Thursday, June 30, 2011

News Snippets

Snippet the First:
Former presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) thinks he could have done a good job leading the country.

“I would have been a good president,” he said Wednesday on Fox Business Network’s “Imus in the Morning.” “Maybe even a great one.”
 Well, it's good that he's managed to stay so humble after all those years in politics...

Snippet the Second:

Speaking of/to a group of illegal aliens in the U.S., Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said this:  "When I look around this room, I see America's future. Our doctors, our teachers, our nurses, our engineers, our scientists, our soldiers, our Congressman, our Senators and maybe our President."

Um, yeah... About that... Not really, unless you plan on rewriting the Constitution.  ...Then again, I'm sure you'd have no problem with that, would you, Mr. Durbin?  Let's just throw the whole d--n thing out and start from fresh, right?  It's so out-dated, anyway.

Snippet the Third:

A foreign national who flew from New York to Los Angeles last week with a stolen boarding pass and ID card has been arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, according to federal authorities.

Olajide Oluwaseun Noibi, a Nigerian-born man who was found with the stolen ID and up to 10 old boarding passes containing various names, was arrested Wednesday after attempting to board a flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta; five days after passing through layers of airport security at New York's JFK airport to board a plane with a day-old boarding pass. 

I guess the TSA is too busy checking babies' diapers and humiliating terminally ill women in their 90s to worry about little things like, oh, boarding passes.  (Gah!)  Seriously, guys.  He didn't have the correct ID.  The pass wasn't for the right date.  It wasn't even the right flight number! 

I want to know what this guy was doing.  Why did he even want to fly all over the place?  Was he just taking a cross-country vacation, or is there more to the story?  In any case, the honchos at the TSA have a lot of nerve expecting travelers to meekly accept all the crap they're put through when the TSA can't get a simple thing like this right.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Analytics Again

It's been a long, long, long time since my last Google Analytics post.  (The last one was toward the end of January 2010, to the best of Blogger's blog-search function's knowledge.) 

This may not interest anyone but me, but it's my blog, so...

As usual, I'm only looking at keyword searches (that led to this blog) in the months since my last Analytics post. 

At the top of the list, generating a whopping 29.43% of visits (from people who find me via a search engine), is "absolutly pure milk".  Ha!  As I've probably mentioned before, we have a couple of pressed glass tumblers that Donald brought from Sweden with that text raised upon them.  I wonder how many of the people searching for that phrase realized that "absolutly" is a misspelling...

"Crusti croc" (a brand of chips) comes in second place-- 4.13% of my blog traffic is coming here in search of information about snack food.  (Fascinating, isn't it?)  ...Oh, and I see that there are variations on this theme peppered throughout the list, so even more people are looking for information on Crusti Croc.

Rag quilting, vintage fashion, and black rat snake eggs continue to make up a large number of the search engine hits.  (If I add up all the various quilting-related hits, it would easily top "absolutly pure milk".)

Random Searches That Caught My Eye:

  • marabou chocolate / marabou amigo 
  • 80's cartoon moonbeamers / meet the moonbeamers fabric
  • more dead birds / dead birds 2012 / any more dead birds?
  • cockapekapoo
  • anole eggs / do lizards lay eggs
  • outdoor oddities / oddities of the ocean
  • ken doll
  • atm job killer
  • playskool wonderfalls
  • "become a social worker in 1 yr"
  • "new puppy smell" / new puppy smell description / puppy smell worms 
  • when does puppy smell end / why do puppies have a smell?
  • caterpillars that sting
  • chewy whoppers
  • arguments against penny tax in baldwin county al
  • dollar tree laser pointer
  • g your hair smells terrific / recipe for gee your hair smells terrific
  • green card interviews
  • how to pronounce chickasabogue
  • modesty personified
  • the loony left 60 minutes
  • "but why do we have to pay for the land? the land's free..."
  • "fav or fave"
  • "hop-and-go-fetch-its"
  • "killing weeds with electricity"
  • "odds and ends" it took laundary to cleanthe area
  • "opinions depress"
  • "turbo boil"
  • "unrelated string of words"
  • "why is st. john pronounced"  ("Why"? (g))
  • affordable ingredients in making a catsup using tomato
  • autumn oddities
  • buy gele hallon / gelehallon equivalence
  • can we make everybody happy? why
  • can you think of at least one example from a recent movie in which a linguistic code was used to convey information about a character? what was it?
  • do snakes have lips
  • dog shaped rag quilts
  • dying wasp+gif animated
  • endorsed by aliens as a safe place to survive the demise of civilization
  • explain "this that the other"
  • fabric for curtains in vampire diaries kitchen
  • got megapickles? t shirt
  • happy fourth thursday
  • how many children have choked on kinder surprise
  • how to say none of my business norwegian
  • insert wolf whistle here
  • itchy hands vibration mowing lawn
  • lashed terribly
  • let's find odds and ends
  • milk duds sverige
  • mrs howell eating beets video
  • muffin vintage
  • mutant mosquitos
  • once upon a wintertime
  • photos of christmas betls (Huh?)
  • pizzapolice blog spot
  • psychotic moments
  • radio ad young boozer
  • sam's club ultra sonic bark stopper
  • sniblet
  • swedish vacuum candy
  • the danger of shopping online
  • ugliest irish
  • urban yodeling
  • what singer looks and sounds a lot like rod stewart?
  • what was catsup in 1820
  • wild man of chickasabogue (Again. Still never heard of him...)
  • zenni opitcal felons
And that's all she wrote.  (As they say.)

Rainbow Fish

I guess this Rainbow Fish storybook came along after I was out of elementary school, so no well-meaning teacher never read it aloud to my class.  Having heard it mentioned a few times over the years, today I finally took a minute to look it up.

Get ready to roll you eyes, if you must, but I have to agree that it is somewhat troubling.

Most of all, however, it's boring.  It seems that the people who remember loving the book as children mostly just liked looking at the glittery/shiny scales in the illustrations.  The story itself is a real snoozer.

Then there's the "moral" that in order to be accepted by others, you have to sacrifice whatever it is that makes you unique.  If you possess something that others desire, you really ought to give it to them.  Otherwise, you're just a big old meanie and no-one will ever want to play with you.  (Another moral:  You shouldn't hesitate to ask for whatever you want, even if it happens to belong to someone else.  Heck! Why should they have it, if you don't?  But maybe I'm overly sensitive on that point; I've always found that kind of thing particularly annoying...)

As for it being A Child's Garden of Socialism... Yes, I can see why some shudder at it, but I can also see why others roll their eyes.  Basically... I wouldn't read it to my own theoretical children.  For one thing, there are just way too many better stories available.  For another, I wouldn't want to teach young, impressionable minds that individuality (and individual property) must be modified (or divided) to fit the mold (or make things "fair").

Sure, you want kids to learn about sharing, but there are limits to how much anyone should be expected to share.  Would people view this story differently if Rainbow Fish hadn't been quite so rude to the little fish when it first asked for a scale?  Let's say Rainbow Fish had answered in a more neutral voice, "I'm sorry, but no.  If I give one to you, everyone else will want one, too, until there are none left at all.  Besides, your own blue scales are very pretty just as they are!" (And from that point, it turns into a story about knowing and valuing your own special qualities.)  Would that have been acceptable?  Would Rainbow Fish still have been expected to pull its own scales out (which, ew, by the way) and hand them out to the other bratty fish? (Well, they did shun Rainbow Fish whey he/she/it didn't want to part with his/her/its scales, and that wasn't very nice, either, was it?)

Ugh! ...This story is just depressing.  And annoying.
(Which seem to be the only types of things I ever blog about anymore.  Sorry.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Beautiful People

I imagine you've heard about this, right?  There's an onling dating service/community (which has been around for  years) that you can only join if you are deemed to be acceptably "beautiful".  You submit your photo, and then people (of the opposite sex, I believe) who are already members vote on whether or not you are physically attractive enough to be worthy of the honor of paying however-much-a-month to (digitally) mingle with the other beautiful people.

It's disgusting, of course.  Undeniably, looks are a factor when you're dating and seeking a potential spouse, but this is taking things way to far. 

The site has been in the news a couple of times this month, most recently because it just purged 30,000 "insufficiently attractive" people who had somehow been accepted after the site was hacked.  The newly-rejected former members will have access to counselors, in case they're feeling depressed because they're (apparently) not as good-looking as they thought.  (So thoughtful of them.)

More amusing is the other reason they made it into the news.  They've compiled their data-- I'm sure this is all highly scientific-- and come up with the most and least attractive nations!

This month the site created a stir in Ireland when it said that Irish men were among the ugliest in the world. Apparently it only accepted nine percent of male Irish applicants to the site were accepted. Only 20 per cent of Irish women are accepted, compared with nearly 70 per cent of Swedish women who sign up.

British people are the most likely to be rejected.  [. . .]  Norwegian women and Swedish men have the greatest chance of being accepted into the club, while Brazilian and Danish men are also popular particularly with women from Sweden and Iceland.
"Swedish men have the greatest chance of being accepted into the club", huh?  There'll be no living with Donald, now.  ;o) 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ATM: The Job Killer

So that's why everyone's joking about ATMs today.

...Ok.  If it was a joke... Um, not amusing.  (Dear Sir:  Making jokes about the lack of jobs and the general craptastic-ness of the economy is probably not a good idea, at this point in time.)  If he was serious, what does he propose we do about the scourge of the job-thieving ATM?  Should we do away with everything that performs a service that once could only have been fulfilled by a person?  What's next?  Vending machines?  Automated car washes?  Oh, I bet those "self-checkout" things in grocery stores are high up on the list, too. 

Anyway, the ATM has been around for quite a while, so I would imagine that most ATM-related job casualties also came some time ago.  I certainly hope he's not suggesting that the Rise of the ATM has anything (meaningful) to do with the current abysmal employment stats.  (That would just be dumb.)

Ew, Ew, Ew!!

"Family Driven From Home by Hundreds of Snakes"

True, they were "only" harmless garter snakes, but that's still awful and shudder-inducing.

The most shuddery part of the article is this: "The garter snakes were so prevalent that the ground around their home appeared to move", according to the family.

Eek ick uck!
That is so gross!

They bought the house aware of the snake situation, but they thought it was overblown. Yet everyone in and around the small town of Rexburg seemed to know about the "snake house."
Hm.  I wonder how the real estate agent brought that up-- and what they thought the "snake situation" would be like.  (Let this be a lesson to us all.  If a house is rumored to have a "snake situation", RUN.)

"It was just so stressful," Amber Sessions told the AP. "It felt like we were living in Satan's lair, that's the only way to really explain it."

The house, which the Sessions bought for $180,000, has been taken over by the lender. It is now on the market for $109,200.
I wonder about the size and "niceness" (you know, apart from the snake infestation) of the house... Also, shouldn't it be possible to get an exterminator in there to clean the snakes out?  I'm sure it wouldn't be cheap, but I'd say it's a necessary expense!

So, if any of you are looking to relocate to Rexburg, Idaho... ;o)

Here's a better (more fleshed-out) article about the Snake House.  

Friday, June 10, 2011

"Culturally Backward"?! Excuse Me?

From NewsBusters (with video):
"Chris Matthews determined that Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner could be in danger of being forced out of Congress by Blue Dog Dems who face uphill battles in red states because, as he put it, 'people in the rural areas of this country who are Christian conservative culturally - you can say backward if you want...don't like this kind of stuff.'

...Yeah, because it's so "backward" to believe that a married man should be faithful-- in thought and deed-- to his wife. (Weiner's outright lies-- before he decided he had no choice but to confess and apologize-- when he was "caught" were a classy, oh-so-admirable move, too, for those who would argue that his personal life shouldn't have any effect on his political life.)  But what can you expect from Chris Matthews?  Every time you turn around, he's saying something like this.

ETA:  Wow.  I haven't paid much attention to Weiner before the recent scandal, but apparently the guy is not only a liar and a cheater, but also an incredible jerk.  He's the kind of person you feel you could cheerfully strangle (especially after watching that collection of clips).  But, hey, other than that, he seems like a really nice guy.  No wonder so many women have found him so enthralling.  (Gag.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Two Irksome Things

I don't call myself a feminist (though I certainly believe in the worth, value, and abilities of my fellow women, and in our God-given rights as human beings)-- but a couple of things I've heard this week have irked me...

Regarding the Weiner scandal-- I've seen people marveling over his infidelity (and yes, it is infidelity, whether or not he ever made physical contact with those other women) when they see a photo of his wife, a woman they find "pretty", "gorgeous", "beautiful", etc.  The gist is this:  Why would a guy feel the urge to "wander" when he had this kind of woman at home?  And then there will be someone saying, oh, they've seen it over and over again.  It's crazy, but some men will cheat on a beautiful wife with a "troll".  (Come to think of it, I heard the same thing just a couple of weeks ago when the Arnold scandal broke.)

I know, I probably shouldn't expect better of (many) people, but good grief, that annoys me!  What does it matter whether or not a cheater's wife is especially physically attractive?  If he married her, he made a commitment to her, warts, stray hairs, extra pounds and all.

I guess it's (unfortunately) only natural to be find it even more shocking when a man cheats on an attractive wife than an unattractive one... Still irks me, though.  And really, people, don't we know by now that in these cases, it usually has nothing to do with the looks or other qualities of the spouse?  The issue is with the cheater him or herself.  S/he would cheat on anyone.

Some woman called in to some talk radio program and suggested-- no, that's too mild a word-- insisted that the reason (some? most? all?) women-- including conservative women-- don't like Sarah Palin is sheer jealousy.  They'll never admit it, but it's because they envy her.  She "has it all".  Palin's a "10" (on the physical beauty scale), and if a woman is below an "8", she simply can't stand to see another woman-- a "perfect 10"--  do well. These less attractive women can't help themselves.  They're eaten alive with jealousy. 

Ugh.  Lady, you're a traitor to your sex.  Please don't speak for the rest of us.

I won't deny that there can be jealousy among women (over looks, yes, among other things), but can you say that the same is not true of men?   More importantly, plenty of us don't base major decisions on petty jealousies, no matter what we look like.

(My disgust over this has nothing to do with Palin herself, by the way.  There are things I like about her and things I don't...  Of course, I'd vote for her over Obama in a heartbeat, come 2012, but that's not saying much.  I think it unlikely the GOP could produce a candidate I would not vote for over Obama...  Just being honest.)

Rain & Toothpick Sculptures

We've gotten rain a couple of times this week.  (Hurray!)  And yesterday was even a decent soaker!  (*wild applause*)  There were no little rivulets of water running around the yard, during the rain, as there might normally have been; I guess the ground just slurped it up like a dry sponge, so it never had a chance to puddle up...  We're still many inches behind what's typical for this area at this point in the year, but this is progress.

- - - - - - -

Have you seen this toothpick sculpture of (some) of the landmarks of San Francisco?  The detail is amazing. And if that's not stunning enough, there are multiple tracks for ping-pong balls to roll through the sculpture, too.  (Check out the video at the bottom of the linked page to see them in action.)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Random Grumpy Topics

• It's still really, really hot and dry here.  We got a sprinkling of rain on Friday, but it was barely enough to wet the ground.  Or in other words-- more, please.

Maybe our digital thermometer is telling tales, but it's been recording temperatures of over 100 with alarming frequency, lately.  Yesterday, it peaked at 105°F or 106°F.  (I can't remember which, and again, maybe it's not accurate, but...)  I'll keep you posted on whether or not the grass spontaneously bursts into flames.

On the other hand, this super-hot weather is a handy excuse for not doing much work in the yard.  ;o)  

• To add to the list of reasons the Internet is Evil:  "Could the Net be killing the planet one web search at a time?"   Well, of course it is. Is there anything we humans do or don't do that doesn't "kill the planet"?  Sheesh.  What was God thinking when he put us here, anyway?  Also:  This is why we can't have nice things!! 

• The infinitely abhorrent Bill Maher says he thinks "anybody could be president in this dumb f**king country". Well, based on the current administration, there's reason to suspect he may be right. On the other hand, if you hate this country so much, Bill, why not move right the heck out of it? Pretty please with sugar on top?  (P.S. You disgust me.)

• The E. coli scare in Europe is just the sort of health-related news story I try to ignore, because they have a high propensity for freaking me out.  (I don't like health-related news, and I am even less interested in raw vegetables now than I was before.)

There.  I'm all grumped out for the moment.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Real Mature

"Yearbook causes controversy after it names George W. Bush in a list of 'worst people' of all time".

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. - A middle school yearbook in Arkansas has created controversy around the country after it named Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in a list of the "worst" people of all time.

The yearbook included a list titled the "Top 5 worst people of all time."  The list begins with Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, but then lists Bush and Cheney.
Students didn't vote on the list, and it was taken from an opinion website.  Parents in the community are outraged.
"I'm furious as a parent and as a board member and as a tax payer and as a resident of Russellville," resident Chris Cloud said. "It's wrong."
Parents spotted the list after the yearbooks were printed. The school's solution was to cover the list with tape.

The superintendent said the yearbook's editing process is under review.
I saw "Arkansas" and was surprised (despite it being the origin of Clinton).  Then I read that the list wasn't even the result of a student poll.  Aha.  Well, that would explain that...

What was the teacher in charge of the yearbook staff thinking, putting some random (not to mention ridiculous and pointless) list off a website in the school yearbook?  Maybe, "I need an excuse to leave this job, but my wife-husband-whoever would never forgive me if I out-and-out quit"?  Actually, it's possible s/he never even saw it, but that's not much of an excuse. There's a reason the student yearbook staff needs a teacher to guide them and approve what goes in and what doesn't. 

The Pizza Police

Ok, are people seriously griping about how Sarah Palin ate a slice of pizza?  (She *gasp* used a knife and fork instead of her fingers.)

Let's just be honest here.  If she'd used her bare hands, someone would be saying that she lacked class because of that.  No matter what she does, it's "wrong".

Personally, I usually eat pizza with knife and fork, these days.  I don't think I did when I was younger, and I don't have to have utensils even now, but I do prefer it that way.  It makes less of a mess-- no greasy fingers, smears of tomato sauce on your face, choking hazards of stringy cheese, etc.

Anyway, why should anyone care how someone else chooses to eat his or her pizza? Why does it matter?  What is this?  An episode of Seinfeld?  ;o)

Rain Dance, Anyone?

With the recent deadly tornadoes... with flooding elsewhere... with all the other major weather-related woes people somewhere are always facing, I probably shouldn't complain, but I just can't help it:  It is so hot and dry here.  And I am so tired of "so hot and dry". 

I really, really hope this isn't what the whole, long summer has in store for us.  I mean, yes, I know that where I live, it's always going to be hot in the summertime.  But I don't recall it usually being this hot this early in the summer-- and as for the drought, it's now officially rated "extreme", so that at least is not just a trick of my selective memory.  After the wonderfully cool weather we enjoyed just a month or two ago, this feels like a slap in the face. 

Or in other words, (in my whiniest voice, with a stomp of the foot for good measure) I'm not ready for summer yet!

Confession:  Every year, during the hottest months, I have at least a few days of wishing we'd settled in Sweden instead of the Steambath State (which some say is Florida, but is also a fitting description of Alabama).  Of course, in exchange for long, hot, humid summers-- with the occasional hurricane-- we'd have to endure long, dark, cold winters and so much snow you get sick of it... Stupid weather. No matter where you live, it finds a way to annoy you.  ;o)

...I just wrote a whole blog post about nothing but the weather.  Clearly, I don't care if I lose my last few readers...