Leslie's Omnibus

Makin' A List...

I'm going home to pack:

This interesting instrument (check)

This fashion statement (check)

A little something for Key's B-Day (check)

Frango Mints (picking up on the way home)

Garrett's Chicago Style Popcorn (picking upon the way home)

And the Landscaper is arriving at the Kristy by Saturday morning. (You don't know who or what the Landscaper is??? Whatsamatta you?)

I think I'm ready for just about anything...

(See you Monday!)

Shout-Out to the Prayer Warriors

My soul sister is having a health crisis, and needs your prayers:

"Formerly, I've asked for prayers for the health of my feet and l legs within the context of a blog post. A condition settled there upon my return from Alaska that we (my doctor and I) can't figure out. Edema is the problem. It's getting so bad now, I can feel swelling in my hands. Since I just had surgery in my right foot, this is quite uncomfortable and the best relief is lying in bed with my legs elevated. (They actually feel 'diseased.') What a horrible life for someone who is so used to being active!

"The first time I went to the doctor, I had several tests done to rule out: congestive heart failure, diabetes, and complications of hypothyroidism. I'm in the clear with all those.

"Baffling. Please pray I'll find relief if not a diagnosis."
Paula is not a whiner. If she's asking, she really needs our support. She's a true believer in the power of prayer... and so am I.

Dana is also struggling with some very difficult personal issues. Please keep her in your prayers, as well.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Ann Althouse is bra-blogging here. (Whoohoo! I got a mention... and, no. That particular costume didn't embarass me. Heck. The Princess Mom looked HOT.)

Dave Kilpatrick blogs his Underwear Manifesto there. (Scroll down.)

Hmmm.... I'd give almost anything to set him up on stage at a comedy club with a microphone and an International Male catalog.

(A tip of the cap to Dragonfly Jenny.)

This little graphic from Nancy V. has had people all over my office giggling all afternoon:



Elizabeth has a point here:

Teacher's Application:

After being interviewed by the school administration, the eager teaching prospect said: "Let me see if I've got this right .

"You want me to go into that room with all those kids, and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning.

"And I'm supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, modify their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse and even censor their T-shirt messages and dress habits.

"You want me to wage a war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for weapons of mass destruction, and raise their self esteem.

"You want me to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship, how to play, how to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook, and how to apply for a job.

"I am to check their heads for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of anti-social behavior, make sure all students pass the mandatory state exams, even those who don't come to school regularly or complete any of their assignments.

"Plus, I am to make sure that all of the students with handicaps get an equal education regardless of the extent of their mental or physical handicap.

"And I am to communicate regularly with the parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report card.

"All of this I am to do with just a piece of chalk, a computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a big smile AND on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps!

"You want me to do all of this and yet you expect me......


Buckroo Bonsai has reason to be nervous. V-Man has the recipe for disaster down in the comments.

Lord. Have. Mercy.

Well, this test sure turned up interesting results for me:

You are a

Social Moderate
(50% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Personally, I'd have thought I was more of an economic conservative than that...


Pammy posted Quizzical Quotes and Quirky Quips - Volume 3. This reminded me of a conversation I had with Buckaroo Bonsai over dinner at Red Lobster last night.

Me: "I wish I could buy these cheese biscuits frozen, so I could take some home."

BB: "We should ask if they do that."

Me: "No. They would advertise if they did that. Everybody loves their cheese biscuits. Anyway, I snagged that Paula Deen recipe for cheese biscuits off the Food Network website earlier today. Maybe I'll try freezing a couple of those when I make them. What's the worst that could happen? Cheese flavored hockey pucks?"

BB: "You know, we still have a tube of biscuits in the fridge that we should use up, first."

Me: "Yeah, I know. But they're not cheese biscuits."

BB: "I know! I'll bet you could take some of that squirt cheese stuff, stick that nozzle up the biscuit, wiggle it around and squirt as much as you want."

I lost complete control. Pinot Grigio straight up the nose. Hysterical laughter. Tears down the face. (I can't help it. I have a sick, sick sense of humor.)

BB: "What did I say?"

Update: Okay. This is just weird karma. Simultaneous biscuit blogging. Who'da thunk it?

Update 2: Ms. Moogie is about to make me look stellar in Buckaroo Bonsai's eyes -- she sent me not one, but two different versions of the Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuit recipe:


2 C. Bisquick
1/2 C. cold water
3/4 C. grated, sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 C. butter
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together baking mix, cold water, and grated cheese. Cut biscuits with a cutter, and place onto a baking dish. Melt butter and seasonings together. Brush with the butter and spices and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. However, you cannot make the EXACT biscuits, because they have a special butter/garlic sauce that is not available to the general public. See how they are!!



2 C. Bisquick
2/3 C. milk
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted
1/4 tsp. garlic powder


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix bisquick, milk and cheese until a soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cooking sheet. Bake 8- 10 min until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder. Brush mixture over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet.


Prayer Warrior Alert

For the souls of these poor people, let us pray.

For Jim, Lair, Alex, and all the folks in my company's Houston and College Station offices, along with their families and beloved pets.

For New Orleans, which is flooding again.

For the grandson of my office manager, who was born quite premature and seems to be failing to thrive, and for his mother, who is frantic with fear.

For all of these and more, let us pray.


Who says jury duty has to be boring? Certainly not my BlogMama!

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

One quick blonde joke from the lovely and talented Nancy V.:

Two blondes are sitting in StarBucks.

One looks at the newspaper and sees the headline, "12 Brazilian Soldiers Killed In Conflict".

She then turns to the other blonde and asks, "How many is a Brazilian?"


On the Bus Driver's Radio...

Update: My colleague, Bruce Abramson, has been rescheduled to discuss his book Digital Phoenix on WILL-AM public radio's Focus 580 tomorrow (September 22nd) at 11:00 a.m. The show will be streamcast. Go here for more information.

I'm about a third of the way through the book right. Bruce is a brilliant guy with a lot of interesting things to say about intellectual property law and the economy. Tune in, if you can.


"Yet, a more important second factor comes into play, one that may not be initially obvious to the amateur breast inspector."

(Made you look!)

The Fake Doctor will make you laugh. (After he's finished grossing you out, that is.)

Yes, but was he fierce, and did he belong to this guy?


Between Exorcism School and Homo Hunt 2005, it feels like the new Pope is hauling the Catholic church straight back to the days of the Spanish Inquisition. Ugh. Creepy.


Ann Althouse has a Google ad in her sidebar for "Hyperformance Briefs." The linked site refers to "Hyperlinked Briefs." Is it me, or does that put naughty pictures in your brain, rather than suggest the boring combination of legal and IT it really is?
"...searchable, portable, and powerful. No wonder she's pleased."


My friend Cheryl sent this link for more charities related to pets left behind in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. If you can watch the whole thing and not want to drop at least a couple of bucks in any one of these charities, you're probably not the kind of person I'd like to know.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Nancy V. sent these photos, cautioning that they are the result of strong drink. Somehow, I get the feeling that this is what the gang in Helen is going to look like round about Sunday morning, especially after the Chatham Artillery Punch:




Mr. Moogie

Buckaroo Bonsai and I


Mullet Boy (Yep. I've heard about him!)

God help us all.

From Elizabeth -- Kids' Sunday School Letters to God

Dear God:

  • In Sunday School they told us what you do. Who does it when you are on vacation?
  • How did you know you were God?
  • On Halloween I am going to wear a Devil's costume, is that all right with you?
  • Are you really invisible or is that just a trick?
  • Did you mean for giraffe to look like that or was it an accident?
  • Do animals get to use you too or is there someone else for them?
  • I went to this wedding and they kissed right in the church ... is that OK?
  • Did they really talk that fancy in Bible times?
  • Is Reverend Coe a friend of yours or do you just know him through the business?
  • Did you really mean do unto others as they do unto you, because if you did then I'm going to fix my brother.
  • My grandpa says you were around when he was a little boy. How far back do you go?
  • I know all about where babies come from. I think. From inside mommies, and daddies put them there. Where are they before that? Do you have them in Heaven? How do they get down here? Do you have to take care of them all first?
  • Thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.
  • Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.
  • Why is Sunday School on Sunday? I thought it was suppose to be our day of rest.
  • I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had 3 stitches and a shot.
  • If we come back as something else, please don't let me be Jennifer Horton, because I hate her. Thank You. Love, Denise
  • Please send Dennis Clark to a different camp this year.
  • Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
  • I want to be just like my Daddy when I get big but not with so much hair all over.
  • I bet it is very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.
  • Of all the people who work for you, I like Peter and John the best.
  • My brother told me about being born but it sure doesn't sound right.
  • If you watch in church on Sunday, I will show you my new shoes.
  • I like the story about Chanukah the best of all of them. You really made up some good ones!!
  • I would like to live for 900 years like the guy in the bible.
  • We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday school they said you did it. So, I bet he stole your idea.
  • It is great the way you always get the stars in the Right places.

Boudreaux & Band-Aids
(that's pronounced BOO-dro, for y'all not familiar with Louisiana)

Boudreaux staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Thibodeaux.

He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Clotile.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step.

As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump.

A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Boudreaux sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his buttocks were cut and bleeding.

He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, Boudreaux woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Clotile staring at him from across the room.

She said, "You were drunk again last night weren't you Boudreaux?"

Boudreaux said, "Mon cher, why you say such a mean ting?"

"Well," Clotile said, "it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly......it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the downstairs mirror."

Bus Fumes

Goose abuse, meaningless resolutions and dress codes for cabbies. Feh. That ain't "My Kind of Town." Glad to see our aldermen are hard at work on the pressing concerns of running the city.

I am seriously allergic to housework, so if you're going to make the Pledge unconstitutional, why can't it be this Pledge, instead? I could really get behind that notion.


Why add Barry Beelzebub to my blogroll? Why, quotes like this, of course:
"I tell you, if you could bottle eau de sales rep, it would smell of failure, Travelodges and three-day-old socks."

Beautiful, idn't it?

I don't usually remember my dreams. I do know that sometimes they last all night and are unsettling and odd, but not nightmares.

While I don't remember most of my dream last night, I do remember that my mother was in it. And, WOW, did she look great!

It was clear that I was dreaming of her in the present, but she looked to be in her late 30's, lightly tanned and fit. She was wearing a beautifully tailored black skirt, cream shawl-collared silk blouse with bands of olive and rust on the collar edge, sheer black hose, stylish high-heeled black pumps, ultra modern tortoise shell glasses, and had rich, shiny, thick auburn hair cut in a sleek bob. She looked sharp and professional. She looked happy.

I don't know why, but this brought me a great deal of comfort, and I woke up smiling.


If only this were the only explanation for some of the things that pop out of the Princess Mom's mouth. Unfortunately, this tendency to say the first thing that comes to mind has been true for her entire life. Only now she has an excuse.

The Princess Mom tactful? Um, no.

Unless you think, "Oh! I see you have a new pimple on your nose," announced in the middle of a dinner at an elegant restaurant -- and while entertaining guests -- is tactful.

(A tip of the cap to Jeff Goldstein.)

On a much more highbrow note, a colleague of mine, Bruce Abramson, will be discussing his book Digital Phoenix on WILL-AM public radio's Focus 580 this Thursday (September 15th) at 11:30 a.m. The show will be streamcast. Go here for more information.

Update: The date is now up in the air, due to the Roberts hearings.

Traveling Companions

My friend Steve Dale emailed to tell me about a benefit he's co-sponsoring to aid companion animals affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Steve and the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association are celebrating Mardi Growl: Chicago Lends a Paw...benefiting a new building fund for the devastated LA SPCA (the primary shelter in New Orleans) and also the AVMF (Vets who respond to disasters):

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Date: Wednesday September 21, 2005
Location: House of Blues Hotel, 333 North Dearborn, Chicago, IL

Live music
Hors d'ouerves

Donation: $25/person; $5/pet

Not a Chicagoan? Then I hope you hold a similar benefit wherever you live...San Diego, Kansas City, New York....whatever city it is - Mardi Growl: San Diego, Kansas City...whatever. Lend A Paw!

If you're in the Chicago area, please come!

No matter where you live, you can contribute. Go to http://www.cvma.org/ or write a check to the Hurricane Katrina/Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, P.O. Box 5017, Oak Brook, IL 60522. Or check out Steve's website, http://www.petworldradio.net/


The Fake Doctor had me in absolute stitches here. Case Study 3 was the one that tipped me over the edge...


Posts like this are the reason this guy will have a permanent place on my blogroll.

Quotes from one of my biggest comic heroes. Just bring back Calvin and Hobbes, okay, Bill? I miss them both like crazy.

Most excellent! This kind of "roll-up-the-sleeves-and-help-ourselves" attitude is a wonderful thing to see.

Drivers Test

Brian has an interesting meme going. Okay. I'll play:

1. Ever read a blogger who really puts you off? You don't like their style, language, philosophies, or anything else about them. Do you read that person's blog anyway?

Yep. It's important to know what the arguments and issues are in order to be able to frame your own. One of my favorite examples is Oliver Willis.

2. What do you do with your unmatched socks? Don't tell me you don't have any.

Toss them, if they're dress socks. Or dust with them, if they're good, old-fashioned white cotton ones. And if my cats are lucky, I'll stuff the toe of one with catnip and tie a knot in it for a great cat toy.

3. Do women like it when a guy takes charge of a date, or do they like to be involved in the discussion about what to do that evening?

A little bit of both. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, it's really nice for the guy to take charge. You can quickly learn a lot about a guy and how he feels about you by the care he puts into planning a date, and the kinds of activities he chooses. As the relationship progresses, some input is nice. In fact, I don't have a problem with the girl planning and paying for an occasional date as a relationship matures.

4. Have you ever had a blog crush that went totally unrequited?

Nope. Lots of heroes. No crushes.

5. I'd never do it, but is it weird that I've fantasized about moving back to the New Orleans area? Something about the rebuilding/rebirth of an area is very appealing to me.

No. When a place is in your blood, it's in your blood. Whether or not you choose to turn that that fantasy into a reality is another matter. Then it's a matter of weighing the positives and the negatives and choosing the path that's right for you.

6. Is wrong for me to think that its disingenuous of a woman to say, "I just want to find a nice guy."? I've known women who say that all the time and use nice guys like human kleenexes.

Not any more than it's disingenuous for a man to say he loves women in one breath and treat them like dirt in the next, and that happens a lot, too. BUT... a good many women actually mean what they say, and so do a good many men. You know that old saw about kissing a lot of frogs??? I'm living proof that sometimes you really do get the Prince(ss).

7. Ever have the temptation to start your blog over and not tell so many real-world people about it?

No. I haven't shared it with that many of my acquaintances in the first place.

8. Is it strange that I've become LESS political as I've grown older?

Less political, or less able to define yourself as one party or another? Less interested in politics? Or are you less of a polarizing person?

9. Does anyone else make a right turn and then maneuver around, rather than waiting longer for a left turn?

Most definitely. Sometimes the shortest route can take the longest time. I like options. Lots of options.

10. Do you have any posts that have sat in draft forever and you can' t quite bring yourself to post them?

No. Either I post them or I delete them. Why waste time banging your head against a wall when there's so much more out there to write about?

11. Do you find it odd that some people at my job call me "coach", even though I haven't coached anything in years and haven't coached there? "Coach" is one of those enduring titles.

No. Sometimes nicknames are like cockleburrs -- they are amazing hard to shake off.

12. Do you find it strange that I sometimes sit in my driveway alone late at night and look at the stars? The world seems to make so much more sense out there during those times.

Why not? It's quiet. It's beautiful. No stress.

13. Have a blog you lurk regularly on? Why don't you comment?

I have a LOT of blogs that I read frequently, but rarely leave comments on -- especially since I started my own blog. I'd rather link and post to my own blog. Also, I've unfortunately found that it can be too easy to post a comment that you quickly regret... and not be able to go back and delete. Not a mistake I want to make again. I take a lot longer crafting my blog posts, so I know I've probably thought it out longer and better if I answer through my own blog, rather than comments.

14. Does it bother you when you comment repeatedly on someone's blog and they never comment on yours?

See 13 above. Nope. Their blog, their opinion. My blog, my opinion.

15. If work/kids were not a consideration, what kind of waking/sleeping hours would you have?

I probably wouldn't wake before noon, and wouldn't go to bed until 2 or 3 a.m.

16. Ever wonder why there are so many unhappy marriages out there?

Nope. It's too easy to get married and too easy to get divorced. There's a lot less social pressure to work to stay married. And we've become a society used to having just about everything be instantly available and totally disposable. I don't like it, but many people feel that way. Since when did the idea of a "starter marriage" become socially acceptable???

17. Do ever feel like you really struggle to be understood?

Occasionally. I only really worry about it when it directly affects my relationships with loved ones, friends or my employers. As someone who has struggled in the past with depression and still has a panic attack from time-to-time, I know that sometimes it's just plain impossible to put someone else in your shoes.

18. Do you ever think you would've been happier living at another time in history?

No. Amazing things have happened already in my lifetime, and I expect to see many more.

19. Do you think monogamy is natural for most people?

No. I think it's an active choice.

20. Is profanity a turn off for you?

Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha! Not at all. Just ask my buddy Og. Look. There's a time and a place for salty language. I'm not fond of it in business settings. And I don't like comedians who think they can't be funny except for inserting a hearty "fuck" between every other word in what would normally be a lousy joke. But vulgarities are almost becoming shock-free because they are so liberally larded through everyday speech. On the other hand, a really creative and well-placed epithet can be an absolute hoot.

Answer any or all of these if you will!

Bus Fumes

Yes, indeedy. This is what happens when you simply throw money at a problem. Yep. They'll be back in 24 hours with their hands out and a "you owe me" attitude. (And it doesn't matter what income level we're talking about, nor color, creed or religion. Temptation and conditioning over time have worked in tandem to produce this highly predictable result at just about every level.)


Try to Remember

Blackfive reminds us of the day we became one people.

Gennie posts her memories of 9/11 and a host of related links. Well, well said, girlfriend.

What do I remember of 9/11?

I remember waking up to a sunny, beautiful Chicago morning. Turning on the Today Show. Making coffee. Feeding the cats. Jumping in the shower. Padding back into the living room, wrapped in a bathrobe with my hair up in a towel, heading to the kitchen to see if the coffee was finished brewing.

Stopping dead in my tracks at the images of an airliner plowing into the side of the first tower of the World Trade Center.

Steadying myself by gripping the arm of the couch.

Sitting down heavily while the news report buzzed in my ears, the words not registering. Tears pouring down my face.

After a few minutes it dawned on me that this was going to affect businesses everywhere, and that I needed to get to the office to do whatever it took to make sure that people there had gotten the news.

I don't remember dressing or doing my hair. I do remember coming out of the bathroom again in time to see the second tower struck.

Dumbfounded, I grabbed my car keys, a cup of coffee and my cell phone and headed out the door.

Heading down Lake Shore Drive with the radio on AM 780. News of the Pentagon being hit came on just as I was rounding the curve near the head of Michigan Avenue.

I grabbed my cell phone and called the office. Patricia, our receptionist, told me that people were aware of the World Trade Center crashes. I told her to make sure someone had turned on the television, as the Pentagon had just been hit. She didn't believe me. No, no. It was just announced.

I arrived in the office in time to get news of the crash in Pennsylvania.

Almost everyone in the office that day was jammed around the television in our training room, transfixed with horror. Arms around one another. Tearful faces all around the room. Silence, except for the drone of the reporters' voices.

I hurried to my boss' office. As managing partner, I knew he had decisions to make and it was my job to help in any way possible. A flurry of phone calls to our Boston and New York offices followed.

The lines were down in New York, but one of the partners there sent us a message via BlackBerry that all were safe and the office was closing immediately.

Everyone in Boston was accounted for but one -- a partner who was thought to be on a flight from Boston to LA that morning. Boston to LA. My. God. I made repeated phone calls to his home. Got the answering machine every time. Repeated phone calls to his cell phone. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time. I know this guy. I really like this guy. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.

A rumor has arisen that the Sears Tower may also be a target. It is four blocks away.

My boss reports that building management has decided to close down the building for the day. I help to spread the news, and consultants pack up their laptops and leave.

More frantic phone calls. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.

I have to go. I stop in the restaurant in our lobby. The television is on, and many people are crowded around the bar, drinking coffee and staring silently at the television. It is 11:30 a.m.

A feeling of helplessness and rage steals over me. I am not a hand-wringer. I am a doer. I dig out my cell phone and call Life Source. Blood. Someone, somewhere will need blood. Or platelets. I have donated both in the past, and it has been more than eight weeks since the last time.

Many, many people have felt and acted accordingly. I make an appointment for late in the afternoon.

The restaurant owner overheard my conversation, and asked when I had eaten last. I don't remember.

Though the kitchen was closing, he brought me bread and a bowl of hearty soup. You have to eat if you're going to donate blood. He will not let me pay.

I walk out of the building and look up at a clear, bue sky. And pray.

I get in the car and head across the Loop towards Life Source. Chicago is a ghost town. The radio tells me that Metra has shut down trains into and out of the city. The El and busses are still running. Good, Lord. How will all these people get home?

I get to Life Source, and there is a very long line of donors. Appointments are tossed right out the window. You sign up and you wait. And watch more horrifying images on the lobby television.

I have my cell phone with me. I try again. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.

It is my turn. The checklist of questions. The finger prick. The bright blood dropping into the blue liquid and turning dark. The rubber tubing tight around my upper arm. The always surprising pinch of the needle. The rubber ball in my right hand. Clench. Unclench. Clench. Unclench. It is finished quickly. The tight wad of gauze pressed into the bend in my elbow. The tight bandage. Juice. Cookies. Sitting quietly to make sure I am not lightheaded, when I really want to be up and pacing. I am approved to leave, get my "I donated" sticker, and leave.

I get in the car and go home, wanting to reassure myself that all is well. Life is normal. Home is fine. Life is not normal. Will it ever be normal again?

I turn on the television, frantic for more news.

I realize that I have not called my mother, so I dig out the phone. She, too, is glued to the television. We cry together. She is only 35 miles away, but it feels like an ocean separates us. We tell each other "I love you," and we hang up.

I can't be alone, so I go down the street to my local hangout. I take my cell phone with me.

It is reassuring to be surrounded by friends and familiar faces. We, too, are glued to the nightmare being repeated over and over again on the televisions above the bar. We hug. We talk quietly. We watch some more.

Over and over through the evening, I try to reach the Boston partner. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.

I go home. Once more before I go to bed, I try again. I'm sorry. The number you have reached is not in service at this time.

And so I pray.


God bless the National Guardsmen (and women) helping others in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It's nice to read about success and teamwork for a change.

Sandy gives us The Beer Prayer, which I'm pretty sure will be recited by heart in Helen:

Our lager,
Which art in barrels,
Hallowed be thy drink,
Thy will be drunk,
(I will be drunk),
At home as I am in the tavern.
Give us this day our foamy head,
And forgive us our spillages,
As we forgive those who spill against us,
and lead us not to incarceration,
But deliver us from hangovers,
For thine is the beer,
The bitter and the lager,
Forever and ever,

El Capitan shall certainly beat Dr. Tundra at this fiendish game.

(A tip of the cap to Her Venomousness.)


Because I don't have kids of my own, I often forget how wall-to-wall media coverage of disasters can affect children. Trevor Romain tackles this sensitive issue. If you have children, it's a must read.


Oooooh! That's SO not a pretty picture.

Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh!

(A tip of the cap to fellow Golden Ager Ann Althouse.)


One reason I'm in the process of moving closer to the suburbs is the fact that you never know who your neighbors are, but the possibility of them being a registered sex offender is far higher in my old neighborhood than the one I'm looking in now.

Nancy V. sent me this this 12-state sex offender registry that includes addresses and pictures. It stood the hair on my head straight up, I'll tell you.

Type in your address and take a peek. You may be pleased. Then again, you may be looking at creepy nasties you'll know to avoid.


Deadly noodle vector? Quick! Someone warn El Capitan!


Zonker made an appearance in the Chicago area and nobody told me?

Reading for the Road

The debate continues. Here's some information on the logistics of a disaster relief effort provided by an experienced Marine:
There's something called "logistics." Check it out.

You cannot just snap your fingers and make the military suddenly appear somewhere.

Nor can you legally send federal troops willy-nilly to shoot looters, courtesy of the Posse Comitatus act. You should know this, Ann. You're a lawyer by profession. You shouldn't need a dumb grunt to explain it to you.

But watch for much of our news commentary and public debate to predicate itself around a vast ignorance of logistical capacity and principals.

For instance: Suppose you got a brigade worth of troops (5,000 or so) available,. How are you going to support them? How will you transport them? Think organic trans is sufficient? Think again. Even at 100% operational readiness, a typical infantry battalion can only self transport perhaps a company at a time. And if every soldier is bringing a rucksack and a dufflebag, you're really talking about maybe two platoons. And unless you expect the unit to become a drain on local resources, every company is going to take a half truck or more of MREs and a half truck or more of bottled water, along with its own water trailers. I've seen it happen. I've done it. I've been a battalion S4 in combat, an HHC XO for dozens of major moves of a hundred miles or more, and an HHC company commander for six hurricane mobilizations.

(A tip of the cap to Juliette.)


And when you're done reading the whole post above, go read this, as well.

(A tip of the cap to Margi Lowry.)


Finally, a message from the Mayor of Houston. Would that more people in a position of power had his roll-up-the-shirt-sleeves attitude and ability to get things done.

Good on you, Mayor.

(A tip of the cap to El Capitan.)


One last thought for today.....



Traveling Companions

Looks like some of Katrina's four-footed refugees are coming to Chicago. One of my co-workers wrote:

There are bus loads of animals (cats and dogs) from Hurricane Katrina being brought to Chicago tonight to PAWS. If you have the space in your home and heart to foster (there is no obligation to adopt) these animals for a few days or weeks, they could really use your help! See info below.

PAWS Chicago volunteers will be taking vans down to the Humane Society of Faline County in Bauxite, Arkansas, right outside of Little Rock. Volunteers will be picking up 100-200 homeless pets from the shelter, in an effort to make more room for the animals affected by Hurricane Katrina. This no kill shelter has been inundated by hurricane victim relinquished pets.

If you are interested in fostering, helping with adoptions or caring for these animals, please contact Dave Barta at (773) 521-1408 ext. 236 or Rochelle Michalek at (773) 521-1408 ext. 239.

The animals will be arriving at PAWS Chicago on Wednesday night. If you would like to make a monetary donation for the animals we are rescuing, please call 773-843-4887, or send your check to:

PAWS Chicago
Attn: Lisa Dawson
1110 W. 35th Street
Chicago, IL 60609

**Make sure to write on your check "PAWS Chicago/Katrina Pet Rescue"

If interested in making an in-kind donation of towels, blankets, pet food, etc, please call 773-521-1408 x241.

Thanks for your support!


Mog reminds us that hurricane season isn't over by a long shot. After you've put together your own disaster preparedness kit, don't forget about your pets. Please! Plan ahead.

Prayer Warrior Alert

Gennie is having a scare, and could use your prayers. You know what to do.

(And thanks a million!)

I hate it when bad news comes in by the truckload. Please say a prayer for Michelle and her family.

Reading for the Road

God bless Robert Tracinski for daring to lay it on the line:

What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. And they don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.

But what about criminals and welfare parasites? Do they worry about saving their houses and property? They don't, because they don't own anything. Do they worry about what is going to happen to their businesses or how they are going to make a living? They never worried about those things before. Do they worry about crime and looting? But living off of stolen wealth is a way of life for them.

People living in piles of their own trash, while petulantly complaining that other people aren't doing enough to take care of them and then shooting at those who come to rescue them—this is not just a description of the chaos at the Superdome. It is a perfect summary of the 40-year history of the welfare state and its public housing projects.

The welfare state—and the brutish, uncivilized mentality it sustains and encourages—is the man-made disaster that explains the moral ugliness that has swamped New Orleans. And that is the story that no one is reporting.

Read the whole thing. (A tip of the cap to Peter Venlet.)



Bus Fumes

I've got to disagree with Captain Ed here. In no way, shape or form should a candidate for the Supreme Court of the United States be proposed primarily on the basis of his or her sex or ethnicity. The best candidate is the one with the best credentials. Period. Anything else is an insult to the position and the solemnity of the Court.

Reading for the Road

Bill Whittle discusses responses to Katrina, 9/11, tribes, wolves, sheep and sheepdogs, and the colors pink and gray. Just go there. Read the whole thing. Sleep on it. Then discuss among yourselves. And do it with respect for your fellow passengers on this here Omnibus.

(A big tip of the cap to Kim DuToit.)

Jeff Goldstein, who can, on any given day, invent masterful new epithets, posts a remarkably restrained and thoughtful piece on the blame game.

Roadside Diversions

Naughty me, I haven't sent you to the Carnival of the Cats in a while. This week it's hosted by Ferdy, The Conservative Cat (I've met him. He truly does have Bruce the Human Pet well trained). Need a diversion? Go play with the kitties!


Zonker has a little post about people who are uncomfortable with four letter words. I, on the other hand, stand in awe of people who reach new heights of inventiveness with their curses.

I had an email from Og*, who said:
"Lets see: cocksocket, fuckwicket, assnugget, assgasket, asshelmet,asstard, fucktard, fuckweasel, goat felcher, scrotumface, hemorrhoidlips are many of my favorite simple expletives.

"As far as articulated expletives (like pointy-headed fartknockers) I like micro-phallic hen teaser, cripple squicking greed merchant,ass-tacular failure vendor.

"Just to give you somewhere to begin."

Damn, Skippy! Why isn't this guy coming to Helen?

(And, BTW, I'm meeting him for coffee soon. I'll probably die of laughter, but I am more than willing to take the risk.)

*And if he's not on your blogroll, he should be. The man slays me.

A Church Bus on the Road to Good Intentions...

An interview with Dr. Tundra of the First Church of the Noodly North. Norse Pastafarianism explained.

(Oh, Capitan! My Capitan! You've got to respond to this!)

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From Elizabeth (for CeeJDee and Mort):

Signs on Synagogue bulletin board:

  • Under same management for over 5,763 years.
  • Don't give up. Moses was once a basket case.
  • Shul committees should be made up of three member, two of whom should be absent at every meeting.
Sign over the urinal in a bathroom at Hebrew University:

  • The future of the Jewish people is in your hands.


My mother is a typical Jewish mother. Once she was on jury duty. They sent her home. She insisted SHE was guilty.

It was mealtime during a flight on El-Al. "Would you like dinner?" the flight attendant asked Moshe, seated in front.

"What are my choices?," Moshe asked.

"Yes or no," she replied.

An elderly Jewish man is knocked down by a car and is brought to the local hospital. A pretty nurse tucks him into bed and say, "Mr. Gevarter, are you comfortable?"

Gevarter replies, "I make a living.............."

A rabbi was opening his mail one morning. Taking a single sheet of paper from an envelope he found written on it only one word: "shmuck".

At the next Friday night service, the Rabbi announced, "I have known many people who have written letters and forgot to sign their names, but this week I received a letter from someone who signed his name...and forgot to write a letter.

Three Jewish women got together for lunch. As they are being seated in the restaurant, one takes a deep breath and give a long, slow "oy".

The second takes a deep breath as well and let out a long, slow "oy".

The third takes a deep breath and says impatiently, "Girls, I thought we agreed that we weren't going to talk about our children."

A waiter comes over to a table full of Jewish women and asks, "Is anything all right?"

From Deborah (especially for my BlogDaddy):

George W. was out jogging one morning along the parkway when he tripped, fell over the bridge railing and landed in the creek below. Before the Secret Service guys could get to him, three kids, who were fishing, pulled him out of the water. He was so grateful he offered the kids whatever they wanted.

The first kid said, "I want to go to Disneyland."

George said, "No problem. I'll take you there on Air Force One".

The second kid said, "I want a new pair of Nike Air Jordan's."

George said, "I'll get them for you and even have Michael sign them!"

The third kid said, "I want a motorized wheelchair with a built-in TV and stereo headset!!"

Bush is a little perplexed by this and says, "But you don't look like you are handicapped."

The kid says, "I will be after my dad finds out I saved your ass from drowning!"