May 31, 2007

Yes, and it was quickly followed by upright falling.

Did upright walking start in trees?

Reminds me of the story about the Bama grad who was laid up with a broken leg.

Seems he was raking leaves, and fell out of the tree.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

Seeks Repeal of Law of Supply and Demand.

Edwards wants probe of high gas prices

I'm surprised he hasn't also asked for an investigation of high home construction prices. I bet they're eating him alive on his mansion he's having built. And dang it all, let's also do something about the ridiculous prices people have to pay to get a decent haircut and facial these days! Why, back in my day, you only had to pay a couple of hundred bucks, tops!

Given his past performance on similar issues, I'll wager he probably study the effects of high gasoline prices on the poor by taking a job dealing petroleum futures.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:22 PM | Comments (0)

Some stories defy parody.

By being self-parodying. Segways give N.Y. police a PR boost

By Chris Reiter
2 hours, 22 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City police have found a public relations boost in a two-wheeled scooter, welcome relief to a department criticized for suspected racism and excessive force.

The nation's largest police force added the electric scooter known as the Segway to its means of locomotion two weeks ago, joining some 300 other police departments that use them. The attempt to combat crime has also helped police connect with the public.

"People love it. A lot of tourists take pictures," said Officer Rafael Valerio, who zipped through Central Park on Wednesday, prompting cheers from school children.

"It's a police Segway. That's why it's awesome," said one of the kids.

Police suffered public backlash when an off-duty officer shot and killed an unarmed Honduran immigrant Fermin Arzu, 41 earlier this month. The shooting recalled a November incident in which four officers fired 50 shots at three unarmed black men, killing Sean Bell, 23, on his wedding day. [...]

One is inexorably led to assume by the article that now that the force is deployed in force on frisky happy smiley two-wheeled scooters, the public will love it when they happen to shoot unarmed Hondurans. Because let's face it--there's nothing like a grown man wearing a gunbelt swishing around on an electic scooter to make public criticism of racism and excessive force simply vanish away!

"That's why IT'S AWESOME!"

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:27 PM | Comments (5)

Okay, I'm willing to give him his due, but...

...this story irks me for its silliness: Amazing Maps Made by Founder of 1st U.S. Settlement

Heather Whipps
Special to LiveScience
2 hours, 20 minutes ago

Maybe Pocahontas had a thing for men with superior mapping skills.

Captain John Smith, the famous founder of America's first settlement, at Jamestown, Virginia, traced the Chesapeake Bay river system with remarkable precision from his primitive sailboat, geographers have discovered.

Using a sophisticated "remapping" system that merges old maps with the modern lay of the land, the team from Maryland's Salisbury University found that Smith's 1608 exploratory charting of the Chesapeake was well ahead of its time considering the tools he had to work with.

“It’s amazing, he mapped with a stunning level of accuracy,” said team leader and geoscientist Michael Scott. “He’s out there in this little boat navigating the hazards of uncharted territory and he was able to capture most major bends of the rivers and everything is pretty close to scale. His map was so accurate that it was used as the prototype of the bay for more than 100 years.” [...]

Give it a rest, Bruce.

The principles of surveying are pretty simple, and its all based on relatively simple mathematics, and you can use some pretty basic tools to do just about anything you want.

Including things like building medieval cathedrals.

The fact that John Smith was able to take basic measurements of a river course is unremarkable. The fact that he was in a boat is unremarkable. The fact that his boat happened to be in unmapped land is even more unremarkable. Look, I don't have to have a map of the town in front of me to be able to measure how big a curb is and how far across the street it is to the other one.

And the fact is that although he was pretty close, if you or I did it today, we'd get just about as close. Note the article says that he "capture[d] most major bends of the rivers and everything is pretty close to scale." Despite the gushing, breathless prose of the article, "pretty close to scale" is not a big deal.

What is remarkable?

I thought a couple of things bear remembering:

[...] "Smith had a compass and a chip log (a way to measure a boat's speed through the water). He performed a process similar to dead reckoning. He would take a bearing from a couple of points on shore, thus creating an angle. Then he would sail in a given direction of one of the points, measuring distance," Scott told LiveScience. "Once you've got one length, you take bearings and angles all the way up the river."

The explorer was able to make his drawings so accurate with some old-fashioned, meticulous double-checking, Scott speculated.

"My guess is he was just careful and measured the same area a few times, perhaps up and back. If we had his log/notes, we'd really be able to tell," said Scott, "[but] those are probably buried in some attic in England." [...]

Emphasis mine.

First thing of note? 'Measure twice, cut once.' The idea of checking your work is becoming more and more uncommon in America, the idea being that someone, or more likely, "the computer" will catch errors and it's nothing to worry about.

Doesn't always work like that.

The second thing of note is that although the tools and concepts are simple to employ, he actually did know how to do use them. My kids probably know more higher math than John Smith ever knew, but they have little appreciation of how it can be used. Give them a stick and a string and a compass and tell them to measure something, and they'd more than likely be at a loss. And probably a good many adults nowadays would be, as well.

Practical skills such as this aren't taught much in schools, but it sure would be beneficial, if nothing else than to give people a bit better sense of self-reliance and autonomy.

(And here's a story in a similar(ish) sort of vein from Doc Reynolds and crew.)

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

I suppose we're also to blame...

...for forcing Putin to drag Russia back down into some of that good ol'-time Soviet totalitarianism.

Polonium and dioxin for everyone, comrades!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

I believe...

...this particular theological argument was settled by St. Micturio at the Council of Ureter in 567CE.

At that meeting, the twelve bishops at the council agreed 11-1 (with St. Urea dissenting) after a very long discussion that it is indeed a product of Divine Providence, although in and of itself not the result of direct intervention, other than through the established natural laws that regulate all life functions. In essence (so to speak) the question was seen as not being one of if it is a result of Divine creation, (since indeed all things are His creation, including the self-perpetuating mechanism of life itself) but rather the extent of how far removed God was in the process.

The council also settled the matter that the pain associated with NOT going was obviously the work of Satan, as were embarrassing wet spots on light colored tunics, kidney stones, and that weird smell you get when you eat asparagus.

Left unsettled was the nature of the oddly satisfying post-shiver, i.e., if it constituted a visitation by unseen angelic or demonic beings, or was the result of small animals dwelling in the limbs having become disturbed and scurrying about.

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

Now if they could only find the other nine.

Man described as a top spammer arrested

The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — A 27-year-old man described as one of the world's most prolific spammers was arrested Wednesday, and federal authorities said computer users across the Web could notice a decrease in the amount of junk e-mail.

Robert Alan Soloway is accused of using networks of compromised "zombie" computers to send out millions upon millions of spam e-mails.

"He's one of the top 10 spammers in the world," said Tim Cranton, a Microsoft Corp. lawyer who is senior director of the company's Worldwide Internet Safety Programs. "He's a huge problem for our customers. This is a very good day." [...]

Let's just hope he didn't decide to let one of his competitors in on his network, or else the purported downturn in spam will only be temporary--or nonexistent.

SPEAKING OF WHICH--I've apparently started spamming myself again. I get at least three or four e-mails a day with my own Gmail address as the sender, usually for online pharmacy spam. Rest assured folks--do NOT open any email you get from me that has any kind of attachment unless I've told you ahead of time I'm sending it. Don't open stuff from anyone else, either.

AS FOR OUR SPAMMER--I do hope they have a nice strudy sack to put him in, and a nice selection of shovels to beat him with.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:47 AM | Comments (8)

Obviously, it doesn't require anything quite so drastic.

Wal-Mart cashier: I was fired for joking

ALMONT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A former Wal-Mart cashier says he was fired for joking on his MySpace page that the average IQ would increase if a bomb were dropped on the company's stores.

David Noordewier said he was fired Feb. 27 for posting the message, which he said was a joke and not a threat.

"I told them that this was crazy," Noordewier told The Flint Journal. "It's not like I have a fighter jet in my backyard to drop a bomb with. Then they escorted me out to the parking lot." [...]

I'm not sure I agree with dismissing someone over saying something stupid on their own time, but oddly enough, since he's no longer at Wal-Mart anymore, the collective IQ did, in fact, go up by a factor of two.

As for what he said, it sounds pretty tame to me and the story makes it sound like he did show up on time and stuff. His bigger problem? Thinking he's a) smart, and b) funny. The last sentence is particularly whiny:

[...] "If you have a MySpace site, you better act like you're a politician," he said. "Be politically correct and don't try to be funny."

Cry me a river, ace. I've said it before, I'll say it again--the problem isn't stupid people, it's people who think they're smart. Next time, try to remember, dying is easy. Comedy is hard.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:24 AM | Comments (2)

What Goes Great With Thursday?

Vanishingly little!

Thankfully, you do have the hard-working staff here at Possumblog to provide you with the finest possible entertainment for the price. With the summer hiatus of the Thursday Three continuing, we use this time as a way to experiment with new content and features to make your reading experience ever more enjoyable. To that end, today we have an exciting segment we like to call...


Here's Technician Brandy Jones, examining a rose plant that began as cells grown in a tissue culture! Photo by Scott Bauer!


In another Scott Bauer image, using a differential scanning calorimeter, plant physiologist Christina Walters can detect phase-state changes of water and lipids in seeds! First she cools thin slices of seed tissues sealed in tiny aluminum pans (held in tweezers) to -170°C! The relationship she finds between a seed's water content, temperature at which its heat capacity changes, and size of the change give clues about the nature of glasses that form!


Now, you might not realize this, BUT--deciphering the genetic code of livestock could help researchers reduce the total numbers of live animals needed for studies! At the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska, technician Kristen Katzberg reads DNA sequences! Photo by Keith Weller!


In this Vermeeresque image by Jack Dykinga, Technician Brooke Balsam prepares ground beef for fat analysis!


We hope you've enjoyed this exciting, fascinating look at the United States Department of Agriculture, and we thank them for allowing us to use their photos.

I sure hope Chet got those forms filled out and returned...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:05 AM | Comments (5)

May 30, 2007

And saving the best for last...

Happy Fifteenth Anniversary to Larry and Sarah!

Congratulations on the last fifteen, and best wishes for many, many more.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 05:02 PM | Comments (0)

One wonders if...'s in some sort of magical, Dr. Doolittle manner, or through a more plausible mode of playing recorded squeals, squeaks, clicks, and grunts familiar to cetacean lovers, or is it on some subspace frequency linked to the chip Karl Rove had inserted into her cranium.

Hasselbeck communicating with O'Donnell

I suppose I should GOOGLE IT!

(If I really cared.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:40 PM | Comments (2)

Well, then, wouldn't they not be lost?

Scientists: Lost whales may be in ocean

Remind me never to ask a scientist to help me find my car keys.

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

I wonder.

Was it in any way similar to how Navin Johnson found his?

Paula Abdul found her purpose on 'Idol'

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:09 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day.

"Father Dean made it sound so sinful," she said. "There is so much more to this business than toys."

Yep, that Father Dean is quite the spoilsport.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:59 PM | Comments (5)

[Felix Unger] When you assume, you make...[/Felix Unger]

Officials assumed T-B patient wouldn't fly after diagnosis.

There have been several articles over the past few years about various looming pandemics (or terror-related biological attacks), and this goes to show there's probably a pretty good reason to be concerned about happy-go-lucky vectors jetting about the globe. Good thing it wasn't something more highly contagious.

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

Dog bites man.

Siegelman and Scrushy ask judge not to sent them to prison

I agree.

I suggest fifteen to thirty minutes spent in the midst of an angry mob of shareholders/taxpayers who just happen to be carrying pitchforks, torches, hot tar, and feathers.

After such a greeting, the nice quiet Federal pen down at Maxwell probably wouldn't seem so bad.

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

Stupid dogs.

Morgan County leash law hasn't stopped stray dogs

It's like they can't even read or something!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Beware of Greeks bearing...

...big armloads of wiring and tubing--Athens man charged in copper theft.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:12 PM | Comments (4)

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

Our very own Rink Spaackleburg with...



Rink's Movie Pick today is...

A BULLET FOR A PRETTY BOY--The gripping story of Pretty Boy Floyd, starring Fabian in the title role, costarring Jocelyn Lane, Astrid Warner, and Adam Roarke!

Today's program brought to you by Ed's Appliances & Electrical Subcontractors.

Photo actually is of (I believe) Hank Price, WAAY-31 in Huntsville, shamelessly stolen from here.

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

On the plus side... soup was REALLY good. And I got to use a clean spoon to eat it!

On the other plus side, Reba had to come back downtown to go over to the courthouse to do some kind of financial/legal/alchemic wizardry, and after she gets through, she was going to drop back by my office for a bit before she goes back to work.

She's wearing that blouse today. The white one with the Mandarin collar and only about five little twisted cord latchets holding it together. I think when she gets here, I'm going to close the door and

tech difficulties.jpg

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:27 PM | Comments (4)

That's what I get for being so trusting.

It wasn't a new teaspoon after all! It was a plastic spork someone had gotten out of a half-eaten taco salad in the garbage!

Next time?

I'm gonna make sure they show me the spoon first. AND the manure pile.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

Well, shucks.

I've just gotten a load of manure to shovel, so I'm going to have to work on that for a couple of hours.


I've been given a shiny new teaspoon to use for a shovel!


Be back in a bit.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:37 AM | Comments (0)

So very pitiful.

First of all, I allowed myself to be beaten at chess last night by Middle Girl. She'd been yammering about having a family game night, and I wanted to do SOMEthing that didn't involve yelling, so I made up my mind I'd beat up on little kids at the chessboard. I beat Cat, then took on Rebecca and had her soundly beaten until I lost my concentration and allowed one of her bishops to threaten me, and I didn't notice it until after I'd moved and THAT'S when I told her that she had me in check. So she took my king. Then she played and beat Catherine, and then I played Cat and won again. That game I lost, though, haunts me.

As does the fact that I ONCE AGAIN left my soup at home again today that I was going to have for lunch.

As does the fact that I had intended to put a stamp on the credit card bill before I left the house, but didn't.

As does the fact that I drove straight to the main post office downtown and blithely stuck the letter in the box, only remembering its stamplessness in the split-second after I'd dropped it in the slot and started to pull forward.



Pulled around back into the parking lot--maybe they can open the box and let me put a stamp on it!

Walked briskly into the lobby and to the counter, which was staffed by two very thorough, very relaxed, very unconcerned postal employees. Slowly, methodically they worked with each customer. Of which there were six. Not counting me. And then the lady left and went somewhere.

And then the man left to go look for some mail the mentally distant disheveled talking-to-herself woman had asked about. Approximately ten minutes later, it was finally my turn. I explained I'd dropped my envelope in the box without a stamp and could anyone PLEASE open the box and let me retrieve it and put a stamp on it?

"Hmm. I'll have to ask the manager."

Five more minutes elapse. He comes back and says someone will come help me.


Phone rings--it's Reba, who'd found my lunch in the refrigerator and offered to drop it off to me on her way to work. Yay. Told her where I was, but that I was sure I'd be to work by the time she got there.




Ten minutes pass. The counter line grows, then shrinks in several cycles as people decide it's quicker and easier to mail their packages with UPS. Or duct taped to a wooly mammoth.

"Did no one ever come get your letter?"

YES, but I just enjoy cooling my jets watching people shuffle through here like they're on the way to being dipped in acid!

Thank goodness the ol' internal monologue has yet to figure a way out of my head.

"Uhh, well, no--no one that I've seen."

"Hmm, well they said he'd be here. He must not have come."

Brilliant deduction, Watson!

"I'll ask the manager again."

At that moment she walked by and he asked what happened to the box opening guy. "He didn't come out?"


They conferred and a new request was to be made.

FINALLY a nice guy came out and apologized for not getting there quicker, and I apologized for being stupid and not putting a stamp on my mail. We walked out and he opened the box and rolled out the cart, and thankfully it wasn't that full. I figured my bill should be probably in the top two inches.

I described the envelope--envelopey, white, with no stamp. And small. Ish.

He good-naturedly bent over the cart and began shuffling through several hundred envelopes, looking for what was basically a needle in a needlestack. Amazing how many envelopes look exactly alike. People do seem to like their Netflix. Invitation. Bills. Big scrawly handwritten addresses. He searched, and searched and THERE IT IS--no, wait, not it--while I looked on and repeatedly told him I was sorry to make him do all this. "No problem--people do it all the time, and I probably have to come out here twelve times a day to help them find it."

Somehow, I was not comforted.

He reached the bottom.

No envelope. "Do you think maybe you DID put a stamp on it and just thought you didn't?"

Well, by the time he got down to the canvas bottom, I was beginning to harbor that very thought--what if I'd proactively put a stamp on it the other day, and just didn't remember stamping it and only THOUGHT I still had to put a stamp on it and--NO. No. I know I didn't stamp it.

Back again through the stack of mail the other way. Flip, flip--stop to take some letters from people as they'd pull up to the box--flip, flip, flip--THAT'S IT--no, flip, flip.

Around about 8:00, we finally found it. Near the beginnig of the stack, it had gotten overlooked during the first sort. Proudly put on my 41 cent stamp, told the man I was eternally grateful, and shook his hand.

Got to work just in time for Reba to drop my lunch off.

And now I'm wondering how in the world I'm going to continue to be able to function with so very few operating brain cells.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:59 AM | Comments (3)

May 29, 2007


How could I have forgotten this!?

It's so tremendously exciting that I must have just blacked out or something!

Reba put on a stack of country-style ribs in the stovetop roasting pan yesterday morning, and after I took them out, I was left with a pan full of stock.


(get ready!)

Catherine and I made some soup!

Yes, I KNOW! Just one thrill after another!

Anyway, the start of the World's Simplest Pot of Homemade Soup was the aforementioned panful of ribs. The seasoning on the meat was a curious blend of Old Bay, salt, pepper, and onions. I've been caught using it on meats other than seafood before, but I don't think we've ever used it on pork ribs before.

Anyway, we probably had about a half gallon of stock. Strained out the fatty hunks (although I did recover the onion slivers) and got Cat to go to the pantry with me to find something else to put in there. She picked out one can each of Great Northern beans, butter peas, black-eyed peas, green beans, and a can of diced tomatoes cooked with oregano and garlic. I operated the can opener and she drained the cans (except the tomatoes--that we put in as it was) and poured them all by herself into the pot.

Set it on low, put a lid on it, and let it cook for an hour or so, and I have to tell you, that was some VERY good soup. (Don't tell her, but I did put in a dash of Crystal hot sauce.) I was going to bring some for lunch today but I forgot. Reba will sometime make soup like this, and it's good, but this batch was less tomatoey and more brothy, and I'm making myself drool just thinking about it.

Boy and Cat and I had it for lunch yesterday, and I've never see Jonathan eat soup quite as eagerly. Especially considering it had green beans in it, which he generally won't eat unless they're accompanied by ranch dressing. But both of them ate two bowls apiece of it, and would have eaten more if they'd been allowed. Catherine also made sure Mom and Ashley and Rebecca had some for supper last night, too.

That was some mighty good soup.

OH, and the ribs were pretty good, too, but they'll be better once they're chopped up with some sauce put on them.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (0)

In retrospect...

...maybe I've just become too jaded to understand high drama when I see it.

I forgot that the kids were out riding their bikes yesterday. As usual, I made them wait until I could stand there and watch for cars, so I was standing there on the end of the driveway, thinking of nothing, watching the road for nonexistent cars, and Boy zipped by with Catherine a goodly distance back, but closing fast.

She always rides like a little cackling maniac.

She had just gotten even with our house when the chain of events began--a madly pedaling left foot slipped.

Handlebars became unstable.

Fighting to stay up.

Foot tries to regain the pedal.

Bike dips, catching pedal on the ground.


Little girl lands hard on the asphalt on her left leg and elbow, bike on top of her.

And slides.

It took about a tenth of the time to happen as it did for you just now to read that. In real time, it looked like one of those motorcycle racing wrecks--blazing along, then all of a sudden, mayhem. Except Tiny Terror didn't have on a set of racing leathers. Or, for that matter, a pair of blue jeans. Just a pair of shorts.

As usual, my heart jumped out of my chest and wallowed on the ground, but to keep her from freaking out, I had to remain calm and see how badly she'd boogered herself up. I helped her up and she was squawling and I could see she'd scraped a big red spot on her leg, and her elbow was dirty and quickly turning crimson. But she was ambulatory, and she'd not damaged anything vital. We rolled the bike on out of the street and I got Boy to come back to the house and put them away while I told her we'd go give her a nice cold bath and get her boo-boos fixed up.

By the time we'd gotten her upstairs and a chilly tub of water ready, she'd just about quit crying, and after about ten minutes of letting her soak and gently dab at her wounds with a cold bathcloth, she apparently felt well enough to get out, get dried off, and get on her jammies.

Her left thigh is one big scrape, but thankfully not a deep one. Her elbow is a bit more concentrated in the amount of damage, but I think it'll heal up pretty well. And I think she'll probably wear a pair of jeans from now on.

It didn't slow her down for long--after she got rested enough, she went and got on some more play clothes and spent the rest of the afternoon outside running and playing volleyball and getting filthy again.

And I finally got calmed down about bedtime last night.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:18 AM | Comments (4)

A little naughty!?

Oh you better believe it, friend! And not just a little.

I was all set to cut grass yesterday, but you know what?

I didn't!

That's right--I first decided to wait until later in the afternoon, and then wound up feigning a coma on the couch, and then just made the decision--shocking though it might be--to simply refuse to get the mower out.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)


Hey! I just thought of something REALLY exciting! You might not believe this, but Krylon Semi-Flat Black spray paint is an exact match for the black paint on the center posts of my car!

There have been a couple of vertical streaks on the pillars where the paint has been rubbed down through the black paint over the past 21 years to the gray paint underneath, and it has made it look tired and nasty, and I finally decided to fix it, and it looks like new! Ish. Also touched up the windshield wiper arms!

As I said before--there wasn't a lot going on this weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:46 AM | Comments (14)


Those Monday holidays always mess me up.

Three days have passed, with little in the way of drama.

Would that they all could be like that. Of course, the lack of drama also makes for disinteresting blog posts. One can only hold an audience for so long with tales of laundry and cleaning the kitchen countertops. And being captured by a legion of scantily-clad Amazon warriors. And finding a million dollars on the doorstep. And winning the Indy 500. And being elected king of the Earth.

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

May 25, 2007

At ease.

arlington morning fog.jpg


Alone and far removed from earthly care
The noble ruins of men lie buried here.
You were strong men, good men
Endowed with youth and much the will to live
I hear no protest from the mute lips of the dead.
They rest; there is no more to give.

So long my comrades,
Sleep ye where you fell upon the field.
But tread softly please
March o'er my heart with ease
March on and on,
But to God alone we kneel.

Audie Murphy

Photo caption and credit:
A foggy morning at Arlington National Cemetery.
Photo by: Nguyen Phan, ANC employee

To the family and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation, my thanks and prayers to you. I will be back Tuesday--all of you have a happy and safe holiday weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)


Who says Vegas is where all the action is!? From the Texarkana Gazette, this:

Tour the lake, pet the possum and learn Duct Tape 101 at Millwood State Park

MILLWOOD STATE PARK Activities during the Memorial Day weekend will include lake tours, a class called ‘Duct Tape 101 and pet the possum. Millwood State Park is located nine miles east of Ashdown on Arkansas Highway 32 on the north side of Millwood dam. Activities include: Friday (tonight)

7:30-8:30 p.m. Bingo. Free for the family with Park Interpreter Jennifer Gammon. Small prizes will be awarded. Meet at the pavilion. Saturday 2-2:30 p.m. Play in the sprinklers. Fun for kids of all ages. Meet at the Area C Bathhouse.

3-3:45 p.m. Duct Tape 101 Duct tape has a million and one uses from air conditioner repair to crafts. Learn the history of duct tape and how to useit. How about duct tape roses, wallets and ties? Meet at the picnic tables by Area C Bathhouse. 4:30-6 p.m. Lake tour Join park staff for a cruise around the lake. Tickets go on sale at 4:15 p.m. at the marina. The price is $6 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12, children under age 6 are admitted free. 7-7:30 p.m. Pet the possum Come see, touch and learn about the states only native marsupial. Meet at the tables by Area C Bathhouse.

8:30-9 p.m. Owl Prowl Join the park staff to call up an owl or two. The park is home to the Great Horned Owls, Eastern Screech Owls and Barred Owls. Meet at the trail head in Area E. Sunday 2-2:30 p.m. Play in the sprinklers Kids of all ages are welcome. Meet at Area C Bathhouse. [...]

I tell you what, it sounds like that Area C Bathhouse gets more action than Hef's Grotto!

"Pet the possum," indeed!

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

I think the solution is self-evident.

Florida tries to wipe out cat-sized African rats

By Laura Myers
Thu May 24, 12:32 PM ET

GRASSY KEY, Florida (Reuters) - Deep in the heart of the Florida Keys, wildlife officials are laying bait laced with poison to try to wipe out a colony of enormous African rats that could threaten crops and other animals.

U.S. federal and state officials are beginning the final phase of a two-year project to eradicate the Gambian pouched rats, which can grow to the size of a cat and began reproducing in the remote area about eight years ago. [...]

Large African rats calls for large African cats. Let loose a few hungry lions and the problem should be solved in short order.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:47 AM | Comments (4)


Yesterday I mentioned the newest set of government records placed online by and my troubles in accessing any of it. Last night I was finally able to get everything working correctly, and found both of my grandfathers' World War I draft cards, and my dad's name on the muster roll for the USS Hancock.

So much other stuff to look at, too...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:17 AM | Comments (4)

Apparently the elephant left it.

Pajamas yield bonus for charity worker

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A Goodwill Industries worker who turned in more than $5,000 she found in donated pajama pants will get to keep the money because the owner could not be found. [...]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

Biggest disappointment in the whole article?

No mention of Manbearpig.

Although you have to say the kappa comes close: " [...] a green monkey-faced creature that had an appetite for children and cucumbers. Kappas lived in ponds but occasionally walked on land. [...]"

I always suspected as much from the Kappa Sigs I knew down at Auburn.

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

You will be glad to know...

...that Middle Girl was quite taken with all of the greetings the readership left for her yesterday, and I did manage to coax her into saying hello. I can't guarantee there'll be any more than that, but she was tickled by the attention.

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

May 24, 2007

AOL Giveth what Google Taketh Away

An unexpected uptick today from a highly unlikely source--America Online.

I'm not sure, but I have a feeling they look and see what their members are spending a lot of time reading, and one particular user in Trussville spent nearly an hour and a half this morning reading some stupid blog called Possumblog, so they had their squadron of robots come over and see what was being said, and noticed that I'd linked to that AP story about NJ Gov Corzine's public service announcement for seatbelts, and so AOL's own news aggregator gave your humble host a spot of prominence with their box that says, "Bloggers Talking About This Subject."

Thus explaining the sudden onslaught of new commentors today!

Hello, new visitors! PLEASE QUIT SHOUTING! And please, do come back often!

More if you use commas and periods.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:41 PM | Comments (2)

Finally, some clarity.

Saw this on Best of the Web, and the point was too important to let pass without noting it:

Losers Lose

A telling quote from The Politico, in a report on President Bush's victory over pro-surrender Democrats in Congress:

Some activists had privately feared that Democratic leaders were losing their resolve to stage a protracted fight with the White House over wartime funding. Pelosi had announced earlier that the House would not leave for the Memorial Day recess without a new funding bill, a signal to some of a looming defeat.

"When they put out that deadline, people realized that we were going to lose," said an aide to an anti-war lawmaker. "Everything after that seemed like posturing."

This gives away the game, doesn't it? The "antiwar" people understand what it means to set a deadline--and they seek to do so because they want America to lose.

Probably not what they want to have people believe about them, but it's hard to see it any other way.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:25 PM | Comments (0)

Aside from the wholly gratuitous...

...slam against bloggers, a nice bit of sleuthing from The Straight Dope about the recent spider-in-the-ear kid.

Having once been a member of The Straight Dope community before a) it had a server malfunction and blowed up real good, and b) they fixed it then started charging membership fees, I find it a bit rich that anyone from a bulletin board site would have anything negative to say about bloggers in particular.

Although there were a lot of good clever folks who frequented the SD message boards, the vast majority of people who posted were incapable of rational thought or coherence. This isn't a function of the message board medium, no more than it is of newspapers or blogs--it's simply a function of something we all know. Most people have difficult time thinking rationally and expressing themselves coherently. GOOGLE IT!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

The things I do to entertain you people!

I had to cover the front desk today so the secretary could go to lunch, and since I didn't have any time to waste going across the street for lunch (not to mention the fact that I only had four bucks on me), I hied myself to the snack bar in the basement to see if there was anything worth hunting and gathering.

We've had a sandwich machine down there for a few months now, but I have resisted, up until now, the urge to purchase anything. But I was hungry, and needed blog fodder, and so I fed my bills into the change machine and plunked down 9 quarters for...

9.65 ounces (273 grams) of "Fully cooked beef and onion patty (beef, water, onions, textured vegetable protein product (soy protein concentrate, caramel color, zinc oxide, niacinamide, ferrous sulfate, copper gluconate, vitamin A palmitate, calcium pantothenate, thiamin mononitrate (B-1), pyroxine hydrochloride (B-6), riboflavin (B-2) cyanocobalmin (B-12), seasoning (hydrolized corn protein, dextrose, salt, onion powder, spices), sodium phosphates, caramel color), enriched bun (enriched bleached wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, enzymes), water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, sesame seeds, contains 2% or less of yeast, salt, calcium sulfate, enzymes, monoglyceride, tricalcium phosphate, wheat starch ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, calcium stearate, sorbitan monostearate, citric acid, silicon dioxide (flow agent), calcium propionate (perservative), pasteurized process American cheese (cheddar cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), milkfat, water, sodium citrate, salt, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid as a preservative, oleoresin paprika (color), annatto (color), with starch added for slice separation). Contains: Wheat, soybean, milk, sesame seeds."

The only drawback?

The name. It's the BIG AZ BURGER, courtesy of our fine vending concessionaire and Pierre Foods, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio. I realize I'm in the minority on this, but still, must EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT of popular culture race toward such shallow punkish coarseness?

I had hoped before I did my online searching that maybe Pierre was located in Arizona, and could conceivably have some redemptive excuse for using AZ to describe their (admittedly) very large burger patty, but, alas, no.

Fo shiz.

I guess there's probably a certain demographic they were shooting for, for whom eating something named for an adjective for a donkey or the human posterior is both breathtakingly and boldly countercultural. But (so to speak) for me, I'd rather not be reminded about the fundamental parts of the cow that can be ground up and still be considered "beef."

Oh well--I realize there are some who see the vast store of humor involved--and apparently the company's not afraid of a copyright challenge from David Letterman and his canned ham, so who am I to worry about such things?

ANYWAY, I don't eat vending machine burgers very much (never) but since I wanted something to eat, I figured eh, why not.

Opened one end of the package, shoved it in the microwave, set it on two minutes, waited two minutes, and upon being warned by the buzzer on the oven, I removed my piping hot Big Az Beef Charbroil with Cheese on a Bun and was impressed by the slathering of yellow spilling out everywhere. Especially since I didn't realize until after reading the package that it came with cheese--I thought it was just a big az plain burger on a bun. So, you know, BONUS!

The smell was not unfamiliar--a somewhat piquant blend of food vending machine quality beef with a woody undertone reminiscent of a well-used poleax handle. I scurried back to my desk with my piping hot provender, plopped it onto a paper towel, and lifted back the bun to add condiments--mustard, mayo, ketchup. I was impressed with the appearance of the slab of beefiness--on one side it had an impressive tattoo of grill marks, and on the other, the familiar wafflelike cheesecloth texture of highly processed ground animal products, familiar to prison inmates and concession stand workers everywhere.

And the flavor?

Well, it was still too scalding hot to pick up, so I had to use my plastic utensils from the drawer. Maybe it was the delicate nature of using flatware to gently cut and carve the burger into bite-sized (although still big az'd enough for a man like me) pieces, but no matter, after chewing it up and swallowing it, I have to say, it was pretty doggone good!

No weird chunks of unchewable cartilage, no stringy ligaments, nothing that caused me to blanch or quake or quiver, and yes, even after being microwaved, the bun was really okay. Overall, it was actually a better, and less expensive, burger than the ones they used to serve in the snack bar when there was actually someone running the kitchen part of it.

So, a qualified yea--not quite the best burger in the world, but still quite impressive for something in a refrigerated vending machine. I'd still change the name, though, simply out of deference to the more prudish amongst us. Maybe something like THE BIG O BURGER or something.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:48 PM | Comments (7)


Virtual human puts doctors inside their patients

...I much prefer the idea of a tiny little Cora Peterson floating around my innards.

"Fantastic," indeed.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (0)


Steevil, famed NASA scientist who uses mathematics on a daily basis, sends along this interesting bit of information-

A 2006 study by Texas A&M found that the average American walks about 900 miles per year.

Another study by the American Beer Institute found that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of beer a year.

This means, on average, Americans get approximately 41 miles per gallon.

Not bad!!

Steevil sez: "I love statistics."

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


Sorry to be so brusque, but I noticed this article about's posting of American military records that are free to view for a limited time (until this year's D-Day anniversary).

Being a fan of both researching family history and military history, I zipped over there and quickly found a link to my grandfather's WW1 draft card, clicked on it, and, well dern. You still have to register with them for the free look-see. Fine. Typed in my name and e-mail, clicked and got a note that someone was already using that e-mail address. Oh, yeahhhh.

I'd forgotten I had already signed up with them a couple of years back. Typed in what should have been my password.

No dice.


Got them to send me my password, and the danged thing STILL WOULDN'T WORK!

Grr, grr, GRR!

Tried several more times, still couldn't come up with a combination that pleased the gatekeeper, and in frustration gave up and decided to redo everything. Used my work e-mail address, got a confirmation back, went and changed the inscrutable set of characters of the supplied username and password to something more easily rememberable, the computer then said that it was having a problem processing my new information, gave up and went BACK to the site and once more tried to get to that elusive draft card image. Used my newly renamed user name, hoping it would work, clicked, and the browser window shut down.

And now, it's a real mess and I get an error screen. I think the article caused more than just a few history buffs (and cheapskates) to overwhelm their servers.

Dern it all.

Y'know, maybe it's just me, but I would think that if I was going to unveil something like this, I'd have a pretty good idea that there might be several million people who'd want to take a look at it, and have some sort of plan for handling all that traffic. And even if I didn't have anything quite so spectacular, I still think I would update the way people access information on my site. And if I have registration, I think I would fix it to be relatively simple and not quite so frustrating.

Maybe it's just me.

UPDATE: Well, finally got back through to the military records--the long way--and clicked on the link to the image, got sent back to that login screen for freeloaders, signed in to the regular login with my new username and password, clicked it, and just as it was about to take me to the page, the browser window shut down again. In fairness, I think part of this is a problem with our security software here. Or maybe it's just me.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:56 AM | Comments (3)

"Schoooool's OUT! FOR! Summerrrrr!"

Yep, another year gone and the kids are once again in the able care of Reba's mom for the next two months.

Which probably explains why when I just checked the ol' Sitemeter, I see an AOL search for my name, and the person then subsequently spending over an hour reading all this silliness. Which means only one thing--


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:14 AM | Comments (15)


What a fine verbification! Even if it was a typo. Saw it in the Bleat this morning, used to describe how the Star-Tribune's science section had been cut a few years back.

As I said--it's a fine new verb. You get the sense of something like Dutch Elm Disease, the process being elmification, used to describe the slow withering away of the dead-tree media product.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

I'll bet... wasn't a Japanese whaling ship--Scare tactic used on wayward whales.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Somehow, I don't think we'll see...

...Jack Sparrow doing this in Pirates of the Caribbean IV: Man gets 5 years for blowing up toilet

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A man once called one of the Internet's most notorious pirates of music and movies was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison for blowing up a portable toilet, prosecutors said.

Bruce Forest, 50, was charged last year with a series of toilet explosions in 2005 and 2006. But under a plea agreement, Forest admitted only to blowing up one toilet in Weston in February 2006. No one was injured in any of the blasts.

His defense attorney and his wife said the incident was completely out of character for Forest. They said he had been addicted to painkillers initially taken for migraine headaches caused by a severe fall about 10 years ago. A prescribed drug intended to wean him off the painkillers caused psychotic episodes, they said. [...]

Apparently those were some very specific psychotic episodes. Savvy?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:04 AM | Comments (0)

Road to Hell Paving Department

Although, frankly, I'm not too certain of any good intentions there might be behind the effort. N.J. governor releases seat belt ad

The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — "I'm New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, and I should be dead."

So begins Corzine's public service announcement promoting seat belt use, which is being released Thursday. The governor was seriously injured in an April 12 car crash in which he wasn't wearing a seat belt. [...]

After his opening, Corzine details his injuries as video plays of the wrecked SUV he was riding in. Corzine broke his leg, 11 ribs, collar bone and sternum in the crash and spent 18 days in the hospital.

"It took a remarkable team of doctors and a series of miracles to save my life when all I needed was a seat belt," Corzine says.

He then advises, "I have to live with my mistake. You don't. Buckle up."

Corzine has apologized and voluntarily paid a $46 fine for violating state law by failing to buckle up as he rode in the front seat of his SUV, which was driven by a state trooper. It crashed after it was clipped by a pickup truck on the Garden State Parkway. The SUV was going 91 mph in a 65 mph zone. [...]

Well, not to quibble, but doesn't saying "I should be dead" while you're standing there saying it maybe sorta give the wrong idea--"I should be dead, but I'm not, even though I wasn't wearing my seatbelt I still managed to survive." Sure, you'd have to be pretty stupid to twist the message around like that--or, you know, be the governor of New Jersey. But there is still a component of mouth-breathers out there who would draw that very conclusion.

Seems like a better idea would be for the governor to say, "I was an idiot, and now I'm paying the price." It would also help things if he wasn't a serial abuser of a system that seems to make elected officials think they can speed or otherwise ignore laws that are inconvenient for them.

If he was really serious about this, he would sign a statement admitting his wrongdoing not only in this instance, but in his past abuses of power, and agree to abide by the laws of his state, and that all other officials will be expected to do likewise. Even if it might mean being five minutes late to one of their many pandering opps. Such a willingness to subject themselves to the same laws and standards they demand of others would go a lot further toward making these mewling public service ads more believable.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:54 AM | Comments (11)

I know how worried you all have been.

"What will we do on Thursday mornings while the Thursday Three is on summer vacation?" you ask.

Was there any doubt that Possumblog would continue to provide the stellar, executive-quality entertainment you've all grown to expect!?


So, without further ado, we proudly present to you...

...right now...



Today's highlighted auction is something I've always wanted around the house, an OHIO MEDICAL PRODS ANESTHESIA MACHINE, SN 216-7188-801, located at the VA Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina!

It's quite lovely, isn't it?

anesthesia machine.jpg

And looks to be in good shape--perfect for those times when a gallon of PGA and a blow to the head just with a hammer just isn't quick enough! Winner of the OHIO MEDICAL PRODS ANESTHESIA MACHINE, SN 216-7188-801 was bidder "TMG," who only paid $313 for this high-quality bit of machinery.

We hope you've enjoyed this week's installment of RANDOM U.S. GOVERNMENT PROPERTY AUCTIONS!!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:40 AM | Comments (5)

May 23, 2007

Pure filth.

Simply awful. Nasty, horrid, vile punning.

"An antelope was asked to go to a dance. She bought a new dress and necklace for the dance. Then she had her horns and hooves done. Since she lived alone, she struggled to dress herself. Running late, she encountered a herd of stampeding buffalo approaching the trail. She thought she was fast enough to get past them. But, unfortunately, she was run over by the buffalo. And this is the origin of..."

"...the self-dressed stamped antelope."

My compliments to Nate McCord, who found it at the Grouchy Old Cripple's joint.

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

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Volume MCMLXII

Fisherman shot during Ga. tournament

GREENSBORO, Ga. (AP) — An 86-year-old man didn't want anyone getting too close to his fishing lines, so he took a few shots at a pair of fishermen competing at a tournament, authorities said. One of them was hit in the arm.

John Burke Yearwood of Madison was jailed on a charge of aggravated assault and later released on bond.

Greene County Sheriff Chris Houston said Yearwood has been putting his fishing lines out in the area for decades.

Two men competing in a fishing tournament Saturday on the Oconee River told authorities that when they got close to Yearwood's lines, Yearwood raised a rifle and fired two shots that hit the water in front of their boat. A sheriff's department report says Yearwood — who was at a fishing camp but was not in the tournament — fired a third shot that hit Craig Barnett as he sat in the boat.

The men said they sped away in the boat and used a cell phone to call 911.

The sheriff's report says Barnett, a Sycamore resident, sustained a wound under his left arm and gave authorities a small-caliber bullet that he says went into his arm. [...]

Well, that's pretty bad, but it's not like he was spotlighting them.

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

Way to go, Mobile!

Study Reveals Top 10 Wettest U.S. Cities

Andrea Thompson
LiveScience Staff Writer
Tue May 22, 7:30 AM ET

Do you think Seattle is the rainiest city in the United States? Well, think again.

Mobile, Alabama, actually topped a new list of soggiest cities, with more than 5 feet of rainfall annually, according to a study conducted by San Francisco-based WeatherBill, Inc. [...]

Southeastern cities are so prevalent on the list because the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico fuel storms that frequently soak the region, particularly between June and November.

The study also found that in the past 30 years, the East and Southeast seemed to be getting wetter, while the West got drier. Florida, Louisiana and Alabama were the wettest states, while California, Montana, Nevada and Arizona were the driest (Las Vegas took the top spot for driest city). [...]

Speaking from experience, I can tell you this is a fact. My sister lives down there, and it rains just about every day. The difference in perception is that Seattle seems to have a lot of fog all the time, while Mobile (and the rest of the Redneck Riviera area) will have a giant thunderstorm for an hour, then it'll become bright and fair again. So, you know, not a lot of brooding, flannel-clad, disaffected youth starting garage bands, which is kinda nice.

Although, in fairness, there is that tiny issue with hurricanes.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:43 PM | Comments (4)

Shades of LBJ...

'If I've lost Geeks, I've lost America!'

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

Aww. He's so cute when he tries to act all big and everything!

Edwards: Move past 'war on terror'

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Democrat John Edwards Wednesday repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror," calling it an ideological doctrine advanced by the Bush administration that has strained American military resources and emboldened terrorists.

In a defense policy speech he planned to deliver at the Council on Foreign Relations, Edwards called the war on terror a "bumper sticker" slogan Bush had used to justify everything from abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison to the invasion of Iraq.

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set — that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam." [...]

So, at least he isn't so vapid that he won't admit that we do have terrorists, which means there's an organized group of people intent on forcing us to make societal changes through threats and overt actions against innocent civilians, and they just happen to overwhelmingly subscribe to a faith they identify as Islam (although I'm willing to allow it's a perverted version thereof), and their expressed intent is to pave the way for the return of the Caliphate and rid the world of infidels.

His premise, then, seems to be that despite the fact that these terrorists see themselves as being engaged in a titanic struggle of civilizations, and that they see themselves fighting a war against anyone or any institution that is not Islamic (as they define Islam), really, the only thing that empowers them is to set linguistic traps for us to get entangled in. If we'd quit all this talk about how they're intent on blowing things up and wiping America from the face of the Earth, they'd simply cease to exist.

Just go back to sipping thick sweet hot tea and smoking their hookahs, I guess.

Senator, these folks want something, and they're willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill that desire, whether you're comfortable admitting it or not. Ignoring them, or treating them as an unimportant distraction from important things such as good hair grooming is short-sighted. Wishing away a threat doesn't work--it's one of the reasons why we're in the middle of this struggle (whatever you want to call it, and whether or not you believe it's real) right now.

Now then--go outside and play and let the grown-ups talk.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:57 AM | Comments (0)

Well, good morning, everyone!

::crickets chirping::

Another day of fun out amongst the citizenry, and thankfully, not once did I have to duck into a phone booth to doff my eyeglasses and pull off my clothing to reveal...


I didn't have to--I just wanted to.

Very liberating, you know.

ANYway, I'm not sure what to talk about today, other than we've got smoke again from those inconsiderate people in Georgia and Florida. Which will probably mean that the folks who take their twelve cigarette breaks during the day will decide to stay inside.

In other news, this: Wimbledon to increase player challenges. "About time," say I to the All-England Club. I've long thought tennis would be so much better with tackling. And, of course, cheerleaders.

And from the Tiny Minds on Goat Hill, this: House refuses to praise Birmingham reporter for winning Pulitzer

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama House balked at passing a resolution Tuesday that would have praised Birmingham News reporter Brett Blackledge, who won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative stories that exposed corruption in the state's two-year college system. [...]

I'm sure making this small gesture was impossible given the limited time available for finding new sources of graft.

Another headline of note: Miss. Power Co. new operations center to resist hurricane winds. I'm not sure why online news places think they have to truncate headlines so much--pixels and display being so much cheaper than ink and paper. But nonetheless, it does strike me that things would be better if we DID have a Miss Power Company. Maybe someone such as Anita from Billing and Accounts Payable, seen here in the evening gown competition--



Oh, sure--the other girls were awfully petty to complain about her talent entry since a Bic lighter doesn't have anything to do with electrical power, but she knew they were just jealous of her popsicle stick and macrame transmission tower diorama.

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

May 22, 2007

Oh, yeah.

All of you be prepared to entertain yourselves tomorrow morning--I'll be out and about and around town in my guise of mild-manner civil servant!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:40 PM | Comments (0)

"Sow the Wind..."

"...reap the whirlwind." Or, you know, a speeding commuter train.

(Thanks again to Dr. Smith.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:18 PM | Comments (0)

Perpetuating the Stereotype, Above the Mason-Dixon Line Version

Another jewel from Jim Smith, about some yutes and their adult enablers who sojourned from bucolic Lawn Guyland to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Police: 'Spitting' Teen Shocked With Taser At Disney

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A teen was shocked with a Taser gun and several others were detained at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom theme park after they attacked officers responding to reports they were spitting at guests, according to police.

A Disney security guard said three teens and two adults who were visiting the Magic Kingdom from Long Island Sunday were spitting at guests and cursing.

When a sheriff's deputy responded, the five are accused of punching and kicking the officer and other security guards at the park.

The deputy said he was forced to use a Taser gun to subdue one of the teens. [...]

Park guests expressed their enjoyment of the altercation, thinking they were experiencing a new "Sopranos" attraction.

(More details here--and here's a shocker--believe it or not, the suspects were said to have been intoxicated.)

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

Oh, I just THOUGHT I had a Moron Project.

I genuflect before a Master.

Via noted English car enthusiast Steevil, there are no photos of what this Koventry Klassik looked like before, but I'll take the Fluevog's word for it that it was a rusty hulk. Certainly is quite a change from the way it looked when it left Jolly Olde--Mk. Xs look more like this in their factory-fresh state. Quite a sexy-looking big sedan, right up there with the E-type for creamy smooth goodness. There's a nifty site here, where you can peruse scans of the original showroom brochures.

Why, just the photo of the Mark 10's rear seat alone--Connelly leather, Wilton wool carpets, English burl vanity tables, lush chrome, carelessly lain mink coat and elbow length kid gloves--is enough to cause a certain stirrings that are not the least bit appropriate.

Quite a ride.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:43 PM | Comments (9)

How touching!

Woman still likes gorilla despite attack

Although probably not a good touching.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

"And the password is..."

Via Jim Smith, via the Law Librarian Blog, via PC World, the Ten Most Common Passwords.

As the article says, "If you recognize yours, you may as well hand over your wallet or purse to the first person you see on the street."

Well, fine.

I've never used any of those, but if you do, in lieu of giving your wallet to a stranger, I would be glad to take it from you in conjunction with my participation in the John Edwards Don't Be Poor Ever Again Seminar™.

Thanks for your support!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:21 AM | Comments (8)

That's mostly comforting.

Most U.S. Muslims reject suicide bombings

Of course, it's not the ones who reject the nihilistic pathway to a heavenly cathouse, but the ones who think it's a keen idea that cause me some concern.

WASHINGTON (AP) — One in four younger U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings to defend their religion are acceptable at least in some circumstances, though most Muslim Americans overwhelmingly reject the tactic and are critical of Islamic extremism and al-Qaida, a poll says. [...]

Something for our Muslim brothers and sisters to understand when they might want to complain about people giving them the stinkeye or being less than overwhelmingly friendly--it's hard to tell just on appearance the honest, hard-working, "we really DO want to live in peace" variety from the type with the short fuse who want to send as many infidels and apostates out from among the living as they can. It doesn't help things when the good folks' level of vocal and material opposition to the exploding undergarments sect is on the tepid side. And based on this poll, it's worth noting that among the 2,350,000 followers of Islam in America, there are apparently around 13%, or 305,500 folks who think suicide bombings are a nifty idea.

Yes, there have always been people of all faiths who abused their understanding of God and used a perverted faith to justify murder and mayhem, but there have been very few groups in history so unconcerned about killing innocents along with themselves as there are with the current crop of radical jihadis, and to ignore that or say it's misplaced fear is the height of ignorance.

Just a tip--if there were 305,500 fat old rednecks strapping on C4 to go forth to the mall to rid the world of themselves and their enemies, even though I wasn't one of them, I would have a bit of understanding about why someone might not want to sit near me in a restaurant, or might be a bit put-off if they had to ride with me in an airplane. If you tire of being the butt of stereotypes as violent and backward, it's time to start talking to these 305,500 folks within your midst (and the several other million around the world) and let them know they're making it hard on you to live your peaceful lives. As we say down here--it's time to cull your nuts.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

Look, I know everyone gets on his back about it.

Report: John Edwards Charges $55,000 for Speech on Poverty

But let's face it, folks, he's right:

John Edwards has an example to teach University of California at Davis students how to avoid poverty — charge $55,000 for a speech. [...]

I agree with him all the way, and therefore would like to inform you all that my speaking fee will be raised from the current level of free, to $55,000.

In a related story, he's coming to speak to the Alabama Legislature, one assumes to assist them in their efforts to overcome their own personal poverty.

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

Jack Bauer Update!

The only way the season finale could suck more?


Next season Audrey wakes up and it's all been a dream.

I admit I've kinda dropped out this year, mainly because of having the watching hour interrupted by picking up Boy from his Scout meetings, but I did happen to have the radio on in the van last night and picked up part of the dialogue. (Our Fox affiliate here in Birmingham is on channel 6, which can be heard down on the far end of the radio dial at 87.7)

Okay, so Smelly Face Chloe's gotten herself knocked up, Powers Booth has decided to blow up an oil platform with an Navy air strike, and the platform is the final hiding place of JackDaddy/Babe's Handler on it and some Chinese guys and a submarine doohickey the ChiComm want. Problem is that that the Guy from Babe has Jack's nephewson, too, so Jack and Gray Haired Boss steal a chopper to go rescue him. HURRY JACK--those F-18s are going to be there in TWENTY MINUTES!!

Now look--an F-18 can fly at around Mach 1.5, or anywhere between 900 to 1,000 miles per hour. If they're twenty minutes away from this platform, that means that they're around 300 miles away. The West Coast just had a nuke go off, and the closest air assets we have in the area are 300 miles away!? Either that, or the oil platform is 300 miles out in the ocean. Which can't really be right either, because the helo managed to get there before the fighters. AND...

Anyway, Jack goes off with the helo, gets his Dad to let go of the grandnephewson, left him on the platform, grabbed onto the chopper, flew off, platform goes boom, Jack drops off, Gray Haired Boss says, "eh, whatever, he can swim."

Which he does--in the next five minutes, Jack swims from the oil platform to Brokenose Girl's Daddy's house, comes in all wet, threatens him, says LEMME SEE HER! OR I'LL CRY UNMANLY TEARS!! Goes in and sees her faking comatosis with her big buck teeth bared like some kind of BEAVER and he tells her she's rilly cute and sweet and he wants to give her his class ring and then he leaves the room and shares an unspoken moment with her dad, then goes out on the patio to watch the waves and get all vertiginous looking down at the rocks below.

Will he!? Will he decide to go find a shark to jump? Will Chloe's baby be all pinchy-faced? Will JackDaddy survive? (Of course he will.) Will the ChiComm leave Jack alone? WHEN WILL WE SEE KIM BAUER IN A BIKINI!? I don't know, but I think that's about the only thing that will get me to watch again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:19 AM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2007

Why is it...

...I can never have brilliant ideas like this?

(I mean, besides that whole "being a moron" deal.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:38 PM | Comments (11)

Let's see...

Friday, I can't remember. Seems like I picked up some car parts stuff at the store--wire, wire pliers (another pair), wheel cleaner, then on back to home with the kids, dropped them off, then went and took some food up to the church building for the Ladies Day we were having on Saturday (but that none of my ladies attended). Home, supper, bed.

Up early Saturday, but not too early, got Catherine to go help me do some stuff outside--fill the bird feeders, dump the litter box, wash out the cat pen, douse the frog fountain with bleach (quite an algae bloom going on there), then inside to fold up the towels, put the jeans in the dryer, and the dark clothes in the washer. The reason for the sudden flurry of activity? Doing my best to convince someone that I had been a good boy and should be allowed an hour to go explore the junkyard.

AND IT WORKED! I recited my list of Good Boy Things, and she relented. Her task for the day was supposed to be to clean out her closet, and she'd ominously mentioned that she needed help. Friends, helping Miss Reba clean out her closet is a task best suited for girl children--they can lift and tote as well as I can, and enjoy playing dress-up with the discards. And I knew the last thing I needed to be was stuck carrying boxes up and down the steps. Children are good for that task, too.

SO, bright and happy, I got my old bucket of used motor oil to go drop off at the auto parts store at the foot of the hill, got another gallon to go in the crankcase, and I was off to the playground.

Got there, strode in confidently, paid my buck, got my hand stamped, and quite nearly flew out the door to go play amongst the rust and wasps. Walked, walked, walked--hmm.


I am a moron.

It happens EVERY time, so I should know better by now. The foreign junk is NEVER in the same place twice. How can they move it all like that!? One month it's over toward the far back, the next it's over to the side, then it's back to the back. The easy thing is to check the computer at the desk and see where it is, but stupid me always just goes to where it was the last time. And then waste valuable plundering time going to find where they REALLY are stashed. Just like this time--instead of being over on the front to the side, they were in the far back corner.

No matter. Finally found them and started wandering up and down the aisles to see what there was to see.

Junk, mainly.

Oddly enough, there weren't a lot of Saabs this time. I always look for them because they came with nice tools, and occasionally you can still some squirreled away under the tire well cover. None this time, though. Did find a BMW with a couple of rusty wrenches that I picked up--very good quality, and I don't mind a little rust as long as it will brush off.

Volvos, quite a few, although none with anything all that interesting. Did find a couple of ones with the old style hubcovers I prefer, but they were dented beyond fooling with. AH!! A high-mount brake light cover! These things sit in the back window and bake, and crack like egg shells. I got a new one not too long ago, but it's never bad to have a spare.

Did I mention what a beautiful day it was? Bright and sunny and cool with a nice breeze blowing--hard to top that when you're crawling around fetid junkers!

My allotted hour having ended, I went back to the office to check out, stopping briefly to tell the lost Mexican guy that I didn't know where the Ford F-150s were, but that there was a computer in the office he could use to find them. Although that takes some of the fun out of spending time wandering around lost.

Showed the guy my few pieces of junk, and he waved me on through, figuring I'd gotten no more than my dollar's worth. SCORE! This is turning out to be a very good day!

Toward home, stopped to get some eggs, then hopped outside to begin the second round of car-related playtime.

Oil change. Jacked up the driver's side a bit, slid the empty catch can underneath, gingerly undid the drain plug, scalded myself, and neatly dropped the plug right into the drain hole in the catch can, stopping it up sufficiently so that all four quarts of oil stayed right in the reservoir on top without draining into the can.


Got Boy to come over and help me--he and Cat had decided to ride bikes on the driveway while I covered myself with petroleum products--and asked him to give me one of the rags on the fender up above me. I neglected to tell him that the plastic plug for the catch can and the new copper crush washer I'd gotten were both on the rag. He picked up the rag, and sure enough, I heard the tell-tale ::ping:: of the washer and ::plunk:: of the plug.

Grr. Oh well. At least I could get the oil off my hand. And at least I did find the plastic plug. The copper washer was firmly unfindable, though.

Got another washer, screwed the drain plug back in, changed the filter, filled up with new oil and leak stopper, gave it a crank, and cleaned up my mess.

Next item on the list--fixing that pesky leak in the taillights. Got a seam that allows water in, and this is a bad thing when you combine several ounces of water with a hot bulb and an electrical circuit. Did a bead of clear silicone sealant around both sides, hoping it will be enough to ward off future lighting irregularities. Maybe.

Next on the To-Do list, fixing my headlight on the driver's side. These are the fancy glass headlights I purchased back several years ago, and although of generally okay quality, the rear housing is a slick, somewhat softish plastic. The mounting studs, although grippily gnurled for tight holding power in the soft plastic, have a habit of simply pulling free.

Leaving the headlight to sadly avert its gaze downwards to the roadway, rather than up toward the large animal darting out in front of me.

So, some JB Weld epoxy putty for all of those holes, and tap the studs back into place. Hopefully this repair will last a bit longer. Or maybe the epoxy putty will just pull out of the soft plastic, too.

Next, the big happy chore, the installation of my sidemarker lights I'm so oddly proud of. As with every project I've started on this thing, this is one of those that promises to be done in 15 minutes, and takes 2 hours because I don't know exactly what I'm doing. And yes, after I got it done, now that I know, I figure 15 minutes is about right.

Problem is that although the Internet is a godsend and a boon for old car fixing, it still has its drawbacks--namely that the people who write some of these old car websites are barely literate, and further that they decide not to avail themselves of a digital camera to explain what they're talking about.

Basically, what I had was two little fender-mounted turn signal/running lights. Two wires. As basic an electrical thing as possible, but it required getting the wires from the fender, up through several unreachable and nearly impassable inner fender chambers, out into the open, and up to the front where the turn signal wires live. Every thing I read said a hole needed to be drilled. Somewhere. Or that there might be a rubber bung I could thread the wires through. Somewhere. "Simple," it was said.

"Not," say I.

I fished around with a piece of welding rod on the passenger side, before figuring out I had no idea where to drill a hole. I got my drill out and drilled in a likely spot, and by sheer luck, it turned out to be usable.

Now to get the wires though. Needed something to fish the wire through the maze inside the fender, and it needed to be more flexible than the welding rod I had, but stiff enough to be able to get from one hole to the other.

As luck would have it, for once my packrat-itis came in handy, as I had some baling wire, savior to mankind. Just flexible enough, just stiff enough, and it worked like a charm. Pulled the wires through, then routed them right alongside the other wires, then up to the front, and attached them onto the turn signal wires.

Moment of truth, flipped on the lights and the blinkers, and HOORAY! IT WORKS!

However, I failed to heed Han Solo's advice, "Don't get cocky, kid."

The OTHER side proved to be more frustrating. I had intended to drill right where I had on the passenger side, but there was a brake booster in the way. I scratched my head for thirty minutes trying to figure out how to get a hole where I needed it, then took a trip to the hardware store to see if they had a right angle attachment for the drill.


Back home, frustrated and beginning to sweat, and I decided to drill from the outside of the fender. This worked quite well until the drill bit caught and yanked the collet of the drill into the previously undented sheet metal of the fender and bent the edge of the light mounting hole inward from the impact.

Grr. And how.

To make it worse?

I fished and fished with that bailing wire, trying my dead level best to work it from the outside of the fender back up inside to someplace where I could get it.

I was about to say a bad word. Or two.

I stood there stupidly for a very long time. Walked around. Felt around some more. Got the baling wire and ran it back through a small gap in a panel inside the fender and...


Felt the other end poke my finger that I had where the light was supposed to go.


Meaning I didn't HAVE to drill a hole--there was already a clear passage from the inside of the fender to the outside. Meaning I didn't have to mess up the paint around the outside mounting hole. Meaning I didn't have to drill a hole in the OTHER side, either. Meaning that if I'd known what I was doing, I could have been done in TEN minutes instead of two hours.


Fished the wires out, ran them to the turn signals, clipped them together, and as before, perfect little amber running light/turn signals. I feel so Europeany and sophisticated now!

Next, cleaned up again, and went on to the next task of the day--replacing the little plastic covers above the rear shoulder belts. Once again, these little pieces of trim plastic that cover the shoulder belt reels sit and bake in the rear window, and they looked horrible. And one was actually disintegrating right before my eyes. I'd gotten some new old ones a while back (black, not blue, so maybe it'll not fade quite so quickly), so I popped off the old and popped on the new. Perfect.

And now that it was nearly 6:00 in the afternoon, the final task, trying to get some of the grime off that set of alloy wheels I have out in the shed. I'd gotten some stuff that promised that brake dust would flee in fear, never to return. And tougher coatings of dust would require only a swipe with a brush.

Hah. And hah again.

I doused the wheels, and although they are somewhat cleaner and smell nice and fruity, they still have a tenacious bit of black grime down in the spokes and lug holes that is going to require sterner stuff to get loose.

Oh, well. A task for another time.

Being all finished up for the day, I went and plopped down in the front yard and watched the kids ride their bikes up and down the street for thirty minutes.

It was quite a good day, all things considered.

And Reba actually managed to clean out three paper boxes full of clothes from her closet!

And Sunday?


We went and had a good lesson, then went and met my mom for her belated Mother's Day meal, and we ate at the nice Chinese place near her house, and the waiter did not get ANY SORT OF TIP because he was rude and brusque and disinterested, and then we went home and I took off my suit and actually TOOK A NAP!

Oh, sure--it wasn't the BEST nap in the world--I had to share the bedroom with Rebecca typing on a school paper, and everyone else was awake and making noise, and it was hot in the room, but still, a darned fine nap, nonetheless.

Got up a couple of hours later, got redressed, then took Boy and everyone else up to Kohl's so we could get him some clothes for his birthday. Tried on an endless array of things, all helpfully brought to us by Middle Girl--THANKS!--while Reba and the other two girls ran off to shop for themselves. You know, since we were buying stuff for Jonathan's birthday.

On to church for evening worship, then to home, then BACK up to Wal-Mart with Boy and me to get the rest of his birthday items, then back home for some supper, some more work on the computer for Rebecca's school project, and then to bed.

All in all, it's hard to have a much better weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:41 AM | Comments (7)

That one turned out pretty doggone good!

More later--staff meeting, you know.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:31 AM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2007


Okay, not really. It's been a long afternoon, and I'm tired, and I want to go home and get started on the weekend, which I hope will include some more playtime with the Volvo (yesterday's playtime documented here).

I think the grass can wait a week, and since it's been a few days since it rained and the weather is nice and unseasonably cool (global warming), I would really like to be able to head over to the junkyard tomorrow for a few hours of exploring.

We DO have to take Boy and see about getting him some birthday presents. He turned 13 on Monday, and even though we'd gotten his birthday cake and some cards and a few small books, we haven't really had a chance to actually have much of a party for him. And doggone it, 13 is an important birthday, and he shouldn't get short shrift. Maybe I'll try to sneak him into the junkyard with me.

Sunday, another belated celebration--since my mom's back from the beach, we're going to go pile in on her and celebrate Mother's Day a week late. I'm going to do my darndest not to take her to the Gilded Cowpen, but I have lost this battle before.

And as usual, there is a mountain of clothing to be laundered, and churching to be done, and vegetables to be tended, and birds to be fed, and a wife to be...well, just you never mind!

Anyway, see you all on Monday--have a great weekend and do something nice for someone you don't like. It'll make you feel good and puzzle the dickins out of them.

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

Speaking of car repair...

...Steevil sent me a link this morning that he'd gleaned from his Spitfire group's bulletin board. For those of you who have various moron projects scattered around your house, up on blocks, with engines swinging from a rope looped over the kid's swing set, it offers some awfully good advice about working on cars. And working on them in a way that guarantees a much higher level of enjoyment, and not nearly so much wasted cash.

Some good reading, even if you don't have a TR3A.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:29 PM | Comments (4)



It's apparently been awhile, because he had two magazines and I had a stack three inches high. Not that I'm complaining.

Off to Casawood for some fine conversation and a fine meal at Los Compadres over in the Palisades. Pretty good, and nothing if not fast. It is a bit different from most Mexican places in that there is no separate chip and salsa boy, but that's okay because the waitress brought it out and she was pretty.

I had the La Favorita, a combination of a chile relleno, a beef fajita, and a flauta, all served on a blazing hot Fiestaware plate that had apparently just been removed from the kiln. It was good, after it cooled off, although I'm still wondering how they're going to ever clean the scorched cheese off the plate. Service was good, if a bit hard to understand sometimes, and the price was around 9 bucks with tip.

AS FOR THE CONVERSATION, the usual topics of children, cars, work, our rapidly degenerating physical condition, auto body repair, kidney stones, childbirth, and The Way of All Flesh.

Jeff's grandmother passed away earlier this week, so he and his family have been down in Louisiana, and so the topic got onto longevity. His father's family seemed to have had quite long-lived--Jeff's great grandmother not passing until she was 103, and his grandfather still hale and hearty at 90. Their secret? I figured they must be descended from some of those Ukrainian yogurt-eaters, but according to Jeff, they keep their edge through the consumption of one fluid ounce of clear grain alcohol per day, as well as drinking hot water. Not coffee or tea, just plain hot water.

Hard to argue with success, I suppose. Although I do wish they'd go find some folks who lived to 125 through a steady diet of cheap Mexican food and Diet Coke.

ANYway, it was a fun afternoon, even with all the talk of la muerte.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:13 PM | Comments (0)

Get ready for FUN!

Because I've got a training class to sit through this morning for our computerizecd permitting system, because we're adding a new function! WOO-HOO!

Not really.

I've been using this program for seven years now, which means I'm about to lose two hours listening to other people who don't know what they're doing ask questions, when I could just as easily skip all this crap and be told what to do with a two paragraph e-mail.


Oh, well.

Y'all have fun until I get back.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 07:57 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2007



But anyway, before that, I went and got Boy from school, and as luck would have it, right as I got there, it began rainng buckets. Not complaining, because we did need the rain, but I would have been just as satisfied had it waited about thirty minutes later. Not that that would have mattered, either, because I was blocked in a parking space by every single car in Trussville.

Anyway, I was finally able to get out into the flow of traffic and find him in spite of wind, rain, moms in gigantic earthmover-sized vehicles, and a riotous press of middle schoolers.

Off to the oral surgeon, with a stop at Sonic so I could get some lunch, the order for which was incorrect. Oh well. I didn't get Boy anything since he was about to expose his gaping maw to a stranger, and no stranger likes to see bits of onions and lettuce in another stranger's gaping maw, but I did get him an orange cream slushy deal that he enjoyed up until it gave him a brain freeze.

Got to the mouth cutter, parked, walked into the swanky '90s style professional office building and on deeper inside to get to the office. It was very nice. Signed in, filled out forms, gave forms back to the spectacularly pregnant secretary, wondered why forms have to have the exact same information filled in three different times instead of just using a little check box that says "Same as before," read a Scientific American magazine, which was actually current, and waited for about an hour.

Finally got called back, and waited some more.

HEY! It's the doctor!

Looked just like Larry Tate!

He walked in, asked about the Renfroe account, then fixed himself a gigantic martini. (Not really.)

He looked at the x-rays, poked around a bit, and said that the reason Boy's bicuspid had been reluctant to appear was because of a cyst between the top of the tooth and the gum. Apparently the hydraulic pressure is enough to keep the tooth from dropping through the gum, and, in fact, can cause it to shoot clean out the top of Boy's head! (Not really.)

He explained all about what he was going to have to do to get rid of the offending fluid pocket, which will include a needle and a knife, but also can include nitrous oxide (which I'm certain I'll need), and then the care afterwards until we can get Jonathan back to his orthodontist for the installation of a big eyebolt and come-along so they can pull the tooth into place. Whole process will take about 15 minutes or so. Not too bad, although as I mentioned, I know I'll feel better after a couple of hits of nitrous.

The doctor went through the final page of the patient history with me, including the last listing of approximately 30 different conditions that could create problems during surgery--pneumonia pleuresy consumption grippe heart murmur mitral valve prolapse high blood pressure diabetes gangrene impertinence impudence gabba gabba hey rheumatic fever dangling participles--on and on, delivered with a rapid fire assuredness that can only come from years of rote repetition.

He finished up the arm-long list of memorized diseases and as deadpan as I could, I said, "Sorry, but could you repeat that?"

He did a classic Larry Tate double-take before realizing I was only joking, then saying he would be glad to repeat them, and faster, or in reverse. I got the sense that I was pressing my luck, so I told him Boy was clear of all the conditions and diseases listed.

Back out to the checkout, made an appointment for next week with Spectacularly Pregnant Secretary, and then it was on toward home. With a stop at Target for a watch battery for the black plastic Indiglo Timex that was mine that I let Jonathan wear. (He's taken very good care of it.)

On up the hill to the house, unloaded myself, read the mail, went outside to see what manic Mr. Kitty was doing. He was hungry, so I fed him, then went and took a tour of the garden. Amazing what a little rain will do. Everything has sprouted now, so it doesn't hurt it as much when aggravating furry varmints decide to lay themselves all over the rows.

Or so I thought.

I figured we had enough time for Lightning to play a bit outside before it was time to get ready for church, so I let him out and he began madly dashing up every tree in the yard, and sure enough, found the wet dirt in the garden particularly attractive.

Go, silly cat.

GO, ya stupid furball!

He'd leave, then sneak back in between the carrot rows.

I started to grab him up, but he had other ideas, which prompted a swat upon his furry haunch, which DID dislodge him from his dirt-ophilic rolling and rubbing.

He ran off over to the neighbor's yard, where I followed him, and then out the back door came the girls. Reba had gone to pick them up from Grandmom's and had just gotten home, so they had to run go see KITTY!!

And me, it turns out.

Rebecca came charging across the yard, "DADDY DADDY! I was looking up stuff on the Internet at Grandma's house, and I typed in your name, and this website came up, and it had Catherine's poem about jaguars on it, and I thought 'HEY! NEAT!' and then read it, and at first I thought YOU were just one of the other people on there, but then I realized when it said "posted by Terry Oglesby" that it meant YOU were the one who was writing the whole thing and it was SO FUNNY and I showed it to Catherine and then we looked at pictures from convention on there and one was of Jonathan and..."

"Shshhhh. Let's not be so loud about it--don't tell anyone it'll spoil the surprise."

It was bound to happen, I'm just surprised it took so long. Nothing on here I'm ashamed of, although it does get a bit personal sometimes, and once someone knows you blog, they always treat you a bit weirdly--'Are you gonna write about this?'

Well, maybe.

ANYway, "But I already told Mama--she said, 'Oh, really,' and that she wanted to see what it was you were writing about on there!"

"That's fine, Sugar, but still, it's not all that big of a deal."

Or so I claim. But I guess it is--there's this whole giant side of me that they've never known about, and over the past 5 1/2 years I've written a huge pile of thoughts and sentiments, many of which I've probably never even expressed to my family. I might never have expressed them out loud to them, but here they sit for all the rest of the world to read and comment and complain about. But the intent was never to hide so much as it was just to have some way of making sense of things. It's hard to get a word in edgewise around our house, although I'm sure the family would differ on that, and I'm sure they believe I have no problem in making myself heard. But that's just one thing--and usually it's when I'm being called upon to dispense justice and fear. Otherwise, no one really seems to care that much what I think about art, or love, or lawnmower repair, or world politics, especially in the long-winded, stream-of-consciousness style I use to ramble on here. I could get about three words into a sentence before being interrupted and losing whatever train of thought I had. I don't think that sort of controlled chaos is good or bad; it's just life, and I have it abundantly around my house, and no real complaint about it. But when you gotta say something, sometimes you have to pick your medium, and this one allows me a freedom that's hard to come by elsewhere.

And I have to say this--all of YOU folks have been terribly accommodating of me and my oddness, and for that I am eternally grateful. As I always have said, to me this space is akin to the office chair over there by the door--folks can wander by, sit a spell, talk about whatever I happen to find amusing at the moment (because it's all about me), and you can comment, or nod your head and smile politely and try to find a quick exit.

For those of you who are new to the place--such as, oh, maybe, my family members--I encourage you to look back through the archives, both here and over on the Blogspot site. There's a lot there--several million words (really)--so it'll take some time, but it might give you some idea about what goes through my mind when I'm doing that Jackie Gleason-esque slow burn, or why I didn't do something you thought I should, or why I forgot something I shouldn't have. By the time you've read it all and gotten caught up and digested it, I hope you'll figure out that this is a slightly more involved version of what I tell each of you every day--that I love you all. I might not have a lot of time to say much of anything else around the house, but you all know I DO make time to do that, but more importantly, I not only try to say it, but show it. Yes, I mess up--a lot. But it's like I always say, the only people who never fail are the ones who never do anything.

So, then--hey, y'all.

Back to the gardening, I went over and showed Miss Reba the stuff that was coming up, then got the kids to put up the cat, then it was time to head off for church. Where ONCE MORE the fascination of my online alter ego was of much intrigue to Rebecca, so I told her a bit more about the history of this place, and how it was really an offshoot of the writing I'd done when I kept up the website for our reenacting group, but that it took on a life of its own after the events of September 11.

I didn't get too detailed about it, but I told her it was a way to keep my thoughts organized during a very troubling time. She was much more interested in the craft of it, though--"And I was reading it, and I told Mama that you always called her "Miss Reba," and I was "Middle Girl" and Jonathan was "Boy," except when you called us by our names and Ashley was "Oldest" and Catherine was "Youngest," and..."

"Well, just don't make a big to-do about it, Bec--you're welcome to read it anytime you want to, but I really don't think Mom would care to read it since she's not on the computer all the time."

Which is true, which is another reason why I've never been that fearful of my hiding-in-plain-sightiness being discovered by my lovely bride. Miss Reba's got better things to do than read this silly mess.


Anyway, what was even more surprising is that apparently this wasn't the first time Rebecca had found Possumblog. She'd done family searches before, apparently, and had actually clicked on Possumblog, then decided after she got here that it was just a bunch of words and stuff and wasn't relevant to her search. How odd.

Anyway, I suppose she'll be checking in from time to time, so during church I wrote down the "new" URL (since she has been reliably carried to the OLD site most of the time) AND the URL for Revolvoblog, too. Never know--she might want to know how to install brake rotors. I'm not going to direct her to The Proboscis, mainly because we've all let it lapse for a couple of years. Poor thing.

After church, a stop at Chick-fil-A to get some supper for everyone, then a stop at the gas station, then on to home to watch Melinda get the shock of her life, then FINALLY some time to sprawl out on the bed and read my magazine while Miss Reba and Middle Girl took up their positions downstairs to work on the Apron for the Walker project.

Rebecca had colored some fabric pockets with pictures of various articles, so after cutting those out, the intent was to hem the edges and sew them on the apron.

First call, about midway through my magazine--"DAAAAAUHHHH DEEEEEEEEEE!"




Downstairs, where I politely requested that Rebecca never ever scream up the stairs to get my attention ever again, and where I saw that the sewing machine was eating the fabric. "Hmm," said I.

I got Reba to let me sit down, and after much futzing about, finally got the top thread, the bobbin thread, and the cloth all cooperating nicely together and left it with them so I could go read the next article in my magazine that I got last weekend and still haven't managed to finish.

Several minutes passed, and Rebecca appeared at my elbow and whispered to me that I was needed again.


Machine was messing up again. Did the drill of removing the storage box, opening the bobbin chamber cover, removing the bobbin, removing the sharp round pointy thing retainer ring, removing the sharp round pointy thing, then reinstalling everything.

Still messed up.


It was then that I figured out the thread had come undone from its looping trajectory through all the various hooks and loops and tensioners and bends and elbows, so after fixing THAT stuff, it finally began working right. Ish.

Anyway, I hemmed one pocket, then got wrangled into doing the rest of them. And after hemming, I got wrangled into sewing the blasted things onto the apron.

Sometime during this, there was a story on the TV about some guy who collected Barbie dolls, which Rebecca thought was kinda funny.

"HEY! Ain't nothing wrong with a man collecting Barbie dolls! Ain't like he's sewing aprons or anything!"

I was only faking irritation. Mostly. They stood off to the side of the table, and in a barely audible clenched-jaw whisper, Reba asked Rebecca, "Well, I wonder if he's going to write about THIS!"

Yes, m'dear--I certainly intend to! Even though I acted like I was ignoring what you said!

Surely you must know by now how I am!


Got the apron finished, with only five or six more hate-inducing-thread-related incidents, and even though I completely screwed up one seam, I was able to cover it with another pocket, and in the end it was actually pretty cute looking.

And now she only has six or twelve more to make!

Finally got everyone bathed and in the bed sometime during Conan O'Brian.

For some reason, it was VERY difficult to get up this morning.

Go figure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:08 PM | Comments (14)



Just had a 1 1/2 hour meeting.

Time spent on actual, usable information?

About ten minutes, at the very most.

And people wonder why government is so inefficient. All you people who are clamoring for public-financed health care--I promise you, the last thing you need is a bureaucrat with no concept of time, spending YOUR money on OTHER people's ills.

And, no, I don't have my mailout done.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:42 AM | Comments (0)

It's also...

...Mailout Thursday, so I'll be back with you shortly--I have folding, spindling, and mutilating to do.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

Thursday Three Season Finale!

Yes, it’s time once more for the cast, crew, and writers to take a well-deserved summer hiatus, but before everyone clears out, they’ve left you with a THRILLING, ACTION-PACKED edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Okay, it’s not thrilling.

Nor particularly action-packed.

In fact, there’s really not much of a theme. But that’s what you get when you assemble your program from stuff you find wadded up in the trash can.

But it’s the only thing we got, SO--

1) If you could hang out with a famous living person for a day, who would it be, and why?

2) What sort of plans do you have for summer vacation?

3) Blake or Jordin?

Okay, all of you get to work and let’s send out this year’s final episode with something resembling enjoyment! Leave your answers in the comments below or a link to your own blog.

As for my answers…

1) When I pulled this one out of the circular file, I thought it would be pretty simple, but it's really a bit too open-ended, and let's face it--why would someone famous want ME hanging around with them all day!?

If they're doing the stuff that made them famous, you probably won't be able to get too close to them, and if they're just chillin', well, what would you have to talk about?

Then again, some people have a pretty fun life--I sorta think it would be neat to hang around with Paul Newman for a day during racing season. Lots of stories in that guy, and he seems pretty normal for someone famous. It might also be fun to hang around with someone such as automotive writers Peter Egan or Denise McCluggage. Again, lots of stories, and there's the option of going off driving if you run out of stuff to talk about.

If not swapping lies and driving, the other alternative would be to combine food and feminine pulchritude, so maybe a day with Nigella Lawson. Or Paula Dean.

2) We're going to rent a cabin up near Mentone for a few days in June. It's closer, it's quieter, and it's cheaper than where we stayed last year in Pigeon Forge.

3) Jordin. Blake annoys me with that weird way he holds his mouth when he sings, and the gimmicky beatbox noises are annoying when he does them on every song. It's sorta like the first time you heard Michael Winslow in Police Academy and thought it was pretty cute how he could sound like a siren and a telephone and all that. But after Police Academy 2, Their First Assignment, the novelty had worn off. A lot.

Anyway, Blake's a good singer, and he'll do fine in some niche, but Jordin is a good singer and can sing a wide variety of things well, without relying on a gimmick. And she's pretty, and her dad played in the NFL.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:02 AM | Comments (8)

May 16, 2007

I'm Off!

Of course, most of you already knew that, but I also have to leave early to go get Boy and take him to the dentist/oral surgeon/folding money eradicator.

See you all tomorrow, then!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:30 PM | Comments (4)

Quote of the Day

"And I thought, at this age and stage of my career, what the hell."


(Which is what it takes to read the whole story without drowning in the whole mawkish, unintentionally ironic, maudlin, overweeningly prideful, fatuous incomprehensibility of it all.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:41 PM | Comments (5)

Offered for your consideration.

There's a lot of heated discussion about the wisdom of allowing law-abiding citizens to walk about armed. I'm all for it, and stories such are one of the reasons why.

BESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — Law officers have praised a bank customer who pulled his gun and helped deputies capture a gunman who opened fire during a robbery of a Wachovia branch, killing two tellers and wounding two.

Chris Chappell, who was in the bank Monday morning getting $40 in change on the way to his job in Adger, fled the bank when gunshots rang out, drew a gun for which he has a concealed weapon permit, took cover by his sport utility vehicle and alerted deputies who came up. [...]

Read it all.

It's also nice to see the man isn't being hounded by law enforcement officials--

[...] "It's certainly commendable," Jefferson County Sheriff's Sgt. Randy Christian said. "It's obvious he played a key role in keeping the guy there until we could get there. It's a great testament of someone willing to take action."

"He kept him from escaping, and he gave deputies time to get to the scene," Bill Veitch, chief assistant district attorney, told The Birmingham News in its moment-by-moment account of the robbery and arrest.

Bessemer Mayor Ed May, while calling Chappell a "good Samaritan and a brave individual," added that "I would not encourage anyone to do that." [...]

I'm hoping he meant "not encourage just anyone to do that." Using a firearm is deadly serious business, and if you do intend to carry a concealed weapon, know the dangers and consequences. If you aren't comfortable with the idea that you might actually use it, don't carry it.

[...] According to witnesses and police investigators, the gunman fatally shot Eva Lovelady Hudson, then continued firing down the line of tellers, killing Sheila Prevo. He shot two other tellers, who survived, while demanding money, and forced bank manager Myron Gooding to open the vault.

Grabbing a bag of money, he left the bank, only to find Chappell waiting.

"I was prepared to shoot," Chappell said. [...]


Oh, and as I usually do, here again is a link to an online firearm self-defense handbook put together by a local police officer/firearms instructor/FOP firing range owner. It's good, and thorough, and no-nonsense common-sense. Basic premise? Don't go looking for trouble, but know what to do when trouble comes looking for you.

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


Well, thank goodness for that. Air levels safe for outdoor activities

The air returned to healthful levels this morning as rain in Shelby and Jefferson counties washed away Tuesday's pollution. [...]

I have a big pile of tires and trash in the backyard I had intended to burn, so it's good to see it's safe to work outside again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:05 PM | Comments (2)

Well, after doing that...'s kinda hard to think he'd be jovial--Victim at High Falls serious after falling 40 feet onto rocks

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

How very peculiar.

Greenpeace builds replica of Noah's Ark

ISTANBUL, Turkey - Environmental activists are building a replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat — where the biblical vessel is said to have landed after the great flood — in an appeal for action on global warming, Greenpeace said Wednesday.

Turkish and German volunteer carpenters are making the wooden ship on the mountain in eastern Turkey, bordering Iran. The ark will be revealed in a ceremony on May 31, a day after Greenpeace activists climb the mountain and call on world leaders to take action to tackle climate change, Greenpeace said.

"Climate change is real, it's happening now and unless world leaders take urgent, decisive and far-reaching action, the next decades will see human misery on a scale not experienced in modern times," said Greenpeace activist Hilal Atici. "Those leaders have a mandate from the people ... to massively cut greenhouse gas emissions and to do it now." [...]

So, let me get this straight--they cut down a bunch of trees to make a replica of the Ark? Trees--those tall growy things that take carbon dioxide out of the air?

And they say that scientific evidence proves global warming is real, yet they're invoking the imagery found in a book most tree-hugging, "reality-based" community dwellers look at as nothing more than a bunch of regressive, repressive, anti-scientific, fairy tales?

And further, in the story itself, God makes a promise in His heart to the human race,

“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”

'Cause, if that's really what they meant to do, it's seems kinda at cross-purposes with their message.

But, I suppose if that's what they want to do, for consistency's sake, PeTA will be there to build an altar to God, and make a burnt offering of every clean animal and of every clean bird.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:20 PM | Comments (2)

High-tech 21st Centuryism?


Doc Reynolds has a post about cordless irons and percolators, and I have to say, color me unimpressed.

I have a cordless percolator and cordless iron that belonged to my parents, and they still work just as well today as they did when they were new. (The iron and the percolator, not my parents.)

The iron looks something like this:


And this kinda what the percolator looks like:


Oh, sure--the iron is heavy and likely to scorch, and the percolator makes coffee that tastes like burnt tires with dog poop in the treads, but both work even when there's no electricity. Why you'd need a shirt ironed or a cup of bad coffee at times like that is anyone's guess, but by Jiminy, if it was good enough for great-great-grandpa, it oughta be good enough for you bunch of young hoodlums!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:56 AM | Comments (0)

I feel queasy.

Rhody-reared Rocket Scientist Steevil sends along a link to a Providence Journal story about Rhode Island's stellar contribution to America's panoply of roadfood delicacies.

I asked Steevil if Rhode Islanders don't know what barbecue is. He says, "No, and you really don't want to know what American Chop Suey (another RI specialty) is."

The mind boggles. The stomach quivers.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:00 AM | Comments (6)

May 15, 2007

Quote of the Day, IV

"I'm not sure the 35 of us have the brilliance to orchestrate this as well as it has been orchestrated."

Senator, I'd be willing to bet all 35 of you don't have the brilliance required to find your respective posteriors with both hands.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)


Upper back cleavage.

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

Quote of the Day, III

"I'm OK except for a concussion."

Yeah, well, me too.

I post this as a sort of cautionary tale for blogfriendress Megabeth, who has gotten it in her head to bike to work. Here's hoping she has much more success in her effort!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:44 PM | Comments (4)

Quote of the Day, II

"What else can you do in a small town?"

Maybe I'm just really creative and inventive, but I think I could come up with a small list of several alternative things. Number One on the list would be to move to a bigger town.

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

I am not a big fan of soccer.

Even though the kids have played it and Rebecca still plays it, and even though I rarely miss one of their games, and even though I yell and cheer right along with everyone else, it's NOT one of those sports I seek out to watch. I don't spend hours agonizing over which team is on top of the standings, or who wins the World Cup, or junk like that.

However, I would like to say this right now--I sure hope Naples wins every game it plays from now on this season.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:11 PM | Comments (1)

Not only that...

Human Ancestor Had a Pea Brain also lived in Dade County and mistakenly voted for Pat Buchanan!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)

Of course...

...there ARE other things that DO have tails. NO SINGING!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

Ad agents don't have tails.

...therefore, one can probably consider them very pipple-like.

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

For some reason...

...when I read this headline and accompanying story: Georgia, Florida wildfire smoke in Birmingham

...all I could think of was if anyone else remembers the Sanford-Townsend Band.

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

I'll tell you what we need around here.


We've just now shone the Possum Signal onto some convenient low-hanging clouds outside the window, and quicker than a flash (Not The Flash, but a flash, and not a particularly quick flash, but a rather slowish flash similar to the blinking of my battery recharge light on my electric razor) he has shown up on our doorstep, ready to answer YOUR questions on life, love, medicine, art, politics, wildlife, swimwear, and all other things!

As you all know, Dr. Possum is the wisest of all wise men* (aside from Dick Cheney) and enjoys taking some time out of his busy day to come by here to help you figure out your troubles and provide honest, succinct answers to all your questions.

SO, what's your deal? Wondering what that weird smell is? Trying to come up with an explanation for various mysteries? Looking for your keys? ASK DR. POSSUM!™

*Standard Disclaimer--Dr. Possum doesn't exist as you and I do, and so his help, although of the greatest helpiness, should not be construed as authoritative in the strictest sense, or, for that matter, in any sense. However, do not let this stand in your way of asking questions, because you never know, he might actually be right. Or not.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:31 AM | Comments (10)

May 14, 2007

And now for something compleatly different.


Kenny Smith e-mails with the following:

I've been asked to tell everyone I know -- because they need the meager traffic that I can produce -- that I sold some pics to so, if you like the baseball, or Rickwood Field, here ya are.

Caple is a fine writer, he's only held back a bit here by the photographer. There's a gallery with links at the top and the bottom of the page. Can't miss it.

Phew. Obligation fulfilled.

Actually the page one editors put it on their front page today. And as we all know, placement is everything.

Congrats to Kenny on the sale.

Good article, but it's probably worth noting that the vintage ads at Rickwood are not actually vintage ads, but recreations of vintage ads (as well as some faux ads intended to be recreations of period-typical ads) painted for the park prior to the filming of the 1994 movie Cobb. Additional info can be found at Wikipedia, including the name of the artist of the outfield ads, Ted Haigh. You might also recognize some of Mr. Haigh's work from the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou.

"I don't carry Dapper Dan, I carry Fop."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:52 PM | Comments (1)

Mother's Day!

I got up early and got dressed, then got the kids up, then got the Mom up, then called my mom down on the coast. It was early, but she gets up early, so I knew I wouldn't disturb her. And I didn't--she seemed glad to hear from me, although I did have to remind her who I was. Not because she's lost her mind, it's just been so long since we'd talked. They were having fun, best as I could tell, so that's hard to beat for a Mother's Day present.

Got everyone loaded in the van, made the mad dash to the church building, pulled up with a minute to spare, Oldest yanked on the door handle, flounced herself out, and promptly dropped her Christmas-present-from-Grandma CD player to replace the other CD player she'd torn up, onto the pavement. Breaking it. She was very frustrated that there was no one she could blame for this mishap except herself. No one had touched her, pushed her, spoken to her, distracted her, or anything else. So she threw it back in the seat and stormed off into the building.

The other kids got out, I went and parked, walked in with Reba, then saw Jonathan and Rebecca's class having to go to the high school classroom. I know Rebecca would be overjoyed by that. Ashley makes a point of saying ridiculous, inflammatory, bizarre, and downright idiotic statements in class, and it embarrasses Rebecca to no end to have to be in there with her. Still haven't figured out if Oldest's various cries for attention are simply that, or if she actually believes even a fraction of the stuff she says, and just says it for the shock value. Not sure at all, but given how loosely she defines reality, I have to say she probably believes a majority of it.

::sigh:: At least the Democrats can feel good knowing they'll have at least one new voter.

Sat down in class, sneaked a few of Reba's jellybeans that the kids had given her (Catherine's biography on Friday noted that jellybeans were Mommy's favorite food), and tried to stay awake.

Worship service was good, with a good lesson about the value of mothers in the church, and then time for lunch.

Got in the van, and after becoming incensed that Jonathan would DARE get in on her side of the van, and steadfastly refusing to move to let him in, Oldest then immediately began a new rant about something that had been said in class over which she took great offense, even though no one was even talking to her. It took a great deal of concentration to ignore her. She craves getting to argue about stupid crap, and it can go on forever, mainly because she refuses to think even with the most remote sense of logic. The sky is blue? Therefore eveyone hates her, and she can PROVE it, because moo flip noogle shilno fbeeber. You could have a video of whatever transpired, and she'd still swear it wasn't like that. So, it's best to starve that fresh hell flame of oxygen.

By the time we got to Ruby Tuesday, the van was relatively quiet.

Went inside, had a nice lunch with remarkably few snide and hateful remarks from Oldest, then on back to home.

WHERE IT WAS TIME FOR Boy to finish his paper he was writing for today, and for Rebecca to work on her craft item she was doing as a class assignment. She has to make something, and then describe the process of how it's made. She'd decided to make a little fabric apron of sorts to attach to the walkers the residents use at the nursing home where Reba works. The idea is to have pockets with pictures of the items that go in the pockets, such as eyeglasses or playing cards or such, so that the resident always can tell where stuff is supposed to go.

Reba had gotten the fabric, and that had been the extent of what had been done. When we got home, no move was made to do anything and so I asked if maybe someone shouldn't start working on this, since it was due Thursday, and Boy has a band concert on Monday night, and there's some other kind of school thing on Tuesday night, and Wednesday night is church.

This was not a popular suggestion.

"Well, did YOU ever get the dimensions of a walker off the Internet!?"

You know, I had been told that this might be required sometime last week, but I (mistakenly) thought that since there is an abundance of walkers at the nursing home, and a yardstick, and a yardstick user, and pens and paper with which to write down the salient dimensions, that it would be rather useless for me to waste time looking it up on the computer.

I am such a silly stupid moron.

I put down my newspaper that I was trying to read, took a look at the leaderboard to see who was in front on the Darlington race I had been trying to watch, and went upstairs and found the dimensions of a typical folding metal walker.

For your benefit, they are these:

Width Inside Hand Grip = 17"

Width Inside Back Legs = 20"

Overall Width = 23"

Depth Opened at Base = 16.5"

And no, I don't have any idea what that would be in those silly French Celsius measurements.

Printed out the page from the catalog and brought that back downstairs and gave it to the production crew, who looked at it for about three seconds before deciding they didn't need it. They messed around with it some more before deciding they needed something else, so they took off and went to Michael's.

I read more of the paper, then dropped off into a stupor until they got back.

Newspapers--despite what you might think of them, they still make dandy sleeping aids.

Got ready for the evening excursion to church, which was an hour earlier than usual because we had a meeting about Vacation Bible School before the evening service. We were also having a meal afterwards. Both of these things caused Oldest no small amount of hardship, because let's face it--being forced to be around all those insufferably stupid people was JUST. SO. UN. FAIR.

Keeping that supply of fresh hells at maximum output, aren't we.

Off to the building, had our meeting, had our evening service, had our meal together, went home, decided it was a bad idea for Catherine to have dessert since it gave her renewed energy to pester Ashley, who responded in the predictable fashion of a two-year-old.


Finally got home, they all piled out of the van, and found that the door to the kitchen had been locked on the way out. Not really a big deal, for sane people.

I gave Rebecca my set of keys, and she tried to get to the door to unlock it, and everyone was wedged between the Focus and the kitchen door, and Rebecca couldn't get to the door, but Oldest, who was the only one who COULD move wouldn't, because Catherine and Jonathan were trying to GET her to move, even though if she WOULD have moved everyone could have gotten in the door and the conflict would be over, so finally I had to request--ever so gently and mildly (really) for her to just take one step back so the door could be unlocked.

Well, my mindless disrespectful effrontery caused her to fly into a snitful rage, so she whirled around, grabbed the car door handle, and very nearly threw herself into the car seat before slamming the door behind her.

I know I've said she's like a two-year-old, but in fairness, she's more like a two-year-old with a driver's license.

Anyway, since she was out of the way, the door could be opened, and it was, and everyone went inside, excepting, of course, the One Who Must Not Ever Be Chastised, who remained locked in the car.

Kids upstairs to get their pajamas on, and myself back out to the garage with my car keys, because since I am evil and hateful and worthless, I had to get Oldest out of the car so I could go put gas in it since she was nearly out.

Yes, I'm almost certain she was grateful that I did that small thing for her!

Went and got gas, came back, helped Boy e-mail his teacher his assignment, asked (silly me) if Rebecca was going to work any more on her thing, since it needed to be worked on, was told by Miss Reba that I had said not to worry about it and for us just to go home and go to bed and work on it Monday or Tuesday (which never came out of MY mouth), got them both to go downstairs and work on that while I fulfilled another one of Oldest's requests, namely the scanning of some of her photos onto a CD for school.

Yes, I'm sure she was grateful for that, as well.

In the middle of that, had to stop and go get the bobbin thread to come up through the sole plate of the sewing machine, because my wife had become frustrated by her inability to capture the elusive thread. I tried not to seem overly gloatful when I got the thread up and swished it to the side with the scissors.

Back upstairs, finished the scanning and cropping and reformatting and copying, complimented Miss Reba on the progress she'd made in sewing the apron together, handing in my assigned work to Oldest, and got in the bed.

It was a very long weekend. And I'm very glad it's done.

Now then, this evening, I only have to rush home and make sure Boy gets dressed and gets to his concert on time. I figure I'll make it on time, as long as nothing out of the ordinary happens.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (4)

Saturday Afternoon!

Next task, get something for Mom for Mother's Day. Gathered up Bec and Cat and drove over to Wally World to see about some cards and some small token of appreciation, AND to look for some gifts for Boy's birthday, which is today.

Found cards, found a couple of books, and then came home.

Next--time to get the lawnmower out. All the rain has been very good for the grass, less so for those of us who do the cutting. Did the front, then got Boy to come do the backyard while I laid down more weed-killer and fertilizer with the drop spreader. After that, time to work on the garden plot some, consisting of fixing the rows and hills and moving some of the too-close stuff further apart. After THAT, it was getting toward dark, and I was by now very, VERY tired.


"I though maybe we could grille out some steaks and some chicken."



Went outside to the grille, opened the lid, and....hmm.

What fresh hell is this?

The grate on top seemed to have contracted a bad case of cancerous oxidation, and was just about ready to give up the ghost. I briefly scrubbed it with the wire brush, then just picked it up and dropped it on the concrete to break off all the scale. Once the scale was broken off, it was in even worse shape than I thought it would be.


Only one thing--I was going to have to go to the store again.

I went in and explained the situation, and after noting that it would take a while to get another grate, and that since the steaks and chicken were still frozen solid as rocks, it would be best to go ahead and feed the children supper, because by the looks of things, it would be 9:30 before we got the grilling done.

This went over not at all well.


Got my billfold and went over to Lowe's and picked up a grate (the crappy kind that slides in and out), a lighter, a grease catcher cup, and a new cover, the old one having been blown away in some past gale. Stopped and got gas in Reba's van.

Home, where I found the rocks in the grille were nice and hot. Slapped on the new set of wires, installed my grease cup, and clanged the still-solid steaks on there to thaw-cook.

They simmered, then the chicken got put on, and it simmered, and I sat there in my broken-down rocking chair, looking up at the heat-lightning in the sky, trying to figure out how I was going to replace the two burnt out floodlamps on the eave above the patio. As predicted, the meat finally was finished around 9:30.

Boy, I was tired and hungry! I was too tired to eat, though, so I got a couple of the little cheese mini-quiches out of the Ziplock bag in the door of the fridge, wrapped up the meat in foil and stuck it in the fridge. It sure looked good, but I was past wanting to eat it.

Upstairs, where the children were trying to finish watching the rest of Kindergarten Cop, got my dirty grass/sweat/fertilizer/ weedkiller/charbroiled steak smelling clothes off, took a shower, and went to bed.

And then...


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


Up at 6:00. Tried to get up, couldn't. Finally rolled out of bed at 6:30, went and told Boy to get up and get dressed, went and took my shower.

Now, the night before, I had asked him what he was going to wear. "Regular clothes."

"What kind of regular clothes, Son?"

"I don't know--what I wear all the time."

"Okay--I'll tell you what to wear--this shirt [pointing to a very nice white oxford cloth longsleeve shirt], and a pair of khakis."


"Look, Son, it says on your form "Dress nicely." That means you're NOT going to get to wear a tee-shirt and shorts and those nasty rubber shoes of yours!"

Pouting more. Anyway, that was Friday night, and the conversation moved on to making sure he had his music, and his drumsticks. Which he did. Thank goodness.

Back to Saturday, now.

I finished up my shower, shaved, brushed teeth. Went to see if Boy was dress.


"JONATHAN! Get up and get dressed NOW!"

He was resistant, and it wasn't because of the early hour. He was STILL pouting about what I was making him wear.


"Put on THIS shirt and THIS pair of pants, and THESE socks, now!"

Angry mad pouting and lip quivering.

I went back and started getting my clothes on--since I wasn't performing, I got to wear jeans and a tee-shirt. [sticks out tongue and waggles butt to everyone] And in the middle of all this, Oldest gets back home from the lock-in, so she has to flounce in and announce that she only got five minutes of sleep. "Gee. I guess you're tired, then, huh?"

And then, what fresh hell is this?

Here comes Boy slouching into the room, "::sniff::I don't want to wear this!::sniff::" He falls onto the bed, large tear drops falling out of his head. "I don't LIKE it--it LOOKS weird! ::sniff::"

"Go get the rest of your clothes on NOW, because we have to leave."

He stomped off with his face twisted up in a knot. Reba suggested he could wear one of his polo shirts, which would have been fine with me, so after I got the rest of my stuff ready, I went to his room where he still sat, angry-faced and slobbering, and I told him to put on his yellow and white striped shirt instead. Which wasn't nearly so bad as the hated white oxford cloth shirt, but bad enough. Since I was making him wear his church shoes and dress socks and khakis.

THUS BEDRESSED, it was downstairs at 7:30 and into the car, where he was a damp sullen pile of pout. Out the driveway, and off down the hill.

"Would you like some breakfast from Sonic?"


"No what?"

"No, sir!"

Well, okeedokey then.

Made the turn onto Main Street. Drove toward the Interstate.

"Would you like something from Arby's"

"No, sir."

Okeedokey, then.

I pulled into the drive-through and got the sausage breakfast wrap combo with potato cakes and a Diet Pepsi [watching my girlish figure, you know], paid for it, and got back out onto the highway.

It smelled absolutely divine.

"You sure you don't want a bite of this? It's awfully good."

"No, sir."

"Fine--suit yourself."

And so I ate ever last bite of it, loudly enjoying every taste and every aroma. "But I got to dress how I wanted to last year when Grandmama took me and picked me up!"

Oh, good grief. "I don't remember any of that last year, Son, and since Grandmama took you, she probably didn't know how you were supposed to dress, but your director's note said dress nice, so you are, so get over it!"

Pulled up to the school exactly 45 minutes later, right on time at 8:30. Found his band director, which is when I found out that he actually had a DUET with another kid!

Good thing he'd decided to get some clothes on and come, because the last thing we needed to do was mess up someone ELSE'S chance, all for the sake of some silly objection to clothes!

Got his music and grading sheet and snare drum, and went inside to go to the practice room. Amazingly enough, there were boys all over the place with white shirts, khaki pants, and dress shoes on. Some even had on ties. This seemed to cause a change in Boy, and by the time we'd walked around to the cafeteria where everyone was, he seemed to be back to his old self. He went in and said hello to a couple of kids he knew, set up his snare, and began practicing away. I told him I was going to go see where his room was, since there'd been a change in the judges, and when I got back, he was still tapping away, and excitedly asked me to listen to him.

Which I was happy to do. He messed up a couple of times, but I told him not to worry about it and if it happened while he was being judged to just play right on through it.

Got him a bottle of water, and then I sat and began reading the Popular Hotrodding magazine I'd brought to pass the time.

"Dad, Matthew ought to be here by now."

I looked at the clock, and it was about ten minutes to 9:00, so they had about 25 minutes before it was time to play.

Waited, and it got to be straight up 9:00, and I asked him if he'd seen him around anywhere yet. No. Hmm.

"Why don't you go ask your band director if he knows where he is."

I kept on reading, and off he went.

Read, read, read, and Hmmm.

It's nearly time for them to play, and he's not back yet.

I decided to walk on out and see what the holdup was. As I was going out, I passed the director coming in--"Oh, uhh, have you seen Jonathan? I thought he had come to look for you."

Outside waiting for this kid to show up.

I walked on out, and Jonathan was standing there on the sidewalk--"Son, what's the deal?"

"Well, Jacob's mom just called him, and his dad answered, and his dad had just come in from a trip, and his dad said they didn't know anything about it, because Matthew hadn't told them."


All together now! "WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS!?"

"Son, is he going to come on?! Because if he is, it's going to be another hour before they get here."

"I don't know."


SO, took him back inside to the cafeteria, then went to ask his director what to do.

Basically, find out if the kid was actually going to try to make it--if so, wait and play when he gets there. No penalty for playing at the wrong time. If he wasn't, Jonathan could play it as a solo. Again, no penalty for that.

I went back to the cafeteria to tell Boy, then it was off again outside to find out again from the lady who'd called exactly what had been said and if they were going to come. Walked back outside, and the director had gotten out there and was once more keeping track of things. One of the kids and his mom were there, looking for a piece of sheet music. I recognized him as the kid Jonathan had been talking to at the table, and I remember he'd left his music there. I told them it was at the table where they'd left it, they thanked me and left.

I told the director it had been Jacob's mom that had called, and that Jonathan wasn't sure or not if the other kid was going to show, and asked if he could call and find out for sure. "Uh, well, that was Jacob and his mom that just went back inside to get their music."

Oh, right. I'm a big idiot. And don't know anyone, either.

"I can call for you, but you'll need to get the number from her because I don't have it."


Back inside the building to hunt down Jacob and Jacob's Mom. Found them coming out of the cafeteria with their music, so I walked back down the way I'd just come with them, introducing myself along the way. "Well, you know we just live right down the street from y'all--and I'm going to be one of your daughter's cheerleading sponsors!"

Uh, no--remember--I'm highly antisocial, and so I don't know anyone who lives anywhere around me.

Anyway, I said all the socially-acceptable greetings and then got down to business--was this other kid going to show up or not?



Thanked her, and went back and told Boy to saddle up and mark his sheet as a solo, and let's go find a judge. He was eager to start and in a much better mood. Out the door, found a percussion judge, and Boy went in and performed "Washington." It leaves something to be desired, I would assume, without the tom part of the duet, but nonetheless, he rattled away his part and came out a few minutes later, satisfied he'd done a pretty good job.

Went outside to turn in his drum and await the results. The last time he'd done this (the one I couldn't remember about that his grandmother had taken him to) he and the other boys had gotten a II, which is worse than a I, which I am told means "Superior." If you get a I, you get a medal. Boy was really, REALLY hoping to get a medal.

First set of results came in, and his wasn't among the listed performers.

Wait some more.

Second set of results came in, and Jonathan got all As with one B. And he got a I.

He was very, VERY proud of that, and I was too. "Now then--let's go get you something to eat, okay?"


No more pouting about clothes! Hooray.

Back to Trussville, stopped at McDonald's so he could get brunch. Or McBrunch. I was still full from breakfast, so I just ordered a tall Diet Coke to keep my caffeine level topped off.

As we stood there in line, a woman came in with a lost look on her face, and it took me a moment to figure out who she was talking to and what she was saying. I get wrapped up in myself like that sometimes.

"Does anyone have any jumper cables? Anyone? Does anyone have any jumper cables?"

Hey, wait a minute. I've got jumper cables.

"Ma'am, I've got some jumper cables."

"Jumper cables?"

"Yes, ma'am--I have some jumper cables."

"You do?"

Dang it all, yes I DO!

"Yes, ma'am."

I told her to wait just a moment and let me get my son sat down with his food, and I'd be right with her. Luckily, his food was ready, so I walked on out with the lady, who explained that her elderly mother was in the car and she didn't know what to do and it was hot and she was worried and she already had the hood up and did I think the cables would reach. Luckily, she was parked right next to me.

"Let me take a look and see how long they are first, ma'am."

Got out the cables, opened my hood, dropped them on the ground, and, no.

Not long enough.

"Are they long enough?"

"No, ma'am, but I'm just going to pull over on the other side of your car and then we'll get it cranked."

I pulled around and opened the hood again.

"Now--before you start--the man who put this battery in put these little felt things on? And he said that he really should have put the green one on one side and the red one on the other? But he got them mixed up, so be really careful!"

"It's okay, ma'am--the color of the felt is just there to help you remember which terminal is which. The color of the felt doesn't matter as long as the cables are hooked to the right terminal."

"Okay, but be careful because he said he put them on the wrong way."

"Yes, ma'am."

I hooked up the cables, and she said she wouldn't do anything until I told her. "You know, I used to have a Volvo, too! One of those that was square in he back. I think it was made in 1992. Or 1996. Is this one like that?"

"I'm not sure what model you had, ma'am--this one's an eighty-si..."

"OH, I think it was like this one. Just tell me what you want me to do!"

By now I had it all hooked up, so I asked her to crank it, which it did right off.

"This has happened before, and the last time they told me it wasn't the battery and they replaced the switch in it!"

"I don't think it was the switch."


I unhooked the cables and put them back in the trunk, and the lady asked how much she owed me, and she seemed genuinely surprised when I said nothing. Who would charge someone to jumpstart their car when you have cables and it's parked right next to your car!?

No one. Certainly not me. I waved her away, reparked, and walked inside again.

Boy sat where I'd left him, his sandwich not touched.

"What's the matter?"

He'd ordered grilled chicken, they'd given him fried.

I went back to the counter, where one of the kind and helpful staff [/sarcasm] took the offending sandwich away from me (in contravention of the health department rules for fast food establishments) and proceeded to berate the woman who'd taken my original order. After about ten minutes of back and forth about how it happened that an order at McDonald's could actually have been gotten wrong, the older redhaired lady finally had all she could stand and said with much exasperation to the rest of the jaybirds in the back, "I'm SORRY! I got his order wrong--" Left unsaid, I'm sure, were several choice words about how many times they'd messed up on something. Judging by their slovenly habits and rudeness, I'm guessing several hundred times a day. The cashier game me a new sandwich and apologized again for getting it wrong. "No problem," and I smiled and thanked her, loudly enough for the rest of the cackling hens to hear.

Sounded like her day had been one string of fresh hells one after another.

Boy ate up, and then it was to home again with us, where he made a triumphal, Superior grade entrance.

NEXT: Saturday, Part II!

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

The rundown.

Uninteresting details to follow--bail if you wish.

Friday afternoon: Going home, and it FINALLY looks like we might get a bit of rain. Big thunderclouds parked out to the east, one giant one with a sheet of opaque underneath that looked like the color and texture of blue jean dryer lint. We need rain. Got to Trussville, and sure enough, it's raining great big drops, and then buckets.

And then hail.

Dang. The Volvo already HAS hail damage from time spent in the previous owner's care, and I don't want any more. And, of course, there was no place to pull off and get under some cover. Luckily, it was relatively small pieces. Unluckily, there was a LOT of it. I don't think it did anything to the car, though.

Home, found Oldest "doing laundry," (in quotes because she has no clue about how to do laundry efficiently, but I'm not about to show her the right way since she "knows everything"), then find out that Oldest has decided she's not going to the choir lock-in at school because Mom had just called and said part of Chalkville Road was flooded. "Uh, well, you know it's going to drain off. I don't think it'll be flooded by the time you..."

"No! I think I'll just stay here because I don't want to tear up the car or anything!"

As if. She obviously just was looking for an excuse not to go. Whatever.

Reba got home with the kids, managed not to get too wet getting in the house, and I went upstairs to order some pizza. As I'm sitting there, Jonathan brings in a piece of paper. Seems he'd forgotten that they had a solo and ensemble district band competition. At 9:15 a.m. on Saturday. And he had to be there 45 minutes ahead of time. 8:30 a.m. And it was being held at Thompson Middle School in Alabaster. Which is almost an hour away. Meaning we'd have to leave at 7:30 a.m. Meaning we'd have to get up around 6:30 a.m.

On the plus side, he did remember to tell us.

On the negative side, he'd had the sheet for many days now, and it seemed to have slipped his mind. Imagine that.

Pizza arrives, supper starts, Catherine reads her book that she made for Mom for the Mother's Day biographical interview program her class did for all the moms which was sweet beyond compare, meaning that Oldest had to begin her usual smirking snotty derision of it since Catherine was getting attention, which caused Rebecca to tell her to stop it and let Catherine talk, which obviously meant that Oldest was now the victim of everyone being mean to her, and thus began a quickly escalating firefight, until I told everyone just to climb down off it and pipe down. Which, of course, was sufficient to cause Oldest to decide that she WOULD go to the lock-in at school, no matter if it was raining or flooding or anything else, because the idea of being under the thumb of such an oppressive, overbearing father figure was simply too much to bear. Didn't matter that everyone was told to clam up, because to admit that would mean a diminuation of her victimization.

Again, whatever.

She got up and flounced upstairs muttering all the way about how she gets mistreated.

Sometime later, she comes downstairs completely redressed carrying an armload of junk, goes and stuffs it in the car, and off she goes--with my friendly advice to be careful driving since it's still raining outside.

The door from the kitchen to the garage closes, I go into the laundry room to try to sort out the jumbled mass of mismatched clothes she'd previously washed, and the telephone rings.

What fresh hell is this?

I answered. "DAD!? I THINK I HIT THE VOLVO!"

Zeus on a scooter. She had only just gone out the door. The Volvo was parked at the very end of the driveway, allowing enough room for a Kenworth to maneuver. And how do you think you hit something--either you did or you didn't. And why call me on the phone? YOU'RE STANDING OUTSIDE THE *&^%# HOUSE!

"I'll be out in a second." I tried my very best to be as unaffected as possible.

I walked out, got the umbrella, and she was standing there with the car still running. Best I can tell, she just backed straight back and only at the very last second swerved, hitting the front passenger side bumper of the Volvo with the rear driver side bumper of the Focus. I got the flashlight out of her car and looked--the plastic bumper had a few white spiderweb stress cracks in the blue paint, while the sturdy Scandinavian rubber coated bumper of the Volvo looked to have come out on the good end. And, obviously, Ashley wasn't hurt. Not even her pride, because I don't think she ever acknowledged that she had, in fact, actually backed into the car. Reality not being one of those things she's comfortable with.

I quietly told her it was okay and to be careful, which she acknowledged with a huff and off she went.

Rebecca had heard the collision upstairs in her room. She had on her headphones and was listening to music. She said the impact sounded like when the garbage truck drops one of the garbage cans on the driveway. So, I suppose we're quite fortunate that there was no more damage than there was.

The house finally was peaceful, so the girls came to our room and started watching Kindergarten Cop with Mom while I ran down the hill to the grocery store to pick up some paper towels and Sharpie markers, all the while saying to myself, "IT'S NOT A TOOMAH!!"

Home, girls watching television, phone rings.

What fresh hell is this?

Crying, with the background sound of boisterous teenagers. "::sniff:: Can I talk to MOM!?::snort::"


I got the girls to go on to bed since it was past 10:30 and I was going to have to get up early.

And the phone call?

Well, she's been on the outs with #6, mainly because he's a guy and an immature one at that. Much like I'd been saying all along, if anyone were ever to chance to actually listen to me. Even though it's been two months since #6 has called her, and even though the last time they did talk he "yelled" at her and told her he couldn't talk to her, she still had it in her mind that they were boyfriend/girlfriend. Seems the clouds of reality had never darkened her thinking, even though it would be obvious even to a planarian that things were officially over between them. Her agony of late was that she had since become enamored with Potential Beau#7, yet couldn't quite bring herself to "dump" #6.

SO, she decided it would be a good idea to use the choir lock-in event as a suitable venue to call #6 and break up with him. Big captive audience for her to talk to about it, after all. Even though she's just about managed to alienate all of them with her constant melodramatics. So, the call was made, and boofrickinhoo, "HE DUMPED ME!!"

Reba asked her why this was such a big deal, since Oldest didn't want to date him anymore anyway. "BUT I WANTED TO DUMP HIM!!"

Again, I'd say she was about two months behind the curve on that one.

Mom told her to forget about it and quit crying and get some sleep. Obviously, Oldest wasn't about to do any of that.

But at least there were no more phone calls Friday evening.

AND THEN, to bed.

NEXT: The exciting Saturday fun!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:41 AM | Comments (2)

For some reason...

...all weekend long, I have been quoting Dorothy Parker in my mind, specifically, "What fresh hell is this."

One thing after another, and to cap it off, it's time for staff meeting. Which, believe it or not, is actually a RELIEF compared to the turmoilery of the weekend past.

Anyway, more details later.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:30 AM | Comments (9)

May 11, 2007

I tell you what we need!

We need to have a weekend right about now, so I can go home and cut grass and things like that!

I'm hoping this weekend won't be quite so busy, but I've been fooled on that score before.

In any event, all of you have a great weekend and Lord willing I'll see you again come Monday and we can sit around and talk some more.

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

Comment of the Day!

From my new best friend Carol, who asks the following in this post:

"So, are the nice Thyssen Krupp people going to be melting steel with fire? Because that can't be done, so I'm thinking this is an awful lot of time and money to spend on something that can't possibly work."

Touché, madam!

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

I really have no choice.

I'm like the little town on the side of some highway that got bypassed by the Interstate. Before it opened (or before Google decided Possumblog was unworthy), I could count on a pretty steady stream of traffic wandering by--sure, they were all hopelessly lost--but even if they happened on Possumblog by accident, at least there was something here they could use to help them along in their daily routines. Stupid made-up facts, weak jokes, manatee recipes, pointing and laughing at Democrats, daily feedings at the reptile farm AND rattlesnake venom milking--it's all still here, but since they opened up that next section of expressway, it's like a ghost town now.

Since it seems I now have completely lost any chance of being able to rely upon the once substantial amount of happenstancical traffic that used to stop in, it's obvious that I only have one option left if Possumblog is to survive.

Thus, I would like to announce that I am releasing my very own rap album!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:10 PM | Comments (6)

A Worthy Man

Endowed Professorship Honors AU Building Science Professor Aderholdt

AUBURN - The Auburn University Department of Building Science received $300,000 in contributions and commitments from more than 550 individuals and companies this spring to create the Bob Aderholdt Endowed Professorship.

The professorship will be awarded to an instructor in the department who exhibits the high standard of character and teaching excellence demonstrated by Aderholdt during his 27 years of service to Auburn University.

Aderholdt, who had retired from teaching earlier this year, died May 3 at the age of 65. Current building science faculty, former students and construction industry executives collaborated on the idea of creating an endowed professorship in his honor.

“This new professorship is a testament to Aderholt’s wonderful Auburn legacy,” said Dean Dan Bennett of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. “It is a poignant demonstration of the love and respect so many felt for Bob. The fact that the professorship was endowed by donations from more than 550 people in a period of only six weeks shows the very strong support for that legacy by the Building Science and CADC students, faculty and alumni.”

Aderholdt taught in the Auburn building construction program for 27 years. Of his many contributions, he was instrumental in the creation of the Construction Industry Fund which helps fund construction education at AU through professional fees. Created in 1991, the fund has helped AU’s building science program maintain its status as one of the elite in the nation.

Aderholdt was born July 31, 1941, in Jacksonville, Ala. He received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from AU in 1966, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from AU in 1969. He received his doctorate from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1973.

He taught at the University of Florida in the Department of Building Construction for eight years before returning to Auburn in 1980.

The AU Department of Building Science is housed within the College of Architecture, Design and Construction. The components of the CADC are annually regarded and ranked among the best in their respective disciplines nationally for the quality of education and quality of students.

(Contributed by Robert Grant.)

Well, first of all, I had no idea Dr. Aderholdt had passed away this month, so I offer my most profound sympathy to his family.

Second of all, Dr. Aderholdt was one of my instructors, and one of the bright lights of the time I spent at Auburn. His great good humor, enthusiasm, expertise, and absolute love of teaching made every one of his classes informative and useful to me. Whatever I might be as an architect today was strengthened by the technical knowledge of materials and construction that he taught me, but more importantly the lessons he taught in decency and humility. He never made any student feel neglected or disrespected, and was a friend to many. Including me, although I may flatter myself. Still, he didn't seem to mind when I (too familiarly) dubbed him "Doctor Bob."

One of my fondest memories of him was standing in his office one day, and for some reason he got a grin on his face and his eyes lit up, and he regaled me and a couple of other guys with the story of the time he and some friends had set out on a road trip from Auburn when he was in school.

Laughing and chatting as they drove across the country backroads, they were in a newer mid-'60something model Pontiac, not in a particular hurry and not driving fast at all. Apparently it was still too fast for one particular campus policeman, because Dr. Bob said when they pulled up to get gas in Tuskeegee, an Auburn police car--a wheezing '56 Ford station wagon--pulled up behind them and out got the cop, blustering that he'd been chasing them ever since they'd left Auburn. Just remembering the way he'd tell stories like that never fails to lift my day.

Dr. Aderholdt is a credit to Auburn University and the embodiment of the Auburn Creed, and I am a better man for having known him.

The Auburn Creed

I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count
only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work.

I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work
wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully.

I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot
win the respect and confidence of my fellow men.

I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is
not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities.

I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all.

I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my
fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all.

I believe in my country, because it is a land of freedom and
because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that
country by doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly
with my God.

And because Auburn men and women believe in these things,
I believe in Auburn and love it.

George Petrie, 1943

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:43 PM | Comments (0)

Hmm--that's something I'd not thought of before...

Just got a bit of lite spam (I've never told them to quit sending me stuff) from JC Whitney, well known purveyor of auto parts and accessories such as necker knobs and the Illuminated Chrome Plated Jester Hood Ornament.

The tagline on the e-mail?

"Mom Deserves Something Special!"

There followed a long list of things Mom would love to have, such as tire sealant, custom tailored nylon cut pile carpeting, 5 inch chrome plated mirrors--and the promise of an extra 10% off for orders over $75!

I wonder if my mom would enjoy a set of Cherry Bombs for her G35?

I think she probably would.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:47 AM | Comments (0)

One more time.

Yes, once more I feel compelled to act like a prissy little prig.

But let me say this to my fellow citizens of Trussville--sit down, and shut up, or the next time we have ourselves a high school choir concert, I'm recreating DeNiro's baseball bat scene in The Untouchables.

Oldest and her fellow choir members had their end-of-the-year concert last night, and the auditorium was packed with "proud" grandparents and parents and friends and siblings. I put "proud" in quotes, because let me tell you this--if you were REALLY proud of your kids, you would be more respectful of them and your fellow patrons during the performances.

When the choir director nicely asks before the show to silence your cell phone and to take flash photos only between songs and to refrain from getting up to leave the auditorium during the singing--even if you were completely devoid of any sense of decorum or etiquette--it still seems as though you would be willing to comply with those instructions. The fact that the vast majority of you DIDN'T can only mean that you're just a bunch of ignorant stupid pigs who don't deserve to have kids as talented as you do.

YOU! The old sack of bones in front of me! Yes, you--the hag whose digital camera beeped and blipped the entire G--d----d performance and even after you showed everyone in the rows behind you that when you take a flash picture in the auditorium with the lights off that NOTHING shows up on the screen, you CONTINUED TO SET OFF THE FLASH! What the *^%$ is WRONG WITH YOU!? Is it THAT much trouble to wait until the gap between songs? Or are you suffering from some sort of horrible head injury that has so impaired your judgment that you would walk out in front of a bus?

YOU! The parents with the whiny child in front of the old hag with the beeping flash machine! TAKE THE KID OUTSIDE! Look, I've got four kids, and every one of them has been two years old. I've missed plenty of things because I've had to take them out of a theater or auditorium--THAT'S WHAT I GET FOR HAVING THEM! It's my problem--"my baby to rock," so to speak--and I never thought OTHER people should be burdened with them whining and crying and jabbering during a time when it would be distracting. It's not cute or precious or sweet or anything else, TAKE THEM OUTSIDE.

YOU! The idiot-child-woman behind me who continued to talk the entire time in a whisper that tells me you must have been raised in a sawmill. SHUT THE F*** UP! Trust me, chick--you don't have ANYTHING important to say. I can tell.

YOU! The person who barged through the doors! YOU! The people who wandered in during a particularly emotional portion of a song and felt compelled to go all the way down to the front. YOU! The mental gimp who kept beating folding chairs together in the back of the auditorium. YOU! The consumptive who had double pneumonia and tuberculosis and pertussis and whooping cough and phlegmy discharge and post nasal drip and for all I know some sort of vile sexually transmitted disease caught from a wombat that causes you to heave up a lung with every breath--ALL OF YOU! SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

Again--for the love of all that's holy--if you really had any love or affection for your children, grandchildren, or friends and their talents, you OWE IT TO THEM AND TO YOUR FELLOW PATRONS not ruin their performance with your constant noisemaking and distractions. Since you seem oblivious to reason and good sense, let me warn you of this--every time you hack up a handful of bronchioles, every time your phone rings, every time you talk to your neighbor like they were across a basketball court, every time you bang through the door, every time you set off your pan of flash powder--every time any of that happens, Satan kills a sweet little puppy and a furry soft kitten.

Do you really want that on you!?

I would hope not. SO SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!

ANYway, the performances themself were very good--there are actually two choirs--one all girls (which is the one Oldest sings with) and the other is mixed. As good as the mass choirs were, I have to give special recognition to the cute young lady who lives around the corner from us who sang "Daddy's Son." She has an incredibly rich and expressive voice, and it's only gotten better over the course of the year. AND, in addition to her performance, kudos to the young man who was given the opportunity to direct the choir in "To Love Our God" (arr. Mark Hayes). He's a senior this year and just a super kid. He's going to do well for himself no matter what he does, but he does want to study choral directing. I'd say he's well on his way.

And the highlight? Probably the combined choir production of "Bohemian Rhapsody" (arr Mark Brymer), which also included backup from some student rocknroll dudes on guitar, bass, and drums down in the orchestra pit, with the director on the piano up on stage. It was, to say the least--very lively. A fun one, done well--Freddie Mercury himself would be impressed.

Good job, kids, and to your director, as well.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:44 AM | Comments (8)

Well, if it's not one thing it's another.

First Google decides to actively ignore Possumblog, driving away huge amounts of accidental Possumblog visitors, and then yesterday afternoon, something must have happened at, creating connection timeout and 'host not available' problems for what seemed like hours, further depressing the amount of people who are able to come and enjoy the rich, hearty flavor of possum.

Maybe it's a sign.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:36 AM | Comments (4)

That's big.

Mobile County wins ThyssenKrupp plant

ThyssenKrupp AG has chosen north Mobile County as the site for what was billed as a $2.9 billion steel mill, according to Neal Wade, head of the Alabama Development Office.

The company's board of supervisors made the decision today in Dusseldorf.

The Alabama site, which is near Mt. Vernon and on the Tombigbee River, was chosen over a site along the Mississippi River near Convent, La.

ThyssenKrupp has said the mill will mean 29,000 jobs during construction, and 2,700 jobs paying an average of $50,000 to $65,000 annually once the plant is operational in 2010.

The mill would produce high-grade carbon steel and stainless steel for sale primarily into the North American automotive industry. [...]

In making the announcement, the company also indicated that it planned to enlarge the scope of the project, making its investment in the Alabama mill closer to $3.7 billion.

"Higher capacities and extended plant configurations were shown to be feasible and economic," the company said. "Beyond the original model, ThyssenKrupp Steel will install additional equipment to further diversify its product portfolio." [...]

This process seems like it's been going on forever, but persistence pays off. As I mentioned last week sometime, I noted that the press seems to take any economic news and make it seem bad, the example being all the jabbering about the "weak" dollar versus the euro, but this is just one example of the benefit of this type of exchange rate--a strong dollar would mean that ThyssenKrupp would be less likely to pursue a plant in the US.

There is a lot to industrial development deals such as this, and there's always the charge of paying out corporate "welfare." But as with Mercedes, Honda, Hyundai, state incentives have worked well as an investment, with the companies continuing to grow and expand and add payroll even without additional state help. And again, it's not the only thing that helps lure these companies--there are things such as the political climate, availability of multimodal transportation (truck, air, water, rail--all of which South Alabama provides in spades), natural resources, proximity to customers (again, this plant is meant to serve the automotive industry), quality of life, and simple salesmanship. The Alabama Development Office has done a tremendous job in getting this information to potential clients, and more importantly, acting in a way that shows companies that Alabama is serious and wants investment.

In the end, no matter what you think of the way the game is played, we've managed to play it to our benefit, and to the benefit of the companies which do business here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:20 AM | Comments (7)

May 10, 2007

Some things are worth repeating.

From over at the Volokh's place, this review of one of the favorite blithering points of gun control advocates.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:19 PM | Comments (0)

Must've thought they were at a Bruins game.

Fight breaks out at Boston Pops

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:31 PM | Comments (1)

I bet Rosie would invest.

It defies the laws of physics, and the guy is convinced there's a government and oil-company conspiracy afoot to keep him silent!

Yes, what we used to call "crackpots" are now running loose through the asylum, and so you get stories like this: Energy machine pitch renewed

Staff Reporter

At 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Greater Gulf State Fairgrounds, Joseph Newman tinkered with a contraption hidden beneath a gray tarp painted with purple flowers and pink lightning bolts.

Dressed in a purple shirt and a silver tie, his white hair dangling around his shoulders, Newman spoke of God, gyroscopes and government conspiracies, while telling the 100 or so people gathered there that his invention would rid the world of pollution and oil dependency.

This device, he said, harnessed energy from matter at a 100 percent conversion rate, allowing it to produce more energy than was put into it. [...]

Newman sued the patent office, and a federal judge ruled that the government had to test it to see if it worked. The National Bureau of Standards said the device put out only 27 to 67 percent of the energy that was put into it, and Newman lost his court case.

Newman said Wednesday what he has said so many times since his suit was thrown out: that the government improperly used his device by grounding it, which caused it to lose energy. [...]

After the demonstration, Newman said he will need between $25 million to $100 million to obtain worldwide patents and manufacture the device. [...]

I bet it can't melt steel with fire, though.

Anyway, sounds like a great way for wealthy stupid people to invest money.

But what I'm more miffed about is the way in which stories like this are covered, with that affectless reportorial "balance" that pretends to be the same thing as objectivity. Objectively, the guy's machine cannot work in any way as it's described, and to give him any more credit than that is idiotic and a waste of ink. Acting as though his claim is of exactly equal weight with the scientific counterclaim (scientist say perpetual motion can't work, but inventor says it can) does no one any good, most especially the people who read the newspaper. (Not that anyone does anymore, but still.)

The real story in the article is not the machinery being shilled--it's the fact that the only thing perpetual is the desire of suckers to be parted with their money--

"I'm definitely going to invest," said Paul Headley, 71, of Pine Hill. "Anything to get us off our dependency on Arab oil."

One wonders if Mr. Headley also has a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.

In any event, if you want a way to while away several hours, take a look at the Museum of Unworkable Devices, and a column from James Randi that has some additional information on our intrepid white-haired "inventor."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:42 AM | Comments (2)

Look, AP, your straight news reporting are giggles enough...

...let's not resort to headlines like this--Dale Jr. getting a DEIvorce

And please don't try anything else along a similar line, such as "Li'l E DEIvesting himself," or "Dale Jr. DEIleted," or "Junior will not be DEIfied," or "Number 8 Says A-DEI-os."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:53 AM | Comments (7)

One of the great feats of American engineering.

May 10, 1869!

Officials and workers of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railways met on Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory to drive in the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869. This spike symbolized completion of the first transcontinental railroad, an event which joined the nation from coast to coast and reduced a journey of four or more months to just one week. [...]

It would be difficult to overestimate the impact this event had on the United States. An image-rich site that's worth exploring is this one--the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

Another historical event that may or may not be worth mentioning, today marks the anniversary of the capture of Jefferson Davis. Derided for trying to escape capture by dressing up like a woman, his wife wrote a huffy letter to a friend in the Lincoln administration attempting to take up for him, but it doesn't help her case any when she was the one who told the soldiers who captured them that the person with her--who just happened to be wearing women's outer clothing--was her mother.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:52 AM | Comments (2)

Mommy Dearest

Time once again to take that thing out of your mouth because you don't know where it's been, come inside and get cleaned up, and get ready for our special Mother's Day Edition of the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

As you can tell, since Mother's Day is upon us, we've decided to dedicate this week's set of questions to dear ol' Mom. So sit up straight, at least run a brush through your hair, don't talk to me in that tone of voice, take off your cap at the table, and take a moment to answer the following questions about her by either leaving your answers in the comments below, or a link to your own blog.

1) What three things do you think are (or were) your mom's best characteristics?

2) And although we're trying to honor Mom, we still have to know--what is one thing she does (or used to do) that drives you absolutely insane?

3) If your mom is still in circulation, do you have any plans to do anything special for her this weekend?

There now--quit slouching and get to work on those answers!

As for my answers...

1) Fear, and surprise...and ruthless efficiency! Not really. (Much.) But I'd have to say her honesty, fairness, and hard work are hard to top.

2) She has a habit of reminding me to do things that I already am all set up to do, therefore not needing further encouragement. And then proceeds to remind me why it's a good idea and that I need to do it.

"You need to do [whatever it is]."

"I'm going to."

"Well, good, you should."

"I am!"

"Because you know you blah blah blah and if you don't, it could be blah blah blah..."


Silly mother.

3) Not this year--she's going to drive down to Destin with my sister this weekend, so I'm out of luck. Or in--when she's here, she wants to go eat at Golden Corral, which to me is like being a beef cow in a slaughterhouse feed lot. But she likes it for some reason. Maybe that's another one to add to #2.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:17 AM | Comments (4)

May 09, 2007


Before the ice cream man came by yesterday, it was time to go and inspect the vegetable patch and give it some water.

Stuff's doing surprisingly well, considering how often it gets trampled across by furry varmints. Looks like we'll have beets, radishes, cucumbers, eggplant, and beans pretty soon. The corn hasn't sprouted yet, but it could be that new shy variety everyone's going on about.

Also, there are some new additions--two bell pepper plants, three tomato plants, and six watermelon plants. We got these the other day from Lowe's and put them out in leftover flower pots. Big ones, so hopefully there's enough dirt in there to support life. And hopefully the wire cages around them will deter furry varmints.

We could use some rain.

On the flower end of things, the running roses in the flower bed outside the kitchen could use a squirt or two of Agent Orange, because they've pretty much taken over. Sure are pretty, though.

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


...The Fever and Vomiting Showcase!!

Best wishes for a speedy recovery for the lovely Mrs. Adams.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:34 PM | Comments (0)

Life Imitates Art...

...or in this case, Reuters imitates Scrappleface:

Clinton, Royal share little beyond election bids--Reuters headline via Yahoo! News, May 9, 2007

[...] The Clinton campaign is happy to agree with the view that Clinton and Royal share very little.

"One has nothing to do with the other," said campaign spokesman Phil Singer. "Other than the fact that they are both women, they don't have much in common. [...]

Hillary Sees No Parallels in French Presidential Results--Scott Ott,, May 7, 2007

White House hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, today announced that the results of the French presidential elections were an “isolated incident,” with no discernible parallels to the 2008 U.S. presidential race. [...]

Scott's see-it-before-it-happensism is really kinda scary.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:27 PM | Comments (0)

Join, or Die

On May 9, 1754,

Join, or Die, considered the first American political cartoon, was printed in The Pennsylvania Gazette. The impetus for the cartoon, which is believed to have been devised by Benjamin Franklin, was concern about increasing French pressure along the western frontier of the colonies.

I hope the estimable Mr. Franklin does not mind a bit of copyright infringement--


Pertinent for when we were British subjects wary of French depredations, and for the festivities that were to come down the road 22 years after it was published.

And still pertinent today.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:49 PM | Comments (2)

Yes, much like the passion felt by those...

...who rush to plunk down money to see the world's shortest giant.

Second-tier candidates inspire passion

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:53 PM | Comments (0)

I feel so dirty.

The sudden drop recently in Google-driven searches has once more shown me that Possumblog must be BOLD! HIP! EDGY! to survive.

Yet, somehow, even though faced with the prospect of having absolutely no blogtraffic, I still cannot in good conscience post drunken naughty nude naked topless photos and YouTube videos of Paris Hilton spanking Lindsay Lohan during Cinco de Mayo with Spiderman 3 trailers playing in the background during a commercial for American Idol, when there are so many free sudoku puzzles available, even for the PSP, Playstation 3, or Nintendo Wii.

So, I suppose if I'm must not ready to go down that road, I'll just have to continue to rely upon the same insightful, thoughtful commentary you've all come to expect since Possumblog first emerged.

Which means I probably should start picking out some nice blogfuneral music.

I've always been partial to bagpipes and banjos...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:34 PM | Comments (2)

Merciful Heavens!

I fear what will happen to these church folks once the Democrats and the ACLU gets wind of their plans--NO ONE does more to battle against people of faith when they start trying to interfere with government policy!

Churches to provide immigrants sanctuary

LOS ANGELES - Churches in five big U.S. cities plan to protect illegal immigrants from deportation, offering sanctuary if need be, as they pressure lawmakers to create a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. [...]

Why, I bet the Left side of the political divide will be marching in the streets to demand that these Bible-thumping Christianists quit trying to meddle in the affairs of secular govenment! "SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!" they'll scream as they bang on their drums and toot on their whistles! Probably even try to slap these churches with some kind of RICO suit to make them quit their "interfering" ways.

Yep, I betcha that's what's gonna happen.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:07 PM | Comments (0)

Some things are important to people.

UA Student Gets Two Bachelors In Two Years

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - One University of Alabama student is about to accomplish what many would say is almost impossible: graduating from college in two years with two degrees at age 20.

University of Alabama Senior Christopher Culbert only sleeps about four hours a night.

He dedicates 17 hours a day to working on his dual undergraduate degrees in math and physics as well as his mission of developing a smaller but more powerful data storage chip for computers, ipods and digital cameras.


Because hot chicks crave with burning intensity smaller but more powerful data storage chips, and the guys who design them.

That is the only rational explanation.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:49 PM | Comments (3)

Umm, hey folks?

Animals are not humans. I know we love them and all that, but they don't think like us. Especially Bengal tigers.

Bengal kills newest tiger at local zoo

[...] The head keeper told them to spray a hose, spray a fire extinguisher to try to get Rajah's attention. When she arrived, she started cracking a buggy whip in the air to snap into Rajah's consciousness.

Johnson, who hand-raised Rajah and Rani as cubs, yelled to him commands the Bengals normally follow. He didn't budge.

"When he thought she was dead he dropped her and then did what we had been telling him," [head zookeeper Cyndi] Johnson said.

Rajah walked away huffing and puffing and shivering, appearing in shock, she said. It seemed as though he had forgotten to breathe as he clenched Anastasia's throat, Johnson said. He sauntered into his night house as he had been commanded, drank from his trough and laid down next to it.

During the killing, Rani froze in a back corner with wide eyes, "almost mesmerized," [zoo director Patti] Hall said. [...] [emphasis mine]

Give it a rest, people. They are wild animals, and they do not have consciousness as we define it, do not suffer shock from suddenly realizing they've killed something, don't forget to breathe, and cannot be "mesmerized." I know it may look that way, but they can't. And this sort of cloying anthropomorphizing of wild animals is one of the reasons stuff like this happens. It's just fortunate that it wasn't a keeper. Or some doofus who decided to break into the cage because he wanted to pet the big pretty kitty. (Or the pretty giraffe, for that matter.)

Yeah, I know--I'm being a spoilsport again.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:27 PM | Comments (0)

Now then.

That was a very short meeting--only an hour. It's just that the paperwork that went flying afterward was like Krakatoa erupting. So that explains my long delayed return to the warm confines of Possumblog.

And now that I'm here?

I dunno--I got nuthin'.

Although I do have some bragging to do--had two events to go to last night that were happening concurrently, one was Rebecca's soccer banquet and the other was the PTA meeting at the elementary school and Catherine (and the rest of her choirmates) had a performance. Since Reba hasn't gotten to see Rebecca play much this year, I thought she should be the one to take her to the banquet (a good idea, except Oldest went, too, and spent the entire time trying to be noticed--as if she could be ignored) and I would go with Cat to her concert (with Boy in tow, because Catherine nearly cried when he said he wanted to go to the soccer banquet).

First, at the banquet, Bec got a nice framed certificate for not missing a practice--only two girls got one. It nearly made me cry, because it had a quote from Vince Lombardi on it.

Individual commitment to a group effort -
that is what makes a team work,
a company work,
a society work,
a civilization work.

(Whatever you might think of how great soccer is, it has a dearth of coaches whose words are worth repeating.)

So she was quite happy about that, and everyone had a good time, and a pretty good dinner. And no boys. Which crushed Oldest, because she thought there were going to be some there so she could preen in front of them.


Ahem, sorry.

Over on the other side of the village, the choir kids did a tremendous job singing and playing their recorders. You'd think a mass recorder ensemble made up of 4th and 5th graders would be about as appealing the sound of cats being fed into a wood chipper, but they really were good, and they played along with some interesting peppy background music the director had on the PA system. Catherine? Dear sweet Catherine.

Before it was time to go the concert, the ice cream man made an exceedingly rare run down our street, and since I actually had some money for once, I decided to get her and Jonathan (well, okay, and me, too) some ice cream.

Apparently hers was filled with sugar, chocolate, and a giant dose of amphetamines. She absolutely would NOT be still and carried on a running conversation with everyone around her, while alternately blowing her recorder, and dancing around her assigned area as though she were having a visitation from St. Vitus himself. Bad thing is, she really can play that danged recorder and can sing like a little angel WHEN SHE SETTLES DOWN. As it was, I'm just thankful she was on the very back row, on the far right hand side.

I'm thinking that's not an accident.

IN OTHER NEWS, we finally got the results of Boy's band trip this past weekend to the "Trills and Thrills" middle school band competition in Marietta. They received unanimous "superior" ratings, which I think is good. Best information until now was from Boy, who said they'd gotten "some sort of plaque thing for participating."

AND FINALLY, Rebecca was honored again this morning (which Mom was able to attend, thank goodness) at an award program for being on the all-A honor roll the entire year, AND a special recognition from the yearbook staff, which was unexpected, given that she has not had a good time in there this year after having such high hopes and having to jump through hoops at the end of last year to make sure she got on the staff. Still, she worked hard, even though she didn't want to, and so it was nice to get a little recognition for that.

Thus ends this session of bragging on my kids.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:47 AM | Comments (4)

May 08, 2007

I left a key under the mat.

That way you can still get in tomorrow, even though I won't be here.

Of course, it would probably make more sense if I actually had a lock on the door that worked, but whatever.

ANYway, the usual bi-weekly (or semi-monthly) off-campus meeting comes around again tomorrow morning, so I will be at that for a while before being able to entertain you as I have in the past with shadow puppets, pantomimes, and sing-alongs. I hope you will be able to manage without me, but if you can't, you can find someone who possibly even exceeds the entertainment value herein by exploring around the blogrolls.

I will warn you, however, that none of them have naked prehensile tails or walnut-sized brains. So, you know, reader beware and all.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:19 PM | Comments (2)

Okay, so I'm a spoilsport.

Solar boat completes fuel-free voyage


Although it's probably worth pointing out that the Vikings did something similar with wind-driven technology around 900 years ago.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

Sometimes even paranoid people are right.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I mentioned yesterday about the sudden downturn in visitors coming in from Google, wondering if maybe Google had redone their search protocols to highlight or otherwise favor Blogger/Blogspot blogs (that they now control), and just now got the following comment from Mike Hollihan:

I had noticed the reverse on my blog, at about the same time. I've been away from mine, posting maybe once every three weeks or so for a while, and traffic had drifted down to nearly nothing. Suddenly, I had a ton of referrals from Google and Google image searches showing up and daily traffic doubled. Not sure what's going on.

Well, now that's mighty peculiar. I also went back and checked and of all the results I have managed to get from Google lately, the overwhelming majority came as people were clicking through from my old Possumblog site on Blogspot that hasn't been active in almost two years.

You know, one of the things that made Google popular in the first place was the sense that it was more reliable at returning a broad variety of pertinent search results with little bias toward one viewpoint or another. It seems counterproductive to that image to start goofing around with things in favor of sites bearing your own brand.

And once they start doing that, what's to keep them from pushing aside politically unpopular Blogspot bloggers in favor of the more lefty/lib/progressive sorts who seem to be more of the mindset of the Google corporate office?

Well, not much.

Have any of the rest of you noticed a sudden upturn or downturn since mid-April in visitors referred by Google?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:58 PM | Comments (4)

There are still men in France.

It's been a while since The Dissident Frogman has posted, but I figured if anyone had a good line on what the recent French elections would mean to regular folks like you and me, it would be him.

Bloggers over on this side of the ditch (at least the ones who enjoy 4th of July parades in a non-mockingly ironic way) seem to be relatively welcoming of the Sarkozy victory, cautiously optimistic that he seems to be willing to not hate America with as much passion as those further to his left might.


Not quite so sanguine. After speaking of never exercising his franchise, this:

[...] elections in France are eerily similar to those in the Soviet Union: no matter the outcome, a Socialist gets elected.

This one being no different than before, I frankly couldn't be bothered.

However, the spectacle of the (official) Socialist candidate during the big circus debate between the two finalists, and the possibility that she might be elected, was enough to actually convince me to go and vote against her today.

Make no mistake: I have absolutely no consideration for her opponent. I made my mind on Sarkozy a long time ago. Things like this helped me to get the picture. That, and - for instance - his willingness to confiscate guns from their legal and registered owners while letting the jihadist rampage freely during the two weeks of nationwide riots (the 2005 Allah Akbar Tour), or his big push on speed cameras (and fines) assorted with a strategic deployment of police forces to hunt down the vicious honest citizen whenever and wherever he commits the heinous crime of driving his car, in order to give some breathing space to the various victims of society in the Gaza-on-the-Seine strip, so these downtrodden sons and grandsons of immigrants (AKA Fully French Folks) could carry on with gang raping any broad guilty of being white in the aptly named (as far as the police is concerned) "no-go zones".

All the while talking his way up to his biggest PR hoax: that of appearing as a zero-tolerance Law and Order hero.

Sarkozy is all talk, no walk. Or worse: talk, but walk the other way. A politician as cunning and deceitful as Chirac, only younger. [...]

Ouch. And to wrap it all up, this:

[...] From what I've seen of the new European demagogue tonight, I'm afraid I can echo [CIA] Director Hayden's warning, [linked here] and advise my American friends to please NOT assume that the late French approach to America was the product of just one administration or just the former president.

Don’t throw away that “F the French” tee-shirt just yet.

If only there were more like him.

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

Well, good.

Outdated mental illness terms being removed from law

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Old-fashioned terms such as imbecile, lunatic and idiot were set to be purged Tuesday from the Ohio law books, a harbinger of national momentum to once again revisit the words that most sensitively describe mental illness. [...]

It's difficult enough to have to cope with a mental illness without having to put up with being called names we now know are better used to describe politicians.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:32 PM | Comments (4)

It is the way of the moron.

You know when you were young, and there was always that kid in your neighborhood who managed to get the ONE cool toy for Christmas that everyone wanted, and that you never got, so you'd spend your time thumping a paper football across the table and wondering what it was like to play with with a genuine electric football set, that had players you could paint yourself to look like any team in the NFL?

Well, you never outgrow that feeling.

I came in one afternoon last week, and noticed that our neighbor four doors down the street had a brand new old car on his driveway. Looks like maybe a '52 or '53 Chevy sedan delivery (here's a similar 1950 model via eBay), unrestored but complete and not too beat up, wearing faded dark blue paint, blackwalls and dog-dish hubcaps. In addition to my well-documented feelings for weird small square cars, I also have a very soft spot for postwar Chebbies, and most especially sedan deliveries. I blame this on being dropped repeatedly as an infant as well as a magazine article I remember from close to thirty years ago about a '53 sedan delivery drag racer with a blown big block and an American flag paint job.

Anyway, now I have to look every time I go by the guy's house to see if he's out playing with it.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:33 AM | Comments (8)

Or, as we used to call it back in my day...

Methane Rocket Engine Successfully Tested

..."lighting bombers."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:42 AM | Comments (6)

Bottoms up, Occifer!

Driver Toasts Police Officers With Beer

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - Some people don't know when to quit.

Take the case of a Russellville man who found trapped in a partially submerged vehicle early Sunday in a creek.

Decatur Police officers spotted the sport utility vehicle and found the driver unharmed, but apparently celebrating.

Well, who can blame him--he just survived being attacked by an evil SUV!

Police said 21-year-old Jorge Taverez raised a can of beer and appeared to toast the officers.

Police said while they waited for firefighters, Taverez drank a few more beers and even turned up the music before water got into his vehicle's electrical system.

What a shocking development! Simply revolting. Okay, sorry--ohm through making puns now. My resistance was just low, that's all.

The vehicle was pulled and Taverez was charged with DUI and other offenses, including littering.

Apparently, being an idiot is not a crime in and of itself.

SO, here's to YOU, Mr. Drunken SUV Driver Who Toasts His Arresting Officers!

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)


A disputed province, sectarian religious violence amongst people who are ostensibly of the same religion, terrorism funded as part of a larger proxy war--Afghanistan? Iraq? Kosovo?

No, Northern Ireland.

I noticed this article about the recent decision of the parties involved to work together as part of a longer peace process, a process that has now been going on for ten years, which followed a much longer time of periodic warfare between Catholics Protestants that has gone on with varying intensity since at least 1609 and the creation of the plantation of Ulster.

As always, you have to use a lot of caution when you attempt to compare one thing to another, especially when it comes to armed conflicts, but it is interesting to see just how difficult it can be to quell turmoil of this sort, even when the people involved share a common language, land, and history. And it's worth noting, too, that no matter how long and bitter the conflict, there is hope that it actually can be resolved.

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

Stupid Babies!

Despite warnings, most U.S. babies watch TV

We spend all this time and money trying to warn them, but do they listen!? NOOOooooo! Dangitall, it's like they don't even understand anything!

Stupid babies.

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

Well, he may have been The Great, but not quite that great.

King Herod's tomb may have been found

The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli archaeologist on Tuesday said he has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land. [...]

Well, he was quite a visionary with a very Roman outlook on displaying state power through architecture, and his friendliness with Rome certainly helped out a great deal when it came time to start building things around the country. But the way that sentence is written, it makes it sound like Jerusalem (and the rest of the Holy Land) was a clean-sheet design. Sorta like Disneyworld. Eh, whatever--maybe it's just a badly worded sentence--but given the slim sense of history most news organizations exhibit, it's hard to tell.

Anyway, a more complete article about Herod and his architectural (and social) legacy can be found here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:50 AM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day

"It is a very nice school, but it is not gold-plated..."

My friend, for this much money, it danged well better be.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:12 AM | Comments (6)

May 07, 2007

Well, of course not.

Edwards: Wealth doesn't hurt credibility

Because let's face it--anyone who runs for President is already independently wealthy. Poor people do not run for President. So it's not wealth that hurts any candidate's credibility--it's hypocrisy.

It's acting as though you are something you're not. It's exploiting a real sense of class envy among the poor by pretending you yourself are not to be envied. It's blabbering to union workers about your po' sonofamillworker background, when your father was in fact part of management, not labor. It's talking about Two Americas whilst being firmly ensconced in the one that doesn't have to worry about anything except finding another ambulance to chase.

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

In other news...

...Tiger Woods will now become a caddy for John Daly.

...Jeff Gordon will be in charge of holding the catch can.

...And Alex Rodriguez will be selling peanuts and other fine snack foods in Section 32.

Yes, it's a crazy mixed up world out there, but thankfully, there are people out there with good sense--such as, the fine management of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, who knew a good thing when they saw that coupon in the paper for a free lobotomy.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:47 PM | Comments (6)

Hmm. Wonder what the deal is?

Since I don't get paid or make any money off this site, it doesn't matter how many visitors I get, but I still keep an eye on it to see what might interest folks who drop by. I noticed a few weeks ago (starting around the week of April 15), my weekend traffic had dropped off nearly to zero. I had been having 2-300 visits even on Sundays--nobody really looking for Possumblog, per se, just accidentals--but still it was nice to see people found some use for this pile of mess even when I wasn't writing anything.

But this sudden drop-off was weird, and it seems to have had an effect on the overall numbers during the week, as well. After clicking on a couple of search terms, I also noticed that if someone had come through via Google earlier, Possumblog was not on the returned results when I checked later, as if it were being scrolled off or removed. Some search strings even turned up as having no results at all, even though someone had apparently gotten through earlier using that same set of search terms.

I wonder if Google has once more adjusted their search algorithms to give less credit to non-Blogger/Blogspot blogs? I suppose we'll never know for sure, but it's still odd that visits would fall off so quickly like that.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:10 PM | Comments (1)

And Sunday?

Well, everyone was still tired and grouchy!

Imagine that.

(Jim Smith, noted college professor, says I need one of these.)

Went to church, Reba got degrouched when everyone made a fuss over her cute hair, headed home, which engroucherated Oldest, who wanted nothing more than to eat out. Which was out of the question, seeing as how we'd spent the equivalent of the GDP of Senegal the past couple of days. Best just to go home and eat the food we had.

Yeah, I know--I'm a heartless bastard.

On to home, and had just got stuff put away when the telephone rang. Yalping and screeching and hooting and clamor in the background, which I figured meant it was Boy, checking in finally.


The next few minutes were spent shouting into the phone like I was Andy trying to talk to someone in Mt. Pilot.

They were at Six Flags. He was bored. They had gotten a plaque for participating in the band competition. He was okay. He was being good. He talked to Mom for a while. He was bored. He was okay. He was being good.

I think someone was homesick.

Hung up, ate lunch (yes, even Oldest decided it was fit for her gullet!), went upstairs and found that Boy had already tried to call home twice that morning. Poor fellow.

Oldest had an event to attend, so she took off for that, with only the slightest idea of where she was going, while the rest of us took off for Riverchase to go to the Target on 280. Why? Well, the handy rain check I had said that this store might have some of the gazebos in stock. We figured we'd go ahead and get it and then fix the wood platform, rather than the smart way. Why? Because I'm a moron.

Missed the turn, doubled back, missed the turn again, finally got there, admired the flocks of Canada geese (and their horse-sized piles of goose poop) that had taken over the parking lot. Went to the service desk and asked the girl if they could have someone bring me out one of the gazebos.


I'm sick to death about hearing how customer-friendly Target is, you know it? I have never been impressed, and they invariably treat me like a horse-sized pile of goose crap whenever I go to customer service. How goldanged hard would it be to call to the back to a) check and make sure they still had some in stock, and b) have one of their mouth-breathing gits put one on a float and bring it to the front?

Pretty danged impossible, I suppose.

"Ahhhm, you'll, like, have to go back there? and go get it yourself? Mkay?"


Grabbed a nearby cart, and went back to where the gazebos were, and of COURSE, they aren't out on a shelf, because they're the size of a Buick even boxed up. Called on the red courtesy phone, got an associate who had to go to the register, type in the stock number, see if there were any in stock, then go back and get me one out of the stockroom.


As I waited at the electronics counter, Rebecca and I watched the long haired slack-jawed kid behind the cash register take a great deal of interest in adding rubber bands to a giant rubber band ball. Several customers came and went, but fortunately, none of them disturbed him in his important task. Heaven forbid he would have had to look up and ask them if they needed some help.

The girl came back with my gazebo, rang it up, and I was on my way, hating every single second I'd had to spend in there. Wouldn't be nearly so bad except Target has that veneer of snooty designer superiority that somehow is supposed to make up for the indifference and disdain of the "help."

Home, unloaded, got another call from Boy, who, it turns out, had spent nearly fifty dollars on garbage, and had wound up having to borrow money from his chaperone. YET ANOTHER LECTURE to come when this one gets home.

Back to church, and right as we were standing up to sing the last song, I felt my phone vibrating. Danged rat was calling AGAIN!

I walked out and found an empty room and he was calling to say they'd just left the rest stop at the state line. And as with each time before, I found myself shouting into the phone to try to get him to listen to me. Especially when he said that he didn't think he was supposed to pay his chaperone back for the money she'd given him. Long loud conversation ensued about not abusing people's good will and that yes, we WOULD be paying her back, even if she'd said he didn't have to. ::sigh::

We left the older two girls at the building for the young folks to have supper and a devotional and we headed home to await the triumphal return of Boy. Which actually wasn't long after we got home. I'd just gotten off my church clothes when the phone rang for the umpty-jillionth time, with the same insane asylum roar in the background, and he was about ten minutes away from school.

Got in the car, putted over to the school, pulled in just as the buses were parking, parked, got out, walked across the quad and waited. Found him, got his garment bag, gave him the five to go give his chaperone, who'd apparently alreadly left, so we came on home. He was worn slap out.

BUT--he did learn a valuable lesson. He'd gotten a Spiderman glove at Six Flags, and after getting it, wasn't really that pleased with it. "How'd you get that, son?"

"Someone guessed my age--and they said I was fifteen."

"So you won the Spiderman glove, huh? And exactly how much did it cost you for this person to lose his guess?"

"Five dollars."

"So, even though he got it wrong, he still has your five dollars, and you got a crappy toy out of the deal?"

"Yes, sir."

My mother calls these little incidents "learning experiences." I intend to make sure my children will be as sick of hearing it as I was growing up.

"Well, then, son--I guess that was a pretty good learning experience for you, huh?"

"Yes, sir."

Darned right.

And next time--if there is one--he knows there's going to be NO money for garbage. I've got a gazebo to pay for, after all.

Home, dropped him off, he looked quizzically at Mommy, who had hair when he left for Georgia, then I was back to the church building to get the girls, then back home, and I was just about to tell Reba the Ostrich Joke, but she got sidetracked and I wound up going to bed without telling her.

Anyway, that was my weekend.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:54 PM | Comments (2)

"I Roll." Sidewaysish, a bit.

SO, up, dressed again, went downstairs and ate the cold breakfast that had been prepared at dawn and was still sitting out on the stove. Apparently, rather than simply come upstairs and tell everyone breakfast was ready so early, the fixer of said breakfast believed it best to make everything, not tell anyone to come eat it, then cook up for herself a delicious stew-in-you-own-juice, pout-on-a-plate! With an extra helping of martyrdom!

It was all very tasty.

Now then, to go get the Volvo refixed. As mentioned numerous times previously, the trip to the alignment shop last weekend resulted in new tie rod ends, a free rotate and balance, and a disconcerting drift leftward when driving upon the Interstate. Not bad, but noticeable. And not only that, the steering wheel was cocked ever so slightly to the right. Which is independent of the alignment, but still related, and just as disconcerting.

Down the hill, explained this to the shop owner, who was wistfully thoughtful as he tried to figure out what it could be without looking. We then took a ride, making the loop down Highway 11, up onto I-459, then to I-59, then back off at Chalkville Road. Of course, it didn't drift when I was in there, which meant that they'd lined it up without any weight in the driver's seat. Some cars are sensitive to weight bias, and as much as he tried to talk around it with talk of worn springs and such, best practice for a proper alignment--no matter how insensitive the car might be to it--still requires that you put a few 50 pound bags of sand in the driver's seat when it's on the rack just to make sure. And the steering wheel really was off a bit, which he couldn't so easily cover.

So, back to the shop, and I sat and watched the Documentary Channel and read dealership brochures.

And waited on Reba--I didn't know how long it was going to take, and her hair appointment was at 11:30, and as is her wont, she procrastinated until very late before leaving, and I'd asked her to drop Catherine and Rebecca with me so she wouldn't have to tote them with her and Oldest, otherwise open warfare would have erupted, and so when she pulled into the parking lot at 11:27, she was not in the best of moods. I didn't tell her that they'd just finished up with the car.

Got the girls, and took the car for a spin. Drove just right! Happiness all around! Made a stop at Target for light bulbs, three-ring binders, and a towel rack. Because they've just about torn the other one off the wall. I thought a nice row of hooks would look nice. If it was long enough to cover the gaping holes in the wall. Back to home, did laundry, installed light bulbs--INCLUDING THREE COMPACT FLUORESCENTS!!--and fixed the towel rack without having to install the new row of hooks. Meaning I'd have to return to Target to return them. Silly me. Did more laundry, and waited to take Catherine to a birthday party. She's gotten to be quite the social butterfly. Or something.

Time got near, got her fixed up, and went back out to take her over to the new Red Robin restaurant (which has a television mounted in the floor, which would weird me out if I was a girl with a skirt on, because you'd always be suspicious that there's a camera under there along with the television), found Cat's friends and a mom who I think was with them, and left her there with eight dollars in case she needed to buy her lunch. Never can tell nowadays if food is included with the party invite.

Back home, laundered more, then it would up nearly two hours later and it was time to go back and get Youngest. Walked out and saw Reba and Ashley pulling into the driveway with their new hairs. Very cute, as I've mentioned. It's been a long, LONG time since Reba's hair was that short. Up to just below her ears, like it was in high school. Ashley's was a bit longer, just above her shoulders, and it suited her nicely. And it's a lot shorter than the time she got it cut when she was younger, the cut that she swears to this day I forced upon her and MADE her cut her hair that short. As I told Reba, I hope since this bob is even shorter, she'll finally shut up about it. (Although I'm sure she'll still swear her new hair is much, MUCH longer than it was then.)


Off with Middle Girl to go get Cat. The party was still going on, or at least the gift opening was, so I waited a little while before gently guiding Catherine away after much thank yous and such. But not before finding out she'd spent all eight of her dollars playing games. In addition to some quarters that the birthday girl's mom had given the kids.

She managed to "win" three of those rubber balloon things with the flashing lights inside. One of which she gave away.


Had to have a long talk about NOT BLOWING ALL MY MONEY ON STUPID CRAP!

Because if we spend it on stupid toys, we won't have it to spend on stupid gazebos.

We'd stopped at the Target on the way back home to take back the hooks and the fluorescent tube I'd bought that was too short, and stumbled upon the display of gazebos.

Rebecca noted that on Friday night when they were out shopping that Mom had seen them and noted they were on sale. Sure enough, they were all a third off. Pretty good deal. We've been looking at them for a while, with the idea we'd set one on the wood platform that's out in the back of the backyard. Just haven't ever gotten around to it, though.

But now? Well, hmmm. Let me think.

10 x 10. That should fit--I thought the platform was around that size. Call home. Get Reba to get a yardstick and go measure. 10 x 8. DRAT!

I then did some more cogitating and went and got a tape measure off the shelf to do some impromptu measuring of things to figure out what I could do, and called home several more times for confirmation of the way everything was laid out. Basically, the only thing that's going to work is to add about two feet onto the short side of the platform. Because I am a moron.

But, at least I had a small reprieve--they were out of the gazebos, so I got a rain check that I figured would buy me some time until I figured out how to fix the wood platform.

Home, and then as soon as I'd gotten there, Reba took off again with Rebecca to go do more money-spending.

Wow--how I WISH I was our creditors!

They came back in after a while, and eventually everyone got in the bed and went to sleep.

At least I think they did.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:12 AM | Comments (2)

So, I tried to get to bed early.

Because I really wanted to get some sleep. For some reason, Reba and the girls had gone out shopping Friday evening, and I got Boy to go on to bed at 9, and I did the same. Obviously, when the girls got in, they trompled all over the house and talking in their high-pitched squealy girl voices, so I did the best I could with the pillow-over-my-head trick. This worked until sometime around 11, when Reba finally went to bed, and Oldest was still awake, and still had her television turned up loud enough to where I could hear it in our room, with a pillow over my head.

Got up, told her to turn it down and go to bed.

Went back to bed, angry, of course.

Dropped off for a while, then heard chatter.


Looked at the clock--1:26 a.m.

Sat up in bed, and the hallway was ablaze with light, and Boy was coming down the hallway to the bathroom. Went in and found that Oldest--who complains all the time about being tired during the day because for some reason she is so oblivious to common sense that she insists on staying up late--was still up. I barked at her to turn off her lights, and go to bed, then told Jonathan to get the *&^%* in bed and go to sleep.

Some time later, I roused and the light in Oldest room was STILL ON, so once more I angried myself into a tizzy and shouted at her to turn the stinking light off, went back to bed, and woke up at 3:00 when the alarm went off. I opened my eyes and saw the silhouette of Boy standing in the doorway like some sort of axe murderer. He was already dressed.

Got up, got on some jeans and a shirt and I think I put on a cap, but maybe I didn't. Went downstairs and made him some breakfast hot pockets and made sure for the final time he had all of his stuff. Shuffled out to the Volvo, got in, got him in, putted over to the middle school. We were the second arrival. Waited for just a bit and then other folks started arriving, so I let him out, told him to be good and listen to his chaperones, to be good, and not be bad, and to remember he represented the school, but more importantly, he had my last name and he'd better not screw it up, and to be good, and not get lost, and to be good. He agreed in general.

Off back to the house, off with my jeans, and possibly the ball cap if I had one on, climbed back into bed, and dropped off. Fitfully, but still, asleep enough. Until 4:11 a.m., when the telephone beside my head chirped to life. It was Boy. At least I thought it was, it was nearly impossible to hear him with the cacophony in the background.

"What's mywheroueoruu?"


"Dad--werhessdrehe sethe sherewoe??"


"WHAT'S MY CELL PHONE NUMBER!?" His chaperone wanted to know what it was just in case, which is a good idea.

But aside from that--Grr. Dang it all. All you have to do is go to the menu and you can find it, but I'd never shown him that so there's no reason to get too mad at him. I couldn't remember it, though, so I was going to have to get my own phone out and see what the number was of the phone he had.


"Would you just WAIT a dadgummed minute, son!?"


I fumbled for my cellphone, found it, got up and went to the bathroom so I could turn it on and see what it said, "DAD, DO YOU HAVE IT YET?"

"I will TELL you when I've GOT IT, OKAY!?"

Turned it on, flipped through the menus, told him the number.

He got it wrong.

Once more.

Still wrong.


Finally got it, and I hung up and tried once more to get to sleep. Sometime around daybreak I felt the bed heave and Reba get up, then the tell-tale beating and banging of cookware and stuff downstairs to start the day. I pulled the pillow back over my head again.

Finally got up around 9. Twelve potential hours of sleep, reduced to a total of about three.

And people wondered why I was so grouchy all weekend!


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

Good morning!

Or, a reasonable facsimile thereof.

Well, a long weekend, and for the most part it went smoothly. Boy left and returned from his band trip with nothing too bad happening, other than me not getting any sleep, the Volvo now is a reliable centrist, Reba and Ashley both got hair cuts, and both look cute as cute things, laundry got done, and for some reason, I went and got one of those nice metal-framed gazebo tents from Target. (Mainly because it was on sale. I'm SPAVING!)

Anyway, more about all that in just a bit. The Monday morning staff meeting beckons.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (6)

May 04, 2007

And that's that.

The weekend has come stomping up the street like Godzilla, and there appears no way to run away from it. Obviously, the only thing left to do is turn, put my hand beside my head, and scream, being careful that the sound does not synchronize with my mouth movements.

Let's see--in the wee early hours of Saturday morning (3:00 a.m., to be exact) I must arise and get dressed and take Boy over to the middle school because they're going on a band trip to Georgia. So not only do I not get any sleep to start the weekend, I'll be tossing and turning out of worry until he gets back. Of course, he'll be fine, but I tremble at the potential for mischief in such things as band trips, with associated side trip to Six Flags over Georgia. So there's that.

And then after I've gotten home and gotten back in the bed but not been able to rest, I'll have to get up and take the Volvo back down to the shop so they can look at it again. Seems they turned it into a liberal whilst aligning it, so that it drifts to the left unless given constant, strict, correction.

Then, Reba will go later on that day and get her hair done, and this will only cost a portion of what it takes to keep John Edwards properly groomed. However, seeing as how I live in That Other America, it turns out to be a big chunk of change. But Mama must be kept happy.

There's laundry to be done, of course. And I wager there'll be other things that will conspire to keep me from taking a nap.

But hey, you know what?

I got it pretty good.

Y'all have a good weekend, and I'll see you come Monday.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day.

"Sorry, no gift wrapping, express or rush delivery is available for this item."

Dang. Well, I guess this means I'll have to look for something else for Mother's Day.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:49 PM | Comments (4)

Break out the Tiny Violins

Iran's Khatami: Pope comments still hurt

Probably so. Although I'm willing to bet not nearly so much as when someone gets their infidel head sawn off by a klatch of peace-lovin' jihadis.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

The Guy Who Burns Stuff in the Toaster Strikes Again

Today it was a Pop Tart. For some reason, the silly old fellow put one in the toaster, and one in the microwave. And turned both of the machines on high for two minutes, and left.

I had gone to meditate in my office annex, and when I got back, the whole floor had a pall of smoke clinging to the ceiling and the worst burnt smell I have ever come across up here, and that's saying something, given his proclivity for putting things like paper in the toaster oven.

I'm finding it very difficult right now to respect my elders, and those who hold alternative political viewpoints to my own.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:26 PM | Comments (4)

A Nation of Pushalongs and Queuejumpers!?

I would have thought it of anyone except the British. What has happened to that place!?

I am just now returned from my noonday hunting and gathering, after having stopped by the Wall Street Deli in the AmSouthRegionsHarbertPlaza. It was late-lunchish, and it is a Friday, so there weren't that many patrons milling about, but after getting my foam dinner plate and proceeding to the salad bar, I sensed someone to my right.

Now I'm not a particularly slow gatherer of salad objects, but after looking up and seeing a average woman of average height and weight and hair length and age anxiously gathering up lettuces and onions and tomatoes, well, frankly I felt pressured. Rushed, almost. And she was standing so danged close to me. I need elbow room, you know? I don't want anyone interfering with my spoon and tong action. And you get that creepy sense that she's paying more attention to what I'm putting on my plate than what she's putting on hers.

What's yer deal, there, toots!?

I wanted so much to make sure my selection of garbanzos and ham cubes was done properly, and that they were each arranged as artfully and efficiently as possible within the nest of greens I'd created, yet I felt her breathing down my side. I'd put down an implement and she'd reach over and grab it right back up.

I was going as fast as any decent person could be expected, and yet I couldn't shake her until I rounded the corner and stopped for some jalapenos. She raced around me to the other longer side of the bar, and I breathed a sigh of relief to be rid of this tailgater, even though I was still shocked at her presumption that it was acceptable to pass without even signalling!

She'd moved on to the sunflower seeds and croutons and prepared pasta salads as I eased on around the corner to the dressings. I got the dipper and placed a suitable amount of bleu cheese liquid on my salad, and then looked up to see that SHE'D GONE BACK AROUND AGAIN! That's right--she was back round to the other side getting some more tomatoes! I was about to GET LAPPED!

The one good thing is that since she was making the circuit again, I was able to sprint to the cashier and get paid for before she further disturbed me.

It was then that she revealed herself.

I heard the distinctive dialect of England, asking of the staff, "Where is the hot wartah for the tea?" I could hardly believe it--all that time I was very nearly being bump-drafted by one of the Queen's subjects! This is not the England to which I am accustomed! A place where protocols are followed decently and quietly! But here she was, rambling about the place as if she were, were--a pushy YANKEE!

Simply intolerable.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:28 PM | Comments (4)

Several Days Late...

...but the sentiment is the same, that being Happy 5th Bloggiversary to Marc Velazquez, who usually blogs at (which is down at the moment, so you can use his backup site). Marc has been a great friend over the past few years and I regret not having wished him a well on his ongoing blogginess a bit earlier.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:53 AM | Comments (1)


It's been simply AGES since we've felt compelled to participate in Catblogging Friday, mainly because we've had nothing to show. Which is probably at least a partial explanation for the recent nosedive in traffic.

SO, LET'S NOT DENY THE PUBLIC the intense joy that can only be felt by viewing random photos of Lightning, the World's Most Expensive Free Former-Kitten! (Having now passed his first birthday, we can't quite call him a kitten anymore. ::sniff:: They grow up so fast.)

Anyway, as is his usual routine of late, upon release from his playpen, he first stretches--


--displaying his well-known lightning stripe coloration. He then must stretch and sharpen his claws on the pear tree:


Finally, he sprints to the new garden bed to attempt to wallow in filth.


Silly cat.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:45 AM | Comments (4)

Can't you people just leave well enough alone?!

Yesterday, as I was between bouts of assaulting and battering Chet the E-Mail Boy, Tarheel Marc asked if I'd yet tried the new Diet Coke Plus™ (a vitamin-infused bastardization of the basic formula).

I allowed that I was out of the loop on this new elixir, but that I would certainly be willing to give it a go if it cost the same and tasted the same as regular Diet Coke®. The addition of vitamins, while an interesting sort of thing, isn't something I wouldn't pay more for it, and it isn't one of those things I've been craving (getting, as I do, all of my vitaminic nutrition from a variety of other foods, such as Vienna sausages), but still, I wouldn't discount the soda based just because it had something good for you in it.

Anyway, imagine my utter surprise this morning when I stopped at the convenience store for a drive-time breakfast snack, and there right before me in the cooler was an entire rack of this product!

Obviously, it would do you a disservice, gentle readers, were I not to purchase this beverage and give you a review of it.

Following is that review:

The bottle has the familiar Coke®-bottle shape of other Coke® products, although it does have a peculiar addition of a tealish-turquoisey colored banding on the label and cap that makes me queasy. I suppose it's intended to make the consumer think of such things as Propel®, which personally I find tastes like dirty socks.

Upon reading the label, I see that it describes itself as "Diet Coke® with Viamins and Minerals," and sure enough, it says on the back that it has niacinamide (vitamin B3), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6) and cyanocobalimin (vitamin B12).

The taste?

Well, it ain't Diet Coke®. The first taste is familiar, but it has a peculiar afterwhang that is reminscent of Dial® Antibacterial Handwash. It's not overwhelming, but it IS there--sort of a fruity, chemically note that completely and utterly ruins EVERYTHING I LOVE ABOUT DIET COKE!

Of course, I also disdain the other garbage flavors they keep trying to put in there--lemon, lime, black cherry, ocelot urine, vanilla, mango--why keep mucking with it!?

Anyway, now that I've tried it I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Oh, and by the way, here are the OTHER things in DC+ that aren't in the regular version:

Magnesium sulfate, potassium sorbate, acesulfame potassium, and zinc gluconate.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:58 AM | Comments (4)

Oh, and you thought million dollar Hemi 'Cudas were unbelievable. UPDATED!

Well, I think it's kinda silly to pay that much, too, but that was before I saw this.

That's right--John Schneider's personal General Lee reproduction (built in 1997), and it's selling right now for $9,901,001.00.


(I realize there's some sort of celebrity mojo here, but come ON! It's got a column shift automatic, for pity's sake!)

UPDATE: And the final winning bid, from fishbashr1, $9,900,500.

If this bid is legit, and the buyer doesn't back out when he fully understands this car wasn't one of the originals in the TV show (again, it was built in 1997) and that it's just a Charger with a crate motor and fancy paint job (and a column-shift automatic), it will come close to doubling the record price ever paid for an American car at auction, currently the $5.5 million paid for Carroll Shelby's personal 1966 Super Cobra.

Now I like John Schneider and all, and I thought the Dukes of Hazzard was a fun show, but I think this is sorta pushing the "fan" thing a bit far.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:06 AM | Comments (2)

May 03, 2007

Our long national nightmare has ended.

Belgian newspapers return to Google

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:49 PM | Comments (4)

Jim Smith Asks...

..."I know it is sad that these guys died but do you think it’s right to blame our perky little Katie?"

Failed Anchor Blamed for Climbers' Fall

No, no, of course not. But such is the price one pays these days for trying to defy the intrenched patriarchy that rules network news.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)


...considering the difficulty so many of their fellow citizens had in marking a ballot. Potential terror jurors cite 9/11 doubts

The Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — Many potential jurors in the Jose Padilla terrorism-support case say they aren't sure who directed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks because they don't trust reporters or the federal government.

"There are too many ifs, too many things going on," one male juror said. "I don't know the whole story."

Others say they just don't pay close enough attention to world events to be certain.

"I'm oblivious to that stuff," one prospective female juror said during questioning this week. "I don't watch the news much. I try to avoid it." [...]

The more I read stuff like this, the more I admire the founders of this country for deciding to make it a republic.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:22 PM | Comments (0)

Unfortunate bit of business.

Still, I feel compelled to act.

I was just now standing here in my palatial office at the Axis of Weevil World Headquarters Building, absentmindedly stroking the bronze bust of Kennedy (Jayne) that sits upon my credenza, and I noticed that traffic on Possumblog is noticeably slack today. Few people commenting or e-mailing or just stopping by to visit, which is such a letdown after the big Instalanche and companion Acidmanlanche of the past days.

It puts me in a foul mood, I must say.

I have summoned Chet the E-Mail Boy into my office, and he is now standing beside me, trembling.


Because unless we start getting some more visitors around here, and fast, I intend to clout him upon his hoary pate with the walking stick I have in my hand, encrusted with genuine Diamelles, that I purchased from the Home Shopping Network.

So unless you want to see a poor old man thwacked because of your lack of clickage, you'd all better get to it and start making the meter spin.

Now then, I'm going to go sit in the outer office and answer the phone, since the secretary is gone today.

And I'm going to strike Chet one just for spite.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (17)

Irksome Artwork.

I should've known better than to try and read AND shave AND meditate upon the porcelain throne all at the same time. It's the stupid inconsequential things that create the most trouble during what should be a happy time devoted to mindlessly cutting hairs off your face and staring at the ceiling. But no.

I had to notice something colorful promising a cheerful dash of historical interest.

Stupid me.

ANYway, we have a little dorm refrigerator tucked in the dead space behind the door to our bathroom. This might sound weird, but the bathroom is long and narrow, so the things that create a fine mist of bacteria- and funk-laden water are a long way away, and there was a space just large enough for a little cooler to hold soft drinks and such, and it would have been wasted space anyway, so why not set up a minibar? Right? Sure.

So, sometime in the last few days, Miss Reba had purchased a can of peanuts, and absentmindedly had left the can on top of the refrigerator--right there where it could be seen. Not just any can of peanuts, either--it was a special authentic 100th Anniversary Collector's Edition can with special authentic artwork on the front celebrating the birth of Mr. Peanut. Number 4 of 4, it is.

It looks like this (image lifted from some exceptionally hopeful eBayer)--

times square peanut.jpg

Hmm. Pretty colors! Snazzy graphics! Words! Something snapped, and so I gathered my electric razor and the can of peanuts and made the trek down to the other end of the room to have a seat and see what all there was to see.

Shave, shave, relax, read, look at can. Old timey Mr. Peanut. New York-ish buildings. A subway. Old timey car. A street sign.


Oh, come on, now. WHO DREW THIS DRECK!?

Look--right there at Mr. Peanut's left hand, at the street sign:

times square sign.jpg

I never realized Times Square was at the intersection of Times and Square.

And it looks awfully familiar--right down to the little directional arrows:


Look, I realize there's artistic license, but good grief, this isn't even good enough for a learner's permit! Silly crap like this from artists and illustrators just irks me to no end, and it just ruined my usual quiet time of reflection and vegetation.

I guess that'll teach me to try to bring something new to my morning routine.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:59 AM | Comments (0)

Oh, big deal.

3,500 lbs. of bat guano found in attic

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (AP) — An upstate New York couple didn't think a few bats in the attic were much of a problem when they were buying a house last summer.

Months later, they found out how wrong they were when they discovered more than a ton and a half of bat droppings up there. [...]

Pikers. We go through that much guano in a day around here to provide the high quality content you get to read.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:20 AM | Comments (0)

Awwwww! How CUUUUTE!!

Why, thank you! But enough about me--it’s Thursday, and that means it’s time once more for The World’s Greatest Waste of Resources, the Axis of Weevil Thursday Three!

Today, we take a tip from Weevil Ambassador to Memphis Mike Hollihan, who suggested yesterday that it would be interesting to find out about the odd names people give their pets. A fine idea, indeed, given that until then I’d not figured out anything to ask.

SO, take a moment, grab your fluffy white Persian up into your lap and stroke her while pretending to be Blofeld, and answer the following three questions either by leaving your answers in the comments or a link to your bloghouse.

1) What is the most unusual name you ever gave one of your pets, and why?

2) Forget names--what’s the most unusual pet you’ve ever owned?

3) And last but not least, the age old question for all you dog and cat fanciers out there--which one is the better pet, a marmoset or a piranha?

Now scamper off and come up with your answers, and I’ll do the same.

1) I guess probably Booger, my beloved cat that my dad brought home from US Steel before he got laid off way back in the day. The kitten was nearly feral, and he looked for all the world like a rat. He was an ugly little booger, and the name stuck. He grew up to be a fine looking cat, though, similar in looks and color to a Russian Blue (not to be confused with a Norwegian Blue). He was one of the best cats I’ve ever had. He was affectionate to a fault, yet was also one of the most muscular, meanest tomcats I’ve ever seen. Full grown, he looked like some kind of miniature panther and could leap from the rail of our back deck to the kitchen window with the ease of someone tossing a ball. ANYway, his name of Booger was a source of much amusement to everyone when it came time to take him to the vet.

2) I never really owned anything unusual. I did have a box turtle for a while, and somehow in the distant past we managed to catch a raccoon that one of our dogs had cornered in the garage. But neither of these stayed around long enough to be named. Or eaten.

3) Oh, I’m a big marmoset fan. Nothing like ‘em for fun and friendliness.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:00 AM | Comments (9)

May 02, 2007

Just wait until those wacky jihadis hear about this.

70-year-old ham back on display in N.C.

RALEIGH, N.C. - A 70-year-old slab of blackened pork went on display in a downtown Raleigh restaurant this week in a curious tradition that began in 1937.

The Mecca Restaurant put the rock-hard country ham in its window Tuesday with a sign saying the 25-pound slab of meat would be displayed for only one day, "for security reasons." It was the ham's first appearance in a dozen years.

"It's an ugly thing, isn't it?" said Paul Dombalis, the restaurant's third-generation owner. "It's just as ugly as it ever was."

Dombalis' grandfather bought the ham from a farmer who was passing through Raleigh in 1937, then placed it in the window. It's unclear exactly why, though Mecca became known as "that restaurant with the ham in the window." [...] [emphasis added]

I hear Muslim Rage Boy working himself up a hearty ululation even as we speak...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:50 PM | Comments (0)


Edwards commercial demands Congress push Iraq withdrawal

The Associated Press

John Edwards is blending a new television commercial with his online Web message, giving his activist supporters a voice in demanding that Congress stand up to President Bush's veto of a withdrawal timetable for Iraq.

The ad, which will air in Washington on broadcast and cable programs, calls on Congress to ignore the veto and to send Bush the "same bill again and again." [...]

"Because nobody will fight harder to surrender than John Edwards--Nobody!"


Give him this much--it's not an easy task to dethrone Dan Quayle as America's Most Mockable.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 03:04 PM | Comments (2)

Oh, come ON, now!

Okay, I'll admit I like to make fun of the various rustics and bumpkins and clodhoppers whom I dwell amongst, but generally I do so out of a misplaced sense of fondness for these silly rubes, who need someone all smart and sophisticated to point out their various flaws and shortcomings, and NOT out of simple animosity. Generally.

But I expect MORE out of the news media--especially what with all their talk of diversity and multiculturalism and junk like that--so it is with no small amount of high dudgeon that I point you to this insensitive bit of mainstream media mockery--Hicks buying property on Lake Guntersville.

Dash it all, but there should be NO PLACE for such high-handed japery at the expense of our fine rural denizens! I demand that this insult not--


Say again?


Well, never mind, then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:17 PM | Comments (2)

A Condiment Conundrum.

If the mayonnaise packet in your desk drawer is solid, do you think it would still be okay to use?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 02:01 PM | Comments (12)


This story has been in the local news a lot lately. Popular preacher gone missing, needs his medicines, his wife on the TV barely able to hold herself together, grandkids asking where Grandaddy is. Terribly affecting, and you'd have to be a real heel not to have your heart broken by listening to it.

And this just in: Video Surveillance Captures Missing Preacher

By NBC 13 Staff

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Kimberly police have new evidence in the search for a missing preacher.

Gary Vance has been missing since April 20th.

NBC13 was told he left on a trip from Kimberly to Lincoln to check on a worksite.

Now there's surveillance video of him in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa Wal-mart where his truck was found.

Police believe he was hopping a bus to Las Vegas

For the sake of his family, I do hope they do find him unharmed.

But I know if this was me, the police would have to put me in protective custody just to keep Miss Reba from yanking my innards out through my nose.

UPDATE: They updated the story link and killed the old one--new one can be found here.

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

I wonder if there is a Farsi word for...


"The Muslim Iranian people have no recollection of such acts contrary to sharia law during Islamic rule."

So very sad.

But, obviously, under the enlightened rules by which these kind people live, he simply must be put to death. It's only right, you know.

(H/T to Jim Smith.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)


I know how the guy must feel.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

"Missed it by that much!"

Ohio rooftop jumper misses, gets stuck

FRANKLIN, Ohio - A man accused of trying to elude police by jumping from rooftop to rooftop found the gap between two buildings a little wider than he thought, police reports show.

Christopher Watts, 32, of Franklin in southwest Ohio, was wanted for a Warren County probation violation when he ran from an officer who approached him Saturday, reports show. He climbed a fence to the top of a one-story bar, then attempted to jump to the roof of a dry cleaner's next door, according to a police report.

Watts missed and fell about 15 feet, becoming stuck in an enclosed area between the two buildings, the report said. A fire department ladder truck was used to pull him free, and he was taken to a hospital in Dayton for treatment of his injuries. [...]

Gravity is a stern mistress, my friends.

Maybe we need to post these on roofs of buildings--


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

If only Alfred Hitchcock were alive.

Pretty birds overrun Kansas town

Although I suppose pretty birds are a lot less terrifying than he would prefer.

And for some reason, I am reminded of Frank Sinatra--"...egrets, I've had a fewwww...."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:08 AM | Comments (5)

Bumper Sticker of the Day!

Via noted Quahogger and NASA scientist Steevil, this from Shrink Rap--


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:52 AM | Comments (1)


Okay, does anyone want a cat?

Stupid thing.

Catherine let him out yesterday after we got home, and the first thing he did was go straight over to the neatly rowed garden plot and walk all over it, knocking my nice little rows askew. And then he continued to return every so often to roll in between the rows and knock the tops off the hills, and he's so smitten with the damp dirt that he can't even be chased out by the normal things such as hissing, poking with a rake, or being punted like a football.

ANYway, we got corn, carrots, radishes, beets, peas, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts planted, in spite of the feline interference.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:06 AM | Comments (9)

May 01, 2007

Mystery of the Missing Bees Solved!

Do you think there's a coincidence the governor of the state is named Huckabee? I THINK NOT!

Obviously some sort of evil Republican conspiracy is afoot!

Now if only I could figure out what a hucka is...

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

One of the greats passes.

TV's clueless everyman Tom Poston dies

In addition to having an incredibly deft sense of comic timing on-screen, off-screen he also seemed like a nice guy you'd like to hang around with. You don't see that sort of person much anymore.

And reading the article, I never knew he was a WWII Air Corp vet. A bit of searching elsewhere shows he served in the ETO and flew troop transports on D-Day, and was awarded an Air Medal.

Again, not the sort of person you run into much nowadays.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 04:43 PM | Comments (2)

They'd better be careful.

French TV debate promises sparks

All those Peugeots and Citroens in the seedier parts of Paris seem to have a bad habit of catching on fire.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:37 PM | Comments (0)

You know, I realize there's a thing such as nationalistic pride

...and countries want to feel as though other countries have some respect for them, but still, sometimes you want to just look at a country and say, "Lighten up, Francis."

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 01:29 PM | Comments (3)

Yes, Let's Replace Acid Rain with Purple Rain!

Prince urges war to stop climate change

I never realized how socially conscious the Tiny Purple One was until I saw this headline. Maybe he could go back in the studio and do a remixes for Little Hybrid Corvette, Organic Raspberry Beret, and When Oil-Coated Seabirds Cry! It'll be SUPER FREAKALICI--



Not the same Prince?


Never mind, then.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 12:06 PM | Comments (2)

Quote of the Day!

"I just wasn't in the right frame of mind that night..."


Posted by Terry Oglesby at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

What liberal media!?

Women candidates face high standards

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in history, a woman has the visibility, the reputation and the cash to make a serious run at the presidency. [...]

I only scanned the rest of the article, which was, as I suspected, as fatuous as the first sentence, but aside from that, it was interesting there was no mention anywhere of Elizabeth Dole, a wealthy, reputable, not invisible woman who ran, seriously, for the Presidency in 2000. Of course, since she was a Republican, she apparently doesn't count.

However, oddly enough, Geraldine Ferraro does get a fawning nod, for having been selected to run as Vice-President in '84, which is almost as good as your boyfriend giving you his class ring on prom night. If your boyfriend was Fritz Mondale.

The bad thing is, even though the article has a sort of passive-aggressive leftward slant toward Hillary!, the general lack of historical perspective is such that the truly groundbreaking effort by Shirley Chisholm to receive the Democratic nomination is ignored as well. And the fact that there have been a heaping wad of minor party female candidates, too.

Go figure.

(And hey there, Instapundit readers! Thanks for dropping by, and thanks to Doc Reynolds for the link. Sorry the place is a sty, but that's actually an improvement.)

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:56 AM | Comments (16)

Hmm. I wonder...

...will the guy reinstate the complaint, if he ever stumbles across this little tidbit?

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)

It must be Ticked-Off Tuesday.

At least it BETTER BE, or else Miss Janis will get mad about THAT.

Anyway, she starts it off with this complaint from down in the comment section:

...I have a complaint.

About 3 p.m. yesterday we received a call from the management company at the coast. A DOG was barking in our our unit.

The sons are down there and look at at this, age 32 and 39, they allowed a large dog into the unit on their watch.

A pit bull has no privileges there.

The boys just sold the property,

Wow. She's so mad she's doubling up on words.

ANYway, if YOU have something that's bugging the bejabbers out of you today, THIS is the place to let everyone know just exactly how angry you are about it. All we ask is that you limit your naughty language to the typographically euphemistic variety, to whit: !&^^%*(!, ~!+%|@#k, and @$$[()!3.

So, what kind of burr do you have under your saddle?


I think it's that my butt and legs are still sore from the sudden unexpected workout on Sunday.

I'd say *&%$# about it, but I'm too sore.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 10:07 AM | Comments (14)


Yesterday, Catherine and I made eight mounds and planted cucumber, canteloupe, eggplant, and bush beans. We (I) then laid out six rows for the rest of the seeds, but didn't get those planted because it was getting close to dark. This portion of the exercise was made more difficult by the presence of a fat striped cat who decided the middle of the bed was a good place to plop down and stretch.

This afternoon we'll get the rest of the seeds down. And we might have to forego planting tomato and pepper seeds and get some actual plants instead. She and Mom don't seem to quite understand how long it takes for stuff like that to grow.

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

Road to Hell Paving Department, Miss America Division UPDATED

Good intentions and all, but this doesn't look as though it will turn out the way everyone thought it would: Sex stings imperiled by Miss America

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (AP) — An undercover sex sting that used Miss America as bait may be in trouble after the beauty queen told prosecutors that she does not plan to testify against the men she helped arrest.

Lauren Nelson, 20, of Lawton, Okla., worked with police in Suffolk County to target would-be Internet sexual predators, taped for an episode of the TV show "America's Most Wanted."

She posed as a teenager and lured men into chatting online and meeting her at a home, where police and crews were waiting. Eleven men were arrested in the sting.

But one or all of the cases against the men could be in jeopardy after Nelson told prosecutors she did not plan on returning to Long Island to testify, said Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota in Newsday's Tuesday edition.

"Her agents have told us that she's not coming back to testify," Spota said. The Miss America Organization did not return calls for comment Monday from a Newsday reporter.

Given that Nelson actually spoke with at least one of the men arrested during the operation, Spota said he had instructed prosecutors not to present any more cases to the grand jury until they can "determine her involvement." One case already presented may falter, he said. [...]

Someone should have thought about this ahead of time. And for whatever good America's Most Wanted might do in tracking down criminals, PR stunts like this don't do anyone any good.

UPDATE: 3:10 p.m. Well, good--Miss America to testify in sex sting

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (AP) — An undercover sex sting that used Miss America as bait appeared to be in trouble until the beauty queen said Tuesday she changed her mind and agreed to testify against the men she helped arrest. [...]

[...] On Tuesday, the Miss America Organization said Nelson is "fully cooperating with the law enforcement officials." Spokeswoman Sharon Pearce said that included the district attorney's office. [...]

Odd that this would come from the Miss America organization and not her agent or spokesperson, but I hope she does see the importance of carrying through with what she started.

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

A whole lot better thing to celebrate...

...and you don't have to hang out with a silly bunch of ribbon-carrying Commies prancing around a pole--On May 1, 1931,

with the press of a button in Washington, D.C., President Herbert Hoover turned on the lights of the Empire State Building. This event officially opened the edifice, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in New York City, to the public. At 102 stories, it reigned as the world's tallest skyscraper until 1974.

In 1929, a corporation which included Alfred E. Smith (former Governor of New York) and John Jacob Raskob (financial captain behind the growth of General Motors), and others formed to construct the Empire State Building. Excavation began in January of the following year, construction commenced in March, and Smith laid its cornerstone in September. The steel framework rose at a rate of 4 1/2 stories per week. The building's construction was completed in a phenomenal one year and 45 days.

Upon its completion, the 1454-foot Empire State Building became an icon for all things New York. Its Art Deco lobby presented 10,000 square feet of marble and its mast, currently a TV tower, was originally intended as a mooring for dirigibles. It has been featured in scores of stories and films, perhaps the most the most famous being the 1933 production of King Kong starring Fay Wray.[...]

What a building.

Official site can be found here.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

I do know one thing you could do...

...skip on over to Skinnydan's place and wish him well for his upcoming ear surgery.

Here's hoping it's much less involved than getting his blog template fixed.

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

Now then, it's Tuesday.

So, that means...

Well, I have no idea.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:21 AM | Comments (3)