Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The Joke of the Last Entry

In case you don't want to follow the link to the article referenced below:

A panda walks into a deli and orders a sandwich. When he's done, he pulls out a gun, squeezes off a couple rounds, and heads for the door.
"What did you do that for?" the manager asks.
"I'm a panda."
"I don't see what that has to do with anything."
"Look it up," the panda says as he walks out.
The manager calls the paramedics for the guy the panda winged, then flips through his encyclopedia (doesn't every deli have an encyclopedia set?). Sure enough, there it is. "Panda: eats, shoots and leaves."

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

We all have something about ourselves that we believe makes us unique in that circus-freak kind of way. For me, it is grammar. This should not be a surprise to anyone who has ever spent more than 15 minutes with me. Karen called me at work yesterday with a simple apostrophe question and was subjected to a five-minute inquiry while I tried to determine whether she meant "theres" as a plural or contraction of "there is." Since I don't want anyone's brain to explode, I won't explain why the word could not have been a possessive, though in most apostrophe-"S" questions, that is also an option.

Every time I go to the laundromat, I fight the temptation to take a bottle of Wite-Out to the sign on the door listing the "Hour's." I cringe when people begin a sentence with "hopefully." That particular adverb means that the action of a sentence was carried out in a hopeful manner, not that one hopes that the action of the sentence will transpire. Last week, I finally pointed out to someone at work, after two years, that the school's enrollment agreements should read "who resides at," not "whom resides at." Rule of thumb: use "who" before verbs and "whom" before nouns or pronouns. Isn't that easier than trying to figure out objective and subjective pronouns? The rule works for all but the most convoluted sentences.

According to this London Reuters article, I'm not alone in my freakish attention to grammar. There is at least one other person in this world who can spot a misplaced comma at 50 yards and is overcome with a desire to correct it. She wrote Eats, Shoots and Leaves. The reporter explains the joke at the end of the article if you can't see the humor of the book's title right off.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

I'm Back...

The world needs a Band-Aid that you can put on with one hand. This morning, I sliced my right ring finger open on the serrated blade of a packing tape dispenser, and I think I have discovered one of the top 5 places on the human body where it is possible but exceedingly awkward to bandage oneself solo. All these advances in bandage technology, and Johnson & Johnson hasn't yet solved one of the product's most blatant design flaws. The do seem to have eliminated the little red string, which, for my money, was half the fun of Band-Aids.

And on the subject of first aid products, when did Bactine start getting away with advertising itself as relieving pain? You could fill an in-ground swimming pool with all the Bactine that I was doused with in my younger days, and if memory served, that stuff hurt worse than the cuts and scrapes it got sprayed in.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Chalk Another One Up

I just killed the VCR. I tried to play a tape of Garfield and Friends cartoons (coming soon on DVD). For those keeping score at home, my home electronic homicide rap sheet now stands at:
1 electric stove
1 motorized tie rack
1 dual-deck VCR
The toaster my parents received as a wedding present

Fortunately, unlike the toaster and the stove, the VCR did not go up in a ball of flames.

Friday, March 26, 2004


By the way, I only put in half of the quote from RNC chairman Ed Gillespie two posts back. The second half is, "You can hear the laughter, the people in the room obviously saw the humor in it at that moment, and to play it back now in a different context is unfair."

Two words: Howard Dean

Change in Policy

Just got back from seeing "Jersey Girl," which I do not recommend for people looking for the usual Kevin Smith fare. My local megaplex seems to have changed its policy toward minors in R-rated movies. If I'm not mistaken, they previously restricted R-rated movies, and allowed minors in R movies only if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Now, they have a notice up that children under 17 may not purchase tickets to R movies, 17-year-olds may not purchase R movie tickets for under-17-year-olds, and a person over 18 must purchase tickets to R movies for minors, but does not have to actually accompany the minor into the theater.

Guess we can't let the MPAA keep our kids from a religious experience, even if, as the sign says, it may contain scenes disturbing to some viewers. Elie wonders if this policy will still be in force when "Passion of the Christ" pulls out.

Bush Hunts for WMD in Oval Office

At the annual dinner of Radio and Television News Correspondents Association on Wednesday, Bush joked about his inability to find weapons of mass destruction to the accompaniment of a slide show of him poking around the furniture in the White House. For example, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere ... nope, no weapons over there ... maybe under here?" as he looked under a sofa.

Click here for the video from CNN

Who, I mean who on this green earth could possibly have thought this would be a good idea? Whoever came up with this one should have their ass in a sling, along with the people who approved of it.

The RNC chairman, Ed Gillespie, justifies it by saying, "The fact is that this is the custom in these things. Presidents have made jokes about very serious matters at these dinners." His butt needs to be in a sling, too.

Quick lesson in humor: the humor in some jokes is entirely dependent on who delivers them. Some people cannot make jokes that are very funny when other people make them. Tina Fey can point out on Saturday Night Live Weekend Update that Bush can't find Osama bin Laden, WMD, and his ass with both hands and a flashlight. The leader of the free world can't. Correction: he can and did. He shouldn't.

Beaver News

Just when you thought it was safe to go, well, anywhere, without your waders, according to this article in Time magazine, the beavers are a-comin' back, and they're trying to make the world a more beaver-friendly place (read: lots of swamp). Now, I lived 17 years in Oregon, which is not called The Beaver State for nothing. I've known more than a few people who have contended with a 50-pound rodent's unique perspective on proper landscaping techniques and their tenacious resistance to relocation. I even ran into a beaver once in the middle of Omaha, Nebraska. By "middle," I mean he was damming a stream where it ran right underneath one of the busiest streets in the city. If the beavers are just now making a comeback, I'm going to have to seriously consider that inflatable kayak in the Sharper Image catalog as my next car.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

One More Thought On the Previous...

The nation got upset at Clinton's "depends on what the meaning of 'is' is," but somehow is OK with Bush's "God doesn't really mean God" stance.

Irony Alert

Click here and here for two editorials explaining why removing "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance should be a no-brainer, legally speaking. This one nation under God has a fly in the judiciary ointment: God forbid that we have to acknowledge that the law really does come down on the side of the atheist. Of course--and here's the irony of it all--so does Judeo-Christian morality.

Someone on the religious side has pointed out the semi-mind-blowing irony of this debate. "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional because it is blasphemous. The state argues that the phrase in question is not an unconstitutional promotion of religion because "God" doesn't really refer to God, as such. When we say "God," we are not really referring to a deity, making the phrase is constitutionally OK. However, if we say "God" without really meaning an (or The) omnipotent, omniscient being, we run afoul of one of the 10 Commandments, specifically the part about taking God's name in vain. It would seem that the laws of man and the Bible take opposite paths to get to the same place: the phrase ought to go.

In the interest of presenting an opposing viewpoint on the issue, here's what my co-worker Laurie said today about the pledge case: "If they take 'under God' out, we're moving to Canada."

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Road Runner Moment

The fact that I met with David Bowman today wasn't the funny part. (If you don't understand why that would be amusing, click here.) For purposes of this blog, the reason I was meeting with David Bowman is unimportant. The important thing is that, at 2:30, he called a guy to have some forms overnighted to me by UPS. In a scene oddly reminiscent of a Roadrunner/Coyote cartoon, the UPS truck pulled up at 3:30 p.m. For one brief moment, I thought, "What? Did he call Acme and order me a pair of rocket-powered roller skates?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Caveat Viewer

I have not seen "The Passion of the Christ," nor do I intend to, so I am just going on my recollection of the story for the body count here, but I believe this story from Reuters is a first for a movie rated R for violence: more people have died watching the movie than die in the movie. So far, a woman in Witchita, Kansas, and a pastor in Belo Horizonte, Brazil both have dropped dead of apparent heart attacks during screenings.

Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me When I'm 64?

The annual report on Social Security is out. The insolvency date is now 2042, though the economist I heard on NPR tonight said this is probably optimistic, since it is arrived at by calculating the money paid in and the money paid out for a year, and doesn't take into account the promises made to future beneficiaries. Me, for example.

In 2042, I will turn 64. Is it any wonder I don't much care what happens to Social Security? I'll spend the next thirty-odd years watching money get siphoned off my wages, only to see the system I pay into disappear right before I get to reap benefits. When I get my annual Social Security statement, I just sigh and look at all the money I'm working for and will never see, then call up my financial planner and see how much more I need to squirrel away so I can actually retire myself.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup...

Please forgive the sparse posting these past couple days. I've been working on a magazine submission. In 8-12 weeks, I should know whether I am part of the Usual Gang of Idiots or have another letter to add to the file.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Divine Plans

In a USA Today profile, the 14-year-old surfer who had an arm eaten by a shark last October said, "This was God's plan for my life, and I'm going to go with it." (Click here for the entire story)

Now, I am as happy as anyone to see someone coping well with a potentially life-changing event. Nonetheless, do people actually believe the Almighty sat up there and said, "Y'know, I don't think this four limb thing is working out quite the way I had in mind after all."?

Question of the Day...

My cats get Purina brand Whisker Lickins moist cat treats, which come in a variety of cat-yummy flavors and work very well for hiding pills. The chicken-flavored ones are shaped like a chicken. The turkey ones are shaped like a turkey. The tuna flavored ones are shaped like fish. The salmon flavored ones are shaped like fish with more fins.

Why then, are the beef flavored ones are shaped like hearts?

Friday, March 19, 2004

Honesty and Decency?

Click here for a searchable database of 237 specific misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq made by President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice in 125 public appearances in the time leading up to and after the commencement of hostilities in Iraq. The 237 statements exclude any that turned out to be incorrect only in hindsight but were accurate assessments of then-current intelligence.

The database was compiled by the United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform, Minority Staff Special Investigations Division, at the request of Rep. Henry Waxman (D-California), who is the ranking minority member of that committee.

I think a few statements are included in the database that should not be there. For instance, the committee faults a July 2003 statement by Bush, "I believe he was trying to reconstitute his nuclear weapons program," because it fails to acknowledge known intelligence to the contrary. However, Bush did not say that the intelligence showed that Saddam Hussein was trying to reconstituted a nuclear program; Bush said he believed that was what was going on. If he believed that, the statement is true. Beliefs can be factually wrong. People believe a lot of things in spite of the facts.

Even with a few of those thrown in, the database is an interesting read.

Those Banner Ads At The Top of the Page

Let me explain that when I post to this site, I actually go through the website and not the site you are looking at now. I periodically check just to see how everything looks to you, but not all that often, since Blogger lets me see everything you see, only without that nifty banner ad about four inches above this.

I seem to be missing half the fun.

On Monday, I posted an entry that used the word "lobster" and/or "lobsters" 13 times. Now, I see the "Ads by Google" feature Maine Lobster Direct, a service wherein a 5-pound live lobster will be delivered to your door overnight, presumably for your culinary enjoyment. My best guess is that the content of those banner ads is somehow triggered by the content of my posts, in a sort of rudimentary word-frequency kind of way. Kind of explains why, in the early days of Penguin Perspectives, I wrote about how silly it was that ads for the prescription sleeping pill Ambien carry warnings that side effects include drowsiness, then found shortly thereafter that the banner ad was a link to Ambien's website.

This is exactly why automation will not replace human thinking in the near future. Whatever search algorithm they use to see what I'm talking about this week, and thus, what ads you must be interested in, does not comprehend sarcasm. It sees that I said "lobster" a lot and thinks you must want to have lobster delivered to your door. It does not see that I said "lobster" a lot in the context of an impending crustacean assault from the sea as we inadvertently help our main course breed intelligence and strategic planning by turning the stupid ones into the exact kind of Complete Dinner that Maine Lobster Direct is hawking.

Perhaps the lobsters will still get us, but I don't think we have much to fear from technology.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

What Would Jesus Do?

A Georgia couple is out on bail after they called police on each other during a domestic altercation, resulting in charges of simple battery against each other. What, you ask, could have prompted a domestic dispute that ended with the wife suffering injuries to her face and arms, while the husband was stabbed in the hand with scissors, had his shirt ripped off and allegedly punched a hole in the wall? Having just seen "The Passion of the Christ," the couple was arguing a point about the human or symbolic nature of the Trinity. As the sheriff's deputy said, "I think they missed the point."

Click here to read the whole story.

Thanks, Elie, for suggesting the title of this post.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Lesson Learned the Hard Way...

Click here to read why you should always keep your speed dial buttons straight.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

King George III Day...

Since today was pretty boring, I'll just give you all another day to contemplate lobsters returning from the dead.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Night of the Living Dead Lobsters...

We catch lobsters by setting out lobster food and waiting for a lobster to walk into the lobster pot, eat the lobster chow, and not figure out how to get out of the pot the way it came in. Because of this tactic, only the truly stupid lobsters end up in drawn butter, while the smarter lobsters live to spawn another day. Basically, we are throwing chlorine in the lobster gene pool. I figure it's only a matter of time before all the stupid lobsters are out and the intelligent lobsters are ready to take over.

Most people tend to think that my lobster theory is nuts, and I along with it. Even if I am, this article should scare you. Lobsters are getting themselves caught and frozen, then coming back to life. If I were truly nuts, I would think this was the first wave of crustacean spies scoping out the surf 'n' turf ahead of the marine assault. Good thing I'm not nuts.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I'll take "Things Presidential Candidates Said Without Realizing They Were Near Live Microphones" for $100, Alex.

John Kerry: "These are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen, it's scary."

George W. Bush: "There's Adam Clymer, major league asshole from the New York Times."

Please note that the House just voted to raise the fine for using a term related to sexual or excretory functions on over-the-air broadcasts (things you can pick up with bunny ears or a radio) between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. to $500,000.

Not that I am saying I think what John Kerry said was any better, particularly if the group in question can prove they are not crooked liars and if Kerry can get his pronouns to agree with his antecedents. "Group" is a singular noun no matter how many people are in the group, so Kerry should have said "This is the most crooked, you know, lying group..." unless he was referring to more than one group of people, in which case "These are the most crooked...groups..." would be correct.

However, grammar aside, now that they've both inadvertently said something indiscreet into a live microphone, we'll just call this a point where no one has the moral high ground.

The Mailbag..

My mom forwarded the following email, very closely related to something over at Mr. Grooism a few weeks back (right here):
"Sounds like a good diet to me
Can't eat beef........mad cow.
Can't eat chicken...... bird flu
Can't eat eggs...... again, bird flu
Can't eat pork.....fears that bird flu will infect piggies
Can't eat fish....... heavy metals in the waters has poisoned their meat
Can't eat fruits and veggies....... insecticides and herbicides
Hmmmm! I believe that leaves Chocolate!"

That would be the answer to all our dietary quandaries, except that, as noted here by Reuters, the cocoa tree is being ravaged by a fungus that threatens to endanger the world's cocoa supply. This bring me back to what I wrote Larry after he posted the about vampire cows, which was in essence: "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow, they will find that everything we eat, drink, and do to be merry including breathing will kill us."

Let's not forget that venison is now in danger of a form of Mad Deer disease, and that the last couple outbreaks of food poisoning were traced to contaminated vegetables. Can Emu Flu and Mad Bison be far behind?

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Thought for the Day...

"If you never encounter anything in your community that offends you, you don't live in a free society."
-Former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Cambell, on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher

Friday, March 12, 2004

Speaking of being excommunicated...

The Boston Archdiocese is holding the line on no meat on Fridays during Lent, even though Fenway Park's opening game falls on Good Friday this year. (Click Here). On the Christian holiday commemorating the ultimate sacrifice, Boston's Catholic baseball fans will have to sacrifice a hot dog. The spokesman for the archdiocese said it was very insensitive to Catholic fans to schedule opening day on a day when they couldn't eat a hot dog. No mention of how insensitive it is to the hot dog vendors, who are the real victims of this decision.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Grooism of the Day...

As we all know by now, to Groo is to commit an act so stupid that one's brain cells commit suicide out of the sheer embarrassment of being associated with synapses that would do that.

My remaining brain cells are popping their cyanide capsules as we speak. Today, my boss asked me to get the email address an phone number of a certain person who works at the Ohio State Medical Board. Taking the logical approach, I called the general switchboard number for the Board, which connects to a dial-by-name directory. No one ever answers their phone at the Medical Board, so I was prepared to leave a message when I finally navigated to the right voicemail box. Just my luck, the person I was looking for actually answered his phone. A bit flustered, I proceeded to ask for the requested information. He spelled out his email address carefully, and about the phone number simply said, "well, you called me."

Yes, some part of my brain actually executed the command, "Call this person and ask for his phone number." I think those neurons are being excommunicated.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Yeah, right...

The government delusions spread. The Department of Health and Human Services is trying to fight obesity by encouraging us to take baby steps to be more active and eat better, thus losing weight. (Click Here). The Ad Council, who brought us Smokey the Bear and "Loose Lips Sink Ships," has ads out touting "small steps" to fighting obesity: snack on fruits and veggies, take the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall, and take a walk down the beach. If only losing double chins, tummy paunch, and love handles were as easy as these ads make it sound. I've tried snacking on fruits and vegetables. The only place I lost weight was in my checkbook.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

What are they smoking at the Mint?...

The U.S. Mint seems to be have some serious attention span issues. I could deal with the 50-state quarter thing. It was kind of cute and took a bit of the drudgery out of the laundromat with the prospect of maybe getting a new state quarter out of the change machine. But since last Wednesday, they've decided to replace Monticello with a seal commemorating the Louisiana Purchase on the nickel, and are bandying about the idea of replacing Sacajawea on the dollar coin with all the presidents from Washington to Nixon in order of appearance, including Grover Cleveland twice. Why Nixon? You can't put anyone alive on a coin (or a postage stamp, which proves that Elvis is dead).

Couldn't they give us a week's downtime between redesigning our currency? One would think that these constant revampings would make counterfeiting easier as we, the general public, lose track of what our money is supposed to look like? It's not like we see enough of it to keep track of all the changes.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Fun Birthday Facts...

I'm in charge of the "on the day you were born" section of my new niece's baby book.

Emilia was born on the day I got the following:
-a campaign solicitation for a defunct political campaign
-my first Tony Packos hot dog and deep-fried pickle, at the original Tony Packos.
-a flat tire
-the urge to throttle an entire Girl Scout troop selling cookies inside the mall as if they were at the Cairo bazaar, by yelling "Girl Scout cookies, $3 a box!" every 15 seconds.

None of that really fits in the context of a baby book. I'm just glad the top movie this week wasn't The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or something like that.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Very Special Birthday...

Happy Birthday, Emilia Larsen! My niece arrived at 6:35 p.m. Pacific Time today.


My father once told me that if there was an easy way and a hard way to do something, I would find a third, even more difficult way. Case in point:

Volvo just rolled out a new concept car at the Geneva Auto Show (Click here). I was listening to the story on NPR this morning on the way to work, and this afternoon, I told Elie all about the new, woman-driver-friendly features of the car: low maintenance, headrest shaped to accommodate ponytails, and sensors that will park the car for you. However, the feature I was most excited about was the adjustable heel rest that makes driving in high heels easier. I explained to Elie the geometry of why driving in heels is difficult, and considering that I drive mostly to and from work in heels, the adjustable heel rest would be a really great feature to have in a car. I probably went on for a good five minutes before Elie asked, "why don't you just wear your sneakers to drive?"

In the cartoon version of my life, I am still slapping my forehead.

Too Little, Too Late...

Congratulations to John Kerry, who is no longer the most insulting Democratic presidential candidate of this election cycle. I just received a letter from Clark '04 For President. It is insulting not because it came 4 days after the primaries, nor because it is a form letter that came in a window envelope while the other candidates at least had the courtesy to have a campaign volunteer hand-address the envelope and write a short note. I'm not even so much bothered by the fact that the Wesley Clark campaign did not even acknowledge the question I asked (how his tax plan benefits families with no children), much less try to avoid giving an answer. No the insulting thing is that all he sent with the generic form letter was a "contributor card" to facilitate my donation to his campaign. I just asked for some more information to make an informed judgment about my vote, and instead of receiving information, I was hit up for cash for a campaign that ended 3 weeks ago. John Kerry just rose a notch.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Better Late Than Never?

John Kerry's campaign wrote me back. The cover letter is dated March 1, and the envelope is postmarked March 3. Too bad I voted March 2.

The campaign sent me the standard list of Kerry's platform, headlined "A Real Deal: One Hundred Days to Change America," a one-page bio of Kerry, and a nifty form letter thanking me for my suggestion to the campaign. Scrawled across the bottom of the form letter is the note, "Sorry for the delayed response. You wouldn't believe the amount of mail we receive daily. Your comment about domestic violence was helpful. Here is some more info about Senator Kerry."

The Kerry Campaign loses points for the following:
-assigning campaign volunteers with atrocious penmanship to write notes to supporters
-assuming I support Kerry, when in fact the entire point of the letter was that I was not sure I supported him
-not even pretending to answer the question I asked
-lack of timely response
-making excuses for lack of timely response, based on volume of mail

I think I would have felt better about Kerry if he hadn't written back at all. I'd rather be ignored than patronized.

Generation Labels...

Click here to see why we call them The Greatest Generation.

I think this goes without comment.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

The Bush Perspective...

Allowing a marriage involving only one gender is bad. (Click Here)

Allowing public schools involving only one gender is good. (Click here) You'll need the NYT registration for that, but you all are already registered or you would have given up reading Penguin Perspectives long ago.

Actually, this is an entirely consistent viewpoint, based on the principle that it is OK to exclude one group from something just as long as "substantially equal" opportunities are granted to the excluded group. Has anyone mentioned to the White House that the Supreme Court blew down that argument 50 years ago this May?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

From the Suggestion Box...

Karen has suggested that, given my track record with presidential candidates, the best thing I could do now is to throw my support behind Bush. I seem to be worse for a candidacy than an endorsement from Al Gore.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Super Tuesday Live Primary Blogging...

Well, triple crap. I threw my support behind Howard Dean and he dropped out two weeks later. I considered voting for Al Sharpton, just to find out he never even dropped into Ohio's primary, much less out. John Edwards has dropped out of the race a matter of hours after I gave up my independent voter status to do vote for him. I seem to be going 3 for 3. They're dropping out faster than I can support them. I feel like a used Kleenex.

I'm turning off the news. Wolf Blitzer is getting on my nerves.

Crap and Double Crap...

I finally decided to vote for Al Sharpton, only to get to my polling place and find Al Sharpton wasn't even on the ballot. So I went with Choice #2, John Edwards. CNN just called Ohio for John Kerry.

On the bright side, this means I can now complain no matter who ends up winning in November. I won't start on the media's impact on primaries.

Special Birthday...

I wish we could do what they do in Katroo.
They sure know how to say "Happy Birthday to you!"
In Katroo every year on the day you were born
They start they day right in the bright early morn
When the birthday honk-honker hikes high up Mount Zorn
And lets loose a long blast on the big birthday horn.
And the voice of the horn cries out loud as it plays,
"Wake up, for today is your day of all days!"
(from Happy Birthday to You, by Dr. Seuss)

Unfortunately for the world, Dr. Seuss will not wake up for today, his 100th Day of All Days in Katroo, having died in 1991. However, next week, he gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is in line for a postage stamp.

There is good Seuss news, though on this Seussentenial. A New York Times article quotes Mrs. Geisel, overseer of Seuss Enterprises, as saying, "Let's just say after `The Cat in the Hat' film experience we've decided not to go with live actors."

For anyone interested in the grown-up side of Dr. Seuss, I recommend Dr. Seuss Goes To War, a collection of his political cartoons from WWII. After seeing the stack of turtles with the turtle caricature of Hitler at the top, you will never look at Yertle the same way again.

Monday, March 01, 2004


Today, the mail brought my Mastercard bill, a circular for MP3 players, and a magazine. No word from the Edwards or Kerry campaigns. An email to Al Sharpton's campaign also remains unanswered. Makes me think no one wants me to vote for them.

Where's Waldo?

I used to be quite good at the Where's Waldo? books. Today, I found Waldo again, and I wasn't even looking. Actually, I was looking for Toledo, but I Grooed.

To Groo, if you are unfamiliar with the term, is to commit an act so unspeakably stupid that your remaining brain cells commit suicide out of sheer embarrassment, from this character. I had to go to a meeting in Columbus, Ohio, this morning, which is a bit over 2 1/2 hour's drive from my house. No problem. I went to, printed their handy driving directions from my door to the location of my meeting, broke out my blazer and business pantyhose, and even dug up a legal pad to take notes on instead of my usual spiral notebooks. Not until after the meeting did I realize I had neglected one very important bit of preparation: I had no directions to get home. Still, not a problem, I thought. I can just reverse the directions I used to get there and take 71 North to 570 West to 23 North to 15 East to 75 North to 475 North. That plan worked for about 3 miles. About 20 miles past what should have been my first highway interchange, it became painfully obvious that the exit I should have taken was not labeled as 570 West. Ten more miles later, I finally found an offramp, which came handily equipped with a truck stop where a very nice woman gave me directions to get back on track by cruising through Edison, Mt. Gilead, and Waldo, Ohio. Which brings me to my next Lesson Learned The Hard Way: nothing makes you stick out in a truck stop like wearing a business suit.