Leslie's Omnibus

Book Your Ticket

I do a lot of reading after work in the bar downstairs from my office before heading off for the Metra train. I just finished reading The Life and Times of the Last Kid Picked. People at Emil's must have thought I was seriously crazy, because I laughed so hard the tears just rolled down my face as I was reading this one. I even snorted. More than once. A lot more than once. (Most unladylike!)

Why did I find this book such a laugh riot? Mainly because, pre-adolescence, I grew up in the company of boys. Boy's with imaginations and reckless spirits like Benjamin's. It was like hanging around with my brother and Billy, Bobby, Mark and Timmy McCluskey all over again.

I loved this book enough that, given unlimited funds, I'd buy a copy for every guy I know. I've got a list as long as my arm of people who want to borrow my copy already... just based watching me giggling myself silly while reading it. Want a fun and fast summer read? Get this book.

[Note to Rob Reiner, Steven Spielberg and/or Tom Hanks -- Take any section of this book and you'd have a marvelous movie!]

One more thing. Last Kid Picked had some hilarious epithets in it. For some reason this guy came to mind when I came across "catlicker." It might just turn out to be Rob's favorite -- and most scathing -- new cuss word.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Add this blog to your favorites right now. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

(A tip of the cap to Mermaid Lori.)

Bus Fumes

This is so incredibly wrong I don't even know where to begin a rant. But ranting won't change a thing, and action will. I've promised Matt that I'll be there if Phelps and his band of miserable men show up anywhere in the Chicago area to pull this kind of bullshit. In this case, I won't get mad -- I'll get even.

Dick, Dick, Dick! Will you never learn to keep your big yap shut?

Prayer Warriors, Unite!

Thought you might want the update on Michele's brother-in-law. Keep those prayers coming.

Please say a prayer tonight for the families and loved ones of these fallen heroes.

This happened at my Metra stop this morning. Say a prayer for her family, the train's engineer and anyone who witnessed this. (No, I wasn't there. I take a later train.)

Why, why, WHY do people think it's more important to be on time than to be alive???


The new definition of "yuppie." Trust me. You don't want to be one. (And we've all met at least one.)

Road Conditions

Great. Just great. Keep an ear peeled for severe weather warnings tonight if you in the Chicagoland area.

Book Your Ticket

Yep. Can't see a tomato sandwich without her coming to mind.

Calling All Prayer Warriors

You're really needed here.

Many thanks!

Update: Here's news on the Chaplain's condition. Keep those prayers coming, you hear?

BTW -- While you're sending out prayers, send some here, as well, please.


Is there something wacky in the water this week? First this "ZUI" story. Now Elizabeth sends me this:

Man Accused of Drunk Shopping Cart Driving

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. (AP) -- A man is accused of driving an electric-powered shopping cart around a grocery store here while drunk, endangering other customers.

Clifford Mattson, 27, was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, Detective Sue Schwab said Tuesday.

Schwab said police went to the Leevers grocery store Monday afternoon, after reports of a drunken man driving the shopping cart into people and nearly knocking them down.

"He appeared to be actually driving after them," Schwab said. No one was hurt, she said.

The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor charge is 30 days in jail and a $500 fine, Schwab said. A court hearing was set for July 19.

© 2005 The Associated Press.

Peruvian folk art? Okay. I admit it. I laughed, too.

Bus Fumes

Jim is absolutely correct. Some packaging is designed to self destruct if opened.

Wouldn't you think if the good folks who make packaged lunchmeat could figure out how to package stuff in a resealable bag that the folks who make breakfast cereal could do the same? Durr!


Sounds like this guy is taking his cues from Durbin and Obama. Yep. Gotta love a guy who appreciates his constituency -- no matter which side of the political spectrum he falls on.

(At least this one had the good sense to apologize immediately and sincerely.)

Update: Egads! Peggy Noonan and I are on the same page on the same day.

True confessions. I'm hooked. And I want John O'Hurley and his partner to win!

Makin' a List

I heard this author on Milt Rosenberg's show last night discussing his new book, The American Revelation: Ten Ideals That Shaped Our Country From the Puritans to the Cold War. I was very impressed with both the depth and breadth of his knowledge and his ability to articulate both "on the fly."

Since I'm almost finished (6 pages left) with this book, I think The American Revelation might just make a great follow-up read. I'm adding this to my birthday wish list.

Two more books to add to the list:

Bill Whittle's Silent America, and

Hugh Hewitt's Blog

The End of the Line

One of the (if not the) most famous felines in the blogosphere has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. My heart goes out to Lair and the missus. That big, fuzzy grumpus of a girl will be sorely missed.
I've sent a donation here in her honor. Morris does good stuff like this, too.

Update: Mog has a wonderful tribute to Edloe here.

Flax's mother-in-law has passed away. Peace to her and her family.

Let's not forget Spike O'Dell's little pal Otis, who also crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

This week sure has been a heart breaker, hasn't it?

The End of the Line

Well, poop. Peace to you, Mr. Fiedler.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Marian sent me this funny video. It's a guaranteed gigglefest.

That's a hell of an excuse!

Nancy V. sends these examples of the way children think:

I was driving with my three young children one warm summer evening when a woman in the convertible ahead of us stood up and waved. She was stark naked! As I was reeling from the shock, I heard my 5-year-old shout from the back seat, "Mom! That lady isn't wearing a seatbelt!"

My son Zachary, 4, came screaming out of the bathroom to tell me he'd dropped his toothbrush in the toilet. So I fished it out and threw it in the garbage. Zachary stood there thinking for a moment, then ran to my bathroom and came out with my toothbrush. He held it up and said with a charming little smile, "We better throw this one out too then, 'cause it fell in the toilet a few days ago."

On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, "The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents."

[This could have been my mother and my brother. In fact, I'll bet the Princess Mom wishes she'd sent a note like this to all his teachers!]

A woman was trying hard to get the ketchup to come out of a glass bottle. During her struggle the phone rang so she asked her 4-year-old daughter to answer the phone. "It's the minister, Mommy," the child said to her mother. Then she added, "Mommy can't come to the phone to talk to you right now. She's hitting the bottle."

A little boy got lost at the YMCA and found himself in the women's locker room. When he was spotted, the room burst into shrieks, with ladies grabbing towels and running for cover. The little boy watched in amazement and then asked, "What's the matter; haven't you ever seen a little boy before?"

While working for an organization that delivers lunches to elderly shut-ins, I used to take my 4-year-old daughter on my afternoon rounds. The various appliances of old age, particularly the canes, walkers and wheelchairs, unfailingly intrigued her. One day I found her staring at a pair of false teeth soaking in a glass. As I braced myself for the inevitable barrage of questions, she merely turned and whispered, "The tooth fairy will never believe this!"

A little girl was watching her parents dress for a party. When she saw her dad donning his tuxedo, she warned, "Daddy, you shouldn't wear that suit.".

"And why not, darling?"

She replied, "You know that it always gives you a headache the next morning."

A little girl had just finished her first week of school. "I'm just wasting my time," she said to her mother. "I can't read, I can't write, and they won't let me talk!"

[Again, this brings my beloved brother to mind!]

A little boy opened the big family bible. He was fascinated as he fingered through the old pages. Suddenly, something fell out of the Bible. He picked up the object and looked at it. What he saw was an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. "Mama, look what I found," the boy called out."

"What have you got there, dear?"

With astonishment in the young boy's voice, he answered, "I think it's Adam's underwear."

Graumagus gave me the giggles. (Okay, okay. The cartoons are sick. But in a hysterically funny way.)

Oops! He did it again.

Bus Fumes

If you haven't already seen this piece of dreck, don't bother.

For the first 15 minutes or so of this movie, Buckaroo Bonsai kept saying, "I don't know. Maybe this movie was just misunderstood." (Nope. It's a double stiff middle finger to the viewer, as far as I'm concerned.)

After the first half hour, however, BB was wondering if we could get a refund on the video rental. In fact, he thought that maybe Blockbuster should compensate us for pain and suffering.

Lousy script, terrible acting. Was director Wes Anderson really involved in the day-to-day filming, or did he just phone it in?

Think I'm exaggerating? Then how about this review by pongoboy:

Bill Murray has been on a downhill slide ever since Meatballs, he has finally hit bottom! Fortunately I just rented this stinker. Oh my, did it suck. If you liked this then you'll like "Glitter"...

He's not kidding.

Bill Quick takes on director Stephen Soderbergh. He's no more thrilled with him than Buckaroo Bonsai and I are with Wes Anderson.


Is it me, or has Hollywood forgotten it has an actual paying audience? Seems to me that many, many of the movies that have come out lately are self-indulgent crap, intended to please the director and/or actors, but giving not one tiny crap about anyone or anything else.

So what do moviegoers want?

Intelligent stories and characters -- NEW stories, not remakes or rehashes. (I read about a bazillion books a year. Trust me, there are great new books that would make wonderful screenplays.)

No more Michael Moore political documentaries. I will not pay for the "privilege" of having someone else's political views rammed down my throat. Ever.

Less CGI, more actual acting.

Children's movies actually made for children.

Teen movies that are clearly teen movies. Remember this one? Or this one? Or this one?

Mature movies for adult audiences. Ones that don't pander to the lowest common denominator. Comedies, parodies or shoot-em-ups are okay. But they should be really well written and acted. Action movies should actually have a plot.

And would it kill the powers that be to make more movies that are a little offbeat and actually advertise them and put them in the big theaters?

Call me crazy, but whoever made movies for distribution in 2005 seems by and large to have forgotten... or disregarded... any of this. Feh.

Is it any wonder that I wait until most films come out on video before I see them?


Two very good questions indeed. Gah!


Speaking of the Kelo decision, Lynne Kiesling's husband has a very good point:

He said that his biggest objection to the ruling was that it opened up more avenues for local governments to engage in risky and speculative activity, at great risk and potential cost to taxpayers. Governments are not the proper institutions for engaging in risky ventures; they don't hedge, they don't do a good job of managing costs, and they impose risks on people unwittingly that they might not choose to accept themselves.

Great. Just great. Our tax dollars at work.


Durrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! (At least I'm not the only one that gets my knickers in a knot over asshattery like this.)


Here's a spectacular bit of fumage on the President and Kelo.


There's even fuming in the funny pages. Wow. (A tip of the cap to Steve H.)


I generally think highly of Obama, but this was a distinctly stupid thing to say when you're a Senator from the great state of Illinois, better known as the "Land of Lincoln."

What the hell is wrong with Democratic representatives from Illinois? Don't they get it that you don't piss off the folks who voted you in to office?

Oh, Mayor Daley!!! Time to dust off the cluebat again!




Good for Pataki. It's about time someone took a sane stand on this.

Yes, indeed.

Gee... this makes me wonder just how hard it really is to get an "A" there, and how much the title "Valedictorian" has been diluted.

I almost forgot -- Take Two, Part III is up at Christina's. Go ahead. Get your read on.

(Late-comer Liv's tale can be found here.)

Karma. It's a beautiful thing.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO, comes this wildly politically incorrect little ditty:

Two Mexicans are stuck in the desert, wandering aimlessly and close to death. They are close to just lying down and waiting for the inevitable, when all of a sudden... "Hey Pepe, do you smell what I smell. Ees bacon, I is sure of eet".

"Si, Luis, eet smells like bacon to meee".

So, with renewed strength, they struggle off up the next sand dune, and there, in the distance, is a tree, just loaded with bacon. There's raw bacon, dripping with moisture, there's fried bacon, back bacon, double smoked bacon...every imaginable kind of cured pig meat you can imagine!!

"Pepe, Pepe, we ees saved. Eees a bacon tree".

"Luis, are sure ees not a meerage? We ees in the desert, don't forget "

"Pepe, when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smell like bacon...ees no meerage, ees a bacon tree".

And with that...Luis races towards the tree. He gets to within 5 metres, Pepe following closely behind, when all of a sudden, a machine gun opens up, and Luis is cut down in his tracks. It is clear he is mortally wounded but, true friend that he is, he manages to warn Pepe with his dying breath. "Pepe...go back man, you was right, ees not a bacon tree"

"Luis, Luis mi amigo...what ees eet?"

" Pepe...ees not a bacon tree.... Ees..... Ees..... Ees..... Ees, a Ham Bush"

For all you duffers out there, these are from Nancy V.

A golfer set up his ball on the first tee, took a mighty swing and hit his ball into a clump of trees. He found his ball and saw an opening between two trees he thought he could hit through. Taking out his 3-wood, he took another mighty swing; the ball hit a tree, bounced back, hit him in the forehead and killed him. As he approached the gates of Heaven, St. Peter saw him coming and asked "Are you a good golfer?"

The man replied: "Got here in two, didn't I?"

The bride came down the aisle and when she reached the altar, the groom was standing there with his golf bag and clubs at his side. She said: "What are your golf clubs doing here?"

He looked her right in the eye and said, "This isn't going to take all day, is it?"

An octogenarian, who was an avid golfer, moved to a new town and joined the local Country Club.

He went to the Club for the first time to play, but was told that there wasn't anybody he could play with because they were already out on the course. He repeated several times that he really wanted to play today.

Finally, the assistant Pro said he would play with him and asked him how many strokes he wanted for a bet.

The 80-year-old said, "I really don't need any strokes as I have been playing quite well. The only real problem I have, is getting out of sand traps."

And he did play well. Coming to the par four 18th, they were all even. The Pro had a nice drive and was able to get on the green and two-putt for a par.

The old man had a nice drive, but his approach shot landed in a sand trap next to the green. Playing from the bunker he hit a high ball, which landed on the green and rolled into the cup. Birdie, match and all the money!

The Pro walked over to the sand trap where his opponent was still standing in the trap. He said: "Nice shot, but I thought you said you have a problem getting out of sand traps?"

Replied the octogenarian, "I do, would you please give me a hand?"

A 75-year-old woman went to the doctor for a check up. The doctor told her she needed more cardiovascular activity and recommended that she engage in sexual activity three times a week.

A bit embarrassed, she said to the doctor, "Please tell my husband."

The doctor went out into the waiting room and told the husband that his wife needed sex three times a week.

The 78-year-old husband replied, "Which days?"

The doctor answered, "Monday, Tuesday, and Friday would be ideal."

The husband said, "I can bring her on Monday, but on Tuesdays and Friday I golf, so she'll have to take the bus."

Book Your Ticket

They're here! My little book project has finally come to fruition, and the student journals arrived today. It will take me a day or two to get through all the journals, and I'll be posting some of the kids'comments. In the meantime, I thought you might like to see their assignment:

Book of My Own Project

Here is the list of journal entries for your new book. Don't panic... you do not have to do every one! You get to pick from the list, except you can't use a topic more than once!!!!

There are twenty pages in your journals. Be creative in how you use them. This is your way to showcase the book. I hope to see pictures, phrases, character bubble maps, cartoon strip, or anything else you can come up with.

You will need 10 journal entries. Basically I am looking for you to writ ein 10 of those pages. You can put more than one entry per page if you want. Some days you might have more to write about than others so you might use two topics instead of one. It is up to you. This is your creation.

-- After reading today's section, who is the main character? What makes this charater the most imporant in the story?

-- Where does the story take place? Does it remind you of anywhere you have been, yes or no? Explain why?

-- What was the most important event that happened in the section you read today?

-- Summarize today's section (tell the main idean in 3-4 sentences).

-- What reading strategies did you use today and when did you use each?

-- Who is your favorite character? Be sure to describe this character so I undertand what you like about him or her.

-- Is there any part of the book you dislike? Describe what it is that you dislike by using examples from the book.

-- Draw a picture of something you were able to really visualize as you read today. Write two sentences describing the scene you drew.

-- Expand on this sentence.... The section I read today reminds me of....

-- Is there a character in your book that you have nothing in common with? What is is bout that character that makes him/her so much different than you?

-- Could this story happen in real life? Why or why not?

-- After reading today's section, describe a serious problem in the story. How would you solve it?

-- Predict something that you think will happen next.

-- Summarize today's section.

-- Make up five questions about the book's characters, setting, problem, or events.

-- Tell about your favorite part or character in the story. Be sure to include details.

-- How has the main character changed throughout the story so far? Have they changed the way they think, act or feel about anything?

-- What is the problem in the story? Why is this a problem?

-- Make up three questions in the story.

-- Finish the following thought.... If I could change anything in the story, I would change....

-- Who would you most like to be friends wit in this book and why?

-- Which character are you most similar to and why?

-- Has your book changed settings? Where has the story taken you?

-- Describe a key event from the section you read today. Did this section give you any clues how this story will end?

-- Why do you think your book has the title it does? Really explain your supporting reasons.

-- Do the characters remind you of characters in other books?

-- How does this book relate to your life?

-- Have any of your predictions been confirmed, yes or no? What happened or did not happen that you had predicted?

Ms. Kapp did a great job in taking my idea and turning it into a thought-provoking assignment.

The End of the Line

Paul Winchell has passed away, and take a large part of my childhood with him. Godspeed, sir.

Bus Fumes

Even the cats at Chez Simon have an opinion on the Kelo decision.

Gotta love the Supremes. Their grasp exceeds their Raich.

I'll Be the Judge of That

Really, I will!

I received an invitation to judge the Kuykendall Image Award submissions for the Cat Writer's Association. The KIA is presented to the outstanding image entry featuring cats -- whether photography, illustration or graphic art. This may be a single piece or series entry, including but not limited to photos/artwork published in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, book, pamphlet, calendar, poster, greeting card or commercial on-line publication. The award consists of $250 and a commemorative item.

How fun is that?

I don't know how I got selected for this honor, but I'm really greatful for the opportunity.

(It's really too bad they don't have a cat blogging award, as well.)

Update: Apparently my friend Steve Dale was a double winner last year. Can't think of a nicer guy to receive those particular awards. But in looking at the various judges, I've got to wonder how in the heck I ended up among all these luminaries???


Prayer Warriors for the Omnibus? I've certainly been on the receiving end on this personal Omnibus of mine, and I'm here to tell you it works. "Prayer Warriors." That has a nice ring to it...

In fact, Michele and her family could use a few Prayer Warriors on their side right about now. Care to join me?

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

For cell phone users, it doesn't get any rowdier than this.

('Scuse me. I'm still giggling.)

Bus Fumes

"Why is my report card lying?"

Because someone's nanny state was more worried about your feelings than about your education. Duh.

International Freedom Center? More like a gigantic smack in the face to families of 9/11 victims. Just say no. Go on. Sign the petition.

Update: See? It's starting to work!


"What Durbin faced was the bubbling up from the blogs and the pounding of the drums," said Daou, who first began monitoring the bloggers and feeding them information when he worked for Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign. "This is a political tool, and it's manufactured outrage, it's feigned outrage, and it's extremely effective."

Manufactured outrage??? My ass! What Durbin faced was having to take responsibility for his highly inflamatory words. And it was his Illinois constituency, many of whom are Army, Navy and Marine Reserves, who held him most accountable.

On Wednesday, Daley lauded Durbin for having the "courage" to apologize and said voters will quickly forgive Durbin.

I forgave him. But I will not forget this... and it will influence my voting next time around.


We do not need a flag-burning amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It's already covered under the first amendment. If such an amendment passes both houses and the President, then we become equally as fanatical and dangerous as those who riot because a Koran is desecrated. We don't have to like it -- and I really don't -- but we have to leave this one alone. That's one of those rights our men and women in uniform are fighting to protect.


The Supremes once again over-Raich themselves. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Update: I'm with this guy. The GOP, if it has one iota of sense, will go to work here, instead of pushing that flag burning nonsense.

(A big tip of the cap to the Instapundit.)



Down Memory Lane

Yes, I remember color wars. But did you ever play "Killer" at camp?

When I was a counselor in training ("CIT") at YMCA Camp MacLean (BTW -- when I was on staff, I lived in the tower shown in the web page picture!), we played a game of Killer that lasted most of the summer.

You never played? Here are the rules:

A time period for the game is agreed upon by all participants. Take one slip of paper for everyone playing the game and mark an "X" on one. All slips are folded and placed in a hat. Each player picks one slip. Slips are unfolded in private. The player holding the "X"-marked slip is now the killer. And the game is afoot.

The rules are quite simple:

-- A player is "killed" when the killer winks at them... and the killer must be sure the player sees him/her do it.

-- Once a player has been killed, he/she must continue on about their business as if nothing has happened, and will at some point in time later mark his/her forehead with an "X" drawn in water soluble marker, indicating that they have been removed from the game... and must wear said mark at all times until the game is ended.

-- A dead player may not tell any live players the identity of the killer.

-- A dead player cannot be revived.

-- In order to win:

- A live player may try to guess the identity of the killer by accusing the suspected killer in the presence of at least one other live player. The accused killer must answer the accusation truthfully. If the live player is correct, he/she wins and the game ends. If the live player is incorrect, he/she is now a dead player, and the game resumes.

- If the killer is successful and the only two players left are the killer and the last live person, the killer has not won until and unless he/she kills that last player.

- The last live person may win the game by evading the killer through the end of the agreed upon time period.

Next blog meet, anyone?


Well... how did that happen? I mean, he's not even French or anything.

Makin' a List

It's official. This book is on my birthday list. August 11th is fast-approaching...

This book looks pretty darned good, as well.

I read an excerpt of this book in this month's edition of Vanity Fair. I found it curious that a really left-leaning magazine would publish such an unflattering portrait of Mrs. Clinton. Hmmm. Sounds like there might be some substance to this author's contentions. Okay, then. Add it to my wish list!

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Since I've had a couple of friends who have gone to seminary, I do know it's possible for a minister to be a rowdy at heart. For example, Rev. Sensing gave me the giggles today.

Elizabeth notes that there's a new wine for seniors --

California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produces Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night.

The new wine will be marketed as Pinot More.

Marian sends this tale of the Vet's Mom:

Every Sunday, a little old lady placed $1,000 in the collection plate. This went on for weeks until the priest, overcome by curiosity, approached her. "Madam, I couldn't help but notice that you put $1,000 a week in the collection plate," he stated.

"Why yes," she replied, "every week my son sends me money, and what I don't need I give to the church."

The priest replied... "That's wonderful, how much does he send you?"

The old lady said.... "Oh, $20,000 a week."

The Priest was amazed... "Your son is very successful, what does he do for a living?"

"He is a veterinarian," she answered.

"That is a very honorable profession," the priest says. "Where does he practice?"

The old lady says proudly...."Well, he has one cat house in Las Vegas and another in Reno."

An Emily Litella moment, indeed. Seems to me Zonker had one of those recently, as well.


The American Film Institute has published its list of the top 100 quotes from U.S. movies. There's nothing there that I'd argue with...

(A tip of the cap to Roger Simon.)

I hope Daley and Obama get Durbin in line quickly. I voted for him in the last election, but if he spouts any more of that "Gulag/Nazi/Holocaust" nonsense I will not be voting for him again. Yeah, I'll accept that apology... but I won't forget the lousy judgment he showed in making the statement in the first place and in taking so long to issue the apology.

Bus Fumes

Yesterday I was on the phone with my boss and he was giving me a list of directions and requests. My second line rang, so I put him on hold. The second call turned out to be some telemarketer telling me I had won some VISA card contest. I explained that she'd have to call me back because my boss was on the other line. She blithely ignored me and started into her pitch. I once again stated she'd have to call me back. She babbled on further. I finally blurted, "Unless you tell me that the prize I've won means I'll never have to work again in my life, call me back," and then I hung up. Jesus! What's wrong with people?

P.S. -- She never called me back. Oh, well...

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From Cindy Adams' NY Post online column today comes this little gem:
Liberals worry the Court could become so conservative it'll not only be anti-abortion and anti-affirmative action, it'll be antihistamine, antifreeze, antipasto and Auntie Mame . . .



Even though he's far more liberal than I'll ever be, here's just one more reason why I had absolutely no problem with voting for this man.

A Little Reading for the Road

Christina and company are back with Take Two, Week Two:

New Zealand blogger Tincanman serves up Ferryman's Fare. It'll chill you to the bone.

Velociman spins a tale on a blue note.

Margi reminds us to always look on the bright side.

Amelie should be writing for the Twilight Zone, I swear.

Sadie will send you pell-mell into a different dimension.

Silk takes you on a Groundhog Day tour of the London Tube system.

What a great way for good writers to stretch themselves... and for my passengers to find new stops along the internet highway. Happy reading!

The End of the Line

But what a way to go. Nice touch.

Bus Fumes

Boy, are these kids in for a shock when they get out in the real world and try to hold down a paying job.

Somebody obviously never read the Bill Gates speech:

When Bill Gates gave a message about life to recent high school and college graduates, he listed 11 things they did not learn in school. He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a full generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept has set them up for failure in the real world.

Here's his list of Rules for Life:

RULE 1 - Life is not fair, get used to it.

RULE 2 - The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

RULE 3 - You will NOT make $40,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

RULE 4 - If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss. He doesn't have tenure.

RULE 5 - Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping; they called it opportunity.

RULE 6 - If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

RULE 7 - Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents' generation, try "delousing" the closet in your own room.

RULE 8 - Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades; they'll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

RULE 9 - Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. Do that on your own time.

RULE 10 - Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

RULE 11 - Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

It's called "incomplete twinning"... and it's not not that unusual. See? Just ask the folks at Ripley's Believe It or Not. Sheesh.

Roadside Diner

Rhapsody Restaurant in Chicago is putting on another wine dinner on July 8th, and I'm putting together a group of foodie/wine lovers who'd like to go.

Here's the poop:

With Winemaker Blair Walter
Friday, July 8TH 2005

First Course

Poached Maine Lobster and Ruby Grapefruit Salad,
Heirloom Tomato Gelée, Toasted Pine Nuts & Truffle Oil

Riesling 2004

Second Course

New Zealand Blue Nose Grouper, Gingered Watercress with
Smoked Potato Timbale, Eggplant Caviar & Lemon Essence

Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2002

Third Course

Farm Raised Boneless Quail, Caramelized Summer Beets,
Warm Wilted Rhubarb Salad, Blackberry Gastrique

Pinot Noir 2002

Fourth Course

Sage Infused Pennsylvania Veal Loin,
Dijon Potato “Risotto”, Forest Mushroom Fricasse & Cardamom-Red Wine Sauce

Block 5 Pinot Noir 2003

Fifth Course

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Sour Cherry Coulis,
Navel Orange Compote & Olive Olive Oil Sorbet

Block 5 Pinot Noir 2003

6:00pm Reception
6:45pm Dinner & Presentation
$85 per person + tax and gratuity

It's because of the manager at Rhapsody that Buckaroo Bonsai and I tried and fell in love with WillaKenzie wines. Rhapsody's food is also spectacular. This should be a fun and fabulous event.

Interested? Leave a comment, and I'll get back to you ASAP.

Bus Fumes

What's the matter with kids today? This, this and this should give you a good idea. At this rate within ten years an undereducated third world second grader will be more fit to run this country than anyone born and educated here. Gah!

The Evil White Guy had a lousy trip home. I'm sorry, Dude. I can emphathize.

Once I was trapped in the window seat on a commuter flight from Miami to Sarasota. Trapped by whom? A frat boy with four foot wide shoulders who was carrying the contents of half a keg of PBR in his system. He promptly passed out with his head on my shoulder, belching loudly and blowing beery moose breath in my face. He would NOT wake up -- not even to a well-sharpened elbow applied repeatedly directly to his ribs. Then, he started letting rip with long, wet, thermonuclear farts. A veritable 1812 Overture of super-fragrant flatulance.

I have news for Jonathan Lipnicki and the writer of Jerry Maguire: sometimes the human head weighs a hell of a lot more than eight pounds. And I was amazed to find there was any fabric left on the seat he had occupied. It should have been scorched clean off of there.

It was, I believe, the longest hour of my entire life.

Book Your Ticket

One of my favorite places to shop for books is the Brent Books store across from my office. Why? I go through a bazillion books a year, and that can be a very expensive proposition. Brent's always has a remaindered book table where everything is marked down to five bucks. A sampling of some of the things I've picked up there within the last year:

Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945 by Leo Marks. This is a fascinating autobiography by the creator of the codes that changed the course of World War II for the allied forces.

Patty Jane's House of Curl by Lorna Landvik. Never been to Minnesota before? You'll feel like a native after reading this charming book about friendship and family.

Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin. You don't have to be a baseball lover to enjoy this book. In fact, if you don't already love the game you'll most certainly fall in love with it along with young Doris.

For the Sins of My Father by Albert Demeo. Growing up the son of a mobster isn't always Growing Up Gotti or The Sopranos. This book is a heart-breaker.

Yes, I occasionally pick up a trashy bodice-ripper, as well. When they come off the remainer table, they're usually pretty good reads. I'm currently giggling out loud (on the Metra train. Yes, I get funny looks) over Spin Cycle by Sue Margolis. Here's an example why:

"Shelley gave her a withering look. 'Rachel,' she said leaning over the coffee table and handing her a mug of mint tea, 'has it occurred to you that maybe you got him all wrong, that maybe you overreacted. I mean, perhaps he wasn't staring at your tits at all.'"

"'What do you mean, not staring at my tits?' Rachel said indignantly, through the mouthful of scone. 'Shelley, believe me. His eyes were fixed on my mammaries like the Hubble telescope on Alpha Centauri.' She took a sip to wash down the scone."

"'Ah, you might think they were, but what if he's cross-eyed?'"


"'Yeah. Why not? It's possible. We had a domestic science teacher at school who was cross-eyed. Clarence we called her, after the lion in Daktari. She could fillet a mackerel and starch a pillowcase at the same time.'"

Is it any wonder I spewed my coffee across the aisle on the way to work this morning? It may not be high art, but it's a fun read.

Hmmm. Tits, the Hubble Telescope, crossed eyes, Daktari, mackerel and pillowcases all in five short paragraphs. Sue Margolis must have met this rowdy crew at some point in her life.

Chartered Excursion -- Chernobyl

I have to tell you, this would not be my idea of a vacation. Really.


I live in Chicago and didn't know these tees existed. Hmmmm. Gotta get me one. After all, I work less than a mile away from this.

(A tip of the cap to Lenka.)

Bus Fumes

"Do you see a (then) 17-year-old kid going to prison for the next 40 years? That would be terrible," Legghio said. "The parents feel terribly saddened. Their kid went
off to school one morning eight months ago, and they haven't been able to be with him since."

Awwwww! Too bad. Imagine how all those other parents would have felt if the little monster had been successful in his efforts. Nope. I don't feel bad for this kid AT ALL.

"These boys' names are ruined for life. And (Johnson) is better off today than he's ever been in his life. He roamed the streets, the family never knew where he was. Now in the nursing home he's got someone to take care of him," she is quoted as saying in the Tribune's June 5 article.

Huh? It's no wonder her baby boy is in big trouble.


Aw, man! I was hoping that this wouldn't happen. I hope they find the son of a bitch who did this and nail his ass to the concrete. Chicken shit bastard. I hope he's read Dante and knows there's a spot in the Seventh Circle of Hell with his name on it.


This really is cruel and unusual punishment... and to do it during the hottest part of the summer is even worse.

Sheahan said the health benefits of having a smoke-free jail outweigh a potential black market for cigarettes and possible confrontations between jail guards and inmates.

Right. Tell me that again by the end of the second week in August.



Rest Stops

Elizabeth sent me this ad for Uncle Booger's Bumper Dumper. If this doesn't get me into the Carnival of the Crappers, nothing else will...


We already had a good indication that French men are different... but... who knew just HOW different? (Holy Merde!)

Yeah, right. For now.

How do you arrest... a cow??? (And in what language to you deliver the Miranda rights?)

(A tip of the cap to Professor Bainbridge.)

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

This has me chuckling every time I think about it. What an ear worm that is!

Marian sends us the Bathtub Test:

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the director what were the criteria that defined a patient's need to be institutionalized. "Well," said the director, "we fill up a bathtub, we offer a teaspoon, a teacup, and a bucket to the patient and ask the patient to empty the bathtub."

Okay, here's your test: (Those with an abnormal tendency will scroll to the bottom to get the answer before taking the test.)

1. Would you use the spoon?

2. Would you use the teacup?

3. Would you use the bucket?

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would choose the bucket since it is larger than the teacup or spoon."

"No," answered the director. "A normal person would pull the plug."

So how did you do?


I know more than a few people who've worshipped at this altar.

(A tip of the cap to Yarbz.)


Sheeyeah, right! I'll believe it when I see it.


This is why I hold Pejman in awe... and this is why Joe Gandelman is a close second.

It's not easy being an independent these days. Howard Dean is making the choices easier, however. (Are we sure he's not on Karl Rove's payroll?)

Funny, but I was just telling Buckaroo Bonzai yesterday that, given the choice, I'd rather join Costco than Sam's Club. Then I received this today from my friend Kathleen:

Let's hear it for Costco!! (This is just mind-boggling!) Make sure you read all the way past the list of the drugs.

The woman that signed below is a Budget Analyst out of federal Washington, DC offices.

Did you ever wonder how much it costs a drug company for the active ingredient in prescription medications? Some people think it must cost a lot, since many drugs sell for more than $2.00 per tablet.

We did a search of offshore chemical synthesizers that supply the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA. As we have revealed in past issues of Life Extension, a significant percentage of drugs sold in the United States contain active ingredients made in other countries. In our independent investigation of how muchprofit drug companies really make, we obtained the actual price of active ingredients used in some of the most popular drugs sold in America.

The chart below speaks for itself.

Celebrex 100 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.60
Percent markup: 21,712%

Claritin 10 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71
Percent markup: 30,306%

Keflex 250 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88
Percent markup: 8,372%

Lipitor 20 mg
Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80
Percent markup: 4,696%

Norvasec 10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $188.29
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.14
Percent markup: 134,493%

Paxil 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $7.60
Percent markup: 2,898%

Prevacid 30 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01
Percent markup: 34,136%

Prilosec 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97
Cost of general active ingredients $0.52
Percent markup: 69,417%

Prozac 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11
Percent markup: 224,973%

Tenormin 50 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13
Percent markup: 80,362%

Vasotec 10 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20
Percent markup: 51,185%

Xanax 1 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79
Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024
Percent markup: 569,958%

Zestril 20 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89
Cost of general active ingredients $3.20
Percent markup: 2,809%

Zithromax 600 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19
Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78
Percent markup: 7,8 92%

Zocor 40 mg
Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27
Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63
Percent markup: 4,059%

Zoloft 50 mg
Consumer price: $206.87
Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75
Percent markup: 11,821%

Since the cost of prescription drugs are so outrageous, I thought everyone knew should know about this. Please read the following and pass it on. It pays to shop around. This helps to solve the mystery as to why they can afford to put a Walgreen's on every corner.

On Monday night, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for Channel 7 News in Detroit, did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. Yes, that's not a typo.....three thousand percent!

So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so. But in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies themselves. For example, if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills.

The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs.

I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices. I was appalled. Just to give you one example from my own experience, I had to use the drug, Compazine, which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients.

I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco, and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have got 150 at Costco for $28.08.

I would like to mention, that although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in. (this is true, I went there this past Thursday and asked them). I am asking each of you to please help me by copying this letter, and passing it into your own e-mail, and send it to everyone you know with an e-mail address.

Sharon L. Davis
Budget Analyst
U.S. Department of Commerce

[Note: To be fair to the drug companies, this is just the cost of the ingredients, and does not compensate for the cost of the research to develop the drugs and shepherd them through both the patent and FDA approval processes, much less to market them. Still, the markups seem outrageously high to me.]

I think I'm about to birth my very first blogchild. How she made it through J-school thinking blogs were just personal journals is beyond me. I gave her a list to expand her thinking about the blogosphere:

Some of my faves:

Christina (of blog novella and "Take Two" fame)
Velocigod (he's wildly irreverant -- which is why I love him)
Trevor (beautiful writing, wonderful illustrations)
Jeff (essays, humor, politics)
The Manolo (also see links to his Prada, wedding and men's blogs)
The Fug Girls (fashion critique/humor)
Glenn Reynolds (general news, politics, technology, law, photos, books)

Reporters who blog:

Andrew Sullivan
Jeff Jarvis
Michelle Malkin
Mickey Kaus
Eric Zorn

Political blogs:


News compilation/commentary:

The Command Post
Charles Johnson
Winds of Change


Virginia Postrel
James Lileks
Roger Simon


Bill Whittle
Pat Sajak

What would you recommend to her (and remember, we're trying to entice her -- not scare her off)?

Wow! The topic of choice vs. anti-choice appears to be a hot one this week. For me, the question of too many choices resolves itself by natural selection. I don't understand what all the shouting is about.

Amen and Amen. This is what happens when you throw money, not help at a problem. Feh.

A Little Reading for the Road

Christina of blog novella fame has kicked off a writing project that she calls "Take Two." She gives a thumbnail sketch of a story idea and assigns a 1000 word short story to four different bloggers each week. This week's topic was boys, baseball and a ball batted into forbidden territory.

The results are outstanding. Go on. Get your read on:

Average Tobacco Chewing Joe tells Alex's tale.

Guy S. relates Tadpole's story.

Dash presents a mighty fine hero in Jake.

That 1 Guy serves up a hair-raising tale.

Dystropoppygus knocks it out of the park Greek-style.

What? You weren't reading these guys already? I betcha will from now on.


Scrubbing Mouse Balls for Fun & Profit! That's gotta be the eye-popping post heading of the day.

"Just Be Sure And Wash Your Hands Afterward"


Rules of the Road

If you're from out of state and planning to visit Illinois any time soon, you need to be aware of this:

Illinois will begin using photo radar in freeway work zones in July.

Second offense tickets are $1,000 with license suspension.

Beginning in July the State of Illinois will use speed cameras in areas designated as "work zones" on major freeways. Anyone caught by the devices will be mailed a $375 ticket for the first offense, but a second ticket will cost $1000 and comes with a 90-day license suspension. Drivers will also receive demerit points against their license, which allows insurance companies to raise their insurance rates. This represents the harshest penalty structure yet for a city using photo enforcement.

The state will begin with two camera vans issuing tickets in zones with speed limits lowered to 45 MPH. Photographs of both the driver's face and license plate are taken. Officials announced the plan on the Dan Ryan Expressway suggesting Chicago area roads are likely to be a target. Illinois Tollway Executive Director Jack Hartman promised more work zones: "Since the Tollway just launched our $5.3 billion Congestion Relief Plan, drivers will see more work zones on the Tollway than they have in the past."

(A tip of the cap to Kim N.)


Is it me, or is this guy appear to be channeling Jennifer Wilbanks?


Fashion most fowl...


Just so.

Yep. I empathize.

"The management claims that beer baths heal various skin diseases."

That's his story and he's sticking to it.

Here's another of my guilty pleasures.


Be afraid. Be very afraid...

Let's see... You're attending commencement exercises at a university. Who'd you rather hear? Erica Jong... or this guy?

Harvard is administering the Moral Sense Test. (There's an oxymoron in there somewhere. I just know there is...)

(A tip of the cap to Elizabeth, who took the first test last year.)

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

I'm going to post some political stuff from both the left and right wings today -- that way I can be certain to offend everybody.

From Nancy V., comes Today's History Lesson:

12,000 years ago, humans existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunter/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains in the summer and would go to the beach and live on fish and lobster in winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups: Liberals and Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered it required grain, and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum cans were invented yet, so our early human ancestors just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to BBQ at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as "the Conservative movement".

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly BBQ's and doing the sewing, weaving and hair dressing. This was the beginning of "the Liberal movement." Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as 'girleymen'.

Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the trade union, class action lawsuits, the invention of group therapy & group hugs and the concept of democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting revolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, hair dressers, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented baseball's designated hitter rule because it wasn't "fair" to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer and eat red meat & potatoes. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, soldiers, athletes & generally anyone who works productively outside government. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to "govern" the producers and decide what to do with the production. They also like to take money away from successful people and give it to the failures. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America. They crept in after the Wild West was tame & created a business of trying to get MORE for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history.

From the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO:


I, _________________________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and body, do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.

Under no circumstances should my fate be put in the hands of peckerwood ethically challenged politicians who couldn't pass ninth-grade biology if their lives depended on it.

If a reasonable amount of time passes and I fail to sit up and ask for a cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.

Under no circumstances shall the hypocritical members of the Legislature (State or Federal) enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Americans who aren't in a permanent coma.

Under no circumstances shall any politicians butt into this case.

I don't care how many fundamentalist votes they're trying to scrounge for their run for the presidency, it is my wish that they play politics with someone else's life and leave me alone to die in peace.

I couldn't care less if a hundred religious zealots send e-mails to legislators in which they pretend to care about me. I don't know these people, and I certainly haven't authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own business, too.

If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political cause, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living hell.

_______________________________ Dated _______________



Bus Fumes

Note to Howard Dean: Listen up, You Big Dummy, this is not the way to attract new votes for the Democratic party. (What? Don't like being called a big dummy? Now you know how it feels, Pal.)

If you want to lose the next elections for your party, keep up the good work, because rhetoric like you've been spewing will drive this independent voter away from voting for your candidates. And I know I'm not alone in feeling that way.

One more time: Calling me stupid because I don't agree with you WILL NOT win me to your cause. Name calling won't do it. Bullying won't do it. Rational discussion of your political platform just might, though.

Hello! Are you in there, McFly?

Hokay. 'Splain me this one. What was the point of the Raich prosecution in the first place if this is true? So that the Feds can target the sick and the dying if they choose to... even though they're really not going after individual users currently? They will only go after people who abuse the state-given privilege to use medical pot? Jeeze, Louise! They already had that right! This strikes me as the most arbitrary of law enforcement... and that thought gives me a headache. A great big one.

The Mom Update

She's home for the summer! ('Scuse me while I climb up on my desk and do the happy dance.)


According to the radiologist, the tumor has shrunk to half the size it was. The cells killed by chemo won't come back. The cells stopped by the radiation may come back. It's the big "we'll see." What's important is that right now she's done with treatment. Praise Jesus.

Yeah, she gets tired easily. Yeah, she's lost so much weight that she can't sit in a hard chair for very long because she has absolutely no butt left.

Sooooooo.................... we help her build up her stamina and we fatten her up a bit.* She gets her daily dose of Nana therapy with TMBCITW (who, BTW, will be getting a new brother or sister in early autumn). She gets to enjoy my brother's back yard with its beautiful landscaping, including waterfalls and koi pond. One of her best buddies lives down the block, and she'll be shagging Mom's skinny butt out the door and into the sunshine for walks and girl talk.

Yep. Frustrated as I get with her sometimes, I love that feisty little woman. Thanks for all your prayers and support. It really helped to get us to this point.

*My personal secret recipe for tempting her palate is to take fresh raspberries, crush and sugar them well and then let sit for at least an hour. In a bowl layer a slice of pound cake, a couple of good-sized scoops of Godiva Raspberry Chocolate Truffle ice cream, a couple of good glops of raspberries and top with real whipped cream. If you really want overkill, add home-made hot fudge sauce before you add the whipped cream. She can't resist it, and you won't be able to, either. Yum!

Update: If you can't find the Godiva ice cream, try Dove's Irresistibly Raspberry, instead. Mmm-mmm!

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

I must confess, I'm squarely a Charlie Brown. How about you?

Everyone has a personality of a cartoon character. Have you ever asked yourself what cartoon character do you most resemble? A group of investigators got together and analyzed the personalities of well-known and modern cartoon characters. Info that was gathered was made into this test.

Answer all the questions with what describes you best, add up all your points (which are next to the answer that you choose) at the end and look for your results. Do not cheat by looking at the end of the e-mail before you are done. Then forward this to all your friends and change the subject of this message to what character is you.

1) Which 1 of the following describes the perfect date?
(a) Candlelight Dinner (4 pts.)
(b) Fun/Theme park (2 pts.)
(c) Painting in the park (5 pts.)
(d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
(e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)

(2) What is your favorite type of music?
(a) Rock 'n Roll (2 pts.)
(b) Alternative (1 pt)
(c) Soft Rock (4 pts.) (d) Country (5 pts.)
(e) Pop (3 pts.)

(3) What type of movies do you prefer?
(a) Comedy (2 pts.)
(b) Horror (1 pt.)
(c) Musical (3 pts.)
(d) Romance (4 pts.)
(e) Documentary (5 pts.)

(4) Which one of these occupations would you choose if you could only choose one of these?
(a) Waiter (4 pts.)
(b) Professional Sports Player (5pts.)
(c) Teacher (3 pts.)
(d) Police (2 pts.)
(e) Cashier (1 pt.)

(5) What do you do with your spare time?
(a) Exercise (5 pts.)
(b) Read (4 pts.)
(c) Watch television (2 pts.)
(d) Listen to music (1 pt.)
(e) Sleep (3 pts.)

(6) Which one of the following colors do you like best?
(a) Yellow (1 pt.)
(b) White (5 pts.) (c) Sky Blue (3 pts.)
(d) Dark Blue (2 pts.)
(e) Red (4 pts.)

(7) What do you prefer to eat right now?
(a) Snow (3 pts.)
(b) Pizza (2 pts)
(c) Sushi (1 pt.)
(d) Pasta (4 pts.)
(e) Salad (5 pts.)

(8) What is your favorite holiday?
(a) Halloween (1 pt.)
(b) Christmas (3 pts.)
(c) New Year (2 pts.)
(d) Valentine's Day (4 pts)
(e) Thanksgiving (5 pts.)

(9) If you could go to one of these places, which one would it be?
(a) Paris (4 pts.)
(b) Spain (5 pts.)
(c) Las Vegas (1 pt.)
(d) Hawaii (4 pts.)
(e) Hollywood (3pts.)

(10) With which of the following would you prefer to spend time?
(a) Someone smart (5 pts.)
(b)Someone attractive (2 pts.)
(c) Someone who likes to party (1 pt.)
(d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
(e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)

Now add up your points and find out the answer you have been waiting for! Put your character in the subject line and forward to your friends and back to the person that sent this to you. Very interesting to see who your friends are!

(10-16 points) You are Garfield:
You are very comfortable, easygoing, you definitely know how to have fun, but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know what you are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others may not see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember your happy spirit may hurt you or others.

(17-23 points) You are Snoopy:
You are fun, you are very cool and popular. You always know what's in and you never are out of style. You are good at knowing how to satisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few days more than once, but you always come home with the family values that you learned. Being married and having children are important to you, but only after you have had your share of fun times.

(24-28 points) You are Arnold:
You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing to give advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic and you always see the bright side of things. Some good advice: Try not to be too much of a dreamer If not, you will have many conflicts with life.

(29-34 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants:
You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never want to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny & calm for the most part. Stay away from traitors and jealous people, then you will be stress free.

(35-42 points) You are Charlie Brown:
You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a few birthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality.

(43-50 points) You are Dexter:
You are smart and definitely a thinker. Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. You maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes.

(A tip of the cap to the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO.)

Bus Fumes

The Administration doesn't want it. The Republicans don't want it. The Democrats don't want it. Our men and women in the military don't want it. So how in the hell does this flogged-to-death draft meme keep bobbing back up to the surface? Arghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(P.S. -- A tip of the cap to Eugene for the only post I've read worth reading on that stupid Huffington blog.)

If I see one more commercial where the dad is the but of the joke or dissed by his wife and kids, I'm going to put my size 8-1/2 right through my TV screen.

The two worst offenders, in my opinion?

  1. Mobile phone service providers. Every time I see the ad with the smartass black girls sarcastically back-talking their parents because they don't have a mobile phone I practically levitate right out of my seat. Why? My father would have flattened me where I stood... AND I WOULD HAVE DESERVED IT. I grew up knowing that my father worked very hard to provide us a good living, and that something like having a cell phone was a privilege, not a right. Believe you me (Yikes! I'm channeling the Princess Mom here...), it would have been a cold day in Hell in our house before that kind of behavior brought me a reward.
  2. Insurance companies. State Farm's recent commercial about the couple who got married and he gave up just about everything but his insurance company (State Farm) instead of her insurance company ("the Gecko"), because his is cheaper... but she still comes off as a bossy, know-it-all, ball-busting bitch. He makes an excellent financial decision and she treats him like the village idiot. Great message.

While I don't agree with a everything this guy says, I'm going to point you towards this essay written back in 2003 that contains a helluva lot of truth:

"Out there, there is a huge number of men who are sick of it. We’re sick of being made figures of fun and ridicule; we’re sick of having girly-men like journalists, advertising agency execs and movie stars decide on “what is a man”; we’re sick of women treating us like children, and we’re really fucking sick of girly-men politicians who pander to women by passing an ever-increasing raft of Nanny laws and regulations (the legal equivalent of public-school Ritalin), which prevent us from hunting, racing our cars and motorcycles, smoking, flirting with women at the office [Note: there's a big difference between harmless flirtation and sexual harassment. Kim would be the first to be protective of his female coworkers if it was happening in his office. And, yes, he does know the difference.], getting into fistfights over women, shooting criminals and doing all the fine things which being a man entails."

The feminist pendulum has swung entirely too far to the left. While I'm not ready to don a burka and live under sharia law, I am also sick to death of the utter emasculation of men going on in western society today.

There is a beauty in men -- real men -- and women working in partnership. There is a rightness in playing to each other's complimentary strengths. When we weaken one half of a partnership, we undermine the entire partnership.

I am sick to damn death of the messages the media gives us in both advertising and sitcoms that men are buffoons. I'm done with bitching about the problem, though, so here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to boycott any television show that gives that message. I'm going to boycott any advertiser that gives that message. They're not getting another red cent of my money and not one more second of my attention. I mean it. Care to join me?

I have leftwing friends who accuse me of being a Republican. I have rightwing friends that accuse me of being a Democrat. Once more for the record, folks: I am an independent who is conservative on fiscal issues (if I have to stick to a budget, my goverment had better damn well stick to a realistic budget, too) and progressive on social issues (and by progressive, I mean I want programs in place where the goal is for individuals to graduate from public assistance to independence... and in the shortest possible period of time. I want to see progess, not just money thrown at a problem in hopes it will make it better. It never does).

Bill Whittle has written an outstanding essay entitled "Sanctuary" about the war on terrorism. Part I is here. Part II is here. Please try to read it with an open mind; then if you and I don't agree on this issue, let's discuss it in civil tone and language. Otherwise, I really don't care to discuss it with you any more. I know what I believe, and I'm comfortable with it.

Update: Aw, fer cripes sakes! Rush Limbaugh can get Oxycodone by the gross and the Supremes are concerned about doctors overprescribing medical marijuana? Give me a break! While my mom got good anti-nauseal drugs during her chemo, if it would help get her appetite back and stop her from losing so much weight, I'd be pestering her docs to get her on it right now... but it's not legal in Illinois.

Shit! It's proven to help stop the progression of glaucoma and it's proven to stop nausea and assist the appetite for food. It's cheap, and it could be readily available.

Fucking hell! Mom paid over a thousand dollars a month for a cancer drug that didn't even work... and she couldn't get something with proven benefits that would cost less and do more to help her??? Ooooooo... this makes steam spout out my ears.

Book Your Ticket

There's some mighty fine writing going on in the blogosphere these days. One great example? The blog novella, wherein one blogger proposes a topic and invites others to join in, then assigns each a chapter to be published on their respective blogs.

Go visit Christina, who proposed the Blog Western. You'll find all seven chapters linked there.

Bus Fumes

I can't believe this tired old meme is floating around the blogosphere again. Give it a rest, will ya?

This is why I don't go over to TalkLeft very often. My blood pressure just can't take it.

She's right -- children really aren't that fragile. In fact, by going so far out of our way not to hurt tender feelings, I'm afraid we are raising a generation of complete egocentric monsters. Or total wusses.

This is why it is my humble opinion that Lila kicks some serious butt.

Ain't it the truth? (For what it's worth, I have equal difficulty with a firmly-entrenched far rightwinger.)

(A tip of the cap to Jim.)


If this is true, then I'm going to live forever...

Bus Fumes

Who writes tests like this, anyway? It doesn't have the correct answers to most of the questions, guys. Here are the REAL answers:

1. Forget it. Three women together is a team. No matter which one you choose, you're 95% likely to strike out. (Unless, of course, you recruit two of your friends to go with you to divide and conquer. Just make sure you all agree on who approaches whom before you do.)

2. If you don't already know, she probably doesn't like you that much.

3. Say, "I've really had a great time talking with you, and I'd like to continue the conversation some time soon. How about you?" And mean it sincerely. If she is interested, ask for her number, and then call her within 48 hours. The gentleman calls the lady. Poop on feminism.

4. Tell her what you really drive, then ask her what kind of vehicle she drives. She just might surprise you.

5. Tell her you really enjoyed talking with her at the party, especially about [fill in with whatever you discussed at the party], and are hoping to get together again. (Note: A first date doesn't have to be dinner. It could be bowling, kayaking, cocktails, a concert or any number of things. Doing something together on a first date is far better than sitting across the table from someone and trading credentials all night. Yuck.) Suggest something you think she might think is fun based on that conversation at the party.

6. Tell her that you're willing to suspend belief in love at first sight long enough to find out whether it's just infatuation on your part or "the real thing" for both of you -- and do it with a twinkle in your eye and a great big grin. No matter whether she's single, seeing someone, or married, she'll have to laugh and/or be a little bit flattered. Humor is good. Flattery is good. Games are not good.

7. If you can't read her because she's playing hard-to-get, do you really want a silly game player? And if you can't read her because she just doesn't seem to be giving out any signals, that's because she's not all that attracted to you.

8. Call her within 48 hours. Reference your meeting and conversation. Tell her what a great time you had. Ask her out on a date (and if she says yes, for God's sake don't weasel out of it).

9. Call her at the end of the next day and ask how her meeting went. Really listen to her response. Tell her a little about your day. Then ask her out on another date.

10. Call her back. If she's there, just mention what a great time you had talking with her and ask to see her again. If she's not there, leave a cheerful message stating that you're sorry to have missed her return call... and leave your number. For any number of reasons Call #1 may not have gotten through. But if you don't hear from her after Call #2, she's just not that into you. Or, if your ego needs the stroking, she's just to dense to recognize your magnificence. In any case, learn the lesson and move along.

See? Easy.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

Velociman links to this and adds his own hilarious two cents. (Yes, yes. Of course I got the giggles.)