Monday, March 31, 2008

Padres 2008 outlook

The baseball season has sort of snuck up on me, mainly because of all of the trips to Santa Cruz in recent months and the daily genealogy activities I participate in. The exhibition games have been on the radio and a few on TV, but I haven't listened or watched any of them. We did go to the exhibition game on Friday against the Angels, winning 4-1 in a well pitched game.

It seems to me that the Padres have not improved any part of their team since last season. I will address each area below:

* Starting pitching - Jake Peavy (19-6), Chris Young (9-8, DL) and Greg Maddux (14-11) form the nucleus of the staff. Randy Wolf (new, 9-6 with LA Dodgers, DL) is the #4 and Justin Germano (7-10) starts out as #5. Shawn Estes (DL in 2007), Clay Hensley, Tim Stauffer and Mark Prior (new, DL with Cubs) start on the disabled list or in the minors as backups during the season. This was a B-rated staff last year - I think it is B-rated again, and will keep the team in low scoring games.

* Relief pitching - Trevor Hoffman, Heath Bell, Cla Meredith, Glendon Rusch (new, DL in 2007), Wil Ledezma (ineffective in 2007), Joe Thatcher (decent in 2007) and Enrique Gonzalez (new). The Pads lost Doug Brocail and several others - this was B-rated last year, I think it's C-rated now because of the unpredicatable Rusch, Ledezma and Gonzalez. There are several young arms in the minors and on the DL (e.g., Kevin Cameron). The question many fans have is if Trevor Hoffman can stay on top of his game and deliver 40 or more saves with 5 or fewer blown saves (he had 8 in 2007).

* Catching - Josh Bard (0.285, 5 HR, 51 RBI) and Michael Barrett (0.226, 0 HR with Padres). The "catching" part is fine - the throwing part isn't - worst in the league last year. Barrett's had a fine spring, and hopefully these guys can generate some power and maintain a BA and throw out some runners. They were C-rated last year, could be B-rated this year.

* Infield - Adrian Gonzalez at 1B (0.282, 30 KH, 90 RBI) is excellent offensively and defensively. Tony Clark is the backup 1B (was with Arizona last year) and becomes the prime pinch hitter. Tadahito Iguchi at 2B (with Chisox and Phillies last year) replaces Marcus Giles and Geoff Blum. Kahlil Greene provides excellent defense and power (0.254, 27 HR, 97 RBIs) and will continue to improve if he stays healthy. Kevin Kouzmanoff improved defensively and offensively as 2007 progressed (0.275, 18 HR, 74 RBI). Speedy Callix Crabbe will provide infield backup. This was a B-rated group last year, and will be B-rated (or possibly A-rated) if they stay healthy and improve.

* Outfield - Brian Giles is in RF and will contribute if he stays healthy. He had 13 HR and 51 RBI in 2007 but was on the DL for 34 games. Scott Hairston starts in CF where he's never played before. He hit well for the Padres in 2007 when he played. Paul McAnulty starts the season in LF out of minor league options. Jim Edmonds was the major acquisition this year and is on the DL. If he plays it will be in CF, with Hairston going to LF. Jody Gerut and Justin Huber are the backups. The 2007 group of Milton Bradley, Mike Cameron and Brian Giles was B-rated; this years starters are D-rated until they show that they've improved. The Padres need great defense, more power and fewer strikeouts from the outfielders.

* Coaching Staff -- Bud Black returns as manager, with Darren Balsley as pitching coach, Wally Joyner as hitting coach, Glenn Hoffman as 3rd base coach, Rick Renteria as 1st base coach, and Craig Colbert as bench coach. This was an A-rated group last year, and should stay A-rated.

While the Padres haven't measurable improved the team from the 2007 team that went 89-73, their Western Division rivals have improved, especially the Dodgers and D-backs. The division should be tight again - 90 wins probably takes it. I project the Padres winning 87 and losing 75, with many one-run games (good pitching, weak hitting). Injuries could make it worse, and timely hitting and improvement by Hairston, McAnulty, Barrett and Gerut may lift the team to 90 wins or more.

UPDATED 4/1 to fix minor errors (the U-T had some coaches wrong!).

Disneyland fun

Linda and I got away for the weekend to celebrate our wedding anniversary one week late. We had hoped to stay in downtown San Diego for two nights to enjoy the Padres opening night, but the Omni Hotel, which connects to Petco Park and had a two-night special last year, was fully booked this year and didn't have a special deal.

We debated where to go, until Tami called and said they were going to Disneyland on Sunday and why don't we join them? Since we want to use our Disneyland passes, and can't pass up a chance to see Lolo, we happily agreed. We booked the Holiday Inn-Anaheim Resort for two nights and packed our bags.

We actually started the weekend at Petco Park on Friday night when we watched the Padres beat the Angels 4-1 in an exhibition game. The game was quick, we saw our usher and upper deck friends, and we were home at 10 pm.

On Saturday, we had our monthly breakfast with Linda's swim buddies, and then left directly from there to go to Orange county. We wanted to shop and dine in San Juan Capistrano, but when we drove in the place was packed with people waiting for the annual Swallows Parade, so we went to Dana Point instead. There was a small arts and crafts fair, and we bought some baked goodies and nuts there. Then we went down by the bay and walked through some shops. We stopped in Laguna Beach and Linda shopped while I went to the local library. We had lunch at C'est la Vie overlooking the ocean - had a nice lunch. We drove then to Anaheim and checked into the hotel at about 2 p.m. It is a really nice setup. Linda went to the pool and spa while I napped and read my book and checked my email. Linda called our friends Steve and Carolyn who live nearby and we went out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse, sharing family pictures and stories.

We were up early on Sunday morning, and had breakfast at the American Brasserie restaurant in the hotel. Her omelet was terrible, and my eggs and bacon were cool. The hotel manager said he would take some off the bill, but he didn't. We took the ARTS bus to Disneyland - it's $3 a day per son for as many trips as you want. That's a real good deal, since parking is $10 each entry at Disneyland. We got there by 8:30, and rented a wheelchair for Linda since she had such a hard time walking around last time. The side benefit is that we can enter through the handicap entrance at Disneyland and avoid long lines. We did the Jungle Cruise and Pirates of the Caribbean before going to Winnie the Pooh to meet Lolo and her parents at 9:15 a.m.

Lolo came running into our arms for a big hug when she saw us - that sure makes grandpa feel good! She had a mental list of the rides she wanted to ride and who she wanted to ride with (I tell everyone that she comes from a long line of controlling females). I didn't complain, because she wanted to go on Winnie the Pooh with me, then on Buzz Lightyear with me. Then it was on to Fantasyland, and Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Snow White and Pinochio in quick succession. We went over to Tomorrowland for pizza and salad, then to Carnation for an ice cream cone. From there it was to California Adventure and Lolo and James went on some of the Bug's Life rides while we almost went on Soaring over California but didn't want to wait an hour in line. It was 2 p.m., and Tami and her family went home and we went back to the hotel - me for a nap and Linda to swim and mingle at the spa.

We left for Disneyland again at 5 pm on the bus, got a wheelchair, and had dinner at Carnation on Main Street. We waited through the Main Street Parade at 6:30 - the sound was messed up and there was no Mickey and friends. What's up with that - they're messing with tradition here. We decided to go on Soaring over California and waited 45 minutes in line (cold and windy) but got on finally and enjoyed it again. I tried to catch the golf ball this time. Then we hustled over to watch Phantasmic, but stopped for a hot cocoa first! The wheelchair got us in a spot up front on the water right across from the sheet of water. The special effects were fantastic, but I didn't like the video shown. We left at the end, walking down Main Street with the crowds with the fireworks going off over the park. We just missed the bus and waited 20 to 30 minutes. A family from Calgary was next to us and we talked about Disneyland, the weather and our lives. We finally got back and hit the sack - pretty tired from all the walking and pushing (me) and sitting (Linda).

We slept in this morning until 8:30 when Tami called, and we checked out, had breakfast at Denny's, and were home by 12 noon. We have the Padres opening night game tonight against the Astros, so it will be another night out (4 straight!).

Monday, March 24, 2008

Old farts...

A farmer went out one day and bought a brand new stud rooster for his chicken coop. The new rooster struts over to the old rooster and says, "OK old fart, time for you to retire."

The old rooster replies, "Come on, surely you cannot handle ALL of these chickens. Look what it has done to me. Can't you just let me have the two old hens over in the corner?"

The young rooster says, "Beat it: You are washed up and I am taking over."

The old rooster says, "I tell you what, young stud. I will race you around the farmhouse. Whoever wins gets the exclusive domain over the entire chicken coop."

The young rooster laughs. "You know you don't stand a chance, old man. So, just to be fair, I will give you a head start."

The old rooster takes off running. About 15 seconds later the young rooster takes off running after him. They round the front porch of the farmhouse and the young rooster has closed the gap.

He is only about 5 feet behind the old rooster and gaining fast.

The farmer, meanwhile, is sitting in his usual spot on the front porch when he sees the roosters running by.

The Old Rooster is squawking and running as hard as he can.

The Farmer grabs his shotgun and - BOOM - he blows the young rooster to bits.

The farmer sadly shakes his head and says, "Darn it..... third gay rooster I bought this month."

Moral of this story?

Don't mess with the OLD FARTS - age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery always overcome youth and arrogance!

Who was Kilroy?

In 1946 the American Transit Association, through its radio program, "Speak to America," sponsored a nationwide contest to find the REAL Kilroy, offering a prize of a real trolley car to the person who could prove himself to be the genuine article.

Almost 40 men stepped forward to make that claim, but only James Kilroy from Halifax, Massachusetts had evidence of his identity.

Kilroy was a 46-year old shipyard worker during the war. He worked as a checker at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. His job was to go around and check on the number of rivets completed. Riveters were on piecework and got paid by the rivet. Kilroy would count a block of rivets and put a check mark in semi-waxed lumber chalk, so the rivets wouldn't be counted twice.

When Kilroy went off duty, the riveters would erase the mark. Later on, an off-shift inspector would come through and count the rivets a second time, resulting in double pay for the riveters. One day Kilroy's boss called him into his office. The foreman was upset about all the wages being paid to riveters, and asked him to investigate. It was then that he realized what had been going on.The tight spaces he had to crawl into check the rivets didn't lend themselves to lugging around a paint can and brush, so Kilroy decided to stick with the waxy chalk.

He continued to put his check mark on each job he inspected, but added KILROY WAS HERE in king-sized letters next to the check, and eventually added the sketch of the chap with the long nose peering over the fence and that became part of the Kilroy message. Once he did that, the riveters stopped trying to wipe away his marks.

Ordinarily the rivets and chalk marks would have been covered up with paint.
With war on, however, ships were leaving the Quincy Yard so fast that there wasn't time to paint them.

As a result, Kilroy's inspection "trademark" was seen by thousands of servicemen who boarded the troopships the yard produced. His message apparently rang a bell with the servicemen, because they picked it up and spread it all over Europe and the South Pacific. Before the war's end, "Kilroy" had been here, there, and everywhere on the long haul to Berlin and Tokyo.

To the unfortunate troops outbound in those ships, however, he was a complete mystery; all they knew for sure was that some jerk named Kilroy had "been there first." As a joke, U.S. servicemen began placing the graffiti wherever they landed, claiming it was already there when they arrived.

Kilroy became the U.S. super-GI who had always "already been" wherever GIs went. It became a challenge to place the logo in the most unlikely places imaginable (it is said to be atop Mt. Everest, the Statue of Liberty, the underside of the Arch De Triumphe, and even scrawled in the dust on the moon.)

And as the war went on, the legend grew. Underwater demolition teams routinely sneaked ashore on Japanese-held islands in the Pacific to map the terrain for the coming invasions by U.S. troops (and thus, presumably, were the first GI's there). On one occasion, however, they reported seeing enemy troops painting over the Kilroy logo!

In 1945, an outhouse was built for the exclusive use of Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill at the Potsdam conference. The first person inside was Stalin,
who emerged and asked his aide (in Russian), "Who is Kilroy?"

To help prove his authenticity in 1946, James Kilroy brought along officials from the shipyard and some of the riveters. He won the trolley car, which he gave to his nine children as a Christmas gift, and set it up as a playhouse in the Kilroy front yard in Halifax, Massachusetts.

So now You Know!

A two-story outhouse

16 Things it took me 50 years to learn - Dave Barry

Dave Barry pens this --

1. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.

2. If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, [and never will achieve], its full potential, that word would be "meetings."

3. There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."

4. People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.

5. You should not confuse your career with your life.

6. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

7. Never lick a steak knife.

8. The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.

9. You will never find anybody who can give you a clear and compelling reason why we observe daylight savings time.

10. You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests that you think she's pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.

11. There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age 11.

12. The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers.

13. A person, who is nice to you, but rude to a waiter, is not a nice person. (This is very important. Pay attention. It NEVER fails.)

14. Your friends love you anyway.

15. Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

16. Thought for the day: Men are like fine wine. They start out as grapes; and it's up to the women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Santa Cruz - Days 5 and 6

Saturday was an interesting day with Lori and the boys. The boys were up by 6:30 and we had cereal with milk, frozen pancakes, and frozen waffles. When Lori got up, she made blueberry muffins and we ate them too. We took off at about 10 a.m. and stopped at the coffee shop for chai and hot choc. We got to Henry Cowell park at about 10:45 and had to hurry to get tickets for the Roaring Camp steam train ride. We were packed into the second train with the canopy (which my head appreciated - it also protected us from the soot from the engine). We rode up the track and back - it took about 75 minutes. We had sandwiches for lunch. When we got home, the boys and I had naps. Lori left with Lucas for a nature celebration, and Logan and I took a walk, played outside and watched TV. We had left over Chinese food for dinner, and shared an ice cream cone. Lori brought Lucas home and then she went back out for the evening. The boys played, watched TV, had baths, read books, and went to bed pretty easily for me.

On Sunday morning, I was up at 6:30 with Logan and we had our breakfast while watching Disney. Lucas was up at 7:30 and Lori at 8:30. Logan helped me pack my bag, and strip the sheets off the hide-a-bed, and we were ready to go to the airport at 9:30 a.m. We stopped at a bagel shop and we got food for the car. They dropped me at the San Jose airport at 10:50 a.m., and I got through check-in and security easily. My flight was at 12:15 p.m. and it was clear all the way down to San Diego. The Sierras were off to the east, and I was able to see most of LA, the San Gabriel Valley, Orange County and coastal San Diego County from the left side of the plane. Linda picked me up and we were at the Hob Nob Hill cafe by 2 p.m. We were home by 4 p.m. I was tired from the cumulative sleep deprivation and the physical exertion of lifting and carrying my two little bundles of fun and joy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Santa Cruz - Days 3 and 4

The main reason for this trip was that Lucas was having significant dental work done under anesthesia on Thursday and Lori wanted my help with him and Logan. We were up early - before 6 - and on the road by 6:15 a.m. Lucas cried the whole way - scared, hungry, thirsty, tired before he got there. The doctors were good - came out and talked to us, and to Luke, before giving him an anesthetic and taking him back for the work. After about 90 minutes, we went back and he was still unconscious. My heart went out to this poor little guy as the doctors told us what they did and what was going to happen when he came out of the anesthetic. Lori held him and talked to him as he gradually came awake. He moaned a bit but wasn't in any pain. After an hour, we took him home. I ran to the store to get ice cream and cones and when I got back he enjoyed a cone - ate the whole thing, no real problems with his teeth.

He was tired, and we all took naps. Lori brought Logan home and I played with the boys a bit. We went to the store, came home and Lori's friend Joanna brought her two little ones over for dinner. The kids played, we ate dinner, Joanna took her two boys home, and Lori went off to a school meeting. Logan and Lucas and I played on the floor, we watched some TV (thank goodness for On Demand!), they had their baths and I put them to bed. They usually do what I ask them to and are cooperative.

Logan was up at 5:30 a.m. today, so I got up and we ate breakfast and watched TV. Lucas was up at 7 a.m., and Lori by 8. We got the boys ready for school, dropped Logan at 8:40, and Lucas at 9 a.m. Lori and U stopped at the coffee shop for her chai and my hot choc plus a muffin, and then we walked Annie the wonder dog in the park with tall redwoods. We came home, Lori got ready to go to school for a meeting, and I worked on the laundry, did my computer reading, and then had lunch. I took a nap (with Mira draped on my chest and shoulders), then read my book while watching USD beat UConn in the NCAA tournament. Great game. Lori came home with the boys at 3:15, and we packed up and went off to Lucas' soccer class - this is 3-4-5's running around kicking the ball. Cute. They chase really well, and some of them understand what they doing. It was fun. We went for dinner to Lori's friend who has two small children at their house, and I had fun playing inside and outside with the four of them (and the two big dogs too). We got Chinese takeout and all of the kids ate well. I played with the kids some more and got tired out (again), and we came home and the boys went down quickly without any fuss.

Tomorrow we will go to Roaring Camp and ride the steam engine train - this is a big highlight for Lucas and Logan - they never tire of it, and it's fun to see all the families with kids enjoying an old-fashioned train ride.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Return to Santa Cruz - Days 1 and 2

I flew to San Jose on Tuesday from San Diego. Lori and the boys picked me up at the airport right at 11 a.m. and we stopped at the park on the west side of the airport and watched planes take off and land. The boys enjoy this. We had lunch at a Carl's Jr. in Los Gatos - Lucas was very tired and fussed the whole time, except when he was climbing on the play equipment. Logan learned to go up and down a slanted rope ladder. They both slept a bit in the car, and we got to their house by 1 p.m. Lori and Logan slept some, but Lucas didn't. We left at 3:15 to go to swimming lessons and Lucas fussed more and didn't go in the water. Logan did and had a ball - he does really well, but still needs support. We came home and then went back out to the store for food for dinner. Dinner time was a major hassle - neither boy ate much. We played a bit, they had their bath, I read books to both boys, and they went to bed. Lori did her board work and I read, after doing the dishes.

I sleep on the living room couch hide-a-bed, so at 6 in the morning I hear the little feet on the floor, look up and see Logan going for the back door. It was locked, but I grabbed him and sat with him for an hour, then we watched the Disney channel. Lucas got up at 8, we all had breakfast, and left before 9 to get Lucas to his pre-school. We came home, I played with Logan a bit, and then at 11 we left again for Logan's music "lesson" - a sing-a-long and playing musical instruments. He had fun, but didn't do much more than watch and dance a bit. Then it was home for lunch - quesadilla and carrots. We all took long naps - I had Mira the wonder cat on my chest the whole 2 hours. Lucas got a ride home from school at 3:30, and we went out back to play baseball. He swings pretty good when his timing is right. He's also learning to field and throw - his throws are short but pretty accurate. Then we rough-housed for about an hour - until I was tired out! Lori got dinner going, and Darcy came to help with the boys. They ate everything on their plate, then had strawberries for dessert. No fuss, no muss. We played some card games, and then they had theirs baths. We watched a JayJay cartoon (talking airplanes) and Lucas fell asleep in my arms. Logan went down quietly too. That gave me a chance to get on the computer and read my email, write some blog posts, and I'll go read my book later.

Tomorrow is the day that Luke has his dental work done. We have to leave at 6:15 a.m. Darcy is coming to take Logan to school.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More church bulletin material

They're Back! Those Wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services.

* The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.

* The sermon this morning: "Jesus Walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."

* Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.

* Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.

* The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.

* Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say "Hell" to someone who doesn't care much about you.

* Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.

* Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.

* For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

* Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.

* The Rector will preach his farewell message, after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."

* Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.

* At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.

* Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.

* Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.

* Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.

* The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.

* The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.

* This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.

* Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done.

* The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.

* Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.

* The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

* Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use the large double door at the side entrance.

* The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday : "I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours".

Letter to the CHP

Two California Highway Patrol Officers were conducting speeding enforcement on I-15, just north of the Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar.

One of the officers was using a hand held radar device to check speeding vehicles approaching the crest of a hill. The officers were suddenly surprised when the radar gun began reading 300 miles per hour. The officer attempted to reset the radar gun, but it would not reset and then turned off.

Just then a deafening roar over the treetops revealed that the radar had in fact locked on to a USMC F/A-18 Hornet which was engaged in a low flying exercise near the location. Back at the CHP Headquarters the Patrol Captain fired off a complaint to the USMC Base Commander.

The reply came back in true USMC style:

"Thank you for your letter. We can now complete the file on this incident.

"You may be interested to know that the tactical computer in the Hornet had detected the presence of, and subsequently locked on to, your hostile radar equipment and automatically sent a jamming signal back to it, which is why it shut down.

"Furthermore, an Air-to-Ground missile aboard the fully armed aircraft had also automatically locked on to your equipment location. Fortunately, the Marine Pilot flying the Hornet recognized the situation for what it was, quickly responded to the missile system alert status and was able to override the automated defense system before the missile was launched to destroy the hostile radar position.

"The pilot also suggests you cover your mouths when cussing at them, since the video systems on these jets are very high tech. Sergeant Johnson, the officer holding the radar gun, should get his dentist to check his left rear molar. It appears the filling is loose. Also, the snap is broken on his holster.

"Thank you for your concern.

"Semper Fi."

Top 10 Messages Left on Eliot Spitzer's Answering Machine

From David Letterman ...

10) Hey, what's new?

9) It's Barack Obama. Remember our conversation about being my running mate? Nevermind.

8) Ralph Nader here, glad to hear I'm not the only politician who has to pay for it

7) I'm calling from the 'New York Post.' Would you rather be known as 'Disgraced Gov Perv' or 'Humiliated Whore Fiend'?

6) This is John McCain, if it makes you feel better, I once got caught having sex with Lincoln's wife

5) It's Dr. Phil, call me if you need any horse**** advice

4) This is Senator Larry Craig. Do you ever go through the Minneapolis airport?
3) It's Wolf Blitzer. Call me if you ever want a hot Spitzer-Blitzer three-way

2) Paris Hilton here. I would have done it for free

1) It's Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thanks, I'm no longer America's creepiest governor

Friday, March 07, 2008


Here are the ten first place winners in the International Pun Contest:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said," I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Travel by politicos

A Washington, DC, airport ticket agent offers some examples of why our country is in trouble!

1. I had a New Hampshire Congresswoman ask for an aisle seat so that her hair wouldn't get messed up by being near the window. (On an airplane!)

2. I got a call from a candidate's staffer, who wanted to go to Capetown. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information, then she interrupted me with, "I'm not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts." Without trying to make her look stupid, I calmly explained, "Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.." Her response - click.

3. A senior Vermont Congressman called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that's not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state.He replied, "Don't lie to me, I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state!" (OMG)

4. I got a call from a lawmaker's wife who asked, "Is it possible to see England from Canada?" I said, "No." She said, "But they look so close on the map." (OMG, again!)

5. An aide for a cabinet member once called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had only a 1-hour layover in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, "I heard Dallas was a big airport, and we will need a car to drive between gates to save time." (Aghhhh)

6. An Illinois Congresswoman called last week. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:30 am got to Chicago at 8:33 am. I explained that Michigan was an hour ahead of Illinois, but she couldn't understand the concept of time zones. Finally, I told her the plane went fast, and she bought that.

7. A New York lawmaker called and asked, "Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know whose luggage belongs to whom?" I said, "No, why do you ask?" She replied, "Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said (FAT), and I'm overweight. I think that's very rude!" After putting her on hold for a minute while I looked into it (I was laughing). I came back and explained the city code for Fresno, CA is (FAT - Fresno Air Terminal), and the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

8. A Senator's aide called to inquire about a trip package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, "Would it be cheaper to fly to California, and then take the train to Hawaii?"

9. I just got off the phone with a freshman Congressman who asked, "How do I know which plane to get on?" I asked him what exactly he meant, to which he replied, "I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these planes have numbers on them."

10. A lady Senator called and said, "I need to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida. Do I have to get on one of those little computer planes?" I asked if she meant fly to Pensacola, Fl. on a commuter plane. She said, "Yeah, whatever, smarty!"
11. A senior Senator called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him that he needed a visa. "Oh, no I don't. I've been to China many times and never had to have one of those." I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, "Look, I've been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express!"

12. A New Mexico Congresswoman called to make reservations, "I want to go from Chicago to Rhino, New York "I was at a loss for words. Finally, I said, "Are you sure that's the name of the town?" "Yes, what flights do you have?" replied the lady. After some searching, I came back with, "I'm sorry, ma'am, I've looked up every airport code in the country and can't find a Rhino anywhere." The lady retorted, "Oh, don't be silly! Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!" So I scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, "You don't mean Buffalo, do you?" The reply? "Whatever! I knew it was a big animal."

Now you know why the Government is in the shape that it's in!

Trip to the Vet

If you have raised kids (or been one), and gone through the pet syndrome, including toilet flush burials for dead goldfish, the story below will have you laughing out LOUD!

Overview: I had to take my son's lizard to the vet. Here's what happened:

Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was 'something wrong' with one of the two lizards he holds prisoner in his room. 'He's just lying there looking sick,' he told me. 'I'm serious, Dad. Can you help?'

I put my best lizard-healer expression on my face and followed him into his bedroom. One of the little lizards was indeed lying on his back, looking stressed. I immediately knew what to do. 'Honey,' I called, 'come look at the lizard!'

'Oh, my gosh!' my wife exclaimed. 'She's having babies.'

'What?' my son demanded. 'But their names are Bert and Ernie, Mom !'

I was equally outraged. 'Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we didn't want them to reproduce,' I said accusingly to my wife.

'Well, what do you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?' she inquired (I think she actually said this sarcastically...)

'No, but you were supposed to get two boys!' I reminded her, (in my most loving, calm, sweet voice, while gritting my teeth).

'Yeah, Bert and Ernie!' my son agreed.

'Well, it's just a little hard to tell on some guys, you know,' she informed me (Again with the sarcasm). By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on.

I shrugged, deciding to make the best of it.'Kids, this is going to be a wondrous experience,' I announced. 'We're about to witness the miracle of birth.'

'Oh, gross!' they shrieked

'Well, isn't THAT just great? What are we going to do with a litter of tiny little lizard babies?' my wife wanted to know.

We peered at the patient. After much struggling, what looked like a tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later. 'We don't appear to be making much progress,' I noted.

'It's breech,' my wife whispered, horrified.

'Do something, Dad!' my son urged.

'Okay, okay.' Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it next appeared, giving it a gentle tug. It disappeared. I tried several more times with the same results.

'Should I call 911?' my eldest daughter wanted to know. 'Maybe they could talk us through the trauma.' (You see a pattern here with the females in my house?)

'Let's get Ernie to the vet,' I said grimly. We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap. 'Breathe, Ernie, breathe,' he urged.

'I don't think lizards do Lamaze,' his mother noted to him. (Women can be so cruel to their own young. I mean what she does to me is one thing, but this boy is of her womb, for God's sake.).

The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little animal through a magnifying glass.

'What do you think, Doc, a C-section?' I suggested scientifically.

'Oh, very interesting,' he murmured. 'Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?'

I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside. 'Is Ernie going to be okay?' my wife asked.

'Oh, perfectly,' the vet assured us. 'This lizard is not in labor. In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen. Ernie is a boy. You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into maturity, like most male species, they um . . um . . .stick it out! Just the way he did. He blushed, glancing at my wife.

We were silent, absorbing this. 'So, Ernie's just just . . . excited,' my wife offered.

'Exactly,' the vet replied, relieved that we understood. More silence.

Then my vicious, cruel wife started to giggle. And giggle. And then even laugh loudly.

'What's so funny?' I demanded, knowing, but not believing that the woman I married would commit the upcoming affront to my flawless manliness.Tears were now running down her face. 'It's just that . . I'm picturing you pulling on its . . . its. . . teeny, little ,,,,' She gasped for more air to bellow in laughter once more.

'That's enough,' I warned.

We thanked the vet and hurriedly bundled the lizard and our son back into the car..

He was glad everything was going to be okay. 'I know Ernie's really thankful for what you did, Dad,' he told me.

'Oh, you have NO idea,' my wife agreed, collapsing with laughter.

Two lizards:

$140.One cage:

$50.Trip to the vet:


Memory of your husband pulling on a lizard's winkie: Priceless!

Moral of the story: Pay attention in biology class. Lizards lay eggs!

Father/Daughter talk

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat, and was very much in favor of "the redistribution of wealth."

She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Audrey doing?"

She replied, "Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over."

Her wise father asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I worked my tail off!"

The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, "Welcome to the Republican party."

Softball in Heaven?

Two 90-year-old women,Rose and Barb, had been friends all of their lives. When it was clear that Rose was dying, Barb visited her every day.

One day Barb said, "Rose, we both loved playing women's softball all our lives, and we played it all through high school. Please do me one favor: when you get to Heaven, somehow you must let me know if there's women's softball there."

Rose looked up at Barb from her deathbed, "Barb,you've been my best friend for many years. If it's at all possible, I'll do this favor for you."

Shortly after that, Rose passed on.

At midnight a couple of nights later, Barb was awakened from a sound sleep by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calling out to her," Barb,Barb."

"Who is it?' asked Barb, sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"

"Barb --it's me, Rose."

"You're not Rose. Rose just died."

"I'm telling you, it's me, Rose," insisted the voice.

"Rose! Where are you?"

"In Heaven,' replied Rose. "I have some really good news and a little bad news."

"Tell me the good news first," said Barb.

"The good news,' Rose said, "is that there's softball in Heaven. Better yet, all of our old buddies who died before us are here, too. Better than that, we're all young again. Better still, it's always springtime, and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play softball all we want, and we never get tired."

"That's fantastic," said Barb. "It's beyond my wildest dreams! So what's the bad news?"

"You're pitching Tuesday."

A Word Puzzle

See if you can figure out what these words have in common.

1. Banana
2. Dresser
3. Grammar
4. Potato
5. Revive
6. Uneven
7. Assess

Are you peeking or have you already given up?

Give it another try . .

You will kick yourself when you discover the answer.

Go back and look at them again; think hard.

OK . . . Here You Go . . Hope You Didn't Cheat.

This Is Cool.

Answer: No, it is not that they all have at least 2 double letters. (you thought you had the answer, eh?)

Scroll down for answer
In all of the words listed, if you take the first letter, place it at the end of the word, and then spell the word backwards, it will be the same word.

Did you figure it out?

Ever Wonder Why?

Did You Ever Wonder Why?

Dimes, quarters and half dollars have notched edges, while pennies and nickels do not? The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing Gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren't notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

Men's clothes have buttons on the right while women's clothes have buttons on the left? When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid's right. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. And that's where women's buttons have remained since.

Xs at the end of a letter signify kisses? In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write,documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

Shifting responsibility to someone else is called "passing the buck"? In card games,it was once customary to pass an item, called a buck, from player to player to indicate whose turn it was to deal. If a player did not wish to assume the responsibility, he would pass the buck" to the next player.

People clink their glasses before drinking a toast? It used to be common for someone to try to kill an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. To prove to a guest that a drink was safe, it became customary for a guest to pour a small amount of his drink into the glass of the host. Both men would drink it simultaneously. When a guest trusted his host, he would then touch -- or clink -- the host's glass with his own.

People in the public eye are said to be "in the limelight"? Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and stage lighting by burning a cylinder of lime in an oxyhydrogen flame that produced a brilliant light. In the theater, performers on stage "in the limelight" were seen by the audience to be the center of attention.

Ships and aircraft in trouble use "mayday" as their call for help? This comes from the French word m'aidez - meaning "help me" - and is pronounced "mayday." (Note: not exactly.... it's pronounced "med-ay", but close enough)

Someone who is feeling great is "on cloud nine"? Types of clouds are numbered according to the altitudes they attain, with nine being the highest cloud. If someone is said to be on cloud nine, that person is floating well above worldly cares.

Zero scores in tennis are called "love"? In France, where tennis first became popular, a big, round zero on scoreboard looked like an egg and was called l'oeuf, which is French for "egg". When tennis was introduced in the US, Americans pronounced it "love".

Many coin banks are shaped like pigs? Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of a dense,orange clay called pygg. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as "pygg banks". When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a bank that resembled a pig. And it caught on.

I'm a Senior citizen and ...

I'm the life of the party......

even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps... with a hammer.
I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.

I'm very good at telling stories; over and over and over and over...
I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not nearly as cute as mine.
I'm so cared for --- long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

I'm not really grouchy,

I just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, lawyers, loud music, unruly kids, Jenny Craig and Toyota commercials, barking dogs, politicians and a few other things I can't seem to remember right now.

I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.

I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.

I'm having trouble remembering simple words like.......

I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days, and when did they let kids become policemen?

I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?

And, how can my kids be older than I feel sometimes?

I'm a walking storeroom of facts..... I've just lost the key to the storeroom door.

Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life!

We didn't do it ...

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took:

The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,

The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,

The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,

The ambition out of achievement, or,
God out of government and school.

And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country. Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner? or O Canada?

Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention, on Veterans day and our great country's birthday .