Leslie's Omnibus


Having lived in apartments on and off for most of my adult life...

(click to embiggen)

... this struck me as particularly hilarious. All that, and two new vocabulary words: "graphity" and "repestect" -- love it!

I am soooo making these cherry brown butter cookie bars. One look at those photos and I was drooling all over my keyboard!

Speaking of things that send my tastebuds to blisstopia, I just discovered these smartfood cranberry almond popcorn clusters. You'd never know they're gluten-free, contain no MSG and they're only 120 calories a packet! Just one taste, and I was hooked but good.

Now I've got to try the other two flavors.

Seems like pirates are coming out of the woodwork over at the Field Museum of Natural History. Hmmmm. I wonder if El Cap has a crew of his own? If not, he could always sign on here.

Take a love of all things Tolkien, throw in some politics, and this is what you get.

Just try and keep a straight face. I dare ya.

The next time someone tries the "but he grew up in poverty" line on you, or the "it's too hard" line on you, send them over here.

It'll make me think twice about whinging about much of anything, that's for sure. In fact, she's downright inspiring!

Seeing as it's Therapy Night, this seemed a fitting Ear Worm of the Day:

We'll be at Lloyd's after 5:00 p.m. today. Yes, the venue has changed, but the group is the same. I'll buy the first round of truth serum if you care to join us!

Remember my little rant about the shithead who uses the handicapped parking space every day and my vow to take him down?

I narked him out to one of DP's bicycle patrol guys this morning. He's toast tomorrow morning. Heh.


TOTUS, Big Guy and French gays. *Snicker*

I'm telling you, you've really gotta tune in to this guy any Sunday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. As far as I can tell, he thinks the U.S. really should convert to Socialism, we aren't paying enough in taxes, we're too interested in other people's affairs, especially those of public officials, and it doesn't matter whether those people are conducting those affairs on the public's nickel... Not. Our. Business. Oh! And if you disagree with him he's likely to ask if you're either gay or a sexual deviate.


Mark it down on your calendar and give him a listen so I don't have to. I'm tired of throwing things and yelling at the radio.

Take a wander over to Jimbo's Deli. It's the only political lunch spot in the country where you'll actually know what it is you're ordering up.

Things I Didn't Know:
You can donate platelets twice within a seven-day period if there is at least 72 hours between donations. You may donate up to 24 times a year.
... and...
Donor eligibility criteria are the same for both platelet and whole blood donors. You can donate platelets 72 hours after donating whole blood. If you donate platelets first, you can donate whole blood 72 hours later.
The problem is, once my local blood bank got their hooks into me and knew I'd do the platelets thing, they started calling and emailing me the guilt-inducing "critical shortage" notices just about every 72 hours.

I'm happy to help out, but I really can't be taking off for 2-1/2 hours every three days. And if they had their way, I'd do those 24 donations in the span of 12 weeks. Sheesh!

Update: Three phone calls and two emails in one day trying to get me back in there ASAP. I donated last Tuesday.

If you live in Chicago, LifeSource is experiencing a critical shortage of all blood products, but platelets in particular. Go donate, if you can. (But don't give them a good email or home phone number, whatever you do, or they'll hunt you down like a dog forever.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- both of my parents received multiple transfusions of both whole blood and platelets during the course of their cancer treatments.

It may be your kid or your parent or other loved one who needs it one of these days.

I may bitch a little, but I know just how important this is, and how little 2-1/2 hours of time really is.

Just do it.

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And now, a moment of bacon-y bliss.

Ear Worm of the Day:

Oh, heck. Let's make it a two-fer:

Songs of summer from my young and carefree days!


Giggle of the Day:


JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!"

How 'bout a little Electric Boogaloo?


No, Chrissy, I do not agree. But I guess it's your call. Email me when you change your mind or start up a new one, okay?


Triple Cheese Onion Bacon Buns? Be still, my beating heart! (That just shouldn't be legal.)

(And it would be a great name for a beefcake calendar hunk of the month, now that I think of it.)

Take Three - Part 1

I threw out the challenge here.

The first four intrepid souls to take on the challenge?


And the sentences?
I hate nature... and WalMart.

And that's when Nana went commando.

Moments like these make me very, very nervous.
Can't WAIT to see what they come up with!

Watch The Birdie!

My buddy Mort sent the following warning, which you might want to heed if you're driving anywhere in Illinois this summer:

A REMINDER ... Starting on July 1st

Illinois will begin using photo radar in freeway work zones in July.
One mile per hour over the speed limit and the machine will get you a nice $375.00 ticket in the mail.

Beginning July 1st, the State of Illinois
will begin using the speed cameras in areas designated as "Work Zones" on major freeways. Anyone caught by these devices will be mailed a $375.00 ticket for the FIRST offense.

The SECOND offense will cost $1,000.00 and comes with a 90-Day license suspension. Drivers will also receive demerit points against their licenses, which then allow insurance companies to raise Insurance rates.

This is the harshest penalty structure ever set for a governmental unit involving PHOTO speed enforcement. The State already has two camera vans on line issuing tickets 24/7 in work zones with speed limits lowered to 45 MPH.

Photos of both the Driver's face and License plate are taken.

In addition, if you do not stop completely at a right turn lane on a 4 way red light with cameras and then make a right turn, you will receive a 4 beautiful sequential pictures of your vehicle’s progress and a $100 ticket.



A Clutter of Quotes:
That’s a damn good idea. You lawyers are fucking smart.
(Namby is a recent discovery who gives me the giggles daily. And he lives in Chicago. Sweet.)
"Don't cry for me Appalachia! The truth is I never hiked you..."
... and...
I believe enduring love is primarily a commitment and an act of will, and for a marriage to be successful, that commitment must be reciprocal.
(Via la Diva Althouse.)
Personally, though, before you decide, I’d advise you to take a moment and consider ALL the implications of the word…’rental.

sourpuss wants to know what 4 live people you'd like to have dinner with.

I have an even more specific question: What four living bloggers, who you haven't yet met in person, would you like to have dinner with?

A Chicago grade school will be marching in this year's Gay Pride parade.

Not a good idea.


Because there are loads of almost completely nude people participating in the parade.

Because most of the floats have themes of a blatantly, overtly, in-your-face sexual content.

Because many of the parade participants and most of the watching crowd is drunk and disorderly.

You want to show your support for the community? Do a nice mural or plant a garden somewhere.

But the parade? No.

Don't forget about Take Three. There's always room for one more participant!

Giggle of the Day:


Ear Worm of the Day:

That was my role in High School. And, yes, I had to learn to tap dance for that. No. I'm no Ruby Keeler. (But I got the job done!)

Even Bigger Giggle:

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One more reason you don't mess with Texas.

This is just falling out of your chair funny!

Roadside Diner

Whoooo, boy! Elisson is blogging berries. I love, love, love berries.

A few years ago, a dear friend of mine (closeted, gay, upscale, and, God love him, snobby) invited me to a Fourth of July "barbeque." When I asked what I could bring, he told me in horrified tones that four well-known chefs would be in attendance, and that I should bring nothing.

"What? Are you afraid I'll bring Mom's baked beans?" I asked.


"First of all, my mother is from Boston, and you should be so lucky that I would share her recipe with you," I began. "But I promise not to embarass you. I am, however, not showing up empty-handed."

"But it's all gormeeeeeeeeeeeetttt," he wailed.

"Do you think for one second I'd embarass you?"


"No, I would not."

And I didn't. Yoshi, from Yoshi's Cafe, the chef from the European American train line, and two other well-known Chicago chefs were there (if I identified them to you, I'd have to kill you). All of them wanted my recipe by the end of the evening.

I wouldn't give it to them, but I'm giving it to you.

Raspberries Romanoff

4 pints fresh raspberries, seedless is better (I picked mine fresh off the vine in the Princess Mom's back yard.)
Cointreau or Grand Marniere
1 6 oz. pat cream cheese, softened
1 pint whipping cream
1 vanilla bean pod seeds (or 1 tsp. best quality vanilla extract)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
Fresh mint leaves

Layer the raspberries in a flat glass dish and drizzle with enough booze to bathe them without drowning them. (For God's sake, don't rinse them before you drizzle them. It waters the flavor down and breaks down the berries before you get all their juicy goodness marinating.) Refrigerate for at least one hour.

In a chilled bowl, whip (at high speed) together the creme fraiche , cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. Add pinches of Cinnamon, nutmeg and just the tinest whisper of allspice. Taste. Adjust the spices accordingly. Add the whipping cream, and beat until really fluffy.

Get yourself a high-sided serving bowl. Spread 1/3 of the whip in the bottom. Gently spoon half the berries on top. Add another third of the whip, then add another layer of berries. Gently spoon the third layer of whip on top, adding peaks, whirls and swirls with the spoon to make it pretty.

Garnish with mint.

Chill until ready to serve.

Be prepared to swoon. It's so good, your guests will be fighting over who gets to lick the bowl clean.


If you're not Zonker, then cover your eyes and scroll on down to the next item.

Zonk-man? This one's for you.

Blame Og, not me.

I just received my order from LoveDesigns over at Artfire -- a necklace, a bracelet and two pairs of earrings, all handmade, for under $50 bucks, including shipping.

Joy and Hannah are evil -- pure evil. I just spent money, and already they're tempting me with this and this and this and this.

Those shameless hussies!

Padlockable, industrial-strength zippers -- I want them for every married public servant in D.C. or even those thinking about running for an office that would take them there, man and woman alike. I'm sick of crap like this.

(And if the Governor's little jaunt was on the taxpayer's nickel, he should have to pay it back, with interest.)

Update: Prescient? You tell me.

Current conditions as of 2:16 pm CDT


Feels Like: 87°
Barometer:29.91 in and steady
Humidity: 55%
Visibility:10 mi
Dewpoint: 66°
Wind: SSE 9 mph
Sunrise:5:17 am
Sunset:8:31 pm
And of course I left the windows wide open before I left...

Ear Worm of the Day:

(No. I don't know why these things pop into my head and get stuck there for days on end.)

Giggle of the Day:

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Dear God! The Bacon Show is killing me. Beef Consumme with Bacon Dumplings?

Take Three

About a year ago, Miss Nancy and I had a discussion about reviving Chrissy's 1,000 Word Story challenges... with a twist.

Here's the challenge: I send you three sentences. You write 1,000 words in any format you choose -- short story, essay, poetry, screenplay, news article. You must use all three sentences. The twist is that you can use them anywhere you want in the story, as long as all three sentences appear somewhere within your 1,000 words.

I'll select four writers at a time, posting the challenge sentences on Friday, with the 1,000 words due the following Friday.

I enjoyed my own first 1,000 words, and figured it was time to revive the exercise.

I've thrown this out to several bloggers of extraordinary talent, some who've participated before and some who haven't. But that doesn't mean you can't participate, too. Email me at omnibus-dot-driver-at-gmail-dot-com if you're interested. I think it'll be fun.

Anybody up for a challenge?


Eric's in!
Nancy's in!
Barrie's in! (I am nothing, if not persistent.)
Joanie's on board!
And a second Joanie says "Yes!"
Whoohoo! Elisson boarded the bus!
Rosie is on board!
El Cap has run up a signal flag!


Update II:

I've got another little twist to throw in at the very end, but only for those who participate. And it involves turning the tables on me. C'mon. You know you want to make my life difficult.


*Chortles gleefully*

Seems ol' Perez has gotten himself in the bad graces of GLAAD, who rightfully pointed out that his attack on Will.i.am (or however the hell it is you mangle the name) was hate speech.

Gonna be interesting to see if the bitchy Queen will eat crow. (And, no -- it's not hate speech when he calls himself "The Queen of All Media.")

Tammi has written one hell of a post regarding my biggest beef with President Chicken Little:
You, Sir, are an executive. The highest in this land, as fate would have it. And as such, in a position with the responsibilities you hold, you gotta step up.
It's a thing of beauty, and bang-on accurate.

Ever wonder where President Chicken Little got his peculiar fiscal strategy? Look no further than Mayor Shortshanks:
As Telander notes, the Chicago Olympic bid is $4.8 billion. By comparison, the entire City of Chicago budget is just a shade under $6 billion. Daley is committing almost 80% of an entire year's worth of budget to a sporting event that was never even offered to the voters for an opinion. That's no money for jobs, social programs, building, clean-up, pensions, schools, whatever, for one entire year out of the next seven. Spent on a one-time blow out sporting event that will strain resources and put heretofore unknown pressures on an infrastructure that is already crumbling.
I swear, it's something in the water here in the great state of Illinois.

Quote of the Day:
Now is it just me, or do these skirts look like someone put a tube sock on a ferret and let it roll around for a while*?
Gave me the giggles, this did.

Are you traveling by plane this summer?

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Ken Levine has some really helpful travel notes here. The most useful tidbit?
Instead of jotting your parking location on a scrap of paper that you’ll surely lose, take a picture of with you camera phone. Same with your luggage so when it arrives destroyed you’ll have some record.
Yup. Tucking that into the ol' memory banks for my upcoming trips.

You know I love the funny stuff. Two new sources of never-ending amusement? Not Always Right and Tweeting Too Hard. You'll thank me for this... or curse me roundly for getting you hooked.

Some days there's nothing that trips my trigger over at The Bacon Show.

And then...
My arteries just whimpered while my taste buds danced a jig. I'm in deep doo-doo here.

Giggle of the Day:



Most of the time I don't feel my age (and I rarely act my age), but I've got to tell you, I can't take heat and humidity at all any more. I finally caved and ordered one of these, and the single window air conditioner in my kitchen doesn't cover anything but the kitchen.

We've gone straight from the 60's to the 80's and heading for the 90's. 80+% humidity.


He points a nuke and Hawaii and then has the nerve to accuse the U.S. of igniting the fuse of war? The NORK Nutball has some mighty big stones, I'll give him that.

And President Chicken Little? Please, for once, act out of character and have a finger poised over the big red button. Pretty please?

Bwaaaaaaaaaahahahaha!!! It's about time that nasty little schoolyard bully learned his words have consequences.

I'm not an animal activist by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm in total agreement with this. Having had to pith a live frog in sixth grade just to open him up and watch his heart stop beating, I'm not a fan of dissection just for the sake of teaching where the organs are and how they work. Computer modeling is more than adequate as a teaching tool until and unless you're a biology major or headed to medical or veterinary school.

This is just beyond the pale:

Police near Pittsburgh say a 5-year-old girl and her mother returned from a Make-A-Wish trip to Disney World to find that their home and vehicle had been burglarized.

What is wrong with people these days???

This makes me hopeful:

It's... a story of a Latino organization whose leaders unabashedly encourage the state's fastest-growing minority group to assimilate to life in this country and apply that approach to schools that largely educate Hispanic children.

The group's Mexican-American chief executive, Juan Rangel, said the organization makes a conscious effort to copy the century-old, up-by-the-bootstraps approach of white ethnic immigrants like the Irish and Italians. He renounces the more recent fight-the-power style of some African-American and Latino leaders who have sought to expand their political influence.

"Is this community going to see itself as another victimized minority or are they going to be the next successful immigrant group?" Rangel said. "There is an assumption that this community mimics the African-American community -- where it's been and where it's going. That's not the case at all. It has very little in common with the African-American experience."

That's a very big step in the right direction.

Are you doing paid posts? Then you might want to read this.

If you're getting freebies in exchange for endorsing products on your blog, disclose, disclose, disclose.

Giggle of the Day:

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(Reminds me of Darling Daddy and the Princess Mom on any given day.)

A Glance In The Rearview Mirror

It'll be eight years next month, and I still miss my dad like crazy:

You may be gone, Daddy, but you are never forgotten. I hold your memory close always, but especially on Father's Day. No matter how grown up I get, I'll always be Daddy's Little Girl:

(We danced to this at my wedding, and it still brings tears to my eyes.)

Storm Warnings

There's a very strange feeling in the air today. Not a squirrel to be seen in the squirrel capital of the universe. A young doe dashed through the center of town in broad daylight. Normally, the air is filled with birdsong, and there's not a peep to be heard.

The sky is gray, the air is thick and humid.

I think we're in for a humdinger of a storm.

I'm going home to batten down the hatches.


JihadGene says, "It's Friday... I'll Dance"

I will, too:

Why? Because according to this, I'm gonna live forever.

Quote of the Day:
But I still look sort of fabulous, as opposed to you in your gold lame genie pants with a crotch so low it could hide the Wimbledon men's trophy in it if you wanted to smuggle it out.

Go read the whole screamingly funny thing.

Cutness of the Day:

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Nope. Wouldn't apply there.

I'd be happy to give them my web addresses, but nobody gets my passwords:
City officials maintain the policy is necessary to ensure employees’ integrity and protect the public’s trust, but the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana says they may be crossing the line.

MAY be crossing the line? Ya think? I wouldn't give them my bra size or my front door key, either, and none of the above are appropriate things for a prospective employer to ask for.

I don't know about you, but I hope we've got a nuke pointed in the opposite direction and a President who's ready to press the button if and when the Nutball from North Korea lobs one towards Hawaii.

Enough talk, talk, talk. Clearly it's not working. And it's particularly insulting that he's picked the general vicinity of Hawaii for a target.

For my conservative pals, a challenge: Go listen to this guy's radio show on Sunday evening from 6-9 p.m. central time (stream it if it doesn't reach your airwaves), and tell me how long it takes before you're either yelling at the radio or switching it off. Because I'm betting you'll do one or the other, and quite possibly both.

Ah, progress!

Via La Diva Althouse, my big giggle of the day.

Road Conditions


The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued the following updated Severe Thunderstorm Warning as of 10:28 am:

The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a

* Severe Thunderstorm Warning for... northern Cook County in northeast Illinois... northeastern DuPage County in northeast Illinois...

* until 11:15 am CDT...

* at 10:27 am CDT... National Weather Service radar indicated a severe thunderstorm located near Hanover Park... and moving east at 30 mph. This storm is capable of producing quarter size hail... and destructive winds in excess of 70 mph.

* The severe thunderstorm will be near... Medinah... Addison... and Schaumburg by 1035 am... Itasca... Wood Dale... Elk Grove Village... and Addison by 1040 am... Bensenville by 10:45 am... O’Hare Airport... and Des Plaines by 10:50 am...

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

This Severe Thunderstorm Warning includes the city of Chicago.

This is a dangerous storm. Seek shelter inside a sturdy building and stay away from windows!

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in effect until 3:00 PM Friday afternoon for northeastern Illinois.

Be careful if you're on northerneasterm Illinois roads today, okay?


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Morris Animal Foundation is having a special fundraiser as part of their Happy Healthy Cat Campaign:

Millions of homeless cats lose their lives in shelters each year—often due to diseases as simple as the common cold. Morris Animal Foundation's (MAF) Helping Shelters Help Cats program is funding three feline health studies that will ultimately help cats stay healthy and stress free until they are adopted.
A generous cat lover will match every dollar given to this program up to $500,000, for a potential total of $1 million to help save cats!

This shelter-health initiative is part of MAF’s Happy Healthy Cat Campaign, an unprecedented global effort to increase funding for feline health research and training of new scientists.

Give and win: Everyone who makes a donation to Helping Shelters Help Cats will be entered into a daily drawing for a “Treats & Toys” gift basket (retail value approximately $15 each). Donate now.

Thank you for helping cats live healthier lives!

I just dropped a few bucks over there in honor of Cece and Neighbor. Just seemed like the right thing to do, you know?

Look, I'm of two minds when it comes to the Chicago Olympic bid -- I'd love to see it here, but I'm not at all happy about this:

The mayor, in Switzerland for an International Olympic Committee meeting on Wednesday, promised that Chicago will take full financial responsibility if the city gets the 2016 Summer Games.

He promised the tax payers that we wouldn't be paying a dime for this. Yeah, right.


I wonder if this was an American customer? Sure sounds like it to me...

Honesty. Transparency. Change. Well, one out of three, anyway. And the change ain't good.

Way to go, Barry.

And speaking of honesty, Johnny Shiny Hair is back in the spotlight. But, really, it's not all about him and his need for power and attention. Really.

Ear Worm of the Day:

And how's the weather where you are today?

Quote of the Day:

"He gave no explanation. . . . There is no law against driving naked so we had to let him go," Royal said.


At the Intersection...

... of love and marriage. Not me. Not yet. Maybe it will happen. Maybe it won't. But I've learned a few things over the years of marriage, divorce and the long, slow stroll to getting comfortable in my own skin, acceptance of my past mistakes and examination of my strengths and weaknesses, that marriage is still a good and desirable state. And, if I'm lucky, I'll get there some day.

What brought this on?

Ann Althouse has a thought-provoking post about the public disintegration of a 20 year marriage. Go read the whole thing, then pop back over here.

The words that did a flying ninja leap off the page to me were these:

Indeed, what also came out that afternoon were the many tasks I—like so many other working/co-parenting/married mothers—have been doing for so many years and tearfully declared I would continue doing. I can pick up our girls from school every day; I can feed them dinner and kiss their noses and tell them stories; I can take them to their doctor and dentist appointments; I can earn my half—sometimes more—of the money; I can pay the bills; I can refinance the house at the best possible interest rate; I can drive my husband to the airport; in his absence, I can sort his mail; I can be home to let the plumber in on Thursday between nine and three, and I can wait for the cable guy; I can make dinner conversation with any family member; I can ask friendly questions about anybody’s day; I can administer hugs as needed to children, adults, dogs, cats; I can empty the litter box; I can stir wet food into dry.

What I don't hear Sanda Tsing Loh saying, and the words I should have said long ago are these: "I can't do this alone. I need you to do whatever it takes to stand up and be in charge. I'm tired. I'm hurting. I need you to be the head of this household. I'm falling. I need you to pick me up. I need you to be the strong one."

I was so busy holding the entire world up that I forgot that I had a partner. I forgot that I could have and should have insisted he help shoulder the load, and maybe even be the one to carry it alone for a while. And by the time I should have figured it out, I was so physically, mentally and emotionally spent, that all i could do was save myself, because the partnership wasn't a partnership any more.

"I can is a dangerous place to be once you make the commitment to become a "we".

Dr. Helen recently recommended "You Still Don't Understand," which I picked up out of curiosity, but which gave me a deep understanding of why my own parents' marriage worked, and why my own fell apart.

I went back and re-read the eulogy I'd done for the Princess Mom. Again, there were a couple of things that slapped me upside the head:

They had a tiny little apartment that was a place of pride, and a big old beater of a car that wouldn’t start unless you got it rolling downhill first. Dad pushed and Mom drove. That would be the pattern of their many years together.

It couldn’t have been easy for Mom to be stuck at home with three small and demanding children, and sometimes Dad was too tired to hear about home woes. Mom’s method of getting his attention was to write him a letter setting out her arguments, placing it on his pillow and then taking herself out to the movies, usually with an emphatic slam of the front door. She told me years down the road that she and Daddy never discussed those letters, but his behavior always changed to show that he’d paid attention. After he died, she found every single one of those letters tucked in the back of his armoire.

In retrospect, they took turns driving. They had different methods of getting one another's attention, but when the situation called for it, one or the other would drag out the cluebat and whap the other upside the head with it.

Marriage or partnership -- or whatever the hell you want to call it -- isn't always harmony in yoke. Sometimes it's both pulling together. Sometimes it's one pulling harder than the other. Sometimes it's resting together. You don't always have to agree on the path, as long as you both have one eye on the destination, and the other eye on your partner.


Quote of the Day:
I still love Haylie and would have stopped doing porn if she had asked me to.
My eyeballs just about fell out.

Thanks, Denny. I owe you one.


Giggle of the Day:

Joanie nearly slayed me with this, and then I saw this:

Must be silly black & white doggie day...

Don't tell my downstairs neighbors about this. I own the worlds most obnoxious alarm clock, which is always set on rooster crow mode, and I don't want to give them any ideas...

Why did I miss Og? Oh... just little stories like this. *Giggle*

Mostly Cajun is swattin' at moonbats today:

Dear, dear moonbat. The weapon is the mind. I could grab the hatrack from the corner of my office and kill with it. And what, pray tell, are you going to do about several inconvenient truths, such as the gazillion ‘traditional knives’ already out there, or the fact that stabbing tools can be fabricated from ANYTHING (just ask a local prison guard) and have been since the dawn of man.

Or, let’s do another direction, and take away knives… Why of you think that all those neat weapons used in martial arts look like farm implements? Nunchaku? Flail for separating rice from the stalk. Kama? Farmer’s sickle.

Or how about getting stabbed with a serving fork. Or the sinister ice pick. And while a standard cheap ball point pen is sufficient, there are TACTICAL pens that are meant to serve as weapons… The list goes on. Necessity is the mother of invention, and weapons have been necessities since the beginning of time.

But that would be logical, and would assume an understanding of science and human nature and stuff like that, and moonbats never let those things get in the way of their plans for all of us…


Oh, goodie. Another one. Is there not a single politician in Washington who knows how to keep his trousers zipped???

You know that something is truly wrong when you get warnings like this from your local constabulary:
Summertime is a high-traffic season at area cemeteries, both for people visiting loved ones' graves and the thieves preying on them.

So with Father's Day around the corner, police officials are warning people to lock their cars and keep a close eye on purses and other valuables after several recent thefts at graveyards.

Sammy Sosa's been off my list since the infamous corked bat incident. Just this past week he was pontificating about how, now that he's retired, he's just resting on his laurels and waiting for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Seems he'll be waiting a long, long time.


It'll get you every time.

Okay. I need some happy now. Here you go:

(Whoa! Just got some very funny looks for dancing around in my cube...)

Just for that...


Fill 'Er Up

Pammy tossed up a post with a great broccoli recipe that got me thinking about another card I dug out of one of the Princess Mom's three (count 'em, three) recipe boxes.

Staples of the Princess Mom's pantry and fridge included Campbell's mushroom soup, sour cream, mayonaise, cheddar cheese, Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing and bacon. If a casserole didn't include at least two of those ingredients, it wasn't likely to hit our dinner table.

The Princess Mom's Broccoli Cholesterol Bomb Casserole

2 pkgs frozen broccoli, cooked and drained (or two good sized bunches of fresh broccoli trimmed and steamed)
1/2 cup mayonaise
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 2-oz jar of pimientos, drained and chopped
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups Pepperidge Farm herb stuffing

Layer broccoli in a buttered casserole dish. (I'd say use cooking spray like Pam, but, given the rest of the ingredients, why skimp here?)

Mix the mayo, mushroom soup, cheese, pimientos and lemon juice and dump over the broccoli. (Her instructions say "spoon" over the broccoli, but dumping is much more efficient.)

Stick in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

In the meantime, mix the butter and stuffing crumbs. Spread over the top of the casserole, and toss back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Nirvanna. (And even better reheated for breakfast the next day.)

Tootin' the Horn

Whoohoo! It's official -- I just bought my ticket and I'm going back to Ireland in October. New traveling companions, some favorite stops from my last trip, and some new destinations as well.

Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!

I'm like a little kid with a present I can't open until Christmas... the waiting time will just about kill me.

Gotta learn how to do that.

It's happy dance time...

Calling All Code Warriors

My buddy Redneck is having some serious issues with Google and Firefox since both recently did upgrades. And it's affecting another friend, whose site he hosts.

If you can get to his site, you're probably using an old version of Internet Explorer.

If you get the Red Wall of Doom ("Danger! Danger! Run, Will Robinson! Malware MIGHT be here!), you're using Google, Google Chrome or Firefox.

I sent my pal the contact information for Google to see if he couldn't find someone to tell him what particular malware they might be detecting, and this is the result:
Thought you might find this... amusing. I called the page number you
reference below, the lady said they don't have technical support. She
proceeded to tell me that unless I had a first name and a last name of a person
there, that I could not speak to anyone.

Basically, they're holding not one, but two blogs hostage, and they offer no explanations and no help to figure out: 1) if it's malware; and, 2) how to identify it.

Redneck, who is colorful in his language on the best of days, has spent more time appologizing for the "f-bombs" he's dropped in our conversations over the past couple of weeks than he has, I'm sure, for the past couple of years.

All he wants to do is be able to delete whatever malware Google and Firefox allege he has on his (and our friend's who he is hosting's) site(s) and get back to business as usual.

To say the least, he's upset with both services, but especially Google, which has been anything but helpful.

He feels his weblog and the owner of the blog he hosts weblog have been hijacked. He is furious that his freedom of speech is being wrenched away from him.

Here's what I know -- he's self-hosted. He uses a Word Press template. He occasionally posts a music stream link. He's turned himself inside out comparing the data that was fine before Google went Chrome and before Firefox updated to his current data -- line by line of code. There's no difference.

He's been told that his site "might" be hosting malware, and that Google and Firefox will not remove the warnings until he can prove that there's no malware there.

An angry Redneck is an ugly thing.

He can't be the only one.

If there's anyone out there that is currently dealing with this nonsense, or who has successfully fought and won, or might have a clue how to help him, please email me at omnibus-dot-driver-at-gmail-dot-com and I'll pass the info along.

I promised him I'd throw a lifeline out. Is there anyone out there who can reel him in?


cute pictures of puppies with captions
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Hmmm... I want the Goracle to tell me one more time about that Global Warming thing...

Haven't been to the Shedd Aquarium in a long time? This is a good week to visit, as it's FREE this week! They just completed a major renovation, so it should really be wonderful.

Here's an interesting combination -- Chicago native and country singer, Liz Toussaint:

Oh, yeah. Did I mention she's... different? I like her voice, and I'll be watching for her. It would be fun to see her live.

They finally caught the cat mangler. That's one young man who's got some serious issues. (And I'm still not convince he acted alone.) I'm glad they nailed the little bastard.

I just wish people would learn their lesson and keep their cats inside. No good thing comes to an unsupervised outdoor cat except an early death.

I have a good friend who's having a particularly trying year, having lost both close family and friends within the last 12 months. He sent me the following note:
What I am having huge huge problems dealing with: earlier in the year we lost Robin's dad, then a month later her mom and my dad is now very very ill. And I've lost 2 other friends this year. Tell me how to deal with that and you will be even wiser than I already believe you are.
Here's my response:
I lost my own mother in September, and Marilyn a year ago last March, so I have at least an inkling of what you're going through. You deal with all that by dealing with one thing at a time.

You hold Robin up when she needs you, and you let her hold you up when you need it. And then you let your friends hold you both up when you've both hit the wall.

And you hug your critters as often as you can.

You go to the dog park and play until you and your dog are both ready to drop. The fresh air and exercise will do you good.

You remind yourself that as long as you carry these people around in your heart, they are still with you.

You say "I love you" to those who are dear to you every time you see them or talk to them.

You don't let other people hijack your grief by telling you their sad tales and getting all emotional when YOU'RE the one who needs some comforting. (Yeah. It sucks, but people do that.)

I started writing my mom's eulogy when we knew she was terminal, but with enough time that I could still ask questions, and make sure that I got it RIGHT. (You can find it here: http://getonthe.blogspot.com/2008/09/in-memorium.html) You may find that doing the same for your father gives you a surprising amount of wonderful memories you'll want to share with your friends -- I know I did.

When everything seems bleakest, try to remember them at their funniest and best. Those memories are precious, and they are very comforting. And you're allowed to LAUGH when you think of them. They'd prefer that to your tears.

Every once in a while you get completely schnockered and have a good cry.

You keep reaching out to friends, just like you reached out to me.

And you pray a lot -- for strength, for easing of pain for your dad, for comfort, and for peace.

In the meantime, I'll be holding you and Robin up in my own prayers. Tap me on the shoulder any time you need me. I'll be there. I promise.
I have some pretty smart and compassionate readers out there. What else did I leave out?


It's Flag Day!


The Bacon Show hat-trick: Mini Artichoke Pizzas with Crispy Bacon, Pizza with Shrimp, Bacon and Artichoke Hearts and Bacon Potato Pancakes.

Excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.

The problem with Democratic leadership?
Quigley described Pelosi's first breakfast meeting with the freshman class. "Pelosi said you need to get re-elected. You need to be in your district for every art fair and event," he recounted.

But then, he said, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declared: "We have a most extraordinary agenda . . . plan on being here five days a week."

"The freshmen were all staring at each other," Quigley said.
Nothing like a clear message. Yikes.

On the other hand, there's always hope with a GOP watchdog like this around:
The Kennedy-Dodd bill will pave sidewalks, build jungle gyms, and open grocery stores, but it won't bring down health care costs or make quality coverage more affordable," Enzi said. "In a time of record debt and deficits, how can Democrats justify the wasteful spending in this bill?"

We need to root out the waste, fraud and abuse that is driving up health care costs – not create a whole slew of new wasteful programs," said Enzi, the only Senator to serve on the HELP, Finance and Budget Committees, which share jurisdiction over health care reform.
We sure could use a few more guys like him on the Hill. The thought of all of those folks who've never lived out in the business world monkeying around with our money -- especially the healthcare money -- continues to give me the willies.

No offense, but it's about time. Some of us have been living that way all along, and quite happily, thank you.
Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
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(Somebody at I Can Has Cheezburger was channeling the unfortunate woman who just brutally slaughtered both America the Beautiful and The Star Spangled Banner, as well as describing the karaoke stylings of the guy in the apartment below me. Ouch.)


It was an interesting night in Chicago last night.

First, there was the 2009 World Naked Bike Ride:
Chicago's past events included many hundreds of cyclist and numerous inline skaters, and covered over a dozen miles of high visibility city areas. In 2008 the 5th annual event drew a staggering 1700 riders! Blessed by decent summer weather in a great cycling city, the event has grown into a fantastic rolling celebration, with similarities to other major alternative parades world-wide. Participants often describe it as a transcendent group experience, personally transforming, and beyond superlative.

Update: Now even more up-to-date photos.

Then there was this little incident.

How'd you like to explain those road rash scars?


Before I blast out of here for the weekend...

JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!"

Anyone for a little Rubberband Man?


Giggle of the Day:

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

A couple of quick BlogThings...

You Are Very Happy

Your life is totally together, and you enjoy every day.

And you don't need a quiz to tell you that!

You know how to find pleasure in the little things...

And even when life isn't so great, you have a good sense of perspective.

I don't know where this is coming from at all.

... and...

Your Gift is Intellect

You are a big thinker, and you're always playing with new ideas.

You are curious about the world. You enjoy learning and developing new theories.

You enjoy researching, analyzing, and solving problems. Thinking hard feels good!

You're the type of person who finds most mental tasks to be easy. You love to stretch your brain.


Via Dax, my past life analysis:

Your past life diagnosis:
I don't know how you feel about it, but you were female in your last earthly incarnation.You were born somewhere in the territory of modern Saudi Arabia around the year 1200. Your profession was that of a trainer or holder of fine animals, such as birds..
Your brief psychological profile in your past life:
Revolutionary type. You inspired changes in any sphere - politics, business, religion, housekeeping. You could have been a leader.
The lesson that your last past life brought to your present incarnation:
You are bound to solve problems of pollution of environment, recycling, misuse of raw materials, elimination of radioactivity by all means including psychological methods.
Do you remember now?

Haaaaaaaaaahahaha!!! Two out of three ain't bad. (Although the fact that problem solving shows up in two totally unrelated tests... freaky.)

In Memorium

It's been a sad 36 hours. They say bad things happen in threes, and three families are hurting today. This little candle is in honor of Taylor and Cece and Cookie. All much loved. All crossed the Bridge. All greatly missed.

If you knew any of these wonderful critters, or if you know the peeps who loved them, please consider making a small donation to the Morris Animal Foundation in their memory. It's a wonderful way to take a big hurt and turn it into a consoling hug.


Ear Worm of the Day is a two-fer:

It's all Mostly Cajun's fault. (Just goes to show you never can tell.)

(And I've never heard of this Rich Voisine before, but you can bet he's going on my regular play list!)

Giggle of the day:

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

Here's a good and reasonable take on fixing our broken healthcare system.

And what do I agree with most?

As a flaming moderate I get to offend people on all sides. We need to fix our system. It is broken. It is not a playground for those who like to argue. It is not a place to be liberal or conservative. This is our care we are talking about, not someone else’s. The solution will only come when we all come to the table as potential patients and fix the system for ourselves.

Too right.

Here's the real sad part about the Ricci decision, and what worries me about the decisions Sotomayor may come up with if/when she's on the Supreme Court.

Not good. Not good at all.

With BlogHer coming up soon, I thought maybe I'd hire a driver for Miss Nancy.

Whaddaya think?

P.S. -- Nancy? We need to start RSVPing for our parties of choice!

It won't be long now!

I'm Going to BlogHer '09
I'm Going to BlogHer '09

The Rocky Road to Love

God bless LL! I think she just found the man of my dreams:

Love is an opportunity, not a prize. It should be pursued greedily, recklessly, with an adamant heart. Kiss men, and move on. Maybe one day you’ll kiss a guy and he’ll turn into a guy who’ll march through tornadoes to get you tampons, admit when he’s wrong, and eat ice cream naked in bed with you. The point is: give regular people you date the chance to be extraordinary without the maudlin fairy tale expectation. The favor will be returned.

Lastly, ladies: if you’re heartbroken, grow a pair of ladyballs. Buck up, listen to some Patsy Cline, and toss back nice stiff shot of bourbon. Then try out this Snapple cap bon mot: “Men. Can’t live with ‘em, good thing they’ll keep making more.”
Yup. There's a guy I could respect! (I'd even make him pot roast. Meatloaf wllith mashed potatoes, pan gravy, niblet corn and apple pie for dessert.) Straight to the blogroll with him!

Still haven't found that perfect relationship or in one that's not what you wanted it to be? I picked up this book found via Dr. Helen recently. Holy crap! It explains just about everything.

It doesn't bash men or women... but it does give good insight, without all the cutseyness of that Men Are From Mars idiocy.

If you are inclined to do the romantic thing, Alpana has some ideas for reasonably priced summer wines to tuck into that picnic basket full of goodies.


Quote of the Day:
When life gives you lemons, ask for some maple syrup and ceyene pepper too. This way you can do a cleanse.

Giggle of the Day:

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

Ear Worm of the Day:

Yep. Now that I've finally given in to Facebook, they're coming out of the woodwork!

Road Report - Dingle

Photos from Dingle wouldn't be complete without...

... this little peanut, who was out for a jaunt with her Grandpa (click to embiggen -- she's just adorable)...

... and Rachel Lucas swears by critter photos as part of any travelogue:
How could I pass up a Dingle donkey?

Hoping for a handout.

This little dog has the run of the Red Murphy's, not the Green Murphy's.

This cute guy guards a local art gallery.

I had to look high and low to find a cat. This sweet Tortie obliged.

This cute guy belongs to the brother of the owner of the Green Murphy's. (Are you keeping this all straight?)

And because Teresa loves her stone walls...

This river comes down from the mountains and feeds into Dingle Bay.
The mountains and hills are covered in furze.

This beautiful garden runs along the river in front of the Captain's House.

And a visit to Dingle wouldn't be complete with more pictures from Dingle Bay:

Fishing nets and floats.

My favorite photo from this trip. Who knew a point-and-shoot could get a shot this lovely?

I just got an email from Aer Lingus. They're offering special rates for certain dates in October if you order your ticket by June 16th. I'm really, really tempted...