November 26, 2006

He's Not My Brother

On Friday, we gathered at my parent's house for Thanksgiving. Since we're all married, with in-laws, etc., my Mom decided to hold Thanksgiving a day later. This way, if need be, we could go to one set of parents house on Thursday. Then, we all gather at our Mom and Dad's on Friday. And it was here that my brother dropped a bombshell. He has never seen A Christmas Story. When he announced that, jaws dropped. There was an audible gasp and then silence. Even his own children were shocked. I expressed surprise, as I always bring the DVD to our parent's house every Christmas and we watch it. But, he reminded me that he and his family don't show up until December 26th. His wife and his kids have all seen it numerous times and everyone seemed kind of amused, that in all those times, my brother missed it. But, with the reaction he got, he said he will find some way to watch it. I am going to send him the following article to show him just how much this movie is loved.

Fan brings 'Christmas Story' house to life

POSTED: 2:38 a.m. EST, November 26, 2006

CLEVELAND, Ohio (AP) -- Ralphie Parker and Brian Jones know what it's like to want something.

For Ralphie, the object of desire was an official Red Ryder, carbine-action, 200-shot, range model air rifle. (Go ahead, say it, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid.")

For Jones, the gotta-have-it item was Ralphie's house -- the one in "A Christmas Story," the quirky film that's found a niche alongside holiday classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street."

Jones has restored the three-story, wood-frame house to its appearance in the movie and opened it for tours beginning Saturday. His hope is that it will become a tourist stop alongside the city's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and other destinations.

He's unsure whether he'll make enough money to cover his $500,000 investment, but as sure as a kid's tongue will stick to a frozen flag pole, he's committed to the project.

"I just want people to come and enjoy it as I have," said Jones, a 30-year-old former Navy lieutenant.

"A Christmas Story" wasn't a big hit when released in 1983, but repeat TV airings and, in recent years, a 24-hour run on TBS starting Christmas Eve have made its story of boy's quest to get a BB gun for Christmas as infectious as the bespectacled Ralphie's eager grin.

"It just kind of sets the mood. In the Jones household, it's on all day once the marathon comes on," said Jones, who's married with an 8-month-old daughter.

Jones first saw the movie in the late 1980s and he and his parents became fans.

When the San Diego, California, resident's dream of a becoming a Navy pilot like his father was denied because of his eyesight, his parents sent him a package to lift his spirits.

Marked "FRAGILE" on the outside, it contained a leg lamp his parents built to look just like the one received by Ralphie's father, who proudly displayed it in the living room window, boasting, "It's a major award!"
Leg lamps for sale

Jones' mom noted that he could probably make a business out of selling them. In 2003, he started doing just that.

"I tooled together 500 lamps in my 1,000-square-foot condo in San Diego and sold them all in the first year," Jones said.

And he's still making and selling them -- $129.99 for the 45-inch model, $159.99 for the 53-inch "deluxe full size" leg lamp.

When the house from the film was put up for sale on eBay in December 2004, it seemed like destiny to Jones.

"I said, 'Ooh, I gotta have that.'"

The auction price got up to $115,000. Jones, who shares Ralphie's unflinching enthusiasm, less than 20/20 eyesight and ability to speak at a breakneck pace, said he'd pay $150,000 if the owner stopped the bidding.

"It was mine. I sent him a deposit and flew out two days after Christmas just to make sure it wasn't a falling-down shack," Jones said.

He put in new windows and replaced the 111-year-old house's gray aluminum siding with mustard yellow painted wood and green trim that perfectly matches Ralphie's house.

Although only a couple of interior shots were filmed there, Jones has recreated the '40s feel of Ralphie's home with a brown-and-white tile kitchen floor, a wide cast-iron sink in the kitchen, a claw-foot bathtub and, of course, a leg lamp in the window.

He also bought the house across the street -- Ralphie runs past it in the film's opening scene -- to serve as a museum and gift shop. Several original items from the film are on display, including the infamous snowsuit ("I can't put my arms down!") worn by Ralphie's brother, Randy.

The house is located in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood, just a few minutes from downtown, where the exterior department store shots were filmed at the former Higbee's.

The cooperation of the department store is what brought the filmmakers to Cleveland for the film based on author Jean Shepherd's stories of his upbringing in Hammond, Indiana.

The house is well known in the neighborhood, and neighbors like Marlene Childers have watched the house change owners and go through ups and downs over the years. She's excited about Jones' tribute -- even if it means more cars and traffic.

"I love that story," she said.

Jones knows the feeling. And he says stepping onto Ralphie's old street makes him feel like he's in the movie.

Standing in front of the house holding a replica Red Ryder rifle, he discusses his future plans -- which could include a nearby bed and breakfast -- when, seemingly on a director's cue, a motorist passes, stops his car, rolls down the window and shouts, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!"

Posted by Valkyre at 04:54 PM | Comments (0)

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Pretty soon I am going to start the turkey. Mike will make his home made mashed potatoes. Store bought pumpkin pie. Stuffing, Cranberry sauce, brown and serve rolls and peas. Yum! I can't wait. I have a lot to be thankful for. I get today off! Woo hoo!

Posted by Valkyre at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2006

A New DVD Shelf

In this past entry, I lamented the fact that I had only bought one of the nice DVD racks from Sam's Club. I never did post a picture. It was a one shot deal. A nice metal one with scroll work. I filled it up almost immediately. Sam's Club sold all of them and never stocked them again. So, here I was, with DVD's stacked all over the place. So, I broke down and bought a new DVD shelf. So I surfed the net and found a nice DVD shelf that holds 300 DVD's. I could get it in an oak finish to go with the rest of the furniture in the living room. It came in pieces and had to be assembled. Mike and I both put it together. It didn't really take too long. And, if this one ever gets filled up, I think that it won't be too hard to get another one. This is it with all our DVD's nicely displayed and all in one place.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:20 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2006

The Public Has Spoken

And someone listened. They aren't going to air the two night interview with O.J. Simpson. And, the book has been yanked. Still, you have to wonder about them even trying to go through with it. Didn't they even consider the impact that this would have on the families of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman? Didn't they think that this would tear open old wounds?

Article here

Simpson book, interview canceled amid criticism

TV special was to air during sweeps week. For the publishing industry, cancellation of "If I Did It" is an astonishing end to a story like no other.

By The Associated Press

After a firestorm of criticism, News. Corp. said today that it has canceled the O.J. Simpson book and TV special "If I Did It."

"I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project," said Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman. "We are sorry for any pain that this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson."

A dozen Fox affiliates had already said they would not air the two-part sweeps month special, planned for next week before the Nov. 30 publication of the book by ReganBooks. The publishing house is a HarperCollins imprint owned -- like the Fox network -- by News Corp.

In both the book and show, Simpson speaks in hypothetical terms about how he would have committed the 1994 slayings of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Goldman.

Relatives of the victims have lashed out at the now scuttled publication and broadcast plans.

"He destroyed my son and took from my family Ron's future and life. And for that I'll hate him always and find him despicable," Fred Goldman told ABC last week.

The industry trade publication Broadcasting & Cable editorialized against the show today, saying "Fox should cancel this evil sweeps stunt."

One of the nation's largest superstore chains, Borders Group Inc., said last week it would donate any profits on the book to charity.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder in a case that became its own TV drama. The former football star and announcer was later found liable for the deaths in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Goldman family.

Judith Regan, publisher of "If I Did It," said she considered the book to be Simpson's confession.

The television special was to air on two of the final three nights of the November sweeps, when ratings are watched closely to set local advertising rates. It has been a particularly tough fall for Fox, which has seen none of its new shows catch on and is waiting for the January bows of "American Idol" and "24."

The closest precedent for such an about-face came when CBS yanked a miniseries about Ronald Reagan from its schedule in 2003 when complaints were raised about its accuracy. The Reagan series was seen on its sister premium-cable channel, Showtime, instead.

One station manager who had said he wasn't airing the special said he was concerned that whether or not Simpson was guilty, he'd still be profiting from murders.

"I have my own moral compass and this was easy," said Bill Lamb, general manager of WDRB in Louisville.

For the publishing industry, the cancellation of "If I Did It" was an astonishing end to a story like no other. Numerous books have been withdrawn over the years because of possible plagiarism, most recently Kaavya Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life," but a book's removal simply for objectionable content is virtually unheard of.

Sales had been strong, but not sensational. "If I Did It" cracked the top 20 of Amazon.com last weekend, but by Monday afternoon, at the time its cancellation had been announced, the book had fallen to No. 51.

Posted by Valkyre at 07:52 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2006

And So It Begins

Traditionally, I wouldn't start decorating until the Friday after Thanksgiving. But, with me working full time, it's been taking me longer to get the house decorated for Christmas. So, I decided to start a little early. And, there is one tradition I keep. Setting the nativity up first. I got this one Christmas, when I was 12 years old. It has been put up every year since then.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:09 PM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2006

She's All That

I know! I know! This movie came out in 1999. But, I finally got around to seeing it tonight. The verdict? I loved it. It's basically your standard Pygmalion, My Fair Lady plot. The most popular guy in school gets dumped by his bitchy girlfriend. His buddies make a bet with him giving him 8 weeks to turn on of the most unpopular girls in school into the Prom Queen. Of course the results are predictable. However, the chemistry between Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook carry this film.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:22 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2006

R.I.P. - Remove It Permanently.

There is a plug-in for Firefox that I absolutely love. It's called RIP for Remove it Permanently. You can use it to remove annoying ads or text off of your favorite web pages. Here's an example.

This is the website of the local rag. I usually don't mind the ads. They are from local businesses. I will even click them on occasion. But, this hideous green one annoys the hell out of me. It flashes through several frames and is really distracting.

So, I right click on what I want to remove. You can see the options. You can remove it permanently, or you can click on advanced and it will present you with a list of options you can use. For this, I selected "this item only". I also removed the item at the top.

This is what is left after I remove the ads.

If you make a mistake. There is an option to undo the last option you selected and you can restore it. Nice, huh? I highly recommend it.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 11, 2006

Click for Cans

Okay. I'm not really into football. But, I do the Campbell's Click for Cans, promotion every year. It's real easy. All you have to do is click on your favorite team. The team with the most clicks and the team with the most improved clicks by midnight on December 15, 2006 will earn donations of Campbell'sŪ soup to the food bank of its choice. You can visit the site every day and click until it ends.

Posted by Valkyre at 10:21 PM | Comments (0)

November 10, 2006

Hi Curly! Killed Anyone Today?

The day ain't over yet...

That has got to be one of my favorite quotes. It's from the movie City Slickers. Jack Palance played Curly. One of the last honest cowboys.

Article here.

Oscar-Winning Actor Jack Palance Dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jack Palance, the craggy-faced menace in "Shane," "Sudden Fear" and other films who turned successfully to comedy in his 70s with his Oscar-winning self-parody in "City Slickers," died Friday. Palance died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif., surrounded by family, said spokesman Dick Guttman. He was 87.

When Palance accepted his Oscar for best supporting actor he delighted viewers of the 1992 Academy Awards by dropping to the stage and performing one-armed push-ups to demonstrate his physical prowess.

"That's nothing, really," he said slyly. "As far as two-handed push-ups, you can do that all night, and it doesn't make a difference whether she's there or not."

That year's Oscar host, Billy Crystal, turned the moment into a running joke, making increasingly outlandish remarks about Palance's accomplishments throughout the show.

"I am deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jack Palance, a true movie icon," Crystal said in a statement Friday. "Winning the Oscar for that movie and the one-arm push-ups he did on the show will link us together forever, and for that I am grateful."

The push-ups not only created a magic Oscar moment, but also epitomized the actor's 40 years in films. Always the iconoclast, Palance had scorned most of his movie roles.

"Most of the stuff I do is garbage," he once told a reporter, adding that most of the directors he worked with were incompetent, too.

"Most of them shouldn't even be directing traffic," he said.

Movie audiences, though, were electrified by the actor's chiseled face, hulking presence and the calm, low voice that made his screen presence all the more intimidating.

His film debut came in 1950, playing a murderer named Blackie in "Panic in the Streets."

After a war picture, "Halls of Montezuma," he portrayed the ardent lover who stalks the terrified Joan Crawford in 1952's "Sudden Fear." The role earned him his first Academy Award nomination for supporting actor.

The following year brought his second nomination when he portrayed Jack Wilson, the swaggering gunslinger who bullies peace-loving Alan Ladd into a barroom duel in the Western classic "Shane."

That role cemented Palance's reputation as Hollywood's favorite menace, and he went on to appear in such films as "Arrowhead" (as a renegade Apache), "Man in the Attic" (as Jack the Ripper), "Sign of the Pagan" (as Attila the Hun) and "The Silver Chalice" (as a fictional challenger to Jesus).

Other prominent films included "Kiss of Fire," "The Big Knife," "I Died a Thousand Deaths," "Attack!" "The Lonely Man" and "House of Numbers."

Weary of being typecast, Palance moved with his wife and three young children to Lausanne, Switzerland, at the height of his career.

He spent six years abroad but returned home complaining that his European film roles were "the same kind of roles I left Hollywood because of."

His career failed to regain momentum upon his return, and his later films included "The Professionals," "The Desperadoes," "Monte Walsh," "Chato's Land" and "Oklahoma Crude."

When he appeared as Fidel Castro in 1969's "Che!" about Latin American revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara, he told a reporter: "At this stage of my career, I don't formulate reasons why I take roles - the price was right."

He also appeared frequently on television, winning an Emmy in 1957 for his portrayal of an end-of-the-line boxer in "Requiem for a Heavyweight."

He and his daughter Holly Palance hosted the oddity show "Ripley's Believe It or Not" and he starred in the short-lived series "The Greatest Show on Earth" and "Bronk."

Forty-one years after his auspicious film debut, Palance played against type, to a degree. His "City Slickers" character, Curly, was still a menacing figure to dude ranch visitors Crystal, Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby, but with a comic twist. And Palance delivered his one-liners with surgeon-like precision.

"He was one scary, intimidating, big hulking guy with a huge heart," said Ron Underwood, who directed Palance in "City Slickers" and in the actor's last role, as a man celebrating his 100th birthday in the 2004 TV movie "Back When We Were Grownups."

"It was a joy working with him," Underwood told The Associated Press.

Through most of his career, Palance maintained his distance from the Hollywood scene. In the late 1960s he bought a sprawling cattle and horse ranch north of Los Angeles. He also owned a bean farm near his home town of Lattimer, Pa.

Although most of his film portrayals were as primitives, Palance was well-spoken and college-educated. His favorite pastimes away from the movie world were painting and writing poetry and fiction.

A strapping 6-feet-4 and 210 pounds, Palance excelled at sports and won a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina. He left after two years, disgusted by commercialization of the sport.

He decided to use his size and strength as a prizefighter, but after two hapless years that resulted in little more than a broken nose that would serve him well as a screen villain, he joined the Army Air Corps in 1942.

A year later he was discharged after his B-24 lost power on takeoff and he was knocked unconscious.

The GI Bill of Rights provided Palance's tuition at Stanford University, where he studied journalism. But the drama club lured him, and he appeared in 10 comedies. Just before graduation he left school to try acting professionally in New York.

"I had always wanted to express myself through words," he said in a 1957 interview. "But I always thought I was too big to be an actor. I could see myself knocking over tables. I thought acting was for little ... guys."

He made his Broadway debut in a comedy, "The Big Two," in which he had but one line, spoken in Russian, a language his parents spoke at home.

The play lasted only a few weeks, and he supported himself as a short-order cook, waiter, lifeguard and hot dog seller between other small roles in the theater.

His career breakthrough came when he was chosen as Anthony Quinn's understudy in the road company of "A Streetcar Named Desire," then replaced Marlon Brando in the Stanley Kowalski role on Broadway. The show's director, Elia Kazan, chose him in 1950 for "Panic in the Streets."

Born Walter Jack Palahnuik in Pennsylvania coal country on Feb. 18, 1919, Palance was the third of five children of Ukrainian immigrants. His father worked the mines for 39 years until he died of black lung disease in 1955.

In interviews, Palance recalled bitterly that his family had to buy groceries at the company store, though prices were cheaper elsewhere.

Yet, he told a Saturday Evening Post writer, he had "a good childhood, like most kids think they have."

"It was fine to play there in the third-growth birch and aspen, along the sides of slag piles," he said.

In addition to his daughter, Palance is survived by his second wife, Elaine Rogers Palance; another daughter, Brook Palance Wilding; grandchildren Lily and Spencer Spottiswoode and Tarquin Wilding; his brother, John Palance, and sister Anne Despiva.

A memorial service was planned for Dec. 16.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:33 PM | Comments (3)

November 09, 2006

This is Kind of Scary

Article here

Thieves Using Secret Weapons To Break Into Homes

Many people have been reporting that thieves broke in; stole their TVs, stereos, computers and cash; and then disappeared, leaving no trace they were even there.

WESH 2 I-Team reporter Stephen Stock has uncovered a pattern of these crimes popping up across Central Florida, and he reported that every homeowner needs to take action right now.

It's a phenomenon about which even the police know little. It's one that's been kept a dirty little secret among thieves, locksmiths and experts for decades.

But it's now coming to light thanks to the Internet, and it could cost people the loss of everything they own if they don't take precautions.

This summer, newlyweds Glynda and Jerry Arroyo's new life in paradise suddenly was stolen.

"A week in, I get robbed. I said, 'I want to go home,'" Glynda Arroyo said.

A burglar broke into their Courtney Springs apartment, taking more than $5,000 worth of possessions.

"Two Apple computers, an antique necklace (that's) irreplaceable," Glynda Arroyo said.

Across the hall, Nathan and Karrie Jensen discovered that they too had been hit.

"It kind of feels (like we were) violated," Karrie Jensen said.

"It's kind of crappy," Nathan Jensen said.

"Like, you feel that you had no control over the situation," Karrie Jensen said.

Fifty miles away, a thief took $2,000 worth of Mike Kuftic's stuff.

"I couldn't believe that somebody could just be able to walk right in here like nothing was happening, and nobody knew it was happening," he said.

In fact, from Port Orange to Winter Springs and from Orange City to Clearwater, the I-Team has uncovered a pattern of burglaries stretching across Central Florida.

At least 50 different Central Florida apartments and homes were burglarized during the last year alone -- often in the middle of the day.

The most the thief took was $29,000 worth of possessions from a local apartment.

"They were all consistent. All the burglaries were the same," said Capt. Mike Nolan of the Winter Springs Police Department.

And each time the burglar left behind nothing, no trace that the crook had even been there. The windows were intact, doors were untouched and the locks weren't picked.

Police believe the burglars did it with something called a bump key. It's a key that is specially made and ground down just right. It can open nearly every mechanical lock ever made.

"This is something that we need to take very seriously," said Cmdr. Tim Girard of the Port Orange Police Department.

But for more than 50 years, the bump key has remained a well-kept secret among burglars and locksmiths.

In fact, until, most experts didn't want the public to know about bump keys because once they learn the technique, they can break into just about any mechanical lock in seconds.

"It is really, really easy," said Seth Posner of AA Loc Doc in Ocala. "If you do it right, no lock can stop you. And that's the scary part."

Many people wouldn't be able to spot a bump key if they had it in their hand.

To the untrained eye, a set of bump keys looks no different than regular keys, but in the wrong hands, they could open millions of locks all around the world.

"Bump key. I didn't know what a bump key was until now," Nathan Jensen said.

Jensen isn't alone. Many police departments are in the dark, too.

In fact, when the I-Team checked with two dozen property crime detectives, only three of them had even heard of a bump key.

So little is known in the law enforcement community about bump-keying that the I-Team had to search all the way to Camden, S.C., to find one of the world's foremost authority on the practice.

"This was the old hotel thief's trick," said Lee Griggs.

Griggs guards all of the secrets about bump keys in his home office in South Carolina.

"It takes practice," he said.

"But no real skill?" Stock asked.

"No real skill," Griggs said.

"You were doing it when you were 12?" Stock asked.

"Yeah," Griggs said.

He said the technique is so easy that he could spend three minutes showing a child on the street how to use it and the child could do it right away.

Griggs is a forensic locksmith. He has testified as an expert in trials around the country.

In fact, police said it was Griggs who looked at locks from burglarized apartments in Central Florida, and he was the one who first alerted police that a bump key thief was at work burglarizing apartments and homes like in communities from Clearwater to Ormond Beach.

"It's troubling, isn't it?" Stock asked Girard.

"It is because it represents a real threat -- a threat that is kind of new, that is difficult to adjust to quickly," Girard said.

The experts said people need to make adjustments to take precautions now.

"You're not the only one with a key to your house, and you need to realize that," Glynda Arroyo said.

Police believe a security camera in one Pinellas County apartment actually caught several pictures of the bump key thief. Police said he may have been involved in Port Orange and Winter Springs bump key burglaries.

So, what can you do to protect yourself from a bump key thief?

Posner had three recommendations.

First of all, on all of your important locks, replace them with electronic or an electronic/mechanical combination. These locks cannot be bumped.

Another option is to use simple sliding bolts on all of your interior doors. Then, leave through your garage by closing your electronic garage door behind you.

An even easier and cheaper option -- and probably the best one for apartment renters -- is to spray some WD-40 into the lock. This lubricates the pins, and while it doesn't make the lock bump-proof, it does enable the pins to move more freely and make it more difficult for a thief to actually bump the lock.

To add insult to injury, there have been cases where victims of bump keys ran into problems with their insurance company. Since bump key thieves leave no trace of a forced entry, some insurance companies have refused to pay.

The companies said there is no evidence the victims didn't fake the robberies and commit insurance fraud.

So, police said if you ever fall victim to a bump key thief, don't hesitate to call police and get an official investigator's report on record.

Anyone with any information about the bump key thieves is urged to call CrimeLine at 800-423-TIPS.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:11 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2006

I'm Glad it's Over

The election that is. I can't ever remember getting this many calls. Soon as the clock hit 9:00am, the phone would start ringing. And it would ring throughout the day. Always a political call about the various offices up for grabs and the propositions. TV commericials, radio ads. Billboards. And the tons of political flyers stuffed in the mailbox every day. I wouldn't even look at the damn things. I would plop them into the recycle bin. The night before the election, someone came up to the door. He didn't knock. The door was open, the security screen shut. "Hello?" He called out. Pepper and Violet immediately start barking and jumping at the screen. Mike yells out, "If this is about the election, you better leave!" The guy retreats. We aren't even safe inside the house. Was it just me? Or was this one nastier this time round?

Posted by Valkyre at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2006

Woo hoo! Got it!

It hit the shelves today. I usually hit Sam's Club on Sunday to do my shopping. But, I couldn't wait for this. I went there after work. As soon as I walked in the door, there was a large display with a ton of Cars DVD's available in both Full Screen and Wide Screen format. I got my copy. Now to watch it! This is one of the few movies that I went to see in the theater three times.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2006

Barbaro's Cast Removed

So far, so good:

Article here

KENNETT SQUARE, Pa. -- Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro's right hind leg cast was removed Monday, according to his medical team.

"Barbaro was placed under general anesthesia for the cast removal," said Dr. Dean W. Richardson, chief of surgery at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Background.

"In addition, his foot was trimmed and a new shoe glued on," Richardson said. "A padded bandage with plastic and fiberglass splints was placed on his lower limb for support."

Barbaro's lower right hind leg had been in a cast since surgery at Penn's George D. Widener Hospital following his accident May 20 at the Preakness Stakes.

"He had a perfect pool recovery and immediately stood; he walked easily back to his stall," said Dr. Richardson. "He used all of his legs quite well."

Barbaro's left hind foot, which had laminitis, was also fully evaluated while he was under anesthesia.

"There are no signs of new problems with that foot, but the hoof needs several more months of growth before we will know how much foot structure and function will be recovered," Richardson said.

The next update will be posted on Tuesday, Nov. 14, unless there is a significant change in Barbaro's condition.

More information on Barbaro's condition is available at www.vet.upenn.edu.

Posted by Valkyre at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2006

The Pianist

Finally got around to seeing this. It was one of the best movies I have seen in quite awhile. About 10 minutes into it, I was crying and didn't stop until the credits rolled. I really didn't know what it was about. Adrian Brody plays a Polish Jew, named Wladyslaw Szpilman, who manages to barely survive the Holocaust by hiding in what's left of the Warsaw Ghetto. The movie begins with him playing the piano for a polish radio show. Not really knowing what the movie was about, I thought that he would survive by playing songs on the piano for the Nazis. Nope. He comes from what appears to be a wealthy Polish family. They are forced from their home into the Warsaw Ghetto, along with all the other Jews. One of the most chilling scenes is watching as the cinderblock wall goes up around the perimeter to keep them in. Then, he and his family are rounded up and forced into boxcars. They are stuffed in like sardines. By a stroke of luck, he is pulled aside and hidden. For the rest of the movie, he moves from one safe house to another, until he ends up in the burned out ghetto. It's painful to watch his desperate searches for anything to eat. I put this right up there with Schindler's List. Some of the scenes are shocking in their violence. But then you realize that it's based on a true story. It makes my stomach turn to see just how cruel mankind can be to someone who is considered a threat, just because they're different.

Posted by Valkyre at 05:37 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2006

Laughing at Others Misery

I keep watching this again and again and it still cracks me up each time.

Posted by Valkyre at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

They Keep Trying

Thunderbird is on the ball. Sorry about blowing out the margins. They are getting better in their spoofs. I have to give them that. The item really exists on Ebay. However, if you look at the lower left corner of the image, you can see where I scrolled over the link. Looks a little suspicious, huh? I forwarded it to "spoof@paypal.com", and they verified that it was a scam. I did check my paypal account just to make sure.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:02 PM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2006

Hmmmm.....

I sent a DVD back to Netflix yesterday. They got it this morning and asked me to rate it. When I went to look at my queue, I realized that I had sent in a movie on Saturday and they have not received it yet. Oh oh! That has not happened before. If it got lost in the mail, it will be the first time this has ever happened with me since I first signed up in 2002. Their page told me to give it six days before I reports it lost. This is the 5th day. I think I will wait until Saturday and then report it missing. The missing one is The Santa Clause 2. Mike and I wanted to see it before we go and possibly see the new one out. The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause. The second one was okay. I am not going to buy it and do not really feel like ever watching it again.

edit: The disc arrived at Netflix today.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)