Friday, January 30, 2009

Does He Understand?

In 1974, during a segment of Point/Counterpoint on 60 minutes, Nicholas Von Hoffman compared Richard Nixon to a dead mouse and said someone need to go in, pick him up, and toss him out. Yesterday the Illinois Senate tossed out their dead mouse when they convicted Rod Blagojevich at his impeachment trial. Before their vote Blagojevich actually remembered where Springfield was and pleaded his case for 47 minutes. If you would like to read what he had to say you can find it here. No ones mind was changed. The vote was 59-0. A second 59-0 vote bars Blagojevich from ever running for public office again. So does he understand? Has he got the message? Here is what he had to say last night after being removed from office.

"And the fight goes on. Just because I'm not the governor anymore doesn't mean I'm going to stop fighting."

It doesn't sound like he understands it yet.

Traditionally an Illinois Governor is given State Police protection for a year. One of the first things new Governor Pat Quinn did was remove the State Police detail from Blagojevich. It was a well received decision. I wish Governor Quinn well. He is going to need it. Illinois has a $3 billion deficit.
Travis was right about yesterday's question. the answer was the sea.

Today's question is Grade 4/Music.

What is the name of the set of parallel lines on which notes are arranged?

I knew this one, but could not come up with it until I had looked at the answer. With this miss I stand 18-7.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Can You Say Overreaction?

Anybody dealing with the public knows that sometimes you just want to haul off and hit that annoying customer. There are people out there who would try the patience of Job. Of course, no matter how much you might want to you restrain yourself and go on. Joseph Milano, the gentleman you see here, owns a pizzeria in Palm Coast, Florida. A customer complained about a calzone he had bought and asked for a refund. Mr Milano promptly pulled out his pistol and struck the complaining customer in the face. He then jumped over the counter and continued the assault, not only hitting the complainer but his roommate as well. Mr Milano will probably have a hard time disputing this as the action was caught by his security camera. For the record, Mr Milano's pizzeria was not a Godfathers Pizza.
Travis was correct. The answer to yesterday's question was true.
Today's question is Grade 2/Cultural Studies.

Poseidon is the name of the Greek god of what part of the earth?

A) The sea
B) The sky.
C) The rain forest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Card Collecting Surprise.

A surprise move was made in the card collecting field yesterday. The NBA has decided to give the rights for basketball cards to one manufacturer. Currently both Upper Deck and Topps make cards, but neither one of them will make them next year. The winner of the rights is Panini, an Italian company. Panini is big in Europe, but over here they have had a limited share. They mostly sell stickers in the United States. They have not done any major sports in a long time. They have been putting out Disney related products lately, including Hannah Montana and High School Musical. This won't effect me since I don't collect basketball cards. However, after this year the rights for baseball cards expire. Will Major League Baseball follow suit and go exclusive? It will be interesting to see how that turns out.
Mike and Travis were both right with yesterday's question. The answer was World War 1.

Today's question is Grade 3/Art.

True or False? Objects in the foreground of a painting are closer to you than those in the background.

I wasn't real sure about this one but I guessed right. I am now 17-6.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Clueless 1 and Clueless 2.

As if we had any doubt, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich still doesn't have a clue. The impeachment trial has started in Springfield. So if your job is on the line the logical place to be would be in Springfield, right? Not this fearless Governor. He has decided the best move is to hire a public relations firm and go present his case in New York City. What a brilliant move. I guess he thinks if he doesn't participate nothing will happen. After all, everyone knows if you hide under covers the monsters can't get you. He has compared himself with Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi. The best line I have read about this came from Mark Evanier in his blog, News From Me.

He said, "I think it's a perfectly apt comparison. None of those other people are going to be the Governor of Illinois next month, either."

Pardon this digression. If you have never read Mark's blog before check it out. He has among other things, written comic books, television shows, directed Garfield And Friends, and assisted Jack Kirby, in my opinion one of the greatest comic book artists ever.

It is obvious Rod Blagojevich is clueless, but someone else has stepped into the spotlight with him. A few days ago Covenant School in Dallas Texas beat Dallas Academy 100-0 in a girls basketball game. Covenant is a Christian school and they have issued an apology. Now I would like to direct you Mike Parnell's blog. Mike is one of my friends from the Captain Comics board, and I really enjoyed his opinion about this. Read it here and then come back for some comments from me.

Back already? Gee you must have taken a speed reading course. The reason I brought this up is the Covenant coach, Micah Grimes, says there is nothing to apologize for. He sent an email to the Dallas Morning News and said:

In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School Web site, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed. We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”

Covenant School has fired him. There are only 8 girls on the Dallas Academy team. They have not won a game in 4 years. There was no excuse for running up the score like that. Like Mike said,

"Another aspect of this is that yes, officially they have said they are sorry and desire forgiveness, but the damage is done, and not for the other team."

I left a comment on Mike's blog saying too many people find it easier to ask forgiveness than permission. Hopefully Mr Grimes will think his reaction out a little more and learn from this. As far as Governor Blagojevich goes,
he continues to be a legend in his own mind. I don't think that will change anytime soon.
The answer to yesterday's question was, as Travis guessed, Beijing. When I was in school we were taught it was Peking. But enough ancient history.

Today's question is Grade 5/World History.

The League Of Nations was formed at the conclusion of what war?

I knew that one and I am now 16-6.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Real Life Neidermeyer.

In the movie Animal House, Mark Metcalf played Doug Neidermayer, one of the "bad guys". He was an officer in the ROTC and helped make life miserable for some of the members of the "animal house". When the movie ended they showed what happened to the characters. Neidermayer was killed by his own troops in Vietnam. Another movie made reference to the character. In Twilight Zone: The Movie a some troops talk about their killing Lieutenant Neidermayer. That segment was directed by John Landis, who also directed Animal House. How bad would a leader have to be for his own troops to try and kill him? We know that accidents do happen, Stonewall Jackson was killed by Confederate troops at Chancellorsville and James Longstreet was wounded by Confederate troops at the Battle Of The Wilderness. I am not picking on the Confederates, I am just using them as examples. I am sure there were Union casualties also.

Pictured here is Braxton Bragg. He was another Confederate General, but it wasn't Confederate troops who tried to kill him. He was an officer in the Army during the Mexican-American war. He was a very unpopular man. Most of it stemmed from his personality. He was very gruff and demanding, and tried to blame others for any mistake he made. Twice while there his troops tried to kill him. In one of the attempts a bomb was placed 2 feet from his bed. When it exploded fragments went above and below his bed, but he was unharmed. Bragg was the commander at Chickamauga, which was the last confederate victory. He had some good battle plans, but because he was disliked several of the plans were delayed and a total Union rout was avoided. He was greatly critisized after the battle when he didn't pursue the Union troops. He was relieved of command shortly after the battle and was Jefferson Davis' advisor for the rest of the war.

I live about 30 miles from Chickamauga, so I find it a fascinating subject. I have visited the battlefield several times and it is a very interesting place to go to. Sometime this spring I am going back and I will talk more about it then.
The answer to the weekend question was of course true. Only a total lame brain would have missed it. By the way, that is Mr Lame Brain to you.
Today's question is Grade 3/Geography.

Today is Chinese New Year. In what city will residents of the capital of the People's Republic of China be celebrating?

I got this question right, so I am now 15-6.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Some Truth In Advertising.

I saw a commercial last night for the new Oreo Cakesters 100 Calorie Pack. The commercial showed a truck being chased by at first a few people. More and more then joined the chase and finally you see the truck overturned and everyone grabbing boxes. The commercial was funny, but aren't they giving us a mixed message? Are just supposed to steal this product instead of buying it? I realize the economy is bad, so maybe this is Nabisco's way of helping out. Then again, that's probably not the message they want to get out.

I know, you are thinking that I have slipped a gear. After all, I talk about Oreo Cakesters and the picture you see is Nabisco SnackWells. Something similar to this commercial happened when SnackWells were first introduced. No, no trucks were overturned. However, some people did follow the Nabisco delivery trucks from store to store so they could buy the SnackWells. What made them so desirable? They were one of the first fat free products. Some people thought they could eat as many as they wanted and still lose weight. What they didn't realize was that while the product was fat free, it was not calorie free. There were almost as many calories in these products as regular cookies. SnackWells are still with us, but they are easier to obtain.
The answer to yesterday's question was Ferdinand Magellan.
The subject for today is Grade 3/Math.

True or False? The numbers 16, 25, and 400 are square numbers.

Give me that choice and I invariably pick the wrong one. I am now 14-6.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Addams Family.

Last month I bought Season One of The Addams Family. I remember watching this when I was young and it has held up very well. There were a couple of episodes I didn't care for but most were very funny. I think the show was a little head of its time. Some of the foods they ate are not quite as odd today. In one episode Gomez commented about not understanding how people wouldn't like octopus. Now you can order that in some restaurants. They were delightfully odd. Gomez loved to wreck his trains. Morticia would literally smoke. Uncle Fester was a human generator. There are commentary tracks with Ken Wetherwax (Puggsley), Lisa Loring (Wednesday), Felix Cilla (Cousin Itt), and Stephen Cox (author of The Addams Chronicles). One comment Lisa Loring made comparing The Addams and The Munsters, which was on during the same years as the Addams family, was the Munsters were more like the 3 Stooges and the Addams was like The Marx Brothers. It was pointed out one of the writers of the series had written for Groucho.

I had never seen the entire movies, so when I started watching this DVD I decided to watch them. I did not like them. The first movie, simply called The Addams Family, was not that good. They changed several things, Fester being Gomez's brother for one. That didn't bother me as much as the characterizations for the movie. Where the TV family was charmingly odd, the movie family was more mean spirited. IMDB rates the movie a 6.5, I gave it a 4. Then I tried to watch Addams Family Values. Note the word tried. I watched about half an hour and turned it off. I didn't find anything the least bit funny. Where I saw the first movie as mean spirited, here they were cruel. IMDB rating was 6.2, I gave it a 1.
My friend Travis answered yesterdays question and your spelling was right, Travis. The answer was the Tigris. Today's question is Grade 5 History.

Who led the first journey around the world?
A) Christopher Columbus
B) Ferdinand Magellan
C) Vasco da Gama

History is one of my strong suites. I got this one right and am now 14-5.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quick Post 3.

Once again I am having a quick post. The next few days will probably be either quick or short posts. I am writing something that will take a few days to get ready. Today's speedster is Wally West, nephew of Barry Allen's wife. In one of the great co-incidences that can only happen in comic books, Wally received his speed identically to the way Barry Allen got his. Barry, dressed as the Flash, of course, was explaining to Wally how a bolt of lightning struck a shelf full of chemicals and gave him super-speed. Of course lightning always strikes twice and another bolt struck splashing Wally. After Barry's death Wally became the Flash. Wally's adventures just came to an end. I am not sure where they are going with the character from here.
The answer to yesterdays question of course was snakes.

Today's question is Grade 5/Cultural Studies.

The ancient region known as Mesopotamia was bordered by the Euphrates and what other river?

I wasn't sure about this one. I guessed and I was right. I stand 13-5.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Are You Stupid?

I have discussed this before, but it keeps cropping up. The way some people respond to others when they hide behind the cloak of anonymity that is the internet is amazing. They are rude and condescending, quick to display their superiority to those who ask simple questions. Earlier today I was reading The Springfield State-Journal Register. There was an article about two stores that are closing at the White Oaks Mall located there. Here is the exchange:

What is Scheels?"

TO Sweetpea: Are you SERIOUS? Get out from under your rock. There have been at least 10 stories about Scheels over the last year alone. If you were being sarcastic, you got me.

Sweetpea, I don't know what Scheel's is either. Jbeam, was that really necessary?"

Clark and Sweetpea you really do need to come out of your cave. Scheels story was in the newspaper.
Of course you two probably didn't see anything about Y'allpalooza advertising either."

It is easy to call names and tell people that they live in caves or under rocks because they didn't know that Scheels was a chain of sporting goods stores. I didn't know that until this article and I promise I don't live in a cave or under a rock. You can find this type of thing all over the internet. Anyplace where comments are allowed, unless you have good moderators, will have this. It is very easy to humiliate others when they have no idea who you are. One of the things I enjoy most about the Captain Comics Board is the civility shown there. We do have disagreements, but they pertain to the ideas, not personal attacks. Belittling others only serves the one putting down others. It is sad that is what it takes to make some people feel better about themselves. I have always had the attitude that there are no dumb questions. I know some of my co-workers make fun of new employees because they don't know something. I tell them don't hesitate to ask me anything. You don't find out unless you ask.

I forgot to mention that I was given the idea for yesterday's post by my cousin, Glenn Shawgo. Thanks Glenn. Also in the comments yesterday Volley asked what would happen if Michelle Obama was the thrower. I think the Secret Service would do like the preacher in Blazing Saddles did when he was trying to defend Cleavon Little from the people in the town. They would look at the President and say "Mr. President. You are on your own." They would then leave the room.The answer to yesterday's question was the Sahara.

Today we look at Grade 3/Literature.

Medusa was a monster who had what for hair?

Another right answer for me, so I am now 12-5.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Secret Service Seminar.

Gentlemen, today marks a new President who we are sworn to protect. Mistakes have been made in the past and we want to remedy that today. Last year we had a projectile launched at the President while he was in Iraq and I am ashamed to say no one jumped in front of him to deflect it. So today we will be discussing ways to protect the President from thrown shoes.

When scanning the crowd always be alert. Of course you are looking for weapons, but also be on the lookout for anyone carrying their shoes. I realize this can present a problem in Japan, so mainly look for anyone holding their shoes at shoulder level. I realize that shoes are rarely lethal, but in some cases their odor can be overpowering, so you may want to carry a small bottle of foot powder. Now there are several ways to stop the shoe. You macho men can simply jump in front of the President and let the shoe bounce off your chest. For those of you who played football in college you can simply catch it as if it were a pass. Baseball players should be able to use a one hand grab. Whatever way you chose the most important thing is to stop it. Remember, that's your job.

If there are no questions you are dismissed. Oh, before I forget, check the schedule posted on the bulletin board outside. We are having another seminar on defending against rotten vegetables. This is mandatory. You will probably want to wear some old clothes for this.

The picture you see here is an Alaskan malamute. If that looks like a fish to you I recommend you watch Animal Planet more.

Today's question is Grade 4/World Geography.

In terms of area, what is the largest desert in Africa?

Once again I got it right and I am now 11-5.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Bale Tale.

Before I tell my story I think I need to give you a little background. Working at Wal-Mart we naturally have a lot of cardboard. We recycle most of it. We have a cardboard baler on each side of the store. Once the baler is full the cardboard is bundled up, held together by six wires. That number varies according to the size of the baler. Making a bale is not hard, but it is a pain in the butt to do. Most people ignore it and let the next one make it. A lot of times I am the next one. Sometimes I am too popular for my own good.

Saturday morning about 6:30 one of our assistant managers made a bale. He overfilled the baler. His excuse was the baler on the other side held that much cardboard. It is also bigger, which is why it holds more. When the bale came out three of the wires snapped. That is one of the hazards of bale making. You never stand in front of the bale when it comes out. Of course being a manager he delegates fixing the mess to a co-worker and me. He also called for any available associate to come help us. Of course with the room available only 2 people were needed and we were already there. Fortunately nobody else came. The only way to fix it was to cut the other 3 wires and remake the bale. We used about two-thirds of the cardboard, made a new bale, then put the rest in the baler. This is time consuming and we finally left the store at 7:30.

Sunday morning I went to make a bale but two of our ladies were almost finished making it. Once that is done the bale is taken outside. The back door is always kept locked so you have to call a manager to open it. One of the ladies who made the bale paged for the manager. I told her she should have said the bale that held together is ready to go out. She liked that idea and got back on the intercom and said that. Most nights we have two assistant managers. The second assistant was over in grocery and told us he got a laugh out of that page. He was standing with the assistant who had broke the bale when the page went out. The other assistant didn't quite see the humor in it. Some people are just too touchy.

Of course the answer to the weekend question is 92,465.

Today's question is Grade 3/Animal Science. True of False? The Alaskan malamute is a species of fish.

I am starting to feel smarter. I got this one and now am 10-5 on this.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Musical Managers.

We are about to have a change at Wal-Mart. All of the managers, with the exception of the store manager, are going to switch areas of responsibility. It seems that our District Manager came in one night and a couple of our third shift people were climbing on the shelving in the garden center. They were playing instead of working. The District Manager decided that third shift was too comfortable with our leadership, so the switch will be made in a couple of weeks. I don't worry about it because I do my job. Those that are playing around are very upset, naturally. Now they are going to have to actually earn their paychecks.

Things like this is one reason I have no desire to become a salaried manager. The pay is not bad, but what you have to do to earn it is not worth it to me. I like going in, doing my thing, and going home. I was on salary at K Mart for almost a year. My salary was based on 48 hours a week, but I never worked less than 60. There was a 21 day stretch that I got no days off. The store manager got in trouble and was told he had to do it, so naturally us assistants had to do the same. I took the job in November of 2000. I wanted it because that was to be my first Christmas since my wife had passed away. I figured that would keep me so busy that the season would pass and I wouldn't get depressed. That plan worked all too well. I was bounced out of it less than a year later when they decided to eliminate one assistant per store. I shed no tears when they did that. With what is currently going on at K Mart I am very glad to be away from them.
First I want to thank Volly for the way she answered yesterday's question. If you haven't read it she said:
"Q.What unit of power is abbreviated by the letter "W"?
A. Watt you talkin' 'bout, Willis?"
I loved that. She is correct. The answer is watt. The phrasing was great. Well done!!!

The weekend question is Grade 4/Math.

Where should the comma be placed in the number 92465?
A) 9,2465
B) 9246,5
C) 92,465

I am on a roll and am feeling smarter. I am probably being set up. My score is 9-5.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Iron Chef America- Battle Sea Kittens.

The excitement builds as the Chairman prepares to reveal the secret ingredient for tonight's exciting battle in Kitchen Stadium. The Chairman says, "Tonight's secret ingredient is.............SEA KITTENS. and everyone says HUH????

I know what you are thinking. My psychic, or psychotic, whichever you prefer, abilities are at the maximum. You are saying what the heck are sea kittens? OK. A few of you are thinking something stronger than heck, but I will let you add your favorite adjective. Sea Kittens are also known as fish. Whose idea is that? Those wonderful people at PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Think I am making this up? Check this out. Of course PETA thinks we should all be vegetarians. If that is what you chose to do, that is great. But don't tell me that I have to. When I eat bacon, I want it from a hog, not a soybean field. I agree with PETA's basic premise, that animals should not be abused. However the methods that they use are ridiculous. I sometimes wonder if they really think out programs before they launch them, or if they believe any publicity is good, no matter what. If that is the case, I have a suggestion for them. Hire Rod Blagojevich as your next president. After all he will probably be needing a job soon.

I had intended on talking about PETA a few months ago, but I kept finding other things to talk about. The topic for that was a letter they sent to Ben & Jerry's, requesting that they replace the cows milk they use with human breast milk. Again, I am not joking. Here it is. If they want to be respected and listened to, they need to drop the attitude that we are right and unless you agree with us you are stupid. Nobody wants to have things like that forced on them.
The answer to yesterdays question was The Lincoln Memorial.

Today's question is Grade 3/Measurements.

What unit of power is abbreviated by the letter "W"?

I am on a roll now and stand 8-5. I may get to graduate at the end of the year.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Lemon Drop Kid.

Vickie's schedule at Wal-Mart has been changed and we no longer have Tuesday night at the movies. Her schedule has stabilized and she is now off on Wednesdays. Since we get our checks every other Wednesday we now only watch a movie the opposite week. Last night we watched my favorite Christmas movie, The Lemon Drop Kid. I love Bob Hope movies. If I am flipping channels and find one of his, which sadly doesn't happen much anymore, I leave it there. The movie is about a racing tout who gives bad advice to a gangsters girlfriend in Florida. He is given three weeks to repay the gangster, or, as he is told, "You will find your head in your stocking." The money is due on Christmas Day and will be collected in New York City. Hope runs a charity scam to get the money. One of his accomplices is William Frawley. The movie has a good cast and is very funny. The Christmas song Silver Bells debuted here. I first watched it when I was young. It usually played on Christmas Day along with A Christmas Carol starring Alistair Sim. The Internet Movie Data base rates it 7.1, my rating was 9.
The answer to yesterday's question of course was North Dakota. The answer to the bonus question that I asked was Bismarck. I am pretty good when it comes to state capitals. We learned them when I was in sixth grade. We would have a contest like a spelling bee with capitals. I won a lot of those.

Today's question is Grade 3/History.

Today is Martin Luther King,Jr.'s birthday. At what Washington landmark did King deliver his famous "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963?

Chalk up another one that I knew. I am now 7-5.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Quick Cards.

Instead of a quick post with a fast super-hero I am doing a quick post with an interesting baseball card. When I am either short on time or lacking good ideas I will be alternating between the two. Since I have started the Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader questions I am going to post every day. This card is part of the Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy set. Considering this entire set consists of 6100 cards, I will not be getting a full one. However I like the ones that I have. This card is from game 1771, August 26,1945. The Yankees beat the Washington Nationals 3-2 that day. In case you are wondering why the card says Nationals instead of Senators the team was referred to by both nicknames. Technically they were the Nationals and not until 1959 was the word Senators put on the team uniforms, and they were called that from then on.

The answer to yesterdays question, as any fan of the Hunchback From Notre Dame will tell you, was of course France. Today's question is a Grade 1/U.S. Geography question.

What state borders South Dakota to the North?

Bonus points if you name the capital of that state. I got it and now stand 6-5 on this.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nosy Neighbors.

I live in a small apartment complex. There are three buildings that contain a total of 24 apartments. The building I am in I live is two stories, 6 apartments on each floor. I live on the bottom in the middle. My neighbors seem to love keeping track of me. Many times when I leave someone will open their door to see what is going on. I am the senior resident here. Most people stay for a few months, I have been here 5 years. I pay by the week and my rent includes all utilities, trash pick up and basic cable. I think it is a good deal and I like it here. Occasionally you hear neighbors fighting, kids running in the apartment above me, a few police raids,(there have been a few people who deal in illegal substances, but the landlord is good at quickly getting rid of them)and loud music. With all of their checking me out, I rarely talk to any of them. Part of that is because my schedule is reversed, and part of that is once I get home I stay inside.

A little over a year ago I did get to meet my neighbors on both sides of me. (They have both since moved.) They were friends and were talking with each other one night as I left for work. One of them asked me if I was an axe murderer. They had seen the one who lived with me a couple of times and had not seen her in awhile. They thought I might have done away with her. I told them about her leaving in the middle of the night so they didn't have to worry that I might come crashing in some night. I got to know those two better than anyone else here. Now I am back to my solitude and that's all right with me.Yesterday's question was of course true. I was thinking parallels referred to longitude. Oh well, hopefully today's question will be easier for me. The category is Grade 4/Cultural studies. It doesn't look good for the home team here. The question:

Chartres Cathedral and the Cathedral Of Notre Dame are in what country?

Whew!!! I got one. I am now 5-5. Tune in tomorrow for more ramblings and and the answer to this question.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taco Wedding Bells.

Some traditionalists like being married in a church. Then you have free spirits who want to do something out of the ordinary. A couple in Normal, Illinois chose to be married at a Taco Bell there. Of course someone at The State Journal-Register chose the headline "Normal Couple Weds At Taco Bell." I think it was fitting that the couple met on-line and the man who performed the ceremony got his certificate on-line. I wish the new couple well.

There is an interesting website called Offbeat Bride that has a lot of tales about other weddings held in unusual locations. Check it out if you have the time.
The answer to the weekend question was red. The rest of the rainbow spectrum is orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. Does my knowledge impress you? I confess. I looked it up. Today's question is grade 5 Geography.

True or false? The lines that measure degrees of latitude are called parallels.

Hey, you have a 50-50 shot. Of course, I chose the wrong one and am now 4-5. I am going to get a special made dunce cap.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eternity is such a short time.

They have an eternal flame commemorating the veterans of Bullhead City, Arizona. Last Monday eternity came to an end when the gas bill came in. It cost $961.17, so the decision was made to turn it off. Naturally there was some controversy. I love three quotes from this story.

“I rushed to judgment in my conversation, saying, ‘Let's wait. Give us two weeks and we'll take care of it,' ” Mayor Jack Hakim said Friday. “I erred. I should have just said, ‘Turn it back on.' And that's what I thought afterwards.”

“We thought about it, and yes, an eternal flame is an eternal flame and our intentions were to turn it on (Friday).” Hakim said the decision to turn the flame back on was obviously the right thing to do “and it didn't come from pressure.”

“I don't think anyone intended for that flame to be off permanently,” City Manager Tim Ernster said. “And, in hindsight, we should have just left the flame on, and then gone ahead and worked this out.”

I am sure they decided to reignite the flame simply because it was the right thing to do. That is as true as the sun coming up in the west. Like the old joke says, how do you tell if a politician is lying?. His lips are moving. There are several questions I have on this. Of course they will never be answered, but that hasn't stopped me before.

1. The city has paid for this flame since last July. How much has the bill been before that?
2. Is it possible there is a gas leak at the flame?
3. Did it occur to you you might upset some people with this decision?
4. Did you change your minds when you became a national laughing stock? Oh, sorry. Rhetorical question there.

The best part is they were having trouble keeping the flame lit Saturday. Winds kept extinguishing it.

The fifth grade answer will be tomorrow in case anyone else wants to play. You can find the question in yesterdays post.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Break Time.

Last night I did something that most of my co-workers would have been griping about if it happened to them. I started work at 10:00 PM and did not get my break until 1:15. You could set your watch by some of my co-workers. They go to break promptly at midnight, lunch at 2:00, and second break at 5:00. Get in their way and they will run you over. Personally I am not that concerned with the time. I usually combine my breaks and take a half hour at 12:30, then I take lunch around 3:30. I combine the breaks because I see no point in taking one when I have about two and a half hours before I go home. I also base my break on what I am doing. I pick a stopping point and then go to break. The reason I was so late last night is our meat and produce truck arrived at 12:15. There were 11 pallets, 7 for produce and 4 for meat. 4 of the produce pallets had to be refrigerated, as well as the meat. So instead of break I did that. I want to emphasize that I am not complaining. I just consider that part of the job. I still had my full break, just a little bit later than I planned. When you are dealing with perishable product you do what is necessary.

My friend Travis answered yesterday's question correctly, there are 4 continents starting with the letter A. They are Africa, Asia, Antarctica, and Australia. I forgot Australia. I expect to open my door one day soon and get punched out by a kangaroo.

This weekends question is a grade 2 spelling question.

The names of how many colors in the rainbow spectrum are spelled with only three letters?

I actually got this one right to bring my record up to 4-4. The answer comes Monday.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Rare Sight.

Here is something you won't often see. That is actually me wearing a suit. This was taken after Dad's funeral. The suit was Dad's. It fit very well. Mom gave it to me. I haven't worn it since then, although at some point I have told Vickie we will get dressed up and go out. Every two weeks we eat at Huddle House, and it would freak them out if we came in dressed up. However, if we do it, we will probably go somewhere else.
All good fourth grade science students knew the answer to yesterdays question was gravity. All high school graduates with 40 college credits believed the answer was fusion. Thankfully my friend Travis guessed friction. I think he did that so I wouldn't feel so dumb. Thanks Travis.

Today's question, Grade 3 Geography.

How many continents begin with the letter "A"?

I missed again. My record goes to 3-5. I would say I need some first grade questions, but I missed one of those too.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mad 497

This should have been posted a couple of weeks, but my motto is "Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow." This issue presents something Mad has done annually since 1998. We have the 20 Dumbest People, Events, and Things of 2008. As I started with my previous review, I will list the articles and they either win or lose, and then the issue gets rated by the winning percentage. Of course, any rating under 50 is a loser.

The Fundalini Pages. As usual very uneven and this time it lost. The best line came under the heading Food Myths You Just Shouldn't Believe: "Cotton candy sold in American League ballparks has nearly twice the nutrients as that sold in National League ballparks". That bit and their Bitterman comic strip was all I liked from it. Lose.

20 Dumbest People, Events, and Things of 2008. I am not going to go over each one. Each item counted as 1. The first 10 were so-so, then they started clicking. Overall score out of the 20 was 14 winners, 5 losers, one what the heck, neither good or bad. My overall favorite was the Bret Favre retirement/no wait a minute I'm back story. They did it as a parody of Gary Larson's Far Side comic strip and the called it The Favre Side. Excellent artwork by Gary Hallgren. A close second was about the so-called Bigfoot found here in Georgia. Ty Templeton drew a comic book cover parodying The Incredible Hulk number 1 and it was called The Incredible Hoax. Of course some preachers and religious types were parodied including John Hagee, Jesse Jackson, and Warren Jeffs. Amazingly Josh Eiserike had this to say in the introduction to the Jesse Jackson page: "Call us crazy(yet again!),but when we think of clergymen we think of individuals of outstanding moral caliber who, taking a page from the Good Book, never speak ill of others. Like we said: call us crazy." Mad speaking good things about the majority of the preachers out there. Amazing. I give then 2 big toes up. (I would use my thumbs, but Roger Ebert has that trademarked and I don't want to get sued by him.) Win 14-5-1.

Mad 20 Hall Of Fame induction. It should come as no surprise that the recipient was George W. Bush. He was an 11 time winner, not bad considering in the 11 years of the awards he didn't win in 1998, 2001, or this year. He won twice in 2003, 2005, and 2006. He was number 1 on the list three consecutive years 2004-2006. Hopefully he will now be totally retired from this list. One prediction for next years list, Rod Blagojevich takes the top spot. We will see how good a prognosticator I am next year. Win.

Signs You'll Grow Up To Be A Degenerate Gambler. Writer and Artist:John Caldwell. I liked this. My favorite line was "Your mounting debt has occasionally prompted visits from a mob Lego breaker." Win.

A Mad Look At Hard Times. Writer and Artist Sergio Aragones. As I said last time, Sergio is one of my favorites and he rarely misses. Win.

Spy Vs Spy. Writer and Artist Peter Kuper. This was dumb, not funny. Lose.

It's A Good Brand Name...And A Bad Brand Name. Writer:Jeff Kruse. Artist Paul Coker. Very funny. One example "Piggly Wiggly: A good name for a grocery store(we have one here in Calhoun), a bad name for a strip club." Win.

Fold-In. Writer and Artist:Al Jaffee. A rare bad one. Lose.

I am also awarding this issue a bonus point, because there was no Monroe story. The final totals are wins 18, loses 8, and upraised eyebrow 1. Total score 67. A good issue.The answer to yesterdays question of course was false. Everyone but me knows that the front of the boat is the bow and the stern is the rear.

Today's question I knew I was in trouble the moment I saw those dreaded words Grade 4/Science. Science and me do not get along and even with a multiple guess I missed. The question:

The force of attraction between any two objects is called what?
A) gravity
B) friction
C) fusion.

My score so far is 3-4. To quote Ernie Banks the year the Cubs started 0-13, "I am just backing up for a running start." That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quick Post 2.

Another quick post. Tomorrow will be a lot longer as I review Mad 497. I am a one finger typist and it takes me a little longer to type those posts. Since this is a quick one I feature another super-speedster, this time the revised version of the Flash that first appeared in 1956. He was Barry Allen and he is my favorite super-hero. He died in 1986 in a series DC called Crisis On Infinite Earths. He sacrificed his life to save all of mankind. Of course being comic books death is only a minor inconvenience. He was returned to life last year and will once again take up the mantle of the Flash. I am taking this as the time to quit following him. I liked the fact he died as a hero should and to bring him back cheapens that. Of course, comics today have changed considerably and I am dropping almost every super-hero title I buy. I am still collecting comics, but am focusing on different areas. Someday soon I will talk about the titles I am collecting.

Of course the answer to yesterday's question was 15. Today's question is Grade 1 vocabulary. I had a brain fart when I read it and missed it. I think I will enroll in first grade next week. The question:

True or false. The word "stern" refers to the front of a boat.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mr Sulu, Get Us Out Of Here.

How would you like to command your own starship? You may not actually go traipsing around the universe, but you can have fun sitting in your chair pretending to do so. How much does this beauty cost? It can be yours for only $2717.01. I am not sure why the penny. Probably the same reason that this is a limited production item of 1701 pieces. You can find the details here. This is for the ultimate Star Trek fan. I love the line in the description, model not included. That probably made a few Star Trek fans say "Well then forget it." Personally I liked the show, but Star Trek:The Next Generation was better.

I missed yesterdays question. I thought the word "bam" was an example of alliteration, when of course, as any fifth grader (or my friends) will tell you, it is an example of onomatopoeia. I thought Onomatopoeia was a Green Arrow villain. OK. I will sit in the corner with my dunce cap on.

Fortunately I can redeem myself with today's question, which is a Grade 2 Math question. One quarter of an hour is how many minutes? I am now 3-2 on these questions.

Monday, January 5, 2009

This Is A Third Grade Question?

I don't like the question that was on my Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader calendar. The question for Saturday and Sunday read "What is another name for the Anasazi people who made homes out of rock in what is now the southwestern United States?" My friends who responded all guessed Hopi. My guess was Pueblo. The answer provided was Cliff Dwellers or The Ancient Ones. The category listed for this question was Grade 3/American History. Is this really being taught in third grade? When I went to school we didn't have an official American History class until seventh grade. Before that we had social studies, which covered more the culture than the history. I am going to ask a favor from my friend Jeff who is a fifth grade teacher. Jeff, will you please check with one of the third grade teachers at your school and see if they cover this? Thank you.

One thought I had about this question is that the producers through it into the show just to make the contestant look dumb. Maybe I am being too cynical, but it wouldn't surprise me for them to do that. After all, the more you can embarrass a contestant the better the ratings. I am skeptical of this being taught. Anasazi strikes me as being too hard a word for third graders. I am not suggesting they are incapable of learning it, I just think it unlikely.

I looked Anasazi up on Wikipedia and they did say that it refers to the ancestors of the Pueblos and the word means Ancient Ones. However the word Anasazi is Navajo and the Pueblos don't like it for that reason. The word can also be translated as ancient enemy. Unfortunately the Pueblos cannot agree on a Pueblo word for them.

I may not have liked the question, but I enjoy researching things so it helped give me a fascinating subject.

Today's question is:
The word "bam" is an example of
A) onomatopoeia
B) alliteration
C) personification.

The category is Grade 5/Language. I missed again so I stand at 2-2. I guess I need to go back to school. Got room for me in your class, Jeff?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You want how much?

I found a couple of Calhoun newspapers from November that I had forgot about. I ran across something that made me go "Huh??!!". The Gordon County Board took bids for someone to clean the Senior Citizens Center three times a week. They budgeted $8000 for the task and received 6 bids. The bids they got were for $5460(the winner), $7644, $9360, $10,530, $12,480, and $60,840. That last one really got me. Was that a serious bid? Did they place it just to say to someone that they were bidding on projects? What kind of service were they planning on providing for that kind of money? They must have thought they were bidding on a Federal Government contract, not a County one.

About the 5th Grade question I posted yesterday, the answers given were along the lines of what I guessed and are wrong. I do not like that question and will have more to say about it tomorrow.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Citizenship offer.

Email will bring you the strangest offers, but I think someone just upped the ante. I can understand when they are trying to separate you from your money. I have written about several offers that I have had that would have made me "rich". I will point out I only open emails like this if there are no attachments. I do not want any viruses. As for this email, read it for yourself and then I will make my comments afterward.

You're invited to: 2008/2009 Canadian Resettlement Program Final Announcement!!!
By your host: Canadian Council
Date: Friday January 2, 2009
Time: 8:00 pm - 8:00 pm (GMT +00:00 GMT Britain, Ireland, Portugal)
Location: Good day, We would like to extend to you from the Canadian Council for Resettlement Regulations Resource Center (CCR)Inc. That 2008/2009 Canadian Resettlement program is on going. This is an excellent opportunity to network and assists every like Minded individual who is desirous to relocate and settle in Canada. Please take a moment to review this final announcement on the great development for this year, Canada Resettlement Programe. The Minister for the Citizenship and Immigration Bureau Canada has agreed to give visas/ access to travel to Canada to a targeted number of peoples around the globe (11,623) this year. Canada is a free and open society. We welcome citizens from around the world who genuinely want to visit, study, stay and do business here. For Further information and Registration. Please Contact the Secretary General of the Canadian Council for Resettlement at Email Address:- Thank you For your kind Attention Madam. Becky Adams ( Publicity Officer) Canadian Council For Resettlement Center

This is one of those where do you begin dilemmas. Why is Canada offering to bring 11,623 people to Canada? Are they that hard up for people that they need to import some? At no point here do they ask for any money, although that might happen if I were to contact them. Obviously I am going to ignore this but I would like to know what exactly they were after. I am sure I will not find out, but I am curious.

Now on to the quiz. The calendar combines weekends, so the answer will be posted Monday. I am glad to say that my friends who replied yesterday were all correct. One of them should never miss considering he is a fifth grade teacher, right Jeff? The answer of course was 300. You know, I like that number. I think it would make a good movie title.

Today's question is a Grade 3 American History question, and considering I am a history buff I am ashamed to say I missed it. I will explain a little more about that Monday.

What is another name for the Anasazi people who made homes out of rock in what is now the southwestern United States?

Friday, January 2, 2009

Quick Post.

I have been very busy this morning and I will be going to bed shortly. Since I am using the 5th Grader quiz I said I would at least post the question. The picture you see is Jay Garrick, the original Flash. Whenever I post just the question, I will post a different comic book speedster.

First, the answer to yesterday's question. Of course there are 365 days until next year. Today's question is a Grade 2 math question.

What is 309 rounded to the nearest hundred?

I got it right and am now 2-0 on the questions.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Resolutions.

This year i am setting my usual New Years resolution, that is, I don't have any. Anytime I have tried to set one I usually fail by January 10, so I quit trying. I am going to try and do some things differently, but not as a resolution. I am going to try and write for at least thirty minutes every day. I have many ideas that I want to post, but some of them require more thought than I usually give to these. One series I want to do is a post about my 10 favorite fictional detectives. My reading tastes are eclectic, but detective fiction is my favorite. I am still working on another short fiction idea. That one I am going to try and post within a week. How successful will I be? Stay tuned and find out.

Today's question from the Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader calendar is:
Today is New Year's Day. Including today, how many days will pass until the next New Year's day?
I will post the answer tomorrow. Incidentally, I got it right.