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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

An analysis of Peyton Manning's pay cut

But first, that silly dog!

Laurie captured this heartwarming moment between Mommy and doggie.

Anyway, Peyton Manning agreed to take a $4 million pay cut to help the team with cap room.  And far be it from me to stand up for a man still making $15 million next season, or approximately 790 times what I will, especially a man whom I have taken great pleasure in pilloring over the years.  But I thought of something quite curious in all this.

Now, it would be easy to justify a pay cut based on what he did last year against what he did the year before.  But the comparison really should be against the contract he had when Denver got him- in other words, is he still meeting the expectations they had when they signed him?

Last year, his completion percentage dropped 2.1%- not all that stiff;  but it only dropped .1% from his last season as a Colt.  Likewise, his passing yards, while plummeting a whopping 750 yards from last year, actually went up 27 yards from the last Colt season of 2010;  his TD passes fell 16 from last year, but UP 6 from 2010; his interceptions went up 5 last year, but fell 2 from 2010;  and his QB rating went down a huge 13.6 last year, but still 9.6 higher than 2010.

Now he had gotten a raise coming to the Broncos-  he went from averaging $18.0 million to $19.2 million. And after a season that he exceeded most of his stats from that original year- he takes a pay cut.   But say that winning is what counts.  In Indy that last year, he went 10-6.  In Denver, he's been 13-3, 13-3, and then "slumped" to 12-4 last year.

So in short, the only thing he's actually done to lose 22% of his pay from when he was first signed is, he got 3 years older.  I think he should sue for age discrimination!

And I still got 11 years before I get to join AARP!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sunday message on delay

170 Let my supplication come before thee: deliver me according to thy word.

171 My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.

172 My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness.

173 Let thine hand help me; for I have chosen thy precepts.

174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my delight.

175 Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me.

176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.

The last stanza of Psalm 119 were an answer to a prayer tonight.  A prayer that wondered how it is my Savior could have chosen me, knowing what a worm I'd be AFTER I was saved.  Knowing it, and stamping paid in full on me anyway.  Again, feeling like trash, again wondering why He would have given me the chances He has.  On my wall is my life verse, 1 Samuel 7:12:

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer,[b] saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’

But instead of seeing all the stones of my life, I looked at all the failings, all the times I yelled at God for some imagined unfairness when I deserve far worse than the worst day I've ever known.   And in response, I was led to Psalm 119, specifically verse 176.

Look at what it says.  A sheep doesn't get lost like any other animal.  The cat eventually comes straggling in; the dog tracks his master 1,000 miles after getting stuck on the back of the wrong truck.  A sheep, when it gets lost, he's LOST.  He failed to listen to the shepherd, followed his munching mouth, the greed of his flesh, and if he was twice as smart as he is, he'd be too dumb by half to find his way back.

He HAS to be found.

I used to think that this verse was contradictory.  He sins, even though he remembers His commandments; and on the basis of that memory, he requests salvation.  But he's a sheep- I'm a sheep.  And sheep do what sheep do- they get lost.  I get lost.  And so I go into this long winded LordyouhavetohelpmeIknowImessedupandI'lldobetternexttimeandpleaseforgivemeforbeing suchastupididiotand... (wow, I didn't get the squiggly line of correction for THAT?)... and all God wants to hear from me is two words.


And He always does.  And Samuel parks another stone behind me.

Thank you, o Lord, for being beyond my understanding.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Boofus Day!

We hereby declare March 2nd Boofus Day, and to celebrate, Scrappy got to take a walk in some of the first halfway decent weather since Pete Carroll thought passing was a good idea!  We started with a march to the trails...

Making friends with a lady Lab along the way.  But that was just the beginning...

He honestly plowed a hole with his nose and peed in it at one point!  Again, just the beginning..


Talk about a suspicious line-up...

Scrappy ran and played harder than he was in a long time, especially with that dog to the right.  She was half-Beagle, and they played u-hump-me, I-hump-u, dancing at each other, running about... Scrappy even got snuck up on, drawing a brief but loud ROW-ROW-ROW!

Speaking of beagles, one of the fun things I set aside for MWN was the latest list of the AKC most popular dogs, and the poor beagle slipped a notch this year to #5.  They got passed by the Bulldog at #4.  Labs remain #1, followed by the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever, and afterwards by Yorkies, Poodles, Boxers, French Bulldogs, and Rottweilers.

And, speaking of dogs, KC and I had 5 more of our hockey teams drop out of the season hunt.  Not surprisingly, when the Polish playoffs started, KC's Katowice team went home.  They collected a 2-46-0 record, getting beat by an average of around 9-2.  Both our Belarussian squads, Lida and Brest, are out without benefit of postseason after combining for a 21-65-20 record.  KC's KHL squad in Niznekamsk had a bit of a comeback in the end, but missed the playoffs with a 17-29-14 mark.  And KC's Asia League entry, the Nippon Paper Cranes from Kushiro, Japan, just missed the postseason despite a 17-16-15 record.

Oh, speaking of KHL playoffs, my Lokomotiv team drew Dynamo Moscow- the Yankees of the KHL- for a second straight year.  Last time, we upset them, and they were the #1 team.  This year, they are just behind Red Army and St Petersburg, and after losing the first game, we have beat them twice- all three games were 2-1.  (OOPS, Moscow won the opener 3-1, my bad.)  In today's game, we missed a game winner on a penalty shot just after the OT started... but my boy Danil Apal'kov netted the game winner 10 1/2 minutes in to put us up two games to one.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Moscow Man Wakes Up to Find His Testicles Stolen

So read the headline in the story that was making news all over Russia yesterday.  Married man meets woman, woman leads him to a steamy sauna... man wakes up sans cell phone, tablet, some money... and two once valuable parts of his anatomy.  But my interest in this MWN-like story has less to do with the story and more with the analogy... Russia, a nation that one day woke up to find its balls missing.

I remember when Boris Yeltsin sat atop the tanks and declared the independence of the Russian Federation.  The USSR crumbled in an unmourned heap of ashes, and at least a dream of western-style freedom washed over a nation tired of being drab, isolated, paranoid.  And we rejoiced with them, because the world's 75-year nightmare was at an end.   Involved in all this was a Yeltsin protege named Boris Nemtsov.  Nemtsov went on to become a mayor of a major city, and later, an arch nemesis of Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin.

Today, on the eve of a major protest against the government's policy in the Ukraine- a protest which had already found its other main leader in "protective" police custody- Nemtsov was gunned down on a public street, right in front of the Kremlin.  Russia of course called the act "provocative" and promised to fully investigate, which I'm sure they will.  And show of hands those who believe Putin will quickly bag a "killer or killers" which will not only show that Russia will bring the bad guys to justice... but as an article suggested, will find a way to suggest it's Nemtsov's own "dirty dealings" that led to the murder.  From Sputnik News:

Committee representative Vladimir Markin confirmed that the investigation is focusing on two charges: illegal transfer of arms and murder.

Set 'em up, knock 'em down.  The old familiar Russian game from the old familiar KGB hand.  Not surprising that Putin had earlier described Nemtsov- as he did many of his powerful foes- as an embezzler, a plutocrat, an "Al Capone."  And wow, look everyone, he was an ARMS DEALER on the side.

And more sanctions will come, the winter will get worse.  The Russian people will look at the bounty they so recently had, and the mean spirited westerners jerking them away.  They will fall back into a drab, isolated, paranoid existence.  And they will see their choices one way or another boiling down to one man.  You know who.

Another article I read speculated on the events of the last year...  that the plan was to seize Crimea, and Ukraine would collapse into an ungovernable, untenable heap which would then be accepted into Putin's Novorussia.  But Ukraine fought back, and now Putin is trapped in a web of sanctions pulling ever tighter, making him ever more desperate as he faces his last days.

Nice article, if you were talking about a western nation.  But this is Russia.  Keep in mind, Russia didn't have democracy RESTORED with Yeltsin.  They never once had democracy- and when you boil it down to the man in the field, their wasn't much difference in being in the KGB's gulags and the Tsar's gulags, other than it got a bit more crowded under Stalin.  If the article's author doesn't grasp Russian history, Putin sure does.  And in the end, Putin is not a "Stalin", as Nemtsov named him.  He is a Peter the Great, an Ivan the Terrible, a Nicholas II- sure of the twin towers of Russia through the ages- the rightness of the ruler, and the serf's need to be ruled.  The Russian people have downtrodden serfdom in their blood, the rule of an autocrat in their veins.    All they needed was a little drabness, isolation, and paranoia to remind them.

And up steps the US of A and the European Union.  For Putin, problem solved.

But, Chris, the Ukraine is still fighting!  He's not getting EVERYTHING he wants.

Yeah, really?  The natural gas Ukraine uses to heat their homes and fuel their industry comes still through Russia.  (See, the EU didn't want to help with that back when we were all buddies, because it might piss off Putin, remember?)  And by next week, Russia is threatening to cut that source off... again.  Just like they do every time the Ukraine gets a little rambunctious.

Leonid Bershidsky over on Bloomberg concluded his very telling article, The Russia That Died With Boris Nemtsov, with these words:

I seriously doubt that Nemtsov's death will invigorate  the anti-Putin protest movement. It is too weak to present a threat. Convincing others of the regime's criminality is a weapon that's too heavy for Russian liberals to heft these days. Still, I cannot help but wonder now what my country would have been like had Yeltsin made a different choice back in 1999. 

Under President Boris Nemtsov, Russia could have been a country where I could have kept living and working. With his death, that unrealized future has died, too.

That unrealized future is Russia's man that woke up to find his balls cut off.  Because freedom has to be a waking thing- and America's on the verge of learning the price of being more than half asleep.

Mikhail Khodorksky, former tycoon opponent of Putin, thinks Putin is a "naked king,"  that  "Russia will have to stand long in agony by the bed of the sick emperor. It will be painful for the population and dangerous for the West." His opinion is not shared by all.  Mikhail Gorbachev, for one, thinks that American opposition to Russia in the Crimea and the Ukraine has pulled us all into a new Cold War, one that could become hot:

"If our country gets involved [in the fighting], it could spark a fire so strong the whole world won't be able to put it out." Gorbachev said.

And the truth of it?  We may never know.  It may be like the end to the Moscow man's story...

The LifeNews video showed a doctor saying that the operation had been carried out by a professional — "by a veterinary doctor at the very least."

Despite the precision of the surgery, the victim ended up in intensive care two days after the chance encounter.

The victim's wife was shown in LifeNews footage crying and saying her husband had told her he was going into hospital for a planned operation, but didn't tell her which hospital.

"Interestingly, the wife of the victim is still convinced that her husband was hospitalized as the result of an operation on his sex organs necessitated by a serious illness," LifeNews observed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Time Machine week 14

Welcome to Time Machine for February 27, 1967- a day so devoid of news, Google led me to this Chicago Tribune article from that day's paper:

Why, of all the articles in that day's paper Google took me here, I don't know.  It must be the mystical power of Ras Tafari....

By the story I read, he's more likely Noah...

Despite that, it was a good week for music- the world got it's first radio tastes of The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever, Mamas and the Papas' Dedicated To The One I Love (both in the top 40), Penny Lane (the a-side of Strawberry Fields, with its own entry), the Royal Guardsmen's Return Of Snoopy And The Red Baron, Martha and the Vandellas' Jimmy Mack, and Harper's Bizarre with The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy).  And on today's show:  the highest charting 6 degrees victim of the new TM; Two more unknown songs... and one by a bunch of little kids; and the return of the man with the most hot 100 songs to never hit the top 40!  Gather the herd, and let's go!

This week, our friendly group of panelists include:  WSAI, Cincinnati; KDWB, Minneapolis; WQAM, Miami; WKBW, Buffalo; WKIX, Raleigh; KJR, Seattle; WMCA, New York; WRKO, Boston; KASH, Eugene OR; our old friends CKLW, Detroit; KFWB, Los Angeles;, and a reeeeeal stretch... KPOI, Honolulu.  One of their unique contributions was their #3- a song by a lady who went by the moniker of France Gall.

As you can see, France Gall was more than just Gallic rudeness.  She was a big hit in her home country, singing what was known as ye-ye music- the French version of "yeah-yeah", like the Beatles.  The song she charted with in Hawaii wasn't released as a single, but was getting airplay anyway.  It was a French-language tribute to the son of the late President Kennedy called Bonsoir, Jon-Jon.  It was written as JFK talking to the boy after his death, and was pretty and sad.

Bonsoir Jon-Jon was one of a record 30 songs that were on the top fives of our 12 panelists.  Thirty-two if you count the two b-sides that were also mentioned on the charts, (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone on the flip of I'm A Believer by the Monkees, and There's No Stopping Us Now on the back of the Supremes' Love Is Here And Now You're Gone.  Another oddball I thought I would mention was the two versions of the song There's A Kind Of Hush that appeared this week.  Most of them were the Herman's Hermits' big hit version... but one was by a group called Gary and the Hornets.  The thing about Gary and the Hornets, though, was...

...they were 7, 11, and 14 years old.  Gary, Steve, and Greg Calvert from Franklin, OH, hit #5 on the (surprise surprise) Cincinnati chart this week.  They later parlayed their "fame" into an appearance on Carson, where they did Devil With A Blue Dress.

Anyway, the shakedown of the thirty songs gives us the following top four:

The Buckinghams pulled 15 points and the #1 from Eugene with Kind Of A Drag, which was #4 nationally as well.

The Turtles racked up 15 points as well, but with the #1s of both Detroit and LA, with Happy Together, which was 39 and rising nationally.

The aforementioned Love Is Here by the Supremes vol. 1 pulled in 22 points and top picks in Miami, Raleigh, and Beantown.

Before I tell you the winner will be mentioned later, I should also say that the 3 songs that got #1 votes but didn't make the final four were:  I've Been Lonely Too Long  by the Young Rascals (Honolulu), Let's Spend The Night Together (although because they agreed with Sullivan that the title was too suggestive, listed it as "Let's Spend IT Together") by the Stones in Seattle, and Ed Ames...

...yes, THAT Ed Ames, with My Cup Runneth Over in (once again) Cincinnati.  And now:  The number one song on the survey is... coming up later!


Unknown song number one comes to us from the good people of Raleigh, who had as their #4 pick a duo from (AGAIN!) Cincinnati who were named Linda Parrish and Patti Valentine, but performed as the Two Of Clubs.

(Google, on the same image page, had a pic of Dick The Bruiser.  Not sure how that ties in, either.)

You have virtually all the facts I could find about them, other than their sweet little tune called Walk Tall:


Next up, the Great Nineties Countdown!  This week we have numbers 20-16:

20- You Were Meant For Me, Jewel, 1996.  Hit #2 pop.  Covered by about everyone.

...I pick a book up and then I turn the sheets down
And then I take a deep breath and a good look around
Put on my pj's and hop into bed
I'm half alive but I feel mostly dead....

19- Man On The Moon, REM, 1992.   A second single from the Andy Kaufman tribute soundtrack, it made #2 alternative/ #30 pop.

Now, Andy did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

18- Zombie, The Cranberries, 1994.  A heartfelt telling of the war in Northern Ireland from a mother's point of view.  #1 alt, 22 pop.

It's the same old theme since 1916
In your head, in your head they're still fighting,
With their tanks and their bombs,And their bombs and their guns
In your head, in your head, they are dying...

17- Fade Into You, Mazzy Star, 1994.  This is THE most mellow lp I ever listened to.  Took 15 points off my blood pressure all by itself.  #44 pop, #3 alt.

Some kind of night into your darkness
Colors your eyes with what's not there.

Fade into you
Strange you never knew
Fade into you
I think it's strange you never knew....

16- Till I Hear It From You, Gin Blossoms, 1995.  One more time for these boys, with a tune that hit #5 alt and #11 pop.

Still thinking about not living without it
Outside looking in
Til we're talking about it, not stepping around it....


Our second unknown was a bit more well known than the first- it was on Cashbox at 57 this week, headed for an eventual peak near #36.  It was the #3 on both Miami and Eugene, and it came from a group called the Mojo Men.  They were a San Fran outfit headlined by one Jim Alaimo- the brother of Steve Alaimo, who hit the hot 100 nine times from 1962-72 without getting any higher than #46- a record for top 40 futility.  Both brothers had been members of a band called the Redcoats (should have been here last week with the Sons Of Liberty, lol), who were the backing band for several acts during Dick Clark's Caravan of Stars tour in '67.  The Mojo Men got their first start with a little help from the producer who would become better known as Sly Stone.  Sly grafted himself onto the band ( Sly and the Mojo Men, no lie), but the guys didn't like any of the songs he was in on, and scrapped it.  By themselves, they took this song into the national top 40:

(Yeah, I know, this is FAR from what I was figuring on from "Mojo Men", but it ain't half bad...)


Our six degrees is as always based on the song that sat highest nationally that got no votes from the panel... and with 30/32 songs to choose from, you'd think this would be a fairly low down in the "do I know this?" end of the chart... put it is actually the highest charting 6D we've ever had!  And it starts... with Roger Miller.

Now after his big hit, Roger's song was answered by a lovely yet unrelated singer named Jody Miller.  Her response ended up being her biggest hit, Queen Of The House.  Among her other resume points was a good showing at the San Remo (Italy) music festival with a song that would one day become, in English, Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.  Another chart hit for her- though not a big one, peaking at #54- was a song made more famous later by Linda Ronstadt, Silver Threads And Golden Needles.  This tune was first charted by a UK outfit called the Springfields, and it was the first UK hit ever to chart on the Billboard top 20, back in 1962.  Hmm, Springfields, where has that come up before... Oh, of course, they were composed mainly of Dusty Springfield and her brother Tom.  But Tom's main fame was as a writer for a more well-known band... Judith Durham and the Seekers, who were sitting with Tom's composition Georgy Girl at #2 this week- the highest song on the charts that didn't get a vote from the panel in our history!


And now, the shuffle ten!

At number ten, a big hit in Canada- which was cool, because I listened to CKLW back then-  Lighthouse, in their second trip to the ten, with their big hit One Fine Morning.  #2 in Canada, #24 here, in 1971.

Chicago also claims their second trip to the shuffle ten.  Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is, a #7 in 1970, rests at #9 this week.

Reaching WAAAAAAY back to 1955, the Four Aces are at #8 with Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, which they topped the charts with.

At number seven is a song I discovered while researching other things.  It's from Poco's 1975 lp Head Over Heels, an unreleased cut called Down In The Quarter. If you have the time, it's well worth a listen.

The Righteous Brothers also claim their second shuffle ten song- this time, they have their 1965 #4 Unchained Melody- yes, the "Ghost" song- at number six.

Longtime followers have heard about this one before, I discovered it in the midst of a long, convoluted trail first told way back in Volume one week 30, or in laymen's terms, here.  I discovered it in amazement to learn that once upon a time, Rick (Super Freak) James and Neil Young were in a band together, called the Mynah Birds.  The song itself was about to be released as a single in 1966- just before Rick got arrested for going AWOL- but got pulled and didn't see the light of day again for almost 40 years!  It's called It's My Time, and you can click on the link and scroll down for the story and the video.  And... it's our #5 today.

Ronnie Milsap's country crossover from 1981, There's No Getting Over Me- #5 pop and numero uno country- sits at #4.

Yet another of those songs that got drastically cut airplay because of certain lyrics- not sure if it was "We made love to bombs bursting in air..." or, "I said, Hi, she said, "Yeah, I guess I am..." "- but I heard it way after the fact and fell in love with it.  Oh, it's called Ariel, it's by Jersey boy Dean Freidman, and it topped out at #26 back in 1977, and it's at #3.

Anne Murray flies in for the first time with her 1970 #8 Snowbird (apropos, no?) in the runner up spot.

And, the number ones this week?

Survey says....

The Stones and Ruby Tuesday!!!!!!  Amazingly, this was the b-side of Let's Spend "IT" Together, but we know how THAT turned out...

And shuffle says...

... The Alan Parsons Project with Damned If I Do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From the lp Eve, this was probably the first time most people heard them and it climbed to #27 in 1979.

And that is a wrap for this week, kids!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Is this stuff contagious?

Normally I would vent about stupidity on a Martin World News post, but this isn't all "world news", so I'll do it here.

First up, a blog I was visiting (You know who you are, lol) had as the day's post a question involving if you could hypnotise someone for one day, who would it be.  And right before I had a chance to comment, another commenter came up with a liberal classic- he wanted to hypnotise a group of conservatives and ask them "Why they really hate Obama."

I gave a polite response, and warned my lovely host, but here in the privacy of my living room, I have this to say:

What an ass-wipe.

I am sick to death of liberals who cannot conceive that someone might possibly have a world view they don't agree with.  If I hate Obama, I MUST be racist.  Or I have been deluded by FoxNews.  Never mind that I have had my share of black friends, never mind that my political orientation was formed LONG before there was a FoxNews.  Never mind that in my heart of hearts, I believe that Obama and his associates' conception of what is good for America is fundamentally flawed.

So to him, I say, go ahead, hypnotise me.  Maybe you'll find out there are more genuine opinions about politics and life than your own- if you have the wherewithal to cope with that.

The next thing I found completely raving stupid today... well, here, read this paragraph from The Independent:

The leader of a right-wing volunteering organisation in India has accused Mother Teresa of only seeking to help poor people in order to “convert those she served to Christianity”.

This is sad on so many levels.  Let me try to help this person and her ilk to understand.

Mother Teresa is a NUN.  That means she is a member of a religious order of the Catholic Church, and thus a Christian.

That means that, in her world view, it would be a waste of her time to FEED people in this world if they are GOING TO HELL in the next anyway.

You don't have to agree with the Catholic Church, God, heaven and hell, or anything else to grasp the if-then logic here:  If she is a Christian, yes the goal is to save souls.

Okay, a third and less controversial rant:  I get my secondary news (such as this last gem) from an aggregator called News360 (yes, I've mentioned this before).  Now, it spreads a pretty wide net, but has an option where you can dislike a story and theoretically see less stories like them.  It does work, to an extent; and in a recent revamp, they've also given the option to tell them why you don't like the story.  It normally gives you four choices on this option- one is usually the news source itself, another the main person involved, and the other two one of the subjects "tagged" for the article.  Unfortunately, I have had a hard time convincing News 360 that I do not consider celebrity or entertainment news as "top stories."  So today, I notice an article about the latest news on The Bachelor, and thought, here's yet another opportunity to school them on my thoughts about celebrity stuff.  I clicked the thumbs down; I clicked the "tell us why" button.  My choices came up:

You Don't Like:

-Los Angeles
-United States Of America

And perhaps there is a reason, had I read the article I didn't want to see, that those would be perfectly logical reasons why I didn't like the article on The Bachelor.  What I was hoping for was more along the lines of "really stupid reality shows".

I'm hoping News360's next upgrade includes an "other" button.

Finally, I received a spam comment that tells me my continued admonitions to the population of Benin about getting keyboards where the keys don't stick are falling on deaf ears:

Hello myy loced one! I wish to say that this post is amazing, nice written and come with almost all important infos.
I'd likie to see more posts like this .

Sttop bby my site: earth4energy review () 

"...I'd likie to see..."  sounds like the Beninese are learning English from the Mexicans at my old job...

NOTE:  My red squiggly line quickly let me know that in the above, I had typed "Eniglish" rather than "English" at first.  Hmm, I thought.  Eniglish- "enigma English".

I almost left it in.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Martin World News

Well, I have to say I was a bit disappointed in the ranks of the stupidly funny this week.  Not a lot to choose from... but, we shall troop on.

ITEM: I should leave a story like this to my friend Gossip Girl, who is much more versed in this level of hillbilly technology, but I couldn't resist.  From the Knoxville, TN, PD's Facebook Page:

Knoxville Police Department
Blinded by the Light...NOT!

Flashlights are NOT Headlights!

Flashlights are great for providing light at night, but not as vehicle headlights!

A Sweetwater resident was stopped not once, but twice in an eighteen hour period for driving his vehicle after dark while only using flashlights to light up the roadway. The motorist had strapped flashlights onto his bumper with a bungee cord. The motorist was first stopped at approximately 2:00 a.m. on February 2, 2015, in East Knoxville. The same vehicle was stopped by another officer at approximately 8:00 p.m. on the same day in North Knoxville. In both traffic stops the driver was cited for Improper Headlights, Violation of the State Registration Law, and Driving Without Insurance. 

Bungee-cording two flashlights to the front bumper of a vehicle is not acceptable as proper headlights and is very dangerous to the driver and other vehicles sharing the road.

Now, before you think about what a nitwit this guy was, keep these noted in mind:  1- The police OBVIOUSLY let this guy go at least once. 2- They allowed him to drive without insurance- in Indiana, don't we get the car IMPOUNDED?  It might be a great post about safety, but doesn't say much about the local constabulary...

ITEM:  Next up, Remember Indian PM Modi and his amazing suit that was pinstriped with microscopic repeats of his own name?  Well, I think he got his money back out of it...

An Indian diamond trader has agreed to pay 43.1m rupees ($690,000; £450,000) for a suit worn by PM Narendra Modi.  Winning bidder Hitesh Patel told BBC Hindi: "We will keep the suit at our factory and it will be a source of inspiration."

Critics attacked Mr Modi when it was revealed the suit was decorated with pinstripes spelling out his name.  He auctioned it along with hundreds of gifts he has received, vowing to use the money to clean the river Ganges.

Mr Patel said he entered the winning bid on behalf of his father Lavji, the owner of Dharmanandan Diamonds, a company with a annual turnover of $900m.  A rival bid for 50m rupees was rejected after narrowly missing the deadline of 17:00 (12:30 GMT).

No word on whether Hosni Mubarek is going to donate his suit to the Clean The Nile Fund.

But, speaking of clothes...

ITEM:  Canadian MP Pat Martin (No relation, I swear) had to hurredly leave during a one-by-one vote- because his underwear was too tight.

Mr Martin drew applause and laughter from the chamber when he explained his temporary absence.

"They had men's underwear on for half price and I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me. I find it difficult to sit for any length of time."

The speaker of the house said he initially ordered Mr Martin to sit back down when he wanted to leave.

"I did not understand his explanation at the time and I am not sure I understand it now", he said.

Thank God it was a male MP.  Can you imagine a woman MP having this problem?  "Sources say the MP was tight-lipped on the subject..."

ITEM:  There's one in every Parliament, it seems.  This one is in the UK, but his target was Vladimir Putin:

An alien-obsessed councillor has claimed that Russia's President Vladimir Putin is being advised on the conflict in Ukraine by a race of of reptiles from outer space.  Serial sky-watcher Simon Parkes is adamant that recent hostilities in Eastern Europe can be put down to extraterrestrial intervention.

Specifically, he blames a group of alien reptiles he calls the Nordics for President Putin’s aggression in Ukraine.

Coun Parkes, who has previously laid claim to having ‘hundreds’ of alien encounters, was speaking to an audience of around 30 people in Wallsend, North Tyneside.

The North Yorkshire councillor, who represents Stakesby in Whitby, said the Nordics were supporting Putin against perceived American influences in the area.  He said: “Putin had been part of a group advised by reptiles. Nordics made a counter offer to Putin.

“The technology the Nordics are giving to Putin is on a par with America.  The Nordics have told Putin he no longer has to toe the American line, hence his resistance.”

He also told the audience at The Vault that, in the eyes of universal law, his legal father is a reptile.

Y'know, I'm surprised it was Putin he "outed", and not our friend, London Mayor and half-American Boris Johnson.

ITEM:  Book of lists, part one:  Gallup polled people around the country about whether employers in their state were hiring or firing, and used the difference betwixt as the indicator of "States with best hiring climates."  Here are your top five for getting you hired...

North Dakota

Indiana came in 14th here, and a quick look shows that the states from the old Big Ten (not including Rutgers and Maryland) all finished in the top 15- except for (surprise surprise) Illinois. which chimed in at #23.   The bottom five:

New Mexico
West Virginia

ITEM:  Book of lists, part two: In the UK (The Mirror is a usually great source for fun stuff), Diet Coke asked 1,000 women what their greatest regrets in life were.  The top ten:

Not trying hard enough in school, 34% (obviously didn't talk to my daughter... or her mom, in fact)
Not losing weight on their diet, 34%
Choosing the wrong career path, 32%
Not getting on the "property ladder" 22%
An unwise one-night stand, 21%
Not being spontaneous, 20%
Not being a good enough friend, 20%
Not being a better daughter, 18 %
Not being impulsive enough, 18%  (didn't this get covered in "spontaneous"?  Or "One night stand", for that matter?)
annnnnnd... Not travelling before starting a family, 13%

So that got me wondering if anyone had asked the guys this question.  And I found several of these surveys, and I just took the first one, on AskMen.  Yer top ten:

Not going after the hot girl
Not spending enough time with Dad
Ignoring health (jeez, they struck Martins there!)
Being a workaholic (sure didn't hit many there, though)
Not sleeping with all willing parties (wow, I would have thought "not finding any willing parties might have been bigger...)
Getting married too soon
Not splurging on a Badass car (I would think for most of us, you'd have to have "Making more money" on the list before this one came into play)
Not getting into a fight (WTH?  I was in a fight once.  Did me no favors.  Yes, I like how I look with a black eye and concussion, thank you)
Not staying in touch with friends
Annnnnd... not playing a team sport.

I think maybe I shoulda went with the next site....

ITEM: Out of the 46 international teams KC and I are following this season, the first ones out belong to me.  This would be the Debrecen team of the MOL Liga (Hungary and a couple others).  Debrecen
finished fifth of 8 at 16-19-7, and then got a quick bounce from the playoffs 2 games to one.  The team that beat them played KC's team, Miskolci- who swept them away in a 4-0 series.  Miskolci now awaits the other semi-final winner for the championship, which begins sometime in March.

ITEM:  Finally, a little bathroom "humor":

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A man who was thrown out of a Rhode Island bathroom by an explosion was able to walk away with only a bruised knee.
Jeffery Oppenheim said he was visiting friend Andrew Pessin in Providence on Sunday when an explosion threw him out of the home's bathroom.

"It happened in an instant like getting hit by a cannon," he told WLNE-TV.

Pessin was in the kitchen with his sons, ages 9, 7 and 5, at the time of the blast.

"I was in the kitchen with my kids and immediately smelled the burning smell and we just picked them all up and ran out of the house," he said.

Pessin said he went back inside the home for the boys' coats and shoes.

Oppenheim said he suffered only a bruised knee from the incident.

"I'm just very grateful it was me in there and not one of the Pessin children who are little. They could have gotten killed," he said.

The cause of the explosion was unclear Monday.

Another lesson learned about eating at Taco Bell...