Monday, March 24, 2008

Confluence to Ohiopyle Middle Yough Float Photo and Haiku

A slight fog rises
above the Youghiogheny
as we float downstream

Friday, March 21, 2008

Women's Vodka - Its Time Has Finally Come

It's a slippery slope. First, we had women's cigarettes, with Virginia Slims, Eve, Now, More, Satin and Misty having been aggressively marketed to women.

And now we have Damaskaya Vodka. Damaskaya means "women's", so we're talking about women's vodka. It comes in a bottle shaped like a perfume bottle.

There's a video about it here, but after some vodka I couldn't figure out how to embed it in this post. But Duh, that's because it's men's vodka, and I couldn't find any women's vodka here. No perfume shaped bottles, either.

Terrelle Pryor - Student Athlete

Yesterday, Terrelle Pryor, the highly recruited football and basketball standout from Jeannette High School, announced that he would be pursuing his edu- er, athletic career at "the University of Ohio State", otherwise known as The Ohio State University. He promises to be Ohio State's first freshman Academic All-American since Maurice Clarett.

I was pleased to hear that, because, after Notre Dame, Ohio State is my second most loathed football program, and now I don't have to worry about being disappointed if Mr. Pryor (as he is referred to by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, One of America's Great Newspapers) has a Clarett-like career.

But I must say that I'm impressed with Pryor. It's obvious that he's in this for the education. Pryor was also considering pursuing his education at the University of Michigan. However, he must have been swayed by a recent series of articles in the Ann Arbor News showing how Michigan student athletes are steered to the blow-off General Studies program.

It's good to know that Mr. Pryor will have a solid academic foundation should his athletic pursuits not pan out. I'm sure that Maurice Clarett wishes he'd pursued that law or criminal justice degree.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Cedric Wilson Strikes Out - Is Legally Tackled

If there's one thing that you can say about Cedric Wilson from the Pittsburgh Steelers, it's that he should stay away from women.

It appears that Steelers wide receiver Cedrick Wilson was arrested Wednesday night after being accused of hitting his former girlfriend at a Wexford restaurant.

Wilson struck Lindsey Paulat, 26, of Fawn, in a domestic dispute at Patron's Mexican Grill on Perry Highway in Pine, said Paulat's attorney, Michael DeRiso.

Allegheny County emergency officials confirmed that Northern Regional Police were called to the restaurant about 8 p.m. for a domestic incident. The victim did not need to be taken to the hospital, they said.

Wilson, 29, was taken to Night Court and was awaiting arraignment on charges of simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, a court official said. The charges against him were not available.

An argument between the couple on Jan. 19 sparked a 12-hour standoff between police and Paulat at Wilson's home in Pine.

Paulat, who is the mother of the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Amya, is awaiting a hearing on charges that she fired a gun inside the home after Wilson left. Neither Amya nor Wilson's 12-year-old son from a previous relationship were home at the time.

Wilson then filed for a protection-from-abuse order against Paulat, but agreed to withdraw it after the two consented to a no-contact order and shared custody of Amya.

It was not clear last night why the two were inside the restaurant at the same time.



Good and Bad Ways People Find My Blog

I use Statcounter to learn how people find my blog. Sure, almost everone who finds it is on their way elsewhere, but I had the self-esteem beat out of me a couple of jobs ago so I don't care about that.

The Good: Someone clicked on my blog by Googling "Jolesa Barber", a 12 year old girl who was gunned down in Pittsburgh. My post was about how I am a hunter but that I don't support the NRA and its extreme positions, which are responsible for Jolene Barber's death. I hate it that Jolene Barber was killed, but I'm happy if my post causes even one person to question his NRA membership.

The Bad: Someone Googled "roadway peeing" and got to this post. No good can come from having your blog associated with roadway peeing.

Toilet Training for the Beijing Olympics

Stephen Wade, AP Sports writer, has enlightened us about a problem that you might encounter if you're Beijing bound for the 2008 Summer Olympics. And that problem is that you're either going to have to learn to hold it --- or to squat.

All the talk about the Olympics has been about protests, pollution concerns, and talk of boycotts. But the potential issues could be surrounding the Beijing Olympics, a more basic problem has arisen for organizers: the toilets.

At the more than 30 test events held by organizers, the presence of squat toilets at many of the new and renovated venues has drawn frequent complaints.

"We have asked the venues to improve on this, to increase the number to sit-down toilets," Yao Hui, deputy director of venue management for the Beijing organizers, said Wednesday. "Many people have raised the question of toilets."

The issue came up again over the weekend when the San Diego Padres played the Los Angeles Dodgers at the new Olympic baseball venue. The portable toilets trucked in were of the style used widely in Asia, but rarely in the West.

Yao suggested it would be difficult to change every permanent toilet in the 37 venues, 31 of which are in Beijing. So he said the focus would be on satisfying three groups of visitors: athletes, journalists and the Olympic family, meaning primarily VIPs.

He said renovation was underway at the three most striking venues for the Olympics, the 91,000-seat "Bird's Nest" National Stadium, the "Water Cube" and the National Indoor Stadium. He said most of the toilets there "should be" the sit-down style.

Beijing is expecting about 500,000 foreigners to attend the Aug. 8-24 games.

"Most of the Chinese people are used to the squat toilet, but nowadays more and more people demand sit-down toilets," Yao said. "However, it will take some time for this transition."

Beijing is reported to be spending at least $40 billion on the venues and related infrastructure, all designed to feature a modern country that has grown in three decades to a political and economic powerhouse.

"I believe the Olympic games will be a great opportunity for us to speed up this transition," Yao said. "I believe the situation will get better and better."

Maybe, but if you're not a VIP and you're headed to Beijing, get ready to do some squatting after eating some dog meat.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jackasses in the Democratic Party National Organizion

You've got to question the intelligence of the Democratic Party's national organization. They've got all the advantages:
  • They're running against the most inept President in memory
  • We're stuck in an ill-advised war
  • The economy is ruined because of its irresponsible fiscal policies
  • The President can't even pronounce "nuclear" correctly

But they squandered those advantages. They disallowed delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries from being seated at the democratic convention because they committed the vile offense of holding their primaries before February 5.

Now, they're faced with a real race between Hillary "Got qualifications but tons of people hate me" Clinton and Barak "I pray that they don't mention my middle name" Obama.

It appears that neither candidate can win a majority at this point, making the party's rulings against Florida and Michigan look particularly petty.

We can only hope that the Democratic Party becomes just a little bit more democratic or the country's going to be stuck with another pro-war president.

With all the baggage of the national Democratic Party, it'll be a wonder if we can get a Democratic president in 2008.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Inspirings Songs From North Korea

With the tour of the performance of the New York Philharmonic in North Korea, you might think that this is the first time orchestral music has been heard in Pyongyang. But that's apparently not the case. According to an article published February 20 on the Korean Central News Agency website, "works of orchestral music of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are enthusiastically acclaimed by the audience for their versatile and unique themes and techniques of performance."

Symphonies such as
  • The Sea of Blood
  • The Flower Girl
  • The Fate of a Self-Defence Corps Man
  • Long Journey for Songun Leadership
tug at the heartstrings of the people and illustrate Juche philosophy and convey the profound ideological and thematic message on the struggle of the popular masses for independence.

And it's not just orchestral music. Another article notes that the Korean people have emerged victorious, loudly singing revolutionary songs.

These songs include
  • Star of Korea
  • The Song of the Anti-Japanese War
  • Nostalgia
  • On the Road to Decisive Battle
  • Song of Defending Homeland
  • My Song in Trench
  • Song Devoted to Marshal Kim Il Sung
  • We'll Travel One Road Forever
  • Song of Comradeship
and are militant revolutionary hymns of the anti-Japanese guerillas and from when "the soldiers and people of Korea mowed down the U.S. Imperialist aggressors during the years of the hard-fought Korean war, and of the postwar period which "opened up an era of the days of socialist construction."

Other powerful songs, such as
  • Arduous March
  • Our Leader Will Always Be with Us
  • Let Us Hold High the Red Flag
are songs of faith. "The Korean revolution, which started and has advanced with songs, will certainly win victory under the great music politics."

According to these articles, "the development and efflorescence of Juche-oriented musical art which has reached a high plane is unthinkable apart from the wise leadership of Kim Jong Il."

I shudder to think of what plane of musical art might be achieved under the leadership of George W. Bush.

Leave your suggestions of songs or symphonies that might be composed under his leadership in your comments.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Don't Worry: Bombs Don't Kill People - People Do

Word has reached Scott's Spot that a bomb has fallen from a military jet and hit an apartment, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The bomb was inadvertently dropped from a military jet onto the Canyon Creek Apartments in Tulsa on Thursday, authorities said.

Sure, it was a training bomb, and not the real thing.

But we all must remember the wisdom of the NRA. It's not the bombs that kill people. It's the people dropping them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I KNEW There Was Something More to Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island

Some people like to fly under the radar. Like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island, for instance. They portrayed her as the sweet, innocent girl next door on Gilligan's Island. But she was hot, and as it turns out, she got more fan mail than Ginger, the sexy actress played by Tina Louise. And little wonder - Dawn Wells, who portrayed Mary
Ann Summers on Gilligan's Island, was the 1959 Miss Nevada and represented Nevada in the 1960 Miss America pageant. Which I remember - I got to stay up late that year, as I was nursing at the time.

It turns out that Mary Ann may not have been all that innocent. Dawn Wells, who is 69 now and may not know the difference between Mary Ann and Mary Jane, was sentenced to five days of jail, fined $410.50, and placed on six months' unsupervised probation after allegedly being caught with marijuana in her car and pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving.

Wells reportedly claimed that she had picked up the Doobie Brothers, who were hitchhiking, on the way home from her surprise birthday party, and that she kicked them out of her car once they began smoking marijuana.

Under a plea agreement, three misdemeanor counts -- driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance -- were dropped. The judge also sentenced himself to being marooned on a desert isle with Mary Ann after a 3 hour tour gone bad...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Real Reason for Big Ben Roethlisberger's Big Deal

Scott Brown, of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (NOT one of America's Great Newspapers) has provided us with 7 reasons why the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Big Ben Roethlisberger to an 8 year $102 million deal.

1. It all starts with the quarterback.
2. Drafting a quarterback, even with the first overall pick, is always a risky proposition.
3. It has gotten harder to play quarterback.
4. Teams generally don't have the luxury of letting young quarterbacks develop.
5. Roethlisberger is still growing.
6. He has that toughness that Pittsburgh demands of its gridiron heroes.
7. He likes it here.

Brown missed reason numero uno as to why Big Ben could get this deal.

He's white, and this is Pittsburgh.

Drug Testing at Work - And I'm NOT Talking About Baseball

Where I work, we have random drug testing. The company nurse calls you, and you need to report to the office for a little hair snip. There's no reason for it - it's a research and development environment where most people don't do any driving or other kinds of things where drug testing might be beneficial. Also, as it was explained to me by our company nurse, nobody at my location has ever had a positive drug test.

But it's still intimidating. Our random testing system had been in place a number of years before I was called for my first two tests last year. Needless to say, I passed the tests, but was left scratching my head as to why we did random tests instead of testing for particular job functions or where drug use is suspected.

Now, suppose that you expected a drug test. I guess the first thing you'd think about doing would be to get someone to shoot you so you could get out of the test. Such was the thinking of Daniel Kuch, of Pasco, Washington state, who took a bullet in the shoulder to avoid taking a drug test at work.

Mr. Kuch acknowledged that he asked his friend to shoot him so he could get some time off work and avoid the drug test.

I missed 3 days with the flu. It was nice to not go to work but I still haven't caught up. If I had been scheduled for a drug test I'd still have to get it done when I returned to work, so getting shot in the shoulder, or anywhere else for that matter, hardly seems worth it.

Monday, March 03, 2008

President Bush's Support of Shameful Torture Tactics

The United States has something called the "United States Army Field Manual", which restricts the US, as a civilized nation from performing such activities as:
  • Forcing a prisoner to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner
  • Placing hoods or sacks over the head of a prisoner, and using duct tape over the eyes
  • Applying beatings, electric shocks, burns or other forms of physical pain
  • Waterboarding
  • Using military working dogs
  • Inducing hypothermia or heat injury
  • Conducting mock executions
  • Depriving a prisoner of necessary food, water or medical care
However, the commander-in-chief, President George W. Bush, says the Army rules are too restrictive. He is planning to veto a law that would require the C.I.A. and all the intelligence services to abide by these lawful and reasonable restrictions on holding and interrogating prisoners.

Shame on President Bush, and shame on the Congress, if it upholds his veto.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Getting Shortchanged on Girl Scout Cookies

The Boy Scouts have the Scout Law, the first point of which is that a Scout is Trustworthy. I don't know if the Girl Scouts have similar ideals. But if they do, then it's not showing in the most visible aspect of Girl Scouting - Girl Scout Cookies.

The Thin Mints box has the words "Courage Confidence Character" and says that the "Girl Scout Cookie Program promotes financial skills such as goal setting, decision-making, customer-service and money management." Unfortunately, although the girls don't know it, they are also promoting the all-American ideal of deceptive packaging.

I am looking at a box of Thin Mints. The box is 7-5/16" high. Each sleeve of cookies inside is 5-7/16" high. Doing the math, that means that the box is 26% air. Thin Mints are dense, closely packed cookies. They don't settle after they are packaged, so this deceptive packaging is known and is intentionally done by the Girl Scouts and Keebler, who manufactures the cookies and markets them through its subsidiary, Little Brownie Bakers.

I am happy to spend more for less cookies, if that's what the Girl Scouts need to remain solvent, but I'm not willing to support their packaging, which promises a certain amount a cookies, but delivers 26% less.