May 1, 2010

Coat of many patterns - revisited

This is what happens when a quilter makes a jacket. This is another look at the coat of many patterns Valeta made a couple of years ago.

Ingrid and Brian

Ingrid and Brian with their ever present smiles relaxing at Lori and Ern’s house.

Come on out … enjoy the weekend ...

Gaither Atlanta Homecoming - “Daddy Sang Bass”

From a Gaither Homecoming various people sing, “Daddy Sang Bass”

The bass singer in a gold jacket in this video is the late J.D. Sumner (pictured) who sang with the Stamps Quartet that accompanied Elvis Presley for several years. In 1983, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized J. D. Sumner as singing the lowest recorded note ever produced by a human voice.

Apr 30, 2010

The Arizona ID check shown in perspective

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman wants to be governor of California

Californians may have the choice of Democrat Jerry Brown or Republican Meg Whitman for governor. San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has dropped out of the race. Republican State insurance commissioner Steve Poizner may also be in the race.

Meg Whitman (shown above left), a political newcomer, is former eBay CEO. Jerry Brown (shown above right), a former governor, is state's attorney general.

Meg and her husband Griffith Harsh IV, a neurosurgeon at Stanford University Medical Center, are shown below.


Widow uses cardboard cutout to keep his memory alive

A British woman has a novel way to deal with the grief of losing her husband to inoperable brain tumors in July 2009 at age 38.

The grieving widow has kept the memory of her dead husband alive for their two children - by creating a life-sized cardboard cut-out to keep in the family home.

The 6ft 1in cardboard cut-out of Paul stands in the family home he once shared with them.

The cut-out even made an appearance at his own funeral and attended his best friend's wedding weeks after his death.

The children have even dressed him up in a Santa outfit at Christmas and as Dracula on Halloween.


Immigration reform: off the Obama agenda

Immigration reform has become the first of Barack Obama's major priorities dropped from the agenda of an election-year Congress facing voter disillusionment.

Obama noted that lawmakers may lack the "appetite" to take on immigration while many of them are up for re-election and while another big legislative issue — climate change — is already on their plate.

“I don't want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem.”

But wasn’t ObamaCare “something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem?”


Report: ObamaCare officially exposed as fraudulent

When signing his health reform bill in March, Obama promised it would “bring down health care costs for families and businesses and governments”.

The reality: rigorous analysis by top officials in his own administration exposes the Obama’s promise as a fraud.

The chief Medicare actuary declares that “overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion”. Moreover, within five years of implementation, the plan will cost employers $87 billion in penalties for failing to provide government-approved insurance.

Despite crushing costs, and the likelihood of Medicare cuts “jeopardizing access to care,” 23 million Americans will still be uninsured nine years from now.

If these numbers from the Department of Health and Human Services had been available before final House votes, it’s doubtful Congress would have approved this ill-conceived initiative.


Apr 29, 2010

Bearded spectator at men's World Cup slalom

A bearded spectator watches the men's World Cup slalom in Kitzbuhel, Austria last January.

Why Obama should avoid Arizona

California financial crisis illustrated

(click on drawing to enlarge)

There is a real risk that José will have to be laid-off.

Rough landing

Kilmackilloge, ridden by Brian Harding, falls during the Alder Hay Imagine Appeal Red Rum Handicap Steeple Chase on April 8 at Aintree race course in Liverpool, England.

A driver gave cop false name but then couldn’t spell it

A Florida driver was pulled over for an improper tail light. She was arrested after she gave the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputy a name she couldn't spell.

The 27-year-old woman gave her correct birth date but said her name was Coronica Jackson. When the deputy asked her to spell it for him, she said it was C-o-r-i-c-a. When her passenger nudged her in the shoulder, the driver spelled it C-o-r-n-a-i-c-a. Finally her passenger spelled it C-o-r-o-n-i-c-a.

The deputy went back to his car to pull up the name in his computer. The photo did not match that of the driver.

She was charged with driving with a suspended license and giving a false name to law enforcement.


ICE smashes 7,000 fake Rolex watches

From an Associated Press report:

A steamroller has crushed about 7,000 fake Rolex watches in Philadelphia under the orders of federal authorities seeking to deter would-be counterfeiters.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials say the watches were seized from Binh Cam Tran, who pleaded guilty last year to charges including trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Tran is serving six years in federal prison. He has been ordered to pay more than $2.2 million to the Rolex Co.

Authorities say Tran fabricated hundreds of thousands of fake Rolex watches in his home near Philadelphia. Officials seized about 24,000 counterfeit watches and enough parts to create 1 million more.


Apr 28, 2010

Now he is married to a younger woman…

Toilet paper bandit robs Lincoln NE store

A knife-wielding bandit with his face wrapped in toilet paper made off with cash from the safe of a convenience store in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Covering his face in toilet paper was probably a good idea. It was cheaper and quicker than trying to go out and find a Nixon or Obama mask this long after Halloween.


Their limo was repossessed on prom night

Prom night is always intended to be a memorable occasion.

Prom night in Jenks, Oklahoma was more memorable than most.

When they arrived at the prom in their rented limousine, a strange man pushed their driver aside and took off with the vehicle.

They thought it was a hijacking until they later learned the vehicle rented from Galaxy Limos had been repossessed.


Hackers waste no time targeting iPad users

It didn’t take hackers long to target iPad users who were tricked in to downloading a fake iTunes update that contained malicious code.

Security experts have warned that Apple iPad users are being targeted by cyber criminals.

Hackers are trying to dupe iPad owners in to downloading a fake iTunes update on their Windows computer, which, when installed, creates a backdoor for cyber criminals, allowing them to remotely access the machine or even use the computer to send spam messages.

More here.

Don and Shelia Hill to prison in Dallas City Hall corruption case

Former Dallas City Councilman Don Hill, his wife Shelia (pictured), and two other defendants in the Dallas City Hall corruption case report to federal prison today.

The soft-pedaled report at the link below not only failed to report their political party affiliation, it left out their prison sentences.

They are both Democrats. Don Hill was sentenced to 18 years in prison and Shelia was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

SMU political scientist Cal Jillson says the high profile trial, and long prison terms, should not be considered an end to questionable behavior in local politics.


Apr 27, 2010

Ash cloud aftermath: was UK airspace closed for nothing?

Remember that ash cloud? It didn’t exist according to a report from the UK.

From the Daily Mail report:

Britain's airspace was closed under false pretences, with satellite images revealing there was no doomsday volcanic ash cloud over the entire country.

Skies fell quiet for six days, leaving as many as 500,000 Britons stranded overseas and costing airlines hundreds of millions of pounds.

Estimates put the number of Britons still stuck abroad at 35,000.

Evidence has emerged that the maximum density of the ash was only about one 20th of the limit that scientists, the Government, and aircraft and engine manufacturers have now decided is safe.

The two big questions remaining -- who will be sued and when will the lawsuits begin?

More here.

Claim: Noah’s Ark has been found on Mount Ararat

From a report at the link below:

The remains of Noah's Ark have been discovered 13,000 feet up a Turkish mountain -- according to a sensational claim by evangelical explorers.

The group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say wooden remains they have discovered on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey are the remains of Noah's Ark.

The photo above is said to be an explorer examining wooden beams inside what some say is the remains of Noah's Ark. The photo below shows another interior photo.

There have been several reported discoveries of the remains of Noah's Ark over the years, most notably a find by archaeologist Ron Wyatt in 1987. However the team is convinced that this is the actual artifact.

Local Turkish officials will ask the central government in Ankara to apply for UNESCO World Heritage status so the site can be protected while a major archaeological dig is conducted.

The group claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat.

Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.


Bank bill is down - for now

On a mostly partisan vote, the Senate voted Monday afternoon to prevent the start of formal debate of legislation to overhaul financial regulation blocking a far-reaching Democratic bill to control Wall Street.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) joined Republicans in voting to prevent debate from proceeding.

When there was no doubt the bill would fail, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also voted no, which will allow him to reintroduce the measure later.

By the way, did Ben Nelson vote with the Republicans in an attempt to redeem himself with Nebraska voters for his sell-out vote on ObamaCare?

More here

Jocelyn Wildenstein - addicted to plastic surgery?

Socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein spent a rumored £2million (about $3million) on cosmetic surgeries to improve her looks, but succeeded only in ruining the beauty she was born with.

Before and after photos are shown below:


A short ObamaCare postmortem

Paraphrased from an article written by Mass. Senator Scott Brown:

Washington politicians began an aggressive push to bend the rules and force their unpopular health care bill on an unwilling nation.

They went into secret negotiations to make up their own rules, and eventually found a way to circumvent the will of the people by using the reconciliation process to ram through their health care bill.

For the last year, the American people have been shaking their heads at the closed-door meetings, sweetheart deals, and special carve-outs.

It has been a very ugly process, and caused many Americans to lose faith in their elected officials in Washington.

Democrats will undoubtedly pay for this in the November elections.

Apr 26, 2010

San Diego geezer bandit strikes again

A man appearing to be in his 70’s has robbed a seventh bank in the San Diego, California area since last August.

The bank robber, dubbed by the FBI as "the Geezer Bandit," is suspected of robbing the following San Diego County banks:

August 28, 2009: US Bank at 9643 Mission Gorge Rd., Santee

September 12, 2009: San Diego National Bank at 7877 Ivanhoe, La Jolla

October 9, 2009: US Bank at 4627 Carmel Mountain Rd., San Diego

October 26, 2009: Bank of America at 17008 Avenida de Acacias, Rancho Santa Fe

November 16, 2009: Bank of America at 7680 Girard Ave., La Jolla

January 27, 2010: San Diego National Bank at 1075 Rosecrans, San Diego

April 21, 2010: California Bank and Trust office on Escondido Avenue in Vista

Link here and here.

Electrified hair

A visitor gets electrified by the 'Van de Graaff generator' by toymaker Kosmos at the 'International Toy Fair' in Nuremberg, southern Germany last February.

The fair is the biggest of its kind in the world.

ObamaCare wallet removal

Curling in vivid color

Norway's lead Haavard Vad Petersson (L) and second Christoffer Svae (R) brash the ice during their match against Canada in the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, on Feburary 16, 2010

Alzheimer vaccine to be tested in six European countries

From a report at the link below:

A new vaccine against Alzheimer's, developed by the Austrian biotechnology firm Affiris, will soon be tested in six European countries, the company announced Friday.

Some 420 patients will be recruited to take part in clinical trials in Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Slovakia.

The vaccine was already tested for safety and tolerability over the past year.

The clinical trials will now test its efficacy, with results expected as early as 2012.


Going backwards using Windows 7

We began using Windows Vista in February, 2007, the first week it was available on new computers. We liked Vista and considered it a welcome step up from Windows XP. I work with a lot of graphic images and would never want to return to XP.

Several weeks ago, we purchased a laptop loaded with Windows 7. Things have been going downhill since.

We can’t blame Windows 7, however. The problem is we can no longer use some of our favorite programs such as an early version of Paint Shop Pro by JASC.

We just can’t justify the pricey Photoshop, so have been using Paint Shop Pro v5 for the last twelve years but it won’t work on Windows 7.

By upgrading to Windows 7 Professional, we could run programs in XP mode but then we would lose the advanced graphics handling capabilities found in the latest windows and the move would be counter productive.

The problem was solved by purchasing a used copy of Paint Shop Pro v7 CD and manuals (this version does work on Windows 7) on eBay (auction # 110516020267) for $9.99 plus shipping. For our purpose this was a better choice than any other lower price graphics program available.

Apr 25, 2010

Driver in France fined for wearing Islamic face covering

A woman driver was fined by French police for not having a clear field of vision while wearing an Islamic face veil.

Traffic police in the western city of Nantes fined the 31-year-old woman euro22 ($29) in early April, her lawyer said. The fine was based on a rule that says drivers should have freedom of movement and a sufficient field of vision.

The fine was small, but it garnered big attention Friday and may illustrate what is to come as the president pushes to outlaw the veils nationwide.

President Nicholas Sarkozy raised the stakes Wednesday in France’s drive to abolish the all-encompassing veil, ordering a draft law banning them in all public places. He insists the veils oppress women, and decided to defy France’s highest administrative body, which says such a full ban could be found unconstitutional.

More here.

Stephen Hawking: space aliens are real but don’t talk to them

Stephen Hawking (pictured), one of the world’s leading scientists, has this to say about space aliens:

Aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist -- but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.

More here.

Barack Obama carnival float in France

This picture taken on February 2, 2010 in Nice, southeastern France, shows a Barack Obama carnival character.

The 126th Nice's Carnival, which will run from February 12 until February 28, 2010 on the French Riviera, will celebrate the 'King of the Blue Planet'

Tea vendor in New Delhi

A roadside tea vendor warms his kettle on a stretch of road near the Indian Parliament, in New Delhi.