Author Stan Berenstain Dies at 82

Harry Connick Jr.

I was looking for new Christmas music and have found two I would really like to get, thought I'd share them with Y'all....



Connick turns "Happy Elf" into TV special

Well it seems this will be one for the kids ...I'll force them to watch it...joking..lol

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Harry Connick Jr. narrates, executive produces and provides all the original music for this new NBC holiday show, based on his eponymous song. It also is available, as of Saturday, on DVD via NBC's Web site.

The elf of the title is the exuberant -- to the point of being annoying -- fast-talking Eubie (Rob Paulsen, who once voiced the equally quick-talking Yakko of "Animaniacs"). Eubie has worked in several of the Man-in-Red's -- a.k.a. Santa's -- departments, alienating fellow workers and department managers with his hyper enthusiasm. When Eubie finally is sent to Naughty and Nice, he is determined to find out why Bluesville has so many "naughties."

Director John Rice's animation is colorful and entertaining, even for the youngest of viewers.

Mickey Rooney does an excellent job voicing Santa. Plus, it's a much more appealing gig than watching him peddle insurance in TV commercials. Carol Kane's distinctive, sensitive tones are perfect for her elf character, Gilda.

Connick's title song, as well as other new holiday offerings, are catchy and fun. Writer Andrew Fishman offers some cute quips designed for adults, "Gnomeland Security" being one.

No doubt Eubie is a tribute to the late ragtime pianist Eubie Blake, who wrote, appropriately enough, "I'm Just Wild About Harry."


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Limbo -- the place where the Catholic Church teaches that babies go if they die before being baptized -- may have its days numbered.

According to Italian media reports on Tuesday, an international theological commission will advise Pope Benedict to eliminate the teaching about limbo from the Catholic catechism.

The Catholic Church teaches that babies who die before they can be baptized go to limbo, whose name comes from the Latin for "border" or "edge," because they deserve neither heaven nor hell.

Last October, seven months before he died, Pope John Paul asked the commission to come up with "a more coherent and enlightened way" of describing the fate of such innocents.

It was then headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected Pope in April. It is now headed by his successor at the Vatican's doctrinal department, Archbishop William Levada, an American from San Francisco.

The commission, which has been meeting behind closed doors, may make its recommendation soon.

In his Divine Comedy, Dante passes limbo on his way into hell and writes: "Great grief seized on my own heart when this I heard, because some people of much worthiness I knew, who in limbo were suspended."


Serves: 8 Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Sponsored by INGREDIENTS:
1 can (14 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz.)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/4 tsp. Lawry's® Garlic Powder With Parsley(optional)
1 loaf French or Italian bread (about 16 in. long), halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.

In small bowl, combine all ingredients except bread; evenly spread on bread. Bake 20 minutes or until golden and heated through.

The X-mas Files

Do you really think he's out there Mulder?


Uncle George and Aunt Laura's Christmas Tree

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The centerpiece of the White House holiday decor, an 18-1/2 foot (5.6 meter) Fraser Fir from North Carolina, arrived at the president's residence on a horse-drawn wagon on Monday as the Marine Corps band played "O Christmas Tree."

First lady Laura Bush attended the presentation of the official first tree in the driveway. The tree will be set up in the Blue Room.

"This is a very fun tradition, the delivery of the Christmas tree to the White House," she said.

She said Santa's elves were already inside decorating the executive mansion for the holidays in this year's theme -- "all things bright and beautiful."



Crucial Stuff...Norad for Santa

Straight from the Oven of Peggy Hill....

~~Apple Brown Betty~~

1 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
5 cups peeled and sliced apples (5 to 6 medium-
sized apples)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Combine
the bread crumbs with the white sugar and butter. Pat half of the mixture in
the bottom of the baking dish. Combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon,
nutmeg, lemon juice and zest, and walnuts. Spread over the crumbs. Top with
the remaining crumbs. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the cover,
increase the heat to 400F, and continue to bake for 10 more minutes. Serve
warm with cream, whipped cream, or ice cream.

12 days of Getting Sweepstakes

Looks good you could win lots of things:)


~* It's okay if you're a little bottom heavy.

*~ Hold your ground, even when the heat is on.

~* Wearing white is always appropriate.

*~ Winter is the best of the four seasons.

~* It takes a few extra rolls to make a good midsection.

*~ There's nothing better than a foul weather friend.

~* The key to life is to be a jolly, happy soul.

*~ It's not the size of the carrot, but the placement that counts.

~* We're all made up of mostly water.

*~ You know you've made it when they write a song about you.

~* Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize!

*~ Avoid yellow snow. Don't get too much sun.

~* It's embarrassing when you can't look down and see your feet.

*~ It's fun to hang out in your front yard.

~* Always put your best foot forward.

*~ There's no stopping you once you're on a roll.


Signs Santa Doesn't Like Your Kid
* Kid's letter to north pole comes back stamped, 'Dream on, Chester!'

* Kid asks for new bike, gets a pack of smokes.

* Along with presents, Santa leaves hefty bill for shipping and handling.

*By the time he gets to your house, all he has left are Styrofoam peanuts.

* Christmas day, your kid wakes up with a Reindeer head in his bed.

* Instead of 'Naughty' or 'Nice', Santa has him on the dork list.

* Sends him off on a Carnival Cruise with Kathie Lee.

* First words when kid gets on his lap are, 'Touch my beard and I'll put the hurt on you.'

* Labels on all your kid's toys read, 'Straight from Craptown.'

* Four words: 'Off my lap, Tubby!'"

Ways To Confuse Santa
* Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad, and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.

* While he's in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.

* Leave him a note, explaining that you've gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.

* While he's in the house, replace all his reindeer with exact replicas. Then wait and see what happens when he tries to get them to fly.

* Keep an angry bull in your living room. If you think a bull goes crazy when he sees a little red cape, wait until he sees that big, red Santa suit!

* Leave a note by the telephone, telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.

* Throw a surprise party for Santa when he comes down the chimney. Refuse to let him leave until the strippers arrive.

* While he's in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn't have missed that last payment, and take off.

* Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, 'Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime.'

* Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.

* While he's in the house, cover the top of the chimney with barbed wire.

* Leave Santa a note, explaining that you've moved. Include a map with unclear and hard-to-read directions to your new house.

* Set a bear trap at the bottom of the chimney. Wait for Santa to get caught in it, and then explain that you're sorry, but from a distance, he looked like a bear.

* Paint 'hoof-prints' all over your face and clothes. While he's in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you've been 'trampled.' Threaten to sue."

A Message from Susie about Sam.


Happy Thanksgiving Everybody:)

Xmas Idea-Craft

Cinnamon Ornaments

Cinnamon Ornaments are perfect for celebrating holiday fun activities with the children. The ornaments are easy to make and their aroma lasts long after the holidays are over.
Makes 12-15 ornaments
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 1/2 hours, or 1 to 2 days drying time


3/4 cup applesauce
1 bottle (4.12 ounces) McCormick® Ground Cinnamon

Supplies needed:
cookie cutters
drinking straw
colorful ribbon

1. Mix applesauce and cinnamon with hands in a small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed.
2. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap and cut dough with cookie cutters. Make a hole in top of ornament with drinking straw.

3. Place ornaments on a baking sheet and bake at 200°F for 2 1/2 hours; place on rack to cool. Or carefully lay ornaments flat on rack to dry at room temperature 1 - 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.

4. Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. May be decorated with opaque paint markers found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.

Tip: If a different size bottle of cinnamon is used, measure 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cinnamon.

Swiss unearth giant camel bones


Sorry Blog seems to be screwed up at the moment...

For Sam ..in Loving Memory.

OMG...so Sad now....Poor SAM!

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sam, the tiny dog whose hairless body and crooked teeth earned him a reputation as the World's Ugliest Dog, has died.

The pooch died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, his owner said.

"I don't think there'll ever be another Sam," Susie Lockheed said, adding: "Some people would think that's a good thing."

Sam won the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer for the third year in a row. The pedigreed Chinese crested had made appearances on TV in Japan, radio in New Zealand and in Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid. He also had met Donald Trump on a talk show set.

Lockheed said she initially was terrified of Sam when she agreed to take him in as a rescue dog six years ago on a 48-hour trial basis. Although she fell in love with him, his appearance repulsed her then-boyfriend and prompted the man to break up with her.

Later, however, Sam became a matchmaker by bringing together Lockheed and her current beau, who saw a picture of the two on an online dating site.

Lockheed said she had Sam euthanized after she learned Sam's heart was failing.

She said she's felt a little lost ever since, and is sleeping with Sam's favorite toy — a stuffed bear he picked up and carried home.

::SIGH::: I just saw this, I am crying ,I really thought SAM was cool, and I will miss him. Rest In Peace SAM, Hope you are ok in Doggy Heaven, you will be missed. Much Love and respect to you Always-Blue, Bup, Xab, Coal, Bonk...

Pardoned Turkey Is Going to Disneyland

ANAHEIM, Calif. - President Bush is set to make the traditional pardon of a Thanksgiving turkey today. But this bird isn't heading to some petting zoo. It's going to Disneyland.

The 35-pound Tom Turkey will be grand marshall of the Disneyland Thanksgiving Day parade.

And the big bird is flying west in style. After the reprieve on the White House lawn, the turkey and it's alternate will be given a police escort to a Washington-area airport.

From there they'll fly first-class to Los Angeles. After the parade duties are over, the turkeys will live out their days at a Disneyland ranch.

Gift Idea

Therapeutic Bath Salts

6 cups epsom salts
2 cups baking soda
1 cup sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a large jar with lid.

Shake until thoroughly blended.

Store salts into a decorative jar or container in the bathroom.

This mixture removes toxins from your skin.

Use 1 cup.


No... really????

The average four year-old child asks
over four hundred questions a day.


a saturday funny

The local restaurant was so sure that its host was the strongest
man around that they offered a standing $1000 bet.

The host would squeeze a lemon until all the juice ran into a
glass, and hand the lemon to a patron. Anyone who could squeeze
one more drop of juice out would win the money.

Many people had tried over time (weight lifters, longshoremen, etc.),
but nobody could do it.

Then one day, this scrawny little man came in, wearing thick
glasses and a polyester suit, and said in a tiny, squeaky voice,
"I'd like to try the bet."

After the laughter had died down, the host said "OK," grabbed a
lemon, and squeezed away. Then he handed the wrinkled remains
of the rind to the little man.

But the crowd's laughter turned to total silence as the man
clenched his fist around the lemon and six drops fell into the glass.

As the crowd cheered, the host paid the $1000, and asked the
little man, "What do you do for a living? Are you a lumberjack,
a weightlifter, or what?"

The man replied, "I work for the IRS."


The Movie Of Your Life Is Film Noir

So what if you're a little nihilistic at times?
Life with meaning is highly over-rated.

Your best movie match: Blade Runner

Woman's Day Mag contest-Kidding Around (toys for xmas)

Santa’s elves won’t be able to top this: Be one of 10 winners to receive a wooden chest brimming with a collection of Hasbro’s latest toys, including DreamLife, Bop It Blast, B-daman Ten Game Tournament Set, Star Wars Ultimate Lightsaber for ages 6 and up; Nerf Dart Tag for ages 8 and up; and FurReal Friends Scamps: My Playful Pup, a realistic plush dog that moves and responds to voice commands; a $255 value.

No purchase necessary
Entry period: November 15 - December 15, 2005
12:00 Noon ET

New Robot Looks Strikingly Human

The ultra-lifelike robot Repliee Q1 made quite an impression at the 2005 World Expo in Japan. Shown below (at left!) with co-creator Hiroshi Ishiguru, the robot is so lifelike that roboticists may want to start working on a Bladerunner-style Voight-Kampff test now.

(From Ultra-Lifelike Robot Debuts in Japan)
Repliee Q1 has silicone for skin, rather than hard plastic. It has a number of sensors to allow it to react in a manner that appears natural; it appears to flutter its eyelids, chest movements correspond to breathing, and other tiny shifts in position that mimic unconscious human movement. The android can mimic actions made by a human; this helps the robot's movements appear more lifelike. By facing a person with reflective dots placed at key points (like wrist, elbow, palm), the robot can try to match those points on its own body with those of the person who is "modeling" human movement.

The greatest limit to the lifelike movement of the robot is that it has only 31 actuators in its upper body; a nearby air compressor provides the energy needed for articulation.

In his excellent novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Philip K. Dick explores what happens in a society when android replica humans cannot be physically distinguished from human beings. Only the Voight-Kampff empathy test can make the distinction, when used by a trained officer like Rick Deckard:

"I'm not a peace officer," Rick said. "I'm a bounty hunter." From his opened briefcase he fished out the Voight-Kampff apparatus, seated himself at a nearby rosewood coffee table, and began to assemble the rather simple polygraphic instruments...

Radish in intensive care after murder attempt

TOKYO (Reuters) - A giant white radish that won the hearts of a Japanese town by valiantly growing through the urban asphalt was in intensive care at a town hall in western Japan on Thursday after being slashed by an unknown assailant.

The "daikon" radish, shaped like a giant carrot, first made the news months ago when it was noticed poking up through asphalt along a roadside in the town of Aioi, population 33,289.

This week local residents, who had nicknamed the vegetable "Gutsy Radish," were shocked -- and in some cases moved to tears -- when they found it had been decapitated.

TV talk shows seized on the attempted murder of the popular vegetable and a day later, the top half of the radish was found near the site where it had been growing.

A town official said Thursday the top of the severed radish had been placed in water to try to keep it alive and possibly get it to flower.

Asked why the radish -- more often found on Japanese dinner tables as a garnish, pickle or in "oden" stew -- had so many fans, town spokesman Jiro Matsuo said: "People discouraged by tough times were cheered by its tenacity and strong will to live."

Webble-Stuff Plushie's for Xmas - Badger,Badger,Badger.

Furry, Funny and Free Sweepstakes

Win 1 Of 10 Fabulous Faux-Fur Music Sets from PBTeen,
which includes
an MP3 holder, headphones and ear muffs -
Enter One Time Only - Ends

A christmas Idea for you common people out there..lol

Tired of being Mr. or Mrs. Average?

Would you like people to show you a little more respect? Become a Lord or Lady and you can demand VIP treatment wherever you go!

Becoming a member of the aristocracy is tough to say the least. If you want to call yourself Lord or Lady, it's a choice of inheriting the title or waiting for Her Majesty to call. But now there's an alternative.

For only $59.95 you can own a plot on the Glencairn estate in Scotland, legally entitling you to use the title "Laird"; widely recognized as the equivalent of the English title "Lord".

The most accurate translation of Laird is "land owner". Purchase of this gift pack makes you the legal owner of a one square foot (12" x12" ) plot of land, and the legal right to use the title:

"Laird of Glencairn" -or- "Lady of Glencairn"

In addition to this, by purchasing one of our souvenir plots of land in the Highlands of Scotland you will be investing in a piece of Scottish history which can be handed down from generation to generation.

The souvenir plots of land for sale measure one square foot (12" x12" ) and are situated at Glencairn in the historic Highland County of Caithness in Scotland.

"Scottish Highland Titles are a special and unique gift idea with historical references and up-to-date environmental concerns"

With each plot of land purchased the "Laird" (owner of land in Scotland) receives a handsome Land Title Deed measuring "8.5 " x 11" together with a map, personal plot number, exclusive "Proof of Title" credit card, plan of site and access instructions.

Suitably framed, the Land Title Deed, which under Scots Law and custom entitles the owner (male or female) usage of the title "Laird", or "Lady" for females, makes a most impressive wall display.

Those who have already purchased souvenir plots for relatives or friends have found that they make an excellent and unique gift for any occasion.

Win a Giant Stocking full of Toys...for the kids of course.

Enter To Win A Giant 6-Foot Stuffed Stocking Filled With Various Toys
For Ages 5 And Up - Enter One Time Only - Ends 12/15/05 - U.S. ONLY

Old Yeller Lives...this time anyway..

TOWNSEND, Tenn. - Trapped for 16 days down a 70-foot-sinkhole, a dog named Buck will live to hunt another day after being rescued by rangers near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"The dog was emaciated and had some bruising, but was able to walk around," Ranger Rick Brown said after spending several hours Tuesday rigging up ropes and rappelling down the hole to lift the 2 1/2-year-old blond Mountain Cur to the surface.

"Aside from being emaciated, exhausted and sore, the dog appeared to be in pretty good shape," Brown said.

The dog, a medium-sized breed common with the pioneers — the book "Old Yeller" was about a Mountain Cur but played by a yellow Labrador in the movie — was recovering at a veterinarian's office, Smokies spokesman Bob Miller said Wednesday.

Hikers at a backcountry campsite off the Ace Gap Trail in the park reported hearing a dog barking on Monday and tracked the sound to a 30-by-40-foot ground hole about 300 yards away.

A builder working on a nearby house was able to get close enough to the edge to see the dog about 40 feet down, but couldn't reach him. That evening, park rangers were called to the sinkhole but they couldn't hear the dog.

Brown and three other rangers returned around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Brown climbed 40 feet down to a landing, but there was no sign of the dog. Using a light, he found a small opening and a second dropoff.

Peering through, he saw the dog lying at the bottom, another 30 feet down. When he called out, the dog stood up and looked at him. Using a makeshift harness, the rangers lifted the dog out of the cave around 3 p.m.

Buck wore a radio collar and a tag identifying his owner, a Townsend man who lost track of the dog while hunting raccoons 16 days before. The owner was "very appreciative" to get Buck back, Miller said.

The park doesn't plan to send him a bill for the recovery.

"Sometimes you have to be a good neighbor, and rescuing a dog falls into that category," Miller said


Serial killer art raises free speech debate

BOSTON (Reuters) - An online auction of artwork by a serial sex killer triggered outrage in Massachusetts on Tuesday where lawmakers proposed to block criminals from profiting on what they called "murderabilia," setting off a debate on free speech rights of prisoners.

A colored pencil sketch of Jesus Christ kneeling in a desert by Alfred Gaynor, a serial killer serving four life sentences for sodomizing and choking to death four women, went on sale on Tuesday on a Web site operated by a prisoner advocacy group.

It was one of nearly 300 artworks offered for auction through December 18 on The Fortune Society's Web site. If sold, nearly all proceeds from the work entitled, "A Righteous Man's Reward," will go to Gaynor, the group said.

Protests from the families of Gaynor's victims about the possibility of a convicted murderer profiting from his criminal celebrity prompted state Rep. Peter Koutoujian, a Democrat, to submit a new variation of a "Son of Sam" law in the state legislature.

But the legislative proposal triggered its own debate over the prisoners' constitutional right of free speech.

Marjorie Heins, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said freedom of expression extends to prisoners even if it causes emotional distress or offense to the victim's families.

"It's too narrow to say 'it's just this one guy and he's a creep so he shouldn't get any First Amendment rights.' Whether it is a painting or other work produced, there is a social interest in making it available to view it or read it," said Heins, adding, "Prisoners are not deprived of constitutional rights."

The artwork of America's most notorious killers -- ranging from pencil drawings by Charles Manson to a painting by executed serial killer John Wayne Gacy -- fetch hefty sums from collectors of "murderabilia."

"We're taught in society that crime doesn't pay, but here we are allowing crime to pay and it's sending the wrong message to people," said Koutoujian, a former prosecutor.

Koutoujian said the new bill focuses on banning profit from art or books based on the criminal's celebrity and not the content itself.

Massachusetts is one of the few states without a "Son of Sam" law that requires convicted criminals to give money earned from book, movie or other deal to victims or to the state.

America's first such law was passed in New York after "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz was offered big money for his story. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down that law in 1991 but it was retooled and put back on the books in 1992.

There are more than 30 states with such laws that have been unchallenged, mainly because they are so seldomly invoked.

The Supreme Judicial Court, Massachusetts' highest court, said in 2002 that an earlier version of the law violated free speech provisions in the state and federal constitutions. Koutoujian, a former prosecutor, says the auction underlines the need for the law.

Lana Wachniak, a professor at Kennesaw State University and an expert on serial killer art, argues most serial killers use art to promote a veneer of normalcy and do not care about the profit from a potential sale.

The Fortune Society said its online and studio art show draws work from a wide range of prisoners -- not just killers -- and most items sell for less than $100.

"It's a misconception that we're selling this art for thousands and thousands of dollars and that people are making all these profits," said Kristen Kidder, project manager of The Fortune Society's art show.

The paintings can be found : HERE

Wicked Mother.....Not!!! You Go Girl....!!!

EDMOND, Okla. - Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson.

She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

"This may not work. I'm not a professional," said Henderson, a 34-year-old mother of three. "But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."

In fact, Henderson has seen a turnaround in her daughter's behavior in the past week and a half. But the punishment prompted letters and calls to talk radio from people either praising the woman or blasting her for publicly humiliating her daughter.

"The parents of that girl need more education than she does if they can't see that the worst scenario in this case is to kill their daughter psychologically," Suzanne Ball said in a letter to The Oklahoman.

Marvin Lyle, 52, said in an interview: "I don't see anything wrong with it. I see the other extreme where parents don't care what the kids do, and at least she wants to help her kid."

Coretha has been getting C's and D's as a freshman at Edmond Memorial High in this well-to-do Oklahoma City suburb. Edmond Memorial is considered one of the top high schools in the state in academics.

While Henderson stood next to her daughter at the intersection, a passing motorist called police with a report of psychological abuse, and an Oklahoma City police officer took a report. Mother and daughter were asked to leave after about an hour, and no citation was issued. But the report was forwarded to the state Department of Human Services.

"There wasn't any criminal act involved that the officer could see that would require any criminal investigation," Master Sgt. Charles Phillips said. "DHS may follow up."

DHS spokesman Doug Doe would not comment on whether an investigation was opened, but suggested such a case would probably not be a high priority.

Tasha Henderson said her daughter's attendance has been perfect and her behavior has been better since the incident.

Coretha, a soft-spoken girl, acknowledged the punishment was humiliating but said it got her attention. "I won't talk back," she said quietly, hanging her head.

She already has been forced by her parents to give up basketball and track because of slipping grades, and said she hopes to improve in school so she can play next year.

Donald Wertlieb, a professor of child development at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, warned that such punishment could do extreme emotional damage. He said rewarding positive behavior is more effective.

"The trick is to catch them being good," he said. "It sounds like this mother has not had a chance to catch her child being good or is so upset over seeing her be bad, that's where the focus is."

< You scored as Special Ops. Special ops.
Your sneaky, tactful,
and a loner.
You prefer to do your jobs alone,
working where you don't come
into contact with people.
But everyonce in a while you hit it big
and are noticed and given fame.
Your given the more sensitive problems.
You get things done, and do what has to be done.


Special Ops




Combat Infantry






Support Gunner






Which soldier type are you?
created with QuizFarm.com


Literate Funny from The Dark One

Mr. York's pub was losing custom. Young locals wanted somewhere to have a
dance & a DJ but he had no room. So he bought an ex-army marquee and put it
on the car park. It was a great success but business tailed off in the cold
weather. His son was an art student so they put in a patio heater and son
painted a mural of tropical seaside scenes on the canvas. When the
customers saw the result they said:

(wait for it!)

"Now is the winter of our disco tent made glorious summer by this son of

Prosthetic Center to Make Leg for Puppy

FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Rex Miller has made artificial limbs for lots of humans, but never for a dog. Until now. Miller, owner of the Greater Flint Prosthetic Center, made a cast last week that will guide him on how to make a new leg for 4-month-old Peg, a puppy born without an ankle joint or right paw.

"She'll be able to walk and run better, but she'll probably always still have a little hitch in her giddyup," said Miller, who lost his own right leg trying to jump a train when he was 15.

Making an artificial leg for a puppy can be tricky. It could be attached to the dog's leg with a harness or a Velcro-type material. To prevent her from chewing on the leg, it will be made of material similar to bulletproof vests.

Veterinarians with Baker College's training program put Peg under anesthesia and took X-rays to help Miller make the leg. Baker joined Miller in doing the work for free because Peg's owner, Carol Beavnier, works for a nonprofit organization.

Beavnier trains dogs to become leader dogs for the blind. Peg eventually will be a therapy dog, visiting nursing home patients. She's already a big hit with seniors, Beavnier told The Flint Journal.

Beavnier, of Macomb County's Macomb Township, tried to create a homemade artificial leg, using bandages and a plastic cone, but it never worked. So she looked up a Web site for handicapped pets, and a few phone calls later found Miller.

"I want people to know this option is out there," Beavnier said.

Such work would normally cost several thousand dollars, Miller said.

Peg jumped and wagged her tail before going under the anesthetic.

"When she walks and runs, she tries to use her missing leg," Beavnier said. "She loves to hug and kiss and play tug and ball."


Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.flintjournal.com

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

4 cups baking mix
3 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the baking mix, cheese, and water. Mix until dough is firm. Using a small scoop, place dough on the prepared pan.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Combine the melted butter, garlic powder, salt, onion powder and parsley. Brush over baked biscuits immediately upon removing from oven.

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread

2-1/3 cups baking mix (Bisquick, Jiffy Baking Mix, etc.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 cup chopped strawberries

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour a regular size loaf pan (or 4 mini loaf pans).
Mix together all the ingredients except the nuts and
Beat 50 strokes by hand.
Stir in the nuts and the strawberries.
Pour into prepared loaf pan(s).
Bake for 50-60 minutes (40 minutes for small loaves) or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

From Mary/Munch from FreebieSwamp


THE TV show that has spooked millions with its footage of hauntings and poltergeists is today exposed as a fake - by one its own stars.

Resident parapsychologist Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe has sensationally lifted the lid on the ghosthunting series, Most Haunted ... and claims that the public are being deceived by "showmanship and dramatics."

He accuses the show's medium Derek Acorah of hoodwinking viewers by pretending to communicate with spirits and obtaining information about locations prior to filming.

The Mirror has also obtained unedited footage which appears to show presenter Yvette Fielding and her husband faking 'paranormal' occurrences such as ghostly bumps and knocks.

Most Haunted has quickly achieved cult status since it was launched in 2002 and is LivingTV's most successful programme.

Millions of viewers tune in regularly to watch Ex-Blue Peter girl Yvette and her team of ghost hunters spend the night in some of Britain's most haunted locations.

It has made Acorah - who claims to be guided by an Ethiopian spirit guide called Sam - into one of the country's best-known psychics.

Tonight the show will start its biggest ever live vigil, a four-night Halloween special from East London following the murderous trail of Jack the Ripper.

Yvette Fielding has said of the show - which is made by her husband Karl Beattie's production company Antix Productions: "There is no acting in this programme, none whatsoever. Everything you see and you hear is real. It's not made up, it's not acted."

But our investigation reveals how the programme uses careful editing to mislead viewers and, on at least one occasion, has even lied about the location of filming.

Ciaran, a lecturer in the paranormal at Liverpool's Hope University, knows speaking out will probably put an end to his media career... but he believes viewers should know the truth.

He says: "I think it's time to open the dialogue about what I've experienced on Most Haunted. There have been many incidents with the medium that have been brushed under the carpet.

"I was put in the show to give a professional slant to it, to give it an element of credibility, but the sceptical argument is just swept away.

"In my opinion, we're not dealing with genuine mediumship."

He says he isn't the only member of the crew who feels viewers are being cheated.

"Other crew members have been irked by Derek and what's going on, because it turns what should be a serious investigation into a laughing matter."

And our exclusive footage shows other members of the team occasionally forget they are on camera.

One of our clips, later edited out, shows Karl push an unwitting sound man in the dark and pretend it was a poltergeist attack.

In the remaining footage he says (after surreptitiously hitting the soundman): "S**t, did you feel that?"

Yvette: Are you all right? What's happened?

Karl: I felt something touch me on my shoulder.

Soundman: I felt something hit me.

And in another edited clip with medium Ian Lawman, Yvette is seen on camera making a deep sigh. In the scene that eventually went to air, Ian (after Yvette sighs) says: "What's that noise?

Yvette: What noise? Like a moan?

Ian: Breathing or something.

Yvette: I heard like an 'arrggh'.

Ciaran, who joined Most Haunted in April 2004 became suspicious of Acorah's antics on a shoot at Castle Leslie, Co Monaghan in Ireland where a 17th Century four-poster bed has been claimed to levitate.

Ciaran recalls: "As we walked into the bedroom, Derek touched the bed and came out with extremely accurate information.

"He insisted he got all the information just from touching the bed. But it was the wrong bed."

Antix Productions claims the mediums have no idea where they will be filming or know any details about the history of the locations.

But Ciaran says: "Derek must have had prior knowledge of the locations."

He devised a plan to see if Derek was deliberately deceiving the public.

While on a shoot at Bodmin gaol he invented a long-dead South African jailer called Kreed Kafer - an anagram of Derek Faker.

"I wrote the name down and asked another member of the crew to mention it to Derek before filming.

"I honestly didn't think Derek would take the bait. But during the filming he actually got possessed by my fictional character!"

On the next shoot at Prideaux Place, Cornwall, Ciaran made up another fictional character, highwayman Rik Eedles - an anagram of Derek Lies. Sure enough, Derek made contact with the dead outlaw.

Ciaran says: "In my professional opinion we're not dealing with a genuine medium.

"When Derek is possessed he is doing it consciously - all we are seeing is showmanship and dramatics."

Ciaran went a step further at Craigievar Castle, near Aberdeen.

"I made up stories about Richard the Lionheart, a witch, and Richard's apparition appearing to walk through a wardrobe - the lion, the witch and the wardrobe!" True to form, Derek mentioned all Ciaran's stories - even though Richard I reigned 500 years BEFORE Craigievar Castle was built.

The final straw came last month when Most Haunted presented a three-night special from Manchester.

On the second evening, the show claimed to be broadcasting live from the site of Cheadle's Victorian asylum, a place where - according to presenter David Bull - thousands died in torment. In fact they were in the derelict remains of Barnes Convalescence Home - where nobody died in torment.

Ciaran remembers: "Derek was communicating with spirits that sounded as if they'd been in an asylum, but it was never an asylum."

Yesterday the Mirror confronted Derek Acorah with Ciaran's allegations. He told us: "I've worked with Ciaran for many shows and he's got every right to say what he says.

"However, it does shock and surprise me. Not only do I believe that I am a genuine medium - I live my work 24 hours a day. If I thought that I wasn't a true medium, I wouldn't work as one."

A spokesman for LivingTV said: "Ciaran O'Keeffe has worked as the programme's official sceptic for 18 months and during this time has not brought any of his concerns to our attention.

"LivingTV has not seen any of your filmed evidence, but will fully investigate your claims."

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Origins of modern central Europeans revised

10:18 2005-11-10
A study of DNA from ancient farmers in Europe shows sharp differences from that of modern Europeans. The research was aimed at helping solve the mystery of European origins, but it may just add fuel to the debate.

Researchers led by Wolfgang Haak of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, argue that their finding supports the belief that modern residents of central Europe descended from old stone age hunter-gatherers, present 40,000 years ago, and not the early farmers who arrived thousands of years later.

Other anthropologists questioned that conclusion, arguing that the available information is insufficient to support it.

Haak's team used DNA from 24 skeletons of farmers from about 7,500 years ago, collected in Germany, Austria and Hungary. Six of the skeletons, or 25 percent, belonged to the "N1a" human lineage, according to genetic signatures in their mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother.

The N1a marker is extremely rare in modern Europeans, appearing in just 0.2 percent.

"This was a surprise. I expected the distribution of mitochondrial DNA in these early farmers to be more similar to the distribution we have today in Europe," co-author Joachim Burger, also from Johannes Gutenberg University, said in a statement.

"Our paper suggests that there is a good possibility that the contribution of early farmers could be close to zero," added co-author Peter Forster from the University of Cambridge in England.

Absence of the marker in modern people indicates they are descended from ancient hunter-gatherers rather than the later-arriving farmers, the researchers said.

Others challenged that conclusion.

The research was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the AP reports.

Hoffman's Toys - Poodle Breeder

Texas Breeder, now added to the dog breeder Links in the sidebar...Take a look at their Puppies , so cute.....

Chat with Santa

We did this last year and it is really cool, you should have seen Bup's face when SANTA spoke to him and looked him right in the eye via the monitor...and told him to be a good boy or he wouldn't get "the" toy...it was priceless...try it out, it is fun. Good for the kids sorta fun for adults too...watching your child talk to Santa:)

a funny

This did not happen to me, it was a joke I found...Made me think of G-Man at work....

I was having trouble with my computer, so I called the
computer guy over to my desk. He clicked a couple
buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, "So, what was wrong?"

He replied, "It was an ID Ten T Error."

A puzzled _expression ran over my face.
"An ID Ten T Error?

What's that, in case I need to fix it again?"

He gave me a grin.
"Haven't you ever heard of an ID Ten T Error before?"

"No," I replied.

"Write it down," he said, "and I think you'll figure it out."

(Scroll Down when you are ready ... )
I wrote: I D 1 0 T


Poodle Pic of the day.

Army Doc Operates on Army Dog

Thanks to Ala, for this article, Military DOGS RULE -Iraqi Cats Drool....


6000 hits on the nose as of 2:50 pm, central time....
Cool, Hello and Thanks, Please leave a comment or sign the guest book:)
I'd love to know who is visiting, and who knows you might just get a prize-
(contest to be determined at a later date this month-in time for Xmas:))
so sign the book or leave me a note:)
- take care-Blue

Time picks cloned dog as top invention in 2005

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Snuppy, the first cloned dog, is the most amazing invention of 2005, Time magazine said on Sunday.

The puppy, a 5-month-old Afghan hound, was cloned at Seoul National University in Korea by a 45-person team led by Professor Woo Suk Hwang. Snuppy's genes are derived from a single cell taken from the ear of an adult Afghan, rather than the egg and sperm of a mother and father, Time said.

The technique used to create Snuppy, somatic nuclear cell transfer, was the same technique British researchers used to create Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal.

South Korea launched an ambitious project last month to become a global hub for stem-cell storage and research, hoping to cement its status at the forefront of cloning research. Stem cells are master cells in the body that can develop into any cell type.

Time's technology, science and health writers select inventions each year they believe may have a huge impact.

Other inventions featured in the magazine, due on newsstands on November 14, include a bicycle with a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell engine, a one-time use video camcorder, and a robotic cat that recognizes speech commands.

The RenFaire

Ordinary Ren Faire folks...

Larry the Centaur.


Royal Fried Cheese...For all our House Members:)

This is the Fairy God Father...

Elephant Ride...

Our Friend :Kitchen Witch*)

Leather "somewhat" clad people...

Bup and a Kid.

Bup and a Goat, Not the one he Kissed(on the forehead) lol.

Bup and Ewe.

The Horse Ride.

Xab mad as crap , he wanted to go on the horse too, but is still too wee.

Bup and Kitchen Witch*)

Bat wing demon warrior, pretty cool...

Ready to go home , long day and long drive to get home...


Well it was fun and weird, the kids had fun, it was SOOO expensive for everything...We had gyros / turkey leg / lemonade / pop/ water / pizza / more gyros / leg of lamb...
Bup got to ride a horse for the first time and go in a petting zoo, and now is know as "Goatkisser" :rolling eyes..

I asked him "Bup did you kiss a goat?" as he takes a big drink of his water, wipes his mouth off with the back of his hand.

"Only one...." He nonchalantly says...

We saw All sorts of people and strange beings, lots of Fairys,bright and dark, evil queens, a few elves, a centaur, satyrs, evil demons with ten foot wings, there were a lot of wings on everything...Babies to old people???, dragons, royalty, maidens, conquistadores, merchants Galore!!!!,vampires, barbarians , warriors, pirates, friars, monks, wizards, wenches, one old hag, I mean OLD, wearing a chain maille bikini, not Good, shielded Bup and xab's eyes as she went by, was extremely Gross...Saw jugglers, and musicians , and that really cool band " TARTANIC"""see previous post """ the scent of patchouli and sandalwood wafted through the faire competing with yummy smoked meats and FUNNEL CAKE!!! It was cool...We'll go again and maybe dress up next time:)


Ok we went to the Texasrenfest, on Saturday, it was weird and fun, the boys had a good time...We saw this group there and they ROCK!!!!!

"The only thing that limits a Tartanic show are strict laws set by the Fire Department. Take the loudest instruments you can imagine (bagpipes and drums!), and mix in tunes ranging from "Scotland the Brave" to scorching Samba-driven numbers then grab your fire extinguishers, becase if the band doesn't spontaneously combust the audience might! Tartanic takes live performance to heart and creates a high-energy pulse at 120 beats per minute and beyond.

Tartanic as a band is new and on the edge. With over 30 years of performance between them, Tartanic fills a much needed niche in Celtic music, taking tunes out of the session and into the sensational with humor and theatrics. This is not just music, this is an interactive spectacle. . .it is a “Tartanic Experience.”

Tartanic dares you to keep up with them!"

You can hear Audio samples here ,

I highly recommend purchasing these CD's...

Win a Free Xmas Tree - enter daily til DEC 8th 2005:)

Please feel free to sign up to win a free fresh-cut Christmas Tree from ChristmasTreesNow.com in next year's contest. One free tree, of the winner's choice from our stock, will be given away on December 8, 2005. Will it be you?

Free Hand Written Letter From Santa - S.A.S.E.

Santa Claus Station
Santa's Elves
P.O. Box 799
Santa Claus, Indiana 47579

Contest -cool polar Bear Diamond and More

Win A Polar Bear Diamond & A Trip To Canada's Northwest Territories -
(You can also win an iPod Shuffle.) - Enter One Time Only - Ends
1/31/06 - U.S. ONLY


you are mysterious and you seem cold and icey. but
on the inside you are nice and smart. you are
independent and pretty. You are a romantic
person at times also.

What Type of Weather Decribes Your Personality?! (anime pics)
brought to you by Quizilla


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Oh GeeWhiz, big surprise,People have called me this for years!

Maleficent Result

Which DISNEY character are you most like?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well this is a little ray of fracking sunshine

Quote: Standing in a crowded room but why do I
still feel alone

You hide lonlieness. You feel as if no one is there
even if someone is right there talking to you.
You think that they don't know or understand
the real you. People seem to shun you out and
ignore you because they don't notice you a lot
since you keep to yourself. People don't see
all you want is someone to notice you the real
you. Someone to stay by yourside and be with
you so that you are not alone. You feel as if
you will be alone forever. You wonder why
everyone ignores you. So you think that there
must be something wrong with you. And you begin
to hate yourself. You try and change but that
didn't do anything they still don't seem to
care or they notice you but you still can't
help but feel alone. Don't worry I know how
that feels. You have to wait for a day when you
find someone worth your love. Because the love
you've kept inside will prove its worth then.
One day you'll find someone. You just have to
be willing to wait and if you do your reward
will be great

~We all hide something from the world...What do you hide~(with beautiful dark pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

A Quiz from Blonde Sagacity ...lol

You are a Perfect Girlfriend! Not too shy, but not
to forward! You are just the right amount! Any
guy would be lucky to find a girl like you to
wrap around their arm.
Quote: To love and be loved is to feel the sun from
both sides. David Viscott

What Kind of GIRLFRIEND are YOU? (with pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

Pa. May Let Hunters Use Prehistoric Weapon

HARRISBURG, Pa. - An ancient weapon that struck fear in the hearts of Spanish conquistadors, and that some think was used to slay wooly mammoths in Florida, may soon be added to the arsenal of Pennsylvania's hunters.

The state Game Commission is currently drafting proposed regulations to allow hunters to use the atlatl, a small wooden device used to propel a six-foot dart as fast as 80 mph. The commission could vote to legalize its use as early as January.

It's unclear which animals atlatlists may be allowed to hunt, but the proposal is being pushed by people who want to kill deer with a handmade weapon of Stone Age design. The name, usually pronounced AT-lad-ul, is derived from an Aztec word for "throwing board."

"For me, it would be a thrill to have a deer get up close enough and to throw my dart and hit the deer, bag it like my ancestors did," said Jack Rowe, 45, a veteran hunter and atlatl enthusiast from Sayre.

In Alabama, one of a handful of states that currently allow the use of atlatls for hunting or fishing, few hunters use them during deer season, said Allan Andress, the chief fish and game enforcement officer for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Even spear hunters — Alabama game law also allows spears — outnumber those using atlatls.

"As you might imagine, it's not something that most people have the skill or the patience for," Andress said.

Pennsylvania Atlatl Association president Gary L. Fogelman, who got the atlatl bug about 20 years ago, said he doubts that large numbers of deer will ever be killed with the weapon.

"You've got to know what you're doing, you've got to be good with all the outdoor skills in order to be able to score with this thing," said Fogelman, of Turbotville, publisher of Indian Artifact Magazine.

To use an atlatl, throwers hook arrowlike hunting darts into the end of the atlatl, which is generally a wooden piece about 2 feet long. The leverage of the atlatl allows them to throw the 5- to 8-foot darts much farther than they could throw a spear.

At BPS Engineering in Manhattan, Mont., a leading manufacturer of atlatls, sales have averaged about 450 in recent years, said owner Bob Perkins. Customers pay $140 for his company's 2-foot maple production-line model, the Warrior, along with a set of five 5 1/2-foot aluminum darts.

Perkins has killed two deer with atlatls and, a couple weeks ago, got his first buffalo.

"Atlatls were the first true weapon system developed by the human race," he said. "They were used longer than any other weapon. Comparatively speaking, the bow and arrow was a recent development in projectile technology."

There is evidence that the weapons were used more than 8,000 years ago in Pennsylvania, said Kurt Carr, an archaeologist with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Prehistoric atlatls have a distinctive counterweight feature called a winged banner stone that has helped confirm their existence at digs in Huntingdon and Bucks counties, among other places, said Carr. Atlatl use goes back far as 12,000 years elsewhere in North America and far longer in Europe.

"It takes some practice, but it's like the bow and arrow. I can't shoot a bow and arrow for beans, but I can use an atlatl more effectively," he said.

The World Atlatl Association, which has 380 members, has held an annual accuracy contest since the mid-1990s, and this year more than 2,000 people participated.

"People that are interested in archaeology and ancient history are the ones that seem to be drawn to it," said association president Richard B. Lyons, a retired firefighter from Jeffersonville, Ind.

Game Commissioner Roxane Palone, who generally supports legalization of atlatl hunting, said there are other game commissioners who probably will join her to vote for it.

"It's a good way to expand hunting opportunities," she said. "I don't think it's any more unusual than people who use long bows to hunt."

If the commission gives preliminary approval in January, a final vote in April could clear the way for atlatl hunting in Pennsylvania late next year, Palone said.


Briton claims to have beaten HIV virus

I have personally know alot of people that have died from AIDS, and if by some chance this is a cure then that would be great...:if this is true it makes me feel like crying , and for those of you close to me you know why...( no I don't have AIDS or HIV)just some very special people are gone now and a cure would mean alot to me.

LONDON (Reuters) - A British man claimed on Sunday to be the first person to become clear of the HIV virus, which can lead to AIDS, after earlier testing positive for it.

If true, the case of 25-year-old Andrew Stimpson -- reported in two British newspapers -- could reveal more about the virus and possibly even provide a breakthrough in the search for a cure for HIV/AIDS.

A spokeswoman for Chelsea and Westminster Heathcare Trust in London confirmed that one of its patients had tested negative for HIV about 14 months after testing positive in May 2002.

"He did test positive and then later negative, but in terms of curing himself, we don't know because he hasn't been back for further tests," said the spokeswoman.

"We very much want him to return so we can try to find out what exactly has happened," she added.

There is no known cure for HIV/AIDS, responsible for the deaths of millions of people and especially virulent in parts of Africa. Some experts say there are nearly 35 million sufferers around the world.

Scientists cite anecdotal accounts from Africa of people shaking off HIV but say they have never seen firm evidence.

"I feel truly special and lucky," Stimpson, who is a sandwich maker, told the News of the World. "All the doctors have told me it is a medial miracle that I am clear."

Patrick Dixon, a doctor and HIV expert, told Sky News this was the first time someone had kicked the virus out of their body.

"(AIDS) is a hugely significant problem which at moment we have no cure for," said Dixon.

"It's just possible inside this man's body is a biological key. If we can find an antibody that he's produced that has enabled him to kick this virus out, we could in theory find a way of engineering that antibody and giving it as some sort of treatment," he said.

The hospital spokeswoman said subsequent DNA checks had proven there had been no mix-up in the identity of the patient and the HIV tests, but said she did not know whether there could have been any other error in the original test.

Cardboard Box Added to Toy Hall of Fame

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Forget the fancy toy: The box it comes in can be much more fun. Spaceship, castle, haven to daydream in, the cardboard box was enshrined Friday in the National Toy Hall of Fame along with Jack-in-the-Box and Candy Land.

No kidding, grown-ups.

"I think every adult has had that disillusioning experience of picking what they think is a wonderful toy for a child, and then finding the kid playing with the box," said Christopher Bensch, chief curator of the Strong Museum. "It's that empty box full of possibilities that the kids can sense and the adults don't always see."

Low-tech and unpretentious it may be, but the cardboard box has fostered learning and creativity for multiple generations — a key qualifier for inclusion in the museum's seven-year-old hall of fame. And its appeal as a plaything or recreational backdrop is universal.

All over the world, "packaging is something that's accessible to kids, whether that's cans or tins or wooden crates," Bensch said, and the cardboard box "makes a point that you don't have to spend a lot, have a certain income level or charge it on your credit card to have your kids have a great play experience."

The museum, which boasts the world's largest collection of toys and dolls, acquired the hall in 2002 from A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village in Salem, Ore.

So far, 34 classic toys have been enshrined, from Barbie to Mr. Potato Head, Legos to Lincoln Logs, Slinky to Play-Doh and Crayola crayons to marbles.

Candy Land, a board game decorated with a sweet-treats trail and destinations such as Gumdrop Mountain, was created in the 1940s by a San Diego polio victim, Eleanor Abbott, who wanted a pastime for children recuperating from illness.

Jack-in-the-Box, the jester who bursts open his box lid when a compressed spring is released, appears to have originated in the 16th century. The toy is loosely based on Punch, the dynamic puppet in the "Punch and Judy" show.

The corrugated cardboard box, which quickly came to dominate the shipping industry in North America, was invented by a Brooklyn printer, Robert Gair, in 1890.

Strong Museum, the second-largest children's museum in America, is aiming to wrap up a $33 million expansion next summer that could double its attendance to nearly 700,000 visitors a year. The 23-year-old museum contains more than 70,000 toys and dolls and features circus memorabilia, children's books, household furniture, miniatures and various objects of American culture dating from the 1820s.


Cat Show Plans Memorial Service for Dog

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - This will probably be the first time a dog's memorial service is attended by 300 cats. A schnauzer-Siberian husky mix named Ginny will be eulogized Nov. 19 at the Westchester Cat Show, where she was named Cat of the Year in 1998 for her uncanny skill and bravery in finding and rescuing endangered tabbies.

"It'll be right during the show, with the judging going on and all the cats out there on the floor," said Leslie Masson, a spokeswoman for the Westchester Feline Club, which sponsors the show. "We'll call for quiet, and then a few people will get up on stage and talk about Ginny. Her owner will be there and talk, if he's able to, and some people from her fan club."

Ginny died in August at age 17, after a long career as a one-dog rescue party for cats on Long Island's South Shore. The club says she saved hundreds of cats who were abandoned, injured or in harm's way.

Her owner, Philip Gonzalez of Long Beach, has written two books about Ginny and the cats she found, several of whom moved in with him. Among the best-known rescues is the time Ginny threw herself against a vertical pipe at a construction site to topple it and reveal the kittens trapped inside. She once ignored the cuts on her paws as she dug through a box full of broken glass to find an injured cat inside.

Gonzalez, 55, said Thursday that over the years he has tried to train other dogs to do what Ginny did, but "They just didn't have it."

"I didn't train her," he said. "Ginny was just magical in a way. I adopted her from a shelter, and they said she's never been with cats before. But she just had this knack of knowing when a cat was in trouble."

As he used to do with Ginny, Gonzalez still goes out every night to feed stray cats in the area, with the help of the Ginny Fund, which pays for food, medical care and spaying or neutering.

The cats seem to miss Ginny too, he said.

"They want nothing to do with my other dogs," he said. "They used to come up to Ginny and rub against her, even if I was putting food out."

The memorial service will be followed by this year's Cat of the Year award, which is going to an actual cat — Zoe, an 8-year-old ragdoll from Larchmont who saved her owner from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other cats of the year have included a cat with a cleft palate who taught herself to hold her feeding tube and a cat who campaigns against rules that prohibit pets in senior housing.

Besides the memorial service, the Cat of the Year award and the best-of-breed judging, the show features a household pet competition, an agility contest for cats and a book signing by Allia Zobel, author of "101 Reasons Why a Cat is Better Than a Man."

In addition, about 80 cats from shelters will be up for adoption.


Veterans Day

Growing up in Canada, I was taught about"remembrance Day, and the sacrifices that were made by Brave Men and Women, to keep us free...We were also Taught this poem and would recite it as a school in assembly....I'm sure some of you know this.

In Flanders Fields

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


McCrae's "In Flanders Fields" remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915. Here is the story of the making of that poem:
Although he had been a doctor for years and had served in the South African War, it was impossible to get used to the suffering, the screams, and the blood here, and Major John McCrae had seen and heard enough in his dressing station to last him a lifetime.

As a surgeon attached to the 1st Field Artillery Brigade, Major McCrae, who had joined the McGill faculty in 1900 after graduating from the University of Toronto, had spent seventeen days treating injured men -- Canadians, British, Indians, French, and Germans -- in the Ypres salient.

It had been an ordeal that he had hardly thought possible. McCrae later wrote of it:

"I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days... Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done."

One death particularly affected McCrae. A young friend and former student, Lieut. Alexis Helmer of Ottawa, had been killed by a shell burst on 2 May 1915. Lieutenant Helmer was buried later that day in the little cemetery outside McCrae's dressing station, and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in the absence of the chaplain.

The next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the Canal de l'Yser, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a poem. The major was no stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry.

In the nearby cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.

A young soldier watched him write it. Cyril Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant-major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. The major looked up as Allinson approached, then went on writing while the sergeant-major stood there quietly. "His face was very tired but calm as we wrote," Allinson recalled. "He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

When McCrae finished five minutes later, he took his mail from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by what he read:

"The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

In fact, it was very nearly not published. Dissatisfied with it, McCrae tossed the poem away, but a fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915.

Where in the WORLD is MATT LAUER

Day 4&5

Well I totally forgot to post this...
Day 4- ShangHai,China, and
Day5- Dubrovnik,Croatia...can you say WHeeeee....:sigh



Ever so clever

Free snorkel with every visit

I've seen things.....

Declassified FBI Documents

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a vast selection of previously classified documents relating to UFOs, their dealings with them, reports of 'Flying Discs' and other strange events. Because of the Freedom of Information Act, it is now possible to download these documents for free from the web and view them at your leisure on your computer.

The documents in question contain letters, reports, articles and correspondences, some of which are somewhat more difficult to read than others. The best way to view them is to simply download them to your computer.

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Perspectives of war hit home in soldiers' stories

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY
Thu Nov 10, 7:26 AM ET

War stories are as old as The Iliad, Homer's epic poem about the Greek conquest of Troy more than 2,000 years ago. In honor of Veterans Day Friday, USA TODAY reviews five new books about war, told from the perspective of more recent soldiers.

My War: Killing Time in Iraq
By Colby Buzzell
Putnam, 358 pp., $25.95

At 26, tired of dead-end, slacker jobs, Colby Buzzell joined the Army.

A year later, he was in Iraq as a machine-gunner in Stryker Brigade, whose mission was "to locate, capture and kill all non-compliant forces" in and around Mosul.

He didn't think much of how the White House, Pentagon and media were reporting on the chaos and confusion of "guerrilla warfare, urban-style."

He started a blog, My War, named after a song by the punk band Black Flag.

It attracted a following, which grew after the Army's attempt to shut it down.

The book, like his blog, is cynical but not overtly political.

Buzzell never doubts he's on the side of the good guys, even as he questions whether anyone fully understands the reality of war.

Military recruiters won't be handing My War to prospective soldiers, who would do well to read one grunt's account of what they could be getting into.

For God and Country
By James Yee
PublicAffairs, 240 pp., $24

In 2001, James Yee, a West Point graduate, became one of the first Muslim chaplains in the U.S. Army.

He was later assigned to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where nearly 700 prisoners captured in the war on terrorism were held.

In 2003, he was arrested and jailed for 76 days in solitary confinement on charges of spying and aiding the enemy - charges the Pentagon, to its embarrassment, later dropped.

Yee's poignant account of what he describes as an attack on his faith and patriotism is disturbing even if it ultimately raises more questions than it answers.

Beyond the legal issues are questions about religious bias in the military.

Yee writes that Islam "affected nearly every aspect of life at Guantanamo," but the few attempts by U.S. soldiers to understand were discouraged.

He writes that one MP was ordered by superiors to "stop trying to learn Arabic. You're here to guard them, not talk to them."

Forever a Soldier
Edited by Tom Wiener
National Geographic, 337 pp., $26

In the past five years, more than 35,000 veterans, fresh from Iraq and as far back as World War I, have contributed their individual stories to the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project (www.loc .gov/vets).

Tom Wiener, the project's historian, has culled those archives for a representative sample of 37 interviews. It's an uneven collection, but the best live up to the book's subtitle, Unforgettable Stories of Wartime Service.

Wiener notes that every veteran in the book, except one, "survived his or her individual war. How they did so demonstrates the way we do rise above cruelty to a better place. It is perhaps the finest lesson any war can teach us."

Also out in paperback this week: an earlier collection from the archives: Voices of War: Stories of Service from the Home Front and the Front Lines (National Geographic, $16.95).

An Instinct for War
By Roger Spiller
Harvard, 403 pp., $29.95

Imagine a military historian who can travel in time to past and future wars.

That's what Roger Spiller, who taught at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., does in his imaginative collection of 13 short stories.

They stretch from ancient China to a 21st-century war "so terrible it was beyond naming."

Spiller is a former aide to the Army's chief of staff and a consultant to Ken Burns' forthcoming documentary on World War II.

He writes, "Some of this actually happened and some of it didn't, but all of it is as true as I can make it."

His mostly first-person stories deal with Cortez's conquest of the Aztecs, what Civil War Gen. George McClellan tried to borrow from Napoleon and an investigation of a Japanese general after World War II.

Spiller's stories can be read as parables. They neither celebrate nor condemn war but raise fundamental questions faced by soldiers and civilians.

Flying Through Midnight
By John T. Halliday
Scribner, 416 pp., $27.50

When President Nixon assured the country in 1970 that no U.S. soldiers were fighting in Laos, John Halliday was doing exactly that - flying what seemed like nightly suicide missions.

A naive 24-year-old Air Force lieutenant colonel, he entered a bizarre, secret world of special ops, flying creaky C-123 cargo planes in complete darkness, dropping flares to mark enemy targets.

His writing is often breathless, but so is the action he describes, including a dramatic landing on an unlighted airstrip to save his crew.

The book is as much about confronting the past as describing it.

A final chapter deals with Halliday's long struggle to get the book written and published.

A week before Halliday's father died in 1997, he took his son to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, which Halliday had avoided.

The father waved his arm at the 58,000 names on the wall and urged his son, "Write it for them."

He did.

'Lost' Loses Another Main Character

NEW YORK - It would seem to be lights out for Shannon on "Lost." The spoiled Daddy's girl was apparently killed off Wednesday night as the ABC thriller made good on its promise to eliminate one of its characters.

Hyped by the network as the episode that "people will be talking about all year long," it had indeed spurred lots of chatter even before it aired. Despite mighty efforts by the series' producers to keep secret the victim's identity beforehand, bloggers and other "Lost" sleuths seized on Shannon Rutherford weeks ago as the castaway most likely to be "lost forever."

Even so, the episode put forward another possible candidate: fellow refugee Sawyer ( Josh Holloway). Feverish and weakened from a bullet wound, he fell into unconsciousness during a grueling hike through the jungle interior.

It seemed he was a goner. Or just a red herring? At last sighting, he was being carried on a makeshift stretcher by others in his party. His condition seemed grave. "Lost" can be a tease.

But by all indications short of a death certificate, the bell tolled for Shannon. Pushing through the thick jungle growth in frantic pursuit of Walt ( Malcolm David Kelley), the vanished child whose image keeps haunting her, Shannon was mistaken for one of the demonic Others and shot by trigger-happy Ana Lucia ( Michelle Rodriguez).

Wounded and bloody, Shannon collapsed into the arms of Sayid ( Naveen Andrews), who had just professed his love for her — and told her that, by golly, he had seen Walt's vision, too.

It was just another day on the uncharted tropical island where Shannon and dozens more airline passengers crashed last fall — at the same time launching "Lost" into a hit.

Played by Maggie Grace, Shannon had been depicted as a sexy brat whose checkered past included seducing her stepbrother Boone Carlyle, a fellow island refugee until his death last season in a freak accident. Shannon was left reeling by that loss.

On Wednesday's episode, Boone (played by Ian Somerhalder) made a guest appearance in a flashback. He was seen comforting teenage Shannon upon the sudden death of her father, after which her stepmother rudely cut off her funds.

Then trust-fund Boone betrayed Shannon when he announced that Mom had offered him a well-paying job.

No wonder Shannon wrestled with abandonment issues.

"I know when we get out of here, you're just gonna leave me," she tearfully told Sayid moments before she was shot.

"I will never leave you," he said.

His devotion seemed to be a "Lost" cause.

Words from the Dark One

Poe's Theorem of Evolution:

"Medical science, technology, and 'civilization' have supplanted
natural selection such that now we have people in positions of
authority and/or responsibility who are so stupid that a mere two
hundred years ago they would have been eaten by something whilst on
their way to the outhouse."

Security Guard Fired for Seeing Ghosts

DES MOINES, Iowa - A judge ruled that a former security guard who was fired for seeing ghosts cannot be denied unemployment benefits.

According to a court ruling released this week, the former guard's allegation of apparitions does not constitute misconduct.

The issue started on Sept. 11, when Wade Gallegos alerted his supervisor at Neighborhood Patrol of Urbandale that ghosts were haunting a neighborhood he was guarding.

The supervisor arrived at the scene, where Gallegos showed him where the ghosts were still apparently standing.

The supervisor claimed he saw nothing and fired Gallegos five hours later.

The company found no signs of drug use or alcohol.

Neighborhood Patrol challenged Gallegos' application for unemployment benefits, arguing he was guilty of misconduct.

"Such beliefs do render the claimant unfit to act as a security guard," Judge G. Ken Renegar ruled. "The employer cannot have security guards who see ghosts and apparitions and inform the employer, and then the employer sends out the patrol cars."

However, the judge ruled, seeing ghosts is not the type of misconduct that can disqualify Gallegos from receiving benefits.


This one is for Coal...Boeuf a la Mode



A Funny

Over breakfast one morning, a woman said to her husband,
"I bet you don't know what day this is."

"Of course I do," he indignantly answered, going out the
door on his way to the office.

At 10 a.m., the doorbell rang, and when the woman opened
the door, she was handed a box containing a dozen long-stemmed
red roses. At 1 p.m., a foil-wrapped, two pound box of her
favorite chocolates arrived. Later, a boutique delivered
a designer dress. The woman couldn't wait for her husband
to come home. "First the flowers, then the candy, and then
the dress!" she exclaimed.

"I've never spent a more wonderful Groundhog Day in my whole life


Gingerbread House Time of year:)

I made one last year and I'm going to make one this year, and it is going to be COOL.....
Of course it is for the children...NOT...
It must be perfect...
Go away Mummum's busy, no stop it ,
put that down it's for the windows, BUPPPP!!!
I bought a small kit to make the house it turned into a multi-day obsession..
But it was cool, I'll try to find the pic of it...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire....

After having seen the commercial for this movie well over a dozen dozen times,
My Five year old has informed me that he wants Santa to give him this movie for Christmas...
Be cause it looks cool ,
and makes him happy ...
and makes his eyes dance??????

note to self: take Bup to the Eye Doctor.....?

Pandas 'Married'

BANGKOK, Thailand - Thousands of people in Thailand came to the wedding party Wednesday, but the nuptial bliss belonged to a pair of animals: the country's only two resident giant pandas.

As Chuang Chuang and his female partner, Lin Hui, have become adults and begin to mate, Thai officials decided it was time for the couple to make it official.

Thais dressed in panda and other animal costumes marched and played music in a traditional Thai wedding procession to northern Thailand's Chiang Mai Zoo, where the pandas live.

The guests witnessed a Chinese tea ceremony and a feast of cake — a four-layer ice sculpture filled with fruits that pandas typically eat, said a zoo spokeswoman, Rossukhon Chuicomwong.

The pandas' living quarters were decorated with a large, festive red ribbon and a carved dragon decoration.

Thailand rented Chuang Chuang and Lin Hui from China for $250,000 in October 2003 for 10 years.

The pandas are expected to generate millions of dollars in revenues from Thai and foreign tourists during their stay.

Oak Island up for sale

It may look like a fixer-upper at first glance, but what is buried beneath scrubby little Oak Island might just make its estimated $7 million price tag worth the investment. Oak Island, in Nova Scotia, is famous for its Money Pit, a mystery that has endured two centuries, claimed six lives and swallowed up millions in life savings. The Pit was discovered in 1795 by a local boy named Daniel McGinnis who, spotting an unusual clearing in the earth under one of the island's oak trees, was prompted to start digging. The discovery of layered planks, mysterious stone slabs, and mats made of coconut fibers descending deep into the ground turned his casual afternoon dig into an all-out excavation. Investors and thrill-seekers would eventually jump in and continue the work, kicking off one of the world's longest running treasure hunts. What appears to be a complex flooding trap has thwarted efforts to reach the bottom of the Money Pit ever since.

Some think the pit was purposely flooded with seawater, via a series of artificial swamps and tunnels, to hide its contents. Through the murk, drill borings and shafts dug by the island's series of owners have detected what seem to be cement vaulting, wooden chests, and scraps of parchment paper. Radiocarbon dating of these artifacts is consistent: whoever constructed the shaft likely did so sometime in the 16th Century. Speculation about the contents of Oak Island's Money Pit range from the treasure of the Knight's Templar to Shakespeare's original manuscripts.