November 30, 2006

You all probably already know about this...

...but I don't think I ever recall running across this site before, and it's a treasure trove of mid-20th Century advertising images, from the unexpectedly elegant to the frightfully hideous, and the downright disturbing.

(H/T to Black and White)

OH, and from a related site, this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:57 PM | Comments (2)

Happy Birthday!

Today marks the 171st natal anniversary of one Samuel Clemens, of Missouri. Typesetter, telegrapher, riverboat pilot, newspaperman, and author of several amusing tales, some of which were bound and sold to an unsuspecting public.

The reports of his death, alas, are not the least bit exaggerated.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:43 PM | Comments (2)

eBay Stuff!

Despite the fact that a lot of people seem to have trouble with eBay sellers, I am happy to report that I am happy with yet another selection from one of the sellers there.

I can't remember if I posted on this, but a couple of weeks ago, Oldest managed to rip the passenger side mirror off the Focus before even getting out of the neighborhood. She reported it to my executive officer by telling her NOT that she had hit something, but only that "THE MIRROR IS HANGING OFF THE SIDE OF THE CAR!!"

They just do that occasionally, perhaps.

Anyway, after I got home, the big scuff mark on the front side of the mirror indicated that gravity had received some assistance in pulling the mirror from its mooring in the form of a solid object of some sort, about mirror high. Of course, Oldest could not even BEGIN to think HOW this could have happened, insisting that she couldn't remember hitting anything or even coming CLOSE to anything.

Fine.

Fine, fine, FINE!

I lashed it back to the door frame with a couple of loops of clear plastic packing tape, and very nearly decided to just leave it like that so she'd be embarrassed enough to QUIT HITTING THINGS.

But cooler heads prevailed, and I decided to order a replacement. After finding out that Ford factory parts are apparently made of some sort of gold-dust infused styrene, I figured eBay would be a good source. Found one that was $29 ($14 for the part, $15 for shipping) which is almost 20 bucks less than ordering it from Dearborn. And since I can put it on myself (being all handy and stuff) I don't have to pay the mechanic $60 more for that.

But still, without being able to see it in person, you're sorta at the mercy of the seller, so I was quite pleased yesterday when the box got to the house, and the mirror was a very high quality part, shipped in a sturdy box, and inside of the box bundled in its very own little flannel sack, and with the tall triangular sail piece that fits up the window frame covered with a nifty little rubber bumper.

Very nice.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:47 PM | Comments (6)

"Smart feller, smart feller, I smella..."

Look! Via the ever-efficient Jordana Adams, a quiz I can do real good on!

You paid attention during 97% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

And no, I didn't cheat.

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

Well, nothing in this for me...

...other than to sit and be somewhat cheerful as our cross-state opponents continue to dig themselves ever-deeper into a hole.

But this seems to be the story of the moment: Newspapers: Bama seeks talk with Spurrier about head coaching job

I really hate to say this, but despite all my silly trash talk about "Spurrier" being just another name for "Beelzebub," I really have come to have something approaching respect for him the past few years. I think his humiliation at professional coaching focused him and made him a better coach at the college level. He seems to have matured greatly from the experience and this has allowed his natural talent to shine better. He is a formidable talent no matter what college he coaches at, but I have to take him at his word when it comes to the 'Bama job.

He's been courted and passed over before, and that must be more than a bit galling. With the pressure to perform and the general level of distaste amongst Alabama fans for his past successes, it would be a hard job to enter and do well at. And having witnessed how the Bama faithful have treated the past seven coaches (each of whom was seen as the Second Coming of The Bear), it's almost a recipe for disaster to come into the program now.

Maybe that's just wishful thinking--Auburn playing a Spurrier-coached Crimson Tide will most DEFINITELY not see a repeat of the five-finger salute, so maybe I'm just hoping he'll stay at SC where there's not as much potential for mischief. But I can't fathom why any successful, mature, stable, highly-compensated coach would take the Alabama helm, unless he had some sort of killer golden parachute. Maybe they're willing to offer it to Spurrier just to get him, but as with every other coach since Bryant, one too many mistakes, and everyone will be calling for his head no matter how much they might be slobbering to get him now.

The game has changed. Parity is the deal now, and it's nearly impossible to have the sort of dynastic programs that once ruled football. You can't bring 150 boys with you on road games. Everyone has the same number of scholarships. There is more pressure for athletes to actually go to a school and graduate, meaning there are more talented players who follow what's not only best for them in sports, but academically as well. And the NCAA is much less willing to let the good ol' boy, wink-and-a-nod pass as a substitute for compliance.

Alabama was fortunate to have had one of the geniuses of football as its head coach for many years during a time when the structure of the game was much more wide-open, but were he coaching today, it's doubtful he would be as successful in bringing home national championships. He would also have been hard-pressed to have done much better with the team this year, given the impact of the NCAA sanctions against the team. That's why Franchione bailed a few years ago. There have been a couple of reports lately that he told more than a few people that Alabama would be lucky to have six wins this year because of the impact of the punishment. He got while the getting was good.

I guess my advice is to have some patience with whomever is finally chosen, and don't set an unattainable level of perfection based on an outdated model. Otherwise you're going to be going through the exact same thing in four years hence.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:11 AM | Comments (3)

Folks got a real sense of humor around here, you know it?

Write-In votes for governor

(AP) ó More than 12,000 voters in the governor's race cast write-in ballots. Some of those receiving write-in votes around the state included:

ē Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, an unsuccessful candidate for governor in the Republican Primary.

ē Loretta Nall, the Libertarian Party's write-in candidate for governor.

ē The late Shorty Price, a legendary Alabama football fan known for his sideline antics.

ē Former Gov. Don Siegelman.

ē Former professional basketball player Charles Barkley, who has expressed interest in someday running for governor in Alabama.

ē Former state treasurer and Public Service Commission member George Wallace Jr. and his father, the late four-term Gov. George Wallace.

ē Fired Alabama football coach Mike Shula.

ē Former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker.

ē Former President Bill Clinton.

ē Country music singer Alan Jackson.

ē Former Gov. Guy Hunt.

ē Birmingham radio talk show host Russ Fine.

ē Former Vice President Al Gore.

ē Former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow.

ē Actor/director Mel Gibson.

The dead people on the list do have the advantage of being potentially less troublesome to the ordinary populace than the live ones who eventually did get elected.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

They grow 'em big in Athens...

Athens officials discussing huge youth baseball project

It's nice someone is finally doing something for our huge youth.

(H/T Jimbo)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:57 AM | Comments (6)

Ask Dr. Possum

In addition to our regular Thursday Three below, one of our Downunderling brothers, Kitchen Hand, has a culinary-type question regarding the distinction between herbs and spices.

Sounds like the perfect place for Dr. Possum to waddle in and be the end-all source for accurate information!

Dr. Possum, known to occasionally pretend to be an agronomist when he's not pretending to be a medical doctor, is well-versed in making up all sorts of answers, so this one should be no different.

Dr. Possum is also a loyal taxpayer, and therefore would like to direct readers to the United States National Arboretum website, which is only one of many U.S. Department of Agriculture super-dee-dooper websites, where the peoples of the world can come and take advantage of our good nature and open pocketbooks for the best information money can be wasted on to produce!

According to the revenue-suckers:

What is the difference between a spice and an herb?

Spices are flavorings, often of tropical origin, that are dried. Most spices come from plant fruits, as is the case for mace, nutmeg, black pepper, and cardamom. Cinnamon comes from the bark of a shrubby tree, and ginger comes from the underground rhizome of a plant. Herbs, in the culinary sense, are leaves of plants that can be used either fresh or dried to season food. In the botanical sense, an herb is any plant that does not have woody perennial stems like a tree or shrub.

There you go--the OFFICIAL definition as determined by the most powerful nation the earth has ever seen. Disagree if you will, but realize that if you do, you run the risk of being invaded by hordes bespectacled USDA bureaucrats.

NOW THEN, anyone else have a question that needs answering? Dr. Possum is standing by (a little too close, if you ask me) and is ready to help with anything you need to know, be it of a botanic, organic, or comic nature.

*Dr. Possum is really a doctor, if we consider "doctor" a term of art rather than one of competence in a particular field. Therefore, use caution in actually using any advice proferred by Dr. Possum, in that it could cause inflammation, irritability, or massive explosions.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:49 AM | Comments (21)

If this is ThursdayÖ

Then this must be The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, the Worldís Most Popular Internet Question and Answer Blog Filler and Time Waster!

What probing inquisitories do we have for you today? Well, seeing as how we are now officially into the Unspecified-Holiday Shopping Season, our seasoned team of university-based question writers wants to know the following things about you and your gifting habits.

Remember that anyone is free to play along by leaving your answer in the comments below or by leaving a link to your very own festively-decorated blog!

So, here we go:

1. Are you good at letting others know what you might want or need?
2. Are you good at shopping for others?
3. How much of your shopping this year (purchasing or looking) is being done online?

Now then, put down your packages and get to work answering those!

As for my answers...



1. No, I'm terrible at it. I don't like to feel as though I'm begging for something. Second is that everyone who asks seems to be very disappointed when I am finally hemmed into giving suggestions that turn out to be very prosaic. Shirts, socks, toothpaste, stuff like that. No one wants to give that stuff for Christmas, but I like getting it anyway.

2. Pretty good for a guy, although the last few years I haven't been as successful with stuff for Reba. Clothes have to be tried on, she has so much jewelry (obviously not precious gems and stuff) that it's all over the place and she doesn't know where half of it is, she doesn't wear perfume, and like me, she generally doesn't wait to get something she wants until Christmas, preferring instead to go ahead and get it when she sees it. She's a lot better at gift-picking than I am, however. She puts a lot of thought into it.

3. A good bit--maybe up around 10 percent or so of purchases, with a lot more looking and reading reviews for stuff I'm thinking about getting.

So there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:11 AM | Comments (7)

November 29, 2006

Oh, and speaking of quiet professionalism...

Nothing says it quite like Space Pen.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:01 PM | Comments (2)

Ye shall have irony with thee alway.

Via noted scholar and Spitfire pilot Steevil, this particularly interesting website.

You know, there's something to be said for anyone studying theology who would consider buying a term paper online to use in one of their classes.

Not sure what, exactly, but it does seem like it would be a lot cheaper to just sell your soul to Satan.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:50 PM | Comments (2)

And then Munu blowed up.

Had a pretty good meeting this morning, despite the potential for disaster. We had a bigger docket than usual--21 cases--but still managed to finish up in an hour and fifteen. I remarked to one of the committee folks that theyíve spent a lot longer on half as many cases.

Overwhelming amounts of work tend to focus the mind, I suppose.

Then I got in here and shuffled reams of burdensome red tape and boilerplate, as well as some actual paperwork, and finally got free for a minute, which was spend finding out that it appears the volcano on Munu finally erupted and sank the entire island and the thriving civilization that once was built upon its verdant cliffs.

Oh well, serves Ďem right for building on a volcano, right?

Right.

Anyway, I donít know whatís wrong with mu.nu, other than itís probably something spam and server related, as it usually is.

SO, maybe after lunch someone will have cured things.

Nope.

Itís still down, [or, obviously, it was until it got fixed and was able to post this] and Iím not quite sure why Iím even writing this if thereís no guarantee that Iíll be able to publish it today. Maybe itís just a bad habit, like fingernail-biting, or screaming at people in elevators.

And to make things worse, Iím all bothered.

Letís just say last night was very long.

It started with a stop at Target (since itís on the way home) to pick up some mini DVD-Rs for the camcorder, some salad fixings, and a small can of sliced black olives. I like Target, but only because itís on the way home and has those particular items. Its low-price, high-design preciousness still irks me, though. They try so hard to be hip, but their general tone-deafness to the local market is still there, impossible to cover up.

Backpacks.

Iíve mentioned this before, but the schools around here all require clear backpacks in order to make sure students donít do something unsafe like sneak a gun into school in them (the safe way being concealed in their opaque and mean-looking long black overcoats). Sure, itís a stupid, non-helpful thing done to give the illusion of security, but whatever, they still have to have clear backpacks. And every year, the local Target gets in millions of backpacks, none of which are clear. So they hang there on the rack all year. Again, what-ever. Waste all the money you want, fellows.

But this year I noticed something that was even more compellingly idiotic.

A brace of backpacks with the wildly popular logos and insignias and hologram-protected indicia of the University of Oklahoma.

Okay, I realize they buy lots of things, and the buyers probably canít be expected to know that one college is different from another, or even if they DO realize that, realize that there are these things called ďconferences,Ē and that a school in something called the ďBig 12Ē is different from one in the ďSEC.Ē

But still, surely there has GOT to be someone, SOMEwhere in Target who might think to themselves, ďHey, you know, instead of trying to sell Sooner merchandise in our Alabama stores, why donít we try Alabama and Auburn opaque backpacks that few people will buy?Ē Or for that matter, ANY SEC school.

Anyway, the point is, it belies your image of hip trendy style-sense-omniscience when you canít even get the most basic things right.

And not only that, they gave up a long time ago having the guy with the tennis ball on a stick polishing up shoe marks. Slackers.

At least they DID have my mini DVDs and salad and olives.

Then to home, where the rest of the family was going to have a nice lasagna and salad. Oldest, on the other hand, had a dress rehearsal for the musical production sheís in, and last night was deemed by the playís director/playwright The Night People Could Come Video the Performance.

Which meant that I would not get to have lasagna, because I had to be at the theater at 6:30 SHARP! And it was now 6:10. Also, Boy broke the nose piece off his glasses and they needed to be fixed, and so I shoved them in my pocket with the idea Iíd drop by Wal-Mart on the way home and get them fixed after the recording session.

Maybe all thatís what made me even more susceptible to grouchiness, or maybe Iím just a fusty old coot with no humanity.

But I have to say, theater people are really off-putting.

You know, as an artsy-fartsy sort myself, I understand about pride of authorship and the whole artistry thing where youíre trying to do something bold and creative and worthwhile and meaningful and all that junk. I really do. I understand the elitism part of it--I mean, who wants to be part of something mediocre?

You play ball?

You want to win the championship.

You win the championship?

You tend to hold yourself a little differently because you did something no one else did--at least that year.

Those sorts of things--the artful presentation that makes a portrait something higher and better than a billboard, that makes a great piece of literature something greater than an assembly manual for a bookcase--those things are what make civilization.

But.

There is also something to be said for knowing your limitations. All of the pretentious high-handedness, the twee insipidness, the pseudo-intellectuality, the preening, the flightiness, the dithering ditziness, the overwrought flamboyant melodrama--all of the stereotypical affectations of Theater People--are not pleasant to be around even among people who are actually proficient at their craft, but even MORESO among people who arenít major leaguers.

Look, we tend to give geniuses a bit of leeway in such things, because of their genius. But merely copying their outlandishness and priggishness DOESNíT MAKE YOU A GENIUS, no more than pulling on a ratty sweater and wooling up my hair makes me Albert Einstein. Shouting to everyone in the theater that YOU are an author doesnít really mean you are. Spouting half-baked stupitudes such as ďhalf of acting is reactingĒ does nothing but make you look silly. And dangitall, when did it become REQUIRED that EVERYONE in a theater production has to act like catty twits like Jack on Will and Grace!? Does EVERYONE have to act like some shallow mewling hyperactive ponce? Men, women, gay, straight--do you ALL have to be trying out for the road company of La Cage?

For the life of me, I canít imagine Gary Cooper or John Wayne prancing around between takes talking in syrupy falsettos about shoes--and for that matter, I canít imagine it being done by a Katharine Hepburn or Lauren Bacall. Whatever happened to being a grown-up?

And speaking of grown-up, another beef I have is the same thing as it is with Target--if youíre going to tell me that youíre THAT good, shouldnít some of the more simple things, I donít know, SEEM A LITTLE SIMPLER TO GET DONE? You, Madame Directoress, keep screaming at everyone to ACT! yet you donít seem to notice that the soldier returning from abroad coming in the door has on desert camo fatigues, rather than his class A uniform, duffel, and a COAT. Since all anyone has done on stage is talk about how COLD it is outside, it just looks stupid. Can you not spend a few extra minutes to at least TRY to find something that looks right?

Oh, and this thing of being An Author. Look--call yourself what you want, but just remember that if you have to keep reminding people what you are, youíre probably not doing a very good job in the first place. Thatís why I have to keep reminding people over and over that Iím a tricycle. Also, it might be worth noting that when a little kid in the audience says the rehearsal is boring, it might not be the fault of all your nervous high-strung actors on stage. Might be the script, you know.

Thereís something to be said for acting like a professional, even if the production is strictly an amateur one. Maybe itís just me, but I always have believed the mark of a true professional is being able to do the most uncommon, difficult thing, and have it look so simple that even a simpleton could do it. No fuss, no fidgety, squirmy, mugging for effect--just git Ďer done. Itís quite irritating to see the opposite in play--where even the most simple tasks immediately elevate themselves to a hysterical crisis as everyone runs around flapping their hands and screeching and then congratulating themselves when they manage to plug a cord back into an outlet.

The worst part? Feeling like Iíve just shot someoneís puppy for even saying these things. I can picture thereís probably someone whoíll see this and start crying and flapping their hands and screaming about how unfair everyone is and how I couldnít act my way out of a paper bag. A big FATTY FAT paper bag, thatís WET THROUGH AND THROUGH WITH HOT TEARS OF ANGUISH! See, thatís the other thing--this idea that everyone wants all the adulation that they see stars getting, yet they donít want to hear criticism. Thatís when you hear all the excuses about it only being [insert lame excuse about, itís only community theater, the lack of funding for the arts, having to rely upon volunteers, evil creeping Republicanism, etc.]. It sure would be nice if theyíd remember all that stuff before waxing hyperbolic about their incredible talent and all. And to remember that talent is a better way of obtaining recognition than it coming as simply some sort of Theater Entitlement. Yes, I know--another puppy bites the dust due to my cruelty.

Anyway, I think itís a great show and full of great people who are the best in the world, and itís ALL right in my own little progressive, diverse, and forward-looking small town! RAVES ALL AROUND! KUDOS! LOVE IT! LuV iT! LOVE IT!

AS FOR THE FILMING ITSELF--yet ANOTHER RANT!!

Since there were a couple of cast members absent due to family emergencies (deaths in the family--people are SO INCONSIDERATE!!), we were told that if we wanted to, we might want to elect someone to come again on Saturday night (which was deemed to be the night when everything would probably be at its best) and set up ONE camera and make copies for everyone. Well, the heck with that--we were coming to the Thursday show, and a rehearsal video was actually good enough for me.

SO, as the other videographers were huddled in their little klatch, I just stood off to the side with my little tripod and camera and fidgeted with the buttons. That is, until I sensed someone right behind me.

Is there not ANYONE in America who isnít a living, breathing, stereotype!?

Pushy, rude, aggressive, nasally, full of self-loathing, condescendingly superior, able to dispense disdain and mawkishly induce guilt without the least bit of effort--I will say no more about him lest I be accused of harboring every anti-ism in the book.

ďHey--the other guys and I elected you to be the person to film on Saturday!Ē

He said this with the chipper nonchalance of someone used to giving people orders and having them carried out. Of course, his way of giving orders was by being chipper, so it made it look like a suggestion instead. As if I would just love to be at their disposal with MY equipment and be responsible for seeing to it that everyone got copies.

ďUh, no.Ē

He affected a dumbstruck air, as if he couldnít believe I wasnít going to be a team player.

ďWeíre not going to be here on Saturday--weíre coming Thursday night.Ē

ďAww.Ē

He said it with the type of inflection that you give to someone when they PROMISED to do something for you, and then backed out at the last moment, leaving you holding the bag, and yet youíre too nice to yell at them for being inconsiderate. All that with that one little word and that little downcast look and that slumping shoulder and that edge of irritation that anyone would dare not do what he said.

He stood there a second and then half-shouted to the others in the group that I wouldnít do it.

Hey, guy?

Hereís one for you, and one for the tiny horse you rode in on.

Oh, and that thing about being there last night at 6:30 sharp to start filming? Didnít start recording until after 7:30. Didnít finish up until after 9. Meaning I didnít get to go to Wal-Mart to get Boyís glasses fixed. Couldíve gone beforehand had I known there was going to be an hour wait. As it was, I had to try to epoxy the nosepiece back on after I got home. Grr.

You know, some nights, itís just best not to mess with someone who hasnít gotten to eat his lasagna.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:31 PM | Comments (6)

November 28, 2006

4.5 HSW CEUs!

Yay me! Knocked out about a third of my required hours for the year, and got a great big breakfast out of the deal as well! AND a Hilton ballpoint pen! AND a Hilton Post-it Note pad! And a big binder full of product information and CDs! And a lovely certificate suitable for framing!

All in all, actually not that uninformative. It was about stone. There's a lot involved in turning rock into stone, and then keeping it looking nice and stony after it's installed. The presenters--there were SIX of them--weren't all that scintillating, but they at least seemed to know what they were talking about. The second presenter was some girl who said she'd been warned to talk a bit slower (we hear slower here because we're so backward and stupid) but I swear if THAT was her slow pitch, her regular-speed work must be like listening to an Alvin and the Chipmunks record. The last girl I think was from Canada and had a pinched, nasally voice something like Edie McClurg, and had a bad verbal tic of saying "basically" and "okay" with just about every sentence. With her accent, it came out as "bazickly" and "m'kay?" It was distracting, but she was very nice otherwise, however.

Saw a ton of folks I know, which is odd. I usually run into a few, but in a room full of sixty or so folks, I figure I knew about half of them. Of those, I'd like to apologize to just about all of them because of my propensity to forget names of people. And not just people I've been introduced to once, but people I have contact with all the time. Generally, I just fall back on the old standard, "HEY BUDDY!" but with that many Buddies around, that begins to look a bit obvious.

Anyway, you got a question about stone, I can answer it. It may not be right, but I can answer it.

Got back here, and found that despite the fact that I don't seem to do anything productive, when I'm not here great wads of poop start clogging up the valves and tubes, and so I just had a very intense hour and a half of doing my office gymnastics/alligator wrestling/wildfire dousing routine. I hate doing that.

And now, more things to do, because I have to get ready for my usual off-campus excursion tomorrow morning, and it promises to be something like a collision between two trains full of nitroglycerine. Fun all around!

So, maybe tomorrow afternoon we can play some more.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:25 PM | Comments (6)

November 27, 2006

Okay, so I have a minute or two...

SATURDAY!

Up early, because it was the annual Raising of the Tree, in which the Oglesby family watch as Daddy climbs up into the Forest of Imagination and hews down a mighty plastic spruce and then slides it down the attic ladder in its convenient cardboard box, then everyone watches with admiration and delight as it is placed upon the Ceremonial Square of Carpet That Keeps the Tree Stand From Making Dimples in the Real Carpet, and then each of its 1800-plus individual branch tips are gently spread apart to herald the coming of Christmas!

It truly is a special time.

It was even MORE special when I took out the center section from the box, and one of the sharp wire edges of one of the 1800-plus individual branch tips decided to viciously attack the side of my left hand, leaving a nice two-inch-long gash extending from the life-line in my palm to the second joint of my pinkie finger.

YAY!! A bright line as red as Santa's coat opened up, and I spread much good cheer to all!

Nothing says "Holiday Magic" like self-injury.

Aside from that one mishap, the rest of the tree assembly, light-stringing, and decoration went off well, and everyone helped this year, which made it much nicer.

That done, it was time to go wrassle with real trees, as Boy and I made our second tree-lot appearance. I dressed much too warmly. It was probably over 70 degrees, and I had on a tee-shirt over a thermal underwear shirt, with a quilted good ol' boy vest over the top of that.

But at least it was another fun day--lots of sales and no rude people. Although you do sorta have to wonder who comes to a Boy Scout Christmas tree sale, picks out the biggest $60 tree they can find, and then ask if we'd take $55 for it.

"Uh, well, no--they're marked with the price they are, and we can't discount them."

Wouldn't have been quite so bad if they didn't drive up in a new Dodge Durango.

Anyway, a fun afternoon, despite the unseasonable heat and abundance of conifer sap and the appearance of Oldest at the lot, begging to be allowed to go to the movies and out to eat with some of her friends from the theater production. She'd ostensibly been up there all day long helping with the scenery, which I doubted, seeing as how her skill-set in handiness and helpfulness are rather lacking, but there she was now, wanting a favor. And money. A twenty seemed highly disappointing to her. Go figure.

The plan was dinner, then the 7 pm showing of Casino Royale, then home directly afterwards--no date, no passengers. Which I thought was fairly clear.

Boy and I finished up, headed for home, cleaned up, ate, made sure everyone else was ready for church on the morrow, then sent them to bed.

Mom and I stayed up a bit later, and seeing as how the house was nice and quiet and dark, well, you know.

That is, until I made the tragic error of bumping into the clock on the nightstand, which lit up with great big glowing LCD numerals

"10:21"

HEY!

"HEY! Reba--it's 10:30! She should have been home nearly an hour ago!"

Which resulted in a rude cessation of sporting about, and a phone call to the wayward. "But," you ask, "what good would that do if you're supposed to turn off your cell phone in a theater!?"

Because, my friends, Oldest refuses to turn off her phone, fearful that she'll miss a call. Not that anyone ever calls her, but it's a convenient way for her to brag about having a cell phone. Even though no one cares. ANYWAY, called, and sure enough, it rang. Then clicked over to her mailbox. So I redialed. Rang, and this time it was answered by a very embarrassed girl whose phone had gone off in the movie theater.

"Where are you?"

"Wehadtogotothelatershowbecausethey'dalreadygottentheirtickets!"

The only thing that saved her is that I could hear the movie in the background, and I knew there was an 8:00 o'clock show. "You should have called to let us know, Ashley."

"I DIDN'T HAVE TIME!!"

Oh, please. Anyway, she was told to get home forthwith after the movie was over, which she did, and was completely mystified why anyone--namely her fusty old father--would even be the slightest bit concerned that she wasn't where she was supposed to be, when she said she'd be there.

Imagine that.

After a short sharp interchange on the duty of notifying her parents of changes in plans (since that was indeed one of the primary reasons for allowing her to have a cell phone in the first place), and then it was finally off to bed with her.

Sunday? Well, my 3:00 is here, so you'll just have to wait a while for that, but it was much less involved and there was only the tiniest bits of angst involved.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:24 PM | Comments (0)

Saturday? Sunday?

It might be a while before you hear about them--I just got tagged to watch the desk while the secretary goes to lunch, and then I have meetings the rest of the afternoon, and then I have a continuing education seminar tomorrow until late afternoon.

Suffice it to say, more trees were sold, church was attended, things were done, and crises avoided. Mostly.

Anyway, let me go do all that garbage and I'll be back to you sometime in the future. Hopefully not the distant future.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:50 AM | Comments (0)

Not...

...that Friday was all that exciting.

Reba had to go to work, which meant she had to get up early. Which meant that I had to get up early to get her up early. Because alarm clocks apparently only work on one side of the bed.

Off to work with her, and then time to keep the youngsters entertained. Breakfast first, which was thin omelets and leftover muffins (for three quarters of the children, the last quarter of whom couldn't be bothered to get out of bed, lest she actually have breakfast, preferring instead to sleep in and then later complain that no one fixed her breakfast).

Off they went to bother the cat and various other kid things, and I busied myself with some housekeeping chores. Of a sort.

After our last campout, I didn't set the tent up to make sure it was dry, and so I decided to open it up in the garage and make sure it wasn't breeding mildew. Obviously, this was of great fascination to Catherine, who decided to help by walking around asking questions.

Good thing I set it up. The bigger tent was okay, but the smaller pup tent that Boy had used was still wet on the bottom. Also gave me a chance to change out the zipper pulls on the storage bag. I think the original tabs must have been made out of cardboard, judging by the way they snapped off so neatly in my hands the first time we ever unloaded the tent several years back. I've made do with little stubs since then, but finally got tired of that and looped some of the split rings you use for car keys onto the zipper shoes. That worked just fine, and looks almost like it was meant to be that way.

Tent dried, tent folded, tent packed, some lunch, and then it was about time for Boy and I to head over to the Christmas tree lot. Made a stop to drop off Rebecca and Cat at Grandmom's house, then stopped to get a soda.

"You know what, Dad?"

"What, buddy?"

"Grape is my favorite artificial flavor."

The things you learn...

Anyway, the tree thing is new to both of us, since he just joined the troop, but every year his troop sells trees as their only fundraiser, so everyone is expected to pitch in and help tend the lot and load trees and such, and this weekend was our first shot at it.

And it turned out pretty well. The thing to remember is always wear long sleeves and have a pair of leather gloves. And that people will tie just about anything onto the top of just about any vehicle. And that sitting around a Christmas tree lot for four hours is a good way to get to know your neighbors. And boys would rather play ball and chase each other than sweep needles or carry trees.

Fun afternoon, all things considered.

Home, clean up, eat supper, snooze, dream of SATURDAY!!

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

Well, first, a bit of advice.

Never be the wake-up caller of a guy who works the night shift.

Iíd gotten a note over the weekend from our very own Chef Tony who asked me to give him a call. This being bright and early for me, I didnít quite think about other people who arenít quite so bright when itís this early.

Such as, oh...Chef Tony.

Oops.

But if nothing else, it does raise the total number of bloggers to whom Iíve actually spoken to more than I can count with both hands and 2/5 of a foot!

ANYway, being that I successfully dodged a very large piece of cast iron that was flung at my head, I can fill you in on the details of the long weekend.

THURSDAY

Turkey Day, which started with laundry for some reason. Got up, watched the Macyís parade, got dressed and made ready to go over the Pinchgut and through the subdivision to Grandmotherís house sometime before lunch, and got to see everyone. Itís always nice to be the one no one remembers--Rebaís two spinster aunts, bless their hearts, still mistake me for Rebaís first husband. To whom she was married for only six months, before he met an untimely demise seventeen years ago. Oh well.

As for food, there was green beans, peas, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, sliced sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, cornbread dressing, turkey, ham, rolls, cake, pie, and, of course, gravy--both gibleted and ďplain.Ē ďPlainĒ being just as I described it last week, reeking of innards but more or less free of them, but with an extra helping of boiled egg bits. I passed. In fact, passed on most of the fare--I donít really eat large plates of food, despite being a big hefty guy, but I like food too much to be miserable from it. I had some turkey, some peas, some beans, a small piece of dressing, a little spoonful of sweet potato casserole, and that was it.

A bit of clean-up then, and then I got the special privilege of pushing Catherine in the swing!

Grandmom and Grandad have a swing they inherited when they bought the house that consists of a plank with a hole in it, knotted to a rope that is itself suspended from what looks to be an anchor chain wrapped around the trunks of two trees. I have tried swinging on it, but the plank is only about a foot long, which gives my ample and meaty hams only six inches of shelf space apiece.

Comfortable, itís not.

But Catherine, who enjoys the thrill of swings and bicycles and anything else giddiness-inducing, loves it, and wants nothing more than to be swung as high and as heartily as possibly. Which I did until we were both winded. Got her all the way up into an adjacent sapling, I did. Iím still not quite certain why thereís so much in the way around the swing--all kinds of wild hedge and spindly saplings and honeysuckle vines. Itís not so bad in winter, but in the summer it looks like snake paradise.

ANYwho, she swung (swang? swingeded?) until she was tired, then we went on a little hike through the woods behind the house. Which arenít really woods, but just the part of the subdivision that hasnít been built on yet. It was fun, though. I showed her some different trees and how they taught Jonathan to build a campfire and maple seed helicopters and we walked all the way up to the top of the hill where the bulldozed trail turned into a dead-end street.

It was really quite a nice afternoon, and then after a few more minutes spent watching the sky while laying in the grass in the backyard, we went inside to watch stupid Japanese cartoons! YAY CARTOONS!

To home, some leftovers for supper, some reading, and then to bed.

Because the next day was FRIDAY!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:34 AM | Comments (4)

That was quite pleasant!

A good holiday, about which you will get to read all of the infinitely tiny details after while. Staff meeting beckons! And there is that inconvenient detail of having to actually type up all of the infinitely tiny details.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:27 AM | Comments (0)

November 22, 2006

Well, THAT was a long day to end such a short week.

Not that it's over with, because it's not, but I thought I might as well go ahead and sign off for now since I have more work junk to get done. All of you have a wonderful holiday with your families, and tell them that you love them. I hope to see you all back here Monday, where you'll get to hear about a weekend spent helping sell Christmas trees.

It promises to be interesting, that's for sure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:06 PM | Comments (3)

So what have I been doing today?

Deleting comment spam mostly.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:37 PM | Comments (5)

Itís not ThursdayÖ

But if it were Thursday, I wouldnít be here, because Iím off tomorrow for Thanksgiving, and worse, we wouldnít get to have a Thursday Three (the Internetsís most popular time-wasting diversion!) Itís awfully difficult to have a Thursday Three today, since it is a Wednesday, but the week just wouldnít feel right without our usual set of probing, insightful inquiries.

SO IN THAT CASE, letís have us an Axis of Weevil Wednesday One!

Now, since itís close to Thanksgiving, we might want to ask the usual question about what youíre most thankful for, but in order to make it slightly different, letís do this--

What do you think other people arenít thankful enough for?

Everyone is free to play along (even if in you never had any Pilgrims and Indians) by either leaving your answer in the comments section below or a link to your very own blog.

As for my answerÖ



I donít think people in this country are sufficiently thankful for the simple fact that they live in such a bountiful and free country as we do. Now I know there are other people in other countries who think they have it better, and thatís fine--Iím all for having a competition to see who can have the best and most free country on the globe. Donít even have to shoot each other! But still, even if we were second or third, weíve still got a great big pile of people here who live richer, more expansive lives than anyone in the history of the world, and yet all they seem to do is want to complain. Or worse, to try to act like their OPPRESSED by being forced to live here.

Itís an odd psychopathy we have amongst some of our brethren. They see people across the world who truly are oppressed--subjected to daily humiliation and deprivation--and on some level recognize thatís not a good thing. But rather than try to uplift those people, help them break their shackles, these numbnuts pretend to be enslaved themselves. Thereís got to be some name for it, but the idea that somehow these folks who can speak from anyplace and say anything about anybody are subject to brutal suppression is silly on the face of it, and demeans those who truly are powerless. Why would you want to deliberately be unhappy? What in your makeup makes you think the only way you have value is to cloak yourself in pretend sackcloth and ashes? Why not take the true freedom you have and help other people, instead of trying to gnaw off one more little entitlement for yourself?

Itís a mystery.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:14 AM | Comments (11)

November 21, 2006

A post in which I quite possibly could lose my down-home Southern food snob street rep...

I was reading this post by the ever-lovely Jordana Adams about Thanksgiving foods, and after I posted my comment I realized I might have outed myself as someone not truly Southern enough to be lecturing others on the evils of sugared cornbread.

It's that part where I talked about giblet gravy.

My mother-in-law, God love her, is a child of a huge Depression-era farm family in which all of women (and most of the men, for that matter) can cook so well that they could go pro and make a fortune. And that's not hype. They are just that good.

But there is one thing my mother-in-law makes that gives me a particularly queasy heaving sensation to my guts every year--and sometimes twice a year if she makes it for Christmas dinner. That being, giblet gravy.

NOW I LOVE GRAVY, don't get me wrong. But I have my own way of making it that uses just the broth or drippings from whatever meat might be cooked, and it does not include any of the vital organs. No spleens, hearts, pancreases, gizzards, livers, kidneys, lungs, gall bladders, ovaries, testes, or buttholes. My mother-in-law (whom I hasten to add I love as much as my own mother), happily chops all of these things up into the mix when she's making her giblet gravy (with the possible exception of buttholes) and THEN, to make it even more wretch-inducing, also boils and chops up some nice egg into the mixture.

The resultant thick gray-brown liquid with the ever so delicate sheen of turkey schmaltz on top and lumps of viscera and glistening boiled egg whites looks just like vomit to me. And I must say, nothing tastes quite like filter meats after they've been sauteed and then ladled over a big piece of stuffing--it tastes just as good as it looks.

However, I am saved by the fact that if I ever DID throw up in my plate, I would be quite confident no one would be able to tell there was anything amiss.

Reba has tried over the years to explain to her mother that I'm not particularly fond of giblet gravy--or at least the more innardy parts of it. SO, in an act of incredible love, my dear sweet mother-in-law will occasionally remember to fix me my own small portion that doesn't have offal chunks in it. She does this by fixing a big batch, then pouring some of the liquidish part off. Which means that although it is usually clot-free, it still has that unmistakable odor and flavor of a processing house floor.

Now, it is quite obvious that beggars can't be choosers, so I happily consume my garbage-flavored gravy with great gusto and thank my hostess profusely for her accomodating nature, but I must ask you all a question.

DO the rest of you like giblet gravy made the way my mother-in-law does it? And does the fact that it gives me the heaves mean that I am not sufficiently Southern to be upbraiding others for their sins against grits and biscuits?

I humbly await your verdict.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:50 PM | Comments (24)

Well, Mr. Torquemada, your rťsumť is VERY impressive...

Water board slot may be filled.

(H/T to Dr. Smith, who expressed disappointment that he didn't even realize positions were available for the job.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

I promise...

I didn't have anything weird last night for supper, yet I was treated to yet another bunch of wildly improbable dreams.

At least one was pretty fun--I got to go visit fellow-Volvo owner Kitchen Hand down in Australia! It was quite nice, as they're going into springtime (unless Al Gore further messes things up). The trees were in full bloom and leaf--which being Australian trees, were completely different from anything I've seen outside of a Dr. Seuss book. Nice place they have there, though, even though it looks nothing like any of his pictures on his site. Big rambling farmhouse set on a slight rise, with what looked to be a goodly-sized 20 acre spread, or so.

And, of course, there were his vehicles. As noted, he has a bunch of Swedish iron in real life, but in my dream, it looked like he was collecting cast-offs from various Mad Max movies. One in particular caught my eye--I conjured up an early-'70s Aussie version of a Chevy El Camino made by the GM subsidiary Holden. They actually do have these down there that go by the model name of "Ute," but this one I don't think anyone ever thought of. It had a pickup truck bed like an El Camino or Ute, but then forward of that, it had four doors. And it was a convertible. And between the seats was a gigantic big block Chevy with a blower on top. Apparently, one of Kitchen Hand's relatives made it. For some reason.

Anyway, it was a lovely visit and I got to meet everyone, and commented on how nice and warm it was down there this time of year. Sadly, they did not feed me.

Then I was back in high school, and we were having classes in the school even though it had been shut down and there were no lights on and the hallways were full of junk that looked like it had been there for a hundred years. And wouldn't you know it, I couldn't remember what class I was supposed to be in, AND couldn't find my book, AND couldn't remember which one was my locker, AND I was running late to class, AND I couldn't figure out why I still had to go to school when I was a full-grown adult.

It was not very nice at all.

I'm hoping tonight won't be quite so involved.

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

Maybe this should be in the Peeved Tuesday post below.

And to make it worse, it's old news, too. ANYway, I see that the US Mint is now going to start a new program of Presidential $1 coins.

You know, I have collected the 50 State quarters now for the past few years, and the Lewis and Clark nickles, but frankly, I'm getting tired of whatever bunch of silly dressmakers and interior decorators who are running the Mint who keep coming up with all this commemorative crap designs for the money supply. Is there any reason why we can't just have a nice, dignified, substantial, dollar coin that doesn't look like some sort of prize giveaway from an amusement park? And that doesn't change every three months?

AND ANOTHER THING--this sudden fashion for using full-face images on the obverse side of the coin. THIS DOES NOT WORK! Sure, in a monochromatic, two-dimensional representation, it looks just like an engraving on a note--but coins are THREE-DIMENSIONAL. What looks good head-on looks absolutely stupid in any other viewing orientation. The Sacagawea and the Swishy Jefferson nickle both suffer when seen on edge--they both look like some kinds of smooshed extraterrestrial aliens. Furthermore, coins are REFLECTIVE--the wrong light makes all that detailed relief go right away. There is a reason that coinage generally makes use of profile relief (or full-front relief with no sideways glances, such as a St. Gaudens $20 gold piece)--it LOOKS BETTER. Sure, you can do other views, but none of them work as well as a simple profile.

AND FINALLY, whatever they're using for these "golden" dollar coins (here it is--manganese brass) oxidizes badly--they look like some kind of play money after a few months of use. In fact, they look bad if you just leave them sitting on a desk.

Okay, Mint people--in the future please make coins with artwork that recognizes the limits and advantages of your medium, design something that suggests the stability and permanence of the currency, sculpt something for the portrait that captures the dignity of the person depicted, and use a metal that has some heft and quality, and quit these incessant programs designed to make our money like stamps. Is that so danged hard?

Grr.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

Purty!

As I mentioned yesterday, I do have some photos of the weekend, and I did remember to bring my camera today, so here's a small sample of some thousand-word-substitutes. They are in the extended entry because the thumbnail-making function of MT is still not quite doing the right things, so I had to post the larger size versions of everything.

ANYWAY--


The first one is one I took Friday evening out the bathroom window at work. It was just so pretty I couldn't help myself. That's the Alabama Power building to the left.

sunset.JPG

Now then, some camping photos--here's Boy after we got some breakfast:

sip.JPG

And here he is at camp. In this photo, he is bothering a small piece of wood.

firewood bothering.JPG

This is something I didn't notice until I was reviewing the pictures later, but in this one, I was actually taking a picture of a couple of other of the boys with their stack of firewood, and way over to the far right of the photo in the background, it appears my son is auditioning for American Idol. Or screaming at a stick. Or something.

oddfellow.JPG

Here's a shot from the tent area, across the creek, toward the small eating pavilion and outhouse. The Oglesby Odyssey (far left) did very well as a camping vehicle, although not particularly designed for that purpose. I was somewhat concerned about the road out of the campground, which was steep, and paved with gravel ruts. Traction control is a godsend, folks.

camp.JPG

Sunday morning, you will notice Boy is wearing a bit more clothing than he was Saturday afternoon. I'm just glad he packed something warm this time.

chillyboy.JPG

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:04 AM | Comments (9)

Well, give 'em credit.

I hate to direct anything positive toward international illegal drug operations, but still, you have to give some credit to the ingenuity of the guys who built this thing.

Makes you wonder what they could accomplish if they'd direct that energy toward something a bit more socially uplifting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (4)

You know,

I really like the canned pork shoulder and ham product with the brand name Spamtm. I know some people don't, and for some people with dietary restrictions, it's a no-no, but I really do like it. But for the past two days, Possumblog has been inundated with comment spam, and it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and to make it worse, Mu.nu's servers have been overloaded so that the e-mail notification has been down, which means this junk tends to pile up to the point that you have hundreds of spam messages to delete, and without the handy despamming tool you've grown accustomed to, it takes forever, and THAT makes me mad, too.

I hadn't intended on having Furious Tuesday this week, what with Thanksgiving only two days away, but @^@%!* it all, I've got my blood all angried up and I have to let off some steam.

I also would like to suggest I would be much less put off by looney Muslims if they'd do something useful with their mad jihad skilz and issue some fatwahs against spammers. Just a suggestion.

ANYWAY, do YOU have something making trouble for you this morning? Unload here your angrified rant, but please remember to not launch into a racial-slur laden tirade if anyone heckles you. Just remember, using @^%!$&&*! instead of the alternative will save you a world of apologizing.

SO, have at it, Ticked Off People!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:21 AM | Comments (4)

November 20, 2006

Anyway, as I was saying...

...it's been much too busy around here this morning, but at least I did get to take a nice lunch break and go eat with Pam the Liberal. Oddly enough, not a bit of politics this time, other than of the office sort. Good food, too--at at the meat-n-three over at the AmSouth Regions-Harbert food court--where I was pleasantly surprised to see behind the cash register the lady who sometimes works over at the Chinese place. She's so nice. Different hair today, too--sort of a chestnutty-with-highlights. Must be her winter look.

ANYway, got me some green beans and squash and chicken and some good conversation. And then had to get back out in the wind.

Good night a'living, I don't see how people in places like Chicago and Buffalo live there. It's not that cold today, but the wind is howling and somehow managing to come from every direction simultaneously. I don't mind it being chilly, but I can't stand cold wind. Makes me cry.

It was cold this weekend, too. There was some wind, but I think it was only getting up its strength for today. Nice place, though. Just a short jaunt from home, we stayed at a place called Camp Rushton. Bright sunny days on both Saturday and Sunday, and the only slightly off-putting things were that it seemed to be awfully damp for there not to have been any rain lately, and I would have preferred a wood privy seat instead of steel.

The boys had a fire building class and a lost-man drill after we set up camp, and managed to cook beef stew for supper Saturday night and eggs and bacon and grits for breakfast Sunday. All that food-buying I did was for naught, however--turns out the boys had cribbed the adult menu, and it had a bunch of stuff on there that was already part of the stuff they keep in the troop's chuckboxes--salt, pepper, sugar, mustard, ketchup, and junk like that. However, I didn't know this, so I wound up buying a lot of stuff that wasn't needed. Second, I bought for four people in Jonathan's patrol. Only two of his group showed up.

BUT, I figure now that we've got that stuff, we can keep it in a box in the garage. I've long wanted to have an emergency supply box that we could load up in the van, but never did get around to getting everything together in one handy location. I've had tons of stuff, but it has always been scattered to the far corners of the house, and to have gotten it all together quickly would have been difficult to do.

Turned in about 10:30 Saturday, and aside from the two previously mentioned dashes to the outhouse in the middle of the night, I stayed acceptably warm. Of course, that changed when I poked a body part out of the sleeping bag. The little heater I got worked nicely as a sock warmer, though, and kept the chill bumps at bay as I got my clothes on. It'll also make toast! YAY TOAST!

Going back to the subject of cooking, it was a good experience for Jonathan, who'd apparently never peeled a potato before. I handed him a potato peeler and went back to what I was doing, then turned around to see him holding the blade and taking tiny little nicks out of the potato skin. He now knows how to peel a potato. Heaven help him.

As for other diversions, we did listen to the Auburn-Alabama game (and kudos to Miss Wendy for her very close prediction) but it was hard to do. The boys have attention spans honed by years of video games, and it's hard to get them to just shut up and listen to something, so they yammered for a long time then dispersed and went off wandering around. Which was fine by me--at last I could finally listen to the thing. Sounds like it was another typical game for both sides--Alabama running up and down the field and not being able to score enough points, Auburn managing to score enough even though they shouldn't have been able to, at least on paper. Chalk it up to good coaching and players who keep their wits, I think. In any event, thanks from the Auburn family to the University of Alabama for spending so much money on their new facilities--they seemed to have made the Tigers' stay much nicer and more pleasant. But please, bottles go in the trash. Quit messing up our--I mean YOUR--stadium.

Anywho, we had breakfast Sunday, then a short devotional in front of the fire, and then it was time to hit the road--the Scoutmaster made the call to break up early because it was so cold and windy.

Back to the Scout house, unload, then to home, lunch picnic-style with the girls on a blanket spread on the den floor, then unload the van. Sure was easier when help was available--Boy was so glad to be home that he couldn't be dragged from the den to unpack much of anything.

Go upstairs and scrub off the smoke, get ready for church, then to Arby's for supper, where the Korean or Chinese manager was a whirlwind of incoherent efficiency. He made sure everyone was on top of things and the food was served hot and fast through the use of a barely intelligible stream-of-consciousness patter that sounded like some sort of cross between Shecky Greene and a propaganda film. Whatever works, I suppose.

Home, kids to bed, me to bed, where whatever I ate from Arby's gave me explosive gas as well as lurid, feature-length Technicolor dreams. There was one part there where I was trying to outrun someone who was poking along one of the convoluted sidestreets around here, and I took a wrong turn and wound up going up an alley beside a parking garage where someone had parked three beat-up American Motors cars--a Javelin, a Gremlin, and an Ambassador sedan--all with identical red, white, and blue livery. Now, AMC did have a program back at the turn of the '70s when they would deliver cars for racers with this sort of paint scheme, but I hardly think an Ambassador was part of the program. But in my dream, I thought, "Hey, I bet these things are RARE!" After I reached a dead-end, I went inside the parking deck and spent hours rummaging through a series of stores that had all sorts of weird, off-beat, military surplus stuff for sale, and then found myself in some kind of concourse where Robert Goulet walked by wearing a hideously bright red and white track suit that had "Design Review Committee" emblazoned on the front and back. I thought, "Hey, that's Robert Goulet, and I never knew he was on the Design Review Committee!" He walked back by later and had on big black aviator shades, which I figured were to keep people from noticing him.

Sometime later, I found myself at a lake, and there was this absolutely gigantic AMC Rebel there. Yes, I know--it's very peculiar that I kept dreaming of American Motors cars. Anyway, this one was like a supersized one--there was someone else there and I was trying to show them how wide it was, and when I looked in the side window, it was like looking from the front of a bus to the back it was so wide. The explanation was simple, however. It was actually a boat. Made by welding two Rebels side to side to create one double-wide homemade car-boat.

Then, we went to a football game, which I thought would be problematic since someone had dumped huge piles of dirt and rocks in big mounds all over the field. No one else seemed to think anything amiss, however.

Through it all, I kept embarrassing myself with loud, rumbling, thunderous, gaseous discharges, but again, no one seemed to mind in any parts of the various dreams. It was not until this morning that I realized that was the one part of the whole dream experience that was actually happening throughout the night. I figure none of the kids or Reba complained because they'd been rendered unconscious.

Anyway, I suppose it'll be awhile before I ever order another one of Arby's corned beef reuben sandwiches with a side of jalapenos.

So, that was pretty much it for the weekend. I do have a few photos (of the campout), but as usual, I forgot to bring my camera in today, so you'll have to wait until tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:51 PM | Comments (5)

Boy, I have a LOT to do.

More later, but the short story is that the campout went fine, aside from it being cold and aside from having to make not one, but TWO runs to the privy in the night. I hate that.

Anyway, let met get this other stuff put aside this morning and we'll play in a bit.

Oh, and by the way...


celebration711.jpg
David Irons shows the thumbs .

Photo by Linda Stelter


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

November 17, 2006

Another weekend...

...another campout.

Yep, Boy of the Scouts has yet another wilderness jaunt planned this weekend, and Dad gets to tag along and bring food for his patrol. Luckily, it looks like they're only going to have about three or four boys in his group so it's a bit less moneysome to keep them provendered.

And it should be a bit more comfortable for me this time, too, since I've reassembled a bunch of my old camping stuff I'd misplaced, gotten some new-old stuff, and got something to cook on. Should be pretty fun, and this time I have the tent all to myself since he has to stick with his patrol buddies.

SO, packing up tonight, heading out tomorrow, and be back on Sunday after church, hopefully still with Boy and a feeling of relaxation. I intend to take a book this time so I'll have something to do, lest I find myself having to participate in actual physical exertion.

Other news?

Well, this has been Rebecca's first week of soccer tryouts for the high-school team. Yes, she's only in the eighth grade, so it's doubtful she'll get to play much, if at all. At least right now. But she is REALLY looking forward to it, and has done quite well this week by her accounting of things. That's good--she's able to do this and still get her schoolwork done, which is what caused her to drop club soccer in the first place.

Let's see--Oldest is still doing the musical rehearsal thing, as well as her usual job of being a horse's rear-end toward her younger siblings, to her parents, to her grandparents, to people at church, to people at school, to people in general. Lot to be said for consistency, I suppose.

Youngest continues to be her usual bouncy self. Wife continues to be her usual bouncy self, except when driven to exhaustion and collapse by her workplace, which seems to have more than its share of incompetence and drama. Kitty continues to be a cat.

And me?

I have no idea. But the idea of going off in the woods sounds pretty good.

Anyway, all of you have a wonderful weekend, and I'll do the same, and then Lord willing come Monday we'll all get together and swap stories.

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

Technical Fubar

IN case you've noticed, I haven't been my usual comment-answering self today. The reason is that apparently the thingamajigger that sends me an e-mail when someone drops a comment is on the fritz, meaning people have been commenting all day without any corresponding correspondence from me.

Now some people are very hands-off when it comes to comments, but I like to chit-chat in there and it often leads to much funnier content than the actual post.

Anyway, that's why the lack of interaction today.

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

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor being stacked up with a whole bunch of work-related stuff that I really SHOULD be doing...

...can prevent THE SEASON FINALE of Possumblog Sports Center from kicking off! So let's hook up our earpieces and our lapel mics and get right at it!

As we all know, tomorrow is the game most eagerly awaited by all true football fans across this great world of ours--the colossal, super-fantastic, neato-keen contest known as the Auburn - Alabama game!

That's right, the Iron Bowl!

First played in a small park in the Lakeview neighborhood, just to the southeast of where our studios are located, the year 1893 saw the birth of sport's greatest spectacle as the fearsome Tigers of Alabama Polytechnical Institute beat down a bunch of fops, bounders, and cads from across the state by a score of 32-22.

And now, 113 years later, it has now come time for the 71st meeting between the schools. The two schools did not play each other for a 40 year break after a viciously fought tie in 1907, but the series resumed in 1948, and Saturday will mark the 59th renewal of hostilities. (Which is something of a misstatement, since The Game is actually played all year long by people with nothing better to talk about.)

In any event, the rapscallions of the Druid City currently hold a 38-31-1 advantage over the Gentlemen of the Plains, but the thing that makes this year of some importance is the fact that 15th-ranked Auburn (9-2, 5-2 SEC) currently has skunked the Bammers (6-5, 2-5 SEC) for the last four straight years.

As I predicted at the very first of the year, after last year's four-fingered victory taunt by Coach Tuberville--

one for the thumb.jpg

--the Bama Nation has been inflamed with a desire to give the Tigers a quite different finger to cogitate upon. Now, I will admit that I had much higher hopes for the Crimson Tide at the start of the year than they have demonstrated. I believed with everyone settled in and calmed down, they would have dominated this year and been much more victorious. One would think that a 9-3 team playing a struggling bunch of Six'n'Fivers would have nothing to worry about.

BUT ONE WHO THOUGHT SUCH A THING WOULD BE WRONG!

Oh, sure, the sportswriters like to point out the obvious things: Better team usually wins. (Thanks for that insight, Sparky!) But fans, the difference between "usually" and "always" is why they play the game, and that's the thing that makes all this so intense. Sure, Alabama might be craptastically inept, but as we all saw last week, even a wobbly opponent such as Georgia can suddenly call upon its will and determination (and an obvious deal with Satan) to turn completely around and do every single thing right. Likewise, even a good and luck-prone team can find itself performing so poorly that it could have done equally well had it stayed on the bus.

For this game, there's much more riding on it for the Tide, at least to hear their fan chatterings--a win might keep the young Shula boy at the head spot for another year, for instance. A loss? All bets are off--he might go, he might stay, but a loss would lead to a LOT of yowling and bitterness and whoopity-doo. Some have said he should maybe look into the NBA.


"Never Beat Auburn."

Heh.

Hehehehhheee.

BWAWWWHHHAAAHAAAAAAAAHHAA!!

Ahem. Sorry.

We are scrupulously non-partisan here at Possumblog Sports Center.

Anyway, another factor at play here is the dismay at being the butt of all that japery from the Auburn crowd--those ill-mannered bunch of cow-college upstarts who only have one national title to their credit. That tradition of championships means a lot to the folks in Crimson, and to be fair, it means a lot to this state, in that over the years it has generated a lot of favorable press--something quite rare given our ability to shoot ourselves in the foot with the media continuing to feed us ammo. So five in a row would be a bitter, bitter, pill.

As for Auburn's stakes in this, there's a bit less pressure. Our two SEC losses guarantee us no chance of anything more uplifting than an attaboy, and they further had the effect of eliminating us from the chance to play a BCS bowl. A win won't make us go up much at all, a loss would drop us down, but we know the post-season won't have quite the charm we thought (however briefly) it might once have had. And a loss is much easier to take if it results in a 9-3 season. If the shoe were on the other hand, and it led to a losing season, well, THEN someone might be hopping on a plane again and trying to recruit Bobby Petrino.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT, what's the actual deal here?

I don't know.

I think Alabama must win; I think Auburn has shown a great deal of weakness of late; it is a home game for Alabama; Auburn really is a better team this year in spite of the obvious weaknesses; Alabama has shown flashes of brilliance all year and some of their losses could have just as easily been narrow wins--like Auburn's have been; Auburn wants a thumb; Alabama doesn't.

Who knows what this all this will mean?!

I DON'T! Even looking at the cheerleaders does no good. (At least in predicting the outcome--they do make me feel happy all over, though.)

So, what does one do when he's unable to predict an outcome?

CONTACT A CELEBRITY!

As is usual with our Iron Bowl Coverage, we've brought in noted Auburn alumna and local media cutie Wendy Garner to supply us with a prediction!

"Hey Wendy--just wondering if I'm going to be able to get a special celebrity prognostication for the Iron Bowl score this week! Readers across the globe anxiously await your prediction, you know."

wendy g.jpg

"Quit contacting me or I'll call the police!"

Such a merry jokester!

After several more attempts, I can now report that The Official Wendy Garner Iron Bowl Prediction is...






wendy g.jpg

AUBURN 21 -- ALABAMA 17

Say you're not content with just ONE celebrity fortune teller?

WHAT SORT OF FIEND ARE YOU!?

Well, I don't know, but I anticipated that maybe the ladies in the audience would appreciate a little eye-candy as well, so we contacted noted psychic advisor James "The Amazing" Randi!

As I usually do, I sent him a long and someone crankish sounding e-mail begging for a celebrity prognostication, reassuring him he had plenty of time to consult various oracles and feel around in amongst some goat entrails.

He wrote back to say:

"I regret that my oracles are badly inflamed, and my goat died last monthÖ

James Randi."

That's pitiful. Not to be overcome with some made-up sob story, though, I told him to buck up and start spouting off some of that otherworldly advice he's so famous for, with the thinly-veiled threat that if he didn't, I could just as easily make something up. TO WHICH he replied:

"You just don't care about the poor goat?

James Randi."

Maybe if we were playing Navy, but other than that, no. BE THAT AS IT MAY, I have it on good authority that if James Randi actually cared, his prediction would be...




AUBURN 121 -- ALABAMA 6

So there you have it sports fans, another win for the Tigers seems certain! Game kickoff is at 2:30 pm Central, with television coverage provided by See B.S.

BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL!!

There is the matter of the final malicious, mean-spirited taunt of the season! It has the benefit of at least putatively being a TRUE STORY.

I've waited since the Summer 2006 edition of Auburn Magazine hit my mailbox to tell this story, wallowing in anticipation of reprinting it here. Now, I have no idea if I'm violating copyrights here, and if so, I do apologize and remind everyone that as a Life Member of the Alumni Association and having foregone many opportunities to make use of the hospitality tent, I figure by all rights it won't hurt if I lift this little paragraph and use it here. Especially since it's funny.

ANYWAY, having dispensed with all the legal technicalities, here goes. This was in the article entitled 'War Eagle' Moments--AU flag-wavers tell their best tales:

And last but not least: A bum rap for 'Bama

Since our compilation of War Eagle moments began with a recounting of the battle cry's dubious origin, we leave off with another seemingly unlikely story--not that we question the truth of the tale:

Gulf Shores resident Bob Grant '75 dragged a University of Alabama alumnus along with a couple of AU buddies to a golf outing in Nashville, Tenn., for the Tigers' meeting with Vanderbilt several years ago. The "Bammer" was haranguing the AU alums about the battle cry and admitted he was puzzled by how enthusiastically their "War Eagles" were returned by total strangers. The trio tried to explain the mystique of the words "War Eagle" to no avail. Annoyed, their 'Bama-loyal friend spied a derelict in an alley and yelled "War Eagle!" to the bum. "You ain't gonna believe this," says Grant, "but without hesitation, the poor old guy hollered back 'ROLL TIDE!'"

BUT WAIT, THAT'S STILL NOT ALL!!

In the spirit of open-heartedness to our foes this week, the Possumblog Sports Center has decided to honor a Crimson Tider as our Possumblog Student Athlete of the Week!

This high honor is reserved for those students who show leadership both in the classroom as well as upon the field of competition, and our selection this week is none other than lanky 5-10 guard, Alyson Butler. The winsome blonde freshman from Cleveland, Tennessee is just now beginning her tenure with the Tide, but her high school credentials from Walker Valley High mark her as quite the brainy lass, with recognition as a member of the National Honor Society, Beta Club, FCA, Anchor Club and the Circle of Champions, in addition to being her class president, the class beauty, and on the Valentine Court.

SO best of luck to you in your Crimson Career, Alyson, and congratulations on being named the final PSAotW for the 2006-07 season!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:14 PM | Comments (0)

KITTY!

Well, he seems to have recovered from his recent trip to the doctor that left him a few grams less heavy in his hinder portions, and is back to ripping around and doing the things cats do.

Such as--


Drinking out of the frog:

frog spit.JPG

--and looking bored and distant:

neezing.JPG

Thankfully, he seems not to care too much about chasing mice. There was a big one in the kitchen last night:

kittymouse.JPG

Catherine had a play at school yesterday morning, and filled the role of Squeaky, a mouse who helps this big lion with some sort of podiatric distress caused by an imbedded thorn. (Her mouse-ear-like hair styling is by Terry of Trussville.)


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:54 AM | Comments (5)

November 16, 2006

And while we're a'taunting...

This little gem from James Joyner.

As the kids say, "pwn3d!"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:55 PM | Comments (9)

"Taunting," you say?

Oh, we HAVE some of THAT around here--it being the lead-up to the big game this weekend pitting the fearsome Auburn Tigers against the puny weaklings of the Alabama Crimson Tilde, we have been brutal and ceaseless in our japery and mean-spirited humiliation directed toward the T-towners, and they have withered before the onslaught of vicious wit!

I would give them a big pile of rejoinders today, but I don't want to punish them too severely. I also have a bunch of work left to do and I don't have time to do too much.

THANKFULLY, our friend Nate McCord sent along a singularly stinging rejoinder that puts the Rammer Jammers in their places.

Actually, it's funny to the point that it's good no matter if you use Alabama or Auburn as the butt of it, but don't let anyone know I told you that.

ANYWAY, here goes:

"That's My Boy!"

A young man was accepted to the University of Alabama, but after packing up and moving to Tuscaloosa, about 1/3 of the way through the semester, he found that he had foolishly squandered in various nightclubs along The Strip all of the money his parents had given him to live on. Being a clever boy, however, he got an idea.

He called his father on the phone and said, "Dad, you won't believe the wonders that modern education are coming up with! Why, they actually have a program here at Alabama that will teach our dog Ol' Blue how to talk!"

"That's absolutely amazing," his father said. "How do we get him in that program!?"

"Just send him down here with $1,000," the student replied, "and I'll get him into the course."

So, his father packed up Ol' Blue with the $1,000 and sent dog and dollars both to Tuscaloosa.

Although initially overjoyed with the receipt of this newfound wealth (since it meant the ability to party some more), once more before the next semester was even close to being over, the money ran out. Since the trick had worked so well the first time, the boy called his father once more.

"So how's Ol' Blue doing, son?" his father asked.

"Awesome, Dad--he's talking up a storm!" the son answered, "But you just won't believe this--they've had such good results with this program that they've started a new one to teach animals how to READ!"

"READ!?" his father exclaimed. "No kidding! What do I have to do to get him in that program!?"

Barely believing his good fortune, the son said, "Just send $2,500 and I'll get him in the class."

As before, the unsuspecting father sent the money, and the son had a wonderful time blowing every last cent of it. But now with two semesters gone, the young man had a problem because with the end of the school year, his father will now find out that Ol' Blue could neither talk, nor read.

So he shot Ol' Blue.

When the 'Bama student returned home at the end of the semester, his father was all excited. "Where's Ol' Blue? I just can' t wait to hear him talk and read something!"

"Dad," the boy said sadly, "I have some grim news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Ol' Blue was in the living room kicking back in the recliner, reading the morning paper, like he usually does. Then he turned to me and asked, 'So, is your daddy still messing around with that little redhead who lives on Oak Street?'"

At which, the father exclaimed, "I hope you shot that SOB before he talks to your mother!"

"I sure did, Dad!"

"That's my boy!"

HAH! Those wacky Bama fans!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:35 PM | Comments (2)

Customer Service Tips, Part 2.

Okay, let's say you're one of the largest camping equipment manufacturers in the world headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. (To preserve your anonymity, let's make up a name for you. Uhmmmm, how about something like Coldman. Yes, that's good.)

Anyway, let's say you also have a Canadian subsidiary (we'll call it Coldman-Canada), because you found out that people who live in cold places and talk funny like having camping equipment, too. You, being forward-looking, have embraced the Internet with a fierce devotion, so much so that you set up entirely different websites for your US and your Canadian companies. They even have two entirely different customer service telephone numbers, and two entirely different web-based customer service request forms! Neat, huh?

Well, except for one thing--this little charade of independence breaks down when someone actually TRIES TO USE the Canadian customer service system. Why? Well, it turns out there's only ONE customer service switchboard, and only ONE online customer service e-mail intake.

How do I know this?

Well, since Boy is now into camping, and since it's obvious we're going to need things to cook on, and since I don't particularly enjoy building fires, and since it's much easier to cook when you have an actual camp stove, and since camp stoves and such like can be expensive when purchased in a real store, I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF to explore the wonders of eBay to see what I could find.

Not being one to disdain old used things, I was not the least bit put off when I found a really nifty boxed set of propane powered "Coldman" appliances--a big two-burner stove, a lantern, and a heater--all for sale, and despite being at least 20 years old, more or less brand new in the box. Anyway, even if it was Canuckian in origin and old, it was fine by me--again, as long as it's more or less new, I don't really care how "old" it is. So, I bid on it and won it, and it arrived from the magical land of Prince Edward Island like some sort of time capsule. The stove may have been used three or four times, and cleaned after each use. Same for the lamp. The heater didn't even look used.

Everything is all there, although annoyingly enough, not the manuals. Well, no big whoop, right? RIGHT!

I went to the Canadian website, filled in all the information (except for "province," which is what they call states so they can act like they're different from us) and asked if they had a .pdf of the manuals they could send me.

Waited.

Finally got a reply back from customer service.

"The items are Canadian product so you might want to contact them for manuals for the items. Here is their website http://www.colemancanada.ca/?en."

Oops--sorry about that slip! Remember, it's COLDman we're talking about.

Well, okay--so the computer thing is the same for both divisions, and apparently NO ONE in the company realizes this!

I wrote back to the drone who e-mailed me, "Well, I DID go to their website and used the Customer Service page there. I suppose I should try their telephone number."

Off to their website again, got the "Canadian" number, and as I have already hinted at, when I started giving model numbers and such, the operator halted me and said she was in the US and that the model numbers I was giving her were Canadian models, and I needed to call the CANADIAN customer service line.

::blink::blink::

Okay, so NO ONE IN THE ENTIRE COMPANY realizes that there is only ONE CUSTOMER SERVICE PLACE!?!

Anyway, there's other places online to get this stuff, but it was awfully frustrating to go through all these motions expecting to talk to people who say "a" after every sentence, and then wind up back where I started, and apparently with a better understanding of how the place works than even the people answering the customer service lines!

Makes you wonder how they ever managed to corner the market on potentially explosive heating devices.

Oh, and by the way, "Debbie" wrote me back this morning in reply to my suggestion of using the Canadian telephone number, "Yes, you might want to go ahead and call the 1-800-387-6161 Canadian Consumer Line and anyone that answers can help you out."

Yes, they were just as helpful as Debbie.

Anyway, here are my tips:

1) If you only have one customer service center, don't act like you have two.

2) Let the people answering the phone know that you only have one service center.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (7)

Customer Service Tips.

Let's say you own a large architectural firm.

Your receptionist or secretary who is responsible for answering the telephone REALLY should have a sheet of paper in front of her that lists current projects and who's working on them, because if she doesn't, and someone calls to ask for the lead architect and he's not in the office, you REALLY don't want her to say when asked if there is anyone else working on the project, "Uhhmm, well, I guess there probably is."

Worse is when there's a pause afterwards, as if she's waiting for the caller to hang up.

To compound the consternation on the part of the caller (consternation that you've created by not having a handy project list nearby), it's probably best to instruct her when a caller asks if there's a way she could find out who, exactly, might be an alternative person with whom the caller could converse, that she not say something like, "Uhm, well, whoever it is might be out with Mr. Lead Architect."

Such obvious lack of ability and tact in the person who gives the public its first impression of the company reflects poorly upon your hiring decisions, Mr. Firm Owner. If you hire people like this to talk to the public, what sort of dimwits might you be hiring to design that new parking deck!?

So, in order, to help you out:

1) Have a project list of current projects nearby to the phone-answering person, with the names of everyone in the office who is working on each project.

2) Have those persons' contact information printed beside their names.

3) Have the telephone operator use the list when people call.

4) Have a sign-out sheet that lets the operator know when someone is out of the office, and when he or she will return.

5) If the project isn't current, instruct the operator to politely ask the person to hold, then have her ASK someone else in the office who might know something about the project, and have that person speak to the caller.

See, it's really rather simple.

Also might save you a bit of grief from your client on down the road, too, when they find out they're being delayed by some minor bureacrat who couldn't get the answers he needed because he couldn't find anyone at your company to talk to.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:29 AM | Comments (3)

Work!?

::sigh::

Yes.

Be back after while.

::grumble::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:57 AM | Comments (0)

Well, maybe she should redeploy to Okinawa.

Pelosi faces no-win outcome over Murtha

[Link updated]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:36 AM | Comments (0)

Myth! Myth!

ďYeth?Ē

Sorry, got Muppet fever for a moment there.

BUT WHAT BETTER WAY to lead into our ďSock-Puppetry VersionĒ of the world-famous Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Today we want to ask you three simple questions and expect highly detailed, well-though-out, laboriously researched answers in return. Or just any answers. As usual, anyone may play along--either leave your answers in the comment section below, or cutnpaste everything over to your own blog and leave a link.

NOW THEN, HERE GOES:

1) Who is your most favorite puppet character (and no, it doesnít have to be a Muppet), and why?

2) Did you have a favorite puppet that you owned as a child?

3) Do you ever engage in puppetry?

Now then, stuff your hand in a sock and start typing out those answers!!

As for my answersÖ



1) Well, I canít think of many puppet characters ASIDE from Muppets, mainly because I donít count ventriloquists, and that because I donít really like ventriloquists, because who walks around with another person sitting on their knee!? Anyway, I always liked Statler and Waldorf the best--

statler_waldorf.jpg

They were mean and grouchy and old and Wilford Brimley-esque, who happens to be my second favorite puppet of all time.

2) No, not really. I suppose I must have had one or two, but I canít really recall having any. I did have a few stuffed animals that I thought were much more fun.

3) Why yes I DO! I will take one of the kidsí (many) stuffed animals and do a little mime act with it. Catherine especially likes this and really gets into the interaction, forgetting every once in a while that Iím the one making it move. Such great fun, for both of us.

And for some reason, Reba likes this act, too. She has a few stuffed animals (being a little girl at heart) and every once in a while Iíll grab one and make it jump and walk and nod and look quizzical and mad and lonesome and stuff. Of course, this never fails to devolve into something less than wholesome, because I am the way I am, but even THAT still manages to get a laugh. And a slap or two.

So, there you go.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (11)

November 15, 2006

Rule #1

Always assume the gun is loaded.

Rule #2

Always keep muzzle pointed in a safe direction

Rule #3

Don't be an idiot.

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

Yet Another Round of Hateful, Cruel Taunting of the Opponents!

All of this scorn--how does the 'Bama Nation stand it!? Maybe they have more spine than I thought...

Nah.

ANYWAY, it's time once more to heap derision and insults upon those silly Tide Pride folks so that they'll be so humiliated that they won't even be able to tie their shoes or put on their helmets come Saturday.

First, one for young Mike:

Several years back after being hired as the savior of the University of Alabama legacy, Mike Shula had just moved into his new office and was sitting at his new desk when he heard a knock on the door.

Conscious of his new exhalted position, Coach Shula quickly picked up the phone, told the visitor to enter, then said into the phone, "Yes, Governor, I'll be seeing him this afternoon and I'll pass along your message. In the meantime, thank you for your good wishes, sir."

Feeling as though he had sufficiently impressed the young man who was now standing before him, he asked, "What do you want?"

"Nothing important, sir. I'm just here to hook up your telephone."

What a silly dunce!

Next up, this:

One afternoon an Alabama player was walking along and saw a little boy playing in his yard. As the Bama player got closer, he saw that the little boy was playing with in a small pile of dog poop. Somewhat taken aback, yet still curious, he asked the little boy what he was doing.

"I'm making myself an Auburn football player," the youngster said. Bursting with malicious glee, the Crimson Tider said, "OH, I see! And why are you building an Auburn player?"

""Cause I ain't got enough to build an Alabama player."

HAH! Take THAT!

Finally, a favorite from yesteryear:

An Auburn fan was hunting when he came across an exhausted Alabama fan sitting on a log with a huge buck at his feet. "Nice deer you got their, friend!"

The Alabama fan thanked him, but said, "It sure is gettin' heavy, though, and I'm tired somethin' terrible. Been workin' to drag him out to the road for nearly an hour."

The Auburn fan noticed that the Alabama hunter had been dragging the deer by the hind legs, and made a suggestion, "You know, if you drag him by his antlers, it'll be easier because his hair will lay down instead of raising up as you drag him.

With a look of utter contempt, the 'Bama fan bitterly mocked the Auburn fan and said, "You dummy--I'm tryin' to drag him OUT of the woods, NOT back IN!

Those wacky Bamsters!

MORE SCORN TOMORROW!

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

Speaking of lunch...

If you're about to eat yours, I wouldn't click here.

(Thanks [I guess] to Nate McCord)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)

Hmm...

Report: Scarlet fever spreads in N.Korea

Scarlet fever, eh? One imagines this will be styled by the North Korean press as The Glorious Glowing Red Socialist Workers' Rash.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

Wow, that guy's a LAFF RIOT!!

Annan criticizes global warming doubters

By CHARLES J. HANLEY
The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) ó U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the U.N. conference on climate change Wednesday that those who would deny global warming or delay taking action against it are "out of step" and "out of time."

"Let no one say we cannot afford to act," Annan declared, in a clear reference to those, such as the Bush administration, who contend that reducing global-warming gases would set back economies too much.

The U.N. chief lamented "a frightening lack of leadership" in fashioning next steps to reduce global emissions. "Let us start being more politically courageous," he urged the hundreds of delegates from some 180 member nations of the 1992 U.N. climate treaty. [...]

BWAHAHAHAAAAAHA--::gasp::wheeze:: Sorry-- ::hack:: Sorry, but hearing Kofi Annan lecture anyone about showing leadership and being politically courageous is about like Ted Kennedy lecturing someone on the dangers of drunk driving.

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

First they came for our hats...

City school board bans hats from basketball games

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) ó Hats off to the city school board ó at least during basketball games.

Board members voted Tuesday to ban hats from all basketball games at Austin and Decatur high school games this season.

Superintendent Sam Houston said a committee discussed banning gang-related headwear, but the board decided instead to ban all hats from games.

"It's a judgment call on what's appropriate and what's not appropriate, so we thought it was best to not allow any," Houston said.

Decatur High Principal Mike Ward said the rule is a return to the days when men didn't wear caps in a building.

"You can't distinguish between what kind of hat a person wears or that it's tilted in a certain way," Ward said. "Taking it off is a very easy way to regulate this problem."

The school board approved a $1 admission increase to $5 to offset the cost of doubling the number of security guards at games from two to four officers. The city's two high school gymnasiums hold about 1,200 people each.

Emphasis mine.

Well, see, the problem is trying to find an "easy way" to regulate a problem. Doing something the "easy way" as described above--a blanket restriction based entirely upon appearances--requires little thought, and as such, is rarely effective at getting the desired results.

You say you're too friggin stupid to figure out who the troublemakers are, and somehow you think that if you can't figure out all those wack cap-tilt codes, people intent on causing trouble can't find ANOTHER way to signal their intentions!?

Look ANYthing can be turned into a symbol--maybe the precious little dears will start wearing two different color shoes. Maybe they'll have on a shirt with one sleeve rolled up. Maybe they'll just come in and start a fight.

You want to know how to solve this?

Quit trying to be politically correct, and come down hard on anyone who starts a fight. Likewise, if your precious little snoogums decides to engage in a little turf battle, don't run to the television station and complain that he's being mistreated. Expect people to be decent and have fun, and then don't tolerate misbehavior by the ones intent on doing wrong.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:15 AM | Comments (2)

I have no idea.

Why did my wife take Jonathan and Catherine with her to Target last night?

She was ostensibly going to pick up some groceries for supper, but it never fails that she gets stuff that has been valued-up by all the people who think the public craves meat packed in tiny little pieces in a giant designer plastic tray with a twee logo and precious detailing and a price that borders on insanity.

Well, I guess some people DO buy that stuff, but I've never been one to care whether or not the store has Michael Graves-designed nose hair trimmers or not, and I'd rather not pay for all that preciousness when it comes down to time to buy foodstuffs.

But, sure enough, she got a bunch of stuff that had it been purchased elsewhere would have been less expensive and of equal quality (although admittedly not with the admixture of sullen red-n-khaki wearin' groovers who think they're too cool to work at Food World).

And she got sushi.

Why?

I don't know.

I also don't know why she got so danged much of it--only three of us will eat it; Jonathan, Catherine, and I. And then there's the whole deal of the fact that we're just not trendy eaters. I've mentioned I'm a food rube before. I mean, I appreciate fine food and all, and know how to use all the fancy implements, and what goes with what, but I don't go out of my way to seek out exotica and revel in it and wallow in it and attempt to cipher all the nuances of viney undertones of various fungi and ocelot spleens.

And then we go back to that thing of buying exotic stuff, and then buying it at someplace that seems to think it's REALLY exotic, and that people should pay mightily through every orifice for it. And eat it with Philippe Starck-designed chopsticks. Sure, it might not be something I eat every day, but it's not like you can't find such fare around here. For a lot less money.

But she got six trays of it, and each tray was enough to feed a person. Sure, it would probably keep an extra day or two, but I know I don't want to eat sushi more than a couple of days old, which means that even after Boy and Tiny Terror and I had a giant repast fit for a sumo wrestling club, there was STILL a bunch of it left over.

So guess what I have for lunch today.

I sure wish she'd just gone to Winn Dixie.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:24 AM | Comments (6)

Well, fair is fair.

Smokers, obese should pay more health insurance: poll

I've got some other ones to consider.

1) Stupid people should pay more for health insurance since stupid people are hurt more and don't take care of their health as well. A simple test such as the MAT (which I scored above the 99th percentile on) should be able to be a good benchmark. If your raw score is above, say, 90, your health insurance is completely free.

2) Liberals should pay more, because they seem to think people aren't paying enough to start with.

3) People who drink should pay more, since they go out and get drunk and cause car crashes and marry Britney Spears.

4) Muslims should pay more, since they are genetically predisposed to want to accelerate the arrival of their 72-virgin eternal reward by spontaneously (but righteously) exploding.

5) People who answer polls should pay more, because it's obvious they don't have anything better to do than answer polls, and everyone knows idle hands are the devil's workshop, and so they'll obviously get into some deep trouble on down the line.

Look, I'm all for people paying for insurance based upon some sort of objective standard, but these people who keep pushing to punish one type of group for their evils and vices don't ever seem to like it when it's THEM who are being targeted for THEIR vices.

And although my suggestions are somewhat tongue-in-cheek, I do find it remarkable that the booze industry DOES seem to find itself remarkably free of class-action lawsuits and calls for it to be punished for selling a dangerous product the way Big Tobacco has been pilloried. It just seems that alcohol has been a lot more of a problem than Twinkies and Big Macs, but no one seems to like the idea of a couple of extra bucks thrown onto a fifth to pay for treating alkies or drunk driver victims. Go figure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:41 AM | Comments (4)

I don't usually pass along e-mails...

But this one from famed NASA rocket scientist (and son) Steevil is darned funny.

SUBJECT: Ahhhhh.... sons!

For those of us who have sons & those who are happy that you don't. You find out interesting things when you have sons, like...

1.) A king-size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2000 sq. ft. house 4 inches deep.

2.) If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.

3.) A 3-year old boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.

4.) If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 ft. room.

5.) You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.

6.) The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn't stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.

7.) When you hear the toilet flush and the words "uh oh", it's already too late.

8.) Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.

9.) A six-year old boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.

10.) Certain Legos will pass through the digestive tract of a 4-year old boy.

11.) Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12.) Super glue is forever.

13.) No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can't walk on water.

14.) Pool filters do not like Jell-O.

15.) VCR's do not eject "PB & J" sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.

16.) Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.

17.) Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.

18.) You probably DO NOT want to know what that odor is.

19.) Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens.

20.) The fire department in Austin, TX has a 5-minute response time.

21.) The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22.) It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23.) Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24.) 80% of women will pass this on to almost all of their friends, with or without kids.

25.) 80% of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!


The PHOTO SECTION that preceded the written part is even better. This isn't all of them, since a couple of them were a bit too outlandish (although not the least bit unbelievable). Click here--I had to make a separate html file for it because I couldn't get the pictures copied as jpegs for some reason (i.e., incompetence).

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:12 AM | Comments (15)

November 14, 2006

Hey--

--you know what's cool?

F-15s in full afterburner right down on the deck, with lovely fall foliage in the background, that's what!

F-15.jpg

Thanks to Nate McCord, who identifies this as one of the F-15E Strike Eagles from Seymour-Johnson AFB in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

I would be willing to have a ride in one of these in lieu of my previously stated desire for my own personal-sized dirigible.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:59 PM | Comments (10)

More Senseless, Merciless Taunting of the Opponent!

I know the Alabama fans can't stand to see such a withering barrage of finely honed wit directed against them, but it is my small way of crushing their spirits so that they completely lose the will to fight come Saturday! So THERE!

First up:

Did you hear about the terrible fire that destroyed the Alabama football dorm? The players tried to call 911, but no one could find 11 on the phone.

What a bunch of idjits! Next up:

Why was the Alabama player so happy?

He found out his AM radio would work at night, too!

And finally, since I know they cannot stand much more in a single day, this:

Two Alabama players boarded an airplane for a quick shuttle flight, with one sitting beside the window, and the other in the middle seat.

Much to their disgust, just before take-off an Auburn player got on and took the aisle seat next to the two 'Bama boys.

The Auburn player, making himself at home, kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes, and was settling in when the Tider in the window seat said, "I think I'll get up and get a Coke."

Trying to be nice (since he was sharing a row of seats with them and was sitting on the aisle) the Tiger player politely said, "No problem, I'll get it for you." As he made his way back to the galley, with a sly grin one of the Alabama players quickly grabbed up one of the Auburn player's shoes and spit right in it!

When the Plainsman returned with the drink, the other Alabama player said, "That looks good, I think I'll have one, too!"

Again, the unsuspecting Auburn player obligingly went to fetch the Coke, and while he was gone, his other shoe was picked up and given the spit treatment.

The Tiger returned and they all sat back and enjoyed the remainder of the short flight, with the Alabama players basking in smugness at their clever prank.

As the plane was landing, the Auburn boy slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened.

"How long must this go on?" he lamented. "This fighting between our schools and teams!? This hatred!? This animosity!? This spitting in shoes and peeing in Cokes!?"

Heheee.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)

Lethealgia Relief!

I was trying to remember something funny that happened this weekend and it finally came back to me!

I remember now why it was that I had an easier time staying awake during preaching on Sunday night. We had a sermon on things people think are in the Bible but aren't, and one was the quote, "spare the rod and spoil the child."

That's actually one of Ben Franklin's aphorisms (although there are similar references in Scripture), but what made it stand out in my mind was that in a slight slip of the tongue, our preacher said it came from Franklin's noted work, Little Richard's Almanac.

After that, all I could think of was a flamboyant howling high-haired wild-eyed man, incongruously dressed in knee britches and frock coat, with tiny bifocals upon his nose.

I doubt that was the what I should have been thinking about.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (0)

No WAY!

Why, this is just inconceivable!! Plutonium found in Iran waste facility

Next thing you know, they'll say they've found a bunch of swarthy, Farsi-speaking sorts lolling about!

Thank heavens we have the UN to protect us.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

What I want.

I was watching the PBS show last week about Alberto Santos-Dumont, and it talked about after he figured out big dirigibles, he made himself a tiny one he could fly around Paris in, and he'd go out to eat and just pull up to a restaurant and tie it off and get out, sorta like his having his own flying car.

I want my own personal-size dirigible.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:23 AM | Comments (2)

There's a shocker.

Home Depot results send stocks lower

Reached for comment, corporate spokesman "Tom" looked confused and said he wasn't sure about that, and promised to go find someone who knew, but instead went on break. The only other person available stated he had not been trained to operate any machinery and that he would go find his supervisor, but instead went on break.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)

From the "BREAKING NEWS--SUN HOT, BRIGHT!" File...

Bob Knight's temper flares again

What a dip.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:32 AM | Comments (0)

HEY! What ever happened to Ticked Off Tuesday!?

Why, it's enough to make me say @#?**&!

Well, let's not let this go today! Got a minor beef so inconsequential you feel ashamed to even mention it, but it still irks the hanner out of you anyway and you feel like you're just going to pop if you don't get it off your tiny heaving chest? Do the conveniences of the modern industrial world conspire against your well-being? Did you have a pratfall? Do you need a pratlift and can't afford it?

WHAT BETTER PLACE THAN HERE to vent!?

Well, I can think of better places, but this is what we have right now. (Which should be worthy of a complaint or two in its own right.)

SO, what's making you so miffed today?

Me?

Oh, nothing ever bothers me. Not even a litter box full of cat poop.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:01 AM | Comments (6)

Yeah, well, whatever.

KFC tweaks Colonel Sanders logo

By DYLAN T. LOVAN
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) ó Colonel Sanders is shedding his white suit jacket for a cook's red apron.

KFC unveiled a new brand logo Tuesday that includes bolder colors and a more well-defined visage of the late Kentucky Fried Chicken founder, Colonel Harland Sanders, who will keep his classic black bow tie, glasses and goatee.

"This change gives us a chance not only to make sure we stay relevant but also communicates to customers the realness of Colonel Sanders and the fact that he was a chef," said Gregg Dedrick, president of KFC's U.S. division. [...]

Maybe it's just me, but when I want fried chicken, I really am not looking for relevance, or to have the realness of a restaurant's founder being communicated to me. It also really doesn't matter if he was a chef or not.

I'd really rather just have some good fried chicken--hot, crunchy crust, big pieces, no backs--for the best possible price, served quickly, in a clean and comfortable environment, by staff who are hard-working and friendly. IS THAT TOO DANGED MUCH TO ASK!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:49 AM | Comments (7)

I sure hope the mother...

...had a C-section: Papers shed light on birth of basketball

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (0)

Headline Writer Pleased With New "N" Key...

...Vows to Use it at Every Opportunity

Replican of Colunbus' ship visits Tuscaloosa

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:18 AM | Comments (2)

Innocent Until Proven Sorry as the Day is Long

Woman accused of stealing from stand at National Peanut Festival

You have to be pretty low to (allegedly) steal from a high school band booster stand at a peanut festival.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (2)

Possum News

Saw George Jones on Letterman last night. Holy cats, he looked rough. And sounded worse, singing "He Stopped Loving Her Today."

Then again, it's pretty amazing he's still upright, so I guess he gets points for that.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:11 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2006

Time once more for Mean-Spirited Taunting of the Opponent!

Yes, I know you've all been waiting for it! The week people all over the globe have come to enjoy as Iron Bowl Week, meaning that for this entire week we will engage in merciless, mean-spirited taunting of the silly persons who cheer for the Crimson Tide! Now then, to get us warmed up, a couple of oldies but goodies:

Earlier this year, the Alabama team bus was going to the airport so they could go on their trip to play the University of Hawaii, but they turned around and went home instead.

Why?

Because the bus driver saw the sign that said "Airport Left."

Heh--silly UA people!

Next, up:

Two 'Bama football players went hunting, and got into a heated argument about what they'd found.

"Naw, them's DEER tracks I tell you!" said one.

"They is NOT! Them's MOOSE tracks you ignoramus!" shouted the other. They continue to argue back and forth, all the way up until the time the train hit them.

Take THAT, you goofy bunch of elephant-mascotted nitwits!

::sticks out tongue::

And you'll get more of that tomorrow, and every other day this week, so just get used to it!

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

The Long Weekend of Daddy and Catherine--Part TWO!!

So, up early Sunday, more or less. Cat had been so proud about getting up early Saturday, but didn't quite have the same get-up-and-go-itiveness for church day.

After I blew the freon horn and banged on the garbage can with my swagger stick, she finally came to. Clothes, hair, shoes, in more or less that order, then downstairs to doctor Kitty with his meds. He really likes this stuff--"wrap his paws around your forearm and purrs"--likes it. I assume it's full of narcotics.

Breakfast, a quick game of Wheel of Addiction, then on to church. Boy, it was lonesome. Catherine was nice to me, though, and sat with me rather than her usual friend--an older lady who dotes on her terribly. It was nice to have her there with me, even if she racked out on the pew five seconds after she put her dollar into the offering plate. At least she didn't snore.

I sure hope I didn't.

Couldn't stay focused for anything, and kept drifting off into a very strange land of hallucinations and delusions. I do try to keep my Bible open, so I can at least pretend I was looking down reading. I think when my head hits the pew in front of me it is a bit hard to disguise, however.

Afterwards had to remind everyone that my kith and kin weren't sick but were with all the OTHER people's kith and kin at camp and wouldn't be back for a while. "Oh."

Yeah.

LUNCHTIME! Off to the East Buffet, where they serve many food things, and blessedly few of them look like mystery meat. Chicken looks pretty much like chicken, beef looks like beef, shrimp like shrimp, and pork looks like pork. Mostly. I still have a hard time believing those long skewers of "chicken" actually came from a bird. ANYway, it was good.

Home, and HEY! FAMILY'S BACK! YAY!

And mad.

Oops.

Seems that I forgot I was supposed to come home after church and meet them and then we'd all go out to eat together. So much for a big hug and kiss and "happy to see you!"

::sigh::

Helped get everything stowed away and the laundry started--again. The kids kept asking what was for lunch, and Mom kept mumbling about something. Dast not ask.

Instead, I gathered up Jonathan and we went over to the OTHER Chinese place down the highway from us and got some suitable Asian cuisine--hot and sweaty soup, Mongolian beef, and chicken, and shrimp, and some sesame chicken. Brought it home, instant hero status once more. They ate like Mongol hordes.

Me? Well, I had tried while I was out to find a better bag for my new sleeping bag because it was big and I mistakenly threw away the plastic stuff sack it came in. Because I am an idiot. So I'd gotten one from Academy (I felt the need to spend money, for some reason) and after we got home with the food, I found the new sack to be much too small. Back to the store, got another one, it was much too big. Why? Because I am an idiot.

::sigh::

Well, enough of that. Time to head back to church for evening worship, where the song service was led by some guy who seemed to have caught a terrible case of kennel cough or distemper. Why? Because he's an idiot. Did manage to stay awake better this time, though, and enjoyed a very good sermon.

On to home, finished up the laundry, got the kids to bathe (AWWWWW!) and engaged in several more rounds of Cat's new game, and then, it was time to go to bed.

Boy, that sure was a long weekend.

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

The Long Weekend of Daddy and Catherine!

Well, after we sent everyone on their way Friday,we ate supper which was nothing more than soup, but which she enjoyed immensely because a) she's a kid, and b) because she got to help fix it. And she thought it was the bee's knees to be tasked with unloading and RELOADING the dishwasher.

After that, it was upstairs where we watched some television and she played on the computer and I did likewise, registering our feline in the giant database of RF-identifiable critters. After much fun and games, it was time for bed, and as is her habit when her big sister Rebecca is gone, she got some choice toys and blankets and piled up in her bed to go to sleep in instead of her own. I don't know why, but I suppose it helps it be less lonesome.

Me?

Well, despite being glad the house was quiet, it was sorta lonesome for me, too, so I read and watched Conan and answered some e-mails and finally wore myself down enough to be able to sleep. Alone. ::sniff:: You know, you just don't know how much you miss the sudden elbow in the throat, the snoring, the loss of blanket coverage, until it's gone. And to make matters worse, pillows do NOT make a suitable substitute for the soft squishy parts of a woman.

On the plus side, it was MUCH easier to sleep late Saturday morning. Ahhhhh.

Dressed, got downstairs, found that Cat had been up playing for the past 3 1/2 hours, was relieved that nothing had been burnt down.

"When are we going to the movie, Daddy!? And to the Skate Station!"

"Well, we have to finish up the clothes, and then the football game comes on at 11:30, and we need to watch that, and then after that we can go!"

YAY DADDY!

Gave Kitty his medicine, which he eagerly lapped up. They said it tastes like honey, and I guess it must because he certainly seemed to like it. Rolled him back around to the backyard and let him out to run around a bit, which he did, again without seeming too concerned about his missing luggage.

Go figure.

GAME TIME!

Oh, my.

This is terrible.

Oohh.

Ouch.

There--that's a quarter-by-quarter wrap-up of the whole game. Auburn now has no shot at a BCS game, or even a division title in the SEC. They'll get to go to a bowl, but as I said at the first of the year, there's only one game that really matters anymore. And as is custom, this whole week will be spent in ceaseless taunting of our opponent. SO just watch out.

ANYway, that was that and that was horrid, so to take our minds off of it, what better way than a MOVIE! But first, food!

We had tons of Chick-fil-A coupons for free orders of chicken nuggets, so we decided we'd go get a snack before, and a snack after the movie. It being in poor taste to simply use two coupons per person, you know. The first trip before the movie got us waited on by a kid who desperately wanted to be a comedian. Keep the day job, son.

NOW THEN--MOVIE!! She really had been wanting to go see the third Tim Allen Satan Claws movie, but from what I've read, this one seems to have been one sequel that would better had it gone straight to video. Or simply not been made.
SO, I managed to talk her into seeing Flushed Away.

MOVIE REVIEW TIME!

Well, it looked like a cute movie, and the trailers all seemed cute. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be--PRETTY DARNED CUTE!

Dashing (in a Walter Mitty/Mr. Bean sort of way) London city mouse gets flushed down the loo by an interloping sewer rat, and finds himself in a scaled-down simulacrum of the topside world, built entirely by the sewer rodents. Lots of nifty scenery, almost to the point of distraction.

Roddy (the name of the mouse) has to find a way to get back home, and WOULDN'T YOU KNOW IT, crosses paths with a plucky, determined girl mouse (voiced by Kate Winslet
--and who knew girl mice had breastes!?) who's something of a Humphrey Bogartish African Queen sorta gal with her own boat made of cast off bits of sewer rubbish.

Being that she is plucky, and independent-minded, it is no surprise she has run afoul of a gang of toughs, whose leader is NOT a rat, but rather a big toad, who once was the pet of none other than Prince Charles. We come to find out that the story behind his fall from royal grace is what drives the action of the movie, and leads in turn to several high-speed chases through various watery places, a la James Bond.

Particularly funny (at least to me) are the abundance of slugs who operate as something of a Greek chorus/sound effects/beat box/comical musical accompaniment/visual distraction. Who knew they were so talented!? The boss frog (something of a Sidney Greenstreet/Blofeld type) has an apartment filled with what he regards as high art, and he has a French cousin who is a hitman. Of course, the French cousin frog has henchfrogs, as well as the stereotypical French desire to eat, mime, and surrender. (The black rubber frogsuits were also a very clever touch.)

Anyway, Roddy does get home, but he realizes his life in a gilded cage (no-- really) is nothing compared to the excitement of life below (ref. previous comment re. bosomy girl mice), a whole way of life which he comes to realize might just be completely wiped out if the evil boss toad has his way.

WILL HE SAVE THE DAY!?

Well, go see it. It was doggone funny, and I'm going to have to get the DVD when it comes out to be able to take in all the clever scenery. The animation is interesting too, in that it replicates the look of the Claymation Wallace and Gromit work, but in CGI. There were some moments there where it was obvious there wasn't quite enough rendering power for the facial features--you could see some sort of digital artifacts keeping them from being as "smooth" as stop-motion, but overall it looked quite nice.

I give it five out of five curly possum tails!

Now then, back to Chick-fil-A for our second tiny box of snacks, and then it was time to go to the Skate Station, the multi-dimensional skating/laser tag/arcade/go-kart/miniature golf place down at the foot of the hill from our house. All she wanted to do was play the video games, which seemed reasonable enough. She was quite worried that it would be closed, but I pretty much knew it would be open, and guess what?

I WAS RIGHT!

Sorta.

It closes down between 5 and 7 for private birthday parties, and then reopens to the public afterwards. We had to wait a little while in the car, then went and stood in the freezing cold wind to get inside. Once in the door, we pressed on past the ticket booth and went into the main building and--"Sir? Are you with a birthday party?"

It was some kid who looked all of twelve. He was the bouncer, I guess. "Uh, well, no--we're just going to go play in the arcade."

"Um, well, sir, you have to ask the lady at the ticket booth. She has to say it's okay."

Wha!?

Surely they haven't started charging admission!

I pressed back to the window (it being covered over with highly impatient out-of-towners who seem to not have any idea about waiting for your turn in a polite fashion) and asked the two white haired ladies behind the glass, "She's not skating--she just wants to play in the ar--"

"SIX DOLLARS!"

No way.

"Cat, we're not going to pay six dollars just to go inside and play video games."

Uh-oh. Welling tears.

She'd waited so long, and been relatively quiet, all in anticipation of playing skeeball and Whack-a-mole. But dagnabbit, they're crazy if they think it's worth six dollars to get into their sweaty-smelling, pizza-stained zoo.

We left. "Hey, I've got an idea! We'll run back up to Wal-Mart and you can play in their arcade!"

This seemed to mollify her somewhat. It's not a big place, but they do have some games and they have an air hockey table, and she likes both of those. And you know, it had been almost six hours since we'd last been to Wal-Mart, and I must say I was a bit homesick. SO, back off across the way.

Walked in, saw the Family Fun Center sign poking out from the wall, and as we go there, the odd-looking set of chains over the opening. Inside, boxes.

The Family Fun Center had been de-funned and turned into a storage room.

Surprisingly, she wasn't that upset. "I knew it was gone!"

"Well why didn't you say so!?"

"I don't know."

Hard to argue with that.

"Can we go look at toys?"

I have a feeling this will cost more than six bucks.

And I was right. She went down the aisles pointing out things she wanted, with me close behind telling her she needs to write them on her list for Santa, until we came to an interesting diversion. "Wheel of Fortune," Plug Into the TV Version. Hmm. I've seen these things for Pong and Pac Man and several of the old arcade games--you have a control box that plugs into the A/V ports on the television and it's just like playing in the arcade. Hmm. That might be fun.

Turns out...I was RIGHT! Highly addictive, even though there is no Vanna. All the sound effects are there, though, and it works quite well. After we got it home, we must have played with it for two hours. Of course, being that I have a gigantic brain full of useless trivia and stuff, I was able to win quite handily, but Cat still had a good time, even when she was begging the machine to hit Bankrupt.

But, fun and games must come to an end--long day and time for beddie-bye and all.

And then it was SUNDAY!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:27 PM | Comments (7)

Because if you're going camping...

...you simply MUST get your hair did.

The car with the remainder of my family was going to the beauty saloon so Reba could get her hair cut and colored and for Oldest to get her hair cut. Because a good coiffure is so important when you're wallowing in a sleeping bag and standing in bonfire smoke.

::sigh::

Whatever.

Rebecca and I went home and got the first part of the supplies loaded up--snacks for the campers (ours and everyone else), sleeping bags, plates and cups and junk, did some laundry (since no one had any clean blue jeans), and generally puttered around until everyone got back.

AND, once they got back, sheer bedlam. No one seemed in any great hurry to pack, even though they were going to try to leave early so they could arrive before dark. Add to this a certain unstable oldest child who took it upon herself to start screaming and slamming her brother's bedroom door because he was tapping on his practice drumhead.

I love my family, but I have to confess it was something of a relief when they left out. Especially Miss Screamy McMelodrama.

Anyway, leave they did and it was just Cat and Daddy.

We rolled Lightning's pen around and put it in the garage so he'd have a place to sleep for the night that wasn't outside, did a few more loads of regular laundry, and then went to get him from the vet.

He seemed to be just fine; in fact, much more active than I know I would have been given a similar state of affairs. Or lack thereof.

Anyway, the nurse gave me his papers for his microchip and a bag with three thin syringes of pain medicine. "I--uhh, but I don't know how to give him a shot!"

"No," she said gently, as one does to a mental defective, "they don't have a needle--it's oral. We just put it in a syringe so it's easier to give it to him."

"OOOhhhhh."

They brought him out, and I tried to find out if there were any special instructions. Not really, it turns out. For all the loot he'd just cost me, they seemed to be unconcerned if he stayed in or out, ate or didn't eat, was warm or cold, high or low, up or down, or even if he took the medicine they'd charged me for. It's almost as if he was nothing more than a CAT! Hmph!

Anyway, into the car with him, then to home, where we let him quiet down a bit in his carrier in the kitchen. I think this was more for my benefit, though. He seemed ready to go play.

Later on when it was time for supper we put him in his garage apartment, and settled in for the Long Weekend of Daddy and Catherine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:14 AM | Comments (2)

Black Gold...Texas Tea...Akron Doughnuts

Pulled into the service bay, popped the hood, waited. Watched the new kid fumble with trying to open my air cleaner case. Felt the guy underneath yanking on stuff. Listened to the shop patter.

From down below in the pit, "Hey, tell them they've got a left rear tire down to the belts on the inside sidewall! Looks like it's about to let go!"

::sigh::

That's the sound of money being suctioned out of my billfold. Not that there was any there in the first place.

Tires. Not now. Yes. Now. No avoiding it, since I was about to send my family off in a fully-loaded van off to the hills and hollows of Marshall County, I was going to have to buy tires. Add something else to the To-do list.

Oh, probably need to add crying in there, too.

Finished them up, paid for my oil change, then it was off to Wal-Mart. Figured I might as well get them there, so we could shop for soccer shorts, too. And we needed Q-tips. And soap.

Pulled in to the Wal-Mart service bay, and was met by a chubby girl with their ubiquitous hand-held writing-up machine. I tried to plead my case that since I had a warranty, maybe I could get some small proration back toward a new set. She called over some dude to look at them--shaved head, wearing those stupid sunglasses that look like something out of a science-fiction movie, short sleeves rolled up even further. "NO, that there's alignment done that. Can't expect us to pay for something that the car caused!"

Luckily, there was a large iron tire tool close by, so I took it and began beating him in his ugly stupid misshapen shaved head until he was more accomodating. Oops, sorry about the stupid wraparound sunglasses, fella!

Oh, sorry. Daydreaming again.

You know, I wouldn't have been quite so miffed at him if he didn't act like such an imperious little goob. Sure, I realize it's not easy when all you have to look forward to in life is when the Snap-On Tool truck comes by once a month, but you know, customers are still customers, and the one with the Honda Odyssey wasn't trying rip anyone off, he just wanted to know if the tire could be prorated any. That's all.

Why do I keep going back to this place, when I KNOW--based on MANY past visits--that the Wal-Mart Tire Center in Trussville is nothing but a pit of idiocy and poor service? I don't know--it's something like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, I guess. One day, I just know Lucy won't pull it away.

But not today.

To make matters worse, they no longer carry the cheapo Douglas tires I had on it and only had more expensive Goodyears.

::sigh::

I went in and called Sam's across the highway to see if they had anything cheaper.

::sigh::

No.

Fine. FINE! ALL OF YOU TAKE ALL MY MONEY!

I'm going to go get some Q-tips and SHORTS!

Not.

Nothing they had in the girl's section would fit her. Nor in the sporting goods section.

GAHHHHHHHHH!!

Got Q-tips, though, and a giant jug of hand sanitizer.

Waited. Waited.

After an hour and a half, during which time the van was mostly ignored by the tire changing personnel, it was finally time to go.

Wow, it drives so creamy smooth, it's like I'm rolling along a highway paved with hundred dollar bills!

WHEEEEEEEE!!

On over to Hibbett Sporting Goods, to see if THEY had any shorts.

Finally found a couple of pairs of Nike running shorts that she liked and that fit her reasonably well. As much as I might complain about paying $90 for a tire, it seems a much bigger racket that Nike's got going when three pairs of shorts cost THE EXACT SAME AS A TIRE. Dang it ALL, people--what good's having sweatshops in Indonesia cranking this stuff out if you can't pass some of the saving along to your customers!?

::sigh::

On toward home, then, to get the van loaded.

As we waited on the light at Main Street, I looked up in time to see Reba and the rest of the kids in the Focus, going back up Chalkville Road the way we'd just come from.

I wondered what that was all about.

I figured it must be an expedition to spend money.

And I was right.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:40 AM | Comments (12)

So, where was I?

No, really. Where was I?

::sigh::

Oh well.

I guess I'll just have to try to remember it myself.

ANYWAY, got up early Friday with A Plan. Go drop Kitty off for his operation, get the oil changed in the van, come home, help load van, send family off to the wilderness of Guntersville, play the rest of the weekend.

But.

Rebecca needed some shorts. She's starting her soccer practice tonight, and she doesn't have any good shorts to practice in. Okay--so, kitty--oil change--shorts--home. Good deal.

Off we go to the cat doctor with Lightning in his little cat carrier. Which he now more or less fills up. Got him there, got him signed in, and then had to start answering questions from the receptionist.

"Labwork and pain meds?"

"Uh, no, I think I'll be fine without them."

Oh, sorry--that was my internal monologue.

"Pardon me?"

"Do you want Lightning to have any labwork done?"

Well, only if it cost an exhorbitant amount of money. "What--uhmm, well, why--Huh!?"

"We can do labwork before his surgery to see if he has anything that might be wrong with him that we need to address."

It's just a danged cat, people. Oh, wait. It's my kid's cat, and if anything happens to it, I've got to have plausible deniability.

"Well, okay, I guess."

"Pain meds?"

::sigh::

"Sure."

"Would you like to have him chipped?"

PLEASE START TALKING ENGLISH!! Sorry. Internal monologue again.

"I'm sorry?"

"A microchip ID. They can put it in while he's under anesthesia. If he's ever lost, anyone who finds him can have him scanned and they can find out who he belongs to."

Or just keep him.

Did I want this? I mean, he's a cat, and cats DO run away sometimes. Stupid kitties. Just how much would I want him back? I--well, no. That's just a waste of--"Daddy, are you going to get this thing?" Rebecca had the brochure. ::sigh::

"Oh, go ahead and do it. Might as well."

Left him there dangling from some girl's arms as he was being weighed. He should be made of solid gold.

Off then to the next place, Express Oil Change!

Yay! OIL!!

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

Boy, what a weekend.

I didn't mention it, but I spent the weekend as a near-bachelor, having only the Tiny Terror to keep me company as my wife and the other 3/4 of the children went off to a church retreat up in Guntersville.

It was quite an exciting weekend, believe it or not, what with a fixed kitty to attend to, MORE tires to buy, a very disappointing game to watch on the teevee, movies to go see, laundry to launder, and much laziness to laze. AND MORE ABOUT ALL THAT in just a little while. I have to get it all typed up, you know. Or made up.

SO, more in a little while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2006

Thank you.

Although this little corner of the web tends toward being nothing but a highly organized collection of silliness, every once in a while it is necessary to put that away and be serious about serious matters.

Saturday, November 11 is the day we have set aside to honor the men and women who have served this country in times of war, and recognize the sacrifices they have made. They fight in order to allow the rest of us the security and peace to explore and create and enjoy the benefits of life in a free country.

There is nothing I can say to adequately express my gratitude to those who have served, and to those who are in active service now, for the gift you give to my family and me of being able to lead a quiet and comfortable life. You are each in my prayers. I ask God to protect you and your families, for Him to strengthen you in times of fear, and to guide us in seeing to it that you are always led with wisdom and honor.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:05 PM | Comments (1)

It has often been said...

...that a redneck's last words are usually, "Hey, y'all! Watch THIS!"

One wonders if something similar is expressed by yobs with fireworks.

(By the way, there is no evidence Guy Fawkes ever placed gunpowder anywhere near his nether regions.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:12 PM | Comments (0)

AND Speaking of Football...

...I ALSO have to go ahead today and give you the Super Duper Possumblog Sports Center Presentation that was scheduled for tomorrow!

Making it a day earlier like this is BOUND to make it less accurate when it comes time to predict the score, but you're just gonna have to deal with it.

MUCH LIKE YOUR BELOVED AUBURN TIGERS will have to deal with yet another bunch of ugly slobbering bulldogs this weekend as they invite The University of Georgia to the Plains in order to beat upon them and squirt them with garden hoses!

Yes, that's right--The Deep South's Oldest Rivalrytm heads into its 110th episode Saturday with a Tiger team seeming to be a bit put out with itself as it has struggled with miscues and bobbles, even as it has worked its way to a darned-fine-in-anyone's-book 9-1 season. The frustrations of last week's win over the Arkansastate Indians might finally be a signal to the Plainsmen that it's time to fix what needs fixing, and start playing like the good strong team they are.

Defensively, there's not much more they can do, but offensively there has to be more lightning than just being able to march up and down betwixt the 20s. Thankfully, most everyone is healthyish, so with some effort and concentration from the younger players and some hiney-chewing by the coaching staff, this might be the week when things all work together.

And they'll need all they can get, because the Dogs, although seeming to struggle with a 6-4 record (3-4 SEC) and wondering how they could lose to both Vanderbilt AND Kentucky in the same season, are still a fundamentally sound team, with the ability to beat the living daylights out of anyone if THEY are working at full speed. The question is if they'll be able to gather up the necessary gumption to come into Jordan-Hare and lay it out there. I think they probably will--this is a chance for them to get some redemption after their embarrassments and Auburn is their last conference game (their last game of the season being against in-state rival Georgia Tech), and so I think they'll be screwed together pretty tightly.

Will it matter? I don't think so. They've got a young--if talented--QB and Auburn has demonstrated they know how to deal with such things pretty well. And, let's face it--no matter how good they CAN be, they haven't been good when they NEEDED to be. The only thing is that Auburn's offense has also suffered greatly at the hands of opposing defenders, which sounds at though this one has the potential to be another tight, low-scoring affair similar to the LSU game. History is also on the side of a close contest, so it very well could go that way.

UNLESS the aforementioned efforts at meanness by the coaching staff have been taken to heart by the Gentlemen in Orange. If the Tiger offense can get going, it could be an ugly one for the Bulldogs. But that's only fair since bulldogs are ugly themselves. And slobbery.

As for cheerleaders, this one is just too lame to even worry about. Auburn's website is still lackluster, and Georgia's site is even worse. How these teams manage to win ANY games is just beyond me.

Speaking of team-spirit related things, one item of note is that Auburn's golden eagle Tiger, who has served as War Eagle VI for the past 20 years, will be retiring after Saturday's game.

tiger eagle.jpg


A beautiful sight, even if you're not an Auburn fan.

War Eagle VII will be Nova, a mere pup of a bird at only six years old. Spirit, an 11-year-old bald eagle, also will continue to make pre-game flights. In addition, a new tradition will be started at the Georgia game of releasing fifteen hungry wild tigers into the opposing team's seating section just prior to kickoff. Should be exciting!

ANYWAY, now that we've dispensed with all that circular logic and faulty reasoning, it's time for the part of the show that you've all said is your most favorite! (That is, if anyone ever took the time to write and say so. Lacking that, I'm extrapolating by the absence of hate mail that this is the most favorite feature.) ANYWAY, the PREDICTION OF FINAL SCORE!!

Given my reading of the tea leaves and the shape of my head, I predict the final score will be...








AUBURN 23 -- GEORGIA 17

Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Central, and the game will be "covered" by stations of the Lincoln Financial Sports Network, who remind you of just how bad televised sports can be, and by the Auburn Radio Network.

BUT WAIT, THAT'S NOT ALL!!


It's that time again! We've taken this opportunity for the past weeks to salute and highlight the fine scholar-athletes of Auburn University by awarding one deserving and lucky student with the title of Possumblog Student Athlete of the Week, and this week is NO EXCEPTION!

This week's honoree is none other than golfing phenom Mariana Macias, a sophomore International Business major who comes to the Plains from Margarita Salas High School in Madrid, Spain, where apparently all young women are required to look like Penelope Cruz. A Top Tiger in the classroom (maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA), she was also listed on the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. AND since we've mentioned Tiger, here are Mariana and Tiger having a chat about golf.

macias.jpg

CONGRATULATIONS on this high honor, Mariana, as the PSAotW!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

Speaking of Miss Kitty

SOMEone just got an appointment made for tomorrow at the vet's office for a little surgery.

Sorry, little dude. At least you will still have your claws.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:55 AM | Comments (6)

I'll tell you one thing...

...that there election sure was good for traffic! Or something was. Anyway, for both Tuesday and Wednesday I had about three times the usual hits.

SO, hello to all you people who are new!

(Even though I think most of you were looking for the photos of Kirstie Alley's newest bikini-clad foray on the Oprah show. Sorry--don't have them here, although if you'd just go to Oprah's website, she's got what you're looking for. Just remember to tell her I sent you, and maybe she'll give me a car.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:52 AM | Comments (0)

KITTY!?

Yes, in a change of pace from Friday Catblogging, I'm going to have to pretend to be an A-lister today instead, because we have tomorrow off for Veteran's Day.

UNFORTUNATELY, this state of events did not occur to me until this morning, after I got to work, meaning I didn't bring any kitty pictures with me of Lightning, The World's Most Expensive Free Kitten.

In order to at least give you something kitty related, I give you...


Owner of the Long Branch Saloon, MISS KITTY!

miss kitty.jpg

Rrowwwl.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

Finally!

The votes have been cast, the people have spoken, the Republic survives, and we can at last have some relief from wall-to-wall political ads everywhere we look, from the annoying recorded phone calls, from the ticky-tacky flotsam of ugly campaign signs. And what to discuss now?

Oh, thatís easy.

MORE POLITICS!!

We bring you the Political Postmortem Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, because as we all know, too much of a good thing is just about right! SO, play along with us now as we ask you some probing, uncomfortable questions about the results of the immediately past election.

Everyone is free to play along, even if youíre not even from America! What a country! Anyway, just leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to your own blog. Okay, here we go--

1) Now that the balance of power in the House and Senate has changed (due in large part to Democratic Party gains brought about by running more centrist candidates than they have in the past), will they surprise everyone and purge their fringe elements and actually try to lead from the center, or will they continue to pander to the tinfoil-hat folks with impeachment/frog marches and putting all the filthy Christianists into reeducation camps?

2) When you cast your ballot, do you do so with at least some desire in the back of your mind to make a decision that the international community would be pleased with?

3) Now that this little exercise has passed, everyone is now ready to talk about the REAL race, that of President in í08. Whoís it going to be?

So, there you go. Please take a pencil and mark your choices and place them into the machine.

As for my answers:


1) Well, they donít have a large enough majority to override a veto along party lines, so I donít think they can go too far afield with their more lunatic pronouncements. And they ran on a platform that at least paid lip service to fiscal conservatism, although I donít expect much of a change to smaller government or cheaper government or more efficient government. It would behoove them to cull their nuts right now, though, because although they won, it wasnít because the general public is really that enamored of the idea of punishing President Bush for whatever fever-dream offenses he might have committed. For the most part, Americans still donít think heís Hitler, and donít think the U.S. military are storm-troopers, despite the howlings of the Democratic Underground/Kos crowd. Giving in to these folks would be a sure recipe for disaster in í08.

2) No. And neither do I expect the world to vote with me in mind, no more than I expect a Frenchman to worry too much about what the Irish might think. Iím all for us all voting based on our own personal interests, then living with the result, whether it went our way or not. But I could not care less whether other folks are happy or sad with our election results, other than I would feel a lot better if the people who consider themselves our enemies werenít quite so chipper.

3) Despite everyone trying to read the goat entrails on this one, two years in the middle of a hot war is a very long time. Itís really impossible to say what will happen, and much of it depends on how the Congress reacts to the challenges it will face. I do think youíll see at least one female presidential candidate, and possibly two. And it could be that Hillary will be neither one of them. I do predict that both candidates will be politicians, which means that you and I wonít get exactly what we want.

So there you are.

NOW--no more political talk! Unless it just happens to come up.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:19 AM | Comments (5)

November 08, 2006

And then he thought...

...once he got back to the office that he'd have time to play. Little did he know that there would be people--OTHER people--who had different things in store for him. And so he wound up spending fruitful blogging time that he could have used to discuss yet another of his weird dreams to instead do actual work.

Or what passes for it in the civil service.

And as he was typing, another thought crossed his mind--"Why aren't there more supermodels in civil service? And for that matter, why aren't there ANY supermodels in civil service?"

It is a mystery.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:13 PM | Comments (3)

Good Morning!

Back at it again after a nice, quiet, uncontroversial meeting this morning.

Well, I guess you're all anxiously awaiting my take on the elections yesterday, so here goes:

1) I think this pretty much sinks George Bush's chances for a third term.

2) We have finally determined exactly how incompetent Republicans must be for Democrats to be able to win anything.

3) The Democrats who DID win are there only because Karl Rove wants them there. They need to watch their attitudes.

4) Murderous terrorists and their enablers/defenders will finally have something to be happy about, at least for a little while, and goodness knows they need something to be happy about. I predict that for the next few weeks, car bombs will be loaded not only with nails and ball bearings, but candy and flower petals, too!

5) The flying monkeys released from Pelosi's office were a bit of an overkill.

6) John F. Kerrydy pronounced Teddy Kennedy the greatest Senator of all time, which I think probably is his way of saying he wants to be his running mate in '08. They'd make a lovely couple.

So, there you are.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:08 AM | Comments (8)

November 07, 2006

Doody Calls

I have my twice-monthly off-campus meeting tomorrow morning, so you'll all have to gloat or whine without me for the first couple of hours.

Have fun! But not too much...

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

Okay, who had the pool on this one?

Via CNN's Breaking News Alert: "Britney Spears files for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline, citing irreconcilable differences."

Wow--who could have seen that coming!?

Anyway, coming as it does on Election Day, I must question the timing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:21 PM | Comments (2)

Peanuts.

And a wedding.

Yet another reason why I love America.

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

I PITY THE FOOL!

Or, if you prefer, what a pitiful fool.

But, on the brighter side, I do have a shocking new memo from Noah that confirms he did NOT build the Ark by himself, but, in fact, had assistance from aliens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:35 PM | Comments (3)

Girls.

Eeeeevil.

That's all there is to it.

They got their feminine wiles a'working all the live-long day, and dangitall, they start YOUNG.

We sat down to supper last night and Rebecca (who is a girl, but not quite as evil as she could be--yet) was recounting her trip to the doctor's office and the things we did while we waited to be called back.

One of the more comical things we observed was a mom (a girlish woman who probably used her feminine wiles to get her husband) who came in with her two young daughters (cute, and working up to evil quickly with their cuteness) and sat down at one of the small tables with a nice plastic box of crayons and paper. She set them to work coloring pictures and even worked on one herself, and it was fun to watch them having a nice quiet time as they waited.

And then, from the seats along the wall a raggledy little girl jumped up and came and stood there beside the table, and beside her was an even smaller raggledy girl. They just stood there, transfixed, as if they'd never seen anyone use a crayon before. The mom asked sweetly if they'd like to sit down and color and they did so with great enthusiasm.

Until they got called back.

They wouldn't leave, even after Dad, with his crimson Alabama hat and crimson Alabama sweatshirt basically had to pry them out of the chairs, and then only after promising one girl she could take the paper with her.

It was all pretty comical, and Rebecca thought it was funny that the little girls who didn't belong to the mom acted like crayons were such a big deal. OF COURSE, being an Auburn fan, I had to make some crack about the fact that since the kid's daddy was a 'Bama fan that he probably hogged all the crayons for himself, since we all know how childish and stoopid and stuff them guys is.

So, after a bit more refreshing denigration and stereotyping, I thought the matter done, when suddenly, Boy looked at me and with a look of utter dismay said, "Daaad, just because someone is for Alabama DOESN'T mean they aren't intelligent."

What the!?

WHAT!?

I was speechless (momentarily)--I mean, I can stand many insults, but to have my OWN CHILD, my own SON, speak such HERESY to ME at my OWN DINNER TABLE!! WHY, the mind REELS at such perfidy! At such insouciance! AT SUCH--

Wait a minute...

"Son, who is she?"

"WHAT!?"

Uh-huh. MMM-HMM! Ahhhhh--HAH!!

"Oh, you can't hide that--there's some girl out there you like and she roots for Alabama!!"

"I don't know WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!!"

Reba (who is as evil as they come, what with her feminine wiles that are plain for the whole world to see)--even SHE knew what had overcome her baby boy.

The shy grin, the reddened cheeks, the mild protestations of ignorance, the REFUSAL TO CONFIRM OR DENY! It was so obvious--so blatant that he had been smitten by some comely young lass in Crimson and White. I've heard tell of such things and the destruction wrought upon families by such pernicious mixing of allegiences, but never did I think it would happen under my own roof!

I am bereft that he has fallen victim to this most disheartening of attractions--why couldn't she be a Vanderbilt fan? Kentucky? Mississippi State?

WHHHHHYYYYYY?!

Anyway, I'm willing to set that aside if her daddy owns a sporting goods store or a car repair place.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:37 AM | Comments (8)

You know what's humbling?

To be mentioned alongside the other folks in this post by Fritz Schranck.

Of course, Card and Althouse and Whittle and Sensing are probably wondering why Fritz thought so little of them that he threw a possum in amongst them, but, hey.

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

I have a question(s).

I just now went to the restroom, and as I was standing there resting, I looked out the window beside the restceptacle (very convenient, I must say), and saw a highly attractive young blonde woman of the Delta Burke-class walking down the sidewalk below. What caught my eye (more than her) was the absolutely gigantic wheeled baggage she was rolling behind her. I figured from her clothing and the direction she was walking (toward the Legal Aid office) that she was probably a lawyer of some sort, but I have to ask--just WHAT is in all that luggage!? I've seen sales reps for brick companies carrying around stuff like that, but I've also noticed a good many lawyers doing the same.

Do you really have to have all that? Is it so heavy that they only let the big girls roll it around? Is there a legal requirement that the cases have to look all dumpy and sober, or can you have something with some color?

Just wondering.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:50 AM | Comments (7)

As for the doctor visit...

Two hours of time spent, only to find out (repeatedly) from the doc that all we had to do was mail her the form and she could have filled it out since Rebecca already had a complete physical this year. Maybe--and I'm just thinking in pixels here--maybe they could inform the appointment-making apparatchicks of this. Yeah--I know--that's just crazy talk!

Anyway, we did go ahead and get her a flu shot while we were there. And I have to say, it really doesn't seem to be much of a benefit to have a separate waiting room for sicko kids, when they all have to be piled up together with all the well kids in the injection waiting area. I walked out feeling as though I was covered in a layer of croup.

Blech.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (2)

Despite attempts at disenfranchisement...

...by God, who is at this very moment dumping gallons of rain across the area, after I dropped the kids at school I bravely stood up to The Almighty and went and voted. As did a whole bunch of other folks. And for some reason, all of them were L thru S. ::shakes fist:: All the other little old people at the other tables didn't have much to do, at least when I first got there. It picked up again before I got my ballot though, and there were few empty spots at the voting booths.

Despite the temptation, I didn't mark in the straight party oval, because there were a couple of stinkers in the Republican ranks I couldn't bring myself to vote for--couldn't in good conscience vote for their challenger, either. For governor, I marked what I always do, a write-in for Shorty Price.

I fed my ballot into one of the optical scanners--voter #81, and this was at 7:15 a.m. That's some heavy early voting, at least in my little precinct.

Now then, for the commentary part--whatever happens, whoever wins, I am still an American. I still love this country more than any other on Earth. Even if Democrats won every single open seat, I'm not going to threaten to run to Canada, I'm not going to have to seek counseling, I'm not going to engage in dark conspiracies about how the Democrats gamed the voting machines (especially since everyone already knows everyone in the graveyard votes Democrat, there's no reason for them to have to learn anything about electronics), and I'm not going to change my feelings on what needs to be done for this country to continue to be great.

SO, all of you go vote, because if you don't, you don't have a right to complain when things don't go your way.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:37 AM | Comments (14)

November 06, 2006

See? Told you it was going to be a short day!

I'm done for the day, so all of you have fun for the rest of the afternoon, and remember to go vote tomorrow.

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

Politics?

Well, it's a bit late for THAT, now isn't it? As I said back in Ought-Four, if you find yourself at this point and are still one of those folks who say they're voting Undecided (and for real, not just saying that to confuse the poll-takers), you just haven't been following along.

All I will say is if the national-level Democratic party had spent the last six years fighting the enemies of America with half the vigor they use in flailing at Republicans, we'd be in a much better predicament. There is nothing wrong with criticism, and the Republican party is not above it--IF IT'S CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM. I'm all for House debates on the best way to wipe out as many terrorists as possible, but what we have is one party disagreeing simply to disagree. Which wouldn't be so terrible if there weren't folks out there trying to kill us. I mean, my kids get into crap like this all the time, but only because they have the luxury of grown-ups in the house to make sure things actually get done.

Anyway, you do what you want to locally--let the Democrats and Greens and Socialists be dogcatchers and commissioners of weights and measures and constable all you want. But where it counts, when we still have a lot of work to do around the world, returning the Democrats to control for the next two years isn't the best way to ensure much of anything, other than elevating a bunch of snot-nosed brats to a position of authority.

Again, as I've said before, this is not because the alternative party has earned it or deserves it, and yes, for once I'd like to feel like I've not just voted for the lesser evil, but the shrillness and pettiness and silliness and general childishness of the Left has ruined any sort of centrist tendencies that might have once been found in the Dems. We keep hearing about teaching the Republicans a lesson--which they no doubt could use--but isn't it worth our time to teach the Democrats a lesson as well? Despite hanging on to the worst, most rabid anti-American fringe elements with a startling tenacity, even in the face of continued losses, you have to wonder how long it will be before they learn anything.

About the only thing they seem to have learned is to not talk about gun control. But this will last only so long as they don't have power. It still bubbles under the surface, just like their anti-military bias and their anti-capitalism bias, their belief in the primacy and wisdom of the U.N., their desire to join in with our enemies in trumpeting American failures and denigrating American successes. Should there be such a thing as a Speaker Pelosi or a Majority Leader Reid, look for it to come spewing out with great vigor.

We've got a lot to do. We've made it much more difficult than necessary because we've had a vocal minority clamoring for power at home rather than working toward defeating our foes abroad. If there is any message to be sent, any lessons to be learned, how about this--let's send a message to our enemies, and teach our enemies a lesson.

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

The Greatness of America!

I just saw this headline--Cook named managing editor of The Anniston Star--and it made me proud that even someone who has no journalism skills can become a managing editor! If a cook can do it, just think about all the other folks who could do just the same thing--leaving a difficult, low-paying job for the high-paying, high-status profession of newspaperman! Or woman, even!

Hmm? What?

His name is "Cook"?

But he probably could get a job as a cook, right?

Oh well, never mind.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:04 PM | Comments (0)

And today?

It's a short one. I have to take Rebecca to go get her physical for soccer, so I have to leave out of here in just a few hours. She's very excited about playing, but she's got a lot of physical conditioning to do.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:25 AM | Comments (0)

Anyway, as I was saying...

...all that instruction I did on training a certain someone how to change a tire was all for naught. I suppose if I had been unreachable she might have been able to manage--but I have a feeling she forgot ever having been shown anything in the first place, and would swear upon a stack of Bibles and upon her own life she'd never been shown. Look, if she can run over something and immediately start blaming someone else for it, she's capable of any variety of delusions.

ANYwho, I was all happy Friday afternoon when I got the call from Reba--yes, for some reason Oldest can't just call me, it has to be relayed through Mom--who told me Oldest had a flat, and that the hubcap had come off, and it sounded like the whole car was rattling when she parked it. And as I mentioned earlier, Oldest wondered aloud to Mom if someone had flattened her tire in the parking lot. Hey, sometimes even the paranoid can be right!

In my mind, I imagined she'd gotten a nail in her tire, somehow managed to flip a hubcap, and that was it.

I packed up and made the trek to the high school parking lot, where I found her in the car at a parking spot near the end of the row closest to the field house. Parked, saw the front passenger side slouched down like the innumerable open-mouthed goobers wandering around with backwards baseball caps.

She hopped out, and we walked around to the flat side--again, I expected a deflated doughnut, and intened to fix it with the handy can of spray goo I keep in the trunk.

What did I find?

A giant gouge of a hole, and the tire completely separated from the rim. It looked like she'd driven into the sharp pointed end of something with a sharp pointed end, at about 110 miles per hour.

"Ashley! This isn't a flat--you had a blow out! You ran over something! How'd you do this?"

"I DON'T KNOW!! I DIDN'T HIT ANYTHING! SOME GIRL SAID I LOST MY HUBCAP AND I GOT IT! DO YOU NEED MY HUBCAP!?"

I knelt down and examined the rim--big concrete-rough gouge on the side of the rim, and looked at the hubcap--corresponding abrasions there.

::sigh:: She'd hit something with it--hard--hard enough to completely shred the sidewall and kick off the hubcap, but she was so intent on blaming someone, something, else that she had completely erased any memory of what she was doing or anything else. When she gets like this, there's no reasoning with her, no way to get an honest answer. "Where did this happen?"

She waved her hand over toward the front of the school, and again asked me if I needed the hubcap.

"No."

I pulled out the spare and the jack, and put the carcass and bones in the trunk. "You aren't going to put the hubcap on?"

What IS it with her and that hubcap!? She seemed to have taken her salvation of the hubcap as proof that she has nothing to do with any of the preceding events. "No, the spare tire doesn't get a hubcap--when we get the tire changed, they'll put it on."

I followed her up to Sam's where I dropped a nice $60 replacing a tire I'd purchased only a few months ago. At least she did say she was sorry, which is a far cry from the screaming fit she pitched last week when she determined that because we wouldn't spend $2,000 to send her to some sort of money-wasting educational enrichment thing in Washington for a week that we hated her.

::sigh::

Left the car, took her home, went to the bank, came back, took her to her play rehearsal, came back home, got Reba to take me back to Sam's to pick up the car. She dropped me off, I got the car, drove home expecting to see the van there, since Reba was supposed to come right home. Not there. Parked Focus, saw note on door--"Gone to pick up Ashley." Apparently, rehearsal was cancelled for her.

AFTER ALL THAT, the rest of the weekend was uneventful, and thankfully so. I used my newly-invented Pillow Head Sound Arrestor Saturday morning when I heard Boy click on cartoons, and I am almost ashamed to admit that I slept all the way until 10:00 o'clock. I haven't done that in years and years and years. It sure was nice. Sorta. A certain member of the fair sex to whom I am wed begrudged me the extra hours, but I was so blissfully out of it, I never heard her usual Saturday morning Dropping of Fully Laden Baskets, or her Loud Opening of Doors, or her Loud Slamming of Doors, or her Rackety Dropping of Piles of Plastic Clothes Hangers, or her Clattering of Clanging Metal Cookware.

After awakening and dressing, I had a few more errands to run, to the OTHER bank, where I saw famed radio and television personality, Ken Lass, then I came back and there was laundry, and other things I can't remember, and I listened to the football game which was nice, AND THEN--

--we loaded up the truckster and went to Penney's to shop for blue jeans. Even in the South, there does come a time when it's too cold and you just can't wear shorts. We stayed there until very, very late. And spend very, very much money. But they all have enough pantses to wear for a whole week.

Sunday, again, not much to do, and I actually got to read a paper! Did have to make another run to Sam's, this time to get snacks for yet another weekend campout. This one I won't be going on, though--it's for the kids at church--who (along with several adults including Miss Reba) will be heading up to Guntersville this weekend. I stay at home to sit with Cat, although I predict a good time will be had with much silliness. But, as I was saying, had to go get a variety of snack items both for our kids and everyone else's, too.

Managed to do that, and got a sample of stuffing from one of the sample ladies. She told me all about it as I tried to leave, then asked me if I wanted to buy some stuffing.

"UHmm, no--I don't need any today. But thank you very much!"

She was disappointed, I think. But I really didn't need a five pound box of stuffing.

Home, unload, then back up to church for the kids to have their meetings on various things, then after worship they had a get-together at another family's house, while Mom and I and Cat went and had supper at Ruby Tuesday. Only four tables occupied, and yet the service STILL seemed lackadaisical.

Oh well.

All in all, an okay weekend, if you discount the vast outflow of money involved.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:54 AM | Comments (0)

Make that a longer while than I thought.

Just found out our secretary is out for the day and I made the mistake of wandering by the outer office to get a refreshing cold beverage while my boss was out there. So I got tagged with watching the phone for the next hour.

::sigh::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:28 AM | Comments (0)

Aside from having to leave work early...

...to go buy a new front tire after a certain oldest child of mine managed to tear a four inch long by 1 1/2 inch wide gash in her front passenger side tire--"I DON'T KNOW HOW THAT HAPPENED!! I THINK SOMEONE MIGHT HAVE DONE THAT IN THE PARKING LOT!!"--other than that, the weekend was remarkably trouble-free.

BUT, more of that in a little while. I have to start my carbonated beverage IV.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:12 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2006

That time already!?

Uh, well, no, not quite.

But my brain is all squishy sounding and that's always a sign it's best to wrap things up here at Moron Central and get ready for next week. The weekend plans are unremarkable, thank goodness, and it is my most sincere wish that they contain nothing more exciting than finding a quarter in the washing machine. Well, unless it's finding a million dollars in the washing machine, or finding that the washing machine has been magically turned into solid gold by a troupe of kind elves. Or even elves impersonators.

ANYway, all of you have a great weekend, and come back around Monday and we'll see what sort of trouble we can get into.

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

I lead a very sheltered life.

Witnessed by the fact that I had no idea what in the world anyone would be talking about when they stumbled upon Possumblog with the search query of: danny gray buttcrack flame seats for sale

Sounds luridly frightening, I must say.

HOWEVER, upon doing a bit of research, I found out that Danny Gray is a highly-respected maker of custom motorcycle seats, one model of which just happens to have the title of Butt Crack, and said model available with a variety of custom stitching upon the seat surface, including the sought-after flame-pattern stitching.

As I said, I lead a very sheltered life. Thank goodness for the Internet.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:25 AM | Comments (4)

Why would an aardvark...

...even CONSIDER prancing about in a spotted leopard-print leotard in Temple, Texas?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (2)

First Hogs, then Indians!

Good morning again, sports fans, it's time once more for Possumblog Sports Center, the World's Best Doggone Internet Sports Show Devoted to Only Talking About One Team and One Sport, and Not Doing A Very Good Job of Either One!

Last week I have no idea what went on since I didn't get to listen to the game, but from what I was able to read, the Old Misses were frighteningly close to staging an upset of the Tigers, even though (for once) Brandon Cox flang the ball with seeming impugnity. Mistakes, miscues, penalties, and an inability to stop U of M big-play plays nearly cost the Plainsmen their hides, but late defensive spine-stiffening finally saved the day. Which just shouldn't have to happen, but it does.

BUT, that is now all safely in the past, and now it's time for 6th ranked Auburn (8-1, 5-1 SEC) to take one final break from conference play to bring in Sunbelt Conference powerhouse, the Indians of Arkansas State University. One certainly hopes that THIS game turns out a bit better than the last Arkansas team the Tigers played.

It is bound to evoke a bit of nostalgia on the part of the Tiger head coach, in that Arkansas State was his first college coaching assignment, but hopefully this will not unduly influence him and make him think he has to take it easy on his former employer, nor let it get so close as it was last week against his immediate past employer.

Despite owning a 5-3 record, it might turn out to be that Arkansas State will be easy pickings for the Tigers, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that every time I've thought a smaller college would be easy pickings, they decide to pull out all the stops and punch far above their weight classifications. This week could be more of the same, or as we head past this one into the final Tough Two of Georgia and Alabama, the Tigers might decide it's time to get their droppings into a small convenient pile and start playing as a full team, for a full game.

In particular, this means when the offense gets the ball into the red zone, that they actually start scoring some touchdowns, and that the defense will quit making it tough on themselves by giving up so much in the way of middle distance yardage in the air.

Although it's nice to have the kind of depth Auburn has in punting, kicking, and field goal kicking, it's much better as the season comes to a close to be able to punch the ball into the endzone for six points, rather than settling for three--at least not quite so much as they've been doing.

Everyone is healthy, and everyone should get to play a little, barring any unforseen surge of visciousness upon the part of ArkyState.

"BUT!" I hear you scream, "what of that incredible Indian spirit we hear so much about!"

Well, they've got some, but their website (just like Auburn's) needs some work to better display their full measure of their aborginal spirit. I do like the game photos with the feature that gives you multiple sizes, but overall it seems awkward and difficult to access. And they keep showing pictures that have guys in them. Who needs that!?

As usual, Auburn is still lagging behind, and it is a shame and something should be done about it right now, because as I must again remind everyone, we have Georgia and Alabama coming up, and I know their cheerleaders are big and tough and mean.

ANYWAY, enough of that silliness, WHAT ABOUT OUR WEEKLY PREDICTION OF FINAL SCORE?

I have consulted a variety of sources, seers, oracles, shamans, medicine men, and panda chefs, and have come up with what I am certain will be the exact score, which will be...








AUBURN 34 -- ARKANSAS STATE 13

Game time is 1:30 Central at the lovely Jordan-Hare Stadium, upon the equally lovely Pat Dye Field, which is planted with lovely Bo Jackson Sod, and marked with lovely Pat Sullivan White Lines, and bounded by lovely John Heisman Goal Posts. TV is pay per view from your local TV-getting place, and will be broadcast on YOUR Auburn Radio Network.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!


We cannot delay a further second in the important task of recognizing those young athletes who perform as well in the classroom as they do upon the field of competition!

So let us now tarry no longer in announcing our 10th Possumblog Student Athlete of the Week, an honor bestowed upon a worthy athlete who exemplifies scholarly achievement. And it is an honor that has nothing whatsoever to do with said athlete's cuteness level.

Not that it hurts anything, as witnessed by this week's honoress, Claire Seiffert! Miss Seiffert, a 5'-4" sophomore communications major, hales from Louisville, KY, where she held seven consecutive state gymnastics championship titles and was a member of the National Honor Society. Upon coming to Auburn, the blonde dynamo has maintained her academic standing and has been honored at the spring Tiger Torch banquet as a Top Tiger, and is a member of the Cardinal Key Honor Society and the Sigma Lambda Chi Honor Society.

Congratulations, Claire, on being named the PSAotW!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:36 AM | Comments (4)

Well, there's ardor, and then there's ardor for self.

Tim Blair notes that a particular person has a rather expansive self-image.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

So what exactly does one do to cool his ardor for his beloved?

He comes home, kisses her on the cheek, then takes his middle daughter to Academy to try to find a new pair of soccer cleats.

And then he stays gone for three hours, not returning home until nearly 9:30 p.m., because finding a new pair of soccer cleats required trying on Every. Single. Pair. Ofcleatsintheentirestore. Every women's pair, every man's pair.

This one was too tight through here.

These hurt across here.

This one doesn't have a comfortable back.

This one rubs my heel.

This one hurts here, but feels better here than this one.

This one makes me feel like I'm rocking backwards.

This one is too hard.

Repeat.

Do you know how long three hours is when it's spent in a sporting goods store, when you're not looking at fun things like guns? It's a long time, that's how long.

But, it had to be done--she begins soccer again on the 13th, and she needs to get her cleats broken in a bit before she starts. And I apparently needed something to calm me down and make me so fatigued (aided by hungried, since I didn't have any kind of supper before we left) that my more base desires were safely and conveniently dissipated.

Of course, now I have had a night's sleep, and breakfast, and Miss Reba's picture is looking at me across the desk right now...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

Since we're a'doing pictures...

Here's one from this morning I took over by the library after dropping the kids off. It's a gorgeous day today, and the leaves are prettier this year than just about any time I can remember.

parkway morning.JPG

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

KITTY!

Now then! Sorry for the delay, but we bloggers who pretend to be A-listers have to make sure our Friday Catblogging photos are of the highest quality and composition.

SO, what has Lightning, the World's Most Expensive Free Kitten, been up to?

Growing.

He's a big ol' cat now, and looks even bigger with his puffy coat of fur. He's still very unwilling to stand still for long, though, so these pictures of him are about all I could get before he started whirling around all dervish-like.

First, a regal pose with his favorite article, the big bucket of food.

I promise I'm not pressing down on him with my hand. Much.

Second, he decides to scoot around and let his giant paws hang off the top of his kitty kondo.

I promise I'm not pressing down on him with my hand. Much.

Finally, before he got so fidgety, a shot of him looking for prey. Which might or might not include my hand.

SO, there you are, America! Yet another wannabe A-list blogger gives YOU pictures of a cat!! Thank you for your patronage!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 AM | Comments (0)

KITTY?

KITTY!! Except I have to do a bit of formatting first so he'll fit on the page.

Your patience, please.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:01 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

Doing the things I don't want to do!

I have to go make a run across town to look at a paint sample. Mainly because I've been unable to hide sufficiently well to keep from finding out it was something I needed to go do.

To make matters worse, my shoes still smell like gasoline from stepping in a puddle of it last night when I went to fill up Reba's van.

::sigh::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:05 PM | Comments (0)

Boy, how I hate that Miss Reba.

She comes in here at 11:30 because she had some business over at the courthouse, and she's wearing that suede jacket and that beige silk sweater with the tiny pearls on it and that tweedy looking skirt of hers that sorta cups under in the back and that pair of high boots of hers that fit her legs like a second skin, and she's all flushed and giggly from walking outside in the chilly air, and her hair's tousled and she starts saying all this suggestive stuff like, "Hey!" and "Could you validate my parking ticket," and then she has the nerve to tell me that I most certainly CANNOT close my office door and lock it and make sure her underwear is properly fitted! Can you imagine anyone being so cavalier? So uncaring about the damage that can be done to a person if her clothing doesn't fit correctly?

AND THEN, she had the gall to go to lunch with me, KNOWING FULL WELL that food makes me all tingly inside, and YET SHE ONCE MORE REFUSED to return to my office so that I could engage in my tingle-dissipation exercises with her!! What sort of cruel person does that to another!? Her, with her eyes sparkling like they do, and smelling like powder and hot dog relish!

AND THEN, when I walked her back to her van in the parking deck, she steadfastly REFUSED to allow me to warm my hands by placing them ANYwhere underneath her clothing! AND FURTHER, she nixed in no uncertain terms my idea of climbing under a blanket in the back of the van so we could conserve body heat, using the lame excuse that there were "cameras" in the parking deck, and that there was "no blanket in the back." HEY! IF I CAN PRETEND THERE'S A BLANKET, WHY CAN'T SHE!?

Some people can be so inconsiderate.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:36 PM | Comments (8)

Now THAT'S a knife!

Miss Janis has been pondering lately what sort of edgedware to purchase (and finally decided on this), and now that I have some time to hold forth on the matter (and with the full knowledge that my opinion is rather meaningless) I have my own preferences for such things.

First of all, I love good knives, "good" being a highly subjective term, but one that I say means that it does the job it's suppposed to do. All the fancy stuff is nice, but if you can't use it, it's worthless. "Doing the job" also is subjective, but for a knife, to me it means that a) it will take and keep an razor edge, b) it is strong, yet flexible enough to take some abuse without snapping, c) it fits the hand, d) it balances properly.

I don't like stainless steel blades, or at least not any that I've ever used, and this includes the various Swiss Army makers. They seem to be quite brittle, and although they can be made sharp, they are difficult to sharpen if they get dull, or worse, if they get a nick in the blade.

I like a full tang knife, because it will always be marginally usuable even if the grip somehow manages to crack or come off. Something with a rod type tang is useless without a handle.

I like handles made out of something dense, and I like them pinned through the tang. I like having a good grip, but I've always like having the handle countoured enough to grip naturally even if the handle is wet or slippery, rather than trying to have soft or checkered handles for slip resistance. This one could go either way, though. I just like having a smooth handle that fits, rather than the squishy or the nubby.

I like a metal pommel that's hard enough to hammer with.

I like having enough of a bolster that my index finger can theoretically not slip off and get sliced, but I'm not sold on having a big one that goes all the way down to the blade edge.

As for the blade itself, I hate to say it but I like blades made from old files or industrial hacksaw blades. They're really too thick for swishy kitchen work, but for a dual purpose chef's knife, I really like them. As for real purpose made kitchen knives, I think stuff like this stainless-cored Damascus bladed knife are just nifty as all get out. I love the look of Damascus, and its toughness and ability to take a razor edge. These don't like to get nicked, though, so I wind up back where I was as to blade material.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:59 AM | Comments (9)

Stupid Daylight Savings Time

I just realized that I didn't fix my blog timestamp on Monday.

Everything on Monday through Wednesday, please deduct one hour.


**$&$^#@!@

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:34 AM | Comments (2)

Lies, Damned Lies, and The Media

Yet more evidence of the pernicious nature of leftward media bias is this little headline-- Productivity slows to a standstill

By MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON - The productivity of American workers slowed to a standstill in the summer while wage pressures were rising at the fastest clip in more than two decades, a combination likely to raise inflation concerns at the Federal Reserve.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that productivity, the amount of output per hour of work, showed no change in the July-September quarter while labor costs rose by 3.8 percent. For the past year, labor costs are up by 5.3 percent, the fastest increase since 1982. [...]

HORRORS!! WE'RE DOOMED!! ECONOMY IN THE TOILET!! FACTORIES SHUTTERED!! WORKERS NO LONGER WORKING!!

Except.

Productivity is a meaure of how much stuff gets done in an hour. The fact that there was no increase over last quarter DOES NOT MEAN THAT PRODUCTION HAS STOPPED, despite the implication of the headline. Productivity rate gains and losses are cyclical, and over the last ten years have generally fluctuated in a window of zero to five percent--up and down, up and down. Here's the chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that shows the phenomenon.

The fact that the rate of productivity did not increase from one quarter to the next is, in and of itself, not remarkable.

Second of all, we continue to hear from some quarters about how low wages are and how a certain political party will make sure wages go up. Well, according to the story, labor costs (which includes wages) is up. Good? NO! BAAAADDDD!!

I took a micro- and a macroeconomics class in college, and generally understand the way markets and the economy work, but I'm obviously not an expert in this stuff. But even still, I can see that the intent of this story--and especially its misleading headline--has very little to do with reporting routine economic data, and much more about looking at everything through a prism of tearing down the current Administration. NO economic news--no matter how good, no matter how innocuous, seems to be fed through a screen to gather as much chaff together and throw away as much wheat as possible.

Why?

I'm not sure, but I think back a few years ago to the last election when so much of the old-line media took a black eye for its thinly-disguised loyalty to the Left. The refrain from many on the Right was, "Look, it's not that you guys are biased--we KNOW you are--at least be honest about it." I think this was said by many with the hope that through shame and denigration, the media would decide that maybe it had NOT been dispassionate enough, and begin to make efforts to be more careful, more cognizant of the way in which stories are framed, and actually work toward being as unbiased in fact as they always proclaimed themselves to be in word.

What happened, however, is that the media took an unexpected tack of becoming nakedly partisan, for the most part dropping any pretense of reason or logic and settling comfortably in the role of being a petty, partisan organ. (Corroborating story here.)

Thankfully, they managed to secure their irrelevancy several years before such a decision would have a greater impact.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:32 AM | Comments (2)

Thursday Pollen Count!

Leave it to our crack research team of sniffly and itchy Jim Smith to come up with an inspired selection of questions for today, based entirely upon his own seasonal distress!

Jim, suffering through some sort of allergic malady, sent the following to us (in a somewhat more condensed form) and suggested we have an Stopped Up, Wheezy, Sneezy Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

1. Do you have any food or plant allergies that kick in this time of year?

2. Is there anything in the food or plant realm that you might not be allergic to, but that you dread seeing during the fall anyway?

3. Setting aside your discomfort for just a moment, what are some of your favorite fall things?

Okay, all of you drink your chicken soup and Allerest and get to work. Remember that anyone is free to play along, even if itís not autumn where you live, or if you think people with allergies are just big babies trying to get sympathy!

AS FOR MY ANSWERSÖ


1. Thank goodness Iím not bothered by allergies, either of the food or the plant or the medical or the animal variety, unless weíre talking about something like molten lava.

2. Even though Iím not allergic to them, Iím not a big fan of cranberries, and Iíve gotten to where I donít really care that much for pumpkin pie.

3. I like goldenrod, and mums, and I like seeing the leaves change colors. And thatís about it. Fall means women in big bulky wool sweaters and overcoats and hats and scarves, and thereís just nothing good about that.

So there you go.

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

November 01, 2006

You know what ELSE I just realized?

Tomorrow is Thursday.

Someone needs some inspiration...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:51 PM | Comments (6)

Day Late, etc.

Well, we sorta got an apology. Not the one I would like to have heard, though:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry apologized Wednesday for a "poorly stated joke," which the Massachusetts senator says was aimed at the president but was widely perceived as a slam on U.S. troops.

"I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply anything negative about those in uniform, and I personally apologize to any service member, family member or American who was offended," he said in a written statement. [...]

"I regret my words were misinterpreted to wrongly imply" isn't the same as "I regret I said something that could be misinterpreted." The former implies it is the fault of the hearer, rather than the fault of the speaker, and there are a LOT of military personnel who took it exactly the wrong way. It is rather more along the lines of 'I regret you're too dim to get the joke, but since you didn't, I'm sorry. That you're so dim.'

By apologizing in this unstraightforward way, he once again belittles the intelligence of the people who were able to listen to the sound-bite themselves and drew their own conclusions about what he meant.

He now says he will return to Washington to fight some more, where one hopes he will be safe from further searing, self-inflicted wounds.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:46 PM | Comments (0)

You know what I just realized?

It's NOVEMBER!

How did that happen?

Anyway, I think I have finally gotten unfrustrated enough to be chipper enough to blog, and as a direct response to Skinnydan, who asked yesterday if instead of actually being busy, I was actually suffering from blogui, having written all there is to write about kittens and deep-fried panda, I would like to say this:

No. NO! NO, Mr. Smartypants!

I am perfectly able to blog with the same tenacity and ferocity and idiocy that has always been a trademark of Possumblog.

Therefore, allow me to give you--

Grandma's Deep Fried Panda with Kitten Gravy!

I remember it with fondness, as Granny would send us out into the back 40 with a .22 and a sprig of bamboo to find us a panda, and the warm hearty smell of a big pan of fritters when we got back from a long afternoon hunt.

INGREDIENTS

1 Panda
6 eggs
2 cups flour
Salt, pepper, ginger, sage, poultry seasoning, etc.
Oil for frying
Milk

Field dress panda, rinse with clear water, pat dry.

Mix eggs, flour and any combination of the spices above for a variety or about 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Alternate beating and adding about 1 tbsp. of milk until the mix has thinned enough to jiggle when shaken. Continue to beat with a fork until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Place panda in bowl and stir until well coated.

Drop panda in hot oil. Stir and turn until golden brown making sure it does not stick to fry pan.

GRAVY INGREDIENTS

Kittens
Flour
Oil
Water
Salt, pepper

Heat oil and add equal parts kittens and flour, stirring constantly to form stiff paste. Slowly add water and continue stirring until lumps disappear. Add seasoning to taste and serve hot over panda.

MMmmmm!! Just the way Grandma used to make it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:44 PM | Comments (5)

Speaking of Frustrating

That copier out there is about to drive me nuts. Oh, sure--"Short drive" you jape. But it keeps jamming up and I have to jam my porky little fingers into its innards trying to get out 450.89 degree paper. To make it even worse, someone printed out something on the printer, yet never came to get it, and when I printed out my stuff, I just absentmindedly picked up the whole stack, so when I went to make my copies, I got their stuff and my stuff all mixed together in my mailout and made 50 copies of it, which promptly went into the recycle bin/guilt assuager.

Yes, I missed Angry Tuesday yesterday because of having to do my real job, and now THIS comes up, and boy, I just want to say &&%&$@#!

If YOU'D like to say the same thing about the inconsequentially minor aggravations of life, please feel free to hold forth in the comments below. Just remember that this is a family blog, so don't go off and start saying stuff like @$$wit and (H&*^.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (4)

Reporting for Doofus

I know all the pundit blogs have covered in great detail the latest verbal gaffe flung by the junior Senator from Massachusetts, so I really have nothing to add.

Except.

This is why the Democrats continue to lose elections. A lame attempt at humor? This is supposed to be a member of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body. Yes, I know Joe Biden is in there, too--and both of them are politically tone-deaf dunces, but nonetheless they continue to put themselves forward as Great Men of Thought, and revile those of us who vote conservative as knuckle-dragging troglodytes. We may very well be, but please don't think you're any better or any smarter than us. Because if you can't tell a joke the right way, by definition you're a friggin' idiot.

Second--you're lying. Not only was it not a botched attempt at a joke, it was a most revealing glimpse of your truest feelings, that being that anyone who joins the military is a sucker, a dumb sucker, a poor dumb sucker who can't do anything else because he didn't graduate from Yale and marry two heiresses, and a poor dumb sucker who can't do anything else because he didn't graduate from Yale and marry two heiresses AND who can't see how superior Democrats are in every scientifically measureable way and that anyone who doesn't vote for them is evil and probably going out right now to lynch 'em up a bunch of Negroes. Oh, and Democrats are kind and tolerant toward others. And they really love all that Jesus crap that people talk about.

Third--since we've already decided Senator "I have that hat to this day" is a dunce, it's probably not worth noting that his "fiery" rebuttal is idiotic in that no one is asking him to apologize to the President. Bush gets worse things said about him by better men than John Kerry every day of his life--that's part of his job as President. He asks no apologies from anyone. But to bow up and act like you're being Swiftboated because it sounded like you were telling college kids to make sure they get an education or else they'll end up in Iraq, well, it defies reason. And THIS is the man people talk about being so smart!?

Look--I'm willing to let the poor dumb sap try to wiggle out of this by saying he misspoke, but he seems as incapable of admitting an error in judgement as Bill Clinton was about his mendaciousness. All that had to have been said was--"I said something that is being construed as a shot against the men and women of the military, and I understand how it came out that way. Let me say that I apologize to them that I made it sound that way, and I know that the members of our militiary are today some of the best and most educated leaders we have in our society. Military service is a noble goal, and we'd do well to encourage our college students to consider a career in the millitary after graduation to help us make our armed forces even stronger and more capable."

That's what I want to hear.

But I know I won't.

Yes, I know it's unfair to paint all Democrats with a Lurch brush, because there are some who are conservative, and who do not defend in any way either what Senator Kerry said or his mangled meltdown of a reponse. But let's face it--Kerry spoke what passes for the truth for a wide swath of those who consider themselves Democrats--that the military is full of mindless victims who are too ill prepared in life to do anything else. This perception of the Democrats, more than anything else, is why they are mistrusted with national defense.

Do the Republicans "deserve" to maintain control of Congress. No, no more than any partisan group "deserves" anything. Both parties have their full share of political opportunists and swindlers, and neither of them deserve anything.

But do Americans deserve to allow the affairs of our nation--particularly our international affairs that rely heavily upon a well-trained and usable military--to be run by a group of people who have nothing but utter contempt for those who put on a uniform in defense of the United States; who see them as nothing more than a subhuman murderers? No, I don't think we need that, either. But that bitter ideology is what has become prevalent within the national Democratic party.

I've said previously it's a bad idea to try to punish Republicans by taking away their power, mainly because the alternative is to give power to the Democrats. This whole minor imbroglio is a perfect example of why. Not only have the Democrats not earned our trust, they've done everything in their power to cement their reputations as undependable in a crisis--even one that could have been so easily corrected.

They can't even fight a minor brushfire in their own ranks, and yet they want control? They don't want to fight our enemies, but they have no trouble acting tough when they know it costs them nothing?

I am reminded of the episode of Seinfeld when George is waiting on the unemployment office to call him at Jerry's apartment, which he told them was Vandelay Industries, a company that sells latex. When they call, George is in the bathroom, and has to come running out to try to answer the phone, but with his pants down around his ankles, he trips and he falls facefirst onto the floor. Jerry comes in, looks down in mild disgust, and says, "So you want to be my latex salesman?"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:49 AM | Comments (13)

Of Frustration and Melancholy

Well, I got all finished up yesterday and thought that TODAY I would be able to finally play, and I'd come in early and hit the ol' keyboard hard and do some catching up with all that's gone on lately.

Shoulda known better.

Got up this morning and rousted the kids. Since Reba had to go in early, I had to take the younger three to school, which is usually not that bad as long as we leave at 10 til 7. Yesterday, we managed fine. This morning? Well, they took a bit longer to get downstairs, and they had Things to Do. Which they needed done while I was trying to fix them some breakfast. Seems Boy needed a base to hang his pipecleaner DNA model on. I had to go find that. Managed to find a narrow shoebox, stuck a hole in the top, pushed in a bent paperclip as a hook, and hung the twisted fuzzy things in there neatly. Done. But then he needed tape. Tape is supposed to be in THIS cabinet. It was, but there was no dispenser, so I needed the scissors, which Boy had to go retrieve from some other part of the house. Cut two pieces so he could tape on his description.

"Daddy, I need you to fix this."

It was Catherine, who'd remembered she wanted to take another one of her little homemade pizzas to school today just like she did yesterday. Only, yesterday, she'd already had it made and we only had to heat it in the oven.

Today?

She had to make it AND get it hot. And it was time to go. Grr. Heated up the oven, cleaned up the mess from breakfast, told everyone to get their backpacks and get ready to go, told Cat to put away her video game so she'd be ready to go, waited, waited, took the pizza out as soon as the cheese looked more or less melted, wrapped it in foil, slung it in her lunchbox, yelled upstairs to Oldest to have a good day (which got the usual frosty silence in response), and hit the garage door running about five minutes behind schedule.

Middle Two to middle school, Cat and I on to the intermediate school, pulled into the drop-off and sat for a moment to see if the doors had been unlocked yet.

"Daddy, do we have time to go back home?"

::sigh::

"Why, Catherine?"

Although I knew.

"I forgot my backpack I'M SORRY DADDY!!"

"Well, you might be late, and I know I will be, but whatever."

Back home, pick up backpack, back to school, where she got out with plenty of time to spare--not the least bit late. And then it was time for me to go to work. It was 7:40.

I got here at 9:00. A wreck at the 31st Street exit, which stopped traffic and contributed to a wreck after the Tallapoosa Street exit, both of which backed up traffic all the way to Trussville. By the time I actually GOT to the 31st Street exit, there was no wreck there anymore.

SO, now I'm here, and I'm not in a pleasant state, and to make it worse, Halloween was quite the bummer. Jonathan and Rebecca both had homework, and neither one was really that excited about going trickertreating, which at first I thought was good, and I congratulated them for being mature enough to realize that if they did go out, they knew they'd have to get their homework done first. Catherine was QUITE ready to go, however, and got on her witch costume and grabbed her plastic pumpkin and we headed out.

It was warm--didn't even need a jacket, and I probably would have been more comfortable in a tee shirt instead of my dress shirt. And it was light out--there were scattered low clouds that bounced the lights from the main highway. And for some reason, there just weren't nearly so many kids out this year.

And the worst thing? I only had one with me.

I think she noticed the loneliness of it all, too. The first house she was excited, but after that one, I think she missed not having a couple of other kids to run with her and try to get to the doorbell first. She usually is chattering like a spider monkey on crack, but she was very quiet this year.

And it made me sad.

How many more years will it be before she decides she's too old for dressing up and asking for candy? To make it worse, when we got back, Jonathan had finished his homework and was all excited and wanted to go out, too. I dropped Cat off and Boy and I started walking.

He felt the same vibe, too. Not very many kids out, and a certain sense that he was a bit too old to be dressing up. We went to the few houses on the street behind us, and when I pointed out some more houses up the way, he suddenly just said he wanted to go home. "I'm hot."

This from the kid who'd played football for three hours with a bunch of rowdy boys on Sunday afternoon in the big field where we camped. He was hot.

I really don't think that was it, and I have to tell you it makes me miss all those times when there was no such thing as getting too hot or too tired or too old to run around the neighborhood after dark, when having to go to the bathroom didn't mean going home, but finding a conveniently dark clump of bushes.

For once, I'm kinda glad everyone's putting up Christmas decorations early.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:50 AM | Comments (5)