October 24, 2006

Many major corporations have outsourced their customer service centers to foreign
countries.  Yesterday I had to call Microsoft for a problem on their new Internet Explorer 7
browser.  I will begin by saying they eventually solved the problem, for which I was grateful.   
But talk about a linguistic ordeal.  Between my Texan ears and his Indian accent, what could
have been a five minute call turned out to take thirty minutes.  It got so bad we were having to
spell words using examples such as "T as in Thomas, S as in Sam", etc.  It went through my
mind that the purpose of outsourcing to a foreign nation is to save money because it is
cheaper to hire foreign labor than American workers.  It is understandable that a company
would do this, however, they do not save money by using customer service representatives
that cannot be understood if it increases the length of the call six-fold.  On top of that it was
wasting my time and became quite frustrating.  Bill Gates needs to spend some of his $50
billion fortune and hire someone in Nebraska to answer customer service calls.

While most of the talk about Hillary Clinton involves her probable run for the Presidency in
2008, at the moment she is in a race for re-election as Senator from New York.  She is
expected to easily win the race, but it did turn a little more interesting due to comments from
her Republican opponent over the weekend.  According to news reports, he was quoted as
saying how ugly she used to be and how she now looks better thanks to millions of dollars of
plastic surgery.  He goes on to say he doesn't know why Bill Clinton would have married her.  
Click for article.   We present, you decide.














Song of the Day:
Steppenwolf/Magic Carpet Ride

Communications Headline of the Day:
Fatherhood Calling?


October 22, 2006

A recent locker room fight at a Killeen high school has been posted on the internet for the
world to enjoy.  
Click for article.  What is strange is that the parents and school district appear
to be more concerned about the fact it is now on YouTube than the ferocity of the fight itself.  
Click for video of fight.  Things have changed in the thirty-one years I've been out of school.  

It is supposed to get down to 38-degrees tonight with a gusty north wind.  Sure feels different,
and in my opinion better, than a couple of months ago.

In the recent televised debate between the Texas Senate candidates, incumbent Republican
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said she would not have voted for the Iraq war if she knew
then what she knows now.  
Click for article.   She further states Iraq has now become a
terrorist breeding ground.  As I continually say, what a mess.

Song of the Day:
Dusty Springfield/Wishin' and Hopin'

Incarceration Headline of the Day:
Talk About Wearing Out Your Welcome


October 20, 2006

The State Comptroller's office has announced the states sales tax receipts for the month of
August, 2006.  According to an article in the Mexia Daily News, the City of Kosse received
$1,596.11, an increase from last year’s check of $1,068.98.  For the year Kosse has received
$17,082.25, versus the 2005 totals of $11,488.25.  
Click for article.  This is a direct reflection
of the increased activity within our expanding business community.  

I witnessed a man risk his life in the service of others yesterday.  I was driving from Kosse to
Bremond and the time was around 7:00 a.m.  About three miles south of town an old Ford
truck was on fire.  When I came upon it, there was smoke pouring out of the hood and the
engine area and cab was blazing.  It was impossible to see if anyone was inside.  Two men
had already stopped when I arrived and they told me 911 had been called.  Our assumption
was someone could be inside the flaming cab, but the fire prevented any action.  We knew if
someone was inside they had no chance of survival.  It was a very strange feeling.  Evidently
there was ammunition in the vehicle, which began repeatedly exploding.   We watched
helplessly as the fire spread towards the gas tank area.  While now at a safe distance, we
knew a huge explosion would occur if the gas tank succumbed to the inferno.  A siren was
heard in the distance.  It was a Kosse fire truck with one person inside.  He quickly jumped out
and grabbed the water hose.  Throwing away regard to personal safety, he ran to the blaze
and begin hosing it down.  There was suddenly a loud bang which the fireman later told me
was an exploding tire.  It took a few minutes for him to totally extinguish the flames, and the
chance of an imminent explosion from the gas tank was ever-present.  Despite this danger,
the fireman continued his work until the fire was out.  Between the darkness and the smoke, I
could not tell who the fireman was.  I was witnessing a man put his own life at great risk in the
cause of community service.  A second Kosse fire truck arrived a few minutes later but the fire
was already out.  Fortunately there was no one in the totally burned-out Ford truck.  As I
walked toward the smoldering vehicle I could finally see who the fireman was.  We talked for a
couple of minutes and I was amazed at his calmness.  Perhaps the members of our volunteer
fire department face enough risks that this was just one more time.  I don't know if the fireman
related this story to anyone, but if he did I doubt he concentrated on the risk factor.  It was an
impressive display of courage by Donnie Ensminger.   

Song of the Day:
Shenandoah/Two Dozen Roses   

Masterpiece Headline of the Day:
The $139 Million Elbow


October 19, 2006

I received a request to post the following information regarding the upcoming baby shower for
Karen Partin.  

IT’S A BABY SHOWER!!!!!!!!
EVERYONE’S   INVITED……………
FOR: KAREN PARTIN
DATE: 29th OF OCTOBER 2006
TIME: 2:00pm TO 4:00pm
PLACE: KOSSE COMMUNITY CENTER
GIVEN BY: FRIENDS AND FAMILY
PHONE: 254-375-2877
REGISTERED AT: TARGET AND WAL-MART
(HINT) it's a g...        

Congratulations to Tim and Karen on the upcoming addition to their family.


Part VI: Roots of the Kosse Cafe

During the first ten years of the cafe's existence, we employed a large number of Peggy's
family members.  They are a unique group of people with a wide variety of personalities.  Like
many strong families, they would argue among themselves but encircle the wagons if a family
member was in need.  This anecdote involves both the former and latter.  

I was peacefully sitting on my derriere at my office when I received a call from a distressed
employee of the cafe.  I was informed there was a brawl in progress in the kitchen of the cafe.  
I could hear screaming in the background.  The uproar involved an aunt and niece.  Somehow
it had turned physical and in the midst of the scuffle the gravy ladle had been flung out of the
gravy pot. The airborne ladle had succeeded in landing hot cream gravy on the face of the
aunt.  She was not amused. We take great pride in our made-from-scratch gravy, however, it
is not intended to be used as ammunition during a conflagration of angry cooks.  I do want to
mention it was an accidental scalding, but this was of no concern at that moment to the aunt
whose face was being temporarily charcoaled.  As fate would have it, the pseudo-WWE match
was being enjoyed by a number of customers.  I would have advertised and charged
admission if I had known in advance of the melee, but alas it was an impromptu event.  I hung
the phone up and quickly waddled out of my office to head to the sparring sight.  By the time I
arrived the physical aspect of the brawl had ended.  The aunt and niece had identical
descriptions of the incident, although with a very different perspective.  I asked the aunt if she
needed to go to the doctor for her slightly cauterized face but she assured me she was fine.  
Now for the irony of the story:  As mentioned above, Peggy's family members would argue
among themselves but pull together in defense of a threat from an outside source.  As I began
my short obligatory harangue, they were suddenly in their protective of each other mode.  As
a result the hostile feelings between them immediately and totally subsided.  On that hot
August day in 1994, I saw for the first time the underlying emotion and loyalty that is felt
among Peggy's family.  

Song of the Day:
Jay and the Americans/This Magic Moment

National Pastime Headline of the Day:
A Moment to Die For


October 17, 2006

I received a forwarded e-mail from Theresa Theiss, owner of AG Accounting & More in
downtown Kosse.  I receive a significant number of forwarded e-mails.  Most are deleted after
the first sentence is read.  Occasionally one comes across the monitor that is actually
interesting.  The one from Theresa fits the latter category.  I do not know if all of these things
are true or not, but I imagine they are since I know many of them are correct.  I am postponing
the "Roots of the Kosse Cafe" series until the next post so as to print the following.  

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed to beat his wife with a
stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have "the rule of thumb".

Many years ago in Scotland, a new game was invented. It was ruled "Gentlemen Only...Ladies
Forbidden"...and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV were Fred and Wilma
Flintstone.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S.Treasury.

Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

Coca-Cola was originally green.

It is impossible to lick your elbow.

The State with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...)

The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour: 61,000

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

The San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander, the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar

111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321

If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in
battle. If the horse has one front leg in the air the person died as a result of wounds received
in battle. If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and
Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn't added
until 5 years later.

Q. Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of what?
A. Their birthplace

Q. Most boat owners name their boats. What is the most popular boat name requested?
A. Obsession

Q. If you were to spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you would find the
letter "A"?
A. One thousand

Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers, and laser printers all have in
common?
A. All were invented by women.

Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the year?
A. Father's Day

In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled
on the ropes the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the
phrase......... "goodnight, sleep tight."

It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding,
the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a
honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey
month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts... So in old England, when customers got
unruly, the bartender would yell at them "Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down."
It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of
their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet
your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

~~~~~~~~~~~AND FINALLY~~~~~~~~~~~~

At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their elbow!

Don't delete this just because it looks weird. Believe it or not, you can read it.
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor
of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the
ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit
pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is
bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Amzanig huh?

YOU KNOW YOU ARE LIVING IN 2006 when...

1. You accidentally enter your PIN on the microwave.
2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.
3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.
5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have e-mail
addresses.
6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help
you carry in the groceries.
7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen.
8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first 20 or 30 (or
60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.
10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your coffee.
11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )
12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.
14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.
15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list.

Song of the Day:
The Who/Pinball Wizard
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