Monday, May 26, 2008

the guy has no clue... sense of right & wrong.

"'On this Memorial Day, I stand before you as the commander in chief and try to tell you how proud I am,' he told an audience of thousands of people, including military figures, veterans and their families."

"The Democratic-led Senate on Thursday passed a measure attached to the war funding bill to increase benefits for veterans, despite Bush administration's threat to veto it."

it boggles my mind. and it pisses me off.

he's a disgrace to all veterans. to all americans. to all of humankind.


he needs to keep his fucking mouth shut. i believe that would show more respect.

Amanda Doster, whose husband U.S. Army Sergeant First Class James Doster was killed in combat in Iraq in September 2007, holds their daughter Grace Doster during Memorial Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, May 26, 2008.

we need to take care to listen to the generals and enlisted men, not the politicians.
we should have the sense to listen to the ones we purport to honor on memorial day. (#6 is particularly relevant on this day.)

are we all hypocrites?

this guy, a 2-star general... may well be an apologist for the administration's, *our*, policies and actions. he may well still be in denial in many ways, but if you read between the lines he's at least trying to tell it like it really is.

Lieutenant General Ricardo S. Sanchez is a retired United States Army general who served as the commander of coalition forces in Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004.

if the video doesn't play, please go here and listen to the guy. really.

end of rant.

happy Memorial Day, y'all.
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silly diversions (from the people inside my computer)

for your viewing and listening pleasure. (thanks wendy.)


Rebus Of The Day...


i was tempted to use this picture instead of the last one. (wtf?)

would that have been unfair to anyone? well, anyone other than wendy. she'd probably know stuff like that.


and this one i ganked from donald's crossword blog. (thanks, donald.)

as you can see, i'm easily amused. (smile)

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

i found 'em!

in 1994 the u.s. postal service issued a set of 20 stamps depicting 20 "Legends of the West." one of the 20, bill pickett, was said to have invented bulldogging, or steer wrestling. he was also the 1st african american cowboy movie star and the 1st african american inducted into the national cowboy and rodeo hall of fame. he died by a stallion kick to head in the 30s.

just before issuing the first run of these stamps the usps was notified by a relative of mr. pickett that the picture was not of bill, but of his brother ben.


research and definitive corroboration was suddenly a public *issue.* reputations were at stake. a new painting and engraving plate would have to be made. (did they even still use plates back then? i should know better.) certainly a new sheet would have to be printed, but to further complicate things, about a hundred of the 150,000 sets had already leaked out to collectors...

so, this essentially meant the usps couldn't simply destroy the remaining errors or else the few in the hands of collectors would be worth 10s of thousands of dollars and the cries of unfairness would have made the storming of the bastille look like a mother's day parade.

it was decided that a lottery was the answer.

anyone who sent in $5.80 (face value) would be eligible. if you didn't win, your check would be returned by the gummit.

with a one per customer rule as part of the deal, my dad had all his friends write him a check for 5.80 (which he paid back with his own check at the same time) with the agreement that any lottery winners would give the stamps to him.

of about 20-25 entries, dad got 4 sets of stamps. each was immediately market-valued at around $200 and personally priceless to most avid collectors. one of each of which he subsequently bequeathed to his 4 kids.

so far so good.

for the last 10 years all 4 of those plate blocks were kept in a house that recently burned. what didn't melt or char was water logged by fire hoses. i've been going through piles of that crap little by little.

today i found 'em.
they're singed and soaked, but in my hand.

i just looked up the current value. $299.00 each! (well...not these anymore. they're worth maybe 20 bucks now?) but hey. i've already grieved their loss; for months thinking i'd never see them again. meh.

(all photos from the interwebz)

the "error" stamp...

the re-issue of the real bill...

the miscaptioned photo the artist used as reference...

the back of the full sheet with captions...

the full, recalled sheet...(maybe i should use them to mail my sisters' and brother's birthday cards? hahahahahaha.)

i also found 4 water-damaged sets of the re-issue now "worth" about $16.00 apiece.

come and get 'em, siblings.

[update: further research indicates a more realistic price in mint condition is around 150 bucks. feel any better, lynn anne?]
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Monday, May 19, 2008

you silly rebus, you



aren't you glad i didn't use this one?

awww...did that give it away?


in other news, it was 99 degrees here today. 25% humidity. and it felt like it.

and mom made me feel...well...proud of her today.

when i was taking her to bible study this afternoon there was a new alzheimer's resident who was balking at going. "but i'm catholic," she said.

i said, "oh, come on. you'll enjoy it. i'm an atheist and i don't think it's so bad."

i thought the lady was gonna faint.

mom just smiled and said to her, "but don't we all read the same bible?"
and the lady said, "well, maybe i'll just go for the company..."

and we did.


to paraphrase, "we're all created from the same dust." (from somewhere in the 3rd chapter of genesis, i think.)

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

amazon ant

in today's nyt syndicated puzzle, the clue at 107D was amazon. the answer? ANT.


never heard of 'em. so i looked it up and found it to be absolutely fascinating. did you know they "are incapable of feeding themselves, and must rely on captured worker ants to care for them"?

me either. check out the wikipedia article here. (aw go ahead. it's short and Very interesting. then come back and read the rest of this post.)

oh & speaking of ants...

have you heard about the houston-area invasion of "crazy ants?" no, no, no, not crazy aunts...ants.
they're called crazy because they move so so fast and erratically. there are apparently billions of the tiny critters taking over a 5 county area in southeast texas. yikes!

the good news? they eat fire ants. unfortunately, they also eat plants, beneficial insects, the hatchlings of small birds, and fiercely infest electrical equipment, have multiple queens and are resistant to pesticides.

"...when you do kill these ants, the survivors turn it to their advantage: They pile up the dead, sometimes using them as a bridge to cross safely over surfaces treated with pesticide."


and creepy.

i'm thinking an anteater would make a great pet for houstonites.


Rebus Of The Day:

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Friday, May 16, 2008

a rare archaeological find from east texas...

what you see here is the most complete fossil ever found of the ancient sabre tooth snail-tortoise.

until recently found in situ by the author, this prehistoric animal has eroneously been interpreted by most of the scientific world in this fashion.

further study is ongoing.
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don't you just hate show offs?

a friend asked me to post about a historical mosaic i made, but i couldn't find a picture of my favorite part.

yeah, yeah, i know...

as my dad used to say, "excuses, excuses."

but while looking for that photo i found a ton of pictures of several limestone fireplace surrounds i carved. so i decided...what the heck.

i found these photos in harold's computer. they were there because he did the design work. i just did the carving and installation. (click on any picture to enlarge.)

this one was apparently in some magazine...

i'm guessing the whole thing weighs about a ton and a half, maybe two. i used to know exactly. the lintel alone weighed at least 1500 lbs before i started removing material.
the nicks and gouges are intentional, done after the fact with a chain and other crude implements. believe me, it hurt me worse than it did the stone. i guess rich people like to pretend they're buying something real old. very often they specify "stained and distressed." thank god for rich folks. hahahahaha.

the next 15 pics are of the same fireplace. i'll just download them here sorta hodgepodge and let blogger save 'em for me. click on any you want a closer look at. and listen, if you want anything me.

2 more pics i found of stained and distressed fireplaces i carved...

again, my friend harold designed them. that's the most difficult part. i just hefted stone blocks, made patterns, lifted, drew, carved, grunted, carved, sanded, got hernias, and installed. and enjoyed every minute of it.

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