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April 2007 Archives

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The Wonders of Modern Science...

April 30, 2007 03:24 PM

...they are developing a pill which boosts the libido and reduces the appetite.  Yes, it's an appetite suppressant and a sex pill all in one.

When it was given to monkeys, they displayed mating behaviour such as tongue-flicking and eyebrow-raising to the males, while female shrews displayed their feelings via "rump presentation and tail wagging".

But the animals also ate around a third less food than they normally would.

"Rump presentation" and "tail-wagging."  Those monkey chicks aren't too subtle, are they?

From the Anglican/Episcopal Rumor Mill...

...we get this report from Gawker:

We hear that former New Jersey gov Jim McGreevey has a new career planned—and that he'll enter the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan next year. (We know—this is the second-craziest rumor we've heard this week! Please tell us we're wrong?) A religious-type person says that the Episcopal Diocese of Newark will sponsor his training for the priesthood. McGreevey, a former altar boy and a graduate of the Catholic University of America, broke with the Catholic church circa 2005; his daughter is being raised a Catholic.

Do I find this rumor credible?  Sadly, yes.  It would be very typical of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark to take on Governor McGreevey as a seminarian.  He's just their type.

I'm Baaaaaack!

April 29, 2007 08:51 PM

So the Time-Warner man came this morning.  And what did he find?  That the Time-Warner man who had been here on Tuesday to hook up the digital cable had put some router thing on backwards.  I knew it!  Time-Warner had repeatedly told us that the loss of internet service on Tuesday could not possibly be connected to installation of digital cable that same day.  Even I, a technological idiot, knew not to believe them.  Res ipsa loquitur

So I'm back to blogging as usual here at NBS.  Not that I'm ever on some sort of regular schedule (well, not blogging-wise, anyway), but at least I'm here to satisfy the vastly underserved market of pop-culture obsessed right wing conservatives.

But what was I up to in the meantime?  Frankly, having no internet access was a little like a vacation, at least it was this weekend.  The work week was still hell--I was up until 2:00 am Friday drafting a dispositive motion (attorneys always say "drafting" instead of "writing," by the way, because you can charge more for "drafting").  I spent Saturday at the vet (more fluid build-up on Henry), and then the rest of the day with family at Spring Grove and my sister's house in Wyoming, saying goodbye to a Great Aunt.  A somber occasion, but it was great to see everyone.  And I've learned from googling Spring Grove to get the above link that the cemetery has just been designated a national historic landmark (along with the Village of Mariemont, and the House of Seven Gables District in Salem, Mass (the house itself was the home of my burn 'em at the stake witch-killin' ancestors). 

Sunday, thus far, was a work (i.e. fun) day.  Went to Lowe's for blacktop repair supplies, then to Benkens for annuals to spice up the yard.  After Benkens, we spent the afternoon planting verbena, geraniums and a rose bush.  I also cut the grass, round-up-ed, threw down some grass seed on the bare spots, mounted a new bracket for the American flag, and prepped the porches for another coat of paint.  All in all, a great day.

Though it would have been more fun to burn a few witches. 

Lawyer Sues Cleaners for Missing Pants, Demands $65 Mil

April 27, 2007 01:15 PM

No, this is not another autobiographical post.  Instead, I want you to meet Roy Pearson, an Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia.  He had a bad dry cleaning experience:

In 2002, Custom lost a pair of pants that Pearson had put in for cleaning. One week after the error was discovered, Custom gave Pearson a check for $150 for new pants. A few days later, the Chungs, Korean immigrants who live in Virginia and own three D.C. cleaners, told Pearson that he was no longer welcome at their store. That dispute was eventually put aside, and Pearson continued to use the company.

Move ahead to 2005, when Pearson got a new job as a judge. He needed to wear a suit to work every day. He dug out his five Hickey Freeman suits and found them to be "uncomfortably tight." He asked Custom to let the waists out two or three inches. Worried that he might be up against his Visa card limit, he took the suits in for alterations one or two at a time.

According to a statement filed by both parties in the lawsuit, Pearson dropped off one pair of pants May 3 so he could wear them to his new job May 6. But on May 5, the pants weren't ready. Soo Chung promised them for early the next morning, but when Pearson arrived, the pants weren't there.

So he sued.

He says he deserves millions for the damages he suffered by not getting his pants back, for his litigation costs, for "mental suffering, inconvenience and discomfort," for the value of the time he has spent on the lawsuit, for leasing a car every weekend for 10 years and for a replacement suit, according to court papers

The request for the reimbursement for leasing a car is a totally new one on me.  I've certainly never seen that in my legal practice.  What's his legal theory?

The plaintiff, who says he has devoted more than 1,000 hours to represent himself in this battle, says that as a result of poor service at Custom, he must find another cleaner. And because Pearson does not own a car, he says he will have to rent one to get his clothes taken care of.

Well okay then, that explains it!  But how does Pearson get from there to $65 million?

The District's consumer protection law provides for damages of $1,500 per violation per day. Pearson started multiplying: 12 violations over 1,200 days, times three defendants.

The Defendants have spent tens of thousands defending the case, are are likely to spend tens of thousands more when the case goes to trial in June.  They've offered $12,000 to settle, but it sounds as though Mr. Pearson won't stop until he bankrupts them.

As a lawyer, I hear stories about lawsuit abuse all the time.  Without a doubt, this is the worst I have ever heard.  Unbelievable.

HT: The Llama Butchers

Sorry for the slow posting here at NBS

April 26, 2007 08:08 AM

Our internet service is down, and Time Warner can't come and fix it until Sunday.  They say it is a complete coincidence that we lost service the same day they were out to install digital cable.

We're not so sure.

The strange things people say to me about my blog...

April 25, 2007 01:05 PM

..."You got a lot of comments on your spiraling penis."

"Nothing goes to waste. It is beautiful. It is inspiring."

April 24, 2007 08:35 AM

That is Cameron Diaz, speaking on MTV's eco-tourism show "Trippin'."  What exactly is so beautiful and inspiring?  It is how villagers in Nepal slather the walls of their huts with cow dung, which they use as a form of wall plaster.  Diaz says, "It is incredible to see how in tune these people are with the environment; they are completely self-sufficient."

And, in Bhutan, Diaz thinks the locals are all happy to be living without electricity. 

Bhutan was praised by Diaz because she claimed the residents voluntarily rejected electricity in order to save the "endangered black neck crane."

"These people have decided that keeping the cranes in their valley is more important than having the convenience of electricity," Diaz noted.

"It is admirable that they would give up that convenience, because if they were to build power lines here, the birds would lose their habitat here and disappear from the landscape of Bhutan, ending centuries of tradition," she added.

As this article notes, neither MTV nor Diaz mention that Bhutan has the one of the world's highest infant mortality rates (106 in 1,000 births) and extremely low life expectancy (57 years).  In the U.S., infant mortality is 6.6 per 1,000 births, and our life expectancy is 77.  Diaz says on the show that we in the U.S. have too much "convenience," and that her favorite thing about Bhutan is that "they measure their country's wealth, not based on dollar amount but on gross national happiness."

The entire article is well worth reading, if only to hear Drew Barrymore's enthusiasm for the lack of plumbing in Chile.  "I took a poo in the woods hunched over like an animal. It was awesome."

And of course, we love this mortified quote, from someone who actually knows what they are talking about:

"Life in these developing countries is still nasty, brutish and short. And that there is a reason our parents and grandparents worked so hard to create modern homes and hospitals and technologies, so they could leave behind the unsafe water, dung fires, pollution, rotted teeth, infant mortality and life expectancies half of ours."

Emphasis added!

What do you think of the Chicago Spire?

April 23, 2007 04:06 PM

Which will be North America's tallest skycraper, at 2,000 feet.  That's 550 feet taller than the Sears Tower, which is the next highest structure.

The Spire is designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, and will house 1,200 condos.  The top floor will provide views of four states.  The estimated construction cost is $2 billion.

And here's what it will look like:


News You Can Use: "What You Should Do When Confronted with a Gun Wielding Madman"

Depending on the situation, chose Flight or Fight.


At 20 feet from the gunman, you're still within a deadly range, but at 40 feet, you're a difficult shot. If he starts to shoot as you're making your escape, try to run in a zigzag or another unpredictable pattern. To escape through an upper-floor window, find a drain pipe or a ledge that can slow your descent or let you slide down part of the way. You'll likely hurt your ankles when you land, so be prepared to break the fall with a quick roll. Protect your body by rolling over one shoulder, diagonally across the back and onto the opposite hip.

I've heard you do the same zig-zagging thing if you're chased by a crocodile.


To disarm a gunman, you'll need to take his focus off his weapon and his plan of attack. To do this, you might throw chairs, laptops, or fire extinguishers at him, or set off the sprinkler system or fire alarm. Then, you'd want to pick up a desk or some other shield and charge right at the killer. There's a chance you'll be killed in the process, but if two or three people rush at once, there's also a chance that somebody will take him down. (Unarmed civilians who band together have a much better chance of surviving an attack.)

If you're already within a step or two of the gunman, you might be able to grab his weapon. If he's facing you, quickly reach up and take hold of the barrel, and then aim it away from your body. The move should be as clean and economical as possible. The gunman will reflexively pull the gun back away from you. Go with him: Keep gripping the gun and push your weight forward. Then, punch him in the face or the throat as hard as you can. Hit him on the nose, jab your fingers into his eyes, or strike him with the heel of your open palm. Then use your free hand to grab the nonbusiness end of the gun. With two hands on the gun, you can knee the killer in the groin or head-butt him. A better idea might be to twist your hands like they are revving a motorcycle engine. The weapon will pivot and break the gunman's finger inside the trigger guard.

That's a great tip about breaking his finger inside the trigger guard.  Though of course, the best bet is one that isn't mentioned in the article: Take the gunman out with your own concealed firearm. 

HT: Jackie Danicki

Wherein the Hamilton County Republican Party Disappoints, Yet Again

April 20, 2007 10:40 AM

Okay, so I get a call from a fellow Republican asking me to contribute to Andre Harper's City Council Campaign.  Even though I am pretty active in local politics--having served on the board of local GOP organizations, and worked on numerous campaigns--I had never heard of Andre Harper until the party announced it's City Council slate a few months ago.  It's never a good sign when a active member of a political party has never even heard of the party's nominee for major elective office.  In fact, it is usually a pretty good sign that something is seriously amiss.

So I explain this to my friend, and tell him that I don't make political contributions to candidates I don't know anything about.  And I can tell that my friend secretly agrees with me, but that he'd promised someone he'd make a few calls.  Just research Andre, he says, and see what you think. 

So good to my word, I google Andre Harper, looking for a reason to like him.  But what's this?  The first result is an interview he gave recently with his fraternity's online publication.  It talks about his public service, and of course public service is great.  But the alarming thing was this bit from the interview, when he was asked to identify his "most treasured honor."  His response?

I was elected Homecoming King in high school. I failed at two previous school-wide elections, but I worked very hard. That crown goes with me everywhere I go. It reminds me that I can do anything.

What?  Are you kidding me?  We have a grown man running for City Council with the endorsement of a major political party, and his "most treasured honor" was being elected homecoming king in high school?  Come on!  Why are we running someone who believes that the homecoming king crown "goes with me everywhere I go"?  Shouldn't we run someone who is a little more in touch with reality, and with a post-high school popularity contest track record of electoral success?  Did anyone from the party run a google search on this guy before they endorsed him?

Lest you think I am being too harsh, read his perfectly asinine "Manifesto:"

Here's a political tip, Andre: "Manifestos" are for third world dictators and first rate serial killers.  People seeking elected office in the U.S. ought to avoid the term.  But if you do feel that having a Manifesto sets you apart from rivals who merely have Plans, you need to make sure there's plenty of meat on the bones, not things like "support the vehement enforcement of the law," "protect the interests of all victims of crime," and "support civil servants who work to maintain our city."

Pearl, the 2 year old landlord from hell

See it here

There is explanation, here.

Perv on the Lunken Bike Path

April 19, 2007 04:09 PM

So Mrs. NBS calls in via cell phone, from an isolated part of the Lunken bike path to report that she has just been passed by a white male in his 30s, wearing white thigh high stockings, white boy shorts with a purple g-string overlay, a turquoise mesh top, and a black pleather hat.  He was on roller skates.

It sounds suspiciously like that firefighter who was arrested recently for showing up at a park in a bikini with flesh colored balloons taped to his chest, I say.  We wonder if he's still in jail, and I assure her that she's probably not this roller skater's type, and that even though she's in an isolated area with no one else around, she should be fine.  Plus, Henry is with her.  Secretly, of course, I wonder if I should call the cops.  If one sees someone who's clearly pervy like that, but not actually exposing themselves, what should one do?

Anyway, we talk until he's skated some distance away.  Five minutes later, Mrs. NBS calls back.  We have a terrible connection, and I hear her excitedly saying "MR. NBS?  MR. NBS?" (not, actually, what she calls me).  Then the call gets dropped.  Thanks a lot, Verizon!

So now I really am wondering if I should call the cops.  Especially because Verizon seems incapable of putting a call through.  Minutes pass.  Really, how long does it take for a perv to skate off with one's wife?  Time is of the essence in moments like that, VERIZON. 

We reconnect.  It turns out Mrs. NBS just wanted to be on the phone with someone, because she was about to pass the guy, who had stopped to lay down on a bench.  His chosen position?  On his back, still clothed, but business side up.

So basically we were dealing with someone who gets a tingly feeling by being noticed, and he wanted to put on a show.  Mrs. NBS kept on walking, and ignored him.  And of course, she made it back safely.  But we're still wondering, what do you do in a situation like that?  Do you call the cops?  And if so, what do you report?

Delta Airlines Now Offering Carbon Offsets

In an email from their SkyMiles program, they write:

Hello Mr. [NBS],

In a partnership with The Conservation Fund, we are the first U.S. airline to implement a voluntary carbon offset program — and we'd love to have you "onboard."

It's simple. Beginning June 1, 2007, you will be able to add a small donation to fund the planting of trees in sustainable managed forests around the globe when you book your ticket at These trees will help off-set carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converting it to oxygen as part of their natural processes.

Why not just make a charitable contribution directly to a tree hugging progam, if that is your wont?  All Delta is doing is adding a middle man.  And where's the information that shows just how much your donation needs to be to "offset" a trip somewhere?

The New York Times Co. is Mad at Bloggers

April 18, 2007 01:59 PM

...for eating away at their profits.  From The NYT Co.'s annual report:

The proliferation of nontraditional media, largely available at no cost, challenges the traditional media model, in which quality journalism has primarily been supported by print advertising revenues. If consumers fail to differentiate our content from other content providers, on the Internet or otherwise, we may experience a decline in revenues.

Awwwww.  How sad for them.  People are turning away from their product because they like "other content providers" better.  And by "other content providers," they mean blogs.

Brian Stepp, my former elementary school classmate, and fellow former rider of Bus No. 3...

April 14, 2007 09:20 AM

...gets 55 years in the slammer for rape, sexual assault and kidnapping.  The prosecutor says:

"This is a very sociopathic, deceptive criminal, with a truly dark spirit and evil intent, who tries to come across as a victim himself - when in reality he represents the type of terror that lurks in the darkness and can grab any one of us at any time."

And I wish I could say that was not the Brian Stepp I knew in the fourth grade.  But it was.  He was an extremely violent and belligerent, even then. 

Update on Assistant Deputy Editor Henry

April 13, 2007 11:06 PM

As loyal NBS readers know, Assistant Deputy Editor Henry had surgery recently to remove an unidentified lump.  This aftermath of this was very, very messy.

But the good news is, he is all better now, though we don't have a substantive update.  We still don't know what the unidentified lump actually was.  The vet says it was a seroma, which was caused by a trauma to his shoulder.  This caused a growth, and an unexpected fluid build up. 

But the trauma could have been years ago.  And, Henry has only been on the job here at NBS since October, when we got him from Lab Rescue.  He's had no major wounds since then, so we're pretty confident the original trauma occurred while he was on the lam.  We will probably never know what the original trauma was.  Hit by a car?  Beaten by former owners?  Fell down the stairs while stoned out of his gourd?  Who knows!

But the important thing is, Henry is fine. 


When he went in to get the stitches out, however, Henry did get diagnosed with a yeast infection in his ears.  Even though we (actually I) have to clean them weekly with these stridex pad like things (total teen flashbacks!) his ears still got gunky.  Now he gets fluid cleaner in his ear, and a topic antibiotic.

He hates us for that.  But what can you do, but the best you can?  When God gives you a yeast infection, bake bread.  At least it is not another seroma dripping all over the house.

ALSO: Lab Rescue of Cincinnati has now been added to the NBS blogroll.  If you have thought about adopting a non-punt-able sized dog, please do check them out

Bloggers, Grab Your Cameras

Amy Alkon, who we have criticized before (and who is apparently a friend of NBS fave Jackie Danicki) has redeemed herself in our eyes for her excellent approach to the rude and intolerable.  Calling them out on it!  What a novel idea!

Amy's latest act of civic heroism?  Taking on a completely inconsiderate moron, who had her car stereo's bass pounding in a residential neighborhood after hours.  From Amy's blog:

I came out to ask her to turn it down -- "Excuse me, but did you notice the houses four feet from your car?" -- and she lectured me on how I should ask respectfully! Well, that pissed me off, so I told her I was going to photograph her and put her on my blog as a loud, rude, neighborhood disturber.

So Amy did take the girl's picture, and man, are those pictures worth checking out.

And then the crazy fool called the cops.  On Amy!  Like she thought photographing rudeness was a crime or something.  Or that there's some Constitutional right not to have your picture taken.  The rude idiot then waited an hour for the cops to show up (to what, bust Amy?), and when they did, the rude chick was wearing a pro-pot t-shirt, with a cannabis leaf on it and everything.  Not exactly the smartest thing to wear when you call the cops. 

Here at NBS, smoking out the rude and idiotic is a cause celeb, and we are inspired by Amy.  The digital camera is already by the car keys.

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program, at Mrs. NBS's request, to criticize Bluford Jackson & Son, Inc.

Bluford Jackson & Son, Inc. fancies itself a hardwood flooring repair company.  They are in their fourth generation, and this should be their last.  Why?  Because they don't call their customers back, that's why.  We called them about six weeks ago.  It took forever to get them to return calls.  Finally we got them to send someone out do give us an estimate, which he promised to send us.  It has been three weeks, and what have we heard?  Nada.  Despite repeated phone messages that have been left, asking "where is our estimate?"

So at the special request of Mrs. NBS, we say: "Welcome to the internet age, Bluford Jackson."  And to our loyal readers, we say, "If you're thinking about hiring Bluford Jackson, run like hell."

The national conversation about race we've had this week sure has been healthy and productive

Their owners should be drop-kicked, too.

...the owners of small dogs, that is.  Especially the ones who buy specially made pet strollers to "walk" their dogs.

Meet Ann Carnes and Shadow, her Toy Yorkie:

Ann says Shadow is really smart:

“Shadow lets me know when he has to do his business and he jumps right out. He also lets me know when he gets tired and he jumps back in, he is a very smart dog.”

Smarter, it seems, than his owner. 

Reminding Liberal Academics at State Universities Who They Work For, Step 1

A few weeks ago, the faculty Senate at the University of Florida voted against giving former Governor Jeb Bush an honorary degree.  Earlier this week, the Republican controlled House in Florida voted to make the University rename it's entire college of education after the former Governor:

The University of Florida's education school would be renamed the "Jeb Bush College of Education," under an amendment approved this morning by the House Schools & Learning Council. What's more, UF would also have to erect "suitable markers" noting the college's new name and include the revised name in all university documents, including catalogues and brochures.

That will irk all the people who need irking.

Wherein some left wing friends write and ask for my take...

Two of NBS's college friends are of the liberal persuasion.  Occassionally, we write each other to find out how the other side is handicapping issues of electoral politics.  Here's my take on the Democrats:

I think either Hillary or Barack could easily win the general election.  They both have a lot of baggage, as you so humorously noted [ed. he had described her as "having more baggage than a Samsonite outlet store"].  I can tell you that the general public does not yet know that Barack's middle name is Hussein.  If you all nominate him, every man, woman and child will know that by election day, and it will be a big problem for him.  Some of the attorneys here were talking about Obama a few weeks ago, and I said I thought his middle name would be an issue for the electorate.  They were like "what is his middle name?" and as soon as I said Hussein, mouths fell open and one person said "you have got to be f***ing kidding me."  And that's the attorney crowd talking.  Can you imagine what the NASCAR crowd will say?

His wife, however?  Neither nappy headed, nor a ho.

As for my friends, one is leading more towards Hillary, and the other appears undecided between Hillary and Barack.

The Hyphenated Male: A Few Questions.

April 11, 2007 09:54 PM

In corresponding with some college friends today, we discussed the fact that a former classmate of ours got married and became the rarest of all birds: The hyphenated male.  Yes, when he got married, not only did his bride take his name and hyphenate it with hers, he took her name and hyphenated it with his. 

In college, he was a prominent conservative Evangelical on campus, so his decision leaves all of us puzzled.  What the hell happened?  Or, as my friends and I discussed, what the hell did she do to him?  I have known lots of women who have decided to hyphenate, or who have switched their maiden names to their middle name, and use both, absent a hyphen.  I also know a quite a few female attorneys who were in practice for a few years and then got married.  For professional purposes, they decided to keep their maiden names. 

But a male hyphenating his own last name?  That is a new one on me.  And his case is really weird.  He comes from a very prominent Southern family, for which lineage was clearly important.  Surely, they are not thrilled with his name change.  So was he rebelling against them?  He never was much of a rebel before.  Was it becoming an Episcopal priest that did him in?  He meet his wife while they were both in seminary together.  Is she some crazy ball-busting shrew?  Is she so hot she has him brainwashed?  Do they know that this bizarre name change is a big topic of conversation behind their backs?  How could they not?

And why, in reading this post over, did I briefly consider changing the word "male" to "man" in the header, and then subconsciously decide against it?   

The always interesting Camille Paglia...

... talking a great deal of sense about global warming.

As a native of upstate New York, whose dramatic landscape was carved by the receding North American glacier 10,000 years ago, I have been contemplating the principle of climate change since I was a child. Niagara Falls, as well as the even bigger dry escarpment of Clark Reservation near Syracuse, is a memento left by the glacier. So is nearby Green Lakes State Park, with its mysteriously deep glacial pools. When I was 10, I lived with my family at the foot of a drumlin -- a long, undulating hill of murrain formed by eddies of the ancient glacier melt....

Climate change, keyed to solar cycles, is built into Earth's system. Cooling and warming will go on forever. Slowly rising sea levels will at some point doubtless flood lower Manhattan and seaside houses everywhere from Cape Cod to Florida -- as happened to Native American encampments on those very shores. Human habitation is always fragile and provisional. People will migrate for the hills, as they have always done.

Who is impious enough to believe that Earth's contours are permanent? Our eyes are simply too slow to see the shift of tectonic plates that has raised the Himalayas and is dangling Los Angeles over an unstable fault. I began "Sexual Personae" (parodying the New Testament): "In the beginning was nature." And nature will survive us all. Man is too weak to permanently affect nature, which includes infinitely more than this tiny globe.

She's right, of course. 

The Living Stones: The Anglican Church in the Holy Land... making the Episcopal left look like spoiled brats

April 10, 2007 09:58 PM

"There were about 20 different things that irritated me about that service"

April 9, 2007 11:00 AM

That's what I said to Mrs. NBS, on the way to the car after the Easter Sunday service at the Church of the Redeemer in Hyde Park.  Was I exaggerating?  Could there really have been 20?  Let's make a list:

1.  The service was at 11:00, a special Easter Sunday time that is an hour later than the 10:00 service we usually go to.  We arrive at the customary time, and learn we are an hour early.  So, we go home, and sit around in our church clothes, because it's not like you can get anything done at that point.  [We do feel sorrier for the family with young kids that we saw running to make it in time a few minutes before ten.  You know they went through hell to get the kids ready for church and out the door.  For nothing!  Also, they prove that we aren't the only ones who didn't get the memo].

2.  An hour later, we return to church.  There is no place to sit.

3.  They didn't copy enough service leaflets.

4.  One of the associate priests, a male who is well in to his forties, is sporting a ponytail.  It looks ridiculous.  But the more annoying thing is that you just know he thinks it makes him look cool.  Good Lord, deliver us.

5.  The rector mentions Iraq in his Easter sermon.  Whatever his point was, it was lost on me, because I was bored out of my skull, gazing at the stained glass.  I perked up when I heard the word "Iraq," though.  And then I waited for his point.  I'm still waiting.

6.  Then, the rector mentions the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up during his sermon.  He doesn't understand why we can't learn to live with our differences.  Funny thing is, he earnestly seems to believe this is the middle of the road position.  It's not.

7.  I can't listen to the rest of the sermon, because I am so annoyed that the rector mentioned Iraq and the Episcopal/Anglican crack-up.  But, it's not like I listed to the first half of the sermon, so I guess I didn't really miss anything.  I had actually thought on Easter Sunday we'd be safe from this kind of thing, and the rector's sermon would be on point, appropriate and resurrection-focused.  How naive!

8.  The offertory anthem is by Bruce Neswick.  He's very well regarded in the church music world, and I don't hate all present-day composers.  But I've never heard anything that he has done that is particularly good, or which will stand the test of time.  Selecting one of his works for Easter Sunday is just a completely strange decision.

9.  And then: Oh, no it's Eucharistic Prayer C!  This is the flaky as hell one, about "the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home."  It's the "2001 A Space Odyssey" version of the Holy Eucharist.  Most parishes know this, and avoid it like the plague.  What they hell are they thinking?  Isn't Easter Sunday the day for the best of the best, and not the worst of the worst?

10.  The Easter Floral Array.  You contribute for dead people, people.  Not out of thanksgiving for the lives of your own children.  Especially the ones that are hopped up on candy, climbing the walls, sliding under the pews, and trying to play peek-a-boo with me the entire time.  Come on!

Well that's it, I guess.  Only 10!  But, I am generously not blaming the clergy for the weather (colder on Easter than Christmas) or for the some of the appalling clothing choices of our fellow parishioners, etc. etc..  But that's the kind of guy I am.  Generous!

UPDATE:  How could I forget?  There were two more things:

11.  The rector commencing his sermon with "In the name of God, Creator, Redeemer & Sanctifier."  Those words are only partially discriptive of the three members of the Trinity.  They are not to be used to identify the members of the Trinity.  For further details, see the comments on this thread.

12.  Everybody got a pansy on their way out.  Irony of ironies!

The things people email to NBS. Why?

April 8, 2007 08:55 PM

Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio Implicated in Controversal AIDS Research Program

April 6, 2007 08:52 AM

Well!  Here's something to chew on this Good Friday morning.  The Cincinnati Beacon, which is itself a somewhat controversal publication here in Cincinnati, has published a story implicating the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in an extraordinarily controversal AIDS treatment program in Africa.

I do not have time this morning to get in to all the details, but the gist is this.  Non-locals may not realize this, but in recent years, Cincinnati medical hero Dr. Henry Heimlich has turned his attention away from rescuing chocking victims, and has instead focused on curing AIDs.  As I understand it, his research has not passed bio-ethical muster here in the U.S., so he's had to turn to sources overseas.  In layman's terms, his medical theory is this: AIDs can be cured by "frying" the virus at extremely high temperatures.  The malaria causes the immune system to go into overdrive, and attack not just the malaria, but HIV.  To achieve these temperatures, Dr. Heimlich introduces malaria to Third World AIDs victims, and allows their body temperature to soar to extraordinarly high levels.  The results are not pretty.

The World Health Organization has described this research as a modern medical monstrosity.  The FDA and the CDC are strongly opposed to it.  I, frankly, think it could be worth it if an AIDs cure can be found.  But it is hard not to have extremely serious reservations about performing this kind of medical research on humans.

Apparently, our late Bishop, Herbert Thompson, did not share those reservations.  It appears he was actively involved in soliciting patients for Heimlich Institute malariotherapy research.  Those patients came from Anglican parishes in Africa.

Cincinnati Lawyers in the 1790s

April 4, 2007 09:11 PM

Well I've switched books, and now I'm reading Mansfield's Personal Memories, an 1879 book written by a very early Cincinnatian, who went off east for school, and came back a lawyer.  I got a kick out his description of legal practice here in the 1790s:

In that day, to practice law in Cincinnati required the lawyer to ride the circuit.  And what was the circuit?  No less than the whole Northwest Territory, now comprising five states and ten millions of people.  In the circuit in which [attorney Jacob ]Burnet rode were Marietta, Detroit and Vincennes.  He would tell stories of hair-breadth escapes by field and flood.  Here there were almost impassable swamps and there unfordable streams.  One night they were belated in making a certain point, and their horses stopped suddenly and would not go.  They got off and had to camp there.  Next morning they found the horses had stopped just at the edge of a precipice which overhung Wolfe Creek.  At other times they would stop in an Indian Village and be caressed by greasy squaws, and joked with by swarthy warriors.  Such was a part of the Cincinnati lawyers' practice in the close of the last century.  Burnet says that when he came to the bar, there were nine lawyers, who, all but one, became intemperate.

So basically, not much has changed.  Though I do have to admit, it's been months since I've been caressed by a greasy squaw.  Swarthy warriors, them I joke with every day.  And eight out of nine of us are still drunks.

If you send a sympathy note to the Edwardses...

... as thousands of people have apparently done, you get solicited for a campaign contribution.


Flashback: How a Real Leader Starts a Ballgame

April 3, 2007 04:29 PM

Beautiful day, great game... marred only by the Mayor throwing out the first pitch

Practicing Law and Live Blogging the Parade

April 2, 2007 10:32 AM

Well downtown is filled with people who seem confused by elevators.  And that means one thing:

It's Opening Day!

I moved offices this year, and my new one looks out on Fifth Street, with a view of Fountain Square.  A great place to watch the parade.  Here come the cops on motorcycles!  They drive dangerously and weave in and out.  I realize that if I'm ever resisting arrest via high speed chase, I'm screwed. 

Next: people in kilts and members of the military!

On the radio, Pete Rose tells Bill Cunningham of nervousness on his first opening day, saying "I didn't know whether to wind my head or scratch my crotch watch."

Here comes a firetruck with monster wheels, and a beauty queen in a red convertible.  The Reds Cheerleaders are back (boo-hoo!  There are not supposed to be cheerleaders in baseball!  Plus, not all that attractive, most of them).

Now we're seeing people dressed in historic uniforms and people dressed as bobble heads.

On the radio, Pete Rose blames the aging process on Los Angelos's water, which he describes as "too close to Mexico."  He then threatens to live to 110 just to annoy Bud Selig. 

Here comes an enormous livestock truck sponsored by Bob Evans.  I hope it's not full of little piggies on the way to the slaughterhouse.  Is this a porkopolis thing?

The baton twillers from South Dearborn high school walk way to slowly, creating a huge gap.  They get closer.  Oh no.  Maybe this is the porkopolis tribute?

Here comes Rosie Red.  Her shirt is cherry but her shoes are tomato.

On the radio, Pete tells Bill that he made Marge all that money, but she didn't leave him anything.  He genuinely sounds pissed. 

Draft horses, marching band and some flag waivers.  There's one guy with a scoop shovel and one guy with a wheelbarrow full of horse manure. 

First politician up: Steve Chabot.  Then Pat Fischer, the Bar Association Pres. and candidate for City Council.  He scores a good spot for a non-incumbent!

Budweiser beer truck, more flag waivers and another marching band.  The B-105 DJs are on party barge on a boat trailer.  A driver of a bob cat scoop entertains the crowd by raising the bucket up and down and spinning in circles.  Some balloons get loose.  I don't understand the guy dressed as a green bean.

Vice-Mayor Tarbell is in his Peanut Jim outfit, of course.

I don't think corporate floats should be allowed.  Yes, I'm talking to YOU, National City Bank.  Also, maybe they should place a limit on the number of marching bands and flag corps?

Rumpke's float is a garbage truck decorated with balloons.  More pigs on floats.  Councilman Crowley wisely goes with red, instead of his signature green.

There's Tricia Macke from Fox 19 in the back of a pick-up truck with her 42 children.  And it looks like she's pregnant AGAIN.  Jack Atheron is with her, sitting on one of those cheap folding chairs.  Speaking of, this weekend, someone told me that Jack Atherton is a lay reader at the Indian Hill Presbyterian-Episcopal Church.  Can you imagine a more annoying lay reader?  Plus, he doesn't even live in Indian Hill.  C-L-I-M-B-E-R.

Here come some dogs that are up for adoption, followed by Councilman John Cranley.  If he steps in something, I won't be sad.  He only has two supporters with him. 

Next: Really, why would Metro just have one bus in, when they could have THREE?  Councilperson Berding has a decent group of followers.  He's followed by Burger King's float: 3 people dressed as a whopper, fries and a coke. 

Man this a long parade.  More later, maybe. 

I'm back: Crosby Elementary School teaches kids to ride the unicycle?  Hopefully they are all reading above level, first? 

Next: Councilwoman Laketa Cole has a good crowd, but she rides with her heading sticking out of the sunroof of an SUV.  Doesn't she know that policians with class, walk, not ride?

The crowd from CityBeat has a flatbed truck with a band on it, rapping.

Councilman Chris Bortz gets it right, walking with his wife and having a supporter (a sassy black woman!) ride in the convertible.  Councilman Monzel tries to top this by holding hands with his wife.  The sweaty palms one must suffer for votes!

Hop, hop, hoping are a bunch of girls in yellow jumping rope.  Do you supposed they jumped rope the entire way?  Note to banner makers: you need to weight the bottom, otherwise it blows backwards and bloggers can't give your rope jumpers their due.

On the radio: Bill Cunningham makes a joke about Mayor Mallory being the pitcher, and Elton John being the catcher.  Sometimes there isn't much distance between what flashes through his mind and what comes out of his mouth.  He should get a blog!

It's now 1:00 and still going strong.  I'm heading out for my free hot dog.  Play ball!

One more thing: WOW (and not a good wow) Council candidate Charlie Winburn's supporters appear to be the praise band and liturgical dancers from his church.

The Republican Field

Bob Novak writes:

In just three weeks, Fred Thompson has improbably transformed the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. It is not merely that he has come from nowhere to double digits in national polls. He is the talk of GOP political circles, because he is filling the conservative void in the Republican field.

A FOX News poll out last week had Guiliani at 36%, McCain at 20%, Thompson at 10% and Romney at 7.5%.  Thompson is doing very, very well for someone who is only hinting about running.  Novak says he's serious, and that Thompson's wife is "all for it."  And you know what that means: He's in.  Guiliani, I believe, is peaking at 36%, which is based largely on name recognition and post 9/11 warm fuzzies.  I think he knows he can't do better, and is running for VP.  McCain, as always, is delusional.  I like Romney, and don't know why he isn't doing better.  He has raised a pile of money.

As for the Dems, Hillary's at 34%, Obama's at 23%, Edwards and Gore are both at 15%.  No surprises there.  The media certainly can't stop talking about Hillary and Obama, can they?