Leslie's Omnibus

Crossroads

It's the old conundrum:



Me?  I'm avoiding hangovers at all cost (dinner and a movie with an old pal), but NOT via this method... otherwise tomorrow would be... well... like this:



Happy New Year to you and yours, however you choose to ring it in!


Leslie

Christmas Crossing

Two before I skedaddle out of here for Christmas with my family...



... and...



Merry Christmas, everyone!
Leslie

Air Waves

Why do I like The Voice so much?
  1. They really do their first picks on vocal talent alone.
  2. The great chemistry between the judges.
  3. They embrace quirky.
  4. Better mentoring than X-Factor or Idol.
  5. Occasionally you get pure magic like this:

I love every one of the talented artists left in this competition, and will be happy for whichever one takes it all.
Leslie

Crash and Burn

Saw the sad news that Starz is cancelling Boss after this season.  It's a shame on many levels -- but mostly to the many, many local actors were used in the show who won't be doing future episodes.

Damn.  A darkly beautiful show with one of the most memorable and instantly identifiable theme songs heard in a very long time:



Too bad this wasn't on HBO instead.  Maybe then it would have gotten a wider audience.

Oh, well.  Catch it while you can.
Leslie

Stuck in Traffic

Why don't the pinheads in Springfield feel the need to reform Illinois' government pension problems?  They must not take it too seriously, and who would?  Good ol' Governor Giveaway's master plan rolled out today is based on a spiffy new mascot Squeezy the Pension Python...


... and the school children of the state with red plastic megaphones to rescue us.



But take heart, citizens of Illinois!
"Quinn went so far as to encourage families gathering at the Thanksgiving dinner table to 'speak to each other' about the pension crisis."
Yep.  Talk, talk and more talk by people who don't have a vote in Springfield. That oughta fix it.  After all, that's the Illinois way.

(Let's hope to God that Obama doesn't end up being inspired to deal with the national debt crisis in the same manner.)
Leslie

Quick Stop

Yeah, yeah, yeah -- I haven't posted in a long time and then two posts right in a row, but who could resist this silly, silly song?



It's almost as contagious as my all-time favorite -- the dreaded Butt Drugs jingle.

What?

You really didn't need a new ear worm?
Leslie

Down Memory Lane

This video cracked me up, as it reminded me of the Princess Mom -- saying all the right things, but inwardly...

Leslie

Quick Stop


Now I don't want to think about it again until the ballots are counted and there's a clear winner.  I'm so tired of ugly I can't even stand it.
Leslie

Trippin'

Beyond tempting...


Yes, I want this print.  Yes, I want to DO this.

And that brings up this ear worm:

Leslie

In Memoriam

It's taken a few days to process the news from my Biker Blogson that dear friend Donny "Walrilla" Smith had passed away.  That one took my breath away.

For those who had the pleasure of meeting him at a blog meet, I'll always remember him in the kitchen whipping up two of his down home Texas specials:


A steaming, spicy bowl of Texas red...

... and...


... a sweet and tangy slice of Vinegar Pah (Pie)

A do-rag wearing biker boy with a heart of pure mush, Camp BlownStar will never be the same without him.  

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, who he loved very, very much.

Vaya con Dios, mi amigo.
Leslie

Thumbs Up

Ear worm of the day, for a variety of reasons:

Leslie

On The Radio

Blame this little ear worm...



... on my pal from the North Woods.  And blame him if you need brain bleach to wipe those hippy-dippy images from your psyche!
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Why don't I discuss politics here as much as I used to?



It's like playing Whack-A-Mole Junior -- just too darned easy.
Leslie

Life in the Parsing Lane

A National Security staffer noted that "'There is absolutely no plan to release or transfer the Blind Sheikh,' said National Security Staff spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. 'Reports saying otherwise are completely and unequivocally false.'"  [emphasis mine] in response to news that negotiations over handing blind Egyptian sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman over to the Egyptian government to finish his confinement with the benefit of being able to visit with friends and family may be currently under discussion.

New Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi has certainly made it clear that he'd like to negotiate a prisoner swap for Abdul-Rahman for "humanitarian reasons,"* and that only "recent incidents around the US embassy in Cairo have delayed efforts in this regard."

A blog post over at RedState points to a Weekly Standard article demonstrating a compelling case that recent attacks on U.S. diplomats in the Middle East have been part of a larger effort to release Abdul-Rahman.

The articles and reports I've seen have not said there is a plan to release Abdul-Rahman -- only that there have been tentative negotiations in that direction underway.  

Hair-splitting is raised to an art form in this nation's capital, and "absolutely no plan" may mean "at this moment".  It does not in any way, shape or form answer the question of whether negotiations may have been or may still be under discussion.  That is the more significant question.
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*Such as being allowed visitation with friends and family.  Bear in mind that while under heavy security in  a U.S. prison the blind sheikh was able to pass on marching orders to his network via one of his attorneys until she was caught.  Certainly his visitors and his correspondence would fall under far less scrutiny in Egypt that it would in the states.
Leslie

Flora and Fauna

For Jihad Gene, who usually posts an "It's Friday!  Let's Dance!":



And, yes -- I was inspired:


Leslie

Quick Question

Which is the better news today?

  1. The NFL finally settled with the refs union? Or...
  2. There will be no bacon shortage after all?
That's a tough one...
Leslie

Hold the Bus!

If you're wavering at all about who to vote for in November, strongly consider this:
Are senior Obama administration officials considering transferring to Egypt a poisonously influential Islamist cleric serving a life term in federal prison for trying to unleash a war of urban terrorism in the United States? That's the impression several officials have given over the past three months, apparently out of fear that if the cleric dies in U.S. custody, American outposts in the Middle East could be overrun by vengeful mobs.
Omar Abdel Rahmen is the architect of most of the large-scale terrorist attacks in recent history:
He served as spiritual adviser to El Sayid Nosair (in connection with the 1990 assassination in Manhattan of Meir Kahane, a right-wing Israeli politician) and to the band of terrorists who carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center that killed six and wounded numerous others (an operation undertaken in part to free Nosair from jail). Abdel Rahman was convicted in 1995 of participating in a seditious conspiracy that included the Kahane murder, the 1993 WTC bombing, and a plot to blow up other landmarks in New York and to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak when he visited the United Nations.
Furthermore:
In 1997, members of Abdel Rahman's organization (Gama al Islamiyah, or the Islamic Group, which is designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization) murdered more than 60 tourists at Luxor, Egypt, and inserted notes in the body cavities of several victims demanding the Blind Sheik's release. Also in the mid-1990s, Abdel Rahman contrived from jail to issue the fatwa that Osama bin Laden cited as authorization to carry out the 9/11 attacks. The sheik's confinement was on bin Laden's list of grievances meant to justify that atrocity.
Apparently Obama and his merry band of foreign policy morons learned absolutely nothing from the foreign policy disaster of the release of the Lockerbie bomber  (supposedly on his deathbed), who was made a hero on his return to Libya.  Abdel Rahmen's foul deeds are on a far larger and more heinous scale.  To release him to Egypt would be the equivalent of having Osama bin Laden* in our grasp and then deliberately setting him free to plan jihad on a mass scale.

That members the current administration are even considering this action is madness.
The State Department's spokesperson last week, after the ceremonial "let me be clear," said that there had been no approach on this topic "recently" from any "senior" official of the Egyptian government—an elucidation laden with ambiguity and certain to send chills up the spine of anyone familiar with Abdel Rahman's record and President Morsi's inclinations. 
All of this plays out in the context of an Obama administration that hasn't hesitated to employ executive orders to get around Congress, led by a president who was caught on a "hot mike" assuring Russia's leaders that if he wins re-election he will have more "flexibility" to accommodate Russian demands that the U.S. curtail missile defense in Europe.
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*Abdel Rahman should die in prison, then be buried at sea ala bin Laden, thereby refusing his worshipers a martyr's temple.
Leslie

Road Rage

Giggle Belly Laugh of the Day:



A huge tip of the cap to the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO.  That made my day!
Leslie

In the Rear View Mirror

For a guy who didn't believe in life after death or immortality, Old Crankypants sure manages to manifest his presence on the internet and in the hearts of his friends and other music lovers:



Thanks, Catfish!  What a lovely surprise.
Leslie

On the Radio

Ear Worm of the Day:



Not a pretty thing at 6:00 a.m....
Leslie

Full Stop

Fan of Taylor Swift or not, I defy you to get through this video without shedding a tear:



Simply heart-breakingly lovely.
Leslie

Spit-Take

Quote of the Day: 
"If I ever get a tumor, I'm naming it after him."
Whites is my favorite new source of the giggles.
Leslie

Flora and Fauna

Giggle of the Day:



(Literally!)
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Jim Carrey and Nicholas Cage in the same movie?  Yep.  It's either going to be truly "Kick-Ass"...



... or a complete train wreck.


Whaddaya think?
Leslie

Batten Down The Hatches

My friend from the North Woods sent me the following:
THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL STORM ISAAC...LOCATED INLAND NEAR MONROE LOUISIANA...ON RECENTLY UPGRADED HURRICANE KIRK...LOCATED ABOUT 1500 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE AZORES...AND ON NEWLY FORMED TROPICAL STORM LESLIE....LOCATED ABOUT 1125 MILES EAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS.
Oh, goody.  Someone finally paid attention to just what a force of nature I am...
Leslie

Roadhouse Rhythm



Just try getting that one out of your head!
Leslie

Yick!

If the Agony Uncles are a true reputation about how men think, it's no wonder I'm not interested in dating.

Ugh.
Leslie

Pop Quiz


Roasted red peppers in anything other than roasted red pepper soup - Yes or No?
Leslie

Whoa, Nelly!

If the Princess Mom had done for my Baby Brother what this creative mom did...
Currently the top post on the front page of Reddit is this heart-warming lamp Redditor, justgrant2009, received from his mom on his wedding day. The lamp was filled with things his mom had found in his pockets whilst doing his laundry growing up.
  1. It would have to be a glass lamp base the size of a small dumpster
  2. It would be rated NC-17; and, 
  3. He’d be rich, given all the money he was famous for leaving in his pockets.
Leslie

Flora and Fauna

Baby goats...


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


... I love them!
Leslie

Roadside Diner




Delicious noms and affectionate skritchies -- what could be more satisfying?
Leslie

What A Trip!

I'm not big on seeing a movie after I've already seen the book, BUT...



I'm SO seeing Life of Pi.  If the trailer is any indication, it will be as magical as the book itself.  I don't know if anyone other than Ang Lee could have really done this story justice.
Leslie

Roadkill

For my north woods pal...



Let that one ping-pong between your ears for a while.
Leslie

Busman's Holiday

My pal from the north woods is coming to visit again this weekend.  Here's the list of possibilities I sent him:
Here are some things we haven't tried before:






I'd still like to see "Brave" and/or "Moonrise Kingdom"  http://www.fandango.com/chicago_il_movietimes/ 

Also, I'd see "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" again - http://www.pickwicktheatre.com/nowplaying.asp

Additionally, in random order:













And we haven't been to Buddy Guy's in quite some time!


And if you still don't find anything that trips your trigger, go here: http://chicago.metromix.com/events
Never let it be said I'm not as flexible as a rhythm gymnast when it comes to entertaining a guest!
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Oh, the irony!
"According to IMDB, Fred [Willard] is "rumored" to be in pre-production for a movie entitled ... 'The Yank.'"
Why, you ask?
"According to law enforcement sources, LAPD undercover vice officers went into the Tiki Theater in Hollywood and found the 78-year-old 'Anchorman' star watching last night's feature ... with his penis exposed and in his hand."
Sometimes this stuff just writes itself...
Leslie

Get Out Your Umbrella

Just saw lightning and heard thunder rumble.



Yay!  We really need it.
Leslie

Top Off Your Freon Tank...

... because the heat index in Chicago is going to hit around 110 degrees today.

All I can say is...

Leslie

Rubber-Necking



Only a healthy belch at the end could make this more perfect!
Leslie

Whoa, Nelly!

Has it struck anyone else that if you plopped a silver wig on his head and dyed his eyebrows (and eased up on the Botox) that this guy:


... would be a dead ringer for this guy?


Creepy, innit?
Leslie

Screeching Halt



This is wrong on so many levels I can't even begin to count.  It's even worse casting than this...



... and I didn't think that was humanly possible.
Leslie

Quick Stops

Holy crap!  NBC is gutting the male cast of Smash.  It'll be very, very interesting to see how they 'splain all this away.
_____

Reminder:  Kodak Gallery is closing.  They're shifting all photos stored there onto Shutterfly.com, but any projects you have in process will not be moved.  You must complete your project and order before noon tomorrow.
_____

If you're a home owner in Cook County, you'll want to read this to get a great idea of just what your taxes are going for this year.
_____

I'm off to Ravinia to see this guy:



Sure wish my pal from the Northwoods hadn't missed his flight!  He's going to miss a wonderful show.  (And we're going to miss his company.)
Leslie

PSA

Do you have photos stored on Kodak Gallery? If so, you need to get 'em off of there this weekend:
Kodak announced yesterday it will close its Kodak Gallery website on Monday, meaning thousands of British families risk losing the digital photographs they have uploaded to the site.
Tell your friends and family, especially if you know they've got a Kodak digital camera.
Leslie

Farmers Market

My friend El Capitan is bemoaning the fact that he needs to get off the packaged food and onto "rabbit food" again.  Since my last visit to the doctor, I've had to reevaluate my own eating habits, but have come up with a lunch that's not only healthy, but I look forward to every day:

Omnibabe's Yummy Summer Salad:

1 or 2 fresh, vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into chunks
3-4" piece of cucumber, quartered and sliced
A couple of green onions, sliced or a healthy handful of chopped sweet onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia)
Salt
Pepper
Feta, bleu cheese or goat cheese crumbles (or a handful of shredded cheese of your choice)
Kalamata olives
EVOO (don't be cheap -- buy a fancy-schmancy one)
Balsamic vinegar (or white balsamic)

Plus any or all of the following:

1/2 a red, yellow or orange pepper, rough chopped (or green pepper if you like 'em -- I don't)
1 small, ripe avocado, diced
Sugar snap peas, rough chopped
Thawed frozen peas
Thawed frozen corn
3-4" piece zuccini or summer squash, quartered and sliced
Handful of fresh broccoli or cauliflower, rough chopped
Chiffonade of fresh basil or oregano to taste
Handful of rinsed canned cannellini, kidney or black beans

And, if you really, really need animal protein:

1 small can of tuna packed in water, drained, or
1-2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled, or
Handful of chopped cooked chicken, or
Handful of chopped cooked turkey

NO LETTUCE!

Line a bowl with tomato, then salt and pepper to taste. Add the cukes on top, and salt/pepper again.*  Layer the rest of the veggies on top. Drizzle the whole mess with a little bit of olive and then a generous splooch of balsamic. Stir, cover and let sit for at least 15 minutes. Stir again, then garnish with a sprinkle of cheese crumbles (and a protein, if you need it -- I don't) and half a dozen olives.

This is seriously yummy stuff, which I now crave more than just about anything. I now keep a bottle of balsamic in the fridge and EVOO in the cupboard at the office and shop either the French Market at my train station, or the local farmers markets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I'm eating fresh, healthy and TASTY (not to mention pretty darned cheap), and I'm never hungry.
_____

One More Thing:

Forget the low-fat salad dressing (which generally tastes like crap and is loaded with sugar).  Apparently you need a little fat in order to absorb the good stuff in your salad.
_____

*The salt helps release the juices in the tomatoes and cukes and, when mixed with the EVOO and balsamic, helps to make a lovely low calorie salad dressing.
Leslie

Roadside Diner

Because I love me some dudes...

Dude Cupcakes (that's an oxymoron, I know)...

... and Double Meat Dudewichs!

Mmmmmmmm!
Leslie

Take a Bow

Just blasted through the last three episodes of season one of Slings and Arrows (which, by the way, is the best television show I've seen in a very long time).  I'll be drifting off to sleep and waking up to this little gem stuck firmly between the ears:



Brilliant!
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

See you later, alligator!

Deer and cars collide all the time. But how often does a car get T-boned by a 12-foot alligator crossing an interstate?
_____
"Gator! Gator! Gator!"
_____
"The gator went flying, too."
_____
"He was real fat," said Mark Christopherson, 56.

_____

 Sorry, Jimbo. That article was just to rich with gatory goodness.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

I'm all jazzed up because my favorite book of all time...


...has been made into a movie by Ang Lee, and will be released in November!

No trailer available yet, but the official website is gorgeous and this teaser looks awesome:



(Not sure I'm crazy about the casting of Tobey McGuire, though -- but that's just me.)
_____

Apparently there's an app for everything:
The cell phone came in handy again when they used an app that produces a strobe light to help rescue workers locate them.
_____

For those that despair of kids these days, here's some more good news:
If there's a Disney writer looking for a movie idea that'll make kids pump their fists with joy and leave parents teary-eyed, look no further than the real story of a San Clemente Little League team coached this year by kids. 
The team that couldn't find a coach, finally getting permission from the league to bring in two San Clemente High School freshmen to lead it, concluded an improbable season Saturday by winning the District 68 Tournament of Champions in improbable fashion. 
Coaches Chris Puckett, 15, and Cameron Shelley, 14, guided their crew of 12- to 14-year-olds to three straight victories in the tournament at Beebe Park in Mission Viejo, finishing with a 10-9 victory. 
This was a team that at the outset of the season drew smirks from some opponents because of its youthful coaches who look like they could be playing on the field. The team started with skeptical parents and an 0-2 record. But the players took the two teens' baseball tutelage to heart, improving to 6-4 by midseason before going on a 10-2 tear in the second half.
Well done, gentlemen!
_____

Ear Worm of the Day:




(This has been firmly embedded in my noggin since about 8:00 last night, and there is no sign of shaking it any time soon!)
Leslie

In the Rear-View Mirror

On Father's Day, some things that remind me of my own Darling Daddy:


  • The phrase, "I'm just resting my eyes."

I miss him on Father's Day and every day.
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

The grossest thing I've read about in a very long time?
A 63-year-old woman became 'pregnant' with 12 baby squid after eating calamari, according to a claim in a bio-tech report. 
The real-life 'octo-mum', from South Korea, was eating a portion of cooked whole squid when she felt a sharp pain in her mouth.
The bizarre claim has been made in a scientific paper from the National Center for Biotechnology Information in Bethesda, Maryland. 
The lady told doctors that she could feel something in her mouth which they described as 'bug-like organisms'. 
When examined, the doctors found 'baby cephalopods' attached to her mouth. These are small pods, covered in a cement-like material to make them stick. 
Inside the pods is an 'ejaculatory apparatus' and sperm - with the apparatus expelling the sperm quite forcefully. 
After the victim of the 'attack' was hospitalised, doctors removed the baby cephalopods from her gums, tongue and cheek. It was only then that the pods were formally identified as 'squid spermatophores.'
Eeew! (I'll be having nightmares about this for days.)
Leslie

In Passing


The boxer who first made me fall in love with the sport has passed away. 

Vaya con Dios, SeƱor Stephenson...
Leslie

"And They're Off!"

A gazillion years ago while driving to work I heard a radio ad so funny I should have pulled over because it made me laugh so hard I could barely keep my eyes on the road.

For some reason "And heeeeeeeeeeeeeere coooooooooooooooomes MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANIAC MAN!" ended up romping around in my noggin again tonight. Argh!

I noodled around Google for a while and finally discovered that this was one of several ads in a National Thoroughbred Racing Association campaign called "And They're Off!" I can't find a link to "Golf" (without paying $39 for a month's access to all the ads in the campaign), but I did find this link (scroll down to "Yoga") for the ad that won a Golden Lion award in 2005.

 While I'm at it:

 

Glad to finally be able to prove that I wasn't imagining things.
Leslie

Engine Knock

Quote of the Day:
"Bitch needs to pull out his payroll sheet and erase the name of the ho who keeps buying his wigs at Leonard Nimoy's yard sale."
Nearly peed myself laughing!
Leslie

Cuppa Jumpstart

Woke up with this background music to my dream...

Leslie

Revving The Engine

If Mr. Rogers had to be autotuned, this is a loving and lovely way to do it:



(Yes, a snippet or two in there are a bit creepy, but overall a cool thing.)
_____

Glad to see there's another warm-hearted, generous person who isn't bamboozled by panhandlers.  For example:
"My brother-in-law works at a hospital and EMS there brought in a 'homeless' man that needed treatment for a minor injury. This man placed his belongings in a hospital locker and among those belongings was $2,367 in singles. He was, as he described it, 'A Professional Panhandler.' He made that figure in two days. That's more than what the doctor treating him makes in two days and he's saving lives and Sh#t."
Seriously, be choosy about your generosity.
_____

This story just plain pisses me off.  There's a special place in hell for people who steal pets, and I truly hope that bitch karma catches up with this thief.

If you know someone in the Chicagoland area who has just acquired a red Macaw, keep in mind that Sam can say "Nick!" and "I can talk.  Can you fly?"  If you hear those words, you might just recommend that your friend get the bird checked for a microchip -- they may just have purchased a purloined parrot.
_____

What's the real fallout from the Wisconsin recall election?  According to Peggy Noonan:
"By the way, the single most interesting number in the whole race was 28,785. That is how many dues-paying members of the American Federation of State, County and Municiple Employees were left in Wisconsin after Mr. Walker allowed them to choose whether union dues would be taken from their paychecks each week. Before that, Afscme had 62,218 dues-paying members in Wisconsin. There is a degree to which public union involvement is, simply, coerced."
That's huge.
_____
Leslie

Precipitation Ahead

If you can watch this entire video without your eyes moistening, you don't have a beating heart:



Matt W. -- my new hero!
_____

Update:  Another hero?  You bet.
Leslie

Street Views...

... both literal and figurative...


... in Althouse's back yard this weekend.  How'd she miss this?
Leslie

From the brain trust that led to my most unshakeable ear worm ever:



Don't like it?  Rub a little bacon on it.

(You're welcome.)
Leslie

Can't See the Forest...

It just occurred to me that I don't have a family tree -- I have a small family forest.  Huh.
Leslie

Street Music

Need a smile?

 
 
This little guy had me dancing in my chair!
Leslie

Bus Fumes

I haven't had a haircut I've hated more since the dreaded Mithter Larry (heavy makeup, leopard skin stirrup pants (remember those?), lamb's wool vest (no shirt), Captain Jack Sparrow 10 years before the movie came out and thigh-high leather boots). Who knew he had a (thissor) thister and she was equally dangerous? Urk. I'm cropping it short again. Damn.
Leslie

Weather Conditions

The thermometer hit 90 degrees for the first time in 2012 here in Chicago. It's actually hotter inside than it is outside at the moment!
Leslie

Rubber-Necking

Quote of the Day:
[D]ignity is not cheap, apparently
Leslie

Whoa, Nelly!

How is this whole NATO-in-Chicago thing going?
"There are more helicopters in the air than cars on the ground." - R. Seams
It's a ghost town in my little neck of the Loop.
_____

Another great quote from the Trib's Eric Zorn:
Sounds far-fetched, but done right, protests have been effective. Rallies, marches and demonstrations launched the civil rights revolution, the ACT UP campaign that awakened the nation and the medical establishment to the tragedy of AIDS, and the tea party movement, to name just three modern domestic examples. 
Done wrong, however, protests can impede change by turning onlookers into enemies. 
As one whose job gives him a built-in opportunity to attract attention, I'm conscious of sounding like a condescending "millionaire" dispensing advice to the poor on how to live within a budget. 
But look: Chanting "F--- the police" at Chicago's men and women in blue, as a group of protesters did during a march earlier this week, is going to raise gorges, not awareness of whatever that slogan is supposed to raise awareness of. 
Shattering storefront windows, if that's on the agenda here this weekend as it has been at other gatherings of world leaders, is no way to shatter complacency. 
And you might as well lie down and throw a tantrum as throw rocks and bottles at The Man if your goal is for something good to come out of the news coverage of the NATO summit. 
Be disruptive. Be noisy. Be outrageous. Even those who may not agree with any or all of the various causes you represent will admire the profoundly democratic spirit that you're bringing to these proceedings, and they'll at least secretly be glad for the illustration that we live in a country where groups of angry people are free to raise a mighty ruckus in the streets of a major city so long as they keep it peaceful. 
But be strategic. You will have our attention. Don't squander it.
Amen!
Leslie

The Music in My Head



Blame it on John Kass.  (I don't know about you, but it'll take me a week to get that one out of my head, and it'll probably pop right back in between my ears every time I see a picture of FLOTUS in the news.)
Leslie

Screw Loose

You try sitting next to a black guy who treats you to monotone versions of American Pie...



...Tracks of My Tears...



... and My Way...



...in a deep, gravelly, Leon Redbone mumble...



...and those little ditties coming between discussions with invisible people on the subjects of Don McLean, Jon Bon Jovi, the Rat Pack (and especially "The Chairman of the Board" -- "I like that cat."),  and keep a straight face.

Just thought I'd share...
Leslie

Giggle of the Day:


Leslie

Quick Stop

Suzette has also ordered the latest Robert Caro biography in the Lyndon Johnson series:


My note to her:
"I wonder if George R.R. Martin is Robert Caro in disguise. After all, they both write about politics, power and characters who display both noble and ignoble characteristics. And they both take for freaking evah to write the next volume of a series.  Hmmmm...."
For those in the know, which one of them said this?
"Nobody believes this, but I write very fast."
Okay, after you've picked yourself up off of the floor and stopped laughing, go here to see.  But really, it could have been either one of them.
Leslie

On The Radio

Ear Worm of the Day:



I have no idea where that came from.
Leslie

Blast From The Past

Anybody remember Eddie and the Cruisers?



Go buy the DVD here... then prepare to be unable to sit still in your chair. Bad 80's movie with a fantastic cast and great music.
Leslie

Quick Stops

PJ Media had two great posts about dating mistakes women make with men, and dating mistakes men make with women.

Favorite bits?

From John Hawkins:
"[I]f he flees the relationship like you just contracted Ebola after you sleep with him and that’s going to upset you, well then, you should probably wait a little longer to make sure he intends to hang around. It’s also worth keeping in mind that to you, going out with a man three times, sleeping with him, and never hearing from him again may be a disaster, but to him it’s probably going to be viewed as a win. Not saying anyone’s right or anyone’s wrong with that, just noting a big mentality difference."
From Belladonna Rogers (who is a whole hell of a lot wordier overall, but knocks it out of the park with this pithy one-liner):
"If you don’t want a full female-brained answer, try to formulate your questions so that the only possible answer is a 'yes' or a 'no.'"
Go read them both. It's worth the trip!
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Blogthings!



You Are the Living Room




You are laid back and casual. You can have fun in almost any situation.

You believe in being easy going. Life's hard enough, and you're not going to make it any harder.

You are sociable and friendly. You welcome almost anyone into your life.

You are completely unpretentious. You prefer living in a comfortable home to living in a showy home.




... and...



Your True Eye Color is Vibrant Green



You are a confident and together person. People look up to you.

You were born to inspire others, and you love to lead when given the chance.

You're the type of person who does everything well. You can't narrow down your talents easily.

You have a passionate inner drive, and you know deep down that you're destined for greatness.


Oddly enough, my eyes are green.
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Because I'm evil...
Leslie

Drive-Bys

If I had one of each of these Jessica Kagan Cushman bracelets, I think I'd have all my dating bases covered -- and stylishly so.
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Parenting Done Right, Part I:
'I feel like if you’re going to embarrass me by stealing, I’m gonna show you what it’s like to be embarrassed.




'I work too hard for her to steal, and I’m not gonna have no thief living with me. I refuse to have a thief living with me.'
Right on, Ms. Walker!
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Quote of the Day:
"I think they should just call it what it is. Romance Novels for Twilight Fans. The end."
Scrumptious!
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Blogging, Facebook and Twitter are more than enough for me, but if you've caught the Pinterest bug, you might want to consider this:
When a Pinterest user euphemistically “pins” a “pin” on a “pinboard,” she’s really “copying” a “full-size photograph” to “Pinterest’s servers.” Needless to say, the bright spotlight of copyright law is harshly shining on Pinterest: even a cursory stroll through Pinterest’s various user pinboards reveals that the vast majority of pins are copyrighted works, not in the public domain, and not licensed under Creative Commons or a similar free-to-distribute regime.
If you're using Pinterest, I strongly urge you to read the whole post here.
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Parenting Done Right, Part II:
I have traveled with a 2-year-old dozens of times. It's not fun. However, if I was unable to control my child, I would absolutely expect to be booted off of the plane.

That's one of the problems with society. We expect everyone to make exceptions and to comply to our individual world. NO - there are rules, and there needs to be consideration for the other passengers. Get that tantrum throwing kid off my plane. Lackadaisical parents think everyone else should accommodate them and have more understanding. Call me cold and uncaring, but I've been there, and I work hard to make sure I don't impose my family on your world if you don't want them there, and I think others should too.

It all comes down to this: If you can't control your kid, avoid traveling until you think you have a handle on this whole parenting thing.
Rock on, Mom.
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Just try getting that one out of your head!
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Giggle of the Day:

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Leslie

Down Memory Lane

This ear worm has been stuck in my head for three full days now:



Just thought I'd pass it on...
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Just so you know:
President Barack Obama's Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu uttered the kind of Washington gaffe that consists of telling the truth when inconvenient. According to Politico, Chu admitted to a House committee that the administration is not interested in lowering gas prices.


Chu, along with the Obama administration, regards the spike in gas prices as a feature rather than a bug. High gas prices provide an incentive for alternate energy technology, a priority for the White House, and a decrease in reliance on oil for energy.
The boys in DC are looking out after your interests, yo.
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I may not have a TV at home, but I've discovered a few shows via Hulu recently.  I'm totally hooked on Once Upon a Time, Grimm and Smash (especially Smash).  At only $7.99/month, Hulu+ is an ideal alternative to cable for me.  (Now if they'd only cut a deal with HBO for Game of Thrones... dammit.)

What other good television am I missing?
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And the survey says...

Remember my little wildy scientific survey?

Here's what I found out:
  • Men are interested in lady knickers than women are, but not by much.
  • Not a single female respondent carries spare pair of emergency undies.
  • Very few of them have a sense of humor about it, either.
  • Men care very little for what the knickers look like.
  • They care very much about who is wearing them and getting us out of them, however.
  • The Brits are nuts.
Thanks for responding... all nine of you!
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Giggle of the Day:

Leslie

Drive-Bys

When Chicago's Hull House announced that it was closing, there was a great hue and cry about it being such an icon and providing vital human services.  But, as Dennis Byrne says,
Wait, let me start again. No one more deserves sympathy in these troubled times than the clients these charities serve — the starving, sick, homeless, addicted, despairing and destitute.

I rephrased that because I'm not so sure that the various charities, nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations should escape scrutiny for how well or poorly they do their jobs. The popular assumption is that they are the epitome of goodness and kindness, so just lay off with the scrutiny stuff.

I disagree. They spend our money, whether our contributions (in cash and in kind) or our taxes. They have an obligation, to their clients and us, to operate effectively and efficiently, and not in the shadows created by cloaked financial reporting and apathetic or overly trusting boards of directors, all while blessing themselves with munificent salaries and benefits.
As one who sits on the Board of a 501(c)(3) organization, I completely agree with him.  Go read the whole thing, then be asking questions before you donate your time, goods or money to any philanthropic organization.  Even mine.
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Jimbo of the farookin' great hair and rockin' guitar gets the willies from crocs and gatorsI get the willies at just the description alone of Krokodil:
It is a drug for the poor, and its effects are horrific. It was given its reptilian name because its poisonous ingredients quickly turn the skin scaly. Worse follows. Oleg and Sasha have not been using for long, but Oleg has rotting sores on the back of his neck.

"If you miss the vein, that's an abscess straight away," says Sasha. Essentially, they are injecting poison directly into their flesh. One of their friends, in a neighbouring apartment block, is further down the line.

"She won't go to hospital, she just keeps injecting. Her flesh is falling off and she can hardly move anymore," says Sasha. Photographs of late-stage krokodil addicts are disturbing in the extreme. Flesh goes grey and peels away to leave bones exposed. People literally rot to death.
If that doesn't make your skin crawl, nothing will.
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While I'm on the subject of things that'll give me nightmares for days, there's this news:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Jewish Health in Colorado both have issued a warning about nasal washes after two people have died from using tap water to do their sinus rinse.

Health experts say it’s safe to use nasal washes. It’s not about the rinse, it’s about the water. They warn that a mixture from a faucet could be fatal.
And just what kind of fatal?
Fornof says not to use tap water. It’s because of a brain-eating amoeba called Naegleria fowleri. It’s common in warm rivers and lakes, but if it travels up the nose to the brain it’s usually deadly
.Ooooo! Squicky, squicky, squicky!
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Not only does Siri have problems with thick Scottish accents, apparently she also struggles with Engrish:



And Siri is not the only iPhone app with language issues:
An autocorrected text message, accidentally sent to the wrong number, was the catalyst to a lockdown Wednesday at West Hall middle and high schools.

Just before noon, law enforcement and school officials issued the lockdown after a West Hall community member reported a threatening text message.

The text, saying "gunman be at west hall today," was received and reported to police around 11:30 a.m. But after police tracked the number, they learned the autocorrect feature on the new cellphone changed "gunna" to "gunman."
Yeesh!
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Quote of the Day:
There was no damage to the building, the spokeswoman added.
Thank goodness for small blessings, eh?
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According to Glenn Reynolds, today is "Blogger Appreciation Day."  To all my blogging pals out there, I do appreciate you.  I really do!
Leslie

Quick Stops

Giggle of the Day:

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Three simple steps... to delete your Google browsing history.  Just do it.
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Yep. I've still got the Statler Brothers stuck between my ears... but it's Friday, and Jihad Gene once again exhorts us, "Let's Dance!"  Alrighty then.
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Leslie

World Tour

Mongolia -- that's a new one!

Did you know...
At 1,564,116 square kilometres (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the 19th largest and the most sparsely populated independent country in the world, with a population of around 2.75 million people. It is also the world's second-largest landlocked country after Kazakhstan. The country contains very little arable land, as much of its area is covered by steppes, with mountains to the north and west and the Gobi Desert to the south. Approximately 30% of the population are nomadic or semi-nomadic. The predominant religion in Mongolia is Tibetan Buddhism, and the majority of the state's citizens are of the Mongol ethnicity, though Kazakhs, Tuvans, and other minorities also live in the country, especially in the west. About 20% of the population live on less than US$1.25 per day.
Here's a form of music you're not likely to run across in the States -- Mongolian Throat-Singing:



(There's a droning quality about it that reminds me of dulcimers and bagpipes.)
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Hah! Google has backed down on tracking your data if you don't want them to:
Google Inc. (GOOG) will allow a “do-not-track” button to be embedded in its Web browser, letting users restrict the amount of data that can be collected about them.
Be on the lookout for this new button, as it's not out yet.
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Ear Worm of the Day:



Embedded in my ear since 8:50 a.m. Argh!
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Miss Nancy is a vile, wicked temptress!
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Got a Kindle and want to remove books from the archive permanently?  Here's how.  Good to know!
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I'm currently reading...


... so I found this column by Eric Zorn of great interest:
The schools are public. The funds to be spent are public. On one side of the table is a public body. Why shouldn't the public have a seat at that table, if only to listen in through the media to the offers and counter-offers?

Negotiating a contract of this dimension is a major governmental act — far more significant than many of the twists of the statutory knob that must, by law, be performed by legislative bodies at open meetings.

Closed doors are antithetical to democracy. Our traditions tell us that public oversight and input not only help keep officials honest, but also aid them in their quest to represent the will of the people (assuming that is their quest).

In the case of teachers union negotiations, parents are major stakeholders — even more so than most taxpayers — yet are totally shut out of the process until the parties emerge from marathon bargaining sessions brandishing a settlement.
I don't always see eye-to-eye with Zorn, but on this topic he's bang on the money.  Go read the whole thing.  And then go buy this book.  It's guaranteed to set your hair on fire!
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Giggle of the Day:

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Ear Worm of the Day:

Leslie

Sightseeing

Luminous Field was breathtaking!






I wish they had kept this going for more than a mere 10 days.
Leslie

Rubber-Necking


This is the second trip in a row where my friend's pants have imploded within hours of arriving in Chicago.  Don't know if it's more of a knock on the quality of Levi's these days (he bought them last trip down, which was only a couple of months ago)... or he's just happy to see me...
Leslie

What I Did On My Day Off?

I had lunch with my one of favorite visiting tourists at Jimmy's Restaurant.

Then we had a date with Zombie Jimmy...


... at Illinois Gun Works.

A big ol' smoocheroo to my favorite Norwegian from the North Woods for gun safety orientation and range instruction.  I made him proud by: 1) not doing anything stupid; 2) striking exactly where I was aiming; and, 3) stopping ol' Zombie Jimmy dead in his tracks.  Weapon of choice?  9 mm Walther PPQ.

Now I need more practice, damn it.
Leslie

Whoa, Nelly!

One of my friends accepted my invitation to Fab.com, and I got a little spending money from Fab as a result. I tripped across an offering from a trio of handmade sea salt caramels (original, dark chocolate and cabernet) from Sea + Cane Sweets and I couldn't resist -- especially since it cost me little more than the shipping to indulge.

Oh. Mah. Freakin'. Gawd.

Ooey, gooey, melt-in-your-mouth perfection, every dad-blamed one of them!

I like 'em all, but these Dark Chocolate beauties...


... really should be declared illegal because they're so addictive.

How good?  So darned good that I looked up Sea + Cane Sweets on the intertubes, only to find out that they're right in my own back yard.

I'm of the belief that Valentine's Day is over-hyped and overrated.  If you really want your sweetie to know you love him or her, do something special on any of the 364 other days of the year.  And these sinful confections from Sea + Cane Sweets would be an awful special gift indeed.

(And if you want an invite to Fab, email me at omnibus - dot - driver - at - gmail - dot - com.  They've got cool, very contemporary stuff, and they ship within a short amount of time, unlike some of the other online discount luxury goods sites.)
Leslie

Hold the Bus!

Fancy underpants are a debatable topic?  Really?
There's a subtle line between liking to wear fancy panties ... and needing to see others drool over your bottom before you can feel worthwhile. One is powerful; the other's an eating disorder in waiting. One is finding power in enjoying yourself and your body in a mature and confident way ... and the other is a degraded manipulation of self by instincts out of whack and in thrall to others. Sometimes, of course, both are at work at once.
The planets must be aligned in such a way that it's underpants karma week.

(BTW -- If you haven't taken my wildly scientific survey yet, why not? Click here to take the survey.)
Leslie