I Got DIBS...Voting Results and Reaction

DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes), which I am somehow a member of, had their voting for several awards for your 2010 Detroit Tigers this past week. I submitted mine, but I’m not sure Kurt from Bless You Boys got them, since I admittedly filled out my form drunk and I’m not sure it went through. I have issues…but you already knew that, didn’t you?

Kurt changed things up a bit to attempt to get away from the predictable “Best Hitter”, “Best Pitcher”, etc, nonsense you see everywhere else. Props to Samara at RotT for coming up with several of the awards. Anyway, here’s the complete list, who I voted for, and my reaction. After that, I’ll have a few of my own special awards.

Best On-Field Celebration: Jose Valverde

Well, duh. I, too, voted for the Big Potato’s dancing exploits. I mean, who else is there? Brandon Inge’s sadface when celebrating a strikeout? Ryan Raburn’s excessive tongue wagging after doing whatever it is he does? Perhaps Miguel Cabrera’s drinking benders when the ChiSox are in town? Naa…Valverde was the right choice.

Best Hair, Facial or Otherwise: Phil Coke

I voted for Cokehead. Had to…the guy’s so entertaining. He would have lost if Adam Everett was still on the team, though. That guy’s hair was flawless, second in sports to only Tom Brady. I actually gave Everett my 2nd place vote, though I don’t think it was counted. Honorable mention goes to Johnny Damon, who finished second in the overall voting. Johnny tried, but his 30+ year old frat boy look couldn’t top the “redneck homicidal maniac” appearance of Mr. Coke.

More after the jump.

Best Pitching Face: Justin Verlander

Verlander’s a scary bastard. That’s why I love him. No one since Dave Stewart with the late 80’s/early 90’s Oakland A’s has been so intimidating on the mound. So yeah, I voted JV for first and second for Valverde and his rotating facial expressions of determination and constipation. Fun stuff.

Jeremy Bonderman actually got three first place votes. Really? He looks like he has Down’s Syndrome most of the time. No offense to the Little Buddys out there, but really? Best pitching face? Sigh.

Best Use of Social Media: Will Rhymes

I voted for Will who is the only Tiger I know of that uses twitter and facebook. I think this category was put in there so Kurt could guarantee an award for his BFF, Tinkerbell. Ha.

Apparently Robbie Weinhardt and Casper Wells use social media stuff, too, but no one cares about them. That’s what they get for being so tall.

Biggest Surprise: Brennan Boesch

As I recall, I voted for Austin Jackson for surpassing all expectations that were placed on him by the Detroit media after everyone’s lord and savior, Curtis Granderson, was sent off to the Death Star in New York City. AJax was amazing for us and I’ve rarely been happier for a player. Boesch got my second-place vote, as he truly did seem to come out of nowhere this year. If he didn’t suck out loud so much in the second half, he would have been an easy winning choice for me.

I was interested to see if Rick Porcello would have gotten any off-the wall votes for being such a surprise in a negative way this year. Sadly, no one was willing to think outside the box. Jerks. Will Rhymes got two first place votes. As in “I’m surprised this little fella is somehow on the team?” Harf.

Best Value: Austin Jackson

AJax got my second place vote, as I went with Max Scherzer. Mad Max was amazing after his stint in Toledo, outpitching even Verlander for quite a while. Both guys are a good choice.

Most Valuable Tiger: Miguel Cabrera

This was a unanimous choice. JV was second. There’s no way it could have finished any other way.

And here’s a couple awards exclusive to DesigNate Robertson.

Worst Value: Nate Robertson

We paid him $9.6 million to suck for several organizations this year. F-ck you, Nate.

Worst Tattoos: Jeremy Bonderman

He edges out Brandon Inge for actually copying the ridiculous, ugly tributes to Brandon’s children…and he somehow got it even worse. I hope I never have to see Bondo again.

Best Tattoos: Ryan Perry

Perry’s sleeve tats are actually pretty awesome. Best tattoos in the D since Dmitri Young’s flame designs.

“Brandon Inge Memorial” Most Overrated Tiger: Will Rhymes

Sorry…Wee Man edges out Inge in the man’s own award. What an upset.

Best Tiger Blog:  Bless You Boys
Kurt and the gang over there do a top-notch job.  It's really the only place you need to go for news on the Tigers.  Great group of folks over there.

Worst Tiger Blog:  DesigNate Robertson
Really, this blog is crap.  Why are you reading?  Poop jokes and ripping apart other people's work?  You're better than this, people.  Plus I quit every couple months.  BYB's list of Tiger blogs even says that DNR is currently on hiatus.  I suck.   Not as bad as Don Kelly...but yeah.

Best Thing About 2010: (tie) Austin Jackson and Max Scherzer/Miguel Cabrera

Let me explain. AJax/Mad Max did the impossible and convinced 90% of the torch and pitchfork carrying Tiger fanbase that trading Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson wasn’t such a bad thing after all. Both did amazing jobs in 2010 and have me and others excited to see what they have to offer in 2011.

I also have to mention Miguel Cabrera’s redemption as the end of 2009 saw him, perhaps unfairly, labeled as a drunk and bad team player. That may accurately describe Your Party Host here, but not Miguel Cabrera.  The guy responded by putting up MVP numbers and showed the baseball world why he has to be mentioned in the conversation of the best hitter in baseball today.

Worst Thing About 2010: Ernie Harwell and Sparky Anderson pass away

Nothing more to really add here. Two legends who will live on in the hearts of Tiger and baseball fans forever left us this year. I still can’t believe they’re gone.

(Dis)Honorable Menion: The continued injury troubles of Carlos Guillen and Joel Zumaya. Two guys that were such a big part of the 2006 ballclub just can’t stay healthy anymore. They’ll each try to make yet another comeback in 2011. But will it be with us? Ask Gary Sheffield how Dave Dombrowski feels about dumping a player he thinks is through despite a huge salary.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. Seeya around.

'The Forgotten Highlander ' - Alistair Urquhart / Robert Burns...

Shereen Nanjiani and Alastair Urquhart ......

Hello Folks,

Yesterday being Sunday I was enjoying my morning cuppa in bed and as usual I was listening to the radio where I was intrigued by this man being interviewed by Shereen Nanjiani... what I heard completely caught my attention - it's not long since Remembrance day and the man being interviewed spoke openly and without great malice on his part... I wonder at the courage he had to live through his experiences...

So, today's blog is dedicated to Alistair Urquhart. (91 years) An astonishing and amazing man, whose ordeal at the hands of the Japanese during the second world war was so extreme that it's scarcely credible that he survived.

He worked on the infamous Death Railway and helped build the bridge over the River Kwai. He survived starvation, cholera, torture and brutality, only to be sent in a rusting hellship to Japan. The ship was torpedoed and he drifted alone for days in a shark infested sea, then when he was rescued and transported to a prison camp near Nagasaki.

Alistair not only survived, he's lived to be ninety-one years old and among other things takes great pleasure in ballroom dancing with his partner Helen. When Shereen, a presenter with the BBC met him, he began by telling how he and his comrades were put into rice trucks to be transported to a Japanese work camp...

They came to think of themselves as the forgotten army - the men who endured years of suffering in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during World War II. His book is called 'The Forgotten Highlander' and it is the only item on my wish list for Christmas ...

This is a story of almost unimaginable suffering. The POWs were transported deep into Thailand on rice trucks that were more like steel coffins. He, with hundreds of others, was marched through the jungle to a prison camp. Many died from dehydration and exhaustion on the long march. They were then put to work on the building of a railway. It involved cutting a path through a sheer stone cliff face the men came to call Hellfire Pass. The men survived on a few handfuls of rice a day. Many succumbed to disease - cholera, beriberi, tropical ulcers. Their weight fell to five or six stone. Beatings were routine.

In the 1957 film Bridge on the River Kwei the men whistle Colonel Bogie and the officers valiantly defy their Japanese guards. Alistair Urquhart says it was not so. The film sanitises the depths to which the men sank on the building of the infamous railway bridge. For years he went barefoot and naked except for a simple loin cloth. After another death march through the jungle, Alastair Urquhart was taken back to Singapore and, with 400 other men, loaded into the hold of a cargo ship.

There was standing room only. It was airless, fetid, the heat baking. Many died here too. The ship did sink, torpedoed at sea by an US submarine. He spent five days and night alone on a barge. By the time he was picked up by a Japanese whaling ship, he was dehydrated, hallucinating and close to death. He ended up in a camp in mainland Japan. He was there when the war ended. But his prison camp was a few miles from the city of Nagasaki. The blast of hot air from the bomb that fell on August 9th knocked him off his feet. Within days he was on his way home.

He arrived back in Aberdeen in November. For years he'd dreamt of being re-united with his family. When, finally, he was, they scarcely recognised each other. Those who returned came home to a country that did not understand what they had endured, and which, for the most part, did not want to know. Like many of his generation, Alistair Urquhart didn't speak about his experience for 60 years.

His wife died after 46 years of marriage without knowing any of it. I am breaking my silence now, he writes in his book, to bear witness. I am a lucky man, but I am also an angry man, and my business with Japan is unfinished. Germany has atoned. Young Germans know of their nation's dreadful crimes. But young Japanese are taught nothing of their nation's guilt.

Book Details ... The Forgotten Highlander: One Man's Incredible Story Of Survival During The War In The Far East, is published by Little, Brown.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

A HOLLYWOOD blockbuster will be made about the life of a prisoner of war who was named as the winner of the Daily Record Our Heroes Awards 2010. Movie mogul Steven Spielberg is negotiating the film rights to Alistair Urquhart's moving book of life as a Japanese POW At the glittering ceremony on Friday, a room of celebrities, winners and nominees honoured Alistair with a standing ovation as he was named overall winner at the event. With characteristic modesty, the old soldier said: "This means everything to me. It is truly wonderful. I hope I can live up to the honour."

Spielberg was moved by The Forgotten Highlander, the bestselling memoirs Alistair, 91, wrote after 65 years of painful silence. He wants his story to be made into a film as long as it remains true to his ordeal. He said: "For my story to get to the next generations, I want that, for the simple reason that war never solved anything. "I hope one thing they remember from my story is that there is no such word as can't because you can if you really try. The fact I am here today highlights that."

Those words epitomised the courage and endurance of the nominees and winners at the seventh Our Heroes Awards, hosted by Tam Cowan and Jackie Bird at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. It was an emotionally charged event and Alistair's story touched many of the guests, including actor Martin Compston. He said: "To be with Alistair is to be in the presence of greatness. I have met a lot of Hollywood names but I can't remember being as starstruck as I am with Alistair. He's a true hero."

He certainly is 'A true brave Scottish Highlander '.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Many and sharp the num'rous ills Inwoven with our frame!
More pointed still we make ourselves regret, remorse and shame!
And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

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

Funnie / I've Learned / It's a -comin...

Now aren't these full grown animals with their young cute...

Huhhhh ??

Hi Folks,

A man is stopped by the police at midnight and asked "Where are you going?".
I'm on my way to listen to a lecture about the effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the human body.

The policeman asks, Really? And who's going to give a lecture at this time of night?
My wife, he replied.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
I've Learned...
I've learned- that no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief. I've learned- that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. I've learned- that just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do. I've learned- that we don't have to change friends if we understand that friends change.

I've learned- that you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.I've learned- that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. I've learned- that no matter how you try to protect your children, they will eventually get hurt and you will hurt in the process. I've learned- that your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you

I've learned- that even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you, you will find the strength to help I've learned- that credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being. I've learned- that the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon. I've learned- that it's hard to determine where to draw the line between being nice and not hurting people's feelings and standing up for what you believe.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

It's a-comin ...
I received this next one from my friend Doris at the 'Grammy of 13' blog and thought it was too good 'not' to pass on - so enjoy !

Three strangers strike up a conversation in the
passenger lounge in the Bozeman, Montana airport, while waiting for their
respective flights.
One is an American Indian passing through from Lame
Deer, another is a Cowboy on his way to Billings for a livestock show and
the third passenger is a fundamentalist Arab student, newly arrived at
Montana State University from the Middle East.
Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures.
Soon, the two Westerners learn that the Arab is a devout, radical Muslim and
the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.
The cowboy leans back in his chair, crosses his
boots on a magazine table, tips his big sweat-stained hat forward over his
face, and lights a cigarette. The wind outside is blowing tumbleweeds
around, and the old windsock is flapping; but still no plane comes.

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly he speaks, 'At one time here... my people were many... but sadly, now we are few.'
The Muslim student raises an eyebrow and leans
forward, 'Once my people were few,' he sneers, 'and now we are many. Why do
you suppose that is?'
The cowboy removes his cigarette from his mouth and
from the darkness beneath his Stetson says in a smooth drawl..
'I reckon that's 'cause we ain't played Cowboys and
Muslims yet, but I do believe it's a-comin'.'

Uh-Ohhh! - shades of the 'Jaws' music a-comin' there!

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

Flamingos / Blonde Joke / Chips anyone?/ Caledonia ...

Hi There ...

Is this life imitating art - or art imitating life ..... This is a remarkable image which shows a colony of Caribbean flamingos spontaneously arranging themselves into the shape of one giant flamingo.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Blonde Joke ...

An old blind cowboy wanders into an all-girl biker bar by mistake. He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a shot of Jack Daniels. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender, 'Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?'

The bar immediately falls absolutely silent.

In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, 'Before you tell that joke, cowboy, I think it is only fair, given that you are blind, that you should know five things:

1. The bartender is a blonde girl with a baseball bat.
2 The bouncer is a blonde girl.
3.. I'm a 6-foot tall, 175-pound blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weight lifter.
5. The lady to your right is blonde and a professional wrestler.

Now, think about it seriously Cowboy. Do you still wanna tell that blonde joke?'

The blind cowboy thinks for a second, shakes his head and mutters, 'No... not if I'm gonna have to explain it five times.'

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Las Vegas churches accept gambling chips ...




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

Tiger Droppings: Start of Free Agency Edition

Lots to discuss and I’m a very busy man. No witty intro (is there ever?), so let’s get on with it.

Dombrowski Goes Shopping at V-Mart

Today the Tigers signed noodle-armed, awesome-hitting catcher/DH/first baseman Victor Martinez to a four year/$50 million deal. The Tigers will also lose their first round draft pick to the Red Sox, unless they also sign Jayson Werth. In that case, the Phillies would get the Tigers pick. As if those pricks haven’t received enough from us the past few years.

How does Your Party Host feel about the deal? I love it for the next two years. But the other two? I think we’re looking at Carlos Guillen, Part Deux. Vic’s already in his early-thirties. He’s an abortion at throwing runners out. And now we’re basically locked down at DH for the next couple years.  Speaking of Guillen, where does he do now?

On the bright side, V-Mart has a career OPS+ of 121. He doesn’t strike out much at all. He’s a hell of a hitter and knows the AL Central well after so many years in Cleveland. He should be happy with fellow ex-Indian, Jhonny Peralta on the team, as well as the rest of Team Venezuela. Seriously…is there anyone on the team that can speak understandable English anymore other than Verlander, Inge, and Jackson? I mean have you heard that hilljack Raburn speak? It’s all clicks and whistles to me…

Deals Martinez reportedly turned down:
*Red Sox: 3 years/$36 million
*Red Sox: 4 years/$42 million
*Orioles: 4 years/$48 million
*White Sox: 3 years/$48 million

Eat it, Chicago.  With Victor signed, right field remains the biggest hole the Tigers have to fill. And with Martinez, I’m hoping that it’s just another reason that Magglio returns to town. The more Venezuelans the merrier, am I right? That is Dombrowski’s motto, you know.

Welcome to Detroit, Victor. Try not to piss me off. After all, you are the only non-Tiger bobblehead that I own. See?

Ha…we’re buddies already.

More free agent fun after the jump…

Other Free Agent News

-A few days ago, Detroit made the first big splash at free agency by giving Tampa’s 2010 set-up man, Joaquin Benoit a three year, $16.5 million deal. It’s the biggest deal a non-closer has signed since Scott Linebrink’s White Sox deal three years ago. Last year, Benoit had a 1.34 ERA, an amazing 295 ERA+, and 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 60 1/3 IP. Awesome stuff. Trouble is, he missed all of 2009 due to injury and in his eight seasons before that, only had one year (2007) that wasn’t complete dogsh-t. It’s a gutsy move by Dombrowski, but if Benoit pitches close to like he did for the Rays, it’s one that we’re all going to be thrilled about. It also gives Joel Zumaya more leeway in making his comeback as he won’t be counted on to immediately be the bridge to Jose Valverde in 2011.

I look forward to the day when the Tigers don't have to grossly overpay free agents to come to Detroit.  Does everyone really think that the city of Detroit is nothing more than burning cars, drive-bys, and overweight female Brandon Inge fans?  Wait...what else is there in Detroit?  Crap.

-The Tigers are one of seven teams interested in Brandon McCarthy, recently released by the Rangers. Brandon has a career record of 20-24, with a 4.62 ERA, and an ERA+ of 101. But for some reason, McCarthy is a long-time favorite of mine who has battled numerous injuries throughout his career. He’s still only 27, is 6’7, and pitched pretty well in AAA last year. He’s currently pitching good enough in Winter ball to garner all the attention.

I’d love to see him as a member of the Mud Hens rotation next year, with an eventual call-up whenever one of our guys gets an ouchie on their arm-spot. Make it happen, Dave.

Then again, I’m terrible at evaluating talent. I liked Ryan Leaf better than Peyton Manning, Rick Mirer better than Drew Bledsoe, and thought Josh Anderson was going to be a star for the Tigers. I did get Kevin Durant over Greg Oden right, though…high five.

-Detroit re-signed reliever Enrique Gonzalez to a minor league deal.

Venezuelans, Dude.

-Finally, the Tigers signed Al Alburquerque to a major league deal despite the 24 year old never pitching above AA ball.

Here’s to hoping that Dombrowski hasn’t made a wrong turn at Alburquerque. Harf…

Always A Tiger Notes, mostly via MLB Trade Rumors

-Aubrey Huff re-signed with the Giants for two years at $22 million. Quite a raise from his one year/$3 million deal he had with San Francisco in 2010. I was going to congratulate Aubrey on his deal, but then I remembered 2009. F-ck you, Aubrey Huff.  I hope you accidentally bump heads with a visiting Barry Bonds and your orbital bone explodes.

-The Reds signed Dontrelle Willis to a minor league deal. Good gawd, what does this clown have to do to prove that he’s done? And why can’t it be the White Sox or Twins that sign him? Maybe one of them will sign Nate. I’d gladly offer up each of your next-born children for that to happen.

-Three teams are reportedly interested in Jarrod Washburn, one of them being the Milwaukee Brewers. If either of the other two are the Tigers, I will stab Dombrowski in the chest with a broken beer bottle.

-Jay Sborz signed a minor league deal with the Braves. Congrats, Jay. Sorry I never learned how to spell/pronounce your name properly.

That’s it, kids. I’ll try to get something up over the Thanksgiving holiday since I usually spend it alone in the dark drinking cheap beer and wondering why my family hates me.

Either way, have a good one.

Funnies and a grumble ......

A new wee baby cousin ......

Hi Folks,

The Lie-detecting Robot ......

John was a salesman's delight when it came to any kind of unusual gimmicks. His wife Marsha had long ago given up trying to get him to change.

One day John came home with another one of his unusual purchases. It was a robot that John claimed was actually a lie detector. It was about 5:30 that afternoon when Tommy, their 11 year old son, returned home from school. Tommy was over 2 hours late."Where have you been? Why are you over 2 hours late getting home?" asked John."Several of us went to the library to work on an extra credit project," said Tommy.

The robot walked around the table and slapped Tommy, knocking him completely out of his chair. "Son," said John, "this robot is a lie detector, now tell us where you really were after school." "We went to Bobby's house and watched a movie." said Tommy. "What did you watch?" asked Marsha. "The Ten Commandments." answered Tommy. The robot went around to Tommy and once again slapped him, knocking him off his chair.With his lip quivering, Tommy got up, sat down and said, "I am sorry I lied. We really watched a tape called Sex Queen."

"I am ashamed of you son," said John. "When I was your age, I never lied to my parents." The robot walked around to John and delivered a whack that nearly knocked him out of his chair...
Marsha doubled over in laughter, almost in tears and said, "Boy, did you ever ask for that one! You can't be too mad with Tommy. After all, he is your son!" The robot walked around to Marsha and knocked her out of her chair.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The Vet and the Pussy Cat ......

One December day we found an old straggly cat at our door. She was a sorry sight -- starving, dirty, smelled terrible, skinny and hair all matted down. We felt sorry for her so we put her in a carrier and took her to the vet. We didn't know what to call her so we named her “Pussycat.”

The vet decided to keep her for a day or so. He said he would let us know when we could come and get her. My husband (the complainer) said, “OK, but don't forget to wash her. She stinks.” He reminded the vet that it was his WIFE (me) who wanted the dirty cat, not him.

My husband and my vet don't see eye to eye. The vet calls my husband “El Cheap-O,” and my husband calls the vet “El Charge-O.” They love to hate each other and constantly “snipe” at one another, with my husband getting in the last word on this particular occasion.

The next day my husband had an appointment with his doctor, who is located in the same building and next door to the vet. The MD's waiting room was full of people waiting to see the doctor. A side door opened and the vet leaned in. Obviously he had seen my husband arrive.

He looked straight at my husband and in a loud voice said, ”Your wife's pussy doesn't stink any more. We washed and shaved it and now she smells like a rose. Oh, and by the way, I think she's pregnant. God only knows who the father is!”

Then he closed the door.
Now 'THAT' , my friends, is getting even!

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

John Lewis Christmas Advert ...

I don't know if anyone will remember, but a few months ago I blogged here that my son and his wife went on holiday with Louis and when they were abroad someone from the Casting agency where Lou was registered phoned their home regarding a Christmas TV advert they were about to film for John Lewis Stores... You will gather it was a bit of a disappointment however, while they were away Lou ended up having Chicken Pox so he would probably not have been able to do it anyway.

Now in the last week or so the advert has been aired ! The wee boy at the end of the advert sort of looks the same type as Lou so I imagine that would have been the part concerned .... except that Lou doesn't need glasses - though possibly the wee boy in the advert doesn't either - Anyway, every time the advert has come on the TV I automatically think - Gosh, that could have been Lou!

When I was loading the video on this blog I came across posts on Google advising that the video well, not the whole video, just the end bit has now been changed and the wee boy going out to the kennel in the back garden to leave a Christmas present for the dog has been cut and the ending altered to please the 1,ooo people (in Facebook apparently) who complained about the fact that a poor dog had been left out in the cold in the advert ! Never mind that it was all an act, and that the snow shown on the advert was fake .... ie not 'real' snow.

Bloody Hell ! What in the world have we come to that a lot (well a thousand folk is a lot - I suppose) of 'health and safety' twits can alter the outcome of a TV advertisement. For Heaven's sake it's a ruddy advert not real life, do they think that people would actually put their dog out in the frozen wastes of their garden ....... IT'S A FLIPPEN ADVERT !!! Oh God, give me strength - there are one hangova lot of numpties in this world - well at least a thousand .

Oh to hang, enough of my moaning and grumbling, have a look at the unedited advert as it was shown before the 'health and safety' folk put their oars in...

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

A load to swallow /A Cab Driver Lesson /Time Bank.

Yeah! this takes some believing ! that 'is' a whale ...which has it's
mouth engulfing this man and his canoe ......

I was sent this photo, I bet this canoeist had to get new underpants afterwards !

The photo was taken at the entrance to Katlian Bay at the end of the road in Sitka .
The whale is coming up to scoop up a mouthful of herring (the small fish seen at
the surface around the kayak). The kayaker is a local
Sitka Dentist. I haven't talked to
him yet, but haven't heard of any injuries he had suffered from the experience.

The kayaker's comments...
Yep, that is a whale that was just around the corner from the ferry terminal.
"Paddle real fast" is the only thing I could think of at the time. Well, apart from
the fact that I don't look like a herring and don't smell like a herring - I did have
the same instinct that I should "get the hell out of the way of that big mouth!
Still living to tell yet another story" .........

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

A lesson from a cab driver ... in customer satisfaction and expectation. Motivational speakers charge thousands of dollars to impart his kind of training to corporate executives and staff. It cost me a $12 taxi ride. I had flown into Dallas for the sole purpose of calling on a client. Time was of the essence and my plan included a quick turnaround trip from and back to the airport.

A spotless cab pulled up. The driver rushed to open the passenger door for me and made sure I was comfortably seated before he closed the door. As he got in the driver's seat, he mentioned that the neatly folded Wall Street Journal next to me for my use. He then showed me several tapes and asked me what type of music I would enjoy. Well! I looked around for a "Candid Camera!" Wouldn't you?

I could not believe the service I was receiving! I took the opportunity to say, "Obviously you take great pride in your work. You must have a story to tell." "You bet," he replied, "I used to be in Corporate America. But I got tired of thinking my best would never be good enough. I decided to find my niche in life where I could feel proud of being the best I could be. I knew I would never be a rocket scientist, but I love driving cars, being of service and feeling like I have done a full day's work and done it well. I evaluate my personal assets and... wham! I became a cab driver.

One thing I know for sure, to be good in my business I could simply just meet the expectations of my passengers. But, to be GREAT in my business, I have to EXCEED the customer's expectations! I like both the sound and the return of being 'great' better than just getting by on 'average'" Did I tip him big time? You bet! Corporate America's loss is the travelling folk's friend!

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The Time Bank...... Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $ 86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course!

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day's deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back......

There is no drawing against the "tomorrow". You must live in the present on today's deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~

The problem with troubleshooting is that trouble shoots back. –Author Unknown.
Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked. –Jeff Pesis.
Treat your password like your toothbrush. Don’t let anybody else use it, and get a new one every six months. - Clifford Stoll.

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

Ben Stein Sense / ' I've Learned' / a few Paddy Jokes ...

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Hi There,

Here are some good points - well made ... This should sort out the Politically correct brigade ...
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

Ben Stein's confession :

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees... I don't feel threatened.. I don't feel discriminated against.. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about.. And we said okay..

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves. Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell.
Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.
Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.
Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not, then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

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I've learned- that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them.
I've learned- that no matter how much I care, some people just don't care back.
I've learned- that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I've learned- that it's not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts. I've learned- that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something.
I've learned- that you shouldn't compare yourself to the best others can do.
I've learned- that you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
I've learned- that it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
I've learned- that you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
I've learned- that you can keep going long after you can't.
I've learned- that we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
I've learned- that either you control your attitude or it controls you.

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To finish off this entry I've added a few 'Paddy' jokes ...... Enjoy !

Paddy was driving home, p*ssed as a newt, suddenly he has to swerve to avoid a tree, then another, then another. A cop car pulls him over as he veers about all over the road. Paddy tells the cop about all the trees in the road. Cop says "For goodness sake Paddy, that's your bloody air freshener!"

Paddy's in jail. Guard looks in his cell and sees him hanging by his feet. "What the heck you doing?" he asks. "Hanging myself" Paddy replies. "It should be around your neck" says the Guard. "I know" says Paddy "but I couldn't breathe".

"I was thinking of buying meself one of those Golden Labrador Dogs" said Paddy to Mick. "For heaven's sake Paddy don't do that - have you seen how many of their owners go blind"

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

Dogs Don't Understand Basic Concepts Like Moving

Packing all of your belongings into a U-Haul and then transporting them across several states is nearly as stressful and futile as trying to run away from lava in swim fins.  

I know this because my boyfriend Duncan and I moved from Montana to Oregon last month.  But as harrowing as the move was for us, it was nothing compared to the confusion and insecurity our two dogs had to endure.  

Our first dog is - to put it delicately - simple-minded.  Our other dog is a neurotic German shepherd mix with agonizingly low self-esteem who has taken on the role of "helper dog" for our simple dog.  Neither dog is well-equipped with coping mechanisms of any kind.  

When we started packing, the helper dog knew immediately that something was going on.  I could tell that she knew because she becomes extremely melodramatic when faced with even a trivial amount of uncertainty.  She started following me everywhere, pausing every so often to flop to the ground in an exaggeratedly morose fashion - because maybe that would make me realize how selfish I was being by continuing to pack despite her obvious emotional discomfort.     

When the soul-penetrating pathos she was beaming at me failed to prevent me from continuing to put things in boxes, the helper dog became increasingly alarmed.  Over the ensuing few days, she slowly descended into psychological chaos.  The simple dog remained unfazed. 

Unfortunately for the helper dog, it took us nearly a week to get everything packed up.  By the time we were ready to begin the first part of our two-day journey to Oregon, she seemed almost entirely convinced that she was going to die at any moment.  She spent the entire car ride drooling and shaking uncontrollably.  

But the simple dog seemed to enjoy the trip. 

Even though she threw up seven times. 

She actually seemed to like throwing up.  To the simple dog, throwing up was like some magical power that she never knew she possessed - the ability to create infinite food.  I was less excited about the discovery because it turned my dog into a horrible, vomit-making perpetual motion machine.  Whenever I heard her retch in the backseat, I had to pull over as quickly as possible to prevent her from reloading her stomach and starting the whole cycle over again.  

But as far as the simple dog was concerned, it was the best, most exciting day of her life.  

It wasn't until we stopped for the night in Umatilla that the simple dog became aware that there was any reason for her to feel anxious.  But at around two o'clock in the morning, the simple dog finally realized that something was different and maybe she should be alarmed.

This particular dog is not anywhere near the gifted spectrum when it comes to solving problems.  In fact, she has only one discernible method of problem solving and it isn't even really a method. 

But making high-pitched noises won't solve your problem if your problem is a complete inability to cope with change.  Unfortunately for everyone involved, the simple dog did not understand this concept and she went right ahead and made an interminable amount of noise that was just invasive enough to make sleeping impossible. 

After an hour of failed attempts at comforting the simple dog, her constant, high-pitched emergency-distress-signal became a huge problem.  

I tried to communicate my displeasure to the simple dog, but communicating with the simple dog usually goes like this:

She was going to make that sound forever if she felt it was necessary.  We tried everything from spooning her to locking her in the bathroom, but none of it was even the slightest bit effective.  

The simple dog made the noise all through the night and was still going strong the next morning. When we were loading the dogs into the car, the constant, high-pitched sound emanating from the simple dog finally broke the helper dog.  The helper dog wailed in anguish, which alarmed the simple dog.  In her surprise, the simple dog let out a yelp, which further upset the helper dog.  And so it continued in a wretched positive-feedback loop of completely unnecessary noise.

When we finally arrived at our new house, the dogs had calmed down considerably.  Unfortunately, it had snowed the night before and there was still snow on our front lawn, and that was enough to catapult both dogs back into hysteria.  

The simple dog had either never experienced snow or she'd forgotten that she knew what it was, because when we let her out of the car, she walked around normally for about seven seconds, then she noticed the snow and her feeble little mind short-circuited.

At first, the simple dog was excited about the snow.  She started prancing around the yard like she was the star of a one-dog parade - her recent personal crisis overshadowed by a haze of enthusiasm. 

The prancing turned to leaping and the leaping turned to running chaotically in stupid little circles. Then she just stopped and stared at the ground.  There was a visible shift in her demeanor as she realized that she didn't understand snow and it was everywhere and she should probably be scared of it. She started making the noise again. 

Not surprisingly, the helper dog interpreted the snow as a sign of her imminent demise.  But she was so exhausted from worrying about all of the other signs of her demise that she just gave up and accepted her death.  She peered up at us, half-buried in the snow.  Her eyes were filled with pain and helplessness, as if she thought we had summoned the snow for the sole purpose of making her sad.

We decided that it would probably be best to bring the dogs inside.  

As a condition for allowing us to have dogs in our rental house, our landlady made us promise that we wouldn't let the dogs scratch the wood floors.  We didn't anticipate it being a problem because it hadn't been in the past, but as soon as our dogs set foot in the house, they morphed into perfectly engineered floor-destroying machines.  They started sprinting as fast as they could for absolutely no reason - skittering around in circles to avoid running into the walls.  

We finally corralled them in the bedroom and shut the door to give ourselves a little time to regroup and come up with a plan.  Until we could get some rugs or convince the dogs that it was unnecessary to sprint around chaotically for no reason, we would need to find some way to prevent them from scratching the floors.  What we ended up doing was going to the pet store and buying two sets of sled dog booties. It was the only way.

It is easy to imagine that a dog who has recently experienced a dramatic upheaval of its formerly safe and predictable life might not react well to suddenly having strange objects attached to all four of its feet.  This was most definitely the case with the booties.

The helper dog panicked and started trying to rip the booties off with her teeth. 

I scolded her and she reacted as if I'd ruined her entire life. 

But at least her immobilizing self-pity kept her from chewing the booties off.

The simple dog just stood there and looked at me in a way that would suggest she didn't realize her legs still worked.

They had to wear the booties for two days.  Those two days were filled with the most concentrated display of overemotional suffering I have ever witnessed.  The simple dog spent most of her time standing in the middle of the room looking bewildered and hurt and the helper dog refused to walk, instead opting to flop her way around the house like a dying fish.  

The entire ordeal was punctuated by the simple dog's high-pitched confusion alarm. 

We were beginning to think that our dogs were permanently broken. Nothing we did helped at all to convince the dogs that we had only changed houses and our new house was not, in fact, some sort of death-camp and we weren't actually planning on killing them to fulfill an organ harvest ritual.  Despite our best efforts, they continued to drift around in a sea of confusion and terror, pausing only to look pitiful. 

But while we were unpacking, we found a squeaky toy that was given to us as a gift shortly before we moved.  We offered the toy to the dogs.  This may have been a mistake. 

Upon discovering that the toy squeaked when it was compressed forcefully, the simple dog immediately forgot that she'd ever experienced doubt or anxiety ever in her life.  She pounced on the toy with way more force than necessary, over and over and over.  The logic behind her sudden change in outlook was unclear.   

But at least she was happy again.