Thursday, April 30, 2009


Yesterday in her blog Amid Life's Crises Dana talked about some of the facts surrounding this swine flu "epidemic" we are supposedly having. The overreactions are getting worse. There is no indication that eating pork causes the flu, yet China, Russia, and the Ukraine have banned pork imports from Mexico. Egypt has taken that one step further and ordered every pig in the country to be killed. Incidentally, there have no cases in Egypt. Like Dana pointed out, the deaths reported from this are minor compared to the deaths from other strains of the flu. The Mexican death count has actually gone down. They are now claiming that the death toll is 84. I am not trying to make light of this. Any death is tragic, but why are some people panicking? After all, this is not Captain Trips. (If you are not familiar with that reference, that was the strain of superflu that killed 99.4% of the worlds population in the Stephen King novel, The Stand.) Common sense precautions are the order of the day, not full scale panic.

Being a die hard Cubs fan is usually frustrating. One day after they scored 11 runs they were shut out and beaten by Arizona 10-0. The Cubs return to Chicago today and host Florida.
Calm and peaceful are synonyms.
Today's question is Grade 5/Geography.

What is the name of the easternmost country of Asia, known as "the land of the rising sun?"

I knew this one. 86-16.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Slow Learners.

I personally don't understand the Starbucks phenomena. I am just guessing that the fact that I don't like coffee might have something to do with that. Last year they put one in in the Kroger store hear in Calhoun. A couple of months later they put in a freestanding unit. I-75 has four exits to Calhoun. You would think to put in a second Starbucks they would put one in on the other side of town. Instead they put it within half a mile of the Kroger.

Starbucks expanded too fast and placing shops that close together is part of the problem. I have no idea how well either one is doing but they are not on the closing list. Dalton will be losing one of theirs. You would think that Starbucks would have learned their lesson and would concentrate on their shops that are now open. Even Wal-Mart has caught on that the rapid expansion days are over. Starbucks still hasn't learned that. Instead of more Starbucks they are looking at expanding their second chain, Seattle's Best Coffee. Currently Seattle's Best has 550 shops, compared with Starbucks 15,000. Their hope for growth will come with other peoples money. They are looking for franchisees who will foot the bills. How many more coffee shops do we need? Starbucks is not releasing any figures on how many franchisees they are looking for. Hopefully those who are considering opening one will look long and hard at the deal.

The Cubs came back last night and beat Arizona 11-3. Carlos Zambrano pitched well and helped himself with his bat. He hit a single, double, and a home run and drove in two runs. The final game of the series is this afternoon.
Sorry Travis, but Volly was right. There are 206 bones in an adult human body. She also pointed out that your small intestines are long enough to jump rope with. However I must point out that the Surgeon General has determined that doing so is hazardous to your health.

Today's question is Grade 2/English.

True or False? The words "calm" and "peaceful" are synonyms.

I knew this one. 85-16.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Genius At Work.

Last night looked to be an easy night. One frozen food case was being replaced, so I didn't have to stock that side. The opposite side was slated to be replaced tonight so I didn't have to do that either. I sorted all the freight and was busy putting it out. My preference is to stock one side at a time. I sort everything out, then put the cases on the floor by where they go. Then I start at one end and put the merchandise out. I was two-thirds done when one of the guys who was replacing the cases told me that they were going to be changing the case I was filling. I told him that I was told the other side was being replaced. He said that was the plan, but someone from our store ordered the cases backwards. The reason it makes a difference is two of the cases are shorter than the other three. Since the shorter case had been emptied they adapted the cases that came in to fit. It was too late to change the order, so tonight one of the longer cases will be replaced. I am so glad our leadership is on the ball and they know exactly what they are doing.

The Cubs lost to Arizona last night 7-2. Dan Haren pitched a complete game for Arizona and also drove in two runs. the Cubs are now 9-9 on the season. They play again tonight.
Sleet is a form of precipitation.
Today's question is Grade 3/Health.

How many bones are in an adult human body?
  • A) 206
  • B) 306
  • C) 406
I knew this one. 84-16.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Remodeling Again.

Last year the Wal-Mart I work at replaced all the meat cases, the dairy cases, and the bunkers,(the small cases that are usually between the wall and the grocery aisles.) At that time I questioned the wisdom in not replacing the frozen food cases. After all, those cases were just as old as the others. Logic never has been a strong suit with those who make these decisions. The cases were left. In the last four months the ice cream case has gone down three times. Starting tonight,over the next two weeks, all the cases will be replaced. The new cases are the state of the art, energy efficient models. I saw some of them last fall when I went to Illinois. They are very attractive looking. I realize most people wouldn't find them as interesting as I do. Ever since I started working in retail, I find things like fixtures and displays fascinating. If you hadn't figured out yet I am a little odd, you haven't been paying attention.

Kosuke Fukodome celebrated his birthday by hitting a three run home run and driving in five runs. The Cubs broke their losing streak with a 10-3 win over the Cardinals. I am glad Harry Carey is not around with Fukodome on the team. The way Harry butchered names, WGN would probably lose their license from the FCC.The Cubs are in Arizona tonight to start a series with the Diamondbacks.

Venus is the second closest planet to the sun.
Today's question is Grade 2/Science.

True or false? Sleet is a form of precipitation.

I knew this one. 83-16.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Smiles.

I needed something to smile about. The Cubs sure aren't giving me any reasons. Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and the Cardinals beat the Cubs 8-2. I will be sending the traveling trophies to my friend on Tuesday. We always find a funny greeting card to send it in. I won't get a chance to pick one out before then. Hopefully the Cubs will break their four game losing streak today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Return Of Nine Year Old Arsonist.

Well, he's back. He obviously hasn't learned anything, but then neither has his parents. While sitting in a van at a convenience store he was observed lighting a piece of paper and blowing on it, making the flames get larger and smaller. Once again he was arrested on the charge of reckless endangerment. The news article doesn't state it, but I am going to assume the man he was with was his father. That man should also have been charged with neglect. You have a boy who has burned down a store, and then he is left alone in a van with an ignition source. What was that man thinking? The boy should have been with him. He obviously has some kind of issues that need to be addressed now. To leave the boy alone is simply irresponsible on that man's part. I had figured the boy was already being treated, but I was obviously wrong. Hopefully now the proper people are paying attention and the boy will get that help.

I do want to respond to Winthrop J. Quiggy's questions about the previous story. The manager of the Dollar General did find the fire and tried to put it out, but it was too late by then. The building itself was an older building and did not have a sprinkler system. I tried to find out what the fire code is, but it is a PDF file and I am having trouble opening it. As soon as I get it open I will mention it again. It was a small store and I assume did not do much business. They only had seven employees.

I'll keep an eye on this story and talk about it whenever I find an update.

The Cubs lost their third straight game last night, falling to the Cardinals 4-3. They had rallied after being down 3-0 and tied the game, but lost it when Ryan Ludwick singled in the eighth to drive in Albert Pujols. The play again this afternoon.
Historians divide China's time into dynasties.
This weekends question is Grade 3/Astronomy.

What planet is the second closest to our sun?

I knew that one. 82-16.

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Parkage Is Ready.

No, that is not a misspelling. Yesterday I recieved an email from someone named Kim Sampson telling me this:

Dear: (Couldn't even put my name in.)

I have deposited your MasterCard gift card with our local FedEx Delivery Services offices. I've paid the insurance and delivery charges, but a safe keeping fee of US $198.00 is required before the package can be delivered to you. You must pay this fee to authenticate your delivery address. Please send your full name, home address and telephone to FedEx's delivery manager, Oliver Collins at(e-mail address removed.) Telephone number: +234 808 029 8440, referring to shipment code CPEL/OWN/9856. Mr. Collins does not know the contents of the package; for security I've identified the contents as African magazines. The MasterCard has been loaded with US $800.000.00 from the Central Bank of
and its PIN is 8876. Once you receive the card, you can use it at any ATM to withdraw up to US $20.000.00 per day. I do hope you'll take care of this transaction as soon as possible. Unfortunately you will not be able to reach me as I've been called out of the country on business. Regards, Greg Williams, Esq.

So for only $198 I can get $800,000. What a deal. I'm sending a check today. Considering I don't have a checking account I'd say we would be even. I also liked that the message came from Kim Sampson, but was signed by Greg Williams. The saddest thing though, is there are some people who will send in the money.

One other email I got yesterday, (I need to check my spam filter.) was from someone named Audrie. The heading was "How to Green Yoour Sex Life in 4 Easy Steps." The misspelling was there, too. First of all, my sex life is my business, no one else's. But what does it mean to green your sex life? Allow Laurie to explain.

An ill baked cake, flory, and all that a woman, the corner to go home when he saw How to Green Yoour Sex Life in 4 Easy Steps. The lights went out and a new picture began to bonny names! Maybe yer lordship wad alloo me the the truth, you won't have anything to complain rooted, it must be confessed, in the amusement in the meantime, full of love, and quiet solemn of their fathers. A gentleman who was present gazing into his what a foolwhat an incredible we couldn't even reach the ship's stores, which, animated throughout by fondness for the confederacy. Be a bore, but one mustn't mind things. I say, them. They had both evaded any profession of faith i was weel rid o' the sicht o' her, for i canna a tear on his face and a glimmer in his eyes..

Well that certainly clears it up. In the email there was a clickable link with the words Easy Steps. I didn't bother to see where it would have sent me to. These things make me laugh. What can I say? I'm easily amused.

The Reds took two out of the three games against the Cubs, beating them yesterday 7-1. The Cubs will be in St Louis tonight for a three game series.
Volly was right. Any number divided by zero is zero.
Today's question is Grade 4/World History.

Historians who study China divide time into what?

  • A) eras
  • B) epochs
  • C) dynasties
I knew this one. 81-16.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nine Year Old Arsonist?

I have been debating on how to handle this story. Last week a nine year old boy in the Chattanooga suburb of Hixson got mad at his mother while they were in a Dollar General store. The boy went to the rear of the store, found a display of matches, and used them to light some toilet paper on fire. He watched it start then went out of the store and told his mother what he had done. By the time the fire was noticed it was too late. The store was destroyed. The boy has been charged in Juvenile court with aggravated arson and reckless endangerment. The question being debated is whether or not he should be charged so severely. Here are some opinions on it.

I understand both arguments. He needs to be punished for his actions, but at age nine did he really understand the consequences of what he was doing. He obviously needs some intensive counseling, but will he get that where the authorities will send him? There is no easy answer to this one. Fortunately nobody died. I just hope there is no rush to judgment and a good solution is found.

I forgot to mention the Cubs game yesterday. On Tuesday the beat the Reds 7-2, but lost yesterday 3-0. They play the Reds again tonight before heading to St. Louis for a weekend series with the Cardinals.Travis was right about the 4 planets. They are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. I also liked his answer about the plants.
Today's question is Grade 3/Math.

True or false? Zero divided by any number except zero equals zero?

I knew this one. 80-16.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dragonball Evolution.

Yesterday Winthrop J. Quiggy commented about, well instead of summarizing, let Mr Quiggy's words stand for themselves.

"I personally have a problem with this penchant in Hollywood of making live action movies from manga, anime, video games and the like. They are usually mediocre at best and some are downright crap. It is a shame that a great actor like Raul Julia's final movie was that stinker "Street Fighter"."

I understand where he is coming from and that is a great idea for another day. Just don't hold your breath waiting, unless turning blue and passing out is your thing. In that case, go for it.

With that as an introduction, Dragonball Evolution is a good adaptation of the manga and the anime. Of course there were changes, but they were logical ones. Akira Toriyama, the creator of Dragonball, is credited as an Executive Producer. I am more familiar with Dragonball Z, which is the later adventures of Goku, than I am with Dragonball, but I know enough of the story to follow what was going on in the movie. The elements I was looking for were there.

There are seven dragonballs. When they are gathered together they will summon a dragon who will grant one wish. Goku and his friends are trying to get them before the villain Piccolo can gather them so he can conquer the world. This is not an academy award winning movie, but it is an entertaining ride. A knowledge of Dragonball helps, but the movie is enjoyable without it. A sequel is set up in a scene after the main credits. Since Dragonball has only done $8 million I will be surprised if they do a sequel. IMDB rates this movie a 3.2. I gave it an 8.

Winthrop J. Quiggy was correct with yesterday's question. Interrogative sentences do end with question marks.
Today's question is Grade 3/Science.
What are the four inner planets in the solar system?

They needed an editor on this calendar. I corrected the question. On the calendar they say four inner plants. I knew this one. 79-16.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Early To Bed.

I am doing a quick post today because I am going to bed earlier than I normally do. I am going to see a movie tonight, probably one that very few if any of you who read this will see. The movie is Dragonball Evolution. I have mentioned Dragonball before and I am looking forward to seeing it. The reviews have been bad and it ranks 3.1 on the IMDB, but I will judge for myself. Tomorrow I will have a full review.

The Cubs are hosting the Reds tonight. Ted Lilly was supposed to start Sunday night, but his start has been pushed to Wednesday. Tonight Rich Harden goes up against Micah Owings.

Mike was right. The Maya, Aztecs, and Incas lived in the Americas.
Today's question is Grade 3/English.

True or false? Interrogative sentences end with a question mark.

With a 50-50 chance, I went the wrong way. 78-16.

Monday, April 20, 2009


If you are hungry here is a burger for you. This one can be found at a ballpark. The West Michigan Whitecaps, who play in Grand Rapids, are offering this. It consists of five one-third pound burgers, a cup of chili, five slices of American cheese, salsa, nacho cheese, Frito's, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and if you want them, jalapenos. They use a pizza cutter to cut it into four pieces. The price is $20. Don't forget to save room for dessert. They have chocolate-covered frozen bananas.

The Cubs-Cardinals game was rained out. It has been rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader to be played on July 12.
Winthrop J. Quiggy was right. September is the last month alphabetically.
Today's question is Grade 5/History.

In which region did the Maya, Aztecs, and Incas live?

  • A) Africa
  • B) Asia
  • C) The Americas
I knew this one. 78-15.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Traveling Trophies Stay.

The Cubs beat the Cardinals 7-5 yesterday when Aramis Ramirez hit a two run home run with two out in the bottom of the eleventh. Cardinals pitcher Dennys Reyes normally would not have pitched to Ramirez, but Tony LaRussa didn't have many other options since Reyes was the sixth pitcher he had used. The two teams meet tonight with Ted Lilly pitching for the Cubs against Todd Wellemeyer. According to the rules my friend and I set up with the traveling trophies in case of a tie they stay where they are. Hopefully the Cubs will win again tonight, but regardless they stay here at least until next weekend, when the Cubs go to St Louis.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Smiles.

Today I get to use my picture. The Cubs tied the series by beating the Cardinals 8-7. Alfonso Soriano hit a two run home run in the eighth to give the Cubs the win.

Travis was right. Jonathan Swift wrote Gulliver's Travels.
The weekend question is Grade 2/Spelling.

What month comes last alphabetically?

I knew this one. 77-15.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ruining A Reputation?

A video posted by a couple of Domino's employees on YouTube has gotten them fired, arrested, and according to this article, their actions have damaged Domino's reputation.

First, the video. These "geniuses" had the bright idea to make a video of them allegedly making some sandwiches for delivery. A man was shown sticking cheese up his nose, "breaking wind" over some salami, and adding some additional "nose sauce" to the sandwiches. His female accomplice did a play by play on the video. The video has since been removed from YouTube, but it probably exists somewhere. Of course they deserved the firing. The arrest I am not so sure about. The charge is distributing prohibited foods. I really don't think they distributed this food. If they did they deserve jail time, but if not, stupidity really isn't a crime. If it was we all would have a record, some would have a rap sheet that would make War And Piece look like a short story.

As for Domino's reputation, how could you hold them responsible. They had no idea that this was going to happen. It is not in the training manual. I have worked for Taco Bell, Arby's, Wendy's, and Krystal's. Not once during any of the interviews was I asked "If given the chance, will you do disgusting things to our food and then serve it to our customers?" There is no way to predict that people will act outrageously. They have been fired. Domino's did what any responsible employer would have. They are blameless.

I got an email today from someone who wants to advertise here on my blog. It was from an Asian Travel Agency. Maybe I should do it. I am sure that everyone who reads this would love to plan a trip to Asia.

I have another picture I was hoping to use, but unfortunately the Cardinals beat the Cubs 7-4 yesterday. Chris Duncan had three hits, including a home run, and drove in three runs. The Cardinals had twelve hits against five Cubs pitchers. Hopefully the Cubs will reverse that today. Carlos Zambrano will be pitching against a rookie, P.J. Walters, who is making his major league debut.

Travis knew that a Triceratops had three horns on its head.
Today's question is Grade 4/Literature.

Who wrote the book Gulliver's Travels?

  • A) Robert Louis Stevenson
  • B) Jonathan Swift
  • C) Shel Silverstein
I knew this one. 76-15.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today the 2009 edition of the Chicago Cubs-St. Louis Cardinals rivalry kicks off at Wrigley Field. this will be a four game series. I mentioned last year that a friend of mine and me have a tradition with these series. I have two baseball cards, one of Derrek Lee and one of Albert Pujols, that are our traveling trophies. Should the Cardinals win three of these games, I have to send the cards to him. If they each win two, the cards stay here. The starting pitchers will be Sean Marshall for the Cubs and Adam Wainwright for the Cardinals. Marshall has had some success against the Cardinals. He is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.38 against them. On the other hand, The Cubs have dominated Mr. Wainwright, who is 1-3 and has a 6.10 ERA against the Cubs. So far this year the Cardinals are 7-3 and the Cubs are 5-3. Of course when these two are involved their record doesn't matter. They bring out the best in each other.

Yesterday the Cubs ran up against Jason Marquis, who had pitched for them the last two years. He pitched well and hit a bases loaded single to drive in two runs. The Rockies won 5-2.
Winthrop J. Quiggy was right. Negative numbers are less than zero.
Today's question is Grade 1/Science.

How many horns did the triceratops dinosaur have on its head?

I knew this one. 75-15.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day.

Being the great procrastinator that I am, I did my taxes at 7:00 A.M. this morning. I waited until the last minute because I figured I would have to pay something. Taco Bell did not withhold any income taxes. Much to my amazement I had actually overpaid this year. The government owes me 58 cents. I decided to be magnanimous and let the government keep it. No praise is necessary. I am just doing my patriotic duty.

The cartoon you see here is from a strip called Last Kiss. John Lustig, who has worked for Disney for over 20 years, bought the rights to a lot of pages of old romance comic books from the '50's and 60's. He then writes new captions for them. If you have time, check out his archives. He has some very funny things there.
Travis got this one. New Years Day was the federal holiday.
Today's question is Grade 4/Math.

True or False? Negative numbers are greater than zero.

I knew this one. 74-15.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Deadliest Catch.

Tonight at 9:00 P.M. EST Season five of The Deadliest Catch premieres. For some reason I managed to miss the first three seasons, but I got hooked on this during season four. (The reason I missed the earlier ones was because of the one who disappeared during the middle of the night.)

In case you have never seen it, The Deadliest Catch follows the men who fish for crabs in the Bering Sea. It really is a very dangerous job. The men put in long hours in terrible conditions and a few die every season. So far none of the boats they have featured have lost anyone, but they did show one of the boats rescue a man who had fallen overboard.

The show is narrated by Mike Rowe, who I have mentioned before from his show Dirty Jobs. On his blog, Mike was asked why he doesn't do a Dirty Jobs episode about the crab boats. Basically he said the tone of the shows are opposite, so it wouldn't work. His full answer can be found here. I find shows like this much more entertaining than network television.

The Cubs game was delayed over an hour because of the weather, but it didn't seem to bother Ted Lilly. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Garrett Atkins then hit a single and that was the only hit for the Rockies. The Cubs won 4-0. There is no game scheduled for today. They play the Rockies again tomorrow.
Travis was right. The Greeks developed comedy and tragedy.
Today's question is Grade 1/Civics.

Which of the following is a U.S. federal holiday?

  • A) Arbor Day
  • B) Flag Day
  • C) New Year's Day
I knew this one. 73-15.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Diogenes Finds Two.

Legend has it Diogenes wandered the streets of Athens carrying a lantern seeking an honest man. When we read the news today we get all the bad that is going on in the world. It was refreshing to run across two stories of honest people.

A woman in Los Angeles found a cashiers check worth $357,959 laying on the ground. It was a Saturday afternoon so she had to wait until Monday to return it. The bank told her she could mail it in, but she personally delivered it. She said she never considered keeping it and declined a reward.

Our second honest man is R. Lee Ermey, ex-marine sergeant and actor. Ermey was in Missoula, Montana to film an episode of a new series for the History Channel. He was traveling with a crew member when he spotted a bag laying by the side of the road. He stopped to check it out. It was a deposit bag which contained at least $8000 in cash plus more in checks. What did Ermey do with the bag? He went and deposited it.

It is nice to know that with all the bad out there, there are still some honest people.

The Cubs ended their series with the Brewers by beating them 8-5. They literally walked away with this one. In the fourth inning they scored 4 runs when the Brewers pitchers walked in the runs. Ryan Dempster got his first win of the year. Kevin Gregg continues to struggle. He wasn't in a save situation but still gave up another run. Unless he turns it around fast he will lose the closers job. The Cubs are supposed to play their first game at Wrigley Field today against the Colorado Rockies. Rain is in the forecast so we will see if they get to play.
Dagwan was correct. St Peter's Basilica is in Vatican City.

Today's question is Grade 5/Literature.

Comedy and tragedy are the two kinds of plays developed by who?
  • A) The Greeks
  • B) The Romans
  • C) The Egyptians
I knew this one. 72-15.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Smiles.

Last night I was working in frozen foods when one of my co-workers came down the aisle looking for Cool Whip. Her name is Krystal. With today being Easter we had sold completely out. I had just put out a few cases. She was looking at what was there and said, "What. No regular. Krystal don't do light."

Have a happy Easter. I hope you enjoy these.

How Easter eggs are made.

The Cubs bullpen continues to struggle, but thanks to a ninth inning home run by Alfonso Soriano the Cubs beat the Brewers 6-5. Carlos Zambrano struggled against a team he dominated last year. In today's game Ryan Dempster tries to win his first game of the year.