Leslie's Omnibus

One More Thing...

Happy New Year!
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Apparently this guy hasn't seen this. What incredible bollocks. Great big brassy ones. (A tip of the cap to Jeff Jarvis.)
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Boy, I'll bet this would be a great service. I wish we had something like that here in Chicago.
_____

I'll be damned. Big Brother really is watching. (Spooky.)
_____

Speaking of spooky stuff, this really kind of creeps me out.
_____

Dear God, will this guy never go away?
_____

How the MSM justifies itself: "According to a report from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 36 percent of Americans now want the news they consume to reflect their own viewpoint on politics and other issues." Egads.
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

"... because naked pigs might lead to paintings of naked people."

Say WHAT?
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Opportunity has had a chance to revisit and inspect its heat shield landing site. Great photos!
_____

Vision. Strong scientific skills. Guts. That's what it'll take to lead NASA into the future.
_____

This is suprising? This is news? It really must be a slow week.
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Have you ever read Flax's blog? If not, you should. She's a true artist -- visually and lyrically.
_____
Leslie

PSA

So Americans are stingy, huh? Then how come so far we've managed to raise over $1,800,000 for the American Red Cross disaster relief program for East Africa and Southeast Asia? And that's just donations from individual people like you and me.

Once again, I've put my money where my blog is. You can, too. If you want to donate, but would rather chose another agency, go and visit The Command Post for lots more links.

Update: Holy Toledo! The Amazon.com site now shows over $2,600,000 has been donated. That's over $800,000 in a little less than four hours. Tell me again how stingy this country is.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Cassini has sent back more photos of Titan. Gorgeous!
_____

This would be a very good thing, indeed. Go here for before and after photos. My God.
_____
Leslie

End of the Line

Oh, no! TV, film and stage have lost a wonderful actor. Godspeed, Mr. Orbach.
_____

There's a reason I haven't been posting anything about this: too many others are doing it better, and I'm too heartsick to join in with them. My prayers are with them all.
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Huh? How'd she do that?
_____

The Acid Dude is having a birthday. Go give him your greetings.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

The larder is once again stocked on the International Space Station. Just in time. Whew!
_____

Speaking of close calls, here's more relieving news.
_____

What a neat Christmas gift for Titan! (Some folks at the UA are white-knuckling the landing.)
_____

What is lightning like on Saturn? Strong! Really strong.
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

See? There really are angels all around us.
_____

News of my Christmas tomorrow... Hope all of you had as one equally terrific as mine.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

The Bread Master himself is hosting the Carnival of the Cats this week. Go take a peek.
_____

If that doesn't get your attention, I'll bet the Carnival of Sin will. (It's not my fault. Blame it on the Manolo.)
_____

Now put your eyeballs back in your head and go visit the Carnival of the Dogs.
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Okay. The Evil White Guy finally made me snork coffee right across the room. Who dreams up this stuff, anyway?
_____

Tim Blair has a roundup of quotations from 2004, by month. Take your time. Read'em all.
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

With all of the animals in this world who are euthanized because no one will adopt them, why in the world is this necessary?
_____

While these boys are not in danger of euthanization, they are looking for a forever home. And if you've never had a Devon, you have no idea how much you're missing.

If you're in the Northern California bay area, maybe you should check them out.
_____

Catfish gets kittens and Acidman has a cow. I'd have paid good money to be a fly on the wall for that one.
_____

Asparagirl is blogging about cats and Middle East politics. Just go there.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Here's another argument that, if they don't exist now, there's no reason that little green squeegee men might not exist there some day. How cool is that?
_____

So how exactly is the Huygens probe getting to the surface of Titan? Find out here.
_____

New pix from the Orion nebula. Beautiful!
_____

Whoops? (A tip of the cap to the Instapundit.)
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Finally! Someone who despises Her Perkiness as much as I do!
_____

Not everyone is happy to sit on Santa's lap. (A tip of the cap to Andy.) In fact, some little ones seem to feel about Santa the same way I feel about Her Perkiness. Or Wankette. Gah!
_____

There's an operative phrase missing in this story. It's "more than it is already prejudiced." The courts are going to have a hell of a hard time finding a jury that can be at all impartial in this trial. The ex-Gov, I believe, is going to go down in flames.
_____

Some fools never know when to just zip it.
_____

Oh. One more thing on the reporting from Mosul. The AP is not your friend. Who's paying these AP reporters? Al Jazeera?
_____
Leslie

Holiday Schedule

Blogging will be light to non-existent this week due to my typical pre-Christmas "ain't got my shopping done yet" state of panic. Yup. It just wouldn't be the holidays without a self-induced panic attack or two. That's my pattern and I'm sticking to it. (And I'll get everything done, just like I always do.)
_____

In the meantime, here's my Christmas card to you.

Merry Christmas!
_____

One more thing -- this is pretty well right on the money:


You Are a Christmas Sweater!
Over the top, colorful, and totally flashy.You're not afraid to be a little tacky.



What Crappy Gift Are You?
Heh!
_____

Leslie

Bus Fumes

Just how bad was it over in Mosul? Let Chaplain Lewis tell you. Oh. And you'd better have a hanky on hand when he does. (A tip of the cap to the Instapundit.)
_____

Thomas Wolfe finally got what he deserved.

I've never understood the appeal of his work. Hell, I read close to 300 books a year, and I could NOT get through "The Bonfire of the Vanities," even though I tried on three separate occasions.

His work is just ghastly. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks so!
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Well, isn't this cool? Baby galaxies. I like that.
_____

The Huygens probe is set to detach from the Cassini orbiter in order to land on Titan. I can't wait to see what it finds.
_____

The International Space Station should be visible over the holidays.
_____

Speaking of the ISS, food supplies are really dwindling up there. Scary, huh?
_____

Opportunity gets a Martian car wash? Eeeek. Maybe there really are little green men... who just happen to tote around Windex and squeegees.
_____

Here are some amazing photos of the Cassini/Huygens mission. Be sure to scroll down for the slide show.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

One-two punch: flybys of Titan and Dione. More cool photos here, here and here. Gorgeous!
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Nice to see that Americans aren't the only ones who've sucked the joy right out of Christmas.
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Too fugging funny. (A big tip of the chapeau to the Manolo.)
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

She's back, and she's still fuming. (Nobody does it better.)
_____

So who says a girl has to choose? Can't we like both? A lot? Sheesh. Some guys have no imagination.

You see, first we have to decorate the boudoir so that it is a bower of sensual pleasures... then we grace it with our most enthusiastic presence.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Woot!
_____

Mars was home to water at one time.
_____

Russia and NASA are working together on the next Mars rover.
_____
Leslie

Rules of the Road

Rule #1 -- The Manolo, he must make you shoot the coffee out of the nose at least once of the day.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Go visit the Carnival of the Cats for some fuzzy feline warmth.
_____

If money warms your heart more than kitties do, then the Carnival of the Capitalists is for you.
_____

And if you don't want to warm your heart, but do wish to warm your tummy, then stroll on by the Carnival of the Recipes.
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

I hate snakes. Any snakes. This is a good example of why:

Just A Little Snake...

Green garden grass snakes can be dangerous, Yes, grass snakes, not rattlesnakes.

A couple in Sweetwater, Texas had a lot of potted plants, and during a recent cold spell, the wife was bringing a lot of them indoors to protect them from a possible freeze. It turned out that a little green garden grass snake was hidden in one of the plants and when it had warmed up, it
slithered out and the wife saw it go under the sofa. She let out a very loud scream.

The husband who was taking a shower ran out into the living room naked to see what the problem was. She told him there was a snake under the sofa.

He got down on the floor on his hands and knees to look for it.

About that time the family dog came and cold-nosed him on the leg. He thought the snake had bitten him and he fainted. His wife thought he had a heart attack, so she called an ambulance. The attendants rushed in and loaded him on the stretcher and started carrying him out.

About that time the snake came out from under the sofa and the Emergency Medical Technician saw it and dropped his end of the stretcher. That's when the man broke his leg and why he is in the hospital.

The wife still had the problem of the snake in the house, so she called on a neighbor. He volunteered to capture the snake. He armed himself with a rolled-up newspaper and began poking under the couch.

Soon he decided it was gone and told the woman, who sat down on the sofa in relief. But in relaxing, her hand dangled in between the cushions, where she felt the snake wriggling around. She screamed and fainted, the snake rushed back under the sofa, and the neighbor, seeing her laying there passed out tried to use CPR to revive her.

The neighbor's wife, who had just returned from shopping at the grocery store, saw her husband's mouth on the woman's mouth and slammed her husband in the back of the head with a bag of canned goods, knocking him out and cutting his scalp to a point where it needed stitches. An ambulance was again called and it was determined that the injury required hospitalization.

The noise woke the woman from her dead faint and she saw her neighbor lying on the floor with his wife bending over him, so she assumed he had been bitten by the snake. She went to the kitchen, brought back a small bottle of whiskey, and began pouring it down the man's throat.

By now the police had arrived. They saw the unconscious man, smelled the whiskey, and assumed that a drunken fight had occurred. They were about to arrest them all, when the two women tried to explain how it all happened over a little green snake. They called an ambulance, which took away the neighbor and his sobbing wife.

Just then the little snake crawled out from under the couch. One of the policemen drew his gun and fired at it. He missed the snake and hit the leg of the end table that was on one side of the sofa. The table fell over and the lamp on it shattered and as the bulb broke, it started a fire in
the drapes.

The other policeman tried to beat out the flames and fell through the window into the yard on top of the family dog, who startled, jumped up and raced out into the street, where an oncoming car swerved to avoid it and smashed into the parked police car and set it on fire. Meanwhile the
burning drapes had spread to the walls and the entire house was blazing.

Neighbors had called the fire department and the arriving fire-truck had started raising his ladder as they were halfway down the street. The rising ladder tore out the overhead wires and put out the electricity and disconnected the telephones in a ten-square city block area.

Time passed. Both men were discharged from the hospital, the house was re-built, the police acquired a new car, and all was right with their world.

About a year later they were watching TV and the weatherman announced a cold snap for that night. The husband asked his wife if she thought they should bring in their plants for the night. She shot him.

(Thanks for the belly laugh, Elizabeth!)
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

Elizabeth sent me this missive regarding Iris and Fern giving Christmas decorating assistance. Since Marilyn thinks she's a member of the Flying Wallendas, this is exactly why I don't have a tree.
_____

BTW -- if the American Idle can get his cats neutered in a field hospital in Sumatra, you can take yours to the vet. Just do it.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we're going to court martial soldiers, let's not let it be for using their ingenuity, for cripes sake!
_____

I don't know if it was Brent Bozell... or maybe John Ashcroft... but some rightwing numbnuts is carping to the FCC about this. (Personally, I'm betting on Ashcroft, who has shown a propensity for draping the undraped in the past.) Ahhhh -- it was about art and culture. Grow up, will you?
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Be sure and catch the Geminids meteor shower tonight!
_____

No more Hungry Man dinners for the crew of the ISS -- just Lean Cuisine from now until the rescue ship arrives.
_____

Cassini is set to do one last flyby of Titan. More of Saturn's moons can be seen here.
_____

Good. NASA needs someone with a lot more vision for the future and a lot less focus solely on the bottom line. Bottom line-limited vision is counterproductive to creativity and growth.

See? Even Lair agrees on this point.
_____
Leslie

PSA

See the Spirit of America's Friends of Iraq Blogger Challenge here. Pick a group, any group to support, and then make a donation. Even five bucks will work.

There. Didn't that make you feel better?

(And, yes. I put my money with my blog is.)
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

I'll bet he didn't have an explanation for this. At least not one he'd ever care to confide.
_____

True confessions: When I was five years old, I disappeared into my parents' bathroom for about 45 minutes. My mother discovered me just as I was finishing smearing the last little bit of a brand new one pound jar of petroleum jelly on my head.

What???

Welllllllllll -- I thought it was a beauty product. (Thank Yahweh I've improved my grooming skills since then.)
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

The Manolo, he makes your Omnibus Driver have the many of the fits of the giggles.
_____

Elizabeth chimes in: FORMER 'JEOPARDY' CHAMP LOSES ARGUMENT WITH WIFE

Had Won Previous 74 Spats

Former "Jeopardy" champion Ken Jennings suffered another setback today, losing his first argument with his wife after winning an impressive seventy-four consecutive spats with her.

The victory streak began late last year, according to an associate of Mr. Jennings, when his wife told him to take out the garbage and he replied, "What is, 'I already did'?"

After Mrs. Jennings discovered that her husband had, in fact, already taken out the garbage, the "Jeopardy" master was on a roll, besting his wife in quarrels about doing the dishes, balancing the checkbook, and a host of other domestic bones of contention.

"Ken basically has been infallible for the last year or so," the associate said. "But once he blew that answer on 'Jeopardy' last week, his wife clearly saw a chink in the armor."

Mr. Jennings went down to defeat against his wife late Saturday night when she informed him that her mother would be staying with them for the holidays, to which Mr. Jennings responded, "What is, 'Over my dead body'?"

But before the erstwhile game-show champ could claim victory, Mrs. Jennings shot back, "What is, 'Go screw yourself, Ken'?"

According to Mr. Jennings' associate, the "Jeopardy" whiz has taken losing the argument with his wife "in stride."

"The pressure of winning fights with his wife was getting to be too much," the associate said. "I get a sense that Ken is relieved to have this streak business behind him."

Elsewhere, after a surprisingly testy exchange with troops in Iraq, the Pentagon announced the immediate withdrawal of Donald Rumsfeld.
_____

Holy Toledo! My sister sent this (and I never get jokes from my busy, busy sister):

Holiday Eating Tips:

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it's rare. In fact, it's even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-aholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple. Pumpkin. Mincemeat Have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
_____

Not to be outdone, Nancy V. sends this list: Here are 10 things to say when caught sleeping at your desk.....

10. "They told me at the Blood Bank this might happen."

9. "This is just a 15 minute power nap they raved about in the time management course you sent me to."

8. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the Whiteout. You probably got here just in time."

7. "I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new business strategy."

6. "I was testing my keyboard for drool resistance."

5. "I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work-related stress. Are you discriminatory toward people who practice Yoga?"

4. "Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out how to handle that big accounting problem."

3. "Did you ever notice sound coming out of these keyboards when you put your ear down real close?"

2. "Who put decaf in the wrong pot?!?"

NUMBER ONE best thing to say if you get caught sleeping at your desk........

1. Raise your head slowly and say, "...in Jesus name, Amen."
_____

Harvey posts fun (and very little known) facts about Christmas here.
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

Creation: According to the Cat

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.

On the second day, God created man to serve the cat.

On the third, God created all the animals of the earth to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, God created honest toil so that man could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and the man broke.

On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but, alas....

He had to scoop the litter box.

(Thanks, Nancy!)
_____

Traveling with your pets to the UK? Here's how to avoid that whole quarantine rigamarole. After all, a traveling companion -- dog, cat, birdie, hamster, iguana -- whatever -- should be able to travel with you. (A tip of the cap to Shell.)
_____

Tiger Boots likes to sleep on top of the covers, between my feet. Marilyn likes to sleep under the covers, snuggled against my stomach. Even so, I'm not really looking forward to the day when they meet and fight for queen of the bed supremacy.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Birth of a solar system -- beautiful!
_____

Is it time to scrap SETI? Some scientists think so. I've always wondered how we'd really know, even if we were receiving messages from out there in universe.
_____

Will the space station mission be interrupted due to overeating?
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

The latest shining example of flaming ass-wiggery can be found here. We may as well sterilize everyone in the entire country right now, as one more parental right is taken away... BUT ultimate responsibility for the actions of underaged children still rests solely with the parent.

You can't discipline your kid. You can't listen in on their calls. What's next? Can't monitor their internet activity?

Zero population growth? Hell, if this keeps up, we'll be at negative popluation growth because it just won't be worth it to try and bring up a child.
_____

It's a sad day when we have to pass a law to prevent this kind of stuff. I guess there's really no stopping a determined pervert, especially given today's technology.
_____

I think this is a great idea... but wouldn't this be violating the little darlings' privacy in Washington State?
_____

Then again, every time I think Americans have really gone over the top, the Brits manage to go us one further. Sheesh.
_____

Another argument for mass sterilization as a remedy to terminal assinity.
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

Sweetness spied me from down the block this morning, even before I could make clucking noises. He startled the hell out of the people who were walking half a block ahead of me by making a beeline straight for me. (Me, too.) He seems to have convinced his gray compatriots that I'm okay, as well, as a couple of them also came up to greet me -- much closer than usual. I'm almost afraid not to have a baggie of goodies in my purse at this point.

Squirrel blogging. I must be nuts. (In fact, I need nuts. Filberts, almonds and walnuts are on the grocery list for tonight.) They've got me well trained.
_____
Leslie

The Mom Update

Great news! Mom had her second chemo treatment yesterday, and the oncologist is ecstatic that she's shown NO SIDE EFFECTS so far. Monday she goes for a blood test, and if all goes well, she's back for another round of chemo the week after that.

Your prayers are working. Keep'em coming. (Pretty please.)

Whoohoo!
_____
Leslie

PSA

The Letter Project is only at 10% of its goal. Won't you help? C'mon. Do a good deed. Write a letter. Give yourself a warm, fuzzy feeling.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Whaddaya say we turn this miserable excuse of a human being over to Lair and the rest of the gang at the Carnival of the Cats and let them neuter and declaw her at home? Arghhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
_____

For those friends of mine who think I'm a diehard Bushie, I've got a HUGE problem with this. Let the Palestinian Authority get the $20 million from the widow Arafat, instead.
_____

Good.
_____

Indeed. (A tip of the cap to Jay and Deb (and Sadie, too).)
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

John W. Young, NASA's longest-serving astronaut, is set to retire. I salute you, sir.
_____

How a "safe haven" could help save Hubble.
______

Eek. That's not something you'd want to miscalculate.
_____

Here's more on the hot potato Hubble issue.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Who's deciding what we get to watch on TV? Apparently it's Brent Bozell. (Would somebody please tell this nitwit that I don't need a nanny, I don't want a nanny and he is not the boss of me?)

What Acid-Dude said goes for me, too.
_____

And what's on American TV is tame compared to what the Brits find fascinating fare. Egad.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

There are a boatload of Carnivals today:

Carnival of the Liberated

Carnival of the Capitalists

Carnival of the Cats

Carnival of the Dogs

Carnival of the Rugrats

Grand Rounds

Asian Roundup

A "carnival" of poems regarding Iraq

If you can't find at least one diversion among them, there's something seriously wrong with you.
_____

Haven't had enough yet? There's also the Story Blogging Carnival.
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Not going to Day By Day? How could you possibly pass up humor like this?
_____
Leslie

Rules of the Road

I don't know why readers are asking QT for the correct usage of the "the" (scroll down to the bottom of both columns). They should be asking the Manolo, who is the last word in the usage of the "the".
_____
Leslie

Makin' a List; Checkin' it Twice

This is most definitely on my Xmas list. In fact, anything from this page would be the super fantastic gift.
_____

Got Woot?
_____

Got a favorite charity? Go to iGive.com, sign up and indicate your favorite charity. A portion of every purchase you make through iGive will then go to the charity of your choice. Nice.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Jeff Jarvis lays down a fisking that's truly a work of art. I'm in awe.
_____
Leslie

Alternative Transportation

For the kid in you.
_____
Leslie

Book Your Ticket

One of my favorite authors is blogging! She's fearless and she's funny. Go take a peek. (A tip of the cap to the Goddess of Venom.) Damn. Now I need to fire up the ole' Amazon.com account...
_____

I'm getting out the cattle prod here. Mr. Martin, I've been a good girl and I've been waiting patiently for a long time. May I please, please, please, please, PLEASE have a hint as to when "A Feast for Crows" is going to hit the shelves? I've already gone back and read the first three twice.
_____

Another one of my favorite authors is Janet Evanovich... but I've got a message or two for her:

1. Let Stephanie grow up a bit. You'd think by now she'd be gaining a little competence.

2. Please -- one book where somebody else blows up a car for a change.

3. The eye-rolls and mental head slaps are getting old. The main character in every one of your novels does them. New idiosyncrasies, please.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Carnival of the Recipes -- yipee!!!
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Mars attacks?
_____

U.S. and China begin cooperative space exploration program.
_____

The mission is clear for the Huygens probe to land on Titan.
_____
Leslie

Rules of the Road

Manolo is writing the "Big Book of What Not to Wear". Heh!
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

I live in a long-established neighborhood on the north side of Chicago. We have tons of mature trees, and a boatload of squirrels -- one of whom is a bit unusual. I've gotten into the habit of carrying some almonds, filberts and walnuts in my purse so that I can feed the little buggers on my way to the train in the morning.

The gray squirrels are pretty skittish around people, and you have to toss the nuts a few feet away before they'll come pick them up. But my little buddy Sweetness (yes, he's named for the great football player -- he's black, he's fast, and nobody is getting a hand on him) is completely different. I've started clucking my tongue as I get close to his end of the street, and he now associates the noise with the booty. This morning he ran halfway down the block to meet me, and sat right at my feet. Smart boy.

I can't figure out where he came from. But wherever he's from originally, I'm sure glad he's in my neighborhood now.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

I've been afraid of this for some time now. We Americans are dangerously arrogant in our assumption of our own superiority.
_____
Leslie

Psssssssssssst!

Yep. I'm having to eat my words. By golly, that's a nice feeling, too.
_____
Leslie

The Mom Update

Just got off the phone with the Princess Mom. Good news! She just had her first round of chemo yesterday, and experienced no side effects. In fact, she feels so good that she's off to a potluck supper at church tonight, and is going golfing tomorrow.

Five more weeks of this to go. Let's hope she continues to feel this good, and that the chemo works.

Keep those prayers coming. They work. I know. (And I thank you from the bottom of my heart.)
_____
Leslie

Rules of the Road

Jim at Parkway Rest Stop has some driving tips. Too right!
_____
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

That's why It's My Kind of Town. (Good for you, Patrick.)
_____

Chris Muir is back!
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Just because the technology is possible doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea to depend entirely upon it. Sheesh.
_____

Now the major networks want to put training wheels and panic breaks on our ability to think for ourselves. Nanny, nanny, nanny. Ugh.
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

Funny. Buckaroo Bonsai and I were discussing this very subject last night.
_____
Leslie

The End of the Line

God bless you, Sgt. Engeldrum. I hope you're sleeping in the arms of the angels now. Godspeed, indeed.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Whoohoo! It’s coming, and I’m going. (This exhibit was here back in my college years, and I didn't get to see it then. I'm so excited.)

Update: More details here. I'm doing the happy dance...
_____

Not interested in King Tut? Then maybe you'll find something of interest over at the Carnival of the Vanities.
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Stupidity compounded... with interest.
_____

This was written by Americas No. 1 Singles Expert? Ha. Hahahaha. Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!!! You must be joking. Really. (A tip of the cap to J-Walk.)
______
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Lair is stirring the waters of the 2005 Dead Pool.
_____

If wading in the Dead Pool doesn't trip your trigger, how 'bout grazing through the Carnival of the Recipes?
_____

Want to wander a little bit further afield? Try the Carnival of the Liberated!
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Here's another finalist for the 2004 Darwin Awards. (A tip of the cap to that guy at isfullofcrap.)
_____

More bad news for the folks at Gino's North and the Anvil? I just don't know how much more disappointment my neighbors can stand...
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

This couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of guys.
_____

The Instapundit and Professor Bainbridge have both opined on why Wal-Mart had such a dismal turnout for the day after Thanksgiving sales. I think they both miss an important point -- Wal-Mart's only real "brand" recognition is for those stupid smiley face guys knocking down prices.

Kmart, though not one of my faves, either, has done a much better job of promoting recognizable brands such as Jacqueline Smith and Martha Stewart. While these brands are certainly not as well-made as something you'd find at Bluefly, for example, they do deliver contemporary styles at reasonable prices.

Wal-Mart, on the other hand, carries cheapo brands in boring colors and styles -- fine if you just want a plain old pair of khakis or blue jeans -- but terrible if you want to inject a little style into your wardrobe or your housewares.

Speaking of style, Target has, quite simply, taken the concepts of "brand" and "style" and run like crazy with them. Their television ads are works of art, showcasing products instead of prices. You know they're going to be inexpensive, but that's not the point. The point is they want you to see that their products and brands are fun, fresh, hip, colorful -- and all shown off to advantage. Their website boasts eight different well-known designers whose designs run the gamut from apparel to linens to appliances.

So where would most people choose to shop? At a store where the only thing you know for sure you'll find is an obnoxious smiley, or at a store where everything begs to be touched, worn, coordinated and accessorized... for around the same price as the boring stuff you'd get at the smiley store?

Wal-Mart is fizzling because it's brand ain't sizzling. And that's the bottom line.

Update: Like I said, Target has much sexier merchandise than either Kmart or Wal-Mart.
_____
Leslie

Makin' a List; Checkin' it Twice

This site has loads of cool gift ideas. Just go there.
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Dayle sent this: RETARDED GRANDPARENTS

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:

We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida. Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear nametags because they don't know who they are anymore.

They go to a building called a wrecked center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now. They do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but in it, they all jump up and down with hats on.

At their gate, there is a dollhouse with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out. They go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night ------early birds.

Some of the people can't get out past the man in the dollhouse. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center and call it pot luck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too.

When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the dollhouse. Then I will let people out so they can visit their grandchildren!
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Another train wreck in the offing? Aw, man! The boys and girls up at Gino's North ain't gonna be happy about this! (A tip of the cap to Laurence Simon.)
_____

Huh? 'Splain me why anyone would think this would work?
_____

You know my position on cameras and nudity -- don't do it if you can't face the consequences. And there are ALWAYS consequences. So who forgot to tell these guys?
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

A Carnival for all you capitalists out there.
_____

If that doesn't grab you, how about a stroll through the midway of the Carnival of the Cats?
_____

And here's one dedicated to the best of the best each week: Carnival of the Vanities.
_____
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

Woot! More good news!
_____

Timmer has an important reminder. (I can't wait!)
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

After staying in the Bastille arrondissement (No. 11) for a week and passing at least one cheese shop every day, this is no surprise to me. You can smell those shops at least a block away, and passing directly in front of them will make your eyes burn. Really.
_____
Leslie

The End of the Line

A true Chicago great passed away over the weekend. Fortunately, Mr. Paschke left a wonderful body of art to remind us of him.
_____
Leslie

Makin' a List; Checkin' it Twice...

You might want to do some of your Christmas shopping here for some cool and unusual gifts.
_____

And here are some money-saving online shopping tips from Elizabeth:

Using the Internet to save BIG

To avoid the crowds at the mall, lots of folks enjoy shopping online.

To help, I've got a shopping secret to share. That secret is "promo codes." Promo codes come directly from the manufacturer, and they save you money.

They snoop all over the Internet for promo codes, then organize and post them in one spot.

Oh, and one more secret. Before you whip out your debit card, take my advice and use your credit card instead. A credit card gives you more leverage in case of a dispute.

TO VISIT TODAY'S SITES, GO HERE, HERE and HERE.

[I've already bookmarked all three sites!]
_____

Have you got a woman who's impossible to buy for? I guarantee you she doesn't have one of these. Yet.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Yes, but what if I don't want a nanny? Argh!!!
_____

They say that every thing that goes around comes around. I hope that's true and, if it is, that when things "come around" for this guy, it's complete with a Salvation Army bucket applied with a flourish upside his head.
_____

Remember -- you can't just make the rules; you have to set the example.
_____

A pox upon vandals like this.
_____

It doesn't matter whether they're threaded for the left hand or the right hand -- a wingnut is a wingnut is a wingnut.
_____

A very good question indeed.
_____

Kim Du Toit does it again. What he said.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Mark your calendars! There's a planetary panorama coming in December!
_____

Oooh! December 13th Cassini will be doing a fly-by of Titan prior to sending the Huygens probe in for landing.
_____
Leslie

Rules of the Road

The Manolo, a few rules he has for the super-fabulous men. (You guys do want to be super-fabulous, don't you?)
______
Leslie

PSA

I just made the leap from the Omnibus onto this bandwagon. Won't you join me?
_____
Leslie

Blessings from the Omnibus Driver

MEL'S THANKSGIVING PRAYER

I am thankful for so much...

For the mornings rich with promise and the nights of quiet solitude,

For hugs, laughter, and confidences exchanged,

For memories of those I've known and the anticipation of those I've not yet met,

For the grand design of life, which I'm unable to understand; the disappointment it sometimes brings... and the hope the human spirit will never allow to be extinguished.

I am thankful for the understanding that yesterday cannot be undone; tomorrow is still unborn.

What holds infinite importance is the present; Today, this moment, and the wonders, wisdom, friendships, and experiences waiting for me to behold.

But most of all, I am thankful for friends, family and bonds that withstand all of life's challenges; giving me the confidence to welcome rain, knowing it's followed by sun, for taking comfort in dark because I know there will be light and for enduring the moments of cold because those I love bring me warmth.

Mel Miles
1943 - 2000
_____

Warm and wonderful Thanksgiving greetings to you and your loved ones. I'm thankful for many things this year -- one of which is having you as a reader. Yes -- each and every one of you.
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Nancy V. sent me this last year, and I never had a chance to share it:

Divorcing After 45 Years

An old man in Phoenix calls his son in New York and says, "I hate to ruin your day, But I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."

"Pop, what are you talking about," the son screams.

"We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the old man said "We're sick and tired of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her." And he hangs up.

Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone, "Like heck they're getting a divorce," she shouts. "I'll take care of this."

She calls Phoenix immediately, and screams at the old man, "You are NOT getting divorced! Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" And she hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "They're coming for Thanksgiving and paying their own way."
_____

And this is from my old friend Kathy:

Things You Can Get Away with Saying Only At Thanksgiving

1. Talk about a huge breast!
2. Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
3. It's Cool Whip Time!
4. If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
5. Whew, that's one terrific spread!
6. I'm in the mood for a little dark meat.
7. Are you ready for seconds yet?
8. It's a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
9. Just wait your turn, you'll get some.
10. Don't play with your meat.
11. Just spread the legs open and stuff it in.
12. Do you think you'll be able to handle all these people at once?
13. I didn't expect everyone to come at once!
14. You still have a little bit on your chin.
15. How long will it take after you stick it in?
16. You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
17. Wow, I didn't think I could handle all of that!
18. That's the biggest one I've ever seen!
19. How long do I beat it before it's ready?
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Carnival of the Vanities is up here. Go for the best of the week in blogging.
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

I think I'm in LUST.
_____

Starting your holiday shopping on Friday? Why not start out here?
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Woundwort directed me over to BlondeStar. Hee hee hee.
_____

Elizabeth introduced me to the concept of METHODIST SQUIRRELS

There were four country churches in a small Alabama town: The Presbyterian church, the Baptist church, the Methodist church and the Catholic church. Each church was overrun with pesky squirrels.

One day, the Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about the squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined that the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

In the Baptist church the squirrels had taken up habitation in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a large plywood cover on the baptistery and flood it. The squirrels escaped somehow and there were twice as many there the next week.

The Catholic group got together and decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creation. So, they humanely trapped the squirrels and set them free a few miles outside of town. Three days later, the squirrels were back.

But -- the Methodist church came up with the best and most effective solution. They baptized the squirrels and registered them as members of the church.

Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.
_____

Elizabeth is also responsible for this tale of The Brothers

There once were two young brothers, eight and ten years old, who were exceedingly mischievous. Whenever anything went wrong in the neighborhood, it turned out that they had had a hand in it. Their parents were at their wits' end trying to control them.

One day they heard about a rabbi in town who worked with delinquent boys. The mother suggested to her husband that she ask the rabbi to talk with the boys and he agreed.

So the mother went to the rabbi and made her request.

He agreed, but said he wanted to see the younger boy first and alone.

So the mother sent the younger son to the rabbi.

The rabbi sat the boy down and sat across from him behind his enormous, impressive desk. For about five minutes they just sat and stared at each other. Finally, the rabbi pointed his forefinger at the boy and asked, "Young man, where is God?"

The boy looked under the desk, in the corners of the room, all around, then said nothing.

Again, louder, the rabbi pointed at the boy and asked, "Where is God?"

Again, the boy looked all around but said nothing.

A third time, in a louder, firmer voice, the rabbi leaned far across the desk and put his forefinger almost to the boy's nose, and demanded, "Young man, I ask you, where is God?"

The boy panicked and ran all the way home. Finding his older brother, he dragged him upstairs to their room and into the closet, where they usually plotted their mischief. He finally said,
"We're in bi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-g trouble."

The older boy asked, "What do you mean, bi-i-g trouble?"

His brother replied, "I'm tellin' ya', we're in bi-i-i-g trouble. God is missing and they think we did it!"
_____

From Nancy V.

Twas the night after Thanksgiving,
I just couldn't sleep,
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep.

The leftovers beckoned -
the dark meat and white,
but I fought the temptations
with all of my might.

Tossing and turning with anticipation,
the thought of a snack was infatuation.
So, I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
and gazed at the fridge, full of goodies galore.

I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
"til all of a sudden, I rose off the ground.

I crashed through the ceiling,
floating into the sky,
with a mouthful of pudding
and handful of pie.

But, I managed to yell
as I soared past the trees...
Happy eating to all -
pass the cranberries, please.

May your stuffing be tasty,
may your turkey be plump,
may your 'tater 'n gravy have narry a lump.
May your yams be delicious,
may your pies take the prize,
may your holiday dinner stay off of your thighs.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diversions

Carnival of the Liberated is up over at Dean's World.
_____
Leslie

The End of the Line

Farewell, Dr. Keys.

"Starved people cannot be taught democracy."

Indeed.

Let's hope we can take this advice and put it to use in Iraq, and soon.
_____
Leslie

Traveling Companions

Lair has posted the upcoming schedule for the Carnival of the Cats here. Want to host one? Here's how.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

Is it any wonder that I have real fears about the next generation? Where did personal morality and ethics go?
_____

Kiwi Bob snarks at Kofi Anan. Beautiful.
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Do you suppose these two were separated at birth?
_____

Oh. So that's the Riot Act.
_____

And this is one place said Riot Act might needs be applied. (A tip of the cap to Evil White Guy.)
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Key serves up a tale that'll have you snorkin' coffee through your nose or my name ain't the Omnibus Driver.
____

And speaking of snorkin' up coffee through your nose...
_____

Denny serves up his regular Monday Pun.
_____
Leslie

Roadside Diner

Pejman and Will Baud are arguing about Heaven on Seven. I lean more towards Pejman's assessment than Will's.

I would point out to Will that truly mediocre Cajun food (but great live blues and fun ambience) can be found at Redfish.
_____

On another note, I wonder if my Chicago readers who like to dine out are aware of a service called Open Table? You get dining points for every reservation you make through them (even if you're making business reservations), and quick confirmations of online reservation requests.

Also, they run some pretty interesting specials from time to time. I went dinner at Narcisse and had a three course fixed-price dinner for $35. What a treat!
_____
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

This renews my faith in young folks. Way to go, fellers!
_____

Go nominate your favorites. I know I'm going to.
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

This is simply repugnant. (A tip of the cap to Lair.)
_____

Oh, for cripe's sake! This is ridiculous.
_____

Eeeew!
_____

This is overkill. A big fine and community service, sure. Aren't most jails already overcrowded? Let's just use'em for the really important stuff. Like real criminals.
______

Amen and amen.
_____

Roger Simon at his glorious best: "What Thomson seems to be saying is that the 'balance' situation would be rectified if some of our journos were embedded with the suicide bombers, etc., instead of with those indiscriminately war-like Marines. Care to volunteer, Mr. Thomson?"

Kah-ching.
_____

If believing this means you need a tin foil hat, then I'm digging out mine, too, and dusting off my kazoo and whoopee cushion. It's ridiculous to think that we'd allow anyone but the Secret Service to guard our president.
_____
Leslie

Wide Open Spaces

Elizabeth sent me this link to the astronomy picture of the day. This is going in my bookmarks!
_____

NASA finally gets the Swift into orbit on a dying star mission. I wonder if it's carrying Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds?
_____

Russia is shooting for a space base on the moon in 2020? Wow. Mr. Bush and Congress better get a move-on.
_____

SpaceShipOne is Time's invention of the year (as it should be).
_____
Leslie

Carnival of the Cats

First of all, a big smoocheroo to Lair for allowing me to host this week's Carnival. Hugs and purrs to all who sent in your entries. (I think Lair was a little worried it would be thin. Hah! You've all outdone yourselves.)

So who's riding along and what's happening on the Bus?

Beth Donovan has a new little traveling companion, who as yet remains nameless. Pop on over and drop a suggestion in her comments.

Darcy says Lorax has been a naughty, naughty boy [*er*... girl]. But the kids are being fashion-forward here.

Jeff at Athenamama says that Thalia has identity issues. I think he's right.

The kids over at CatHouse Chat are showing off their intelligence and good looks.

Sissy sends photos of Tiny auditioning for my "Rowdies in the Back of the Bus" team. (Tiny's in like Flint, Sissy -- not to worry.) Babycakes and Tiny beg the questions, "Who defines mental health?" and "what makes a boy a boy?" Finally, Baby ponders the Cabinet Two-Step.

Dusty is a very pious kitty, indeed. (Thanks, Annie, and welcome to cat blogging!)

Jan says that Pepper missed the Carnival deadline last week. Thank goodness Pepper was on time at the Bus stop this week!

Ever fund yourself with a Busload of kittens and need to know how to find them good homes? Caitlin has the answer.

Tabby and Boo are giving a little wave from the People's Republic of Seabrook.

Daphne is demonstrating her flexibility for Chloe. Matt thinks Daphne is unimpressed. (Personally, I think Daphne looks like that's kid stuff.)

The kids over at Your Moosey Fate are snorting the wacky weed.

What in the world is this little girl thinking of? This calls for a caption contest. Drop on by Maggie's place and drop your suggestion in her comments!

Mog's got a few naughty babies over at her place, as well. See what I mean? (Don't you wish you could bottle and sell that energy?)

Butter, Sasha and Toby allow Robbie to get on the bus. That's okay, Brendan. We always allow well-behaved traveling companions on the bus.

What's the difference between physicians and veterinarians? nycbabylon has the answer. Let's hope both of these Gothamites are feeling better real soon.

Watermark has a clowder of kitty cuteness for your enjoyment. Christina sends even more.

Quan Yin is practicing black magic over at Gretchen's place.

Toonces is practicing kitty aerobics. Healthy, Flig!

Mason sends us the million mile stare. Pensive. V-e-r-r-r-r-y pensive.

Who needs the Bus? Tommy is walking on sunshine.

Datsa refuses to relinquish the seat. Smart kitty. Elayne should just go get her own.

No blogging for Fred today. Smart, smart kitty.

Emily knows the true value of a gift. Silly Catherine! Didn't you know this?

Porter is demonstrating his sumo attire. (Thanks, Kevin for sharing.)

Schatzi demonstrates her sock-thieving skills for Peter.

Michael says that Tinker is showing off for the camera. She should be on the cover of Cat Fancy!

A Carnival of the Cats without Edloe is like a day without sunshine. At least, that's what Lair tells us.

Petra takes a bath and makes Wind Rider really proud.

Acidman leaves the country and gets cat-bombed again. Jeez. McGeehee and I are both going to have to keep a low profile at the next Jawja blogmeet. (Yes, I'm planning on attending.)

Steve sets out the gangplank for the Friday Ark. Like I said before, there's always room for well-behaved traveling companions here.

Lis is asking about heated cat beds here. Can anybody help? Gotta keep my passengers comfy, you know!

Maddie tells tales on Kadi.

Over at Cat-o-Bloggo, Angelo throws a party for himself.

Steve says She Who Must Be Obeyed, Hakuna and Mata would rather stay in bed than ride the Bus. Gotcha anyway!

Chester thinks Teena is a bit unnatural. Greeblie thinks Chester's not the sharpest crayon in the box.

El Capitan joins the cat blogging briggade by featuring Betsy. Welcome aboard!

Stan found and sent these photos of Reba. She's so silly!

J.R. says when the gang says, "Get up!", resistance is futile.

Over the Rainbow Bridge: Cathy writes a wonderful tribute to Felice.

And a quick story from Your Driver. Buckaroo Bonsai has acquired a traveling companion named Tiger Boots, who's had a little stress lately. (Adopted into home with big, icky dog; shipped to Indianapolis from southwestern Missouri, then hauled to Chicago. You do the math.) Anyway, Tiger Boots took one look at me and headed under the bed for a good hard think about this new indignity foisted upon her. Being the sensible cat person that I am, I ignored her and let her do things in her own time.

Cut to bed time. In bed, covers over my head, and Tiger Boots came up for a visit. Taps me on the top of the head. I yank the covers down a bit, she takes one look at me, realizes it's not Buckaroo Bonsai, and says, "Holy Sh*t!!!" I know cats can move fast, but she set a new land speed record retreating out of there.

There's a happy ending, though. Guess who was sleeping between my feet this morning?
_____

That's all for now, folks. Don't forget that the next Carnival of the Cats will again be hosted by Lair. Send in your entries. [Correction: Watermark will be hosting next.]

(And once again, thanks for doing me proud!)
_____

Update: Norton was late, but who can resist a music-loving feline? (A tip of the cap to Kimberly at Music and Cats.)
_____
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

Jeepers! There's all sorts of good news this week.
_____

Don't forget I'm hosting the Carnival of the Cats for the coming week. Send me your links via Laurence.
_____
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Two that made me spew all over the monitor. The Manolo, he is super fantastic.
_____

Gin & Tonic, Mojito and Fuzzy Navel are "scents that harken back to childhood memories"??? Sex On The Beach? Whose childhood exactly are these crazy people talking about? (A tip of the cap to J-Walk.)
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

I was feeling really naughty this morning. How naughty? Salad Spinners' "Bacon Bomb" naughty. Three eggs. Half a pound of bacon. Half a pound of sharp cheddar cheese. (At least I think those are the proportions. Seems like it, anyway.) Nature's perfect food.

Update: I compounded the damage by going to a Thai restaurant for lunch. Chicken Mussamun.

Yup. The assault on my digestive system is complete.
_____

Saw Buckaroo Bonsai last night. He was surprised (and pleased) by the new look. Yes indeedy!

I met his dad last weekend. This weekend it's his stepdad. Gadzooks! How did that happen?
_____
Leslie

Bus Fumes

You know it's a scary day when I agree with Prince Charles. Call me crazy, but I don't see that he really said anything wrong here. In fact, I do believe he's correct.
_____

Jeff on a rant is a wonder to behold.

Ahem. I believe this is exactly what he's talking about.
_____

So there.
_____

Some members of the Fraternal Order of the Flaming Fecal Fez can and will suck the fun out of just about anything by making it "politically correct."
_____
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

This is the best news I've heard in a long time. A big smoocheroo to the troops from yours truly!
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Another telephone story! (This one had me on the floor, shaking with laughter, tears streaming down my cheeks.)

(A tip of the cap to Queenie's blogmother -- Key.)
_____

Another Key-spawn heard from.
_____

Elizabeth weighs in with a nifty idea: AN ALTERNATIVE RETIREMENT HOME

There will be no nursing home in my future.........

When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service ( which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7or 14 days.

7. T.V. broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No Problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don't even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare. If you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don't look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

P.S. And don't forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.
_____

Mirthful Sadie is guest blogging over at SWG's place. She had this cool quiz for your super hero personality. I was picturing myself as Bat Girl. So what do I get instead?

My Superhero Name? The Armadillo [That so sucks.]
Super Power? Ability to fly [Okay. That kind of rocks.]
My Enemy? Circus clowns [No, no, NO! That's my friend Suzanne's hang-up. Now, pantyhose -- that's another story! That's really my enemy.]
Mode of Transportation? Giant hamster named "Skippy" [After a couple of cocktails I might consider it, but I'd still rather have my motorized barstool with cooler trailer, autopilot and built in cup holder...]
Weapon? Frying pan [As Quick Draw McGraw used to say, "Elllllllllllllll kaBONG!"]

I'm mortified, I think.

Now YOU go try it, and report back in the comments!
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

To tell the truth, I have very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it's a holiday tradition stretching back a long way for a charity that does provide some great services to the community. On the other hand, it can be just plain annoying.

How do you feel about this? (Drop a note in the comments, okay?)

Update: Lileks gives an interesting perspective on this debate. (Scroll down.)
_____

Sometimes the Manolo, he is the master of the understatement...
_____

Ah! Good Parenting 101. Let the punishment fit the crime, indeed.
_____

If you're not part of the problem, why not at least be a part of the solution? (I know, I know. Another damned Carnival. I thought I could just sneak it by you...)
_____
Leslie

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Elizabeth always sends me great jokes: Hats Off!

A Rabbi was walking, slowly, out of a shul in New York, when a gust of wind blew his hat off and down the street. He was an old man, who walked with the aid of a cane, and he couldn't run after the hat. Across the street, a young gentile man saw what was happening, rushed over and grabbed the hat. He then returned it to the Rabbi.

"I don't think I could have retrieved my hat by myself," said the Rabbi. "Thank you very much!" He then placed his hand on the man's shoulder and said, "May God bless you."

The young man thought to himself, "I've been blessed by the Rabbi, this must be my lucky day!" He decided then and there to go to the racetrack. In the first race he noticed a horse named 'Stetson' at 20 to 1. He bet $50 and, sure enough, the horse came in first. In the second race, a horse named 'Fedora' was at 30 to 1, so he bet all his money on that horse. Fedora came in first, as well.

At the end of the day the man returned home to his wife. She asked him where he'd been. He explained about catching the Rabbi's hat, and being blessed by him, and how he then went to the track and did so well betting on horses named after hats.

"So where's the money?" she said. "I lost it all in the ninth race. I bet on a horse named 'Chateau' and it lost."

"You fool," exclaimed his wife, 'Chateau' is a house, 'chapeau' is a hat!"

"It doesn't matter," he said, "the winner was some Japanese horse named 'Yarmulka'."
_____

Want To Order Pizza?

FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues. The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded because they were taping all conversations at the hospital:

Agent: Hello. I'd like to order 19 large pizzas and 67 cans of soda.

Pizza Man: And where would you like them delivered?

Agent: We're over at the psychiatric hospital.

Pizza Man: The psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's right. I'm an FBI agent.

Pizza Man: You're an FBI agent?

Agent: That's correct. Just about everybody here is.

Pizza Man: And you're at the psychiatric hospital?

Agent: That's correct. And make sure you don't go through the front doors. We have them locked. You'll have to go around to the back service entrance to deliver the pizzas.

Pizza Man: And you say you're all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?

Pizza Man: Everyone at the psychiatric hospital is an FBI agent?

Agent: That's right. We've been here all day and we're starving.

Pizza Man: How are you going to pay for all of this?

Agent: I have my checkbook right here.

Pizza Man: And you're all FBI agents?

Agent: That's right. Everyone here is an FBI agent. Can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.

Pizza Man: I don't think so. *Click*
_____

My friend Marian sent me this link. I wonder if the Llama Butchers know they have a theme song? This ought to give Jeff nightmares for a week!
_____
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Great minds think alike. And to prove it, I had almost the identical thought when I heard this on the news this morning.
_____

What was that song the Scarecrow sang in "The Wizard of Oz"? Ah, yes! "If I Only had a Brain"

(A tip of the cap to Wind Rider.)
_____

Here's a fun little meme that's popped up on a couple of blogs today. Here's my list of 10:

1. St. Joseph's aspirin for children
2. Spritz cookies fresh from the oven at Christmas time
3. Love's Baby Soft
4. Watermelon Lip Smacker
5. Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn
6. The fresh green scent of my dad's hugs immediately after he'd cut the lawn
7. Chapstick (Daddy never left home without the stuff.)
8. Manure-spreading down at the family farm
9. 4711 (my great grandmother wore it)
10. The almost new-car scent of a brand new pair of Red Ball Jets
_____

This is also going on my Christmas list. Thanks to my wonderful, generous, all-around great guy of a boss, I got to see this concert at the United Center. Simon & Garfunkel and the Everly Brothers. Hot damn!
_____

Professor Bainbridge takes out the cluebat gives the Nanny State a sharp rap upside the head. I wonder what he'd make of this?
_____
Leslie