Julie with a B

Friday, February 24, 2006
Certainly beats the Great Train Robbery
In Briatain, the heist of 50 million pounds certainly beats the measly 2.3 million pounds of the Great Train Robbery and is the largest heist in history. Cash. And where is this large sum of cash going?

The heist is still in the old tradition, from the Telegraph:
Just as importantly, the criminals themselves had begun to realise that conducting armed bank robberies - or "going over the pavement", to use the underworld's parlance - was far less lucrative and more dangerous than the drugs trade. As one Flying Squad detective put it: "What's the point of going over the pavement with a shotgun to rob a couple of hundred thousand pounds when you can make 10 times that from a consignment of drugs? You'll get anything up to 20 years for armed robbery - life, if someone gets killed - whereas the average drug conviction might get you six or seven."

The problem for the traditional, white, London gangsters is that the drugs business is truly multicultural. Those playing this game have to operate in a climate dominated by the Russian mafia, Jamaican Yardies, Islamic terrorists and Colombian smugglers. After a few years of trying to deal with such hardcore brutes, armed robbery might seem a more appealing prospect, even if it is less instantly rewarding. It is perhaps telling that this week's raid was perpetrated in Tonbridge in Kent, a neighbourhood to which many of the old white south London criminal families emigrated.

The robbery in Kent looks like an inside job: carrying it out would require either brilliant surveillance or the help of an employee. Yet it may be harder to dispose of the money than to steal it. Divided into £50 notes, a sum of £40 million would weigh half a ton.

And perhaps the cash is difficult to handle within the UK:
When robbers carried out a raid on the Northern Bank in Belfast in December 2004, they found much of their haul rendered useless after the bank introduced a new-style note.

Yet if they can get it out of the country it would be a bit more useful, London Times:
Speaking at a press conference before the arrests, Mr Leppard, who is leading a team of 100 investigators, confirmed that police were looking at the possibility that the gang had fled across the Channel. Officers have already seized security camera footage and computer numberplate records of vehicles going through the Channel Tunnel and on the Dover ferries after the raid early on Wednesday morning.
Mr Leppard also confirmed that detectives were looking into the possibility that the gang had inside information for an operation that had been “executed with military precision”.

Hmmmm. "military precision"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Dick Cheney being considered for a Medal of Freedom
(from my email)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A white house source stated that Congress is considering awarding Vice-President Dick Cheney the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian commendation, for his act of bravery in shooting an attorney. The source was quoted to say, "All Americans have wanted to shoot a lawyer at one time or another and Cheney actually had the guts to do it".

In a related story, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, which issues hunting licenses, said that it will start requiring hunters, wishing to bag a lawyer, to have the new "lawyer's stamp" on their hunting license. Currently Texas hunters are required to carry stamps for hunting birds, deer, and bear, at a cost of $7 annually.

The new "lawyers stamp" will cost $100, but open season will be all year long. The department further stated that although the "lawyers stamp" comes at a hefty price, sales have been brisk and it is believed it will generate annual revenues in excess of $3 billion dollars the first year. Other states are considering similar hunting stamps.

San Francisco might look better and better to some folks. They would have to stay inside The City limits, however, since hunting is quite popular north of the Golden Gate.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The 4 things meme . . .
I have been tagged by Teach at the Pirate’s Cove with the 4 Things meme.

4 Jobs I have held in my life
Exercise jockey
Nursery school teacher
I.R.S. intern

4 places I have lived
Burbank, CA
Gaithersburg, MD
London, England
Pocatello, ID

4 TV shows I love to watch
Night Detective (BBC)
Midsomer Murder (BBC)
Um . . . Mythbusters
Oh! and the Mail Call guy on History Channel.

4 places I have been on vacation
Mt. St. Helens (helicopter ride around the inside of the caldera!)
Hill hiking in Scotland
To Seattle by “Coast Starlighter” for the Seattle to Portland bike ride
Pony riding, Wales

4 Websites I visit daily
NY Times
London Times
LA Times
Jerusalem Post
And, time allowing, all my friends in the side-bar!

4 favorite food
Rare steak and mushrooms
Good Thai food
Hot curry – Vindaloo
Stilton cheese, apples, Scotch (Laphroig)

4 places I would rather be right now
On my horse, in the hills – the desert is pretty this time of year, maybe Mojave
Portland, OR, in Powell’s books, drinking a mocha, reading trashy romance
Provence, France in the sun, enjoying the scenery
A quiet sunny beach, waves rolling in, hot sand, and . . .

4 Favorite movies (at least at the moment)
Shakespeare in Love
Pirates of the Caribbean
Princes Bride (I know, I know)
Monty Python Meaning of Life

4 new suckers to tag
Jess at Life or Something Like it
Daisy Cutter

Ken is a Verb
Catfish over at the Texican Tattlers
(would tag JR but he’d just be grumpy…)


Wishing everyone got bad poetry, good chocolate, and unexpected kisses. . .

Monday, February 06, 2006
Monday funnies, still resorting to email humor.
I have spent WAY too much time on airplanes. The drone of the flight attendant lecture was mind numbing. Then a few years ago on a Southwest Airline flight there was a new patter from the attendent. He was hilarious. OK. OK, now I'm listening. I have heard #3 on the list, as well as, "Please don't leave your children behind, we don't want them either."
Airline cabin announcements: All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people, we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"
2. On a Continental Flight, with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."
3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."
4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"
5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."
6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"
7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."
8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcomeaboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa: To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."
9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."
10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."
11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."
12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."
13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"
14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."
15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"
16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."
17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"
18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."
19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."
20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."
21. A plane was taking off from KennedyAirport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax.....OH, MY GOD!" Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine!"

Friday, February 03, 2006
Friday funnies. . .
1) When I die, I want to die like my grandfather--who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car."
--Author Unknown

2) Advice for the day: If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle:
"Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children."
--Author Unknown

3) "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so?
There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." --Drew Carey

4) "The problem with the designated driver program, it's not a desirable job, but if you ever get sucked into doing it, have fun with it. At the end of the night, drop them off at the wrong house."
--Jeff Foxworthy

5) "If a woman has to choose between catching a fly ball and saving an infant's life, she will choose to save the infant's life without even considering if there is a man on base."
--Dave Barry

6) "Relationships are hard. It's like a full time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, the day before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp."
--Bob Ettinger

7) "My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'" --Paula Poundstone

8) "A study in the Washington Post says that women have better verbal skills than men. I just want to say to the authors of that study:
"Duh." --Conan O'Brien

9) "Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant??
I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God.... I could be eating a slow learner."
--Lynda Montgomery

10) "I think that's how Chicago got started. Bunch of people in New York said, 'Gee, I'm enjoying the crime and the poverty, but it just isn't cold enough. Let's go west.'"
--Richard Jeni

11) "If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead." --Johnny Carson

12) "Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography."
--Paul Rodriguez

13) "My parents didn't want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that's the law."
--Jerry Seinfeld

14) "Remember in elementary school, you were told that in case of fire you have to line up quietly in a single file line from smallest to tallest.
What is the logic in that? What, do tall people burn slower?"
--Warren Hutcherson

15) "Bigamy is having one wife/husband too many.
Monogamy is the same."
--Oscar Wilde

16) "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress...
But I repeat myself."
--Mark Twain

17) "Our bombs are smarter than the average high school student.
At least they can find Afghanistan."
--A. Whitney Brown

18) "Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."
--Billy Crystal

19) "You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, 'My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!'"
--Dave Barry

20) Do you know why they call it "PMS"? Because "Mad Cow Disease" was taken.
--Unknown, presumed deceased

(I'll be back soon, its just that accountants tend to be really busy this time of year.... Darn day job!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
A little help for my friends

Being liberal, I think I'll give this guy a hand out, or something . . .

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