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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Craig Allen Aylesworth. He gets the award for the following-

A brawl between two Bithlo neighbors sent one man to jail on arson charges, deputies said. Jail records show that Florida Highway Patrol troopers arrested Craig Allen Aylesworth late Tuesday on charges of tossing a Molotov cocktail at his neighbor's trailer. A Molotov cocktail is an improvised firebomb consisting of a glass bottle filled with flammable liquid and a cloth soaked with fuel sticking out of the bottle's neck. When the cloth is ignited and the bottle is tossed, the flaming fuel spreads and burns everything it touches. Aylesworth faces five charges of arson to a vehicle, one charge of throwing a destructive device and arson of a dwelling. Reports show an argument broke out between 51-year-old Aylesworth, 51, and his neighbor on Amityville Drive in east Orange County sometime about 7 p.m. Firefighters said the wind shifted and the flames traveled back to Aylesworth's yard, burning two cars, a pickup and a travel trailer. No one was hurt.
LMAO! Talk about a unique brand of stupidity some Floridians have is proved by stories like this. Craig Allen Aylesworth is a classic Knucklehead of the Day.

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

He's back

For the second year in a row, Tiger won at Bay Hill in Orlando Florida by making a dramatic birdie putt on the 72nd hole. Last year Bart Bryant was the loser, this year it was Sean O'Hair.

With the win the talk of Tiger not being back to form will end. It will instead be replaced by golf journalists opining on what his chances are of winning the Masters. The first men's major championship of 2009 begins on April 9th.

Sadly another big golf tournament will get lost in the buzz of Tiger's win today and all the hype for the upcoming Masters. The LPGA Tour's Kraft Nabisco Championship begins this Thursday. A few years ago the tournament's dates were shifted so it didn't butt heads with The Players Championship any more. The TPC has since moved to May, but the Kraft still gets short changed. Golf writers and the Golf Channel rather talk endlessly about The Masters that hasn't started yet than a major championship that is under way.

Back to Tiger. He'll win at least one major championship this year. What a reckless golf prognosticator I am.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Today's edition of bad golf recordkeeping

Goes to The World Golf Hall of Fame's page on Hale Irwin-

Just as he excels on difficult golf courses, Irwin excels on difficult shots. Each of his U.S. Open victories is remembered for superb strokes with a 2-iron at vital moments. At Winged Foot, Irwin closed the door on the 72nd hole with a 2-iron to eight feet.
Thank goodness Sports Illustrated has The 'Vault' where you can look up old issues of the magazine. In 1974, Dan Jenkins told an entirely different version of Irwin's shot to the 72 hole at WInged Foot. Isn't it amazing how much that putt has shrunk through time. From twenty-five to eight. It was a great shot, but I'll believe Jenkins version told just days after it happened than the WGHOF's revisionist attempt at history.

This isn't an isolated instance either. Check how I fixed wikipedia here. I bet there are 20 or more examples out there in internet like the ones involving Dave Stockton and Hale Irwin.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Another settlement

Should people living within the boundaries of the Diocese of Orange County take this news into consideration when the next annual Bishop's appeal is made?

A former student at St. John the Baptist School who claimed that a priest there sexually abused him in the 1990s has settled his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

The terms of the diocese's settlement with plaintiff Jonathan Kirrer, now 24, were not disclosed. His attorneys objected to publicizing them, though the archdiocese didn't.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office is investigating Kirrer's claim that the Rev. Denis Lyons sexually abused him in 1994 and 1995.

Kirrer is pleased with the settlement and hopes to put the civil case behind him, said his attorney, V. James DeSimone.


Archdiocese spokesman Ryan Lilyengren said the settlement money will come partly from insurance money and an administrative account. The agreement would not affect spending for the schools or the parishes, he added.
Unless the diocese has a magical printing press, the money had to be taken from something. Maybe people who were worthwhile of help from the diocese.

Church and diocese finances are rarely made known to the faithful. That's till a scandal breaks out. Like two Diocese of Palm Beach priests who embezzled perhaps over a million dollars from the Parrish they ran. There was also this bank scandal the Vatican got itself involved in. Laundering money for the mafia is God's work. As is cutting off the insurance to a mother on pregnancy bedrest.

Lyons has been excommunicated from the church, Lilyengren said, but it is unclear whether the Vatican will defrock him.
Lyons gets excommunicated for molesting boys. Then tell me why the stepfather in this story doesn't have the same done to him? Costing the Catholic Church money Embarrassing the Roman Catholic Church is probably a greater sin than getting a nine-year-old girl pregnant.

Consistency or logic thy name isn't the Roman Catholic church.

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Pass the Parmesan cheese

Take a guess where an Italian restaurant opened in late 2008. From AP-

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has ordered the opening of the isolated country's first Italian restaurant, a pro-Pyongyang newspaper reported, despite the nation's continuing struggle to feed its 24 million people.

Kim -- a reputed gourmand -- sent North Korean cooks to Naples and Rome last year to learn how to reproduce authentic Italian pizza and pasta after "repeated trial and error," the newspaper said Saturday, citing a restaurant manager.
If my father was still alive, he should have sent the cooks to Florida. Dad* used to make the best meatballs.

"Our people should be also allowed to enjoy the world-famous food," the manager of the Pyongyang eatery quoted Kim as saying, according to the Tokyo-based Choson Sinbo newspaper.

The newspaper, considered a mouthpiece for the communist regime in Pyongyang, said the North's government buys wheat flour, butter and cheese from Italy for the restaurant.

It is unclear how many North Koreans can afford to eat out -- let alone eat imported food -- in a country that is among the poorest in the world. The average per capita income was $1,150 in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the South's central bank.
The article went on to say the restaurant was crowded since its opening last December. Do the laws of supply and demand work in the Hermit Kingdom? Either they don't or the reporter's tour was carefully arranged. The North Koreans wouldn't do that, would they?

*- My father passed away 12 years ago yesterday.

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Friday, March 13, 2009


An interesting South Florida legal decision-

When a teenager in a North Dade library was arrested after failing to obey an officer's order to leave, he ran off -- with the officer's handcuffs around his left wrist. Only one charge eventually stuck, leading to a conviction: theft of the cuffs.

Forget it, an appeals court ruled this week. The 15-year-old, identified in papers only as J.B. because he's a juvenile, appeared to have no choice in taking the cuffs, the court said.

''We are sure that J.B. would have gladly relinquished any dominion, control or possessory rights to the handcuffs if he only had the key to release them,'' the judges said.
JB wasn't likely to acquire the key. Somehow I think "Please can I get the key before I run away?" wouldn't have worked.

What was JB being arrested for in the first place?

According to court documents, on Dec. 5, 2007, J.B. was writing an essay on a computer at the North Dade Regional Library when an off-duty Miami-Dade police officer, Zeldrina Beecham, heard him and another boy making noise. Earlier, Beecham had ordered J.B. to stay away from the library.

''Now you're under arrest,'' she told the boy, according to one of his attorneys, Harvey Sepler, an appeals specialist with the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office.

Beecham was handcuffing J.B. when he elbowed her and ran, with the cuff on his left wrist. Another officer found the boy later that night at his grandmother's house, and added battery, resisting arrest and theft charges to the original charge of trespass.
Something is missing from this story. Why would the police officer order him away from the library? Of course it could also be a member of law enforcement was on a power trip. That's been known to happen down here, and happened to me personally once. If you think my view of the Catholic church is jaundiced, don't get me started on South Florida police or the judicial system down here.

Something is missing from this tale. Could be some Oregano, who knows. Back to the original judge's decision.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge William Johnson later dismissed all the other charges but ruled him guilty of theft and sentenced him to time in a day treatment program.
Why were the other charges dismissed? JB did elbow the officer. Something is funny about this story. Does the Judge have some connection to the people who run the day treatment program?

The State Attorney's office and Miami-Dade police won't comment. An attorney for JB did however.

''Did they really expect him to go back to the police and return the handcuffs, or to return them in the mail?,'' Sepler said. ``He couldn't get them off his arm.''
I'm not so sure of that. JB was arrested at his grandmother's house, it seems reasonable to me he could have said. "Grandma, can you go to Wal-Mart and buy me a hacksaw?"

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One in five

Is anyone shocked by this news?

An x-ray analysis of the bones of competitors in the Youth Games in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong discovered that 3,000 of the 15,000 athletes, or 20 per cent, had misrepresented their age.

Two thousand of them were too old to be eligible for youth competition, while one offender was seven years older than he claimed.

Suspicions of age-faking have dogged Chinese sport and caused embarrassment for China during last year's Olympic Games in Beijing. He Kexin, a gold medal-winning gymnast was investigated by the International Olympic Committee after being accused of being only 14 years old and ineligible.

Although Miss He was eventually cleared by the IOC, suspicions linger on and Bruno Grandi, the president of the International Gymnastics Federation recently gave an interview to the German press in which he said that there was "strong circumstantial evidence" of age falsification by the Chinese.
Steps are being taken to prevent a repeat at next year's Asia games. What happened in Beijing has so tainted Chinese sports, its going to be awfully hard to accept anyone's word that age shenanigans won't be happening there also.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Put down that Mars bar

One physician in the United Kingdom is proposing a tax on chocolates.

Chocolate should be taxed like alcohol and tobacco, to help rein in a growing obesity problem, a British medical conference was told Thursday.

People generally understimate the health dangers of chocolate, family doctor David Walker told the British Medical Association conference, leading a debate on the issue.

"I believe that chocolate is a major player in obesity and obesity-related conditions. What I'm trying to get across is that chocolate is sneaking under the radar of unhealthy foods," he said.

"I would say the government taxing chocolate would not solve the obesity crisis but it might slow the rate of increase of the obesity graph."

Critics say the idea of taxing chocolate would simply not work.

"Introducing regressive taxes on the foods that consumers love would result only in lighter wallets, not smaller waists," Julian Hunt of the Food and Drink Federation told the BBC.
Taxing sweets is liable to cause a revolution in Great Britain. Half the population would storm parliament.

Did you ever hear the joke. A man finds a Genie in the bottle. The Genie grants 3 wishes, after the first two are done, the man asks to made irresistible to all women. What does the Genie do?

Turn him into a giant box of chocolates.

In all seriousness, would this new tax proposal gain traction? Perhaps, because Prince Charles voiced his displeasure with McDonald's not all that long ago. Save us from the food police.

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winners are Raymond S. Rhude and Ryan N. Smith. They get the award for the following-

A man arrested with 17 pot plants in the bed of his pickup told police he was moving them to protect them from burglars who hit his house the night before.

Ryan N. Smith, 26, of the 2700 block of Leonid Road, was charged with cultivating marijuana after police acting on a tip that two men were loading pot plants onto the green pickup just before noon Saturday. After police stopped the truck on Lem Turner Road they smelled a strong pot odor from the truck bed. They found the plants beneath the a cover, according to an arrest report.

Smith told police he grew the plants and was moving them due to the earlier burglary.

A man driving the truck, Raymond S. Rhude, 32, of the 1900 block of Thomas Drive, was charged with felony pot possession. He told police he was driving the truck only because Smith’s license was suspended.
Such a safe driver. Those pot plants are certainly in safe custody now. As are Raymond S. Rhude and Ryan N. Smith who I name today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Swimming upstream

Has Air Force General Howie Chandler gotten the memo that print newspapers are dying? From Stars and Stripes-

OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea -- The U.S. Air Force will resume publication of newspapers at some Pacific bases, a move that runs counter to a broad consumer trend away from print papers in favor of Internet news sites.

Pacific Air Forces commander Gen. Howie Chandler ordered a return to print editions after touring air bases.

"We discovered a drawback to discontinuing base papers is the challenge of getting news and information to our family members and those who do not have routine access to a computer," Maj. Kenneth Hoffman, a PACAF spokesman in Hawaii, said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes. "As a quality of life issue, Gen. Chandler decided re-establishing base papers in PACAF was the right thing to do."

The order will see the start-up of a new command-sponsored weekly newspaper in South Korea that will be distributed to airmen peninsulawide, Air Force officials said.

And it will bring back the Northern Light newspaper at Misawa Air Base in Japan, they said.


The Air Force in 2006 told bases to quit printing service-funded newspapers, partly to cut costs but also because of trends showing declining newspaper readership and more reliance on the Internet for news and information.
They will pay a contractor to print these newspapers. Readership was declining three years ago, if anything that trend is worse today.

Our government tax dollars at work. Maybe this was part of the stimulus package.

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Monday, March 09, 2009

They need to get out more often

Don't have anything in your mouth when you read this.

The Vatican newspaper says that perhaps the washing machine did more to liberate women in the 20th century than the pill or the right to work.

The submission was made in a lengthy article titled "The Washing Machine and the Liberation of Women - Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax."

The article was printed at the weekend in l'Osservatore Romano, the semi-official Vatican newspaper, to mark international Women's Day on Sunday.

"What in the 20th century did more to liberate Western women?," asks the article, which was written by a woman.

"The debate is heated. Some say the pill, some say abortion rights and some the right to work outside the home. Some, however, dare to go further: the washing machine," it says.
Did the Onion suddenly start writing for the Vatican? Freedom to make their own choices liberated women, not one small bit of 20th century technology. Which I will also point out, much of the third world doesn't even enjoy. My Philippine in-laws when I first visited them had a two-legged washing machine. Her name was Lolita. I guess the Vatican isn't talking about the poorer parts of the world, but large numbers of Filipinas are liberated washing machine or no washing machine.

I've said this for years and much of this comes from having a wife who works for a Catholic diocese. The Roman Catholic leadership is totally out of touch with its flock. I'm inclined to give tomorrow's Knucklehead award to this.

Hat tip- Doug at Below the Beltway who writes "However, this is just so transparently dumb that it would have been better, for their sake, if they'd just stayed quiet."

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It's raining, It's pouring

Meet Kazuya Yamazaki.

A 13-year-old boy passed the weather forecaster certificate exam, it was announced Friday.

At 13 years and 7 months, Kazuya Yamazaki, of Yokohama, is the youngest candidate to ever pass the test, which has been held 31 times since 1994.

Yamazaki, a first-year student at Eiko Gakuen Middle School in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, has been interested in meteorology since he was a small child, and first sat the exam as a fifth-grader in primary school.

The most recent exam was his fourth try. This round saw 272 out of 4,329 candidates pass the test--a pass rate of 6.3 percent.

Yamazaki spent about a month preparing for the latest exam, dedicating about an hour a day to studying. "I'm surprised I passed. I wasn't sure I would. It hasn't really sunk in yet, but I'm happy," Yamazaki said.

The previous record for the youngest successful exam-taker was a boy aged 14 years and 1 month in his second year of middle school in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.

I wish the young man good luck in his future job. Will he come to South Florida and replace the local weather guessers who think a puddle in Port St. Lucie is breaking news?

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Sunday, March 08, 2009

Ji-Yai Shin strikes again

It took all of three LPGA tournaments in 2009 before a South Korean took home the winner's trophy.

South Korean star Jiyai Shin won the HSBC Women's Champions on Sunday for her fourth LPGA Tour title in eight months, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 for a two-stroke victory over Australia's Katherine Hull.

The 20-year-old Shin, five strokes behind Hull at the start of the round and four back with nine holes to play, had an 11-under 277 total at Tanah Merah and earned $300,000 for her first victory as a member of the LPGA Tour.

"I'm very surprised and very happy," said Shin, the Women's British Open winner last August at Sunningdale.

"I'm thinking, I had chance for top 10, not for win."

Called the "Final-Round Queen" in South Korea, Shin birdied the first four holes — opening with 9- and 12-foot putts, chipping in from 45 feet on No. 3 and adding a 15-footer — to put herself in position to take advantage of Hull's back-nine meltdown. -AP
Singapore was Shin's 4th LPGA win since last August. She's just a tour rookie, but one with over world-wide wins who could be player of the year this year. I actually predicted it.

2009 got off to a slow start for Shin, primarily due to two rounds of golf. She shot an 81 in Hawaii and missed the cut at the LPGA operner, and then followed it with a first round 75 in Thailand. She did bounce back to finish 13th there and now has posted another win. Any thoughts of last year being a fluke have to be gone.

Other notes-

Katherine Hull continues to be on a roll, which like Ji-Yai's, began last summer. I picked Hull as one of the top 10 golfers for 2009. She should be in the winner's circle again soon.

Brazilian born but Naturalized US citizen Angela Park finished 3rd for the second time this year.

Jane Park's 6th place finish improves her chances of qualifying for the 2009 US Solheim Cup team. She was 12th in the points standings, and may be 11th now. The top 10 players automatically qualify for the team.

Angela Stanford has three top tens in three tournaments this year, including a win.

Also blogging on this news- The Constructivist

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Crystal Marie Clark. She gets the award for the following-

Consumer warning: Stop sending in those receipts for your free gas. You can pretty much forget about ever collecting even a dime from the company that made the offer.

Tidewater Marketing Global Consultants, a Largo-Clearwater based company, owes customers more than $10 million but has less than $300 in its bank accounts. It has no real property, no cars.

"It's extremely unlikely that Tidewater would ever be able to redeem the certificates and issue cards," said Charles Stutts, the state appointed receiver charged with investigating Tidewater's operations. He released his initial report Friday.

The company has distributed hundreds of thousands of vouchers for free gas through retailers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Stutts' conclusion: It was one grand sham.


Retailers bought gas vouchers from Tidewater in denominations as high as $500 and delivered them to consumers as incentives for purchases or even just to visit their stores and test drive cars.

Consumers were required to register their vouchers with a $5 payment and send $100 worth of gas receipts each month. In exchange, Tidewater promised a $25 gas card each month until the consumer reached the full value of the voucher.

Tidewater suggested to retailers and consumers that its gas voucher program was backed by oil companies, though the company's owner, Crystal Clark, told the St. Petersburg Times that the oil companies were not involved.

Stutts found some 130,000 consumers registered with Tidewater, but the number could be much higher. He found boxes with thousands of pieces of unopened mail in Tidewater's offices.
Consumers and businesses alike got taken by this con woman. She's Tidewater's President and listed with the State of Florida as its registered agent. Consumers lost just $5 and postage to her. Businesses who used the offers of free gas to bring in customers, could be facing larger problems. One class action suit is already in the works.

I was offered this promotion four months ago when I got new tires put on my car. My suspicions were raised back then for two reasons. One that I had to send $5 in, and secondly I don't believe in free lunches. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Ms. Clark has serious problems, and not all of them are related to Tidewater. She's facing drug trafficking charges also. For defrauding consumers and businesses alike, I name Crystal Marie Clark today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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