Showing posts from July, 2008

A Winner Is You!

I am a winner. And now that has been independently verified by Galactic Binder, a huge database of Star Wars related website. They have monthly/weekly giveaways and it turns out I won a limited edition giclee of Darth Maul Concept Art from Acme Archives:

Monday night we took the dogs, met with Dana & Ben and her new puppy, to McCormick & Schmicks for a Dog's Night Out! Three Dog Bakery reserved the entire patio for dog-lovers to bring their best friends to a great restaurant. The dogs had treats on the table, creme puffs, quiches, Shepard's pie, and a whipped dessert with biscotti! The proceeds help out a local abandoned pet foundation, and the humans got to order whatever they wanted off the menu. Laura had a crab-topped filet and I had the mako shark. Wow. The meals were terrific (the drinks were too--scratch-made whiskey sour) but the desserts were even better! We split a creme brulee and the Chocolate Bag...don't ask, just order it.
On the world front, and a l…
From NPR Morning Edition: It's time for a spelling test. Your word is "tomorrow." Wrong answers cost $30,000. That's what a Chicago man is asking in damages from the Jade Dragon tattoo parlor, which he says misspelled that word on his arm. It's not the first time Jade Dragon has been sued.

Ha Ha! Stupid Wiccan: An Indiana woman who wanted to give thanks for a recent run of good luck stabbed herself in the foot while performing a ritual, police said. Katherine Gunter, a Wiccan, went to a cemetery during the full moon and marked her good luck by burning incense and driving a 3-foot sword into the ground. She ended up in the hospital.

News of the Weird: Faced with its Alzheimer's residents' tendency to wander away, the Benrath Senior Centre in Dusseldorf, Germany, came up with a novel approach: a fake bus stop (an exact replica of a real one) out front. Straying residents might be attracted to the familiar colors and design of the kiosk (because long-term mem…
Brush up on your Greek! One of the oldest known copies of the Bible goes online this week with scanned sections at For those of us not up on our Greek, translations are available in English and German, but what a piece of history and faith to see! Without being a fancy professor this is as close as we'll get to this important piece.

Speaking of moral foundations, a federal appeals court has overturned the FCC's half-million dollar fine against CBS over what one commentator calls "nipplegate". CBS took a half-million dollar fine to a federal appeals court? This year, CBS gets $118,224 per 30 second prime time commercial. That's only 5 commercial spots in one night to pay the fine. The whole thing, from the "wardrobe malfunction" to the ruling is ridiculous. As the same commentator concludes:

"The only indecency to be found in this entire episode is that something so tiny that appeared on television for less than a s…

English Welfare Reform

Did you know that total federal state and welfare spending in 2000 was $434 billion dollars, or $5600 from each household that year? Holy cow! Kudos to Bill Clinton for passing reform in 1996, effectively limiting the length of time for unemployment welfare benefits to 5 years (consecutive or nonconsecutive), and requires recipients to begin working after 2 consecutive years, which greatly reducedthe number of people on welfare (however this number is on the rise). Great Britain is planning some changes I think we should try to emulate here in the States. There is a difference between unemployment insurance and welfare, as explained at the bottom of this page.

Under the proposed plan, once a claimant has been on welfare for a year, they must complete four weeks' community service. The requirement is greatly increased after two years, to full-time volunteerism. Should we do the same here?

Disabled claimants would be required to get a new medical exam, this time with a doctor wh…
Yeah, so I was on survey at this exact intersection 2 weeks ago...yikes!

Politics and Religion

Bush's war in Iraq has increased a great American institution: divorce. The divorce rate in Iraq has nearly doubled since the US invasion, even quadrupling in Baghdad. Way to lead, America, way to lead.

Of course it's easy to blame the war on Bush...but no President can do anything without the Congress and Senate to support him. Sure they voted without complete knowledge, but they vote 'yes'. The President does have power, but its matter what his promises are on the campaign trail, without supporting votes, his ambition amounts to nothing without the backing of other elected officials. Let's make sure we're as concerned with them as well as the President this election, shall we?

The state of South Carolina has decided that, for a $4000 fee/deposit (the article isn't clear), you can have religious symbols such as the Cross or Star of David on your license plate, but only 'Christian' license plates will have the words 'I believe' pr…
Kim and Todd got in last night, and we weren't feeling like dealing with a huge crowd, so instead of going to the Riverwalk, we walked up the hill near our place to watch the fireworks with a moderate crowd at the parking lot. It was a good display, though we were mainly interested in catching up with friends we haven't seen since they got married. After the smoke cleared and the echoes faded, we went over to Peanut Downtown, a bar around the corner for some cold draft Fat Tire. The server wasn't very attentive, but we had our fill of drinks, and the 4th of July special worked out to be $10 for 6 drinks! Can't beat that!

We stayed out late and slept in, meeting Kim and Todd down on Country Club Plaza for lunch at the Classic Cup Sidewalk Cafe. We started with a round of drinks...Laura's Espresso Martini was excellent and very easy to replicate: vodka, 1/2 shot of espresso, and Godiva Dark. I had a cool mojito, though it wasn't the best I've had: the bartende…
its only been 1 week since i last blogged, but it seems like so much longer! its been a long time getting here, and even then 'here' is moving to i dunno...

our contracts with sprint were done, so we switched over to verizon. the sprint network is so fickle, especially around here. for instance, just sitting on the couch in our loft (near the windows), dropped calls were the norm. nevermind anywhere else in the loft. laura found a great online deal with verizon, which included 2 brand new LG Chocolate phones and free activation, so the switch cost us virtually nothing--well except for a few memory cards, ring tones, and music kit. and the costs can go higher with these phones with all kinds of cool accessories, like bluetooth headsets, bluetooth speakers, a bluetooth transmitter for the car radio....i like that last idea the best, but i really dont listen to music at all in the car as long as NPR is available.
yesterday we finished with our Jackson county work on the MO side, an…