Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why I hate football.

You know I live in St. Louis so there is enough said. Bidwell the clown pulled the Cardinals out and moved them to sunny Arizona where they still play in obscurity. We were lied to by the sports nuts in town who banded together, convinced the powers that be that if we built a decent stadium, the NFL would beat a path to our door. (If you build it, they will come). That the franchises were award to Carolina and Jacksonville proved that theory to be BS. Then we had to steal a team from LA. (We kinda got an out because the owner was from here). Then, after a couple of winning seasons including a Super Bowl, the team has fallen on hard times. Now with the passing of their owner, rumor has it that the team may move if vast improvements aren't made to our stadium. Hell the thing cost $300 million to build in the first place! They want to be premia donnas and I am sick of them. I am sick of football hogging my Sunday afternoons. I am sick of the evening news coming on at midnight because some damn jock can't tell time. I want my TV back.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Today I feel blessed and fulfilled this Christmas. What happened was that my best friend got her Christmas Wish! Stephanie is my friend with Cancer and she isn't feeling well but she was ready to fly to Detroit to visit a friend so she could get a White Christmas. Being a child of the south, my friend didn't get very many of them, if at all. She would visit her Mom in Montanaevery Thanksgiving and then pray for snow. They'd get record snowfalls. Her Mom would say that everyone around would prepare for her arrival every year, and that the Lord answered her prayer big time.

Yesterday morning, she started to look for an airline ticket and was ready to buy one online when her cat Remi started meowing. He looked out the window, and outside she saw the most amazing amazing sight! It was snowing! In Dallas Texas where it had been in the 70's earlier in the week. When all was said and done Dallas had around 2 inches of snow with areas of up to 8 inches further to the west. She looked out and had her greatest Christmas wish! She lived through a White Christmas and it was a genuine one.

She called me to gloat about it of course. We have a good natured game of harping about the weather. I hate snow because I have to dig it out and drive in the crap and in general, its a royal pain. Whenever it snows here I like to rub it in and she just hates me for it. She called me and just went Naner naner naner, I got snow and you didn't.

I was just so glad she got her wish. I am sure a lot of people wished for it. I am sure a lot of people were inconvenienced. I know its hard to think of others in our world of selfishness. But in this world there are a few gems and I am so glad to know the sould of my friend who received such a simple gift from nature.

May you all have a blessed time as we celebrate the birth of one we call the Prince of Peace. May we remember His spirit and what He stands for as we go to the next year. May we have patience and love. May we remeber our fellow man. Our problems might seem overwhelming, but are trivial compared to someone facing mortality. Someday, we will all face that. I only hope that I can face that time with the strength of character my friend Stephanie has shown.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Its finally happened

Killer Tripped Up by His Own Baggy Pants

Sphere Staff

NEW YORK (Dec. 18) -- A career criminal massacred three members of a family in their apartment but fell to his death when he tripped over his own baggy pants.

The massacre occurred Thursday afternoon near a string of upscale shops on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Police said the attack apparently stemmed from botched drug ripoff.

"There is a significant amount of heroin found in the apartment," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Daily News.
ALT
David Karp, AP
Workers from the medical examiner's office carry the body of a murder suspect who fell to his death from an apartment building fire escape.

Police said Hector Quinones, 44, shot and killed Carlos Rodriguez Sr., 52, and his 24-year-old son, Carlos Rodriguez Jr., then stabbed to death the younger Rodriguez's grandfather, Fernando Gonzalez, 87, according to reports in the Daily News and the New York Post.

The elder Rodriguez's wife, Gisela Rodriguez, 49, and her daughter, Leyanis, 28, walked in on the carnage. Quinones heard keys in the lock and opened the door for the women, police said.

He shot the mother, who was grazed on the head by a bullet but managed to run from the apartment. The killer was just about the grab the daughter when his low-slung pants fell down and he tripped, the Post said. That gave the young woman the chance to run into a back room, where she found the bodies of her brother and father.

Quinones yanked up his pants and scrambled after Leyanis Rodriguez, who climbed onto a fire escape, screaming for help to construction workers on the roof of a nearby building, the Post said. The attacker followed her onto the fire escape, but once again his drooping pants fell and he tripped, plunging three stories to his death.

Estella Carrino, who manages a street-level bicycle store in the building, said she heard the body hit the ground.

"He had no jacket on and his pants were down. He was very dead," she told the Daily News.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Power failure

I had a power failure at my home on Friday. The power failure lasted approximately 6 hours. I would think since power is fairly reliable around here, the fact that 671 customers lost power would have made the evening news. We didn't even rate a mention. Apparently us rednecks who live in the sticks don't mean much. After all in their minds all we do out here in the trailer parks is manufacture crystal Methamphetamine. THAT gets mentioned, along with the fact the the down turn in the economy will mean that the sheriff is going to have to cut back enforcement.

The Story of the Starfish

There was a Man walking along this very beach, picking up starfish and throwing them back in the water. A woman walking behind him asks why he is doing that. The Man says, "So they can live!"

Woman looks at the vast amount of stranded starfish and says "Look how many there are! Throwing the odd few back in can't possibly make a difference!"

Man picks up another starfish, throws it in the water and says, "Well I made a difference to that one"

Moral of the story, we can't always help everyone, but that's no reason not to try and help some . . .

Merry Christmas :)

- Dainty Golightly, Liverpool, England, 09/12/2009 19:49

What your spaceport bartender has been up to

Well, I am still plodding along on my netbook. I have found that computer protocols have changed and everything is SATA and IDE is going the way of the dodo. So I have to totally rebuild my system and I am probably going to start that soon once I get my tax refund. So I am hoping my netbook will be able to put up with my abuse till I can get the desktop working again.

My best friend is dying and I am holding out hope she can last till Christmas. We keep saying that every Christmas will be her last and that has been the case for the past 5 years. However, it it looking like this may be the truth this time. Her cancer is spreading and a tumor is growing on her face now. Her brain tumor is growing and causing seizures and the like. Time is creeping up on her. What I find amazing is the faith and good humor she faces this struggle with. I, in all likelihood, would be wallowing in depression. She can laugh, (but she does need some help sometimes) and she can pray and while the pain hasn't been to evident (she is either ignoring it or just doesn't tell me) the end is coming.

My car has performed well so far. The bouncing baby Blazer is still bouncing (which reminds me I may need to look at some shocks since it is bouncing a little too well). I think some work on it after the tax refund comes in will do it good, after which, I will have a car I have always wanted. Putting the ham rig and stereo, brake work and a new paint job if possible are on the agenda Hopefully I will be getting back enough from Uncle Obama to facilitate these conversions and supply me with enough decent parts to build me a decent computer. We will see.

My brother came by last night. Wells Fargo has decided that his efforts in catching up his mortgage are not to their standards and are accelerating his foreclosure process. The way he explained it to me is not an actual foreclosure, but the prospect of him loosing his house to the bank is now looking larger. This might prove a windfall to me since I want to move but am really tied to this trailer I am in. Its not worth what I paid for it and I am sick of the poor ventilation, and the like. So I can give my brother this to keep his family warm and move to an apartment closer to work. His wife will be within walking distance to her work which is another reason I am considering giving him the trailer. In exchange he would help me with an apartment as "payment." Kind of like a loan being paid off, but not in the sense a bank would understand. He convinced me to buy this place, which in retrospect was a poor decision. I should have used the money instead to go back to school and gotten a better education. I would have been in a better position to work. However, given the present state of the economy, I would have, in all likelihood graduated into a depressed market so there is that. All is relative and you can't see the future or change the past.

Other than that, I hope that Christmas brings something better than a depression episode as it has done every year for the past few. Still, I am better off than a lot of people and am glad that I have what I have.

May you have prosperity and God's blessing this Christmas and in the New Year. May our fears not come to pass and our hopes come true.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You just know I HAD to post this

Jesus Christ Dumped From Jury Pool

AP
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Dec. 1) -- Court officials say a Birmingham woman who changed her name to Jesus Christ didn't live up to it when she reported for jury duty this week. The woman, previously named Dorothy Lola Killingworth, was sent to Judge Clyde Jones's courtroom for a criminal case Monday.
Court officials told The Birmingham News on Tuesday that the 59-year-old was excused because she was disruptive and kept asking questions instead of answering them.
Efforts to reach Christ for comment were unsuccessful.
Court administrator Sandra Turner said people there were shocked when the woman insisted her name was Jesus Christ and some potential jurors laughed out loud when her name was called.
But Turner said that unlike some Jefferson County residents, Christ didn't try to get out of jury duty and was "perfectly happy to serve."
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2009-12-01 21:08:05

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What if the South had won the Civil War

C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America is a 2004 mockumentary directed by Kevin Willmott. It is a fictional account of an alternate history in which the Confederates won the American Civil War. This viewpoint is used to satirize subsequent issues and events in American culture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ic2nad-68A

I have always been fascinated with alternate timelines and realities like this. CSA is like a glance into a world that might have been if the unthinkable had happened. Using imagery out of our own culture, it creates a world of today with slaves and a way of life that might be possible again considering the polarization our nation is experiencing. Some of the imagry is disquieting. Blacks are chattel, women are chattel as well, with an antebellum romanticism portrays a nation that might have been. CSA is a satire on not only our world today, but a satire of the romanticism and nostaga of the old South.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What I have to be thankful for

1. I have a working car. The old Victor/Victoria was just getting on its last legs. My bouncing baby Blazer is functioning at the moment and is so much easier to repair than the Vic.

2. I have a job. My company is contracting with a mall that is owned by a company in bankruptcy. I have to give thanks that the company has not gone under. I could easily be without a job in an economy that is not very well.

3. I have a roof over my head, am warm, have a reasonably sound mind and have food in my belly.

4. My best friend is still alive still battling cancer since 2001. It is starting tlook like the home stretch, but she is still alive and laughing.

5. My brother has a car and is still employed.

Things can be so much worse for there are others in so much worse situations than we are. I wish blessings to you and yours.

Thanksgiving day

Today is a day in the United States dedicated to giving thanks. Attributed to the Puritan religious people who fled what they termed religious oppression in England, the holiday evolved over the years to be a day of giving thanks. It eventually became a day in which we have to eat literally everything in sight. I've always wondered what someone in another country thought of our holiday. While at one time it was a holiday dedicated to giving thanks. Now it has become a holiday dedicated to gluttony.

And tomorrow, we have out holiday dedicated to greed. Its called Black Friday because our stores finally make it into the black as far as their profitability. This is the day the retailers dread. Where shoppers charge the doors and the people that open the doors are scared. Last year a worker at Walmart was trampled to death at a store in New York when he opened the doors. This year, in order to avoid that, Walmart will remain open and start specials at 5 am at each department. Not sure what it will accomplish, besides depriving their workers from what in America is a traditional day of the family and no one is really supposed to work. Just another excuse for the cruel retail stores to exploit their workers for another day. While they may pay a little more than the usual minimum wages they pay, it still deprives families of their relatives being able to be with them.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Gratutious Sarah Palin Video

Now you just know I had to post this! The censors ar MSNBC have edited out the more gruesome parts but you get the idea. Just go to show ya that Sarah just doesn't have a clue.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

I wonder how often this happens in America

Thursday, November 19, 2009

You can't marry in Texas

What our friends have done in Texas may finally expose the hipocracy of the anti- gay marriage crusade.


AlterNet

In Trying to Prevent Gay Marriage, Texas May Have Accidently Abolished it for Everyone

By Liz Langley, Liz Langley's Blog
Posted on November 18, 2009, Printed on November 19, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://liz-langley.blogspot.com//144056/

When I was a kid in Catholic school, probably around 6th grade, I remember reading a short story about a little girl who studied the violin. The details are hazy but someone, I think her teacher, told her that another student was getting the gift of a new violin and that there were two to choose from but he didn't know which to pick. He asked the student to help him out by trying both and telling him which one was better.

After playing both the girl knew that the first violin was far and away the superior intstrument, but knowing she would soon be in a competition with the other student she said the second, lower-quality violin was better and that that one should be the gift.

The gift turned out to be for her. She ended up getting the bum deal she was trying to give someone else.

The nuns didn't use the word "karma" but that's what the story was about. Do unto others. Etcetera. You seldom see morality plays as swiftly and compactly played out in real life but when you do it's delicious.

And there may such an instance in store for Texas where, in trying to deprive some people of marriage ... the state may have abolished it for everyone.

A Texas lawyer and candidate for attorney general, Barbara Ann Radnofsky, has found a little screw-up in the legal wording of some 2005 anti-equality legislation that passed overwhelmingly in the state. Here's the skinny from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

The amendment, approved by the Texas Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by Texas voters, declares that "marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman." But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares: "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

Radnofsky says the wording "eliminates marriage in Texas."

It may be waved away as a piffling error made by lawyers who are too highly paid to make such mistakes but I hope it stirs up a hornets nest of problems and that the people who voted for such childish, no-I-won't-share end up with their "sacred" unions treat as null-and-void, exactly as they'd like to do unto others.

Maybe we can get the girl in the story to play them the world's tiniest violin.

� 2009 Liz Langley's Blog All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://liz-langley.blogspot.com//144056/

Monday, November 16, 2009

Very Interesting - The RNC Funds abortions?!?!?

AlterNet

Hypocrisy Watch: RNC Insurance Plan Has Covered Abortions for 18 Years

By Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
Posted on November 13, 2009, Printed on November 16, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/143936/

RNC SUBSIDIZES ABORTIONS FOR 18 YEARS -- AND COUNTING.... The debate over financing of abortions -- the basis for the offensive Stupak amendment -- is all about money being fungible. Amy Sullivan explained the problem nicely recently: "The problem, they say, is that if any insurance plan that covers abortion is allowed to participate in a public exchange, then premiums paid to that plan in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies help support that abortion coverage even if individual abortion procedures are paid for out of a separate pool of privately-paid premium dollars."

But applying this argument can prove problematic. Focus on the Family, for example, one of the nation's largest religious right organizations and a fierce opponent of abortion rights, has health insurance for its employees through a company that covers "abortion services." The far-right outfit, by its own standards, indirectly subsidizes abortions.

Apparently, the Republican National Committee has the same problem. Politico reported yesterday afternoon that the RNC -- whose platform calls abortion "a fundamental assault on innocent human life" -- gets insurance through Cigna with a plan that covers elective abortion.

The Republicans' health care package has been in place since 1991 -- thanks, Lee Atwater -- meaning that, by the party's own argument, it has been indirectly subsidizing abortions for 18 years.

Complicating matters, Politico found that Cigna offers customers the opportunity to opt out of abortion coverage -- "and the RNC did not choose to opt out."

The Republican National Committee, not surprisingly, scrambled. By last night, it resolved the issue. Sort of.

The Republican National Committee will no longer offer employees an insurance plan that covers abortion after POLITICO reported Thursday that the anti-abortion RNC's policy has covered the procedure since 1991.

"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Chairman Michael Steele said in a statement. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."

Steele has told the committee's director of administration to opt out of coverage for elective abortion in the policy it uses from Cigna.

But does that actually "settle" the matter? The new RNC policy, apparently, is to have insurance through Cigna, opting out of abortion coverage. But let's not lose sight of the original fungibility problem -- the RNC is taking Republican money and giving it to an insurance company through premiums. That company will then use its pool of money to pay for abortion services, not for RNC employees, but for other customers.

In other words, the Republican National Committee will still indirectly subsidize abortions, every time it writes a check to Cigna.

And if the RNC disagrees with this reasoning, and believes the issue is "settled," then the party has rejected the reasoning of the Stupak amendment at a fundamental level.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."

� 2009 Washington Monthly All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/143936/

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A new twist in the Foreclosure Crisis

It was only a matter of time before this happened:


Torture of Loan Agents Charged in Calif. Foreclosure Crisis

Couple With Home in Foreclosure Accused of Beating, Robbing Two Lenders

California's burgeoning foreclosure crisis turned violent after angry homeowners allegedly attacked and tortured two loan agents who they believed had reneged on a promise to help save their home, authorities said.

A California couple and three accomplices were charged in the case. They are accused of beating and torturing the two loan-modification agents, whom they believe defrauded them and did nothing to help them keep their home in a Los Angeles suburb from going into foreclosure, prosecutors said.

Daniel Weston and Mary Ann Parmelee and their accomplices allegedly lured loan agents Lamond Dean and Gustavo Canez into a Glendale home last week. There they held the pair for hours, robbed them, threatened them with a firearm and beat them with "wooden knuckles," according to prosecutors.

Weston and Parmelee live in home under foreclosure in La Canada-Flintridge and "allegedly sought loan modification assistance from the victims but believed that nothing was being done and wanted their money back," said Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

The five defendants intended to "cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose, inflict great bodily injury," according to court documents.

One of the two men escaped their alleged captors and alerted police on Oct. 20. Both men were taken to the hospital and later released.

Parmelee, 52, along with Mario Soloman Gonzales, 47, and Marissa Parker, 49, were arraigned last week and face two counts each of torture, false imprisonment by violence and second-degree robbery.

According to authorities those three watched as Weston, 52, and Gustavo Canez, 36, allegedly beat and robbed them.

"Weston and Canez allegedly carried out the attack in the presence of the other defendants. The victims also were allegedly robbed of their loan paperwork and personal belongings," said Davila-Morales in a statement.

Those men were arraigned Monday and face the same charges plus additional weapons charges, according to the felony complaint filed in court.

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/charged-torture-loan-agents/story?id=8929799


Friday, November 6, 2009

Fun with Forklifts



At the good old days when I worked at a warehouse and then later loaded and unloaded aircraft for a living. I have had many accidents with forklifts but none as bad as the one above, (well one ALMOST as bad, but we'll get to that). I once drove a standup forklift into a garage door too small for it. Thank God I wasn't driving too fast or else I would have been toast. Then I had a forklift go through a rotten floor in a trailer. That wasn't a good thing.

But the most joyful mistake I ever made with a forklift was one shining evening in Louisville, KY. A DC-3 had just landed with priority cargo for the Ford Assembly Plant on the other side of the airport. The priority cargo was 6 barrels of differential fluid strapped to two pallets. The airport police stopped by to admire the venerable DC-3. I offloaded the pallets with no problem, one at a time because I didn't want the extra long forks to go through the aircraft. After offloading them, I did a standard trick. Since the forks were long enough to take both the pallets I proceeded to push them both together. I forgot all together that I had tilted the forks up to get at the pallets when they were on the aircraft. Needless to say, disaster ensued. The aforementioned forks punctured one of the barrels on the second pallet. Right in front of the airport police too! Then came the show.

See, this stuff is considered hazardous material due to its environmental impact. So a call was made to the Airport Fire station. I expected just a truck with some absorb-all sand to some out. Oh no, I wasn't going to get off that easy. The whole brigade came out! Lights and sirens galore. You'd think I crashed an airplane on the tarmac. And the real punch line was that this was in full view of the departing and landing flights. A Southwest 737 taxied by, loaded with incredulous passengers wondering what fool caused this disaster!

Meanwhile I had to call the boss about this little incident and the plant is screaming for their priority cargo. Oh the joy of air freight!

We got the barrel upright on the other end before it all ran out, but what spilled on the ground had to be cleaned up. We dumped several bags of absorb-all on it, then shoveled the result into a barrel. I had to sign a statement that this material would be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner. (As far as I know, the barrel is still sitting in the airport cargo bay my company rented in Louisville waiting to be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner).

The freight was delivered, the plant didn't shut down, and they even accepted the punctured barrel with no comment. So I guess all ended up being happy with the world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Modest proposal 2009-11-02

I have a modest proposal. I have heard many people say its time to throw the bums out and clean out the Congress, get a fresh set of crooks in there. I think an excellent idea would be to do thus: Provide an exam which is the same as the exam given to qualify a foreign born person to obtain naturalization of his citizenship into this country. that way we will guarantee that said persons will have a basic working knowledge of what this country's history is, what it stands for and the political process.

Upon passing said test, the persons name is placed into a pool whereupon, at two year intervals, names are drawn in a lottery of sorts. The "lottery" winners are then shuttled to Washington and will serve as citizen legislators for a period of two years. No one can enter the lottery after he has served and is suitably compensated for his time at the rates we pay other representatives. Each congressional district will send 2 representatives, a man and a woman each to the new Congress.

In this way we keep Congress fresh. The people's voice is heard. The common man gets an idea of service to his country. All citizens of this country would be required to participate in the lottery. No slackers.

Comments?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

One word

Leave ONE WORD (in the comment section) that you think best describes me. It can be only one word. No more. Then copy and paste this on YOUR page so I may leave my one word about you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rocking to the science beat


2009 St Louis County Election

I have to love America. In my county to the north, I work in St. Louis County, the county election is happening this coming Tuesday and we have two issues on the ballot. Although I cannot vote in either election (I live immediately across the border in Jefferson County, to the south of St. Louis County), both will have implications to me as a citizen who works in St. Louis County and visits on a regular basis.

One is Proposition N which is our first attempt to put a public smoking ban in place. There are exemptions for Private Residences, Casinos, designate Smoking rooms and the like. However, you would think that the smoking police are going to bash down their door and seize their cigarettes. I do not go to bowling alleys because the smoke is intolerable. Likewise I do not go to many public places because the smoking is unhealthful. If this passes, the City of St. Louis (which is administered separately from the County) will likewise pass a smoking ban. Thus at least a part of the state of Misery will be smoke free, albeit with qualifications. I hope this passes but since there is strong opposition to it I seriously doubt it will pass since only 40% of the voters are expected to vote in this election. Thus is the election in America where 40% decide that I can't go to restaurants and so forth because the cigarette smoke is so intolerable I refuse to go out in many public places.

The other issue is Proposition E 911 which will provide funds to install an Enhanced 911 system to allow emergency services to locate cell phones which call emergency services. Why anyone would oppose a miniscule (one tenth of a Cent) sales tax to fund our EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS is beyond me. When I toured our Emergency Operations center in the course of my Ham Radio class, the center functions on hand-me-down computers which were formerly at the police academy, receives everything on a hand-me-down basis with the exception of a mobile command center which was purchased second hand from a California municipality. The opposition to this is also prevelant as apparently paying a one tenth cent tax would bring down the capitalist system in this country.

I find these attitudes appalling. When we need such services they will not be there or if they are there are functioning at a degraded capability and will not be state of the art. I would hope that we do get items of gear that are top of the line and state of the art. However, some in my county would like to live in the dark ages and when calling for emergency services would hope that they know where they are based on vague directions whenever they call in their cell phones.

Thus is the electorate in America.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McDonalds is a victim of the recession

McDonald's pulls out of Iceland

McDonalds branch in Chicago
McDonald's is seen as a part of most developed economies

McDonald's is to close its business in Iceland because the country's financial crisis has made it too expensive to operate its franchise.

The fast food giant said its three outlets in the country would shut - and that it had no plans to return.

Besides the economy, McDonald's blamed the "unique operational complexity" of doing business in an isolated nation with a population of just 300,000.

Iceland's first McDonald's restaurant opened in 1993.

'No sense'

For a kilo of onion, imported from Germany, I'm paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whisky
Jon Gardar Ogmundsson
McDonald's Icelandic franchisee

The franchises are run by a firm called Lyst, with owner Jon Gardar Ogmundsson saying the decision was "not taken lightly".

He said that the restaurants imported the goods from Germany, but that costs had almost doubled, with the falling krona making imports prohibitively expensive.

Mr Ogmundsson said the restaurants had "never been this busy before... but at the same time profits have never been lower".

"It just makes no sense. For a kilo of onion, imported from Germany, I'm paying the equivalent of a bottle of good whisky," he added.

He now plans to run the restaurants under another name so that he is able to buy cheaper Icelandic products.

Iceland's banks collapsed at the height of the global credit crisis - wrecking the country's economy and forcing it to rely on an $10bn (�6.1bn) international aid package.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Today is United Nations Day

Every October 24th is a day that is supposed to be set aside to honor an organization we created to stop War at the end of one of the most destructive conflicts in Human history. The war just fought saw the first us of many horrible weapons such as the atomic bomb. However, in the polarized world that followed, the organization was largely left behind. Still it managed to pull off a few miracles. With shoestring budgets and hobbled mandates, the UN has done what it can to fulfill its mission of the maintenance of International Peace and Security. One day, maybe we will have the ability to fulfill this mandate. Until we learn that lesson, we will obviously have a long hard road ahead of us.

"Until, man is ready for a new and different life, all this will someday come to pass - in God's good time." James Mason as Jules Verne, Walt Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954).


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why I don't eat curry


Why I don't eat curry :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Miniature Earth

Mary had this on her Facebook page and it touched me. I looked it up and it was based on statistics compiled in 1990. They may have changed slightly, but are still in the ball park. Even almost 20 years ago, these are appalling.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

More from BBC 4 and World Service; The Niqab, yes or no

I have to wonder about the mentality of someone who wear the niqab. We don't condone the wearing of this in the States. However, there are some religious leaders here who insist that women wear dresses. What do you think?

No covering up Egypt's niqab row

There have been demonstrations by women students in Cairo after a leading cleric backed moves to ban the wearing of full women's veils, known as the niqab, in classrooms or dormitories. Christian Fraser has been hearing both sides of the argument.

It is not often I am summoned to the door of the Supreme Council of the ancient al-Azhar university.

It is, after all, the high seat of Sunni Islam.

Egyptian women wearing the niqab
Wearing the niqab is widely associated with more radical Islam

But this was where the diminutive sheikh who presides on this wise council chose to meet the journalists who wanted to learn more about his ban.

In fact it was more of a sermon than a press conference and the sheikh, who is by the way a government appointee, seemed unruffled both by the unruly scrum of journalists and the commotion his announcement has caused.

He has this unshakeable confidence that he is right. Perhaps it comes from the Koran he holds in one hand and the hotline to President Hosni Mubarak he has in reach of the other.

For some unfathomable reason, given the number of Egyptian press conferences I have attended this year (most of which run for hours with no discernible purpose), I had somehow raised my expectations that the Supreme Council might deign to answer my questions.

Why are an increasing number of young women in Egypt turning to the niqab? What role did the government play in the sheikh's ruling?

And how will it be seen by the politicians of Europe, like President Nicolas Sarkozy who banned the niqab from French classrooms? And indeed the British Justice Minister, Jack Straw, who asked women to remove them in his constituency office?

"You must read my judgment," insisted the sheikh. It was a two-page slab of scripture in classical Arabic, for which a lifetime's education in the halls of al-Azhar would surely not have prepared me.

And so, somewhat ill-informed, I left the supreme scholars in search of my own, more earthly answers.

Increasingly conservative

On Taalat Harb, one of the main arteries through Cairo, the Egyptian clash of cultures is on prominent display.



The Sheikh won't affect my decision to wear it. I feel more relaxed in this. Men aren't looking at me. I feel closer to God.


Heba, shop assistant


There are shops doing a roaring trade in garish fishnet stockings, clothes that belong to a budget production of the film Moulin Rouge, alongside those selling the all-enveloping outfits more commonly seen in this increasingly conservative society.

It is, though, whispered in shadowy corners of this city that prostitutes are in fact customers at both types of shop.

Mar Mohammed runs Nur Moda (Women's Fashions). He has been in business for 20 years.

"I have never sold as many niqabs," he told me. "A hundred, 120 a day," he says, "no problem."

And, as if by magic, Heba the trusty shop assistant appeared.

"The sheikh won't affect my decision to wear it," says Heba. "I feel more relaxed in this. Men aren't looking at me. I feel closer to God."

Her words reminded me of a pro-niqab spam campaign that circulated around Cairo by e-mail last year. "A veil to protect or eyes will molest!" it warned.

Open to interpretation

So can the Koran itself help provide an answer to the question? Is the niqab a modest covering required by the holy book, or is it the dangerous manifestation of extremist Islam that so concerns the Egyptian government?

Well, the verse in question translates along these lines: "O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks all over their bodies."

You see, it is rather vague and open to interpretation.

This is a debate as destructive as a lightning bolt on a tree trunk; it splits the country apart

The sociologist Said Sadeq of the American University in Cairo points to the influence of Salafism, the ultra-conservative brand of Islam imported from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.

In the Middle East, religion is expanding, he explains. It has morphed with custom and tradition; the boundaries are disappearing.

In Arab society, he adds, the women are socially, politically, economically repressed and they are a soft target for the religious groups advancing a more dangerous philosophy.

But Hossam Bahgat, one of Egypt's prominent human rights campaigners, thinks that is too simplistic.

Two years ago, his group supported the veiled Dr Iman al-Zainy, who sued the American University after she was banned from their library, and she won.

"They are not all coerced into this by their parents or their peers," he says. They are intelligent women who follow a version of Islam that requires them to cover up in the presence of men.

Destructive debate

Some here and further afield will try to give you the impression that the Egyptian government is some monolithic, secular organ averse to any form of radical Islam.

But this is the same government that, a month ago, was alleged to have prosecuted people for breaking their Ramadan fast.

There are all sorts of views in the Egyptian parliament, and this is a debate as destructive as a lightning bolt on a tree trunk.

It splits the country apart.

What it also does is leave the sheikh open to both criticism and some loathing from a number of female students.

And it goes to show, even here in the Arab world's most populous country, just as in Europe, the row over the niqab can no longer be covered up.

From BBC 4 and World Service: The Wild West is no longer wild

I thought this particular report was interesting the other day on BBC. Notice the comment made about the US health care system. Cowboys aren't on the corporate ladder and really don't make that much money. So much for the Wild in the west.


Cowboys of the Wild West live on

Cowboy horses on the Great Plains
There is still rugged terrain on the Great Plains only accessible by horseback

The traditions of America's cowboys are alive and well on the Great Plains despite modern technology encroaching on their way of life on the prairie, as Kevin Connolly found when he visited Montana and the Dakotas.

When I grew up watching old Westerns at Saturday morning pictures back in the 1960s, it never crossed my mind that the age of the cowboy would last long enough for me to meet some of them at work on America's northern Great Plains, where cattle are still roped and branded by tough, taciturn men on horseback.

It is like finding a place where history is still alive and running concurrently with the present.

Walking into a Stetsoned and booted town like Glendive, Montana, feels like walking into a bar in Rome and finding gladiators relaxing over an espresso.

'Horse wreck'

But cowboys are more than merely living reminders of the toughness and determination with which America claimed and tamed the great oceans of land between its coasts.

They are still - for now at least - important figures in American ranching, prized for their ability to follow cattle on horseback over the roughest of ground.

Cowboy Neil Tangen
Neil Tangen lost all his teeth in what he called a "horse wreck"

When you get talking to them though, you quickly forget any romantic thoughts about how their eyes speak of long, lonely days watching the endless skies and rolling plains chasing each other towards the horizon.

They have pretty much the same concerns as any other Americans - one of them, Neil Tangen, gave me a more graphic insight into the healthcare debate than I have got from interviewing any number of doctors and nurses.

He had no front teeth. This was the result of what he described as a "horse wreck", when an animal he was in the process of breaking in, bolted and ran into a fence post. Neil's jaw was smashed and he lost most of his teeth.

When the time came for treatment he said his insurance company agreed to pay for all his back teeth to be fixed because they are unarguably used primarily for chewing.

Front teeth, he said he was told, are essentially cosmetic, at least in part, and were therefore not covered.

Neil is tackling this problem with his trusty ballpoint and insurance form, rather than with the traditional cowboy methods of conflict resolution. The gun fight and the mass brawl in the crowded saloon have been consigned to history.

The main threat to this way of life comes, rather curiously, from something called an all-terrain vehicle which looks a little like a cross between a golf-buggy and a lunar landing craft

Economically, things are not good on the ranches of the plains. Falling cattle prices mean hard times, and the cowboy himself seems a little like an endangered species - a man whose basically 19th-Century skills belong to the age of the sail-maker and the barber who doubled as a surgeon.

The main threat to this way of life comes, rather curiously, from something called an all-terrain vehicle which looks a little like a cross between a golf-buggy and a lunar landing craft.

It can do many of the jobs done by horses on the rough, craggy terrains of Montana and the Dakotas and it can do them without getting tired. It offers nothing of the mystical closeness you sense between horse and rider, but it is cheap and easy to use, and a horse is neither of those things.

'Tough lifestyle'

Add to that the difficulty of selling a tough, lonely, rural lifestyle to a generation reared on air conditioning and computer games, and the future can suddenly seem as bleak as an October day on the plains, when the clouds seep over the horizon and into the sky like sand filling an hour glass.

But the cowboy has been written off before and lived to tell the tale.

And I do not mean in his endless gunfights with quick-on-the-draw rivals in the dusty streets of small frontier towns, or indeed in his long-running confrontation with those original inhabitants of the West who we no longer call Indians.

The cowboy embodies many of the characteristics which Americans see as part of their identity

The cowboys' main enemies in fact have always been economic.

The coming of the railroads at the end of the 19th Century, for example, meant that ranchers no longer needed to pay ranch hands to drive their herds from the prairies to the stockyards of the big cities.

And there was worse to come.

On the Great Plains, many people will tell you that you can date the beginning of the end to the day in 1876 when a businessman called John Gates demonstrated barbed wires to sceptical ranchers in San Antonio, by creating an enclosure in a city square and penning cattle inside it.

Not all of Mr Gates's ideas were quite so good - he once lost $1m betting on which one of a pair of raindrops on the window of a railway carriage would dribble to the bottom first.

Once ranchers realised that barbed wire would contain their animals without injuring them, the era of the highly-paid horseman shepherding cattle around the plains seemed all but over.

Lone riders

However, there are still cowboys all over the West, from North Dakota down to New Mexico, partly because there is still some rugged terrain where the horse remains the best way of getting around.

But it is also partly because the cowboy embodies many of the characteristics which Americans see as part of their identity - the tough, self-reliant figure riding alone who tamed the unconquerable wilderness from which America drew its wealth.

How much longer that lifestyle will survive on the ranch rather than the tourist heritage park is hard to say, of course.

But not for the first time, the cowboy finds himself staring towards a far horizon, wondering what challenges lie beyond it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Letter to my Senator



I must strongly protest your recent no vote on S.AMDT.2588 which prohibits funding to defense contractors "To prohibit the use of funds for any Federal contract with Halliburton Company, KBR, Inc., any of their subsidiaries or affiliates, or any other contracting party if such contractor or a subcontractor at any tier under such contract requires that employees or independent contractors sign mandatory arbitration clauses regarding certain claims."

This is in response to the rape of an employee of Halliburton while in Iraq who was locked in a shipping container and subjected to intimidation by the company after she stated that she would report the incident. It took the intervention of a US House member in order to get her released from her false imprisonment. The victim also needed reconstructive surgery to correct the damage resulting from the incident. The vcitim of this incident Jamie Leigh Jones, has testified before the Senate concerning what happened in this incident and the subsequent coverup by Halliburton.

How in all decency can you vote against this amendment is beyond me. A defense contractor is not above the law and neither is the government. What you have done is sanction rape or other violations of the law by American contractors. No one is safe if this is the case as your vote would have, if the amendment had not passed, placed such contractors above the law. It is incidents such as this that have caused me to loose any faith in the decency and common sense which may have existed in the Senate or the Republican party. This vote, even if on the matter of principle, is scandalous and should be repudiated. That fact that the Senate even has to vote on this is scandalous. Such companies should have the common sense to have owned up to what its employees did. Instead they resorted to subterfuge and evasion to cover up the activities of its employees. I have to wonder what other activities have been covered up by this company and what actions YOU would take to investigate what other activities have been covered up. However, I would not see you, given your record on these matters, launching such an investigation.

In short, I am deeply offended by your lack of interest and your vote on this issue before the Senate. I would hope that in your subsequent votes in the Senate, you would use more common sense and decorum in such matters.

I look forward to an explanation of your reasoning in voting the way you did on this amendment. As my elected representative and one who speaks for me in the Senate, I would hope that it is a good one.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

and you thought YOUR connection was slow

* Faster Than a Speeding Pigeon?: In South Africa, an information
technology company proved that it was faster for them to transmit data
with a carrier pigeon than to send it using Telkom, the country's
leading Internet service provider. Internet speed and connectivity in
Africa's largest economy are poor due to a shortage of bandwidth and its
high cost. Local news agency SAPA reported that on September 9, an 11
month old pigeon named Winston took 68 minutes to fly the 50 miles from
Unlimited IT's offices near Pietermaritzburg to the coastal city of
Durban with a data card strapped to his leg. Including downloading, the
transfer took two hours, six minutes and 57 seconds -- the time it took
for only four percent of the data to be transferred using a Telkom line.
SAPA said Unlimited IT performed the stunt after becoming frustrated
with slow internet transmission times. The company has 11 call centers
around the country and regularly sends data to its other branches.
Internet speed is expected to improve once a new 11,000 mile underwater
fiber optic cable linking southern and East Africa to other networks
becomes operational before South Africa hosts the soccer World Cup next
year.

The bold new look of Kohler!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Keep an eye on your military

Conservative Columnist Promotes Possibility of Military Coup

By Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
Posted on September 30, 2009, Printed on October 1, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/142990/

Just eight months into a Democratic administration, Newsmax is running a piece speculating about a military overthrow of the elected leadership of the United States government. Seriously.

Newsmax columnist John L. Perry encourages his right-wing readers not to "dismiss" the notion of an American military coup as "unrealistic."

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont [sic]. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it....

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama's exponentially accelerating agenda for "fundamental change" toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama's radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

In April, a common Republican talking point was the notion that Democrats were creating some kind of "banana republic." In retrospect, the irony is rich.

There is an unmistakable trend in right-wing rhetoric in the direction of extremism and violence. It's not at all healthy, and it's a sign of conservative contingents gone stark raving mad.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."

� 2009 Washington Monthly All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/142990/

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Government does nothing for me

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.


At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on freerepublic.com and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right."

Monday, September 7, 2009

What has happened to health care in this country

This is a very interesting story of an American soldier who lost his job. Since we are not guranteed health care in this country, He did the ony thing he knew how to gurantee his family health care. He rejoined the Army in order to assure that his family had health insurance. Unfortunately he did not survive the process. He becomes another statistic in the endles war in Afganistan, and becomes a possible statistic in our country's debate on health care.


Friday, September 4, 2009

And you thought the media was liberal - give me a break

Town Hall Protests Distorted By Irresponsible Media

By Steve Benen, Washington Monthly
Posted on September 3, 2009, Printed on September 4, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/142397/

UNDERSTANDING AUGUST.... At this point in the debate over health care reform, the Republicans' #1 talking point has nothing to do with "death panels" or "socialized medicine." It's all about the town-hall meetings lawmakers held over the August recess.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the "the public outcry" makes it "clear" the country doesn't support reform. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said if "town meetings are going to mean anything," he has no choice but to listen to protestors. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) said the raucous events is all the evidence he needs: "I think the voice of the people have [sic] been heard quite loudly in the month of August."

There are all kinds of problems with this kind of thinking. For one thing, the screaming, right-wing critics of reform have been confused with nonsense, and don't even understand what they think they're opposed to. For another, they represent a small part of the population. For that matter, basing policy decisions on who can throw the biggest tantrum is never a good idea.

But E.J. Dionne Jr. today raises arguably the most important question of all: "[W]hat if our media-created impression of the meetings is wrong?"

There is an overwhelming case that the electronic media went out of their way to cover the noise and ignored the calmer (and from television's point of view "boring") encounters between elected representatives and their constituents.

It's also clear that the anger that got so much attention largely reflects a fringe right-wing view opposed to all sorts of government programs most Americans support.... Over the past week, I've spoken with Democratic House members, most from highly contested districts, about what happened in their town halls. None would deny polls showing that the health-reform cause lost ground last month, but little of the probing civility that characterized so many of their forums was ever seen on television.

Lawmakers heard from plenty of skeptics -- and plenty of supporters. Rep. David Price (D) of North Carolina had someone from a television network come to his town-hall event and who told the lawmaker in advance, "Your meeting doesn't get covered unless it blows up." Price's audience was generally receptive to reform, so the network ignored it.

This, of course, is not journalism. When news outlets decide in advance that only anti-reform protestors are worthy of coverage, it's an example of the media dictating the discourse. Your opinion is only deemed newsworthy if it meets the expectations of those who decide what's newsworthy. In this case, Tea Baggers, LaRouche cultists, and assorted crazies were deemed important. Everyone else, not so much.

As Dionne concluded, "[T]he only citizens who commanded widespread media coverage last month were the right-wingers. And I bet you thought the media were 'liberal.'"

To base a historic public debate on what folks "learned" from cable news coverage of hand-picked town-hall events would be a ridiculous mistake.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."

� 2009 Washington Monthly All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/142397/

Monday, August 31, 2009

A happy life

A HAPPY LIFE
How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another's will;
Whose armor is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!

Whose passions not his masters are,
Whose soul is still prepared for death,
Not tied unto the world with care
Of public fame or private breath;

Who envies none that chance doth raise,
Or vice; who never understood
How deepest wounds are given by praise;
Nor rules of state, but rules of good;

Who hath his life from rumors freed,
Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
Nor ruin make accusers great;

Who God doth late and early pray
More of his grace than gifts to lend;
And entertains the harmless day
With a well-chosen book or friend, -

This man is freed from servile bands
Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And, having nothing, yet hath all.

SIR HENRY WOTTON

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Update on life

Well, I am counting the days now. In one weeks time, God willing, I will be en route to the wonderful city of Dollars (formerly Dallas), Texas to pick up my humble new vehicle. The vehicle in question is a 1989 Chevy S-10 Blazer SUV 4x4 which is kinda what I want. I have desired a vehicle more appropriate to my Ham Radio and Weather Spotting. The Blazer makes sense. While is an 89, it only has 106,000 miles on it, which isn't bad for a 20 year old vehicle. I hope I don't give the thing too bad a workout, but I have to have a better vehicle. Even though the Blazer is 20 years old and sort of anathema to what I have wanted to stand for I am still getting it. The best part is I don't have to pay for it till Tax refund time and even then, its probably going to be half price. Can't pass up a deal like that.

The fate of the Victor/Victoria is still in limbo at the moment. Donation for cancer research seems to be the best prospect since if I sell it to someone, they face a considerable sum for repairs. Another prospect popped up the other day. My sister-in-law's brother repairs cars and is presently unemployed and I thought that in exchange for my car and other considerations, they might fix my sister-in-law's Taurus which has sat out in front of my brother's house without a fan belt or an AC compressor for the better part of two or three months. If my brother can get in contact with Steve and he wants to go through with the exchange, I think it would be a good thing. The in-law's get a car that he can part out for work on his Mustangs (the CV and the Mustangs share the same motor) and/or he can fix the thing up for sale to help him out in his drought of unemployment. Brother dear gets his car fixed and can drive himself to work and not have to ride the bus anymore. We'll see what happens.

Anyway, I have been on a kick of late on YouTube. I have nostalgia for my misspent youth watching endless hours of bad sci-fi television. Among these was the Gerry Anderson series "UFO." Not to be confused with the Jack Webb series "Project: UFO" which came much later, the 1972 series concerned a fictional organization existing in 1980 called "S.H.A.D.O." whose primary mission was to shoot down invading UFO's. It was fanciful at times, but all in all was a fairly good show and it was fun, but only lasted one season. While a planned second season was killed, the pre-production work for that later came to be used for the follow on series "Space: 1999" which was even more interesting, if not for its bizarre premise of the moon as a drifting planet through the universe.

UFO had all the elements of earlier Anderson fare such as "Thunderbirds" or "Captain Scarlet"; secret organizations battling evil or some other such things, but it represented a leap by Anderson into live action. However, a drawback with UFO was that since Anderson's earlier fare was primarily for children, many expected UFO to be that as well. Since many in the UK considered Sci-Fi to be children's fare anyway, it wasn't shown correctly. It was very dark, much like the US "Land of the Lost" and many of the episodes dealt with such adult fare as adultery, interracial romance, the breakup of marriage and the like. That, coupled with erratic schedules which resulted with syndication, spelled the demise of the series. The effects were first rate for the era, conducted by Derek Meddings who later went on to do several of the Roger Moore 1970's James Bond films (Live and Let Die, Man with the Golden Gun, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker (nominated for an Academy Award for Special Effects) as well as Superman and the 1989 Tim Burton Batman movie.

Here's a montage posted on YouTube of one of the more typical scenes:


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dr Feelbad

We had a doctor locally here who we noticed was acting a little strangely at the mall one day a couple years ago. He was walking through the mall and was decked out in a wedding dress on and makeup. That's nothing, we have "shemales" who shoplift at the stores all the time. When he started harassing customers, then we had to take him in for disorderly conduct. The local alternative weekly, The Riverfront Times, had an article on him which I found interesting it turns out that the doctor in question was in the process of a nervous breakdown. In spite of police investigations, labor relations investigations, and medical board investigations he continued to practice even while exhibiting bizarre behavior like the above. The last straw was earlier this year when polic found thousands of medical records, containing Social Security Numbers, vital medical data, credit card numbers and the like were found unceremoniously dumped into a dumpster behind his closed office. He later surrendered his medical license because he couldn't keep keep track his medications he gave out as prescriptions. His whole staff quit on him and now he lives in Texas with his sister after his wife divorced him. The sad fact of the matter is that he is allowed to still practice medicine in Illinois because he surrendered his Missouri license and since that didn't trigger an investigation by Illinois, he can still practice medicine in that state. The process for each state varies, but since the licensing boards are made up of doctors and are likely to be sympathetic to them, they are geared towards giving the doctors a break. He is trying to get a license in Texas (Austin metro areas if you are interested) and if his legal troubles keep him from getting put in prison, he will be successful because there is no national licensing procedures. Isn't that lovely?

http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2009-08-19/news/dr-feelbad-when-west-county-physician-went-haywire-no-one-intervened-to-shut-him-down/

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade

It seems a joke was carried a bit too far earlier this year. I was researching Anarcho-syndicalism when I came across the reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, that led to the Holy Hand Grenade and then to this:

Pub is closed by Monty Python grenade

Tony Bassett
19.03.09

BUILDINGS were evacuated, a street was cordoned off and a bomb disposal team called in after workmen spotted a suspicious object.

But the dangerous-looking weapon turned out to be the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, made famous in the 1975 film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

Police and a fire crew were first on the scene in Shoreditch, east London, when water company workers found a copy of the film prop under a fire hydrant cover.

They evacuated a pub and another building in Tabernacle Street, while office staff in another building were stopped from leaving.

But when the bomb squad arrived, they quickly established there was no danger and the street was declared safe. In the film, the grenade was used to slaughter a killer rabbit. Python actor Eric Idle had filmgoers in stitches as he said: "Oh Lord. Bless this hand grenade, that with it thou mayest blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy."

Alberto Romanelli, who owns the Windmill pub nearby, said the police action in ordering his pub to be evacuated had been as ridiculous as the film scene. "They evacuated the pub while they were doing X-rays and stuff," he said.

"It all lasted about 45 minutes before they decided it was nothing - which I thought was pretty obvious from the start. I lost a good hour's worth of business."

Emma Eve, a training centre receptionist, said: "It was scary. They wouldn't let us out of the building." Office worker Graham White said: "The situation was nearly as crazy as the film."

Former Python Michael Palin, who appeared in the film, said: "Our Holy Hand Grenade was fictional and there were no plans for creating one. We don't want to add to the armaments of the world."

An Islington police spokeswoman said: "There was no danger to the public. The device is believed to be an object known as a Holy Hand Grenade." Copies of the prop can be bought on the internet for �14 or you can make your own by following the instructions in a five-minute video on YouTube.

In the film, before the grenade is used, Idle says: "And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

"'Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it. Amen.'"


Friday, August 21, 2009

The "Mainstream" media!

I have said it before and I will say it again. The Mainstream media in this country is not "liberal." It took John Stewart to prove my point recently.


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Fox News: The New Liberals
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kryten on the British NHS

I love what Robert Llewellen (AKA Kryten from my favorite British Sci-Fi Comedy Red Dwarf) has to say about the British NHS.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Devil Car!

I think its time to get rid of my car!

Friday, August 7, 2009

ABC's of Steve.

A - Age: 45 and still alive....

B - Bed size: Full

C - Chore you hate: Winding myself up in the morning.

D - Dog's name: What dog?

E - Essential start your day item: Food.

F - Favorite colors: Blue... No RED! AHHHHHHHHH

G - Gold or Silver: Silver ( so when do I get it?)

H - Height: 5' 8"

I - Instruments you play(ed): Trumpet, recorder

J - Jungles through which you've traveled: The jungles of Missouri.... :-)

K - Kid(s): None (thank God).

L - Least favorite food-item: Asparagus

M - Most favorite food-item: Chicken

N - Nicknames: Steve, Steveo

O - Overnight hospital stay: none

P - Pet Peeve: Conservatives

Q - Quote from a movie:

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 4

T - Time you wake up: 5:30 PM Work nights

U- Underwear: Yes

V - Vegetable you dislike: asparagus

W - Ways you run late: computer

X - X-rays you've had: Foot

Y - Yummy food you make: I used to cook in a Chinese restaurant, but its been so long ago.

Z - Zoo favorite: Seals

About Me

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I am interested in CNG vehicles because they are good for the environment and aren't powered by dead Marines. I still have a little hope for the world. Read the musings and enjoy.

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