True Crime-Morales Fears the Needle, a Pizza Bill of rights; Miscellany-Instructions for Stupid People

  • How Search Engines Rank Pages

    Raul Vergara

    Every smart search engine optimizer starts his or her career by looking at web pages with the eye of a search engine spider. Once the optimizer is able to do that, he or she is halfway to mastering the task.

  • Food for Thought: The Organic Truth

    Natalie Davis
    Lots of folks, hoping to enjoy the benefits of higher-quality, higher-nutrition foods, make the choice to go organic. More than 60 percent of Americans - nearly twice the number in 2004 - purchased organic food products last year, and organic foods are among the fastest-growing segments of the food industry.

  • Take Cover, My iPod's on Shuffle!

    Dave Nalle

    Inspired by a series of articles by Sadi Ranson-Polizotti, a healthy dose of ego and the realization that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it occurred to me to share my thoughts about some of the fun and eclectic music on my iPod.

     Posted by Hello

    Trouble in Paradise?

    Goodness knows I’ll not be affected whether Vili Fualaau and Mary Kay Letourneau don’t manage to make their strange marriage work or not. Thus I’m inclined to wish them well for they’ve certainly suffered a lot for their “love”.

    If my words seem skeptical then so am I.

    Mary Kay was Vili’s 6th grade teacher so she fell in love with him when he was around 14 or so. She went to jail for 7 ½ years and managed to get pregnant while in jail. Letourneau is now 44 years old and Vili is around 22.

    The age difference might not be such a problem but the need for Fualaau to sow his wild oats, as it were, could be. A mature woman needs a mature man. As it is Mary Kay better get set for about ten years of wildness from her new husband.

    Beginning with Vili’s drinking problem.

    From the Seattle Times:
    Fualaau arrested on suspicion of DUI
    Seattle Times

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comVili Fualaau, who in May married his former sixth-grade teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau, was arrested in SeaTac on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.

    On Dec. 22, a SeaTac police officer pulled over a 1999 Cadillac DeVille going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone on Des Moines Memorial Drive South near South 190th Street, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart. He said Fualaau was arrested on suspicion of DUI after blowing a 0.136, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content for driving. The Cadillac that Fualaau was driving is registered to Letourneau, Urquhart said. His court date is pending.

    Such Job Dedication!

    There is just nothing right about detectives receiving sexual favors then arresting those delivering same.

    I really don’t care how they defend the practice and there’s been plenty of defense of late.

    For it seems the prostitutes don’t quite speak the language, either at all or so heavily-accented that the normal routine of eliciting sex for money then stopping when money changes hands does not work.

    So Spotsylvania detectives go a little further than many deem sensible. Indeed the Washington Post article details another such sexual operation that was tried in Maryland (Spotsylvania is in Virginia) and prosecutors refused to try the cases.

    Spotsylvania authorities report that only unmarried investigators are assigned to the detail but hey, these fellows don’t have girlfriends or such?

    It also smacks of discrimination in that this tactic is only done with foreign prostitutes.

    Never mind the dedication of the Spotsylvania County’s undercover detectives, for them to engage in a sexual act is bad form and really tacky.

    Hey, prostitution is in many ways a victimless crime, or so the Libertarians would argue. Not that I condone it or ever want it made legal in my neck of the woods. But if detectives have to have sex with the perps to make their case the whole thing isn’t worth it. No matter how much the detectives enjoy their work.

    Re-assign those guys to the Internet child predator detail and go after some sleazy criminals that really need to be locked away.
    Spotsylvania County's practice of allowing detectives to receive sexual services in prostitution cases has exploded across the nation, fueled by snickering bloggers and talk radio shows, and the county's top official has asked the sheriff to stop using the investigative technique."

    "Smith, an elected official, did not return several calls yesterday. In a joint news release Monday, the day the practice was reported in The Washington Post, Smith and the county's chief prosecutor, Commonwealth's Attorney William F. Neely, defended the tactic. They said detectives needed to go beyond striking verbal deals of sex for money because the "masseuses," whom they called "illegal aliens," spoke little English and Virginia's prostitution laws require more than "mere touching" to make a case. Neely also did not return calls yesterday."

    We Can’t Put People to Death Because It Might “Hurt”?

    It would appear that the state of California has given up on the execution of Michael Morales. Who is a fine fellow who stabbed, beat and repeatedly raped 17-year-old Terri Winchell.

    Some judges, un-elected, decided that the death needle might hurt.

    What followed was a round of confusion. The state was required, by un-elected judicial edict, that an anesthesiologist should first administer a knock out drug and be on hand in case the drug does not work.

    Frankly I’m confused about the sequence of events. Two anesthesiologists were recruited to do the deed then quit for ethical reasons. An action that surprises me because right up the road in Oregon that have a burgeoning industry for physicians willing to kill people.

    No wait, it’s only ethical when the people are already dying, I suppose.

    Somewhere along the line the state of California threw in the towel.

    Americans don’t espouse any death penalty actions that cause unnecessary pain. That’s not the purpose. But a needle?

    I must conclude the un-elected judges don’t want the death penalty carried through as the citizens dictated because a needle is about as benign as it comes. There is simply nothing less painful.

    Tookie Williams’ tried to live using children’s books as a prop. He should have claimed his fear of needles.

    From CNN.com:
    Image hosted by Photobucket.comSAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Outrage and frustration reached from the governor's mansion to the living rooms of the victim's family and friends after the execution of convicted murderer and rapist Michael Morales was postponed again.

    While lawyers, doctors and a federal judge have focused on whether the state's lethal injection policy might cause a condemned killer pain, those who remember 17-year-old Terri Winchell said they are thinking about the pain she must have felt -- and the anguish they still feel.

    "We just want to get this out of our heads and out of our lives," Winchell's mother told The Associated Press. "The whole justice system, it's ridiculous," Barbara Christian added.

    Another Twist on the Morales Case

    Seems an investigator for the Habeas Corpus Resource Center fabricated some statements allegedly made by the jurors in the Morales’ case. Said statements supposed to contain regrets by the jurors who found Morales guilty and sentenced him to death.

    Only the juror statements turned out to be fake.

    I’ve always been suspicious of these organizations formed by charitable legal types, or in this case the Habeas Corpus Resource Center was created by the state of California. Their mission is to go back and research convictions, review the physical evidence and if possible, get a potentially innocent criminal released.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks that innocent people should remain in jail for crimes they did not commit. But these organizations concern me. They tend to be populated by zealots with a preconceived mission to effect.

    Something else I learned in my research was that these organizations are not staffed exclusively by volunteers. In fact, most of the members of these sorts of organizations are paid. This California Habeas Corpus Resource Center is an actual arm of California’s judicial system. Ahah, a government agency. Bureaucrats, attorney bureaucrats at that, yeah, that’s the ticket.

    I’ve heard stories of criminals across the land released by such organizations, charitable or government sanctioned, when evidence was found to be faulty. Of course this is a good thing. But in keeping with the Reagan mantra to “trust but verify”, I’d review every piece of evidence these places claim to be faulty by an independent lab or investigator.

    In the case of Morales, somebody or another became so impassioned by their job that they came up with some fake juror statements.

    From Bakersfield.com:
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The investigator accused of fabricating juror statements in a bid to win clemency for a man condemned to die Tuesday is under investigation for previous cases she worked on for a state agency that defends death row inmates.

    Investigator Kathleen Culhane, whose worked is being questioned in the case of Michael Morales, was employed by the Habeas Corpus Resource Center between 2001 and 2005, the agency said Thursday.

    Culhane generated what prosecutors believe were bogus juror declarations from six jurors saying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should spare Morales, who raped and murdered a 17-year-old Lodi girl in 1981.

    Boyfriend Bites Off Woman’s Nose

    They couldn’t get the nose because the fellow swallowed it. The guy did have blood all over himself even though he denied biting off his girlfriend’s nose.

    What on earth would possess someone to do such a thing?

    From Newsok.com:
    Boyfriend accused of biting off nose of California woman during visit

    By Jay Marks and Chad Previch

    The Oklahoman

    TULSA -- A woman told police her boyfriend bit off her nose at a family dinner, an officer said Friday. Jody Bennett, 37, of California told officers she and her boyfriend were visiting family members Thursday in Tulsa. They were in a back room when the man bit off her nose, police said.

    Bennett came from the room with a bloody napkin over her face, police said.

    Officers were unable to find the nose. They believe the man swallowed it, police Sgt. Kim Presley said. A doctor told officers that pumping the man's stomach would not help because his stomach acid would have dissolved the nose's cartilage.

    "They couldn't find it," Presley said. "That's probably the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of before."

    Police arrested Greg Harrison Hill, 45, about 7:35 p.m. Thursday on complaints of resisting arrest, maiming and domestic abuse and violence, Tulsa County jail records show.

    Hill told police he did not bite his girlfriend.

    Presley said officers cleaned blood from Hill before booking him. He was in jail Friday in lieu of $40,500 bail.

    Presley did not know where the woman was Friday.

    Car Accident Turns to Intrigue

    This accident caused quite the pileup and for a while was one of the ten thousand “Fox Alerts” the day it happened.

    The following day the accident turned into something more. Because one of the victims of the accident was carrying a check for two million dollars and “other financial instruments”. The FBI terrorism force was called in.

    The latest news is that there are no ties to terrorism for this “physician from Puerto Rico”.

    Okay. The FBI says what it says. It could be just me but check out this fellow’s name. Does that sound like a Puerto Rican name?

    From Chicago Tribune:
    FBI: No terrorism tie in Stevenson crash

    By David Heinzmann and Lolly Bowean
    Tribune staff reporters
    Published February 23, 2006, 7:21 PM CST

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com The victim of a fatal Stevenson Expressway traffic accident who immediately attracted the attention of FBI terrorism investigators was a physician from Puerto Rico who had real estate and business investments in the Chicago area but no known ties to terrorism, his attorney and authorities said Thursday.

    Lafi Hussein Nofal, 45, died Wednesday in a chain-reaction wreck on the southbound Stevenson near the Harlem Avenue exit. Authorities said they found a check for $2 million and "other financial instruments" in the car, drawing the attention of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

    However, the FBI released a statement early Thursday saying there was no known terrorism link, and referred further questions to the Illinois State Police.

    Leaving With a Smile

    Now here’s a job attorneys should get a handle on.

    It’s a spoof but the firm of Warwick-Seltz is a law firm whose time has come.

    Look at the following “Pizza Bill of Rights” and tell me we don’t need somebody protecting our right to a fine pizza.
    You have the right to edge-to-edge toppings.

    . Toppings shall be fresh and never canned.

    . Toppings will be found on top of the cheese, for perfect cooking.

    . Cheese shall be aged provolone, and shall never be spelled "cheez."

    . You are entitled to 100 pieces of pepperoni on every large pepperoni pizza.

    . You have the right to expect consistently great taste with every pie.

    More True Crime Updates HERE

     Posted by Hello

    First, My Pictorial Thoughts on the Weather of Late

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Checking Computer Usage

    I didn’t know this.

    Windows XP has an Event Viewer to help you keep track of what your computer is doing. An event is anything noteworthy that happens to your computer. To bring up the Event Viewer, go to Start/Run and type the following:


    Events are stored in three log files: Application, Security and System. These logs can be reviewed and archived.

    For our purposes, we want the System log. Click on "System" in the left-hand column for a list of events. Look for a date and time when you weren't home and your computer should have been off.

    By double-clicking the event, you can get more details on what the event was. Just click on the link that says, "For more information."

    You can also use this log to see how long someone was on the computer. Just look at the time the computer was turned on and off for that day. Oh look, Junior was on for six hours! No wonder the yard work wasn't done ☺

    Real Product Instructions

    Just how stupid are people?

    Read on.

    The comments are not mine. But I like them.

    In Honor of Stupid People
    In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods.

    On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping.
    (Damn, and that's the only time I have to work on my hair).

    On a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
    (the shoplifter special)?

    On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap."
    (and that would be how???.....)

    On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost."
    (but, it's "just" a suggestion).

    On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) -- "Do not turn upside down."
    (well...duh, a bit late, huh)!

    On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating."
    (...and you thought????....)

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."
    (but wouldn't this save me more time)?

    On Boot's Children Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."
    (We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5-year-olds with head-colds off those forklifts.)

    On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness.."
    (and...I'm taking this because???....)

    On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only."
    (as opposed to...what)?

    On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use."
    (now, somebody out there, help me on this. I'm a bit curious.)

    On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts."
    (talk about a news flash)

    On an American Airlines packet of nuts -- "Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."
    (Step 3: maybe, uh...fly Delta?)

    On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
    (I don't blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

    On a Swedish chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."
    (Oh my God...was there a lot of this happening somewhere?)

    More Miscellany posts HERE
  • Monday

    Quotables-The Best Compilation of Cheney Snarkism Across the Blogosphere; Web of Week-Playing With Flowers

  • How Search Engines Rank Pages

    Raul Vergara

    Every smart search engine optimizer starts his or her career by looking at web pages with the eye of a search engine spider. Once the optimizer is able to do that, he or she is halfway to mastering the task.

  • Food for Thought: The Organic Truth

    Natalie Davis
    Lots of folks, hoping to enjoy the benefits of higher-quality, higher-nutrition foods, make the choice to go organic. More than 60 percent of Americans - nearly twice the number in 2004 - purchased organic food products last year, and organic foods are among the fastest-growing segments of the food industry.

  • Take Cover, My iPod's on Shuffle!

    Dave Nalle

    Inspired by a series of articles by Sadi Ranson-Polizotti, a healthy dose of ego and the realization that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it occurred to me to share my thoughts about some of the fun and eclectic music on my iPod.

     Posted by Hello

    Dick Cheney Madness

    Now that the dust has settled on the Dick Cheney shooting, time to cull the wisest and/or snarkiest collection of commentary from across the Blogosphere.

    We begin with, heh, a Cheney joke.
    from Chuck Muth's News & Views,

    "As a card-carrying member of the NRA, I want Wayne LaPierre to change the saying t Guns don't shoot people; Vice Presidents shoot people."

    - Rich Galen, Mullings.com, 1/15/06

    Then onto some fine pictorial commentary.
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    Finally, some mythical headlines from Brokennews.com:

  • Kingsville Dispatch "Sheriff Fines Cheney $100 For Only Wounding Lawyer"

  • National Review Online "Shot Came From Grassy Noll"

  • Dallas Morning News "Red States Poll Shows Cheney Shooting Was Justifiable"

  • Austin Statesman "Cheney Says Victim's Quail Call Was Best He Ever Heard"

  • Washington Post "Cheney Prevents Hunting Party From Field Dressing Shooting Victim"

  • The Nation "Cheney Drove Shooting Victim to Hospital Tied to The Hood of His Car"

  • Texas Medical Association Bulletin "Corpus Christi Hospital To Do Jackass Face Transplant On Cheney Shooting Victim"

  • San Antonio Express/News "Sneaky Lawyer Tactics Don't Work On Cheney"

  • Houston Chronicle "Personal Injury Lawyers Hold Candlelight Vigil Outside Cheney Victim Hospital"

  • Wyoming Tribune Eagle "Cheney Friends Decline Fall Duck Hunting Invitation"

  • La Raza "Cheney Shooting Victim Gets Emergency Room Priority Over Illegal Aliens"

  • Vegan News "Cheney Shooting Victim Converts To Vegetarian In Hospital"

  • NRA American Rifleman "Witnesses Claim Cheney Only Feathered Lawyer"

  • New Orleans Times Picayune "Getting 'Dicked' Has All New Meaning"

  • Some Quotes from "Western" Muslims

    The cartoon riots across the planet have grown old. In fact, I suspect it is this boorish behavior that causes the United States of America to balk at the awarding of a contract to the United Arab Emirates to run this country's major ports. There's something to be said for such as images and public relations. Something the poobahs desperate to control oil wealth and behind the scenes choreographers of the cartoon riots do not quite get.

    Us Americans, silly us, don't take kindly to this sort of civil unrest and the images of those "seething Muslims" burning cars and embassies is not, I suggest this softly, such a good sight byte. It's the sort of upheaval we have come to associate with the so-called angry Muslims across the world. And having the UAE manage this country's ports brings visions of this sort of activity on our own land.

    There's also that little matter of how the so-called "moderate Muslims" don't call down these basket cases for their uncivilized behavior. Let's take a look at some of these moderate Muslims and see what they have to say.

    From Powerlineblog, a British Muslim speaks:
    The AP quotes Taji Mustafa, spokesman for the Muslim Action Committee, which organized the Hyde Park event:

    Mustafa said the cartoons were reminiscent of attacks on Jews in European publications in the 1930s.

    "Now there is a demonization of the Muslim community, so we have to speak up to prevent something like the Holocaust from happening," he said.

    The analogy is silly, of course, but, hey, look on the bright side--at least he admits that the Holocaust did take place.

    From the NY Post we have some ideas from an American Muslim:

    THE young man with the hot head calls himself Abdullah, which he translates to mean "slave of God." This slave is revolting, in more ways than one.

    "If anyone disrespects the prophet, it's our duty to kill him," he said.

    "One drop of Muslim blood is worth all the blood in the world."

    The man who calls himself Abdullah steeled his gaze at a non-believer.

    "You insult the prophet," he snarled, "and you will pay."

    And they wonder why we don't want them running our ports.

    Who Was Abraham Lincoln's Speech Writer?

    Said question written tongue in cheek. Because I don't think Lincoln had a speech writer. For sure I learned that the famous Gettysburg Address was written by Abe on the back of an envelope. Below are some Lincoln quotes, compiled by the "Mountain Wings" email list. The quotes are simple things but powerful in that very simplicity.

    Can any politician today write something like a Gettysburg Address? Does any politico of our era have the courage to utter the powerful truths below?
    Seven Quotes by Abe

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

  • No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's

  • Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?

  • You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.

  • Whatever you are, be a good one.

  • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
    ~Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)~

  • This Is Likely the Truth

    Although Cheney would deny it.

    Compiled by Chuck Muth:

    "At some level, probably the vice-presidential level, the decision was made to release the story of the hunting accident to the local Corpus Christi newspaper in Texas rather than to the Washington press corps.

    "...They know they were slighted, and they're furious. They're going to retaliate...they're going to show the vice-president and the White House who runs the media show around these parts. How DARE the vice-president bypass them with the story of this shooting!

    "Then...let's twist the knife just a bit more. Cheney then gives an interview to the Fox News Channel. You can't imagine how these White House press darlings hate Fox News."

    - Talk show host Neal Boortz

    Has-Been Actor Tries to Regain Glory by Calling for Bush Impeachment

    Come on. Richard Dreyfuss was great in Jaws. Since, well I don’t know what he’s been doing though I heard this fellow was seriously into drugs.

    Whatever the case, does this actor really think he’s going to lead the call to impeach a president lawfully elected? Impeach him for what?

    But hey, it’s gets the old goat a mention and goodness knows this has-been needs it.

    Another Muth’s Truth:

    "Richard Dreyfuss, the actor who starred in movies ranging from 'Jaws' to 'Mr. Holland's Opus,' told an audience in Washington, D.C., on Thursday that 'there are causes worth fighting for,' and one of those is the impeachment of President George W. Bush."- CNS News, 2/16/06

    Leaving With a Smile

    I’ve always suspected that for all the big boobs and big hair, Dolly Parton is one shrewd lady. Below, this smart lady’s take on blonde jokes.
    Image hosted by Photobucket.comI'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb --- and I'm also not blonde.

    -Dolly Parton-

    More Notable/Quotables HERE
     Posted by Hello

    Playing With Flowers

    Here’s a clever little game. You can play against the computer or make your own designs.

    The quirk? The elements are all flowers.

    Click on the picture to try it out.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com


    In all the world there cannot be anyone who uses Excel spreadsheets more than me. I have a spreadsheet that I call my “Everything” list. In it, I keep, well, everything I need to know on an immediate basis. Such as all my passwords, a todo list, and yes I track my Blog entries meticulously.

    I was surprised when I happened across this site which offers a variety of spreadsheets for various uses.

    Remember, should you need to know how to make a spreadsheet work, drop me a note. I can make Excel sing, dance and give massages is that is my goal.


    More Web Notables HERE
  • Sunday

    "TGIF"-A Restaurant Review-Pot Stickers and Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Smiling Sunday-Pics of Illusions; Fishgiggles-Dinner With the Parents

    Blogcritics Feature Stories of the Week

  • How Search Engines Rank Pages

    Raul Vergara

    Every smart search engine optimizer starts his or her career by looking at web pages with the eye of a search engine spider. Once the optimizer is able to do that, he or she is halfway to mastering the task.

  • Food for Thought: The Organic Truth

    Natalie Davis
    Lots of folks, hoping to enjoy the benefits of higher-quality, higher-nutrition foods, make the choice to go organic. More than 60 percent of Americans - nearly twice the number in 2004 - purchased organic food products last year, and organic foods are among the fastest-growing segments of the food industry.

  • Take Cover, My iPod's on Shuffle!

    Dave Nalle

    Inspired by a series of articles by Sadi Ranson-Polizotti, a healthy dose of ego and the realization that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it occurred to me to share my thoughts about some of the fun and eclectic music on my iPod.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    ”TGIF”…Eating at the Chain

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comIf I may say so myself, it was a smashing idea of mine own for husband and I to go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day in this year of our Lord 2006. Of course, it was to be a treat from my husband to me even though it was, heh, my idea. The genius of the idea, besides husband footing the bill, was we decided to go the day after Valentine’s Day to avoid the crowds.

    Even at that I was surprised how crowded this bistro type of eatery was. This in the dead of winter in a summer resort area known as Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach.

    Crowds don’t necessarily equal good food but go with me on this, in the dead of winter in an area frequented by tourists three seasons of the year, when one chances upon a restaurant with a bit of crowd in the off-season, the customers are likely locals. Locals who would, we assume, know the best restaurants of the area that remains open in the winter.

    Yes, “TGIF” is a chain restaurant so there’s likely nothing terribly unique in this resort location for the chain. In fact, I checked the restaurant’s web site and determined that my own dining experience fits the corporate model.

    The food at “TGIF”, which is an acronym for the famous saying “Thank God It’s Friday”, a phrase meant to express the exasperation of a work week finally ended, was bistro food with a flair. The intimation in the chain’s name is that this is the place to go for fun and a happening drink, a fine way to begin the cherished weekend.

    Since husband and I were but an old married couple, this allure was not the reason for our visit. I did note that the restaurant had a happening bar area complete with the required 75 televisions that pepper such haunts. Were I a young and single chick I might drop in such is the ambience. Hey, a specialty drink after a long work week, some mindless bar chat, a few glances at the big TV screens, yeah, that’s the ticket.

    But it was time to get down to the first order of business. Which was, as might be expected, the ordering of the food.

    “TGIF” has a 3 course menu deal that I find intriguing. Of course it’s competition causing this new fad in bistro type of eateries as I’ve seen commercials for “Appleby’s” advertising the same thing.

    I chose just such a 3 course deal and was pleasantly surprised. For $12.95 one could purchase an appetizer, a main course and a dessert. The 3 course deal does have restrictions. In fact there’s a separate menu for these deals so don’t expect to peruse the entire menu and choose any three such items desired. The selections for the 3 course deal are plentiful and how could you go wrong with such a stomach filling meal for thirteen bucks?

    For an appetizer I chose something called “Zen Chicken Pot Stickers”. “TGIF’s” web site describes this appetizer as follows:
    Fire-grilled dumplings stuffed with minced chicken and vegetables. Sprinkled with pico de gallo and served with a sweet & tangy Szechwan dipping sauce.

    Now I’m not sure what that “pico de gallo” is but the appetizer was tasty and plentiful. As described, these pot stickers are “dumplings”, i.e. a dough stuffed with something, in this case, chicken and vegetables. The pot stickers are first boiled then quickly fried over the fire pit, giving them a nice grill mark and adding a bit of bite to the dough. The filling was full and the dipping sauce was terrific. The appetizer consisted of six of these pot stickers and the dish would make a great meal in itself, perhaps with a salad.

    Since I knew in advance that we would be eating out, I did not eat a big lunch in anticipation but even with that I was unable to finish this 3 course deal.

    Next up, for my entrée, I chose the “Pulled Pork Sandwich”. The menu stipulated it was a Jack Daniel’s pulled pork sandwich. Which means, I suppose, that that famous whiskey is used somehow in the sauce for the sandwich.

    Everything at “TGIF” seems to be flavored with this whiskey and I must wonder why. Although I personally have no problem with the liquor and if my pulled pork sandwich was any clue, the booze does add a nice mellow taste.

    My entrée is described as follows:
    Smoked pulled pork tossed with our signature barbecue sauce and basted with sweet-smoky Jack Daniel's® sauce. Topped with grilled red onion and served Friday's Fries and an extra side of sauce for dipping.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comI ate half of this sandwich and since I knew I would be getting dessert I asked to have the other half of the sandwich wrapped for take home. I ate the other half the following day. If I were to grade this sandwich, at least in relation to other pulled pork sandwiches I’ve enjoyed, I’d give it a B+. A good grade to be sure. The sandwich would have received an A if only it had a bigger “kick” in terms of spiciness. As it was, the sandwich was packed with tender pork lightly covered with that Jack Daniels sauce.

    Husband is, I’m not making this up, the pickiest eater in the universe. He considers pizza one of the four food groups and frankly, over the years, the poor man has gotten so used to my own cooking that he seldom enjoys eating out. Which is not to say that I cook so well that no restaurant can match me. It’s more that I’ve learned how he likes his food cooked and between yon reader and me, no self-respecting restaurant would cook anything like I do for husband to be consumed by the general public.

    Which is why husband proclaimed the cheeseburger and chicken wings of his order to be “not so good”. I simply do not know why the man bothers. I regularly make both of these items at home and as for the chicken wings I’ll lay the truth right here, I’ve yet to taste any better than mine own handsomely prepared wings. The chicken wings at “TGIF” were spicy with a sauce that looked to consist mostly of liquefied cayenne pepper. If the wings were fried, as they should be, there was no crispiness of the skin. I suspect “TGIF” bakes the wings then covers them with a cayenne-spiked sauce.

    As for the cheeseburger, I thought it was terrific. The meat was a huge chunk of tender beef with, even though husband said “well done”, a slightly pink inside. Of course husband didn’t like it because how that man likes a cheeseburger is beyond description. Suffice it to say that his pronouncement that the cheeseburger was not as good as mine was greeted with a smile of the compliment. Take it from me, “TGIF” makes a great cheeseburger. For people of normal taste that is.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    For the final choice of my 3 course meal deal, I chose a slice of cheesecake. My preferred of choice of cheesecake is one of New York style, a not too sweet concoction unadorned by the riff-raff of cherries and other such ungodly toppings. As might be expected, the “TGIF” cheesecake was nothing like this. The so-called cheesecake was some sort of sweet thing filled with peanut butter and crispy stuff. I took a few bites of the dessert. The sweetness went fine after the spiciness of the pot stickers and mellow taste of the Jack Daniels flavored pulled pork. Beyond that this dessert was strictly mass-produced schlock deserving of no greater grade than a “C”.

    Yes, I’d go to “TGIF” again. The place has an extensive menu and every eater should find something that is filling and pleasing to the palate.

     Posted by Hello

    Test Your Brain Then Smile at the Money

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    Image hosted by Photobucket.com


    More pics of week HERE
     Posted by Hello

    Dinner With the Girlfriend’s Parents

    A girl asks her boyfriend to come over Friday night and have dinner with her parents. Since this is such a big event, the girl announces to her boyfriend that after dinner, she would like to go out and make love for the first time.

    Well, the boy is ecstatic, but he has never had sex before, so he takes a trip to the pharmacist to get some condoms. The pharmacist helps the boy for about an hour. He tells the boy everything there is to know about condoms and sex.

    At the register, the pharmacist asks the boy how many condoms he'd like to buy, a 3-pack, 10-pack, or family pack. The boy insists on the family pack because he thinks he will be rather busy, it being his first time and all.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    That night, the boy shows up at the girl's parents house and meets his girlfriend at the door. "Oh, I'm so excited for you to meet my parents, come on in!"

    The boy goes inside and is taken to the dinner table where the girl's parents are seated. The boy quickly offers to say grace and bows his head.

    A minute passes, and the boy is still deep in prayer, with his head down.

    10 minutes pass, and still no movement from the boy.

    Finally, after 20 minutes with his head down, the girlfriend leans over and whispers to the boyfriend, "I had no idea you were this religious."

    The boy turns, and whispers back, "I had no idea your father was a pharmacist."

    Jury Duty

    "Jury Duty"Mrs. Hunter was called to serve for jury duty, but asked to be excused because she didn't believe in capital punishment and didn't want her personal thoughts to prevent the trial from running its proper course. But the public defender liked her thoughtfulness and quiet calm, and tried to convince her that she was appropriate to serve on the jury.
    "Madam," he explained, "this is not a murder trial! It's a simple civil lawsuit. A wife is bringing this case against her husband because he gambled away the $12,000 he had promised to use to remodel the kitchen for her birthday."
    "Well, okay," agreed Mrs. Hunter, "I'll serve. I guess I could be wrong about capital punishment after all."


    More Fish Giggles HERE
  • Saturday

    American Idol 2006-The Guys. One has Winner Written All Over Him; Kaitlyn is Deep in the Throes of the Terrible Twos

    Blogcritics Feature Stories of the Week

  • There's No Way You're Not Coming Back
    by Diana Hartman

    "This is absurd, this hero's welcome for a box, not for my love
    There's no way you're not coming back, I know you'll be coming home

    My knees are weak, my heart is heavy. The sun beats down my mood
    When are you coming home my love? The shots rang out at half past noon"

  • Myth and Education

    by John Spivey

    I've read much commentary over the years about the state of education in our country, most of it voiced by politicians and citizens who've never taught and some of it voiced by frustrated teachers. I've never read an account, though, by someone who has taught at a highly successful school. I did, so I want to stop and tell you about Santa Barbara Middle School.

     Posted by Hello

    TV Review: American Idol 2006-The Top Twelve Guys
    Image hosted by Photobucket.comOn Wednesday, 2/22/06, on a night following the premiere of the top twelve American Idol 2006 female contenders, the boys stepped up to the microphone. Judge Randy swears this year's contest is there for the boys to lose, i.e., Randy, at least, thinks a fellow will win this year.

    Come to think of it, it is time for the guys to take a bow. So far, by my rough math, there's been more female winners than males. In fact, there's only been one male winner in this series so far. So perhaps Randy is right.

    Thus we looked over the top twelve male contenders with a jaundiced and critical eye. And I think I've spotted just the winner Randy sees.

    First the guys I don't think are going to walk away with the prize.

    First up, a likeable fellow, 27 years old and very cute. Patrick Hall sang "Come to My Window" , a song I normally like but Hall's performance was more a good Karaoke version than that of a professional singer as the American Idol would be expected to perform. With all the flirting going on between Hall and Judge Paula Abdul if nothing else, Patrick might find a place next to Paula on a more personal basis, insert wink here.

    David Radford performed "This Thing Called Love" and I couldn't clear my mind of the visions of Las Vegas and little chapels along the highway. Which is where Radford would be a fine performer but as the country's next Idol? I don't think so. Judge Randy hated Radford's performance almost viscerally.

    Buck Covington is a fellow with what he thinks is a voice like Bruce Springsteen. Covington had The Boss's somewhat raspy voice only ...not so good. Buck performed "Simple Man" and again, a karaoke performance.

    The next contender I considered not a possibility for the grand prize wore a white fedora, sung in a high falsetto voice and had parents who sung him some odd bedtime tunes. I speak of Jose "Sway" Penala who sang "Reasons" by Earth, Wind and Fire. This is the song Jose says his parents sang to him at bedtime. An odd bedtime melody as I see it. Jose's had a nice moment of glory in the 2006 series of American Idol. I don't see him walking off a winner.

    I don't see Elliott Yamin making it to the top spot either but I must caution that Judge Randy couldn't say enough good things about this fellow. Yamin sang Stevie Wonder tune "If You Really Loved Me". First, Elliott is a really bad dresser and I wonder if these contestants dress themselves for these first rounds of elimination. Second, and I say this softly, but Elliott doesn't really have the "look" of a major pop singer. Which is not just because Elliott's not all that handsome but add this to his awkward performance style and his bad dress, well it's not winning material. His song choice was rather bland as well.

    Bobby Bennett is a heavyset young man but a fine dresser. Bobby sang Manilow's "Copa Cabana", a kicky tune but no, I don't see Bennett winning this thing. Although I will say Bobby seemed to really be enjoying himself as he performed.

    There were three contenders in this introduction to American Idol's top twelve males in this year of our Lord, 2006, that I think have a chance for the top spot but for now they're not, for various and sundry reasons, not my top three picks.

    Kevin Covais is from New York and he is 16 years old. He looks like a puppy. Covais performed "One Less Cry" by Brian McKnight and I loved it. Kevin has a great voice. Judge Simon called Brian's performance "excruciating" but I say not.

    Gedeon McKinney is a contender that is alleged to always sport a smile on his face. Gedeon performed "Shout", a fast paced tune and McKinney displayed a good voice range. Someone needs to help Gedeon choose his outfits because his performance of that song in his nerdy outfit was a tad incongruous. Judge Simon, God love him, said Gedeon's smile "bothers him". I thought Gedeon's smile to be his best asset.

    The last performer of the evening, a Taylor Hicks from Alabama, left me unimpressed. To my complete surprise, the judges loved him. I thought he had a nice voice as they all do on some level. Hicks sang "Leave On", an Elton John tune. First thing, Hicks' penchant for snapping his fingers as he sang struck me as an odd and not appealing affect. But since the judges loved him so maybe they see something in this fellow's rather sloppy dress and most ordinary of looks.

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    We move on to my top three choices, at least based on the performances of the first evening. Beginning with a Bobby Brady doppelganger, one Will Makar from Texas. Makar sang the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back" and my goodness this young man is a cutie pie. I can see teenyboppers across the land furiously hitting their speed dials to vote for this appealing young man.

    Chris Daughtry performed an impressive version of "Wanted Dead or Alive". This fellow has a great voice and the word "outstanding" leapt immediately to my listening ears. Judge Simon thought it a great choice of a song.

    We end with a soft whisper, listen closely to the willows rustling in the spring breezes. "Ace," the willows say softly to the passing wind. Listen closer and you'll hear the word softly spoken on the morning talk shows. "Ace", the soft words say.

    Thus I heard of Ace Young way before I either met or heard him. The whispers continue across the Blogosphere and it seems the world awaits Ace Young, a betting choice for the 2006 American Idol.

    It wasn't that Ace Young was the best singer of the evening because he was not. Ace-what a great name for a singing Idol, eh?- sang "Father Figure" and his voice was fine and sturdy.

    Ace Young has that star quality, that "X factor" as Simon referred to it. He's hip, current and cute.

    If this is the year of the boys as Randy alleges, Ace Young is very likely the boy who will bring it home.

    I looked for the first two guys eliminated to be Jose and Bobby Bennett. I predicted in this post on the American Idol girls of 2006 that the first two girls to be eliminated would be Stevie Scott the opera singer and Heather Cox.

    It wouldn't be long before I would see the results as in that same week that the top twelve males and females performed, on Thursday 2/23/06, the first of the eliminations began. Two girls were eliminated, two boys were eliminated.

    The females eliminated were Becky O'Donohue who I described in this post as ”not having much of a voice”, and Stevie Scott who I predicted in the same post would be eliminated this first round.

    The males eliminated were Bobby Bennett and Patrick Hall. Check above. I predicted Bobby’s elimination and didn’t think too much of Patrick.

    So I accurately predicted 50% of those eliminated and panned those not predicted. Tune in as the process unwinds.

    Let’s all watch Ace win this thing.

    More TV Reviews HERE

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    Dancing With the Stars-Finale 2/26/06

    I’ve watched them all and it’s been a most enjoyable series. The contenders began with the following:

    All Celebrity Dancers
    George Hamilton
    Lisa Rinna
    Kenny Mayne
    Stacy Keibler
    Drew Lachey
    Tia Carriere
    P. Miller-Master P
    Giselle Fernandez
    Jerry Rice
    Tatum O'Neal

    The Judges are Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli , Carrie Ann Inaba.

    It’s now down to:
    Stacy Keibler
    Drew Lachey
    Jerry Rice

    The grand finale is scheduled for Sunday, 2/26/06, ABC, at 8 pm.

    I opined in this post that Drew might run away with this thing although I’d have to give the nod to Stacy Keibler as the best dancer. By me, the lady looks every bit as good as her professional partner. I also speculated that since this series is watched by a mostly female demographic, that Drew Lachey could steal it away from Stacy by virtue of that female vote.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comAlthough Jerry Rice is still a contender and he shouldn’t be ruled out. On Thursday, 2/23/06, the three remaining couples showed their stuff. They danced two dances that evening, one a so-called “free style” for which there were no mandatory movies or specific dances. Jerry and his partner scored a 26 out of a possible 30 for the first dance. For the couple’s free style dance, well you had to like their gigantic Afro hair props. Rice scored a 27 out of 30 for this dance.

    I still think Jerry Rice looks slightly awkward although in any other universe he’d be considered a fine dancer, especially what with being a football player and everything. Up against the very cute Drew Lachey and talented beautiful Stacy Keibler, Rice doesn’t hold a candle.

    If Rice comes in anywhere else but third I shall be shocked. Although he will forever be one of my sentimental favorites and I consider him a very personable fellow.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comDrew Lachey has proven himself to be a talented dancer and said talent appears natural. When this very handsome fellow moves around that floor it’s as if he doesn’t give his movement any thought. Throughout the competition he and his partner performed beautifully and on the last night for them to strut their stuff the team performed a paso doble and of course, their free style routine. During the paso doble, the judges pronounced Drew the “best guy” (a hint, perhaps, of Drew’s standing against Rice?). Drew’s free style routine was almost too cute. Indeed Drew wore a cowboy outfit and performed one of the most original dance routines I’ve witnessed … ever. For this originality, coupled with Drew’s fluid movements on the dance floor, Drew received a perfect score. The couple also received a perfect score for their paso doble.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comAh, Stacy Keibler. Beautiful, perfect body, long glorious legs. Who cares if she can dance?

    But she can dance and I’ve yet to see her stumble. Stacy and her partner performed a jive for their first dance and the visual was perfect. Even in high heels and skimpy outfits, she whirls and moves with an enthusiasm and style that is almost joyful.

    Except, alas, Stacy messed up a bit for her free style. Stacy and her partner performed to the BeeGees’ “Staying Alive”. So far, it seemed, so good.

    Actually Stacy’s performance was perfectly fine. Except it was rather dull save for a sexiness that is always part of Stacy’s performances. Compared to Drew Lachey, Stacy and her partner’s performance for the free style dance was lackluster and ho-hum.

    Based on the judges’ point awards, Drew has won this thing. Based on who is really the better dancer between Stacy and Drew, I’d have to go with Stacy.

    However, going out on a limb, I’m thinking Drew is going to win this thing.

    Viewer demographics and Drew’s amazing free style dance are going to push him to the top.

    More TV Reviews HERE

     Posted by Hello

    Those Terrible Twos

    It would seem that Kaitlyn is deep in the throes of the terrible twos. Driving her mother to almost total distraction she is and I consider when Kaitlyn’s mother was two.

    I survived. Barely.

    They’re little learning machines, human two-year-olds. They are learning the language, they are learning how to manipulate pudgy little fingers, they are wondering why toys have so many pieces when each individual piece is a marvel in itself.

    Kaitlyn has lots of toys with many pieces and she’s just lately learning the purpose of all the pieces.

    Her toy kitchen has pots, pans, dishes, cutlery, hamburgers, toast and eggs. Her toy house has a cat, a Mommy, a Daddy, tables and chairs and furniture. Kaitlyn enjoys every piece but the totality of the thing is beginning to make sense to her.

    Two-year-olds-soon the world will make sense; soon the toys and games will equal the sum of their pieces; soon awkward fingers become nimble and language becomes fluent.

    It’s why the “terrible twos” are so terrible. Somehow their human brains manage to learn all of this in one busy hectic year.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com


    More Kaitlyn posts HERE
  • Friday

    Gossip-Britney Spears World's Worst Mother, World's Fattest Rabbit; Animals-the Rhino What Loved the Turtle

    Blogcritics Feature Stories of the Week

  • There's No Way You're Not Coming Back
    by Diana Hartman

    "This is absurd, this hero's welcome for a box, not for my love
    There's no way you're not coming back, I know you'll be coming home

    My knees are weak, my heart is heavy. The sun beats down my mood
    When are you coming home my love? The shots rang out at half past noon"

  • Myth and Education

    by John Spivey

    I've read much commentary over the years about the state of education in our country, most of it voiced by politicians and citizens who've never taught and some of it voiced by frustrated teachers. I've never read an account, though, by someone who has taught at a highly successful school. I did, so I want to stop and tell you about Santa Barbara Middle School.

     Posted by Hello

    Britney Spears “It Is What It Is?”

    A regular tradition in this neck of the woods is a monthly trip, involving myself and my granddaughter, from the swamps of Delaware to Maryland. Said granddaughter being only two years old and by law must be constrained in a car seat. Said car seat must be strapped into the back seat of my Jeep.

    I am taking sweet granddaughter home during these trips and it’s a two-hour drive. I really dislike having the child in the back like that while I’m in the front and ostensibly concentrating on driving.

    Sweet granddaughter and I really enjoy those trips but it’s not always easy. Should granddaughter lose her precious juice or a cherished French fry I must either stop the car to look or fumble around awkwardly from my front seat driver’s perch.

    So the arrogance of Britney Spears driving with her 4-month-old baby not only not in any sort of car seat, but also being held in her mother’s arms while Britney was driving strikes me as especially careless.

    Back many years ago when I had a child we didn’t have mandatory child seats. Even so, driving with a baby in one’s lap was illegal even then. I simply cannot imagine anything more irresponsible.

    Now Britney’s story is that she was being chased by paparazzi and that might be true. If nothing else she should have at least put the child in the passenger seat. Driving with a 4-month-old sitting on your lap?

    From SFGATE:
    Britney Spears has taken responsibility -- well, some of it -- for driving with her baby son, Sean Preston, sitting in her lap.

    "I made a mistake and so it is what it is, I guess," Spears tells "Access Hollywood" in an interview that was to air Thursday.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.comSeveral photos published Tuesday showed Spears driving her sport utility vehicle in Malibu, Calif., with her 4-month-old son perched on her lap rather than strapped into a car seat in the back seat.

    The 24-year-old pop star said she did it because of a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi."

    In response, X17, the agency that snapped the pictures, said they were snapped "in a very peaceful context, in which photographers exhibited no aggressive behavior."

    As I understand it, because the police did not witness Britney with the baby in her lap and because of this she cannot be ticketed.

    So it is what it is, eh Britney? It is what it is until even a miner fender bender would have killed that child while you held him in your arms.

    You dolt.

    From AOL.com:
    No Charges Expected in Britney Incident
    Pop Singer Blames 'Stalking' Photographers

    LOS ANGELES (Feb. 8) - Authorities were investigating an incident in which Britney Spears was photographed driving with her infant son on her lap, but didn't intend to pursue charges against the pop star, officials said.

    Reader Update on Penguins and Hybrid Vehicles

    Yes, a recent Gossip post included tidbits on hybrid vehicles and the sad story of a kidnapped jackass penguin. I wondered why these penguins carried the appellation of “jackass penguins”. Here’s an answer and some personal hybrid vehicle experience.
    Hi, Pat!

    I have a Honda Civic Hybrid and love it. It's been no trouble tomaintain, and while it does indeed get a little less MPG than the sticker claimed, it still gets well about our Tundra truck! The Honda averages about 48 mpg and the Tundra gets 18 to 21. On a good day, on the freeway. LOL

    Oh, and jackass penguins are named because the sound they make resembles a donkey's bray.

    Brother Sells Sago Mine Survivor’s Picture to National Enquirer

    What some people won’t do for money. What some people won’t do to their own family for money. For Randal McCloy, sole survivor of the Sago mine disaster, was recovering in his hospital bed when his brother snapped his picture and sold it to a tabloid.

    McCloy’s wife is suing her brother-in-law as well as the National Enquirer and its parent company. I’m not sure there is any legal basis here to sue the Enquirer although hey, they printed a picture without the permission of the subject. Going after the ass of a brother-in-law is a good idea, however.

    What a perfectly terrible thing to do.
    From Yahoo.com:
    GRAFTON, W.Va. - The wife of Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr. is suing her brother-in-law for taking pictures of her comatose husband and selling them to the National Enquirer.

    Anna McCloy's lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Matthew McCloy, the supermarket tabloid and its parent, American Media Inc.

    The family has said Matthew McCloy was paid $800 for a photograph that appeared in the National Enquirer last month of Randal McCloy on life-support at a West Virginia hospital.

    A Million Dollar Scam

    Do you ever wonder if anyone ever responds to those emails from Nigeria? You know the ones where someone’s cousin has a bunch of money stashed away in an offshore bank and with a little help from the email recipient, the money can be recovered?

    I came across eight possible candidates for the Nigerian scam although these folks are now very poor, having forked over a million dollars in yen to purchase, what? Million dollar American bills?

    You can’t make it up folks.
    Image hosted by Photobucket.com
    From Yahoo.com:

    Eight people in southern Japan forked over 150 million yen ($1.27 million) to a man who promised huge returns involving fake American $1 million bills and then disappeared with their money, a news report said Thursday.

    The United States Treasury does not make $1 million bills.

    The eight, including three who have filed for personal bankruptcy because of the huge outlays in the scam, are considering filing a criminal complaint with police, the national daily Asahi Shimbun said.

    Police in Kumamoto, 567 miles southwest of Tokyo, could not immediately comment on the report.

    The unidentified investors first heard of the $1 million note from a 52-year-old construction material company president in early 2003, according to Asahi, citing several investors.

    The president told them about a "rare" $1 million bill that was for sale in Chengdu, China, and invited them to pool money to buy several such notes promising a return 10 times of their investment, the report said.

    How About American Idol Stomping Everybody in the Ratings?

    First we hear that Fox’s American Idol beat the Olympic coverage. Now we hear the series beat the Grammy Awards!

    What’s even more intriguing, the Idol has not even gotten close to the top ten contenders when all this ratings bashing was going on. I’ve been tuning into the show as, God Bless America and God Bless the Fox network, they’ve managed to make the competition interesting with just the tryouts. Which was the plan I’m supposing but give them credit, it worked.

    Come the time for the top ten look for the 2006 American Idol competition to blast all the other televised challengers out of the water.

    From LFPRESS:
    NEW YORK -- There's humbling news for professional musicians such as Madonna and U2: By a wide margin, TV viewers prefer the amateurs.

    Nearly twice as many people -- 28.3 million -- watched American Idol than watched the Grammy Awards -- 15.1 million -- when the two music programs went head-to-head in prime time Wednesday, according to Nielsen Media Research.

    Is It Bird Flu or Are the Birds Drunk?

    Actually in my bird watching travels I’ve learned that birds getting drunk on fermented berries is not all that odd. Robins, which eat mostly berries during the winter months, often become intoxicated from eating berries way beyond their prime. Spring is an especially dangerous season for robins as there are not yet any worms about and many of the berries available have quite a jolt to them as the weather warms and the berries rot.

    The interesting thing here is how quickly Bird Flu was suspected.

    From Apnews:
    VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Experts who conducted tests on 40 songbirds found dead in Vienna say they didn't die of bird flu as initially feared, but slammed into windows after becoming intoxicated from eating fermented berries.

    The birds - whose remains were carefully examined to ensure they were not victims of avian influenza - had livers so diseased "they looked like they were chronic alcoholics," Sonja Wehsely, a spokeswoman for Vienna's veterinary authority, told Austrian television Thursday.

    All died of broken necks after slamming into windowpanes, apparently after gorging themselves on berries that had begun to rot, turning the juice inside to alcohol, Wehsely said. She said the juice probably continued to ferment as the birds digested the berries, causing them to become disoriented and fly into the panes.

    Their discovery last month in a residential neighborhood of Vienna had triggered concerns that bird flu had reached the Austrian capital.

    The World’s Fattest Rabbit

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    More Gossip/Speculation HERE

     Posted by Hello

    The Tortoise and the Rhino

    Seen on CNN News:

    NAIROBI (AFP) - A baby hippopotamus that survived the tsunami waves on the Kenyan coast has formed a strong bond with a giant male century-old tortoise, in an animal facility in the port city of Mombassa, officials said.

    The hippopotamus, nicknamed Owen and weighing about 300 kilograms (650 pounds), was swept down Sabaki River into the Indian Ocean, then forced back to shore when tsunami waves struck the Kenyan coast on December 26, before wildlife rangers rescued him.

    "It is incredible. A-less-than-a-year-old hippo has adopted a male tortoise, about a century old, and the tortoise seems to be very happy with being a 'mother'," ecologist Paula Kahumbu, who is in charge of Lafarge Park, told AFP.

    "After it was swept and lost its mother, the hippo was traumatized. It had to look for something to be a surrogate mother. Fortunately, it landed on the tortoise and established a strong bond. They swim, eat and sleep together," the ecologist added. "The hippo follows the tortoise exactly the way it follows its mother. If somebody approaches the tortoise, the hippo becomes aggressive, as if protecting its biological mother," Kahumbu added.

    "The hippo is a young baby, he was left at a very tender age and by nature, hippos are social animals that like to stay with their mothers for four years," he explained.

    Image hosted by Photobucket.com

    On Dogs

    A newly discovered chapter in the Book of Genesis has provided the answer to "Where do pets come from?"
    Adam and Eve said,
    "Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you any more. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us."

    And God said, "I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me. Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves."
    And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.
    And it was a good animal.
    And God was pleased.

    And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.
    And Adam said, "Lord, I have already named all the animals in the kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal."
    And God said, " I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him
    And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them

    And they were comforted.

    And God was pleased.

    And Dog was content and wagged his tail.

    After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, "Lord, Adam and Eve have become filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well."

    And God said, "I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration."

    And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.
    And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat's eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.
    And Adam and Eve learned humility.

    And they were greatly improved.

    And God was pleased.
    And Dog was happy.
    And Cat didn't give a shit one way or another!

    Wow! An Albino Peacock

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    The Cat That Swallowed the Mouse
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    More Pampered Pets HERE