January 31, 2007


Bad Flame Sensor.


90 bucks.

Time spent waiting on repair guy?

2 hours.

Repair time?

15 minutes.


Oh, you betcha. After he took a look around and saw what was going on, the troubleshooting only took a minute or two, then the taking out and cleaning of the sensing bit only a few more minutes on top of that. The ol' rude Ruud is now kicking out its full complement of British Thermal Units, and life is once again on track here in Casa de Possum. And I don't have to worry about young lovebirds complaining about how cold it is.

Anyway, it's now 3:13, Judge Judy's on the toob, and there's not much use in going back to work because I'd just have to turn around and head right back home to pick up Rebecca from soccer practice, so I suppose this is it for the day.

Tune in tomorrow, and we'll do us some Thursday Threeing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:15 PM | Comments (3)


That is all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:47 AM | Comments (3)


Well, thank goodness Birmingham came off pretty well last night, although I could do nothing but cringe that the first contestant was an Auburn student. In addition to being a crappy singer she had a crappy attitude. Sorry, chick, but you're not cute enough or smart enough to cover up your lack of talent. AND FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE, please quit telling people you're from Auburn!

As my concrete formwork professor Vaughn Timberlake, a.k.a., "World's Most Brilliant Man," used to say, "If you have a formwork blowout, whatever you do, be sure and tell them you graduated from Georgia Tech."

Anyway, since I have to take off early today to go let the furnace repair guy in the house, I have to get to work and not mess around here and play all day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:18 AM | Comments (1)

January 30, 2007

It's like Mama always said--

"Be sure to put on clean underwear and make sure your socks don't have holes."

I sure hope they didn't make him take his pants off to tour that mosque.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:12 PM | Comments (3)

So that's how you get it fixed!

As I have been reporting for at least three of the past several years, our downstairs furnace has a mind of its own. Sometimes it will kick on and blow out some heat, but most of the time it just sits there and lets the downstairs get downright cold. Like yesterday evening, when it was 57 degrees. And that's real Fahrenheit degrees, not those silly made-up French Celcius numbers.

It's possible to turn the main switch off and back on and get the thing to light off and run for a bit, but really only for about five minutes, then it goes back off. You can keep hitting that switch, but in the end that's not a very efficient way of keeping the downstairs warm.

Now in years past, I have thought about changing the thermostat, and even bought a new one, until I had the epiphany that the air conditioning part of the unit works just fine in the summer. Which means the thermostat is probably just fine.

I've done some looking on the Internet to see if anyone else has this type of problem so I could possibly see if I could fix it myself. What I've found out is that it might be very simple, or not. And there's not a really good way of telling the difference simply by asking the furnace, "Does it hurt when I move this?"

And then there's the possibility, it being natural gas-fired and all, of recreating the famed January 15, 1978 explosion in lovely downtown Auburn that leveled the Kopper Kettle. An event which, according to one of my building science professors, sent the building's heavy iron boiler several hundred feet away after blowing it through the roof.

I guarantee you, I'd get in trouble if I did that.

SO, even though it gets chilly downstairs, eventually summer does come along making it less of a priority to get fixed. This year, I really had good intentions of calling someone, because it did get cold several weeks back while I was off for Christmas, and I thought since I was home that it would be a good time to have workmen traipsing around. I even called one place, and they never called back.

And then it got unseasonably global-warmed, and once more, the priority for getting it fixed immediately sorta slipped.

Then, last night as I said, it was downright uncomfortable, and I thought maybe I should try to remember to call someone this week. Maybe. That is, until after we'd all eaten supper and cleaned up and come upstairs for the rest of the evening that Reba said something to me that snapped me out of my lackadaisical attitude.

"Ashley was wondering...she was wanting to know if she could invite #6 [not his real name] over Saturday and maybe they could just hang around the house and watch videos and stuff."

Once again, the ol' good news/bad news thing. It's good 1) that she asked first, 2) that neither of them mind staying around the house, 3) that she has, of late, been very much more responsible, 4) that the boy seems to be genuinely nice, although somewhat lacking in social grace, 5) and that she even said she'd be willing to help get the house cleaned up.


That danged furnace is broke, and I'm not ABOUT to let them sit there on that couch and have an excuse for snuggling up! I've used that excuse before, and I KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT!!

That furnace is gonna get fixed--the guy's coming tomorrow at lunch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:15 PM | Comments (2)

And here I thought...

...that only mobile homes attracted tornadoes. Little did I know that bananas also have this effect.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:36 AM | Comments (0)

I'm all for being educated.

Really, I am.

But you know, I don't ever recall when I was in the 4th grade having to make my own electrical circuit board. Or rather, having to get my parents to make me my own electrical circuit board.

Cat's class is studying electricity, and doing a good job of it, it seems. None of that dangerous (but nonetheless enlightening) experimentation I did as a child with screwdrivers and live outlets, but still, it seems they're learning something.

Particularly about circuits. And they've got an assignment that's due Friday morning to create one of those little match-up game things with a sheet of questions and answers linked on the backside by aluminum foil strips.

It's not really hard to do and I do know how to make them, but it's not exactly one of those things that you just let an inattentive 9-year-old loose on with a pair of scissors, some tape, and aluminum foil. And that's not even considering that you also have to get together some colorful questions and answers to put on the thing.


Yet another assignment. If I don't get an A on it, I'm gonna be upset.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:08 AM | Comments (2)

Dog Bites Man

Democrats unveil massive spending bill

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Want to make your eyes water?

Read about floater surgery!

I couldn't make it through to the second page because I kept wincing and my eyes kept puddling up.

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

Oh boy!

American Idol tonight, and it'll be comin' atcha from da 'HAM!

I am torn. Birmingham is home to the world's largest inferiority complex, so on one hand I would like to beg everyone not to believe just how bad our lunatics are. Then again, maybe it's time for us to move on and embrace our alternate-reality citizens and revel in the attention we'll get.

I will, however, again make the prediction that no one from Alabama and no one from the Birmingham auditions will make it past the final twelve or so. I will also predict, though, that the local Fox station will find SOME connection between whoever the finalists turn out to be and someone in the viewing area in order to keep everyone tuning in and voting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:51 AM | Comments (11)

Why I don't like Hollywood.

Well, just one reason for right now, but basically it's that whole Titanic/Pearl Harbor genre of vast overblown richly photographed splendor of a historical event and the players are all the hot young starz of today and don't seem to look or act like anything more than if they're playing dress-up. Nothing wrong with dress-up, per se, but I keep wondering why the directors keep trying to pay so much attention to set design and such, when the screenwriters have people acting and saying things with modern tone and attitude. It just doesn't fit.

Case in point is this new movie they're flogging about World War I with all this spectactular aerial dogfight going on in the trailer, and then some kid saying something like, 'I watch you guys and blah blah blah...' That word "guys" just brings everything to a screeching halt every time I hear it said. It just sounds wrong. You might as well hear him say "let's rock and ROLL, dudes!" as to hear that.

Just to satisfy myself, I checked the online version of the 1913 Webster's dictionary and as I suspected, the word at that time still hadn't taken on its modern sense of "people" or even the slightly older sense of "male people," but was still something more akin to "weirdo."

Anyway, it's a minor thing, I suppose, but it sure does get in the way of the willing suspension of disbelief that you have to have for a movie to really work.

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

Heroic Jack Bauer Update!

Well, I missed last week, so this might not make as much sense, but anyway, there's all sorts of fallout falling out everywhere and everyone is all, like, screamy and upset and so Jack is trying to find the other four visitors, which actually aren't swarthy sorts with suitcases, but nucular sorts of suitcases. Jack runs and gets some stuff and then asks Chloe for some maps and diagrams and copies that and then Weaselly Guy from the Ally MacBeth Show tells Uptight Boss Woman (who's now married to Gray Haired Boss) that he hates her with a white hot hatred, but it's not personal, so he says he's gonna tell on her and Gray Haired Boss for letting the Bad Arab Terrorist outta jail if she doesn't pack her desk supplies in a box and leave the building. Rather than plugging his sorry carcass with a series of .45 caliber holes, she runs in to President Palmer's Little Brother President and tells him that she has to leave, and rather than say it's because the little twerp from Numb3rs is blackmailing her, she apparently thinks that President Palmer's Little Brother President will think that's overtly racist, and doesn't tell him that she's being forced out and he says, "Oh, no you WON'T!" but she pleads and says she has to go be with Gray Haired Boss and that he should listen to himself instead of anyone else, especially if it's a wormy little weasel.

THEN, they're all looking for someone's cell phone that got left somewhere, and it's got guys talking on it, and it's not really anyone important but they've wasted a lot of time on them, when they should have been doing something else.

Okay--confession time--I missed the first fifteen minutes of the show because the kids had Heroes on, and Reba was talking to me, and then I had to go get Jonathan from Boy Scouts, so I heard the next thirty minutes on the car radio, which leaves a lot to be desired--copy that?--and then by the time I got back home I was assaulted by Catherine who was telling me that the little boy's power was being able to withdraw lots of money from ATMs and we find out that next week Claire finds out who her real mommy and daddy are, and her mommy's apparently a barely contained pile of combustion!

Something tells me that I'm going to have to tape both shows and bring our little TV/VCR to work with me to ever find out what's going on again.

NEXT WEEK PREVIEW! Jack hits someone, shouts, and rolls in the dirt. Gray Haired Boss looks concerned. Chloe hits someone, shouts, and rolls in the dirt. Claire puts on a cheerleeder outfit and looks concerned. Hiro hails Mr. Sulu on the subspace frequency.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:37 AM | Comments (2)

January 29, 2007

Wow--there really ARE two Americas!

One made up of people who are justifiably proud of their financial success, and the other of those who are financially successful, but hector all the other rich people for their unseemly avarice while simultaneously trying to pass themselves off as humble champions of the poor and downtrodden in order to get themselves elected President. While sitting on the front porch of their brand new 28,200 square foot mansion on its 102 acre estate.

Nothing wrong with having money.

Nothing wrong with trying to get ahead.

But if I hear one more word about John Edwards' deep empathy for the po' men and women of this country who just can't get a break from those evil corporations and evil Republicans, I swear to goodness I'm going to build my own 28,200 square foot mansion in protest.

If you'd care to donate to my cause, please send me a check for $6,000,000. In fact, I'd settle for half that much.

As an aside, I wonder how many "undocumented workers" the contractor used?

(Thanks to Miss Janis for the heads up, which she found over at Doc Taylor's place.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:51 PM | Comments (13)


Gates promises Vista will wow PC buyers

...I would be more impressed if I could have some assurance that I could use it all day long without planning for at least three complete system crashes. If it wouldn't allow itself to be taken over by malicious spam. If it didn't have an assortment of stupid dings and whistles and screeches.

But what do I know?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:25 PM | Comments (10)

Anyone want to hazard a guess...

...as to when one of these companies will sponsor a NASCAR team?

Just remember this: "a $6 billion market."

That, my friend, is a lot of money to spend on your nasty bits.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:07 PM | Comments (5)

Well, you know, if it's not prepared just right, that can happen.

Fleischer: Plame came up over lunch

Month didn't have an R in it, either.

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

And THEN what happened, Possum Daddy!?

I went to sleep and then woke up the next day, that's what!

And it was a very odd day.

Got everyone more or less ready to go to church, ate breakfast, piled in the van, hit the road. A very pretty day, and the kids got to see the ducks and geese and swans at the place up the road from our neighborhood, along with the chickens, and to make it even MORE special, they were graced with the sight of two possum roadkills further on down the road!

On to church, went to class, heard a good sermon, then had to wait on everyone to go use the restroom afterwards. Which turned out to be a good thing, because as I was standing there cooling my heels, a friend of ours who just so happens to look like a brunette version of Natasha Richardson came by and tugged my sleeve and said, "I've been meaning to tell you that you look like you've lost a lot of weight!" Which is weird, since I haven't. I blamed it on my suit. Anyway, nothing like getting an ego boost in the church corridor!

On to lunch, and since it was still the Weekend of Reba's Birthday Celebration, we took her to the nice Chinese place where they bring you the food instead of making you graze off of a buffet. Ate, home, settled in to read my newspaper and watch the 24 Hours of Daytona. Phone rings. Seems #6 wants Oldest to come to church with him tonight. Fine. "Is he coming to get you?"


Oh, goody! I knew it was only a matter of time!

His folks didn't want him to have to be on the road so much and wanted to know if we could maybe, possibly, bring her part of the way. "Will he bring you back?"

Affirmative. So it's only a matter of getting her there, and I was figuring we'd leave a bit earlier than usual for church, drive her over there (across the county) and then go on to church.

After more Mom-Daughter-#6 talk, I was informed that he wanted her to come earlier so they could have some time before church and she could meet his mom and dad and hang around a bit and stuff like that. Which in the end meant that I was going to be called upon to put down my newspaper, turn off the television, and take her out there myself right then. Yes, she has a license, but she's still not very confident on the Interstate, and she'd have to go someplace she was unfamiliar with, and the Focus still might be acting up, so her driving herself was pretty much out. Leaving good old Dad. Good old grouchy, hateful, spiteful, mean old Dad.

Who with an air of resignation put his paper aside, turned off the teevee, and said, "Well, come on, then."

Over across town, stopped at the designated drop-off, he was right on time again and chipper as he could be, we made the passenger swap, "Have her home before 10!" "Yes, sir!" and off they went.

If he wasn't just so relentlessly eager and chirpy, it would be much easier for the squiggly rays of perturbitude to get through my scalp.

Home, finished the paper, tumped over on the couch and started drooling, and then it was time to head back up to the building. The kids had a practice session beforehand, and I tried to nod back off but couldn't, then it was time for worship, and some guy got up and couldn't lead singing at all. Apparently he is still battling a head cold or something, but when he started singing, all the crud in his sinuses vibrated loose and made him start hacking like someone in a tuberculosis sanitarium. And he really thought beforehand that this wasn't going to happen, so he was very put out with himself and his sinuses. And his inability to hit any note except by accident.

Oh well.

On toward home with a stop for gas and groceries, supper, get ready for bed, and then the blackout hit. As I mentioned earlier, the kids took this opportunity to come both unhinged and unglued and unquietable as they stumbled around in the dark chattering and cavorting like blind spider monkeys. And then right in the middle of it, Oldest arrived home (well before 10, I might add) and so Mom went down to let them in and had to act all sociable and Oldest and #6 were all chatty and loud and that got the other kids up and peeking over the bannister and trying to get attention, which caused yet more consternation and angry Daddy hissing as he tried to get them back in the bed so they'd start building up some heat under their blankets so they wouldn't freeze to death during the night. #6 said his goodbyes and put his filthy mouth on my child and was then on his way, the rest of the kids were finally secured in their cells, and it was time to settle in for a long winter's nap. Until the power came back on and relieved some of the pressure for the employment of arctic survival skills. One of the ladies I work lives in an adjacent neighborhood and she said their power didn't come back on until 1 in the morning, so it could have been worse.

ANYway, that all there is what happened this weekend. I don't think I want next weekend to be quite so jam-packed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:20 AM | Comments (4)

Let's see.

Friday, stopped and got Reba a little birthday cake, but due to all the hubbub this weekend, we still haven't cut it. And as I figured, the closet didn't get cleaned out Friday, because she went shopping. Not gonna complain, because I never could quite figure out what to get her this year.

Saturday, begin the hubbub. Oldest had to go get her hair and nails done for the pageant at school, so Reba took her on to the fixing place, and I had duty with the younger three and the task of getting the car stereo installed. At 9:45, Rebecca was still not dressed. ::sigh:: Left her at home and took Cat and Boy with me up to Best Buy, expecting yet another big dollop of incompetence.

And was pleasantly surprised. The kid said it would take about thirty minutes, and although I was dubious, it actually took LESS than thirty minutes. Since we'd not had breakfast, I took the kids in and got something from the breakfast buffet that they have set up by the cash registers. You didn't know that Diet Coke and Pringles are breakfast food!? Well, they ARE! Went back and sat in the waiting area and ate and the kids played their GameBoys and I watched the installer kid splice wires and make adjustments on the mounting bracket with a bench grinder. 'Custom installation,' don't you know.

Ready to go, and hey, it looks very nice and it WORKS! Amazing. It's almost enough to make me want to get one for the Volvo. Except that it cost money.

Back to the house, where Rebecca was STILL not ready to go anywhere, even though when Mom got back, we were supposed to take her out to eat. Bec got her clothes on, I folded clothes, the kids went out and cleaned the cat's pen, and then the girls got back with a fresh-looking young lady decked out in a French manicure (which I have never seen any French woman wearing) and a nice haircut. They'd cut her bangs, which she was QUITE incensed about, but she looks so much better without that annoying brace of carelessly-carefully undone tendrils on either side of her face.

On to eat, to the Quiznos, which was extraordinarily expensive to feed just a bunch of kids, and then next door to Coldstone Creamery, the newest in faddishly incomprehensible ice cream scoopage. I just don't see the need for the theatrical aspects of all this--why the cute combo names, why the exhorbitant prices for a tablespoonful of jimmies, why the need to knead the ice cream as if it were a dollop of drywall compound? I don't know. But it impressed everyone but me, who would rather they just get a hunk of ice cream, throw in some cookies or Heath bar bits, hit it a couple of times in a blender and be done with it all. And charge about half the price.

But I am a cynic.

On back to the house for a bit, then it was time for Oldest to go do her interview, so she took off in a flash, and I went to go get Lightning more things.

The kids had broken the latches on his litter box, so he's recently begun lifting it off and playing with it. Further, he has learned to tilt the self-waterer reservoir off of its base. We thought he was accidentally tipping it over when he'd use it as a step to get up higher in his pen, but one day we filled it up and put it in there and watched him as he busily began pawing at it until he knocked it over, spilling water everywhere.

Stupid cat.

So, he needed a new litter box and waterer, so I headed out for Pet Smart.

I hate going to the pet store. I just can't stand seeing all the kitties and puppies all lonely and everything. I also can't stand people who think since they love their animals and want to bring them in the store with them that I should ALSO love their animals just as much as they do and really should enjoy having a snout rammed up my crotch.

I don't.

Anyway, I got a litter box with a handy screen in the bottom that makes poop scooping easier. Pick it up, and the litter goes through, sieving out the poop. What a wonderful learning experience for the kids! It's just like life, y'know!

Also got a watering dish with a more stable reservoir. If he knocks this one over, I think I'll just spray him with the hose a couple times a day.

Home, showed off the new purchases, with which the children--and Lightning--were duly impressed.

About time for the pageant. Oldest had already been home once more and gotten her gown and other junk and gone on, and now it was time for us to go down to the BP station at the foot of the hill and meet up with Beau #6, who'd found himself unable to refuse to come see his newest belle in all of her glamourosity.

Right on time, he was. He's making it very difficult for me to dislike him with the white-hot intensity I desire. But I know he'll mess up, so it's a waiting game, I suppose.

On to the high school with him following behind in his truck--wise young man. Knew better than to get trapped into riding along with us! Went in and milled about waiting for the doors to open, then finally got to go sit down. And wait.

Show kicked off with genial Trussvillite Ken Lass (of the Wendy Garner Radio Show) emceeing. It was a very nice show, although at THREE HOURS LONG, just a bit tiring. The girls all did very well and the companion guys who were competing for the "Mr. Hewitt" title were actually pretty funny. Sometimes guys can act like, well, teenaged guys, but they did a good job of being charmingly comic.

All over with, and Oldest didn't get a spot in the court, but for once she seemed less upset about it all. Mainly, one supposes, because she had #6 waiting around for her afterwards. Who wanted to go out for a bite to eat. At 10 o'clock at night. ::sigh:: He's hungry all the time, and he's nothing but a tall lanky thing with big tennis shoes. Must all go to his feet. Anyway, we told them okay, but for Oldest to come straight home afterwards, which she did.

Which is nothing if not promising--no lip, no excuses, and home when she said she'd be. Could it be that this young man is a POSITIVE influence on her!? I dare not wish for such a thing, and MUST find other reasons to keep my dislike for him percolating as strongly as possible!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:48 AM | Comments (2)

Well, Howdy!

Yep, managed to make it though another one, despite myself. And despite the influx of all that tremendously cold weather that global warming has brought us. To make it even worse, about 9:00 last night, the whole neighborhood had a blackout.

Immediately, the temperature in the house plunged to -40, we suddenly began starving to death, and twelve packs of wolves appeared at the door. Or so one would think given the reaction of the rest of the family members.

Not sure what it was, probably a tree down on the lines somewhere outside the neighborhood since there was a lot of wind. Anyway, had to find all the flashlights and lanterns and stuff and start piling sleeping bags onto everyone's beds and lighting the gas logs downstairs and trying to get the kids to CALM DOWN AND SHUT UP AND GO TO SLEEP but they were so wound up by the sudden loss of electrical entertainment that it was hard to get them put away.

I burrowed under the sheet, (non-operational) electric blanket, Reba's good sleeping bag, and Reba's old sleeping bag and settled in figuring this morning would be spent chipping ice out of the sink so I could brush my teeth. I'd finally just about gotten to sleep when just as suddenly as it had gone off, the power came back on. Digital appliances all over the house chirped back to life and set themselves to flashing "0" or "12:00," the furnaces both kicked on, the nightstand lights burned my retinas through my closed eyelids.

I was glad the juice was back, but almost miffed that it came back on right as I was about to go to sleep. Almost. Got out from under the covers and went around turning off stray lights, turned off the gas logs, came back up and got under the covers again, knowing that in about ten minutes I'd be kicking them off because I would be sweating like it was July. Sure enough....

Anyway, it's plenty cold outside today. Stupid global warming.

Be back with more after while. Lots of junk to do this morning, so bear with me as I get done with it all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2007

Oh, let's go home!

Well, pretty soon, at least. It's time to march into the gaping maw of the weekend and see what all there is to it. I predict it will be very busy, and frustrating, since part of it will be spent at Best Buy finally getting the CD player installed in the Focus. There will also be a school pageant. I predict that will be full of angstiness.

I wish there was some place to hide, but there's not. SO, tune in Monday and let's see what happens!

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

I was just enjoying all my spam e-mail...

...when suddenly the thought crossed my mind--wouldn't it be neat if you were a female stockbroker for a discount brokerage, and your name was "Penny Stocks"?

I think it would be.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

I know I am a bad person.

But when I read this story, all I could think about was this:

majestic moose.jpg

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:59 PM | Comments (1)

The Churchill Wit

It's been a while since we've had a selection from one of the most prized items from my handy stack of desk references, so I thought I would turn to page 68 for this bit of wisdom:

War is a game with a good deal of chance in it, and, from the little I have seen of it, I should say that nothing in war goes right except by accident.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:42 PM | Comments (0)

Global Warming Update

Anchorage is getting socked with snow


The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The snow is already piled so high that drivers cannot see around corners. Homeowners are getting worried their roofs can't handle the load. And snow-removal crews are running up the overtime hours.

Even by Alaska's prodigious, myth-making standards, this is a remarkably snowy winter on the Last Frontier.

In one of the strangest winters across America in many years, Alaska's biggest city has gotten more snow — over 74 inches so far — than it normally receives in an entire winter (68 inches). And there are still four more months of snowy weather ahead. [...]

See what the evils of global warming have led to!?

On the bright side, maybe the polar bears will quit dropping through the ice and drowning. Or is that a bad thing? I just can't keep it straight anymore.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:58 PM | Comments (10)

See!? This just proves how dangerous religious fundamentalism in America has become!!

Car smashes into Athens church as driver reaches for cell phone

If you people would quit putting those churches everywhere, this wouldn't have happened!

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

Let's go to lunch.

And the bank. And the card shop.

I have a feeling this is going to take a while...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)


Okay, this Friday Catblogging has apparently gotten to be too much for my poor tiny walnut-sized stupid brain to handle. STILL no new pictures, because I forgot to take new pictures.

As far as I know, we DO still have a cat, because I do keep telling various random children in the house to either go feed him or go scoop his leavings out of the litterbox, but they could just be going outside to humor me.

Anyway, no pictures of Lightning, The World's Most Expensive (and Invisible) Free Kitten.

But we do have a publicity photo of Buttermilk. Buttermilk belongs to Reba, whom I have noted in the past has a fondness for winsome stuffed animals. I've also been known to use Buttermilk as a puppet to entertain the children. And I hate to say this, but sometimes I entertain myself with him even when they aren't around, since he's good to chat with and he rarely interrupts me. And he requires no feed or cleaning up after.


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

Probably hammering one more nail into my own coffin.

Everything's done by computers now. But on occasion, we old-timers get a call for something that can only be done the old-fashioned way.

Such as, just this morning, I got a call from the lady who does in-house graphic design for city-produced publications, and she said she had been looking for some examples of architectural lettering. She told me that my boss had given her a book, but it didn't have what she needed, and asked if would I mind doing a sample of my lettering.

Well, I'm a sucker for her because she's nice, so I did a strip with upper case, lower case (which I don't actually use--I use all caps, and just use a larger capital letters for the start of the sentence or proper nouns), numerals, and various #$%& and @ symbols.

All of which I know she will scan in and use for stuff so that she doesn't have to get one of use to use our cool--but slow--architectural lettering skills whenever she needs such things.

She was surprised when she got it because it looked so different from the sample she'd gotten from a co-worker of mine. "It's just like handwriting," I noted. And it's true. Although the intent is to produce consistent, readable lettering, with enough practice (and desire) you tend to develop your own style that's recognizable but still clear and orderly. Some people get carried away and get all jaggedy and scrawly, which is certainly unique to that person, but it gets in the way of being able to read notes.

Anyway, why she didn't just buy an architectural font package for her computer, I don't know. It would certainly be a lot easier to use than something scanned in.

Oh well.

Should you want to practice your own architectural lettering, I did have a link here to a website with an animated deal you could look at, but since I don't have the latest version of Flash, I didn't realize how crappy it looked until Steevil sent me a copy of it in a Word document. Yikes--forget doing that, it was horrible! But I haven't found anything else yet, so forget I even mentioned it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:16 AM | Comments (8)


To all the Antipodes, and to the two Bruces I have on my blogroll--Tim Blair and Kitchen Hand--best wishes for you and your happy island/continent/nation!

It is on this date that Captain Arthur Phillip arrived in Sydney Cove in 1788 and was met by a roving band of violent biker-type guys with weird punk-rock hair and sawed-off shotguns and hockey masks and high-powered junk cars and a blonde Tina Turner. After fighting them off with a stampede of kangaroos, Captain Phillip founded the colony of New South Wales, which was named after Old South Wales, which was next door to Old North Wales, both of which were named for a mythical land called Llywehitlkghxckvhhwiillrfvlvaheysdgh.

Australians celebrate the holiday much as Americans celebrate the 4th of July, with department store sales, much public drunkeness, and random celebratory gunfire. (Although due to Australia's draconian gun laws, the celebratory gunfire has been replaced with people pointing into the sky and quietly saying "kapowww.")

You can find out more about this special fair dinkum day here at the official government website, which was developed some years after 1788.

AND as I always feel compelled to do, I want to personally thank every Australian for the simple kindness extended to my father by some of your young fighting men. In 1944, a country boy from Praco, Alabama found himself in Hollandia, New Guinea in the service of the United States Navy, which is where he found out he liked those Australian fellows pretty well. As I've written about in the past, part of surviving in the area included stealing food from wherever you could (U.S. Army rations were highly prized) so it was a treat when a group of Australian soldiers invited my dad and his buddies to share some of their vittles. A goodly portion of this “food” was canned mutton. Although this seemed a big treat to the Aussie fellows, I think the fact that we never bought lamb in our house when I was growing up was the direct result of the effect of canned mutton on my dad. He still liked Australians, though.

So, thanks, Australia!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:13 AM | Comments (4)

January 25, 2007


I have to go to the dentist now for my semiannual dental cleaning and gum bloodying. All of you have a good afternoon and I'll see you tomorrow!

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

Yet more history!

Via Hemmings eWeekly: The boys are thirsty in Atlanta…

Can it be? It has been 30 years since the first Smokey and the Bandit movie. To commemorate that now seemingly cult film for Trans Am fans, www.restoreamusclecar.com and YearOne have teamed up to hold a cruise in May 2007, said David Hershey of Keller, Texas. The exact start date and locations for the cruise are still in the works, but Hershey said the event is scheduled to leave Texarkana, Texas, and drive through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and into Georgia. The final destination is Atlanta for the YearOne Experience, being held May 18 through May 20, 2007. [...]

You know, 1977 was a long time ago. 10-4?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:31 PM | Comments (2)

And in other history news...

Steevil, famed NASA rocket scientist and elbow bender, says it's time for a celebratory meal of sheep guts and whiskey wiskie!

The occasion?

Well, upon this date in 1759 was born one Robert Burns. As this entry from The Writer's Alamanac notes (scroll down to the second item), he got his start the old-fashioned way--trying to impress chicks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:41 PM | Comments (2)

You don't know where those nuts have been.

N.J. warns: Don't eat squirrel near dump

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey has warned squirrel hunters near a toxic waste dump about consuming the critters because they could be contaminated with lead. [...]

Well, you DO have to pick out the shotgun pellets...

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


Seem to be spotty lately. The Mu.nu folks were doing some server work yesterday, and that caused (and might still be causing) some difficulties, and as always there are kajillions of spammers out there trying to let you know of all the wonderful mortgage p0rn that's available.

Anyway, sorry for the disruption, but there's not much I can do except ask for your patience.

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

Canonical List of Suggestions.

Still trying to figure out what to get the missus. From past posts, we have the following: sparkly things; a trip to the spa; flowers; 500 parrots; a fake dragon tattoo; some pie; a new oven and a fancy set of copper cookware; a different-coloured Volvo; top line chocolates; an oven where the "broil" setting is actually only 350; a $100 pair of shoes; time with me on one Friday night a month for the next three months with grandparents providing kid-sitting while Miss Reba and I head out for dinner, movies, concerts, or walks in the park; a full body massage, or if that's immodest for her, a spa day, without Oldest; and finally, a Thumper Pro Massager.

Very good suggestions, and I really need to decide on something.

I was very excited yesterday evening when she said she was going to get to take tomorrow off from work. Because I am incredibly selfish, thoughts of a intemperately naughty nature started cropping up almost immediately, most of which revolved around me surprising her at home sometime during the day, playing the role of either the Handsome Furnace Repairman or the Handsome Pizza Delivery Boy or the Handsome Sailor Returning From Sea Duty or the Handsome Secret Agent/Low Level Bureaucrat.

One of the kids asked her what she was going to do tomorrow. She said she was going to clean out her closet.

Suddenly, I found myself in a quandary. Although I do enjoy the random romp, she REALLY needs to clean out that closet. She's got stuff from Christmas still hanging all over every door and doorknob in our bedroom, and you can't walk through the door without knocking something off the hangers, and the closet's been a mess for months, and she keeps saying how she needs time to clean it out and I really would like for her to have some quiet time to...hmm?


What's that, Miss Reba?


Well, I see.

That makes my schedule for tomorrow much more clear.

You see, as I was pondering all of this conflict in my head, she informed me that she'd gotten another present yesterday.

The same present she gets every 28 days.

I think, then, that tomorrow I shall leave her alone in peace with her closet-cleaning, and maybe pick up a nice cake on the way home.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:46 AM | Comments (9)

It was a lot bigger then.

On January 25, 1890...

...police cleared a path through a cheering crowd for reporter Nellie Bly as she stepped off a train in New York just 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes, and 14 seconds after setting sail east to prove she could circle the globe in less than 80 days.

Bly, born Elizabeth Cochrane, challenged the fictional record of Phileas T. Fogg, hero of Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, at the suggestion of her employer, the New York World. [...]

More on Miss Bly may be found here.

UPDATE! Dr. Smith sends along this bit of information about the indomitable Nellie Bly:

Ms. Bly reported that the rest of the world hates us and that she would have made the trip sooner if not for President Bush.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:13 AM | Comments (3)


Sounds like the Bulldogs or Georgia Tech are REALLY gonna make a push to win the national championship in football next year!

I have to think, though, that using a nuclear weapon would be an equipment violation, like not having your mouthguard in. And seems like if they did use it, it would be terrible for concession sales.



DAGNABBIT! I have TOLD everyone we have GOT to figure out a different name for the former Confederate States' Georgia and the former Soviet Union's Georgia! Can't we call the one over there "Georgski" or something?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:57 AM | Comments (1)

Speaking of food...

...just opened an e-mail from my buddy Oscar and it's too good to not share.

A few days before Christmas, the FedEx truck dropped Grandpa a big box from his grandson who worked for a big oil company in South America. Gramps opened the box and found that he had received a big beautiful green bird with a red topknot on its head. The bird was huge and it didn't take Grandpa long to de-feather the creature and put him in the oven with sweet taters and stuffin'.

About the middle of January, Sonny called and asked if his grandparents had gotten the box on Christmas, and Grandpa said, "Yes we did son, and it was really delicious."

"You don't mean to tell me you ate that bird!?"

Gramps assured him that they did.

The young man nearly screamed into the phone, "Why, that was one of the smartest birds in the whole world! It was worth a fortune! He could speak three languages!"

Then Grandpa said...

"Well, he should have said something."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:52 AM | Comments (3)

How peculiar!

After my previous inquiry regarding any readers who might have a crumbling-crackers-in-soup habit, it seemed that there was sufficient interest in other sorts of bizarre behaviors to merit their inclusion in this week’s “My, Aren’t YOU Odd!” Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As always, we ask a series of three questions and expect you to answer them in as forthright and expeditious a manner as possible, although I do want to remind readers in other time zones or hemispheres that the questions do not necessarily have to be answered on Thursday. BUT, do please either leave your answers below, or a linky-link to your very own blog as you ponder the following:

1) Do you have any peculiar rules about the foods you eat? Not stuff like religious dietary restrictions, but stuff like having to have the crusts cut off your PB&J sandwiches, not having the peas touching the carrots, having to eat foods in a particular order--stuff like that.

2) What about your personal grooming? Do you have a particular way of brushing your teeth? Do you have to always put on your left sock and shoe, then the right? Tell us please!

3) Have you ever embarrassed yourself with the public display of any of your peculiar habits? Details appreciated, of course!

Now then, go off and get your lucky keyboard, turn around once, tap your head, and answer the questions and let’s see just how odd you are.

As for my answers...

1) Well, I don't really like a pile of mush in my plate--I prefer it if all the foods keep to their own territory, but I'm not freakish about it if a few corn kernels want to go visiting the turnip greens. I probably was more weird as a kid, but having gotten older and become a parent, I tend to eat what I can, when I can, and not complain too much about how it's fixed or put in front of me. But, I will repeat, I DO like crumbling up saltines in my soup. And I don't consider sopping up the gravy in my plate with a biscuit as peculiar.

2) I suppose the most peculiar thing is my habit of shaving while sitting upon the porcelain throne in the mornings after my shower. I have a rechargeable electric razor, and I can't see any good reason to stand up shaving when I could sit down, and I figure if I'm gonna sit, might as well take care of something else as well. Saves time, too. If I could only find a way to fit a TV into the bathroom...

3) Not that I recall, although I do recall going into the cafeteria at a department store (which tells you how long ago this was) and ordered a slice of apple pie, and asked them to put a slice of cheese on top and heat it up for me. The waitress thought I was insane.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:10 AM | Comments (13)

January 24, 2007

Once again time for Admiral Stockdale.

"Who am I, and why am I here?"

Good grief. Hour and fifteen minutes, and I couldn't get a WINK of sleep. People kept blathering, and then I had to blather, and I had to use my uptight, unaccented voice so all the derned Yankees could understand what I was saying. What a waste of time.

At least they brung wimmen.

Anyway, now it's so late there really no time to play, so I think I'll just sign off for now and see all of you tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

Now then.

I have to get ready for my next meeting and print out some maps and find some other junk to take with me so I won't look like I just walked in off the street.

All of you play nicely and I'll try to get back in a few hours. If not, please send out a search party. (Preferably with party hats and party favors.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Suggestions So Far

As I noted yesterday evening, I need some birthday present suggestions for Miss Reba. This is what we've got so far:

Sparkly things, a trip to the spa, flowers, 500 parrots, a fake dragon tattoo, some pie, a new oven and a fancy set of copper cookware, a different-coloured Volvo, top line chocolates, an oven where the "broil" setting is actually only 350, and a $100 pair of shoes.

Any others?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:12 AM | Comments (6)

That was just all confusing.

I hate it when parlimentary procedure breaks down and everyone starts having their own little sidebar discussion and then six months later when something gets built and they don't understand why it looks that way and you try to tell them that the people were up in front talking about it and when it came time to vote that everyone approved it and if the complainer-person didn't hear it then maybe if they'd shut up their yapping for about five seconds they would have heard the architect say it was going have a giant gilded turd on top.

Focus, people. Focus. And shut up.

I have a feeling their are going to be several puzzled people in about six months.

Oh well.

Hey, did anyone know the President was going to give a speech last night!?

I did. And I actually thought it was really pretty good, although I have my doubts as to the actual consequences of it. Sure, you might like to think none of them voted for defeat, but I have to say in the back of my mind I think there probably are more than a handful who'd like nothing better than to see America perpetually on her knees. Hey, a little self-deprecation is good to keep you humble, but self-loathing is a dangerous thing for a person or a country.

Oddest thing? Well, I was on the computer getting some stuff for Rebecca for a class, and decided to see who all was live-blogging the speech. Quite a few. But you silly bloggers, with your supposed superiority of timeliness, YOU think live-blogging something is just the bee's knees, DON'T YOU!?! Sure you do. But you have NOTHING when it comes to our beloved overlords of the Fourth Estate, who not only are smarter and wiser than you, they can also SEE INTO THE FUTURE!!

I noticed at about 8:35 Central time an odd past-tense headline on the Yahoo! main page. Clicking on it, I found a column by AP writer Terence Hunt, which told me in exacting detail what was going to happen in the speech, AND in the Democratic response, BEFORE IT EVEN HAPPENED!!

Who could ever hope to compete against such omniscience!?

Now that Yahoo! News link has been used by a different story, but I did find that several other news outlets had that original version, such as this Fox station out in Denver. Note that the time stamp says it was created Tuesday, 23 Jan 2007, at 7:24 PM MST, which would be about 8:24 Central, 9:24 Eastern. About halfway through the speech. Now from this highly prescient article, while the speech was still being speeched, we find out that "Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, also took issue with Bush," and that he even supplied a handy quote for our future-seeing reporter. We later on find out that, "Bush said his approach had the best chance to succeed, but clearly many lawmakers -- and overwhelming majority of Americans -- disagreed." Amazing how the writer can know that an overwhelming majority disagreed, even before the speech was over!

Now, I know, and you know, and every other person in the world knows, that reporters have a copy of the speech beforehand. They have a copy of the opposing response beforehand. There's nothing wrong with writing a story that mentions those things and gives a broad outline of what's contained in both texts.

But it sorta seems silly to sit there, and hit the "Send" button on a story that YOU KNOW you wrote far ahead of time, with your editorial slant already preprogrammed in, and pretend that you're writing after the fact. Yes, I know it happens, that it's common newsroom practice, but that still doesn't explain the necessity of the pretense.

Please, Associated Press and all the rest of you goomers, just go ahead and admit your viewpoint is already made up, and that you invent whatever you have to in order to make it fit your framing of the story.

Iraqi police captain Jamil Hussein would want it to be that way.


Anyway, I don't guess I should be too concerned. I mean, who believes what you read online anyway, right?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:58 AM | Comments (6)

January 23, 2007

Hey, guess what tomorrow is!

Yep, the twice-a-month off-campus funcapade! AND, not only that, I have another some kinda meeting tomorrow afternoon with a bunch of out of town folks, and I couldn't find a way to get out of it. I'm such a dunce.

Anyway, tomorrow's version of Possumblog is going to be thin and weak and sickly and peaked and feeble and scanty and unsubstantial. So there should be nothing to complain about as it's pretty much that way anyhow!


By the way, please remember to answer the question in the post before this one. I really would like some tips for something nifty for her.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:56 PM | Comments (0)

I ask you because you're really smart.

If your wife was Miss Reba, and her birthday was Friday, what sort of present would you get for her?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:58 PM | Comments (7)

That's a simple question.

Man arrested for smuggling 500 parrots in a car

ALMATY, Jan 23 (Reuters Life!) - Kazakh border guards arrested a man trying to smuggle 500 parrots in his car from neighbouring Uzbekistan, media reported on Tuesday. [...]

It was unclear how the parrots fit into the Kazakh man's Audi. [...]

Silly people obviously don't have kids. The answer is "250 in the front seats, 250 in the back seats."

(Based upon the ancient wisdom, "How do you fit four elephants into a Volkswagen?" "Simple--two in the front seats, two in the back seats.")

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:10 PM | Comments (1)

Swirly Schranck!

Good to hear that Fritz managed to escape un(mostly)scathed a few days ago from what sounds like a quite frightening experience, that of operating a Miata lika a Zamboni.

If only we had more global warming, things like this wouldn't happen.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:21 PM | Comments (1)

Humorous Made-Up Spam Name of the Day!

"Prefecture J. Panic"

And unfortunately, not selling anything even remotely interesting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

Hey, just because it's a cliché doesn't mean it's not true.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Given the parents' actions, it's pretty easy to see why the kid acts the way she does.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:21 PM | Comments (2)

"You can make your dreams come true -- that is to control your own robot"

Well, I'm not quite sure this is exactly what I dream about.

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

I know I complain about work too much.

Especially when I read stuff like this.

::marking "become abalone diver" off to-do list::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:55 AM | Comments (0)

And at an office in Harlem...

Clinton says spouse will be an 'asset'

WASHINGTON (AP) — If elected president, Hillary Rodham Clinton says her spouse and former Oval Office occupant will be a "tremendous asset," but she's the decider. [...]

...former President Bill Clinton reads the morning paper and a mocking grin creases his face, as he thinks to himself, "She's oughta know about tremendous assets!" Then, he suddenly finds himself in a much more contemplative and reflective mood, and begins to reminisce about other assets he's seen in his years of politics--some round, some firm, some perky, some supple--and sighs a contented sigh, ending with a quiet aside to himself, "Dude, I have SO got it made!"


(Thanks to Nate McCord for sending the photo of filthy hippies.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (3)

Well, it's only fair.

Gov. Blanco demands federal Katrina probe

1/23/2007, 7:19 a.m. CT

The Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is calling on Congress to create a bipartisan commission to see if Republican Party politics factored in the federal response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita. [...]

In the spirit of bipartisanship, might I suggest that this bipartisan commission also see if Democratic Party politics factored in the Federal response? Oh, I realize we shouldn't hold Democrats to the same standards as Republicans, because, I mean, come ON! Who elects Democrats on the basis of basic competency!? But still, in the interest of fairness, it would be worth at least acting like you're actually looking for answers rather than trying to score political points.

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

Artificial WHAT!?

Oh, good grief. Just listening to the radio now, and a nice old feller called up and was talking about this buddy of his who'd had fallen out of a tree stand and "th' amma-lance come and got him up, and they started doing that artificial insemination on him and then took him to the hostpital."

The DJs, bless 'em, showed remarkable restraint in allowing the remark to go by with relatively little in the way of cackling and hooting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:56 AM | Comments (0)


I made someone hungry and curious!

Kitchen Hand commented down below in the "crackers in your soup?" post about those wacky South Australians who dunk a meat pie into soup (probably trying to make a root beer ice cream float without root beer or ice cream) and with Chef Tony's addition about Loozyana meat pies and pies made out of whales (or maybe it was pies made in Wales), it got KH to wondering about what all this stuff has in common.

And so he presents, A History of the Pie in Nine Paragraphs.

What I don't see is how one of the staples of my youth fits into all of this. When I was a youngster, there was hardly anything better than the nights when we had pot pies. A tiny aluminum tray from the frozen food section at Winn-Dixie, filled with thick creamy soup, three English peas, five tiny cubes of carrot, and some slivers of chicken or beef, all covered over with a flaky crust.

Mmmmm--nothing like that! They probably cost a dime apiece, which is probably why we had them on a regular basis.

Even bigger treat?

Those rare occasions when Mama would spring for the Banquet version instead of the store-brand, because the name brand type not only had a top crust, it EVEN HAD A BOTTOM CRUST!! I would carefully separate the top crust, lay it aside, eat the filling, then the bottom crust, then finally the top crust.


Switching gears a bit, as for the soup I made last weekend, it's really easy. Since we had to make so much so we could take it to church with us, it would have been too expensive to get canned soup or dry soup mix, so I got a pack of mixed bean soup mix from the aisle with dried beans and peas and stuff.

And being a child of my mother's, I got the inexpensive store-brand bag of beans. They're dried beans, fer cryin' out loud! No reason that one package should be twice as expensive as another! Anyway, the package of 16 beans included all the usual suspects, along with a small package of seasoning.

Before you soak or boil the beans, pour a few at a time in your hand and look for ones that are bug bitten or to see if you can find any rocks. This is a vital necessity, because although boiling water makes the beans soft, it seems to have little effect on the composition of rocks. And I did find a rock in the bag I got, but relatively few with bug bites. (Which really aren't anything more than cosmetic issues, at least for me. I rarely look at the beans as I'm eating the soup, and figure any bugs are probably dead after being cooked overnight. But Mama says you're supposed to get those out, so I do.)

The better way (I think) to prepare the beans is to let them soak overnight, but I couldn't wait that long to let them rehydrate, so I did what they said to do on the bag and boiled them on high heat for twenty minutes, let them steep for an hour, then poured off the water and refilled it with fresh water and put it all in the crock pot.

You don't have to put meat in there, but since the flavoring package in the beans was supposed to be "Cajun" (whatever that might have been--it was a fine white powder, which didn't really look very Cajuny), I had decided to get a pound of Cajun smoked sausage to go in it. I sliced the links into quarters then pieces about the size of my fingertip, which I am happy to report remained firmly attached.

Put a little extra salt and black pepper in the tureen and left the thing going all night long, and in the morning had a good pot of soup. Reba asked if I'd put any tomatoes in it. "Uh, well, was I supposed to?"

Turns out that I should have. Luckily, we had a couple of cans of Ro-Tel that gave it a very nice spicy kick and finished filling up the crock.

It turned out very well, although not a lot got eaten at our church meal, I think because people didn't quite know what kind of soup it was. I figure if I'd made a little placard that said "Cajun bean and sausage soup," it would have gotten gone a lot quicker. No matter. Meant there was more for me!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (3)


What a bargain.

"If you thought of this as the cabin on a boat, you'd say, 'It's pretty spacious.'"

Likewise if you were an amoeba, you'd think it was even more spacious, and not only that, you wouldn't care one bit if it IS a closet in a basement.

For what it's worth, I am subletting the area under my drafting table for anyone who'd like a small apartment close to the city center. Includes electrical and telephone outlets.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:02 AM | Comments (9)

Jack Bauer Update!


I, uhhh, I--Jack, well, he slapped around some people, and did not display proper weapon handling safety protocols, and talked on the phone and junk.


I missed it.

YES, I MISSED IT! So sue me! I forgot it was on and watched Heroes instead. Which is pretty good, too, almost in kind of a Twin Peaks sort of way. Although I think I wouldn't be watching if it didn't have a cheerleader.

Bad thing?

I didn't even get to see all of THAT because I had to go run pick up Boy from his Scout meeting.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:41 AM | Comments (5)

January 22, 2007

That's what you want to hear.


Uh-oh. That's my sister, and I hear a bunch of crap going on in the background. This could be Not Good.

"Hey, what's g..."

"I know I don't call you much," uh-oh, "but I've been having trouble with my car starting," WHEW!, "and this morning it was really hard to crank, and then I heard this noise, kind of like, I thought, something like a belt? And then it cranked? What could that be?"

Gee, first I'm the Yellow Pages, and now I'm freakin' Kreskin. "Well, uhh, I don't know, but it sounds like it could be the start..."

"Could it be the starter?"

"Yes, that's what I was about to say--it could be, but I wasn't there to hear it so I don't know, but yes, it can be that or something else."

Clever lad, aren't I?

Anyway, she'd gotten to the dealer and they were wanting $500 to replace the thing, and she wasn't sure if it could just go bad, so I had to reassure her that they can go bad all of a sudden, or slowly, or anything in between, and that I figured most of the cost was probably labor. Maybe a couple hundred for the starter, and the rest to pay the highly-qualified Infiniti mechanics in the back. Checked online, and sure enough, a starter for a 2000 Infiniti I-30 is around $220 or so.

AND THEN, she got to talking about how crappy her day had been--a crazy patient's equally crazy husband had shown up and verbally abused her and everyone else in earshot for a while, and that she's still in a sour mood after someone stole her wallet and credit cards last week (out of her purse that had been in her office), and then this thing happened with her car.

So, I gave her the best long-distance arm-across-the-shoulder I could give her and I think I finally got her to feeling a bit better. Which should last just long enough to write out a $500 check.

I wish she was closer to home for stuff like this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:28 PM | Comments (0)

Apparently it's just the day to get on my last nerve.

Otherwise, why would we have had two pointless meetings today? And why would The Guy Who Can't Spell be in both of them?

Conspiracy? Probably.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:02 PM | Comments (6)

Remind me to lock my office door.

The Guy Who Talks to Me At the Urinal (and Who Can't Do Tables in MSWord) came by the door to cook something in the microwave, and I knew he was going to stick his head in the doorway and start chattering on and on about stuff. (You know, like I do when I blog, with the exception that you can click away, and I am trapped here talking to him while I type this.)

"Tell me some restaurants in Trussville."

Oh, so I'm suddenly the Yellow Pages? Good grief. Had to actually have a conversation, had to ask what type, and then he had to let me in on the big secret of why he was asking, which necessitated him CLOSING THE DOOR (blocking any possible chance of escape, short of strangling him), and had to run down a list of possible places he might enjoy. All of which I gave my "Eh, I've never died from eating there" seal of approval.

Thank goodness he wasn't in a REALLY talkative mood.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:58 PM | Comments (0)

Quite possibly the most banal thing you'll read.

(Assuming you don't read anything else on here.)

But as I was about to eat lunch (which consisted of the very last of the bean-and-sausage soup I made this weekend), a thought occurred to me. How many of you crumble crackers into your soup? I've done this ever since I was a kid, and it's difficult for me to eat soup unless I've got a handful of crackers handy. And now I've noticed my kids do this as well.

Obviously, this is far outside the bounds of proper etiquette, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

Anyway, the soup was really good.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:46 PM | Comments (13)

"Your dad scares the crap outta me."

Well, good.

And I didn't even have to tell him about that time I had to strangle a terrorist with my bare hands.

Who am I talking about?

Oh, I think he's either Beau #5 or #6, but no matter, he's a guy, and as I keep trying to tell both Oldest and Reba, no matter how nice he is, no matter how polite, no matter how solicitous, no matter where he goes to church, he is still a guy, and he still only wants one thing.

I have tried my dead level best to tell them this ever since Beau #1, and I think it might finally be starting to get through. I can kinda understand Oldest's naiveté, but Reba's been married twice, and one of those was to me, and so she SHOULD know I have a one-track mind, but still, they look at me with equal parts shock and disbelief when I don't immediately start hyperventilating about the good fortune of another hulking goober calling on the phone.

Anyway, #6 and Oldest had a date Saturday night, and he didn't start off impressively. It was almost enough for him to be endearingly dim, much like me.

First, he lives on the other side of town. Now, if I'm going to go pick up a girl at her house, I think I might get directions to her house, either from her, or the miraculous Internet. As proof of my one-track-mind theory, he didn't do either of those things. He just headed for Trussville. ::sigh::

As you could expect, he got lost before he even got there. He called several times, and Reba talked him to the exit and tried to explain the rest of the turns. And so, thoroughly confused, he was then given to me so I could play the role of Lloyd Bridges as Steve McCroskey in Airplane. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

And don't call me Shirley.

Anyway, I talked him through all three traffic lights, the turn, across the tracks, up the hill, down the hill, up the hill, around the turn, and into the driveway. "Don't hit my car when you pull in."

"Yes, sir!"

He got out and I stood there at the door with the phone in my hand and brought him inside. Nervous shaking handshake. Again--good. He and Mom and Oldest chatted a bit and I moved into the kitchen to be out of the way, then came back to see where they were going to eat and what they were going to see at the movie. They had no idea. Again, I would sorta think these things would be sorted out ahead of time, but what do I know?

I reminded Oldest that we had the church lectureship Saturday morning at 9:30, and to be home, and she started to complain, but #6 reassured me that they'd be home at a decent hour. Eddie Haskell? Maybe.

Out the door they went (after the obligatory invasion by Catherine, who had to go show off for everyone), and it was time for us to start fixing food for Saturday.

Did some junk, and then about ten minutes later I hear the doorbell ringing and the sound of someone pounding on the door. Oh sweet @#$!. I got to the door and found them standing there, with #6 having an embarrassed look on his face as Oldest piped up, "HIS CAR WON'T START!!" Well, it's actually a truck, but no matter.

"You need a jump?"

"Yes, sir, please."

And then he continued to alternately thank me and apologize and express his embarrassment at his predicament during the entire jumping-off process. To make it worse? He couldn't get his hood open. In the five minutes it took to get him going, he was a puddle of nervous chatter.


Off they went, and we got on with our cooking. I made some 16 bean soup with smoked sausage, Reba made sandwiches, and I went up and got my tee-shirt and shorts on after putting the beans on, with the intent of getting the soup poured into the crock pot and then going to bed, being that I was about to collapse from fatigue.

Came back downstairs, turned off the beans (in case you're wondering, I did the fast cook method where you boil them for twenty minutes instead of soaking them overnight) and sat down on the couch to wait the required hour for the beans to steep before transferring them.

And promptly went right to sleep.

And an hour later was woken by the doorbell. Why doesn't Oldest use her key!? I stumbled off the couch and went to the door, looking much more disheveled than I did four hours earlier, and let them in. They seem to have had a good time--went to eat at Zaxby's, saw Night at the Museum, and then came straight home.


Reba talked to them for a bit and I went back to the kitchen to finish putting my soup in the cooker, and then #6 was on his way, and Oldest was full of giddiness.

And I got to hear once more how frightening I am.


And then, I went to bed, because I was still very tired, and we still had to get up early on Saturday.


Up early. Got everyone ready, fixed some microwaved breakfast, settled the crockpot into the van, and got us on the way. Good set of lectures, then lunch, then a couple more talks, then back to home, and got the kids to go out and play with the cat so he'd have some company. Did some more laundry, then that evening Reba took Oldest out to go get some pictures made for the school pageant, I got the kids to go get cleaned up, fixed a big salad for Sunday's dinner at church, and then afterwards played several rounds of dominos with Catherine.

I still don't quite know if we're playing by any known set of rules, but, hey.

Sunday, up early again, popped some taquitos in the oven (again, for lunch--and guaranteed to get devoured by the kids like hyenas on a wildebeest), fixed our breakfast, and with ten minutes left before time to go, a request from upstairs for a blouse to be ironed.


I very nearly requested that my dear wife wear another blouse of some sort that wasn't wrinkled, but I knew this would take more time than ironing. Funny how that works out.

Out the door, more or less on schedule--although no small amount of schedule adjustment was made by the judicious application of force to the accelerator pedal. Got to church, unloaded, got to class and was only about five minutes late. Amazing!

Another good set of talks, then it was time for lunch again, with the added anticipation of possibly a visit from #6! I'm just a'quiver with excitement!

We got finished eating and he called to say he was almost there. Once more, if you're going to an unfamiliar place, it would seem like a good thing to figure out your route ahead of time. It would seem.

Anyway, Oldest started talking him in, and I began to agitate for someone to fix the kid a plate for when he did get there, and noticed the food was quickly being taken up and wrapped in foil. I kept asking Reba if we should make him a plate. "I don't know." The ladies were now in a flurry of wrapping activity--again, something like hyenas on a wildebeest, except instead of gnawing and snapping at each other, they were a whirling mass of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, apparently having a race to see who could finish first in wrapping up their piece of haunch or belly.

Well, dangitall.

I got up and got a plate and got him a couple of sandwiches and some salad and some meatballs and a drink and came and sat it back on the table. He got there not long afterwards, and I told him if he had any complaints, to tell me, because I fixed it for him. I didn't tell him he had to eat it all, but he must have gotten the idea, because he got full and told Reba he was afraid I might come back and see he didn't eat it all and get offended.


Anyway, they got finished up and came on back in the auditorium with us and sat through the last sermon of the day. And, of course, #6 was quite the subject for much gossip. He took his leave, because he had to get back home and we had stuff to do at the building afterwards, which was fine by me.

Finally home.

I like it when we have those days where the evening service is at 1:00. Finished doing some laundry, watched the football games, ate some leftover soup and salad, played some more dominos, got the kids in bed, and then tried my best to go to bed at 9:30, because once more, I was wiped out with fatigue.

Alas, 9:30, #6 rang the telephone beside my bed, and so I had to get up and go hand it to Oldest, whom I hope told #6 that he had woken me up. They had a long conversation, which didn't end well (we'll let all the tumult of that remain private), but I think my antipathy toward all potential suitors is finally being seen for the wise prudence that it is.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (12)

January 19, 2007

So soon!?

Well, yes--I have to take Boy for his orthodontist appointment this afternoon, so it's time to call a halt to the festivities for now. All of you have a great weekend and I'll see you again come Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:51 PM | Comments (0)

The wonders of English

Steevil sent me an e-mail the other day detailing some of the odd little inconsistencies in the English language, but the example today is even better, mainly because it's such a good example of inconsistency in action.

In this Yahoo! Real Estate story about population changes, Steevil (famed rocket surgeon and brother of noted dead-language pedant Dr. Weevil), noted this inscrutable passage:

"Wisconsin, at 53.2 percent outbound, witnessed its lowest outbound influx since 2000."

"Outbound influx"!?

I wonder if there's such a thing as inbound outflux.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:58 PM | Comments (2)

"Professional" is our middle name!

Although I'm still not quite sure why I should care.

Saw a pest control truck on the way into work this morning with that tagline all over it, and it made me wonder why "'[insert name]' is our middle name" is considered to be all that informative or noteworthy or special or indicative of greatness. Most people, after all, don't go by their middle names (although I do)--in most cases, it's just there as a placeholder or there so we'll recognize the person being talked about on the TV is a criminal, who always have to have a middle name.

Anyway, if "professional" is so important, why not make it your first name. Or, maybe be like Cher, and make it your only name. Or if you insist of having a middle name, make all three of them "professional."

Or maybe I just need to keep my eye on the road and quit looking at pest control trucks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:22 PM | Comments (4)

Pencil Sharpening Seminar

Miss Janis expressed her desire for us to get on with the pencil sharpening seminar I promised yesterday afternoon.

And so we shall.

Often, people in this hurly-burly, harem-scarem, electronic world in which we live think that the humble pencil has outlived its usefulness. It has not. But as with all useful things, it does require some setup and occasional maintenance to perform properly.

And in an odd way, it's comforting that not only has the computer not supplanted the pencil, it has instead become one of the best tools and resources to ensure proper pencil care!

Indeed, the "Internet" is a treasure trove of valuable information, and makes teaching this seminar so much easier. One need only look at this list of incredible "websites" that offer skills and tips for everyone from novice to expert to see what exciting times we have come to live in.

From eHow, How to Sharpen a Pencil.

From wikiHow, How to Sharpen a Pencil

And from a girl named Karen, How to Sharpen a Pencil.

"BUT!" you are apt to gasp, "aren't these sites all done by mere amateurs? Where is the professional instruction we so crave!?"

Do not be alarmed--as with every other question, it can easily be answered by using a computer. The Derwent Cumberland Pencil Company of Keswick, Cumbria, England (a deeply respected professional firm recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the maker of the World's Longest Pencil) has a highly informative section detailing in great detail the details necessary to apply a professional, executive-grade point to a wide variety of pencils. (An alternative .pdf formatted version of the information may be found here.)

Derwent also has a fascinating history of the pencil that is NOT to be missed, covering, as it does, the fascinating history of the pencil.

For those who do not wish to partake of the above information, we will now begin our live demonstration period of the seminar.

1. Get a pencil.

2. Clear all other thoughts from your mind, with the possible exception of someone you detest.

3. Imagine the pencil is the person you detest.

4. Break the pencil into small bits.

5. Get another pencil.

6. Place pencil in a suitable sharpening device such as a pencil sharpener.

7. Cry softly from the pain of the hurtfulness of the person you detest.

8. Begin twisting his body in the sharpener as his head is slowly and methodically peeled to reveal his black, black core.

9. Break pencil into small pieces, and empty shavings from pencil sharpening device.

10. Get another pencil.

11. Forget person you detest, as holding such feelings is obviously counterproductive and not conducive to good mental health.

12. Place pencil into sharpening device, and instead, think of someone you are quite fond of.

13. Become fascinated by the visual representation of a cylindrical object being placed into a compatible circular receptacle while thinking of the person of whom you are quite fond, and suddenly find that you've become slightly too fascinated by the inherent implications of your task at hand.

14. Squelch this fascination at once by vigorously operating the pencil sharpening device as quickly as possible while repeatedly thinking, "ouch! ouch! ouch!"

15. Continue sharpening until the point is sufficiently sharp enough to use.

16. Blow remaining shavings from tip of pencil and apply to paper.

17. Break pencil lead. Repeat Steps 14 through 16.

We hope this has been helpful for you today. Each of you will receive a certificate indicating your participation in the seminar, although we ask your patience as the printer is out of ink.

Thank you again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:27 PM | Comments (10)

There are times in a man's life...

...when he comes home and retreats to the couch amidst the din and tumult of the household, intent on doing nothing more than sitting there and doing, saying, and thinking of absolutely nothing, because his head is so full it has begun to bulge in an alarming fashion, looking like one of those balloons at the carnival that you inflate and pop with a water pistol.

And then, in the midst of trying to clear the mind, the odd thought enters and makes him wonder to himself, "Good grief, I am an idiot! How in the world have I survived!?"

Or, at least I assume men do this--I've never asked any other guy, so I only have myself as an example.

BUT, after arriving home last night to the usual mayhem, and having a head full of the cares of adulthood, all I wanted to do was go sit on the couch and stare at the television. Which was not turned on. I didn't want to have to be troubled with processing visual information.

Anyway, as I sat there and vegetated, an odd thought crossed my mind. In April of 1986, I was in a very different place, doing something very different.

I was near the beginning of a three-month European study-abroad program with a bunch of other architecture students, and after a dash through England and Scotland, we'd found ourselves in Amsterdam, a picturesque city of concentric canals and venerable old buildings, as well as dog doo, drugs, and doughy Dutch doxies.

Anyway, we'd arrived and done a couple of tours through the environs the first couple of days, sketching and photographing and admiring the swaybacked buildings and their walls made of teeny tiny bricks, and managed to politely refuse the abundant streetcorner offers of high quality hashish and heroin, all while trying not to look too much like a giant group of American tourists.

For some reason, I got it in my head one evening that I wanted to go out and see the after-hours scenery. By myself. Without a map. And not speaking a word of Netherhollandaise.

Did I mention Amsterdam's layout? The central part is all a bunch of concentric canals?

Well, it is.

And oddly enough, just as all cats are gray in the dark, the entirety of Amsterdamnation looks alike in the dark as well! It's also a lot easier to step in dog crap in the dark.

Yes, I know--hard to imagine.

Anyway, being full of youth and idiocy, I tucked my identification in a safe spot, made sure I had a supply of pretty Monopoly money, and headed out to see what there was to see.

After about three blocks, in which I had crossed a lovely bridge over a lovely canal, I was lost. Not really lost lost, but turned around. Or, so I told myself at the time.

However, in retrospect, I was REALLY lost.

After about an hour of fretful walking, I found myself in a section of town that was quiet and dark, which I pretty well knew was not where I was supposed to be. I walked along, and up ahead saw a few folks out at a car parked by the curb, and thought about seeing if they spoke English and could possibly get me back close to our hotel.

As I got closer, I noticed that there were several men around the car (a yellowish beigey sort of color, a Citroen, I think) and there was one inside who appeared to be quite well involved in taking out the seats.

Having, it seems, already taken the wheels off.

In the moment when I glanced sideways and nodded my head and was about to speak, it occurred to me that this scene--although I was now in cultured Europe and had already seen many odd and charmingly cultured scenes--THIS event was probably NOT normal.

In that split second, I had finally realized the fact that this particular troupe of gentlemen were doing a bit of extralegal late-night freelance car parts shopping.

I just kept right on walking. I figured interrupting them at their work to ask directions would seem horribly pushy and rude, and I was trying my best to be a good ambassador for the United States. And thankfully, they allowed me to continue on my merry way up the street, and did not clock me with a spanner and stuff me in the trunk and tip the car into a canal when they'd finished up.

I managed to turn a corner on down the street and stumbled into a brightly lit car plaza with a small gas station, and it was staffed by a leathery fat Dutchman who managed to point out where we were, and where I needed to go, and how to get there. Turns out I was only about four blocks from the hotel, which was nice, because by then, I was becoming much more aware of just how badly my little jaunt could have turned out for me.

So, back on the couch as I contemplated this odd recollection that had come steaming through my head, I wondered how it was--seeing as how my life is full of similar escapades--how I'd managed to make it through them relatively unscathed. Obviously, I credit a merciful Creator for this happenstance, but I still have to think that He's been VERY busy with me over the years.

And then I though I might better get up off the couch and help fix supper.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:37 AM | Comments (4)

Suuuuure they did.

House Democrats beat 100-hour clock

As usual, the press gives them a pass on the actual time spent on this, and I suppose it really IS irrelevant, although the Democrats would have it BE relevant as long as they get to use it to their benefit. But surely no one believes that if this had gone on for months that they would have done anything other than say they did everything right on time, and that the national press would be right there with them to explain why it's so.

Anyway, I am reminded by this article of our talented and intelligent Alabama legislators down on Goat Hill in Mungummry. Seems that each legislative session is to be promptly wrapped up at midnight upon whatever statutorially designated day it is they're supposed to stop (I could look this up if I wasn't so lazy), and they, being the hard-working souls they are, sometimes find themselves with much more legislation and graft to figure out than they have time left in the session. In the past, a great hue and cry would arise as the clock neared the witching hour, and the dank smell of fear would permeate the hallowed halls of power as our solons struggled to finish their duties.

That is, until some ultrabright fellow (and yes, he would be a Democrat) figured out one day that if they unplugged the clock in the chamber, they could get all these little niggling pocket-lining details finished up, and STILL not manage to go over their allotted time.

Sheer brilliance!

So, forgive me if I'm dubious of the 100 Hour Agenda, no matter if they actually finished it in a hundred actual hours, or a hundred Democrat hours. In the end, it's just a bunch of crap.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:07 AM | Comments (1)


Boy aren't YOU people lucky! It's the return of Catblogging Friday here at Possumblog, and not only THAT, we actually have cat pictures!

Yes, I know--fascinating!

These are all from Rebecca's new Kodak camera, so first, discount the date stamp on every one of them. She got it for her birthday in September, but she didn't figure out how to set the date until after Christmas. And none of these are more recent than Christmas, but they ARE the most recent stuff we have.

Second, something's wrong with the Movable Type widget function on the mu.nu blogs that allows the creation of little thumbnails of each photo, so I'm going to put them all in full size (ish) format down below in the extended entry.

Third, I told you earlier that she has several movies on her SD card that I'd try to get posted for your enjoyment, but I can't seem to get my work computer to play nicely with the camera, so let's forget I ever mentioned anything about video.

Fourth, as a special surprise, there's MORE than just kitty pictures!

Now, let's see what we have!

Okay, let's do kitty pictures first. Again, disregard the dates.

You might recall that my lovely wife decided the cutest thing this Christmas season would be to take pictures of the kitten after putting a lovely fluffy plaid elastic collar around Lightning's neck and a tiny Santa hat on his head, also held in place by an elastic band under his chin.


Being that I am a loving husband, I agreed to try to help her with this project. Lighting, although I call him a kitten, is a full grown cat now, and weighs approximately five hundred pounds, 98% of which is meanness and muscle.

Thus, an explanation for his rather perturbed demeanor in this photo:

angry kitten.JPG

Despite knowing better, I actually managed to get his pretty little collar on!

xmas xitty.JPG

Alas, the tiny Santa hat was a no-go, due to the fact that exactly one second after the last photo was taken, Lightning attacked my right arm and hand with tooth and claw, opening up several arteries, veins, and capillaries.

Next time someone else gets to hold him.

Now, moving forward a couple of weeks, some outdoor shots that are much less angrified.

Here we see a stunning recreation of the famed 1950s thriller, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and her Nine Foot Cat.

barbie fever.JPG

The next two shots show Lightning at his most adorable kitteny best, rolling and posing like an actual sweet kitty.

roly poly.JPG

shy kitten.JPG

SO there's your kitten fix for this week! BUT, as promised, a few more shots of other stuff.

Here is a startling shot that I found on the camera. I don't remember her taking it, and I can't remember her ever showing it to me, and best I can tell it was right around Thanksgiving, but no matter, it's really quite a colorful sunset, even with the utility poles in the foreground.

sun set.JPG

Next is the Christmas tree before all the gifts got ripped open on Christmas Day--


AND THUS ENDS this edition of Catblogging Friday, and we hope you've enjoyed it.


goober sez hey.JPG

(This was me on Christmas morning, grinning and waving like an idiot.)

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

January 18, 2007

And thus ends...

...yet another rather odd-feeling day.

I don't know if it's fatigue, or the crappy Midwestern Eastern European weather, or the random insanity back at the ranch, or what, but my goodness, this past couple of weeks has had a peculiar boringness to it. There's nothing really beefy in the news, nothing exciting at work (although today WAS Mailout Thursday), and nothing in the way of giant bundles of money raining down from the skies. I can't believe that my effort to be NEW BOLD & EDGY has so quickly been stymied by this mundanity.

Maybe tomorrow will excitinger. I am scheduled to be giving a seminar on pencil sharpening, you know. And I might go downstairs and see what's in the vending machine. Hard to believe, but I'd even welcome the return of the Screaming Guy in the Park. Maybe I can go look for him.

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

As you all know...

...I have a great fondness for a certain Morman toolsmith named John Moses Browning, (a moment of silence, please)


--and more particularly for one of his inspired creations, the Colt M-1911 pistol.

SO IT IS WITH awe and reverence I give unto you the story of its creation, (with a hat-tip to fellow disciple Nate McCord).

By way of full disclosure, forgive me, for I have sinned.

The 1911-A1 which I didst buy in my youth, I did indeed work upon its inward parts, and didst smooth them with the stones of garnet, and of carborundum, and with cloths annointed with lapping compound, and didst make the feed ramp shine as the sun upon a still water, for lo, the pistol was made by Auto-Ordnance, and wast not assembled with the skill of the artisans of New Haven, and didst have many pits and tool marks which offended mine eyes.

Verily, not only the feed ramp did I smooth, but also the stirrup, and the disconnector, and the sear, and the sear notch did I smooth, for the trigger and its workings were not crisp, and the letoff was notchy, and these too did offend me and my hands.

Lo, if such things are a sin, I have sinned greatly, but I asketh forgiveness, in that for the most part is is still as it should be, and dost not have the extended ambidextrous slide release, nor the extended magazine catch, nor the ventilated muzzle, nor the extended slide and barrel, nor the elevated site rib with three dot sight, nor the stippled and squared trigger guard, nor the beavertail grip safety, nor tiger stripe cocobola stocks with the thumb rest and the coating of Teflon and bright nickle favored by whoremongers, and it dost function perfectly in all other ways; yea, excepting for occasional stovepipes when using a low-grade reload target ammunition.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:45 PM | Comments (7)


I don't know how I missed this, but I didn't realize until I read it in one of our local weeklies that the Birmingham Public Library has a online digital archive, full of old photos and newspaper clippings! And not only that, they've been keeping a blog for the past two years!

I am such a slow dunce.

I love looking at old downtown photos (I even have a copy of the Heaviest Corner on Earth photo in one of my bookcases at home) and this site is a grand way to spend several hours lost in the past. There are the obligatory old buildings, and then there's stuff such as the amazing Rucker Agee map collection and a retrospective of Birmingham's early streetcar system.

And an interesting aside--even with the newfound clamor to get streetcars again installed in major cities, there is some resistance. Oddly enough, this also seemed to have been a problem at the changing of the 19th to the 20th Century, but the delights of inexpensive public transport were trumpeted in a way that boosters of today might want to consider, seeing as how it appears temptations of a carnal nature have always been a particularly effective marketing technique.

Also, from the "Y'Learn Something New Every Day" File, I was looking through the section on the Alabama Theater, and came across this clipping, detailing a bombing at the theater the evening of December 26, 1932. Now I've lived here all my life, and have heard lots of stories about the Alabama, and thought I had a pretty good grip on various sad chapters of the town's past, but this is one thing I have never heard about. And not only THAT, but this was the SECOND time the theater had been bombed according to the article, the first happing on October 15, 1932. No indication is given what the motive might have been, and there are no other clippings online to look at, but it's certainly an odd thing. Given the time, it makes you wonder if it was some kind of labor dispute or the work of Red anarchists or a beef with the owner or something, but I suppose that's something to find out about.

Boy, history is interesting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:42 PM | Comments (2)

Ask Dr. Possum!

Hardly a day goes by that someone does not come to the palatial Axis of Weevil World Headquarters and knock on the screen door asking if they can speak to Dr. Possum about various aches, pains, maladies, malodors, mathematics problems, or other such quandaries they might have. Usually, our staff must demur and explain that Dr. Possum does not keep regular office hours, then gently shoo the person off the porch (reminding them not to lean too hard on the handrail, and to watch out for the septic tank cleanout at the bottom of the steps) and tell them to come back when they see his car in the parking lot.

WE ARE HAPPY TO REPORT that Dr. Possum's shiny new 1990 Hyundai Excel has just entered the parking lot!

Therefore, it's time again for another episode of Ask Dr. Possum! To prime the pump, we already have a few questions lined up that we gleaned from the vast Possumblog Referrer Log of the past several hours AND a special list of queries from the wilds of Australia!

First up, this question from the Internet (and we know it's a REAL Internet question because there are no capital letters or punctuation!): how can i break a coon dog from running a possum

Dr. Possum responds: It is obvious to me that the querist is the owner not of a coon dog, but of a possum dog. There is no way to break the dog from this behavior, although it is possible to either gather up the possums in your area and paint them black and white with little bandit masks, or alternately, get together all the neighborhood raccoons and shave their tails.

Next up, another question from the Information Series of Tubes: does getting a crown hurt on broken molar.

Dr. Possum responds: No, not at all. That is, if one discounts the pain associated with breaking the molar in the first place, the series of anesthesia injections administered by the dentist, the drilling and grinding to smooth the broken molar, or the taking of various casts of the broken tooth that require the jaw to be unhinged from the skull and twisted around backwards, then no, there is no pain at all.

AND AS PROMISED, from our friend Kitchen Hand down there in Australia, who made the mistake of going into a bookstore:

If bees ate oranges instead of flowers, would they make marmalade? Where do all the pens go? Why can't you herd cats? And what do they think about when they sit in the window?

Dr. Possum responds: 1) If bees ate oranges, they would not make marmalade, but rather would make a nice orange chutney.

2) Pens, which many people presume to be lost into the couch cushions or under desks, in actuality simply disappear into thin air, possibly into an interdimensional worm hole. This also explains why pens will often turn up where they were not previously, as well as appearances by Patti LaBelle.

3) It is a common misconception that cats cannot be herded, but in the 1870s American West, there were great huge herds of cats that filled the Great Plains and were brought to market in the great stockyards of Kansas City and Tulsa by whooping, rough-and-tumble catboys. The great herds eventually were overtaken by market forces, however, as ranchers switched to the meatier and more docile fur seals.

4) Cats think of the same thing whether they are on a window sill, or napping gently on a cushion: "How can I take over the world?"

We hope these are of help to you all. NOW THEN, if YOU have a question for Dr. Possum, hurry up and ask before he sneaks out of the building again!

*Dr. Possum is fully trained and accredited by several training and accreditation places, none of which are actually recognized by any other training and accreditation orgainizations. Use caution when applying Dr. Possum's advice as it can cause irritation or minor swelling.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:38 AM | Comments (10)


Siegelman bemoans bills, possibility of prison time

[...] Siegelman said his legal bills - after two trials - are approaching $2 million.

"It has been particularly hard on Lori watching our savings disappear. We've gone through a lot of money," Siegelman said, mentioning his wife.

The former governor said he spent $940,000 on his 2004 trial involving Medicaid bid-rigging allegations. Prosecutors dropped the case after a federal judge ruled they had insufficient evidence to support a key charge. That debt was largely paid off with the help of donations, Siegelman said.

Siegelman said his legal bills are nearing $1 million in connection with his 2006 corruption conviction. "To some people that's not a lot of money, but to me that was everything I had, or a lot of what I had," Siegelman said. [...]

Allow me to offer some solace to this poor bereft individual in the way I have found that best suits the situation--a rendition of My Heart Bleeds for You played upon my tiny violin.


You're welcome.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:36 AM | Comments (1)


And such things, because this week’s Axis of Weevil Thursday Three (America’s Most Popular Thing!) is all about fantasy and flights of fancy and falderal such as that! Why? I have no idea, other than the fact that I can’t remember asking questions like this before.

So then, take a moment and take leave of your senses and ponder these three questions about all sorts of made-up things!

1) Of the fictional sorts of outlandish made-up places you’ve ever seen in the movies or read about, which one would you most like to live in, and why?

2) If you were a cartoon character, which cartoon character would you most like to be married to?

3) Which would you rather have right now--flying cars, or robot servants?

There now--start dreaming and either leave your answers in the comments below or a link to that magical fantasyland blog of yours.

As for my answers:

1) Hmm. I’ve always thought Brigadoon was kinda nice. Then again, I could just be thinking of Cyd Charisse. ::sigh::


I think the Hobbit’s Shire would be nice, too, although I’m rather put off by the idea of all those tiny women with big hairy feet. In either case, both places seem to have the sort of idyllic wistfulness about them, and everyone speaks English.

2) Well, the obvious first answer would probably be Jessica Rabbit, but let’s face it--she’s trouble. So I’d have to say Kim Possible’s mom, who has several good things to offer: one, she’s a brain surgeon, so she’s really smart AND could fix my brain; and two, she looks just like Kim, except for being of legal age. And yes, I know it must seem that I have some sort of redhead fixation.

3) Oh, robot servants, most definitely. I know everyone who cares about such things is all disappointed by the no-flying-cars present we’ve inherited, but if people flew as badly as they drive, they’d be skyborne mayhem all day long. And do you really think flying cars would fly in a neat pattern like they do in Star Wars or in those new Chevrolet commercials? NO WAY--I know I’d be taking a short cut and the heck with all this flying-like-you’re-on-a-grid stuff. So, yes, a nice robot servant would be plenty cool, and it wouldn’t even have to look like veteran NBC News Washington correspondent Norah O’Donnell.

Although, this being made-up stuff and all, I think in MY version of Brigadoonshire, there would be a requirement that all of the robots look like her. And not have big hairy feet. And they'd know how to drive a manual transmission.

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

January 17, 2007

Okay, I'll be the first to admit that celebrity birthdays...

...are just a bit on the stale side, especially for such a cutting edge blog as this.

But you know, there are celebrities, and then there are CELEBRITIES.

SO, Happy Birthday, Benny!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:57 PM | Comments (1)

Is it just me...

...or is it a VERY slow news day? It's very difficult to be BOLD NEW EDGY without stuff going on.

SO, maybe the best solution is to have everyone pitch in and let's put on a show! I've never done this before, so it's quite NEW, and I expect the results to be toward the peculiar range of things, marking it at once as both BOLD AND EDGY, so it should be good for getting people to chime in.

TODAY'S EVENT--the Semiannual Semiliterate Simile Contest!

(I know it's not actually semiannual, but I had some leftovers from the Annual Alliteration Altercation.)

ANYWHO, as Webster notes in his online dictionary, what we are talking about is this-- Simi"*le (?), n.; pl. Similes (#). [L., from similis. See Similar.] (Rhet.) A word or phrase by which anything is likened, in one or more of its aspects, to something else; a similitude; a poetical or imaginative comparison.

So, I would like to ask you all to complete the completely self-centered simile given to you below:

"Possumblog is like..."

At the end of the day a winner will be announced and will receive a free autographed picture of Chet the E-Mail Boy!

chet in snappy hat autographed.jpg

Have at it!

UPDATE!! 4:25 p.m. Wow! An incredible response from the blogosphere, making it tremendously difficult to pick a winner. Based on the submissions, I think we might just have to declare first place a tie between Miss Janis and Stan the Ex-Gummint Man! I know the rest of you will probably be disappointed that your entry wasn't chosen, but with so many to pick from, surely you must know how difficult it was to not just give a prize to everyone! IN ANY EVENT, congratulations to Janis and Stan, and I hope they treasure their photos of Chet forever.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:27 AM | Comments (8)

American Idol Recap!

I really don't think that there is going to be a single contestant from anywhere near Alabama after the first big cull when they get to Hollywood. I just think everyone will do whatever they can to vote against, rather than for, just to keep us from getting too uppity. BUT, despite that, it's nice that they did decide to conduct auditions here in Birmingham, and as for that, I have but one hope.

That being that it doesn't turn out to be like Minneapolis or Seattle, which apparently have the highest per capita amount of people who are both tone deaf AND delusional. Please, Birmingham--I hope you weren't this terrible.

Limey Boy seemed particularly peeved last evening about the abysmal quality of the folks trying out, and I have to say that for once, I was sorta peeved as well. I like the horrible folks in measured doses, but I think it's depressing when so very many of the people are so very bad, and you try to fill up a two-hour show with them. That's just too much bad. And worse is that the good ones weren't that good.

Why, it's enough to make me want to wash down a fistful of OxyContin with a liter of vodka and clap like a seal!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:16 AM | Comments (5)

Great Ceaser's Ghost!!

I've got a blog, and need to post something on it!

There's just too much to look at on the Internet, y'know?

Anyway, to kick off the day, here's a handy dandy Hungarian (!?) site that Jim Smith sent me the link to, and it's guaranteed to make you squirm uncomfortably before embracing your paranoia with a rabid fervor. I'm not sure what the actual name of the site is, but I figure Havaria Emergency and Disaster Information Services is as good as anything else, and it collects data from various government bureaus and pinpoints various disastery-type things such animal attacks or nucular plant mishaps on an interactive map of the US.

Thankfully, nothing untoward going on in Alabama right now, aside from it being seasonably cold.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:50 AM | Comments (2)

January 16, 2007

Now, I am not advocating for the gambling trade.

I believe it to be an unwholesome thing to engage in, even if a bunch of lying white people came in and took away all your land.

However, this story from Great Britain caught my eye: Is poker game of skill or chance?

By Mike Collett-White
Tue Jan 16, 9:03 AM ET

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters Life!) - A court in East London is expected to decide this week whether poker is a game of skill, chance or a combination of both.

A jury has been asked to weigh up the role played by Lady Luck in the world's most popular card game, after police accused a club owner of illegally hosting a poker session and levying winnings and stakes without a license.

Britain's Gambling Act states that a license is needed for hosting a game of chance but not those of skill, like chess. [...]

Longtime readers will know I have a certain affection for one former citizen of Hannibal, Missouri, and as luck (or skill) would have it, he once addressed this very issue in the peculiar case of Commonwealth of Kentucky vs. John Wheeler et al. , or as it is more commonly known, Science vs. Luck.

I known not if the bewigged barristers of Londinium would care to use such precedent, coming as it does from the rude American frontier, but I can tell them right now if they care to employ the same method of experimentation, it will be equally eye-opening (and pocket-emptying) for them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:12 PM | Comments (1)

And I'm certain...

...it will be YUUUUUUGE. Trump to get star on Hollywood Fame Walk

One imagines he probably tried to get one that was bigger than everyone else's, and made of gold, and has lights, and a speaker with a recorded loop of him saying kind things about himself.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:16 PM | Comments (0)

When you look up the definition of "sorry low down good for nothing" in the dictionary...

You might find something like this: Former Trussville worker accused of identity thefts

If this turns out to be true and she is convicted, I think she ought to get her picture in the dictionary, too. It's bad enough to steal, but when you (allegedly) are stealing from people who shop at the Dollar Tree, well, that's pretty low.

And not only that, it besmirches my hometown that she decided to (allegedly) do her dirty work here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:12 PM | Comments (2)

That was fun.

I miss not getting to eat lunch with Miss Reba. When I worked at The Bad Place, I could come home every day and eat lunch. Then there was a while there while she was at her own Bad Place that we couldn't eat together, and then there was the nice few years when she worked eight blocks away and we'd eat together most days, but it's been a while since that job. SO, it's nice when she gets a chance to come downtown.

But let me tell you this--I am very angry at everyone for not working hard enough on global warming! A very nice weekend, and then all of a sudden winter decides to show up. And not the good kind of winter, either, with pretty blue skies and stuff. No, this is the ugly Midwestern crap with skies that look like dirt and miserable cold wind and squishy wet sod that you track all through the house no matter how hard you wipe your shoes. FEH!

I'm gonna go burn some tires or something and see if I can get the nice warm weather back.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:42 PM | Comments (10)

Now then.

I am going to go have lunch with a real woman, the comely and occasionally feisty Miss Reba, who at this very moment is walking over to my building, and when she gets in my office I'm going to give her a kiss. And then after that we'll go to lunch. Maybe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

I might have mentioned this before...

...but one of my many failings is that I like girls. A lot.

But you know, despite this, sometimes I just have to say--


Look--you're a multimillionaire. BUY SOME FOOD AND EAT IT!

By the way, I've heard of washboard abs, but never a washboard chest.

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



I missed the first two hours, but apparently they went and got Jack off that Chinese boat, and made David Palmer's brother the President, and got Chloe to pretty-up a bit, and there's a bunch of lunatic Peaceful Religionists running around wanting to kill us all and that ain't good and so we NEED JACK!

SO, last night, they've got him and he keeps telling Gray Haired Boss not to call him (copy that) and there's this bunch of non-swarthy, highly diverse group of prisoners that are being let go to satisfy some evil dude who promises bad things will happen. BUT, that's just a cover. Seems there's only one prisoner he wants, who IS swarthy and non-diverse, and he got to hide on the bus that was going to the airport. They sorta figured out who he was based on Jack's childlike trust in ANOTHER swarthy guy who is one of the bad guys, but on the whole, rather more reasonable than the other bad guys who just wantses their precious 72 virgins.

ANYWAY, this guy's bad, but he knows the prisoner guy, and so they do computery things and send his picture to the guards on the airplane, and they start searching for him amongst all the people, who by now have changed into their more familiar all-swarthy, all-manly mode, and of course, he's not on the plane because he's on the bus and there's an evil guy guard that we managed to let enlist and have a gun, and he sprang the evil guy to go to a warehouse to start their nefarious plan.

WHICH RELIES ON having a trigger, that was supposed to be delivered by some swarthy-guy-next-door type, who managed to get shot then go to the neighbor's house and get the Hot Housewife/Nurse to patch him up and threaten to kill everyone unless her Dopey Husband doesn't comply with all his demands for pills and delivery service of the triggering device.

SO, the Dopey Husband guy leaves and goes and offs the warehouse guy to steal the trigger, then still manages to botch everything by not going STRAIGHT to Jack Bauer, but instead goes and gives the trigger to the warehouse FULL of bad guys, who have a nuclear suitcase, and they start arming it and the Dopey Husband guy is all, like, "Hey, let me go!" and they're all, like, "No WAY, running dog infidel! We're terrorists--this is what we do. Putz!"

IN THE MEAN TIME, Bald Palmer pardons Jack's swarthy bad-but-good companion, but Cowboy Curtis has an oldtime beef with him because the swarthy guy's terrorist buddies had killed two of Curtis' squadmates, and Curtis was all up for evening the score, but we didn't find this out until it was too late, because for ONCE, Chloe (who, by the way, looks much cuter this year) told Jack she was--wait for it--TOO BUSY TO DO HIS SILLY SECRETARIAL WORK! Since WHEN did Pinchyface Chloe EVER NOT have enough time to download and wash and fold and walk the dog for Jack!? NEVER! I think she's gone over to the other side. Anyway, her dilly-dallying allowed Cowboy Curtis to sneak away before Jack's Swarthy Evil Friend got in the black SUV and take him hostage and set about to killing him, which made Jack have to SHOOT COWBOY CURTIS!

NO! WAY! Yes way! I don't think Curtis will die, though, because Jack is just that good of a shot. So he goes and throws up and tells Gray Haired Boss that this just isn't working.

And then the terrorists blow up their nuke, and that's BAD!

Other things?

The Nose Whistling Guy from the old Calista Flockhart Show is on Bald Palmer's staff, and he's a weasel, which we know because he keeps thoughtfully holding his arms akimbo. Chloe has two guys on the staff that she's been keeping company with, and both of them seem like real dunces. Suave? Yes. Pretty? Yes. Fashionably dressed in black? Yes. Dunces? Oh, you betcha. There's a good-looking brunette who gets coffee and stuff, and somehow Bald Palmer has an interfering woman he has to put up with who had some kind of secret papers and I expect her to do the head bob and the Z-Snap and put him in his place pretty soon.


Jack shoots someone and roughs up Dr. Romano from ER, who has miraculously regrown his arm that got whacked off by a helicopter. Copy that.

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


Up early Sunday, get dressed, eat breakfast, get to church, have class, worship, then stay afterwards for a study session the kids were having for Bible Bowl, which was scheduled for later on in the afternoon. They studied, I went and got a "news"paper to read to pass the time, then it was off to lovely Pell City for the afternoon's activities.

We've gotten down to only having two upper grade teams (there's always been a gap in the number of kids in the second to seventh grade--plenty of older ones, lots of babies, but not many in that middle age group) and there were a couple of congregations that brought four senior teams apiece. But, we still managed to come in second, which is pretty good, all things considered.

Back home then, then back to church, then a stop for some supper, then home, where I finished missing the first two hours of the Jack Bauer Show.

Then, on MONDAY!

A holiday for the kids and me, although I still had to function as the alarm clock to ensure Miss Reba got up and went to work. I lazed around until the phone woke me up at 8, then decided to get up and get with it for the day. Which was spent finishing the rest of the laundry that didn't get done Saturday and Sunday, putting away stuff out of the dishwasher, playing with the cat, and trying to figure out what's wrong with the Focus. It runs fine, then in about ten minutes of road driving, starts missing. Which says to me it's still got fuel issues. But it runs fine on the driveway. ::sigh:: It's almost enough to make me want to get another car. But that requires money.

Various other stuff throughout the day, appointments to be kept, errands to be run, Boy to his Scout meeting, Oldest to play rehearsal (yet another one), but by golly, I actually got to see most of the second two hours of the Jack Bauer Show!

Update to follow...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:37 AM | Comments (2)


...it's getting to the point that so much happens over the weekends that I can't remember any of it come Monday. Making it worse is that I occasionally have some very vivid, realistic dreams, and I have to take a second to remember that stuff didn't really happen. Or, at least I don't THINK I wandered around an old Edwardian-looking college campus and stumble upon a giant restroom with a great huge fountain in the center, as well as an incongruous set of offices around the perimeter of the room.

Remind me not to drink a lot of iced tea before bed.

Anyway, best as I can recall, Saturday was spent ferrying Oldest and the rest of us back and forth to UAB. Honor choir rehearsals in the morning, then the performance in the afternoon. And even better than last year, especially the junior high/middle school choirs. And Doc Copeland and the rest of the UAB folks once again did an outstanding job of organizing the event and somehow managing to get all these kids herded together (something akin not so much to herding cats, as to herding hyperactive cats in heat hopped up on catnip and Red Bull) and singing beautifully.

Now the choir folks seem to be quite cognizant of various screwups, but from my chair, there were very few slip-ups. The singers are very good, but anything they heard that sounded off was more than made up for by the acoustics of the Jemison Theater at the Alys Stephens Center. I am constantly amazed at the sound of the place. Theater design is tough--and everyone hears everything slightly differently. Everyone has their preference, but like a Steinway or a Stradivarius, there has to be a certain depth and warmth to the sound so that the whole place becomes like a living thing. Too much brightness and liveliness (from hard walls and such), and it sounds tinny and harsh. Too much padding, and it sounds like everyone is being smothered by a blanket. Hard to make all that work out with the place full of people and mechanical and electrical noises, but the room works well. So for all the singers, if you screwed up, it didn't quite make it all the way off the stage.

As usual, my beef is with the audience, particularly the three women (or girls) up in the balcony behind the stage, who for the last half of the concert moved around and chattered like they were at home watching television. You couldn't hear them, but you could sure as heck SEE them, and it was uncalled for and highly distracting. A suggestion for next year would be to make sure that back area is cordoned off.

And folks--please. Take some cough medicine before you come. And give that baby a big dose of Benedryl.

One weird thing happened twice--two tiny fluttering pieces of paper fell from up in the rigging to the stage during the performances. I don't think anyone was up there, so I suppose it was just something left over from another show, but it was distracting, too.

Maybe I need to learn to just shut my eyes.

Anyway, great job everyone. And of all the good things about it, probably the most gratifying is that the experience has caused Oldest to be much more interested in going to UAB when she graduates. Although I'm sure the University of Anchorage is a fine school, I think she'd do better a bit closer to home.

After that, Reba's mom and dad took us all out to eat at the world-famous (written about by Lileks!) Olive Garden out on Crestwood Boulevard. It was good, although the wait seemed inordinately long for a table, considering there were only a few people in front of us, and it was 4:30 in the afternoon.

Home, then various family dramas that left me drained and begging for sleep.

Then back up bright and early Sunday!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:05 AM | Comments (0)

First thing?

Staff meeting.


Be back in just a bit.

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

January 12, 2007

Another long weekend.

Both in number of days and in junk to do. As mentioned, Oldest has her choir concert tomorrow, which means the Best Buy installation had to be rescheduled for next weekend. And there's just a ton of stuff to do around the house--I've got to finish putting away some of the stuff around the outside. Seems Reba is now tired of the autumn scarecrow she had on the front porch, so back in the Not a Storage Shed it goes. And there's just all sorts of things in the yard that need neatening up. And there's still a very strong gasoline odor coming from the Focus that might be indicative of a small leak still hiding somewhere. And there's laundry to do. And the upstairs could use a good vacuuming with my the new vacuum cleaner. And doggone it, there are books to be read!

And frankly, I don't want to do much of anything except maybe sit outside and stare at the sky. I'm very good at it, you know.

ANYway, we have MLK Day off Monday, so Lord willing I'll be back in here Tuesday with something more interesting to report than usual!

Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my wife?

I do. A lot!

So just because I'm going to say something about my wife's insistence on using the broiler pan to cook with, and the inevitable smoke alarm EEKEEKEEKEEEK sounds, does NOT mean that I don't love her with as much loving love as a loving lover-man can give a woman he loves.

Because I do love her.

A lot.

Anyway, after I got home last night from the first chauffeur trip, she and the kids had just gotten home from the grocery store themselves, and she'd brought home some very nice looking cow meat, and I was really hoping she was going to cook it in some way that didn't fill the house with the smoke of burning cow meat.

Because, you see, in my own very timid and backward way, I have in the past suggested--in as oblique a way as I know how--that maybe something might be wrong with the oven, since it never seemed to fail that when the broiler pan was employed by dear Miss Reba, the house is filled with choking clouds of smoke coming from the sizzling, broiling meat in the oven.

I have even shown her how you can put the strips of cowflesh in a baking dish, turn the oven temp down from "surface of the sun" to "blast furnace," cover the dish with some aluminum foil, and have perfectly satisfactory cooked cow meat, but WITHOUT large clouds of smoke.

Smoke which, by the way, sets off the shrieking smoke alarms throughout the house. The hallway, the kitchen, the laundry room, the den, the dining room, the garage. And that's all before it moves upstairs and sets off all of those alarms. And requires that all doors and windows be opened to clear the house and shut up the alarms.

It's really not that big of a deal.

I mean, just because the piercing EEKEEKEEKEEKEEK of the alarms feels like it's going to peel my brain hemispheres apart, it really doesn't hurt for long.


Anyway, after the inevitable recriminations that come about from making alternative cooking-method suggestions to one's wife (whom he loves) things eventually calmed back down and all was forgotten.

Which is, I suppose, why she got the broiler pan back out last night, greased it up with a spritz of Pam, and slapped those cow meats on there.


I did notice that she didn't set the oven control to "BROIL," although she did make certain the temperature was set just high enough to guarantee combustion. And thus, approximately 8 minutes into the process, there was smoke, and EEKEEKEEKEEKEEK.

"You know, we don't have to use the broiler pan since it always gets so smoky--we could always just use a baking dish--or I could even cook them on the grille!"

"I didn't have it on 'broil'!"

I learnt long ago the first rule of hole digging--when you get to the bottom, stop digging.

I dutifully opened the door from the kitchen to the garage and then the big garage door itself, while Rebecca opened the back door. The EEKEEKEEKEEK finally quieted down, and we were able to have a wonderful meal with cow meat having that sumptuous broiled flavor.

It was even better because I love my wife!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:49 PM | Comments (5)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Just took a brief stroll over to the food court at the AmSouth-Harbert, and I have to tell you--this global warning stuff is INCREDIBLE! I love being able to get out and stroll along in shirtsleeves under a shiny blue sky with the thermometer reading a toasty 65 degrees in the middle of January!

ANYway, time once again to honor our inscrutable Chinese ancestors with readings from their mystical chronicles, lovingly snipped from the ancient texts and placed conveniently inside wonderful edible desserts.

First up:

You will enjoy doing something different this coming weekend.

Deuce it ALL! These hardy and conscientious peoples and their uncanny future-predicting ability! Now, if only I knew what different something I will be enjoying... Maybe it will be rolling naked in a giant pile of $100 bills! Oh, I mustn't be so greedy--even rolling naked in a giant pile of $1 bills would be different enough to satisfy me! And I bet the neighbors will be much less suspicious of me since I won't just be rolling naked in the front yard as I usually do.

Next up:

Stay close to your inner self. You will benefit in many ways.

That is just so true.

You know, when I tell people how smart and talented I am, and how much stupider they are than me, I often forget to mention the one thing about me that is really the truest part of my inner self, that being my modesty. I think that modest inner self of mine is what sets me apart from all those show-offy type people who don't know when to shut up. I know that staying closer to it will doubtless help me point out to other people their many weaknesses, but in a way that they'll actually take to heart, since it comes from someone who is truly modest. Such good advice those Chinese have!


4 6 11 32 38 46


8 20 22 42 45 48

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:47 PM | Comments (4)

I would say his odds just got even worse.

McCarley, long-shot candidate for Georgia governor, dies

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:18 AM | Comments (4)

Well, okay, so she's...

...dressed up in the typical ugly Brit military uniform, and she appears to have a nice set of Captain Kirk sideburns going for her, and she's more of the type of gal one would describe as "handsome," but still, it seems a bit much for AFP to feel it necessary to indicate in the caption that she's the one in the center. I mean, come on--the guy on the left has a beard for crying out loud! I suppose the guy on the right looks a bit much like Camilla, but still, I think I could pick out the girl in the bunch.

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

Well, I guess the intruder was lucky.

Man beats intruder with extinguisher

YONKERS, N.Y. (AP) — A homeowner used a kitchen fire extinguisher to beat back an intruder before catching him early Thursday, police said.

The homeowner woke up around 1:30 a.m. when he heard a man banging on the kitchen door and fumbling with the doorknob while trying to get in, police said. When the homeowner opened the door to see who was there, the man barged in.

The homeowner, fearing for the safety of his wife and children upstairs, grabbed the fire extinguisher, sprayed the intruder with foam, smacked him over the head and held him on the floor, said police, who arrested the thug and took him to a hospital. [...]

I mean, the homeowner could have set him on fire first.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:58 AM | Comments (3)


...as a very wise blogger has noted, "not antiwar, just on the other side."

You know, if your average Protestor-American would devote even a tenth of the effort actually being a productive citizen rather than their usual "work" of philosophical onanism, the world would be a lot better place.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

What a morning.

Oldest is doing the UAB honor choir thing again this year, and had a rehearsal last night. Since she seems to have enough trouble piloting her car during daylight in familiar environs, we decided it would be best if we delivered her and picked her up. Along with one of her friends who lives around the block from us. Left work a bit early, sped home, tried to get Oldest to call Friend so she would be ready when we got around the block, Oldest forgets how to use a telephone book and telephone, we leave, drive around block, wait ten minutes for Friend who had no idea what time we'd pick her up, drove to UAB, arrived with five minutes to spare. Back home. Eat supper. Drive BACK to UAB, drive back to Trussville, drop off Friend, go home.

Figure out that today's rehearsals will require that I take all the kids to school so Reba can get to work early, because she will have to get off at 3:00 to go pick up Oldest, and we also have to pick up Friend again this morning. SO, everyone up, everyone dressed, food on the way out the door, drive around block, pick up Friend who was more or less ready to go at 6:50 this morning, drop off two kids at middle school, drop of Tiny Terror at elementary school, put the hammer down and head into Birmingham, find my way across town to UAB, drop the final two passengers off at the music building, turn around and FINALLY get to work. And I was only 15 minutes late. ::sigh::

I need a nap now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:07 AM | Comments (2)


No WAY, dude! That whole Friday Catblogging thing is so played out now--things move QUICK here in the blogosphere and what was NEW BOLD and EDGY last Friday just won't cut it THIS Friday!

Of course, some might say that this change in course is due only to the fact that I once again neglected to take any pictures of Lightning, The World's Most Expensive Free Kitten.

That has nothing to do with it.

I'm just trying to stay out there on the leading edge of what's hot! And there is never anything hotter than HOT SWIMSUIT MODELS!!

CAUTION--May not be safe for work!!

ha cha cha.jpg

Thanks to the New York Public Library Digital Gallery for this beguiling photo!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (6)

January 11, 2007

Lots of money...

...makes being a moron much more doable.

Or that's the idea I get from this Popular Mechanics article that I stumbled on after following a link to this electric car article I'd followed from Doc Reynolds' joint.

Anyway, the PM guys apparently have buttloads of cash whizzing out their pants, and got the bright idea of swapping out the drivetrain and chassis from a Hemi-powered Durango into a tired old Jeep Wagoneer. Why? Because apparently the lure of the Hemi is so strong that doing something this weird and illogical is suddenly worth doing. I mean, it's neat they can do it, but it's still sorta in the vein of building a nuclear-powered goat.

Anyway, since they seem to be in the mood for such fun and pointless exercises, I now need only to find a way to get them to agree to fund my dream of swapping a Ford Cobra V8 into the Volvo...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:30 PM | Comments (16)

Too bad.

Over-the-counter Viagra sales unlikely

I figure if medication such as this were available over the counter, my volume of spam e-mail would be cut by about 90%.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Hmm--apparently the graft industry has hit a downturn...

Some Alabama legislators seeking more compensation

Pitiful that we can afford to pay four million a year to a football coach, yet we have poor legislators who have to wander around begging for pocket change on street corners.

For shame, for shame.

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


Why is it that the moment I get ready to play, somebody comes in and wants to know something!?


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:26 AM | Comments (4)

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

But that's also partially due to the fact that my head is overly large. In any event, I wish to thank Jordana for allowing me to find out my inner royalty.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
His Exalted Highness Duke Possum the Crepuscular of Piddletrenthide on the Carpet
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:19 AM | Comments (3)


As you all know, I am nothing if not stylish, and am often called upon to give my opinions on the latest fashions and designers and trends.

Given my incredible insight, I have to tell you that I am certain these will catch on VERY quickly, so get yours today!

The tee-shirt is kinda nice, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:54 AM | Comments (6)

Upon the cutting edge!

As part of Possumblog’s insistence in 2007 of being NEW and BOLD and FRESH, we’re gonna take the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three (The World’s Most Exciting New, Bold, and Fresh Online Diversion!) to some new places today!

Specifically, Las Vegas, and Detroit, and Harrisburg!

Yep, today we’re going to ask you for your thoughts on the swanky 40th Annual Consumer Electronics Show, the super-sexy 100th North American International Auto Show, and the ultra-cool 91st Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, the largest indoor agricultural show in the entire country!

As usual, the media buzz surrounding these events is deafening, and in order to stay out there where all the hip and savvy people are, we’d like to solicit your opinions about what all you’ve heard and seen there.

SO, take a moment and tell us:

1) What do you think is the most significant product introduced at the Consumer Electronic Show?

2) What is the biggest surprise of the Detroit Auto Show?

3) What one thing are you most excited about at the Farm Show?

After you’ve all had a chance to visit all the venues, leave your comments below or a link to your blog, and let’s find out what’s HOT this year!!

As for my answers:

1) Well, all the attention is on Apple’s new dessert topping/floor wax iPhone, and I suppose it does what it’s supposed to do.

At some point there has to be a point, though, where there’s too much stuff on something like this. But looking around at electronics, it doesn’t seem that things that can call - text - e-mail - surf - game - music - two-way - page - taser - bake - photo - video - slice - dice - julienne etc., have reached that point yet. For me, I’m still trying to wait out the technology and let everything settle down--I don’t quite see the point in buying all this stuff if it’s outdated in three months. I also am a bit dubious of the need for people to have universal instant access to me. I don’t really want to be able to be found quite so easily, because you invariably have to go do something you’d rather not do. And I’m not sure the one-thing-does-all model works all that well. From using the variety of old hand tools I have, sometimes it’s hard to beat a purpose-made tool that does one thing extraordinarily well, rather than a combination of things that doesn’t do anything particularly well. People seem to love the Leatherman-type combo tools (and I have several myself), but there’s still nothing as good as a real pair of pliers or a real knife. Anyway, I’d be willing to try out a new iPhone if they’d send me one.

2) Well, to me the biggest surprise is the new Chevrolet Malibu, mainly because it actually looks nice, and sounds like it might actually be worth owning. I’m not in the market, but for those who are and are looking for a good midsized sedan, for once in a very long time, this looks like something worth shopping. I do wish Chevy could see its way to offering a performance-oriented SS model, but having something that looks this nice is surprise enough, I suppose.

Other pleasant surprises are a much less goofy-looking Focus and the continued good words for Mercedes’ Bluetec diesel engine technology. Still hard to beat the power vs. cost of plain old gasoline, though, but it’s nice to have a usable alternative to hybrid or fuel cell technology.

Bad ideas? The continued living room-ization of cars, where technology is being pushed that isolates the driver from the task of actually staying awake and paying attention to piloting the vehicle. The continued race to add video and audio and cellular and wifi and hands-free parking and other entertainment-oriented stuff tends to make the driver something more like a passenger along for the ride. It all seems designed for people who don’t particularly like cars or driving very much.

3) Oh, well I think that the addition of the Boer goats is very fresh and exciting, as is the introduction of Texels to the Junior market Lamb division. Also, the interest in alternative biomass/biofuels energy sources is good to see. And don’t miss the Milk (Yeah, I Like Milk) Rap!

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:16 AM | Comments (22)

January 10, 2007

Well, now.

Here we are, the end of the day, and absolutely nothing fun accomplished at all.

And my tiny, walnut-sized brain is so tired I can't even come up with anything remotely humorous to say.

Although, for some reason last night after I went to bed the thought crossed my mind--do television news anchors in Latin American countries perform verbal gymnastics trying to get the exact right non-Spanish-sounding inflection when pronouncing English names of people and places in the U.S.?

It is a mystery.

ANYway, tune in tomorrow when there will be something newboldandedgy.

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


Okay, so that's a lie.

Same old dull unbold stuff, and still have work-junk to do. But I fear that if I don't at least give the compulsive clickers a little something here on Possumblog, I will lose my entire audience.

When one's audience can be counted on one finger, one thinks about such things.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:18 PM | Comments (5)

I sure hope y'all have some crackers left...

I have about three billion things to get done this morning, and can't come play for a while.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2007

I must make my escape.

Gotta go pick up Middle Girl from soccer practice, so you folks are on your own for a while. Please feel free to enjoy a nice afternoon snack--there are some saltines somewhere around here...

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

Wow, that's lame.

I don't read much, but from what I have managed to absorb, Time magazine's decision to honor me (and you, and you, and all of you, and you, too!) as its Person of the Year has been greeted with either hostility or indifference, with even the most kind remarks being tepid in their endorsement of the idea of the shiny plastic mirror-covered non-story.

Apparently, there is no idea so lame that it can't be ripped off by others who can't quite be convinced of the feebleness of the initial idea.

Thus, we have Ad Age's proclamation of the Ad Agency of the Year as...

The Consumer.

Yes, YOU! And ME! Now we have TWO things to put on our resumes!

Anyway, in the spirit of things, I hereby announce the Blogger of the Year as YOU!

The Scientist of the Year?


Truck of the Year?


Horse Breed of the Year?


Planar Lattice Walks in Restricted Regions of the Year?

That's right--YOU!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:14 PM | Comments (8)

The Moron, it is strong with this one.

Remember a few months back when I told you about that old Datsun roadster parked out front of the service station there on Main Street?

I notice it's for sale.

Not that big a deal, except I notice it's for sale every single time I drive by, and it's getting increasingly difficult not to stop and copy down the phone number. I have no money to buy it, no place to put it, and no reason to want it other than its peculiarity, yet for some reason, I can't NOT steal a glance at it every morning as I take the kids to school.

And it's not that I'm angry or sad or envious or anything knowing that I simply cannot bring it home--it's hard to explain what the feeling is, other than maybe it's the weird sort of feeling some women must get when they see a guy they think is a fixer-upper. In the end, you know he's gonna keep on drinking and cussing and fooling around on you, but something still makes you wonder what might be if he'd just get a haircut and put on a nice pair of shoes.

Same thing here--you know the top will leak and the sills will rust and the carb will spray a fine mist of gasoline everywhere except down the intake manifold, but doggone it, an impractical, unreliable, yet oddly offbeat top-down car certainly does have a certain magnetism about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:37 PM | Comments (16)

The English Language...

...and why I love it so.

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

Ask Dr. Possum!

A new year, an old friend!

Yes, the return of "America's Most Trusted Doctor"* to answer all of your health questions, or to question all of your health answers.

Dr. Possum is rested from his vacation and stands ready to help you overcome grippe, solipsism, bloviation, hysterical blindness, and nagging insecurity, all with a kindness and warmth unknown in most traditional venues.

Have a question about that thing on your head? Want to know the best way to treat that neighbor who won't return the wife he borrowed from you? Need change for a dime? YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE (except for the change). Just leave a question below, and shortly Dr. Possum will give you an answer.

Maybe even a good answer, but don't hold your breath.

*"America's Most Trusted Doctor" determined by a random telephone poll conducted on November 14, 1982, between the hours of 1:30 and 1:34 a.m. EST in three communities within the Greater Hartford (CT) Municipal District. Respondents were asked to choose between Dr. Possum, Dr. Possum, and Dr. Ima Possum, and were informed that none of the choices were actual medical doctors.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:43 AM | Comments (30)

Magic Shirt

Well, magic of some sort. Rebecca came home yesterday with her brand new soccer team tee-shirt. Black, long-sleeve, with a big soccer ball on the back surrounded by all the names of the girls on the team. Including hers!

She was about to burst with pride, and couldn't wait until this morning so she could put it on and wear it to school. None of the other middle school kids get to compete with the high school kids except the girl's soccer team, so it's almost--almost--like being in high school.

She's usually not the giddy type, but this comes pretty close.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:55 AM | Comments (0)

Book Review Time!

As I mentioned sometime ago, I got a Barnes and Noble gift card from my brother- and sister-in-law, and loaded up on a bunch of bargain books online, and have managed to look at a few of them.

Ones read so far:

Allied Aircraft Art Gosh, what a crappy book. I love nose art, and thought a modern take on it would be interesting. It probably would have been, had the compiler/author taken the time to not show ugly, amateurish, half-completed work. If you're going to have nose art photos, every one doesn't have to be a Vargas girl, but whatever it is ought to all at least be well done. It would also have been good had it been printed on better quality paper. And if the photographs had been even slightly clear. And if the author had resisted the urge to "write" captions, most of which were lame attempts at humor, or otherwise uninformative. Not recommended.

Art Nouveau: An Anthology of Design and Illustration from the Studio I like the whole fin de siècle, Art Nouveau period of art and architecture, and enjoy graphic art picture books. This one was okay, but there was no organization to it, and some of the reproductions were muddy or grayish, rather than being in crisp black and white. The pulpy paper didn't help anything. Found a couple of interesting bookplates and such, but overall it was a bit thin, and less than compelling in its offering of examples. But it was only a buck, so I can't complain.

A Guide to the Most Disgusting, Hideous, Inept, and Dangerous People, Places and things on Earth (World's Worst Series) A breezy look at just what the title says. Relatively interesting, although most of this stuff I've already read online in various places, mostly Snopes.com or The Straight Dope. Eh. Whatever.

May Contain Nuts: A Very Loose Canon of American Humor It's been a long time since I read any sort of anthology, especially one devoted to humor. Humor has changed, let me tell you. The book is VERY Web-oriented, with many stories and quips drawn from the Internet or Internet life or things peculiar to the computer medium, such as a "news crawl" of silly asides printed every few pages or so. The only thing is that many of the authors are of the "I Am a Humorist, and What I Write is Humorous, and Therefore I Must Write Much of It In Order to Maximize My Funniness" school of writing, and go on and on and on with the same not-really-that-funny, but-I-saw-something-like-it-on-the-Internet-so-it-must-be-funny premise. Virtual humor, I suppose. Not really funny, but virtually so. I kept wishing for a mouse so I could scroll through all that crap.

Second, aside from the odd homage paid by so many of the writers to the pervasiveness of the online world, there is just the general quality of the writing. So much of it seems so strained. Look, we've got enough angstiness and neurotica in regular literature, so don't feel like you've got to beat the crap out of lighter topics, too. Relax a little. And again, be brief.

Anyway, I'm about a quarter of the way through, and so far the only thing that I felt was actually humorous was written by Roy Blount, Jr. Go figure. There's a lot more left, including P.J. O'Rourke, so I know I'll find something else funny. I hope. Anyway, it was only two bucks, so hey.

The final two I got I haven't started yet--The Wide Net and Other Stories and Twenty-Five Yards of War: The Extraordinary Courage of Ordinary Men in World War II.

So there you are.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:28 AM | Comments (0)

Chomp Chomp.

Boy, that hurts to say.

As a loyal Auburn fan and Gator Hater from way back, it is almost more than I should have to endure to congratulate Florida on its gigantic butt-whooping of Ohio State last night. The only thing that makes is palatable is that the one flaw on their record this year was put there by the Plainsmen. Just like the LSU game, I consoled myself by every so often noting how incredibly well they were playing, then remarking to Reba, "Wow--they're good! But you know, Auburn did beat them!" ::sigh::

Anyway, it was also sweet to watch because the Fox play-by-play guys were so obviously pulling for Ohio State. Never have I watched a game where the announcers matched their anti-SEC bias with an almost total lack of insight about football. Absolute crap.

SO, anyway, Florida dominated offensively and defensively, could more or less run and pass at will, and had a devastating blitz that Ohio State couldn't stop. And for once, Florida behaved itself and drew relatively few personal foul penalties, with State seeming to be much more the frustrated bully. All around one of the best games Florida has played and so congratulations, Gator Nation!


I need a bath now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:23 AM | Comments (9)

January 08, 2007

So, for the REST of Saturday...

Got all cleaned up (though still reeking of gasoline) and decided I'd see if Best Buy could go ahead and install the new CD player we got Ashley for Christmas. Called them up and spoke with someone whom I believe might have had a pulse.


Turns out the earliest they could get to it would be Wednesday. Which means the earliest I could get there was going to be next Saturday. After much more discussion, we arrived at an appointment time of 4:00 p.m.

"Uhhhm, do you, like, have the harness and dash kit already?"


"Uhhm, well, you know, it might be, uhhhhm, good to, like, go ahead maybe, and get that, because you know, we've got, like, a buttload of harnesses and junk, but the dash kits, we only have a few of them, and maybe we'll still have them by Saturday, and I'd hate for you to show up, and, uhhhhh, you know, not have one? But they might still have them."

Hey, give 'em credit for going ahead and letting customers know they're a bunch of screw-ups and that something might go wrong. Because heaven knows how difficult it would be to set aside a harness and dash kit for this customer who's coming in on Saturday to get his stereo installed.

Anyway, I thanked him and told him I'd come get one right then, just to be sure.

Off to Best Buy, where I whisked by the surly greeter leaving a fragrant trail of hydrocarbons behind me. Made my way to car stereos, and found a likely-looking open-mawed kid leaning against a display.

"Hi--I need to pick up a dash kit and wiring harness."

"Uhhhhm, okay. Uhh, go around here?, and, uhhh, then go down to your left?, and then there's a door to your right?"

Sure enough, the door was there. Locked. A BUNCH of people were in there, and all of them looked at the door. One guy was on the phone. He wouldn't look at me. The other guy was jumping around in an animated conversation. He would look, but whenever I tried to motion that I needed something, he would act distracted. Finally, I saw him reaching for his shiny keyring. And then he left. Then he came back. Then he talked to someone. Then he made a move toward the door. Then he left. Then he came back and opened the door and walked away.

I took it I was supposed to come in and possibly stand in line, although "line" was something of an abstract concept. Two swarthy guys in jogging suits had a shopping cart full of stereo equipment, and the guy who'd been on the phone got off long enough to tell them they needed to buy the repair insurance. "IF IT GOES BAD, WE FIX IT!"

They nodded.

The peripatetic guy who'd let me in finally decided I might need something, since I was just standing there looking hopeful. "Yneesuhelp?"

"Yes, I need a dash kit and wiring harness for an Oh-one Ford Focus."


"A Two-thousand-one Ford Focus."

He looked around and called out to some other guy, "HEY!Gethatmanadashkitnharness!"

"What kind of car?"

The gopher looked at me--"An '01 Ford Focus."

Jumpy Guy told him the same thing.

He wandered off, chatting amiably with all the other installer guys who were wandering around. He looked and looked at the stuff on the wall. Finally found a small package and took it down. "Here."

Harness and plug. "I also need the dash kit."

"Dash kit, too?"



"Yes, I needed the dash kit AND the harness."

He wandered back to the wall of plastic parts, and having successfully retrieved the proper thing, finished up his conversation with his buddy before handing me the package. "Here."

Thanks. No, really, thank you for being so indifferent. Makes me feel all warm and tingly.

And then, to go pay, itself another layer of unnecessary frustration as you're herded through a cattle chute, not knowing exactly where to stand or stop or to whom you should take your goods. Two cashiers got finished with their customers at the same time, and both turned around and looked at me. Not with that look that says, "HI! Come check out here!" but with the dull-eyed gaze equivalent to the snowy static on an unused television channel. I made a half step, not sure still of which drone would be quicker, and gave them both a questioning glance to try to determine which was more conscious. "I can take you here."


No, I don't have the Hhvbrhsfk rhelckfj Membership Card. No I don't want one today. "Phone number?" I dutifully gave her my work number. Or someone's work number. Not sure, really.

Paid, and gone. If I can help it, this weekend's installation visit will be the last time I ever go there again.

Home, played with the kitten for a while, rested, and began to notice the creeping soreness in my shoulders already acting up. Stupid car.

I went in and saw Reba and Cat and Oldest off as they went to the cousin's birthday party--it turns out it ran from 6 to 8:30 p.m. rather than being up during the day. When you would expect a birthday party to be. That's what happens when you book it for the Land of Giant Inflatable Bouncy Things (With Added Upchuckabilty) rather than just having it at home.

SO, I finally got around to taking my shower and washing off the gasoline, and afterwards got Boy and Middle Girl to do their hair washing and stuff while I did some laundry and reading.

The girls?

They didn't get back until after 10. Seems after the birthday party, a certain wife of mine decided to go to Target for a few things, then ran into two different sets of people she knew, and had to talk to them.

A lot.

ANYway, so that was the rest of Saturday.


Restful, for once. Although from what I heard on the television, there was a storm sometime during the night. Which was fine--at least the OUTside of the house no longer smelled like a Chevron station.

We loaded up, went to church, made a stop at the grocery store on the way back (to pick up a few small things NOT picked up at Target the night before), got home, and I enjoyed a nice read of the newspaper while Reba fixed lunch. And obviously, since everyone is a mind-reader, we all instantly knew we should go and help fix things. Thank HEAVENS we don't have to be asked for help, and just KNOW when we should be doing it!

ME!? BEING SARCASTIC!? NEVER!! Anyway, about halfway through the Parade magazine, Rebecca came and sat down on the couch, and soon thereafter, I hear cutlery being placed EVER SO DELIBERATELY, with EXTREME PREJUDICE, on the table.

"Uh, Rebecca, is Mom okay?"

She shrugged her shoulders.


WHOP! WHOP! Table knives hit the tabletop.

"Did you help her cook lunch?"

She gave me the sad look and said that she tried but Mom said that no one ever helped and that we shouldn't have to be asked.

Oh, sweet Jiminy Cricket. I was so glad to get home and relax and rest my aching shoulders and bruised back that I had forgotten that someone in the house was doing stuff and would much rather stew silently and feel put out than ever ask anyone for help!!


::sigh even more heavily::

Do I go and try to salvage this? Try to see if there's anything to do?




I got up and walked around the corner just in time to see the last table knife go walloping down onto the table. It all looked very nice, though, and smelled great. I didn't say anything but just started getting ice in the glasses and trying not to make any sudden moves. They can smell fear, you know.

Called the kids down and got them to sit quietly while the final plate was put out, and then we had a very, very quiet lunch. Except for Catherine, who simply can't be put upon to be properly full of remorse and guilt about anything, much less when it's about helping in the kitchen. There was, after all, a video game to be played while all that stuff was going on. "LOOK!! MY PORK CHOP BONE LOOKS LIKE A 'Y'! Or maybe an R. A little r. MAMA? Is this fat? Should I cut this off? WHAT'S IN THIS BREAD!? It's hot!"


"IT'S HOT! Do we have anymore?"

On and on. After a sufficient amount of compliments about the high quality and delicious nature of the foods from all parties, Mama seemed to be a bit less put out, and to make it better, the boys got all the dishes unloaded from the dishwasher and the dirty plates put back in, and got the machine running again, and cleaned up the gigantic mess that was left on the range top. Not that there are any messy cooks in our house, and not that she doesn't clean up after herself. I would never say such a thing. I'm sure the grime that builds up after spattering grease everywhere by cooking pork chops in a skillet without using a lid is probably the result of someone else in the house. In fact, it's probably me. Yeah, that's it. I'm probably the one who did it, and just can't remember it. So it's only right that I clean it up. Not that I'm stewing silently--I have absolutely no desire to be a martyr and not ask for help. That bottle of cleaner under the cabinet? I had someone get me that! And a paper towel, too!

Anyway, harmony was restored, and the remaining clothes were hung up, and Miss Reba even decided to come sit with me on the couch.

Where I soon dropped off into an uncomfortable drooling slumber.

Time later to get up and go to church, did that, came back toward home, and I made what I thought was a very wise decision. We ate out--just to keep anyone from having to fix anything.

SO, thus ends another weekend, full of potential disaster narrowly averted!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:47 PM | Comments (10)


As I mentioned, my weekend was extra full of car-related stuff. If you don't want to read about me being a smelly moron, well, you've picked the wrong day to read Possumblog.

Before I get going on this, I offer you this chance to bail out and go on to something more entertaining. Which is a pretty wide choice. So, go on if you must. Nothing to see here but uncomfortable contortions and flammables.

OKAY--now for all both of you who're left.

Car Repair the Moron Way!

Okay, the problem is that early-year Ford Foci up to about 2001 had a fuel pump design that was made for European fuels, which apparently are much cleaner or something. Which is all well and good for those guys--they pay enough for gasoline, so it darned well better be clean enough to drink. But apparently we don't really care that much, and our filthy fuel has enough solids in it to clog up the pump's fine mesh prefilter. Once this happens, the pump has a harder time pumping (naturally) and eventually, it goes bad. Robbing banks, smoking crack--that kind of thing.

WELL NOW, Ford's solution to this was to offer an extended warranty on the pump, so if you have one of those early ones, they'll replace it with a new pump, free of charge.


Unless you have one built after the cutoff date, in which case you are left to the tender mercies of the service writer at your local friendly Ford dealership's service department. And you will be staring at a $500 repair bill. Oh, sure, there's talk about Ford extending the warranty on these slightly later models, too, but when you have a Focus that has begun exhibiting the classic symptoms of fuel pump expiration (bucking, surging, missing, stalling, backfiring) and said car is driven by a teen with no discernable skills at negotiating emergency situations, one has few choices except to repair said uncooperative car.

One could just break down and give someone five $100 bills, which, it being Christmastime, are nonexistent, or one could, with a modicum of technological know-how and a box full of ancient tools, attempt to save four of those $100 bills along with a $50 bill by purchasing a fuel pump and replacing it one's self. (For the truly hardy amongst you, here is a photo of said pump assembly for your viewing pleasure.)

People like this are called "morons."

I am a moron.

SO, back before Christmas I bought a fuel pump from a guy on eBay (and in one of those things that further cements my position as a moron, I bought one that I KNEW was an interim part number model that has since been superseded by a newer part number, because I am not only a moron, but a cheap moron) and after waiting innumerable days for him to ship me the pump, it finally arrived last week.

During this time, a certain Oldest child of mine would not stop asking about the pump, but I was very patient and longsuffering, and only screamed at her to shut the **&^# up in my head. I also took the opportunity to do the necessary research to figure out how to replace this thing--the Internets are very good for this, and best I could tell, it was somewhat doable by the average guy with some mechanical skill. Or me, even. I also thought I should go ahead and get a repair manual, too, since they have pictures and reviewed-by-a-lawyer descriptions of the various tasks.

Believe it or not, everyone noted that gasoline is dangerous. (As this site notes, the vapor produced by one cup of gasoline has the explosive potential of five pounds of dynamite.) So, despite my slightly comical depiction of this procedure, this crap's deadly if you play with it and it's best to let someone else do it.

Unless you're a cheap moron.

Anyway, Friday night I stopped by the car parts place to get a new fuel filter, figuring I might as well change that out, too, while I was being Mr. Burnie McSplosion, and picked up a little pump to use to syphon the rest of the gas out of the tank.

Saturday morning dawned and despite my intention to get up early and get after it, the lure of a warm bed and a hot woman delayed my progress by several hours, but I finally had to say "ENOUGH OF YOUR LASCIVIOUSNESS!" to Miss Reba and tear myself from her hungry embrace. (Actually, the fact that the kids were all awake and kept coming and bouncing on the bed is really what made me ready to start work, but, hey.)

Downstairs, grabbed my repair manual, backed the cars out onto the driveway and set to work.

First thing you have to do is relieve the fuel line pressure, which you do by pulling the fuel pump fuse and letting the car run itself out of pressurized fuel. There's still gas in the lines, it's just not under pressure.

Then, the jacking up of the rear of the car, which really should come after syphoning the gas out. But since I'd never done this particular type of car before, I didn't understand.

Anyway, up it went, and then the jackstands were set, and, uhhh. Hmm. Still not quite a lot of room under there. Got a block of wood and jacked some more, gaining another inch or so, which made ALL the difference in the WORLD!


Okay, finally, up. And, well, hmm. The repair manual says to take off the rear wheels to have more room. I discounted this idea when I first read it, because I figured there'd be plenty of room. There's not. Taking the wheels off would have been better.

Oh well.

Now then, trying to syphon the gas. Stuck the hose down the tank's gullet, pumped, pumped, pumped.


Withdrew the tube and found out why. The tube's not long enough.


Fiddled around and finally figured I'd go ahead and take a look underneath and see what I could see.

Not much, as it turns out. Add to this a certain discombobulation that comes from looking at things upside down and backwards while supine. I'd crawl around, get lost, crawl back out, OOOOMPH myself up with a mighty sit-up, look at the repair manual, try to figure out what I'd seen underneath, read, read, read, look, then crawl back under, all the while hoping that those giant stout jackstands I had in place weren't in just the wrong place.

Gosh, concrete is hard. And gritty. And I am soft, and dim. Not a great combo, that.

Finally got some sense of direction, found the filler hose connection and fuel filter. Got to thinking about some more things. One thing I'd read on the Internet never mentioned it, but the repair manual made a big deal about having to remove the heat shield from the tank, but this required taking off the exhaust pipe. I didn't want to do this. So I unscrewed the heat shield and just bent it down "out of the way." In quotes because it wasn't much out of the way.

Anyway, unscrewed the clamps on the filler tube, and pulled it out. Snapped the connectors on the fuel filter, and pulled the hose. WHOA!! GASOLINE!

Yeah, I know--who woulda thought that!? Stupid me.

Anyway, the fuel filter was removed from its tiny little niche and duly drained of its flammable cargo, aid aside, and the new one screwed back into the bracket.

Time now to get the gas out of the tank.

I sorta half-remembered that there was only about a quarter of a tank left the last time I drove it--maybe about four gallons or so. I got my big nice vapor-sealing, explosion-proof gas can out of the Large Plastic Playhouse that Only Looks Like a Storage Shed (and for once was glad the can was empty) and positioned it somewhere under the car, then crawled back underneath with my little hand pump again, threading the hose into the now-open filler tube hole into the tank. I heard it splash a bit and knew I'd hit what I was looking for. Now, just a few pumps to prime it and let physics do the rest.

OOMph, ughhh, :: skwik :: skwik :: skwik::skwik :: skwik ::SPLUSH!!::

Yeah, baby! LOVE the syphon. ::dribble:: Hmm. I'd thought I'd gotten the syphon pouring, but maybe not. It had stopped after just a second. Hmm. URPH! :: skwik :: skwik :: skwik :: skwik ::SPLURSH!!::dribble::

Hmm. Well, it LOOKS like it should work. I guessed I maybe had the intake a bit lower than the outlet, but since I was upside down and under a car and in a bind and trying to pump a small hand pump over my head, I just couldn't quite see it.

Well, there CAN'T be that much gas in there--I figured I'd just go ahead and pump it out into the can. Might take a few minutes.

UHHGGHH :: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: Whew. I was trying to keep up a good rhythm, but there was no room to really do a lot, so I took to pushing the pump handle with the bottom of the car and pulling down with my other hand. :: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:

By about minute 10, my arms were really hurting, and I had since adjusted myself so that I was trying to pump the thing with both hands out above my head, except since I was on my back, they weren't really above me, but out beyond my head, sorta. But the effect, had I been standing up, would have been of me acting like I was clapping my hands over my head, over and over again :: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik ::SPURSH :: skwik ::SPURSH:: skwik :: SPURSH:: skwik::

So, you know, really I saved money on a health club membership, too, because this was killing my deltoids and triceps. :: skwik ::SPLOORSHGLUG!!!::


GASOLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!! I'd managed to fill up the five gallon gas can with a mighty stroke of the pump piston, and spilled about five pounds of dynamite out onto the driveway to boot. I scrambled out trying to keep from getting it all in my hair and eyes and on my clothes and such, and did a pretty good job at avoiding it. Mostly.

But here's the deal. There was obviously more gas in the tank than I thought. Time for another gas can. Went and got the two-gallon plastic one, and ONCE MORE clumb underneath the rear of the car and started the pump again. This time the syphon action worked, so I didn't get as much of a workout. And, it finally sounded like I had reached the bottom of the tank. I gave it a few more pumps and rearranged the hose a couple of times, and satisfied myself that I was done.


Smells like gasoline around the ol' homestead.

Now. Time to drop the tank. I thought. Maybe. Again, the repair manual had a LOT of things that it said needed to be disconnected, including the lines to the charcoal canister. Except, well, the pictures didn't look right, and I couldn't tell exactly what it was that I was supposed to disconnect and the canister had some kind of cage over it and I was upside down and backwards and, ehhhhh, hmm.

Maybe I need to go pee.

Went and peed and grabbed a meatball off the stove as I ran by, and noticed the clock said it was 1 o'clock. I had now been at this for nearly three hours, and hadn't really done anything.

Well, this thing's gonna come out, and I'm not taking anything else loose. Undid the tank strap bolt and WHUMP, down it came, very nearly onto my soft cranium. Ooomph. There's still a LOT of gas in there. That's not a good thing. Anyway, the tank slid down and over some, with the flimsy metal heat shield holding it just enough to keep it from falling completely out. Which was a nice thing. I could finally see what all sorts of things I should have disconnected, but no big deal, because the Holy Grail was sitting right there in front of me--the top of the fuel pump!

Now to get it out.

It is held in place by a big blue plastic ring, something like what you'd screw onto a Mason jar, with the top of the fuel pump assembly being the flat disc on the jar. In the repair manual, this ring is big. In real life, it's HUGE. I had thought I could undo it with a pair of slipjoint pliers, but I didn't have a pair THAT HUGE. I tried unscrewing it with my hands, but because I was wedged underneath the rear wheel well with a tire and the sill of the car, any attempts at leverage were quickly rendered useless.

As they say in my line of work (i.e., being a moron) if at first you don't succeed, hit it with a hammer.

Which is exactly what I did--took a plastic-handled nut driver and tap-tap-tapped the handy plastic wings on the retaining ring until it loosened and came free. I'm really smart that way, you know.

Off with the ring, and then the moment of truth. Took the lid off and reeeeeached down into the hole and wow, there SURE is a lot of gasoline down in there! I grabbed the fuel pump and gave it a twist--it's held in place in the tank in a small well with little retaining blivets inside that lock onto some small projections on the pump body. And luckily for me, I DID remember the part in the book about looking and making sure which way the thing came out. It has a swing arm on it that is the fuel level sending float and it can only go back in one way. Turn, click, and carefully pull out the assembly, which is, of course, full of gasoline.

Now then, time for some changing out of hardware. The hose on top of the pump needed to be taken off and put on the new pump. I had tried to do this underneath the car, but it required three hands. Outside on the driveway, it only needed two and maybe a foot. Now then, back to the underside of the car and a puzzle.

The new pump had a little circular screen on the bottom. The old one? Nope. Hmm. I wonder if it's still in the tank. "This will require putting my hand way deep in gasoline!" I said to myself. "But you're a moron, so go ahead."

Sure enough, the little circular screen off the old pump had come adrift, and was sitting at the very bottom of the tank. But I did find it. Whew. I stink of gasoline!

Now, in with the new pump, and I carefully lowered it and its fragile swing arm into the tank and, uhhhh, hmm. Which way did it go? Oh, yeah. Annnnnnd, hmm. Try again. Riiiiight, there! Nope. Hmm. There seems to be a problem. I can't tell--because I don't have the tank all the way out and it sitting on the driveway in the open where I can see into it--exactly where the new pump is supposed to go inside. I tried in vain to feel around and not douse myself with gas again, but it was no use. I had to dip my hand in there again and figure out--by feel--the shape and location of the little well and where the little blivets were that held the pump, and then with the other hand try to line things up close enough to make it twist-lock back into place.

Apparently, God was tired of cautiously watching over me and wanted me to go ahead and get finished, because after that, the pump dropped right into position and clicked into place.

But, you know, I didn't know what God had on His mind, so I had to UNCLICK it and turn it and take it back out again, then put it in and twist and click it AGAIN, just to make SURE I had it in the right place and hadn't maybe by mistake done it wrong. I would like to request that in the future God speak directly to me like he does with Pat Robertson. And to be as specific as possible. "Moron," etc.

SO, all back in place, all that's left is to put the pump lid and rubber seal back in place, and spin on the big Mason jar blue plastic ring!


Held the lid in place, and threaded the ring on. Hmm. That's not right. Off. Try again. Down--ooops--cross-threaded. Off. On. Oops. That's not it either. Off. Turn ring. On, too tight--that's wrong. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Repeat for THIRTY MINUTES!!



For some reason--I guess because the screw threads on the ring were so large and coarse, it would get cross-threaded every single time I put it on. I did and undid it so many times I thought--well, I thought bad thoughts. If the tank was only on the ground in front of me, the ring would have just spun right on, I was sure of it.

FINALLY, I managed to get it on the tank straight, and got the rubber seal in place, and the lid right were it needed to be, and it went on without further muss or fuss. Tapped it tight with my hammer and plastic tool, and it was all ready to put back together.

Threaded the outlet hose back 'round all the wires, gingerly hoisted the tank back up into position, fidgeted around and got the tank straps together and held with their bolt, reinstalled the fuel filter and bracket, tightened up the retaining straps, reinstalled the fuel lines, reinstalled the fuel filler hose, and filled it back up with a couple of gallons of gas. Plugged back in the fuel filter fuse.

Moment of truth time.

It's three o'clock now--fully five hours after I started. Five hours spent on a job that in retrospect really could have been done in only a couple of hours, had I known what needed to be done and not gotten all confused and sore and gassy smelling.

I got Reba to come out and told her to switch on the key while I was underneath--I had just buttoned everything back up, but if I didn't hear that tell-tale buzzing of the pump running, I was going to be in awfully bad shape.

I once more crawled underneath the car--"Okay."


"Turn the key!"



::clik:: BZZZZZT.


All is right with the world!

I had her hit it a few more times to get some gas pumped up to the fuel rail, then I hopped up and cranked it. Cranked right up on the first try. Ran like it should.


Friends, there is nothing quite so relieving as having fixed something that REALLY needed to be fixed.

Turned it back off, put up my tools, got the jackstands out, lowered the car, and did a quick test drive to go get some fresh gas and see how it did. By the way, the two gallons I put in it made it go back up over a quarter of a tank, so I figure I left around a couple in there, even with all my aerobic pumping activity. Turns out it was over half full of gas. Oops.

Anyway, it drove just fine--no missing, bucking, backfiring, chugging, chuffing, or anything else.

I might be a moron for having torn into this, but in the eyes of my wife, I am quite the amazing mechanic and manly man. In the eyes of my eldest daughter, I am quite the maddeningly slow cheapskate who won't let her have ANY freedom, by insisting that the car sit in the garage until he can fix it himself rather than take it somewhere, but luckily one who was able to get if fixed (not that it was really that big of a deal) before school started today so that her life is not further ruined.

Hey, one outta two ain't so bad, I don't guess.

Now then, as for the REST of the weekend...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:30 AM | Comments (9)

::clik:: BZZZZZT

Quite possibly one of the most gratifying sounds you're likely ever to hear.

Of course, this is predicated first upon you spending four hours wallowing around on a rough concrete driveway spilling gasoline all over yourself and contorting yourself into shapes no fat man should ever be contorted into. After you do that (and a few other things) the click of an ignition switch and the buzzing of a fuel pump are like listening to a mass choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

In other words, the fuel pump swap on the Focus was undertaken and successfully completed without blowing anything up! Hooray!

The longer version of the story--and a story it is--follows later. I gots junk to do this morning (as always) and so I beg your patience. And just to be safe, please extinguish any open flames.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:30 AM | Comments (2)

January 05, 2007

Luckily for me...

...Saturdays are PLENTY unboring!

Tomorrow's version of Saturday promises to be full of fun and/or calamity, in that I'll be changing out (finally) the fuel pump in the Focus. This requires dropping the gas tank and avoiding igniting explosive gasoline vapors (and myself) in the process. And, of course, it can't be simple, and there's all sorts of jiggery-pokery underneath the car just to get TO the gas tank, and I'll be trying to wrench with one hand and hold the Haynes manual with the other, while lying on the ground and supporting various underchassis metal objects using my head and a broken piece of wood. Sometime in there, Reba will be taking Youngest to a birthday party, meaning I'll be left to the tender mercies of gravity and volatile organic compounds, with only the slightest hope that if I'm crushed or exploded, one of the kids in the house will notice and decide to make an effort at calling 911. As long as it doesn't require pausing the latest version of 'Super Pokemon Red Stripe Contest Battle GO!' or missing anything on television.

But you know what? I sorta like being left alone to do my lonely manly battle with recalcitrant inanimate objects. It's actually relaxing, in a way. And it sure beats having to do laundry. Or using my new vacuum cleaner.

ANYway, all that and more this weekend--tune in again Monday and we'll see what all I tear up!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:52 PM | Comments (2)

Has anyone else...

...ever noticed how slow Fridays are?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:19 PM | Comments (0)

Once more with the bold effort to reach out to the youth market!

AND to build solid blog traffic with links to hard-hitting stories like THIS!! Britney Spears wants hot career comeback

Going on pantyless drinking binges with sullen clots of stoner hangers-on while your infant children are cared for by strangers certainly sounds like a winning strategy. Then again, until I have personally gone on pantyless drinking binges with sullen clots of stoner hangers-on while my infant children are cared for by strangers, I really can't judge her, now can I?

Of course not.

Yet, still, I am reminded of the words of the dean of Faber College, Vernon Wormer: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (6)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

GUILLOCHE. A pattern of interlacing bands forming a plait and used as an enrichment on a moulding.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition

Actually, the type of pattern is not just used in architecture, although here is an example of what's being talked about from the Buffalo Savings Bank in Buffalo, NY.

The pattern also shows up in flatwork such as mosaic tile (from Buffalo's First Presbyterian Church), as well as being a favorite motif of currency engravers, jewellers, and kids with a Spirograph (or a math degree).

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


Police hunt pub urinal thief

LONDON (Reuters) - British police said Friday they were hunting a man who stole a urinal from a pub toilet.

The suspect walked into the Royal Oak pub in Southampton, on the English south coast, ordered half a pint of beer and then made several visits to the men's toilet.

There he carefully removed a white urinal from the wall, stuffed it into a rucksack and was captured on closed circuit television walking out with the bulging sack on his back.

"He made a very, very expert job of dismantling it from the wall and turning the water off. A very professional job," landlord Alan Dreja said in a video posted on the Southampton Daily Echo newspaper's Web site. [...]

I guess every guy has needed a portable urinal at one time in his life, but this seems a bit much to lug around.

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


Lost lakes of Titan are found at last

PARIS (AFP) - Lakes of methane have been spotted on Saturn's largest moon, Titan, boosting the theory that this strange, distant world bears beguiling similarities to Earth, according to a new study. [...]

Yes, beguiling similarities, because of all the lakes of methane we have around here.

Or maybe that's just me after a big lunch from Taco Bell, but that's more of a low-hanging cloud of methane rather than a lake of it.

Anyway, science is real interesting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)

Nick Saban FYI

Okay, everyone has had a couple of days to get used to the new guy, but I know there are some who still have some questions about the new Tide coach.

Now, I'm an Auburn fan, and I have no doubt that if I tried to do a humorous listing of things talking about what a crappy coach he is, no one would give it much thought. Why? Well, we might as well admit it--he is a good coach, and Alabama really should have a better season next year, and so anything negative I say would just sound like I have an inferiority complex or am eating sour grapes.

SO, in the spirit of welcoming a worthy competitor to the our fine state, I have taken it upon myself to do some actual research and find out some of the good qualities and things about Coach Saban that you may not be aware of, and present them in a way that will be most appealing to our brothers and sisters of the Crimson Nation.

SO, here we go:

1. Saban was born October 31, 1951 in Fairmont, West Virginia to Lara Lor-Van and Jor-El Saban.

2. "Nick" is actually Coach Saban's nickname, oddly enough. His actual given name is Snickerdoodle Bimpleydoo.

3. Nick Saban won an Academy Award for his appearance in 1983's Terms of Endearment.

4. Teams coached by Nick Saban have never lost a single game, and in at least five of the games, Saban himself played.

5. Upon the announcement of Saban's hiring, a heavenly host appeared in the sky above Bryant-Denny stadium and sang "Yea Alabama," and then chanted "Rammer Jammer."

6. Nick Saban has met with Iraqi Police Captain Jamail Hussein and offered him a scholarship, hoping to use him as either a strong safety or possibly a wide receiver.

7. Coach Saban has solved Fermat's Last Theorum in at least three different ways.

8. Nick Saban calendars sell in greater numbers than all kitten calendars combined.

9. Coach Saban invented the charged-couple device, or CCD, integral to all modern video equipment, then allowed all royalties from his patents to be directed to a charity to help kittens and sweet old grandmothers.

10. Nick Saban does not have an evil twin named Nabas Kcin.

11. Nick Saban's haircare products are all biodegradable and kitten-friendly.

So, there you are. Welcome to Coach Saban and his family, and we hope you've enjoyed learning more about them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:00 AM | Comments (7)



Nothing quite like a rainy dark morning to completely sap all the energy out of a person. They said on the news this morning that it stormed all night, but if it did at my house, it didn't bother me any, because I was too pooped to notice. And the poopedness continues unabated.

AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE--no kitty pictures AGAIN today! I was in a rush to get out of the house this morning, but I had intended to pull the SD card from Rebecca's camera and see if I could post a video she took of him being harrassed by Catherine with her remote control Barbie VW Beetle. I'll work on that for next week.

AS FOR NOW, I propose to liven things up around here that we have A YAWNING CONTEST!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (16)

January 04, 2007

Okay, here's something even I realize.

White rappers compete on reality show

This is quite possibly the Super Trifecta of All That's Not Cool--a combination of white people, rap music, and a reality show.

May heaven help us all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:48 PM | Comments (2)

Stealing Taranto's Schtick Again

FEMA: Calif. levees worse than thought

I dunno. I've tried to hold back water with thought, and it never works.

Trust me--it'll be here tomorrow.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

I have freely admitted it.

But I'll say it again--I am a total food rube. I hold no right to criticize anyone's taste in food or recipes, because it would just be terribly hypocritical of me.

But doggone it, even for a no-room-to-throw-stones, complete-non-chef such as me, this is a bit too much to stomach: French Fry Spam Casserole.

I mean, come ON! Wouldn't you at least want to use Tater Tots?! And use Ritz crackers on top instead of corn flakes?!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (8)

Poor, minorities hardest hit...

Scientists say 2007 may be warmest yet

Well, I realize picking on headline writers is barrelfishing at its easiest, but "yet" and "recorded" are two entirely different things. For Summer '07 to be the hottest ever, both polar ice caps would have to melt and Antarctica would have to be covered in forests. Like it once was. And like Greenland once was.

Back when it was much hotter than it is now.

But, admittedly, before there were much in the way of scientists to sit there and record it.

And, oddly enough, when there weren't nearly so many factories or airplanes or evil Republican anti-Earthers.

None of this to say that the climate's not changing, or that if it is, man plays no part in it--only that it's been both a whole lot colder and hotter in the past, and hysterical hand-flapping humans probably aren't quite as big a factor in those changes as some in the media or various Gaia's advocacy groups might like us to believe.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

And the new content just keeps on coming!

As part of our ongoing effort in 2007 to reach out to a younger, hipper audience for Possumblog, I will now perform an extended solo guitar version of Molly Hatchet's Whiskey Man.

I know you youngsters out there enjoyed that just as much as I did, but just you wait! Once I figure out how to record a digital sound file and put it on here, and how to play the guitar, we're REALLY gonna kick it!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:16 PM | Comments (8)


Why, it's enough to make me want to wear them to work on a regular basis!

My inlaws got me a couple pairs of the nicer quality Haggar dress pants for Christmas, and I've worn them (the pants, not the inlaws) yesterday and today, and I have to tell you I think I'm hooked.

I usually buy the old reliable (i.e., cheaper) version and while they are nice and long-wearing, the fabric feels a bit off or something. But these new ones? Whatever sort of poly/wool blend it is drapes nicely, almost like silk, and it's soft and smooth and cool-feeling and during the day I often find myself desiring nothing more than to fondle my pants legs.

Add to this that they don't have pleats or cuffs, the fabric isn't shiny, and they have a cleverly disguised magically stretchy waistband, and it's just about all a husky boy could want in a pair of trousers!

Oh, sure, I know there are probably some of you who will yearn for the days when I would stroll pantsless down 20th Street during my lunch hour, but with these great new slacks, those memories may have to remain just that--memories.

By the way, this is not a compensated endorsement for Haggar, however I would be more than willing to accept as many pairs of these pants as they'll send me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:09 AM | Comments (4)

If I'd have built it...

Ga. artwork of 'fragile' Earth collapses

ATLANTA (AP) — A million-dollar stone sculpture, intended to remind future generations of the Earth's fragility, made its point a bit early — just three months after its unveiling, it collapsed.

The 175-ton "Spaceship Earth" lay in ruins at Kennesaw State University after mysteriously falling to pieces last week.

The engraved phrase "our fragile craft" was still visible amid the debris. [...]

The sculptor is all in a tizzy about it and vows to rebuild it even stronger, but if I had made it, I'd just nonchalantly say "I meant to do that," sorta like when Pee Wee Herman fell off his bike.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:29 AM | Comments (5)

I'll bet you one thing...

DaimlerChrysler wins approval for joint venture in China

...I bet they name it something that doesn't have nearly so many Ls and Rs all run together.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:21 AM | Comments (0)


Russell outplays Quinn as LSU wins Sugar

I stayed up last night expressly to see every last bit of Notre Dame get wiped up and down the field. I have to say, LSU played outstanding football and could have beaten anyone last night, maybe even Auburn. And really, I don't dislike Notre Dame so much as I dislike the disproportiate amount of favorable press they get nationally for being, well, Notre Dame, I guess.

Anyway, they got it handed to them and I'm glad if Auburn couldn't give it 'em, at least one of our fine SEC brethren could do the job for us.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:50 AM | Comments (2)

I had a niggling notion...

...that I had missed something important, and sure enough, yesterday was Fritz Schranck's blog birthday. Fritz is a truly good man and it's been a pleasure corresponding (and occasionally chatting) with him over the years.

So here's to you, sir!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:26 AM | Comments (1)

A dose of chlorine in the gene pool...

Via famed NASA rocket scientist and galley slave Steevil, news of the winners of one of 2006's most prestigious awards.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)


As part of my expressed desire to be much more shameless in building Possumblog readership by appealing to the more licentious and vulgar sorts who inhabit the Internet, I will continue to post pictures of myself in various sultry poses and states of undress.

Caution--may be NSFW!!


possum belly.jpg

(Photo via this interesting Italian site.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:22 AM | Comments (6)

So Fresh, So NEW!

So VERY 2007ish!

Of what do we speak? Why the All New, Super Terrific, Two Thousand Seven, Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

What with a brand new year ahead of us, why don’t we find some bright shiny new questions and see what people have to say!

::looking around for shiny things::



Okay, so these are going to be pretty much like any of the other set of three questions we’ve ever asked. Just play along and act like they’re fresh and exciting.

1) What new thing would you like to attempt in the New Year?

2) What one new thing do you really, REALLY need (not want, but truly need) to have?

3) What grungy old ramshackle thing do you have that you should replace with something shiny and new but just can’t bring yourself to make the switch?

SO, there you go--all of you rush out and purchase some nice new thinking caps and either answer in the comments below or leave a link to your blog and we’ll come over and oooh and ahhhh over it! Remember, anyone can play along, even if you’re a raging kainophobe!

As for my answers:

1) I keep acting like I would like to write a book of some sort. Maybe that. Or maybe lose another twenty pounds or so.

2) Well, at this immediate moment, I need the fuel pump I ordered for the Focus to get here ASAP. Second would be a pay raise that actually exceeds the rate of inflation.

3) I have a bunch of old stuff, but I don’t really have anything that’s lived beyond its usefulness. Especially after the Omnibus Garage Cleaning of Summer ’06. I probably got rid of some junk I shouldn’t have then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:45 AM | Comments (24)

January 03, 2007

Darn those evil Republicans and their weather control/time machine contraption!!

Climate shift helped destroy China's Tang dynasty: scientists

::shakes impotent fists of fury::

This is interesting, too:

[...] The twilight of the Tang began in 751, when the imperial army was defeated by Arabs.

But what eventually destroyed the dynasty were prolonged droughts and poor summer rains, which caused crop failure and stoked peasants' uprisings. Eventually, these rebellions led to the collapse of the dynasty in 907. [...]

Well, if the Chinese had only been more supportive of an independent Palestinian homeland, maybe they wouldn't have been attacked. 'Root causes,' doncha know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (5)

Y'know the worst thing?

About this whole head cold/tuberculosis thing I've got?

It's not the inability to breathe or the lethargy or the shouldn't-look-but-must-anyway reflex after using a tissue, but rather it's the sharp stabby pains in my eyeballs. All the rest of the symptoms aren't really all that bad, but that feeling of having an angry drunken knife-wielding imp wedged inside my eye sockets is really rather distracting.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

Given recent events--

--there is without a doubt a very mean and juvenile (yet timely) jest to be made based upon this headline: Ford holds off Toyota in December.

I shall NOT be the one to make it, however. I do have my standards, after all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:37 PM | Comments (0)

Okay, look, I realize this whole coaching thing is important to a lot of people, but...

...this is not the way to handle things! Orange Beach charter boat captain accused of shooting dolphin

Just give it enough money and it'll do what you want it to, okay!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

But on the bright side...

Iraq prime minister wishes he could quit

...the Dolphins ARE looking for a new head coach.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

Boy, I wish I could get one for myself.

Upgrade makes aging Mars rovers smarter

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

Smoker's Laugh

Stopped on the way home yesterday at the hair-cutting place to get sheared. It had gotten unruly and had that ugly roll of wiry curls at the bottom in the back that wasn't quite long enough to make a good mullet, but not short enough to be acceptably neat. Just looked ratty.

Anyway, signed my name, and resigned myself to not getting who I wanted. It was a completely different crew from the usual crowd, and none with the bubbly weird-haired vivaciousness of the usual cast of young perky chubby girls. The older ladies usually do a better job, but aren't nearly so talkative, unless it's to ask if you want your ear hair trimmed. I think the young girls are too embarrassed or grossed out to ask. Which is fine by me.

SO, waited for a bit, then got called back to the chair by one of the ladies with the youthful bobbed 'do, who sat me down and strangled me with the cape neckband. I tried to explain how I wanted it cut--"shorter-ish, all over, and thinned, and then something up the back so it doesn't look wooly. Kinda."

And off she went.

As I guessed, no conversation to amount to anything, just her occasional hoarse interjection to one of her coworker's questions. I don't know--maybe she had a cold like I've got, but I think her husky-voicedness was more the result of a two-pack-a-day Virginia Slims habit than a rhinovirus.

She more or less got toward the end, indicated by the huge pile of hair on me and the floor, and as usual, asked about my need for a trim of the disgusting old man hair growth on places other than my scalp. "You want me to trim your eyebrows?"

Now having gotten so aged and advanced in years, the fur atop my eyes is longer than it was when I was young, and occasionally even distracting, but I promise that even at its worst, I am no John L. Lewis. In most cases, errant strands can be coaxed back into a small caterpillarish shape, and in doing so help even out their appearance. For some reason, my eyestaches are a bit thin on the ends, so having some extra help from the center doesn't hurt anything. But if the center is trimmed too much, I'd wind up looking like I didn't have any eyebrows at all. So, I passed on the trim.

"Uh, well, no thanks--they're sorta thin on the sides, so I use the other part as something like an eyebrow comb-over."

Just a silly throw-away line, but it tickled her to no end, and despite sounding like she was going to force up a lung doing it, she gave a hearty phlegmy chuckle at the notion of a man having an eyebrow comb-over.

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


...not too bad of a morning, actually. The meeting, as meetings aren't usually wont to do, went dashingly well, which was nice for a change. Still have much transcribing to do, and while not actually looking forward to the task (it being, after all, actual work), I don't have the usual deep-seated resentment and dread I usually harbor before beginning such an assignment.


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


TUSCALOOSA, AL (PNN) Sources have told news media that former Miami Dolphins head coach Nick Saban will be accepting a contract offer as the new head coach of the University of Alabama. UA has reportedly offered Saban over $35 million and a personalized berth in the Tuscaloosa Yacht Club in a deal which will make Saban the highest paid coach in all of college football.

Angry Crimson Tide fans, many of who were pressing for the University to spend as much money as possible and do whatever was necessary to hire anyone, including Saban (touted by some as the second coming of Ray Perkins), immediately began calling on University officials to fire Saban, noting that no Alabama team coached by Saban had ever beaten cross-state rival, Auburn University.

Cooler heads may prevail, however, with University of Alabama athletic director Mal Moore asking fans for their patience and to withhold criticism until Saban is assigned an office and a telephone. "After then," he said, "all bets are off."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:04 AM | Comments (6)

January 02, 2007

I show up one day...

...and then quickly scurry away the next to do silly work junk stuff.

Yes, it's a difficult task, trying to dissuade as many people as possible from reading Possumblog, but by now offering super low quantity as well as the usual poor quality, we hope to reduce our audience to negative numbers within mere days.

For those who DO decide to return for repeated abuse of your valuable time and patience, the trickle of insipidness and prattle will pick back up again sometime later tomorrow morning after I get back from my twice-monthly meeting of overly-concerned bureaucrats.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:42 PM | Comments (2)

Forget Saban.

THIS is REALLY big news--Rick and Bubba changing stations.

They've been on their current station for seven years, which is a very long run for any program, but apparently Cox anted up with some serious biscuit and gravy money. Shouldn't be too big of a change for most fans, but for those of us without any country music stations on the preset buttons, it will certainly be different.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:11 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, yeah.

Sure was nice not to have to go to stupid meetings while I was off from work. Just had an hour-long one that was a marvel of intricately-crafted idiocy.

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

Daytime TV

I predicted sometime in the near past that if I did find an opportunity to watch Rachael Ray's television show, I would find her highly appealing visually, but not aurally.

This is to report that my original hypothesis was accurate. I think I got to watch her three different days, and I have to say the show's much better without sound.

Without cable, there's not much else to watch aside from all the various judge shows. It would be nice if they could liven things up a bit--maybe instead of having burly impassive bailiffs, they could have supermodels or something.

Thank goodness I had too much to do to have to worry too much about what was on.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:46 AM | Comments (5)

Not news.

Reading diet articles could be unhealthy

Although this is supposedly new research, one might recall that this information was long ago established by a prominent American scientist, Mark Twain: "Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

I hate Christmas.

Not really--it's just part of my plan to be bold and edgy this year. I actually hate cleaning up from Christmas. Especially vacuuming. I've mentioned it before, but of all tasks, vacuuming is the one thing I hate more than all other things. And I'm the only one who will use the vacuum in my house. Grr.

Anyway, we got the tree boxed away yesterday, and in a perfect recreation of a live tree, it scattered an assortment of needles all over the carpet. Got out the good ol' Eureka upright that came to our marriage via Miss Reba, started it up, and it made a horrible loud sound. It's actually been making a variation of this sound for a while, but yesterday's was nearly unbearable.

Couldn't see anything obviously amiss underneath, until I started looking a bit deeper where the plastic suction impeller was located. Hmm.

Several big chunks were gone. Which probably explains the weird loudness of the thing, and the fact that it had gotten to where it wouldn't pick up anything. Also probably explains that horrible clanking and clattering wheezing noise it made several weeks ago.


I think it's time for a new vacuum.

SO, I set off for the store yesterday.

Why are there so many choices? There must have been twenty different types of vacuum cleaners there on the shelf at Wally World, indistinguishable in most instances except for their colors. I started out thinking that I liked the bagless kind, so that narrowed the choice down to only 18.

Then there's something you have to figure out between your normal bagless and the super terrific neato keen cyclonic action bagless, which if you go for the tornado-in-a-tube type, further narrows things to about 15.

This is where is got confusing, because there were dual and single cyclonic things, and some were pricier but not for any particular reason other than having three more shiny things, and some had fifteen filters and some had only nine and some had lights and some had gizmos and some had jigglers and some had Edge Suction Power 2400 Technology and every single one of them boasted 987% More Cleaning Power! than everyone else.

None of them were guaranteed not to break on New Year's Day while you were trying to vacuum up fake fir needles.

I finally settled on a Hoover Fusion Cyclonic Upright Vacuum, mainly because its filters didn't have to be replaced, just washed out with water. Only problem is that I feel like an absolute clown using the thing--just look at it! It's a lurid combination of red and blue plastic that looks like a kid's toy, with all the weird lumpiness and faux-technosity of the peculiar looking Dyson models. Vacuuming is bad enough, but who wants to look like something out of a bad Japanese comic book while doing it!?

Oh well.

It works very well--too well. I never knew how much grunge was in that one little section of floor. It was easy to dump the junk out, though, and it is nice having all the various tools on the machine instead of slumped in the bottom of a closet. It does have a headlamp, which is of dubious utility, and a handle on the bottom so you can use it to clean stairs, which has always been one of those nice things to have that not everyone designs in.

Somehow, I don't think it'll last as long at the one I let my sister have, that my mother had given me when she got a new one. Best I can tell, we originally got it around 1976 or so, given its Harvest Gold color and The Price is Right flower-patterned bag. Anyway, as far as I know, it's still working just fine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:04 AM | Comments (5)

In the news...

...I missed most of it. Oh, I tried to keep up with the major happenings, but with being able to spend hardly any time on the computer, I was forced to get my news from the television, and I think we all know how outdated THAT is.

Let's see--Saddam got hung, which is a good thing. How do I know? By looking at the type of people saying it's a bad thing, that's how. He got far better than he deserved--my solution would have been to have left him in that hole and backed a concrete truck up to it and lowered the chute. Second choice would have been to let him go in the manner of Mussolini or Ceausescu.

What else--oh, the passing of Gerald Ford. Despite having had to bear the undying scorn of liberals for the many years of his life after pardoning Richard Nixon, he managed to redeem himself by telling reporters in private conversations that he disagreed with George Bush. Thus, he became in death the most beloved Republican leader ever to grace to Oval Office, a uniter and not a divider, full of wisdom and kindness and intelligence far beyond his simple and humble upbringing.

Or at least according to the press.

I tried to watch the funeral, and for a time was tuned to NBC, but the constant sanctimonious claptrap of Brian Williams and his lackeys about the release of those interviews and about how much different, i.e., better and all around more appropriate, his ceremonies were than those of Ronald Reagan's, well, I just had to turn it on something else. Ford was a good man, and I think his pardon of Nixon was reasonable given the times and the circumstances. I question his foreign policy expertise, based mainly upon his mishandling of the SS Mayaguez hijacking. I don't doubt his sincerity in wishing for his views of the current conflict to be broadcast only after he was gone, but I do doubt he contemplated that they'd be so loudly and persistently trumpted before he was even in the ground. In the end, they served nothing more than to overshadow his passing by giving the press something else shiny and fun to play with.

In other political news--John Edwards is running for President. A man with the ego of a Kennedy, the avarice of a Clinton, the hair of groovy '70s teen icon Bobby Sherman, and the intellectual heft of a Smurf. May God help us all.

In other things--congratulations to everyone's favorite team, the Auburn Tigers for their 17-14 defeat of the dreaded Maize Shuckers of Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl. Pretty good game, although Auburn managed to play as they always do, by giving away huge advantages at crucial times through penalties or missed assignments, then relying upon the toe of kicker John Vaughn to keep them just enough ahead to win.

And speaking of football, the Saban to Bama story refuses to die, with everyone who ever wore Crimson and White flying down to Miami with suitcases full of cash to fling at the handsome former coach of LSU. Now that the season's over, and now that it appears Alabama is willing to break the bank to lure him, his protestations throughout the end of last year might grow quiet and he might decide to take the job. I do have to say that if they were going to go crazy-nuts with the money, they would have done better to spend it on Steve Spurrier instead. Saban's a very good coach, but probably not worth more than any other coach in college football. But hey, it's their money, let 'em spend it the way they want.

Weather? Well, it was mostly sunny and warm while I was off, which made being off very much nicer since I could send the kids outside to bother the cat. Who, by the way, got a fuzzy ball on a spring and a feather on a piece of elastic string tied to a plastic twig for Christmas.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:05 AM | Comments (6)

Then again, maybe I wasn't.

Remember that cold I had?

I really wasn't that bad, and was more or less gone after about three days.

Well, it came back with a vengeance about a week ago, and managed to infect everyone in the house.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

Santa done brung me...

...a whole wad of stuff. I got four dress shirts (which are shirts you dress up nice in, not shirts that double as dresses), about six or eight ties, two pairs of slacks (which become quite taut once stretched around my muscular lower limbs), about five pairs of blue jeans (which is really strange, since I don't wear blue jeans that much, but hey), the book Flags of Our Fathers, a bunch of new socks, a souped-up Crescent wrench with the automatically opening and closing jaw, a trunk organizer for the Volvo, and a couple of gift cards. The Barnes and Noble one from my brother- and sister-in-law I used to get a new wall calender and a bunch of bargain-priced books (because I need more books), and the Wal-Mart one from my mom I used for a new electric razor and a pair of shoes to replace my Dockers deck shoes that have begun to make my heels hurt REALLY badly.

I must have been a very good boy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:29 AM | Comments (6)

This is not me.

T.O. finds his calling

I will say that Mr. Knight would be advised not to touch me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:03 AM | Comments (5)


So this is 2006+1, eh?

Well, color me unimpressed.

However, I must say the tail end of '06 was particularly nice and relaxing and full of Clausian booty and oddly enough, I even managed to LOSE five pounds while I was off. I have no idea how that happened.

ANYway, as usual, lots of stuff to catch up on in the next few hours--mostly of a work-related nature, sadly enough. That's the thing about being off for a week. You come back and have two weeks worth of work to do.

SO, more to come as the morning drags on and time becomes available to post.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)