Yeah, I bet

OAK BLUFFS - For year-round residents of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, it was an eagerly anticipated rite of fall: On the Saturday before Thanksgiving, two proudly independent communities tussled for bragging rights in the season-ending high school football matchup....

Vineyard native Emmett Carroll, 65, who ran the Menemsha Texaco station for years, remembers how the games united his island: “Nothing accentuated that more than going to Nantucket. And if we won, it was pretty exciting, coming out of the ferry with the fire trucks blazing.’’

link: For islanders, this was The Game - The Boston Globe

Who doesn't love a blazing fire truck?

Go figure!

The median list price for a bunionectomy (the surgical removal of a bunion) is $21,616 at The Oak Brook Surgical Centre but just $3,516 at the Hinsdale Surgical Center.

link: Hospital report cards: Illinois Web site with prices, quality ratings and more will launch Thursday -- chicagotribune.com

Well, sorry, you have to know something about the Chicago 'burbs to appreciate this one. Not to mention, there is probably someplace downstate where it costs $8.99.

YAME's homemaking tip of the month

OK, year. Decade? Would you believe decade?

If you are going to make stew you will need more than just some meat.

Or, to put it another way, if you insist on making up your menus at the grocery store it would be a good idea to turn the iPod off.

Because, Bunky, I'm just saying, if you come home without the veggies you ain't gonna have no stew.

Unless, of course, you already have some veggies which, in point of fact, I do: A carrot.


Wait, I thought that got you through customs every time

LOS ANGELES - Federal officials say they arrested a man who strapped 15 live lizards to his chest to get through customs at Los Angeles International Airport.

link: Authorities: Man tied lizards to chest at airport | Weird News | Wichita Eagle

Guess not.


Frost on the windshields this morning, ho ho

Bunky, there's one little chore I won't be doing this winter: Standing out in the driveway on an icy-cold, windy, sleeting, still-almost-dark morning trying to scrape a coat of ice from the windshield. Ha!

It was only 25º this morning when I went out for a walk (which, by the way, is strictly just between us, the walking thing, I don't want to ruin my reputation and anyway the only reason I did it was because I was out of coffee and had to go get more which qualifies as a real emergency, doesn't it?) and now, pushing noon, it's still only 44º, which is beginning to look like a new low in highs.

Meanwhile, in a transparent play for more American tourists...

...Finnair, Finland’s biggest airline, has a new idea for attracting frequent flyers: free plastic surgery in exchange for air miles.

Breast implants, hair replacement surgery or a face-lift performed by the Nordstroem Hospital in Helsinki are among the newest offerings in the carrier’s Finnair Plus loyalty service, according to the program’s Web site.

link: Finnair offers free plastic surgery - Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review

(H/T Catherine)



You might think...

KABUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama aims to bring the Afghan war to an end before he leaves office, he said on Wednesday, the eve of a swearing-in ceremony Western officials hope can help salvage Hamid Karzai's tattered reputation.

link: Obama vows Afghan exit; battered Karzai to take oath - Yahoo! News

...it's Karai's swearing-in that's supposed to rescue his reputation, or at least rescue it enough to gratify Western officials, but no...

The centerpiece will be Karzai's inauguration speech, with Western officials hoping to hear a specific program to combat graft, improve performance and limit the influence of warlords.

...it's a speech everyone's all excited about because, as we should all know by now, everything's in the spin.

An amusing exchange

Blockbuster Employee of the Month

-Passed along by Paul Knue

Never fall asleep in a tattoo parlor

How else do you explain Kenyon Martin's lips? Not the lips on his face -- the lips on his neck. They're fire-hydrant-red women's lips, smooching there for all time, a permahickey.

link: The Life of Reilly -- Rick Reilly -- The odd, often-confusing culture of the athlete tattoo - ESPN

And then, notes Cub Reporter Paul Knue, there's a fighter named Melvin Costa.

Written in elaborate scroll underneath his belly button, it says -- and may God take my eyesight if I'm lying -- "I Have A Small Penis."

"I really don't get this whole tattoo thing," Knue adds.


Chalk one up for "social networking"

Social networking saved the day for Bethany Thomas and Dmitri Zagidulin, newlyweds who were stranded in Germany after Expedia wrongly told them that they didn’t need visas for their Russian honeymoon, reported USA Today on November 6th.

link: Social Networking Saves Couple Stranded Without Visas

-Thanks to Catherine

Sarah redux

SARAH PALIN, a onetime beauty queen, a mother of five, the Republican candidate for vice president in 2008, and the former governor of Alaska, has a new incarnation: author.

link: Op-Ed Contributor - In the Wilderness, a New Frontier - NYTimes.com

"Argghh! Make it stop," notes our Midwest bureau chief.


Your money or your life

Even as drug makers promise to support Washington’s health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation’s drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years.

link: Drug Makers Raising Prices Before Reform - NYTimes.com

Are you reaching for my wallet or are you just...?

[General Motors] says it will begin repaying $6.7 billion in U.S. government loans with a $1.2 billion payment in December. It could pay off the full amount by 2011, four years ahead of schedule, but the money will come from funds loaned by the government.

link: GM reports $1.2B loss, says it shows progress - Yahoo! News

[Emphasis mine]


Apple hijacks your Mac?

...Apple is seeking a patent for technology that displays advertising on almost anything that has a screen of some kind: computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices and other consumer electronics.

link: Digital Domain - Apple Wouldn’t Risk Its Cool Over an Ad Gimmick, Would It? - NYTimes.com

-Noted by Midwest Bureau Chief Phil Compton


Wednesday, November 11 is Veterans Day.

-From an USA.gov email dated November 15

Appreciation: Jim Knippenberg

Knip, 63, who took a buyout and retired a year ago, could do anything. He was a columnist, entertainment editor, features writer and a department head at various times.

He knew everybody. And how to reach them. (When he left the paper, co-workers demanded his two overstuffed Rolodex files and put them in a secure place.)

link: Appreciation: Jim Knippenberg | cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com

Knip was a good guy who lived hard -- and fully -- and died fairly young. There's something to be said for that.

He was a friend -- he was one of those rare people who was considered a friend by every one he knew -- even though we spent our careers on opposite sides. We even raised a few pints together, something Knip did with all of his friends who, of course, were legion.

There are many wonderful and funny stories about Knip, most of which have the added benefit of being true. But most of them will never be told completely or candidly in the traditional media. Simply because they can't.

Take the tale told at the end of this tribute. Humorous, but incomplete. Here's the real story:

Knip -- who most likely had an alternative lifestyle, if you know what I mean -- was waiting outside of his office after a harried day for a friend to pick him up. A very similar sporty little Mercedes (Knip lived well for an ink-stained wretch. It happens.) stopped in traffic in front of him. Absentmindedly, the Little Knipper jumps in and exclaims: "Fuck me. I need a drink." The stranger behind the wheel doesn't miss a beat.

"So I fuck you and I give you a drink," she says. "Do I at least get a cigarette afterward?"

Mortified, our hero identifies himself as the equally over-the-top columnist for the Other Paper, apologizes, and runs as fast as a life-long smoker can.

And that's the whole story as told by one of the most colorful and enjoyable people I've ever known. He was one of the good guys who made everyone smile when he entered the room. Rest in peace, old friend.

-Paul Knue