There's a new one every Wednesday!

Buy something... cheapskate!

Saturday, 8/31/02 - Another lunch story.

A couple of days ago, a friend and I were sitting at a booth at the front windows of a restaurant and were treated to a very special show. Very special, indeed. On the turnpike that runs in front of the restaurant, two panel trucks drove by. On the sides of each truck was the word "Choice," and rather graphic, rather large full color photos of aborted babies. Aborted babies with extra sauce, if you know what I mean. During the course of our meal, we were treated with not one, but three drive-bys as they must have been making continuous circuits of the area. Now, I usually avoid getting into that controversial fight over abortion, but I do disagree with SOME pro-lifers' tactics of getting their message across... mainly killing doctors, blowing up clinics, throwing fetuses at people... and generally making huge nuisances of themselves.

Last time I checked, abortion was legal. How about some trucks to drive around with pornographic scenes? Yeah, I'd like that. Pornography is considered by some to be obscene, but like abortion, it's also legal.

Anyhoo, this display didn't change my views of abortion but it reaffirmed my distaste for this crude in-your-face public message campaign. Just across the street from the restaurant was a Catholic school with kids playing on the lawn. OK, so the protesters wanted adults to see the horrors of abortion, but there was no need to expose kids to it.

At least, pornographers make a minimal effort to keep their products away from kids. And no, I'm not promoting porno... just making a comparison.

I have an idea. I challenge every pro-lifer out there to strike a legitimate deal with all pregnant women who are considering an abortion. With direct funding from you, the woman would carry the baby to term and then deliver it into your loving arms. This way, you could adopt every single child from an unwanted pregnancy and care for it until he/she reaches adulthood, thus solving the abortion issue.

Any takers out there?

Tuesday, 8/27/02 - A couple of incidents involving food... what are the odds that these two things would happen consecutively?

Last night I went to Sonic and got a BLT and a grilled cheese sandwich. When I got home, I discovered the grilled cheese sandwich was actually a cold piece of cheese and two buttered pieces of bread. They forgot to cook it. Fortunately, they remembered the complicated recipe for the BLT.

Today at lunch, Sieger (my supervisor and loyal friend) and I went to a deli/diner and I ordered a cheeseburger with tomato and onion only. When our numbers were called, we went to the counter and got our burgers. Halfway back to our table, I noticed something was missing on my burger... mainly, the burger itself.

Sieger said I yelled it out, but I don't think I was that loud when I exclaimed "WHERE'S THE MEAT?" Everyone got a laugh out of this, except the deli's owner, a Middle-Eastern gentleman who never shows any expression at all unless you attempt to joke with him... and then that expression is "disturbed."

I totally forgot that August 6 marked the 2nd anniversary of The Wonderful World of Longmire at this dot com address. So, Happy Birthday, website!

Monday, 8/26/02 - The sales tax in Tennessee has gotten (more) crazy lately since the budget crisis was (haphazardly) resolved last month. Here's some examples taken from a quiz that accompanied an article in last week's Metro Pulse, a Knoxville weekly alternative newspaper. These figures are for Knox County, the county that Knoxville is in...

1. What is the sales tax on a loaf of bread?
8.25 percent (Most food products were exempt from the recent sales tax increase.)

2. What is the sales tax on a Snickers Bar?
9.25 percent (Most candy products were exempt from the food exemption.)

3. What is the sales tax on a Reese's Stick Bar?
8.25 percent (The Reese's Stick Bar has flour and is therefore considered food instead of candy.)

4. What is the sales tax on a package of cough drops?
9.25 percent (In Tennessee, cough drops are considered candy.)

5. What is the sales tax on baby food?
8.25 percent

6. What is the sales tax on horse food?
0 (Virtually everything a farmer needs to farm in Tennessee is exempt from sales taxes.)

7. What is the sales tax on a newspaper?

8. What is the sales tax on a magazine?
9.25 percent

9. If someone does repair work on a central air conditioning unit, what is the tax on that labor?
0 (A central air conditioning unit is considered a part of fixed real estate, and repairs to fixed real estate are exempt.)

10. If someone does repair work on a window air conditioning unit, what is the tax on that labor?
9.25 percent

11. What sales and use tax rate does a manufacturer pay for electricity used in the manufacturing process?
1.5 percent

12. What sales and use tax does a residential user pay on electricity?

13. In addition to the sales tax, what is Tennessee's current cigarette tax per cigarette?
one cent

14. If your cable bill is $50, how much sales and use tax do you pay?
$3.11 (The first $15 of cable bills are exempt. The next $12.50 is taxed at 8.25 percent. The remainder of the bill is taxed at 9.25 percent.)

15. If you buy a car for $10,000, what is the combined state and local sales taxes on the purchase?
$780 (The tax is 9.25 percent for the first $1,600, 9.75 percent for the next $1,600, and 7 percent for the remainder.)

Pretty stupid, eh?

In the article is an opinion voiced by Charlie Thomas, a local attorney, that I agree with totally...

Thomas says he has started going out of his way to stock up on groceries and gasoline when he is out of state. But his main reason is not to save money. It's to protest.

"I'm pretty fed up," says Thomas, who believes part of Tennessee's problem is exorbitant highway spending, which is supported by gasoline taxes. "At this point, I don't want to buy anything in this state if I don't have to. All my life, I've tried to defend Tennessee against charges that we're a politically backward state. I surrender now."

Here's the article if you want to read it.

Friday, 8/23/02 - Photos from the road...

Can anyone else see the irony here?

(Just in case you can't read the lettering on the reflective surface of the truck, it reads, "Batesville Casket Company.... Please Drive Safely." OK, OK, it's a pretty weak joke... but it's all I've got for today.)

Thursday, 8/22/02 -From yesterday's lead story on CNN's website...

Al Qaeda fighters rush a burning hut in an exercise meant to prepare them for urban combat.

Urban combat training?... THIS??? Well, it looks like to me that this would great training if you're planning an armed assault on Abraham Lincoln's birthplace.

Or, maybe this scene is actually a blooper from the terrorist training video... where they realized that they left the beans on the stove too long.

Wednesday, 8/21/02 - I got some e-mail comments concerning yesterday's two entries which happen to be about a couple of black entertainers. I won't go into it in detail, but I can respond by stating, no, it wasn't on purpose... just a co-inky-dink.

Mean and inconsiderate? ME? I am actually a truly loving, kind, thoughtful, and caring human being. I am also very modest.

And if you don't believe me, I'll bust your head open.

Killed by waterfall

Tuesday, 8/20/02 - The Official Police Report (OPR) has just been released concerning the automobile crash that took the life of Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, member of the popular girl-singing-group TLC. It turns out that, contrary to her and TLC's advice to their fans, Lopes was in fact killed while in the process of chasing a waterfall. DNA evidence of a waterfall was found inside the vehicle as well as inside the vest pockets, nasal passages, and rectum of Lopes. The police report also states that the damaged state of the vehicle involved shows the unmistakable signs of a head on collision with a waterfall. The cast of CBS's hit crime-busting TV series CSI:Crime Scene Investigation confirm this finding and went on to deduce that Lopes and her posse (I said posse) must have been chasing the waterfall at a high rate of speed when the waterfall did an unexpected about-face (or, using rapper street lingo, "hung a U-ie") and slammed into the fast-approaching Lopes (in her car with the previously mentioned posse). With the assistance of a motorized cadaver wearing a cowboy hat, CSI star William Peterson came to his professional conclusion that "Left Eye disobeyed her own advice by not "sticking to the rivers and the lakes that she was used to." Peterson then flung the cadaver at the wall and left the room.

Speaking of cadavers, last night I watched all of 15 minutes of a show on VH1 commemorating the 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson's career. I think it was an old rerun, maybe. 15 minutes was all I could bear as it turned out to be a royal ass-kissing fest bestowed upon a self-mutilating freak. The opening number featured an emaciated Whitney Houston. She was so skinny, it hurt just looking at her... almost as much as seeing the rapidly decomposing King of Pop in the audience. Another musical number consisted of some female singers performing some kind of uplifting emotional ballad interspersed with scenes of The Odd One visiting children in various hospitals. You know how unpredictable young children are... in one shot, a toddler reached out toward an unsuspecting Jackson and pulled off part of his chin. Other parts of this segment showed Jacko in past music videos as a bare-chested angel as well as showing several ill-advised close-ups of his face. I found myself saying out loud, "My god, he's weird." This portion of the show was followed by "personal" testimonies by celebrities such as Sophia Loren, Katherine Hepburn, and Gregory Peck. Peck nailed it perfectly when he referred to Jackson as a "sacred monster." I'm not kidding. Hepburn was shown sitting in an overstuffed chair soaked in her own urine. I turned the channel rather quickly at that point.

Monday, 8/19/02 - Beware of the puffer.

In the men's restroom where I work (I mean, the restroom at my workplace... I don't actually work in a restroom) there is a room deodorizer that is an aerosol can that puffs out this scented mist in timed intervals. Every time I'm standing at the urinal, this deodorizer goes off with a loud "PFFFFFTTT" and startles me, which results in me almost damaging myself. It never fails. First the scent was some kind of talc smell, then they replaced it with a cinnamon scented one, and now the current scent smells like a department store perfume counter. It's really heavy and leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Either the custodian got the men's and women's restrooms mixed up, or we're the butt (no pun intended) of a cruel prank. If the guys got the perfume smell, then I guess the women's restroom smells like pretzels and beer.

I don't know why I told you all that, but after all, there is a disclaimer at the top of this page that states, "Stuff I'm going to tell you about whether you want to hear it or not."

I like to think that you do.

Rest in peace, your Highness.

Sunday, 8/18/02 - After all is said and done, Elvis is still dead.

A lot of you may be asking yourselves, "Is there a connection between Longmire and The King?" Yes, I'm sure you're asking that. The answer is YES... sort of.

In the weeks following Elvis's death back in 1977, a lot of people brainstormed ideas on how to make money off the name of the recently departed King. One such person came up with an get-rich quick scheme, hired my father to design artwork for an Elvis quilt, of all things. OK, go ahead and laugh. The quilt was to be mass-produced and the final art consisted of squares showing gold records of Elvis's hit singles and also squares depicting scenes from his movies. My dad did a great job on it, got paid for it, the customer took the artwork to be reproduced, and we never heard any more about it.

A few years later, I saw a tongue-in-cheek styled TV documentary about Elvis fans and memorabilia on a major cable channel. I've got that show SOMEWHERE on tape. One scene took place in an Elvis memorabilia museum. And what did I see spread out on a bed but the Elvis quilt designed by my dad. It wasn't singled out for a particular mention, but there it was in the shot with the host of the show sitting on it. I felt proud in a weird sort of way... I guess it was like if you had seen your car wrecked on the news. So, I guess they DID sell some of those quilts after all... so there is the sole Longmire contribution to the Elvis legacy... or lunacy, however you look at it.

Fascinated? Impressed? Yes, I thought so.

I'm tired of the look of this page. Design-wise, it doesn't resemble the rest of the site. What was I thinking? I'm going to redesign The (almost) Daily Comment and have a new look by the start of next month, and stick with it for good. So, don't be frightened when you see the new page. Everything will be OK... I promise.

Saturday, 8/17/02 - Current Events (keep in mind that I'm not an informed expert on ANYTHING)

Good luck with this one: $116 trillion lawsuit filed by 9/11 families.

"It's up to us to bankrupt the terrorists," said Deena Burnett, whose husband was aboard the hijacked Flight 93 that crashed September 11. Acknowledging the odds are against them, relatives of the September 11 attacks filed a 15-count, $116 trillion lawsuit Thursday against the company run by Osama bin Laden's family, Saudi Arabian princes and Sudan. Calling themselves Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism, the plaintiffs are suing seven international banks; eight Islamic foundations, charities and their subsidiaries; individual terrorist financiers; the Saudi bin Laden Group; three Saudi princes; and the government of Sudan for allegedly bankrolling the terrorist al Qaeda network, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.

I realize that this action is more symbolic than realistic (they'll never see a dime), but it's a good thing the group didn't call themselves Families United to Condemn Killing.

Judging from the news, you would think that child abduction is on the rise in this country, but the FBI says that isn't the case. The statistics are the same, it's just that the media is focusing more attention to the incidents now. Personally, I can tell you one thing that is never mentioned on the news by any "experts"... parents need to watch their kids more closely. I've seen it in neighborhoods. Toddlers being watched (if at all) by slightly older children, kids running perilously near the street while the parent is preoccupied by (you guessed it) talking on the ol' cell phone. Lazy, self-indulgent parents make it easy for child snatchers to shop for their victims. I still see this even after the news of child abductions has become more prominant.

I used to have a neighbor that lived across the street and I found myself (out of concern) watching her very two young children in her yard while she was inside doing whatever. I called her on it a couple of times but she never changed her parental behavior. I was anticipating the day when they were snatched or run over. Fortunately, it never happened and she moved away. This is what I'm talking about... lazy parental supervision.

I'm not saying that this is the reason for all of these child abductions, but I'll bet you a dollar that it played a major part in most of the cases involving small children. The child safety "experts" won't ever say this because they're probably scared to place any blame on parents... not a "proper" thing to say and too un-PC. Instead, the experts put all of the safety responsibility on the kid, teaching them how to deal with strangers. That's good, but better parental supervision is just as important and needs to be stressed just as much.

I saw on CNN this morning that there is a slavery reparations rally being held in Washington, D.C. today. Should the government pay African-Americans apology money for slavery? I guess the big question is who would be actually paying. The American tax-payer of course. So, if taxes fund the reparations, doesn't that mean that a lot of people who had nothing at all to do with slavery will be, in effect, paying slavery's descendents a tidy sum? People who immigrated to the U.S. long after slavery was abolished will have to dole out tax money for this? Also, not all white folks had slaves (mostly wealthy people) so why should we be made to pay or even feel guilty about it? Make the wealthy white families who owned slaves fork out the money and leave the rest of us alone.

In order for reparations to be considered, it can't just be a handout. I would think that descendants of slaves would have to prove just that... that they are the relatives of slaves and are entitled to some compensation. That part could prove tricky and maybe impossible with some families. The logistics of such a verification process would be difficult at best.

Finally, aren't present day blacks taxpayers themselves? If there isn't a system created for the parties responsible to foot the bill for this, blacks (being taxpayers) may in effect be paying themselves reparations for slavery.

So, a pro baseball strike may be coming up by the 30th. Who cares? These guys make a LOT of money for playing a game... for playing a really boring game. Somewhere along the line in the past, the salaries and contract amounts of professional athletes started increasing to ridiculous amounts that are insulting to normal working people. The team owners pay top dollar because they want the best players so they can win, which attracts fans to the games, which attracts advertising and marketing, etc... all to make big money, of course. I say put a cap on the salaries. I think $50-60,000 (plus paid expenses) a year is more than enough for what the job of a baseball player calls for. If the player doesn't like that amount, well... then, they don't have to play. They can go back home and plow the field or man the McDonald's drive-thru. The same with ridulously-paid actors. You want to act in a movie? Here's what we'll pay you... take it or leave it. Don't like our offer? OK, then go make a feature film on your own with your camcorder.


OK, I'm done.

Friday, 8/16/02 - My daughter sleeps weird...

Do you remember where you were when you heard the news that Elvis had died? Were you even born yet? I had just graduated high school a couple months prior and I remember being at work that day and wondering why the radio station was playing so many Elvis songs... then I heard the news. I wasn't an Elvis fan at all and hadn't even heard of him doing anything for a while, but I knew this was major news. Only in the past 25 years since his death have I become a semi-Elvis fan. Yeah, Elvis was definitely cool.

Wednesday, 8/14/02 - Wow, what a wasted evening last night. I just laid on the couch and watched 2 hours of old Hollywood Squares shows from the mid-70s. Charlie Weaver to block, please. It was mildly entertaining though, picking out the now-dead celebrities and viewing old prizes like Chevy Vegas, Super 8 home movie outfits, and really dated looking dining room furniture. I had stuff to do but just didn't feel like doing a thing.

Monday, 8/12/02 - This weekend, I went saw the movie Signs. Excellent movie... I highly recommend it. It's about an alien invasion and how it affects a Pennslyvania farm family consisting of widower/father Mel Gibson, brother Joaquin Phoenix, and Gibson's two young children. What I liked most about the movie is that rather than going the full-scale route of Independance Day and showing how the country and world witnesses and battles the alien invaders, the movie audience is isolated along with this family... the only way we know what is going on elsewhere is through snippets of TV commentary that we witness along with them. But there is more going on than just the aliens... there is a human drama involving this family recovering from a recent tragedy that ties along very nicely with the sci-fi storyline. There's a lot of quick startling moments, so be ready for them... in other words, you might spray the people seated in front of you with diet coke if you're not careful. For a while, I thought we wouldn't get a good close look at an alien, but.... well, you'll have to see the movie.

Thursday, 8/8/02 - Jared's Secret... REVEALED!!!
Suzy J. showed me what she found on her Subway sandwich bag

Pickies! So, that's the secret to Jared's diet! But what are "pickies?" Scabs? Boogers? Dried or peeling sunburned skin?

This is for real. Don't believe me? Check your Subway bag, chump.

Better late than never...
I was working on this piece just days before September 11 last year. After the tragedies, It didn't seem right at the time to post it, and then I forgot about it until recently. So, if 11 months is a long enough waiting period, here goes...

Do you know what to do if you receive a bomb threat over the telephone at work? Here's a Telephone Bomb Threat Checklist to have handy to guide you through this harrowing experience. It's also available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Wednesday, 8/7/02 - When I first heard the name of this tool, I thought it was some Sears-sponsored sports/porno event...

Saturday, 8/3/02 - Mel Gibson has a brand new feature film out called Signs...

"Dad, why are those monkeys swinging those sticks?"

Is Gibson losing his mind? From the descriptive caption above, it looks like this new film will be just as odd as his last movie.

Friday, 8/2/02 - Hey, Funkified Apes Fans... Part 7: Dr. Z's Rap Session is now online.

Well, what are you waiting for? READ IT NOW, DAMN YOU!!!