Leslie's Omnibus

Bus Fumes

Great. Just great. I really wish Blago, Madigan and Jones would pull their heads out of their respective orifices and get this taken care of. Now.

Too many people are going to be negatively affected by this to keep screwing around like there's all the time in the world to fix it.

Personally, I can't wait for the next election. I'm beginning to feel just like Jimbo.


Brain drain. Really.

(A tip of the cap to Poppy Cedes.)

Cool Halloween screen savers and wallpapers here.

I've been tagged with a cool new nickname here. Thanks, RSM! I'll take that one!

Can you spell M-I-S-O-G-Y-N-I-S-T??? Yikes.

If you were planning on wearing "Ugly Teeth" as part of your Halloween costume tonight, forget it. Our friends in China have been busy again.

Nice. How'd you like to be that Reverend having to explain herself to St. Pete as she knocks at the pearly gates?

Oh, man! Get out your hanky. You're going to need it.

The Divine Miss Marilyn's favorite feline has reappeared just in time for Halloween. That boy always did enjoy an unusual costume!


Quote of the Day:
Elsewhere on the site, bras go up to size K, and there is a nursing bra in an L-cup.
An L-cup??? The mind boggles.

This is wrong on so many levels I lost count. But I still laughed myself silly reading it.

I'm still shaking my head in wonder over that L-cup.


I'm now completely convinced that Colorado is an oddball state. All that weird stuff in one news day. Egad.

One more reason why you're better off not living in the great state of Illinois. Our state government is one huge joke. They can vote in five seconds a day of silence for grade school kids, but they can't do squat on one of the state's biggest assets -- public transportation.


Your Superpower Should Be Manipulating Fire

You are intense, internally driven, and passionate.

Your emotions are unpredictable - and they often get the better of you.

Both radiant and terrifying, people are drawn to you.

At your most powerful, you feel like the world belongs to you.

Why you would be a good superhero: You are obsessive enough to give it your all.

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Your moodiness would make it difficult to control your powers.

(A tip of the cap to Jay and Deb.)

You Are a Witch (or Warlock)

You are deviously brilliant and a perfect manipulator.

You somehow always end up getting what you want - without anyone knowing you're working behind the scenes.

Crafty and cunning, you can work your way out of any jam.

And it's easy for you to get people to do what you want, whether you're working for good or evil.

Your greatest power: Mind control

Your greatest weakness: Making people your puppets

You play well with: Ghosts


You Are

A Drunk Pumpkin Face

You would make a good pumpkin martini.


This is interesting:

Your Aspie score: 40 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 188 of 200
You are very likely neurotypical

Take the quiz here.

From the Rowdies in the Back of the Bus

From a fellow I haven't heard from in quite a while:


How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?

*Charismatic*: Only 1 -- Hands are already in the air.

*Pentecostal *: 10 -- One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

*Presbyterians*: None -- Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

*Roman Catholic* : None -- Candles only.

*Baptists* : At least 15 -- One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken .

*Episcopalians*: 3 -- One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old one was.

*Mormons* : 5 -- One man to change the bulb, and four wives to tell him how to do it.

*Unitarians* : We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, you are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, 3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

*Methodists*: Undetermined -- Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to pass.

*Nazarene*: 6 -- One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

*Lutherans*: None -- Lutherans don't believe in change.

*Jewish Grandmothers*: 0 -- It's all right, I should sit in the dark and suffer!!

*Amish*: -- What's a light bulb?

From the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO:

Halloween Puns and Jokes

... and...

The pastor asked if any one in the congregation would like to express Praise for answered prayers.

A lady stood and walked to the podium. She said,"I have a praise. Two months ago, my husband, Jim, had a terrible bicycle wreck and his scrotum was completely crushed. The pain was excruciating and the doctors didn't know if they could help him."

You could hear an audible gasp from the men in the congregation as they imagined the pain that poor Jim experienced.

She continued, "Jim was unable to hold me or the children and every move caused him terrible pain. We prayed as the doctors performed a delicate operation. They were able to piece together the crushed remnants of Jim's scrotum and wrap wire around it to hold it in place."

Again, the men in the Congregation squirmed uncomfortably as they imagined the horrible surgery performed on Jim.

She continued, "Now, Jim is out of the hospital and the doctor's say, with time, his scrotum should recover completely."

All the men sighed with relief. The pastor rose and tentatively asked if any one else had anything to say.

A man rose and walked to the podium. He said, "I'm Jim and I want to tell my wife, ONCE AGAIN, the word is "STERNUM."

... and...

How's this for a speeding ticket...

Two British traffic patrol officers from North Berwick were involved in an unusual incident, while checking for speeding motorists on the A-1 Great North Road.

One of the officers (who are not named) used a hand-held radar device to check the speed of a vehicle approaching over the crest of a hill, and was surprised when the speed was recorded at over 300mph. The machine then stopped working and the officers were not able to reset it.

The radar had in fact latched on to a NATO Tornado fighter jet over the North Sea, which was engaged in a low-flying exercise over the Border district.

Back at police headquarters the Chief Constable fired off a stiff complaint to the RAF Liaison office. The reply came back in true laconic RAF style.

"Thank you for your message, which allows us to complete the file on this incident. You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Tornado had automatically locked on to your 'hostile radar equipment' and sent a jamming signal back to it. Furthermore, the Sidewinder Air-to-ground missiles aboard the fully-armed aircraft had also locked on to the target. Fortunately the Dutch pilot flying the Tornado responded to the missile status alert intelligently and was able to override the automatic protection system before the missile was launched."

From Catfish:

An Italian Anniversary

At the church's husband's marriage seminar, the Priest asked Luigi, on his upcoming 50th wedding anniversary, to take a few minutes and share some insight into how he managed to stay married to the same woman all these years.

Luigi replied to the audience "Well, I'v-a tried to treat-a her well, spend-a the money on her, but-a, da best-a is-a dat I took her to Italy for the 20th-a anniversary!

The Priest immediately commented, "Luigi, you are an amazing inspiration to all the husbands here! Please tell the audience what you are planning for your wife for your 50th anniversary..."

Luigi proudly replied, "I'm-a gonna go and-a get her."

... and...

Subject: 86-year old lady's letter to bank

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.

I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a

flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be

countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date through that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement. May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

(Remember: This was written by an 86 year old woman.)

And remember: Don't make old ladies mad. They don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to set them off.***

From Cancun Anne:

This morning, from a cave somewhere in Pakistan, Taliban Minister of Migration, Mohammed Omar, warned the United States that if military action against Iraq continues, Taliban authorities will cut off America's supply of convenience store managers.

And if this action does not yield sufficient results, cab drivers will be next, followed by AOL customer service representatives, and Motel 6 managers.

... and...



Like really hip, uber-cool tee shirts? Then check out this online shop.

Buy current designs here.

Vote on future designs here.

And if you're my friend Kat, or an equally artistic type, submit your own designs here. (And let me know when you do so I can go vote for you!)

Here are a couple of designs I'd definitely consider buying:


The only blog tag line that describes me nearly as well as my own:
The only thing better than Pinot Noir is sex. The only thing better than sex is sex after Pinot Noir.
Heh. I'll drink to that.

Oh, do I know somebody who's going to want at least one of these...

... in his Christmas stocking this year.

(A big tip of the cap to Contagion!)

Got an interesting email from the Sweetheart of Shell Knob, MO today:
Seems like I'm sort of turning into a copycat. Check out www.dghsclassof1957.blogspot.com and see what you think. We were trying to figure out a good way to do a timely class newsletter when the infamous lightbulb went on over my head and voila!!!! We're not really a newsletter and we're not really a blog but we do have regular readers so I guess that's something.
And I've got news for her -- it is a blog, indeed.

I've always had nefarious plans plans to get her blogging. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd birth quadruplets as a result!

Got some bee-yoo-tee-ful jools in the mail from MMPC today. If you aren't buying her stuff, you don't know what you're missing.

And, oh, you lucky few who'll be receiving some of them as gifts!

Tootin' the Horn

Before the week gets away from me, The Divine Miss Marilyn and I...

... would like to extend a whopping big...

... to Livey...

... Sammy...

... and Sadie.

If you're ever up for some intensive R&R, Livey's is the place to be. Some people need to fill every empty airwave with chatter, but she's the kind of pal that you can be comfortably silent with. Someone who makes you want to put your feet up, yank a blankie over your lap, and make yourself right at home.

The Divine Miss Marilyn fit right in within 24 hours of our arrival, and was especially appreciative of Sadie's kibble bowl. Yes, she had her own expensive feline nibblies, but considered Sadie's plainer fare the closest she's ever come to caviar.

Between the dog dish and Livey's liberal policy of handing out treats from her own plate, The Divine Miss Marilyn is convinced that the North Woods is the place where good kitties go when they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Thanks again, my friend, from both of us!

("Thank You" image shamelessly swiped from here.)


I've been pretty busy, but I did manage to clean up the ol' blogroll. You'll find more of my Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodge-peeps down on the left side, and not one, but two shiny new blog sons* on the right.

Go visit them all.

*Yes, Running Behind, I'm claiming you. Between Walrilla and I, we'll keep you on the straight and narrow.

Here's an incredibly honest look at a very emotional subject. If you are a pet owner -- especially if your pet is getting on in years, or has chronic health issues -- it's a must read.


I knew I hung with some talented bloggers. Apparently somebody at Carnegie Mellon recognizes at least one of my buddies.

Congrats on making that rarified list, Elisson!


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

(A tip of the cap to Barry Campbell.)

I'm back, but up to my ears in playing catch-up. Be patient with me, okay?

Bus Fumes

Stupid quote of the day:
"It is not like banning something, it's a softer form of paternalism."
Spare. Me.

Hold The Bus!

Urk. The Omni-vehicle is in the shop awaiting parts for a leaky fuel line. In a repair shop in Minocqua, WI.

Thank the stars above that Livey knows a really good, really reasonable mechanic. And that she's so freaking easy to get along with.

Keep your fingers crossed that The Divine Miss Marilyn and I are homeward bound by tomorrow afternoon. The unexpected extension of my vacation isn't the end of the world... but I really DO need to go home!

Busman's Holiday -- The North Woods

We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day yesterday.

Channel between Minocqua Lake and Lake Tomahawk.

There are still a few maple leaves clinging to trees!

I just loved this funky old church found in Minocqua.

Another shot of that lovely channel.

You won't find shops like this in Chicago!

It's unnerving to have dead critters watching you while you eat and drink.

Simply charming.

More dead critters eyeballing the diners.

Bambi gives salad bar grazers the guilts. The jackalope taunts, as well.

It simply doesn't get any better than this!

Busman's Holiday -- The North Woods

Greetings from the North Woods!

I got home in time to grab a late dinner and a lot of shut-eye last Sunday evening. Monday was spent doing more laundry and exchanging warm weather clothes for those of the cool weather variety. The Divine Miss Marilyn has lived up to her "Traveling Companion" moniker, and joined me Tuesday morning for the trek to the furthest northerly part of Wisconsin I've been to so far.

While I missed most of the autumn colors...

... I'm still surrounded by woodsy goodness...

... and stubborn little blooming things...

... as far as the eye can see.

Livey has been spoiling Miss Marilyn most outrageously. She's had the egg salad and lasagna-laden poots to prove it, too! (Who knew a critter that small could generate a toxic miasma like that???)

Not only is Miss Marilyn enjoying the travel and tons of affection, she's got a shy new swain, too. Meet Sammy, also know as The Little Prince:

In addition, we've got another house mate. Meet Sadie (a/k/a The Little Princess).

The Divine Miss Marilyn has been surprisingly tolerant of Sadie. I, on the other hand, have taken full advantage of the comfort of a warm puppy lying across ice cold tootsies.

So... a good friend, affectionate critters, snuggle up in a blanket and read weather, good food and loads of relaxation.

Am I a lucky girl or what?

Don't forget to visit the Friday Ark. In addition:
And have a great day, while you're at it!


You know you're on a different kind of vacation when this is the quote of the day:
Where'd I put the sledge hammer?
Guess who muttered that as she headed out onto the back deck this afternoon?

More on my ongoing vacation tales later!

Busman's Holiday -- Helen Cat-Herding

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- trying to round up Jawja Blown-Eyed Blodgers is like herding cats on horseback... with broomsticks. It's a next to impossible task. To those who I managed to miss in the pix below, my apologies. To all of those who managed to miss me in theirs, thank you, thank you, thank you. I'd rather be behind the lens than in front of it any time!

So how did things unfold, you ask?

Events started Thursday evening when I had to work late, and I didn't make it back to the Omnibus Depot until after 10:00 p.m. Laundry and housework awaited, including cleaning the cat box. A 3:00 a.m. trip to 7/11 when I realized that I had no litter with which to refill said box. Urk. With a 6:30 a.m. flight, there was little to no time to sleep before tossing stuff into my suitcase and heading off to O'Hare airport. Thanks a million to Erica, who shared my dilemma and kept me going all night with a gazillion text messages and a lot of encouragement.

Friday morning found me both bleary-eyed and on an adrenaline high when I was met at the airport by both Erica and Elisson, who treated us both to a wonderful Southern-style breakfast, then wisked us off to Chez Ellison where we met the lovely Matata.

Matata leaves feline greetings for The Divine Miss Marilyn on my bag.

Erica chilling out in the newly-renovated kitchen d'SWMBO and Big E. We didn't rest long however; Ellison had lists upon lists of things to complete before the school bell rang and we could pick up the most lovely SWMBO. We packed up the E-Mobile and took a little jaunt to the Local Bagel and Smoked Fish Emporium, then headed off to the party shop for punch bowl, ladle and other beverage service necessary for service of the Chatham Artillery Punch. Tasks complete, we swept up SWMBO and headed north for Helen.

A quick stop for smokables and potables just outside of Helen brought the first big, big laugh of the day. Last year I brought a gift for a friend, based on his documented fear of all things zomboid. Little did we know that we'd meet his biggest nightmare in the North Georgia Mountains:

And where can you find this handsome fellow and more like him? Right here.

Our new zombie pal took off for his daunting, haunting day job, and the E-Mobile was once again pointed towards our home-away-from-home, the Chalet Kristy in Helen, where the mayhem had already begun in the parking lot.

Jimbo of the great farookin' hair greeted us with Chocolate Vodka and Shiner Bocks. Which led to...

Key Monroe feeling that Velociman could not possibly get into the spirit of Blogtoberfest without the proper costuming.

As you can see, he obliged her with nary a yodel of protest.

Key, V-Man, Georgia and Recondo32 tailgating in the parking lot.

Rick, Barbie, Jimbo, Erica, the infamous Catfish and Ken the Bodyguard swapped travel tales. Sammy, Zeejus, RSM (who put in an all-too-brief visit) and Denny managed to evade my lens, as did the lovely Joan of Arggh! and her swain, the Legendary Jolly Roger, Holder and Richard and newcomer (and closet blodger) Michelle.

Growling stomachs and restaurants with spotty service due to the incredible influx of touristy types compelled us to split up in search of dinner. When really bad music forced us back into the night and back the the Kristy, we met up with a few more of our favorite reprobates and took over Erica's room for a full-blown(eyed) bash:

Dax and Joan played backup...

... while Denny got us pretty effed up.

GuyK, Catfish and Dax chewed the fat...

... while SWMBO, Erica and Georgia put the Jolly in Roger. (And that's all you're getting out of me about Friday night.)

Shortly afterward, I toddled off to the Land of Nod. (36+ hours without sleep will do that to even the heartiest of Blown-Eyes.)

I don't claim to have any knowledge of Saturday morning, as I indulged in more than a little make-up sleep. When I finally peeled back the blackout curtains, it was to find an incredibly beautiful sunny day, and Blown-Eyeds hanging out down by the Chattahoochee.

Joan, Rick, Sam, Jimbo and Jolly Roger enjoyed the sunshine, fresh air and more Shiners.

Catfish, Rick and Dax told tales, as blodgers are wont to do.

We were also joined by GuyK, Sweetthing, and Sweetthing's brother. Sorry, no pix. Sure do wish they could have stayed longer!,

We were then greeted by a big treat -- John Cox, of Cox and Forkum fame, brave camper he, joined the riverfront festivities.

Ellison checked out John's latest sketchbook.

Soon afterwards, tummies rumbled again, and Zonker, Ellison, Richard, SWMBO and I set out on the Bataan... er... Bavarian Death March in search of the best barbeque in the North Georgia Mountains.

On the return march, Dax, Richard and I stopped by the local Rescue Station to pick up one of my favorite healthful elixirs. (None of that Chatham Artillery Guaranteed Hangover In A Punchbowl for this chiquita!)

Thus fortified, we returned to the scene of the ongoing crime:

Catfish and Bodyguard Ken were deep in conversation, but Eric and Fiona arrived shortly thereafter, and it was determined to be half-rubber time.

Undeterred that our usual half-rubber pitch was covered in vehicles due to the overload of cash-laden tourists with no other place to park, we retired to the grassy spot twixt the cabin du Richard and Holder and the Chattahoochee River.

Eric fielded while V-Man did pitching honors.

Holder said, "That was a close one!"

John joined into the fray, and impressed us all with his pitching abilities.

Erica knocked more than one pitch right into next week!

Half-rubber requires more than one catcher. Erica, Key and Michelle obliged.

On the sidelines, SWMBO, Michelle, Denny and Richard.

Sometimes, 'tis better to be spectator than sportsman. Key, SWMBO and Denny.

Zonker (a/k/a Zeejus*) and Key.

As the shadows grew longer, RSM made a return visit, and quickly changed from chammos to civvies. Blown-Eyed borborigmi rumbled loud across the pitch, and dining plans were hatched. While some of the Blown-Eyes opted for local dining pleasures, a big group of us (at Barbie's urging) decided to make good use of the barbeque grills provided by the good folks at the Kristy, so we headed off to Betty's Country Store for a grocery foray. Imagine Barbie and yours truly trying to wrangle Ellison, Sam, RSM, John, Dax, Eric and more in a tiny country store with two foot wide aisles and shelves crammed to the rafters. You'll have to imagine it, as only a Keystone Cops video would come close to the hilarity that ensued.

We returned to the Cottage du Holder and Richard, and proceeded to massacre a mountain of ribeye steaks and veg.

The Grill Master shows off the steaks.

RSM hoisted the veg.

A veritabobble feast, to quote Ellison.

After dinner, we were joined by Kelly and the Senior Chief, and I found myself with a shiny new Blog Son. (I spawn some handsome blog children, I do have to say.)

So what else did you miss? Lots more music by the Elderly Brothers, Robert Service, ghost stories, defamation by cartoon, an inflatable ewe, flying monkeys, a headless rooster and more of that Chatham Artillery horse swill. A veritable Ripley's Believe It Or Not of a blogmeet.

I'll tell you no more... but will give Richard the last word on how to survive a Jawja Blow-Eyed Blogmeet.

*If you found my Zeejus shirt, please give me a shout. I'm happy to pay the postage to get it back. And no. I'm not telling you how I lost it.