Julie with a B

Monday, January 31, 2005
Texas Cowboy joke...
A woman goes into a bar and sees a handsome cowboy with his feet propped up on a table. She can't stop staring because the cowboy has the biggest feet she's ever seen. The woman asks him if it's true what they say about men with big feet. The cowboy winks and says, "Sure is, why don't you come back to my place and let me prove it?" The woman figures why not and spends the night with him. The next day she walks into the bar and hands the cowboy a $100 bill. Blushing, he says, "I'm flattered, ma'am, nobody has ever paid me for my services before," To this the woman replies, "Well, don't be. Take this money and buy yourself some boots that fit!"
(Gosh, I guess it doesn't actually say "Texas" in the joke.)

Wake up call
Terrorists love that America has it's eyes trained on overseas activities. For a look at what's going on right here, check out this article at Global Gorilla.
They have been here for awhile. And they are busy.

And now for the pun..
Burglers are always looking for windows of opportunity.

Sunday, January 30, 2005
Iraqi elections !
From the NY Times: "Amid attacks a party atmosphere..."

"But if the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.

No one was claiming that the insurgency was over or that the deadly attacks would end. But the atmosphere in this usually grim capital, a city at war and an ethnic microcosm of the country, had changed, with people dressed in their finest clothes to go to the polls in what was generally a convivial mood."

Same sentiments expressed by the guys at "I should have stayed home" and "Cigars in the Sand"

Sundays pun
Every calendar's days are numbered.

Saturday, January 29, 2005
Know when it is time to apply tea

It was a bright high spirited day. The sun was beaming down. The air was brisk and biting with a teasing breeze. I got on the horse and knew that it was going to be a tail up yahoo kind of ride.

We worked around the arena, seeking power with control. We would move out at the trot and come back to a walk, some go, but remember the whoa. Time came that we could have a little gallop. We had a nice depart, with an easy rhythm. We made a calm circle, and came around the end of the arena. We moved smoothly through the corner and looked down the straight stretch of the long side. It was too much for him, mud flying out from his feet, he pounded down it like a freight train. We went into the corner with way too much speed and lost the rear end, sliding out from under us. Spleurch, down we went.

I stood up. He stood up. Both of us mud head to foot on the left side. I had to laugh; he looked so stupid half covered in mud that way. Looked a bit like one of those cookies that is half dipped in chocolate. Of course, so did I. He shook off like a dog, mud flying. We looked at each other a moment. I gathered the reins, swung back up on his back and we turned and rode out of the arena. We sauntered in all our mud covered glory up the long hill to the barn, where a figure was standing watching us drag along. As I swung down, my British friend said, “I thought that was quite graceful. Here is a towel and I’ve made you a pot of tea.”

It's the little things
"Tribal leaders call the shots, but Scots Guards sort out the bother"

good story from The Scotsman about the moment by moment negotiating that the troops do.... keeping an equilibrium ...

Saturday.... pun
A man is sitting at home one night. Suddenly, there's a loud knock at the door. The man opens the door to find a six-foot beetle standing at the doorstep.
"What in the world is this?" he asks.
The beetle responds by attacking the man viciously, with a flurry of kicks and punches. Then the beetle leaves.
The man crawls into his house and calls an ambulance. At the hospital, the emergency room intern asks him how it happened. The guy tells him about the beetle.
"Yes," the doctor says, with an understanding nod. "There is a nasty bug going around at the moment..."

Friday, January 28, 2005
Voter fraud in ... Wisconsin?
Very funny take on voter fraud from Crooked Timber. Powerline called in to lend a hand with the investigation.

Robinson Crusoe fell desperately ill. Just before dropping into a
coma, he called for his man Friday to help him.
Friday, not knowing what else to do, went outside of Crusoe's tent
and danced around and prayed for the gods to come and help his
master. Shortly afterwards, he went back into Crusoe's tent and
found his master awake and staring at a beautiful glowing shape at
the foot of his bed.
"Who is that?" Robinson Crusoe asked.
His helper answered, "Thank Friday! It's G-d!"

Thursday, January 27, 2005
I, too, am a Coyote Democrat
Look here at Makes Me Ralph to understand what that is.

Auschwitz liberated 60 years ago...
Yet how have fared in the war against racism? Not too well. Bosnia, Rwanda, Sudan...
I found an interesting take on an American perspective here from Phillip Carter:
"But beyond providing moral leadership for its own sake, we should also do so because it's in our interest. America is strongest when America is right. Our allies come to us with support; our enemies fear us because of our moral, political, economic, military and international power. Moral leadership is more than just soft power; it frequently translates into hard power too, in the form of allied forces and allied bank accounts enlisted into a common cause. As we press our fight against terror, and we push for the spread of freedom and democracy, we should not forget that we are strongest when we own the moral high ground. In my opinion, one of the principal ways we can do that is to live up to our promise from when we signed the Genocide Convention, and to ensure that the atrocities of the Second World War never happen again."

Unfortunate headline.... in so many ways
IDF troops shoot dead Palestinian man who ran toward army base in Gaza
Such a sad world, that people are killed.. just for looking suspicious. No chance to speak. No chance for that human connection that might save a life. The ultimate profiling.

Yet humor keeps us from becoming overwhelmed with what if's: My next thought was "such bad writing....why did they shoot a dead man?"

Not a naked girl.....
A man went to his friend's costume party with nothing but a naked
girl on his back.
"So what are you supposed to be?" the host asked.
"I'm a snail," the man replied.
"What a load of garbage!" the host spat. "How can you be a snail
when all you've got is that naked girl on your back?"
"That's not a naked girl," the man replied, "that's Michelle."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Hopes for the Iraqi elections
Be sure the watch this video - it's clip #499 (dunno how to do the picture thingy) Just go and watch.

h/t Nickie

Along those legal lines...
A squad car driver was covering a quiet beat out in the sticks when he
was amazed to find a former lieutenant on the police force covering the
beat. He stopped the car and asked, "Why, Mike, this wouldn't be your
new beat out here in the sticks, would it?"
"That it is," Mike replied grimly, "ever since I arrested Judge Wilson
on his way to the masquerade ball."
"You mean you pinched his honor?" asked Pat.
"How was I to know that his convict suit was only a costume?" demanded
"Well," mused Pat, "that's life and there's a lesson in this

"That there is," replied Mike, "never book a judge by his cover."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The most dangerous factory job in America
The meat packing industry has always been dangerous, but now it seems that it has slipped behond the bonds of even international agreements for safe workplaces. Article today - "Human Rights Watch has issued a report that harshly criticizes a single industry in the United States, concluding that the nation's meat packing industry has such a bad working conditions that it violates basic human and worker rights."

A famous pun....
While serving as England's Lord Chancellor, Francis Bacon once presided over a criminal appeal in which the plaintiff (a man named Hogg) facetiously argued that he should be acquitted on the grounds of his kinship with the judge: "Hogg," he claimed, "must be akin to Bacon." "Not," the chancellor astutely replied, "until it has been hung."

Monday, January 24, 2005
Israel doing its own bargaining
"Russian President Vladimir Putin promised Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in a phone conversation Thursday that he would not close the deal to sell shoulder-launched missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad during the latter's visit to Moscow, which begins today. " In an article entitled: "Putin vows: No missile deal with Syria during Assad visit"
Also "Nathan Guttman adds: Syria is interested in renewing talks with Israel and expects a positive reaction from Israel, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Shara said during an interview with CNN. Shara said the formula for a peace agreement with Israel was total peace in exchange for total withdrawal, and added that a narrow window for peace had opened and he hoped it would open further."

License plate
License plate seen on the way to work: WENRHOM

hmmmm. Well, at least it's at home and not wandering the neighborhood, eh?

Middle East full of nuclear programs
From todays "Haaretz" "Dagan: Egypt, Syria have nuclear programs, as well as Iran"
Whatever your opinions of the war in Iraq, this is something that we should know. There needs to be general knowledge that this is going on. We would like to put our heads in the sand. We don't want to hear. But we must listen and acknowledge this existence. Until we do that, there won't be any real discussion of nuclear arms issues. As long as we say, "Oh that's not going to happen!" we are assuring that it will happen. Nuclear weapons are not an issue that can be resolved by "strength of arms", because the affects are so completely devastating. And we have taken our public eye off of this ball.

Sunday, January 23, 2005
Sunday/Monday pun
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.

Horse addiction #2
So today I rode Bandit and it was so wonderful. We have this conversation - he listens with his body - he knows how I feel. Very sensitive. How is that? Well we were going at a full gallop down the arena, I straighten my shoulders and stiffen my back and in 3 strides he comes to a collected halt. This isn't the mouth wrenching, hind legs sliding, halt of a cow horse. He just stops. When we are moving and I want us to turn, most of what I do is look where I want to go. The subtle shifts of my body, plus a few soft movements and he turns. An onlooker, unless well trained, would never see the changes. We dance together. If we are walking in a straight line, and I hold the right rein and press a little with my left leg, he walks sideways, one foot stepping across the other, front and back. We can do this at the walk, the trot, and the canter. Today, we waltzed down the center of the arena, 3 steps straight, 3 steps left, 3 steps straight, 3 steps to the right, etc. Dancing with my partner.

The horse addiction
The picture below is me at 3 and a half. This was the first equine I had been on. The coowboy clothes belonged to my next door neighbor, Eddie. I got to ride that pony from my neighbor's yard over to mine. I remember begging the photographer to let me hold the reins, which he did, since the pony would have followed him anyway.


Julie at 3 Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 22, 2005
Horse pictures
I work at a job I really don't like, but it means I can afford the horse... that being the case, here are some pictures. The one right below I took today. We rode in the blowing cold fog. Had a great time but lousy light for taking decent pictures. Will take some tomorrow when my friend Sophie comes to ride. She's 8 and Bandit LOVES Sophie. The pictures below are of Bandit's full brother, Tony. Tony is 16 yrs old and Bandit is 7, so Tony has many years of training. But he gives you an idea of what a Lipizzan should look like.


Bandit looking out of his stall  Posted by Hello


Maestoso II Catrina (Tony) at the Piaffe Posted by Hello


Tony doing a Levade Posted by Hello

Foggy foggy foggy
Went up to the barn to ride today. It was cold, gray, and foggy. I took the camera thinking to get some working horse pictures. But gray horses are hard to see in the moving fog. We had a nice ride despite the cold. Below are two pictures. One is of me on Bandit last summer. The one below that is Bandit's full brother, Tony. Officially they are: Maestoso II Catrina (Tony) and Maestoso II Catrina II (Bandit). Tony is 9 yrs older than Bandit, and , at 16 yrs old, well into his training in the "airs above the ground". Above is a picture of him doing a Levade.


Bandit and me Posted by Hello


Bandit's big brother, Tony Posted by Hello

Friday, January 21, 2005
Friday's wierd words
Yes, it's the Pun moment....
One day at the watering hole, an elephant looked around and carefullysurveyed the turtles in view. After a few seconds thought, he walked over to one turtle, raised his foot, and KICKED the turtle as far as he could. (Nearly a mile)A watching hyena asked the elephant why he did it? "Well, about 30 years ago I was walking through a stream and a turtlebit my foot. Finally I found the S.O.B and repaid him for what he had done to me." "30 years!!! And you remembered...But HOW???" "I have turtle recall."

Thursday, January 20, 2005
More inside Iraq news
BC and TJ work in Iraq. They don't state exactly what they do. I believe they are in Bagdad. Today's post is on the threat to Iraq's from insurgents. Excerpt:
"In recent weeks I've developed a metric of levels of intimidation. I count the beds in government offices that I go to.
As recently as three months ago, no one slept in their office – after a hard day's work (if you call 9am to 2pm a hard day) folks would just go home. Then one day I walked into someone's office and noticed a bed in the corner, tucked in between a filing cabinet and a refrigerator.
Since that day I have noticed a veritable proliferation of beds. Government officials are scared. In many cases they are so scared that they don't leave the office for weeks. And the fear doesn't stop when you come to work. One official told me, after cutting short a meeting in his office, that "they are watching, they are seeing how long we are talking."

Interesting observation.

News from Iraq
Ryan at Cigars in the Sand has an insider type view of what is happening in Iraq. He works on border issues and has pictures and reports on his site.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Is it Thursday yet? Here's the pun
If you shake up a can of beer, and spill it on your stove, do you get foam on the range?

That writing thing....
Tonight I went to my first creative writing class at the local Junior College. It's a workshop, which means, (I didn't get this at first, OK?) that you write, sort of guided by suggestions, then you read or present whatever you've scribbled. He said he would start with whatever we wanted, to which I blurted out "short story", not because I am any good at it, but it was one of the easiest forms to write. Oh, and DC? He's going to cover limericks, for what reason, I didn't write down, along with other forms of poetry of course.
So you see.... the problem is that I'd like to write... I do have a degree in Accounting w/minor in Economics. Do you hear alot of numbers there? Ah huh. That's right. So after a roughly 10 hour work day I came to class with my scribbles, which I wrote up on the blackboard along with everyone else. It was fine. Really. So wild to hear someone gently positively take apart my use of words, (verbs were good!) and "innovative" punctuation, and, also to hear how what I wrote affected all these people. Face to face. Amazing.
Just had to share.

Some well presented thoughts...
From the Milblog, A Candle in the Dark "The Sadness and Waste of Real Estate that is a War Memorial" Combat Doc presents a well stated comments..." Media and talking heads have their opinion, it's usually wrong. Politicians on both sides of the aisle send us off while explaining away their own lack of service. Yellow ribbons strangle us to forced smiles as to not insult or appear anti-war or anti-military. We accept the drinks and the handshakes but only really enjoy them when it's another vet. We do our jobs, we do it well, and we're proud of what we did and how we did it. "... " Let us do our jobs how it was meant to done, use us how we're meant to be used, and if you're wrong say it and keep our trust." (excerpts)
The whole article is truly worth reading.

Guest punster...
A new wine for seniors

California vintners in the Napa Valley area,
which primarily produces Pinot Blanc,
Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have
developed a new hybrid grape that acts
as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce
the number of trips older people have to
make to the bathroom during the night.

The new wine will be marketed as Pino More.

(thanks to Catfish)

Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The cool fog
Walking on the beach in the fog
The cold fog wrapped about me like cotton wool
The dog panting at my side
Sounds projected over space
Gentle swish of the waves
Chink and splash and woosh of the gulls
The dense feeling of weight on my shoulders
The thoughts and responsibilities like the fog crowding close
Heavy, cold, pressing down
The wet sand looked welcoming
To stop and sink and not think
To lie stretched against the cool damp

The cool damp sand against my cheek
To still the thoughts
To just stop

A gentle warm hand
Hey? Hello?
Reaching out
Lifting mine from the sand
Where are you going?
Did you need directions?
Just a hand up, and a gentle push

Thanks again....


what I'm doing... Posted by Hello


my world.... ;-P Posted by Hello

Tuesday's groaner..
An Indian chief had three wives, each of whom was pregnant. The first gave birth to a boy. The chief was so elated he built her a teepee made of deer hide. A few days later , the second gave birth, also to a boy. The chief was very happy. He built her a teepee made of antelope hide. The third wife gave birth a few days later, but the chief kept the details a secret. He built this one a two-story teepee, made out of a hippopotamus hide. He challenged the tribe to guess what had occurred. Many tried, unsuccesfully. Finally, one young brave declared that the thir third wife had given birth to twin boys. "Correct", said the chief. "How did you figure it out?" The warrior answered, "It's elementary. The value of the squaw of the hippoptamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."

Monday, January 17, 2005
Overheard conversation
I stopped by the Albertsons to pick up a sandwich for lunch....overheard a somewhat heated conversation about the benefits of the organically raised Rocky the Range chicken over the not organic brand. The conversation went into great detail about the affects of eating hormone laden meats. It was between two guys... they were ready to get into a fist fight over it. hmmmm

OK an Iraq pun...sorry its Monday morning... so....
Once the US invades Afghanistan, we're sure to find ourselves between Iraq and a hard place.

Sunday, January 16, 2005
Cute puppies pic
Check out Cigars in the Sand the puppies are in Iraq as it the blogger.

Saturday, January 15, 2005
The purple state
This is a corner in downtown Sebastopol, the town I work in. This is the south east corner at the intersection of Main St. and Sebastopol Rd. It's hard to tell, but the name on the restaurant is Alice's Restaurant at 101 Main. There is a nice lady out there with a flag and a "Support Our Troops" sign. Arlo Guthrie has friends here in town and comes to do fundraisers for the local high school. He always packs the house. Yet this town has lost 3 of it's residents in Iraq, one of them in December, a local truck driver, basketball coach, and Army reservist.


California the purple state Posted by Hello

A penguin?
Norway is promoting Honourable Regimental Sergeant Marjor Nils Olav in August. Oh and by the way, Nils is a king penguin.

(if you couldn't be a little silly, the world would be pretty boring)

Early Sat. Pun... no promises here...
How do gophers entertain themselves?
with underground movies....

sorry ;-P


Just a little henna leafy viney tattoo Posted by Hello

Friday, January 14, 2005
The tattoo
Last summer life was looking pretty boring. I didn’t have any vacation time yet. My friends were off biking, camping, backpacking, sea kayaking, and riding the trails in Montana. Dang. Life is dull. I walked down to the local mini-mart for whipped cream. The guy clerking there is tall, bald, covered in tattoos, never blinks, and speaks English. Seems a little reptilian, so I figure he’s really an alien and no one has noticed. He does have some cool tattoos. I asked him where he got his tattoos and he named a place downtown. I drew a little leafy, viney sort of thing and stopped at the tattoo place on my lunch hour. I stood, in my navy blue suit, white blouse, and heels, in the waiting room looking at examples of tattoos. Ah, no dragons, thanks. A guy covered in tattoos (of course) walked out and looked at me, unblinking. Another alien. I said, “Uh, I’d like to get a tattoo on my ankle. Can you do this?” He glanced down at my drawing and said, “Sure”. Silence. “Uh, when would you have time?” Nothing. “Say Friday at lunch time?” He said, “Sure”.
I told one my friends what I was going to do. He told me, “it’s gonna hurt you know. I’ll go with you.”
Friday rolls around and by that time, I’d mentioned my little adventure to a couple other people. At noon, I walked in, and there in the waiting room, stood my sister, her daughter, and four other friends, all there to watch me cringe under the needle. The tattoo guy walked out and took us into a very tiny room. He did a great job under pressure, all those people watching; those aliens, nerves of steel. I, of course, can tell you that it hurts like…. Heck. Really. But with all my supporters standing there, I was not going to whimper. No thank you! My friend said, “Well, mine hurt more than that!”
Probably not.

Jewish pun
Two bees ran into each other. One asked the other how things were going."Really bad," said the second bee, "the weather has been really wet and damp and there aren't any flowers or pollen, so I can't make any honey.""No problem," said the first bee, "Just fly down five blocks and turn left and keep going until you see all the cars. There's a Bar Mitzvah going on and there are all kinds of fresh flowers and fresh fruit.""Thanks for the tip" said the second bee and flew away.A few hours later the two bees ran into each other again and the first bee asked, "How'd it go?""Fine," said the second bee, "It was everything you said if would be.""Uh, what's that thing on your head?" asked the first bee."That's my yarmulke," said the second bee."I didn't want them to think I was a wasp."

stolen from here

Milblog Daily Reads
Two important milblog reads, if you haven't been there before:
Mudville Gazette

Blackfive currently has a post via Soldiers Angels re: supplies for wounded soldiers.

Received a request from Scott Air Force Base. They are receiving about 250-300 wounded troops per month either transitting through Scott or receiving treatment. They need some supplies to make the wounded soldiers more comfortable.
Here are the items needed:
Letters of Encouragement
PT Uniforms (various sizes)
And anything else you think might help...
Please send the items to:
Wounded Hero
c/o Robert Davison
Stop 11
310 West Losey Street
Scott AFB, IL 62225

Heroes and Villains
Stolen directly from today's Scotsman:
"Hero - Fido the dino-eating dog
Fossil remains found in China have turned the established theories on their heads. Up till now, it was thought that we mammals of 65 million years ago were tiny timorous things, cowering away from the terrible lizards that ruled the world. But the discovery of Repenomamus giganticus has changed all that. About the size of a present day Tasmanian Devil, the animal roamed teh Mesozoic plains gobbling up little dinosaurs, and the young of big ones, restoring a bit of pride to the warm-blooded life of pre-history.
The fact that mammals made it through whatever global catastrophe wiped out the big ugly lizards and then went on to become the planet's dominant lifeform demonstrates the remarkable boundebackability of this particular type of organism.
Villain: "Prince" Harry
What's behind Prince Harry's latest bout of idiocy?
At the risk of being accused of rampant republicanism, the Royal Family do have form in this area. Phil "the Greek" Windsor is a gaffe-prone old so-and-so who has often found his royal foot in his blue-blooded mouth. And Edward VIII was embarassingly chummy with the Naxis - and not in an ironic way.
Perhaps Harry's not particularly bright, even for a hooray, and it's possible, but unlikely, that he is part of the astonishing number of young Brits who have never heard of Auschwitz. If so, Charles should be demanding all thoes school fees back from Eton. (excerpt)"

I'm sure the young man's grandmother has had "a few words" with him about this and not in a nice way either. Poor ole Harry has his issues with drugs, unfortunate friends and actions. He also has red hair and looks more like his father than his mum. Sorry Harry.

Thursday, January 13, 2005
How I got here
Some time ago I started writing to a couple fellows in our military, one is posted in Afghanistan and one is in Iraq. Unable to get news of what it was like where they were, I started searching through the MilBlog ring. I still read mostly military blogs, although I rarely post a comment on them. What would I say? Anyway, this young man is headed home and he's put up his final post from Iraq. Worth reading.

The better latte!

next - the DoubleChocoLatte

Ooooh! rock hard Latte

and $$$ a latte

OK, the pun...
A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest and writers cramp.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
This is why we live here
This morning was sunny, cool, and breezy and beautiful. View from the top o' the hill looking west across the Santa Rosa Plain.


Wednesday am view from the top Posted by Hello


Muddy Piggy Posted by Hello


Wednesday am view of Santa Rosa Plain Posted by Hello

Oooh, now we have National Dead Fur ....
The gift that keeps on giving - the controversy of selling vintage furs has not only not gone away it's gone national:
"Animal rights activists have escalated their battle against a Guerneville store owner, flooding her phone with calls asking her to stop selling vintage furs. The phone call barrage marks the entrance of a national animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, into the 5 week old local protest by Sonoma People for Animal Rights."
How about the ethical treatment of humans? This poor woman opened her store just a few weeks ago and has been harrassed about selling some ratty raccoon collars and moldy mermots ever since. As the article notes, these are all "vintage" furs out of grandma's closet types of things and none of them very valuable.

Wednesday's bad fish puns
Fish Latin?
Caviar Emptor - Beware of the fish
Carp Diem - seize the fish
Veni, Vidi, Fishy - I came, I saw, I fished
Cod Erat Demonstrandum - Proving the fish
Squid pro quo - done a fishy deal
Tempus Fish-it - Time flies when you're fishing
Prima Fishy - First fish

One man's fish is another man's poisson.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
Need those ruby slippers - -
The wicked witch of the west is melting. Got an email from someone suggesting that the hedonistic heathen ways of Californians are responsible for our current soggy woes. Huh. I never realized I was having so much fun! Once again I didn't know where the party was!

Another worthless fun thing
This time from the Llama Butchers. How much are you worth?
I'm worth, according this worthless test, $2,172,658.32
Go ahead. Robert at Llama Butchers is worth $3,549,734.88

Clearly I've made a wrong turn somewhere.... oh yeah, I live in California

Give up?
For those of you who just can't take it anymore....
h/t Blogizdat

Monday, January 10, 2005
Tuesday's child.. uh, pun
A mechanic once owned a dog named Mace. Mace had a bad habit of eating all the gress in the mechanic's lawn, so the mechanic had to keep Mace inside. The grass eventually became over grown. One day the mechanic was working on a car in his backyard and dropped his wrench losing it in the tall grass. He couldn't find it for the life of him so he decided to call it a day. That night, Mace escaped from the house and ate all the grass in the backyard. The next morning, the mechanic went outside and saw his wrench glinting in the sunlight. Realizing what had happened, he looked up to the heavens and proclaimed.... "A grazing Mace, how sweet the hound that saved a wrench for me!"

Israeli reactions to the election of Abbas
As are reactions to election results anywhere else, the Israeli reactions to the election of Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas are mixed. Check Israellycool for a mix of reactions, and Israpundit for a more conservative take.

Unbiased news? Not...
Armstrong Williams says in “My Apology” that “I agreed to run a paid ad on my syndicated televisions show, promoting the Dept. of Education's “No Child Left Behind" Act. I subsequently used my column space to support that legislation. This represents an obvious conflict of interests.”…… “People need to know that my column is uncorrupted by any outside influences.”
How can we know that Mr. Williams? And why would we believe it? You have no more credibility than the Los Angeles Times did after its advertising debacle. The news is only as “believable” as the reporter.

Although this situation is deplorable because this involves taxpayers’ money, it is not particularly shocking. All news is biased. No one that wants to stay in business would publish a major news story against a company that pays for advertising in that paper. So what about that? Read the newspaper, notice who advertises and then know that these people influence what you are reading.

Car jousting..
On my regular commute to work there is a section of highway that narrows from two to one lane. This morning I was following a white pickup truck with a tool box behind the cab and in the left lane there was a little old lady on a cell-phone in a compact car. According to the traffic sign, the left lane is to merge into the right, but since that is counter-intuitive, most people don’t do it that way. The little old lady continued on straight oblivious to the truck right next to her. I don’t think the truck even saw her or made any move to look to see if someone was there. They continued into the single lane, side by side. I slowed a bit, if they were going to play games I wanted to give them room. They became aware of each other almost at the same moment – the L.O.L. swerved abruptly into the oncoming lane and then sped up, the pickup truck sped up and they were off – neck and neck. She was over the double yellow and he was still over the right lane line. They went faster. He’s looking over at her; she’s leaning into the steering wheel. I was doing 65mph and still dragging behind out of the way. Oncoming traffic was on their horns and swerving to the far side of their lane. Finally the truck punched it and passed the L.O.L and swerved in front of her. Her brake lights came on and his finger was waving out the window.What happens to people? What in the world goes through their minds?

Monday pun
During the Korean War, Syngman Rhee's son went to work for Henry Luce. But as the North Koreans came pounding down the track past Soeul, the young man got lost in all the confusion. Well, every correspondent in the Time-Life empire was sent out looking for him. After many hours of searching one of them found him. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "sweet Mr. Rhee of Life, at last I've found you!"

Sunday, January 09, 2005
Balls Bros.
A place on Threadneedle St. called Balls Bros. I still don't know what it is. I was standing with a couple friends taking a picture because, well, the name of the place, and these 3 guys said they would pose if they could have a copy of the pic. Met them at a pub later. Names addresses exchanged, in order to get the pic to them, of course. Why? The fellow on the left is the one I took the picture of the 3 Fates for.....


The guys in front of Balls Bros on Threadneedle St in London. The 3 Fates pic was for the gentleman on the far left. Posted by Hello

Would you take a kid..
where they might see this sculpture? Would you be upset if they saw this on a school trip? PattyJo wondered what the child in photo was thinking about what they saw. What do you suppose?


Louvre - this was, ahem, more interesting. Now go back and read/look at the other pictures. It was all about heights originally. Posted by Hello


Inside the Louvre...Took this pic for a friend of mine. Not my kinda sculpture. I think it's the 3 Fates, or something like that. Posted by Hello

For those of your who read the DaVinci Code
Having too much fun with the Paris pictures...ran across the ones of the courtyard at the Louvre. I also found some of my favorite, um, sculptures... so will entertain myself and post those as well.


Louvre, large and small glass pyramids Posted by Hello


Louvre, sm glass pyramid Posted by Hello


What's at the very top of the Eiffel Tower. Posted by Hello

A problem with heights..
I have this problem with heights. It's not rational and it's truly stupid. I've been trying to beat it for years. My way of resolving a problem is to meet it head on. When I was in Paris, I thought the Eiffel Tower would be an interesting battle ground. Not so actually. At the very top of the tower is a door and some stairs. It brings you to a balcony of sorts outside, just below the very tip of the tower. It has a 4 foot solid railing around it. Did it bother me to be out there? No. Which is great. But it just points out how lame the problem is - I cannot get up on my roof to prune back the rose bush that is attempting to consume my garage, but I can stand outside at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Go figure. Oh. And the tower sways in the wind, even on a calm day.


View from the top, note antennae to the right Posted by Hello


Eiffel Tower Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 08, 2005
A little bit of sunshine....
Today (Saturday) the sun was actually out for a whole 45 minutes. Colder than heck. But here are a couple friends enjoying the "no rain" moment. Mattias on the left with Donnerschlog, and Cathryn on the right with her Lipizzan, Maestoso.


Saturday 1/8/05 at the barn Posted by Hello

Sunday is a no pun day...
..... but I wouldn't want to short you your morning laugh, so grab your coffee and saunter over to Madfish Willie's and find a joke that suits.

Gratuitous cute puppy picture
A few years ago I had an unfortunate situation where a fellow broke into my house. He stole my VCR, my good Goretex jacket, and he hassled me. It was really frightening to wake up at 4am and have some strange man (familiar friendlys ones are fine) in my room. One of my ways of coping with this nasty was to get a dog. I figured that if I'd had a dog I would have at least known someone was in the house, giving me a few moments to gather my wits and call the police. So I got this really cute little Australian Shepherd puppy - officially, she is "Dolly's Black Satin Rose", but her friends call her Rosie. I should mention that she is the alpha female in the house. When I took this picture she wasn't big enought to get up the steps herself. So I set her there to take the picture, since otherwise all she wanted to do was run toward me. Awwwww. But as soon as I put my face behind the camera, she tilted her head like that!


Rosie puppy Posted by Hello

Morning pun..
Does a coffee shop have the grounds to operate in the black?

Friday, January 07, 2005
Things that seemed funny after..
" a bit" of hot buttered rum:

The touching story of a rescued dolphin. h/t Nickie Goomba

A little article called "Satan on Hygiene" - - lots of suggestions on how to get to "the warm place" by not bathing. From The Brunching Shuttlecocks

How to tell if a prostitute is an alien. h/t Furtive Explorations

The latest rendition of the Martha Stewart Chronicles from Protein Wisdom

Herbert's new wheels over at Ogre's place.

My cold is much mush betterrr... thanxzz.

End o' week pun
A good one for Friday - A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Thursday, January 06, 2005
Schwarzenegger stands on hind legs
The governor decides to quit being a girly-man...what's he going after? Pay for teachers, re-districting, pensions, loosening housing codes, re-organize state prisons. He also announced that he will use a special election to tackle some other issues such as abortion and sex education. It's going to be a hairy fight.

Ozzie pun
Local area network in Australia? The LAN down under.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Daisy Cutter waving to the crowds...
as he leaves the press conference on Monday!


Daisy Cutter, taken just after press conference. Posted by Hello

Picture of Daisy Cutter.......
Late breaking news - - a visitor to Daisy Cutter's press conference surreptitiously snapped a picture of the Daisy Cutter himself. Picture will be posted at 7 pm PST!

Daring, guilty, but no secret
I left some friends off of the list. Do check in with the Texican Tattlers. Bring your guns.

Guilty pleasures
Lee Ann over at Lee Ann's View has comments on web-sites that are guilty pleasures. She lists four of her favorites. Mine aren't much of a secret... well the one's I'll confess to here, aren't a secret. Bad Example is lunch hour reading, as are the "Martha Chronicles" at Protein Wisdom. I'm enjoying the beer making process at Sharp as a Marble. Email me if you want the ones I won't confess in public.

For just good entertainment, check my best blogfriends: Daisy Cutter and Nickie. They're guilty, but not a secret!

Not that funny
Along with all of the hacking and coughing, I have lost my voice. My co-workers find this highly amusing.

Still raining...
It's still raining. Big storm due in tomorrow. One of my neighbors just said that it was because of the tsunami. Right. That must be it. Couldn't be that it's because it's winter and it rains here in the winter?

Oh, I was talking to the neighbor because my dog needs to play tennis ball catch in the morning. The rain doesn't bother her a bit, she's got that woolly undercoat. But there I am, raincoat, umbrella, throwing the soggy tennis ball for the dog. Am I trained, or what?

Rainy Wednesday pun
A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken Leif off my census."

Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Cycle tales deux..
The next race was a circuit race. It was in the central valley as well, but a different spot. Zamora. Where is that? I still don't know. Off of I-5 north of Williams. Whatever. This race started at the top of the overpass (Ha!) swept east behind the hill and around, over another overpass, out through the corn fields, then back up to the starting point. A 9 mile circuit, you ride it 3 times. With a downhill start, I hung on like a tick to the back of the pack. It was a good pace for me, so I was liking it. I made it around the first lap still with the pack. As we went behind the hill the 2nd time, my rear tire went flat. Dang. I grabbed my spare tube and the CO2 thingy, got the wheel off, the tire off, the new tube in, and re-filled it. Now to put it back on. I should mention that it was about now that the shadows of circling birds moved across my sweating form. I looked up, yeah, the vultures were circling overhead. I messed with putting the rear wheel back on and the derailer that hated me. The shadows moved across the road. I had black grease all over my hands, the chain had come off once, and I could not get that sucker to slide on. I set the bike down and yelled at the birds. "Hey, leave off! I'm still moving and it'll be a long time before I stop." Vultures continued to circle. The next pack flew past me. Finally I got the wheel back on. Threw the tools in my back pocket and took off. I caught up with a guy that had just straggled off of the other pack and we took turns being in front all the way to the overpass. I asked the Starter how far my pack was ahead of me. He raised his eyebrows and said, "Long ways". Aha. Know when to put the bike away and go get a cold beer.

Cycle tales
Bicycle tales that is. I've been a distance cycler for awhile. When I first started riding though I also decided to try some road racing. I duly registered and received a "Cat 4" rating. That's the bottom. My friends and I picked out a race early in the season, 1st weekend in February. We loaded up the car and took off early. The race was in California's central valley, which translates to alot of flat very empty miles. My kinda terrain. The directions said "Take I-5 north to road 19, then left at first dirt road." There was a big stand of eucalyptus next to a flat dirt area. We checked in and got the start times and looked at the route. Son of a ....the start line was at the base of the only hill for 100 miles around. I said bad words, my friends were snickering. 17 of us lined up and took off. I hung onto the pack most of the way up the hill and then got dropped off. If you can draft off of the person in front of you, you only do 2/3 the work they are, so if you have no one to draft off of, you have to work harder and even harder than that to catch up . These riders blasted up and over the hill and on down the road. I reached the top and then started the winding decent. I love to go downhill. I came around the last curve and had a view of a real mess. If you ride close together and someone makes a mistake you all go down. There was just a heap of riders in the road. The course-workers were there helping people up, some of the riders were up and moving down the road. I carefully rode past and carried on. I began to catch and pass the riders that were on the road. I trudged on-ward - still no one to draft off of because they now straggled out behind me. When I reached mile 20, my friend Janet caught up with me. She said, "can I draft off of you for a bit and catch my breath". Oh yeah, sure. So we rode together for another 7 miles. I asked how she was doing and would she take a turn on the front? She said, no, she was just trying to get back in. Oh, OK. The only thing between me and the finish line was a freeway overpass and then another 1/2 mile. As we approached the overpass, Janet pulled out from behind me and started powering up the hill! Hey! What about dragging you for the last 7 miles? She said, "I can't hear you" and went over the top and to the finish a good 35 seconds before me! That weasel! There are no friends in racing. Give no quarter take no prisoners. It's OK. She won a cantelope. Yeah, a cantelope.

Monday, January 03, 2005
Tomorrows pun ..
What do you get when you toss a hand grenade into a kitchen in France? Linoleum blownapart.

Supplies getting delivered
in tsunami ravaged areas. Check out EagleSpeak for words and pictures of suppies getting delivered and people getting help. Good to see that some things are happening.

Daily groaner
Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

(Gimme a break, I have a cold....)

It's Monday........
It's still raining. It's Monday. I still have to go to work. I still have a cold and feel like...... bad. I have no uplifting thoughts about this. It sucks.

The big press release!
It's the morning of the big press release over at Daisy Cutter's place. He has astounding news and revelations! Check it out.

Sunday, January 02, 2005
The new year so far....
Not all that great. It's still pouring buckets outside.... 4th day in a row. I've got moss growing on my north side by now and I'm looking for the hammer because it's surely ark building time. I hab a cold ib by dose. Achoo. I mean a cold in my nose. I've run out of Scotch for the hot toddies and I left the raincoat and umbrella in the car. WHERE IS MY MOMMIE!
OK. I'm better now. Shouting definately helped.
I live on a dead end street with 7 houses on it. It ends because there is a creek there. I shuffled into the kitchen to get more hot tea and stood there looking out the window. My neighbors were standing down at the end of the street under umbrellas looking at something. Then I realized that the bushes at the edge of the creek were bent over kinda funny. Heck. The water is up. This is not a catastrophic thing - happens each winter. But it means that the creek sort of swirls around the court and then goes away, leaving lots of leaves and trash and gunk to clear off the lawn and out of the gutter. gack. It was just too much for my soggy brain to think about, so I picked up the tea and shuffled with my blanket back to the couch and my laptop.
I came back and read about the work that had to be done in Indonesia and my new year suddenly looked pretty damn good. I was warm, dry, well fed, lounging on my couch, my dog curled up next to me. I have a job to go to tomorrow and home to come back to afterwards. It's a tremendously wonderful new year.

NY Times quotes the blogs...
In a piece entitled "Postings from the Edge - A Catastrophe Strikes, and Cyberworld Responds" the NY Times prints a series of eye witness posts from bloggers of the affects of the tsunami. I had posted on Dec 26 in "Its Just the New" about the transitions of "news" from eyewitness accounts from individuals to printed news sheets to other media and now we are back the beginning with eyewitness accounts by individuals. Now if the NY Times is printing these..... makes you head spin.

And for today -
Two fish are in a tank. One says to the other, "You drive. I'll man the guns."

Saturday, January 01, 2005
New year pun... not
Two silk worms were in a race. They ended up in a tie.

Discussion of plan in Iraq
Check out 2Slick's discussion of the plan in Iraq. Terrific explanation...even I can understnd.

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