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Updated: 03/10/04

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"Allan Quartermain"
by H. Rider Haggard



Wednesday, 10 March, 2004

Warning: Political Rant follows. I realize that my politics are showing. I didn't mind Bill Clinton - there were many things that he did - or wanted to do - with which I disagreed, but aside from Monica-Gate I don't think he did a bad job as president. But John Kerry is really getting under my skin, and the reason is quite simple: if you have a position on something, fine, state it. I may not agree with you, but at least you have an opinion. And a spine. But I don't appreciate a change of position, merely because you now need to take the counter position to your opponant. (Via Little Green Footballs)

Likely Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has repeatedly slammed President Bush for not getting the cooperation of European allies before attacking Iraq last year.

But in 1997, Kerry praised President Clinton for preparing to attack Iraq by deploying ships, aircraft and troops over the objections of France and Russia.

In a November 1997 audiotape broadcast by WABC Radio’s Monica Crowley on Monday, Kerry painted Clinton as resolute for putting U.S. war plans against Baghdad in motion.

“The president has, in effect, put military action on the table,” he told CNN’s “Crossfire.”

“Secretary Cohen canceled his trip, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff canceled a trip, troops are deployed, the aircraft carriers are being brandished. There’s no misunderstanding here about where the United States is prepared to go,” the Massachusetts Democrat assured.

Kerry praised the Clinton White House for thumbing its nose at our European allies.

“Clearly the allies may not like it,” said the top Democrat, before suggesting that France and Russia were spineless.

“Where’s the backbone of Russia, where’s the backbone of France, where are they in expressing their condemnation of such clearly illegal activity?” he railed.

Kerry also praised the White House for giving the United Nations the brush-off.

“The [Clinton] administration is leading. The administration is making it clear that they don’t believe that they even need the U.N. Security Council to sign off on a material breach because the finding of material breach was made by [U.S. weapons inspector Richard] Butler.”

Kerry defended President Clinton’s go-it-alone war plan as the best way to protect U.S. national security, telling “Crossfire,” “I think the United States has always reserved the right and will reserve the right to act in its best interests.”

[As someone has said, "More waffles than IHOP."]

(/Political Rant)

Enough seriousness, a while ago I wrote about a website devoted to Dumb Baby Names. [And by the way, there are some new entries on the linked website that are pretty darn funny . . . err . . . scary.] Well, here's a new offering:

Yorkshire Couple Named Baby Diot Coke - in 1379

Naming your child after a popular soft drink could be seen as a little bit faddish but the parents of young Diot Coke might be forgiven – they gave their baby daughter the name way back in 1379.

Researchers at the National Archives believe that the little girl, born in the West Riding of Yorkshire, was the unfortunate victim of the corruption of the name Dionisia. One of the diminutives derived from that name on its path to the modern day Denise was Diot.

The girl’s surname is believed to be a variation on the name Cook.


I dislike the fact that many gift certificates have expiration dates on them. Of course I guess most companies are counting on the fact that people often forget about gift certificates and coupons for a long time - say, 69 years - and never redeem them:

"How long is a coupon good for?"

The customer-relations department at Jones Dairy Farm of Fort Atkinson, Wis., had a good customer-relations response. Fred Simpson, a retired auditor from Jacksonville, Fla., was looking through an old magazine from 1935, when he spotted an advertisement from Jones Dairy Farm with a mail-in coupon offering the fixings for a sausage-and-pancake breakfast. The cost, including shipping, was $1.

"There was no expiration date on the coupon," says Mr. Simpson, so he sent it in. Not long afterwards, a delivery truck pulled up to his home. The driver handed Mr. Simpson's wife Marguerite a package containing a cooler stuffed with ice packs, Jones pork sausage, a box of buckwheat pancake flour and a jar of Wisconsin maple syrup. The Simpsons were delighted.

Ed Baker, national sales director for Jones Dairy Farm said the unexpected arrival of the Simpsons' coupon caused a lot of excitement in the company. Mr. Baker says if the Simpsons are not 100 percent pleased, they can get their dollar back, because Jones Farms' consumer offers always include a guarantee!

[Nicely done.]

And from the sublime to the ridiculous:

COVINGTON — Here’s a quick tip: If you are going to try and pass off fake money, you might want to first think about using a denomination that is actually made by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Ranked by officers of the Covington Police Department (CPD) as of one of biggest “boneheaded” moves ever, a Porterdale woman allegedly tried to pay for more than $1,600 in merchandise at the Covington Wal-Mart Friday with a $1 million bill.

While using counterfeit money is a serious crime that carries stiff penalties, CPD officers interviewed couldn’t help but laugh and shake their heads in amazement.

According to an incident report filed Monday by Officer Allen Seebaran, 35-year-old Alice Regina Pike, 35 Hemlock St., was taken into custody on a charge of forgery after allegedly presenting the bill to a clerk at the store at 2:40 p.m.

Pike, who was trying to purchase multiple items that totaled approximately $1,675, was reportedly unaware that the money was fake. The suspect told Seebaran that her husband had given the bill to her before he left town on a trip.

According to the report, when the clerk was handed the bogus bill, she called over store manager Marshall Hunt who immediately recognized the bill as a fake.

Apparently unfazed by the setback, Pike then allegedly tried to pay for the items with two Wal-Mart gift cards that had a combined total worth of $2.32. Still $1,598 short, Pike reportedly then asked Hunt if he could “cash the bill,” which the manager quickly refused to do.

After calling police, Hunt and the clerk tried to take the bill from Pike, but she refused to turn it over, according to the incident report. Once Seebaran arrived, it was revealed that Pike had two more $1 million bills in her purse.

Pike was arrested and taken to the Newton County Law Enforcement Center on a charge of forgery.

Counterfeiting is a generations-old practice that has become harder to detect in recent years with advances in computer design and printing technology. In this case, however, the fake bill was easy to detect, mainly because a $1 million bill has never been produced.

[Methinks the cashier might not have had the $998,400 in change anyway.]

Quote du jour:

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

-- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Swiss-German-US physicist

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