Archive for ◊ June, 2007 ◊

Charity in the United States
Saturday, June 30th, 2007 | Author:

An interesting story in the Associated Press about charitable giving in the US:

Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, setting a new record…  Americans give twice as much as the next most charitable country, according to a November 2006 comparison done by the Charities Aid Foundation. In philanthropic giving as a percentage of gross domestic product, the U.S. ranked first at 1.7 percent. No. 2 Britain gave 0.73 percent, while France, with a 0.14 percent rate.

What do you think this says about the “American heart”?

Vacuum Cleaner Salesman
Friday, June 29th, 2007 | Author:

A woman answered a knock on the door, only to be confronted by a well-dressed young man carrying a vacuum cleaner.

“Good morning,” said the young man. “If I could take a couple of Minutes of your time, I would like to demonstrate the very latest in high-powered vacuum cleaners.”

“Go away!” the woman said. “I haven’t got any money! I’m broke!” and proceeded to close the door.

Quick as a flash, the young man wedged his foot in the door and pushed wide open. “Don’t be too hasty!” he said. “Not until you have at Least seen my demonstration.”

And with that, he emptied a bucket of horse manure on to the woman’s hallway carpet. “If this vacuum cleaner does not remove all traces of this horse manure from your carpet, Madam, I will personally eat the remainder.”

The woman stepped back and said, “Well I hope you’ve got a good appetite, because they cut off my electricity this morning… What part of broke do you not understand?”

Courtesy of Mark Clower

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
Visit to San Diego
Friday, June 29th, 2007 | Author:

I’ve just returned from a 3-day business trip to San Diego, and I must admit the weather was outstanding.  In classic San Diego style, each morning starts out overcast and foggy.  By 10:00am all of the clouds and fog are gone and you end up with sunny skies and 78 degrees… You can see the view from my hotel room below.


My one letdown with San Diego were the fish restaurants along the harbor.  I ate at three different “up scale” fish restaurants during my visit and each meal was a disappointment.  On top of that, the prices for fish were absolutely ridiculous — $41 for salmon?

Category: Business  | Leave a Comment
Escape from Nazi Death Camp
Thursday, June 28th, 2007 | Author:

An interesting story appeared recently in the UK Independent about Alfred Wetzler.  Wetzler escaped from Auschwitz and took evidence with him that provided the basis for saving thousands of lives:

A dramatic first-hand account of how a prisoner managed to escape from Nazi Germany’s most notorious death camp and help save more than 120,000 Jews from slaughter is to be told for the first time to an English-speaking audience…

It was in the spring of 1944, with the assistance of other prisoners, that the pair managed to escape…  The two men had also smuggled out damning evidence – a ground plan of the camp, construction details of the gas chambers, crematoriums and, most convincingly, a label from a canister of Zyklon gas.

The dossier, later known as the Auschwitz Protocol, was telegrammed to Churchill when the pair finally made it back to Slovakia. The evidence eventually led to the bombing of several government buildings in Hungary, killing Nazi officials who were instrumental in the railway deportations of Jews to Auschwitz.

Category: General  | One Comment
Never Again?
Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 | Author:

From comes this view:


Category: General  | One Comment
You Might be Trailer Trash
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 | Author:

You Might be Trailer Trash, if..

1. The Halloween pumpkin on your front porch has more teeth than your spouse.

2. You let your 12-year-old daughter smoke at the dinner table in front of her kids.

3. You’ve been married three times and still have the same in-laws.

4. You think a woman who is “out of your league” bowls on a different night.

5. Jack Daniels makes your list of “Most Admired People.”

6. You think that Dom Perignon is a Mafia leader.

7. The re-sale value of your truck goes up and down, depending on how much gas it has in it.

8. You need one more hole punched in your card to get a freebie at the House of Tattoos.

9. You think loading the dishwasher means getting your wife drunk.

10. Your school fight song is “Dueling Banjos”.

Category: Humor  | Leave a Comment
Catholic Priests Trolling Here?
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 | Author:

I recently performed a cursory review of some of the visitors to my blog, and I came across this interesting visitor… as you can see from the screen capture, a user from the St Joan of Arc Catholic Church performed a Google search on “topless beaches” to get to this blog site.


Category: Humor, Politics  | One Comment
My Family Garden
Monday, June 25th, 2007 | Author:

Since the time my mother made me stay home at age 10 and clean out the flower beds, I developed an affinity for gardening (naturally, I prefer the fancier description: horticulturist).  This year, son Leonard has taken an interest in gardening with a focus on hot peppers.  We started the season in April when we planted the jalapenos and tabasco seeds in our indoor “greenhouse”.  Our back deck is now starting to look like we’re pepper farmers.  I’m not sure what we’re going to do with our massive production of hot peppers… In addition to a large perennial and annual flower garden, we’re also growing grapes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, tomatoes, etc.

I like to come home from work and putz around my gardens, pruning the plants, training them to grow up the trellis, or removing dead blooms.  Missy recently asked my why I was pinching off the dead flowers and I had to explain the concept of “deadheading” (not to be confused with fans of the Grateful Dead).  This is the process of removing the dead flowers to encourage the plant to continue to produce more blooms.

sokgarden.JPG sokgarden2.JPG

Category: General  | Leave a Comment
Interesting Facts About Einstein
Monday, June 25th, 2007 | Author:

The Neatorama site has an interesting article covering “10 Strange Facts about Albert Einstein”.  For example, did you know that Einstein failed his entrance exam for the Swiss Federal Polytechnical College?… or did you know that Einstein was a ladies man, and had six girlfriends during his second marriage?


Category: Engineering  | Leave a Comment
He Talk Like a White Boy
Sunday, June 24th, 2007 | Author:

An interesting article from La Shawn Barber about Joseph C. Phillips, a black man who grew up trying to be an American but was unable to escape the stereotypes of black culture.  La Shawn doesn’t mention it, but where I grew up, people would have referred to Phillips as an ‘Oreo cookie‘ — black on the outside but white on the inside.  Phillips has captured his experiences in a semi-autobiographical piece called “He Talk Like a White Boy

Phillips comments on the black community emphasis on sports over academics. “Doing well in school and reading books become anti-black, joining the debate club instead of the basketball team is anti-black as well.”  Interestingly, a movie that focused on the same theme was “Coach Carter“, starring Samuel L. Jackson.   In the movie, the coach of the high school basketball team cancels games until the student-athletes meet minimum grade point average.  Coach Carter gets into a dispute with the black school administrator, when she exclaims that playing high school basketball will be the highlight of their lives.  Carter, responds that the kids should be leveraging basketball as a means to get a college education.

Category: Politics  | Leave a Comment