Month: March 2007

  • On the whole the qualities of persistence and tenacity are held in high esteem, and for good reason.

    Occasionally, however, persistence and tenacity move from the ranks of the laudable to the embarrassingly goofy.

    Monday will mark the 25th anniversary of Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands, which periodically still causes me to stop and stare for a moment, overcome by what a totally boneheaded action that was.  Y'all remember that?  When Argentina essentially declared war on Great Britain?

    What morons thought that was a good plan? 

    The outcome was predictable, and after 72 days (costing the lives of about 750 Argentinians, over 200 English, and even two or three Falkland Islanders) Argentina surrendered.

    By jingo, they've revived their demand to have the "Islas Malvinas" returned to them, almost 150 years after the fact.

    The English wrested 'em away from y'all back in 1833, guys.  Give it a rest already! 

    Hmmmm.....according to an article in the Toronto Star, oil has been found on the islands and drilling has commenced.


  • [irritably]  You know, I try to be a reasonable person (didn't say I always am....I said I try) so I can understand on a busy, stormy night a pizza delivery place losing its grip so that our online-ordered pizza never arrives.

    What I do not understand nor am feeling charitable about is when some guy at the pizza place first tries to tell me the reason my pizza wasn't delivered is because it was somehow marked as "carry-out", until I pointed out with some ascerbity that I'm looking at the email confirmation which clearly states "delivery: March 30 @ 7:15 p.m."

    Then it turned into a muddled explanation that because I ordered it to be delivered at a future time, when it came out it went to the bottom of the list, and with the storms they're running an hour to an hour and a half for delivery.

    Which is ludicrous, seeing as the whole point of the two-hour lead time for "ordered for future delivery" orders is to take into account how the delivery times are running.

    Not to mention I overheard some woman calling out to another employee, asking why this order hadn't been delivered yet, though it was requested for 7:15 (this was about 7:45). 

    All he had to do was apologize, saying that what with the storms they're swamped and my order simply got overlooked.  That I can understand.  But no, he had to give me some song-and-dance nonsense about being at the bottom of the pile because of having placed my order online for future delivery.

    I fear this is going to garner a complaint to the home office.

    Fortunately I had some biscuits, a can of chicken, and some mushrooms, so we had creamed chicken on biscuits instead.

    We'll try the pizza thing tomorrow.  That Papa John's Italian Meats pizza sounds quite tasty. 

  • Quite possibly I'm missing the obvious, but for the life of me I don't see why Dmitry....or anyone else except a teacher of English grammar....should be required to learn the Official Names of Conjunctions, Pronouns, etc.

    Who cares?  Why does it matter that he knows the technical term for "neither...nor" is a "correlative conjunction"?  ISTM the important thing is that he uses them properly.  If all he has to do is determine the correct word or form or tense to use, he's pretty darn good.  There it is, though....his English workbook had the students circle the conjunctions in a sentence then fill in the blank with exactly what type of conjunction it is; the same with pronouns, adjectives, etc.

    Heck, I didn't know "either...or" was a correlative conjunction and it hasn't bothered me a bit, and knowing the technical term isn't going to improve my grammar.

    It surely seems to me this sort of thing is unnecessary for students to know, and is basically educational filler.  The goal is for them to speak and write correctly; being able to accurately label the individual grammatical elements isn't necessary for that.

  • Even moving it to Las Vegas couldn't revive it, t'would appear; "it" being the Miss America pageant.

    ABC had dropped it, then it was picked up by Country Music Television, and now that network's dumping it.

    It's reaching the point of being embarrassing, really.  Get a clue, one cares about the Miss America pageant any longer.  Stick a fork in's donee-rolleyes2

  • Some of y'all may recall that two and a half years ago I bought a PDA....a Palm Zire 31.  It's given me great service and has been a valuable tool, but its battery has finally begun to bite the dust. 

    Apparently it'd cost a fair chunk o' bucks to send it in to have the battery replaced (min. of $65, IIRC), so I went ahead and bought the newest edition, the Palm z22.  Got it from Amazon for $92 with no tax and free shipping.  ;^)

    Tell you what's cool, and that's this beaming business!  If only cell phones did that, by golly.  All those contacts?  My databases?  Just beamed 'em from the Zire 31 to the z22. 

    What I don't know, and haven't been able to find out so far, is whether or not I can get the various programs I purchased and are sitting on the computer in the dining room onto my new device.  e-headscratch

  • Dmitry is an unhappy camper just now, having had all four wisdom teeth pulled. 

    I didn't think they were going to pull 'em today, seeing as how he didn't have any tranquilizer or anything ahead of time.  I collected him from school a few minutes after 10 a.m. for his 10:30 appointment, waited a while, then the dentist came out to tell me the deed was done and he'd come through fine.  Easiest wisdom-pull they'd had so far this year, according to the dental ass't.

    Poor sweet baby!   e-cry

  • Tidbits of military wisdom...

    "A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade launcher fire when you
    least expect it. That would make you quite unpopular in what's left of
    your unit." (Army magazine of preventive maintenance)

    "Aim towards the Enemy." (Instruction printed on US Rocket Launcher)

    "When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend. (U.S. Marine Corps)

    "Cluster bombing from B-52s are very, very accurate. The bombs are guaranteed to always hit the ground." (USAF Ammo Troop)

    "If the enemy is in range, so are you." (Infantry Journal)

    "It is generally inadvisable to eject directly over the area you just bombed." (U.S. Air Force Manual)

    "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons." (General Macarthur)

    "Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo." (Infantry Journal)

    "You, you, and you -- panic. The rest of you, come with me." (U.S. Marine Corp Gunnery Sgt.)

    "Tracers work both ways." (U.S. Army Ordnance)

    "Five second fuses only last three seconds." (Infantry Journal)

    "Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last, and don't ever volunteer to do anything." (U.S. Navy Swabbie)

    "Bravery is being the only one who knows you're afraid." (David Hackworth)

    "If your attack is going too well, you're walking into an ambush." (Infantry Journal)

    "No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection." (Joe Gay)

    "Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once."

    "Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing to do." (Unknown Marine Recruit)

    "Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around you."

    "If you see a bomb technician running, follow him." (USAF Ammo Troop)

    "Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I
    am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing." (At the entrance to the old SR-71
    operating base, Kadena, Japan)

  • Alright, THIS would be depressing.

    I daresay most everyone reading this (and thank you very much, BTW!) is aware of the subprime mortgage problems currently afflicting the nation's housing industry.  Foreclosures are skyrocketing as initial, low interest rates suddenly take a dramatic upward turn, and many people cannot afford the increased payment.

    Over at there's a list of foreclosures per state for last month, providing the number of them, how many per household, etc.



    Wouldn't you hate to be that poor schnook, if he sees the list and realizes he's IT....he was the only person in the state of Vermont to be foreclosed on last month? 

  • What the dickens is hard about NOT falling off a cruise ship?

    There's been a rash of people falling off cruise ships over the past year or two, some with tragic consequences, some without.  This morning the news says a couple managed to go overboard off the Grand Princess while it was 150 miles off the Galveston coast.  Fortunately they were successfully rescued.

    I'd be willing to bet a goodly sum that alcohol was involved in this incident, as it's been in most, if not all, of the others.  You know, cruise lines providing access to an almost unlimited supply of hooch, combined with increased numbers of cabins with balconies, probably isn't a prudent thing to do.

  • Gripes from the kitchen....

    Tonight I tried a new recipe (Beef and Potato Pancakes, which are just ground beef patties that have gotten a bit above themselves) and was again tripped up by the stated cook time not bearing any actual resemblence to the actual cook time.

    Five minutes per side, my great-aunt Bertha's left foot

    You'd think I'd learn.  You'd think I'd learn that chicken breasts don't get done when sauteed for 3-4 minutes per side, and potato dishes don't get done when cooked for ten minutes.  You name it....filets of beef, pork medallions, broccoli florets, religiously insist they'll be cooked through much, much faster than reality.

    It's really quite annoying when one is trying to get the various parts of dinner to be ready for the table at the same time.