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A big improvement? You be the judge.

I love my new door!


Kathy and Dan's old door.
Our original door was much larger than a standard-sized door and had a big round doorknob the size of a grapefruit on the outside.


Kathy and Dan's NEW door.
Target checks out the new door. The installer had to build a frame around the door because the old one was so big.

Close-up of the window on our new door.
Here is a close-up view of the stained glass window in the door.

iTunes is currently playing: This House (Album Version) from the album Hoodoo by Alison Moyet.


Evian Roller Babies

I feel as if I am always the last person on earth to learn about a cool commercial or video or performer or whatever. Has everyone else known about Evian Babies for a while??

iTunes is currently playing: Have You Seen My Baby from the album Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman by Randy Newman.

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Were they naughty instead of nice?

A group of Santas take a group cruise on the Diamond Princess.

[Photo posted on by PrincessCruises.]

Dan and I sailed on this ship a couple of weeks earlier and we were very lucky. The weather was beautiful throughout our trip with the exception of an hour or so in Ketchikan. So many people told us that Alaska is a must-see cruise destination and it is true!

iTunes is currently playing: Heavy Cloud No Rain from the album Ten Summoner's Tales by Sting.


American Life in Poetry: Column 220

Another interesting poetry column from Ted Kooser:

American Life in Poetry: Column 220


One of the privileges of being U.S. Poet Laureate was to choose two poets each year to receive a $10,000 fellowship, funded by the Witter Bynner Foundation. Joseph Stroud, who lives in California, was one of my choices. This poem is representative of his clear-eyed, imaginative poetry.

Night in Day

The night never wants to end, to give itself over
to light. So it traps itself in things: obsidian, crows.
Even on summer solstice, the day of light's great
triumph, where fields of sunflowers guzzle in the sun--
we break open the watermelon and spit out
black seeds, bits of night glistening on the grass.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c)2009 by Joseph Stroud, and reprinted from his recent book of poems, "Of This World: New and Selected Poems 1966-2006," Copper Canyon Press, 2009, by permission of the author and publisher. Introduction copyright (c)2009 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: Black Diamond from the album Winter Solstice On Ice by The Rippingtons Featuring Russ Freeman.


American Life in Poetry: Column 214

It's been a while since I posted one of former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser's poetry columns, but this one struck a chord with me so I decided to share it.

American Life in Poetry: Column 214


Sometimes I wonder at my wife's forbearance. She's heard me tell the same stories dozens of times, and she still politely laughs when she should. Here's a poem by Susan Browne, of California, that treats an oft-told story with great tenderness.

On Our Eleventh Anniversary

You're telling that story again about your childhood,
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle

from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night
and snowing by the time you arrived,

and your grandparents were so relieved to see you,
because all day no one knew where you were,

you had vanished. We sit at our patio table under a faded green
umbrella, drinking wine in California's blue autumn,

red stars of roses along the fence, trellising over the roof
of our ramshackle garage. Too soon the wine glasses will be empty,

our stories told, the house covered with pine needles the wind
has shaken from the trees. Other people will live here.

We will vanish like children who traveled far in the dark,
stars of snow in their hair, riding to enchanted Espergaerde.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright (c)2007 by Susan Browne, whose most recent book of poems is "Buddha's Dogs," Four Way Books, 2004. Poem reprinted from "Mississippi Review" Vol. 35, nos. 1-2, Spring 2007, and reprinted by permission of the author and publisher. Introduction copyright (c)2009 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: The Dreams Of Children from the album The Dreams of Children by Shadowfax.

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San Filippo baby in the news.


Read the article here.

In our Pennsylvania backyard ...

... we have deer and at least one fox. Folks who live (or winter) in Naples, Florida are entertained by the most interesting birds!

Fun feathered fellow near Naples Pier in Naples, Florida.

iTunes is currently playing: Little Birdie from the album Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown! by Joy Williams.


Why I Want To Go To St. Maarten

iTunes is currently playing: We Could Be Flying from the album Sundown Lady by Lani Hall.


Since when do politicians ...

... have to know what they are voting for ...

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


Offensive? You be the judge.

NBC was happy to take money from the makers of Doritos to show us an ad during the Super Bowl in which a man takes a bite out of a Dorito and a woman's clothes fly off of her body.

Crunch and the clothes disappear.

They also took money for a ad in which a woman with huge, fake breasts rips her sweater open to show us what she paid for.

GoDaddy ad.

But NBC apparently felt that the following ad was too offensive for television.

iTunes is currently playing: That's The Way I've Always Heard It Should Be from the album The Best Of Carly Simon by Carly Simon.


I know ... bad hacker! bad!

... but I still laughed my @** off when I saw this!

You gotta love Austin!

iTunes is currently playing: Shame from the album Bad Love by Randy Newman.


Is the honeymoon over?


Now that he’s in office, Obama’s approval ratings are starting to normalize, as partisan back-and-forth picks up.

Just a week ago [prior to his inauguration], Gallup found an astonishing 83 percent approval of how he has handled his transition, showing he had even won over most Republicans.

The Gallup Poll on Saturday released the first job-approval rating for President Obama, based on interviews during his first three full days in office: 68 percent.

The new job-approval figure puts him at the upper end of opening poll numbers for presidents, but doesn’t set a record.

iTunes is currently playing: Somebody (Changed Your Mind) from the album All True Man by Alexander O'Neal.


Evidence that the NAACP ...

... has outlived any usefulness it ever had ...

iTunes is currently playing: The Fences from the soundtrack album Alexei and the Spring by Ryuichi Sakamoto.


I totally get this.

In fact, I'm thinking Dan and I should fly to Vegas and renew our vows ... at the In-n-Out Burger on Tropicana.

Couple weds in fast-food style ... in Taco Bell.
Customers continue to order tacos and burritos as vows are exchanged.

Taco Bell Wedding

iTunes is currently playing: I Love To See You Smile from the album Guilty: 30 Years Of Randy Newman (Disc 4) by Randy Newman.


I had company for lunch today.

Deer hanging out by the kitchen window.

Deer hanging out by the kitchen window.

iTunes is currently playing: Animals from the album Fear Of Music by Talking Heads.

Laugh of the Day

From the L.A.Times:

Porn mogul Larry Flynt sues nephews over use of family name

By Victoria Kim and Andrew Blankstein
January 7, 2009

Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt has been called a lot of things over the years. But he insists that the Flynt name still stands for quality when it comes to adult entertainment.

So this week, he filed suit against two nephews who are using the family name for their own line of adult films. Flynt said he is going to court to protect his good name, saying that he is concerned that Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt might tarnish the Flynt franchise by producing lower-quality porn that the lawsuit calls "inferior products" and "knock-off goods."

"To come into the adult entertainment business and use my name not only confuses people who buy my products, but if they're not maintaining a certain quality, it could also hurt my name," Larry Flynt told The Times on Tuesday.

iTunes is currently playing: Family Tree from the album Right Down The Line: The Best Of Gerry Rafferty by Gerry Rafferty.


If I hadn't seen this ad ...

... with my own eyes I'd swear it had to be a joke. It isn't bad enough that we are bombarded by rap music ringtones everywhere we go. Soon we will be assaulted by PERFUME emanating from laptop computers, too!

Perfumed laptop
Perfumed laptop

iTunes is currently playing: Girls Just Want to Have Fun from the album The Essential Cyndi Lauper by Cyndi Lauper.

Come on, Prez-to-be ...

... talk to Damon Weaver!

Cute video of the day:

iTunes is currently playing: Once In A Lifetime from the album Stop Making Sense: Special New Edition (1984 Film) by Talking Heads.

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Being Annoying Now Illegal In Michigan Town

BRIGHTON, Mich. -- Since when did being annoying become a crime? Since Brighton City Council approved a public conduct code Monday night, which includes fining someone up to $500 for being annoying.

One section of the bill reads, "It shall be unlawful for a person to engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person and that serve no legitimate purpose."

The bill also states it's unlawful for anyone to insult, accost, molest or otherwise annoy any person in public.

The ordinance was modeled after one in Royal Oak, where the Brighton police chief previously worked.

The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported that two council members expressed concerns for the language of the ordinance, but voted for it anyway.

Brighton officials said the ordinance would be subjective and the call will be made by police officers.

The amended ordinance takes effect Jan. 17, 2009.

iTunes is currently playing: I Really Didn't Mean It from the album Give Me The Reason by Luther Vandross.


What I want to know is ...

... does anyone actually deposit checks like this in his or her bank account? (Yes, that is a check for FIVE CENTS.)

Refund check from Verizon for 5 cents.

iTunes is currently playing: What Is This Going To Get Us? from the album The Man I Love - Past Perfect, Disc 7 by Billie Holiday.