Friday, August 31, 2007

Along Came a Spider, Brave New Schools, -and- Et Tu?

Along Came a Spider - giant web envelops Texas park
Brave New Schools - witches in, bibles out
Et Tu? - actor playing Brutus stabs himself

On this day in history: August 31, 1888 - Jack the Ripper kills his first known victim, prostitute Mary Ann Nichols, slitting her throat from ear to ear.

Born on this day in history: August 31, 1935 - Frank Robinson (1935 - ____) baseball player, manager He was Rookie of the Year, 1956; first Black manager of a major league team; only player to be voted MVP in both National and American Leagues.

Scripture of the Day: “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice,” (Psalm 95:6-7)

Video of the Day: World’s Highest Bridge - submitted by Laura

I took this photograph several years ago. I just encountered it while browsing some photographs and wished to share it. Click to enlarge.

I wish everyone a very happy and safe Labor Day! There will be no blog entry on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Crash!, This Land Was Your Land, -and- You're Not It

Crash! - DUI driver flees with body in window
This Land Was Your Land - man gets 6 months in jail for building fence
You're Not It - Colorado school bans tag

On this day in history: August 30, 1859 - At the University of Göttingen, PhD candidate Albert Niemann isolates the alkaloid C17H21NO4 from leaves of the plant Erythroxylum coca. Niemann names his white, powdery discovery "cocaine" and observes firsthand its peculiarly strong anesthetic effect: "it benumbs the nerves of the tongue, depriving it of feeling and taste."

Born on this day in history: August 30, 1918 - Ted Williams (1918 - 2002) baseball player "The Thumper" was the last baseball player to bat over .400; had .344 lifetime batting average; Hall of Fame, 1966.

Scripture of the Day: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,” (Ephesians 2:19)

Video of the Day: World's Tallest Man Meets the Smallest

I went shopping at Sav-Mor Foods (conveniently, a mere block from our house) yesterday at 3:30 PM, following my departure from my office. (Since I arrive at my office by 7:30 AM each morning, I generally leave at 3:30 PM.) It was 107 degrees. I took my purchases to Mr. Nitro, unloaded them into him, and returned my shopping cart to the storage area. I noticed the numerous shopping carts abandoned throughout the parking lot by unthinking, uncaring, un-Christian miscreants and was reminded of Joyce Meyer's admonition that we should always return shopping carts. I have always done so, but Joyce's directive always comes to mind whenever I see that others do not do similarly.

As I walked back to Mr. Nitro, I saw a tiny, frail woman of perhaps 90 or more, obviously struggling in the extreme heat, returning her shopping cart. I took it from her and said, "I shall return this for you." "Thank you," she said, "and God bless you!" I replied, "You are certainly welcome, and may God bless you, as well!" Common decency and human kindness seem such simple matters, yet they are eschewed by so many. This is unfortunate, certainly.

Last Evening's Dinner: I sautéed julienned white onion and minced garlic in extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. When the onion was translucent and caramelized, I added sliced white mushrooms, ground turkey breast, ground black pepper, ground cumin, Italian seasoning, and ground Cayenne pepper. I sautéed this, stirring often, until the turkey was cooked. I diced eight large tomatoes (beautiful, delicious, home-grown tomatoes from Corey's garden) and added them to the sauté pan. When Laura arrived home, she tended to the pan, stirring and blending the ingredients and flavors. I cooked a package of Barilla fettuccine for 9 minutes. (The package recommends 12 minutes, but I find that 9 minutes produces superior, al dente results.) I drained the fettuccine and added it to the sauce. Laura stirred it, and I took it to the table. I broiled some garlic bread that Laura had prepared. At the table, we added fresh grated Parmesan cheese and crushed red peppers. It was a delightful meal.

A quantity of leftovers followed Laura to Chico this morning for her lunch, and there still remains sufficient leftovers for another fine meal.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bad Parenting, Stupid Criminals, -and- Arf!

Bad Parenting - Tampa man gives steroids to skating son
Stupid Criminals - man robs bank in company-issued vest
Arf! - Leona Helmsley leaves $12 million to dog

On this day in history: August 29, 1904 - David Hyrum Smith, son of Mormon founder Joseph Smith, dies in an insane asylum after 27 years of lunacy. His father in 1844 had predicted that his unborn son would be named David and that he would be "President and King of Israel". At least he got the name right.

Born on this day in history: August 29, 1920 - Charlie Parker (1920 - 1955) musician. "Yardbird" was a legendary jazz saxophonist and co-creator of "bebop."

Scripture of the Day: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Video of the Day: Toast - submitted by Darin

For dinner last evening, we had roast beef sandwiches and leftover pasta salad. Laura sautéed sliced white onion in extra-virgin olive oil until translucent and caramelized, added deli shaved roast beef and sautéed until slightly crispy, and placed sliced Monterey jack cheese atop this. She toasted 9-grain bread slices. When the cheese was melted, Laura divided the beef, onion, and cheese and placed atop a toast slice. We added garden tomato (a gift from my friend and business neighbor, Corey) slices and condiments (spicy brown mustard for Laura and spicy brown mustard and wasabi paste for me) and enjoyed a delightful meal.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Road Rage, Firestopper, -and- Home Improvements

Road Rage - motorist attacks speed-camera operator
Firestopper - 9-year-old girl saves 34 from fire
Home Improvement - man gets jail time for property fixes

On this day in history: August 28, 2005 - Death Row Records founder Suge Knight is shot in the leg during an early morning party in Miami Beach, Florida.

Born on this day in history: August 28, 1828 - Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) novelist, philosopher. He is known as one of the world's greatest novelists; wrote "War and Peace," 1865-69 and "Resurrection," 1899.

Scripture of the Day: “Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)

Video of the Day: Chuck Norris Mountain Dew Commercial - submitted by Laura

[While I slept] A knocking at the door roused me from my attention to a crossword puzzle I was completing online. I rose and walked to the door. A beautiful, young lady stood there. “Hello,” she said, “I am Rosanne, and this is my daughter, Lucy. We have fresh tamales for sale. Would you like some fresh tamales?” “One moment, please,” I replied. I called Laura at her office and asked her whether she desired some fresh tamales for dinner. She said that sounded wonderful. “Come in, please,” I said to Rosanne and her lovely daughter. They entered the house, and I asked them to be seated, pointing to the sofa. They sat, and my cat, Zeus, appeared, walked to Lucy, and began rubbing against her legs. “Hi, kitty,” Lucy said. She appeared to be approximately 10 years of age. “What’s your name?” To my great surprise, Zeus answered! “My name is Zeus. But you can call me ‘Triple Digit,’ ‘cause I’m hawt!” “I’ll call you ‘Triple D’ for short,” Lucy said, and she began petting Zeus.

[While I was awake]
I used the Mr. Clean Pro-Series AutoDry Car Wash System this morning for the first time, and I am amazed by the results! I washed my Dodge Nitro R/T and Laura's Toyota Yaris. The cars dried absolutely without spots. They look cleaner and shinier than they ever have following previous washes. The Nitro was in the shade, but the Yaris was mostly in the sun and still dried completely spot-free.

The Pro-Series kit comes with a wash mitt, a wheel scrubber, a filter, soap, the sprayer unit, and quick-attach/detach connector.

First, the vehicle is sprayed with water. Next, the sprayer is turned to the soap setting, and the vehicle is covered with soap. The mitt is used to wipe the vehicle, ensuring all dirt and scum is removed. The sprayer is turned to the rinse setting, and the soap is rinsed away. There is a high-powered spray setting for stubborn dirt. Lastly, the sprayer is set to the auto-dry setting, and the vehicle is sprayed with filtered water.

The results are absolutely amazing. The vehicles have never looked this clean and shiny. They look as if they have just been waxed!

For some reason, my system had no washer in the quick-connect unit that attaches to the hose, so I had to supply one. I assume this was an oversight at the factory, since no mention is made of the need to insert a washer in the owner's manual and yet the unit could not possibly work without a washer present.

I bought the Mr. Clean Pro-Series AutoDry Car Wash System from Auto Barn ( for $39.95. The Pro-Series model is about $10 more than the standard model but is well worth it, in my opinion.

I have to say, this unit really impressed me! Generally, I watch television commercials and laugh at the claims they make. I did the same when I saw the Mr. Clean AutoDry Car Wash System commercial. Later, however, I became curious and did some research. I read a good many reports from people with expensive black cars who praised the performance of the system, so I decided to try it. It is 100% as advertised!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Final Frontier, Victor/Victoria, -and- Matters of Life and Death

The Final Frontier - total lunar eclipse to occur tomorrow
Victor/Victoria - University of Vermont adds "gender-neutral" bathrooms
Matters of Life and Death - pro-life rock stars "duped" by Amnesty International

On this day in history: August 27, 1990 - Blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed when his Bell 206B helicopter crashes into a man-made ski hill near Elkhorn, Wisconsin.

Born on this day in history: August 27, 1910 - Mother Teresa (1910 - 1997) nun, missionary. She is the famous "Saint of the Gutters" who has devoted her life to caring for lepers and poor in India; awarded the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.

Scripture of the Day: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)

Video of the Day: Deer for Breakfast - submitted by Frank

2008 Democratic National Convention Agenda

7:00 pm Opening flag burning
7:15 pm Pledge of Allegiance to the U.N.
7:20 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
7:25 pm Nonreligious prayer and worship with Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton
7:45 pm Ceremonial tree hugging
7:55 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
8:00 pm How I Invented the Internet - Al Gore
8:15 pm Gay Wedding - Barney Frank presiding
8:35 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
8:40 pm Our Troops are War Criminals - John Kerry
9.00 pm Memorial service for Saddam and his sons - Cindy Sheehan and Susan Sarandon
10:00 pm "Answering Machine Etiquette" - Alec Baldwin
11:00 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
11:05 pm Collection for the Osama Bin Laden kidney transplant fund - Barbra Streisand
11:15 pm Free the Freedom Fighters from Guantanamo Bay - Sean Penn
11:30 pm Oval Office Affairs - William Jefferson Clinton
11:45 pm Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
11:50 pm How George Bush Brought Down the World Trade Towers - Howard Dean
12:15 am "Truth in Broadcasting Award" - Presented to Dan Rather by Michael Moore
12:25 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
12:30 am Satellite address by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
12:45 am Nomination of Hillary Rodham Clinton by Nancy Pelosi
1:00 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
1:05 am Coronation of Hillary Rodham Clinton
1:30 am Ted Kennedy proposes a toast
1:35 am Bill Clinton asks Ted to drive Hillary home

Friday, August 24, 2007

Beam Me Up, The Armed Citizen, -and- At Ease

Beam Me Up - thieves use car's GPS to find victim's home
The Armed Citizen - no permit needed to buy concealable gun in Missouri
At Ease - drill instructor faces 225 abuse charges

On this day in history: August 24, 1981 - Mark David Chapman sentenced to 20 years for killing Beatle John Lennon.

Born on this day in history: August 24, 1872 - Max Beerbohm (1872 - 1956) essayist, caricaturist, parodist. "The Incomparable Max" wrote many elegant essays; the novel "Zuleika Dobson" 1911, and a pictorial volume of caricatures.

Scripture of the Day: “I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2)

Video of the Day: Process Enacted - submitted by Danica

[While I slept] Renée, the Girl Who Hid in the Strawberry Tree

It was a Saturday morning, just after 8 AM. There was a knock at my door. It was my friend, Renée. After a brief greeting, she invited me to accompany her to her sister’s wedding. I had never met Renée’s sister. I knew that I would recognize her if I were to meet her, however, since Renée and her sister, Andréa, were identical twins. ‘I would enjoy that,” I said. “I would like to see the two of you together. That would be interesting. When is the wedding, and where will it take place?” I knew that Andréa lived somewhere in Southern Oregon, but I did not know the name of the city in which she lived. “She lives in Southern Oregon,” Renée replied. “I’m sure I’ve told you that.” “You have mentioned that she lives in Southern Oregon, but you have never said in what city she lives.” “She lives in a forest,” Renée replied. “It is a distance from the nearest city, but there is no need for you to worry about directions, because I will drive.” I had been a passenger in Renée’s Chrysler 300C several times and knew her to be a safe and competent driver. “That sounds good,” I said. “When is the wedding?” “It is tomorrow afternoon,” she replied. “We must leave now.” While the immediacy of the journey seemed odd, I did not protest. “Pack whatever you wish,” Renée said. “I will return in an hour.”

An hour later, Renée returned, and we began the journey. Two steaming mugs sat in the cup holders of her car. She had made hot tea with honey and lemon. It was a cool fall morning, and the tea was delicious and warming. Soon, I was asleep.

I awakened and saw by the clock on the Chrysler’s dash that it was nearly 5 PM! I had slept for almost eight hours! I apologized to Renée for falling asleep. “I am sorry,” I said. “I have no idea why I fell asleep. I cannot imagine why I did so and how I slept so long.” “That’s no problem,” she said. “I have made this trip by myself many times, so it doesn’t matter that you were asleep.” “Well,” I said, “it is a long journey, and I should have helped with the driving or—at the very least—kept you company.” “It’s fine,” she said. I noticed the surroundings for the first time. I had been to Southern Oregon many times and did not recognize the area through which we were passing. “Where are we?” I asked. “We are in the forest, only a few miles from my sister’s. Relax, and we will be there in no time.”

I fell asleep again. Later, I was being awakened by Renée. She said, “we’re here!” I rubbed my eyes and saw a large house. We were parked in a circular driveway. There were three other cars parked there. The area was beautiful, but it looked considerably more like a jungle than a forest. Instead of the pine and redwood trees I expected to see, the trees were coconut palm, banana, and other tropical trees. I prepared to ask Renée where we were, but she was no longer in the car. I saw her on the front porch of the house, talking to a girl who could only be her sister, Andréa, since—with the exception of attire—the girls were identical. It was an interesting scene. I had to recall what Renée had been wearing in order to tell which girl she was!

There were several couples in the house. I was introduced to everyone by Andréa. Renée appeared to know everyone. They were friendly. We exchanged pleasantries and enjoyed wine and canapés. It was becoming dark as I took my gear into the large house and followed Andréa to what was to be my room during our stay. “I’ll leave you to unpack,” she said. “Dinner will be in an hour. I shall see you then.” She smiled and walked out of the room.

Dinner was simple yet delicious: Grilled beef tenderloin, steamed asparagus, roasted baby red potatoes, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Soon, it was late. People were saying goodbye to Andréa and telling her they would see her the following day. I was feeling sleepy—despite my long nap during the journey—and I said, “Goodnight, ladies,” to Andréa and Renée—realizing that I had no idea who was Andréa and who was Renée, since the girls had changed clothing while I unpacked. I fell asleep while wondering why Andréa’s fiancé had not been present.

I felt someone gently shaking me awake. “Dress and come downstairs,” Renée—or, perhaps, Andréa—said. “Andréa has brunch ready.” It was Renée. The table was set for three. Andréa and Renée were seated. There were platters of sausage, scrambled eggs, and fried potatoes. Andréa filled plates for each of us, and Renée filled our glasses with mimosa. We finished our meal, and the girls cleared the table. Wedding guests began to arrive. The people from the previous day were there—as well as several new people, to whom Andréa introduced me. We had champagne and migrated into the backyard—a beautiful area with incredible tropical flowers and plants, a large swimming pool, and a lovely white gazebo—festively adorned with flowers and containing an altar and dozens of white chairs. On the altar sat two tall, white candles in gold candle holders and an open Bible. I walked to the alter and looked at the Bible. It was leather-bound and appeared very old.

I was thirsty and wished to have more champagne. I realized I had not seen the twins for some time. I had been engaged in conversation with a man and his wife—discussing general issues. I walked to the house, filled my glass, and looked for the girls. I found them in the library. Andréa was painting Renée’s fingernails a very bright red. Renée’s toenails were already painted this color—as were Andréa’s fingernails and toenails. I was surprised—since I had never seen Renée’s nails painted previously—and it showed, apparently, since Renée said, to Andréa, “David’s surprised. He’s never seen my nails painted before.” “Really?” Andréa said. “David, when we were little girls, we used to paint our nails red and hide in the strawberry trees!” “What?” I said. “Surely you realize strawberries do not grow on trees.” “Not in California,” the girls said, in unison, “but here they do.” The girls laughed. “Go back to the party,” Renée said. “We’ll be right out.”

I returned to the party and chatted idly with various guests. Bottles of champagne sat in silver buckets on a long table, in the shade provided by tropical plants and flowers, near the gazebo. I filled my glass again. Soon, the wedding ceremony began. I thought it odd that I had not met the bridegroom. The man standing at Andréa’s side during the ceremony seemed oddly familiar, but I was certain we had not been introduced. Following the ceremony, the bride and groom walked through the house and into a waiting limousine. The limousine disappeared, as the wedding guests waved at the departing couple.

I looked for Renée and did not see her among the guests. Everyone moved to the backyard and filled their champagne glasses. I continued to look for Renée but did not see her. A girl approached me. She had been a bridesmaid, and Renée had introduced us, but I could not recall her name. “David,” she said, “you must be looking for Renée. Follow me.” She took me by the hand and led me around the swimming pool and down a narrow path. Soon, we were in a small grove of trees. “These are strawberry trees,” the girl said. “Renée is probably hiding in one of them. She and her sister often did that as children.” I looked closely, and the trees were indeed strawberry trees. There were dozens of them.

“In which tree will I find Renée?” I asked. “I have no idea,” the girl replied. “She’s hiding!”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

To Serve and Protect, Brave New Schools, -and- Hic!

To Serve and Protect - cops party at Hooters, leave town unprotected
Brave New Schools - youth suspended over sketch of gun
Hic! - Bill Murray DUI in golf cart

On this day in history: August 23, 1951 - Ninety West Point cadets are expelled for cheating, including most of the Academy's football team.

Born on this day in history: August 23, 1950 - Shelley Long (1950 - ____) actress. She played Diane Chambers on TV series "Cheers," 1982-87, winning an Emmy, 1983; films include "Outrageous Fortune," 1986.

Scripture of the Day: “When I said, "My foot is slipping," your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:18-19)

Video of the Day: Amazing President Facts - submitted by Cindy

Tonight, the Corning Olive Festival mixer will take place. Tomorrow, the Festival parade will take place. Saturday, the Festival will continue, with a cook-off competition, talent show, arts and crafts booths, food booths, games, entertainment, and awards at Woodson Park. For a schedule of events, consult the Calendar of North State Events.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Heat of the Moment, The Big Chill, -and- House of Filth

Heat of the Moment - moose belching blamed for climate change
The Big Chill - NYC sets record for coldest August day
House of Filth - 72 cats found in Long Beach apartment

On this day in history: August 22, 1776 - George Washington asks the Continental Congress for permission to burn New York City, to stop the city from being used to quarter troops arriving via the British fleet. It is declined, but his soldiers set 1/4th of the town ablaze on September 21.

Born on this day in history: August 22, 1920 - John Lee Hooker (1920 - 2001) blues guitarist. He was especially popular during the 1960s blues revival and influenced many early rock musicians.

Scripture of the Day: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Video of the Day: I Pimped My Dog - submitted by Darin

Jury selection has been completed in the Michael Vick case. Click to enlarge.

The Corning Olive Festival takes place this week, with activities and events throughout the week. For a schedule of events, consult the Calendar of North State Events.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heat of the Moment, Crash!, -and- Law of the Land

Heat of the Moment - study concludes global warming "hot air"
Crash! - woman jumps into wrecked car to fake injury
Law of the Land - judge has unprepared lawyer arrested

On this day in history: August 21, 1996 - Superfreak Rick James (prisoner J29237) is released from Folsom Prison after serving a two-year sentence for drugs and assault. He had planned to marry his fiance, Tanja Anne Hijazi, upon release but she had been jailed for shoplifting a pair of boots two days earlier.

Born on this day in history: August 21, 1938 - Kenny Rogers (1938 - ____) singer, actor. He is a well known country-rock singer whose best songs include "Ruby" and "Lucille" and "Lady."

Scripture of the Day: "Man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live." - Deuteronomy 8:3

Video of the Day: Tricky Chopsticks? - submitted by Darin

Friday night, I dreamed of Renée, the Girl Who Hid in the Strawberry Tree. I have composed the dream and shall include it in Friday's blog post. I think you shall find it an interesting and thought-provoking dream.

This is the week of the annual Corning Olive Festival. Various activities and events will take place throughout the week, culminating on Saturday in Woodson Park. For an event schedule, see the Calendar of North State Events.

By Popular Demand: Here is the WAV file I use for Outlook 2007 New Mail Notification. It is a very eerie, robotic voice intoning, "Incoming message!" Incoming WAV Right-click, choose "Save Target As," and save to your hard drive in your WAV directory. Go to Control Panel, System Sounds (location varies with Windows versions), click on New Mail Notification, click on Browse, and browse to and select the incoming.wav file. Enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Extra! Extra!, Mommy Dearest, -and- The Net

Extra! Extra! - Internet could kill off local newspapers
Mommy Dearest - mother saves daughter from submerged plane
The Net - Internet addiction more serious than gambling addiction

On this day in history: August 20, 1986 - Rather than submit to being fired, part-time letter carrier Pat Sherrill shoots 14 coworkers at his Edmond, Oklahoma post office.

Born on this day in history: August 20, 1833 - Benjamin Harrison (1833 - 1901) 23rd president. His election was decided by the electoral college even though the popular vote favored Grover Cleveland.

Scripture of the Day: "And he said unto them, 'When ye pray, say...give us day by day our daily bread.'" - Luke 11:2-3

Video of the Day: Caveman's Crib - submitted by Laura

Saturday, Laura poached some asparagus for three minutes then submerged into iced water, drained, and set aside. She did a spicy dry rub with Red Monkey Spice Rub on a large London broil and grilled it perfectly—charred on the outside and rare in the center. It was an excellent meal.

Last evening, Laura thinly sliced a large habanero and sprinkled the pieces on a California Pizza Kitchen Sicilian pizza and baked in the conventional oven for seven minutes. It was delicious and hot! Laura put the bulk of the habanero on my half of the pizza, and—while I ate with great relish—the habanero took its toll on me: Two bottles of frosty Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale were required to soothe the fire in my mouth.

After dinner, we watched "Night in the Museum." This was a wonderfully delightful movie suitable for viewers of all ages. We thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

To Serve and Protect, Animal Kingdom, -and- Homeland Insecurity

To Serve and Protect - 2 officers fired for Web misuse
Animal Kingdom - crows wield tools with human-like skill
Homeland Insecurity - CIA, FBI computers used for Wikipedia edits

On this day in history: August 17, 1948 - Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is arrested for bad checks in San Luis Obispo, California. In court a fortnight later, Hubbard pays the $25 fine.

Born on this day in history: August 17, 1786 - Davy Crockett (1786 - 1836) frontiersman, soldier, politician. "The King of the Wild Frontier" was said to have grinned down bears; was one of the legendary figures to die at the Alamo.

Today's Video: Proper Road Rage Defense - submitted by Frank
Chicks prefer the Nitro over the Hummer! Click to enlarge.

[While I slept] I awakened, feeling thirsty, and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As I walked toward the kitchen, my attention was drawn to the large window in the adjacent dining room. The moon lighted the yard beyond the window and made the outdoors appear very inviting. As I gazed at this scene, I noticed movement near the barn. The barn shaded this area from moonlight, and, in the shadows, I saw a large form moving toward the barn. I decided to investigate.

I armed myself with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which I kept in the pantry. I took a large Maglite from a shelf in the pantry, attached it to the rifle, turned it on, and walked to the barn. As I entered the barn, I heard the sound of heavy breathing and slipped the AR-15 into the firing position. I probed the darkness with the Maglite. There, lying on a bed of hay, was Storm! I engaged the safety on my rifle, walked to Storm, knelt by her side, and began stroking her massive frame. Storm purred deeply and contentedly. “Welcome back, my friend,” I said. Storm fixed her gaze upon me and purred even more loudly. “Wait here and rest, Storm,” I said. “I shall return quickly with food and water for you.”

I walked to the house, prepared a bowl of leftover roast beef and a bowl of spring water, removed the Maglite from the rifle, and walked back to the barn, the Maglite clasped between my left arm and rib cage and a bowl in each hand. Storm rose as I walked to her and ate and drank with great relish. I sat with Storm for nearly two hours. When I prepared to return to the house to continue my sleep, I told Storm, “Storm, please stay here, and I shall return in the morning.” She appeared to understand, reclined on the hay, and held out her right paw toward me. I took her massive leopard paw in my right hand and squeezed it, smiling at her. I returned to the house and quickly fell asleep.

In the morning, I awakened, dressed quickly, and walked to the barn with a large bottle of water and some leftover grilled chicken breast. Storm was there! I was overjoyed to see that she had remained through the night. I filled her water bowl and put the chicken in her food bowl. I stroked her beautiful fur as she ate and drank.

After she had eaten, I told her, “Come to the house with me, Storm. I must eat something, and then we shall go on an adventure!” She seemed to understand and followed me to the house. I gave Storm a small bowl of milk. She lapped at it with her huge tongue while I prepared myself a spinach, bacon, cheese, and mushroom omelet. After I had eaten, I strapped on a black ballistic nylon holster, inserted a Sig Sauer P229 semi-automatic pistol into the holster, and beckoned Storm to follow me.

Together, we walked the perimeter of my property, pausing at one point so that Storm could drink from the small creek that fed the pond. It was a beautiful day—warm but not yet unpleasantly so—the sky was blue, and the birds were singing. We walked about my property for several hours. We stopped at the pond, and I caught several nice trout for our dinner.

At dusk, I prepared the trout, some poached asparagus, and some brown rice with celery, red onion, and mushrooms. Storm lay on the tile floor in the kitchen and watched me as I cooked. She seemed to enjoy watching me prepare our meal. I deboned the trout and prepared plates of food for us and set them on the dining room table. I placed a bowl of water and a small bowl of milk at Storm’s place at the table and poured some Chablis for myself. Storm appeared to be waiting for me to start eating, as she had made no move toward her food. I said a prayer—thanking God for the bounty we were about to enjoy and for Storm and her great friendship—and we began eating. Storm was so large that she sat on her haunches and easily reached her food. The dinner was delightful. Storm watched me wash the dishes and bowls.

We went into the den and watched Animal Planet. Storm sat near me and seemed to enjoy watching all the animals on television. She was close enough that I was able to reach out and stroke her massive back. In time, Storm grew tired. She lay on the floor of the den and yawned—her huge mouth opening incredibly widely, exposing large, sharp teeth. “Storm,” I thought to myself, “I am certainly glad we are friends!”

I was tired, also, and I rose from my chair and said, “Come, Storm. You need not sleep in the barn.” Storm followed me to the bedroom. She fell asleep on the floor at the foot of the bed. I fell asleep while delighting in the sound of her breathing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Polly Want a Rescue?, Slow Down!, -and- House of Filth

Polly Want a Rescue? - thieves steal 45 $1,00 parrots from pet store
Slow Down! - Ontario to impose $10,000 fine for speeding
House of Filth - woman arrested for hoarding zoo of sick animals

On this day in history: August 16, 1987 - Mercury, Venus, and Mars all get bunched up near the Sun in what some call the Harmonic Convergence. Thousands of nutballs clustered at sacred locations like Mount Shasta, California begin meditating.

Born on this day in history: August 16, 1920 - Charles Bukowski (1920 - 1994) author. He wrote "Post Office," 1971 and "Hollywood," 1989.

Today's Video: Evidence of Global Warming - submitted by Jeffrey

Welcome to the jungle! Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, I sautéed chicken tenderloin and breast strips, sliced white onion, minced garlic, sliced white mushrooms, sliced red bell pepper, sliced celery, sliced zucchini, and whole sugar snap peas, in extra-virgin olive oil. I seasoned this with Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, sea salt, celery salt, and Cajun seasoning. When this was done, Laura stirred in cooked Barilla penne. It was delightful. At the table, we added crushed red peppers and grated Parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Up a Tree, Law of the Land, -and- Zap!

Up a Tree - crocs keep Australian cowboy at bay for 7 days
Law of the Land - federal judge drops $3,000 in strip joint
Zap! - hospital guard uses taser on man holding newborn

On this day in history: August 15, 1969 - Woodstock begins on Max Yasgur's farm in upstate New York. Tickets are $18 for three days of counterculture musical acts, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, and Sha-Na-Na.

Born on this day in history: August 15, 1885 - Edna Ferber (1885 - 1968) novelist. Her best-selling novels included "So Big: Show Boat," 1926, "Giant," 1952.

Today's Video: Printer Problem - submitted by Chris

Today is the 38th anniversary of the first day of Woodstock. It seems amazing to me that nearly 4 decades have passed since this event began. I recall well watching the event on television.

What a kinder, gentler time that was—despite the general notion that Woodstock revelers were a drastic departure from the norm. By today's standards, they seem positively childlike. How unfortunate it is that society has come to this.

How time flies, as it is said. How critical it is that we use our brief time on Earth wisely.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Stupid Criminal, Joltin' Joe, -and- Hic!

Stupid Criminal - bank robber's cash falls out of T-shirt
Joltin' Joe - teen girl hospitalized after overdosing on coffee
Hic! - world's oldest person: a drink a day

On this day in history: August 14, 1945 - Over the radio, Hirohito announces his unconditional surrender to Allied forces, thus bringing an end to World War II.

Born on this day in history: August 14, 1945 - Steve Martin (1945 - ____) comedian, actor. His movies have included "Roxanne," "The Jerk," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Father of the Bride," and "Simple Twist of Fate."

Today's Video: Texas Monthly Talks - Ted Nugent - submitted by Frank

Laura had choir practice at Harvest Christian Center last evening. I sliced red onion, kosher dill pickles, cluster tomato, and pepperjack cheese. When it was time for dinner, Laura toasted some 9-grain bread. We made sandwiches with the items I had sliced and deli mesquite-smoked turkey breast. We had Jalapeño kettle chips. I had a caffeine-free Diet Pepsi in a frosty mug, and Laura had milk. It was a simple yet very tasty and satisfying meal.

Tonight, I shall make a stir fry, with chicken, onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and sugar snap peas.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Say What?, Carry On, -and- What's the Rush?

Say What? - foreign students better at English than British students
Carry On - crocodiles, cobras found in airplane luggage
What's the Rush? - woman in labor fined $1150 for speeding

On this day in history: August 13, Walt Disney's Bambi premieres in New York City.

Born on this day in history: August 13, Alfred Hitchcock (1899 - 1980) director He was the "Master of Suspense" renown for his suspense films, e.g., "North by Northwest," 1959 and "Psycho," 1960.

Today's Video: Mortimer & Bracket

It is time to return to the Caveman Crib! This incredible and hilarious site has recently been updated, so by all means, journey there when you have a good deal of time to spend there!

Friday evening, we had a Sicilian pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. It was outstanding—a thin, crispy crust and delicious meats and cheeses. It is small, however, and so good we shall have two pizzas when next we enjoy this delight.

Saturday, I made a large potato salad with red potatoes, celery, Jalapeños, kosher dill pickles, red onion, and bacon. I baked the potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes then placed in the refrigerator for an hour before dicing. This ensures that the potato pieces will be firm. I made a dressing from light mayonnaise, light ranch dressing, spicy brown mustard, rice wine vinegar, dill pickle juice, and wasabi paste. Laura seasoned the salad with ground black pepper, celery salt, and sea salt. She mixed in the dressing and sprinkled the salad with ground paprika and wasabi sesame seeds. I poached some Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beef ribs in the bag for two hours, removed from the bag, and refrigerated. Laura added ground Cayenne pepper to Jack Daniels barbecue sauce and used this to coat the ribs while she grilled them. It was a delicious meal.

Sunday, I pounded boneless, skinless chicken breasts and stuffed them with sliced mushrooms and sliced Jalapeños (the mushrooms and Jalapeños had been poached for 20 minutes and allowed to dry thoroughly prior to stuffing), Cajun seasoning, and pepperjack cheese. I coated the stuffed breasts with a mixture of Italian bread crumbs and Cajun seasoning. Laura baked the breasts in the oven. They were wonderful. The cheese melted nicely yet stayed inside the breasts. The potato salad from Saturday's dinner accompanied the chicken breasts.

Friday, August 10, 2007

iThumb, Atta Boy!, -and- Fighting Back

iThumb - man surgically alters thumb to better use iPhone
Atta Boy! - 9-year-old saves dad by taking wheel of speeding big rig
Fighting Back - clerk grabs robber's shotgun

On this day in history: August 10, 1969 - Leno and Rosemary LaBianca are brutally murdered in their Los Feliz, California home by followers of Charles Manson.

Born on this day in history: August 10, 1874 - Herbert Hoover (1874 - 1964) president (31st), engineer. He was chief Allied relief administrator during WW I; led the U.S. as president during the early years of the Depression.

Today's Video: Jaguar vs. Croc - submitted by Cindy

No one was waiting at my office when I arrived at 7:15 AM this morning. Today is beginning much more favorably than yesterday.

It is noticeably warmer today. It was 78 degrees inside my office when I arrived here. The air conditioning system is now engaged.

Corning's annual Olive Festival events will soon be taking place. Consult the Calendar of North State Events for details.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

I Beg of You, Walk this Way, -and- Animal Kingdom

I Beg of You - panhandler shot to death over 25 cents
Walk this Way - town bans police cowboy boots
Animal Kingdom - kangaroo on the loose in Mississippi

On this day in history: August 9, 1969 - Tate Murders by Charles Manson's followers.

Born on this day in history: August 9, 1963 - Whitney Houston (1963 - ____) singer. She won a Grammy, 1986, for top female vocalist; hits include "How Will I Know," 1987; film debut in "The Bodyguard," 1992.

Today's Video: Invisible Water Effect

When I arrived at my office at 7:15 AM this morning, there was a car parked outside my front door. As I opened my door, a woman exited the car and followed me into my office. "What can I do for you?" I asked, as I turned on the lights and the computer monitors and connected the wireless Internet feed. "My Internet's shut off." "What do you mean by 'shut off'?" I inquired. "I mean they turned it off cause my credit card got cancelled." "I see," I said. "What can I do for you?" "You can tell them to turn it back on and send me a bill and I'll send them a money order," she replied. "It may not be an option to pay by money order," I said. "Who is your Internet service provider?" (I represent three ISPs, and only one of them accepts payment by money order.) "AOL," she replied. "AOL? I have no connection with AOL," I said. "You would need to contact AOL directly." "I did," she said, "and that's when they told me I was shut off cause of my credit card." "The only option I can offer," I said, "is a new account with Snowcrest. That would be a $15.00 one-time set-up fee, and you would be billed $15.00 a month, payable quarterly, and you may pay by money order." "When do I have to pay the set-up fee?" she asked. "Whenever you wish to initiate service," I replied. "Can't you just send me a bill for it?" she asked, frowning. "I can send you a bill, of course," I said. "Then, when you have the $15.00, you can pay the bill, and I will initiate service." "No," she said, visibly upset, "I mean get me hooked up and send me a bill." "That is not an option," I said. "Have a nice day." She glared at me, said something that I shall not repeat here, and exited my office.

What a lovely way for the day to begin! Yikes!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fighting Back, Not Holding the Bag, -and- The Sting

Fighting Back - 7-year-old girl takes on armed robber
Not Holding the Bag - ill-prepared bank robber has no place to put money
The Sting - Spain hauls in 8 tons of jellyfish from beaches

On this day in history: August 8, 1960 - Brian Hyland's song "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" reaches number one on the pop charts.

Born on this day in history: August 8, 1908 - Arthur J. Goldberg (1908 - 1990) supreme court justice, ambassador. He served as associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (1962-65) and U.S. representative to the United Nations (1965-68).

Today's Video: Gun Control - submitted by Frank

[While I slept] I attended a rock concert with friends. When the concert ended, I excused myself to use the restroom. When I returned to where I had left my friends, they were gone. I walked out of the building and to the spot where the car in which we had traveled to the concert had been parked, and it was gone. I looked around, and the street was dark and void of cars and people. I saw a telephone booth in the distance and began walking to it.

Suddenly, from an alleyway, three scofflaws emerged, descended upon me, and demanded my money. Instinctively, I reached for my Sig Sauer P229 and quickly realized I had left it at home due to restrictions imposed by the concert venue. There was no place near to which I could run to safety, and their number did not invite refusal of their demands.

Just as I was about to reach into my pocket and proffer my wallet to the miscreants, a large female leopard emerged from the darkness, came quickly to my side, stood next to me, and growled fiercely. One of the hoodlums produced a large knife and advanced, menacingly, toward the leopard.

It happened so quickly that what took place did not immediately register in my mind: With an incredible display of power and speed, the leopard swiped the would-be robber’s neck with her massive paw—claws outstretched. The gash that appeared in the assailant’s neck was so deep and large, his head was nearly separated from his body. His lifeless corpse fell at the feet of his companions.

Before the others could gather their wits and retreat, the leopard was upon them. She quickly dispatched both of them, walked to me, sat and began cleaning the blood from her paws with her large tongue.

I thanked the leopard and told her that I wished to name her and that I would name her Storm. She seemed pleased with her new name and purred loudly. When I began walking to the telephone booth, Storm sat up and followed me. I decided to walk home, rather than take a cab. It was a warm night, it would be a pleasant walk, and with Storm at my side, I need fear nothing.

Storm followed me all the way to my home. I lived in the country and had several acres of trees, gardens, outbuildings, and a small pond. I sat on the front porch of my house and stroked Storm and thanked her again. I grew tired. I walked Storm to the small barn, made a nice bed for her of straw in the barn, and brought her a bowl of spring water and a bowl of leftover grilled chicken. As she ate and drank, I stroked her massive body and said, “Good night, Storm. I shall see you in the morning.”

Upon arising, I dressed quickly and rushed to the barn to greet Storm. She was not there. My immediate thought was this had all been a dream. Then, I saw the proof that Storm had been real: The water bowl and food bowl lay there, empty, and the imprint of Storm's massive body could be seen in the hay.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heat of the Moment, Flying High, -and- Just Say No

Heat of the Moment - walking damages planet more than cars
Flying High - drunken flight attendant caused flight cancellation
Just Say No - China hopes to cure Internet addicts at summer camp

On this day in history: August 7, 1882 - Ellison Hatfield is stabbed 26 times and shot in the back by Tolbert McCoy and two of his brothers. Two days later, the Hatfield clan captures the three McCoys and executes them by firing squad. Thus begins generations of bloodshed between the families, ultimately causing about 100 casualties.

Born on this day in history: August 7, 1950 - Rodney Crowell (1950 - ____) singer, songwriter He wrote many songs recorded by Emmylou Harris; top ten single, "It's Such a Small World," 1988, was recorded as a duet with his wife, Roseanne Cash.

Today's Video: Dynamo pulls a polo out of his neck! - submitted by Darin

I recently had a client enter my office and inquire about my engagement with my HP Pocket PC. The client said, jokingly (of course), "What are you doing? Playing solitaire? You can fool most people by looking like you're really doing something, while you're playing a game, 'cause they can't see what you're doing, but you can't fool me."

"Apparently, you are fooled," I said, "if you believe I am playing a game. I am using QuickVerse and reading the Bible--in particular, Luke. I often use my Pocket PC to read scripture, since using it seems so personal and brings me, necessarily, closer to the Word."

I must explain at this point that this client is a highly "religious" woman who prides herself on her outward appearance as a pious "believer."

"I have five Bibles," she said. "I have one King James Version that was my uncle's Bible. My uncle was a Baptist preacher and a powerful man of God." "Really?" I said. "That is wonderful. You must take great pride in being related to such a person." "What do you mean?" she asked. "I mean you are giving praise to a man, when you should be giving your praise to God!" She frowned. "It matters not how many Bibles you have. It matters not how closely related by birth or marriage you are to people of faith. It matters not how the world judges you. The only thing that matters is how God judges you." "What do you mean?" she asked. "You need to spend more time in the Word," I replied. "You are trying to please people, and you need to learn to please God!"

Interestingly, I have no idea whatever what brought this client to my office, since she left without sharing this with me.

Such, unfortunately, is the world today: Entirely too much "value" is placed upon appearing "religious," and not enough emphasis is placed upon being Christ-like!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Not Right, Survivor, -and- Watch Your Step

Not Right - left-leaning bloggers consider forming labor union
Survivor - boy rescued from Dead Sea after 6-hour ordeal
Watch Your Step - 400 FL swimmers stung by jellyfish

On this day in history: August 6, 1970 - 750 unkempt Yippies show up at Disneyland, hell-bent "to liberate Minnie Mouse, have free reign of the park and infiltrate Tom Sawyer's Island," according to Youth International Party leaflets. Instead, they wind up scuffling with Disney security and other patrons, eventually prompting Anaheim police to close the park early and forcibly eject the dirty longhairs.

Born on this day in history: August 6, 1917 - Robert Mitchum (1917 - 1997) film actor His films included "The Winds of War," "North & South," "Cape Fear," and "Night of the Hunter."

Today's Video: Trunk Monkey Compilation - submitted by Cindy

My hunting pals and I are preparing for a wild pig hunt. The new hunting vehicle I have rented for the trip should suit us well. Click to enlarge.

Laura brought two Sierra Nevada gourmet pizzas home Friday afternoon. She had nursery duties at Harvest Christian Center. One of my brothers was visiting from Southern California. He visited for several hours. When Laura returned from the church at 9:30, we had some pizza and champagne and watched two episodes of "Walker, Texas Ranger."

On Saturday, I made a frittata for brunch. We ate half the frittata, sipped champagne, and played Scrabble. That evening, my brother came to dinner. He does not enjoy spicy foods (yikes!), so Laura left the Jack Daniels barbecue sauce untreated. She grilled some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and glazed them with the barbecue sauce. I made a potato salad with red potatoes, celery, dill pickles, white onion, red bell pepper, mayonnaise, wasabi powder, brown mustard, dill weed, sea salt, and ground black pepper. It was a delightful meal. Following dinner, we watched "300." It was a violent, dark movie. It was well produced and exciting, but it is not for those easily disturbed by extreme violence.

Following the early service at Harvest Christian Center on Sunday, we enjoyed more of the delicious Sierra Nevada pizza, strawberry margaritas, and Scrabble. For dinner, I made a salad with red leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomato, avocado, and sugar snap peas (blanched and chilled). Laura added a diced habanero to some of the Jack Daniels barbecue sauce and used it to glaze a large pork loin that she had charred then grilled slowly, using indirect heat. It was a delicious meal.

The remaining half of the frittata followed me to the office this morning.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Fighting Back, Truckin', -and- Sympathy from the Devil

Fighting Back - man awakens, chases would-be burglar
Truckin' - monster-truck owner to lose home over fines
Sympathy from the Devil - Sean Penn praised by Venezuela's Chavez

On this day in history: August 3, 1996 - "Macarena" by Los Del Rio #1 on the pop charts. The accompanying dancing disease afflicts millions before final eradication.

Born on this day in history: August 3, 1887 - Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915) poet. He was a gifted youth whose early death in World War I contributed to his idealized image; best known work is the sonnet sequence "1914."

Today's Video: Hitman - submitted by Darin

Our kitties love Jesus! That may seem a peculiar notion. I have very solid evidence of this, however: When I first arise in the morning, I usually turn on the stereo system and tune it to KLOVE, a Christian music station. I generally leave for the office before Laura leaves to begin her journey to Chico. If I have neglected to address KLOVE, I do so on my way out of the house. As I am leaving, I say a prayer over the house, Laura and me, and the kitties, Zeus and Thor.

When I return from the office, KLOVE is playing, the house is otherwise quiet and safe, and the kitties are in good spirits. They often perch in the window, awaiting my return. If not, they run to greet me when I enter. They have obviously spent the day dining and napping and are now ready to play! I entertain them with romps up and down the hallway, prompted by the beam of a laser pointer. This is followed by petting. As I go about my day, the kitties (Zeus in particular) press for more attention—winding about my legs and rubbing on me as I walk.

On the rare mornings when I neglect to turn on KLOVE, the kitties are listless when I arrive. They are generally sleeping fitfully and do not seek my attention. They are aloof and do not attempt to engage me in play.

It is obvious that a day of listening to KLOVE is emotionally beneficial to Zeus and Thor. It is not, then, an exaggeration to suggest that they love Jesus!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Deep, Ribbit!, -and- Tell It to Al Gore

The Deep - fisherman catches "living fossil"
Ribbit! - woman nearly croaks with frog in salad
Tell It to Al Gore - Elton John: shut down the Internet

On this day in history: August 2, 1876 - Drinking at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, Jack McCall notices Wild Bill Hickok playing poker at a corner table. Then he calmly walks over to the table and blows a wide hole in the back of Hickok's head with a .45 revolver. The professional gambler and onetime lawman was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights, now known as the "Dead Man's Hand."

Born on this day in history: August 2, 1924 - James Baldwin (1924 - 1987) novelist, essayist He was a noted spokesman for American blacks in 1950s-60s.

Today's Video: Battle on Haifa Street - submitted by Phillip

Last evening, Laura and I attended a crusade at Harvest Christian Center. Laura sang in the choir during worship, prior to the sermon by evangelist David Woods. Rev. Woods is a world-famous evangelist from Portland, OR. His sermon was powerful and was followed by an altar call, at which several were delivered from bondage and others were healed of afflictions. This was the third evening of the crusade, which continues through Friday.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bad Medicine, The Closer, -and- iPiracy

Bad Medicine - surgeon hastened man's death to harvest kidneys
The Closer - car dealer kills two workers who sought raises
iPiracy - Eminem's music publisher sues Apple

On this day in history: August 1, 1966 - Former Eagle Scout and United States Marine Charles Whitman carries a sniper rifle onto University of Texas at Austin. There he climbs to the top of UT tower and begins firing indiscriminately at dozens of people, killing 13. Whitman is finally taken out 96 minutes later by three Austin PD officers.

Born on this day in history: August 1, 1942 - Jerry Garcia (1942 - 1995) musician, singer. He was the founder and lead guitarist of "The Grateful Dead; "In the Dark" was one of the Top Ten Albums of all time.

Today's Video: Dancing Otter

[NOTE: Those of you who did not watch "The Next Food Network Star" will not understand this dream.] I was photographing Corning's annual Olive Festival. I walked among the food and craft booths, photographing vendors and attendees. I came upon the area where the cooking competition entries were to be judged. A panel of judges sat at a picnic table, awaiting the first entry.

I was very surprised when Rory appeared and served the judges her entry. As the judges began tasting Rory's food, she described the ingredients and cooking methodology. She then left them to their task. I approached Rory and said, "Rory! Whatever are you doing here at the Corning Olive Festival?" She replied, "My restaurant failed, I got a divorce, and I decided to move to a community where life is slower and old-fashioned values are highly regarded." "I wish you well," I said.

A few locals presented their entries to the judges. Then, the final entrant appeared. It was Amy! After Amy served the judges and described her entry, I approached her and said, "Amy! Whatever are you doing here at the Corning Olive Festival?" She replied, "The TV show didn't work out, and I decided to move to a community where life is slower and old-fashioned values are highly regarded." "I wish you well," I said.

A local entrant won the competition.