Monday, April 30, 2007

Boring Stuff You Probably Don't Want to Read

No real post today. I'm taking the day off. I'm not sick (more than usual). I'm not depressed (more than usual). I do have a sort of pressure headache from allergies (more than usual).

I finally got level 40 on my WoW Druid, Moolasses.

I spent literally all day grinding out the level yesterday. I must have played about 10 hours. Level 40 brings new dimension to your toon ... you can get a mount. This allows you to go much faster than if on foot. Level 40 mounts go 60% faster than normal run speed.

As a Druid, I have a Travel form (a cheetah) that allows me to travel at 40% faster than normal foot speed. Technically, I didn't need the mount, as my Travel Form is actually more versatile, if slower, than using a mount. I can quickly change back and forth between forms, even in combat, which allows me to make speedy get-aways when things go bad. (And, they do go bad). Mounts require several seconds to summon, and you cannot do it in combat, let alone fight while mounted.

The mount is more of a status thing as it requires 90 to 100 gold to get the riding training and mount.

Here is Moolasses on her shiny, new Kodo mount. The only thing big enough for the huge Tauren race to ride around on.Other notes of interest:

  • The Penny Doubled Daily amount is in the decillions. This is mathematically notated as 1033.
  • After 4 months online, the Roost has had 3,825 visits with 5,757 pageviews.
  • 1,104 (or 28.86%) are Return Visitors. (That's you guys ^.^)
  • The most popular page (aside from the main page) is the Penny Doubled Daily page
  • The top 5 search phrases that bring people to the Roost are:

    1. "penny doubled" - There are numerous variations on this, all wanting to know how much a penny doubled daily for 30 days (or longer) is. I've no way to accurately gauge the specific number of hits for those phrases, but it is significant.

    2. "jesus remains" - This one is from people who were interested in James Cameron's documentary about the supposed physical remains of Jesus.
    3. "raivynn" - What can I say? People love to Google me. ~.^ (I know I'm not the only Raivynn out there in cyberland ... but the proliferation of my previous 'Net name, Vixenkitty, astounds me. Used ot be my old 'Net debris was the only stuff you found searching under that name. Now there are dozens of vixenkittys, even a clothing brand. But I coined the name back in early '93 and consider myself the true, original owner of it. So there. Mmmph!).
    4. "gasparilla boobs" - I did an article about Gasparilla as my 18th blog post. In it, I briefly mentioned how, like Marti Gras, many women expose their breasts for beads and trinkets. Somehow, have the words Gasparilla and boobs in the same article spawned dozens of hits from people looking for such images (which there are none on my blog, so stop looking!!!). This little blurb will likely get me another few dozen hits for saying gasparilla boobs. Oops, I did it again! ~.^
    5. "dog phrases" & "chicken eating cow" were tied with several dozen hits. The first leads to my Sick as a Dog article and the latter to my post about the cow in India that eats live chickens. That one sparked the infamous Cow Week on the Roost.

Now, I imagine if I went through all 2,047 search engine phrases that led to my site, I could compile a really accurate description of what people typed in to get her.But, I'm lazy and ain't gonna. =P

Okay, so I made a fairly long, and involved, post. And it likely bored you to tears. I thought you might need a break from the uber-cute Ninja kitty posts, though. Did it help?

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 32 days is:


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Ninja Kitty Academy - Disguise Training

More promotional material from the once super-secret Ninja Kitty Academy. This time it is a picture by the famous monochromatic photographer, Ansel Catams.

This haunting shot features Ghost Tiger demonstrating his uncanny ability to disguise himself, using the Me Amhi Ding technique. Ghost Tiger has chosen to disguise himself as a mouse in order to infiltrate the infamouse Deez Nee Cartel.

His skills are simply astounding. Even knowing this Ninja Kitty is a faux mouse, it would take a master of perception to penetrate this perfect disguise. And, to complete the illusion, Ghost Tiger is totally fluent in Rodentalian, as well as Caninese, Fowlish, and seventeen other languages and dialects.

Good Thing He Wasn't Infiltrating The Pachyderm Party

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 119 days is:


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ninja Kitty Academy - Weapons Training

To be a well-rounded, deadly Ninja Kitty, you must have extensive training in all types of weapons. Here, in a painting by the famous painter (and secret member of the Ninja Kitty Academy) Pablo Picatso, you can see two Ninja Kittys practicing a from of combat called Nah Cho Dae; a mix of sword and unarmed combat where the fur really flys.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 118 days is:


Friday, April 27, 2007

Ninja Kitty Academy - Stealth Training

Another promotional picture from the formerly super-secret Ninja Kitty Academy. Here we see new recruit Fluffy Death practicing the all-important stealth skills vital to any Ninja Kiity's arsenal. You may have to look closely, as Fluffy Death is nigh invisible behind that leafy brush.

Now you See Me ...

What is Demeaning of This?

Back on April 19th, the Man of Steel (one half of the Mud & Steel podcasts) posted about Overused Words.

Some of the words given were Amazing, Awesome, Freakin', Sweet, and my own two contributions, Pimp and Bling.

Over the last week I've been thinking of other words that are overused, and it led to three words that not only are overused, but are insensitive and demeaning.


You typically hear these words casually uttered by younger folk, or by gamers.

If they feel something is stupid, weird, or unfair, these people will declaim, "That was Gay!" or "That was Retarded!"

It seriously irks me to hear this, or to read in chats. My own nephew has used both words in this context and was taken to task by me over his use of them.

I explained to him, more vehemently than was needed, that these terms are very demeaning to people. He may not like gay people, and feels no compunction in using that word to describe things in an insulting manner. Like most people, he fears homosexuals because he doesn't understand that lifestyle and subsequently fears it. (He is also only 13, and follows current trends so as to not be ostracized, plus his previous upbringing was one of hate towards difference ... women, skin color, etc).

We all know that the word gay has dramatically changed from its original meaning of happy, carefree, or colorful. This occurred in the late-17th century to extend the "carefree" definition to include all manner of sexual behavior perceived as immoral. Its usage evolved over the years so that by the mid-20th century "gay" was an antonym for "straight", or for homosexual behavior.

Now that word has evolved to describe objects or events in an unflattering manner by comparing those things to a homosexual; a deviate in many eyes, as something wrong.

I find the usage of it as demeaning and wrong as calling someone a nigger. (I was going to type "the n-word", but let's be blunt. Euphamising a word detracts from the discussion of it and lessens the impact).

Don Imus was vilified and fired from his radio and television job for calling the Rutger's university women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's". It was wrong to say, sure, but that's what his show's draw was; being irreverent, crude, and asinine. His ratings prove people liked his style. (Or lack of, in my opinion).

Yet we allow our kids to use the word gay in this way, demeaning a group of people, because ... why? We don't agree with their life choices? We don't understand them? We fear them? They do not have loud-mouthed, big name advocates like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton?

As with Imus' comments, it comes to respect for others. Respect whether we agree with someone, or not. Respect whether we like someone, or not.

Some people go by the phrase, "Respect Must Be Earned". I prefer to live by the phrase, "Respect May Be Lost."

Even more agitating to me is using the word "Retarded" in the same manner as "Gay".

Webster's describes retarded as "developmentally slow." It is derived from the word "retard" which is to "impede or hinder."

I worked with retarded "kids". We called them "Special Citizens" to avoid the negative connotations "retarded" often brought, and though many were far, far older than I, mentally most were between 4 and 12.

These gentle souls did not choose to be developmentally retarded. (I also don't feel most homosexual "choose" to be so, for that matter). Yet they suffer the stigma of being shunned, outcast by "normal" society for their disabilities. We try to avoid staring when we see one, yet we are also driven to keep watching them from the corners of our eyes; waiting, almost hoping, to see something that we can inwardly laugh at, or feel pity over, something to make us feel more "normal", more a part of society instead of apart from it.

We're all insecure deep inside, wanting acceptance, wanting to be a part of something larger. Retarded folk help us feel that by allowing us to be secretly glad its not us, by making us feel "normal." Yet, we feel they are less than us.

Using the name of these peoples' disability as a negative term to describe something disliked is abominable. It is demeaning and disrespectful.

The last word is one that doesn't depict a group of people, per se, more than it does a horrible, despicable action.

Rape has been commandeered by a youthful gaming community to describe when something, or a group of somethings, easily (and often humiliatingly) beats that player's character.

"I was raped!" they cry, after a horde of enemies quickly slays their valiant warrior.

"Owned" is another term more often used by gamers for this type of scenario. "Pwned" is another version of it. Neither are particularly offensive, even though the connotations are still the same.

Those who use the term "rape" in this crude manner have no idea what the horror of that word really means.

Being forced to submit to sexual predation through violence or trickery. Being personally violated by another human being for their own pleasure. Being used, abused, and treated like an object so someone can get their twisted jollies.

It is a disgusting act. An evil act.

I was raped by a family member when I was a child. There are only vague memories of it; horrible flashbacks of murky scenes, the faint feel of a leather belt around my neck, a dark, indistinct shape forcing my mouth open, gasping for breath ...

I near lose it when I see some clueless individual say they were raped by some video game enemies. I see red. I want to scream at them to shut up. I want to reach through the screen and smack them for so casually belittling what millions of women, children, and even men have actually endured.

Of all three words, this is the one that makes my blood boil the most. I would prefer to see the most vile curse words flit across my chat than to see rape used in such an uncaring, uneducated, callous manner.

My two nephews do not use the word rape. I am glad they do not, but get even angrier at those who do when I think of why my boys won't use it.

I hope those of you who are reading this think a little closer about what you say, or type. If you use these words, I pray you reconsider them. If you know someone who does, I ask that you make it known those words are inappropriate, even wrong, to use that way.

It's funny how a single, simple word can hurt someone.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 117 days is:


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Homeless - How Do We Help?

I am very conflicted about the homeless issue. As Mud Puppy asks in the comments section of the Semper Fi Fellowship blog, " do you know who’s faking it and who’s legit?"

Something that has stuck with my my entire life happened when I was around 11 or 12 ... My father (well, step-father, but he was my Dad) was a very generous soul. One day he saw a scruffy man by the side of the road with one of those ubiquitous cardboard signs asking for help. My Dad pulled over and offered the man a job (paying $6 an hour in 1982!!), offered to get him a hotel for week until his first check, and stake him some money for food and new clothing.

The guy blearily blinked at my dad and slurred out, "I just want a few bucks to get drunk, man."

My sympathy for the homeless was shattered, and I've never viewed them the same.

I know there are homeless who would truly love to receive an offer like that, but I suspect there are vastly more who simply want another drink, or another snort, or another shoot.

Some it's fairly easy to tell ... the ones with kids.

Others it's not so easy. Some have slipped so far into the cracks of society, for so long, that the once industrious and kind souls have become embittered and mired in self -loathing and addictions that climbing out of their black pits of despair is nigh impossible for them ... alone.

But how do we help?

Not the we as in society, or government. We as in us. The readers of this blog, the average joe, John Q. Public.

Volunteering at soup kitchens, half-way houses, and food banks is a start. If time is an issue, donating some money to those charities that aid the homeless is an option.

But that doesn't take care of the real issue, the underlying causes of these poor souls' plight.

It's unrealistic to think we, the common folk, can offer jobs to those who would relish the chance for one. Some have jobs, but simply cannot afford adequate housing for their families. Rising insurance rates and sky-rocketing housing costs have driven many people out of homes. Living in a hotel or motel is not a real option, as the costs of that are astronomical in the long run.

Offering a homeless family a place to stay would be great. But there lies also the security issue of your own family. Do you take the chance of allowing complete strangers into your home? If so, for how long?

What of those people so addicted to drugs, alcohol, or the homeless way of living? Do you give them money which may go only to feed their addiction? You could give them actual food, which only gets them through the day, not touching the real issue of their problems.

It seems that society wants to help the homeless, while at the same time staying apart from them. It treats the symptoms without looking for a cure.

Government and private agencies are woefully underfunded, understaffed, and overwhelmed.

Large cities, like Tampa, funnel vast quantities of public monies into sports teams training facilities, stadiums, and areas. They build glistening Riverwalks in affluent neighborhoods. They debate over what to do with several unused public buildings ... turn them into museums? Condos?

If that money was used to help people, if those building were renovated to house homeless, if better funded and staffed counseling centers and addiction clinics were created, could we stanch the flow of ever increasing homeless? Could we, perhaps, save some of these benighted souls, help them recover from the squalor and addictions that envelop their lives?

I don't know.

I suppose it's easier for those who have to stay locked away in our ivory towers, basking in the glow of our possessions, as we studiously ignore the dark blot of the have-nots in our courtyards.

I've no answers to give. This is just something that gnaws on my mind from time to time. I don't know what posting this will do to help, other than getting my thoughts out.

I could do more, I suppose. I just don't know what, or how.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gypsum, Dwarven Priest(ess)

Here is a render of my dwarf priest(ess) from the Rebel Dragon guild on the Alliance side of World of Warcraft. Nobody asked to see it, nobody probably wants to, but here it is anyway. Be nice, or she'll whack you with her purple moon stick .. but she'll heal you after. she's nice that way. ~.^


The Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

Some days I think I'd rather be sick than cured.

I am on several medications, and have just added two more to my list of poor-man's pharmaceutical panaceas. I now have prescriptions going into every orifice except the ... errr ... out one.

I have drops for my eyes. I have drops for my ears. I have a spray for my nose. I have pills I swallow. I have puffers I inhale. I even have creams I apply to my skin (sometimes).

The diabetic pills (Metformin) give me the runs. I'm talking sudden abdominal cramps, followed a mad dash to the nearest porcelain throne, where I spend the next several minutes wondering when the thrust from the booster rockets that were somehow implanted in my tuchas are going to send me into orbit.

Fortunately it is not an everyday occurrence; it happens a few times a week. On those days I'm left weak, exhausted, dehydrated, and feeling like an aborted space launch. As bad as the liquid rocket propellant is, the effects of not taking the meds are worse; lethargy, headaches, weakness, peeing every few minutes, dry mouth, increased susceptibility to infection, irritability (OK I'm always irritable), and the ever looming chance of death.

Two new meds to combat my severe allergies are making me wonder if having itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose, pressure headaches, post nasal drip, coughing, and sneezing are worth the near migraine level, trip-hammering, head-exploding, mind-bursting headaches they induce.

I've only been on the new stuff for two days, so I'll have to see how it plays out. Next month I get to be tested for specific allergy inducers by being pricked 45 times on my back, then waiting to see which prick causes a reaction. (The allergen, not the person who poked it into me, that is). If that goes well, then I get 20-25 subdermal injections on my arm to find out what else may be making me sick. And I get to pay almost $800 for the privilege of becoming a medical pincushion. Thankfully, I have no fear of needles.

Currently however, I am combating the raging headaches by taking Tylenol ... handfuls of it. Okay, I don't really exceed the recommend dosage of 2 every 4-6 hours, but it seems I'm popping the pain pills like M&M's.

I also have real pain medication for arthritis and some neuropathy, but I use that sparingly because it zonks me out and makes me slightly wonky. I am sorely tempted to use it for the headaches, but it hasn't gotten to that point ... yet.

I could take a pill to help with the chocolate rocket boosters, but then I'd have to take another pill to help with the nausea that pill causes, and yet another pill to help with the insomnia brought on by the nausea pill, which leads to yet another pill for heartburn from the sleeping pill, and the pill for heartburn gives me the runs, and the cycle is complete.

I'd rather be sick. =/

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 115 days is:


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ninja Kitty Academy - Stylin' Wear

Every true Ninja Kitty needs to disguise themselves from time to time, and what better way to do it than with a Ninja Kitty Mask?

Keep your Ninja Kitty's identity a secret with this stylish, black wool mask designed for comfort and stealth.

The Ninja Kitty Academy Masters gives the Ninja Kitty Mask two claws up!

(sorry for the late post, horrible day, horrible headache)

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 32 days is:


Monday, April 23, 2007

Ninja Kitty Academy

The Super-Secret Ninja Kitty Academy may not be so super-secret much longer. My Roost spies have delivered a prototype promotional image that the NKA appears to be readying for release.

Katrate KickThey seem to be showcasing their star Katrate pupil, Tux Kwan Do, as he uses a devastating finishing move against a member from their rival dojo, Pugilistic Pooch Prep (mostly Boxers enrolled there).

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 113 days is:


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Secret Ninja Kitty Training Video

My Roost spies have uncovered a super-secret ninja kitty training facility in the U.S. This surveillance video was obtained only with great danger and great cost.

The sheer horror of watching the unfeeling humans forcing the kittens into this life-or-death, winner-takes-all combat is almost unbearable to watch. Even when one of the ninja kitties (Codename: Tigerlilly) tries to escape, she is ruthlessly snatched and tossed back into the bloody fray.

You can see, in the upper left corner of the video, the meanest, toughest, most vile ninja kitty of them all: Black Lotus. While his other co-ninja kitties fight tooth and claw, he stays apart from the vicious melee, awaiting his chance to pounce on the tired and weakened winner of the ongoing brawl, thus emerging the victor through guile and unfettered strength! See how he casually licks his paw in quiet contemplation of the carnage he is about to unleash? How he feigns clumsiness and incompetence by falling ponderously on his side? Soon, his claws will strike, his teeth will shred, and his enemies shall fall like sheaves of fresh catnip to the mighty reaper that is Black Lotus!

While Black Lotus bides his time, you can plainly see how the human taskmasters taunt one of the ninja kitty trainees (Codename: Ghost Pouncer) with sharp jabs to the tummy and head, followed by an excruciating crushing of his fore paw in a taloned, vice-like grip. He is then given the Mark of Dishonor along his leg and head as a badge of shame for not fighting with more viciousness.

The video ends just as Tigerlilly makes a move against Black Lotus, whose mastery of the kitty ninja arts is so strong he merely blinks and sends his erstwhile foe violently tumbling out of the battle arena.

WARNING: The above video is so cute you might have to go watch a violently gory horror movie to counter-balance the sheer adorablocity of the kittenish ramblege. (I know those aren't real words, but they fit the video's cuteonomic level.)

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 112 days is:


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ray Stevens Roundup

Last day of the Ray Stevens video-thon. I hope you've all enjoyed some of this marvelous master's musical montage and perhaps seek out some of his Greatest Hits compilations. He does have many, many serious songs, as well, including this next one ... "Everything is Beautiful."

Back to the funny ...

One of Ray's more well known songs (it was even covered by the Muppets!!)

"I Am My Own Grandpa"

And to close out the Ray Stevens Roundup ... the Fabulous Marty Berk's tribute to Ray Stevens oft-parodied "The Pirate Song!"

Ray Stevens' Official Website!

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 111 days is:


Friday, April 20, 2007

Along Came Jones - Ray Stevens

Next to the last Ray Stevens video, Along Came Jones. It's another not very well known song by Ray Stevens, but it is pretty funny. No official video for it, so we again get to see Marty Berk's tribute. Berk is hilarious to watch and adds so much more to the song than if you just were listening to it.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 110 days is:


Tomorrow I'll wrap it up with two, maybe three, more Ray Stevens' music videos (if I can find a good version of a particular song)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gitarzan - Ray Stevens

More Ray Stevens! This one is Gitarzan, a lesser known song but pretty funny. I love how it was a country-style, jungle beat riff on the early rap of the late '70s.

The phenomenal Marty Berk acts out the song.

PS - sorry was late today. ^.^;;

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 109 days is:


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's Me Again Margaret - Ray Stevens

I don't why, but I love this song. I'd never seen the official video for it until I rummaged around YouTube. You -have- to stay until the end of the video for an even funnier bit that is not in the actual song.

When I was little my family all used to say "Are you nekkiiiiiiiiid?" when asking to go into bedrooms or open the bathroom door. Yeah, we were all weird.

Anyhow, here's the video:

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 108 days is:


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Perpetual Motion Cracked

Double post today! This news just couldn't wait. Woot!!

Scientists have finally cracked the secret behind a true perpetual motion generator. Two simple items in a single composite create the dynamic required to provide the perpetual motion.

The equation for it is fairly simple: f(x)=k/x. This formula creates and acetonograph which shows that as the composite approaches the ground it will decelerate until it overcomes the force of gravity at which point it will float and all downward kinetic motion will be transferred into a spinning movement.

Well, okay, it sounds complicated when you read it, but watch this video clip below to see it working in action:

Help Me Make It Through The Night - Ray Stevens

Continuing the Ray Stevens' music videos today with "Help Me Make It Through The Night". This is one of the weirder videos he has ... o.O

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 107 days is:


Monday, April 16, 2007

The Streak - Ray Stevens

One of the more well-known songs by funnyman Ray Stevens. I recall listening to this hit in the early 70's on our old console stereo system. (Thing was as big as a sofa!)

I present "The Streak" by Ray Stevens. Don't look, Ethel!

There is a guy named Marty Berk who does tribute re-enactments of several of Ray Stevens' best hits. I'll be showing a few of these this week. Consider it Ray Stevens Week at the Roost. ~.^

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 106 days is:


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sittin' Up With The Dead - Ray Stevens

Better late than never. ~.^

I was requested to show some more of comedy singer Ray Stevens. So here you go, the country-western style of a Thriller video.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Mississippi Squirrel Revival - Ray Stevens

You know me and my little kicks of themes. Guess it's squirrels now, as i show you one of the best, all-time, funniest songs ever. Plus it's got squirrels.

Here's Ray Stevens' "Mississippi Squirrel Revival"!

I have loved Ray Stevens' stuff since I was little. You've probably heard a few of his songs but might not remember him. I think I'll do a few days of his videos for you gentle readers. ~.^

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 104 days is:


Friday, April 13, 2007

Squirrel Catapult

A couple candidates for enrollment in PETA (Pea-brains Egregiously Terrorizing Animals) show off their latest invention , the Squirrel Catapult.

The original video has been pulled from YouTube. Can't say I blame them, it was pretty cruel, if funny. In it's place i offer another video for your viewing pleasure until it, too, is pulled ... =/

I wonder if David Crowder knows about this contraption?

While I think this is sorta funny, I don't think this is a nice thing to do to the poor tree rats. Though, judging by the crazy aero-nut-ical squirrels that infest the trees around my house, I doubt any of the ones in the video were injured. Every few days there is a loud THUMP on my bedroom wall as a fearless fluff misjudges the distance from the tree branch to my roof.

Just desserts for pelting me with acorns every spring when the new baby tree rats are born. I know, I know, it's a 'protect the babies' defensive instinct. But an acorn to the eye doesn't greatly endear them to me. ~.^

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 103 days is:


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Hiccup, Hiccough, Hic-Cup?

There you are, at a romantic dinner with your date. The night is going well; the food is excellent, your conversation is smooth and witty, no spinach is in your teeth, no spills have occurred. Your date seems impressed and very, very interested. You smile, reach across the table to take your date's hand warmly in your own. You open your mouth to share the special connection you are feeling, and instead of sweet words of love ... HICCUP!

A hiccup (or hiccough in some circles) can be caused by many things; spicy food, laughing, eating too quickly, even nervousness. It is an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm creating a sudden rush of air into the lungs forcing the glotis (the space between vocal chords) to close. This makes the distinct hiccuping sound we all know and laugh at. Typically, hiccups go on for several minutes; though they can be a one time deal, usually caused by a fast swallow of a cold drink or during coughing fits.

The proper medical term for hiccups is Singultus, though that word seems rarely used. Hiccup was first used in 1530 and is an onomatopoeia, an imitation of natural sounds by words.

The Guinness World Records holder of the Longest Attack of Hiccups is Charles Osborne. He hiccuped for approximately 68 years between 1922 and 1990, with an estimated 430 million hiccups during that period. He died in 1991, barely a year after he ceased hiccuping, at nearly 98 years old.

Recently, Jennifer Mees, a St. Petersburg, Florida girl, suffered a severe case of hiccups which lasted 5 weeks, from January 23, 2007 until February 28, 2007. She was showcased on national television and local radio stations. In the video clip below you can learn just how constant hiccuping affected her life.

After a week of not hiccuping, Jennifer began to hiccup again on March 6, 2007 and is now on medication for it.

During Jennifer Mees' bouts of incessant hiccuping, many home remedies were recommended.

You'll Poke Your Eye Out KidThe one which made me laugh the most is a device called the Hic-Cup.

The company claims the device works by calming the Vagus and Phrenic nerves. I'll let an excerpt from the Hic-cup website explain:

"The superficially coursing Vagus and Phrenetic nerves are known by medical science to be the pathway and root cause of hiccups. Through the use of natural galvanic action, a mild ion flow is created that initiates a sub-sensory bio-electric therapy. The liquid in the Hic-Cup is also Ionized by the galvanic action, adding to the potential for successful stimulation of the responsible nerves. It is believed that the “hiccup” nerves are “re-set” by this natural ion flow that you cannot feel, and that this reliably ends the distressing spasms. " [cite]

This is done by drinking from the cup normally, with the brass rod running along the side of your face up to your temple.

Sure, it looks fairly stupid, but is it any worse than some of the home remedies people try now? Breathing into a paper sack, having the hiccups scared out of you, eating tablespoons of sugar, jumping up and down ... literally dozens of home-brew, sure-fire remedies of dubious efficacy exist.

I don't know if this device actually works as claimed. But, for about $20 you can buy one, try it for 30 days, and return it for a refund if it doesn't, according to the Hic-Cup website.

I'll stick my own. self-devised remedy.

Stand flat-footed, with feet together. Raise both arms over your head, stretching your chest and abdomen as you do. Tilt your head back as far as you comfortably can, with your mouth wide open, as if yawning. Take several deep breaths, then hold your breath for 30 seconds, or as long as you can.

It sounds as ridiculous as the device above, but it tends to work for myself and my kids most of the time. I don't know why, I don't know how, and I have no clue what made me come up with the routine. But it didn't run me $20, and I don't look any dumber doing it than anything else I do in the course of a day. ~.^

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 102 days is:


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Where There's Smoke ...

This post may piss off some of you, my fine readers, but it is something which has been gnawing at me for years.


More specific, smoking habits.

I am a non-smoker. I've tried it once or twice, just to see what the attraction to it is, but I got no joy or sense of well-being from it. I got a nasty taste in my mouth, coughing fits, and a sense of why-in-hell-do-people-do-this being.

I don't care that people smoke. It's your lungs. The data on smoking's effects are widely known. What you do in your own house, or in your car, is your own business.

But, something I've noticed, even smokers seem to not want the lousy things in their car.

Watch as people drive down the road. You will see hands casually flipped out windows, cigarettes tightly clenched between two fingers, ashes and smoke drifting back in the rush of wind. Then, many exhale the smoke they just sucked from their paper-wrapped stick of chemically enhanced burning plant matter out the same window.

The smoker doesn't want the smoke in the car -- and not just because a non-smoker may be traveling with them. Most are by themselves, or the passenger also has their tobacco rocket hanging outside the car on their side.

Why is this? The smoker inhales the foul fumes voluntarily. What difference does it make that the smoke from the lit cigarette wafts about the cabin of their vehicle? Does it clash with the smell of the green paper pine tree dangling from the rearview mirror? Maybe the smoke stains on the cloth roof header, or the fine layer of carcinogenic particulates drifting lazily down to the dashboard and leather upholstered, heated, massage, bucket seats are to blame.

Then, when the cigarette is down to the final burning embers, nicotine stained fingers casually *flip* the smoldering stub out the window to land in the gutter ... or maybe the tinder dry grass on the median. Is the ashtray in the car not good enough? Are they afraid of taking their eyes off the road and causing a horrendous wreck by flipping up the ashtray lid and stubbing the cigarette out?

I think those rude people are just too damn lazy to clean their discarded detritus from those admittedly cramped butt holders (err, the ashtrays, not the actual seats). I feel they don't want to have trash in their nice, clean cars, so the spent cigarette finds its way into the environment one mile at a time.

Of course, that theory doesn't quite explain those beer-bellied, truck-hatted blue-collar smokers whose pick-em-up trucks are so crammed with undone paperwork, old fast food wrappers, and last weeks laundry that keeping a flaming object in the cab poses a serious fire safety hazard.

Smoke it if you must, but keep it in your own vehicle.

And for the sake of tired lungs everywhere, if you are at a non-smoking place of business, and you find yourself desperately in need of inducing smoke into your body, don't do it in the freakin' entrance of the establishment. Now you just made everyone who goes in or out have to breath that crap whether they wanted to or not.

This rant was brought to you by the person who had had to walk through a miasmic cloud of foul fumes to eat lunch, and later had a carelessly flicked cigarette butt skitter blazing across the windshield of her car at a stoplight after.

Makes me want to do a little smoking of my own ... out of my ears!

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 100 days is:


Monday, April 9, 2007

Better Late Than Never --- Well, Maybe This should Be Never

Blogger had a problem with my account this morning and into the afternoon, so nothing was posted for today. Well, until now ... and, maybe I shouldn't have posted it, because ... you know when I do fillers, they are usually about .. yeah, you guessed it ... farts.

And this one is the weirdest yet.

You may want to cover you eyes, as well as your nose on this one, folks. ~.^

I give to you ...


I'll have something less grotesque and eccentric tomorrow ... promise! ^.^;;;

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Have a Happy Easter

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 98 days is:


Saturday, April 7, 2007

More Signs of the Times - Part 3

Double dose of signs today, because I might not be posting tomorrow for Easter. It really all depends on how things go and if plans fall apart (like usual).

This sign is not a funny sign, but it is unique, and possibly heart-attack inducing.

A casual passer-by might see this and panic. The optical illusion of a child floating under the water is pretty realistic. Makes you wonder how many people dobve in to save ther plastic sign kid, or called 911 for help?

The sign imparts its message pretty well.

The kid walking by in the pic looks as if he doesn't know what to make of it. He's probably thinking, "Wow. I shouldn't have bitched so much when Mom made me wear this stupid red life-jacket in a wading pool that only comes up to my knees."

Mmmmmm ... Donuts!

Actually, from conversations with a few law enforcement acquaintances, and experiences managing a convenience store, most cops get their doughnuts, coffee, or other non-prepackaged goodies free from the vendors.

Technically, they are not supposed to accept them as gifts, and they should pay for the items as any other person. But to foment a higher police presence via return visits, many convenience, mom & pop, or corner grocery stores write-off in-house prepared foods such as coffee, fountain drinks, doughnuts, hot dogs, etc.

I told my crew to offer, for free, those type of goodies to any cop who came in. Take their money if they insisted, of course, but offer it no charge. My store ended up with a plethora of law enforcement from county sheriffs to state troopers making a stop in. In the time I ran the store, there was never a cash robbery; beer runs (swiping a case off a display and bolting out the door), gas drive-offs (pump and not pay), and even general merchandise loss was drastically reduced.

For around $5 or $6 a day, I basically had nigh around-the-clock security. Can't beat that.


This picture is irony in spades. And in more ways than you think.

Sure, you have the dichotomy of the childhood obesity sign plastered above the McDonald's sign. But, look at the woman in the top sign ... it's almost as if she knows what is underneath her, with that resigned look. Then, the girl in Mickey D's sign is brandishing two bags of food. Two bags. That'd be like 20,000 calories of food from any McD's I've been to.

Have you ever been to McDonald's and not had them stuff everything you ordered for your family of four into one bag? It's like they are afraid to waste paper by splitting the food into two or more bags ... yet they'll shove a thick of wad of those thin cellulose napkins on top of everything like they were some sort of curse they cannot wait to be rid of.

What makes this picture even funnier is almost unnoticed in the background. The huge yellow and red sign for a take-out place called M & ??? Kitchen. And, I dunno about you, but I've yet to go to one of those hole-in-the-wall places and gotten anything less than grease drenched food. Always a healthy choice when dining out.

Just read this sign for yourself and wonder how they got away with it on a city bus. ^.^ hehehe

And the Guy Who Okayed This sign was Sofa King High!Makes you wonder if they have another slogan, "Same Day Deliveries! Sofa King Fast! Those Other Guys are Just Half Fast."

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 97 days is:


Friday, April 6, 2007

More Signs of the Times - Part 2

Continuing with the sign theme today, I have two more to offer:

This one is in honor of Bruiser's new grand-babies. You have to keep ol' Bruiser on his toes. Between long days at work, long nights playing WoW, and general advancement of age, he needs reminders of how to do certain things. ~.^

Mmmm ... warm and squishy!

AFV Material in the Making

Makes you wonder if they have "Caution! Wooden Door is Opaque" signs in other parts of the building.

Actually, if you have ever walked full speed into a glass door, you know it's unpleasant, not to mention embarassing. Not that, errr , I've ever done that, mind you. >_>

We used to have little palm tree appliques on our sliding glass door that was, in theory, supposed to warn people that the door was closed. It didn't work near as well as you'd think. I tried to get my mom to let me stop cleaning the window every week for my chore on the grounds that if it was dirty and smudged people would see that and not walk into it. That plea worked as well as the appliques. =/

We had kittens at one point, and those guys, thinking there was nothing there, would run full force into the glass door and rebound backwards, shaking their heads and looking around with "Wha happen?" looks on their fuzzy faces. This went on for days until someone got the idea of putting some cardboard along the base of the door.

This didn't actually stop them from ramming into the door much, but at least now it was padded and provided a wonderful tripping tool for the humans trying to go in and out. =/

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 96 days is:


Thursday, April 5, 2007

More Signs of the Times - Part 1

Some of the more popular places at the Roost are the Sign pages. So, the next couple of days will feature even more funny, odd, or just plain stupid signs. Here are the first two for today:

Or, You'll Get a %$&#@ Ticket!

Or, you'll get a %$&#@ ticket from the %$&#@ cop hiding behind some %$&#@ bushes around the %$&#@ corner!

Actually, they should rename Interstates and Highways like that. Just to match what goes on the cars travelling on them as they are cut off, behind slow pokes, or just sitting in "rush hour" traffic.

"Yes, Dear ... I'll get your %$&#@ bread and milk when I get out of this parking lot on I%$&#@. That is if State Road %$&#@ is not backed up."

The sign says it all.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 95 days is:


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Top 10 Clues That You May Be Addicted To WoW

Top 10 Clues That You May Be Addicted To WoW

#10 - You see a retention pond and wonder what sort of fish are there and if they will raise your Fishing skill.

#9 - You call Corvettes, Mustangs, and other sports cars Epic Mounts.

#8 - When you go out to eat you order Heavy Kodo Stew and Sweet Nectar for the stat boosts and mana regen.

#7 - If a friend says "Let's do KFC for lunch!" and you rack your brain trying to remember what instance that is.

#6 - You try to convert real world item prices into Gold, Silver, and Copper equivalents.

#5 - You can remember every guild members main toon, their alts, their classes, levels, and professions, but forget family birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays.

#4 - You call backyard barbecues "Burning Crusades".

#3 - You take personal days/call in sick/play hooky so you can make the guild raid.

#2 - You know the history of Azeroth better than the history of your own country.

#1 - You can think of several more Clues your addicted to Wow.

If you come up with any, drop them in the comments section for all of us to read!

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 94 days is:


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Questions for My Readers

After a 3-day break I am back!

My head is much better (physically). The swelling is almost completely gone. No blazes of pain triphammering in my temples. No dizziness or nausea. There is a 3-inch oblong welt still visible on my forehead, leading back into the hairline, but that will fade. The spot is still very tender, and bending over still makes it hurt more. Hopefully that, too, will fade soon. Tying my sneakers is a pain in the ... well, head.

While convalescing, there was ample time to ruminate on the direction of the Roost.

It has been three months since I began this blog. In that time there have been over 3,000 visits, and over 4,000 pageviews. Of those visits, approximately 30% are return visits (around 900).

I just don't know if the haphazard manner of how I've been doing the blog is working well, so I'm asking for your opinions.

Do you like the general style of posts I've been doing? The mix of longer musings, oddball news, funny photos, custom created cartoons, and the like.

Are there things you'd like to see more of? Less of? Things you'd like to see eliminated?

Post your opinions in the comments. I promise to read each one and weigh your comments carefully before I go ahead and do what I want anyhow. ~.^

Coming up this week will be more funny signs, and a new Top 10 list you might like. Also, I'll continue with the Penny Doubled Daily and catch up the chart for it on it's own page. On that note. we are into the septillions now.

Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 93 days is: