September 30, 2009
Showing some style
Well-suited escape plan: Prisoner walks out of Manhattan Supreme Court by dressing as lawyer
A career crook awaiting trial on numerous robbery counts escaped from Manhattan Supreme Court in broad daylight Wednesday - apparently by masquerading as a lawyer, sources said.
Ronald Tackman, who turns 55 on Thursday, has been on the lam since 9:15 a.m., and his real lawyer warned he'll be hard to catch.
A preview from the BBC's Walk On The Wild Side.
What the- !
WTF? Wisconsin Tourism Federation changes name after internet jokes
The body charged with attracting more visitors to the midwestern state will now be known as the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin (TFW), in an attempt to put a stop to the jokes.
It seems that the federation was unaware of - or unconcerned by - the modern meaning of WTF until its acronym featured on a blog that compiles unfortunate corporate logos earlier this year.
Have you ever been this tired?
Tucson John sends a megadose of cute: 27 pictures of worn-out critters and children.
26 more after the break...
Don't mess with a veteran (2)
Suspected flag burner pilloried
VALLEY FALLS -- The young man was given three choices: get turned over to the police, go one-on-one in a fight with a seasoned war veteran, or be duct-taped to a flagpole for six hours with a sign around his neck identifying his alleged crime: flag burning.
It was the third option that would still have the small town buzzing a week after a 21-year-old was hunted down and forced to endure a public humiliation with its roots dating to the Middle Ages. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1938 were incensed enough to tie up the man last Sunday after they accused him of setting the flag in front of their building on fire.
More cute dogs
At Hunde Show bei der Privathengstschau Verden 2009.
September 28, 2009
She gets around
Woman Celebrates 92nd B-Day By Skydiving
KEENE, N.H. -- A 92-year-old New Hampshire woman has celebrated her birthday by skydiving from a plane at 13,000 feet.
Swanzey resident Jane Bockstruck tells The Keene Sentinel newspaper she doesn't know what overcame her when she decided to take the parachute jump. [...]
Bockstruck says she's been married seven times, has traveled the world and has had jobs ranging from hotel desk clerk to seamstress for the John Wayne movie "True Grit."
A pool-shooting robot developed in Canada.
While on a road trip, an elderly couple stopped at a roadside restaurant for lunch. After the meal, they left the restaurant and resumed the trip.
The elderly woman had unknowingly left her glasses on the table and she didn't miss them until they had been driving about twenty minutes. By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to travel quite a distance farther before they found a place to turn around.
All the way back, the husband was a grouchy old man. He fussed and complained and scolded his wife during the entire return drive. The more he chided her the more agitated he became. He just wouldn't let up.
To her relief, they finally arrived at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the old geezer yelled to her, 'While you're in there, you'd might as well get my hat and the credit card!'
The Big Picture has 26 images of Sydney during the recent dust storm.
Provide your own punchline
What I want to know is: Who treated the rats?
'Rub-on Viagra' in development
The development could help millions of men every year.
Current erectile dysfunction drugs, called phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, can cause side effects, ranging from headaches and vision problems to more serious complications. [...]
Doctors have now developed a new way of minimising side effects by delivering drugs directly to the affected area using tiny particles, smaller than the size of pollen grains.
Tests on rats have shown that the drugs are effective in nine out of 10 cases.
Draw, pardner (3)
September 27, 2009
Global warming: pro & con
Via NewScientist, remarks by 'one of the world's top climate modellers' that warming forecasts may not be holding up well.
World's climate could cool first, warm later
Forecasts of climate change are about to go seriously out of kilter. One of the world's top climate modellers said Thursday we could be about to enter one or even two decades during which temperatures cool.
"People will say this is global warming disappearing," he told more than 1500 of the world's top climate scientists gathering in Geneva at the UN's World Climate Conference.
"I am not one of the sceptics," insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. "However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it."
On the other hand, here's a dramatic 20-minute presentation from July of this year called Time-lapse proof of extreme ice loss. It's by photographer James Balog, who is an unabashed AGW evangelist. (My words, not his.) The presentation's an impressive record of the effect - though that's not the same as showing that the cause is primarily human activity.
Finally, Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, had a cautionary article in Forbes this week. (H.T. Steve)
Climate Change: A Perilous Path
Our costly ''solutions'' could be more harmful than global warming itself.
Evidence is growing that relatively cheap policies like climate engineering and non-carbon energy research could effectively prevent suffering from global warming, both in the short and long term. Unfortunately, political leaders gathering at a special meeting of the United Nations in New York this week will focus on a very different response.
They will make many of the most important decisions on how to respond to climate change over the next decade. They are expected to thrash out political disputes like how much carbon rich and poor nations should agree to cut. The real question that must be addressed is: Do we want to be the generation that promised so much but failed to solve global warming? We will not be judged by our descendants on our rhetoric, nor on the scale of our promises. We will be judged on what we deliver.
September 26, 2009
Hack your ride
When I stopped for gasoline this week, this vehicle from Wisconsin was parked next to mine. Someone had turned his Volvo sedan into a Ranchero-like vehicle for hauling toys.
There was a motorcycle in the back of the Volvo and on the trailer it was pulling were an ATV, a bicycle and (I believe) a go-cart. Since I didn't talk to the driver, I don't know what was up with the three horns at the front of the car.
Belted After Belting Out Badly
The 25-year-old woman from Port Chester, New York, was singing at Bobby Valentine's Restaurant on Wednesday night when six women made some derogatory comments about the victim's inability to sing, police said. What she was singing, we have no idea. [...]
The group is accused of punching and kicking the singer, chipping her tooth and bruising her, and pulling her hair. The victim went to Stamford Hospital to be treated.
He's a lumberjack
Big Mouth Billy Bass does Monty Python (among others). Nice hack by Steve Ravet.
News from Spain
Matador to Advertise Gay Drink on Cape
MADRID - A little-known Spanish matador is breaking with a sacred tradition, agreeing to advertise on his cape while slaying bulls and endorse a soft drink that caters to gays.
Matador Joselito Ortega will be plugging a club-scene energy beverage called Gay Up and have those words embroidered into his cape in large, red cursive letters.
In Spain, matadors are seen by many as the pinnacle of macho, and Ortega's agreeing to endorse a product geared toward gay men is raising eyebrows.
Watch and be impressed.
Huge Hoard Of Anglo-Saxon Treasure Found
LONDON -- An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered, a massive collection of gold and silver crosses, sword decorations and other items, British archaeological experts said Thursday.
One said the treasure would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the fifth century until the Norman conquest in 1066. Another said the find would rank among Britain's best-known historic treasures.
September 24, 2009
Frenchman arrested for driving drunk to police station
COLMAR (AFP) – A Frenchman was arrested for drunk driving after taking his car to a police station to distribute Alcoholics Anonymous pamphlets there, police said Wednesday.
Gendarmes in the eastern town of Neuf-Brisach smelt alcohol on the 56-year-old's breath when he arrived with the leaflets on Monday. They tested his blood and found it contained nearly double the permitted alcohol level.
Brother, can you spare a buck?
A collection of 25 funny signs used by beggars. We've seen a couple of them here before but most were new to me.
You wouldn't want to miss this
Catchy tagline: Think an ellipsis is when the moon moves in front of the sun?
Baking Contest Highlights 6th Annual National Punctuation Day®
PINOLE, CA - The first National Punctuation Day® Baking Contest will highlight the celebration of the 6th National Punctuation Day (NPD) on September 24, 2009.
NPD is celebrated in schools and businesses throughout the world with activities, games, programs, and contests. It has inspired people to pay attention not only to their p's and q's, but also their commas, semicolons, and ellipses. NPD reminds us of the importance of proper punctuation for communicating clearly at home, school, or at work.
Are they crazy? Maybe!
Sounds fishy to me
That £675,000 is around 1.1 million in US dollars.
Fish to choose who wins house
A Lancashire businessman is letting his pet fish choose who will become the new owners of his £675,000 house.
Dave Mackie, 49, is running an online Sudoku competition in which his luxury home will be given away as a prize, reports the Daily Telegraph.
He has already received thousands of entries around the world, but will let his koi pick the winner from the correct entries.
The insurance broker and puzzle fan plans to install a touch sensitive pad in the pond and when the fish touch it one of the 14,000 entries will be selected.
He hopes this will mean the fish select someone who will look after them when he moves out.
September 23, 2009
Quite a movie buff
And a pretty greedy one at that.
Mass. postal worker admits to stealing 30,000 DVDs
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – A former postal service employee has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 30,000 DVDs that moved through a western Massachusetts post office.
Myles Weathers, formerly of Springfield, took DVDs that were mailed by Netflix to customers for a year beginning in January 2007.
Federal prosecutors say the movie rental company alerted Springfield post office officials that a suspiciously high number of DVDs were disappearing. As many as 100 movies a week were disappearing.
The Spirit of Portland
Introducing the Hopworksfiets: Beer, pizza, music, and true Portland spirit, all on one bike
I just witnessed the unveiling of something truly in the Portland spirit: A locally built cargo bike that holds two kegs below an inlaid wood bar. A rear rack is built to hold a stack of pizzas; below that a wood-paneled pannier is in fact a compact sound system.
It's made in Portland. And it's beautiful
What were they thinking? (2)
From Wales via the BBC
Spotted Dick back on council menu
Council chiefs have reversed a decision to rename the pudding Spotted Dick after receiving "abusive letters" and accusations of political correctness.
Canteen staff at Flintshire council had decided it would be referred to as "Spotted Richard" on their menu after "immature comments" by some customers.
The council now says the pudding will revert to its traditional name.
Cell phone card trick
A trick by Cyril Takayama (and mostly in Japanese).
It can always get worse
Think flying economy is bad now?
New aircraft design puts passengers face-to-face in rows for budget travel
Air travel is being overhauled with a new aircraft design which plans to seat passengers facing each other in rows.
The controversial design is intended to save space and money and could see 50 per cent more passengers packed on to each plane.
Howard Guy, director of the UK company Design Q, acknowledges that some people will not be happy with the plan, but says they will be able to pay less for any inconvenience.
Design Q aircraft [...]
Mr Guy predicts that the design could see a 50 per cent increase in the number of passengers on board and a 30 per cent reduced cost per seat.
However, he did concede that the seats would not be comfortable for passengers on flights of more than two hours.
September 22, 2009
Layered stop action
Watch the Victoria Bitter
News from Down Under:
Sex by the meter costly
A DRUNK footballer's loudly simulated sex with a parking meter has been recounted in Cairns Magistrates' Court.
He then made racial slur against a passerby - the final straw for police.
Adam Michael Kelly, 25, of Smithfield, spent the night in the watch-house after his offensive performance and was fined $150 in court yesterday for causing a public nuisance.
Protect your chicken
More news from Down Under:
Police red-cheeked over 'nudie run'
Senior police have been forced to front the media and admit two officers stripped and ran around a police van at a set of traffic lights. And more naked police may have been inside the van, a senior official has admitted.
But they've stopped short of conceding the officers had attended a buck's party at Cleveland, on Brisbane's bayside.
"I believe it was some sort of pre-wedding party," Deputy Commissioner (Specialist Operations) Ian Stewart told reporters.
Yikes? Yep that pretty well nails it
As Coyote says, "Combine 40% French design and engineering, 40% political correctness, 10% Hello Kitty and 10% of WTF to get this new electric concept car from Renault..."
Renault Unveils Bizarre-Looking Electric Cars With Ridiculous Names
Yikes! Here's Renault: Twizy Z.E. Concept is an innovative response to the challenge of urban mobility. With its four-wheel chassis, it offers the driver and passenger, seated in tandem, an all-electric means of transport which produces no CO2 emissions. Compact, nimble and practical, it offers everything needed to cope with city traffic.
September 21, 2009
Don't mess with a veteran
Naked Man, 91, Holds Intruder At Gunpoint
LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- Authorities said a naked 91-year-old man was able to hold a drunken intruder at gunpoint until deputies arrived.
Robert E. Thompson jumped out of bed early Saturday when his dog starting growling and attacking the intruder. He said he got his revolver and went out back to let the guy know how he felt about home invaders.
Thompson, a World War II veteran, said he didn't even notice he was standing outside in the dark without any clothes on.
He lies like a dog
A guy is driving across Montana when he sees a sign in front of a broken-down house: 'Talking Dog For Sale'. So he stops and rings the bell. The owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.
The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice-looking yellow Labrador sitting there.
'You talk?' he asks the dog.
'Yep,' the Lab replies.
After recovering from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he asks 'So, what's your story?'
The Lab says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government so I went to the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.
'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out and I knew I wasn't getting any younger - I wanted to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible plots and was awarded a batch of medals.'
'Then I settled down, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'
The guy is just amazed by the dog. He goes back in and asks the owner how much he's asking for the dog.
'Ten dollars,' the owner tells him.
'Ten dollars?! This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'
'Because he's such a liar! He never did any of that stuff..."
Stuck in the middle with you
And you thought Starbuck's is expensive
Coffee maker brews up $200,000 catastrophe
It might be called the case of the $200,000 cup of coffee.
And now, St. Louis Community College at Forest Park — and its insurance company — are footing the bill for it.
A coffee maker left on in a campus photo lab on a night in July led to a ruptured water line, dumping an estimated 10,000 gallons of water down four floors. The water seeped into ceilings, walls, carpeting and computers, soaking furniture and paper files.
September 19, 2009
The Innocence Project
The Innocence Project can use a hand. If you're looking for a good cause, these folks qualify.
In the American criminal justice system, fair justice often comes at a price. The Innocence Project seeks to provide DNA testing for inmates who can rarely afford to prove their innocence. We pay for DNA testing in every case in which it is necessary, and in order to continue funding DNA tests for clients around the country, we need your help today.
Balloon Glow happens in St. Louis' Forest Park the night before the The Great Forest Park Balloon Race. This photo comes from last year's event.
From the UK's Telegraph, the 20 most bizarre Craigslist adverts of all time
This is #14...
I left my Dentures in your Silverado last night. I gave you my number but did not get yours. Please call me asap. I need my teeth. We met in the parking lot of Margarita Jones. Get back to me asap please. Thank you.
September 18, 2009
Leno has a pretty good spoof ad for ACORN.
And I thought this image from BigGovernment.com (the site running the ACORN exposé) was pretty hilarious.
I can imagine how impressed she was
Man In Stolen Miniskirt Wanted To Impress Wife
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WCCO)
A Minnesota man was ticketed for walking out of a store wearing a stolen miniskirt and bikini to impress his wife.
According to the River Falls Journal, police said workers caught Justin Larson leaving Shopko in River Falls wearing the women's clothing on Sunday. [...]
Investigators said Larson told them he took the clothes to smooth things over with his estranged wife.
Easy on the chicken, Ernie
This news anchor in New York drops an F-bomb about 5 seconds into this clip. The expression on his co-anchor's face is just priceless.
Coulda Woulda Shoulda
An allegedly-true story at Time.com:
If Only Warren Buffett Knew How to Work His Cellphone...
Lehman Brothers might not have gone under. Seriously.
Off we go...
Steve sends a reminder that the annual air show at Scott AFB is this weekend, the 19th and 20th. It will feature appearances by the Canadian Snowbirds (aerobats) and the US Army Golden Knights (parachutists).
This photo comes from the Post-Dispatch:
Sept. 16, 2009 - Major John Klatt with the Air National Guard does a flying demonstration over St. Charles County in advance of the air show this weekend at Scott Air Base. The plane was moving east next to the Daniel Boone Bridge over the Missouri River. (J. B. Forbes/P-D)
They can do that?
Blind Woman Sees With 'Tooth-in-Eye' Surgery
Doctors in Florida Restore Sharron Kay Thornton's Vision by Implanting a Tooth in Her Eye
Forget about an eye for an eye -- doctors in Florida have taken a blind woman's tooth, and used it to help restore her vision.
A team of specialists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced Wednesday that they are the first surgeons in the United States to restore a person's sight by using a tooth. The procedure is formally called modified osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (or MOOKP).
September 17, 2009
40 images of aircraft, ranging from a home-made helicopter in China to a hot air balloon in Germany at The Big Picture.
The Spanish Air Force's aerobatic team Patrulla Aspa perform during an aerial exhibition over San Lorenzo beach in Gijon, northern Spain July 26, 2009.
The tables turned
Naked blonde turns tables on builders
Burly builders fled when a naked blonde rushed at them on a construction site in the Austrian capital Vienna shouting: "Who wants me?"
The hard-hat hunks ran for cover when the woman turned the tables on them on the building site beside the city's main railway station.
"We like to chat up girls as they walk past - it's a tradition," said one builder.
"But this woman was too much to handle and we just ran and hid until the police got here. No-one liked to think what would happen if she caught one of us," he added.
Meat-flavoured chocs hit with men
Meat-flavoured chocolate might not be everyone's idea of delicious, but a Kiwi chocolatier claims her new salami-tinged treats are just that.
Sweet maker Hanna Frederick has developed venison chocolate truffles to feed dozens of meat lovers at a New Zealand conference.
Made from a blend of dark chocolate and ground-up salty dried meat, the morsels, shaped like tiny sausages, have a "delicious" salami aftertaste, she said. [...]
She said the snack, being served as a starter to 150 people at New Zealand's Meat Industry Association conference, had proven a hit with men "who can't get enough of it", but admitted women had been "quieter" in expressing approval.
The bear facts
One of the goofiest TV news reports I've seen.
Dumpster diving warning!
Couple's Trash Bin Tryst Takes Wrong Turn
WICHITA, Kan. -- A tender moment in a trash bin went all wrong for a couple who found themselves being held up at pocket knifepoint.
Police said two 44-year-olds had climbed into a Dumpster to be alone just after 6 p.m. Saturday when two men interrupted them and demanded their belongings. Officers said the man and woman were engaged in "an intimate moment" when they were robbed of their shoes, jewelry and the man's wallet.
September 15, 2009
What a shot!
But it's not what you're thinking
Bananas-for-sex cult leader on the run
Papua New Guinea police are hunting the leader of a sex cult that promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they engaged in public sex.
The alert was raised after a villager from Yamina in Morobe province walked 12 hours to the nearest town to report the cult's activities.
He told police the cult's leader and his followers have been using threats of violence to force people to have sex in public for the past four months.
The Post Courier reports villagers had been promised their banana harvest would increase every time they fornicated publicly.
Awesome Photo Manipulations by Jan Oliehoek
Jan Oliehoek is a photo manipulator now located in Leiden, Netherlands. Jan's works always surprise people by showing unexpected and interesting combinations. This Dutch talent is also an expert of combining work with fun, something we can learn from besides his awesome Photo Manipulations techniques. Want to see more insight? Check out the interview we conducted below!
Would you like fries with that?
Worker Honored For 50 Years At McDonald's
Leonard Rhomberg Still Works At First McDonald's In Missouri
CRESTWOOD, Mo. -- A 68-year-old man who still works at the first McDonald's restaurant in Missouri has been honored for 50 years of service.
Leonard Rhomberg began his job at a McDonald's restaurant in the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood in 1959, the year after it opened. And he still works there five days a week.
Better than Diet Coke and Mentos
Capacitor bank: 21.5µF 30kV 9270 Joules 5kg watermelon (about 11 pounds) Pieces of watermelon flew over 15 meters. Air smelled and tasted like watermelon for some time.
An A for effort
Boy Fakes Kidnapping To Hide Bad Grades
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- An 11-year-old boy gets high marks in storytelling after staging a hoax to cover up his bad grades, police said . Police said the boy faked his kidnapping Friday to avoid bringing home a bad report card, saying that a man with a pistol snatched him after he left Ed White Middle School. The boy said the man forced him into a "beat-up car" and threatened to kill him, police said .
The student said he escaped by jumping out of the car but wasn't able to grab his book bag, which contained the report card, police said.
September 14, 2009
If the Enterprise ran Windows
Mystery Explained: Glow in Night Sky Was Astronaut Urine
space.com – Fri Sep 11, 3:30 pm ET
The beautiful trail in the sky looked like a mysterious celestial event. In reality, it was urine.
Some skygazers were treated to the unexpected view of a bright sparkling glow Wednesday night, created when astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery dumped the waste out into space.
Hubble First Light
An impressive show of images from the recently refurbished Hubble Space Telescope.
Stop monkeying around
Driver Dons Monkey Masks To Elude Tickets
PHOENIX -- A driver has racked up dozens of speeding tickets in photo-radar zones on Phoenix-area freeways while sporting monkey and giraffe masks, and is fighting every one by claiming the costumes make it impossible for authorities to prove he was behind the wheel.
"You've got to identify the driver, and if you can't it's not a valid ticket," said Dave VonTesmar, a 47-year-old flight attendant.
It took Arizona state police months to realize the same driver was involved and was refusing to pay the fines. By the time they did, more than 50 of the tickets had become invalid because the deadline for prosecution had passed.
Let sleeping cats lie
Where do cats sleep? Wherever they like.
13 more after the break.
Tip o' the hat to Mary.
And meet Lucky...
September 12, 2009
Amen to that
From TigerHawk on Thursday, 9/10:
The closing price of the Dow Jones Industrial Average on September 10, 2001: 9605.51.
Right now: 9612.14. Eight years, 7 points. Let's hope we do not have to do that again.
And from the late Steve Goodman, his Going Nowhere In A Hurry Blues
Weekend Reading 33
Carol sends this story about a dog. It's not intended to be entertaining. It's fairly long but I thought it was worth the time.
Snopes says it can't confirm the details but adds that it has a 'figurative truth' to it.
They told me the big black Lab's name was Reggie as I looked at him lying in his pen. The shelter was clean, no-kill, and the people really friendly.
I'd only been in the area for six months, but everywhere I went in the small college town, people were welcoming and open. Everyone waves when you pass them on the street.
But something was still missing as I attempted to settle in to my new life here, and I thought a dog couldn't hurt. Give me someone to talk to.
And I had just seen Reggie's advertisement on the local news. The shelter said they had received numerous calls right after, but they said the people who had come down to see him just didn't look like "Lab people," whatever that meant. They must've thought I did.
But at first, I thought the shelter had misjudged me in giving me Reggie and his things, which consisted of a dog pad, bag of toys almost all of which were brand new tennis balls, his dishes, and a sealed letter from his previous owner. See, Reggie and I didn't really hit it off when we got home. We struggled for two weeks (which is how long the shelter told me to give him to adjust to his new home). Maybe it was the fact that I was trying to adjust, too. Maybe we were too much alike.
For some reason, his stuff (except for the tennis balls - he wouldn't go anywhere without two stuffed in his mouth) got tossed in with all of my other unpacked boxes. I guess I didn't really think he'd need all his old stuff, that I'd get him new things once he settled in. but it became pretty clear pretty soon that he wasn't going to.
I tried the normal commands the shelter told me he knew, ones like "sit" and "stay" and "come" and "heel," and he'd follow them - when he felt like it. He never really seemed to listen when I called his name - sure, he'd look in my direction after the fourth of fifth time I said it, but then he'd just go back to doing whatever. When I'd ask again, you could almost see him sigh and then grudgingly obey.
This just wasn't going to work. He chewed a couple shoes and some unpacked boxes. I was a little too stern with him and he resented it, I could tell.
The friction got so bad that I couldn't wait for the two weeks to be up, and when it was, I was in full-on search mode for my cellphone amid all of my unpacked stuff. I remembered leaving it on the stack of boxes for the guest room, but I also mumbled, rather cynically, that the "damn dog probably hid it on me."
Finally I found it, but before I could punch up the shelter's number, I also found his pad and other toys from the shelter.. I tossed the pad in Reggie's direction and he snuffed it and wagged, some of the most enthusiasm I'd seen since bringing him home.. But then I called, "Hey, Reggie, you like that? Come here and I'll give you a treat." Instead, he sort of glanced in my direction - maybe "glared" is more accurate - and then gave a discontented sigh and flopped down. With his back to me.
Well, that's not going to do it either, I thought. And I punched the shelter phone number.
But I hung up when I saw the sealed envelope. I had completely forgotten about that, too. "Okay, Reggie," I said out loud, "let's see if your previous owner has any advice."
To Whoever Gets My Dog:I folded the letter and slipped it back in the envelope.. Sure I had heard of Paul Mallory, everyone in town knew him, even new people like me. Local kid, killed in Iraq a few months ago and posthumously earning the Silver Star when he gave his life to save three buddies. Flags had been at half-mast all summer.
Well, I can't say that I'm happy you're reading this, a letter I told the shelter could only be opened by Reggie's new owner.
I'm not even happy writing it. If you're reading this, it means I just got back from my last car ride with my Lab after dropping him off at the shelter. He knew something was different. I have packed up his pad and toys before and set them by the back door before a trip, but this time... it's like he knew something was wrong. And something is wrong... which is why I have to go to try to make it right.
So let me tell you about my Lab in the hopes that it will help you bond with him and he with you.
First, he loves tennis balls...the more the merrier. Sometimes I think he's part squirrel, the way he hordes them. He usually always has two in his mouth, and he tries to get a third in there. Hasn't done it yet. Doesn't matter where you throw them, he'll bound after it, so be careful - really don't do it by any roads. I made that mistake once, and it almost cost him dearly.
Next, commands. Maybe the shelter staff already told you, but I'll go over them again: Reggie knows the obvious ones - "sit," "stay," "come," "heel." He knows hand signals: "back" to turn around and go back when you put your hand straight up; and "over" if you put your hand out right or left. "Shake" for shaking water off, and "paw" for a high-five. He does "down" when he feels like lying down - I bet you could work on that with him some more. He knows "ball" and "food" and "bone" and "treat" like nobody's business.
I trained Reggie with small food treats.. Nothing opens his ears like little pieces of hot dog. Feeding schedule: twice a day, once about seven in the morning, and again at six in the evening. Regular store-bought stuff; the shelter has the brand.
He's up on his shots. Call the clinic on 9th Street and update his info with yours; they'll make sure to send you reminders for when he's due. Be forewarned: Reggie hates the vet. Good luck getting him in the car - I don't know how he knows when it's time to go to the vet, but he knows.
Finally, give him some time. I've never been married, so it's only been Reggie and me for his whole life. He's gone everywhere with me, so please include him on your daily car rides if you can. He sits well in the backseat, and he doesn't bark or complain. He just loves to be around people, and me most especially. Which means that this transition is going to be hard, with him going to live with someone new. And that's why I need to share one more bit of info with you.... His name's not Reggie.
I don't know what made me do it, but when I dropped him off at the shelter, I told them his name was Reggie. He's a smart dog, he'll get used to it and will respond to it, of that I have no doubt. but I just couldn't bear to give them his real name. For me to do that, it seemed so final, that handing him over to the shelter was as good as me admitting that I'd never see him again. And if I end up coming back, getting him, and tearing up this letter, it means everything's fine. But if someone else is reading it, well... well it means that his new owner should know his real name. It'll help you bond with him. Who knows, maybe you'll even notice a change in his demeanor if he's been giving you problems.
His real name is Tank. Because that is what I drive.
Again, if you're reading this and you're from the area, maybe my name has been on the news. I told the shelter that they couldn't make "Reggie" available for adoption until they received word from my company commander. See, my parents are gone, I have no siblings, no one I could've left Tank with... and it was my only real request of the Army upon my deployment to Iraq, that they make one phone call the the shelter... in the "event"... to tell them that Tank could be put up for adoption. Luckily, my colonel is a dog guy, too, and he knew where my platoon was headed. He said he'd do it personally. And if you're reading this, then he made good on his word.
Well, this letter is getting to downright depressing, even though, frankly, I'm just writing it for my dog.. I couldn't imagine if I was writing it for a wife and kids and family. but still, Tank has been my family for the last six years, almost as long as the Army has been my family.
And now I hope and pray that you make him part of your family and that he will adjust and come to love you the same way he loved me. That unconditional love from a dog is what I took with me to Iraq as an inspiration to do something selfless, to protect innocent people from those who would do terrible things... and to keep those terrible people from coming over here. If I had to give up Tank in order to do it, I am glad to have done so. He was my example of service and of love. I hope I honored him by my service to my country and comrades.
All right, that's enough. I deploy this evening and have to drop this letter off at the shelter. I don't think I'll say another good-bye to Tank, though. I cried too much the first time. Maybe I'll peek in on him and see if he finally got that third tennis ball in his mouth. Good luck with Tank. Give him a good home, and give him an extra kiss goodnight - every night - from me.
I leaned forward in my chair and rested my elbows on my knees, staring at the dog. "Hey, Tank," I said quietly. The dog's head whipped up, his ears cocked and his eyes bright. "C'mere boy."
He was instantly on his feet, his nails clicking on the hardwood floor. He sat in front of me, his head tilted, searching for the name he hadn't heard in months. "Tank," I whispered. His tail swished. I kept whispering his name, over and over, and each time, his ears lowered, his eyes softened, and his posture relaxed as a wave of contentment just seemed to flood him. I stroked his ears, rubbed his shoulders, buried my face into his scruff and hugged him.
"It's me now, Tank, just you and me. Your old pal gave you to me." Tank reached up and licked my cheek. "So whatdaya say we play some ball? His ears perked again. "Yeah? Ball? You like that? Ball?"
Tank tore from my hands and disappeared in the next room. And when he came back, he had three tennis balls in his mouth.
September 11, 2009
Avoid the 'botax'
Patients Rush To Beat Possible 'Botax'
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- Taxing cosmetic procedures like tummy tucks, liposuction and Botox injections could help finance the trillions of dollars needed for health care reform if some politicians have their way.
The Senate Finance Committee had recently discussed imposing a 10 percent tax "botax" on cosmetic surgeries deemed not medically necessary, KERO-TV reported.
While it's just an idea floating around as of right now, Dr. Milan Shah of Beautologie Medical Group said he is already seeing people rushing in to get procedures done before the tax hits.
36 pix of restaurants with unfortunate names.
Quite an honor
UPS Driver Is Champion Parking Violator
DENVER -- A single UPS delivery truck is the champion of Denver parking violations, racking up 196 tickets worth nearly $5,700 last year.
The Denver Post reported the dubious achievement Wednesday.
UPS spokesman Mark Dickens said parking tickets are a cost of doing business in some cities.
Listen to your mother
An illusion turns into a painful reality for this Israeli magician.
Anything for a buck (4)
Police shut down kick-for-cash operation at Triangle Center
A Rainier man came up with an innovative — if rather painful — money-making idea and decided to give it a test run Tuesday at the Triangle Center in Longview.
The 23-year-old man held a sign inviting people to kick him in the groin for the bargain price of $5.
Perhaps fortunately for him, only one customer took him up on the deal before police decided to break up his enterprise.
And even worse, he'd dropped the price to $3 for his one customer because she was female, he told Longview police.
September 10, 2009
What's worse than the Blue Screen of Death?
'I forgot' isn't going to work for these people
Vegas Weddings Abound As Numbers Align On 9-9-09
LAS VEGAS -- Two years after Las Vegas chapels hit the wedding date jackpot with lucky sevens, it's all eyes on the nines for 9-9-09.
Wedding officials in Sin City and elsewhere staged a marathon set of nuptials and vow renewals on Wednesday during what was anticipated to be of the busiest days of the year -- the quirky date of Sept. 9, 2009, or 9-9-09.
The New York City Clerk's office said 200 couples had wed by midday at its refurbished marriage bureau -- about four times the Wednesday average. Nine couples in Hollywood spent 99 cents each to get married at a 99 Cents Only store on Sunset Boulevard.
Still more tattoos
Danilo sends several interesting tattoos. This first one is done ASCII-art style; there's more about it here.
Seven more after the break.
Black light tattoos:
Wandering around a fairgrounds, a skeptical man enters a fortune teller's tent just for a laugh.
"I see you're the father of two," says the seer, gazing into her crystal ball.
"Hah! That's what you think," says the man scornfully. "I'm the father of three."
"Hah!" says the fortune teller. "That's what you think."
Ode to Forgetfulness
Mary sends a link to this well-done parody about aging.
Economy Has More People Farming Marijuana
BARBOURVILLE, Ky. -- Machete-wielding U.S. police officers have hacked their way through billions of dollars' worth of marijuana in the country's top pot-growing states to stave off a bumper crop sprouting in the tough economy.
The number of plants seized has jumped this year in California, the nation's top marijuana-growing state, while seizures continue to rise in Washington after nearly doubling the previous year. Growers in a three-state region of central Appalachia also appear to have reversed a decline in pot growth over the past two years.
September 09, 2009
What's a nice girl like you doing in a robbery like this?
Police: Robber Returned To Ask Victim Out
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio police said a suspect in a robbery was arrested when he returned to the home about two hours later to ask the victim out on a date.
Police said 20-year-old Stephfon Bennett of Columbus was among three men who robbed a couple late Sunday.
Columbus police Sgt. Sean Laird said the woman recognized Bennett as one of the robbers when he returned to ask her out. She had a relative call 911.
scarlet neon green T-shirt
Shoplifters Ordered To Wear Thief T-Shirts
WAUSEON, Ohio -- A northwest Ohio judge has added neon green T-shirts to his sentencing repertoire.
Western District Court Judge Jeff Robinson in Fulton County is requiring some defendants to wear shirts announcing "I'm a thief" while they perform court-ordered community service. [...]
The shirts have mainly been ordered for convicted shoplifters. At least one defendant offered to pay a stiffer fine instead.
September 08, 2009
A doctor's 10-point plan for reforming the legal industry.
A Doctor's Plan for Legal Industry Reform
By RICHARD B. RAFAL
Since we are moving toward socialism with ObamaCare, the time has come to do the same with other professions—especially lawyers. Physician committees can decide whether lawyers are necessary in any given situation.
At a town-hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., last month, our uninformed lawyer in chief suggested that we physicians would rather chop off a foot than manage diabetes since we would make more money doing surgery. Then President Obama compounded his attack by claiming a doctor's reimbursement is between "$30,000" and "$50,000" for such amputations! (Actually, such surgery costs only about $1,500.)
Physicians have never been so insulted. Because of these affronts, I will gladly volunteer for the important duty of controlling and regulating lawyers. Since most of what lawyers do is repetitive boilerplate or pushing paper, physicians would have no problem dictating what is appropriate for attorneys. We physicians know much more about legal practice than lawyers do about medicine.
The ultimate 'Downfall' parody
Hitler's really ticked off now.
Really organized crime
Yakuza group forcing members to take 'gangster exam'
OTSU -- Japan's largest and most notorious organized crime group, the Yamaguchi-gumi, is forcing members to take a "gangster exam" in order to reduce costly damages suits, police have discovered.
An affiliate based in Shiga Prefecture is distributing written tests on the revised Anti-Organized Crime Law, which allows higher-ranking gang members to be sued for the actions of their subordinates, as a preventative measure against future lawsuits. Police believe the test has been introduced by Yamaguchi-gumi groups across the country.
Nice image work
Erik Johansson does nice work on photo retouching. Here's one example (of 39) from his gallery.
Steve sends a collection of jokes about men.
Seconds after my husband stepped into the laundry room he shouted to me, 'What setting do I use on the washing machine?'
'It depends,' I replied. 'What does it say on your shirt?'
He yelled back, 'OHIO STATE! '
And they say blondes are dumb...
A couple is lying in bed. The man says, 'I am going to make you the happiest woman in the world.'
The woman replies, ''I'll miss you...'
'It's just too hot to wear clothes today,' Jack says as he stepped out of the shower. 'Honey, what do you think the neighbors would think if I mowed the lawn like this?'
'Probably that I married you for your money,' she replied.
Q: What do you call an intelligent, good-looking, sensitive man?
A: A rumor.
A man and his wife, both in their 60's, were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. On their special day a good fairy came to them and said that because they had been so good that each one of them could have one wish.
The wife wished for a trip around the world with her husband. Shazam! Immediately she had airline and cruise tickets in her hands.
The man wished for a female companion 30 years younger. Shazam! Immediately he turned 93.
Gotta love that fairy!
I pray for Wisdom to understand my man;
Love to forgive him;
and Patience for his moods.
Because, Lord, if I pray for Strength,
I'll beat him to death.
Q: What do you call a handcuffed man?
Q: What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?
A: You didn't hold the pillow down long enough.
Q: How do you keep your husband from reading your e-mail?
A: Rename the email folder 'Instruction Manuals'
More hot air
A slideshow of creatively designed hot air balloons.
That's 'barking', with a 'b'
Darwin City Council traffic wardens book dog for parking
A DOG has been booked for illegal parking.
The blue heeler was tied to a fence outside Rapid Creek Market when it was approached by two Darwin City Council traffic wardens.
One of the inspectors wrote out a ticket – and taped it to the dog's lead.
Witness Ray McEvoy said he couldn't believe his eyes.
September 04, 2009
Where to install Vista:
We needed 'new research' to learn this?
From the US Department of Health and Human Services:
College Students Get More Drunk When Drinks Are Cheap
Bar discounts, special promotions linked to greater alcohol consumption, study shows.
WEDNESDAY, Sept. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Cheap drinks at college bars lead to more intoxicated students and more health and safety problems, new research shows.
DRB has a collection of colorfully painted airliners. Naturally, Japan Air Lines is all over that idea. But most of the images are more striking than this one.
Markets in everything (3)
Want Facebook Friends? Now You Can Buy Them
SAN FRANCISCO -- On Facebook, most people make friends the old-fashioned way -- by sending a request to be added to someone's posse of pals. Now, an Australian marketing company hopes to save you time and energy by simply buying you a few thousand buddies.
The service from uSocial is mostly meant for businesses, celebrities and other individuals looking to expand on the social network, and Facebook isn't happy about it.
How to levitate
Danilo sends a link to this video about how an Indian yogi 'levitates': I don't know the source of the clip.
Order in the court! (2)
Fire chief shot by cop in Ark. court over tickets
JERICHO, Ark. – It was just too much, having to return to court twice on the same day to contest yet another traffic ticket, and Fire Chief Don Payne didn't hesitate to tell the judge what he thought of the police and their speed traps.
The response from cops? They shot him. Right there in court.
Payne ended up in the hospital, but his shooting last week brought to a boil simmering tensions between residents of this tiny former cotton city and their police force.
Jericho's just east of I-55, a little north of West Memphis, Arkansas -- in case you're planning any trips to that part of the country.
September 03, 2009
A little long but pretty entertaining.
An unusual form of insurance
I don't know how legitimate this is but the site does have a PayPal link if you want to take advantage of the offer.
You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.
We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward. Our network of animal activists are committed to step in when you step up to Jesus.
Don't run that red light
Steve sends some pictures of the runway at the Gibraltar airport which intersects a road - complete with traffic signal.
Finalists for State Fair's Big Tex Choice Awards include Deep Fried Butter
The place that brought you deep-fried Twinkies has taken fat food to a whole new level.
Since 2005, the State Fair of Texas has invited its vendors to create new and interesting food offerings. In recent years, we've seen such artery cloggers as Texas Fried Cookie Dough and Chicken Fried Bacon.
On Tuesday, State Fair officials released the eight finalists for this year's fifth annual Big Tex Choice Awards, and on the list is this gem: Deep Fried Butter. It's exactly as it sounds, butter that's seasoned, battered up and deep-fried. For those counting, a stick of butter has 810 calories— before it's deep-fried.
Bank wants thumbprint from man with no hands
Tampa, Florida -- While most banks require a thumbprint to cash a check from someone who doesn't have an account, a Tampa man says that policy was impossible to comply with.
Steve Valdez says he was shocked when he was told he had to put his thumbprint on a check written on his wife's Bank of America check. [...] Although he had two forms of identification both with pictures, the bank still required Valdez to give a thumbprint before it would cash the check.
But that was impossible, because Valdez was born without arms and wears prosthetic devices. [...]
When Valdez told the manager giving a thumbprint would be impossible, she suggested he either bring in his wife or open an account. Valdez says that's not the way the bank would treat someone without prosthetic arms, and he refused.
September 02, 2009
A better parody
Another parody of The Candy Man Can.
Tim Hawkins is the guy who did the Things You Don't Say To Your Wife parody. I didn't know he got political.
30 years later...
Plastic Flamingo Named City's Official Bird
MADSION, Wis. -- At a busy Madison Common Council meeting Tuesday night, council members voted to make the plastic pink flamingo the official city bird.
The new mascot was debated for five minutes, and then the Common Council voted 15-4 to make the plastic pink flamingo the official city bird, reported TV station WISC.
The idea was sparked by a 1979 prank when pranksters on campus put out 1,008 of the birds.
Stalking your kids at college
All things are possible
Twitter site offers followers line to God
An Israeli university student has opened a Twitter site, twitter.com/thekotel, where prayers can be sent for placement in the crevices of Jerusalem's Western Wall, a Jewish holy site that faithful believe provides a direct line to the Almighty.
"I take their prayers, print them out and drive to Jerusalem to put them in the Western Wall," said Alon Nir, a resident of Tel Aviv.
Seventeen Stairs that are More Cool than You.
Your whiz is her biz
Ohio University : Urine turned into hydrogen fuel
US researchers have developed an efficient way of producing hydrogen from urine – a feat that could not only fuel the cars of the future, but could also help clean up municipal wastewater.
Using hydrogen to power cars has become an increasingly attractive transportation fuel, as the only emission produced is water – but a major stumbling block is the lack of a cheap, renewable source of the fuel. Gerardine Botte of Ohio University may now have found the answer, using an electrolytic approach to produce hydrogen from urine – the most abundant waste on Earth – at a fraction of the cost of producing hydrogen from water. Botte says the idea came to her several years ago at a conference on fuel cells, where they were discussing how to turn clean water into clean power. 'I wondered how we could do this better,' she adds – so started looking at waste streams as a better source of molecules from which to produce hydrogen.
September 01, 2009
I believe the text means "Instinct or Intelligence"?
Play a request
A man calls a radio DJ and says, "I've found a wallet with ten thousand dollars inside. There's also a card that says 'John Ziegler, 413 Geyer, Pineville.' "
"So?" asks the DJ. "What do you want me to do?"
"Would you be so kind as to play the man a song?"
How bad is your job - really?
8 jobs must of us would probably prefer to avoid
Any orphans out there?
Conn. Man Advertises Parents On Craigslist
MADISON, Conn. -- A Connecticut man put his parents up for sale on Craigslist as a joke to pass the time on a rainy weekend.
Michael Amatrudo, a 51-year-old Madison resident and insurance executive, said in the ad that he's gotten "lots of use out of these guys over the past 50 years, but it's time to move on." He said he'll take $155 or a trade for a younger set of parents, an Erector set or a "hot blonde."
Sooner or later
This is a dramatic clip and a little long - but very well done.
Show 'em the handcuffs
Police Lure Fugitives With Stimulus Checks
2-Day Sting Dubbed 'Operation Show Me The Money'
MIAMI -- Police in Florida are using the promise of a stimulus check to make some arrests.
Authorities in Fort Lauderdale say they sent letters to fugitives offering them stimulus money. The suspects were asked to call a hot line and set up an appointment to pickup a check from an auditorium where "South Florida Stimulus Coalition" banners hung.
When the fugitives arrived, they were identified and about 75 were arrested on offenses ranging from grand theft to fraud to attempted murder.