Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Swiss Court Approves Bail for Child Molester After Conviction!

Polanski wins bail in Switzerland, stays in jail
Nov. 25, 2009, 10:28 AM EST

GENEVA (AP) -- A Swiss court granted Roman Polanski bail on Wednesday, accepting $4.5 million to allow him to remain under house arrest at his chalet. The director will stay in prison for up to 10 days while the Swiss government decides whether to appeal.

The Swiss Criminal Court reversed its previous rejection of bail, saying it was confident the large cash guarantee would compel Polanski to remain at his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad under house arrest and monitored by an electronic bracelet.

The court said it still viewed him as a high flight risk.

The verdict does not affect the Swiss Justice Ministry's ongoing assessment of whether Polanski should be extradited to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl. Polanski fled sentencing in Los Angeles a year later.

"The 76-year-old appellant is married and the father of two minors," the court said as it considered Polanski's offer of a cash bail secured by his apartment in Paris. "It can be assumed that as a responsible father he will, especially in view of his advanced age, attach greater importance to the financial security of his family than a younger person."

The court said Polanski would be subjected to "constant electronic surveillance" at his chalet and an alarm would be activated if he leaves the premises or takes off the bracelet.

But Polanski wasn't immediately released by the Swiss Justice Ministry, which ordered him arrested Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival.

Reprinted from: MSN Movie News 25 Nov. 2009.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Redneck Philosophy by Jeff Foxworthy

You know you’re a redneck when:
1. You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.
2. You can entertain yourself for more than 15 minutes with a fly swatter.
3. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.
4. You burn your yard rather than mow it.
5. You think “The Nutcracker” is a vice on the work bench.
6. The Salvation Army declines your furniture.
7. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don’t want it.
8. You have the local taxidermist on speed dial.
9. You come back from the dump with more than you took.
10. You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.
11. Your wife can climb a tree faster than your cat.
12. Your grandmother has “ammo” on her Christmas list.
13. You keep flea and tick soap in the shower.
14. You’ve been involved in a custody fight over a hunting dog.
15. You go to the stock car races and don’t need a program.
16. You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.
17. You have a rag for a gas cap.
18. Your house doesn’t have curtains, but your truck does.
19. You wonder how service stations keep their rest-room’s so clean ?
20. You can spit without opening your mouth.
21. You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.
22. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.
23. You have a complete set of salad bowls and they all say “Cool Whip” on the side.
24. The biggest city you’ve ever been to is Wal-Mart.
25. Your working TV sits on top of your non-working TV
26. You’ve used your ironing board as a buffet table.
27. A tornado hits your neighborhood and does $100,000 worth of improvements.
28. You’ve used a toilet brush to scratch your back.
29. You missed your 5th grade graduation because you were on jury duty.
30. You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65.

Reprinted from The Superficial Gallery at this link. Excellent website that's worth a visit or two or three or so!

Who Can Name This Character From Boston TV? Boomers?

Why it's FEEP!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sago Palm White Spots

I'm writing this article only because there are still people destroying their Sago palms because they think they're dying of white spot disease. I saw one person a couple of streets away rip out a once large, beautiful Sago because the plant died due to white spot.

What is Sago palm white spot? It's cycad aulacaspis scale infestation(also known as Asian cycad scale and sago palm scale), which is a pest not a disease. Originally from Southern Texas it has migrated to northerly regions that can sustain a Sago in the winter months. The Sago, contrary to popular belief, is not a palm but a cycad.

Wikipedia defines Cycad as: Cycads are a group of seed plants characterized by a large crown of compound leaves and a stout trunk. They are evergreen, gymnospermous, dioecious plants having large pinnately compound leaves.

Left untreated the scale pest can destroy a Sago in as little time as a month. The white scale pots are unmistakable as they look like severe dandruff in the middle of the plant, spreading out onto the green of the branches. Essentially, the scale sucks the life out of the plant until it's no longer able to sustain it's life anymore.

Treatment options are many. Ones that actually work, few! Various schools and extensions recommend herbicidal sprays and oils, even pressure washing the plant to dislodge the scale. I don't know about you but getting hit with the spray of a pressure washer hurts me so what will it do to the slender shoots of the plant? There is an alternative that I found on ONE post on the Internet that actually worked! It didn't cost and arm and a leg and it's easily found in any stores pet department that sells Hartz Mountain products.

Hartz Ultra Guard Plus Flea & Tick HOME Spray. I must be specific here because there are 2 kinds of this spray, one that will work and one that won't. The one for the dogs will burn the plant, evidently it's stronger. You MUST get the one for the Home, not the pet! Last year my Sago was so white I thought I'd have to dig it up to prevent it from spreading but I surfed first and found this spray. I applied 2 treatments a day apart when it would be dry outside, not rainy. I still have that Sago in the yard and I treated it today due to new white spot popping up. The end of the week the plant will be all green, no white left. I've used it and it works and the spray bottle will last you several seasons and is not expensive. Sago's aren't cheap and if you want to keep yours alive this is an economical way to do it that won't hurt the plant. See photo below for product description.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Good Napoleonic Naval Books vs Boring Ones

Sometimes I get a bug up my butt and have to write about something that irritates me and I hit primary irritation today so I'm putting fingers to keyboard and sounding off on a con and a pro. I don't ordinarily like to condemn without offering a replacement of greater value, in this case a story with a strong storyline vs. a weak storyline, in my opinion!

sI've been trying to get into the books of Patrick O'Brien and I'm having a very difficult time of it. I decided to listen to some recorded audiobooks by this author after watching the Russell Crowe movie, "Master and Commander". That title meaning a rank below full captain in the British Navy of that era(American equivalent would be the rank of Commander). I found the film to be very enjoyable and action packed, I love that genre where men were less than equal to the sea and you were required to know what you were doing or die trying. I digress. I guess that I made one mistake prior to starting the O'Brien books by listening to the book by David Cordingly called, "Cochrane The Real Master and Commander", which is about Lord Thomas Cochrane, who held this rank in the British Navy. The O'Brien books and the Hornblower novels were loosely based on Lord Cochrane's life and times by David Cordingly, which were pretty interesting to listen to. O'Brien has taken this bigger-than-life King's Navy Officer and turned him into a pansy by the name of Jack Aubrey.
I'm trying to get through the O'Brien book, "Post Captain", but I think I'm going to erase the files because it's painfully boring. I almost fell asleep while driving (which I never do) listening to this rubbish. A sea captain that has an adventure on land by going into debt and running away when payment is due. Wow, what seafaring action! Watching grass grow is more interesting. How many times must one hear about a woman's complexion. I want to hear about naval engagements, tacking in a northerly gale, fighting off a lee shore, whatever so long as it's water based adventures, not a lively gallop after a fox or two.

I honestly don't know why people put so much stock into the books of Patrick O'Brien when there are better authors out there that can hold you to your seat with a rousing attack on Algerian pirates or taking a prize ship from 'Old Boney' Bonaparte. Seriously, anyone who enjoys a good seafaring storyline with many books in the series to keep you entertained, I recommend, highly recommend, Douglas Reeman, aka Alexander Kent, and his Richard Bolitho novels. These books take you through his entire naval career from midshipman to admiral and then on to his nephew Adam's career in the British Navy. I bought the first book because I was desperate for a good seafaring novel after I read all the Hornblower books and I ended up buying the entire Bolitho series of 27 books before I realized I read that many books. I've read them all twice, at least, and still enjoy the story. I can see a similarity with C.S. Forester's Hornblower character but I have no discomfort placing myself within the Bolitho character while reading the books and that's a very good thing. There wasn't a night I would go to bed and not read several pages of a book. The Adam Bolitho series is equally stirring. One thing that stands out is the time-line and the progression up through the ranks. There is no "it's been 3 years now since I took command of the 32 gun frigate Whatever and assumed the rank of Post Captain". No, Kent takes you through the process with all it's ups and downs along with the politics involved in government and the Admiralty in general. You actually feel like your right there with Bolitho and his men in the action.

In conclusion, if your like me and enjoy the era of fighting, sailing ships of the late 18th and early 19th century's then the Alexander Kent "Bolitho" books are for you 100%. Pass on the O'Brien books unless you like reading about ship's officers fox hunting, losing money, chasing young girls hungry for a man with money and position, horses, dirt, dancing, and oh yes he did eat dinner on a ship after quite a long time (not his ship though). If you have read the Aubrey Maturin books then try Bolitho. I guarantee you will not be disappointed!