwiches were finished, I was off again with them riding shotgun, along with a pile of vegetables for the vegetable tray that someone else was going to fix. They were good company, and we had a nice conversation on the way to the building. Then again, I might have just been dreaming that.

Got to the building, and oddly enough, someone was pulling into the driveway at the same time as I was. I don't think whoever it was was supposed to be there, because when my headlights caught him, he made a quick turn and exit. I hate being up at our building alone at night--all sorts of creaky sounds inside, and a lot of dark corners outside. And there was a single car out in the darkest side of the parking lot--I got out my flashlight and lit it up from the safety of the building, and it looked empty. Sometimes people will meet at the building and just take one car to where ever it is they're going, but you never know when you might have stumbled upon someone doing something illegal.

Put the stuff away in the refrigerator, locked the door back, got in the car and checked out the mystery vehicle a bit closer. Just an empty car. Well, that's a relief.

ON to home, on to bed, up early Saturday.

NEXT--Saturday is FUN day! Mostly.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 AM | Comments (5)

June 09, 2006

Onward, then, into that unknown land of Weekendia!

All I know is that I'm tired. Thankfully, VBS was over with last night, so maybe tonight we can actually sit down and eat our supper, as opposed to running around trying to eat and get the van loaded.

And, as I mentioned below, there will be the unsightly sight of me on the front drive of our home in our oh-so-neatly-trimmed neighborhood crawling around an oily old car while wearing a dirty tee shirt and my pair of jeans that show my heinie cleavage. And who know--I might even work on the car instead of just crawling around on it!

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

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

Someone needs a clue bat.

Jordan persuades 'MySpace' girl to go home

DETROIT - A 16-year-old Michigan girl who authorities say tricked her parents into getting her a passport and then flew off to the Mideast to be with a West Bank man she met on MySpace.com headed for home on Friday. [...]

Katherine disappeared Monday after talking her family into getting her a passport by saying she was going to Canada with friends, sheriff's officials said. She apparently planned to visit a man whose MySpace account describes him as a 25-year-old from Jericho, Undersheriff James Jashinske said. [...]

Shawn Lester told The Saginaw News that her daughter has "never given me a day's trouble. ... I just don't understand with all these new laws protecting America how a 16-year-old kid could get out of the country." [...]

[Emphasis mine] Well, let me explain--it might not have occurred to you to think about it, but none of "all these new laws" [? Ed.] make it illegal for someone to LEAVE THE COUNTRY. Second, you didn't help yourself when YOU WENT AND GOT HER A PASSPORT! That meant that not only could she LEAVE this country, but she could also GET INTO ANOTHER COUNTRY.

However, if you wish, since you somehow think it the responsibility of the government to keep your children within the United States, I will have our Congressional delegation sponsor new legislation requiring that the children of dimwits cannot leave the country.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:32 PM | Comments (6)


Or, on the bright side, maybe I’m just like Jed Clampett!

I mean, there IS bubbling crude involved.

Although it’s dripping onto the ground instead of up out of it.

And it’s not actually crude oil, but rather refined 10W-40, as produced by the Valvoline Corporation.

And no firearms were involved. Yet.

But it seems that my intemperance while trying to merge into traffic this morning--which caused me to press mightily upon the accelerator pedal of a certain Volvo I own, which in turn caused its swirly-roundy internal combustion producing bits to spin with great vigor--seems to have produced such an extreme amount of oil pressure that it completely blew out all of the accumulated grit, grime, dead animals, and other exotica that lurk inside of an engine with 224,000 miles upon it!

HOWEVER, in blowing all of this accretion out of the way, we learned that the accumulated grit, grim, dead animals and other exotica were actually serving as quite a nice gasket, in lieu of an actual gasket. I surmised this based upon the fact that it seems the front crank seal is now leaking like a…sieve? Well, no--sieves actually retain more liquid. Maybe like the spillway of Hoover Dam.

I got to work and had zero oil pressure. And to make matters worse, I had to get to the bank today at lunch, and then go back to the house to pick up some papers I’d forgotten. Meaning I had to try to nurse it to the closest purveyor of incredibly thick, leak-stopping oily goo in order to nurse it that much further to the house, where I could swap vehicles.

I went back out at lunchtime to see the poor thing sitting in a puddle of its own juice. Cranked it up, and since it had cooled off while parked, it actually had some pressure again, which was very good!

This pressure promptly evaporated once on the Interstate.

I managed to get to the Cowboy’s station at Tallapoosa Street, where I purchased two quarts of rich, life-preserving oil, as well as a pint of STP for extra thickness. After spending fifteen minutes in a line that did not move, I paid for my goods and went outside to pour them in. Managed to get the oil level to the bottom of the dipstick.

WELL SURELY this will be enough to get home!


Off again, and this time with a nice healthy 4 atmospheres of oil pressure.

That evaporated close to the Trussville exit. Close, but not quite at.

So, I once again nursed my humble steed to the Chevron station and bought ANOTHER quart of oil to get it home and up the hill. Which it managed to do quite nicely in that it was only about two miles from the house.

Well, now, this is certainly a kick in the shins. Looks like instead of junkyard diving this weekend, I will be tearing off the timing belt cover and putting in a new crank seal (and belt, and idler). And praying there isn’t something ELSE that has let go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:51 PM | Comments (10)

My newest idea!

It's something I've noticed for a while, that being the propensity of our Arabic friends to express joy through the indiscriminate firing of weaponry into the air. This photo of an Iraqi granny emptying the mag of a gat into the air in celebration of al-Zarqawi's devivification reminded me of this phenomenon.

Now then, while I think this is charmingly juvenile, being a guy and all, I think this only because I'm looking at it on a monitor and not having to dance around and dodge a hail of falling 9mm and 7.62mm slugs!

Ishmaelites! Peoples of the Desert! Falling bullets are DANGEROUS! You could be harming or killing people who don't need a good harming or killing!

Now then, again, it's not like I don't understand the allure, and it's actually not something that is strictly Arabic in nature. Back in the 18th Century, the idea of having a military celebration with a rattle of musket-fire was pretty common. The French called it a feu de joie, and all the cool armies did it, even folks such as our own Continental troops, who would be ordered on special occasions to let loose to celebrate days such a July 4, or when they went and did something really nifty like defeating Cornwallis.

BUT HERE'S THE DEAL--the quartermaster would issue blank cartridges to everyone, because even though the science of physics was still in its infancy, they still understood that dancing about to dodge a hail of .75 caliber lead balls falling from the sky really puts a damper on any celebration.

So, I propose that we institute a program whereby we assist the Iraqi people in procuring a sufficient store of blank cartridges that each family--including Mee-maw--would have a sufficient number of rounds to provide noisesome and gratifying celebratory gunfire, while limiting the amount of falling projectiles.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:24 AM | Comments (5)

From the Reality-Based Community

A nice little corker about how sophisticated, tolerant, highly educated, diversity-loving people act.

Obviously, silly junk like this goes on on both sides of the political aisle.

However, I would say that shiftless, no-account, dim-witted conservative-leaning persons who are stuck in dead-end, low-paying jobs should see about getting work as emeritus professors. It apparently doesn't require much in the way of sense, as witnessed by the near constant stream of liberal academics who seem to greatly enjoy putting their stupidity on public display while drawing nice taxpayer-funded salaries.

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


Judge makes 'Rock, paper, scissors' ruling

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge, miffed at the inability of opposing attorneys to agree on even the slightest details of a lawsuit, ordered them to settle their latest dispute with a game of "rock, paper, scissors."

The argument was over a location to take the sworn statement of a witness in an insurance lawsuit.

In an order signed Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell scolded both sides and ordered them to meet at a neutral location at 4 p.m. June 30 to play a round of the hand-gesture game often used to settle childhood disputes. If they can't agree on the neutral location, he said, they'll play on the steps of the federal courthouse. [...]

While I appreciate the effort by the judge to make the attorneys come to some realization that they were acting like a bunch of spoiled brat jerks, you must remember that you can never make a jerk feel like one.

Flip a coin and be done with it. Or better yet, if the judge can set a location for the contest in case the lawyers are unable to decide on a neutral location for the game, why couldn't he just have gone ahead and decided on a neutral location for the deposition?

Or, if you simply must have them compete, drop them out of a plane without parachutes, and the first one to the ground is the winner.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:25 AM | Comments (0)

Well, now that we have a kitty...



So, from this morning we have the following photos of our newest family member--

But first, an apology. The stinking thing won't stay still for more than half a second, so it's very difficult to get ANY sort of picture of his face unless he is placed in restraints.

Be that as it may, here he is playing his favorite "just been let out of the playpen" game of kill-the-stick.


After much trepidation, Lightning has figured out how to play with the frog fountain and get some of that refreshing silt- and chemical-infused water from out of the spitter end. Somehow, he manages to look cuter drinking out of the frog than I'm sure I did when I was trying to unstop it by blowing on the back end of it.

And of course, after we're through getting juice from the frog, we have to clean up.

As I said, the only way to get a good mug shot is for a small child to forcibly restrain him. Like this--

Don't like cats, you say?

Well, the hosta is in full bloom now, so here's you a picture of that--

And for hiatusing Dave Helton (and other tractor lovers out there, as well as people who enjoy peyote), this odd photo of a John Deere 1010 Special that is on the small used car consignment lot at the bottom of the hill from where I live. I have no idea why the picture came out looking like some sort of Peter Max hallucination, but here you go. ($3,700, in case you're wondering.)

And thus ends our photo phun!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:41 AM | Comments (8)

June 08, 2006

And here I was...

...complaining about the smell of two million burning shoes. And falling steel coils gouging hunks out of the roadway.

Now I have THIS to look forward to: Chicken waste spills on I-20/59

Get ready for a smelly afternoon commute.

All lanes of southbound Interstate 20/59 at the 31st Street exit are closed as of 3:20 p.m. today.

A tanker truck carrying a load of chicken byproducts crashed and blocked the interstate around 2:30 p.m.

Birmingham police were investigating the crash. Motorists reported the odor was horrendous.

I bet they did. Although I am disappointed Simon Cowell was not interviewed, because I'm sure he would say it was, "Horrendous with a capital H."

Anyway, dangitall. So much for my plan of not having to fight the traffic. 31st Street is in FRONT of where I usually get on the Interstate.

UPDATE: Friday morning. Silly me! The stinky chicken truck was INbound, so I got to sail through with no problems. Other than the smell. It was potent, but the upside of THAT is that it DRASTICALLY cut down on rubberneckers on our side of the road. Most of the time a wreck on one side of the road will make almost as much of a delay on the other side because people have that need to slow down and gawk. Let me tell you--no one wants to gawk when the scene includes liquified chicken byproducts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

Okay, I love everyone.

Bunches. And heaps and wads. Especially the people I go to church with. But I tell you, sometimes you wish they didn't have your e-mail address.

Just got a forwarded request to put my name on a petition. The folks who sent it are nice, well-meaning folks, who are just now discovering this Internet thing, and I'm sure they probably feel very strongly about the subject of the item they passed along. Which just happened to be all them there illegals a'gittin' all our Social Security. Or, as the e-mail stated it "social security."

But come on, folks--no one cares about e-mailed petitions, because they don't work, and they don't work because no one cares about them. MOST ESPECIALLY when the text I'm supposed to agree to seems to have been prepared by a lobotomized spider monkey.

If you want to make a difference, call the person or send a hand-written letter.

And when you do send a real letter, use the proper forms of address for the type of office that person holds. Realize that the plural of a term such as "illegal" is not "illegal's." And such things as Senate and Congress and House of Representatives and Social Security are supposed to be capitalized. And verbs are supposed to agree with their subjects. And sentences are composed of a subject and a verb. And that sentences should be polite, and respectful, and crafted to actually make a substantive point, rather than read like some sort of polecat manifesto.

Thank goodness for the delete button.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:22 PM | Comments (2)

Second Wild Ride of the Day

Just now got back from picking up Oldest at Cooper Green and racing her back over to Mom's workplace. She was much less impressed by this situation than she was with the nice quiet suburban hospital at which she's also going to be working. Seems that the food wasn't nearly so good (which was provided to them free, by the way), and the place has something of a bad reputation what with all those poor people hanging around, and she seemed frustrated that the orientation person spent so much time telling people it wasn't so bad, and she doesn't know where the time clock is where she's supposed to clock in. Should be interesting to see if the experience opens her eyes any.

AS FOR THE TRAFFIC JAM--it's still all backed up out there, and I imagine it will be through the rest of the night, and maybe even tomorrow morning. Eight divots in the pavement will do that, you know. Luckily, the mishap mishappened before you get to the entrance ramp where I get on the Interstate, so it means less traffic for me! And as we all know, it's all about me.

AS FOR THE FIRE--it's smoldering now--the smoke is still hanging around, but it's not nearly so thick as it was, and has changed back now to more of a light gray color. I will say this--the smell of two million shoes burning isn't pleasant.

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

Man Bites Do--er, well, no--not quite that.

Police: Woman Beats Dog Breeder With Dead Chihuahua

ST. PETERS, Mo. -- Having your new puppy die can be tough. But it may have pushed one Missouri woman over the edge.

Investigators said she went back to the breeder's home and forced her way in. A fight broke out, and eventually the two women ended up on the porch. That's where police say the angry owner used the dead Chihuahua puppy to repeatedly whack the breeder over the head.

According to the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, the breeder told a neighbor to call police. That led the dog owner to get in her car -- taking the dead puppy with her, which she waved from the sunroof as she drove off.

Police aren't identifying the woman, but said she could face burglary and assault charges. The breeder wasn't seriously hurt. [...]

And here I sat, thinking I'd heard everything.

(Thanks to the crippled Dr. Smith for the news tip, and to Jeff Goldstein for finding that elusive silver lining. And I beg all of you, let's not have any suggestions that "Dead Chihuahua Puppy" would be a cool band name. Because it wouldn't.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:50 PM | Comments (4)

Hey, I saw that!

First was the backup caused by YET ANOTHER steel coil lost from a tractor-trailer on I-59/20. I'd just gotten on the Interstate (going the other way, thankfully) and saw that the other side going east was at a dead stop.

Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, or the buzzards to Hinkley, Ohio, the regularity of falling steel coils has become something of a looked-forward-to event. Not really.

Next, when I was coming back from Cooper Green, I saw this warehouse fire. Or rather, the smoke from it. But you know what they say about smoke and fires!

I even got to drive right by the warehouse and see the firemen setting up their perimeter. Everyone else in all the surrounding warehouses were out looking too. Pretty cool, if you can call destruction of property cool. Or fire, for that matter, which is usually pretty hot. The headline of that NBC story struck me as humorous, too, for some reason--"Fire Burns In Downtown Birmingham." As far as I know, fire burns pretty much everywhere, not just in downtown Birmingham.

I just hope I don't come down with some sort of weird respiratory thing--the smoke that was coming out was a peculiar tan color. Blech. This update from The Birmingham News says it's a shoe warehouse. THE MANOLO WILL BE SO DISTURBED!

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.--not just some shoes--one MILLION pairs of shoes. That, my friends, is a LOT of shoes.

UPDATE: 2:19 p.m.--Hey, they got pictures now. The thick black smoke would be paper and wood--the lighter-colored smoke (the stuff I saw when it was first getting started) I assume is the stuff the shoes were made out of.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (7)

Okay, it's Mailout Thursday...

...so I have some mailing out to do, and then have to zip over to Reba's work and pick up Oldest to haul her over to the hospital for her orientation. Lots of zipping will surely follow.

I think I've mentioned it, but Oldest managed to get herself accepted as a volunteer at two different hospitals this summer, and has been helping Reba do filing at her work. I keep hoping that actual hard labor will make her understand a bit more about how the real world works. The fact that she's not getting paid aside.

So far, it seems only to have made her tired and petulant, as opposed to the more usual mode of well-rested and petulant. At least she's tired for real and from doing good things, instead of the fake weariness she would affect after a long day of playing video games in her bed.

Anyway, time to stuff envelopes!

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

The Wright Stuff

June 8, 1867

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born on June 8, 1867, in Richland Center, Wisconsin. America's most significant architect, Wright's "Prairie Style" transformed 20th-century residential design while his plans for businesses, churches, and museums also proved simultaneously innovative and practical. Wright's commitment to "organic architecture"—the belief that structures should harmonize with both occupants and landscape—underscored his creative genius. [...]

Well, they are cool to look at, and Wright was truly a genius, but he was a genius entirely on his own terms. Wright didn't design for you--you had to become a convert to Wright, and that included putting up with all his quirks, including the one that seemed to place the need for a durable structure much further down the list of priorities than it probably should have been. That is, Wright really didn't care quite so much if things leaked or broke, as long as the overall composition was uncompromised. He was a high-maintenance little dude, and his buildings can be equally high-maintenance.

Further information from the PBS website, and from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:45 AM | Comments (6)

Perpetuating the Stereotype

Saudi national charged with threatening to blow up Delta flight

ATLANTA (AP) — A Saudi national faces charges he threatened to blow up a Delta Air Lines flight because he was upset he was denied a job as an interpreter for U.S. military operations in Iraq.

But the suspect says he was only making a joke while having some drinks. [...]

According to a criminal complaint, Al Suwailem was at Fort Benning on Monday, where he was going through the process to become an Arabic interpreter.

According to the complaint, Al Suwailem was told he would NOT be hired because he was denied security clearance. He was informed he would have to fly home to Idaho the next day on a Delta flight. [...]

Just a tip--if you're a Saudi national turned down for an interpreter's job with the military because you couldn't pass the security clearance, it's probably not a wise thing to go sit in a bar and joke about bombing a plane.

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

What liberal media bias?

Well, obviously the big news this morning is the death of al-Zarqawi. I had the news turned to NBC when the President gave his statement this morning at 6:30 Central time, and what I heard from him was serious, measured, and cautiously optimistic. Mr. Bush did not lean over on the podium, did not hunch his shoulders and gesture with his hands, did not really show much overt emotion at all. Which is just as it should be.

Well, they cut back to Matt Lauer in the studio, who nearly peed on himself as he said, paraphrasing, 'The President is CLEARLY elated at this news...'

Clearly elated?

I'm sure he is glad the guy's gone on to his just reward, but his statement had no sense of elation, as such. Then Matt pitched over to Jim Miklasewski at the Pentagon. I've never been that enamored of Mr. Miklasewski, but he plumbed new depths in unobjectivity this morning.

As was Matt, Jim seemed to be vibrating at about 120 Hz and very nearly ready to soil himself he was so wound up--or so it appeared to this objective viewer.

First, Miklasewski took issue with the President's assertion that al-Zarqawi was the target of the strike, quoting "sources" that said the task force assigned to killing or capturing al-Zarqawi were actually tracking his spiritual advisor, and only later was it determined al-Zarqawi was among the dead. Whatever, Jim--tracking al-Zarqawi means tracking everyone who might have contact with him.

The second is the one that very nearly made me take off my shoe and beat upon the image of Jim Miklasewski as it fidgeted on my screen. For in this, he lost all illusion of trying to be dispassionate, and veered way off into Tinfoilistani punditry. Regarding the assertion by the President that Iraqis offered assistance in the raid, Miklasewski blustered and said (paraphasing again) that this was simply impossible, in that the task force assigned to al-Zarqawi didn't even share intelligence with OTHER army intelligence units, and therefore couldn't possible have gotten any information from Iraqis.

Jim, you ignorant slut.

It is beyond comprehension how you can sit there and be so cock-sure of what the task force knew, and how it came by its information. At worst, maybe Mr. Bush was merely trying to give some credit to the Iraqi people to keep them from feeling left out, or ignored, in this important event. But it is a far more likely scenario that this task force, even though it might NOT share information with other forces, itself operated on a wide variety of information, MAYBE even including IRAQI INFORMANTS. It's really not THAT difficult to believe, is it, Jim? Especially when it's obvious that you've decided to switch from straight reporting to commentator, right in the middle of a "news" report?

Objectively, the only thing you can say is that you don't know exactly who knew what, and how that information actually came to them, because objectively, that is the extent of your knowledge on the matter. And since this group's methods of necessity must remain secret, you might not EVER know the full story. Anything else is pure speculation, and is NOT fact, no matter how much Vitalis you smear on your hair, and how long you've been standing in front of the camera. No matter how hard you strain to keep from wetting your pants, there is simply no way you will ever be able to establish the truth of what you've just implied. To get up in front of everyone and act as though the President is somehow willfully being misleading or is dissembling in this instance does nothing but give objective and dispassionate truth-seeking reality-based persons such as myself the idea that there's not an honest reporter in all of the media.


Update: 9:17 a.m. More frustration here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)


Today's Axis of Weevil Thursday Three is ALL about self-reliance and self-sufficiency! To that end, EACH ONE OF YOU will be required to make up your OWN three questions to answer! Now some of you might think that this is because I got sidetracked with eleventy-thousand other different things yesterday and simply forgot to formulate the contest for today. WELL, YOU'D BE WRONG! I just think it's time for you to show a little initiative, a little self-starterism, some up-by-the-bootstrapitis to show everyone that the Possumblog Reading Audience is full of go-getters and independent spirits!

That, and I forgot to do the questions.

SO, ANYWAY, please leave three questions and your answers in the comments below or a link back to your blog. Readers who don't have the same drive and energy that YOU do have the option of being lazy and stealing your questions and answering them in lieu of making up their own. BUT DON'T WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE to do it, or otherwise this will be QUITE boring.

And we CANNOT have that.

Very often.

Or more than once a week.

Okay, once a day.

OKAY, so it's boring all the time! DON'T BLAME ME--come up with something interesting yourselves!

Ahem. Sorry.

Now then, as for my questions and answers--

1. What do I most need to do--buy a new belt, have my shoes resoled, or have my eyes checked?

Hmm--I think I most need a new belt. The one I got at Christmas broke. It was reversible, and the buckle swivelled around so that it could be used equally well on either side. The only problem is that the swivel worked on a tiny metal axle arrangement, and one day I cinched myself up and the buckle popped right off the end of the axle. I had to fall back to using my ratty black leather belt I got several years ago from Wal-Mart.

Shoes would be next. Eyes? Nah.

2. Where do I want to go on vacation?

Somewhere quiet where I can sit and not do anything all day long. I don't think we're going to the beach this year--maybe Gatlinburg. But I'd rather not have to go and have to find ways to be entertained, I'd rather just be a vegetable.

3. What is my earliest memory?

I remember playing with a beach ball in our front yard, and picking at the little rubber valve stem. I was probably no more than about 18 to 20 months old.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:13 AM | Comments (18)

June 07, 2006

Well, because I'm a moron, that's why.

I got to musing last evening, and I turned to Reba as I sat watching the news and said, "You know what I want to do on Saturday? I want to go to the junkyard."

I have grown tired of the tiny electrical fault that lurks in the instrument panel on the Volvo that causes the tachometer and clock to stop working if the panel lights are on--if I turn the dimmer all the way off, they both work, but of course, when it's dark you can't see that they do. I thought it might be the dimmer, but that doesn't make sense. It's something in the printed circuit, and the best way to fix it (aside from ordering a new one, which are built one-by-one by a wizened old Swede in Goteborg from special unobtainium) is to go pull one out of a junker.

But, really? I just have an overwhelming desire to simply go off and plunder around and see what I can find. It's just that simple. Oh, I might be able to find a replacement panel, but I might not. I really just need some time to be undomesticated and get all dirty and stinky and tetanusy.

I sure hope it doesn't rain between now and Saturday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:28 PM | Comments (5)

And speaking of idiots...

...one wonders how much good could be accomplished in the world were the Leftist makers of giant papier-mache heads set to work doing things that were actually productive.

And really, just who is impressed by papier-mache?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:48 AM | Comments (6)

I don't often play music...

...but I saw this story--Member faults how U.S. presents U.N.

The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations' No. 2 official accused the U.S. government of keeping Middle America in the dark about the world body's good works, a rare direct criticism that drew an angry response Wednesday from Ambassador John Bolton. [...]

In the speech, [Deputy Secretary-General Mark] Malloch Brown said the United States relies on the United Nations as a diplomatic tool but doesn't defend it against criticism at home, a policy of "stealth diplomacy" that he called unsustainable.

He lamented that the good works of the U.N. are largely lost because "much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News."

"The U.N.'s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world," Malloch Brown said. [...]

--And by jiminy, it makes me want to get this out:

tiny violin.gif

My tiny violin cello. I shall now play "My Heart Bleeds for You," and it goes out to Mark and to the the single most effective organization ever created by man for accomodating tinpot tyrants.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (7)

State Visitor Day!

As has now become our long-standing tradition, we take this opportunity to celebrate and honor Possumblog visitors from yet another one of our fine American states.

As you all know, today is June 7, which is fortunate in that it coincides nicely with the next state in our alphabetical run-down, because today's honorees hail from the state that flies this flag--


Yes, today in conjunction with Boone Day, we celebrate the fine denizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky!

We welcome our Kentuckian visitors (most of them, anyway) and ask that you take a moment and introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your lovely homeland.

In the mean time, we will take just a moment to educate ourselves about The Bluegrass State:


1. Kentucky's capital is Frankfort, which was named for Kentucky's first governor, Frank F. Ort.

2. James Harrod established the first permanent white settlement at Harrodsburg in 1774; the following year Daniel Boone, who had explored the area in 1767, blazed the Wilderness Trail through the Cumberland Gap and founded Boonesboro. To this day, Boone's Farm Wines are favored by discriminating winos who appreciate their fine flavor, historical significance, and cheapness.

3. Kentucky's flag has two men who appear very close to embracing each other. But they're really just very good friends, or maybe relatives. So there's nothing weird at all about it at all.

4. Like many states, Kentucky's name derives from an American Indian basis, the Iroquoian word “Ken-tah-ten,” meaning “land of tomorrow.” People say this because the Iroquoian word “Ken-tuh-kee,” is actually a very naughty term.

5. The website of the Kentucky Tourism Council is http://www.tourky.com/. No one is certain how many travellers have mistakenly wound up in Instanbul due to this. Or in Lexington.

6. Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants operate solely to irritate PETA.

7. The maximum speed limit on public roadways in Kentucky is 65 miles per hour.

8. Famous Kentuckers include Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali, Louis D. Brandeis, Patricia Neal, Johnny Depp, Bill Monroe, Kit Carson, and Ashley Judd. Yes, yes---you get to see a picture:


That Abe's a hunk, ain't he!

Oh, very well, you can have another one.



SO ANYWAY, guests and visitors from Kentucky, we bid you a happy Boone Day and ask you to let us know you're here!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:08 AM | Comments (9)

Well, I actually feel better.

Mainly because yesterday's primary results were for the most part much more clear cut than I had ever hoped, with few of the run-off scenarios I had envisioned.

Biggest relief was the sound, complete, and humiliating thrashing Lucy Baxley administered to Dapper Don Siegelman. Thank you, Democrats. Of course, he still couldn't help but come across afterwards as cheap and venal--even after it became apparent he'd lost, he continued to dither about rather than be decent and concede. Whatever.

And the Republicans decided they'd had enough of Jedge Roy, as well as his preferred slate of candidates for the Supreme Court. Don't count him out, though. Certain people get that gleam in their eyes, and can't be counted on to simply go back to honest work. Look for Roy and Don and their sycophants to be around for awhile.

And now the race actually starts, and interesting, at least to me, is that both Riley and Baxley aren't truly part of the Montgomery power base, and for Ms. Baxley, the win must have been truly a vindication for her. Back in the way back, the state of Alabama's most powerful office was not the governor, but that of lieutenant governor, who had broad power in deciding which legislation would get presented and voted upon. Nothing happened unless the lieutenant governor let it happen. And it just so happens that the person who latched most strongly onto this power with a two-fisted glee was none other than Don Siegelman, who managed quite well for himself in building a nearly fool-proof power machine.

After managing to wrest the governor's office from Auburn alum and depleted-uranium dense Fob James in the 1999-2000 race, the Democrats were stunned to find their plans for full legislative dominance subverted when a Republican, Steve Pee-jug Windom, managed to get the really plum lieutenant's spot--the first Republican to hold the spot since Andrew Applegate in 1870. In a bold and blatantly politic move, the Legislature (still dominated by Democrats) rushed in to strip almost all of the power from the lieutenant governor, which left the office as nothing more than a figurehead position.

Fast forward to the 2003-04 race, when voters decided four years was about four years too much of Don and went on to elect Pony-ridin' Bob Riley as governor, and in something of a surprise, Lucy Baxley as lieutenant governor. I think this is probably where Ms. Baxley got an even bigger surprise, when she came into office expecting now that a nice Democrat (and ex-wife of a former lieutenant governor, Bill Baxley) was in place, her fellow-travellers would vote to return the lieutenant governor's post the lusty power it once had.


Seems Lucy found out that power trumps party--and found out that the most powerful man in Alabama politics was not Governor Riley, but rather the triumvirate of Speaker of the House Seth Hammett; her putative subordinate, Senate President Pro-tem Lowell Barron; and Senator Roger Bedford who chairs the powerful Finance and Taxation General Fund committee, as well as co-chairs a host of other money-controlling committees. And, of course, on the outside of the walls--Alabama Education Association leader Paul Hubbert.

So, Lucy got left out, and there wasn't much she could do about it. Except run for governor.

Interesting interview last night after Riley gave his choo-choo speech with the local FOX affiliate--he said he genuinely liked Lucy, and said he'd told her they need to just go ahead and travel around the state together since they'd be going to the same places anyway. Now, I imagine that's just puffery and part of the idea that one should keep one's friends close, and one's enemies closer.

But there's also probably a little truth to it as well--she is likable, and she isn't part of the filthy lucre crowd who has made a career for themselves and their cronies by suckling at the public teat. There's no (good) way to paint her as corrupt, and in fact, not much of a way to paint her as a wild-eyed Nancy Pelosi liberal tied strongly to the national party. Riley will have a job to do this time, and hopefully his likefulness for her will serve to rein in his campaign staff and damp down any tempation to start lashing out with stupid ads should the race become tight.

And likewise, Ms. Baxley has shown a level of decorum towards Mr. Riley that--even if it IS insincere--is still a relief. There was a sound bite of a speech she gave where she related someone asking her why the people of Alabama should fire Gubnah Riley. She deftly said, paraphrasing, that she wasn't asking for him to be fired, it was just that his contract was up for renewal and she thought she could do better.

There's still a lot of time between now and November, and I just hope that I can feel okay no matter who gets the job.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:52 AM | Comments (9)

First it was the ribs, and now it's the shank...

Poor Dr. Smith can't seem to catch a break. Or more precisely, can't seem to STOP catching breaks.

Please take a moment and hop over (carefully--and watch those steps) to let Jim know you have him in your thoughts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:57 AM | Comments (2)

June 06, 2006

A blast from the past!

Nixon under fire for campaign donations

Not really--it's not Tricky Dick but Missouri gubernatorial candidate AG Jay Nixon (D). One does wonder, however, if he will dust off that old, "I am not a crook" line.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:23 PM | Comments (0)

Exciting Election News!

Jeffco voting sluggish

A story notable only for this teeth-edge-setting phrase: "As of 1 p.m., Jefferson County Registrar Nell Hunter said some polling boxes reported as few as 11 percent usage [...]."


Please--"[...] as little as 11 percent [...]".

Anyway, low turnout, but if my disaffection is any sort of predictor, it's a function of the incredible lack of enthusiasm for any of the candidates.

About the only interesting thing will be if Don "It's Not a Bribe if You Don't See Me Do It, and Even if You Do, It's Not What You Think" Siegelman and Lucy Baxley get themselves into a run-off. If Dandy Don goes down to defeat, never fear--he will be back in the future. People who talk about how Al Gore and John Kerry seem to not 'get the message' have never seen the tenacity with which our good friend and compatriot Mr. Siegelman pursues his dream of being the big fish in our little pond. Which, I suppose if you have no other skills, is probably a pretty good gig. If you can stay out of prison.

UPDATE: 4:28 pm In a much more serious vein, local reporter Wade Kwon left a comment below regarding his experience with a ballot mix-up at his polling place. See his blog entry here. Thanks for the tip, Wade, and it bears repeating that voters need to be sure of what's going on before marking down their vote. I am more than a little concerned about the lack of care shown by the precinct workers, and the fact that apparently this has been an ongoing problem today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:37 PM | Comments (4)

Well, I suppose it beats tilting at them.

Residents debate windmills on Great Lakes

Does kinda make me wonder how they figure out who wins. Also gives me a new renewable energy idea--harness the energy generated by the deranged in order to power generators! Did you know that the energy contained in one Democratic Underground post (with comments) could provide electrical power for a three-bedroom, two-bath house for 15 hours? It's true!

UPDATE: 4:17 pm Well, poop--I hate it when they update the headline to make it not so funny--the newest version says: Talk Swirls Over Great Lakes Windmills

Of course, that one is just about as inapt as the first one...

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

Okay, it's lunchtime...

...and I'm still busy.

What's up with that!?

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

June 6, 1944



You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United States have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Knowing how this crusade eventually turned gives many of a certain political stripe the false idea about the rightness of that cause, versus the rightness of conflicts that inevitably followed. It was indeed right, but victory was not assured simply because it was just, as we figure justness. But for some crucial miscalculations, the effort could have turned into a rout, and set back the eventual defeat of Germany by years--or possibly even allowed them the breathing room required to sue for peace on other than unconditional terms. Eisenhower understood that from the center of the conflict, the future was less than certain, and thus penned this in the event that the invasion did not work:

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Harve area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

Providence allowed a victory against savagery 62 years ago, and we should be grateful for that. But the world remains a place full of evil men intent on doing evil--may we never overlook, placate, nor accomodate that evil. And may we be willing to call it evil when we see it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:33 AM | Comments (6)

And good morning again!

Maybe today won't be quite so full of technical difficulties, although it will still be full of nothingness, as I continue to have to do dumb ol' work instead of playing. Feh.

ANYway, today is also primary day here in the Cotton State, so I beg those of you in your respective parties to please nominate someone with a lick of sense. However, this will require you to write in someone other than all the twits who've been filling up the airwaves.

I will say this--the term "liar" has lost all meaning. A long time ago, someone calling you a liar was cause to step outside and settle the question with weaponry of some sort. As best as I can tell, in this particular election cycle, everyone is a liar, and a big one, yet no one has called for a duel upon the public square. Obviously, part of this is because dueling has been against the law in Alabama since the early 1800s, but I think the bigger reason is truth and not-truth have become meaningless, at least amongst a certain group. The professional political class are a bunch of cowards and mountebanks who couldn't find their butt with both hands, and frankly, have no honor amongst them which could ever be insulted in the first place.

But, hey--human nature and all--it's been this way since the first caveman figured out he could impress his tribesmen and be chief when he boasted of killing more musk oxen than his opponent. And then his opponent asked how this could be when he spent every hunt hiding behind a rock. Which was answered by a claim by the first guy that he wasn't hiding, but merely stalking, and anyway, at least HE didn't wear frilly underwear and contribute to the ACLU. At least back then they had sense enough to settle it with clubs.

SO, anyway, go out and decide who I get to vote against come November!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (9)

June 05, 2006

Glad that's over with.

The workday, that is. It was made even more harried by an early morning run to three different banks, and then a late afternoon run to go pick up Oldest from her new hospital volunteer post. Dropped her off at 7:30 this morning, and she got her orientation and ID badge and new spiffy volunteer polo shirt, and afterwards she came back here to sit in the chair across from me and listen to me type and talk to several thousand people on the phone. Between the ding-blasted blower and the ton of actual work I have to do, it has been quite a non-restful day around here.

Maybe tomorrow we can have time to play together?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:47 PM | Comments (0)


Well, that was interesting. I had a short, pithy, bouncy little intro post this morning, and it got all eaten up by a denial of service attack upon the tiny tropical island of Niue. They've had trouble with the servers all weekend, so getting here has been a bit spotty, and I guess it blowed up real good this morning.

ANYway, I have expended my pithiness for the morning, and have now gotten myself deep into A Task That Must Be Completed, so this may be about it for the day. For those who are interested, I did change my oil this weekend. And we started Vacation Bible School last night, which guarantees I will be exceedingly tired all week.

SO, let me get back to my stuff to do, and hopefully Munu will continue to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

June 02, 2006

And now, on into the weekend!

Yep, another short day today. Gotta take off and get Boy over to the orthodontist for his checkup, and after that? Well, I'm a'going home and get started on cutting the grass. It came a nice rain last night (or possibly a hurricane--I heard the wind and rain blowing against the house, saw lightning flash and heard thunder, and then promptly went right back to unconsciousness) so maybe if Boy and I get a start on it this afternoon, it won't be so intolerably dusty like it was last week.

ANYway, nothing much planned this weekend other than the usual, so Monday's Possumblog might be an awfully boring read.

Or not.

Check back and see for sure, and until then, all of you have a great weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:26 PM | Comments (0)

Thanks for the tip, Mr. Genius!

Zebras viewed as difficult to raise

Why, it's almost as if they're a wild animal or something!

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

Oh, please.

Apparently all of the puppy smoothies have gotten to Doc Reynolds. He notes some sort of robotic floor cleaner, and says: "The reviews aren't bad, but I'm skeptical. I really want Rosie from The Jetsons."

I mean, Rosie was well-meaning and all, but good grief, dude--she had that horrible, grating Hazel-like voice, and she was all the time having to thwap herself in the head to make herself remember things.

If we're gonna have floor cleaning robots, I want one like Jean Marsh in that cool Twilight Zone episode where they dropped her on that asteroid with the convict guy, or like Ashley Scott in AI.

Then, if the floor didn't get clean, you know, like, who cares?!

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

And for those who thought irony dead...

Dr. Smith sends along this article--Clinton uses Pederson fundraiser to blast GOP.

Former president Bill Clinton keynoted a Phoenix Democratic fundraiser Thursday evening, saying the Republican Party is dominated by "right-wing, white Southerners."

Clinton also hit the GOP for favoring the rich and practicing "crony capitalism".

Dr. Smith notes that this particular line is richly laden with luscious, nougaty irony, especially when the following paragraphs are read (emphasis mine):

Clinton headlined a fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Pederson at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa.

The event was attended by 500 persons and raised approximately $500,000 for Pederson, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl in November. Pederson is a shopping center developer, former Arizona Democratic Party chairman and an ally of Clinton and his wife Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. [...]

Hmm--going to a swanky resort and raising half a mil for a wealthy crony in the real estate business--well, it's not crony capitalism when the right sort of people do it, you know.

Up is down, black is white, Gomer is Opie...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:24 AM | Comments (0)

Speaking of swirly masses, eh.

Miss Janis sends a link to this post (via Colby Cosh) about what happens when Canadians aren't watching hockey.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (1)

Perpetuating the Stereot--Oh, wait--they ain't from here!

Hey, I like Taylor Hicks as much as I possibly could, but I think everyone can agree this is taking it a bit too far--

Via the Plattsburgh (NY) Press Republican: Son hits mom during 'American Idol' discussion

Staff Writer
June 01, 2006

PLATTSBURGH — A Plattsburgh man is facing felony charges for allegedly striking his mother in the head with a sharp object hooked to a bicycle chain after she made a comment about "American Idol."

Cory K. Favreau, 24, of 200A Margaret St. was discussing the television show "American Idol" with his mother, Jan M. Chagnon, on May 24 at about 10:15 p.m., according to Plattsburgh City Court records.

At that time, Chagnon told Favreau that a particular contestant, Katharine McPhee, was going to have a successful career despite losing to another contestant, Taylor Hicks.

Favreau allegedly stood up, made a malicious comment to his mother and struck her in the head with a sharpened, cross-shaped object attached to a bicycle chain.

Court records say that Favreau and Chagnon were drinking alcohol at the time. [...]

Golly, what are the odds of that.

Many thanks to upstate New York for taking some of the heat off of us (at least for little while) when it comes to incidents of this sort.

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

And when you fold in a healthy dose of Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists...

You get a big swirly mass of idiocy like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:42 AM | Comments (4)

And a companion disorder--ADS...

Al's Derangement Syndrome.

Word to remember: "docuganda."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:08 AM | Comments (0)

An explanation of ALS.

That's "Angry Left Syndrome."

Remember, it's not the stupid people who are the problem--it's the people who think they're smart.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Now that's an idea.

Was listening to the Rick and Bubba show this morning, and they were discussing the political ads that have been sluicing out of our televisions and radios into our homes and cars like body wastes pouring into a sewage treatment plant.

For some reason, this year has been marked not so much by negative campaigning (which has always been around) but by the sheer stupidity of so much of it. I mean, in the past, they would at least try to come up with something memorable, but this year every ad, no matter the office, the candidate, or the party is exactly the same--"I am a good Christian conservative pro-life, pro-family paragon of virtue who loves everyone, but my opponent is a lying Satanist wastrel who murders hobos in their sleep for their small change."

So, you're left with two opponents saying the exact same things about each other. You might be inclined to say, "Well, they BOTH can't be right," but you'd be wrong. They're all a bunch of lying scum.

But how to determine which lying scum you want as your representative?

Well, the fellows on the radio had a good idea--"The Ring of Truth." Basically, they figured that since politicians are always clamoring to be on their show to spout their claptrap, why not up the ante a bit. If a politician wants to be on the air, he (or she) has to agree to a bare-knuckle fight with his (or her) opponent in a boxing ring set up in the parking lot. You want to call someone something? Be man (or woman) enough to stand out there and defend it with your fists, instead of hiding behind all these stupid political ads. Whoever wins gets the endorsement; whoever loses has to live with being a loser forever.

You have one of two outcomes--either all the stupid "he's a liar" political ads dry up quickly, or you've got some mighty fine entertainment. It's what you call a win-win.

UPDATE 9:24 Luther Strange (Republican candidate for lieutenant governor) and Troy King (incumbent Republican AG candidate) have both sent word to the show they are willing to fight their primary election opponents. Republicans running for Lt. Gov include George Wallace, Jr., Mo Brooks, and Hilbun Adams, and for attorney general is Mark Montiel. No word if their opponents will take up the challenge.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

Just one shot.

Jonathan got a tetanus booster, but that was it. I surely thought I remembered the nurse saying they were all gonna get poked, but I suppose it's another one of those things I just made up out of whole cloth.

IN ANY EVENT, the doctor's visit was uneventful, mostly. The kids are finally old enough to not require constant attention, so I could feel a little less antsy when I had one down the hall getting his shot, one in the bathroom peeing in a cup, one nekkid in an exam room, and one patiently waiting in another.

All of them are in good condition, although each of the girls is carrying too much weight. Part of it's genetics, especially for Middle Girl, who is the most active and physically fit. Oldest? Utter lack of activity. She's not really lardy, but she eschews physical activity with a vigor that, if turned into actual motion, would give her a cross-country runner's physique. Tiny Terror? Part genetics, part too much snacking. She's active as a hummingbird, though, so it could be worse.

All in all, not the worst four hours I've spent at the doctor's office.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:05 AM | Comments (0)

June 01, 2006

And so...

...after he swung at me, I really had no choice but to jab him in the throat with the butt of my pool cue, ESPECIALLY after his big ugly "girl"friend threw that pony keg at my head. She's good, too, which is why she pitches for the softball team. Did I mention she's ugly? Got a almost life-size tattoo of Antonio Alfonseca's head on her stomach. So...

Oh--wait--wrong blog.

ANYway, I have to be leaving in just a bit to take the kids to the doctor's office. Seems like in all the turmoil of the past year, what with Reba being in school and the normal frenetic activity around our house, we forgot to take them in for their annual check-ups. All of them. It's been two years, and although Oldest has seen the stomach guy some, and Catherine had to go visit the ear doctor, none of them have been seen, and from talking to the nurse, they're all due for their vaccine boosters. Gosh, this is gonna be FUN!

Not really.

We had them scheduled two for Tuesday and two for today, but the doctor was sick Tuesday (confidence inspiring, eh?) and so they all got rescheduled for today, so I'll have to go get the younger two from Grandmom's, the second oldest from home where she has kittysitting duty, and then back over across town to pick up the oldest from Mom's place of business where she's been shanghaied (or dragooned, if you prefer) to help with some menial filing duties. THEN to the doctor's office, where I anticipate the addition of at least three more gray hairs to my head as I try to make them act like they have a lick of sense. They better be good, or I'm gonna ask the nurse to let ME vaccinate 'em.

SO, I think this is going to be it for the day--it seems to have been quite a slow one today anyway, so I don't guess you'll miss me or Dr. Possum too much.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:32 AM | Comments (0)

Ask Dr. Possum!

Having read the morning pixels and finding that they have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of substantive blog fodder, we are left with our Feature of Last Resort, Ask Dr. Possum!

Standing by ready to answer any medical questions you might have, as well as any questions related to all fields of the arts and sciences, including, but not limited to: nuclear physics, eschatology, marine biology, fly tying, and snacks.

SO, (after you've done your Thursday Three duty) if you have any questions that MUST BE ANSWERED, please leave them in the comments below and your inquiry will be answered with all deliberate speed.

Obligatory Disclaimer: Dr. Possum's credentials have been sent to the dry cleaners, and will not be back until 5:30 tomorrow. However, we are almost certain he actually does have some, but if you are a real stickler for such things, it might be best for you to not place too much stock in his advice. At least not until he gets his things back from the cleaners. WARNING: Plastic bag is not a toy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)

Joke O' the Day!

Via perpetually vacationing professor Jim Smith, we have this:

Three friends die in a car accident and they participate in an orientation session in heaven led by someone trained to assist them during this transition. Oddly enough, this orientation is called "Fresh Start." In the first dialog session, they are all asked, "When you are in your casket and your friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say about you?"

The first guy says,"I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second guy says, "I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and a schoolteacher who made a huge difference for our children of tomorrow."

The last guy replies,

"I would like to hear them say... 'LOOK, HE'S MOVING!'"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:04 AM | Comments (2)

Pets and/or Children!

Today’s episode of the vaunted Axis of Weevil Thursday Three comes to us via the dog- and child-rich person of Sarah Getzler, who wrote last week to say she wants to know some things about us:

1) What is the most destructive thing your pets and/or your children have ever done?

2) What is the most constructive thing they have done?

And finally, 3) What is the most amazing thing they have done?

As usual, anyone may play along, even if you have no pets and/or children--just make up stuff if you have to!

Just leave your answers in the comments below, or have your trusty sled-dogs pull all of this over to your blog and answer it there, and leave a link below.

As for my answers--

1) I really don’t want to jinx myself, because as of right now, the kids have never torn up anything really, REALLY valuable. They’ve made some messes, such as when Catherine stopped up the shower and flooded our bathroom, but so far nothing worse than that. Pets? Nah, they’ve never been a problem. Although long ago, we had a white flocked Christmas tree we kept in our open garage, and one of the cats we had made himself at home in the box one winter.

2) Well, the pets I’ve had have never been very constructive, unless you count the dirt daubers who make those long dirt tubes all over the house as pets. Well, and there was my family of pet beavers who made a lovely lodge in the kitchen. (Not really.) As for the kids, I guess all of their artwork that I have hanging up. I’m really hoping they get good at creating wealth so they can take care of me in my dotage. Which is scheduled to arrive any day now.

3) I think most amazing still has to be Catherine’s wild ride down the stairs. She was around 6 or so and decided to see if she could walk down the stairs. Wearing Rebecca’s roller skates. She couldn’t. Sounded like a boxcar full of howler monkeys hitting the house when she came falling down the stairs, but she managed--amazingly--to land unharmed, other than a giant bruising of her feelings. She has not attempted the feat again.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:40 AM | Comments (7)