Ramblings & ephemera

A wallet returned after 60+ years

From KOMU’s “Sarah’s Stories – Wallet Memories” (KOMU: 4 January 2007): MEXICO [Misouri] – A local resident enjoyed an early, unexpected Christmas present. Ray Heilwagen, an 83-year-old World War II veteran, has a story that stretches from France to his front lawn. … During war, a wallet can be a soldier’s most prized pocession, full […]

Who would ever think that it was a good idea?

Image via Wikipedia Read this article about Paul Krassner’s experiences with the Manson Family & note the emphasis I’ve added – is this not the greatest sentence out of nowhere you’ve ever seen? How in the world did that ever seem like a good idea? From Paul Krassner’s “My Acid Trip with Squeaky Fromme” (The […]

To solve a problem, you first have to figure out the problem

From Russell L. Ackoff & Daniel Greenberg’s Turning Learning Right Side Up: Putting Education Back on Track (2008): A classic story illustrates very well the potential cost of placing a problem in a disciplinary box. It involves a multistoried office building in New York. Occupants began complaining about the poor elevator service provided in the […]

Denise-ism #601

Denise is talking to our class about how people are slowly giving up their civil liberties, a bit at a time: “It’s like the story about how you gradually turn the heat up on a pot of water and slowly boil the lobster!” (Hint: she meant frog.)

Scott-words #17

“You’ve been hoist by your own retard.”

Denise-ism #37

Denise & I are in the car, talking about her friend Scott E., when her cell phone rings. It’s Scott E.! Denise: “Scott! We were just talking about you! Your ears must have been ringing!”

My late May, 2004

From the email archives: On Sunday 30 May 2004 11:32 pm, Jerry Hubbard wrote: > How is everyone? Hope the storms did not harm anyone. My basement flooded twice, my tenant’s kitchen had water streaming in through the window frame, our backyard fence was blown down, the umbrella on our deck was blown off the […]

Dead five years before he was discovered

From Reuters’s “Body found in bed 5 years after death” (4 October 2006): Austrian authorities have discovered the body of a man who apparently died at home in bed five years ago, a Vienna newspaper reported on Wednesday. The corpse of Franz Riedl, thought to have been in his late 80s when he died, went […]

Weldon Kees, polymath

From The New Yorker‘s “The Disappearing Poet” (4 July 2005): [Weldon] Kees himself was toiling on a script, a spy thriller called “Gadabout” … Kees was introduced as “Mr. Weldon Kees, poet, painter, artist, etcetera, composer, critic, etcetera, etcetera, ad infinitum.”

Dead for 3 years

From The Telegraph‘s “Skeleton woman’ dead in front of TV for years“: A woman’s skeleton was discovered in her flat three years after she is believed to have died, it emerged today. Joyce Vincent was surrounded by Christmas presents and the television and heating in her bedsit were still on. The 40-year-old’s body was so […]

Don’t fly where we won’t tell you not to fly

From Bruce Schneier’s “The Silliness of Secrecy“, quoting The Wall Street Journal: Ever since Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government has advised airplane pilots against flying near 100 nuclear power plants around the country or they will be forced down by fighter jets. But pilots say there’s a hitch in the instructions: aviation security officials […]

The last remaining Stone Age tribesmen

From “Stone Age tribe kills fishermen“: ONE of the world’s last Stone Age tribes has murdered two fishermen whose boat drifted on to a desert island in the Indian Ocean. The Sentinelese, thought to number between 50 and 200, have rebuffed all contact with the modern world, firing a shower of arrows at anyone who […]

1,000,000 miles in 30 days

From MSNBC’s “Very, very frequent flyer hits 1 million goal“: On his blog “The Great Canadian Mileage Run 2005,” [Marc] Tacchi reported on Wednesday that he had racked up 1,003,625 mileage points and spent 56 of the last 61 days in an airplane. … The 30-year-old embarked on his venture using Air Canada’s North America […]

The late great Hungry Buddha

This was written 15 January 2002, & the Hungry Buddha is gone now, but this is still an interesting description. Just got back from lunch at the Hungry Buddha. Man, that was good. It’s a small place on Washington Street in downtown St. Louis. There are signs all along the walls: “Buddha would bus his […]

Hulk, Willie, or Peter?

From The Sun: SHOCKED six-year-old Leah Lowland checked out a mystery bulge on her Incredible Hulk doll — and uncovered a giant green WILLY. Curious Leah noticed a lump after winning the monster, catchphrase “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry,” at a seaside fair. And when she peeled off the green comic-book character’s ripped […]

Now that is one good insult

From Yahoo! News (March 2004): Andy Rooney certainly knows how to stir the passion in his viewers. The ’60 Minutes’ curmudgeon said Sunday he got 30,000 pieces of mail and e-mail in response to his Feb. 22 commentary, in which he called ‘The Passion of the Christ’ filmmaker Mel Gibson a ‘wacko.’ It’s the biggest […]

Best entertainment news headline ever

From Yahoo! News (March 2004): Zombies Push Jesus from Top of North American Box Office

A horrid legal conundrum

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A convicted murderer being held in Atlanta is refusing to sign a waiver the district attorney says it needs to release the remains of an 8-year-old East Texas boy. Without the waiver, the family of Chad Choice cannot hold a funeral, although the boy was killed more than a decade ago. […]

Greatest last line ever

From CNN: Customs officials opened his suitcase and a bird of paradise flew out but that was nothing compared to what they found in his pants — a pair of pygmy monkeys. Californian Robert Cusack has been sentenced to 57 days in jail for trying to smuggle the monkeys, a total of four exotic birds […]

Denise-ism #890

Denise Lieberman, 15 November 2001: “I’m up to my earballs with work!”