Friday, November 18, 2005

Weird Web Photo Gallery

Anyone you know? Look closely.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Prep School Panhandler

I'm curious -- what do you readers think of this mom's attempt to help her daughter? I'm still undecided.

Mom Makes Teen Stand on Street With Sign

By Sean Murphy, Associated Press Writer

(EDMOND, Okla.) -- Tasha Henderson got tired of her 14-year-old daughter's poor grades, her chronic lateness to class and her talking back to her teachers, so she decided to teach the girl a lesson.

She made Coretha stand at a busy Oklahoma City intersection Nov. 4 with a cardboard sign that read: "I don't do my homework and I act up in school, so my parents are preparing me for my future. Will work for food."

"This may not work. I'm not a professional," said Henderson, a 34-year-old mother of three. "But I felt I owed it to my child to at least try."

In fact, Henderson has seen a turnaround in her daughter's behavior in the past week and a half. But the punishment prompted letters and calls to talk radio from people either praising the woman or blasting her for publicly humiliating her daughter.

"The parents of that girl need more education than she does if they can't see that the worst scenario in this case is to kill their daughter psychologically," Suzanne Ball said in a letter to The Oklahoman.

Marvin Lyle, 52, said in an interview: "I don't see anything wrong with it. I see the other extreme where parents don't care what the kids do, and at least she wants to help her kid."

Coretha has been getting C's and D's as a freshman at Edmond Memorial High in this well-to-do Oklahoma City suburb. Edmond Memorial is considered one of the top high schools in the state in academics.

While Henderson stood next to her daughter at the intersection, a passing motorist called police with a report of psychological abuse, and an Oklahoma City police officer took a report. Mother and daughter were asked to leave after about an hour, and no citation was issued. But the report was forwarded to the state Department of Human Services.

"There wasn't any criminal act involved that the officer could see that would require any criminal investigation," Master Sgt. Charles Phillips said. "DHS may follow up."

DHS spokesman Doug Doe would not comment on whether an investigation was opened, but suggested such a case would probably not be a high priority.

Tasha Henderson said her daughter's attendance has been perfect and her behavior has been better since the incident.

Coretha, a soft-spoken girl, acknowledged the punishment was humiliating but said it got her attention. "I won't talk back," she said quietly, hanging her head.

She already has been forced by her parents to give up basketball and track because of slipping grades, and said she hopes to improve in school so she can play next year.

Donald Wertlieb, a professor of child development at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University, warned that such punishment could do extreme emotional damage. He said rewarding positive behavior is more effective.

"The trick is to catch them being good," he said. "It sounds like this mother has not had a chance to catch her child being good or is so upset over seeing her be bad, that's where the focus is."

Monday, November 14, 2005

Built For a Kilt

This past weekend, Mrs. Muley and I took our oldest daughter to the Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Salado. My daughter is very interested in and proud of her Scottish ancestry (on my wife's side of the family), and last year we went to the festival for the first time. My daughter loved it, and ended up getting us to give her a woman's kilt and a tartan tam as a Christmas present.

This was our second year to attend, and my daughter brought two friends along with her. A big highlight for her was that she got to taste haggis for the first time (she claims she LOVES it, and says it tastes like very seasoned hamburger, despite numerous reports that it tastes like something you'd find on the bottom of your shoe).

It's a somewhat surreal experience to be at a Scottish festival. Everywhere there are men in kilts walking around, and the sound of bagpipes, all playing different tunes on top of each other, is constant. Some might consider that to be one of Dante's circles of hell, but you get used to it after awhile, just like the noise of freight trains passing close to a house, or a pneumatic drill pounding away in a machine shop.

The most interesting thing about the festival for me was a piece of information I received from a genuine Scotsman that I haven't been able to verify yet. He said that there is an age-old feud between the clans of McDonald and Campbell. It's so bad, he said, that to this day in Scotland, people named Campbell will not eat in a McDonald's restaurant, and people named McDonald will not eat Campbell's soup. Even if he was pulling our legs about that, it's an interesting story.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Weird Web Photo Gallery

What happens when you cross the Cat in the Hat's hat, Big Bird and and a rainbow? Well, you get something that will certainly turn some heads when you wear it to church on Sunday.

When I see these weird fashion pictures, I always wonder what's going through the model's head when she's wearing contraptions such as this. Does she think she's being daring, or chic, or does she know that most of us will be laughing our rears off at her costume? Or does she even care what we plebians think?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Weird Web Photo Gallery

I'm not sure how to caption this.

"The Child is Father to the Man is Father to the"

"Mother and Child Reunion"

"The Ending of Kubrick's 2001 Finally Explained"

Any ideas?

Monday, November 07, 2005

Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

Does anybody really care?

I ask this question after a revelation I had today on the university campus on which I work. For some unkown reason -- possibly I was worried in the back of my mind that my old-fashioned wristwatch was so old-fashioned as to be dorkily laughable, I don't know -- I used my walk across campus to look at students' arms to learn what types of wristwatches they are wearing nowadays.

What I found is, put simply, that they don't wear wristwatches.

Of course, I exaggerate a bit. But I saw a lot of students, and did a lot of mental noting, and I'd say only about a third of the guys wore wristwatches, while maybe (maybe) only five percent of the women wore them.

I know that if you did a watch survey of my post-college colleagues in the building where I work, you'd find every single one of us timebound serfs was wearing a watch. So I want to know -- what causes the discrepancy between our two groups?

Is this an age thing? A cultural difference? A difference in life philosophies? Can college students not scarf up $14.95 for a Timex at Wal-Mart? Please tell me, dear readers, what you think the answer might be. I appeal to Humor Girl and any other college students reading this -- what's the deal?

I have a few possibilities that might or might not be the answer at this university:

1. College students, being the free spirits they are, don't need to be tied down by materialistic, capitalistic tools of slavery like clocks and watches. Besides, TIVO will record Lost and The OC when it's supposed to.

2. Since all college students are melded to electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops at all times, and since most of these gadgets tell time as well, there's no need for superfluous wristwatches.

3. Since the clock on the administration building here chimes out the quarter hours, and can be heard across much of campus, wristwatches aren't needed, at least by students who haven't attended an excessive number of rock concerts.

4. By not wearing a watch, students can always have a foolproof excuse for being late to classes and other pesky obligations.

5. Maybe wearing a watch is secret code for "I have extensive comic book and Star Wars figurine collections and live at home with my parents. Wanna go out sometime?"

So -- tell me your ideas. I want to figure this one out.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Weird Web Photo Gallery

If Pablo Picasso had owned a dog, it probably would have looked like this:

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Latest from Waco


Yesterday I heard my first Christmas tune of the season piped in through a sound system while shopping. The place was Wal-Mart, the song was "Jingle Bell Rock." Start your engines.


Speaking of piped-in music, the HEB grocery store I frequent plays 1960s and 1970s rock and pop hits, which I usually enjoy a lot, except when they interrupt a great tune I haven't heard in years to tell me that chicken gizzards are now available in the deli section. While I like the music, the teenagers who work the cash register and haphazardly bag my groceries absolutely hate it.

I have had this happen more than once. I wheel up with my cart and start unloading items, only to hear the checker, usually a teenaged boy with pimples, muttering loudly to impress his teenage female co-worker: "I hate this music. This music sucks! How can I work here with this stuff playing? Why don't they get some decent music in here? This sucks. I hate this music."

Of course, I empathize. If I had worked at a supermarket back in the 70s, and all they had playing over the speakers was Muzak and stuff like the Four Freshmen and Pat Boone, I would have gone nutso. So I know where they're coming from, even if I firmly believe the songs I grew up on are way superior to the drooling ghetto thump that most of these kids listen to. Maybe they understand, or maybe they don't, that if HEB played the stuff they wanted to hear over the speakers, Coldplay and Green Day and Simple Plan and Razzy Daddy Super Pimp 50 Cent Ghetto Hood rap, all the customers over the age of 23 would head down the road to buy their bagels at the Super Wal-Mart.


This is not something your typical good Baptist boy does, but I occasionally pick up extra money dealing blackjack. My brother-in-law owns a sideline business here in Waco called Vegas to Go, and they provide casino games for parties. He does a lot of sorority and fraternity parties at Baylor, as well as company parties, family reunions and the like. There's no cash betting allowed. Usually what happens is that the players are given a certain amount of funny money, which they use to buy chips. They then either lose their chips or add to them by playing Texas Hold 'Em poker, blackjack, craps or roulette, and then trade them in at the end for tickets to a raffle of some sort.

Blackjack is fairly easy to deal, and the people who play are usually young and doing it for fun. So it's usually enjoyable, even though sitting there and dealing hands for two or three hours at a time can get tedious. Mrs. Muley (who deals as well) and I will be spending part of tomorrow night dealing at a sorority party on a riverboat here in Waco. Should be fun.


I've always wondered -- why do they call it a "Living" Bra? Are there bacteria or some other type of living organisms woven into the fabric? If so, ladies, can you feel those critters wriggling around? If you put one of these things in a microwave for a minute on HIGH, would it then be called a "Dead" Bra? And would it still support the merchandise?


I have so far said nothing about my Houston Astros since they won the National League pennant. As you know, they tanked in the World Series, losing every game to Chicago. What can I say? Even though the games were close (distressingly so), Chicago actually brought their offense along to the ballpark and deserved to win. I'm just glad that the 'Stros finally made it to the big show after 44 years. I hope it's not another 44 till they're back again.

And since the Astros didn't win the Series, no, the world will not end. At least not because of that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Yes, I'll Take a (Cashier's) Check

From surfing around, I see that this is the latest gimmick. So here I go.

My blog is worth $13,548.96.
How much is your blog worth?

Anyone want to purchase the biting wit, hard-hitting analysis and sheer irrelevance of Muley's World? The money would help pay for a bathroom remodel, a few nice reading chairs and a big box of Dots candy. Send me an e-mail if interested.