Friday, July 31, 2009

Yeetle Box - The Beehive State

With no warning a Utah woman lost her homeowners insurance.

Patricia Hanson has been with the insurance company for over a decade but in May it canceled her policy because of chipped paint and weeds.

If someone were to drive by and take a picture of Hanson’s home they may think it was in bad shape - but only if you took a picture. Otherwise, it would look like any other shabby white house - like, well, the White House. However, Hanson points out that what you’re seeing is renovation in progress. Many other Utah homeowners are doing the same thing, and she doesn’t understand why her insurance company has ditched her. And she's not even a Mormon.

Hanson has been planning the upgrades to her home for some time now, but before she had the chance to get them done her insurance company pulled the plug, cancelling her homeowner’s policy without any notice.

“I didn't have a call from anybody, no contact, I don't even know who drove by, just came out of the blue,” says Hanson. "There was that one guy taking pictures, but I thought he was a landscaper."

Hanson says she got a letter in may after making a payment to renew her policy. She was stunned that it was explaining the reasons for cancellation - that it could talk! The one paragraph letter sstated, "Peeling paint on all portions of the dwelling. Overgrown vegetation…peeling paint on garage siding, window sills missing paint."

Boldly springing into action, Hanson got on the phone and explained work was being done to fix it. So, how do we know? She explains.

“If you look around you will see that most of the paint is on the ground here because we've been power washing,” says Hanson. "The rest is on the house because that's the style I'm goin' for. I'm getting rid of this, all the grass, going to a zero-scape so this is all covered to kill any of the grass that was left. And this is going, too,” she said pointing to the chimney sweep.

Hanson’s insurance agent is out of town while his home is being renovated, but did say on the phone they do give advanced warning when cancelling a policy. He said he will re-instate Hanson when the fixes are made and find her other coverage in the meantime. Perhaps COBRA.

Brad Tibbitts with the Utah Insurance Department says he’s heard of cases like this but they’re uncommon.

“The insurance companies have the right to find out whether or not the house is in good enough shape to be eligible for the premium rates,” says Tibbitts. "I had my insurance cancelled just for the lawn jockeys I had after ninja insurance agents discovered them and the whole in my basement."

He says they have to give a client 30 days notice before cancellation. However, homeowners are not required to notify their insurance companies before remodeling or upgrade work but it's not a bad idea.

Would be just as good an idea to tell the insurance comes to leave their clients alone - if they want clients.

The YeetleMaster

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Yeetle Box - Bubbles Recalls MJ's Last Days

On the day Michael Jackson died, his monkey, Bubbles, was behaving erratically, throwing feces at the wall - perhaps a hint of something amiss.

Bubbles, a Common Chimpanzee was rescued by Jackson from a cancer research clinic in Texas in 1985. The pair enjoyed a close relationship. Bubbles sat in for the recording sessions of the Bad album and escorted Jackson for the filming of the "Bad" music video.

During the Bad World Tour, he and the singer shared a two-bedroom hotel suite in Tokyo.Bubbles initially resided at the Jackson family's Encino home, but moved to Neverland Ranch in 1988, where he slept in a crib at the corner of Jackson's bedroom. Bubbles was allowed to use Jackson's private toilet, although the chimp sometimes wore a diaper.

Bubbles made a finger gesture towards Michael Jackson's doctor, Murray, coming and going from the mansion. The doctor usually arrived about 9 or 9:30 p.m. and would go upstairs to Jackson’s room, and Bubbles said he would not see him again before he left — sometimes late in the evening — but understood he was staying the night.

In the morning, Bubbles screached like a banshee as the the doctor came down the steps carrying oxygen tanks.

At about 1:30 p.m. Bubbles saw security guards who told the people on two legs and other staff to leave the property because "Mr. Jackson was being taken to the hospital."

When he came outside, she said, ambulances were in the courtyard and a crowd had gathered.

As for Bubble's future, Jackson encouraged him to learn more sign language and to better potty train himself.

Using gestures, Bubbles appeared to say, "He was an inspiration to me - in an evolutionary kinda way."

’We were all praying, ‘Help Mr. Jackson be OK.’

"Then everyone was very quiet, and I started throwing feces.

The YeetleMaster

Monday, July 27, 2009

Yeetle Box - The New American Value

Sarah Palin stepped down as Alaska governor on Sunday with a fiery speech reminiscent of her days as running mate to Republican John McCain — who lost the election by a sizeable margin. She frequently revved up crowds while attacking Democrats and the news media - two highly siginificant issues in today's economy.

On Sunday, Palin took on old foes in the media, Hollywood and the Lower 48 states. Old foes as in Brad Pitt, the New York Times and the rest of the country. She scolded reporters for making things up, mocked Hollywood stars who have opposed wolf-control programs (uh...yeah....wolf-control programs), and complained that "outside special interests still don't get it. Wolf-control programs don't work!"

Palin, 45, said she was resigning with more than a year left in her first term to take her political battles to a larger if unspecified stage and avoid an unproductive, lame duck status. Daffy Duck seemed to suit her more.

"With this decision, now, I will be able to fight even harder for you, for what is right, and for truth, and to race my ideological snow machine even faster across the tundra of America," the former Republican vice presidential candidate said.

Typical to form, Palin called her 2 1/2-year tenure as governor a success, citing efforts to take on the state's long-dominant oil industry and progress on development of a natural gas pipeline - two competing if not dissonant stances. She also cited ethics reform without even talking about her local scandals or her husband's scandals, or her daughter's scandals.

Palin leaves office with her political future clouded by ethics probes, mounting legal bills and dwindling popularity. She has been targeted by nearly 20 ethics complaints filed by Alaska residents, averaging one complaint for every 1,000 people in Alaska, for, you see, Alaska is tiny and irrelevant.

She did not refer directly to the ethics complaints in her 19-minute speech, but has repeatedly cited the financial and psychological toll of those investigations as a key reason she is stepping down. "I'm gonna tell it where's a body down," she said.

Palin said her departure would spare Alaska an unproductive, "politics as usual" lame-duck session, adding that she would always work for Alaska - except now because she'd be a lame duck.

"When I took the oath to serve you, I promised, remember what I promised? To steadfastly and doggedly guard the interests of this great state like that grizzly guards her cubs, as a mother naturally guards her own. And I will keep that vow wherever the road may lead," she said. "I might not be here, and I might not be Governor, and I might not even remember you, but you will always be in my heart needs metaphors?"

Free speech was a theme of her farewell speech at the crowded picnic in Fairbanks, as the outgoing governor scolded "some seemingly hell-bent on tearing down our nation" and warned Americans to "be wary of accepting government largesse."

"It doesn't come free," she said.

Palin also took aim at the media, saying her replacement, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, "has a very nice family too, so, hey! newsmen, leave those kids alone!"

And she told the media: "How about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit makin' things up?" (Let's pause and ask what she is talking about. OK, that's long enough.)

Larry Landry, 51, of Fairbanks held up a red, white and blue sign that that read, "Quitting: the new American value." The other side read: "Thanks for the laughs."

The YeetleMaster

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Yeetle Box - Furry Fury

A man plotted to kill his adoptive parents with the help of a friend he met on the internet at a site called, a site for “furries” – people who pretend to be animal characters and share sexual role-playing fantasies.

Apparently, Christopher Monks, 24, wanted Shaun Skarnes to murder his parents Christopher and Elizabeth Monks while they slept and then perform an extreme sex act on him.

The two played computer games before Skarnes left, telling Mr. and Mrs. Monks he was getting the train home to Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and thanking them for having him around.

Monks then watched a DVD with his parents while Skarnes waited for hours in a playpark nearby until he received a text from his friend, telling him the couple were asleep in the four-bedroom house they shared with their son. The text message read, “Furry Fury Go Go Go,” meaning the plan was a go.

Mr. Monks woke in the early hours of the morning to find Skarnes beside his bed dressed as a wolf, clutching a kitchen knife and a Chop-a-Matic.

Mr. Monks, dressed as a grizzly bear, grappled with the intruder and yelled for help from his wife, who was sleeping downstairs dressed as a viper.

Mr. Monks told the court: "I had this weird feeling he was trying to kill me. My wife tried to hit him with a stick but it broke. After the stick broke, she talked to him in a calming way, like a cobra might do. His manner changed completely."

Mr. Monks was left with bruised arms, a cut palm and bite marks.

The younger Monks, who was downstairs during the attack with his zipper stuck on his rabbit outfit, was initially treated as a witness but then later arrested.

Mr. Watson said Monks had talked about his sexual desire for his penis to be bitten off in online chatroom discussions.

He told the jury: "It may seem extreme that he wanted his penis bitten off, but there is ample evidence from websites he visited and conversations with Shaun Skarnes that this was a deeply held interest and one he found sexually stimulating. While many men fantasize about castration, apparently his fantasy got the best of him. Er…”

"It seems that Skarnes was to receive no money for killing Mr. and Mrs. Monks but the prospect of biting off Monks' penis. This was the climactic act of the conspiracy – a conspiracy that rivals even Dick Cheney’s wildest dreams who has shown extreme interest in the case."

Elizabeth Monks told the court that her adopted son was a quiet boy who never lost his temper and did well at his temping job at an educational training centre, where she also works. “He’s never talked to us about having his penis bitten off,” she said.

Her husband added: "We have no doubt that (Christopher) did not intend to go to this extreme. He knows that we would have done anything for him. Well, almost anything."

Skarnes, of Sutton Way, Ellesmere Port, and Monks, dressed as Bambi, both deny conspiracy to murder Mr. and Mrs. Monks.

The YeetleMaster