As this is written, we are about to start the second week of the big-@$$ #govtshutdown, as federal workers remain on furlough, except for such essential services as: 1) blocking national monuments in the Nation's capital that were basically left on their own the rest of the year, 2) picking on World War II veterans in wheelchairs who have been through a lot worse, 3) running old people from their homes which happen to sit on federal land, and 4) the occasional postal worker driving on somebody's lawn (which, in all seriousness, is an extremely rare occurrence). This can only be the fault of Republicans in Congress, who are forcing the President to take such draconian measures to prove a point, whatever that may be. If you can't believe that, you can believe Miley Cyrus. (Stop watching at twenty seconds, or risk becoming violently ill.)
Meanwhile, far enough from the Beltway to get off unscathed, and otherwise here on planet Earth:
• A report is out from the City of Tolerance that is San Francisco, the police have had enough of this madcap shenanigans, and are cracking down on illegal gaming, which they say has been attracting the wrong element. What else can you expect when the game is ...? (AP)
• In a less dangerous form of entertainment and ingenuity, someone has finally found a use for those old umbrellas that keep stacking up in the umbrella holder in the foyer. (Instructables)
• In the Old Testament, we read of how Lot's wife turned back to look at the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah, only to turn into a pillar of salt. Legions of biblical scholars have attempted to reduce this phenomenon to a scientific explanation, while the birds at a lake in northern Tazmania have found one the heard way. (Your Daily Media)
• Meanwhile, closer to home, other birds have met an even sorrier fate: “Excuse me, miss, but there’s a hair in my Chicken McNuggets.” We can only hope that's all it is. (REALfarmacy.com )
• Finally, in a related story, they're making buns out of pretzels, and having fries with the burgers that are ON the burgers, but this -- THIS, my friend, is where we have to draw the line! (People)
And that's all the news that fits. As the week goes on, and while you watch this guy carve a rocking chair out of a dead tree stump without power tools, stay tuned, and stay in touch.