March 31, 2008

Farmer Tina’s Sexually Transmitted Infection Petting Zoo

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 11:12 am

sexeducation.jpgThere is outrage expressed in this morning’s OMAHA WORLD HERALD over Planned Parenthood’s site aimed at teens: Outrage expressed by our local Congressman what’s-his-name (yawn) as well as neighboring Iowa’s Congressman Steve “Terrorists Will Be Happy If Obama Is Elected” King.

The article says nothing about the location of the website (only that it is out there somewhere in the Interwebitubes), so please be aware that you can find it here.

I have to admit I keep giggling when I look through it, although I don’t think that it is necessarily due to my being sexually repressed–after all, I picked up my own sex education from other 11-year olds, as God intended.

Determined to actually do my parental duty with my own kids, I remember (after listening to a particularly graphic National Public Radio news story–probably about President Clinton–that I thought my oldest son was strangely silent through) asking my 11-year-old, “So, Brett…what do you know about sex?” By the smirk, I could see I was years too late…

Bought him a bunch of books on the subject the very next day, but as far as I know he could have written them.

Repeated the bit with second son Clint at age 10. Still too late. (Obviously my friends had let me down, making me wait until I was 11 myself). “Ok, well at least read these books…”

I think I actually gave the books to 8-year-old Cody about the same time as Clint (as if the boys weren’t going to be sharing their new knowledge in any event!)

To this day, I’ve never heard a peep from my own folks regarding sex–nor is that particularly unusual, from what I understand (and, frankly, my kids didn’t really want to talk about it with me).

So it is either the schoolyard (long before you may or may not be allowed to hear just a little about it in health class in 8th grade–unless your parents excuse you from attending with a note), or it is something like the Planned Parenting website.

I vote for the Planned Parenting website. (Where, indeed, they have an interactive Flash presentation called “Farmer Tina’s Sexually Transmitted Infection Petting Zoo”. You’ve gotta love that! Not to mention “Jim Dandy And His Very Gay Day”. Ever have one of those?!)

The Free Credit Report Pirates

Category: Money & Investments — jerry @ 6:17 am

pirates.jpgThis obnoxious commercial finally drove me mad–MAD, I tell you!–and I was curious to know my credit score anyway, so I got online and went through the process.

(Now can you please make the commercial go away?)

In the process of registering (and this was Experian that I was dealing with), to get this “free” report and your score, if you’re not careful reading the fine print you are unaware that you’ve just signed up for a $14.95 per month service that does…something. Not quite sure what, but it is definitely not something we need. As required to get my report I signed up anyway, figuring to cancel my membership immediately–and which I did. It took me a minute of surfing around the site to even find out how to do that. (Gee, why do you suppose they make that so hard?)

You have to phone.

I did so and eventually got a live person. I told her I wanted to cancel, got put on hold for a while as she “looked up my account” and finally–after a couple of sales pitches on cheaper options for this monthly “service” they were offering me–she cancelled me. Got a confirming email a few minutes later. Total amount of my “valuable” time involved–about 10 or 12 minutes. That’s not so bad. I had feared it would be worse–maybe an interminable time on hold, or even more hard-sell options I would have to listen to.

On the other hand, I’m going to guess that the less-sophisticated might have a little more trouble–assuming they even discover that extra charge going on their credit cards each month.

Be careful!

March 30, 2008

Fitna, The Movie

Category: Movies/TV,Opinion — jerry @ 11:04 am

I am no fan of Geert Wilders–the far right Dutch hate-monger who put together the anti-Islamic film featured below. On the other hand, I’m a big believer in free speech (and love to tweak any religion whenever I can). The Liveleak site which originally hosted the film took it down due to death threats. I’d probably do that to. (Feel free to leave death threats in the “Comments” section. I’ll assess each one on a case-by-case basis and eventually pull this blog entry when I’m done whimpering). I think this video gets posted and then taken down at YouTube, so let me know if this isn’t working and I’ll look around some more. Again, to make clear–I don’t dislike this particular religion any more than I dislike another. But people should be allowed to see these things (as you should make it a point to see FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO):

Now turn to your Holy Bibles, friends. Our text today is from 1 Kings 18:38-40:

18:38 Then fire from the Lord fell from the sky. It consumed the offering, the wood, the stones, and the dirt, and licked up the water in the trench. 18:39 When all the people saw this, they threw themselves down with their faces to the ground and said, “The Lord is the true God! The Lord is the true God!” 18:40 Elijah told them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Don’t let even one of them escape!” So they seized them, and Elijah led them down to the Kishon Valley and executed them there.

For The Bible Tells Me So (****)

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 6:56 am

Really, really, really enjoyed this award-winning documentary on the Church versus homosexuality. Available through Netflix if you’re not finding it at your local video store. Very moving. Here’s the trailer:

***
Update: Heh-heh. I swear this showed up randomly! Kind of timely. I do remember watching this movie and it was good!

March 29, 2008

American Idol–Current Las Vegas Odds

Category: Movies/TV,Music — jerry @ 11:37 am

idollogo.jpg And here they are (from the Bodog site):

David Archuleta

6/5

Michael Johns

19/2

Carly Smithson

11/1

Ramiele Malubay

30/1

Brooke White

12/1

Jason Castro

16/1

Kristy Lee Cook

100/1

David Cook

11/5

Syesha Mercado

12/1

Herb Peterson, R.I.P.

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 6:13 am

herbpeterson.jpgHerb Peterson, inventor of the Egg McMuffin, has died.

Egg McMuffins have probably taken several years off of my life, but back when I used to eat them–man, did I enjoy them.

Herb himself made it to 89:

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Herb Peterson, who invented the ubiquitous Egg McMuffin as a way to introduce breakfast to McDonald’s restaurants (NYSE:MCD) , has died, a Southern California McDonald’s official said Wednesday. He was 89.

Peterson died peacefully Tuesday at his Santa Barbara home, said Monte Fraker, vice president of operations for McDonald’s restaurants in that city.

He began his career with McDonald’s Corp. as vice president of the company’s advertising firm, D’Arcy Advertising, in Chicago. He wrote McDonald’s first national advertising slogan, ‘Where Quality Starts Fresh Every Day.’
Peterson eventually became a franchisee and was currently co-owner and operator of six McDonald’s restaurants in Santa Barbara and Goleta, Fraker said.

Peterson came up with idea for the signature McDonald’s breakfast item in 1972. He ‘was very partial to eggs Benedict,’ Fraker said, and worked on creating something similar.

The egg sandwich consisted of an egg that had been formed in a Teflon circle with the yolk broken, topped with a slice of cheese and grilled Canadian bacon. It was served open-faced on a toasted and buttered English muffin….[Rest of article]

March 28, 2008

Race In America–This Is Just Embarrassing

Category: Opinion,Sports — jerry @ 11:49 am

vogue.jpgOk, take a look at this upcoming VOGUE cover and then read this AP story:

NEW YORK – When Vogue announced its April cover starring LeBron James and Gisele Bundchen, the magazine noted with some fanfare that James was the first black man to grace its cover.

But the image is stirring up controversy, with some commentators decrying the photo as perpetuating racial stereotypes. James strikes what some see as a gorilla-like pose, baring his teeth, with one hand dribbling a ball and the other around Bundchen’s tiny waist.

It’s an image some have likened to “King Kong” and Fay Wray.

“It conjures up this idea of a dangerous black man,” said Tamara Walker, 29, of Philadelphia….[Rest of article — Go ahead and read it]

***

So Tamara Walker–and apparently some other “white folk”–look at this picture and think of King Kong and Fay Wray…

We’ve come so far, haven’t we?

Ok, put LeBron and, um, Halle Berry on SPORTS ILLUSTRATED then–same “scary” faces. And then it’s okay–all we’re thinking is that LeBron is one kick-@$$ basketball player and Halle Berry, even after having her recent baby (with a white guy! Oh, my!), still makes us weak in the knees.

Or put Bundchen on the cover of PEOPLE with her boyfriend Tom Brady and put that same “scary” I-just-lost-the-Superbowl face on him. Again, no controversy.

King Kong and Fay Wray. [Groan]. People, you don’t want to see what I would look like after dunking a basketball to win the game.

But I’ll bet that Giselle would…

Some Strange Childhood Memories

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 6:13 am

childhood.jpg
Do you remember how sometimes you used to be at a friend’s birthday party when you were about 6 years old and some kid’s mother would show up angrily and grab one of the other party guests–not her own child–and wrestle him to the ground, pull his pants all the way down, and then get up and leave in a huff, leaving the victim sobbing on the ground. Remember how that used to happen? No?

Well, it happened to me.

This took place at the Stitch house (where, coincidentally, on another occasion I received my first stitches after a tree-climbing accident) in Stitzer, Wisconsin (pop. 80 at the time, and which Wikipedia now indicates is not even a town any more, but some “unincorporated community in the town of Liberty, Wisconsin”–sounds like something from a Stephen King novel…) We moved to Stitzer for a few years when I was five. My dad was going to seminary at nearby Dubuque, Iowa, to learn to be a Methodist minister. He was also a volunteer fireman in Stitzer, which was handy because he and my mother accidentally started two separate fires that required fire department attention during the 4 years that we lived there: once when the hair clippers caught on fire immediately after my mother gave me a haircut, and once when the two of them were canning jelly. (I have since learned to always get my haircuts at professional barbers–there is a reason why they are licensed–and to always just buy jelly at the grocery store).

Anyway, back to the birthday party: This was Danny Johnson’s mother who de-pantsed the other 6-year-old birthday guest. As I recall, this guest had earlier de-pantsed Danny Johnson at the party, sending Danny home in tears, but which earlier incident did not make much of an impression on me because back in the day we were always de-pantsing one another. It was an accepted and normal part of our young society in Stitzer.

Danny was a little bit “off”, tragically having had some kind of mysterious illness or head injury or something when he was very young. I remember occasionally being set up to play with him by my folks, despite Danny clearly being psychotically homicidal. (He choked my little brother once until he went blue. I actually won the only fight I had with Danny. I was a pretty good scrapper back in first grade. No de-pantsings for me, thank you very much).

I suppose the burden of raising a difficult Danny and then having him come home from a birthday party crying was as much as his mother could take. She felt she needed to draw a line in the sand, and which she did with this whole wrestling and de-pantsing episode that has burned itself into my memory (as much as those hair clippers almost literally burned themselves into my memory!)

The other thing that I remember about the Stitch house is that it was across the street from some community area where the Town Fathers–perhaps the same guys that manned the volunteer fire department–used to stretch out a bedsheet on summer Saturday evenings, to project old Abbott and Costello movies onto. There wasn’t much else to do in Stitzer, Wisconsin.

Hence the de-pantsings.

March 27, 2008

The Power Of Prayer

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 11:09 am

madeline.jpgFrom FOX NEWS:

WESTON, Wis. — An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday.

Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said Madeline Neumann died Sunday.

“She got sicker and sicker until she was dead,” he said.

Vergin said an autopsy determined the girl died from diabetic ketoacidosis, an ailment that left her with too little insulin in her body, and she had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness.

The girl’s parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to “apparently they didn’t have enough faith,” the police chief said.

They believed the key to healing “was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray,” he said.

The mother believes the girl could still be resurrected, the police chief said….[Rest of article]

Hillary Under Fire

Category: Travel — jerry @ 6:54 am