Vanity plate: TITANIC.

I once wrote a story about a man who’d staggered, drunk, out of a bar one night and apparently vanished. No one had heard from him, no one had seen his car in any ditches between the bar and his house, he just, poof, disappeared.

Well, of course he only disappeared in the sense that no one could see him. A week or so after my story ran, the police fished his car, and his body, out of a farm pond on his route home. He’d driven off the road and into eternity, another of the less-celebrated residents of Davy Jones’ locker. (Maybe, in this case, it should be Farmer Jones’ locker.)

His was an easy case for the crack missing-persons team in that jurisdiction, and it’s what I thought of when I read (HT: FWOb) about how divers went into some retention ponds on Indianapolis’ north side after a report that a car had been dumped there, and found…five. Most had been there “for a long time,” the Indy Star reported.

I don’t get it. When our plane passed over Pearl Harbor en route to landing in Hawaii a few years back, the pilot told us to look down at the wreck of the USS Arizona, still leaking a streak of diesel fuel half a century after Dec. 7, 1941. Granted a car isn’t a battleship, but wouldn’t you expect there’d be some surface evidence of a dumped car in a retention pond? And if not, if they keep their secrets that well, I wonder why Hollywood always shows us the killer digging the shallow grave by lantern light, when it would be so much easier to wire a couple cement blocks to the corpse and roll it out past the drop-off? Note to self: Never wonder again what the bluegill might be feeding on in those things.

Friends, that should give you an idea of the sort of conversation-starters I have today. Maybe you guys can carry the weight. Here’s a picture by Brian Stouder, snapped in the wild night before last:


And here’s little Brianette Jr., which only serves to remind me that in Michigan, the Easter egg hunt is likely to be cancelled for snow:


And here’s some bloggage:

There simply has to be more to this story than we’re getting:

It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday’s Tribune Chronicle that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton answered questions from voters in a local congressman’s office.

Reporter John Goodall, who was assigned to the story, spoke by telephone with Hillary Wicai Viers, who is a communications director in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s staff. According to the reporter, when Viers answered the phone with ‘‘This is Hillary,’’ he believed he was speaking with the Democratic presidential candidate, who had made several previous visits to the Mahoning Valley.

Goodall’s next assignment: Interview Santa Claus.

A new MacBook Air costs $1,800. It’s nice to know Charlie Rose can think fast. And has his priorities straight.

What if they gave haircuts at Hooters? Why, then it would be Lady Jane’s Haircuts for Men. They advertise heavily on local TV, and I gotta admit — the ads are pretty funny.

Finally, I try to keep the aw-isn’t-my-kid-cute stories to a bare minimum here, but indulge me this one: Last night at dinner, Kate plucked an onion ring out of the pile, a very small one. She slipped it over her index finger, held it up and said, “Look, a literal onion ring.” Then she ate it. Please remember this 11-year-old the next time you’re watching your local news and a highly paid, college-educated TV reporter says, “The work is literally back-breaking.” If my 11-year-old can grasp the meaning of the word, so can, and should, he.

Now I’m thinking about onion rings, with the start of spring already upon us. Ah, well, it won’t be bathing-suit season for a good long time here, will it?

Off for my 60,000-mile service. The car, not me. I have way more miles.

Posted at 7:51 am in Current events, Holiday photos |

47 responses to “Vanity plate: TITANIC.”

  1. Dorothy said on March 20, 2008 at 8:16 am

    Weather reporter on channel 4 last night said that it’s going to be colder on Easter this year than it was on Christmas day, 2007.

    I liked your Kate/literal story. Another sloppy thing I’ve noticed about TV reporters is their inability to say “fewer” instead of “less” in the proper context. It seems like I hear it every other day! Drives me bonkers.

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  2. Peter said on March 20, 2008 at 8:34 am

    mmmmmmmm, onion rings.

    Way off topic, but as a flatlander of a certain age, I really miss Jack in the Box with their Jack tacos, Jack sauce (wasn’t it just 1000 Island) and Frings, the half onion rings half fries side – just the right amount of those tasty things!

    Last spring when we went to California we hit Jack’s soon after picking up the car at the airport, and, although there’s no more frings, we just ordered one large of each and made our own.

    OK, I’ll go back to work now.

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  3. john c said on March 20, 2008 at 8:42 am

    The misuse of literally is one of my wife an my favorite share-a-smile inside jokes.
    And one of my favorite movies that no one seems to have paid attention to was “The Big Picture,’ starring Kevin Bacon. I think Christopher Guest directed it. Basically it’s starry-eyed young film artists sells out to Hollywood then finds his artistic values again. But there’s all sorts of great performances, especially a very brief one by Martin Short. In one of my favorite scenes, Kevin Bacon is looking at an apartment to rent and the grumpy old landlord tells him he used to be a director too. “I did all the pictures for so and so,” he tells him, “and then he crapped in my face, LITERALLY!”

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  4. jcburns said on March 20, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Don’t forget Literally, a Web Log, first mumbled about by me in March of 2006. And next time we visit, Nancy, I’m getting me one of those awesome haircuts.

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  5. beb said on March 20, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Who flies over retention ponds looking for missing cars? Also, Pearl harbor may be noteworthy for the clarity of its water but most rivers, lakes and ponds are kind of mucky. hard to see to any great depth.

    Lady Janes haircuts for men. I’ve noticed over the last few years that Borics had gone from being staffed with mostly young women fresh out of beautician school to older women looking for work after their children have left. Where have all the young girls gone, I wondered. Maybe to Lady Janes…..

    My wife goes ballistic whenever someone says ‘nuclear’ because, she says, they always pronounce it wrong. It’s ‘nuclear’ not ‘nuclear’ she says. For the life of me I can’t tell the different between the correct and sinful pronounciations. Of course she mocks me for sawing “warsh” like a good hoosier boy instead of wash….

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  6. Lex said on March 20, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I attended a religion-reporting seminar at the University of Maryland in 1996 with a Hillary Wicai. I wonder if it’s the same person? And whether or not she is, I wonder how Ms. Viers took this bit of confusion. I imagine her co-workers are being merciless. 🙂

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  7. Jolene said on March 20, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Great picture of the former prez. Perhaps some inquisitive reporter will ask him what it is that’s allowed him to get better-looking as he gets older.

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  8. Sue said on March 20, 2008 at 10:17 am

    This will morph into “Hillary Clinton denied that she is a Wiccan”.

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  9. ashley said on March 20, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Don’t forget, The Easter Bunny Hates You.

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  10. Harl Delos said on March 20, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Note to self: Never wonder again what the bluegill might be feeding on in those things.

    Lancaster, Pennsylvania is inland. In fact, it was the largest inland city in the British Empire in 1776. However, we’re not that far from the ocean; half the people here use BWO when they fly someplace.

    I had been reading Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the story of a guy who finds himself rescuing a fallen woman, only to have her killed by drug dealers. The story is mostly about his private war against the drug dealers. Like most of Clancy’s books, it’s a real page-turner, and it’s full of all sorts of details. (At one point, Clancy was summoned by the White House, because some of his books contained top secret intel, and they wanted to know who was leaking. It turns out that Jane’s publishs all sorts of stuff in their All The World’s series.)

    Anyhow, the drug dealers have a chem lab on board a discarded US Navy ship. One of the drug dealers need to dispose of a body, so he weights it and drops it into the clear water of a shallow part of Chesapeake Bay, where anyone passing by could look down and see the crabs having a feast. Nice, graphic narrative.

    And then, that night, my wife tells me we’re going out to dinner with her friends – who take us to a seafood buffet. “You sure you don’t want some crab? It’s delicious!”

    Of course, there’s enough drugs in tap water that I suppose nobody should experience anxiety – about eating recycled human flesh, or anything else….

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  11. brian stouder said on March 20, 2008 at 11:30 am

    What caught my eye, in the story which must have more to it, was the line “Reporter John Goodall, who was assigned to the story, spoke by telephone with Hillary Wicai Viers, who is a communications director in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s staff.

    But a quick Google fly-by taught me that the Tom Hanks/Charlie-Wilson’s-War Charlie Wilson is a Texan, while the Charlie-Wilson-with-an-aide-named-Hillary Charlie Wilson is a Buckeye (who has the seat Ted Strickland used to have).

    So I learned something today!

    Harl – I never worry about such stuff. The corollary to “ashes to ashes” seems to be “biomass to biomass”.

    A question for the proprietress: Leaving aside the value of your time (incalculably greater than any out of pocket expense, no doubt!) – what does running this site – or a site like this – cost per month (roughly)?

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  12. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Hope you had a happy birthday, Brian–don’t let GWB ruin it for you.

    The Fort has a similar place to Lady Jane’s–a chain named Big League Barbers. You can play video games, which must be an extra challenge for the stylist. They also give you a shoulder massage if you want. Like what guy doesn’t.

    Our 20 year old son likes to go there, but we make him pay the bill since it’s higher than GreatClips.

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  13. nancy said on March 20, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Brian, to answer your question: Zero for me. But I have an excellent deal. From the beginning, the site design, tech support and web hosting has been handled by my longtime friend J.C. Burns, who occasionally stops in to comment here, and was my primary booster in setting up and maintaining this site (and remains so). For a long time, it was served from a secondhand iMac in J.C.’s friend Bill’s living room. Then it moved to a Mac Mini in the same living room, and last year, J.C. took over everything.

    He found a hosting company that was just starting up, and bought a lifetime of hosting for one price in the low four figures. He refused all attempts to pay him for any part of it — he said he deducted the cost as a business expense — and took on hosting and maintenance for a ragtag group of friends-and-family sites, mostly business portals and a few blogs. He says the longer we stay up and the company stays in business, the lower the costs are, and somewhere he maintains a little counter that shows the price-per-day dropping. (Danny, if you’re reading: Our server is in San Diego. Go take it a plate of cookies, whydontcha?)

    So maybe he’d like to weigh in, and explain what it all costs.

    But a little public-domain info: I think the blogspot domain ( offers free hosting (if you take a couple of their ads), and others charge by bandwidth — basically, how much traffic you get. I think, for most people with not-ridiculous traffic, you can get what you need for under $20 a month. Bandwidth is the primary line-item cost for most blogs (because they get their talent FREE). Some pay it through advertising. The Comics Curmudgeon sells T-shirts to cover his. Me, I’m blissfully removed from market pressures, so I guess I’m just, what’s the word? Oh yeah — stupid. And lucky.

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  14. brian stouder said on March 20, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    I’m waiting for the headline that says – Buxom barbers busted;

    with the lead being something like – A sting operation yesterday at a popular barber shop netted several shaggy patrons, who were looking for more than a little trim.

    Actually, several years ago I noticed that barber shops were about as close as regular guys (that is to say – guys like me!) ever come to visiting a house of ill repute. Think about it – you never get the same girl twice; they’re mostly cute, chatty, and not very good at what they do, there is a lot of incidental contact and so forth, and it’s all over in just a few minutes

    edit: thanks, Nance. I have noted that you occasionally mention sending a few bucks to your patron server, and being as this place is my most favoritist place (and since I’m constantly hogging up your spaces) I thought I would do the same for you.

    edit to the edit: and, for the record, I will never, ever, ever have a website! (but Pam does)

    edit to the edit to the edit: looks like my “lead” and my headline don’t match!! Oh well – I ain’t a journalist, and I sure ain’t a photojournalist (we’ll leave that to the professionals)

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  15. Danny said on March 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    Danny, if you’re reading: Our server is in San Diego. Go take it a plate of cookies, whydontcha?

    Indeed, and while I’m at it, I might just take a crack at gaining root access to radically change slightly adjust some peoples’ comments for the sake of letting them be correct for once in their life accuracy and … er … grammar.

    I’m off to see the Wizard!!! La lala, la lala, la la…

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  16. Danny said on March 20, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Nance, just found this little news blurb that might be of interest. Note the Michigan and Florida connection and be careful, Nancy “Crocodile Hunter” Nall:

    MARATHON, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a woman died in the Florida Keys after a stingray jumped out of the water and struck her upper body.

    The spotted eagle ray had hit the 55-year-old woman while she was in a boat Thursday. Officials say she was hit in the face or neck.

    It’s not clear whether the animal’s barb struck the Michigan woman, or if the impact killed her.

    Spotted eagle rays can grow up to 17 feet in length and weigh up to 500 pounds.

    They are known to occasionally jump out of the water but are not aggressive.

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  17. nancy said on March 20, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Last winter, just a few months after Steve Irwin died the same way, a stingray jumped into a boat and did the same thing to a very well-known retiree from Grosse Pointe. Stabbed him in the heart, and he somehow survived.

    I think the question is: What do Florida’s stingrays have against Michiganders? I know, I know — we’re snowbirds, etc. But I’d think Ohioand and Wisconsinites would make targets at least as juicy.

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  18. brian stouder said on March 20, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    But I’d think Ohioand and Wisconsinites would make targets at least as juicy.

    See – it’s the mid-March snowstorm onion rings

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  19. LAMary said on March 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Hah. It’s common knowledge among marine biologists that rays have a natural drive to kill people from states shaped like mittens.

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  20. Sue said on March 20, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Hey, leave us Wisconsinites alone! We have our own predators: alewives (also known as “fish bits”), northern pike (“foot eaters”) and deer (“car killers”). Ok, so do you Michigan folks but that doesn’t mean that you have to sic the rays on us. BTW – a Wisconsin urban (rural?) legend has it that a woman who was attacked by a northern and had her foot all chewed up was issued a citation by the DNR (they love the DNR around here) for fishing without a license.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    So that’s why they love getting their hair cut! How enlightening, Brian.

    Hands in the air for the dreaded influenza–how many have had it? After hearing horror stories all winter, it finally visited our family. My 85 year old MIL almost didn’t survive and was hospitalized for a week. Now our son, 20, is down for the count, and has regressed back to watching “Emperor’s New Groove” and “Spacejam”. From what I understand, you’re contagious before you have any symptoms, so Mom and Dad are no doubt next.

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  22. Sue said on March 20, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Julie – if the flu by you is anything like the flu by us, we won’t be hearing from you for about two weeks. Hope you dodge the bullet.

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  23. fly on wall said on March 20, 2008 at 3:21 pm


    As a Floridian, I am reasonably sure that those rays had trapped in the far left lane by a driver with Michigan plates going 35 mph with his turn indicator blinking, tires wobbling and a seat belt hanging out the door and making sparks on the highway.

    Of course, if he were from Ontario, he’d be driving 25.

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  24. David said on March 20, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    This is very serendipitous. Just today I read the following in Stephen Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: “…the club called AWFUL – Americans Who Figuratively Use ‘Literally.’ The charter member was Rabbi Baruch Korff, a defender of Richard Nixon during his Watergate ordeal, who at one point protested, ‘The American press has literally emasculated President Nixon.’

    I’m looking forward to gleefully accusing my friends and family of joining AWFUL…

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  25. brian stouder said on March 20, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Julie – that flu rampaged through our office, and also through our home, and it somehow missed me. I became manic about washing my hands again and again, every day (I kept thinking of Leonardo Decaprio in The Aviator!)…..presumeably I already had this strain at some point; but for whatever reason it has (so far) missed me

    edit: David – that sounds like the press violated the penal code

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  26. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    My hands are raw.

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  27. Danny said on March 20, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Julie, I was flat on my back for four days and afterwards could only go to work and come home and sleep for about two weeks. This is my third week since and just in the last three days has everything started to taste normal again.

    My wife, not so lucky. She has had it for two weeks solid. Her temperature even spiked to 101.5 last night. She is getting better, but slow progress with a few steps back if she tries to do too much. And “doing too much” could be merely washing her hair, getting dressed and sitting upright on the couch.

    But Dorothy, I did tell her that her new nickname is Gretl. She got a kick out of that.

    Mary, did you ever see that Seinfield episode where George tells a girl that he is a marine biologist and they are walking the beach only to find a beached whale?

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  28. Julie Robinson said on March 20, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    This is really depressing. My shoulder still hurts from falling on the ice at the end of January. At work, no less, spreading icemelt because I was worried about our elderly volunteers. I’m putting my fingers in my ears and singing “la-la-la-la-la”.

    Matt was at 102 last night and the first Tamiflu came right back up. $5 a pill.

    Everyone around here seems to cough forever afterwards.

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  29. Harl Delos said on March 20, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Just today I read the following in Stephen Pinker’s The Stuff of Thought: “…the club called AWFUL – Americans Who Figuratively Use ‘Literally.’

    You’re fair along in the book. Isn’t it a delicious read?

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  30. nancy said on March 20, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Just in case anyone cares:

    Scheduled 60,000-mile service for my car is $249. I got a call this afternoon informing me my rear brakes were down to 10 percent. Add $330. Front drive shafts, both left and right, have rubber boots that hold lubricant and protect the universal joint. Both are cracked and need to be replaced. Add $1,000.

    Oh, and I need four new tires: $550, plus $70 for an alighment.

    I told them to hold off on the tires and pull the trigger on everything else. I hope someone is buying freelance writing this quarter, because man, am I going to be selling it.

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  31. Michael said on March 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Re: flu — it roared through southern Puerto Rico about four weeks ago. My son had a fever of 104.8 and my wife (who never gets sick) hit 103.5. (Then two days later they went off to Boy Scout camp; they’re crazy.) My daughter and I didn’t get it, or maybe kind of got it the following week, but no fever.

    Nancy: back when my wife and I were into scuba diving (in Indianapolis, no less) we went out to my Dad’s pond, just for the heck of it. And no — the visibility was about half an inch. It’s like coffee. You could just barely look up and see that the sun was shining up there; otherwise it was Stygian blackness. There could be the whole lost continent of Atlantis down there and there’d be no surface indication.

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  32. alex said on March 20, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Well, Nance, that was the downside to owning a Volkswagen, in hindsight. Loved the car. And though it wasn’t as repair-prone as American brands I’ve dealt with, it sure cost a nut when it did need repairs. I just turned 50K on my two-year-old Toyota truck and have yet to buy anything for it besides a new set of tires. (These wear out when you do a lot of towing and hauling, not to mention spending the winter months with the bed loaded down with sandbags.)

    It could be worse, Nance. The new Solstice in our household just came back from its fifth visit to the dealer for a malfunctioning gas gauge. This time they checked the float in the tank, which is what we suggested they do on the first visit, and presto! In the meantime they took apart the dash and replaced the gauge multiple times. At least it’s under warranty, so their Keystone Cops antics only cost time and not money, but this doesn’t bode well for long haul.

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  33. joodyb said on March 20, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    my brakes were done at 51, nn, but the car came from LA. i did the brake/tire 2step too – the week before xmas, of course. but it was a gift of the season to have goat feet again in the snow. at least the tires should last you a good long time!

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  34. ashley said on March 20, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Cracked CV boots are the repair shop’s best friend. Sure, you can drive for about 100k more miles without them, but the fear factor is substantial.

    $1k though? Damn…sounds like you’re getting ripped.

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  35. Danny said on March 20, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Alex, I looked up that Solstice and it looks sexy, but I am surprised you went with that knowing what you know about the auto industry. Did you get the convertible option too?

    ED: I agree with Ashley. That sounds pretty steep, but I assume this is the dealership and I do prefer that for newer cars.

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  36. David said on March 20, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    >>>You’re fair along in the book. Isn’t it a delicious read?

    It’s a lot of fun, Harl Delos, and extremely interesting… but sometimes the puns are flying so thick and fast I half expect him to throw in “thank you, I’ll be here all week, try the veal”…

    The book was a birthday gift from my dad. I’m not sure quite how it happened, but in the last year or so he finally “gets” me. It blows me away how well his gifts fit my tastes and interests 🙂

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  37. WhiteBeard said on March 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Re: Front drive shafts, both left and right, have rubber boots that hold lubricant and protect the universal joint. Both are cracked and need to be replaced. Add $1,000.
    I had an original Mini (an Austin 850) back around the 60s and when the rubber boots went the dealership charged me $180 (when that was really big money) for parts and a couple hours labor.
    I bought a factory service manual for around $35 and when the boots failed again I bought new boots at the dealer for $10 and replaced the first boot in 17 minutes and got faster from then on.
    The secret, said the manual, do not raise the car off the ground with a hydraulic lift because that involves compressing the spring and takes a lot of extra time.
    CV (constant velocity) joint boots today cost between $10 and $30 online depending on the car.
    Maybe that’s why I write about car repairs and such in real life as a freelancer.

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  38. Harl Delos said on March 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    The book was a birthday gift from my dad. I’m not sure quite how it happened, but in the last year or so he finally “gets” me. It blows me away how well his gifts fit my tastes and interests

    Dad died without ever “getting” me, but in his last decade, I knew he definitely was trying to – and that, in and of itself, is a pearl of great price.

    About 20 years on some talk show, Burt Reynolds said that in the South, you know you’re a man when your dad tells you you’re a man – and his dad died without ever telling him that. His voice almost broke as he said that.

    If someone were to write the ultimate book on father/son relationships, something on the order of Nancy Friday’s “My mother, myself” or Gail Sheehy’s “Passages”, they wouldn’t see much money in the next 90 days, but they might never worry about repair bills, once the royalties start streaming in.

    And no, Nance, you don’t have to give me a percentage of the royalties, but when you sell the book to the movies for a gazillion dollars, would you please ask them to consider casting Harrison Ford or Sean Connery in my role?

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  39. alex said on March 20, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Danny, the Solstice wasn’t my idea. It was the idea of my better half who just a few months ago made a fairly convincing argument that GM’s better now and they make sexier-looking cars so why not?

    It’s a car that’s all at once familiar. Not like the favorite-pair-of-old-jeans feeling you get even in a strange Honda or Toyota. Rather, it’s the vaguely reminiscent feeling of being had like I felt in the ’70s and ’80s when I owned a Camaro, a Monte Carlo, a Cutlass and a Regal and they started self-destructing while under warranty.

    This little car’s quite the hothouse flower. But a great gas saver on the days it’s not in the shop. And yes it’s a convertible but I have yet to go al fresco in it thanks to shitty weather. Any day now, although they’re telling us it won’t be this weekend. Winter storm warning in effect.

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  40. michaelj said on March 20, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    So is change a groundswell for acting in the interest of all our fellow citizens, or something we’re supposed to embrace for the poltical sake of people offended by the DNC configuration of 2004? I’m offended by the DNC configuration of 2008, not because I prefer one candidate over the other. I think anybody that votes for McCain instead of either maybe shouldn’t be locked up or sent off to the Outback, but should at least be disenfranchsed.

    The way Obama is like Jack is an anomaly. Back in 1960, you’d do better to have had a black guy for president as a papist, except Catholics were supposed to have secret arsenals buried beneath churches in Memphis and Birmingham.

    Based on the inevitable and instant apotheosization of Barrack’s speech It was not JFK’s inaugural. It wasn’t by a mile “I have a dream.” It was literate, and given the spectuclar dyslalia of public discourse, it was admirable. Maybe I went to see the Davies Bros. and the Boss too many times, but I didn’t hear the change part. Maybe if every single person in the USA had been afforded seriously good health care in 1993 before the Contract On America put it out, think that have caused Americans to fell like race didn’t matter and we worked and spent for the common good?

    Maybe Hillary didn’t have it perfectly tuned back then. If she didn’t, she knew what the single most important social and economic issue was. Still is. Anybody want to dispute that if even some of her reforms had been implemented and massaged for 15 years we might not have 50mil innocents that can’t defend, protect, or find treatment for themselves, and their independent parents

    So anyway. I said I wouldn’t clog the bandwidth. And the only political thing important now, McCain’s more nuts than anybody thinks. But some things I think are fascinating: DNC was the villain that did in Dr. Dean. Dr. Dean didn’t invent reinsurance in the Carribean to protect Enron? Right. Kerry didn’t stand up for himself against the ShortBoaters, and should have supported Edwards. Too much cutthroat. Best president? That’s Kerry, without a question of a doubt. (Think about that when you compare Obama with JFK.) The coverage off this competition is so unfair, it drives me nuts. I figure, Anybody thinking more clearly than Joe McCarthy understands that discussions in exceptionall badly-writen novels are sort of beside the point. Didn’t somebody already usurp the government after lying to a monster they couldn’t be remotely considered just flat out lying his ass off for corporate greed that never had anything to do with anything good or well-intentioned whatsoever? A day of poisonous water was another few$mil. For Perle, moreMuslims blown up. Does Perle, does Shrub (I’ Kidding He Doesn’t Know When That Rat Dog Pisses On Him).

    These idiots are big on talking about al Quaeda. They make this shit up. Al Qaeda in Iraq? Anybody ever hear about such an obviously hokes I figure on this site you people actually know that the idea of Al-Qaeda in Iraq is totally made up horsecrap. Mark Fuhrman could say he was Al Quaeda and none of te idiots would have aclue But who are the imperialists? Who reigned down shock and awe and for what entirely invented reason. War criminals, if I’m not mistaken. These people are the scumb of of the earth. My idea about moral guidance? Well sort of obvious. If it’s funny,l it’s road
    warrior, if it isn’t, it’s Tank Girl

    But seriously. How does this work? Al-Qaeda in Iraq is some totally made dumbshit Is anybody not aware of this?

    I had a ’72 VW Camper and fixed all sorts of things I had no reason but some mild mechanical inclination to understand. I had to fix it once, in Pittsfield, MA. Took the canoe down and hiked to the Autozone, canoed with spectacular expertise, you know a j-stroke you go anywhere (hell fuck, I was a genius
    eagle scout and how the hell do you ever get ove that? societal debris. Fixed and we saw Ian Humter, the flawless straight guy everybody thought was gay, Mick Ronson, or that may have been Raymond
    douglas Davies and his beloved brother Dave.

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  41. WhiteBeard said on March 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    To change the subject literally and harken back to FEMA and its heckuva leader, there is a Rocky Mountain News story on truly pissed-off phone workers who were told to stay on the job and not take a latrine break.
    Qwest and other companies have for years offered portable urinal bags to workers who could find themselves in the field far from a bathroom.
    The bag’s manufacturer, American Innotek, said the Federal Emergency Management Agency ordered 2.5 million bags after Hurricane Katrina, reports the newspaper.
    It sort of fits in with wild spender FEMA’s 84.9 million pounds of excess ice from Katrina, worth about $23.8 million, according to the Boston Globe, that was kept on ice (is that redundant) for another $12.9 million until it was allowed to melt last July.

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  42. basset said on March 20, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    A bluegill is a predator, not a scavenger, and would not eat from an underwater rotting corpse. Bullheads and catfish, probably. Snapping turtles and crawfish, definitely. The flies around the decomposing body as it’s pitched into the water, though – bluegill, he’s on that.

    Car repairs… we used to have a Volvo 940, the number signifying how much money you were supposed to bring any time a mechanic opened the hood.

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  43. michaelj said on March 21, 2008 at 12:31 am

    I don’t know about any of you else, but I’d like to know if anybody knows about River. You know Baghdad Burning Blog. She’s been out of transmission since fall of ‘O7. Truly brilliant diarist, and its always entertaining to read a foreigner who’s English and insights are better and more clever than the entire Executive Branch. A gifted writer, in horrible circumstances. I can’t believe none of y’all ever came across her. Read back. She’s way too good to have been ignored.

    Maybe this is some sort of liberal guilt for not blowing up the assholes before shock and awe, but this young woman wrote brilliant dispatches throughout and now seems to have disappeared. I hope she’s all right and her extended family too. I know she won’t, but I wish she’d see this ad it’s Easter and I hope she’s well.

    Fish and freshwater, if it’s not trout, it’s inedible. I suppose people find ways to eat pike and musky, but I suppose people get seriously hungry and will eat anything.

    Big enough bluegill filleted is decent garlic butter with scramled and Texas Pete. Yeah.

    ‘m an entirely incompetent novice about the Koran, but I came across this: In Surah 19, Maryam, verse 33, Jesus said shortly after his birth:

    “So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)” . The scriptural convergence, whether you think it real or mythical is pretty impressive and it sure makes fundamentalist war mongers, Washington assholes, and W, with no intention of risking their own lives and limbs, look like motel cowboys.

    Just my opinion, but whited sepulchers are whited sepulchres, however you spell it.

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  44. Dexter said on March 21, 2008 at 12:52 am

    michaelj: It’s nice to see a fellow bus owner here. My ’66 VW Mini Bus broke down in Hyannis, MA…I had to rig the carburetor and linkage with pieces of wire from a motel room coat hanger. I have had many bugs & buses, and currently maintain a 1969 VW Mini Bus. It’s all rust now and needs more work to get it rolling, still, I just can’t rid myself of it. Oh…no vehicle on this sphere chews cv boots like an old Volkswagen.
    warsh v. wash. warsh wins.
    Some northern Hoosiers still say “push that UP A’GIN that thing!”.
    That means “against”.
    I can roll with “localisms”, usually…but using “big” instead of “large” and “small” instead of “little” is irksome.

    I-95 is visible from way-out in space as a river of light.
    In Philadelphia, all that traffic , both ways, is being routed through a neighborhood . Cracked overpass support. It’s making people crazy.

    And man, was it ever great to get the Specialized cross-bike out and zip around town yesterday…just four miles, but it’s a start.

    And “they’re” already illegally digging stuff up on Obama, readying for the summer hate-festival.
    Will heads roll for this “passportgate”? Probably not.

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  45. Harl Delos said on March 21, 2008 at 9:22 am

    ‘m an entirely incompetent novice about the Koran, but I came across this: In Surah 19, Maryam, verse 33, Jesus said shortly after his birth: “So Peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”

    A few verses earlier in the chapter, you have the exact same words said about John the Baptist.

    It’s not a scriptural coincidence; Islam is an offshoot of Judaism, the same as Christianity is. And if you think it’s odd that they have Jesus talking while still a babe in arms, some versions of the Bible have Jesus killing a playmate (the son of Annas, the scribe) when he was five.

    People talk of the Bible as if there was agreement as to what books are included, but there are many different canons. The Syrian Bible has only 5 books, while the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible has 81.

    I can roll with “localisms”, usually…but using “big” instead of “large” and “small” instead of “little” is irksome.

    Could you explain this? Other than using “large” as slang for a kilobuck, and big as part of “big band”, it appears to me that they are semantically identical, and at, the first definition of each is the other.

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  46. Kafkaz said on March 21, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    There are lots of times when the two simply aren’t the same, though.

    Big boys wear large pants.

    Large boys wear big pants.

    When a boy is big and large, then that’s still another thing!

    Little points of usage like this make life tough for non-native English speakers.

    Sometimes the two are interchangeable, but not always.

    What happens when you hit the big time? You live large!

    Of course, if you live a little too large, you might just end up proving that you’re small potatoes, after all.

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  47. Kevin Knuth said on March 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Along the “Davy Jones” locker theme-

    In 1997, Jeff Buckley, the son of Folk Singer Tim Buckley was in Memphis working on an album.

    While partying, he walked into the Mississippi river, fully clothed, singing “whole lotta love”. His body was found three days later.

    The moral of the story?

    If you can sing you don’t need an Ipod or a CD collection…..but you do need swimming lessons.

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