Recently in Unclear On The Concept Category

While researching today's WTW entry, I found this video of a lion 'embracing' and 'kissing' the woman who rescued him.

I got news for you, lady - he ain't kissing you, he's tasting you!

Camel. Needle's Eye. Some Assembly Required.


One of the reasons I don't attend the church of which I am nominally still a member is that less than 12 hours after I formally re-registered (after kind of lurking around the edges for a while), I received a fundraising call asking me how much money I was going to pledge towards the construction of their new $9,000,000 church. No, my '0' key didn't get stuck - the new building was going to cost NINE MILLION DOLLARS. And they weren't looking for chump change, either. I remember the exact words the fundraiser used: "How many thousand can you pledge over the next two years?" Now, to be clear, they definitely had outgrown the existing building, and I wasn't expecting them to build a big pole barn to replace it, but I'd bet they could have built a nice looking, perfectly suitable building for half that much.

So I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised by this in-your-face example of Prosperity Theology:

A Redford Township church that believes wealth is God's reward is raising eyebrows for buying its pastor a $3.65 million mansion and taking it off the tax rolls.

This month, township officials grudgingly conceded they had no choice but to remove the 11,000-square-foot home overlooking Maybury State Park from its assessment rolls, losing $40,000 annually in taxes.

They concluded the plush pad is a parsonage, but that hasn't quelled debate among township officials and neighbors about whether Christian charity extends to the Detroit World Outreach Church's purchase in September of the home for Pastor Ben Gibert and his wife and co-pastor, Charisse Gibert.

. . .

The 4,000-member church is part of a growing movement that preaches prosperity. Also known as "health and wealth" theology, the ideology preaches that God wants followers to do well, be healthy and have rewards -- such as the $50,000 Cadillac Escalade the church bought the Giberts, who have four children.

Ben Gibert said God surrounds the faithful with beautiful things.

I guess I can kind of understand his point, because I agree with Ben Franklin, who said "God loves us and wants us to be happy." OK, OK, Franklin really said "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy," so I'm kind of biased on the subject. But beer is one thing; an Escalade and a $3.65M mansion are something else.

One of the leaders of his church agrees. "God's empowerment is to make you have an abundant life," said Elder Marvin Wilder, a lawyer and general counsel for the church.

"In this country we value rock stars, movie stars and athletes. They can have a lavish lifestyle, and a pastor who restores lives that were broken shouldn't?
Rock stars, movie stars, athletes, megachurch pastors. Yep, all entertainers. I stand corrected.


If nothing's too good for your dog, then I've got the store for you:

If dogs desired sparkly jewelry, glittery makeup and sweet smells just like many little human girls, they'd feel like princesses in this newly opened Wallingford store.

Luckily for the founders of High Maintenance Bitch, which sells high-end pooch products, little princesses eventually grow into women dog owners -- preferably with spare cash and a strong affinity for double-entendres.

Of course, the name isn't a big hit with everybody:

"I am probably the most progressive liberal person in the world and I am personally offended by the sign," said Janet Stillman, executive director of the Wallingford Neighborhood Office.
Of course you're offended by it - it's because you're "the most progressive liberal person in the world!" Demeaning to womyn, and all that.

(Full disclosure: I admit that I'm about 0.5% bothered by the fact that the store's sign has both a dog and a woman on it. Then I just have another beer and go play some euchre until I think about something else.)

Extra! Read All About It! H5N1 Spotted At Newsstand!

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There's this newsstand owner in China who has an interesting assistant:

A duck that can help its owner sell newspapers recently attracted many curious pedestrians in Guangzhou's Liwan District.

The duck stands on a chair at a newspaper kiosk in the city's Baohua Road. It uses its mouth to help its master, an old man surnamed Wang, collect money or pass newspapers. [emphasis added]

I can see the excerpt from CDC's future "Report On Bird Flu What Killed Zillions" now:

Patient Zero was a newspaper vendor in Guangzhou, China...

You'd Think He Would Have Seen That One Coming

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I think James Randi wrote this Ananova headline: Psychic museum closes unexpectedly

A psychic museum is closing its doors - due to unforeseen circumstances.

Astrologer Jonathan Cainer set up the York Psychic Museum in 2003 but business has been less than expected.

Mr Cainer told the York Press he had handed over the lease, with the intention of making a return in 2008.
I'm not a psychic, but even I can predict that you won't get a lot of people willing to pay to see some bent spoons.


[filed under Unclear On The Concept even though I'm the one unclear on the concept here.]

United Hockey League commissioner Richard Brosal is apparently retiring after this season. Wait until you get a load of his plans:

Richard Brosal, commissioner of the UHL since 1997, will leave his position at the end of the season to become executive vice president of sales and marketing for the B2 Networks, which broadcast events to computers and televisions via the Internet.

B2 Networks provide coverage of UHL games, via a pay-per-view service.

We can't get anybody to watch NHL games! Why does Brosal think jumping to a network that broadcasts third-tier minor league hockey - in pay-per-view, no less - is a good career move?


I had occasion to be down at the county jail not too long ago, where I snapped this little bit of irony with my camera-ish phone-type thingy:

Yes, that's a metermaid truck. Yes, that's the sidewalk.

I recently had a pretty crappy experience with The details aren't really relevant; suffice to say that I'll never be ordering from them again. You'd think it would have occurred to somebody that they probably shouldn't keep me on their mailing list, but that's probably assuming too much intelligence on their part.

I finally got around to hitting the Unsubscribe link on one of their thrice-weekly emails (I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that since it just tells spammers that your email is a live one, but since I'd actually ordered from them it wasn't spam per se). The next page was another website, probably their email list manager (cheetahmail, maybe?), confirming that they'd removed me from their list and asking me to provide the reason why I was unsubscribing.

First, any data they get from this will be useless since the only choices are "I get too much email from 1-800-etc" and "I'm not interested in getting email from 1-800-whatever," and since it's a radio button with no "decline to answer" option, most people aren't going to care enough to do anything beyond hit Submit with whatever option was selected as default.

Second, after hitting Submit, you're forwarded to 1-800-dipshits' main page. Why would I want to go there if I'd just unsubscribed from their mailing list? I just expressed a desire to make them stop trying to sell me flowers; why would I want to go to their main page, the only purpose of which is to try to sell me flowers?


That Kind Of Advertising We Don't Need

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One of the issues of driving a vehicle with your company's name on it, particularly if you're a small business or one-man operation, is that if you hose somebody over in traffic, the negative association may make them less likely to buy from you.

"Tom Hoot Siding, Windows, and (whatever)," I'm looking at you.

Yeah, there's a website. No, I'm not going to link to it.

Have you seen the Home Depot commercial where the woman bumps her glass against the door of her old refrigerator (which has neither water-in-the-door nor an icemaker) and says something like "Huh. Water dispenser's broken. So's the icemaker." and the husband replies, "Point taken?"

In the next shot they're at Home Depot, looking at washers and dryers.


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