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Is there nothing I can take to relieve this belly ache? December 31, 2007

Posted by skinbad in Science.
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I’m afraid there is. You can take “two” and call me in the morning. Interesting treatment for chronic diahrrea (scroll down at the link):

“Good” bacteria in the stomach are often depleted by the antibiotics that work on (but may not remove entirely) C. difficile, leaving the patient with violent or chronic diarrhea. Some doctors now recommend controlling C. difficile by re-establishing the patient’s “good” bacteria via a stool transplant from a close blood relative, who should have similar intestinal conditions. The donated stool (providing that a loving, straight-faced relative is found) is mixed with saline and administered by enema.

Authorities are apparently looking for the philanthropist who donated in a port-o-potty several years ago near a soccer field in the Midwest. The super strain of good bacteria they extracted from a discarded T-shirt and underwear could save countless lives.

Clothes Make the Cheap Bastard of a Man December 31, 2007

Posted by skinbad in Economics, Personal Experiences.
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I know I haven’t been pulling my weight around here lately and I don’t want Michael to reduce my production bonus any further. Performance evaluations are coming soon and I’m a little concerned.

It’s been a long time since I’ve given an Innocent Bystander Endorsement, but I’m ready to bestow the honor once again.

A little background first. My wife visited two of her sisters in Indianapolis a couple of years ago. While there, they took her to a Steve & Barry’s store. She knew I was in need of some jeans and knew my size, as dutiful wives are wont to do. The jeans at the store looked OK and were seven bucks and change, so she bought a few pairs for me. The “relaxed fit” ones worked out great. The “boot cut” ones she grabbed by mistake made me look like a gay sailor (NTTAWWT) and I gave those away. Anyway, she was quite impressed with the store and when I needed some more clothes I looked for them online and  found that they don’t do online sales and the closest store to Utah was in Phoenix.

In the meantime, I was in need of some basketball shoes for the occasional hardwood blood-letting known to Mormon men as “ward ball.” I read somewhere about “Starbury” athletic shoes and how NBA “star” Stephon Marbury (million dollar talent/two dollar head) had a line of shoes that were decent and inexpensive. I thought I’d try a pair and did a little checking and found that they were only sold at (drum roll) Steve & Barry’s. When I went to CA last spring for a work trip, I checked to see if any of their stores would be in the vicinity. Nope.

Fast-forward to this Christmas holiday. We loaded up the kin and went to SLC to visit my parents for a couple of days. My dad asked Evil CC if he wanted some shoes (they wear the same size). He gave my son some Starbury shoes that he had bought for walking but decided he didn’t like. It turns out they opened a store in November about five minutes from my folks’ place. I headed over and got three pairs of jeans, shoes for me and one of my daughters for $50. Total. I’m sure it’s all Chinese sweat-shop labor, but what isn’t these days? Back-to-school shopping is about as big a bite as Christmas shopping for the family. Next fall, you’ll find us at Steve & Barry’s.

The Kids Grow Up December 30, 2007

Posted by Michael in Gardening.
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They move away. You adjust to life as an empty nester.  The house seems quiet, and unnaturally clean.

What’s left behind? I’ll tell you what. A crummy-looking basketball hoop at the end of your driveway that nobody uses. So here’s some advice on how to get rid of that eyesore.

Thanks to Eddiebear, who also shows us how to play air hockey.

What Do You Feed Wealthy Dogs? December 30, 2007

Posted by Michael in News.
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Let’s say the dogs are worth a lot of money and they like spaghetti and meatballs with a side of garlic bread.



If the dogs are rich enough, they get spaghetti and meatballs with a side of garlic bread.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – They’re not as loaded as Leona Helmsley’s pooch, but three Maryland canines are plenty rich enough to live high on the dog.

The dogs — named Buckshot, Katie and Obu-Jet — inherited $400,000 and a house in Hagerstown with the death last year of owner Ken Kemper. Altogether, their estate is worth about $800,000.

The beagle and two Labrador mixes were strays when Kemper adopted them. They now live at their house with caretaker Roy Grady.

They might not be aware of their wealth, but they do know that on one night a week Grady treats them to spaghetti dinner, with meatballs and garlic bread.

“They love it,” he said. “They know when it’s coming on Friday, too. They have that time clock.”

3 dogs inherit $800,000 estate – Wonderful World- msnbc.com

Frequent Flyer Fanatics December 30, 2007

Posted by Michael in Economics, Heroes.
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Can you imagine taking a flight just to get frequent flyer miles?!?

(CBS) Some people get status from fancy cars or glamorous country clubs, some get status from dining in hot restaurants, but thousands of Americans get their status like Jenny Zelle does…by sitting on an airplane.

Their status is measured in precious metal…silver, gold, platinum…executive platinum or…United 1K?

“With heavy business travel I decided to concentrate all of my miles on one airline…and get the premier status and the perks that go with it,” Zelle told CBS News correspondent Seth Doane.

. . .

This fall though…her nightmare came true! Zelle, a Chicago lawyer, hadn’t flown enough to renew her elite status on United…and that called for drastic measures.

“Today,” Zelle announced, “we’ll be going O’Hare to Des Moines, Des Moines to Denver, Denver to Des Moines to O’Hare.”

Yup, a whole day of traveling… just to earn miles. It’s called a “mileage run”.

Sheesh, that’s just insane to attach so much importance to your frequent flyer status, like that makes you somebody.

And by the way, Zelle, you’re a nobody!   I’m PLATINUM FOR LIFE!!! Haaaaaahaaaahaaaa!!!!! Now make me a sammich, you peon.

The Frequent Flier Fanatics, The End Of The Year Means A Last Minute Travel Binge For Some – CBS News

A Walk in the Park *Updated* December 29, 2007

Posted by Pupster in Crime, Ducks, Law, Man Laws, Sex, Women Ranting.
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We got trouble. Right here in Capital City. I’m going to need an obtuse legal opinion on this, councilors.

From ABC News via Drudge:

Topless Women Lured Perverts in Police Sting

Their headline. I’ve already got a problem with it.

Robin Garrison, an off-duty 42-year-old firefighter, was walking in Berliner Park in Columbus, Ohio, in May when he saw a woman sunbathing topless under a tree.

He approached her and they started talking and getting comfortable, the woman smiling and resting her foot on his shoulder at one point.

Watch the video at the link above.  Smiling and getting comfortable does not cover it, she was giving him the full court press. Robin thought he was going to write the cover story for Penthouse Forum; “I know this is going to sound crazy, but this actually happened to me…” This guys not a pervert, he’s just a guy. Now, if they dolled-up the ducks around the pond with fishnet stockings and black-eyeliner, then yeah, that’s a pervert trap.

Eventually, she asked to see Garrison’s penis; he unzipped his pants and complied.

Seconds later, undercover police officers pulled up in a van and arrested Garrison; he was later charged with public indecency, a misdemeanor, based on video footage taken by cops who were targeting men having sex or masturbating in the park. While topless sunbathing is legal in the city’s parks, exposing more than that is against the law.

Emphasis mine.

First of all, I missed the topless sunbathing memo; duly noted. Secondly, I am not surprised the police were running a sting operation at a city park, many of them in Columbus are notorious for ‘don’t take your family there, don’t use the restrooms’ rumors. I had never heard there was a problem at Berliner, which is best known for a lot of softball leagues that play there. There is a fire station right across the street.

I am very surprised by the police’s methods. A half naked woman, smiling at passers-by, initiating and inviting conversation, rolling around in the grass, reaching out and making contact in an intimate manner, and asking for a sausage shot, a misdemeanor offense. How is this not entrapment?

The problem at Berliner Park, according the the article, is ‘men having sex and masturbating‘. I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that the cops are using the wrong bait in this fishing expedition.

Update:  Russ from Winterset  points to a commenter at Patterico’s, who states the woman in question was not working for the police.  I did a quick search and came up with two articles, both stating that the woman in question was an exhibitionist sunbather who frequented the park…not a police officer or working for the department. 

The police asked her to move to another area of the park, (she was creating a traffic hazzard) and then apparently set up a video camera in her new location and waited.  I still think this arrest is completely bogus, but does it change the entrapment argument if she initiates this kind of attention, and requests a violation of the law?

It’s got to stink to be a policeman on Penis Patrol.  Seriously…can you image the radio exchanges?

*krrrk* Ok…hold your positions…steady….he’s reaching down….nope, just scratching…stand by…

*krrrk* Get ready  team, stay frosty…c’mon sparky…take it out…almost there….I SEE IT, WE HAVE PENIS!  MOVE IN! GO-GO-GO!

Here’s What Michael Looks Like When He Dances December 28, 2007

Posted by Michael in Music.
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Never mind what my kids say.

I know it’s old.

Thanks to Dex at Think Tankers.

Egyptian Lawmakers Outraged by Sarkozy Visit December 28, 2007

Posted by Michael in Politics.
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Policy differences, you might think. Perhaps they don’t like his pro-American stance.

Nope. They don’t like the fact that he slept with his girlfriend. Here’s Sarkozy with his “official prostitute”:



Fer cryin’ out loud. Why does anybody still pay attention to the staged outrage of backwards Islamic dumbshits? It’s like a bunch of these Muslims have graduated from the Al Sharpton College of Media Relations™.

CAIRO, Egypt — Three Egyptian lawmakers criticized the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in parliament saying it was improper that his girlfriend shared a room with him, the local press reported Friday.

Independent deputy Gamal Zahran said in parliament Thursday that it was improper for Sarkozy and his new companion, supermodel-turned-singer Carla Bruni, to stay in the same room during their visit to the southern city of Luxor, reported the independent dailies al-Dustour and al-Badeel.

He criticized the Egyptian government for setting a bad example by welcoming them.

“The regime gave the wrong message from the country of al-Azhar to all other countries that we are ready to accept official prostitution by heads of state,” he said, referring to Egypt’s premier institution of Sunni Islamic learning.

FOXNews.com – Egyptian Lawmakers to Sarkozy: You Shouldn’t Share Room With Girlfriend – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

Microsoft Wins — Netscape Navigator Dies (Use Firefox!) December 28, 2007

Posted by Michael in Crime, Economics.
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I used to love Netscape Navigator, and held out against Internet Explorer for as long as I could. 

The browser that helped kick-start the commercial web is to cease development because of lack of users.
Netscape Navigator, now owned by AOL, will no longer be supported after 1 February 2008, the company has said.
In the mid-1990s the browser was used by more than 90% of the web population, but numbers have slipped to just 0.6%.
In particular, the browser has faced competition from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), which is now used by nearly 80% of all web users.

In the eyes of many, including me, Netscape was the victim of predatory and illegal practices by Microsoft.   Despite winning many concessions from Microsoft through antitrust litigation, the sunset of Navigator has been inevitable. 

The demise of Navigator was compounded in 2003 when AOL, which bought Netscape in 1998, made redundant most of the staff working on new versions of the browser.

Many of the staff moved to the Mozilla Foundation which develops the popular Firefox browser. This browser has a 16% share of the browser market.

.  .  . 

“We feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reigns fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox,” he said.

The moral of the story — USE FIREFOX

Don’t let Microsoft get away with this.

It’s a better browser anyway.  IE7 has caught up with the tabbed browsing of Firefox, and has better RSS functionality, but Firefox still wins because of the availabiliy of useful plug-ins.  My previous endorsement of Firefox is here.

Getting older December 28, 2007

Posted by daveintexas in Crime, History.
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Mortality and longevity were shoved in my face today.

My youngest kid, whom I watched grow, is over on the sofa thing watching a silly movie with a child a year younger than her.

She looks like a young woman.

Sweet kid, really.  Her fam moved away from here 12 years ago and they’re back visiting his mother.

She’s not the baby I remember.  The little girl I used to scoot off to the ladies room on Sunday mornings, and stand out there like Cerberus, waiting for her to come out and go back to sit with my youngest and make notes with crayons.

She’s a very polite, and sweet young lady now.

Didn’t see that coming.

The Best Christmas Present December 27, 2007

Posted by Sobek in Personal Experiences.
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I hate shopping for Christmas presents.  Actually, it’s not really the shopping, it’s the coming up with an idea of something to buy.  Once I figure that out, the shopping part is pretty easy.

I’ve hit a few out of the park.  When Mrs. Sobek was pregnant with our first, her lower back hurt her something awful, and I got her a handheld massage thing.  I think that’s the best one.  For her birthday this year, I got us two tickets to see the Nutcracker.   For Christmas this year, I spent a very long time making a movie based on an Ogden Nash poem called The Tale of Custard the Dragon, featuring two of my kiddos.

The idea was to burn it onto DVD and give it to all the kiddos’ grandparents and great-grandparents, but I had technical difficulties, and didn’t get the DVDs ready.  But I showed the video to everyone, and promised that the DVDs are forthcoming.

So, what’s the best Christmas present you ever gave?

U.K. Schools Told to Emasculate Encourage Boys to Play Netball and Dance December 27, 2007

Posted by Michael in News.
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 The cause of “gender equality” has prompted insanity in England:

Schools have been told to encourage boys to play netball and take dancing lessons in a bid to promote “gender equality”.

See, it perpetuates sexism if boys continue to favor games that are rowdy and allow them to run around like little beasts.

The move which sees boys moving on to the traditionally female netball court is part of a Government drive to ensure that school children are more ‘gender balanced’.

They also want to force more girls into science classes, and make sure the schools are are actively challenging gender stereotypes which might cause young children to incorrectly suspect that boys and girls are different.

Every local authority in the country had to publish a “gender equality scheme” earlier this year to meet new anti-discrimination legislation.

You can read the whole article, which is linked below, if you’re in the mood to barf.

Schools told to encourage boys to play netball and dance to ‘balance gender’ | the Daily Mail