It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me, but I have finished the bulk of my work for the term and fulfilled almost all teaching responsibilities. I'm now off for a brief trip to my Maryland home and the ever-wonderful Ocean City, to be filled with family, a lot of relaxation, and Maryland crabs, corn and home-grown tomatoes! I'm hoping to catch up on some posting while there -- but we will see.


It has been a crazy couple of weeks for me, but I have finished the bulk of my work for the term and fulfilled almost all teaching responsibilities. I'm now off for a brief trip to my Maryland home and the ever-wonderful Ocean City, to be filled with family, a lot of relaxation, and Maryland crabs, corn and home-grown tomatoes! I'm hoping to catch up on some posting while there -- but we will see.

Deadline Deals

Acquiring Jarrod Washburn is the only move the Tigers made before the 4pm deadline today. He's 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA this year in Seattle after going 23-43 his first three seasons with the M's. Washburn is 106-106 for his career with the Angels and Mariners. Both sides are claiming victory in this deal with the majority of experts I've seen saying it's a great deal for Detroit.

I'm happy, I guess. We gave up "The Tickler" Luke French and A-ball pitcher Mauricio Robles for him...not exactly our best prospects. Earlier reports had the Tigers talking to Seattle about Felix Hernandez, but those talks fell through quickly.

The sad news for Tiger fans is the fact that Carlos Guillen, returning from injury, remains the only offensive addition the Tigers will have to the lineup. Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff, Josh Willingham, and Adam Dunn were names being thrown around, but apparently asking prices were too high for Double D. I'm amazed that nothing could be done to help the lineup, but I have faith in Dombrowski, more often than not to get a deal done if there is one.

Elsewhere around the AL Central...

The White Sox, after being VERY quiet (for them), finally got Jake Peavy from the Padres in exchange for promising lefty Clayton Richard, lefty Aaron Poreda, and righties Dexter Carter of A-ball and Adam Russell of AAA-ball. Richard was 4-3 with a 4.65 ERA this year including 8 innings of 1 run ball against Detroit on 7/26. Poreda is 6'5, 240 and was the Sox's #1 prospect last year (#3 this year). The important part of this, as it relates to the Central race, is that Peavy is hurt. He's been on the DL since 6/9 and no one knows when he'll be healthy again. Does Kenny Williams know something that the rest of us do not? Before the injury, Peavy was an un-Peavy-like 6-6 with a 3.97 ERA.

The Twins got crappy shortstop Orlando Cabrera (and cash) from the A's for their second round pick last year, shortstop Tyler Ladendorf, a Billy Beane favorite, it seems. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, and other Twins veterans were making noise about the team not making any moves and this seems like a weak one, in my opinion, just to say they did something. Cabrera's OBP of .318 this season isn't much of an improvement over anything the Twins didn't already have.

The Indians traded their entire team away in hopes of recreating the Sizemore/Phillips/Lee for Fatty Colon deal of 2002. Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Ryan Garko, and Ben Francisco have all moved on in exchange for a boatload of prospects. How this pans out for the Racist Logos in the future remains to be seen, but they sure helped to load up the Red Sox and Phillies as playoff favorites.

The only other item I'll mention was the Tigers unloading DNR personal favorite, Josh Anderson, to the Royals for cash. Josh didn't hit much lately, but I think they gave up on him a bit soon. He had some dumb moments, but with his speed and better defense than he gets credit for, I think Josh is going to be a good player. Good luck in Kansas City, Neo. You may still be "The One". Just stay away from Farnsworth. That guy's a dick.

My baseball plans for the next few days just got much more interesting. I have tickets for Tuesday's game at the CoPa against Baltimore. It's been announced that that game will be Washburn's Tiger debut. Make it a good one, Jarrod. And even MORE exciting, I'll be at tomorrow's Tigers/Tribe game in Cleveland where it is VICTOR MARTINEZ BOBBLEHEAD DAY! Look for me on television being pummeled by angry Indians fans for taunting them with their ex-all star catcher's toy.

Retarded Grandparents / Happy Times / Mail Warning ...

Two Escapees from the Home for Retarded Grandparents ......

Hi Folks,

I had missed opening my googlemail for a while and the other night I checked it out and found this wee gem had escaped my notice . I think it's truly priceless ! It's called ' Retarded Grandparents ' ...
(It was actually reported by a teacher)

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following: "We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida .. "Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass. They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore. "They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but all they do is jump up and down in it with hats on.

"At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts. "Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. and, they eat the same thing every night --- early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

"My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren." Awww... God love this child . Thanks Judy for sending it and giving me the opportunity to pass it round the ether here .

I received this next one from my BIL in Dumfries and I think it is wonderful ... See what you think ! Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot, before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot. There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me, For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born, Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn. We learned to gut a muffler, we washed our hair at dawn, we spread our crinolines to dry in circles on the lawn. We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince, and Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since. We danced to 'Little Darlin,' and sang to 'Stagger Lee' And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me.

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many, And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney. And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me, Me. We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice, And when they made a movie, they never made it twice. We didn't have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three, Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me. Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp, And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp. We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T, And Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We had our share of heroes, we never thought they'd go, At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe. For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be, And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me. We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead, And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not Led. And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees, Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me. We'd never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars, And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars. And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and 'gay' meant fancy-free, And dorms were never co-ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag, And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag. And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea, And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me. Buicks came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks, And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks. And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee, And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me. We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,

We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctionsin the Land That Made Me, Me. There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill, And fish were not called Wanda , and cats were not called Bill. And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three, and ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me. But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say, And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A. They send us invitations to join AARP, We've come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans, and wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines. We tell our children's children of the way it used to be, long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me. AND NOW: For those of you too young to remember Bob Hope, ask your Grandparents! THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES !!!

Here is something everyone should read and take the advice .... If you don't, you're hurting yourself and your email buddies.By now, I suspect everyone is familiar with and/or
for determining whether information received via email is just that: true/false or fact/fiction. Both are excellent sites. Advice from Very important!

1) Any time you see an E-Mail or the same thing mentioned within attachments (like powerpoint presentations with lots of flowers and sceneries and supposed uplifting messages),that says forward this on to '10' (or however many) of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get bad luck, good luck, you'll see something funny on your screen after yousend it, or whatever, it almost always has an E-Mail tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and E-Mails of those folks you forward to. The host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of 'active' E-Mail addresses to use in SPAM E-Mails, or sell to other spammers. Even when you get emails that demand you send the email on if you're not ashamed of God/Jesus.....that's E-mail tracking and they're playing on our conscience. These people don't care how they get your email addresses - just as long as they get them. Also, emails that talk about a missing child or a child with an incurable disease - "how would you feel if that was your child"....E- mail Tracking!!!Ignore them and don't participate!

2) Almost all E-Mails that ask you to add your name and forward on toothers are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wanted to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards. All it was, and all any of this type of E-Mail is, is a way to get names and 'cookie' tracking information for telemarketers and spammers - - to validate active E-Mail accounts for their own profitable purposes. You can do your friends and family members a GREAT favour by sending this information to them; you will be providing a service to your friends, and will be rewarded by not getting thousands of spam E-Mails in the future!

If you have been sending out (FORWARDING) the above kinds of E-Mail, now you know why you get so much SPAM!Do yourself a favor and STOP adding your name(s) to those types oflistings regardless how inviting they might sound!...or make you feel guilty if you don't!... it' s all about getting email addresses - nothing more! You may think you are supporting a GREAT cause, but you are NOT! Instead, you will be getting tons of junk mail later and very possibly a virus attached! Plus, you are helping the spammers get rich!

Let's not make it easy for them! Also: E-Mail petitions are NOT acceptable to White House, Congress or any other organization - i.e. social security, etc. To be acceptable, petitions must have a signed signature and full address of the person signing the petition, so this is a waste of time and you're just helping the Email trackers.

Cheers from the land of the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Always A Tiger, Trade Deadline Edition

We had better make some sort of move before I kill someone.

I'm hitting this a couple days early since I'll be traveling to Cleveland for Saturday's game, as well as catching Tuesday night's game at the CoPa against Baltimore. It would be nice to see Adam Dunn in the outfield instead of 'ol Clete, but we'll see.

Stats are through July 29th. New additions to this month's report are Virgil Vasquez, Shane Loux, and "Big Red" Chris Shelton. Also, Juan Rincon caught on with Colorado since last time. Welcome back to the majors, guys. Remember, this is a list of any former Tigers that have played in the big leagues this least the ones that I remember.

SP-Jair Jurrjens, Atl, 9-7, 2.69, 134 IP, 93 K's
SP-Andrew Miller, Fla, 3-5, 4.81, 76.2, 55
SP-Brian Moehler, Hou, 7-6, 5.16, 90.2, 58
SP-Jeff Weaver, LAD, 5-4, 3.83, 54, 40
SP-Shane Loux, LAA, 2-3, 5.40, 45, 15
SP-Virgil Vasquez, Pit, 1-5, 6.21, 29, 19

It's been said a thousand times now...but how cool would it be if Jurrjens was still in our rotation? F'n Renteria...damn you, Double D.

RP-Francisco Cordero, Cin, 2-1, 23 sv, 1.83, 39.1, 32
RP-Jamie Walker, Bal, 0-0, 5.11, 12.1, 9 (released by Bal)
RP-Kyle Farnsworth, KC, 1-4, 4.24, 23.1, 25
RP-Troy Percival, TB, 0-1, 6 sv, 6.35, 11.1, 7 (put on DL on 5/22; expected to retire)
RP-Jason Grilli, Tex, 1-2, 3.84, 35.2, 33 (1.10 ERA in 15 IP since joining Texas, the prick)
RP-Doug Brocail, Hou, 1-0, 6.75, 6.2, 4
RP-Casey Fossum, NYM, 0-0, 2.25, 4, 3, (now in Cubs system)
RP-Chad Durbin, Phi, 1-2, 4.64, 48.2, 47
RP-Trevor Miller, StL, 2-0, 2.03, 26.2, 31
RP-Wil Ledezma, Was, 0-0, 9.53, 5.2, 8 (may have been released 7/4?)
RP-Roman Colon, KC, 1-1, 4.88, 24, 15
RP-Tim Byrdak, Hou, 1-1, 3.48, 33.2, 30
RP-Eulogio De La Cruz, SD, 0-0, 5.40, 3.1, 2 (in minors now)
RP-Juan Rincon, Col, 2-2, 7.30, 12.1, 13

Not much to say here other than I hope Jamie Walker catches on somewhere, and I hope Jason Grilli gets herpes.

C-Ivan Rodriguez, Hou, .251, 8, 33, .282 OBP
C-Brad Ausmus, LAD, .305, 1, 7, .369
C-Mike Rivera, Mil, .218, 0, 2, .302
1B-Carlos Pena, TB, .215, 25, 64, .346
1B-Tony Clark, Ari, .182, 4, 11, .295
1B-Chris Shelton, Sea, .273, 0, 4, .333
2B-Omar Infante, Atl, .349, 1, 11, .389 (on DL)
2B-Jason Smith, Hou, .000, 0, 1, .000
3B-Jack Hannahan, Sea, .209, 3, 18, .313 (2/3 homers are against us)
SS-John McDonald, Tor, .297, 1, 2, .297
SS-Edgar Renteria, SF, .252, 2, 39, .308
OF-Gabe Kapler, TB, .246, 4, 23, .329
OF-Matt Joyce, TB, .188, 3, 7, .270 (back in minors, thanks Tampa)
OF-Cody Ross, Fla, .262, 14, 53, .325
OF-Cameron Maybin, Fla, .202, 1, 3, .280 (back in minors, thanks Florida)
OF-Matt Stairs, Phi, .243, 4, 13, .398 (nice OBP, Matt!)
OF-Andres Torres, SD, .241, 2, 13, .333
OF-Craig Monroe, Pit, .215, 3, 16, .287 (released on 7/1. Monroe's VORP is -1.8, the same as Magglio Ordonez's this year.)
OF-Frank Catalanotto, Mil, .276, 1, 6, .323
OF-Gary Sheffield, .286, 10, 36, .388 (put on DL on 7/18)

Maybe we can put together a trade and get Sheffield. That would rule. Seeya at the ballpark this week, kids.

My long lost friend / Penguins / Spooky Mail...

Hi Folks,

Have you ever wondered why ...... there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica - where do they go? Wonder no more ! It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintaining a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life. If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:

Freeze a very good fellow - Freeze a very good fellow ...
Hey ! I didn't make it up I'm just sending it onwards !!
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The European Commission has just announced an agreement ... whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm

In the zecond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd Year In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Blimey I know this is a joke email but to be honest I wouldn't have been too surprised if they had brought in something like this the ruddy EU can come up with some daft whoppers at times..

This is a message I received about a year ago via email ...... I got this version yesterday and thought it was worth another airing so here you go - Amazing or what ? Read all of this one, it is interesting!! The last part will give you GOOSEBUMPS!

1. The Garden of Eden was in Iraq
2. Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!
3. Noah built the ark in Iraq
4. The Tower of Babel was in Iraq
5. Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq
6. Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor , which is in Iraq
7. Jacob met Rachel in Iraq
8. Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq
9.. Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel
10. Amos cried out in Iraq
11. Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem
12. Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq
13. The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the Fiery Furnace!)
14. Belshazzar, the King ofBabylon saw the 'writing on the wall' in Iraq
15. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq
16... Ezekiel preached in Iraq
17.. The wise men were from Iraq
18. Peter preached in Iraq
19. The 'Empire of Man' described in Revelation is called Babylon --which was a city in Iraq and you have probably seen this one:

Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible ...
But do you know which nation is second? Iraq !

However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon , Land of Shinar , and Mesopotamia ... The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers..

The name Iraq means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible. No other nation, except Israel , has more history and prophecy associated with it than Iraq and also, this is something to think about:

America is typically represented by an eagle.

Saddam should have read up on his Muslim passages .... The following verse is from the Koran, (the Islamic Bible) Koran ( 9:11 ) - For it is written that a son of Arabia would awaken a fearsome Eagle.. The wrath of the Eagle would be felt throughout the lands of Allah and lo, while some of the people trembled in despair still more rejoiced; for the wrath of the Eagle cleansed the lands of Allah;
And there was peace. (Note the Koran verse number!) ... Spooky or what ?

Cheers from the land of the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.

Cute as a button/Some Aphorisms/2 Brooms and a Moan!

High 'Cute ratio' photo ......

Hi Folks,

In a crawling race across the grass they're evenly matched, but Emily Bland will need a little practice before taking on her new friend at tree-climbing. The little girl, two, met one-year-old orangutan Rishi at an animal centre while visiting with her father. They took to each other straight away and spent hours tumbling about. On all fours: A delighted Emily plays with her best new friend Rishi. Emily's father Barry Bland, 38, a photographer, said: 'I had come to the institute to photograph Rishi and I thought it would be good to bring Emily. 'Almost as soon as we arrived, Rishi had an instant chemistry with Emily. They looked completely content with each other.'

The friendship came as no surprise to those in charge of Rishi's home, The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S) in Miami.? How sweet, a kiss for Emily, whose father says the pair hit it off instantly. Dr Bhagavan Antle: 'Orangutans are intelligent and certainly the most friendly apes on the planet. The youngsters enjoy their playtime and are always looking for an opportunity to experience new things and make new friends and monkey around. Rishi, who is the youngest of the family is always looking for someone to play with. 'That's where Emily stepped in to provide a playmate to swing in the trees, have tea with, and go for a ride. All infants have the capacity to get along and as youngsters the barriers between species appear to disappear. Orangutans are one of the most endangered species on earth. Recent expansion of palm oil plantations and over logging of their forests in Borneo and Sumatra have created a rapidly declining habitat for these great apes..'

Emily poured while Rishi waited patiently, gripping his spoon in a hairy fist. One lump or two Rishi? The pair enjoy afternoon tea. Rishi was brought over to T.I.G.E.R.S from Jungle Island because he was a young boy,' says Dr Antle. 'He couldn't stay with his father or the other male orangutans in the habitat because they throw the boys out. But he is now been fully accepted into his new group. He sleeps with them and he stays side by side with them. He is with them all the time.' Rishi will now stay at the institute where he will become part of the animal ambassadors program, participating in education and conservation presentations at Myrtle Beach and Jungle Island institutions.' Judging from these photos it looks as though Rishi has found a friend for life.


1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.
2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.
3. If you don't have a sense of humour, you probably don't have any sense at all.
4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.
5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.
6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?
7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
9. Scratch a cat and you will have a permanent job.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Two brooms were hanging in the closet ..... after a while, they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married. One broom was, of course, the bride broom, the other the groom broom. The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely. After the wedding, at the wedding dinner, the bride-broom leaned over and said to the groom-broom, 'I think I am going to have a little broom!'
'IMPOSSIBLE !' said the groom broom.
Are you ready for this? Brace yourself; this is going to hurt!

Oh for goodness sake... Laugh, or at least groan.........
Sounds to me like she's......been .....sweeping around !
Brooooom Brooooom !!

Cheers from the land of the Heather - Love Kate xxx.
P.S. Last Minute Moan !!
Flippen 'Sky television' problems...... Does anyone else have problems with things like this ? Funnily enough a new TV programme started recently on our TVs about a Call Centre (in India would you believe) which did put a funny slant on some of the queries that come up there ......
After Rob and I returned from our holiday in Blackpool and I had unpacked and gone through all our mail I came across a letter from 'Sky' which included a new 'Sky Viewing Card' and explaining how to set this into the skybox ..... Now having been a Sky customer for over 20 years I am well aware of how to load a new 'up to date skycard ' so I tried to do so... Would it load ? would it hell! I tried everything I could think of and decided to finally phone them... Now I don't know whether in Blogland there is anyone aware of how difficult it is to speak to some 'person' who works at the Sky offices or not but I can assure you that it can be jolly difficult to do so... you are met with automated messages - given different options to press 1 2 3 or 4 etc .. etc !
So a couple of days after we returned I tried to telephone Sky ! I dialled the correct number and at the third try got through to a living breathing human being, the only problem was that I had managed to get through to the Indian call centre for Sky... Not a problem for me I thought, I have spoken several times to workers there at the call centre.... The only thing different with this call was that the guy I was speaking to was a relatively new start in the company and couldn't understand what I was trying to explain to him. He finally asked me to go through the usual steps in which you re-boot the system and I knew very well what these steps were as I had already done this several times but knew it wouldn't work.
After several minutes again repeating to him what the problem was and that it had nothing to do with the system itself he left his post and asked a manager there what his next course of action was to be to assist me in my enquiry. He asked me to read out what the number on the old card was which I duly did - He then said that this was the number of the new card !
Realisation then finally dawned on me that the new card issued the few days previously should not have been sent. I was then told by this 'new start at the call centre' to just destroy the latest one and that would solve the problem..... Great ! It had only taken a telephone call lasting 25 minutes to India to discover that the problem had been at 'Sky's' end - he then asked me if there was anything else 'he' could do to help me ..................
By this time I was so ruddy mad and spitting nails that I was so happy to put down the phone and confirm that I would indeed destroy the new card which 'his' company had sent to me in error ....... No apology was given - ARRRGGGHHH !!!! Is it just me or does anyone else have problems like this ?

Former Tigers Not Giving Up On Baseball

If you stop by here from time to time, you know that I usually keep up on former Tigers playing elsewhere in the majors. The whole "always a Tiger" thing, you know? Well, I did some looking around and couldn't believe the amount of former Tigers that are still playing ball, whether it be in Japan, Korea, Mexico, Independent Leagues, or in the minors with other teams. Plus, there's plenty that are still free agents looking for a job somewhere. These guys keep playing for the love of the game, and I can respect that. Either that, or they just don't want to sell insurance. See how many you remember.


Seth Greisinger
Plays with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. Led the league in wins last year with 17.

Gary Knotts
Free agent. Last played in the Baltimore organization last year.

Jose Lima
Pitches for the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League.

Sean Douglass
Another Japan guy. Played from '06-'07 with the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Signed in '08 with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. Better than playing with the Spitters, from what I hear.

Dan Miceli
Plays for the Long Island Ducks in independent ball.

Freddy Garcia
In the White Sox minor league system after the Mets released him on 4/28 after he got bombed in two minor league starts.

John Ennis
After pitching for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Independent League, the Phillies signed John to a minor league deal. In his first appearance, Ennis hurt himself requiring Tommy John surgery. He'll miss the rest of the season.

Roberto Novoa
Free agent. Last played in '08 with the Giants organization.

Mike Maroth
What Tigers fan doesn't have a soft spot for Maroth? Mike's a free agent after Toronto released him in March '09.

Aquilino Lopez
Plays for the Kia Tigers in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Matt Ginter
In the Brewers minor league system.

Jose Capellan
In the Astros minor league system.

Dave Borkowski
Free agent. Was in the Phillies minor league system earlier this year.

Gary Glover
This one's interesting. Glover signed a minor league deal with the Nationals in January '09. He was released on 5/9. He signed a minor league deal later that month with the Marlins. He lasted less than a month and on 6/21 signed to play for the SK Wyverns in South Korea. I'd feel bad for the guy if he didn't suck so much in Detroit. Or was that Gary Knotts?

Steve Colyer
Free agent.

Andy Van Hekken
Wikipedia says he's in the Astros minor league system. Who knew? I thought he was dead.

Jason Johnson
Our ex-"ace" is in the Yankees minor league system.

Mark Redman
DFA'd by Colorado on 7/18/08. A free agent.

Jordan Tata
Released by the Tigers in April, Tata signed with the Grand Prairie AirHogs 15 days later. The mighty AirHogs had seen enough by 7/1 and released him, too. Yikes. If you can't make it with the Grand Prairie AirHogs, you can't make it anywhere.

Esteban Yan
The big guy's pitching with the Bridgeport Bluefish of the Atlantic League.

Colby Lewis
Member of the Hiroshima Toya Carp in Japan.

Jamie Walker
Free agent. Was released by Baltimore a few weeks ago. Jamie remains the nicest Tiger I've ever actually spoken to. I wish him luck.

Francis Beltran
Released by the Giants in April '09. A free agent.

Casey Fossum
Stick with me. Started this year and played a bit for the Mets. Was DFA'd. Went to the Yankees. Played in their minor league system from 5/2-6/24. Opted out of that deal. Signed a minor league deal with the Cubs on 7/3. Still sucks no matter where he pitches.


Craig Monroe
Released by Pittsburgh on 7/1. Free agent. Seriously...WTF happened to Craig?

Jacque Jones
Cut by Cincinnati on 3/30, Jones is playing for the Newark Bears in independent ball.

Nook Logan
Played in '08 for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League. Reportedly blames the Mitchell Report for him being unable to sign with a MLB team. And here I was thinking it was because the guy couldn't hit.

Chris Gomez
Free agent released by Baltimore on 4/1.

Hiram Bocachica
Plays for the Saitama Seibo Lions in Japan.

Timo Perez
My boy! Timo's still in Mexico with Rojos del Aguila.

Eric Munson
In the Oakland minor league system.

Damian Jackson
Plays for the Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League.

Luis Gonzalez
Free agent. Played (a lot) for the Marlins last year.

Jose Macias
Played last year for Diablos Rojos del Mexico.

Raul Casanova
Another guy in Mexico. Raul plays for Broncos de Reynosa.

Robert Fick
Currently a free agent. Played for Italy in the WBC.

Damian Easley
Free agent. Played for the Mets last year. Not sure if he's STILL on the Tigers payroll, though.

Ahh...memories. See you in a few days with the August "Always A Tiger" report.

I Need to be Famous by Thursday

I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I am not cut out to be a productive member of society.

I originally intended to become a doctor or medical researcher.  I thought that I wanted to save people, discover things and change the world.  But the more I think about it, the more I realize that I just want to sit on my couch in my underpants all day.

This is why I need you to make me famous by Thursday.  Thursday is the day that I officially graduate from college.  Back in January, I thought I would be ecstatic when this day finally came.  I now realize that graduating is a huge mistake.  I wish I could take it back, but I can't.  At this point I can't even fail.  I am starting to panic.  

It doesn't have to be this way.  

If my blog can become famous and profitable, I will be rescued from the brink of adulthood.   If my blog becomes famous, it is possible that I will never have to wear pants again!  You have no idea how much this would mean to me.  I hate pants. 

Here is what you can do to help:

*Wear a brown ribbon in honor of my cause (nobody has dibs on brown yet, right?)  This will not only help me, but it will raise awareness for terminally adult people all over the world.  

*Run down the street screaming about how awesome my blog is.  Make sure to clearly annunciate the URL (spell it out if you have to.) 

*Hang up a banner outside your door that says "help rescue the author of from impending adulthood." 

*Make flyers to support my cause.  Neon green and yellow would probably be good background colors for the flyers you make.  Just FYI.  

*Take out a phonebook.  Start dialing in the A's somewhere.  Educate the call recipient about my plight.  If they resist, ask them if they ever had a dream.  Use their first name if it is listed.  Try to use their nostalgia and insecurity over their broken dreams to get them on your side.  But don't be inefficient!  If you sense that the person is a heartless bastard who will not change their position no matter how much you plead, move on to the next name.  This is a numbers game and you can't get them all.  

*Call your local radio station.  Dedicate a song to me - preferably "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey.  Once again, make sure to clearly annunciate all syllables in my blog URL.  I cannot stress how important this is.    

That's all you have to do to assure that my future can be spent pants-less and happy!  Is that too much to ask? 

P.S.  I am completely serious about this.  How funny would it be if someone actually did some of these things?  Even if I don't get famous, I would probably be able to live the rest of my life in complete happiness knowing that some person, somewhere did these things in my honor.  

If you take a movie/picture of yourself doing any of these things, I will post it on my soon-to-be super famous blog along with a description of how awesome you are.  

P.P.S.  I wanted to tell you again that I am completely serious, just in case you didn't believe me.  

Angelic Story / Locked/Unlocked Suitcase ......

Hi Folks,

A newborn's conversation with God the night before he/she is born ...... The baby asked God, "They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?" God said, "Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you." The child further inquired, "Tell me, here in heaven I don't have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy!" God said, "Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you and you will feel your angel's love and be very happy." Again the small child asked, "How am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don't know the language?" God said, "Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak." "What am I going to do when I want to talk to you?" God said, "Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray."

"Who will protect me?" God said, "Your angel will defend you even if it means risking its life." "I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore." God said, "Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you." At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, "God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel's name." God said, You will simply call her, " Mum ."

I have a feeling that this part of this blog will lift a mother's spirit - no matter how old her child is AWWW......

Some statements from folk who you would think should know better ...... So If you ever feel a little bit stupid, just dig this out and re-read them again. You'll think you're a genius ......

(On September 17, 1994, Alabama's Heather Whitestone was selected as Miss America 1995.) Question: If you could live forever, would you and why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever," --Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.
"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff." --Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life,"
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign .
"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body," --Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.
Have 'you' like me wondered whether or not ...... your cases that you have packed to go on holiday will be safe and will arrive at your destination without problem - and still be holding the things that you had put into them at home ?? Well have a decco at this video and it will teach you a lesson to be more vigilant about what you put into your cases - in fact it has made me very wary and I will be putting my precious camera and jewellery into my holdall which I carry on to the plane as hand luggage.

This little video is very educational - don't leave your gold ingots and diamond necklaces in your zippered bags should you be lucky enough to own any... They don't have to open lots of bags these days to get into your cases - just a pen !

How your locked suitcases are opened very quickly and easily ... After you watch this, you will not leave anything valuable in your suitcase again. This is the way a bag is opened at the airport without your knowledge.
Many people would have things missing from their baggage, even when they received them at the arrival port UNOPENED and UNTOUCHED! How did the thief (at the airport) do it? ...... just watch the video and ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS!

Cheers from the land of the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Am I Going To Die??

I woke up yesterday morning and became vaguely aware that my right toe felt like - well, the best way to describe it would be "dying-death-kill-maim-destroy-ness."  

This was only slightly more annoying than the fact that it was 6:00 AM on the only day I could sleep in and I could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned until 6:37 and then decided that going to the ER would be a good idea because I was 96% sure that there was a firemonster in my toe.  

So it was that I found myself competing for medical attention with a burn victim, a dying six-year-old and a man with what appeared to be a dragon-conquering wound.  They were all looking at me like I did not deserve to be there.   

When it was finally my turn to be seen by the doctor, he asked me what was wrong and I had to look him in the face and say "my toe hurts."  

He asked me if I had a blister.   I was a little offended that he had so grossly underestimated my ability to accurately assess pain.  

"It's not a blister," I told him with what I hoped was an icy glare.  

He proceeded to ask me if I had a splinter.     

"It's not a splinter,"  I said in a low, menacing tone.  I wanted to tell him that it was probably a firemonster, but doctors don't like it when you beat them to a diagnosis.  I decided to play it cool.  

The doctor asked me to remove my socks.  Upon seeing my bulbous, throbbing toe, he appeared to take me a little more seriously.  

After asking me about several pleasantly legitimate possible sources of pain, like hammer wounds, rabid spiders and gout, he said "I'm going to order you some antibiotics just in case..."  

As it turns out, I may have an infection in my bone.  This means that I have to take a ludicrous amount of antibiotics every six hours to prevent death.  

My body doesn't seem to understand that the antibiotics are on its side.  So far, it has tried virtually every trick in the book to violently expel the antibiotics from my system.   I've tried to talk to my body about its behavior.  I told it that it was going to die if it didn't learn to get along with the antibiotics.  It didn't seem to care.  It is a stupid, stubborn little body - the kind of body that would die just to prove a point.  

I have since changed my angle.  I am now trying to appeal to my body's competitive side.  I told it that death means failure.  I asked it if it wanted to fail.  It made a gurgling sound which I interpreted to mean "no."  I said "Okay then, if you don't want to fail, I would suggest not dying.  Nobody wins if you die."  

I don't know whether or not I got through to it, but I am encouraged by the fact that my body has yet to follow through on dying.  Though I'd like to give myself credit for convincing my body not to die, the truth is there is another more plausible explanation for my continuing survival:  For all of its stubbornness, my body is also lazy - so lazy that it may forgo dying simply because it is too much work.   

Is it a Conspiracy or Alien Abduction ? / Funnies ...

Hi Folks,

I start this post today bemoaning the disappearance of the lists of 'followers' from many blogs, the followers lists have been vanishing from blogs over the last wee while and I have begun to wonder whether this phenomenom was being caused by a virus - or maybe it is intentional (via a 'mad' conspiracy by the computer folk ). Perhaps it is even one of these things which come under the banner of Alien abduction and all of these 'lost souls' will be condemned to wander around in the ether looking for new blogs which can entertain them ?? Either way I hope the problem can be fixed soon and all 'followers' can be reunited with their choice of blogs as soon as possible ....

By the way, has anyone else noticed how Twitter seems to be taking over the 'net these days, is this part of a plot against us (bloggers that is) ? Blimey,will it soon be the case that 'blogs and blogland' will be defunct. We will then all be consigned soon to having to 'twitter' instead of comment and talk using what brains we have. Hmmm... I wonder if all the followers have been hogtied and persuaded to join the 'birds' - surely not - but what do the rest of you think Huh ??

Never mind folks, let's at least change subjects and try having a laugh at some Funnies ....... Tired of constantly being broke and stuck in an unhappy marriage, a young husband decided to solve both problems by taking out a large insurance policy on his wife with himself as the beneficiary, and then arranging to have her killed. A 'friend of a friend' put him in touch with a nefarious dark-side underworld figure who went by the name of 'Artie.' Artie then explained to the husband that his going price for snuffing out a spouse was £5,000. The husband said he was willing to pay that amount, but that he wouldn't have any cash on hand until he could collect his wife's insurance money. Artie insisted on being paid at least something up front, so the man opened his wallet, displaying the single pound note that rested inside. Artie sighed, rolled his eyes, & reluctantly agreed to accept the pound as down payment for the dirty deed.

A few days later, Artie followed the man's wife to the local Tesco store. There, he surprised her in the produce department and proceeded to strangle her with his gloved hands and as the poor unsuspecting woman drew her last breath and slumped to the floor........ The manager of the produce department stumbled unexpectedly onto the murder scene. Unwilling to leave any living witnesses behind, ol' Artie had no choice but to strangle the produce manager as well.

However, unknown to Artie, the entire proceedings were captured by the hidden security cameras and observed by the store's security guard, who immediately called the police. Artie was caught and arrested before he could even leave the store. Under intense questioning at the police station, Artie revealed the whole sordid plan, including his unusual financial arrangements with the hapless husband who was also quickly arrested. The next day in the newspaper, the headline declared .........

Now you're going to hate me for this...... 'ARTIE CHOKES 2 for £1.00 AT TESCO '

Well I thought it was funny ! Oh, It's not that bad! I don't write this stuff, I receive it from my warped friends and then send it on to my other warped friends.

The Last Penny ......... A father walked into a restaurant with his young son.. He gave the young boy 3 pennies to play with to keep him occupied. Suddenly, the boy started choking and going blue in the face.. The father realized the boy had swallowed the pennies and started slapping him on the back.. The boy coughed up 2 of the pennies, but keeps choking. Looking at his son, the father was panicking and shouting for help. A well dressed, attractive, and serious looking woman, in a blue business suit is sitting at a coffee bar reading a newspaper and sipping a cup of coffee. At the sound of the commotion, she looked up, put her coffee cup down, neatly folds the newspaper and places it on the counter, gets up from her seat and made her way, unhurried, across the restaurant. Reaching the boy, the woman carefully drops his pants; took hold of the boy's testicles and started to squeeze and twist, gently at first and then ever so firmly.. After a few seconds the boy convulsed violently and coughed up the last penny, which the woman deftly caught in her free hand. Releasing the boy's testicles, the woman handed the penny to the father and walked back to her seat at the coffee bar without saying a word.

As soon as he was sure that his son had suffered no ill effects, the father rushed over to the woman and started thanking her saying, "I've never seen anybody do anything like that before, it was fantastic. Are you a doctor? " 'No,' the woman replied. "I'm with the Inland Revenue" - OOOppsss ......

I was going to set up a video to finish off this message ...... the only thing was that every time I tried to set it up to load on to my blog the ruddy thing stuck and refused to load properly.... What is it with technology and me - umpteen blogging folk can post videos and do all sorts of great technical tricks on their blogs and I manage to ' successfully' post videos for all of three blogs, then my followers disappear, then the video thingy flips - arrrghhh ! I'll just need to give up on technology ...

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.


Words of a feather -- the phrase came to me as I leafed through the first pleasant reading all week. I'm dreaming now of upcoming trips and a break in the pattern.


Words of a feather -- the phrase came to me as I leafed through the first pleasant reading all week. I'm dreaming now of upcoming trips and a break in the pattern.

Mini-Review: Tigers Confidential

So, Tigers first base coach, Andy Van Slyke, along with Oakland Press columnist, Jim Hawkins, wrote Tigers Confidential: The Untold Inside Story of the 2008 Season. I saw it at a bookstore the other day and dropped twenty bucks to see what 'ol Andy had to say about last year's disappointing season. I don't want to spoil things if you're interested in reading it, but here's my quick review.

It's all here. All the ups (there were a couple) and all of the downs (there were dozens) of last year's season are covered here. It starts with the Cabrera/Willis deal and runs through the entire '08 campaign. It's done diary style, cutting between Hawkins' news-like reporting of the events and then to Van Slyke's point of view. There's nothing ground breaking here and nothing too controversial, but there are many interesting things throughout the book.

You get Van Slyke's opinons on Pudge Rodriguez the player and his thoughts on the Farnsworth trade. You get many stories from Andy's playing days including his fistfight with Barry Bonds. There's several amusing stories, my favorite being one of a naked, soaking wet Brandon Inge jumping into the arms of a fully in uniform Miguel Cabrera (read the book). Hawkins gives multiple amusing, profanity laced comments from Jim Leyland after tough losses. And you get to go through the coaches' confusion of why the team that was supposed to score a thousand runs and win a hundred games was so terrible.

Carlos Guillen writes the Afterword and surprisingly comes out and blames the pitching on last year's team failure. Ryan Braun wasn't as blunt as Carlos is here.

Bad things about the book? It's pretty short, for one. Second, Andy knows where his bread is buttered and doesn't ever seem to disagree with Jim Leyland. The way he talks about Jim, it's like Van Slyke idolizes him...which may be true. He gives Leyland credit for his success as a player as well as being a coach. Also, Andy repeats himself a lot emphasizing that the team has never given up, no matter how bad things are. Could've fooled me...

It's a depressing, yet at times humerous, look at the disappointing 2008 season through the eyes of a guy that was there for every game. If you're a Tiger fan, want a quick read, and can stomach reliving last year, check it out.

Sorry, Dusty

You may notice that the last post has been deleted. Dusty Ryan is completely innocent of any wrong doing with my co-worker's girlfriend. Turns out, it was another Tiger player...and this one is married. Thus, I won't be sharing his name.

No more gossip from me, kids. I'll stick to my usual poop humor and name calling from now on. Coming later, a mini-review of Andy Van Slyke's book on the 2008 season.

Again, sorry, Dusty. It wasn't you.

FC pineapple Pictures, Images and Photos

Old Brownie Camera Photos / Sensible Sayings /Coffee Machine.

Photographs found in an old Brownie Camera which showed shots taken on the day Pearl Harbour was bombed ......

Fantastic photos taken 68 years ago --- sent from Ted Cowen in Arizona

Some of you will have to go to a museum to see what a Brownie camera looked like. These photos are absolutely incredible... what quality from 1941. Pearl Harbor photos found in an old Brownie stored in a foot locker. and just recently taken to be developed.
on December 7th, 1941 at Pearl Harbor......
On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii . By planning his attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port.
Amazing photographs aren't they ??
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Makes Sense Sayings ......
1. No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.
2. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.
3. There are worse things than getting a call for the wrong number at 4 am - it could be the right number.
4. No one ever says "It's only a game" when their team is winning.
5. I've reached the age where the happy hour is a nap.
6. Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.
7. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket.
8. Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old men and old ladies running around with tattoos? (And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!) No! Say it isn't so!
9. Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than in a Yaris.
10. After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead!
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Now back to earth ...... in the land of the TV, Rockets to the moon and things of the 21st century... for instance " Coffee " which is something a lot of us can't wake up without !
So just because its so hard for me to get around and see everyone for a coffee - have one on me.... Make sure your sound is ON and Click on the Blue Coffee Machine ..
This is so cute. I don't know how they figure all this stuff out - Enjoy !

** Don't forget to click on OPEN! to see who is inside making the coffee !

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

On Rousseau

Jose Hernandez - Diptico, Ceremonial del Enviado
[José Hernández via A Journey Round My Skull]

I had occasion today to return to some notes I took in 2005 on my readings in Rousseau's corpus. I am astonished now at how influential those readings were -- in a way I didn't expect at the time and that I'm glad I've grown out of -- romanticism can be a dangerous spirit to drink down unquestionably.

From Reveries of a Solitary Walker I find:

Thus, in order to contemplate myself before my decline, I must go back at least a few years to the time when, losing all hope here-below and no longer finding any food here on earth for my heart, I gradually became accustomed to feeding it with its own substance and to looking within myself for all its nourishment.

This idea, far from being cruel and rending to me, consoles me, calms me, and helps me to resign myself. I do not go as far as St. Augustine, who would have consoled himself to be damned if such had been the will of God. [...] God is just; He wills that I suffer; and He knows that I am innocent. That is the cause of my confidence; my heart and my reason cry out to me that I will not be deceived by it. Let me, therefore, leave men and fate to go their ways. Let me learn to suffer without a murmur. In the end, everything must return to order, and my turn will come sooner or later.

And on his philosophy:
The whole present generation sees only errors and prejudices in the sentiments with which I alone nourish myself. It finds truth and evidence opposed to mine. It even seems incapable of believing that I adopt my own in good faith; and although I give myself up to it wholeheartedly, even I find it has insurmountable difficulties which are impossible for me to resolve but which do not prevent me from persisting in it. Am I then alone wise, alone enlightened, among mortals? To believe that this is the way things are, is it sufficient that they suit me? Can I put enlightened trust in appearances which have nothing solid in the eyes of other men and which would seem illusory to me if my heart did not confirm my reason? [...] I believe myself wise, but I am only a dupe, a victim, and a martyr of vain error.

Dark moments during those solitary walks.

On Rousseau

Jose Hernandez - Diptico, Ceremonial del Enviado
[José Hernández via A Journey Round My Skull]

I had occasion today to return to some notes I took in 2005 on my readings in Rousseau's corpus. I am astonished now at how influential those readings were -- in a way I didn't expect at the time and that I'm glad I've grown out of -- romanticism can be a dangerous spirit to drink down unquestionably.

From Reveries of a Solitary Walker I find:

Thus, in order to contemplate myself before my decline, I must go back at least a few years to the time when, losing all hope here-below and no longer finding any food here on earth for my heart, I gradually became accustomed to feeding it with its own substance and to looking within myself for all its nourishment.

This idea, far from being cruel and rending to me, consoles me, calms me, and helps me to resign myself. I do not go as far as St. Augustine, who would have consoled himself to be damned if such had been the will of God. [...] God is just; He wills that I suffer; and He knows that I am innocent. That is the cause of my confidence; my heart and my reason cry out to me that I will not be deceived by it. Let me, therefore, leave men and fate to go their ways. Let me learn to suffer without a murmur. In the end, everything must return to order, and my turn will come sooner or later.

And on his philosophy:
The whole present generation sees only errors and prejudices in the sentiments with which I alone nourish myself. It finds truth and evidence opposed to mine. It even seems incapable of believing that I adopt my own in good faith; and although I give myself up to it wholeheartedly, even I find it has insurmountable difficulties which are impossible for me to resolve but which do not prevent me from persisting in it. Am I then alone wise, alone enlightened, among mortals? To believe that this is the way things are, is it sufficient that they suit me? Can I put enlightened trust in appearances which have nothing solid in the eyes of other men and which would seem illusory to me if my heart did not confirm my reason? [...] I believe myself wise, but I am only a dupe, a victim, and a martyr of vain error.

Dark moments during those solitary walks.

It's Game Time! Vote For the Winner!

I challenged my fellow blogger, Kaloo, to a duel.  The idea is that our readers will vote for which of the following MS paint creatures would win in a battle to the death.  
This week we have Fire-breathing Spiky Unicorn versus Kung Fu Chicken.  
When voting, please take into account each creature's strength, agility, size, intelligence, special powers and basic awesomeness.   
Okay.   The power is in your hands now.   Will it be Kung Fu Chicken or Fire-breathing Spiky Unicorn?  Go!

WARNING: I Am Learning How To Do Computer Stuff. Blog Layout May Change Often.

I am just figuring out all this HTML business, so it is only natural for me to experiment with it.  I am halfway thinking about changing the background every day.   If you are one of those people who is diametrically opposed to change, I am sincerely sorry.  But change means no more mustard yellow and that is a good thing, I think.  Just in case you are still hurt about this, I drew you a picture of a raptor to make you feel better.  <--------------------
Today's background is a picture I took of one of my shirts.  I know it's cool, but don't get too attached to it.  It may be totally different tomorrow.  
I am also learning how to add videos to my blog.   If you think my sense of humor is random in written word, just wait until you see my videos.  
Anyway, if you have any suggestions or things you would like to see on my blog, please let me know.  I am now somewhat competent to oblige your wishes.  

Thing of the Day: Oscillating Fan. Rating: AWESOME

Dear Oscillating Fan, 

I commend you for your selfless efforts at keeping me comfortable.  No matter how hot it is, you patiently sit there and blow air at me without stopping to question the fairness of the situation.  You don't mind staying awake all night and all day, tirelessly blowing air on me.  Even when I trip over your cord, knocking you violently to the floor, you keep on faithfully doing your job.  

Sometimes I forget to unplug you when I leave the house.  You don't ever get upset about this.  You seem to simply assume that I want you to keep blowing on things, even in my absence.  

The other day, I thought it would be fun to see what happened when I stuck a piece of paper in you.  I wanted to see if I could make confetti.  I feel terribly guilty about this.  I don't know why I did it.  I shouldn't have amused myself at your expense.  You saw me coming at you with the paper and did not even flinch.  You trusted me, and I stuck a piece of paper in you and messed up your rotor.  I am sorry.  

When I realized that I had hurt you, I tenderly removed the mangled pieces of paper from your inner workings.  I told you I was sorry and you looked like you understood.  When I put you back together and plugged you in again, you started blowing air on me like nothing had ever happened.  I admire your extraordinary capability to forgive.  You are a good fan.  

I would like to do something nice for you, but I don't know what types of things oscillating fans enjoy.  I have had a couple ideas, but every time I ask you if you would enjoy them, you just shake your head.  I tried to surprise you by cooking you dinner, but you just spit it back in my face.  That was kind of rude, but I suppose I can forgive you because you are such an awesome fan.   

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for being so nice to me.   If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask.  

Soppy Story / Quiz / A Miracle ...

Have a boxful of smiles .........

*Soppy Story warning * so tissues at the ready ...... Especially at the last part... I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 42years was still too raw. This grocery store held so many sweet memories.
He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two. Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket.. hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.
She saw me watching her and she smiled. 'My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know.'
I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. 'My husband passed away eight days ago,' I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. 'Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.' She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away. I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products.

There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.
I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile! I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.
As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. 'These are for you,' she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. 'When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for.' She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.
Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel. Every day be thankful for what you have and who you are. (Even though I clutch my blanket and growl when the alarm rings. Thank you, Lord, that I can hear. There are many who are deaf. Even though I keep my eyes closed against the morning light as long as possible. Thank you, Lord, that I can see. Many are blind. Even though I huddle in my bed and put off rising. Thank you, Lord, that I have the strength to rise. There are many who are bedridden. Even though the first hour of my day is hectic, when socks are lost, toast is burned, tempers are short, and my children are so loud.
Thank you, Lord, for my family. There are many who are lonely.
Even though our breakfast table never looks like the picture in magazines and the menu is at times unbalanced. Thank you, Lord, for the food we have. There are many who are hungry.
Even though the routine of my job often is monotonous. Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to work. There are many who have no job. Even though I grumble and bemoan my fate from day to day and wish my circumstances were not so modest.
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A Quiz for you to try ......

These are not trick questions.
They are straight questions with straight answers

1. Name the one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends.
2. What famous North American landmark is constantly moving backward?
3. Of all vegetables, only two can live toproduce on their own for several growing seasons. All other vegetables must be replanted every year. What are the only two perennial vegetables?
4. What fruit has its seeds onthe outside?
5. In many liquor stores, you can buy pear brandy,with a real pear inside the bottle.The pearis whole and ripe, and the bottle is genuine ;it hasn't been cut in any way. How did the pear get inside the bottle?
6. Only three words in standard Englishbegin with the letters ' dw' and they are all common words. Name two of them.
7.. There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar. Can you name at least half of them?
8. Name the only vegetable or fruit that is never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form except fresh.
9. Name 6 or more things that you can wear on your feet beginning with the letter 'S.'
Answers to quiz ...
1. The one sport in which neither the spectators nor the participants know the score or the leader until the contest ends... Boxing
2. North American landmark constantly moving backward . Niagara Falls
(The rim is worn down about two and a half feet each year because of the millions of gallons of water that rush over it every minute.)
3. Only two vegetables that can live to produce on their own forseveral growing seasons .
..... Asparagus and rhubarb .
4. The fruit with its seeds on the outside .. . Strawberry.
5. How did the pear get inside the brandy bottle? It grew inside the bottle.
(The bottles are placed over pear bud s when they are small, and are wired in place on the tree. The bottle is left in place for the entire growing season. When the pears are ripe, they are snipped off at the stems.)
6. Three English words beginning with dw ... Dwarf, dwell and dwindle .
7. Fourteen punctuation marks in English grammar .. Period, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, apostrophe, question mark, exclamation point, quotation marks, brackets, parenthesis, braces, and ellipses.
8. The only vegetable or fruit never sold frozen, canned, processed, cooked, or in any other form but fresh Lettuce.
9. Six or more things you can wear on your feet beginning with 'S' Shoes, socks, sandals, sneakers, slippers, skis, skates, snowshoes, stockings, stilts.

Cheers from the land of the Tartan and the Heather, Love Kate xxx.

Blethers about sight and a few funnies ......

I want a 'timestopper' - just like this one \/

Hi Folks,
I received a reminder letter the other week asking me to go for a sight test as it had been over 2 years since my last one. I have been wearing glasses for over 40 years and have therefore since then been having my eyes tested regularly. I was kind of wary though about the way the optician reacted when she checked out the photograph showing my eyes and after she had another look she asked if she could give me another wee test which would enlarge my pupils and render me unable to drive for a few hours which meant that she could do the photo test again.
Me, being a right worry-wort and cowardy custard and brought up on all these 'old' sad and weepy film stories where the hero or heroine caught some terrible disease and went blind or something was imagining all sorts of things picturing that my eyes showed some very rare disease which would mean that I would be going blind...... this is something which would to me, be the very worst thing that could happen.

Imagine not being able to see Rob or our ever extending family growing up, not being able to see our wonderful world with its sunsets, gorgeous sea scapes, snow on the hills or the rare sight of that yellow ball in the sky ...... (y'know the one which we don't often see in Scotland ). Blimey, not even being able to see the rain lashing down . All these things were running through my ancient brain and these thoughts were all falling over themselves until she finished doing the test and finally sat down turning to face me - I took a gulp and waited for her to say her piece !

What was it ? Cataracts in both my eyes, the relief was enormous, it's only about eight months since since I had ferried Dorien to and from the hospital where she had had the procedures done to cut out the cataracts from both her eyes, first one eye and then 2 months later the other. She had been overjoyed not to have to wear glasses constantly (the only time she would need to wear glasses after having the procedure done was because she was short-sighted as well as long-sighted - therefore only when she read or watched TV ) ...

The same situation would apply to me too this means that for most of the time I will not be required to have glasses so , rather than putting on these 'nuisances' first thing in the morning and laying them down before I go to sleep, I will also be free to wear 'real' sunglasses wonderful ! Sunglasses and fashionable ones at that ...... wayhayy ! Even better, just think - It will be done free ! (typical Scot do I hear you say? not really, but I will be able to swank it in front of my younger brother who has just spent a fortune paying for his son to have the Lasik surgery ) .

The only fly in the ointment now is that I'll have to wait until my cataracts are ripe for removal - In the meantime I have two pairs of glasses being made up for the next two years... So I left the opticians office with my purse once again having been emptied by another £200... Roll on ripening cataracts !

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Cows .........
The only cow in a small town in Australia stopped giving milk. The townsfolk found they could buy a cow in New Zealand quite cheaply. They brought the cow from New Zealand and it was wonderful, produced lots of milk every day and everyone was happy. They bought a bull to mate with the cow to get more cows, so they'd never have to worry about their milk supply again. They put the bull in the pasture with the cow but whenever the bull tried to mount the cow, the cow would move away. No matter what approach the bull tried, the cow would move away from the bull and he was never able to do the deed.

The people were very upset and decided to go the Vet, who was very wise, tell him what was happening and ask his advice. "Whenever the bull tries to mount our cow, she moves away.
If he approaches from the back, she moves forward, they said. When he approaches her from the front, she backs off. If he attempt from the one side, she walks away to the other side.
"The Vet rubbed his chin thoughtfully and pondered this before asking, "Did you by any chance, buy this cow in New Zealand?" The people were dumbfounded, since no one had ever mentioned that they had brought the cow over from New Zealand. "You are truly a wise Vet," they said. "How did you know we got the cow in New Zealand ?
The Vet replied with a distant look in his eye, "My wife's from Auckland."

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This last item is called 'The Cane Toad' in which a Cane Toad called Daz tells us about his pal Baz It's a bit near the knuckle in language but nevertheless fun - so I hope you enjoy it !

Cheers from the land of the Heather and the Tartan, Love Kate xxx.