30 April 2007

Bumper stickers

I see a lot of different bumper sticker takes on "support our troops" as I drive around town. One of these stickers always puzzles me. It says "support our troops" and the "our" is underlined. As opposed to what? The hidden Ba'ath Party or Taliban in Minnesota? I don't get it.

29 April 2007

Dogs and bikes

A while back I went into a bike shop and asked if there was anything that would allow me to take Sophie on a bike ride with me. She's 24 lbs. (about 11 kg) so a basket or a snuggly (like a backpack but you wear it on the front with small dog or baby inside) wouldn't work. Besides, the snuggly would be just plain embarrassing. The guy helping me couldn't have been more than 17 years old. He was very kind and said about the only thing that would work would be a Burley (see right). As I left the store I thanked him for not making fun of me. He said that once he got to the back of the store, where several other teenagers were hanging about, they would all have a good laugh. I told him that was fine as long as they didn't laugh at me to my face. I decided against the Burley. The cost is a bit steep for how often I'd use it and besides, it's just a bit odd.

Today, what do I see? A couple on bikes, one of them with a Burley. Inside, a dog. Sophie and I
stick to the walks.

21 April 2007


I don't remember where I heard this. Instead of saying "use your brain," the person said "use your loaf."

Confusing strangers

My cousin told me this story. When she and her husband walk out of a hotel, he'll walk away from her and yell back, "Call me the next time your husband's out of town." He will only do this if there are are strangers around.

19 April 2007

Laugh or cry?

A spoof on Steve Jobs (Apple Computers) but more than that, the single-minded, heading-the-wrong-way-on-a-one-way-street George W. Bush. I don't watch MadTV but after seeing this I might just change my mind.

18 April 2007


Check out Sammelsurium for the newest, coolest blog tool. Slideshow! She uses ImageShack to display a number of beautiful photos from Hamburg.

17 April 2007


I am so saddened and perplexed by the shooting at Virginia Tech. I can't get my mind around it. Today at chapel (I work at a religious school) they sang a hymn with the words below. It moved me almost to tears.
"Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow, give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow."
The words are like a cry from the soul. A yearning, a grasping for answers. It doesn't offer the simple answers offered by some religious (e.g., "It must have been God's will" or "Jesus was calling home his angels.") And that is good. There are no simple answers here. Only questions.

I wonder what pain the shooter must have had prior to the shooting. I'm not letting him off the hook but what suffering or psychosis would drive someone to do this?

15 April 2007

Sights on a walk

Sophie and I were out for a stroll today. Two items of note. One of my neighbors was out waxing his car. We nicknamed him Waylon because he looks like Waylon Jennings. I have no idea what his real name is. Whilst waxing the car a song by Pat Benetar was blaring out of his garage. One of those where she is belting out an anthem of some sort. It was like a nasty '80s flashback. Luckily he was still wearing a shirt. When it reaches about 65 degrees (about 18C) he removes his shirt. It does not go back on -- when he's outside at home anyway -- until fall. You know it is fall when Waylon puts on a shirt again.

In front of another house a puppy started loping toward us. The homeowner, sans shirt, was calling to the dog to keep her from running in the street. "Stella! Stella!"

12 April 2007

Morning disgust

South Carolina is trying to pass a law that requires women to look at an ultrasound of the fetus before having an abortion. Do they really think that women go into abortion willy nilly? "I think I'll have an abortion today." There may be some who use abortion as a contraceptive. Does that mean all do? That women don't seriously labor over the decision? What really irks me is that many of these anti-abortion ranklings are pushed/led by James Dobson (Focus on the Family) and other males who believe in a paternalistic view of marriage and family. Do they know what's best for women? 'Those silly women don't have the ability to make sound decisions on their own.'

If people were really interested in lowering the abortion rate they would work very hard to curb unplanned pregnancies. That's a long-term, complicated process. It also requires that we find out why women are seeking abortion and that sometimes requires uncovering painful truths about our society. It's so much easier to go for the quick fix. Ya, that will solve the problem.

08 April 2007

Streams of consciousness

I'm addicted to Caribou Coffee. There's a new one on my way to work. And it has a drive-through. I fool myself into thinking that it's so much faster to get my coffee through the drive-through than having to get my butt out of the car. Their coffee is just the best and when I ask for for a decaf with an inch of skim milk that is exactly what I get. I love their slogan, "Life is short. Stay awake for it." On the drive through there's a bar across so that if you have a high truck you won't drive up and tear the roof off the drive-through window. On the bar it says, "Life is short. How about your truck?"

My niece Katy is a weird eater. She doesn't like chocolate anything but loves M&Ms. She also doesn't like meat but will eat a whole bunch of meatballs. When asked if she wanted a hamburger for dinner she said, "I want a hamburger but without the burger or ham."

When I was growing up we had a rule, "Whoever saw the dog throw up has to clean it up."

04 April 2007


I was out at lunch today and heard the tornado siren test. Every Wednesday spring, summer and fall, the sirens test at 12 or 1 p.m. When I hear the test, I always remember the same situation.

I was at my brother Steve's, aka JoJo's, wedding. I was a bit cheesed off because my sister-in-law's Mom kept winding her up about little details about how the reception was set up, whatever. Doesn't everyone know? On the day of the wedding the building could be on fire but you don't tell the bride. You just lead her out of the building on some sort of ruse.

At one point I was waiting around with my brother, Mike. The tornado sirens were going off. It was a Saturday. The sirens were for real, not a test. [Luckily no tornadoes in the vicinity]. My sister-in-law's Mom is from North Dakota so she knows as well as we do what a tornado siren sounds like. She came up the stairs and snapped, "What's that noise?" Mike said, "Well, it's either the first Wednesday of the month..." She cut him off, "It's not Wednesday!" and stomped off.

03 April 2007


HowStuffWorks is a great site to get lost in. Info on autos, science, travel, money, home, etc. It's an info geek's dream! The science area is particularly intriguing to me since I'm a dolt in that arena.

How the Airbus 380 works

How liquid body armor works

How long can a germ live in a room?