Leslie's Omnibus


There's not to much the government's done that I'm happy about these days, but this is one exception:
Recently, President Barack Obama signed the Credit Card Act of 2009. The legislation aims to protect consumers from abusive credit-card practices. Included are rules that make it harder for anyone younger than 21 to qualify for a card.
The rules are simple:
According to the law, if you're younger than 21, you'll generally need a co-signer to qualify for a credit card. A co-signer can be a parent, legal guardian or spouse who is 21 or older.
Don't have a co-signor?
The other way to qualify is to prove you have an "independent means of repaying any obligation." Translation: You're earning enough to pay your bills.
This is common sense.

Speaking of young people and common sense (or lack thereof), meet Donald Mills:

Gives me shivers, that does. It's almost like having my own darling daddy back.

A couple of quick BlogThings for you:

Your Colors Say You Are Fearless
When you are at peace, you are:

Energized and innovative

When you are moved to act, you are:

Courageous and resolute

When you are inspired, you are:

Spiritual and humble

When your life is perfectly balanced, you are:

Totally in the moment

Your life's purpose is:

To live a passionate life

... and...

You Are 58% Addicted to Blogthings
You're a Blogthings fiend - addicted but not totally dependent.

So what if you know your personality type by heart?

And while you may feel like Blogthings is crack...
There are people much worse off than you!


Book Your Ticket

I've been sorting through a bunch of paperbacks, getting ready to send a pile off to some of the Princess Mom's buddies down in Florida. They're getting mysteries, thrillers, cozies and old-fashioned romance novels with a few bodice-rippers thrown in.

What I'm not sending are the panty-droppers.  I just can't bring myself to send a pile of those to a bunch of octogenarians.  The very thought of that just plain squicks me out.  (No offense, ladies, but we all have our hang-ups, and this one's mine.)

So what, may you ask, is the difference between a bodice-ripper and a panty-dropper?  

Bodice-rippers are a a lot of heaving bosoms, heavy breathing, a discreet wink and the quiet snick of a bedroom door closing. 

Panty-droppers, on the other hand, are a raised window shade, dimmed lighting and a beckoning ladder at the bedroom window.

Bodice-rippers are bon-bons, ice cream and Sleepless In Seattle fests at home by one's own self.

You'll know the woman in your life has just polished off a dandy panty-dropper if she shows up on your doorstep with a six-pack, pizza and the Blue-Ray DVD of The Big Easy in hand and a shit-eating grin on her face.  She's the single woman in the sunglasses and trench coat checking out the battery-operated-boyfriends at your local emporium d'amour -- and paying cash.  She's the wife that's feeling frisky even before you are. 

Here's a tip, fellas -- if you see a woman holding what looks to you like pure chick mushy stuff, think again.  You may be correct.  Then again, there may be smoke rising up from those pages.  And where there's smoke....  Just take the hint, okay?

So here's my short list of guaranteed panty-droppers.

The godmother of all period P-D authors -- Rosemary Rogers

Vicki Lewis Thompson's Nerd series

Sandra Hill's Cajun series

Lorie Foster's SBC series (okay, every one but this one, which not only jumped the shark, but did a triple gainer with a half twist)

Anything by Rachel Gibson

If you're into fantasy fiction, C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp write some doozies, and if Jacqueline Caray's Kushiel series doesn't push your buttons, your parts stopped working a long time ago.

That's just off the top of my head.

So tell me, ladies... what P-D books/authors push your buttons?  Post 'em up in your own blog and drop me a link or leave a comment.  I'm always in the market for a new find.

You Are Basic Panties

You are a laid back chick with a real natural beauty.

You can make unwashed hair and minimal make-up super sexy.

Men tend to notice you show the "real you" - and they appreciate it.

And while basic makes boring for some, it looks classic on you.



Plumcake, usually the most frivolous and fun of bloggers, turns serious today:

We can’t do much to stop the random mutation of cells in our bodies but we can do something about the metaphysical cancers we put on ourselves; cancers that grow through laziness, anger, fear and our own brokenness.

Fix it.

I don’t care what it is or how you do it. Just fix it. We are all living with something inside of us that is a cancer. Lord knows I am. It could be anger or jealousy or a stinginess of spirit. It could be something that’s as easy as a phone call or something as difficult as changing brain patterns. Maybe you started it, maybe you were left with the psychic aftermath of someone else’s bad choices. Doesn’t matter. Fix it.

She's right, you know.

Roadside Scenery

Next to the Catholic Church in Dingle, Ireland...

... and nestled just behind the shrine to Our Lady of Fatima...

... was this gorgeous totem...

... carved from a dead tree...

... which had never been cut down.

Such luscious images!

And how strange that I was the only one that noticed it's presence, let alone it's beauty, that day.

(A little thank you to my tree-loving pal.)


Rosie has a new addiction:
I've become addicted to Deadliest Warrior, which is basically Jackass with reenactors, computers and ballistics gel brain cases.
The basic premise is to match two historical warriors who would never have met each other in real life, rate their weapons then run computer simulations on who would win. The pairings are hilarious and unlikely: Apache vs Gladiator, Viking vs Samurai, Spartan vs Ninja, Pirate vs Knight... Here comes the funny part. They invite experts to whack the ballistics gel torso with their chosen warrior's weapons. A doctor comes out and explains in detail what just happened to the dummy and how terribly dead this guy now is. No, really, the funny part is getting the two teams of experts together and watching their faces when their warrior loses. Some of them actually whine at each other. I'm pretty sure if the show's producers allowed it, things would turn into an all out brawl.
Hmmm. I wonder if Contagion and Grau have heard about this? I dunno about you, but I can totally see them gearing up for a battle like this!

Giggle of the Day:

(Which should now fit into the post block, instead of hanging outside of it, thanks to my latest geeky mash note from Mike. God bless 'im!)

You Are A Train

You are a true romantic. You have big dreams about how life should be.

You take life at a slow and steady pace. You try to appreciate every moment you have.

You are a very visual person. You are always on the lookout for beauty and inspiration.

You are able to relax and let go more than most people.

(Via Jay.)

Which brings to mind the Ear Worm of the Day:

Man! I haven't thought of that one in years.

Beyond beef, a dazzling variety of burgers. Yummy!

These people take themselves entirely too seriously:
Government advisers are developing menus to combat climate change by cutting out “high carbon” food such as meat from sheep, whose burping poses a serious threat to the environment.

Out will go kebabs, greenhouse tomatoes and alcohol. Instead, diners will be encouraged to consume more potatoes and seasonal vegetables, as well as pork and chicken, which generate fewer carbon emissions.
C'mon. Get serious. (Actually, get a grip.) If you want to wipe out the Irish economy, this is a dandy way to do it.

Lamb, mutton, wool, beer and whiskey -- try taking those things away from the Irish and maybe they finally will get mad enough to win their independence at last.

Great Reader is at it again:
Tin...Nye...Ate...7up...Sex...Fye...Foe...Tree...Too... Wun...

What scares me about Sotomayor is not so much the "wise Latina female rich experience decisions = better than boring old don't-have-any-life-experience-at-all white guy decisions" bunch of bullpucky. (Not that there's any discrimination, reverse or otherwise, in that attitude.)


It's her record on eminent domain takings that raised the hair on the back of my neck.

I didn't see much empathy there. Did you?


(Swiped with a grateful heart from Mike.)


I had to go in to the office for a little while today, and stopped into Rocko's for a beer or two and to catch the end of the Hawks game before hitting the train for home.

The Hawks were down by four points in the closing minutes of the game, so I powered up my laptop, checked a few emails, shut it back down, then pulled out my latest read and stuck my nose between the pages so I wouldn't have to witness the rest of the carnage.

A couple of guys I know were sitting a few seats down from me, reading the Sunday paper and bantering back and forth about the various articles they were reading during commercial breaks in the game.

"Rick" is in his mid-thirties, white, tall, broad-shouldered, barrel-chested, favors athletic wear on the weekends, and is bald as an egg and damned proud of it. A financial whiz, he's intelligent, opinionated and loves nothing better than a good bet.

"Jay" is a year or two younger, black, stocky, wears his hair in a short, tight natural, has liquid brown eyes with lashes for which any woman would sacrifice her left *ahem* (and maybe her right one, too) and opts for polo necks and slacks for casual apparel. He's deceptively soft-spoken, mischievious and also has a weakness for the occasional wild-ass wager.

They fancy themselves ladies' men and it's always fun to be around when they swap tales of the latest women they're pursuing, as the descriptions generally involve heart-stopping beauty, sexual rapacity, gravity-defying proportions and the brain power of a bean burrito (refried, not black bean). Only height, hair, eye and skin color are subject to change.

Anyhow, I was hip deep in baseball book goodness when the conversation to my right yanked my attention back into the here and now.

The boys had started in on the personal ads, choosing the truly juicy ones to read aloud. They began to keep a running total of ubiquitous likes/wants such as "long walks in the park" and "intimate dinners" and "soul mate." They hooted over the more outrageous entries, and ribbed each other about which ones the other might find most hot.

That's when the conversation tooked a turn for the decidedly weird.

"Here's what I think we should do," Rick said. "We should each take out an ad, and the one that gets the most hits wins twenty bucks ."

"Cool," Jason nodded slowly. "I can do that."

"Except..." Rick said.


"Except we're each going to take out a 'woman seeking man' ad," Rick chortled.

"We're going to do what? Dude! You're scaring me here." Jay eyed Rick apprehensively.

"No, no. Hear me out," Rick said as the bar suddenly grew silent and all eyes pointed in their direction. "Think about it. You know the kind of ads that catch your attention. All you have to do is write one that's even better. You know... more suggestive."

Even our bartender, the unflappable Bootsie, stopped mid-pour on a pitcher of Budweiser to gape at the knuckleheads.

Jay's faced slowly morphed from disbelief to shit-eating grin. He nodded again. "Go on."

"I'm thinking I'll be a SWF out-of-work model seeking a sugar daddy." Rick continued, "You know -- looking for someone to keep me in the style I'd like to be reaccustomed to," as he struck a "vogue" pose.

The pitcher overflowed and Bootsie muttered a mild expletive as she slapped the tap into the "off" position. The peanut gallery sat mesmerized, chins resting on palms, elbows resting on the bar. I tossed my book to the side and gave up all pretense of trying to read.

"Well if you're an ex-model, what will I be?" Jay groused.

"I know! You can be a Puerto Rican bartender," Rick enthused.

"Yeah! Puerto-Reeee-Can! Into salsa, samba and flamenco dancing," Jay said, rubbing his hands together and warming to the subject.

I stuck my two cents in. "Wait a minute, Jay. How come he gets to be a classy ex-model and you get to be a hoochie mama?"

"What she said! Why do I have to be the hoochie mama?"

"Because we're playing against type, of course," Rick said reasonably. (How he managed that with a straight face is beyond me.) "Anyhow, I'll be 5'10" and 110 pounds, with long blond hair and blue eyes."

"Well, having any hair at all is playing against type," Jay grumbled.

"And you, Senorita, can be 5'2" and 34-24-36 inches of sassy," Rick went on.

"Sassy is good," Jay said dubiously. "Right?"

I was two seconds away from banging my forehead repeatedly against the bar. They so sucked at this writing a personal ad business.

"Seriously, Rick. I can do sassy."

The conversation rambled on into "their" likes and dislikes, each more lamely preposterous than the last, but with Rick having the clear edge.

I could stand it no longer. "Jay! If you want to win this bet, a Puerto Rican bartender is simply not going to cut it."

"Oh, yeah? And what would cut it?"

"Okay, try this:

SWF, 20, 5'7", 102 lbs., brn/grn, former Romanian rhythmic gymnast currently studying massage therapy seeks SWM, 25-40 for fun and companionship. Interests include big dogs, good bourbon, baseball and nude yoga. You?

"What in the heck is rhythm gymnastics and where do you see it?" Rick enquired.

"The Olympics, definitely," I said.

"Oh. Chick stuff," he poo-pooed, as Jay nodded vigorously in agreement.

"Guys, you don't know what you're missing," I insisted. "These girls are really flexible. Bendy."

"Bendy?" they yelped in unison.

"Yep. Very bendy."

Their eyes glazed over for a moment, then they shook themselves out of their reverie and went back to discussing "their" ads.

"I'm really liking this being an ex-model thing," Rick said, as they turned and walked away. "I really think this will help us get in touch with our femine sides."

Jay nodded sagely as they walked out the door. Then he poked his head back in the door and winked at me. "Nude yoga. Nice touch."

I saluted him. "Go big or go home, dude."
In Memoriam

    (To Private D Sutherland killed in action in the German trenches, 16 May 1916, and the others who died.)

    So you were David's father,
    And he was your only son,
    And the new-cut peats are rotting
    And the work is left undone,
    Because of an old man weeping,
    Just an old man in pain,
    For David, his son David,
    That will not come again.

    Oh, the letters he wrote you,
    And I can see them still,
    Not a word of the fighting,
    But just the sheep on the hill
    And how you should get the crops in
    Ere the year get stormier,
    And the Bosches have got his body,
    And I was his officer.

    You were only David's father,
    But I had fifty sons
    When we went up in the evening
    Under the arch of the guns,
    And we came back at twilight -
    O God! I heard them call
    To me for help and pity
    That could not help at all.

    Oh, never will I forget you,
    My men that trusted me,
    More my sons than your fathers',
    For they could only see
    The little helpless babies
    And the young men in their pride.
    They could not see you dying,
    And hold you while you died.

    Happy and young and gallant,
    They saw their first-born go,
    But not the strong limbs broken
    And the beautiful men brought low,
    The piteous writhing bodies,
    They screamed 'Don't leave me, sir',
    For they were only your fathers
    But I was your officer.

Ewart Alan Mackintosh (killed in action 21 November 1917 aged 24)
On Memorial Day, I salute soldiers everywhere who fought and fight to make and keep us free, the sacrifices they make, and the families and friends who support them

Along the Internet Highway...

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions

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Fun with Drew:

Still, Peterson was “a little bit taken aback” by the decision not to reduce his bond at all, defense attorney Joel Brodsky said.
Goody. I don't suppose this entered into that decision at all:

A few months before his third wife drowned in a bathtub, Drew Peterson offered someone $25,000 to kill her, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow contended today in court as he sought to keep Peterson jailed on murder charges in Kathleen Savio’s death.

And just three weeks before Savio’s 2004 death, Peterson — then a Bolingbrook cop — complained to another officer that his pending divorce would be so financially devastating that “my life would be easier if she were just dead,” Glasgow said.

The man has never been able to keep his lip zipped.

Apparently he can't keep his wallet closed, either:

Glasgow did provide other details -- confirming a Chicago Tribune report that the state has hired a financial expert to determine how much Peterson stood to lose in his divorce with Savio. Glasgow said $60,000 was missing -- in violation of the divorce judge's order -- from a "bank account" that held cash from the sale of the Petersons' Montgomery bar. That money was to be split between the parties, he said.
A jointly owned home and a jointly owned bar were also at stake in the divorce settlement. Estimates of the assets is upwards of $300,000.

While you're firing up the grill and cracking a cold brewski, remember that this is the reason for the holiday.

In other dandy news -- HAWKS WIN!!!

Happy dance time:


I will simply say this: the biggest perceived threat to Christianity doesn't come from The Gays, or from Hollywood, or from booze, or from the "Rock of Love Bus"; it comes from within Christianity itself. The problem manifests itself in the people who warm the pews and praise God on Sundays but betray Him with their mouths and actions on Monday. The problem continues from this when our kids see hypocritical behavior from authority within the church. They see it in the egregious transgressions of those who eagerly clamor to lead the flock. They see it from a university that claims Catholicism yet honors a president who has made it a point to favor abortion groups with regards to policy, groups that go against a tenant of the Catholic faith.

The erosion of the religious integrity comes when you have people who cherry pick which of God's laws they want to follow and try to validate it with moral relativism.
Can I get an "Amen"?
The WHO is poised to declare a full pandemic of the virus, which has infected more than 11,000 people in 42 countries and killed 86. And U.S. health officials released $1 billion for companies to get started on a vaccine in case it is needed.

The WHO has been preparing for and warning us about pandemics for years. They've prepared for one for so long, I swear they'll commit hari kari if they can't trot one out and soon.

If you look at those numbers, then you'll see that the H1N1 flu's death rate is tiny in comparisson with deaths from the common flu virus.

But you don't see the WHO shrieking about pandemics when it comes to the common flu now, do you?
"You have to have not only the intellect to be able to effectively apply the law
to cases before you," Obama said in an interview carried Saturday on C-SPAN
television. "But you have to be able to stand in somebody else's shoes and see
through their eyes and get a sense of how the law might work or not work in
practical day-to-day living."

In other words, he wants someone unafraid to legislate from the bench. Or ignore the law, because it just doesn't happen to work for him/her. Just fabulous.

In the note he circulated this month, Asness denounces the president for castigating Chrysler bondholders when they opposed his plan to pay them only 29 cents on the dollar. "He called them 'speculators' who were 'refusing to sacrifice like everyone else,' " Asness writes. "The president's diktat takes money from bondholders and gives it to a labor union [the UAW] that delivers money and votes for him. Why is he not calling on his party to 'sacrifice' some campaign contributions, and votes, for the greater good?"

"This is America," Asness concludes. "We have a free enterprise system that has worked spectacularly for us for two hundred plus years. When it fails, it fixes itself. Most importantly, it is not an owned lackey of the Oval Office to be scolded for disobedience by the president."
Just so.

(A tip of the cap to the Instapundit.)

The explanation for human behavior everywhere?
The problem is that we did not evolve a baloney-detection device in our brains
to discriminate between true and false patterns. So we make two types of errors:
a type I error, or false positive, is believing a pattern is real when it is
not; a type II error, or false negative, is not believing a pattern is real when
it is.
Apply as needed.

I love "I don't know why it words, but it does" science!

Ummmm.... not me. How 'bout you?
The half-brother of a 4-year-old Mokena girl has been charged with
first-degree murder for allegedly stabbing her to death.

This has got to be a parent's worst nightmare. Say a little prayer for this family.

Something the Princess Mom would have done. I do miss her. There was never a dull moment when she was around.

Uncle Jay explains why you don't pronounce the "b" in "debt".


Quote of the Day:
A South Side alderman has introduced legislation to create "official placards" that Chicago's 50 aldermen could place on their vehicle dashboards, but she emphasized it wouldn't be to avoid parking tickets.

Now here's a creative way to use social media to find yourself a dream job!

Good going, skippy. You could have turned this into a wonderful media opportunity and a treat-of-a-lifetime for a bunch of kids, instead of turning yourself into the nation's Grinch.

Nice. Real nice.

My newest Blog Son really does know me well.

Yes, they're both legal adults now. Yes, she served her time. No -- they haven't learned one damned thing about being sensitive or appropriate.

It's been quite a while since Old Crankypants exited this dimension, but he manages to reach out of the ether and tap me on the shoulder from time to time -- this time, via Malaysia.

Give me the shivers, it does.

Charlotte is looking for a few good blogs to read. I gave her a couple of my favorites. How about you? Drop by and give her your suggestions.

Some time today JihadGene will say, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" Thought I'd kick things off for him:


Have a great weekend!

Bus Fumes

WGN Radio is at it again:
In another sign of how abruptly the landscape is changing at Tribune Broadcasting-owned WGN-AM (720), the station said it is discontinuing the popular "Kathy & Judy Show" effective today.
Popular? These gals have a yearly two-day convention that fills the Hyatt Regency to capacity.

And does the station let them send a nice sign-off like Steve Dale was able to do?

Nuh uh.

The station posted this chintzy press release.

The big lie?
They will be missed and we wish them much happiness.
More like, "So long suckers, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out."
Dropping O'Malley and Markey is sure to further alienate the core audience that has sustained WGN for decades. [You bet your sweet bippy it is.] The question now becomes: can WGN quickly find a new audience to supplant it.
Sure they can. All they have to do is hand out free iPods at all the local junior high and middle schools. Seems to me that's the audience they're targeting.

It also seems to me that there's an awful lot of incredible talent available at the moment. I hope other Chicago radio stations take note.

In the meantime, I'm betting it's really, really ugly out there in Girlfriend Land.

Tootin' the Horn

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A buddy is celebrating her birthday this week. This is probably a good representation of how she feels about it.

I'm sending her birthday smooches anyway!


DaGoddess has committed to a little project called Operation: Love ReUnited, and needs our help:
With Memorial Day Weekend closing in on us, what better way to honor those who have come and gone by honoring those who have stepped into their combat boots and begun their march toward the American Way. San Diego has two large pre-deployment photo sessions coming up for our military and their families. Supplies are needed. Each Marine or Sailor deployed must receive an album 4×6 or larger (6×6 is the largest that fits into pockets on camo pants I hear), that can hold up to 30 photos. The books must be sturdy as they serve as a lifeline between the deployed and those left at home. Each photographer is then also responsible for sendng the completed book to wherever the person is deployed. The families pay not a single cent.
She's shouldering the bigger financial burden and the time intensive process of taking photos, getting them developed and assembling the albums.

Rummage through your pocket change and see if you can come up with a measly $15 bucks.

As Joanie says,
For those of you wondering why I’m getting involved with Operation: Love Reunited before my own personal finances are stable, go to Nick Popaditch’s website and you’ll understand. Each man and woman who deploys faces the unknown. I feel it’s my duty to give them an hour or two of family fun captured in photos to keep at their sides when they’re going into areas that are likely unsafe. I want them to feel the love and the power and the pride of the MANY who stand proudly behind them.
I can't think of a less expensive or better way to give a Marine or Sailor a little bit of home to carry with them. After all, they're putting their lives at risk, leaving their own families and going to faraway places to protect our families.

For Redneck



Contempt of court? Extreme! (And really, really stupid.)

Don't read this unless you've got a napkin or hankie in hand. Unless you're a vegetarian or vegan, it'll make you drool.

Fire up the grill!

Quote of the Day:
... Biden says he has a really good compass and Fancy Nancy thinks her memory is coming back since having her Botox pump removed last week.

I moved one of my bosses from one floor in our office building to the other this morning. As I was putting the last of his pictures and paraphernalia atop his new above-desk shelving, the humidor banged the corner of a large framed picture and the domino effect took over. I ended up catching a small picture frame with my left elbow, a large picture with my left and right hands, and a very full humidor with my right elbow.

Thus, this spoke volumes to me to me today:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Thank goodness the kids in that corner are quick to respond to a quiet, but emphatic, "Halp!"

I know it's Thursday, but it sure does feel like it's...


Hands-Down Giggle of the Day


A cleanup crew working along the Des Plaines River discovered a decayed body near Channahon, but police late Wednesday couldn't determine if the remains might be those of Stacy Peterson or Lisa Stebic.
Not that I wish either woman dead, but I hope for their families' sakes that it turns out to be one or the other of them.

This part of the story leads me to believe that someone currently in jail right now is having a squirmy moment:

Meanwhile, Channahon resident Michelle Williams said she notified local police about a blue barrel she saw on the riverbank three days before the remains washed up.
Second City Cop asks, "Who Left This Here?"

Meanwhile, Drew's attorney shows the common sense and good taste both he and his client are noted for:

"I wish I had $10,000 for every time they pulled a body out of a river in the Chicago area," Brodsky said. "People will assume what they want to assume."
Thank you, Mr. Sensitive. I hope you and your creepy client are nervous -- VERY nervous.


You know, I hope Michael Vick does work with the Human Society. There's no one better placed to speak of the evils of dog fighting, and the consequences.

I hope he can rehabilitate his life and his career.

If it works, he'll be one hell of a role model, so I, for one, am going to say a little prayer that it does.

But I'll be keeping the headlights pointed in his direction, just to keep an eye on things.

Update: Meezer Mom Mary (in the comments) has a point:
But I do not want to see him playing football until that happens. it just sends the wrong message. He has to prove that he's sorry - not just sorry he got sent to jail.
I can go along with that.

You know, I really, really wanted Gilles Marini to win the disco ball, but I have to hand it to Shawn Johnson -- she really was the best performer in the finals.

Fine job, little lady.

Get your tickets now -- Kiddieland won't be there after this summer. Another beloved piece of Americana gone right down the crapper because a family can't get along.

I know, I know -- my mood has been in the dumper. Then I read this:
Of the initial staff of six, two had developmental disabilities. Of the current staff of 16, all but the four managers have some type of cognitive impairment. Each employee is paired with a task to suit his or her strengths.
Yep. I just had to smile.

Another thing that makes me smile? The Plumcake:
“Why are you wearing a tiara?”

I stopped and thought for a moment.

“Because I own a tiara.”
I love a woman with a style of her own!

I love it when a lousy pol gift wraps and hand delivers the reason she doesn't deserve your next vote:
Rather than voting to either override or sustain Board President Todd Stroger's veto of a measure that would have repealed the sales tax increase, Collins said she would vote "present" -- the fence-straddling strategy more often employed in the state Legislature, where she once served.

Then Collins added for the benefit of those who might disagree with her non- decision: "You want to vote me out of office? Hooray. I would just love to go home for once in my life and relax."
Earlean Collins. Remember that name. Vote for whoever is running against her.

Seems Martin Luther King, Jr.'s kids are still fighting like cats and dogs about his intellectual property assets, once again stopping production of a movie about his life.

William A. Jacobsen thinks we ought to "nationalize" these rights by some kind of eminent domain-type action.

Personally, I think it would be much more satisfying to line the King children up in a row, knock their heads together, and remind them that their father and mother would be unimpressed with the direction the content of their characters has taken.

Instead of beatifying their father's legacy, they're trampling all over it.

Bus Fumes

What in the world has happened to our society?

Just in the month of May we've had the eyeball eating monster and more:
  • This waste of oxygen who threw his infant out of a moving car and onto a busy highway.
  • This pinhead who used his girlfriend first for a punching bag, and second for a speed bump.
  • This mental giant who snuffed his wife and kids and didn't do the world a favor and take himself out, too.
Now there's this gruesome little story about some Florida idiot(s) killing cats and mutilating their carcases, and we can only hope it's in that order.

When did life come to mean so little? When did those who are supposed to be the strong protectors of families and all things weaker than they are become the diametric opposite?

What are we teaching our children???

Bus Fumes

Words fail.

But, even more important,

System Fails!!!

(And it's a damned shame that they didn't leave daddy alone with that axe a little while longer.)

My heart breaks for those kids. No child should ever be able to say, "My daddy ate my eyes."

Update: Pammy takes this subject and runs with it. Go read. Now.

Send Ryan home?

No. We shouldn't.

To do so would be an insult to every resident of the State of Illinois.

(And if poor Lura Lynn is hurting for cash, perhaps those "I'm A Celebrity" people should invite her at the same time as Mrs. Ex-Governor Blagoviator. Clash of the sympathy-grabbing wives of disgraced ex-governors. I can see it now...)

Ooooooh, Look!

A free chicken lettuce wrap from P.F. Changs! Yummy.

If you absolutely refuse to take my frequent recommendations / admonitions and avoid mixing lenses and nudity at all costs, at least do the job right.

If you insist on pictures, they should be artistic. (Less embarrassing when they show up on Facebook, you know.)

It's out, it's out, it's out! (So sue me. I love the Temeraire series, and you can't stop me from being happy about it. If only George R.R. Martin loved me half as much as Naomi Novik obviously does....)

Speaking of Facebook... I've been added as a friend to 16 different Facebook pages in the last 24 hours. Now if I could only figure out which of the three different pages they've added me from, or what the blinkin' passwords are, I might actually be able to say "yes."

Yep. Big Facebook user here. *snerk*

Allstate has passed on TARP money. Why?
The Northbrook-based based company said at the end of the first quarter, it had $12.2 billion in GAAP equity and $23.1 billion in cash or highly liquid assets in its investment portfolio, sums that were achieved from taking steps in the last year that included suspending the share repurchase program and reducing operating costs. Since the end of the first quarter, the company also completed a $1 billion debt offering and reported an improvement in its securities portfolio of more than $1.5 billion as of May 13.
That's reason right there to throw your business their way.

Take a look at that puss and tell me which "celebrity" you think will get voted out first. And, given the transcripts of the tapes of her in action with her hubby, they'll have to keep a finger poised over the bleep button at all times. Heh.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Psst! She's back!

Zombie ants and zombie roaches??? Quite frankly, I don't know which is ickier.

Because Pammy painted the picture first:

You Are Red

You are lively and fiery. You embrace the world and live passionately.

You are moody but generally enthusiastic. You love so many things.

You are able to have a lot of drive and focus. Some people would call this obsession.

You are aggressive about getting what you want in life. You look out for yourself first.


All Over the Road

That's what happens when I'm sleep-deprived and I pick up the keys to the Omnibus. Give me an electronic slap upside the head if I start dozing off on you...

Up until recently, I've been pretty negative on the Kindle, but book publishers' move towards a bigger and heavier paperback format that I find increasingly difficult to hold and resentment towards the $2.00 upcharge from a normal size paperback have had me rethinking my position.

The debut of the new Kindle DX was even more appealing.

They're lightweight. The downloads are speedy so the "wait" time is almost nil. The screen is bigger and more readable. Amazon is way ahead of the other electronics manufacturers with this technology.

... BUT...

I think they're wildly overpriced at this time.

  • I could pick up a NetBook for the same price, or significantly less, and get a color screen, full-sized keyboard and far more functionality right now.
  • I can get along with my lovely, lightweight laptop until the color and picture resolution catch up, without spending another dime.
  • The iPhone has a FREE downloadable app for Kindle, and it, too sports a color display. That's great if you've got an iPhone, but seems pretty unfair to everyone else.
  • Amazon's profit should be coming from the ebooks and online publications they're selling, not from the delivery system, which should be a loss-leader. They've got little to no overhead on electronic content, and that includes delivery costs, which I currently get free anyway with my inexpensive Amazon Prime subscription. -- an out-of-pocket cost to Amazon it wouldn't have to assume if customers like me could be persuaded to purchase electronic content.
Psst! Mr. Bezos! Give it color and make it affordable for everyone, and I'll buy one in a New York minute.

In the meantime? I'm patient, and Amazon Prime's quick delivery works for me.

I know I stumbled upon it a little late, but this had me weaving all over the internet highway, cackling with glee the whole time.

Go figure.

Out of the mouths of babes....

While I was over in Ireland, WGN Radio pulled the plug on a dear friend of mine and a couple more weekend favorites. I am gobsmacked.

Why did this happen? To bring on idiots like this offensive twit. (I caught his first show and seriously thought it was a hoax. I was horrified to find it is not.)

WGN also axed Nick Digilio's highly entertaining Sunday morning movie reviews on the Dean Richards show so he could bring on this clown and his band of moronic movie "critics" from Cleveland, for cripes' sake. This arogant ass turns talk radio into lecture radio, where the only opinion that counts is his. Ugh.

One of the most well-read, thought-provoking and erudite men on the radio was moved to "Extension 720," which gets wedged in to regular evening program if they can find a spot for him here and there.

The internal memos are flying out of Kevin Metheny's office. And in them, the WGN-AM (720) program director's message to his on-air talent is crystal clear: Be more edgy. Get pissed off occasionally. These blunt directives are part of how Metheny is starting to create a new sound at WGN -- one sharply at odds with what many of the station's long-standing (older) listeners are used to hearing.

In an interview Thursday, Metheny admitted he's trying to drive change. Metheny also doesn't deny that such a massive upheaval in style at WGN could alienate some listeners.

Ya think?

Methany has already told his staff that he's more interested in provoking listeners with what his on-air personalities think than paying one jot of attention to what his listeners want.

Fine, Bucko.

Sundays from mid-morning till early evening, save for Sports Central, the Bulls, the Hawks and the Cubs, now sounds like farookin' amature hour.

Oh, I'll still listen to sports, Mr. Fix-It, Dean, Nick D and Legally Speaking on the weekends, but that's it. King John in the morning and Steve and Johnnie at night -- nothing more during the weekdays. And I'll find Milt on the podcasts, I guess. Bob and Marianne? Meh. I'm not nuts about pre-recorded content anyway.

I don't care if you're fourteen or four hundred -- as long as you provide thoughtful content and (mostly) polite discourse, I'll be listening. This new programming, however, is an insult to my intelligence and an absolute slap in the face to civil discourse.

You don't listen to me? Fine. I won't be listening to you, either. Screw with what's left of your programming that I happen to really like, and I'll be reaching for the dial on my radio to change it permanently. (By the way -- I'm right in the middle of your target audience, Bub. )

Yes, indeedy, Mr. Metheny -- you've been Bus-slapped.

Up yours.

BTW -- Steve's not sitting still. You can find him at his new home here. Steve is one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected guys in the country when it comes to all things pet-related. Go give him a listen, and tell all your friends, too.

Steve takes your questions at 866-55-4-PETS, or email steve@petworldradio.net. Tell him Ricky's breeder sent you. That'll get his attention!

Your pet will thank you for it.

That's it. Time to pull into a rest area...

One more thing -- don't, for all that's holy, type "amature" into the Google search tool unless you're prepared to bleach your eyeballs out at the results. Yeesh!

Yeah, yeah.  I'll go to bed sooner or later.  In the meantime, if this little video doesn't bring on a sniffle, you're a big old meanie who I do not want to know.

This is life as it should be more often.


My author Blog Son has been at it again.

I've been working on edits to his latest draft manuscript since 2:00 yesterday afternoon, and I'm still only 56 pages into it. And I can't put the damned thing down and go to sleep. I've tried. It doesn't work.

Yes. It's that good so far. Baseball. Lawsuits. Family crisis. Hot love interest. Wacko pal.

Around 40 pages to go before I sleep. And I won't be able to sleep until I get through it all. I've tried twice, and the damned thing keeps percolating through my brain.


That's how much I love my friend. And a great yarn.

P.S. -- Looks like I'm going to have to get another set of keys cut and teach him how to get back into his own blog. Again.

P.P.S. -- 6:25 a.m. Finally finished. That man owes me.

P.P.P.S. -- 8:29 a.m. -- Third time in 10 days I've been up for over 24 hours. And this time, I can't blame Hulu. Or DWTS. Nope. Just my own cussed stubornness... and a ripping good story. Can't wait to get my hands on the next installment!

P.P.P.P.S. -- 8:58 p.m. I'm finally off to bed. I'm running on full Zombie mode at this point.


I received this important public service announcement from my friend Barrie:
Important health issue

Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

Do you suffer from shyness?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions.

Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything.
You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past.

You will discover many talents you never knew you had.

Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas.

However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:
  • Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, incarceration
  • Erotic lustfulness
  • Loss of motor control
  • Loss of clothing
  • Loss of money
  • Loss of virginity
  • Excessive touching
  • Excessive rubbing
  • Extreme Fellatio desires
  • Table dancing
  • Headache
  • Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • A desire to sing Karaoke
WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

WARNING: The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.
Just doing my civic duty here.


I saw this in a quick buzz through the latest on Artfire...

... and fell in lust. Go to Birdland Creations, and you'll fall in love, too.

Quote of the Day:
Oh, come on. Like you’ve never been distracted by someone who has their high-beams on and those beams are pointing off in schizophrenic directions. One’s looking up and to the left, the other one is looking directly over your shoulder or pointing straight down…boobs should not look as if they’re doing the classic John Travolta finger-point disco pose.

Giggle of the Day:

rosalind russell and marilyn monroe
see more Lol Celebs

JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" Dunno about you, but I'm ready to Stroll:



Enquiring minds...

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (48%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.
Left Brain (48%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain
Are You Right or Left Brained?
personality tests by similarminds.com

Left brain dominant individuals are more orderly, literal, articulate, and to the point. They are good at understanding directions and anything that is explicit and logical. They can have trouble comprehending emotions and abstract concepts, they can feel lost when things are not clear, doubting anything that is not stated and proven.

Right brain dominant individuals are more visual and intuitive. They are better at summarizing multiple points, picking up on what's not said, visualizing things, and making things up. They can lack attention to detail, directness, organization, and the ability to explain their ideas verbally, leaving them unable to communicate effectively.

Overall you appear to have Equal Hemispheres


According to Darwinian theory, optimal evolution takes place with random variation and selective retention. The evolution savvy individual will try many different approaches when faced with a problem and select the best of those approaches. Many historical intellectuals have confessed their advantage was simply considering / exploring / trying more approaches than others. The left brain dominant type suffers from limited approaches, narrow-mindedness. The right brain dominant type suffers from too many approaches, scatterbrained. To maintain balanced hemispheres, you need to exercise both variability and selection. Just as a company will have more chance of finding a great candidate by increasing their applicant pool, an individual who considers a wider set of options is more likely to make quality decisions.
... blame it on vw bug.

The nefarious Hulu plot unfolds. No wonder it's cast me in such a thrall.

(You want to see ugly? See me at 11:40 p.m. trying to get through Part 2 of Week 10 of DWTS in the middle of a thunder storm with a bad wireless connection. Agh! And I'm the one who imposed the no Hulu after midnight rule...)

Huh. Pfizer has decided to make being out of work fun.

I've always said living on Lake Michigan is like living on the ocean without the salt smell. The Chicago park district apparently agrees.

Surf's up.


A couple of BlogThings:

You Live an Exciting Life

You are anything but a bore. You make sure that life is full of excitement.

You have an adventurous spirit, and you don't like to sit still for too long.

If you feel like doing something, you don't think about it. You just do it.

There's no way you could ever live a boring life. There's too much to do and not enough time.

... and...

You Are Spaghetti Bolognese

Compared to most people, you are well grounded and down to earth.

You have old fashioned values. Your taste tends to favor what's tried and true.

You love comfort food. Familiar situations put you at ease.

You think that the best cooking comes from your family's kitchen!


Well, I'm off to the beer dinner. Here's a little ditty for inspiration:



Excuse me while I gloat.


It's time for a little Dance of Joy:

(There. I feel better now.)

Important things pinging around my brain today:
  1. Never order fajitas in Ireland. They contain no green pepper. Very little red pepper. No onions. Celery. The marinade usually involves generous lashings of both duck sauce and sweet chili sauce. It's nothing like you'd get here in the states. Trust me.
  2. In fact, the only American dishes you're safe ordering in Ireland are hamburgers and cheeseburgers.
  3. The bartender will look at you like you've got three heads if you order a French beer in Ireland. Got it?
  4. Heck, the only American beers you're likely to run across in Ireland are Budweiser (on tap), Coors Light (on tap and bottle) and Miller Genuine Draft (bottle only).
  5. Why in the world would you order an American beer in Ireland when you could have Guinness? or Smithwick's? or Rebel Red? And if you don't like any of those, have a Bulmer's cider. (P.S. -- If the bartender offers you Murphy's stout, you've offended him or he thinks you're an eejit.)
  6. My office is three blocks from Sears Tower, and our new office manager is beginning to understand my compulsion to get an emergency evacuation plan in place. I'm kind of really compulsive about having such a plan in place (and we haven't had one since we moved in here last July). Gee. I wonder why?
  7. If you order Irish Stew, it's going to have lamb in it. Just deal with it, or don't order the Irish Stew.
  8. This is news? Anyone with half a brain knows that. (And if you meet someone who doesn't know or doesn't believe it? Run! Run away!)
  9. Again, no Hulu after midnight.
  10. It must be The Change, because all of a sudden I have a ravenous sweet tooth. Every day. (Scarey, from the chick that normally could live on anything salty, fat-laden and/or sour, preferably all rolled into the same foodstuff.)
  11. Paddy is an Irish whiskey, as is Power's. Paddy Power's is an Irish bookie. Got that straight?
  12. Don't ask an Irish bartender for a Presbyterian Cocktail. There are no Presbyterians in Ireland (or so few you'd be more likely to find the proverbial pot of gold first). Ask a Scotsman. At least he can point you towards the kirk.
  13. The only bourbon whiskey you'll find in most Irish bars is Jack Daniels Black. And since Jack is from Tennessee and not Kentucky, it's not bourbon.

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Because it reminds me of Nick Digilio's favorite commercial:

But remember --

funny dog pictures
see more dog and puppy pictures

Is it me, or has there been a harmonic convergence of fame whores in the news lately?

For example, this wronged wife and her opposite -- the jilted lover, both of whom should have kicked the bastard to the curb long ago. (But I luuuurrrrrrrrrrrrve him! Blech.)

These two idiots, who deserve one another, even though their eight children deserve better than either of them.

Oh, no! More chav wannabes slag each other.

The princess of daytime bombast expounding on the important little things in life. (And I've met, had cocktails and danced with one of her pilots, who described her private jets to me. Luxe, indeed.)

And the biggest, flamingest fame whore of all is about to start flapping his gums again. Bastard.

Finally, there's the Queen of All Media, who I will not link, who chose to stir up the Miss USA pageant with his own personal political agenda. (Note: I am all for legal (secular) unions for all, and marriage (religious) within churches, dependent upon whether an individual church chooses to do so at all. Proposition 8 has nothing to do with the Miss USA pageant, Your Bitchiness.)

Is it something in the water?

They tax cigarettes and booze -- why not tax soft drinks? Heck, throw in any caffeinated products, too. At least it spreads the sin taxes around more evenly.

Note to Self

No Hulu after midnight ever again.

Hulu? I was up all night again. (And this is why I still haven't dragged the new television home yet. I may never get any sleep if I do.)

Expect crash and burn around 2:30 p.m., then second wind 'round about 3:45.


P.S. -- The upside is that I'm now totally caught up on DWTS. And hooked.


Remember my long ago post about the Barbie Hairball?

Seems that Ken got jealous and demanded equal billing.

Who knew Mattel products would be considered delicacies? And what's with these oh-so-observant mothers?

P.S. -- Yes, my sister and I are on speaking terms these days. Miracles do happen, you know.

Holiday Excursion - Mother's Day

One year ago, the Princess Mom and I were off on our final voyage together. It seems like yesterday.

We finally buried her ashes this past Friday, halfway between her birthday and Mother's Day, making this a bittersweet week for me.

On the sweet side? A lovely, lovely Mother's Day gift from my own Most Precious Child. Her presence in my life is a gift I never thought I'd see, much less be worthy of.

Another gift? TMBCITW had her first ballet recital yesterday. To be able to share this with her, and my Sainted SIL was a joy:

The princess tradition continues.

Happy Mother's Day to my reader and blogger friends alike.

Book Your Ticket

As many of my long-time readers know, I'm an avid reader, and I love to share books with others. In fact, once upon a time, I took on a little personal project to make sure that two classrooms full of kids got books of their own.

A former colleague of mine and his associates are doing something similar, but on a far grander scale, and for children who have never held books in their lives.

I don't know about you, but no matter how tight my budget, I can squeak out a few bucks for this. (Okay, more than a few bucks for me, but this one hits very close to the heart.)

They didn't reach their goal of $5,000 in five days, so they're keeping the fund raiser open until Friday.

Go here for updates as to their progress.

This is an opportunity to have a small amount of money go a very long way, and have a long-lasting impact.


I'm running this up to the top of the page through Saturday. If you can find your way to spend even a measly $5, please do. Why?
The Big Brother Mouse team is more than a book delivery group. These folks are trained teachers who thrive in a classroom setting. Since most of the children BBM visit have never seen a children’s book before, the book parties are designed to teach children how reading can be fun. Books don’t always come in the form of school textbooks, they can be funny, scary, or sad - an understanding we take for granted in the western developed world, but comes completely new to these children.
You'll be doing a very good thing.