Mis·cel·la·ne·ous: consisting of members or elements of different kinds; of mixed character; having various qualities, aspects, or subjects. Posts in this category pertain to miscellaneous topics not covered by other categories.


Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Blogging

Wish I would have known about this...

Bloggers -- those Internet-based writers without rules -- are fighting back against criticism that their work is unreliable, libelous or just poorly done. More than 300 bloggers came to town Friday for a two-day conference that was heavy on teaching techniques used by journalists in what bloggers term "the mainstream media."

By the way, since when was the term "mainstream media" coined by the blogosphere?

(Hat Tip: Gateway Pundit)

Jeopardy Does Terre Haute Cuisine

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Food/Wine, Indiana, Terre Haute, TV/Cable

Vyvoda and Tyler both report on Jeopardy featuring the "cuisine" of Terre Haute, the home of our Alma Mater, in the Double Jeopardy round of a recent Tournament of Champions show. Tyler has the list of questions (answers) posted, as well as a video of the category being played out.

However, Jeopardy missed the single, most important eating establishment in Terre Haute: Big Shoe's Barbecue - and only gave a passing reference to the only decent, non-chain steak house: Stables. No mention, either, of Gerhardt's Bierstube.

Understanding Engineers (Engineers are Geeks: Part II)

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: College, Humor/Satire

Understanding Engineers - Take One

Two engineering students crossing the campus when one said, "Where did you get such a great bike?" The second engineer replied, "Well, I was walking along yesterday minding my own business when a beautiful woman rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes and said, "Take what you want."

The first engineer nodded approvingly, "Good choice; the clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

Understanding Engineers - Take Two

To the optimist, the glass is half full.
To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Understanding Engineers - Take Three

A pastor, a doctor and an engineer were waiting one morning for a particularly slow group of golfers. The engineer fumed, "What's with these guys? We must have been waiting for 15 minutes!" The doctor chimed in, "I don't know, but I've never seen such ineptitude!" The pastor said, "Hey, here comes the greens keeper. Let's have a word with him." "Hi, George! Say, what's with that group ahead of us? They're rather slow, aren't they?" The greens keeper replied, "Oh, yes, that's a group of blind fire-fighters. They lost their sight saving our clubhouse from a fire last year, so we always let them play for free anytime."

The group was silent for a moment. Then pastor said, "That's so sad. I think I will say a special prayer for them tonight."
The doctor said, "Good idea. And I'm going to contact my ophthalmologist buddy and see if there's anything he can do for them."

The engineer said, "Why can't these guys play at night?"

Understanding Engineers - Take Four

What is the difference between Mechanical Engineers and Civil Engineers?
Mechanical Engineers build weapons and Civil Engineers build targets.

Understanding Engineers - Take Five

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with an Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

Understanding Engineers - Take Six

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the
possible designers of the human body.
One said, "It was a mechanical engineer." Just look at all the joints."
Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections."
The last one said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"

Understanding Engineers - Take Seven

"Normal people believe that if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Engineers believe that "if it ain't broke, it doesn't have enough features yet."

Understanding Engineers - Take Eight

An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress. The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.

The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because the passion and mystery he found there.

The engineer said, "I like both."
"Yeah. If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

Understanding Engineers - Take Nine

An engineer was crossing a road one-day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week." The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want." Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, and that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

This Just In: Engineers are Geeks (Part I)

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: College, Humor/Satire

Apparently ConservativeDialysis just discovered the Rube Goldberg contest:

I can only imagine what would have happened if they had asked the students to change a lightbulb.

In honor of this discovery, I offer the following Engineering tomfoolery:

Q: When does a person decide to become an engineer?
A: When he realizes he doesn't have the charisma to be an undertaker.

Q: What do engineers use for birth control?
A: Their personalities.

Q: How can you tell an extroverted engineer?A: When he talks to you, he looks at your shoes instead of his own.

Q: Why did the engineers cross the road?
A: Because they looked in the file, and that's what they did last year.

Q: How do you drive an engineer completely insane?
A: Tie him to a chair, stand in front of him, and fold up a road map the wrong way.

You might be an engineer if:

  • Choosing between buying flowers for your wife and upgrading your RAM is a problem.
  • You take a cruise so you can go on a personal tour of the engine room.
  • In college, you thought Spring Break was metal fatigue failure.
  • The salespeople at the local computer store can't answer any of your questions.
  • At an air show, you know how fast the skydivers are falling.
  • For your wife's birthday you gave her a new CD-ROM drive or a Palm Pilot.
  • You can quote scenes from any Monte Python movie.
  • You can type 70 words per minute but you can't read your own handwriting.
  • You comment to your wife that her straight hair is nice and parallel.
  • You sit backwards on Disney rides so you can see how they do the special effects.
  • You have saved every power cord from all your broken appliances.
  • You have more friends on the Internet than in real life.
  • You know what "http://" stands for.
  • You look forward to Christmas so you can put together the kids toys.
  • You see a good design, and have to change it.
  • You have spent more on a calculator than you did on your wedding ring.
  • You still own a slide rule and know how to use it.
  • You think that people yawning around you are sleep deprived.
  • You window shop at Radio Shack.
  • Your laptop computer cost more than your car.
  • Your wife hasn't the foggiest idea of what you do at work.
  • You've already calculated how much you make per second.
  • You've tried to repair a $5 radio.

(Temporary: original Haloscan Comments - Comments)

The Class of 2005

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: College

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the Faculty a sense of the mindset of the year's incoming freshman. Here is the list for the Class of 2005:

  • The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1983. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot.
  • They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged. There has been only one Pope in their lifetime. They were 10 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.
  • They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up. Tianamen Square means nothing to them. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic and there have always been ball point pens.
  • Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. The expression "You sound like a broken record" means nothing to them. They have never owned a record player.
  • They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong. They may have never heard of an 8 track. The Compact Disc was introduced when they were one year old.
  • They have always had an answering machine. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV. They have always had cable.
  • There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA was. They cannot fathom not having a remote control. They don't know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the "Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up" commercial.

Feeling old Yet? There's more:

  • They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony. Roller skating has always meant inline for them. Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
  • Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave. They have never seen Larry Bird play. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
  • The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil War. They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
  • They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.(The correct answer, by the way, is Ork) They never heard: "Where's the beef?", "I'd walk a mile for a Camel," or "De plane, de plane!"
  • They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was. Michael Jackson has always been white. Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not bands...
  • There has always been MTV. They don't have a clue how to use a typewriter.

Random Act of Kindness

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Military

Regardless which ending is true, as Gateway Pundit reports, Denzel Washington is More Than An Actor. Gateway Pundit sets up the story this way:

Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center, in San Antonio,Texas) the other day. This is where soldiers that have been evac'd from Germany come to be hospitalized in the States, especially burn victims.

They have buildings there called Fisher Houses. The Fisher House is a hotel where soldiers' families can stay, for little or no charge, while their soldier is staying in the hospital. BAMC has quite a few of these houses on base but as you can imagine, they are almost completely filled most of the time.

Now, here's where the story, as propogated via email, apparently extrapolates from actual events:

While Denzel Washington was visiting BAMC, they gave him a tour of one of the Fisher Houses. He asked how much one of them would cost to build. He took his check book out and wrote a check for the full amount right there on the spot.

However, as the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer quotesFisher House Foundation spokesman Jim Weiskopf:

He and his wife were very impressed with what they saw, and in fact he and his wife have pledged to make a substantial donation to us, but he did not whip out his checkbook and write a check on the spot.

In either case, kudos to Mr. Washington for even making the trip, and spending time with wounded soldiers. That he pledged to donate to building another Fisher House doesn't seem to be disputed. And extra kudos for not making a media event to display how great a person he is for his charity - as so many celebs would do, or have done.

Weinstrasse Season – How Safely To Enjoy A Wine-Tasting Trip

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Food/Wine, Missouri

'Tis the season... now that spring has arrived, it's time to resume the weekend drives to the many wineries in the St. Louis area. My usual weekend-afternoon trip involves a drive down MO-94W between US40 and Hermann, MO - a stretch of road better known as the "Weinstrasse." I normally make stops at Sugar Creek Winery, Montelle Winery, Augusta Winery, Mount Pleasant Winery, and depending on how much time I have, and how far I want to go, Balducci Winery and Stone Hill Winery.

Now, lest you get worried about drinking and driving, there are important rules to the winery road trip:

First, you have to take your time at and between wineries. Generally, it's a good idea not to rush at the tasting itself, as doing so would be inconsiderate of the hosts, who are serving you wine for free. Also, the longer you take, the more you will enjoy the experience, and the longer you allow for the alcohol to metabolize. While you are at the tasting, get to know your host, and their selection - known as the flight - of wines. If you take a genuine interest in the winery and their offerings, I guarantee it will be appreciated, and you will be remembered.

Second, limit the selection and amount of wine you sample. Probably a no-brainer, but herein lies one of the biggest abuses of wine-tasting. Especially for we amateur wine-tasters, the pallette can probably only handle 4-5 different wines before the tastes become indistinguishible. And you really only need an ounce or so of a given wine sample in order to ascertain the smell, bouquet, color, body, taste, mouthfeel, etc. of the sampling. And doing so, you'll only drink the equivalent of one glass of wine, at most, at each winery.

Third, drink plenty of water, and eat before and/or during your tasting trip. The water will keep you hydrated, help prevent inebriation, and help clean your pallette to allow you better to taste each sampling. Eating will also help prevent inebriation, and can also add a really enjoyable element to the trip. Most wineries have outdoor patios or dining areas that often offer great views of the surrounding country, and that make a great place for a picnic, or just to sit down, relax, and unwind. In addition, while most wineries have rules prohibiting bringing outside alcohol on the premises, they encourage you to bring your own food.

Fourth, try to include wineries that offer tours of the facilities (in this area, Mount Pleasant and Stone Hill both have great tours). In addition to learning a lot about the facility, wine production, and the history of the region, you will do a fair bit of walking, and again will be adding more time between drinking occasions.

Fifth, try to end your wine trip by visiting a winery offering some form of entertainment, which can range from free to somewhat expensive and may include live music, dancing, chef-prepared dinner, or even a murder-mystery event. The entertainment provides a great way to spend an evening, and again, will give you plenty of time to assure that any alcohol has had ample time to run through your system.

Follow these guidelines, and you will have a great, and safe, time on your wine-tasting trip. And if you are ever in the St. Louis area and would like a guided tour, let me know!

After Action Report – Raven 42 Ambushed!

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Military, War on Terror

9 MPs and a Medic rescue a convoy ambushed by 40-50 terrorists... MPs/Medics:1 - AIF: 0:

About this time, three armored Hummers that formed the MP Squad under call sign Raven 42, 617th MP Co, Kentucky National Guard, assigned to the 503rd MP Bn (Fort Bragg), 18th MP Bde, arrived on the scene like the cavalry. The squad had been shadowing the convoy from a distance behind the last vehicle, and when the convoy trucks stopped and became backed up from the initial attack, the squad sped up, paralleled the convoy up the shoulder of the road, and moved to the sound of gunfire.

Great read...

Blog.chipbennizzle Official memba of tha pajamahizzle

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Humor/Satire, Internet

Too Pimpin' fo' wizzords, fo' sho', Gizoogle be transliatin' this hizzay blog.

Catching Up On Friends’ Blogs

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Friends

I remember well the Frankfurt airport smoking bars:

Frankfort is a cool airport. A bit retro while being completely modern. I suppose this is how a lot of Germany feels. The Germans are supposed to be supremely stylish, but I don't know enough to know the difference. One big problem in my opinion: too much smoking. In the US, it's almost a crime to smoke cigarettes, at least in the Washington D.C area, and I wouldn't be surprised if that personal freedom was one of the next to go. Frankfort Airport, in sharp contrast, has smoking bars. I'm not talking about a joint where you can get a pint and smoke a cigarette or cigar. I'm talking about an elbow-high counter-top, with nothing else around it, practically in the middle of the corridor in the terminal. And it's not just one... there are dozens of them.

I had a 2-3 hour layover in Frankfurt on my way to my mission trip in Manchester, England in 2002. We all also commented that, without any ventilation, the smoking bars were about as effective as designated urnating areas in public swimming pools. Spot on, too, with the description as a "bit retro while being completely modern."

There’s an art to avoiding madness during an airport layover. You can take the easy way out and sleep in the boarding area until your plane is ready to board. Or, you can do what we did and tour the airport, wandering aimlessly in and our of duty free, travel electronics, and magazine stands.

As I remember, we got bored of wandering relatively quickly, and turned to hackey sack. It turned out to be a great way to pass the time; unfortunately, we picked a relatively traffic-free area that happened to be right next to the office of a very large, burly, scary security woman. Said security woman would not have been an issue, had one of my teammates not made a flying leap into the wall to make a play on the hack. As we found out from the resultant, reverberating din, the wall was quite flimsy, and Helga's office was right on the other side. Our hackey diversion ended quickly when she came out of her office, yelling at us rather animatedly in (obviously) German, which meant none of us could understand her.
And after this blast from the past, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...