Friday, September 28, 2007

Heat of the Moment, Unusual Punishment, -and- Fire!

Heat of the Moment - are sunspots prime suspects in global warming?
Unusual Punishment - mover gets probation for stealing two Picassos
Fire! - fire damages fire station

On this day in history: September 28, 1920 - A Cook County grand jury indicts the Black Sox 8 -- the White Sox players paid to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Even though they are found not guilty, Commissioner Landis bans them all from professional baseball for life.

Born on this day in history: September 28, 1934 - Brigitte Bardot (1934 - ____) actress. She was an international sex symbol best known for "And God Created Woman," 1956; became a conservationist and defender of animal rights.

Scripture of the Day: "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Video of the Day: Beer Scooter - submitted by Phillip

Here is a photograph I took in 2003 of the museum at Fort Bragg, California. Click to enlarge.

Yesterday morning at 9 AM:

The telephone rang. Caller ID displayed "UNKNOWN NAME" and did not list a telephone number.

I answered, "California Technologies."

A man's voice said, "Yeah, can I talk to Sharon?" His tone was unfriendly.

I said, "There is no Sharon here," and I replaced the receiver.

Five minutes later, the telephone rang again. Caller ID displayed "UNKNOWN NAME" and a long-distance telephone number.

I answered, "California Technologies."

A woman's voice snapped curtly, "Let me talk to Sharon!"

I said, "There is no Sharon here," and I replaced the receiver.

Fifteen minutes later, the telephone rang yet again. Caller ID displayed "UNAVAILABLE" and did not display a telephone number.

I answered, "California Technologies."

A different man's voice snapped, "Is Sharon there?"

I said, "No."

The man said, "Well, where is she?"

I said, "About an hour ago, she went out for a beer. She never returned." I replaced the receiver.

Two subsequent calls came in—both displaying "UNAVAILABLE" on the Caller ID. I allowed HotFax MessageCenter to answer them. No message was left.

Today's Weather: The weather forecast changed yet again late yesterday—once again predicting "mostly cloudy" for the day. The predicted high is a mere 70 degrees—a dramatic drop from yesterday's high of 90 degrees! This is unfortunate weather for the Homecoming Parade this afternoon. Hopefully, it will not rain!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Homeland Insecurity, From the Halls of Montezuma, -and- Ahem!

Homeland Insecurity - US video shows simulated hacker attack
From the Halls of Montezuma - Marines barred from making commercial in SF
Ahem! - motorist arrested for "coughing"

On this day in history: September 27, 1964 - The Warren Commission Report is finally released, definitively proving once and for all that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald, without help.

Born on this day in history: September 27, 1722 - Samuel Adams (1722 - 1803) revolutionary, statesman. He was leader of the Massachusetts "radicals," and the force behind the Boston Tea Party, 1773; signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Scripture of the Day: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)

Video of the Day: Bill Dube wrecks the fastest electric motorcycle - submitted by Phillip

I spotted this squirrel on my front lawn this morning. He was snacking on the wild mushrooms growing there. Click to enlarge.

Zip Code Database: Type in the zip code you are interested in and you will learn more than you ever wanted to know! Zip Code Database

For dinner last night, we had grilled pork loin chops, yellow squash, white mushrooms, and Jalapeños. I made a tasty teriyaki sauce, using bottled teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, ground Cayenne pepper, and lime juice. Laura grilled the pork and vegetables perfectly. It was a delightful meal.

Bad Taste: Responding to pressure from Christian groups, the Miller Brewing Co. is asking organizers of a "gay" street celebration in San Francisco to remove its logo from a promotional poster portraying Jesus Christ and his disciples as "half-naked homosexual sadomasochists."

In a statement on its Web site, Miller said while it has "supported the Folsom Street Fair for several years, we take exception to the poster the organizing committee developed this year."

It is sadly coincidental that this is Samuel Adams' birthday. I can only imagine how disgusted he would be with the Miller Brewing Co.—a major player in an industry he was instrumental in creating!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

You Drive, History Unveiled, -and- San Antonio Ink

You Drive - handcuffed Mexican kids steal U.S. border agent car
History Unveiled - shipwreck found under hotel site
San Antonio Ink - Texas apartments banning tattoos

On this day in history: September 26, 1964 - "Gilligan's Island" premieres on CBS television.

Born on this day in history: September 26, 1888 - T. S. Eliot (1888 - 1965) poet, critic, playwright. He dwelled on the theme of emptiness of modern life, e.g., "The Cocktail Party," 1950.

Scripture of the Day: "For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' and again, 'The Lord will judge his people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Video of the Day: Killacycle New World Record 155 MPH! - submitted by Phillip

This should be sufficient salsa for anyone! Click to enlarge.

The weather this week has been beautiful! While it is chilly in the early mornings, there is little wind, and the days quickly warm nicely. Yesterday reached 86 degrees, and it is forecast to be even warmer today and tomorrow. Hopefully, this fine weather will continue through Friday and provide good climatic conditions for Corning Union High School Homecoming Parade and Game.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

License and Registration, Matchmaker, -and- Heil!

License and Registration - British speeder clocked at 172 mph
Matchmaker - astrologer in court over love spell
Heil! - police find swastika cut into NJ cornfield

On this day in history: September 25, 1980 - After spending the whole day drinking, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham dies from alcohol poisoning.

Born on this day in history: September 25, 1897 - William Faulkner (1897 - 1962) novelist He wrote about a microcosm of the post-Civil War deep South in "The Sound and the Fury," 1929.

Scripture of the Day: "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One." (1 John 2:1)

Video of the Day: It’s JerryTime: Jerry Strikes Back

Here is one of Mr. Nitro’s ancestors—a 1942 Dodge Power Wagon. Click to enlarge.

Here is another of Mr. Nitro’s ancestors—a 1941 Dodge sedan delivery. Click to enlarge.

Last evening, I made penne with marinara sauce. I simmered two pounds of ground sirloin, 12 large white onions (sliced into quarters), 8 tablespoons of Christopher Ranch minced garlic, 5 large cluster tomatoes (diced), sea salt, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning for two hours. When the liquid had cooked down, Laura added a jar of Classico marinara sauce. I cooked a package of Barilla penne until al dente, drained, and added to the sauce. Laura incorporated the pasta into the sauce and browned some garlic bread under the broiler. At the table, we added DiGiorno grated Italian cheese and crushed red peppers. It was a delightful meal.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Alien Nation, Animal Cruelty, -and- Enjoy!

Alien Nation - Florida city accepts status as Scientology stronghold
Animal Cruelty - man beheads tame hotel duck
Enjoy! - hotel charges $14,500 for dessert

On this day in history: September 24, 1988 - High on PCP and brandishing a shotgun, James Brown interrupts an insurance seminar next door to his business office in Augusta, Georgia and accuses the attendees of using his private restroom. The resulting 90-minute interstate pursuit ends only after police shoot out his truck tires. The Godfather of Soul ends up serving two years in prison.

Born on this day in history: September 24, 1896 - F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940) author. His writings and lifestyle epitomized 1920s "Jazz Age" in "The Great Gatsby," 1925.

Scripture of the Day: "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36)

Video of the Day: It's JerryTime: Jail Time for Jerry - submitted by Cindy

Summer has ended; a pall has fallen over the land. Sadly, summer has ended. Summer is my favorite season. It is a season filled with sunshine and warmth. I shall miss summer greatly for the next nine months.

Saturday morning, I made a large batch of salsa with 12 large Jalapeño peppers, 10 small Serrano peppers, 4 large habanero peppers, 4 medium Thai peppers, 4 medium Cayenne peppers, 1 large red onion, 23 large garlic cloves, 3 medium celery stalks, 1 large bunch cilantro, 16 medium Roma tomatoes, 4 medium cluster tomatoes, sea salt, ground black pepper, crushed red pepper, cumin, and ground Cayenne pepper.

We had planned to toss some baby back ribs on the grill Saturday. The rains came, however, and the roasting of the pig was set aside until Sunday. I simmered two racks of baby back ribs in Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale for an hour. I placed the ribs on the grill—bone-side down—on the rear of the grill, with the rear burner off and the front burner on medium-low. I slathered the ribs with Extra-hot Louisiana Hot Sauce and sprinkled with Red Monkey Cajun Spice Rub. Every 30 minutes, I sprayed the ribs with olive oil to keep moist. After an hour, I began brushing sauce on the ribs every 30 minutes. For the sauce, I used Jack Daniels sauce for a base. I added lime juice, molasses, ground Cayenne pepper, and Extra-hot Louisiana hot sauce.

When Laura returned from a meeting at Harvest Christian Center, she took over tending to the ribs. At 6:30, they were done. I made garlic (two heads), Jalapeño, and cheddar cheese mashed red potatoes to accompany the ribs. It was an incredibly delicious meal. Two bottles of Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale were required to wash the ribs and potatoes down into my gullet.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Hot Air, Don't Watch, -and- Watchers

Hot Air - global-warming scientist warned of global freezing in 1971
Don't Watch - Turkey bans access to YouTube again
Watchers - Northern California fire stations under surveillance?

On this day in history: September 21, 1915 - With a winning bid of £6,600, Mr. Cecil Chubb purchases Stonehenge and 30 acres of land at auction. He donates the monument to the British state three years later.

Born on this day in history: September 21, 1947 - Stephen King (1947 - ____) novelist, short-story writer. He is the current master of popular horror stories; wrote "Carrie," 1954; "The Shining," 1976; and "It," 1986.

Scripture of the Day: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." (2 Corinthians 13:14)

Video of the Day: It's JerryTime: The Karate Date - submitted by Cindy

[While I slept} Cynthia called and asked whether I would like to go to the park with her and have a picnic. I said that sounded entertaining and would, indeed, like to do so. She suggested that we meet at her house and travel to the park in her vehicle. I agreed and said that I had a few chores to do and would meet her in an hour. She said that would be fine.

I spent the next hour tending to my chores: I watered the houseplants, took out the garbage and rolled the dumpster to the street for the following day’s pickup, fed the tropical fish in my large salt-water aquarium, and showered. I dressed in shorts, Hawaiian shirt, and sandals, dried my hair, and began the drive to Cynthia’s house.

As I drove, I was suddenly aware that I could not recall where Cynthia lived. I consulted my Pocket PC and quickly found Cynthia’s address. I was, however, unfamiliar with the street and had no idea how to reach Cynthia’s house. I checked my cell phone and determined there was no listing for Cynthia. I consulted my Pocket PC again and found that Cynthia’s listing showed only her email address, street address, and work telephone number. There was no entry for her home telephone number. I returned to my house, got Cynthia’s home telephone number from the Caller ID on my home telephone, and entered this into my Pocket PC and cell phone. I returned to my red Dodge Charger R/T and called Cynthia using the hands-free UConnect feature as I drove. When she answered, I told her I needed directions to her house, and she laughed and said, “You’re kidding, right?” I assured her I was serious, and she gave me directions—speaking in a flat tone that indicated she was displeased that I could not recall where she lived.

As I followed Cynthia’s directions and drove toward her house, I found myself in an area of the city with which I was unfamiliar. I was certain I had never been here previously. Soon, I was at Cynthia’s house. It did not look familiar. The white Chevrolet Tahoe in the driveway did look familiar, however. It had distinctive aftermarket wheels and tires, and the rear license plate looked particularly familiar and said, “CYNDY 1.” Obviously, I was at Cynthia’s house.

I rang the doorbell, and Cynthia quickly answered the door. At least, I assumed it was Cynthia, since I suddenly realized that I had no recollection of what Cynthia looked like or any details about her life! I felt very confused and attempted to hide my confusion with a friendly smile. “Great!” she said. “You made it. I wasn’t sure if you could follow my directions or not.” “The directions were good,” I said. “So you really don’t remember being here before?” she asked, as she motioned me to enter.

I decided to be completely honest: “Cynthia,” I said, “not only do I not recall having been here, I do not recall you at all. I do not recognize you as someone whom I know.” “Well,” she said, “that’s sure flattering.” She was obviously upset. I rued having upset her but did not regret my honesty. “Cynthia,” I said, “you are a particularly lovely young lady, and I am certain that had we met previously, I would not forget you!” This softened Cynthia’s tone and facial expression, and she said, “Well, let’s write it off to too much wine and not enough sleep—on your part, k? I sure remember you. You charmed me totally and made my friend, Heather, green with envy when you played that song I wrote on a napkin and had the cocktail waitress give to you and you pointed right at me and smiled and read my name on the napkin and said, ‘Cynthia, this song’s for you.’” My head began to spin. I had not performed on stage for over ten years! I felt dizzy and walked to a sofa and sat. “How about some Chablis?” she asked. “We don’t need to leave for a while. I’m still getting the picnic stuff ready.” “That sounds great,” I said, relieved by the notion that Cynthia would be occupied in the kitchen, and I would have time to gather my thoughts. She quickly brought me a glass of Chablis and disappeared. I sipped the wine and relaxed and thought.

As I sipped the wine and mused about what Cynthia had said, my eyes fell upon a large tarantula, sitting on the nearby coffee table. It did not move, and I wondered whether it were alive. My curiosity bade me to investigate: I reached out and prodded the creature gently with the forefinger of my right hand. It did not react. “Ah,” I thought to myself, “it is either the product of taxidermy or a particularly realistic ersatz tarantula.”

Cynthia entered the room, carrying a picnic basket in one hand and an ice chest in the other, and said, “I see you’ve met Howard.” “Howard?” I replied. “The tarantula? Is it real and stuffed, or is it just a really detailed toy spider?” “Howard isn’t either one! He’s an AC/DC spider!” “An AC/DC spider? What in the world is an ‘AC/DC spider.’” I asked. Cynthia gave me a puzzled look and said, “Are you serious? You don’t know?” I assured her that I had no knowledge of AC/DC spiders. “Oh, but they’re so popular these days, it’s amazing you haven’t seen one before.” She continued, still looking puzzled, “Howard is a robotic spider. He eats flies, and when he eats flies, he recharges his system from the power in the flies.” “Oh, I see,” I said. It must have been obvious that I did not “see” at all. “Right now,” she said, “Howard is discharged, because there aren’t enough flies in here. I’ll have to plug him in and recharge him.” She put down the ice chest and picnic basket, removed a cable from her purse, connected one end of the cable to Howard’s rear and the other to a nearby wall socket, and said, “This should only take a couple of minutes. Let’s stow the picnic stuff in my Tahoe while Howard recharges.” Off we went to stow the picnic basket and ice chest in Cynthia’s Tahoe.

When we returned to the living room, Howard’s eyes were glowing bright red. “Good,” Cynthia said, “Howard’s all charged up and ready to go with us to the park!” “Great,” I answered. Just as Cynthia unplugged Howard and reached to pick him up, a fly buzzed near him. Howard quickly leaped into the air, caught the fly on his tongue, and noisily devoured it! As he devoured the fly, Howard’s body shook, the hairs on his body vibrated, and his eyes glowed and pulsated—alternating from bright to dim several times. After a few moments, the shaking ceased, and his eyes turned black. Cynthia placed Howard in her purse, and we departed for the park.

The park was lovely. Massive oak trees shaded the picnic table at which we sat. We feasted upon the various delicacies Cynthia took from the picnic basket, sipped Chablis, and enjoyed the sounds of the gentle breeze in the trees, the water in a nearby stream, and birds singing. A fly buzzed near Howard. Howard ignored it. Cynthia saw this and said, “Oh, poor Howard. He’s all run down again!” She took a car adapter from her purse and charged Howard in her Tahoe. A few minutes later, she returned Howard to the picnic table. I had my camera and took dozens of photographs of the park, Cynthia, and Howard.

We continued to enjoy the food and wine and the various sounds of the park. Nearby, a small girl chased after a small puppy. They appeared to be alone. I saw no sign of the girl’s guardian. I turned to remark to Cynthia that the little girl seemed to be alone, and Cynthia was not there. I turned a bit more and saw her walking toward the restrooms. I turned back to see the little girl and the puppy, but they had disappeared. A familiar sound drew my attention to Howard. He was greedily devouring large flies. His eyes glowed bright red and pulsated, and his body shook greatly.

When Cynthia had not returned after several minutes, I walked to the restrooms and called her name. The little girl I had seen previously exited the women’s restroom, followed by the puppy. “Are you looking for someone?” she asked. “I am looking for my friend, Cynthia,” I replied. “She must be inside.” “There’s no one in there,” the little girl said. She and her puppy walked away.

I returned to the picnic table. The ice chest and picnic basket were gone. Cynthia’s Tahoe was gone. Howard was gone. My camera bag was the only item on the table! I picked up my camera bag and walked toward the entrance to the park. Along the way, I encountered friends. They appeared to be preparing to leave. I asked them for a ride and gave them directions to Cynthia’s house.

When we arrived at Cynthia’s house, my Charger was there, but Cynthia’s Tahoe was not. In the driveway was an older Jeep Cherokee. I thanked my friends for the ride and walked to the door. A gentleman answered the door and said there was no one there named Cynthia. He asked me whether the Charger were mine, and when I replied that it was, he asked me why I had parked it in front of his house. “I have no idea,” I said. I walked to my car and drove home.

I downloaded the photographs from my camera onto my laptop. When I viewed them, there were images of the park, the little girl, and the puppy. There were no images of Cynthia or Howard, although I had taken several photographs of them! I sat in my recliner and thought about the day’s events. Soon, I was asleep.

When I awakened, it was dark. The blinking light on the answering machine attracted my attention. I walked to the machine and pressed “Play.” “Hi! This is Cynthia. I just wanted to say I had a great time today, and I hope you won’t forget me again!”

I awakened. It was morning. I was in bed. I realized, with great relief, that it had all been a dream.

The telephone rang. I answered it. It was Cynthia. She asked whether I would like to go to the park with her and have a picnic.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hic!, Don't Eat That!, -and- Don't Cry

Hic! - drunk man gets stuck in ex's chimney
Don't Eat That! - vet pulls toy lizard from real lizard
Don't Cry! - Iowa man jailed for onion attack

On this day in history: September 20, 1989 - A jury finds Richard Ramirez ("The Night Stalker") guilty of 43 counts, including 13 murders and assorted incidents of burglary, rape, and sodomy. Ramirez terrorized Southern California during a string of murders, sexual attacks, and burglaries. He would scrawl a pentacle in his victim's blood on the wall of each crime scene.

Born on this day in history: September 20, 1885 - Jelly Roll Morton (c. 1885 - 1941) jazz singer, composer, pianist, bandleader. He was the first great composer of orchestral jazz.

Scripture of the Day: "Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before." (Joel 2:23)

Video of the Day: It’s JerryTime: The Repairman – submitted by Cindy

Another Landmark Disappears: At 7 AM yesterday morning, while driving to my office, I noticed a gathering of construction equipment and workers at the site of the original Catholic church. A new, much larger church was built many years ago to accommodate increased attendance. The old church was an historic landmark. At 3:30 PM yesterday afternoon, while driving to the market, I passed the spot where the old Catholic church had stood. There was no sign of it. Another historic landmark is gone! Be certain to view the slide show of historic Corning photographs described below!

New Links I have added two new links to the links section. The links are for photograph galleries of historic photographs of Corning and aerial photographs of Corning. The photographs may be viewed individually or as slide shows. Enjoy!

Our cats are unusually attracted to paper. One of the pipes under the kitchen sink broke, and Laura placed a sheet of paper over the drain to remind us not to use that sink. Zeus quickly leaped into the sink in order to posture atop the paper. Click to enlarge.

Here is a photograph of Laura’s granddaughter, Parker, taken in Tucson last weekend. Click to enlarge.

Here is a photograph of Laura and Parker, taken in Tucson last weekend. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I Right the Wrongs, Role-playing, -and- Matters of Life and Death

I Right the Wrongs - judge punishes violators with Barry Manilow
Role-playing - video game helps illegals
Matters of Life and Death - city asked to evict Planned Parenthood

On this day in history: September 19, 1959 - In a Cold War setback, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev is annoyed to learn that he will not be permitted to visit Disneyland, due to concerns for his personal safety.

Born on this day in history: September 19, 1911 - William Golding (1911 - 1993) novelist. He was best known for his allegorical cult novel, "The Lord of the Flies," 1954; won the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1983.

Scripture of the Day: "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

Video of the Day: It's JerryTime: Who's that Guy? - submitted by Cindy

Brrr. It is a cool 54 degrees this morning at 7:30 AM. The "high" today is forecast to be 72 degrees. Yikes! Could it be that we are bypassing autumn and going straight to winter? So it would appear. Summer does not end officially until next Sunday, yet I feel that it has gone now, and I miss it dearly! A vision of long trousers, jackets, socks, shoes, and artificial heat dances before my eyes, and it is a most unpleasant vision indeed! Brrr. Perhaps I shall make some hot tea.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It's Alive!, Movin' on Up, -and- It Came from Outer Space

It's Alive! - man wakes during autopsy
Movin' on Up - Alaskan village to relocate
It Came from Outer Space - mystery illness strikes after meteorite hits Peruvian village

On this day in history: September 18, 1970 - Jimi Hendrix dies in London from barbiturate overdose.

Born on this day in history: September 18, 1956 - Debbi Fields (1956 - ____) business executive. She is the founder of "Mrs. Fields Cookies, Inc.," 1979.

Scripture of the Day: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4)

Video of the Day: It's JerryTime - The Landlord - submitted by Cindy

I saw Bobby Flay on television yesterday, and he was driving a new silver Dodge Nitro SLT. Bobby Flay has good taste!

For dinner last evening, I made fettuccine with shrimp and Alfredo sauce. It was delightful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Fighting Back, It Takes a Thief, -and- Weapons of Choice

Fighting Back - woman saves dog from python
It Takes a Thief - burglar who learned from TV gets 12 years
Weapons of Choice - Miami to issue officers assault rifles

On this day in history: September 17, 1908 - Thomas E. Selfridge becomes the world's first airplane fatality when the craft he's co-piloting with Orville Wright crashes near Fort Meyer, Virginia. An untested propeller ripped apart the plane's structure, causing it to nosedive from an altitude of 75 feet.

Born on this day in history: September 17, 1923 - Hank Williams, Sr. (1923 - 1953) singer, songwriter. "The Hillbilly Shakespeare" was instrumental in popularizing country-western music with "Your Cheatin' Heart," and "Jambalaya."

Scripture of the Day: "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children" (Ephesians 5:1)

Video of the Day: Mad Max Police Car - submitted by Darin

Laura's Tucson trip will end today, and she will begin her return journey. She should return here late this afternoon. She said she took many photographs, and I am certain she will share some of them on this blog.

The cats and I fared well during Laura's absence. They behaved well, and I kept their cat box clean and maintained their food and water supplies. We shall all be pleased to have Laura return.

Friday, September 14, 2007

See Ya Later Alligator, Don't Call, -and- Prisoners in Pink

See Ya Later Alligator - 7-year-old woman finds exhilaration in gator hunting
Don't Call - CA bans cell phones for driving teens
Prisoners in Pink - inmates sue over forced attire

On this day in history: September 14, 1927 - Legendary dancer Isadora Duncan is killed in Nice, France when her long silk scarf gets tangled in the rear wheel of the convertible in which she is riding.

Born on this day in history: September 14, 1849 - Ivan Pavlov (1849 - 1936) physiologist. He discovered conditioned reflex [Pavlovian reflexes] with experiments on dogs; won Nobel Prize, 1904.

Scripture of the Day: "If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose." (Philippians 2:1-2)

Video of the Day: Unique Twist Lowriders - submitted by Darin

Laura shall soon depart for the Sacramento Airport, where she will board a Southwest Airlines plane and fly to Tucson, AZ to visit her daughter and granddaughter and other relatives. The cats, Zeus and Thor, and I shall miss her. We shall enjoy an exciting period of male bonding, however.

The weather remains chilly. The wind that plagued us yesterday morning appears to be gone, however. It is currently a fairly cool 57 degrees, and the humidity is at 72%. The high for today is forecast to be 79 degrees. Yikes! The sky is overcast, and dark storm clouds loom. Hopefully, the weather will improve for the car show in Durham tomorrow.

Laura spoke with her daughter, Rachel, on the telephone yesterday. Rachel told her that Tucson is enjoying triple-digit temperatures. This displeased Laura, who enjoys cooler weather. If it were possible, I should like to trade weather with Tucson—at least for the weekend.

Here is a logo I created for an upcoming project. Details on this project will be released soon.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mr. Roboto, Bad Hair Day, -and- Old Glory

Mr. Roboto - Zeno, the artificial boy
Bad Hair Day - bald man steals Rogaine
Old Glory - NC school lifts ban on flag clothing

On this day in history: September 13, 1971 - After 1,300 rioting prisoners reject a list of proposed concessions because it lacks immunity from prosecution, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller orders an attack to retake Attica prison. In all, 29 prisoners die and 85 are wounded; and 10 hostages are killed.

Born on this day in history: September 13, 1920 - Bill Monroe (1920 - 1996) musician, instrumentalist. He was the originator of the Bluegrass style of country popular music; also known as a singer and mandolin player.

Scripture of the Day: "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble." (1 Peter 3:8)

Video of the Day: Aneta Florczyk's frying pan - submitted by Cindy

The weather this morning is particularly uninviting! It is windy, overcast, and chilly. Storm clouds fill the sky. This is not good. Hopefully, the weather will improve significantly by this weekend. Forecasts indicate that it will. It is seldom that weather forecasts are correct. Let us hope this time they are! The car show in Durham is Saturday, and good weather is a must!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fighting Back, Weapons of Choice, -and- Buzz

Fighting Back - waiter foils carjacking, gets fired
Weapons of Choice - MI legislator wants to arm educators
Buzz - "killer bees" descend on New Orleans

On this day in history: September 12, 1966 - NBC television premieres "The Monkees," a sitcom about four guys in a rock band. When the show becomes a hit, the fictional Monkees somehow release a string of albums, even though three of the actors can't even play their instruments.

Born on this day in history: September 12, 1913 - Jesse Owens (1913 - 1980) track athlete. He set a world record in the long jump that stood for 25 years and who won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

Scripture of the Day: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4)

Video of the Day: Office Stress - submitted by Jeffrey

The sky is significantly clearer this morning. It is also significantly cooler. This weekend is forecast to be cooler yet. This should be perfect weather for the car show in Durham. Traditionally, this is a good car show. The show features military vehicles, motorcycles, classics, muscle cars, hot rods, and customs. It takes place in the park in Durham. Large trees provide good shade for this event.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

iProtest, Lawyerspeak, -and- Gangs of New York

iProtest - criticism mounts as millionth iPhone sold
Lawyerspeak - attorney charges for brief copied from Internet
Gangs of New York - 95-year-old woman beaten in Manhattan

On this day in history: September 11, 1991 - Boxer Mike Tyson is arrested for raping Desiree Washington in an Indianapolis hotel room. After his conviction and three years spent behind bars, Tyson continues to maintain his innocence.

Born on this day in history: September 11, 1924 - Tom Landry (1924 - ____) football coach. He was the first coach of Dallas Cowboys, 1960-88; won two Super Bowls.

Scripture of the Day: "I lift up my eyes to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

Video of the Day: A tale of rock

September 11, 2001: The single largest terrorist attack in history occurs when four commercial jetliners are hijacked, two of which slam into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. Another plane is crashed into the Pentagon. 2,915 people are killed in the attacks, coordinated by Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden. The civilized world is horrified; especially after seeing footage of Palestinians celebrating in the streets. For the first time in U.S. history, all flights are grounded throughout the country. All major government facilities are evacuated, as well as many local facilities.

1987: At a lecture the other day they were playing an old news video of Lt. Col. Oliver North testifying at the Iran-Contra hearings during the Reagan Administration.

There was Ollie in front of God and country getting the third degree, but what he said was stunning!

He was being drilled by a senator: "Did you not recently spend close to $60,000 for a home security system?"

Ollie replied, "Yes, I did, Sir."

The senator continued, trying to get a laugh out of the audience, "Isn't that just a little excessive?"

"No, sir," continued Ollie.

"No? And why not?" the senator asked.

"Because the lives of my family and I were threatened, sir."

"Threatened? By whom?" the senator questioned.

"By a terrorist, sir," Ollie answered.

"Terrorist? What terrorist could possibly scare you that much?"

"His name is Osama bin Laden, sir," Ollie replied.

At this point the senator tried to repeat the name, but couldn't pronounce it, which most people back then probably couldn't. A couple of people laughed at the attempt. Then the senator continued. "Why are you so afraid of this man?" the senator asked.

"Because, sir, he is the most evil person alive that I know of," Ollie answered.

"And what do you recommend we do about him?" asked the senator.

"Well, sir, if it was up to me, I would recommend that an assassin team be formed to eliminate him and his men from the face of the earth."

The senator disagreed with this approach, and that was all that was shown of the clip.

By the way, that senator was Al Gore!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fighting Back, Heat of the Moment, -and- The Wrong Stuff

Fighting Back - intruder's ear cut off during home invasion
Heat of the Moment - activists take Al Gore to task over his diet
The Wrong Stuff - Buzz Aldrin: Novak should be "admired"

On this day in history: September 10, 1977 - Convicted torture-killer Hamida Djandoubi, an immigrant from Tunisia, becomes the last person executed by France when he is guillotined in Marseilles.

Born on this day in history: September 10, 1929 - Arnold Palmer (1929 - ____) golfer. He was the first to win the Masters Tournament four times and the first to earn $1,000,000 in tournament prize money.

Scripture of the Day: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” (Isaiah 46:4)

Video of the Day: Mike Huckabee responds to evolution question - submitted by Donny

The sky is darkened from the smoke of fires. The sun hangs in the sky like an orange-red fireball. The humidity is great. It could be worse. I thank God for the day he has given us and praise his holy name. I celebrate this day and am thankful that the fires are not here. It could be worse.

Seconds following my writing that, it did get worse! A cretin burst into my office with a laptop in her hand—the power cable following behind her. As the door closed, the plug on the power cord became caught in the door. The woman dislodged the power cord from the door and began a loud, fast-paced rant about problems she was having with the laptop. Her diatribe was difficult to follow, but I managed to ascertain that she had purchased the unit (a Dell, of all things!) at Wal-Mart Friday evening. Apparently, all was well until her niece used the unit Saturday evening. Following that, random problems and general slowdown has plagued the system.

I said, "It sounds as though your system is infected. It probably has been infected with spyware and, possibly, viruses. Do you not have anti-spyware and anti-virus applications loaded?" "How should I know?" she responded. "You are correct," I said. "There is no reason whatever to imagine that you should be expected to know anything." I smiled. The smile was not returned. "So, what are you going to do?" she asked. "I am going to recommend that you consult Wal-Mart and determine what they recommend you do." "I called them," she said, "and they said to call Dell." "In that case," I said, "I am going to recommend that you consult Dell and determine what they recommend you do." I smiled. Once again, the smile was not returned. "I called them," she said, "and they said the warranty didn't cover what's wrong with it."

I said, "If you wish me to address the issue, I could make an appointment to do so tomorrow at 1 PM. I estimate repairs will take an hour, and the charge will be $60.00." "Why should I have to pay anything? It's brand-new!" she screeched. "You are right!" I said. "Ask your niece to pay the $60.00!" "She doesn't have any money!" she spat, as though this were something of which I should be aware.

"I recommend, then, that you find someone with the desire to perform repairs on your computer at no charge. You shall not find that person here, so I suggest you begin your quest elsewhere." She departed. Once again, the power cord became caught in the door. She jerked violently on the power cord and managed to rip the plug from the cord. "Now see what you've done!" she screamed. I offered no response. She slithered off into the gloom of the morning.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fighting Back, Fighting Back Too, -and- iSorry

Fighting Back - man chases, tackles suspected child molester
Fighting Back Too - vigilantes beat child molester
iSorry - Steve Jobs rues iPhone price cut

On this day in history: September 7, 1978 - Walking to the bus stop, BBC journalist Georgi Markov suddenly feels a sharp pain in his right calf. A KGB assassin had jabbed him with an umbrella tip, rigged to inject a tiny platinum sphere. The pellet is laden with ricin, a castor-based toxin with no known antidote. Markov dies in the hospital four agonizing days later.

Born on this day in history: September 7, 1930 - Sonny Rollins (1930 - ____) jazz musician. He was a tenor saxophonist who was among the finest improvisers on the instrument to appear since the mid-1950s.

Scripture of the Day: “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)

Video of the Day: Kitty Said What? - Morphing Kittens - submitted by Cindy

[While I slept] The Silver Machine - It is a warm summer evening. I am walking in a meadow. The moon is full and very bright, and all about me is shimmering moonlight. The grass is very tall and comes almost to my knees. I feel as though I have been walking for some time. I feel physically tired, yet I feel very anticipatory and excited.

I walk for several more minutes and come upon a fallen tree. It is a very large tree, and it blocks the path. I cannot climb over the tree, since it is so large, so I begin to walk around it. As I near the base of the tree, I see that it appears to be hollow. There is a large opening in the tree trunk, near the base.

Without consciously making the decision to do so, I climb into the hole. It is very spacious inside, and I find that I can move about freely. I walk for several minutes then suddenly realize that something is wrong, because the tree cannot possibly be as tall as it would need to be for me to have walked as far as I did.

It is very dark, and I cannot see anything but a very faint light, far off in the distance. I am very confused and decide to retrace my steps and leave the tree. When I am turning around, I step on something which causes me to lose my balance. I grasp at what I expect to be the inside of the tree and find that I am touching a rock wall.

I walk in the direction from which I came for several minutes. I reach the end of the tunnel and find myself at a large opening in a mountainside. I am high above the raging surf of a sea, and there is no visible descent from this spot. I am very confused. I turn around and walk back into the tunnel.

After several minutes of walking, I begin to see the light far ahead which I had seen previously. I realize that I must be approximately where I had been before turning back. I decide to rest here for a few minutes and consider my situation.

After resting for a few minutes, I rise and continue walking toward the light. I become aware of a faint, low-pitched humming sound. It appears to be increasing in loudness as I approach the source of the light.

The light is becoming very bright. I can clearly see the walls of the tunnel. The humming sound is so loud that the tunnel vibrates from the sound. I am very puzzled by this sound. I have never heard anything similar. I continue walking toward the light.

I suddenly find myself in a large cavern. There is a very large silver machine against the far wall of the cavern. This is apparently the source of the humming sound. I imagine it to be a power-generating device, judging from the many wire extending from it. There is a catwalk which runs around the top of the machine, some twenty or more feet above the cavern floor.

There is a procession of several dozen creatures on the catwalk. They look human in their posture and walk erect. Their heads are like the heads of bees, however, they wear no clothing, and their bodies are covered with multi-colored hairs.

There is an opening in the top of the silver machine, and as each bee creature in turn reaches this opening, it regurgitates voluminously into the opening and walks away. Whatever is in the systems of these bee creatures is evidently being used as a source of fuel by the silver machine.

Suddenly, I am discovered by several of the bee creatures, who look at me and point. A very large bee creature appears and grasps me and carries me into a small cavern and bars my escape with a huge boulder which he rolls up to the entrance of the cavern. It is cold and damp and dark in this cavern. There is little air, and I find it difficult to breathe. As the minutes pass, my breathing becomes more and more labored, and I lose consciousness.

I awaken, shivering, although it is a warm night.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Prodigal Son, Un-Godly, -and- Life Imitates Art

The Prodigal Son - Billy Graham's grandson returns to flock
Un-Godly - black magic cult unearths dead bodies
Life Imitates Art - writer convicted of murder he described in novel

On this day in history: September 6, 1951 - During a drinking party in Mexico City, author William S. Burroughs instructs his wife Joan to balance a glass of gin on her head. He then takes careful aim with his new .38 pistol, and unintentionally blows her brains out in front of their friends. The Mexican authorities later charge Burroughs with criminal imprudence.

Born on this day in history: September 6, 1928 - Robert M. Pirsig (1928 - ____) novelist, writer. He is best known for "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," 1974.

Scripture of the Day: "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.'" (John 14:23)

Video of the Day: Crime Time: Electro-Phobia - submitted by Darin

Here is a photograph of Thor as a kitten. He is much larger now! Click to enlarge.

Today is overcast and very humid. The sky looks as though there has recently been a thermonuclear event. I do not like this weather. Of course, it could be worse.

This is how the sun looks this morning:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Law of the Land, Beach Patrol San Diego, -and- Mommy Dearest

Law of the Land - Scientology faces criminal charges
Beach Patrol San Diego - 16 face charges after beach brawl
Mommy Dearest - 5-year-old designated driver for drunk mom

On this day in history: September 5, 1975 - Manson Family member Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme almost assassinates President Gerald Ford with a .45 automatic in Sacramento, California. But Fromme is tackled by a Secret Service agent before she can remember to rack a round into the firing chamber.

Born on this day in history: September 5, 1940 - Raquel Welch (1940 - ____) actress, model. She starred in "One Million Years, BC," 1967; famous for her figure and sexiness; starred on Broadway in "Woman of the Year," 1982.

Scripture of the Day: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matthew 28:18-20)

Video of the Day: Backspace - Unfold

Here is a recent photograph of Laura’s daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Parker. Click to enlarge.

Interestingly, while Laura and I were watching "Beach Patrol San Diego," a riotous encounter between drunken beach-goers and police was taking place on a San Diego beach. There is now renewed interest in banning alcohol from San Diego beaches. This is something we discussed while watching the show. It would seem—given that the majority of problems on the beaches involve alcohol—many problems would be avoided if alcohol were banned. See the second story in today's news links to read about this beach fracas.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

To Serve and Protect, Of Mice and Men, -and- All in the Family

To Serve and Protect - officer accused of spanking woman's rear
Of Mice and Men - human-animal embryo study wins approval
All in the Family - 100-year-old man has 100 grandkids

On this day in history: September 4, 1991 - 25 workers are killed when a fire breaks out at the Imperial Foods food processing plant in Hamlet, North Carolina. Most of the victims—predominantly single mothers—die of smoke inhalation. The facility's rear exit had been padlocked by management to deter employee pilferage. The Imperial plant had never once in its 11-year history been inspected by the state. The owner, Emmet Roe, later receives 19 years in prison for the 25 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Born on this day in history: September 4, 1949 - Tom Watson (1949 - ____) golfer He won the British Open five times; Masters twice, U.S. Open once.

Scripture of the Day: “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you and guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Timothy 1:13-14)

Video of the Day: Idiot Thieves - submitted by Cindy

After three days of relaxing, it is going to be difficult returning to work! The Labor Day weekend was a restful period for us. We did little other than lounge. It was wonderfully restorative. We had Scrabble tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. We opened and used for the first time a very nice Scrabble game given us by one of my brothers for Christmas several years ago. It features a swivel base and recessed spots for the tiles. Laura did particularly well and won several games. I work three or more crossword puzzles each day and have done so since the age of 3 or so. It is no simple matter to best me at Scrabble, and I applaud Laura for the determination that led to several victories for her.

You may recall me telling you of the Mr. Clean Pro-Series AutoDry Car Wash System and my delight at finding that it performs fully as depicted in the television advertisements. I am always pleasantly surprised when a product lives up to its commercial presentation. I discovered another product that easily meets the promises made in its advertising: Bayer Back and Body works incredibly well to quickly and completely banish back, joint, and muscle pain! I have suffered back pain for as long as I can remember—stemming from an automobile accident in the late 1960s. Routinely, I take aspirin several times daily to alleviate back pain. While the aspirin makes the pain manageable, it does not make it cease. Saturday for the first time (with great reservation, I must say), I tried Bayer Back and Body. I was very delighted to find that within a short period of time (perhaps 20 minutes), my back pain was gone! While the manufacturer recommends 2 tablets every 6 hours, I found that 2 tablets lasted throughout the entire day! I highly recommend this product!