Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Stay Positive Wednesday: Naps

Probably like a lot of people, when I was a kid I hated naps. I rebelled against the concept of nap time and rarely took one.

Now I love them, even the five-minute power nap.

Mrs. Nasty and I are going on trip for our 10th anniversary tonight, sans the Nasty kids. So in between sightseeing and eating good grub in Edisto Island, SC, we plan to take some naps and sleep in. It's going to be great.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Up To Speed

The Sierra Club has an interesting compedium of environmentally and politically related stats and factoids from the last two months on its website. Click HERE if you're interested.

In other factoid/stats related matters, here are some interesting tidbits from the August "Harper's Index":
Number of Louisiana towns the porn star Stormy Daniels has visited on her "listening tour" for a possible Senate run: 5

Projected percentage change by 2050 in the amount of mercury in the Pacific Ocean: +33

Estimated number of cars that it takes to produce as much CO2 as a single large cargo ship: 10,000

Projected percentage change in worldwide electricity usage this year: -3.5

Percentage by which moderate Internet surfers are more productive in thier jobs than non-surfers: 9

Estimated percentage of all existing blogs that have not been updated in four months: 94

Don't fear, dear readers, I plan to keep on keeping on with this humble little blog. I am part of the six percent, and I plan to keep you all being productive.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Music Friday: "Mercy, Mercy Me"

Click HERE for a classic from Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On album, one of my top twenty favorite albums.

The person who made this video has a green agenda, one I like.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stay Positive Wednesday: Homebrew

I write this post as I have wort boiling. I'm making an extra pale ale for the end of summer.

Homebrewing is something I've enjoyed for quite some time. A shout out to Aaron is necessary since he was the person who initially taught me the process and got me hooked.

The craft beer and microbrewery scene exploded in the 90s, but at one time homebrewing was one of the best ways to drink more full-bodied beers unless you lived in a large metro area. And it was cheaper. There's always that.

But one of the greatest aspects of homebrewing is pride. You made beer. Those of us tired of the insipid Duffs clogging up the marketplace reveled in heavier beers. And we still do.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where You Fit on the Political Map

Click HERE if you're interested in taking a very short quiz about your political leanings. A dedicated reader of the blog passed this along to me, and it's a pretty good little quiz.

As some of you readers might imagine, here is my result: Liberal

My personal issues score was 80%, and my economic issues score was 0%.

This is how the makers of the quiz define liberal: "Liberals usually embrace freedom of choice in personal matters, but tend to support significant governmental control of the economy. They generally support a government-funded 'safety net' to help the disadvantaged, [unnecessary comma] and advocate strict regulation of business. Liberals tend to favor environmental regulations, defend civil liberties and free expression, support government action to promote equality, and tolerate diverse lifestyles."

One of my favorite online quizzes of all time is the Famous Leader Test. If you take the 45 question test it's supposed to be the most accurate. My result came up as Einstein, but I know folks whose results are Lincoln, Bill Clinton, Gandhi, and Saddam.

Click HERE to take the test. I'd be interested to see what famous leader you're similar to if you're inclined to post your result.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


While I'm still skeptical about what type of play the Crimson Tide will get from the QB position, I recently read an article that is making me cautiously optimistic.

Apparently, Greg McElroy did quite well at the annual Manning Passing Academy down in Louisiana.

While I'm not ready to drink the Kool-Aid just yet on his talent and poise as the starting QB for my beloved Crimson Tide this season, this article makes it sound like McElroy will be an improvement from Wilson.

We'll see.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Music Friday: "Can't Turn You Loose"

Click HERE to watch a vintage performance of Otis Redding, a fellow I consider to the be one of the best R&B artists in music history.

Even if you don't enjoy his music that much, you might enjoy checking out the trio of dancers who are gyrating--60s style.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Stay Positive Wednesday: Newton, Iowa

Once Whirlpool took over Maytag a few years ago, it didn't look good for Newton, Iowa, a town that had an economy almost entirely dependent on one company.

Once the factories were shuttered and some of the now Whirlpool jobs transferred to Michigan (and probably elsewhere), the town hit rock bottom but stayed positive in gripping unemployment and crappy prospects.

As you can read about by clicking HERE in Audubon magazine, Newton is attracting "green collar" jobs and now has three separate companies employing its skilled workforce. The three companies don't fully make up for all of the lost Maytag jobs, but there are really positive developments.

So here's to a one-company town remaking itself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Great For Cooking!"

I use chicken broth in various dishes. Lately I've been purchasing Flavorite Chicken Broth for my culinary needs.

On the label the company markets the product with this tag phrase: "Great For Cooking!"

I have to wonder. What else would chicken broth be used for? Any thoughts?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Music Friday: "She's a Little Randy"

I'm a big fan of the Drive-By Truckers, and one of the members of the band, Patterson Hood, put out his second solo record, Murdering Oscar, this summer. I didn't even know he was doing solo work.

I was skeptical before listening to it because in the past I've made unkind comments of his singing ability. There are some DBT songs where I think he's stretching it. And although I like DBT's Brighter Than Creation's Dark, there are a few dogs on that opus, such as "I'm Sorry Huston," "Bob," and "Home Field Advantage." Those aren't Hood songs though. So maybe his singing is getting better?

Anyway, click HERE to enjoy "She's a Little Randy" from his solo album.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Stay Positive Wednesday: Facebook

Okay, I admit this weekly post is hard for me, so I'm going to have to volley a snide observation before I get to the positive: social networking sites are a strange mix of narcissism and voyeurism.

So let's move on.

Yep, I joined Facebook almost a month ago. Initially, I joined to create a FB page for the center that I'm the director of, but I can see some good with social networking sites.

I've connected and "friended" a number of people I haven't seen or heard from in years, so the site does provide ample opportunities to see what's going on in other people's lives. Some of the quizzes can be really interesting. And I'm especially fond of one application called "Pieces of Kirksville" where you can send pictures of the 'ville to people who have experienced the glories of the hub of northwest Missouri.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Bane of My Garden

If you have a garden, you might recognize the enemy above: the Japanese beetle.

These bastards are going after my beans and my collard greens right now, and I need to take them out. I tried some organic pesticide a while back, and I'm pretty sure it made my beans and greens taste a little funky.

So after some cursory research, it seems like catnip is a natural repellant. I need to get some soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Music Friday: "Fourth of July"

Click HERE to watch the video of "Fourth of July," a song by Shooter Jennings.

For a more comedic look at how people spend the holiday, check out this episode (Click HERE) of Man in the Box.

Have a good Indpendence Day, folks.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Stay Positive Wednesday: Laughter

I've read articles that talk about how laughter is good for you. It increases your heart rate, reduces stress, etc.

But it's just good to laugh. I guess I haven't watched a good comedy in a while since I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud when watching a movie. Any suggestions, folks?

But I have guffawed out loud a few times recently as I've been reading. Good ole Montaigne offers some sound advice about raising kids: "To return to my subject, there is nothing like arousing appetite and affection [for learning]; otherwise all you make out of them is asses loaded with books."

The best laughter in my life is laughing at what my kids say or hearing the laughter of my children. And that's good enough for me.