Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas in Heaven

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business has come to entertain you!

"God had a special job for me. He gave me a special talent to relate to people of all cultures. I found that the common denominator of among people was love. Because regardless oa all the obstacles which we fight, the social problems and the poverty problems, it all boils down the the love factor. And I believe I was able to create that in my life."

James Brown

May 3, 1933 - December 25, 2006
R.I.P.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We're Done Here


It's been great, and I will always miss the opportunity to voice my objections to whatever the hell it is I'm objecting to. But I have emerging adults living in my home who have caught on to this blog, and, unfortunately, that changes everything.

Everything.

Damned if I didn't have a fun run, though, didn't I?
I wouldn't have changed a thing.

But who ever "spd rdr" was, he is now officially gone. That secret identity was insuffficiently guarded by its owner, and thus now must disappear. So be it. You'll know me when you see me again. You always have.

Thanks for your attention, your affection, and your patience.
I 'll be around.

And everyone who ever had a heart,
They wouldn't turn around and break it.
And anyone who ever played a part,
They wouldn't turn around and hate it.

Lou Reed - Sweet Jane.

Kisses.

-spd rdr.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The One and Only HH Post - Ever - About Mark Foley

Satellite's gone up to the skies
Things like that drive me out of my mind
I watched it for a little while
I like to watch things on TV

*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love

Sa-tel-lite of...

Satellite's gone way up to Mars
Soon it'll be filled with parkin' cars.
I watched it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV.

*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love

Sa-tel-lite of...

I've been told that you've been bold
With Harry, Mark, and John.
Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday through Thursday
With Harry, Mark, and John.

Satellite's gone up to the skies
Things like that drive me out of my mind.
I watched it for a little while
I love to watch things on TV.

*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love
*BUM BUM BUM* Satellite of love

Sa-tel-lite of...

Love.

-Lou Reed

*cough*

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dueling Covers



Check out this very clever, very fun clip of animated album covers brought to life.
Well done.

Yeah, I know. The yummy (and once risque) Whipped Cream and Other Delights
album cover has nothing to do with the link but I thought y'all needed something
other than a DEAD STUFFED MOUSE (Wally??) staring at you between our random
posts...or at least until spd delivers on next week's art of goat massage. Tease.

(posted by Portia)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Feckless Friday

Thanks to Al Gore, the internet is a wonderful resource for helpful information that assists us in living life to the fullest.

For example, if you are like me, you have probably long been wondering "Well, how exactly do I stuff a dead mouse? My daughter sooooo wants one atop her wedding cake one day."

Wonder no more, my friends. The internet has all the answers.


(Stop looking at me like that, Wally.)





Next week: The art of goat massage.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Motor City Mojo


It is not polite for a gentleman to take pleasure from other's misfortune, even if they be Yankee Fans, and some of my best friends are Yankee fans. So I will not smirk over the Bronx Bombers' failure to wring the least bit of dignity from their brief stay in the playoffs. I will let others take delight in A-Rod's AWOL post-season performance (1 for 14, an .071 avg with no runs batted in, and an error!). I will refrain from giggling about the coming explosion from Mount George in Tampa that will consume the entire $200 million lineup (except for Jeter, of course). And, because these are the same bunch of Pinstripes that took five straight from the Red Sox in August (in Fenway!) and killed our entire season, I will not gloat.

Instead I will congratulate the pitching staff of the Detroit Tigers on their spectacular outings, particularly local boy Jason Verlander (ROOKIE OF THE YEAR) for throwing 100+mph lightning and leaving highest paid hitters in baseball with nothing to hit but the dugout wall.

I also thought that I might mention that the the Mets swept their series, and look like they'll be hanging the bunting in ugly old Shea for a fourth time.

Not that anybody cares.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Motown Rising


At the moment, the city of Detroit is thrilled — orange-flag-waving, horn-honking, income-anticipating thrilled. It was fun to see the Tigers’ players touching hands with their fans at the edge of the field (and spraying them with Champagne) after their 8-3 drubbing of the Yankees yesterday, but the Bronx Bombers do not exist for the humanitarian purpose of providing a lift to a downtrodden city. George Vecsey

To quote spd: "What the hell is going on?"

A scrappy, underdog team that three years ago LOST 119 games
beats the sh*t out of the Yankees in four, and sends them packing
with their sorry bats between their legs. Remarkable. The best
line-up since Murderer's Row and we're run out of town like
Dead Men Walking (if only...)

Bravo, Bonderman. Congrats, Jim Leland. See ya, A-Rod.
(Posted by Portia)

News From Mars

You might have noticed that I have been in scarce supply the last couple of weeks. I was on the Moon. Or maybe at the bottom of the ocean. Or in at Turkish prison. It really doesn't matter much, because where I was there was no news. But as any spaceman or diver or ex-con will tell you, re-entry into the World is the most dangerous part of the trip.

They ain't kidding.

Friday's WSJ usually contains a thought-provoking opinion piece by Dan Henninger, and yesterday's was no exception. It was the timing that blew me away.

There's an old saw about stepping back for a bit and asking "What would a man from Mars think if he saw all this?" I haven't had time to read newspapers or watch TV or surf blogs. There was news all around me, but it was strangled by the clock, the calendar, and the white noise from the beginning of time. So I awoke on Friday morning, still a bit out of it, picked up the newspaper, and was struck dumb.

"What the hell is the matter here?" asked the Man from Mars. "What the hell is going on?" Lurid text messages. Nut job nuke test. Head-stomping football player. Pedophile free in California. Amish girls dead in Pennsylvania. Amish girls!

The stories shot from the pages like lightning bolts, each one more shocking than the last. The Man from Mars thought hard about just putting down the paper and going home. And then I read Henninger's piece and I took heart that it wasn't just me. There are other Martians out there wondering how everything suddenly seems to have gone off the track. It's cold comfort, I know, but it's also the only brand available.

Soon the numbness of living with the news will return, and I'll be part of the World again.

Or maybe I won't.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Barn Door Open

Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.
-William Techumseh Sherman, 1870

It's too late for me to get into this. I am far too worn and haggard from weeks-on-end of putting someone else's well-being before my own. I'm not bitching. I know what I signed up for, and the pay ain't half bad.

I'm bushed, however, and barely alive as I hit the pillow. But there's this thing that keeps me from my dreams of Sweet Colleen in her chocolate bikini.
It's this ... uncertainty ... (but we will never call it that) that appears behind shuttered eyes. A reluctant, but compulsive, fingering of the internal GPS for the coordinates as to where I am, relative to the rest of the world. As if it mattered. One guy. In the whole universe.

But tonight we'll start in Singapore and move northeast, over a thousand Phillipine isles and out across the wide, blue Pacific. The globe spins past ten thousand cultures and ten thousand tongues, yet here I am above it all, moving. Moving. A billion lives past beneath my wings and yet I am focused on one Place, the Place that I am. And soon enough, I have found me. I'm right the fuck here, of course. But the World has come to find me.

And then I have to decide whether it matters at all where I stand together, or whether I stand alone.

And in the meantime I pray for sleep.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Keepin' the Faith

I've taken a detour to Buzz-Saw City.

Keep on dancing, folks.

I'll join you later.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Aces


At left is Eddie Rickenbacker, America's "Ace of Aces" in The Great War. Eddie knocked down 26 enemy aircraft in combat over France. He wasn't quite as prolific a warrior as Manfred Von Richthofen who had 80 confirmed kills, notching 20 of them in April 1917 alone. But unlike the Red Baron, Eddie never became a number himself, which given the risks involved was quite an achievement.

I got to thinking about "aces" the other day as I watched the trailer for the new WWI flying epic "Flyboys." I certainly want to go see it, but I am not sure whether mrs. rdr will let me take the youngest rdr to a PG-13 movie. Which would really be too bad, since, like their father and his father before him, both of my boys have a passion for combat aircraft. I have Microsoft's Combat Flight Simulator versions 2 & 3 on the computer, and my son and I fight over the joystick. I don't know of too many other nine year-olds that can explain why the Folke-Wulf FW-190 was a far superior fighter to the Messerschmitt Bf-109 or the difficulty involved with landing a Vought F4U Corsair on a carrier deck. We trek down to NAS Oceana every year for the air show (the Blue Angels are only part of an all-day speed fest) where he reels off the names of the various aircraft that whizz by as if he'd been flying them his whole life. I have to pull him away from the History Channel when "Wings" is on. He's got the bug.

But he doesn't quite grasp World War I aircraft. The idea that a man would climb into a cloth-covered kite on bicycle wheels and engage in close combat at top speeds of 60 miles an hour, without a parachute, is beyond his reach. It's often beyond mine.

My father instilled in me his own appreciation of WWI aircraft. His earliest drawings (he was an artist) were of biplanes locked in mortal combat, soaring and diving for advantage - or escape. He would tell me stories of the great aces and their planes, and of the chivalry that shone in these "Knights of the Air." By the time I was 10 my notebooks were covered with drawings of Spads and Fokker Dr-1's spiraling in the air. I had the bug.

In 1966, the movie "The Blue Max" appeared and my father immediately set out for the theater with me and my brother in tow. Movies weren't rated in those days, so my mother never knew that Ursula Andress was going to get all cozy with George Peppard (my brother and I called her "Ursula UNdress" for years afterwards), and we were too young to follow the plot much. But the planes. Oh the planes! To see them fly at last!

It wouldn't be until the advent of the VCR that I would be able to watch Howard Hughes magnificently filmed "Hell's Angels" or the Oscar-winning silent film "Wings" and to finally understand how my father came to so adore those early heroes. Even the campy "Dawn Patrol"found a willing audience in me. Anything to watch those planes fly.



There aren't any "aces" anymore, it seems. The "dogfight" has given way to stand-off weapons that will destroy your enemy far over the horizon. And this is a good thing. But I cherish that magnificent spirit and courage that was glimpsed, ever so briefly, above the wreck and barbarism of trench warfare.

So now, 40 years after my first glimpse of a Fokker Tri-plane in full float, "Flyboys" is calling me.
And I will go. And I will take my boy. And he will understand.


UPDATE: mrs. rdr was aghast that I even thought that she would disapprove of me taking Danny to see"Flyboys." How dumb am I?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I'm Losing My Patience With These Idiots...Fast

Well, if they were up your ass you'd know.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Courage, of all national qualities, is the most precarious; because it is exerted only at intervals, and by a few in every nation. - David Hume

The enemy is like a woman, weak in face of opposition, but correspondingly strong when not opposed. In a quarrel with a man, it is natural for a woman to lose heart and run away when he faces up to her; on the other hand, if the man begins to be afraid and to give ground, her rage, vindictiveness and fury overflow and know no limit.

-St. Ignatius Of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, no. 325 (1548).

And so it goes.

I was informed last night by my eldest daughter that I had lost my perspective; that I was becoming paranoid about the monsters under the bed; that I was extreme in my vision of history; that I was wrong and over-exercised about the threats facing western civilization; that the answers to the current mess can be had by meaningful dialog and a pull-back from hard-line rhetoric. In a word: I had become "unhinged."

I think I responded. No, I know that I responded, vorciferously. But the sound of my voice fell victim to the deadening aspects of the vast media forest within which we wander. I am crying "fire," and yet modern totems drown me out, even while they themselves burn.

And so this where we are in history.

Maybe.

She is, after all, a redhead.

And I am a Leo.

A Portrait Of Lasting Audacity


Poor Father, he did the wrong thing. He gave me a powerful slap - he stared me in the eyes and said,
A girl does not, must not, cry.


Oriana Fallaci
June 27, 1929 - September 15, 2006


Thursday, September 14, 2006

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in."






What is it with you people?

Ok. I fixed the problem. Ok?

OK?????

Not So Fast....



WALTER: Will you be here, too?
PHYLLIS: I guess so, I usually am.
WALTER: (Putting on his hat) Same chair, same perfume, same anklet?
PHYLLIS: I wonder if I know what you mean.
WALTER: I wonder if you wonder.


Post no. 460 and counting. Nancy Pelosi be damned.

(posted by Portia)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Requiem

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion, et tibi reddetur votum in Jerusalem.

Exaudi orationem meam; ad te omnis caro veniet.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

Amen.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Sleepless In Toronto


It's hard to be an American these days, at least if you are Michael Moore. The Large One was in Toronto recently to attend Toronto International Film Festival, a vertitable love-in for the Hate America First crowd, and told the assembled glitterati of his "contingency plans to flee to Toronto if things got much worse in the States."

"Much worse?" I thought. Am I missing something?

No roadside bomb has delayed my commute to work recently, and work seems plentiful enough for those who seek it (including several thousand new immigrants each day). I turn on the tap, and out comes potable water, hot and cold. The lights burn brightly at the flick of a switch and the radio plays that forgotten song. Neither jackbooted police nor political death-squads threaten me when I go to the 24-hour grocery store to pluck from the shelves fresh foods from the world over, and in such quantities that I could never possibly eat it all. That new hospital is five minutes away, but if I dial those three numbers, the paramedics will be be here in two.

Back in my home, the one that I own, I choose from the 300-odd cable channels available to watch uncensored news from across the globe. Then I read the opinions of a host of voices in the newspapers delivered daily to my door. After I've decided which candiate to support for office, I can, if I so choose, cast my secret ballot. Later, I can petition my governments to do, or refrain from doing, certain things that I like or don't like, and then write on my blog pretty much anything I want to say about that, or anything else.

How much worse can things get?

"Plenty and peace breed cowards" Shakespeare wrote.* While cowardness has never been a national trait, it would seem that, despite all of our wealth and education, fear has become a national malady.

The shock of 9/11 is gone, and the anger over those attacks appears to have ebbed as well. In its place has grown a kind of self-inflicted terror that saps our strength and clouds our vision. A perfect example of this unfounded fear is how in Toronto Mr. Moore "worried aloud that the administration had 'a whole list of places we still have to invade.'" On the face of it, Mr. Moore's statements appear to be nothing more than another bit of Bush-hating rhetoric delivered to the Liberal faithful. But such senitments reflect the creeping paranoia that is now being foisted daily upon the American people.

Think about it. Cindy Sheehan states that she fantasizes about going back in time and murdering an infant named George Bush, and it's news. Spike Lee claims that the Bush administration blew up the levess to flood the Ninth Ward, and it's news. More a third of the country believes that the Bush administration had a hand in the 9/11 attacks, or knew about them in advance and did nothing to stop them. Never mind that the Supreme Court did more to curb civil liberties with its decisions in Kelo and Raiche than Bush could have possibly accomplished, Bush is out to "trample" your civil rights by listening to international cell phone calls made to suspected terrrorists. And as to free speech, why just look at what Bush did to that poor Joe Wilson and his unnamable wife! Absolutely chilling, I'll tell you!**

Nevertheless, it should be remembered that it is none other than George Bush that is inciting fear among the American people.

Uh huh.

I'm not just picking on the Left here, nor on the Main Stream Media. I recognize that there is a good argument to be made that elements of the right-wing are equally engaged in fear-mongering. Seriously, if gay marriage signals the End of Days then set 'em up all around, Jim, 'cause I'm going out tanked to the gills and reading the Sports Page.

What is really going on here is not simply the exercise of political partisanship. It is the public expression of America's frustration with the fact that it can no longer control its own destiny. Our borders are porous. Our way of life depends on foreign commodities, goods, services, and investment. Our elected offficials no longer hold our respect, and our faith in our system of justice is flagging. Our enemies grow bolder while we vacillate and backbite, seemingly resigned to our own perpetual insecurity.

The new national self-loathing is typified by the reaction of so many citizens to the recent news that CIA, the very people Bush relied upon for pre-war intelligence, discovered last fall that Saddam and al Qaeda weren't all that chummy after all. Hallelujah! We were wrong! YAY! WE SUCK! Patriots all. And the devils laugh.

A friend of mine, a very bright guy, asked me yesterday why it is that America could win World War II on both fronts in less than four years, but after five years Bush still hasn't captured the one man most responsible for 9/11.

I responded (with all sobriety) that it was because following the events of December 1941 the United States was prepared to incinerate entire cities and kill millions of soldiers and civilians, the guiltyalong with the innocent, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of our own troops and all the treasure in the world. "Is one man worth that kind of moral capital," I asked?

He didn't say much after that, but the way he looked at me indicated that he thought that perhaps I am a very dangerous person.

I'm not a dangerous person. I don't propose, as Don Imus once did, that we burn everything east of Beruit. Historical facts are sometimes hard to swallow, as are the options available to us when we animate our enemies with our own values and traditions. I doubt that our parents' will to survive as a nation, by whatever means necessary, could ever be rekindled in America today. And maybe that's a good thing. And maybe not. Time will tell.

Perhaps it is because we Americans are too fat and too successful that we are failing to convince the rest of the world that ours is the better plan, and/or that this experiment in personal liberty will not soon fade away, at least not without a fight.

But ask yourself: Why it is that we should fear those that would enslave the world, and not the other way around?

Indeed, why should we fear anything at all?



* Cymbeline, III, iv.
**(Of course, free speech apparently does have its limits,
depending upon your point of view.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

A Day of Blue Skies

I want to tell you a story.

A few weeks ago I was in my home town on Long Island to say goodbye to an old friend. There were a good many faces there that I hadn’t seen in some time. One of them was that of the younger brother of a classmate of mine. His family lived on the next block over and his sister married the youngest son of the old friend for whose life I had come to show my respects.

He had brought his wife and two young daughters to the celebration of my old friend’s life, and soon we got to talking about all the things that people talk about when they haven’t seen each other in 20 years. I finally asked him if he still lived on Long Island. He said no, he had moved his family out to Sussex County, New Jersey (a beautiful part of northwestern Jersey that nobody seems to know even exists). We talked about all the congestion and traffic on Long Island and about what a wise move he had made for himself and his kids.

And then I asked: “Do you have to commute to the City every day from Sussex?”

He paused for a heartbeat or two, and then in a low monotone said: “Not any more. Not since they blew up my building.”

It was my turn to pause. “You were there?” I asked softly.

“In the street.” he replied.

His eight-year old stopped sipping her Shirley Temple and piped in cheerfully as she wrapped herself around him “Daddy was late!"

My friend said nothing. He just looked at me, stone-faced, and stroked his child's hair. And in his eyes I saw him seeing all of the horrors of that day. And through his eyes I watched it with him.

Maybe only a few seconds passed. But it was enough. I clapped him on the shoulder and said “Let’s go get a beer.” Nothing more was said about it.

This is how life is for some. They won’t watch the specials and documentaries commemorating the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. They don't need to be reminded. They carry that movie in their head. In towns and villages all over Long Island you’ll find small memorials bearing the names of those residents who didn’t come home from work. It isn’t forgotten there. It is etched in stone.

My friend’s daughter was only a toddler when the towers came down, but she knows that it was good for Daddy to be late that one day. Nothing more need be said.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

There Is No Damned Spoon

Okay, everyone. On top of all the regular stuff that needs doing, I've got to complete that wonderful "self-evaluation form" before the 7th. I am really tired of telling people how I parted the Red Sea and all, so I figured that I might lean on you for some new garbage to dump.

Have at it.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ernesto


...and that's how it is down here on the Outer Banks. Tropical Storm Enersto is just a memory for folks around here. The sun is coming back out and the bathers are returning. I think that maybe I'll join them. Ha ha.


Ha ha. Thank you for that insightful report on Tropical Storm Er-nest-o, Bambi.

Now, don't forget your sunscreen! Ha ha.

let's check in now with our Richmond Storm Team. How's the weather down there, Juan?



Well, it looks to me like the drought is over. What does it look like to you, you stupid twit? Liquid sunshine? And why the f*ck do I always get the lousy assignments anyway? How come it's always me that has to stand around in the f*cking floods? "Look at how deep the water is folks, it's almost over the tops of my boots!" Morons. You want to know the what the f*cking weather is ? Get off your lazy ass an GO OUTSIDE!



We appear to be having technical difficulties with Juan's connection.


I'll bet that bitch Bambi isn't up to her armpits in snakes and dirty water. She's probably out in the sun on some beach batting eyes and being stupid. Right? Am I RIGHT???

We'll be right back, after this word from Mother Sheehan.




Do people find you annoying?






Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Smack Down

I can't begin to do justice to Keith Olbermann's stunning rebuke to Rumsfeld's speech yesterday so I'll let his eloquent words speak for themselves...and for me.

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It "knew" Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.
It "knew" Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.
It "knew" that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions — its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already "knew" the truth.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.


* * * *
You can read the rest of it here.

Update: Here's the video of Olbermann's commentary. I promise to provide a clip of Rumsfeld's speech as soon as I locate it...and after I read it:)

(Posted by Portia)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Where there is honey, there are bees.


Okay, so here I am minding my own business (and yours) when up pops this little story from the New York Lawyer:



L.I. Attorney Censured Over High Fees
New York LawyerAugust 29, 2006

By Michael SchollNew York Law Journal

MINEOLA - Patent lawyer Michael I. Kroll of Syosset has been publicly censured for charging excessive fees to 75 clients.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, last week unanimously voted to confirm a special referee's report that had sustained two counts of professional misconduct against Mr. Kroll. The court found in Matter of Michael I. Knoll, 2005-00782, that Mr. Kroll violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by charging excessive fees for preparing patent applications.

A U.S. Patent and Trademark Office investigation into Mr. Kroll's fees was begun in 2000 after one of his clients, Lynn Svevad, complained to the office. Ms. Svevad had been seeking to patent a computer software program that allows users to have simulated conversations with deceased relatives.

The Appellate Division said the investigation found that the average fee charged in the New York City area for preparation of an application was $700. It also found that Mr. Kroll charged and collected $11,500 for the same service from Ms. Svevad.The investigation also identified 75 clients who were charged similar fees by Mr. Knoll for the same work.

***

Naturally, my short attention span distills this whole sorid affair into a
Daily News headline:

PREDATORY LAWYER GETS HOOKED BY OVERCHARGRING PREDATORY BOTTOM-FISHING MORBID COMPUTER GEEK - No Survivors Worth Mentioning

But what of the bait?

Seriously, this woman tries to patent a program that simulates you having an email conversation with long-dead Aunt Haddie, and then complains that her lawyer charged her too much to license such stupidity? Why couldn't she find a reputable attorney to prosecute a patent application that permits people to chat-room with dead folks?

(Um...nevermind. I figured it out by myself.)

The Court (wisely) held that the stupid lawyer in this case is liable for stupidly overcharging his stupid client amounts beyond the stupid level of their obvious stupidity. No verdict was returned as to whether Ms. Svevad (say that three times fast) was liable for luring the desperate into a place where her digital clouds obscured those last few lights remaining in the safe harbor of reason.

Ubi mel ibi apes . (Where there is honey, there are bees.) And where there are bees, there are bears. That's life as I know it. And that's ok.

But tomorrow is another day.



Monday, August 28, 2006

Surely You Can Come Up With A Couple More

And don't call me Shirley.

Today's Excuse Quote











It's the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have time.
Tallulah Bankhead















(Posted by Portia)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Coach







"The ball is round, a game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory. Off we go! "






*



Saturday, August 26, 2006

Army Immerses Soldiers in Weaponry


Calgon, take me away.
And drown me.

Thug Lite

Yet another sign that the Apocalypse is upon us:




"Elton John was talking to us about his upcoming album, The Captain and the Kid, due out next month, when he dropped a bomb about his plans for the project after that: he intends to record a hip-hop album with Dr. Dre."















Word to your mother.

Friday, August 25, 2006

It Ain't the Lips, Honey



Cassandra and the ladies are all in a tizzy/snit about something that somebody said about conservative women having skinny lips. I'm not kidding.


Seeing as today I have nothing to say on that particular matter (or any other particular matter), I thought that I might just stir up some trouble.



But there's not a whole lot of trouble out there waiting for me to get into, it seems.

I'm not kidding.

Maybe you folks could come up with some ideas?




Thanks.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

I thank you for your many kind comments in the post below about the passing of Big Jim C. I apologize for causing you to think that Jim was my father. He was not. My own Dad died some years ago. Jim was my best friend's father, a man I'd known for more than 40 years.

Even though we were not biologically linked, however, Jim was a father to me in many many ways. He was my Coach and teacher. He gave me my first job that required a tie. Jim was the Chairman of my personal Board of Directors, and he saw right through me.

Throughout my life,Jim never gave up on me, even when I had about given up on myself. And when I failed he'd never ask me why, but rather "What did you see there?" and then listen as I taught my self another lesson. And when at last I'd succeed his praise would be equally subdued. "Of course you did," he'd say.

Of course I did. Thanks to you.

St. Paul was right. There is no sting to death where the life is well lived. Jim approached every day with gusto and faith. Faith in himself. Faith in Christ. And faith in every human being.

I am a better man for having known him.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Big Jim

Did we ever touch?
Or just bully past each other?

Either way, sir,
You remain my lighthouse.
And for all the glare of your harsh stare,
I love you still.

Rest, now, friend and father
And know that you have lit a beacon.
Strong enough to guide this single life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Double Header

What can I say?

The teams combined for 41 runs and 61 hits. Twenty pitchers -- that's counting Mike Myers and Scott Proctor twice -- threw 783 pitches. In all, the teams played 8:40 minutes of baseball, from Jason Johnson's first pitch at 1:10 p.m. until Mariano Rivera covered first to retire Wily Mo Pena at 12:52 a.m.

Dear Lord I do so hate the Yankees.

Friday, August 18, 2006

CSI: Rock Lyrics


We begin a new sub-chapter in intellectual futility tonight with lyrics from The Doors:


Yeah!, come on, come on, come on, come on
Now touch me, babe
Can't you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won't you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?





***
What was that promise that she made?

Game Day!

Hey there, Mister Coffee. Are you ready for some baseball?






Chill out, Popsicle Head. The Sox are a game and a half back and looking tired.



Tired? Your boys dropped one to last the freakin' Orioles yesterday 12 -2, and you're calling us tired?






Yeah, well that sucked, but you know how it's going to go today.









Yeah, Joe.
I do.