Now gluten-free!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Evel Knievel's Final Jump

The King of Stuntmen made his final jump today:
    Evel Knievel, the red-white-and-blue-spangled motorcycle daredevil whose jumps over crazy obstacles including Greyhound buses, live sharks and Idaho's Snake River Canyon made him an international icon in the 1970s, died Friday. He was 69.

    Knievel's death was confirmed by his granddaughter, Krysten Knievel. He had been in failing health for years, suffering from diabetes and pulmonary fibrosis, an incurable condition that scarred his lungs.

    Knievel had undergone a liver transplant in 1999 after nearly dying of hepatitis C, likely contracted through a blood transfusion after one of his bone-shattering spills.

    Longtime friend and promoter Billy Rundel said Knievel had trouble breathing at his Clearwater condominium and died before an ambulance could get him to a hospital.

    "It's been coming for years, but you just don't expect it. Superman just doesn't die, right?" Rundel said.

    (Full story)
It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting down to watch Evel Knievel on TV. Yeah, OK, I admit it. I was a fan. I even had a few of his popular toys, namely the Stunt Cycle, the Sky Cycle, and the Crash Car. Fortunately, I never took it to the next level and started jumping moving cars with my Huffy.

Evel wasn't exactly the kind of role model parents wanted their kids to emulate, but impressionable young boys couldn't help but be amazed by his death-defying stunts. He'll be missed.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A Grand Night for Singing

I have the privilege of singing with the Great Northern Union Chorus, and on November 17 we had our season finale concert. Fortunately, someone's camera was rolling, so here are a couple of selections for your listening enjoyment. (Oh, yeah. I'm on the far right in the fourth row.):

    That Ever I Saw

    Loch Lomond
By the way, you can order a copy of our new CD here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cookie Primary

The unfortunately named Yankee Magazine is holding the "first-in-the-nation primary for the presidential candidates' best cookies." Cast your vote here.

Naturally, I liked Ron Paul's choice:
    Carol Paul's (Mrs. Ron Paul) Apricot-Coconut Balls

    You don't have to bake these and they look so pretty on a Christmas cookie tray -- so good!

    • 8 ounces dried apricots (chop in food processor)
    • 2/3 cup coconut
    • 2/3 cup condensed milk
    • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

    Mix dried apricots with coconut. Add condensed milk and chopped pecans. Roll in small balls and then in confectioners sugar and refrigerate.
It's interesting to note that Paul's selection reflects his recipe for politics: straightforward, simplistic, and not a lot of fluff. Coincidence? I think not!

America Is Doomed: National Anthem Skipped before Monday Night Football!

Yes, it's true. Since the Monday Night match-up between the Steelers and the Dolphins was already delayed because of weather, it was decided that the national anthem should be skipped. The horror!

Lord knows why this travesty was allowed to occur. Was it because the TV executives didn't want to cut into commercial time and risk not honoring the contracts they had with advertisers? Come on! How much more anti-American does it get than that?

The fans, God bless 'em, didn't react with childish booing or hissing. They just sat in their seats (or were walking to their seats from the parking lot, bathroom, or concession stand) and took the disappointment in stride.

But what is this country coming to when patriotic Americans cannot express their love for their country before sporting events as God intended? The fans who attended last night's game were simply trying to do their part in supporting the war on terror by getting on with their normal lives -- just as they were ordered to do by the president.

The liberal TV and NFL bureaucrats responsible for besmirching one of the most sacred of all American traditions need to be held accountable. If we don't do something to rectify the situation, the terrorists win.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Sesame Street" : Viewer Discretion Advised

Virginia Heffernan's latest piece for The New York Times is sure to cause quite a stir:
    According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, "Sesame Street: Old School" is adults-only: "These early 'Sesame Street' episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today's preschool child."
Huh? "Intended for grown-ups"? It must be the mature subject matter:
    Nothing in the children's entertainment of today, candy-colored animation hopped up on computer tricks, can prepare young or old for this frightening glimpse of simpler times. Back then — as on the very first episode, which aired on PBS Nov. 10, 1969 — a pretty, lonely girl like Sally might find herself befriended by an older male stranger who held her hand and took her home. Granted, Gordon just wanted Sally to meet his wife and have some milk and cookies, but...well, he could have wanted anything. As it was, he fed her milk and cookies. The milk looks dangerously whole.
Maybe it's the dismal setting:
    The old "Sesame Street" is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper "Elmo's World" started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original "Sesame Street" might hurt your feelings.
Or perhaps it's the politically incorrect behavior:
    I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of "Sesame Street," how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody "Monsterpiece Theater." Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, "That modeled the wrong behavior" — smoking, eating pipes — "so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether."
Yeah, OK. I realize that "Sesame Street" has never offered anything of real value to children, but come on. Warning labels? Give me a break.

(HT: Christopher Knight)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Squirrel Alert: Arson Attack!

Suicide squirrel arsonists have been reported in Blue Island, Illinois:
Stay alert and stay safe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Bush Who Saved Christmas

Our illustrious leader is going to solve all of our holiday travel woes:
    Thanksgiving is a week from today, and Christmas will quickly follow. This is really a time of joy for our families. Unfortunately, this is also a season of dread for too many Americans. Holiday travelers faced with the prospect of long delayed and cancelled flights and lost baggage, and other problems have become all too often an occurrence. In other words, there's a lot of people that are worried about traveling because they've had unpleasant experiences when they've been flying around the country.

    And so this is a topic that I've just discussed with Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters and the Acting Administrator of the FAA, Bobby Sturgell. It's one thing to analyze the problem, but the American people expect us to come up with some solutions.
Uh, we do? Look, all you Beltway bureaucrats, if you really want to "come up with some solutions," get creative and try something that's never been tried before: butt out and mind your own business.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What bugs me about cops

Take a look at this story and see if you can spot the glaring hypocrisy:
A police officer has been reprimanded for accidentally discharging a Taser, causing an injury -- to the police officer.

Madison police released a report Monday on the July 31 incident, without revealing the officer's name or gender. The department said the Taser accidentally discharged during a standard checkout procedure.
Had that same Taser been used on an 82-year-old woman, a sleeping homeowner, or an inquisitive college student, the cop in question would have been given a free pass and praised by "law and order conservatives."

Now, I know that not every cop runs around zapping people for fun. But the fact that those few rogue cops usually get off without so much as a slap on the wrist should bother every law-abiding citizen.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Burger to Go

I've seen it rain cats and dogs. But cows?

A Michigan couple, Charles and Linda Everson, were driving along Highway 150 near Manson, Washington, when their minivan was hit by a 600-pound cow. Apparently, the cow fell off a nearby cliff and plummeted 200 feet to the road below.

The Eversons, who were in the area celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary, escaped death by mere inches. The cow was less fortunate and had to be euthanized at the scene.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Wedgie-Proof Underwear

Two kids bring hope to nerds everywhere:
It's true what they say: Necessity is the geeky younger brother of invention.

But seriously, folks, bullying is no laughing matter, and should never be considered an unmentionable subject. I'm glad we were briefed on this important issue. Tormented kids who have to resort to wearing tear-away underwear deserve more support.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's the End of the World As We Know It

How much more tragedy can one nation handle? 9/11, Katrina, the California wildfires, and now the Hollywood writers' strike. In the words of Barry McGuire, we're on the eve of destruction.

Seriously, things are pretty bad. According to an MSNBC report, about 30 striking writers converged on a house used in the shooting of Desperate Housewives, chanting, "We write the story-a, Eva Longoria." took a team of 30 writers to come up with that? On second thought, maybe this strike is a good thing. I mean, aren't these the same people who gave us Baywatch Nights?

"He's a Lumberjack and He's OK..."

Well, they're not lumberjacks, but my young nephews do know how to chop wood:

Friday, November 02, 2007

Elvis Has Left the Building

Elvis Presley died in 1977. Now, the museum dedicated to the theory that he didn't die is dead.

Bill Beeny, the 81-year-old owner of the Elvis Is Alive Museum, is finally calling it quits and is selling his Elvis memorabilia on eBay. From the AP:
    Beeny, a self-described "western Kentucky hillbilly" Baptist minister who wound up in Missouri 50 years ago, is selling the contents of his roadside attraction, a transformed coin-operated laundry 55 miles west of St. Louis that he opened in 1990, to satisfy something else that drives him.

    "I have a burden to help people," said Beeny, wearing the penciled dark mustache, long sideburns and slick black hair of an Elvis aficionado. "Someone else can run, will run, the museum. No one in the whole county is doing the job I intend to do."

    Beeny wants to put his energy into serving the needy in rapidly growing Warren County by providing child care, senior services, a food pantry and counseling for the addicted.

    Beeney said he'll miss Elvis, "but life has its changes. You have to let go."
Better 30 years late than never.

I think he made the right decision. After all, he's been in direct competition with the official Elvis Is Dead Museum (a.k.a. Graceland) for the last 17 years. That couldn't have been good for business.

No matter. At least he's found something constructive to do. The King would be pleased.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Right-Brained vs. Left-Brained

A few weeks ago, the Herald Sun had an interesting test that is supposed to tell whether you are more right-brained or left-brained. The test is simple: just look at the image of the dancer below...

Is she spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise? If you see her spinning counter-clockwise, as most people supposedly do, then you use more of the left side of your brain. If you see her spinning clockwise, then you're more right-brained.

OK, so what exactly does that mean? Here's how they break it down:
    uses logic
    detail oriented
    facts rule
    words and language
    present and past
    math and science
    can comprehend
    order/pattern perception
    knows object name
    reality based
    forms strategies
    uses feeling
    "big picture" oriented
    imagination rules
    symbols and images
    present and future
    philosophy & religion
    can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
    spatial perception
    knows object function
    fantasy based
    presents possibilities
    risk taking
When I first looked at the picture, I saw her spinning clockwise. But it seems I'm a switch-hitter. If I concentrate for a second, I can make her spin the other way.

Go on and give it a try!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin