Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bob Barker to retire

Bob BarkerI'm sad to hear that, though he's soon to be 83. Something about "The Price Is Right," Barker's "reign" to end this coming June, is comforting, perhaps since it's been on television for so many years. I especially like watching the "Showcase Showdown," at the end of each show.

Boy, this post really shows my intellectual nature, doesn't it? I don't know...part of enjoying life is enjoying simple pleasures, even if one them is a game show.

"The Price Is Right" has been running since September 4, 1972, which I was in second grade. Given that I enjoy working with animal shelters, I'm glad to hear that Barker will end his final show as he ends all his shows, with the admonition "Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered." Good for him.

most popular science myths

According to livescience.com:

  1. A chicken can live without its head;
  2. Water drains backward in the Southern Hemisphere due to the Earth's rotation;
  3. There is no gravity in space;
  4. Humans use only 10 percent of their brains;
  5. Eating a poppy-seed bagel mimics opium use;
  6. A penny dropped from the top of a tall building could kill a pedestrian;
  7. Adults don't grow new brain cells;
  8. Chicken soup can cure the common cold;
  9. Yawning is "contagious";
  10. A dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's;
  11. Lightning never strikes the same place twice;
  12. Hair and fingernails continue growing after death;
  13. A falling cat will always land on its feet;
  14. Men think about sex every seven seconds;
  15. You get less wet by running in the rain;
  16. The five-second rule;
  17. Animals can predict natural disasters;
  18. Seasons are caused by the Earth's proximity to the sun;
  19. The Great Wall of China is the only man-made structure visible from space; and
  20. It takes seven years to digest gum.

"The Prestige"

I thought The Prestige was superb! It was fascinating to see David Bowie play Nikola Tesla, too. He's a good actor, though the part was a restrained one. I hadn't realized, having forgotten way too much high-school- and college history, that Tesla and Thomas Edison were rivals.

Christian Bale/Hugh JackmanChristian Bale most definitely isn't hard on the eyes! But, seriously, he is a good actor, and I thought he did a good job with his hard London accent. Also good were Michael Caine, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, and others (I thought Bale's wife in the movie was quite good).

Tulane job

I applied for a job for Tulane's Technology Services but didn't get it, disappointingly. I'd love to live in New Orleans, and be closer to my family in Biloxi.

I wish employment offices would give reasons for job denials (like "We can't match your current salary," "We hired someone already in the department," "We need someone who starts before you said you could," "We need someone with supervisory experience," etc.).

Oh, well...I'll keep trying!

one more synopsis...

of The Bridge:

Inspired by a New Yorker story, "Jumpers," written by Tad Friend, director Eric Steel decided to train cameras on the Golden Gate Bridge over the course of 2004 to capture the people who attempted to leap off the famed structure, the site of more suicides than anywhere else in the world. He also tracked down and interviewed the friends, family members, and eyewitnesses to further recreate the events leading up to the incident and to try to explain what led these people to want to kill themselves, especially at this specific site. The documentary's primary subjects all struggled with mental illness, including severe depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders, and the documentary struggles to understand their illness while illuminating the anger and hurt of their loved ones. Most questions remain unanswered, turning on the darker recesses of the mind. The shots of the bridge wreathed in fog turn the Golden Gate into a metaphor for a bridge between life and death, sanity and mental disturbance, and extreme isolation and connection with society. Though the camera crew worked with a set of guidelines, including that they would call in someone they thought was going to jump, the documentary still includes lengthy footage of the moments leading up to and including the suicides, so discretion is advised for sensitive viewers.
  • All Movie Guide


Monday, October 30, 2006

impending global catastrophe

Global warning needs to be dealt with now, according to the Stern Review. And the BBC's climate change in depth.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

"The (Golden Gate) Bridge"

The BridgeThis movie, Eric Steel's The Bridge, sounds fascinating. I'll try to see it. Here are two synopses, one from Graham Legatt, of the San Francisco Film Festival:

In the poem "Musee des Beaux Arts," W. H. Auden wrote, "About suffering they were never wrong, The Old Masters: how well they understood/Its human position; how it takes place/While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along." Auden's poem takes as its occasion a painting by Dutch master Pieter Brueghel, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, in which, far from being central and tragic, Icarus appears only in a quiet corner of a busy frieze, as a pair of legs disappearing with a small splash into the water. The heartrending truths in Auden and Brueghel's works--that people suffer largely unnoticed while the rest of the world goes about its business--are brought literally and painfully home in Eric Steel's The Bridge, a documentary exploration of the mythic beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the most popular suicide destination in the world, and the unfortunate souls drawn by its siren call. Steel and his crew filmed the bridge during daylight hours from two separate locations for all of 2004, recording most of the two dozen deaths in that year (and preventing several others). They also taped more than 100 hours of interviews with friends, families and witnesses, who recount in sorrowful detail stories of struggles with depression, substance abuse and mental illness. The result is a moving and unsettling film that cannot help but touch everyone in the Bay Area in one way or another, not least because it admittedly raises as many questions as it answers: about suicide, mental illness and civic responsibility as well as the filmmaker's relationship to his fraught and complicated material.
Golden Gate Bridgeand one from David Kwok, of the Tribeca Film Festival:
The Golden Gate Bridge, with its views of the San Francisco Bay and skyline, is an American icon and a major tourist destination. But it is also the site of more suicides than any other place in the world. The question of why this particular bridge is such a magnet for suicides (along with the broader issue of suicide, and mental illness in general) is explored in Eric Steele's debut documentary, which he began to work on after reading Tad Friend's New Yorker article on the subject. Every day during 2004, Steele set up his cameras and filmed the Golden Gate Bridge during daylight hours. Day after day, he and his crew observed thousands of people crossing the bridge on foot from San Francisco to Marin County and back. They filmed everyone from tourists to bicyclists, but ever so often a person would climb over one small part of the bridge's mile-long railing and let go. However, while the camera can record the act of suicide, it cannot tell us what leads a person to such an extreme action or what thoughts run through someone's mind during those last moments. In an attempt to uncover some of these mysteries, Steele crossed the country in order to interview friends and families of the jumpers he captured on film, on-scene witnesses to various jumps, and even a jump survivor. These testimonials elevate the jumpers in the film from nameless statistics to human beings whose lives have inexorably led them to a tragically decisive moment on the Golden Gate Bridge. Like the bridge itself, this film is beautiful, powerful, and possesses an underlying darkness.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Spasmodic Dysphonia

DilbertI'd never heard of this affliction before, one that Dibert's creator, Scott Adams, has had recently.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

the three acts of magic tricks

1. the Pledge: draws one in;
2. the Turn: moves one out of the ordinary; and
3. the Prestige: where one can't believe one's eyes

faces of meth(amphetamine)

I remember seeing a thin, jittery guy in Mississippi buying a lot of cold medicine from a salvage store in Gautier. Likely he was buying this for a meth lab. Notice now how boxes of Sudafed and related products are held behind pharmacy counters?

Monday, October 23, 2006

"Granny" quote

From Squidbillies: "Hooray, magic Jesus!"

Sue regret

SueThe hardest part about putting Sue to sleep, besides the fact that I've never had to do that with a pet before, was watching (it only took about 30 seconds) her being prepared for her lethal injection..having her right leg shaved and watching the veterinarian instruct the new veterinary technician how to hold Sue's left leg. It was a little like watching (as I imagine) a state execution. I kissed her head right as the vet put the needle in. I wish I'd held her as he was preparing her leg.

I knew there'd be a regret...there always is.

note terms

Squidbillies' Early Cuyler agreed to terms of 60 dollars a month, for 500 years...all for a $37.50 note!

A good quote, "If you can't take the pee, get out of the pee-ery."


Norton Commando 962ccThe soon-to-be-coming Norton Commando 962cc motorcycle

Sunday, October 22, 2006

R.I.P, Sue

Super Sue!I had to take Sue in to be put to sleep this morning. I just didn't think she could take another hard night. This morning she was just staring, as Gomer did on his last day. And last night she couldn't even get out of her own way and wet herself. Thankfully my veterinarian was nice enough to let me come in on a non-office hours day.

I told Sue I loved her, that she'd been a great friend, and that I thought of her as my child. I hope she had a nice life. She definitely made my life better.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Sue sunningI thought last night might've been her last. She went into the litter box and didn't come out, I suppose because of her feeling weak. I lifted her out, cleaned her up, and set her in bed beside me. I combed her and bawled like a baby, telling her that it was all right if she wanted to go. She was still around this morning and I gave her her usual IV fluids. Finally, after three tries, I got an appetite stimulant down her; and she ate some Pro Plan food later on. I also squirted some water into her mouth with an eye dropper, to keep her mouth not so dry. I wonder what's wrong with her?

Boston College

I hate them!!! Come on, Florida State. Come back and squash BC, those mo' fu's! (Sorry for the cursing, but I have very good reason to call them that!).

Oh, well...didn't work out for me this time!

Brad Pitt...

...ain't bad. I dreamt of him a few weeks ago...nothing X-rated...and then, after seeing a picture of him later on, felt as if I knew him. Weird how dreams influence one. I do wish him the best in his family- and working life, though. He and Angelina have chosen to use their fame for good purposes...kudos to them!

a bad "Le Reve"

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Picasso's famed "Dream" painting turned into a nightmare for Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn when he accidentally gave the multimillion dollar canvas an elbow.Picasso's Le Reve

Wynn had just finalized a $139 million sale to another collector of his painting, called "Le Reve" (The Dream), when he poked a finger-sized hole in the artwork while showing it to friends at his Las Vegas office a couple of weeks ago.

Director and screenwriter Nora Ephron, who witnessed and related the incident in her blog on the Huffington Post Web site (www.huffingtonpost.com), said Wynn had raised his hand to show the group something about Picasso's 1932 portrait of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter.

"At that moment, his elbow crashed backward right through the canvas. There was a terrible noise," Ephron wrote, noting that Wynn has retinitis pigmentosa, an eye disease that damages peripheral vision.

"Smack in the middle ... was a black hole the size of a silver dollar. 'Oh s---,' he said. 'Look what I've done. Thank goodness it was me.'"

Wynn's office on Tuesday confirmed the story, an account of which also appeared in this week's The New Yorker. Both accounts said Wynn had decided to release the buyer from the sale agreement and to repair and keep the painting himself.

Wynn, a millionaire casino developer and art collector, developed The Mirage and Bellagio resorts in Las Vegas in the 1990s, which spearheaded a profusion of luxury hotels and casinos on the once-seedy Las Vegas Strip.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sue revisited

She's not doing well, I'm afraid. She's not eating much, except if I smear food on her muzzle or paw, so that she has to lick it off. I'm giving her fluids each day, to at least keep her hydrated. And I'll pick up some new appetite stimulant from the vet tomorrow. But I think something's going on inside of her, something that didn't manifest itself in a recent blood test or X-ray. I think I'll take her to a specialist for an ultrasound, to try to find out what really is going on. I'd hate to put her to sleep before knowing what's wrong, just in case the problem is something easily curable. If the problem's NOT incurable, and/or is something major, I doubt I'd proceed further with Sue, especially given her age and current weakened state. I'm sad.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

good ol' Texas!

From this week's This Week:

A Texas school district fired a popular art teacher for taking her fifth-grade class to a museum where they saw nude statues. Sydney McGee, 51, who's been teaching for 28 years, says the Wilma Fisher Elementary School approved the trip to the Dallas Museum of Art, which receives more than 500,000 student visitors each year.

Days later, though, she received a memo from principal Nancy Lawson complaining that "students were exposed to nude statues and other nude art representations," after which her contract was not renewed. "I thought she was the greatest," said parent Maijken Kozcara. But "knowing Texas, the ways things work here, I wasn't realy amazed."

Kids can play games in which they blow people's heads off, but if they see a naked Michelangelo, for example, the world's over! Sad, sad, sad.

(Picture from the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Exeter, England)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Cameron and his friend

horse HORSE

Cameron = HORSE!

Cameron knows I'm just messing with him...if we played real basketball, he'd kick my ass but good!

11:53 pm

From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in Chicago:

Doomsday Clock

Monday, October 16, 2006


My best line of Mary's wedding weekend...to Cameron (after defeating him in basketball and as he was having post-wedding photos made...

"Smile and say 'HORSE.'"

Doggie Day

I'm so pissed off at them!! I just got back from Biloxi and found no water in the bedroom, no dry food in the kitchen bowl (the cats don't eat that much per day), no cat milk at all put out, and who knows what else not done. I doubt that Sue's had any medicine, either.

Usually Jerry's the one who gets back from a trip first. And last time he reported the same types of problems, from the same caretaker. He won't be coming back to our place.

(I'm glad I came home from vacation a week early, since I had to put Sue to sleep just one week later, the day after I was originally to return. I'd've never gotten over it if I'd come back on Saturday to find her at death's door.)


bracesI didn't even know there were braces in the 1920s. But, honestly, they don't look that much different from the ones I had in the late 1970s!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Harry Potter's Wicca ways!

From today's Metro: "Mom wants schools to ban Harry Potter"

ATLANTA: A suburban county that sparked a public outcry when its libraries temporarily eliminated funding for Spanish-language fiction is now being asked to ban Harry Potter books from its schools.

Laura Mallory, a mother of four, told a hearing officer for the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Tuesday that the popular fiction series is an "evil" attempt to indoctrinate children in the Wicca religion.

Kids mustn't use their imaginations...evil, evil, evil!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"shall" versus "will"

A favorite example to clarify the two:

"I shall drown, no one will save me!" is a cry of despair, simply predicting imminent death: both are simple futures. "I will drown, no one shall save me!" is a suicide vow, a declaration that no one had better try to stop me.

fortune cookie

I can't remember if I ever posted this here, but the best fortune-cookie fortune I ever saw was one Jerry got a few years ago...

The greatest love of all is self love.

Hey HEY hey!

my favorite soap...

Pears Pure Care Cleansing Bar
...has been discontinued...shoot, and probably a few years ago. Aagh. Now I've got to go to eBay and try to find more. If you come across and Pears Pure Care Cleansing Bar soap, I'll buy it from you!

Monday, October 02, 2006

When will you die?

When Will You Die? Online psychic predicts the date of your death.

My results:
According to our calculations you will die at 12:19 pm on Thursday, September 16th 2049.

Your age at the time of death will be approximately 85 years old.

Which is in 15690 days time.

white shoes in October?

Aagh, I found out today that I needed to have a pair of white shoes for my sister's wedding on the 14th. Where am I supposed to find white shoes, in October, in New England? Fortunately, eBay and Amazon came to the rescue. Thank God for the Internet!

white shoesSo it's between these two pairs, the one above and the one below. Now that I think about it, I don't think I can manage 3-inch spike heels, not having any previous experience with something that precarious! Plus, standing on the balls of my feet for that long? Sounds like a mistake.

Ecco white shoes

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Susan Sontag quote

"I'm not pious. I'm co-pious."

Me, too.