Monday, February 26, 2007

Trivia time

Happy Monday -- here's your quiz.

Category: Brain Teasers - Word Play
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 10 of 15
My score: 10 of 15

I bet someone can beat that!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Trivia time

Bonus quiz - FNC's news of the past week.

How well did you pay attention to the "important" stuff? I got 10 of 11, but I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Lucky to have good neighbors

The good news: I made it out last night to shovel the snow we had so far so there wouldn't be as much to worry about today.

The bad news: We got about another foot of snow overnight.

The good news: Our neighbor has a snowblower and took the time to clear our driveway as well as his.

Thanks, Gerry! I hope I can return the favor!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Cruel irony

Broncos RB Dead at 24:
DENVER - Broncos running back Damien Nash collapsed and died after a charity basketball game in suburban St. Louis on Saturday....

Nash collapsed shortly after participating in a charity basketball game to benefit a foundation named for his older brother, Darris Nash. The foundation raises money for heart transplant research. It was established last month, after Darris Nash received a heart transplant.


(from The Politico)

"Out"-rage in Vermont

There's a kerfuffle at a high school in Vermont over its Gay Youth Alliance's organization of a workshop about how not to get beat up at school.

If the workshop is a success, however, word is that the speakers will be invited back to address the Chess Club.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Does anyone know?

Tonight on one of the cable news shows, they were talking a lot about Anna Nicole Smith.

Is she sick or something?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tears of a clown

This is the look of a man who understands his 15 minutes is up.

"My court is not a circus!"

Let's all give it up for Judge Larry!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

No, sir, THIS is a sword!

I bet next time he turns the volume down a bit.
OCONOMOWOC, Wis. - A sword-wielding Wisconsin man broke into his neighbor's apartment thinking he was chivalrous after hearing the cries of a woman he thought was in peril - but instead, she was in porn.

James Van Iveren was in his Oconomowoc apartment listening to music when he heard loud cries from a woman he thought was pleading for help, reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The 39-year-old grabbed a cavalry sword, a family heirloom, and rushed upstairs to forcibly open the quarters of an upstairs tenant he barely knew.

"It was a woman screaming," Van Iveren said of the Feb. 12 incident. "She was screaming for help."

Bret Stieghorst told police that he was watching a pornographic DVD when Van Iveren kicked open his door, damaging the frame and lock in the process, with a 39-inch blade in hand.

Stieghorst said Van Iveren demanded "Where is she?" while thrusting the sword at him....

The ensuing duel got kind of messy.

Trivia time

Today's quiz salutes two of my favorite things - TV and food.

Category: TV Mixture
Difficulty: Average

Reported average: 7 of 10
My score: 7 of 10

Ellison endorses BO

Our esteemed representative Keith Ellison has announced his support of Barack Obama for President:
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison says he supports Illinois Sen. Barack Obama for president.

"Not because he's black," said Ellison, who is black, on Tuesday. "That's identity politics. I reject identity politics.

"He speaks with a unifying spirit," Ellison told about 100 employees at the Star Tribune newspaper during a lunch-hour event for Black History Month
[...where he was rejecting identity politics.]....

Don't have a cow, man

Inconvenient Beef?
Switching from beef to tofu burgers may do more to stop global warming than ditching your SUV for a bicycle. According to a recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, America's meat eaters are a major cause of global warming. [Got that? -- nobody else, just Americans] American meat eaters are responsible for 1.5 more tons of carbon dioxide than vegetarians every year. [Uh, maybe because there's more of us?]

Between 1970 and 2002, the annual per capita meat consumption in developing countries has risen from 24 pounds to 64 pounds. Animal rights activists and advocates of vegetarianism are salivating over the implications of the report. According to Noah Mohr of EarthSave International: "Arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products."

But University of Chicago researcher Gordon Eshel points out that you don't need to become a strict vegan, just cut down that burger intake from two to one and you've quote, "already made a substantial difference."

So I'm thinking this whole Global Warming thing may just resolve itself. Now that the Atkins fad has waned, we may instead need to brace for the next Ice Age!

Then again, if we stop eating cows, won't there be more left to, um, "emit," themselves?

The only logical solution appears to be to kill all the cows, but just don't eat them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And they're off...

Mitt Romney has his first campaign ad out already. (HT Hugh)

Only 623 days left 'til the election!


Senator Clinton, take 2?
Hillary Clinton hasn't won a single primary yet, but that hasn't stopped some well-known Democrats from booming her husband to fill her unexpired Senate term if she were elected president. Former Bill Cinton aide Harold Ickes is quoted by the Washington Examiner article as exclaiming, "as a senator, he'd be a knockout!"

Another former Clinton advisor, Paul Begala also thinks President Clinton would excel as Senator Clinton: "He excelled as attorney general and governor of Arkansas, he excelled as president and he's been a model of the modern Senate spouse."

Such a scenario is possible. New York's Governor Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat and if Hillary Clinton won the presidency, he would appoint her successor to finish out the final two years of her term.

Just another reason Hillary must be stopped!

Trivia time

Here's your weekly brain teaser - a day late due to the holiday (and my lethargy).

Category: Brain Teasers - Riddles
Difficulty: Tough

Reported average: 5 of 10
My score: 10 of 10 (heh, heh - coffee good!)

Back from the dead


Sorry for the inattention to the blog for the last 4 days. I've been sick as a dog, and frankly, didn't even have the energy to type, "Blogging will be light..."

I'm starting to get a little energy back today, though. A couple pots of coffee will do that.

Posting will resume. You've been warned.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Chief gets scalped

I regret to report that the "Fighting" Illini has caved to political correctness.
URBANA, Ill. -- The University of Illinois will retire its 81-year-old American Indian mascot, Chief Illiniwek, following the last men's home basketball game of the season on Wednesday.

American Indian groups and others complained for years that the mascot, used since 1926, is demeaning. Supporters of the mascot say it honors the contributions of American Indians to Illinois.

Illinois will still be able to use the name Illini because it's short for Illinois and the school can use the term Fighting Illini, because it's considered a reference to the team's competitive spirit, school officials said. It is unclear if the school will get a new mascot.

My alma mater has let me down. We'll miss ya, Chief!

How did your congressman vote?

Here's the roll call for today's anti-war resolution, "Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq."

The vote was 246 - 182, with 17 RINOs defecting. Regrettably, one of the 17 was our own Jim Ramstad.

To summarize the Minnesota vote:
  • 1st - Walz (D), Yea

  • 2nd - Kline (R), Nay

  • 3rd - Ramstad ("R"), Yea

  • 4th - McCollum (D), Yea

  • 5th - Ellison (D), Yea

  • 6th - Bachmann (R), Nay

  • 7th - Peterson (D), Yea

  • 8th - Oberstar (D), Yea

  • I hope everyone remembers today's vote next time Ramstad calls asking for campaign money.

    Name that blog

    New contest: Name the MOB blog which said the following:
    "He probably wasn't paying any attention to me at all, truth be told, but I latched onto that thing and made sweet mouth love to it because I didn't want to hurt some perfect strangers feelings. And now I get cold sores every second Thursday...."

    The winner gets a shiny new quarter.

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Trivia time

    Today's quiz will"jingle" your memory.

    Category: Entertainment Grab Bag
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 5 of 10
    My score: 7 of 10

    Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    Inconvenient weather

    From the Grapevine:
    A House subcommittee hearing on climate change and the warming of the planet was called off today - because of the snow and ice storm that hit Washington. In Saint Louis - a scheduled showing of Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" was canceled by Maryville University - because of the harsh winter weather.

    Ha Ha!

    Stereotype confirmed

    I'm in San Francisco now for a conference. When I got in yesterday, I took a little time to walk around downtown to try and soak in the ambience of this Liberal Mecca.

    It took less than 30 minutes to observe all of the following:
  • lots of homeless (check),

  • plenty of panhandlers (check),

  • protesters picketing outside a - gasp! - non-unionized department store (check),

  • "zero-emissions" mass transit (check), and of course...

  • two men kissing in public (check)

  • In a lot of ways, downtown SF feels more like Europe than America. Ironically, I'm sure most here don't see that as a bad thing.

    Hugo and Condi sittin' in a tree...

    Happy Valentine's Day! (or as RR says, "Happy VD")
    CARACAS, Venezuela - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to the national spotlight on Valentine's Day to tell U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he misses her verbal attacks.

    "It had been days since she had given me any attention. How are you, Condoleezza?" Chavez asked in a speech Wednesday to pensioners in the capital of Caracas....

    "My dear friend Condoleezza says I am destroying the Venezuelan economy," said Chavez, a fierce critic of U.S.-style capitalism, in his first public appearance in 10 days.

    "Death to the empire!" Chavez said. "We will not be dominated. We have decided to be free!"

    (sniff) That's beautiful, man!

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Trivia time

    Since I'm off to San Francisco today, here's some California trivia. I'll try my best not to come home a Democrat!

    Category: Geography - California
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 6 of 10
    My score: 7 of 10 (Ay, carumba!)

    Monday, February 12, 2007


    Cathy in the Wright provides a friendly reminder to us guys about the dangers of trying to hide a screw-up.

    Grammy award now officially worthless

    Well, congratulations to the Dixie Chicks for sweeping the five Grammy categories for which they were nominated.
    To some, the voting served not only as a referendum on President Bush's handling of the Iraq war, but also on what was perceived as country music?s rejection - and radio?s censorship - of the trio.

    Jeff Ayeroff, a longtime music executive and an academy member, said the resounding endorsement of the group reflected the fact that the academy represents "the artist community, which was very angry at what radio did, because it was not very American." Mr. Ayeroff said he voted for the Dixie Chicks in at least one category.

    Hmmm..., interesting. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Grammies are awards for music, aren't they? Yet, it seems our dear Dixies were rewarded for nothing more than "bold" political speech.

    Seriously, for all the press "Not Ready to Make Nice" got, did you ever actually hear it on the radio?

    I think this guy put it pretty well:
    The Dixie Chicks peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard country charts with "Not Ready to Make Nice." That ought to disqualify them from winning best country album, said Jacobs, the Alabama radio station owner.

    "How do you win country music album of the year, when country music radio is not playing you?" he said.

    Someone must be listening, though.

    I wonder if the Dixie Chicks are on Bashar al-Asshat Assad's iPod.

    Trivia time

    Your Monday brain teaser awaits.

    Category: Brain Teasers - Unique Quizzes
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 10 of 15
    My score: 15 of 15 (Ok, this was an easy one...)

    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    What about blogging?

    If this guy gets his way, pretty much anything will be illegal behind the wheel:
    Vermont legislators want drivers to keep their eyes on the road. They're considering a ban not just on cellphones... but also on eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, or interacting with pets or cargo while driving. Violators would face a fine of up to $600.

    Representative Thomas Koch, who sponsored the bill, drew from his own experience, saying, quote, "...somebody opposite me was trying to navigate around the corner with a cell phone... in one hand and a cigarette in the other , and she wasn't doing very well."

    If the bill passes, you won't be able to comb your hair, pet your dog, or drink coffee... much less play the flugelhorn... while driving.

    Chuck Mangione could not be reached for comment.

    Trivia time

    Bonus quiz! offers a test of knowledge of the news of the week.

    I got 9 of 12.

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    And counting

    In the saturation bombing that is the all-Anna-Nicole-all-the-time media coverage, I've gotten a chuckle from the occasional morphing of her name with that of her lawyer/boyfriend/baby-daddy.

    On three different shows today, I've heard references to "Howard K. Smith." Sure, he was a fine news anchor, but let's stay focused, people!

    I'm a uniter, not a divider

    You Are Most Like George W. Bush

    So what if you're not exactly popular? You still rule the free world.
    And while you may be quite conservative now, you knew how to party back in the day!

    (HT Uncle Ben)

    Anna Nicole quote of the day

    From Dan Conry, at the start of his show this morning, noting the grandiose banner on his station's website:
    Jeez. You'd think a head of state died.

    Trivia time

    It'll be another good weekend to stay in and watch some TV.

    Category: TV Theme Songs
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 6 of 10
    My score: 8 of 10

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    Worst. Trivia Performance. Ever.

    Wow. It was a rough night at Keegan's.

    Tonight, I collaborated with Kevie, Sisyphus, and Jamie to form team "TrimSpa Overdose" (yes, the name was my idea, and yes, I know I'm going to hell).

    To say that we sucked just does not give the performance proper justice. We got 10 right, and the winning score was 21. Ouch. Contributing to our undoing was our unamimous ignorance of the Golden Globes, the Critic's Choice Awards, and marshmallow geometry.

    I hereby apologize for any embarrassment to the MOB and to my family.

    Trivia time

    How 'bout some general sports trivia today?

    Category: Sports - USA Mixed
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 6 of 10
    My score: 5 of 10 (D'oh!)

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007

    Inarticulate praise?

    Tonight, O'Reilly on FNC ran a segment about a recent interview of President Bush during which, when asked his opinion of President-wannabe Barack Obama, Bush referred to Obama as - gasp! - "articulate."

    In the segment, a sampling of African American (and, not coincidentally, lefty) spokespeople were feigning offense at the remark. To refer to African Americans as articulate is condescending, they said.

    I don't buy it. And before anyone accuses me of hypocrisy, please note for the record that I didn't pile on Slow Joe Biden for his latest bout of foot-in-mouth. I don't honestly think Biden meant to be demeaning to Obama by calling him "articulate," either. Tacking on "clean" was pretty dumb, though. And the Indian/7-11 thing last year was another story. But I digress.

    I can see where critics of Bush and Biden here are coming from, though. Unfortunately, there was a time (think Archie Bunker era) when if someone would refer to an African American as "articulate," it was understood that the person meant, "articulate -- for a Black guy."

    Things are different now, in my humble opinion. If someone of any ethnicity is paid a compliment, it should be taken simply at face value without any qualifiers assumed. That is because usually, no qualifier is intended.

    Case in point: When Tony Dungy coached the Colts to a Super Bowl win last Sunday, it was a big deal, because he was the first African American coach to win the big game. As a result, he is (and has been for years) pretty much unanimously lauded as being a great football coach. Of those giving praise to Dungy, though I haven't seen any stated or implied qualifiers (i. e., "he's a good coach -- for a Black guy"). No one I know would even think that way.

    And for what it's worth, Dungy is pretty articulate, too.

    Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Response from Sen. Coleman

    Following is the response I received to my inquiry of Sen. Norm Coleman (emphasis added).
    Dear Mr. Stover :

    Thank you for contacting me concerning Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    I understand the public anxiety over the war, and I share many of the frustrations with the pace of progress in Iraq . While we continue to have success militarily, our overall strategy to defuse the sectarian violence and improve the political process is insufficient. It is clear that we must chart a new, specific path in Iraq . We should hold Iraqi political leaders accountable for meeting specific benchmarks for success. We must put more pressure on the Iraqis to defend their own country, to move our troops away from the front lines, and ultimately return home.

    In December of 2006, I traveled to Iraq for a second time, and met with Minnesota soldiers, military commanders, and Iraqi leaders to get a candid, firsthand assessment of the situation on the ground. During my meetings, I emphasized the need for Iraqis to move quickly to solve the sectarian violence. Our investment in Iraq cannot be open-ended. The Iraqi police and Army need to assume more responsibility for security throughout the country and especially in Baghdad . Iraq 's political leaders also need to provide a political environment that will foster greater opportunity for reconciliation between its sectarian factions.

    Concerning the level of U.S. troops in Iraq , I do not believe politicians should set troop levels. Troop levels should be set by our military leaders including our commanders on the ground. At this time, I would not support any kind of significant increase in troops in Baghdad . Given the sectarian strife and delays in the Iraqi political process, I think a troop surge would only create more targets and place more American troops in the crosshairs of Iraqi sectarian battles. Some military commanders have suggested a surge could be worthwhile in areas outside Baghdad , such as in Fallujah , and I am willing to take a look at that proposal.

    At the same time, I think our country's military forces are stretched too thin and I do support an increase in the size of our overall military. America 's all-volunteer military is the best in the world and I will remain committed to lessening the burden for our service people, particularly the Guard and reserve, as they do their work in Iraq .

    However, there is no doubt in my mind that the safety of Americans from terror is tied to what happens in Iraq. Leaders of al Qaeda have made very clear that Iraq is central to their efforts to destabilize America and the world. Osama bin Laden himself has said that "the most serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War that is raging in Iraq." Bin Laden has called Baghdad the capital of a new radical Islamic Caliphate he would like to create, stretching from Spain to Indonesia . On September 11, we learned the consequences of ignoring dangerous developments in the Middle East . It is for this reason that we cannot afford to abandon our efforts in Iraq .

    My time in Iraq gave me another opportunity to reflect upon the tremendous courage, skill, commitment and patriotism of our soldiers. These are extraordinary citizens that have a great sense of confidence in what they're doing, a willingness to sacrifice -and sacrifice they have. Minnesota and America have much to be proud of, and I was truly humbled by the things I heard and witnessed from our soldiers in Iraq .

    Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me. I value your advice. If I may be of further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me again.

    Norm Coleman
    United States Senate

    A couple of points here.

    1. He says, "...I do not believe politicians should set troop levels. Troop levels should be set by our military leaders including our commanders on the ground." If that's the case, then why are politicians (Senators in favor of Warner-Levin) trying to undermine our military leaders (President Bush, the Commander-in-Chief, and General Petraeus, who was just unanimously confirmed by these same Senators to lead operations in Iraq)?

    2. It does not seem helpful to simultaneously:
  • assert that things aren't working and we need a change, but then

  • reject the course of change proposed by our military leaders without proposing a viable alternative.

  • Seriously, I'm just not understanding this. What am I missing?

    Trivia time

    In honor of Senator Coleman's vote for cloture on the Warner-Levin resolution yesterday, today's quiz is about the unexplained.

    Category: General - The Unexplained
    Difficulty: Tough

    Reported average: 4 of 10
    My score: 4 of 10

    Monday, February 05, 2007

    Almost united

    The good news: Today, Senate Republicans stood (almost) united against the "non-binding" resolution undercutting the President's plan to win in Iraq.

    The bad news: Two Senate Republicans voted to end debate on the resolution, thereby siding with the Democrats -- Susan Collins and Norm Coleman.

    I sent this letter to Sen. Coleman this evening:
    Dear Senator Coleman,

    I was pleased to see the Senate vote not to end debate today on the Warner-Levin resolution in opposition to the President's proposed reinforcement of troops in Iraq. I was thrilled that Senate Republicans stood united in this vote and that even Sens. Warner and Hagel may finally be realizing that the resolution, while "non-binding," could only serve to embolden our enemies and degrade the morale of our troops while they are in harm's way.

    I was thrilled, that is, until I saw that you were one of only two Republican Senators to vote the other way. I am sure I am not the only one of your supporters perplexed by this. The vote seems on its face to endorse the very resolution that Warner himself seems to be abandoning.

    I hope there is another explanation, and if there is, I hope you will take a minute to let us (your supporters in the MN GOP) know why you voted with the Senate Democrats on this vitally important issue.


    Daniel Stover
    Hopkins, MN

    I'll let you know if I get a response.

    Bank on it

    Prediction: Rudy Guiliani will not be the Republican nominee for President in 2008.

    How do I know this with certainty? Because Dick Morris has dubbed him a clear front-runner.

    For all the TV time Morris gets, has he ever been right about anything? Ever?

    Trivia time

    Still in post-Super Bowl mode, here's a football-themed brain teaser.

    Category: Brain Teasers - Word Play
    Difficulty: Average

    Reported average: 7 of 10
    My score: 9 of 10

    Friday, February 02, 2007

    Bring it on!

    We were finally treated to the UN(-scientific) report on Global Warming today.
    PARIS - Scientists from 113 countries issued a landmark report Friday saying they have little doubt global warming is caused by man, and predicting that hotter temperatures and rises in sea level will "continue for centuries" no matter how much humans control their pollution.

    A top U.S. government scientist, Susan Solomon, said "there can be no question that the increase in greenhouse gases are dominated by human activities."

    Oh, will I guess that's it, then. "There can be no question." It's settled.

    Fine with me. I, for one, embrace Global Warming. From this point forward, I intend to do all I can to waste energy and to pollute the environment. Anything to get some relief from this:

    If anyone needs me, I'll be outside emptying some aerosol cans.

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    Faulty quiz

    I went ahead and took this quiz (HT Doug, Kevin, et al).

    Would you survive in the wild?
    Your Result: Yesiree!....

    You could live in the wild if you wanted to! You know what to eat, do, and stay away from! You could get shelter, food, water fast and easy-and the right treatments to injuries, snake bites etc...You know the outdoors like the back of your hand!!

    Most likely you'll survive....
    Wouldn't last 2 minutes!.....
    Not to sure...
    Would you survive in the wild?
    Quizzes for MySpace

    One word: Bullshit.

    The correct assessment of me is "Wouldn't last two minutes!" I don't hunt, I don't fish, I don't like camping, and generally, I am not the outdoorsey type in the least.

    Just saying -- those of you who scored well on this quiz, don't get too cocky. If you scored the same as me, you should fear for your life in a setting any more adventuresome than a golf course!