Archives for June 2007

Terror In Britain

A few random thoughts about the events of the past couple of days.

Unless you have been trapped beneath a heavy object you probably are aware that Britain narrowly avoided a sizable terror attack when two car bombs were discovered.

This was followed by an attack upon the Glasgow airport in which a flaming SUV tried to ram the main terminal.

CNN is reporting that new Prime Minister Gordon Brown and company have raised the terror alert to its highest level meaning terror attacks are imminent. I don’t mean to sound obnoxious, but “DUH!” It has progressed beyond imminent, now there are a host of questions.

Did they have any forewarning about any of this? How far along are they in their investigation? Is there knowledge of additional attacks or is the terror level alert system merely a response to the past days? Is this being done to suss out Gordon Brown’s intentions or is the timing coincidental?

Stay tuned, more to come on all of these matters. Updates are on the way.

The Land of Lost Luggage

Most people are familiar with tales of lost luggage. You check it in at the curb and six hours later are more than a little aggravated to learn that somehow it didn’t make the trip over with you. Sometimes it is located and sometimes it never catches up with you. So you may wonder what happens to those lost pieces. Well you might be surprised to learn that it is possible that someone purchased your bag and is selling the items within.

Unclaimed Baggage is a one-of-a-kind store snuggled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and bordered by the 70,000 acre Lake Guntersville. Founded in 1970 by Doyle and Sue Owens as a part-time business, it soon became a full-time venture. In 1978, the Owens incorporated the company and watched it prosper as one of the great ‘hidden’ bargain centers for savvy shoppers.

While I can’t fault people for trying to make a buck I do find it a little disheartening to read about all of these lost items.

Over one million items pass through the store annually. About 60% of the merchandise is clothing with the balance of the store dedicated to cameras, electronics, sporting goods, jewelry, designer optical, books and of course, luggage. The vast majority of items are from unclaimed baggage which, after at least 90 days of intensive tracking by the airlines, are declared unclaimed. However, lost and unclaimed cargo is also now available in special areas of the store.

I’d like to say that I wouldn’t be irritated or upset by any of this. It is just stuff, but there is something that bothers me about this. I irks me to think that because of someone else’s mistake my stuff is being parceled out to whomever is willing to pay.

It is hard work breaking clothes in so that they achieve maximum comfort. What do you think?

Hamas- Teaching Children to Hate

GAZA CITY (AP) — A Mickey Mouse lookalike who preached Islamic domination on a Hamas-affiliated children’s television program was the victim of a pretend beating death in the show’s final episode Friday.

In the final skit, the “Farfour” character was killed by an actor posing as an Israeli official trying to buy Farfour’s land. At one point, the mouse called the Israeli a “terrorist.”

“Farfour was martyred while defending his land,” said Sara, the teen presenter. He was killed “by the killers of children,” she added.

So happy to see that these noble people are teaching such strong values to their children. And people ask why there is no peace.

Early Morning Agitation

My mother called it waking up on the wrong side of the bed. I am referring to my mood. Cranky, agitated and irritable do not do it justice. The day started off poorly and the sad thing is that the reasons for it are trivial.

Somewhere in the middle of the night my son climbed into my bed and proceeded to try and discover new and creative ways to create bruises all over my body. I received multiple punches and kicks to my head, nose, neck, groin and legs. Did I mention that he stole the freaking covers too.

This is not a normal occurrence. He almost never wakes up anymore and on the odd occasion that he sleeps with us he normally holds still. For whatever reason this time he did not. So interrupted slumber is a big factor in why I am unhappy, but that is not all. The next door neighbor is having a new roof placed on his home. Did I mention that I hate the sound of hammers and saws in the morning. Ok, that is not entirely true, but on this morning it is making me crazy.

It doesn’t help that this is being done right outside of my office so it is making it much harder to work. As a side note let me add that I hate the noise that vacuum cleaners make. My folks say that as a baby it used to make me cry. Now it just irritates me. Something about that squeal makes me want to run screaming into the forest.

Last night I chased away a couple of teenagers who are using my street as makeout point. I know that I have blogged about them before, but I am too cranky to go searching for the post. The music in their car was so loud that it was preventing my kids from sleeping. So I headed over to the car. They were so involved that they didn’t notice me standing there, nor did they realize that the rapping on the window was not being created by them.

I explained to the dear lad and lassie that while I appreciate young love I am not interested in witnessing it in such graphic detail and that it would be wise to move along. The young buck started to mouth off then thought better of it when I asked him how he felt about being arrested. I pulled this off a la Fletch.

“Are you the police?” He asked.

“As far as you know” was my response.

I absolutely hate feeling this irritable so early in the morning. It is a lousy way to start the day so I am doing what I can to set a new tone.

Updated: Some of our yeshivas are doing a piss poor job of educating our children, at least when it comes to English skills. Their posts make them look like exceptionally ignorant. The number of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors is inexcusable. I can’t believe that they are not more embarrassed by just how poor their skills are.

It is a sad, sad thing.

Harry Potter & Children

Here is a general question for the moms and dads. How old do you think a child should be before they start reading Harry Potter books?