Follow by Email

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


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Iceman cometh

When we got up this morning, the weather radio said it was minus -16.  My gauge read just south of -10.  Two hours later, I'm happy to say we are at a whopping -3.6. (-19.7 C, or 253.3 K).  It's so cold Blogger's having save problems (oh wait, that happens pretty much all the time).  So I've been reading everybody's blogs trolling for ideas and wondering what to talk about.

First, how about this year's AtoZ blogging challenge?  For those who don't play (which includes me), you register over on Arlee Bird's blog, come up with a theme, and then every non-Sunday in April you do a post on the theme using the letters of the alphabet.  Now, I never do this because I can't spell I don't like to be limited in subject matter, usually don't post on Thursday because I'm busy typing up Time Machine, and because of Time Machine, which I would be hard pressed to wrap around D, J, O, and T posts.  But I do enjoy those who make the efforts, especially the contortions that Al Penwasser has done to get his.

Second, how about that weather.  I've been listening to people from Texas complaining that they might get freezing rain or-gasp- snow!  (Just kidding, no curses please.)  Our snow is now ice.  Yesterday Scrappy's first two bathroom trips were a) after breakfast- outside, poop immediately with no turning of circles, come straight in; b) after dinner some 9 hours later, outside, pee immediately, come back in.  Now this morning, he actually managed a few sniffs and a couple circles; but when he squatted, the first turd said, "Screw this" and went back in, and he was forced to make a second circle before successfully completing the job.

Next up, our esteemed meteorologist Greg Shoup tweeted a site that will figure your Twitter stats, and you know me and stats.  (At least, most of you do.)  So I tried it and found out I'm ranked 114,519,718th on Twitter.  Now as of the start of the year, there were allegedly 645,750,000 active tweeters, but it said that only about 60% actually do more than watch tweets.  So subtract the lurkers and you get...uhmm... 387,450,000.  Which means I'm actually ahead of about 30% of tweeters... But with only 15 followers, who cares?

I didn't find enough stuff for a Martin World News post, but I did find some interesting (maybe) tidbits.  For example, a British survey by Oxfam International ranked the best and worst places to eat, nation-wise, based on "food availability, prices, quality and the health outcomes of people's diets. "  Here's their top ten:


Because of "obesity struggles", the US of A got 21st and Canada 25th.  The worst places, from worst down, were:

Sierra Leone

So much for African cuisine.  The poll was found by me on a Russian website, where they were quite happy with Russia being 44th- behind the Ukraine (33rd) but ahead of Belarus (57th).  They added an interesting caveat at the end of the article:

Russia came in 44th, scoring fairly high on the availability of food, with few people going hungry. But it lost points for food quality, fairly high levels of diabetes and obesity, and steep prices. Ouch!

Another neat thing I learned in the search is that former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin's bribery trail started jury selection Monday.  If you are new to this blog, let me tell you about why I find this nice.  For a week we watched Hurricane Katrina move ever closer to NOLA and grow ever stronger.  Nagin did next to nothing.  Bloggers like me were writing NOLA newspapers, TV stations, begging them to prepare for evacuate.  On Saturday night (it hit late Sunday), I listened to a live interview with Nagin on WWL radio.  He told the interviewer, "I thought I was handling this hurricane thing pretty well" until his dinner was interrupted by then-NHC head Max Mayfield who told him, "You HAVE to evacuate those people NOW!"  His response, he said, was, "I can't order an evacuation UNTIL OUR LAWYERS LOOK AT THE SITUATION", and told Max he'd try to get an order issued the next morning.  And then, when all those people were crammed in the shithole the Superdome became, he accused President Bush of racism and letting them down.  Now, he's on trial for accepting bribes from high-powered contractors for his help in getting them the plum jobs in rebuilding.  IMHO, if ever there was a reason for bribery being a hanging offense, let me put the loop over his head myself.

Ahem, breathe deep, lower blood pressure.  Let's go to Mental Floss, where I found a list of "65 Facts That Will Blow Your Mind".  There were some good ones...10, though, I already knew, including the one about Portland, Oregon, draining 8 million gallons of water out of a reservoir because a teenager peed in it.  Here though, are some I didn't know...

5- A California woman once sued the makers of Cap'n Crunch, because CC with Crunchberries didn't really have berries.

7- During WWII, German measles and dachshunds were called "liberty measles" and "liberty hounds".

8- A 2008 survey found 58% of British teens thought Sherlock Holmes was a real person and 20% thought Winston Churchill was not.

18- A 2009 search for the Loch Ness Monster found zero monsters and 100,000 golf balls.

20- New Mexico State's first graduating class (1893) had one graduate- and he was shot to death before getting his sheepskin.

35- The Arkansas School for the Deaf's nickname is the Leopards.  The Deaf Leopards, get it?

44- If you start counting at one and spell the numbers out as you go, you'll hit 1,000 before you use the letter "a".

46- There's a technical name for ice cream headaches:
sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

48- The Goodyear Blimp is the official bird of Redondo Beach, CA.  I guess they missed the memo.

49- In 2009, Beaver College changed its name to Arcadia; web searches for the College were being blocked by anti-porn filters.

63- Purdue University, among its many accomplishments, invented a machine to find out it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.

There are some more cute ones, and I'll probably share them on another post.

Finally, how 'bout one out of the old spam comment box?  Here's the latest little gem:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Martin World News":

And then lastly, we're going to ramp up. However, computer games can have an
impact on children, especially for those old clinics
who find themselves confuse with the growing compaq computer repair trend of high tech
dental equipment. If it has a password, then you won't be able to do
by the time you leave this setting alone since it is
already optimized for best video/display performance.
More Obamacare website is a worst-case online scenario.

Also visit my blog :: get more info (

"More Obamacare website is a worst-case online scenario."  Rare wisdom from a spam comment... almost makes up for the fact they neglected to put their hyperlink in properly.

Wow, it's positive 0.7 now.  Here, anyway; officially, it's still -7.  Wonder if they'll open the pool...


  1. Chris:
    I am SOOOOooooo glad I did not have anything in my mouth when I read about today's (frosty) Scrappy-Chronicle...
    ROFLMAO..."it went back in"...totally lost it there.

    Those food stats were interesting, too.
    Of course, Ft. Wayne's DOWNTOWN must rank number matter HOW MUCH MONEY it'll cost (us)

    And yes, after reading those mind-blowing mind can now offically whistle DIXIE, if I turn slightly to the southwest...
    (it plays the Battle Hymn of the Republic if I turn the OPPOSITE way).
    Now, if ONLY I could get it to play some GUESS WHO...!

    Great post and a wonderful way to pass a cold and frigid day.

    Stay safe and warm up there

    1. First, Fort Wayne blows it on the "obese" thing... big time.

      Second, you have to face Manitoba to pick up the Guess Who. Glad I could help.

  2. Not doing A-Z this year.... I just can't. I. Just. Can't. *sigh* I seriously envy those who continue to do it every year.

    It was -10 with the wind chill here today. Two pairs of gloves and my fingertips still went numb while delivering. Only 47-ish days to go...

    1. I feel sorry for you. The closest we came was a 7-minute walk around the sidewalk. And it was 4 above then.

  3. >>... Purdue University, among its many accomplishments, invented a machine to find out it takes an average of 364 licks to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop.

    Awww... Finally! Maybe I can get some sleep now.

    Obviously the Wise Old Owl was wrong when he said, "The world may never know." He hadn't considered future technological advances. (Come to think of it... it wasn't the Wise Old Owl who said that - it was the commercial's narrator. The Wise Old Owl said, "Thuuu-ree!")

    Anyway... BOTH were wrong.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. Frankly, I trust the Owl farther than Purdue tech. Cream n Crimson in this household!

  4. Will you hate me if I say the only ice I have seen today is the cubes in the bottom of my drink?
    44.7 deg C top today and outside was like walking into an oven. Poor Scrappy would most likely melt.
    Not doing the A-Z challenge but then I never do. I did see another interesting challenge - The Fake journal which is happening in April.

    1. Nah, if I was going to hate you, it would be because your idea of winter is about 2 dozen flakes of snow spread out over three months.

      I did see that fake journal thing... Interesting, and I did think about it. But people have enough trouble believing what I say on a normal basis. Maybe one day I'll do a blog for writing like that, instead of just cramming the little pieces on the "story and poetry" page.