Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who's Your Prom Date?

Imagine the conversation between the father and daughter that took place AFTER her prom.

Police arrested a Pittsburgh homicide suspect at his high school prom and took him to their headquarters in a white tuxedo.

The 17-year-old boy was arrested at the Schenley High School prom and is accused of participating in a March 1 robbery in which a 16-year-old accomplice was shot in the back by accident. The 16-year-old died two weeks later at a hospital.

Detectives on Thursday arrested a 20-year-old suspect and got a warrant for the 17-year-old.

Police say the boy was informed by a homicide detective that a warrant was out for his arrest but decided not to turn himself in and go to his prom instead.

Now, I may not ever know why the detective told the young man about the warrant and didn't arrest him on the spot--that part doesn't make sense. But, I can only imagine what the father of the young man's date must have said!

Maybe it was a good thing he was arrested!

Friday, May 22, 2009

God is God of This Idol

My wife is a huge fan of American Idol. Basically, I watch American Idol because she watches it.

However, after seeing the video below, I'm a bigger fan today of Kris Allen, the new American Idol. See what you think.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Good Use for a Snake!

Pittsburgh police say a high school student is facing charges for using a biology class snake as a jump rope. Police say the incident happened Monday at Taylor Allderdice High School, according to KDKA-TV.

Police aren’t identifying the 17-year-old suspect because he’s being charged in juvenile court. The boy will be charged with theft and cruelty to animals.

The animal survived the ordeal and was being examined by a veterinarian.

Pittsburgh Public School officials on Tuesday were not immediately able to say what kind of snake it was.

Never fear news seekers, I can tell you what kind of snake that was:


It had to be very big for a teenage boy to be able to use it as a jump rope.

Either that or the boy has very long arms!

Almost ape like arms.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Turn Off Your Computer! I Mean It!

The chairman and CEO of the world's largest search engine is urging college graduates to turn off their computers and discover the humanity around them.

Google's Eric Schmidt spoke at the University of Pennsylvania's commencement ceremony in Philadelphia on today.

The Class of 2009 is graduating in a tough economic climate, but Schmidt says such downturns can be a time for innovation. He noted that Rice Krispies, Twinkies, and beer cans were all products of the Great Depression—and staples of college life.

Schmidt says that while graduates can't plan for innovation or inspiration, they can be ready for it when it happens.

You know, without even knowing it, I've been following Mr. Schmidt's advice to the class of 2009. I've been walking away more and more from the computer. Taking time to do more "important" things.

I think those times of silence are important. As my blogger friend Camey says, we all need quiet times. I'm in one of those times in life.

At some point soon, I'll unpack a few things I am learning and going through. Maybe I will eventually get to the point where I can say that I am growing through these events, but I'm not there yet. Maybe soon.

Thanks for any and all prayers said on my behalf, and on behalf of my family. They are appreciated.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Only An Illusion

The three best visual illusions in the world were chosen at a gathering last weekend of neuroscientists and psychologists at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Florida.
The winning entry, from a Bucknell University professor, may help explain why curve balls in baseball are so tricky to hit.

A properly thrown curve ball spins in a way that makes the air on one side move faster than on the other. This causes the ball to move along a gradual curve. From the point of view of a batter standing on home plate, though, curve balls seem to “break,” or move suddenly in a new direction.

This year’s winning illusion, created by Arthur Shapiro of Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, may explain this phenomena. His animation shows a spinning ball that, when watched directly, moves in a straight line. When seen out of the corner of the eye, however, the spin of the ball fools the brain into thinking that the ball is curving.

So as a baseball flies towards home plate, the moment when it passes from central to peripheral vision could exaggerate the movement of the ball, causing its gradual curve to be seen as a sudden jerk.

You know. When I was a younger man and played baseball, I never knew that a curve ball really wasn’t happening and was only an illusion. If I had only known, maybe I would have been a better ballplayer!

I wonder. How many pro baseball players today believe that a curve ball is nothing more than illusion? Try convincing them of that!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our Son And Meals

Meal time is really fun around our house.

Right now, meal time is an adventure, to say the least.

Most of his food makes it into his mouth, but not all of it. Some of his food makes it on the floor. Some of it makes it into our puppy's stomach. And, some of the food winds up on Evan's face.

Well, maybe more than just a little of the food winds up on his face.

Here's a picture from Tuesday night's dinner.

This is Evan eating mashed potatoes. Or, a better description is Evan wearing mashed potatoes.

Ketchup is equally fun. While Evan doesn't always like ketchup on his fries, he does like ketchup on his face!

That's our boy!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Poor Second Guy

As is normally the case, it is the second person who throws a punch that gets in trouble. You’ve seen that happen in football games, right? A player gets angry, punches another player, who then retaliates for the punch. The first player rarely gets caught (except on video tape) and the second player almost always gets punished.

Well, it would seem that the US Navy is “that second guy.”

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) turned down a U.S. Navy request to fly a patrol aircraft past Manhattan on Monday, two weeks after a nerve-racking Air Force photo shoot over the Statue of Liberty caused a brief panic. The agency said it refused clearance for the flight down the Hudson River because the Navy had given it only a few hours notice of its plans.

The P-3 Orion reconnaissance plane from the U.S. Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine, was to have flown past the city, then head back north, sometime around 10:30 a.m. FAA officials said the four-engine, turboprop admittedly had a low probability of attracting attention. It was to have flown no lower than 3,000 feet, well above New York's tallest skyscrapers, in an air corridor where planes of a similar size are a common sight.

But after city officials were informed and higher-level FAA officials learned about the request, they declined permission for the flight, saying unannounced military flybys were a bad idea. After the FAA alerted the mayor’s office in the morning that the flight would take place, the city sent out a public notification warning that a military plane would be in the air. Shortly thereafter, the FAA told the Navy the mission was off.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city did not ask for the flight to be canceled. “We did get on the phone with them and said we’d prefer to have had a little more time to notify everybody,” he said. Bloomberg said it was his understanding that the flight was for “some Navy guy who was retiring after many years of service, and they wanted him to take one last flyby.”

Now, of course, the Navy is disputing the Mayor’s claim about honoring someone retiring. I doubt we’ll ever know the real truth. But, this time, the Navy can blame the White House for throwing the first punch (flying Air Force One over the city unannounced) and then them getting punished for actually going through the official process to fly over the city—whether or not the fly was for a good purpose or not, they got punished because they came along second.

Wonder how long the watchful eye of the FAA and media will be watching the skies of New York City?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Preparing for the Weekend

We are at the very edge of the weekend. Are you ready? I know I am.

I've found a few good quotes that might just help you prepare for the days off that are coming. Sit back. Think alittle. Maybe laugh. Relax.

"Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend" (Zenna Scha).

"Weekends don't pay as well as weekdays but at least there's football" (S.A. Sachs).

"Middle age is when you're sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn't for you" (Ogden Nash).

"There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries of weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends" (Arnot Sheppard).

"Weekends are a bit like rainbows; they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them" (John Shirley).

"If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend” (Doug Larson).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Be A Man

Esquire Editor-in-Chief David Granger recently wrote in his editor's letter in Esquire's May issue (themed "How to Be A Man"): "We've become addicted to pessimism. And it has more to do with us than with the fix in which we find ourselves. We're so stinking self-important that whatever happens to us must be the scariest, the worst, the terriblest."

"Part of being a man is competence. Part of being a man is hopefulness. Part of being a man is believing that you can handle it. The last thing a man does is give in to childlish expressions of helplessness. So from this day forward, how 'bout we suck it up and find a way to deal with it?"

I've got a major headache right now. His words hit me pretty hard right between the eyes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thank You Mr. President

The Obama administration is just a little over 100 days old. But, so far, we've gotten a good idea on where Mr. Obama is taking the country. Just think about these recent news stories:

* The Obama administration needed a place to speak to the American people. Georgetown University seemed like a great place to do it. It's close by. Nice setting. Beautiful backdrop. Only one problem. The name of Jesus is plastered on the wall. The solution? Cover the name of Jesus so that no one would be offended. Sorry Mr. President. I'm offended!

* The Obama administration decides to release photos and videos of terrorists being "tortured" by our military, even though 4 previous CIA directors (Democrats and Republicans) said not to do it. Yet, the White House classifies the pictures of Air Force 1 flying over Manhattan. Putting Americans in danger because of videos being released--so we can be transparent to the world--is okay. Releasing photos of a lamebrain idea of flying Air Force 1 over the Statute of Liberty and downtown Manhattan is a bad idea because it is a PR nightmare.

* The president and vice-president decide that it would be wise to go out to eat together, to show Americans how important it is to eat out, to put money back into the economy. Where do they choose to eat? Ray's Hell Burgers. Do you think choosing that hamburger joint, with that name, was an accident? I don't think so.

* There will be no National Day of Prayer celebration at the White House--it might be offensive to some groups in our country. Again Mr. President. But, being a Christian, I guess I don't count.

Thank you Mr. President. America voted for you. We are getting what we desired.

I seem to remember an Old Testament story about another "king" that the people wanted. They begged for a king. They wanted to be like everyone else.

Anyone want to remind me: How did that work out?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Some Things I Just Don't Get

After ten years of fooling people with his outrageous alter egos, Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedy actor, is to switch from stunts to conventional roles.

Baron Cohen, who created Ali G, the deluded rapper, and Borat, the Kazakh television reporter, is to start by playing Sherlock Holmes, with Will Ferrell as Watson.

The actor realized his jokes were wearing thin while he was in America making his latest movie in which he plays BrĂ¼no, a gay Austrian fashion presenter.

Recently, he fooled the Alabama national guard into posing with him while he wore a camouflaged thong. But then he tried to dupe a club of septuagenarian ballroom dancers–who had already seen Borat. As Baron Cohen, in black waistcoat over a sleeveless white shirt, ended a tango by kissing his male partner on the lips, the dancers turned off the lights and ejected him from the hall.

Murray Echols, 75, said: “We gave them more than they planned for. We called the police who told his crew never to show their face in town again.”

You know, good comedy I normally get. Bad comedy, well, most of the time I understand it as well—I just don’t like bad comedy. But then, there’s Cohen. I have to admit. I don’t get his comedy at all. Not funny. Not even remotely funny. How many times can you pull the same joke on people and expect the rest of us to laugh.

We’ll see how well he does in doing “regular” comedy now.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Just Look in My Purse. It's On the Top!

[Not the actual purse in this story. My wife has this thing for chickens. I thought she might actually like a purse like this!]

I can’t resist telling this story. closer to the end of it, you’ll better understand.

Apparently, a longtime employee of a major Queens, New York, jewelry manufacturer stole a staggering 500 pounds of gold by smuggling it in her handbag over a nearly six-year period, prosecutors announced.

Teresa Tambunting, 50, of Scarsdale, New York, allegedly stole the shiny merchandise by concealing it in a false bottom she created in the lining of her pocketbook, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

“With gold trading at nearly $900 an ounce, the defendant is accused of establishing a virtual mining operation in Long Island City which siphoned off millions of dollars’ worth of the precious metal from her employer,” Brown said.

Officials at Jacmel Jewelry in Long Island City, where Tambunting had worked for 28 years, noticed they were missing up to $12 million worth of gold in January. After an investigation was launched, Tambunting, who became a vault manager in 1991, arrived at Jacmel’s offices with a suitcase containing 66 pounds of gold with an estimated value of $868,000. Tambunting allegedly told detectives that she had taken the gold, Brown said. A subsequent search of her home revealed 447 pounds of fine gold. The thefts allegedly occured between January 2004 and April 2009, Brown said.

Tambunting was released on $100,000 bail and ordered to return to court on May 19. She faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on charges of first-degree larceny and first-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Wouldn’t you like to see the purse she was carrying around! A fake bottom. A purse big enough to carry gold out unseen?

My grandmother carried a large purse. I think she thought she had to. You see, my grandmother sold Tupperware. And, I’m convinced there was not a piece of Tupperware that wouldn’t fit into her purse. Who knows, she may have actually carried one of everything Tupperware had in inventory, it sure looked that way. By the time of her death, I was convinced that my grandmother no longer carried a purse, it was more like Samsonite! Yes, her purses were that large.

I once heard someone give the best description of what hell will look like—the inside of a woman’s purse! Pretty accurate description, if you ask me.

Ever so often, my wife will ask me to get something out of her purse—as all guys know, that’s dangerous territory and shouldn’t be entered unless invited, and even then, with extreme care. Tonya actually carries a small purse. But, trying to find my way around in there is next to impossible. And, Tonya has a reason for that, “Everything goes to the bottom of the purse!”