Friday, January 26, 2007

Judy Goes Ape Cleaning the Bathroom

Cleaning the bathroom. It's a nasty job, but it has to be done. You have to learn to do it at some point. Unless, of course, you live in The Glades or someplace like that where everyone has a cleaning lady.

If you have kids, you can teach them to do it. But usually threats are involved, and you end up having to redo the job when they're done anyway.

But if you're from Little Rock, Arkansas, there's another way to get the job done. Just get Judy the Chimpanzee to do it. Judy, a 120-pound primate from the Little Rock Zoo, escaped from her cage, went into her keeper's bathroom, picked up a toilet brush and cleaned the toilet. Keeper Ann Rademacher says the 37-year-old Judy was a house pet before the zoo acquired her in 1988, so she may have been familiar with housekeeping chores. Judy wrung out a sponge and scrubbed down the fridge.

There may yet be hope for my kids.

On the other hand, while escaped, Judy rummaged through a refrigerator where chimp snacks are stored. She opened kitchen cupboards, pulled out juice and soft drinks and took a swig from bottles she managed to open.

There's just no telling what those monkeys will try to get into.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush Asks For One More Chance in Iraq

I consideration of my blood pressure and since I'm allergic to the use of the word noo-kyoo-ler, I didn't watch the State of the Union Speech last night. But today I'm reading a Washington Post article on the website of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America's Great Newspapers, and it tells me that Mr. Bush implored lawmakers and the nation to give him one more chance to win the war in Iraq.

Mr. President, you've had nearly 4 years of chances in Iraq. Time expired!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tragedy Strikes Westmoreland County

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, One of America's Great Newspapers, reports that a three-alarm fire destroyed a Westmoreland County beer distributor Sunday night. The blaze, at Latrobe 30 Beverage on U.S. Route 30 in Unity, started around 8 pm, according to Marguerite Volunteer Fire Department Chief Scot Graham.

Lured by the promise of free beer, firefighters from 18 companies came to the scene, but the blaze took nearly four hours to get under control, and there was no drinkable beer at the end of the evening.

In the old days, the beer could have been remarketed as Stroh's
Fire-Brewed Beer.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mr. Justin Tyme Begets Daughter, Summer Tyme

According to the Associated Press, an Indiana County (PA) man named Justin Tyme recently became father Tyme when his girlfriend gave birth to their daughter: Summer Tyme.

Summer Tyme, who was born Tuesday, January 16 at Indiana Regional Medical Center, and her mother were both reported to be doing well.

Mr. Tyme was not originally named Justin. He changed his name to Justin when he turned 21.

Mr. Tyme and Ms. Johns were not in full agreement as to the girl's name. Johns was overheard saying "the girl was born in Winter, so I'll be calling her 'Winter.' And that Justin, I'm gonna change his name to 'Outta.' "

In 21 years, expect to find a story of a girl named Summer Tyme who legally changes her name to "Miller."

It's OK For US To Do It, But Not The Chinese

CNN reports that China successfully used a missile to destroy an orbiting satellite in a test conducted January 11. US governmental officials said that the test could undermine relations with the West and pose a threat to satellites important to the U.S. military.

According to a spokesman for the National Security Council, the ground-based, medium-range ballistic missile knocked an old Chinese weather satellite from its orbit about 537 miles above Earth. The missile carried a "kill vehicle" and destroyed the satellite by ramming it.

The United States has been able to bring down satellites with missiles since the mid-1980s. In its own test, the U.S. military knocked a satellite out of orbit in 1985.

Under a space policy authorized by President Bush in August, the United States asserts a right to "freedom of action in space" and says it will "deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so."

The policy includes the right to "deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."

I hadn't understood that the US had laid claim to the totality of outer space. I guess we'd better add China to the Axis of Evil of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Toilet Tank Aquarium Floods the Market

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarium. Presenting the Fish n' Flush Toilet Tank Aquarium, from For just $299, you can turn your bathroom into the talk of the neighborhood, and give your fish a cheap thrill everytime you flush.

The kit includes:
  • Two-Piece Aquarium Tank
  • Dual-Filter System With Pump
  • Two-Nine-Inch Artificial Plants
  • Basic Aquarium Guide
  • Flushing System
  • Flush Valve
  • Fill Valve
For just $25 more, you can add a cool LED light system.

Even if you don't want one for yourself, think of all the fun it could bring to your stay at home cats. Run to the website now and be the number one person in your neighborhood to get one.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Terrorist Attack in New Kensingtion

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America's Great Newspapers, a fox, possibly rabid, terrorized two New Kensington women at their respective homes before pet dogs at one of the residences attacked and killed the wild animal Saturday afternoon.

"I was scared out of my mind. I was shaking for about an hour after," Lillian Pfeifer, the Greenbriar Avenue woman who first encountered the fox, said today. "This was not a normal behaving animal," said Mrs. Pfeifer, a former farm girl familiar with many animals. "Foxes are shy and they're not supposed to be attacking you," she continued. "My only thought was to keep it as far away as possible."

Mrs. Pfeifer said she had been returning bowls to her next door neighbor when the fox tried to crash through the storm door. She said she waited until it seemed the coast was clear before trying to go home.

When she stepped outside, the fox lunged at her. She used the mop to fight him off and continue backing toward her own property until the fox backed off. But, she said, before she reached her back door, the fox latched onto the cuff of her pants, and chomped into the sneakers she was wearing.

Eventually, Mrs. Pfeifer won that battle and called 911, the state Health Department and other neighbors to warn them about the crazy acting animal.

Minutes after Mrs. Pfeifer foiled the fox attack another neighbor's pet dogs, four houses away, were fighting off the foxy intruder. The fox apparently gained entry at the second home through a doggie door on the side of Vicki Kowalski's house.

Ms. Kowalski said she was just finishing a shower when she heard the commotion in her dining room. She peeked in the room and saw a fight between the fox and her 2 dogs.

Representatives of the state Game Commission retrieved the fox carcass, which is being examined to determine whether it had rabies.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Can the Pittsburgh Steelers Replace Bill Cowher's Chin?

Now that Ken Whisenhunt has been named head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers fans have been driven into a Grimm state of despair regarding the replacement of Bill Cowher's chin.

Bird Flu Doesn't Kill Birds - People Do

Once upon a time there was a chicken farm in Japan's Miyazaki Prefecture. The 12,000 chickens of this farm enjoyed life, at least to the extent that chickens can enjoy life, especially at a chicken farm. But that all changed when the bird flu, otherwise known as deadly avian flu, hit the farm. The flu killed 3900 of the chickens. The strong survived, only to have their hardiness rewarded by being torched along with the dead. That's right. Japanese officials burned the 8100 survivors, er, ex-survivors, along with the 3900 dead chickens at the farm.

These are not good times to be a chicken.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Today's Oneword - Create

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

A time to create. A time to destroy. The sentiment to destroy those who force you to create something that shouldn't be created.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Today's Oneword - Well

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Every time I connect to Oneword, I look at the word and think to myself, "Well, what in the world am I going to write about that?"

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Today's Oneword - Ample

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

They had an ample supply of food for the dinner. In fact, there was an ample supply for the entire neighborhood. But the neighbors weren't invited. The leftovers were put into the refrigerator. Some were eaten. The rest ended up getting pitched.

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Pentagon Increasing use of Recycled Fodder

According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty, a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in Iraq.

The day after President Bush announced his plan for a deeper U.S. military commitment in Iraq, Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the change in reserve policy would have been made anyway because active-duty troops already were getting too little time between their combat tours.

Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said.

In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months. In practice, Pace said, the Pentagon intends to limit all future mobilizations to 12 months.

Members of the Guard combat brigades that have served in Iraq in recent years spent 18 months on active duty - about six months in pre-deployment training in the United States, followed by about 12 months in Iraq. Under the old policy, they could not be sent back to Iraq because their cumulative time on active duty would exceed 24 months. Now that cumulative limit has been lifted, giving the Pentagon more flexibility.

Today's Oneword - Cent

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He didn't have a cent in his pocket. Sure, there was money in the bank, but not much, so he tried economize as much as possible. It was always that way the last half of the month.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Beckham Named Head Coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers

Soccer superstar David Beckham has agreed to a five-year deal as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He leaves the Real Madrid club at which he enjoyed worldwide popularity. "I look forward to the new challenge of succeeding Bill Cowher in America's version of football," Beckham said in a statement.

An entertainment personality who draws paparazzi like a movie star, Beckham and his wife, Victoria, the former Posh Spice of the Spice Girls, regularly find their way onto tabloid and magazine covers. "With his snazzy clothes, rotating hair colors and styles and a pop star wife, he is just what the Steelers need to spice up their sometimes stodgy image," said Steelers President Art Rooney II.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Today's Oneword - Sent

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He wanted to make a quick change to the email in his outbox. But it had already been sent.

Bush Iraq Speech Wordsmithing

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Today's Oneword - Elevate

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He was on his feet all day at the pool working the swim meet. His sandals had some arch support, but not enough. He couldn't wait to get home and elevate his feet.

Cheney Hunts in Western Pennsylvania

ice President Dick Cheney came to western Pennsylvania today for a hunting trip. Mr. Cheney was to hunt at the private Rolling Rock Club in Ligonier Township, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh, where he has hunted several times in recent years for pheasants and ducks.

Oops! Another missfire. While shooting at a flock of some 200 birds with his Quail Ray Magnum, Cheney took out this house.

Today's Oneword - Contrast

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Sometimes the word is easy to write about, and sometimes it's not. What creates the contrast between the two? It's not a straightforward answer.

Eighth Grade Family And Consumer Science Family Meal Assignment

One of my sons had to prepare a family meal for his Family and Consumer Science (i.e., Home Ec) class. The assignment read as follows:

Plan a nutritious meal for your family using all food groups, including the fruit and vegetable groups. You may choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner and may use our class recipes or learn how to make a family recipe. You are in charge of the planning, preparation, serving, and clean-up of this meal. There are bonus points if you can help do the grocery shopping. You must complete the student section below and your family members who enjoyed your meal should comment on your work and sign the form. Bon Appetit!

The meal prepared was:
  • Sandwich steaks on whole grain buns
  • Carrot sticks
  • Tomatoes and Lettuce
  • French Fries
  • Milk
My oldest son and I stewed our creative juices together to craft these comments:

1. Food appearance and flavor (Did the food look appetizing? Did it have a pleasing flavor? Did the menu choices complement each other?

The food was quite appetizing and the meal was, on a whole, very flavorful. There were several dishes which complemented each other quite well. (The food did, too!) A variety of flavored bovine potables was served.

2. Kitchen appearance (Equipment and supplies in place? Counter, sink, and range clean?)

The kitchen appearance was very clean and well maintained. All above mentioned areas were clean. The novelty of said cleanliness lent an unexpected yet welcome air of festivity to the occasion. A mood of mystery and anticipation was present, due to four of eight spotlights being burned out.

3. Meal Service (Table set properly? Meal served at correct temperature?)

The table was properly set and the food was at the perfect temperature for eating. The temperature allowed for a dancing plethora of flavor. A candle was lit to provide a moderately elegant ambiance, which was dampened only slightly when one of the younger diners created a chocolate milk slick on the table.

4. Food Safety/Kitchen Safety (Safety rules followed? Leftovers stored quickly?)

Yes, safety rules were followed. I love the oven mitts. There were no leftovers because it was good. A fire extinguisher was available but turned out to be unnecessary. It will be there if needed for the next assignment, where a flambé has been put on the menu.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Today's Oneword - Memory

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I wanted to remember it, but it had scrolled out of my short-term memory.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Superman Bra - Stronger Than a Speeding Bullet

A woman watching New Year's Eve fireworks from a picnic table found out that her bra can do more than lift and support: It also slowed a falling bullet.

The .45-caliber bullet struck Debbie Bingham, 46, after someone fired a gun into the air about 20 minutes before midnight. She still needed stitches, but the wound might have been much worse except for the bra strap, police spokesman George Kajtsa said.

Bingham, who was in town from Atlanta, said she is thankful for the undergarment, which she said was "very cheap."

"I'd love to have a couple more of those bras," she said. "I think they're imported from the Planet Krypton, or someplace like that."

Bingham said she was listening to music and enjoying the fireworks with her daughter and son when she felt a sharp pain in her shoulder.

Then Solanda Bingham, 30, noticed blood seeping through her mother's white shirt, and they found the bullet lodged halfway into the gold-colored bra. The other half was barely breaking the skin, Bingham told WTSP-TV.

Kajtsa described the wound as a "big scratch with bruising."

St. Petersburg police were searching for the shooter to determine if the shooting was intentional, Kajtsa said.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I haven't watched a single episode of this show in at least 20 years!

How Well Do You Know "I Love Lucy"?
Your Result: Fairly Well

"I Love Lucy" isn't your all-time favorite show, but you do like it and watch it a lot. You watch it whenever you see it playing on TV and might own a season or two.

Really Well
A Little
Not At All
How Well Do You Know "I Love Lucy"?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I Am 98% Pittsburgh

Here's a test to tell how Pittsburgh you are. I would have scored 100%, but I happened to marry someone who taught me the proper use of the infinitive, so I couldn't in good conscience answer one of the questions the way I knew they wanted it (to be) answered!

You are 98% Pittsburgh.

Great job! There's nooooo doubt about it. You're from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

How Pittsburgh Are You
See All Our Quizzes

Today's Oneword - Little

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He was a little bit tired. No, in fact he was very tired. He fell asleep at the computer trying to compose a post for his blog. Finally, he woke up, took a shower, and went to bed.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bill Cowher Resigns - Dan Rooney Announces Return of Steelerettes

Today, Bill Cowher announced his resignation as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers owner Dan Rooney then had to face the question that has been asked again and again by Steelers fans: Can we finally get the Steelerettes back?

Rooney bowed his head and finally said, "Th
e time has come. The Steelerettes, the NFL's first cheerleaders, will be back for the 2007-2008 season."

Bill Cowher To Announce Resignation - PAT Eliminates Bus Route

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher is set to announce his resignation Friday. In "We hire local boys for life" Pittsburgh, this is as close to heresy as one can imagine. Steelers fans expect their coaches to not only stay in Pittsburgh, but also to build mother-in-law apartments so that their loved ones will never have to leave, either.

When asked why he was leaving, Cowher said, "You know, I was on the fence about this thing till the Port Authority eliminated the bus route from my house to the Steelers' South Side training complex."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Today's Oneword - Collar

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Indicates ownership. For a cat or a dog, may also have flea repellent in addition to ownership and licensing info. For a human, a buttoned collar with a tie indicates society's ability to control the wearer's conformance to a meaningless, non-functional fashion standard.

Which American City Are You? Austin!!

You Are Austin

A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
You're totally weird and very proud of it.
Artistic and freaky, you still seem to fit in... in your own strange way.

Famous Austin residents: Lance Armstrong, Sandra Bullock, Andy Roddick

Today's Oneword - Tank

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He got into the tank. He went looking for something to shoot. He wondered what had possessed him to enlist in the Army. This wasn't anything like the video games he used to play.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Today's Oneword - Cosmic

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

It was an event of cosmic significance. It hadn't happened in ages. It could not have been predicted. But it happened just the same. He got up and made it to work on time.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Australian Woman Swallows Spoon for Laughs

A young Australian woman got more than she bargained for during a dinner conversation when she laughed so hard she accidentally swallowed a spoon.

The 26-year-old ingested a teaspoon when she was overcome by the giggles while eating spaghetti, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper said.

After removing the spoon "with great difficulty" in a 90-minute operation, doctors at Canterbury Hospital advised the woman to grow up and eat her spaghetti with a fork.

Tom Petty Not Retiring - Steelers Nation Awaits Bill Cowher Decision

Veteran rocker Tom Petty says he's not retiring, despite a Rolling Stone article in July that suggested otherwise. Petty said 2006 was one of the most rewarding years in his career, and he expects the ride to continue in 2007.

Their 30th anniversary tour was a sellout and included a triumphant homecoming to Gainesville, Fla., where the band formed in the 1970s. Petty was offered the key to the city.

Petty is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His many hits include "I Won't Back Down, "Even the Losers," "Breakdown," "American Girl," "Free Fallin'" and "The Waiting."

Meanwhile, 2006 was also one of the most rewarding years of Bill Cowher's career, with the Super Bowl XL victory being the high point of his 15-year career as head coach of the Steelers. Pittsburgh had a great Super Bowl victory parade, but Cowher was not given the key to the City of Pittsburgh. It is unknown whether this will affect Cowher's decision.

And now the Steelers their fans are doing "The Waiting."

The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part

My Holiday Stress Level

Christmas Ornament Quiz Results

Since I put up my Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, I still have plenty of time to enjoy it! Here's quiz that tells me what Christmas ornament I am. I doubt that most would have predicted this result...