Monday, November 30, 2009

"Nevermind. I think I can just do it from here..."

What if Star Wars characters used Facebook?

Check this out.

Hilarious. Thanks to Matt for sharing.

James and Handbrake Sitting in a Tree...

I love Handbrake. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it.

What's Handbrake, you say? It's a free little application that allows me to rip my DVDs into digital files so I can watch them on my iPhone or on our AppleTV. This comes in handy when Noble wants to watch Cars - no, Curious George, no - Mickey, no - Cars! Or if I want to take some movies with me to watch on a business trip. I finally got saw The Godfather earlier this year this way. Quit laughing.

But back to Handbrake. It's been around for a few years, but encoding a movie has usually taken somewhere around two to three hours to encode. But that was on my old Mac Mini. When I got my awesome new iMac a couple of months ago, the encode time dropped to about an hour and a half for a full length movie. Wow! I loved it. It couldn't get any better than this! Right?

Wrong. Last week they released a 64-bit version of Handbrake. Hominahominahominahominahominahominahomina. This thing is fast. I just encoded The Polar Express, one of our favorite holiday family movies, in about 45 minutes, although most movies seem to take just a little over an hour to encode. And ripping episodes of How I Met Your Mother to play on the AppleTV without getting up to switch discs now takes about 8 minutes each. The new 64-bit version also averages about 49.6 fps when encoding, which is awesome.

Wal-Mart 'Til I Die

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I was doing an impression of a certain relative who is known for being very opinionated and is convinced that he's always right, even when he's way wrong. Great guy, but sometimes really hard to listen to.

That's when my mother-in-law chimed in and said "you know, [family member's name redacted] says that you can buy a casket at Wal-Mart now, but only in the big city stores."

Well, my BS detector started humming and I called BS on that. I've been to plenty of big-city Wal-Marts and I've never seen a single casket. Plenty of dead people, but never a casket. Now, had this person said that you could buy them at Sam's, I probably would've believed it. But Wal-Mart?

So I went to Wal-Mart's website and did a search for caskets. Holy effing sheet, Batman. This relative was right! For as little as $895, you can buy a pretty darn nice looking casket online at Wal-Mart. My favorite is the Sterling Deluxe Stainless Steel model so you can be buried and host a kickin' afterlife grill party all at the same time.

Always Wal-Mart. Always and for eternity...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ABC's `Good Morning America' Cancels Lambert

From APNews:

Adam Lambert's racy American Music Awards performance cost him a gig on "Good Morning America," but he will perform live instead on ABC's morning rivals at CBS.

While singing his new song, "For Your Entertainment," at the awards program on Sunday, Lambert kissed a male keyboardist, fondled a dancer and had another dancer briefly stuff his face in Lambert's crotch. The performance prompted many complaints to ABC, and the network cut out the brief oral sex simulation for its West Coast broadcasts.

"Obviously, I respect their decision - they gotta do what they gotta do," Lambert said Tuesday in an interview with Ryan Seacrest. "It's too bad - I think there were a lot of fans who were excited to come see me.

That's a whole lot of ego for some dipshit who's just starting out. Who the hell do you think you are, Mick friggin' Jagger? Somebody start a clock. This no-talent hack won't be around long.

And this from the New York Post regarding his AMA performance:
The "American Idol" runner-up pelvic-thrusted his way through the four-minute, S&M-themed routine, taking time out from singing to grope a female dancer, kiss a male musician and, most shockingly, shove a male dancer's face into his crotch, in an act that simulated fellatio.

The raunchy stuff was apparently added to the live broadcast, and the routine, at the last minute, and the network said yesterday it was caught by surprise.

A source, who was in attendance at the AMA rehearsals, said that the sex act was not one of the dance moves that had been rehearsed. "It wasn't there; it did not happen," the source says.

When you have to resort to this kind of crap to get attention it means that you have no real talent and don't think you can stand on your own merits. He sure is talking really big and acting really stupidly for somebody who is still basically an unknown and who's very first CD just came out three days ago.

The Future of Transportation

Awesome film from Disney in 1958.

Quote of the Day...

Brand New on AOL:

After making the announcement in May of this year, this upcoming December 10, 2009 AOL will become independent from Time Warner, nine years after the two merged to create one of the largest entertainment companies in the world. In that span of nine years, the online world that AOL ruled at the turn of the century, is a completely different organism, populated by people for whom AOL is a punch-line, or a sad reminder that they paid $10 to see You’ve Got Mail, or, most probably, people that have never used AOL at all.

My previous post on the subject is cross-referenced here for your viewing pleasure.


I won't rehash this piece from the UK Telegraph, but it's definitely worth a read. It pretty well sums up the problem that the Global Warming crowd is having right now since it was exposed by a hacker last week that even they know that their data doesn't support global warming theories. A tale of data suppression and data manipulation...

The sky is not falling, but the nuts are.

The Perfect Christmas Present for the Dog ... Lover

Aunt Peggy, you can expect this for Christmas.

Thanks to Matt for passing this, along with some cool others, along.

Quantum Leap Cheap

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is Quantum Leap. Go ahead - judge all you want. But it captivated me when I was a teenager. I was given Season One on DVD a few years ago for Christmas, but haven't gotten any other season because they've been priced at around $50 per season.

But Amazon just put seasons 3-5 on sale. !!!!

For $12.50 apiece. !!!!!!!!

And I just spent the last of my blow money on the complete collection of Little Rascals shorts, which Amazon also just put on sale. :(

Oh, boy...


One month until CHristmas.

Monday, November 23, 2009

More on Adam Lambert

This from

We headed to New York's Times Square on Monday (November 23) to find out what fans thought of the edgy performance.

Lindsay, 16, a longtime Lambert fan, said she enjoyed the AMA routine. "I just liked the dancers and everything," she said. "I thought it was really good."

First of all, Lambert has only been around on the public scene since January when this season's American Idol premiered. So now a 16-year old kid who's been a fan of some other kid for, like, 10 months now is considered a longtime fan. So by extension that means that Lambert has been around a long time and is, in all reality, damn near the Grandfather of Pop. ONe word: twit.

Jaquita, 18, applauded the use of props. "I really liked all the chains," she said.

Um, yeah...

And finally, from the Degenerate in Chief himself on the performance, to Rolling Stone:
"We're in 2009 — it's time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people's eyes, and if it offends them, then maybe I'm not for them."

Keep it in the gay clubs, you little no talent freak. Prime Time TV, when kids are still watching, isn't the place for your debauchery. Even Madonna never tried to pull this bullcrap, although she came close with Britney Spears a few years ago.

WTF of the Day: Adam Lambert at the AMAs

There's no reason for any of this. The sooner his 15 minutes are over, the better.

Damn, I'm Sick of Orpah Already

This headline from the New York Times:

"Looking for a Leader in the Post-Oprah Landscape"


And apparently, the media is determined that its going to be a loooooooooooooooong two years.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Oprah Goes the Way of Cher

From People:

Oprah Winfrey has made it official: In a tearful announcement at the end of her show in Chicago on Friday, she confirmed that The Oprah Winfrey Show will end in September 2011.

Why is everyone making such a big, tearful drama-filled deal about this?

1. She's still going to be around for almost two whole years!
2. She's not leaving TV, and she's admitted as much. She's launching her own narcissistic cable channel, The Oprah Winfrey Network.

It's pretty ironic that the initials of her new network are OWN, because that's what she does to the stupid saps that are bleary-eyed about this today.

Who else wishes that she would just go away altogether?

The Worst Cup of Coffee Ever

I'm sitting here drinking some of the shittiest, nastiest tasting coffee I've ever had. It came from the break room downstairs. And that got me thinking about what the nastiest coffee I've ever tasted was.

It was called Radio Coffee, and it was disgusting.

I used to work for a guy named Bill Moffett who was a radio announcer and station manager back in the '70s and '80s (the old 97 Rock was his station) before opening his own production studio. It was while I worked there that I began drinking coffee, but I had to take care when I got a cup. Mid-afternoon was a good time because the morning coffee had run out by then. What was wrong with the morning coffee? I'm glad you asked.

You see, Bill liked his coffee as strong as possible, so in the morning, whatever coffee was left over from the day before was poured directly back into the reservoir and run through a new set of coffee grounds, which created coffee with the consistency something like maple syrup. And that was called Radio Coffee because the AM deejays needed heavy doses of caffeine to wake them up in the morning to be so perky and entertaining.

And he drank his black, right out of the pot because, as he explained to me, when you were on the air you didn't have time to mix all kinds of stuff in it - you just had time to pour some in the cup and get back to the board to cue up the next record.

And while my cup of coffee this morning is nothing like Radio Coffee, it does taste something like the vinyl seat of a '77 Mustang.

I wish I knew why.

The Guidelines They Are A Changin'...

From the New York Times:

New guidelines for cervical cancer screening say women should delay their first Pap test until age 21, and be screened less often than recommended in the past.

The advice, from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is meant to decrease unnecessary testing and potentially harmful treatment, particularly in teenagers and young women. The group’s previous guidelines had recommended yearly testing for young women, starting within three years of their first sexual intercourse, but no later than age 21.

Arriving on the heels of hotly disputed guidelines calling for less use of mammography, the new recommendations might seem like part of a larger plan to slash cancer screening for women. But the timing was coincidental, said Dr. Cheryl B. Iglesia, the chairwoman of a panel in the obstetricians’ group that developed the Pap smear guidelines. The group updates its advice regularly based on new medical information, and Dr. Iglesia said the latest recommendations had been in the works for several years, “long before the Obama health plan came into existence.”

She called the timing crazy, uncanny and “an unfortunate perfect storm,” adding, “There’s no political agenda with regard to these recommendations.”

It's always great when people deny a question that no one has even asked yet, right?

The timing is indeed suspicious. After decades of "better safe than sorry" and "get tested regularly" and "you're never too young to get tested" two groups come out and recommend rationing of health care just when there's a bill in Congress that calls for the same thing?

How stupid do they think we are, exactly?

If this recommendation has truly been in the works for several years, I wonder also why they chose not to make either of these announcements last month during Breast Cancer Awareness Month when it would have been actually been more timely to womens' health awareness.

No. this smacks of political arm twisting and back room deals and politics at its worst.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession

From Reuters:

BEIJING, Nov 18 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.

"It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," he said.

No shit, asshole. The quit spending f*#@ing TRILLIONS of our dollars!!!!

This is completely typical of Barack Obama: say what the people want to hear while you're doing the exact opposite.

Why You Don't Pole Dance at a Wedding

I bet right after this, the bride went all Mortal Kombat on the red-dressed harlot.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bush warns of threats to freedom, economic growth

From the Washington Times:

Former President George W. Bush, outlining plans for a new public policy institute, on Thursday said America must fight the temptation to allow the federal government to take control of the private sector, declaring that too much government intervention will squelch economic recovery and expansion.

With the Obama administration establishing far-reaching controls in the auto, real estate and financial sectors, Mr. Bush said that "the role of government is not to create wealth, but to create the conditions that allow entrepreneurs and innovators to thrive."

Damn. I wish he had been that conservative when he was president. As it is, thanks for TARP and the first bailouts, George.

AP Poll: Americans Are Either Morons or the AP is Lying

From the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — A new Associated Press poll finds that Americans favor taxing the rich to pay for covering those without health insurance.

Of all the approaches Congress is considering to pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, the only one that got majority support in the AP poll was a new income tax on upper-income people.

That's the approach House Democrats took in their health care legislation, which passed earlier this month. The poll found 57 percent in favor of the idea, and 36 percent opposed.

In contrast, the public does not favor a tax on high-value insurance plans under consideration in the Senate. Fifty-six percent were opposed and only 29 percent in favor of that idea, which is also opposed by organized labor.

I'd like to state for the record right here and now that I don't support taxing other people to pay for something that I expect to be handed to me. I don't have my hand out, and I'm willing to pay for the goods and services I use.

And you other 57 percent - if you really exist - are effing morons for expecting "the rich" to pay for everything. I, for one, want to be rich someday and I'll want to keep my money. I work damn hard for my money, and I don't need some bullshit Congress confiscating it from me to pay for heath care for some unwed mother somewhere with twelve kids who couldn't keep her damn legs together.

Wake up, dipshits. You're killing your golden goose.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bud Adams Fined for Flipping Off Bills Fans

From MyFoxNY:

The NFL has fined Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making an obscene gesture at Bills fans.

It happened Sunday in Nashville. After the Titans beat the Bills 41-17, Adams was seen "flipping off" fans from his luxury suite at the stadium.

Adams apologized later in the day for the display of his middle fingers.

He's probably so used to seeing the gesture directed his way that he didn't think anything of it.

R2-D2 in the Strangest Places

It seems that R2-D2 made not one, but two cameo appearances in summer blockbusters this year. First, from Transformers II, there is this frame:

And then, in a move that will send many sci-fi freaks into spasms, R2-D2 also shows up in Star Trek, as shown here:

The little guy gets around.

He even made two cameo appearances in another one of my favorite movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark:

Now, if only he had appeared in Back to the Future, my inner-geek would be satisfied.

Thanks to Matt for starting the ball rolling on this.

Obama Again Prostrates the United States to the World

That's a damn big bow for a simple show of respect. It's a little reminiscent of the "Kneel before Zod" moment in Superman II. Ridiculous.

The Making of Sammy

I recently completed an illustration of Sammy Bearkat walking down a katwalk runway in a fashion show. While it's not my favorite illustration ever, I thought I would use the opportunity to try out Quicktime X's newfound screen capture abilities. Unfortunately, I didn't think about it until more than half way through the project. But sped up, it's fun to see some of the Photoshop work that went into building the katwalk.

and here is the final:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Who to play the 2010 Super Bowl

From the Telgraph:

The British band have been signed up to play at the showpiece sporting event, the Super Bowl XLIV, in Miami on February 7.

Since their songs were used as the theme music for the CSI series, the group have reached new heights of popularity in the US. They are currently working on material for a new album.

Bruce Springsteen performed at last year's Super Bowl, which drew an audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the second most watched programme in US television history, behind the series finale of Mash in 1983 (106 million).

The Who had their first hit in 1965 with I Can't Explain and only two members of the original line-up survive: singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend. Drummer Keith Moon died in 1978, and bassist John Entwistle in 2002.

This is ridiculously stupid. The NFL, in an effort to avoid anything resembling "edge" in its Superbowl halftime show are sticking with aging rockers that are completely unfamiliar and disconnected to the average football viewer.

I barely know who The Who is, and that's only because I have an aunt that helped instill in me a love of Classic Rock (thanks, Aunt Peggy, btw.)

Contrary to how the article makes it sound, record numbers of people didn't tune in last year to watch Springsteen. They tune in to watch the game. I think people tuned in last year because they wanted to see a bloodbath in the form of the Steelers pounding the infamously horrible Cardinals or perhaps to root for the perennial underdog. There was also a bit of an East versus West thing happening, too. People tune in to watch the commercials, too. And, in the height of the recession, credit and housing crises and economic uncertainty people didn't go out to Superbowl parties and such as they had done in the past. They stayed home and watched the game. Even Wikipedia refers to the 2009 game as "The Recession Bowl."

As for halftime performers, there have only been a couple of halftime performers who were even remotely relevant at the time they performed - U2 in 2002, Britney Spears in 2001, Christina Aguilera and Enrique Iglesias in 2000 and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in 1999. Everyone else who has performed has been well past their prime or their window of pop culture popularity. BoyzIIMen in 1998? ZZ Top in 1997? That's not to say that there haven't been some great, legendary performers. The Rolling Stones. Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Collins and Aerosmith are just a few.

But my point is that by the time these people performed, they were several years past the height of their popularity. Tom Petty - one of my all-time favorite musicians - would have been a much more natural fit in the early to mid '80s. Same with Springsteen. Same with ZZ Top. Actrually, the same with just about everyone.

The Super Bowl halftime show needs to be at least relevant. I don't think anyone is expecting cutting-edge popularity. But how about performers from within the last year or so? Jack Johnson? Black Eyed Peas? John Mayer? Miley Cyrus? Taylor Swift? The Killers?

And why does it make sense that because The Who sings the CSI theme song that they should perform at halftime? Next year if the Super Bowl is on ABC, should Psapp sing at halftime because they composed the theme to Grey's Anatomy???

The Who is a horrible choice for a halftime show and the NFL is showing us yet again how out of touch they are with the people who watch their games.

Water Found on Moon, Scientists Say

From the New York Times:

There is water on the Moon, scientists stated unequivocally on Friday, and considerable amounts of it.

“Indeed yes, we found water,” Anthony Colaprete, the principal investigator for NASA’s Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, said in a news conference.

The confirmation of scientists’ suspicions is welcome news both to future explorers who might set up home on the lunar surface and to scientists who hope that the water, in the form of ice accumulated over billions of years, could hold a record of the solar system’s history.

The satellite, known as Lcross (pronounced L-cross), slammed into a crater near the Moon’s south pole a month ago. The impact carved out a hole 60- to 100-feet wide and kicked up at least 24 gallons of water.

Holy effing crap.

Busing Illegals is Stupid

I started reading a story this morning about Governor Perry (correctly) stating that President Obama is deliberately trying to move our country toward Socialism. But part of that story talked about something called the Alien Transfer Program, which buses illegal aliens to a town in Texas for processing before they are deported by bus back to Mexico.

According to a story by the CBS affiliate in Odessa, the illegal immigrants are returned to Mexico via secured buses. The station also reported, “last year 4,500 illegals were sent back through Presidio. Now 94 will be bused across this bridge 7 days a week.”

In addition, Brandi Grissom of the Texas Tribune reported last month that Bill Brooks, spokesman for the Border Patrol Marfa Sector, where Presidio is located, said the plan would not create any burden on the local community.

Grissom wrote, “The plan will bring two buses per day to Texas, each with 74 undocumented immigrants. The immigrants will be checked for health problems and will have signed voluntary deportation agreements. The program will not involve immigrants charged with criminal violations, Brooks said. Mexican officials are participating and will provide the immigrants with bus tickets to their hometowns, Brooks said.”

Is it me, or are we making it way too easy for these illegals to just turn right around and come back in? The Mexican government is providing the immigrants with bus tickets back to their home towns??? Who really believes that these people are going to get on that bus and go back to the place they broke international law to leave when they're standing a few hundred yards from the border?

It seems to me that instead of wasting time and money busing people from Arizona (or anywhere) to Texas that we should be putting their asses on a plane and flying them directly to Mexico City, deep inside Mexico. From there maybe the Mexican government could give them their bus passes to their home towns. But let's at least make it difficult for them to try to sneak back in to the United States.

Why am I not in Congress yet?

ACORN Sues Over 'Unconstitutional' Funding Cuts By Congress

From Fox News:

Representatives for ACORN sued the federal government Thursday morning in an attempt to regain the millions of dollars in funding the community organizing group lost after filmmakers videotaped its workers offering advice on how to commit tax fraud and various other felonies.

The suit charges Congress with violating the Constitution when it passed legislation in September that specifically targeted ACORN to lose federal housing, education and transportation funds.

I spent the better part of the night picking through the Constitution. I can't seem to find any mention of funding for ACORN set forth by our founding fathers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Huntsville To Decide Whether to Extend Hours of Alcohol Sales

From via Matt:

How late should bars and restaurants be selling alcohol? That's the question Huntsville city leaders could decided Thursday evening.

This would be the third reading of the proposed ordinance that would allow alcoholic beverage permit holders to obtain a late hours permit to sell alcoholic beverages, beer and wine between midnight and 2 a.m. on any day.

Some bars and restaurants claim extending the hours makes Huntsville more attractive when it comes to recruiting conferences and business meetings to the city.

I have to admit that I was surprised and a little inconvenienced that we had to call it quits at Midnight last month when I and several former Sammy Bearkats got together during Homecoming to have some beer and shoot the bull. I felt like we were just getting warmed when they told us we had to go.

Apple's (Not So) Secret Stash

Via 9to5 Mac:

Fascinating. Apple doesn't need AT&T. It could buy it up just with cash on hand.

Nokia is suing Apple. Apple could make the suit go away by simply saying "drop the suit and we'll pay for your budget shortfalls - about $190 million - from last quarter. Hell, Apple could simply buy them, kill the company and forge on without batting an eye.

Excessive, you might say? I say no. It's good business.

A good business will take a portion (say, 2%) of its profits and just save them for a rainy day (like a recession or a patent infringement suit). That seems to be what Apple is doing - incrementally building its savings.

Every company should run their finances this way. Every family should run their finances this way...

A Beer Odyessy

Thanks to my Dad for sending this.

Star Wars for Daddy

Around the beginning of October, I realized that Kayci, now six, had never seen Star Wars. She's heard me make references to it. She's seen me wear my Star Wars T-shirt. Heck, she even owns two light sabers. But she had never actually seen it.

So we all sat down on the couch one Saturday morning to watch it.

She seemed interested and asked several questions throughout the movie:

"What's THAT, Daddy?"

"That's a giant snake skeleton."

"Is it real?"

"No. It's pretend."

"Oh. Okay."

We had fun watching it, and I felt better because I had shared something with her that she should know about - one of the best movies of all time. And that was about it. We didn't really talk any more about it and she never gave any indication that she had even retained any of it.

Then last week she brought home a huge stack of papers and drawings she had done at school. She came and brought this to me, sheepishly. I was sitting on the couch with Noble when she placed it on my lap and then skipped away.

I couldn't believe my eyes.

And inside:

I don't know whether she was interested enough to retain all the names of the characters (sans Han and Chewie) because she was genuinely interested or of if she could sense that it was something important to me. I guess it doesn't matter, really.

Man, I love that kid.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brilliant Redesigns of Boring Football Helmets

Check them out here.

I only wish they were real. Beautiful.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Damn Lies from Grandma

I got this in an e-mail from my Grandma today:


As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children an untruth.

Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same.

However, that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.

It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big F at the top of his papers .

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last.

However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.

Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners...he is a joy to be around..'

His second grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.'

His third grade teacher wrote, 'His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest, and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken.

Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, 'Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class.

By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.

She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag.

Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume..

But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist.

Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, 'Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to.'

After the children left, she cried for at least an hour

On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children.

Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him,the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her 'teacher's pets..'

A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.

Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs.Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer....

The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.

The story does not end there.

You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.

Of course, Mrs.Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last
Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear 'Thank you Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make difference.

Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, 'Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you.'

(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr at Iowa Methodist in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it.

Just try to make a difference in someone's life today?

A truly beautiful and touching story.

Unfortunately, according to, it's also completely false.

What amazes me about this, and a lot of other such e-mails floating around is how much time people put into them. In this case, the story started out as a piece of fiction in a magazine. The somebody took the time to make some changes to it (she told an 'untruth' instead of a 'lie) and spread it out there on the internet as truth. Someone along the way even decided to make up the fact that little Teddy has a cancer wing named after him in Iowa.

This would make a fascinating study in psychology. What would possess someone to openly, knowingly lie about such things?

This is exactly why I developed my patent-pending BS-detector® and I fact check almost everything I get that sounds like it could either be a Lifetime movie or a country-western song.

The Bill

If, unlike the Democrats in Congress, you actually care to read the bill - or try to, anyway - you can do so here.

House Passes Health Care Reform Bill Late Saturday Night

One word: Insidious.

And a few more: scheming, devious, guileful, deceitful, duplicitous, underhanded, unscrupulous; furtive, secretive, secret, stealthy, surreptitious, clandestine, covert; informal foxy, shifty, dirty.

Introducing the bill - the 1900 page bill - and then forcing a vote on it just a few days later is my top problem with this. Of course I'm against the "public option," but I'm sick and tired of Congress passing these huge, sweeping changes - changes that will affect literally every American - in the dead of night or on a weekend or by being tacked on to another completely unrelated bill or without time for vetting of the bill and discussion of its consequences.

This kind of operating procedure is exactly what the tea parties are about.

Nancy Pelosi rightly compared the legislation to the passage of Social Security in 1935 and Medicare 30 years later.

Just look what a disaster those two programs have been. This is going to be worse.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The Real Question Regarding the Ft. Hood Shootings

Headline from the NY Daily News:

Fort Hood killer Nidal Malik Hasan opposed wars, so why did he snap?

Duh. He was being sent into the war zone. The real question is... Fort Hood killer Nidal Malik Hasan opposed wars, so why was he a soldier?

The article states that "Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan was a soldier who didn't want to go to war." That's like being a bus driver who doesn't want to drive a bus.

At the beginning of the war, there were a lot of military families who were crying foul because their precious kids were being sent off to fight. "But they only enlisted in the military for the college money" was their cry. It's utterly stupid. But here we are eight years into the war. No one in the military has a right to be surprised that they might be sent into action.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Newborns' Cries Reflect Parents' LanguageNewborns' Cries Reflect Parents' Language

From WebMD:

Nov. 5, 2009 -- The cries of infants as young as three days old already reflect the language their parents speak, according to a new study that compared the newborn cries of French-born and German-born children.

Well of course French and German babies make the sounds their parents make. The French and German language sounds like baby talk, anyway.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Christie Wins New Jersey Governor's Race, Unseating Corzine

From the New York Times:

Christopher J. Christie, a Republican former United States
attorney who said he would vanquish corruption from the halls
of New Jersey government, won a closely contested race for
governor on Tuesday over the incumbent, Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

He overcame a huge Democratic voter advantage and a relentless barrage of negative commercials to defeat Jon S. Corzine, an unpopular incumbent who outspent him by more than two to one and drew heavily on political help from the White House, including three visits to the state from President Obama.

This is huge. I was in New Jersey (accidentally - thanks, confusing road signs in Philly) yesterday. Corzine was actively campaigning on the Obama coattails. In fact, his billboard showed a picture of Obama with Corzine standing behind him. The copy read "Keep it Going."

This says a lot - a whole lot - about Obama's standing. The fact that he already has no coattails - in New Jersey of all places - less than one year into his presidency doesn't bode well for the Democrats next year. But it's starting to look good for our country.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Well lookee what we have here...

Check out what Kristi spotted at the 7-11 next to our hotel in Philly...