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Friday round-up - cheap parking, tight-beaked birds, hand gestures, flies, and homicide

What's crackin' folks? Next week we're gonna resume "Ask James Anything Friday," a post we haven't done for a while. So start getting your questions together, and tell your friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow bloggers to think of stuff too. 'Cause if I don't get at least 100 questions next Friday, I'm going on blog strike.

In the mean time I figured I'd take a quick look at the headlines and what's crackin' in the burgs across the corny fruited plains.

  • Read the first paragraph and tell me where was this town, when I could never find a quarter for the parking meter? Seriously, between fines and having to use dollar bills, I've spent a mortage's worth of coin on parking in "big city" America.
  • This story about the lost parrot who was able to tell folks at a vet clinic where he lived was cool, but what I'm curious about is why the bird absolutely refused to talk to police. Seriously, he bit his tongue when cops tried to get him to open up. Clearly this bird has been negatively influenced by the Stop Snitching lobby.
  • Why can't a thumbs-up just be a simple thumbs-up? Too much detail here. I think from now on I'm just gonna give the power fist when I want to act out hello, instead of just saying it.
  • Have you heard the one about the guy who found a fly in his water bottle? No, I'm not trying to remake the fly-in-the-soup joke. A Canadian man found a fly in his unopened drinking water bottle and sued the company 'cause of the distress it caused him. He says he's such a neat, clean person that the idea of a dirty beast like a fly in his drinking water freaked him out so badly that his business and his sex life were negatively impacted. Damn! He was initially awarded a judgment of about $345,000, or about $12.15 in American money. Kidding, kidding! I know the Canadian dollar is worth more than the U.S. dollar. Anyway, the Supreme Court of Canada just tossed out the judgment 'cause it said this guy's reaction to the fly-in-the-water was so over-the-top it couldn't have been anticipated and the water bottling company shouldn't be held responsible for his irrational fear of flies. What do you think?
  • Finally, a bit of commentary: I was watching The First 48 last night, the A&E Network documentary show that follows homicide detectives around. And the two featured cases were murders of young men in Memphis and Tuscon. The victim in Tuscon was a 16-year-old who was fatally shot in the chest while walking home from the movies with a buddy. According to the buddy, two other young men approached them. One of the other young men brandished a revolver and demanded the victims empty their pockets. A moment later a single shot was fired. The 16-year-old, a popular high school jock was dead. Detectives caught up with the 18-year-old shooter with relative ease, about a day later. The first thing he told them "I didn't mean to shoot anybody." Next he told them he just wanted to scare the victims. Then he said the victim grabbed for the gun, apparently thinking it was a toy, and it just "went off." Finally, the shooter told the cops he's not that type of guy. If you're a parent or guardian or friend or sibling of a young man who likes to play pretend gangster, here's a piece of advice: tell him if he just wants to scare people he should walk up behind them and yell "boo!" 'Cause when you point a gun at someone in the commission of a crime, it sorta says you're at least willing to shoot them. And if you can't pronounce "boo!" and feel you really need to point a gun in order to induce fear, then leave the bullets out of it. But don't say you didn't mean to shoot. Shooting someone during a robbery isn't an accident. I don't care if the "evil" gun maker sold someone a hair trigger firearm and they sold it to you. When I look between my seat to get that french fry I dropped and don't see the car in front of me slam on its brakes? That's an accident. Carrying a loaded gun that just "went off?" No accident.

That's all for me today, folks. Enjoy your weekend. And take a minute or more to think about a sailor, marine, soldier, airman, or Coast Guardy person (what are they called?). Whether you disapprove or approve of our current armed conflicts, you can't be mad at the Average Joes who've given their lives in service of country.

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Mary

Dang, if I had enough blog readers I would sooooo do 'Ask me anything'... infact, it sounds like so much fun that I might just do it anyway. I'll only get like 3 questions, but maybe they'll be 3 really great questions. LOL
I'll have to think of something good to ask you on yours.
I absolutely disagreed with the war in Iraq, dislike and mistrust most of the current administration, and hope that we can soon see some good changes. However, I definitely do think of those who have had to go above and beyond in their call of duty. Thanks to them all. My nephew returned earlier this year from a deployment on the Annapolis and while he didn't see active war duty, it was still very hard to be away for those 6 mos.

claudia

Hey James...
For one...hurray for the Canadian Supreme Court for letting common sense rule for once. I mean seriously, $345,000?? I'd be really iffy about drinking bottled water, but it really was over the top. As for the shooting, it made me think of a guy I knew once...a cousin of a friend-he ended up dying at new years when playing with guns..he put it in his mouth thinking it was empty...and it wasn't. Stupid and tragic, really.

The Sarcasticynic

There once was a parrot named Polly,

Whose knowledge of her abode was a folly.

When police tried to track her,

She asked for a cracker,

And left officers saying "Golly!"

The CEO

You certainly cover the waterfront with this post. The issue I am most concerned with is teens killing each other. You don't stick a knife into another kid's stomach without having the intent to at least wanting to commit a lot of damage. Let me be clear here, it's not the weapon, it's the mindset that thinks it's permissible to pull the trigger or stick the knife into the other person. The people that believe these things are not a part of the society I was raised in, which rejected that notion. Parents did not accept it. Only the military and the outlaw organizations taught people to kill. That has changed, and needs to be reversed. Say it better than me James, please. And keep saying it. Louder if you have to.

claudia

I just read the article about the bird and it makes sense to me-the cops found the birds, kept it overnight, and then brought it to a vet hospital-but it still took the bird a few days to say anything there. I bet if the cops had kept the bird at the station, the bird would have started feeling comfortable and then talked.

Steph

As a taxpayer I'd like to have a refund of the portion of the budget that went into educating the kid in that last bullet point. Clearly, public education was wasted on him since he has no idea that brandishing a weapon is - in and of itself - a dangerous thing to do and might result in numerous outcomes.

Oh, and the parrot? Last I heard he turned state's evidence and is singing like a canary.

Pamela

I'd like to find a fly in my bottled water so I could live forever on my mental distress award. Do you suppose it was a bottle fly? snort.

and a Snort for "Steph" coming up with the singing like a canary. Tooo funny.

Say It

See, I don't purchase guns, becuase I would want to carry it with me, then someone would cut me off in traffic and I'd use it. People need to know themselves better. If you carry a gun, you are going to shoot something. At 18 you should know this. (at 17 too, but legally 18)

Sharon

I'm with the Canadian Supreme Court on the bottled water/fly one.

The guy had a case in that the water company shouldn't have been selling flies in a bottle of drinking water. But even $12.50 is too much for the pitch he tried to sell on his 'mental suffering'.

Get over it, & either buy another brand of water or get your own filter & purifier! Sheesh!

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