Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Scoop on Dogs and Cats, Yard Rage, -and- And Don't Forget My Free Wash!

The Scoop on Dogs and Cats - pet owners get 72 hours to clean their yards
Yard Rage - man threatens landscaper with shotgun for mowing too early in the morning
And Don't Forget My Free Wash! - Sheikh flies Lamborghini 6,500 miles to Britain for oil change

On this day in history: July 31, 1966 - Beatles records are burned in Birmingham, Alabama, because John Lennon declared the band to be "more popular than Jesus."

Born on this day in history: July 31, 1954 - Laura Lynn Harter

Scripture of the Day: For this world in its present form is passing away. - 1 Corinthians 7:31

Video of the Day: Happy Birthday, Laura!

Today is Laura's birthday. She is lounging abed. Her vacation begins today. Tomorrow, she departs for Tucson, AZ, to visit her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter.

Most likely, the cats and I shall run amok!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fighting Back, They Young and the Speeding, -and- Fat Cat

Fighting Back - homeowner shoots, injures man trying to break into his house
The Young and the Speeding - 1-year-old leads cops on 100-mph chase
Fat Cat - 44-pound domestic cat found

On this day in history: July 30, 1938 - In his Dearborn, Michigan office Henry Ford proudly accepts a Nazi medal on his 75th birthday. The Grand Cross of the Order of the German Eagle is the highest award the Reich can bestow on foreigners. The medal arrives with a note of personal greetings from Adolf Hitler. A rabid anti-Semite, Ford paid for copies of the racist hoax Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to be deposited in major U.S. libraries.

Born on this day in history: July 30, 1947 - Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947 - ) Born near Graz, Austria, bodybuilder, actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger won several Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia titles. In the 1980s, he starred in a new genre of action films, including Conan the Barbarian (1982) and The Terminator (1984). Schwarzenegger became an American citizen in 1983, and, in 2003, was elected governor of California.

Scripture of the Day: At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "When the Christ comes, will he do more miraculous signs than this man?" - John 7:30-31

Video of the Day: Russian Street Racing, Really Crazy - submitted by Darin

Today is the first day following the merger of the Sirius and XM satellite radio systems. It is certainly not encouraging that Sirius' "Listen on Line" feature is not functioning this morning! This office is eerily quiet—following the death of the television last week and the crash of Sirius this morning. EEK!

Sirius Update - 8:10 AM: Apparently, it was Phaedra (my main system) and not Sirius Satellite Radio that was misbehaving this morning! As the morning progressed, additional applications began to stop responding. Ultimately, I was left with only the Web cam and HotFax MessageCenter running—and they, just barely. Yikes! I restarted Phaedra, and all appears well now. She is about 6 years of age, so she has certainly had a long and fruitful life. I am not, however, enthusiastic about the idea of replacing her at this time! Be good, Phaedra!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Water's Fine, Wake Up!, -and- Taxman

The Water's Fine - diners flock to flooded restaurant
Wake Up! - "Goldilocks" burglar found fast asleep in victim's home
Taxman - IRS worker snooped on celebrities

On this day in history: July 29, 1921 - Adolf Hitler is selected as leader of the National Socialist Party.

Born on this day in history: July 29, 1938 - Peter Jennings (1938-2005) Born in Toronto, Canada, broadcast journalist Peter Jennings established the first American TV news bureau in the Arab world. Named ABC news anchor in 1983, he covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and more, winning numerous awards. Jennings died of lung cancer at 67.

Scripture of the Day: "Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever." - 2 Samuel 7:29

Video of the Day: California Cops Crushing Illegal Street-racing Cars - submitted by Darin

Villagers were shocked after a monkey-like piglet was born in China. Curious locals flocked to the home of owner Feng Changlin after news of the piglet spread in Fengzhang village, Xiping township. The piglet looks just like a monkey, with two thin lips, a small nose and two big eyes. Its rear legs are also much longer than its forelegs, causing it to jump instead of walk. Click to enlarge.

The sky is beautiful! The sky is beautiful this morning! The sky has been clearing—and the air quality has been significantly improving—since Saturday. It is wonderful seeing a beautiful, blue sky. The birds are happy. Their songs fill the air!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hunger Pangs, Please Remain Seated, -and- Lawnmower Man

Hunger Pangs - world's priciest foods
Please Remain Seated! - woman arrested for trying to open airplane door at 30,000 feet
Lawnmower Man - man faces 6 years for armed attack on mower

On this day in history: July 28, 1957 - A C-124 transport plane carrying three nuclear weapons jettisons its precious cargo into the Atlantic, somewhere east of Delaware and New Jersey. The bombs are never recovered.

Born on this day in history: July 28, 1929 - Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929 - 1994) Born Jacqueline Lee Bouvier in Southampton, New York, Jackie Onassis married John F. Kennedy in 1953. As first lady, she promoted the arts, history and high style. The couple had two children, Caroline (1957– ) and John (1960 — 99). After Kennedy’s death, she married Greek magnate Aristotle Onassis. In later years, Onassis lived quietly and worked in publishing.

Scripture of the Day: When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. - Matthew 7:28-29

Video of the Day: Bunny Eating Banana - submitted by Cindy

R-E-S-P-E-C-T - Yikes!!! Click to enlarge.

Blue skies! Yesterday—for the first time in many weeks—the skies were blue and clear, the air was clean, and the birds were singing! This morning, the sky is bluer and clearer yet, and the birds are singing more loudly! Praise God!

Laura's birthday is Thursday, July 31. We celebrated it over the weekend, however. The celebration culminated with dinner last evening. I asked Laura what she wanted for her birthday dinner, and she said she wanted me to make "the giant prawns that taste like lobster—and lots of them!" I got two large packages of giant prawns. I washed them, snipped off the tails, and cut them in half. Laura coated them with olive oil to ensure the shells would not stick to the grilling grate. I made a mop with a stick of Land O' Lakes butter, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, granulated garlic, ground ginger, Tony Chachere's More Spice, Italian seasoning, lime juice, and sea salt. I cooked the mop in the microwave in a Pyrex measuring cup until it the butter melted fully. I reserved a glass bowl for dipping. I placed a grilling grate on the barbecue. I arranged the prawn halves—shell-side down—on the grilling grate. I ignited both burners and turned them to medium. I brushed the prawn halves three times and cooked for 5 minutes. Laura took the garlic bread from the conventional oven and placed it in a serving bowl. I turned off the barbecue, plated the shrimp, and took them to the table. It was an absolutely delightful meal. There seemed to be an endless quantity of prawns, and several times we exclaimed that we could eat no more. However, when we left the table, the last prawn shell had been removed and cast aside and the prawn meat devoured hungrily.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Kids Are Alright, Animal Kingdom, -and- The Name Game

The Kids Are Alright - 14-year-old jumps off bridge to rescue drowning suicidal senior
Animal Kingdom - pet rabbit hops to rescue to save owners from fire
The Name Game - Judge makes girl, 9, ward of court to dump 'Talula Does the Hula' name

On this day in history: July 25, 1999 - Woodstock '99 festival ends in looting and rioting, leaving 12 trailers burned, towers toppled, and several women raped during the course of the show. About 500 state troopers were needed to quell the mass uprising of peace and love, apparently triggered by overpriced vendors and commercialization.

Born on this day in history: July 25, 1954 - Walter Payton (1954 - 1999) Born in Columbia, Mississippi, football player Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears earned a National Football League record for rushing. Payton was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.

Scripture of the Day: Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. - Acts 7:25

Video of the Day: Human Skateboard by PES - submitted by Amber

The fire-red Sun hangs heavy in the post-apocalyptic sky! The wind continues to bring the smoke from smouldering wildfires into the city. The air quality is horrid and the birds are not singing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fighting Back, How Ironic!, -and- They're Here!

Fighting Back - armed doctor chases off robber at restaurant
How Ironic! - stolen credit card used to buy program to prevent identity theft
They're Here! - mystery vibrations have Green Bay couple spinning

On this day in history: July 24, 1999 - Former Guns N' Roses guitarist "Slash" is arrested in West Hollywood for allegedly beating his girlfriend at the Le Parc Hotel five days prior.

Born on this day in history: July 24, 1970 - Jennifer Lopez (1970-) Born in the Bronx, New York, actress and pop singer Jennifer Lopez got her break in 1997 in Selena, making her the highest-paid Latina actress in history. Lopez's musical career also took off, and the 2001 J. Lo album debuted at No. 1. Lopez's romances have been widely publicized, including with rapper Sean "Puffy" Combs, actor Ben Affleck and current husband singer Marc Anthony.

Scripture of the Day: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! - Romans 7:24-25

Video of the Day: Western Spaghetti - submitted by Amber

Laura worked late yesterday. It was the only evening this week that she was not scheduled to work in the nursery or sing on the worship team during this week's David Woods crusade at Harvest Christian Center. Tonight, she will be working in the nursery, and Friday (the final evening of the crusade) she will be singing with the worship team. I decided that last evening would be a perfect time for a pre-birthday dinner! I grilled the remaining two Omaha Steaks filets mignons that were sent us by reader Chris. I also grilled two large white mushrooms and two white potatoes. I steamed and chilled a quantity of broccoli. We shred a bottle of 2001 Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a truly delightful meal.

Again today, the air quality is abysmal. The wildfires are under control, but they continue to smolder, and the wind drives the smoke into the city.

I have not yet removed the carcass of the dead Sony CRT TV from the wall mounting in my office. I have been enjoying Sirius satellite radio via the Internet. Since I have an account for Mr. Nitro, listening via the Internet is free. I listened to Jazz Café Tuesday and Blues yesterday. I am listening to Blues again today. Perhaps I shall go to Netflix and watch a movie. I am surviving well without a television. Who would have thought?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Stupid Criminals, Hic!, -and- Small Change

Stupid Criminals - shoplifter leaves 6-year-old daughter behind
Hic! - RI police arrest man with .491 blood alcohol level
Small Change - police arrest man accused of taking 42 cents from mall fountain

On this day in history: July 23, 1996 - Harry Morgan, Col. Potter on TV's M*A*S*H, is arraigned on charges of spousal abuse. LAPD officers responding to a 911 call at the couple's Brentwood, California home had discovered his wife Barbara bruised and bleeding from her face.

Born on this day in history: July 23, 1888 - Raymond Chandler (1888 - 1959)
Born in Chicago, Illinois, writer Raymond Chandler was educated in Europe, and served in the Canadian army in World War 1. Back in the U.S., he created distinctive crime fiction, including The Big Sleep (1939) and Farewell, My Lovely (1940). In later years, Chandler alternated living in California and London.

Scripture of the Day: "Prepare chains, because the land is full of bloodshed and the city is full of violence." - Ezekiel 7:23

Video of the Day: Hulk vs Batman - submitted by Cindy

Laura recieved a birthday cake from her employer. She brought home the list of cakes available from The Upper Crust—a high-end bakery in Chico—and asked for my opinion. I suggested the coconut cake. She agreed and ordered it. She brought it home yesterday, and we enjoyed some of it. It is indescribably delicious!

Laura's birthday is on the 31st of this month. We shall celebrate it this weekend. One of her favorite culinary delights is grilled giant prawns. I believe I shall make this on Saturday. She is particularly fond of the manner in which I prepare them: I remove the tails (the heads have been removed by the butcher) and halve giant prawns—leaving them in their shells. I grill them—shell-side down—over a medium flame—using a fish grate. As they grill, I slather them with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, lime juice, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and ground garlic. At the table, the meat pops easily from the shell and has the texture and flavor of lobster.

Next weekend, Laura shall depart for a vacation in Tucson, AZ, where she will visit her daughter, Rachel, son-in-law, David, and granddaughter, Parker. The cats and I shall be on our own. We may easily turn feral and run amok.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Word, Roach Motel, -and- Everything's Relative

The Word - 1,600-year-old version of the Bible goes online
Roach Motel - man blows up apartment spraying for bugs
Everything's Relative - world's fastest snail crowned

On this day in history: July 22, 1994 - In court, O.J. pleads "absolutely, 100% not guilty" of savagely killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.

Born on this day in history: July 22, 1947 - Danny Glover (1947– ) Born in San Francisco, actor Danny Glover got his break in "The Color Purple" (1985). He went on to play both villains and heroes, starring in the "Lethal Weapon" movie series. In 1998, Glover was appointed a UN goodwill ambassador.

Scripture of the Day: "How great you are, O Sovereign LORD! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears." - 2 Samuel 7:22

Video of the Day: Nascargot Racing

This was the scene at the annual World Snail Racing Championships in Congham, Norfolk. Click to enlarge.

Laura and I attended David Woods' Crusade at Harvest Christian Center last evening. Laura sang on the worship team. This was the second evening of the Crusade, which will run through Friday evening. David Woods is a gifted speaker, and his message was powerful and well-received.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We'll Leave the Red Light On for You, Slim Jim, -and- Drive My Car

We'll Leave the Red Light On for You - S.F. may legalize prostitution
Slim Jim - inmate loses weight, escapes through vent
Drive My Car - police chief's daughter uses impounded car for free

On this day in history: July 21, 1925 - John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in a Tennessee public school. The jury fines him $100.

Born on this day in history: July 21, 1899 - Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) Born in Oak Park, Illinois, writer Ernst Hemingway served in an ambulance corps in World War I. Later based in Paris, he was part of Gertrude Stein’s expatriate circle. His first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926) gained instant acclaim and A Farewell to Arms (1929) put him in the front ranks. In 1927, Hemingway settled in the U.S.

Scripture of the Day: [Speaking to the Israelites about their enemies, Moses said:] "Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God." - Deuteronomy 7:21

Video of the Day: Master Casters: Skeet Fishing - submitted by Darin

The office television died! When I arrive at my office, I unlock the front door, turn off the alarm system, say a prayer—thanking God for his protective covering over my office—switch the door sign to "Open," turn on the monitor on the kiosk computer, turn on the television and satellite receiver, turn on the monitor on Liberty (my secondary system), turn on the monitor on Phaedra (my main system), turn on the lights, unlock the rear door, and either open the rear door or turn on the air conditioning—depending on the interior temperature of the office. This is a routine I have followed for many, many years. I followed this procedure this morning, but immediately sensed something was amiss when the sound for the Fox News Channel emanated from the television without the compliment of video! Yikes! The 15-year-old Sony television is dead! I dread removing it from its perch. It is an ancient 27" CRT beast that weighs a great deal. I do not clearly recall placing it on the wall bracket. It must have been a great chore! I am unsure what I shall do now that the television has died, but I do know that listening to Fox news without video is creepy!

The weekend weather was beautiful. It was in the upper 90s—considerably cooler than the triple-digit temperatures of the previous weekend. I enjoy warm weather, but I must admit that 115 degrees is a bit warmer than I find enjoyable.

Saturday morning, I made a large batch of salsa. Laura had received several wonderful home-grown tomatoes from a co-worker. I diced them and added 4 large diced Jalapeño peppers, 6 diced Serrano peppers, a large diced habanero, sliced celery, chopped green onions, 15 sliced garlic cloves, cilantro, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, ground cumin, and lime juice.

Later that day, we roasted baby back ribs on the grill. Laura rubbed the ribs with Tony Chachere's More Spice. She made a mop with extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, light rum, brown sugar, Italian seasoning, honey, lime juice, garlic powder, ground cumin, and sea salt. She mopped the ribs every 15 minutes. They cooked on indirect heat for 3 hours. They were wonderful. I made spicy black beans with chopped white onion, chopped celery, minced garlic, diced Jalapeño peppers, brown sugar, Tony Chachere's More Spice, molasses, ground cumin, and ground cayenne pepper. It was an excellent meal.

Sunday—after service at Harvest Christian Center—I made guacamole, using the salsa I made Saturday. We had guacamole, salsa, and tortilla chips and played Scrabble. Laura won the first game, and I won the second game.

For dinner, I made pasta with shrimp. I cooked a package of Barilla thick spaghetti al dente, drained, and tossed with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, cilantro, and cooked shrimp. I also made garlic bread. It was a delightful meal. Leftover pasta and shrimp will follow Laura to work this morning.

Friday, July 18, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Fill 'er Up!, -and- Life Imitates Art

To Serve and Protect - officer accused of threatening Starbucks manager for free coffee
Fill 'er Up! - man stole $44,000 in gas, police say
Life Imitates Art - balloons carry gun away in "CSI"-like suicide

On this day in history: July 18, 1984 - James Oliver Huberty walks into a crowded McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California and starts shooting. Carrying an Uzi carbine, a 12-gauge shotgun, and a Browning 9mm pistol, Huberty guns down 40 people. 21 of them, mostly children, die from their wounds. A San Diego police sniper finally solves the situation more than an hour later. Ultimately, the McDonald's Corporation opts to bulldoze the franchise and build a community park there.

Born on this day in history: July 18, 1918 - Nelson (Rolihlahla) Mandela (1918 - ) South African statesman and president (1994–99), born in Transkei, SE South Africa. He was a lawyer in Johannesburg, then joined the African National Congress in 1944. For the next 20 years he directed a campaign of defiance against the South African government and its racist policies.

Scripture of the Day: But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever -- yes, for ever and ever. - Daniel 7:18

Video of the Day: Girls Habanero-eating Contest

This was the scene at the local farmers market. Unfortunately, it was only in my dream that this scene existed. Dream photography is a very new scientific technique. I hope this displays well. Click to enlarge.

For dinner last evening, we had the two remaining stuffed mushrooms from an earlier meal and a rice dish. I placed 1 1/2 cups of Calrose rice, 2 cups of water, a large white mushroom (thinly sliced), a handful of frozen corn kernels, a cluster tomato (diced), garlic powder, Tony Chachere's More Spice, Italian seasoning, and ground cumin in an electric rice cooker and pressed the on button. I reheated the stuffed mushrooms. It was a delicious meal.

Tonight, we shall have a Red Baron Supreme pizza. We shall adorn it with sliced white mushrooms, diced Jalapeño, sliced cluster tomatoes, Tony Chachere's More Spice, and provolone cheese.

Tomorrow, we shall cook a rack of baby back ribs on the barbecue—low and slow, mopping each 15 minutes with a mixture of extra-virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, light rum, honey, Gebhardt's chili powder, Tony Chachere's More Spice, Italian seasoning, ground cumin, garlic powder, and ground ginger. I shall make a batch of spicy Cajun beans.

Sunday will begin a six-day crusade at Harvest Christian Center, featuring evangelist David Woods.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

To Serve and Protect, Fish out of Water, -and- Get out the Vote

To Serve and Protect - rookie cop's squad car smashed 30 minutes into shift
Fish out of Water - walking catfish startle residents
Get out the Vote - CA same-sex marriage legality to be decided by voters

On this day in history: July 17, 1917 - Britain's King George V issues a royal proclamation changing his family's surname from Hanover to Windsor. Thus, everyone is fooled into believing that a German family are really English. This is convenient, because England just so happens to be at war with Germany.

Born on this day in history: July 17, 1934 - Donald Sutherland (1934– ) Film actor, born in St John, New Brunswick, E Canada. He studied at the University of Toronto, and for a time at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London.

Scripture of the Day: For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. - Revelation 7:17

Video of the Day: Card Trice - submitted by Danica

Mr. Smiley is crying this morning. His tears are tears of joy, however: He is happy that the wildfires are under control.

Laura had to work late yesterday, so I attended Bible class at Harvest Christian Center alone.

Anticipating a late dinner, I produced two enormous enchiladas prior to scurrying off to Bible class. I filled two flour tortillas with previously-grilled, sliced chicken breast, black beans, and homemade salsa. I rolled these and placed in a Pyrex baking dish. Atop them, I liberally strew shredded cheddar, jack, and Jalapeño cheeses and more of the homemade salsa. I covered with plastic wrap and stowed in the microwave oven. When I returned from Bible class, I removed the plastic wrap and cooked on "reheat" until the cheese was bubbling. It was a delightful meal.

One day a 9 year old girl was sitting in a classroom. The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children.

The teacher asked a little boy: Tommy do you see the tree outside?


TEACHER: Tommy, do you see the grass outside?


TEACHER: Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.

TOMMY: Okay. (He returned a few minutes later) Yes, I saw the sky.

TEACHER: Did you see God up there?


TEACHER: That's my point. We can't see God because he isn't there. Possibly he just doesn't exist.

A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions.

The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy:

LITTLE GIRL: TOMMY, do you see the tree outside?


LITTLE GIRL: Tommy do you see the grass outside?

TOMMY: Yessssss!

LITTLE GIRL: Did you see the sky?

TOMMY: Yessssss!

LITTLE GIRL: Tommy, do you see the teacher?


LITTLE GIRL: Do you see her brain?


LITTLE GIRL: Then according to what we were taught today in school, she possibly may not even have one!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All in the Family, To Serve and Protect, -and- Junk Mail

All in the Family - pizza worker sees dad when wig falls off robber
To Serve and Protect - cop busted for selling confidential information
Junk Mail - man gets 30 months in prison for spamming AOL

On this day in history: July 16, 1998 - An inattentive deputy sheriff in Lafayette, IN, drives his automobile into the stolen tombstone of actor James Dean. The 400 pound tombstone, which was stolen two days prior from Dean's gravesite at Park Cemetery (and later abandoned on a country road), rips the transmission out of the deputy's vehicle.

Born on this day in history: July 16, 1967 - Will Ferrell (1967-) Born in Irvine, California, the son of Righteous Brothers keyboard player Lee Ferrell, actor-comedian Will Ferrell began comedy shtick in high school. He joined The Groundlings, a Los Angeles improv troupe, and, in 1995, the cast of Saturday Night Live. Ferrell has since moved into films.

Scripture of the Day: [After Jesus had raised the son of the widow from Nain:] They were all filled with awe and praised God. "A great prophet has appeared among us," they said. "God has come to help his people." - Luke 7:16

Video of the Day: Andy Kaufman Elvis impersonation (1979 Johnny Cash show) - submitted by Amber

The sky is blue and the birds are singing! Hopefully, the wildfires that have plagued California for weeks are nearing containment. Temperatures have dropped, winds have abated, and evacuation orders have been rescinded!

For dinner last evening, we had chicken, mashed potatoes, and celery and carrots. I diced white potatoes, peeled a head of garlic, and placed the potatoes and garlic in a covered casserole dish. I sliced celery and cut baby carrots into thirds, lengthwise. I seasoned the celery and carrots with Red Monkey lemon pepper seasoning, celery salt, and Tony Chachere's More Spice. Laura seasoned the potatoes, cooked them for 8 minutes in the microwave oven, added I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, ranch dressing, grated cheeses (cheddar, jack, and Jalapeño), and whipped with an electric mixer. She steamed the vegetables and reheated the Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which had been previously grilled. It was a delightful meal.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't Push Me!, Grand Theft Cart, -and- Mommy Dearest

Don't Push Me! - man spends 53 hours in shopping cart
Grand Theft Cart - golf-cart thief caught on interstate
Mommy Dearest - mother charged for leaving baby to die in car while she drinks in bar

On this day in history: July 15, 1869 - During war with Prussia, French ruler Napoleon III commissions Hippolye Mege Mouries to find a butter substitute. A patent for margarine is issued, it being based on beef fat instead of milk fat. But even with the tactically superior spread, the war is still lost.

Born on this day in history: July 15, 1951 - Jesse Ventura (1951-) Born James George Janos in Minneapolis, Minnesota, professional wrestler and politician Jesse Ventura served in Vietnam in 1970, and, afterward, a popular wrestler and movie actor. In 1998, Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota, the first Reform Party candidate ever to hold state or federal office. Ventura chose not to run again.

Scripture of the Day: "Nothing outside a man can make him 'unclean' by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him 'unclean.'" - Mark 7:15

Video of the Day: Dragon the Leopard Gecko - submitted by Cindy

Ronald Reagan Quotes

  • It's true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?
  • Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.
  • Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.
  • Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.
  • Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
  • Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.
  • Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
  • Government always finds a need for whatever money it gets.
  • Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them.
  • Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.
  • How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.
  • I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.
  • I've never been able to understand why a Republican contributor is a 'fat cat' and a Democratic contributor of the same amount of money is a 'public-spirited philanthropist.'
  • If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under.
  • It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.
  • No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!
  • One way to make sure crime doesn't pay would be to let the government run it.
  • Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.
  • Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.
  • Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem.
  • The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.
  • The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much.
  • The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.
  • There are no easy answers but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.
  • They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong.
  • Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.
    To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last - but eat you he will.
  • Today, if you invent a better mousetrap, the government comes along with a better mouse.
  • We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
  • We have the duty to protect the life of an unborn child.
  • We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
  • We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added.
  • Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.
  • When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat.
  • Monday, July 14, 2008

    Fighting Back, You Are What You Eat, -and- Good Dog!

    Fighting Back - woman, .357 blazing, chases intruders from home
    You Are What You Eat - docs pull screws, nails from metal-eating man
    Good Dog! - hero dog helps couple fight pirates of the Caribbean

    On this day in history: July 14, 1881 - In the Sumner, New Mexico home of his friend Pete Maxwell, notorious outlaw Billy the Kid steps into a darkened bedroom and is shot dead by sheriff Pat Garrett. Billy's last words are "¿Quién es?" (Who is it?)

    Born on this day in history: July 14, 1912 - Woody Guthrie (1912 - 1967) Born in Okemah, Oklahoma, folk musician and songwriter Woody Guthrie lived a hobo’s life until becoming a radio personality in Los Angeles in 1937. He wrote or adapted more than 1000 songs, including "This Land is Your Land" (1940). Guthrie spent his last years ravaged by Huntington's chorea.

    Scripture of the Day: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." - 2 Chronicles 7:14

    Video of the Day: Time-lapse Road Trip in a Hybrid - Texas to Canada - submitted by Darin

    Icebergs in the Antarctic area sometimes have stripes, formed by layers of snow that react to different conditions. Blue stripes are often created when a crevice in the ice sheet fills up with meltwater and freezes so quickly that no bubbles form. When an iceberg falls into the sea, a layer of salty seawater can freeze to the underside. If this is rich in algae, it can form a green stripe. Brown, black and yellow lines are caused by sediment, picked up when the ice sheet grinds downhill towards the sea. Click to enlarge.

    The air quality has improved somewhat since last Friday. The temperatures have dropped a bit from the triple-digit heat wave of last week. Today is forecast to be a mere 99 degrees! The winds abated over the weekend, and this greatly reduced threats from wildfires in California.

    While shopping at Sav-Mor Foods Friday afternoon, I encountered the largest white mushrooms I have ever seen! They were 3 - 4 inches in diameter! I purchased a quantity of them. For dinner yesterday, we made stuffed mushrooms and steamed green beans. I cleaned the giant mushrooms and carefully hollowed them so that they would accept a goodly quantity of stuffing. Laura mixed hot New York-style pork sausage, Tony Chachere's More Spice, Italian seasoning, ground black pepper, ground cumin, Italian bread crumbs, minced garlic, and shredded cheddar, jack, and pepperjack cheese. She stuffed the mushroom caps and refrigerated. I placed a package of green beans in a casserole dish, seasoned with Red Monkey lemon pepper seasoning, covered, and set aside. I made a marinade of extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, ground cumin, ground ginger, garlic powder, fresh lime juice, honey, and Red Monkey mango habanero seasoning. I marinated Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts for six hours. I grilled the mushrooms and chicken for 45 minutes over indirect heat. I brushed the chicken with the marinade every 15 minutes. I sprayed the mushrooms with a mixture of 1 part extra-virgin olive oil and 3 parts balsamic vinegar every 15 minutes. When the mushrooms and chicken were nearly done, I steamed the green beans in the microwave oven for 5 minutes. The dinner was incredibly delicious. The mushrooms were so enormous that we each were able to eat only one share a second. A mushroom and some green beans will follow Laura to Chico this morning. Two mushrooms remain for a meal later in the week. The chicken will be used for a meal later in the week. Laura plucked a nibblet from one of the breasts and declared it delicious.

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Armed and Dangerous, Hide Bugs!, -and- I Gave at the Office

    Armed and Dangerous - woman pulls .44 Magnum on mice, shoots herself
    Hide Bugs! - serial rabbit-killer uses Google Earth to find victims
    I Gave at the Office - new law: jail for giving to beggars

    On this day in history: July 11, 1979 - The derelict space station Skylab finally returns to Earth, ignominiously breaking into 500 separate fragments which are swallowed by the Indian Ocean. That is, except for the ones which crash into Woorlba Sheep Station, near Balladonia in Western Australia. Shortly thereafter, President Jimmy Carter telephones the prime minister of that country to apologize for scattering NASA litter on his nation.

    Born on this day in history: July 11, 1934 - Giorgio Armani (1934 - ) Born in Piacenza, Italy, fashion designer Giorgio Armani began as a window dresser in Milan and started his own design house in 1975. In 2003, Armani was the first fashion designer to have an exhibition at London's Royal Academy.

    Scripture of the Day: "Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul." - Job 7:11

    Video of the Day: California Fires Smoke - from the Sky

    Here is a photograph Laura took yesterday afternoon from our backyard. This has been the view of the sun that has plagued us for weeks now. The air quality—as you might well imagine—is horrid. There are many birds here, and Laura and I enjoy listening to them sing. The birds are not singing these days, and we miss their songs greatly. Click to enlarge.

    One of my favorite songs at the moment—and one that often echoes in my
    head—is a commercial!

    "Well, I married my dream girl.
    (I married my dream girl.)
    But she didn't tell me.
    Her credit was bad.
    So now instead of living in a pleasant suburb.
    We're living in the basement at her Mom and Dad's.
    No we can't get a loan, for a respectable home.
    Just because my girl defaulted on some old credit card.
    If we'd gone to
    I'd be a happy bachelor with a dog and a yard."

    While the sentiment is certainly not particularly encouraging, the melody is infective, the beat is good, and I rate it a 10!

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Is There a Moron in the House?, Survivor, -and- Stupid Criminals

    Is There a Moron in the House? - doctor claims space aliens hold key to free energy
    Survivor - town council votes dog off Palm Beach island
    Stupid Criminals - accused rapist gives victim his phone number

    On this day in history: July 10, 1992 - Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega sentenced to 40 years in prison for eight counts of drug trafficking, money laundering, and racketeering.

    Born on this day in history: July 10, 1943 - Arthur Ashe (1943 - 1993) Born in Richmond, Virginia, tennis player Arthur Ashe was the first African-American to win the U.S. national singles and open championships (1968) and the first black professional to play in apartheid South Africa (1973). Ashe became a spokesman for AIDS education after contracting the virus from a blood transfusion.

    Scripture of the Day: And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." - Revelation 7:10

    Video of the Day: Paradise Fire 2008 - submitted by Danica

    This was the scene at a local bullfight early this morning. This will not end well! Click to enlarge.

    The fires continue to rage. Today's video shows the aftermath of fires that are currently raging in the Paradise, CA area—approximately 45 miles from here. There have been over 4,000 people evacuated thus far, and there is no immediate end in sight. While the Paradise fires are but a few of over 1,000 fires currently raging in California, the proximity of these fires makes them particularly dramatic to local residents. Many have relatives and friends who live in Paradise—many of whom have been displaced from their homes. The ash falling here in Corning this morning looks like a light snowfall. We pray for the victims of the fires and other natural threats throughout our nation. May God shower His mercy upon us all!

    Here is a photograph showing the incredibly poor air quality in Chico!

    Wednesday, July 09, 2008

    Sleepy, To Serve and Protect, -and- Surf's Down

    Sleepy - teenager finds bat in bra
    To Serve and Protect - cops arrest goat for attack on Toyota
    Surf's Down - Internet flaw could let hackers take over Web

    On this day in history: July 9, 1997 - Mike Tyson banned from boxing for one year, and fined $3M for biting Evander Holyfield's ear.

    Born on this day in history: July 9, 1956 - Tom Hanks (1956-) Born in Concord, California, actor and director Tom Hanks began in community theater and guest roles on TV shows. His break came in "Big" (1988). Success followed with "Sleepless in Seattle," "Forrest Gump," and Oscar-winning performances. In 2002, Hanks became the youngest actor ever to receive the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Scripture of the Day: O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure. - Psalm 7:9

    Video of the Day: Challenger New vs. Old: Vanishing Point Revisited - submitted by Darin

    I encountered this scene while driving to work this morning. This will not end well! Click to enlarge.

    For dinner last evening, I made fettuccine with marinara sauce. The marinara sauce featured ground sirloin, julienned white onion, julienned Jalapeños, diced red bell pepper, sliced white mushrooms, diced Roma tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, Tony Chachere's More Spice, sea salt, ground black pepper, cumin, and Italian seasoning. This mixture simmered for three hours. It was a delicious meal.

    (UPDATE: 7:10 AM) Yesterday, I made an appointment for 8 AM this morning to diagnose a PC and provide an estimate for repairs. Imagine my surprise when the client arrived at 7 AM! Imagine my even greater surprise when I saw the computer and realized it was a Macintosh and not a PC!

    ME: I see that your computer is a Macintosh—not a PC. I do not service Macs, since I am not trained to do so.
    CLIENT: What do you mean?
    ME: I see that your computer is a Macintosh—not a PC. I do not service Macs, since I am not trained to do so.
    CLIENT: So you're saying you can't fix it?
    ME: I am not trained to service Macs. I recommend that you call Best Buy in Chico. It is possible that they have trained Macintosh technicians. If not, perhaps they can recommend someone.
    CLIENT: So you're saying you can't fix it?
    ME: Yes.
    CLIENT: [shrugs shoulders, cocks head, throws up arms, raises voice] Why didn't you tell me yesterday when I called?
    ME: You told me on the telephone that your PC required repair. This is not a PC. It is a Macintosh. If you had told me your computer was a Mac, I would have told you that I am not trained to service Macs.
    CLIENT: Well, I wish you'd've told me before I unhooked this thing and brought it down here. [shrugs and sighs]
    ME: Indeed.

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    Never Too Old, Roll of the Dice, -and- 'Netiquette

    Never Too Old- 72-year-old woman gives birth to twins
    Roll of the Dice - giving to Obama "lottery" called illegal gambling
    'Netiquette - death penalty for online crimes in Iran

    On this day in history: July 8, 1932 - Tod Browning's groundbreaking horror movie, "Freaks," featuring genuine carnival sideshow performers, premieres at the Rialto theater in New York. The film opens to critical outrage, and is later banned by the British government for 30 years.

    Born on this day in history: July 8, 1961 - Toby Keith (1961-) Musician. Born Toby Keith Covel on July 8, 1961 in Clinton, Oklahoma. Raised in Oklahoma City, Keith started playing music at a young age after being inspired by the musicians who worked in his grandmother's supper club.

    Scripture of the Day: "I am about to pour out my wrath on you and spend my anger against you; I will judge you according to your conduct and repay you for all your detestable practices." - Ezekiel 7:8

    Video of the Day: Oregon Man Uses Balloons and a Lawn Chair to Fly - submitted by Cindy

    I encountered this scene while driving to my office this morning. This will not end well! Click to enlarge.

    It is HOT! When I arrived at my office this morning, it was 93 degrees inside my office! Yikes! I immediately engaged the air conditioning, of course. It shall be a hot day today. It was hot yesterday (over 113 degrees), but it was not nearly as hot early in the day as it is today. I enjoy summertime and warm temperatures, but this is a bit much—even for me!

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    No Sense of Direction, Up Up and Away, -and- Passing Gas

    No Sense of Direction - FedEx delivers 200-pound marijuana shipment to wrong recipient
    Up Up and Away! - lawn-chair balloonist flies from Oregon to Idaho
    Passing Gas - mechanic claims car gets 110 MPG

    On this day in history: July 7, 1942 - Himmler gives the go-ahead for sterilization experiments at Auschwitz.

    Born on this day in history: July 7, 1980 - Michelle Kwan (1980-) Born in Torrance, California, figure skating champion Michelle Kwan began skating at five, winning her first competition a year later. Kwan went on to capture the world title five times.

    Scripture of the Day: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8

    Video of the Day: Rats Take over KFC/Taco Bell - submitted by Amber

    This will not end well! Click to enlarge.

    We did not travel last weekend. The only fireworks we saw were on television. It was hot, and the sky was filled with smoke from the fires. California fires continue to rage. It was reported that the fire in Big Sur may not be fully contained until November!

    One of my brothers came to dinner on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, I marinated Tyson boneless, skinless chicken breasts in extra-virgin olive oil, rice wine vinegar, granulated garlic, powdered ginger, cumin, lime juice, and Tony Chachere's More Spice. I grilled over indirect heat. For the final few minutes, I placed the breasts over high flames and charred slightly. I made a potato salad with diced white potatoes (steamed in the microwave oven), sliced radishes, chopped red onion, chopped red bell pepper, green peas, chopped hard-boiled egg, chopped celery, mayonnaise, ranch dressing, spicy brown mustard, wasabi paste, celery salt, Tony Chachere's More Spice, ground black pepper, Italian seasoning, and lime juice. It was an excellent meal.

    For dinner on Sunday, I had planned to make fettuccine with marinara sauce. Laura indicated that she hungered for a steak, however, so following the early service at Harvest Christian Center, I shopped. I bought some thick New York strip steaks and marinated them in extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, granulated garlic, Tony Chachere's More Spice, powdered ginger, ground black pepper, sea salt, and Italian seasoning. I sautéed julienned red bell pepper, julienned red onion, and sliced Roma tomatoes. I placed a quantity of green beans in a casserole dish and covered with the sautéed vegetables. I covered the casserole dish and cooked in the microwave for 3 minutes. I sliced garlic bread and placed on a baking sheet. Laura baked this in the conventional oven while I tended to the grill. I charred the steaks on both sides over high flames. They were perfect—charred on the outside, with nice grill marks, and rare in the center. It was a delightful meal.

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    Lola, Crime and Punishment, -and- Watch Out!

    Lola - father of five naturally turning into woman
    Crime and Punishment - man gets 4,060 years for molesting children
    Watch Out! - flat-screen TVs blamed for accelerating global warming

    On this day in history: July 3, 1963 - Two former secretaries of the Nation of Islam file paternity suits against the head of their church, the honorable Elijah Muhammad. They claimed the prophet had fathered their four children. The allegations eventually cause Malcolm X to quit the NOI.

    Born on this day in history: July 3, 1883 - Franz Kafka (1883 - 1924) born July 3, 1883, Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now in Czech Republic]—died June 3, 1924, Kierling, near Vienna, Austria. German-language writer of visionary fiction, whose posthumously published novels—especially "Der Prozess" (1925; "The Trial") and "Das Schloss" (1926; "The Castle")—express the anxieties and alienation of 20th-century man.

    Scripture of the Day: This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. - Jeremiah 7:3

    Video of the Day: Disney-MGM Studios 4th of July Fireworks

    I wish everyone a very festive and safe 4th of July! Enjoy the day, and God bless America!

    The Blond Guy

    An Irishman, a Mexican, and a blond guy were doing construction work on scaffolding on the 20th floor of a building.

    They were eating lunch and the Irishman said, "Corned beef and cabbage! If I get corned beef and cabbage one more time for lunch, I'm going to jump off this building."

    The Mexican opened his lunch box and exclaimed, "Burritos again! If I get burritos one more time I'm going to jump off, too."

    The blond opened his lunch and said, "Bologna again! If I get a bologna sandwich one more time, I'm jumping too."

    The next day, the Irishman opened his lunch box, saw corned beef and cabbage, and jumped to his death.

    The Mexican opened his lunch, saw a burrito, and jumped, too.

    The blond guy opened his lunch, saw the bologna and jumped to his death as well.

    At the funeral, the Irishman's wife was weeping. She said, "If I'd known how really tired he was of corned beef and cabbage, I never would have given it to him again!"

    The Mexican's wife also wept and said, "I could have given him tacos or enchiladas! I didn't realize he hated burritos so much."

    Everyone turned and stared at the blond's wife. The blond's wife said, "Don't look at me. The idiot made his own lunch."

    Wednesday, July 02, 2008

    Little Miss Dangerous, Slow Down!, -and- Mondo Cane

    Little Miss Dangerous - woman crashes into convenience store, tries to buy beer
    Slow Down! - student caught doing 105 MPH in 30-MPH zone
    Mondo Cane - Leona Helmsley's multi-billion-dollar estate may go to dogs

    On this day in history: July 2, 1982 - Vietnam vet Larry Walters climbs aboard an aluminum lawn chair in Southern California, equipped with 42 weather balloons, a CB radio, a parachute, and a pellet gun. During his two-hour voyage from San Pedro to Long Beach, Walters reaches an altitude of 16,000 feet and eventually becomes tangled in some power lines. Walters survives, but receives a $1,500 fine from the FAA.

    Born on this day in history: July 2, 1947 - Larry David (1947-) Born in Brooklyn, New York, producer, writer and actor Larry David began doing stand-up comedy in New York nightclubs in 1974. In 1989, he and Jerry Seinfeld developed the legendary "Seinfeld" series, which David wrote and produced until 1996. In 1999, David created the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" series for HBO, which won a Golden Globe in 2003.

    Scripture of the Day: For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. - Matthew 7:2

    Video of the Day: The Two Talking Cats - submitted by Cindy

    This was the scene that greeted me as I drove to my office this morning. This trick did not end well! Click to enlarge.

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Credit Where No Credit Due, The Kids Are Alright, -and- Matters of Life and Death

    Credit Where No Credit Due - bank issues Visa cards to kids as young as 11
    The Kids Are Alright - 10-year-old finds diamond rings, returns to owner
    Matters of Life and Death - court affirms law calling unborn "living human beings"

    On this day in history: July 1, 1946 - Atomic Bomb testing begins at Bikini Atoll.

    Born on this day in history: July 1, 1945 - Debbie Harry (1945- ) Singer, actress. Born on July 1, 1945, in Miami, Florida. Harry later joined the Stilettos, a female trio. She met guitarist Chris Stein who became a member of the group. Over time, Stein and Harry became romantically involved. The two started their own band in 1974, which would turn into the world-famous Blondie. The new group played many of the legendary clubs in New York, including CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. Their music was considered to be new wave, a type of rock music inspired by punk and other music styles, such as reggae, ska, and funk. The band's first self-titled album was released in 1976. The next year the band toured in support of their second album "Plastic Letters," which scored the number two spot on British charts with the song "Denis." Their third album, "Parallel Lines" helped catapult them to pop music stardom. The song "Heart of Glass" reached the top of the U.S. charts in 1978. Harry was not only the lead vocalist for the group, she wrote many of the songs with Stein.

    Scripture of the Day: O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me... - Psalm 7:1

    Video of the Day: Rube Goldberg Dog Food Dispenser - submitted by Darin

    For dinner last evening, I poured 1/4" of Almaden Merlot into a large sauté pan and placed a large pork loin (previously slow-roasted on the barbecue) in the center. Around this, I placed white potatoes (quartered), white onion (quartered), whole white mushrooms, whole Jalapeños, and Japanese eggplant (cut into 1-inch sections). I seasoned with Tony Chachere's More Spice, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Italian seasoning. I covered and simmered this for three hours, without intervention. At the table, the vegetables were perfect and buttery, and the pork pulled without effort using dinner forks. It was incredibly delicious. A quantity of leftovers will follow Laura to Chico this morning.

    A new California law takes effect today prohibiting mobile phone use while behind the wheel unless drivers are using a hands-free device or the speaker function. Motorists who are caught ignoring this new law face first-time fines of $20 and a total of $76 after penalty assessments are added. The citation will show up on driving records but no points will be assessed. A second offense will result in a $50 fine and a total of $190 after penalty assessments.