Friday, October 17, 2008

October Surprise

Ok - if you thought "October Surprise" was a lead in to another political rant - not to worry - but for my Republican friends out there that might not be able to bear it - I warn you now - there's a picture of me with a giant cupcake AND I'm wearing an Obama shirt. Blasphemy!

My wife clearly thinks I'm dumb. (As do several of the aforementioned Republican friends apparently) She sent me away on my birthday to go hiking with Kenny since she had to "work". And before I left I had to pretend not to notice the 12 lbs of chicken in the fridge. When I returned home she was still at work. A cupcake oven sheet was in the dish rack. There were no cupcakes to be found in the house. I also had to be oblivious to the well wishes of her sweet Aunt Miche who the night before told me to "enjoy all of your birthday surprises". Keeping secrets is not easy except for my cartoon counterpart as evidenced below - Meez was sneaking around inviting anyone within a 100 mile radius to the cupcake party. I'm not a fan of surprises so when I pulled up to Ma-Le's work and I saw 20 cars where there are usually 1 or 2 my suspicions were confirmed. This is where I would find the missing cupcakes. I drove around back. Called Ma-Le and told her someone had rear ended the new car. Then snuck in the back door while everyone was looking out the front. I caught hell for this later and Ma-Le demanded that I should have at least acted surprised. I thought it was funny. So thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes, food and the gifts and all of the sweet gestures. Including the following birthday cards from Jack and Josie (of Munky Diper fame)

Thanks to my sweet wife Ma-Le who spent the better part of a month working on the party. Although she brought out the game Twister - apparently in Ecuador they're not aloud to mix genders. So somewhere out there someone has pictures that I might need before I run for President.

And thanks to Sheila for the GIANT CUPCAKE maker. It's fantastic.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Did CNN Steal My Intellectual Property?

A few days after the Vice Presidential debates I spoke out regarding the use of the word Maverick in the Presidential campaign. (Maverick: How to Brand Yourself) A post the irked a few of you and delighted even more. CNN has seemingly picked up on my post - check it out.

I knew I should have bought Intellectual Property Insurance.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Dolphin Heads! - Get Your Dolphin Heads!

Why is it you can go to just about any tacky gift shop in Florida and get an Alligator head but for some reason I've never seen Dolphin heads for purchase?

They're all real. We spotted these in a gift shop that lured Ma-Le in with "Free Freshly Squeezed Juice!" They were out of juice but had plenty of dead gator heads.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Maverick - How to Brand Yourself

When I hear the word "Maverick" the image of of James Garner from the old western comedy has been seared into my brain. The word is brandished about these days and now firmly affixed to Presidential Candidate John McCain by his own doing. And now running mate Sarah Palin has placed herself on the "Team of Mavericks". But I never gave much thought to what the word actually means.

Webster's Dictionary offers the two definitions:
  1. an unbranded range animal ; especially : a motherless calf
  2. an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

I find this interesting for two reasons - We don't know in fact if either are without brands and to call yourself a "Team of Mavericks" is like calling yourself a "Team of Loners".

But most interesting is the third thing which I failed to mention existed when I said "two reasons" just one sentence ago - and that is the etymology of Maverick. Apparently it refers to 19th century American pioneer and rancher Samuel A. Maverick who made the bold decision not to brand his cattle's flesh and thereby not providing a way to separate his cattle from others. Ranchers called him a Maverick for doing so - or maybe they were just referring to him by name. It would have been later that lazy ranchers who didn't brand their cattle were called out for "pulling a Maverick". In fact Maverick didn't brand his cattle because he simply wasn't interested in doing so.

John McCain has labeled himself a maverick, a rebel, one who does not go along with one group. You have to be careful with how you brand yourself. That stuff doesn't come off.

I'd much prefer a leader who can lead any herd rather than the lone calf in the wilderness.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Change We Need - Climate Change

Apparently Governor Sarah Palin believes the "Change We Need" is climate change. Up until just a few weeks ago she was insistent that climate change was not caused by man. Suddenly she believes than "man" may be the cause, but doesn't want to argue about the causes. She just wants to make nonsensical blather that provides a glimpse of her cluelessness when it comes to environmental issues. I suppose it's hard to suggest moving away from fossil fuels and promoting alternative, renewable resources when you're addicted to oil. And if you admit burning fossil fuels causes climate change.....

The following is an excerpt taken directly from the transcript of the Vice-Presidential debates. I have changed nothing

IFILL: Governor, I'm happy to talk to you in this next section about energy issues. Let's talk about climate change. What is true and what is false about what we have heard, read, discussed, debated about the causes of climate change?

PALIN: Yes. Well, as the nation's only Arctic state and being the governor of that state, Alaska feels and sees impacts of climate change more so than any other state. And we know that it's real.
I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.
But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don't want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?
We have got to clean up this planet. We have got to encourage other nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that."

Does Palin actually makes sense to anyone? She sounds like Miss Teen South Carolina.

BIDEN: Well, I think it is manmade. I think it's clearly manmade. And, look, this probably explains the biggest fundamental difference between John McCain and Barack Obama and Sarah Palin and Joe Biden -- Gov. Palin and Joe Biden.

If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution.

Heck Joe - I'm glad you heard me screaming at the gosh darn TV. You took a few of the words right out of my head.

6th Florida Panther Killed on Road

"A two- to three-month-old female panther was struck by a vehicle and killed in Everglades National Park on Monday night.The incident occurred at 10:15 just before the park’s entrance station, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The body was collected by a Park Service ranger and transferred to the Naples FWC office late this afternoon. It will remain until a necropsy can be preformed.

The person who hit the panther noticed the mother standing by, but didn’t see any other kittens. The kitten who was killed did not have a kinked tail or cowlick.This is the 15th panther death this year, six of which have been killed on the roadways, FWC reported."

-Fort Myers News-Press, September 30th, 2008


The park entrance in question is the main entrance which brings you to the famous Anhinga Trail, Mahogany Hammock Trail as well as the small town of Flamingo at the southern end of the park. The park stays open to accommodate the campgrounds but the road to Flamingo is long - 39 miles - and no doubt people speed on the 35 MPH road. I don't know if that's the case here, but either way - one more Endangered Florida Panther is dead.

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