May 5, 2008 question

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everybody! Or as they say in Spain, “¿Que?” Now here’s today’s question:

What country’s forces were defeated by General Ignacio Zaragoza and company in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862?

And congrats to Friday’s big winners, Heather M (the M stands for Mayo Cinco, Nachos) and Heidi who knew the two longest sea bridges in the world span a lake in Louisiana. Muy bueno!

Soccer Hoodlum: Updated with link to year-old video


It’s soccer season again. It’s hard to get any good action shots from the game because there is very little action in the game itself. In today’s game it took an average of 12 seconds to score a goal and about a minute and a half to get the kids back to the center and ready to go. They play 4-minute quarters, so . . . the best action takes place in warmups. The top picture is Addison during a drill when the kids were pretending to be airplanes. Addison is a very jazzy and intense plane. In the second shot, Addison is pretending to walk like a duck . . . during the walk-like-a-duck drill.

He’s getting really good at soccer.

UPDATE: If you really want to see some Addison soccer action, check this out.

Whoever Has Authority Over the Oil Companies (if such a person exists)

I have seen no proof of an earthly entity with any power or authority over the oil companies, be they sheiks or Texans. But if you do exist, oh oily one, I’ve got some advice for you.

Now, I’m not going to tell you to put a cap on the gas prices. I won’t tell you to reopen the scores of refineries that were shut down when the oil companies consolidated the process and cut their capacity for production to one tenth of its previous potential (thereby tripling the cost of gas). I won’t tell you to force them to emancipate the American government from the virtual slavery in which they are shackled. I won’t even tell you to clean up the environment. Collusion, corruption, lobbying/loan sharking, pollution, price gouging . . . keep it all up. Who’s gonna stop them? Well, I suppose you could, if you really do exist, you Santa Clause of fossil fuels.

But I know that even if you are capable, you aren’t willing. I have come to terms with that. What I can’t accept, beyond all the slick scams and brute force, is one minuscule detail, and it is that seemingly trivial point about which I must advise you today. Do whatever you have to do. Talk to whoever you need to talk to. But please act now on this tiny piece of advice:

Drop that stupid 9/10 of a cent per gallon.

I can understand charging $3.89 for a gallon of unleaded. But I don’t know where your boys get off setting a price of $3.89 and nine tenths per gallon. Nine tenths? NINE TENTHS?!? This is the spit in the eye, the salt in the wound, the straw bill delivered to the broken-backed camel. Giving us a one-tenth-cent discount to keep it from being an even $3.90, that’s just cruel.

So please, talk to them. Reason with them. Make them stop the psychological games, okay? We know we’re getting ripped off. Just round up. Don’t patronize us with the idiocy of fractional cent savings. I’ll happily pay the extra penny per tank to make that little superscript 9 disappear from the price. I don’t know how it’s even legal to charge less than a cent for any unit of any substance. Crack dealers might be destroying their customers, but I’ll bet 100 barrels of petroleum that they have the decency to charge at no smaller than 50-cent increments.

So there. Go ahead and take our money. But spare us our dignity.

May 2, 2008 question

Yes, it’s true, Barack Obama’s Irish eyes are smiling. But his Irish ancestors were not the O’Bamas, they were the Kearneys. Darn. That would have been awesome. What is awesome is how many of you knew the truth:

Bill
Andy
Sarah
Elena
Charles
Frank
Karen H (the H stands for Hillary Is Madagascan)
Steve T (the T stands for Tater Famine)
Heidi

So top o’ the trivia mornin’ to all of you. I’m a little troubled, though, about the latest news out of China. They claim to have just opened the world’s longest bridge crossing a sea . . . when it’s actually the third longest. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway Bridge is actually two parallel bridges, both of them longer than the one in China. The only question is (at least the only one I’ll ask you):

What U.S. state lays claim to the two longest water-crossing bridges in the world?

Overheard . . . Suspicious Minds

On Friday, Addison’s pre-school will be learning about emotions. Heather was prepping him for what they’ll be studying, and he asked what emotions were. Heather listed a few: angry, sad, happy . . . and then he interrupted the list with this question:

“What about suspicious?”
I don’t know. Is that an emotion? I say yes. And just for fun, this is a drawing of the recliners in Addison’s friend’s basement. Maybe my favorite drawing ever.

May 1, 2008 question

The Peanuts ponytail girl is Violet Gray. Nobody knew her last name, but a lot of you were on target with clue-induced genius:

Steven F (the F stands for Flying Beagles)
Lee
Heather M (the M stands for Marcie)
Andy
Larry
Meg

Nice work. Now on to less trivial matters: the democratic primaries. Poll results came out indicating that Obama supporters are getting less and less likely to vote for Clinton if she wins the nomination and that Clinton supporters are growing more strongly opposed to Obama. And I love the jaded related conclusion: supporters of both candidates want the battle to continue to the end. Well of course they do. That’s just another way of saying they don’t want their favorite candidate to quit. Sheesh. Meanwhile, a separate study showed that the longer the democratic race continues, the closer John McCain gets to receiving national landmark status. Okay, here’s today’s question:

Barrack Obama’s Irish ancestors (including his great-great-great grandfather) sailed to America during Ireland’s potato famine in the 19th Century . . . true or false?

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