Monday, July 31, 2006


I will be guest-blogging over at Ragged Thots this week. Come on by!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ed vs. the possum

WARNING: The following story is extremely gory. I am NOT kidding.

I was lying in bed around 9 pm, about to fall asleep, when my wife barged into the room and exclaimed, "You have to get up! There is a possum in the laundry room!"

She informed me he was behind the dryer, with his tail sticking out of the wall, where the dryer's vent goes.

So I went downstairs and cautiously approached our laundry room, where the door was ominously closed. With my wife cowering behind me, I quietly opened the door, prepared for anything which might come out. Nothing happened.

As I slowly entered the room, I saw it: A full-sized, fat, adult possum, sitting in a hole in the wall, it's long, thick tail hanging down to the floor. It had apparently knocked the dryer vent out of the wall, as it sat comfortably in what was a good 6 inch round hole.

I did not realize it then, but the area behind the hole was hollow, and there was a lot more of the possum stuffed in there. But from what I could see, I knew this was not going to be easy.

My first thought was to call the SPCA. Unfortunately, they would not be open this time of night. Even if they were, they would probably not send someone out until the next day. This would mean leaving a rather large marsupial running free in my house with who knows what diseases.

Next, I considered throwing something like a blanket over it, picking it up, and taking it outside. Considering the possum's head was in the hole, whatever I threw over him would still leave his head exposed, able to bite at me. Again, the disease consideration entered my mind.

I realized my only alternative was to kill it. But with what? I don't own a gun. I thought about using a large knife, but then I would have to get too close to it.

Then it dawned on me: I own a sword! A decorative silver sword, which I bought at DragonCon a few years ago (yes, I am a geek).

So I got my sword and some thick gardening gloves, in case I had to grab the possum for whatever reason.

When I returned, the possum had not moved from his spot. I suspect it was trying not to be noticed, living up to its name.

I pulled the long sword from its sheath, and moved in for the kill. I stabbed the sword deep into the middle of the beast, completely missing any vital organs that might have killed it instantly.

When I felt the sword tip hit the wood underneath the possum, I stopped and watched, waiting for the possum to go into its death throes. While the possum struggled a little, clearly not pleased with its situation, nothing happened. The possum could not move much, stuck on the sword. At the same time, it was not looking to be dying any time soon either.

At this point, I realized I had missed any vital organs, so I thought I would have to stab the beast again. As I start to pull the sword from it, the possum starts wiggling like he was going to do something as soon as it was free. Since I know I cannot let it go, I sank the sword back into the possum, avoiding any vital organs once again, but holding the beast firmly in place.

Then my mind flashed to an image of hari-kari I had once seen, where once the blade was inserted, it was moved around by the person committing suicide, in order to get all the vital organs. So I tried it on the possum. Unfortunately, I learned it was not easy to move a sword once it was in a body.

Since that did not work, I tried twisting the blade within the possum's body. That worked a little better, but still no vital organs.

Of course, the possum was objecting to all the blade movements in a way one might expect from a small mammal stuck on a sword: a lot of wiggling around as it bared its teeth at me.

As my wife was watching these events unfold, she commented, "You're enjoying this."

I had to agree that it did appeal to me on an instinctive level. Man against beast.

But I had to admit, I was at a loss as to what to do at this point. The possum was not losing much blood from the sword wound. Maybe I could get it to bleed to death, or at least to go into shock from blood loss?

I got my wife to hold the sword in the possum as I went to the garage to get my long-handled branch cutter.

As I looked over the possum, I figured the best way to get it to bleed to death, from its current position, would be to cut off its thick tail.

I brought the branch cutter to the middle of the beast's tail, and snipped. The possum objected in its usual way, but also moved the remainder of his tail around, proceeding to squirt blood on the wall, the floor, and the back of the washing machine.

I could see the possum was not dying from this, so I think maybe if I cut the tail off entirely. The tail was thicker closer to the possum's body, so I assumed it would bleed more from there.

After I cut off the remainder of the tail, I realized my assumption was correct, as more blood proceeded to squirt into the aforementioned wall, floor, and washing machine. But the mighty possum was just fine, albeit more than a little upset at his predicament.

My wife made me hold the sword in the possum for a minute, being completely grossed out by the scene unfolding in front of her. It was during this time I came up with the next part of my strategy.

I figured I would not be able to kill it this way, but how about incapacitating the possum permanently?

Once I got my wife reluctantly back on the sword, I took my branch cutter and cut off the furry beast's right rear leg. I then proceeded to do the same to the possum's right front leg. It was at this point I realized my plan's failing: I could not get at the possum's left legs, which were on the other side of his body in the hole.

Watching the possum pursuing its normal wiggling and baring of teeth gave me another idea: What if I cut off its head?

Unfortunately, the placement of the possum left me unable to get a good angle on its neck. As I reached with the cutter for its neck, the vicious beast got its mouth firmly on the tip of the branch cutter. Feeling sadistically frustrated, I snipped.

With the bottom half of its jaw hanging from a piece of skin, I felt safe assuming the possum would not be biting anyone. With two legs gone, I also figured it was not going very far either.

I pulled the sword slowly from the possum, ready to plunge it back in at the first sign of movement. The beast did not move, laying there, waiting to die.

I placed a board in front of the hole, so the possum could not go anywhere.

My wife and I left it, closing the door to the laundry room, expecting to collect the possum's body the next day.

When I got up the next morning, I went downstairs to check on it. I slowly pulled the board from the hole, but I could not see it. Figuring the bloody beast had moved deeper behind the wall, I decided to wait until I got home from work to try and find it.

My wife called me at work, saying she thought the possum was dead because she could smell it, but she could not find it. She was afraid it had died somewhere behind our wall.

When I got home, I knew it was dead by the smell. I checked the hole thoroughly, even expanding it a little in order to get a better look. No possum.

As I walked from the laundry room, I noticed something on the floor of the basement: A faint blood trail.

Apparently, after we left it, the possum had climbed up behind the wall, and gone over to the other side of the wall, leaping or climbing or falling onto the basement floor, where it proceeded to run all around, leaving blood everywhere.

I followed the blood trail until I found the possum behind an old dresser on the floor. The beast was dead.

If you think that story is gross, you do not want to know about the cleanup afterwards.

Blonde of the day: Pam Anderson

In a press conference Wednesday to announce her new online poker website, Pamela Anderson, pictured above with her husband-to-be Kid Rock, was asked what she was doing to deal with pre-wedding jitters. Her response:

I have two words for you: Champagne.

If boobs were brains...but it would not matter, since we know her's aren't real anyway.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Announcement of the day

For the next week, I will be guest blogging over at Robert George's website, Ragged Thots. Feel free to come on by and put your two cents in the comment box!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Quote of the day

"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity." - Carl Jung

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

NFL rumor of the day

According to, the Denver Broncos are working on trading WR Ashley Lelie. The article quotes Lelie's agent, Peter Shaffer as saying "there are seven teams interested in Lelie", then goes on to say:
"The teams Denver has talked to are believed to include Chicago, Baltimore, San Francisco, Philadelphia and New England."

The one team in the mix I don't understand is Philadelphia. Do they really need another Todd Pinkston? Sure Philly needs a receiver, but Lelie ain't it. Lelie is a good number 2 receiver, and Philly needs a number 1.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Monday morning quarterback of the day

You have to admire John Kerry's tenacity.

On the current situation between Israel and Lebanon, Kerry had the following to say:
"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened."

Suuuuuuuuuuure John. And you would have built the Starship Enterprise by now too. By yourself. On a weekend. With some rusty nails and a 2x4.

What Cynthia McKinney is for Georgia, John Kerry is for Massachusetts: An embarrassment.

(Hat tip to The Detroit News)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Quote of the day

"We have always said that in our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon - no alternative." - Golda Meir

I am not Jewish, but God bless Israel! They are the only country in the world, including my own, which seems to truly understand how to deal with terrorism.

I send my prayers out to the Israeli and American soldiers who are involved in conflicts in the Middle East. May they all come home safely. If they don't, may God bless their souls. They are all fighting the good fight.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Editorial of the day

Jay Tea over at Wizbang has some useful points for us to remember about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah going on:
"1) There are three parties with immediate concerns towards a ceasefire: Lebanon, Israel, and Hezbollah.

2) The government and military of Lebanon are not directly involved in the current fighting. Indeed, it can be argued that their unwillingness to get involved with the affairs taking place within its borders are a direct cause of the fighting.

3) Hezbollah has expressed no interest in a ceasefire, but rather has ratcheted up both its attacks and its rhetoric.

4) Hezbollah is not a nation-state, but rather a terrorist organization with literal barrels of blood on its hands -- a significant fraction of it American.

5) Israel has clearly stated its terms for a ceasefire from the instant they started shooting back:
A) The return of its kidnapped soldiers
B) A cessation of attacks by Hezbollah from Lebanon
C) The securing of Lebanon's southern region to prevent Hezbollah's return.

6) Neither Hezbollah nor any party with influence over them has shown the slightest interest in accepting or even discussing Israel's highly irrational and unreasonable position of "stop killing us, and we'll stop killing you."

7) As Hezbollah is a terrorist organization (which, it always bears repeating, had killed more Americans than any other terrorist group before 9/11, and still holds the #2 position), and it is the official position of the United States to not have any dealings with terrorist groups.

8) Especially when it comes to saving their asses from getting blown to bits by our ally for committing terrorist acts against that ally.

If Hezbollah will just give in to Israel's demands, this could be over. But no one seems to expect that. They just want Israel to "show restraint".

My opinion? Go get 'em Israel.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stupid headline story of the day

Over at, their headline story is "U.S. family: Get us out of Lebanon/
Parents and children hear bomb explosions all night
". By itself, it is not stupid. But when you read the first paragraph:
"The Esseily family was winding up a vacation in Lebanon when the airstrikes began. Nearly a week later, they're still looking for a way to get back to California."

Let me get this straight: You live in California. You vacation in Lebanon?

Their reason:
"Tony Esseily is Lebanese, and Monika Esseily is American. They made the trip this summer so their 9-month-old son, T.J., could be baptized in Lebanon."

So the husband/father is from Lebanon? Still he takes his family there in order to get his son baptized (which could be done anywhere in the world). Of all people, he should know the history of Lebanon.

Wait! It gets better:
"Monika Esseily first saw Lebanon in 1990, three months after the country's 15-year civil war ended, as a new bride going to meet her husband's family.

"It was devastation. I cried driving out of the airport," she remembered. "I also was scared because coming out of the airport you had all the [Iranian Ayatollah] Khomeini and all of those Hezbollah signs even then."

The family lived in Lebanon from 1993 to 2001 and watched the country recover from years of war.

"I went everywhere," Monika Esseily said. "I enjoyed it; it was a beautiful country. The people are beautiful. They were madly trying to build up Lebanon."

The scene now, she said, is a "flashback to 1990."

"I'm very saddened, and I'm very, very scared for not just the Lebanese people, [but] for the foreigners who still have not got out," she said.

When the Esseilys heard last week that Hezbollah militants had abducted two Israeli soldiers in a cross-border raid, they knew there might be trouble.

"Wednesday night, we went to downtown Beirut to visit a shopping mall," she recalled. "Normally in that place in downtown Beirut ... it would have been very packed. ... And we did hear that, uh-oh, probably Israel is going to retaliate.

"But we were not thinking Beirut. Maybe we were thinking, OK, they were going to retaliate in the south. ... We didn't know that this was going to be extreme like this."

Even if you grant that these people have Lebanese connections, and Lebanon had been relatively peaceful recently, these people KNEW that Israel could start bombing anytime. Instead of trying to catch the first plane out of there, they instead took the "It can't happen to us" route.

Now for the piece de resistance:
"[Monika Esseily] said the U.S. Embassy should have been better prepared for the crisis.

"It's a very insecure country, and other countries as well around this area. The American Embassy should always have a backup evacuation plan. They knew that this was going to happen at least 12 or 24 hours before it did," she said.

Hey Monika, you KNEW it was going to happen 12 to 24 hours before it did. Why didn't YOU try to get out?

There was a line from the movie "Ruthless People" which applies here. To paraphrase: "These may be the stupidest people on the face of the planet."

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Editorial of the day

Thomas Sowell's analysis of the Middle East situation is right on the money. (link here)

Here is a sample:
"Therefore, when Palestinian terrorists ("militants" in politically correct Newspeak) attack Israel and then Israel responds with military force, that is just another "cycle of violence" in the Middle East to some people.

The "cycle" notion suggests that each side is just responding to what the other side does. But just what had Israel done to set off these latest terrorist acts? It voluntarily pulled out of Gaza, after evacuating its own settlers, and left the land to the Palestinian authorities.

Terrorists then used the newly acquired land to launch rockets into Israel and then seized an Israeli soldier. Other terrorists in Lebanon followed suit. The great mantra of the past, "trading land for peace," is now thoroughly discredited, or should be.

Read the whole editorial. (Hat tip to

Monday, July 17, 2006

Quote of the day

Due to the ongoing war in Israel, I have been searching everywhere for this quote. It sums up the whole Palestinian/Israeli situation perfectly:
"Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us." - Golda Meir

People should never take pride in their children's suicide, even if it is in a good cause. Yet, how often do we hear about or see Palestinian parents interviewed who do exactly this horrendous thing? There are few greater evils in the world than this.

On the opposite side of the coin, there was my grandmother, Lucy Elizabeth Bowers, but everyone called her "Mama John" (my grandfather's name was John). My grandmother had 10 children. "Stoic" is a word that comes to mind when I think of her. "Blase" is another word. 10 children will do that to you.

Mama John also had the misfortune of outliving several of her children. I can honestly say the ONLY time I ever saw her cry was at my Uncle John's funeral. And she cried like a baby.

This woman was a rock. Yet the death of just one of her 10 children, one who had lived a normal lifespan, was enough to break her.

I try to imagine under what circumstance would she ever send one of her children off to commit a suicide mission. Short of God Himself telling her to do it, there is no chance it would ever happen. She would send herself first, God bless her soul.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Person of the day: Jean Reno

For those of you not familiar with him, Jean Reno is the guy in the picture above (with Natalie Portman). The scene is from the movie "The Professional" (also called "Léon").

The reason I am naming him my "Person of the day" is because I watched the remake of "The Pink Panther" recently. It was a funny movie, but Reno was miscast horribly as Steve Martin's sidekick.

Reno is the actor Hollywood calls when they want a Frenchman. Which is ironic, since he was actually born in Morocco to Spanish parents. His real name: Don Juan Moreno y Jederique Jimenez.*

To appreciate Reno as an actor, I would recommend the following movies:

1. "The Professional" (aka "Léon"): This is a funny, sweet, and sad film of a Mafia hitman (Reno) who saves a young girl (Natalie Portman) from a crooked DEA agent (Gary Oldman). Reno really shows his acting skills in this one, playing an uneducated, yet highly skilled assassin.

2. "Ronin": So he ends up playing second fiddle to Robert De Niro. Unlike "The Pink Panther", Reno is more than up to the challenge in "Ronin". If you like action films, you will enjoy this one.

3. "Godzilla": I know a lot of people don't like this movie. Personally, I thought it was a lot of fun. In this one, Reno plays a French spy (what else?). The thing to watch for is Reno's Elvis impersonation. Priceless.

*Hat tip to for the biographical information.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Quote(s) of the day

I never said I would NEVER do another "Quote of the day"!

When people lack jobs, opportunity, and ownership of property they have little or no stake in their communities.” - Jack Kemp

That leads us to the inherent flaw with socialism/liberalism.

When government coddles the poor, you allow them to NOT seek jobs or opportunities. One area which the Left fails to address is: Why work if you don't have to work? As for "workfare" programs, why work hard when there is no future in what you are doing?

Property ownership will never happen in poor communities without jobs or opportunities, thereby leaving little or no interest in the community.

When you leave people's success (or failure) to their own ingenuity, you will get more from them than if you get the government to take care of them. Individual success has a snowball effect within a community. When one person succeeds, it is a blueprint for others to succeed as well. When enough people in a community succeed, the entire community prospers.

Certainly there will be failures. But governing to the lowest common denominator sets the bar of expectations low.

"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." - General George S. Patton

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Editorial of the day

I have decided that my "of the day" posts can be anything. In honor of this momentous decision (...there was much rejoicing), I am starting with an editorial of the day.

One of my favorite editorialists is John Stossel, who presents examples of human arrogance and stupidity in all their respective glories. Today, he takes on the government, and their kidney waiting lists, in "An illegal market that could save your life":
"More than 60,000 people whose kidneys have failed are waiting for transplants. Many survive by enduring hours hooked up to dialysis machines. The machines clean their blood, pinch-hitting for diseased kidneys. But they cannot do it as well as a kidney. Dialysis is painful, exhausting and expensive.

So 60,000 Americans pray for a new kidney. Some get them from friends and family. More get them from strangers who die in accidents.

But accidents and altruists don't provide enough kidneys, so on a typical day, 17 people die waiting for kidneys.

...I talked with Steve Rivkin, who joined a waiting list for kidneys when it was "just" 30,000 names long. "I don't think that there's anything wrong with paying money for a kidney transplant," he told me. "I just want a kidney that works!"

Dr. Brian Pereira, former president of the National Kidney Foundation, told me he empathized with Rivkin's need. "The good news," he said, "is that this person can continue on dialysis under the current system, which functions extremely well."

Seventeen deaths per day is a system functioning "extremely well"? When I challenged him about that, he said poor people would be vulnerable to "exploitation" if there were an open market for kidneys.

I found pictures of men from the Philippines who'd exchanged a kidney for just $1,000. They posed on a beach, showing their scars. Such pictures make wealthy Americans say, "These poor people were exploited! They risked their lives for just $1,000."

But what gives us the right to decide for them? No one forced them. They wanted the $1,000 more than they wanted two kidneys. To say the poor are too desperate to resist a dangerous temptation is patronizing. Poor people are entitled to run their own lives, too.

Steve posted an ad online, and soon people from all over the world were calling to sell him a kidney. Pereira says sternly, "That's where we have to step in."

No, doctor, that's where you have to step aside. Like many anointed experts, Dr. Pereira thinks he and others like him -- "the government, the professional societies who help the government make the right policies" -- have to make our decisions for us. But that conceit condemns people to suffer and die -- as Steve Rivkin did.

This is another good example of nanny government. Let us save the poor from themselves, regardless of the death sentence we impose on others. It is ironic that the Left will fight the death penalty imposed on convicted murderers, yet they WILL impose it on people who are guilty of having bad kidneys.

(Hat tip to

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Quote of the day

"Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one." - E.B. White

So always try to think outside the pot.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Quote of the day

A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.” - Robert Heinlein

To know history is to know the mistakes of those who came before us. To understand history is to know why those mistakes happened. Generally speaking, mistakes happen due to our nature.

The ignorance of history is the assumption of mankind's evolution beyond the mistakes made during the entirety of history, including events as recently as our youth. Are we vain enough to believe we can evolve that far in one generation? I would say yes.

How many people in the world deny the Holocaust took place? How many people believe in global warming, when 30 years ago it was supposed to be global cooling? How many Mexicans claim that America stole land from them, completely ignoring the fact the Spanish stole Mexico from the Aztecs?

I would not go so far as Heinlein and say we have no future. Though I will say our future is going to look a lot like our past.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Quote of the day

"When history looks back, I'd rather be judged as solving problems and being correct, rather than being popular." - George W. Bush

That is a good assessment Mr. President.

(Hat tip to

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Quote(s) of the day

Two men were born on this day 60 years ago. Twins? Hardly.

The first one:
I think that gravity sets into everything, including careers, but pendulums do swing and mountains do become valleys after a while... if you keep on walking.” - Sylvester Stallone

(Hat tip to

The second one:
"The wisest use of American strength is to advance freedom." - George W. Bush

These two men have as much in common as these two quotes: Nothing.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Selling your soul for global warming

I know some of you are still NOT convinced global warming is complete b.s.

Maybe John Stossel can convince you? In his editorial today, "A Convenient Lie", Stossel takes on the biggest crock of bull going around today.

Stossel begins with an outstanding point:
"When he was in college, atmospheric-science professor John Christy was told, "it was a certainty that by the year 2000, the world would be starving and out of energy."

That prediction has gone the way of so many others.

Stossel ends with an even better point:
"The fundamentalist doom-mongers ignore scientists who say the effects of global warming may be benign. Harvard astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas says added carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may actually benefit the world because more CO2 helps plants grow. Warmer winters would give farmers a longer harvest season.

Why don't we hear about this part of the global warming argument?

"It's the money!" says Dr. Baliunas. "Twenty-five billion dollars in government funding has been spent since 1990 to research global warming. If scientists and researchers were coming out releasing reports that global warming has little to do with man, and most to do with just how the planet works, there wouldn't be as much money to study it."

And the politicians would have one less excuse to take control of our lives.

Global warming is more big government tripe designed to scare you into selling your soul to the socialist Satan.

Quote of the day

Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” - P.T. Barnum