Wednesday, May 16, 2007

wacka-wacka wednesday plus long day's journey into thursday

USA TODAY snapshot asks:
Would you pay for an electronic health record?

Sudiegirl's response:
Well...that depends on whether Stevie Wonder does a guest appearance. I would like to hear him sing songs about my kidneys and liver. Beyond that, maybe not.

So...I'm crawling out of my sanctimonious mood from Monday. Thank God. I am glad I expresed my opinion, but wow...I didn't know I could get that scholarly sounding and all.'s the middle of the week and all that. First things first...if anyone in the DC/Montgomery County MD area reads this blog, I have a little commercial blurb to place for my church. Here we go...

Car Wash Fundraiser for Youth Mission Trip to New Orleans

May 21 (Sunday)
10:00am – 2:00pm

Darnestown Shell
Darnestown Road and Seneca Road

Whatever God tells you to give…

The Rev. Alison Quin

For my DC area readers...come get your car washed for a good cause! This is an activity my church is sponsoring for the youth group mission trip to New Orleans. There are still Hurricane Katrina damages to fix, and these folks are going down there to do so. This is not their first mission trip...they've also gone to the Appalachian Mountains, and last year they went to El Hogar (an orphanage/school in Central America).

So come out, get a shiny car in the process, and help a good cause make its way to New Orleans!

Thank you...the management


OK - the commercial's out of the way, so let's get down ta bidness, yo!

(I suck at this dialect. I'd better quit.)

As far as personal crap, not much to report. Relationship weirdness is the stuff is the is the same...therapy's the same.

I did find out that three more of my cousins (on my mom's side) are all going to be shipped to Iraq by September. When I think about how long this war has been going on, it just staggers the mind. I also found out from Ed H. that his niece is marrying someone she met online who is a military person and will probably be shipping out in the near future.

I remember how horrible it was to go through the waiting when my first husband was called to service. I don't wish those feelings on anyone. They signed up for the service and all that, but that doesn't make the prospects of them going to the Middle East any less scary. Not in the least.

I am proud of them for taking this kind of step toward their future, but I'm scared for them too. These are little kids I played with, snuggled...hell, one cousin was my ring bearer when I got married to husband #1, and another was my flower girl! (The third one married my flower girl.) But all of them were little kids at one I would have babysat for...changed their diapers, helped to feed, etc. What is happening to this world?

Also, I found out last weekend that the assistant pastor at our church (listed above as the contact person for the carwash) is leaving our parish. That really knocked me for a loop, and I did cry but I also know that she needs to make the change. It'd be way selfish of me to be mad at her...I'll just miss her, I guess. I hope they find someone as good as she is to fill her shoes, ya know?

If I keep on in this vein, I will just cry and short out my keyboard so I'll switch topics. Thanks.


I am long overdue to give out an award, so how about a "Brain Trust", y'all?

Recipient:'s a tossup between Howard Ludwig and the Illinois State Police.

Reason: Invoking the process of issuing a baby a handgun permit. To quote the article:

Bubba Ludwig can't walk, talk or open the refrigerator door — but he does have his very own Illinois gun permit.

The 10-month-old, whose given name is Howard David Ludwig, was issued a firearm owner's identification card after his father, Howard Ludwig, paid the $5 fee and filled out the application, not expecting to actually get one.

Judge's comments:

You have to see me typing here, folks. I'm really trying hard not to laugh my fool head off. It's an exercise in futility but you can't blame a girl for trying. To be honest, it's simply because this kid's nickname is "Bubba". Right there, I can see a future of monster trucks, Copenhagen and naked lady mudflaps, and the kid's not even in preschool yet. So's so difficult for me to ignore the phantom sounds of banjos playing in the background.

The article goes on to say that a gunowner has to have a license in order to own a handgun, but there is no age restriction. Therefore, Baby Bubba's application went right on through without a hassle.

Here's the rest of the story, folks...

Illinois State Police oversee the application process. Their purpose, said Lt. Scott Compton, is to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, those under an order of protection and those convicted of domestic violence.

"Does a 10-month-old need a FOID card? No, but there are no restrictions under the act regarding age of applicants," he said.

Ludwig, 30, of Chicago, applied for the card after his own father bought Bubba a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun as a gift. The weapon will probably be kept at Ludwig's father's house until the boy is at least 14.

Again, I want to make clear that I'm OK with gun ownership even though I don't own one. I have my own opinions on gun control, and for the most part I feel the same way as the Illinois State Police do...keep guns out of the hands of the individuals that fit the qualifications listed above.

But why did bubba's dear Grandpa feel that the baby needed a 12-GAUGE BERETTA SHOTGUN as a gift? You know what would be more useful for the kid if you're thinking about their future? Here's a list:
  • An education fund of some sort.
  • A computer.
  • Savings bonds
  • A set of encyclopedias
  • A set of "Girls Gone Wild" DVDs (so you aren't wondering if I'm actually the one compiling this list)
See? Practicality is the key thought here.

Furthermore, why does the requisite "keep the gun at Grandpa's until the kid's 14" option even exist? My dad loved my nephew very much but he didn't buy the kid a gun at any time during the child's life up to this point. Is Gramps so impatient that he doesn't think shotguns will even EXIST in this world by the time the kid turns 14? (Well, maybe light sabres will replace guns, but that's another subject altogether...and you may have to file for light sabre permits too.)

Another question comes into play as well. Don't gun permits expire after a certain point? I mean, Bubba may have to refile for his permit by the time he hits first grade. At least he'll be able to write his name fairly legibly, but whether or not crayons go through carbonless forms is another thought altogether.

In closing...I have to say that while I'm OK with gun ownership, this is not the best idea in the file. Wait till the kid's old enough to appreciate the privilege and responsibility of the whole thing, and THEN do it.

Finally, a "Scooby Dooby Dubious Distinction" award...
Recipient: Myra Castleberry, a plus-sized female that's 48 years of age...a resident of upstate New York.
Distinction: She will now be forever known as the "Hugging Bandit".

To quote the article:
The "Hugging Bandit" — the plus-size pickpocket who put the squeeze on tipsy men and their wallets in upstate New York — is behind bars, police said. Myra Castleberry, 48, was being held without bail and police hoped they had seen the last of a decade-long spree of thefts.
Yes...Ms. Castleberry's schtick was lovingly accosting drunks outside of bars in the upstate New York area and picking their pockets. Ms. Castleberry had been arrested a grand total of 17 times between 1998 and 2005, which is not a small feat in itself. Her legal history also contains two previous felony convictions. But the tactics are what get me giggling the most:
The Hugging Bandit targeted dozens of unsuspecting men outside bars over the years, distracting them in the wee hours of the morning by fondling them and then secretly stealing their wallets. She would use the victims' credit cards within hours of the thefts.
Judge's comments:

While the ten commandments specifically state "Thou Shalt Not Steal", ya gotta admire someone who could keep this up over the years. That takes determination. I mean, it's all I can do to hug someone I know very well that's sloshed to the gills, and I'm not even thinking about picking their pockets. I'm just thinking that I need to GO RIGHT NOW.

When you hug someone that drunk, let's face it...they could puke on you OR pass out on you, knocking you both to the ground. Neither option is good, especially when they can be combined. With my luck, anything disgusting that could happen to me would happen. So ya gotta admire this woman's capacity to tolerate high puking probability.

Next, here's another amusing tidbit about how this lady got away with it for so long, as well as her downfall:

Castleberry...was suspected in the thefts, but police said most victims were too drunk to identify her.

That changed when a Tonawanda man called police after reading a February newspaper account and reported he had lost $238 to the Hugging Bandit in August 2005.

"We set up a photo array, and he picked her out immediately," Donovan told The Buffalo News for its Wednesday edition. "He said, `I'll never forget a face.'"

First of all, I would just LOVE to see reactions of the other victims' faces when they found out about this. Can you imagine them reading the article and fuming about how THEY THEMSELVES were so loaded that she robbed them blind and they don't even remember it?

For that matter, what if fellow drinking buddies get wind of the fact that their bud was pickpocketed by a "fat chick" and they were too drunk to remember what she looked like? That's a by-product of "beer goggles" right there. I can just imagine the next poker game...

"Hey man...heard about you getting pick-pocketed by a fat chick and you couldn't remember what she looked like. Tough break, dude...maybe you'll have to switch to light beer, huh? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!"

"Yeah...shut the f*** up, George."

"Man, what is up with that? Did she just stuff your face in her tits or what?"

"I said shut the f*** up, George."

"'s just a sad state of affairs. You'd better not go drinkin' alone for a thing you know, you'll be..."

(George's taunts are stifled by a folding chair stuffed vigorously in his mouth.

And the guy that ID'd Castleberry? He'll probably get crap because he didn't forget her face. Seriously. All his friends will ask him for hugs now, especially the ones with HUGE beer bellies...oops, sorry...liquid grain containment units.

Let's just hope that Castleberry comes out of prison knowing her personal boundaries and not hugging someone just to get what she wants. If not, let's hope that this cuts down on alcohol consumption by men in upstate New York. It might not, but maybe there's hope.

Also, you could have an inspiring t-shirt..."I got ripped off by the Hugging Bandit and all I got was this lousy t-shirt."

So in conclusion, here's today's irrelevant song lyric:

At the tender age of three,
I was hooked to a machine
just to keep my mouth from spouting junk...

(Thanks to Thomas Morgan Dolby Robertson for inspiration today...Merujo, if you're reading this, let me know if I've got the names in the right order, please!)

That is all...