June 30, 2011

To catch a cheater

Chris Hansen, the NBC anchor famous for snagging Internet pedophiles on the show 'To Catch a Predator' has found himself in the center of an ironic scandal, The London Daily Mail reports.

Hansen, 51 has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old TV Reporter from Florida.

Hansen was caught in a sting organized by the National Enquirer as he was having a romantic dinner with Caddell at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach.

A source says that Caddell is a former intern at NBC and 'there was an immediate physical attraction between them' when they met.
Hansen lives with his wife Mary, 53 in Connecticut but reportedly has been spending time in Florida on a disappearance investigation.
What's the over-under on Hansen keeping his job?  I can see the argument made that he is only human, that he made a mistake, that he is committed to his wife or the ever popular 'going to rehab'.  I can't see any way that Hansen can continue doing the 'Predator' specials.  Yes, those people are vile perverts, but he can't confront them with the same arrogant attitude and have any credibility after getting caught lying and cheating.

On second thought, our president gets away with it, so, never mind.

This could get interesting

If rumors are true, school board meetings might be more lively this year.

Similar rumors and yet more of the same.

Perhaps I should drop Mr Beck a line and refer him to this post

4 am

Usually it's a kid or a dog waking me up. Yesterday at 5:30 am, it was the muted every-30-second chirp of a smoke alarm wanting attention. The detectors are interconnected, which is some friggin' building code here that translates to, 'the detector beeping is not likely the one that is actually causing the problem and will drive you batshit crazy trying to figure out what the problem is'. I chose to let the thing chirp rather than wake the kids with lights and alarm testing at o'dark-thirty.

At some point yesterday morning, it stopped chirping on its own and I forgot to follow up.

At 3 am this morning, our power blinked off for a few seconds. When that happens, several devices in my house make a considerable amount of noise - mostly the printers/fax machines that beep and whir for a couple of minutes, resetting. That is what woke me up at 3 am this morning.

I was just dozing back into dreamland when the smoke alarm started chirping again. I got up, stumbled to the laundry room for the step stool and set to testing. Though it was a hallway detector chirping, the red light was on in The Princesses' room. I put one hand over the unit to try to muffle the noise and pressed the test button, The Princess jumped in her sleep but didn't wake up. It reset to green, but the hall detector still chirped.

I moved to the hall and pushed the test button there. It continued to chirp, now accompanied by the detector in Boom's room. Son of a bitch. I climbed down and went to the kitchen to rummage for a 9 volt battery, the replacement of which fixed the hall detector but not Boom's. I took a little too much delight in trying to reset her detector. She was awake enough to comprehend that this was something she would have to endure, to get the damn thing to STFU, so she wasn't complaining. I pushed the test button a couple times more than I really needed to, before climbing down to find another 9 volt battery.

The house is quiet again, except for a cacophony of frogs and other outdoor creatures that inhabit the pond next door. Quiet, peaceful - Mr Harper went to work early to audit an inventory, so no snoring - and I am WIDE AWAKE.

June 29, 2011

Senate bill name change suggestion

New York Representative Anne Marie Buerkle (R) is a woman after my heart.  She has introduced a bill that would stop federal funding for the House and Senate budget committees as well as for the leadership offices in any year they failed to pass a budget.

For those not keeping track, the last time the Senate passed a budget resolution was in April of 2009.
The “Just Do Your Job Act of 2011” seeks to “enact what the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 called for in the event these elected officials fail to act," the Congresswoman says in a statement.
The bill prohibits any further payments from the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution for the operations of the House or Senate Budget Committee of their respective chamber if that chamber has not passed a budget resolution in compliance with the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
It also rescinds $1 million in appropriations from the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution for the operations of the Office of the Majority Leader of either chamber if the particular chamber has not passed a budget resolution in compliance with the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
 That means the offices of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. would be defunded too. “Senator Harry Reid is paid by the American people to follow the law and pass a budget. If he can’t do that, he should give those resources back to the people and stop wasting their money,” said Rep. Buerkle.
Amen, Sister.

I have said it, and many of you have said it.  No private sector (non-union) employee could perform this poorly in their job and not get fired.  Not only are we allowing them to keep their jobs; they get raises, increased benefits, expense accounts and the adoration of the MSM.

Rep. Buerkle points out that even the Libyan government managed to pass a budget earlier this month, in the midst of a civil war.

I think many of our government issues could be solved by treating Congress like a child.  When my teenager's room is a disaster, I send her to it and tell her that nothing else happens until that room is clean.  No phone, no computer, no TV, no going out.   I say we call all of the politicians to D.C., send them to their respective chambers and they don't get to do anything else - no media appearances, no fund raisers, no fancy dinners, no travel, no new legislation - until they have a budget.

And while I like the intent of Rep. Buerkle's bill, I think we should be more precise in our communication and call it the "Just Do Your Fucking Job or We Will Vote All of Your Sorry Asses Out of Office" bill.

June 28, 2011

First call for the 2012 Criplets Reunion

I almost made it to my house around noon yesterday.  I say 'almost' because our road reconstruction project only allowed me as far as the neighbor's driveway.  The road was blocked with large piles of gravel and they were working on a piece of equipment that had broken down right in front of my driveway.  It took a few hours to get the grader fixed and the gravel spread before I could get home.

I love driving in the Hill Country, except that it seems like it is all too soon before I am back to the flat expanses of North Texas.  Denny mentioned that he preferred the Missouri Ozarks and north Georgia Mountains to the Texas Hill Country.  Apples and oranges, I think.  The Ozarks aren't too pleasant in the winter and Georgia has actual mountains - we are only claiming hills!  While I am thinking of the Appalachians, it reminds me of the key difference between the German & Czech infused history of the Texas Hill Country compared to the mountainous areas of Georgia (Tennessee, the Virginias and the Carolinas) - you can float the Guadalupe River without fear:

CenTexTim was a newbie, and his Blownstar experience was just as new to me as it was to him.  The absence of CharlieDelta and Paul (that's two in a row, Paul) makes a marked difference in the event.  Others were absent, but a lone Kerrcarto does not the Criplets make, and that is notable.  In hindsight, it was better that they weren't there.  I don't think the YO Ranch Resort's head cowboy could have handled CD in his full glory.  Being in a public place is a different Blownstar-animal all together.  After giving us the fish eye for two days while we sat (no where near the pool with glass containers of beer) talking seemed a little overdone by the last night when the Texas Professional Photographers Association convention moved in.  At least we kept our trash picked up, left our kids and dogs at home and can hold our liquor. 

Blownstar is the best thing I do for myself all year long, so we were busily begging planning to get back to the ranch and get all the gang back next year.  No excuses (Paul).  Thanks to Kerrcarto and Supergurl for handling the arrangements each year.  I know it is an extra burden on your busy lives, but it is much appreciated. 

June 27, 2011

Home

I'll catch up later.

Damn, it's hot.

June 26, 2011

A more refined Blownstar

Well, not exactly refined, but it has been more tame than usual. I think the absence of the younger ones, coupled with what Kerrcarto refers to as the absence of a 2,000 acre buffer, are the prime reasons.

Many of the crew are bugging out today, having silly things like work and family obligations to get back to. I haven't yet decided what the day may hold for me.

I have made two new Blownstar friends this trip. Good guys, both engaging story tellers.  We talked a little last night about friends and family that just don't 'get' what blogmeets are about.  I won't go into it, but will say that I am amazed and thankful for the people I have met these past three years - people that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

Last night by the pool, we saw the future of Blownstar. Several of us were sitting with our feet in the kiddie pool, getting splashed by a few rambunctious youngsters. Two sisters in particular were entertaining us, and vice versa. The older of the two, jumped out of the kiddie pool, called to us over her shoulder to, "Hey, watch this..." and then ran to the edge of the big pool, screamed, "CANNONBALL" and executed said pool entry perfectly.

Kerrcarto missed her first cannonball, but she was willing to do a repeat. She ran and jumped, another perfect cannonball. As she was coming to the surface, her dad negated the attempt, announcing that a cannonball really wasn't a cannonball, if one doesn't announce it just prior to entry in the water. Clearly this family has some cosmic Blownstar connection.

June 25, 2011

Late start

I haven't slept this late in years!   One more thing to love about the Texas Hill Country.   Another is getting carded when I made the first Shiner run.  That hasn't happened in years and it was genuine.  We won't discuss the thickness of the clerk's glasses.

Today the Blownstar Company (which is how the front desk of the hotel referred to us) is heading out on a little road trip to Luckenbach.  Denny is bringing his guitar and we have heard rumors of the elusive Eric showing up at some point today to pick with him.  If you aren't here, you are missed.

June 24, 2011

Cuban PWNS Perot

I was never much of a fan of Mark Cuban, the owner/fan/crybaby of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.  He reminds me of John McEnroe.  Watching a grown man have a tantrum at a professional sporting event, on national television, just wears me out. 

Cuban kept his mouth shut and his butt in his seat for most of the NBA playoffs and finals.  That was pleasant.  I am not terribly interested in the NBA, but aware enough to know that he has made some changes over the years and spent some money that was questionable at the time.  It would seem that those decisions paid off.  Now I am aware that the man has a wonderful sense of humor, as well.

Hillwood Investment Properties, a Perot company, is a minority owner of the Mavs and filed a suit against Cuban in 2010, claiming that Cuban's 'reckless' behavior was costing them 'investment value'.  Early this week, Cuban filed a motion for a summary judgement in the case, wherein he refers to the team as the 'World Champion Dallas Mavericks' and presents as evidence, a picture of the team with the championship trophy.  I hope the judge is as amused as I am:  

Images from here.

June 23, 2011

Al Gore is a bloated pig of a douchebag

I don't usually get too riled up about gender bias.  I do think that people doing the same job with the same level of success should be compensated equally, but I'm not burning my Victoria's Secret collection or kneeling at the altar of Gloria Steinem on behalf of all of the other issues that NOW screams about.

I take issue with Al Gore in general.  The man has crafted a career, and made a fortune, of spouting off sanctimonious crap about which he knows little about.  Case in point:
“One of the things we could do about it is to change the technologies, to put out less of this pollution, to stabilize the population, and one of the principle ways of doing that is to empower and educate girls and women. You have to have ubiquitous availability of fertility management so women can choose how many children have, the spacing of the children.
You have to lift child survival rates so that parents feel comfortable having small families and most important — you have to educate girls and empower women. And that’s the most powerful leveraging factor, and when that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices and more balanced choices.”
Population control.  Wow.

Now, I get that he is speaking to a world audience.  As an American taxpayer, I could buy into a program that stops rewarding welfare recipients for having more kids.  I could support a program that prohibits anchor babies.  I could support a program that limits American support of breeders in other countries.

Big Al didn't say any of those things.  He also spoke directly and succinctly about FEMALES being educated and empowered.  It takes two to tango, Al.  Perhaps that 'D' you got in college biology was due to your misunderstandings about human reproduction. 

I have friends from Tennessee, so I will just allow the rest of you to insert a joke about someone from the Volunteer State lecturing the world on family planning.

I can't believe the liberals, especially the women, will stand quietly by and accept Al's comments. The Caucasian birthrate has been in decline for decades and is now in the minority.  Surely Al isn't promoting eugenics, though that is exactly what it sounds like.

Big Al said that 'fertility management' should be ubiquitous.  I believe that the word 'NO' exists in every language - is that ubiquitous enough?  

June 22, 2011

Hail!

While I was away, we had a bit of a storm blow through town.

We got lucky, with just the usual deluge of water and mud across the driveway, small tree branches down and patio furniture blown across the property.

Less than a quarter mile north was the cell boundary of a severe hail storm. Driving through town, it looks like a war zone in the fall, as all the trees were stripped of their leaves. The streets are green with the litter of shredded leaves.  The trees are even scarred with marks where the hail hit and knocked off the bark. 

Through the heart of town, west-facing windows are shattered and metal buildings look like they were sandblasted, as the hail took off the paint. Our local convenience store is bare gray metal on the north and west sides, with just a hint of the old yellow paint remaining in the few spots that the hail missed.

Photo from Cross Timbers Gazette dot com
Looks like I picked a good night to stay away.

June 20, 2011

Counting down to Blownstar

I am on the road this week. Today and tomorrow I have the joy of traveling with my children. Mr. Harper took advantage of the peace and quiet and worked from home today, bragging about how much work he got done. Bite me.

We left the house at o'dark thirty to get Boom to College Station for a little two-day recruiting event wherein they will feed her a steady diet of the maroon Kool-Aid and convince her that they are the best vehicle by which to separate me from my money this time next year. She is already thusly convinced, but loves to get the free T-shirts and spend time on campus soaking up the Aggie atmosphere.

I thought that I would have a fun overnight adventure with the other three kids - and we have had a good time, it is just a little exhausting being the only parent with three kids when there are things like three story slides. It's hard to be at the top and the bottom at the same time, but I got my exercise trying. Never underestimate the climbing ability of a 4-year old when there is a Saturn rocket to explore and a 'do not climb' sign to ignore.

I will be home two days and then gone again, this time leaving the kiddos with Mr Harper for the weekend. He'll be responsible for getting Bang off to summer camp while I will be responsible for keeping the folks at the Shiner brewery in business. The world works so much better when we all pull our weight.

June 19, 2011

FOD

Okay, so it's not directly related to Blowie, but it is entertaining and we could all use a little reprieve from the stress of life in America right now. And Mr. Hubbard does sum up how I feel about another term with Blowie. I am SKAID!

Happy Father's Day

A Shiner is lifted in your honor this afternoon.

I wish my dad had lived long enough that we could have shared a cold beer and conversation. Or that he could have taken me to visit his kin in Appalachia, where we could have had some moonshine. He did take my mom, and most of my shortcomings in life have jokingly been blamed on that Mason jar of clear liquid my pregnant-with-me-mother chugged thinking it was water.

Enjoy your day, dads.

June 18, 2011

RIP Big Man

I like, I think, three Bruce Springsteen songs, not much of a fan. But, Clarence Clemons, I always loved and am glad that he played with others during his career. This Springsteen tune's sax solo is one that Clemons was well known for:

Rhapsody Redux

Bang watched Wayne's World for the first time last weekend.  He is 13 and 1/2, but, somehow PG and PG 13 movies from my younger days seem a little more risque when reviewed with my kids.  He has spent the better part of the past week walking around saying "SCHWING!" and "Babe-a-licious" and "spew".  The whole movie watching episode started out when I stumbled upon the movie on HBO and wanted the two older kids to see the original movie reference that explains what I do every time I hear "Foxy Lady". 

As is usually the case, Mom's music is so much cooler when presented in another context - like a funny "old" movie.  Both kids soon raided my CDs and iTunes.  Bang and Crash have listened to Bohemian Rhapsody about 30 times this week, so I almost didn't bother clicking play on this, I was so sick of the song.  I'm glad I watched anyway. 

June 17, 2011

Why no national language?

Texas State Senator Chris Harris is making news this week, after asking a man to speak English when testifying about the sanctuary cities bill before the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee.

The speaker, one Antolin Aguirre, said he had been in the United States since 1988, yet he chose to speak through an interpreter.  Harris chose to interrupt him and ask why he wasn't speaking English and further told Aguirre that it was insulting for him to address the committee in Spanish.

Right there with ya Senator Harris.  But...

What is the argument against a national language?  Why does the government not demand assimilation for those choosing to immigrate?  Why does my government provide multiple language translations of forms, publications and websites? 

We aren't a melting pot country, we have encouraged the separation and preservation of every distinct culture except for the one my ancestors sought, the one that our founding fathers had in mind when they came here.  The first American settlers didn't arrive intending to remain British, they sought the New World.  Why do we accept promote immigrants who want nothing more than to exploit our resources and opportunities while keeping their identity firmly rooted in another culture, language and heritage?

People used to come to the U.S. because they wanted to become Americans.  Now they come here with the expectation of being provided the American Dream, while maintaining the culture and heritage of another country.  Shame on us for allowing it.

Harris stories here, here and here.

June 15, 2011

Dinner with Blowie

Enter to win! No contribution necessary!

That's the part they don't want getting out - and the part that wasn't prominently featured in the campaign email. The obvious links take you to a donation page, but if you look closely, in the smaller font at the bottom, there is an alternate link taking you to the entry-without-a-donation page

A prize package worth an estimated $1,075!

They don't mention what sort of meal the four winners will be partaking of.  I hope it's none of that healthy crap Michelle likes to preach about.

I think I will enter.  I would encourage you to do so, as well.  They claim that contributing does NOT increase your chances of winning nor do they limit the number of times you can enter.  Wouldn't it be fun to overwhelm the contest with 'alternative' non-paying entries? 

My favorite section on the rules page was this one:
PROMOTION OPEN ONLY TO INDIVIDUAL UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL PERMANENT U.S. RESIDENTS WHO ARE LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE FIFTY (50) UNITED STATES AND DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND OVER THE AGE OF 18 (OR THE AGE OF MAJORITY UNDER APPLICABLE LAW).
So, screw you folks in Puerto Rico that he was just glad-handing.  Should have worked harder on the DREAM act, Blowie, so your constituency could legally vote next time around.  And this:
As a condition of being awarded any prize, each winner will be required to execute and deliver to Sponsor a signed affidavit of eligibility and acceptance of these Official Rules and release of liability, and any other legal, regulatory, or tax-related documents required by Sponsor in its sole discretion.  Sponsor may, at its option, conduct a background check on each potential winner. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person from receiving any prize based on such background check if Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion that awarding any prize to such potential winner could result in a safety or security risk to any person or persons or could result in the disruption of any event associated with the Promotion.
We may or may not have seen the president's birth certificate, more than two years after he took office.  But for Joe Plumber, or you or me to have dinner with him, we have to turn over documentation and submit to the full background check before the drink order is taken.

It would still be worth it to play along and get to have dinner with him.  I know that some of you can't stomach the thought of it, but I envision playing the complete dumb blonde card.  I could spill my soup in his lap, trip and end up straddling him (can you imagine the photographs?), pretend to faint and fall toward him - either he would catch me and be subjected to yet more 'fun' photos, or he would let me hit the dirt - and what a great story that would be!  I could pick my nose or have record setting flatulence at dinner.  Hum the theme song from The Jeffersons....the possibilities are endless.

A baby and bathwater kind of thing

What a bunch of maroons
A California school district has canceled a fundraising program featuring memorial bricks, scuttling proceeds of $45,000, after two women submitted Bible verses in their tributes.
Right off the top of my head I can think of twenty or more places that have some sort of memorial brick or board program that allows the buyer to inscribe the words of their choice for placement on a pathway, wall or courtyard.  Every school campus, the zoo, courthouse, parks, our local baseball complex, Cowboys Stadium, etc..  Who hasn't jumped on this fundraiser bandwagon?

I have walked along and read names, quotes and Bible verses.  I have yet to find anything offensive, since I respect everyone's right to free speech, not just those who fit into what my idea of a good and just society should be. 
"It is cowardly to shut down everyone's participation in this program simply out of animosity toward Christian speech," Cortman said. "There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional about a Bible verse on a brick when a school opens up a program for anyone to express a personal message. The school could simply have allowed the Bible verses, but instead, it chose to punish everyone."

Hundreds of other messages had been accepted for the bricks, Cortman's organization said, including inspirational and religious themes, such as a quote from Mahatma Gandhi and a Bible quotation -- "Yes, it is possible" -- written in Spanish.
Not a damn thing wrong with any of those quotes.  I wonder if they would have had the same reaction if the Bible quotes had been submitted without the citation of chapter and verse.  Probably never would have known the difference.  
Things sure seem weird on the left (coast).

June 14, 2011

Too vulgar to be called poetic, but still justice

"Man dies while raping elderly woman"
REFUGIO, Texas (AP) — Investigators said a man has died while in the act of raping an elderly South Texas woman.
The Refugio County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 53-year-old Isabel Chavelo Gutierrez. Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Wright said the incident happened June 2 after he rode two miles by bicycle from his home to that of his 77-year-old victim in the tiny coastal community of Tivoli.
Wright said the 5'-7", 230-to-250 pound man sneaked into the woman's house and raped her at knifepoint.
During the assault, he said he wasn't feeling well, rolled over, and died.

I call bullshit

First lady Michelle Obama on Monday told a fundraiser in Southern California of the toll the presidency has taken on her husband Barack Obama.

"I see the sadness and worry that's creasing his face," she said to a crowd of about 500 at the Pasadena luncheon organized by the Southern California Women For Obama. She described his worth ethic as “tireless,” according to pool reports.

"He reads every word, every memo, so he is better prepared than the people briefing him," she said. "This man doesn't take a day off."
See yesterday's post.

June 13, 2011

FOD

I squeezed in some laundry for the 11th weekend in a row.  My husband worked. Must be hard work, being the leader of the free world and all:
I know this will be surprising to everyone, but the president has gone golfing.
Having clearly had enough of the solitude of Camp David, where he and the family were making a rare weekend sojourn, the president choppered early this morning directly to Andrews and headed straight to the Air Force base golf course. Not clear whether Michelle in the girls are still at Camp David or back at the White House.
This is the last chance for him to practice before next week’s smackdown with House Speaker Boehner. The foursome will also include Vice President Biden and John Kasich, Ohio’s Republican governor. Kasich, a former senior GOP House member who worked closely with Boehner for many years, was chosen personally by the Speaker to be his second in the duel.
And, given that the king, the first in line and the second in line to the throne will all be in the same place for about five hours, LOTS of Secret Service will also be in tow.
Today makes 11 weekends in a row that Obama has gone golfing. It’s his 14th outing this year and the 72nd of his presidency.

June 12, 2011

105-95

Way to go Mavs!

I don't know what I enjoyed more, seeing all the fans packed into a bar in Wurzburg, Germany, cheering for Dirk and the Mavs or seeing Wade, James and Bosh crying like babies over the loss.

Beide waren wundervoll.

Stockpiling Shiner

What the heck?  Just as we are gearing up for our annual gathering in the Hill Country, this comes out:
The Bandera County Sheriff's Office issued a warning Thursday to citizens about an anti-government movement known for acts of domestic terrorism.
The law enforcement agency said followers of The Sovereign Citizens Movement have been known to carry out violent acts, including killing law enforcement officers and other public servants.
According to Hicks, followers of the anti-government, anarchist movement, share the belief that the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution has tricked Americans into becoming citizens of the United States and has offered them privileges, such as driver's licenses and other government benefits, which act as so-called hidden contracts through which Americans effectively have given up their sovereignty.
Hicks said followers are often very vocal about their beliefs.
"They've very serious in their beliefs, and very serious when they do go to violence," Hicks said. "They'll kill you in a New York minute."
For the record, I am very serious about my beliefs that the government is too big and too far from our Constitution.  I am often very vocal about my beliefs.

I am also a (mostly) law-abiding citizen.  I am certainly not violent.  Except when the Redskins play the Cowboys, but that is my husband's problem.

I am not an advocate of anarchy, because, quite frankly, I like someone else coming to pick up my trash and take it far away from my home.  I like the safety net of men with a big red truck willing to come to my house should a fire break out.  I enjoy paved roads, traffic signals and the Interstate Highway System.  I like turning a faucet and having water come out of it - water that is clean and partially chlorinated to remove diarrhea-inducing micro-organisms. 

Now that the Bandera County Sheriff has joined Wal-Mart in urging citizens to report suspicious behavior, I am glad that the party has been moved north.  If Shiner and ice purchases are any sort of indicator of suspicious activity, we'd be screwed.

June 11, 2011

We paid for monkeys to get high

It doesn't get much more entertaining than this.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a division of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health (NIH), has spent $3,634,807 over the past decade funding research that involves getting monkeys to smoke and drink drugs such as PCP, methamphetamine (METH), heroin, and cocaine and then studying their behavior, including during different phases of the female monkeys’ menstrual cycles.
You read that right.  They 'taught' monkeys to be addicts, by self-administering drugs and alcohol and then studied the effects of those addictions, specifically during the phases of female monkeys' menstrual cycles.

And we paid for it.

Humorous video story here:

June 10, 2011

Bend over and breathe heavily on the screen

I have to hand it to this guy, it is wrong, illegal, perverted - but, kudos, sir, for correctly assuming that there are some exceedingly stupid women in the world.  For your sake, I hope they were hot and you got an eyeful before you got caught:
A 20-year-old California man was arrested on Wednesday, accused of planting spyware on dozens of computers to secretly photograph women in a state of undress, police said...
Harwell is accused of installing the program, which gave him remote access to the user's computer and webcam, while working as a technician for a local computer repair company, Goodrich said.
But wait, here's the good part:
Police say they began investigating Harwell after a Fullerton resident contacted authorities over a suspicious message on his daughter's computer.
The message mimicked a system error advising her of a problem with an "internal sensor" and advised: "If unsure what to do, try putting your laptop near hot steam for several minutes to clean the sensor."
Goodrich said many users who got a similar message took their laptops into the bathroom while they showered, where Harwell allegedly photographed them undressing or naked.
Who in the hell thinks that steam is a good solution for an electronics issue?  Obviously tree hugging blondes.  "The message said hot steam but I can't just waste water, it's bad for the environment...I'll strip down and lather up while I 'fix' my laptop."

Puh-leeze.

The Long Goodbye

Our old dog is having a bad morning.  He isn't able to get to his feet on his own and my heart is breaking knowing that his time is growing short.  He doesn't seem to be in pain, which would make decisions easier - one way or another.  His hind legs have been getting progressively weaker and now his front seem unable to compensate.  He likes to lay on the cool tile floor in the kitchen, but can't get any traction when he wants to get up.

I know it is selfish, but I pray everyday for Woody to die peacefully in his sleep.  I appreciate the options we have been given in this modern world, to put our beloved pets out of their misery, but this one just might kill me.



June 9, 2011

More Food Stamp Fun

Several weeks ago I posted a picture of a receipt which detailed a purchase of lobster, steak and Mountain Dew.  Purchases totaling $148.71 and paid for with food stamps.

The picture was making the rounds of the interwebs, and I wasn't entirely sure that it was genuine.  Turns out, it was, and the purchaser is in a spot of trouble.
Buying $141.78 worth of lobster, steak and Mountain Dew with a Bridge card violates no laws or rules.

But turning around and selling the stuff for 50 percent of its value, well ... that's a different matter.
Louis Wayne Cuff, a 33-year-old Menominee man was arraigned in 95th District Court in Menominee last week for food stamp trafficking, a felony. Cuff's arrest resulted from a month-long joint investigation by the State Department of Human Services' Inspector General and the Menominee County Sheriff's Department. Cuff allegedly bought the lobster, steak and Mountain Dew and resold it for 50 cents on the dollar.
I still can't swallow that first sentence, about how buying lobster and steak with food stamps violates no laws or rules.  It should.  If people need food stamps to eat, they should be responsible with the resources they are given.   

Now we have the news that this guy sold the lobster and steak for 50 cents on the dollar.  Who buys black market seafood?   

Anyone want to take a guess at what this has cost the fine taxpaying citizens of Menominee?  $141.78 in food stamps, a month long joint investigation, a trial, possible incarceration, probationary supervision and this guy, if convicted as a felon, will probably never be off the government teat.

June 8, 2011

Magnited States of America

This PSA from an Austin-area movie theater is priceless.  I wish more businesses would realize that pissing off one or two assholes that make everyone miserable pays off in the end.  If I had the choice of my local Cinemark, AMC or an establishment with the rules and enforcement of the Alamo Drafthouse - Alamo Drafthouse would win hands down!

Here is their NSFW PSA, featuring an angry customer's voicemail, about talking and texting during a movie in their establishment:

June 7, 2011

It was Weiner's weiner!

Assuming that everyone is a consenting adult, I don't have a problem with 'racy and explicit'.  Right there on the Fox News homepage next to the Weiner story is a story about how to 'heat up your kissing routine' (I wasn't aware that I was supposed to have a routine, but that is neither here nor there).  Bookstores are teeming with 'how to keep the love alive' books.  Racy and explicit is a good thing - again, among consenting adults.

And it's better kept a private matter.  And if you are a public figure, I think you should use an extra measure of caution in everything that you do.  If you would be embarrassed to have your grandmother see or hear something you did or said - then recalculate your choices. 

I don't care that Weiner sent some (pretty vanilla) gray cotton boxer brief picture to a girl.  I care that he LIED about it.  That for several days he crafted several flimsy excuses and explanations.  'I WAS HACKED!', he said.  No sir, you were 'busted'.

I had the same reaction to Larry Craig and Mark Foley.  When your explanations are ridiculous, it sends a message that you think we are stupid enough to believe it.

I know that 'truthful politician' is an oxymoron, but wouldn't it be nice if they tried?

June 6, 2011

D Day

The American Cemetery in Normandy and Pointe du Hoc

Despite the sun in the photographs, it was November when I visited the D Day beaches in France and miserable cold. The wind howled all night, whistling through the windows of our hotel room above a noisy restaurant, in Grandcamp-Maisy. I'd like to go back someday, in June, when history buffs and soldiers trudge out into the water and walk in the steps of the brave souls who landed on that sand in 1944.

FOD Numbers

Unemployment (according to the government) 9.1%

Blowie job approval 47%

Percentage of Americans that think we are on the 'wrong track' economically 65%

Percentage of Obamacare waivers approved 90%

Investor optimism -9

People who said that a candidate's Mormonism wouldn't matter 68%.  I wonder if they asked about a Muslim candidate?

Number of registered voters that would like to see Blowie re-elected 48%

Who are these idiots?  Statistically, some of the 48% that want the Messiah re-elected also have to be part of the 9.1% unemployed or the 65% that think we are moving in the wrong direction economically.  And who do we have to challenge?  Romney?  Santorum?  Pawlenty?  Cain?  Bachmann?  Paul?

We are so screwed.

Sources here, here, here and here.

June 5, 2011

Shut your piehole

The Princess got braces this week.  My sweet little 8-year old girl had the bite of a bulldog, something the dental folks call a Class III crossbite.  When she began to lose her primary teeth, it caused her much pain with the teeth moving around and trying to come in at different angles.  So back in February she was fitted with a modern day torture device known as a rapid palatal expander.  Thankfully, the Princess only needed an expander in the roof of her mouth, to give her top teeth room to fit over the lower ones.

Every night for a month, we would crank the expander open another notch with a little metal key.  The internal effect being that the still soft tissues of the palette are, well, torn apart, basically.  We took a picture each week, to document the space that was created between her front teeth.  It was painless, according to The Princess.  Some nights she felt a little pressure just as the key was turned, but that was it.  We did this for 28 days and then the orthodontist sealed up the keyhole and left the expander in place to hold the shape.  During the next four weeks, her front teeth gradually came back together on their own.  Now, she has braces to align everything.  (In six weeks the expander will come out, more brackets will be added to the braces and by Thanksgiving, she will get the braces off).  It is possible that The Princess will need braces again as a teenager, when she has all of her adult teeth, but the bite issue is fixed for good.

All of that to say, there are some nosy ass busybodies in the world.  As if we didn't get all of the information and weigh our options up front, people felt compelled to tell me the gruesome anatomical details of what would be happening in my daughter's mouth.  They would tell me how cruel they thought it was and that they would never put their child through it.  I got an earful about the immorality of  "cosmetic" procedures like braces.  GMAFB.  My kid couldn't chew, should she survive on applesauce for the rest of her life? 

Despite the contingent of arrogant bitch mothers who can't keep their mouths shut, our experience has been a good one.  The Princess has such a great attitude about everything.  When told that having all this equipment in her mouth might cause her to drool excessively and spit on people when she talked - The Princess dissolved into hysterical laughter and couldn't wait to see who the first victim would be.  (It was me).

June 4, 2011

First day of summer

We had barely made it through breakfast this morning when I got the first heavy sigh and request for some new form of entertainment.  I just don't get it.  I won't pretend that I didn't have things as a child.  I had a piano, a ball glove and assorted other sports equipment, a bike, a dog, a yard, books, games and a TV. 

Take all of that, multiplied by four kids, plus computers, a Wii, iPods, their own rooms, 3 acres, two dogs, a horse, and all of the modern conveniences available to the average American.  They aren't impressed.  They want to go somewhere, do something.  Gah! Is it any wonder I count the days until school resumes?

June 3, 2011

Somebody stole da Fat Ho

The sign for 'Fat Ho Burgers', that is.

The Waco, Texas burger joint is named after just exactly what you think it is:
That’s right. The restaurant is named after a fat (as in hefty) ho (not the garden tool).
“It’s not calling people a ho. It’s just like they say, 'Oooh that ho is big,' or, 'That ho is tight!’” said Lakita Evans, the restaurant’s owner.
The 23-year-old worked her way through college to open her burger joint and said the name is mostly a bit of humor in an otherwise serious world.
The restaurant hasn't gotten good reviews for their food, though the menu choices are just as entertaining as the name over the door:
During the Monday lunch rush, a line of customers hungry for a Supa Dupa Fly Ho with Cheese snaked from the cashier to the door. A single paper menu was passed down the line from customer to customer. “You are what you eat,” the menu proclaimed proudly. Among the other available options are the Bad Mamajama, the Fat Chicken Ho, the Sloppy Ho brisket sandwich and, curiously, A Fat Ho Named Bertha. The younger (or just smaller) set can enjoy a Tiny Fat Ho off the dollar menu.
I can't wait to hear if they figure out if the sign was stolen by some righteous do-gooder that thought it inappropriate (maybe even the NoZe Brotherhood from Baylor) or if it was just a prank.

80 days

80 days until school starts again.

I wonder if Texas is an exception to the rule.  I often see '100 days of Summer' titled activities and lists of things to do for the season in national publications.  There is a cartoon theme song by Bowling for Soup that starts out,  'There's a hundred and four days of summer vacation, and school comes along just to end it'.  BFS is from Texas, but school calendars have changed a bit in the last 20 years.

Does the school calendar in your area encroach upon the traditional summer season like ours does?  Ending after Memorial Day and beginning before Labor Day?

I love my kids but it is a challenge to keep all of them entertained appropriately.  I think the range of 4 to almost 17-year's old is part of the problem challenge.  I am actually looking forward to it more than usual.  I need to wallow in some childlike joy for awhile and leave behind all the other crap I have to deal with as an adult.

Maybe I should suggest a little time with a child and a bottle of bubbles to the grouchy S.O.B.s that make my life miserable.

So the '80 days' title put this song in my head, I was walking around singing '80 days in the hole' this morning - joking about being held prisoner by my kids for the summer (it's a running theme, they pretend to hate school, I pretend to hate summer).  It has absolutely nothing to do with the subject, but I'm a Humble Pie fan and this live version is pretty great.  It also made me laugh to see the mistake in the title - thirty days in 'a' hole is open to so many humorous interpretations.

June 2, 2011

That could have gone better

What a shitty day.  There isn't much encouraging about being a public servant when the public is uneducated, bitter and hateful.  Okay, not all of the public.  But why is it that the smart, informed people tend to remain politely seated, or stare on in horror as the dolts line up at the podium to hurl their accusations?

I was at a loss today, which doesn't happen often in matters of procedure.  I tend to be kind of a nut about things like that, and always know the next steps and options.  What do you do when a governmental body has demanded a point of order, has a majority vote to enforce the rules of decorum, and the mayor and his puppet masters keep on screaming?  I am learning now that I maybe could have moved to turn off the sound system.  Problem was, turning off their microphones wouldn't have made any difference, everyone was screaming anyway.  What do you do after that?  Leave, I guess.  Silly me, I sat there for another 2 hours and took it up the caboose.

I know that none of this makes much sense to some of you, but I really can't afford to speak plainly about what is going on here, lest one of the crazies find my personal blog and start stalking my children or friends.  Yeah, it's that insane around here.

A prayer

Lord, please give me strength to face the circus/lion's den that I must enter into this afternoon.  Grant me mercy in my time of weakness, as I will surely speak before I think and it will be immortalized by the Fox 4 cameras.  Help me to turn the other cheek, even if it is the one in my pants and pointed toward the audience.  Rescue me from people so stupid that they don't even realize how stupid they are.  At least the average idiot knows his limitations.  Well, except for the president.  Thank you for watching over me and if a punch is thrown today, let it land gently upon the right side of my face, because my TMJ is acting up on the left.  I pray these things in your son's holy name.  Amen and amen.

Cue the Alice Cooper

School's almost out for summer for my kids.  One kid has one last final exam this morning, while the rest have various class parties planned.  Tomorrow consists of an awards ceremony and annual end of year hot dog lunch cooked by the town firemen.

To cap off the school year, Bang launched one last school-related panic attack. Around 4:30 pm yesterday (sitting in ridiculous traffic near the airport) he offhandedly asked me if we had any custard.  Custard?  The rest of the conversation revealed that his final grade for one class was to bring a food item from the country he had researched for Humanities.  His country was Australia and he had done some Googling, and there was this dessert he planned to make and he thought it needed custard.  He hadn't printed out the recipe, or written down the ingredients and he was so badly mis-pronouncing the name (povolones for pavlovas!) that we didn't have a clue what he was talking about.  15 minutes of phone Googling and we found the recipe, and then quickly dismissed it as it is a custard filled meringue that must be served immediately.  Not so good for sitting in a classroom until a noon time party.

We Googled a bit more and ended up making a damper, which is a sort of yeast-less bread favored by drovers.  The sort of dough that can be wrapped around a stick and stuck in a camp fire - which is exactly what I wanted to do with my son by the end of the night.  Our version has apples and cinnamon and smells wonderful, but looks like a cow patty.  I hope it is edible.

Boom also has a food related assignment for the day, but hers could be from the country of her choice and she wanted to go to the German Deli, where she picked out some Nuernberger bratwurst and mittelscharf mustard.  Living near the warehouse and retail store makes it easy to keep our German food cravings in check.

I doubt either of their lunches will be as exciting as the Pennsylvania 8th grader's field trip lunch at Hooter's.  Of course no parents have complained, the dads will be clamoring to chaperone field trips now.

And while I have chipped in or purchased various year-end gifts for teachers, none were as exciting as the Bath & Body Works deluxe edition with a loaded .22.  They sure do it up right in Florida.

June 1, 2011

Get your irresponsibility out of my freedom

I have just about had it with people who mistakenly characterize irresponsibility with freedom.  Do you know the type?

Many people began moving to my town in the late 90's, wanting to live a more 'country' lifestyle.  Of course, they weren't keen on burning trash or waiting an hour for the sheriff to come, so they soon began demanding municipal services (and bitching about their taxes going up - how do people think those things are paid for?)

These people will let their purebred Jack Russell terrorist run loose and then scream bloody murder when it gets hit by a car or disappears.  'We moved here for the spaces, fewer rules and the country life...the FREEDOM,' they say.  WTF?  If your dog doesn't know that they shouldn't play in the street, keep it inside.  Letting it run loose is IRRESPONSIBLE. 

Yesterday, some recent transplant was doing about 45 mph (in a 30) down my street.  Clipped a squirrel right in front of me as I was waiting to pull out of my driveway.  I'm no fan of squirrels, but no animal should be left do die in pain.  She had the FREEDOM to keep driving, but was IRRESPONSIBLE to do so.  Adding to that, you should see how these city folks freak out at the sight of a gun.  She had no problem with eventual death by minivan, but get a gun to put an animal out of their misery and watch out - I am expecting a PETA expose at any time.

Speaking of guns, my ex-husband is a cop.  Ten years ago, he showed up to a first grade theatrical performance, in our daughter's classroom, carrying.  I get that he is a peace officer and has the FREEDOM to carry a firearm anywhere.  Blatantly walking into an elementary school for the first time, in plain clothes, with a 9mm clearly visible under his shirt is IRRESPONSIBLE. 

These idiots ruin it for the rest of us.  The erosion of our freedoms is based in the careless and stupid actions of those who have no sense of responsibility.