Monday, January 26, 2009

Fighting Back, Recidivism, -and- No Yolk

Fighting Back - dog bites woman's attacker, thwarts rape
Recidivism - Two ex-Guantanamo inmates appear in Al-Qaeda video
No Yolk - egg carton has warning that contents 'may contain eggs'

On this day in history: January 26, 1971 - Charles Manson and three of his followers are convicted in Los Angeles of the Tate and LaBianca murders. All were sentenced to the gas chamber, with sentences commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was temporarily abolished.

Born on this day in history: January 26, 1958 - Ellen DeGeneres (1958-) Born in New Orleans, comedian Ellen DeGeneres became famous for her self-titled TV series, "Ellen." In 1997, the show made headlines when DeGeneres's character became the first lead in sitcom history to acknowledge her homosexuality on air, which led to cancellation in 1998. She then made a few movies, and again hit it big with a daytime TV talk show.

Scripture of the Day: But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. - Psalm 1:2

Video of the Day: Guy Fieri: TGI Friday's Commercial - submitted by Cindy

Imagine my surprise when I encountered this motorcyclist this morning on the way to my office! Click to enlarge.

Many, many years ago, I had a custom van. It had two gas tanks. I was returning from a concert in Sacramento, CA. The van began to run poorly. I looked at the fuel gauge and thought to myself that it was time to switch to the auxiliary tank. My female companion noticed that the van was running poorly and asked me what was wrong. I said everything was fine, that I simply needed to switch tanks, and pressed the switch to do so. Unfortunately, the auxiliary tank was empty! Apparently, I had previously switched tanks and neglected to fill the empty tank. We were approximately midway between Marysville and Oroville—about 15 miles from the nearest gas station. It was winter, it was cold, and we were out of gas. This was long ago, and there were no cellular telephones. I told my companion that I would walk ahead and find a house with lights on and ask to use the telephone. I told her to stay in the van and keep the doors locked. I began to walk.

It was well past midnight; I had walked about 20 minutes; there had been no traffic; and I was very cold. Suddenly, a creature riding a very loud Harley screeched to a halt near me.

The rider asked whether that was my van that he had passed a few minutes prior. I said that it was and told him the van had run out of gas. He offered me a ride, saying he was going to Oroville. This offer was fortuitous and afforded a very reasonable solution to my problem, since I had a new 1978 Toyota Celica GT at my home and a 2.5-gallon gas can. It would be a simple matter, I thought, to get the Celica, take the gas can to a service station, fill it, and return to the van.

Little did I know that this motorcyclist was a drug-crazed maniac! I climbed onto the Harley, and before I could negotiate resting spots for my feet, he blasted off into the night—piloting his roaring machine with feral abandon, propelling it at an extremely high rate of speed, with no semblance of caution and no apparent fear. At times, he appeared to be falling into an unconscious state! Then, he would suddenly spring upright and appear to be taking full control of the demon craft—only to suddenly swerve onto the shoulder, causing the Harley to slide about in the gravel and fight for traction!

It was easily the most frightening ride I have ever taken in my life! When we arrived at my house, my legs were as if made of soft rubber, as I attempted to free myself from the loathsome machine and stand upright. I managed, however, to do so. I put the gas can in the Celica, drove to a station, filled the can, and returned to the van. Soon, both vehicles were resting comfortably in my driveway.

For reasons that should be obvious, I only very rarely think of that evening. Last night, as I slept, however, I re-lived the entire nightmarish ride on the demon cycle! I tossed and turned and awakened suddenly, sweating and trembling. It was 3:45 AM. I did not return to sleep, since I feared taking that ride yet once again!