December 22, 2006

Until we meet again next year...

xmaspossum sm.jpg

...give your family a big hug and kiss, and tell them how much you love them. As I've noted, I'll be off next week, and will be back to blogging sometime in The Ought-Seven.

May God's blessings be upon you all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:10 PM | Comments (3)

Boy, Art People are odd.

Walking back from the museum, I came out of the doorway and immediately to my right noticed something peculiar. A woman, of youngish-middling age and thickish-middling figure, with short hair and the dark framed glassed favored by those with artistic pretensions, had gone and plopped herself onto the base of the big ugly statue in front of the museum.

She sat there holding some books and other junk, supremely casual in that self-consciously casual way Artistic Sorts have when they think they're being boldly clever and naughty and coloring outside the lines and shocking the rubes with their flippant nose-thumbing directed toward the "rules" of "civilized" people.

But you know, that was an awful lot of effort for very little in the way of reward. The statue sits up a slight rise in the front yard of the building, across about five feet of grass. And it's been raining. So the ground was undoubtably soggy. Probably just like the top of the stone base itself. Which is probably around thirty inches up off the sodden lawn. And actually pretty small when it comes to being useful as a place to sit and gaze upon the world gazing back at you in amazement at your cleverness. Not really a good place to get both the ol' hams up there, you know? And no place to set your books and other ephemera.

So the whole attempt to look however it was that she wanted to look came off looking much more comical than she probably intended for it to. Next time I think I'd use the handy park benches scattered about the downtown area.

IN ANY EVENT, wound up with a couple of nice books for Miss Reba, because we just don't have enough books. First one is a big job on The Quilts of Gee's Bend. Her family is full of quilters (as is mine), although she's never done any herself (nor have I). But she still likes looking at them (as do I).

Second is one by Kathryn Tucker Windham, a tiny book called The Bridal Wreath Bush. Anything that in only 32 short pages makes a grown man tear up in public is a pretty good book.

A few more things to get tonight, and then I'm all done. Except for the wrapping.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (1)

Now then...

...after the preceeding little ray of sunshine, it's time to get out in the icky rainy weather and go over to the art museum for a little bit of shopping for Miss Reba.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:18 PM | Comments (2)


A brief but excellent post on happenings on this date back in 1944, with thanks to Dr. Reynolds for the heads-up.

You know, it has become quite popular amongst stupid people to attempt to make political hay by the specious method of comparing the amount of time we have been engaged in Iraq to the amount of time we spent fighting World War II. It might be worth considering that in December of 1944, American involvement in the Second World War had already lasted three years.

Now maybe I'm wrong, but I don't recall reading commentary from citizens at the time that the war was going badly because we'd already been there almost twice as long as we'd been involved in the First World War--which from the official declaration of war on April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918, was about a year and seven months or so. We didn't fight either of those wars alone--in both cases the English and the French had been slaughtered for years before we got on the Continent. And in the case of the Second, the world had been at arms years before September 1939, with the Japanese annexing Manchuria in 1931 and invading China in 1937, with Germany taking the Sudetenland and annexing Austria in 1938, and with Italy invading Ethiopia in 1935.

Worth considering also the war that came on the heels of WWII, Korea. We're still fighting that one, you know. There is no peace treaty--only an armistice. It's a hot war even if there's not that much shooting. A 53-year-old quagmire, if we use the term the way our brothers in the Fourth Estate tend to use it.

All that to say I believe we'd be a bit further along in our current conflict if we had a few more people willing to say "Nuts" to our enemies, and not worry too much if large amounts of said enemies are sent to greet their Maker.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:11 PM | Comments (0)

Just to set the record straight...

...I have not sought the head coaching job at Alabama, and I have not been contacted by anyone with the University.

And not only that, but: Saban denies Alabama rumors — again

This has gotten to be so very comical. Yes, I know coaches have a habit of publicly saying they aren't interested when offers come across the desk, but Saban has been more vocal, more often, about NOT WANTING THIS JOB than anyone I've ever heard of before. Yet, for some reason, folks won't let it drop.

What I can't figure out is why Terry Bowden's name never gets mentioned.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:12 AM | Comments (0)

Some people need to lighten up a bit.

Deep-fried turkey grounded at Dulles

CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — Add deep-fried turkey to the list of banned substances at Dulles International Airport.

A holiday party last week at the airport's administrative offices drew a fire marshal and complaints from union officials upset with the menu: a deep-fried turkey prepared on site that they deemed a fire hazard.

"It has ... come to my attention that the Dulles Management decided it would be a nice idea to DEEP FRY A TURKEY in the Dulles administrative quarters, surrounded by carpet, linoleum, an airport, aircraft, a control tower, thousands if not millions of gallons of jet fuel and thousands of passengers and employees," Kieron Heflin, an air traffic controller's union representative, complained in a letter to management. [...]

Okay, now maybe they have a point, although if you read the rest of the article, it doesn't seem to have been quite the disaster-waiting-to-happen it's made out to be by the union rep. And I guess that's my beef--there's nothing wrong with trying to maintain a safe work environment, but the tone of the memo is so childish and insipid and so full of overwrought hysteria that it only serves to make the writer look like a humorless, imbecilic twit.

Surely that's not what was intended.

I'm sure everyone at Dulles has enough to do without making this into an issue.

Then again, maybe not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (3)

Okay, now--where was I?

No, really. I seem to have gotten lost in this blizzard of paper.

ANYway, last night was Christmas shopping night for the youngsters, with a brief bit of civic dutifulness ahead of time. Met up with Miss Reba at the house, unloaded work stuff, and then headed out for a quick bite before my meeting.

Stopped at a local joint called Willy T.'s, which is known amongst the fair dwellers of The Gateway to Happy Living for its delecatable fried chicken strips. Walked in and was greeted by a chipper young lady of beauty queen good looks with the news that they had no fried chicken ready.

Reminds me of the time in the long ago when my folks and sister and I were on vacation and stopped at a Waffle House, and they had no waffles.

ANYway, we got ourselves each a cheeseburger, which was of the big old-timey mom-and-pop handmade type, and it was quite good. Aside from an unmistakable flavor of char in certain bites. I blame that on the kid in the back manning the grill who had pierced ears with those great huge black spools in them.

On then down the street to City Hall, dithered about, did our quasi-judicial thing, and then it was time to run up Santa's credit card debt.

First, to Sam's, where we picked up a nice little portable DVD player for Middle Girl, a CD for one of the other kids, and some baklava for the Christmas grazing table at work. (By the way, this seems to have gone over very well. It's only 10:16 and it's just about gone.)

Next stop, Wal-Mart, looking for something for Cat, who has been wanting--of all things--a guitar. I'm not sure if you've ever noticed, but learning to play a guitar (which she will have to do, seeing as how she doesn't know how) requires an attention span of longer than five seconds. I was willing to get her something inexpensive, but all of the other parents in similar situations had apparently beaten me to all the budget-priced models. So, no deal on that. Santa can be very cruel that way. Did manage to find a couple more CDs and the "Deal or No Deal" DVD game. (Trust me--Tiny Terror wanted this more than a guitar, and at least she WILL play it for more than five minutes.)

So far, despite all the wandering about and looking, not a lot in the way of things. Hard to buy for people who have everything, you know. ::cough::MissReba::cough::

Next stop, Best Buy to see about picking out a CD player for the Focus. We've been promising Oldest since before she turned 16 that we'd get a CD player installed in it so she could listen to something other than the horrible old-fashioned abominations known as "cassette tapes." Why, one might as well have a giant Victrola strapped to the hood as have to endure such things! Anyway, despite the avidly disaffected "assistance" offered by the sales staff, we STILL managed to find a relatively nice Sony model (the slammin' jammin' CDXGT510, dude!). If I ran Best Buy, I would have a spot on the employment application that says the applicant agrees to not wander around with his mouth hanging open all the time. Also got Boy a GameBoy game and a DVD of something or other.

ON TO TARGET, where we looked again for an inexpensive bestring-ed musical instrument, and again came up with nothing. Found another CD. Purchased it from a young man who never let our patronage interrupt the conversation he was having with his associate. If I ran Target, I would have a spot on the employment application that says the applicant agrees to at least pretend to be interested in the person who's helping to pay his salary, and at least acknowledge paying customers while they are at the cash register--even if this means taking a break from a conversation with someone else.

By now, it was 11:00. Too late to go to the bookstore, where we still had some things to get.

Oh well.

On to home, unloaded the gifts, hid them away, and crawled into bed.

It's very tiring being Santa.

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

Silly ol' work!

Due to the impending holidays, this morning is going to have to be Mailout Friday, so allow me to get all that out of the way and we'll play a bit in just a little while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:10 AM | Comments (6)

December 21, 2006


Well, it promises to be a busy one. Got my local zoning board meeting to attend, and there's gonna be all sorts of eye-gouging and hair-pulling going on, so that should be entertaining. And then Miss Reba and I get to go do some final Christmas shopping for the children, having somehow managed to convince her mom and dad to let them spend the night tonight. I'm certain they're all getting along just fine today, and will continue in harmony throughout the night and throughout the day tomorrow.

I like to think that way, just to prove to myself that I still have an active imagination.

As for gifts, I still don't have anything for Reba. That's a bad thing. And she tends not to think it humorous when I place a bow upon my head and yell "Surprise!"

I suppose I will just rely on Santa Claus to make sure she gets something nice. He seems to know a lot about such things.

ANYway, see you all tomorrow!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:34 PM | Comments (0)

Here it is...

...the tail end of the year, just before the Big Holiday Break, and people STILL want me to go to boring meetings!!

Such indignity!

There should be pipers piping and ladies dancing and maids a'milking on every floor of the building, but NOOOOO! Nothing but a bunch of squirrely bureaucrats.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

Speaking of Stonehenge...

Here's a little something for the Druid on your Christmas list!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:08 PM | Comments (4)

And no, it's not "Finally All Tapped Out."

Final 'Harry Potter' title announced.

Now that this is just about done, there'll finally be room for someone new and fresh. I'm thinking about dusting off my manuscript for a character I call Hairy Possum, a young marsupial wizard who with his young school chums fights the evil dreadful honking horror known as Lord Peterbilt. It's chock full of interesting magical things such as the Cloak of Stupidity and the Spell of Feigned Expiration.

Should do pretty well, I think.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:49 AM | Comments (0)

Steevil Laughed.

From highly-respected NASA rocket scientist Steevil, this article, and the comment, "ignorance of astronomy is a terrible thing."

In fairness to the stone-fondling goobs in the story, I will note that my Architectural Treasures of Europe calender up on the wall beside my desk does say that today is the solstice. (I won't mention that my desk calendar has it right.)

In any event, I am sad that there is no reference in the article to the monument being in danger of being crushed by a dwarf.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:25 AM | Comments (5)

I have an idea.

Trump and Rosie argue over Miss USA

How about a show with The Donald and The Rosie as hosts. It would be yuuuuuge. And maybe they could have a steel cage death match.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:43 AM | Comments (7)

From the "Beyond the Ability to be Parodied" File

Pooping peasant popular in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain - The Virgin Mary. The three kings. A few wayward sheep. These are the figures one expects to find in a traditional Christmas nativity scene. Not a smartly dressed peasant squatting behind a rock with his rear-end exposed.

Yet statuettes of "El Caganer," or the great defecator in the Catalan language, can be found in nativity scenes, and increasingly on the mantelpieces of collectors, throughout Spain's northeastern Catalonia region, where for centuries symbols of defecation have played an important role in Christmas festivities.

During the holiday season, pastry shops around Catalonia sell sweets shaped like feces, and on Christmas Eve Catalan children beat a hollow log, called the tio, packed with holiday gifts, singing a song that urges it to defecate presents out the other end. [...]

A handy thing to remember the next time your favorite lefty begins his lecture about how sophisticated Europeans are!

(Obviously, we have just as much sophistication here in this country.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (4)

Well, I'm certain it must be a bunch of roving disgruntled University of Alabama fans.

Auburn police looking for water balloon vandals

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn police are looking for vandals who have damaged a number of cars in Auburn. The weapon — water balloons.

Police say nine people reported their cars were damaged earlier this week by water balloons that were apparently tossed from passing cars.

Police Captain Tom Stofer says the balloons have caused more than four thousand dollars in damage. He says the balloons have cracked or shattered windshields and dented car hoods. [...]

Now that's either some REALLY big balloons, or someone's gotten into the heavy water.

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


It being Thursday and all, it's once more time to throw off the tarp from the Most Exciting Thing in the Whole World, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

::golf clap::

As it is now toward the end of 20-Ought Six, and seeing as how I will be gone all next week, what say we have a big year-end wrap up/new year preview?

Take your keyboard in hand and answer the following questions (which were inspired by last week's host) by either leaving a comment below, or a link to your answer over at your blog. Remember, anyone is free to play along!

So now:

1) What sorts of things will you be doing this year to bring the year to a close? Any special traditions or such that signal the end of the old? Parties, football games, airing of grievances, Twister?

2) What are you most looking forward to in the new year?

3) And since we missed talking about such things at the end of last month, what things that came your way in 2006 were you most thankful for?

Okay, now--get to work and let's see what you come up with!

As for my answers--

1) Well, there's always the taking down of the tree and ornaments (or vice-versa) that happens sometime after Christmas around New Year's Day or so. We don't ever (and never did, for that matter) go out to New Year's parties or stuff like that. Miss Reba and I tend to go the low key route and listen to the fireworks the little miscreants in the neighborhood shoot off. Wouldn't be so bad except we usually go to bed early and get woken up by said miscreants. Grr.

2) I'm really really hoping that we can have a bit more peace and harmony in the household. Still remains to be seen if anything can help, but we're in the process of beginning something new to combat a particular child's difficulties in acting halfway decent to others. And to herself, for that matter. A long road lies ahead.

3) Well, if we're just talking about things that have come along ONLY in 2006, well, I'm not sure. It's been a very long year, frustrating and very tiring, and it's been hard to write with as much vim and pep as in years past. Yet, still, no matter what, I consider myself blessed beyond all measure. So I'm not sure what to be most thankful for, but I sure am thankful for it nonetheless.

Alrighty then, there you go.

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

December 20, 2006

And speaking of pilfered documents...

IG report: Berger hid Archive documents

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former national security adviser Sandy Berger removed classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 and hid them under a construction trailer, the Archives inspector general reported Wednesday.

The report was issued more than a year after Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removal of the documents.

Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he said it was possible he threw them in his office trash. [...]

Boy, ya gotta love the Clintonianess of that one. Nothing like the liberating effect of what is possible. It is also possible monkey ninjas dropped out of a zeppelin and grabbed them.

The report said that when Berger was reviewing the classified documents in the Archives building a few blocks from the Capitol, employees saw him bending down and fiddling with something white, which could have been paper, around his ankle.

However, Archives employees did not feel at the time there was enough information to confront someone of Berger's stature, the report said.

Brachfeld reported that on one visit, Berger took a break to go outside without an escort.

"In total, during this visit, he removed four documents ... .

"Mr. Berger said he placed the documents under a trailer in an accessible construction area outside Archives 1 (the main Archives building)."

Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.

Berger, with the authorization of former President Clinton, was reviewing National Security Council documents on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, Sudan, and related presidential correspondence. The review was to facilitate Berger's impending testimony before the House and Senate intelligence committees.

But of course. Everyone who testifies before House and Senate intelligence committees gets to do those sorts of things, right?


Anyway, nothing to see here, folks--move along, please. Move along.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:08 PM | Comments (0)

Leave it to the Brits.

Who else could imagine a future where robots will be sentient enough to demand freedom from their human masters, and then follow that up with the idea that there needs to be a way to ensure robots can get on the dole.

Oh, and in a related story (sorta)--Robots on the Plains!

One hopes that if robots are perfected that we'll get to see lots of android football players. Who, of course, will dream of electric cheerleaders.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:27 PM | Comments (2)

And speaking of cankles....

Sen. Clinton talks of holiday traditions

[...] But politics wasn't the only topic on the agenda. Clinton also described her family's holiday rituals, noting that they attend church on Christmas Eve and open gifts the following morning.

"We are probably as fanatic about Christmas as anyone you'll meet," Clinton said of her husband, former President Clinton, and daughter, Chelsea. She added that she loved making homemade ornaments and trimming the tree.

"You'd be surprised how crafty she is," host Rosie O'Donnell cracked.

Oh, tee-HEE! That Rosie's just a STITCH!

Anyway, no one has to tell me twice that the Clintons are fanatics about ANYTHING, much less Christmas. I'm sure it's a lovely scene, with a roaring fire of pilfered documents in the fireplace, chubby needy interns nestled all snug in Bill's bed (which of course always leads New York's junior Senator to break out the good crockery from the china cabinet for the annual Angry Tossing of Things at Bill's Head)...

Ahh, good times--good times.

As for the article itself, good night a'living, how cloyingly self-patronizing can any one person be!?

Oh, by the way--this article has nothing to do with the above commentary.

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


We thank all of you for your kind responses and suggestions, and want to let you know that we've taken your offerings and have endeavored to make Possumblog the absolute finest weblog in existence.

First: Free ice cream!

Yes, not just frozen Kool Aid cubes with toothpick sticks, but real, LIVE ice cream! Just go to your local grocery store and pick up any brand, any flavor, or any size ice cream you want. It's YOURS, free of charge!*

Second: NEW FEATURES! A commentor by the name of Skillzy said we needed to expand Possumblog with things such as Possumblog Sports, Celebrities, Cooking, &c., and so from now on, anytime you see any show on television or the Internets about Sports, Celebrities, Cooking, &c., know that it is actually being written and produced here at Possumblog Studios. Oh, sure, we might not get a credit or money for it, but it's true. And we do it for you, Valued Reader.

Third: Jug Band Discussion! Hey, it's what all the youngsters are clamoring for! So, for the finest in Jug Bands and Jug Band chatter and Jug Band merchandise, we will provide for you--FREE OF CHARGE!!--this link to the Jug Band Music Society! We are more than happy to bring you this sort of fine entertainment.

Fourth: Offering Encouragement to New Bloggers! I have been reliably informed by a real university professor that this is one of the many things that will send me to Hell, and being that it's the most easily disposed of, let me say RIGHT NOW--DO NOT START YOUR OWN BLOG!

Haven't you dimbulbs heard that they're "written by fools to be read by imbeciles"!? You Cheeto-besmutted goobers with your mindless chatter about truthiness and poor John F. Kerry and Hillary's giant cankles--YOU'RE JUST A BUNCH OF LOSERS! How dare you even THINK you could come up to the level of someone or something who (or which) "has over centuries accumulated a major institutional culture that screens editorially for originality, expertise and seriousness[.]" Filthy peasant.

There now! I get to go to the Nice Place!

Fifth: (Reserved)

Sixth: Redneckedness! Having long been a proponent of the clothing optional lifestyle, I will henceforth post a daily** photo of myself sans clothing!

Here's the first one!


Seventh: Curtains! The guy from JC Penney's is on the way right now with some new burgundy velvet things with great big flowers all over them. I'm going to put them right over here, and then have some out of plain velvet over on this side. I might get a new curtain rod, too! EXCITING!

We hope you enjoy all of these new changes and features and again express our gratitude for your kind patronage.

*Void where prohibited by law.

**"Daily" shall not be construed literally, and in fact could be used by the author to indicate a one-time occurence of said action.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:15 PM | Comments (9)

Serves 'em right, indeed.

"Well, it's finally gotten easy enough, so I herewith launch out into the fetid, overcrowded harbor of blogginess, courtesy of some computerized thingamabobber. You know, when they tapped out the old "what hath God wrought" line on the telegraph, I'm sure they figured this is where it would lead. Serves 'em right."

And thus five years ago this very day was launched the grand and exciting experiment we like to call Possumblog. Hard to believe, actually. I mean, who in their right mind would sit here and type 60 months' worth of twaddle as a lark!?

Well, me.

It's been a very interesting run. Like so many other folks, I trace my desire to use this medium (thus called because it is neither rare, nor well done) to some sort of need to make some sense of the world after September 11. Blogs had been around for a while, although I never knew that there were such folks as Glenn Reynolds or Steven den Beste, but when I found them it was certainly a pleasant discovery. They, and folks like them, didn't sound like maudlin teenagers or angry conspiracy nuts, and the discourse sounded nothing like the Usenet flamers and bulletin board trolls I was accustomed to ignoring.

So, after a few months of inspiration, this little treehouse was hammered together with some scrap lumber and bent nails, and a "NO IDIUTS ALOWED" sign was posted on the tree trunk.

Although I suppose it would be nice to have had the sort of skyrocketing popularity (i.e., money) of the folks who grew up to be the A-listers (some of whom really aren't very good, which I suppose could cause a pang of jealousy in that I'm equally not very good), I never really have tried to do that. This is my own little place, and sometimes I get some attention, and most of the time I don't, but either way, it doesn't kill my ego.


Well, this pile of poop has allowed me to vent, rant, ponder, pontificate, commiserate, and most of all, give folks all over the world just the slightest hint that just because I'm an openly-straight, Bible-toting, gun-owning, pasty-white, slow-talking Southern man, I might possibly just not quite fit the stereotype people have come to have of such folks. I do wear shoes most of the time, I do have a vague idea about such things as philosphy and thermodynamics, I have read more than two books (including one that didn't even have any pictures in it!), and believe it or not, I don't think people who disagree with me should be shut up in a reeducation camp. (I'm all for sending them to live in France.)

Anyway, I have generally written what I want to write, about the subjects that interest me, and you all have been a remarkably patient lot of friends I can count on to come by and sit for a while in the chair over there by the door. For that, you have my eternal gratitude. Really. I often think that I would have gone insane the last few years if I had not had a way to put some order to my thoughts and been able to interact with someone out there in the wider world--someone who doesn't see a conspiracy behind every tree. Or Bush. So being able to sit here and imagine that I'm having a friendly, somewhat loopy conversation with a friend who happened to drop by my office has been a true blessing.


Now then, where do we go from here?

Suggestions gratefully accepted in the comments below.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:10 AM | Comments (16)

December 19, 2006

Well, yet another short day.

Gotta go pick up Middle Girl from school. She's supposed to be having a "captain's practice" for soccer (one where the team captains do the workout) but she wasn't quite sure if she was really going to have it or not. Heaven forbid that anyone actually use a telephone and find out...

ANYway, I need to skedaddle, so I'll see you all tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:59 PM | Comments (0)

Kitchen Hand Gets a Shiner.

I don't know why I enjoy tales of accidental self-injury, other than it lets me know that I am not alone in my debility.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:24 PM | Comments (0)

Even Ugly Bridges Need Love Too!

Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City, and a more full accounting of said bridge you're unlikely to find than the one found here.

(And personally, I think it looks just fine.)

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

Difficult to believe.

You know, you have to wonder if there isn't something better in the news to cover than this.

Does everything have to be a controversy? Or a conspiracy?

And reporters wonder why people have such a poor opinion of them. Then again, maybe they don't wonder.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

Okay, everyone seems to be in the mood for it.

It's Ticked-Off Tuesday, ever'body!!


Got a problem of a minor, yet highly annoying nature? Does it make you utter minor oaths under your breath? Are you looking for a place to vent?

Well, well, WELL! Have YOU come to the right place! Because here, on Tuesdays, you can take care of all those troublesome foibles of modern-day living by complaining vociferously about them in the comments below. Oh, sure, we might tease you for being so hypersensitive about quibbling trifles, but feel free to complain about that as well!

SO, what's got you so miffed? Just remember, this is a family blog, and so any uncouth language should be thoroughly euphemized to avoid having to place a nickle in the cuss jar.


Well, I tell you what, this article (thanks, Dr. Reynolds!) sorta makes me feel like maybe it's time to move the UN to someplace more amenable to the hearty, hard-working makeup of its leadership and management cadre. Maybe some place like the middle of the Gobi Desert. Or maybe one of those neato glass-enclosed sea-bottom lairs like you see in the James Bond movies. (Except without the glass enclosure.)

*@*%$&^$ed bunch of worthless devils.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:49 AM | Comments (7)

"All I want for Christmas is a Ford fuel pump, a Ford fuel pump..."

Let me start off by saying that the Internet is the world's greatest invention if you know how to work on cars.

Oldest has been driving the Focus and aside from tearing up the tire and ripping off the passenger side mirror, hasn't had any other problems. Until last week, when she said it was acting "weird."

Normally, this I attribute to a loose nut behind the steering wheel. (But only as part of my internal monologue.)

She is so terrible at discerning reality that I couldn't tell if she was really having problems, or if it was just a normal thing that she had decided to take notice of, or simply a cover story for her having done something else to it.

SO, over the weekend, I finally got a chance to drive it. Started off fine, down the hill, over the bridge, stop at the Advance parts place to let them turn off the check engine light. The code was an old one that I've explored before--the old "low coolant temp" thing that is caused by a bad sensor. So, it's not that.

Drove a bit more, down Main Street, and then sure enough, it started missing a bit. Accelerate, stumble. Hmm. Turned, over the tracks, missing all the way, turn, turn, then back up the hill to the house, and then the popping and backfiring started.

Well. It really is running weird, and obviously not something that seemed to be driver-induced. I got it home and did an underhood check and ran the mental checklist--low speed, idles fine. No obvious vacuum leaks. Got spark on all four. Seems like it could be a clogged fuel filter or something.

She drove it yesterday and reported it was worse, and so I decided to turn to the Giant Oracle of the Ether to see if there was anything online about what might be causing the problem.

Sure enough, after about ten seconds of searching found that certain '00-'01 Focusseses had problems with clogging fuel delivery modules, which is a fancy term for a fuel pump. Same problems as mine--bucking, backfiring, missing, and Ford had agreed to extend the warranty on these models and replace the pumps. Neat.


I called the Wizards of Dearborn and gave them my VIN, and since mine was a later date of manufacture, it's not covered under the warranty.

::shakes fist at Henry Ford::

So--what to do? First, find out from a friendly local dealer that replacing the fuel pump is a $500 job.

And then found out that I could save about $450 if I do it myself. Seems there are several (thousand) other folks who have had the same problem, and more than a few who took the time to post online the procedure for changing out the pump. All I have to do is get a new pump, which again are about half the price if you order an aftermarket part online rather than from the factory. In fact, if I wanted to, I even found a fellow who says that the problem can be fixed without even replacing the pump by giving it a thorough cleaning.


Well, replacing it or cleaning it requires dropping the gas tank, which isn't hard, but isn't exactly easy, either. You have to depressurize the fuel system (again, instructions online for this, thank goodness) and it requires some jacking and such, but I've dropped tanks before, and it's worth doing it myself if it's gonna cost this much.

Anyway, the way I figure it, I have (or will have) saved myself about a thousand bucks doing my own work on this car. It's been a good car, and fun to drive, but there were some gremlins in the early models that didn't get worked out--the ignition switch (which I had to do surgery on, saving myself around $300); the leaking cabin air intake box (which I had to leakproof, saving myself around $200), and now this little ordeal.

All that to say that the Internet and its storehouse of knowledge is one of the greatest economic equalizers out there--even if I didn't have the tools and junk to do this myself, at least I would have more information than blindly relying on the good nature of a local mechanic. And since I DO know how to do things like this, the depth of the information available is truly amazing. Sure, you have to do some looking, and some research to make sure you aren't doing the wrong thing, but it's a minor investment of time.

If you're trying to keep a car (old or new) running by doing your own work, it's hard to beat the information available nowadays.

So, thanks, Internet!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:29 AM | Comments (6)

This mad social whirl simply must come to an end!

I wonder if this is what it's like for the Vanderbilts and Astors, what with all the glittering parties and nonstop gaity and stuff?

Probably so.

Prompted by the Scout Christmas party last night, which was held in the fellowship hall over at the Methodist church. Nice year end wrap-up, and Jonathan got to do a short presentation on the campout at Rushton, which he got a special notation for by actually writing something down beforehand to say, rather than just get up and not say anything.

Then it was time for Christmas songs, and I finally figured out what the words to Frosty the Snowman are. I usually get caught right after "two eyes made out of coal" and sing the rest using the old standby yada yada. Had to make an emergency run during the cavalcade of songs as a certain tiny girl waited five microseconds too long to excuse herself to go to the restroom, leaving a wet spot on the back of her jeans and necessitating a quick trip home for dry pants. Got back and snack time was underway, and then the final culmination of the evening's activities.

And let me say this--whoever came up with Dirty Santa should be shot on sight.

It wouldn't be so bad if one person bought all the gifts so that there was a consistent quality. It wouldn't be so bad if people didn't try to cheap out on the gift. It wouldn't be so bad if people were nice about it.

But none of this happens. Invariably, there are one or two gifts everyone wants, several rather innocuous ones, and some that are obviously the stuff that was on clearance at the Dollar Store. And invariably, you buy a nice gift, it gets taken away by someone who's a jerk, and you go home with crap. Boy, that's REALLY the spirit of the season, eh?

Anyway, now Catherine has two more plastic recorders to squeak loudly around the house with, since Jonathan wasn't so excited about them and gave them to her.

SO, thus ended another one of the many social engagements of the year, and we got home after 9:00, which played havoc with everyone's getting-ready-for-bed schedule.

Eh, who needs sleep, right?


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

December 18, 2006

As I was saying...

Boy, I wish they'd hire an extra secretary.

As for the rest of the weekend, Sunday we went to church and then over across the county for lunch and gift-swapping with Oldest's grandparents then back across town for the kids to have a meeting for one of their innumerable activities, and then, instead of doing the smart thing and taking a nap for an hour or so, I stayed awake, which meant that when the evening service rolled around, I was REALLY struggling to stay awake.

And failing miserably.

I would catch myself drifting off, and couldn't do a thing about it, and almost immediately I would wind up in one of those weird conscious dreams where you hear the background noise around you but you imagine you're in a completely different place and doing things and then you realize you should be awake and so you raise your head back up and nod sagely, to emphasize that the statement just made was profound and worth nodding in affirmation, until you decide to look down again to follow along in the Bible on your lap, and you drift away again, oblivious to the fact that you don't in fact HAVE a Bible on your lap, but it doesn't matter because you find yourself as a manager at a grocery store and you're making change for a cashier before rousing yourself back to full consciousness and rubbing your eye as if something was bothering it.

I usually can do pretty well, but for some reason I got a nap-jerk in one of those drifting-away spells. You know how you feel like you're about to fall off the bed right when you're going to sleep, and you startle yourself awake? That's what I did, except it felt like I was stepping down a step and lost my footing, and so my leg jerked, and I jerked, and then I had to figure out a way to make it look like my foot was cramping or hurting or something, so I leaned down and rubbed it. Apparently it worked, because later Rebecca said she thought I'd popped my ankle.

On back to home, unloaded the car, ate supper, and then set in to finish up my work. I'd e-mailed myself my stuff I was working on so diligently last week so I could finish it up over the weekend and have some time for other things this week. Apparently, those other things will just have to wait, because now it's time for me to go BACK and take another shift at the front desk.


Be back in a bit.

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

Wouldn't you know it.

I was about to yammer about Sunday (not that anything happened, but, hey, when has that ever stopped me), but I've got to go cover the front desk in the absence of our secretary.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

Well, let's see.

As for the head cold, it's breaking up sorta, although now all of my bodily fluids smell like Mucinex.

Friday night, got out and went to the super-convenient new shopping center over on the other hill. I really like having a JC Penney that close. Aside from the fact that it causes us to spend money.

Saturday morning we got up and after a while, I figured out that it was going to be just Catherine and I going to the Christmas party for the kids from church. Reba couldn't get going, none of the other kids could get going, and there was a giant mound of laundry to do, so it was decided that since it had gotten so late, they'd stay behind, and maybe eventually get out and go do some family Christmas shopping while we were gone.

SOooo, loaded up the Volvo with foodstuffs for the party (roll-up ham sandwiches, brownies, chips, soft drinks) and a gift for Catherine for Santa to give her, and my alter-ego superhero costume.

This is getting a bit depressing.

Just like Halloween, when Jonathan and Rebecca were too old to want to go trickertreating, they were too old for this party, too, since it was just for kids up through the fifth grade. So it was just Cat and me again, and she was awfully quiet on the drive. Maybe she was preoccupied by the scenery, because it was truly a gorgeous day--bright blue skies, temperatures a Spring-like 70 degrees. But I think she was just being quiet for some other reason.

Got to the appointed home and found ourselves as the first arrival. After a brief bit of horror that maybe I had either gotten the date or time or place wrong, I figured we were okay when I saw the host waving out the window at me. Got out, Catherine played with the frightening-looking brindled pit bull mix that was lounging on the driveway and we trundled our stuff inside. And thankfully, more people began showing up just then, so she would have some hyperactive company to interact with.

Stowed my costume in a back bedroom, we ate lunch, the kids (who by now numbered five in all) had a few games of an aggressive competitive nature and then retired to the living room to sing Christmas carols, which was my cue to make my exuent and change.

Off with my civvies, then on with the pants, boots, smock--begin sweating profusely--belt, beard, wig, hat. HO!

I clomped back through the house and made my grand entrance as Kris Kringle with all the loud-mouthed abandon I could muster. It's probably wrong of me, but whenever I dress up as Santa, something comes over me and I act a bit too jolly and wry and slightly crazed. Santa always blames this on having to ride in a sleigh behind eight tiny reindeer. Santa has a line of patter that is half Groucho, half Jonathan Winters, and half Uncle Bubba who no one likes to invite over for the holidays because he invariably does something that makes someone uncomfortable.

The kids seem to like it, though, and the adults do, too. I had told Catherine beforehand that I was going to dress up, and for her not to tell any of the little kids so it wouldn't spoil the surprise, and she was a perfect helper. I jabbered like an insane man, asked the kids what they wanted for Christmas, distributed the gifts, made a grand and dramatic exit, went and changed back into my regular clothes, and expressed deep remorse that I had somehow managed to miss Santa Claus.

They kids played a while longer and then I gathered Cat up and we headed back home. She was in a bit more talkative mood on the way home, but I have a feeling that this might be her last little kid Christmas party, and no matter how pretty the day was, it still wasn't bright and sunny enough to make up for that twinge of remorse.

On to home, and found that everyone was in the same clothes as when we'd left, but they all eventually got ready and off we went to Target to shop for each other.

Such confusion. We had to have the parents to buy stuff, but the question was how to divide up the four kids so that each could get the others' stuff without them knowing it. What we finally settled on was for Reba and I to take two kids, who would each buy for the other two, then we'd check out separately, put the stuff in the car, then come back and swap one kid, and then we'd go and pick out the gift for the one each had been partnered with previously, then check out again.

Sound confusing?

You just don't know. But somehow it all worked out.

Home, unload, got everyone clean, and then into bed.

That was a long day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:35 AM | Comments (2)

Ol' Mr. Swirly-head Returns!

Good morning, everyone!

A long and confusing weekend, full of nasal congestion and ho-ho-hoing and stuff such as that right there. More to come in a few minutes after I remember all that I forgot.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:14 AM | Comments (2)

December 15, 2006

Yes, it's been an awful week for blogging.

Sometimes it's like that around here--one minute there's all sorts of sparkling wit and clever repartee, and then for the next several months there's nothing but twaddle.

Hopefully next week will see some of the cobwebs clear out of my head. Not that the weekend ahead will provide any restful, cobweb-clearing potential. Got a party for the little kids at church tomorrow, and guess who gets to dress up in his Santa suit?



There's all sorts of other stuff I think I'm supposed to be doing as well this weekend, but for the life of me, I can't remember what they are. Then again, maybe I'm just not trying very hard...

ANYWAY, sorry for the overabundance of bland swill this week, please do check back in next week to see if it gets any better. I'm betting not, but sometimes I surprise myself.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:06 PM | Comments (2)

One might ask...

...what, exactly, can a highly-trained rocket scientist do besides work on rockets? Thankfully, we have a highly-trained rocket scientist on staff (that being the noted NASA employee and brother of Dr. Weevil, Steevil) who apparently has made use of his knowledge of thermodynamics and physics to not only expand the borders of man's frontiers in space, but also to make chili.

HEREWITH, Steevil's Chili Recipe:

1 lb ground meat: beef, pork, buffalo or deer are all very good. Ground
turkey I like to combine with ground beef.
1 medium sized onion
1 green or yellow or red bell pepper
cooking oil
1 16 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 16 oz can kidney beans (in chili sauce or not)
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 chili peppers--sliced lengthwise, leave out seeds for less spicy chili
1/2 tbs salt
1 tbs black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp chili powder (for color, mostly)
couple shakes paprika
1 bay leaf
couple shakes marjoram
" " cilantro
" " rosemary
" " thyme

In pot over med-hi heat, fry sliced onion and bell peppers in the oil 'til onions start turning clear.

Dump in meat and brown.

When meat is browned, dump in can of tomatoes, feel free to rinse out can and pour that in pot, too.

Dump in garlic, chili peppers and dry ingredients, stir and bring to a simmer.

Turn to lo heat and cover, simmer for half an hour.

Dump in can of beans and bring back to a simmer.

Serve--top with shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, sour cream,
salsa, bacon bits, scallions, whatever.

::sighhhhhh:: If only he looked like Rachael Ray...

Anyway, Steevil guarantees this will produce enough impulse energy to put a man-sized payload into low-earth orbit.

LATE BREAKING UPDATE! Chef Tony emails a link to"Blue's Own Texas-style Chili Recipe" by Stephen "Blue" Heaslip, which sounds good, too, although slightly more involved with such things as allowing the chili to "rest" overnight, and the fact that it's got seven pounds of meat in it.

Chef Tony sez:

My notes, I usually make half this recipe and use all sirloin and don't halve the amount of jalapenos, works out pretty well in my opinion. I also add maybe a 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vinegar cause I like that bit of tanginess. The overnight rest definitely helps but may not be practical from the sound of your situation. Sirloin just falls completely apart in this dish, it's *really* good, but not cheap. I think the next time I make it I'll buy a sirloin roast and cut it up instead of buying steak. Oh, one last thing, you can't really brown the meat over low heat, that's kind of silly. I brown the meat in a cast iron skillet in batches and throw it into the dutch oven as I go. For the size of the pot you're talking about, this recipe may need to be doubled instead of being halved like I do it ... :)

SO, there you go!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:54 PM | Comments (8)

Sheer madness.

Bad thing about being stopped up and feeling all swirly in the head? Well, for some reason, I become sensitized to noises that most of the time I ignore.

"Such as?"

Glad you asked.

I'm not quite sure, but I strongly believe that the HVAC system in our building (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is of a type known as a "variable air volume" type. Basically, you've got air of a relatively constant temperature blowing through the ducts at all times, and there are little motorized dampers inside little boxes all along the way that feed off of a big trunk, and those little dampers are controlled by a thermostat that tells them to either let more air through or constrict the airflow to a particular room or set of rooms, depending on the needs of that particular area.

There's one in the ceiling out in the corridor outside my office.

It's operating right now. How do I know? I can hear it cycling. Over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, all day long.

It's a tiny little mechanical noise, something almost like a metal cicada--gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri-gri.









All day long, the tiny little actuator is busily opening and closing its little damper, working hard to ensure that its thermostatic master is completely and utterly satisfied at every single microsecond during the day. Open, close. Close more. Open. Open, open, open, open. CLOSE. Close. Close, close, close. Open. Close. Close. Clo-no, wait, open. Open.

Such things I don't notice so much when my head's not all stopped up.

I must say it's rather on the annoying side.


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

A phrase everyone needs to know.

"Done flung a craving on..."

The Ledbetters are said to be jealous that the Clower boy got credit for the saying.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:42 AM | Comments (3)

So, what's on tap for today?

I have no idea, but I hope it doesn't involve operating heavy machinery. I took a couple of Mucinex this morning, and the stopped-up wet furry feeling in my head has been replaced by a dryish swirliness that feels as though I'm walking downhill all the time. So, I guess that means no bulldozer practice this morning.


OH, by the way--we got to go see Catherine sing last night with the elementary school choir. Wow. It was held in the gym, and the place was packed with people. Honest to goodness, standing-room-only crowd. The kids did very, very well, although there seemed to be quite a few with ants in their pants. Including one little girl on the back row who, in addition to singing for all she was worth, also showed how she could hop up and down and twist to and fro.

Little stinker.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:18 AM | Comments (6)


A retrospective of sorts today, since I forgot to take a picture of him for today. So, let's see how far Lightning, the World's Most Expensive Free Kitten has progressed.

Here is the earliest picture I have of the little squirt. Awww.

This is the latest picture I have of him in which you can actually see what he looks like. We've got some from this month, but he's usually nothing more than a blur in them, or you can only see part of him.

He sure has gotten big.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:46 AM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2006

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Yes, I know--I should be working, but I had to stop and eat and try to get my head unclogged with a heaping helping of kung pao chicken and hot and sour soup. So far, it's working pretty well. I need a bucket of some sort under my nose, but it is nice to be able to breathe, at least for a little while.

Before we start, however, a bit of chiding is in order. If you have kung pao on the menu, and someone orders it, don't confuse things when you call out the person's order by saying, "KUNG PAO CHICKEN! SPICY!" And then turn around and call out ANOTHER person's order by saying simply, "KUNG PAO CHICKEN!" Because it makes it sound like someone ordered the spicy with the idea of it being more spicy than usual. Especially when the guys in the back who were cooking it went to the trouble of marking the box lid with a special "SP" abbreviation. Yes, I DO know that kung pao chicken is spicy, so you don't have to tell me that. But surely you must understand I thought I got someone else's order, right? I mean, what with you calling out two different things for the same dish and all?

Maybe it's just me.

ANYWAY, time to delve into the mysteries of the Ancient Orient. The first message today is:

You prefer to use your energy in cooperative ventures rather than alone.

Astoundingly accurate! I know for a fact I would get little done without the input and cooperation of the voices in my head.

Next up:

You are sensitive and look deeply into yourself and others.

That is just so true.

Oh, sure--people complain about my x-ray vision, but I understand why they might be uncomfortable, and due to my sensitivity to those feelings, I use my power only when people don't know I'm using it.

As for looking deeply inside myself, well, that's just for fun.


9 15 19 36 43. 18


5 16 24 39 41. 26

Now then, back to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:45 PM | Comments (2)

I know I'm supposed to be working.

But I saw a news report yesterday, and I think the subject of it deserves some sort of "You've Got Some Nerve, Bub" award.

Disgraced former governor Don Siegelman was mewling in front of the local television news cameras yesterday reacting to his trial judge's decision not to grant him a do-over, and when asked about the possibility of prison time said he'd be just like Nelson Mandela, then moments later said he's spend his time writing--just like Martin Luther King writing his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

I know this man has his supporters, but come ON now, folks, surely you must realize this maundering is nothing but a ridiculous bit of street theater. It's insulting to stand there and put yourself--a wealthy man of power and repute, who stood as the most powerful elected official in the stated before being convicted in open court of abusing that power in the form of bribery and conspiracy--and act as though you're the victim of oppression because of--what, exactly!? Your race!? Your devotion to the truth!? Please.

I guess you have to give him credit for not comparing himself to Jesus, but I think it's only because his co-defendant already beat him to it.

Anyway, back to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

Comedy Doctor!

Back in August, I wrote a snippy post about a study I'd read about regarding the funniest accent in the UK, which turned out to be the one spoken by the folks in Birmingham. IN the course of the article, it noted the researcher had used the caption of a Far Side cartoon as the joke, but it wasn't clear from the report that it had started out as a cartoon, which made it sound like the research team were just repeating something without context. And I really believe the caption was funnier with the accompanying artwork. And I thought it was rather incredible that there are actually people who go around studying stuff like this.

IMAGINE MY SURPRISE when the good doctor who conducted the study stopped by to say that the research did acknowledge the source of the joke, that people did indeed do research on funniness, and further that said doctor was not a man, as I had thought, but a woman! Oops.

SO, I have since corrected the entry to make all the hes into shes, stated my mea culpas for my mistaken assumptions, and made the unprecedented step of naming Dr. Harbidge as the Axis of Weevil Distinguished Chair of Comedic Studies. Hopefully this will allow us to offer the best, executive level of humor (or should I say humour) for your dollar.

You are welcome.

Now then, back to work.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:07 AM | Comments (2)

Christmas Vacation!?


Despite the fact that I am too preoccupied with silly stuff such as getting paid DOESN'T mean that your most favorite Q&A pasttime, The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three is going to take a nap! So let us all give thanks for Doc Smith's willingness to volunteer to host today's event, because as we all know, the show must go on.

I do also want to thank the ever-faithful Sarah Getzler, our first runner-up in the competition to host the event, and remind her that if Jim is unable to fulfill his duties, it will fall upon her to finish his reign.

In any event, here are Jim's questions today:

1. Best/worst Christmas/holiday party you have attended?

Well, I would have to say that the best one would be the one sponsored by my former employer, The Bad Place, that was held in December 1990. This was mine and Miss Reba's first date. That one date pretty much glued us together from then on.

Worst? Can't really say, but the ones we have at my current workplace are terrible. Which probably explains why we got this e-mail from the secretary yesterday:

Since nobody wants to party, Rudolph has decided we should have snacks beginning Wednesday Dec. 20th, Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd of next week in lieu of our usual Christmas Party. A sign-up sheet will be available, choose the group day you want and what you bring is up to you.

Merry ^&%$*ing Christmas and Happy *!@&^ing Hannukah.

2. Best/worst religious Christmas/holiday activity.

Well, this one always throws everyone for a loop, but we don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday. We don't have special church services or decorate the yard with Nativity scenes or stuff like that, because to us, it's a nice excuse to eat, see the family, and swap presents.

3. Best/worst gift--given or received?

When I was little, I always got stuff like apples and walnuts and tangerines in my stocking. I always hated this, because come ON! Who wants crap like that when Santa gives all the other kids big socksful of CANDY!!

It wasn't until many years later that I realized that when my mom and dad were growing up, there was nothing better than to get up on Christmas morning and find that Santa Claus had left them a piece of fruit. Because in little backwater Alabama coal towns in the 1930s, an orange or a tangerine was something so wild and so exotic--so expensive--that kids like my mom and dad didn't get them except at Christmas. And usually, that orange or that handful of nuts was all they got.

So when I think about it now, I think the best present I ever got were those reminders of the lives my parents had lived.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:44 AM | Comments (11)

December 13, 2006

Why, yes, I AM still alive.

It has been an exceptionally long morning, made exceptionallier longer by the fact that I have contracted some sort of head-blockage.

Downside? It feels like I'm swimming in a pool full of wet cat fur when I walk.

Upside? My voice has a nice, deep, husky tone to it that makes me sound very much like Raymond Burr.

Anyway, no time to play, and so I need someone to host tomorrow's Thursday Three. PLEASE--we ask you not to all rush headlong and willy-nilly in your efforts to be the first to volunteer! While your enthusiasm is understandable in light of the tremendous prestige such an assignment brings, you must be nice to each other and not cause an indecorous mob scene! Drop me an e-mail or leave a note in the comments below if you are willing to take on this grand and glorious task.

As usual, monetary compensation will be offered, and will be based upon the amount of currency we have in petty cash. At the moment, it appears to be approximately seven cents and a button.


Noted East Carolina doctor of philosophy Jim Smith has been selected from the vast wriggling pool of volunteers to host tomorrow's Thursday Three.

Congratulations, sir!

SO, everyone be sure to check in first thing bright and early tomorrow, and see what sorts of questions Dr. Smith has for us.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:20 PM | Comments (4)

December 12, 2006

Wow--THAT was a short day!

I have a meeting to attend, so it's time to hang up the Closed sign and scurry away until tomorrow. And wouldn't you know it, but I have another one of those early morning convocations of bureaucratic taskmasters tomorrow, so there will be absolutely NO Possumblog until much later in the day.

We apologize for the poor service, quality, and portion size. However, we do remind you that we still provide a tremendous value on the dollar, and that shirt and shoes are not required in order to be served.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:26 PM | Comments (2)

It's not every day...'re a year old. Happy blogbirthday to Diane the Quiltress, and my apologies for not mentioning it sooner. As penance, I will send Chet the E-Mail Boy with the horse trailer and two ponies, AND an extra 20 bucks to buy some more ice cream for everyone.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:10 PM | Comments (2)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

UNDERCROFT. A vaulted room, sometimes underground, below an upper room such as a church or a chapel.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition.

Thank heavens for Google. Here is a site with a detailed drawing showing the undercroft at Monkton Old Hall in Pembroke, Wales, as well as the charmingly decorated executive version of said basement-with-snooty-name as found at Forde Abbey and Gardens, Chard, Somerset TA20 4LU England.

The undercroft should not be confused with Sid and Marty Krofft, nor with Lara Croft.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:10 PM | Comments (2)

Coaching Search

TUSCALOOSA (PNN)--Alabama Athletic Director Mal Moore today denied reports that former coach Paul "Bear" Bryant has been contacted about returning to coaching the Crimson Tide.

Despite repeated denials from family members and representatives of the estate of the late coach, fans are mounting a strong push for his return, and media reports place the likelihood of him taking the job as slightly less than that of Miami Dolphin coach Nick Saban, who has himself issued repeated denials that he is interested in the job.

Bryant is seen as a strong alternative to other coaches who have been named as being targets of the coaching search such as Jim Grobe of Wake Forest and Paul Johnson of the US Naval Academy, each of who has also issued denials of being interested in the position at Alabama.

Fans note that Bryant, residing in Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, AL since 1983, has all the desirable characteristics one expects in a leader of a program with such a long and proud tradition, and are confident that his current lack of interest could be swayed with only a small amount of effort on the part of the University.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:17 AM | Comments (2)

Well, now.

Finally, an excuse to allow my latent misanthropy to take center stage! Be more standoffish to deter flu pandemic

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:57 AM | Comments (0)

Ticked-off Tuesday!

YAY!! Everyone loves to complain, and everyone loves a complainer!!

And the morning started out so nicely.

But to the schmoe in the spiffy new PT Cruiser, next time you see a faded silver Volvo merging onto the Interstate ahead of you, it would be inadvisable to ever again try to speed up and cut off the driver.

Because you see, dear Moparetard, he had on his turn signal from the time he got on the entrance ramp, and was matching speed with the car ahead of him, and frankly, he couldn't care less if you want to smear your front bumper against the rear of his. So all of your minor theatrics of boiling up on his bumper and acting as though YOU were the one cut off only gave that perturbed Volvo driver a greater determination to use the traffic conditions and his superior sense of timing to make sure you never get ahead of him.

When you whipsawed over into the center lane, the Volvo driver could see up ahead that everyone was stopping, so your smugness when your maneuver got you one car length ahead quickly dissipated when that stupid slow Volvo cruised on past.

When you managed to catch up to it again, somehow the Volvo driver managed at the very last second to trap you behind some little old lady; yet another person whom you once again tried to intimidate by your little character flaw of reckless tailgating.

For all your sudden blasts of acceleration and stand-it-on-its-nose brake applications and rudeness toward others and exasperation, you managed to get nowhere any faster than that hateful faded silver Volvo, which you wound up not being able to pass all the way from Trussville to the 22nd Street exit.

Sir, there is a difference between driving fast and driving quickly.

SO, that little irksome detail of modern life has now gone by the wayside, and I feel much better belittling the person who caused me such tremendously minor grief. Do YOU have a complaint so minor that you'd otherwise be ashamed to even admit to it? What better place than here, on Mindlessly-Miffed Tuesday, to let loose and tell everyone your thoughts on the matter!

Got a peeve today? Tell us and allow us to either mock or comfort you in your distress. Just remember, if you get really angry, the management asks you to employ a healthy ration of jarns, nittles, grawlix, and quimps in order not to frighten the animals.

(Thanks to Jim Smith for the link.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:38 AM | Comments (11)

December 11, 2006

For all those who think nukes are bad.

Small nuclear war could lead to cooldown

Saving the Earth from the scourge of global warming, one small nuclear exchange at a time!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:58 PM | Comments (8)

Zero Intelligence Watch

Just saw this one: Texas child suspended after hugging aide

WACO, Texas (AP) — School administrators gave a 4-year-old student an in-school suspension for inappropriately touching a teacher's aide after the pre-kindergartner hugged the woman.

A letter from La Vega school district administrators to the student's parents said that the boy was involved in "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment" after he hugged the woman and he "rubbed his face in the chest of (the) female employee" on Nov. 10.

DaMarcus Blackwell, the father of the boy who attends La Vega Primary School, said he filed a complaint with the district. He said that his son doesn't understand why he was punished. [...]

After Blackwell filed a complaint, a subsequent letter from the district said the offense had been changed to "inappropriate physical contact" and removed references of sexual contact or sexual harassment from the boy's file.

Administrators said the district's student handbook contains no specific guidelines referring to contact between teachers and students but does state that inappropriate physical contact will result in a discipline referral. [...]

He's a FOUR YEAR OLD, for crying out loud!

This is what happens when you have people with more college degrees than common sense running the show. No, little boys shouldn't be allowed to run around nuzzling twixt the ninnies of women to whom they are not legally wed, but the thing to do is tell him not to do that, tell mom and dad they might need to have a little discussion about such things, and drop it.

And that's it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:50 PM | Comments (1)

I'm certain that...

...leftover scallops and sausage Creole probably sounded like a good idea.

Then again, if we could come up with a fancy name for it, there might be a market for it--I would suggest "Dr. Schranck's Patented Microbial-Action Alimentary Cleanser."

(Hope you're feeling less horrible, Fritz.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:27 PM | Comments (2)

December 11, 1919

From the Library of Congress American Memories collection--

On December 11, 1919, the citizens of Enterprise, Alabama erected a monument to the boll weevil, the pest that devastated their fields but forced residents to end their dependence on cotton and to pursue mixed farming and manufacturing. A beetle measuring an average length of six millimeters, the insect entered the United States via Mexico in the 1890s and reached southeastern Alabama in 1915. It remains the most destructive cotton pest in North America.

The infestation led to the introduction of the peanut—an alternative crop popularized by the Tuskegee Institute's George Washington Carver. Peanut cultivation not only returned vital nutrients to soils depleted by cotton cultivation, but also proved a successful cash crop for local farmers. [...]

More on the history of "The City of Progress" may be found here, and here is a photo of the monument.


On this great day, the Axis of Weevil offer our own heartfelt salute to voracious insect pests and the beneficial changes they have wrought.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:35 PM | Comments (4)

As mugshots go...

...this one actually isn't half bad, considering what there is to work with.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:15 PM | Comments (2)

Cacahuates Japonés

We had to stop last night on the way home to pick up some paper towels and olives (we needed them for our favorite Absorbent Cellulose Salad) and the store has a small section of Spanish-language labelled food and housekeeping stuff over by itself, and I noticed a little bag of gray-beige nodules.

"Oh, it's food," I said to myself, after reading the ingredients, which were in English. I put them back and turned to leave, but just then a hunger pang hit, and a hard peanut snack that has caca as its first syllable suddenly sounded pretty good. So, I turned around and went back and got myself a package of them.

I'd never had this stuff before, and I have to say, they're pretty good. Crispy hard shell that was almost sweet, but not quite, and very nearly salty, but not really. But undoubtably a peanut inside of it all. Pretty interesting flavor. I'm still kinda at a loss as to what constitutes the Japanese part, though.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (5)

Awwww, someone needs one of these..

tiniest violin.jpg

Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph laments Supermax prison conditions

FLORENCE, Colo. (AP) — Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph laments in a series of letters that the caged atmosphere of the federal prison where is spending the rest of his life is designed to drive him insane. [...]

As they say down home, "Mighty short drive."

The psychopathic little twit's getting better than he deserves.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:21 AM | Comments (2)

Worse than kudzu?

So it seems: Foreign plant spreading rapidly in national forest

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The Francis Marion National Forest has a foreign invader and it's killing everything around it.

The invader is called cogongrass and "it's even worse than kudzu," said Jean Everett, a College of Charleston biology instructor who discovered three patches last month deep in the forest. "This is the plant from hell."

With long emerald-colored leaves that feel like razor blades, the plant also tends to be highly flammable providing fuel for forest fires. [...]

Scientists think the plant emits a poison to kill other plants and its roots grow into the roots of neighboring plants, Everett said. Its leaves contain silica, making them sharp. Animals won't eat the leaves and avoid traveling through areas thick with them.

It's hard to kill with herbicides, Everett said. [...]

Kudzu gets a bad rap because it also grows fast and it's hard to kill, but at least it does have some benefit as livestock fodder and several other useful things.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

Well, why should his last one... any different from any other one? Annan criticizes U.S. in farewell speech

And let's face it--it's much easier to criticize the US than, well, I don't know, maybe, do something effective. Interesting he's giving the speech at the Truman Center. I have a feeling Truman--as big a believer in the UN if there ever was one--would have a few choice adjectives to describe Mr. Annan's tenure. To Mr. Annan's credit, probably only about 3/4 of them would be overtly scatalogical in nature.

Anyway, I'm sure Mr. Annan will have no difficulty finding gainful employment in the private sector as a corruption and graft facilitator. Good luck and best wishes, sir!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:35 AM | Comments (2)

Well, yes... WAS cold on Friday night. Thankfully, the wind that brought the Alberta Clipper that came through Thursday night had died down, so it was only cold, not cold and windy, which as I have noted over and over, I hate.

Had to stay until 9:00, and it wound up being just me and one of the moms, the boys having abandoned us and gone inside to keep from being cold. Wimps.

Saturday, up early and over to the high school to pick up all of our fruit orders. For some reason, Reba bought a whole bunch. If anyone would like me to give you the gift of Indian River citrus for the holidays, please give me a call and I'll send you several cases.

Then it was off to the Galleria.

Which I didn't want to do, but someone in the family wanted to go get Mom a necklace, and the closest store that had it was way over there in Hoover. I had intended to come back after picking up the fruit and take a shower and shave and put on something relatively decent looking. I got back to the house and found that everyone had magically gotten dressed and were ready to go.

The one time when I could have done with everyone doing just like they usually do and be ready to go two hours late, and they decide to all be ready.

So, off with us all and we dropped off my mom's order to her house, then the family and I went to the largest enclosed shopping mall in the state--one that tries ever so hard to be spiffy and swanky and upper-crustity--and I'm dressed in dirty jeans, a ratty Auburn sweatshirt with long john shirt on underneath, a disreputable ball-cap emblazoned with the Barber Motorsports Park logo, and a two-day growth of face-grizzle. And I REALLY think I should have had a shower first. Really.

Anyway, I needn't have worried. I was dressed better than at least 15% of the people in the mall. Although in fairness, they were TRYING to look sloppy, and my derelict-look wasn't something I desired.

Oh well.

Home, dropped everyone off, and got Boy and off we went for our final tour of duty on the tree lot. We'd stopped at the grocery store and gotten some stuff to eat, and sat there for a minute or two trying to eat inconspicuously. Boy, it was busy. And as I noted earlier, we just about got rid of all of them by the time we left.

Home again, and finally got to fix the mirror on the Focus. Which was made slightly more difficult by the fact that Lightning's little cat condominium was still in the garage, and he was mightily interested in seeing what I was doing and was constantly reaching out between his picket fence and trying to snag my arm or back with one (or more) of his razor sharp kitteny claws. It was difficult enough to work on it without having to slide in a narrow space and put up with a wacky feline. But I did get it changed out and the new one looks very nice.

I sure hope it doesn't mysteriously fall off again.

We had supper, and I took a bath and shaved (finally), and then Mr. Fatigue broke into the house and hit me in the head with a mallet, which explains why I wound up collapsing in the bed at 9:00 o'clock.

Sunday, up early, breakfasted, got to church, good class, good sermon, then home where we decided it was time for Mr. Kitty to move his domicile back outside. Rolled it back around and cleaned it out, all while wearing our Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes. Probably not a great idea. Also fixed the wind chime, which had gotten lopsided because a set of the hanging strings broke. THEN it was time for lunch, then a break for about two minutes, then time to take Oldest and Middle Girl over to a local congregation for Bible Bowl, and then after that, straight back home to pick up the Mommy and the Boy and the Tiny Terror to get back to our church for a meeting at 4:30, then sat for a while, then we had our evening service, then home, then supper, then read the paper, then Mr. Fatigue ONCE AGAIN snuck in and hit me with a mallet, and harder than the last time.

It wouldn't be so easy for him, except I'm so clogged up I can't hear him coming up behind me.

Anyway, it was the usual weekend of too much stuff crammed into too little time.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

Good Morning!!

I hope you had a very restful and quiet weekend, and all that stuff. Me? Oh, it was nice and quiet around the ol' homestead for me, too. Then again, I could just be hallucinating. ANYway, more in a bit after I remember what I'm doing.

Oh, and thank goodness all the trees got sold. There were about 20 left when Boy and I clocked out at 5 on Saturday, and the rest got gone between then and Sunday afternoon. It was pretty fun, and you DO tend to get some real characters shopping for trees.

One gentleman bought a tree and since I was wearing an Auburn sweatshirt, couldn't resist telling me that Alabama had managed to hire a new coach, but they had to go all the way to China to find him.

The new coach's name?

Wen-wun Soon

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

December 08, 2006


...very nearly that time of day!

Tree-selling with Boy tonight in the bitter, bitter, cold, then got to go pick up soccer-fundraising citrus orders at the high school first thing in the morning, then go BACK to selling trees with Boy one last time tomorrow afternoon, then I will check myself into the hospital for being both a moron and hypothermic.

I'm tired already. ANYway, all of you have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday. Please bring firewood.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:51 PM | Comments (3)

Not really schadenfreude...

But something akin to it regarding this hot news item: Rodriguez won't take Tide job

University of West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez decided this morning that he would not accept the University of Alabama’s offer to become the Tide’s head football coach.

Rodriguez informed his Mountaineers team of the decision at a meeting at 2 p.m. Central time.

Representatives of Alabama and Rodriguez reached an agreement in principle Thursday night on a 6-year, $12 million contract. Rodriguez’ agent indicated to Alabama officials that his client would accept today, but that did not happen.

Rodriguez met this morning with the University of West Virginia president, and met with the athletics director several times. Rodriguez’ wife, Rita, was in his office for several hours this morning.

"Yes I'm staying," Rodriguez said as he walked past reporters. [...]

Really, my feelings of whatever-it-is are directed toward every single news media outlet in the state, who for weeks--all the way up until lunchtime today--have been reporting this as a done deal.

All of them cackled about how WVU hadn't jumped fast enough to keep RR (as he's come to be called), how they'd reneged on their commitments to upgrade facilities, how weak the Big East Conference was and how that meant that the Mountaineers would never get a prime BCS spot, what a rinky-dink place Morgantown is, how much money was being dangled just for the plucking, the allure of the playing in the Grand Exhalted Shrine of Football That Bear Built.

No one ever really seemed to ask the question (honestly, at least) about why on Earth he'd want the job.

There has yet to be an honest appraisal amongst the fan base about what constitutes big-time college football nowadays, and why fan and booster and trustee expectations might be a bit over the top. About why a man would leave his home and alma mater for a pressure-cooker environment amongst a group of people who have more than a slightly elevated self-opinion of the value of their tradition (admittedly a hard-fought and deserved one).

Seems Coach Rodrigues might have taken the time to realize that all that glisters is not gold.

I hope Alabama finds a good coach, I really do. But I hope that they would remember they're much more in a place similar to the straits they were in when they hired Coach Bryant, not the heights they were at when he retired. And everyone also needs to remember that this makes choosing someone else that much harder--whoever it is will be seen for what he is--the second (or fourth, or sixth) choice.

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

Mysterious lights in the sky?

No, at least not according to our very own Jack Horkheimer wannabe, Steevil, who sends along yet ANOTHER interesting news story about a planetary sight not seen since The Battle of the Mules.

Planetary treat awaits sky gazers

By Joe Bauman
Deseret Morning News

Rise before dawn on Sunday, prepare a thermos of hot cocoa, bundle up, drive to some spot where mountains don't obstruct the eastern horizon — and watch an astronomical grouping not seen since the Civil War.

As the Denver Astronomical Society points out, before dawn the planets Mars, Mercury and Jupiter will be grouped within a 1 degree circle. Mercury, the smallest planet, will seem only 0.1 degree from Jupiter, the largest, the society adds on its Web site,

"Literally, they're going to appear so close together that even with a pair of binoculars, which shows you only a small corner of sky, you'll see three planets in the field of view," said Patrick Wiggins, NASA solar system ambassador to Utah and northern Nevada.


[...] He said they should rise in the southeast around 7 a.m., and will be easiest to see as they rise. Once dawn is in full throttle, the brightening sky will wash out the view of the planets.

The best place to observe them is a location with a low, flat eastern horizon clear of trees, buildings and other obstructions, he said. Nobody alive has seen these three planets so close together, Wiggins said.

Wiggins said Mars may be difficult to see with the naked eye "because it's not that bright" [...]

After a firestorm of controversy, Wiggins later stated that he had in no way intended to impugn Mars, and had merely botched a joke about President Bush.

ANYway, if you like getting up and looking up in the sky, this sounds like something you'd like to do. And since sky is very large, even people outside of Denver should be able to see this peculiar alignment as well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:39 PM | Comments (1)

Dang. There goes my plans for a nice little retirement place.

Via noted NASA rocket surgeon Steevil (not his real name), comes this information about all my vast lunar landholdings:

NASA crushes lunar real estate industry
Moon base will not be a squat

By Chris Williams
Published Friday 8th December 2006 12:15 GMT

NASA has confirmed its moon base will not illegally occupy other people's land.

The news deals a crushing blow to the dreams of thousands of idiots, who coughed the cash for their very own patch of dusty countryside on the moon. NASA announced earlier this week it would start building a permanent lunar outpost in 2020.

A NASA spokesman told us: "Property rights on the moon are governed by the United Nations. Those are all just frauds."

It transpires the moon comes under the same jusisdiction as international waters. [...]

Wait--so not only are my moon deeds worthless, but so is that 5,000 square mile patch of the South Pacific!?

Well, poop. Good thing I paid for them with counterfeit money, I guess.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:04 PM | Comments (4)

Y'know. sometimes...

...when I'm sitting here typing away wondering why I'm sitting here typing away, I wonder why it is I feel compelled to do this since the whole gig comes with no dollars and even less public acclamation. Not that I seek those things, exactly, but it does seem a rather odd way to pass the time between bureacratic emergencies, when I could be out doing something productive, like bringing about global peace and understanding.

I must admit that I do feel a touch better about it when I read this little throw-away pixel'd by my blogging inspiration, Mr. Lileks:

One more thing: it seems I’m up for a weblog award. You can vote here. I would love to beat Andrew Sullivan, not because I have any animus towards him, but because he’s backed by Time magazine, and this is a go-it-alone operation paid for by yours truly. Heck, if I win, I might even get listed on the Star-Tribune’s page of staff blogs. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the head.

Heh--he's been writing and posting stuff on that there Internet since it was nothing more than a moist synapse in Al Gore's cranium, and the very newspaper he works for doesn't even have him on its list of staff blogs!? It's so very Gift of the Magi-y, so ridiculous or comedic or comediculous or whatever that I can't even fathom it.

And I guess it makes not figuring out a way to convert my five years worth of mindless turgidity (the online version, that is) into huge baskets of money a bit easier to live with.

A bit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:28 PM | Comments (9)

That was some dame.

Jeane Kirkpatrick, ex-ambassador, dies

I have long harbored great admiration for this woman, and for her contributions to promoting freedom. She was tough, blunt, unashamedly pro-American, and let's face it--darned sexy.


You might think I'm joking, but I'm not--I'd rather have one of her than a roomful of Britneys. (Unless there was some way to do a brain transplant from Jeane to Britney or something, then I'd probably reconsider. Maybe.)

Hard to believe that the woman so identified with Reagan's anti-Soviet views started out her political life as a Marxist, according to the article. As for her later views, they are probably best put forward in her address to the 1984 Republican National Convention in San Diego:

[...] I am grateful that you should invite me, a lifelong Democrat. On the other hand, I realize that you are inviting many lifelong Democrats to join this common cause.

I want to begin tonight by quoting the speech of the president whom I very greatly admire, Harry Truman, who once said to the Congress:

"The United States has become great because we, as a people, have been able to work together for great objectives even while differing about details."

He continued:

"The elements of our strength are many. They include our democratic government, our economic system, our great natural resources. But, the basic source of our strength is spiritual. We believe in the dignity of man."

That's the way Democratic presidents and presidential candidates used to talk about America.

These were the men who developed NATO, who developed the Marshall Plan, who devised the Alliance for Progress.

They were not afraid to be resolute nor ashamed to speak of America as a great nation. They didn't doubt that we must be strong enough to protect ourselves and to help others.

They didn't imagine that America should depend for its very survival on the promises of its adversaries.

They happily assumed the responsibilities of freedom.

I am not alone in noticing that the San Francisco Democrats took a very different approach. [...]

And 23 years later, they seem no different, other than to be even more stridently anti-American. As she so famously said then, "But then, somehow, they always blame America first."

We've lost a wonderful and courageous American, but her words and ideas and influence will, hopefully, live on for many more years.

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

Baby, it's cold outside.

Not long before I left the house this morning, the official NOAA weather information was as follows:

6:53 AM
Temp: 17F
Dew Point: 6F
Relative Humidity: 62%
Winds: N 10MPH
Precip: 0.00
Visibility: 10.00
Sky: Clear
Altimeter: 30.67 In.
Wind Chill: 5F

That's just ridiculous.

But at least I'm all layered today--got my tighty-whitey briefs and tee-shirt, then my long thermal underwear top and bottom, then my regular work clothes, then had my field coat with liner and a big bundlesome pair of gloves and a toboggan in case I needed it. And I parked in the garage just to make sure the Volvo would turn over this morning (which it did).

Had to get gas this morning and did the bad thing of getting back in the car, which is just like playing with an atom bomb to hear the newpeople blather about it, because you can build up a static electricity charge a'sliding around in your nylon clothes on your nylon upholstery, and then when you get out and go grab the gas nozzle and that spark jumps to ground and lights off all that gasoline vapor, the whole filling station goes up in a conflagration of Graf Hindenburgean proportions.

Not to be a spoil-sport, but if you just touch the car or the metal column on the canopy or any other thing metal except the pump nozzle and ground yourself first, you should be spark-free. Mostly. (In any event, I think the bigger problem are the mouth-breathing loons who stand there with a lit cigarette butt in their slack jaws.)

Really, though, I don't think I would have minded a nice hot gasoline blaze this morning. Yes, I know it would have been an inconvenience for everyone, but, still. Anyway, it was warm inside the car, the way it should be.

Stopped off then at the post office next door and bothered the clerk by asking for stamps before she'd turned on all the Christmas tree lights. "Can't do anything 'til I'm plugged up!" I had no idea.

Then on to the orthodontist to let them put the bottom part of Boy's wires in. He got caught with a popcorn husk in one of his teeth, and was duly nagged for it. That'll teach him to eat popcorn. Or, more likely, teach him to floss before going to the orthodontist the next time.

Back to school with him, checked him in, and for some reason he wouldn't give me a big hug and a kiss before he went back to class.

And now, here we are. And I am sorry to say, I have NO KITTY PICTURES!!

Sorry, but it was very busy this morning and he was highly agitated from being in the unfamiliar garage, with the terrifying racket of the garage doors going up and down, so he probably wouldn't have wanted to sit still and be cute anyway.

So, no big loss, right?


Anyway, now for the rest of the show.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2006

Looking forward to "KITTY!" tomorrow?

Well, you'll just have to wait. Boy has to go to the mouthwire guy tomorrow morning, so your weekly serving of adorable kitten pictures will be a bit late.

I just hope he doesn't turn into a kittycicle tonight. Then again, being stiff would make him much easier to photograph.

ANYWAY, that's all for today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:18 PM | Comments (0)

Swinging for the fence.

Quite possibly the best made-up spam name ever: Dewlap P. Laundromat

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

What a story.

There sure are a lot of highly motivated and very well-placed nutjobs out there in this world.

[...] Gus Dimitrelos and Kevin Levy, of the Alabama Computer Forensics Laboratory in Spanish Fort, cracked one of the year's most high-profile identity theft cases. The team, paid for with federal funds administered by the state of Alabama, works with prosecutors and police to solve crimes.

In September, they began tracking down the woman who had hacked her way into the computer and phone records of Chester Bennington — the frontman for the band Linkin Park — and wife Talinda, Dimitrelos said.

The case gained national attention last month when Devon L. Townsend was arrested at Sandia National Laboratories, a Department of Energy nuclear testing site on Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico where she worked. She admitted to accessing personal information of the famous pair since January, Dimitrelos said. [...]

Read the whole thing.

Someone needed a bit more supervision...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:28 PM | Comments (0)

I believe this is what they mean when they say...

"Truthiness is stranger than fictition."

Words simply are inadequite to describe my feelings upon reading this. Other than to rememberate another very famous saying: "A wasted mind is a terrible thing."

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

Okay, I'll admit it.

I'm a weakling, a wuss, a weinie, a...say--why do words for the weak-willed all have double-Ues? ANYWAY, I'm any sort of coward you can think of when I see stories like this:

Brrr! It's gonna be freezing!
Arctic air will chill Alabama for the next 24 to 48 hours as strong winds today carry bitter cold across the state. The lows for Birmingham are forecast to be 18 and 17 on Friday and Saturday mornings, said Ken Lorek, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Calera. [..]

What good is global warming if I'm not warm!?

I hate cold weather like this. I don't find it refreshing or bracing or friskiness-inducing in the least. Yes, I know you folks up in the Yukon and Siberia think nothing of such temperatures and think I'm being a big fat baby, but if I wanted to live in a deep-freeze like that, I'd have left a long time ago. As an American, it is my right to have the outside temperature adjusted to meet my exact desires, and that's all there is to it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:35 PM | Comments (13)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Pigs (and Possums) Aloft Edition

Our sharp-eyed legal-eagle Mississippi correspondent Kathy S. sends along an intriguing article for those of us with a fascination for the vulgar class: Man Fined for Tossing Pig at Hotel

WEST POINT, Miss. Dec 6, 2006 (AP)— When pigs fly, indeed. Kevin Pugh, 20, of Cedar Bluff, has been fined $279 for tossing a pig over the counter at the Holiday Inn Express in West Point on Nov. 12. Pugh pleaded guilty Tuesday in city court to a charge of disturbing the peace.

HEY! Just exactly when did pig-flinging at the Holiday Inn Express start being considered disturbing the peace!?

It gets more interesting--

West Point Police Lt. Danny McCaskill has said Pugh didn't know the employees of the hotel. There was no evidence intoxication was a factor.

That right there might be the biggest shock of the whole thing.

No one was hurt, including the pig, officers said.

"This was the silliest thing I've ever seen," McCaskill said. "Almost every officer we had was involved because the incidents kept happening at different hours."

Well, hey--you try scheduling an animal-flinging where you can do them all at one time! It's not that easy, my friend. Or, at least, that's what I hear.

McCaskill said Pugh was accused of walking into the hotel and throwing the 60-pound pig over the counter.

"He said it was a prank," McCaskill said. "It must be some redneck thing, because I haven't ever heard of anything like it."

Yet another one for the estimable Mr. Foxworthy--"You might be a redneck if even a police lieutenant in West Point, Mississippi calls you a redneck!"

McCaskill said there have been four late-night incidents involving animal-tossing at West Point businesses. Twice a pig was tossed and two of the incidents involved possums.

All four of the disturbances took place between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., McCaskill said.

Pugh is accused in a second animal-throwing incident at a Hardee's restaurant. He has pleaded innocent to disturbing the peace in that case and will appear in city court on Dec. 19.

Okay, it was all fun and games until you got the ugly marsupials involved, bub!

As for the possum-toss, this article in the Northeast Mississippe Daily Journal from back in November goes into a bit more detail:

[...] Hardee's was first hit by a prankster Aug. 2 when he placed a small pig inside the restaurant about 4 a.m., the police report said.

The next incident was reported Sept. 28 when an opossum was placed inside Hardee's about 2:30 a.m.

Aug. 4, another 'possum was dropped over the Holiday Inn Express desk. [...]

My only comment is that it's probably better than having to be on a plane where a woman lit a match to cover up a bout of butt-thunder. The best part of the whole thing is the last paragraph of this article, which was written by Mississippi State student Amanda Harris:

[...] Three of the four animals thrown over counters were recovered by police and were not harmed. The pig used in the most recent incident was last seen running down U.S. Highway 45 Alternate toward Starkville where the Arkansas Razorbacks will play the Mississippi State Bulldogs today.

Football--no more than one degree of separation from any story about any topic...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:15 AM | Comments (8)

Oh, and speaking of Br'er Jimmah...

...I noted in all my ramblings through the various rhetorical hotspots on the Internets that one of the assertions in his newest book is that Christian and Muslim Arabs have been present in the Palestine Metropolitan Statistical Area since Roman times.

Might be worth noting that Mohammed started receiving his visions in 610 and didn't stop getting them until his death in 632. Western Roman rule of Judea/Syria Palestine ended in the year 330, when control of the area passed to the Eastern Roman empire of Byzantium. Byzantium lost control of Palestine in 613 to the Persians (who weren't Arabs, since they were Persians, and weren't Muslims, since Islam was just then in the process of being revealed), who held it until they were defeated by the Caliph Umar in 638, who really was one of your full-bore Religion of Peace fellows.

Anyway, this only to point out that it's a stretch to say that Muslim Arabs managed to walk around in the Holy Lands during "Roman" times, unless they figured out a way to travel back in time. Which I suppose is possible in Jimmah's world.

But still, if someone with as weak a grasp of this particular time period as I do can figure this out, it makes you wonder if Jimmah has always been such a high-quality igmoranus, or if it's simply the result of getting hit in the head by too many dropped hammers at those Habitat For Humanity homesites.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:27 AM | Comments (0)

And we go to the big box of questions and...

...find that it is empty.


Never fear, gentle readers, the show must go on and all that stuff. It might just not be up to the usual high standard of quality you might be used to. Then again, it may exceed it by a wide margin.

IN ANY EVENT, all of you gather 'round and listen to these questions and then take a moment to answer them, either by leaving your answer in the comments below or a link to your online journal, or as the kids call it, a "blog." As is the usual case when I don't have any questions, today's offering will be a grab-bag selection of entirely unrelated questions. We call it Potpourri, because it gives a high-tone air to the place and makes it seem much more uppity than just "Pile of Junk."


1) Have you ever been removed from a public conveyance for breaking rules regarding passenger behavior, such as Miss Windybritches on the DC-Dallas flight?

2) What is the latest movie you've seen (theater, broadcast, or video) and how did you like it?

3) What is your favorite soft drink?

And since these are all so pitiful, we'll even throw in an extra question that you can use as a substitute or as a bonus question--

4) Who do you consider to be the worst United States President in your lifetime?

There now--take that box full of odds-and-ends and see what you can do with it!

As for my answers...

1) No, of course not. And in the case of the turbulence aloft scenario, I tend to be a big believer in Ben Franklin's philosophy.

2) That would be 1998 Jonathan Taylor Thomas version of I'll Be Home For Christmas on VHS. It's really a pretty funny movie, even though it seems to have scored quite low amongst IMDb readers. Which is really a shock. Also includes a wondrously squishy Jessica Biel back before she decided to go trashy, which is worth the price of the movie.

3) Diet Coke, of course.

4) Well, let's see--in my lifetime there's been Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, GHW Bush, Clinton, GW Bush.

Johnson was a petulent, preening, blowhard ignoramus, but at least he had the decency to shut up after he was out of office.

Nixon was a mean, petty, paranoid opportunist, but at least he had the decency to resign in disgrace and later on spoke with some sense of reasonableness about politics in general. Despite his venality, he was pretty smart about some things and didn't actively try to harm American interest merely to puff up his own ego.

Carter is a weak-willed elitist who played his down-home good ol' boy act to a tee, getting himself elected to an office he was not fit to fill and did more harm to America's future than anyone could have ever imagined. Rather than have the simple decency required to admit his abject failure as a chief executive and keep his mouth shut after being dealt a humiliating defeat, he has continued to pontificate from his self-proclaimed moral high ground--high ground which makes up for its notable lack of height with great measures of ego-centricity. (Related link)

Clinton is an enormously charming vat of amorality, with no interest in anything other than filling his bottomless maw of personal proclivities, for whom the very idea of decency is foreign and vaguely threatening. As with his Democratic predecessor, he never misses an opportunity to interject himself into anything that serves to demean and diminish America's place in the world.

Of that list of worsts--I say Carter is number one, followed by Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton.

So there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:38 AM | Comments (23)

December 06, 2006


Woo-hoo! Only three hours of continuing education left to obtain by the end of September!

Today's topic was a scintillating discussion of precast concrete panel systems. Actually, it really IS an interesting topic, especially when you get into the part with thin-brick cladding and insulation and these new carbon-fiber shear ties and stuff.

Well, okay, maybe not.

As always, much more interesting as a character study of people and their minor failings. Especially those of a grammatical nature. Such as, did you know some people mistake the word "model" for the word "mottle"? That's distracting to see on a slide.

Also, the idea of using the Socratic method to teach is an interesting one, but you have to remember that Socrates probably concentrated on asking questions that would guide his students to a better understanding of the topic and wouldn't ask stupid, obvious questions that only serve to waste time and obscure the point he was trying to make.

Then again, he's dead, so what does HE know!?

Anyway, I got a somewhat cool beverage coaster made out of concrete for correctly identifying an FBI building. It said "Federal Bureau of Investigation" on the big sign in front of it. "Anyone tell me what this building is? Anyone?"

It was also fun because My Friend Jefftm and John the Earthworm Boy showed up. They're always good for some snide impertinence. Such as was directed at our box lunch, which had apparently been made up ahead of time. By approximately three weeks. The concrete beverage coaster was softer than the bread on the sandwiches.

BUT, it was all free, aside from having to sit and listen, and I actually did learn some things, I think, so all in all, a good day away from the office.

HOWEVER, it didn't leave a lot of time for coming up with nifty questions for the Thursday Three, so if any of you have any ideas, e-mail them to me. Quickly.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:20 PM | Comments (4)

December 05, 2006

And now, the spigot gets wrenched closed.

Got myself another continuing education seminar tomorrow morning, so you better make sure what I've put out today lasts you until sometime tomorrow afternoon! Or, you know, you could go read stuff other people write, but I discourage that, because you might not ever want to come back here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

And he also enjoys a hearty cup of rich, warm irony!

Andy Rooney is Internet hoax victim

Yes, he's still around. And whining about someone attributing something to him that he didn't write.

Didja ever notice people who whine? They're whiners.

Anyway, at the bottom of the article, there's this:

[...] The CBS News commentator said he recognized there's a danger in giving attention to whoever is doing these things.

"My tendency, from having been a newsman for so many years, is if all the truth about everything came out, things are better."

Well, let's just say they were probably fake, but accurate.

Didja ever notice how newsguys all run around with their big ugly bushy eyebrows trying to convince everyone the only thing they want is the truth? That's stupid--if you were trustworthy, people wouldn't have to be told all the time that they can trust you. And didja ever notice how people who work at CBS seem to still not understand what all the fuss was about? That's just silly.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:19 PM | Comments (0)

Yummy spam.

Every once in a while I'll read it, just for the entertainment value. This one was for something akin to Hai Karate--

"Once women smell your [brand deleted to prevent even more spam] Pheromones they will jump out of the plane to you."

Well, a) I already have enough women, thank you, and b) if I didn't have any, I really don't think I'd want one who was a big pile of mush after jumping out of a plane to me.

"Women will stick to you like flies to honey if you use [same brand, same deletion] Pheromones."

Again, it might sound good to someone out there, but the idea of a woman becoming attached to me and dying a slow horrible death as she tries to wriggle free from my sticky sweet embrace isn't really all that romantic. Especially if she's got great big compound eyes and bristly hairs all over her body.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

Mr. Foxworthy, you have a call on line one.

Seems you might have yet another to add to your list: Float driver in Anderson Christmas parade charged with DUI

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A man driving a float in the Anderson Christmas parade has been charged with drunk driving after he passed another float then sped down Main Street, police say.

When officers caught up to 42-year-old David Allen Rodgers, he had an open container of alcohol in the truck he used to haul the children and adults on the float for the Steppin' Out Dance Studio, Anderson Police spokeswoman Linda Dudley said.

Surely someone had some idea that David Allen might decide to dip into the Christmas cheer a little early. Then again, maybe that's part of his charm.

Witnesses said Rodgers was driving in line in Sunday's parade when he pulled out to pass a tractor in the float.

Well, in fairness, there wasn't nothing coming the other way, and the tractor was moving awful slow.

Rodgers sped down Main Street and ran a red light, while a witness on the float called 911 on a cell phone, police said.

Officers started chasing Rodgers, who didn't stop for three miles.

Well, in fairness, he probably couldn't see the blue lights or hear the sireens, what with trying to grab that forty that rolled under the seat and all. And three miles isn't all that far if you're going fast enough.

Once he pulled over, he tried to attack an officer, Dudley said.

Now that probably wasn't a good idea.

Rodgers, whose child was on the float, faces more than three dozen charges, including DUI, 18 counts of kidnapping and assaulting an officer, authorities said.

Now having your kid on there? That probably wasn't a good idea, neither.

A woman who answered the phone at Rodgers' home would not talk to a reporter and a message left at the dance studio was not returned Monday.

Rodgers will have a bond hearing on the kidnapping charge Tuesday. He has a prior traffic offense, but Anderson Police officials could not elaborate on the charge.

Prior offense, eh?

Color me shocked.

ANYway, "You might be a redneck if you drove your child's dance studio float in the Christmas parade while you was all lit up like a Christmas tree yourself with a nose glowing like ol' Rudolph's, and you decided the tractor in front of you was too slow and so you took off down Main Street with a bunch of screaming kids and ran a bunch of red lights and had to be chased for three miles by the police and after getting stopped you decided to whup up on the cops before getting arrested."

Operative word, as always, might. Because, you know, stuff like this happens everywhere.

And for your enjoyment, Steppin' Out Dance Studio, and photos of the 2005 Anderson Christmas Parade.

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

You know, we need to thank the Brits.

Much has been written recently about one of our citizens, a motion picture actress (descended from a mother who is herself an acting person) who spends time there in Great Britain attempting to escape the burden of having to talk about money at dinnertime.

It seems she much prefers instead to pretend to be part of the Soddy Olde upper class who never talk about so crass as money, where it's taken as a given that if you are able to afford homes in America and Britain and expensive pretty things, that you obviously must have money. Which is different than here in the awful United States, where even people without money seem to be able to live it up pretty well and don't seem to feel the need to stay within their class strata. Always aping our betters, we are.

Wretched souls.

ANYway, this damsel appreciates a place where the lower classes have some decency and mind their place, and where the rich do the same, and everyone is happy and civilized, and she is free to speak without irony of her disdain of capitalism, despite the fact that capitalism itself is how she is able to pretend to be part of the English upper class. Oh, sure, she says now that the Portuguese paper mistranslated her, but as others have noted, she said the exact same thing back in February of this year to The Guardian, (apparently some sort of newpaper there in the UK which enjoys interviewing Americans who hate America).

[...] "I love the English way, which is not as capitalistic as it is in America. People don't talk about work and money; they talk about interesting things at dinner parties. I like living here because I don't tap into the bad side of American psychology, which is 'I'm not achieving enough, I'm not making enough, I'm not at the top of the pile.' It's just kind of like, I am." [...]

Wow--just like Popeye! Or God!

Well, maybe she was mistranslated there, as well. Being an American, English is obviously not her first language, and so surely she was misinterpreted. Or maybe it was simply a botched joke. Seems to be a lot of that going around amongst all of the better sorts of people.

IN ANY EVENT, I think it is high time Americans gave thanks to the United Kingdom for allowing us to purge ourselves--much as a willowy starlet upchucking the latest creation from a preciously trendy SoHo eatery--of our chuckleheaded celebrities. Only a kind and decent, and yes, civilized, people could ever put up with such inane chittering and act as gracioius hosts and caretakers, protecting her from mockery and derision.

Please, carry on!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

On walkabout.

Of sorts. Kitchen Hand and family are covering an awful lot of territory in one of their fleet of trusty Volvos, and all of the places sound interesting and exotic. It's almost like it's a different country or something...

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


Alabama names new head coach!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:58 AM | Comments (0)

So, you think YOU'RE angry?!

Well, what better place than here to blow off steam? No one likes it when you're angry and pouty, so take a second to tell everyone what's got you all hot and bothered. Sure, folks blessed to live in modern industrialized countries really have nothing worthwhile to complain about, but when has that ever stopped anyone!? NEVER!! Which is probably something worth complaining about, right? RIGHT!!

ANYway, what's your beef?


You want to hear MY beef?

Well, today, I have a whole herd of beeves.

Yesterday? The Volvo wouldn't crank. Not right off, at least. I think I've got a idle control valve about to sail off to Valhalla, and when it's really cold outside, the first crank has been just barely been enough to get the engine turning. It idles way down low for almost a minute before it finally picks up and gets to a normal idle speed. But yesterday, I was just about to abandon it on the driveway because I couldn't get it cranked. Finally managed after about five minutes of running down the battery. Grr.

Last night?

Well, as you know, I love my wife, so obviously this is all somehow my fault.

She got the idea it would be fun to get a little collar with bells and tiny Santa hat and put them on Lightning, The World's Most Expensive Free Kitten, and take a picture of him in front of the tree. Apparently, the idea that L,TWMEFK is an actual sentient life form and might have an objection to being treated as a photo prop seems not to have occurred to anyone.

Other than me.

But being that I'm a good husband and doting father, when it came time to wrangle the kitty and get him bedecked, I came downstairs to help. Rebecca had gone and gotten him and had him held in her arms wrapped in swaddling clothes (i.e., a towel). Mom was gamely trying to put the bell collar on him, but he seemed not to like this. So I took the kitty from Rebecca lest she get scratched. Which meant I got scratched--right across the back of the hand. But by golly, that collar got on him!

And then he jumped down and ran upstairs and I had to get him.

This, combined with Catherine's squealing and the general mayhem usually present in the house made Kitty somewhat nervous. But I love my wife, and wanted her special picture to somehow get taken, lest I suffer the blame for that failure.

Having gotten the kitten (all five hundred pounds of him) back in my arms, she began trying to attach the small Santa hat around his head. Cats don't really like such treatment, believe it or not. "NO HAT!!" I said in my usual calm and soothing voice. So it was decided by others to simply take a picture of him with his collar on.

While Daddy held him aloft in front of the tree.

Which cats don't like.

And a displeasure he had, which he demonstrated by taking a swipe at my fingers, connecting with the end of one and opening a gusher.

Well, time to put Mr. Kitty back outside and endure the frosty dysfun that comes when the wife (whom I love) has a project that doesn't go off as planned. And with the added bonus of said project being undertaken during that peculiar time that women monthly undergo.

When they are already rather on edge and looking for any excuse to feel pitiful and insignificant and defensive and willing to lash out at anyone who would dare suggest it might not have been such a good idea to dress Kitty in a costume.

SO, all that was my fault, and I'm angry about my lack of sensitivity and my brutishness and mean-spiritedness and lack of concern about the feelings of others and not being a better cat herder and a host of other things.

OTHER THINGS? Well, there was a wreck this morning at 31st Street, and by the time I got there, the cop directing traffic was having a nice chat with one of the collisionists. Which would have been better done OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD so as to block fewer lanes of traffic. OH--and to the trail of four cars that were drafting behind an ambulance passed me (and a host of other disgruntled drivers who had been courteous enough to pull over) that had been slowly making its way through the traffic tangle, I wish you nothing but the worst for the rest of the day.

AND ANOTHER THING--the local ballet company is doing a production of The Nutcracker, and their radio commercial has one jarring line in it, and no one seems willing to correct it. "...blah blah magical blah blah holiday blah--you will cease to be amazed!--blah blah..."

"You will cease to be amazed"!? NEVER cease, dimwits! The bad thing? The script had to be written, it had to be reviewed and approved by the ballet folks, it had to be READ by the narrator, and now it's been on for at least a couple of weeks, and yet no one thought this sounded weird, and no one has said anything to that would cause anyone to have enough shame to pull the ad and correct it?! Look, I realize ballet doesn't require a whole lot of grammar, but still, you'd think someone would be a bit more on the ball about this.

FINALLY, this was sent to me by Jimbo Smith yesterday, a story about the conviction of a sailor who deserted and tried to sell secret information. He's a despicable little worm, and frankly I would like nothing better than to see him hung from the yardarm or keel-hauled until he was dead, but the thing that caught my eye was this little blurb--

[...] Weinmann told the judge, who had yet to accept the plea, that he deserted the Navy in July 2005 because the service did not meet his expectations.

"I had a very idealized view, basically what amounted to a World War II Navy," Weinmann told the judge. [...]

You miserable, ignorant, stupid, disgraceful piece of garbage.

We got anyone else out there in the military who feels this way? I tell you what, you put your little whiny complaints in here with all the rest of our whiny complaints, and get over it! Darn sight better than selling out your fellow citizens.

ANYWAY--what's your complaint du jour?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:48 AM | Comments (24)

December 04, 2006

A little help, please.

Taking a moment here from the relaxation offered by gainful employment to answer a call for assistance from fellow blogger and tractorphile, Dave Helton.

Dave has a client who sponsors a charity art auction for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Dave says, "They get artwork from kids in the local schools and auction it off and then match (either half or all, I don't recall which) of what's raised."

Since Dave has been doing actual work lately, he hasn't had much time to blog and as a result hasn't had as many folks dropping by, so he asked me to pass this along to those of you in the vast and mighty Possumblog readership. If you can help out a bit by bidding or by posting a link to the auction, I know Dave, his client, and the folks at St. Jude's would greatly appreciate it.

Here is the artwork site, and there's also an e-card that goes along with it as well.

Thank you very much.

Now, back to work.

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

Oh, and by the way.

They said it feels like 11 degrees or so with the wind chill this morning. I hereby lodge a formal protest and demand that Al Gore allow global warming to continue and quit bothering it so that I don't have to nearly freeze to death just getting to work.

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

Managed to survive another one.

Everything went off more or less without a hitch--the lock-in did, however, create a problem in that Boy didn't go to sleep. Not at all. And so he was sleepy all weekend, which wasn't good for his early concert nor for his tree-selling duties, nor for getting up early Sunday to get ready for church. Also managed to wear out a new pair of socks by sliding on the carpet of the gym floor. ::sigh::

Concert was good, parade was quite fun, tree selling went just fine, church went well, got him a haircut on Sunday that returns him to a neat and clean-cut young man, laundry got done, &c., &c.

I haven't had time to have one moment's rest or respite from either having to go somewhere or do something or listen to someone or be charmingly suave, so if you don't mind, I'm going to do actual paying work this morning so I can relax just a little.

The fact that I am actually eager to do real work should tell you exactly how overabundantly full this weekend was.

Oh, and though it very nearly kills me to have to say it, congratulations to Florida on getting a shot at the national title, and to LSU for getting an opportunity to inflict a whooping on Notre Dame. Both Florida and LSU are great programs and it is quite rewarding to see them do this well. Especially since Auburn did beat both of them. (And as for the Tigers, time to get ready for the next opponent.)

Anyway, enough of that--let me get to work for a bit and relax.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:23 AM | Comments (2)

December 01, 2006

Well, let's see.

Tonight, Boy has a lock-in with the other Scouts, and then tomorrow morning I have to run back and get him and get him home so he can get cleaned up for his band concert which we will then all attend, and then from there go straight to the tree lot to sell more Christmas trees (with a possible change of clothes), and while we're doing that, Oldest will be at the Chamber of Commerce building complaining about being a volunteer and having to help with the Christmas parade, and around 2:00, Middle Girl will get to go and line up with all the girls from the high school soccer team to march in said Christmas parade behind the Whataburger Hummer (since Whataburger is now one of their sponsors), and hopefully we will get a chance to see her as they all file past the Christmas tree lot where Boy and I will be.

Sometime later, Boy and I'll be finished up and Oldest will be leaving to go to her third nightly performance (the premier last night being relatively unobjectionable as the hyperactive hand-flapping and swishiness had been hidden in the wings), and maybe, just maybe, we'll get a chance to get Boy's hair cut and glasses fixed.

In all of this, there is the need to do a large pile of laundry that's been building up since Thursday afternoon last.

Sunday, there's probably something to do besides the necessary churching we require, but I can't think of what it is.

SO, all of you have a good weekend, and I'll see you Monday!

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

One is led to assume...

NY cracks down on illegal mystery meats

...that both illegal non-mystery meats and legal mystery meats will continue to be safe from government intrusion.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:31 PM | Comments (4)


Every once in a while I like to see where folks are visiting from. Here's a sample from the past few hours of the exotic locations people are in (not counting the local area as exotic):

Park Ridge, New Jersey
Dallas, Texas
Southfield, Michigan
Roy, Utah
Lannon, Wisconsin
Louisville, Kentucky
Glen Echo, Maryland
Barranquitas, Puerto Rico
South Pasadena, California
Fountain Valley, California
Farmington, Michigan
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Bruning, Nebraska
Lorena, Texas
Waynesboro, Virginia
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Cleveland, Ohio
Coudersport, Pennsylvania
Dallas, Texas
Metairie, Louisiana
Findlay, Ohio
Lima, Peru
Greencastle, Indiana
Trussville, Alabama
Pico Rivera, California
Lannon, Wisconsin
Simpsonville, South Carolina
Evanston, Illinois
Glen Echo, Maryland
Huntsville, Alabama
Irving, Texas
Saginaw, Alabama
Southfield, Michigan
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Pierre, South Dakota
Greenville, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois
Smithsburg, Maryland
Tehran, Iran
Bridgeport, Pennsylvania
Pasadena, California
Commerce, Texas
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Dover, Delaware
Smithsburg, Maryland
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Glen Echo, Maryland
Huntsville, Alabama
Barcelona, Anzoategui
Bellport, New York
Petaling Jaya, Wilayah Persekutuan, Malaysia
Big Bay, Michigan
Pensacola, Florida
Hill AFB, Utah
New Paris, Indiana
Cleveland, Ohio
Weil Im Schnbuch, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Greenville, North Carolina
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Marble, Pennsylvania
Findlay, Ohio
New Orleans, Louisiana
Rochester, New York
Lannon, Wisconsin
West Jefferson, Ohio
Evanston, Illinois
Glen Echo, Maryland
Washington, District of Columbia
Marietta, Georgia

HEY EVERYONE! Thanks for dropping by, even if you didn't stay long. The list looks a little USA-centric, but as the evening goes on the international folks start showing up in larger numbers. So 'hey' to them, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:31 PM | Comments (5)

You know what I wish I had?

A million dollars.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:48 PM | Comments (4)

Which raises the question...

Report sparks changes at pharmacy chains

By ERIC TUCKER, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 5 minutes ago

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The nation's largest drugstore chains say they are working to better protect patient privacy after an investigative TV report turned up sensitive information about hundreds of customers in trash bins in cities around the country. [...]

...that being, "What are hundreds of drug store customers doing in trash bins in cities around the country!?"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:49 AM | Comments (2)

Oh, come on now.

Suit: Lead ammo in carrion kills condors

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Advocates for the California condor sued state wildlife regulators for allowing lead hunting ammunition despite concerns that the rare birds can die after eating carcasses contaminated with the pellets.

The environmentalists, who filed the federal suit Thursday in Los Angeles, claim the state is violating the Endangered Species Act. They want the state to require hunters to use ammunition made of copper or other materials.

One plaintiff, the San Francisco-based Center for Biological Diversity, said 46 of the giant vultures have died or disappeared after being released in California from 1992 through July 2006, and that lead poisoning may have factored into many of those deaths. [...]

Okay, let's try to look at this logically, which I know is a stretch given that you're dealing with a bunch of emotion-driven advocates here--but it seems these folks are saying hunters are leaving shot game in the woods.

Not likely--if you hunt, you take the animal with you. There may be very rare cases where a small animal is wounded and runs away and dies elsewhere, but this doesn't happen that often. There is the possibility that hunters who field dress their prey and leave the scraps for scavengers are leaving behind some lead in the carcass that might be ingested. Maybe.

But here's the thing--there aren't a lot of condors, but there are sure an awful lot of OTHER scavengers out there who will get to that dead animal or gut pile a lot quicker. To have a sufficient number of wounded animals who later die or piles of leftover scraps to have an effect on condor populations would require a HUGE amount of game escaping and dying off elsewhere or animals being field dressed.

Second, it's not clear from the report, but this doesn't seem to be an issue of lead shotgun pellets, but of center-fire rifle ammunition. Waterfowl really DO have a lead poisoning issue, where lead shot or lead fishing weights can be picked up by fish then ingested by the birds, or the birds can pick it up out of bottom silt. So there is some sense in keeping lead shotgun pellets out of bodies of water. But to extrapolate that to a different set of circumstances--which even the plaintiffs seem to be saying is nothing more than a conjectural possibility of harm--is an over-reach.

Again, is there really that big of a problem of people losing wounded game that is later eaten by a scavenger or predator? Are there that many piles of meat scraps left behind after a hunt? Probably not, again for the reason that there are simply not enough hunters wounding or killing enough animals to make it that large a component of lead in the food chain. If it were, it would seem that you would see the effects of it in the more numerous species of predators and scavengers, not just in one species of animal.

Which goes back to the idea presented in the story that this whole thing is fear over something that MIGHT be happening, not that it is something happening now. The article did not list any instances where it was proven that any of the birds died from lead poisoning. They mention that 46 birds died or disappeared since 1992. How are we to know what killed the disappeared birds without a carcass to test!? Of the ones that died and have been recovered, it would seem to be relatively simple to determine their proximate cause of death, yet the article still quotes that plaintiff as saying only that lead poisoning "may" have been a factor in "many" of the deaths. Look, it either killed the bird or it didn't, and if there's not evidence of it (in the birds that were actually found), then this is really looks like nothing more than a crass stunt.

Although you might find it difficult to believe, it might have nothing at all to do with bird safety.

Yes, I know--it's simply inconceivable!

But do consider that one of the parties in the suit, Physicians for Social Responsibility, considers as part of its mission to create a world free of gun violence. Their chosen method of reducing gun violence does not involve punishing people who commit crimes with guns, but eliminating all guns, including by forced confiscation if they can manage it. Except for those guns owned by the government. Failing that, they've shown quite an interest in limiting the types of ammunition people can buy. Again, except for the authorities.

Well, there's the gun control angle, then there's the irrational fear of the unknown angle that must be played upon, which brings us to The Natural Resources Defense Council. Remember the Alar-on-apples scare? Nothing like a little junk science thrown in the mix.

If this really is a problem, it can be fixed. But it would be nice to have actual data to examine rather than rely upon the doom-and-destruction fearmongering that seems to be such a big part of stuff like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:49 AM | Comments (9)

Okay, I don't care who you are or what you look like...

...this is just a hoot--`Two-A-Days' sparks wardrobe war

News staff writer

The latest T-shirt fad at Vestavia Hills High School comes with a hefty dose of ribbing for archrival Hoover High.

More than 780 students, parents and supporters are wearing short- and long-sleeve shirts bearing the phrase, "It only takes us One-A-Day," on the back. The shirts poke fun at the popular TV reality show "Two-A-Days," which follows Hoover's football program.

The two schools meet tonight in a state Class 6A football semifinal. The Bucs (12-1) narrowly beat Vestavia Hills (11-2) in a game earlier this season.

Elliott White, a Vestavia Hills High senior, designed the shirt as part of a Junior Achievement economics project. He and many of his classmates feel that the MTV show stresses drama over athletic ability.

White said the T-shirt is a way to say his school's team has star power on the field. "It was funny to make fun of it," he said. "And it was not really to make fun of the school, it was to make fun of the show." [...]

Hehee--surrrre it is.

I feel much better about America's youth when I read stories like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)


Friday Catblogging?


It's what all the popular kids do, so in a bid to expand my already massive popularity, here is a nice photo of Lightning, the World's Most Expensive Free Kitten, in all of his wooly winter wonder, helping me demonstrate how difficult it can be to photograph yourself holding a squirming cat.

The second shot is only slightly better, and after this he was returned to his natural habitat in order to keep him from clawing my eyes out and biting through my jugular.

And there's your Kitty Fix!

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

That'll leave a mark.

Chef Tony sends a link to a series of photos of an F-18 coming in for a little bit of a rough landing down in Pensacola a few weeks back.

I guess one of your kids knocking off a rearview mirror sorta pales in comparison, huh?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)