March 31, 2004

A Chip off the Ol' Cookie

It's been a while since I found an online quiz I wanted to take. But mention the word "cookie" and immediately my thoughts jump to "chocolate." As longtime readers (okay, week-long readers) will recall, I adore chocolate in all its myriad forms. So when I saw a "What kind of cookie are you?" quiz, I was compelled to take it.

That was almost a month ago. I wanted to let some time pass and then take it again to see if I got the same results twice. There have been a few quizzes (which I didn't later blog about) that gave me different results when taking them on different days. Clearly, my mood affects my responses and my cookie-based psyche could be swayed by the vagaries and whims of my day. Knowing what kind of cookie I am is far too telling and important a matter to take so lightly.

So it is, with great pride and authority (not to mention a sudden craving), that I share with you this basic truth about myself: I am a Chocolate Chip cookie. I have decided not to divulge the details of what this means about my personality. Based on the sheer wonderfulness of Chocolate Chip cookies, I fear that it could unduly influence you in your approach to answering the questions. Since I got the same result twice, it's the only answer I've seen, so I have no idea what other cookie profiles there are that people might get. And while my Chip-tastic self knows that none of them can rival what is, essentially, cookie royalty, I would be interested in hearing what results the rest of you poor doughballs scrape up.

March 30, 2004

Just an interesting article

I think most of us can't navigate the Web, newpapers, magazine or television news these days without tripping over an "inspirational" human-interest story. Heaven knows that sports broadcasts can't seem to live without 'em anymore. But I find that this article is less inspirational than it is just plain admirable. People generally can't keep up with a hobby for more than a few years; this guy has spent almost his whole life in pursuit of one dream that he believes is attainable, while the world at large disagrees, and he hasn't lost his focus.

I do wonder how a guy who has been almost single-mindedly pursuing something like this, as well as all the sideline ventures it spawned, managed to find three different women to marry him or the time to pursue them, too!

March 29, 2004

California offers its two bits

At long last, the design for the California edition of the state quarters has been revealed. I can't remember if this is the design that I voted for, but I know it was one of my top choices. The only thing I don't like about this story is the accompanying picture, with Gov. Arnold and his cheesy movie star smile.

And I have to wonder if there actually are any CA Condors in Yosemite. I don't know that I've ever seen any there, but you would think that maybe they'd check on that before sticking one in there, wouldn't you? I probably wouldn't have placed it where they did, so that it looks like it's about to take poor John Muir's face off.

I don't know how many people are collecting the state series of quarters (a lot of people I know are, as am I, though I think I'm a bit behind), but I do look forward to seeing them as they come out. I don't particularly like all of them but I make sure I get a pretty, shiny one anyway. :-) This article from 2002, when 19 of the quarters had been issued, I found interesting as it made me aware of the patterns into which the state designs fall and how downright bad some of them are!

March 26, 2004

Buckle up, Fluffy

On the face of it, this sounds like a pretty dumb thing to be reading about. But in reality, I think it's a pretty darned good idea and I hope it catches on. How many times have you driven down a street where the traffic is moving at a pretty good clip and seen a dog hopping around on the driver's lap, alternately getting between them and the wheel and sticking their head out the window? Or seen a Lab in the back of a pickup running back and forth in the truck bed at a traffic light then lurching to keep its balance once the light changes? Or seen a mid-size dog with more than half its body sticking out a window, feet propped up on the window opening, where it seems only a good bump would have them flying out onto the pavement?

I recently read a letter in the Merc from a driver who witnessed a woman on the Lawrence Expressway (a busy, four-lane, 50mph+ road) who was grooming her dog in her lap while speeding down the road! People like that are clearly short of common sense all on their own and maybe a requirement to restrain their beloved pets would give them the guidance they obviously need. Before they find out that Fluffy, in addition to being a loving and wonderful pet, makes a wonderful (if messy) air bag in the event of an accident.

Feel free to share your "You won't believe what I saw...!" stories in the comments.

March 25, 2004

One nation, divisible by patriotism

This article from Slate, written in 2002 when the Ninth Circuit court's decision on the "under God" portion of the Pledge of Allegiance caused a storm of controversy, sums up my feelings toward the issue rather well. It provides a detailed background (or, at least, a more detailed one than you get on CNN, et al.) about the political and social climate with respect to religion when the phrase was added, and illustrates that the point of adding it certainly was to promote religion, something I hear many people disclaiming in the debate on the current case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

I think anyone who tries to make the case that the Founding Fathers didn't really mean that there was no place in government for religion should first read the second paragraph of the Slate article, then should take another look at the Bill of Rights. First Article, first words: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

If people in the 50s weren't so afraid of being labeled "Red" or politicians weren't so afraid of being run out of Washington on a rail (or, in this case, a pew), maybe the right thing would have happened when the bill was first passed and it would have been declared unconstitutional. The Knights of Columbus and other organizations could, and can, say whatever they want at their meetings -- another bonus of the First Amendment. Congress enacting a bill inexorably linking God and the United States in a recital declaring one's allegiance to their country of citizenship, a country born from a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that expressly do not link them and expressly prohibit the legislative branch from doing so, is intrinsically contrary to the very tenets upon which the country was founded. If that's not unpatriotic, I don't what is.

March 24, 2004

"Yum," said the mouth to the hardening artery.

I love chocolate. I love many deep-fried foods. Both of these statements are attested to by my waistline. :-) But this "delicacy" might be just that wee bit beyond the pale. I know that bread and chocolate are a very common treat in much of Europe; when I studied in Spain I was surprised at first to see people slathering chocolate spread on slices of bread and calling it their afternoon snack. But I didn't realize that they had caught on to what I had assumed was a wacky American thing of deep-frying everything in sight! And here we have the Scots to thank for that. Between this and haggis, I do believe they may have lost the right to call their food "cuisine."

March 22, 2004

Drop and give me 20...autographs!

Now this is about the last thing I expected to read regarding Tiger Woods. Unlike some people I know (Ed), I am a fan of Tiger's, but this is kind of weird even for me. I'm not buying that it's some "I want to be like Daddy" complex. I think it's a very unique individual's last hurrah (of a sort) before he goes and gets married. Some guys want to do Vegas, some guys want to have flings...maybe some guys want to be forced to run, take orders, get yelled at, and clean toilets with toothbrushes. Hey...there could be something to that in terms of marriage training!

March 19, 2004

Has anyone told Bush about this?

How about Bushy and the religious right devote some of their overzealous attention to this little item of interest. Do you think it's enough of a moral problem for us to decide to invade India? I wonder what we'd call that particular war. Operation Eww, That's Just Gross?

I guess it's "okay" for the local officials, even though it's illegal, since she's too old to produce any offspring from the union?

March 18, 2004


Life has been busy, busy, busy! So busy that I feel a bit like I need a drink at the end of the day. :-) Which makes this article very timely and a good reminder of how we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we're "fine" after a few drinks. Now, clearly, Mr. Roadshow is a teetotaller so I have to imagine that he was more affected by those two glasses of wine than someone who regularly consumes some wine with dinner. (Strict interpretationists of how peoples' bodies handle alcohol would likely disagree, but this is my perception.) But it never hurts to have a reality check on the real dangers of drinking and driving. Too bad he didn't print this on or before St. Patrick's Day, however.

March 15, 2004

Probably not a case for Airborne

I don't know why it works but, taken properly, I believe that Airborne really does help prevent people from catching all sorts of icky things swirling around when they're in crowded places like airplanes. However, I think this story represents the kind of thing that Airborne probably can't help you avoid. It sucks enough to come away from a flight with a cold or sore throat and the like, but measles? Yikes.

March 12, 2004

Do As I Say, Not As I Do 101

I love the "Oddly Enough" news, I really do. It reminds me of how critically ass-backwards this world has become. Check out this article for a prime example. My favorite part is that "being able to think about ethical questions and being able to do rather criminal acts" isn't a contradiction. Well, true, a criminal can definitely think about ethics and ethical questions. But hiring one to teach ethics?!? And someone who attempted to take another person's life, to boot. The next highlight is that they're not sure whether to go forward with a class he's to teach on evolution. Seems to me that he'd be a much more likely candidate for that class than ethics, because trying to knock off your wife has somewhat a Darwinian feel, doesn't it?

March 11, 2004

What's black and white...

...and often wrong all over? A referee! Ever wonder, as I have, why they dress the way they do? Well, the answer lies here and I must say I feel terribly edified after reading it. I still don't really get why baseball officials don't wear the zebra stripes (or why they're "umpires" instead of "referees," for that matter) but at least I now know who gets the credit for the look.

If Mr. Olds had come up with the idea in the 80s instead of the 20s, he'd have trademarked the look, made a fortune, retired from officiating, bought a football team, lost all his money through high living and bad player deals, sold the team to pay off his debts and would now be a TV spokesman for Foot Locker. Or working in their store in Bayonne.

March 10, 2004

What gall

After what feels like a very long absence, I'm back! I decided last night that if I could open a soda bottle without pain, I was well enough to blog again. My wrist brace will now (again) be my constant computer companion, but I'll live to type another day. :)

I can't tell you how much I missed "being" here. Oh, the stories I've missed, the discussions I would have liked to spark...the quizzes I didn't get to take! So, following along on the pain theme, I'll open with this article about the apparently widely reviled John Ashcroft and his gallbladder surgery. Talk about bile, forget what the gallbladder oozes, the rancor I heard being spewed in reaction to the news that Ashcroft had experienced a painful gallbladder attack and was going to have surgery caught me completely off guard. My own mother was glad that the bastard was in pain! I heard quite a few similar reactions from others, including one blog I visited yesterday (forgot to make a note of which one).

I'm no fan of his, no way, no how, and I think he is one of the most destructive elements of our current administration. The day Bush and his crew are out of our lives will be one of the happiest days in mine. But Ashcroft is still a person and I simply can't find it within myself to be glad that he had this happen. The only thing I can think is that people either really hate him with a passion that precludes compassion or that they've never had a bad gallbladder attack. I've had the same surgery Ashcroft just went through, with the same kind of pain preceeding it, and frankly I wouldn't wish that upon anyone, even an enemy (or a perceived enemy). Let someone else cast the first gallstone if they wish, but nobody's actions make them deserve that kind of pain in my book.

March 02, 2004


Big-time tendonitis problems with my typing hand going on right now resulting in lots o' pain. Surfing the Web to find links is all but impossible and typing with my left hand is very tedious. (Case in point, I started this at noon ;)

So, sad but true, OPO is going on a (hopefully) brief hiatus, far too soon for its short life! If you stop by again before I am back at it, please visit any of the Blogs I Like to the right for fresh perspective while I'm off babying my wrist. Making its debut on that list today is one of my daily must-reads, April's Addictions.

Because I finally caved in and subscribed to the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" philosophy when it came to Reality TV, I, too, am addicted to certain of those shows, and I always look foward to getting April's recaps and perspective on the shows we both follow. Please stop by and lend her your ears, your support and your comments!

While I have no idea how many of you actually frequent this blog (because I just haven't gotten around to adding the function that would tell me that), and I know that many of the people in my life seem to keep "forgetting" to check in, please know that I enjoy the heck out of writing it and every day I'm not here posting I wish I were. Now would be a good time to tell me what you like, what you'd like to see more of, or what I'm not covering that you would find of interest. Thanks for your support, silent and otherwise. :)

March 01, 2004

Oscar de la Ranta

Please go see The Rant King's recap and commentary on the Oscars in his post today for "my" take on the ceremony and its participants. Except for not mentioning how funny Adrien Brody's presentation of the Best Actress award was (oh, and substituting in a "shameless Irish plug" for how cool the father/daughter/daughter scriptwriting team of In America is), he pretty much touched on everything I would have!

Since my wrist is hurting today from excessive computer use, thank you, Kevin, for writing today's entry for me. :)