Saturday, March 26, 2005

Annual Easter Joke

Q. What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Bikers and Ginger Ale Punch with a Raspberry Ice Ring

Take II

My original attempt to write this up failed as despondency overcame me. I truly believe that today, most US citizens are afraid of freedom. If they do not fear the responsibility that comes with freedom, then they fear their neighbors too much to allow freedom for others. It seemed an exercise in futility. However, this posting by La Shawn Barber at least gives me some hope. Apparently there are some 'liberal,' 'progressive' groups that haven't let their hatred completely overwhelm every last smidgen of decency. If they won't stand shoulder to shoulder with pro-life groups, at least they aren't standing against them out of sheer orneriness. & so the butterfly in Pandora's box still flickers her tired wings . . .

Also, in violation of all known blog etiquette, I have no links, no references, nothing to go by but my own faulty memory. Sorry 'bout that. There's not much to be done about it, unless someone wants to go to Villa Park, Illinois and manually search the dusty archives of the Villa Park Argus.

Once upon a time, probably around '84 or '86, I was young and full of joie de vivre. Also, alcohol. 'Twas a sunny Saturday afternoon in the springtime when I wandered half-schnockered out of my local watering hole at the same time as a drinking buddy, Carbide. Carbide strolled over to his bike and his biker friends; my eye was caught by a table set up across the street, outside the feed store, manned by two well-dressed, respectable looking ladies and covered in pamphlets. "Gee, what's that all about?" sez I to myself - and shortly repeated the question to the gentlewomen, as a light spring breeze wafted my whiskey breath merrily down the lane.

A well-manicured eyebrow was raised, but the question was answered politely enough. The ladies were (I think) with the Presbyterian Ladies' Auxiliary or some such group; apparently someone somewhere recently had had a potluck supper and salmonella was an unfortunate result. Nobody died, but I expect it was unpleasant and probably embarrassing for whoever brought the offending dish. The sad quirk of an incident had prompted the Villa Park government to propose a law outlawing potlucks, church suppers, bake sales and the like for 'the good of the people'.

Well. You can't tell something like that to a young, intoxicated female without getting some sort of reaction. The tears sprang to my eyes. "But . . . church suppers and potlucks are where everybody gets together and enjoys themselves. It's one of the few things that everybody likes. Can they do that?"

Responds a grim matron: "They're certainly trying to. We need those fellowships to reach out to each other, and the government wants to do away with them because of one isolated incident."

"Carbide!" I bawled. "They're going to make potlucks illegal!"

"What?!" Carbide looked at me as if I had three heads, but strode across the street. He looked at the ladies "What's this all about?"

The poor ladies thought I was scary; at the sight of 6'+ Carbide, in his leather vest, chains and obligatory tattoos, the women turned pale. But the lady in lavender took a deep breath, handed him a pamphlet, and explained.

I never hope to see such a display of righteous anger again.

"God fucking damn it!! That's not right!"

Is it just my imagination over time, or did Lady A really start to rise up in indignation? Did Lady B really pat her arm and bring her down, saying "Different people have different ways of expressing themselves. His heart's in the right place."?

In any case, Carbide really did yell across the street to his biker buddies - about 5 or 6 as I recall - and they all came traipsing over.

"Politicians are trying to tell old ladies they can't have any more get-togethers!"

"Shit, food is the only thing that could ever get me into church!"

"No way!"

"Are they insane? Tellin' me I can't have potato salad?"

& then the magic words . . . "What can we do to help?"

"Well . . . there's a town council meeting coming up . . . "

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Naturally, I was out of town for most of the excitement. Upon my return, I swear to you I saw Cadillacs sporting bumper stickers saying "When potlucks are outlawed, only outlaws will have potlucks."

Rumor has it that, in addition to various church ladies' groups, the Outlaws and the Sons of Satan also attended the town meetings. In any case, before Memorial Day with its traditional gatherings of food, friends, family and fun, the Lombardian (or possibly the Lombard Spectator) printed an article stating that the Villa Park government decided to drop its proposal. "When groups so diverse oppose a law, maybe it really is a bad law."

& the moral of the story is:

Celebrate Diversity;

Different people have different ways of expressing themselves, but that doesn't mean that their hearts aren't in the right place; and of course

When potlucks are outlawed, only outlaws will have potlucks.

True story.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Welcome to visitors fromNo Quarters and Pervasive Light.

Have you made your illegal political link today?

: )

Saturday, March 19, 2005

It's . . . Felonious Mom!


The crime that shocked the nation take place before your very eyes!

As an ordinary, middle-aged woman and mother becomes a hardened, vicious felon with no change in her daily habits!

At the naivete of bloggers who actually expect their senators, representatives, President, and Supreme Court to treat the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights with respect!

At the depravity that thrives deep within the heart of the notorious Madame Persnickety, a secret member of the McCain-Feingold Insurrection and Shameless Linker to Political Websites!

. . . The following preview brought to you by PetSmart and Globastat . . .

"We should sue for false advertising!" she typed, on her unregistered Compaq keyboard. Russ Feingold's site claims he protects civil liberties and civil rights, but really he is a a nefarious tyrant! He and his buddy, the bitter and power-mad John McCain! Vile Creatures! Have they never heard of a declaratory and restrictive clause!?"

Her terry-cloth robe flapped excitedly in the wind; her glow-in-the-dark bunny slippers glowed fiercely with the heat of her heart.

"Ye Gads!!" The politicians and media wept and trembled in terror. "Are there none to stop this madwoman? Who will saaavve us?"

Out leap
McCain and Feingold to the rescue! Mild-mannered senators by day; fearless freedom-stompers by night - will the shush & shut-down duo be able to stop this dastardly criminal?

Tune in the next time I feel like typing this much for . . .

Felonious Mom!

To report this violation of the BiPartison Campaign Reform Act of 2002, please file a written complaint with the Federal Election Commission. The complaint must be made in writing, and sent to the Office of General Counsel, Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20463. The original must be submitted along with three copies, if possible. Facsimile transmissions are not acceptable.

A complaint must comply with certain requirements. It must:

Provide the full name and address of the person filing the complaint (called the complainant); and
Be signed, sworn to and notarized. This means that the notary public's certificate must say "...signed and sworn to before me..."

Not that I am bitter.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

You can't bite City Hall

It's 134 years old.

It was a World War I ration. 86 years later, it still turns up in the British Warrior's survival kit.

It made it to the top of Mt. Everest

But it can't survive the European Commission.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

More things to celebrate

March is Women's History Month. If you're a woman with a past, this is your month!

Friday, March 04, 2005


I sure wish someone would go over to old books and read something. It's enormously tiresome to re-type them. I can't be the only person interested, can I? Not in the whole wide Internet?

Here's what's currently there:

We Thought We Heard the Angels Sing, a first hand account of being adrift in the Pacific Ocean for 21 days. Of interest to WWII buffs, Eddie Rickenbacker buffs, sailors, survivalists, Christians and anyone who loves a good adventure.

". . . 14 hours SSW Oahu. May have overshot island. Hour's fuel."

"As the coppery sun shot into the sky on our sixth day adrift we all began to realize the gravity of our situation. It had been almost 120 hours since our Flying Fortress had disappeared beneath the waves.

During that time each of us had had three minnows, one morsel of raw fish, and a fragment of sea swallow in the way of solid food. We also had moistened our mouths with three segments of orange. If you ever have to try it you find there is mighty little nourishment in such a diet. We had drunk no water since we left the plane."

The Gallogly Family/The West Family, actually a letter or series of letters containing genealogical information on (you guessed it) the Galloglys and the Wests of Ohio, from arrival in the New World in the early 1800s to the 1920s. Of interest to genealogists and anyone who's curious about ordinary lives in 19th century Ohio.

"When Dorothy West and her sister Mary McAfee with their children came to America, they were twelve weeks at sea. Little Mary Ann West died on shipboard and was buried at sea, having contracted measles after sailing."

When's the last time you heard of someone dying from the measles? Yet at one time it was very, very common.

"Mother walked at one time to spend the afternoon with a friend. On the way an ugly looking bull separated himself from the band and challenged her right to pass. Mother was carrying an umbrella. She opened it quickly and, putting it before her, charged the bull. With a bellow he turned and fled."

I'm currently working on Ten Nights in a Bar-Room, prohibition propaganda. I'm not sure when it was first published; my copy has a sticker in it indicating that it was book number 698 of the Library Association of the M. E. Church organized March 7, 1874. Can't tell whether 1874 has anything to do with the publish or purchase date, or if it's merely the date that the church was established. Ten Nights was entered into the Library of Congress in 1860. I've finished chapter 3 and have 7 more to go. blech.

But it's terrific propaganda. We are fortunate that Michael Moore is not so talented as the Ten Nights author, Mr. T. S. Arthur.

Pack your toothbrush, you're going to jail

Dear Constituent:

As Congress debates the future of Social Security, I thought you would be interested in reading an article I wrote about this critical program and the importance of preserving Social Security for future generations. The article below appeared in today's edition of the Tallahassee Democrat. Please feel free to forward this message to anyone else you think may be interested, and I hope you will take the time to visit my website at

"In Florida and nationwide, countless retirees have come to realize that they may outlive both their savings and good health. With more than three million Floridians receiving benefits, Social Security has become a virtual lifesaver in our State. So as Congress and the President consider the challenges facing Social Security and how to preserve the long term viability of the program, they should follow the advice of their own doctors who abide by the oath 'Above all, do no harm.'"

"As part of any debate on reforming Social Security, Congress and the President must first agree on the magnitude of the problem. The President likes to talk about Social Security as if it has life-threatening pneumonia. In fact, Social Security has a cold, which must be monitored and carefully treated before it becomes a serious illness.

"The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) states that Social Security will remain fully solvent until 2020. At that point, due to the growing number of retirees, Social Security payroll taxes will not be sufficient to meet the needs of beneficiaries, and Social Security must begin drawing on the trust fund make up the difference. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration predicts that in 2020 the trust fund will contain $5.8 trillion. The CBO estimates that these reserves will keep Social Security operating until 2052.

"Clearly steps must be taken to ensure that Social Security's promise is kept for future generations. However, the President's prescription of establishing private Social Security accounts is more likely to worsen the program's condition.

"Social Security benefits are funded through a 12.4 percent payroll tax, divided equally between employees and employers. Under the President's proposal, current workers could divert up to 4 percent of that 12.4 percent tax to private accounts. This would create a 30 percent shortfall in Social security funds used to pay current retirees' benefits. Private accounts Could actually undermine Social Security and worsen its financial troubles.

"To make matters worse, the CBO estimates that this shortfall will drive up the federal debt by as much as $2 trillion over the next ten years alone, and the President has offered no plan on how to cover these costs.

"Florida's economic prosperity has been closely tied to the low interest rates that throughout the last decade have allowed small businesses to secure loans, families to take on home loans and young people to go to college with the help of student loans. Driving up the federal debt will increase interest rates and erode investors' confidence in our economy, adding a second burden on the future generations forced to pay off the debt.

"Furthermore, even if the cost of the President's plan was magically covered, retirees may gain nothing from private accounts. Due to the administrative cost of accounts, monthly benefits will only increase if accounts grow at a rate of 3 percent above the inflation rate, and if accounts earn less than that amount, monthly benefits will decrease.

"Congress and the President should not reform Social Security at the expense of our nation's economic well being. And if the goal is to preserve Social Security for the sake of future generations, we should be sure that any reforms do not leave them with a legacy of unpaid debts, or put their benefits at risk.

"Instead, we must have an open and honest discussion about the challenges facing Social Security, ways to preserve the program for the future and the full consequences of all reform proposals. We can start by exploring ways to increase returns on Social Security trust fund investments or increase the amount of individual income that is subject to Social Security taxes.

"Most importantly, Americans of all ages must be part of the discussion and the search for a solution."

(You have received this email because you subscribed to my e-mail
updates, authorizing me to send to your inbox periodic e-mail updates from my Congressional office. If you would like to be removed from my e-mail update list, please send your name and address to and type "remove" in the subject line.)


Jim Davis
Member of Congress

Dear Mr. Davis:

I am fine with privatization of social security. I personally don't need to worry about it, because, thanks to your support of McCain-Feingold, I'll be spending my life in jail and being supported on taxpayer money.


Nice going, sir.

You could make amends by working to have this repealed. Since you were an original supporter, your change of heart would carry weight.

Best regards,

More on this at The Captain's Quarters.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Happy Archaeology Month!

In addition to being Frozen Food Month, March is also Archaeology Month.

According to the newsletter put out by Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society:

The tsunami that devasted the Far East on December 26 has exposed an ancient city and parts of a temple in Mahabalipuram, India. Archaeologists have begun underwater excavations there.

Three rock structures with elaborate carvings of animals have emerged. As the water receded, the force of the water removed sand deposits that had covered the structures. These structures appear to belong to a port city built in the seventh century.

The six-foot rocky structures include the elaborately carved head of an elephant and a horse in flight. Another structure has a reclining lion sculpted on it. Archaeologists believe these could be part of the legendary seven pagodas.

Further excavations may expose more edifices to be found.

CGCAS credits the St. Pete Times, 2/29/05, but that can't be right.

The Times of India has a cute little article, though:

. . the archaeologists are an excited lot . .

I bet they are. I could not find anything on the 'legendary seven pagodas" except more articles on their discovery. Seems like somewhere on the web there'd be, you know, a legend or something.

Anyway - Celebrate March! Take an archaeologist a frozen pizza!

Update: O Ho! India's No. 1 Weekly News Magazine printed an article June 2003 on the legendary seven temples. Scroll down to myth #4 - the sunken Temples of Mamallpuram.

"The story of the sunken pagodas of Mamallpuram - or Mahabalipuram - is like a ghost story. No one has seen a ghost, but everyone would claim to know someone who has seen it."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Bring us to your table!

Hurrah! March is Frozen Food Month!

Let's celebrate!

Well. . .

Your Brain is 20.00% Female, 80.00% Male

You've got the brain of a manly man

Feelings, schmeelings... tears aren't for you.

You could break both legs and not get misty eyed.

A great problem solver, nothing ever phases you.

Anytime I take a gender test, I always get results like this. Maybe I'm a gay man trapped in a woman's body. Is there a support group somewhere for me?

The questions drive me nuts, though:

5. In an argument or heated discussion, you find it most important to:

Drive your point home
Come to an understanding

Is it possible for two parties to come to an understanding unless each party drives its point home?

hat tip to Cut on the Bias