Leslie's Omnibus

Tootin' the Horn

Ambulance Driver has been Kilted to Kick Cancer... and he needs our help to beat his buddies by raising the most funds for prostate cancer research.

Ladies, hit the button here to donate, then send AD an email at ateupmedic3033-at-yahoo-dot-com to let him you donated and to know how much we appreciate his willingness to bare a manly calf for cancer research:

Gents, drop a brother a buck or two for having having the stindeens to take up this challenge and run with it!

Hump Day

Quote of the Day:
"I am in full nip denial." -- Nancy Grace

My take on DWTS this week?
  • My crystal ball for the Final 3 -- J.R. Martinez, Rikki Lake, Chynna Phillips
  • Much improved -- Nancy Grace, Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari
  • Meh -- Hope Solo
  • Needs a medic, stat! Chaz Bono
  • Needs to quit horsing around in rehearsals and pay attention to the dances -- Carson Kressley, David Arquette
  • Won't miss her one little bit (buh-bye!) -- Elizabetta Canalis
  • Going home next week -- Chaz Bono, strictly based on his crunchy knees, not his heart or his efforts

The Kindle Fire debuted today, and it's a thing of beauty:

Now the question is, do I pre-order the 7" version, or wait for the larger model, which I understand will debut after Christmas? Decisions, decisions...

You remember that recent post about the critter that squicks me out in a major way? Well, it seems the freaking things have shown up in U.S. waters!
A six-year-old girl who went fishing in a Texas lake using a piece of a hot dog as bait got more than she bargained for when she landed her very first catch - a flesh-eating piranha.

Lindsey Schutte and her parents took the fish home in a bucket unaware of its true identity - until it sank its razor-edged teeth into her seven-year-old brother's hand when he tried to play with it.

(I'm guessing some idiot emptied his aquarium into the lake, never dreaming this might happen.)

Recycling on a very large scale?
It was designed to deter the red threat from the old Soviet Union, but now a Cold War-era missile has had the cobwebs brushed off to launch a U.S. military satellite.

The Peacekeeper, also known as an MX or intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), became part of America’s nuclear arsenal back in 1986 but was decommissioned in 2004.

Converted into a Minotaur IV rocket, it successfully blasted a Tactical Satellite-4 (TacSat-4) into space from a launchpad in Alaska.
How cool is that?

What happens when bad karma and fed up neighbors collide?
They want the next person to think twice before walking into their community and taking advantage of their friends.

“I think you give a message. You come to our neighborhood. You mess around. You are going to get taken out.”
Love it, love it, LOVE IT!


Everybody loves me today:
  • Mr. Jim Ovia of Zenith Bank of Nigeria, in concert with the UNITED NATIONS (his caps, not mine), wants to send me $250,000 -- because it's just laying around, you know.
  • gerderh51@wxr7eo458.homepage.t-online.de from the UNITED NATIONS sends me an email attachment to download. How special of him!
  • Joseph, from that same email address (no mention of the UNITED NATIONS, however), sends me another lovely email attachment, just in case I missed the first one.
  • Mrs. Agnes Mba of the Republic of Benin weaves a fascinating tale involving a dead husband, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Mrs. Mba's decision not to remarry and her uncurable cancer. She wants me -- me -- to inherit 30% of the $18.2 million (USD!) that her husband left in his account in Benin so I can take care of the needy peoples. Praise God!

No offense, but if this procedure works and is cheap and easy, then why aren't we using it here, instead of more costly and less effective procedures?
The procedure, known as VIA/cryo for visualization of the cervix with acetic acid (vinegar) and treatment with cryotherapy, can be done by a nurse, and only one visit is needed to detect and kill an incipient cancer.

Thailand has gone further than any other nation in adopting it. More than 20 countries, including Ghana and Zimbabwe, have done pilot projects. But in Thailand, VIA/cryo is now routine in 29 of 75 provinces, and 500,000 of the 8 million women, ages 30 to 44, in the target population have been screened at least once.

Dr. Bandit Chumworathayi, a gynecologist at Khon Kaen University who helped run the first Thai study of VIA/cryo, explains that vinegar highlights the tumors because they have more DNA, and thus more protein and less water, than other tissue.

It reveals pre-tumors with more accuracy than a typical Pap smear. But it also has more false positives — spots that turn pale but are not malignant. As a result, some women get unnecessary cryotherapy.

But freezing is about 90 percent effective, and the main side effect is a burning sensation that fades in a day or two.

By contrast, biopsies, the old method, can cause bleeding.

“Some doctors resist” the cryotherapy approach, said Dr. Wachara Eamratsameekool, a gynecologist at rural Roi Et Hospital who helped pioneer the procedure. “They call it ‘poor care for poor people.’ This is a misunderstanding. It’s the most effective use of our resources.
More please, and faster.

(I don't know about the rest of you ladies, but I'd personally rather err on the safe side, and the side effects don't sound so bad to me.)

Okay, now I'm getting all tingly:
Amazon is holding a press conference this Wednesday where it's widely expected that the media giant will unveil a new colour Kindle that puts it on collision course with Apple - a device that could be half the price of iPad 2.
I'll probably wait for the bigger one, but at around $250, the smaller version is still really, really tempting.


My friend with the farookin' fabulous heada hair gets freaked out by alligators and crocodiles. Me?
Authorities in a state in Brazil's northeast are scrambling to take the fright and the bite off the beach after piranhas sunk their teeth into about 100 beachgoers, UOL Noticias reported.

The problem -- rather fearsome given piranhas' horror-movie teeth and ability to sink them into human flesh -- has been the biggest at the main beach area in Piaui state; authorities said they need to act fast to reduce a piranha overpopulation situation.

Last weekend, at least 100 bathers were treated at the hospital in Jose de Freitas not far from Terezina, Piaui's capital, after being bitten on the heels or toes at the local beach.

Ay caramba!

When I heard they'd signed Katherine Heigl to play Stephanie Plum, I knew One for the Money was going to be bad... but I had no idea it was going to be this bad:

Seriously, that's some of the worst casting since The Bridges of Madison County, which I also predicted would be awful, given the horrible miscasting of Eastwood and Streep.

Don't bother with the movie, but do get the book, which is hilarious.

Get your hankies out for the winners of the American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards.

Looks like TOTUS has been dragged out of mothballs and plugged back in. Huzzah!


Sez Who?
"There Is Nobody In This Country Who Got Rich On His Own"
Right. I wish Darling Daddy was still alive to hear that one. As it is, I imagine his urn is spinning like a top...

Liar, liar, pants on fire:
Commissioners Joan Patricia Murphy and Deborah Sims said Wednesday they never had any intention of abiding by a budget deal that called on most of the 23,000 county employees to take five floating furlough days and abide by five government shutdown days without pay this year.

Their fellow Democratic Commissioners William Beavers and Earlean Collins also have said in recent days that they’re not taking the time off without pay, calling the furlough and shutdown days illegal pay cuts....

The commissioners referred to the Illinois Constitution, which doesn’t allow for an increase or decrease in pay during the term of an elected leader serving in local government. That doesn’t prevent commissioners, who earn $85,000 annually, from voluntarily electing to give up some of their pay. [emphasis mine]
Pay attention, people. You elected these lying sacks of excrement. You can vote them out as well.

Simon Cowell is an idiot for swapping out Cheryl Cole, a staple of the UK version who mentored several winners of that show and who was quite charming on the first episode of the US version of The X Factor, for Nicole Scherzinger, who didn't bring nearly enough experience and backbone to the table.

He must not have any faith that those of us on this side of the pond can actually comprehend the King's English. Or have any taste whatsoever. Thanks a lot, Simon.

In Dreams

Okay, I'm seriously freaked out because this is the second night in a row my ex-husband has shown up in my dreams. I go years at a time not thinking about the guy (we've been divorced since 19809 (wishful thinking there for a moment...)), and all of a sudden he's in my head all night!

The night before last, I dreamed that we was back in New Hampshire and I was going back to work for the jerky lawyer I worked for many years ago. I knew it wouldn't work out, but was willing to take the job just so he could fire me. My line of thinking was that with the unemployment checks I could find a different place for the ex and I to live and to work out our problems.*


Last night, I dreamed we were somewhere in Texas with a very large tour group. Our hotel was near a inland lake fed by a river. Because the ex had (in the dream, anyway -- I don't know if he really does or not) COPD, he lagged behind everyone else, and we were constantly late for tours, meals, meetings. The final straw for me was missing another group meal and almost missing the tour bus for another tour, which I decided I didn't really want to go on anyway.

Hungry and peeved, I opted to skip the tour and go for a walk to find somewhere local to find something to eat. As I wandered, I climbed winding streets lined with elaborate Victorian brick homes in the hills above the town.

After a long stroll I came upon my grandson sitting naked on a lawn, and bent to pick him up. I knew I needed to get him back to the hotel, but I was totally turned around and couldn't find my way back. I figured out that I needed to keep the water from the river to my right at all times in order to eventually end up where we needed to be. I had to stop from time to time to amuse the grandson to keep him from crying. We came to a main highway where I could see the lake in the distance.

I suddenly realized that I had my cell phone in my purse and looked for a street sign so I could identify our location and call the ex for a ride back. I looked up, and there was a sign for a town called Querco.**

Then I woke up.

Two things -- I wander around a lot in my dreams... and I wish the ex would get out of my dreams.

*It should be noted that I've never collected unemployment compensation, and I've never, ever wanted to be fired. I have no idea where that came from.

**For what it's worth, there is a district called Querco. It's in Peru.

Update: Yikes! Last night he showed up in not one, but three different dreams, in the last of which I was trying to get away from him, hiding and he found me -- which led to me shrieking and yelling, "No, no, NO!" in my dream, which promptly woke me. I was terrified for a minute there that I might have actually talked (yelled) in my sleep.

I haven't had dreams quite this unsettling since the last time I was on the patch. I sure hope whatever it is that's rattling around the shadows of my psyche works itself out -- and soon.


So... Dancing with the Stars, anyone?

This is the first season I've come into without any preconceived notions about who might be the one(s) to watch for the series. For me, there were some pleasant surprises and some downright disappointments. Here are my predictions for staying power:

The Best of the Men
  • J.R. Martinez -- he's handsome, he's charming and he can dance.
  • David Arquette -- surprisingly sweet, fully committed and shows lots of promise.
  • Chaz Bono -- personality, musicality and pretty decent footwork.
The Best of the Ladies
  • Chyna Phillips -- the appeal of Petra Nemcova - poise, sweetness and beautiful lines.
  • Rikki Lake -- her waltz was flat-out gorgeous.
  • Kristin Cavallari -- girlfriend can shake a bon-bon.
The Cloris Leachman Factor
  • Carson Kressley -- he brings the crazy fun, but can he really dance?
The Meh (in no particular order)
  • Hope Solo -- the judges loved her, but I thought she looked really awkward.
  • Nancy Grace -- she has potential, but has to bust out her big personality more.
  • Rob Kardashian -- again, he has potential, but where's the personality? the commitment?
Must. Go. Now.
  • Ron Artest -- no rhythm, no grace, no footwork, nada. Metta Whirled Peas.
  • Elizabetta Canallis -- no musicality, no grace, no footwork, zero personality. What was Clooney thinking?
So how did you stack them up?

So Maurice Sendak has a long history of scaring little kids. What of it? Most little heathens love the thrill!

We're raising a generation of milksops, I think.

Want to get a better handle on the GOP candidates for president? Go here for insight into what they want to do with our taxes.

Webcam 101 for Seniors:

The Princess Mom would have been even more of a disaster and the language would have been much saltier.

Quotes of the Day:
"It’s one small step for responsible journalism, one giant leap for celebrity look-alike dwarf porn."
" You may think the motorcycle makes you look cool and dangerous, but a Honda Odyssey minivan full of empty juiceboxes [sic] is a Destroying Angel Of Death by comparison."
You tell 'em, Insty!

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures - But he sure is cute!
see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Theatre District

I was at the Irish American Heritage Center over the last four days working box office for Seanachai's latest play, The Shadow of a Gunman, for previews Thursday and Friday and opening on Saturday. I finally got to see the show yesterday for the first (but not the last) time.

The first review is in, and I totally agree: "Director John Mossman manages both the tonal shifts and the pace of the play with ease, and elicits strong performances from the large cast led by a terrific Shane Kenyon as Donal. "

Yeah, yeah, yeah -- I admit my bias and I am on their board-- but the audience laughed through the first half and sat on the edge of their seats for the second. That's the best reaction we could have asked for.

I predict good things for this show. Have you got your ticket yet?

In Memoriam

Yes, my company was touched by 9/11.

Received today from our CEO, this reminder:
As we approach the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, I ask you to share in remembering and honoring a former colleague, John Jenkins. In 2001, CRA (Charles River Associates) established an annual employee award in memory of John, who perished on September 11, in recognition of the talent and dedication he brought to his role as Corporate Office Services Manager and to CRA. Each year, we ask employees to nominate a colleague who displays strong corporate citizenship, has a positive attitude and can-do spirit, and contributes to the overall good of the company, which all speak to the kind of person who John was.

Bumping into John around the office was a real treat. He always had a smile and time to talk about any topic that excited you. People remember how they got a warm welcome to his office, good conversation, and great laughs. John worked for CRA for a short period of time, about 1.5 years before the 9/11 attacks. He led our facilities, office services, and travel operations, and was key to keeping our daily business needs humming along with some fun along the way. As Jim Burrows once wrote, “He was the most visible person in this firm; recognizable to employees in Boston and in each of our satellite offices to a greater degree than any other individual. He successfully managed two domestic and three international office start-ups, a data center build out in Boston, and our Washington, DC office relocation—all within a six-month period. John liked to live life at its fullest. His upbeat mood made everyone around him feel good. He accomplished a great deal in his time at CRA and left many, many friends.”

Many of John’s contributions continue to have a legacy at the company and that is a great tribute to the kind of person he was. The employee suggestion box at CRA was John’s idea. And while we have formal volunteer committees today, John supported community service years ago by bringing an internship program for underprivileged high school students to CRA. When people questioned these ideas, John smiled and made them successes.

A few colleagues have been kind enough to share what they remember about him:

Bea Fischer-Bean, Administrative Coordinator in Boston, said, “John was a very funny and caring person. He always had a smile on his face and was ready for a laugh. He loved the opera—Tosca by Puccini—and to snorkel and scuba dive. He never liked saying goodbye (to the point where he would keep an endless collection of things).”

Maria Rivera, Senior Facilities Manager in Washington, DC, said, “What was most obvious to everyone about John, who was my boss at the time, was how social he was and how he loved the opera and wine (we used to tease him about that). He was a really funny person full of laughter and he would help everyone. He used to organize volunteer activities for CRA, like planting trees at local schools.”

Marybeth Celorier, who was CRA’s Controller at the time and is now the Director of Finance at Foley Hoag LLP, shared, “John was a special person. He was full of life, even in the worst moments, and was always smiling no matter the obstacle. Every Friday night after work, a group of us would get together for drinks at a local restaurant/bar, Washington Square Tavern. We always sat in the same spot and John would stick to his staple meal—steak and potatoes. Our group had a lot of fun and laughs; the restaurant has a brass plaque in his memory. The night before John left on his flight, we were sitting in my office on the 33rd floor in the John Hancock Tower and he was trying to get me to go with him on the business trip. We both enjoyed taking photos and he was going to spend time later in the week taking pictures around Los Angeles. He said good-bye and said he would be back. He was a wonderful friend. John wouldn't like that we are so focused on him but because of him, we are more focused on those around us and their importance to us.”

This year, nominations for the John Jenkins Award will be accepted until September 30th. I hope you will participate by nominating a colleague.

To submit a nomination, click on the link below. You will be asked to provide a brief paragraph describing the contributions of the individual you are nominating (note: Officers are not eligible to receive this award). The nominations will then be presented to the Executive Committee for final decision, and the award will be presented in October.

Thank you for taking the time to remember John and to honor the contributions of our colleagues.

It is wonderful to see my company honoring the memory this special man every year. We should never forget any of those lost their lives that day.

Bus Fumes

Now this just pisses me off:
The world’s most famous White House intern reportedly is living a fairly lonely, solitary life and, while not as desperate as profiled in the National Enquirer, “Monica’s situation is certainly not a happy one,” a source very close to Lewinsky told me....

“I hate to make a bad pun — but she is permanently stained by that scandal.”
How is it that a naive intern gets "permanently stained" for her unfortunate bad judgment and the asshole boss, who should have been older and wiser but absolutely overstepped boundaries and was impeached for god's sake, gets paid big bucks as a speaker and lives a perfectly happy life?

It's time for a the big wheel of karma to turn up something better for Ms. Lewinsky, and for it to roll right over that idiot Clinton.


Just how stupid do you have to be to fall for idiocy like this?
Dear Prospective Partner,

I am writing to you on behalf of Mr. Chen Shui-bian. My name is Huge Walker and I am a top management executive here at the Industrial & Commercial Bank of
China (London) Limited. Our bank website is http://www.icbcasia.com

My friend Mr. Chen Shui-bian has presented a subtle offer which will need the help of a partner like you to complete successfully. Mr. Chen Shui-bian is in a
difficult situation and he must immediately relocate certain sums of money out of Industrial & Commercial Bank of China. More so, this must be done in such a
way that it must not be tied to Mr. Chen. The sum is currently deposited in the name of an existing legal entity. Your role will be to:

[1]. Act as the original beneficiary of the funds.
[2]. Receive the funds into a business/private bank account by working with me on the Confidential and Private process.
[3]. Invest/Manage the funds outside of China.
[4]. Value of funds: $40 Million US Dollars.

Everything will be done legally to ensure the rights to the funds are transferred to you. If you agree to partner with Mr. Chen, he will compensate
you with 25% of the total sum. Should you prefer I re-contact you with more express facts, you can send me your:

[1] Full Names:
[2] Personal profile:
[3] Daytime Telephone No:
[4] Country

For Mr. Chen Shui-bian's current profile visit this site:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ asia-pacific/8233342.stm

You can email me at hugehwalker@aim.com for further details, for
terms and agreement.


Mr. Huge Walker
ICBC (London) Limited
36 King Street London EC2V 8BB
United Kingdom.
Huge Walker? Seriously? 25% of $40 million? Seriously? Gigantic balls? Definitely.

This is why I have one email address for my friends and one email for everything else. Sheesh.

Oh, wait! There's more:
Skye Bank Nigeria Plc,after a closed door meeting with IMF has concluded to pay
you $10.5m as unpaid contract fund via ATM Card.kindly send your names,address
and phone # for immediate payment.
Dr Michael Elo
It's my lucky day, apparently.

Update: How popular can one girl get? Very, apparently, if she's clueless:
I am Mr Patrick Chan, I have biz deal worth $16.7M contact me via email pchanikkx@yahoo.com.hk for details.
Yahoo! I'm rich.

Goin' to the Chapel

So which hat did I finally order? See for yourself:

I may not have youth on my side, but by God I have style!

More photos later...

P.S. -- That hat loves a party and says to tell you it's more than willing to attend one with you, too.

Book Your Ticket

It was a busy, busy month, but I still managed to squeeze in a good bit of reading:

August – 9/68

Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West, Dorothy Wickenden[1]

Shaken, Not Stirred, Tim Gunn[2]

Mama Does Time (A Mace Bauer Mystery), Deborah Sharp[3]

La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life, Elaine Sciolino[4]

In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale, Amitav Ghosh[5]

Grace Under Pressure, Julie Hyzy[6]

A Life That Fits, Heather Wardell[7]

Go Small or Go Home, Heather Wardell

State of Wonder, Ann Patchett[8]

[1] Based on the letters of the author’s grandmother and her best friend. A lovely read.

[2] If you are a fan of Project Runway, you’ll love Gunn’s short biography. (Kindle Single)

[3] Very funny southern comedy of manners/murder mystery. First in a series.

[4] A journalist’s exploration of French history, culture and how the art of seduction affects just about everything in French life – including the decline of the dominance of its language and global influence.

[5] Two parallel stories set in Egypt and the middle east, new and old, told by a master story teller.

[6] A new series by the author of the White House Chef mystery series. An okay beginning.

[7] I bought this and the next one because they were cheap and I needed a little light reading. Both protagonists are the weepiest, neediest I’ve come across in a long time. Ugh.

[8] If you like Barbara Kingsolver, you’ll like Ann Patchett. This book, set between Minnesota and the Amazon, is an almost magical read.


Update: I must have good timing, as this post went up on National "Read A Book" Day!


I found this funny question here:

What did you want to be when you were 13?

My answer? "16"

The definitive example of cray-to-the-zee?
"A not-so-stealthy “samurai” who told police he was “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs” is in jail after allegedly abandoning a vehicle on the middle of a busy Indiana interstate to march shirtless with a 35-inch sword."
That's the ticket.

More after the jump...


Garden Tour

In the garden of life there are friends, and then there are FRIENDS. Miss Nancy France is the best, bar none. More later!

Book Your Ticket

I loved Rob Kroese's "Mercury Falls" and can't wait for "Mercury Rises," so I was delighted to receive this email from Rob today:

Jonesing for the October 18 release of Mercury Rises? Sate your thirst for cherubic smartassery with "Mercury Swings," a short story now available as a free Kindle download!

Travel back in time to ancient Mesopotamia, where Mercury is on one of his very first assignments for the Apocalypse Bureau. His mission: to prevent the the jazz age from arriving 3800 years too early. Aided or impeded by such colorful characters as a funk weed-smoking bouncer; Enoch, the precocious sax player; and a goat named Taco; Mercury must make it out of an anachronistic watering hole unscathed. Will Mercury manage to extract Enoch via an interplanar portal and beat it back to Babylon before humankind evolves Bronze Age flappers? And will he ever get the hang of transmogrification? Find out in "Mercury Swings!"

Rob Kroese

P.S.: Don't have a Kindle? No problem! Just download a free Kindle reader app for your PC/phone/iPad/butter churn/etc.
Rob (f/k/a Diesel) is a funny, funny guy. Go get the freebie, and I'm positive you'll want to read the other two books!