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" Citizen Soldiers" (5)
" Putin' Out" (5)
" Thin Ice"(9)
""I Ain't Got Much" (5)
""Soft Memories" (7)
"$100, Are You Sure?" (5)
"0 Preservative Added"(2)
"105 Minute Workday"(9)
"16 Percent Factor"(3)
"176,000,000 to 1"(8)
"26 Damn Dollars"(6)
"3 Percent Turnout" (2)
"37 Come 11" (5)
"3:10 to Yuma" (7)
"50 Weeks of Reality TV"
"501 (c)(4)"
"54 Pounds" (8)
"8.8 Pounds"(6)
"A Capitol Idea" (6)
"A Code in My Node"
"A Course is a Course"(2)
"A Day At The Beach" (3)
"A Dog Named Bo" (5)
"A Hobbit of an Idea"
"A Man's Army"
"A Patriot Act" (7)
"A Patriotic Act"
"A Perfect World"
"A soldier booed?'(7)
"A Space Odyssey" (4)
"A Taxing Story" (5)
"A Thousand Campfires"(4)
"A Three Hour Tour"(8)
"A Touch of Class"(5)
"A Waisted Day" (5)
"A Woman Scorned"
"Aagh,I'll Pay,I'll Pay"
"Abe Wong, of Gondor"(5)
"Act I, Scene I" (8)
"Act I, Scene II" (8)
"Act I, Scene III" (8)
"Adjustable 2nd Card"(3)
"Adjusting Policies"
"Adjusting the Clock"(8)
"Aegean Adventure" (2)
"Ah ah ah Stayin' Alive"
"Airline Highway" (5)
"Alan Scott" (7)
"All Aboard"
"All Bets Are In" (2)
"All Charged Up"
"All Good Things" (4)
"Allah Be Praised" (5)
"Almost Heaven" (2)
"Alpha Dog"(7)
"Alright, Who Did It?"(7)
"Also Sprach Frodo" (4)
"Always Wear Gloves" (3)
"AM Radio Next?"
"America's Toilet" (6)
"American Cemetery"(8)
"An Admission"
"An Apple A Day" (7)
"An Hour A Day" (6)
"An Ugly American"(4)
"Anchorman" (6)
"And the Winner Is" (2)
"Andy Griffith Redux"
"Another Single Woman?"
"Another Three-namer"(5)
"Another Time/Place"(4)
"Anvil Throwin' Time"(8)
"Apocalypse Now?" (3)
"Aragorn" (4)
"Armored Dildos" (3)
"As Far As We Know" (2)
"Ask Ann Landers" (3)
"Assembly LineDancing"(4)
"Astronaughty" (2)
"Atlanta Times Three"
"Augmentation" (2)
"Augustus Agonistes" (5)
"Aurora Borealis" (8)
"Autumnal Observances"(2)
"Avast You Lubbers"(6)
"Baby Doctors (2)"
"Baby Fiona"(7)
"Baby Nathan Yahoo"(10)
"Back Door Basra (2)"
"Back inthe Saddle Again"
"Bad Boys, Bad Boys"
"Bad Time for Bonzo" (3)
"Balance of Nature" (3)
"Balance of Payments"(5)
"Balancing the Budget"
"Ballamer" (4)
"Bang the Drum Slowly"
"Bank Prank" (5)
"Baptists are Pussies"(7)
"Barbed Wire Escape (2)"
"Barbie Banditos" (3)
"Barely Bearble"(7)
"Barely Defensible" (2)
"Barry Me Not (2)"
"Bathroom onna Right"(3)
"Beach Music" (7)
"Because It Is Hard" (4)
"Beechwood 4-5789"(6)
"Belling the Cat" (2)
"Ben McGee" (3)
"Benny and the Jets"(5)
"Berlusconi in Love"(6)
"Best be straight Boy"(5)
"Best Day/Worst Day"(6)
"Best in the South" (5)
"Best in the World?"(5)
"Betray Us" (3)
"Bettah than Etta"(4)
"Better Man" (3)
"Better Than Pong"
"Big Time Sports" (3)
"Big Words,LittleMind"(6)
"Bilbo's Birthday (2)"
"Bilbo's Little Boy"(5)
"Bilbo's Revenge" (5)
"Bill and Hillary (2)"
"Billy World" (2)
"Bimini Babes" (3)
"Bird is the Word" (3)
"Birmingham Jail" (5)
"Birthday Baggins"
"Birthday Buddies" (7)
"Birthday Memory" (4)
"Birthin' No Babies" (3)
"Bishop to King's Castle"
"Black Friday" (2)
"Black Gold, Texas Tea"
"Black Hole Blues" (4)
"Black Jack"
"Black Russians" (6)
"Black Widow" (3)
"Blackboard Jungle"
"Blame Game" (3)
"Bleached Bones" (5)
"Blitzkrieg Bellini" (2)
"Blood and Swash" (3)
"Bloopers" (5)
"Blue Christmas" (2)
"Bo's Birthday"(5)
"Bob Sikes' Cut"(9)
"Bob, Bob, Bobbit" (3)
"Bobby, not Ben"(6)
"Bon Air Bellicose" (4)
"Bon Giorno" (6)
"Bona Lisa" (5)
"Bonds-v-Skvara" (3)
"Boo Boo Poo Poo"(9)
"Boromir & Galadriel"(5)
"Bottled in Thyme"(7)
"Bottom Ten"(9)
"Bovine Stem Cells?"
"Boy, I Say Boy"
"Boycott BP"
"Breaker, Breaker" (4)
"Breakin' rules" (7)
"Breaking News" (7)
"Brer Fox (2)"
"Bridge at Andau"(11)
"Bring Back Ross" (2)
"Bring the Bowl"
"Broken News"(10)
"Brother of the Ring"
"Brownback Mountain"
"Brownie Hawkeye"
"Buckwheat Breathes" (2)
"Bumper Sticker"
"Burn Baby, Burn" (3)
"Bush in the Bullrushes"
"Bush Baby, Bush (2)"
"Bush is Chinese?" (2)
"Bush Press Conference"
"Bush-Bashers Be We (2)"
"Busman's Holiday(2)"
"Butt...Butt...Butt" (3)
"Butterflies? Sheesh!"
"Buttermilk Drops" (3)
"Buy a Subaru" (11)
"Buy Stock in America"(6)
"Cabin Fever" (5)
"Cain Not Able" (7)
"Cake in the Rain"
"Cake in the Rain"(3)
"Call Me Ishmael" (3)
"Callista, an Albino?"(7)
"Camp Pleasant" (2)
"Can She Name Them?(2)"
"Can You Hear Me Now?"
"Canaan Conspiracy"(6)
"Candygram" (4)
"Captive Audience"(6)
"Caramel or Carmel?"(3)
"Carolina Cougar(2)"
"Carolina Curmudgeon" (5)
"Cartoon Characters" (3)
"Case of Packy Stann"(3)
"Cash crash crashed?"(5)
"Cat Fight" (5)
"Caterpillar Quandry" (3)
"Causal Relationships"(9)
"Cause It's One, (2)"
"Ceramic s"
"Ch-ch-changin'" (4)
"Change a'comin" (5)
"Change is Good" (5)
"Change?" (3)
"Changin' Channels" (2)
"Chapter 13"
"Chariots of Fire"
"Chariots' a' Comin'"(4)
"Chassahowitzka" (2)
"Chauncey Gardner"(7)
"Chemical Alley" (6)
"Cheney of Fools" (2)
"Cherem" (3)
"Chew my Gazebo, Willya?"
"Chief Noc-a-Homa" (3)
"Chingachgook Lives"
"Chipmonkeys Alert (2)"
"Chipper" (6)
"Christian Balls"(10)
"Christian the Lion"(4)
"Christian Valuelessness"
"Christmas Communique"(3)
"Christmas, 1936" (2)
"Chutzpah Hooters" (4)
"Cilled a Bar?" (3)
"Cindy, oh Cindy"(4)
"Citizen Soldiers" (2)
"Clark and Lois (2)"
"Classified Ads are Cool"
"Claymore Gregg" (3)
"Clean Machine" (2)
"Clean up in Aisle 4!"(4)
"Climb It Chains" (8)
"Clinton Cuts" (7)
"Clone Chipper,Please"(4)
"Cockatiel Lounge" (2)
"College of the Shire"(6)
"Combat Kelly (2)"
"Come On Baby"(8)
"Come on Down" (3)
"Comin' Clean" (5)
"Comin' Home" (3)
"Commencement (2)"
"Comparables" (6)
"Condi for President" (3)
"Cone of Silence" (4)
"Conflagration" (3)
"Confusion Reigns"(10)
"Congress Goes to War (2)
"Congress' Schmidthead"
"Conspiracy Theory" (4)
"Copy Cat Chinese" (5)
"Country Roads" (7)
"Crawford Convention" (2)
"Crikey" (2)
"Crime and Punishment(2)"
"Crotch Rocket Delite"(4)
"Cult of the Wild"(7)
"Curious, George?"
"Currahee" (5)
"Da Juice Is Back" (3)
"Dad" (5)
"Damages Done (2)"
"Damn Close" (4)
"Damn It To Hell" (5)
"Damn Lies" (7)
"Dandy Dale" (7)
"Danger Will Robinson"(5)
"Danger,Will Robinson"(8)
"Darth Dick" (5)
"Darwin's Company" (4)
"Das Boot"
"Das Ende" (6)
"Date With David" (2)
"Day of Infamy" (4)
"Day-O, Me Wan Go"(7)
"De Tar-Ball Baby" (6)
"Dead Honkey"
"Dearest Bilbo"
"Debits on the Left?" (2)
"Decisions, Decisions"(6)
"Deep and Dark" (5)
"Deep Shiite" (3)
"Degree of Separation"(6)
"Deja 1958 Over Again"
"Deja Who?"(7)
"Delano" (4)
"Diazinon Ditties (2)"
"Dick Clark Top 10(2)"
"Dimmer Switch" (6)
"Dirty Copter" (4)
"Do They Like Kool Aid?"
"Doctor, Mr. MD"(9)
"Dodged a Bullet"(7)
"Dogmobile" (3)
"Dogs Rule"
"Doing the Right Thing"
"Don't Cut My DSL" (5)
"Don't Feed the Animals"
"Dont Touch That Dial"(6)
"Doofus" (9)
"Doohan's Delight" (3)
"Doris Miller" (6)
"Dorothy Rose" (4)
"Double Deal" (6)
"Doubting Thomases" (3)
"Doug Williams"(4)
"Dover" (4)
"Down Below Back Home"(4)
"Downtown Cardinals"(9)
"Dr. Phil" (5)
"Dubai-Bye" (3)
"Dueling Banjos" (3)
"Dumb and Dumber" (3)
"Dumb As We Wanna Be"(3)
"Dumber Than Dirt" (3)
"Dumbest Politico (2)"
"Eager Uighurs" (4)
"Early Admission" (8)
"Eight Nine Four" (4)
"Elect Jeff Jackson"(10)
"Elizabeth I" (5)
"Emily Latella Lives"
"Emperor's Clothes" (2)
"End of the Line"
"Ending Sams Patience"(7)
"Engine Uprisin'" (4)
"Ensign Pulver"(5)
"EOTUS" (5)
"Equinox Approaching"(10)
"Equinoxious" (4)
"Escalator Escalatin'"(5)
"ESP" (6)
"Etchings, Anyone?"(5)
"Ethel Merman Lives"
"Eve, It's Oil!"
"Evenin' Govnah" (6)
"Everyday Miracles"
"Evil Thoughts" (3)
"Eye Opener" (3)
"Eyes of a Gorilla"
"Fair is Fare"(7)
"Falcon" (8)
"Fall Ball" (3)
"Fallin' Behind"(11)
"Falling Apart" (9)
"Fargo Felines" (5)
"Fashionable Frodo" (5)
"Father Ed" (3)
"Faux les Bas" (2)
"Female Insurgency (2)"
"Ferengi or Ferangi?" (3)
"Fergit? Hell No!"
"Film at 11"
"Findin' William"(11)"
"Firing US Attorneys" (3)
"First Freeze" (6)
"First Learn to Lose"
"First National Bank" (5)
"First Sentence" (8)
"Five Easy Pieces" (4)
"Float Yer Boat" (4)
"Flower Power (2)"
"Foe Years Old" (4)
"Follow the Money"
"Followin' Ava" (4)
"For More Years" (3)
"Forbidden Fruit"
"Fords and Dads" (2)
"Foreclosure Follies" (7)
"Foreclosure Notice" (6)
"Forest Primeval"(8)
"Form 666" (3)
"Forms For Everything"(6)
"Foundling Fathers"(7)
"Fourteen Years Ago?"(5)
"Fox Views" (3)
"Frack You" (7)
"Frances Died Today"(7)
"Fred's Dead Head" (3)
"Free at Last"
"Free Hidden Telecast"(4)
"Freedom? Hell No" (3)
"Friend by Your Side" (3)
"Friend by your Side" (4)
"Friendly Persuasion" (5)
"Friends of Bill" (7)
"Frist Friends"
"Frodo and Housman" (2)
"Frodo and Jesus"
"Frodo and Revere?"(7)
"Frodo And Truckers (2)"
"Frodo Dissents" (6)
"Frodo Not Foggo (2)"
"Frodo of Arabia(2)"
"Frodo Op" (5)
"Frodo Regrets"
"Frodo Study Group" (2)
"Frodo visits Bilbo"
"Frodo's Almanac"(9)
"Frodo's Bad Day"
"Frodo's Book Club"(5)
"Frodo's Dilemma" (3)
"Frodo's Faux Pas" (3)
"Frodo's Final Four" (3)
"Frodo's Foreign Policy"
"Frodo's Hall of Fame"(4)
"Frodo's Newer Friend"(6)
"Frodo's Retirement"(8)
"Frodo's Revenge"
"Frodo's Revenge"(7)
"Frodo's Solutions" (6)
"Frodo's Xmas Story"(6)
"Frodo, James Frodo" (3)
"Furriners" (4)
"Gainful Employment" (3)
"Galadriel Is No More"(3)
"Gandalf's Challenge (2)"
"Garland Duesenberry" (2)
"Gas Guzzler A-Go-Go"
"Gasp, Wheeze (2)"
"Gay Faux Holes" (5)
"Genarlow de Chariot" (3)
"Genesis Ignored" (3)
"Geneva Accords Redux"
"Geography Lesson" (3)
"George to the Rescue"(3)
"Georgia on my Mind"(3)
"Getting Your Wish" (3)
"Gidget Goes Gondor"(7)
"Gimme Head With Hair"(3)
"Girls Night Out" (6)
"Give 'em Hell, Tom" (5)
"Give Heath a Chance (2)"
"Give Us Your Tired. . ."
"Giving Way to Anger" (2)
"Glenn Frey"(11)
"Glory Days"
"Goin' Home" (3)
"Gondor Goodfellas"(9)
"Gondor Gravitas" (3)
"Good Cop" (7)
"Good Day America" (6)
"Good Friday It Was"(9)
"Good Friday, Maybe"(11)
"Good Ol Mountain Dew"(5)
"Good Son"
"Goodbye Kids (2)"
"Goodbye, Ethan" (2)
"Goodman is Hard to Find"
"Goose Again"
"GOP Convention" (3)
"Gotta Have a Home (2)"
"Grading on a Curve"
"Graffiti Government" (2)
"Great American Hero"
"Great American Hero" (2)
"Greatest Duet Ever"(6)
"Greed is Good"(5)
"Greetings" (8)
"Grissom not Gruesome"(4)
"Groupies for Edwards"(4)
"Guess We Forgot?"(8)
"Guest Workers (2)"
"Guns of August" (7)
"Guts of August" (3)
"Gwinnett Again?" (3)
"Halo, 1,2,3?" (3)
"Ham I Am" (3)
"Handi-Wipes" (3)
"Hang 'em High" (2)
"Hanky Time, Ladies"
"Happens in Threes"(5)
"Happy Anniversary"(9)
"Happy Mardi Gras"(2)
"Harpo Speaks"
"Harry" (2)
"Harry's Bar-Venice" (2)
"Hawkeye, Redux"(7)
"Haz Mat" (3)
"He Ate the Olive!"(7)
"He is deeply missed (2)"
"He Picks Up Poop?" (5)
"He Took De Bait" (8)
"He's 'Little Ricky'?"(7)
"Healthcare for Frodo"(5)
"Heart Soar Like Hawk"(5)
"Heck of an Engineer"(7)
"Hedge Fund Hippies" (3)
"Heeeerrre's Frodo" (3)
"Heeere's Johnny" (6)
"Heeerrrre's Frodo" (3)
"Hello, Mr. Wilson" (5)
"Hello? Central?" (3)
"Help Wanted"
"Helping Frodo" (4)
"Here Come da Judge" (2)
"Here Come da Judge" (6)
"Here Kitty-Kitty" (4)
"Here Kitty-kitty"(5)
"Here's Help, Now Leave"
"Here's Your Watch" (3)
"Hi Jinx" (5)
"Hide Anythin' Edible"(5)
"High Chair" (2)
"Hobbits And a Truck"(4)
"Hold On Romo" (2)
"Hold the Malaise" (4)
"Honey Dew List"(9)
"Hopalong Frodo"(9)
"Horn of Africa (2)"
"Horse Latitudes" (6)
"Horsehockey" (3)
"Hosea Can You See" (3)
"Hosea Can You See?" (3)
"Hot Tamale" (3)
"Hotel Plimhimmon"(9)
"HOV or DOA?" (3)
"How Dogs Love Us" (10)
"How Many Delegates?"
"How Many Delegates?" (3)
"How Now Broun Cow"(8)
"Hraka" (4)
"Huckleberry Hound" (3)
"Hund Scheisse CSI" (5)
"Hungarian Answer" (4)
"I Believe in Music (2)"
"I can hope, can't I?"(9)
"I Could Cry" (2)
"I Inspired You?"
"I say it's Spinach. . ."
"I'll Get Back to You"(3)
"I'll Huff and Puff" (4)
"I'll Take a Vowel"
"I'm Baaack" (2)
"I'mSo In LoveWithYou"(7)
"Ides of March Again" (4)
"Ides of Texas" (6)
"IED's in Congress" (2)
"If Frodo Ran The DHS"(5)
"If It Ain't OneThing"(5)
"If the truth be told"(6)
"If You Remember,Then"(6)
"If" (6)
"Imagine,General Newt"(6)
"Imitation of Life" (5)
"Immigration Reform (2)"
"In a Galaxy Far Away(2)"
"In a Pig's Eye" (4)
"In Dog We Trust" (10)
"In the Beginning"
"In the Beginning" (3)
"Incomparable Moron" (4)
"Indoor Toilets Rule" (4)
"Intersex Village" (2)
"Interstate Parking (2)"
"Ion Propulsion"(7)
"Iran's Tom Hayden"
"Irish Spring"(3)
"Is it in the Water?"
"Is That in America?" (2)
"Is You da One,Jimmy?"(3)
"Islamic Fundamentals"(8)
"Isn't Amnesty Good?"(3)
"Isn't Change Good?"(6)
"It's A Trap" (6)
"It's Just a Movie"
"It's Just Business"
"Ja, Wir Konnen."
"Jack Crabb" (10)
"Jambo Jumbo" (3)
"Japanese Movie?" (3)
"Je suis Frodo"(10)
"Jefferson Rock" (3)
"Jes' the facts Ma'am"(4)
"Jim Crow" (5)
"Joad Family Reunion?"(6)
"Joad Jobs" (4)
"Joe Soptic" (8)
"Jonestown Redux" (3)
"Jose and Claudia" (4)
"Joshua Generation" (3)
"Just Another Day" (3)
"Just Clearin' Brush"(3)
"Just Desserts (2)"
"Just Desserts" (7)
"Just Say 'Nyet'"(7)
"Just to CU Smile" (5)
"Kandy Kakes 2"
"Ken Meets Jack"
"Key Word Apology" (6)
"Killer's Geraldine" (4)
"Kilowatts Per Mile" (6)
"Kiribati Republic"(6)
"Kirk Saves Nemo"
"Kiss a Girl Goodbye"(2)
"Knew You Not Pompey?"(3)
"Kodak Moment" (2)
"Kool Sailboat" (4)
"Korea, Korea" (2)
"Kudlow's Kreeps"(4)
"Lady of Rohan" (3)
"Land Ho"(8)
"Lean and Hungry " (2)
"Leeward, I Say, Leeward"
"Legs Diamond" (3)
"Legs" (3)
"Leslie" (4)
"Lessons Learned" (2)
"Let Them Eat Cake"
"Let's Bake Cookies" (3)
"Let's Play A Game" (6)
"Letter Home" (6)
"Letter to Lou" (4)
"Liberal Lament" (40)
"Lief, Leaf, or Loaf"(8)
"Life In A Red State"
"Lights of Chicago"
"Like a Barack" (2)
"Limbaugh Hero"(7)
"Lime Bandits" (3)
"Lime is on my side" (6)
"Limestone Cowboys" (3)
"Lip Smackin' Good?"(6)
"Little Big Horn (2)"
"Little Houdini" (5)
"Little Sky"
"Littlest Angel" (2)
"Livin' is Easy?"(7)
"Loans and Deposits" (4)
"Lois, I Never Lie"(8)
"Lonely Avenue" (3)
"Lonesome Frodo" (3)
"Look away Dixieland"(6)
"Look for da Union Label"
"Look Who's Talkin'" (2)
"Lookin' Back, Texas" (3)
"Lost Weekend"(8)
"Low Water, Slow Flow"(3)
"Lox? Or Locks?" (7)
"Lunatic Cattle Call"(8)
"M-G-M Material"
"Ma Bell is Baaack" (3)
"Ma Bell Lives" (7)
"Macaca, Your Macaca" (2)
"Mad Dogs&Englishmen"(6)
"Made You Look" (6)
"Magic Fridge (2)"
"Magic Moments"(7)
"Make Jobs, Not War"(7)
"MaMa's Little Babies"(3)
"Man For All Seasons" (2)
"Man of the Century"
"Man Up, Harry"(6)
"Man's Best Friend?"
"Many happy returns"
"March Forth" (8)
"Marking Time" (3)
"Martyr Magic" (2)
"Marvelous Mac"(8)
"Mary Lee & Genie"(8)
"Master of None" (8)
"May Day, Comrade"(7)
"Maynard G. Krebs" (7)
"Medal of Honor" (6)
"Media is the Message(2)"
"Media Reporting" (6)
"Mental Healthcare" (4)
"Michelle, my Belle"(7)
"Mick's Day"(8)
"Mickey and Me"(6)
"MidSummer Nights Dream"(7)
"Mikileaks" (6)
"Missionary Position" (3)
"Missionary Position" (7)
"Mississipp' Sippin'"(2)
"Mister Roberts" (8)
"Moamar:The Movie"(7)
"Mohair Sam" (5)
"Mon Petit Shoe"(4)
"Monkeys in Mississippi"
"Moody Blue"(7)
"Moody" (7)
"Mooman" (3)
"Moon Over Miami"(4)
"Mooosic" (5)
"Moovin' On Up" (2)
"Mordor or Antarctica?"
"More Than Some" (4)
"Moultrie Poultry" (3)
"Mount Mulch" (2)
"Movin' On Up" (2)
"Mr. Toad's Motorcar (2)"
"Mumbai, My Lord" (4)
"Murtha For President(2)"
"N. Leroy" (7)
"Name That Tune"(4)
"Nascaroil" (4)
"Nat King Cole Sucks"(5)
"NCAA---Blech!" (7)
"Nein, nein, nein"(7)
"Never Doubt Bilbo"
"Never heard of him"
"New Life, Old Leaves"(4)
"Newest Friend"(8)
"Newman's Own" (4)
"Newt/Mitt '12" (3)
"Next Case" (6)
"Next Door Neighbors" (3)
"NFL Commissioner (2)"
"NFL Trade" (3)
"Nielsen Ratings" (2)
"Nine Months PG" (7)
"Nixon Agonistes" (3)
"No Faux News?" (3)
"No Googling Allowed"(4)
"No Humor Today"
"No Peanut Left Behind"
"No Sale" (3)
"No, Not Russian" (4)
"No-No, No" (3)
"Nobody Even Asked"(8)
"Noo Yawk Stateamind"(2)
"Not a Bang,a Whimper"(7)
"Not Funny, Dr Jones"(5)
"Not North Carolina" (6)
"Not Percy Sledge?" (3)
"Not Percy Sledge?"(3)
"Number One" (3)
"Number Please?"(7)
"Number, Please"(8)
"Numbers Don't Lie" (3)
"Numbers Racket" (4)
"Obama Doctrine" (5)
"Obama's Generals"(5)
"October Dreamin'" (4)
"Ode to an Athlete (2)"
"Ogal Preston Crews (2)"
"Oh Kenny Boy (2)"
"Oh the possibilities"(8)
"Oh Ye White Whale" (3)
"Oh, Sadaharu" (2)
"OK Baptist Chorale" (4)
"Old McDonnell's Farm"(7)
"Old Time Baseball"(9)
"Old Times Topic" (6)
"Olympic Changes" (4)
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Southern Pine Beetles"(4)
The H Word" (6)
Citizens of Middle Earth
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Return of the King
Frodo, Keeper of the Ring
Monday, March 30, 2009
We Tried To Talk It Over
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: "Worth Waiting For?"(5)

Several years ago Frodo and Bilbo sat down in front of a microfilm reader in the genealogical area of the local public library.  Together they searched the US Census Records extending back to the first Census of the United States in 1790.  Frodo demonstrated to Bilbo the trek back in time to the last clearly-identified ancestor which began with Bilbo's mother's father.  At one point, Frodo could say to Bilbo "Meet your great-grandfather, and his family," and he could see Bilbo's face light with excitement at finally learning the names and ages of people with only prior suspicioned existence. 

Frodo paused and said, "I'll be damned, look there Bilbo, your great-grandfather owned three slaves.  It says so right there in the 1850 Census."

"He did not!," said Bilbo a little too forcibly for the environment.  Heads raised all about.  "No relative of mine would have ever owned a slave."

Frodo was more than taken aback, and committed the foolish act of trying to reason over the honor of a previously unknown genetic line.  "But Bilbo, until this very moment you didn't even know the names of these people.  How can you make value judgments about their behavior, or their needs?"

"I just know that they were farm people, and farm people didn't own slaves," argued Bilbo.

"Well perhaps your great-grandmother needed a wet nurse, or required help in the kitchen.  Not every slave was a field hand," attested Frodo.

"I just know," said Bilbo.

Frodo has told that story many times to those who know Bilbo.  It always elicits laughter, and an appreciation for one who has always been sure of self.  A few days ago, Frodo recounted that story for Bilbo.  The event was denied, as if it had never taken place at all.  "In fact," Bilbo claimed,"Frodo has never kept his promise to research that side of the family.  Frodo always takes the side of others, at my expense," said Bilbo.  Frodo could only look upon the unplugged personal computer and attempt to comprehend the hours they spent together, inputting names, birthdates, anniversaries, of Bilbo's family.

Bilbo then launched into a tirade about Daniel Boone, Bilbo's perceived ancestor.  "Bilbo," said Frodo, "don't you recall that the names are spelled differently, and that THE Daniel Boone was born 150 years and almost a thousand miles from anyone related to you?  We established that together a long time ago."

"No we didn't.  I know what I know.  You always take sides against me," said the tearful, yet increasingly combative, 91 year-old.  "You know my sister has been taking things of mine, and you defend her."

Frodo realized that to simply stand, to stare, and to say nothing, was the wisest course of action.

The vitriol reached epic proportions, predominantly directed at family members, illegal aliens, and almost anyone else who had ever invaded the spatial claims of one suffering oxygen deprivation.  For the plastic tubes which contorted all about Bilbo's feet, followed everywhere, mixing reality with imagination, were erasing all sign of she who once held Frodo en lap.  Although the level of "gesund" is enviable for most, it is far from a blessing to Bilbo.  Bilbo seeks pity, claiming a life too long, and boredom with the routine of the daily bread.  Frodo, with Sam holding him in check, could say little that would not precede another shower of tears, anger, and resignation.

Bilbo had recognized that going home was not a realistic expectation.  A fall, and the total destruction of the distributor, all cables, and electric wiring, by rabbits, in her idled motorcar, left Bilbo with no such option.  

The Assisted Living Center is first-class.  The food is good, the accommodations are ultra-modern and spotless.  The staff is highly professional, and they take an obvious, and clear-cut interest in Bilbo.  Bilbo has sufficient resources to stay on, full-time, until age 105.  That, Frodo supposes, is what pisses Bilbo off.  Bilbo has to work hard in order to make people feel sorry for the present state of affairs.  Bilbo sits in  bedroom, hour-after-hour, refusing to "play in any reindeer games," or to give any indication of interest in others.  "It might mean I catch cold," alluding to the inevitable return to pneumonia, and a life-threatening illness.

Frodo leaves with the nagging nabob of "bad son" in his ego.  Understanding why the best of circumstances is trivialized before him by a chemical miasma representing none that Frodo has ever known is confounding, and it is not subject to clarification.  Frodo knows, with dread, that his heart will break again, and again.  It is Napoleon at Waterloo, in saddle, twisting with hemorrhoids, unable to get a clear view of Wellington, struggling with a battle already lost.  Peace will come, but the price will be high, and history will demand more than tales of heroism and celebration.  For once, Frodo will do everything he can to erase history, and to give special emphasis to the moments that all who have ever known Bilbo do indeed cherish.

Until then, Frodo needs to contemplate cats in hotels, and whistling sea breezes, dear reader.  Like President Obama, he needs time to make sure he knows of what he speaks.  



Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:30 PM EDT
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Sunday, March 29, 2009
Don't Fear My Darling, The Lion Sleeps Tonight
Mood:  sad
Topic: "Fargo Felines" (5)

The Anderson House, a hotel in Wabasha, Minnesota, put a closed sign on its front door last week.  Built in 1856, the Anderson House was billed as the state's oldest continuously operated inn.  Frodo supposes that the inn must not be too far away from the Red River, which threatens the nearby residents of North Dakota as this vignette unfolds.  Frodo, no visitor to locations beyond the scope of the line once defined by Messrs. Mason and Dixon, was struck by the fact that the cataclysmic costs of our current economic downturn include the 15 to 20 human employees of the historic inn, and a whole bunch of cats.

The Anderson House, it seems, was famous for its Dutch cooking and the staff of felines that overnight guests could borrow for companionship.  Frodo's first thought, given the times, was to wonder whether or not the cats were eligible for unemployment compensation?  The more he thought about it however, Frodo wondered whether or not he had been the victim of a cruel hoax.  After all, a rental in a "cat house" certainly goes beyond the simple explanation of a tabby wrapped around one's toes.

A telephone call to Chris Fancher, director of the local Chamber of Commerce put Frodo's fears to rest.  It did however, not do much for the endless possibilities available to conclude this tale of ignominy in the freezer chest of America.  What, pray tell, do the citizenry of Wabasha now do with mousecatchers trained only in the fine art of slumberology?

The same as all the rest of us, Frodo supposes.  Frodo acknowledges a little gratitude that the previous management did not similarly take an interest in guests with penguins at home.

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 1:30 PM EDT
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Saturday, March 28, 2009
Bird, Bird, Bird, Bird Is The Word
Mood:  irritated
Topic: "San Juan de Capistrano"

When travel is required, Frodo does his absolute best to soak in a little local color, or at least absorb some regional distinctiveness.  The suburban nature of greater Phoenix always makes Frodo think of the Netherlands, which has been similarly re-claimed from the clutches of Mother Nature.  Frodo is particularly taken with the flora and the fauna which seem more resilient, and hence sometimes prettier, because of the contrast to the setting itself.  Not too terribly far away, on the California coast, sits the old mission at Capistrano, where scruffy little swallows have been immortalized  in pre-Frodo balladry.  The annual return, at this time of year, is part of a festival which now, unfortunately, serves little purpose.

For years the number of swallows returning to Capistrano has been in serious decline.  The development of critically-important strip shopping centers, and overpriced homes has disturbed the balances which drew the few birds who appeared to the once ideal clime.  Those who did appear in the area this year chose to nest under the bridges of Interstate 5, or in nondescript commercial eaves far from the idyllic setting of the old mission.  Once again, it seems, man has found that his own commercial interests supercede the romance, if not the reason, for a tune that haunts anyone whose memories drift back before the second of the Great Wars.  Why, then, go at all?

Frodo last walked the grassy fields outside the old mission when first he cast his eyes upon the ocean pacific.  Even in these days, the wind still whips blue and the smell of salt would excite Captain Gregg or Long John Silver.  Frodo thought of the day his father stood there with him, and together they wondered how the birds found their way back year-after-year, to the same spot.  His father had no answers, but he left Frodo with the question.

That was good enough.    

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 1:36 PM EDT
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Thursday, March 19, 2009
Takin' Care of Business, Every Way
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: "Bilbo's Revenge" (5)

Frodo and Sam, once again, venture into the wilderness.  Bilbo's house stands empty now, because Bilbo resides in something called an Assisted Living Center.  Bilbo will return to that house on the morrow in order to meet Frodo and Sam and let them rest a day before commencing this joint venture into the unknown. 

Bilbo seems to enjoy the Assisted Living Center, other than the fact that there is no "family" nearby.  Bilbo's Doctor has made it clear that Bilbo should no longer reside in that house, all alone.  The Doctor has taken the somewhat unusual step of suggesting that Bilbo leave the Assisted Living Center in the desert and go to live in a place such as the Shire, where there is "family."

Frodo feels that Bilbo would like that suggestion if Frodo were the one doing the moving.  Frodo's Sister, about whom he never speaks, has offered Bilbo a room, a bathroom, and a telephone, all on one floor, in a place where there is no more than four months of sunshine annually.  Frodo notes a similarity to the place known as Leavenworth.  Frodo knows that if this is the course chosen, then this will probably be the last visit he shares with Bilbo in this dimension.  Sam, long ago, made the offer that Bilbo could spend the final days in the Shire, but Frodo and Sam both know that the multi-leveled Shire is not suitable for one on oxygen and utilizing a walker.  If this is the choice, then Bilbo will take residence in a nearby Assisted Living Center, albeit a place for daily visitations. 

The third option is that which Frodo suspects is what Bilbo wants.  Bilbo wants to go home; to sleep in Bilbo's bed, and to look upon the hummingbirds and the rabbits who populate the environs of a mini-desert Shire.  To have someone about to help bathe and tend at evening tide, but to stay out of Bilbo's way as Bilbo quietly surrenders the charge in her battery.   

Frodo understands his role very well.  That does not mean he likes it.  Frodo will make an assessment after observing, first-hand, then discussing, factually, with Bilbo that which he has seen.  The result, he knows, will be just like the day long ago when Bilbo told him he had to concentrate on his schoolwork, and to use that time in something more sensible than playing football.  Most likely it is that the same lines will be repeated, only the roles portrayed will change.  Frodo's greatest challenge will be the maintenance of demeanor, and to not fall into the emotional trap of trying to argue or reason with the rusty synapses which comprise geriatric logic in the twenty-first century.  Bilbo would not understand if Frodo told her that she could not play football.  What she will understand is what comprises a wilderness, 2000 miles to the West.  A long days journey.

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:27 PM EDT
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I Have A Feeling It's Time To Try
Mood:  special
Topic: "Best in the South" (5)

Dr. Arthur Kellermann is a Professor at Emory University in Atlanta, and he is a Physician on Staff at Grady Memorial Hospital.  He stood on one side of the prone figure on the table in front of him, while the parents of the patient stood on the other.  The father looked down, unable to meet the doctors' gaze, but the mother stared deeply into the eyes of the doctor, searching for a sign.  Kellermann spoke first, "It was a terrible crash.  His truck left the road at high speed.  The ambulance crew saw that he was severely injured and called a helicopter.  He has several injuries--a collapsed lung, internal bleeding.  But his brain injury worries us the most."

It was at this point that the mother interrupted.  Kellermann was already aware that they had driven two hours from the North Georgia mountains to downtown Atlanta's only Level I Trauma Center, burn unit, emergency psychiatric unit, and 750 inpatient beds.  "Doctor, I don't know how to say this, but I must.  My husband lost his job six weeks ago.  I work but my employer doesn't offer health insurance.  I have to ask:  Will my son get the care he needs?"

She started to cry, and Kellerman said "Ma'am, you're at Grady Memorial Hospital.  Our doctors are the best in the South.  We choose to work here because we believe in what this hospital stands for.  I swear to you--we will do everything in our power to save your son."  Kellermann was already aware that he hadn't told her the entire truth.

The best may not be good enough, and, if her son should make it, he could be disabled for the rest of his life.  Kellermann was already aware that the parents would be billed for the helicopter flight, and for weeks of treatment in intensive care.  Hundreds of thousands of dollars will mean that all of their savings and a mortgage on their home would not meet the bills sure to come.

Kellermann was already aware that the unpaid bills will push Grady Memorial Hospital closer to insolvency.  By staying silent however, he left the mother with what she, and he both, needed--hope.  His written words cannot be improved upon:

"Hope that her son will beat the odds.  Hope that Emory researchers will discover an effective treatment for brain injury, so future victims will have a better chance of recovery.  Hope that Georgia will fund a statewide trauma network, so everyone can benefit from top-quality trauma care.  And finally, hope that someday, perhaps soon, this great nation of ours will finally cover the uninsured, so no more mothers will need to ask, "Will my son get the care he needs?""

Frodo offers the possibility that should he and Dr. Arthur Kellermann, whose name he knew not before this day, arrive before Saint Peter at the same time, Frodo would offer up his entry pass to ensure that a man such as this, the best in the South, obtain his deserved position at the right hand of God. 

Frodo has no doubt that someone calls Kellermann by the nickname "Hawkeye."

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:48 PM EDT
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
That's When I Fell For The Leader Of The Pack
Mood:  on fire
Topic: "Pope-a-Dope" (5)

Once touted as the most famous man in the world, Muhammad Ali developed a strategy for defense of his Heavyweight Championship Boxing Belt which he dubbed "Rope-a Dope."  Basically, all Ali did was to cover up against the ring, and allow his opponent to rail with gloved hands against the immobile fortress.  His theory being that the opponent would waste his precious energy pounding against Ali's forearms, leaving Ali with an ability to box aggressively in later rounds against a spent brute.  The only thing that proved consistent in the fights in which Ali employed this methodology was that the exhibition was BORING.  Ali won virtually every fight, often against much weaker opponents, and he didn't even have to try very hard.

Boxing is anathema today.  No one can even name, without the benefit of GOOGLE, the identity of the current Heavyweight Champion of the World.  The sport is excoriated for its brutality, the fact that it draws from the poorest segments of society for its participants, and certainly it is dominated by heartless criminals in its management.  Interesting it is, thinks Frodo, that he considers boxing to be the moral equivalent of the Catholic Church under the tutelage of someone named Benedict.  This philosophically-recognized and accepted sexual deviant seems to have implemented an ecclesiastical strategy to disarm the faithful and to use their humanity against them.

One no wiser than Bristol Palin has made it quite clear that abstinence is not an effective strategy in order to deal with the problems of teenaged pregnancy.  Does it not follow, dear reader, that Ms. Palin could be making an effective argument for the use of condoms in order to combat the spread of the sexually-transmitted HIV-AIDS killer?  Wouldn't it seem logical, to even the most faithful, that the most famous cleric in the world should be doing something other than observing his own limp dick when he argues that condoms are not a weapon in this fight?

Frodo has no patience to abide the pedagogical ranting of an ideologue who refuses to listen, even to his own subordinates, who serve and treat the afflicted.  To merely stand there, and to accept horrible pain and suffering in order to justify a strategy which drives away parishoners, and weakens all of those who accept a message of hope and caring, especially for the poorest, embodies the concept of Sin.  It certainly explains why Frodo calls this version of an Incomparable Moron as "Pope-a-Dope."  

Frodo knows that there are devoted and sincere people who think him brash and perhaps even a bit sacreligious.  Frodo will take his chances with St. Peter, especially if he has the opportunity to go a few rounds with Benny in front of a cheering throng of innocents who deserved more than what they got from the leader of the pack, who didn't try very hard, at all, ever.  

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:57 PM EDT
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Sunday, March 15, 2009
It's Late September And I Really Should Be Back In School
Mood:  party time!
Topic: "MatriculationMadness"(5)

Occasionally, Frodo's creative juices are fueled by fact, not fiction, so be not surprised that what follows is based on truth, albeit slightly askance for communicative effectiveness.  Note also that Frodo has purposely avoided multiple outrageous entries from any one source.  In sum, Frodo will add an editorial comment, or two, thereby adding a level of credence to the subject identified herein.

At both the University of California at San Diego and at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, there is a course entitled "Underwater Basket Weaving."  The myth, it seems, is true, and the course does involve the dipping of reeds or stalks of plants underwater while fabricating bowls, pitchers, and other utile instruments.  The course description does not state if full-body immersion is optional, or required.

At Centre College in Kentucky, there is a course in Philosophy called "The Art of Walking."  Despite the implication that George W. Bush could only take half-credit while chewing gum, the course actually stems from Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment," and is taught while the class wanders through the fields and forests surrounding this rural Nirvana.

At the University of Wisconsin, as part of the Women's Studies Program, Frodo was unsurprised to discover "Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles."  Frodo was disappointed to learn that the course centers on the viewer, rather than to provide him with an answer to what eventually happened to Luke and Laura?

Columbia College in Chicago, with which Frodo has absolutely no familiarity, provided the impetus to Frodo to embark on this research when he stumbled on their listing for "Zombies in Popular Media."  Frodo thought, at first, that the course might include segments on Campbell Brown, any of the CNBC Financial Reporters, or any "journalist" who covered the first term of the Bush White House.  In actuality, there is a segment on voodoo in Haiti, as well as the presence of Zombies in popular video games.

Friend Merry will go ballistic when the discovery is made that Frostburg State University in Maryland teaches "The Science of Harry Potter."  Frodo notes that it is an Honors Course for non-Science majors, and that there is no required lab.  Questions such as the "possibility of an actual flying broomstick," designed to meet transportation challenges in the twenty-first century, Frodo assumes, are postulated.

Frodo could not resist taking note of the course at SUNY (Buffalo) entitled "Cyberporn and Society," although he notes that there are several schools with something similar in the curriculum (Frodo, called it "dating" in his day).  What particularly elevated his interest (pun intended) was the audio-visual participation (they watch movies).  Actually, this is so very understandable.  What, pray tell, other than shovel snow, does one do in Buffalo?

Appropriate it is that Frodo gives special notice to the University of Iowa, homeplace of the Iowa Caucuses, which propelled President Obama on his quest, for their Honors Class, known simply as "Tolkien."  Perhaps Frodo will be invited as a guest speaker someday, along with all in the Circle.

What struck Frodo about the expansiveness of curricula, is that there was not a single reference of significance in any Southern school.  Oh sure, swimming and diving stuff in Florida, but Frodo was looking for some reference to Flannery O'Connor and how difficult it is to find a good man.  Is Frodo alone when he wonders what Skip thought about when Willie Morris left for Harper's?  Do people in North Carolina truly see themselves as a bastion of freedom, surrounded by States filled with Visigoths?

The final editorial comment herein is that all of the reference is to non-science offerings.  The bias, the assumption, is that all science and math is useful, assumes Frodo.

"Well, exxxcuuuse me," says Frodo, "but of all the courses presented to me at the College of the Shire, or in the trek that followed in the City of Orleans, there is only one course to which I can point and say that I have never used it, still don't understand it, and to this day have absolutely no interest in its hypotheticals."

"Oh, and what Sir Frodo, would that happen to be?"

"Algebra," said he.    


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 1:28 PM EDT
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Saturday, March 14, 2009
Love Me Two Times I'm Goin' Away
Mood:  bright
Topic: " Citizen Soldiers" (5)

The Men of Gondor gathered at Fort McPherson, just south of downtown Atlanta, in the 700 or fewer days remaining in the existence of this military establishment.  The responsibilities headquartered at this location will transfer to Fayetteville, North Carolina, within the next two years.  What lies ahead for the land and the facilities is up to conjecture, and it was of great interest for Frodo to listen as his comrades discussed the possibilities.  One dismissed the suggestion of "Section 8 Housing," while arguing that a tax-advantaged transaction with a major corporate entity would bring another major employer to the area, and create thousands of new opportunities.  Another felt that the rolling hills and recreational facilities would make an excellent "green" addition to the quality of life in this outcropping of the Shire.  Frodo looked at the officers' quarters, envisioning yellow ribbons on oak trees, and handsome lads amarch to stirring cacophonies upon the parade grounds.  The red brick and white trim is a part of the landscape that is our home, dear reader.

The National Museum of the Army Reserve is located herein.  Humble by most standards, the displays and the objets d'art are symbolic of the groups who stand ready to respond to the President's call if regular military units require support or supplement.  It was an enlightenment to consider the difference between the Army Reserve and the National Guard, and to remember the activities of each during the human conflicts that led to the struggles upon Mount Doom.  Many who have served in the Army Reserve were medical practitioners in truth, but that did not mean that they served in the rear echelons.  The "Lost Battalion" (starring Ricky Schroeder) of World War One fame was one such Army Reserve unit, immortalized by a gallant homing pigeon who remains displayed in the Smithsonian Institute as one more who served with derring-do when called upon.

The museum itself is "open to the public."  The increased security at any military establishment makes public access however almost impossible, if not at least daunting.  The lack of knowledge regarding displays such as this is almost stunning, with very few regular army-types themselves having little or any awareness of the existence of such a facility.  Frodo and his friends were the only attendees on a cool late-winter afternoon.

The highlight of the visit was to be taken behind the displays to the research facilities.  Maintained in temperature-controlled environments are the "souvenirs" of war, brought to the Museum by those who had no further use for that which they had salvaged.  In addition, there were the flags and the equipment of divisions and units disbanded after the conflicts no longer required their existence.   With gloved-hands, Frodo could examine the pith helmet of a North Vietnamese Regular Officer, or the once-live grenade fashioned from a discarded K-Ration can and welded to become a lethal weapon.   Perhaps the helmet had been worn by he who took the life of John Jenkins.  Frodo trembled as memories warmed his retinas and brought a flush to his face.  With reverence, he touched the patch on the jacket once worn by a "Buffalo Soldier."  He was aghast at the storeroom of video and nitrate-based films, too fragile to as yet be transferred to disc.  They, too, must wait, until called upon, just so that nothing is lost.

The Men of Gondor stood quietly outside, each remarking upon the professionalism and the dedication of the historians whom they had just met.  They, private citizens all, also serve when called upon.  Not all who love our land bear its arms, some are those who use their talents to help us remember and to comprehend the path to the summit of Mount Doom.

May Frodo always remember that those who study the liberal arts are not seeking an easier path, but they may actually be seeking to follow that least traveled by. 


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 12:44 PM EDT
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Thursday, March 12, 2009
Slander My Name All Over The Place
Mood:  not sure
Topic: "Zounds, Sounds!" (5)

Recently, Frodo spent some time with a friend and business associate, originally from Taiwan, whose family long ago made a new home near the Shire.  Frodo has learned a great deal from his friend about parts of Middle Earth where he has never been.  The cultural aspects are even more fascinating, thinks he, than the geopolitical.  This time they discussed language, and how Chinese has replaced so many "Romance" languages from the curricula in the local schools about the Shire.

There are a limited number of characters in what we would call Chinese, but there are also tonal differences which change meanings significantly.  For example, should you, dear reader, say something like "Wang" in a near-falsetto voice, it may be translated as the word "tree."  Say the exact same word basso profundo and it may mean "monkey dung."  Something in-between could be a reference to the genitalia of the speaker, or not.  In any event, to be aware of the "sing-songey" importance of the spoken word almost makes it seem artful to the illiterate listener, aka Frodo.

It is a very old joke to say that Chinese is not really so difficult, simply because there are tens of millions of children who speak it fluently.  Frodo thought about this as he listened to a talking head describe the evening news on his black-and-white this evening.  The monotonal diatribe centered on the individual, sentenced to three years in an Iraqi jail, who tossed his shoes at the Incomparable Moron when last he visited his personal nation-state.  His relatives evidently indicated that the miscreant did not retreat from his dislike for the now FORMER PRESIDENT (Frodo loves constructing those two words).  In fact, they alleged, and this dear reader is the crux of our commentary, that the offender actually wished to "xxxx" on the target of his pedestrian ensemble assault.

Frodo glanced up at the screen, and queried Sam as to the missing word.

"Did he say 'spit'?"  Ed. Note, it might also have been "sit."

Sam feigned ignorance, but did indicate that had the word been in Chinese, and the tonality was anywhere close to the deep-voiced presentation which Sam heard, then Ole George would've needed several handkerchiefs.

Frodo has a new appreciation for the Chinese language, and he has learned to be prepared to duck whenever he hears it spoken in a deep voice.  Secretary of State Clinton need also be advised. 


Posted by loveysdaddyga at 8:32 PM EDT
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Monday, March 9, 2009
What The People Need Is a Way To Make Them Smile
Mood:  happy
Topic: "Dad" (5)

Frodo's father was one of five siblings.  They are all gone now, and Frodo has a million questions unanswered.  He will never make that mistake again.  Three of the five suffered from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease), including Frodo's father, and that anomaly will be summarized in the words that follow.  Apologies are offered to those who this evening expected humor, or will read something about which they were already aware.

The youngest brother was struck first, and strangely enough, the symptoms commenced in his throat.  Generally, the disease first appears in the limbs and works its way in, eventually strangling the victim.  About half-way through the total dimunition of his ability to communicate, his brother, Frodo's father, was struck in exactly the same fashion.

There is no way to adequately express what it was like to watch the two of them, eating ice cream, and watching their beloved Atlanta Braves on TV.  When one tried to speak, it was usually to ask "What's wrong with Murphy (Dale, they both loved the guy)?"  For the most part, they sat in silence, knowing that it was growing impossible for anyone to understand what they were trying to say.

When his brother died, Frodo's father was too weak to travel to the funeral, so Frodo did not have to be asked.  Frodo was there.  In a few short days all learned that the youngest sister had now been diagnosed with ALS, but it was of a more traditional nature and commenced in the limbs.  Soon, both his aunt and his father were no more.

Neither the oldest brother nor the oldest sister ever developed any signs of ALS.  The brother probably drank himself to death, and the sister lived well into her 90's, with Alzheimer's for the last decade or so.  Every living member of the family submitted a blood sample to a study being conducted at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and brain tissue of the victimized was included.  The published result found that 18 families of European descent had a "genetic predisposition" to ALS, and that probably accounted for about 10% of all such cases.

It goes without saying that research utilizing embryonic stem cells is a potentially crucial tool to uncovering the genetic secrets and the exceptions that plague those like Frodo's forebears.  Frodo is personally grateful to those who realize that it is within the power of Man and Hobbit to ease suffering.  The fact that any would deny such an effort is something for which Frodo has neither patience nor understanding.  He concludes this evening with gratitude to the President, and a reminder to all that it was Mohandas K. Gandhi, who said that changing the world should yield life as one chooses to live it.

Frodo and his father did not agree on many things, and it is likely that the election of Barack Obama would have been another disputed moment; until tonight, that is.  

Posted by loveysdaddyga at 9:05 PM EDT
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