Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Scariest Halloween Prank In The World Might Be In Poland

We have to acknowledge Halloween today with the tried and true holiday meme of getting people to stop and look at something and then somebody or something unexpectedly jumps out and scares the bejeezus out of passersby.
Add caption

It's a staple of every haunted house and Halloween party out there.

And so it was on some street in Poland, but with a twist. Add some bad dance music and some shiny gold colored tights and you'll really get a scare.

Trust me when you watch this video, you'll really lose it at "Wrecking Ball."

Hat tip to Gawker for this video:

Is This 9-Year-Old Girl World's Best Opera Singer?

As I think I've noted before, every nation in the world it seems has a "(Insert Country Here)'s Got Talent."
A star is born Amira Willighagen, 9,
wows the crowd, and the world on "Holland's Got Talent"
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Holland has a version, too, and they've just discovered perhaps the world's best opera singer.

She's Amira Willighagen, age 9. Cute little girl. Shows up on stage. Announces she will sing Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" from the operate "Gianni Schicchi."

Should be sweet enough.

Um, cute is not the word I'm looking for with this performance. Try blow your socks off amazing.   As Huffington Post said, Amira is going to become extremely famous fast. 

The article goes on to say she's self-taught. The only education she's gotten in singing opera is watching YouTube tutorials.

Watch this incredible performance. Like everyone else who has seen it, you will be SO blown away.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Airlines Shrinking Seats To Grow Bottom Line

Your bottom is getting an extra tight squeeze in smaller airline seats to fatten airliners' bottom line.

Chalk it up to the good old quest for profitability. I guess torturing passengers, especially beefy ones, is a good way for airlines to make money.
C'mon airlines! You can't  squeeze big guys
like this into seats with just barely enough
capacity for toddlers.  

There's two reasons for the trend. More people can flt on a plane. More people, more tickets, more money.

Also, the airline is more likely to upsell you to more expensive seats that are roomier if they make you terribly, terribly uncomfortable first.

Torturing again: If they make your life as miserable as possible, you're more apt to pay money to feel better. Even if you can't really afford it.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article on the shrinking seats on airplanes:

"This doesn't sit well with many travelers, particularly those who are large or overweight. Arm rests and aisles are also getting slimmed ot wedge in the extra seat, meaning more elbows get bumped. And while seats are now being designed more ergonomically, with better cushions and head rests, the improvements don't stop people from rubbing shoulders."

Airlines are also saying if they ply passengers with snacks, movies, and other distractions, they won't really notice their discomfort.

Yeah, right.

My questions is where does it end? Will airlines put everybody in shrink wrap to make them smaller so they can fit more bodies on?

This kind of news about the already shoddy experience of flying makes me think of Star Trek. Can't we just teleport to wherever we want to go and leave the airlines out of it?

As long as the teleporting machine is large enough to accommodate a big guy

Oversharing Just Got A Whole Lot Worse: Selfies At Funerals!

When I put on my cranky old man hat, I whine about how kids today overshare, and put every last detail of their lives on social media. As if we care.
A young woman apparently
 enjoying herself at a

It's sunk to a whole new level apparently. Some youth are taking happy, fun selfies at funerals, because, after all, there can't be too many pictures of you poisoning the Internet.

Really. There's  whole Tumblr site called "Selfies At Funerals" in which said social media "darlings" show themselves having a grand old time at grandpa's funeral.

One of the most disturbing things about this series of photos is so many of these idiots are making duckfaces.

You know, that OTHER trend in which people plump up their lips and look like Donald Duck trying and failing to look sexy.

So, at the next funeral you go to, make sure you Tweet and Instagram a photo of yourself making a goofy face for the camera, with deceased grandma in the casket behind you photobombing your whole production.

Because this is a trend, apparently. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baby Listening To Mom Sing Wins YouTube Cute Olympics

I'm totally one of those curmudgeons who knows that YouTube is a wasteland littered with practically nothing but cute or allegedly cute kittens, puppies and babies cavorting all over the place.
Baby listens to mom's awesome singing.  

(Note on that topic: Stay away from the "I Can Has Cheezburger?" site)

However, my Grinch heart grew three sizes bigger when I found a video on BoingBoing of a 10 month old girl listening to her mother sing.

Mom really has an awesome voice. She chose an awesome song to sing and the baby girl just melted with emotion when she heard it.  I never knew babies could be so emotionally complex.

Probably a lot of adults will become pretty emotional, too, watching the video.  I do have to issue a Kleenex warning here.

So I will succumb to cuteness and share what may be the sweetest, most watchable video on YouTube.

Then Make Your Own G#!*!! Coffee!! Scenes from the '50s.

Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish for finding this video that strings together the worst moments of coffee commercials from the 1950s and 1960s.
Moron in a vintage coffee commercial reprimanding
wife because the coffee she made wasn't that great.
Grow up, jerk and make your own damn coffee.  

The moments are the ones where the husband is the biggest jerk, reprimanding the wife for making substandard coffee.

Totally sexist, moronic jerks, but that was what was the norm back then.  Can you imagine anyone trying to get away with this today?

Well, yes, I could, but it wouldn't go over well if they tried.

And the women look so distressed and guilty in these ads.  Because their husbands are rude to them?  Who's to blame here?  Are bad coffee grounds grounds for divorce?

These guys should have made their own damn coffee and leave their wives alone. And ladies, really, you can do better. Run, run, run, to the arms of a better man who has better things to do than complain about coffee!  You won't regret it!


Monday, October 28, 2013

It Practically Takes An Act Of Congress To Dismiss False "Camera Cop" Ticket

Laurie Roscow-Collins of Illinois has never been to San Francisco, doesn't own a semi truck and has never driven one.
Despite what San Francisco traffic enforcement
says, this Illinois woman does not own a semi-truck
and has never driven one. 

But, San Francisco traffic enforcement gave her a ticket for evading a toll on a Bay Area bridge in her non-existent semi-truck at a moment when she was nowhere near San Francisco.

The folks at the Bay Area's FasTrak traffic enforcement in San Francisco still thinks Roscow-Collins' excuse is pretty lame, and wants her to pay up. Or did until a television station intervened.

A semi-truck probably did run a toll on a San Francisco bridge. And it probably had the same license plate number as Roscow-Collins' car. But trucks have an "apportioned" label on their license plate. The Illinois woman's more modest vehicle has no such label.

You'd think a quick phone call would have cleared up the confusion, but Uh-UH!!!!

She had to turn to a local television station Fox 2 for help. The television station ended up having to contact the Illinois Attorney General, who in turn contacted California officials to convince them to watch the video of the alleged misdeed and therefore determine that Roscow-Collins had nothing to do with evading a toll.

She said it probably would have been easier just to pay the fine to make it go away and that's clearly what FasTrak had in mind. Instead of fixing the mistake they made, even a fix that takes two seconds of revised data entry, FasTrak apparently figured it would be easier just to make somebody pay, who cares who?

You just make a random person's life miserable and  complicated enough until they find it is easier to pay. Which is how Roscow-Collins got in that mess.

Also, the Fox 2 reporter said that FasTrack didn't bother to return his repeatedly calls and emails. Again, just keep victimizing some poor woman in Illinois to get your revenue. Whether she did anything wrong is besides the point.

She said she decided to fight because what if the person running the toll booths did it again. And sure enough, Roscow-Collins has received a few more tickets from that same semi-driver that is not her.

So she has to go through this mess again. Luckuly, with the glare of the media spotlight, FasTrak says it will void these new tickets and keep an eye on the situation.

It's unclear from the Fox 2 report what people should do if they are falsely accused of toll booth violations, like Roscow-Collins was.

Do they expect you to keep paying somebody else's traffic ticket?  Or just drive a semi truck through FasTrack's office?

Now, I'm awaiting my ticket for driving my rickshaw through a Seattle red light or something.

Could happen, right?

Your Monday Morning At Work Bad? Not As Bad As This Guy's

The new anchor on some television station overseas tried to gamely go on as his coworkers shared an unpleasant day at the office.

A short clip from 2010 to remind you that your day at work can't possibly be as bad as at this unintentionally comical television station.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lucky Or Unlucky: Woman Who Led Police On Chase Hit By Two Trains

Hard to say if this woman was extremely lucky or extremely unlucky.
Stroud's car after being hit by
two trains.  

It started when Bonnie Jean Stroud, 29, was at a party. Nobody wanted her there, so the party hosts called the police.

She left, finally, but the police chased her through parts of Woods Cross, Utah. In her rush to get away from the police, she smashed her car into the side of a train that was crossing the street she'd been speeding down.

Here's the complicating factor: There were two sets of train tracks at the crossing on this particular street.

As police tried to order her out of her car, another speeding train came along and smashed into her car, too, according to Fox 13 television news in Salt Lake City

So now she's been hit by two trains. Her Mercedes was crushed under the second train, and it took some time to get her out.

The best part? Her injuries consisted of what she thought was a broken arm. That's it.  And it turns out her arm wasn't even broken. She just had some cuts and bruises.
Stroud looking none the worse
for wear in her mug shot after
being hit by two trains.

However, Stroud's trouble's aren't over. According to the Deseret News, Stroud is charged with aggravated assault, evading police, reckless driving, driving under the influence and driving without a license.

Here's the really wild dashcam video taken by the local police department.


Worst Internet Troll Yet Falsely Accuses Woman Of Falsely Reporting Rape

Even though I'm past 50 years old, I still look to other guys who might be role models, guys that do things right, that give me some guidance on how to be a good man, a decent man, somebody that people might respect. Somebody that gives respect.
Creepy Internet troll Peter Nolan  

Peter Nolan is not that role model. Not by a long shot.

He is, in my view, though, one of the creepiest Internet trolls out there.

You've never heard of Nolan, most likely, but he heads this group (or he's the only member of the group)  "Crimes Against Fathers" whose mission seems to be to really nail woman who allegedly falsely accuse people of rape.

What Peter Nolan and/or his group does is put online personal information, i.e. name, address, of the women he says falsely yell rape.

He recently did this to a woman we'll call Rachel at Ohio University. Only problem was, the woman he's targeting had nothing to do with the sexual encounter he's highlighting. 

Nolan is unrepentant though. Rachel sort of, maybe, kinda, looks like the woman in the sex tape that is part of the rape accusation. Therefore, in Nolan's logic, she's the one that falsely reported the rape.

Never mind that Rachel, Ohio University, police and prosecutors all insist Rachel had nothing to do with the sexual encounter that might have been a rape. She has apparently not reported any recent crimes, falsely or otherwise.

She might have happened to be in the same building where the alleged rape happened,  maybe, but she's not involved.

And, police say, they're still investigating the incident and are not sure yet if there even was a sexual encounter (there probably was) or if there was a false accusation of rape from anyone (So far, no proof or strong indication there was)

Because of Nolan, Rachel can't go to classes and is in hiding. Because Nolan the troll, who put Rachel's information on line, inspired a whole bunch of other trolls, as these things tend to do. They've been threatening her, making her life hell.

I hope Rachel sues the hell out of Nolan, but I doubt she'll be able to. Nolan the Wimp is hiding out in Germany, it seems.

Nolan told the New York Daily News this:

"The University of Ohio and the local police aer not credible sources of information The police are the LAST people I would trust for passing out information.....

"What would be credible information, is for the woman who made the false rape allegation to be named, her photograph released to the public for comparison to the video, and for those who witnessed the event to sign afficavits under oath tha the woman they saw at the incident is the woman who now admits that she made the false rape allegation."

 Hoo-boy. And we're supposed to believe Nolan is a more credible source than police and Ohio University?

And that Nolan plans to continue torturing Rachel until a possibly fictional woman shows up to admit she falsely accused somebody of rape and that the people visible in this video are going to sign some big statement and affidavit just to make Nolan happy?

Besides, who cares if Rachel is not the woman in the video, according to Nolan. If she gets so upset by his actions that she commits suicide, good, because men are so persecuted by false accusations and discriminated against by society, says Nolan according to Buzzfeed.

According to Buzzfeed, if you can stand it:

"Absolutely, we know that we might injure this woman. This woman might to out and commit suicide," he (Nolan) says.

He sees the issue as part of a larger societal issue of men being villified in courts and by the media. It's an issue that he says he's standing up against by publicly naming women wo are possibly committing perjury.

"If Rachel...goes out tomorrow and buys a agun and blows her head off that's not a problem for me. I'm prepared to say that in public," he says. "Now the reason I'm prepared to say that in public is because I'm reflecting back the exact same attitude that it would be if it were a man."

So what he's saying is he'd be happy to have an innocent woman be driven to suicide because of his perception that society is biased against men.  Whether or not Rachel is biased against men is beside the point.

I'd love somebody to get Nolan's personal information on line to give him a taste of his own medicine. I don't normally like trolling, but in this case, he deserves it.

But of course Nolan the wimp is now hiding even more now. You can't access his Crimes Against Fathers site. I don't know if he took it down or somebody else did.

He does have a video on YouTube, but the comment section is disabled. You wouldn't want to hurt his feelings even mildly criticizing him, apparently, but yet he can torture via the Internet women he hasn't met, doesn't know and has total misinformation about them

I guess Nolan really IS a role model for me, come to think of it. A role model on how I should live my life exactly the opposite he does.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Best Job Rejection Letter Ever

I've recently been in that job hunting mode, the whole thing with resumes, cover letters, being nice, professional looking, that whole thing.

It's paying off, but that's because I've been well, nice, professional looking, the whole thing.

And truthful. And sane. Those two things help when you're meeting with would-be employers.

Which is why the guy to whom the letter in this post was sent. (Click on it to "embiggen" it)

I guess Cadbury wasn't looking for bribes, spies, and recommedations from Ebay when trying to hire a Global Quality Manager.

Hmmm. Maybe I'll apply to Cadbury.  I won't suggest any products that scare the company. I promise.

Friday, October 25, 2013

You'll Cry And Cheer As You Watch Mushy Find His Voice

There's a great kid in Britain named Musharaf Asghar, known to his many friends as Mushy.
Musharref "Mushy" Asghar prepares to give
his successful oral presentation in his final exam.  

Mushy has the same problem as the King George VI in the movie The King's Speech

He stammers like crazy, which was a particular problem because he has to take something called the British matriculation exam to go on to college.

Twenty percent of the grade is an oral exam, and that would really screw him up.

However, his teacher, a Mr. Burton, had seen The King's Speech and saw that it helped to have him listen to music while speaking in front of a crowd.  Mr. Burton said, basically, what the hell, let's try it on Mushy and see what happens.

It worked! He wasn't perfect, but good enough. He got a C in the oral part of the exam.  He's nowin college and doing quite well, according to news reports from Britain.

Mushy's "King's Speech" was caught on video because it was part of a documentary show in Britain called Educating Yorkshire.

Mushy, writing in the Guardian, said he was glad his struggles and success were on television, and his speech continues to get better. He does add, however, that he won't try to get a job at a call center.

It's a sweet little video, because it kind of makes you cheer and cry at the same time, a lot like that Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock video I told you about yesterday.

So, for another dose of inspiration, let's watch Mushy give his brief talk.

Your Morning Commute Wasn't As Bad As This Woman's

Getting to work, parking your car and doing it all safely and on time is always a drag.

You can cure this problem by thinking of people who have it worse than you.

And I have just the person for you!

It's an old video, a surveillance shots from 2012. But it shows a woman, somewhere in Eastern Europe, struggling with a parking garage. Watch the whole thing. It doesn't go well.

Hat tip to the Nothing To Do With Abroath blog for this one. Watch the vid and laugh, but please, not while driving:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Children's Hospital Offers An Inspiring "Roar"

Hat tip to my sister Lynn for reminding about this video that's gone majorly viral with more than 1.3 million hits.
This little boy roars as he sings Children's Hospital
at Dartmouth Hitchcock's version of Katy Perry's "Roar"  

Patients, family and staff decided at Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in  New Hampshire to do one of those inspiration videos by lip syncing to Katy Perry's song "Roar"

I especially like the geeky staffers trying, and charmingly failling to dance, and of course the patients.

Special kudos to the little boy in blue who roars, the girl in the glasses and purple tie-dye, the boy in the red doing the muscle pose and the determined young lady in the tan knit hat and green shirt who is promising to do a lot of roaring in the future.

This video is a rare moment in which scenes from a children's hospital can make you happy and optimistic. So thanks, Dartmouth-Hitchcock!

Here's the cool video:

Want Some Quick Cash? Pepper Spray Cop Discovers Spraying Protestors Is Profitable

We've gotten an unpleasant pepper spray blast from the past over the past day or two.
The famous Pepper Spray Cop, John Pike, in
action in 2011.  

Remember the famous Pepper Spray Cop?  He's $38,000 richer for his efforts, thanks to a worker's compensation claim. Not a bad day's work.

Here's the back story:

 Back in the good old days (2011) Occupy Wall Street protestors were out in force, railing against big banks, income inequality, fraud, and bad banking laws.

In some places, including the University of California/Davis, the demonstrators were persistent, not moving out of the way when told to, basically being underfoot. They weren't violent, but they were engaging in civil disobedience.

At UC/Davis, John Pike, who would win infamy as the Pepper Spray Cop, casually and very heavily pepper sprayed a group of seated demonstrators. He kind of looked like a bored homeowner spraying Raid on a cluster fly nest or something

Video and photos of this idiot went viral. He was fired, and pretty much everybody disliked him intensely, which is reasonable.  He got thousands of mean and threatening emails, messages and letters, especially after the group Anonymous released Pike's personal information

The death threats against Pike were of course definitely NOT reasonable, and he filed a workers compensation claim because of the stress of the death threats.

He was also the (deserved) subject of derisive humor. I especially loved the Tumblr site full of photo shopped images of Pike pepper spray all kinds of interesting people and things. 

According to the Davis Enterprise newspaper, Pike has received $38,056 in his workers compensation claim, for anxiety, stress and depression caused by all the hate that has gone his way.

That's more than the $30,000 each of the 21 protestors who got sprayed and sued got from a settlement agreement with UC/Davis. And much more than the $6,666 each of 15 other protesters got

Seems like a lawyer the Enterprise quoted might have a point with this comment:

"Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis lawyer supportive of the protestors, said that the settlement 'sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of."

The law appears to be on Pike's side, even if common decency and common sense are not.  According to the Christian Science Monitor:

"'Whether you can get compensation when you're the aggressor varies among states, but there certainly are a number of states (including California) where, even though you've done something that most people would find offensive, the aggressor can still be compensated,' said John Burton Jr., a labor law expert and professor emeritus at Rutgers University. "

So, kiddies, if you want to make a quick buck, become a low rent security officer and pepper spray the demonstrators closest to you.

It's all for fun and profit, you understand.

Art Thief Says Museum Made Theft Too Easy

An art thief who made off with paintings worth zillions might sue the museum from which he stole the works.
Radu Dogaru being led from a courthouse.
He might sue a museum for making it
too easy for him to steal paintings.  

The reason? The museum wasn't that secure, and made the theft too easy, which made it too tempting to steal the artwork so it's all the museum's fault the thief is in trouble with the law. 

It's unclear exactly what the grounds for the lawsuit are, other than the thief, Radu Dogaru, thinks he wouldn't be in trouble had it not been so easy to make off with the expensive paintings.

The paintings in question were valuable, too, having been works by Picasson, Monet and Gaugin

Dogaru says he wants a share of the insurance settlement the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam is seeking for the paintings, which have never been recovered.

I'm also doubting his lawsuit will be successful, but you've got to give credit to Dogaru, who is showing initiative and creativity here.

If he's successful, we have a new career for you corrupt kiddies out there. Try to rob houses and businesses and if you get caught, just sue the owners of those buildings for making the structures so tempting you just HAD to rob them.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sue The Gays To Make Them Straight?

I was definitely perplexed to say the least when I ran across a little item last week when I was researching extremist right wing crazies.
This guy is trying to figure out how to
sue the gays. 

Yes, I'm a masochist, deal with it.

This guy named Rick Scarborough of some outfit called Tea Party Unity said he had a great idea.  He doesn't like gay people, so he and other activists say they should file a class action suit to stop the gays.

His buddy Peter LaBarbera of Americans For Trust About Homosexuality (well, maybe not truth, necessarily) wholeheartedly agreed.  So that's two people who think this is a great idea.

The lawsuit would sort of be like those class action lawsuits against tobacco companies a few years ago that accused the tobacco companies of basically selling death.

I'll leave aside for a moment that political end of his idea and go straight (ha!) to the practical side.

Scarborough didn't offer a plan as to exactly whom to target in the lawsuit. The tobacco companies were easy. Find which big companies sold tobacco  products and have at it.

But last I checked, there was no company selling "gay"

Who would you sue? Every gay person out there? That could get complicated. How would you find them all? Assuming you could win the lawsuit, how would you collect settlement money?

Various Web sites that featured this bit of news had helpful comments from readers offering Scarborough potential targets.

At Towlerroad, someone suggested suing all straight people, because they're the ones who make babies, some of whom turn out gay.

Others suggested anti-gay groups sue themselves, since many of them have workers or volunteers who are self-loathing closeted gay people.

How would the results of the lawsuit work? The tobacco lawsuits led to controls on the sale of cigarettes. What would the demands on gays be in this lawsuit?  Would gay people have to stop having sex? Or register with Peter LaBarbera before they engaged in sexual contact?

You'd like that, wouldn't you, Peter?

Rest assured, quite a few people who associate with the Tea Party think Scarborough's idea is nuts.

David Webb of Tea Party 365 had this to say:

"Rick Scarborough is not a Tea Partier....He is not a Tea Party spokesperson, no matter what he, or the media, wants people to believe."

Well, that's a relief. I was afraid someone would shut down the government again until they found a way to sue all the world's gay people and make them straight.

Vermont's Last Flowers Of The Autumn

The weather abruptly turned chilly and November-like Tuesday around my house in St. Albans, Vermont, spelling the end of a remarkably long flower season.
A cosmos bloom catches a gusty October breeze
in my St. Albans, Vermont yard.  

The spring was somewhat early and warm, and October until now has been the warmest in many years.

We've had no frost, at least until probably tonight, so a few of my flowers are still blooming.

As if to signal the change toward winter, most of my perennials really started to give up the ghost in the past week, even before it turned nippy.

I was able to get some more photographs of flowers in during the past two weeks before the inevitable cold, colorless winter sets in. A few examples are in this post.

Hope you like them as you scroll down for a peek.
A zinnia seems perky enough despite the growing
October chill. 
The morning sun lights up a rose bloom
after some rain.  

A bee rests on this colorful bloom on a warm
October morning in St. Albans, Vermont.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jello Theft Creates Fear, Dismay In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is in the midst of a crime epidemic, apparently.

The Crime of The Century in Upper Macungie Township, Pennyslvania was the theft of Jell-O from a workplace refrigerator.
Jell-O like this went missing in a Pennsylvania work place
Detectives are actively investigating.  

We know this because the victim called police to report the theft.

KYW-TV breathlessly reported on the heinous crime:

"The victim, a 39-year-old man, was irate because this wasn't the first time his food had been stolen fron the refrigerator. Unfortunately, police were unable to catch the thief, as the "the incident remains under investigation."

I swear this is not an Onion satire piece.

What are police going to do? Test the poop of all the guy's co-workers to see if there are any traces of the strawberry flavored Jell-O snack?

I wouldn't want that job.

I wonder if this guy's workplace will have to institute new rules on bringing food to work. Only store it in a safe? Only bring it if it's not worth any money?

In case the food is still out there, police are on the lookout for the strawberry flavored Jell-O snack.

The best part of the Great Jell-O Crime of 2013 is the scene of the outrage: It was inside a large food warehouse.

He couldn't just nosh on something else in the warehouse?

Sensible Horror

Halloween season is here, which means its the peak time for really, really, really bad horror films.
Nice looking young people not going into
the haunted cabin. Beautiful, and not so dumb.  

They all feature people doing things that no sane person would do in that situation. You know, be a scantily dressed, um, healthy young woman who goes into the basement alone to see what that noise was.

Or have a beer party in a graveyard. Or not run very, very, very fast away from that strange man with the knife. Or the chainsaw. Or the hockey mask. Or the rotting flesh that's falling off from him.

I guess horror movies would be boring if the people in them weren't so stupid, but they'd be a bit funnier.

Here's a video with an example of how rational people should behave in a horror film. Not the most suspenseful, but still a lot of fun:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ohio State Marching Band One Bright Spot In TV Wasteland Of College Football

What I'm about to say is sacriligious: Jeff and I were lamenting the fact that this past weekend's television offerings were a wasteland of college football.
Ohio State Marching Band almost made football
saturated weekend TV worthwhile. 

It seemed every channel featured a college football game. I know practically everyone in the country LOVES college football, which is why cable television was all football all the time.

But for the handful of weirdos like Jeff and me, who aren't huge fans of the sport, we definitely had to find alternatives to watching TV. Which was just as well.

One highlight of this past weekend's hopeless weekend of college football, though, was the halftime show brought to the public by the Ohio State Marching Band.

The performance, in the video below, is priceless. It was a tribute to Michael Jackson. The best part is the moonwalk you'll see a little after four minutes into the video. Worth the view, for sure.

And maybe Jeff and I will suffer through college football next weekend, in the off chance we might find a similar performance. f

Here's the vid:

Finally, Some Good From NSA: They're A Convenient Mugger Deterrent

We've been up and arms for months now over the NSA,  because, thanks largely to Edward Snowden, we're learning more and more every day it seems about how far reaching and insidious their spy making seems to be.

Since I already wrote the letters "NSA" they're probably on laser alert on me right now. Hi there, spies!

Today, though, I learned how the NSA can come in handy for people like you and me, at least in rare instances.

We get this from a woman in Washington, DC, who was confronted by a mugger who wanted her wallett and cell phone.

Thinking quickly--this woman is brilliant-- she told the mugger he could have the wallet and phone, but since she works for the NSA, they'll trace him, and when they do, life will become quite uncomfortable for the mugger, if you know what I mean.

The woman doesn't work for the NSA. She was fibbing. She works for some Washington DC-based nonprofit.

But the mugger didn't know this. He backed off.  And the woman kept her wallet and her phone.

Though the NSA is probably watching her like a hawk now.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Laugh Out Loud: Epic Kid's Meltdown As Acted Out By Her Father

We've all roll our eyes when kids have epic meltdowns.
Dad does his daughter's tantrum, hilariously.  

They get tired and cranky and go into screaming fits.  And it drives us crazy.

We can either get irritated, or do what this dad did when his six year old went into Full Tantrum Mode.

He play acted it. Which took the moment from an obnoxious interlude in family life to something laugh out loud funny.

While his six year old daughter was still having her tantrum, at least the rest o the family got a good laugh from dad.

I laughed out loud when I watched the 40-year-old dad do his thing.

It kind of makes you feel we can all get away with tantrums like that.

In any event, bet you can't resist laughing at the video:

Some Congress Creatures Are Profoundly Mentally Ill, And We're All Suffering For It.

A few relatively sane people managed to save the nation from an economic crisis with the budget deal last week,  so maybe, just maybe,  the inmates aren't running the asylum. 

But don't count on it. We haven't heard the last of that awful contingent in Congress that is profoundly mentally ill.
Think about it. The strange Tea Party wing that shut down the government and almost caused a global recession live in their own alternative reality where facts are besides the point. 

They just make up their own facts. It's more fun that way. 

They are so narcissitic that they expect the rest of the country to bend to their will, no matter how crazy their ideas and how many people oppose them.  And they delight in dragging the rest of us into their sad, twisted psycho drama.

Sounds like a severe mental illness to me.

Let's pick these symptoms apart.


Most people base their decisions on the facts in front of them. Since everybody's different, people will  respond to the facts in various ways. That's why some politicians take a liberal course and others react in a conservative fashion when dealing with the facts, with reality.

That's fine. Eventually, the liberals and conservatives, using the facts as a guide, will argue a bit then work out some sort of compromise.  In the real world, maybe sane conservatives and liberals each have ideas that might improve Obamacare, improve the economy, improve our lives. Each side is worth listening to. 

However, the mentally ill Congress creatures, mostly Tea Party, that precipitated this mess didn't like the facts, so they just created their own reality, by retreating to their own bubble, brought to them by Fox News and lobbying groups like the ironically named Americans For Prosperity. 

So now, instead of dealing with facts, they think the economy won't suffer because they decide not to pay the nation's bills,  that shutting down the government will somehow lead to cost savings when in the real world it's worsening the deficit and made our economy take a $24 billion hit, that everybody supports them when in reality all the polls show most Americans really, really, really hate them.

Plus, they've gerrymandered their Congressional districts so much that they preside over what I might call weird shaped Tea Party ghettos.   

The alternate reality these Congress creatures live in is fed by a weird media and lobbying apparatus that tells them  our socialist terrorist Muslim Kenyan not legitimate president  put down his Quran, stop taking our guns away, and stop sending cash to terrorists, everything will be OK.  

It's why demonstrators, OK, one demonstrator, during a protest amid the shutdown decided to wave a Confederate flag in front of the White House, prompting  journalist Jeff Goldberg to Tweet:

"In many parts of America, waving a Confederate flag outside the home of a black family would be considered a very hostile act."

Note: Right now it's hard right conservatives who have this mental illness. But it can afflict the hard left, too. Chemtrails and 9/11 conspiracy theories, anyone?

Bottom line: That Congress creatures that created this mess are clinging to a fantasy world  is one sign that something is weird mentally. And they insist, are convinced they are right, that they are our saviors, that everyone else is wrong, and we should do whatever they say, no matter what people in the real world think

Which brings us to the next aspect of this mental illness:

Narcissism and No Responsibility:

The whole episode brought us a lot of weird moments that demonstrated this aspect of mental illness.

That's why we had one Congress Creature, Randy Neugebauer,  yelling at a park ranger for closing a national monument that HE helped close and the ranger had nothing to do with. We had another one, Lee Terry of Nebraska saying he wouldn't give up his salary during the shutdown, so that he could afford his "nice house."   (Both later apologized after the expected horrible press)

And we had another one saying the Democrats had to give the Republicans lots of concessions, because, well, they have to. 

"We're not going to be disrespected... We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is," said Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind. early in the shutdown.

Yeah, he didn't know what, but they have to get something to be respected. Um, don't you have to earn respect? 
Not all Tea Party and strongly conservative lawmakers are afflicted with this mental illness, of course. I heard one Tea Party Congressman from Virginia speak on NPR the other night who gave all the Tea Party talking points, but opposed the past two weeks of shenanigans because it harmed the country, didn't get them what they want, and avoided what he sensibly called "principled compromise."

Another conservative, Peter King, a conservative Congressman from New York who does not appear to be affected by this mental illness, was moved to say this last week:

"The party is going nuts.... So many people I run into who are normal people--and I hate to use that term--just don't understand what is going on."

To understand what's going on, what King and the rest of us should do is just examine U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is widely considered the ringleader of this debacle.

He's the one that did that weird, pointless 21 hour speech as the shutdown loomed railing against Obamacare. During the shutdown, he kept insisting he and the GOP were "winning" the fight, despite plunging poll numbers.

And when it was all over the other day, when Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell was saying a deal had been reached, Cruz tried to steal the media spotlight outside at that very moment saying he'd fight on

And Thursday,  Cruz said Thursday he wouldn't rule out causing another government shutdown to stop Obamacare. 

So they're all delusional. The sad thing is, had more sane people who oppose Obamacare, who have different ideas on how to coax the economy along, they might have made some progress had it not been for the crazies.

And the economy, Americans, wouldn't have suffered as a result. 
Of course, the whole point of trotting out these crazies is to make barely less crazy right wing ideas seem a bit less off the wall, thereby making them acceptable to us.
Hey, sequestration, which use to be regarded as completely off the wall, seems like the norm now.

Obviously, I have no good ideas on how to get out of this mess. I'm not a psychiatrist, so I can't fix Congress. I don't think anybody can. That's the disheartening thing about living with someone with a mental illness.

You're trapped in their chronic, sad condition.

All you can do is make jokes about it. The Onion had it right with its story last week about a broken sewer pipe. You've GOT to read it to make you feel better. (click on this hyperlink)  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm Getting Singer Pink To Say F.U. To Congress

The awesome singer Pink came out with a song about five years ago called "So What"
A chainsaw would feel good right now, as I watch the news
Pink knows how to do it.  n

The song is her saying "Screw you" to a former lover, but it can apply to anyone you want nothing more to do with.

We're still all mad at Congress, so this video is dedicated to Washington lawmakers.

"So What" feels totally cathartic as you listen to it, so I recommend hearing it when you start yelling at the television when the news from Washington comes on.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Walmart Tells Employee It's Company Policy To Let Thugs Beat You Up.

A Walmart employee in Michigan was fired because he fought back when somebody was beating him up.
Save money and live better at Walmart. Unless
you're an employee being assaulted. Then don't live better,

Apparently, you're supposed to allow yourself to be beaten. Nothing like a bruised and battered Walmart employee to greet customers, no?

Kristopher Oswald said he was on his lunch break in the parking lot when he saw a woman that looked like she was being assaulted, according to WXYZ -TV in Detroit.

He offered to help but when he did, he was attacked. He almost had the guy who was piling onto him beaten back when two other guys pounced.

Luckily, police arrived and broke up the melee.

Oswald said after the incident, Walmart fired him for violating company policies.

Walmart, of course, has no comment.

A lot of big corporations have these anti-violence, zero tolerance policies. That's meant to protect employees from violent coworkers and the policies make sense.

Until you get the HR people. panicked over the possibility of lawsuits. Anyone with the slightest connection to a violent moment, even if they are totally the victim, is fired. Because lawsuits are worse for these companies than their employees' well being, I guess.

I once worked at an outfit like this. A guy, unprovoked, hit another guy. The guy who was hit put up his arms to defend himself and that was enough to get him fired.

Yes, fired.  You're supposed to allow yourself to be beaten, apparently.

I guess big companies, including Walmart, think violent people will sue their deep pockets for not letting them assault innocent employees.

It's all about money, isn't it? People are dispensible. Like cattle. Or widgets, in the eyes of some big corporations.

It's all making me a bit careful as I seek new employment. I want to give it all to any company I work for. Give it all, that is, except my life and well being.

Tetherball Friday!!

Tetherball: I  haven't thought of that game in ages.  And a couple videos now have me wanting to play a game or two.

 Unfortunately, there are no humans near me right now to set a tetherball game. Maybe I can ask the bear and the dogs in the following two videos for help.

Hell, it's just Friday fun and goofiness. Why not, right?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm On A Talking Heads Nostalgia Binge

For some reason over the past week, I kept hearing old Talking Heads gems that I haven't heard in ages.
I'm in a Talking Heads kinda mood lately.  

Just leading a charmed life, I guess.

Some of these tunes conjure up the Talking Heads Stop Making Sense tour from the early 1980s. One of the highlights is "Girlfriend Is Better"

You can't beat the huge suit David Byrne wore in the Stop Making Sense tour and concert movie.


And even more fun highlight of Stop Making Sense is the song Swamp.

"Hi, Hi, Hi Hi Hi HIII!  Woohoo!!!"

The day after "Girlfriend is Better" and "Swamp" entered my head again, the almost-as-good Talking Heads song "Road To Nowhere" came on the radio.

I love the goofiness of it all.  Should I run like David Byrne in the video?

Do NOT Take Pennies From The Fountains in Bellefontaine, Ohio

As I throw the penny into the fountain, my wish is to understand what the cops in Bellefontaine, Ohio, were thinking.
The face of a criminal: Cops said this woman
is a thief because she fished $2.87 from an Ohio
courthouse fountain.  

A woman named Diedre Romine, who has a mental disability, has no job and four cats, said she was out of money.

Out of desperation, she said, she fished $2.87 in coins out of the Logan County Courthouse fountain.

For her troubles, local cops charged her with petty theft.

So the most serious crime going on in Bellefontaine, Ohio was some woman taking coins out of a fountain? What a safe town that is!

I bet the cops were proud, putting a stop for such a blatant crime.

Still, I don't think Romine really qualifies for "America's Most Wanted."

There are now conflicting reports that the charges might have since been dropped, but still. The victim in the crime, according to the police report, is the city of Bellefontaine.

I've heard of cities like Detroit being hard up for cash, but is Bellefontaine going under because Romine took $2.87 from a municipal fountain.

And isn't the cash in the fountain abandoned property?  When somebody throws a penny in a fountain, isn't that sort of like throwing a bottle onto the curb, for some homeless guy to bring to the redemption center?

Also, isn't this prosecution in itself a waste of money? If it had gone through, the city or prosecutors or cops, somebody, taxpayers, basically, would have paid hundreds of dollars to punish a woman for allegedly stealing $2.87.

But laws must be obeyed! Only it still isn't clear exactly who got hurt here.

In any event, things are looking up for Romine. People felt bad for her, for being prosecuted like this, so they're raising money to make sure she and her cats are properly housed and fed.

I'm thinking of going to Bellefontaine, Ohio and throwing a penny into the Logan County Courthouse fountain. My wish will be for the local cops to have some common sense for a change.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dramatic Chinese Bridge Collapse Offers Lesson: When They Say Stay Off, Stay Off

A couple hundred people plunged into the water at a tourist site in China this week when the pedestrian bridge they were on collapsed beneath them.
Down she goes. Bridge collapses in China
when too many people got on it.   

The people responsible for the bridge said the span had the capacity for only 40 people at a time and tried to control the crowd.

Uh, uh. They all wanted to get across at once. Now if not sooner.  Big mistake. With more than 200 people on the bridge, it didn't work. So the crowd that was in such a hurry didn't make it across at all.

Luckily there were only a couple dozen minor injuries, so it could have been a lot worse.

Here's the wild video:

Even Bison Are Protesting Government Shutdown Closing Of Public Lands

As the extreme frustration and white hot anger at Congress mounts, it gets uglier and uglier.
In Wyoming, even the bison are protesting Congress
and the government shutdown.  

National parks and monuments have been closed because of the government shutdown, though a few states are using local funds to reopen them.

In some cases, people have knocked down barricades at National Parks out of frustration.

In Wyoming, a stretch of federally owned land was also blocked off because of the government shutdown.

There, even the bison are getting into the act. They were caught on video tearing down the barricades on that federal land. Watch and have fun:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jackson The Cocker Spaniel And The Spaniel In This Video Probably Conspire All The Time

I ran across the video in this post and laughed out loud because Jackson, my black cocker spaniel, does exactly the same thing when we're in the car as Tommy, the cocker spaniel in the vehicle seen in the video on this post.

I think there's a grand conspiracy among cocker spaniels to play head games with us the same way.   Apparently, you can't drive a car unless you're holding a cocker spaniel's paw, or something.

Adorable video, though. Watch:

Big People Sometimes Must Buy Two Airline Tickets. Maybe Airlines Should Make Those Two Seats Adjacent To Each Other

It's common practice in the airline industry to make people who can't fit in one airline seat buy two tickets, so they take up two adjacent seats.
An unnamed airline wanted this
big guy to split himself in two to board
 a plane, apparently.  

We can argue whether that's discriminatory, whether it's fair, whether they should make airline seats bigger.

But you'd think if the airline makes somebody buy two seats, they're at least adjacent to each other.

Not so for Les Price, who said the two tickets he had recently were for Rows 17 and 19, according to The Telegraph

Gawd, I wish they had identified the airline. What do they expect? Maybe Price should have cut himself in half, and put himself in the two seats, then reassembled himself when the flight was over

Yeah, yeah, I know the airline computer system probably didn't "know" that the two tickets were for one person, but you'd think somebody would have noted that?

Or did somebody at the airline just want to mess with a fat person's head?  Because it's fun, apparently. Damn airline employee was probably a Size 0 and hostile. Airline employee's brain was probably a Size 0, too.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Running Into A $100 Fine Due To Government Shutdown

The federal government shutdown is definitely costing money, what with having to close then reopen everything once Congress gets its act together.
John Bell holds the ticket
he got for daring to run
through public lands during
the government shutdown  

Of course nobody wants the deficit to get worse, so you have to make up the money that might have been lost in the shutdown, right?

They're starting with a guy named John Bell. He took a run last week through Valley Forge National Historic Park as he often does, and got fined $100 for the effort, according to CBS Philly.  

It's a national park you see, and it's closed due to the insane federal shutdown over the budget impasse.

Plus, the federal government says it's short of money so I suppose they could use the $100 from Bell.

Bell said he parked his car in a remote lot that wasn't blocked off and figured the shutdown probably closed the visitors center and such, but the trails were still open.  No federal work has to be paid to just watch the trails, he figures.

Bell said he notes the irony of the fact that he was running for fitness, which would ultimately hold down health care costs. The shutdown was originally about Republicans wanting to stop funding Obamacare. He was doing his part to stay healthy and save health care dollars.

But then again, as I said, the government needs the $100.  Bell said he will appeal the fine, however.

Bell has company. The King of Prussia Courier in Pennsylvania said at least 20 other people have gotten fines for going into the Valley Forge Park.

If Bell and the others appeal the fines, I think they have a good chance. After all, aren't national parks technically their property?  The lands belong to the public, after all.

If not, I can picture an angry crowd with torches and pitchforks chasing John Boehner through the Valley Forge park trails. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Songs About Schenectady

The weirdest things make me laugh.

Which is why I lost it on the way back home from Rutland, Vermont last night when on the radio came amazing old song from 1953 called "I Can't Spell Schenectady"

(Is Schenectady spelled correctly in this post? I'm not sure)

Weirdly, this is the second time this week Schenectady, a relatively charmless city near Albany, New York, has come up in conversation with my husband Jeff.

For some reason, I remarked to him, when Schenectady was mentioned on the news last week, that it's a wicked fun word to say over and over. At least for me. Do it. Say if fast, repeatedly. It's pronounced ske-NECK-ta-dee

Ske-NECK-ta-dee, Ske-NECK-ta-dee, Ske-NECK-ta-dee, Ske-NECK-ta-dee!!!


Anyway, in the Jeep last evening, we were listening to a radio show on Vermont Public Radio called "My Place." It's hosted by a revered Vermont radio DJ named Joel Najman, who's been in the business since the mid 1960s.

"My Place" features lots of golden oldies tunes,  many of which you haven't heard in a long time, or often have never heard. Najman always has an very interesting story behind each song he plays.  So listen to "My Place" when you get a chance. It's fun.

Last night's "My Place" featured songs with place names in their title Among them were "Abilene," "Sioux City Sue" and something truly bizarre called "The Cincinnati Dancing Pig."

But the highlight of "My Place"  last night was "I Can't Spell Schenectady."   I've had the tune in my head all day. Is that a bad thing?

So, just for weirdness, here's the admittably scratchy bizarre song on YouTube for "I Can't Spell Schenectady"


A Man Living In Ohio To Remain Dead, Says Judge

Donald Miller Jr., 61, is dead.

He was sitting alive and well in an Ohio courtroom the other day, but he was dead then, too. He's been dead since 1994, even though he's been alive all that time.

Confused? I think he is, too.

Here's what happened: Miller disappeared in the early 1990s, abandoning his kids, his whole life, everything.  Since nobody could find a trace of him for years, his ex-wife had him declared dead by a court in 1994 so she could collect Social Security benefits for their children.

Lo and behold, Miller recently turned up, and he asked a court to reinstate his Social Security number and maybe his driver's license so he could go on with his life, such as it is.

According to the Courier of Findlay, Ohio, the judge told Miller, basically, sorry, nope, you're still dead.

The judge said yes, he knew that Miller is alive in reality, but in the eyes of the law, he's dead, because you can't legally reverse a death declaration after three years.  The judge accurately noted this is a strange case.


Miller's ex, by the way, does not want Miller to come back alive, at least in the eyes of the law. She said he is declared alive, then she'd have to pay back the Social Security benefits given to her children, and she doesn't have the money.

So don't disappear and pretend you died mysteriously. Because if you ever want to come back to life, you might not be allowed to.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Barenaked Ladies Video Turns The Guys Into Cheerful News Anchors

The Bareaked Ladies are back with new music, and the video attached to their latest single "Odds Are" puts them in the newsroom.
The Barenaked Ladies deliver some good news.  

They get the mannerisims of typical news anchors just right, so they could have a separate career if the music doesn't work out. But it seems the music is working, so that's good

Nice to seem them stay cool, too. Plus, this to me is their catchiest song in ages.

So enjoy the video and remember, odds are everything is probably going to be all right no matter how weird things gets.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Woman On Flight To Tampa Just Makes Things Worse For Everybody

Feeling overwhelmed?

Then maybe skip this post for awhile. It shows a woman have the Worst Ever Meltdown on a flight, this one bound for Tampa.

Turn down the volume some before watching. She keeps yelling "God is my savior!" as loud and fast as possible. Not the kind of thing to add to a relaxing flight.

Obviously it was a mental healh problem, which is said. But how is it when someone yells uncontrollably, "God is my savior!" on a plane, nobody does much of anything, but when they yell "Allah Akbar!" which is the same thing, all hell breaks loose and people are arrested.

Yes, you want to be careful and prevent a terrorist plot or disaster when somebody is yelling "Allah Akbar," but this gal needed to be restrained too. If only to protect the woman having a meltdown

In any event, no arrests were made, and we can hope the woman is better now.

What do you think, after watching the following video?


Betty White Makes Your Flight Both Safer And More Enjoyable

Be honest. How many of you snooze through that safety briefing flight attendents always give before the plane takes off?
Betty White wants you to have
a safe flight  

That's what I figured. All of you.

As always, though, it's Betty White to the rescue. Air New Zealand got the wonderful idea of getting the legendary, awesome White to help with the safety briefing.

Bonus: Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing on the Love Boat) makes a guest appearance, too. There's also a cast of
excellent other older people to help out with this video.

The video is hilarious. And now, for the first time, I know all the safety rules on a passenger jet.

For once, I paid attention, thanks to Betty White. Here's the superb video: