Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Short Takes

U.N. Secretary General appeals to Syria to open up to chemical weapons inspectors.

Iraq — A series of car bombs killed at least 23 people in Shi’ite areas.

Afghan leader confirms cash payments by the C.I.A.

FBI visits Boston bombing suspects widow.

Supreme Court rejects Alabama appeal of immigration law.

Red River crest in North Dakota lowered again.

The Netherlands will get its first king in 120 years.

The Tigers beat the Twins 4-3.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Catching Up

Welcome to the Wednesday that feels like a Monday.  Here are some things that you might have missed while all the merriment was going on, although with some of these bits, you might prefer that I just post some more holiday videos.

  • Travel across the country could be interesting as snow and wind continues to spread after leaving destruction from tornadoes and other nasty weather over Christmas.
  • President Obama may cut short his vacation in Hawai’i to get back to work on the fiscal issues.
  • A body has been found in the home of William Spengler, 62, the gunman who ambushed and killed two firefighters in upstate New York on Christmas Eve.  It’s believed they are the remains of Spengler’s sister who lived with him.  Spengler, who killed himself during the incident, left behind a screed about his plans to “do what I like doing best, killing people.”
  • If you thought the schism at the Tea Party between Dick Armey, FreedomWorks, and the rest of that interesting group of wingnuts was just words and hurt feelings, apparently it was a lot more, verging on armed conflict.  And that’s not a metaphor.
  • Mitt Romney didn’t want to be president anyway.  So there.
  • Two amazing actors left us over the holidays: Jack Klugman, who gained fame on TV on The Odd Couple but had a long career on stage and screen before and after; and Charles Durning, a veteran of World War II and the kind of character actor that made small parts into gems.
  • Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) was busted for DUI.  I thought Mormons didn’t drink (yeah right).
  • Queen Elizabeth II gave her Christmas speech to the nation and the Commonwealth in 3D.
  • Speaking of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, it is Boxing Day in most of those countries, including Canada.  For a lot of folks, it’s back to work for a short week.  And for some, it’s the day to start writing thank-you notes.

Today I’m taking the Pontiac to the body shop for some cosmetic surgery and touch-up work in preparation for its debut as an authentic antique automobile.  According to the rules of the Antique Automobile Club of America, it will achieve that status on January 1, and I’ve already registered it for its first nationally sanctioned meet in February.  Yes, 1988 was twenty-five years ago.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Short Takes

Factory fire kills over 100 in Bangladesh.

Egypt’s top judges don’t like President Morsi’s “unprecedented” decrees.

Homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy were robbed over Thanksgiving.

Cops arrest 42 people in a melee after a party in San Jose.

Florida woman arrested for riding a manatee.

“My kingdom for a DNA scan” — Scientists may have found the remains of King Richard III.

 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic Moments

I went to an Opening Ceremonies party last night given by friends who do it for every Olympics. They serve food that is representative of the host country, so the menu included roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, bangers and mash, and all sorts of delightful desserts.

I made it through about two-thirds of the opening ceremony, then headed home and watched the rest of it until the giant magic fire cauldron engulfed the skyline of London. The whole thing was kind of surreal British history as a giant half-time show: Kenneth Branagh dressed up like Doctor Doolittle (the one in the books, not the recent movie) reciting Shakespeare; dancing laborers doing an Oliver!-like chorus number; dancing nurses celebrating socialized medicine; a giant blow-up baby doll; Mr. Bean doing P.D.Q. Bach; Pink Floyd; Frankie Say Relax (those hip kids); choruses of children singing national songs; Paul McCartney sounding nothing like he used to; and all presided over by Queen Elizabeth who looked like she would rather be doing anything else but sit in the royal box, including skydiving with James Bond.

And who chose the icons of British history? Mary Poppins battled Voldemort, but where was Frodo against Sauron? (Unless the towering smokestacks were a nod to Isengard…) Where was Aslan and Naria? What about Swallows and Amazons? For that matter, what about Dickens, Wuthering Heights, Jane Austen, James Herriot, and Monty Python?

Of course, if they had included all of the important British contributions, they’d still be going on, so I can’t really complain too much. Usually these ceremonies are agonizing, but this one was at least entertaining. Too bad Her Majesty didn’t seem to find it amusing.

PS: According to Michael, NBC censored a part of the ceremony: a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in London that killed 52 people. Instead they showed an interview with Michael Phelps by Ryan Secrest. I guess NBC doesn’t want to remind the world that terrible things happen. Now we are not amused.

Olympic Moments

I went to an Opening Ceremonies party last night given by friends who do it for every Olympics. They serve food that is representative of the host country, so the menu included roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, bangers and mash, and all sorts of delightful desserts.

I made it through about two-thirds of the opening ceremony, then headed home and watched the rest of it until the giant magic fire cauldron engulfed the skyline of London. The whole thing was kind of surreal British history as a giant half-time show: Kenneth Branagh dressed up like Doctor Doolittle (the one in the books, not the recent movie) reciting Shakespeare; dancing laborers doing an Oliver!-like chorus number; dancing nurses celebrating socialized medicine; a giant blow-up baby doll; Mr. Bean doing P.D.Q. Bach; Pink Floyd; Frankie Say Relax (those hip kids); choruses of children singing national songs; Paul McCartney sounding nothing like he used to; and all presided over by Queen Elizabeth who looked like she would rather be doing anything else but sit in the royal box, including skydiving with James Bond.

And who chose the icons of British history? Mary Poppins battled Voldemort, but where was Frodo against Sauron? (Unless the towering smokestacks were a nod to Isengard…) Where was Aslan and Naria? What about Swallows and Amazons? For that matter, what about Dickens, Wuthering Heights, Jane Austen, James Herriot, and Monty Python?

Of course, if they had included all of the important British contributions, they’d still be going on, so I can’t really complain too much. Usually these ceremonies are agonizing, but this one was at least entertaining. Too bad Her Majesty didn’t seem to find it amusing.

PS: According to Michael, NBC censored a part of the ceremony: a tribute to the victims of the terrorist attack in London that killed 52 people. Instead they showed an interview with Michael Phelps by Ryan Secrest. I guess NBC doesn’t want to remind the world that terrible things happen. Now we are not amused.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Short Takes

Egyptians are voting again in the presidential run-off.

Greeks are also heading to the polls for parliamentary elections.

The UN suspends monitoring in Syria due to violence.

The Saudi heir to the throne is dead.

Colorado wildfire destruction continues.

Real estate bidding wars are heating up in South Florida.

Tropical Update: Carlotta’s remnants are over Mexico.

The Tigers beat the Rockies again.

Short Takes

Egyptians are voting again in the presidential run-off.

Greeks are also heading to the polls for parliamentary elections.

The UN suspends monitoring in Syria due to violence.

The Saudi heir to the throne is dead.

Colorado wildfire destruction continues.

Real estate bidding wars are heating up in South Florida.

Tropical Update: Carlotta’s remnants are over Mexico.

The Tigers beat the Rockies again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012

Short Takes

A plane crash in Nigeria killed more than 150 people.

The UN criticized Canada for being complicit in torture and human rights violations in Afghanistan and Syria.

A huge flotilla jammed the Thames for the Queen.

Firefighters make progress against the wildfire in New Mexico.

George Zimmerman is back in jail.

R.I.P. Richard Dawson, actor on Hogan’s Heroes and host of Family Feud.

The Tigers lost to the Yankees.

Short Takes

A plane crash in Nigeria killed more than 150 people.

The UN criticized Canada for being complicit in torture and human rights violations in Afghanistan and Syria.

A huge flotilla jammed the Thames for the Queen.

Firefighters make progress against the wildfire in New Mexico.

George Zimmerman is back in jail.

R.I.P. Richard Dawson, actor on Hogan’s Heroes and host of Family Feud.

The Tigers lost to the Yankees.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Short Takes

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary.

No charges to be filed in deadly airstrike last November in Pakistan.

US Airways is considering acquiring American Airlines.

GM is recalling big vans and SUV’s due to gear failure.

A boat swept out to sea in the 2011 tsunami in Japan has been spotted off Canada.

Wedding Crashers — Queen Elizabeth II dropped in at a wedding in northern England.

Spring training — The Tigers lost in 10 to the Yankees.

Short Takes

Rick Santorum won the Louisiana primary.

No charges to be filed in deadly airstrike last November in Pakistan.

US Airways is considering acquiring American Airlines.

GM is recalling big vans and SUV’s due to gear failure.

A boat swept out to sea in the 2011 tsunami in Japan has been spotted off Canada.

Wedding Crashers — Queen Elizabeth II dropped in at a wedding in northern England.

Spring training — The Tigers lost in 10 to the Yankees.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Short Takes

President Obama is pushing for a new beginning on Mideast peace talks.

The Senate refused to repeal tax breaks for Big Oil.

The Coast Guard has reopened the Mississippi River to some barge traffic.

Queen Elizabeth is in Ireland for her first-ever state visit.

Teachers and staff in Broward County beg to keep their jobs.

R.I.P. Harmon Killebrew, 74, Minnesota Twins’ great and humble home run hitter.

The Tigers were rained out again.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Short Takes

The heat is still on up in the Northeast.

President Obama and Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu make nice.

The Justice Department is suing Arizona over the immigration law.

Charges are filed against the soldier who leaked the tapes of a deadly helicopter attack in 2007.

Oil is seeping into Lake Pontchartrain.

Queen Elizabeth II placed a wreath at Ground Zero.

Tropical update: this low pressure system is stirring up some waves.

The Tigers beat the Orioles 7-5.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Thursday, June 26, 2008

She Is Not Amused

The queen shows her feelings about the election sham in Zimbabwe.

Queen Elizabeth II stripped Robert Mugabe, the country’s president for nearly 30 years, of his honorary knighthood as a “mark of revulsion” at the human rights abuses and “abject disregard” for democracy over which he is presiding, the British Foreign Office said Wednesday.

The rebukes reflected the mounting international frustration over Mr. Mugabe’s insistence in going ahead with the runoff on Friday, even though his sole opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, pulled out of the race on Sunday. Mr. Tsvangirai cited the persistent violence and intimidation against him, his party and their supporters.

Mr. Mugabe’s government has had a long history of human rights abuses, but he was granted the honorary knighthood during an official visit to Britain in 1994 when, the Foreign Office said, “the conditions in Zimbabwe were very different.”

Somehow I get the feeling that the former Sir Robert won’t be swayed by this show of royal pique.