Today's News ... (April 1, 2009)

The Big Stories...

by Chris F. Toock

Obama's Image on Slab of Bacon

Wyalusing, PA

Hundreds of people lined up outside a modest residence in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania on Wednesday morning for a chance to see a slab of bacon that resembles the President of the United States. Many locals say they clearly saw an image of President Obama in the pork fat.

"Spitting image," said Klem Popelky, a local butcher. "I've seen a lot of bacon in my life, but I'm telling you this pork was the spitting image of the President."

"The proof's in the pork," said a woman who lives just down the street.

The bacon was purchased by Sandra Beech at a local Wegman's. "I took it home, opened it up, and my gosh, there he was: President Obama on a big ol' slab of bacon."

Tragedy struck when Mrs. Beech had to run to the drugstore at noon. While she was gone her husband Herb, who works 3rd shift in a local printing shop, woke up from a nap and made a BLT (lightly toasted, no mayo) for his lunch.

"Herbie ate the President," Mrs. Beech sighed. She was forced to turn away dozens of disappointed folks who had waited in line for hours hoping to see the Presidential Pork.

"Somebody on Main Street has a ball of navel lint that looks like George Bush," said one of the people turned away by Mrs. Beech. "Guess we'll take a walk over there."

* * *

Man Has Near-Death Experience, Sees Afterlife

San Francisco, CA

Thanks, Mister President...

...buying my next car just got a whole lot easier, now that the Gubbermint's running GM. The President himself said, "Your warranty will be safe...In fact, it will be safer than it's ever been, because starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty."

I can't wait to see these Obamamobiles when they hit the market:

    Wow! New Gubbermint Cars from Obama-GM!!

  • The Katrina: An amphibious SUV powered by kitchen compost. The first dozen prototypes sank.
  • The Baconator: A $200,000 car with a pleasant pork aroma. And we can all afford one, because the payments will be spread out over the next three generations.
  • The AIG Cruiser: Critics say the engines leak oil like a frat boy peeing in your bushes after downing two dozen bottles of brewksi...but there's a $500,000 cash back bonus to sweeten the deal.

Yup. That made up my mind.

My next car's a Ford.

* * *

A Most Relaxing Saturday Morning ...

Dynamo's Relaxation Chamber...

Dynamo's Relaxation Chamber...

I've probably said this before, but my family says I remind them of Matt Roloff (from the TLC series Little People Big World). Specifically, it's Matt's habit of having about sixty plates spinning at one time, any one of which might fall and smash at any moment.

My family claims I am incapable of relaxing (nodding off exhausted in the recliner doesn't count). My head is always in about a dozen places at once.

But this past Saturday, I finally found a way to zone out and relax...guiltlessly...for an hour.

Long story short, I spent some time with my head in an MRI machine on Saturday morning. Don't get's just that what little hearing I had left sort of up and disappeared ahead of schedule, leaving me with some sporadic vertigo. I haven't worn a hearing aid in weeks. We're just making sure nothing else is going on other than the long-expected deafness.

For some folks, an MRI is not a pleasant experience. The test itself is painless. Even if a contrast solution is injected, the "stick" is milder than a flu shot. From a comfort and side-effect angle, it's about as safe as it gets.

It's being loaded into the "torpedo tube" that bothers most folks.

I call it that because your head is put in a cage and you are fed into the maw of the machine much like a U-boat torpedo about to be fired into a cargo ship full of chicken wings. (Oh, the horror).


...the Official Dynamo Crappy Camera Early Spring Mini-Bonanza and Fandango!!!

Spring has arrived, at least as far as the calendar goes. But is greenery returning to Northeastern Pennsylvania? The early signs say...YES!

Are we really this lazy??

You want to know what's wrong with this country? I'll tell you what's wrong. We've gotten fat, soft and lazy.

I found the proof in a catalog from a company that sells linens, kitchen gadgets and all other kinds of what-nots. It's a device called a "Roomba" and it's basically a robot that vacuums your floor while your snooze in your recliner.

Proof we've all gone soft...

...Proof we've all gone soft...

The danged thing costs close to four hundred bucks. What an outrage!

I'm telling you gang, if the day has come where I can't get my butt off the recliner and plug in the vacuum so my wife Annie can do the floors, this country is doomed.

* * *

THE GREATER DEPRESSION CHRONICLES: Quote of the Week (March 22-28, 2009)

"…It is as if you were flying an airplane and the gas light came on and it said 'you have 15 minutes of gas left' and the pilot said 'we're not going to worry about that, we're going to fly for another two hours.' Well, the plane crashes and our country will crash and we'll pass on to our kids a country that's not affordable." - Senator Judd Gregg (R) New Hampshire on the budget blueprint released by The Obama Administration in the face of a mounting fiscal crisis.

...the pilot doesn't have enough hours in the cockpit.

"The practical implications of this [budget] is bankruptcy for the United States," said Gregg. (Source:

* * *


On more than one occasion, either in conversation or on this site, I've said that my characters call the shots and ... like my readers ... I'm just along for the ride.

True, I'm the ringmaster, conductor, field general ...use any label you wish to describe my role as the one who channels the story my characters are telling me.

But they call the shots.

Now most of the time, that's not an issue. On occasion, though, it puts me on the spot. I've arrived at just such a spot with No Cognitive Defect.

It seems Anita has a tendency to cuss a bit. A lot. Okay ...a heckuva lot.

While this might not be a problem for a traditional novel, it presents me with a dilemma. This novel is "on the web" and I try to keep my site clean. There is a smattering of mild profanity here and there, but I weigh carefully when to use it. And I long ago decided: "No F-bombs!"

And now it turns out the Anita uses the F-bombs freely. (I swear it's as much a surprise to me as it will be to Wilson, eventually.)

If I am fortunate enough to sell NCD one day, I'll deal with the F-bomb issue at that time. But for this site, I compromised. Wherever Anita drops an F-bomb, I've replaced it with a short F___ or longer F___ing or some other such device.

That being said, I'm going offer a list of substitute words you can use when you see one of these devices:

frog (but this only works for the short F-bomb. I don't think "frogging" is a verb.)

flip/flipping (a little nod there to the movie Napoleon Dynamite)

No Cognitive Defect - XII

No Cognitive Defect - Part XII

By James M. O'Meara, © 2009

(Need to catch up on NCD,? Just click here!)

In the kitchen...

A brief chill gripped her. She was bundled up tight in her blanket, but the air was cold. The fire was dying in the other room, and the meager warmth wasn't reaching into the kitchen. The floor was hard and icy cold beneath her feet.

She told herself that nothing was wrong, that Wilson was fine, that it was just taking him a long time because the storm was so powerful and his limitations were slowing him down. That first batch of wood would arrive any moment. Soon she would look out the window and see Wilson emerging from the whiteness.

Wilson's limitations.

She'd been hearing about them almost from the moment she and Evan started seeing each other. When Evan spoke of his father the portrait he painted in broad strokes was of a man unable to care for himself, who needed constant attention, who couldn't be left alone. But his mother, by Evan's own account, was deeply involved in the community. That struck her as odd; not exactly what one would expect from the wife of someone who was supposedly a near-invalid. The flood of sympathy cards she'd seen lying in small, scattered stacks throughout the kitchen and living room suggested that Erica spent an awful lot of time out of the house.

THE GREATER DEPRESSION CHRONICLES: Quote of the Week (March 15-21, 2009)

"…the first thing that would make me feel a little bit better toward them … if they'd follow the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say, I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things: resign or go commit suicide." - Senator Charles Grassley (R) Iowa the honorable thing, gentlemen.

"…take your pick. Resigning? Resignation forms are on table one. Suicide? Try the poison on table two … slow but effective. Table Three: Wakizashi Hari Kari swords! Quick, messy and painful. But if you're really brave, grab a copy of the President's budget from table four. It's death by a trillion deficits."

Grassley blasted AIG Executives during an interview on Cedar Rapids, Iowa, radio station WMT. A Grassley spokesman said the senator isn't calling for AIG executives to kill themselves. (NOTE: Don't you hate it when a politician's handlers try to soften a clear, passionate message that isn't perhaps "politically correct" but fully expresses the sentiments of the American people?)

* * *


Oh, they're stomping mad in Washington about these AIG bonuses. Fit to be tied. Vowing to get the bonus money back any way they can.

But this never had to happen.

According to Senators Olympia Snowe (R) Maine and Ron Wyden (D) Oregon, their amendment to the bailout bill would have forced AIG to either repay any bonuses over $100,000 or face stiff taxes.

But someone cut the amendment from the final version of the bill. A cable news station reported early this morning that Democrats had no idea what happened. One minute it was there, the next it was gone. Kind of like my 401k.

Of course this begs the question: Did anyone read the danged thing before they voted on it? guy. Senator George Voinovich (R) Ohio. And he only read the Senate version.

But some Washington insiders say this puts the responsibility for the AIG bonus fiasco squarely on Voinovich, who reportedly got a little fuzzy after reading about 400 pages of the bill.

"We tried to perk him up with some Cheetos and a couple cans of Red Bull, but his brain was pretty much melted," said a dejected aide on the condition of anonymity. "It was a pretty hard slog. He was tired, and just missed it."

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