Saturday, November 29, 2008

Death by shopping . . .

. . . in New York, where else?

A thundering herd of New York shoppers trampled a Wal-Mart worker to death in order to get at those "black Friday" bargains.

In the cell phone video from which the above still was taken, several women could be heard laughing, a man says "They need to put the paddles on him," and another man says "They ain't givin' him CPR. They afraid to put they (sic) mouth on him." Nevermind that the latest CPR guidelines state that forced breathing isn't that productive, and that chest compressions are the first priority.

This is not the store where the death occurred, but it gives a pretty good idea of the total lack of civility of the lovely crowd. Freaking barbarians.

A Wal-Mart worker was killed Friday when "out-of-control" shoppers desperate for bargains broke down the doors at a 5 a.m. sale. Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers shouted angrily and kept shopping when store officials said they were closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

At least four other people, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, were taken to hospitals for observation or minor injuries, and the store in Valley Stream on Long Island closed for several hours before reopening.

Shoppers stepped over the man on the ground and streamed into the store. When told to leave, they complained that they had been in line since Thursday morning.

This is the Wal-Mart store in the story. They not only trampled the man, they broke down the doors to get to him. Classy, eh?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Three degrees of separation . . .

. . . from Mrs. Peel

Diana Rigg was in
Julius Caesar
Robert Vaughn, who was in
My nephew Dave, who was in
a home movie

Does that count?

I'm really not a stalker.

It's just that I have been watching my DVD set of "The Avengers - The Complete Emma Peel Megaset."

With "The Tudors" on hiatus, I must have something to watch, musn't I?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Hands up . . .

. . . and back away from that seagull.

We are now subject to a $100 fine if we feed ducks in the city parks or the seagulls at oceanside. It is apparently "environmentally unsound."

I wonder if they will be using decoys to catch us?

While I believe we should do (almost) everything possible to protect this planet, the "Environment Uber Alles" crowd is becoming tiresome.

I suspect they will want me to rat out grandson #3

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unmitigated gall . . .

I'm sure you've seen the news, but if not, the CEOs of GM, Chrysler and Ford arrived in Washington D.C. with tin cups in their hands. They might have been taken a little more seriously if they had not arrived in an airplane that:

looks like this on the outside . . .

. . . and this on the inside.

Ford CEO Mulally's corporate jet is a perk included for both he and his wife as part of his employment contract along with a $28 million salary last year. Mulally actually lives in Seattle, not Detroit. The company jet takes him home and back on weekends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Headlines . . .

. . . we didn’t really need.

Bill Clinton offers to bare all for ethical review...

He did it to Monica. He did it to us. Now it's round three?

OFFICIAL: Hitler only had one testicle...

At least the old British ditty now has provenence.

Hitler has only got one ball,
Goring has two but very small,
Himmler is fixed up sim'lar,
And Goebbels has no balls at all.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Change means . . .

. . . the same old insiders.

Thirty-one of the 47 people so far named to (Obama's) transition or staff posts have ties to the Clinton administration, including all but one of the members of his 12-person Transition Advisory Board and both of his White House staff choices.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

English double-deckers . . .

. . . may be making a comeback.

No, not that kind.

It seems that England is running out of burial plots, so it looks like twofers are in the offing.

Move over, Sir Winston . . . we've another occupant for you.
LET ME . . .

. . . OUT!

The deadbolt on our storm door locks just fine. Unfortunately, it will not unlock without a significant number of hand tools. That makes going out to use the barbecue grill a bit awkward.

The door is only two years old, made by the best manufacturer of doors and windows in the U.S., but the mechanism is only warrantied for a year.

To add insult to injury, I only need the latching mechanism on the left, which is all that could possibly fail, but I must buy all of the assorted brassworks which easily bolt on.

At least that's what the customer service rep located somewhere in India told me.

I do not particularly like outsourced overseas customer service centers. Her English was pretty good, though. Like something out of a 1950's British movie set in India.

Bottom line . . . $56.00 for $25.00 in parts that I need and $31.00 in parts that I don't.

At least, now I can get to the patio without walking around the house.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Battling Bastards of Bataan . . .

. . . redux.

(I should have posted this on Veterans' day, but other "stuff" got in the way.)

Back in January, I posted an article about a cousin of mine, J. S. Gray, who was on the Bataan Death March, shipped to Japan in on the Hell Ship Mati Mati Maru, and forced to work as a slave laborer in the mines.

On 09 NOV, the Virginian-Pilot printed a story about Death March veteran Norman Matthews as a part of a four-day series on prisoners of war. As I read the article, more and more "coincidences" surfaced.

Both Norman and J.S. were in the Army Air Force, both were on the Death March, both went to camp O'donnell, both were sent to Japan in hell ships, both were slave labor in Toyoma, Japan.

Both mens' POW photos were virtually identical. Same shirt. Same type number tag on the right breast. Same hat with a number tag. Same run-down clapboard siding background. Their POW numbers were 260 (JS) and 406 (Matthews).

This was WAY too much coincidence, so I called J.S.'s widow this afternoon. It turns out that they were together throughout their captivity. Same march, same ship, same camps. In fact, Matthews raided the slave camp office after V.J. day and took all of the POW photos. He eventually found JS years later and gave him his POW photo.

It wasn't coincidence after all.

On the first Wednesday of the month, the local survivors have a reakfast meeting at a local restaurant. Before it's too late, I intend to drop in, share my photo and J.S.'s story - and buy them all breakfast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mrs. Peel . . .


Are you kidding me?


You remember from experience.

We remember with gratitude.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grandkids say . . .

. . . things you might not expect.

These are from some time back:

T (walking by the bathroom): Whatcha doing mommy? Takin' a dump?

A : Where's the effing phone?
Mommy: A, we don't say that word.
A: No, no, phone starts with a "P" where's the "F"?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The election . . .

As a preface, I am an engineer (the science kind, not a train driver), so my after action report is based on analysis rather than emotion. I am glad this election is over. Both campaigns were run more on personality and sound bites than facts and programs. Both spent way too much money, and the process was simply too long. We simply cannot afford to spend fully half the term of a president trying to decide whom the next will be.

That said:

I believe that Obama feels his menu of programs is the best for the country.

I believe that a he is incorrect on at least a part of that menu - perhaps a major part

I believe that Bush felt his menu of programs was the best for the country.

I believe that he was incorrect on at least a part of that menu - perhaps a major part.

I believe that Bush's choice of advisers/minions/staff was badly chosen, that they executed his agenda badly, and that his singular focus on the war on terror - albeit important - badly neglected parts of the country's needs.

I believe that people who are gloating over Obama's win are ill-mannered clods who don't know how to win gracefully.

I believe, in that same vein, that Joy Behar was a c*nt before the election, and remains a c*nt afterwards.

I believe that people who are crying in their beer, looking for excuses for the loss, and vowing revenge are also ill-mannered clods who don't know how to lose gracefully.

I believe that more people voted for Obama because he is black than voted against him for the same reason. I do not necessarily find that to be unexpected, nor do I see it as racist.

I believe that Obama has won fairly, and that people should support any of his programs that they believe are in the best interest of the country.

I believe that people who disagree with any of his programs that they believe are not in the best interest of country the should oppose them ethically, and with all of the legal power and ability they possess.

I believe that Obama won gracefully, McCain lost gracefully, and Bush has been graceful in responding to the results.

I believe that we have a duly elected government, that we should support what we can, oppose what we cannot, and get on down the road.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Odds 'n ends. . .

How much time do you spend commuting? Here's the setup. I live 23 miles from where I work. That's my choice, so I have to live with it. Between driving to the park & ride and the bus trip to the base, I spend a one hour going and about an hour and a quarter returning.

I have a flex schedule, so I have every other Friday off. Considering that, plus holidays, plus vacation, I make that trip 207 times per year.

When I do the math - 207 days x 2.25 hours/day, that's the equivalent of 58 eight-hour days in transit. Amazing, wot?

It's not wasted, though. It provides some well-needed reading time. On the bus, that is . . . not driving to the park and ride.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

BBC World News America . . .

. . . in Washington D.C.

Katty Kay is a very bright, personable representative of the BBC in the U.S. She's the Washington correspondant, and has a pretty good handle on what's going on.

I love her accent. However, when she speaks of "Obamer in Virginyer," it makes my ears hurt.

I guess our Brit friends feel the same way when some one says
Wor-ses-ter-shire sauce.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

I don't know about you . . .

. . . but this guy creeps me out.

I don't care much for his hamburgers either.