Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mega What?

Oh ... 2007 looks like a Helluva year...

In the year 2007 I resolve to:
Start using a condom.

Get your resolution here.


The final Mega Millions drawing of 2006 resulted in more than 585,000 winning tickets, but none of them hit the jackpot. That means the excitement continues to build, and the Mega Millions jackpot for January 2, 2007 grows to an estimated $84 million.
Here is a complete breakdown of all 587,301 winning tickets in Friday's drawing:

Jackpot Winners

0 tickets matched all 6 numbers for: jackpot Other Prize Winners Prize Amount*
5 tickets matched 5 numbers for $250,000
27 tickets matched 4 numbers + the Mega Ball for $10,000
1,355 tickets matched 4 numbers for $150
1,716 tickets matched 3 numbers + the Mega Ball for $150
105 tickets matched 2 numbers + the Mega Ball for $10
893 tickets matched 3 numbers for $7
169,768 tickets matched 1 number + the Mega Ball for $3
305,432 tickets matched the Mega Ball for $2

So, play the Mega Millions jackpot for a chance to win ... two dollars. The excitement builds, indeed.

Speaking of winning the lottery...and I don't mean her...

Comedian Jay Mohr exchanged wedding vows with 'Las Vegas' actress Nikki Cox in a ceremony in Los Angeles, People magazine reported. (AP Photo/Dima Gavrysh)

And, there are all kinds of winners out there...

MADRID, Spain - A 67-year-old Spanish woman became the world's oldest mother after she gave birth to twins in the northern city of Barcelona on Saturday, a hospital official said. The woman, whose identity has not been revealed by Sant Pau hospital, gave birth by caesarian section on Saturday having previously undergone in vitro fertilization in the United States.

Let's see ... when the kids are 18 ... never mind.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Living Off the Fat of the Land

Here we go.
If you had just one wish for 2007, what would it be? One thing you really want to have happen to make all of our lives better? C'mon ... think. One thing. You know you want it. It's on the tip of your tongue ... give up? I thought so.

THURSDAY, Dec. 28, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- A large majority of Americans say they support changes in public policy to stem the rising tide of obesity among adults, a new survey shows.
THAT'S IT! Another law! You probably thought it was an end to the war or some infectious disease cure -- dumbass. It's a law. We need a law against fat people. Get with the program, peeps. But wait, there's more...

"There is a lot of support for employer and health policies aimed at preventing obesity," said lead researcher Bernard Fuemmeler, an assistant professor in the department of community and family medicine at Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, N.C.
"This study provides tangible evidence that people support wide-scale policy changes that can affect obesity in the U.S.," Fuemmeler added.
A lot of support? The survey talked to 1,139 adults. I know, I had statistics classes in college ... it's a representative sample, right?
And, what's better at fighting obesity than a forced-employer-sponsored-government-endorsed program? How about eating less and getting some exercise? Wait - that would take work, and we don't want to work - especially at our place of employment. We want the magic pill, magic program or "quick and easy" way to lose weight. News flash: There isn't one. Any government-sponsored anything will fail and cost us money. Our money. But why stop there? We're taking a survey:

The new telephone survey of 1,139 adults found that 85 percent supported tax breaks for employers who made exercise space available to employees.
In addition, 73 percent said they'd support government incentives for companies that reduced the cost of health insurance for employees who had healthy lifestyles and shed extra pounds. Seventy-two percent said they would support government policies requiring insurance companies to cover obesity treatment and prevention programs.

Now, we get to the real dumbass part. The dopes they surveyed forgot something. What did they forget? Exercise rooms, tax breaks and incentive programs cost money. Say "tax break" to the average obese American, and they start salivating like you're holding a donut over their head.
And, what do big corporations need more of? Tax breaks, which the survey people presented as Government Incentives. Nice one. I wonder which Republican organization they hired to do the survey? I was born during the day, but not yesterday.
And, let's see about the last part of the story - the government policies over insurance companies.
Oh God ... you finish this, I can't type anymore....







Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Twelfth-Favorite Legal Holiday

As we close in on another New Year's Day, a few things come to mind. The sick one, don't-cha know.
There's the thing that we say to each other around the holidays. "In case I don't see you, have a Happy New Year!" In case I don't see you? What's that mean? So, what happens if I do see you? Have a good new year, regardless. Call me.
And, what's the holiday anyway? It's the first day of a new calendar year, yet it's a legal holiday. Is it "National Hangover Day", or just an excuse for another day off? Part of me doesn't get all the fuss.

Here in the Philadelphia area, and specifically in the city, we have something called the Mummer's Parade. Being born and reared here, I'm supposed to embrace the parade as some sort of local ritual. For the record, I think it's ridiculous. There, I said it.
It's only recently that women were allowed to participate. Men would dress up like women and do that silly Mummers Strut - which appears to be a mix of St. Vitus Dance and a drunken wobble, replete with a paper umbrella and big purple parachute pants. Combine that with bad, out of tune banjo-saxophone-xylophone music, and you have a real celebration.
Not to mention (but I will, anyway) that the parade lasts about 13 hours. That's right. It starts sometime around 8am, and fizzles out after 9pm or so. It's some sort of marathon, and if you're a "real" Philadelphian, you're probably looking up my e-mail address right about now and sending me ONE OF THOSE ALL-CAPITAL LETTER E-MAIL'S WITH FIVE EXCLAMATION POINTS AT THE END OF EVERY SENTENCE TELLING ME WHAT AN ASSHOLE I AM FOR DISLIKING THE PARADE!!!!! Screw me, then. It's a stupid parade, but I do, however, love the city and it's charm. The parade, I can live without. Thankfully, I do.
But, it's New Year's. Time for the resolute among us to waddle into the local fitness facility, bound and determined to work-off ten years of fat and flab in less than three months, so you can fit into that little bathing suit you wore in college. For the next six weeks or so, the fat and flabby will do their best to wade into the gym, having paid for a full year, and generally make a nuisance out of themselves, as they confuse exercise equipment with lounge chairs, stare blankly at the TV and incessantly 'clang' the weights with each moderately strenuous movement.
The effort is well-intetntioned, but the money is wasted because they don't go, and as a result, they have to buy a new bathing suit. On the plus side, we have the paying non-participants to thank for keeping our dues low, so "Thanks for not participating".
If only the Mummers would do it, too.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Feeling a Little Gassy

As I have said here before, it is always the little things that get my sick mind working. While puttering around on the Internet before beginning my daily grind, I found a charming little story about the town of Novy Urengoi, in the Arctic, known as the "gas capital of Russia", which sits atop the second-largest natural gas field in the world.
The story went on to detail the struggles of the people who work there, in sub-zero temperatures and all, in the pursuit of a fossil fuel. Generally, it is the only business they have there, so it really isn't so much of a struggle as it is a way of life.

The last three paragraphs of the story got me going:

Nikolai Dubina, one of those early pioneers, admits that the main gas field's heyday is behind it, and now it produces half of what it did in the 1980s. Now, Gazprom is starting to turn its attention to elsewhere in Russia. But for the citizens of Novy Urengoi, 70 percent of whom depend on the gas giant, a future without gas is unthinkable; for the citizens of western Europe, who are on the receiving end of the pipeline, it's a similarly worrying prospect.

But that may be something for future generations to worry about. The Urengoi gas field may be 70 percent depleted. But that last 30 percent still holds several trillion cubic meters of the stuff. And other outlying sites may yet come through, keeping Novy Urengoi, the frontier town of the north, going for a few more decades.

"We have enough gas for our daughters and granddaughters," promises Mr. Dubina, "so stop worrying folks."

Sure, Nikolai, I'll stop worrying. After all, the world is only going to last another 100 years, right? As long as our grandchildren are taken care of, we can continue to use fossil fuels until our lungs fill with carbon monoxide and we are so warm that we have to cut the sleeves off our t-shirts.
As the article said, "let other generations worry about it". Meanwhile, we will keep buying giant vehicles to make next-door cigarette runs and build McMansion's that need two compressors to run the air-conditioning, and heater blowers the size of an SUV. That's great - it will be somebody else's problem.
People use the same thought pattern when they throw a cigarette butt out the window (of their giant SUV) or leave trash on the floor of a movie theater. "Let someone else clean it up." We are free to behave as we wish, so long as there is someone else around to pick up our trash. Why take responsibility for our actions when leaving them for someone else to clean up is so much easier?

What they are doing, in reality is condemning their grandchildren to a life of discontent and uncertainty. When their generation pumps that gas hole dry, the struggle will be theirs, because their ancestors did nothing to prepare them for life beyond anything that produces energy by burning something. As long as we don't have to worry about it now.

For all the fuss we make about educating our children and trying to make their lives better than ours, we do nothing to improve the bigger picture. You can say that the science behind global warming studies is fantasy, or that we are slowly becoming more energy efficient, but you cannot deny that we will eventually run out of natural gas and crude oil. It is inevitable.
Our grandchildren will have plenty of education and maybe even more money than us, but what they will be left with is a world where they will have to fight for space to move and air to breathe, while the animals with which they co-exist will similarly struggle to find a friendly environment.

I think we owe them more than that.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Our Decider in Chief

President Bush steps from Air Force One after landing Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2006, in Waco, Texas. The president will spend the week at his nearby ranch in Crawford.

See, I told ya. He can walk, carry something and salute at the same time. Practice makes perfect.
That's George, carrying his chief advisor on Iraq. Once Barney gets some treats and has his afternoon nap, it's a full day for George at the ranch. I'm guessing that the dog spends most of his day saying, "Huh?" Then, he licks his balls and kisses George on the mouth. Fun at the ranch.

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush went to his ranch Tuesday to rethink U.S. involvement in Iraq as his spokesman hailed a Baghdad court's decision upholding the death sentence for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

God forbid he does any thinking in Washington. I suppose that would go against the District's charter. Who wants to bet that he comes out of his self-imposed bunker to announce that we're "staying the course", and that we have to be determined in our efforts against the evil-doers. No, I'm not a speechwriter.


The president spent the Christmas holiday with his family at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. Mrs. Bush gave the president a new blue suit, biking shoes and country singer Sam Moore's CD titled "Overnight Sensational." He gave her amber-colored citrine earrings to match the triple-strand citrine necklace he gave her for her birthday.

A new blue suit? What's that, like a hundred now? Good call, Laura. And, I've seen the president on a bike. She should have increased his health insurance and bought him a harder helmet. And, what do you get the woman who has everything? Citrine. I guess it beats the crap out of pearls.
Then, for people who have nothing, they gave ... well ...

As part of a family gift name drawing, the Bushes donated mosquito nets in the name of former President George H.W. Bush through, a mission set up to urge individuals, organizations and institutions to protect families from malaria.

Say it with netting.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas

I have some web gifts for my Blogger Buddies. Of course, it's a little odd, since you can open each other's gifts, but Hell - the world is an imperfect place. That's why a Republican is in the White House. Anyway, these are just a little Internet 'thank you' for hanging with me for these last eight months.

to kara: a site that you may enjoy, and another that will make you feel a bit like jackson pollock.

To Carmen: Some neat pictures of cats in flight and a travel blog you might enjoy.

To Pam: This site that explores an interesting psychological phenomenon, and a new blog for you to visit.

To Hill: Here's a neat little site where you can fulfill your greatest fantasies and even use some of your creativity. No garden gnomes are involved.
To Kimmyk: One of my favorite sites.

To Firestarter5: A little homage to some of the weird things about Canada.

To Sparky Duck: What's better than a win in Dallas? I can't do any better than that.

To Katie: A little something to feed your addiction.

To Chaos: I like him, too.

To the rest of my readers, thanks for hanging in and making me feel slightly less "sick". Now that the holidays are gleefully behind us, it's on to the regular nonsense.

Check, please!

My weekly supermarket trip is generally odd enough to support a blog of its own, but God (and Bill O'Reilly) knows I don't need something else to do.
Last night, I'm standing in line with my usual assortment of odd items, when I see the woman in front of me hesitate for a moment. The cashier had told her that her order came to $124.25, and this caused the woman to ponder, "I want to make this check out so that I get cash back. What's the limit?"

That's right - the check.

Of course, the cashier didn't know, because ... c'mon, who writes checks to begin with? She turned to a co-worker and asked. The response came back that the limit was $30.
The woman was relieved, for some unknown reason. She said she needed more than $25. She looked at the total again, and then started to make out the check. "Is it OK if I make this out for $150 even? I need a little extra." Which, actually is a question and a statament, but I digress.

She proceeds to make out the check for $150, forcing the cashier to give her $25.75. While all this is going on, the little wheels that move around in my mind were trying to comprehend what was going on in her mind. I realize that not everyone has embraced my Utopian Cashless Society Concept (or UCSC, as it is known), but what's with the 75 cents? My inner voice wanted to ask (nicely), "Lady, what in Hell are you going to do with the extra 75 cents?" Or, "Why didn't you just write the check for $150.75, so the kid didn't have to get quarters out of the drawer?"

I remained quiet, until they were out of earshot, then I began giggling like a child. I looked quizzically at the cashier, and she just smiled and shook her head a little.

"I suppose that extra 75 cents is gonna turn her holidays around", I said.
She replied, "You have no idea what we see in here".