July 30th, 2003


Movie Review: legion of fire: killer ants


Plum> "This is not science fiction. This is science fact. The story you are about to see could happen . . . TOMORROW!"
mgrasso> i love the title too. it's like they used one of those "refrigerator poetry" sets. "legion of fire: killer ants."
Ironf> Umm is this a bug hunt, man?
Plum> This is actually an X-Files movie, kinda like those made-for-tv Ewok things.


BEMaven> They stepped on quite a few ants. Think it will rain?


mgrasso> so, does pileggi play the king of the ant kingdom?
mgrasso> they brought a shotgun. ON A FISHING TRIP?
Ironf> redneck fishing Grasso
mgrasso> jack london's call of the x-files


Plum> Maybe we'll be treated to ancient Indian wisdom about fire ants later.


BEMaven> So the ants think they're in Brazil.
BEMaven> He died as he lived...for no particular reason.
mgrasso> you know, between the CGI ants and limbs and the earthquakes, this movie went over 5,000 dollars for their fx budget
BEMaven> Don't forget all the dirt they had to buy.


BEMaven> which one gets to stand on the mound now?
Ironf> Fire down it a couple of times with that shotgun oughta do it


BEMaven> What's the bounty on a dirt mound?
BEMaven> Shoot the ants in the antenna. They're helpless without them.
Plumm> I love the smell of montage in the morning.


Fighting Killer Ants

Diary of a Mad Web Lackey™
By Nancy Kamp
February 2003

February 14, 2003: Fighting Fire Ants They probably don't come more anti-war than Kurt Vonnegut. This is a good thing on several levels because even if you would like to personally dispatch Saddam and his ilk, it's important to consider all sides of a question. In fact I've always believed if you can't ask yourself, "What if I'm wrong?" you probably are.

Having said that, I can say we enjoyed* Vonnegut's Wednesday night's lecture in OKC. The topic was writing, but the talk was "war is evil."

Some interesting points:

• Oklahoma City's bombing disaster was more typical of war than September 11 because children died here. [Children died September 11 too. NK]
• Cruise missiles are like Timothy McVeigh.
• "War is a horrible disease. It's not a great adventure."

I agree. But how do you negotiate with fanatics? They're just like fire ants. So in the spirit of the very late Roman statesman, Cato the Elder, who ended every speech - no matter what the topic - with "Carthage must be destroyed," I say with deep regret, "Fire ants must go."

*Comic relief courtesy of the world's longest and most boring introduction (think grace delivered by a drunken preacher who does not believe in hot food), repeated rolling blackboard antics, and spontaneous and unasked for interruptions of the speaker by kindly folks who wanted to give the speaker water (and discuss it with him) as well as microphone adjusters.

More Using Fire Ants (And the Winner In the Searh For a FIRE ANT Quote)


Fib Newton:
The lesson behind the AP's sacking of reporter Christopher Newton (it's not what you think).
By Jack Shafer
Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2002, at 3:19 PM PT

The Associated Press accused Washington bureau reporter Christopher Newton of journalistic fraud last month and sacked him. The AP alleges that in at least 40 of the many hundred stories Newton wrote for the wire service between Jan. 13, 2000, and Sept. 8, 2002, Newton quoted sources who appear not to exist. Some of Newton's ghosts, such as political science professor "Patrick Delraj," were placed at real institutions, such as the University of California. In other stories, Newton conjured real-sounding organizations from which his dramatis personae spoke. "Robert Janson" toiled at the nonexistent "Voice for the Disabled"; "Thomas Jakes" served as president of "People for Civil Rights"; "Angelica Victor" did her business at the "Education Alliance," and "Bruce Fenmore" did his at the "Institute for Crime and Punishment in Chicago." The AP was finally alerted to Newton's alleged embellishing by a New York Times reporter.

We should all throw our hands up in the air, of course, and curse the name of Christopher Newton if, as the AP says, he folded fiction into the dry facts that the AP dispenses to the 15,200 newspapers and broadcasters around the world. If Newton violated the journalist's credo to tell the truth, we should strip him naked, drag him into the Chihuahuan Desert, smear him with honey, and feed him to the fire ants. And if he is still unrepentant, we should convene a special session of the Committee of Concerned Journalists to ponder the ethical implications his alleged offense.
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First Home Grown Tomato Of the Season

I kept eying the grasshoppers, and Raven, who might accidentally break off a piece of the tomato plants, so I harvested the first and second of the tomatoes for the year. I can't wait to see what they taste like, as I bought a type I had not used before. I have to look at the label to know what they are, I can't remember off hand. That was MONTHS ago.

I plan to make a dish called "Polish Salad", sort of. You slice a good dill (I use Clausen's refrigerator pickles), the tomato, alternating slices, then smother the whole thing in onion chunks. I can't eat raw onion any more, but the flavor is still there...

I Returned the Pie

Jess, who works for Hy Vee, said, "Why don't you take the pie back?"

So, since I had to return the library books due tomorrow, I took the pie along. YES, I did the library first, as I knew I would buy something else in Hy Vee, which would probably be heat sensitive. Then, I thought I'd better not be hungry when I went to Hy Vee, and since it was 12:30, I ate at the Chinese restaurant, then went to Wal Mart for the hair brush I'd forgotten to get last time. I was so into not being compulsive that I met three people from Seymour, talked to them, got just the hair brush for $3.49, and left. Driving past the Standard Oil/MacDonald's, I got the tank full of diesel, as I was half way down, and it is a 34 mile round trip to the closest diesel dealer from home... When I went in to pay, I continued with the "old home week" atmosphere, hitting one of our infamous drop outs behind the counter, who was very eager to be recognized. She told everyone in line and around the counter that she was probably my worst Spanish student... I just smiled.

In the Hy Vee parking lot, I hit the kindergarten teacher... while I was carrying the pie. (You get some very strange looks entering a grocery store with groceries in your hand.)

I went to the Deli with the rhubarb pie masquerading as cherry, showed it to the gal behind the counter, who agreed with me that it was rhubarb, NOT cherry... and sent me to the bakery counter (actually part of their counter...but half an aisle further on.) That girl looked like she wasn't sure what rhubarb was, but knew there was a problem with the pie. She told me to go back to the front door and pick out another cherry pie.

I was no longer in the mood for a cherry pie, but I dutifully went back to the entry area, and examined the two apple, one pumpkin, and one peach pie... but I was in even LESS of a mood for them, so I returned, telling her that there were none. She still seemed confused, so she got out an order form, turned it over and asked my name. I spelled it to her, and she disappeared into the bakery area.

Soon she returned, still carrying the rhubarb cum cherry pie. We went back to the customer service area together, telling the gal there that I was due a refund. That gal examined the pie and said, "Yes, that is NOT cherry." She took the pie and gave me $3.99. By then, I had $17.00 worth of stuff in my cart, and I forgot to drop off the film to be developed... which is at that same counter. (It could have been worse. Once I took a roll of film in to be developed and came out with $117 worth of stuff... but I was HUNGRY that time.)

As I was getting my raspberries, grapes, and plums bagged, Eddie Martin, my neighbor, showed up to bag, so I asked him when Carol was due back from Texas. He then told me the ROUTE he plans to take next Saturday when he goes to pick her up. He's supposed to meet her in Joplin, but wants to go to Kansas.

So as he sacked the two little plastic containers of raspberries, one package of grapes, and three plums, I told him the research that was on the radio yesterday about Kansas being as flat as a pancake. Some fellow for his doctoral thesis, or something, converted a pancake's surface and Kansas's surface to a similar data base for comparison. Kansas, it turns out, IS NOT as flat as a pancake. It is FLATTER. The researcher discovered that were Kansas as bumpy as a pancake, you'd be driving along and hit a 10' deep POT HOLE...

Everyone in line laughed, so Eddie, still not done with the sacking, told us that he'd like to go through Kansas because parts of it (the eastern edge) were real pretty, and he wanted to drive it again like he did years ago... The customers lined up behind me were all real eager to hear the towns on his itinerary, but I was getting uneasy, so told him he'd love Wichita and collected the sack of fruit and left... (Probably bad manners.... I know he's lonely... but?)

A Pandemonium Kind of Romance

When I got back from town, Raven was out in the west pasture down in the gully behind the pond bank, grazing. While I was using the rest room after bringing in the groceries, Raven decided to go through the half open gate and visit the ladies. He distinctly heard Sue say she'd bring her mare back July 29th or 30th, but she didn't, so he took matters into his own hooves.

Down the fence line he'd be inside other years he went at a gimpy trot, sides heaving, calling his favorite mare, Canta Libre, who, yes, just happened to be hard in heat, to him... she backs up to the 4'6" fence with the native oak board on top, he gets ready to breed, and I arrive with a halter... Which he stands there flat hooved and allows me to stick on his face while she moves off when I tell her to...

I lead him down the steepest part of the bank, which is straight across from the car. His breathing sounds terrible. He is very tired, and reluctant to take the steep bank, ginger at the ditch at the bottom, but comes along with me, taking tiny steps. I get in the BMW and stick the rope out the driver's window, which puts him in the middle of the road.

I keep his head centered in the car window, pacing him. He's walking down hill, in beat with the music on the radio. He's puffing terribly, and covered with sweat. This is NOT what he needed.

As I'm leading him past the double electric wire around the front yard at the bottom of the hill, where Coqet and Omyno are, NO suddenly JOINS US ON THE HIGHWAY. Raven wants to challenge, and I am afraid I'm going to get a leg in the face or hooves through the windshield, so I holler at him and yank, while the car heads toward the electric wire.

Okay, switch to plan B; steer, and pray the stallion will come, and the traffic won't come...

I holler at No to go find Coqet, who is NOT on the road...

I turn into the driveway with only one stud. I can't see over the tops of the weeds and trees to see where No is, almost push Raven off the edge by being in the wrong wheel trace trying to spot No, but as I go up the driveway, I see Coqet standing in the corner closest to the pasture, with Karess (also in heat) on the other side of the fence. As I pass the clear spot, NO joins her. What a relief! Gates open, but at least nothing is on the road with sunset coming.

I lock Raven in the west pasture at the top of the driveway, so he celebrates his puffing by CANTERING down the fence line. I go back and lock the front gate (NO evidently UNLOCKED the front gate to join the parade... he's good at getting out of the front yard, which is why he can't be in it generally, but Coqet won't leave, so he stays... Before, this past winter, he'd leave with the gate still closed...)

I grained Coqet and No again, mainly so he got a reward for GOING HOME... then brought Raven's grain up the hill. Now, I did all this at a walk, so why were my shirt and jeans soaked through??? It was nearly sunset, the temp wasn't that bad, but oh, talk about humidity!

I sure was ready for my second shower... I knew it was silly to take one before I went to town.