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Thread: Weird But True

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    Penguin's wetsuit puts him back in the swim of things

    By MICHELLE LOCKE, Associated Press Writer Friday, April 25, 2008 (04-25) 04:43 PDT SAN FRANCISCO, (AP) --

    What's black and white and warm all over? A penguin in a wetsuit, naturally. Sounds like a joke, but it's quite serious for biologists at the California Academy of Sciences, who had a wetsuit created for an African penguin to help him get back in the swim of things.

    Pierre, a venerable 25 years old, was going bald, which left him with an embarrassingly exposed, pale pink behind.

    Unlike marine mammals, which have a layer of blubber to keep them warm, penguins rely on their waterproof feathers. Without them, Pierre was unwilling to plunge into the academy's penguin tank and ended up shivering on the sidelines while his 19 peers played in the water.

    "He was cold; he would shake," said Pam Schaller, a senior aquatic biologist at the academy.

    Pierre's species of penguin is accustomed to temperate climates, unlike many of their cousins. The birds are nicknamed Jackass penguins because they make sounds similar to braying donkeys, quite startling the first time you hear it in an aquarium.

    Schaller first tried a heat lamp to keep Pierre warm. Then she got another idea: If wetsuits help humans frolic in the chilly Pacific, why not whip up one in a slightly smaller size?

    Staff at Oceanic Worldwide, a supplier of dive gear based in San Leandro, were enthusiastic about making a real penguin suit.

    "We were really excited to do it," said Teo Tertel, company marketing specialist. "We heard most of these penguins only live to 20, and our little buddy there was already 25. Anything we could do to help them, we were all for it."

    Schaller conducted fittings to design the suit, which fastens with Velcro at the back, covers Pierre's torso and has small openings for his flippers.

    "I would walk behind him and look at where there were any gaps, and cut and refit and cut and refit until it looked like it was extremely streamlined," she said.

    One concern was that the other penguins would reject Pierre in his new duds, but in fact, they accepted his sleek new look.

    Pierre was outfitted with the suit about six weeks ago. Since then, he has gained weight, grown back feathers on his hind parts and is again acting like his feisty, alpha-male self.

    On a recent visit, Pierre waddled around the tank, taking brief dips and standing on a rock next to his mate. He blended in well, although he was the only penguin with a black tummy.

    Schaller can't say for sure whether the wetsuit allowed Pierre to recover his fine feathers, but "certainly we were able to keep him comfortable during a period of time that would have been very difficult for him to stay comfortable."

    With his plumage restored, Pierre is being weaned off the suit, taking more and more dips in the buff.

    There are no plans to make him a matching surf board.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Calif. brewer ordered to stop using 'Legal Weed' bottle caps

    By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer Wednesday, April 23, 2008 (04-23) 17:20 PDT Sacramento, CA (AP) --

    Vaune Dillmann thought the wording on his bottle caps was just a clever play on the name of the Northern California town where he brews his beer — Weed.

    Federal alcohol regulators thought differently. They have ordered Dillmann to stop selling beer bottles with caps that read "Try Legal Weed."

    The dispute started in February when Dillmann sent the proposed label for his latest beer, Lemurian Lager, to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for approval. The agency, which regulates the industry, asked for some changes to the label, along with a sample bottle cap.

    Dillmann obliged, sending the caps he has been using for his five current beers.

    The agency responded that the message on the caps amounted to a drug reference. In a letter explaining its decision, the agency said the wording could "mislead consumers about the characteristics of the alcoholic beverage."

    Dillmann scoffs at the notion that his label has anything to do with smoking pot.

    "I've never tried marijuana in my life," he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I don't advocate that. It's just our town's name."

    The town of 3,000, sitting beneath Mount Shasta about 230 miles north of the state capital, takes its name from Abner Weed, a timber baron who opened a lumber mill there in 1901 and eventually was elected to the state Senate.

    Dillmann, 61, started the Mount Shasta Brewing Co. in 2004. He said he has always used the town's name on his beers and named the company's first official brew Abner Weed's Pale Ale.

    His bottle labels follow a long tradition of exploiting the town's name. Even city officials do it.

    A sign posted on the way out of town reads, "Temporarily Out of Weed," while another says "100 Percent Pure Weed." Dillmann noted those examples in an appeal letter he sent to the alcohol bureau, a division of the U.S. Treasury Department.

    Once, Dillmann said, his wife, a former teacher, was delayed on a field trip to San Francisco as tourists clamored to pose next to the school bus, which said "Weed High."

    But illegal drugs are no joke to the federal agency, which maintains meticulous rules about labeling. Drug references on alcoholic beverages were banned in 1994, agency spokesman Art Resnick said.

    "We protect consumers of alcohol beverages against misleading advertising and labeling. That's one of our primary functions. That's what we do, as well as collect taxes," he said.

    He said the agency is reviewing Dillmann's appeal.

    The Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association, which represents 1,100 craft brewers nationwide, said the alcohol and tobacco bureau seems to have become more aggressive in recent years. It has gone after brewers for seemingly innocuous claims, such as descriptions that say one beer is stronger than another, said association director Paul Gatza.

    "We're seeing the TTB starting to poke around at breweries' Web sites and issuing letters," he said. "Our trade association is feeling like TTB is overstretching a little bit."

    Gatza said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the 1980s protected truthful speech on beer labels.

    Meanwhile, Dillmann has placed a rush order on unmarked bottle caps so he can keep bottling while he awaits word from the federal agency on his appeal. He has enlisted the help of U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, R-Marysville, who has asked the agency to explain why it rejected Dillmann's bottle cap labels.

    The decision banning the "Try Legal Weed" caps came just after Dillmann had placed an order for 400,000 of them, at a cost of about $10,000. It took him four years to go through the first batch of bottle caps, but Dillmann said his sales have been increasing steadily.

    Still, the native of Milwaukee said he wonders how some other brewers have gotten away with the names for their products, such as Hemp Ale or Dead Guy Ale. And he can't understand how his label has run afoul of federal alcohol regulators who must surely be aware of one of the most famous advertising slogans in American marketing: "This Bud's for you."
    ___

    On the Net:

    Mount Shasta Brewing Co.: www.weedales.com

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    Although I am still wondering how she came to be underneath him in the first place...

    Woman Spends 4 Days Pinned Under Dead Husband. Newspaper Carrier Finds Elderly Woman In Home

    POSTED: 9:38 am EDT April 30, 2008

    ST. LOUIS -- An elderly woman can thank her newspaper carrier for saving her life.

    Blanche Roberts spent about four days in her home in Marion, Ill., with her right leg pinned underneath the body of her dead husband. He died of an apparent heart attack after mowing the lawn last week.

    Newspaper carrier Bruce Pitts said he knew something was wrong when the papers piled up outside their home. He got in through an unlocked door and found the woman lying helpless.

    Pitts described the 84-year-old woman as frail and petite.

    The coroner said her 77-year-old husband was a "good-sized man."

    Relatives said Roberts is doing fine.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    8 Accused Of Torturing Cocaine Dealers. Men Accused Of Impersonating Police Officers

    POSTED: 7:29 am EDT May 7, 2008
    UPDATED: 7:46 am EDT May 7, 2008

    NEW YORK -- Eight men are facing charges of abducting and torturing cocaine traffickers in the Northeast.

    An indictment unsealed in federal court in Brooklyn charges that the gang operated by pretending to be police officers.

    They are accused of forcing drug traffickers to hand over multimillion-dollar stashes by employing torture and holding the traffickers' families hostage for days on end.

    Authorities said that since the spring of 2003, the gang injured about 100 people while committing 100 holdups targeting large-scale traffickers in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

    The take: $4 million in cash and more than 1,600 pounds of cocaine worth $20 million, which authorities said the men sold on the streets of New York.

    The defendants, all from the Dominican Republic, pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery conspiracy, drug dealing and other crimes.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.


    Talk about a mixed bag of emotions here. When I read the hearder text, I thought "Hey. Great, someone took some initiative." Then I read through and "Well damn. If that dont beat all?" So the stuff is still out on the street.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Good for him! I wish this would happen a bit more often.

    Police: Motorcyclist flipped bird, popped wheelie, crashed

    Monday, May 5, 2008

    (05-05) 16:41 PDT Copiague, N.Y. (AP) --

    A Long Island man who flipped his finger at a police cruiser and then popped a wheelie on his motorcycle is recovering from injuries after crashing.

    Suffolk County Police said Frank Patti, 26, of West Islip, rode by the police car at a service station in Copiague at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Police say Patti made an obscene gesture to two officers in the car, popped a wheelie and then sped away.

    Police gave chase.

    When the motorcycle turned into a parking lot it crashed into a police car that had joined the chase.

    Police said Patti was treated for minor injuries at Southside Hospital. He's charged with fleeing police, resisting arrest and several traffic violations.

    He was being held for arraignment Monday. Police did not know if he had an attorney.

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    Exclamation

    Texas teens tell police they converted skull into bong
    May 09, 2008 2:54 AM EDT

    HOUSTON - Three teenagers were arrested after two of them told police they dug up a secluded grave north of Houston, removed the skull from the coffin and converted it into a marijuana bong.

    Police believe the grave is that of an 11-year-old boy who died in 1921.

    They found a grave in the city of Humble that had been disturbed, but were still investigating the rest of the teens' story, Houston police Sgt. John Chomiak said.

    Kevin Wade Jones, 17, and Matthew Richard Gonzalez, 17, both of Kingwood, were arrested Wednesday night and were being held on misdemeanor charges of abuse of a corpse, Chomiak said. A 16-year-old was referred to the Harris County juvenile justice system.

    A woman who answered the phone at Gonzalez's home declined comment. A telephone number for Jones could not immediately be found, and it wasn't clear from court records if either had an attorney.

    Police were interviewing Jones about the use of a stolen debit card when he told them about the grave theft, which purportedly occurred around March 15, according to court documents.

    Gonzalez confirmed the story to investigators in a follow-up interview. Police were led to a heavily wooded site in Humble where they found a knocked-over headstone and water-filled hole more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep. At the time, the muddy water did not allow police to see if the coffin had been disturbed.

    "They dug into this gravesite and that was enough to warrant the abuse of corpse charge," Chomiak said. "There has to be further investigation into the actual gravesite."

    Preliminary reports indicate the grave was part of a 19th-century veterans cemetery, Chomiak said. While residents in the area knew of the cemetery's existence, it did not appear to be maintained.

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    Smile No One Shot the Sheriff....

    No One Shot the Sheriff, but Someone Cut the Mayor, a Goat.

    By JIM YARDLEY

    Published: August 5, 2002

    This isolated place along the Rio Grande is called the end of the road, but it might as well be the end of the world. The closest commercial airport is five hours away. Cellphones do not work. There is no municipal government, and the elected mayor has no powers or duties, which is fortunate, since the mayor is a goat.
    Not a goat in figurative terms but a real goat, Clay Henry III. He is admittedly a symbolic figure, a mascot of sorts, a publicity tool. He does not involve himself with zoning or ribbon cuttings. He is not a strategic planner.
    His claim to fame is that he drinks beer.
    Yet anyone who doubts his standing here in Brewster County need only come in August to the county courthouse in Alpine, Tex., when a defendant is scheduled to be tried on state felony charges for grievously wounding Clay Henry in a knife attack. Clay Henry has healed, but the sheriff has preserved a piece of his anatomy as evidence. To put it indelicately, Clay Henry was castrated.
    ''It's serious business to anybody,'' said the Brewster County sheriff, Ronny Dodson, noting that the defendant could face jail time. ''Clay Henry is one of the icons in our community.'' Of the accused, the sheriff added, ''He thought it was a joke.'' In the southern part of the county, the sheriff noted, people do not think it was that funny.
    No, they do not. Clay Henry is a celebrity in Brewster County, a place where about 10,000 people live in an area larger than Connecticut. The breathtaking landscape has been discovered in recent years by artists, yuppies and others looking for a great escape. But the region still feels enough like the Old West that the defendant, Jim Bob Hargrove of Val Verde County, Tex., should consider himself fortunate that modern jurisprudence prevails.
    ''They wanted to lynch the guy,'' said Roger Gibson, who owned Clay Henry's predecessor, Clay Henry Jr. ''Clay Henry is an institution in West Texas.''
    The current mayor is actually the latest of three Clay Henrys. The most famous, Clay Henry I, belonged to the Lajitas Trading Post and earned a reputation in the 1970's for having a thirst for beer.
    ''The goat would walk around by the pool table and he would take a beer off the table if you didn't give him one,'' Sheriff Dodson recalled. ''Even when I was a kid down on the river, we'd give beer to the goat.''
    Clay Henry's popularity and common appeal made him a natural for politics. His first race came in the 1980's, by which time Lajitas was less a town than a resort owned by a prominent Houston businessman, Walter Mischer. Late one night, Mr. Mischer and a group of his Houston friends jokingly elected one of their own, a wealthy developer, as mayor of Lajitas, a gesture that offended at least one of the locals.
    ''I decided that if somebody from Houston can be mayor of Lajitas, then why not my goat?'' said Bill Ivey, who then owned the trading post as well as Clay Henry.
    The contest of goat versus developer became an irresistible spectacle for the media. Mr. Ivey said more than 1,200 ''votes'' arrived from around the world for Clay Henry. (The election had no apparent precincts or boundaries.) When the final votes were counted, the Houston crowd, apparently annoyed, placed a Houston phone book on the table as a bloc vote and declared victory. The Supreme Court was not consulted, and in a quieter election a few years later, Clay Henry won handily.
    His responsibilities consisted of being available for tourists who wanted a peek at the beer-drinking goat. But he did apparently affix his hoof print to at least one piece of legislation introduced at the state capitol. Mr. Ivey said the goat appeared in movies, drank beers with country music stars like Willie Nelson and held office until the early 1990's. Then at age 23, he died after fighting with a younger goat over the affections of a nanny. Today, Mr. Ivey has him stuffed, a beer bottle wedged in his open mouth.
    Clay Henry's son, Clay Jr., had a shorter tenure and left office in 1998. For a while, the trading post was without a goat and the town was without a mayor, until tourists visiting the resort demanded a successor. Clay Henry III officially became mayor in 2000, winning an election against a field that included a wooden Indian and a dog named Clyde.


    His blood connection to his predecessors is dubious, but Clay Henry III shares their taste for beer. He lives in a fancy pen beside the trading post and paces back and forth, excitedly, when a person approaches with a cold one. (A sign in the trading post notes that the mayor prefers the Lone Star brand.)
    It was Clay Henry's thirst that prompted his attack, according to the sheriff. On a Sunday last November, the new owner of the resort, Steve Smith, wanted to show a few visitors how Clay Henry drinks beer. Blue laws prevented him from buying one at the trading post, so Mr. Smith asked two men sitting nearby for a bottle. They obliged, but the sheriff said one of the men was offended that Mr. Smith had given a perfectly good beer to a goat.
    Later that day, witnesses overheard Mr. Hargrove boasting that he planned to go back and castrate Clay Henry. The sheriff said Clay Henry was found in a pool of blood the next morning. Housekeepers cleaning the condominium where Mr. Hargrove had stayed found something in the refrigerator. Sheriff Dodson says it was Clay Henry's testicle. Mr. Hargrove, who could not be reached for comment, is scheduled for trial in August.
    For now, Clay Henry does not seem very vengeful. He is back in his pen, happily drinking beers when they come his way.

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    Default weapon of choice?

    A man in New Zealand has been accused of a prickly attack on a teenager - using a hedgehog as a weapon.

    A hedgehog was used as a weaponWilliam Singalargh, 27, is said to have launched the spiky creature at a 15-year-old boy in the North Island east coast town of Whakatane.

    The animal was later discovered dead but it was unclear whether it was alive when it was thrown.

    The youth suffered several puncture wounds and a large gash to his leg but did not need hospital treatment.

    Police arrested Singalargh shortly afterwards and was charged with assault using a weapon "namely the hedgehog".

    He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

    Singalargh's lawyer said he intended to plead not guilty, The Herald On Sunday newspaper reported.

    Senior Sergeant Bruce Jenkins said: "People often get charged with assault for throwing things at other people." However, he admitted the use of a hedgehog as a weapon was "uncommon".

    It remains unclear if he will also face animal cruelty charges.

    The Herald reported Singalargh's arrest under the headline "Raise your hands and step away from the hedgehog".
    Copyright © 2008 BSkyB

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    Kittens Credited With Saving Lives In Fire. Two-Alarm Blaze Damages Three Houses

    POSTED: 10:50 am EDT May 13, 2008

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The six people who got out of a burning Springfield, Fla., home early Tuesday credited their kittens with waking them up and allowing them to escape without injury, television station WJXT reported.

    When firefighters responded to a fire at a two-story home at 3:45 a.m., they found the home fully engulfed in flames. Because the homes are so close together in that neighborhood, the houses on either side also caught fire.

    The original home was destroyed, and the other two sustained some damage. One of those homes was vacant, and one was occupied.

    Resident Lisa Kimmerle said a litter of kittens in the house was meowing so loudly that it woke her and others up.

    Kimmerle said she heard popping sounds, then ran to the stairway. She saw flames shooting up. She and the other residents who were upstairs climbed out a second-story window onto the roof and were helped down by another neighbor.

    Kimmerle said all six residents were stuck in the back yard when firefighters arrived. The residents had to yell for help, and the firefighters got them out of the back yard by cutting through a chain link fence.

    "God woke the kittens up, and the kittens woke us up," Kimmerle said.

    Jacksonville Fire-Rescue spokesman Tom Francis said there were smoke detectors in the house, but none had batteries.

    Francis said about 50 firefighters battled the two-alarm blaze.

    The Red Cross was assisting the six residents displaced by the fire. The kittens were all carried out of the home and were safe as well.

    Distributed by Internet Broadcasting.

    ========

    SAY! Doesnt Tooandfrom live here?

    North Island east coast town of Whakatane

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    There's a joke in here somewhere, right?

    Dad Jailed After Daughter Fails To Get GED. Father Ordered To Ensure Graduation

    POSTED: 11:33 am EDT May 13, 2008
    UPDATED: 4:12 pm EDT May 13, 2008

    CINCINNATI -- A man ordered by a judge to stay on top of his daughter's education has been jailed because she didn't get her high school equivalency diploma.

    Judge David Niehaus of Butler County Juvenile Court sentenced Brian Gegner, of Fairfield, last Wednesday to 180 days in jail for contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

    Gegner was ordered months ago to make sure his 18-year-old daughter, Brittany Gegner, received her GED, but she has not yet obtained the diploma.

    Brittany Gegner, who has a history of truancy, said her father shouldn't be blamed because she lived with her mother when she was truant from classes even though her father had custody.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    Only SF Gate would report this story LOL

    'Darth Vader' spared jail in Jedi church attacks

    Wednesday, May 14, 2008 (05-14) 04:36 PDT HOLYHEAD, Wales (AP) --

    A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday.

    Arwel Wynne Hughes, 27, attacked Jedi church founder Barney Jones — aka Master Jonba Hehol — with a metal crutch, hitting him on the head, prosecutors told Holyhead Magistrates' Court.

    He also whacked Jones' 18-year-old cousin, Michael Jones — known as Master Mormi Hehol — bruising his thigh in the March 25 incident, prosecutors said.

    The two cousins and Barney Jones' brother, Daniel, set up the Church of Jediism, Anglesey order, last year. Jedi is the faith followed by some of the central characters in the "Star Wars" films.

    The group, which claims about 30 members, says on its Web site that it uses "insight and knowledge" from the films as "a guide to living a better and more worthwhile life."

    "We all love the films and what they stand for. Obviously some people are going to laugh about it," the Wales on Sunday newspaper quoted Barney Jones as saying last month. "But a lot of people do take it seriously."

    Unfortunately for Hughes, his March attack was recorded on a video camera that the cousins had set up to film themselves in a light saber battle.

    "Darth Vader! Jedis!" Hughes shouted as he approached.

    Hughes claimed he couldn't remember the incident, having drunk the better part of a 2 1/2-gallon (10-liter) box of wine beforehand.

    "He knows his behavior was wrong and didn't want it to happen but he has no recollection of it," said Hughes' lawyer, Frances Jones.

    District Judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Hughes to two months in jail but suspended the sentence for one year. He also ordered Hughes to pay $195 to each of his victims and $117 in court costs.

    In the 2001 United Kingdom census, 390,000 — 0.7 percent of the population — listed Jedi as their religion.

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    Ummm... the phrase that comes to mind is, "Happy (t)uckers ain't they?" Although I just can't imagine that many in one house. *shudders*

    And baby makes 20 for couple with children aged from toddler to 23

    Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008

    ABBOTSFORD -- A B.C. family is expecting an 18th baby. Alexandru and Livia Ionce were delighted to discover their family of 19 will grow to an even 20 with the birth in July.

    "We're excited about it," said Alexandru, 51. "We never once in our life planned how many children we should have. We always left it in God's hands."

    So far, that has meant 18 babies in 24 years. The couple celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Their oldest daughter is 23, while their youngest daughter will turn two in August. The couple has seven more girls and eight boys. They have no twins, and each child was born naturally, with the exception of their 16th, who was born by C-section.

    When asked if the couple plans to have more children, Alexandru says simply: "We don't want to stop life, because life comes from God."

    The couple's first five children were born in Romania, the next three in Kitchener, Ont., while the remainder were born in B.C.

    The family rents a seven-bedroom house in Abbotsford and has converted extra rooms into sleeping quarters.

    "I thank God we have never had to go to bed hungry. We have always had enough," said Alexandru, admitting times were difficult when diabetes forced him to go on disability benefits for a few months. He now works in construction.

    Livia, 44, said she is grateful her 18th pregnancy has been healthy so far.

    "We are mostly ready. We have everything from the other children. We have a new bassinet," she said.

    The couple does not know if they are having a boy or girl.

    The most prolific living mom is believed to be Leontina Albina of Chile, who had her 55th and last child in 1981.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
    ========

    Teen Turns To Horse To Save Gas Money. Teen Saves $25 Per Week On Gas

    POSTED: 2:51 pm EDT May 14, 2008

    ROCKWOOD, Tenn. -- High school senior Bradley Walker is coping with the high price of gas with some horsepower.

    Walker is riding his horse Pumpkin to school in Rockwood. He figures he saves about $25 a week thanks to Pumpkin. The ride takes 45 minutes compared to a 10-minute drive.

    While Walker is in class, his horse stays in a makeshift stall behind the school. School officials are looking for more stall space, in case other students want to ride instead of drive.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 05-15-2008 at 04:39 PM.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    stupid double posts

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    I actually saw that kid from Rockwood the other day when I had to make a run there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Ummm... the phrase that comes to mind is, "Happy (t)uckers ain't they?" Although I just can't imagine that many in one house. *shudders*

    And baby makes 20 for couple with children aged from toddler to 23

    Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008

    ABBOTSFORD -- A B.C. family is expecting an 18th baby. Alexandru and Livia Ionce were delighted to discover their family of 19 will grow to an even 20 with the birth in July.

    "We're excited about it," said Alexandru, 51. "We never once in our life planned how many children we should have. We always left it in God's hands."

    So far, that has meant 18 babies in 24 years. The couple celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Their oldest daughter is 23, while their youngest daughter will turn two in August. The couple has seven more girls and eight boys. They have no twins, and each child was born naturally, with the exception of their 16th, who was born by C-section.

    When asked if the couple plans to have more children, Alexandru says simply: "We don't want to stop life, because life comes from God."

    The couple's first five children were born in Romania, the next three in Kitchener, Ont., while the remainder were born in B.C.

    The family rents a seven-bedroom house in Abbotsford and has converted extra rooms into sleeping quarters.

    "I thank God we have never had to go to bed hungry. We have always had enough," said Alexandru, admitting times were difficult when diabetes forced him to go on disability benefits for a few months. He now works in construction.

    Livia, 44, said she is grateful her 18th pregnancy has been healthy so far.

    "We are mostly ready. We have everything from the other children. We have a new bassinet," she said.

    The couple does not know if they are having a boy or girl.

    The most prolific living mom is believed to be Leontina Albina of Chile, who had her 55th and last child in 1981.

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008
    Giving Michelle & John Duggar (I think those are their names?) a run for their money. Heard on the news awhile ago that Michelle was pregnant again with her 18th kid.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Giving Michelle & John Duggar (I think those are their names?) a run for their money. Heard on the news awhile ago that Michelle was pregnant again with her 18th kid.
    Hey Sherri, is it something in the water up there?

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    Default a bug in the works?

    PHILADELPHIA - Customs agents seized more than two dozen giant beetles — some the size of a child's hand — from an overseas package after postal workers heard the insects making scratching noises.

    The large bugs arrived last week from Taiwan at a post office in Mohnton, about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, in a box whose contents were labeled as toys, gifts and jellies, officials said Wednesday.

    But the postmaster suspected the package contained live organisms and notified authorities, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. The package was sent to Philadelphia, where it was X-rayed and then opened.

    "The specimens were some of the largest of their kind, and some of the largest I've ever seen, averaging five to six inches in diameter," John Plummer, an agency agriculture specialist, said in a statement Wednesday. "They are highly destructive insect pests that can cause extensive damage to fruit and vegetable crops, trees, shrubs and turf grasses."

    In all, authorities found 26 Hercules, rhinoceros and Goliath beetles. It is illegal to ship live beetles into the United States without a permit from the Department of Agriculture.

    Seven of the beetles were in containers labeled by gender, which means they could have been intended for breeding, customs agency spokesman Steve Sapp said Wednesday.

    The sender and recipient have been identified, Sapp said. An investigation is under way, but no decision has been made whether to file charges, he said.

    AP updated 10:07 p.m. ET, Wed., May. 14, 2008

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    Quote Originally Posted by firecat1 View Post
    Hey Sherri, is it something in the water up there?
    The Duggars are from Arkansas HAHAHA

    And the husband's name is Jim Bob. I had to google it to find out what state they were from.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    The Duggars are from Arkansas HAHAHA

    And the husband's name is Jim Bob. I had to google it to find out what state they were from.
    Ya just HAD TO eh? LOL
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

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    Thumbs up

    I LIKE IT!

    Mom Makes Kids Hold Up Embarrassing Signs. Single Mother Says She's Run Out Of Ideas

    POSTED: 10:29 am EDT May 23, 2008

    OMAHA, Neb. -- A single mother said she is at her wits' end with her children's behavior, so she's making them hold signs at a busy intersection as punishment, reported television station KETV in Omaha.

    Survey: Would You Do It?

    Christina Wilcox and her children stood at an Omaha street corner on Thursday night. One son held a sign that said: "I'll never have a girlfriend. I can't respect my mom." Another son's sign proclaimed him a thief.

    "They'll learn by embarrassment," Wilcox said. "They'll learn. I've tried grounding them and disciplining them in every form and way, and this the only way I can get through to them."

    Mason, 7, is being punished for stealing.

    "He's starting down the wrong road of thieving and then lying about it," Wilcox said. "He's thieved from a couple of friends, from a store, and I just don't want it to proceed."

    Wilcox said that 5-year-old Elizabeth is following in her big brothers' footsteps, so she held a sign, too.

    "They're not going to want to do it again, so there will be no more lying and no more thieving," Wilcox said.

    Some drivers honked and gave Wilcox the thumbs up. Others shouted profanities. Wilcox said that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but she said she didn't know what else to do.

    "I'm a single mom of three. I work full time, so time outs and everything else don't always work," she said.

    Dustin Wilcox said he's not fazed by the punishment, but he said it does get him thinking.

    "It really doesn't bother me standing out here doing this," Dustin said. "I've been trying to work on being more respectful, not yelling at my mom and not arguing with her."

    The children held the signs for about an hour and 45 minutes. Wilcox said it was the last time they would hold the signs, and she thinks they got the message.

    Distributed by Internet Broadcasting.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    ALRIGHTY THEN.....

    Man Who Robbed Bank, Returned Money Gets 5 Years In Jail

    POSTED: 12:00 pm EDT May 27, 2008
    UPDATED: 12:45 pm EDT May 27, 2008

    LYNCHBURG, Va. -- A 72-year-old Virginia man who robbed a bank but then tried to give the money back will spend five years in prison.

    Duval Alexander Davis' sentence includes a mandatory minimum three years for use of a firearm in commission of a felony and two years for attempted bank robbery. The Lynchburg man pleaded guilty to the charges in February.

    His lawyer, Andrew Childress, said at last week's sentencing that the mandatory firearms sentence was out of line with the crime.

    Police said Davis entered Carter Bank and Trust on Nov. 29 armed with a gun and told the branch manager, "Give me all your money."

    According to witness statements, Davis then handed the money back and told the teller to call the police.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    I LIKE IT!

    Mom Makes Kids Hold Up Embarrassing Signs. Single Mother Says She's Run Out Of Ideas

    POSTED: 10:29 am EDT May 23, 2008

    OMAHA, Neb. -- A single mother said she is at her wits' end with her children's behavior, so she's making them hold signs at a busy intersection as punishment, reported television station KETV in Omaha.

    Survey: Would You Do It?

    Christina Wilcox and her children stood at an Omaha street corner on Thursday night. One son held a sign that said: "I'll never have a girlfriend. I can't respect my mom." Another son's sign proclaimed him a thief.

    "They'll learn by embarrassment," Wilcox said. "They'll learn. I've tried grounding them and disciplining them in every form and way, and this the only way I can get through to them."

    Mason, 7, is being punished for stealing.

    "He's starting down the wrong road of thieving and then lying about it," Wilcox said. "He's thieved from a couple of friends, from a store, and I just don't want it to proceed."

    Wilcox said that 5-year-old Elizabeth is following in her big brothers' footsteps, so she held a sign, too.

    "They're not going to want to do it again, so there will be no more lying and no more thieving," Wilcox said.

    Some drivers honked and gave Wilcox the thumbs up. Others shouted profanities. Wilcox said that everyone has a right to their own opinion, but she said she didn't know what else to do.

    "I'm a single mom of three. I work full time, so time outs and everything else don't always work," she said.

    Dustin Wilcox said he's not fazed by the punishment, but he said it does get him thinking.

    "It really doesn't bother me standing out here doing this," Dustin said. "I've been trying to work on being more respectful, not yelling at my mom and not arguing with her."

    The children held the signs for about an hour and 45 minutes. Wilcox said it was the last time they would hold the signs, and she thinks they got the message.

    Distributed by Internet Broadcasting.

    LMAO Thats GREAT
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    American Red Cross Volunteer

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    Love letter rescued from seabed after plane crash. Sailor's letter to his future wife survived crash of early jetliner

    Louise Dickson, Times Colonist Published: Thursday, May 29, 2008

    Their love couldn't be damaged in transit.

    Although 35 souls died on Jan. 10, 1954, when a Comet, one of the world's first commercial passenger jets, crashed into the sea off Elba, bags of airmail were later recovered from the seabed.

    And a water-stained love letter penned by John Jenkins, a lonely merchant sailor, to his future bride Pat Dagger reached her more than six weeks later and became a special part of their history.

    Today, the letter, along with others from their courtship, sits in a wooden box in their Victoria home.

    They met at a dance, like so many young couples in the early 1950s. Jenkins was 18, a midshipman with the British Merchant Navy, on his first two-week leave at home in Plymouth, England. Pat was 17, working for the Western Morning News and Evening Herald.

    "I had two Saturdays to go dancing at my favourite dance hall, the Guild Hall, which had the best band in town," Jenkins recalled.

    "I was standing at the bar with some buddies having a pint and they started playing a favourite tune of mine. I put my glass down to go and listen to the band. What I didn't know was that they made an announcement on the floor that it was ladies' choice. So I got a tap on the shoulder."

    Pat usually went to the Duke of Cornwall or the Continental, which were more upscale dance halls. But she couldn't get in that night.

    "I saw him on the edge of the floor and I thought, 'Well, he doesn't look bad, you know,' " laughed Pat.

    And Jenkins, turning round, thought the same. "Oy yoy yoy. She looked good to me."

    One marriage, two children and 50 years later, they still look good to each other.

    After their first dance, they had another date -- a movie -- then promised to write. On Jenkins's next leave, they saw each other almost every day, but "in the space of a few years, you didn't see much of each other," Pat said.

    "Letter-writing was the only means of correspondence in those days," Jenkins said. "I wrote lots of long letters. It was lonely on the ship."

    The 10-page letter, dated Jan. 4, 1954, was posted in Singapore.

    "My Dearest Pat, Thank you very much for your two letters which I have just received. I was thrilled to pieces about getting two letters from you here, as it is the first I have received from you this trip ..."

    He signed it, "Bye-bye for now darling. John XXX."

    Six weeks later, when the SS Pyrrhus returned to Singapore, Jenkins was handed an envelope. Written on the light brown paper were the words, 'Damaged by Sea Water (Comet Mail).' Inside the letter itself was another note: "It is regretted that the enclosed air letter has been damaged by water in transit. Salvage Mail. From Comet. Crash off Elba. Try J.O. Jenkins, Midshipman Pyrrhus."

    "I was horrified. I thought 35 people died with this letter. Then I thought, 'My gosh. She hasn't even got this letter; she's going to ditch me.' "

    Jenkins popped the letter back in the mail immediately.

    "The worst nightmare for sailors was getting a Dear John letter," he explained. "It was pretty common for girlfriends to find someone else when we'd been away at sea."

    Back in England, Pat was busy but beginning to wonder why there had been such a long gap between letters.

    "I wasn't worried he'd met anyone in port. I don't think he had time for that."

    Pat, too, was horrified when she received the letter and realized where it had been.

    They married in England in 1958. In 1962, they moved to Canada where Jenkins joined the Royal Canadian Navy. They retired to Victoria 10 years ago.

    When he heard the story, former neighbour Eugen Bannerman published the story in a little book called The Love Letter That Was Nearly Lost at Sea.

    ldickson@tc.canwest.com

    © Times Colonist (Victoria) 2008


    When I was serving aboard HMCS RESTIGOUCHE, it was just after the ship had returned from a tour of the Persian Gulf, and a 'round-the-world' trip home that she had stopped off in Australia. Mail was forwarded from the ship to Guam and then on to home. Unfortunately a typhoon struck Guam and the mail room got flooded out. I was working as the Ship's Mail Clerk and received 6 bags of mail.... all of it water damaged in to some degree. Some was still more or less legible, but a lot of it, there was no way to tell who sent it or where it was going.

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    I guess love really does know no boundaries. That's truly a sweet story.

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    Default this probably sort of falls into this category

    New York Times
    May 30, 2008

    As Oil Prices Soar, Restaurant Grease Thefts Rise
    By SUSAN SAULNY

    The bandit pulled his truck to the back of a Burger King in Northern California one afternoon last month armed with a hose and a tank. After rummaging around assorted restaurant rubbish, he dunked a tube into a smelly storage bin and, the police said, vacuumed out about 300 gallons of grease.

    The man was caught before he could slip away. In his truck, the police found 2,500 gallons of used fryer grease, indicating that the Burger King had not been his first fast-food craving of the day.

    Outside Seattle, cooking oil rustling has become such a problem that the owners of the Olympia Pizza and Pasta Restaurant in Arlington, Wash., are considering using a surveillance camera to keep watch on its 50-gallon grease barrel. Nick Damianidis, an owner, said the barrel had been hit seven or eight times since last summer by siphoners who strike in the night.

    “Fryer grease has become gold,” Mr. Damianidis said. “And just over a year ago, I had to pay someone to take it away.”

    Much to the surprise of Mr. Damianidis and many other people, processed fryer oil, which is called yellow grease, is actually not trash. The grease is traded on the booming commodities market. Its value has increased in recent months to historic highs, driven by the even higher prices of gas and ethanol, making it an ever more popular form of biodiesel to fuel cars and trucks.

    In 2000, yellow grease was trading for 7.6 cents per pound. On Thursday, its price was about 33 cents a pound, or almost $2.50 a gallon. (That would make the 2,500-gallon haul in the Burger King case worth more than $6,000.)

    Biodiesel is derived by processing vegetable oil or animal fat with alcohol. It is increasingly available around the country, but it is expensive. With the right kind of conversion kit (easily found on the Internet) anyone can turn discarded cooking oil into a usable engine fuel that can burn on its own, or as a cheap additive to regular diesel.

    “The last time kids broke in here they went for the alcohol,” said Mr. Damianidis, who fries chicken wings and cheese sticks. “Obviously they’re stealing oil because it’s worth something.”

    While there have been reports of thefts in multiple states, law enforcement officials do not compile national statistics and it remains unclear whether this is part of a passing trend or something more serious.

    The suspects in a growing number of grease infractions fall into a range of categories, people interviewed on the matter said, as grease theft is a crime of opportunity. They include do-it-yourself environmentalists worried about their carbon footprints, warring waste management firms trying to beat each other on the sly, and petty thieves who are profiting from the oil’s rising value on the black market.

    “It’s a new oddity,” said Officer Seth Hanson of the Federal Way Police Department, near Tacoma, Wash. He said thefts occur outside at least a couple of restaurants there each week. “We’re trying to get an eyeball on how well-organized it is, if at all. To date, we haven’t been very successful in finding anybody.”

    Thefts have been reported in at least 20 states, said Christopher A. Griffin, whose family owns Griffin Industries, one of the largest grease collection and rendering companies in the country. The problem has gotten so bad, Mr. Griffin has hired two detectives to investigate thefts around the country.

    “Theft is theft,” said Mr. Griffin, who is based in Cold Spring, Ky. “I don’t care if you’re stealing grease or if you’re stealing diamonds.”

    Fryer oil from a restaurant that does a high volume of frying one kind of food — for example, a fried-chicken chain — is at a premium because of its relative purity. The large-scale producers of grease, restaurants mostly, own their old oil and in recent months have even made a small profit by selling it to collectors.

    Because of the grease’s rancid odor, most restaurants usually store it out back with the trash.

    “Once you put something in the trash, it’s abandoned property,” said Jon A. Jaworski, a lawyer in Houston who represents accused grease thieves. “A lot of times, it’s not theft.”

    Even so, most restaurant owners and grease collectors say that grease is not free for the taking.

    “There’s a new fight for the product, definitely a whole new demand sector,” said Bill Smith, a market reporter for Urner Barry’s Yellow Sheet, an industry newsletter that tracks yellow grease. “Grease theft is becoming a bigger and bigger issue.”

    In the case of the Burger King theft, in Morgan Hill, Calif., the police were alerted to suspicious activity by a neighbor who runs his own grease collection and recycling business and is on the lookout for rustlers.

    Driving through town, the neighbor, Mark Rosenzweig, said he spotted the suspect’s truck because “it stuck out.” He said he followed it for blocks before it pulled into the Burger King. Mr. Rosenzweig said he knew the man who holds the Burger King grease account, so he called him.

    “I had to give everybody a roadside tutorial on grease theft,” Mr. Rosenzweig said of his next call — to the police. “Ten years ago we couldn’t give this stuff away. Now everybody’s fighting over it.”

    The suspect in the case, a 49-year-old man who said he was from Las Vegas, has yet to enter a plea, and is due in court next in July.

    A typical fast-food restaurant produces 150 to 250 pounds of grease a week. Many do not even know when a theft occurs because it usually happens overnight. Most security cameras and night watchmen are focused on cash registers, not the trash.

    “Who do you go after?” said Jason Christensen, a trader of fats and oils for the AgriTrading Corporation, in Minnesota. “I sense you’ll start seeing more surveillance equipment put in to monitor these storage facilities at the restaurant. As the price goes up, you can afford to spend a little more to protect your interest.”

    And there is so much interest in grease these days.

    The City of San Francisco has its own grease recycling program run through the Public Utilities Commission called SFGreasecycle, which collects discarded vegetable oil from city restaurants at no charge and recycles it into biodiesel for use in the city fleet.

    Healy Biodiesel, a company in Sedgwick, Kan., says it offers a top-quality fuel made from local cooking oils.

    Ben Healy, the owner, has contracts to collect the raw grease from several franchises around town.

    “One particular night not too long ago, 9 out of 15 were stolen,” he said of the grease bins. “That’s a majority of the oil and it was a big kick in the stomach.”

    At Olympia Pizza and Pasta, Mr. Damianidis, who now sells his grease for a small monthly fee, finds the problem of stolen fryer oil quite annoying and distracting. And he wants to stop the thefts. He is leaning toward a security camera and hoping for the best.

    “I cook food,” Mr. Damianidis said. “I’m not going to stay up until 2 in the morning trying to catch someone stealing a barrel of grease.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/

    Stop to consider this for a minute. The same grease that is used to cook your french fries (if you eat them ) can be made into fuel to put into your car.

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