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If you have ceramic tile in your house …

... hurry to Linens and Things and buy a SONIC SCRUBBER while they are still available.

SonicScrubber - Cleans filthy grout with no scrubbing!

Use it with Comet Soft Cleanser Cream with Bleach ...

Comet Liquid Cleanser with Bleach

... and watch what happens. This thing is amazing -- and worth every penny of the $12.99 price tag.

You're welcome!

Presto!  Grout goes from black to white in the blink of an eye.

iTunes is currently playing: Rest For The Weary from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.
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“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

My copy arrived from Amazon via UPS at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday, the 21st. I finished it shortly before 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, the 22nd.

Wow. If you liked the first six books, you will LOVE #7. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. And it will make an amazing movie. I can hardly wait.

I'm sorry I didn't have time to re-read all six books before "Deathly Hallows" came out. I plan to re-read all seven one of these days. Maybe before I go see movie #7.

iTunes is currently playing: Seven Years from the album Tigerlily by Natalie Merchant.
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This made me laugh.

Text of rejection slip from editor A.J. Fifield to writer Gertrude Stein:

"I am only one, only one, only. Only one being, one at the same time. Not two, not three, only one. Only one life to live, only sixty minutes in one hour. Only one pair of eyes. Only one brain ... I cannot read your MS three or four times. Not even one time. Only one look, only one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly."

From Authors Guild Bulletin - Spring 2007.

iTunes is currently playing: Speak Like A Child from the album The Singular Adventures Of The Style Council by The Style Council.
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“You may ask yourself: HOW DID I GET HERE?”

... or ...

"You may say to yourself: MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!?"

Old people from Florida spend the summer at the Jersey Shore.

iTunes is currently playing: Once In A Lifetime from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.
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This quote makes me think of Sarah.

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of Library."

- Jorge Luis Borges

iTunes is currently playing: The Book I Read from the [bootleg] album Live at the Sun Palace (Tokyo) by Talking Heads.
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Why I sometimes miss the place

From the L.A.Times:

Los Angeles' favorite cat seems to have nine lives.

The three-sided "Felix" automobile dealership sign near downtown that has survived earthquakes, fires, riots and recession escaped another close call Thursday as the city's Cultural Heritage Commission voted to declare it a historic-cultural monument.

Commissioners rejected recommendations by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and downtown-area City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who favor redevelopment of the South Figueroa Street corner where the cartoon cat figure has loomed large for half a century.

"It is literally a modern totem pole," said sign preservation advocate Jim Childs. "It really explains the evolution of the automobile and Los Angeles."

Felix Chevrolet Sign Saved
(Gary Friedman / LAT)
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American Life in Poetry: Column 120

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE, 2004-2006

The loss of youth and innocence is one of the great themes of literature. Here the California poet Kim Noriega looks deeply into a photograph from forty years ago.


Heaven, 1963

It's my favorite photo--
captioned, "Daddy and His Sweetheart."
It's in black and white,
it's before Pabst Blue Ribbon,
before his tongue became a knife
that made my mother bleed,
and before he blackened my eye
the time he thought I meant to end my life.

He's standing in our yard on Porter Road
beneath the old chestnut tree.
He's wearing sunglasses,
a light cotton shirt,
and a dreamy expression.

He's twenty-seven.
I'm two.
My hair, still baby curls,
is being tossed by a gentle breeze.
I'm fast asleep in his arms.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. From "Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets" (Huntington Beach, CA, Tebot Bach, 2006), 117. Copyright (c) 2006 by Kim Noriega. Reprinted with permission of the author and Tebot Bach. Introduction copyright (c) 2006 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.

iTunes is currently playing: Picture This from the album Picture This by Jim Brickman.
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Finally … pictures of Tracie & Waylon’s Wonderful Wedding



Click here to see the photo album.

iTunes is currently playing: Two Hearts from the album Phil Collins: Hits by Phil Collins.
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YOU CALLED ME WITH THAT ^#%^& ????

When we were in Vegas, Dan played in his first WSOP event, a $1500 No Limit Hold'em tournament. (A few days earlier, he won a tournament in Seattle that, interestingly, paid $1500 for first!) Although he did not cash in the WSOP event, he did outlast over 2000 players, finishing around 300th.

The whole experience was a blast for both of us. Anyone can wander around the Rio and watch the tournaments. I spent part of the day watching Dan and part of the day star-gazing. I saw the following pros: Doyle Brunson, Todd Brunson, Jennifer Tilly, Phil Gordon, Phil Hellmuth, Sean "Sheiky" Sheikan, Barry "Robin Hood" Greenstein, "The Professor" Howard Lederer, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, Hassan Habib, Daniel Negraneau, Kristy Gazes, Kenna James, Andrew Black, Eli Elezra (who won his first bracelet while playing in another tournament on the other side of the room), Lee Watkinson (who played at Dan's table for quite a while), David "the Dragon" Phan (who also played at Dan's table), Men "The Master" Nguyen, Vanessa Rousseau, Chad Brown, Paul Wolfe, Nam Le, John Juanda, Isabelle "No Mercy" Mercier, Erick Lindgren, Dutch Boyd, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, and Ted Forrest. Dan also saw: Mike Sexton, Gavin Smith, Annie Duke, Jennifer Harman, John Phan, Marcel Luske, David Williams, Chau Giang, David Benyamine, and Phil Ivey. Next time around I hope to see Sammy Farha, who is one of my faves.

They have a lot of rules about photography (no cameras with interchangeable lenses, no lenses longer than 2 inches, no flash) so it was hard to get decent pics, but here are a few that didn't come out too bad.



Dan gets off to a great start at his first WSOP event.



Barry Greenstein, the "Robin Hood of Poker", gives all his tournament winnings to charity.



Annie Duke's brother, Howard Lederer (aka "The Professor"), ponders his next move.



Former world champ and class act, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer, plays without his goofy sunglasses.



Sean "Sheiky" Sheikan gives no hint of how annoying he can be in this picture.

iTunes is currently playing: Take Me To The River from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.
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Yes, I am married to a programming god.

PCmover at Fry's in Las Vegas

iTunes is currently playing: Move It On Over from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.
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Imagine that you work for the phone company …

... and you want to tell the world that someone is a jerk.

This message appears on a telephone pole on Rt. 9 in Lanoka Harbor, NJ.

Who is Steve and what did he do (and to whom??)



iTunes is currently playing: Everybody Loves A Clown from the album Greatest Hits by Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
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The EU wants to criminalize stupidity

EU aims to criminalise Holocaust denial

Laws that make denying or trivialising the Holocaust a criminal offence punishable by jail sentences will be introduced across the European Union, according to a proposal expecting to win backing from ministers Thursday. Offenders will face up to three years in jail under the proposed legislation, which will also apply to inciting violence against ethnic, religious or national groups.

...

Diplomats stressed the provision had been carefully worded to include only denial of the Holocaust – the Nazi mass murder of Jews during the second world war – and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

...

Holocaust denial is already a criminal offence in several European countries, including Germany and Austria. It is not a specific crime in Britain, though UK officials said it could already be tackled under existing legislation.

...

In an attempt to assuage Turkish fears, several EU diplomats said the provisions would not penalise the denial of mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman troops in the aftermath of the 1915 collapse of the Ottoman empire. Turkey strongly rejects claims that this episode amounted to genocide.

iTunes is currently playing: No Such Thing from the album Any Given Thursday by John Mayer.
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Video is better than a still image

I came across this video of the self-described "anarchists" in Portland who burned a U.S. soldier in effigy during the recent anti-war protest discussed below.  Note that the brave anarchists are all wearing masks.  (Maybe they are afraid if their parents see what they are doing, they will be cut off financially and have to get a job or something.)  Note, too, the OH SO CLEVER lyrics they are singing:

"Build a bonfire, build a bonfire, put the soldiers on the top. Put the fascists in the middle and we'll burn the fucking lot."

But don't forget. They support the troops. They just don't support the war.







iTunes is currently playing: You're Just A No Account from the album Billie Holiday - CD2 The Man I Love - Past Perfect, Disc 7 by Billie Holiday.
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How the anti-war folks support the troops

An AP story describes an anti-war protest that took place in Portland, Oregon, on March 19th. Interestingly, the article makes no mention of the fact that these protestors burned a U.S. soldier in effigy.

Yet we are to believe that the anti-war folks support the troops, they just don't support the war. (I'm sure that any member of our military who saw these pictures truly feels the love!!)

Oh, and the mainstream media is balanced and objective, of course.

(Click here for more pics.)





iTunes is currently playing: Life During Wartime from the album Stop Making Sense by Talking Heads.

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Hoosiers LOVE their death penalty!

From the [Hammond] Times Online:


Yes, I am embarrassed.

iTunes is currently playing: Cold, Cold Heart from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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25 to 50 million people in this country play poker …

... and they all blame the Republican Party for the stupid anti-gambling legislation that was attached to the port security bill signed by Bush a few months ago.

Poker  players, unite!





iTunes is currently playing: History Repeating from the album Decksandrumsandrockandroll by Propellerheads & Miss Shirley Bassey.
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For those of you who did not heed my warning …

... here is Jennifer Holiday singing "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from the pre-Oscar festivities on E!







iTunes is currently playing: Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight from the album Best Live by James Taylor.

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I wonder if Down Syndrome activists will argue …

... that there is nothing wrong with being mentally retarded (along the same lines as deaf "activists" who argue against cochlear implants for hearing-impaired children).

Down syndrome researchers see promise in PTZ, or pentylenetetrazole.
By Denise Gellene, L.A. Times Staff Writer

Lab mice with the mental retardation of Down syndrome got smarter after being fed a drug that strengthened brain circuits involved in learning and memory, researchers reported Sunday.

After receiving once-daily doses of pentylenetetrazole, or PTZ, for 17 days, the mice could recognize objects and navigate mazes as well as normal mice did, researchers said. The improvements lasted up to two months after the drug was discontinued, according to the report in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Scientists said the study opened a promising avenue for research in a field that had seen little success.

"These mice are essentially restored to normal, which I haven't seen before," said David Patterson, a Down syndrome researcher at the University of Denver, who was not involved in the study. "And the treatment seems to be long-lasting, which is a pretty surprising observation all by itself."

Senior study author Craig C. Garner, a Stanford School of Medicine professor, said his lab was preparing to conduct human trials of the drug, although he said it would take time to complete more preliminary studies and procure a supply of purified PTZ.

People with Down syndrome should not be given the drug until it has been studied further, he cautioned, because PTZ can induce seizures at high doses and might have other serious side effects.

More than 300,000 Americans have Down syndrome, making it the leading cause of mental retardation. There is no approved drug to improve cognition in people with Down syndrome.


iTunes is currently playing: Things We've Handed Down from the album The Rainy Season by Marc Cohn.

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Perfection? No …

... but how about "expected to live to adulthood"?

Pope speaks out against "designer babies"

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Saturday condemned genetic engineering and other scientific practices that allow people to select so-called "designer babies" by screening them for defects.

In a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Church body of experts, the Pope also attacked artificial insemination and the widespread use of medical tests that can detect diseases and inherited disorders in embryos.

"In developed countries, there is a growing interest for the most sophisticated biotechnological research to introduce subtle and extensive eugenics methods in the obsessive search for the 'perfect child'," the Pope said.


iTunes is currently playing: Lost Child (String Quartet Remix) from the album Moto.Tronic by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

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Some things are sacred …

... and should NOT be tampered with.

We're talking about something you can only buy once a year, after all!

BOO HISS!!!!!!!!

Girl Scouts Cut Trans Fats From Cookies

The Girl Scouts have marked their 90th year in the cookie business by getting most of the artificial fat out of all varieties of their iconic treats, which had been under attack by a few health-focused consumer groups.

[USA Vice President Denise] Pessich said she was confident fans would notice few differences. The recipe changes have also given troop leaders an opportunity to talk more about the importance of eating right, Pessich said.


iTunes is currently playing: Mind Your Own Business from the album 24 Greatest Hits by Hank Williams.

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