April 30, 2007

And then...

Well, Sunday was going to be a lot more restful. Yesterday was the fifth Sunday in the month, and every time that happens, we have a meal together and then right afterward have the evening service, so we’re through for the day by 2:00, which meant I could go home and get into my comfy clothes and not do a blessed thing the rest of the afternoon except doze, read the paper, watch the race, and break wind.

BUT FIRST--food. I got up when the clock went off and after several minutes spent trying to wake up, got myself out of bed and went downstairs to start the lasagna baking, then came back upstairs to perform my morning ablutions and primping and facial hair removal and such things, got everyone else woken up, made a big salad (“making” in this instance consisting of pouring salad out of a bag into a big plastic bowl), ironed a skirt for Rebecca after telling her I wouldn’t because it was almost time to go and telling her to wear something else in her closet but she couldn’t because she didn’t have any brown shoes so I felt like the heel of a brown shoe, then actually got us to the building with three minutes to spare. Good class, good sermon, good meal, and another good sermon, and despite my fatigue, I actually stayed awake during the majority of all of them.

On toward home afterward, with a stop for gasoline and newspaper. Home, did some minor cleanup downstairs on the stove, told Catherine to start cleaning some more until she found her recorder, had a private conversation with Mom that we might have to just break down and buy another one so she’d be able to perform next Tuesday, and Cat kept whining that she couldn’t help it that she couldn’t find it, and we ONCE MORE went through the list of places she said she’d looked. Kitchen, yes. Bedroom, yes. Dining room, yes. Den, yes. I was going down the list as I followed her around, walked into the den, straight over to the blue recliner by the couch, and look, a red plastic Yamaha recorder, right there on the cushion. Nearly two weeks, and it had been right there all along. “Hey, Catherine, look. A recorder.”

Everyone was very happy.

I ran upstairs to get out of my suit.

And then came the sweet talk.

I am such a sucker for sweet talk and close wifely contact.

::hits self in head::

“What did you want to do this afternoon?”

“Uhh, well, I wanted to sit on the couch and read the paper and watch the race and break wind and sleep and then go back through those in reverse order.”

“Well, you know, I got those seeds for Catherine,” which was true--one of the things she’d done over the weekend is go to the store and buy up thirteen packs of seeds with the promise to Catherine of helping her plant a little garden, “and I thought maybe we could go get some potting soil and some pots and put those out.”

“You know--those pots we have downstairs would be fine, you really don’t need to get more.”

“I know. And they probably won’t do all that well anyway--we really just need to pull up all that stuff in the planter outside the kitchen and do it there.”

I am a moron.

“Well, no--that’s be the wrong thing--they wouldn’t get enough sun, and it would just be a mess there--if you were going to do that, you ought to make a little bed out in the yard somewhere…”


“OOH! Maybe get some of those crossties or something and make a little raised bed and fill it with dirt!”


“Uh, well, yeah, I guess so.

“You want to go with us to the hardware store?”



Off with my comfy soft shorts and tee shirt, on with my work clothes, waving goodbye to the TV and the big stack of newsprint and consoling myself that I didn’t want to watch the race anyway.

Went outside to see where to put this thing, mapped out an area by the arbor, and wondered why soft squishy woman parts have to have such an effect on me. Dropped the rear seat in the van, then took three of the kids with us--Middle Girl, who was also getting to go to the shoe store for brown shoes, then Cat, because it was her garden, then Boy, who was supposed to be providing muscle support. Took off in van and Volvo (since the seats in the van would have been over-occupied had we taken only one vehicle, and people would think we were ignorant immigrants) to Lowe’s.

Eight landscape timbers, a roll of landscape cloth, 20 cubic feet of dirt and a hundred bucks later, it was time to head back to the house and get it all unloaded. And I was fighting the clock, because I wanted to get it finished before dark. Oh, and I forgot spikes.


Off to Marvin’s down at the foot of the hill for spikes.

Back, and time to lay it out. Rolled out three strips of landscape cloth and pegged it down, then hopped around and hoisted the timbers into place and began beating the bejabbers out the spikes with my little hand maul and after much exhausting beating and stooping and swinging and toting bail and lifting barge, I had a square enclosure more or less spiked together. Then time to start filling it with dirt. Those bags are heavy.

Sliced and emptied all ten of them, trying not to bury Lightning, who thought all the fresh soft soil looked like his version of heaven--an eight by eight litter box--and could not be stopped from pawing and wallowing in it.

Got out the rakes and began leveling it off, and trying to go back and fix the unleveling that Catherine was intent on doing right behind me.

Looks good--needs some of that big pile of compost we’ve had cooking for nine years now. Had to go get the wheelbarrow, which was under a bunch of heavy stuff. Shoveled compost. Spread compost. Reraked soil and compost mixture. FINALLY finished up the bed, right as the good light was gone, around 7:00 or so.

Golly, I was tired.

Sat down on the stone bench and wondered anew why I encourage myself to do such silly projects, and after recovering sufficiently to be able to move, went in and got a shower, ate a little bit, and went back upstairs to read the paper. And wouldn’t you know it--not a thing in there worth reading.

ANYway, this morning I am, as we say, all stove up. Not so much from the amount of work--just the amount of work compressed into about four hours of intense exercise. That nice flat area underneath the drafting table over there sure does look like an inviting place for a nap, let me tell you.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:04 PM | Comments (5)


Friday? I don't remember. I think there was something that went on, but details escape me. Obviously, there was some laundering that went on, Oldest went to a birthday party, and we continued to look for Catherine's recorder.

Actually, that silence around the house has been a blessing, but she does need it for her concert next week. Although she could probably do as well screeching and squawking. Oh, that's just mean--actually, she CAN play songs on it--from the simple of Hot Cross Buns and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, all the way up to Amazing Grace and Ode To Joy. But it takes a lot of concentration for it to come out as Amazing Grace and not Unbelievable Awkwardness.

Anyway, some time last week she was happily squeaking her way around the house at top volume, and then seemingly almost as suddenly, she couldn't find her recorder. Not on the table, not on the dining room table, not on the stairs, not in the den, not outside--it had simply vanished. Our guess? That is was buried under the avalanche of closet contents that she had, for some reason, taken out of her closet and piled in the center of her room. The task for the weekend? Put all the stuff back up and find her recorder.

SO, that was just about all she did on Saturday. She'd move some stuff, then I'd have to come inspect and tell her the next set of things to put away. She'd do a layer of books, then I'd suggest garbage. She'd get that up, then I'd tell her stuffed animals. These would get picked up, then we'd get on to the next strata of hard toys. On and on, layer by layer, all day long. As involved as any archaeology dig.

While she did that, Reba fixed breakfast, and I took the Volvo down the hill to the shop. Again, some issue with alignment was bothering me, so I told them to do that and rotate the tires, and I made extra special sure to tell them how to get the hubcaps off. They're the old type with a little black center cap that holds on a larger stainless cap on the wheel. If you don't pop off the center cap, you'll wind up bending the bigger cap. And these things are getting much too scarce to bend.

Went and got some breakfast at Hardee's across the street, sat and ate, then came back.

"Mr. Oglesby, could I show you something on your Volvo?"

That's the sound of money leaving my billfold.

Worn out tie rod end, and the bearings were a bit looseish. ::sigh:: I kinda was figuring in the dark recesses of my mind that the tie rod end might be shot, because there has been a disturbing bit of shudder in the steering wheel when I'd have to stop suddenly from high speed, so it wasn't a complete shock. But it still made me very sad. Because it cost a lot of money. And because I had them go ahead and change the other side, too. ::sigh::

But I have to say this, they are a nice bunch of guys. They got one of the guys to take me home, and in addition to being a nice service, it was exciting as a bumper car ride. Our neighborhood was having the annual neighborhood yard sale, so unknowing strangers were clogging the streets with their ignorance of local driving customs, and add to this my own visitor (who seems to have indulged in a variety of controlled substances in the long distant past) blithely driving along as if there were no cars anywhere, and it was quite a jump start to the morning.

Home, kissed the ground, went in and got on my yard clothes and went to work. Made several passes, and then remembered I have a son who needs to get out more, stopped, went in and yelled up to him to come on and get to work, which he did (grudgingly) and off we went again with the mowing.

He did a pretty good job. He did a very fast job when I told him he could go to his friend's birthday party if he'd get the rest of the backyard done by 11:30. He took off and even managed to get most of the grass cut in a recognizable pattern.

I'd been not wanting to let him go, because his friend never could quite say what movie they were going to see, and where it would be, and things like that, and added to the problem was a lack of phone number on the invitation which could be used for contacting the kid's parents, and the lack of a listed phone number, period. I like having a few more answers about such stuff.

But, he worked hard, and he really was looking forward to going, so the deal was struck and he managed to get all done in time. Time to get a bath, get dressed, and time to go to Target to get a gift and a card (and household supplied for us) and to get all the way to Hoover to meet these folks. Why they had to drive all the way to Hoover to enjoy a movie and pizza is beyond my ability to understand. Luckily, I did not learn until later that the event planning (or lack thereof) was no more haphazard than the transportation being provided. Turns out there were 16 boys invited to the party, and they got hauled all over town in two vehicles, the legal capacity of both amounting to only 12 occupants.


Now, I realize back in my day, no one thought a minute about loading up wads of kids in a station wagon or pickup truck and hauling them around, but this is bad news waiting to happen nowadays. I've tried to chalk it up to simple ignorance on the part of the parents, who are relatively recent immigrants from Southwest Asia, but they ain't THAT recent--they do understand "y'all," after all. Thankfully, nothing happened untoward and they had a good time. (Although I don't think I would have taken them to see Ghost Rider, either.)

Anyway, we made it to Hoover right on time, and after I got home, I called and the car was ready to go. Got Oldest to drive me down the hill, which was almost as entertaining as the ride up the hill from the shop, in that it's as if the accelerator pedal in the car is like an on-off switch.

Got to the shop, kissed the ground, sent her on back home, and paid my bill. Which thankfully was only about half the price of a new washer and dryer! YAY!

But, I still have this to say--they run a nice joint there--they actually washed and vacuumed my car out, and put shiny goop on the bumpers and tires! It looked better than when I took it to the carwash a few weeks back, so I figure that was pretty good.

Back up the hill, although I took the long way around, so I could make sure it was driving right. Felt good, no quivering stops or clunking, so that was nice. I drove up the bumpy back road that goes by the landfill, and turned down the radio so I could listen for bad sounds.

And then I heard one--a faint ::pingclang::


There is only ONE thing that makes that sound--aside from a Garand rifle expending a spent clip--that was the sound of one of my precious ol' skool stainless steel hubcaps hitting the pavement.

I pulled over immediately at the back gate of the landfill and got out to go searching. One would think that given I knew the general area where it came off that I would be able to find a relatively large shiny disc.

That's what one gets for thinking.

Sure, there was tall grass and a big ditch, but I thought sure that I would be able to just walk down the shoulder and find it.

No dice.

After lying down in the middle of the road and kicking my heels and crying like a two-year old, I got back in the car and went on to the house, sad that I'd not been more explicit in the instructions on how to put the hubcaps ON the car.

Luckily, when I got those four out of the junkyard, I had the presence of mind to get three more as spares. Downside? I was having to dip into my reserves, and the other three weren't quite as pristine and dent-free as the one I lost.


ANYway, after I did that, I walked in and found out the charity that had twice renegged on their commitment to come pick up our old washer and dryer (which meant that it had been on the driveway for over a week, no doubt upsetting all the people in the neighborhood with nothing better to do than look at my driveway) had called and said they'd be by Saturday afternoon to pick up the appliances.

Only thing was, when I got home Friday, they were already gone.

Yep--someone stole the junk off my driveway.

I am torn--do I report theft of junk, or thank God that there are some thieves out there with more initiative than a charity that had already begged off twice from coming and getting the things?

Obviously, I chose the latter.

Went back and inspected Catherine's big dig--still no signs of a red plastic Yamaha recorder, but it was heartening to see THE FLOOR! Gave her her next batch of cleaning assignments, went and did some more stuff (although I can't remember what), then went and picked up Jonathan from his expedition, which despite my parental disapproval he counted as great high adventure, had some supper, got the kids bathed and bedded, and took the Giant Snore to refresh myself for Sunday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

Never lift heavy things.

That is my new motto in life. Well, either that, or never marry a woman who makes you lift heavy things.

It makes one awfully tired, let me tell you.

BUT, let me tell you later--we've got staff meeting right now, so I must go and claim my chair before someone else gets it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

April 27, 2007

Let's go home, shall we?

I need a long, long nap.

But I don't think I'll get one.

It appears the lawn (or rather, the weeds) have recovered from the freeze a few weeks back, aided and abetted by our recent rainfall, and have sprung back up with a rapacious green vengeance, meaning I must once more don my yardboy garb to go forth and do them (and the atmosphere, and the ice caps, and the polar bears, and the hippies) injury. (Sounds more action-packed than simply saying "gotta cut mah grass.")

I also really need to find a place to get the front end of the Volvo aligned. Right now it's maligned. Heh--I CRACK ME UP! Anyway, I'm grinding the outside shoulder off the driver's side tire, and that's not good, because it would lead to having to purchase a single new tire, and I'm trying to hold out to replace all four at once with some new 15 inchers on my well-hidden cache of 15 inch alloy wheels. Having to buy a single 14 inch tire would just ruin EVERYthing. So it needs linin' up.

The kids have something at church Saturday evening, and of course, there is the normal churching up that belongs to Sunday, and there is the matter of laundry that must be addressed.

All in good time, I suppose.

ANYway, all of you have a great weekend and come back around sometime Monday and let's see how things turned out!

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

Gloom, Doom, and the Almighty Dollar

Never fails to amuse me. The press pretty much says anything economic is bad news. Not sure why. Stock market up? Well, they'll fuss about plunging bond rates.

EVERYthing is bad, for EVERYone.

One of the ones that never fails to tickle me is when they put out breathless, hyper-scared stories with headlines like this: Dollar slumps; euro hits record high

Sounds awful, right? WEAK DOLLAR! WEAK AMERICA!!

Well, forgive me, and remember that I only had micro- and macroeconomics in college so I'm handicapped, but a weak dollar isn't necessarily bad. Except maybe for Europe.

See, when our dollars are cheaper versus other currencies, it means American goods are less expensive in those countries than they might be otherwise. Which means that American goods--absent any obstructionist legislation from them danged foreigners--are much more attractive to consumers. Foreigners buying more of our goods does a good thing--it shrinks the trade deficit that we run with other countries, and provides jobs for American workers. Remember when the yen was so low a few years back, and everyone was complaining about being flooded with cheap Japanese goods, and it was upping our trade deficit (more goods coming in versus fewer American goods going out) with Japan?

Same deal with the dollar and Europe.

The one thing it does do is make it harder for people travelling to Europe to spend as much as they thought they would (yeah, I know--the heart bleeds) and does make it more difficult for industries that might rely upon European raw materials or products used in the manufacture of other goods.

ANYway, here's an article from the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta that provides a much more comprehensive look at what the fluctuating value of the dollar can do for consumers and the economy.

As it is, don't expect me to drop to my knees screaming in horror if the dollar slips a bit more, or goes up, or stays the same. It's not nearly the big story the media have us believe.

Yeah, I know--imagine that.

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

The title of the page pretty much says it all.


I do wonder why so many of them feature flamed paint jobs. Some sort of subconcious death wish?


(Thanks to Steevil the Rocket Surgeon for the link)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

First rule for when you suddenly realize you've dug yourself into a hole.

Stop digging.

Clinton says her Southern twang a virtue

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday she sees her sometimes Southern accent as a virtue.

"I think America is ready for a multilingual president," Clinton said during a campaign stop at a charter school in Greenville, S.C.

The New York senator — who said she's been thinking about critics who've suggested that she tried to put on a fake Southern accent in Selma, Ala. — noted that she's split her life between Arkansas, Illinois and the East Coast. [...]

Yet, oddly enough, she never felt compelled to share with us her gift of multilingualism until she began running for President.

In any event, despite the fact that it sounds goofy and childish when she does it, it does seem she has a point that this ability of hers is a virtue, at least when it comes to those who identify with the Democratic Party.

They do seem much more susceptible to obvious attempts at pandering.

I hope she is able to continue exhibiting her multilingual capabilities in this fashion on the campaign trail, degrading though it may be.

Next stop, an Indian reservation, where she will introduce herself as "One Who Will Be Great White Mother In Washington," and will repeat her lame "I'm in it to win it," line, except adding, "--just like at your fine casino!"

After then after that, a trip to the barrio to hang out with all her chiquas and hombres, where she will introduce suprise visitor Bill by screaming at the top of her lungs, "SAY ALLO TO MY LIL FRIN!!"

From there, a short hop to Chinatown, where she will be met by her interpreter, Rosie O'Donnell, and ask everyone to use their mighty dragon kung-fu skills to humiliate the glowering attack dog mongrels of the Right. (Not only is she multilingual, but in this instance, her mouth moves differently from the way the words are being said.)

The coming months promise to be an interesting ones.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:47 PM | Comments (2)

A Terrible Oversight

I seem to have missed the crowning of the Grand Champion of the Iowahawk 2007 Second Annual Earth Week Virtual Cruise-In, who just happens to be a home state fellow.

And really, how could you go wrong with this:

[...] this righteous ride stood out for sheer hippie-offending awesomeness, on all dimensions: a (1) rocket powered, (2) American made, (3) garage built, (4) pickup truck, from (4) Alabama, fueled by (5) roofing tar, producing (6) 14,000 horsepower. Even without a rifle rack, the concept alone is enough to make Laurie David curl into a fetal ball in her Malibu bunker. [...]

Awesome, indeed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (3)

Thank goodness that's one I don't have to deal with.

Megabeth is under olfactory attack at work.

I really don't care for perfumey smells, either. Reba never wears perfume, which is really sorta odd, considering how girly-girl she is. In any event, though, all those heavy smells have never really appealed to me, except this one girl I went to college with who wore Lauren perfume, and I still get a limbic reaction anytime I smell it. But otherwise, no. I just like the plain old, "I bathe every day whether I need to or not," smell.

And thankfully, no one here where I work engages in musk anointing, but if Megabeth's gigantic utility megalopoly employer is anything like the bureaucrazy here, she might be running into trouble.

It seems like it's become inordinately difficult to deal forthrightly and openly and directly with disagreeable workplace behaviors. In most cases, unless you know the person well, you can't just say "I know you don't realize it, but I'm having a terrible time with my sinuses. I hate to ask, but could you use a different perfume, or less of it, while we're at work?"

Or if it's more than one, something like this to everyone, "I realize this is a selfish request, but lately seem to have developed some breathing problems related to perfume smells, and I would just like to ask you help me out by not wearing a lot to work." If you know everyone well enough, more groveling would be nice, because you do realize you're asking people to change something they don't think is a problem.

Back in the olden days, people understood about wearing some of that strong outdoor-grade perfume while indoors was poor etiquette (along with producing BO, halitosis, and taking care of other personal hygiene matters in public such as brushing hair or trimming fingernails), and would have acted startled that they had been the cause of such distress and agreed to limit the usage of the offending scent. Oh, sure--they would have gone home and complained about it and said what an ass you were, but in public they would have been nicer about it simply out of good manners. And part of good manners is also the way in which the request is made--sure, you're about to gag, but you still have to be apologetic for bringing up the subject.

Nowadays, there are no such things as manners. Tell anyone--even nicely and apologetically--that you're having trouble breathing because of their perfume now, and you're likely to get a huffy putdown of "WELL, YOU STINK, TOO!" along with a harrassment complaint and a ratcheted up level of stink, to boot.

Because not only do we not have manners anymore, we are apparently legally obligated to hire and retain people who are certifiably psychopathically insane.

So any sort of legitimate complaint about one of your coworkers (again, unless it's someone who's actually your friend) gets dealt with by a circuitous route designed not to bring notice of offense to the actual offender, but to level it against everyone, so no one gets offended or upset or sues. So you get a policy rewrite, and everyone is put on notice that they are to be sensitive to anyone's problems and not exacerbate them by doing anything insensitive, and the person who actually is stinking up the place with her oily funk never gets the clue that the policy is aimed directly at her, but she does see an opportunity to use the new policy to complain about Bob, who walks through every day at 3:15 using a concealed mind-ray device to read her thoughts about how George Bush is trying to have her killed.

SO, my advice to add to those of Megabeth's commentors?

Proceed with caution. If this isn't someone who can take a friendly suggestion, proceed with even more caution. Document your sensitivity to particular odors. After that, if it's a friend, ask her to tone it down a bit because your doctor says you'll suffocate if she doesn't, and hope for the best.

If it's a crazy lady, go to the boss, show him your physician's report of your disability, and request to have your workspace modified to accomodate your disability under the terms of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, installation of a system of ambient air scrubbers to remove noxious odors from any place you are assigned to work, monitoring of ambient air quality to ensure that your workplace is within levels prescribed by your doctor as safe, and that the letter P be stricken from the alphabet. (You always have to throw in impossible stuff so you can negotiate it out later when they want to balk about your demands. I mean, come ON--who'd ever fall for that ol' "air quality monitoring" ploy!?)

Anyway, boss will see that this is much more trouble than it's worth, and will bring the offensive perfume-wearer in for a conference, and afterwards will happily notify you that your complaint has been resolved by moving you to the basement and making the perfume-wearer your replacement.

See--it all works itself out in the end.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:46 PM | Comments (2)

As Heard on TV!

Now, I love Jeh Jeh (pronounced "Jay Jay") Pruitt, but his happy-go-lucky exhuberance can sometimes cause him to blither in a comically incoherent manner as if he were the male version of Sarah Verser.

This morning's example? He's at Talladega covering the race this weekend, and was talking about some kind of a Dale Earnhardt tribute by Little E. Best as I remember it (since I was preoccupied doing something else while listening to the TV), he got rushed and said something like, 'a tribute from Dale Earnhardt Junior to his late father, the late Dale Earnhardt Junior Senior.'

I'm sorry, but it was very difficult to stop laughing.

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

Well, it was funny while it lasted.

Snopes steals our joy, AGAIN!

I had really, REALLY hoped this was true, because I had a whole idea lined up for shipping possums to Japan and selling them as, well, I don't know--prehensile-tailed cats.


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


"Any last words?"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:47 AM | Comments (1)

Continuing fallout from getting up early.

Or maybe I should blame global warming. Or Halliburton.

IN ANY EVENT, after getting off yesterday, I hurried home to pick up my new dryer accessory from Lowe's. Got there, walked in, was studiously ignored.




Finally someone decided to help me, and I told her what I was there for and she tapped on the computer and looked at my driver's license and tapped some more and printed out a form. "Wait a minute."

Might as well.



FINALLY, a crinkled little white-haired Filipino guy came out with something he had gone to get for someone else, picked up my pickup sheet, and then disappeared again.


Looked at the Generac display.


Looked at the compact fluorescent bulb display.


FINALLY, he reappeared with a gigantic cardboard box that appeared to have been run over by a truck.


I gathered up my box, fearful of the carnage that must be inside given the condition of the exterior. And wondering why the box was so gigantic. And why the thing inside was so rattly.

I signed the pickup sheet and he disappeared and I took the box over to a quiet place to check it before I got out the door, in case the rack looked like the box. Opened it up with my evil pocketknife and way down in the depths was a nice plastic rack. Completely naked. Not even half a minute spent trying to cushion it with wadded up newspaper, much less any effort spent near a hopper full of styrofoam packing peanuts. Why would anyone send a pretty heavy, yet still breakable, piece of plastic loose inside of a big box like that?


ANYway, it looked like it was all in one piece, so I went on out to the car and went and got the kids from Grandma's and headed home.

Where I was met with the unmistakable stench of burnt food substances.


Oldest, who pretends to diet by not eating lunch as school, then comes home and fixes a full meal, had apparently decided to heat up some of the previous night's chicken and dumplings. And turned the stove on high, and forgot to stir.

I say "apparently," because I didn't have the necessary mental function to deal with what I knew would be a torrent of angry denials that such a thing EVER HAPPENED if I asked her what happened. So, I just grabbed the first upside down saucepan I happened to come across in the sink. Bingo. Big black ring of char in the bottom. Heaven forbid anyone who made such a mess would clean it up.

Ran some water in the pan, went and opened the kitchen window to let out some of the stink, and decided to unpack my new dryer rack and make sure it fit the dryer.

Pulled it back out of the box along with the brace that attaches to the front.


The brace slips on the front of the rack via a couple of tiny plastic pegs that fit into a couple of tiny corresponding holes in the brace. And, as you can probably guess, one of those tiny pegs was broken off.


I looked down in the bottom of the giant box and shook it and looked again. No little broken peg. Well, I'll be danged if I'm gonna take it back. It still works even with one peg in one hole, and if I needed to, I could just epoxy the whole shebang together. The more important thing--does it fit?

Yes. Thank heavens. So now we can dry sneakers and delicates. Big call for that, you know.

ANYway, after tearing the box down and FINDING the errant peg stuck under a flap, and then getting out the epoxy and applying it to the broken plastic peg and sticking it on the rack, I finally had a chance to sit down and read the little newspaper that gets thrown on the lawn every Thursday and await the arrival of Reba, who was having to work late at work again.

No sooner had I turned to page 2 when the phone rang. She'd already called about an hour before to say she was on the way home, so I was guessing she was calling to say she'd gotten stopped by her boss on the way out. Which happens a lot, because she seems to not be willing to keep walking out the door when this happens.

ANYway, I picked up the phone and it was indeed Miss Reba, "Do me a favor--call the police, I'm down here at the BP station and some guy just hit me down here by the Presbyterian church and then he left and..."

"Whoa--YOU call 911 right now, and I'll be there in just a second."

It's the station down at the foot of the hill, so I gathered up the three younger kids and told them we had to go see Mom, shouted up the stairs that we had to go see Mom and would be back in a bit, all the while trying to simultaneously calm them down so they wouldn't freak out, and fighting that peculiar feeling in the center of my chest that you get when you'd like to freak out and go circling the house screaming and waving your hands in the air.

Got in the car, headed down the hill, pulled in the service station and found her on the other side by the curb. Parked, noticed the audience already in place over on the adjacent parcel of property in the form of the chubby chain-smoking clerk from the likka stow. Hi.

She had just hung up from the police, and after giving her a quick hug and comprehensive medical exam to make sure she was okay and her bosom did not need any adjustment, I took a look at the damage. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad--a big smear of dark green paint on the side of the driver's side back bumper.

The story?

Well, she did leave work late, again, and had made it all the way to Trussville, and was just past the light at Target and a carload of goobers pulled over into her. She started to pull off, and the baseball-cap wearing driver motioned for her to drive on down a bit to pull off to the shoulder. They finally wound up at the BP station, and when she'd parked, he pulled in, then drove right back out of the lot, ran the red light at Mary Taylor road, and headed east toward the center of town.

Yep, a hit and run.

Let me just say--if you and your buddies were in a little beat-up dark greenish colored older model Japanese sedan and you hit a lady in a silver Honda van yesterday afternoon around 6:30 near the Presbyterian church in Trussville, you might better get yourself some legal representation. And be forewarned--I will be looking for you.

Corporal Lovell showed up and took the full report and description of the vehicle and its occupants, and I called the insurance company, and I was just glad she wasn't hurt and the van wasn't too badly damaged.

Just a few tips that I can tell you, but that I was chary about telling Reba for fear of launching one of those bouts of offended pouting. If you're in an accident, pull to the side of the road as soon as possible. Don't get too far away from the scene unless it's absolutely necessary. Start right then taking account of the surroundings and the person who hit you. Call 911 right away--do not call your husband and tell him to call for you--YOU call. If you're suspicious of the other person, stay in your vehicle until the police arrive.


On back to the house, got the kids working on their homework while we worked on supper, showed Reba the new plastic dryer rack and noted that the peg had broken off but I'd epoxied it back on. I put the brace on the end of the rack and promptly snapped off my newly epoxied peg.


"Well, it still works no matter what." And it does.

Sat down to eat, got the story about the burnt dumplings.

Reba asking, "Was that dumplings you burned?"

Oldest answering, looking confused, lost, uncomprehending, "Burn? Huh? I didn't burn anything."

Me--"Ashley, the house smells like it's been on fire, and the saucepan that you left over there in the sink has burnt stuff in the bottom. The dumplings you heated up stuck to the bottom of it and burned. That's why the house smells like this."


Reba--"What did you have the stove set to?"

Oldest, "Seven?"

Reba, "Well, you have to stand there and keep it stirred or it'll stick and burn."



The usual. No matter what it is--just like when she hit the concrete curb and tore up the tire, just like when she hit the mailbox and knocked off the mirror. The only thing she couldn't do this time was blame one of her teachers or one of her siblings or one of the kids from church. And at least she finally did--very quietly--say something that almost resembled "sorry." I think this was after we found the SECOND saucepan that ALSO had been burnt. Apparently (again, used advisedly since I had no heart in mounting a full investigation) she'd started off with one pan, burned her food, then transferred it to another to complete the scorching process. No wonder the house stank.

SO, in conclusion, it is never a good idea to get up at 4:00 a.m.

ON the bright side, Rebecca had a good time at the Renaissance Festival, although she didn't get to eat her lunch because it was raining all day and there was no place to sit down. I need to have a talk with her about improvisational dining--never let the lack of seating or utensils stand in the way of eating.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:32 AM | Comments (6)

April 26, 2007

With the giddy thrill...

...experienced by Navin Johnson when the new phone books came in, I am happy to report that my new inside-the-dryer plastic dryer rack has arrived at Lowe's! No more thumping sneakers, no more having to hear about how wrinkled someone's prized sweater has become because it was left in the dryer for a week!

Now if only I could just get those charity people to come get the washer and dryer that have been sitting on the driveway for the past five days.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:29 PM | Comments (0)

Such cruelty, such unconcern...

...such Big Arms. Why, even now, I too can hear the "sad pan flutes of imminent species decimation at the hands of uncaring man."


By the way, I have cut down drastically on my carbon footprint by allowing my National Geographic subscription to lapse. No more paper and ink and delivery fuel for me, nosiree!

Now if only I could make them stop sending me all those "please, PLEASE resubscribe, or Earth will cease to exist" notices. The neighbors are complaining about all the smoke from the trashfire I have going in the backyard, and those notices make up about 2/3 of the bulk of the fuel.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

When Gavels are Outlawed...

Roberts hits Stevens over death penalty

Someone's been asleep at the headline generator switch again!

Although it seems that someone must have figured out the silly visual image conjured up by that fragment, and pushed through a headline rewrite that says this: Roberts Pans Texas Death Penalty Opinion

You do sorta have to wonder why Julia Roberts has anything to do with this.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)

Whoa! Talk about unexpected!

What's next, the Spanish Inquisition!?

Agents seize truckloads of explosives, weapons in Alabama raids

Simultaneous raids carried out in at least two Alabama counties today turned up truckloads of explosives and weapons -- including caches of live hand grenades -- from what authorities are calling a militia group.

Teams of federal, state and local law enforcement agents executed four search warrants in DeKalb and Jefferson counties beginning at 6 a.m., so far arresting five people. The raids took place in several areas in DeKalb County -- forcing the closing of Collinsville High School on U.S. 11 because of traffic concerns-- and in Trussville.

Authorities had to rent a U-Haul truck to haul away the explosives and weapons from a house in Trussville.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives launched an investigation into the reported militia group seven weeks ago, according to a federal source. Officials said the group had not made not any specific threats, but said they worked to quickly shut down the group because of its heavy firepower. One federal official said the group had enough armaments to outfit a small army. [...]

Well, this kind of crazy mess is just what happens when I am forced to get up at 4:00 a.m.

I would like to see that second sentence rewritten--"The raids took place in Trussville and in several areas in DeKalb County, forcing the closing of Collinsville High School on U.S. 11 because of traffic concerns." The way it was originally composed almost made it read as if a school in Trussville was also shut down.

Good thing they have editors. Which also helps with the little bit of editorializing that manages to sneak into the article at the end.

Be interesting to see which one of my neighbors this turns out to be.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:52 PM | Comments (7)

Of all the things you might have guessed...

...the Paradise Along the Pinchgut might contain, how many of you would ever have thought it would be home to a new Spanish-language radio station, broadcasting from right there on Main Street?

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., visit 235 Main Street, Suite 202, in Trussville, Alabama to join in the festivities, Tu Ritmo Donde Estes.

Media Advisory

TRUSSVILLE, AL/EWORLDWIRE/April 26, 2007 --- The ribbon-cutting and Grand Opening Celebration of Latino Mix 1480 AM Radio Station, WRLM, will take place on Friday, April 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Post-ceremony refreshments will be served.

With Jefferson and surrounding counties home to most of the state's Latin community - numbered at more than a quarter of a million people in 2005 according to a University of Alabama study - Latino Mix 1480 AM broadcasting by long-time area residents and newspaper publisher, the Vargas family, serves the largest Hispanic population in Alabama.

From studios in Trussville, the radio station's live, 24-hour on-air personalities mix a variety of music formats - from Mexican regional to contemporary, oldies, tropical and Tejano, covers popular artists such as Shakira, Nelly Hurtado, Alejandro Saenz, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. A Spanish version of CNN Headline News is complemented by Latino Mix's own local news, weather and traffic. [...]

Well, I don't think I would have ever guessed such a thing was likely, and I live there. But nonetheless, I think it's pretty neat to have them in town. Even if I can't understand all them weird words they keep saying.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Well, thank goodness with the Democrats in charge, the Culture of Corruption is no more!

From Doc Joyner: William “The Freezer” Jefferson to Keep Committee Seat

A nice little bit of shut-up juice for the Rethug attack machine, eh? Because no one beats noble-hearted Progressives when it comes to promoting culture--NO ONE!

And let's face it--who doesn't have a hundred large in walking-around money stashed in the freezer?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:53 AM | Comments (2)

I think it's because there are quite a few really stupid people in the world.

I'm sorry, but it just must be Stupid Thursday.

The ever-reliable Mikkelsons take their time debunking yet another bit of bunkery, but then note, "The interesting aspect lies not in the analysis of the image, but in why so many readers considered it plausible enough to forward to us for verification."

Again, my theory on the matter can be found in the title of this post.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

But there are wacky treehuggers we can all look up to.

Frederick Law Olmsted,

nineteenth-century America's foremost landscape architect, was born on April 26, 1822. Son of a well-to-do Hartford, Connecticut merchant, Olmsted spent much of his childhood enjoying rural New England scenery. Weakened eyesight forced him to abandon plans to attend Yale. Instead, young Olmsted studied engineering and scientific farming, putting his agricultural and managerial theories into practice on his own Staten Island farm.

A tour of England and the Continent inspired Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England (1852) and a new career in journalism. Later that year, New York Daily Times editor Henry J. Raymond engaged Olmsted to report on conditions in the slave-holding states. His articles, later published as A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States, undercut prevailing myths about Southern aristocratic refinement with keen observations about the plantation system and its effects on master and slave. [...]

And yep, this is the fellow who designed one of the world's greatest public spaces, New York's Central Park, a marvel of naturalistic design, created by

[...] shifting nearly 5 million cubic yards of dirt, blasting rock with 260 tons of gunpowder, and planting 270,000 trees and shrubs. [...]

Hey, sometimes Ma Nature needs a little...persuasion.

In any event, the fellow was a genius.

And he has a local tie for those of us in the Magic City. His son, F. L. Olmsted, Jr., and the Olmsted Brothers park planning firm created a sweeping greenspace plan in 1924 for Birmingham that was remarkable for its scope and technical sophistication. Unremarkable (given the other problems Birmingham dealt itself) is the fact that it was never fully implemented.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:30 AM | Comments (2)

Oh, hey, speaking of stupid...

Via Ace--"It's just a triple decker sandwich of spiced stupid with stupid cheese smothered in stupid-sauce on whole stupid bread with a side of stupid-fries and stupid a la mode for dessert."

That's pretty danged stupid. But then, I'm not sure what anyone could have expected different.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:16 AM | Comments (2)

Yes, well, let's hope so.

NASA Satellite Launches Spaceward to Study Earth's Highest Clouds

Because I mean, let's face it, launching satellites groundward is pretty counterproductive.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:33 AM | Comments (4)

Talk about yer thrill-a-minute event!

Nuns reunite to mark 1967 calcium study

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

Do you know just how hard it is...

...for me to wake up at 4:00 a.m.? I usually get up at 5:30 a.m. 4 is exactly 90 minutes earlier.

Oh, sure--I know some of you who work third shift are just then finishing up lunch, and morning broadcast media superstars all are climbing into their limos right about then, but for me, it's a tad on the earlyish side. And it was raining. And I didn't get in the sack until 11 last night.

Now, there are probably some times I wouldn't mind getting woken up at 4:00 a.m. But even then, those times would be highly limited, and really would only be in conjunction with the promise of indulging in the physical blessings of holy matrimony.

But getting up at 4:00 so I could get Middle Girl to school before 5:00 so she could get on a big charter bus to travel to Fairburn, Georgia for the Georgia Renaissance Festival is not one of those times I enjoyed getting up.

Yes, yes--I know--it's for The Child(ren)tm, and it will help her (them) have a better understanding of the cultural significance of the European Renaissance as it effected south Georgia, and for her (them) to see how authentic Renaissance funnel cakes and deep fried turkey legs were made in Olden Tymes, but still, I really, REALLY would have liked having that extra hour and a half of sleep this morning.

Did I mention it was raining?

Nothing like the sleep you get when it's raining.

That is, if you don't have to wake up.

ANYway, she got there on time, and then the buses rolled in, and I assume she's off to see jousting and falconry and mead-fueled debauchery and the curious manner in which ancient peoples gathered for such festivities, with arrays of colorful horsedrawn RVs.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:56 AM | Comments (6)

Proving that Some People are Very Stupid

Jim Smith sent me this article yesterday, doing his darndest to angry up my blood.

"I'm not a plastic bag."

Obviously made to impress people who are, as we say around here, too stupid to pour piss out of a boot even if it had instructions on the heel. Or who would pay $400 on eBay for a poke sack.

Look, I don't have anything against anyone who wants to use cloth bags instead of plastic--knock yourself out. (Okay--NOT REALLY! Apparently some of you are so dense you'd actually try it.) But this little snippet should give everyone some concern--"The resulting drop in carbon emissions linked to the manufacturing and disposal of the bags is equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road."

As I mentioned to Jim, apparently these particular cotton bags are made by magic, and thus require no huge factory farms of cotton in some underdeveloped nation such as Senegal or India, where lovely natural fibers are grown using a horrifying witch's brew of petrochemical fertilizers and insecticides, and are not then harvested by giant mechanized reapers (or slave labor), then not trucked hundreds of miles to the nearest toxic fiber mill, where the pretty pretty cotton is converted into thread, then not trucked several hundred more miles to a toxic cloth mill, where the threads are woven into ugly burlap, which is not then shipped to a child labor factory in China where it is cut and sewn together, then not loaded on a giant container ship back to England, where Keira Knightley gets to slum around SoHo with Orlando Blossom, feeling superior to everyone. The superiority that can only come from carrying a magic bag.

I don't really know where Sainsbury gets their ecotrendy bags, but if you decided to follow the trail, you'd find that they aren't quite as friendly to Mother Gaia as the trendy sorts might like to believe.

Not that it matters.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:08 AM | Comments (11)

Oh, come on, now…

…the painting of Dogs Playing Poker that never fails to give you a chuckle, the stack of Slim Whitman LPs that you just can’t bear to part with, that pale turquoise polyester waffle-weave necktie with the square ends--YOU know you’ve got them.


This week, America’s Most Entertaining Blog Meme Thing, The Axis of Weevil Thursday Three, explores those nasty little secret proclivities that give us great pleasure in life, yet we still can’t quite admit it. The untoward, and awkward, and uncomely, and downright uncool things we all cling to, in spite of the snickers they evoke amongst the hip and trendy sorts who look down their noses (conveniently located beneath their high brows) at our favorite articles of unseemly pleasure.

SO THEN, get out your keyboard--you know, the one with the WordPerfect 3.0 plastic template pasted over the keys so you can remember the shortcuts--and answer the following three questions.

1) Art! Name one (or more) pieces of highly unsophisticated artwork, literature, music, etc., that you have in your possession that you’re really sorta ashamed of, yet love too much to get rid off.

2) Science! What bit of embarrassingly faux high-tech machinery do you keep around your house simply out of some sort of geekly love affair you had with it in the past, even though there are better and more efficient alternatives around that you could replace it with?

3) Fashion! Okay, you know you’ve got something from a completely different fashion era that no one in good conscious would dare to wear today, except as some sort of postmodern mockingly ironic sort of way, yet it’s something you love and enjoy wearing, even though it causes small children and snotty po-mo pseudointellectuals (but I repeat myself) to laugh and point. So, what is it?

GO NOW AND ANSWER! Either leave a comment below, or a link to your very own “weblog” that are becoming so very popular amongst the youngsters these days!

As for me--

1) Well, it’s not mine, actually, it’s Miss Reba’s, but in any event, we have a cheapo rectangular Chinese silk embroidery picture thingy of butterflies and bamboo hanging on the wall of our bathroom over by the water closet. She’d gotten it from someplace like “Cheap Chinese Crap and Things,” and then took it to be framed in a marvelously expensive frame, and it turns out that the dipwads at the Framin’ Shoppe put the hanger wire on the wrong half of the rectangle, and so now it’s hanging upside down.

But you don’t really notice it at first.

Or, rather, I didn’t notice it at first.

Until one day, when I was contemplating all of life’s little indignities as I sat upon the privy throne, and after looking closely at the artwork, thought to myself, “Dang, those bamboo leaves look really peculiar. And those butterflies are flying down toward the bottom. Stupid Chi--oh, WAIT A MINUTE!”

After finishing up my one square wipe, I stood up and found the picture was upside down. But have I ever fixed it? Nah. It makes me laugh, sometimes. Which is a nice break from the constant uncontrollable sobbing I usually do whilst on the pot.

2) Well, aside from the Volvo, we don’t really have much in the way of embarrassingly obsolete machinery lying about. Which is kinda weird given what a Luddite I am, but when it comes to tech stuff, we might not be the cutting edge, but we aren’t quite that out of date. Although I guess the IBM Aptiva the kids use downstairs (running a crippled version of Windows95) is probably getting a little long-in-the-tooth-looking. But it’s good enough for the kids.

3) Well, first thing, every time I see the word “pseudointellectual,” my mind says “suedointellectual” and I think of smelly professors with suede elbow patches on their jackets. ANYway, as far as fashion, I still cling to these Florsheims I’ve been wearing for years. All the smart young men have recently been wearing those terrible square-toed clod-hoppers that look like security guard brogans (although I have no love for the newest style, either, with the ridiculous pointiness more suitable for wearing by Witchypoo), but to me, there is something calm and comforting about an old-timey pair of shiny black wingtip oxfords with the nice round toe. They look even better when I hike the waistband of my slacks up to my armpits.

Anyway, that’s about it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (15)

April 25, 2007


Forgot to mention I was going to be out this morning bothering defenseless citizens instead of writing tepid, yet dull, essays on a variety of uninteresting topics.

AND NOW THAT I'M BACK--there is much to do, doggone it all, so you'll have to content yourself with the rich bounty offered by both the uppermost and the rightmost-side-of-your-screen blogrolls for your ration of entertaining prose.

I will be back with you shortly.

Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:29 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2007

Hair Apparent

Famed NASA scientist Steevil sends along this link to PajamasMedia's powerful and hard-hitting essay on the important political topic of spendid tonsorial displays. Quote to take with you? Obviously, from the Manolo, who opines: "[...] the beautiful and important southern hair can make up for many sins of the flesh and spirit."

That is just so true.

As a sidenote, I myself have noted in the not-too-distant past the follicular similarities betwixt He Who Must Be Groomed and groovypopstar Bobby Sherman.

And by way of full disclosure, I personally am all eat up with the beautiful and important southern hair, to whit:

Big Boy head.JPG

And yes, I have been told that I too bear a striking resemblance to a famous celebrity--


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:35 PM | Comments (7)

Obscure Architectural Term of the Day!

We haven't opened up the ol' Penguin lately, so here's one that's been just waiting for the right time to be heard:

CRINKLE-CRANKLE WALL. A serpentine or continuously snake-like curving or undulating wall.

From the Penguin Dictionary of Architecture, Third Edition

Probably the best known example for all of us rude Colonials would be the one Tom Jefferson had constructed in the gardens at the University of Virginia. The advantage of this type of construction is the ability to create a single-wythe wall(the width of a single brick rather than two or more interlocked faces) that is still very strong.

And it's interesting-looking, to boot.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:05 PM | Comments (1)

I usually entitle stories similar to this...

..."Perpetuating the Stereotype," popping up occasionally when one of my beloved band of redneck brothers around here goes off and does something so startlingly--but stereotypically--idiotic that one cannot help but be embarrassed for the ridicule it brings down on the rest of us from folks who live beyond our borders.

But this one is a bit different--oh, sure, an idiot from Alabama, to be sure, but probably not one with a wall full of Dale Earnhart memorabilia and a case of Bud in the fridge: Calhoun Community College prof arrested for death threats

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — A Calhoun Community College professor who claimed that a former student left a death threat on her voicemail has been arrested and charged with making the threats.

Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely said Penelope Blankenship, who taught criminal justice and sponsored the college's criminal justice club, [emphasis added] was charged with making a terrorist threat, a Class C felony punishable by two to six years in prison.

College telephone records led to the 43-year-old Decatur woman's arrest Friday.

"The initial suspect was investigated and interviewed and there was no way the person could have made those calls," Blakely told the Athens News Courier in a story Tuesday. "We subpoenaed Calhoun's phone records and determined that the incoming calls came from the cell phone of the instructor and, when questioned, she admitted making the calls."

As we say around here, "that takes a special kind of stupid."

A female left a voice message that mentioned last week's Virginia Tech shootings and said, "you next." The female also left a voice message for campus security threatening the instructor.

Blankenship told investigators she recognized the anonymous caller's voice,

At least she's not THAT far removed from reality--she at least could recognize her own voice!

but the investigation indicates that Blankenship made the calls through the Calhoun switchboard to security and to her own voice mail.

Good grief--if our smarty-pants college professors are this dumb, what hope is there for the rest of us laboring under the "ignert hick" label!?

When asked why the instructor devised the hoax, Blakely said, "I can't comment on that. You will have to ask her that." [...]

If only she were a politician, she could claim it was a botched joke about George Bush.

Let's just hope she's not started swapping tips with Deb Frisch.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:29 PM | Comments (2)

Speaking of cars...

Honda planning new expansion at Alabama plant

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The Talladega County Commission approved nearly $2 million in new tax breaks for Honda, which announced a $64.5 million expansion of its east Alabama assembly plant. [...]

That there is a lot of cash. What's weird is that when you read the story, it sure sounds like A LOT OF CASH, for what turns out to be a storage shed.

Well, sorta.

The tax abatements, approved during a meeting Monday, are related to a 27,000-square-foot expansion that will create 20 jobs. Work is set to begin May 1, with completion set for 2009.

The new space will be used to store steel near assembly lines where machines stamp out car parts. [...]

A really, really nice shed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:13 PM | Comments (0)


What with Earth Day having just passed, there have been a number of magazine articles lately talking up electric vehicles and such, and especially one of Instapundit's faves, the Tesla Roadster. Both PM and Popular Science feature the car this month, and it's been in the news for a pretty long time.

Electric power is great for cars--clean, quiet, max torque available at 0 rpm--but there's one downside, and that's recharge time. I've mentioned it before, but even if your electric car has a 200 mile range, you still have to stop for three hours and let it recharge. This works in some instances such as short hop commutes with long layover times, but not in every instance, like trying to get somewhere 300 miles away in four hours and STILL drive that distance and time at legal speeds.

Despite the environmental drawbacks of fossil fuel vehicles, they are efficient managers of time--if your gasburner has a range of 200 miles, you can "recharge" it and get back to full range again in about ten minutes, assuming you also go inside the gas station to pee and get some Slim Jims.

It's those danged batteries. And it's not going to get better anytime soon, it doesn't look like, because no one seems to be interested in coming up with the one thing that would make battery-powered long-distance travel feasible.


Cordless drills and saws are great, and the construction industry would be a lot less efficient without them, but the only way they're actually usable in the real world is because there are always a couple of extra batteries sitting on a charger being recharged. When the one in your drill gets low, you pop it out and put in a new one, and you're ready to go again. Anyone who hopped on the bandwagon early on and got themselves a spiffy new cordless and DIDN'T buy the extra batteries found out quickly that a dead cordless screwdriver is much more frustrating to use manually than a regular human-twisted one.

The reason this all works is there's (in general) a common enough battery template for these tools that they can work across a wide range of tools with the same type of cell. It would be even better if manufacturers would work to a standard dimension, then everyone's batteries could fit everyone else's tools, but failing that, they at least have a relatively standard array of voltages that the tools operate on.

But car makers, at least right now, are in a wild race to invent better mousetraps, which is great if you're trying to catch mice, but not so great if you're trying to run a car. The battery technology right now is all over the place, with some manufacturers using the old standby lead-acids, to things like the Tesla which use giant grid of what are essentially laptop batteries wired together, to the new GM Volt concept that uses batteries that haven't been invented yet.

What if, though, there was some effort to settle on a workable standard voltage, type, and size, and instead of pulling into a service station to gas up, you pull in to a bay and a friendly-voiced mechanical robot take out the discharged battery unit in toto, and plugs in another one while you wait. The old one is sent to a recharging rack, and you motor away after paying for the exchange of old for new, and you didn't spend any more time than you would have refueling your gas tank.

We're probably be too far along the path we're on now for such a thing--it would require a substantial investment in a recharging infrastructure (both to recharge them and the machinery necessary to pull and plug them back into a car), and somehow you'd have to have a sufficient number of (danged expensive) surplus batteries around to provide power whenever someone needs a quick fill-up, and the disposal problems associated with all these batteries when they reach the end of their lives hasn't really been thought out. But unless there's a way to quickly recharge batteries, the electric car is never going to make major inroads (so to speak) in the vast swath of land between New York and Los Angeles. The distances are too long, and people want to travel without bothersome delays.

If you don't have unpluggable batteries, I think the next best step is another thing I've mentioned before, having your own fuel-powered generator set in the car for when you don't have the time to park and recharge. This is the same thing that Diesel-electric locomotives and submarines use, and the type of powerplant in the generator can be optimized to be efficient for driving a constant-load generator rather than motivating the car. Chrysler's experiments with gas turbines back in the early 1960s (and actually on into the '80s and '90s) were interesting not because turbine power works as a vehicle powerplant--they work best at a constant, high rpm, they take too long to spool up to speed for passing and merging into traffic, and they are thirsty--but that they found that a turbine can swallow just about any fuel, including things like coal slurry.

Obviously, the whole idea of electrics is to try to get away from burning carbon fuels at multiple points, but the good thing about something like coal is that we have plenty of it. The turbine can also run on poorer quality fuels that won't work for powering a car, which frees up some energy for those applications that require better fuels. And again, it works best at a constant high speed, which works best when you're using it only to run a generator, rather than under constantly changing road and load conditions. And this being the greatest country on Earth, there's already been some smart folks who already have stuff like this available. (Although it must be on the pricey side, seeing as how they don't have a price list--but dangitall, that Tesla's gonna set you back a hundred thou, so let's not quibble over small change!)

Anyway, some pretty interesting stuff (.pdf) going on out there.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:39 AM | Comments (7)


Well, let's run the list:

1) Not our home field, and what field there was, was as hard as concrete, had an uphill/downhill slope toward one end, and had more bumps and heaves and rocks and hillocks and hummocks and windrows and moguls than a cow pasture. And the game lasted until dusk, and there were no lights.

2) Playing a varsity team that had beaten them earlier in the year.

3) Playing 40 minute halves instead of the usual 35.

4) Referees. I'm not sure what the problem is, but every game we've played have been plagued with officials who seem oblivious to the laws of the game. I understand that referees can miss things and can make mistakes. But there's a difference between missing something and ignorance. One of the stripes last evening apparently became a ref by going to a sporting goods store and buying a whistle.

Now then, all that to say the girls won their last game of the season 3-0. They still had some problems keeping their heads up and understanding strategy, but they kept working hard and shaking off the repeated uncalled fouls and weird ball bounces and all the other distractions and wound up on a good note for the year.

Rebecca was tickled to have won, and she now feels vindicated in her pre-game predictions of victory. I told her first of all to remember (again) that they got beaten the last time they played this team so there was no reason to be too cocky. But then I also reminded her of what her coach said last week about something called "poise." I don't think she knew what that word meant--until last night. Anyone can win when luck's on your side, but you've done something when luck's not on your side and you still manage to win. That's something to get warm fuzzies about.

They've come a long way since October.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:13 AM | Comments (3)

April 23, 2007

Careful there, Pandora.

Study: Fat workers cost employers more

Now as a Girthy-American, this story has some interest to me, in that it seems as though it could lead to some unpleasantries in the workplace based entirely upon my lifestyle choices.

Well, that's just fine, but before all you sizeists out there start applauding, just remember there are all sorts of legal activities people engage in that can cause employers to lose money on health-related job costs. All you boozehounds and nicotine addicts might have be costing employers, too, you know. Or maybe some of you who enjoy the healthful--although dangerous--outdoor activities such as rock climbing or biking in heavy traffic. I bet people who do most of their own home repairs probably have higher accident rates than those who don't, with the resulting loss of money and productivity off-the-job injuries can cause. I'll also wager stupid people cost more to have on the payroll--maybe a little common sense testing would go a long way to weeding out these sorts of undesirables. And let's not even get into those nasty things people do in their bedrooms or Interstate rest stops, because how DARE anyone criticize THAT sort of lifestyle choice!

Hey, it's not a good thing to be too fat.

But just remember it's not the only bad thing.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:55 PM | Comments (0)

Say again?

Sanjaya: 'I'm not just a musician'


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:26 PM | Comments (0)


SOMEone has done figured me out.

I suppose it was bound to happen, but I had hoped for a bit longer before my misbehavior was so apparent.

When we were at Shoney's eating supper last night, Rebecca had gone to get something else from the buffet and Jonathan had gone to the restroom, leaving just Reba, Catherine, and me at the table.

Reba took a sip from her glass and immediately clenched her hand and tapped on her sternum. "MMmmouch. Mm. Ow. Got a bubble from that Sprite...and it feels stuck...right here!"

As is my usual helpful nature in such cases, I immediately offered to render assistance to my distressed bride--"Would you like for me to rub it?"

She shook her head no, because she is a spoilsport of the first order, and then suddenly, Catherine's eyes lit up and she loudly said, "EWWWWWwwww! DADDeeeeee!! I just now figured out what you were telling Mommy!"


Now all the children know daddy is a dirty old man.

How will they ever cope?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:35 PM | Comments (4)

Random thought from the weekend.

The drive up I-59 to Gadsden is really beautiful in the early evening--the trees were all nice and healthy, and the traffic wasn't bad at all, and the sky was blue, and Sand Mountain was at its finest with the deep shadows in strong contrast to the sun dappling the tops of the trees. Pretty part of the world, that.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:23 PM | Comments (0)

As a very wise man once said...

...Heh, indeed.

Although some of you might scoff, I have found that one can indeed live quite comfortably without having to buy toilet paper ever again.

I mean, what good is carrying a cloth shopping bag unless you use it to steal toilet paper from work! AM I RIGHT, PEOPLE!?

Of course I am.

In a more serious vein, I do have to wonder if concerts aren't rather anachronistic and archaic. Why not just have a video concert piped directly to people's iPods and home theater systems? Sure seems like it would save a lot of time and energy that way.

But then again, that's not really the point, is it?

No, I suppose not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:38 PM | Comments (4)

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

HEY! Congratulations to Nate McCord, who has finished up his edumicating with Something from Estee Lauder. Or something like that.

My silliness aside, this is a great and well-deserved honor for someone who has worked hard and managed to produce superior work AND hold down a full-time highly-technical job AND still do all those manly husbandly fatherly things, too.

Good job, Nate.

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

And tonight?

The final game of the year. Rebecca promises they're going to win, since they're so much better than the other team.

"But Rebecca, if y'all are so much better, how is it that they beat you when you last played them?"

She never has a good answer for this.

She better hope they win, or I'm gonna tease her about it until next year.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:48 PM | Comments (0)

And the Lord's Day?

Well, yet another exercise in schedule coordination.

Boy was supposed to be coming back in at 3:00, and we'd committed to taking Ashley down to Faulkner University because they were having an overnight meet-n-greet event for high school juniors. It started at 5:00 p.m., which meant we needed to leave Trussville no later than 3:30.

Yes, this is what's known as "cutting it a little too close for comfort."

We had Reba's mom and dad to act as something of a backup in case Jonathan was late getting back, but THEY had a homecoming where they go to church, and weren't sure they were going to be back in time. If not, one of us was going to have to wait for Jonathan and the rest of the folks would have to go to Montgomery. (And as it turned out, they didn't get to leave from across the county until 3:00, so they would have never made it in time anyway.)

And no, allowing Oldest to just drive herself down and back is a ludicrous, insane idea, and you should know that by now.

And there was also a bridal shower at church, and a thing for the elementary kids, but both of these just had to go unattended by us--some things just don't fit on the dry-erase marker board calendar.

Off to church, then, and then back to the house for some lunch, did some last minute checking to see how long the drive-time is to Mungummy, yep, hour and a half, and got a call from Boy around noon, and then one at 2:30 heralding his return from the wilds of Camp Jackson.

He was filthy, stinky, and had brought back food. NO! NO bring backs! They had a tray of meat left, and some eggs, and some butter and milk. And a stack of disposable dinnerware, which I told them to go take inside and put with their chuckbox so they won't have to buy it the next time. "But we've already put the chuckboxes up."


I'm just glad it wasn't Boy who said that, or I woulda cuffed him with a dope slap on the back of the head.

"Just go put in in the hut, and you can put it in your box tomorrow evening."

Unload, unload, unload. It's getting uncomfortably close to 3:00, and everyone is still a model of disorganization and redundant effort. You'd figure about the second or third time that you've loaded and unloaded the same things, you'd have it a bit more scienced out. Or not.

Anyway, what with all the wandering around and wasted effort, it finally got to where it was interfering with my critical path, so I made an emergency request of the senior troop leader for Boy to be dismissed, which was then relayed up the chain of command to the Scoutmaster standing next to him, then back down to the senior troop leader and from thence to Lowly Scout that he could leave.


Which isn't really quite as fast as a superhero's car should be.

I'm just saying...

Puttered up the hill to the house at a more than legal clip, phoned ahead to Reba to have the shower started and some clothes ready for him, came to a screeching halt at the door to the Possum Burrow, had him go charging upstairs while I unpacked the cold(ish) stuff he'd brought back.

Tray of meat--check, although sorta runny.
Eggs--ch--WHY YOU LITTLE @%!^@&%$!

They'd put broken eggshells back into the carton. Must have looked just like a trash bag or something. So the inside of the carton is full of goo now.


Boy came back down the stairs at full tilt, Oldest flounced out to the van with her bag and pillow, Catherine came back inside, Rebecca went outside, Oldest came inside, Boy went upstairs, Catherine went outside, Rebecca came inside and went upstairs, Oldest flounced out, Reba went out, I went out, Boy came out wearing his jeans and a nice polo shirt, AND a pair of ugly Crocs. "Son, go put on your loafers--you don't need to wear those to church tonight!" (We were going to go to church there on campus down in Montgomery, and I wanted not to leave too bad of an impression of us). Inside he went, then came back wearing his church shoes, which aren't loafers, but black lace up oxfords. The combination of black dress shoes, white socks, and every so slightly too short jeans was not an admirable one. He looked like Cliff Claven gone casual.

Back inside to get the Crocs back on. He came out, Rebecca came out, and we left the house at 3:30.

And immediately, conflict arose over what would be watched on the DVD player.

"If anyone says one more thing, it gets unplugged and no one watches anything."


Of course, it had to be Oldest, because of the four kids, she's the only one immature enough to blame other people for forcing her to scream and cause everyone to be unhappy, rather than just shut up and watch a movie not of her choosing.

"Pass it up here."

The rest of the trip passed silently.

Made it to the appointed spot at exactly 5:00 p.m., got checked in, waited a bit, and talked with the nice young lady who was overseeing registration. Waited, went to the restroom, got some water, and finally it was time to head across the way to the church building. That's some big place. And it was way yonder full of people. Oddly enough, we were sitting in a section with very few people who would sing. It bothered Rebecca a lot, along with the two girls sitting in front of her who talked the entire time and passed notes and fidgeted with their hair.


Well, I was having my own personal crisis with unwanted perspiration, sitting, as I was, directly underneath one of those global-warming-producing 200 watt spotlamps. They're great for keeping food warm at McDonald's, and turning a chubby man into a sweaty pile of meat in a wool suit. However, they aren't that conducive to thoughts of a higher nature.

After church, got waylaid by a kind white-haired gentleman who was greeting visitors, and got very excited he'd found someone from our way, since they had a member in a nursing home with family in Leeds, and they'd been looking for a way to get a church in the area to contact them, and so in one of those works-in-mysterious-ways type of deals, we showed up at the right time and place to be able to help out. Nice fellow. He asked what I did for a living, what brought us to town, that sort of thing. I asked him what he did, and it turned out he works for the college.

"Oh! What do you teach?"

"Oh, well, no--they won't let me teach--they made me the senior vice president instead."

I offered him my solemn condolences.

Found out we know a lot of the same folks, and by the time I had to go find Reba, you'd have thought we'd been buddies for ages. I like folks like that. Met up with the rest of the brood and Reba and the girls walked on over to the coffeeshop where the juniors were meeting, and Boy and I went to get the luggage. I thought at first we were going to have to lug that mess, but I saw there was ample parking right in the front door of the place where we needed to unload, so we rolled around and hopped out and took her things inside, tried not to further embarrass her with our presence, and headed on back toward home.

With a stop at Shoney's for supper, which lasted WAY too long. We didn't get back until 10:25. And golly, what a shocker, Rebecca STILL HAD HOMEWORK TO DO!


I think she finally finished it.

ANYway, that what all happened this weekend. And then some.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:28 PM | Comments (0)

Well, first of all...

...Middle Girl's team won their game against Gadsden on Friday 4-0, and so they were happy about that. And I made it all the way there in an hour, which is pretty good, considering most of that time was spent just getting out of Birmingham at 5:00. But it was a bad, BAD, feeling when I followed the directions to the high school, and was about to pull in the main gate, and I noticed the main gate was locked. And there were no cars around anywhere. Like a ghost town, or one of those Twilight Zone episode where everyone's disappeared.

Everything goes through your mind--Is this the right school? Did it get called off? Has there been an emergency? Should I maybe drive on around the backside of the school and maybe then run across peoples?

Yes, drive on around, silly man.

Hmm. No one there, either. Drive some more. WAIT! Hey, they've got a soccer stadium tucked back there!


And I mean that.

Some acknowledgement of that fact to visitors might be kinda nice, but I won't gripe too much since my blood pressure and racing mind did return to normal rather quickly after parking.

Afterwards, stopped and got some food, and then on back to the house and got started getting Boy to get his camping stuff together while simultaneously trying to get some laundry done and figure out what would happen on Saturday.

We had to make sure Rebecca got to her tournament, and that Boy got to the assembly point, and that Reba got up and went to some thing the women were doing at church (about which I know better than to ask for too much information, because then I'd know, and I don't want to know, ignorance being bliss in spades when it comes to this kind of thing) and there was still that issue of making sure all the laundry got did.

I felt like we pretty much had it taken care of when we went to bed Friday night.

UP EARLY SATURDAY, at the usual time of 5:30, because I thought (rather, Boy thought) he was supposed to be at the Scout hut (a misnomer if there ever was one, in that it's a converted duplex house) at 6:30. Up, went through the checklist:

Tent: check
Tarp: check
Gear bag: check
Canteen: check
Camp chair: check
Food box: check
Cold food into cooler: check

Ready to go?

No. Realized as I was loading up someone was going to be awfully uncomfortable without a sleeping bag. Went and got that and loaded it up. Got him in the car, and away we went, with plenty of time to stop at Sonic for him to get some breakfast.

To the Scout hut.

No one.

"I think maybe that they said 7:30, Dad."

Probably so.

Well, an hour early, then. I figured that I'd run to the grocery store and get some cash for later on in the day so I could contribute to the coach's gift and get into the park, and then back to the Scout hut.




FINALLY got some folks showing up around 7:20 or so, so we got out and began the delicate unloading process. And then I got all riled up.

Not enough sleep? Mr. Coffee Diet Coke Nerves got me by the scruff of the neck?

Who knows.

But folks, you'd do well to teach your children if they're gonna sass their elders, they'd better expect some blowback. Especially if one of those old farts happens to be working on a sleep deficit stretching back to 1991.

Anyway, Jonathan had been given the task of buying food and implements of eatitude, which meant I had to go get stuff. For some reason, the kids think of all this stuff they want to eat as if they're going to a restaurant, so the supper menu consisted of shish kebobs, baked potatoes, brownies (from a mix--no just buying a box of brownies, nosireebob) and corn (mercifully not cut from the cob with a stone axe, but the regular old canned variety, because there's nothing like consistency in your inconsistency), and then for breakfast they wanted eggs and bacon and sausage and French toast and orange juice and all that kind of thing. And then they had to replenish their supply of paper towels and plates and forks and junk. SO the tab for all that came up to a bit over 78 bucks. Meat will do that.

Divied up five ways (since there were five members of Boy's patrol going) came close to $16, but I just rounded it down to $15.

Back to Saturday, and the unloading, and the young man who came up and asked how much it was going to cost, and when Jonathan told him $15 each, he started whining--"Gaah, why's it so MUCH!?"

"Gentlemen," I intoned in my best Hugh Beaumont timbre, "let me tell you, if you want to eat all that meat--steak for supper and sausage and bacon for breakfast, it's gonna cost you money."

At that point, I was still avuncular enough.

"But when we last did it, it only cost us twelve dollars and..."

Okay, now you're pissing me off, Junior.

"Boys--look, you want this food, this is how much it cost--next time don't put down such expensive stuff."

Give the little pissant this much--he was persistent.

"Let me give you a tip..."

Okay, enough of this crap--I might do many things, but allowing myself to be lectured to by a pimple-faced thirteen year old ain't one of them.

I told him to keep his tips to himself in my quietly psychotic grouchy crazyman voice, then absented myself to go ask the Scoutmaster what time they'd be back Sunday, then told Boy goodbye and to go ask what he needed to do to help out, and off I went.

Anyway, I stewed about this little exchange all weekend--I really didn't get all weird and crazy about it like it might sound, but still, it was offputting as all get-out to have to deal civilly with it. We've tried to get this across to our kids that you have some respect for people who are older than you or have some authority, but even with that, Oldest can be as snooty and rude as anyone you'll come across. Sometimes it just doesn't sink in. I blame global warming.

Back to home, where it was time to get Rebecca up and dressed and ready for her day of sports. And found that Reba was bedfast--she'd felt bad the previous day, and by Saturday morning she was awful. I washed some more clothes, kissed her goodbye, told her I'd see her later, and was met coming down the stairs by Catherine, who was hungry for breakfast. I fixed her something forgettable, kissed her and told her to watch out for Mommy. In retrospect, it was probably not the best idea to leave the house with only a ten year old awake and ambulatory.

Oh, well.

Off to Mountain Brook, but with a stop at the grocery store AGAIN to pick up some drinks for my little cooler and some Slim Jims to snack on and to use as smelly and delicious way to keep people from invading my personal space.

Got there in time to see the boys win their first game, then found a nice shady spot on the bleachers.

Well, the girls played really well, but they still managed to let themselves get skunked 4-0 that first game. At least we got to sit in the shade.

We all took a break for lunch, which consisted of the team taking over the Dairy Queen on Overton Road. One thing can be said for them--they ARE a team. One of the other teams was there when we arrived, and were sitting in several quiet groups eating and chatting, and then five minutes later the place was utter pandemonium. They do have a good time together, even if they haven't managed to win as many games as their attitude would have you believe. If they can manage to keep that attitude and work just a bit harder on skills, they have the makings of a multi-year state champ squad. They're a scrappy bunch.

After lunch, I made a break for it with Rebecca to go see if we could find some sunscreen and a hat for me. Silly forgetful Dad forgot that the giant glowing yellow ball in the sky would be out all day, and left appropriate protective gear at home. First stop, The Pig (i.e., Piggly Wiggly, or as I have come to call it, Hoggly Woggly) over at River Run, which didn't have sunscreen OR hats, but luckily had a restroom, because Rebecca was about to pop. She stayed in there for ten minutes while I cooled my jets at the lobster tank.

Poor lobsters.

After the restroom break, we looked all through the store and were accosted by YET ANOTHER SHRIEKING GROUP OF OUR SOCCER PLAYERS. Not sure why they had come in the store, but they were loud, proud, and rowdy, yet somehow still very ladylike. I'm not sure how they managed that. Especially with the de-pantsing incident and accompanying thong exposure.

Glad I wasn't there for that.

ANYway, since the store didn't have what I needed, we made a mad dash down to the Publix in Cahaba Heights (i.e., New Merkle) where I did find some sunblock, but still, no hat. Dern.

On back to the stadium and this time out onto the football field, which was devoid of shade trees around the bleachers. This time was against Gadsden, the team they played the night before, and the result was about the same, although this time Gadsden did score a point, and we only scored three. But our girls played exceptionally well this game, with lots of good passing and aggressive (but sportsmanlike) defense.

Apparently, that took a lot out of them.

Since we had a long break before the next game, I decided we'd go on back to the house for a bit and check on everyone. Catherine was nursing a cat scratch on her knee.

I did not find out until later that--when I was trying to get into her room and couldn't because of the giant sack of toys behind the door--that she'd put the toys there to keep the cat from coming into her room. Because the cat had been brought into the house. To shed everywhere and scratch her knee.

As I mentioned earlier, leaving a 10 year old as the only person up and moving before leaving was a very bad idea.

Did some more laundry, called back the charity place that had promised to come pick up the washer and dryer on Friday, then first thing Saturday, then NEXT Friday that they needed to come on and get it and not wait until next Friday. "Monday okay?" Well, no--Friday was okay, but Monday's better than NEXT Friday.

Rested for five minutes, then got Rebecca dressed again and out the door for her final game.

The girls were overconfident, and it nearly cost them. They played Pell City, who only had ten players. Full complement is eleven. No substitutes, and playing a man down. Folks--those PC girls played themselves a whale of a game. We did win it, but the two points we got were terribly difficult to obtain, and the other girls played very effectively, and were on our side of the field a lot more than we were on theirs. Call that one a gift of fortune.

After all was said and done, our girls managed to snag themselves a second place trophy! And the boys came in first!

Those were some happy kids.

On back to the house, and after several more rounds of folding and washing, it was time for bed.

And boy, was I ever glad.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

Silly ol' staff meetings!

We've started having them at our former regularly scheduled time of 8:30 again, which is great for making sure everyone is present and all that, but it's heck on trying to do a morning update.

ANYway, a long and not unenjoyable weekend just past, and you'll get to hear all about it in just a while, after I remember what happened.

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

April 20, 2007

There's still plenty of time left in the day...

...but it's still closing time for Possumblog.

Lot's to do this weekend--Middle Girl has a game in Gadsden tonight, so when I leave here I'm going there, then Boy has a campout tomorrow and Sunday, and he's going to have to go it alone this time, because Middle Girl has her final set of games in a tournament all day Saturday. As usual, there is laundry. Thankfully, yardwork takes a vacation because what didn't get bitten by the freeze earlier in the month has dried up from the drought. I think there's something else supposed to happed this weekend, too, but my head hurts too much to remember what it is.

I sure hope I wrote it down on the calendar.

We got a bigger one, you know.

Or maybe you don't. But the little dry erase one on the fridge was too cluttered up with scrawly drawings of flowers and giant lizards and dry erase smears that no longer would erase, so I got a new, gigantic, dry erase calendar that I glued to the door going into the garage. I'm not certain, but I think it will soon be covered with scrawly drawings of flowers and giant lizards, except they'll be SUPER giant lizards. But at least it's clean for now. And that's really enough in life, isn't it--to have a nice clean dry erase calendar? You betcha.

ANYway, all of you have a good weekend, and we'll see you again come Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

Understatement of the Day!

"It was a bit strange," he said.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:36 PM | Comments (7)

It makes me feel warm all over!

I was wandering around the Internet last night (no, you don't need to know why) and came across the EPA's automobile fuel economy website that lists the government rating for cars both past and present. Being ever the curious sort, I thought I'd check on what the ol' homely lump of iron was originally rated at.

I have been somewhat concerned about mileage, and thought I might not be getting as good useage as I should, because one does tend to hear about some REALLY impressive consumption rates. Some of the Stupid People boards I haunt have people claiming nearly 30 mpg, which I found disturbingly high. No real reason to think mine should be quite that high, but still, you don't want to be wasting too much.

I have a daily round-trip commute of 30 miles, with about 22 of that being Interstate, and the remainder a variety of surface streets. Weekends vary, but mostly they're spent doing local driving around home. Anyway, you figure maybe 70 percent highway, 30 percent city. Second, I run that A/C all the time, even in winter (although not on high, and obviously the heat control is turned to hot, but it does help keep the windshield defogged), and I don't drive particularly slow--on the Interstate, I follow traffic speed and it it's moving at 75 or 80, by gum, so do I. But I don't do a lot of floorboarding the accelerator and constant speed changing by stomping on the brake then back to full throttle. Anyway, with all that and based on my scrupulous record-keeping for the past two years, it looks like I average about 22 miles per gallon.

I looked up the Brick on the website, and was pretty surprised to see that an '86 Volvo 240 with an automatic was rated at 21 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 22 mpg average. Pretty darned astounding, I'd say, for a 21 year old hunk of metal with 235,000 miles on it would do pretty much exactly what the sticker said it should.

And let's face it--it really is just so darned sexy.

(Crossposted on Revolvoblog--yes, it DOES still exist!)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:14 AM | Comments (4)


Or rather, the Sydney Opera House. Quite a good critique of it by Kitchen Hand (who is obviously just so jealous the Melbourne doesn't have an opera house exactly like it) AND as a special bonus, a handy translation tool for deciphering Bureaucratese.

Personally, I think it's a neat looking thing, although it would work a lot better if they'd just fill it with sand and call it a giant sculpture, instead of actually trying to put people in it. A side benefit is the acoustics would be better if it were filled with sand.

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


Yesterday I found a little gem via Cox and Forkum, namely a collection of World War II era political cartoons by none other than Dr. Seuss.

I'm still looking through them all, but a few things jump out as recurring themes of his work--the dangers of American isolationism, the craven nature and not so latent anti-Semitism of the America Firsters (and especially that of Charles Lindbergh), the damage caused to morale by constant fault-finding and nit-picking, the ineptitude of Congress, and contempt for both the weeping naysayers who said all was lost and we should surrender, AND the overconfident arrogance of those who thought our enemies were weak or disinterested and victory would be as simple as declaring it so. (Oh, and as for the ink-stained wretch crowd, this.)

One thing quite obvious from the cartoons is that Dr. Seuss was much more concerned (not without good reason, obviously) about the rise of Hitler, while discounting Japan as a power. At least in the early cartoons, you get the sense he believed that the Japanese were a reluctant ally of Hitler, and not nearly so weasely as even Mussolini. The same artistic arguments he made for reasons to fear Hitler, especially his rapacious appetite for invading neighboring countries, don't seem to have registered when it came to Japan and their brutal subjugation of China and the countries of Southeast Asia throughout the later 1930s. His attitude did shift somewhat after the US entered the war, and in one particularly graphic "war memorial" cartoon , he excoriates a man whose name I've never come across--John Haynes Holmes. Seuss, who is seen by many today as pacifistic himself based on The Butter Battle Book, was none too pleased with the pacifism of men such as Holmes, and even Gandhi.

In any case, it's a good way to spend several hours. Even though it's inadvisable to try to draw too many parallels between past events and those current, they are instructive if nothing else because they point out the nature of man has always seemed to either ignore evil or accomodate it, with the inevitable result.

My goodness--you think all our modern lefty cartoonists are bold and transgressive, let's see one of them try this gag in today's environment. It's not racist, although it uses the language of the racist as a dig against him, but I don't think you'd see anyone be able to accept that explanation today. If you look back through his cartoons, Giesel was very put out with prejudiced industrialists who ignored the large number of black workers to fill vacancies in war production factories, but I have a feeling that his actual views would have been ignored in today's upside down logicworld in light of his choice of wording.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:33 AM | Comments (4)

April 19, 2007

The return of an oldie but a goodie...


Now you have some idea of exactly why this is such an effective diversionary utterance.

(Hat tip to Dr. Smith.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:46 PM | Comments (2)

One for Steevil...

NASA to test portable robot surgeon

That weird--I mean, why would a portable robot even need a surgeon!? Seems like a tech guy with a screwdriver and a soldering iron should be more than enough.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:58 AM | Comments (0)

"It has the best of rides, it has the worst of rides."

Charles Dickens theme park set to open

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:40 AM | Comments (6)

Jokeless Punchline of the Day!

Sometimes there are jokes that are funny but just shouldn't be repeated. Like the one Nate just sent me.

However, I feel I must at least give you this...


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:07 AM

Speaking of which...

As Nate notes in the comments in the post below, today marks a special anniversary in America: On April 19, 1775

British and American soldiers exchanged fire in the Massachusetts towns of Lexington and Concord. On the night of April 18, the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, commanded by King George III to suppress the rebellious Americans, had ordered 700 British soldiers, under Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn, to seize the colonists' military stores in Concord, some 20 miles west of Boston.

A system of signals and word-of-mouth communication set up by the colonists was effective in forewarning American volunteer militia men of the approach of the British troops. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Paul Revere's Ride" tells how a lantern was displayed in the steeple of Christ Church on the night of April 18, 1775 as a signal to Paul Revere and others. [...]

At Lexington Green, the British were met by 77 American Minute Men led by John Parker. At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, and were forced to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. By the end of the day, the colonists were singing "Yankee Doodle" and the American Revolution had begun. Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774-1789 includes a Time Line of the events that followed.

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

A grand idea.

Stan the Gummint Man (Ret.) sent me the Saloon column by a guy who claims to be their Washington bureau chief (which I find suspect, because I would have thought that such a post would require some level of smarts beyond that of a drunk squeegee guy) calling for the abolition of the Second Amendment.

Darned fine idea, I say. Yes, really!

However, in the interest of fairness, I would suggest that we at least go in numerical order and start with the First, and go all the way through the Tenth.

All of these amendments were, after all, written at the same time back in the Olden Days, making all of them equally outdated and immaterial to our modern world. And more damning, all of them were thought up by the same bunch of dead white guys. Many of whom owned slaves. So obviously they were evil and stupid. That's obviously why they thought press freedom was important.

It's not, though--it just causes problems.

If only we had some way to control violent movies and books and keep them from falling into the wrong hands and influencing people to do evil, and a way to keep people from using the media as a way to glorify their sociopathy...

While there is no way to guarantee that another Cho Seung-Hui would be deprived access to Quentin Tarantino films and instant posthumous celebrity aided and abetted by NBC News, hitting the delete button on the First Amendment surely would lower the odds against future mayhem.


As I told Stan, anyone who can speak so cavalierly of "hitting the delete button," as if the combined deliberations and intelligence of our Founders was nothing more than a typo, is astounding and it marks the writer as a person of little intelligence and one not worth engaging in conversation.

Well, except to ridicule him.

(UPDATE: A more complete proposal for doing away with things that make people uncomfortable.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:51 AM | Comments (3)

Kid Stuff!

This week we again delve into the places of our childhood for the “Halcyon Days of Yore Edition” of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Take a moment and journey back to your childhood and answer the following three questions (ably supplied by an actual college professor) by either leaving you answer in the comments below or a link to your blog.

Tell us about how it was when you were growing up—what was your--

1) Favorite restaurant.

2) Place to spend time, but not money.


3) Place to go that DID cost to get into.

There you are--scoot along now and don’t play in traffic!

As for my answers:

1) Well, when I was little, it was a big treat to go to the Shoney’s Big Boy drive-in over on 3rd Avenue West, or to the Britling’s cafeteria in Five Points West, or the Ensley Grille. All of them are now quite gone (at least as restaurants), except as memories. Shoney’s was for burgers and terrible strawberry shortcake, Britling’s was for fancy cafeteria dining with actual cloth napkins, and the Ensley Grill was for trout almondine.

2) I always enjoyed getting to go to either Western Hills Mall or Five Points West. Both seemed awfully big-city and exotic and though I didn’t know the word at the time, urbane.

3) When I was young, we didn’t do that much stuff that required paying for admission, but we did go to the Alabama State Fair a few times and I enjoyed it. Except for the scary carnival people.

SO, there you go.

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

April 18, 2007

Hmmm--hardware store worker, eh?

Survey Reveals Most Satisfying Jobs

Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer

Firefighters, the clergy and others with professional jobs that involve helping or serving people are more satisfied with their work and overall are happier than those in other professions, according to results from a national survey.

“The most satisfying jobs are mostly professions, especially those involving caring for, teaching and protecting others and creative pursuits,” said Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey (GSS) at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. [...]

Three occupations—clergy, firefighters and special education teachers—topped both the job-satisfaction and overall happiness lists. Roofers made it on the bottom of both charts, with just 14 percent of roofers surveyed reporting they were very happy.

People who scored high on the happiness scale had the following jobs:

Transportation ticket and reservation agents
Housekeepers and butlers
Hardware/building supplies salespersons
Mechanics and repairers
Special education teachers
Actors and directors
Science technicians

I'm not unhappy doing what I do, although I do tend to complain a lot. Still, the idea of hanging out all day in a hardware store sounds kinda cool. But then you see clergyfolks have the highest happiness, and you don't have to worry about fires except of the eternal sort, like you would if you're a fireman. I don't know why ticket agents would be that happy, or butlers, though. Maybe I could start a church in a hardware store with a design studio next door and triple-dip on the happiness scale.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:58 PM | Comments (5)

April 18, 1906

At 5:12 A.M. on April 18, 1906, an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck San Francisco . With thousands of un-reinforced brick buildings and closely-spaced wooden Victorian dwellings, the city was poorly prepared for the quake. Collapsed buildings, broken chimneys, and a shortage of water due to broken mains led to several large fires that soon coalesced into a city-wide holocaust. The fire raged for three days, sweeping over nearly a quarter of the city, including the entire downtown area.

In the early 21st Century, a vast conspiracy was discovered in which Karl Rove, George Bush, and Halliburton were named as prime suspects in a scheme to make California drop off into the Pacific Ocean. GOOGLE IT!

Over 3,000 people are estimated to have died as a result of the disaster. For those who survived, the first few weeks were hard; as aid poured in from around the country, thousands slept in tents in city parks, and citizens were asked to do their cooking in the street. A severe shortage of public transportation made a taxicab out of anything on wheels. Numerous businesses relocated temporarily to Oakland, and many refugees found lodgings outside the city. Most of the cities of central California were badly damaged. However, reconstruction proceeded at a furious pace, and by 1908, San Francisco was well on the way to recovery. [...]

Additional information from the USGS about the quake and its aftermath can be found here.

On the USGS site, it notes the estimated combined property value of the loss due to both fire and earthquake was 400,000,000 1906 dollars. That would have an equivalent purchasing power in current dollars of approximately $9,247,706,422. An interesting bit of information can also be found here, regarding Senate debate on the manner and amount of aid to be rendered by the Federal government to San Francisco.

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

I hope they get some nice heavy ones.

Calif. voters weigh stronger levees

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (0)

I am certain...

Security Council tackles climate change

...that they will tackle it with the same efficacy as they have such things as Iranian nuclear reactors and African genocide.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:27 AM | Comments (3)


It'll pickle yer liver, and it's apparently not quite the Terra-saving gift of Gaia the Greens make it out to be, either. Study: Ethanol may cause more smog, deaths

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Switching from gasoline to ethanol — touted as a green alternative at the pump — may create dirtier air, causing slightly more smog-related deaths, a new study says.

Nearly 200 more people would die yearly from respiratory problems if all vehicles in the United States ran on a mostly ethanol fuel blend by 2020, the research concludes. Of course, the study author acknowledges that such a quick and monumental shift to plant-based fuels is next to impossible.

Each year, about 4,700 people, according to the study's author, die from respiratory problems from ozone, the unseen component of smog along with small particles. Ethanol would raise ozone levels, particularly in certain regions of the country, including the Northeast and Los Angeles.

"It's not green in terms of air pollution," said study author Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University civil and environmental engineering professor. "If you want to use ethanol, fine, but don't do it based on health grounds. It's no better than gasoline, apparently slightly worse."

His study, based on a computer model, is published in Wednesday's online edition of the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology and adds to the messy debate over ethanol. [...]


Anyway, just as with all the global warming hysteria, I'm not quite convinced this is legit either, being that it's based on supposition and assumptions that might not be accurate. GIGO and all. But it does go so show there are all sorts of possible unintended consequences when people start mucking around with markets and commodities to push a particular political agenda. I'm all for trying to find ways to reduce our dependence on purchasing petroleum products from Allah's Little Helpers, but it's worth remembering there's more to the equation than simply shutting off the tap.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:19 AM | Comments (4)

When in doubt...

...call for Dr. Possum*!

Yes, when there's nothing substantive to say, who better to celebrate it than our own Dr. Possum, wizened counsellor to presidents and paupers alike, who uses his extensive knowledge of medicine, philosophy, nuclear physics, Pokemon, and all other subjects to assist his fellow citizens in living richer and more productive lives! He also manages to steal several boxes of office supplies every time he visits. ::shakes fist::

SO, if you have a question about a medical condition, integrated circuits, lobsters, or you're having a problem dealing with those annoying annoyances common to modern Western civilization, feel free to drop those in the comment box below and Dr. Possum will be happy to answer them. Or if not exactly happy, at least willing.

The Helpline is now open...

*WARNING: Dr. Possum could be wrong. It's never happened yet, but it could.**

**Okay, it has happened, several times, but no one was injured. Much.***

***This discounts both that incident at the Kroger in Gainesville, FL, and the Steam Carillon Convention in Frankfort, KY. But really, those could have happened to anyone, and Dr. Possum just got caught up in the moment.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (20)

April 17, 2007

Of tiles, tarts, and bras.

Many (although belated) happy returns to Miss Jordana on being nearly as old as a couple of shirts I have!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:08 PM | Comments (1)

"Two Americas" Update!

Edwards' haircuts cost a pretty penny

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies.

The Democrat's campaign committee picked up the tab for two haircuts at $400 each by celebrity stylist Joseph Torrenueva of Beverly Hills, Calif., according to a financial report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

FEC records show Edwards also availed himself of $250 in services from a trendy salon and spa in Dubuque, Iowa, and $225 in services from the Pink Sapphire in Manchester, N.H., which is described on its Web site as "a unique boutique for the mind, body and face" that caters mostly to women. [...]

Silky Pony must be groomed, my friends.

By way of full disclosure, I get my hair cut about every couple of months or so at the Head Start over at the Target/Home Depot shopping center. I pay around $13.95, with a couple of bucks for a tip if the girl who shears my nappy locks is cute/young/talkative/or full-figured.

In an even more full disclosure, I really don't care how much John Edwards pays to get his mane and tail trimmed--he's rich and I'm glad he lives in a country where a layabout ne'er-to-well can bilk companies out of millions of dollars so he can lead a life of leisure, but I do so wish he'd cut the faux populist crap.

(Further related thoughts on tonsorial disutility may be found here.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:32 PM | Comments (6)


I have nothing to offer by my prayers to the families affected by the shootings yesterday in Virginia.

And my utter contempt for those in the media and political demogogues who see this as nothing more than a convenient way to promote an agenda.

Don Henley
"Dirty Laundry"

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something-something I can use
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
Comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
It's interesting when people die-
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
Running bet
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry

You don't really need to find out what's going on
You don't really want to know just how far it's gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're stiff
Kick 'em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do the innuendo
We can dance and sing
When its said and done we haven't told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Give us dirty laundry!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:23 PM | Comments (1)

Fortune Cookie Wisdom of the Day!

A sunny (but overly breezy) jaunt led your humble scribe over to the food court at the lush and begranited Harbert building, where he decided to savor the exotic fare of China and return to you with a bounty of Oriental wisdom!

(I love it when I get to channel Dennis Washburn.)

Anyway, as usual the food was good and this time I actually took the time to sit at a table and people-watch. I am hoping my constant blog-bound badgering of people has had an effect, because there were no major sartorial or personal grooming goofs. Aside from that very large raw-boned woman with the jet black mullet and Herman Munster bangs. But mullets are the new black, so it's poor form to mock them and their wearers. You might not realize it, but Sanjaya will be wearing one on American Idol tonight as he sings "Stand By Your Man."

IN ANY EVENT, as you've all come to expect, some words from the East...

First up:

Next full moon brings an enchanting evening.

Oooooh--by my calendar that's Wednesday, May 2. I do so hope Tim the Enchanter doesn't show up. Always with the fireballs, you know.


You could prosper in the field of medicine.

You know, that is just so true. I think it would be a great idea to quit my job and get accepted to medical school and become a emotionally damaged and curmudgeonly--but kind at heart--television doctor like that House guy.

Or, you know, just keep claiming to be Dr. Possum.


14 30 35 36 47 49


5 26 30 32 37 41

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:32 PM | Comments (0)

I am not hip enough...

..to read Rolling Stone, but luckily Jim Smith is, and sends along this link to their Top 25 Songs with a Secret list. (Content warning)

I don't know, but just like sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes a song is just a song. There seem to be an inordinate number of these that the editor(s) believe to be of a more base nature, but if you actually read the lyrics, some of them can be made to mean whatever you want them to.

Sorta like the title of this blog.



Say no more, eh!?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:08 AM | Comments (2)

And speaking of cars...

It looks like DaimlerChrysler is well on the way to divesting itself of majority ownership of its US subsidiaries, and ever since I read that article saying that Al Gore and his priesthood and parishioners should put their money where their mouth is and buy Chrysler Group and make it the greenest car company on the planet, I've haven't stopped considering the possibilities. The very idea of driving a Gore-sler just makes me quiver like an excited puppy, but I'd say the Left ought to go it one better, and make Chrysler the testbed of all of the wonderful progressive policies. All that stuff about how corporations should be run If Life Were Fair?

Make it fair!

All of them should scrape together their pennies and make Chrysler not only the greenest car company, but the most socially-conscious one, too. No compensation for their big shot managers, a million dollar per year minimum wage, a 10 hour work week, free pony rides and Ben and Jerry's ice cream for all--all that stuff that sounds good and they claim they can't get done because of evil conservatives foiling their efforts. Think about if liberals could do for a car company what liberals did for talk radio with Air America! Why, it would be like the wondrous (although now sadly defunct) conglomerate British Leyland, with none of the charm!

And it would give them something to do instead of protesting everything. They might even figure out how to melt steel with fire.

[End of the day Update! I forgot the most impressive part of this whole scheme--it's obvious that these Liberalmobiles would be highly successful NASCAR racers, seeing as how all they'd be able to do is make left turns! And that annoying high-pitched whine isn't just from straight-cut gears, either!]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:48 AM | Comments (5)

"You are probably unaware..."

Oh, where to start.

As you ARE all probably aware, there's been some yammering about the anonymity-fueled incivility of the Innernet, and various calls for bloggers to have some kind of standards and junk like that. My suggestion last week wasn't that we needed a Blogger Code of Ethics but a Blogger Aptitude Test. (Of course, if we required a level of intelligence above that of a flatworm, we'd probably wipe out 90% of Web content.)

Anyway, from what I've seen, the problem with blogs and their commentors isn't anonymity, but just plain ol' ignorance of basic facts, and a profound disinterest in tact.

As demonstrated by the title of this post.

I noticed last night when I was checking my mail that someone had left a comment on an old post from August of last year.

A couple of things right off--please feel free to comment on whatever you want around here, but understand that a lot of the content relies on being kinda topical and timely. When you comment on something that's been on here for nearly a year, it might show that you've not been keeping up, or second (and more likely), that you probably just stumbled through here when you were Googling for something else, and decided to impress everyone with your incredible ginormous brain.

This would be great if you had a ginormous brain.

Next, even though I have a low opinion of the level of smarts exhibited by folks online, I do have enough civility not to wander around the Internet dropping in and making statements to strangers questioning their knowledge of various subjects. So I would like to ask that if you want to comment here, don't assume too much about what you or I know. Which means, don't start off your comment directed at a randomly-found-blog-total-stranger with the words, "You are probably unaware..."

Look, I'm many things, and possibly being unaware is one of them. Probably is not a good bet, though. I make it a point to not post stuff unless I'm pretty clear on the topic. Saves grief down the road.

Next, read the post, and the following comments if there are any. BE CERTAIN of what is being said. Reading comprehension is very important, and if you go off on a tangent based entirely on missing the point of a post, it makes you look like a cretin. Or more like one.

Another thing--if you're going to come to my place and assume I don't know what I'm talking about, you danged sure better have your facts straight, and by facts I mean facts--verifiable information from reliable sources, and not superstitions, Netlore, urban legends, or something you just yanked out of the back of your shorts. Because here's the deal--when you say someone else might not know something, and then you come up with some wildly idiotic outlandish claim, that claim can be checked and shown to be false and in doing so make you look like a bigger mouth-breather than you might actually be. (Although not likely.) Trying to talk big doesn't help your case, either.

Anyway, the very thing that allows you to go wandering around dispensing your pearls of wisdom to perfect strangers also is the magical machine that connects a lot of information together, and even if I might miss something, I know where to find it pretty quickly.

Having said all this, let me say that the reason this comment stuck out was that it was so out of keeping with the usual comments around here. I added comments a pretty long while back, and was quite antsy about it then, hoping that they wouldn't become a distraction or a haven for misbehaving trolls and idjits. I am very happy to say that this hasn't been the case, and I think makes Possumblog a great deal more fun to read. The only thing I wish is that a few of you who lurk would say something.

As long as you're not trying to tell me what a great performance value your header-equipped '75 Chevy Monza was when compared to a Ferrari.

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

April 16, 2007

Today's Words of Wisdom

Brought to you by Nate McCord, who reminds you...

Never anger a guy who knows how to operate a backhoe.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:53 PM | Comments (0)

And finally...

...Sunday was full of the usual Sundayness--up early, get the kids up and fed and dressed (mostly), on to church, had a good worship service, home for lunch, then began working on more stuff for Boy's Skelopoly game.

Made up a whole series of mortgage deed cards for such places as Fibula Avenue and Scapula Street, complete with values and rental prices and junk, including the prices should you land on one that has clinics or hospitals. (In lieu of houses and hotels.) Also found the rules online and copied them, making the necessary changes in wording to match his game, and then went to print out some stuff from his teacher. Ran out of ink. Black and color. ::sigh::

Back to church for evening worship, which this time included a bunch of kids from all over the area since we were hosting this month's areawide youth devotional, which also meant getting there an hour early, AND meant getting to eat supper in our new fellowship hall. This is the first time we've had guests in it, and it seemed to fit the need quite well. Stayed for the devotional afterwards, or rather, Reba and 3/4 of the kids did--I took Rebecca with me to the store to get some printer cartridges.

Home, begin printing out all the rest of the stuff while Boy clipped out the things to be placed on the board, and by the time bedtime rolled around, he had it completely finished and it looked pretty darned neat. I sure hope we get a good grade on it.

NOW THEN--As was the case last week, this week is also full of stupid ol' work to do, so now I'm gonna do that.

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

Every other day of the week...

...I can't get anyone to wake up.


No one will stay asleep.

::sigh:: As has become increasingly common, I gathered up as much pillowing material as possible and put it over my ears in an attempt to get some peace until I was ready to get up. This was effective for most noises, although not quite enough for when all the smoke alarms went off in the house when the sausage began burning. Also, hearing protection is useless when someone comes into the bedroom and begins bumping the side of the bed and dropping things onto the floor at irregular intervals, almost as if this person were deliberately trying to begrudge me one day's interlude from my usual habit of arising at 5:30.

Could finally stand it no more and got up out of the bed and got dressed, ready to start the day and finish the laundry and help Boy finish his science project and DO TAXES.

But breakfast first, which included some very done sausages and some very done hash browns. I learnt that the children had been involved in the preparation which might explain some of the smoke and noise. Some. Not all.

Got the kids to go out and clean the cat's domicile, which they did, although they were much more interested in helping our elderly neighbor lady clean her yard and tend to her puppy.

Upstairs to do taxes, which immediately caused a flurry of activity at my elbow as everyone decided then would be the perfect time to ask me questions of an unimportant nature.

Luckily, I'm using H&R Block software again this year, and had already done a little work earlier in the year to get all of our W-2 numbers put in, so even with the interruptions, it wasn't so bad. In the past the biggest hurdles were making sure the numbers got put where they belonged and the addition and subtraction were right, stuff that the computer is able to do in a flash. I got it all wrapped up by around noon, including sending it away to the revenooers.

Somewhere in there, Reba and the girls had gone shopping, so the questions died down and it was just Boy and I doing clothes and working on his project.

Which just so happened to be a study of the skeletal system in the form of the game of Skelopoly!

I had suggested Boneopoly, but he'd already cut out the board and written on it. My task was to help him print up the Community Chest and Chance cards (or in his case, Skeletal System and Surgery cards) and I was reminded that there is a game out there called Make-your-own-Opoly that has a CD that you can use to make all the cards and junk. And I vaguely recalled seeing them at the bookstore.

SO, a quest was engaged, in which Boy and I sallied forth to see if we could find the item locally. Went to two teacher supply stores, a bookstore, a toy store, and Wal-Mart.

No luck.

Back home with a pack of business card blanks from WallyWorld. I wound up making stacks of cards using little black and white clip art images and Word, and the only bad thing was the printer I have won't print all the way down the page. So some have a white edge. No big deal, though--a heck of a lot faster than writing them by hand, which is what Jonathan thought he was going to do. Also downloaded sheets of money from the Monopoly website--the only bad thing is that they still say Monopoly, but whatever. Boy made game pieces out of white clay--little skull, a femur, a pelvis--stuff like that. I have to say he's much better at sculpting than drawing. Or at least drawing neatly. But we still managed to get a goodly portion of it knocked out, and the clothes got completely done. A good day, although there was still the issue of property cards and mounting all this junk onto the ubiquitous tri-fold display board. Luckily, he only waited until the last hour, instead of the last minute, to start this project.

The girls finally got home, everyone got themselves bathed, and we hit the sack. Some of us harder than others.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)


So, Friday Middle Girl had to put in an appearance to cheer on the varsity soccer team, so I took off early and dropped her off at the park, then went and got some gas and a car wash (the car wash was required in order to make it rain--it never fails), and then stopped at the car parts place to buy some gasoline treatment. I put a can of this stuff in the car every few thousand miles to keep it clean inside, although I have no way of knowing if it actually works, seeing as how the inside of the engine is very dark and confined.

But, I will tell you this right now.

Do not buy a small bag of cheese curls at the gas station, then go to the parts store and buy gasoline additive, then open the additive and have to stick your finger into the neck of the bottle to pull out the little soft metal seal, then put the additive in your tank, then get in the car and start driving, then get some cheese curls out of the bag and eat them, then decide to lick the happy orange cheese powder off of your finger, especially if it's the same finger you used to pull the little soft metal seal out of the bottle of gasoline additive, BECAUSE you will surprise yourself with just exactly how effective this stuff must be, if it does to carbon deposits and varnish even a portion of what it does to the lining of your mouth.

Let me tell you--the stuff has quite a whang to it.

The instant I took a big slurp off my index digit, I felt very good about having abused myself all these years by going on and on about what a big moron I am. Because I am a big moron.

Anyway, in accordance with the product directions (assuming I still had them and hadn't thrown them away at the car parts store) I proceeded to dilute the material with several large swigs of Diet Coke. Nothing like the combined effects of phenylalanine and petroleum distillates, sweetened middle petroleum distillates, polyether amine, solvent naphtha, and naphthalene to put a smile on your face.*

Back to the soccer park, stood over by the bleachers on the player side of the field with Rebecca and her friends, then afterwards (we won, by the way, 7-0) it was off to the house, which was empty. Reba had gone and gotten the kids from her mom's house, then came and got Oldest, and they all went to the craft store to buy junk for Jonathan's science project and then on to the grocery store for groceries.

SO, Bec and I got the laundry together, and I got to christen the new laundry machinery with full loads of clothes.

They both work very well--everything smells much better. I think the old one wasn't getting stuff clean enough.

ANYway, everyone finally got home and we unloaded stuff and had some pizza and cleaned up, and announced to everyone that I was not in the mood to be woken up early on Saturday.

As if.

*Not really--this crap's harmfully fatal if swallowed in sufficient amount, so don't go mixing your own cocktails with it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:46 AM | Comments (3)


At least I'm in a better mood. At least I think I am. Then again, maybe not. We'll see.

ANYway, it's time for staff meeting right now, so the entire wrap-up of the past weekend's festivities will be along later. If I'm still in a better mood.

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

April 13, 2007

And now?

I don't know, other than I have to finish my taxes. Yes, another year spent at the last minute doing something I should have done months ago. At least I am using the computer to do it again this year and already have some of it done, so it should be easy enough. If people will just leave me alone. That's been the big hold-up already--I get dragged every which way, and never have time to do the stuff that no one else cares about, but that still must get done. And no, I don't need a vacation, if by "vacation" you mean the same sort of trip we take every year where I wind up all addled and cash-poor. Running away and joining the circus under an assumed identity? Now that might be a good vacation.

Anyway, taxes this weekend, and laundry in our new machinery, and other stuff that I can't remember right now because I don't have any working neurons.

SO, see you Monday!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

Well, now--it seems I still have a pea-sized drop of functioning brain cells this afternoon!

What better way to finish killing them off than by attempting an Omnibus Wrap-Up of The Past Week!

Wait...hold on--I....urghhhhhhuh.

Aw, dangitall. Now THAT little bit's gone, too.

Oh, well, no biggie. Y'know why? Because this was one of the Stupidest Weeks in History, and it'll be a big help in discussing it if I have a completely empty cranium.

The Nappy Imus Flap? If you get so devastated by what this creepy-looking old maniac says about you that you think your life as you know it is over, well, maybe you need to go hide in your dorm and never come out. Look, he's an idiot and a moron and he said something ungentlemanly and idiotic. He's not the first, and he won't be the last. He doesn't speak for the Happy White People no more than the Rev. [sic] Al Sharpton speaks for all the Nappy Black People. This whole thing proves nothing more than where there's a spark of insensitivity, there are plenty of arsonists around willing to pour gasoline on it in the hopes that afterwards they'll be able plunder through the ashes for valuables. I'm not saying it should be ignored, nor that the women so insulted should "get over it." I'm saying get above it. You know why I don't melt anytime someone (of any color) gets on the news and talks about toothless homicidal redneck Alabama livestock-lovin' crackers? Because I'm not one. (Well, mostly not.) Life can be difficult, and people can be unfair. It's not right, but it's the way it is. You can wallow in it, or seek something higher and better for yourself. Which, seeing as how the Revs. [sic] Al and Jesse are both putative men of God, you'd think you'd hear a bit more from them about things such as God's saving grace and His redemptive power and forgiveness and following a higher standard of conduct. Yeah, I know--that's just crazy talk.

US Attorney Firings? Do you mean to tell me this imbroglio is STILL going on!? Democratics are idiots. Thank God they're not in charge of both Houses of Congress and we're not in the middle of trying to fight a war.


They ARE!? We ARE!?

Heaven help us one and all.

Stupid Headline--Transient arrested in death of homeless man If you have the patience to read to the third sentence, you see that both men were homeless transients. Why does the headline read the way it does? Because "transient" still has a negative connotation, and "homeless," while not positive, still evokes a sense of sympathy. It sorta reminds me of this joke:

Two boys are playing football in a vacant lot when one of the boys is attacked by a rabid Rottweiler. Thinking quickly, the first little boy rips a board off a nearby fence, wedges it down the dog's collar, and twists, breaking the dog's neck and killing him instantly. A reporter, who happens to be strolling nearby, sees the incident and rushes over to interview the boy. "That was the most incredible act of bravery I've ever seen!" the reporter exclaims. He whips out his notebook and furiously scribbles the headline: "Young Bama Fan Saves Friend From Vicious Animal!" The little hero sees this and says, "But sir, I'm not a Bama Fan, I'm an Auburn Fan!" The reporter looks warily at the boy for a moment, then flips the page and begins a new headline: "Little Redneck Kills Beloved Family Pet"

It's pretty bad when the local newspaper's reportage about a murder makes the reader think of a stupid joke. Again, not sure if that's a reflection on the paper or its readership. Either way, it's not good.

American Idol? Does anyone really like Phil Stacey? We used to have a guy that worked here that had a lightbulb head like that, and it just looks really, really bad bald. But here's the deal--it looks MUCH WORSE to put on those stoopid caps covering not only scalp but big flappy Dumbo ears. Melinda sings the best, and despite Simon GirlBoobie's assertions to the contrary, it is NOT a singing contest, or else they'd have never put Samhain into the mix. It's backfired on them now, because he's gonna be made to win by a combination of people who hate American Idol and idiots who love Sandfire. Of the ones left, I like Jordin best, even though she can't sing as well as Melinda. But Melinda just doesn't seem like she'll have huge amounts of fans clamoring to buy her records. With Jordin (or even the Beatbox Guy), you figure you'll get at least a couple of years of pre-teens who'll buy her stuff before she flames out. Anyway, if you love train wrecks, the Country Western theme show next week should be a doozy. I look for Saniflush to sing "Stand By Your Man."

Duke Lacrosse Team? Let me just say that the proper way to right past injustices visited upon falsely accused minorities is not by visiting the same injustice of false accusations upon others. Or, to put it more succinctly, this.

Selling Off Walter P.'s Garage? I like this idea more than I can stand. It just makes me goosepimply all over thinking about it.

The Presidential Race? As usual, I bring back my idea that it would be better for the Republic for us to have a nice big Texas No-Holds Barred Steel Cage Match. It'd be cheaper, quicker, and a heck of a lot more entertaining. And we might get someone with some guts and backbone. Or at least some wicked cool scars.

Katie Couric Plagiaristess? What a completely stupid story. She goes on the air with something purported to be her own thoughts (about being able to have a library card--as IF!), which were prepared by staffers and various furry underlings, which in turn were lifted verbatim from an actual news organization's publication, and Katie get's to use the excuse that since she did not know the work she did not do (but claimed credit for, i.e., plagiarized) had been stolen by other people first, everything is great and wonderful and that person has been fired, and SAY, I'm dating a 33 year old! I wonder if she'll steal stuff from his blog and claim it as her own. She probably already uses his razor on her legs.

Anyway, fake but accurate still seems to have carry a lot of weight at the Tiffany Network.

Blogger Code of Ethics? Oh, come on. If you do that, why not do something a heck of a lot more productive and have a Blogger Aptitude Test to cover book-learning, followed up by a Blogger School of Common Sense Test to test street skills. If you don't score a passing grade on both, you don't get to blog and have to go back to posting pictures of your cat on whatever stupid message board you inhabit.

New Washer and Dryer? Both work just fine, thankyewvermuch. They both have the honest unpretentiousness of a washer, and a dryer. No LEDs, no stylish swoops and curves, nothing that screams SAVE MOTHER GAIA. I like the last part especially. I'm all for saving energy and all, but if you figure that this $279 model uses $22 annually in energy, and the high efficiency $1,800 model uses $8 worth, it would take 108 years to recover the $1,521 difference in purchase price with the $14 difference in energy costs. Sorry to be such a spoil sport. All you rich folks can assuage your green guilt by buying the expensive stuff, and I'll content myself with refraining from eating boiled cabbage and producing noxious gasses from my hinder parts.

Atlanta? Eh. It's big, isn't it? Yeah. Pretty much. The Marriott was very nice, though. It was clean and neat and the bed was comfy, which was good, because all I wanted to do was stay in it with the covers over my head and the curtains drawn. Not that I got to, mind you. Just wanted to. The couple of days were spent having to deal with one derned thing after another. But no one died, so I suppose on the whole it was a very successful trip.

Oh, that's enough for today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:25 PM | Comments (0)

Random Idiotic Observation of the Day!

Cork tastes TERRIBLE!

UPDATE: There is no such thing as Diet Cork!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:23 AM | Comments (3)

April 12, 2007

One small ray of sunshine!

I now have voice mail. And not just any voice mail, either--this thing will send an e-mail to me with a .wav file attached of the message that I can listen to! I feel so very, very 21st Century!

Thank you, Phone Guy!

Now then, back to the salt mine.

Oh, and I found out it's not really salt--best as I can tell, it's a giant septic tank.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:54 PM | Comments (5)


...to deny you all the intense joy presented by the unveiling of yet another Thursday diversion. I realize that I've not been very forthcoming in the past few days with entertainng matter for your reading pleasure, having instead to provide nutritious snacks (in the form of my furry haunches) to the variety of alligators that are firmly latched onto my buttocks.

BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME! It is about YOU and YOUR fun. So let me stop what I'm doing and do this. For you. Because I'm just here to serve you, like some kind of slave.

As you can guess, this is going to be the Guilt Trip Version of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

SO, take a moment, if you can, and you're not too busy to participate, after I went to all the trouble to stop my work and come up with these questions, and answer these three questions:

1) Who is the best person in your family at inducing guilt in others?

2) What is the last thing you did or didn't do that you later felt guilty about?

3) Is there anyone in your family who is immune to shame and guilt?

There now--all done--JUST FOR YOU! Leave your answers in the comments below, or a link to your blog. If it's not too much trouble. Because Lord knows it was no trouble at ALL for me to do this, just because I'm covered up with paperwork. NOOOOoooo, I do this for you because I know at least a couple of you enjoy it. Not that I ever get to enjoy anything anymore, but at least SOMEone can. [Following maudlin 4,564 word statement redacted for lack of space. Ed.] OH SURE, the EDitor can come in here and just cut me right off. Figures. Just go answer the questions.

1) I would have to say my mother. Or maybe I'm just more susceptible to it. But no matter--she's still quite good at it.

2) I was going to take the laundry room door off the hinges and move the old washer and dryer out of there so it wouldn't be so hard for the delivery of the new ones. I didn't get that done. Because I was so bleedin' tired Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Visibly so. But that didn't stop someone from asking me, "Terry, weren't you going to move the old washer and dryer out?"

3) Oldest.

So there you go.

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

April 10, 2007

I've figured out that...

...it ain't The Man keeping me down, it's just my own inability to jump-start my brain to make it do something other than imitate the churning slushy frozen slurry inside of one of those Slurpee machines at the 7-11. Yesterday was full of flying poo that didn't stop flying until I went to bed. And even THEN I couldn't get relief--let me tell you, dreaming about being an unexploded ordnance defuser isn't the least bit restful. It wouldn't have been quite so bad except I was being assisted by people who couldn't read very well. They kept calling out a series of code words that I was supposed to be putting into this little box that had a series of sliding levers, and then they realized somewhere in the process that they were reading the wrong things. And then I was back in high school, although not my own high school, but a giant, dilapidated place full of sullen slackers. Luckily, there were no bombs to defuse.

Anyway, today and tomorrow are both going to be full of the same crazy workjunk yesterday was. In order to have SOME sort of content around here so that people will not completely abandon me, we are going to have the first ever Possumblog Open Comment Thread! Whatever suits your fancy, I don't care, just keep the language clean. Maybe you're a long-time lurker--time to come out of the shadows and say hello! Maybe you've got a question and you want someone OTHER than Dr. Possum to answer it--ask it here! Maybe your brain looks like the goo inside of a Slurpee machine reservoir--what better way to show everyone! Maybe you've become addicted to exclamation marks--say it here!

Anyway, y'all have at it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (30)

April 09, 2007

The Man be keeping me down.

I'm standing out in the middle of a raging [vulgar barnyard reference] storm around here today, and I just can't get five minutes together to post anything like the usual long rambling cavalcade of stupidity I usually post.

This, then, is the brief version:

I didn't have a good time on our trip, but then again, it's never been fun, so, you know, it was about the same as usual.

Oh, and we went and bought a washer and dryer yesterday.

There you are. Apologies for the lack of happy peppy fun.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:43 AM | Comments (16)

Yet another one of those.

We made our jaunt over to Atlanta for that convention we go to every year, and as usual, I am tired and full of nice soft fluffy familial put-outedness. More later after I wake up.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:28 AM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2007

Well, it's gonna be a short week.

We're off tomorrow for Good Friday, and so I want to wish all of you a blessed holiday weekend, and I'll see you again on Monday. And let me tell you, I bet I have some REALLY interesting stuff to tell you!

Or not.

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

Fun With Referrer Logs!

People come to Possumblog for many reasons.

Disturbed people come to Possumblog for many other reasons. Such as this fine person who wonders: Are there giant chocolate Easter bunnies called Maryann and Ginger

Yes. Yes there are.

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

Awww, how cute.

Lawyer: Flag burning prank, not politics

Well, as I said yesterday, they shouldn't be seen as anything other than three trespassing, private-property-destroying imbeciles. No matter whether it's political or not, they still set fire to something on someone's property, and they need to be punished. And deportation seems like a nice way to punish the two who aren't citizens. As for the citizen-moron, I figure making him wash fire trucks for a couple of months should instill in him a proper respect for flammables and other folk's stuff.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

"This behaviour was clearly inappropriate and is completely unacceptable."

Yep, that's probably about right.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:33 PM | Comments (1)

I was puzzled, until I saw it was from Reuters.

Southern U.S. cities top poll as worst for allergies

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - For allergy sufferers, the arrival of spring is always unpleasant, but if you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this could be a particularly miserable season.

Tulsa was listed as the most challenging place to live with spring allergies in the United States, according to a new ranking by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

The study looked at data from 320 metro areas across the country. The south ruled the top spots with Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas, Fort Myers in Florida, San Antonio in Texas, and Tucson in Arizona rounding up the top five. [...]

Now I realize that Tulsa, Dallas, San Antonio, and Tucson are all south of the North Pole, but I don't think anyone who lives in any of those places think of them as being part of the South. Or south. I mean, if they WANT to be part of the South, that's fine--they share a lot more with us than they do with folks in Yankeeland--but I think they much prefer to think of themselves as Westerners.

Of course, I suppose such subtle nuances don't matter so much to Reuters, considering that all those places are in that amorphous little region between New York and California that's full of filthy gun-toting conservative God-bothers who've ruined Mother Earth with their beef-eating and SUV driving. So, you know, the allergy thing they had coming to them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:23 PM | Comments (0)

Believe it or not...

...right now, right outside my window, are Sheryl Crow, Sofia Vergara, and Mariska Hargitay.

Well, not actually them, but great big pictures of them on the side of a tractor trailer.

Seems the "got milk?" folks are in town for a stop on their nationwide tour, but regrettably I will be unable to attend the festivities, seeing as how they have not yet perfected Diet Coke flavored milk.

I would be more than willing to visit, however, were Sheryl, Sofia, or Mariska actually here, maybe handing out samples or signing autographs or professing their undying love for slow-witted semi-arboreal North American marsupials.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:45 AM | Comments (15)

Not all Democrats are bad.

But they seem to be trying awfully hard. This one smells to high heavens, not so much for the program or who was involved, but for the brazen sense of privilege and favoritism amongst the main players. Report: Worley took Demo desk for refinishing at state school

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) — Former Secretary of State Nancy Worley, vice chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party, took a desk from party headquarters to be refinished by a state technical college that uses inmates to do the work, The Decatur Daily reported Wednesday.

Worley is paying for the refinishing at the Deatsville campus of J.F. Ingram Technical College. The school's president, J. Douglas Chambers, also said that Worley, as a retired public school teacher, was eligible to have it done by the state program.

But he told the newspaper that the school doesn't publicize the fact that it works on items from education retirees because there would be too many requests. He also said he would not have accepted the desk if he had known it belonged to the political party.

Okay, I have no love for Ms. Worley, but to her credit, she is paying for this herself (I suppose--although I find even that suspect), but this thing about it being available to her because she's an education retiree but we don't publicize that so too many people won't use the service is about the most inane thing anyone could come up with. Does the school's administrator not realize how bad this sounds!? And this special program for retirees--is it authorized by the state? Or is it just one of those little perks that people who have lived a life feeding at the public trough seem to think they're entitled to?

Look--you got only so much work your inmate workers can do in a year? Ask your retirees to submit a form that details their work requests, assign them a number, and have a lottery for the available spots. No one gets accused of favoritism, everyone gets to see what's being proposed, and the workers can plan their work load. And you can put a statement on there where the retiree affirms that the work is being done to their own personal property and not something for a political group.

But wait, there's MORE!

Worley, who left her post as an elected public official Jan. 15, said she contacted the school more than two months ago and asked if students could repair the party's desk and a personal wooden bench that she plans to use at her Democratic Party office. She said she was told about two weeks ago that the work could be done.

"I told them in the beginning that the desk belongs to the party," she said.

Ingram trains inmates to do work such as furniture refinishing, including inmates from the prison system's Frank Lee Youth Center adjacent to the Deatsville site. James T. Merk, dean of instruction at Ingram, signed the authorization form for Worley's work order and said he felt it was appropriate.

Chambers said he felt Worley was eligible to have the work done and that he sometimes authorizes projects if students would benefit from the work.

The Daily said paperwork at the college shows Worley paid a $171.94 deposit and is to pay the remaining $54.20 when the work on the desk and bench is completed.

Again, it would help if there was some way to actually SEE what this policy allows so we can read for ourselves who's eligible and for what. But the argument isn't that Worley personally isn't eligible, it's that she abused that eligibility to get work done on something that doesn't actually belong to her, and further, something that belongs to a political party. You know--a cynic might look at all this and think there was some sort of quid-pro-quo going on there, where the members of the Democratically-controlled House and Senate (several of whom already have nice cushy jobs with various two- and four-year institutions across the state) might fling a few more dollars toward the college in exchange for some nicely refinished furniture.


State Democratic Party executive director Jim Spearman said Worley asked him if it would be possible to have the desk refinished at Ingram.

"I told her I did not think so because we are not a state agency or a charity," Spearman said. He said she replied, "We do have 'state' in our name, don't we?"

Now THAT, my friends, is NERVE!

And this woman is who we had running the Secretary of State's office.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:52 AM | Comments (4)

A Re-Sounding Success!

That’s what EVERYone says about the game that’s sweeping the globe, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three! This week’s set of three questions is brought to us via Mr. Spud himself, Tarheel Marc, who has been quite attentive to the auditory manifestations of springtime.

Let’s allow him to explain:

Every year at about this time, we get to open up the windows in the house/car and enjoy the sounds of spring coming out again (birds chirping, lawnmowers buzzing, car beatboxes booming). So please share with the rest of the gang:

1. What 3 sounds do you like to hear at your household?

2. What 3 sounds do you not like to hear at your household?

3. What 3 sounds will you always remember?

So, there you are. Quietly (or loudly) scamper off and think about those and leave your answers in the comments below, or a link over to your own blog. Marc did say he was concerned that some in the readership might have some deafness that defies providing an easy answer to these questions. If so, feel free to modify the questions or answers to best suit you. Also, Southern Hemispherical readers should modify the season as they feel appropriate, or pretend that it’s Spring down there, too.

NOW THEN, hear [sic] are my answers…

1. I like hearing the kids playing outside. It’s been a long winter, and they NEED to get outside. I like hearing the birds, especially the hummingbirds. And despite the fact that it makes the platter on my electric meter spin around like a dervish on meth, I do enjoy being in bed late at night and hearing the air conditioner cut on, just because I love that blast of cold dry air. (Trying to sleep when it's so warm and humid is just gross.)

2. As much as I like birds, those danged mockingbirds singing ALL THE LIVE LONG NIGHT really needs to stop. They’re out there 24 hours a day, singing like it’s the middle of the day. Stupid birds. Second, tornado warning sirens. Third, other people’s lawnmowers early on Saturday morning.

3. I’m assuming that since Marc didn’t specifically mention springtime, he’s asking for all-time most memorable sounds, so I’d have to say the absolute best would be the first time Reba ever said that she loves me. Everything else is faint by comparison.

So there you go.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (8)

April 04, 2007

Well, bless her heart.

Are we sure she wasn't trying out for a defensive tackle slot instead of cheerleader?

Click at your own risk.

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

Some people...

...marvel (and quite unnecessarily, in my mind) at the constant frenetic state in which I seem to find myself.

Ladies and gentlemen (and Possumblog readers), I have an admission to make.

I am but a lowly piker when compared to some people.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:52 PM | Comments (2)

Steevil Asks...

"Wonder if the EU really thought this through?"

Well, at first glance it looks like a typical stupid EU deal, but upon further reading, it does appear that enough time was spent on it to make certain that it specifically excluded countries that have actual functioning economies, and instead concentrates on those African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries that have found themselves bankrupted by various experimentations with European socialism/communism.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)

What I wonder...

Protesters target Rove at university

WASHINGTON - White House adviser Karl Rove was confronted by more than a dozen protesters who blocked his car and threw things as he tried to leave a speaking engagement at American University, officials said.

Rove was attending a guests-only discussion of electoral politics Tuesday night sponsored by the American University College Republicans. [...]

When Rove tried to leave a campus building, he was confronted by more than a dozen protesters who surrounded his car to prevent it from leaving, Csellar said.

"They were throwing unknown objects at the vehicle," said Secret Service spokeswoman Kimberly Bruce. She said members of the Secret Service asked the protesters to move. When they continued to block the vehicle's exit, campus police were contacted. [emphasis added]

Campus police lifted some of the demonstrators from the asphalt and carried them out of the vehicle's path so Rove could leave the campus. There were no arrests or injuries, police said. [...]

Two things I wonder, actually.

Why are people who hate Republicans (and Karl Rove in particular) because of their brutal warmongering and such like always the ones throwing junk at people? Enough of this kind of thing happens, and pretty soon I'm gonna get the idea that maybe they're not really non-violent pacifists!

Second, exactly why is it that campus police had to be called? You'd figure if you had a visiting Administration official on campus--no matter his ideology or political affiliation--that you would do him the courtesy of having at least a token representation of security there. Especially if you have even the slightest idea (no matter how baffling you might find it) that you possibly might have some students enrolled on your campus who think screaming and throwing things is not something to be discarded in childhood.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:52 PM | Comments (4)

Maybe she should teach classes to monkeys at the zoo.

Teacher who threw feces at boy may keep job

By Scott Valentine
2 hours, 32 minutes ago

TORONTO (Reuters) - A Toronto school principal who pleaded guilty to throwing human excrement at a 12-year-old boy may get her job back, officials said on Tuesday.

"It's quite possible she'll end up back in her old position," said Grant Bowers, a lawyer for the Toronto District School Board.

Maria Pantalone, 49, a sister of Toronto's deputy mayor [emphasis added], was granted an absolute discharge on assault charges Monday after a judge said she "had already suffered enough," according to court documents.

The charges stemmed from an incident on July 30, 2006, in which police said Pantalone threw feces at the boy, who was not one of her students, hitting him on the shoulder.

The circumstances of the assault cannot be described due to a court publication ban designed to protect the identity of the victim. The judge in the case, however, said they were unique.

"I couldn't take it anymore. It was total, total frustration," Pantalone testified, according to media reports.

Well, I'm sure. I mean, I'd like to fling crap at my kids every once in a while.

But then I remember that I'm an adult.

She was suspended with pay from her position as an elementary school principal in August 2006.

In his ruling, the judge said Pantalone was "publicly embarrassed, if not humiliated. She has suffered more than most."

Just a tip, folks--to avoid public embarrassment and humilation and suffering caused by your having assaulting a child with thrown poop, Possumblog suggests you not throw poop.

Your're welcome.

Pantalone is on alternate assignment at school board offices and has no contact with students, Bower said.

I'm sure her coworkers are careful to keep an eye on her when she comes back from the restroom. And they probably keep an umbrella handy.

Once the school board completes its own investigation, she could return to her previous duties.

"The investigation won't take long," Bower said. "The fact that she admitted to the offense is certainly a factor."


A Toronto school board policy document details rules for the school at which Pantalone was principal that include the need to "show respect for yourself and others," and "keep hands, feet and objects to yourself."

Well, you know, some things are just too good not to share. Although fecal matter is probably not on that list.

ANYway, surely I'm not the only one curious about exactly where she procured the missile in question, and if it was her own, or produced by another manufacturer. And just exactly where is the usual chorus of people screaming about THE CHILDRENtm!! In this case, it seems that it might actually be a good thing, for once, since all that's talked about is how difficult this has been for Ms. Stinkyflinger.

Mysteries, one and all.

(I just hope if she does get another job at a school that they avoid the temptation to welcome her by giving her a big plate of homemade chocolate fudge.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:02 AM | Comments (6)


Binge Eaters: Pythons Down Bones and All

"And finally, monsieur, a wafer-thin mint."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (0)

"I never inhaled," although in a slightly different context.

Richards denies snorting his dad's ashes

LONDON (AP) — Keith Richards was joking when he claimed to have snorted his father's ashes along with cocaine, a spokesman said Wednesday.

"It was an off-the-cuff remark, a joke, and it is not true. File under April Fool's joke," said Bernard Doherty of LD Communications, which represents the Rolling Stones. [...]

Whatever. I kinda doubt it started out as an April Fool's joke when he said it, given the lead time on print articles, but I suppose it gives him a plausible excuse. Though I'm at a loss to figure out why this particular remark would cause him to issue a retraction--I can't say I was particularly shocked by it, whether it turns out it is or isn't or might be true. If Keith Richards wanted to shock me, he'd have to become a Catholic priest for the rest of his life.

(Of course, that whole vampires vs. crosses thing would probably make that kinda difficult.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

A giant passes.

Ex-Grambling coach Eddie Robinson dies

RUSTON, La. (AP) — Eddie Robinson, who sent more than 200 players to the NFL and won 408 games during a 57-year career, has died.

He was 88.

Super Bowl MVP quarterback Doug Williams, one of Robinson's former players, said the former Grambling State University coach died about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Robinson had been admitted to Lincoln General Hospital on Tuesday afternoon. [...]

In his 57 years in football, Robinson set the standard for victories with a 408-165-15 record. John Gagliardi of St. John's, Minn., passed Robinson in 2003 and has 443 wins.

Robinson's teams had only eight losing seasons and won 17 Southwestern Athletic Conference titles and nine national black college championships.

He sent more than 200 players to the NFL, including seven first-round draft choices. [...]

He was a tremendous coach and always seemed like a gentleman.

His bio from the College Football Hall of Fame can be found here, and an article from the SWAC can be found here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:37 AM | Comments (1)

And in other idiot news...

3 at Yale accused of burning U.S. flag

Now the headline makes this sound like one of your regular idiot college kid flag-burning stunt, but when you actually read the story, you find a slightly different angle.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Three Yale University students, one a U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, were arrested on charges of setting fire to an American flag hanging outside a home.

Said Hyder Akbar, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested early Tuesday on charges ranging from reckless endangerment to arson, police said.

Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan but is a U.S. citizen, police said. He worked as an informal translator for U.S. forces during the invasion of Afghanistan and later published a memoir, "Come Back to Afghanistan," based on his experiences, the Yale Daily News reported Wednesday. [...]

OOooooh--bold brave speakers of truth to powerers! Well, hold on a second...

Authorities said the three students had waved over two police officers in the area early Tuesday to ask for directions.

A short time later, the officers returned to the neighborhood to see if the students had found their way home and spotted the burning flag. One officer pulled down the burning flag and the other tracked down the three men, authorities said.

SO, they're not really brave young souls trying to make a point, but something more like three trespassing, private-property-destroying imbeciles.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:08 AM | Comments (2)

Apparently CBS needs to review their pay scale for freelancers.

CBS free-lancer on Masters arrested in bank robbery

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A freelance editor from Alabama who was hired by CBS to help cover the Masters golf tournament this week was one of three people arrested Monday and charged in a bank robbery, authorities said.

A man wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and an Atlanta Braves sun visor entered a Wachovia bank branch on Gordon Highway shortly after 9 a.m. and handed a teller a note demanding money, said Sgt. Richard Roundtree of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

A red dye pack mixed in the money exploded in the parking lot, he said.

After an anonymous tip, investigators arrested Michael Alan Crane, 31, at a nearby Holiday Inn and found clothing stained with red dye in his room, along with an undisclosed amount of money taken in the robbery, Roundtree said in a news release.

Two alleged accomplices from the area, Jawone Reginald Bennett, 31, and Shelby Lee Wills, 28, were arrested a short time later at a lounge, he said. All three were charged with robbery by intimidation and held in the Richmond County Jail.

Roundtree said both Crane's hotel room and the rental car used in the robbery were registered to CBS.

Leslie Anne Wade, vice president of communications for CBS Sports, confirmed Crane's employment.

"He was hired as a freelance technician for this event," Wade told The Augusta Chronicle.

Idiot. Didn't take out the dye pack, room and rental car registered to CBS, left evidence all over the place--looks like CBS is still hiring the best and brightest.

Anyway, my prediction of how he'll try to wiggle out of this? He'll show the court several memos "signed" by "Les Moonves" ordering him to rob a bank in order to expose how poorly protected they are.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (0)

Positive, I suppose.

Just got one of those CNN breaking news alerts: "Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says he has pardoned the 15 British sailors and marines detained last month and will set them free."

They will be freed, which is the only positive thing in this whole stupid ordeal. At least for the West. Iran, on the other hand, seems to have gotten everything it wanted. Thus guaranteeing this will not be the last time something like this happens.

There is only one way to stop piracy, and it's the same thing I've been saying since September 11, 2001.

No quarter.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (2)

April 03, 2007

Obviously, I was much too quick to pick on Mississippi and Sweden...

Woman On Horseback Charged With DUI

SYLVANIA, Ala. (AP) - A Henagar woman was arrested for riding a horse while under the influence of a controlled substance and using the animal to ram a police car.

Sylvania police arrested 40-year-old Melissa Byrum York around midnight Sunday on DeKalb County Road 194. She was charged with seven counts that included DUI, animal cruelty and second-degree assault.

John Seals, the arresting officer, had to get back in his car and follow York after she allegedly coaxed the horse into a trot.

Seals pulled his car in front of the horse to try to get her to stop. She allegedly rammed the horse into the car and went about 50 more yards and tried to jump off, but York caught her foot in the stirrups.

Police also seized a small amount of marijuana, some crystal meth and several pills. [...]

What are the odds of THAT!?

Anyway, they seem to be going all out on her. You might think that DUI is stretching it, considering that it references the operation of vehicles, not the riding of domestic animals. Well, thankfully, we thought of that, and according to the definition:

(81) VEHICLE. Every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or electric personal assistive mobility devices; provided, that for the purposes of this title, a bicycle or a ridden animal shall be deemed a vehicle, except those provisions of this title, which by their very nature can have no application.

So, kids--when you get all cranked up on meth and maryjuwana, don't think you'll escape the long arm of John Law by ditching your Camaro and gadding about on your pony.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:33 PM | Comments (2)

Well, it's not like we're fighting a war or anything.

Bush berates Dems over Iraq war funding

Democrats responded by vowing to fight with every fiber of their being to ensure America's surrender is not delayed one minute longer. Syria, Iran applaud this bold, smart strategy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:16 PM | Comments (0)


What do you mean jets aren’t powrd by nachrl gas!?

I feel so unempowered!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

Thank goodness for Mississippi Sweden

Couple fights for baby 'Metallica' name

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Metallica may work as a name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince authorities it's also suitable for a baby girl.

Sweden's tax agency rejected Michael and Karolina Tomaro's application to name their 6-month-old daughter after the legendary rock band.

"It suits her," Karolina Tomaro, 27, said Tuesday of the name. "She's decisive and she knows what she wants." [...]

Reminds me of that old Seinfeld bit, "You know, you name your kid Jeeves, you pretty much guarantee he's gonna grow up to be a butler."

ANYway, having four children of my own, I can safely say that the only thing a six-month-old is decisive about is eating, pooping, and peeing. Then again, you figure when she grows up to be a heavy metal groupie, that's probably enough.

(Oh, and apparently these fine folks aren't the only ones seeking to saddle their child with a lifetime of ridicule.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:05 PM | Comments (9)

Now THAT'S the kind of study people can use!

Study finds more delays, lost bags for airline passengers

I suppose it IS something of a good-news-bad-news thing--even though study helps you find your lost bags, it also finds more ways to delay you. Still, at least you can put on fresh underwear while you wait.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:39 AM | Comments (2)

Of course, you have to wonder...

...exactly when it was that razor blade companies decided to up the ante from making multi-blade razors to ones that can shoot: Attorney: Shaver shot man in self-defense

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Lucky Duck.

Well, I guess it depends on your definition of "luck," but I think anyone who manages to find a 31-year-old car with less than 25,000 miles on the clock in a sweet little old lady's garage is pretty darned fortunate. Even if the car IS an orange Volvo.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:51 AM | Comments (10)



One of the things I neglected to remember is that we are one of the few schools with enough players to have an actual junior varsity team made up mostly of 8th and 9th graders. Which has meant that the majority of games the girls have played have been against regular varsity squads. Including the one last night. I figured a small parochial school would be easier to tackle, but when you only have so many students, they all get to play from seniors on down. I also figured a church-based school would be a bit more--oh, I don't know--sportsmanlike. But they had several girls who would have been a bit more at home playing professional ice hockey.

HOWEVER, our girls did show a renewed spine in the second half, and I think proved to themselves that they CAN actually score points and move the ball and not be shoved around. It might be frustrating for them now, but I have a feeling in a couple of years they're going to be hard to beat when they get to the varsity level. Or at least I hope so.

ANYWAY, another one of those Chinese fire drill sorts of evenings, with having to pick up the kids, drop Rebecca at the park, come back and pick up the laundry and dry cleaning, go home and let Boy change into his uniform, fix some suppery sort of food, get Boy (and the camp stove he was assigned to clean that I wound up cleaning for him) to the Scout meeting, go BACK to the soccer field to watch the game, go back and pick up Boy, go home, get everyone to go wash off their grime, and work on some more scrapbook stuff for Reba.

And, as is now my habit, collapsed in the bed around midnight.

Oh, and by the way--I have figured out that our washing machine is in the process of giving up the ghost. According to the Mighty Internets, it seems to be a problem with the motor/clutch assembly. The Samurai Appliance Repair Man says that GEs are quite crappy. I was happy with ours, until now. And until I found out that the motor/clutch assembly is $168.85. I could still be under warranty, though, so maybe all is not lost. SOMEtime in here, I'm going to have to figure all this out. Hopefully before the next load of laundry needs to be washed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:46 AM | Comments (11)

April 02, 2007

As I was saying,

Well, Friday afternoon I had to make the slog down scenic Highway 280 to the Sportsfirst fields on the other side of Double Oak Mountain--left downtown at a bit after 4:00, didn't get there until 5:30. An hour and a half of traffic crawling along for around 15 miles. That's FUN!

Got there, got settled in, and watched a terrible game. The girls were even more hesitant than they were against Thompson the night before--and I'm sure part of it was just the fatigue of playing two games one day after another. Which wasn't going to help them out a lot, since they had about a 45 minute break at the end of the first game on Friday before they had to take on another team. The other team also had to play two games, but they had the early one, and so had nearly two hours to rest before they got ahold of us. To make it even more brutal on the second game, the team was called for quite a few fouls due to rough play. I don't mind a bit of contact when contesting for the ball, but there's good solid physical play, and then there's simply gratuitous unsportsmanlike behavior. Needless to say, we got the short end of the stick the second game, too.

Headed home with a stop at Wendy's for a snack, did other things once we got there, although what I don't remember, then collapsed in the bed, because Saturday morning she had to be there at 7:00, which meant we had to leave the house no later than about 6:15 or so to make sure we got there on time, which meant getting up around 5:30 to make sure she had everything together and got to eat some breakfast. Oh, and we were also taking Jonathan and Catherine with us, because Ashley had a tour at UAB she was taking and it required a parent to go, so Reba did that, but it meant that the other two kids couldn't stay with her.

Saturday, alarm, grumble, wake up the three younger kids, get dressed, make sure they got dressed, and hit the door right on schedule. Stopped and got some breakfast, headed back toward 280. Lot less traffic on the road at 6:45 on a Saturday morning. Not empty, mind you--just a lot less than 48% over capacity.

Got there, paid, parked, went and sat and waited and took Cat to the restroom and listened to her complain about being tiredsleepycoldbored. Got her to hush momentarily by telling her to throw rocks in the creek. There was something in the undergrowth that made an awful lot of rustling. Never did see what it was, but for the sake of interest, I told Catherine it was probably a rabbit or a tiger or something like that.

Game started, and we seemed to play somewhat better than the previous three games. The girls seemed to butch up a bit and not get pushed around so much (Rebecca said the other team [from Hoover] were as rough as the first team from Huntsville, but at least they were polite about it) and we did a bit better at pursuit and stealing. Final on that one was 0-2, which was unsatisfying for both teams. We'd lost all three games, and if Hoover had scored 3 points, they would have gotten to advance to the semis as a wild-card team.

Well, at least there's a chance for redemption. Yep--they've got one tonight, too, against Parkway Christian. Since it's a small school, and since they've been through the grinder with a slew of bigger, older, faster, and meaner teams for the past three weeks, they OUGHT to be able to whup up on 'em. I hope. They really need a win right about now.

We'll see, I suppose.

ANYway, gathered up the children and headed back toward home. Got there, got Bec's junk into the hamper, put a load of clothes in the dryer, one in the washer (which now appears to be going on the fritz), and took us all up to the haircut place so Boy and I could get our locks shorn. I tried not to fall asleep in the chair, but it was difficult.

That done, back home, got on my work clothes, and headed outside to tackle the jungle in the front and back yard. Since it hadn't started raining yet, it was quite dusty and polleny. And tiring. The yard was way too high, and so I could only get a couple of passes made before having to go dump the bag. Also there were several interruptions by a little girl on a bicycle who'd come careening through where I was cutting, cackling like a hen sitting on a joy buzzer. Adding to the noise were the huge assortment of pine cones and sweet gum burrs that littered the ground and sounded like gunshots pinging off the inside of the mower deck.

BUT, the yard looks very nice now. Or at least it's neat. After I wrestled with the mower for an hour and a half, I decided it'd be good to put down some weedkiller/fertilizer, so I got to walk around behind yet another contraption for a while. At least this one didn't make any noise. AND it had that wonderful pungent aroma of toxic petrochemicals!

Reba finally got home, I came in and showered, then had to go shopping for for Rebecca, since the seams on the sides of her soccer cleats had opened up and were about to come apart. ::sigh::

Didn't take nearly as long as it did the first time back at the start of the season, although she DOES have some peculiarities about aesthetics and accoutrements and junk. She IS a girl, after all.

Back home, did more stuff for Catherine for her scrapbook project she's working on, did more laundry, sometime after dark collapsed in the bed.

Seems to be a running theme, huh?

Up early Sunday, church, eat lunch, home, Reba and the two older girls went to a bridal shower, the other two kids and I stayed home and...

did laundry. Also did more stuff for Cat's scrapbook. And watched the Martinsville race. And then loaded the three of us up and headed back to church since the other half of the family hadn't managed to make it home.

Church, home, eat leftover shower food, helped Catherine paint a picture, collapsed in the bed.

There are about a billion other things in there, but I can't remember any of them because they all fell out of my brain.

Go figure.


Well, I'm here, and I've got a ton of work to do.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (4)


It wasn't much, but it was enough. Enough to knock down some of that pollen (though not quite enough to rinse it all off the car), enough to make the trees green up nicely (though not quite enough to make my grass green--except for the weeds), and enough to cool things back down to springtime temperatures. I guess my favorite part of all that was the greenery. I think I've said it before--New England may have us beat in the fall color department, but we've got fifty-hundred-eleven different shades of green out there, and when you mix it with the redbuds and dogwoods and forsythia and azaleas and tulips and irises and lilies, it's pretty overwhelming. And overwhelmingly pretty, for that matter.

Anyway, we had us a weekend, and I'm tired and sore. Tired from hauling Middle Girl to her soccer tournament all weekend, and sore from hauling out the Murray and the drop spreader for the first cutting of the season.

More in a bit. I've got to take a minute and remember what all happened.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:26 AM | Comments (0)