Spotted some advertising postcards in the mail from a company in Pennsylvania named Channel Craft, which sells American-made toys and games. Surprisingly enough, there still are some out there.
Anyway, this flyer was going to a gift shop in Naples and offered pirate-themed merchandise, which is going to be very timely and very hot in about a week when Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest comes out in theaters. That's the only movie that I absolutely must see this summer. I like the Pirate Flags, and told my partner on the machine that we needed the "Pirates For Hire" one for our machine.
Axl Rose Allegedly Bites Security Guard
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose was arrested in Stockholm early Tuesday after allegedly biting a security guard in the leg outside his hotel, police said.
Rose _ who performed in the Swedish capital on Monday evening _ was being held on suspicion of attacking and threatening the guard, as well as causing damage to the Berns Hotel where the alleged scuffle took place, police spokeswoman Towe Hagg said.
Hagg told The Associated Press that Rose was intoxicated during the confrontation, which broke out around 8 a.m., and would face questioning after he sobers up.
"He was deemed too intoxicated to be questioned right away," she said.
I'm shocked, shocked! Well, no, not really. But I thought Axl was in Guns N' Roses, not the Fine Young Cannibals! Although "She Drives Me Crazy" seems to fit as the background music, since Axl was said to have had an altercation with a woman at the hotel before the security guard became involved, according to another news story I read. I went to the Aftonbladet site, but unless you can read Swedish, you're outta luck there. No English language site, unlike those nice folks at the Norwegian paper in Oslo.
The concept: A simple menu of hamburgers (up to Quadruple Bypass Burger size!), Flatliner Fries (fried in pure lard) and either soda or beer, served in a pseudo-medical setting by personnel dressed as doctors and sexy nurses. Their target demographic: The Alpha Male. Now that is a great T-shirt, isn't it?
Now, the PC food Nazis would hate this whole concept. "Red meat! Bad for you! Fried food! Bad for you! Alchohol! Bad for you! Smirking at political correctness! REALLY bad for you! Off to the re-education camps with you!" That alone would be reason enough to eat there if you ever made it to Tempe, or if the Heart Attack Grill expands to your area.
I'll say it again: Sheer marketing genius. I wish these guys good luck.
Still, it's interesting to think about all of the history that tortoise saw (or didn't see) in her long lifetime. It's believed that she was studied by Charles Darwin himself, before being taken to Australia. In 1830, about the time when Harriet was hatched, Andrew Jackson wasn't on the $20 bill, he was in the White House. The U.S. population in 1830 was less than 13 million; today, we're closing in on 300 million. Harriet lived through a lot of changes.
(And if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Get thee to thy local library or to Amazon.com!)
If you are a tea fancier, then by all means take a look at their web site. Alas, it's wasted on me. I'll just have a Cherry Diet Coke instead.
WEST VANCOUVER, British Columbia - It was a real-life version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears - only in reverse - when a woman came home to find a young bear eating oatmeal in her kitchen.
The bear apparently entered through an open sliding glass door, broke a ceramic food container and started eating, West Vancouver police Sgt. Paul Skelton said.
The bear was allowed to finish his meal and then he left. I found the final paragraph interesting as well:
Skelton said bears in the suburbs north of Vancouver have been coming out of hibernation as hungry as ever but later than usual but this spring because of a heavier than normal snowpack from the winter. The report Thursday was one of six complaints police said they received about bears in the area that day.
Um... I thought Al Gore told us that we were all going to die from global warming. How can there be "heaver than normal snowpack" if global warming is actually occurring? Inquiring minds want to know.
Well, you know how some motorcyclists are: They have no regard for silly traffic rules like speed limits, lanes, stuff like that. And even though we all were going a few miles over the speed limit in front of him, by God, he was in a HURRY and he was going to whip past us. So he did, roaring away noisily.
"Not too smart, dude," I said aloud, knowing that people who drive like that are an accident waiting to happen. Of course, I don't have a high regard for the intelligence of a cyclist riding without a helmet anyway. They don't call it a "brain bucket" for nothing.
And then it happened: I saw something small and black fly up in the air, then tumble to the ground, skittering on the road between the wheels of the truck in front of me. The speeding motorcyclist's visor had blown off his head! I laughed aloud and quickly resisted the split-second impulse to "accidentally" run over it. A couple of blocks ahead, the now headgear-less biker turned in on a side street and was turning around to go back and retrieve his cap. I chuckled as I drove past him.
Although it was mild, it was still "instant karma." I suspect, however, that the cyclist learned nothing from the incident, other than to keep his head down so the bill of his visor didn't catch the wind.
He also told me an interesting story about his trip through the coastal area of the Carolinas, where he saw a bunch of stands along the side of the road (Highway 17 north of Charleston) where elderly black women were weaving baskets from the local grasses. My helpful search engine pointed me to articles about Gullah sweetgrass basket weaving, which told me that the baskets are among the oldest forms of African-American art, and the tradition has been passed down through generations. Whole families often take part, with the men and boys obtaining the sweetgrass from the coastal areas, while the women and girls weave the baskets. The Gullah people of South Carolina (and some areas of Georgia) are direct descendents of African slaves brought to the area to grow rice, and still speak their own language which combines English and African words. The basketmaking is threatened by urban development, which makes it much more difficult to obtain the sweetgrass necessary to make the baskets.
You learn something new every day.
Good riddance, and I hope that all 72 of his virgins look like Helen Thomas.
By the way, if I was responsible for the Zarkster's final arrangements, I'd put his corpse in a cage in Firdos Square in Baghdad, with the bars wide enough to piss through, and I'd let everyone in Iraq who wants to piss on his body come and do so. After about three days or so, I'd send someone in with a mask and gloves to remove the body from the cage, then sew it up in the untanned hide of a freshly slaughtered hog. I'd then wrap the body with about a hundred pounds or so of chains, then take it up in a helicopter and fly over the Persian Gulf and dump it at sea so that there would be no shrine for the Islamists to visit.
"It's not pinin', it's passed on! This parrot is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! This is a late parrot. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace, if you hadn't nailed it to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! It's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an ex-parrot!"
Thought for the day: If it's raining hard enough, it doesn't make a heck of a lot of difference whether you have an umbrella or not. Well, your head and shoulders will stay dry, anyway. And hey, you're not made of sugar candy, so you won't melt. The rest of you will dry off in time. Wet shoes and pant legs: This too shall pass.
Saw a letter last night with the return addressee being "Jesse James." It was going to someone else with the last name James in one of our local jails. Funny; you'd think that Jesse would have been the one in stir. I mean, what were his parents thinking?! Giving a kid a name like that is just setting him up for a life of crime. It's kind of like naming your daughter "Chastity," and then being surprised when she ends up being either a stripper, a nun or a lesbian.
The other night, I was watching television and a Target commercial came on, and like many commercials these days, it had a clip of retro music for those of us old enough to remember it. For the young, it's all new, of course. The song was "The Shape of Things to Come," and I was pretty sure that it was from the period of about 1967-69, because of the psychedelic sound. Now, I had no idea who the singer was, but through the magic of Google, I quickly found out that while the song had been covered by the Ramones and Slade, the original version, which was used in the commercial, was by Max Frost and the Troopers. Even more interesting, the song came from the 1968 movie "Wild in the Streets"; it was one of those kooky movies that was kind of like "Logan's Run" on magic mushrooms, without the groovy uniforms. The voting age gets lowered to 15, the squares get "retired" at 30 and sent off to camps for perpetual acid trips. Really.
Later that night, I was listening to Alice's radio show on the way to work. Every night, he digs something classic out of the vaults. This particular night, it was a song I recognized, but not the version I heard. Now, if you listened to rock music in the 1980s, you're probably familiar with the Hooters, and might even have a copy of their "Nervous Night" CD stashed away someplace. One of the songs on it was "She Comes In Colors." That was the song that Alice was playing, but not their version. Instead, this was obviously a late '60s psychedelic version featuring a singer with a weedy voice and a some kind of weirdly annoying pipe/flute accompaniment. It was one of those songs that you listen to it and think, "Man, it must have sounded a lot better to them when they were stoned." An Amazon search told me that this was probably the version of the song by the band Love.
The amazing thing about both of these songs is the amount of information I could find on them via the Internet. All you need is an identifiable line from the lyrics and you have a pretty good chance of finding out what the song is and who sang it. We live in interesting times, if you can survive the information overload.
"What do these deer think when they see you coming?" I ask him. "Here comes the nice guy who puts out our dinner? Or, there's the man that shot my brother?"
"I don't think they're capable of either of those thoughts, you Limey asshole. They're only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French."
Then there's this somewhat related story I spotted in yesterday's USA Today: Amnesty program takes stab at UK's 'knife culture'
"When knives are outlawed, only outlaws will have knives." Then they'll take away those dangerous forks ("You could put somebody's eye out with that!"), then figure out that spoons can be sharpened into shanks and thus must also be banned, and then Bob's your uncle, everyone in Britain will be back to eating Henry the VIIIth style, with their hands. Really, it sounds almost like something that Monty Python would have come up with.
We had a mailing today from a Florida Democrat politician. I won't name him, since I don't want to give him any kind of plug, but his initials are R.S. The odd thing about this large-sized postcard mailing is that while it extols how much he has fought against "right-wing Republicans" and "right-wing extremists" and for "Democratic priorities" (code for "electing our people so that WE can divvy up the political spoils instead of those nasssty Republicansses! We hatess them, Precioussss! We hatess them forever!"), at no point on either side of the postcard does he tell us what office he is running for! Congress? Governor? Dogcatcher? We don't know, he doesn't say! He's just offering "Democratic leadership for Florida." No thanks, R.S. I don't trust a fellow who won't even tell me what he's running for.
Also, he claims credit for "spearheading the closing the notorious Florida boot camps and opposing physical abuse or psychological intimidation of juveniles." Sorry, R.S., but you are way wrong on this one. This isn't little Bobby or Suzy from the middle school who didn't turn in his homework or forgot to return her library book. These are BAD kids, on the road to a life of adult crime, and I don't have ANY problem with a little psychological intimidation of the little darlings (although killing them is going over the line). It's called "scared straight," R.S. Get with the program.