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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yummy Down On This

I got two posts for you because for some reason I didn't get anything posted yesterday. I will also have a DCR post up sometime later in the afternoon.

Born Loser 01-30-10
Zeke Swizzle? Gladys sure dated some weirdly-named guys while in high school. Brutus is mainly upset because Gladys lost her virginity to Zeke's Swizzle Stick.

Born Loser 01-31-10
Also, Brutus is talking aloud to his computer, heaping praise on it and doing just about everything to stroke his computer's ego except inserting his penis into a USB port in a sexual manner.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Editorial Comics Review (1/29/10)

Before we get to the editorial cartoons of the last week, first a couple things that have been swirling around the Internet the last few days:

1. President Obama's State of the Union Address
I didn't watch the SOTU speech nor am I going to read it but I did read articles talking about the highlights. I am one of the many who has become disenchanted with the way Obama is handling what's going on in Washington. I don't necessarily blame Obama but I do blame the Senators who are in power for not working together and trying to help this country. Instead, they are working to try and keep their jobs in 2012. Maybe if you actually do work, you'll be able to be reelected.

But it's a new year so here's hoping Obama can get some stuff done. Democrats need to quit being so chicken shit and Republicans need to actually start offering up solutions instead of complaining about what the Democrats and Obama are doing. We have the ability and the power to make this country great again but, and I know this is cliche, we need to work together.

2. Paul Shirley's Letter to Haiti
Call me an ass but I completely agree with what Paul Shirley wrote. It's harsh, I know and I think that's why people caused such an uproar about it. On the surface, Americans really do want to help people in other countries but inside, we're thinking: "Why? How are they going to use our money? What's in it for us? Have you people learned anything from this?" and we hate feeling that way so when someone actually points it out, we get angry and defensive because it's true.

The only part of the blog I don't agree with is the more insulting part of it:
Dear Haitians –

First of all, kudos on developing the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Your commitment to human rights, infrastructure, and birth control should be applauded.

As we prepare to assist you in this difficult time, a polite request: If it’s possible, could you not re-build your island home in the image of its predecessor? Could you not resort to the creation of flimsy shanty- and shack-towns? And could some of you maybe use a condom once in a while?

Sincerely,

The Rest of the World

Ouch. Now that's too harsh. But look at Haiti's history. They haven't learned from their past and those who do not learn history... Like I said last week, the United States seems to always offer the most aid than any other country in the world. Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and dozens of other towns. Guess who gave the most. Us, first of all, then Canada. Most other countries donated at most $9 million (Australia), at least $100,000 to Red Cross or something similar or they offered doctors, military, water to the hurricane victims. Ironically, only 5% of the $894 million has been spent on what it was donated to do.

No one helps us as much we help them. We need to stop helping other nations and start using the money we donate to ravaged areas to help out our own ravaged areas. The $379 million sent to Haiti could really help out our own people hurt by unemployment and foreclosures.

And now onto the comics:

by Robert Ariail 1/27/10

South Carolina has some pips doesn't it? I think it's too much to hope that South Carolinians set down and coordinate this stuff which is why they seem to stay in the news. For those who don't know, Lt. Governor Bauer compared people on welfare to stray animals. You give stray animals/poor people food and they breed. I've always heard you don't feed strays because then they hang around and are possibly diseased but I guess breeding works too.

by Michael Ramirez 1/28/10

Someone, anyone, name a good one-term president.

I'm not saying any president who has only served one-term is a terrible president but our current one-term presidents (Carter and Bush, Sr.) seem to do more out of office than they did in.

I wish someone would compare Obama's first year with that of other president's first years to see how it compares. I can't remember how Clinton's first year went, or Bush, Sr's and I wasn't alive for Reagan's. I remember George W. Bush's first year and the only reason he got stuff done was because of 9/11. No one seems to remember he did nearly nothing then took a month long vacation in August. I remember this because I was also in Texas while Bush was. For more on President Bush's time in office before 9/11, click here.

by Henry Payne 1/23/10

Ah, hypocritical hippies. They want to save the planet but never seem to offer any other solutions. They buy nickel-battery hybrid cars but don't want you mining for nickel. They do realize they aren't melting down the coin for those batteries right?

It's crap like this that make people like me go "Well, this is complicated. Screw this," and I don't want to do that. I do want to be greener but the proponents of it seem to be trying to make it difficult.

Women Talk, Part Deux

Born Loser 01-29-10
I swear we've seen this joke before but I am too lazy to go look for it. And I mean it, exactly like this. Almost word-for-word.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Delaware Affections #1.8

Randall Point was a quarter mile strip of land that jutted out into the ocean. The strip of land was wide enough for a road that circled around a lighthouse. On the northside of the road were odd-looking beach houses that were built in the 1960s.

Randall Point was developed by James V. Randall in the 1950s when he spent millions renovating the lighthouse and reinforcing the strip of land. Then, in 1962, he began building the beach houses which everyone was sure would be destroyed in the first hurricane. Forty years later, they still stood.

Laurie arrived at one of the houses and knocked on the door. A guy she didn't know answered and looked at her suspiciously. After an awkward moment of silence, Laurie pulled out her invitation and showed it to the guy.

He then eyed the invitation suspiciously but soon stepped aside and let her in. "Gotta keep out the 'untouchables'," he chuckled.

Laurie went over to a corner of the front room and somehow a bottle of beer wound up in her hand. A girl walked up to her and pointed at her.

"You go to Wrigley High don't you?" the girl asked.

Laurie nodded. "Yeah. I'm a senior," Laurie put her beer in her other hand and extended her right hand to the girl. "I'm Laurie Earles."

The girl looked at Laurie and chuckled uneasily. "I'm Jane. I think we have a class together. I'm a sophomore though."

"You do look familiar," Laurie said. "Not very many people here," Laurie said as she looked around the room.

"Most people are in the bedrooms or the basement," Jane said. You want to join them?" she smiled slyly.

"I actually would like to find Chris--show him that I'm here. He invited me," Laurie said.

"I think he's in the basement. Let's go," Jane took Laurie's arm and pulled her with her.




Rodney and Cassandra were sitting at the kitchen table in the Barton house. Rodney tapped his pencil on the table a couple of times and looked at Cassandra. "So what topic are we going to do?"

"I don't know. Which one sounds good to you?" Cassandra redirected.

Rodney looked at both of the topics they had narrowed it down to. He read them both over and over again until sighing loudly. "What do you want to do?" he asked suddenly. "Like, after college. Not about this assignment."

"After college? That's quite a way's away," Cassandra said. "I have some ideas but I really don't know."

"Thank you! I don't know what to do either so Cat is on me about finding some direction in my life. Every time we're together we talk about the future. She has everything all detailed and planned out," Rodney complained. "It sickens me."

"So she knows what she's going to do after high school and after college?" she asked.

"Norrell University in Boston. She wants to be an architect," Rodney said.

"An architect?" Cassandra was stunned. "I'm kind of impressed now. How about you? Do you even have a fraction of your future figured out?"

Rodney paused. He smiled and leaned back in his chair. "I know I want to get married..."




"The Party"
Jane led Laurie into the basement where Chris and a couple of his friends were drinking while watching two girls dance around topless, wearing only underwear. A soft moaning was coming from behind a wall. Laurie began getting nervous and finished her beer.

Chris noticed Laurie and pushed past the two dancing girls, smiling at Laurie and Jane. "Laurie, right? I'm so glad you were able to come. Are you having a good time?" Chris asked.

"I just got here but the walk from the front room to the basement was very exciting," Laurie said.

"Well I am glad Jane brought you down here. We have a secret stash down here of our own liquor so, please, help yourself," Chris invited.

The two girls stopped dancing and put their bras on and then flopped down on a couch. One of the guys brought over two plastic cups filled with alcohol.

"Here you go, miladies," the guy said as Laurie and Jane took the drinks.

Both Laurie and Jane took a sip. Laurie coughed and immediately got warm as she swallowed. "Wow," she coughed. "What's in this?"

"A lot of stuff," Chris chuckled. "But it's good isn't it?" Chris smiled and looked in Laurie's eyes.

"It is. Very good," she said sweetly.

"Drink as much as you want. We have plenty."




"All right, you asked for it," Rodney said as he opened his bedroom door. "Here is my bedroom."

Cassandra looked around at all of Rodney's books and was amazed at all he had. She looked at all the knick-knack stuff that sat on his desk. She picked up a superhero figurine and held it up to Rodney.

"Action figures?"

"Hey, you got the name right," Rodney said. "I don't collect them but I have a few favorite heroes that I like."

"And I see that you like to read," she pointed at all of his books and went over to his wall of shelves.

"I do. But really, who doesn't?" Rodney chuckled.

"You should be an editor," Cassandra said. "You'd get to read a multitude of books months before anyone else. Plus, you'd help those authors perfect their books."

"That sounds really interesting but I don't think I could do it. This may come as a shock but I am not very observant," Rodney said.

"That's something you could teach yourself. You just need to pay attention," Cassandra said. They stood quietly for awhile and both awkwardly shifted between feet. "Can I ask a personal question?"

Rodney shrugged. "I guess."

"What happened to your mom?"

"She died. I don't like to talk about it," Rodney answered.

"Fair enough. We should probably get back to writing our topic," Cassandra said. She headed out the door but Rodney grabbed her shoulder. "What?"

Rodney then kissed her. It was just a quick kiss but it still made Cassandra pause. "Now we can go back to work."

"What about Cat?" Cassandra asked.

"Let's finish our paper."




Laurie was sitting on a counter with her shirt off and was giggling as Chris kissed her around her neck and chest. With almost every kiss, Laurie giggled like an idiot. She had obviously had a lot to drink and Chris was taking full advantage of the situation.

Suddenly, Laurie's cell phone rang and she drunkingly fished it out of her pocket and answered it. "Hello?"

"Laurie. It's Ralph. I was just calling and seeing how the party is going," Ralph said.

"It's going great," Laurie giggled.

"Hang up and let's get you out of those pants," Chris said and began unbuttoning her jeans.

"It's my friend, Ralph."

Chris grabbed the phone from Laurie, "Ralph? Chris. Laurie is a little busy right now. I'll make sure she calls you tomorrow," and Chris hung up and turned off the phone.

Ralph paused and looked at his phone. "Hey, Mom? Can I borrow the car for a minute?"

Ralph drove to Randall Point and pulled into the driveway of the house he was sure had the party. He walked up to the door and knocked. The same guy answered the door and Ralph pushed his way in.

"Hey! Where's your invitation?" he asked.

"I lost it," Ralph said as he looked around the front room. He saw Jane sitting on the couch and went over to her. "Excuse me but have you seen Laurie Earles?"

"She's downstairs with Chris. It's her turn," Jane answered.

Ralph ran downstairs and found Laurie, nearly naked and Chris in his underwear climbing on top of her. "Get off of her!" Ralph shouted.

Chris launched off of Laurie and looked at Ralph. "What are you doing?"

"I'm taking Laurie home," Ralph picked up Laurie's clothes and phone and proceeded to pick up Laurie, hoisting her over his shoulder.

Chris protested but Ralph didn't listen. As Ralph placed Laurie in his car she began complaining. "What are you doing? I had everything under control."

"I'm sure you did. I'm gonna take you home and get you into bed," Ralph got in the car. "You will thank me tomorrow."




Becky climbed out of the bushes with her clothes askew. She hobbled over to a police officer parked on the side of the road. "Officer, please help me!" she croaked. "I was attacked. He raped me."

"Do you know who did it?" the officer asked as he helped Becky into his car.

"I think it was Rodney Barton," she said.

Next:
Rodney is questioned; Laurie thanks Ralph and Cat and Rodney break up.

J.D. Salinger 1919-2010


J.D. Salinger, one of my favorites and author of the groundbreaking Catcher In the Rye has passed away at the age of 91. After becoming the voice of a generation after his first, and only, novel was published, Salinger became a recluse. The photo above is a file photo of him from 1951.

For more information, click here.

They're Going to Get Worse Again?

Born Loser 01-28-10
It looks like the bad economy and the recession have finally started taking its toll on the tea cozy industry. Luckily, Obama will consider Veeblefester Corp. too big to fail so Veeblefester will be able to give himself his annual April bonus this year.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

While the Winter Winds Blow

Born Loser 01-27-10
Brutus is a ticking time bomb
Waiting to blow his top
No one would ever know
Not until he blew up


Actually, I think Brutus has a stomach virus that is causing him to vomit and poop at the same time...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Harter Union: Part One, Chapter 4

“Look just send a guy over here so he can put up this shelf. Well, it’s Facilities job to do this crap. I would put it up myself but I can’t hammer a nail into solid brick so now it falls to you guys,” I sighed heavily into the phone. “Just get someone over here when you have the time,” and I hung up the phone. I had brought some stuff from home to liven up my office since I had become more of a permanent fixture around here. I brought my big picture of New York City and a couple of other trinkets to go along with my armadillo. They were a small PVC figurine of the 1940s Green Lantern and Buddy Christ from the Kevin Smith movie, Dogma. All of this was the last remnant of my former life.

I also cleaned and organized the office by sorting the cookbooks and recipe cards; I also threw out old files of people who hadn’t worked here since 1977. Darrell was impressed with my work and was also glad I got along with the rest of the staff because I was the fifth supervisor this place has had in two years. I had also just hired my first employee: Phil Bazine.

“Jeff?” Wendy poked her head into my office.

“Yo,” I answered.

“I work Saturday and I was wondering if I could have it off. Get someone else to work for me or something.”

“I don’t work that day. I can do it.”

“It’s not a regular meal, it’s a Special.”

“So? I need the experience.”

“With Kathryn!”

“Oh, come on, how bad could she possibly be? I passed her in the kitchen and the halls and she seems perfectly nice.”

“Try being in a confined space with her for a couple hours and see how your views change,” Wendy warned.

“I’m still gonna do it. Why do you need off if you don’t mind me asking?”

“My sister has a doctor’s appointment. She might be pregnant.”

“Well, congratulations. Or my condolences, whatever.”

“Thanks and remember that it was your decision to work on Saturday so whatever happens is all your fault!” and on that note, Wendy got up and left the office.

Although I hadn’t worked with Kathryn, I have worked around her and had heard the horror stories from Alyson and Maggie but I hadn’t experience them first hand but if any of the stories had any shred of truth, then Saturday was going to be one hell of a night.




I was only ten minutes late but when I arrived; the kitchen was bustling with activity. My office was filled with gaudy centerpieces and silver trays wrapped in protective cloths. As I watched everyone either work or try to avoid working, I heard Kathryn’s shrill voice pierce the air: “Where the hell is Jeff? He was supposed to be here twenty minutes ago!” I raised my eyebrow to that and looked at my left wrist, which had no watch on it, and then up at the clock on the wall. I shrugged and followed the voice to Kathryn Zurich. Kathryn was in her early 50s although she looked in her late 30s and had red hair and was just about the best cook I had ever had the fortune to taste. Unfortunately her temper and red hair had earned her the nickname Red-Haired Dragon but underneath that gruff exterior lay a kind and gentle soul.

“I’m here,” I began, “so everything is now right with the world…”

“Finally! Get an apron on, get the swordfish out of the cooler and start cooking it!” Kathryn ordered, not missing a beat with her pot of cream soup she was making.

“All right,” I turned around, took two steps then turned back toward Kathryn. “How do you cook swordfish?”

“The fish are in the cooler, lay them each on a baking sheet and marinate them in salt, lemon zest, and pepper for 30 minutes and grill them on either side for three minutes. While you’re marinating them, I have other work for you to do,” Kathryn explained.

“Oh, okay,” I turned back around, took a couple more steps then turned back toward Kathryn. “What’s lemon zest?”

“And you work in food service…it’s the outer part of the lemon skin. It’s only the yellow part of the peel,” Kathryn said.

“Really? Wow, you learn something everyday,” I shook my head and headed to the coolers, passing Alyson and Maggie who were peeling cucumbers and carrots. I opened the door to the middle cooler and began looking around for the fish. I didn’t see any boxes that referred to fish or anything fish-like. I walked back out into the kitchen and back to Kathryn. “Which cooler are the fish in?”

Kathryn sighed and rolled her eyes, “The middle one.”

“I looked in that one and I couldn’t find them.”

Kathryn sighed again, louder and threw down a rag she was holding in her left hand. “Are you really that stupid?” she screamed and pulled me back over to the middle cooler. “They are right here under this rack!” Kathryn said, pulling out two boxes of swordfish from under a rack and slid them over to me.

I picked them up and she pushed me out of the cooler and to the counter in front of the grill. “Well, I didn’t think to look under there.”

“Lay them on a baking sheet and marinate them in salt, lemon zest and pepper for 30 minutes; the marinade is all ready and is in the dessert area. While letting them marinate, get the grapes out of the vegetable cooler and get two big trays from the office and neatly begin placing the ready fruit on one tray and the sliced vegetables on another. Also grab a doily off the desk to place on the tray. When the trays are full, wrap them in saran wrap,” Kathryn order, in one breath it seemed. She walked away leaving me and Maggie and Alyson alone.

“Is she a narcissist?” I asked them.

“What?” Maggie asked confused.

“What’s that?” asked Alyson.

“Nothing,” I smiled and began opening the swordfish boxes.




Alyson and I finished loading the van and got in. Food service got the crappiest van Baker had. The floor was all stained and the radio didn’t work. Alyson sat in the passenger seat as Kathryn climbed in the driver’s. The back of the van was loaded with food and dishes so Maggie and I had to squeeze in the back. Kathryn started the van and drove off through the circle drive and onto Dearborn Street where she made a left and headed to Eighth Street.

“I’ve never been to the Collins House. What is it?” I asked.

“It’s the really nice house that the president of the university lives in but he lives in the basement and the top floor is only used to special functions,” Maggie explained.

We made a couple more turns and parked beside a gate in an alley. We all got out, Kathryn opened the gate and we began carrying food up the walk to the back door. Kathryn unlocked the door and opened it to reveal the kitchen. An extremely small kitchen.

“Unload all the food so the Parmenters can begin setting it out when they get here. Jeff, you’re our dish washer so fill the machine and sink so you can be ready for dishes when the Parmenters bring them to you,” Kathryn ordered.

Shortly after we got the food unloaded and the dish water filled, the Parmenters arrived and began helping Kathryn set the tables in the dining room. Parmenters were apparently a group of students who had the grace and social skills to work at these important functions. They wore dark blue uniforms with the university logo on them which, although really nice, reminded me of private school uniforms. I was just standing around watching the six Parmenters come in when Kathryn caught me in her eye. “Okay, people, let’s get to work. You three Parmenters finish setting the tables; you three come into the kitchen and help me, Alyson and Maggie start unwrapping the food. Jeff, you can start washing the silver trays as we finish with them,” Kathryn clapped her hand loudly which startled me and Maggie. “Chop-chop, people!”

When dinner actually started I found out just how difficult working Collins House could be. I was the only one washing dishes and you first had to wash everything by hand in the sink, and then put it on a rack to place it in the dishwasher. The dishwasher only held one rack at a time and after every third wash, you had to drain the machine and refill it. I had the occasional help from Maggie but I was on my own for most of the time.




After a couple of hours, the dinner was finished and the president’s wife was speaking and thanking everyone who made the evening possible. Alyson and I stood out of the way and watched Kathryn listen to the president’s wife. She wrapped it up and everyone applauded and started to disperse. Kathryn’s smile faded into rage.

“Oh-oh,” Maggie whispered under her breath as she put the dustpan and broom away.

“What?” I asked.

“Oh, crap,” Alyson stated.

“What?”

“Everyone get in the van!” Kathryn screamed and stormed out the door. We all got in the van; Kathryn slammed the door and started it. Everyone could barely get situated before she peeled off back to the Union. She sharply took a couple of corners which felt like the van was going to tip over. We all unloaded in silence except for Kathryn slamming stuff around and muttering. Kathryn told me to go park the van when everything was put away or in the Dish Room and she left, still angry.

“What was wrong with her?” I asked Alyson as we walked from the van back to the kitchen.

“That huge list of people the president’s wife thanked didn’t have one mention of Kathryn’s name. That’s why she was mad. You spend hours in a hot kitchen putting a lot of time and effort into something that makes people happy and you don’t get the credit you deserve tends to make people mad,” Alyson explained.

“That’s true,” I replied.

We got back into the kitchen and Maggie met us at the door. “Can I leave? I have a date tonight.”

“Sure, you both can get out of here,” I said, moving past Maggie, who went outside, and going into my office.

“What are you going to do, Jeff?” Alyson asked me.

“Sit in my office for another hour or so and build up my strength to walk home,” I said, chuckling at myself.

“Well, if you don’t mind, I can take you home if you want,” Alyson offered.

“That’s nice of you. If you don’t mind…”

“No, no. I don’t mind at all.”





The next morning Wendy was late for work but came in with a huge smile on her face. She came dancing in and sat down next to me.

“You’re half an hour late but you’re in a good mood. What’s going on?” I asked her.

“My sister is pregnant,” her smile got wider.

“Well congratulations to your sister,” I said.

“That’s not the good news. She’s moving out so she’s not going to be living with me anymore!” Wendy got up and began dancing around, flailing her legs and doing Egyptian-move dancing and bounded off into the kitchen. Everyone looked at the doorway she went into.

“Is it me or did Wendy’s dance make anybody else physically ill?” I asked.

Next:
Part Two begins. Jeff gets a night off and the other workers are left to their own devices.

Taste Brutus' Sad

Born Loser 01-25-10
You know what I've noticed a lot in the strips lately? Brutus crying. It seems as if Brutus has realized lately how horrible his born loser lifestyle really is and is slowly starting to succumb to the depression it brings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mother Gargle Cameo

Born Loser 01-24-10
Instead getting angry at Brutus and basically insulting him then eyeing the reader with that "I'm going to kill him" face, I would quickly call 9-1-1 as it appears that her husband has had a stroke in the last panel.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Editorial Comics Review (1/22/10)

by Marshall Ramsey 1/21/10

I think Democrats would be more popular right now if instead of trying to work out a way for everyone to be happy, they just got stuff done. Say what you will about them but when Republicans are in power, they get crap done--popular and unpopular, they get it done and they don't look back. Democrats need to do that or they will lose in 2012.

by Matt Bors 1/18/10

This made me chuckle because that sounds exactly like something the military would do. I had a friend who was in the military years upon years ago (before he had come out of the closet) and he was dishonorably discharged because he happened to be near a gay pride parade. He wasn't watching it, he wasn't participating in it, he was near it. I think he was in the military before DADT but it really shows that nothing has really changed.

by Jeff Stahler 1/16/10

I will admit that I haven't donated any money to go to Haiti and I honestly don't plan to. Our country as a whole is sending money and I pay my taxes so I feel that that is my donation. It may sound mean and crass but it's true. I get so tired of America being the hero of any and every country that needs help. The United State is sending $100 million in aid to Haiti while the United Kingdom is only sending $32 million--not even half of what we send. Why do we do this when others countries don't even come close to matching us. We have problems over here that could use that $100 million.

by Rob Rogers 1/17/10

Jay Leno is a dick. He should've just sat back and waited the two years to see how Conan did and did monthly comedy specials but apparently there was something in his contract about being able to be a huge dick so he went ahead and did that.

Obama's approval rating, right now, is only at 56% so more than half of the people in this country still approve of what he's doing. Granted, it's slipping but no president would ever step down just because they are unpopular (George W. Bush got as low at 25% and he showed no signs of quitting). Also, I don't think Leno is as popular as this cartoon hints, nor is he qualified.

by Signe Wilkenson 1/22/10

The Supreme Court, in their infinite waning wisdom, voted 5-4 that corporations can donate unlimited amounts of money to the election candidate of their choice meaning that if AIG wants candidate Kieron Legosmith to be president, then AIG can give Legosmith billions of dollar to make the dream he's had since four months ago come true. The Supreme Court actually said that corporations deserve the same free speech given to citizens. And of course, Republicans celebrated, saying it was a victory for voter's rights while Democrats jeered that it was just a win for Big Money.

I'm not surprised anymore by the big stuff Republicans do like lie ("There's was no attack on American soil while George W. Bush was in charge") but it's the little things like this that make me wonder why there are still so many Republicans out there. It's obvious they are hurting our country but no one wants to stop them. Most of the Republicans I know are very religious but I know that there are Republicans who are like me and are in their mid to late 20s. Why are they Republican? I really want to know.

by Chris Britt 1/19/10
Yeah, Haiti made a deal with the devil which is why the earthquake happened. I just hope that Satan keeps all of his promises and lets the Haitians go blind by Christmas.

Rush Limbaugh is a huge jerk so nothing he says really surprises me but Pat Robertson, a man of God and religion, continues to say stupid and baffling stuff. Does he think about what he's saying before he says it? He's stopped being a man of God years ago and is now emerging as a racist preacher.

#209: Unemployed and Crazy

I am slowly going crazy.

I have been unemployed for several months and it is really starting to wear on me. It's making me angry and irritable over just simple stuff. And sadly, knowing this is just making me more angry and irritable.

I've applied for every job that I know I would be qualified for within a decent distance. Sadly, the way the economy is going, everyone else is applying for them also so the competition is fierce. Even crap jobs at Walmart and McDonald's haven't panned out. The thing is, is that I am not blaming Obama or Bush for not fixing our economy or for breaking it. I am blaming my city commissioners for being so unkind to businesses. Our commissioners place idiotic restrictions on businesses in order to locate here. If my sources are correct, we were originally in the running for a Walmart Distribution Center, American Eagle Distribution Center and a Target Distribution Center, none of these we actually got. Walmart and American Eagle went to Ottawa and Target went to Topeka. We have a KMart Distribution Center. Yay, KMart! We were also apparently going to have a Cracker Barrel but they wanted to put up a sign that could be seen from I-70 and the city said no so Cracker Barrel said "kiss our ass then" and pulled out.

However, our commissioners did approve the construction of a huge hotel in an historic district of the city. While I am not against the building of this hotel, I am wondering just why the city thinks we need it. We're a town of 80,000 wedged between Topeka and Kansas City Sprawl. We have 4 really nice hotels right now (including the infamous Eldridge) and several small and dinky ones. The only difference the new hotel has is that it is right next door to the University of Kansas. Specifically Memorial Stadium. I do believe the hotel was pushed through by KU and developers so visitors to KU could be close to campus. And we all know that's the important thing.

There are a couple jobs I know I will get but they don't start until late February or March and I kind of need money now. Stuff still costs money for some reason. I wish the barter system would make a comeback. I do think next week I will buckle down and maybe walk along downtown looking for Help Wanted signs and maybe reapply with a few places because I am sick of not working. I don't know how people who choose to be without jobs do it. I hate feeling like I'm not contributing.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

Don't Open the Door

Born Loser 01-22-10
And you just know that Brutus is in there masturbating.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

2+2=Title

Born Loser 01-20-10
There is a fine line between just enough homework and too much homework. If a teacher gives you too much homework, there is the possibility that the teacher just doesn't want to teach so throws homework at the problem but if you don't give out enough homework to show the students know what the hell you're talking about then they might not be learning anything. But all the homework in the world won't help us learn what the hell grade Wilberforce is in.

No. 8: The First Murder

Ladd and Charles Dow, a father and son, came to Douglas County, Kansas in 1855 from Ohio. They settled in an area known as Hickory Point, now called Stony Point, in Palmyra Township. Charles Dow boarded with a man named Jacob Branson, whose land was adjacent to Ladd's. Charles would unfortunately become the first murder victim in Kansas and his murder would trigger the Wakarusa War, the sacking of Lawrence, the Pottawatomie massacre and the Battle of Black Jack.

Franklin Coleman, a nearby settler who apparently only became pro-slavery after coming to Kansas, was caught by Charles cutting wood on his land claim with another man. Dow asked Coleman to leave but Coleman refused. Dow then went to Branson's house and asked Branson to accompany him back to where Coleman was still chopping wood. Branson grabbed his gun but when they got to the spot, Coleman was gone but the other man remained. They spoke for awhile and Branson returned home while Dow headed to the blacksmith shop. While at the blacksmith shop, Dow was threatened by a companion of Coleman's but Dow was able to dissuade him from doing anything rash. Dow passed by Coleman's house and Coleman came out and shot at him but missed. As Dow turned around at the sound of the gun shot, Coleman fired again shooting Dow in the head, killing him instantly.

Dow was buried on his land in an unmarked grave and search commenced for his murderer. Coleman ran off to Shawnee Mission where he surrendered to Territorial Governor Shannon and was placed into custody and brought to Lecompton, the territorial capital. Coleman, while in Lawrence, then accused Branson of being a conspirator and Sheriff Samuel Jones rounded up a posse and arrested him. A group of men, who happened to be investigating the circumstances of the Dow murder learned of this and rode off to find Sheriff Jones and Branson. After a brief stand-off, Branson was freed but Sheriff Jones vowed revenge.

Francis Coleman was never charged with Dow's murder and actually participated in the Battle of Black Jack in 1856 and was later linked to another free-state murder. The area where Dow was buried would continue to be used as a cemetery, possibly containing 75 burials, until 1873 when Stony Point Cemetery was established. Ladd Dow was buried in Stony Point Cemetery until he and Charles was reinterred in Baldwin City's Oakwood Cemetery.

Text taken from Wikipedia, "A Self-Guided Tour of Baldwin City's Historic Sites" by Loren K. Litteer (1997) and kansasmemory.org.

Photos: Dow Cemetery by author; "Rescue of Branson" by J.N. Halloway (1855) from kansasmemory.org; Charles Dow gravestone from Find-a-Grave. *Note: The tombstone for Dow is incorrect, Dow was killed on November 21, 1855. Also, the Find-a-Grave page is incorrect in saying that Dow was killed in the Battle of Black Jack. Dow died months before the battle began on June 2, 1856.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Electrical Shock Warning

Born Loser 01-19-10
Why is that hair dryer's cord so long? I see no evidence of an extension cord.

When I was growing up my mom had this hair dryer that had a huge warning label attached to the power cord stating to keep the hair dryer away from anything wet or you will be electrocuted and killed. Okay, maybe not but the scary picture on the label made sure that I dried my hair well away from the sink or tub. The point of this is that I wouldn't take that hair dryer outside with the wet snow.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Harter Union: Part One, Chapter 3

I had finally reached the top of the ladder and faced the diving board that jutted out over the blackness. I slowly stepped toward the edge of the board and looked toward the inky darkness. I did a couple of stationary jumps and dived over the edge and fell. My arms outstretched and the darkness and silence surrounding me. For what seemed like hours I just fell with the ladder and diving board in the background. Finally, I was reaching the bottom but instead of hitting…
I awoke sitting up and not remembering when I sat up but that was the most annoying dream I ever had, and I had it often. I never understood it. “I hope this is sweat…” I said as I patted the moist parts of the bed. I leaned over and looked out the window. This sun was just starting to rise so I figured the time to be around 6:30. I got up and removed my clothes. I went over to the curtained off area to take a shower with the hose that protruded from the wall. I reflected back on my first night at Baker, recalling the odd foreplay between Jason and Chrissy that involved 120 degree water and nearly the entire football team hitting on Alyson and Maggie, who actually accepted a date with one of them: Darnell Tompkins.

After my crappy shower, I got dressed in pretty much what I wore yesterday and the day before. I didn’t bring very many regular T-shirts or jeans. I brought all my suits and just a small box of your regular clothes. When I left Topeka, I had basically thrown my life away. When I first got hired by Manhattan-Rooks Publishing to be one of their new editors, nothing could’ve brought me down. I had proposed to my girlfriend, Melissa and she said ‘yes’ but within a week or so she came to me, gave me back my grandmother’s ring and moved out. I never saw her again. I had a huge garage sale to get rid of my stuff and what was left, I donated to charity. My grandmother’s ring, however, is lying at the bottom of the Kansas River after I got mad and threw it off a bridge but that wasn’t Melissa’s fault and I never blamed her for that but she never gave me a good reason why she left me. All she said was that she didn’t love me anymore.




Darnell threw the covers off of him and sat on the side of the bed. He looked around the room, stood up and started grabbing his clothes off of the floor and began putting it back on.

“You leaving?” asked Maggie, waking up, still laying in bed.

“I should probably get back to the dorm but I did have a fun night though…” Darnell pulled his shirt on as Maggie sat up. “I’ll see you in the lunch line.” Darnell leaned in and kissed Maggie who wrapped her arms around him and tried to pull him back into bed.

“One more time…” Maggie whispered in his ear.

“I need to get back, girl. Go back to sleep,” Darnell kissed her forehead and left. Maggie sighed and got out of bed. She grabbed a gray tank top and a pair of sweats off the floor and put them on. She walked out to the front room and turned on the TV. She sat on the couch, pulled her legs close to her chest and hugged them.




Jason pulled himself out of Chrissy and she pulled off his protection. “We’re buying condoms tonight!” Chrissy complained, holding up a wadded up piece of plastic.

“Hey, it’s not everyday you get to make love wearing a sandwich bag held on by a rubber band,” Jason argued.

“Good point but either way, we’re buying condoms tonight. No ifs and or buts.” Chrissy got out of bed and stretched. Jason reached over and slapped her butt. Jason lived in his parent’s basement and it had its own bathroom so it kind of seemed like his own apartment. “I’m gonna take a shower, honey,” Chrissy bent down and she and Jason kissed.

“All right, I’ll be in in a little bit.”




Wendy had fallen asleep with the TV blaring and awoke on the couch surrounded by spilled popcorn and a bowl of now-melted ice cream. Her robe had become untied and revealed a plain white cotton T-shirt and boxer shorts underneath. She slowly rolled off the couch, knocking the rest of the popcorn onto the floor and turned off the TV. Wendy got up and placed the bowl of popcorn and ice cream in the kitchen sink and headed down the hall to the bathroom. She took off her robe and turned on the shower, got undressed and got in under the stream of water. She slowly washed her hair and took her time.

“Okay, Wendy, where is it?” screamed her sister, bursting into the bathroom.

“Where is what?” asked Wendy, pulling aside the shower curtain and looking at her sister.

“My dildo. It was in the top drawer of my dresser and I just got up to use it and it was gone.”

“Okay, well, first of all, ew. Secondly, you have a boyfriend, why do you need a dildo? And thirdly, eww!” Wendy went back behind the curtain to finish her shower. “Don’t you have any other toys you can use?” she asked, shouting over the water.

“Just my pink vibrator and I’m not in the mood to use that,” Wendy’s sister complained.

“Look, I didn’t take it nor would I want to. It’s disgusting and what you do behind closed door is fine with me as long as you don’t drag me into it,” Wendy explained, giving herself one last go-around with the shower water.

Wendy’s sister left the bathroom and went back into her bedroom and slammed the door. Wendy turned off the water, grabbed a towel and wraps it around her body.




I arrived at the Union about 8:30, two hours earlier than I was scheduled. The cafeteria was serving breakfast and barely anyone was there, only about five students. Darrell was standing at the Line and talking with a couple of elderly women.

“Jeff, what are you doing here this early?” asked Darrell.

“I was up…and bored so I decided to come in a little early. Hi, there,” I explained then politely smiled and waved to the two ladies.

“Jeff, this is Hilda and Amanda; this is Jeff our new supervisor,” Darrell introduced. “Hilda and Amanda just work the breakfast and lunch shift along with Scott and Karlene, who are in the Dish Room.”

I smiled and nodded with respect to Hilda and Amanda who barely made any expression toward me and I went behind the Line and got a plate of eggs and bacon. “I’ll be in my office, Darrell,” I said, chewing on a piece of bacon. I laid the plate down on my desk and saw the delivery order sitting there. “I have to do stock orders today? Oh, man…” I whined.




The lunch shift was moving extremely smooth with Nathan, Jason, Chrissy, and Scott in the Dish Room; Hilda and Alyson on Line 1 and Amanda and Maggie on Line 2; and Aaron on Beverage. I was alone in the stock room looking at things we needed to order and what we had plenty of. It took a long time because I didn’t know where anything was and it was only my second day and this was my first major supervisor duty.

At about 1:00, I went back to my office and sat down and looked over the form. It looked all right to me but I was still going to have Darrell go over it before he left today. Soon, two girls came into my office and put their purses in the bottom drawer of the unused file cabinet. “Hello, I’m Jeff the new supervisor.”

“Hi, I’m Jenna Delphos and this is Karla Kincaid. We work downstairs in the Grill on weekends and evenings,” Jenna introduced. Jenna was cute with short brown hair and glasses. Karla was very skinny with long blond hair, glasses, and huge breasts. I was more drawn to Jenna because of her eyes and lips. I was never one to look at a girl strictly for their body; I noticed eyes and lips a lot. I don’t know why, maybe it was my upbringing.

“We’ll see you around, Jeff,” Jenna smiled and waved her pinky at me.

“See you girls,” I said. “This job is getting better everyday,” I smiled and chuckled. I glanced at the clock above me on the wall and got up, heading toward the Dish Room. I stood in the doorway and watched everybody work. “Hey, you guys can take a quick lunch if you want. Just make sure at least one person stays back here.”

“But we already had lunch…” Jason said, curiously.

“So? You guys work hard and you deserve a break. Now get out there before I change my mind,” I left and headed toward the Line. Everybody from the Dish Room followed except for Scott.

Hilda and Amanda began freaking out that nearly everyone was not in the Dish Room working. “What going on?” asked Hilda.

“The Dish Room crew is having lunch,” I answered.

“Did you clear this with Darrell? They’ve already had lunch,” Hilda argued.

“Yeah, three hours ago. They’ve been working hard and they deserve a break. Hardly anyone is even out there,” I explained referring to the thirteen people that were still in the cafeteria eating.

“Well, you should really check with Darrell before initiating such a radical change in procedure,” Amanda came over and scolded me.

“Radical? I said they could have lunch! I am their supervisor and I am not going to run to Darrell every time I make a decision, no matter how big or small.”

“Well, we’ll see about that!” Amanda huffed and she and Hilda walked off toward Darrell’s office.

“Ah, damn it! My second day here and I’m gonna be yelled at,” I said.

“We’re sorry, Jeff, we’ll go back to the Dish Room if you…” Chrissy began but I interrupted her.

“No, that’s okay. Thanks anyway but enjoy your lunch. I’m gonna go talk to Darrell,” I squeezed through the small crowd of people behind the Line and went to Darrell’s office. I poked my head into the office and saw Hilda and Amanda talking to him. “Darrell?” I asked softly.

“Ah, Jeff, come on in. Amanda and Hilda were just talking to me about your decision.”

I stepped fully into the office and went up to Darrell’s desk. “All right but let me tell you why I did it. We open for lunch at 11:30 and close at 1:00. Everyone is scheduled to come in at 11:00 which leaves thirty minutes to eat, if the food is ready; and besides, law require a fifteen-minute break for every two hours worked and one lunch for every eight hours. Have to comply with OSHA, don’t you know,” I kidded.

“You’re right. I’ve never really thought about it before. Wow, for somebody who’s hasn’t even been here a full day, you are on a roll.” Darrell’s praise noticeably made Hilda and Amanda upset.

“What? Well, thank you, sir…” I said, uneasily. “I finished the stock order if you want to see it and make sure I did everything right,” I said.

“All right, bring it in when you think of it. Thank you, Jeff.”

I left Darrell’s office with a smile on my face, went back into the cafeteria and sat down with the staff. “…I am just getting sick of her losing her stuff and blaming me just because she can’t face the fact that she’s a numbskull,” Wendy complained.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Oh, my sister lost her dildo and she thinks I stole it,” Wendy explained hastily.

“Mm. Sorry, I asked.”

“How’d it go in Darrell’s office?” asked Aaron.

“Pretty good. He actually liked the idea of having lunch now so it looks like it’s here to stay.”

Everyone applauded. “You are the best supervisor we’ve had in a long time…” said Maggie, who reached over and slowly rubbed my leg.

“Thank you,” I said, making eye contact with her and removing her hand from my leg. I smiled and mouthed ‘don’t’ at her and discreetly shook my head.




It was about 4:30 and everybody was sitting in the cafeteria but I was sitting in my office listening to a crappy radio that I found in the back of the desk drawer under some extension cords. Darrell poked his head in. “Jeff, I’m heading out. Could you do me a favor and when the Grill equipment is washed, put it downstairs? The Dish Room should put all of it on a red cart and leave it in front of the elevator.”

“Yeah, I can do that,” I said but wondering why Darrell was having me do it but also not wanting to argue. “See you tomorrow, Darrell.”

“See you, Jeff,” Darrell left out the back door and I went back to staring into space and listening to the radio.

“Jeff? Are you all right?” asked Maggie, slowly entering my office and sitting down in the extra chair.

“I’m fine. You?”

“Me, too. I’m fine…” Maggie looked either nervous or worried, I couldn’t tell which.

“How was your date with--what’s his name?--Darnell?” I wanted to keep our conversation light and unobtrusive, which I apparently failed at.

“Do you think I’m attractive?” she asked me.

My eyes involuntarily got wider as I stared directly at Maggie. I have always, luckily, avoided that question and any horrible conversation that went with it. Here, I was trapped! I liked Maggie and thought she was very attractive but due to my current predicament, namely my job, apartment, demeanor, among other things, I did not want to get into something I couldn’t get out of. Besides, for a question like that, there really is no right answer. I cleared my throat and spoke: “Why? Is something wrong?”

“Well, after my date with Darnell, we went back to my place where we commenced making-out and then had sex…” she began. I was never comfortable with hearing about other people’s sex life because I never asked about it and I frankly didn’t care. “So after he finished, he rolled off and fell asleep which isn’t unusual but the next morning me and the guy usually go another round. Darnell didn’t do that, he just got his clothes and left with barely a good-bye,” Maggie seemed to be holding back tears.

I was confused. This really had nothing to do with her being attractive, just used, so I didn’t know what to say. “And?”

“It was completely dark when we made love but the sun was shining in the next morning so it kind of got me thinking…”

“To put paper bags next to the bed from now on? Look, just because Darnell didn’t have sex with you this morning it suddenly means that you are a hideous, ugly, mutated freak?”

“I wouldn’t go that far…”

I stood up, stretched and popped my back as I spoke and Maggie looked at me. “Look, Darnell got what he wanted last night and you shouldn’t look into it as much as you are. You are one of the most attractive and charming girls I have ever met and just because Darnell didn’t want to have sex with you during the day doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds of other guys who wouldn’t,” I said, in a low whisper.

“Even you?” Maggie smiled.

“Especially me,” I left the office and headed toward the Dish Room, patting Wendy on the back as I walked past her in the kitchen.

“Jeff, could you put this pan on the rack next to the Dish Room?” Wendy asked as she passed a six-inch pan in my direction.

“Sure,” I said grabbing the pan and continuing to walk toward the Dish Room. I placed the pan with the others on the rack. The pan rack was right next to the Dish Room on the right side. I glanced to the right of the rack and saw a small room hidden by carts and the pan rack. “What the hell’s this?” I called over to Wendy.

Wendy came over and stood next to me. “That’s the mop room,” she answered.

I stepped into the confined space and looked around. There was a sink attached to the wall with mold and mildew on it and a mop bucket sitting in it. There was a ladder that led up to the roof with mops hanging on the rungs. There were huge buckets of soap and bleach on the floor with hoses running from the buckets to a small metal device on the wall with a green button and a red button. “What’s this?” I pointed to the device.

“That’s how we fill the mop buckets for the Dish Room and kitchen. It pumps the soap out and fills the bucket,” Wendy explained as I took a closer look at the box which had ‘start’ above the green button and ‘stop’ above the red. “To start it, press ‘start.’ The rest of the controls you can figure out for yourself,” Wendy said, smiling.

We walked back together to my office and sat down. I groaned and rubbed the back of my neck. “Oh, I’ll be glad when today is over and I can just lie down and go to sleep,” I moaned.

“I’m just killing time here because I don’t want to go home. My sister will start yelling at me about her missing dildo.”

I shuddered and gritted my teeth. “Can we please use a different phrase? I hate the word ‘dildo,’” I said.

“Sorry. Do you have any brothers and sisters?” Wendy asked me.

“Nope, I’m an only child.”

“Parents live around here?”

“My mom lives in Topeka.”

“Then what are you doing here?”

“I was on my way to New York and my car broke down so once I save up enough money to fix my car and a little extra for emergencies, I am out of here.”

“I’m sorry. Trapped in Baldwin. It could be worse I guess,” Wendy sighed and both of us remained silent for a couple of seconds. “Girlfriend?”

“No. I was engaged up until a month ago but that obviously didn’t work out.”

“You were engaged? What happened?”

“She came to me one day, gave me back my ring and said that she didn’t love me anymore,” I explained.

“I’m sorry…But don’t worry, you’ll find somebody, I promise.”

“Sure, whatever, you can’t promise that,” I stayed seated but Wendy got up to leave. “Oh, and Wendy? What I told you stays in the office, capische?”

“Everything except ‘capische,’ Wendy smiled at me again.

“Just get out of here…” I shooed at Wendy.




The elevator arrived on the bottom floor and I unlatched and opened it. I pushed the red cart out and slowly headed toward the seating area of the Grill. The Grill was in the basement of the Union and served greasy hamburgers and fiery hot fries to the college students in a nearly dark and dusty hole-in-the-wall. The Grill was once Darrell’s pride and joy until the university all but forgot about it. I pushed the cart into the kitchen area behind the counter and headed back to the elevator to go upstairs. I stopped in one of the small computer rooms where there was also a TV set up and playing music videos. The video that was currently playing was kind of strange: It had a guy swinging from a chandelier in the middle of the rain forest and native tribes running around. I loved everything about the song and video and waited for the title and name of the band.

The song was “Don’t Drink the Water” by Dave Matthews Band and as I headed upstairs, I was humming the tune to my new favorite song.

Next:
Jeff works his first night with Kathryn.

Is There An App for That?

We're entering our second year today and from what I hear, a lot of you have today off. That's really nice of your employer giving you the day off just to celebrate the second anniversary of some stupid blog.

What? The day off is for Martin Luther King, Jr.? Are you sure?

Born Loser 01-18-10
Maybe someday in the future, cell phones will actually be able to be universal remotes and that would be really awesome to dwindle my remote control collection from five to one.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Brutus Has a Friend! And He Has a Name!

Ah, welcome back on this glorious Sunday afternoon. I hope you all had a good week and I hope you all have a good week. In today's strip we have a surprise. Brutus' friend that we have seen several times finally gets a name! ARNIE!!


I like hospital food. It wouldn't be my first choice, mind you but it's okay when I'm stranded in a hospital.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

POtW: Four Schoolhouses

I am not a photographer nor do I ever make the claim that I am. I just like to take pictures of interesting things involving history or things that may not be around much longer. And it's because I take limited pictures of things and places is why I have to decided to reduce POtW's frequency. Instead of every week, it will now be whenever I have a picture worth sharing. I'm hoping as everything thaws out that I am able to get out and get more pictures and maybe return POtW to a weekly thing but for now it will become a occasional feature. For this week, I have selected four pictures of one-room schoolhouses that dot the Kansas landscape fairly routinely. Click on the image to enlarge. Going clockwise from the top left: Oak Grove School is located along the Scenic River Road in northern Douglas and central Shawnee County at N.E. 2nd Street and Shadden Road.The schoolhouse, built in 1871, is the oldest schoolhouse still standing in Shawnee County and is occasionally called the Kriepe School after a family that was prominent in the area. The school is currently not used. Dean School is located in northwest Franklin at Shawnee Terrace and Arkansas Road and was named for an early family in the area. This Dean School was built in 1913 replacing an older structure. Next to the school is the Dean Cemetery and the school is currently used as a residence but has been abandoned for several years. Emery Green School is also located in Franklin County near the intersection of K-68 and Ohio Terrace. It was closed in 1958 and remains abandoned. The last school is the Silkville School in Franklin County located at Douglas Road and Arkansas Road near Old Highway 50. Silkville was an experimental French commune founded by Ernest de Boissiere that produced silk. The colony was actually successful until de Boissiere left Silkville in the 1880s. The school remains abandoned but well-kept.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Editorial Comics Review (1/15/10)

More editorial cartoons in no particular order.

by Matt Bors 1/11/10

Yep. If whites were profiled the same way we profile Muslims and Arabs then you can be damn sure there would be lawsuits out the wazoo. My thought is that if we're going to search people who look suspicious then we should just go ahead and search everyone. No profiling, no keeping an eye out for crazy-looking Muslims. Send everyone through the metal detectors, people who beep get pulled to the side and searched. If they continue to beep and they still don't have an excuse then it's time for a strip search.

by Marshall Ramsey 1/9/10

We get it, it's cold so there is no way in hell that climate change exists. We cut down on pollution and our carbon emissions, who could that hurt? If the people making fun of Al Gore and other like-minded people would use that energy to make everything cleaner and greener then we'd be halfway done with replacing our biggest polluters.

by Jerry Holbert 1/14/10

I did some research on our old Republican candidate Scott Brown and, despite being Republican, he seems like a decent guy who hasn't been swayed by the Republican factor yet and here's hoping he doesn't succumb. I typically vote for the person who seems more legitimate to me so if I lived in Massachusetts, it'd be a hard decision for me. What you have to remember is that Kennedy was able to hold onto that seat since 1960 despite Chappaquiddick, boozing and other stuff the Kennedy's are known for which means that Brown better be a pretty liberal Republican or he's going to lose his seat in the next election. While researching, I learned that Brown sees things the same way I do, albeit differently. The only thing we differ on is gay marriage but he has said that that is something the states should decide on their, which I do agree with.

I hope Brown, who posed semi-nude in "Cosmopolitan" magazine in 1982, keeps his ideals and doesn't suddenly change if he's elected. He has a chance to keep Ted Kennedy's legacy of wanting to help the people of Massachusetts alive and I hope he doesn't screw it up.

by Henry Payne 1/10/10

Another Al Gore cartoon. Or as I see it, a very overweight Prince Charles.

by Bruce Beattie 1/15/10

Fox News has said that except for very few hours during it's day, Fox News is actually not news. It's opinion and entertainment--which are not news. Adding Palin to their "news"casts (which took them long enough), will not suddenly make Fox News start doing real news. As for the credibility, Fox News' only semblance of credibility comes from like-minded individuals who want to cry with Glenn Beck or get angry with Bill O'Reilly.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Delaware Affections #1.7

"So what goes on at these parties?" Rodney asked as he and Ralph walked to school.

"I've never been but from what I hear a lot of drinking and debauchery," Ralph said. "I have a feeling I would be okay with it if I would be invited."

"Probably. Laurie is a smart girl and I don't think she'll do anything that she doesn't want to do. You should just ask her out--that's probably why she's going to the party," Rodney explained.

"You think she's not going to go?" Ralph asked.

"That's what I think. Don't hold me to that," Rodney chuckled. "I have bigger problems right now with Cat. I apparently have no direction in life."

"Yeah, I heard her complaining about that," Ralph said. "At some point she thinks everyone has no direction in life."

"It's not that I have no direction, I just don't know what to do, you know?"

"I've tried explaining it to her but she doesn't understand how anyone can't know what they want to do with their life."

"Well, she's at least got me thinking so I guess that's a step in the right direction," Rodney shrugged.




Back at the Barton house, Adam and Holly were in her room, on her bed, making out. "I am so glad you convinced me to be late for school," Holly purred as she ran her hands through Adam's hair.

"I figured it wouldn't take much convincing," he smiled.

"Well, I have a surprise for you," Holly smiled and bit her lip as she pushed Adam off of her. She got out of bed and left the room.

Adam quickly grabbed his backpack and pulled out a video camera. He placed it on a bookshelf and tried to disguise it with books and a stuffed animal. He then made sure the camera was pointed at the bed and turned it on.

Holly returned to the room dressed in only a bra and panties. She walked over to Adam and hugged him. They began making out and Holly began taking off his clothes.




"The Video"
"You will be partnered up and you and your partner will decide on a topic and write about it. A six-page sourced report about just about anything you want," said the teacher. "The topic you pick yourself but I will pick your partner."

Some of the class groaned.

The teacher began pairing off names. Cassandra turned around and began talking to Jodie. "Great. What if my partner wants to do some stupid topic? Like comic books?" she asked.

"I'm sure it will be fine," Jodie sighed.

"Rodney Barton," the teacher said, "and Cassandra Jurgens."

Cassandra smiled big. "Yay," she squealed quietly.

After class, Cassandra caught up with Rodney. "So we're partners," she said. "Do you have a topic thought up?"

"There are a few things I'd like to write about. How about you come over after school and we can narrow it down," Rodney said.

"What about Cat?" she asked, mainly just wondering what going on between them.

"She's slightly mad at me so she won't be coming by. Also, my Dad is working late and Holly will be with Adam so we'll have the house to ourselves," Rodney revealed.

"Great. I'll be over about four then," Cassandra smiled.

"Okay, see you then," Rodney said and turned down another hallway.

Cassandra joined back up with Jodie. "Rodney and I will be all alone this evening to work on our topic."

"I got stuck with Taylor Lutbauer. She wants to do a topic on Miley Cyrus. I am not looking forward to this," Jodie said.

Elsewhere, Adam and his friends had taken a TV from the audio/video room and wheeled it into the women's studies classroom, which was only used once a week. The five of them gathered around and Adam hooked the camera up to the TV. He pressed play. He and his friends watched as Holly walked in in her underwear and as she slowly undressed Adam. The guys began congratulating him when Adam and Holly began making love and cheered when they heard Holly gasp and moan and saw Adam orgasm.

"That's number nine, isn't it?" asked Chris.

"Yep," Adam answered. "There's just something about freshmen."

"I'm just shocked that you've been able to videotape all of your freshmen encounters," another friend said.

"They're all pretty trusting," Adam said. "But I believe there's the little matter of some money...?"

"Yeah," Chris began. "It's in my locker. Let's go get it."

The five of them unhooked the camera and went down to the lockers. Chris opened his locker and gave Adam the fifty dollars.

"Ah, well-earned money," Adam breathed and he tucked it into his pocket. "I just can't believe how easily she gave it up. And Holly initiated it! I just suggested she go to school late," Adam began laughing. "Mark my words, Holly Barton is two guys away from being a slut."

"What?" said a girl's voice behind them.

They all looked and saw Holly. "Holly? What are you doing here?"

"I was just going to my locker to get a notebook. What are you doing?"

"Chris was just giving me some money he owed me," Adam said.

"Mm-hmm. And I'm two guys away from being a slut?"

Adam was quiet.

"What are you doing with that videocamera?" she pointed.

"Uh, we're doing a video yearbook," Adam lied.

"Oh, that's cool," Holly took the camera and turned it on and began watching it, seeing her and Adam making love. "You videotaped us?"

Adam stayed silent.

Holly ejected the tape and took it but gave the camera back. "I can't believe you did this. I trusted you and cared for you which is why I allowed you to make love to me. Don't talk to me anymore. We're through!"

Holly stormed off. Adam remained silent.




Ralph, Laurie and Lillian walked to the grocery store. Ralph and Laurie had remained silent as Lillian dominated the conversation, talking about her day.

"I thought it'd be more difficult to adjust to normal life after being released from the hospital but so far everything's been about the same," Lillian said. "Everything is highly regimented, the teachers can be slightly abusive and I'm not allowed to have pointy things."

"Laurie, you cannot go to..." Ralph paused and looked at Lillian. "What?"

"I like pointy things," Lillian shrugged.

"Anyway, Laurie, you cannot go to Chris' party," Ralph finished.

"Why not? Have a few drinks, meet a few people. It'll be a good time," Laurie said. "I'd bring you along but we both know you won't get in."

"Where is this party?" Ralph asked.

"A beach house on Randall Point," Laurie said. "Look, I promise to leave or call someone if things get out of hand but I'm sure that's not going to happen," Laurie rolled her eyes and giggled slightly.

"Okay but I'm gonna hold you to that. I don't want anything to happen to you," Ralph said and he turned and went into the grocery store.

Lillian smiled big and looked at Laurie. "He lo-o-o-o-oves you," she croaked.

Next:
Rodney and Cassandra get closer while doing their paper and Laurie is saved by Ralph at the party.

#208: May 18, 1927

On May 18, 1927, a disgruntled Bath, Michigan resident committed the worst school-related mass murder in United States history. 45 people were killed (mostly children) and 58 were injured after Andrew Kehoe, upset over increased property taxes, blew up his farm, the Bath Consolidated School and his car, killing himself in the process.

Bath, Michigan, in the 1920s, was an unincorporated agricultural village. In 1922, voters voted to create a new school district to fund and construct a consolidated school. After years of debate, when Bath Township created the district, it raised property taxes to pay for the project. As a result, new taxes were imposed on landowners, including Andrew Kehoe. Kehoe was born in Tecumseh, Michigan, on February 1, 1872. Kehoe's mother died when he was young, and his father remarried. Reportedly, Kehoe often fought with his stepmother. When he was fourteen, an accident at the oil stove set his stepmother on fire. Andrew threw a bucket of water on her which, because the fire was oil-based, spread the flames more rapidly over her body. She later died from the injuries. Kehoe married Ellen "Nellie" Price in 1912 and moved to Bath in 1919. Kehoe was regarded by his neighbors as an intelligent man who grew impatient with those who disagreed with him. Neighbors also recounted how Kehoe was cruel to his farm animals, having once beaten a horse to death.

Kehoe was elected as treasurer of the Bath Consolidated school board in 1924 and endlessly fought for lower taxes. He said that the previous tax levies were to cause for his family's poor financial situation. And he constantly blamed superintendent Emory Huyck of financial mismanagement. About this time, Nellie had become chronically ill with tuberculosis and her frequent hospital stays probably contributed to the Kehoe's debt. Kehoe stopped paying his mortgage and homeowner's insurance and the bank began foreclosure proceedings against him. There is no clear indication as to when Kehoe conceived and planned the steps leading to the ultimate events. A subsequent investigation concluded that, based upon the activity at the school and the purchases of explosives, his plan had probably been under way for at least a year. In early 1926, the board asked Kehoe to perform maintenance inside the school building. As a board member appointed to conduct repairs, he had free access to the building and his presence was never questioned.

There were a few warning signs prior to the events. Beginning in mid-1926, Kehoe began purchasing over a ton of pyrotol, an incendiary explosive introduced in World War I. Farmers during the era used the substance for excavation. In November 1926, Kehoe drove to Lansing and purchased two boxes of dynamite at a sporting goods store. Dynamite is also commonly used on farms, and Kehoe's purchase of small amounts of the substances at different stores and on different dates did not raise any suspicions. Neighbors reported hearing explosions set off on the farm, as well as recalling conversations where Kehoe explained he was using dynamite for tree stump removal. Kehoe passed out employee paychecks the prior week and told bus driver Warden Keyes, "My boy, you want to take good care of that check as it is probably the last check you will ever get." Teacher Bernice Sterling telephoned Kehoe two days before the blast and asked to use his grove for a class picnic. Kehoe told her that if she "wanted a picnic she would better have it at once." Prior to May 18, Kehoe had loaded the back seat of his car with metal debris. He threw in old tools, nails, pieces of rusted farm machinery, digging shovels, and anything else capable of producing shrapnel during an explosion. After the back seat was filled, Kehoe placed a large cache of dynamite behind the front seat and a loaded rifle on the passenger's seat.

Records at Lansing's St. Lawrence Hospital revealed that Nellie Kehoe had been discharged on May 16. Between her release and the bombing two days later, Kehoe killed Nellie by what was later determined to be blunt force trauma to the head with some unknown heavy object. Kehoe had completely wired the farm, and inside every building he inserted homemade pyrotol firebombs. Farm animals were found tied up in their enclosures, apparently to ensure their deaths in the subsequent fire. At approximately 8:45 a.m., Kehoe detonated the firebombs at his farm. The neighbors noticed the fire, and volunteer fire departments from all over the area began rushing to the scene.

At 9:45 a.m. an explosion was heard from the school building. Rescuers heading to the scene of the Kehoe fire turned back and headed toward the school. Parents within the rural community also began rushing to the school. The north wing of the school had collapsed. Parts of the walls had crumbled, and the edge of the roof had fallen to the ground. Monty Ellsworth, a neighbor of the Kehoes, recounted, "There was a pile of children of about five or six under the roof and some of them had arms sticking out, some had legs, and some just their heads sticking out. They were unrecognizable because they were covered with dust, plaster, and blood. There were not enough of us to move the roof." Ellsworth volunteered to drive back to his farm and obtain the heavy rope from his slaughterhouse needed to pull the structure off the children's bodies.

About a half hour after the explosion, Kehoe drove up to the school and saw Superintendent Huyck. Kehoe summoned the superintendent over to his vehicle. According to one eyewitness, when Huyck drew close, Kehoe pulled out his rifle and fired into the back seat. Whether by gunshot or otherwise, the dynamite in the vehicle ignited and the resulting explosion killed Kehoe, the superintendent, Postmaster Glenn O. Smith, and Smith's father-in-law Nelson McFarren, a retired farmer. Cleo Claton, an eight-year-old second grader, had wandered out of the collapsed school building and was killed by the shrapnel from the exploding vehicle. Several others were injured as the shrapnel flew through the crowd.

During the search rescuers found an additional 500 pounds of dynamite Kehoe had placed in the south wing, which had failed to detonate. The search was halted to allow the Michigan State Police to disarm the devices. After this was completed and a sweep of the building made, the recovery efforts recommenced. The local physician was Dr. J.A. Crum. He and his wife, a nurse, had both served in World War I, and they had returned to Bath to open a pharmacy. After the explosion the Crums turned their drugstore into a triage center. The dead were removed to the town hall, now converted into a morgue. Private citizens were enlisted to use their automobiles as additional ambulances to take survivors and family members to area hospitals. By the afternoon some 13 ambulances were at the township hall to transport the dead to undertakers.

Although there was never any doubt that Kehoe was the perpetrator, a coroner's inquest was ordered and the jury was asked to determine if the school board or its employees were guilty of criminal negligence. After more than a week of testimony, the jury exonerated the school board and its employees. In its verdict the jury concluded that Kehoe "conducted himself sanely and so concealed his operations that there was no cause to suspect any of his actions; and we further find that the school board, and Frank Smith, janitor of the school building, were not negligent in and about their duties, and were not guilty of any negligence in not discovering Kehoe's plan." The inquest determined that Kehoe murdered Superintendent Emory Huyck on the morning of May 18. It was also the jury's verdict that the school was blown up as part of a plan and that Kehoe alone, without the aid of conspirators, murdered 43 people in total, including his wife Nellie. Suicide was determined to be the manner of Andrew Kehoe's death, which brought the total to 44 dead at the time of the inquest.

Kehoe's body was eventually claimed by his sister. Without ceremony, he was buried in an unmarked grave in an initially unnamed cemetery. Later, it was revealed that Kehoe was buried in the paupers' section of Mt. Rest Cemetery, St. Johns, in Clinton County. Nellie Kehoe was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Lansing by her family under her maiden name of Price. On August 22, some three months after the bombing, fourth-grader Beatrice Gibbs died following hip surgery. Hers was accounted the forty-fifth and final death directly attributable to the Bath School disaster. The disaster made the front pages of national newspapers and remained there until news of Michigan native Charles Lindbergh's completion of first solo transatlantic flight broke on May 23, 1927.

School resumed on September 5, 1927, and, for the 1927–28 school year, was held in the community hall, township hall, and two retail buildings. Most of the students returned. Lansing architect Warren Holmes donated construction plans, and the school board approved the contracts for the new building on September 14. On September 15, Michigan's Republican U.S. Senator James J. Couzens presented his personal check for $75,000 to the Bath construction fund to build the new school. The board demolished the damaged portion of the school and constructed a new wing with the donated funds. The "James Couzens Agricultural School" was dedicated on August 18, 1928. In 1975 the Couzens building was demolished and a small park dedicated to the victims replaced it. At the center of the park is the cupola of the building, the only part preserved. At the park entrance, a bronze plaque affixed to a white boulder bears the names of the adults and children killed. On November 3, 2008, it was announced that tombstones had been donated for Emilie and Robert Bromundt, the last two bombing victims whose graves were still unmarked. A grant from a foundation will pay for the grave markers.

More information and pictures about the disaster can be found here and here.