Friday, November 18, 2005

Chris Arndt could have thought of this at FCA

Police on Victoria's west coast have taken 18 garden gnomes back to their station after finding them on the side of the road.
The gnomes were found around 5:30am AEDT, lined up at a pedestrian crossing on Pertobe Road in Warrnambool.
Senior Constable Jason Pushenjack says it looks like an end of school-year prank.
"Right on the crossing, there was some on one side and some on the other side patiently waiting for the traffic to stop," he said.
"At this stage we believe it's just a school prank but obviously the owners of the garden gnomes wouldn't appreciate their property being stolen from their gardens. They're just gn-one (gone)."
Constable Mark Kirby says a number of the gnomes have been returned to their owner, who reported them stolen yesterday.
He says nine remain at the station, waiting to be claimed.
"They are all happy, I have given them a cup of tea and they are minding their business at the moment," he said.
"Obviously it is still classed as a theft and we are treating it seriously so if anyone has any information if they can come forward and speak to us that would be great."
Sen Con Pushenjack says police want anyone who may be missing gnomes form their gardens to contact them.
"Well we've got the gnomes back here at the police station at the moment - unfortunately we were unable to fingerprint them," he said.
"They were all placed nice and neatly on Pertobe Road near the pedestrian crossings.
"We believe that they've been taken yesterday and last night from various houses around the Warrnambool area."

I'm glad to see that Australian authorities do have a sense of humor. This reminds me of some of the weird things that took place back in the day at FCA. Chris, remember the widespread power outage? That was my personal favorite.

Reason #4,237 why the UK is no longer a world power

SKIPPING with sausages could put Trowbridge on the map. Pupils at the John of Gaunt School, Trowbridge, came up with the idea of a sausage skipping event as their entry in the national Make Your Mark contest, run as part of Enterprise Week.
The Year 11 pupils were asked to come up with a way of boosting Trowbridge's image, and the skipping event and a plan to create a scarf around the town, depicting Trowbridge's history as a wool town, were chosen as the best ideas to go forward to the regional finals in Taunton.
Students have been taking part in a variety of activities during the week, including an enterprise challenge with NatWest Bank.

Marketing and promotion has never been a strong suit of Great Britain.

Really, really good news

OK, this website cracks me up. The site founder got sick and tired of reading all of the negative news stories that dominate the headlines, so he put up his own news portal featuring only happy news. This is great! You have to check it out. If you want to start off the day right, grab your coffee, 1 or 2 donuts (Graeters, if possible), and start merrily clicking through the positive stories:

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Updated pic of Jillian

Bob and Becca's baby girl is growing like crazy. We were able to see Jillian the first of this month and let me tell you, she is adorable!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

From the archives

It really makes no sense unless you've been to a GBS Christmas program

From an IM transcript dated 4/06/2004:

boldly i appear before your throne
Yes, I hold out the scepter, but it is withdrawn.
I kick your scepter out of your hand and gaffaw loudly
The king leaves the courtroom.
The guards enter gleefully, eager to do their duty.
Jplank1807 cowers in fear as they draw nigh.
They quickly exit offstage where a soundtrack plays Scream clip2.
a hand in the crowd reaches forward to adjust a spotlight that does not want to stay in position on its own.
the awkward silence is broken by a smattering of applause
a large angel steps out of the fog, surrounded by smaller, less-important, female angels crowned in garland.
snickers scatter through the crowd
a cough breaks the silence
the garland slips on the head of the African-American angel
just beyond the lattice work lies an icy-cold horse trough, awaiting it's scene
Restless stagehands whisper hoarsely in the dark
a flashlight is inadvertantly turned on while an actor makes his way through the crowd to change the tape on his camcorder
202 sets of eyes follow him, while 7 sets of eyes remain riveted on the stage
Scores of concertgoers head for the exits
1 child exits the auditorium, feeling the need to use restroom.
201 adults follow, vowing never to return
the large angel looks in shock, while the smaller angels drop their hands from their slightly upraised position
Keith Waggoner gets up from his chair
This fascinating show has come to an end
He packs for home
unconcerned about the 10 minutes he will not give to his employer
thinking about the meal he will enjoy at the new cheesecake factory
Jplank1807 obviously unaware of Spring Break work hours blunders once again
Go in piece...

*the preceding was nothing more than a work of satire and any resemblance to an actual person, persons, or location is nothing more than an amazing coincidence

I just had my picture taken

I just got my portrait pictures back from Sears and something looks oddly out of place. I think they touched up the picture. I know I have more hair than that.

The Literary Guild proudly recommends...

I am currently reading "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell (pictured above). While the title may sound pretty boring to some of you, the book is a insightful overview of the study of economics. It has been a fascinating read so far. Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution. He writes on economics, history, social policy, ethnicity, and the history of ideas. He also contributes to news magazines and newspapers (I've seen his editorials in the Wall Street Journal).

This past Sunday evening, we were sitting around the table with Rob Hartman and a few other people, and I was commenting on a friend of mine who owns several cash advance establishments in Cincinnati. I was advancing my opinion that it's morally wrong to advance a loan to a customer without credit, charging exorbitant interest rates which puts the person even further into debt. In my opinion, it creates a vicious circle which eventually overtakes the person.

Now, I understand and agree that it is the person's responsibility to never put themselves in that type of situation. Personal responsibility is never promoted by social activists; it's always the greedy business. However, I wouldn't make money off of someone else bad choices or misfortune.

He called me on my comments and we debated the topic for a couple of minutes, then he said, "Hold on a minute. I have a book that you need to read." He ran upstairs and returned with "Basic Economics" and said, "Here, take it. It's yours."

It is one of the best books I've read this year. The book begins with an intro to economics, the roles of prices and so on. Using many illustrations from history and the present, Thomas Sowell examines the economic systems of various countries, contrasting their philosophies. So far, I can't put the book down! I highly recommend it.

He has already changed my thinking about pricing. You know when Hurricane Rita was bearing down on Texas, the hotels, gas stations and everyone else were raising their prices dramatically. At the time, my social activist side came up for air, saying why are they doing this to these poor people. They ought to be dropping the price, if anything. Well, Sowell explains that in the US economy, scarcity determines price. So, for instance, if there is a scarcity of hotel rooms, the price should go up. The reason being, a family of four, who could fit in one room, at a lower price will take two rooms, just so they can be "comfortable". That family, however, will stick with one room if the prices go up considerably due to the scarcity of rooms. Scarcity causes us to distinguish between being "comfortable" and what we really need. In fact, scarcity fosters sharing, though we don't realize it. Very interesting!

To read a portion of the book (48 pages) visit If you can, read the whole book. You will enjoy it! Thanks, Rob, for the book.

Chuck's identity

Does Chuck get around in a powered vehicle? Just wondering.

Feeling good and hungry, Skyline tiiiime...

Alert reader Chuck sent in this photo of me eating at an undisclosed Skyline Chili restaurant. I always wear a bib. If not I have what I call raycomplex, a disorder that results in much food being dropped on your nice clothes. The reason my head is cocked to the side is because I'm trying to figure out the right angle at which to start on my regular 3-way chili (dry). That's code understood only by Skyline customers.

I am a little worried, however, that the fans of my blog are now stalking me.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Redneck Huntin' Dogs

You know they say that after you've been married for several years you begin to look like each other. Here in Idaho, after you've been hunting with your dogs for several years...well, you get the idea (poor dogs).