Really Good Quotes

October 6, 2008

October 6th, 2008
Really Good Quotes "A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
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Greetings, Quotaholics:

If the internet is good for nothing else it at least lets you keep up with the latest conspiracy theories. Everything from UFO’s to the Kennedy assassination. Vampires to secret government plots.

So when I read that 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team was being reassigned to a 12 month tour in the United States I figured it was just another exaggeration of some harmless story or an outright lie.

With a little help from Google I was able to find a link to the online version of the Army Times which carried the details.

According to the Times, the 1st BCT has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq and starting October first “…will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.”

The thing I find unusual about this is the fact that response to local disasters has always been left to the National Guard. In the 60’s is was always the National Guard that was called out when there were riots. It has always been the National Guard who was called to prevent looting following natural disasters like tornados or hurricanes. According to Wikipedia, “About 58,000 National Guard troops from all fifty states responded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More recently, the National Guard assisted in the evacuation of citizens before and after Hurricane Ike made landfall in 2008.”

The online conspiracy folks would have you believe that the deployment of the 1st BCT is the government preparing to declare martial law and lock us all up in the hundreds of prison camps being built around the country. However, Wikipedia says of a brigade, “Strength typically ranges from 1,500 to 4,000 personnel.”

I think it might take more than 4,000 troops to invade the typical souther trailer park!

But does it mean anything that these troops are being stationed here? Is there some new threat that we are not aware of? Why did their tour of duty start in October, just one month before the elections? Are there expectations of trouble? Are there new expectations of terrorist attacks?

If 58,000 National Guard troops could be dispatched following Hurricane Katrina, what purpose could 4,000 combat troops serve?

Tinfoil hatted,

P.S. My Internet Explorer has developed a new problem that maybe someone out there can help with. When I open Explorer, or a new tab within Explorer, it takes several minutes to start up. Once it starts, everything works fine until you try to click on a link that opens a new window. Then you have to wait for several minutes again. I’m running Internet Explorer 7 and the other users on this computer don’t have the same problem. Anyone ever heard of anything like this?

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Today's Quotes

“Men are like wine, some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.” - Pope John XXIII

“Art is a moral passion married to entertainment. Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda. Entertainment without moral passion is television.” - Rita Mae Brown

Today's Chuckle

Marriage License
[Thanks to Bonnie in Louisiana]

A couple arrived at town hall seconds before closing time, and caught a judge just as he was about to leave, and asked him to marry them. He asked if they had a license and, when they didn’t, sent them off to get one.

They caught the town clerk just as he was locking up, and got the license from him. When they got back to the judge, he pointed out they had filled the names in backwards — his where hers belonged and vice versa.

They rushed back to the clerk’s office, caught him again, and got another license. This time, the judge noticed that the clerk had filled in the date in the wrong format. Again they catch the clerk… After five reissued licenses, the judge is finally satisfied.

Judge: “I hope you appreciate why I made you keep going back. If there are irregularities in the license, your marriage would not be legal, and any children you might have would be technical bastards.”

Groom: “That’s funny - that’s just what the clerk called you.”



Life Sentences

“The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.” - Nikola Tesla, Serbian inventor and engineer (1856-1943)

“An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.” - G. K. Chesterton

“To know how to grow old is the masterwork of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the art of living.” - Henri Frederic Amiel
Image'n That
Boys’ Favorite Toys
Imp-Revised News

E-Mail the Imp

I just finished watching the National Geographic special about Yves Rossy’s flight across the English Channel. Rossy, A.K.A. “Fusion Man“, is an adventurer whose day job is flying commercial airliners. This flight was under a set of wings.

I’ve written before about those people I think are little nuts, who jump out of perfectly good airplanes, dive at high speeds towards the ground, and pop a parachute at the last moment. Trusting that the parachute will open as advertised takes a lot of faith, or a total disregard for the possibility that the rigger had a bad hangover when he packed it.

Rossy does that. In fact when the thrill of one crazy thing in the air seemed to wear down, he tried something else. He put in time hang gliding. He put in time soaring in a wing suit. He put in time soaring with a fixed wing strapped to his back. He then graduated to a wing strapped to his back and small kerosene fired jet engines to give him propulsion. His only controls are arching his back and turning his head.

Today, September 26, 2008, Rossy strapped on his wing, climbed aboard an airplane, ignited his jet engines and jumped out over France. He flew for thirteen minutes across the English Channel and landed in England. When he crossed the cliffs of Dover he circled a bit, shut down the engines, and popped his parachute. It seemed that the parachute ride took as long as the flight.

Rossy’s route was the same as the one Louis Bleriot took in 1909 when he made the first successful flight in a heavier-than-air craft across a major body of water. Bleriot’s flight was a lot more important to aviation and its future progress than Rossy’s flight will prove to be, but it was amazing to watch anyway. I’m sure that there will be copycats killing themselves in a few months and it won’t be long before there will be an International Wing Jet Racing Association started, with duration races, sprints, and a whole series of “Flying Mile” runs for airspeed records.

Here’s what has me really worried. I had just witnessed an international flight. At no point before the departure or after the landing did the pilot/passenger or the craft pass through any security checks. I’ll admit that just about every second of his preparation for the flight was filmed and taped and under the scrutiny of the media 24/7. I’ll also admit that upon landing he had the same press and media scrutiny plus the filming and taping for at least an hour. He didn’t appear to be an Al Qaeda operative.

The wing and jet pack system is light, easily transportable, and gives the wearer a twenty five mile or so range in its current configuration; and probably more with additional fuel. It shouldn’t be too difficult to make improvements to vastly increase the range and add to the weight the system could support. It could be made to be transported in small sections and assembled on site for use. A user wouldn’t need an aircraft to get it launched; merely assemble it on the roof of a very tall building or on a mountain with a steep drop off, light off the engines, and jump. You’d be flying high enough to navigate anywhere you wanted to go and low enough to be “under the radar”. Sounds like a great terrorist delivery system to me.

An aerosol chemical or biological attack could be made at night to devastating effect. A suit case nuke could be delivered with pinpoint accuracy much easier than trying to get to a target by ground transport. Even delivering a conventional plastique explosive of two hundred pounds precisely through a window or door will level a fairly large building.

Personally, I’m waiting for the idiots that want to make parachute jumps from orbit in specially designed space suits to get the project going. Then I want to see if Rossy rigs his wings with rockets, attaches them to one of those space jump suits, and launches from a balloon at 120,000 feet. He’d kick in his rockets and climb to orbit!

The Bad Sied 

Most Embarrassing or Scary Moment

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Speak right up!

Patti's Parenthetical Past

On this day in history, October 6, 1995: A new planet is discovered. 51 Pegasi is located 15.4 parsecs (50.1 light years or about 30 trillion miles or 47.4 trillion km) from Earth. It is located in the constellation Pegasus. Michael Mayor and Didier Queloz used the radial velocity method to discover the planet circling this Sun-like star. They worked from Haute-Provence Observatory which is located north of Marseilles, France. The Observatory has four main telescopes and the two astronomers used an ELODIE spectrograph on a 76 inch (1.93 m) telescope, their largest.

The new planet, called 51 Pegasi b (51 Peg b, for short) received an informal name of Bellerophon. Bellerophon comes from Greek mythology. He was the greatest slayer of monsters before Hercules and the man who tamed Pegasus, the Winged Horse, for whom the constellation is named. More scientists pointed more telescopes towards 51 Pegasi and confirmed the planet’s existence. They learned the gas giant planet orbits close to its sun circling the star every four Earth days. It has a surface temperature of 1800º F (1000º C) and a minimum mass about half of Jupiter, although it is more diffuse and larger in size.

More exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, have been found. Each planet is given the name of the star and then a lower case letter beginning with b. The first planet discovered orbiting a sun is called Star Name b. The second is named Star Name c, and so on. It is not indicative of station of orbit around the star. Companion stars are indicated with upper case letters, so the system was developed to keep from confusing planets and stars. Today, we have discovered 263 stars with 307 planets circling them. So far, none of the planets discovered is Earthlike. A new small planet, just three times the size of Earth was discovered June 2008. It is 3,250 light years away.

“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” - Ansel Adams

“Things are only impossible until they’re not.” - Jean-Luc Picard

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” - Henry David Thoreau

Kids' Weird Words, The Date from Hell, How I Met My Mate
Kirsten's Krazy Kaleidoscope

Email Kirsten

“The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.”
~ Elbert Hubbard ~

Next time you’re on your way to work, be it in your car, the bus or the subway, take a look at your fellow commuters. You may notice that eight out of ten of them look as if they would like to strangle the first person who crosses their path. They look angry, they look stressed, they look tired, and they look hurried. They look as if the world will explode if they are caught in the slow lane for even a second. They also look as if they would rather feed their own legs to a woodchipper than go to work.

There has been job-related stress for as long as there have been jobs. In other words, since the beginning of time. Back in the caveman days, the stress was more along the lines of, “Gee, that pride of lions is getting kind of close, and we’re probably going to die without even getting a clear shot at the buffalo.” Back at the cave, the women would be obsessing over whether the mushrooms they picked this morning would wind up killing the entire tribe.

A certain amount of stress is necessary in any workplace. The cavemen out on a hunt could hardly wander along whisling happy tunes, without a care in the world. Their reflexes had to be operating at 100% efficiency. They could not let their guard down for even a second. Those of us who don’t hunt wild animals for a living need some stress as well. Without it, we would not meet deadlines, and the quality of our work would suffer simply from lack of caring.

There is such a thing, though, as too much stress, and work-related stress has exploded in recent years. In Canada, workplace stress and its consequences - depression and the like - costs the economy an estimated $30 billion annually. It is a problem that is starting to receive some attention, but it is still not receiving the focus it deserves. Mental illness, including that derived from workplace stress, is 80% curable with effective treatment, and yet for every five people with mental illness, only one receives treatment.

So why do employees experience so much more stress these days than ever before? Part of it is simply that job demands are a lot higher than they were. Thanks to technology, we are able to do things more quickly, communication is instant, and work no longer has to be confined to the workplace. We are therefore expected to do more than people in days gone by, and in less time. In some cases, expectations are not as clear as they should be. And with job competition being what it is, the consequences of slipping up can be devastating. Our performance can be hindered to varying degrees by our physical work environments, and whether we get along with our co-workers.

Some of the problems experienced in the workplace are a symptom of the times we live in. In the modern economic climate, we live in fear of layoffs. On starting a new job, there is intense pressure to perform right away, even though there may be a learning curve. We have to deal with multiple supervisors, multiple deadlines, and conflicting demands. And since a great many families - my own included - rely on the incomes of both spouses, there is the added stress of juggling work and family life.

There are several things we can do do reduce workplace stress. One of the key things we need to do is minimize the amount of uncertainty in our jobs. Job descriptions should be obtained in writing, and we should familiarize ourselves with the labour laws in our area. If things are really bad and show no signs of improving, it may be necessary to either get a transfer to another area, or an entirely new job. Drastic action is not always called for, though. Sometimes the solution is as simple as taking a vacation, talking to someone about your stress, or indulging in a bit of retail therapy.

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. This is a good time for you to take stock of your lives and ensure that you are taking care of yourselves, both at home and in the workplace.

Kaleidoscopically yours,

Tim's Tales

You’re probably sick of me talking about spam, but I have to tell you about this one.

You all know I have a somewhat common name and a Yahoo e-mail account that is based on that name, right? No? Well, now you do. Occasionally I’ll get a personal e-mail directed to someone else with my first initial and last name. That isn’t a problem. Usually I can just reply and say they have the wrong e-mail address.

But dealing with spam sites is different. Please don’t try this at home.

Teresa has my first initial and last name, and she likes signing up for spam web sites. I try to unsubscribe, but as much as I try, I still get spam she signed up for. I don’t really care to know my personal horrorscope every day. I’m not looking for a job, a date, or drugs (well, with the possible exception of my Glaucoma medicine — but it hasn’t been medically approved yet). I’m not particularly interested in coupons for feminine products, I don’t care what financial help you can give me, and I have enough insurance, thank you very much.

But I know your name, Teresa, your address, your phone number, and I own most of your accounts now. They sent the password reset e-mail to me, so I could steal your identity if I was so inclined.

But I digress. I just wanted to get rid of the spam she signed up for, but one company wouldn’t remove me. But they did allow me into my account settings. I changed “my” e-mail address to my spam reporting address, so all the spam Teresa “signed up for” with the spammer gets reported automatically.

Normally, I wouldn’t recommend this. Okay, don’t try it at home. You don’t want to get it wrong and send all your mail to your reporting address. I’m a qualified professional that knows how to configure things like this.

And I bet this guy is pissed by now…. KnujOn has probably already shut down a third of his websites already.

Sometimes shit happens to people you don’t like. Usually I have nothing to do with it, but *sometimes*, I do.

Tim a’Musing
Having a Ball with Yarns

Tip of the Day

If guests are coming and you’re behind making dinner, throw some onions on to saute and your kitchen will smell wonderful and homey. - Peggy in Tonawanda, New York


Lotsa makeups today!

Next opening line…
I went out to buy a new car…

Hints:  Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool.
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at
Limerick rules. 

Submit Opening Line
Submit Limerick

One night at a quarter to three
I awoke with the need to wee
So I stumbled from bed
And my wife curtly said
Mind your aim; I know you’re sleepy! - Maria in Illinois
One night at a quarter to three
It was dark and I couldn’t see
“Don’t know where I am
and in quite a jam!”
went my vain and unanswered plea. - Maria in Illinois
One night at a quarter to three—
I drove my car into a tree—
Because I was drunk
I now knew the tree trunk
and I cried “woe, woe woe woe is me”. - Cassandra in New York
My aunt died and left me some dough—
To which I said, “Ho, ho, ho, ho”—
Now that I have money
I’ll get a great “honey”,
maybe one who isn’t my ‘bro. - Cassandra in New York
At fixing things I’m not too great—
I take too much time, then I’m late—
So I called a plumber
who was even dumber
than me who needed a new “mate”. - Cassandra in New York
The worst thing that happened to me
Was dancing for everyone to see
Don’t want to be a bore
But when on the floor
I stepped upon my own footy. - Anne Onimous
The worst thing that happened to me
Was when in front of the judge to plea
I told him where to go
(It’s where the sun don’t show)
Now I’m in jail for ten years plus three. - Anne Onimous
The worst thing that happened to me
Was eating some potpourri
I guess I’m allergic
For I quickly got sick
Now my future looks rather gloomy. - E. Cole Aye
The worst thing that happened to me
When engaging in sex most steamy.
I was with a big grin
But guess who then walked in -
My not-so-understanding wifey. - E. Cole Aye
The worst thing that happened to me
Was when I visited the swami
He gave me some bad news
So I took to hard booze.
Turns out that he was just a phony. - E. Cole Aye
The worst thing that happened to me
Was when I drove into the big tree.
I totaled my car
And got a big scar
While a cop just stood there to see. - E. Cole Aye
The worst thing that happened to me
Was divorcing my ex-wifey.
Next time I’ll just wait
For a gal that I hate,
And buy her a house most swiftly. - E. Cole Aye
The worst thing that happened to me
Was when I resolved to take a pee
Down next to the lake
I peed on a snake
And it bit me on my wee-wee. - E. Cole Aye

Reader Comments

Kid Burglars

In regards to your story about the 13 year old burglars in Laredo, Texas, damn that’s frustrating. I’ll bet the verdict has a lot to do with jury instructions. How could anyone find this guy not guilty? At least of manslaughter. There doesn’t seem to be any common sense in the law any more, only black and white. He had the kids under control, and all he needed to do was call 911, or even make one of the kids call 911. But then again, I wasn’t there, and I have no idea what kind of a threat the kid posed. And believe it or not, a lot of people get shot in the back when they were the aggressor. You lunge at someone, they point a gun at you, and while they’re pointing and you’re seeing the gun, you start to turn around to get away from it. He’s already starting to shoot, and by the time the bullet or shot leaves the barrel, you have your back to him, or at least you’re canted sideways so it strikes you in the back. Not that unusual.

But I’d need a lot of convincing to not convict the guy of manslaughter. Or maybe not. Maybe the kid did come at him. Maybe he figured that if he bluffed the kid, and the kid called his bluff, the kid would overpower him, take his gun and kill him with it. Like I said, you’d have to have been there, or have been on the jury. But it sure sounds like he took out his frustrations from the other burglaries on these kids. - Chris in Utah

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Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time to time.  I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.

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