Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Hic!, Whoa!, -and- Address Madness

Hic! - distillery to produce 184-proof whiskey
Whoa! - horses given Viagra to make them faster
Address Madness - Psycho Path voted craziest street name

The rain stopped sometime during the night, and the sun is shining! The rain is predicted to return later today, but praise God for this glorious respite from the storm!

Today is sensory day for Laura. She is on the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. tasting discrimination panel and has sensory every Tuesday at 9:30 AM.

Sensory consists of tasting one or two "flights" of beers in a "triangle" test (3 beers per flight). The purpose of the discrimination panel is to determine whether any difference exists between the samples (each flight is always the same beer, but 1 of the 3 has a slight difference to it, perhaps the use of a different variety of hops, etc.) and whether the difference is perceptible enough that the public might notice the difference.

Sierra Nevada strives for extreme quality assurance and consistency in its brews.

Those interested in becoming part of the taste discrimination panel must first submit to a battery of tests to determine if their palates are sensitive enough to perceive differences and nuances in the flavor, mouthfeel, body, etc., of the beer.

So in essence, part of Laura's paycheck involves her drinking beer every week! Sweet!

I just enjoyed an exciting game of Bubble Breaker: I managed to get 36 contiguous red bubbles, creating 1260 points for one move, and ending in a score of 1856--less than my high score of 2018, but an exciting game nonetheless!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Homos on the Range, Biting Mad, -and- I Dare You

Homos on the Range - Moses takes on gay cowboys on new T-shirt
Biting Mad - man gets six years for biting off gang leader's ear
I Dare You - Orlando boy falls from roller coaster

POSER: (Congratulations to Cindy for correctly solving the Poser!)
Q: What do you call domestic insects at their wits' end?
A: Desperate Houseflies!

I enjoyed an exciting game of Bubble Breaker last Friday: While the score of 1780 was well below my high score of 2018, this game had a very exciting moment when I connected 34 red bubbles! This resulted in 1122 points for that single move!

The excellent weather appears to have abandoned us for now. It began to sprinkle yesterday around 1:30 PM. Soon, the sprinkling turned to rain. It rained all day and throughout the night, and it continues to rain today. The forecast (for what it may be worth) is for several more days of rain. Current weather reports call for 4 to 6 inches of rain during the next three days!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Armed and Stupid, Baa, -and- Body Snatchers

Armed and Stupid - teen arrested over image on his blog showing him with handguns
Baa - homeless man caught stealing sheep from zoo
Body Snatchers - four charged with stealing body parts

POSER: (Answer will appear on Monday.)
Q: What do you call domestic insects at their wits' end?

I have no problem whatever watching gory movie scenes, but when it is my blood being spilled, I am considerably less at ease. This morning at 7 AM, I went to the lab to have a sample of my blood taken for diagnosis as part of a routine physical examination. I gritted my teeth, clenched my fist, and looked away as the lab technician impaled me and began to suck my blood. There was a brief moment of pain, followed by a loud "snap" when she removed the rubber tie from my arm. I relaxed and held the cotton swab in place over the puncture while she applied tape to hold it in place. I was very thankful that the ordeal was over and began to rise from the chair. Imagine the horror I felt when she said, "Well, that didn't work out. Let's try the other arm"!

I survived, and here I am!

Do you recall Fat Cat from an earlier post? Well, here is Fatter Cat, a 45-pound domestic cat!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Wait, Drive My Car, -and- Tase Me!

The Wait - get paid to stand in line at DMV
Drive My Car - driver flees after crashing million-dollar Ferrari
Tase Me! - Kansas man challenges police

On the heels of the demise of NBC's "Book of Daniel," ABC's popular "Desperate Housewives" has become the latest target of a media watchdog organization that will sponsor a boycott of the advertisers.

OneMillionMoms.com, which is affiliated with the American Family Association, calls "Desperate Housewives" "one of the most vulgar and tasteless programs on television."

The group plans to monitor the program from April through June to identify companies that advertise during the show. OneMillionMoms.com will then call for a one-year boycott of one or more of the leading sponsors.

ABC says the show is watched by 15 million people each week. That means that 265 million do not watch the show but still end up paying for it by the products they buy.

The show's website describes the program: "A primetime soap with a truly contemporary take on 'happily every after,' this hit series takes a darkly comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren't always what they seem."

I am encouraged by outraged groups putting pressure upon the entertainment industry to discourage objectionable programming.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Making News, Stay a Little Longer, -and- The Blob

Making News - anchorman bites chicken during newscast
Stay a Little Longer - execution delayed when doctors refuse to perform
The Blob - mystery goo eating downtown Los Angeles

It is a beautiful day today. The sun is shining brightly, and there is only a gentle breeze. It is already 63 degrees at 9 AM.

I watched the Powerball winners being interviewed at a news conference. All eight workers from a meat processing plant have opted to take a lump sum payoff, which will net each winner $15.5 million after taxes.

Each winner was interviewed individually. For the most part, their responses to questions given them were flippant and somewhat snobbish. One winner commented that he could now afford to drink expensive wine all day, adding that he did not like water. Another winner said the first thing he intended to do was buy the convenience store where the winning ticket was purchased.

In every case, responses given were about what the winners intended to do with their new wealth to please themselves. Not a single winner indicated a desire to help others. How sad this is. Joyce Meyer's phrase, "What about me? What about me? What about me?" echoed in my mind while watching this news conference.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

All Aboard, No Class, -and- Fat Cat

All Aboard - Amtrak conductor helps passenger, gets fired
No Class - mother arrested for dropping 6-year-old daughter at school, on Saturday
Fat Cat - enormous domestic feline

It is considerably warmer today, in part because the wind that plagued us yesterday is gone (for now, at least). There was no ice on RAMMMMM's windshield this morning, and it was warmer by several degrees at 8 AM than it was yesterday at that time.

The client from last week called late yesterday afternoon to say that she had been unable to install the Internet account software I had provided her. I told her to bring her computer to my office this morning, and I would install the software for her. She shared with me that she was eager to get her Internet account activated so that she could use some Bible study resources that had been recommended to her. In case you did not see the previous post concerning this client, she was delivered from a life of drug abuse and crime when she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.

When she arrive, I quickly determined that her computer did not meet the requirements for Internet access. The hard drive was too small, there was insufficient memory, and the version of Windows, Windows 95, was incompatible with the Internet account software. I explained this to her, and tears filled her eyes. She said, "There's nothing I can do. This computer was given to me by my sister, and it's all I have, and I can't afford to buy anything." She was obviously embarrassed and looked away as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

I had a Windows 98 machine in the back room that had been left by a client who bought a new system from me. I said, "I have a computer that will work fine for you. Give me an hour to remove the previous owner's data from it, and you can have it." "But I have no way to pay for it," she said, tears once again filling her eyes. "That is wonderful," I said, "since I do not sell used equipment! I can certainly give it to you, however!"

Her tears of sadness became tears of joy.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Meet the Parents, Never Too Old, -and- I'll Wash, You Dry

Meet the Parents - wildlife group claims proof of Bigfoot colony
Never Too Old - 62-year-old woman gives birth
I'll Wash, You Dry - 7-year-old boy survives tumble-dry cycle

Friday's POSER:
Q: What is the name of the newspaper in Tibet?
A: The Daily Lama!

BRRRRR! I thought it was cold this morning as I walked to RAMMMMM. I had no idea that it was going to get MUCH colder: RAMMMMM's batteries were dead this morning, and I walked the five blocks to my office! It was bitterly cold, the wind was fierce, and I am still shivering!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ho Hum, Pain in the Neck, -and- Keep Out!

Ho Hum - sex workers call for boycott of "Grand Theft Auto"
Pain in the Neck - doctor admits implanting screwdriver in patient
Keep Out! - "stolen stuff" sign on door alerts sheriff deputies

POSER: (Answer will appear on Monday.)
Q: What is the name of the newspaper in Tibet?

It was one degree warmer here at my office at 8:30 AM than it was yesterday at that time. It is still cold, and there was frost on RAMMMMM's windshield again this morning, but the wind is gone, and there is NO SNOW. Once again, the weather people are in error. Of course, current forecasts have changed since yesterday, and the "experts" are now predicting that the snow will visit us tonight or early tomorrow. I will simply wait until tomorrow, look out the window, and forecast the weather myself!

I had a client come to my office this morning to sign up for Internet access. While explaining the service to her, she interrupted me to ask, "You don't remember me, do you?" I told her that I did not recall having met her previously. When she told me her name, I was shocked. While I had not seen her in approximately ten years, she did not resemble the woman I once knew. I did not ask her what had caused such a physical decline that I failed to recognize her, but she felt compelled to explain. Therewith followed a frightful tale. Once a beautiful young woman, the person I saw before me was anything but beautiful and looked very old and tired. She said that she had started using cocaine eight years ago. Her use quickly escalated, and she soon found herself fired from her nursing position. She turned to a life of crime, selling drugs in order to support her habit. She was eventually arrested, sent to a rehabilitation facility, and given probation. She got a job and did well for six months but reunited with some of her old druggie friends and was soon using and dealing again. She was arrested, her probation was revoked, and she was sentenced to eight years in prison. She was released a couple of weeks ago and is working as a waitress at a local restaurant. She said that while she was in prison she was led to Christ by a visiting missionary. She said that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior five years ago and through the power of the Holy Spirit found the strength to avoid drug use. While she has lost her beauty and her earthly possessions, she has certainly found something greater!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Ribbit!, Highway to Hell, -and- Queerly Beloved

Ribbit! - toxic toads down under
Highway to Hell - man in satanic Renault terror ordeal
Queerly Beloved - Idaho moves to ban gay marriage

BRRRRR! It is COLD this morning! There was ICE on RAMMMMM's windshield this morning! My office was 53 degrees at 8:30 AM--10 degrees lower than it was yesterday at the same time! Perhaps (unlikely though it may seem) the weather people are right, and their forecasting of snow for this weekend will be realized! Yikes! It has been nearly ten years since we had snow here. (It snowed a tiny bit about five years ago, but the snow barely covered the ground and was gone by mid morning.) Many people here have never driven in snow, and most of those who have lack the experience necessary to do it well. If it does snow, it will be a frightening time to be on the road here!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Homos on the Range, Hic!, -and- Drink Up!

Homos on the Range - Willie Nelson releases gay cowboy song
Hic! - snow-plough driver drunk
Drink Up! - toilet water cleaner than ice at fast-food restaurants

Laura and I had sushi and champagne for Valentine's Day dinner last evening, and it was delicious! Raley's had Cooks champagne on sale for $3.99 a bottle--a definite bargain--so Laura bought two bottles when she picked up the sushi she had ordered earlier. Hic!

You may notice that the visitor counter has been reset. My domain, which hosts the Web counter (California Technologies) was migrated to a new server yesterday, which resulted in the resetting of all Web counters. I am awaiting a response from Verio tech support to determine whether this situation can be remedied.

Shares in online gaming groups with the majority of their customers in the US plummeted yesterday. The market was spooked by a warning on a gambling Web site that the Republican Senator Bob Goodlatte was preparing to present a new "prohibition bill" to the House of Representatives next week.

Online gambling companies are not allowed to operate in the US and base themselves offshore, but the authorities have so far failed to stop Americans using the sites.

An estimated 8 million Americans logged on to gaming sites last year. Previous attempts to stamp out online gambling by Americans have failed, but sponsors of new bills are becoming more optimistic.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

No Poser, This Bird's For You, -and- Be My Valentine

No Poser - Playgirl model declines man-of-year offer
This Bird's For You - SWAT team storms house following obscene gesture
Be My Valentine - man ordered to woo jailed girlfriend

Yesterday afternoon, I managed to get a Bubble Breaker score of 1596. While this score is certainly well below my high score of 2018, it was an exciting game!

Laura and I are going to celebrate Valentine's Day at home this evening, dining upon sushi and champagne.

Click to enlarge

We watched a program on the National Geographic Channel last evening called
Extreme Sleepwalking. This program proposed the theory that sleepwalkers may commit murder while sleepwalking. Science, it seems, promotes this theory, but the law does not. The program focused on a man who is serving life in prison for the murder of his wife. Although a neighbor witnessed the murder and testified to that in court, the man claimed he had no recollection of the event. The man had a documented history of sleepwalking, and his defense was that he had been sleepwalking when he murdered his wife.

I know that sleepwalking is real. I once had a friend who was a sleepwalker. I do not, however, believe that a sleepwalker will perform an act while sleepwalking that he would not perform while awake. I do not believe that sleepwalking is a valid defense. The "sleepwalking defense" is strongly supported by liberal psychologists. Courts, for the most part, strongly oppose the concept, and successful sleepwalking defenses are very rare indeed.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Johnny Mnemonic, How Sweet It Is, -and- Bus Stop

Johnny Mnemonic - company implants chips in employees
How Sweet It Is - boy charged with felony for bringing sugar to school
Bus Stop - transit driver tosses woman into traffic

Q: Where do orphaned chickens go?
A: Foster Farms!

The Boy Scouts of America will square off against the American Civil Liberties Union on Valentine's Day in the courthouse of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

At issue is the Boy Scouts' stewardship of property belonging to the City of San Diego. The Scouts operate and maintain Camp Balboa and the San Diego Youth Aquatic Center at their own expense. Both facilities are open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The case comes to the Ninth Circuit from U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones, a Clinton-appointed ACLU activist. In suing the City of San Diego and the Boy Scouts, the ACLU represented an agnostic couple and an atheist couple who were offended by the Boy Scouts' stewardship of city property.

Jones determined that the Boy Scouts are a "religious organization" because they affirm a "duty to God" in the Scout Oath. He therefore decided that it is a violation of the First Amendment for the Boy Scouts to have a partnership with the City of San Diego. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts are private and have the right to make their own determination about who can and cannot be a member.

The Boy Scouts of America is a fine organization that affords youth a much-needed moral structuring--a wonderful alternative to gangs, drugs, and crime. The opposition to the Boy Scouts by the ACLU is yet another example of the ultra-liberal agenda upon which that organization is predicated.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Thin Lizzie, Mack the Knife, -and- Wake Up Little Susie

Thin Lizzie 37-pound mother gives birth to healthy baby
Mack the Knife - UK launches amnesty to reduce stabbings
Wake Up Little Susie - woman told she is not dead after all

Here is the poser for this weekend: (I will post the answer on Monday.)
Q. Where do orphaned chickens go?

We are nearing the weekend, and the weather is still beautiful! It was 63 degrees at 8:30 AM, the sun is shining brightly, there is only a gentle breeze, and it appears that this glorious weather will continue through the weekend!

Convicted sex predators in Illinois would have to wear a tracking device for 40 years after being released from prison under a bill advanced Wednesday by House committee. The proposal would enable the Department of Corrections to pinpoint at all times the locations of the state's sex predators. The House Criminal Law Committee voted unanimously to advance the bill to the full House.

If enacted, sex predators would wear ankle collars that use the global positioning system (GPS), enabling real-time monitoring. The ACLU has expressed opposition to the bill, saying that such a law would violate the offenders' privacy rights. Once again, the ACLU takes the position that the "rights" of the offender are of greater importance than the rights of the victim and that the safety of the public is secondary.

The ACLU is the most dangerous organization in the U.S. today. Its agenda is representative of the general moral decay extant in this country. The ACLU should be abolished

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Smell That Smell, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, -and- Just Say "Nyet"

Smell That Smell - teenager busted for drinking because of breath
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold - CIA employee charged with burglaries
Just Say "Nyet" - Russia running low on vodka

I love it when the weatherperson forecasts rain and is wrong! It is beautiful yet again today. The rain that was predicted is nowhere to be seen. It was 64 degrees at 8:30 AM, and it should soon be in the 70s.

I watched "Iron Chef" last evening. The theme ingredient was black pig, a rare and expensive breed of porcine beast. Provided with a wide variety of premium cuts of this precious creature, the challenger chose ears for one of his dishes, and the iron chef chose feet for one of his! While I have no doubt whatever that these world-class chefs managed to make the ears and feet taste delicious, I could not keep myself from asking, "Why?" The iron chef won the competition. Presumably, feet are tastier than ears.

While not as exotic as the feet and ears of black pig, I had a delicious treat last evening: Laura brought me two large slices of Sierra Nevada pizza--remnants from her lunch. It was excellent, and--while I have no empirical frame of reference--I prefer it to the ears and feet of black pig.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Homo on the Range, Cops Gone Wild, -and- Open Wide

Homo on the Range - Brokeback Mountain inspires humor
Cops Gone Wild - cheating deputies to be suspended
Open Wide - villagers pull hunter from mouth of crocodile

What a beautiful day this is! Every day is beautiful, of course, but today is particularly beautiful. It was 64 degrees when I arrived here at 8:30 AM, and it is predicted to be in the high 70s this afternoon. Pig will roast on the grill tonight!

This morning, an acquaintance asked me whether I had seen "Brokeback Mountain." I told her that my time was much too valuable to waste it viewing such trash. She asked me how I could call a movie that has received such critical acclaim "trash."

I said, "I am reminded of what Katherine Hepburn said about 'Midnight Cowboy,' another over-hyped movie with a gay theme: 'If the movie had been about a boy and a girl, instead of two boys, everybody would have realized it was a stinker!'"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Life Imitates Art, Cop Gone Wild, -and- The Fats of Life

Life Imitates Art - experts blame CSI for educating criminals
Cop Gone Wild - deputy uses dashboard camera to record bikini-clad women
The Fats of Life - new potato has half the calories

New Bubble Breaker High Score: 2018 !!! I was playing Bubble Breaker yesterday afternoon, as I often do near the end of the business day. I find it a pleasant way to relax. It was a game like any other game of Bubble Breaker. Bubbles broke and disappeared, new bubbles appeared, bubbles shifted, etc. My score reached 1326. I became feverish, anticipating the possibility of passing my high score of 1396. Suddenly, I had done it! With a score of 1466 and several bubbles remaining, I made it my goal to reach 1500. Suddenly, I had done it! I set a new goal of 1600, then 1700, then 1800, then 1900. I was feverish, my brow was moist, my pulse was rapid and irregular, my breathing was labored, my vision was blurred, and I found it increasingly difficult to clutch the stylus firmly--nearly dropping it several times. I heard a brief fanfare and realized that the game had ended. As my vision cleared, I gazed in wonder at my score: 2018!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Picture This, The Outside Scoop, -and- Walk the Line

Picture This - teens photographed assault with cell phone
The Outside Scoop - dog doo in public means lifetime ban
Walk the Line - man offers cocaine to cop in squad car

Laura and I saw the last two minutes of the Super Bowl. Following church service at Harvest Christian Center, we did our weekly shopping. At 2 PM, we lounged in front of the television--frosty beverages in hand, a variety of cheeses, crackers, and other snack items arrayed before us--prepared for the Super Bowl.

Noting that it was an hour before the game would begin, I suggested that we watch an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Laura agreed, and I inserted a DVD containing the last episodes of Season One. Although it was very near game time when this episode ended, Laura suggested we watch "just one more" and scurried off to the kitchen to replenish our snack supply. We watched another episode. Laura then said she wanted to watch War of the Worlds, and I agreed. When the movie ended, we were in time to watch the last two minutes of the Super Bowl!

Australia is suffering a bed-bug epidemic. The tourism industry is losing an estimated $75 million a year because of the blood-sucking insects. Pest controllers have reported more than a 1,000 percent rise in bed-bug outbreaks.

I suppose one might say that bed bugs are taking a bite out of Australian tourism!

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Best Of the Super Bowl, Boys Will Be Girls, -and- Dude Where's My Dog?

The Best Of the Super Bowl - skip the game and watch the commercials online
Boys Will Be Girls - James Bond director arrested in drag during prostitution sting
Dude, Where's My Dog? - giant owl with taste for dogs caught

The storm that was anticipated last night did not appear! It is a beautiful day, sunny and warm (62 degrees at 8:30 AM). It appears that we will enjoy excellent grilling weather this weekend! We enjoyed a yummy spinach salad last evening, and Laura scurried off to work this morning with the leftovers in tow. Tonight, we shall take a respite from our usual Friday night pizza and enjoy some sautéed tilapia and blanched, chilled broccoli. Tomorrow night, we shall have surf and turf: Grilled ahi and filet mignon!

We watched a very disturbing documentary on the Discovery Times Channel last evening. It concerned illegal trafficking in exotic animals. Hidden cameras accompanied teams of undercover personnel posing as buyers. Several traffickers were arrested. The abuse to the animals and birds that they offered for sale was difficult to watch: Birds had their eyes sewn shut, animals were stuffed into crude wooden crates disguised as luggage, animals intended to be sold as children's pets had their teeth broken off with pliers to prevent biting, etc., etc.

I can think of no punishment that would be unreasonable for those who traffic in exotic birds and animals!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dude Where's My Weed?, Car Lust, -and- It's Back!

Dude, Where's My Weed? - man reports stolen marijuana to police
Car Lust - pastor sentenced for selling church to buy BMW
It's Back! - lost wallet returned after 39 years

I was awakened this morning at approximately 6:45 AM by the sounds of screaming, profanity, and slammed doors. The disturbance came from the neighboring house. The noise level was sufficient to cause our kitties to cower in fear, huddled together at the foot of our bed. It was also apparently loud enough that another neighbor called the police, since within a few minutes of the disturbance two Corning Police vehicles cruised the area, spotlights trained on the house from which the disturbance had issued. One of the police cars continued to cruise the area while the second car came to rest behind the neighbor's vehicle. A Corning Police officer exited this car, flashlight probing the area, and walked to the neighbor's house.

You now know all that I know. If I learn more, I shall report it here.

Perhaps the event will appear on an upcoming episode of "Cops."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Boom!, Slap!, -and- Bang!

Boom! - bomb squad detonates harmless wad of paper
Slap! - pregnant woman to induce labor so she can enjoy Super Bowl
Bang! - dumb thieves steal dummy rifles

A storm came, and departed, during the night. Apparently, it rained a great deal. If there must be rain, it is certainly best that it comes during the night!

Laura felt unwell yesterday and stayed home. We had intended to have spinach salad last evening, but we had turkey soup (part of our cache from the freezer, made last Thanksgiving) instead, and the soup, and my prayers, set her on the road to recovery. This morning, she felt much better and returned to work. We shall have spinach salad tonight. It shall consist of baby spinach, asparagus, crumbled bacon, red onion, Jalapeño peppers, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, and Roma tomatoes.

A man ogling pornography while driving Friday on state Route 840 in Tennessee was arrested for allegedly forcing other motorists off the highway. David Kennedy, 33, was charged with felony reckless endangerment. This is an excellent example of the addictive, destructive nature of pornography.