Friday, April 29, 2005


I've only seen the headlines, I haven't read any of the stories yet,
on the exploding German toads. (the headlines are the best part
usually, and often times the story is a let-down) But I might just have to
click on this Yahoo story:

Birds May Be Behind Exploding German Toads AP - Thu Apr 28, 9:02 PM ET Sent 125 times

BERLIN - Why are toads puffing up and spontaneously exploding in northern Europe? It began in a posh German neighborhood and has spread across the border into Denmark. It's left onlookers baffled, but one German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains now has a theory: Hungry crows may be pecking out their livers....

I don't want to click right away, I'd rather ruminate on it all
day. The headline writers often mislead in a fantastic direction, only
correcting the false impression towards the end of the story, but it's fun
to imagine what in tarnation they could possibly have that would justify
the headline. I think I'll save this one for dessert.

Well that was a let-down. The crows peck out their livers then they puff-up
and expurgigrate themselves? Not sure if expurgigrate is a real word. Probably
not, seeing as I just made it up, but it sounded more plausible than exgutrify,

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

How'd He Do That?

Somehow this guy guesses who you are if you
pretend to be a TV sitcom character (or dictator)
and answer questions accordingly.

I should have pretended to be Stalin. He guessed
Sam Malone from Cheers right away.


Picture released by the U.S. Army Wednesday, April 27, 2005 shows a dust storm across the western desert of Iraq on Tuesday April 26, 2005. The storm spawned near the border of Syria and Jordan, leaving a heavy sheet of dust in its wake.

It's still unclear what US forces did to cause the storm.
Investigations continue.

Me want Cookie

Jonah Goldberg brings some sanity to the Cookie Monster debate:

If the Cookie Monster is no longer a cookie monster, what is he? Why didn’t they just name him “Phil: The Monster Who Sometimes Likes to Eat a Cookie”? Conceptually, this is no different than the idiot animal rights types who want their dogs and cats to be vegans, too. Cookie Monster cannot help being a Cookie Monster any more than your tabby can stop liking fish. It is their nature to do so. Why not just declare that Big Bird is now an elm tree? If the ineffable, inexorable, immutable nature of Cookie Monster’s cookie-eating can be erased for some good cause, why should Big Bird’s birdness be safe?

Sesame Street and its defenders say they are just trying to do their bit in the war against child obesity. That’s nice. But at what price? The whole point of the Cookie Monster character was to have a character who was silly because he ate so much. If Cookie Monster were a Greek god, he’d be the god of gluttony. Wouldn’t it have been more honest and simply better to implore kids not to be too much like the Cookie Monster rather than make the Cookie Monster like everyone else? We all understand we shouldn’t be like Oscar the Grouch.

We never much got into Sesame Street. Barney was PC enough for me.
But I didn't rely on any TV program to influence my kid's eating
habits. If anything, I subscribe to the Sponge Bob method of child
rearing; keep them away from fish hooks and jelly fish.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Buffy on Steroids

Serenity is from Joss Whedon, the
creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Watch the trailer.
Sort of a Buffy-meets-Star-Wars kickfest.


Here's a great time waster. Interesting stuff.

"American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later."

Didn't see any lumberjack writings but I imagine that back then everyone
was a lumberjack, women folk too. Ah, women with axes, it don't get much
better than that.


Happy Syrian troops on their way out of Lebanon. Don't let the
screen-door hit you on the way out, fellas.
And though the mideast seems capable of turning good news into
bad in the blink of an eye; it's nice to get the good news once
in awhile.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bull In a China shop

This, yuzu, is what I was looking for at the Asian market yesterday.
The shelves are really packed with sauces so I had to reach
back a ways to get to it. Turns out it wasn't yuzu, but I only
found that out five minutes later; after I had restacked all the
many glass jars that came cascading down like a waterfall when my
big american elbow bumped into a jinga-key bottle of hoisin sauce.

The only sound I can remember that came even close to resembling
the resultant clatter was once when I saw a dump truck take down
a row of highway warning cones. The aisle was instantly filled with
store workers, but none of them spoke english so my excuse that the
bottles attacked me did nothing to make me look less the fool.

After the cleanup, I finished my shopping quickly. I imagined the
ladies were talking about me in whatever language they were speaking.
Well, I know they were; they would duck and cover every time I reached
for something on the shelf. "look out, here he comes again"
I just hope they forget my face. The market has lots of interesting
foods, and it's darned cheap.

Maybe I'll grow a beard before I go back.

Census says...

The US Census Bureau says the US population is aging fast?
Seems to me they've been aging at the same rate as they always have.
Inaccurate headlines don't irritate me as much as "new-ku-lar" but
they're right up there. (ok, back to paperwork now)

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Last Place on Earth

So if someone gave you a choice of where the very last sample
of the killer flu virus would not be found, which city would you pick?

Last sample of killer flu virus found at BIA
Health officials keep material in 'safe place' until disposal

By Nada Bakri
Special to The Daily Star
Thursday, April 21, 2005

BEIRUT: The world's last missing sample of a killer influenza virus which was mistakenly sent from a U.S.-based College of American Pathologists (CAP) to the American University of Beirut (AUB) was finally tracked at Beirut International Airport Tuesday.

While the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday the sample has not been destroyed yet - unlike all the samples sent to 61 laboratories in 18 countries - Lebanese health officials said they are keeping it in a "safe place" while awaiting to reship it out of the country.

What if...

Tim Chitwood's column, quoted almost in it's entirity:

OTBs, or "Outside The Boxers," as they call themselves, are unconventional thinkers who believe "there are no stupid ideas," Lessjo says. "We really just wanted to know what would happen if Civil War soldiers fought the crew from 'Star Trek.' You never see that in the movies or TV reruns."

So the OTBs asked battle organizers: Why not attract a wider audience by staging a second "what-if" battle sequence in which a starship crew joins the conflict?

Unwilling to openly ridicule the idea, organizers set up a meeting for Lessjo, Confederate re-enactors and a local Star Trek club -- the latter two in full regalia.

Then the trouble began.

First the Confederates said they wouldn't associate with "Trekkies," and the Star Trek fans said they preferred "Trekkers." The Confederates all laughed, and "that right there got things off on the wrong foot," Lessjo says.

Other missteps followed.

"One of the Trekkers said Starfleet's prime directive wouldn't let the crew introduce superior technology to a primitive culture," Lessjo says. "Then a rebel yelled, 'Don't call us primitive, geek!' And the Trekker said Starfleet wouldn't defend a society based on slavery, either."

That riled the Confederates, provoking one to shout: "Y'all just go fight for the Yankees then! You're all living in a fantasy world anyway!"

"Yeah, like you're not!" a Trekker retorted.

Both sides abruptly drew their weapons, and Lessjo ducked under a table as the firing commenced, he says. He did not crawl back out until the smoke cleared, and by then the Trekkers had withdrawn from the field.

"It turns out replica Civil War guns use real gunpowder, whereas 'Star Trek' phasers have only a battery-powered bulb that lights up," says Lessjo. "You don't go up against a guy with a firearm if all you've got is a flashlight."

So thinking outside the box yielded an unexpected answer to OTB's hypothetical question: "We proved Civil War soldiers would win a battle against the crew from 'Star Trek,' " Lessjo says, chuckling. "You never would have figured that, would you?"

(This is Tim Chitwood's April Fools' Day column)


You shouldn't chew tobacco. It's not good. Don't do it.

OK, but if you do chew tobacco, you shouldn't spit it in anyone's face.

Alright, if you do chew tobacco, and you do spit it in people's faces,
you shouldn't spit it in.... well, you just shouldn't chew tobacco.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Galloway Again

Poor George Galloway. If oil for food had gone a few more years, maybe
he'd have enough money to go into hiding.
Serves him right:

Hate mob attacks Galloway
By Paul Waugh And Flora Stubbs, Evening Standard
20 April 2005

The bitter election battle in the East End has spilled into violence, with extremist Muslims and anti-war protesters targeting George Galloway and Oona King.

Anti-war campaigner Mr Galloway was forced to take refuge from Islamic militants who denounced him as a "false prophet".

The former Labour MP said "the police saved my life" after supporters of radical group Hizb-Ut-Tahrir clashed with members of his Respect party last night.


It's important to vary ones diet so that it doesn't become
boring. Variety will make your diet easier to stick to.

Good to see that the government is rearranging the food pyramid. This one will do for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

In China

“IT’S a scary country,” Japan’s trade minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, said of China last week, following demonstrations in several Chinese cities by thousands of protesters, some of whom smashed the windows of Japanese shops and restaurants and threw stones at Japanese diplomatic buildings. For all their seeming reluctance to quell the unrest, Chinese leaders probably find it scary too.

I thought Japan had already apologized for their conduct in WWII. Could be
I'm wrong, but it's hard to fault the Chinese for having a little resentment
over the rape of Nanjing. The government may have their own reasons for letting
these protests go on for so long but anyone who has seen the newsreels can
understand the citizens' rage, even 60 years later.
Ah well, at least they haven't blamed it on President Bush yet.

Monday, April 18, 2005

You're allowed a laugh

DSCF0037c, originally uploaded by lumberjack.

at the wake. Notice the sticker?
Obviously not my guitar.

Friday, April 15, 2005


argh, originally uploaded by lumberjack.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Rock on

boxoblah, originally uploaded by lumberjack.

Mmmm, geological.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


So I'm back to paperwork, even though I know there's no way my
taxes will be done on time. I might have a better chance though
if I could keep away from sites like this, in which pennies are stacked
in many interesting ways in order to demonstrate engineering principles
and keep tax preparation avoiders like me entertained.

I knew I was in trouble when, instead of downloading forms from the IRS,
I found myself looking under the bed for my coffee can full of pennies.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Ed, originally uploaded by lumberjack.

Remember with joy a life well lived.

100_0817_1, originally uploaded by lumberjack.

100_0815_1, originally uploaded by lumberjack.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Gone North

I guess I'll be off on the funeral trip in a few hours. Sheesh, I only really
worked two days this week. Two days of real work, anyway. Paperwork is
work too but it's not the same as getting out there with a chainsaw and
punishing nature.
Now it's gloomy and drizzling, which seems right for a funeral. If anything
could seem right for a funeral. Wake tonight funeral tomorrow morning. I'll be
sharing a room with a friend who flew in from Hawaii. Yikes, unless he hooks
up with someone from the wake. Nah, we're grown-ups now, that probably won't
happen. Oh, also, lucky for me, he sprang for the room with the nonsmoking

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Next Meeting

Darnit. I was hoping we would have more meetings of the
Used-Up Hippie Society before this one. It's Ed's funeral
this time. Which, we knew was coming, only I was looking
for it to be a few years or at least months down the road.
Not days down the road dammit.

Just dammit. So now it's time to get the black suit cleaned again.
Plus even the hotels are going to be a challenge. Here's what I
came up with:
2 Queens - Smoking Hairdryer-hbo Or Sho
-clk Radio-shampoo Inviting Comfortable
And A Great Value AAA Rate
Id Required For AAA And CAA Members Only
Valid Member Id Reqd At Checkin

So I have to share the room with two queens and a smoking hairdryer?
Man they make you jump through hoops to get the discount rate. But I guess
I can put up with it if I get the $70/night rate. Sure. And the queens
can have the radio-shampoo -- I'll bring my own.

Even more friends will be coming this time. Some from far away -- but
this is just about the most crapful way to meet them that there could
possibly be.

Sunny Day in the Forest

What a fine day it is. Sun is out, birds tweeting, the whole
mother nature thing, only no bugs yet. A perfect day for staying
home and doing the books. I do get to walk out back once in
awhile. I took the dogs out to lie in the sun. (which was an
experiment really.... the one pup has gotten so chubby, I wasn't
sure there would be enough sun to cover one whole side of her)
She's out there now, snoring, and only walking over to the window
from time to time to make sure nobody has taken her kibbles.
Hope it's sunny where you are. Go put the sun on your face, sun
screen be damned. Summer is waking.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the funeral

Some blogs are reporting that President Carter was passed
over for the official delegation to PJP's funeral. But
Reuters reports that he was invited:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush will join President Bush's delegation to the funeral of Pope John Paul II, the White House said on Tuesday.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will also be part of the official U.S. delegation to Friday's funeral.

Former President Jimmy Carter was asked to join the delegation, but he will not do so, White House spokesman Trent Duffy said. The White House declined to explain the reason.

The president and first lady plan to leave for Rome on Wednesday.

Hmmm. Wonder what really happened? President Jemmy had, and has, a lot of bad
ideas and I imagine he wouldn't be the funnest guy to travel with, but I've
always admired him just a little. I mean, he *is* a sincere guy. I say: if you
don't want him to go, just invite him but tell him the wrong airport. "Oh Jimmy, we
waited and waited, but the plane couldn't stay on the runway forever."

next pope

Not that anyone has asked me, but I'd bet the next pope
is from Latin America. (no brainer... they already speak
Latin down there, that's got to be an advantage)

Monday, April 04, 2005


After years of trying to avoid having metal
pierce my skin, I may finally have found an acceptable exception.
From Ananova:

Artist invents pierced glasses

A Dallas artist has had permanent glasses pierced through the bridge of his nose.

James Sooy, 22, came up with the idea because his specs were constantly slipping down his nose.

He and a friend designed the piercing, which features magnets so Sooy can take the lenses off to bathe and sleep.

He wants to offer a model for sale by June and patent the pierced glasses.

Elayne Angel, medical co-ordinator for the Association of Professional Piercers, said the idea was eye-catching but impractical.

"I imagine putting those on and taking those off is going to be difficult, especially to try to put it on yourself," she said.

Friday, April 01, 2005

John Paul II

It doesn't look like he will be with us much longer. The whole
world benefited from his time here.

Scheduling Problems

I was looking for April Fools pages on the www but
I gave up; I can't tell what's fake anymore.
Here's one from News of the Weird:

The executive director of Chicago's New City YMCA was fired in December following a major scheduling snafu. The facility's pool had been reserved for a kids' swim meet beginning on a Sunday morning at 7 a.m., but the facility had also been reserved (for Saturday overnight, until 8 a.m. Sunday) for a ball and fashion show for transsexuals. Parents arriving with their kids had to pass gaudily dressed men on their way to the locker rooms and allegedly found the floors littered with cigarette butts and condoms. [Chicago Sun-Times, 12-20-04]