Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Any idea...

...what this is?

(Click to embiggen...a little)

I just now glanced up and noticed this...boat?...gliding by. I grabbed the camera, but this was the only shot I managed to get of it.

At first glance, it looked, for all the world, like a pirate ship...without the sails...with a rubber dingy (I think) hangin off the stern.

I tried to use Photoshop to enlarge it, but it didn't help much.


Commenter Lisa mentioned that it might be the replica of the Nina. I checked the
  • schedule
  • and I bet she's right. Dang! Wish I could have gotten a few more photos.

    Tuesday, August 25, 2009

    Happy Birthday, Julie!

    Good gawd! You can't be 38! Hell, I'm only 38....right?

    I tried to find a gorgeous hunk o'man to jump out of a cake for you...

    ...but...uh...this is the best I can do.

    Have a happy one, honey. We love you!

    Friday, August 21, 2009


    So I'm not normally known to do celebrity blogging in any way, shape or form. Personally, I think far, far too much attention is given to those so-called "celebrities". Generally speaking, I couldn't give a rat's ass about what celebs do.

    Unless, of course, they provide me with blog fodder...something to poke fun at.

    Maybe it's just me...but I've been laughing my ass off all afternoon about this. (It's just the way my mind works...can't help it.)

    It seems that Aerosmith's Steven Tyler fell off the stage while performing at Sturgis a couple weeks ago.

    The story is
  • here

  • Ok. Think about that a minute.

    Hard rockin, hard partyin Steven Tyler fell off the stage at...Sturgis.

    Well, bless him heart...he is 61. Good gawd. 61. fall off the Sturgis, of all places.

    Aaanywho, to add insult to injury, seems like someone snapped this photo of a liquor store (ahem)...sometime after it happened.

    He looks like someone's grandma.

    Oy vey! He looks like an old, whiskey-and-cigarette-voiced, Jewish bubbe from Boca!

    He looks like...a meemaw!

    Dude looks like a MEEMAW!

    ...doo doo...doo doo...dude looks like a meemaw...doo doo...doo doo...dude looks like a meemaw...doo doo...doo doo...

    Now you're gonna have that stuck in yer head for the next 72 hours. Like it's stuck in mine. heh

    Hat tip to
  • Knowledge is Power
  • Friday flashback

    Patty McCormack is 62 today.

    I're asking, "Who the hell is Patty McCormack?"

    She's the
  • Bad Seed
  • . It happens to be one of my favorite movies.

    Patty's portrayal of Rhoda is just a downright creepy. She's a purely evil little child...a conniving, scheming horror in pigtails...and a multiple murderess at the tender age of 8.

    Nancy Kelly's role as Rhoda's long-suffering mother, Christine Penmark, is completely's so bad it's not even's just really bad. She's whiny and smarmy and wishy-washy.

    It's no wonder little Rhoda had a screw or two loose.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    The big blow

    Dang. We just had one helluva storm here. Even freaked me out a little...and I love storms.

    A ginormus limb from a tree in our neighbor's yard fell and knocked their power line there's currently (hehe..."current"...get it?) a live wire laying in between the two houses. They weren't home, so I called Ameren. 'Course, I just hadda go out in the yard and check it out for myself.

    We didn't have much damage...just our tomato plants. Dammit. The poor things have had one rough season...they've survived a major flood, unseasonably cold temps and blistering heat. They finally gave up.

    The storm headed across the river and off to the north east.

    Didn't seem to scare the pelicans off, though.

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    Asian Carp and Mayflies...oh my!

    So we're in the middle of another big Mayfly "bloom". It's the biggest one so far this year. They usually bloom the first time in...well...May...duh?. But didn't this year. I suppose the April flood messed up their schedule. We've had a couple of small blooms, but nothing like today's.

    I snagged this YouTube clip from our local newspaper today. It's the PJStar's wildlife columnist, bow and arrow fishing for Asian night...right here on the river, very near our little River Rat Retreat. In fact, if we'd been watching whatever night they shot this, we'd have seen 'em.

    Gawd...I'd love to try this sometime. It looks like a hoot!

    Now if I could just figure out a way to cash in on Mayflies and Asian Carp, we'd retire to Belize and live on the beach. (sigh)

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Lost in translation

    I'm currently on page 502 of HB 3200. Yup. I'm reading...or in the process of reading...the whole thing.

    I figure that I need to read the damn thing myself and try to find out exactly what it says. Much easier said than done, unfortunately. Good keerist! Why doesn't unbiased someone...translate it into simple people can understand it?

    Maybe that's the idea...make it so friggin hard to understand that people just give up, pick a position and buy into all the propaganda that's being thrown from one side or the other.

    On one hand, you have those that believe that this health care reform bill is the best thing since the invention of the's gonna be all puppies and rainbows and pink cotton candy. On the other side, you have those that believe that anyone over the age of 65 will be "disposed" of...sent to suicide Edward G. Robinson in
  • Soylent Green

  • I figure the truth...if there even is such a thing somewhere in the middle.

    Aye...but there's the rub. What is the truth?

    I sure as shit don't trust what I read or see in the main stream media...or most of what I read in blogs. Let's face it...they're all biased one way or the other. They're all "right"...and anyone who doesn't believe the way they do are ignoramuses.

    So I'm attempting to read the whole damn thing and I'm making a list of the pros and cons. So far, there are a couple of things that I like about it. No one can be refused for pre-existing conditions; mental health and substance abuse treatment will be covered; no lifetime limits. Taken at face value...for what that's worth...I like those ideas.

    I do have a couple of "cons", though...and they're big ones...huge, in fact. Maybe even enough to tip the scales completely over.

    1. It's government controlled. I've had it up to my eyeballs with the government trying to shove "what's best for me" down my throat. Up. To. My. Eyeballs. I'm a mature, reasonably intelligent woman. If I choose to do something that's bad for me, it's my own responsibility. And when it comes right down to it, I absolutely do not trust the government to do what's best for me. Period. So why in the hell would I trust 'em with my healthcare? That's just plain...crazy.

    2. How will we pay for it? Hell, even Obama says he doesn't know how we're gonna pay for this. Is the money fairy gonna wave her magic wand and Poof!...the money will appear? Puhleeeease. Sorry, Mr. Obama...I ain't a real smart woman, but even I can tell ya how it'll be paid for.We will pay for it. We, the people. Our children. Our children's children. And theirs.

    There are a couple of other things that bother me, too.

    And I quote: "...enable the real-time (or near real-time) determination of an individual's financial responsibility at the point of service..."

    And: "...enable electronic funds transfers in order to allow automated reconciliation with the related healthcare payment and remittance advice..."

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that sound like the healthcare provider will have access your bank account to make sure you can pay for the treatment...and withdraw the payment directly from your account? I think I'll pass.

    Now, don't get me wrong. We need a huge overhaul of the healthcare system in this country. But I think it needs to start with overhauling the insurance system. Fr'instance:

    I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine. I'll always need a CPAP machine. You can buy a CPAP machine...exactly like the one I for about 700 bucks. The medical equipment company that I got the machine from billed the insurance company...and the insurance company has paid...over $7,000...that's seven thousand dollars... for a $700 machine.

    I'm no genius, but even I know there's something wrong with that. Bad, bad, horrifically wrong.

    I've since bought my own machine. I took the responsibility and purchased my keep this mind-boggling scam from continuing.

    And it kills me. People have said, "Why don't you let the insurance company take care of it? It'll be free to you."

    It's not free. We're all paying for that $7000 machine with higher and higher insurance premiums. That's really the problem with healthcare and most people can't even see that. The insurance companies are making trillions and trillions of dollars because most people are too ignorant to understand how it works. And the insurance companies love ignorant people.

    And don't even get me started on tort reform.

    I dunno...after reading 502 pages of this...manifesto...I just don't see much that's addressing the real problems with the healthcare system. And that concerns me.

    It should concern you, too.


    Ok, I just listened to Obama's "town hall" meeting in Colorado. I don't agree with everything he said...but he did make some valid points, especially concerning insurance reform. Unfortunately, I'm pretty shell-shocked when it comes to politicians...any politician. They say one thing...and do the complete opposite.

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Friday flashback

    This week's flashback goes back to this very weekend, 40 years ago.

    It was the summer of '69. I was just 14 (going on fifteen, thankyouverymuch) and was already very much a little hippie-girl. I desperately wanted to go see Max Yasgur's farm for fact, I seriously kicked around the idea of hitchin' to New Yawk to do just that.

    I must've had at least one reasonably mature, unfried brain cell, and didn't do it. Dammit. No doubt it was for the best. If I'd have returned unscathed, I'd have been grounded

    But it was definitely the stuff of little hippie-girls' dreams.

    So what were you doing this weekend 40 years ago? If you tell me you went to Woodstock, I'll cry.

    Wednesday, August 12, 2009

    My face hurts...

    ...along with every other body part.

    I've been Buffetized.

    I think I might be gettin too old fer this shit. I'm tellin might take me a week or so to recover from the Buffett concert...the tailgating part, anyway...but it's somethin I'll never forget.

    Thanks to YouTube, even Alzheimer's can't erase the memory. heh

    This one is a bit long...5 minutes or so...but be sure to watch it all. Pearls of wisdom, people. Pearls of wisdom. This is just one reason that my face hurts.

    "...potentially apocryphal..." hehehe

    The whole experience was...fabulous. Except for the rain. The cold, drenching rain. That we had to walk a mile in.

    These clouds didn't just threaten...they delivered on their threat. Just as we started walking the mile or so from the parkin lot to the venue. Now, the simple fact that I walked a mile pretty much amazed me. Add to that, the fact that I walked a mile in the pouring rain...while, for all practical purposes, shit-faced drunk...well...I wouldn't'a done it for just anybody.

    'Course, part of the fun was the prep for the decorating the windows of the man-van. We did discover that we're mere novices when it comes to decorating a vehicle for a Buffett concert. Some were pretty extravagant.

    As soon as we got to the venue, we started settin up our portable kitchen/living room.

    A couple of fellow Parrot heads

    No Buffett tailgate party is complete without a filthy-mouthed, talking parrot.

    We be partyin'.

    I was so mad at myself...all the other people in our group had been to a Buffett concert before...and they all told us to not take our cameras or cell phones into the concert...they weren't allowed and if we got caught, we'd have 'em confiscated. So we paid attention and locked 'em up in the van.

    Well, shit.

    Nobody searched anything...not at the entrance. Not during the concert.

    Not that I coulda gotten a decent shot of JB, anyway...we were just too far away. But I coulda got a ton of great photos of the other concert-goers...all 22,000 of 'em.

    I'm tellin ya...22,000 people, all singing "Margaritaville" or "Last Mango in Paris" was pretty damn impressive. And JB, himself...well, it was just freakin awesome. The simple fact that ya can put 22,000 people, of every age...all together...anywhere...with probably 75% of 'em in various stages of drunkenness...and not have a single fight or disturbance was pretty freakin amazing, too.

    JB did a fantastic cover of "Rocky Raccoon". 'Course, Ziggy and I were the only ones in our close vicinity singing along at the top of our lungs. About half-way through, some little binky tapped Zig on the arm and shouted, "Isn't this an awesome song?" Zig replied, " was awesome 40 years ago, too!" heh

    Our seats weren't the best...on the "lawn"...but it was so relaxed and just...nice...once the rain stopped, anyway. We were about where the black dot is...

    It really is a nice venue for something like that.

    Anywho, I'm poopin out...and you're probably sick of reading all this.

    It was great and we had a blast.

    Took me long enough to say that, huh? heh

    Saturday, August 08, 2009

    Buffett or bust!

    We are indeed, the people our parents warned us about.

    And we'll prove that on Tuesday. I have every intention of makin a complete ass of myself.

    But I won't be alone.

    Monday, we're headin out to Indianapolis for our first-ever Jimmy Buffett concert. This weekend, we're busy sprucin up the man-van and fillin it with staples and "accessories" for the pre-concert tailgate party on Tuesday.

    I'm so excited! We've been fans forever, but have never had the opportunity to see JB live.

    We have the perfect accessories for tailgaitin, too. Parrot-themed bottle cozies. I'm sure they'll keep our Landshark perfectly chilled. Thanks, Mary! We love 'em.

    I'm takin the camera and the Flip, so I'll have tons of pictures/vids to share. Unfortunately, I hear they aren't allowed in the actual concert. But I'm thinkin some of the best stuff will happen before.

    Friday, August 07, 2009

    Friday flashback

    This week's edition of FF is all about the Zigster.

    Today, he commemorates his 58th trip around the sun.

    Happy Birthday, Sparky!

    So, since we're celebrating a trip around the sun, why not a song about the moon? In fact, it was the #3 Billboard hit of 1951.

    Wait. Ninteen Fifty One??? Damn. You're officially an "old fart", baby. But I loooove you.

    Thursday, August 06, 2009

    Customer service...

    ...from hell.

    Ya know, as bad as the economy is, you'd think that businesses would really push their employees to provide good customer service.

    Evidently that's not the case...especially at the Sears store in Northwoods Mall.

    During my lunch hour today, I stopped in to pick up a very expensive little item for da Zigster's birthday tomorrow. On my way through the store, I got distracted....

    ....Ooooo! Sparkly!

    Ok, so I got hung up on some of the sales racks in the women's department. I grabbed a couple of good bargains and figured I'd check 'em out before heading downstairs to the hardware department.

    I found the nearest checkout just happened to be in the men's department...and stood there. And stood there. Finally, an angry-looking woman came stomping up, grabbed the phone and paged for "So and So! Come to the men's checkout!"

    Deciding that "so and so" wasn't gonna show up any time soon, and heaving a great sigh of disgust, she deigned to wait on me. No, "How are you today?" No, "Did you find everything ok?" Nothing. She said nothing.

    Until I had trouble with the credit card swipe-thingy.

    I swiped my card. The machine said, "Wait until purchases are totaled" or something to that effect. I stand there. She says in this totally disgusted voice, "SWIPE your CARD!"

    Me: "I did. It says to wait until purchases are totaled."

    The She-Beast: "It IS totaled! Swipe your card!"

    At which point....honest ta gawd, this is what happened...

    The She-Beast turns around to the other customer standing there, exclaims "JESUS!" loudly while shaking her head...and WAITS ON THEM...leaving me standing there in the middle of the transaction.

    I mean...she just might as well have said, "Oh my gawd! This fucking woman is so totally ignorant. The stupid bitch can just stand there and wait!"

    I was...flabbergasted. And immediately pissed. Like boiling. But I keep my mouth shut. Frankly, I was afraid to open it...I knew da Zigster was already at work and he'd have been pissed if he'd had to come bail me outa jail.

    She turns back around, grabs my receipt from the register and shoves my purchases into a sack, hangers and all.

    Now, I really hate it when they do that. I think it's just plain laziness on their part and I just don't need anymore hangers. I don't want anymore fuckin hangers.

    So, I yank the mofo's outa the sack and slam 'em on the counter...and that fucking bitch starts....laughing.

    I mean, this loud, fakey, derisive-type laughing.

    And she kept laughing until I was half-way to the door.

    Needless to say, Sears lost out on a big-ass sale today. It's obvious they don't need my business. So I'll go elsewhere.

    Oh yea...when I got home, I checked my receipt for a store phone number. There is one...and I'll be callin the manager tomorrow.

    I also discovered an online "feedback" site...that I definitely took advantage of. heh