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Location: Great Falls, Montana, United States

I have been married for almost seven wonderful years now and have made my parents and in-laws the proud grandparents of a chow mix named Hagrid and a three year old baby girl, Miss T as her goddess mothers would have her known.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A good sense of humor

A good sense of humor is worth everything.
PARIS (Reuters) - French President Jacques Chirac took a call from Canada's newly elected leader only to find he had been fooled by a pair of radio pranksters known as the "Masked Avengers" in Canada's French-speaking city of Montreal.
Chirac's office confirmed that the French leader had taken a courtesy call Thursday purportedly from Canada's new conservative Prime Minister-elect Stephen Harper.
But after swapping diplomatic niceties during a lengthy chat, Marc-Antoine Audette of CKOI radio -- Canada's most popular station with over a million listeners -- let the 73-year-old Chirac in on the joke.
"We chose Mr Chirac because he is pretty famous, he is the president of France, and for us it was the chance to talk to a head of state," Audette, 25, said by telephone from Montreal.
"It was the first time my partner Sebastien Trudel and me had spoken to a head of state." Since the real Harper had not yet spoken to Chirac, "we said, why not, we'll give it a go and we're delighted that it worked."
Chirac did not react once to Audette's outrageously thick French-Canadian accent as the two men discussed relations, including the name of Canada's new ambassador to France -- Richard Z. Sirois -- who unbeknownst to Chirac is a well-known French Canadian humorist.
When Audette complained of the poor press coverage Harper has had in France, Chirac said: "You cannot stop the newspapers from saying any old rubbish, it's true in France and it's true in Canada, so don't let yourself be impressed by that."
"Exactly Mr President, liberty, equality and fraternity. Amen," said Audette in his the over-the-top accent, a response that earned the fake prime minister an invitation to make an official visit to France.
When Audette finally revealed himself as a bogus prime minister, Chirac burst out laughing.
"In any case, know that my friendship for Canada and the new conservative government is a real friendship and without reserve," he said.
The radio station, which has previously hoaxed Tiger Woods, Paul McCartney and Janet Jackson, plans to broadcast the discussion at 1630 Eastern Standard Time Friday.

And the prize for worst preformance

And the prize for worst performance goes to..
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Tom Cruise may have survived a Martian attack in last year's remake of "War of the Worlds," but he has failed to elude Hollywood's movie police.
The actor was among the contenders announced on Monday for the annual Razzie Awards, which "honor" the worst achievements in film.
Cruise will compete for the year's worst actor award with Will Ferrell ("Bewitched," "Kicking & Screaming"), Jamie Kennedy ("Son of the Mask"), Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ("Doom") and Rob Schneider ("Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo").
The nominees were announced by The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, a tongue-in-cheek organization that claims more than 700 voting members.
Foundation head John Wilson said in an interview he did not think Cruise's portrayal of a working-class man in "War of the Worlds" was particularly credible.
While there were arguably worse performances, Cruise's off-screen antics, either in support of Scientology, or in the throes of passion with new girlfriend Katie Holmes, ensured he made the grade, Wilson said.
Indeed, Cruise was nominated twice in the new category of most tiresome tabloid target, which salutes "the celebs we're all sick and tired of," Wilson said.
Cruise is already a Razzie winner, sharing the honor with Brad Pitt for worst screen couple in "Interview with the Vampire." He was also nominated for the film "Cocktail."
Actresses Jenny McCarthy and Jessica Simpson also picked up three nominations. McCarthy was cited for worst actress, worst screen couple and worst screenplay for "Dirty Love." Simpson will also vie for worst screen couple, as well as worst supporting actress as Daisy Duke in "The Dukes of Hazard."
"Son of the Mask," a sequel to the 1994 Jim Carrey hit, led the nominated films with eight mentions. Unfortunately for the producers, Carrey did not reprise his role in the new film and no one went to see it.
"Dukes of Hazzard," which did well at the box office, received seven nominations.
Winners will be announced on March 4, the day before the Academy Awards. Last year's announcement was attended by Halle Berry, graciously taking her lumps for "Catwoman."

Elderly Cause Crime Rate to go up in Japan

Forget the young punk kids, keep your eyes on the elderly!
TOKYO (Reuters) - Crimes committed by elderly people in Japan have risen sharply in the past 15 years, a trend that has officials worried as the population ages rapidly due to longer lifespans and a falling birth rate.
Police data shows that people aged 65 and older accounted for more than 10 percent of those arrested or taken into custody for crimes other than traffic violations in Japan in 2005, compared with just 2.2 percent in 1990, the Asahi newspaper said on Monday, citing National Police Agency data.
Theft topped the list of crimes committed by the elderly in 2005, while 141 elderly people were arrested for murder -- more than three times the number in 1990, the newspaper said.
Nearly one-third of the victims of crimes committed by the elderly in 2005 were spouses, it added.
Agency officials would not confirm the report, which also said the Justice Ministry was seeking funds to research the problem.
In March, an 81-year-old man arrested on suspicion of strangling his 73-year-old wife said he had killed her after a quarrel over food she had prepared, Asahi said.
Nearly one in five Japanese is aged 65 or older, and the ratio is expected to rise to one in four over the next decade as policy makers struggle to deal with a demographic shift that could deal a heavy blow to the economy.
Japanese worries about crime in a land once seen as one of the world's safest have focused in recent years on offences by foreigners and youth. Despite such concerns, the number of penal code offences known to police declined by 6 percent in 2004, the last year for which official data has been released.

Maybe Mexico has the solution to this?  See the Serial Killer post.

Serial Killer With a Death Alter???

There is religion and there is RELIGION, which do you have?
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A former female wrestler, accused of killing 11 elderly women in the Mexican capital, had an altar to the skeletal, scythe-wielding Santa Muerte, death cult figure in her home, newspapers said on Saturday.
Police searching the home of Juana Barraza, 48, after her arrest this week found a statue of Santa Muerte, or Saint Death, who is popular with thieves and drug smugglers, Reforma newspaper said.
She has confessed to several murders, police said.
Barraza, accused of being the feared "Mataviejitas," or "Little Old Lady Killer," sought by police for years, left offerings for the figure and also had a dead snake preserved in a jar in her home, papers said.
Barraza was arrested on Wednesday after she was spotted fleeing the home of an 82-year-old woman who had been strangled with a stethoscope. Barraza has been charged in the woman's death.
Police say fingerprints link her to the murders of 10 other old women in the capital since 2000 and say she may have murdered another 30 people, most of them elderly women.
Santa Muerte is a centuries-old pagan cult which has seen a resurgence in interest in recent years and now claims some 2 million faithful in Mexico. Followers range from elite politicians to kidnappers and gangsters.
The Catholic Church frowns on the cult.
A muscular woman with short ginger hair, Barraza once fought professionally as a wrestler under the name "The Silent Lady." She had recently worked as a popcorn vendor at the wrestling shows.
Hmmmm, maybe we should send her to Japan..?

Matchmakers gone to extremes

Matchmakers, gone to the extreme!
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hoping to ease the nightmare of flying next to a crashing bore, a company in New York will match like-minded passengers to help make the time fly.
Inspired by a flight where he found himself happily seated next to Miss Texas, company founder Peter Shankman says he set up AirTroductions to give travelers a chance to choose their seatmates.
"It is for anyone who travels who does not want to have to deal with the psychological hell of sitting 2 inches from someone you don't know for eight hours," he said.
To use AirTroductions, travelers register online, listing personal details in a profile. When they post their traveling itineraries, the registry provides information on other people taking the same flights.
The registry is free until a user opts to contact a fellow traveler for a $5 fee. Typically, they meet in an airport, where they can arrange to sit together, Shankman said. Nearly 4,500 people have enrolled, although only about 60 have made matches since the registry kicked off last fall, he said.
Julia Filz said she signed up because she's a nervous flyer who wants a seatmate to distract her. "If I'm sitting next to somebody and I'm talking to them, I don't even know if we're taking off or landing," said Filz, who works in Baltimore.
Besides, she added, the system might help avoid a repeat of her worst seatmate experience -- seated beside a woman who was very drunk first thing in the morning.
Randy Petersen, editor of InsideFlyer magazine, said he was not sure the idea would fly. Having a good seat trumps chatting with a stranger, he bets.
"A frequent flyer would never give up an upgrade to first class to go back and sit in coach next to someone you may want to throw out of the plane in the first hour," he said.
And there's the question of who gets the middle seat. "I'm not sure any conversation is interesting enough to have two elbows with me," Petersen said.
While it's designed for networking, a fair share of the people registered with AirTroductions admit they're looking for dates. Some appear more promising than others
One man provided his photo, with half his hair shocking pink and the other bright blue. One woman promised she "always smells nice," while another insisted that any seatmate wear full body deodorant spray.
A photographer said he was looking for investors, an executive said he was seeking "engaging conversations" about globalization and technology and a rabbi said he would like to "schmooze about Judaism."
One woman from Seattle gave a description that could render her either the best -- or worst -- seatmate ever. "I'm that person whose laugh you'll hear over everyone else's: some call it infectious, others just loud," she wrote.
In Petersen's view, most passengers prefer traveling alone, playing video games on laptops while tuning into music on headphones. But even the most misanthropic traveler can find happiness in AirTroductions, Shankman said.
The system allows passengers to note if what they really desire is a seatmate who will leave them alone, he said.
What will they think of next?  Date your Pizza delivery guy?

Too much?

Going a little overboard, dontcha think?
CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian state plans to ban students from wearing denim because it is linked with having a good time.
"It is associated with weekend wear, with recreational time. It's just unacceptable at schools and we are trying to lift the standards," a spokesman for Western Australia state Education Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich said.
The ban on denim in Western Australia's secondary schools will be imposed from 2007.
And we are not supposed to have fun in school.  It is a tool of learning, not of fun!  Blah, blah blah!

Can we say oops?

Can we say oops..?
LONDON (Reuters) - It was every museum-goer's nightmare -- a stumble, a crash and thousands of pounds worth of historic fragments lying on the floor.
The incident happened last week at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England, which for decades has displayed a group of Qing dynasty Chinese vases on a window sill.
A hapless visitor tripped on his shoelace, tumbled down a flight of stairs and crashed into the vases, smashing them into smithereens.
The man, who has not been named, left the museum shaken but undamaged -- in sharp contrast to the vases.
"It was a most unfortunate and regrettable accident but we are glad that the visitor involved was able to leave the museum unharmed," museum director Duncan Robinson said Monday.
"Whilst the method of displaying objects is always under review, it is important not to over-react and make the Museum's collections less accessible to the visiting public," he added in a statement.
The priceless vases, dating from the late 17th or early 18th century, were donated to the museum in 1948 and have become one of its most recognizable exhibits.
Shocked but determined, museum staff have vowed to glue the pieces back together again.

Can you imagine trying to pay that off in one lifeime?

Sex Life in the Fast

Sex Life in the Fast Lane
Dear Ian:I’m a sexual thrill-seeker, and for years I was married to a party-pooping limp noodle. After my divorce, I played it cool, but now I’m hot and heavy with a sexual daredevil. On the one hand, it’s thrilling to be equally matched in terms of desire and excitement, but I’m scared where it might lead. Any suggestions?--Cautiously Curious
Most couples get bored of sex at some point in their relationship -- usually sooner than later -- and endeavor to make it hot again -- all the while envying those hot-and-heavy couples who can’t keep their hands off each other. But even the hot and heavies are not immune to potential pitfalls as they try to cross the sexual high wire.

In general, everyone has the capacity to experience sensation at some level, but there’s a range in the degree of intensity that we’re receptive to and seek out. In terms of sensation-seeking and sex, people tend to fall into two categories: the highs and lows.
The best relationships are those in which the couple is evenly matched on the sensation-seeking scale, which isn’t always easy to know in the beginning of a relationship because we’re being fueled by so many potent sex chemicals. When we’re in the infatuation stage, or honeymoon period, the relationship itself is the new experience, so we don’t need to seek out more.
It’s after the initial period that differences start to manifest themselves. Some studies have shown that ideally it’s best when we’re matched at the low-sensation level: Expectations are even, and we’re less likely to grow bored or get habituated to sex. This is the less-is-more crowd, and a great, satisfying relationship can be built and sustained at this level.
But then there is the matching at the high sensation-seeking level -- the sexual bungee-jumpers. This is better than a mismatch, like high-low, but has more dangers than the less-is-more group. This is the more-is-more group!
Some of the dangers facing the more-is-mores:
  •   These are people who often crave stimulation and sexual novelty and are more easily bored. As such, they’re more liable to cheat.

  •   In general the more-is-more crowd gets a rush from sex, associated with the brain’s production of dopamine, a near-cousin of adrenaline. Dopamine is produced when we do novel, exciting things together, and it fuels the infatuation stage for all new lovers. But the dopamine rush is addictive -- it’s interesting to note that FMRI-scans of the brains of people head over heels in love show high activity in the same areas as those of drug addicts and alcoholics. High sensation-seekers are literally operating under the influence

  •   This group is also more likely to push the extremes of sexual experimentation -- exhibitionism (lots of PDAs), voyeurism -- which could have practical repercussions (for example, losing track of a homemade sex video) or emotional repercussions (for example, hurt feelings caused by the fallout of a threesome or other sexual adventure). Everyone has sexual fantasies, but the high sensation-seekers are much more likely to turn fantasy into action, sometimes with unwanted consequences. This group might also become more dependent on external triggers -- porn, sex toys, risky behavior, etc. -- than the low-lows.

  •   In terms of priorities, the hot-sexers often put excitement ahead of intimacy. Crudely put, it becomes more about the sport of having sex than making love. So hot-sexers might start to feel emotionally out of step with each other, or feel bereft of genuine intimacy.

  •   Hot-sexers may develop a pattern of solving relationship issues through sex, and become dependent on sex as a way of coping.

  •   Hot-sexers may also be more prone to the fighting-then-sex pattern of stimulating the dopamine through a fight followed by an intense make up.

  •   Hot-sex couples often have a lot of sexual confidence, but they may also have more ego invested in their sex lives. As a result, they may get more easily bruised when one person doesn’t want to have sex, or get even more insecure than the average person when dealing with common dysfunctions, such as erectile disorder or low desire.

  •   Hot-sexers may also develop problems as their relationship naturally changes and starts to include other things, like a family. Most couples need to struggle to make a separate place in their lives for sex, but hot-sexers often have the opposite problem -- they need to create a life outside of sex.

  •   Sex often defines the relationships and eclipses personal growth in other areas of life.
Hot-Sexers (the sensation-seekers, the more-is-mores, whatever you want to call them) are off to a great start in that they don’t need to kindle desire, but the risk is an out-of-control blaze.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


This is a place for me to post all of the weird news I keep finding, with my own commentary.