Sunday, August 19, 2007

Men Accused of Murder-By-Snake Plot

AP Photo/
Two men who allegedly tried to use rattlesnakes as deadly weapons to collect on a debt have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, authorities said.

The Lakewood men were allegedly trying to kill Matthew Sowash, owner of Amateur Poker Tour in Wheat Ridge, because he owed them $60,000, Jim Shires of the Jefferson County Sheriff's office said. Arrest affidavits say Sowash's company stages Texas Hold'em-style poker games in Denver area bars.

Herbert Paul Beck, 56, was arrested Thursday in Raton, N.M., and Christopher Lee Steelman, 34, was arrested Wednesday in Lakewood.

Bail for each suspect was set at $500,000 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and extortion.

Investigators said Steelman told them the two men discussed ways to kill Sowash and Beck suggested rattlesnakes. Beck allegedly told investigators he invested $36,000 in the company last December, and with interest was due $60,000.

The plan was to build a wooden box to hold the snakes and "the lid was to be built to allow Sowash's legs to be put inside but not pulled out."

"The final and most disturbing method to Steelman was Beck wanting to kidnap Sowash's children and use them as leverage to get the money from Sowash," according to the affidavits.

Sowash contacted the Colorado Bureau of Investigation after getting threatening e-mails.

Both defendants have extensive arrest records. Shires didn't know if they had lawyers to speak for them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Sandstone County * Episode Sixty-One

Sandstone County Sheriffs Department - To Serve, To Protect, To Get Rid of All Dirtbag Criminals by 2026

Little Bobby's kindergarten class was on a field trip to Sandstone Police Station. One of the things they saw were pictures tacked to a big bulletin board. The label on the board clearly read, "The 10 Most Wanted."

One of the other youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was a photo of a wanted person.

"Of course kid," said Deputy Hidrent, "the detectives want him very badly."

So Little Bobby asked, while reaching down and tugging on Hidrent's belt, "Um, mister, why didn't you just keep them when you took their pictures?"

Friday, August 17, 2007

You Are Here

I always felt there were more important places for the infamous 'You Are Here' signs, that are typically found in malls and such. One of my greatest ideas was to have a "You Are Here' sign, complete with map, placed on my gravestone.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Add A Caption 32

Who has a caption for this snapshot?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Surprise Result

This seems like something my grandson would do.

Omphaloskepsis 10

In the 60's, people took acid to make the world weird.
Now the world is weird and people take Prozac to make it normal.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Swapping Heads with Paint Shop Pro

Swapping heads in photographs seems to be one of the favorite photo manipulations. This tutorial shows how easy the task can be using Paint Shop Pro. Start by opening both photos. Continue the process by using the Freehand Selection Tool, which is found under the Learning Centers Home page, picking Collage and then clicking Make Selections. Choose the Smart Edge option from the Tools Option Palette under selection type. Once your options are set, select the photo with the head you wish to use and you can begin tracing around the head. This should be done with several short selections. When the process is complete simply double click your mouse. Copy this selection to the clipboard by Pressing Ctrl + C, or choosing Edit Copy.

Now, make your receiving photo the active image (I chose an image of a couple of gay deputies from Sandstone County) and then press Ctrl + L, or choose Edit Paste As New Layer. From the Learning Center’s Home page, choose Collage, and then choose Move Collage Elements and the pick tool will be activated. Resize your head and rotate as necessary. Finally, move the head into it's final position and save your work.

Here, I have cropped the photo of the gay deputies from Sandstone County, so you could see the results better.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Rantings, Ramblings, and Other Miscellaneous Stuff: Are You A Bad Speller?

Everyone, please check out the video that Sunni has posted at her great site. If you have a sense of humor at all, you should love this video clip. I have not laughed that hard in a long time. Hell, I was still chuckling long after I viewed it. Go to -

Rantings, Ramblings, and Other Miscellaneous Stuff: Are You A Bad Speller? and lighten up your day. Believe me, this link will be well worth your time. If not, go down to your local Five and Dime (do they still exist) and buy yourself a large portion of 'sense of humor' and use the whole thing.

Dangerous Challenge Issued

Music Trivia 19

In the second verse of this song someone sings -

Ive been lonely, Ive been cold.
Ive been looking for a woman to have and hold . . .

What line follows this? What is the name of the song? And who sings it?

Sunni Kay does it again! she correctly responded with -

Mistreated by Deep Purple?

and The next line in the song is...

'cause I know, yes, I know I've been mistreated.
Since my baby left me I've been losing, I've been losing,
I've been losing my mind, baby baby babe.

Thanks for your participation Sunni.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Fixing Red Eyes with Paint Shop Pro

Red eyes (or green eyes with animals) is a common problem in flash photography and can ruin an otherwise great photo. As always, this is best avoided before the shutter is released. Having missed the opportunity to eliminate the problem beforehand it's time to fire up Paint Shop Pro.

With Paint Shop Pro the problem is sometimes easy to solve. Here is a quick fix for getting rid of red eye. Sometimes this fix will not be totally successful. In this case, Paint Shop Pro has other tricks up it's sleeve for fixing your red eye problem. The more advanced features will not be covered here, but will be addressed in another post at some future date. For now, try this quick fix and see if it isn't enough to improve your photos.

To attempt a quick fix go to the Learning Center's Home page and click on Retouch and Restore and then on Fix Red Eyes (of course). Zoom in on the eyes in your photo and place the circular cursor over the red portion of one of the eyes. Increase the size of this circle, if need be, in the Tool Options palette. Click the mouse and hopefully your problem is gone. If not hit undo, increase the cursor size and try it again. Repeat this process with all discolored eyes. Remember, there are more advanced methods to experiment with if this quick procedure just doesn't do the trick.

Bedtime Stories

One of my favorite comedies is a 1995 movie called Major Payne starring Damon Wayans. One of my favorite scenes in this movies is when Major Payne is telling his version of a bedtime story. This little comic reminded me of that scene and gave me a good laugh.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bicycle Safety and Such

One of my pet peeves is overly cautious, fearful people. Safety is good - to a point. Now, many may say you can never be too safe. I respectfully disagree. I remember when a new safety program was instituted at a place where I used to work. A safety meeting was held each Friday where everyone was required to submit three (3) safety violations or areas that could be improved. In the early stages this worked well and many improvements were made. Before too long, however, most of our bases were covered yet everyone was still mandated to submit three violations. With the lack of obvious things to contribute many employees started making up offenses and doing school-like tattling on one another. The following weeks the revenge factor set in with people retaliating on others with lies of their own. It was a nightmare. This doesn't necessarily prove we safety can be overdone but, it's a negative remembrance that occurred to me, as I started this post.

From A Different World
Bucky Covington

"We were born to mothers who smoked and drank
Our cribs were covered in lead based paint
No child proof lids no seat belts in cars
Rode bikes with no helmets and still here we are, still here we are
We got daddy’s belt when we misbehaved
Had three TV channels you got up to change
No video games and no satellite
All we had were friends and they were outside, playin’ outside . . .

. . . No bottled water, we drank from a garden hose"

What really bothers me the most is when parents become overly cautious with their children. While their intentions are good and even understandable, I think it is often over practiced.

New airbag for bicycles

While it bothers me somewhat to see kids with bicycle helmets, it really irks me when I see adults wearing bicycle helmets. Get a backbone! You guys look stupid. Why not wear full body armor. If you are that scared of life and it's activities stay locked in your home and maybe have your meals delivered. There are times for this type of gear, like maybe a racetrack but not in small town neighborhoods. I used to fly around on a motorcycle sans helmet. So why would one need protective gear for a bike.

I've so much more for this subject but, I have to go. I'm sure I've offended some and that many now consider me wild and irrational but relax and put on a Bucky Covington song. Live a little, because "We turned out alright".

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Finally Camping

We finally, got to take our virgin (with this camper) camping trip this year. We went to The Gull Lake Recreation Area Campground which is run by the Corps of Engineers. It is an excellent place to camp. Great for families. We stayed at site 16 while my daughter and her family stayed at site 17. My niece camped at site 32 with her husband and boys. We were there from about 1 or 2 pm Saturday until about 1 or 2 pm Tuesday. The weather was great, considering all the heat and humidity we had at home recently. We had none of that horrendous weather this trip, thank God. The time we spent there was wonderful but, too short. We can't wait to return.

My grandson was often engaged in trying to
catch the chipmunks which frequented our site.

One morning a chipmunk was spotted
trying to drive off with my grandson's truck.

Roasting marshmallows and making smores
was a favorite pastime for the kids.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Big Smile

I've got a big smile on my face. I am going to work in a few minutes (no I'm NOT smiling about that) and when I return on Saturday I'm off on a four day/three night camping trip (now that's something to smile about). It's been a long time coming and I can't wait!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Purchased Camper

On the 18th of July, my wife and I purchased a 2000 Dutchman M-1203 Classic Pop-up camper. I couldn't post a picture until today because I immediately took it in and had air conditioning installed. It's in great shape and it seems we got a good deal on it.

My wife wanted a full-fledged RV - I did not. I like RV's and would enjoy one but, this was not my goal here. I bought a camper. Campers are great and RVs are great but, they are two distinct creatures in my mind. I sold my wife on a pop-up by highlighting the gas saving ability of these campers. I would have given gas mileage zero consideration, just a short time ago. With today's gas prices, I like the idea of the camper folding down to a height which really minimizes wind drag. Aside from that, I discovered something I really liked at the dealership, which I had not considered before - the openness.

After sitting in a couple of pull behind trailers of full height I suggested we check out the pop-ups. I sat in one and fell in love! With the window covering fully open I could look around in a panoramic view, in every direction. This may not be important to others but, to me this was huge. I know of no other camper style or RV which can offer this. Hell, you can't even get this 360 degree view in most tents. As far as I know, this is unique to pop-ups. I was sold on this style of camper. Now with a specific style in mind, it was time to do some horse trading.

After a few hours, at a couple of dealers, we were not happy with the price quotes given us. We almost purchased a new 10 footer at one dealer but, decided to return home and think about it further. On the ride home we were considering putting off a camper purchase for a while. Suddenly, on the last main road just before our house and only two blocks from home, there was a pop-up camper parked close to the roadside. It was completely set up and looking good. My wife said to stop and check it out. I pointed out that it had no for sale sign in it and somebody was probably just airing it out.

The next day she proved me wrong (again), when she stopped there on her way home from work. It was for sale. It was in great shape. And it had an excellent price. And it was a 12 footer. We could save tons of money and gain 2 feet buying this camper instead of the new one we almost bought. Two feet in your living room may not be much but, in a pop-up it's a huge difference. The rest is now history. We consider it fate, as we were talking ourselves out of a camper purchase on the way home and then spotted this gem just 2 blocks from our house.

Happy camping coming soon!

Add A Caption 30

Anyone have a caption for this pic?

This week's caption goes to

Skittles who said...

"I think I can, I think I can.."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Omphaloskepis 9

The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere
in the universe, is that none of it has ever tried to contact us.