Friday, July 27, 2007


Clicking on the header takes you to where you really should do it. Life's a whirl... KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - A white-bearded insurance agent from Florida won the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, a highlight of the annual festival honoring the famed writer. Larry Austin defeated 122 other contenders in the competition at Sloppy Joe's Bar, Hemingway's favorite watering hole when he lived in the Keys in the 1930s. The final round was held late Saturday, which would have been Hemingway's 108th birthday. Austin, of Palm Harbor, said he shares Hemingway's fondness for Key West, cats and having a good time, though he has never attempted writing anything except insurance policies. "When they called my name, I was in shock," said Austin, a 10-year veteran contestant who said his favorite Hemingway novel is "The Old Man and the Sea." Contestants dressed in sportsman's attire paraded across the stage at Sloppy Joe's during preliminary rounds Thursday and Friday. Twenty-five prospective "Papas" made it to Saturday night's finals. Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter Lorian Hemingway said the contest would appeal to her late grandfather. "I think if he were to walk into Sloppy Joe's to see dozens of men hoping to look like him, he would be honored," she said. "In fact, I think he might even break into tears, because the connection with him here in Key West goes so deep and all the look-alikes love this man." Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his classic works, such as "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "To Have and Have Not," in a small studio adjoining his Key West home. If this guy thinks "The Old Man And The Sea" is a novel, Papa must be turning over in his grave. I personally enjoyed both the short story and the screen version.

An 8-year-old Kansas boy was denied boarding an aircraft in Cortez, Colo., because his name appeared on the U.S. terrorist no-fly list. Bryan Moore showed up at the boarding counter for Great Lakes Airlines last week, and security was summoned when his name appeared on the list, The Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported. Airline officials told the newspaper the boy, who is from Parker -- a town of about 280 people in eastern Kansas -- and his adult sister showed up just 20 minutes before the flight and there wasn't enough time to clear him to fly. However, spokeswoman Carrie Harmon of the Transportation Security Administration said the ticket agent acted improperly. "There are no children on any watch lists," Harmon told the newspaper. "If a child has a name similar to one on the list, the ticket agent is supposed to clear the child and immediately issue a boarding pass." She said common names are on the list to ensure ticket agents verify the person's identity, the Star reported.

Yeah, you gotta watch those 8 year olds from Parker, Kansas. They might have corn borers hidden in their pockets.

Beijing Television said an expose that alleged dumplings in Beijing were filled with cardboard was a hoax and police arrested the reporter who filed the story. The station apologized during its Wednesday evening news program for airing the report, which was produced by a temporary employee on its Life Channel, Xinhua, China's official government-run news agency, reported. "We should apologize to the public for the Life Channel's failure to strictly examine the content of the report, resulting in the airing of a faked report which in turn undermined public confidence," the station said. Police said the reporter admitted under interrogation that he fabricated the report, which was aired as part of the Life Channel's "Transparency" segment July 8. Police said four migrant workers and one other suspect have been detained as part of the investigation into the false report.

Once we get those alleged dumplings we'll explain why Americans are not going to trust anything that comes fro China.

If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.

If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.--- Mark Twain

Ever wonder what happens when you leave your computer on overnight? Does it just sit idle until the screen saver kicks in?That's what you want to believe. But now MASO Digital Studio has captured proof of the secret life of your desktop icons in a hilarious Flash clip. View the animation This is great fun. "We know that as a consequence of transgressions and negligence, 1.2 million people die each year on the roads," said Cardinal Renato Martino, who heads the council. "That's a sad reality, and at the same time a great challenge for society and the Church." For the church? I'd better tell the police chief. He thinks it's his challenge. Enlarge this picture for the fun. Chinese restaurants are flush with mouse meat. Nutritious but potentially illness-inducing field mice are finding their way onto restaurant dinner plates in parts of China. "The trucks carrying mice arrive at 4 a.m. and all the goods can be sold out before 7 a.m.," a mouse broker said of the delicacy. Shipments of mice are being delivered daily from Hunan Province to restaurants in Fanyu, Zhaoqing, Dongguan and Nanhai in Guangdong Province, the broker said. The shipments increased from just one delivery a week last year, after flooding in central China forced an estimated 2 billion field mice from their holes near Dongting Lake, China Daily reported. Nutritious mouse meat is packed with protein and minerals, but health officials in Guangzhou -- where mouse meat was officially banned in 2003 -- warned it could carry infectious diseases. My cats think mice are a delicacy. But Wild Thing has said we aren't going to any more Chinese Buffets unless they're staffed by Americans. Not even after 4 a.m.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I guess I'm getting too demanding. Must be old age. Or Alzheimer's. Or that hang nail. Maybe that allergy.
We've got four local TV stations here in Albuquerque who all insist on giving us what they call "The NEWS". The hottest news the other day was the fact a chain of gougy coffee shops was going to raise their prices for a cup of ladies coffee. (Ladies coffee has lots of strange stuff in it to disguise the coffee taste. Please don't ask me why.)
While I was trying to understand how this related to the horrible fiery crash of an airplane in their previous story, the newsreaders made jokes about the price of what they called coffee.
And there have been countless words and pictures on the shenanigans of a rich hotel heiress who doesn't mind having her sexual encouters on the WWW. When I was younger, this kind of girl was called a slut. Now, for whatever reason, these girls seem to be teen idols.
I fail to understand why a coffee shop raising their price is news.
I fail to understand why a slut has to be invited into my living room.
Then we were told about a movie star who had fallen off the liquor and drug wagons. Now that was deathless news. Might have ruined my understanding of why there are so many worthwhile people in the world if I hadn't seen this.
Next was a blazing hot story about people waiting in line to buy a book. Complete with pictures and interviews of line standers. On the one hand I was glad to hear that millions of people were reading. On the other hand, so what?
In the weather report, we are treated to weather all over the state. And the neighboring states. And the rest of the states. And selected cities and countries all over the globe. It's enough to make your eyes glaze over. And I want to ask a question: What's the difference between "scattered showers" and "isolated showers"?
Then in sports we are treated to a guy who is trying to beat a record. Although no one says he gets performance drug help. And no one mentions that the original record was set when the teams played a lot less games.
Next we get to hear the earth shaking news that a game referee was betting on teams when he was officiating. Seems to me all the big banks do something very similar all the time.
Then we hear of a quarterback on an American Football team whose idea of fun is to run a dog fighting arena. (Dogs rip each other to shreds in these things.) None of the newscasters points out that, since the quarterback is supposed to be the smartest player on the team, what does that say for the rest of the men?
Oh, yes, each and everyone of the local news shows have won awards from various unheard of organizations. They tell you that in each and every broadcast. I guess that's in case you think something along the lines of "this is crappy news, let's change the channel".
If I sound disgusted with newscasts, it is only because I am disgusted with news casts.
I might ask the Aussie Journalist if he has any clues why this goes on. I know, I know. He deals in print material. But maybe he knows how these TV "news reporters" (italics mine) sleep at night? Yes, if you were wondering, I was a hot metal gun lino operator long ago.
Got a different kind of surprise in the header, not funny at all.