February 28, 2007


For something that didn't last very long, it sure did produce a lot of busywork.

SO MUCH SO, that I must beg for a volunteer to handle Thursday Three duties for tomorrow! And remember, no fair volunteering other people, unless you get their permission.

UPDATE: Seeing as how I have offered you no entertainment today, I decided it would be best if I went and stole this for your enjoyment: "Just picture a 30-something brunette woman in underwear roaring around the front yard brandishing a toddler size 12 shoe at a bounding, barking mutt, followed by a short brown blur of growling fur and teeth at 4:30 in the morning..."

Needless to say, I imagine such things on a regular basis.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:07 PM | Comments (8)

February 27, 2007

Now, stop that right now!

I have to take off early to go get Oldest from school and hopefully get her vehicle back from the shop so her life won't be irretrievably ruined by having to actually be driven to school and back by her parents. Oh, who am I kidding--the poor thing has ME as a parent, so OBVIOUSLY her life is a shambles. A RUIN! A SHAMBLING RUIN OF DESPAIR!


Anyway, got to go for the day, and them tomorrow will be another late start due to our bimonthly offsite convention of bureaucrats (or should I say "bureaucratics"?), so all of you play nicely and I'll see you all sometime later.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:19 PM | Comments (3)

Mmm. Food!

Or at least those who write about it, either as a profession or as a hobby.

As usual, it seems the professionals are somewhat disdainful of the hobbyists, because apparently not just anyone is discerning enough to appreciate the subtle nuances inherent in consuming a bad steak served badly.

In any event, the guarantee of quality in either food or writing can never be determined solely by the price paid for it.

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

Speaking as we were of dear Uncle Albert...

...this particularly telling bit from Dr. Reynold's site, in which we lesser beings are basically told by the author to shut up with all of our hypocrisy-mongering, because the natural order of things is that there are some people who by Divine right or birthright or simple treachery should be at the top of the heap, and shouldn't have to actually live the way they say we should.

"Two Americas," indeed!

In any event, the point Dr. "Blended Puppies For Me But Not For Thee" makes in his rebuttal is the same one I made earlier in the comments on the subject--religious leaders (and let's not quibble--the whole climate change matrix is becoming increasingly religious in word and deed, and Albert is rapidly ascending within its college of cardinals with the skill of a Borgia) who don't practice what they preach are always going to wind up damaging both their own credibility and that of their religion. This is especially pronounced when the scripture calls for all to take a vow of poverty, while the leadership is allowed to luxuriate, free of feeling tied to such pronouncements, due simply to their wealth or power or position.

There is nothing wrong with having money.

There is nothing wrong with spending it on what you want to spend it on.

But let's not pretend that your need for it is of greater importance than my need for it.

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


I just took this test that I saw over at IMAO. Thank goodness I paid attention for five minutes one day in history class, and I can continue to be eligible to leave comments! One day I'll even start leaving them!

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.

Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

Are You a Dumb American?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (2)

A Blogiversary!

Happy fifth to some of my favorite folks, Justin and Jordanarama Jordanaroseannadanna, who've been curmudgerating for five years now.

And Jordana's been planting purty flowers all around the blog, too! (I think to cover up boogers someone wiped on the background, but that's only my theory.)

Happy blogday, folks!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:31 AM | Comments (4)

A random thought crosses my mind.

I know you have all heard about the dithering tizzy some members of a certain party have worked themselves into because some of their political opponents insist on tweaking them by calling the name of their party the "Democrat Party" instead of the "Democratic Party." It's an admittedly juvenile way of slapping at their decidedly undemocratic tendencies, but rather than prove the opposition wrong by not playing along, it seems to infuriate the Democrats to no end. Which is what makes the whole thing funny. Not the supposed insult--the reaction to it.

In any event, I think it's time now to switch tactics, and rather than call the party the Democrat Party, it's time to start calling its members Democratics instead of Democrats. It's an even stupider non-insult, which means they'll act even MORE enraged. "You silly Democratics and your jibber-jabber!" "Bunch of big baby Democratics!" See? Sounds idiotic. But you know they won't just sit there and say stuff like, "Gosh, you're an idiot." No, they'll go into full Victim Meltdown Mode and demand anyone who says it be charged with a hate crime.

Silly Democratics.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (7)

Nate's Got a Good Idea.

Something we haven't done in a few weeks--it's the Return of Ticked-Off Tuesday, and Osmondia's own Nate McCord leads the curmudgeon cavalcade with this tale that's too complicated for me to follow because it uses acronyms and involves some sort of mathematics!

Got something similar that has ticked you off? Angry at the minor inconveniences that plague us? So full of indignation that you can't get your day going? Well, let loose here in the comments, and let us know what's peeved YOU this morning!

Me? I'm angry that I didn't have time to stop for gas this morning, and that said gasoline has gone up 20 cents in the past two weeks for absolutely NO good reason. Why, it's enough to make me consider walking to work. I figure if I start out at 6:00 a.m., I should get here about lunchtime. Then I could eat, and then start walking back home and maybe get there by suppertime. Then I could eat and go to bed.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:47 AM | Comments (15)

There's a disturbance in the Force.

Or something. Mu.nu's acting all warty this morning so I haven't been able to post anything or clear out the usual overnight collection of spam. BUT NOW I CAN!!

The only difficulty now is figuring out what to write. I mean, I could make fun of Al Gore, but that's gotten much too easy since he has that self-parody function in his programming. I could do a Jack Bauer Update! but I just haven't felt compelled to watch this year. I think it's since I know he's going to be back for several more years. I have been watching Heroes instead, but I don't feel the need to do updates on it, since really the only reason I watch is to see Hayden Planetarium in her cheerleader outfit. Well, her, and that little Japanese guy (as long as he doesn't start wearing a cheerleader outfit).

Maybe there'll be something interesting in the news today...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (22)

February 26, 2007

One can only hope...

Sharpton: DNA could tie me to Thurmond

...that Zsa-Zsa Gabor's husband isn't involved in this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:36 PM | Comments (6)


Yep, had one of those, too!

It included more clothes laundering. And again, with no end in sight. (For the record, there is still a huge basket of clothes that needs to be dried, and a stack of sheets and blankets to be replaced on beds.)

Church, then a trip to the other side of the county for lunch, then back to church for the kids to take a Bible Bowl test, and while the girls did that, Boy and I went to Wal-mart to look around and kill time, which we successfully did, then back to church where we had our monthly Q&A session. I always like these--folks will write down their Bible questions and put them in a box and our preacher selects a bunch to research and talk about. The first one he picked was his own, and was about the controversy that began over the weekend about James Cameron finding Jesus buried on the Titanic.

He gave a nice succinct wrapup of the story along with the reasons that argue against the assertion. The whole thing reminds me of the Weekend Update skit on Saturday Night Live when Fr. Guido Sarducci claimed to have purchased the actual receipt from the Last Supper. Turned out it was actually a brunch. 'You see here? Everyone order the same thing except this one guy, he had a soft-boiled egg and tea. BUT--they split the bill, so the guy who just had the egg had to pay a lot more. The moral is, in groups, always order the most expensive thing.' It also reminds me a bit of the French knights who said they already had their own Holy Grail.

Although our preacher didn't come close to saying that Cameron was an empty-headed animal food-trough wiper, nor imply that his mother was a hamster, nor that his father smelt of elderberries, it admittedly would have been quite fun if he had. And relatively accurate.

Anyway, on to home, where we got supper started, and I decided I'd go ahead and take Ashley's car on to the shop and drop it off. One of the benefits of a small town is being able to park your car at the shop and drop the keys through the mail slot with a note, and not worry too much about it. Got her to follow me down, and oddly enough (since it was a Sunday evening at 8:30) found the proprieter in the office doing some paperwork. Explained everything as best I could, left the key with him, and headed back home.

More laundry, supper, and to bed with us all.

I'm sleepy!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:25 PM | Comments (4)

SO, after a night spent...

...clinging to the tiniest sliver of mattress whilst wife and youngest child snuggled up on the remaining 9/10s of the bed, I was up early Saturday and ready to face the day ahead of me!

Not really.

I was up early, but only enough to get Reba woken up. The three oldest kids had a service project thing at church at 9:00 and she had agreed to take them. Which I thought would be nice because I could sleep later and then get up and do laundry and work on the car and Cat could go do whatever.

Such is what I get for thinking.

After a night spent unrestfully, and then several rude rousings gotten by having my eyes poked out by an errant finger belonging to my child, I was a bit late getting out of the sack. I wanted to get out, knew I should get out, but just couldn't get my legs and head to get me out. SO I got to sleep late and feel guilty about it.

BUT, up I got, finally, and got dressed and started getting the clothes together. And then I decided I'd get the sheets off the beds. And then I began to find huge varieties of clothing articles in various hidey places in the children's rooms. The task grew and grew and grew until I was full into a wholesale cleaning and renovation project, all the while someone kept asking for breakfast.

The net result? TWO AND ONE HALF HOURS LATER, I finally was able to get the first load of clothes started.

Then, the next chore. The Focus has started running weird again, and so I promised I'd take it out and see if I could figure out what was wrong with it, and go down to the parts place and get them to reset the Check Engine light. And get someone some fast-food breakfast since it was now lunchtime.

But first?

Have to clean out the car seats. Oldest is quite the slob. Books, papers, junk, scattered all over the interior, much like it is in her room. So Cat and I neatened it up a bit, THEN took it out for a drive.

Whoa. It was running rough right from the start, and it didn't get any better. And the Check Engine light wasn't on. So, not any good excuse for driving it down to the foot of the hill, when it was obvious something else needed to be done to it, and whatever it was, it was finally beyond my abilities to figure out what was wrong with it. I suspect there's still dirt in the tank, but I needed to take it to a real mechanic and let them fool with it.

Turned around and went back to the house.

"But Daddy, what about breakfast?"

Persistent little cuss, she is.

We parked and got in the Volvo and hopped back down the hill for a stop at Sonic. I'd intended for us to eat there, but as soon as we'd gotten our food, someone called me. "We're home--where are you?"

Avoiding work, that's where.

Packed up our food and went up to the house, got filled in on some of the juicy gossip that comes from having your wife spend three hours up at the church building on a Saturday, and then started my NEXT chore.

No, silly--nothing to do with changing the oil in the Volvo and doing stuff like that.


Rebecca had volunteered me to help her three-member group video a little skit for a product they had to come up with for their science class. They're studying simple machines and had to figure out a product using a screw that could be sold in stores. They hatched an idea for a pad of stationery held together with screws.


Anyway, they were supposed to make an ad for it, and so the group was to meet at the library. With me. And my camera. SO, off Rebecca and I go.

Sat outside on the bench and waited.

"You know, Rebecca, they probably wouldn't want you doing this in the library, since it requires us to make noise and stuff."

"Hmm. I don't know."

"What do you do in your commercial?"

"Well, we have a cell phone that rings and we answer it and then it rings again and then we write down the number and..."

I pointed to the door with the sticker that said "Cell Phones Not Allowed In Library."


"Maybe we could use a room in the community center," I said.

Maybe so.

We waited some more and chatted. The other two girls showed up with their moms, and I explained filming in the library might be dicey and so I took the girls next door, asked the office lady if we could use a room, and she kindly offered us the big room with the stage. Cool!

Took about thirty minutes overall, and they had their stuff pretty well figured out. We did a little set dressing with a chair and table and potted plant that were on the stage, had a couple of run-throughs to figure out their lines and scenes and camera positions, and wound up with a really cute 30 second bit. Not a lot about how the humble inclined-plan-wrapped-around-a-cylinder played into the product or its advertisement, but it was still cute.

And best of all, I finally got to meet one of Rebecca's bestest friends.

She really likes her, mainly because the girl is nice, and nice to everyone, and likes school, and likes to study, and is smart as a whip. Her family immigrated from Venezuela last year, and she came into the 7th Grade not knowing more than a smattering of English. But due to the force of her own bubbly personality and intelligence, she seems to have adjusted better than any kid should have a right to, and now speaks perfectly idiomatic American (as well as standard English) with a fluency that is better than about 98% of the kids she goes to school with. Just a super sweet girl, and pretty as a peach, and full of mischief. She'll go very, very far. And I'm glad she enjoys being around Rebecca--I think it's helped her open up a bit this year from being so incredibly quiet. A lot of the kids bother Rebecca because they want her to talk, and it embarrasses her when they keep egging her on to talk. But her little dark-eyed friend just accepts her and jabbers away enough for both of them and makes Bec feel as much a part of her family as ours. (Because Rebecca is VERY outgoing at home and rarely shuts up for more than a second or two. Which none of her school friends believe.)

Anyway, it all was great fun, and I hope they get a good grade. (Or at least their director/cinematographer does.)


Cell phone shopping!


Rebecca has been needing a phone for these soccer practice afternoons--she usually borrows someone's to call, and it's getting embarrassing for her. Resisting the urge to dust off our old giant bag phone, I agreed to take her to the store and see what there was in the way of prepaid phones like the Tracfone I've been using.

And there is another tale--Oldest has been using hers as if she thinks minutes are free. Which, in fairness, to her they are, seeing as how all she does is complain about being out of minutes and they magically appear on her phone. The idea that she'd use it only for emergencies was delusional on the face of it, since she has no idea what that means (i.e. "only"), and to her, everything is an emergency.

AND ANOTHER THING, Reba likes to talk on her phone, which again was supposed to be for minimal usage. She is supposed to have 300 monthly minutes, which she can gab up in about two weeks or less. Those overage minutes are expensive, let me tell you.

SO BASICALLY, I've got gabby people who won't shut up their incessant yammering, and it's expensive, to boot. And here I was wanting to get another one a phone.


Maybe it's time to change plans.

So, I gathered up Rebecca and we went to the Verizon store (since that's what Reba's phone is) and I figured out that the deal where your family shares a pool of minutes (and call each other for free) was the only thing that made sense. But that wouldn't stop me from shopping.

Went on to the Cingular store (which would have the benefit of allowing Oldest to call #6 for free since that's what his family uses) and found that although the price was the same, the lady wasn't much interested in selling us phones, or service, or much of anything. I've heard of the soft sell, but this was downright apathy.

"Do you have x?"

"No, not really."

"Can I have brochure with y?"

"Mm. Yeah."

"How much are these?"

"Uhh, they aren't bad."

Thanks, Cingular! I figured that it was going to be more expensive (maybe I'm wrong) since we'd have to pay new activation fees for all the phones, and buy four phones instead of three (since I'd now decided I wanted to get in on the deal) and the girl wasn't interested in helping me find a cheap phone, and only wanted to sell me the $50-with-rebate jobs.

Walked out with the intention of going up to Wal-mart and see what they had.

"I need to go to the bathroom."

"Well, I suppose we could go to Target and..."

"But they don't have a lot of phone choices."

"I thought you had to pee!"

"Well, the other--but I don't want to go to Target."


Like her mother, she is.

Then I remembered that we had a brand new Circuit City up the road beside Target, so that seemed to satisfy both her need to look at phones AND make use of the privy.

We looked, and I did some more pseudo-mathematics in my head trying to figure out the least expensive alternative, and then remembered that while I was out, I needed to get a battery for Reba's phone because it will only hold a charge for about a day.

"Rebecca, let's do this--let's got get Mom's cell phone, go back to the Verizon store, and get a battery for it, and then sign up for that plan they showed me before."


Back to home, parked, opened the garage door, and...

No van.


I bet there's a load of clothes that hasn't been finished, too.

Walked in, found the place pretty much as I'd left it. Took clothes out of the dryer, put clothes in the dryer, put clothes in the washer. Found that Oldest was still home--"HEY! Where'd Mom go!?" I yelled up the stairs

"TARGET!" came the yell back down.

"When'd she leave!?"



So, if I'd just gone on to Target, I probably would have seen her.

Tried to call her on her cell phone, and obviously, couldn't get her.

"Come on, Bec."

Off again to Target, where by the sheerest of lucky chances managed to see her as she was leaving and got her to pull into the side parking lot where I could wrest her phone away from her and hear about the fratricidal combat that had prompted her to wrestle Cat and Boy into the van for a trip to the store where they COULDN'T GET ANYTHING!!

Such a horrible punishment!

Parted ways, went back to the Verizon store.

Showed them the phone.

"Uh--whew. Hmm. Well, let's see."

The younger guy was looking at it and trying to figure out from what Pre-Cambrian layer I'd retrieved the relic. He asked the older guy if they had any batteries for this fossil.

"Whew! Well, I might have an old battery out in my car that would fit it."

That was when I found out that it was so old that a new battery would cost as much as four cheap new phones that are only four weeks obsolete! No use buying an old used battery, and a new phone would have the benefit of being able to be located via GPS should one of us plunge off a cliff somewhere in Mongolia or Montgomery.


It's only money.

Started to work on the plan, and let them know I wasn't that fond of having to pay MORE fees for activation, so they worked a deal with me and after much wrangling and signing, we've got four new phones that have all the features the kids like--mainly, the ability to flip open. No camera, no nothing else, really. And no texting. Which, when Oldest found out about it, she was incensed. Good. The last thing I need is her getting caught texting someone so she can cheat on a test. Not that I would ever suspect her of such nefariousness.

At least now the calls back and forth to Miss Reba and me and Oldest and Miss Reba and Rebecca and Miss Reba and me and Oldest and Rebecca are free. Probably going to pay more per month, but at least there will be some actual utility to it.

Or not.

Anyway, that was Saturday. Along with more clothes folding and washing. But not the completion of same.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:20 PM | Comments (3)

Let's see...

Friday night was Family Movie Night, which by now guarantees that half of the family will see one movie (crappy shlocktacular improbable turn-of-events chick flick and/or dimwitted starlet is a princess/President's daughter/pop star in-search-of-her-real-self chick flick) while the other half goes and sees something suitable for the entire family (heartwarming live-action family dramedy and/or overly-CGI-animated heartwarming family comedyrama).


The three older girls went and saw the hooker-chasing Hugh Grant/highball-downing Drew Barrymore Music and Lyrics, which I had flatly refused to see, and I took the younger two with me to Bridge to Terabithia.


Not having read the book (although a couple of the kids have) I didn't know anything about the story but I'd seen the trailer and it looked interesting-ish. And it was--the parts of the movie dealing with the young boy and his family (one boy, four girls, and a distant dad who was once a liquid metal shape-shifting android) was nicely done, as were the scenes at the small school they attend. The friendship with the new girl is also well-done and believable, and overall the simplicity of the story and the way it's presented on film is empathetic. The family is poor, but they aren't played as pitiful or cloying or victims. Even when the boy or his little sister or his friend actually are the victims of bullying by the various mean kids in school.

Again, not knowing the story, I kept wondering why the the discovery of the creek and rope swing by Leslie and Jess was accompanied by the creepy music and sense of dread--maybe the book was different, but a bit less heavy-handed foreshadowing would have been appropriate.

As for the world across the creek, it was well-done all the way up until the introduction of the CGI characters, which also seems to be a beef a lot of folks have. I think my main problem with them is that they weren't fully one thing or another--the various birds and squirrels and bugs that turn into other things would have been better had they turned into things that weren't so obviously cartoon derived. Or something. Hard to explain, but it seemed better when the monsters weren't wearing metal hats and such.

But maybe I'm overthinking it--the kids seemed not to notice at all.

Then to the sad part of the story. All three of us were sniffling--again, the story proceeds painfully, unflinchingly, matter-of-factly and it's difficult to watch. And deeply affecting. For younger kids, I think it might be too much. After the movie was over and we had all met back up and were going home, Catherine was telling Reba about the movie and she got sad and started crying again about it. As far as I know, she's not done that with any other movie she's seen. And she knows it's not real, and that no one really was hurt, but it was, I think, the unvarnished manner in which tragedy was presented that got her. And me, too, for that matter. (After getting to spend the night in Mom and Dad's bed Friday night, she was much better.)

The epilogue was touching, although I felt like a moron when I got that little epiphany of why the movie has the title it does--"hmm--he's gonna make a bridge with all that lumber. A bridge to--OHHHHH!!" The only disjointed part was again due to the intrusiveness of the special effects at the very end that didn't add anything to the story.

Overall, though, a nice movie worth going to see--if for nothing else than it's full of kids who aren't impossibly hip and glib and there aren't scenes of mass chaos caused by frogs being dropped on the supper table or dogs biting people in the crotch or coarse jokes about cleavage or farts. It's probably not quite as good as the book, but then, few movies usually are. I'd give it a solid 8 out of 10 curly possum tails.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:20 AM | Comments (4)

Well, hello there!

Another week, another round of rousing yarns from Paradise along the Pinchgut! And as usual, nothing I wanted to do got done! Yes, you DO sense a recurring theme.

Anyway, I have stuff to try to remember this morning, so check back in after a while and see if I was successful.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:22 AM | Comments (2)

February 23, 2007

What more is there to be done here!?

Vanishingly little. At least when it comes to blogging. The weekend has begun to call and so it's about time to hang up the "Closed" sign and run the day's receipt and take the scorched rutabagas out to the dumpster and make out the deposit slip and put the cash into the envelope and scream at Raul to not pour the mop water into the sink and set all the rat traps and turn off the lights and set the alarm and call it a week.

You know what I think I might do this weekend, if I become highly motivated? I might change the oil in the Volvo and put on the remote oil filter fittings and install the outside temperature gauge I've had in the garage for a year. In between loads of laundry, of course. And shaving my head.

ANYWAY, all of you have a great weekend and come back again on Monday and let's see what there is to see!

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

Oh, come on, Larry!

Look at the bright side--only 40 more years to retirement!

(Happy Birthday, by the way.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:17 PM | Comments (2)


Declaration of Independence for $2.48

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A rare, 184-year-old copy of the Declaration of Independence found by a bargain hunter at a Nashville thrift shop is being valued by experts at about 100,000 times the $2.48 purchase price.

Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, is selling the document in an auction March 22nd at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina. The opening bid is $125,000 and appraisers have estimated it could sell for nearly twice that.

Sparks found his bargain last March while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop in Nashville. When he asked the price on a yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, the clerk marked it at $2.48. [...]

A little known fact is that the copies were made on an IBM Selectric with a special ball that makes those long-esses that look life effs-- f.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:23 PM | Comments (2)

Hey, Y'all!

As I do every so often, here's where some of Possumblog's readers come from.

Birmingham, Alabama (well, duh)
Linden, North Carolina
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Taipei, Taiwan
Glen Echo, Maryland
Savannah, Georgia
Pensacola, Florida
Edmonton, Redbridge, UK
Columbus, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Rye, New York
Miami, Florida
Longmont, Colorado
Richmond, Virginia
Tacoma, Washington
Huntsville, Alabama
Victoria, British Columbia
Findlay, Ohio
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quincy, Massachusetts
Waleska, Georgia
Stillwater, Oklahoma
Sioux City, Iowa
San Jose, California
Jakarta, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
Chicago, Illinois
Shiraz, Fars, Iran
Plano, Texas
Shreveport, Louisiana
Dearborn, Michigan
Smithsburg, Maryland
Dakar, Singapore
Jacksonville, Florida
Indianapolis, Indiana
Beijing, China
Fremont, California
Madrid, Spain
Toms River, New Jersey
Ashtabula, Ohio
Dallas, Texas
Frankfort, Kentucky
Howell, New Jersey
Winthrop Harbor, Illinois
Herald, California
Porto, Portugal
Tehran, Iran
Memphis, Tennessee
Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Bucharest, Romania
Boston, Massachusetts
Capel Saint Mary, Suffolk, UK
Rancho Mirage, California
Citrus Heights, California
Grantham, Pennsylvania
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Fort Worth, Texas

Thanks for dropping by, everyone!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:29 PM | Comments (11)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Once more it's time to partake of the delicious spicy wisdom of the ancient Chinese!

First up, this:

You will receive unexpected support over the next week. Accept it graciously.

Of course, now that I expect it, it's going to be a bit more difficult to be gracious about it. I'll do my best, though.

Next we have:

The most direct approach isn't always the best. Use diplomacy.

It's so comforting to know that Kofi Annan managed to find gainful employment in the fortune cookie biz! I didn't even know he was Chinese!


10 23 37 38 41 46


3 20 35 36 47 48

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

That Zac--such a show off.

February 23, 1847

United States General Zachary Taylor was victorious over Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847. Santa Anna's loss at Buena Vista, coupled with his defeat by General Winfield Scott at the Battle of Cerro Gordo in April of that year, secured U.S. victory in the Mexican American War. [...]

Samuel McNeil, an Ohio shoemaker who ventured to California, tells of General Taylor's bravery on the battlefield in his book McNeil's Travels in 1849, To, Through and From the Gold Regions, in California:

I must mention one circumstance that happened there, which shows the extraordinary coolness of Gen. Z. Taylor in battle. He saw a small cannon ball coming directly towards his person. Instead of spurring "Old Whitey" out of its way, he coolly rose in his very short stirrups and permitted the ball to pass between his person and the saddle. Col. Wyncoop has mentioned this circumstance in his book, and if he lies wilfully [sic], you may be sure that the shoemaker lies unwilfully [sic].

You know, I don't think I would be quite so sanguine were a small cannonball coming directly towards my person. Especially that particular part of my person.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

Yet more fodder for juvenile humor!

Obama says he wants end to 'tit-for-tat'

"Anyway, and so the beaver says..."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:39 AM | Comments (1)

So a beaver, a rat, and a guy named Zbigniew walk into a Taco Bell...

New Yorker denies making 'Polish joke'

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:35 AM | Comments (0)

The beavers have some competition...

..."But it is rare to see so many rats congregating in one place in such public view."

One would hope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (2)

Well now.

1st Beaver spotted in NYC in 200 years

There's probably a joke in there somewhere.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:28 AM | Comments (2)

A Late Night.

Rebecca's game didn't get started until nearly 8 last night, and it went on ENTIRELY too long. The got waxed 6-1 by a very fast, very aggressive team from Oak Mountain. And for some reason Rebecca didn't play nearly as well as she has in the past. I don't know if she was unfamiliar with her position or what, but she was flat-footed and disinterested-looking for the fifteen minutes or so she got to play. I asked if she was okay, and she seemed fine. Could have been that she had so much homework to get done last night after she got home. I went to bed at 11:30 and she was still up. And she woke up this morning in a foul mood, to boot.

My own mood wasn't much better last night--after we got home from the game, I found out that I needed to go back to Grandmom's house to get Rebecca's assignment book and homework that she'd left there earlier in the afternoon. Called, woke them up, went back out and Volvoed over to their house and got the stuff, came back home, and was met by Reba out on the driveway.


"Could you go to the store and get some toilet paper?"


And no, there's no such thing as saying no. Four girls in the house, my friends, means that toilet paper MUST BE IN ABUNDANT SUPPLY!

Back down the other side of the hill to the store, got 1800 square feet of paper. I've found the best conservation technique is to get the worst single-ply I can find. Sure, everyone loves soft, fluffy two-ply stuff, but that tends to promote abundant usage far in excess of that required to provide complete wipeage. Still, those 24 mega-rolls (equivalent to 96 regular rolls) should last us only about five hours.

Not really.

Anyway, it was a long night.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:13 AM | Comments (2)


U.S. tourist in Costa Rica kills mugger

By MARIANELA JIMENEZ, Associate Press Writer
38 minutes ago

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended off two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said.

The American, who is about 70 years old and retired from the military, put the 20-year-old in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the suspect and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus, said Luis Hernandez, the police chief of Limon, 80 miles east of San Jose. The suspect, Warner Segura, was later declared dead, apparently from asphyxiation.

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack. Afterward, the tourists drove Segura to the Red Cross where he was declared dead. The Red Cross also treated one of the tourists for an anxiety attack, Hernandez said Thursday.

The tourists left on their Carnival cruise ship after the incident and Hernandez said authorities do not plan to press charges against them.

"They were in their right to defend themselves after being held up," he said. [...]

The cruise line said the guests were questioned by local law enforcement and then returned to the ship. The ship's departure from Limon was slightly delayed.

"All of the guests involved, who had booked the cruise together as a group, have opted to continue with their vacation plans. Carnival is providing full support and assistance to the guests," according to the statement. [...]

And I have a feeling they won't have a bit more trouble.

The sad thing is that there are probably some folks who will mourn for the piece of crap who's gotten his just reward and say the old fellow should be prosecuted.

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


It's Catblogging Friday, and you know what THAT means...

Once more I have neglected to take kitty pictures and have to make a last-minute substitution!!


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:25 AM | Comments (2)

February 22, 2007

So sad.

Two clowns shot dead at circus

The ever-empathetic Jim Smith wrote in wondering: "I wonder if they stuffed them both into a tiny little ambulance."

One can only hope.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:07 PM | Comments (0)

Am I the only one who thinks...

...this guy's been hit with the gavel one too many times?

Judge: Baby's guardian gets Smith's body

By MATT SEDENSKY, Associated Press Writer

5 minutes ago

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Blubbering ["blubbering" is a bit loaded, isn't it? ed.] as he announced his decision, a judge said Thursday that the guardian of Anna Nicole Smith's baby daughter can decide where the model should be buried.

Circuit Judge Larry Seidlin steered a surprise middle course in the dispute. Smith's estranged mother wanted her buried in her native Texas, while Smith's boyfriend wanted her laid to rest in the Bahamas.

The judge compromised and gave custody to attorney Richard Milstein, the guardian for Smith's 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn.

It wasn't immediately clear what Milstein would do.

The judge choked up frequently and wept as he explained his decision. "I want her to be buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together."

Emphases mine.

Okay, aside from the reportorial editorialization, from all that I've heard from this judge throughout the proceedings seems to point either to his incompetence or his incapacity. Personally, the guy sounds like a loon to me, or he wants a TV show of his own. "Surprise middle course"!? Surprising in the sense that it made absolutely no sense at all. If he can't make a decision, leaving that choice to one of the other attorneys who's knee-deep in the case seems beyond stupid. His inability to render a properly dispassionate decision makes him seem like a good candidate for recall or impeachment.

Way to go, Florida!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:36 PM | Comments (4)

Product Recommendations Needed, Please.

Okay, so I have tried to economize ever so slightly in my consumption of carbonated non-caloric caffeinated soft drinks by purchasing a box of cans and sticking them in the fridge here at work. Obviously, since I'm not able to stand there and watch the refrigerator 24 hours a day, there has been a tendency for this arrangement to become less economical (for me) due to the insistence of some miscreant(s) in purloining my sodas.

I figured rather than holding a Captain Queeg-like inquest (the holding of which is further compounded by the fact that I'm having my ball bearings laundered) to discover who's been taking my strawberries, that it would be better just to buy crappy store-brand junk no one would want to steal. Sure, I like Diet Coke, but I'll drink the cheap rotgut stuff, too. Especially if I get to drink everything I buy.

THIS STATE OF AFFAIRS continued until earlier this week when I noticed two Publix diet cola cans in the big bin of aluminum cans beside the aforementioned refrigerator. No one else buys this junk except me. Those were my cans. But I don't put my cans in that bin.

So now someone's taking even the crappity-crap drinks.


My solution is that I should just get myself one of those tiny microminirefrigerators that holds maybe 8 or 12 cans and leave it hidden in my office. And locked. This will also have the happy side benefit of my not having to use the filthy office refrigerator, the interior of which looks like something out of Silence of the Lambs.

ANYway, do any of you faithful readers have any recommendations for something like this? It has to be 110/120v AC (although switchable to 12v DC would be okay so I could take it on vacation, but it's not absolutely required), it needs to be compact, and it needs to be suitable for constant use. I figure the locking part I will handle with my own expedient-engineered hasp and padlock, unless someone makes one with a lock.

What say ye?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:10 PM | Comments (13)

Things that give me the heebie-jeebies.

Colossal squid.

Right now--that's at the very top of the list. I think it's the tentacle/mouth-hole thing that does it.

::full body shiver::

UPDATE 1:23 CT: Climbing up the list fast.

And please, no 'hanging chad' jokes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:09 PM | Comments (2)

Oh, I have no doubt.

Bill Gates keeps close eye on kids' computer time

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Just because you're the daughter of Bill Gates does not mean you get to play on your computer all day long. [...]

I mean, come ON! Nobody could do that, what with the lockups or crashes or time spent on hold trying to figure out why something doesn't work.

Then again, maybe they use Macs.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:00 PM | Comments (2)

And you thought switching from Daylight Savings Time was a pain.

From the Library of Congress:

George Washington, the first president of the United States, was born on February 22, 1732. Americans celebrate his birthday along with Abraham Lincoln's on "Washington's Birthday" — the Monday before Washington's and after Lincoln's birthday. How do we really know when George Washington was born? Tobias Lear, Washington's secretary and close friend, gave the world a clue.

Lear lived with George and Martha Washington at Mt. Vernon, and he helped the Revolutionary War general organize his papers. On February 14, 1790, Lear wrote that the President's "birth day" was on the 11th of February Old Style, referring to the Julian Calendar. Washington was born 20 years prior to the 1752 introduction of the Gregorian Calendar (intended to more accurately reflect a solar year). When the Julian Calendar was "corrected" to the Gregorian Calendar, February 11th became February 22nd. [...]

Well, Happy Birthday, whenever it is.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:22 AM | Comments (2)

Hey! It's Miss Reba!

She's so pretty.

Just had a nice visit from the missus, who was downtown getting her dosage of frustration topped off with a visit to the good lawyerly folks over at the bankruptcy court. (A work-related visit, thank goodness.)

Anyway, she came in unnannounced and very nearly caught me in my dirty, filthy blogging habit.

O, the shame should she find out!

She stayed and actually sat and chatted a while, which as I said, was very nice, even if she was all het up with dealing with the legal system. I like it when she's got fire in her eyes and she's doing that thing where she rears back with her hands on her hips and thrusts her chest out. Of course, then she has to act like she's mad when she notices I'm not making eye contact.

Just between us, I think she actually likes it, though.

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

Surely you jest!

No I don’t, and don’t call me Shirley!

Another week, another kavalcade of komedy here on the Knee-slapping HI-larity Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As we do every week, we’ll ask you three questions, and it’ll be up to you to answer them, either by leaving a comment below, or a link to your blog. You might have guessed that this week’s topic is about funny things, in which case you’re right. Which isn’t really funny at all. BUT THAT’S OKAY! Think up something funny to go with these, please:

1) Who is the funniest person you know personally in real life?

2) Who is your favorite comedian (living, dead, or both)?

3) Which type of comedy do you find most humorous?

Alrighty then--slip on out on a banana peel and answer those as best you can. As for my answers:

1) I guy I went to Auburn with named Sammy West is probably the most funny person I’ve known, aside from my Aunt Margaret. I can’t repeat most of her jokes, though. Sammy is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, birthplace of genial game show host Wink Martindale.

2) I’d have to say Jonathan Winters.

3) I enjoy rapid improvisational type stuff (Winters) which requires a very sharp mind and a familiarity with a wide cross section of popular culture to be effective, followed closely by the cerebral/absurd ensemble work of Monty Python.

So there you go. And yes, I thought it was going to be funnier, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:52 AM | Comments (13)

February 21, 2007

Still a bit unclear on the concept.

Blogging, that is.

The Birmingham News recently started doing their Breaking News updates on al.com in a blog format, complete with comments. Which is nice--sorta what you'd think a newpaper blog would be best at.

But this one shows they're still--nearly a decade after weblogs began to take off in popularity--not quite up on the protocol: Trussville police investigate Wachovia bank robbery.

What's the problem?

Well, when it first hit earlier in the day, the headline read something like, 'Trussville Police Investigate Possible Bank Robbery.' Sometime later in the day, the entire story was completely rewritten, but no mention was made of the wholesale changes, nor was the time of the update noted. That's why the comments seem so disjointed from the actual story--they were commenting on the peculiarity of reporting a "possible" robbery in the initial version, rather than the updated, more complete version.

Just a tip, folks--either post an update separately, or note the updated time and what was changed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:28 PM | Comments (2)

You know, I think we're probably only about a day away from a low-speed white Bronco chase.

Britney Spears flees rehab again

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (4)

"Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard!"


Yes, The Doctor* is in the House for yet another happy and exciting time answering YOUR questions about life, love, medicine, nuclear physics, law, hobos, and ornamental horticulture, among other things.

Do you have a burning question? A conundrum? A quandary? An inquiry? Well then, you've come to the right place. Simply take a moment to write your question down in the comments below, and world famous Dr. Possum will take time out from his busy schedule and give you a personal answer--FOR FREE!

And trust us, it's a bargain at even twice the price!

All we ask is that you please agree not to sue Dr. Possum, because such things rarely go well for him.

SO--ask away, and be prepared for such clarity and succinctness as can only come by asking questions of a slow-witted, prehensile-tailed marsupial!

*The Doctor is to be used for entertainment purposes only. "Entertainment" being broadly defined, and does not necessarily include the emotion of mirthfulness.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:40 AM | Comments (26)

Random Thoughts of the Moment

1) Why is there a guy down on the sidewalk below blowing leaves and it's still soggy from the rain last night?

2) [Edited due to mature themes]

3) I need to clean my desk off.

4) Nah.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:21 AM | Comments (2)

Here's hoping he forgot the landing, too.

Man glad he can't remember 16-story fall

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

News You Can Use!

"Our message is that it is not a good idea to try to stuff a cat in a bag. It's a matter of common sense."

Well, obviously--unless it's sedated first, of course.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:22 AM | Comments (4)

I realize I'm just talking crazy talk...

Biden: National security key in 2008

...but it sure would be nice if certain folks could see national security as a key to something other than winning an election that's still over a year away. Oh, I don't know--maybe see national security as a necessary function of goverment on a full-time basis. Maybe get upset if we aren't killing enough bad guys. Maybe NOT get upset if we don't bend over backwards to give bad guys an opt-out from getting killed. Or get too worried about listening to their phone conversations.

Yeah, I know--just CRAZY TALK!

Update: Somewhat related crazy talk here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

I'm no thespian...

...but the idea of this intrigues me: Maytag casting for new 'Ol Lonely.

Sounds like a super gig! I may have to send in a video--as you know, writing a blog is great practice to portray the lonely and disaffected.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:49 AM | Comments (2)

Consider yourself awared!

Today is Tornado Awareness Day

Also, be aware that God hates mobile homes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2007

American Idol!

Whew. I sure hope they can sing.

My early favorites, based entirely on looks, Antonella Barba and Leslie Hunt.

Sentimental favorite--Chris Sligh, the only Birmingham auditioner to make it to the top 24, gives hope to all quirky fat guys everywhere.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:56 PM | Comments (2)

Not another one!

What a sad cry for help. (hehee)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:10 PM | Comments (3)

Here's a quarter.

Maybe you can buy a clue.

Why Americans are Skeptical of Their Role in Global Warming

I don't know about everyone else, but I look at it like this: 1) There are, despite the continued news stories to the contrary, quite a goodly number of climatologists (with just as many PhDs as the alarmists) who say that the data are not nearly so incontrovertible as they might seem, and that right now it's impossible to say for sure what might be happening. 2) There seem to be quite a few people who are, if not American enemies, then at least adversaries, with an economic motive that seems suspect at best for trying to hamstring American industry while simulataneously letting themselves off the hook for pollution. 3) There seems to be among those who are most vociferous about the peril a certain disdain, bordering on hatred, of anyone who would dare disagree with them on the issue, and their manner of debate has grown increasingly illogical and shrill. 4) The continued stream of panic and despair flows most strongly from those in the news media and from politicians. While I realize some people implicitly trust anything said by members of the media and politicians, I tend to look at it with a bit more circumspection. 5) Within recorded human history, the continents were covered with sheets of ice. These sheets of ice melted due to an increase in the Earth's temperature. It's quite possible that there were no factories or SUVs around when it happened, making it seem very likely that the last batch of global warming was possibly a natural phenomenon. 6) Further back in the geological record, it is evident that nearly the entire Earth was covered in tropical forests, and sometime later, it cooled off enough to create great huge sheets of ice nearly down to the tropics. Once again, the cooling-off happened before Halliburton was founded, and before America was ruined by greedy white people, meaning that possibly, THAT climatic event was ALSO maybe the result of a natural phenomenon.

SO then, the way I see it, the Earth may be getting hotter now.

Or not.

It could be caused by man.

Or not.

It's definitely being loudly trumpeted as fact by the press and the politicians, both of whom might have a financial stake in the controversy. And both of whom in the past have exhibited a level of collective intelligence and savvy approaching that of a common flea.

Pardon, then, my scepticsm.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:48 PM | Comments (4)

I hope she realizes...

...that the phrase "taking it one day at a time" doesn't mean you check out after a day--Britney Spears checks into rehab in LA: reports

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:30 PM | Comments (2)

Oh, THAT liberal media.

McCain suffers in polls despite criticism of Iraq

"Despite"? Yeah, I mean, it's almost as if there might be another side to the debate or something.


Couldn't be.

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

Yay! I'm free! I'm free!

::crickets chirping::

Hey, guys!?

Anyone here?

Aw, shoot.

Serves me right for having a dumb ol' job to do.

::kicks rock::

::throws stick::

::spits off of bridge into creek::



::flicks weird insect off into creek::

You know, if I had a lemonade stand, that would be neat.

If I had some lemons.

And sugar.

And there was anyone here.

And it wasn't cold.

::throws rock::

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:58 PM | Comments (5)

More important than Jack Bauer!?

I suppose.

Middle Girl had a game last night, so once more nothing to report from CTU, although from what I hear elsewhere, I'm not really missing anything. AS FOR THE GAME, they were playing a varsity team, so it's probably not surprising they didn't win, but after a tentative first half, they turned it up in the second half and gave the Blue She-Devils [Ahem--"Lady Blue Devils" ed.] all they could want, falling by a score of only 4-1. They play them again in a couple of weeks, and now that they've gotten the nervousness out of their systems about playing up a level and some confidence in their own abilities, they've vowed they're going to win the next one.

Good bunch of girls. Next game, Thursday against a strong Oak Mountain Eagle squad. They're a junior varsity team, but they also have an older group of girls than ours (no 8th graders). Should be a good one.

NOW THEN--I have a ton (or maybe even a tonne) of work to do today, so let me get to that and I'll try to come back out and play again in a little while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 AM | Comments (2)

February 19, 2007

I sure hope I know what I'm talking about.

There is a young man in our family--I won't use his name to protect his anonymity--and he has been for the past several months quite smitten with a young lady.

And he wants to give her a birthday card. And a great big Hershey bar. The problem is that he doesn't want to take credit for it, but rather allow some "Secret Admirer" to.

Now all along, I'm not supposed to have even known that he had this crush. For some reason, he was much more willing to tell Mom and Rebecca about it, which was fine, until this latest idea of his. He was worried that she might laugh at him if he used his name, and Reba wanted to tell him that if she did that, he probably was pursuing the wrong person to begin with. But she didn't want to tell him that. I don't know why.

ANYway, I felt it necessary to drop my pretense of not knowing in order to intervene with a little fatherly advice in the Foghorn Leghorn mode. "I SAY, BOY, LISSEN HEAH!" and all that. Also, in truth, mainly because I have it on very good authority (namely, devastating first-hand experience) that such a tactic as he was considering was a no-go.

I got him aside, and after getting past his initial embarassment that I knew his secret, I told him that in this instance it might be good to play it casually. She is, after all, a year and a quarter older, and seems to have HER flirtiness engaged by someone else at the moment. SO, best to play it more in a friendship manner at the start, just to get her attention, and then see where it goes. I explained, again by bringing up quite painful recollections, that if she thinks Secret Admirer is someone else, nothing is worse than seeing that look of disappointment that could come when she finds out the truth. Best just to go ahead and not have that hanging out there.

The second bit of advice was a bit harder to give--namely, try to act a bit less like SpongeBob and Patrick and every other slack-jawed goober on the cartoons. Hard to do for a twelve-year-old boy, full as they are of goofy immaturity, but a little of that goes a LONG way. Humor is a dangerous weapon, after all, and one best used by those trained in its dangers.

Anyway, now I've probably ruined his life for good.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:13 PM | Comments (6)

Purely hypothetically, mind you.

But let's say I was a security guard sitting in a drafty basement watching a door no one uses, and maybe I feel, I don't know, maybe not Jack Bauer-ish enough. I don't think I would try to remedy that by clipping my big, heavy, bulky two-way radio to the epaulette of my shirt. Because if I did that, no one would think it was cool, because the radio would cause my shirt to sag down funny at the shoulder, and second, it really doesn't look anything like those neato handheld microphones that cops have clipped to their shirts.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:55 PM | Comments (0)

Share the Road

Or at least don't drive beyond your abilities, or you might make one of my lanky female friends into a greasy spot.

I enjoy a good drive as much as the next guy, and I sometimes do get peeved that there are these silly spindly Spandex-clad persons daring to claim part of the roadway, but I can guarantee you, you do NOT want to wind up in the pokey for vehicular homicide. Drive safely, and that means watching out for anyone or anything on the road that's a hazard, and not trying to prove your boy racer skills on a public thoroughfare.

Glad no one got hurt, Miss Beth.

(And no, I have no idea what a Terry Butterfly is, but it sounds like fun.)

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

Hey, did anyone have today marked...

...for the "Steel Coil Falling Off A Truck" pool? Yep--got another one on the loose: Another coil falls on roadway.

Maybe if they made steel coils out of marshmallow it wouldn't tear things up so badly.

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

Good Idea, Pretty Boy.

Edwards urges direct talks with Iran

"You know, if I'd actually talked to Amanda Marcotte in person before hiring her, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. Same thing with this whole Iran thing."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:01 PM | Comments (1)

A word of advice.

Say you're an unstable declining female pop star/mother of two, and you've got a weak chin to begin with, and then a few Pop-Tart induced pounds causing your already weak chin to be a weak double chin, and you don't have any cheekbones, and your eyes are too closely set, well, shaving off all your hair is not going to be a good look for you.

Now I like girls with hair, but there are a few out there with good cheek- and jaw definition who can pull this look off. Sigourney Weaver, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, and Sinead O'Connor come to mind--all of them have a certain sharpness and prominence to their facial features that can play against the severity of a shaved head.

Without that, you chance winding up looking like you have a big toe sitting on your shoulders.

Oh, and find some better friends, too.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:56 AM | Comments (10)

And the rest?

Well, let's see. Saturday?

I know I did laundry. Reba went and got her hair did. Oldest went and hung around with #6. I thought about cleaning off the back porch. I piled up on the couch and watched Stargate-Atlantis and Stargate SG-1, which is not a good thing to do if you're in a fatigued, barely-conscious state, and the buzzer on the clothes dryer keeps going off.

Basically, I was worthless. It was cold outside, I felt odd, and that's about it.

Sunday? More of the same, with the added fun of going to Penney's to shop for some clothes for Tiny Ten Year Old Terror. (Speaking of which, she told us all that she was now "a legal ten-year-old" I'm not sure what to make of that.) Anyway, at Penney's, I found myself in the comfy chairs in the customer service area, and so had no choice except to go to sleep.

There seemed so much more going on this weekend--surely I've forgotten something!

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


So, Friday afternoon, I stop by Dairy Queen on the way home to pick up an ice cream cake. That’ll be the last time--a new crew in place, one dedicated to ignoring customers and projecting an aura of filthiness and lack of concern. Paid for the cake and the cashier just left and walked away and then started yelling for someone to come write something on this guy’s cake. Some chick with a bejeweled nostril and a cell phone clamped to her ear with her shoulder came sulking out from the back and without missing a second of her conversation proceeded to squirt some gel across the cake approximating the text “Happy Birthday Catherine” and then managed to knock off part of the decoration around the edge as she put on the lid. To her credit, she did disappear then reappear carrying a large teat full of whipped cream, which she used to re-do the line of piping she’d damaged. It looked…well, not less worse, but not more better, either. ::sigh::

On to home, where I found that we’d already gotten the first party-goer, and Reba and the kids were in full power-cleaning mode. Which is actually more like a power-move-stuff-to-another-room mode. Luckily--sorta--Reba had the day off Friday because Cat had a doctor’s appointment to attend to. Double ear infection. Which probably explains a lot of her whininess lately, as well as her inability to hear anything. BUT, not so much of a sickness to ever cancel a sleepover!

Anyway, other little girls came and dropped their stuff and went out to play with Kitty in the garage. Poor little thing.

Pizzas into the oven, along with the totally unnecessary addition of pizza rolls in the microwave, and as those cooked, there was fun with a big microphone-shaped piñata, which happened to be full of candy and whistles and kazoos, all of which were soon employed to create a sugar-fueled screeching that would do a combo group of harpies, valkyries, and sirens proud. Also used up at least two of Lightning’s lives.

Supper, where we found that one of the girls didn’t like pizza, then some cake, where we found out she also doesn’t like chocolate, a bit of clean up, and then it was time for the prime attraction, American Idol. I was Simon, Reba was Paula, and Jonathan was Randy. The girls were the girls.

In between repeated bursts of snot-blowing giggling, they actually did sing. “Jesus Take the Wheel” apparently being the single most popular song ever written. They sang, I did my Simon schtick, they screamed when they got to go to Hollywood, and we left it with all of them making the final five, with the voting to continue next week. “BUT WE WON’T BE HERE NEXT WEEK!!”

Yes, I know.

Also had to satisfy the girls with a duet with Miss Reba. As is our usual, we sang a lovely rendition of Neil Sedaka’s “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.” (It actually does sound good--we sing well together, but for some reason don’t do it nearly enough.) Afterwards, I had to launch into my Elvis-like version of “(I Can’t Help) Falling In Love With You.” The children thought both performances were Grammy-worthy. Of course. Because I am just that good.

They got their PJs on, and put on a movie and we went on upstairs, and at some point in the evening, everyone eventually went to sleep. And next morning, MOMMY MADE US ALL SOME BREAKFAST!!


They ate like they’d never seen food before, and by 9:30, they were all gone. All in all, not really nearly so irritating as I thought it would be, mainly because they were all sweet girls and not completely insane. And aside from some chips in the floor, and some balloon carcasses, they didn’t leave much of a mess, either.

Lightning even seems to be back to normal.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (3)

But before we get to that-- UPDATED!

--just a word to let you all know my family and I are safe. Why do I mention this? Because East Carolina's own Dr. James Smith saw an article in their local newspaper and thought possibly my house had been broken into:

Handguns, Bibles stolen

[...] A 69-year-old woman reported that several items were stolen from her house on the 200 block of Fairlane Road on Friday. Among the items were three handguns, six bracelets, 10 rings, 20 earrings, five necklaces and three Bibles. [...]

Although often mistaken for a 69-year-old woman, I don't live in the 200 block of Fairlane Road, and all of my handguns and Bibles are safe.

But we appreciate the concern for our well-being!

UPDATE: The lovely Jordana Adams (to whom I've never done ANYthing to warrant such attention) sends along the following with this advice: "You know if you didn't go out looking like the picture I'm attaching, you'd have fewer problems with being mistaken as a woman."

Well, EXCUUUUUUUUSE ME! But I simply cannot help the way I look. Click in the extended entry to see what Jordana's talking about.

Terry the 69 year old woman.jpg

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:38 AM | Comments (6)


Yes, another week, another heaping helping of Possumblog! Stay tuned for Tales from Paradise Along the Pinchgut, as soon as I can get them typed up, and as soon as I get through deleting all the comment spam.

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

February 16, 2007


Why, it was only yesterday. Or so it seems. Then again, sometimes it seems like an entire lifetime ago.

Well, I don't suppose all that matters when there's cake and squealy girls involved.

It seems that yet another year has passed since the birth of the youngest member of my clan, and tonight she will be feted with a party comprised of four of her schoolmates, fueled with various high-calorie comestibles, and entertained with some sort of mock rendition of the American Idol television show, replete with decorations and microphones and loud bad singing, after which they will be allowed to bed down in the den floor and spend the rest of the evening chattering and keeping themselves sufficiently agitated so as to prevent sleep.

I look forward to this not at all.

As you know, I simply can't stand children, and the idea of having strange ones in the house fills me with no end of dread. Particularly seeing as how other parents take a dim view of having their children disciplined by being duct taped to a swing set, or roped to the garage door, or snugly secured inside of a garbage can. OH NOOOOO! People are just SOOOO sensitive about such things! "Don't use a bullhorn to shout at them!" they say, "Don't set them outside and spray them with the garden hose!" as if they're not waterproof or something. Why, back in my day, parents had absolutely no reason to hesitate to put ten or even twenty children in the trunk of the car if they were misbehaving! Break a lamp? Why, it was off to the lampblack factory with you! Speak when not spoken to? Well, you'll sleep in the cement mixer tonight, young man! But kids today? Sheesh. Of course, you can't blame them--it's their danged lawsuit-happy parents raising them up to think they should be able to go anywhere and do anything and be able to get away with it.


Anyway, I have to remember to stop on the way home and pick up an ice cream cake, along with some horse tranquilizers for myself. All of you have a wonderful weekend, and don't forget the meeting on Sunday

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:07 PM | Comments (5)


'Auto News': GM in Talks to Buy Chrysler

I mean, wow. I can't see how this would be good for GM, other than simply to make it bigger, but maybe there's something I'm missing. Could be they want the Jeep division, which is one of the oddest players in automobiledom, having gone through ownership by Willys, Kaiser, Kaiser-Fraser-Nash, AMC, Chrysler, and DaimlerChrysler over the years. I can't imagine there being a place for the other parts of the corporation within GM, but I guess there's weirder things out there. Such as (as the article also notes) when GM had a controlling stake in Fiat, and that nearly killed them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:28 PM | Comments (2)

I bet that's one weird looking elephant.

Park won't lift elephant with human hair

Still, it's probably better looking than Donald Trump's hair. (In fairness, Trump's might not actually be human hair.)

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

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

Since it's so chilly, nothing goes down better than a hot bowl of hot and sour soup and some kung pao chicken, and nothing warms up the brain like the saying of some good old-fashioned Oriental sooth.

SO, let's crack open the first one and see what we have:

You will be fortunate in the opportunities presented to you.

Whew! I was worried about sinking all that money into that Chinese ant-breeding business, but I guess I shouldn't be.

Next up,

A cheerful letter or message is on its way to you.

I'm assuming they mean something other than the two fortunes I've just read. I wonder what it could be?! An invitation to take tea with the lovely Duchess of Cornwall? A note from Publishers Clearinghouse? My lab results? I'm simply giddy at the prospects!


4 22 36 40 43 44


25 28 39 42 47 49

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

I will fight no more forever.

U of I: Mascot will no longer perform

I wonder how long it will be before members of a certain Peaceful Religion will start demanding that schools with names like Crusaders and Knights and Padres and Deacons start being a little more sensitive to their feelings.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (4)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

And you thought feng shui was the only game in town when it comes to otherworldly touchy-feeliness--

HARMONIC PROPORTIONS. A system of proportions relating architecture to music. The Ancients discovered that if two cords are twanged the difference in pitch will be one octave if the shorter is half the length of the longer, a fifth if one is two thirds of the other, and a fourth if the ratio is 3:4. It was therefore assumed that rooms or whole buildings whose measurements followed the ratios 1:2, 2:3 or 3:4 would be harmonious. Early Renaissance architects, notably Alberti, seized on this discovery as the key to the beauty of Roman architecture and also to the harmony of the universe. The idea was further developed by Palladio who, with the aid of Venetian musical theorists, evolved a far more complex scale of proportions based on the major and minor third--5:6 and 4:5--and so on.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition

There is way yonder too much on this subject to cover, but a good primer on the ideas of the various ideas these old guys had can be found here.

Human beings are innately cognizant of geometrical regularity and proportion, and so I suppose we might tend to feel better if we are surrounded by recognizable order in our structures. The Renaissance's fascination with the harmonic ideal--that whole "music of the spheres" thing promoting peace and goodwill in the mind of man--is nice, and provides a good framework for artistic compositions of buildings and music and such, but it probably works better in theory than in actual practice when it comes to actually making habitable places. There are, after all, many more sorts of mathematical or geometrical constructs besides the simple Platonic ideals (circle, square, triangle and their three-dimensional brothers) that could be just as mental-harmony-inducing, and plenty of architecture all over the world that doesn't rely on any of these theories, yet is perfectly suitable for its intended use.

Still, it's kind of a nice way to play with blocks..

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:29 AM | Comments (3)

I've said it before, I'll say it again.

Dems: Congress must fight Bush on Iraq

If only the Democrats were as dedicated to fighting America's enemies as they are her President.

There is always room in a democracy for dissent and debate, and for challenging those in command to do better. However, anyone who thinks for a moment that the current Congress is engaged in anything other than simple political grandstanding is deluding himself. Further, anyone who thinks simple political grandstanding in this instance is harmless to America's long-term interests is likewise delusional.

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

Another one bites the dust.

Yet another in a long string of local Birmingham companies bought out--Spanish bank to buy Compass in blockbuster deal.

I guess that's the price of success, but the one thing that's always sorta nice about living in a sorta big city is the number of large local players, whether they be banks or restaurants or department stores or grocery stores. But once they get big enough, they become prime targets for getting bought out by the multinational folks, and there's always a little bit of local service and pride and flavor that gets lost.

Oh well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:36 AM | Comments (6)


Well, I got to the game yesterday at the start of the second half, and the score was 2-0 in favor of the Huskies. Good thing that our mascot is an Arctic sled dog acclimated to cold weather, because the temperature was hovering around freezing and the wind was blowing, and I nearly froze to death just standing there. Of course, the girls only had on their short sleeves and shorts, but again, they ARE Huskies, so they should have been just fine.

Rebecca played most of the game, and she and the rest of the girls managed to do pretty darned well, considering it was their first game together and the weather was a bit airish. I was impressed in the change from when they were playing club ball--everyone was spread out, people actually passed to each other rather than just launching the ball out into the ether, and they were agressive without being dirty. Good play all around, and after it was all over with, they had played the Gadsden Titans to a final score of 6-0.

She got a cup of hot chocolate as a reward.

Next up--the Moody Blue Devils on Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (0)


And I don't mean fake kitty pictures, either! Catblogging Friday--that staple of A-List bloggers everywhere, returns to Possumblog with actual pictures of my actual cat, known to you all as Lightning, the World's Most Expensive Free Kitten!

We've had his swanky cat condo moved into the garage for the past week due to the frigid temperatures, so these look a bit different from past shots due to the lack of outside scenery. However, as usual, he's nearly impossible to get to sit still, so many of the photos are of his butt as he runs from the camera.


The south end of a northbound cat--


And another.

hiney 2.JPG

About the only way to get him to be relatively still is to torment him with one of those feather-and-bell things on an elastic string. He likes that a lot. Maybe a little too much.

Here he sizes up his prey--

vicious kitten.JPG

and then viciously pounces--


After grabbing the string, he proceeded to start gnawing on it. Little did I know he was actually EATING the string. Elastic is probably not supposed to be inside of a kitty's intestinal tract.

eating string.JPG

Then again, he does look like a plump Christmas turkey, so I don't guess it'll be too bad for him.

chubby kitten.JPG


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:01 AM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2007

It's on again.

After a layoff of a year and a half, Rebecca is once again going to take the field and play soccer tonight. She's seemed to enjoy this round of it (playing school ball versus club ball) much more, and the physical effect has been beneficial since she's managed to lose some weight in the process. And the nicest thing seems to be that despite having nearly forty girls comprising both the junior varsity and varsity teams, there seems to be very little conflict. That might not seem odd to you, but having dealt with her older sister's near constant turmoil with every single group she's ever been associated with, I just kinda figured there'd be at least a little of that with this group of girls.

Apparently, not so. Which is good. From everything I've been able to ask her about, they're nice to each other, and helpful, and there aren't any prima donnas, or slackers. I know there must be some friction somewhere, but they manage to work through it. Pretty darned remarkable, I must say.

She also likes the fact that she gets to be on the high school team even though she's still in middle school. She wears her various HTHS Soccer tee-shirts and jackets to school a LOT. Nothing wrong with having a little bit of swagger in your step, I suppose.

Anyway, I hope she does well tonight.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, I'm almost certain...

Gore announces 'global warming' concerts

...that this series of concerts will be attended by people who walked or used public transportation to arrive at the venues (and that includes the performers, too!), and that no electricity will be used, and that there will not be a huge mountain of garbage left over afterwards, and that the foundation set up to handle the funds will not soak up huge amounts of money for office staff and office supplies and a nice Manhattan office, and that the funds that DO get spent will stop global warming dead in its tracks.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:04 PM | Comments (0)

When I...

...read stories like this, it makes me soooo glad I work in a mindless bureaucracy, because no one around here tries to take credit for anything.

Oh, sure, that's because nothing ever gets done, but hey.

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

A Belated Blog Birthday Wish

To the ebullient Sarah Getzler who yesterday broke the 24 month barrier!

Happy bloggiday to you, and yes, I would like some cake, please!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:17 PM | Comments (2)

He's no Uncle Milton...

China sentences man to death in ant case

BEIJING - A Chinese business executive was sentenced to death for swindling $385 million from investors in a bogus ant-breeding scheme, a court official said Thursday. [...]

Okay, it's wrong to steal, but you kinda have to admire anyone who can create a $385,000,000 pissmire-based enterprise.

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

Stealing Taranto's Schtick Again. UPDATED!

"It was very creamy and stuck to the roof of my mouth, but I must say, this bacillus is simply scrumptious!"

Peanut butter recalled over salmonella

(Trust me, this one will make today's roundup.)

UPDATE 1:30 p.m. Can I call 'em or what:

'It Was So Smooth, and It Stuck to the Roof of My Mouth'
"Peanut Butter Recalled"--headline, KOMU-TV Web site (Columbia, Mo.), Feb. 15

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

I suppose we should be grateful there were no metal folding chairs around.

Dad tosses son's wrestling foe from ring

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — A father bounded into a youth wrestling match, picked up his son's winning opponent and launched him out of the ring, an episode caught on a home video.

After tossing the 11-year-old boy into the air Sunday, the angry father headed toward the cameraman, the father of the airborne boy.

"I was just wrestling, then the guy throws me," the boy, Nick Nasenbeny of suburban Aurora, told WMAQ-TV in Chicago. It was not known if the boy was injured.

Ray Hoffman, the father in the video and a part-time wrestling coach, told the television station he regrets his behavior and feels embarrassed. He said his son's shoulder was injured. Hoffman also said he will no longer be allowed to coach. [...]

Word on the street is that he is also being pressured to resign as John Edwards' campaign blogger.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)


Via Skillzy--"Comicvine has teamed up with the best cognitive scientists, Professor Charles Xavier and Doctor Fate, to give you the tools and guidance to make the best possible match between you and a comic book character. We've created 35 infallible questions to match you to a fictitious character in the most accurate and meaningful way."

Hard to beat Mary Jane! However, I am rather puzzled that the next two choices are mutants...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:37 AM | Comments (14)

And as I predicted...

'Idol' announces the 24 semi-finalists

...no one from Alabama this time--at least that anyone is willing to admit to. There are a few from the Birmingham audition, but I imagine they'll get booted pretty quickly. Didn't really get to see any of it because of church last night, but from what I could tell this looks like the year that a guy will win.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:45 AM | Comments (0)

That's great.

N.M. orders 500 talking urinal cakes

Now you'll have drunks trying to pick a fight with a urinal cake.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 AM | Comments (2)

You know what this means.

SARS-linked civet cats back on the menu in China

Possumblog Kitchens' fine line of frozen foods once more can offer you Cornivets™, the scrumptious treat of cornbread-battered and deep-fried civet cat on a stick! Ask for them wherever you find Cornatees™, Cornguins™, Cornutria™, Cornephant™, Cornorca™, and Corniraffe™!

And remember, all Possumblog Kitchens products are guaranteed to be 99.3% disease free!

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

Although it is slightly too late for Valentine’s Day…

…today is the Love Connection Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, America’s Best Loved Time Wasting Diversion!

As we usually do, we ask you to answer the following three questions either by leaving a comment below or a link back to your blog. And as you can guess, the inquiries today have to do with that warm feeling you have deep inside.

No, not the one caused by your breakfast.

Here we go:

1) Who was the first person for whom you had romantic feelings?

2) Do you believe it’s possible to fall truly in love with more than one person in a lifetime?

3) What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done out of love?

Okay, flit away and begin thinking syrupy thoughts and come up with some answers! As for my answers…

1) That would be a little girl named Linda W. in the third grade. She had short, wavy blonde hair and blue eyes, and I thought she was so pretty and sweet. But one of the other boys in class found out I liked her and in front of everybody asked if I loved her and I got mad and embarrassed because everyone knew girls were gross and had cooties and not only that, but I was a chubby crippled kid with a metal brace on his leg, and as my round little cheeks burned red I blurted out “YES!” and everyone started laughing at me and I ran out of the room. I trace a large part of my shyness toward girls to the trauma of this one event.

2) Oh, I sure think so. And probably several at once. But that’s a bad idea.

3) Well, I never got thrown in the lockup or anything like that, but in the past I have had a terribly odd compulsion where I would get restless and agitated late at night and have to leave and just drive by the girl-of-the-moment’s house or apartment. Sometimes numerous times. I have wasted untold billions of gallons of gasoline doing this in the past. Thank heavens all I have to do now is drive home!

SO there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:14 AM | Comments (3)

February 14, 2007

Dern it all.

I want my comments back! It's just not the same when I can't engage in witty banter with my guests!

Stupid comment spam.

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

Another Anniversary!

Happy 500th to good ol' Skinnydan!


It seems like only yesterday when he did #1...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:00 PM | Comments (0)

"You keep using that word."

"I do not think it means what you think it means."

Historical figures perforate Iraq debate

Uhmm, not meaning to ever be seen as questioning the talents and wisdom of my betters in the Fourth Estate, but do you think that "perforate" might be a less apt word choice than, oh, say, "permeate"?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:56 PM | Comments (2)

Stupid comment spam.

I'm just sayin'.

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

If it please the Court, Your Honor...

...a nifty bit from Orin Kerr on properly answering a question.

I sure wish I could get a degree from ILS.

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

What a load of crap.

Hybrid cars dangerously quiet for pedestrians: US blind group

WASHINGTON (AFP) - An association of blind Americans has warned that cars with hybrid engines using electricy and fuel are dangerously too quiet for pedestrians.

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) said hybrid cars pose a risk to the blind, children, the elderly, cyclists and distracted pedestrians.

The group said it conducted tests with blind people.

"We had the car drive by in different situations, to see wether or not people could hear it and use the sound of the car to safely cross the street, and they could not. The car was just silent," NFB spokesman John Pare told AFP.

Pare said NFB does not want to add to noise pollution, but hybrid cars should not be less noisy than other cars.

Chris Danielsen, a 36-year-old NFB member, said up to 30 people took part in tests on a side street and in an alleyway with a Toyota Prius and a Honda Civic.

"We all stood on the side of the street and the idea was to raise your hand as you heard the car approach," Danielsen said.

"We generally couldn't sense that it was there right in front of us, which of course, if we had been standing in the road, would have been running right over us," he said.

"By the time anybody detected it, if we had actually been standing in the road, it would have taken out three or four people." [...]

Apparently being blind also requires you to become an idiot.

Look, there are gasoline-engined cars out there that idle quietly enough (especially luxury makes) to not make enough sound for a person with regular hearing to know they're running. And the test? Good grief, it was bogus on the very face of it--why not test a variety of cars to see when the blind people could hear them? And test them on a street instead of an alley.

A thing you have to remember is that something travelling toward you is going to have a higher pitch to it due to the Doppler effect which can make it harder to hear, and if you combine that fact with the lack of sound coming from a quiet gas burner running on a smooth road with the typical ambient noise you get in an urban environment, you'd be hard-pressed even if you've got a Superman-level of hearing to know anything's coming.

I'm sure their heart's in the right place--and I don't want people getting mowed down either--but the idea that "hybrid cars should not be less noisy than other cars," is idiotic on the face of it, because although there are standards for the maximum amount of noise a car should make, there is no minimum standard.

Vehicle safety requires that drivers be alert for hapless pedestrians, that pedestrians be alert for inattentive drivers, and that pedestrians with disabilities understand the special precautions they need to use to navigate the world.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:29 PM | Comments (1)

Just seen.

An ad for Academy Sports and Outdoors:

The line "The Perfect Valentines Gift for Him or for Her" with a small graphic of a gift card beside it. Underneath, the tag line, "It doesn't get any sweeter than FREE shipping."

I thought about this for a second and I have to admit, it does sound pretty good. So I decided to get Reba some free shipping this year.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:02 PM | Comments (4)


A right good post from a good fellow who knows stuff about cooking, and about teaching your children to cook.

I admit that in our house we tend to eat too much packaged food, but we also try to work in some instruction for the kids as well on how to cook actual food, and by "cook" I mean more than pushing 3 on the microwave.

The old saw about 'give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, and he can eat for a lifetime' (or in the bowdlerized version, 'and he will be a liar forever') probably should have some corollary about the necessity of also teaching him to clean and cook that fish. Although sashimi might be right up yer alley, most people would rather the food be run through the fire for a while.

Teach you kids to cook, or make sure they take home ec in school. And yes, even the guys. Hardly a better place to find girls, after all. And ones that can cook.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:44 AM | Comments (2)

I didn't even know frozen chickens could drive.

40,000 frozen chickens clog Interstate 59 in St. Clair County

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


Or something like it!

Good morning, everyone, and happy Valentine's Day to each of you, and as is my custom, a big kiss to you all! (If you're a girl.)

I am now back from my meeting and am ready to resume entertaining you with various tales of a nonentertaining nature. BUT BEFORE THAT, there is also a tradition I engage in every year at this time. Longtime readers will recall that upon this day many years ago, I proposed to the woman you all know as Miss Reba, quite possibly the most beautiful woman ever to walk the face of the earth. I say "quite possibly" only because I have not seen every woman, and there is the possibility, however slight, that the Creator might have walloped another girl slightly harder with the pretty stick. I doubt it, though.

IN any event, when I first started this blog, I made note of my proposal with a special post to mark the day, and from then until now I still haven't thought of a better thing to say to her or about her, and so every year I have repeated the posting of that missive.

Those of you who've read it before can skip it, but for the new reader it is contained in the extended entry, modified from the original only to take note of the additional time that has passed and events that have occurred.

I never really remember meeting my wife. We more or less grew up going to church together, so I’ve sorta always known her. We went to different grade schools and high schools, and we never socialized outside of church, but we always were friends. She is two years older than me, and with my immense adolescent awkwardness and shyness, I never worked up the nerve to ask her out on a date. But she would always save me a seat in Sunday school. And I would always sit with her. Her name is Reba.

The first time I ever had one of those pubescent rush-of-hormone moments was because of her. One Sunday when we were waiting for class to start, she was standing at the door talking to her dad. She had on a sleeveless blue dress. Just a plain, A-line, to the knee, homemade, God-fearing polyester church dress. But I couldn’t look away from those soft, pale, naked arms. I can still feel my ears turning red, and trying to make sure my Bible was firmly placed across my lap to cover the embarrassing results of my wandering eyes and the machinations of my limbic system.

We grew up together, through junior high and high school, and my mom would pester me to ask her out. I always scoffed and said it would be like dating my sister. Reba went off to college at Jacksonville, and then I graduated a couple of years later and eventually went off to Auburn to study architecture. Whenever we would meet up again in those years, it was always at church. We would talk, although I can’t remember any of our conversations. She would always sit on the pew behind my mother and me. In my third year at Auburn, I got to spend a quarter studying in Europe, and my mom told me that she would ask about me every week. But, I was still in school, and semi-stalking another girl, and well, you know.

I finally made it out of Auburn with two degrees and a minor in business, after going to school for five straight years--twenty complete quarters, breaking only for a two week respite in my very first quarter there, due to my father’s death. I moved back home; bone-tired and lonesome.

I started my first job two weeks after I got back and started the next chunk of my life, which was centered on passing my licensing exam. Not much time for socializing, although some of my well-meaning coworkers would allow their wives to use me as a test case for their unmarried girlfriends. There had to be something better.

Since I was back home, I had started going back to our old church again with my mom. My wife-to-be had gotten a job at a local hospital, and wasn’t around a lot. But I had finally decided that I even though I was still awkward and shy, dadgummit, I was going to ask her out. Then I learned why she had not been around much.

Seems she had starting dating an acquaintance of mine, and he had asked her to marry him.

I went to their wedding, which was held right there at our old church. I have no remembrance of it at all; even watching the video of it I cannot remember anything of it. I guess I was trying hard to forget it. She and her husband left and went on their honeymoon. When they got back, they moved to the other side of the county and moved to another church. A few months later, she was pregnant.

I was at work one day when I got a call from my best friend in high school. “Rick died.” I couldn’t say anything except to keep saying ‘no.’ 29 years old. Married six months. Baby due in five months. Dropped dead of a heart attack.

The funeral, I do remember. There was a group of us who had all run around together in high school, and Rick had been one of the group. When I got there, all of the rest of the guys were just standing there, silent and somber. Reba sat back behind a curtain with her girlfriends on either side of her. She had a wad of tissue in her hands, which were crossed across her small pregnant belly. I didn’t really know what to say--what came out was something like, “This may sound stupid, but no matter how bad you think this is, it will get better.” I reminded her of her family, and the folks at church, and that I would help watch out for her, too.

Some time passed, and she started coming back to church at our old place. She grew and grew, and I made a point of finding her every Sunday she was there at church to talk to her. And to flirt. She tells me now that she thought I was crazy for telling her she looked good pregnant. Despite all that had gone on over the years, to me she was still that girl in the blue dress, leaned up against the door of the classroom. And whether I had ever wanted to admit it to myself or not, I was, and had always been, very deeply in love with her.

On March 27, 1990 her baby was born. From then on, I had to flirt with both of them. Which I did, rather shamelessly.

In December of that year, the moment finally arrived. It was time for my office Christmas party. A couple of weeks before time, I sidled up to Reba at the card rack at church and pretended to be looking for something. I asked her to the party. She said yes. We went, and had wonderful time. A week later, we had a second date, ostensibly to look for a kitchen table for me. After that, we have rarely been apart for longer than a day.

16 years ago today, I asked Reba to be my wife. Since then, we’ve been through a lot. Another wedding. Passing my registration exam. Three more kids. Two houses. Eleven vehicles. Moved to three different school systems. Five job changes between us. More college for both of us. More deaths in the family, and more births. A couple of wars. Three presidents. We even moved to a different church. 16 years, but it seems like only yesterday.

And to this day, I still have to be very careful when I see that she is wearing a sleeveless dress.

So Mrs. Oglesby, Happy Valentine’s Day. And thank you for saying yes.

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

February 13, 2007

So you don't like the tedious, thin quality of this week's postings?

You say the obvious lack of content and weak drollery cause you no small amount of grief? The analysis of issues is addle-pated at best? The banality is enough to create apoplexy? The soaps are of inferior quality? The chairs smell of urine? The carpeting is worn through to equally worn linoleum of a horrid shade of puce? The staff have not bathed, the pencils are all broken, the radiators clang, the rats stole your brilliantine, and your posterior is pocked with boils?

WELL, MY FRIENDS--tomorrow will be a complete change of pace, in that there will be no Possumblog until much later in the morning, due to the ownership having to be at its regular semimonthly regulatory board meeting. Yes, we realize you've come to expect at least a teaspoonful of unamusement and abuse, but we shall not be able to provide even that tiny droplet of succor upon the morrow, until said meeting has been fully and completely concluded and your proprietor is once again safely ensconced behind his keyboard.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

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

Oh, boy, don't I WISH!!

House members joust over Iraq war policy

Nothing would do my heart better than to see them trying to get a sodden Ted Kennedy up on the back of a horse and have him holding a lance. Of course, it being a Kennedy, they'd probably have to get a chauffeur to ride the horse for him so he doesn't drive it off a bridge.

Anyway, I've always thought Congress would be a lot better if the entrance exam included a trial by ordeal.

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

Frank J. says such silly things.

Most of the time.

But every so often, things like this slip in, and it's not the least bit silly, and it's exactly correct.

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

Pity, really.

An entire article--Flying creatures may help create aviation of future--and not one mention of the airspeed velocity of a swallow carrying a coconut.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:25 PM | Comments (2)

Good news.

A first: No firearms fatalities in Alabama this deer season

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State conservation officials announced Tuesday there were no firearms or tree stand-related fatalities this past deer season, marking the first time no deaths were reported since records began being kept in 1973.

Alabama's hunting incident rate has decreased since the mandatory hunter education program was implemented in 1993, the agency said in a statement. It cautioned hunters to continue using safe hunting practices during other game seasons that continue through April. [...]

And I bet this will finally put an end to chatter from the open-minded, diversity-loving sorts that everyone who hunts here is a drunken deranged dimbulb redneck indiscriminately shooting anything that moves.


Sure it will.

There were still some non-fatal accidents, so there's still some room for improvement, but nonetheless, that's welcome news, and hopefully will continue on for many years to come.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:27 AM | Comments (2)

Bold! New! EDGY!!

We all know that fashion trends are as variable as the wind, and just because last week it was considered the height of what's hot to lug around some sort of nervous yippy little dog in your purse as an accessory, DOESN'T mean that it will be the IN thing THIS week!

What will be?

Well, you know I have my finger on the pulse of the youth market, and I confidently predict that the newest trend in the fashionable, take-along petcessory category will be...


baby possum.jpg

All the freakishness, with none of the annoying loud yipping!

Look for them on a Paris Hilton near you!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:00 AM | Comments (2)


Ancient chimps may have used hammers

Which in turn leads to my hypothesis that the first types of language were cuss words, uttered after smashing a thumb with a hammer.

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

Like clockwork.

Another truck spills a steel coil on Birmingham interstate

I think it's time to start loading these things flat. It's a pain to have to do that because of the extra steps necessary to lay them down and pick them up from a flat position, but this is getting ridiculous. The article says 24 have fallen over the past twenty years, and you figure it's only a matter of time before someone gets killed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:16 AM | Comments (2)

I am worthless.

You come here looking for a Jack Bauer Update, and all I can tell you is that we didn't even turn the television on until the late local news was on. Had stuff to do, then had to get the kids, then had to get Boy ready for Scouts, then had to take him to Scouts, then had to come home and help put up groceries, then had to help cook supper (mmmm--scallops!), then had to go get Boy from Scouts, then had to wash a load of stinky Boy gym clothes that he'd forgotten to bring home over the weekend, then had to help Boy and Middle Girl with their art project.

FINALLY, something I'm actually good at!

They've got to do a report on an artist and a sketch of one of their artworks, and the teacher made the mistake of giving them a huge list of artists to choose from. Instant paralysis. Too many choices, and an excuse to sit and whine about not being able to pick just one.


ANYway, we got down a bunch of my art books and thumbed through them, and found myself having to have a talk with Rebecca about The Use of Nekkidity in Art. Talk about yer loaded issue. Did the best I could, which of course wasn't really that great, but in general what I said was that God made us beautiful, and there is a way to express that artistically without being prurient.

That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

In any event, it was a evening in which teevee just couldn't get a grip on us, which isn't really that bad of a thing. Not that it helps you with your Jack Bauer Updates...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:33 AM | Comments (4)

February 12, 2007

What a short day!

Of course, it could just seem that way because I kept going to sleep on the floor.

ANYway, I have to leave a bit early today, so all of you be nice and I'll see you tomorrow, probably once more without the least bit of Jack Facts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:54 PM | Comments (0)

Of course.

Democrats skeptical of administration talk on Iran

Because it's not like the lovably nutty mullahs with their pointy-toed shoes and finely woven rugs have ever done anything naughty. All they want is to be left alone so they can toast pistachios and breed puffy long-haired kitties and kill Jews and infidels. Is that so much to ask!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

Adventures in Headline Writing!

A terrible story made all the more worse by the daft headline: Woman pleads guilty in womb attack.

One assumes that had she tried to stab the woman in the chest, the headline writer would have noted she had pled guilty to a heart attack.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

Speaking of Food...

...Delawarean Fritz Schranck does us all a huge favor and gathers all of his recipes into one convenient place.

I do hope there will soon be something up specifically for blue hens.

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

And in other news...

Well, we got home after the "play" and I had just gotten my shirt untucked and unbuttoned when who shows up but Oldest, dragging #6 through the garage with her.


I turned and whispered to Reba that it's a good thing they weren't any later or I would have been standing there in my skivvies. I like the kid, but the last I heard he was going home. A little warning would have been nice.

Anyway, they came in and watched the rest of a movie they'd started last weekend and then he apologized and went home.

Bed, up the next morning and Reba and the kids went off to a meeting at the church building and I stayed behind and did laundry and felt weird. Still battling some sort of head congestion that comes and goes--but goes not very far--and all day Saturday I felt tired and useless. Aside from being able to do laundry.

They all came back and were in and out and all around the house all day making noise and disturbing my hibernation on the couch where I watched The Longest Day and Rooster Cogburn in between folding clothes and drifting off to slobbering slumberland. I finally got to feeling better toward evening and fixed us some steaks in the oven (my way, without smoke) and went to bed.

Sunday, perkier, but still preternaturally fatigued. Must have been all that rolling off the couch onto the floor on Saturday. Up, dress, go to church, home for lunch, leave everyone else there and take Rebecca and myself over to Hoover for a Bible Bowl tourney. Our teams have taken a beating this year--mainly because they don't study as they should. But they still have fun seeing everyone from other places, and they do actually learn a little.

Back home, load up and head back to church for evening worship, then to home again, and had for supper, of all things, tamales. It's been years and years since I had tamales--we used to have them pretty regularly when I was young. So it was something of a treat. Sorta. I seem to remember them being a bit better tasting. These were Hormel and they were a bit bland.

The kids loved 'em, though.

So, that was about it--honest to goodness, it was the most uninvolved, uninteresting weekend I've had in a long time. And let me tell you, it was something of a relief.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

Billy Wigglestick Review

Okay, I realize I'm not one of your real cultured type folks. Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to understand the subtle nuances of theater that those whose veins run thick with greasepaint are able to discern.

I DO know that it would be unwise to say too much about the production, for fear of opening myself up to defamation lawsuits. So I will do my best, within the bounds of good taste, to point out the good of the play, and will ignore the bad.

The young lady who played Kate and the fellow who played Petruchio were both good.

This concludes my review.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:48 AM | Comments (0)

Good Morning, World!

Yet another weekend by the wayside, yet another week of Possumblog dawning!

Yes, I know you're all overjoyed.

Or something.

Anyway, not much to cover, although I imagine it'll grow in scope and entertainment value in the retelling. Which will come along in a little bit. I have to remember it all first, and then type it, and there's the horror of Monday staff meeting to endure sometime in the coming minutes.

SO, off we go...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2007

Somehow, I thought there would be more to discuss today.

Not sure why, exactly, since Fridays are notoriously slow. Then again, so are the other days of the week around here. With the exception of Saturday and Sunday, when there is NOTHING going on here, aside from robot comment spam inserting itself into months-old posts.

But I thought with the hysteria over the potential for the possibility of the chance of a small probablility for the occasion of a severe weather event that it might get more exciting.


It's rained a bit today, and it's coldish, but overall, it's pretty much like--oh, I don't know--WINTER. People lose their flippin' minds around here. Yes, it's good to know what the weather's going to do, but I'd rather not think that every breath of wind and spatter of chilly rain is the harbinger of widespread destruction.

But maybe that's just me.

Anyway--long weekend ahead with lots of laundry and thespianism and widespread destruction, but really, next weekend is going to be the REALLY big show. A certain child in the house will be turning 10, and has been allowed to invite four friends to the house for a sleepover and party. The theme? American Idol.

I can hardly wait!

Not really.

SO, all of you have a good weekend, and Lord willing we'll see you all on Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:31 PM | Comments (0)

Oh, good grief.

I thought I was going to be able to stay away from mentioning anything about the sad passing of Anna Nicole Smith. But even in death, she can't escape the weirdness of the life she made for herself.

I feel like I need to take a shower now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:54 PM | Comments (4)

And in other high culture news...

...tonight is the opening night of the play Oldest has been rehearsing for, the second one she's appeared in within the past three months. Remember my displeasure with the one she was in before? This one trumps it by a wide margin.


Well, give it to 'em for being ambitious--Taming of the Shrew.

I'm sure it will be a marvel.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:26 PM | Comments (2)

I don't have a dog in this fight.

They can do whatever they want to each other and I don't care, but still, this is just a bit much: LSU coach directs expletive at Tide

News staff writer

LSU football coach Les Miles used an expletive in referring to the University of Alabama at a public signing day party attended by several thousand people in Baton Rouge.

"We're looking forward to playing Florida," Miles told a large crowd at Wednesday's Bayou Bash recruiting party at the Baton Rouge (La.) River Center. "We're looking forward to playing Auburn. But we have a new rival in f--ing Alabama." [...]

Okay, look--I've been in enough locker rooms that this isn't a particularly shocking word, and to my detriment in the past I have been known to make effective use of its root form as a verb, noun, adjective, adverb, preposition, interjection, interrogatory, and several other things I'm not sure the name of.

But come on--was this really the time or place for talk like that? I know there's bad blood down in Baton Rouge over Saban's hiring at Alabama as well as some of his own recent comments where he used a slang name for Cajuns.

But, still, couldn't we have a bit less, Les? Yes, I realize there's a lot of crudeness that comes spilling out of the pop culture spigot every day, but not everyone is so enamored of it as you might think, and especially when it's there in front of a large, mixed-age crowd.

There was a time when a man who uttered such things would have been backhanded across the mouth. I don't guess I'm to the point of caring to see a return of such things, but still it would be nice to have at least a little sense of decorum, and cognizance of time and place and appropriateness.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:31 PM | Comments (2)

To take our mind off of that...


Unfortunately, since I am so low-tech, I have nothing you can actually hear, so you must rely upon my telling of the story of Boy's band concert last night.

Apologies all around.

As for the concert, it was very good.

I actually got to hear him play something, too! Which is pretty rare, since he's a percussionist and they stand in the back and chat and pick their noses. (Not really. They aren't allowed to talk on stage.)

ANYway, they had three songs to play, none of which I remember, and none of which I could transcribe for you since there was no printed program, but he got to play the snare, the bass drum, and the tambourine. And obviously, after I found this out afterwards as we stood on the sidewalk outside the entrance, I had to launch into a slightly too-loud version of "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man" while he pretended to be someone else's son.

Since Reba hadn't been able to get to the concert (due to a combination of having to pick up Rebecca from soccer and taking her home so she could shower and wash all the soccer germs off of her) Boy and I headed on home right after his part of the concert was done, so we didn't get to hear everyone else. Except for the beginner band that played before his group.

But overall, it was pretty darned good. A few more squeaks from the clarinets than usual, and there's never enough cowbell, but still a lot more together and confident than they were at the concert earlier in the year. I still think they were at their best during football season, though.

So, good job, kids, and Mr. Tambourine Man, too.

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


Okay, OKAY!

No, no kitty pictures today. I'm SORRY! I did go out and give him clean water and food this morning, and sieved his poop out of his litter box--doesn't that count for something!?

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

Oh, come now.

Just because I'm motionless beside the road with my tongue hanging out DOESN'T mean I'm dead!!

I'm just fine--although late getting to the important blogging I have to do. Had a doctor's appointment this morning, so there was that, and they took four tubes of blood out of me, but oddly enough, I managed to escape without being charged for an office visit. Go figure. I think he forgot to mark it because he was sleepy this morning, and the check-out woman was too tired to go ask him about it.

Then off to the credit union up the hill, which is always entertaining, and especially so this morning because Tiny Girl was working. She's a perfectly-formed young brunette lass, but no taller than the light switch on the wall. It's always fun to go through the drive-through and see her disappear behind the counter when she climbs down off the teller chair to go get something.

THEN on to the county courthouse, and because I've had to do it before, I made sure to leave my pocketknives in the car so they wouldn't get confiscated. Came in, dumped my two sets of keys in the plastic bin along with my class ring, my watch, my cell phone, my umbrella, and my pocket change. Walked through the metal detector.

And set it off.

The woman at the other side of the gantry, who appeared to be a cross between Selma Diamond on Night Court and Mammy Yokum, said "Gimme yer coat, hun."

I dutifully stripped off my jacket, which DOES have a long zipper on it, and two metal snaps.

Back through the arch. ::BLAHHHHHNNN::

"Have you got everythang off of you?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"What about yer ID badge?"

Why, no--not that. Because it has a tiny aluminum clip and ferrule, and didn't figure I had to. I handed it over.

Back through the magnet. ::BLAHHHNNNN::

"I betchu anything it's that there belt buckle on you. HEY! Do this here--hold yer hans 'ike 'is [holds her forearms and hands out from her waist as if she's doing The Robot] an hold 'em there as y'go thu!"

And yes, by now I'm wondering why they don't have a hand-held wand rather than continuing this little experiment in patience. Once more, I did as instructed and held my hands close to my belt buckle in the proscribed robot-like manner and went back through the archway.


"Yep, it's that belt yonder that's a'doing it. Take it off."

Okay, by now I'm peeved, and although I do slide my belt off (which has a regular belt buckle--it's not like I'm a pro wrestler or anything) and go back through the detector once more (without setting it off), I do register my discontent by noting, with obvious (or so I thought) mild sarcasm to the diminuitive, dessicated deputy that NEXT time I came through their establishment, I was going to just come in naked. I thought that by smiling and chuckling that she would understand I meant this only in jest, although in a jest brought about by the frustrating lack of common sense I was having to deal with.

Not so. And the price of my attempted jocularity?

"Oh, no. 'Cause now if you done that, we'd have to take you off to the city jail--wait, not the city jail--the COUNTY JAIL!!"

I continued to get re-equipped as she rambled on. "And if it was cold like it is today, then we'd take you to the psychiastrist hospital and lock you up there! And you don't want that!"

No indeed. Because basically, I just want to be able to do my taxpayer duties without having to palaver with people who don't have enough sense to figure out that my belt buckle isn't hiding a weapon, but the umbrella that they just gave back to me--unexamined--COULD BE.

Anyway, I'm in a wonderful mood.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:56 AM | Comments (6)

February 08, 2007

Sure beats the theme from Mission Impossible.

Via Hemmings weekly newsletter: Big-block ringer

Tired of being in a crowd and unable to determine whose cell phone is ringing? Here’s a way to be different… very different.

How does the sound of a 427 big-block Chevrolet sound? If you’re a gearhead, it is music to your ears and far better than that lousy AM radio in your 1969 Impala, which could not drown out those sweet engine sounds if it wanted to.

Unusual Automotive has just the answer: the sounds of the aforementioned 427 and many others, like a big-block at idle, a lumpy cam big V-8, a revved-up, modified engine, a small-block wide open, a V-8 race engine and wide-open throttle. You can also get a chainsaw as your phone’s ringer.

Prices start at a measly $1.50 for the ring tones. For more information, go to www.unusualauto.com or call 888-439-0788.

- By George Mattar

Imagine any of THOSE going off in church!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:56 PM | Comments (6)


Little kids are so innocent of the ways of the world.

Otherwise, they'd understand it's better to keep him, set him up in a law practice, and let him bring in a steady stream of income, rather than selling him!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)

Oh, I know I'm no Mr. Blackwell, but still...

From Miss Janis who came by it via Miss Ann, this article from Rooters: Hillary Clinton should ditch the trousers: Versace

BERLIN (Reuters) - U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should tap into her feminine side and wear dresses and skirts instead of trousers, fashion designer Donatella Versace was quoted as saying on Thursday.

"I can understand (trousers) are comfortable but she's a woman and she is allowed to show that," Versace told Germany's weekly newspaper Die Zeit in an interview. [...]

Now, in the past I admit I have been more than unkind to New York's junior senator regarding her attractiveness, and most especially her fireplug-like lower legs (which indeed require covering to keep from damaging the retinas of unsuspecting bystanders).

But I have to say that besides me, there is probably only one other person LESS qualified to give advice to someone else regarding external appearance...


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:18 AM | Comments (8)

Well, sure.

Doctors: Superbug battle is winnable

I mean, come ON, of course it is! Haven't you guys seen Starship Troopers!?

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

Well, I don't know much about geology...

...but I have to tell you, this story sounds like one of the most incredible finds in a long time: Rich gas deposits found in St. Clair

News staff writer

Energy companies are scrambling for drilling rights in St. Clair County, where geologists have discovered a natural gas formation with the potential to rival any in the country. [...]

Geologists compare the area's potential to that of a legendary Texas natural gas field called the Barnett Shale, which has grown to 5,000 square miles and produces more energy than any other onshore gas field in the country. Shale formations in St. Clair County run 9,000 feet thick [emphasis added], dwarfing the 1,500-foot shales in Texas. Thicker shale means more gas per square mile. [...]

"There are many billions of cubic feet of natural gas per square mile in St. Clair County," said Phillip Meadows, an independent geologist based in Hartselle who performed the original analysis of the area. "Once production methods are figured out, we are talking about wells that could easily be in operation for more than 100 years." [...]

The finds in St. Clair are part of a larger energy-rich geologic formation that runs north through Etowah County and into northern Georgia, said Meadows, who began studying the area in the late 1980s. The formation has been ignored until recent spikes in natural gas prices that have made it economical feasible to begin production.

The holdup has been the shale rock. The natural gas is compressed into it, and getting it out requires more expensive production techniques than are used to access gas that's not so tightly bunched.

But things are rolling again after price spikes in 2005 that sent natural gas to an all-time high of $15 per million British thermal units. Energy companies such as Virginia-based Dominion Resources have been paying landowners as much $500 per acre for the right to explore and produce, according to an adviser who represents property owners. [...]

Cascades of cash aren't right around the corner, though. It took many years for drillers to figure out how to get at the tightly packed Barnett Shale gas in Texas. Only recent improvements in using pressurized water to fracture the rock and release the gas made it profitable. Meadows, the geologist, said no one is yet really sure how - or if - that technique will work in Alabama. [...]

Even if it doesn't pan out right now, there's always someone working on a way to make it work. I have always had a passing interest in our mineral assets since it's so much a part of the history around here (Birmingham being one of the few places on Earth where the raw materials for steel production--coal, iron, limestone, water--are all located close to each other, in abundance, and easily accessible) but I never realized that this particular resource is located near here as well. And that it's so HUGE!

It might not pay right now, but from a strategic point of view, it sounds like it's money in the bank.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:50 AM | Comments (0)

New! Bold! EDGY!!

As part of my effort to make Possumblog an integral part of what's hip and happening in popular culture, I have decided to do a few new things that seem to be all the rage amongst the famous.

Therefore, today I shall engage in an abusive, hate-filled tirade against blacks and/or Jews and/or homosexuals and/or millionaires with bad combovers; become a vegan; enter rehab; date Lindsay Lohan; catch an incurable STD; adopt a baby from a third world country like Luxembourg; become pregnant out of wedlock; be arrested by the Malibu, California police; enter rehab; become a Scientologist; get an authentic Maori tattoo; protest global warming; enter rehab; have lunch with Al Gore; enter rehab; write a book; become subject of blogwar when it turns out I did not actually write a book; apologize on Oprah; get in a fight on Jerry Springer; be center square on Hollywood Squares; open a restaurant serving dirt and compressed air; experiment with recreational vehicles; become a follower of Kabbalah; enter rehab; release a rap album; testify before Congress; demand reparations; swim with the dolphins; swim with the lobsters; swim with the polar bears; be attacked by a polar bear; enter rehab; write another book; rail against the wealthy; become a millionaire; travel to Iraq on a fact-finding mission; start a blog; write abusive, hate-filled blogposts against whites and/or Catholics and/or heterosexuals and/or Jack Bauer; enter rehab; nationalize the oil industry; produce my own one-man show where I sit in a chair in front of an audience and stare at them for four straight hours; release a Christmas rap album; become a Wiccan-Presbyterian; expose myself in a public lavatory; enter rehab; divorce three women I'm not married to; drive from Houston to Orlando wearing nothing but an adult diaper on my head; have an afternoon snack and five gallons of vodka with Nancy Pelosi; protest; wear a fur coat to protest people who wear fur; become a country music star; appear late at the Grand Ole Opry; cry; date a Baldwin brother; appear on Late Show with David Letterman and do a composite character based on Charles Grodin, Andy Kaufmann, and Joseph Stalin; apologize for being too hip for people to understand me; get the role of Chip for the upcoming My Three Sons movie; enter rehab; divorce a Baldwin brother; marry Anne Heche; demand an audience with George Bush; and go grocery shopping.

Oh, and today is also Mailout Thursday, so I have to get that done, too.

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


Well, if you’re not, then you will be soon, as we cook up a sizzling plate of Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, the Internets’ Most Delicious Junk Food! For those unfamiliar with our menu, we ladle up a steaming portion of three questions, delicately breaded and heated to 94 degrees Fahrenheit under a lamp, and then ask only that you reward us with answers to those questions!

This week’s helping of gastronomic guesstimation will have to do with, of all things, food. Answer the following questions by either leaving your tip in the comments section below or a link to your very own establishment.

You might be asking yourself, “Hmm, it seems as though we recently did a food-related set of questions.” Well, obviously that’s just the hunger talking, and you can’t be expected to be entirely lucid on an empty stomach. So just forget about what you think you remember.

NOW THEN, on with the specially prepared gourmet selection of questions!

1) Of your local hamburger joints, which is your favorite and why? And by “local,” we mean REALLY local--no national chains! Only your local mom-and-pop establishments or regional chains, please.

2) What is the most adventurous meal you’ve ever personally prepared?

3) What dish did your Mom used to fix that you steadfastly refused to eat?

Now then, put your napkin in your lap and dig in!

As for my answers…

1) Well, there’s two--Hamburger Heaven out in Irondale is the epitome of the local joint--prefab metal building, sticky tables, chaotic kitchen, and the best and most delectable seared ground beef I’ve tasted. Their jumbo deluxe bacon cheeseburger is about the size of a car tire, but tender and juicy. And healthy, too! It has lettuce, tomato, and pickles, all of which are considered vegetables. The second is the regional Milo’s chain, which started out in a tiny little building over in the industrial part of Birmingham. Good meat, with a nice zesty sauce, although not particularly huge. At one time, the only option was “with” or “without,” meaning with or without onions. They now have the option of a single or double, and single or double cheeseburgers, with or without. AND they added chicken fingers a few years back. They’re also famous for their sweet iced tea, which is twice as dense as water due to the sugar content, and for their fries, seasoned with popcorn salt. Mmmm. I’m hungry.

2) I think it would have to be some sort of stuffed meat thing of some sort--I can’t remember if it was pork tenderloin or chicken breast--and it included such exotica as pine nuts and capers. We were having over My Friend Jeff™ and his wife My Friend Cathy™ and My Friend John™ and his wife My Friend Angela™ (all of whom are also Friends of Reba™, but it’s beginning to get cumbersome to type all of that) and wanted to do something nifty since we’d just moved in to our new house. We even got out the good china and crystal and silverware. It turned out REALLY well and everyone was suitably impressed with my mad cooking skilz.

3) Nothing, really. My mom is a good cook and she never made anything I really hated, although I will say rutabagas weren’t high on my wish list. I also didn’t particularly like her fried corn when she’d use the bland white corn instead of sweet yellow corn.

So, there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (17)

February 07, 2007

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

VOUSSOIR. A brick or wedge-shaped stone forming one of the units of an arch.

And a very elegant thing they are.

Here's a simple illustration of the item in question, but it really doesn't do justice to the inventiveness folks have shown in making arches.

The Romans really were the first to make good use of arches, and even though things like the Pont du Gard aqueduct were intended to be utilitarian, it's still quite decorative and a large part of its charm are the tiered arrangement of arches and their exposed brickwork.


Fast forward several hundred centuries and several thousand miles away, and you can see one of the foremost arch lovers ever to come along, one H.H. Richardson, whose distinctive use of gigantic masonry arches gave rise to the term Richardsonian Romanesque. His work included such nifty things as the Glessner House in Chicago and the Crane Memorial Library in Quincy, Massachusetts.

That Chicago building is worth noting, mainly because of the presence of another architect of some note who came along a bit later. Although I doubt he would ever stand for anyone saying he deliberately stole ideas from other architects, it's still clear that a good idea is a good idea, and good ideas are worth using. Such as at the Arthur Heurtley House in Oak Park, Illinois. It's also probably not worth mentioning that a certain county civic center also bears a striking similarity to the previously cited aqueduct (except for the lack of exposed voussoirs, of course).

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:05 PM | Comments (5)

Disgraceful, Distasteful,

..and downright daft.


Who else.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:20 PM | Comments (9)


I can now be an Olympic athlete!! Olympic athletes may be allowed to blog

This is REALLY big news for me--I've been training at downhill blogging for six years now, and I don't think there's ANYone out there who's gone downhill faster than I have!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

Uh, well, I have a feeling it'll be an even longer time, now.

Police: Gunman in Dothan standoff upset he wasn't sent to Iraq

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) — A 19-year-old member of the Alabama National Guard was upset about not being deployed to Iraq when he took over a small medical center, and he planned to "kill everybody there" but changed his mind when he saw a child playing in the waiting room, police said.

Jason Murphy of Dothan is charged with burglary, terrorist threats and criminal mischief for the 2 1/2 hour standoff he had with police while barricaded in the PrimeCare medical center on Monday. [...]

The burglary charge is a class B felony and carries a sentence of two to 20 years of imprisonment, while the other charges are class C felonies with sentences of one to 10 years in prison. Murphy is being held in jail without bond.

Maybe it's just me, but I have a feeling there are better ways of expressing your anger.

In the immortal words of Sgt. Hulka, "Lighten up, Francis."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)


Okay, this was the post I was trying to post earlier, and as always, the second run probably gains something in readability but loses a lot of the wacky spontaneity that you've come to enjoy from Possumblog. Oh well.

ANYWAY, I saw a very compelling blog post the other day from one of my fellow Munuvians, a young lady named Annika, who has an interesting theory about all-but-declared Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani and his supposed lack of appeal to those of us who are reliably full of Red State bigotry. Go read her take on things here.

As I read it, she thinks that a lot of liberal media-type folks are talking down Giuliani's chances down South because of a realization that if he does run, he could probably beat Clinton for New York, as well as for several other populous, liberal-leaning states. If he does that, he wouldn't even need the more conservative votes from the South to win. In order for the folks in the media to keep the favored Democrats in charge means not mentioning this too much, and instead just keep saying no one who's a conservative will even consider voting for him.

Well, if the completely unscientific TV station poll I saw yesterday is any indication, I have a feeling he'd not only do well up in Yankeeland but around here as well. I can't find now which station did the poll (it was either the NBC or FOX affiliate, but neither one of them has a website that is even remotely friendly for finding out actual information) but among the current choices of folks from both parties who've said they're running for President, the overwhelming choice was Giuliani--something like 45% (or more--I can't remember) to the 13% or so for the next highest challenger, Hillary Clinton.

Again, it's not the least bit scientific or remotely reliable, but still, I have a gut feeling that there are actually a good many people who do feel that way about Giuliani, despite his terrible marital drama that been played out in the news, his craptacular record on Second Amendment issues, his lack of concern about things socially-conservative people concern themselves with, and for the same reasons Annika has listed. He actually has a record of performing well under pressure, he seems to understand the nature of what it takes to fight evil, is actually willing to consider the idea that there is indeed such a thing AS evil, and that despite his personal failings, he's not particularly venal, stupid, or bad.

I guess my biggest objection to him is from the point of view of being a gun owner, but even with that, I still get a sense about him that I find rare among politicians, that being that whatever he believes, he believes it honestly, with little regard for what polls tell him he should believe. Sure, he's a politician, and he's bound to say stuff like that every once in a while, but in general, you get the sense he knows what he knows and will defend it without backing down, and what he knows--whether you disagree with it or not--is something that he can defend in a sane, calm, and logical manner without demogoguery.

It's still far too early to be trying to pick the winner of this mess, but don't count Giuliani out. People, whether they're conservative or liberal, recognize someone with some spine to them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:59 AM | Comments (2)

I hate the Internet

Or more particularly, Deluxe Communications malware that installed itself on my machine several months ago and has done nothing but create problems, such as just now when it caused a popup to popup that caused my computer's other systems to shut down all the open browser windows I was using, one of which just happened to be a longish political post I was doing on Rudy Giuliani, meaning that my last several minutes worth of careful linking and cross-checking was eaten up completely.

I also hate our IT guys who basically said live with the malware because it takes too much time to remove.

And I hate Microsoft for coming up with Windows, just like the other billion or so users hate them.

And although I don't hate Movable Type and mu.nu, it would be nice if there was a way for the software to do an automatic backup so posts wouldn't get eaten quite so easily. Yes, I know, Jesus saves and so should you, but shouldn't the whole idea of using a computer be to make life easier?

Now then, back to the stupid post I was trying to write.

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

Smart feller, smart feller, I smell a...

GOOD MORNING! Famed NASA scientist (although not currently involved in any love triangles--that we know of) and smart guy Steevil sends along this intelligence test that you all may wish to participate in to determine exactly how smart you are!

The following short quiz consists of 4 questions and will tell you whether you are qualified to be a professional. Scroll down for each answer. The questions are NOT that difficult. But don't scroll down UNTIL you have answered the question!

1. How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator?

The correct answer is: Open the refrigerator, put in the giraffe, and close the door. This question tests whether you tend to do simple things in an overly complicated way.

2. How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator?

Did you say, open the refrigerator, put in the elephant, and close the refrigerator?

Wrong Answer.

Correct Answer: Open the refrigerator, take out the giraffe, put in the elephant and close the door. This tests your ability to think through the repercussions of your previous actions.

3. The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend.... except one. Which animal does not attend?

Correct Answer: The Elephant. The elephant is in the refrigerator. You just put him in there. This tests your memory.

Okay, even if you did not answer the first three questions correctly, you still have one more chance to show your true abilities.

4. There is a river you must cross but it is used by crocodiles, and you do not have a boat. How do you manage it?

Correct Answer: You jump into the river and swim across. Have you not been listening? All the crocodiles are attending the animal conference. This tests whether you lea rn quickly from your mistakes.

According to Anderson Consulting Worldwide, around 90% of the professionals they tested got all questions wrong, but many preschoolers got several correct answers.

Anderson Consulting says this conclusively disproves the theory that most professionals have the brains of a four-year-old.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:47 AM | Comments (8)

February 06, 2007

That was fun.

I always like having lunch with Pam. The conversation was a review of sorts in order to bring Intern Stacy up to speed on the cast of characters she might be called upon to interact with here at my place of employment. She seemed quite frightened by the people I work with.

Probably a good thing.

I also don't think she was quite ready to be in the presence of such a big moron as me, but at least she was polite about it. As was I to her, telling her in no uncertain terms as she and Pam parted company with me that I wasn't about to give her a hug since we barely knew each other. I did warn her about next time, however.

Now then, it's time for a nice long nap.

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


Dr. Possum is going to have to wait just a bit because I am having lunch with Pam the Liberal and her Trusty Intern. Be back in an hour.

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

HEY! I know!

It might seem very boring around here today, but that's only because no one realized the smartest man in the world, Dr. Possum, is in the building!

So you have this rash, or maybe a math problem, or possibly a philosophical dilemma, and you'd like an answer, a diagnosis, or just some attention because you crave virtual human contact. WELL, MY FRIENDS, Dr. Possum is just the person and/or marsupial to ask.

Feel free to leave a question below and Dr. Possum will examine it and think and research and scratch his tummy and give you the most correct answer you are ever going to find!

Remember, as a graduate of many online educational outlets*, Dr. Possum has many, many degrees in a variety of fields**, and is thus able to impart accurate***, scientifically-derived† answers to all of your problems. SO have at it!

*Graduate status pending in 8 of 10 institutions, with 1 degree completed in Telemarketing Science, and 1 degree in Video Stalking awaiting release of transcripts.

**Areas of study are available upon request.

***Accuracy guaranteed to nearest whole number.

†"Science" or "scientifically-derived" shall not be construed in a strict manner, and may include such things as SWAGs, Kentucky windage, or running items up the flagpole and seeing who salutes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:07 AM | Comments (14)

Maybe insomnia wouldn't be that bad.

Yesterday I mentioned the odd environs my dreams seem to take place in, but one thing usually lacking in my dreams are any sorts of famous (or infamous) personages.

Not a big deal for me, but in the future I would like to request that Al Sharpton be turned away at the door.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)


Wal-Mart launches movie download store

I wonder if there's an old guy at the door and a parking lot full of shopping carts?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:01 AM | Comments (0)

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Ford to rename 500 model the Taurus

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will rename its slow-selling Five Hundred model the Taurus, a name that Ford had previously used for a car that became the nation's top-seller, company officials said Tuesday.

The officials spoke to The Associated Press on the condition they not be identified by name because the official announcement had not yet been made.

The Taurus, considered by some the car that saved Ford, revolutionized the way autos look and feel when it was introduced in 1985. The Dearborn-based automaker ceased production of the Taurus in October after 21 years and sales of nearly 7 million, perplexing many industry analysts and former Ford executives who said the brand name had great value. [...]

Well, first of all, why is it the public doesn't have a right to know who this source was!? I DEMAND THAT WE KNOW IN THE INTEREST OF NATIONAL SECURITY!!

Anyway, as for the car, it's a little late for that. The 500 has been selling slowly because it's never been clear what it's supposed to be. A replacement for the Crown Vic? Nope. A replacement for the Taurus? Nope--that's supposed to be the Fusion, which is sorta slotted in the same size as the late Contour. It's not a bad car at all from what all I've seen about it (although I've seen the interior up close and it reminded me of my '82 F-100 in terms of design integrity and materials), but again, what it's supposed to be is unclear. As for Taurus, it was a groundbreaking car that was damaged by the faddish ovaloid restyling, and not only never recovered, Ford ceased to invest in keeping it fresh.

Although "many industry analysts and former Ford executives who said the brand name had great value" might be technically correct, it's probably worth considering that the Taurus wound up its life being a great brand if you ran a rental car company or were a fleet buyer. Profitable? Probably. Not that great as a way to burnish your reputation as a maker of high quality, high value automobiles, though.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:10 AM | Comments (2)

I sure hope we don't go from "postal" to...

..."spacial." Astronaut charged with kidnap attempt

[...] "If you were just going to talk to someone, I don't know that you would need a wig, a trench coat, an air cartridge BB gun and pepper spray," said Sgt. Barbara Jones, a spokeswoman for the Orlando Police Department. [...]

People are just so judgmental.

And in a completely unrelated story--Love is ... a pair of really good jeans

Well, that, and a soggy pair of adult diapers.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:42 AM | Comments (2)

I am a bad person.

I just keep missing The Jack Bauer Show, and I know how much some of you crave my action-packed recaps of the previous evening's show. Part of the problem is the constant back and forth of taking Boy to Scouts and back, and trying to eat supper, and also watching Heroes, which, as you all recall, includes a cheerleader.

If there was only some way--some device or machine of some sort--whereby television shows could be recorded and played back at a later date...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:18 AM | Comments (9)

February 05, 2007

One of those quips you can't say to just anybody.

Rode down in the elevator just now with a coworker.

Says me, "How's it going?"

Says she, "Fine I guess. Just trying to survive. Got seven more years of this place."


Doors open, walk toward snack bar.

Says me, "Just hope that you aren't working for Rachel and find out you've wound up with Leah."

Took her half a second, and then she got a big laugh out of it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:28 PM | Comments (6)

Well, the headline is a bit overwrought...

Lab disaster may lead to new cancer drug

...but the article is just another example of how many things we take for granted come about either by accident or when scientists are searching for something else.

In this case, the researcher was looking for a treatment for Crohn's and colitis and was using cancer cells as the target. Due to a mistaken dosage of a compound called PPAR-gamma modulator, she wound up killing her test cells.

Setbacks like this aren't that uncommon in a lab--you mess up a culture or drop something and have to start your work over. It's frustrating, but not really a disaster like, say, an explosion. But it'll still make you angry, until you have that "aha" moment when it finally occurs to you that you found something that kills cancer cells.

Nifty article.

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

A font of wisdom.

Yep, that's Possumblog.

How else to explain why anyone would think of coming here based upon the question: Is there anything that is manufactured in pantyhose that would smell when new?

It's because they know they'll find the answer here, that's why!

And the answer is "yes."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:24 PM | Comments (2)

I really wanted to be in a chipper mood.

Really I did. I mean, it's a gorgeous day outside, even if it is cold. The sky is clear and blue, and with the rains from last week, the streets don't smell like dirty mop water and pee, and the cars make swirly decorative patterns in the steam coming up off the manholes, and I was able to drive and remember a happy time back when steamy manholes wasn't the name of a dirty website, and then, I got in line at the food joint (because I forgot my lunch this morning, although I wasn't particularly angry about that) and then it happened. Some twurd (twerp+turd) pulled into the queue and tapped on his horn.

Not by accident, either.

I understand the frustration at not having food magically materialize right there on your dashboard the moment you think about it, but you know, if you aren't brain damaged, most of the time you realize that if you pull into a fast food drive-through that already has several cars in line ahead of you that you might have to wait more than ten seconds. Second, surely you realize that blowing the horn of your car doesn't do anything but cause the food preparation staff to begin salivating in order to bestow your fish'n'chips dinner with a coating of special sauce. Third, it simply RUINS a perfectly pretty winter day.

Got my food, hoping it had not been adulterated by mistake, and headed back to work. Where my path was impeded for 12 blocks by a slow-moving vehicle whose driver took every opportunity to stop at every single light. Red ones I don't mind so much, but slowing down to allow the green ones to ripen isn't something I'm particularly fond of. No horn from me, though. Because I am a good person, you know. Which is why I was perfectly willing to be forgiving of these lapses in driving courtesy had it turned out to be an attractive young female. However, after finally being able to pull into the turn lane and peer into the driver's chair, such magnamity left me as I found the pilot to be an old woman as large and ugly as myself, with what appeared to be a habit of indulging in snuff dipping.

It is, however, still a very pretty day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:49 PM | Comments (0)

The art and science of...


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:03 AM | Comments (0)

Hmm. I wonder if they have my buck-and-a-quarter quarterstaff?

Thrift shopper recovers Mobile archbishop's stolen crosier

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A gold crosier shepherd's crook stolen from Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb's unlocked parked car has been recovered by a man who bought it at a thrift store in west Mobile.

It's the second item stolen from the car that has been recovered in recent weeks by thrift store shoppers. A pectoral cross worn by bishops was returned to Lipscomb last month.

Clinton McInnis of Chunchula said he paid $10.96 for the crosier on Jan. 26 to add to his walking cane collection. It is valued at $6,000, church officials said. [...]

McInnis said he knew the staff wasn't a cane when he came home and put it together but still had no idea exactly what it was. McInnis said he read in the Press-Register about the return of the pectoral cross and then realized what he had bought. [...]

Stolen items still missing include a pallium, which is a white band ornamented with six small black crosses that can only be replaced by the Vatican; a gray traveling case with church papers; and four mitres, ornate headdresses with decorative tails called lappets. [...]

I wonder if the thief will try to itemize those on his tax return since he donated them to the thrift store?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:43 AM | Comments (6)

What a dump!

Dreams again. Sorry. If you hate hearing about other people's subconscious meanderings ::coughJimSmithcough:: clock out now.

BUT FOR THE REST OF YOU, it happened again. Some people dream of flying, I seem to dream of a neverending universe of decaying backroads small towns. I don't know what it is, but once more I had a dream like that. Last night's drive took me through what seemed like several hours of incredibly broken-down towns and hamlets, and one in particular was almost a theme park ride of ticky-tacky tar papering. There was one giant old barnlike thing hard on the left side of the road (winding, two-lane, and oddly smooth) that was held up by a series of hundreds of 2x4 outriggers and stringers and such nailed onto the exterior walls and running down into the dirt. Further on down the road were similarly constructed (or deconstructing) houses and commercial buildings, but despite the appearance of things, life was quite lively around town with folks walking and driving about as if nothing was amiss.

Anyway, that was just one of the places, but the rest were similarly disarrayed. I realize it's probably asking too much, but it seems like I ought to at least be able to run across an out-of-gas and ever-so-grateful young Jane Russell every once in a while.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:36 AM | Comments (2)

What did I do this weekend?

1) I did sleep late Saturday, but it required much in the way of burying my head underneath multiple layers of pillows. Why does my family begrudge me sleep on the one day I can sleep late?

2) Laundry. Reba's back is still hurting, so it was left up to me to take the clothes to the creek and beat them with rocks.

3) Chaperoned. #6 came over and spent the afternoon and early evening with us. He and Oldest stayed in the den and watched movies and made odd smacking sounds that I believe were not related to the eating of popcorn.

4) That's about it for Saturday. It lasted much too long.

5) Church. Had a lunch/meeting after worship that lasted too long.

6) Collapsed on the couch for one hour. Was repeatedly roused by various children and a spouse. Why does my family begrudge me Sunday afternoon's nap?

7) Church again.

8) Super Bowl. Saw the last five minutes of the fourth quarter.

Other stuff happened--Catherine went to a make-up birthday party, I went to the grocery store several times, there was vacuuming (including the kitchen table), the cat nearly tore my arm off--but for the most part these things were just part of a long smear of activities that ran from one thing to the next without a cease-fire, and so this morning I'd be happy simply to sit here and be a stalk of celery. (Admittedly, some celery has it better than others.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:17 AM | Comments (2)


That's about all I'm capable of mustering up this morning! Well, that and @$&$#^#*!@ at the multitude of comment spam messages I have to go through and delete. Grr!

Be back directly.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)

February 02, 2007

I'm gonna sleep in tomorrow.

Well, that's the plan, at least. Somehow, I doubt I'll get to do that.

ANYWAY, it's been a largely unproductive week hereabouts, due in large part to me constantly spinning my wheels in wild goose chases. At least I'm never at a loss for excitement. Not to be picky, but it sure would be nice if the excitement was something more along the lines of sudden financial independence.

Oh well.

All of you have a fun weekend and come back again on Monday and we'll see what all we can come up with.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:55 PM | Comments (0)

How Could I Forget!?


It's Groundpossum Day!

The famed groundpossum Trussville Terry emerged from under the multiple layers of blankets on his bed this morning at 5:30 CT, turned on the local news, propped up on his arm, watched the weather and traffic mini-updates, and then fell back to a fitful slumber before awakening himself again at 5:52 a.m. with a thunderous burst of flatulence.

Crowds gathered at the annual event held in this quiet Alabama suburb applauded briefly before clutching their noses and gagging.

Further distress was visited upon the onlookers when the groundpossum rolled off the edge of the bed at 5:57 a.m. and stood beside it, removed his sleeping attire, then proceeded to vigorously groom his stomach and chest hair with a hairbrush he had found nearby.

The groundpossum then went into the bathroom and closed the door.

Local lore indicates that his actions this morning predict six more weeks of blogging.

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

License Plate Matching Game!

SO, anyway, about that circuit board for Catherine.

A simple thing with aluminum foil strips across the back that are supposed to connect answers to questions. You find out if you're right if you hold a little flashlight bulb and battery holder to the two ends of the strips, completing the circuit.

You can match state capitals or math answers or such things--the questions and answer type themselves aren't really the point of the exercise so much as figuring out electricity.

Or so I thought.

Anyway, we sat down and went over some possible things to ask, and she finally settled on license plates. Should be simple--find some plate images on the Internets, cut out some pictures, stick 'em on the board, write in the states, and fix the back with aluminum foil strips.

Of course, being Creatively Anal-Rententive Daddy, I immediately began trying to figure out the best way I could make an 'A' on this project, and so got on the computer and made a simple 2x6 table in Word with a nice border, and in each cell put a circle and a corresponding number and letter beside each. This was then spray-mounted onto a nice piece of foamcore board I had at the office so it would be nice and rigid.

Now, for the contacts--what I thought would be a very slick looking addition, that being brass paper brads pushed through the face of the board and unfolded on the back. That way, no punching of holes, and the brads would give a bigger surface to use for the battery leads. And they're nice and conductive.

Brought home my handiwork and was immediately rebuffed by Catherine, who noted that the foamcore was NOT poster board, and that there had been NO punching of holes into it. "How are you going to punch holes with those round metal things in the way?"

"No, sugar--look, they're metal, and they'll conduct electricity even better than sticking a battery wire through a hole and trying to touch a strip of aluminum foil in a hole."

She was dubious. And to make matters worse, she went and told the teacher on me, and came home Wednesday and said, "She said you should just do it the way it is on the instructions."


Thankfully, I was still able to make it relatively cool through the use of the Acme Licence Plate Maker. I found this quite by accident, but was sold on it when I figured out I could black out the names of the states and then personalize the plates with little clues based on her name.

I made several so she could pick the ones she wanted, but they all had variations of her nickname at the end. SO, they wound up looking like this (in case you need help, the answers are in the extended entry):

A plate1.jpg

B plate2.jpg

C plate3.jpg

D plate4.jpg

E plate5.jpg

F plate6.jpg

Last night was the night to finish the construction. The previous day she'd haphazardly cut out the paper license plates (yes, I know I should have just cut and pasted them on the computer, but there HAD to be something in the project that looked like a kid did it, and trust me, she's like a marmoset on meth with scissors, so it looked age-appropropriate) then we stuck everything down with sticky photo tabs, and after I found and purchased a set of hole punchers, we (i.e., I) carefully punched the holes. The strips were last, and each was taped on the back and the end result looked quite attractive. And to add to the kid-assisted nature of the whole thing, Catherine grabbed a pencil while I wasn't looking and scrawled a giant "LISENSE PLATE'S MATCHING BOARD" legend directly above the neatly computer-scribed "Catherine’s License Plate Matching Game!" 18 point, Impact font title I'd put on there.

"Why'd you do that!? It HAS a title on it!"

Who knows. But we left it on there.

Anyway, as I said, I better get an A.

A) Alabama (her school's mascot is the Husky); B) Idaho; C) Louisiana; D) Wisconsin; E) Arizona; F) Tennessee

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:48 PM | Comments (5)

And continuing the mad pace of days recently past...

...I found out that being a cheapskate costs me a LOT of time and money.

Went and got Rebecca from soccer practice, went and got Catherine and Jonathan from Grandma's house, went to Michael's for poster board to make Catherine's circuit board (about which, more later), went home, realized that I'd forgotten to go by the drug store to pick up my prescription. OH--and I'd gotten a jury summons for the first week of March in the mail.


Worked with Cat on cutting things out, when Mom got home I went out again to the drug store AND with the idea of getting a hole puncher. I thought we had one--the little chrome-plated plier type. I could have sworn we had one. In fact, thinking about it just now, I think I have one out in the garage in my box of drafting supplies. But last night? Couldn't find one anywhere in the house.

SO, I'll get one at the drug store. 'Kill two birds,' eh wot?

On down to the foot of the hill, park, stride manfully into the CVS straight to the school supplies, look, look, look. Hmm. Scissors? Scads. Compasses? Trillions. Protractors? Bunches. Hole punchers? Well, they've GOT to have a hole punch! Looked some more, up and down the aisle. CVS has a BUNCH of stuff. Made my way back up to the OTHER end of the aisle. Saw the long three-hole punch for notebooks. AHH! Hmm. Sold out. Drat.

Went and got my meds and decided since it was close that I would run across the street (figuratively--actually drive across, because crossing the street at night in the rain on foot is suicidal. Only slightly less so in a vehicle.) to the Dollar General store. I guess I could have gone to Food World, but I figured they wouldn't have a hole punch. Turns out that in amongst the dirty piles of cheap plastic pants and shoes and food containers at Dollar General that there just wasn't enough room for a hole punch. Grr.

ON TO THE DOLLAR TREE! Where EVERYTHING is only ONE DOLLAR! And also further down the street, and now taking up much too much time. Parked, walked in, and found that apparently a hole punch is too sophisticated of a device to be made in a Chinese sweatshop and still profitably be sold for a dollar. GAHHHHHH!!


I was just about resigned to spending the rest of the evening at various office supply stores, but thankfully the neighboring Winn-Dixie had a deluxe set with the handy spring-loaded chad trap underneath for only $1.79.

Got home at SEVEN O'CLOCK with my prize, and found that the little circles I'd so neatly MSWorded onto the sheet of paper as a guide for where to punch the holes were slightly too far over. SO I had to cut a strip of paper and poster board off of each side.

But by gum, those hole punchers punched out those TWELVE holes like nobody's business!

Sure, I figure each hole probably cost around 50 cents apiece once you figure in time and gas, but obviously that will go down as I move into volume hole production.

NOW THEN, I'm going to go sit at the front desk and cover the secretary as she goes to lunch, and THEN we'll get to hear about the frustrations of dealing with a very literal-minded 4th grader!

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

No, silly...

...I'm not dead!

Only pining for the fjords.

Anyway, had a long meeting this morning to attend, so I'm just now getting to work, so no need to call out the St. Bernards and the avalanche patrol. Yet.

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

February 01, 2007

But the Village People made it all sound so dreamy!

Police: Alabama man arrested in women's attire Navy deserter

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — A 21-year-old man described by police as a two-time U.S. Navy deserter didn't go unnoticed when he was arrested at a traffic stop in Bay Minette. Police said he was wearing women's clothing and makeup.

"A person in a town like Bay Minette that goes around dressed like a woman, stands out pretty good," Police Chief Michael Rowland said. [...]

Because apparently in a town like Bay Minette, female persons don't dress like women any more than the men do. Or something.

Police stopped Javaee Morrissette Robinson for driving with an expired tag Tuesday and learned he was wanted by the Navy for desertion, Rowland said.

Police don't believe Robinson was attempting to disguise himself. Rowland said Robinson has lived in Bay Minette for a while and has a history of cross-dressing.

"We just believe that is part of his particular lifestyle," Rowland said. [...]

And let's face it--navy blue is VERY slimming.

There's probably also some kind of joke in here about "rum, sodomy, and the lash," but I'm not sure it should be made.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:09 PM | Comments (4)

It's probably not even real food.

Probably one of those Lean Soylent Green meals that are so popular amongst the dieting set.

But someone just cooked something in the microwave outside my office, and the smell is about to empty my mouth-watering apparatus. It's some sort of beef with gravy smell, but of a richness and headiness that it defies categorization. It smells like what the guys and gals up on Mount Olympus must have on the days when the ambrosia runs low, or maybe when they go to eat at the steakhouse.

I've GOT to go get some lunch! Now.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (2)

A new product idea!

Biden explains, apologizes for comments

WASHINGTON - Backpedaling furiously, Sen. Joe Biden said he really meant to say "fresh" instead of "clean" in describing Democratic presidential rival Sen. Barack Obama. [...]

Gosh, Sen. Obama really needs to give up on politics and just become a household/personal hygiene company. He's fresh, he's clean! And you can bet the product labels will be written in an highly articulate manner!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)

Okay, so your blood would be full of pressure, too.

IN addition to all the other crap I have to do, I had to go for our company health screen this morning, because I switched insurance companies from Reba's to the city's provider, and we have to work with UAB to keep a database on the employees' health and berate us for being unhealthy in order to get a break on our premiums.

Anyway, the annual screening was a year ago, and I forgot to go.

Got a note in the intraoffice that promised I would be summarily executed if I missed the makeup day. Which has shifted from Monday, to Tuesday, to yesterday, to today, as I've tried to work it in with all the other crap I've got to do. (And remember this, all you who are aching for goverment-run health care--you'll have to do something similar, I guarantee it, it you ever submit yourselves to allowing bureaucrats to run your insurance.)

SO, I filled out my old form that I got last year and walked over to Boutwell Auditorium, knowing that this was going to be not a fun thing. I mean, I already go to the doctor for hypertension and every other risk factor for dropping dead, and despite the nice medications, the last few days have NOT been conducive to easily flowing life-juice.

Let's see--had to go ahead and take four hours of vacation yesterday due to the furnace repair wait, which itself cost nearly an entire Benjamin, and then went and got the kids and found out that Jonathan had ONCE MORE forgotten a permission slip for a band trip and needed me to maybe write him a note instead, and we got home and I wasn't sure Reba was going to be on time so we could get to church all together, and so I had to go ahead and try to throw some supper together quickly, and then the nifty little things I had made for Catherine's circuit board she started cutting out and it looked like she'd chewed them up with her teeth, and then the weather guys on television were still predicting widespread devastation and snow and despair, and then Reba did manage to get home and was in a sour mood made worse by a hitch in her back that made her as pissy as a cornered injured mountain lion, and so we did manage to get to church for Bible study, where Ashley, whom I thought was doing better, started back in with her bossy witchiness to her siblings, made worse by an attentive group of fellow church-goers, and then after her little outburst, Jonathan began acting like a moist turd, so the trip home was very quiet, aside from a stop at the gas station, which used up the remaining $10 part of that hundred dollar bill I almost spent on the furnace and then another sawbuck on top of that, and after getting home was informed that I needed to take all the kids to school today so that Reba could go into work early, which means they had to get in the bed and up early so I wouldn't be late today, if I actually did have to go to work what with all the devastating ice hanging off everything, and in the process of getting the kids in bed Jonathan told me he ALSO forgot a permission slip for some thing he had to do in gym class, and needed another note to the coach for that, and he ALSO had homework to do, but luckily they all managed to get in bed at a relatively decent hour and so did I, but it didn't really matter how much sleep I got because it was filled with that dream of being on some college campus somewhere and I was looking for the swimming pool so I woke up tired and baffled, and then had to scurry around this morning trying to get the three younger kids AWAKE and as I turned Jonathan's light on the bulb blew so I had to run downstairs and get a bulb out of the utility closet and come back upstairs so he wouldn't have to get dressed in the dark and the replacement bulb was bad, too, so we had to take one out of his lamp, and I STILL had to go shave and get dressed and as I went by Catherine's room she was still asleep and so I told her if she'd just get ready before everyone else I'd take her to Michael's craft store tonight so she could get her poster board, which made her happy and active and made me remember that I still needed to go sit and shave and I went into the bathroom and Reba had gotten there first so I had to wait on her and she still wasn't in the best mood this morning but whatever, right?, because I did eventually get shaved and dressed and "Terry, could you sew my button back on my sweater?" RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of trying to get the kids downstairs and fed breakfast and I wondered why it was that I had to sew it on, but I said "sure, okay" anyway and sent the kids downstairs while I asked Reba to take the sweater off but she acted very hurt and asked why I couldn't just sew the button on while she had it on, since it was in the back, and since she didn't want to muss her hair, which was just fine by me, you know, because I'm not the least bit uptight about such things, so I threaded a needle and got her to stand under the light and be still, which seemed to make her even more nettlesome than usual, but the button did get sewn back on and I took off screaming down the stairs and found that Catherine had only gotten out her own microwaveable biscuits but none for her brother and sister, so I got two more out and popped them in and tried to get everyone moving toward the car, which entailed everyone finding his or her coat AND me writing two notes for Jonathan's teachers so he'd quit bothering me about it and then Rebecca couldn't find her jacket or her shin guards, which she swore she'd put upstairs and she was moping around acting like she was nearly dead so I told her to look some more for them while I rousted the other two and went and got them put in the Volvo and cranked it up so it'd warm up and then went back inside to help Rebecca, who was more or less just standing around and about to cry, until she made a pass through the dining room and found her stuff which she began shoving into her gear bag while I rushed out the door and to the car where Catherine was in tears because Jonathan was acting like a butthole toward her by saying mean things, which was pretty much where he was with his attitude last night, so I had a stern lecture for him that lasted until Rebecca got in the car and off we went to school where I dumped them out and made the dash for the elementary school to dump Catherine all the while trying to think of something to write for the Thursday Three if I got to work in time, which I thought I might be able to do since there was no ice on the roads, and after dropping Catherine and telling her I loved her very much even when she acts like a baby I was off toward town and managed to bob and weave my way into the slow lane no matter what I did, meaning I didn't get to work until exactly 8:00 and there's this matter of actual work that I have to get done that I've been putting off and, yes, that health screen I had this morning, so after posting a lackluster T-3 that everyone will hate, I took off and walked across the street and prepared to see my blood pressure number up in the ionosphere, and sure enough, I sat down and immediately felt myself tensing up with my normal surge of "white coat syndrome" aided and abetted by my "incredibly hot mature red-headed nurse with reading glasses syndrome," and sure enough, my blood pressure was 900 over 250.

Well, almost.

It was too high, though, and I had to explain that I am under treatment for it, and when I am not jazzed up on life and Diet Coke, the medications my physician prescribes do a fine job of controlling my debility, and that when I do my own monitoring away from the scary doctor places, I have normal blood pressure. Three minutes later, and it was down some, which seemed to relieve her.

ON the bright side, the high pressure made the blood draw much quicker, as my precious essence shot out of my veins like a fire hose into the test tubes.

Back home to my unkempt desk now, and it's time to do actual paying work, because I've got to leave early again to go pick up Bec from soccer, and tomorrow morning I've got a meeting to go to that will keep me away from the desk for ANOTHER three hours or so.

But other than that, things are pretty quiet.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:24 AM | Comments (9)

Thursday Three!

It's an "On the Fly" edition this morning--no time yesterday or this morning to do any sort of deep thought or induce any cleverness into the process, so here's you a slapdash, thrown-together-at-the-last-moment set of questions, guaranteed to be neither entertaining nor insightful!

Everyone is free to play along, of course, although you might not want to. But go ahead anyway just to stay in practice.


1) What is the last product you recommended to a friend?

2) What is your favorite section of the grocery store?

3) Joe Biden--lunatic, or idiot?

There! Quick, run and answer those by either dropping a comment below, or a link to your blog!

As for my answers:

1) I guess it'll be our new vacuum cleaner, the Hoover Fusion whatever-it's-called. I can't remember who I told besides all of you, but I gave it good marks. Takes a lot of emptying, though.

2) I really enjoy the so-called "ethnic" food aisles, just to look at the packaging. The frozen food aisles and cases are also kinda interesting, just to see what all people have come up with as convenience foods.

3) I don't think they're mutually exclusive, but I think he's probably not crazy, he's just got a tin ear and a disconnect between his brain and his mouth. Idiot.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:32 AM | Comments (23)