Thursday, October 27, 2005

Valuable Life Lesson

Peter Riotis packed two chickens, beef round and strip loin, ground beef and corned beef hash into his stepchildren's Spiderman and princess book bags.

He grabbed coffee creamer, too, mozzarella and string cheese, American cheese singles, a $2 football and other items -- more than $90 worth of goods. Then the 6-year-old boy and two girls, ages 10 and 12, carried the bags full of food outside.

But, according to Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigators, Riotis and the children weren't shopping at the Save-A-Lot grocery, 12060 U.S. 19, on Friday. Riotis was stealing.
"When I got caught, I told them, 'See what happens. It's not right to steal,' " Riotis said.

The Tampa Tribune, 23 Oct 2005.

Who needs water or power? Will Replace Weather-Beaten Flags for Free

HUNTINGTON, N.Y., Oct. 27, 2005 -- In the wake of Hurricane Wilma, announced today that it will immediately begin distributing free American Flags to those whose flags were damaged during this autumn's inclement weather. The U.S. flags to be given away by measure 3 feet by 5 feet and generally retail on the website for $19.99, plus shipping and handling. Up to 100,000 customers will get these flags for free and pay only for shipping and handling. ran a similar giveaway earlier this year to mark July 4th and distributed more than 100,000 free flags nationwide.

"The American Flag is perhaps our greatest symbol of perseverance and an unbreakable spirit of resolve," said President/CEO Jeffrey Reynolds. "As the residents of Florida and other weather-battered areas begin clean-up efforts and retire their tattered flags, we want to make sure that they are replaced with clean, new flags that properly reflect that spirit." is the world's largest retailer of U.S. flags and flagpoles, supplying American-made products to corporations, schools, military bases and consumers worldwide. is owned and operated by Precision Marketing Solutions, Inc., a privately-held corporation based in New York. Visitors can claim their free flags by visiting

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Great Moments in Customer Service #94

Us: Hi! How are you?

Floor-layer: We're here, aren't we?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Authentic Sound of British Protest

To shouts of "take your hands off him" and "it's an absolute disgrace" from the audience, he was lifted by security guards and carried out.

The Guardian, 28 July 2005.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

After Odell James Rhodes allegedly fled from a stolen vehicle, police say they found several components used in manufacturing methamphetamine in the car along with a few slices of pizza. "It was a barbecue pizza with Canadian bacon and extra cheese," Officer C. B. Caya of the Johnson Police Department said.

Northwest Arkansas Times, 29 June 2005.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Has anyone done the joke about the fan hitting the Sith? Oh.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Cheese Smuggling News

A FRENCHMAN has been jailed for smuggling cheese into Britain.
He was sentenced to spend 28 days behind bars after the court branded his action "a danger to the food chain".
A customs spokesman said: "Usually people get fines. But in this case the court regarded 194lb as a very large amount of food."

Edinburgh Evening News, 9 June 2005.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I was reading the Sunday papers yesterday and there was one of those Q&A things with some musician I'd never heard of.

Anyway, one of the questions was "Who do you most admire?" And the answer was: My father - for his drive.

Well, I've just had my drive done, and it's done nothing for my kids' admiration for me. They don't even appreciate that they can now get out of the car without stepping in mud. And they still don't tip.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

New Holiday Destination

Lost Sock Laundry II is opening June 17 in the former Midwest TV Appliance space at 1902 E. Pawnee.

The 8,000-square-foot laundry will have 42 washers, 43 dryers and room for more.

"It'll be spacious, clean and carpeted," Dan Schmidt said.

Wichita Eagle, 28 May 2005.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Someone just called me on my mobile and asked me if I deal in firearms.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Jailed on a sandwich beef

A New Hampshire man has been in jail for the last three weeks after allegedly stealing a roast beef sandwich. '"He said he was on his way back to pay for the sandwich," said [Portsmouth Police Officer Michael] Maloney. ' The sandwich was competitively priced at $3.99.

Portsmouth Herald, 19 May 2005.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Happy Meals for Adults

How come these don't exist? I'd like to be offered a little action figure with my food, to keep me distracted. How about Jack and Miles out of Sideways? Or - and this more likely - John and Jane from Mr & Mrs Smith? I can also imagine Bourne tie-in meals, presented in "Treadstone" themed boxes. I want this much more than I want... salads.

Monday, April 25, 2005


RZT: You're a self-proclaimed shoehorse. Who is your favorite shoe designer?

JB [Julien Boutter]: I like Paul May shoes, and all Italian shoes in general.

Row Z Tennis

Thursday, April 14, 2005's Statistically Improbable Phrases, or "SIPs", show you the interesting, distinctive, or unlikely phrases that occur in the text of books in Search Inside the Book. Our computers scan the text of all books in the Search Inside program. If they find a phrase that occurs a large number of times in a particular book relative to how many times it occurs across all Search Inside books, that phrase is a SIP in that book.

chiller room from My First Movie: Twenty Celebrated Directors Talk About Their First Film by Stephen Lowenstein.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Double Take

Is it just me, or does this sentence make you feel itchy?

"His appointment as president of the Bluegrass Press Club was the public icing on the cake."

George Clooney: a biography, by Jeff Hudson, page 10.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Haunted Cheese Factory

Decatur - Adams County Cheese factory - This old abandoned cheese factory, has been known for its many unexplained phenomena. It is said to be guarded by spirits. Many people claim not to be able to spend much time in this area.

Landon Howell,, 4 April 2005.

Monday, April 11, 2005

"Elvis Presley" is the phonetic equivalent in Hungarian of "the lost pretzel".

Joe Esterhaz, Hollywood Animal

Monday, March 28, 2005

Cupcake Canasta has returned to the web, (not) fresh from its battles with domain registrars and (nearly) ready to recommence regular updates. Thanks to everyone who's supported the site during the wilderness years - and welcome back. Plans are underway for a massive celebration in December when the site reaches its tenth anniversary. That's right: Cupcake Canasta is only five months younger than Amazon.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Isn't the phrase normally "to die for"? Maybe they mean "Advance 007".

>> Advance7 has a 15-year track record of success and a customer list to kill for. This is an ideal role for an ambitious sales person with IT experience.
Samsung boss who wants to ski alone hires his own slope

“He is afraid of falling and being run into...”

The Times, 17 March 2005.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

John Harwood: lunch tab of $6,670.45. Posted by Hello
l’Affaire de Crudite

Former House speaker John Harwood ordered up more than $6,000 worth of pricey eats, and another $500 worth of beer, wine and other beverages to wash it down, at a reception for what he estimated would be 175 people attending the unveiling of his official portrait at the Statehouse last April. The total tab, according to court papers, came to $6,670.45.

Now, Harwood is saying current House Speaker William Murphy backed out on a promise to pay for the fancy victuals -- $1,916.25 just for the passed-around hors d’oeuvres -- and is suing him in District Court.

[...]Exactly how much is it going to cost Joe Taxpayer to adjudicate l’Affaire de Crudite?

Woonsocket Call, 14 March 2005.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Nothing I Can Do About It

As the ocean containers left Marion, it seemed the city's spirit would sag. "There's nothing I can do about it," Williams said shortly after he was laid off. "This is politics, business, the way of the world."
Indianapolis Star, 13 March 2005.

''It's my life. It's everything. It's a dream Don and I had. Now we're back at the bottom starting all over,'' says Newssbaum. Newssbaum says she estimates about $450,000 worth of inventory has burned. ''Nothing I can do about it. Just smile and go on and hope insurance will take care of it,'' adds Inmon., 13 March 2005.

"We're a necessary service and function," Elizabethtown Police Chief Ruben Gardner said. "We can't deter from that."

Gardner said the department will maintain a force of at least four patrol cars and one supervisor on the road at all times, and could possibly have up to eight cars on the road during peak hours.

"There's nothing I can do about it," he said about gasoline prices.
News-Enterprise, Kentucky, no date.

At her rental, she'll keep the heat turned down and run the dishwasher only once a week.
"That is just the way it is," Hennig said. "There is nothing I can do about it."
Daily Herald, Washington, 11 March 2005.
Cajeta, por favor?
Hershey's new line of candy launched under the moniker of "La Dulceria Thaila" is now out and available at a vending machine near you. Thalia is a very well-known Mexican star, roughly the Hispanic equivalent of Britney Spears. In one of the ads, Thalia appears in this month's People en Espanol touting Hershey's new candy line with a headline that says, "Sabor a chocolate blanco con cajeta." (The taste of white chocolate and condensed milk.) To 60% of the US Hispanic market the word "cajeta," loosely translated, means "condensed milk," which is extremely sweet and sinfully delicious. But to the rest of the Hispanic consumers in the United States it either means nothing or, in the worst of a Marketer's nightmare, it means something that does not belong on a candy wrapper [...] Contact Jose Cancela [of Hispanic USA Inc.] and find out what "cajeta" means to Argentines and Dominicans.
Press release, Hispanic USA 14 March 2005.

Here's some help from The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho 8 March 2005:
"... in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, cajeta is a vulgar term for a certain delicate part of the female anatomy."

Damn! I guessed wrong.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Exploding Dog
Not content with posting some of the finest drawings available on the web, sam brown also writes a model faq.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Underground map of London with the locations of various movie settings substituted for stations.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Yum yum

"The flavor and chic style of the brand make this a natural fit for female audiences," said Stephanie Miller, the company's new-products manager.

"This" = Brutal Fruit, an alcoholic malted drink in four flavours: Sultry Strawberry, Kinky Kiwi, Manic Mango and Luscious Litchi.

Richmond Times-Dispatch, 7 March 2005.
Oh, Chris.
"The best way to develop self esteem is to teach children to read and write, to add up and to know something about the world," he [Chris Woodhead, ex-chief inspector of schools] told BBC Radio's Today. BBC, 7 March 2005.

That may be the way you developed your self-esteem, Chris.
Film Studio in Surbiton
The ballroom in Regent House, an old mansion, provided the setting for this one-stage studio formed in 1918 by the Stoll Film Company Limited. Their first production was Comradeship, produced by Maurice Elvey, starring stage actor Gerald Ames and Lily Elsie. By 1920, Stoll had moved to a larger studio at Cricklewood, and cinematographer Geoffrey Malins had formed the Garrick Film Company and was using the Surbiton Studio. Although Malins made a number of comedy films, in the main his productions were shorts and educational films, which included Our Girls And Their Physique. Stoll retained the ownership of the studio until 1923 when it was taken over by British Instructional Films.
Patricia Warren, British Film Studios: an illustrated history, Batsford, second edition, 2001.

Monday, February 28, 2005

White Migraine
I've had Classic Migraine since my teens, and the occasional (and very horrible) period of cluster headache (for which I prefer the spookier-sounding name "migrainous neuralgia"). But in the last few years my CM has mutated to pretty much exclude the headache part of the deal. I get the aura (zigzags etc) and the postdrome (feeling like you've been hit by a bus) but very little in the way of a drum solo. So I think I need a name for this condition, and I think that name had better be White Migraine. I don't know why; it just sounds right, don't it?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Three Things That Have Increased By 61 Percent

Over the course of the last 10 years, from 1991 to 2000, the percentage of obese Americans has increased by 61 percent. Today, there are over 60 million people in this country who are considered to be obese.
James Swierzbin, Fighting obesity in America, The Berkeley Beacon, 17 February 2005

Another major crop that has shown impressive growth as a result of the policy reforms is maize. [...] Production has increased by 61 percent from 3.3 million tons in 1982 to 5.4 million tons in 1994.
Egypt State Information Service

Revenues generated per employee increased by 61 percent between 1993 and 1997.
Solar Turbines Inc.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The Great Debate: Plastic Bags

In addition to exacerbating the mosquito problem, plastic bags block gutters and drains, choke farm animals and marine wildlife, pollute the soil, can ruin Kenya's dramatic natural vistas and can take 20 to 1,000 years to decompose.
Tribune de Geneve, 23 February 2005

But it's plastic bags that really define my lifestyle. I love plastic bags. I love them almost as much as I love my cats. On some days, I love the bags more.
Harriet Cooper, A Woman of a Certain Age, 26 June 2002

"I love plastic bags because my customers can really see my logo. I use the bags as giveaways at trade shows and other meetings -- and put gifts and materials for my customers and friends inside." - A Satisfied Customer.

i hate plastic bags
Title of a review of American Beauty at, 26 October 1999

Goat hair from General Bailey Homestead Farm. Posted by Hello
On this day in: 1905
Three thousand pounds of goat hair came to Redding from the ranges of G. Williams & Sons of Bella Vista. The ranges were to receive about 35 cents per pound for the goat hair.
Redding Record Searchlight, 23 Febraury 2005 (registration required)
History In The Making
Floor and Decor Outlets of America opened its first Phoenix location last month to record-breaking sales, making it the retailer's strongest opening in history., 22 February 2005

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Say What?
"I thought they were ridgy-didge," he said.
Daily Telegraph [Australia], 21 February 2005
Now Lenten observances are less rigorous, and they certainly didn't inhibit the Grilled Cheese-Eating Championships from being held last week in Venice Beach, Calif., where renowned gurgitator Sonya Thomas walked away with the $3,500 grand prize after eating 25 grilled cheese sandwiches in 10 minutes. Weighing in at only 105 pounds, Sonya is prominent among the new type of athletes known as competitive eaters, or gurgitators, and she holds numerous titles, including asparagus (5.75 pounds of fried tempura-coated spears in 10 minutes), lobsters (38 in 12 minutes), and cheesecake (11 pounds in 9 minutes).
These and many other gorging contests are sanctioned by the International Federation of Competitive Eating, which disallows people younger than 18 from competing and discourages speed-eating at home, even for training.
The IFOCE considers speed-eating a sport. Their pantheon of athletes includes 409-pound Cookie Jarvis (one gallon, 9 ounces of ice cream in 12 minutes), the cornbread-loving Yellow Cake Subich and Carlene LeFevre, "a fierce and highly focused competitor who releases excess energy by popping up and down as she eats," which "helps to tamp down the food in her stomach."
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 21 February 2005
I Could Do This Job Single-Handed
Mobile phone company 3 are looking for an Entertainment Project Manager with attributes that include: "Enthusiasm for adult entertainment, broad minded & customer savvy ".

Friday, February 18, 2005


They say:

The project is examining how spaces between buildings can be used to create a streetscape matching the cosmopolitan feel of the location and improve the pedestrian experience in accordance with the Urban Realm Strategy for the city centre. Aberdeen City Council, 16 February 2005.

They mean:
We're going to repave Thistle Street.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Headlines That Make History

Americans still like thicker towels

Charlotte Observer, 17 February 2005 [subscription required].
According to that shining light of reason, Princess Michael, the Queen relaxes by exercising her Cockney accent. This news comes hot (or not) on the heels of the revelation that Buckingham Palace lacks double-glazing, and is oozing heat into the Mall.

Who'd have guessed that the royal family were so common? My sources tell me that Princess Michael has done her own secondary glazing at her pad in Kensington. Perhaps she used clingfilm, and a hair dryer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Cheese theft
Police were called Sunday to Cub Foods, 2600 Rice Creek Road, on a theft report. A Cub security officer said she saw a man entering and leaving the bathroom of the store several times. The man then left the store, and allegedly tried to break into three vehicles, including the security officer's vehicle. She confronted the man, who told her he had cheese in his pocket and it was not paid for. Police asked the man why he was trying to get into the vehicles, and he said he was cold. The man was cited for shoplifting and motor-vehicle tampering. Police gave him a ride home.
St. Paul Pioneer Press, 28 January 2005 [subscription required]

Monday, February 14, 2005

British Culture Triumphs in Hollywood

"I am ashamed of the drink-punch-smash-vomit culture which has spread like an ugly acne on the face of our once proud towns and cities." Steve Green, Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police. The Scotsman, 22 January 2005.

"I'm too scared to put on a dress in case the baby vomits on it." Cate Blanchett, Oscar (R) nominee. Ananova, 1 February 2005.

"Yeah, I'd love to be skinny like you, but I couldn't give up eating vinyl." Posted by Hello

Picture: The Virtual Radiogram

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Skip, Surbiton. (Or "skip Surbiton", if you're in a hurry.) Posted by Hello

I'd like to think this Walton-on-Thames firm was founded by Mr Fox, and then he brought his daughters into the business. I'm too timid to call them and ask them, but look - the number's there if you want to have a go.

Friday, February 11, 2005

We thought it was mould, but it was just a jay cloth that had got shredded, and baked into the loaf. Yum yum. Posted by Hello