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January 31, 2003


If you're planning to buy a Romanian car, you might want to check it for, umm, fluids.
(Thanks to Jeanne Bocanegra.)


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Sly, I've made a salad a number of times...sliced grape tomatoes, peeled and seeded and chopped cucumber, string cheese (sliced into little rounds) and Italian dressing. I don't like eating tomatoes that much, or even cucumbers, but I do like this salad. The nice thing is since I use grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, is that they are consistent all year round. Good fresh regular tomatoes are a very limited time item.

But have you peeled and seeded and chopped grape tomatoes, Susan?

I thought not.


sounds like too much work for something you're going to eat in 15 min. anyhow. Chop the string cheese and toss it all in. Let the stomach sort it out!

*goes looking for coffee grounds and a cup of hot water*

Let the stomach sort it out!

Exactly, Kibby! When I was a kid I was such a picky eater that none of the food on my plate was allowed to touch any other food and my mother was always saying, "It all goes in the same stomach!"

As if that mattered - not!

I'm better now, really.

*tosses pants*

Happy Labor Day weekend. We're seeing Spamalot on Sunday.

I'd toss my pants again but I'm too tired. I was at work til about 12:30 last night...got home and my mother was complaining of some chest discomfort. She ended up calling the dr, and he had her drink water with baking soda. That did the trick, but I was up til about 1:30...and back up at quarter to 6...to drive 2 hours to Columbia.

We get there, and sit in the bleachers for half an hour...finally the platoons line up. A staff member comes out in front of the parents. With him is a cadet, holding a microphone and papers. Hmmmm. Some distance away, but, you know what? I think it's a female. Huh. Glasses. Could it be? Might it be? Why, yes, my child is a cadet captain...public affairs officer, who announces the winners of the drill yesterday, and other such announcements.

Hmmm. Jolt gum does seem to work. I feel a little more awake now...

Susan! Congrats to Amy!!!

Wow, very cool. Congratulations, Amy.


Hey Kaffy, MIB and all others.

I have been blurking somewhat.

We finally have our kitchen done (told 3 weeks, took 5 months). And we did not kill each other! (yet)

We also had to redo the bathroom due to a leak in the shower that rotted the floor, we did not know about it, until I replaced the particleboard in the kitchen, which was absorbing the water, and it started leaking into the basement..Oh joy.

I hope we won't be renting the house and living in a tent in the front yard too soon!

Looking for work and cannot find anything local so I am really stressing out. Akk.

Otherwise all is good and nice to see you all.

(I am going to kill my laptop as it is really being a pain in the a$$)

Five months? WTFBBQ!

Good to see you here, BigD.

5 months? Sounds like some of the work we had done at the station.

Some of the stuff "soon to be done" in April still has not been even begun. This is nothing new.

Thanks to all for the congratulations on the captain.

Who still has not gotten out of bed this morning.

"Always look on the bright side of life..."

Just getting ready for this afternoon.

Water with baking soda? It may have worked, but it must have tasted truly horrible.

Five months of work on the house, eeek. On the bright side, it will soon be over.

My paperwork in Barcelona is done. Now I need to start preparing for the move in more practical ways: looking up what kind of mobile phone to get, what kind of laptop (probably something small and cheap, like an Aspire One or an Eee PC, being a broke student), where to open a bank account (looking around in advance)...

Verdict: Spamalot was very funny. Even Jackie, who is not a Python fan, laughed a lot. They manage to keep it up to date with topical references too (calling "McCain's running mate" "a babe who likes guns" for example).

You know how Anderson Cooper and other idiotintrepid reporters feel the need to stand out in te hurricane so we can see the force of the wind for ourselves?

My favorite this morning was CNN's Rob Marciano, who is on the roof of the OmnI Hotel.


*looks for dangerous reporting site*

*train yard isn't dangerous enough*

Kibby, since Judi isn't going to use it maybe you can tell us about teh arrest of the guy trying to sell the Czech President's (supposed) hip bone on eBay?

Apparently it was a Hoax Hip Bone.

is there a good way to ask a neighbor to quit smoking inside their house? I'm in a 6 unit condo and the owner behind me is a smoker. the way the building was designed, the first floor floor joists pass through from my unit to his, leaving gaps at the top of the basement wall. They tried to fill the gaps, but in one spot, where the sewer line passes through, there is an opening where the smell of smoke is coming through. his central air system helps to push the stench through, and then my central air distributes it through my house. it's awful, but what can i do?

Good question, Trillian.

Every once in a while we get secondhand smoke which we thought was coming from the women next door, but a couple of days ago they put a sign on their door saying "No Smoking Zone" so maybe they think it was us!

Then where is the smoke comng from?

Trillian, maybe the best thing to do is simply explain that you got holes in your condos, and politely ask him to step outside to smoke. He might not do it, or he might do it just long enough that you can find some seal-foam and wiggle into the wigglespace to plug it up, if you can.

Also, is anyone else as amused as I am about this whole Palin not being vetted thing. I know we want to avoid politics, but the whole shebang is becoming exceptionally humorous. (I don't like her, she reminds me of our old neighbor, except without cookies. The lady who called me a witch at least had cookies.)

Trillian, recommend talking to the condo association and going with Crashs' idea of the expanding foam.

Otherwise, create a positive air pressure in your condo that'll push fresh air into his. He may like it enough to stop smoking ... or not. Add incense or perfume as needed.

Crash, we were discussing that last night. No one I know believes that she really told McCain her daughter was pregnant beforehand.

Well, now they're claiming she volunteered the information, so maybe it's true, but the whole way this was handled (as well as the choice itself) was incredibly clumsily handled.

Not that I can vote, but I find McCain's choice just a blatent grasp at the female vote. I'm POSITIVE he had other, more qualified candidates available...

That being said, I'm going back to retrieve my pants after the long weekend!

Higgy, how are the kids doing?

Doing great - growing like weeds - more pics going on my blog shortly.

Oh no! Weed!

I mean weeds!
*looks around*

whaddya mean "oh no! weed!"?

i believe that proper etiquette dictates that when one discovers weed, one should:

a) accept said "weed" when said "weed" is being passed; or

b) politely decline the offer of "weed"

one should never, however, under any circumstances, accept said "weed" whilst its being passed, and then either pretend to inhale, or, even worse, actually inhale, and then later deny inhaling at all

its just plain rude *snork*

what i wanna know is, did crash misplace her apostrophe?

*looks around for missing apostrophe*

The MOAT's fairly clean, don't know how anything could go missing.

I, for one, think McCains' choice is a bold one and will make VP debates interesting. One could claim that now the VPs may weight in more importantly than in the past.

Palin's record reflects risking the environment for every drop of oil she can squeeze out of her state and every penny she can make for oil companies. She has even less respect for the environment than her running mate. She has sued the Department of the Interior for protecting polar bears because protecting them puts OIL DRILLING at risk. ISIANMTU. We wouldn't want big oil to become endangered. After all, they haven't been making ANY profit for so long. We totally have to dig for the dwindling supply of oil that might change our gas prices by two cents a gallon in 10-20 years! *eye roll*

She was picked 1) pandering to female voters and 2) for the oil in her state. NOT for her qualifications to assume the role of President when her running mate kicks the bucket.

Gosh that was so un-MOATlike. I couldn't help myself and I've tarnished the MOAT. Feel free to move. I'll keep this crap to my blog from now on.

*bespeckles the MOAT with peace-offering boogers*

Leetie, a lot of us agree with every word of that and then some - like throwing her pregnant daughter under the bus (so to speak) of the media and forcing her to marry this loser (at least until the election is over, when they can call it off) - so don't worry about it.

Oops, I did it too.

Never mind.

BTW Trillian, I agree with speaking with the landlord / condo owner about the smoke.

*adds multicolored boogers*

*doesn't see tarnished MOAT - might have something to do with rose colo(u)red glasses*

*peeks in to see what's for lunch*

Mmmm! Smoked polar bear, lightly sauteed in oil and garnished with roses and multicolored boogers...

Douse it in heinz and it sounds delish!

I got spam blocked!

Mmm... polar bear and roses and.. wait, what?

Yeah, I kinda hate her. She's the likely least feminist feminist out there. What I really have a problem with is not her inexperience -CW McCall has more experience as a mayor, nor her personal controversies -filing an ethics complaint against herself, but I especially don't have a problem with her daughter being pregnant.

I have a problem with her claiming to support Creationism being taught in science class, saying 'why deny kids any and all information?' but then turning around and supporting abstinence only which denies kids all kinds of extremely important information on how their bodies work and what can happen if you don't know this stuff and how to prevent the bad and unwanted. I DON'T GET THAT.

I just really want a decent journalist to catch her:
Me: "As a hunter and member of the NRA, do you support animal culling when over-population poses a risk to other species and the habitat?"
Her:"Of course!" *smile*
"As a mother of five and opposed to all forms of birth control as you see it to be abortion, how do you propose we solve the greatest scientific threat to the Earth and it's human inhabitants today?"
"Well, global warming is made-up an..."
"No, the problem is Human over-population."
Her:"..." *smile fades*
"Might I suppose then, that you support culling?"

Well removing everyone's names helped.

the teenage pregnancy thing doesn't bother me ...

What bothers me is her saying the Iraq war and building a $30 BILLION natural gas pipeline in Alaska are tasks sent by God.

It would be awfully bothersome if it turns out that it was the teenager who actually gave birth to "Trig" in April, after an alleged 4-5 month absence from school for "mono."


I thought this was quite amusing today.

So...she tried to have the town librarian fired for refusing to censor books?

Nice. Very First Amendment of her.

kibby's bothered by windless sailing days, repeating commercials, pointless points, losing FF games ....

spray foam! brilliant!
i got some "great stuff" and applied liberally to the spot by the sewer line. seems to have done the trick. and it was fun to use.

We used the stuff to adhere the gas tank to the bottom of our boat once, and in chain link fencing to keep the wasps out. And then just for fun.

Hi MiB! Missed you!

I am back at school...thanks to leave of absence I won't graduate til next May. But at least I can go part-time this year and still live on-campus (i.e. not in Jersey, which is my equivalent of Kourou). I'm going to finish my thesis and knock this thing out of the park and move on with my life.

Loved the Phelps-lympics. What, there were other sports there? It was all swimming and bikini volleyball, looked like. But seriously, Phelps was great.

In other news, Palin's kids are as stupidly named as your average starlet/movie star's. Bristol and Trig? What is Trig, short for Trigonometry? And Bristol? Hi, I'm English Shipping Port, and this is my brother Difficult Mathematics.

I focus on the issues, man... ;)

Don't forget their sister, Tree.

*90 yesterday, 87 today - tosses pants*

did she name them after where they were conceived?


Could be... .

According to the BBC, Track was so named because his mother loves running, and Trig is the Nordic word for "strength". Doesn't mention the origins of the other kids' names. (The origin of Track's name was one of the questions in this week's news quiz.)

Hi, Blogchik! Glad to see you're doing well at school, too.

Don't forget that Todd is part Inuit (or something like that), so I can see a nature influence on the names.

We should just be glad they didn't name one of them "Two Dogs - uh - Ducking."

But I wouldn't stick a kid with the name of a difficult math class.

This is nothing against her, but I wish parents in general would just think a little longer (and - obviously - celebrities are often guilty of this) before naming their kids something odd, like Apple.

Willow likes girls.

...wait. That might have just been on Buffy.

That bitch Hanna has arrived.

When we came out of the theater - Gypsy, which was superb - it was raining like heLL. At least it was OK before we went in and at least it isn't as windy as they predicted earlier.

Hope you're all doing better.

it's been a banner year for mosquitos, possibly because of the last mild winter, anyway they find kylie delicious. when we explained what mosquitos did, she was indignant, "Make that mosquito give my blood back!", she insisted.

It's always good to hang out with Jackie, who - apparently - has something the mosquitos like because she got bitten several times the other day while I was unscathed.

Hanna was done here by 10 pm. We had 3.39 inches in Central Park, as high as 6.50 to the north & west.

things i wish i'd said:
k-mart cashier: enjoy your weekend!
me: i'm buying antacids and preparation h, how good a time do you think i'm having?

Well, taking into the possibility of a strange science project -- looks pretty good!

*goes to figure out what can blow up with antacids and prep h stuff*

*looks a Heuy and gets more ideas*

Our new(ish now I guess) neighbors sometimes complain about how awful the mosquitos are when we're all sitting outside. Pepper and I look around and then tell them they're crazy. They have all these citronella candles and things. Neither Pepper nor I have been bit once since moving here.

Citronella is crack for mosquitos.

Does that mean they have little citronella pipes?

I described to them great clouds descending upon the land and leeching cattle to their mass deaths. Mosquitos so thick you cannot breathe, and in numbers that blot out the sun.
They were horrified.

Then they equated that to the beggars downtown.

I remember them being so big they could carry small children away!

Wasn't that in The In Laws, kibby?

My niece Brooklyn (age 5) called my father yesterday to wish him a Happy Birthday. When he told her he was 84, she said, "That's a lot of numbers, grandpa."

Amen to that.

Na, think those were in Finland.


I picked up my tickets yesterday for a 10 day vacation.

*is happy*

1. Area 51 Visitors 1-0-0
2. El's Champs 1-0-0
3. Di's Johnz 1-0-0
4. Sly's Guys 1-0-0
5. Tooligans rule again 1-0-0
6. The Smegheads 1-0-0
7. Eagerest Beavers 0-1-0
8. kibby's kruisers 0-1-0
9. Godless Communists 0-1-0
10. Mad Lab Weasels 0-1-0
11. Theodore 0-1-0
12. Higgy's Heroic Huns 0-1-0

Not surprisingly, we had 6 winners and 6 losers this week! HAH, I crack myself up. Di's Johnz held off the Beavers 63-59, Lab had a powerful week over Kibby 87-55, Trillian SQUEAKED one out over Mad and Mike 51-49 and Sly just got by TCK 55-52. Some very close matches! El's champs romped over Bismuth 80-47, and your faithful Commish stood open-mouthed on the sidelines as the Hun's Tom Brady was carted off in the first quarter - and fell to Kaf's Smegheads 47-44.

Next week, we have:
El's Champs goes at a patched up Higgy's Heroic Huns, Di's Johnz go for 2-0 against The Smegheads, Theodore tries for redemption versus Sly's Guys, the Godless Communists take on Tooligans rule again, the Mad Lab Weasels pit their finest against Area 51 Visitors and kibby's kruisers fend off the Eagerest Beavers.

Good luck, all!

Hey, I'm only 2 down the loser's list.... things are looking up!

I don't think it is fair that Lab got all of the NFL to put GU on the field and uniforms for him. I demand a recount of those 2 points since our lousy QB had -1! Higgy we were amazed how quickly you traded Brady away! I guess you knew it was bad. Oh well I doubt we will win against Lab especially since he has all of the NFL on his side.




Wow, post got cut-off, think we're back to a 'streaching the margins' blog?

Prolly stretching more than "margins".


*checks to see if MOAT has strech marks*

One can't help but bring up memories every year on 9/11. I won't go into "where were you/what were you doing" things but I am glad that at least in New York they are still giving full coverage and bearing witness by reading the names. This year they are being read by family members - many of them kids who can only have the sketchiest memories of lost loved ones - and students from the 95 countries who lost citizens who are studying in NY.

If one is so inclined, one might watch archived news footage from 7 years ago.
This Link Here includes, NBC, ABC, CBS, BBC, and FOX.
Commercials and all.

Adios to Gregory MacDonald, who wrote the Fletch and Flynn books. He gave me many hours of reading enjoyment...
Hi, guys!

Heya Jamester. How about those Dodgers? We have to thank the Giants for the Arizona sweep as well. Should be an interesting end to the season.

Jeff-Given that the Yankees have most of their best players from the last few years do you think losing Torre is responsible for not making the playoffs this year or just that the AL East is so tough?

Mad, not really, though Jackie thinks it had an effect. They're aging and had a lot of serious injuries. And the AL East did get tougher.

jamester, I met Greg Mcdonald years ago at a mystery convention - he was Guest of Honor and gave an entertaining talk - and he seemed like a really nice guy. I liked his books too.

FYI: we had to get new passport photos today and they guy taking the picture told Jackie she had to push her hair back so her ears showed or they would reject the picture.


Of course some of the rest of us didn't have that problem.

Your ears are unique, they are like fingerprints and can be used to identify you in pictures. In Passport photos you have to have at least one showing.
You should make fun and say how lovely her cartilage structure is.

Crash, I figured it was the "identification" thing - they say you can't disguise your ears the way you can other features.

Crash, I spent a weekend in the Neverglades with my Uncle and friends looking for sea turtles laying eggs, the Skeeters were so thick that if you had a butterfly net you could make Skeeter soup! Deet is a wonderful invention.

House is finally complete. New kitchen, bathroom (except shower), carpet, blah, blah, blah. I am exhausted!

Now, to find a job that is not 45 minutes to an hour away (not over the mountains that get nasty when it snows).

My eldest son had his Master's recital a couple of weeks ago. I missed it due to the house. His professor told him he was crazy for the pieces he chose. My Mom and Brother attended and said it was amazing. Can't wait for the CD to listen to it. He is thinking about going for his PHD but might take a year off to teach and decompress.

Immigration Agent: "My, what big ears you have."

Guest: "So much better to hear you with, my dear."

*wonders how the red hood fits into this story*

The red hood is a communist conspiracy.

Ah crap. Now I have Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs singing in my head and it will not stop.

Big D, Did you see any turtles? The usually prefer the beach coasts, and not the swamps. Also, turtles make good soup. Mosquitos do not. THey taste horrible.

i first heard about the 'ears thing' when i heard that from photographs , someone had proved that Anna Manahan (who claimed for decades to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia) was indeed Anastasia. Later DNA tests showed otherwise. (granted these would have been pictures taken many years apart...)

*throws the y back up there where it fell off.*

"Baaaaaa. I mean baaa?"

So it's going to start raining between 5 and 7 pm (not the precision), right? So we go out for a walk to get lunch and, you guessed it, it starts raining at 1 pm.

*throws pants anyway*

note not not

I hope everyone in Texas came through Ike OK. Last night one of the reporters was showing the waves crashing down on Galveston at the Gulf when some dim bulb drove by!


Crash, we went to Cape Sable through the canals leading from the Flamingo area. We had two teems, ours did not see a turtle, but the other did...sigh. But the dozens of Blue Crab, Snook and Snapper we caught were yummy!

My sister's family is OK, but do have storm damage and the second half of the storm is hitting them now. Trees have fallen all around their house and are blocking them in, but they aren't in any hurry to leave the house until the storm is over. They can't see the garage to see if that is still there with their vehicles. So far, their windows and roof are intact. Her former brother-in-law lives in The Woodlands and lost two vehicles and half of his house. All of this is north of Houston. We are concerned about my niece's husband who wouldn't leave their apartment with my niece. That is also north of Houston but in an area that easily floods. They can't get through to him due to cell phone traffic, so they are still hopeful he's OK.

Cape Sable is my favorite(st) place in this world.

My friend Bill in Alvin (between Galveston & Houston, but on high ground) is OK, but lost his power and said there is "devastation all around." I just saw Anderson Cooper up to his waist in water.

my uncle's family in lake charles, la. is o.k....
and how high is anderson cooper's waist anyway?

It was so silly. Rather than just walk three feet and get out of the water he stood there, doing interviews in his waders.

And man, was that really Tina Fey or Sarah Palin on SNL? She even had the accent down perfectly.

Sadly, the rest of SNL just proved what a geezer I am as I found it devoid of anything funny, other than the fake commercials and Michael Phelps's mom.

*goes to warm up geezer bus*

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