Friday, June 30, 2006

Planned Un-parenthood, Queerly Beloved, -and- What a Dog!

Planned Un-parenthood - anti-abortionists decry Buffet-Gates alliance
Queerly Beloved - Arkansas court backs homosexual foster parents
What a Dog! - world's ugliest pooch copes with fame

On this day in history: June 30, 1908

A huge airburst explodes over Podkamennaya Tunguska at 7:30 am. The blast flattens thousands of square miles of trees, and is now believed to have been caused by an asteroid or comet impact.

Yesterday morning, a Corning man found a pair of baby cougars in his yard on Woodson Avenue. A dog had killed one of the cougars, but the other cat is well. Steve Gautier discovered the animals and is keeping the surviving cougar safe in his yard until either its mother comes back or Fish and Game officers pick it up. The cougar is not a violent animal at this age, but when fully grown, a cougar can weigh more than 100 pounds and can be vicious.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Inked, To Serve and Protect, -and- Don't Forget to Brush

Inked - superbug outbreaks linked to unlicensed tattooing
To Serve and Protect - underpaid cops pawn weapons for cash
Don't Forget to Brush - new tool can re-grow teeth

On this day in history: June 29, 1971

When Soyuz 11 disengages from the Salyut space station, cosmonauts Georgi Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov, and Viktor Patsayev are killed by a faulty pressurization valve. All the oxygen leaks out of the Soyuz cabin before Patsayev can close the valve by hand, and the crew is asphyxiated.

The sky is clear and blue today, following several overcast, humid days. The sun is shining brightly, and the birds are singing.

There was a pot raid here earlier this week, in a residential area within the city limits. Over 100 plants were found growing indoors. Also seized in the raid were 12 pistols, 15 rifles, and 6 shotguns. A husband and wife were arrested in the raid.

Visitor Chris took this photograph at Reed Lake, Michigan, recently. Be certain to read the sign carefully. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Girls Gone Wild, Hal?, -and- The Final Frontier

Girls Gone Wild - teenagers rob man they met on MySpace
Hal? - computers set to read our minds
The Final Frontier - NASA engineer quits 5 days before launch

On this day in history: June 28, 1997

Mike Tyson is disqualified from a championship boxing bout after biting off a large portion of Evander Holyfield's ear. Tyson is later banned from boxing and fined $3 million for the incident.

The Dell laptop seen bursting into flames in the news was being examined as part of the company's probe of the incident, Dell said on Tuesday.

"We have captured the notebook and have begun investigating the event," Dell spokeswoman Anne Camden said, confirming the computer was made by Dell but declining to specify the model. No one was hurt in the incident.

The report of an exploding laptop at a conference in Osaka, Japan, accompanied by digital photos, was first published on technology industry news Web site The Inquirer last week.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

True Colors, Fish Story, -and- Tall Tales

True Colors - hue-changing snake discovered in Borneo
Fish Story - piranha caught in North Dakota reservoir
Tall Tales - 10 financial urban legends

On this day in history: June 27, 2001

Police arrest comedienne Paula Poundstone in Malibu, California on charges of lewd conduct with a minor. Poundstone's pending criminal trial remains front page news for the next three months, until it is overshadowed by the World Trade Center attacks in September. Soon thereafter, she pleads guilty to a lesser charge, and the details of her indictment are never disclosed to the public.

It was a mere 102 degrees here yesterday--down from 117 degrees on Sunday--but the humidity was over 30 percent, making yesterday seem considerably hotter. Today is forecast to be 94 degrees with low humidity. We shall see. It was 82 degrees when I arrived at my office at 8:30 AM this morning!

A friend's dog had puppies recently. What happened? Click to enlarge.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Call Me, Man Not Beast, -and- Bad Grades

Call Me - cell phone signals excite brain
Man Not Beast - beach-monster mystery solved
Bad Grades - student kills family to hide failure

On this day in history: June 26, 1945

The United Nations Charter is signed at San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, paving the world for the New World Order.

Cadbury-Schweppes Plc, which is recalling chocolate that may contain salmonella, said it didn't try to hide the contamination, after the U.K. Food Standards Agency said it will investigate why it took so long to report.

Cadbury informed the FSA of the contamination on June 19, five months after it first detected salmonella in its products, and said on June 23 it was withdrawing seven varieties of chocolate in the U.K.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Cats!, Smile for the Camera, -and- Inked

Cats! - "house of filth" to be razed after pet hoarder cited
Smile for the Camera - stalker hides under woman's bed for 2 days
Inked - tattoo customers in 3 states get infections

On this day in history: June 23, 1996

A story by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward in the Washington Post reveals to the world that First Lady Hillary Clinton employed psychic Jean Houston to help her get in touch with her inner "Eleanor Roosevelt."

Sunday is my birthday anniversary and our wedding anniversary. It will be the hottest day of the year. I am relatively certain the temperature--forecast to be 113 degrees--is not a consequence of these anniversaries.

Here is a photograph of me and Jeff (Admiral), taken in 1988, following the acquisition of a trophy for the stereo system in Jeff's Blazer. The stereo system was the result of our joint efforts. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Hotel AOL, Keep Your Pants On, -and- Just Say No

Hotel AOL - man's frustrating attempt to cancel account
Keep Your Pants On - it's hard to run away in falling trousers
Just Say No - nude worm tempts World Cup fans

On this day in history: June 22, 1993

Dr. Charles Epstein of Tiburon, CA, is injured when he opens a padded manila package containing a surprise gift from the Unabomber.

The high temperature here yesterday was 101 degrees. It is forecast to be 103 today and progressively rise to a high of 112 degrees on Sunday. It was 79 degrees when I arrived at my office at 8:20 AM this morning.

Last evening, I made Cajun black beans and rice with chicken. It was most tasty. I sautéed sliced white onion and minced garlic in La Conda Ranch extra-virgin olive oil, added sliced Jalapeños, sliced red bell pepper, diced cluster tomatoes, sliced celery, shredded chicken breast (previously grilled), and Cajun seasoning. I simmered this for 90 minutes, added a can of S&W black beans, simmered another 30 minutes, added cooked rice, simmered another 10 minutes, and served. Laura scurried off to work this morning with the leftovers in tow for her lunch.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Here's the Beef, Scram!, -and- Diamond in the Rough

Here's the Beef - Florida restaurant sells $100 hamburger
Scram! - plans new rules to thwart predators
Diamond in the Rough - man finds tossed 3.5-carat ring at dump

On this day in history: June 21, 1982

Using an innovative Jodie Foster defense, John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

HAPPY SUMMER! Summer begins today. The forecast is 103 degree for Corning today. It was already 79 degrees when I arrived at my office at 8:15 AM. It is predicted to be even hotter this weekend. It seems only a short while ago that I was bemoaning the cold, wet weather! While hot weather can certainly produce discomfort, I much prefer it to cold weather.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Unsafe at Any Speed, Don't Shoot!, -and- Scram!

Unsafe at Any Speed - 14-year-old girl sues for $30 million
Don't Shoot! - filming stopped by SWAT team
Scram! - new law would oust all sex offenders from county

On this day in history: June 20, 1893

Lizzie Borden is found innocent of giving her stepmother and father forty and forty-one whacks, respectively.

I was watching news coverage of the fires in Arizona this morning. A client entered my office, watched for a moment, and said, "What a shame. It's a good thing nobody lives there." "500 residences were evacuated," I said. "No, that was in Texas," she replied. "Texas suffered flash floods," I replied. "Arizona would welcome some of the rain that fell on Texas." "No," she said, "the flooding was in New Orleans, and everything's okay now." "Excuse me," I said, in an attempt to change the subject. "Is there something I can do for you other than marvel at your incredibly poor knowledge of current events?" "Well, you signed me up with Snowcrest for my Internet," she said. "And?" I replied. "Well, everything worked fine for a long time, and then we saw an ad on TV for Netscape, and it was a lot cheaper, so we signed up for Netscape and called Snowcrest and canceled with them." "And?" I asked. "Now I don't get my email anymore." "Did you give your contacts your new email address?" I asked. "I don't have a new email address," she replied. "Well, there you have it," I said. "Your contacts have nowhere to send your email." Her brow furrowed, and she sighed loudly. "Isn't there anything I can do?" she asked. "You could give your contacts the email address provided you by Netscape." "What is is?" she asked. "You must call Netscape and ask them." "Okay," she said. "Do you have their number?" "No," I said. "Just use the same number you used when you called them and initiated service." "I don't have it," she replied. "I called them when I saw the TV ad and didn't write it down." "Ah," I said. "Watch carefully for the Netscape television advertisement, keep pen and paper at hand, and when the advertisement airs, be certain to write down the number." "Thank you," she said, as she scurried away.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Mommy Dearest, Croakey Crikey, -and- Slow Down!

Mommy Dearest - daughter discovers birth mother is co-worker
Croakey Crikey - army called to face toad invasion in Australia
Slow Down! - man moves speed-limit sign to avoid ticket

Last weekend was relatively uneventful. Friday evening, Laura had nursery duties at Harvest Christian Center. We had a salad of spring mix greens, cucumbers, Jalapeños, white mushrooms, radishes, slivered almonds, red onion, cluster tomatoes, and grilled chicken breast.

Saturday was spent lounging and watching a "King of the Hill" marathon.

Sunday, my mother and one of my brothers (visiting from Southern California) came to dinner. I made a pasta salad with tri-color rotini, red onion, hard-boiled eggs, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, red bell pepper, fresh dill, celery, pear tomatoes, and 62 large gulf shrimp. Laura dressed the salad with mayonnaise, ranch dressing, wasabi powder, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and various herbs and spices. We also had toasted garlic bread.

Portable media player maker Creative Technology has said that US authorities will look at whether Apple's rival iPod player infringes one of its patents. Creative has asked the ITC to issue an order stopping Apple from marketing, selling or importing iPods into the US. It claims the iPod infringes its patent for a music player navigation menu. On Wednesday, Creative filed a complaint alleging that iPods infringe on its patent for software it uses to organize and access music on its Nomad and Zen-branded media players.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Room With a View, Concrete Evidence, -and- Hic!

Room With a View - Brooklyn man puts tree house up for rent
Concrete Evidence - man makes casts of purported Bigfoot prints
Hic! - man facing 13th DUI shows up in court drunk

On this day in history: June 16, 1999

The founder of the United Kingdom's Monster Raving Loony Party, one Screaming Lord Sutch (real name David Edward Sutch, 3rd Earl of Harrow), is found hanged at his late mother's residence. Sutch was the longest lasting party leader in the UK at the time of his death, ruled a suicide. One of the Loony Party planks was to ask rhetorically, "Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?"

The weather is beautiful again today. It was 75 degrees when I arrived at my office at 8 AM. The prospect of great weather for the weekend is excellent.

I awakened yesterday morning with a Charles equine in my right calf. It is sore yet. I took an extra dosage of potassium and prayed healing over it. I shall spend some time with Lucinda (our Reebok recumbent cycle) when I arrive home this afternoon.

I received an email complaint this morning concerning my Corning Olive Festival Web site. The author complained that the photographs there were not current. I politely explained that, while my camera--a Nikon D1 digital SLR--is very technologically advanced, it is incapable of taking photographs of events that have not yet taken place. Since the event is scheduled to take place in August, it is highly unlikely that anyone has photographs of it, I concluded.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Music to Go, Going to Pot, -and- Paradise Lost

Music to Go - iPod/toilet paper dispenser introduced
Going to Pot - bragger busted for marijuana cultivation
Paradise Lost - Aruba fudging tourism number

On this date in history: June 15 1999

Nicholas Vitalich is arrested outside a supermarket in San Diego, California for slapping his girlfriend upside the head with a large tuna. Vitalich is booked for assault with a deadly weapon, namely the fish.

Apple is investigating a newspaper report that staff in some of its Chinese iPod factories work long hours for low pay and in "slave" conditions. The article in the Mail on Sunday alleged that workers received as little as $50 a month, doing 15-hour shifts making the mp3 player.

Employees at the factory lived in dormitories housing 100 people and outsiders were banned, the paper said. Apple said it did not tolerate its supplier code of conduct being broken. In a statement the firm said: "Apple is committed to ensuring that working conditions in our supply chain are safe, workers are treated with respect and dignity, and manufacturing processes are environmentally responsible."

The company added it was "currently investigating the allegations regarding working conditions in the iPod manufacturing plant in China."

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Scratch!, Tax Dollars at Work, -and- I Hurt Myself Today

Scratch! - head lice are becoming indestructible
Tax Dollars at Work - FEMA funds spent on divorce, sex change
I Hurt Myself Today - Michael Jackson's "police brutality" wounds self-inflicted

We had planned to grill teriyaki chicken breasts, zucchini, red bell peppers, and white mushrooms last evening. Unfortunately, it rained! Fortunately, Laura had lunch at the Raw Bar with a co-worker and ate so much sushi that she was not hungry. She brought me a delightful array of sushi that was left over from her lunch, and I devoured it with great enthusiasm. It was a delicious treat!

Today, the sun is shining brightly, it is warm, and the birds are singing. Tonight, we shall grill!

We will have our company picnic this Saturday. Due to liability issues, we can have beer but will be limited to one drink per person.

I am in charge of the cups. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Short People, Rated S for Stupid, -and- Happy Birthday

Short People 7-inch baby born in Britain
Rated S for Stupid - scientists laugh at Al Gore's movie
Happy Birthday - man celebrates 100th with wife of 75 years

On this day in history: Jun 13 1920

The United States Postal Service rules that children may not be sent via Parcel Post.

Apple's iPods are made by mainly female workers who earn as little as $50 per month, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday. The report, "iPod City," offers photographs taken from inside the factories that make Apple music players, situated in China and owned by Foxconn.

The Mail visited some of these factories and spoke with staff there. It reports that Foxconn's Longhua plant houses 200,000 workers, remarking: "This iPod City has a population bigger than Newcastle's."

The report claims Longhua's workers live in dormitories that house 100 people, and visitors from the outside world are not permitted. Workers toil for 15 hours a day to make the music player. They earn $50 per month.

Another factory in Suzhou, Shanghai, houses workers outside the plant, and they earn $100 per month, but they must pay for their accommodation and food, which takes up half their salaries.

One must always be cautious where one goes!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fish Story, Hoodwinked, -and- Are You Nuts?

Fish Story - new shark discovered in US waters
Hoodwinked - KKK stages rally on Civil War Battlefield
Are You Nuts? - judge orders Alec Baldwin to see psychologist

Liberals are a frightening breed. While pronouncing themselves to be "non-religious," modern-day "liberals" are zealots of their own crude, primitive, and barbaric faith. As Ann Coulter puts it: "Liberalism is a comprehensive belief system denying the Christian belief in man's immortal soul. Their religion holds that there is nothing sacred about human consciousness. It's just an accident no more significant than our possession of opposable thumbs. They deny what we know about ourselves: that we are moral beings in God's image. Without this fundamental understanding of man's place in the world, we risk being lured into misguided pursuits, including bestiality, slavery and PETA membership. Liberals swoon in pagan admiration of Mother Earth, mystified and overawed by her power. They deny the biblical idea of dominion and progress, the most ringing affirmation of which is the United States of America."

On this day in history: Jun 12 1994

Nicole Brown Simpson and her male friend Ronald Goldman are savagely murdered in front of Simpson's condominium complex in Brentwood, California. The most plausible suspect turns out to be Nicole's estranged husband O.J., who is arrested for the crime a month later. O.J. Simpson is later found not guilty in a criminal trial and responsible in a civil trial.

An old friend of mine received some shocking news at the doctor's this morning. Click to enlarge.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Gone Bananas, Grab Your Board, -and- Queerly Beloved

Gone Bananas - monkey business stirs up neighborhood
Grab Your Board - woman windsurfs solo across Indian Ocean
Queerly Beloved - sailor talks about lesbian lover, loses job

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday He must really be a nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.

As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives." He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!" There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said, "Yes." We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books every day!" He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. "Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends... I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give him. I am going to tell you a story."

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. "Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile.

Not until that moment did I realize its depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse.

God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Cluck Cluck, Fighting Back, -and- Just Say No

Cluck Cluck - Dixie Chicks tour struggling
Fighting Back - 81-year-old store owner shoots would-be robbers
Just Say No - Vietnamese officials faulted for not singing karaoke

Our cats have no front claws. They are indoor cats. My cat, Zeus, is an "escape artist." Whenever a door is opened, he scurries to escape to the great outdoors. He does not go far, content to loll on the front steps or nibble at grass a few feet from the doorway. He is unaware of the dangers that lurk outdoors and views my capture of him and his subsequent return to the safety of the house as an inconvenience. Laura's cat, Thor, is considerably less focused upon escape. He will eventually venture outdoors if the door is open sufficiently long, but generally he poses no escape threat.

Violence is everywhere these days. While opening my office this morning, mine eyes fell to this tragic scene of assaulted peanut! Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Homos on the Range, Time Off, -and- Big Head

Homos on the Range - Macy's yanks gay display
Time Off - teacher seeks leave to serve prison time
Big Head - third-grader grows 15-pound cabbage

On this day in history - Jun 7 1982

In an effort to defray its $500,000 annual upkeep costs, Priscilla Presley opens Graceland to the public only five years after Elvis died in an upstairs bathroom. The bathroom is kept off-limits to tourists.

I stopped at the clinic this morning on the way to the office, and whom should I encounter there but Doctor Pepper! Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Pro Life, Bang!, -and- Wait Here

Pro Life - LA governor to sign strict anti-abortion bill
Bang! - Nevada woman shot while stealing gas
Wait Here - mother abandons 4-year-old at birthday party

Most Syrians struggle to even read Arabic - much less have a clue about English. So, how does a group of Syrian protest leaders create the most impact with their signs by having the standard "Death To Americans" slogans printed in English?

Answer: They simply hire an English-speaking civilian to translate and write their statements in English.

Unfortunately, they were unaware the "civilian" insurance company employee hired for the job was a retired US Army sergeant. Obviously, pictures of the protest rally never made their way through the Arab TV network, but the results were "Priceless."
Click to enlarge.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Munchies, The Wrong Moves, -and- Tardy

Munchies - student suspended for eating staff member's cookie
The Wrong Moves - 17-year-old tries to stop train with kung fu
Tardy - class VP arrested for being late for graduation

The weekend was sunny and very warm, despite forecasts of clouds and showers. We played eight games of Trivial Pursuit and ended in a tie. We were weary and could play no more, so the tie remained unbroken.

We watched "Venom" (a typical teen slasher movie that was somewhat entertaining but very predictable) and "Conviction" (a movie based on the true experiences of a man who is delivered from a life of crime). I recommend "Conviction," despite foul language and violence, because of the message it sends and the illustration of the power of moral conviction.

We did little other than relax over the weekend and--despite the lovely weather--did no grilling until last evening. Laura grilled a giant London broil, to which she had applied a spicy dry rub, along with red onion, Jalapeños, red bell pepper, and white mushrooms. It was a delicious meal.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Dosing the Dew, Holdup 101, -and- Enter Password

Dosing the Dew - teenage understudy put Clorox in lead actress's soda
Holdup 101 - would-be robber asks bank how to do it
Enter Password - extortion-virus code cracked

The weatherpeople were not completely wrong yesterday: A very, very light rain fell for a few seconds yesterday afternoon. Today, the sky looks ominous--filled with dark clouds! Yikes! It is June; it should be warm and sunny, and the birds should be singing!

Van Morrison singing, "She's as sweet as Tupelo honey..." echoed in my mind as I watched a program on the Discovery Channel. The program was a documentary on honey. I enjoy honey a good deal and found the program entertaining and informative. While discussing various types of honey, the definitive characteristic of Tupelo honey was said to be that it is "...not as sweet..." as other honey! Was Van Morrison simply ignorant of the true nature of Tupelo honey, or was he trying to tell us something about his "angel"? I wonder.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Uncivil Liberty, Dirty Bird, -and- Sure

Uncivil Liberty - ACLU sues over sex-offender ban
Dirty Bird - cussing parrot sentenced to death
Sure - teenage boy blows up house with deodorant

The weather is beautiful again today. It was 72 degrees when I arrived at the office at 8 AM. The weather forecasts that showed rain today appear to have been incorrect!

I was hungry this morning. I do not generally eat breakfast, but this morning I was so hungry I felt the need for a good, hearty breakfast. Apparently, my meal was undercooked, since it made an escape attempt! Click to enlarge.