Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ruh roh

This is "allegedly" Michael Phelps. I don't think that's real good for your stamina...'ear, man.

Guitar World's Top 50 Guitar Solos

Not a bad list, not quite like mine, but close. I think "Sultans of Swing" should be higher, but this kind of stuff is pretty subjective.

While We Are On The Subject

Love these

More Kurt Vonnegut

Bob Newhart

The People have spoken and according to our poll, Bob Newhart is now the fourth member of the Stand Up Comedy Hall of Fame.

I couldn't find any footage of his stand up but, from 1973, this is his roast of Don Rickles on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast.

I have put together a new poll, adding one glaring omission and eliminating Seinfeld and Leno who got no votes.

The Other Side of Mt. Rushmore

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just The Beginning...

Usually on this blog, I write about my thoughts on whatever subject I feel like bloviating on. This is a much more serious note. I am afraid that this is just the beginning for desperate people in desperate times. What happens when there is no hope, no money, no getting out of a situation? How sad this makes me feel, but in these days of firms using taxpayer's money to buy other firms and then whack said taxpayers, I am afraid we will hear many more instances like this one. Where can you find a job when there is no job available? How do you continue? How do you face the day to day struggle that becomes more volatile every day? Circuit City cuts 30,000, Caterpillar cuts 20,000, where is the bottom? Is there one?

Don't think that I could ever do this, I couldn't. I can't condone it, either. I just understand how it can happen.

LOS ANGELES – A man who fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself Tuesday had earlier faxed a note to a TV station claiming the couple had just been fired from their hospital jobs and together planned the killings as a final escape for the whole family.
"Why leave the children to a stranger?" Ervin Lupoe wrote, according to KABC-TV.
The station called police after receiving the fax, and a police dispatch center also received a call from a man who stated, "'I just returned home and my whole family's been shot."
Officers rushed to the home in Wilmington, a small community between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, about 8:30 a.m., apparently within minutes of the killings. Officers could still smell the gunshot residue in the air.
Although the fax asserted that Ana Lupoe planning the killings of the whole family, police Lt. John Romero said Lupoe was the suspect. A revolver was found next to his body.
Ana Lupoe's body was found in a downstairs bedroom with the bodies of the couple's twin 2-year-old boys. The bodies of an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls were found alongside Lupoe's in an upstairs bedroom.
It was the fifth mass death of a Southern California family by murder or suicide in a year. Police urged those facing tough economic times to get help rather than resort to violence
"Today our worst fear was realized," said Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner. "It's just not a solution. There's just so many ways you find alternatives to doing something so horrific and drastic as this." Lupoe removed three of the children from school about a week and a half ago, saying the family was moving to Kansas, the school principal told KCAL-TV. Crescent Heights Elementary School Principal Cherise Pounders-Caver said nothing seemed to be troubling Lupoe at that time; she did not ask why the family was moving. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles released a statement confirming both Lupoe and his wife worked there; both were medical technicians.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of the Lupoe family," it said in a statement.
In the letter he faxed to a TV station, Ervin Lupoe claimed he and his wife both had been fired and that she suggested they kill themselves and their children, too. Police described the fax but did not release the details.
KABC reported that the man claimed in the fax that a medical center administrator rebuffed them when they showed up to work, told them to file a union grievance and said, "You should have blown your brains out."
Lupoe wrote that they filed a grievance but nothing was done and two days later they were fired, KABC said.
"They did nothing to the manager who started such and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and five children under 8 years old with no place to go. So here we are," the note said.
At the bottom of the note, Lupoe wrote, "Oh lord, my God, is there no hope for a widow's son?"
The Kaiser Permanente statement made no comment on the claims in Lupoe's fax.
"He was going through some critical situations at the job, that's what he described in that two-page letter, ongoing problems at the job, and that's what prompted him to take his own life and his family's, from what was said in the fax letter," Garner said.
The two-story home, much larger than its one-story neighbors, sits in front of a railroad track in Wilmington, a small community about 18 miles south of downtown. A children's playset stood in the backyard.
Retired truck driver Jaime Solache, who lives a few doors down, said many of these newer, larger homes in the neighborhood had gone into foreclosure. The Lupoe house, which has a sign hanging above the driveway reading "The Lupoe's Pad," is about 6 years old, Solache said.
News of the killings sent shivers through the community, and several neighbors came to the yellow police tape to watch a steady procession of officials enter and leave the home.
"This area right here is quiet, calm," said Armando Chacon, who lives one block north. "People like to sit out at weekends and barbecue. Other than this, no problems at all."
A community meeting was planned later Tuesday in a local church.

Google Does It Again

Here's a number worth putting in your cell phone, or your home phone speed dial: 1-800-goog411. This is an awesome service from Google, and it's free -- great when you are on the road. Don't waste your money on information calls and don't waste your time manually dialing the number. I am driving along in my car and I need to call the golf course and I don't know the number. I hit the speed dial for information that I have programmed. The voice at the other end says, "City & State." I say, " Garland , Texas ." He says, "Business, Name or Type of Service." I say, Firewheel Golf Course." He says, "Connecting" and Firewheel answers the phone. How great is that? This is nationwide and it is absolutely free!

This IS My City

This is an article featured on the blogsite Neatorama where they chroncled The Most Dangerous Places in the United States. Did you know that Mobile has the most dangerous creatures? Well, I knew that St. Louis would be in the running for the highest crime rate. It is actually north St. Louis, not downtown St. Louis that is very dangerous, but what the hey... There would NEVER be a reason to go there, you don't know anyone in that part of the city, and there are no businesses there, either. I have been here since 1985. I have raised a family here, but it IS a beautiful picture, no? Thanks, Steve (I think).

When it comes to crime in the U.S. you may think that New York or Los Angeles sound like scary places, but compared to Detroit and St. Louis, those cities are delightful locations for Sunday-school picnics. St. Louis and Detroit battle it out for the title of “Which City is More Likely to Annihilate You With Its Crime,” and quite honestly this contest is going into extra innings with no end in sight. St. Louis comes out of the gate and scores some quick points because of its insanely high violent crime rate – 2,480 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens. But the Motor City comes right back – nearly tying the match with its own hefty rate of 2419 per 100,000. Maybe the Lions went 0-16 because they couldn't focus on the game – they were too busy looking over their shoulders to make sure they weren't going to get mugged or killed! Speaking of getting killed, if you do decide to ignore the fear of being mugged, stabbed, or beaten and decide to brave these Midtown Detroit streets, you run the risk of being one of many yearly murder victims there – people are killed at the gaudy rate of 61 per every 100,000 citizens. When you realize that the national rate is a mere 7, you see how dangerous this area is. But before you fall out of your chair and start hyperventilating know this: Downtown St. Louis has that rate beat – by a mile – because 93 out of every 100,00 are murdered there. All of a sudden, Midtown Detroit might be looking safe. But it isn’t. Because St. Louis has one thing going for it in the crime department ­– at least when it comes to Forcible Rape, it’s not Midtown Detroit.

Detroit is not safe enough even for the Department of Public Safety.
The building has been abandoned ...
Photo: Derek Farr (Detroit Derek) [Flickr]

We’ll let you know just how bad Midtown Detroit is in the rape department, but first a discussion about the stats we found for rape in the US: When we were doing our research, we were horrified by Juneau, Alaska. I don’t know what they’re drinking there, but 102.3 out of every 100,000 people are getting raped in the land of “Whatever It Is People Do In Juneau,” Since the US average is a mere 33.1, clearly they have a serious problem. (And actually, it’s kind of widespread to the whole state of Alaska! That place has an unbelievably high rate of 76 – that’s for the state on average. Sarah Palin, what in the world is going on up there?). Truly it can’t get worse than Juneau, right? Wrong. Sleepy little beach communities Ocean City, Maryland and Key West, Florida made a baffling and troublesome attempt to hang with the major cities by weighing in with rates of 123.3 and 127.3, respectively. Think about that for a second. If you had a NFL Football game in Ocean City, Maryland, about 127 people in that crowd would be raped that year, on average. What’s going on, Ocean City? Considering that New York City’s Rape rate is a mere 13 per 100,000, one has to wonder if NBC should move the Special Victim’s Unit to Ocean City, Maryland! Benson and Stabler, head to the Shore! Actually, no. If we’re going to be calling Benson and Stabler anywhere, it should be to Midtown Detroit. While we were scandalized and terrified by Key West, Ocean City, and Jeneau – we were absolutely left in a state of disbelief by Midtown Detroits numbers. 181 rapes per 100,000 people. Yes, 181. Just about six times the national average. So it looks like Midtown Detroit is more likely to rape you while Downtown St. Louis will more likely just kill you. We can’t pick a winner. But we know two areas we’ll be avoiding for the near future. (This would be the time to point out that both Detroit and St. Louis have areas that are very safe and lovely. But really, don’t go to Midtown or Downtown without body armor and some pepper spray.)

The Obama Irish Song?

OK, then. Kind of funny....O'Bama's Irish?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stealing Stuff Again

I got these from another blog, so I ain't that smart. I am at least honest about stealing.
But, being that Kurt Vonnegut went to the University of Iowa, that makes him a righteous dude of the first order.

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