Nov 12, 2008

Bubble Gum Fun

My wife is helping out with the fall carnival at her school, and they all had to come up with some fun little games. She decided to do the old "Guess-How-Much-Candy-Is-In-The-Jar-And-You-Win-It-All" game, using Peanut M&Ms and Dubble Bubble gumballs. The jar said how many gumballs were inside, but you KNOW that the winner of the contest will invariably take the gumballs out and count them as soon as they win. (Kids are nutty.) So we had to count them. The M&Ms had to be counted anyway, as their packaging was a little more cryptic. Their contents were measured by weight (54 oz.), not quantity. I took the gumballs, and my wife took the M&Ms.

I poured the jar into a strainer, got out a plastic fork and started lifting them back into the jar. It probably wasn't the best idea as the gumballs kept rolling off the fork, but I wanted to be sanitary about the whole affair. Coincidentally, about halfway through this arduous chore, I looked over at my wife who was cooly and calmly counting her Peanut M&Ms WITH A SPOON. Dang. Why didn't I think of that?

I was curious to see how close the gumball count would be to the number printed on the label ("about 679"). When it was all said and done, the final count tallied 690 - 686 normal gumballs and 4 freaky ones (see image). That's an 11-gumball bonus!

Oh, and by the way, in case you ever need to convert English weights and measures to something more practical, 54 dry ounces equals 626 Peanut M&Ms. (That's approximately 11.5 per ounce.) Don't believe me? Count 'em yourself!

Nov 11, 2008

Our 2008 Pumpkins

Just found these on the camera and wanted to share:

Mine's the one on the left that appears to have been ran over by the tractor. Admittedly, they look better in the dark:

Nov 7, 2008

The End of an Era...*sniffle*

You may have noticed that my Touch-Tone Phone Song link was removed for a few days. It used to point to my phone song page that was housed on AOL Hometown until they turned off their server.

It was #1 (out of 67,200,000) on the results list on Google for "phone songs". Do you know how awesome that is? I was getting so many hits that my webcounter kept freaking out and would reset itself every couple of months.

I was regularly getting emails from people who thought the site was interesting, and had suggestions on songs. I even got an inquiry from Al with Froggy 98 FM in Lincoln, Nebraska asking if I could transcribe some Brad Paisley songs for a contest. I found links to my page on other pages, and even found the address listed in some Canadian government documents for interns (on the "just for fun" page).

But, as with all good things, it had to come to an end. Well, it didn't really HAVE to, I guess a global media and entertainment conglomerate like TimeWarner couldn't afford to host a little page like mine that was mostly text and three pictures. (Oh wait, one of those was an animated .gif, so I guess I can understand...NOT!!) Anyway, October 31 was the last day the site was available. The link now points to my page on GeoCities, which should last until Yahoo! goes bankrupt or ends up on the wrong side of a merger.

Coincidentally, my page was #2 on LiveSearch, #2 on DogPile, #9 on WebCrawler and #13 on Yahoo, but let's be honest...Google is by far the most popular. Man, this sucks! Curse you, TimeWarner!!

Nov 6, 2008

The 4 Aphorisms of Fantasy Trades

ALWAYS research the player you are trading for - a name alone is meaningless. This cannot be stressed enough!

NEVER let your trades hang for more than a week. You will forget about them.

NEVER offer a trade in the heat of frustration. The players you are mad at one week may become stars the next.

NEVER regret a bad trade. Interpret your foolishness and misfortune as a personal challenge.

As you can probably guess, this all started when I got mad at New England one week and sent a trade offer to a buddy of mine. I offered QB-Matt Cassel, WR-Randy Moss and RB-Edgerrin James all for RB-Reggie Bush. I was sick of Moss being hot/cold/hot/cold, so I figured I’d dump him for Bush. I added Cassel and James as extra incentive. Well, the trade didn’t get accepted right away, and I forgot about it. Moss had an awesome week, and my feelings changed. But I never remembered to retract the trade. So you can guess how “surprised” I was when I saw that my trade had been accepted! Add to that the fact that Reggie Bush is out with a concussion and not expected to return this season! It’s like I just dumped 3 good players for nothing. Now I've got to work my tail off to be competitive for the rest of the season.

So let my mistake be a lesson to you all...DON'T GET BLINDSIDED!!

Nov 5, 2008

Hail to the Cheif

I don't usually use this blog to discuss political affairs, but since the election is now over, I just thought I'd share some of my impressions of this historic event.

For weeks I was undecided, and exposed to rumors and emails about Obama's ideas and personal character. It’s funny – these actually made it easier for me to make the choice to support Obama. I felt like he was being discriminated against for coming from a non-traditional family, or being raised in another country. It seems that the hardest insult being thrown at Obama was that he was secretly a Muslim. What does it even matter if he was a Muslim? We have thousands of Muslims living and working in America that are going through the same struggles and hardships that we are. After seeing the group of people I would be lumped with as a McCain supporter, the choice became a little easier.

I also have to thank the Republican National Committee for helping me to choose Obama. In the last few weeks, I was receiving multiple emails every day from the RNC asking for donations to help defeat Obama. Those emails never mentioned Republican values or McCain’s proposed policies – just the idea that we must give as much as possible to keep Obama out of the White House. Clearly, they had nothing to positive to say about their own campaign.

So I voted for Obama. Me, a white, 30-year old Republican. 7 out of 10 voters in my county disagreed with me, and picked McCain over Obama. And now that the results are in, I am proud of my country, and proud of myself for voting the way I did and helping to usher in what looks to be a new way of doing things.

Obama motivated and inspired this country like never before. His words have given hope to all kinds of people, from ambivalent college kids who used to think their votes didn't matter, to jaded baby boomers who've become sick of voting for "the lesser of two evils." Obama seemed to create voting excitement for them all. Our governor, Charlie Christ, had to declare a state of emergency to extend early voting hours in Florida due to the long lines. And on November 4, polling places across the country were flooded with voters, many of whom were lining up around the block. I heard several stories of people who had voted in the same precinct for years and never had to wait – but yesterday they stood in line for an hour and a half. And you know what? They were happy. They were energized. They were glad to see new faces taking their right to vote seriously.

Obama encouraged these feelings across the country by challenging the notion that certain states will always vote Republican, so there’s no reason for Democrats to campaign in them. He visited locations that hadn’t seen a presidential candidate since the Civil War. And it worked. Virginia and Indiana haven't supported a Democratic candidate since 1964 - that was 11 elections and 44 years ago. Both went to Obama. He also took Florida without incident – and that's saying something! He made traditional Republican states into battleground states, and went on the offensive.

And it worked. Obama closed his victory speech with these words:

“This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

And when it came to the Presidential Election of 2008 - yes, we did!

Skeeters: 2008 Fantasy Baseball Champions!!

Yeah!! I'm the 2008 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball World Series Champion in the Sallie Mae Sluggers league!! Right now I'm spraying e-champagne on my fantasy players and theoretically wearing my 2008 champions hat and t-shirt. We the best! Woo-hoo! Yeah! Skeeters '08, baby!

"I wasn't sure that it was gonna happen...halfway into the World Series matchup, I fell behind by a lot. But I started dropping and drafting pitchers daily, and my hitters came alive and made it happen for me. I want to thank each and every one of the 61 different players that helped me this year. We worked hard, we trained hard and it payed off!"

Not only do I get Fantasy Baseball bragging rights around work, but I also get this fatty trophy to put in my fantasy trophy case:

Whew! It was an exhausting seven-month ordeal, and I'm glad it's over. But by the time Spring Training rolls around, I'm gonna be jazzed about the new season, I just know it. From the pre-rankings and the draft right up to the end, it was a demanding game that required daily attention. And you know what? It was all worth it! Woo-hoo! Yeah!

Nov 4, 2008

Flute Beatboxing

This is Greg Patillo, flute beatboxer. I know it sounds ridiculous, but he rocks! He really gets into it at 30 seconds in. You can find him and other flute beatboxers on YouTube - just search for Flute Beatboxing. Actually, chances are you've probably already seen this video - it's had 15.2 million views!

There are some video clips that show him in what looks like Central Park jamming along with a rapper. If I saw them on the streets of New York, I would never get to where I was going because I would stand there and throw coins at them ALL DAY (I'm a fan, but I'm cheap).

Nov 2, 2008

Perfect Pick'Em

I've been playing College Pick'Em on since football season began. I've had some good weeks and some bad weeks, but on October 25 I had the perfect week - I picked all 10 winners!

The glory was short-lived however...last weekend I only got 4 of 10 right. *Sigh* Well, there's always next week!

Oct 31, 2008

Chupacabra Invades Area Home, Takes Nap

This ferocious little creature was photographed in my living room terrorizing our family. Apparently the excitement was too much, because she was later seen taking a nap:

Obviously, you can see that this is really our lovable miniature dachshund, Daisy. Sleeping seems to be her natural state, but every once in a while she gets wound up and goes crazy. Here she is posing with our other mini-dachshund, Cocoa.

Cocoa is usually the one full of energy, running around the house or playing with his ball:

Panama City Sunset Pics

Angela took these awesome sunset pictures looking out over the bay toward Panama City Beach. These are all 1024 X 768, and they make great desktop backgrounds! None of these are photoshopped - they are all true images just taken at different speeds and aperature levels.

Last Weekend's Construction Project

We built this awesome shelf unit to display our Disney-Pixar CARS collection. And, we only spent $25.00. This included some one-time purchases, like a sanding block and finishing nails. All-in-all, I think it turned out pretty well! The most difficult part was figuring out how to hang it on the wall. We finally decided to use three picture hangers attached to the top shelf. As soon as the third coat of paint was dry (1 flat and 2 gloss) we were ready to hang it and arrange the cars. Unfortunately, that meant we had to bang nails into the wall studs at 10:00 at night! Sorry Neighbors!

Oct 28, 2008

Today in History - October 28

On October 28, 1886, the final rivet was fitted to the Statue of Liberty during the dedication by President Grover Cleveland.

Bartholdi, the sculptor, was in the torch during the dedication, and pulled the rope that removed the French flag from Liberty's face.

Then, President Cleveland accepted the statue on behalf of the United States and said, ""We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected."

Some interesting facts:

  • The statue's official name is "Liberty Enlightening the World".
  • Bertholdi personally selected New York Harbor as the site of the statue.
  • U.S. Patent D-11,023 was issued for the Statue of Liberty. This patent covered the sale of small statues, which helped finance the cost of the full statue.
  • The statue's nose is 4' 6" long.

Oct 27, 2008

Sep 9, 2008

Today in History - September 9

In 1909, Russian Pyotr Nesterov came into contact with aviation when he was sent to an aircraft manufacturer to work. He built his first glider and learned to fly it. Nesterov began formal training as a pilot and soon graduated. A short time later he also passed the examination to be a military pilot.

Nesterov believed that an aircraft could fly a loop, a feat not previously performed. Despite the doubts of his peers, Nesterov proved his theory on September 9, 1913 and became the first pilot to fly a loop. This was done in a Nieuport IV monoplane with a 70 hp Gnome engine over Syretzk Aerodrome near Kiev, before many observers. He was disciplined with ten days house arrest for risking government property. His achievement made him famous overnight and the punishment was reversed – he was promoted to staff captain and later awarded a medal. He founded the practice of aerobatics, stressing the value of these exercises for a military pilot. Nesterov improved the flight methods and designed new flight models without rudders.

In honor of Nesterov the Soviet Union established the Nesterov's cup for the best aerobatics crew. The cup was donated to the International Aeronautics Federation in 1962, and is awarded to the Men's World Team Champions of the World Aerobatic Championships.

Aug 26, 2008

¡Viva la [BEEEEEEEP]!

On Saturday, my wife and I went to a restaurant in our neighborhood called Old Mexico. It's got good food, great service and decent prices. It also has some interesting choices in music! We were sitting there enjoying our food and talking, when all of a sudden the music switched to a high-pitched BEEEEEEP and then switched back to music again.

It was kind of stormy, so we attributed it to some sort of signal interference. Until it happened again. My wife and I looked at each other and cracked up. The vocals in the song were pretty wild, and there were sections when the signer would just be yelling all kinds of stuff...all in Spanish, of course. And then we heard the beep for the third time. I looked around at the other customers, but no one seemed to notice.

Now that's got me many other songs are cussing en Español and NOT getting beeped?!?!

Busted in the Panhandle

On Saturday, my wife and I decided to replace our "PC Road Trip" Geocache at a local park. The old cache was a combination sudoku puzzle / driving trip around Panama City, and it hasn't exactly been a hotbed of activity. We also received a recent comment that the puzzles were gone, and the cache container was wet. So, we decided to do some re-vamping.

Due to the high cost of gas, we scrapped the whole 'road trip' idea, and instead settled on a 3-stage multi-cache (each destination gives you the coords to the next stage). We took the ammo cans home to be cleaned and dried out.

At this same time, Tropical Storm Fay was beginning to move into the area. Premium Geocaching members always get an email as soon as a new cache is placed, and they race to see who can be the "first to find". Knowing this, we thought it would be a great idea to place the cache ASAP, and try to get it published before the storm left the area (each cache has to be approved by an independant reviewer). That way, the FTF winner would get drenched! We aren't premium members (it costs $30.00 per year) and we thought it would be a good way to torture them a little bit. All in fun, of course. This was around 9:00 pm. So, we updated the swag in the ammo can, grabbed some hide-a-key containers for the first two stages, and headed to the park.

It was already drizzling, so when we got to the park I opted not to park in the lot, but off the road in between some bushes instead. That way we would be closer to the final stage, and I wouldn't have to carry the container as far. We hopped out of the car with our umbrella, flashlight, ammo can and hide-a-keys. We got about 10 feet before we saw another car pull into the park. And stop behind our car. We pretended not to notice, and then the whole area was flooded with a spotlight. We still continued walking, though we both knew that a cop had totally busted us. We agreed to keep walking and pretend we didn't notice him, and for the love of Pete DON'T TURN AROUND. I was expecting to hear a "Halt!" over the loudspeaker any moment, but it never came.

We agreed not to attempt to place the cache in the wooded area nearby (that would look too suspicious) so we just walked on. No plan. No idea what to do. Just keep waling. We walked around the baseball field and could still see the cop sitting there with his spotlight on our car. We decided to stash the ammo can because it would be difficult enough to diffuse the situation without holding a camoflauged box that looked an awful lot like a bomb. We also had no official Geocaching paraphanelia, no GPS unit, and we knew it would be difficult to explain the whole Geocaching idea. So we stashed the box under a bench and continued walking.

By this time, we were pretty wet and we had reached the opposite end of the park, so we started back. We could still see the cop's light on our car. He wasn't leaving. My wife wanted to go back and try to prevent him from writing us a ticket, and I agreed. Okay. Now it's time to get our stories straight.

We settled on this: "We were out for a walk, and didn't want to park in the parking lot because it looked muddy. Now that the rain had started falling harder, we decided to leave. We didn't notice the cop car or the spotlight." Lame, I know. But it was the best we could do on short notice. And it took us a while...we were almost back and I distinctly remember saying, "What are we doing out here? What are we going to say?" We were cutting across the grass now, headed directly toward our car. There were some bushes blocking the cop, so we couldn't see what he was doing.

A few paces later, my wife noticed the blue lights were on. Great. OK. Here we go. Show time!

We cautiously stepped out from behind the bushes. My wife was like, "Hello?" No answer. "Hello?" She wanted to make sure he knew we were approaching so there wouldn't be some kind of awful shootout. Well, we weren't carrying guns, so I guess it would be a shooting, not a shootout. Anywho, I realized what she was doing, and in the same moment also noted that I was still holding the thick Maglite Flashlight. I raised both arms slowly and walked forward.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, he stepped out of the car. "Is this your car?" Yes, we said. Are you the registered owner? Yes, I said. I handed him my driver's license. We soon heard over the radio "Silver 2004 Ford Focus registerd to..." and then my wife's name. Oops. Oh well, show him your ID, honey.

She didn't have it. We hastily rattled off the story, and I interjected with, "it's such a cool night, y'know, not like the hot ones we've been having". Yeah, that'll convince him. He eyeballed us for a moment, then asked why we didn't park in the lot. "Oh, it looks muddy", I told him. He looked at the soggy ground where we were parked, and said, "It's pretty muddy here." I pretended to notice for the first time...oh, yeah. Hmm.

Then he told us that sometimes "not-so-nice" people park in these same bushes and do drug deals and stuff. I'm thinking, 'we've got drug dealers in the neighborhood? Great. ' Anyway, he told us to park in the lot next time, and we wholeheartedly agreed. Then we both got in our car and waited. He turned off the blue lights, then the spotlight, and left. Whew! That was a close one.

But the cache still needed to be placed. We drove the car over to the lot, and discussed what to do. It was decided that we would both walk to stage 2 and place the hide-a-key. Then, my wife would return to the car, and I would continue to stage 1, place the hide-a-key, pick up the container and go into the woods to hide it. This seemed like a good idea in theory, but upon execution it contained a couple of flaws. First, my wife was left in the car all alone - what if the cop came back with more quesitons? Second, I would have to walk the ammo can under some streetlights near the road to get it back to the right side of the park. Third, we didn't get our stories straight before we seperated.

As I walked, it started raining harder. I placed the hide-a-key, and picked up the ammo box. My story was going to be that my doctor told me I had to walk twice as far as my wife, so that's why I was walking alone. In the dark. In the rain. Carrying a bomb.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife was facing the same dilemma, but came up with a more convincing story - I went off to look for something that I thought I lost while we were walking the first time. That was good. Way better than mine!

Luckily, we didn't need it. The cop didn't come back, we didn't get hauled off to City Hall (which was like 2 blocks away), we didn't get seperated and questioned individually, so no one found out that our stories didn't match.

After I left the woods, I could barely see. My glasses were all wet and there was no way for me to dry them. But when I got to the parking lot I could make out a person running at me - my wife. We embraced, and she told me she was glad nothing happened to me. We got in the car and headed home to dry off.

Our cache was published the next morning, and some brave premium members found it. Coincidentally, the rain wasn't that bad, and they didn't get very wet. Well, that's karma for you.

I love Geocaching.

Tropical Storm Fay: Panama City's Wind Damage

Aug 21, 2008

Today in History – August 21

On August 21, 1911, Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, the Mona Lisa, was stolen from the Louvre in Paris, France. The next day, a painter named Louis Béroud walked into the Louvre and went to the spot where the Mona Lisa had been on display for five years. However, where the Mona Lisa should have stood, he found four iron pegs. Béroud contacted the section head of the guards, who thought the painting was being photographed for marketing purposes. A few hours later, Béroud checked back with the section head of the museum, and it was confirmed that the Mona Lisa was not with the photographers. The Louvre was closed for an entire week to investigate the theft.

At the time, the painting was believed to be lost forever, and it was two years before the real thief was discovered. Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole it by entering the building during regular hours, hiding in a broom closet and walking out with it hidden under his coat after the museum had closed. Peruggia was an Italian patriot who believed Leonardo's painting should be returned to Italy for display in an Italian museum. After having kept the painting in his apartment for two years, Peruggia grew impatient and was finally caught when he attempted to sell it to the directors of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The Mona Lisa was exhibited all over Italy and returned to the Louvre in 1913. Peruggia was hailed for his patriotism in Italy and only served a few months in jail for the crime.

Aug 19, 2008

Dumb Steve Joke VII

Dumb Steve was broke. He went to his rich uncle's house and asked if there were any chores that he could do to earn some extra cash.
"Well, my porch needs to be painted," said Steve's uncle.
"Great!" said Steve, "I'll get right on it."
Steve's uncle gave him a couple of buckets of paint, and the supplies he would need to do the job. He then went to his office to make some phone calls.
To the surprise of his uncle, Steve returned in only 30 minutes, reporting that he was finished painting the porch. His uncle was pleased by the speed of the job, so he gave Steve a nice bonus on top of the money for doing the work.
Steve gladly accepted the cash, and said as he walked out the door, "By the's a Ferrari. Not a Porch."

Aug 15, 2008

Shoe-Buckling Rhyme

You're probably all familiar with a few lines of this nursery rhyme in one fashion or another:

One, two, buckle my shoe
Three, four, shut the door
Five, six, pick up sticks
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Nine, ten, a good fat hen
Eleven, twelve, who will delve?
Thirteen, fourteen, maids a-courting
Fifteen, sixteen, maids a-kissing
Seventeen, eighteen, maids a-waiting
Nineteen, twenty, my stomach’s empty

It dates back to the Middle Ages, and several lines have very macabre origins. (What nursery rhyme doesn't?) I can also understand every word in the poem save one: "delve". This is quite rare considering the other nuggets I've seen from the period.

I went to and was given the following definition: "to carry on intensive and thorough research for data, information, or the like; investigate."

I don't know much about the Middle Ages, but I'm fairly certain that children of that time period likely would not spend great amounts of time researching data.

The second definition was a little more helpful: "to dig the ground, as with a spade."

This fits with the macabre references, and is also listed as the 'Archaic' definition (commonly used in an earlier time but rare in present-day usage). Huzzah! Mystery solved. It's about digging. Grave digging to be precise...[shudder].

Now if we could just do something about that last "rhyme"...

How about Nineteen, Twenty, my eyes are squinty?

Aug 8, 2008

The Devil's Fork

A devil’s fork, also known as a blivet or poiuyt, is an undecipherable figure, an optical illusion and an impossible object. It portrays two irreconciliable perspectives at once, creating a "lost" layer between the top two rods, and an impossible extra, vanishing rod in between the bottom two.

Aug 1, 2008

Peculiar Creatures: Angora Rabbit

The Angora Rabbit is one of the oldest types of domestic rabbit, originating in Ankara, Turkey. The rabbits were popular pets with French royalty in the mid 1700s, and spread to other parts of Europe by the end of the century. They first appeared in the United States in the early 1900s. They are bred largely for their long angora wool, which may be removed by shearing or combing. Angora rabbits typically weigh anywhere from 5-12 pounds, depending on the breed.

New Series Launched: Peculiar Creatures

I happy to announce the creation of a new recurring series here at Planet Bizzle. It will be titled "Peculiar Creatures", and some future subjects include the blobfish, the tarsier, and the yeti crab. This new series will feature pictures, weblinks and brief descriptions. I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to your feedback! Let me know if there are any creatures that you would like to see featured here...I guess that would make them "featured creatures". Ha! And I would be your "featured creatures teacher" (or preacher). You all will be screechers in the "featured creatures" bleachers. HAHA! I kill me.

Jul 29, 2008

File Under: Dude, Seriously?!?!

Sometimes, life is stranger than fiction. MAD Kids recently published a piece titled "Least Popular Wii Games", and it cracked me up.

Then, I heard a rumor--or, what I thought was a rumor because it was so ridiculous--that there was a game called Wii Extreme Eating. I mean, c'mon...really? That's freakin' disgusting!

Well, I am happy to report that there is no such game. Why? Because it's called Wii Major League Eating instead!

The game makes "extensive" use of the Wii Remote to "simulate a variety of eating techniques including the cram, toss, and 'typewriter.' Burp-offs and Hot Potato challenges during the contests keep the competition intense and eaters on their toes." [OMG, are you kidding me?!?!]

It will play "like a fighting game," requiring players to "master a smorgasbord of offensive and defensive weapons including bites, burps, belches, mustard gas and jalapeño flames while cramming and chewing food at a world-class pace." [WTF?!?! This just gets worse and worse!]

And apparently, there’s also a “Barf-o-Meter” that you have to keep your eye on. If it fills up lose.

Man, talk about scraping the bottom of the creativity bucket. I guess this game is popular with the same demographic that enjoys booger candy and fart spray.

Law and Order: The Coloring Book

Artist Brandon Bird was watching three hours of Law and Order a night, and was inspired to create a Law and Order Coloring Book. It's got everything - ingenuity, creativeness and detail. The pages even contain quips and phrases that you'd expect to hear on the show. Finally - the drama and suspense of Law and Order can live forever in cartoon form. My only complaint? You'll be out of red crayons before you know it!

In 2004, the Law & Order Coloring Book was presented to actor Jerry Orbach (Lennie Briscoe) during "Late Night with Conan O'Brien".

Bird then took it one step further and organized a show that took place in Santa Cruz, California at the end of May 2003. Over thirty artists from throughout the country participated. Since then, other pieces have been added, such as the SVU Valentines in 2006.

Famous Swords - Baptism

William IV, called Fierebrace (meaning "Iron Arm" or “Strong-o’-the-Arm”), was the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou in the late 10th century. His sword Baptism saw frequent use as William fought to protect his holdings - often against the counts of Anjou.

In 988, William went to war with his brother-in-law, Hugh Capet, the newly-elected king of France whom William refused to recognize. Capet renewed his claim on the great duchy of Aquitaine and invaded it that year. Capet’s royal army suffered defeat on the plain of the Loire Valley, where William sheltered the young Louis, son of Charles, the last legitimate Carolingian heir. William opened the palace of Poitiers to him and treated him as royalty, regarding him as the true heir to the French throne. William finally retired to a monastery, as his father had done, leaving his wife Emma to rule Aquitaine in the name of their son William until 1004.

Jul 28, 2008

Some Notes From Your Host

Hey Everybody! Just a quick post to let you all know that I am still alive. Some of you may be familiar with my normal summer habit of not blogging, but in fact this was all planned.

During the month and a half that I refrained from blogging, my subscriptions went down 71%. I had been getting concerned that my blog was becoming too popular, and I want it to remain an underground institution - unknown, unrespected, unread. Unknown blogs are the true voice of the people. Someday, a futuristic search engine will come across the blog and all will be revealed, but until then, I'd like only my most-trusted friends and associates to read the material herein contained. So I took some time off, and the casual readers dropped me like calculus.

To the few diehards that remain, I vow to reward you with some new material that you all ADORE (most likely related to Famous Swords and Today in History) very soon.

And if I don't, consider it Purge #2.

Jun 3, 2008

Famous Swords: Cortana

Ogier the Dane, a legendary hero, was the son of Gudfred, king of Denmark. In La Chevalerie Ogier de Danemarche, Ogier had a son who was slain by Charlot, son of Charlemagne. Seeking revenge, Ogier sought out and slew Charlot, and was only barely prevented from killing Charlemagne himself. He resisted Charlemagne for seven years, but made peace with him in order to fight at Charlemagne's side against the Saracens. Legend has it that Ogier walked all the way from his final battle in France to the Castle Kronborg in Helsingør. Ogier is said to dwell in the castle, his beard grown down to the floor. He will awake when Denmark is in mortal danger, at which time he will rise up and deliver the nation.

An inscription on Ogier the Dane's sword Cortana read “My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durendal.”

Jun 2, 2008

This Person Got Fired for Sure

Sometimes I Feel Like the Donkey

Finally...A Practical Application for Post-It Notes!

Famous Swords: Balisard

Ruggiero is a leading character in the Italian romantic epics Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Maria Boiardo and Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto. According to these epics, Ruggiero was the son of a Christian knight and a Saracen, and a descendant of Hector of Troy. Ruggiero took up his sword, Balisard, joined the Saracen army in its invasion of Europe, and fell in love with the female Christian knight Bradamante. Unfortunately, he was captured and held captive by the enchantress Alcina on her magical island until the good sorceress Melissa freed him. Ruggiero then rescued the princess Angelica who had been offered as a sacrifice to a water-dwelling orc. Finally, he was baptised into Christianity, and married Bradamante. Rodomonte, a Saracen king, appears at the wedding feast and accuses Ruggiero of betraying the Saracen cause. The two knights duel, and Ruggiero succeeds in killing Rodomonte.