2007.01.04 Goodbye '06

Written by David Green.


I’ve been not working pretty hard this long weekend. I’ve covered a basketball game, I’ve written a few stories, I’ve worried about returning to work and creating a newspaper, but I’ve also messed around more than I would in a typical weekend.

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to give you this year-end quiz, along with all the answers. In 2007, I resolve to do this no more than once a month.

• Watch it broil

Q: Thieves are stealing oven doors, repackaging them in Wal-Mart boxes and selling them on the street—with power cord and remote—as what?      A: Flat screen TVs.

• What’s with Merle?

Q:  Who sang this song in 2006?

“Let’s get out of Iraq, and get back on the track.”

A: Merle Haggard, who rhymes Iraq with track. I read his song like Iraq and trock.

• Spry seniors

Q:  How many pounds does former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 69, claim to lift with a leg press? How about 76-year-old evangelist Pat Robertson?   A: 400 pounds. 2,000 pounds.

• Of course, it’s Willy

Q:  Louisiana police found a pound and a half of marijuana on Willie Nelson’s tour bus, but that wasn’t all they found. What else? 

A: Three ounces of psychedelic mushrooms.

• They’re taking over

Q:  The average American home has how many humans and how many TVs?  A: 2.55 humans, 2.73 TVs.

• New menus coming

Q:  The world is on schedule to run out of seafood due to pollution and overfishing by what year?    A: 2048.

• $2 extra for general

Q:  Want to join the Iraqi army? How much will a full commando outfit set you back on the streets of Baghdad?

A: The equivalent of $24.

• Such realism

Q:  Students from a Ft. Lauderdale high school criminology class found the usual plastic skeletons, etc., in a fake crime scene created in a park. What else did they stumble across?

A: The dead body of a homeless man.

• Not quite the real thing

Q:  What is a Flat Daddy?

A: Cardboard cutout photos of soldiers serving in Iraq, distributed to family members through the Maine National Guard.

• Naughty ballot

Q:  What was the typo in the Ottawa (Mich.) County ballot that led to reprinting at a cost of $40,000?

A: In a proposed state constitution amendment, the word “pubic” was used instead of “public.”

• Coming full circle

Q:  How did talk show voice Bill O’Reilly propose to succeed in Iraq?

A: Shoot anyone on sight after dark. “That’s how I’d run that country. Just like Saddam ran it.”

• Who’s he?

Q:  Which album did Rolling Stone magazine pick as the best of 2006?   A: Bob Dylan’s “Modern Times.”

•The best, the worst

Q:  What did the magazine choose as the best and worst movies of the year?  A: “The Departed” and “Bobby.”

• When does the party begin?

Q: . How much money was set aside in the 2006 defense bill for a day-long celebration of  success in Iraq and Afghanistan?

A: $20 million.

• Outsource my life

Q:  Approximately how many American and Briton citizens now work in the information technology industry in India?   A: 30,000.

• Yeah, but he’s Ivy League

Q: How many minutes did it take a Princeton researcher to hack into a Diebold voting machine?    A: One minute.

• Can’t fence me out

Q: What’s the estimated number of “illegal immigrants” living in the U.S. who have simply overstayed a legal visa?  A: 45 percent.

• Excuses, excuses

Q: What do these bad boys all have in common – Mel Gibson, Rep. Mark Foley, Brandon Davis, Ohio’s own Rep. Bob Ney and Danny DeVito?

A: They all blamed booze for clouding their good sense and allowing them to partake in embarrassing behavior.

I think I know what they’re saying. I went through too much quality chocolate last weekend and started acting a little foolish myself.

    - Jan. 4, 2007 
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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