Monday, February 05, 2007

Da Bears, Chewbacca, Europe, floating porcupines, and diapers

Chicago is going through its post-mortems around the Bears' loss. No word on if the city will have a "second place" parade. If they have one, no one will go. It's so cold that I don't think anyone would show up if they had won the thing. It's so cold that within 15 seconds this morning, my nose hairs were frozen (I know, that's much more than you ever wanted to know about me).

But, in good news...

This week's theme:
Trekkie Music Videos?

Nerd Pride! Here's "Starfleet Rhapsody". You'll only get the jokes if you followed the Next Generation.

On to the news:

Chewbacca arrested
(Today's been a weird one)

Woman wins big jackpot at casino
(A baby)

Cat gets credit card
(Dead people vote all the time in Chicago... what's the big deal?)

Police chief gives himself a ticket
(Finally, an honest cop!)

Quote of the day:

A feature I just dreamed up... let's see if it becomes regular.

Upon running into a deer while out skiing, a doctor remarked: "My first thought was, 'What hit me?...a (snow) boarder? drunk skier? linebacker?'"


Bright, shiny objects: is getting a little forward with us
(I'll be sure to call you.)

Take a bad song to try to cover. Do a bad job.
(Unintentional comedy rating: high)

Today's random "next blog":

Romanian poetry
(In translation... I told you these things were random)

The Monday playlist feature:

I actually checked and the I Love the 90s videos were still up. In theory, today would have been 1994. But, in case I revive the 90s theme for next week, I'll put that off. Nah, I'm in the mood for something 80s. So, let's see what America was listening to around this time in 1987.

5) Samantha Fox -- Touch Me (I Want Your Body)

4) Billy Vera and the Beaters -- At This Moment (YouTube's only sorta heard of it... Here's a cover)

3) Bon Jovi -- Livin' on a Prayer (It's OK... it would be the first thing I click on too.)

2) Cyndi Lauper -- Change of Heart

1) Madonna (why is she in every single countdown I do?) -- Open Your Heart

So, we have two one-hit wonders of whom I've never even heard, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper (when did she ever put that song out?) and Madonna. I love the 80s... or was it 90s. Hard to tell any more.

Today's strange anniversary:

February 5, 1783 -- Sweden recognizes US independence. Thanks guys. 7 years late. And ABBA sucks.

Fun fact of the day:

All porcupines float in water. (I'm so gonna get sued for this one.)

And finally:

I saw this one as I was completing the blog as a late-breaking news story on MSNBC.

Headline: Astronaut arrested in alleged kidnap attempt.
ORLANDO, Fla. - An astronaut drove from Houston to Florida, donned a disguise and confronted a woman she believed was romantically involved with a space shuttle pilot she was in love with, police said. She was charged with attempted kidnapping and other counts.

OK, so far it's just a normal average everyday story.

U.S. Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak, 43, who flew last July on a shuttle mission to the international space station, was also charged with attempted vehicle burglary with battery, destruction of evidence and battery. She was denied bail.

So these are the people that get to go into space?

Police said Nowak drove from her home in Houston to the Orlando International Airport — wearing diapers so she wouldn't have to stop to urinate — to confront Colleen Shipman.

So... she drove to an airport 900 miles away... when she could have just flown. In a diaper. I think we're seeing a pattern starting to form.
Nowak believed Shipman was romantically involved with Navy Cmdr. William Oefelein, a pilot during space shuttle Discovery's trip to the space station last December, police said.

My brother's response: Gives new meaning to the term "mile high club."

Nowak told police that her relationship with Oefelein was "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship," according to an arrest affidavit. Police officers recovered a love letter to Oefelein in her car.

If you've seen Wedding Crashers... start thinking about Isla Fisher's character.

NASA spokesman James Hartsfield in Houston said that, as of Monday, Nowak's status with the astronaut corps remained unchanged. "What will happen beyond that, I will not speculate," he said. Hartsfield said he couldn't recall the last time an astronaut was arrested and said there were no rules against fraternizing among astronauts.

Well, that answers all the "Why does NASA have so many problems?" questions. Isn't James Hartsfield the lead singer of Metallica?

When she found out that Shipman was flying to Orlando from Houston, Nowak decided to confront her, according to the arrest affidavit. Nowak drove the 900-mile trip from Houston to Orlando wearing diapers, police said.

Astronauts wear diapers during launch and re-entry.

Yeah, that was too much information.
Dressed in a wig and a trench coat, Nowak boarded an airport bus that Shipman took to her car in an airport parking lot. Shipman told police she noticed someone following her, hurried inside the car and locked the doors, according to the arrest affidavit. Nowak rapped on the window, tried to open the car door and asked for a ride. Shipman refused but rolled down the car window a few inches when Nowak started crying. Nowak then sprayed a chemical into Shipman's car, the affidavit said. Shipman drove to the parking lot booth, and the police were called.

I think we have a visual... I think we have a visual. Wig. Trench coat. Diaper. Now, let's play a game of "Good Idea, Bad Idea." If you saw that rapping on your window, would you roll the window down?
During a check of the parking lot, an officer followed Nowak and watched her throw away a bag containing the wig and BB gun. They also found a steel mallet, a 4-inch folding knife, rubber tubing, $600 and garbage bags inside a bag Nowak was carrying when she was arrested, authorities said.

She blamed it on MacGyver.
Inside Nowak's vehicle, which was parked at a nearby motel, authorities uncovered a pepper spray package, an unused BB-gun cartridge, latex gloves and e-mails between Shipman and Oefelein. They also found a letter "that indicated how much Mrs. Nowak loved Mr. Oefelein," an opened package for a buck knife, Shipman's home address and hand written directions to the address, the arrest affidavit said.

Police said Nowak told them that she only wanted to scare Shipman into talking to her about her relationship with Oefelein and didn't want to harm her physically.

"If you were just going to talk to someone, I don't know that you would need a wig, a trench coat, an air cartridge BB gun and pepper spray," said Sgt. Barbara Jones, a spokeswoman for the Orlando Police Department. "It's just really a very sad case. ... Now she ends up finding herself on the other side of the law with some very serious charges."

Thanks for clearing that one up for us, Barbara.
If convicted of attempted kidnapping, Nowak could face a maximum of life in prison. It was not immediately known whether Nowak had an attorney.

According to NASA's official biography, Nowak is married with three children. During her 13-day mission in July she operated the robotic arm during three spacewalks. Oefelein piloted the space shuttle Discovery in December. He has two children, according to a NASA biography.

Do you ever look around you and wonder how it is that our species survives?

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