Thursday, May 29, 2008

Where's the dial tone?

Have you ever been in a face-to-face conversation with someone, and when you part ways, it sounds like you’ve been on the phone with them?

Me: Well, I need to get back to work. Thanks for your help on this.

Them: Hey, no problem.

Me: I’ll see you later.

Them: Okay, buh-bye.

At this point my brain expects to hear the click of a call hanging up. There have been times I’ve actually whispered “Click” to myself just to resolve it.

I think what it comes down to is the “buh-bye” at the end. In my experience, most people only say “buh-bye” when they’re on the phone, but rarely in person. It’s a customer service thing, I think.

I’m weird, I know.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

You are not allowed to complain about your job

Because you could be tasting cat food for a living.

My namesake

Photo by a volunteer named Heather. Found on Find A Grave

But where did Uncle Ronald get his middle name from? Could it be from...

Photo by Navy Wife, also found on Find A Grave

Update: I just learned that Ronald is buried in the same cemetery as one Carl Barks, a cartoonist who happened to be the creator of a little-known character named Scrooge McDuck.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"...And all the trees of the field will clab their hands."

There are three people in my department who think Baptist is spelled BABTIST.

Look, I don’t have any problem with people pronouncing it that way – different accents have changed a lot of words – but the proper spelling of a word (or name) generally isn’t based on the way it’s’s the other way around.

Just check any yellow pages and report to me how many “Babtist” churches are listed. I’m guessing zero.


1 Talked Back:

At June 25, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

HA HA HA!!! Oh man that just cracks me up. Babtist... People are special.


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Three words I never thought I'd ever hear Nicole say, but she said them today

“Too much vinegar”


No wonder I felt so cozy in that apartment

On Sunday night, Nicole and I (and her parents) went to the drive-in theater to see Made of Honor and Iron Man. Interesting pairing for a double feature.

The main character of the first film, Tom, is supposedly the inventor of the “coffee collar”, or coffee cup sleeve. I found this to be interesting, as I love learning about the origin and manufacture of everyday products – I watch “Unwrapped” and “How It’s Made” for this reason.

Without much digging, I discovered that the real inventor of the coffee cup sleeve was a man named Jay Sorensen, who called the product a Java Jacket. The website for Java Jacket shows the company address as being located at 910 NE 57th St. in Portland – which happens to be four blocks down the street from an apartment I lived in for three years.

Small world, eh?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Two men charged in attempted power line theft

I’m half-convinced that this is actually some sort of an Onion-type story that slipped past the Associated Press editors...

CONFLUENCE, Pa. (AP) – Two Somerset County men are charged with trying to steal live power lines that were still attached to utility poles.

Police said Kevin Lee Lytle, 27, and Daniel Jay Basinger, 24, both of Confluence, were shocked during the theft attempt on May 3 in Lower Turkeyfoot Township.

Both were charged Wednesday, but only Basinger was well enough to attend his arraignment on the attempted theft charge.

Police say the incident disrupted power to area residences for about five hours. Penelec Power Co. owns the lines which suffered $1500 damage.

The Associated Press could not immediately reach either man for comment.

Yeah, I imagine that after being shocked by a power line, these guys would be a little hesitant to put telephones near their faces.

Found via KATU News

Yet another 366 Days update

In case anyone is keeping score, today is the 143rd day of 2008. Last night, I posted Day 106 of the 366 Days of Creativity. Any third grader can tell you that 143 minus 106 is 37. Folks, I am 37 days behind. But am I giving up? Not a chance.

I have been doing some sketches (doodles, really) that I need to scan and post. The more sketches I do, the faster I’ll catch up, because I really do them quickly. And in case you are wondering, I really have made something creative every day. Not that I’ve failed if I miss a day – the point of the whole exercise has ultimately been to get myself back into the creative vein, and while I thought I might want to do one thing consistently every single day, I am perfectly okay with changing it up occasionally. (I’m a bit scatterbrained that way.)

I guess that’s about all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Columbia, Gem of the Ocean

You know how you can get songs stuck in your brain that just won’t let go? How about this – do you ever get a word or a phrase stuck the same way? I sure do.

There have been times when it happens so frequently I thought about adding a list of them to my sidebar (not that any of you would care).

Well lately, the word that’s been stuck has been the name Columbia. I’m not sure what put it there – could be anything, from Columbia Sportswear to the Columbia River; Columbia, South Carolina to Columbia Pictures – but I wonder if I need to run with it somehow. My sketching hand is inclined to doodle the name in several forms, which could result in more polished work in the future.

By the way, in case you didn’t know it, Columbia, derived from the name Columbus, almost became the name of our country during its early days, but the powers that were decided to keep it the oh-so-poetic United States of America. President Washington named “the Territory of Columbia,” now the District, in 1791. They named the mighty Columbia River the following year; the capital city of South Carolina became Columbia in 1786. “Columbian” used to be the demonym for a citizen of this country all the way until 1863, when The Republic of Colombia was established. So now you know. And knowing is half the battle. (The other half is knowing what a “demonym” is.)


"By the way, officer, you left your lights on..."

Nicole and I were trying to make it to our nephew’s preschool graduation last night, and we had been misinformed as to when it started. We had been told 7pm, and in actuality it had started at 6:30. Since we thought we had time, we were looking for a branch of our bank on the way, so we could use the ATM to get out a little bit of cash to put inside a card for the boy.

Some streets in Joplin start out as busier arterials, then suddenly become smaller, residential streets. This explains why we were driving (I was at the wheel) through a residential neighborhood, looking for a way out. Apparently, after crossing several identical streets with nary a sign at the corner, we happened to cross one with a stop sign...which I didn’t see (or expect to see). There happened to be a member of Joplin’s finest witness this while sitting in his squad car, and he subsequently pulled us over, handing me a $97 ticket.

So much for my perfect Missouri driving record.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How to move a 100-year-old church

If this video doesn't choke you up and give you chills, you had better check yourself for a pulse, because you might just be a cold steel robot. :)

From National Geographic Channel's Impossible Moves

3 Talked Back:

At May 19, 2008 at 2:08:00 PM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Oh, my wordy-word, that is awesome.

The time-lapse at the front end of it is just amazingly surreal.


At May 22, 2008 at 12:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...



At May 23, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM CDT, Blogger Scott said...

Talk about a over-sized load!!!

That was awesome!!


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fosters: Australian for child endangerment

From the Associated Press:

Driver fined for buckling in beer, not child

DARWIN, Australia (AP) – An Australian man has been fined after buckling in a case of beer with a seat belt but leaving a 5-year-old child to sit on the car’s floor, police said Tuesday.

Constable Wayne Burnett said he was “shocked and appalled” when he pulled over the unregistered car Friday in the central Australian town of Alice Springs.

The 30-can beer case was strapped in between two adults sitting in the back of the car. The child was also in back, but on the car’s floor.

“The child was sitting in the lump in the center, unrestrained,” Burnett told reporters Tuesday.

“I haven’t ever seen anything like this before,” he said. “This is the first time that the beer has taken priority over a child.”

The driver was fined 750 Australian dollars – about $710 – for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and for failing to ensure a child was wearing a safety belt.

Found via KATU News

1 Talked Back:

At May 14, 2008 at 1:33:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I am pretty sure this is NOT the first time beer has taken priority over a child. Especially in Australia... Those Aussies are NUTS and they love them their beer. Ha, ha, ha... I'm gonna share this story with some of my friends at work


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Friday, May 09, 2008

Geographical nomenclature oddities

North Bend, Oregon is actually more southern than Bend, Oregon.

Eastland, Texas is in the center of the state, not the east.

Grand Island, Nebraska is not really near any islands. The explanation for this is that in 1857, the original German settlement of La Grande Isle was further south, on the Platte River. But an anti-German prospector burned the town to the ground in 1859, and they moved away from the grand island, yet kept the name.

Washington Court House, Ohio was originally named the City of Washington, but since there was another town in Ohio with that name (now Old Washington, Ohio), in 2002 they officially changed to their current name. Interestingly, the entire downtown street grid was aligned NE-SW and NW-SE (rather than N-S and E-W) so as to allow all four sides of the court house to receive sunlight. Now that’s an important building.

Waterproof, Louisiana, despite its name, has had to relocate several times due to flooding on the Mississippi River.

The entire state of West Virginia is actually north of Virginia. In fact, there are portions, such as McDowell County, which are east of it.

Any others?

2 Talked Back:

At May 12, 2008 at 11:13:00 PM CDT, Blogger Andrew Weaver said...

At the moment I have no others to add. I was just impressed with the obscure reference to TWO Coen Brothers movies in the title.

Color me impressed.


At May 13, 2008 at 12:14:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Well, there's another point about Bend; it started out as "Farewell Bend", but people started staying there.

There's South Bend, Indiana, which is east of both our Bends. There is a North Bend in Washington however.

Newport is new even though it's been around more than a century. When does it just start being Port? And What about New York? We can't have New Improved York until the New falls off there.

There's New England here in the USA, even though they aren't English, and as far as I can tell, Mainers (Maineans?) don't even speak English.

And North USA is called Canada for some reason.

That's all I can come up with for now.


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Are we wimps?

When I lived in Portland, I can remember seeing (and hearing) commercials for the ten o’clock newscasts on both KPTV and KPDX. Their main selling point was that they were one hour earlier than the standard 11pm news on channels 2, 6 and 8, so the news-hungry viewer wouldn’t have to wait any longer than they had to for the latest war protest footage or Meth Watch.

Fast forward to 2008, Joplin area, Missouri. We’re in the Central Time Zone, and network TV does things funny around here – rather than tape delay everything like they do in Pacific and Mountain, they just air everything at the same time as Eastern, which amounts to it all being one hour earlier. Thus, prime time starts at 7:00, and is over by 10:00. And the Fox Network is done by 9pm. Can you see where I’m going here?

The other day I saw a commercial advertising the Joplin Fox station’s 9 o’clock newscast, and guess what? They have the same selling point as the ones back in Stumptown – all the news you need, one hour earlier than the other guys (and about two or three clicks down on the production-value-o-meter).

It’s also interesting to note that the Fox affiliate and the CBS affiliate are one and the same company, yet they don’t share a news team, as one might expect (like KOIN and KPDX used to do – I always thought it was funny that it was the Channel 6 news on Fox 49, and branded as such).

3 Talked Back:

At May 15, 2008 at 11:15:00 PM CDT, Blogger Edward said...

Until a few years back the federal government didn't allow a media company to own 2 TV stations in the same market. That has changed and now KPTV Fox 12 and PDX 49 are under the same ownership and in the same studios.

Koin (6) no longer produces news for PDX 49, but Newschannel 8 does produce a 10pm newscast on another station. I think it's the CW affiliate.

Fox 12 Oregon's 10 O'Clock news has been so successful that they've added an 11 O'Clock news that competes with the 3 other network stations. I'm never home at 4pm, but I hear that Fox 12 Oregon has also added a 4 O'Clock newscast. That's consistent with their one hour earlier than the rest theme.

My favorite Fox 12 news program is still Good Day Oregon, which I can watch 15 minutes of in the morning before work. You get the headlines, weather, traffic, and some fun feature segments from Joe V.

This morning Air 12 woke me up as they were covering some criminal/police activity about 1 mile away. The video they were showing was quite good even though they were hovering near my home and zooming in from over 1 mile away.


At May 15, 2008 at 11:20:00 PM CDT, Blogger Edward said...

One more thing...

The one thing I don't like about Fox 12s newscasts is that I think they are more heavily focused on crime than the other stations.

It's probably easy to cover and it does get ratings. I guess I'm still watching even though I think it's too much sometimes.


At May 16, 2008 at 7:51:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Don't forget all of the Special Reports which always seem to appear around sweeps time. If they're so special they ought to be aired as soon as they're in the can, rather than waiting up to three months for the sweeps period.

I had forgotten about KGW's 10pm news. And you're right, it is on KRCW 5/32.

Thanks for the comments Edward.


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Thursday, May 08, 2008


Tonight I went from this...

hair before 2 this...

hair after

...and this was what I left behind... (I only gave the link in case anyone's grossed out by the sight of a pile of hair.)

4 Talked Back:

At May 9, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

In the second picture you look stunned, like you didn't see it coming ...



At May 11, 2008 at 11:36:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Well, that's a lot of hair there.


At May 14, 2008 at 1:36:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I always liked it short myself... WOW that's the longest and curliest I think I've ever seen your hair!

PS Erin and Chris are in Israel!!! Let me know if you didn't get her dropshots link to pictures for while they are there.


At May 15, 2008 at 11:29:00 PM CDT, Blogger Edward said...

I've seen it longer. :)

I think it looked good, but you probably need a short haircut for the hot Missouri summer.


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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Just things I wondered, things I noticed today

Question: Are the Planet Hollywoods in India called Planet Bollywood?

Item: Old Spice's Red Zone body wash is blue.

Thought: I'm always nervous when a toothbrush package says, "Try Me!"

5 Talked Back:

At May 2, 2008 at 5:52:00 PM CDT, Blogger Jim said...

LOL -- Stan, how do you know Old Spice's Red Zone body wash is blue? Wait! No details. :)


At May 3, 2008 at 9:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger stan said...

Believe it or not, I saw it on the shelf at Wal-Mart, and just wondered if it was really red. Of course, before I even opened a bottle, I knew it would be blue, because there's some sort of international law that says that all body washes for men have to be blue.


At May 4, 2008 at 10:43:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I worry about things that are sealed "for my protection". Like instant coffee? Unless it's sealed, it's going for my throat? I mean, I like my coffee strong, but there's a limit.


At May 7, 2008 at 12:13:00 AM CDT, Blogger Katie said...

I can tell you from experience that the Planet Hollywood's in India are Planet Hollywood. Though I'm sure someone has done a rip off of it and made a Planet Bollywood. P.S. Indian MTV is HYSTERICAL. They have elements of Hip Hop (clothing/video styles) with their unique Indian sound. Such a weird mix.


At May 7, 2008 at 2:39:00 AM CDT, Blogger Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Ah, yes, Bollywood. I have friends who watch Bollywood movies and collect Indian music videos because they're so mesmerizing. They're such a visual overload, with the colors and the sounds ... it's like visual crack.


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