SimonHey, ya’ll! Simon here! Well, the Football Feline went 10-6 last week… good, but not great. I’m now 115-60 for the season, which is pretty good for a kitty! hehehehe! OK, pour yourself a Bloody Mary or a MANmosa and enjoy my picks for week 13!


New Orleans at Atlanta: Oh my! The folks from New Orleans might not think of the Falcons as much of a rival these says – and why not? The Aints are 17-8 in Atlanta since 2003 and have won 11 of the past 13 meetings overall – but I assure you that the Dirty Birds will take this game very seriously! My new crush Julio Jones will be catching balls all over the place, while that handsome Tony Gonzalez will keep rackin’ up the yards. The Simon thinks Matt Ryan and the Falcons will win at home this time, although it will keep to this season’s tradition and be a squeaker.

Jacksonville at Buffalo: Oh Lord! Please don’t tell me we’re getting this game! [checks…] Whew! We don’t! No, this week we get the thriller that is Carolina at Kansas City! What is it that my Uncle Scott always says? “$10 a seat, but you’ll only use the edge??” hehehehehe! Oh yes, back to Jacksonville at Buffalo, Ya know, Simon’s just gonna go ahead and pick the Bills to win the game, although he really doesn’t care WHO wins.

Seattle at Chicago: Man, have y’all seen those Chicago hot dogs? They’re giant beef franks served on a poppy seed bun and covered with mustard, onions, this crazy, neon green relish, a pickle spear, tomato slices and peppers! Simon doesn’t know what to think about that. Y’all know Simon’s an East Coast boy at heart, and when I think of hot dogs, I think of New York style, with onions (and maybe kraut) and mustard. Or I think about slaw dogs, my momma’s favorite way to eat a dog. Have y’all seen my momma? She’s so pretty! I love her so much! Yeah, I’m a momma’s boy… and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that! She understands my fabulousness! OhMyGawd! Speaking of fabulous! Did y’all see Kate Middleton’s new haircut? NOT fabulous! Girl needed to call Simon before doing that to her hair! And another thing… what? Picks? Football? Oh yes! Hehehehehe… Simon gets distracted so easily! This should be a good game… especially with that gorgeous Russell Wilson on the field for Seattle! And with a name like Wilson, he HAS to be good, right? But it’s so hard to beat the Bears at home. I think Jay Quitter will lead the Bears through to victory

Indianapolis at Detroit: Well, I just don’t know what to do here! Calvin Johnson is obviously my main man (next to Tom Terrific!), but the Colts bring a lot to the table: Andrew Luck… Reggie Wayne… Austin Collie… Dwight Freeney… MAN, that’s a lot of sexy on one football team! I suppose Simon should be using some kind of statistical analysis to pick the winner of this game… but instead Simon’s just gonna pick whichever team has the most handsome mens! And I think the Colts win here! Ride ’em, cowboy! RAWR!

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 13”

Top 10 Tunes

From the home office in London, here’s the Top 10 song chart for the week ending November 24, 2012:

1) Marsheaux – “Empire State Human”
2) Kate Nash – “Do Wah Doo”
3) Japan – “Cantonese Boy”
4) Virginia Astley – “Some Small Hope”
5) Jessica Bailiff – “Helpless”
6) Ambra Red – “Beauty 606”
7) Asobi Seksu – “Thursday”
8) Ladyhawke – “Magic”
9) Katy Perry – “The One That Got Away”
10) Blouse – “Videotapes”

Cigarettes and Candy

If you’re not from North Carolina, you might not have heard the name Richard Reynolds before. But if you’ve ever smoked a cigarette, you’ve probably seen the words “R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company” on the side of the pack. And there’s a lot about the Reynolds story that’s interesting.

Richard Joshua Reynolds was born on July 20, 1850 in Patrick County, Virginia. I don’t know how wealthy the Reynolds family was, but they were prosperous enough to own several slaves and send their son to nearby Emory and Henry College in 1868. Reynolds returned to the family farm after graduating, but Richard, always restless and ambitious, sold his share of the family farm back to his father and struck out on his own.

One of the fundamental problems with his family’s farm was that it was nowhere near a railroad depot. So tobacco had to be put on horse-drawn carts and sent far away for sale. Richard knew he’d get better prices at a better location, so he set out for the nearest town that did have a depot: Winston, North Carolina. So the story goes, Reynolds rode in to town on horseback, reading a copy of The New York Times and dreaming of one day building a golf course somewhere in the area.

If you know anything about North Carolina, you probably know how huge tobacco was for most of the state’s history. And even though there were already fifteen other tobacco companies in Winston, Reynolds managed to sell 150,000 pounds of tobacco in his first year. Reynolds was a savvy businessman, always open to new ideas. One of these ideas – adding saccharin to chewing tobacco – made his products insanely popular. By the 1890s, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was selling millions of pounds of tobacco a year.

But Reynolds’ most famous – or infamous – invention came in 1912. Before this, almost everyone who smoked cigarettes rolled their own. The idea of buying pre-rolled, packaged cigarettes was just… weird to most people. Reynolds tinkered: tinkered with machinery that could make cigarettes by the millions, and tinkered with several tobacco blends to create the one with the best flavor. The result was Camel cigarettes, the first pre-packaged cigarette brand in the United States. Sales were slow for the first few weeks, but Reynolds cut the price to near cost and ended up selling 425 million packs of cigarettes that year. Not bad for a product that didn’t even exist a year before!

One of the people who made Camels such a success was Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., nephew of Richard Joshua Reynolds. He’d dropped out of the University of Virginia in 1903 to go to work for his uncle, and much of the research and development of Camels was done by him. When the product appeared to be a complete success he, like his uncle, felt the need to strike out on his own. So, only a few months after Camels hit the market, Reynolds, Sr. left the company.

Continue reading “Cigarettes and Candy”

Quote of the Day

“Once abolish the God, and the government becomes the God. That fact is written all across human history; but it is written most plainly across that recent history of Russia; which was created by Lenin. There the Government is the God, and all the more the God, because it proclaims aloud in accents of thunder, like every other God worth worshipping, the one essential commandment: ‘Thou shalt have no other gods but Me.’ ”

 – G.K. Chesterton
“Christendom in Dublin”


SimonHey, ya’ll! Simon here! Guess what? I went 13-1 last week! SUCK IT Les Carpenter! hehehehe! That makes me 105-54 for the season, which is almost as good as the “pros” on Yahoo! Watch out guys – you can’t stop the fabulousness! So pour yourself a cold one and enjoy my picks for week 12!


Houston at Detroit: Hoo-boy! I still haven’t seen Calvin Johnson’s johnson, and I get the feeling he’ll be running away from this game with his johnson between his legs! Houston will run all over poor Detroit… who, by the way, are 33-37-2 on Thanksgiving Day and have lost their last 8 Thanksgiving games. Why should the Texans eat turkey when they can FEAST on Lion instead?

Washington at Dallas: I’ll say this for Tony Romo: he’s like a Chumbawumba song… he gets knocked down, and he gets up again… you’re never gonna keep him down! Once again, the Cowboys found themselves down big last week, and came away with the win in Cleveland. So while I’d normally point and laugh at Dallas, I think the Cowboys come away with the win this week. I love me some sexy RG3 action, but I think the ‘Boys have it together enough to win this one.

New York Jets at New England: Oh my! Simon needs to call his BDSM friends, ‘cos this is gonna be a beatdown like no other! Tom Terrific – even without that sexy hunk’a white meat, the Gronk – will get it done, girls! Does Simon have a Blowout of the Week™ award? ‘Cos if not, this one needs it! Take the Patriots by two TDs! Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 12”


SimonHey, ya’ll! Simon here! I went 9-4 last week… not as good as week nine’s 13-1, but not too bad. I’m 92-53 for the year, which makes me better than a few of the “pros” out there! Maybe it’s because I am sooo fabulous! So sit back, relax, pour a Bloody Mary and enjoy my picks for week 11!


Miami at Buffalo: Yawn. Watching these two duke it out is like watching two ugly girls in last year’s Charlotte Dellals catfighting over the last homely guy left in a bar! It’s just tragic, people! Simon’s going with the Bills, but your best bet is to call DirectTV and hope they can get the NFL Sunday Ticket installed at your house before Sunday so you can watch some other game!

Arizona at Atlanta: Face it, Falcons fans: the Durty Birds were gonna lose at some point. I know it hurts that it was to the Aints, but you guys can easily bounce back against that handsome Larry Fitz and the Cards. My main man Matt Ryan is hard to beat at home, and I just don’t think Arizona is up to the challenge. Take the Falcons here, ladies!

Cleveland at Dallas: Dallas: overrated. Cleveland: underrated. Upset? Sadly, no. It’s hard to win in Jerry’s House, even with goofballs Tony Romo and Jason Garrett coming up with ever wackier ways to lose games. Given all the bizarre endings to their games, Simon is expecting that the Browns will have a lead late in the game, and Romo will throw up a bomb… which will be intercepted by Prester John riding a dragon, who will then abscond to Atlantis with the ball. Completely baffled, Ed “Old Guns” Hochuli will call the game in the Browns favor. Hey, is that any less likely than something silly from the Cowboys’ crack clock management team? And, by the way, I didn’t see you guys at the free Clock Management seminar I held this week. Herm Edwards, Mike Holgren and Marvin Lewis showed up… where were you guys? Take the Cowboys to win at home, although I don’t think it’ll be the “season-changing win” fans are hoping for.

Continue reading “SIMON’S PICKS – WEEK 11”

News for November 12, 2012

Man, I haven’t “done the news” on this site since March 7, 2012! So let’s get it on!

– Valerie Eliot, widow of poet T.S. Eliot, has died. Although I was a huge Eliot fan in high school, I didn’t really know much about his personal life. Needless to say, I was shocked to read that his widow had died… until I read the linked article. Eliot married a woman named Vivienne Haigh-Wood in 1915, but the marriage wasn’t a happy one (you may remember the play and movie, Tom & Viv, about their flawed relationship). The two separated in 1932, but remained married until her death in 1947. In 1957, Eliot, then 68, married Valerie, who was 30 at the time. Eliot died in 1965 at age 76, but Valerie lived on until November 9, 2012.

– Remember the Daylight Saving Time change last week? I bet Niles Gammons of Urbana, Ohio does. Gammons was arrested for DUI last Saturday night at 1:08 AM. He was released shortly thereafter with a simple court summons. A little while later, the same arresting officer, in the same patrol car, saw Gammons’ car on the road again. He pulled the car over and found Gammons drunk behind the wheel. Thanks to the time change, Gammons was arrested for DUI at 1:08 AM… again! Two DUI arrests on the same day, at the same time? Awesome!

– Reasons to hate liberals: a) the £80 million school in London that has an indoor swimming pool, glass walls showing off a panoramic view of the city, a wait staff to bring tea and coffee to teachers, custom-made £300 chairs for students; b) Our Dear Leader and his looming $136 billion bill coming due in December; c) Driverless cars are the wave of the future… but not in Washington DC; d) despite the stereotype of religious folks as knuckle-dragging morons who believe the earth is 6,000 years-old and flat, liberals can be anti-science, too. In fact, I wrote about it back in March. But now Fred Pearce, an environmental consultant for New Scientist magazine, wants to know why so many in the green movement are taking anti-science positions; and e) back in March, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg banned food donations to homeless shelters… not because the food might be tainted, or open shelters to legal liabilities… but because New York “can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content”. This has come up again in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

– Britain has, over the years, invaded 90% of all the countries on the planet. In fact, just 22 countries have not been invaded by Britain at one point or another. But guess who Britons consider their greatest foe? According to a survey conducted by Britain’s National Army Museum, that would be George Washington! (Runners-up, in order: Ireland’s Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, Germany’s Erwin Rommel and Turkey’s Mustafa Kemal Atatürk).

– Hats off to Microsoft! IT security firm Kaspersky has released its quarterly IT Threat Evolution report, and for the first time no Microsoft product appears on the “10 most vulnerable apps” list. Adobe apps account for five entries into the top ten (good job, guys!) while Oracle’s Java appears twice. WinAMP, iTunes and Quicktime appear once each.

– Journalists from The Sporting News recently asked 103 football players from 27 teams which coach, other than their own, they’d like to play for. The winner, in a landslide, was Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, with 31% of the vote. The runner-up, Bill Belichick of the Patriots, could only snag 10% of the vote. WOOT! GO STEELERS!

– Guess what the Voyager 1 spacecraft has detected at the edge of the solar system? Strangeness. Oh, astronomers have found starless galaxies, too.

– The word of the day is chamfer. A chamfer is “a beveled edge connecting two surfaces”. Although the word is most often used in woodworking, architecture and circuit board design, the word has also come to mean “the beveled dents in the side of electronic devices that help you open the device”. If you have a laptop or phone with little “dents” in the side which help you open the device, you have chamfers.

– Lastly… there’s no way Christy Turlington is 43 years-old:


Yes, this is a new picture from her upcoming campaign for Esprit.

“Consumed By Litigation”

The Anglican Communion Institute hits one out of the park with this analysis of the situation in South Carolina, entitled “Consumed By Litigation: TEC In South Carolina”:

What is not so obvious is that The Episcopal Church’s canon law points to the same conclusion. The Episcopal Church has no canonical basis for the actions that the Presiding Bishop and pro-Episcopal Church local parishes appear to be taking. There is no canonical authority for an “Interim Bishop” to be “appointed by the Presiding Bishop” in an existing diocese. Nor is there any canonical basis for a self-appointed “Steering Committee” to attempt to “reorganize” an existing diocese, to “communicate with the Presiding Bishop” or be advised by other bishops of the church. Indeed, the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church are clear: no bishop can act within the territory of an existing diocese without the consent of its Ecclesiastical Authority. If The Episcopal Church’s theory that the Diocese has not left is correct, then any notion of appointed Interim Bishops, Episcopal Advisors and transitional committees is strictly prohibited by The Episcopal Church’s own canons. Those appointments are the prerogatives of the diocese and its Ecclesiastical Authority acting pursuant to their governing instruments, not the Presiding Bishop or the “national church.” The absence of any canons authorizing what the Presiding Bishop and others are doing is proof that The Episcopal Church is operating under a profoundly flawed understanding of the church’s polity.

The article ends with a beautiful summary: either a diocese cannot leave the Episcopal Church, in which case the Presiding Bishop and her minions are blatantly violating the canons of the church and the civil law of South Carolina… or a diocese can leave the Episcopal Church, in which case the Presiding Bishop and her minions have wasted millions in legal fees for battles in other “rump” dioceses.

Your move, Katharine.

A Funny Work Story

I’ve mentioned this a few times on the site, but my father owned a wholesale grocery store in downtown Atlanta. I worked there for almost 8 years in the candy department, which was next to the “salty snacks” and drinks section.

Many of my dad’s customers were Korean. Most had thick accents, but a few of them didn’t speak any English at all. Certain Korean shopkeepers would come in to the store and ask me for something like “gungee” or “kungee”. They’d say it like, 5 or 10 times, getting louder each time: “Gungee? Gungee? GUNGEE! GUNGEE!! GUNGEE!!!

Since I didn’t speak Korean, I’d tell them I couldn’t understand them. So they’d helpfully point to their shopping list, which said:korean

Come to find out, they were looking for bags of roasted peanuts.

In case you were wondering, this happened 2-3 times, and the incidents were so spread out (and the customers’ accents so different) that by the time the next guy asked for “kungee”, I’d forgotten about the previous guy who’d asked for “gungee”.


[Thanks to Scooter for reminding me of this story!]