Monday, March 31, 2008

Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter

I'm not a big fan of the interest rates the credit card companies charge, but are they evil? These nutjobs seem to think so:
A Russian doomsday cult sheltering in a bunker say credit cards and food packaging bar codes are satanic, the official negotiating the release of children from the group said on Monday.

Around 30 followers, including four children, from across Russia and neighboring Belarus met last October and barricaded themselves into a hillside to escape an apocalypse their preacher says is looming in either April or May.

"For us right now, what's most important is the children," said Alexander Yelatontsev, an official from Russia's Penza Oblast region, who has been the chief point of contact for the cult since the siege began.

"They have burned their passports and say that all plastic (credit) cards and strip codes on food packaging are the work of Satan," he told reporters.

Yelatontsev said the people underground were in contact with him regularly, and would accept food only if it had not been processed with modern factory equipment.

"Right now they are asking for a cow so that they can have fresh, boiled milk that is not processed," he said.

He said progress was slow but local authorities were negotiating with the group to leave their refuge.

"In as much as their beliefs have been formed over a long period of time, convincing them to come out is not going to happen quickly," he said.
Well, we could just wait until May. By then, the apocalypse their leader has predicted will probably have fizzled, and they can come out and rejoin society. That, or we'll all be dead anyway if the kook was right. In that case, I guess the rest of us sure will have egg on our faces.

Unless our faces have all melted off during the apocalypse. Then, I guess we'll have egg on our skulls. Or something.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I have a foul mouth blog

If you've got kids or a grandma with a heart condition, you should keep them away from here. Because of all the fucking cursing, I mean.

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Via the relatively tame by comparison doubleplusundead.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Getting smashed and almost smashed again

I'm just shocked—utterly shocked—to find out that this story involves drinking:
A man nearly crushed inside a garbage truck told police he can't recall how he ended up inside a trash bin — and then the truck — after a night of drinking with friends.

William M. Bowen, 27, awoke about 6:30 a.m. Thursday to find that he was inside a commercial trash-collection truck filled with waste.

A Rumpke garbage truck driver had emptied a bin behind the Muncie Eye Center into his truck and was about to activate its trash compressor when he heard someone screaming.

"He looked up and this gentleman was standing out the top of our truck," said Larry Green, market safety supervisor for Rumpke.

Green said the only thing Bowen said to the driver who found him was that he was cold.

"This gentleman was extremely intoxicated," he said.

Bowen told police the last thing he remembers before waking up in the truck was drinking with buddies about 3 a.m. Thursday at a Muncie bar.

Bowen, who wouldn't tell police who his drinking pals were, was treated and released with minor injuries from Ball Memorial Hospital.
I would assume that Mr. Bowen was a little miffed with his good buddies after that. I mean, as if the whole getting dumped in the trash thing wasn't bad enough, then he almost gets crushed to death. Though at least they didn't let him try to drive home, so there's that.

Good times, man. Good times.


I've noticed an annoying trend in teevee commercials lately, this being the latest example:

It's that airy-fairy babbling female singing. It bugs the shit out of me! I mean, is she even singing in fucking English there? I can't tell. Old Navy has had a few of those over the last few months, too, and every time I hear one, I just want to hurl my remote through the goddamn picture tube.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Manila spice

I've heard plenty of people make the "I only read it for the articles" joke over the years, but it looks like there's one place where they're actually taking that seriously:
Playboy magazine is launching in the Philippines next month and will be targeting mature men who like well-written articles and tasteful photographs of semi-nude women.

"Maxim and FHM are called laddy magazines. We can be called a Dad magazine," Beting Laygo Dolor, Playboy Philippines' editor, told Reuters on Thursday.

"We are targeting a more mature market, Filipino men, 30 and above."

"There will be no full frontal nudity."

Mens' magazines with risque photos are already sold in the Philippines, which despite being a largely Catholic country has a macho culture that encourages promiscuity.

Although rural areas are more conservative, Manila and other large cities have a relaxed attitude to sex.

Dolor, who describes himself as a "bad Catholic," said the religion's values had influenced the decision not to go for a raunchier look for the magazine.

"I don't want to be ashamed to show it to my mother," said the father of four. "I have daughters in their twenties. It's something that I want them to also enjoy. I want them to be proud of their Dad."
Uh, am I the only one who's creeped out by the idea of this dude showing Playboy magazines to his mom and daughters, even if it is a little less smutty than the American version?

"Someone's in here!"

They say a man's home is his castle, and one of the most important rooms is the "throne room," if you know what I mean. It's a place for peace and quiet and, most importantly, privacy. So I'd imagine it's quite a shock when that privacy is breached in such a jarring fashion:
A New Zealand man got the fright of his life when a runaway SUV crashed into his house and knocked him off the toilet, a newspaper reported Friday.

The vehicle had been parked with its emergency brake only half on, and rolled backward down a 32 foot bank into the house Thursday in the southern city of Christchurch, "The Press" newspaper reported.

Police said a building contractor working next door had parked the vehicle at the top of the bank minutes earlier.

"He came back to his vehicle and found it next door, basically," Christchurch police Sgt. Kim Reid was quoted as saying.

The paper said that when the homeowner was asked how the builder might be feeling, he said: "What about me? I got knocked off the toilet. I got a hell of a fright."
If there's any justice in this world, his response to the person who asked that question was accompanied by a swift kick in the ass.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Portrait of a (naked) lady

Having never been married, I'm not quite sure how I'd feel if this sort of thing involved my wife:
A nude portrait of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's wife Carla Bruni will go under the hammer in New York next month, according to auctioneers Christie's.

The 13 x 10 1/8 inch gelatin silver black and white photograph was taken in 1993, when Bruni was one of the world's top fashion models, and is being sold by art collector Gert Elfering.

It is expected to fetch $3,000 to $4,000 when it is sold in New York on April 10, according to the Christie's web site.
On the one hand, I'm not really sure I'd like some other dude having a naked picture of my special lady to ogle whenever he'd like. On the other hand, I might feel some pride over the fact that someone would be willing to pay that much for a single naked picture, especially when you're able to download pictures of naked women for free from teh internets. Or so I'm told. Not that I'd do such a thing.

Val-U-Rite viper

I'm a big believer in both the entrepreneurial spirit and the Ace of Spades Lifestyle™, and it looks like a guy down in Texas has found a way to blend the two. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this may lead to prison time:
A rattlesnake rancher who calls himself Bayou Bob found a new way to make money: Stick a rattler inside a bottle of vodka and market the concoction as an "ancient Asian elixir." But Bayou Bob Popplewell's bright idea appears to have landed him on the wrong side of the law, because he has no liquor license.

Popplewell, who has raised rattlesnakes and turtles at Bayou Bob's Brazos River Rattlesnake Ranch for more than two decades, surrendered to authorities Monday. He spent about 10 minutes in jail after the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission obtained arrest warrants on misdemeanor charges of selling alcohol without a license and possessing alcohol with intent to sell.

If convicted, he faces up to a year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Popplewell said he will fight the charges. His intent, he said, is not to sell an alcoholic beverage but a healing tonic. He said he has customers of Asian descent who believe the concoction has medicinal properties.

"It's almost a spiritual thing," said Popplewell, 63.
Well, there are definitely spirits involved, but I'm not really sure how a dead snake in a bottle of Val-U-Rite vodka provides one with a religious experience. Not even if you drink a lot of it. That mostly just gives you alcohol poisoning.
But alcohol commission agent Scott Jones pointed out that investigators confiscated 429 bottles of snake vodka and one bottle of snake tequila. At $23 a bottle, that's almost $10,000 worth of reptilian booze.

Even if Popplewell intended his drink be used as a healing tonic — an assertion the alcohol commission disputes — his use of vodka requires a state permit, authorities said.

"It's sold for beverage purposes, and he knows what he's doing," commission Sgt. Charlie Cloud said.

Popplewell said he uses the cheapest vodka he can find as a preservative for the snakes. The end result is a super sweet mixed drink that Popplewell compared to cough syrup.

"I've honestly never seen a person drink it," he said.
That's probably due to the fact that you can buy cough syrup (which contains very little snake, I'm told by reliable sources) for a lot less than twenty three bucks.

That, and the fact that it sounds pretty effing nasty. Most people I know prefer not to have dead reptiles in their booze.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ask and you shall receive...

...attention from the authorities, in this case, anyway:
Police in Bethany [Oklahoma] are looking for what Chief Neal Troutman calls a "sick individual" who's leaving notes asking for women to give him their underwear.

Troutman said the person is knocking on doors and leaving notes with specific instructions asking for the undergarments.

The notes say the women will be given $20.
It doesn't sound like anybody has taken him up on the offer.

One real classy lassie

Do they still have finishing schools to teach young women how to be classy and graceful? If they do, I'm going to go ahead and guess this gal didn't attend one:
Suburban New York police say a drunken driver had a suspended license and had marijuana in her car. Oh, they also say she didn't have any pants on.

Yonkers police say 22-year-old Long Island resident Angelica Buchanan was found Saturday standing bottomless in a street near her car. They say she was so drunk she had to be hospitalized.

Police say she claimed she wasn't wearing pants because she needed to use the bathroom. They've charged her with driving while intoxicated, unlicensed operation of a vehicle and marijuana possession.
What, no indecent exposure? And the DWI charge seems a little unfair. I mean, she was standing outside the car, after all. I didn't know standing near your car after having a few was illegal in New York. It shouldn't be, not if you're wearing pants, anyway.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Logo shows where it's a no go for SoKo hoes, yo

I'm not really sure what the legal status of prostitution is like in South Korea, but wouldn't it just be easier to put a sign reading "whorehouse" outside?
South Korea is introducing new signs for its hot spring spas to remove any confusion for those seeking other kinds of steamy liaisons.

The Ministry of Public Administration and Security introduced the new blue logo Monday for about 480 spas across the country, said ministry official Lim Jae-wung.

The sign replaces a nearly century-old red icon — a circle with rising wisps of steam that have been appropriated by "love motels," which offer prostitution or short stays for couples having extramarital relations.


The new logo depicts waves of water with two circles symbolizing the heads of a father and son amid rising steam. Those using the sign at non-spa facilities can be punished by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,030, Lim said.
Well, I guess that kind of clears up my question about the legality of prostitution over there. It sounds like Korean "ladies of the evening" can ply their trade without any worries, so long as they don't use the wrong logo.

Good to know. So that I can find a legitimate spa if I ever find myself in that neighborhood, I mean. Get your minds out of the gutter, you pervs. Honestly, your mothers would be ashamed of you. And so am I.

Welcome, Moronosphere enthusiasts

I've been getting a lot of traffic from doubleplusundead as of late, and I see that I've also been included in Conservative Belle's official Moronosphere blogroll, so if you're new here, feel free to explore the place and leave comments. It's good to have you here.

Update: I can honestly say that I've never been more proud to be a member of somebody's private army of retards.

"Have the Rolling Stones killed."

Thanks, but my name's not Burnsie.

My good friends at the Phillip Morris Company sent me a coupon for a couple bucks off a pack of smokes, though, so there's that. Oh, and I get to have dinner here, which looks pretty nice. Yay me!

Update: My good meatspace buddy Andy had some kind words for me today, which were much appreciated.

I should also note that today was my parents' 35th anniversary. I'm the gift that not only keeps on giving, but also couldn't be exchanged.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter... all my Peeps.

My family will be celebrating the resurrection of the most famous Jewish guy in the history of the world by eating a ham dinner. Pretty ironic, no?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Father of the year

A lot of people will tell you that their kids are the mean the world to them. This guy, not so much:
A shoplifter looking to make a quick getaway from a Dutch supermarket after stealing a packet of meat left police a crucial piece of evidence -- his 12-year-old son.

In his haste the 45-year-old thief made a solo dash to his car, batting away a supermarket worker who had flung himself on the vehicles' bonnet in a bid to stop the escape.

Police in the southern Dutch town of Kerkrade said they managed to contact the thief via the boy, but he had refused to return and collect his son. The man told officers to get hold of the youngster's mother instead.
I don't know if they celebrate Fathers Day in the Netherlands, but if they do, something tells me this guy isn't even getting an ugly tie this year.

The great kruller caper

Stealing a vehicle is never really a good idea, but stealing this particular vehicle was just begging for trouble:
A bevy of officers chased a doughnut delivery van at speeds up to 100 mph before arresting the driver at gunpoint, authorities said.

But the cops weren't simply hankering for doughnuts.

The van, owned by Donut Delite of Moline, Ill., was stolen early Thursday while the driver was making deliveries at a hospital in nearby Rock Island. The driver had left the van running, and a man jumped in and headed for Iowa, just over the Mississippi River.

A Benton County, Iowa, sheriff's deputy spotted the van later in the morning, and eight other officers eventually joined the chase. Authorities finally cornered it in neighboring Tama County.

Frank Alvarado, 46, of Moline, Ill., was charged with theft and other counts and was held on $15,000 bond.


Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera said his officers had no idea what the unmarked van was carrying.

They were rewarded for their efforts anyway — the doughnut shop gave them the purloined goodies.
I bet they were glad it wasn't a delivery van from a health food store.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Leafy green veggies

I know most people like to bring a little something back when they visit a foreign country, like a snow globe or a t-shirt. God knows, those kind of items arouse less suspicion than thirty pounds of canned food:
It didn't look quite right to federal agents when the high school student strolled into the U.S. border crossing while carrying six enormous cans of vegetables.

After agents took X-rays of one can, their suspicions were confirmed. It turned out the industrial-size containers of hominy and jalapeno peppers actually were stuffed with 25 pounds of marijuana, agents said.

The cans normally hold about 5 pounds of vegetables and are commonly used in food service and restaurants, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Roger Maier said.

The 17-year-old, a U.S. citizen who lives in Juarez, Mexico, had declared she was just bringing in some food.
I guess if I had 25 pounds of weed, I'd have the munchies, too.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grand theft taco

Creating a video record of your crimes probably isn't the smartest idea. But you know what's sheer genius? Posting that video on the internet:
A man who pretended to be a CEO complaining about his fast-food order in a taco scam was sentenced to 30 days in jail after authorities saw the prank in an online video.

Rialto police said it was an easy case to crack because the video, called "How to Scam Del Taco" and posted on, shows Robert Echeverria, 32, calling the restaurant about 50 miles east of Los Angeles on Feb. 19.

In a friendly tone he claims to be a CEO named "Robert Kennedy" who has already spoken to the store's manager and corporate office about some unwanted sour cream and the lack of a receipt in a previous order.

"I love your guys' tacos," he said.

One of his two 18-year-old co-stars is later shown walking into the restaurant and claiming the food. The video ends with the three men feasting and laughing.

Echeverria even provided a pair of personal phone numbers in the video, Rialto police Lt. Joe Cirilo said.
Well, that certainly makes it easier for people to call up and tell you how awesomely awesome your scam was. Or to arrest you. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, really.

Update: Want to watch this fat load working his scam? Enjoy:

I think he loves their tacos a little too much, if you know what I mean.

Only in Japan

If you were to tell me that any other country was doing something like this, I wouldn't believe you. But the Land of the Rising Sun? Oh yeah.
Japan has created an unusual government post to promote animation, and named a perfect figure to the position: Doraemon.

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura appointed the popular cartoon robot cat as "anime ambassador" on Wednesday, handing a human-sized Doraemon doll an official certificate at an inauguration ceremony, along with dozens of "dorayaki" red bean pancakes — his favorite dessert — piled on a huge plate.

Komura told the doll, with an unidentified person inside, that he hoped he would widely promote Japanese animated cartoons, or "anime."

"Doraemon, I hope you will travel around the world as an anime ambassador to deepen people's understanding of Japan so they will become friends with Japan," Komura told the blue-and-white cat.


Doraemon — through voice actress Wasabi Mizuta, who spoke from behind a sliding paper screen — promised Komura that "Through my cartoons, I hope to convey to people abroad what ordinary Japanese people think, our lifestyles and what kind of future we want to build."
That's probably not going to confuse anybody. I mean, who better to explain what ordinary Japanese people are like than a giant blue cat?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In case you were wondering...

...and you probably weren't (bastards), my foot is feeling much better. It's barely swollen at all, I'm not limping around anymore, and I can even wear shoes comfortably now. I'm also getting used to my dietary restrictions, though I'm hoping I can ease up on those sometime soon. I think I'm going to quit drinking regular sodas, though. The diet stuff doesn't taste half as bad as I remember it tasting, and diet Dr. Pepper really does taste pretty much like the regular stuff!

I still miss red meat, bacon, sausage, and booze, though. I miss them so much.

Just give the kid a hall pass, already

You know, I had a few teachers who were pretty strict, but none of them ever did anything like this:
A teacher was put on paid leave Tuesday while officials investigate why a student urinated in a lunch box during her class.

The Meadowbrook Middle School student urinated in a lunch box while hiding behind a classroom bookcase, Orange County school officials said Tuesday.

According to statements by other students in the class, school officials think that when the boy asked to go the restroom on Thursday, teacher Jameeka Chambers told him to hold it or use her lunch box.
I'm gonna go ahead and guess that wasn't a treasured lunch box from her childhood that she paid big bucks for on eBay. At least I hope not.
The boy took the lunch box, hid behind a bookcase, urinated in it and returned it to her, Frank Kruppenbacher, attorney for the Orange County School Board, told the Orlando Sentinel.

"I think we clearly know she didn't tell him, 'Go pee in this box,' in the sense of going to go do that," Kruppenbacher said. "That's beyond our comprehension."
Yeah, it sounds more like a dare that she didn't really expect him to accept.
This is a first-year teaching job for Chambers, who teaches sixth-grade language arts.
Something tells me she might not be back for a second year.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'll be having one of these with my corned beef and cabbage tonight, Doctor's orders be damned! Life's too short to avoid alcohol and boiled beef on a day like today. In fact, my heritage demands it. So there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Gone with the wind

Gather round, children, and listen to the tale of a man who could have saved himself thousands of dollars and a lot of heartache by tying a simple knot around his finger:
It is the one moment every man wants to get right -- and which London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji could hardly have got more wrong.

The luckless 28 year-old's dreams of giving his sweetheart, Leanne, 26, the ultimate proposal have literally vanished into thin air.

Hajji, of Hackney, east London, had concealed a $12,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon. The idea was that she would pop the balloon as he popped the question.

But as he left the shop, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hand and he watched the ring -- and quite possibly the affections of his girlfriend -- sailing away over the rooftops.

"I couldn't believe it," he told The Sun newspaper.

"I just watched as it went further and further into the air.

"I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me."

Hajji spent two hours in his car trying to chase and find the balloon, without success.

"I thought I would give Leanne a pin so I could literally pop the question," he said.

"But I had to tell her the story -- she went absolutely mad. Now she is refusing to speak to me until I get her a new ring."
I'm thinking that telling her the story might not have been the best idea. I don't claim to know a whole lot about women, but I'm pretty sure telling one that you let twelve grand worth of jewelery float away on the breeze is bound to make her mad.

Junk'n donuts

Chances are if you're working the drive-thru at a donut shop, you're probably getting paid the minimum wage. But no matter how much they pay you, it's probably not enough when you have to deal with a customer like this guy:
Careful with that coffee! Police say a man placing an order in a suburban New York doughnut shop's drive-through lane didn't have any pants on.

They say a Dunkin' Donuts worker saw John Greco's exposed genitals in the Feb. 27 stunt and then noted the make of his car and his license plate number.

Police say the 46-year-old Croton-on-Hudson resident was arrested last week and has been charged with misdemeanor public lewdness. He's due in court March 27.
There's no mention of what kind of donuts he ordered or, thankfully, what he planned to do with them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Accidents will happen

We all make mistakes, right? Sure, but how many of us make the same mistake over and over, nearly nine thousand times?
A Queensland police officer caught with more than 8000 child porn images on his home computer has avoided spending any time in jail.

Thomas James Anthony Wilson, 25, pleaded guilty in Brisbane's District Court today to possessing the lewd material, including pictures of boys as young as 10 engaging in sex acts.

He was sentenced to 18 months' jail, but the term was wholly suspended after his lawyer successfully argued Wilson had downloaded the images by mistake.

The former policeman, who has since lost his job, was one of 1717 suspects identified as part of a 2003 child porn investigation by US Customs and FBI agents.

Police traced his credit card to a child porn website titled “Sunshine Boys”, where Wilson had paid a $35 access fee.

A March 28, 2006 raid on his Shorncliffe home on Brisbane’s northside uncovered a computer loaded with pornography.

In all, 8742 images were identified as depicting children aged between 10 and 18 posing nude, masturbating and engaging in sex acts.
First of all, ewwwwwwwww! Secondly, how do you pay a registration fee for a kiddie porn site and download 8,742 photos from said site without, you know, figuring out that you're downloading some sick shit? Perhaps his lawyer can explain:
Wilson's defence barrister Craig Eberhardt told the court his client had not purposefully sought out child abuse images when he downloaded pornography files from the internet.

He suggested Wilson may have viewed some of it as a way to deal with his own sexuality as a young man.

"(He is) not a pedophile, he does not have pedophilic tendencies," Mr Eberhardt said, citing medical evidence.

"His culpability comes from his failure to get rid of it once he knew it was there."
Apparently, the judge bought it, seeing as how he gave the pervert a suspended sentence and told him, "I accept that you did not actively seek child pornography and these images were accessed somewhat accidentally."

I still don't get it. Did he think they were midgets or something? Because if he did, well, that's only somewhat less disturbing.

(Via FARK.)

Extreme voter apathy!

Quick, somebody call Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton! It looks like the Republicans are suppressing Florida voters again!
Every vote counts. But what happens when there are no votes at all? That's the situation city officials in Tamarac are facing. No voters showed up Wednesday night to cast a ballot in an annexation referendum for an unincorporated Broward County community.

There are 68 registered voters in the 200-person Prospect Bend neighborhood. Tamarac officials have proposed annexing the neighborhood.

Details were mailed to registered voters. If just one voter had shown up, that one vote would have decided the neighborhood's fate.
Eh, it's no big deal. That one voter probably would have just voted for Pat Buchanan anyway.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A match made in heaven

Women tend to get mad when their husbands do something insensitive, like forgetting their wedding anniversary. This poor bastard never made it that far:
A Chinese bride burned her new husband to death after he got into bed after a drunken argument without washing his feet, state media reported on Wednesday.

"Wang and his wife, Luo, were married on February 2. The couple, however, frequently fought over trivial things while still on their honeymoon," the official Xinhua news agency quoted a local newspaper as saying.

The couple, from the central province of Hubei, had another fight on the night of March 4, "and in frustration they together drank a bottle of liquor to ease their anger."
What a good idea! If only more fighting couples would just hit the bottle, I'm sure domestic violence rates would plummet.
"At about 10 p.m., Luo watched her husband get into bed without cleaning or washing his feet. In a fit of anger and intoxication, she set fire to the sheet he was sleeping in," the report said.
I guess that's one way to save on the cost of a divorce lawyer. But seeing as how she's been arrested, those savings may have to go toward her murder defense. Easy come, easy go.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dream job

I wonder how a company would phrase "Help Wanted" ads for job like this:
A "sniff squad" of trained noses is being called in to root out Northampton's landfill odors. The city has hired specially trained stink-sniffers to help determine whether the dump is too pungent for neighboring homeowners to stand.

Northampton officials signed a $25,000 contract with an Agawam environmental company after state officials ordered independent testing of landfill odors.

Using little more than their own noses, the super sniffers are trained to detect and rate the strength of rotting trash, landfill gases and other unpleasantries.

Rating on a 1 to 8 scale — roughly, from bearable to foul beyond belief — the sniffers also judge the smells against a kit they carry of ready-to-sniff odors of various intensities.
The next time you're tempted to bitch about how much your job sucks, just remember the fact that you don't have to carry around a kit with you full of vials of "Essence of dead rat" and "ripe ass" in order to complete your work.

Better late than never

There are some books, like War and Peace, that take a long time to read, but this is ridiculous:
A Finnish library-goer apparently thought 'better late than never' and quietly returned a book on loan for more than 100 years to a library in Vantaa, in southern Finland.

The library had long since lost track of the loan but welcomed back to its collections the bound copy of a 1902 volume of Vartija, an active religious monthly periodical at the time.

"We are unclear when exactly it was borrowed and who returned it. There weren't any documents with it," librarian Minna Saastamoinen told Reuters.

"There is an old note attached to the book which says there is a fine of 10 pennies a week for late returns," she added.
Sure, that sounds like chump change, but when you consider inflation and interest, they could probably use the late fees to fund the entire Finnish library system for the next decade or so.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A really big date

If you're single and you're convinced that's due to the fact that you've put on a few pounds, well, that may not be the case. I mean, if this guy is dating...
When Manuel Uribe went out on a date, he made all the necessary arrangements: a forklift to carry him out of the house and a flatbed tow truck big enough to haul the formerly half-ton man and his bed to a party.

But even the open road wasn't big enough to handle Uribe's dream of celebrating a budding romance and his success in losing about 440 pounds.

Uribe was halfway to a picnic near his Monterrey-area home on Sunday when one of the posts holding a sun-shielding tarp over his bed hit an overpass.

Uribe's blood pressure dropped so much his doctors advised him not to go on and the celebration — being documented by about two dozen photographers and reporters from around the world — was canceled.

"We were going to celebrate that I've been losing weight for two years and that it was my girlfriend's birthday," Uribe said in a telephone interview. "The saddest part was that I couldn't fulfill my dream of taking my girlfriend out to eat."
Well, I guess he is in better shape than he was a couple of years ago, when he started a new high-protein diet. So maybe slimming down is the key to meeting that special someone, after all.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I miss beer

After valiantly struggling into some shoes, I went to meet some friends at a bar last night. The beer—real beer—looked so very, very good. But I had lemonade. Doctor's orders, you know.

I actually got up for a rare Saturday morning breakfast today, more because I had to have food to take my pills than for any other reason. Just an English muffin and some juice. I made a tuna salad sandwich for lunch, which I ate with some carrots and Pringles. I'm really looking forward to dinner tonight, though—BBQ pork ribs! Ah, the other white meat.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Getting better all the time

I went to see my regular doctor today, and he said my foot was looking okay. I have to agree. It's still a little swollen and tender, but it's not nearly as red as it was earlier this week. The steroids I've been taking have been doing a good job on the inflammation, and I'm drilling 95 mph fastballs out over the fence in left-center with the greatest of ease. Okay, so I made that last part up. Different kind of steroids.

I couldn't complain too much about the food today, either. Had a three-cheese omelet with rye toast for breakfast, a Twice Grilled Burrito form El Pollo Loco for lunch, and thin-crust Pizza Margherita with salad for dinner.


Getting behind the wheel of your car after you've had a snootful is dangerous enough, but this is ridiculous:
A Russian tank crashed through a villager's house after the crew stopped to buy more vodka at a nearby shop.

Footage from a mobile phone camera showed the tank hitting a corner of the house and a laughing, and apparently drunk, driver awkwardly trying to clamber aboard with two bottles of vodka.

"Get him out of the tank," screamed a woman in the village in the Urals.

The army promised Friday to pay compensation and said the tank must have been broken and fallen behind a column heading to a test site for exercises. Earlier it said the vehicle slid on melting ice.
Let me guess...they slid right into a liquor store parking lot. Or maybe the Russian version of AAA brings vodka along when they come to fix your broken-down tank.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A steady diet of...somewhat better food

I started out the day with a bowl of Cheerios, which wasn't any great shakes, but I added some fresh-sliced strawberries, so, hey. Not bacon, but tasty, nonetheless. But still not bacon. I can't stress that enough.

A grilled cheese sandwich with some little kosher dill pickles on the side for lunch, which is something I like, but note the lack of meat. It's like I'm turning into some kind of goddamn hippie, here. Oh, and I made a pitcher of iced tea, since I did a little research and found out that sweetened soft drinks place you at higher risk for gout. Guess what I've been drinking with lunch for as long as I can remember? Damnit.

For dinner, finally the sweet, sweet taste of an animal's suffering. Sautéed chicken thighs, potato gnocchi with cheese in a light tomato sauce, and salad. Not a bad meal, really. And I washed it all down with pills and water.

I've got another non-alcoholic beer waiting for me in the fridge. I can't hardly wait.

The scenic route

I'm pertty sure this sort of thing is the reason why, here in America at least, they make someone from the dealership go along with you:
An Australian who took a new car on a 3,200 km (1,988 mile) six-day test drive from the city to the outback has been arrested, police said on Thursday.

The 30-year-old convinced a car dealer in the southeastern city of Melbourne to lend him a A$40,000 ($37,000) Honda Accord sedan last Friday and drove the equivalent of London to Istanbul before he was arrested near the town of Tennant Creek, deep in the outback of the Northern Territory.

"He drove from Melbourne to Adelaide to Alice Springs," Tennant Creek police Constable James Gray-Spence told Reuters.

He said the man was arrested without incident at a road block on his way north to Darwin after he failed to pay for fuel at a hamlet.


Melbourne car yard owner Ian McKenzie said the man would have had to have been in the car all day, every day to reach Tennant Creek.

"He seemed a legitimate gentleman. He stood at the desk right in front of a camera. He wasn't afraid of being photographed or videoed," McKenzie told the Herald Sun newspaper.
Well, he probably figured that nobody would recognize him, you know, two-friggin'-thousand miles away.

For some reason, the article doesn't mention whether or not the guy was satisfied with the car. Maybe needed another few thousand miles to decide.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Arrest that corpse!

Something tells me that this ordinance is going to be a bit tricky to enforce:
The mayor of a village in southwest France has threatened residents with severe punishment if they die, because there is no room left in the overcrowded cemetery to bury them.

In an ordinance posted in the council offices, Mayor Gerard Lalanne told the 260 residents of the village of Sarpourenx that "all persons not having a plot in the cemetery and wishing to be buried in Sarpourenx are forbidden from dying in the parish."

It added: "Offenders will be severely punished."
Uh, Mayor Lalanne, I think I've detected a slight flaw in your plan. Unless it involves some sort of pipeline to St. Peter, or a curse that will turn "offenders" into zombie slaves.

Come to think of it, that might be kind of cool.

A steady diet of blah

Toaster waffles for breakfast (no sausage or bacon, damnit), chicken soup for lunch, and fish with rice and salad for dinner. Along with a bunch of pills.

Oh, and I have a non-alcoholic beer to look forward to, later. Yay.

At least I got to take the huge wad of bandages off my foot, which is looking and feeling a little better.

Update: That's funny. I've never felt like throwing things at the teevee during commercials for Wienerschnitzel chili dogs before.

(Confused about this post? See here.)

Just a drunk a drunk of burning love

I can't think of many places where it's appropriate too show up drunk and dressed like Elvis, but court sure as hell isn't one of them:
A central Kentucky judge had a suspicious mind when an Elvis Presley impersonator showed up for court apparently drunk and sporting sunglasses and a rhinestone-studded shirt with a scarf draped around his neck.

County Attorney Brian Goettl said that as a result, the judge had David Blaisdell, 64, tested for intoxication and sentenced him to three days in jail for contempt of court when it was determined that the man's blood-alcohol level was nearly twice that at which a person in Kentucky is considered legally drunk.
The article goes on to say that he told the judge that he'd had "a few drinks the night before," by which I guess he meant "several jugs of moonshine."

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

So, how was your evening?

I hope it was better than mine. You see, I hurt my right foot somehow the other day (or so I thought—keep reading), and the joint of my big toe started to swell up. I started icing it, but that didn't really seem to help. I've been limping around for days now, unable to even put on a shoe. I tried to make an appointment with my doctor, but the scheduling desk said he wouldn't have an opening until the 19th. Great. Anyway, my mom saw how red and swollen it was this afternoon and basically ordered me to go to the emergency room.

So I struggled into a pair of flip-flops and drove over there, where I got to sit around for more than an hour before I even got shown to a room. Good thing I took a nice, thick book, huh? Once I got into the room—which was freezing cold, of course—I got to sit there for another eternity or so. The doctor finally showed up, asked me some questions, looked at my foot, and decided he was going to slice it open to check for an abscess. He didn't find one. No, instead, he thinks I have...gout. Which meshes nicely with my curmudgeonly outlook on life and my disdain for the music the kids are listening to these days.

That's bad enough, but until it clears up I have to cut red meat, nitrates (hot dogs, sausage, etc.), and booze out of my diet. I might as well just not get up in the morning. Ugh. Well, hopefully I won't be as gimpy by this time next week.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Savor the whales

Anybody who knows me could tell you that I'm all about green living, reducing my carbon footprint, and all that bullshit. So, in the interest of saving Mother Earth, I may have to start eating whale:
Eat a whale and save the planet, a Norwegian pro-whaling lobby said on Monday of a study showing that harpooning the giant mammals is less damaging to the climate than farming livestock.

Environmental group Greenpeace dismissed the survey, saying almost every kind of food was more climate friendly than meat.

The survey, focused on whale boats' fuel use, showed that a kilo (2.2 lbs) of whale meat represented just 1.9 kilo (4.2 lbs) of greenhouse gases against 15.8 for beef, 6.4 for pork and 4.6 for chicken.

"Basically it turns out that the best thing you can do for the planet is to eat whale meat compared to other types of meat," said Rune Froevik of the High North Alliance, which represents the interests of coastal communities in the Arctic.

"Greenhouse gas emissions caused by one meal of beef are the equivalent of eight meals of whale meat," the study said.
Well, I'd really like to do my part by tucking into a delicious whale steak, but it turns out whale meat is hard to get around here, since the only people who are allowed to practice whaling in the U.S. are some Eskimos and an Indian tribe up in Washington.

The blame for this environmentally irresponsible policy rests squarely on the shoulders of George W. Bush and his Big Oil cronies. Probably.

Birthday brawl

I always loved birthday parties when I was a kid. Pizza, games, cake, and friends. But there was always something missing. What was it? Ah, yes, the fisticuffs:
Two battling Boston moms face the next round in court after police say they turned on each other at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.

The fight allegedly broke out at the Natick pizza-and-play eatery during a child’s birthday party, police said.

Natick police said the mom of the 9-year-old birthday boy apparently became enraged because the other woman’s son was "hogging" an arcade game Saturday night.

Sgt. Paul Thompson said 38-year-old Catherine Aliaga and 33-year-old Tarsha Williams, both of Boston, would be summoned into court to answer charges of simple assault and battery stemming from the scuffle.


A company spokesman tells the Herald the two moms "exchanged words" Saturday night at 6:45 while two children were playing an arcade game and then "punches were thrown."
Last I knew, Chuck E. Cheese's didn't serve alcohol, so I don't think they can use that as an excuse. Unless they brought flasks or something, but I really can't see two such obviously classy dames doing something like that.