Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baby stuff

Related to today's column:

* "What to Expect When You Are Expecting" doesn't tell you that it's followed by "What to Expect The First Year." Guess what comes next.

* "Caring for Your Baby and Young Child" is over 600 pages. "What to Expect" is more than 800. New parents must have a lot of free time.

* This laughing baby won YouTube's "Adorable" category in this year's contest:

* The baby industry sure can overdo it. Check out this list for the top 10 most ridiculous baby products, like the the WhyCry Baby Crying Analyzer, which for $65 "analyzes your baby's crying and can help you understand and identify why your baby is crying." The top ridiculous product was this:

That's just freaky.

The life and death of Stick Man

The image in today's column, "New parents are acting like babies," is part of a warning from a lawn mower around the entrance of Sears at the Hudson Valley Mall in the town of Ulster.

The other part of the warning advises not to mow over children in the forward direction.

Obviously, stick figure babies are not the only ones threatened by lawn mowers.

Stick man also is in danger:

And now that we're talking about stick men, you should know (or shouldn't) that there's a whole subculture out there which spends its time thinking of ways to kill the figures.

Jokes aside, The American Society of Pediatrics has tips for parents who are crazy enough to use lawn mowers around children.

I've got one: don't.

Monday, June 23, 2008

George Carlin, R.I.P

The late comedian George Carlin's famous filthy words are part of the appendix to the Supreme Court case FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, a decision which turns 30 on July 3.

You may not be able to say those words over the airwaves, but you sure can link to them.

They're part of a government document, after all.

Carlin last performed locally at the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston in March.

Visit to read his expanded version of the seven dirty words.

They are now 2,443.

Carlin once said:

"I dread the deaths of certain super-celebrities. Not because I care about them, but because of all the stuff I have to endure on television when one of them dies. ..."

Obviously, he didn't said "stuff."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

(Broken) English links

"Language needs some helpizing" tackled the many ways we use and misuse the English language.

Yours truly is not immune. I had at least two unintended misspellings when I first filed the story.

Here are some links:

* "Mr. Quayle's 'e' for Effort " -- New York Times, June 17, 1992.

* Westlake High typo a good 'educaiton' -- Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 6, 2008

* Earlier this year, I mentioned the site, which has a nice collection of lolcats, like the one created for the online version of the column:

* In April, was looking for a writer.

* There's not much I can do to introduce what follows other than to invoke comedian Bill Engvall. Here's your sign:

* A May 8, 1996, Chicago Sun Times story said officials blamed the wind for the typo.

* The White House has a transcript of the Correspondent's dinner in which President Bush "explained" his "is our children learning?"

* The American Dialect Society picked "subprime" as the word of the year for 2007.

* And the society's "dude from Hyde Park" is lexicographer and author David K Barnhart.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Colbert and Hinchey

Stephen Colbert's "Report" has recently aired its 400th episode. The Associated Press has a lenghy feature on the fake-newsman that appears in today's Freeman.

If you missed the story online, it has a clip of a Colbert "interviewing" U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-Hurley, last year. The 22nd Congressional District representative "doesn't take any guff, and is not on the brown acid," according to the promo.

Colbert and Hall

Another area politician who's visited "The Colbert Report" is John Hall.
Here is but one video:

Friday, June 6, 2008

Eve Ensler

The Freeman's Blaise Schweitzer scored an interview with activist playwright Eve Ensler, the author of "The Vagina Monologues," for a story later this month. She'll be at Vassar's Powerhouse season in Poughkeepsie this summer, unveiling a new play.

Ensler talked about a range of topics, not excluding the recent developments in the presidential campaign.

Here's a clip of Ensler talking about Hillary's campaign:

Ensler also talked about Barack Obama:

Sorry folks. No John McCain.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

MAT is the word

Say "MAT" at the Shadowland and you'll save $15 per ticket for this Saturday's 2 p.m. matinee performance of "Art," starring Oscar nominated, Tony- and Emmy-winning actor Judd Hirsch, according to the theater.

Sorry, according to the theatre, which the Freeman profiled last Friday.

Hirsch appears in "NUMB3RS" and had a role in "Independence Day," though most people who don't read blogs remember him from his Oscar-nominated role in "Ordinary People" and, of course, "Taxi."

Tickets at the 157 Canal St., Ellenville, venue are $15.

Call (845) 647-5511 or visit for more information or if you don't believe me.

The theater has 148 seats.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Garden links

If you have a garden, you shouldn't read "It's a jungle out there - in the garden."

If you do, here are some links:

* "Mow your lawn... or risk jail time in Canton, Ohio" -- Associated Press.

* Canton, Ohio: "America's Playing Field"

* The HR-9016 Turbo™ lawn mower is real. It's listed as costing $71,489.

* Last year's article, "Climate Changes Are Making Poison Ivy More Potent," is from those nutty liberals at the Wall Street Journal.

* has really cool information about the plant -- and some of the nastiest rash-photos you'll ever see.

Breakfast and poison-ivy site don't mix. You've been warned.

* The salaciously titled "Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Potential Impacts on the Growth and Toxicity of Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)" by Weed Science, was the original source pointed out in the Wall Street Journal article.

* And what is High Times, you ask, pretending you don't know? It's a magazine about marijuana. And its vocal editor in chief is Steve Hager, from Woodstock. Marijuana, I shouldn't have to tell you, it's very illegal.

Just like tall grass in Canton, Ohio.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Executive greetings

Congratulations to the official candidates in the race for Ulster County Executive, who will hopefully not drop out of the race in two weeks.

The official candidates are:

* Recent Democrat Mike Hein, for the Democrats. Hein won a tough primary against nobody.
* Independence party member Len Bernardo, for the Republicans who couldn't find a Republican.
* Allan Wikman, a Kingston independent who spams the whole newsroom e-mail list every day with political musings and links.
* Will Maksuta of New Paltz, for the Greens. Maksuta says my history column "sucks."

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Today's Life story, "For the love of goat," focuses on Albie, the goat with the prosthetic leg at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, and the sanctuary's co-founder, who also has a prosthetic leg.

One of the photos accompanying the story shows co-founder Jenny Brown with the other animals at the facility: Clover the goat, who's sitting on Patsy the pig, who in turn is sleeping next to Judy, also a pig. The print version also features a photo of Olivia the goat.

All these animals have stories of their own.

* Olivia's story

* Patsy and Judy's story

* Clover's story

For kicks, here's a video of Clover going crazy.