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Monday, February 28, 2005

Onion Competition - Muskrat News


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I found the following clip on Muskrat News, which I discovered to my delight is edited by a childhood friend of mine. Give it a look. Quite funny.

Here's a sample.

Muskrat News

Pope Undergoes Emergency Surgery
By Daniel Williams
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, March 3, 2005; 5:21 PM
ROME, Feb. 24 -- Pope John Paul II underwent an emergency operation to ease his breathing Thursday night after he was rushed to a Rome hospital for treatment of ailments related to a relapse of influenza.

Journalists around the world were unanimous in asserting that they were not looking forward to the Pontiff’s demise. “Sure, a papal election is a huge story, and one that we get to cover from the comforts of Rome,” salivated one TV anchorman, “But that doesn’t mean we’re hovering around the old guy like jackals sniffing at a dying wildebeest.” He then went back to choosing the theme music for the “Death of a Pontiff” Network logo.

CNN in particular, is insistent that the office betting pool on the time and manner of the Pope’s passage was nothing more than “the usual office hijinks” and hotly denied that the CNN Rome Bureau had repeatedly phoned the Vatican to ask if it would be possible for the announcement of the papal mortality to occur on “Larry King Live.”

Remember, the part in BOLD is the actual truth-flavored product. The rest is fake.


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The Best and Worst of 2004 in Film


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A quick note about The Oscars and The Razzies or the Best and Worst of 2004 in film.

Chris Rock was a hit this year. He managed to avoid being bleeped at the Oscars tonight (at least when I was watching) and did a good job of entertaining the crowd with his edgy humor. The show also moved faster than in years before with its fast paced set ups including having many nominees grouped together in seats in the audience or onstage, eliminating the long walks and hugs that ate up valuable screen time.

Most participants heeded the warnings and very few recipients heard the ominous orchestra warning. Though 2nd time Best Actress Winner Hillary Swank managed to kill the orchestra swell with "Wait, wait, I haven't gotten to Clint yet, I've saved him for last....". At that the orchestra stopped dead. Guess no one wanted to chance angering Clint Eastwood. Good idea. Never know how many shots he's got left.

For the winners of the major awards go to:

ComingSoon.net - The 77th Annual Academy Awards

or for everything Oscar go to:


As for the worst films and performances of the year. Halle Berry showed up in person this year to accept her Razzie Award for the "Worst Performance of the Year" as Catwoman. Also "Honored" this year were George Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Donald Rumsfeld, Britney Spears, and in the category Worst Films of the Group's First 25 Years, the films Battlefield Earth (Drama(?)), Gigli (Comedy(?)) and From Justin to Kelly(Musical(?)).

Berry, Bush, Schwarzenegger Win Razzies

More later.

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Why I Love The Chicago Public Library: Does It Get Any Better Than This?


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Suppose you live in Chicago and you want something interesting to read, and you have not the ready cash as Damon Runyon might put it.

So you go to the Chicago Tribune website, or for the sake of those who think it is THE reference source, the New York Times Website, and you check the fiction Bestseller lists.


Top 5 at a Glance

1. HONEYMOON, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
2. THE BROKER, by John Grisham
3. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown

By the way, J.D. Robb, is is a fun read.

Ah, The Da Vinci Code, I meant to read that.

(Actually, I did read it and enjoyed it a lot, then went back and read Angels and Demons which I liked even better. Then went ahead and bought The Da Vinci Code. This is why libraries are a good thing for publishers in the long run. They let bookworms like me give books a test drive.)

I wonder if The Da Vinci Code in the library.

This is why I love the Chicago Public Library. Rather than trudging to one of several nearby branches, a convenience in itself, I can go online and check to see where it is and and this is the good part, whether it is ON THE SHELVES at the time I am looking for it.

Yes, it is always possible that someone will get there *just* before me, but that is really rare.

So I go to the Chicago Public Library website and search for the book.


Database: Chicago Public Library Search type: Title Browse
Search was: da Vinci Code

(Notice that I forget to capitalize da, Doh!, it doesn't care. I learn that there are also audio books and tapes to choose from and also several different language editions, etc scattered around the city. I choose the english version because I took Latin in high school and my Spanish is mui pequino or very small. I hope that's what I said. If you speak Spanish and are laughing, my job for the day is done.

Title The Da Vinci code : a novel / Dan Brown.
Author Brown, Dan, 1964-
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher New York : Doubleday, 2003.
Description 454 p. ; 25 cm.
Subject(s) Leonardo, da Vinci, Fiction. 1452-1519 Manuscripts
Cryptographers Fiction.
Mystery fiction. gsafd
Format English qEnglish
qFiction Fiction

As you see, I get the normal index card information but what I get next is the gold.

For some html code reason I cannot fathom, if I try to paste in the full output of the search, it winds up getting placed waaaaaay down the page. So I've solved that problem by editing the results to 3 libraries. But in reality, there was a really impressive supply of the book available. You will still have to scroll down the page a little to see the output.

Where to find it

Skip past the blank green space to see results:

BranchLocationCopies in LibraryCopies Owned
Back Of The Yards FIC 1 1
Beverly FIC 0 7
Chinatown FIC 2 5

One nice feature of the listing is that if you click on the library name, you get routed to the branch information, hours, address, phone, even a picture of it. Very nice.

Since the list of branches that have copies is pretty good, I have a lot of options. I love this about the library. Since there are this many copies I can also go into my branch and order a hold on the book and they will send a copy from another branch, usually within a week! If they have one. Now I deliberately picked one that has been out awhile, I may not have had as much luck with one out this week, but who cares, it's still a great book.

If you love books, here is one great reason to move INTO the City of Chicago. Between this and the services of the Chicago Park District, Parks, Pools, and Streets and Sanitation, I feel like I get my tax dollars back and then some, of course, I read. And the library people are wonderful. Hard working and harried, they love the people who are regulars. People who check out a lot of books, help justify their salaries.

Well, that's my post for today,



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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Bush White House Reporter Outed From Pool for Hiding True Identity As Gay Male Prostitute


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How does this happen?

If you've ever seen West Wing you've seen an imitation of the White House Press Pool.

That "chummy" group of reporters from all the major news organizations and a few small ones that have managed to go through the U.S. Secret Service and FBI Security checks to get those highly coveted badges that let them into the White House briefing room and other highly secure locations, like Air Force One, on invitation, to ask the questions that get into newspapers and on the nightly news.

Here's one clip that describes Gannongate well.

WorldNetDaily: Sex to go: Call White House press office

Summary, a news blogger let into the White House under a false identity for reportedly two years raises suspicion among liberal bloggers, when he draws attention to himself by asking a really conservative-serving question at a nationally televised news conference asking thousands of people to ask: "Who is this guy?"

Turns out that "This guy" the operator of a conservative web site/blog was not who he said he was and this was an embarrassment to the White House.

Story 2 developed when Blog outraged developed because unlike in the Clinton era, no media outrage occured over this event, that such a security breach could happen.

Follow the links or do a Google News Search yourself for more clips than I show on "Gannon, White House, Blog" or the like. But of the clips that follow, the really funny one is Bill Maher's video clip. OUTSTANDING! I've higlighted that section in red.

From: See No Gannon, Hear No Gannon, Speak No Gannon

See No Gannon, Hear No Gannon, Speak No Gannon
By Eric Boehlert
Feb 26, 2005, 14:44

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On Feb. 17, "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams introduced a report on controversial White House correspondent James Guckert by informing viewers that the saga was "the talk of Washington." Nine days later the mysterious tale of an amateur, partisan journalist who slipped into the White House under false pretenses remains the buzz of the Beltway. Yet most mainstream reporters have opted not to cover the story. Two of the television networks, as well as scores of major metropolitan newspapers around the country, have completely ignored it.

"It's stunning to me that there are questions about the independent press being undermined and the mainstream press doesn't seem that interested in it," says Joe Lockhart, who served as press secretary during President Clinton's second term. "People in the mainstream press have shrugged their shoulders and said, 'It's a whole lot of nothing.'"

Ordinarily, revelations that a former male prostitute, using an alias (Jeff Gannon) and working for a phony news organization, was ushered into the White House -- without undergoing a full-blown security background check -- in order to pose softball questions to administration officials would qualify as news by any recent Beltway standard. Yet as of Thursday, ABC News, which produces "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings," "Nightline," "This Week," "20/20" and "Primetime Live," has not reported one word about the three-week-running scandal. Neither has CBS News ("The Early Show," "The CBS Evening News," "60 Minutes," "60 Minutes Wednesday" and "Face the Nation"). NBC and its entire family of morning, evening and weekend news programs have addressed the story only three times. Asked about the lack of coverage, spokeswomen for both ABC and CBS said executives were unavailable to discuss their networks' coverage.

Perhaps nobody is surprised that Republican-friendly Fox News has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid covering the Guckert story and the embarrassing questions it raises for the Bush White House. Since the story began to take shape earlier this month, Fox News has filled more than 500 hours of programming. During that span the name "Jeff Gannon" has been uttered just five times on the air, according to a search of the LexisNexis electronic database of television news transcripts. And at no point have the facts surrounding the story been explained to Fox's viewers. (Dependable Republican ally Matt Drudge, who in the past has gleefully trumpeted media scandals, has also been allergic to Gannongate, posting just one link to date on his Web site.)

I find it astonishing that this has not received more coverage!

As Bill Maher put it "If this was the Clinton White House and this story broke, tell me an angry mob with torches would not be involved".

In a hysterical clip with Robin Williams, Leslie Stahl, and Senator Joe Biden (D, Delaware). The details of this story about the male prostitue who called himself Joe Gannon, somehow got himself a press pass, lobbed White House friendly questions to the White House Press Secretary and SOMEHOW reportedly got scoops on several major stories over the last few months despite using a false name, a secret identity, in this era of high security.

The Maher clip is very funny, yet raises very serious questions.

How does this happen?

Very scary to think that anyone could regularly get into the working parts of the White House with a false identity and get past security. Follow the clip below for Maher's funny monalogue and interviews (note: may become unavailable without notice).

Maher, Leslie Stahl, Robin Williams, Joe Biden Video Clip

On the other hand, maybe they were just trying to show respect to a blogger who was regularly publishing. Can we fault them for that? Hmmmn.

CBS News|White House Blogger Controversy

Maher is funnier, but the White House statement raise doubts. Of course, that *is* what it is supposed to do.

On the other hand, I think this conservative opinion goes a bit too far. Do you?

CBS News|Gannon-Gucker Gate

Is someone a phony journalist, just because their news outlet is a blog? Note that I don't claim this. I am a writer at this point. Writing is a source of pleasure for me. If I were to switch, I think I would open a new blog for that. At least I would change a header. At least I would declare it. However, the first Amendment certainy does apply to blogs.

I am certainly free to express my own opinion here.

The Maher interview is very funny. Maher makes Stahl & Company lose it over and over again. Robin Williams is of course very funny too.

Well, I'm still blogging. Spring is coming slowly to Chicago. Acadamy Awards tomorrow.

I'm thinking Ray Charles is Remembered a lot. Good news for Mr. Fox. Could not see most of the movies this year, so am not really qualified to guess.

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Things Heard in Court - Book Recommendation


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We all get tons of jokes circulated in our email. I know I do.

This one was so funny that I thought I would share it with you.

Lawyer jokes may be fair game but this series of actual court transcrips has humor from both sides of the stand. If these quotes are any indication of the quality of the book, I have to track this book down. Here's what I got.


"These are from a book called '
Disorder in the American Courts', and are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were actually taking place.

My question is; hidden where in our homo sapien species DNA does the mindset for these responses reside?

Q: Are you sexually active?
A: No, I just lie there.

Q: What is your date of birth?
A: July 15th.

Q: What year?
A: Every year.

Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

Q: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
A: Yes.

Q: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
A: I forget.

Q: You forget? Can you give us an example of something that you've forgotten?


Q: How old is your son, the one living with you?
A: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can't remember which.

Q: How long has he lived with you?

A: Forty-five years.


Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke up that morning?
A: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'

Q: And why did that upset you?

A: My name is Susan.


Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in voodoo or the occult?
A: We both do.

Q: Voodoo?
A: We do.

Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.

Q: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
A: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Thanks to my good (anonymous) friend who passed this on to me.


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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Day 2: Mac Rumors: iTunes 4.8 Coming


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Newsflash! My first entry was too long.

(Note: one neat thing about blogs is that you have a wayback machine. You can go back in time and edit them. So I did. My first entry is shorter now. It is still long. But more readable.)

I have no way of knowing how many read it.

If anyone reads this blog and knows of a blog viewer counter other than just counting comments please tell me about it in a comment.

I have decided to spice up the blog by adding a link or two a day to sites or blogs I like.

This one is for Mac Users mostly, but the specific rumor it targets is of interest to Windows iTunes, iPod and iShuffle users too as mods to iTunes for Mac will crossover to them soon if not immediately.

Mac Rumors: iTunes 4.8 Coming: "iTunes 4.8 Coming

Wednesday February 23, 2005 01:58 AM EST

Posted by arn

According to unconfirmed tipsters, iTunes 4.8 is coming soon.

Whether it is timed with the expected iPod announcements or as a separate announcement next week is unknown. No known features have been leaked.

I also like www.transitchicago.com.

If you are flying into Chicago From Midway Airport or O'Hare and want to get into the Loop for $1.75 instead of $25 by cab, CTA is definately the way to go. You can buy passes, find schedule information, and get lots of handy information on their home page. CTA is a 24-hour system.

That's it for today.
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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Thanks for Your Donation!


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You are one of the very first to make a donation to my blog, thank you. I have put this post early in my archive so that people do not stumble upon it accidentally, but it is really going up in late March of 2006. If this text is still here in November, I am even more truly, pathetically, greatful to you for your warm, kind, thoughtful considerate generosity.

Please feel free to make a comment on this page proclaiming yourself as a donor, if you care to do so. The only easy way to get to this page is to make a donation. I will even make up a whole post just for you if you ask for it.

"My Name is Mary Smith and I support The Peter Files Blog because it Makes me Laugh!" could be a post just for you.

By making a donation of any kind you are helping me in several ways:

1) My morale has just jumped by leaps and bounds because someone has really enjoyed my writing and things enough of it to chip in. Even if you chipped in a dollar or less, I am very greatful that you took the effort to do so.

2) In a very real way you are keeping the possibility of my continuing to write this blog open. I was injured in a way that has prevented me from working for more than two years. I can type for a couple of hours a day. Not enough to raise a family on. So small amounts of income really help.

3) You help convince my spouse that this whole blog thing is not a waste of time and nothing says that like cash in the bank.


I have selected Paypal as my collection venu because I have several years of using them to purchase things on eBay and have NEVER had a problem with them. While they can take credit card transactions, by opening a Paypal account I have a place where I keep a cash reserve between my bank or credit card and my internet purchases which they guarantee.

I have never had a problem using Paypal for payment of purchases and so I chose them for you to donate to my blog. If you are thinking of buying and selling on eBay I strongly recommend opening an account because many sellers won't sell to those without them.

Please Tell Others About The Peter Files Blog!

It was not working for awhile (sorry) but now the little envelopes at the bottom of every post can be seen again and you can email yourself your favorite Peter Files Post and then mail it to everyone with a sense of humor in your notebook.

This is not a casual suggestion, helping me promote this blog is every bit as valuable as a financial donation. You can mention it on forums, bulletin boards, email footers (My Favorite Blog is the Peter Files Blog of Comedy Http://ThePeterFiles.Blogspot.Com )

I am starting to sound like public television. So I'll knock it off now.


The Funniest and Favorite Posts of the Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire and Commentary!

Once again, thanks truly.

Peter, The Peter Files Blog

P.S. If you have content you would like to see on my blog, add it to a current post's comment and if I like it I will bring it to the level of its own post and give you (and your blog credit.)

Don't forget to tell your friends and family about the The Peter Files Blog of Comedy.

Our special deal this month? We're free, free, free, free, free, as the wind blows. But not naked. No naughty bits. No stuff that should get you trouble at work. Just the funniest stuff I can come up with.

Did you know that you can add a joke in a comment? If you do and and I or others think its good enough I will raise it to the level of its own post!

Just think of the fame and fortune that could be yours if a TV comedy show notices you just like they didn't notice me yet!

So think about it, in the mean time, use the little envelope to forward your favorite jokes to your friend family and co-workers. You'll be glad you did.

Peter, Chief Editor and Spell Wrecker
The Peter Files Blog of Comedy, Satire and Commentary
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