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Ethical Dilemmas May 31, 2006

Posted by skinbad in Personal Experiences.
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1. This one's not so serious, but here goes: Some shit machines starlings have built a couple of nests in my carport rafters. They are absolutely doing a number on my cars. This has never happened before. At what point can I get rid of the nests? Are the young out and about yet? I don't know. I should just grow a pair and rent a flamethrower. Some people have fake owls. Do they work?

2. Men: You pass a car that's pulled over on a stretch of road where there isn't normally a good reason to pull over. You see a woman, maybe with some kids. Maybe she's trying to change a tire, maybe she's just sitting in the car. For all you know, she may be feeding a child or changing a diaper. Could be day, dusk, or night. You might have a cell phone; you might not. What course of action do you take?

Women: What would you want a single man who is not a creep (but you don't know that) to do?

Tweakers May 31, 2006

Posted by Retired Geezer in Crime.
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People who abuse Meth regularly are known as 'tweakers'. Tweakers often behave or react violently. Keep in mind, the tweaker may not have slept in three to fifteen days and may be irritable and paranoid. If the tweaker is also using alcohol or other drugs, the danger may be intensified.

I couldn't find a good photo to use for this post. I thought about using steve_in_hb's photo of his boy scout troop but decided it would be rude.

Read about how to deal with them:

Here's the Faces of Meth website.

Dogblogging: Lucky Save May 31, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.
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We've heard a lot lately about about how much we all love our dogs. 

Would you do this?

A man took his dog for a walk near his Coral Springs home and ended up prying a 7-foot alligator of of the pooch's head Monday.

Michael Rubin took Jasmine, a 6-month-old golden retriever, and his other dog, a border collie named Frisbee, on a run at a construction site near his home in Heron Bay. Rubin thought the area was far from the gators that prowl the nearby Everglades.

During the 10 a.m. walk, Jasmine ran ahead of Rubin and to the edge of a pond on the site. Then he heard a yelp.

Rubin ran to help his dog and saw her head in the mouth of an alligator. He jumped in the muddy water, which reached his neck, he said, and began beating the beast with his fist.

When that didn't help, he grabbed onto his dog as the gator started to roll in the water.

"I thought she was dead," Rubin said after the ordeal. "But at that point I wasn't going to let him have my dog."
No, no, they can't have a Golden. Yorkies are all-you-can-eat. 

Both dog and man are doing fine.

rescued dog

This story comes to you from Florida by way of Australia:

Florida Cracker: Lucky Save

Thanks to Tim Blair.

French High Culture May 31, 2006

Posted by skinbad in Music.
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I'll stick with Apache for official theme song/video, but I enjoyed this classical medley as well.

Dirtbags Beware! May 30, 2006

Posted by Elzbth in Crime.
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You have been warned!

KEY WEST, Fla. – A man wearing a purple women's bathing suit and carrying a flare gun was arrested after he told a bartender he was going to "get rid of all the dirt bags in Key West," authorities said.

Michael Is Hitting the Road May 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in Travel.
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Tomorrow afternoon I am leaving town on business until Friday evening.  Saturday morning Mrs. Michael and I are taking off for a week in Boston to visit our son.  My attention to Innocent Bystanders during this period will depend on the availability of time and wireless access.  If you can't reach me and need something fixed on the site, or you suspect your comment got snagged by the spam filter, or whatever, you can try Brewfan at bkepapaATyahooDOTcom.

We're driving to Boston.  That's a pretty long trip by car, but Mrs. Michael found a special today — ten cans of Pringles for $10.  She bought just about every flavor you can get.  We also have several books on CDs to listen to, and a reservation at this really cool B&B in New York where we're going to stop on the way out.  Plus we have a new GPS system to play with, so hopefully this will be our first road trip in 30+ years without a fight about who was responsible for us getting lost.  I think we're all set.

Any Boston residents with suggestions regarding great neighborhood restaurants, bars, clubs or things to do would be very much appreciated.  We're already planning on the standards (Fanueil Hall, Freedom Walk, Museum of Fine Art, etc.). 

Note to Main Page Commenters:  In case you haven't noticed, the Spellcheck button above the Write Post window doesn't work.  It will tell you that there are no errors, but it hasn't really checked anything.  I notified WordPress, and they promptly thanked me for bringing this to their attention and said they would look into it.  Oddly enough, I seem to be the first person to have mentioned this to them, even though the function has not been working for quite some time.

My favorite part of summer May 30, 2006

Posted by kevlarchick in News.
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Lightning bugs! 

I love lightning bugs.  Is there anything cooler?  Nosy, harmless little guys.  Here in Ohio they are thick on the trees and in the air every night.

Each species has its own flashing pattern:  dots, dashes, or the "flying J." Have you noticed their lights vary in color–some are bright yellow, others greenish or reddish.  This is a part of the amazing chemical reaction that takes place in the lightning bug to produce light  (geoff or some other lofty science type might be able to translate the stuff on the  link).

It's a fascinating, beautiful pleasure of summer in my neck of the woods.

Next Stop–The OED May 30, 2006

Posted by skinbad in Ducks.
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Don't ask, just click.

BUMPED: New Theme Song Contest May 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in Music.
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From the "Pupster" comment thread, I note these attempts at manipulating me into running a new theme song contest, given that the last one was a total fiasco:

18. elzbth – May 28, 2006[Edit]
Poor KC. Michael, you should place the responsibility for the Theme Song poll upon your big, manly shoulders so we can get this thing over and done with.
19. kevlarchick – May 28, 2006[Edit]
Elzbth is right, you little shyster. Man up and pick a song. You stole my idea and fluffed it up to make me look weaker than usual.

Can you believe the nerve of these chicks?  Do they really believe I am so easily managed?  Sheesh.  Elzbth tries the old flattery ploy, then kevlarchick challenges my manhood while at the same time trying to sound pitiful. 

Hah!  I scoff at your feminine wiles.  I am immune to the trickery of women.

So, I'm going to run a new theme song contest, but I just wanted to make it clear right up front that Elzbth and kevlarchick had absolutely nothing to do with my decision.  It's just the right thing to do.

Here are the rules:

  • To nominate a song, post a link to a VIDEO of that song.  If we are going to adopt an official theme song, we should have a video that we can watch for inspiration.
  • Only one nomination per commenter will be considered.  If you make a nomination and then find something you like better, you can withdraw an earlier nomination.  You can also propose a song and appeal for someone else to nominate it if you have used up your nomination. 
  • The first person posting a link to a song will be considered the official nominator.
  • Nominations must be submitted by midnight E.D.T. on Wednesday.
  • Comments lobbying for your favorite nominations are, of course, welcome.
  • After the nominations are closed, I will select as many finalists as I deem appropriate in my sole and absolute discretion.
  • If links are proposed for multiple versions of the same song and that song is a winner, I will pick the one I like the best.  We will only vote on one version of a song.  The first person nominating the song will still be the official nominator, regardless of which version I choose.
  • Once the finalists are selected I will put up a post directing you to one of those polling sites so that you can vote.  I will announce at that time the deadline for voting.  I suppose we should allow about a week. 
  • One vote per person, please, regardless of how many IP addresses you have at your disposal.  I am counting on you to refrain from the sort of fraud and chicanery that tainted the last election. (Heh.)
  • I am withdrawing my objection to really gay-sounding songs, in view of my recent obsession with a certain YouTube video.
  • The song receiving the most votes will be the Official Innocent Bystanders Theme Song, and a link to the winning video will be posted on the "About" page along with an acknowledgement of the official nominator.
  • Remember, Elzbth and kevlarchick had absolutely nothing to do with me running this contest.  I am not placating.

If memory serves, we have tried a couple of different polling sites and decided that one of them was better.  I would appreciate a comment from anyone who knows which one that was and can provide a link.

I look forward to creative and artistic proposals from all of the many musically inclined commenters that visit this site, and I am confident that this contest will be conducted with the dignity and decorum that is the hallmark of Innocent Bystanders.

 To get things started, I hereby nominate . . .


Ladies, The Glass Ceiling Is Not New May 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in History.
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This day in history:

Having led the French army in a momentous victory over England at Orléans during the Hundred Years' War, Joan of Arc was charged with heresy and witchcraft and, on this day in 1431, was burned at the stake.

WuzzaDem: Memorial Day May 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.
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Thanks to John, for reminding us what this weekend was about:

Fallen Heroes

WuzzaDem: Memorial Day

Marriage by the Numbers May 30, 2006

Posted by Michael in News.
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I remember the uproar created by a Newsweek article twenty years ago suggesting that the marital prospects for single 30+ females were dismal.  Turns out that Newsweek was unduly pessimistic. 

Somebody married Lipstick, after all.  Will kevlarchick, civetta or Feisty be next?

By Daniel McGinn


June 5, 2006 issue – When Laurie Aronson was 29, she had little patience for people who inquired why she still wasn't married. "I'm not a little spinster who sits home Friday night and cries," she'd say. As she passed 35, however, and one relationship after another failed to lead to the altar, she began to worry. "Things were looking pretty bleak," she says.

. . .

Twenty years ago this week, Aronson [now married] was one of more than a dozen single women featured in a NEWSWEEK cover story. In "The Marriage Crunch," the magazine reported on new demographic research predicting that white, college-educated women who failed to marry in their 20s faced abysmal odds of ever tying the knot. According to the research, a woman who remained single at 30 had only a 20 percent chance of ever marrying. By 35, the probability dropped to 5 percent. In the story's most infamous line, NEWSWEEK reported that a 40-year-old single woman was "more likely to be killed by a terrorist" than to ever marry. That comparison wasn't in the study, and even in those pre-9/11 days, it struck many people as an offensive analogy. Nonetheless, it quickly became entrenched in pop culture and is still routinely cited in TV shows and news stories.

Across the country, women reacted with fury, anxiety—and skepticism. "The popular media have invented a national marital crisis on the basis of a single academic experiment … of dubious statistical merit," wrote Susan Faludi, then a 27-year-old reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, who saw the controversy as one example of a backlash against feminism. Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote: "How gleefully they warn that an uppity woman may be overqualified for the marriage market. Reach too high, young lady, and you'll end up in the stratosphere of slim  pickings."

Twenty years later, the situation looks far brighter. Those odds-she'll-marry statistics turned out to be too pessimistic: today it appears that about 90 percent of baby-boomer men and women either have married or will marry, a ratio that's well in line with historical averages. And the days when half of all women would marry by 20, as they did in 1960, only look more anachronistic. At least 14 percent of women born between 1955 and 1964 married after the age of 30. Today the median age for a first marriage—25 for women, 27 for men—is higher than ever before.

Marriage by the Numbers – Newsweek Society – MSNBC.com