Thursday, March 30, 2006

Love the Irish!

Into a Killarney pub comes Paddy Murphy, looking like he'd just been run over by a train. His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken, his face is cut and bruised and he's walking with a limp.
"What happened to you?" asks Sean, the bartender.
"Jamie O'Connor and me had a fight," says Paddy.
"Ah, the little shit, O'Connor," says Sean, "He couldn't do that to you, he must have had something in his hand."
"That he did," says Paddy, "a shovel is what he had, and a terrible lickin' he gave me with it."
"Well," says Sean, "you should have defended yourself, didn't you have something in your hand?"
"That I did," said Paddy... "Mrs. O'Connor's breast, and a thing of beauty it was, but useless in a fight."

An Dubliner who had a little too much to drink is driving home from the city one night and, of course, his car is weaving violently all over the road. A cop pulls him over. "So," says the cop to the driver, where have ya been?"
"Why, I've been to the pub of course," slurs the drunk.
"Well," says the cop, "it looks like you've had a few pints this fine evening."
"I did all right," the drunk says with a smile.
"Well, did you know," says the cop, standing straight and folding his arms across his chest, "that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?"
"Oh, thank heavens," sighs the drunk. " I thought I'd gone deaf."

Brenda O'Malley is home making dinner, as usual, when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door. "Brenda, may I come in?" he asks. "I've somethin' to tell ya".
"Of course you can come in, you're always welcome, Tim, but where's my husband?"
"That's what I'm here to be telling ya, Brenda. There was an accident at the Guinness brewery..."
"Oh, God no!" cries Brenda. "Please don't tell me."
"I must, Brenda. Your husband Seamus is dead and gone. I'm sorry."
Brenda commenced to wail and weep and call on all the saints. Finally, she looked at Tim and asked, "How did it happen, Tim?"
"It was terrible, Brenda. He fell into a vat of Guinness Stout and drowned."
"Oh my dear Jesus! But you must tell me true, Tim. Did he at least go quickly?"
"Well, Brenda... no, I can't lie about it to ya. He climbed out three times to pee"

Mary Clancy goes up to Father McGuire after his Sunday morning service, and she's in tears. He says, "So what's troublin' you, Mary my dear?"
She says, "Oh, Father, I've got terrible news. Me own husband passed away last night."
The priest says, "Oh, Mary, I'm sad for it. Tell me, did he have any last requests?"
She says, "That he did, Father, that he did."
The priest says, "And for what did he ask, Mary? "

"Oh, Father, she says, "He said, 'Please Mary, put down that damn gun'. "

Tip o' the hat to Randy Taylor.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lizard Joke

A monkey is sitting in a tree smoking a joint, when a lizard walks
past, looks up, and says to the monkey "Hey, what're you doing?"

The monkey replies, "Smokin' a joint, come up and have some."

So the lizard climbs up the tree, sits next to the monkey, and they
smoke a few joints.

After a while the lizard says his mouth is 'dry' and he's going to the

river to get a drink. The lizard climbs down the tree and staggers
over to the river to get a drink of water, but he is so stoned, he
leans over too far and falls into the river.

A crocodile sees this, swims over to the lizard and helps him to to
the bank. Then he asks the lizard, "What's the matter with you?"

The lizard explains to the crocodile that he was sitting up in a tree
with a monkey smoking pot, got too stoned and then fell into the
river while taking a drink.

The crocodile says he has to check this out, and wanders off into the
jungle. He finds the tree where the monkey is sitting finishing up a

The crocodile yells up to the monkey and says "Hey!"

The monkey looks down and says, "SHIIIITTTTTTT........Dude! How much
water did you drink?!"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Monday, March 27, 2006

Mars and Venus

Here's a prime example of "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus";
offered by an English professor from the University of Colorado for an
actual class assignment:

The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a
new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person
will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right.

As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a
short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send
another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then
add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending
another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph,
and so on back-and-forth.

Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order
to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the
e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The
story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
Rebecca and Gary.

(first paragraph by Rebecca)
At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The
chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now
reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he
liked chamomile. But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind
off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about
him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of
the question.

(second paragraph by Gary)
Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron
now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about
than the neuroses of an air-headed, asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with
whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to
Geost Station 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. "Polar
orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could
sign off, a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a
hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him
flying out of his seat and across the cockpit.

He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt
one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who
had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped
its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4.
"Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel,"
Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously
excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her
youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no
newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of
innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one
lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.

Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands
of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of
its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed
the unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had
left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were
determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage
of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying
enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet. With no one to stop
them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion
missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his
top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the
coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized
poor, stupid Laurie.

This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My
writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic, semi-literate, adolescent.

Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered, tedious, neurotic,
whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of
Valium. "Oh, shall I Have chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads
too many Danielle Steele novels!"




In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.

A+ - I really liked this one.

Hat tip to Eric Saunders!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Crazy Dogs

Ninja Kitties

Gallery of Bad Female Driving

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Pirates Ain't What They Used to Be!

Arrrrgh! Note to self: Don't bring knife to gunfight.

Pirates attack 2 Navy warships from Norfolk in the Indian Ocean
By STEVE STONE, The Virginian-Pilot

A dozen suspected pirates on a small fishing boat became prisoners Saturday after they opened fire on two Norfolk-based Navy warships in the Indian Ocean.

Five of those captured were wounded and a 13th man was killed, the Navy said.

No one on the Gonzalez, a guided missile destroyer, or the Cape St. George, a guided Updates, photos and video from the Associated Pressmissile cruiser, was hurt.

The incident occurred in international waters, about 25 nautical miles off the central eastern coast of the troubled east African nation.

Why the men opened fire is unclear, but their decision to take on Navy ships in a 30-foot fishing boat was "not too smart at all," said Cmdr. Jeff Breslau, a Fifth Fleet spokesman in Bahrain.

"If somebody shoots at us, they can pretty much expect to die because we will return fire," Breslau said by telephone.

Breslau could recall no other instance in which pirates had fired on Navy ships in that area.

The Gonzalez and the Cape St. George are part of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain.

On Saturday, they sailed as part of Combined Task Force 150, a maritime coalition task force currently under the command of Commodore Hank Ort of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

Lt. Cmdr. Charles W. Brown, a Fifth Fleet spokesman, said events unfolded shortly after dawn, when the task force spotted the suspicious boat towing two smaller skiffs. It was heading west, toward the coast .

"Their location and their setup mirrored recent pirate procedures, so that made us suspicious and made us want to board them," Breslau said.

The Gonzalez readied a boarding party, and both warships moved to intercept the vessel.

As they approached the smaller boat, Navy personnel "noticed that a group of suspected pirates were brandishing what appeared to be rocket-propelled grenade launchers," Breslau said.

Moments later, the suspected pirates opened fire on the Navy ships.

In response, Brown said, "the Cape St. George and Gonzalez returned fire with small arms in self-defense."

The battle was as brief as it was lopsided.

There were only a few bullet holes on the Navy ships. The attacking vessel was set ablaze, leaving a plume of black smoke rising over the area.

A full assessment of damage to the Navy ships is not expected to be finalized until today, but the crews "did an initial survey of the hulls, and it looked like there was some evidence of small arms fire," Breslau said. "We don't know exactly what hit the ships."

"The ships are definitely unaffected, and they are going to be able to continue their mission without any problem," Breslau said.

The boarding team confiscated an rocket-propelled grenade launcher and automatic weapons from the vessel. Breslau said it was unclear whether the attackers had fired any rockets.

Where the prisoners go next and what ultimately will happen to them was unclear.

For now, those who were not seriously hurt are locked up. The others are under guard while being treated for injuries.

Royal Netherlands Navy medical personnel, including a doctor, from the Dutch fast combat support ship Amsterdam, were sent to help care for the wounded.

It is unclear whether the craft the fishing boat was towing were booty seized earlier. "We don't know whether they stole them from somebody," Breslau said.

In addition to attacking international shipping, pirates have targeted U.N. aid shipments intended to bring relief to the area, which has suffered a severe drought.

Saturday's engagement came three days after the U.N. Security Council encouraged naval forces off Somalia to be vigilant and take action against piracy.

"So, we've been keeping an eye on that while we've been conducting maritime security operations," Breslau said.

Since 1991, Somalia, with a population of more than

8 million, has had no effective central government and has instead been torn by clashes between rival militias.

Piracy has become rampant off the country's coast, and many shipping companies have resorted to paying ransoms to protect their vessels and crews.

Earlier this month, Somali pirates kidnapped 50 Yemeni fishermen, and on Nov. 5, pirates fired rocket-propelled grenades at a 440-foot luxury cruise liner.

No one on the liner was hurt, and the ship sped off before pirates could board.

The last time the Navy was involved in a pirate-related incident was Jan. 21.

The International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur had reported that pirates had fired on a Bahamian-flagged bulk carrier 200 miles off the coast of Somalia. The crew of the Norfolk-based guided missile destroyer Winston Churchill spotted the suspect vessel and pursued.

A Navy boarding party seized a cache of small arms from the dhow, and 10 suspected pirates were captured. They now are on trial in Kenya.

Task Force 150, which also includes Dutch, German, Pakistani, British and Italian warships, conducts maritime security operations across about 2.4 million square miles in the North Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in addition to the Indian Ocean.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Carrots, Eggs or Coffee?

"A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see."

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg. Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you.

When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you; to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

It's easier to build a child than repair an adult. This is so true – may we all be COFFEE.”

Friday, March 17, 2006

For You Women Who Desire the "Intellectual" Look

St. Patrick's Day Humor

An Irish daughter had not been home for over 5 years.

Upon her return, her father cussed her. "Where have ye been all this time? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn't ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old mum thru?"

The girl, crying, replied, "Sniff, sniff....da....I became a prostitute...."

"Ye what!!? Out of here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You're a disgrace to this family."

"OK, da -- as ye wish. I just came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion plus a $5 million savings certificate. For me little brother, this gold Rolex and for ye daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes limited edition convertible that's parked outside plus a membership to the country club....(takes a breath)....and an invitation for ye all to spend New Years Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera and...."

"Now what was it ye said ye had become?" says da.

Girl, crying again, "Sniff, sniff....a prostitute da! Sniff, sniff."

"Oh! Be Jesus! Ye scared me half to death, lass! I thought ye said a 'Protestant'. Come here and give yer old man a hug!"

When You Run Out of Knives to Throw at the Cops, Throw Your Penis!

Man severs own penis, throws it at officers

March 17, 2006

BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter

Before cops threw the book at him, Jakub Fik threw something unusual at them -- his penis.

Fik, 33, cut off his own penis during a Northwest Side rampage Wednesday morning. When confronted by police, Fik hurled several knives and his severed organ at the officers, police said. Officers stunned him with a Taser and took him into custody.

"We took him out without any serious injury, with the exception of his own," said Chicago Police Sgt. Edward Dolan of the 16th District.

Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital reattached Fik's penis Wednesday, sources said. He was listed in good condition Thursday, according to hospital spokesman Andrew Buchanan, who declined to comment further.

Smashing car windows

Fik, who lives in the 5400 block of W. Berenice, is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal damage to property, said Officer Laura Kubiak. He told paramedics he was distraught over problems with his girlfriend in Poland, Dolan said.

Police arrived on Fik's block at 8:20 a.m. Wednesday after receiving reports he was smashing car windows, Dolan said. Fik then broke into a house down the block. A group of six or seven officers assembled in front of the house, Dolan said.

The occupants were not home, he added.

Fik was bleeding when the officers arrived and may have already cut off his organ, Dolan said.

"At that point, this guy came running out, naked, with a handful of knives . . . and started throwing knives at the police officers that were 10, 20, 30 feet away," Dolan said.

Fik threw his penis during the confrontation, too, Dolan said. He then went back into the house and re-emerged with "another handful of knives," Dolan said.

Dolan sneaked to the side of the bungalow's front steps and stunned Fik with the Taser. Fik fought back when officers went to restrain him, Dolan said.

"About 10 feet from the front porch, right on the sidewalk, was his penis," Dolan said.

Dr. Greg Bales, associate professor of urology at the University of Chicago, said severed penises are uncommon but surgery usually works.

"As long as the penis is placed on ice and reattached within a few hours, the success is usually pretty good," Bales said.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

How Will You Die?

Ask the Death Psychic. Click on link above.

As for me:
While on a group tour of a candy factory, you fall over a guardrail and land on a taffy pulling machine. Your head, torso, and legs are ripped into three separate sections.

Couldn't Resist

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Amazing New Technology

Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade named: BOOK

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no
electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on.
It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an
armchair by the fire, yet it is powerful enough to hold as much
information as a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper
(recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information.
The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder
which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of
the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts
are divided on the prospects for further increases in information
density; for now, BOOKS with more information simply use more pages.

Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into
your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may
be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other display
devices it can become unusable if dropped overboard. The "browse"
feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or
backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which
pin-points the exact location of any selected information for instant

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact
place you left it in a previous sessioneven if the BOOK has been closed.
BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be
used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK
markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous
views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an
optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic
Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor
of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK's appeal seems so certain that
thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and
investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do you talk Southern?

86% Dixie and damn proud of it!

No license, car unregistered, only works in reverse gear-I don't think the interstate is a good choice

Aussie charged for driving outbackward
After 25-mile drive, he explained that reverse was only gear that worked
Updated: 4:04 a.m. ET March 13, 2006

SYDNEY, Australia - Police charged an Australian driver with "reversing further than necessary" after he traveled backward for more than 40 kilometers (25 miles) along one of the country's busiest highways.

Police said the man was stopped on the Hume Highway — which runs between the cities of Sydney and Melbourne — at Benalla, about 200 kilometers northeast of Melbourne.

Police said the man told them reverse was the only gear in the car that worked and that he was traveling home to the small regional town of Numurkah, 90 kilometers (56 miles) farther on his way.

He was also charged with unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered car and is to appear in court later this year.

Great Battles in History of Armed Conflict-the Tater Tot War

Teen Shot in Fight Over Tater Tots

A teenager was shot Monday afternoon after he was arguing over tater tots with another teen, San Antonio Police said.

The shooting happened close to 5 p.m. at the Spring Hill Apartments off Raybon on the northeast side.

Neighbors told police the uncle of one of the boys told the teens to stop fighting. They were ready to stop, but investigators said a 20-year-old man would not let them.

“Another person out here in this apartment complex, I think wanted to see the young boys continue fighting,” Sgt. Rudy Cran with SAPD said.

The man then walked into a nearby apartment complex, grabbed a gun and started shooting, authorities said. He fired several shots into the living room where the boys were watching television, police said.

“One of those rounds hit the young man in the back,” Cran said.

The boy was rushed to University Hospital, officials said. His condition was unavailable Monday night.

The suspect remained on the loose Monday. Police were looking for him.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Serial Killer or Geek?

I only got 5 of 10 with a late rally.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Friday Fish Story

Great Blue Heron -16, Pond Goldfish and Koi-Zero

A couple of weekends ago I ran into the greatest "fisherman" ever. With keen vision, a stealthy approach and superb concentration on the task at hand, he land
ed every fish he targeted that afternoon. He was tall and rail-thin with a huge beak-here's a photo of him:

It's been about three years since we added an inground fish pond just below our outer deck. It holds perhaps a hundred gallons of water and is surrounded by rock slabs. It is filled with fresh water which is oxygenated by means of a submersible pump and a plastic hose which is attached to the ass of a large statuary frog located back center. The pump draws in water, shoots it into the frog's ass and out his mouth back into the pond, creating air bubbles as it sprays accross the pond surface. We bought our first goldfish and koi just after installation and have truly enjoyed the pond and the fish. It's been a learning process all along-what plants to put in, how best to control algae, the perils of letting the water getting too hot in the summer and how to keep the pond free of ice in the winter are questions that we have dealt with, usually after the death of a couple of fish. But it's been mostly a successful little operation. The first couple years we used a small pump which required daily filter cleanings-take out the filter, hose it down, unhook the pump hose and shoot water violently through it with the garden hose attachment, then re-hook the deal back up. Many a day I returned to my office from lunch with sleeves rolled up and shirt and pants wet from the effort. This year I bought the pump from hell-it's been firing an uninterrupted stream of water without a cleaning for about six months. The pump is so powerful, I had to glue the hose to the frog's ass receptacle to keep it from blowing off and snaking around shooting water everywhere. The first winter, I read up on cold weather care and found that the fish will adjust to very cold temperatures-they just can't have the surface to freeze. In the cold weather, they go to the bottom of the pond, their metabolism slows and they just "sit" there. They don't even require feeding because their bodies aren't working hard enough to digest the food. We got a floating heater that keeps ice from forming on the surface and have used it every winter but this one because it's been so mild.
We started out with about eight fish, lost some in the heat when the pump stopped working, and last spring added some more making a total of sixteen. We still had goldfish from the first season and they had grown as big as small bass. The others were a mix of smaller goldfish and white and orange koi. The pond in the spring and summer is a prolific breeding ground for frogs. Everything did great this year-we kept the water cool by adding well water in the summer, had plenty of plants for shelter, had the killer pump going full bore and had snails and those little algae eating catfish keeping the green slime down. Their colorful swirling and swimming were a constant attraction to our two cats, who would teeter precariously on the thin rock slabs to stare at the fish and take the occasional unsuccessful swipe at them. The rocks are just stacked, not cemented and are not the most stable platform, even for nimble kitties and several nights when the cats returned to the back door soaking wet, I knew damn well what had happened. We loved feeding the fish-they could see our appoaching shadows and would swarm to the surface, mouths gulping before the first flake hit the water. The big fish could inhale flakes the size of a dime and the little ones waited for the scraps to sink down and they would take their turn. The pond life had been so stable for so long that had really stopped worrying about their welfare-just a feeding once or twice a day depending on their activity level.
On a cold Sunday a couple of weeks ago, Jane yelled for me to come look at this huge bird in the backyard. It was mister GBH. I had never seen one so close up-the thing was about five feet tall, blue-gray in color and when I looked out the door and spooked it, it took off looking more like a small plane than a bird-truly impressive. Jane said she had seen it the day before in the middle of the back yard. I went out and looked in the pond and didn't see any of the fish but since it was cold and the water was a tad murky, I just assumed the fish were finning on the bottom. Later that night, I got out my 2 million candlepower spotlight I use on my boat and shot a beam of light into the pond-still nothing. I still held out hope that the bird maybe just scared the fish into hiding and they would come back out soon. The next day I took an oar and stirred the water to a froth with no results, then I took some nets and tried some more-nothing.
The heron had actually eaten every fish in that pond-they're all gone. I "Googled" the phrase "pond predators" and every hit had a picture of either a raccoon or a Great Blue Heron. Ain't nature a bitch!

The pond now sits empty except for the dormant remnants of a few pond plants and the water still streams out of the frog's mouth. When the weather warms, we will restock it with a new group of fish and when Mr. GBH comes around next year, I've got something for his ass! He'll be no match for the Gator Guard floating gator head with it's mirror-back eyes flashing in the sun. Should scare the hell out of the cats too!

Dog Sammich

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chinese Menu Interpreted into English

Might be quite surprised what it is you are ordering. (Click on link above).

The Perils of Internet Romance

Friday December 9, 2005

By Grace Green

MARSEILLES, France -- Skirt-chasing playboy Daniel Anceneaux spent weeks talking with a sensual woman on the Internet before arranging a romantic rendezvous at a remote beach -- and discovering that his on-line sweetie of six months was his own mother!

"I walked out on that dark beach thinking I was going to hook up with the girl of my dreams," the rattled bachelor later admitted. "And there she was, wearing white shorts and a pink tank top, just like she'd said she would.

"But when I got close, she turned around -- and we both got the shock of our lives. I mean, I didn't know what to say. All I could think was, 'Oh my God! it's Mama!' "

But the worst was yet to come. Just as the mortified mother and son realized the error of their ways, a patrolman passed by and cited them for visiting a restricted beach after dark.

"Danny and I were so flustered, we blurted out the whole story to the cop," recalled matronly mom Nicole, 52. "The policeman wrote a report, a local TV station got hold of it -- and the next thing we knew, our picture and our story was all over the 6 o'clock news. "People started pointing and laughing at us on the street -- and they haven't stopped laughing since."

The girl-crazy X-ray technician said he began flirting with normally straitlaced Nicole -- who lives six miles away in a Marseilles suburb -- while scouring the Internet for young ladies to put a little pizzazz in his life.

"Mom called herself Sweet Juliette and I called myself The Prince of Pleasure, and unfortunately, neither one of us had any idea who the other was," said flabbergasted Daniel.

"The conversations even got a little racy a couple of times.

"But I really started to fall for her, because there seemed to be a sensitive side that you don't see in many girls.

"She sent me poems she had written and told me about her dreams and desires, and it was really very romantic.

"The truth is, I got to see a side of my mom I'd never seen before. I'm grateful for that."

When starry-eyed Daniel asked Sweet Juliette to send him a picture, Nicole e-mailed him a photo of a curvy, half-clad cutie she'd scanned from a men's magazine.

"The girl in the picture was so beautiful, I begged Juliette to meet me on the beach -- and Mom said yes," he recalled. "Mom says she was falling for me, too, and she just wanted to meet me, even though she knew I'd be disappointed when I saw her.

"As for me, I figured I was going to find the girl of my dreams.

"I guess that's about as wrong as I've ever been."

Daniel admits he and his mother could do little but stammer and stutter around each other for days after their cyberspace exploits came to light. And his father Paul -- Nicole's husband of 27 years -- wasn't too happy when the story hit the news and his beer-drinking buddies made him the butt of their jokes.

"Dad was ticked for a while and he forbid Mom to talk to anybody on the Internet ever again," said embarrassed Daniel.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Got to be a Joke in Here Somewhere!

Yanni Faces Domestic Battery Charge

By Leon Fooksman
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 7, 2006, 7:54 AM CST

Easy-listening music star Yanni spent a night in jail last week after being accused of slapping his girlfriend during a dispute at his Manalapan, Fla., home.

Yanni, 51, whose legal name is John Yanni Christopher, struck the woman after he told her to leave his beachfront home and she was gathering her belongings Thursday night, a police report said. The woman, Silvia Barthes, 33, of Miami Beach, had a mark on her face and accused him of grabbing her arms and throwing her on a bed, the report said.

The Greece-born keyboardist and composer faces a misdemeanor domestic battery charge. His West Palm Beach-based attorney, Orlando Gonzalez, denied Barthes' allegations. He called Yanni a non-violent man who would never hurt anyone.

"He's the most gentle man around," Gonzalez said. "His hands are his instruments."

Barthes told police that Yanni was verbally abusive after they returned from dinner. At his house, she was getting her things when he grabbed her clothing off the hangers in the closet and threw them on the floor, she told police. Yanni then gripped and shook her by the forearms, threw her on a bed and jumped on top of her, she said. During the confrontation, he slapped her face, she said.

Police confirmed that Barthes had a swollen and bloody lip, the police report said. Barthes, who declined medical treatment, could not be reached by phone Monday.

Yanni explained to police that she kicked him, even though officers didn't find any marks on his body, the report said. Yanni hurt his finger from a watch she was wearing, police said.

Yanni and Barthes called police separately, Gonzalez said.

Yanni spent about 11 hours in jail. He was released on his own supervised recognizance Friday, meaning he must check in every week with authorities until the case is resolved.

The musician, who has released more than 10 albums, bought his $7.7 million-appraised home in 1998.

Manalapan Police Chief Clay Walker said Yanni has never been a problem.

"This has never happened before with him in our community," he said.

Next, Kenny G will be robbing banks-or Zamphir will be sticking-up convenience stores with his "skin-flute," "pan-flute," whatever. Barry Manilow- now a gang leader? Are there no heroes anymore?

Bet he had some Vodka with those sausages?

Man bitten by own alligator
From correspondents in Moscow
From: The Australian

Russian businessman Anton Skvortsov learned the hard way the literal meaning of biting the hand that feeds you when he was savaged by his pet alligator while trying to feed it sausages.
Mr Skvortsov, 35, was showing off in front of a group of friends and colleagues at a party in his Moscow office.

He decided to show his guests how much his pet alligator Musya loved him and opened the reptile's cage to feed it by hand.

"We had all had dinner and I thought my beautiful Musya should have some as well," he said.

"He is normally fed only by placing the food through the bars of his cage but this time I wanted to give him a bit of freedom and I held out some sausages for him to take from my hand."

Mr Skvortsov was taken to hospital, where doctors treated his lacerations and gave him a tetanus injection.

Sorry for the light postings-redux

Been slammed at work-tried to put something up Sunday night but Blogger wouldn't work. Hope to be back with something soon-at least I'll steal a post from someone!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

What a bunch of pathetic narcissists!

This from the NY Times about competition to get kids into the "right" preschool. God, this is sickening.

In Baby Boomlet, Preschool Derby Is the Fiercest Yet

The fierce competition for private preschool in New York City has been propelled to such a frenzy this year by the increased numbers of children vying for scarce slots that it could be mistaken for a kiddie version of "The Apprentice."

Take the case of the Rabbani twins, who live on the Upper West Side. Their father, Usman Rabbani, graduated from Yale 10 years ago, has a master's degree from Harvard and works for a major drug company in Manhattan. Despite his accomplishments, Mr. Rabbani was stumped when he sat down to compose a short essay a couple of months ago.

His assignment? To profile his two toddlers. Of his 18-month-old son Humza he eventually wrote, "He knows that birds like to sit on rooftops when they are not on the ground, that cats and dogs like to be petted, and that the blue racquetballs in the can belong in the racquetball court upstairs."

About Humza's twin, Raza, he wrote, "He is happy to point out all his body parts when asked."

With those words, Mr. Rabbani conquered parental writer's block and entered this year's version of the altered universe of private preschool admissions. After years of decline, the number of children under 5 in Manhattan, where the most competitive programs are located, increased by 26 percent between 2000 and 2004, according to census estimates. Yet the number of slots has not kept apace.

"These are the kids who are 2, 3, 4, and 5 years old now, trying to get into preschool and kindergarten," said Amanda Uhry, the owner of Manhattan Private School Advisors, a consulting firm for parents. "And it's a nightmare."

This is the moment of maximum anxiety for parents, many of whom have applied to so-called safety preschools, just hoping their children will be accepted somewhere. And the hot pursuit of slots has continued despite tuition that can run over $10,000 a year for 3-year-olds. Acceptance letters were sent out last Wednesday for private kindergarten programs, to be followed next week by the telltale thick or thin envelopes from the preschools.

"We're feeling it," said Ellen Bell, an admissions official at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, an elite private institution. "It's a real problem for us to deal with the number of applicants and deal with them properly the way we want to, to be fair with every family. These numbers are just becoming overwhelming."

"I see a greater angst in the parent, and that troubles me, and my heart goes out to them," she added. "We're sending out more news that people don't want to get."

Part of the problem is that the number of twins and triplets born to women in New York City has increased, according to city Health Department statistics.

In 1995, there were 3,707 twin births in all the boroughs; in 2003, there were 4,153; and in 2004, there were 4,655. Triplet births have also risen, from 60 in 1995, to 299 in 2004. Because preschools strive for gender and age balance in generally small classes — and also, some parents suspect, as many potential parental donors as possible — it is harder to get multiple slots in one class.

"I tell families that they may increase, hopefully double or triple, their options, by telling schools they are willing to separate their children," said Emily Glickman, whose firm, Abacus Guide Educational Consulting, helps parents win admission to private schools.

"Unfortunately we are in a very cutthroat climate right now, where the schools have the power," Ms. Glickman added.

New York City has about half the capacity it needs for its youngest students, public and private, said Betty Holcomb, the policy director of Child Care Inc., an agency in Chelsea that provides referral services for early child care.

"Even if you're rich, you're not guaranteed a place in a preschool," Ms. Holcomb said.

So this year, the application essay, which parents might once have dashed off in a few sentences, has become a reason for more hand wringing.

"What do you say about someone who just popped out?" Mr. Rabbani asked. "You're just getting to know them yourself."

In a sign of how overwrought the process has become, production is in progress on a pilot for a cable television reality series, "Manhattan Mom," about the daily travails of a New York woman. A producer said the series would include at least one episode focusing on the mother's struggles to get her 5-year-old into a top private kindergarten.

But none of the 25 or so private schools the producers called will allow the producers to film any part of the process.

"They don't want publicity," said Rachel Tung, one of the producers.

Few schools were interested in talking about the application process to a reporter, either; nearly a dozen did not return calls for comment. But many parents poured out their frustration.

The preschool essays are just part of the problem, they say. Time-consuming interviews, observed play sessions, rising tuition costs and application fees, preferences shown to siblings and families who have connections to the school, and the increasing difficulty of gaining admission for twins and triplets, parents say, are making the process more stressful for the entire family.

"I didn't get a real sense of competition like this until I was doing my college applications, and even that seemed easier," said Mr. Rabbani, who went to high school in a small Canadian town near Buffalo.

Lori Malloy, who lives on the Upper West Side, watched friends try to get their children into preschool last year, and she remembered thinking, "I'm not going to get stressed out like the rest of these ladies." But when Ms. Malloy, a federal prosecutor, applied for her twins, a boy and a girl, she asked her husband to write the application essay.

"I was so nervous," she said, "and I'm someone who took the LSAT, who's written for the federal judiciary and in law review." The family applied to four schools.

"There's not a week that goes by that I don't regret that I didn't apply to three or four more," Ms. Malloy said.

Consultants are reaping benefit from the competition. Victoria Goldman, a consultant and an author of guides to Manhattan private schools, said, "This year, I've gotten more calls for nursery school than kindergarten."

In writing the essay, parents can turn to the seminars that focus on "idea starters for application essays." Some good words to use in describing your child? Enthusiastic, creative, inquisitive, sensitive, consultants say.

Ms. Uhry, the consultant, said it was almost impossible to overstate the importance of the essay.

"The first way of separating the wheat from the chaff is to get rid of those essays in which the parents couldn't be bothered enough to write a decent essay or take this whole process seriously," she said. "It is your calling card. It is your entree."

Still, no one can say for sure how much the essay matters. Some consultants think it is more important to have a strong contact or family friend already in the school of choice.

Mr. Rabbani's advice? "You have to get creative in describing your child."

Hence, his son Humza, in his essay, is "a soft-hearted jock." And Humza's brother Raza is "a thinker and a mischievous lover."

Perhaps Mr. Rabbani knows what he's talking about: Humza and Raza got into their parents' first choice of preschool two weeks ago. They were notified before most other parents because they applied through an early decision program.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Strange Billboards

What might you ask does this billboard refer? Click here for the full story of "The Crack Team."

Sorry for the light postings

I've been slammed at work lately-I've got a fish story I'll get up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Wise words from Tom McMahon.

What I Have Learned In 15 Years

It was 15 years ago today that our 8-year-old son Ryan suffered a severe brain injury that left him unable to walk or talk or feed himself. He was in the hospital (in two hospitals, actually) for over six months, and ever since has lived with us at home. I thought I would share some of the lessons I've learned in these past 15 years:

* Some Run Away

I thought I'd start out with the most unpleasant reality first. That in times of real trouble, some people you thought were your true-blue friends or close family members you thought were of solid character can turn out to have the proverbial feet of clay. For whatever reason, they're never around anymore. Why? I don't know. But you have to get to the point where you worry about this about as much as you worry that your pet ferret can't do fractions, which is to say not at all. Yeah, it hurts. But your not the first to stumble upon this disappointing fact by any means.

* Big Companies Don't Help

These days the really big global companies have organizations for just about every group imaginable this side of white males of European heritage. If you're black, if you're Asian, if you're a woman, if you're gay, or even if you're a cancer survivor, there's a group for you. But have a crippled kid and son, you're on your own.

* Muddle through

I've never seen a self-help book with this advice, but really it's some of the best advice I can give somebody going through a difficult stretch. Sometimes the absolute best you can do isn't that pretty, or elegant, or graceful, or frankly all that inspiring. When you're in one of those stretches, stop worrying about it. Nobody else could do that much better in your position either.

* Some doors close, some doors open

I've had one vacation away from home in the past 15 years, not counting the summer I had off when I had my heart surgery. Since I couldn't get away, I started this blog. SeewhatImean?

* People are such wusses to-day

Take that last item. Some folks would be horrified not to take an airplane trip vacation at least twice a year. While that's very nice, it's not a Minimum Daily Requirement for a Happy Life. People re-define extravagant luxuries as the bare necessities of life, and whine like a two-year-old when they don't have every last one of them. Keep the two categories straight and you'll be much happier.

* You gotta play out the season

Every year baseball teams start spring training with visions of the World Series in their heads. And every year about May or June it's obvious to several of those teams that it ain't gonna happen. But they still play out the season. Your Big Lifetime Dream smashed to bits? You still gotta play out the season. Try to set the base-stealing record, or the record for triples, or the record for pinch-hit singles with two men out and runners in scoring position. Find the game within the Game, and play that.

* Let us brace ourselves to do our duty

From Winston Churhill, it's my favorite sound bit from Charlie Sykes. It sounds a bit odd to our Modern Ear, but whose fault is that?

* Let people help you

Gals, you don't have to remove your own gall bladders. Guys, you don't have to perform your own vasectomies. Being self-sufficient means being self-sufficient overall, not all the time. Let people help you when you need it.

* You never anticipate the really bad stuff

Think of all the old Twilight Zone episodes that had a post-World War III theme. Now think of all the episodes with a big-jetliner-smashing-into-a-skyscraper theme. We tend to worry about a lot of things that never happen, and let ourselves get blindsided by reality.

* If all you look for is the bad and ugly, you'll never see the good

If you search for The Stupid, you'll find The Stupid. If you search for The Worthwhile, you'll find The Worthwhile. If you don't get that, then it means that I've found The Stupid while looking for The Worthwhile. But you're The Exception, Bucko.

* Time marches on. Relentlessly.

When Ryan was injured, he was in the 3rd grade. I wanted time to stop in some sort of magic fashion, so that he could get better and return to the 3rd grade. But his classmates moved on to the 4th, and 5th, and 6th, and 7th, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I mention this because nobody really talks about it.

* On the other hand, sometimes Time doesn't move at all.

Oh, if I could just become forgetful
When night seems endless
Does the extinguished candle care
About the darkness?

I used to think that the ultimate in slow time were those Midnight-to-4AM watches in the Navy. I had no idea.

* Everybody will have a story. And Yours is not the worst story.

I used to think I was the only one with a Sad Story. I was wrong.

* Trouble comes in clusters

When it does, muddle through!

* The social safety net can be odd at times.

Let's say parents of crippled kids are eligible for a $3000 home improvement grant every year. Now let's say to install a home elevator to go down to the basement would cost $9000. You say, why not just save those grants for 3 years and install the elevator? You a funny guy, you know that, Joe?

* Beyond The Blue Horizon

Beyond the blue horizon
Waits a beautiful day
Goodbye to things that bore me
Joy is waiting for me

I see a new horizon
My life has only begun
Beyond the blue horizon
Lies a rising sun

Memorize this song. It's simple enough that when you're in real trouble, you'll still be able to remember it. If you're a Christian, you can substitute "Rising Son" for "rising sun" and nobody will know the difference when you sing it.

* Do you know who holds your hand?

I learned these words from a friend of mine who was dying of cancer:

I don't know about tomorrow
I just live from day to day
I don't borrow from the sunshine
For its skies may turn to gray
I don't worry o'er the future
For I know what Jesus said
And today I'll walk beside him
For he knows what lies ahead

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

Every step is getting brighter
As the Golden Stairs I climb
Every burden's getting brighter
Every cloud is silver-lined
There the sun is always shining
There no tear shall bend the eye
At the ending of the rainbow
Where the mountains touch the sky

Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand

* Everybody wants to help Save The Earth, but nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.

When Ryan was in the hospitals for those 6 months, I was working in a group of 18 people at UltraGlobalMegaCorp. Guess how many cards I got from my group in those 6 months? Approximately? All of a sudden, don't you remember somebody you need to send a card to? Or make a phone call to? Or visit? You don't need to be brilliant, or wonderful, you just have to be there. You can do this. Off you go now!