Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bilbo Rents a Car in France

This post was suggested by a comment my blogging friend Fiona made on her Facebook page yesterday about receiving a phone call - from France, at 3:30am (!) no less - ... it seemed that a French car hire company wanted to know if "Mr Fiona" was enjoying his rental car.

I'm glad I wasn't there to hear the language.

Anyhow, that reminded me of the time I was a party to the rental of a vehicle in France ...

It was many years ago, and Agnes and I were in Germany with our daughter and her friend. We were visiting Agnes's parents in Singen, and had arranged to make a side trip to the beautiful medieval walled town of Riquewihr in the French Alsace, where we were to meet up with our friends Horst and Martina, driving down from Wiesbaden. We met as planned and had a wonderful evening*, and on the following day Horst suggested we take a sightseeing trip up into the Vosges Mountains. We all thought this was a fine idea, but logistically awkward with all of us divided between two small cars. Horst then suggested that we rent a van that would carry all of us. We thought this was another excellent idea.

The fun began with trying to locate someplace to rent a van. Riquewihr is, as I noted before, a medieval walled city with narrow, twisting cobblestone streets and no driving or parking inside the walls except for a few lucky permanent residents, so we had to cast our net wider. After a lengthy telephonic search (complicated by a dearth of French language capability on our collective parts), we eventually located a rental agency in the not-too-far-distant city of Colmar.

How do you get there? Consider two things: (1) We are in a time well before the era of GPS; and, (2) None of us speaks French. Because the Alsace region has been tugged back and forth between France and Germany since the dawn of time, I had almost always been successful in finding a German speaker ... but not this time. No one at the car rental agency professed to speak anything but French, but finally Horst and I managed to convey the idea that we wanted to rent a vehicle able to carry six people, and to learn that it was located somewhere near a French military base in Colmar.

Well, we thought, how hard can this be?

Quite some time later, with me at the wheel and Horst navigating, we were utterly and hopelessly lost, meandering around the beautiful Alsatian landscape which held not the least sign of any car rental agencies, much less the town of Colmar and its alleged military base.

Just as we were about ready to admit defeat and try to find our way back to Riquewihr, we heard a loud sound of growling engines and squealing metal up ahead and suddenly a tank** clanked from a country lane onto our road, slewed around, and roared majestically ahead in the direction we were traveling. Horst looked at me and said, "Follow him ... I'll bet he knows where he's going!"

And so our little convoy of huge green tank and little orange Opal Rekord rolled down the road in what we hoped was the direction of Colmar. The tank commander, standing half out of his hatch in the turret, turned around and saw us following. He looked ahead, then back at us, and helpfully waved at us to pass. We waved back and kept our position. He looked puzzled and waved again. We waved back and smiled. He gave a huge and theatrical Gallic shrug as if to say "dumbass Germans," turned around to the front, and ignored us.

Before long we began passing high stone walls festooned with barbed wire and gaily decorated with signs threatening grievous injury to those who would try to enter illegally ... it was the base we'd been looking for! The tank suddenly slewed to the left and clanked through the gate as we proceeded on, followed by a last puzzled glare from the tank commander.

The rest of the story is about what you'd expect. We soon found the rental agency and - with much pantomime and gesticulation to accompany our abysmal French - we managed to rent a van and (miraculously) find our way back to Riquewihr ... where Agnes and Martina demanded to know why it had taken so long for us to just rent a van. They were not impressed with our excuse. The ensuing sightseeing tour of the beautiful Vosges Mountains was wonderful, and - believe it or not - Horst and I managed to return the van without incident.

Next time, though, forget the van ... I'm renting one of those tanks. The gas mileage may be yucky, but I'd never again have to worry about finding a parking place ...

Have a good day. If following a tank, keep back at least 50 feet***.

More thoughts coming.


* Which is a subject for another post.

** It's called a char in French.

*** It can stop on a dime, and it's rear end is a good deal stronger than your front bumper.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


The linguist in me has bubbled to the surface again, courtesy of this discourse on a simple two-letter word that I got from my friend Bob the other day ...

Consider the many meanings of the humble word "up" …

It’s easy to understand up, as it refers to direction, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake up?

At a meeting, why do we speak up when our issue comes up? If we care enough about a topic, we can get spun up. At the meeting, officers may be up for election, and it’s the secretary’s job to write up a report, often typing it up on a computer. A good, well-run meeting never leaves an issue up in the air.

We call up our friends, clean up a room*, and polish up the silver; we also warm up the leftovers and clean up the kitchen. We get dressed up to go out, and make sure to lock up the house when we leave.

Some people like to fix up old cars, revving up the engine to make sure it works properly. Other people like to stir up trouble.

People line up for tickets, work up an appetite, think up excuses, and bring up children. Sometimes, those children act up and must be told to straighten up and fly right.

Sometimes we have to open up a drain that is stopped up, and by the same token, we open up a store in the morning, and close it up at night.

To be knowledgeable about the many meanings of the word, we can look up "up" in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, "up" takes up almost a quarter of the page and can add up to thirty definitions or more.

If you're up to it, you might build up a list of the many ways "up" is used. It will take up a lot of your time, but if you don’t give up, you may wind up with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding up, but when the sun comes out, we say it is clearing up. When it doesn’t rain for a while, things dry up.

In old westerns, the villain and his henchmen would often shoot up a frontier town, which might stock up on guns and ammunition to defend itself.

Congressional committees used to mark up proposed budgets back when Congress could actually pass budgets**.

I could go on, but it's time to shut up, because my time is up, so I’ll just wrap it up for now.

It's up to me to help you appreciate language, after all.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* If you're from Pittsburgh, of course, you don't clean up the room, you red it up.

** Many of you may not be old enough to remember this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Five Most Sinful Cities in America

Spoiler Alert - they're not the ones you expect.

I ran across this article on the five most sinful cities in America yesterday, and was well and truly amazed to find none of them to be cities I might have expected. The ranking was done by the property-listing website on the basis of the prevalence and effects of the Seven Deadly Sins (greed, gluttony, sloth, envy, wrath, lust, and pride) in 95 major American cities, using these measures:

Wrath - based on the FBI's annual report on each U.S. city's violent-crime rate -- the number of murders, robberies, aggravated assaults, rapes and non-negligent manslaughter cases reported each year per 1,000 residents;

Envy - calculated from each community's FBI property-crime rate, which counts how many burglaries, larcenies and car thefts occur each year per 1,000 residents;

Gluttony - based on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) latest estimates of each city's obesity rate;

Greed - based on's figures of how much the average person in each city gives to charity in a given year. The lower the percentage of disposable income donated, the higher the assumed greed;

Lust - based on each community's Lust level by determining the number of strip clubs per capita as advertised on;

Pride - estimated by calculating how many plastic surgeons each city has per capita, again based on listings; and,

Sloth - based on CDC estimates of each city's inactivity rate, the percent of a community's population that's not physically active.

Using these yardsticks, the five most sinful cities in America were assessed as:

5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin;

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (my home town, AARRGGHH!! The Steel City placed sixth among communities studied in terms of Pride, with one cosmetic surgeon practicing there for every 3,170 residents, and ninth for Sloth, with the CDC estimating that 28.4% of Pittsburghers are inactive. We also ranked 14th for Greed, 20th for Lust, 26th for Wrath and 27th for Gluttony. We did, however, score low on Envy, ranking just 66th among the 95 cities that were assessed);

3. Minneapolis, Minnesota;

2. Orlando, Florida (the fact that my brother lives nearby has nothing to do with it. Really.);

And in first place,

1. St Louis, Missouri (sorry about that, Mike).

You can read the detailed reasons each city received the ranking it did by reading the original article.

To my friend Pepper* who lives in Las Vegas, I'm really sorry about the loss of your town's title of "Sin City." Better luck next year.

And what about Disneyland-on-the-Potomac? One might have thought that Capitol Hill and the K Street corridor would by themselves represent a critical mass of deadly sins.

Shows how much I know.

Have a good day. Try not to be sinful.

More thoughts tomorrow.


* Happy birthday, by the way, Beautiful Lady!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

For Those Days When Your Cup Runneth Over

No, I am not referring to the wonderful song recorded by Ed Ames ...

I'm referring to this interesting article by Katy Waldman I ran across a while back while keeping abreast* of the latest news: In the Future, There Will Be No 36C. Jockey to Debut 55 New Bra Sizes.

Yes, ladies, nevermore will you suffer through the discomfort of an ill-fitting bra - Jockey has felt your pain and will be rolling out a huge range of bras designed to provide you with the support and comfort you have been seeking all these years. Rather than being identified by inches and cup size (such as 32 B or 36C), the new bras will have numerical designations like 5-35 and 9-32. The proper bra from the bewildering array of possible choices is identified for you when you use Jockey's "Volumetric Fit Kit System," which you can read about here.

A Jockey spokesman said that the new bra line, which took eight years of research to develop, represents “a mass market answer to custom fittings that have become increasingly popular in boutiques and high-end department stores.”

The downside is that the new bras will cost $60, or $30 per supported breast**. There was a time, long ago, when I would have offered to provide such support myself for a modest fraction of that price (how does "free" sound?), but those days have, sadly, long since disappeared into the distant past of my misspent youth.


So ladies, head to your favorite purveyor of feminine undergarments and enjoy the uplifting experience of your properly-fitting 9-32 or whatever.

Tell 'em Bilbo sent you.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* Sorry about that.

** We have now reached the limits of my mathematical abilities.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

We've almost made it through July, but it's been a tough week ...

Ariel Castro, the Cleveland bus driver accused of kidnapping three young women and holding them prisoner for ten years, has struck a plea deal to avoid the death penalty - he will be sentenced to life plus 1,000 years; at least 78 people were killed in a horrific railroad accident in Spain; Anthony Weiner, the most aptly-named politician in the country, is in trouble again for inappropriate "sexting" to ladies other than his wife; the Lincoln Memorial in Washington was shut down for several hours on Friday morning after vandals splashed it with green paint; although the city of Detroit, Michigan has filed for bankruptcy, it still intends to go ahead with plans to spend $444 million (!) to build a new stadium for the Detroit Red Wings hockey team; and in England, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton are the proud parents of Prince George Alexander Louis, born on Monday.

The baby is good news. As for the rest, let's get to the cartoons so we can try to forget ...

Today's collection of theme cartoons was suggested by the staggeringly awful (if clever) pun that was the centerpiece of yesterday's post - let's look at some cartoons about birds ...

We all know that mother birds feed their young by giving them regurgitated food. Oddly enough, this makes for some interesting cartoons, like this one ...

and this one ...

It factors in fine dining at avian restaurants ...

And there are products to help out the busy feathered mother ...

Okay, enough of the regurgitation cartoons ... let's move on to a look at inhumane methods of trapping ...

This is something I'd really like to see ...

Things are tough all over ...

My friend Bob sent me a collection of these "Faceless" cartoons. I thought this one was the best ...

Modern genetics is making great strides in helping identify our potential traits ...

And finally, this fellow may not be a world-class snake charmer, but he's got style ...

And that's it for our last Cartoon Saturday in July. Let's hope that August will bring better news ... but I'm stockpiling cartoons rather than holding my breath.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Crows on the Massachusetts Turnpike

Courtesy of my friend Ken ...

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (or MTA) recently found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A bird pathologist was called in to examine the remains of all the crows and, to everyone's relief, confirmed the problem was definitely not Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird's beaks and claws. Analysis of these paint residues determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of crows killed by trucks versus cars.

The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly established the cause: When crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

The conclusion was that while all the lookout crows could say "Cah!", none could say "Truck!".

Have a good day. See you back here tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

There Oughta Be a Law. Maybe.

This past Monday, Heidi's blog post titled A Seriously Odd Law discussed an Alabama law that prohibited bear wrestling. It's an odd law, to be sure, but one that probably seemed like a good idea at the time*, or reacted to a perceived need for such an ordinance**.

Speaking of odd laws, I thought I'd pull this one out of my humor archive and run it past you. I may have posted this a few years ago, but I can't remember***. In any case, it's funny and worth looking at again.



1300.01 GENERAL

1. Any person with a valid Washington State hunting license may harvest attorneys.

2. Taking of attorneys with traps or deadfalls is permitted. The use of currency as bait is prohibited.

3. Killing of attorneys with a vehicle is prohibited. If accidentally struck, remove dead attorney to roadside and proceed to nearest car wash.

4. It is unlawful to chase, herd, or harvest attorneys from a snow machine, helicopter, or aircraft.

5. It shall be unlawful to shout "whiplash," "ambulance," or "free Perrier" for the purpose of trapping attorneys.

6. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 100 yards of BMW or Mercedes dealerships.

7. It shall be unlawful to use cocaine, young boys, $100 bills, prostitutes, or vehicle accidents to attract attorneys.

8. It shall be unlawful to hunt attorneys within 200 yards of state or federal government offices, courtrooms, law libraries, whorehouses, health spas, ambulances, or hospitals.

9. It shall be a felony to hunt, trap, or possess an attorney which has been elected to government office.

10. Stuffed or mounted attorneys must have a state health department inspection for AIDS, rabies, and vermin, and a certificate attesting to such inspection shall be prominently posted.

11. It shall be illegal for a hunter to disguise himself as a reporter, drug dealer, pimp, female legal clerk, sheep, accident victim, bookie, or tax accountant for the purpose of hunting attorneys.


Yellow Bellied Sidewinder - 2
Cut-Throat - 2
Two-faced Tort Feasor - 1
Back-Stabbing Whiner - 2
Back-stabbing Divorce Litigator - 4
Brown-Nosed Judge Kisser - 2
Big-mouthed Pub Gut - 2
Silver-Tongued Drug Defender - $100 Bounty
Hairy-Assed Civil Libertarian - 7
Honest Attorney - EXTINCT

And there you have it. If you are in the great state of Washington, as opposed to the other wretched hive of scum and villany+ of the same name, be careful about how you hunt attorneys. You don't want to end up needing one.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* I suspect that this is why we have about 80-90% of our more bizarre laws.

** It's difficult to imagine a raging plague of bear wrestling that requires a legal remedy ... but then, it's also difficult to imagine the GOP bugbear of millions of cases of rampant, widespread voting fraud.

*** You'll appreciate that when you get to be my age.

+ You get extra credit for knowing the film reference.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Many years ago, I had the opportunity to visit a highly-specialized laboratory dedicated to developing advanced tools and devices to support intelligence collection activities*. In the course of the tour, one of the lab workers showed us a special collection of things they'd developed that didn't quite come out the way they'd hoped, but were still nifty enough to keep and admire. They had a designation for such things: "UBN" ... meaning, "useless, but neat."

Speaking of UBN**, someone with a great deal of time on his (or her) hands has created this marvelous spinoff of the periodic table of the elements which relates all the characters of The Lord of the Rings. Click it to enlarge, or go and see the original here. You can see a neat collection of other pop culture periodic tables in this article by Miss Cellania at Mental Floss.

The second part of the film version of The Hobbit is coming in December. I'll be there.

Have a good day. Watch out for Orcs, particularly in the vicinity of the House of Representatives. More thoughts coming.


* I'd tell you more about it, but I'd have to kill you.

** No, I'm not talking about Congress. That would just be "U."

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Professionally-Combusting Pants for Sale

I found this interesting article on the CNN Money website the other day, with this up-front disclaimer: "Warning: What you're about to read may not be true" - For Hire: Professional Liars for Job Seekers.

The article discusses a company called Paladin Deception Services which, for an appropriate fee, will provide professional, well-backstopped lies in support of its clients. Services can be as mundane as providing an alibi for a philandering husband to creating fully-documented resumes and references for people who have unfortunate job experiences in their background. Paladin states on its website: "We're the leader in covert disinformation."*

Is it real? The urban legend debunking site doesn't have anything on it, at least not yet, and there are similar, if less than full-service professional dissembling services available, such as, The Reference Store, and Fake Your Job.

Paladin is upfront about the potential outcomes of using its services. This is an excerpt from their website's FAQ page:

Q) What if I get caught?​ (yes, the font on the website is in red)

​A) As with all things, there are risks. If the deception is uncovered, you could very well be terminated from a job or be in trouble with a loved one or spouse.

Paladin also imposes some limits on what services it will provide. These include (again, from their FAQ page):

No References shall be given for any Loans whatsoever;
No Employment with Law Enforcement Agencies;
No Employment in Education (K thru 12);
No Employment giving Legal Advice;
No Employment giving Medical Care of any kind;
No Employment with any Federal**, State, County or City Government Agency or Department;
No Employment with public or private jails.

Is it real? It seems legitimate, although I found enough typos and such on it to make it look a bit less professionally-designed that I'd expect. If it is legitimate, it's another sad commentary on the economy, the job environment, and the ongoing force of the commandment which admonishes that Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor.

Caveat emptor.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* This distinguishes them from Faux News and most Super-PACs in that they admit their specialization in disinformation up front.

** Nowadays, most people probably wouldn't want service in Congress on their resume, anyhow.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

Yep - it's been another amazing week, and I don't even have Agnes here to take my mind off it all ...

The city of Detroit, Michigan, many billions of dollars in debt and reeling from the effects of the economic downturn, is trying to declare bankruptcy; nobody is happy about the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, including the President ... despite the fact that a jury found the man not guilty; much of the nation continues to bake under a record or near-record heat wave, with relief possibly coming in the form of severe weekend thunderstorms; a passenger who survived the crash of an airliner in San Francisco earlier this month was killed when she was run over by a fire truck, possibly while hidden under piles of firefighting foam; and Rolling Stone magazine has come under severe criticism for its use of a flattering picture of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokar Tsernaev on its cover.

Well, so much for July being better than June ... I think we need to bring out the cartoons stat.

The ongoing furor over the activities of the National Security Agency has ... as you might suspect ... yielded a bumper crop of cartoons. I'll just use two today, one of which is older, but still relevant ...

And the other of which is ... well ... just topical ...

Some people just may be better cut out than others for running relay races ...

Cinderella may have had more problems than that pesky glass slipper ...

Many scientists are concerned about the effects of dumping large amounts of chemicals - particularly medicines - into our water supply. Who knows what might happen? ...

Yep, that boy has really earned his merit badges ...

I thought this one was simple, effective, and very funny ...

And this one was so obvious I don't know why we haven't seen it before ...

You have surely noticed that whenever you're on endless hold, the business you're trying to call always loops a taped notice that tells you - with a straight face - how important your call is and that you should stay on the line. Yeah, right ...

And finally, a clever twist on an old cliche ...

And that's it for this week's Cartoon Saturday. I hope I've helped you get somewhat over the misery of the previous week. Agnes is still in Germany, where it's as hot as it is here, but there's no air conditioning, and I am looking forward to a weekend that will help me get over an utterly miserable week at work. Fortunately, the grandchildren can help with that.

Have a good day and a cool, great weekend.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Great Moments in Editing" Returns Yet Again!

It's been three weeks since we took a look at some of these gems, and I'm looking for an easy, simple post ... time for a return visit ...

Somehow I don't think this fellow is terribly good at his job ...

Truth in advertising ...

I think there's something missing here, how about you? ...

Sometimes it's not errors in spelling or grammar, but in unfortunate juxtaposition ...

I remember using this bathroom tissue on my uncle's farm ...

I have complete confidence in this fellow ... to rake leaves ...

Well, yes, I suppose in some cases it might be considered an affliction ...

How appropriate ...

I'm ready to run right out and buy one of those ... things ...

And finally, I found this on Facebook not long ago. It makes sense if you know that "Bury" is the name of the town, and not the service rendered ...

And there you have it - another selection of sparkling items that prove that cutting education budgets is a very bad idea. Tell a Republican.

Have a good day, and come back for Cartoon Saturday.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Zimmerman Verdict

It seems as if every nutjob with a keyboard, a megaphone, and a third-grade education has suddenly become a legal scholar in the wake of the jury's decision to acquit George Zimmerman in his trial for the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. I may as well weigh in with my own opinion.

To me, there are two key points to remember about this sad story:

1) George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin.

2) The state failed to present a case that would convince the jury, and the jury - not without much soul-searching - did its job, weighed the evidence, and voted to acquit Mr Zimmerman of either murder or manslaughter.

Unfortunately, the case will go on, because it has to. It touches too many deeply-felt emotions and scrapes at too many raw wounds on all sides. Mr Martin's family wants to file a wrongful death suit against Mr Zimmerman, and the federal government is exploring charging Mr Zimmerman with hate crimes in a new trial*. I'm reminded of the old joke about the young defense lawyer who won his first big case and wired home to his firm's head office, "JUSTICE HAS TRIUMPHED!" His boss wired back immediately, "APPEAL AT ONCE!"

A large segment of the population had already decided, well before the trial ever took place, that George Zimmerman was guilty, and that the only acceptable outcome of any trial was to confirm that opinion. It didn't work out that way, and so the varying concepts of "justice" are now on display: to many people, "justice" required George Zimmerman to be convicted of murder and duly punished; to many others, "justice" was done because a trial took place in front of a duly-selected jury, the state failed to prove its case, and Mr Zimmerman should go free.

Who's right?

For what it's worth, here's my opinion: Trayvon Martin is dead. George Zimmerman killed him. The state failed to convince a jury that this event, although terrible, should be considered either murder or manslaughter in their strict legal definitions. The system, imperfect though it may be, worked. Let it go. Learn the sad and bitter lessons, and move on.

Unfortunately, there are too many people with too much invested in using the case to advance their own agendas, and so it will be with us for a long time.

Have a good day. More thoughts later.


* One wonders why this does not constitute double jeopardy.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Ass Clown of the Month for July, 2013!

Last month, I announced the Ass Clown of the Month on the 4th, prompting Faithful Reader alanwoodhaven to express concern that "the June selection made so early in the month will lock out other, potentially greater, worthy candidates." This is a valid concern. However, because the parade of amazingly "praise"-worthy ass clowns is never-ending, it really doesn't matter when in the month I make my selection ... there will always be a teeming throng of potential nominees, and there will always be those who might disagree with my choice, believing that another ass clown might have been more deserving.

Nevertheless, I decided to split the difference: beginning this month, I'll wait until about halfway through the month to announce the winner.

Which brings us to the announcement of our Ass Clown of the Month for July, 2013 (cue the drum roll) ...

Edward Snowdon

Having decided that he should be above the law, and entitled to break his sworn oaths to protect the information with which he was entrusted, and having blithely announced that he is doing no harm to America, Mr Snowdon has placed himself above Congress, the courts, and the security needs of the American people* ... not to mention deciding to seek asylum in countries which have far greater penalties for leaking classified information (and a lot more information considered "classified") than does the country he betrayed.

For his grandstanding renunciation of his duty and his complete and utter ignorance of the reality of the world around him, Edward Snowdon is selected as our Ass Clown of the Month for July of 2013. 

Hope you enjoy Russia. Or Venezuela. Or wherever you finally end up. You will soon learn that notoriety of your kind has a very short shelf life.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* What, precisely, those needs are, and how they can be met without intruding on our civil liberties, is a valid issue, but not one that should have been addressed in such a cavalier and self-serving manner.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cartoon Saturday

Well, the Fourth of July weekend is now a week in the past, and we're on the downhill side of the summer. We appear to be on the downhill side of a lot of other things, too ...

In Crossville, Tennessee, a man's house was robbed by a thief while his accomplice distracted the homeowner by skinny-dipping in his pool*; ten counties in northern Colorado are considering seceding from the state and forming their own, new state, because they don't think the state government cares enough about their interests; speaking of Colorado, a federal judge has ruled, in a lawsuit filed by a Colorado resident, that citizens can legally carry firearms in the parking lot of a post office (but not inside the post office itself)**; traitorous ass clown Edward Snowdon has demonstrated both his ignorance of international politics and the bankruptcy of his motives by asking for political asylum in Russia; and Saudi Arabian princess Meshael Alayban, one of the wives of Saudi Prince Abdulrahman bin Nasser bin Abdulaziz al Saud, is under arrest in Los Angeles, charged with human trafficking for holding a domestic servant against her will.

Oy, vay, do we ever need the cartoons ...

This week, in honor of the new Superman movie Man of Steel, we start off with a selection of cartoons about Superman ...

Even super heroes have their bad moments ...

And their worse moments ...

And even super heroes need to take care of themselves with periodic health checkups ...

And they can use a nice massage once in a while, too ...

Age catches up with all of us, even the super ones ...

And we wrap up the Superman collection with a look at one of the odd problems you can encounter when you're faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive ...

Moving on to other cartoon subjects, one can never underestimate the importance of good marketing choices ...

I could really use two of these, one for at home and one for the office ...

The motion appears to be carried ...

And finally for this week, I think Agnes is looking for this app for me for my birthday ...

And that's Cartoon Saturday for this week. I'm experiencing geographical bachelorhood for the next week or two while Agnes is in Germany visiting her parents, and I think I need to work on my image ... everyone keeps asking me when I'll be throwing the poker nights, keg parties, and other raucous masculine entertainments. I did try to hire a pole dancer, but unfortunately the only ones available were Czechs and Bulgarians. Bummer.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


* This one's for you, Heidi.

** The judge is obviously unfamiliar with the reason that "going postal" is a slang expression.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Things You Find Online

Herewith a collection of neat stuff I've found while trolling through Facebook and reading through all the assorted e-mails I've gotten from friends ...

This one is dedicated to everyone that has to think twice before saying anything for fear of getting sued ...

There are sippy cups for children ... why not for those of us who really need them? ...

I am sometimes subject to uncontrollable sneezing fits. I finally figured out why ...

Yes, some people need lessons in anger management. Many more need lessons in stupidity management ...

I always appreciate a clever insult ...

How I feel on most days ... 

This is a warning sign that isn't posted everywhere around the DC area, but ought to be ... 

I'm having 535 of these printed up to send to all our senators and reprehensives ...

You'd better believe this, or I'll hold my breath until I turn blue! ...

Most people don't realize that the old taunt, "Liar, liar, pants on fire!" dates back to the Shakespearean era ...

Feel free to use these as you need. It's all part of my ongoing efforts to try to keep laughing ... something that gets harder every time I watch the news.

Have a good day. See you back here for Cartoon Saturday.