Clippity Clop with Jerry Van Dyke

i was just flipping channels and stopped on TBS as the show "Yes Dear" was ending
and this is what i saw...

It was absolutely hysterical
I've never really watched "Yes Dear" before, but this clip makes me want to
Big Jimmy (Jerry Van Dyke) is great as he sings the Clippity Clop song
the episode is "Hustlin' Hughes" and first aired on tv February 17, 2003
the song is "Mule Train" by Tennessee Earl Ford and was released in 1949

WTF Mt Rushmore?

I came across a very interesting article today about Mt Rushmore in the LA Times
it's titled "The 10 things you probably didn't know about Mt Rushmore"
all ten items are interesting
but two items stuck out to me

6. Fourth of July fireworks? Nope. Every year in early July, the National Park Service does set off a big fireworks display above the presidents' heads. But for several years now, the fireworks have been staged on July 3. This unusual scheduling is intended as a way to prevent the show from conflicting with Independence Day celebrations in Rapid City and other neighboring communities. This year's show will start about 9:15 p.m.

10. Some people, including the U.S. Supreme Court, think the U.S. stole the Black Hills.
In 1868, long before the carving began, the U.S. government promised in a treaty to let the native Sioux Nation tribes keep the Black Hills, including the Rushmore area. But in 1874, gold was found in those hills (and confirmed by Lt. Col. George Custer). After that the U.S. government and prospectors grabbed the land back and forced the Lakota elsewhere.
On July 23, 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court found that land grab was unconstitutional and ordered federal compensation of more than $105 million to the Sioux to settle the case -- but Indian leaders said no, they'd rather have the Black Hills. Writing in 2007, Oglala Lakota Sioux journalist Tim Giago estimated that the unclaimed federal payment, counting interest, had grown to more than $757 million.

Not only does a National Park not celebrate the Fourth of July on the 4th, but apparently the US Government doesn't even own the land

see the rest of the list here

WSJ Photos of the Day 5/26

A helicopter, unseen, lifted a Swedish cottage to the top of the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm Tuesday. Artist Mikael Genberg designed the red cottage, which will stand on the top of the globe during the summer months. He has lofty goals to place a similar cottage on the moon. (Janerik Henriksson/Associated Press)

A man swam among floating lanterns during the 10th anniversary of the Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony at Honolulu’s Ala Moana Beach Park, Monday. The lanterns represent deceased loved ones in the the traditional Buddhist ceremony. (Marco Garcia/Associated Press)

A man jumped into a public swimming pool in Duesseldorf, Germany, Monday as an airplane prepared to land. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)

see more here

Happy Memorial Day!

Evelyn Shepherd of Colonial Beach touches the gravestone of her late husband, Korean and Vietnam wars veteran Clarence Shepherd, during her visit to Quantico National Cemetery in Triangle, Va., on Sunday May 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Aleks Dolzenko, News & Messenger)

Two days before Memorial Day graves in section A of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, have small American flags placed on them on Saturday May 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Norman Shapiro - The Honolulu Advertiser)

Members of the Armed Forces unveil the flag to celebrate Memorial Day prior to the game between the Chicago Fire and the New York Red Bulls at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands on May 24, 2009 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bull)

Tiger Scout Christian Pavlock, 7, carries American flags in honor of the Memorial Day holiday at Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York on Saturday, May 23, 2009. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Laura Youngblood, widow of U.S. Navy Petty Officer Travis L. Youngblood, touches his gravestone while visiting his grave in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery during the Memorial Day weekend in Arlington, Virginia, May 24, 2009. Youngblood died of wounds received in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in July of 2005 in Iraq. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)

Soliders from the U.S. Army Old Guard place flags at grave stones at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2009 in Arlington, Virginia. It took 1,300 soldiers, sailors and Marines about three hours to place a flag at each of the more than 300,000 gravestones at Arlington ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Pictures from The Big Picture Blog on

Obama v. Cheney

Obama and Cheney gave dueling speeches in Washington DC today about our national security
Looked like a couple of twelve year olds fighting over who picks first in dodgeball
Good to know that Hope and Change have made a difference in Washington DC
The phrase, "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" comes to mind right about now

WWII Victory Day in Pictures

May 9th was observed as "Victory Day" in Russia and (to varying degrees) many former Eastern Bloc countries. Commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany 64 years ago, in 1945, Victory Day is both a day of remembrance and recently, for the Russian government, an opportunity to revive the nation's armed forces and global clout. Upwards of 27 million Soviets, both military and civilian, lost their lives in World War II, between 1941 and 1945, and the impact of that conflict still reverberates strongly. Collected here are photos of the recent Victory Day Parade in Moscow, and several other observances in former Eastern Bloc countries.

See more photos here

Belarussian soldiers participate in Victory Day celebrations in Minsk on May 9, 2009 commemorating the end of WWII. Belarus was heavily invoved in the war as its soldiers served in the Soviet Red Army and many battle were fought on its territory. (VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian soldiers march during a Victory Day parade rehearsal, outside Moscow in Alabino on April 14, 2009. (OXANA ONIPKO/AFP/Getty Images)

A man stands near a memorial wall for German soldiers that were killed during WWII, about 450km north of Moscow in Korpovo on May 4, 2009. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Credit Card Disaster

Today the US Government decided that the free market wasn't cutting it where credit cards are concerned.
Apparently we are so stupid we now need a Credit Card Holder's Bill of Rights.
Silly me, I thought We the People could make choices on if/how we used credit cards
The US Senate passed the bill today 90-5
The US House has already passed a version of the bill 357-70
Now the bill heads to conference where the minor differences will be worked out, passed again and then sent to the President for signature.

Some of the changes I like are...
- mandatory 12 point font on all that fine print they include in credit card applications
- no retroactive rate increases on existing balances
- no fees if you pay your bill online or over the phone

Some of the changes I dont like...
- only one credit card if you are a college student
- college student credit limit capped at $500 or 20% of income
- one free credit report provided in a language other than English

Because of the new rules being imposed credit card companies are less likely to approve credit card applications, less likely to raise credit limits, and less likely to give away incentives to join or spend money on their credit cards.

All these bills about Bills of Rights for various things like credit card holders, airplane passengers, patients and so forth are just stupid
we already have a Bill of Rights
that one pretty much covers everything vital
whatever is not covered is pretty much common sense
how about you dont get a credit card if you cant afford it
or dont charge everything to your credit card if you cant pay it off
Why should people like me, who pay off their credit card every month, suffer because the rest of America chooses to be financially stupid?

Here are some stories about this bill's passage

and you can track the bill's final passage here


I don't watch American Idol with any regularity
but when I do, I always notice the teaser commercials for this new show called "Glee"
I don't know what it is about these commercials, but they make me want to watch the show
it debuts on fox tomorrow night
the only problem I have is that this is a one time sneak peak like episode
the actual show wont premier until next fall
check out the teaser trailer below

photo of the day

This photo, released today, shows the NASA shuttle Atlantis en route from Florida Tuesday with the sun as a backdrop. The image was taken with a solar filter before Atlantis made contact with the Hubble Space Telescope. On Friday, astronauts headed out for another walk to give the 19-year-old telescope new gyroscopes and batteries. (Thierry Legault/NASA via Associated Press)

In honor of seeing Star Trek recently, I thought this photo was appropriate and amazing
also makes for a good desktop background


WSJ Photo of the Day

How could this not be my photo of the day...

A visitor photographed the sculpture “Nude No. 2″ by China’s artist Mu Boyan at the Hong Kong International Art Fair in Hong Kong Wednesday. (Kin Cheung/Associated Press)

Canon Rebel XTi Commercial

i just saw a commercial on TV for the new Canon Rebel XTi digital camera
it's also the same commercial that ran for the Canon Rebel XSi a few months ago

Two things stood out to me
1. the way the pictures overlap to tell the story, its amazing
2. the music

turns out, the music was written solely for this commercial
the music was composed by Michael Montes
there is even a youtube video of just the music being played on the piano

Even cooler than watching that is the video of the overhead shot of a guy playing the song on keyboard
this way, if you are a piano player you can figure out how to play it yourself

Now, after seeing the commercial and hearing the piano music in this commercial
i got to thinking that ive heard something similar before'
to me, the canon commercial music reminds me of the closing scene in "Lady in the Water"
the M. Night Shyamalan film
its one of my favorite movies

take a look at the closing scene and see if the music is similar
i think so

still not done with the Pope

the Pope continued his journey through the Middle East today
He is still in Jerusalem
He visited some more historic/holy sites today
mainly the historic sites of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Valley of Gethsemane outside the old city walls
I noticed today that there were several news articles referring to the Pope's speech at the holocaust musueum yesterday
Apparently some people just arent happy with what they heard (or didnt hear)
read some of those stories here, or here
The Drudge Report had a banner headline this morning announcing a "troubled trip" for the Pope

on to the photos...

The Pope first visited the Cenacle, or The Upper Room
Christians believe The Upper Room is the site of Jesus' last supper
I was not able to visit this site when I was in Jerusalem last year
it would have been nice to go to, but we just didn't have time

inside the Upper Room

After visiting the Upper Room the Pope moved onto one of Judaism's holiest sites...The Western Wall

The Western Wall, with a view of the Dome of the Rock

The Pope puts a note inside the Western Wall

The Western Wall was the first stop i made once i got into town
it was a Friday night and dusk was approaching
as we came out of the tunnel like entrance to the Western Wall i immediately pulled out my iphone to snap a picture
how could i resist?
well, it didn't take 30 seconds before a Jewish woman came running up to me and scolded me severely for trying to take a picture
it wasnt so much the picture they had problems with
it was the fact that i was "creating something new"
apparently in the Jewish faith, once the Sabbath begins you cannot create new life
this goes for taking pictures, talking on cell phones and so forth while at the Western Wall on the Sabbath
Since it was the Sabbath, there were hundreds if not thousands of Jewish people rushing throughout the old city to get to the wall and do their prayers
they were dressed in their best clothes with their fancy and oddly shaped hats on
since we were at the wall, the guys decided to make their way down to the wall
women have their own small section they are allowed to pray at
We donned our paper hats (yamaka's?) and started to go down to the wall
not ten feet into our journey a guy yells out "ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK"
see, i was wearing my Mizzou polo
and he happened to see it while i was making my way to the wall
since we were amongst people praying i decided not to respond with the usual Mizzou response
after making our way back up from the wall a young man approached me wearing a KU tshirt
turns out, he was the one who yelled out Rock Chalk Jawhawk
he was from Kansas and was in Jerusalem studying to become a Rabbi
We chatted for the longest time
since no one in our group was Jewish, we had lots of questions about what was going on
and he was more than happy to explain all of the rituals and customs we were observing
i guess it's a small world after all

Finished with the Western Wall, the Pope visited one of Islam's holiest sites...The Dome of the Rock

Even the Pope has to remove his shoes before entering the Dome of the Rock

Pope Benedict XVI is the first Pope to ever step inside the Dome of the Rock

We tried our best to get into the Dome of the Rock
but they just would not let us in
it's ok, they don't let women in either
but it would have been fun to see what was going on inside

Later in the day the Pope held Mass outside the old city's walls in the Kidron Valley, or Valley of Gethsemane.
This is the valley in between the old city and the Mt of Olives
i walked through this valley when i was there
its full of old cemeteries

When Jordan ruled Jerusalem, King Hussein permitted the construction of the Intercontinental Hotel at the foot of the Mount, this lead to the destruction of the Jewish cemeteries
Some 50,000 graves were destroyed during Jordanian rule
After the Six Day War, restoration work began and the cemetery is now open to burials once again

on the footsteps of the Mt of Olives is the Church of All Nations
the Church of All Nations is the home to the Garden of Gethsemane
one of the more impressive sites in Jerusalem

the crowd releases balloons during the Pope's mass in the Valley of Gethsemane

the Pope-mobile drives from the old city into the Valley for mass
(the old city walls are behind the Pope in the picture; its quite the trek to get back up the hill)

Mass begins

I wish a catholic person would explain why the priests have to kiss the alter all the time
I just don't understand
Catholic Mass is just weird to me

Tomorrow the Pope goes to Bethlehem
it's only 5 miles away from Jerusalem, but we were not able to go there
it's not exactly in the most stable part of Israel
From there, the Pope will visit some Palestinian refugee camps
another place we were not allowed to go
it took us long enough just to get into Israel from Jordan
the border crossing was a zoo

WSJ Photo of the Day

A pilot hit a bird at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in San Diego Sunday. (Tom Lovelock/Red Bull Air Race, Handout)

To Jerusalem He Goes

The pope is now in Jerusalem
He left Amman, Jordan earlier today
apparently he forgot where he parked his jet
but the Jordanians were nice enough to give him a lift on a Royal Jordanian airplane

Pope Benedict XVI (L) shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) before boarding a Royal Jordanian airplane at Amman's International Airport heading to Tel Aviv on May 11, 2009

Once in Jerusalem he was greeted by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Looks like the Pope travels with a very large entourage

A handout picture released by the Israeli Government Press shows Pope Benedict XVI (C), Israeli President Shimon Peres (R), Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) during an official ceremony upon the pontiffs arrival to Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on May 11, 2009

After the arrival ceremony at the airport in Tel Aviv he took a helicopter to Mt Scopus

Interesting side notes:

the Mormon church built Brigham Young University on Mt Scopus in the 1980's
Jordan used to occupy Mt Scopus back in the day
during the Arab-Israeli war the Jewish people won the Mt Scopus territory
Mt Scopus had historically been used as a launching pad for attacks on Jerusalem.

I found that the Mt of Olives is one of the better Mt’s in Jerusalem

Pope Benedict XVI, center, is surrounded by security and media after alighting from an Israeli army helicopter at a welcoming ceremony at the Mount Scopus helipad in Jerusalem, Monday, May 11, 2009

Pope Benedict XVI (R) adjusts his mantle with the help of security personnel during a welcoming ceremony upon the Pope's arrival at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

The wind does not want to cooperate with the pope

You’d think a guy who has the ear of God could make the wind cooperate during all of his arrival ceremonies

Shortly after arriving on top of Mt Scopus the President force feeds the Pope a fig
Jewish tradition of some sort? Who knows?

But it makes for funny photos

By the way, could the girl with the microphone get any closer to the Pope?

Do we really need to hear how the Pope chews?

After force feeding the Pope a fig, the President of Israel handed him some wheat
In honor of the pope's arrival, they named a hybrid strain of wheat after him "Benedictus XVI"

at some point during the numerous arrival ceremonies he was driven to the presidential residence in Jerusalem where he promptly planted a tree with President Peres
of course, neither of them actually planted the tree
they just shoveled a few mounds of dirt in a hole with giant golden shovels
i wonder if the shovels were blessed by the pope? holy shovels?

Does this make Benedict XVI the first Green Pope?

Planting a tree in the presidential gardens

Pope Benedict XVI (R) and Israel's President Shimon Peres plant a tree in the garden of the Presidential Residence in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

After arrival ceremony #20 the Pope was carted off to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Hall of Remembrance for yet another arrival ceremony

Pope Benedict XVI arrives at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial's Hall of Remembrance on May 11, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel

Pope Benedict XVI (C) sits between Israel's President Shimon Peres (R) and Parliament Speaker Reuven Rivlin during a ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem May 11, 2009

Looks like someone doesn’t want to be there

A Pope Can Hope

Pope Benedict XVI is on a whirl wind tour of the Middle East right now
his first stop.......
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
which, coincidentally, i was in almost exactly one year ago to the day

Ive always been intrigued by the Pope and Vatican City and the like
which is odd since I'm not catholic
but I've always been fascinated by it
i especially like books that are set in Vatican City with story lines involving Dan Brown's books.

anyway, the Pope is currently traveling to all the sites i visited last year during my travels
his next stop, Jerusalem
which i also visited. it was one of my all time favorite city's
i shall share pictures of the Pope in Jerusalem when they are posted
until then, enjoy these pictures of the Pope in Jordan

Pope Benedict XVI (L) extends his hand to Jordanian Prince Ghazi bin Mohammed, King Abdullah II's cousin and advisor on religious affairs, at the end of their speeches at King Hussein bin Talal Mosque in Amman on May 09, 2009. Pope Benedict XVI condemned the "ideological manipulation of religion" in a speech to Muslim leaders in Jordan, as he pressed inter-faith reconciliation on the second day of a Holy Land tour. Religion should be a force for unity not division, the pontiff told his audience, which included Christian prelates, gathered in the mosque.

Pope Benedict XVI stands beside "The Staff of Moses" during his visit to Mountain Nebo on May 9, 2009, 40 kilometers southwest of Amman, Jordan. Pope Benedict XVI called for reconciliation between Christians and Jews during a visit in Jordan, where in the biblical tradition God showed Moses the Promised Land. Pope Benedict XVI is on his first trip to the middle east, which will also include the West Bank and Israel.

On our way out to visit Jerusalem we took a cab from Madaba, Jordan to the border with Jerusalem. The only way to get there was to drive through the desert mountains. One of those mountains we passed was Mt. Nebo. Unfortunately we were not able to stop and visit the church as it was closed. But the big spiral cross was very visible.

the Pope-Mobile leaving the Mt Nebo church
trust me, the roads are crazy
i hope someone other than a Jordanian is driving the Pope
the Jordanians are some crazy drivers, especially on these mountain roads

Jordan's Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal speaks to Pope Benedict XVI (L) during his visit to the King Hussein Bin Talal mosque in Amman May 9, 2009. Pope Benedict retraced the steps of Moses on Saturday, visiting the mountain where the Bible says the ancient prophet glimpsed the Promised Land before dying, and preached that religion helps man search for truth.

Faithful Christians cheer for Pope Benedict XVI, right in car, as he passes in the streets of Madaba, some 40 kms (24 miles) southwest of Amman, on Sunday May 9, 2009. Pope Benedict began a week long tour in the Middle East on Friday that will include Jordan and Israel, and the Palestinian territories. In his first visit as pope to an Arab country, Benedict will meet with Muslim religious leaders at Amman's largest mosque.

Jordan's King Abdullah II (2nd L), his wife Queen Rania (2nd R) and their children welcome Pope Benedict XVI (R) upon his arrival at the royal palace in Amman on May 8, 2009. Pope Benedict XVI underlined his "deep respect" for Islam in Jordan, on his first trip
as pontiff to an Arab state, and stressed that religious freedom is a fundamental human right.

Jordanian children waving flags as the Pope enters Amman Stadium for mass

Pope Benedict XVI (L), accompanied by Jordan's King Abdullah (R), Jordan's Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal (2nd R) and Rustom Mkhjian, director of the Baptism site (3rd R) visits Bethany Beyond the Jordan, on the east bank of the Jordan River May 10, 2009. Pope Benedict on Sunday visited the site believed to be where Jesus was baptised as he wraps up his visit to Jordan and prepares to leave for Israel to start the most delicate part of his first Middle East trip.

Sadly, this is one place we did not travel to. We did see the Jordan River as we crossed into Jerusalem, but it not what i would describe as a river. it was quite small. more like a creek