Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Granted, the title for this article sounds like something worthy of Monty Python's Flying Circus, but the Federal Food and Drug Administration has released a warning about a possible salmonella outbreak from this nut while initiating a recall stemming from a processing facility in California that first discovered the contamination.
Consumers are being warned about the possible health risks from eating the nuts or anything containing pistachios that originated from that site; and are advised to either toss the products away or take them back to the place of purchase just like we have had to do before with spinach, salsa, and other items.

Now while the concern about salmonella is legitimate and not to be taken lightly, personally, I'd rather enjoy a Monty Python routine than risk my health.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I was driving down the road and about to enter the highway when I noticed something odd.
Right where the on ramp merged with the existing highway, after the traditional symbol indicating this, there was another sign: the basic pantomime symbol for "No Left Turn".
Now, is this really a problem?
I mean, on one hand there is bound to be someone at some point that immediately thinks that the moment they start to get on a freeway or highway, that they can take and switch over to a faster lane, which most of the time is the one on the left.
But as they are entering, how many drivers suddenly want to make an actual left turn?
After all, it's not like you have alternate directional choices when you get on.
Couldn't they come up with a better symbol to indicate not to switch lanes so soon than "No Left Turn"?

Meanwhile, here is our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon (one amongst many avatars of an avid Internet user) with this week's jokes:

Where do dogs leave their cars? In the barking lot!

What happened to the frog’s car when it broke down? It got toad away!

When is a car not a car? When it turns into a garage.

And finally...
What kind of car does Luke Skywalker drive? A Toy-yoda.

Don't forget: the first (Inter)National "Don't Worry" Day is Sunday, August 2nd.
So look forward to taking a brief break from you worries. You deserve the rest!

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Another week, and more fun! So let's get right to it.

How many words can you find in the sentence below.


By what moniker is musician Darryl Dragon more commonly known?

The answers will appear next weekend, but now the results from March 21st, 2009.

Actress turned Congressional Democratic Representative from California Helen Gahagan Douglas bestowed future President Richard M. Nixon the infamous moniker "Tricky Dick" to combat the smear campaign he was raging against her for an United States Senatorial position in 1950.

Without using the actual words, the following can all be made from the letters in the phrase SPRING HAS SPRUNG:
A, Ah, An, Ann, As, Asp(s), Gain(s), Gap(s), Gas, Gin, Grin(s), Gun(s), Hang(s), Hi, Hip(s), His, Hung, Hun(s), I, Ian, In, Inn(s), Nag(s), Nun(s), Pain(s), Pan(s), Pain(s), Pass, Pin(s), Pun(s), Pup(s), Rain(s), Ran, Rang, Rung, Run(s), Sag(s), Sang, Sans, Sass, Sing(s), Sin(s), Sip(s), Spain, Spin(s), Sprang, Sprain(s), Spun, and Sung.
Besides the 74 words above, other combinations might be possible, for I know of two more that good taste will not allow me to list.


Today, citizens around the globe turned off their lights for 60 minutes in observance of Earth Hour 2009 in hopes of creating more awareness of global warming and efforts to help preserve this planet and the lives it hosts.
Congress is still going over President Barack Obama's proposed budget and other matters as we near the end of his first 100 days in office and the mandatory State of the Union address.
There is a ground swelling in New York for the building currently being erected where the original World Trade Center stood to retain its projected new name of Freedom Tower. However those currently behind the reconstruction efforts have reverted back to the original address of One World Trade Center. But whatever it will be called, it is still on schedule to reopen in 2013.
Meanwhile in Sports: Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox has decided to retire instead of trying to come back for the second half of the 2009 season after surgery took him out of the 2008 pitching rotation and by tomorrow night, NCAA fans will know the Final 4 of both the Men and Women's divisions of college basketball.
For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of the screen.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Not wanting to set unwarranted precedents, the law and what can and can't be done about the recent AIG bonus fiasco has been in the news a lot over the last few days; as Congress debates the matter.
Yet while tax regulations might wind up being rewritten and history made a new, here are a few interesting laws from other parts of the world.

In Singapore: to keep things clean, feeding the pigeons and not flushing public toilets will get you in trouble. However you can legally dance on top of tables (fully clothed) and gambling will become legal in that country later this year.

Spearheading a moment that in time might sweep across Europe, Denmark requires drivers to operate their vehicles with the headlights on.

Meanwhile, here is our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon, one amongst many avatars of an avid Internet user, with this week's jokes.

What do you call a bad cat arrested by the police? The purrpatrator.

Did you know police officers are so strong they can hold up traffic?

And finally...
Little Johnny's class went on an outing to their local police station, where they saw pictures of the ten most wanted men tacked to a bulletin board.
On the way out of the police station, Little Johnny said to an officer, "It was so nice of you to put my daddy's picture up there."
Needless to say, the search for that criminal did not last much longer.

See you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, March 21, 2009


It may not seem like Spring has sprung everywhere weather wise, but I still have plenty of fresh puzzles to keep the mind occupied.
To wit...

Although the moniker did not come into serious use until the Viet Nam war, who coined the nickname "Tricky Dick" in reference to then President Richard Nixon?

How many words can you make out of the following phrase?


And please note, the words of the phrase itself do not count!

The solutions will appear next weekend. But now, here are the answers to our quiz from last weekend celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barbie.

01 and 02.
While anyone who said that the dolls were named after Ruth Handler's daughter and son are correct, their full names are Barbara Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson. Of course those who imagine Barbie getting married would make her name Barbara Carson (nee Roberts).
03. To shake things up, and hopefully increase sales, Barbie started “dating” Blaine in 2004. But that romance has pretty much been over since Ken returned in 2006 between consumer/fans demands and Blaine not raking in the sales figures Ken did.
04. In 1971, Mattel's first official change to Barbie was altering the eyes to look forward instead of being more demure. Of course, how many bad haircuts she might have received at the hands of would-be stylists of the day remains unknown.
05. Barbie’s figure has been altered several times since the 1990s since the original measurements, translated to human terms, would make her 5-foot-6, weigh about 110 pounds, wearing a size 7 shoe and measure 39-18-33. Ms. Roberts has since gained a couple of inches in the waist and a little more weight accordingly to give girls a more realistic role model image.
But the actual answer to the question is: Since 2000, Mattel has started adding indications (an indentation, not a true one) of a belly button. If parents were concerned in the past about the unrealistic measurements in regards to their daughter's self image, I wonder how they will react if Mattel ever decides to keep up with current trends and starts piercing Barbie's belly button!

As for me, being a guy, I have had enough of dolls. I'm going to go raid my old toy chest and play with some of my ancient action figures awhile.

WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 15th-21st, 2009

Spring has sprung, although the weather in some spots does not support that fact.
College basketball fans are well in the grip of March Madness.
Michelle Obama is overseeing the first produce garden on White House property since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War 2, with everything the White House kitchen does not use to go to a local soup kitchen.
President Obama made a faux-paux on his Tonight show appearance, but has apologized since. Then again, his election as President of the United States was not based upon his comedic skills.
Congress is still debating the budget and other matters of state.
Some economic groups are now warning consumers about companies that are willing to refinance your debt, check your credit scores, and/or offer help obtaining a stimulus check.
AIG is in serious trouble with the Federal Government yet again, but what action(s) can be enacted against them remain to be seen.
And in Sante Fe, New Mexico: what was supposed to be a time capsule buried in 1960 to celebrate the 350th anniversary of founding the city and scheduled to be opened in 2010 as part of Sante Fe's 400th anniversary has been found. While many were uncertain of where the capsule was supposed to be buried, it has been discovered that over all these years, the empty shell was sitting in the basement of a building being used as a recycling bin!

For more news at any time, just scroll down to the IN OTHER NEWS... feature at the bottom of the screen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Whether or not they are actually fans of college basketball, people everywhere are pouring over statics, examining their instincts, or whatever "works" to fill out their bracket predictions for the 2009 NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, commonly known as March Madness; in hopes of winning the office pool or whatever wager they care to place on the outcome.
The classic bracket arrangement has the bettor listing their top 20 teams in order, but then collecting points for each win based upon the reverse order of placement on the list. So the first place team earns 20 points per win while the last place team 1 point for each game they survive.
It is the total number of points earned by the end of the championship game, if not sooner, that declares a winner in the bracket game, for even if a team gets higher than a list's prediction, they still earn the bettor points as long as that team is active in the tournament.
So theoretically you do want to place who turns out to be the more successful teams at the top of your list.
With that in mind, and a shout out to all my friends back home (HEY ROLAND!, KENNY, etc.)
here are my predictions for this year's NCAA tournament:

01. North Carolina
02. Kansas
03. University of Connecticut
04. Pittsburgh
05. Wake Forest
06. Memphis
07. Villanova
08. Oklahoma
09. Louisville
10. Michigan State
11. Purdue
12. Missouri
13. Xavier
14. Duke
15. Gonzaga
16. Arizona State
17. Marquette
18. BYU
19. Utah, and
20. Syracuse

Now, out of all the years I have been participating, I have only won once.
Of course we are only risking $5 each with the winner taking the pot.
But it should be pointed out that this is a minimal risk and one that I can afford to take since this is about the only bet I place on anything throughout the course of the average year.
Yet more active gamblers should never risk more than they can actually afford to lose.
And those with a gambling addiction should seek help before there is even more at risk.

But with all the hype over these games, how come that much attention is not paid to the NCAA WOMEN'S College Basketball Tournament, which is held in tandem with the men's contest?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Ah... top o' the morning to ye lads and lassies.
Today be Saint Patrick's Day, where even those who cannot claim any ancestry to the Emerald Isle be Irish today as we honor the great Saint Patrick himself.
While the day first began as purely a religious observance during Lent, it has certainly grown beyond anyone's imagination to become a holiday of anything and everything Irish, whether it be legend or fact.
So wear green. Eat, drink, and be merry responsibly.
And in honor of the day, here be me annual Saint Patrick's Day joke.
Tis not only politically correct, but funny too!

What is Irish and hangs out in your yard all the time?
Patti O'Furniture.

And don't forget, August 2nd be the first annual (Inter)National "Don't Worry" Day!

Monday, March 16, 2009


My sincerest apologies folks.
There were some personal problems that kept me from getting to the computer and on line before now, but without further delay (I hope), straight from the e-mail the avid Internet surfer and joke provider sent me earlier today, our resident comedienne and favorite avatar: Ms. Waxy Dragon!

Did you hear about the bad locksmith who broke into song because he couldn't find the key?

When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall.

Bakers only trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

And finally, remember:

A backwards poet writes inverse.

See you next weekend for some hopefully on time Sunday Funnies!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

WEEK IN REVIEW: MARCH 8-14th, 2009

As the final hours of this week fade into history...
Congress is currently debating the ins and outs of the annual National budget while President Obama and his administration are addressing other issues of state.
Obama also met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio.
The stock market has rallied over the last few days, but analysts, pundits, and investors are still keeping a close eye on the economy.
Victims everywhere are celebrating the conviction and long term prison sentence of ponzi scheme originator Bernard Madoff, but will be even happier if they are ever able to recover any of their losses.
Alan Livingston, who created the character Bozo the Clown and brought The Beatles to America through Capitol Records, amongst other achievements, passed away at the age of 91.
As reported elsewhere, Mattel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Barbie, while sports fans and office pool enthusiasts everywhere will know the NCAA brackets for "March Madness" by Monday morning.
For more news at any time, just go to the IN OTHER NEWS feature at the bottom of this page.


As I'm sure you've read in the previous article, this week's Puzzle Corner is built around the 50th anniversary of Mattel's Barbie.
So let's get right to it...

1. What is Barbie's full name?
2. What is Ken's full name?
3. Has Ken been Barbie's only boyfriend?
4. What was the first major alteration, redesign of the Barbie doll performed by Mattel?
5. Mattel has redesigned Barbie since the 1990s to possess more realistic measurements.
But since 2000, they have also added something else. What?

The answers will appear at the end of next week's Puzzle Corner. But for now, the answers for March 7th are...

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore." from MGM's The Wizard of Oz, 1939.

N and T, for the sequence is the first letter of each word representing its respective number.
One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten.


From fashion plate to celebrity stand in, to multiple career professionalism to being a big sister for another doll, Barbie has just about literally done it all.
This week, the Mattel Toy Company celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Barbie doll.
Ruth Handler oversaw creation of the doll with toy engineer Jack Ryan after realizing that her daughter often gave her dolls more adult roles to play, despite being designed for younger activities.
But it took a while to convince the then powers that be at Mattel that Barbie would be commercially viable, so she did not make her debut until March 9th, 1959 at the American International Toy Fair.
Her debut date is also considered her birth date (although an official age has never been set for the doll within any of her various incarnations) and is used to mark her anniversary each year.
The original production run once sold for roughly three dollars each, but finding one today in still relatively decent shape for under four figures is considered somewhat miraculous by fans.
Barbie has stood in for a wide range of celebrities from Lucille Ball to Diana Ross, posed as everybody from Lieutenant Uhura of the original Star Trek to Wonder Woman, the only things she needs are a child's imagination and whatever accessories the parents can afford to buy.

For more on Barbie, you can go to Mattel's official website at www.barbie.com or the Barbie collectors' website at www.barbiecollector.com
And for more Barbie fun, she is the theme of this week's Puzzle Corner too.

Friday, March 13, 2009


With February only having 28 days, except during Leap Year, the first 28 of March always coincide with the previous month, so this is the second Friday the 13th of 2009.
But there will be a third this November, an unique situation which only happens once every eleven years.
Yet fear of the number 13 (Triskaidekaphobia) dates back far beyond recorded history; although fear of Friday the 13th itself is actually known by either the term Paraskavedekatriaphobia or Friggatriskaidekaphobia.
Of course, if you're like me and not much of a horror movie fan, then today does not do much for a cinema buff either with all those sequels and remakes.
Yet why do most tall buildings not officially have a thirteenth floor? Nor is there a gate 13 at most airports, train stations, bus depots, etc.
So if you believe in numerology or are just plain superstitious, be careful.
Otherwise, the rest of us will see you tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


While comic book and sci-fi fans can now debate the merits of The Watchmen movie now that it has been officially released, a new debate looms on the horizon.
Penguin Books, in cooperation with the estate of author Douglas Adams, has announced the release of an "authorized sequel" to the beloved Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy series.
And Another Thing... written by Eoin Colfer, is being billed as Part Six of Three in the classic trilogy (Hitchhiker..., The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe, and then Life, The Universe, and Everything; which were followed by So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish then Mostly Harmless; all written by Adams) and is scheduled for release this October to mark the 30th anniversary of the original release of the first book.
Now, as much as I would like to see this series continue forever (like a lot of material has since the passing of its creators), can anyone else write a Hitchhiker's novel? Douglas Adams certainly had an unique sense of humor, and I'm willing to give Colfer a fair chance; although in all honesty I will probably check this book out of the library first instead of buying it outright.
But while this may be considered by some to be "Part Six of Three", where does The Salmon Of Doubt fit into everything?
This posthumous collection of Adams material was released by his estate in 2001, cobbled together from the files within his computer collection. While the biggest piece within the book is an unfinished novel from Adams' Dirk Gently series that he was working on at the time of his death, on the cover of the initial release it says, and I quote, "Hitchhiking The Galaxy One Last Time".
Of course, for Hitchhiker completests, there is also the short story "Young Zaphod Plays It Safe". Originally written by Adams to benefit the Comic Relief charity in England, the tale has been in included in some omnibus editions and paperback reprints since.
So I guess fans will just have to wait and see what there is to see. But in the meantime, I'm sure they will all be celebrating Towel Day May 25th, which is becoming an annual celebration amongst fans to commemorate Adams and his work.

And don't forget, August 2nd will be the first annual (Inter)national "Don't Worry" Day!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I have received lots of comments wondering what happened to the Sunday Funnies feature yesterday.
I intentionally skipped posting it this week to prove a point: that the world needs laughter and less stress!
So with that in mind, I propose the first Sunday in August (this year it will be August 2nd) to be (Inter)national "Don't Worry!" Day.
Granted, there is no way that we can or should totally avoid our troubles.
It is definitely best to face them head on and resolve the issues as soon as possible instead of putting them off until they become even greater problems than they originally were.
But there is also absolutely no reason why we cannot heed previous musical advice.
For "Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot", so "Don't Worry. Be Happy!"
Therefore, I hope everyone across the country, if not around the world, takes at least a brief mental vacation from the worries and stress around us. To kick back, stop and smell the roses, appreciate the beauty of a sunrise, enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon, and all the other cliches I do not have the room to repeat right now.
After all, if Mad magazine can initiate National Gorilla Suit Day...

And yes, this IS a legitmate suggestion!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Hey Puzzle Solvers! What time is it? You guessed it, so here are this week's conundrums.

What famous movie line references two famous rock groups decades before they recorded their first songs?

Can you name what should be the next items in the following sequence?

O, T, T, F, F, S, S, E...?

The answers will appear in next weekend's Puzzle Corner. But now, here are the results from February 28th, 2009.

The Boston Red Sox came back from an 0-3 deficit to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series before going on to win the 2004 World Series.
No team has yet to duplicate this feat.

Did you "Follow the sandy path to be generous"?
Well... a sandy path would be a BEACH TRAIL, which, when rearranged becomes CHARITABLE.


Congress goes over the budget, health care, and other matters. But while the Federal budget may be facing a record deficit, just how much did the Obama administration inherit compared to how much it is adding to the shortfall?
In sports, teams from around the world compete in the International World Baseball Classic while the NCAA holds its final contests to determine the brackets for "March Madness".
The much anticipated film adaptation of The Watchmen graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons finally debuted in theatres yesterday, and Michael Jackson (yes, you read that right) is hoping for a comeback tour.
All this, plus don't forget to set your clocks ahead one hour as Daylight Saving Time begins tonight.
For more news at any time, just look at the IN OTHER NEWS... feature at the bottom of the screen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Unfortunately, I have no human interest stories, funny news items, or other light hearted material to post first, so once again our resident comedienne Ms. Waxy Dragon, the three year old baby dragon avatar (amongst others) of an avid Internet user gets the whole column to herself.

Take it away Waxy...

While a family was sitting around the dinner table, their oldest daughter mentioned that she was having a test on the moon in science class later that week.
When hearing this, her younger brother announced, "If she gets to go to the moon, I want to go too!"

Sometimes in the park or at the beach I wonder: "Why is that Frisbee getting bigger?" And then it hits me.

Since light travels faster than the speed of sound, is that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?

Whether or not a picture is worth a thousand words is debatable. But I can tell you it does use three times the amount of computer memory than that block of text would.

That's it folks!
See you next weekend with more Sunday Funnies.