Monday, February 28, 2005

March comes in like a lion....

Classic SNL (especially for those of you who were too young to appreciate it when it was originally aired):

Chevy Chase:
Last week we made the comment that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Now here to reply is our chief meteorologist, John Belushi, with a seasonal report.

John Belushi:
Thank you Chevy. Well, another winter is almost over and March true to form has come in like a lion, and hopefully will go out like a lamb. At least that's how March works here in the United States.

But did you know that March behaves differently in other countries? In Norway, for example, March comes in like a polar bear and goes out like a walrus. Or, take the case of Honduras where March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a salt marsh harvest mouse.

Let's compare this to the Maldive Islands where March comes in like a wildebeest and goes out like an ant. A tiny, little ant about this big.

[holds thumb and index fingers a small distance apart]

Unlike the Malay Peninsula where March comes in like a worm-eating fernbird and goes out like a worm-eating fernbird. In fact, their whole year is like a worm-eating fernbird.

Or consider the Republic of South Africa where March comes in like a lion and goes out like a different lion. Like one has a mane, and one doesn't have a mane. Or in certain parts of South America where March swims in like a sea otter, and then it slithers out like a giant anaconda.

There you can buy land real cheap, you know? And there's a country where March hops in like a kangaroo, and stays a kangaroo for a while, and then it becomes a slightly smaller kangaroo. Then, then, then for a couple of days it's sort of a cross between a, a frilled lizard and a common house cat.

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Wait wait wait wait. Then it changes back into a smaller kangaroo, and then it goes out like a, like a wild dingo. Now, now, and it's not Australia! Now, now, you'd think it would be Australia, but it's not!

[Chevy Chase tries to interrupt him]

Now look, pal! I know a country where March comes in like an emu and goes out like a tapir. And they don't even know what it means! All right? Now listen, there are nine different countries, where March comes in like a frog, and goes out like a golden retriever. But that- that's not the weird part! No, no, the weird part is, is the frog. The frog- The weird part is-

[has seizure and falls off chair]

I desperately seek the audio clip (if not a video clip) of this classic bit. Any one have any leads? Credit to Paul Frankenstein's blog, where this was posted as a comment to this post (I was unable to send a track-back ping).

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Unanswered questions

Some of these are sooo old....

1. Can you cry under water?

2. How important does a person have to be before they are considered
assassinated instead of just murdered?

3. If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?

4. Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?

5. Why do you have to "put your two cents in".. . but it's only a
"penny for your thoughts"? Where's that extra penny going to?

6. Once you're in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you
were buried in for eternity?

7. Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

8. What disease did cured ham actually have?

9. How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it
would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

10. Why is it that people say they "slept like a baby" when babies
wake up like every two hours?

11. If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing?

12. If you drink Pepsi at work in the Coke factory, will they fire you?

13. Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON TV?

14. Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in
binoculars to look at things on the ground?

15. How come we choose from just two people for President and fifty
for Miss America???

16. Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to
see you naked anyway.

17. If a 911 operator has a heart attack, whom does he/she call?

18. Why is "bra" singular and "panties" plural?

19. Do illiterate people get the full effect of Alphabet soup?

20. Who was the first person to look at a cow and say, "I think I'll
squeeze these dangly things here, and drink whatever comes out!"

21. Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a
horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

22. Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer? (i've
always wondered.. ;)

23. When your photo is taken for your driver's license, why do they
tell you to smile? If you are stopped by the police and asked for
your license, are you going to be smiling?

24. If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a stupid song
about him?

25. Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

26. If the professor on Gilligan's Island can make a radio out of a
coconut, why can't he fix a hole in a boat?

27. Why do people point to their wrist when asking for the time, but
don't point to their crotch when they ask where the bathroom is?

28. Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours?
They're both dogs!

29. What do you call male ballerinas?

30. Can blind people see their dreams? Do they dream?

31. If Wyle E. Coyote had enough money to buy all that ACME crap, why
didn't he just buy dinner?

32. If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from
vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

33. If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

34. Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?

35. Do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?

36. Why did you just try singing the two songs above?

37. Why do they call it an asteroid when it's outside the hemisphere,
but call it a hemorrhoid when it's in your butt?

38. Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog's face, he gets
mad at you, but when you take him for a car ride; he sticks his head
out the window?

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Here it comes

Hosted by

Get the latest...

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Westward, HO!

What? Another nickel?? Just what we need. I applaud the efforts of a revised profile of President Thomas Jefferson, and sure commemorate the Buffalo (I have a cache of the original Buffalo nickels somewhere..), but now they're getting carried away with their 'series'.
I enjoy the State Quarters. My much-better-half and I have a tub of State Quarters we've decided to save, indefinitely, in the hopes of perhaps finding rare ones down the line.

I try to use Golden Dollars wherever I go (in part, to annoy people, but as a bigger part, to get them into circulation). I used to do the same with Susan B. Anthony coins, but of late they're harder to come by. I never had a problem telling the difference between a quarter and an SBA, but I can understand how others would. I figure we're not alone. Already pennies are horded by the masses, in jars, piggy banks, automobile cup-holders, etc. What good IS a penny, any way? Round everything up to a nickel and be done with it.

As for the next revised nickel, I think the Mint has realized people hoard these special coins. Boom: the coins are out of circulation, and thus the rest of the money is more valuable. Simple math.

It's Monday, and I am in a ranting mood....

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Oscar Doldrums

Oscar doldrums: Suffice it to say, I miss good comedy. I watched for about 15 minutes of Chris Rocks opening, and I lost interest. I came back to the Oscars off and on, and never got any really good laughs. Open mic nights at Long Island comedy clubs used to offer better laughs.

Renée Zellweger put on 25 pounds to play Bridget Jones. Next she'll be putting on 85 pounds to play Deacon Jones."

How was anyone in the target demography of 18-34 able to name a football player who played before most of these people were born? Sure, I got the joke, but did YOU?

Too many jokes surrounded race; it was a forced issue. I like a lot of Rock's older material, but last night was a bomb. Wait for the Nielson ratings, see if I am wrong.

Of course, I rarely go to movies -- twice in 9 years -- so who am I to comment?

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Sleigh bells ring, are you glistening...

..or something like that. Why is that song (in particular) only sung at Christmas??

Following Kathleen's lead, here's the latest weather report for nearby my humble abode:

923 PM EST SUN FEB 27 2005







First of all, hasn't anyone told these guys at NOAA its rude to SHOUT?? And what about the formatting (or lack thereof)?

Secondly, I can't bitch too much about the weather (Lord knows I bitch enough in general). But these are the days I switch my EzPass from the sedan to the Blazer. I'll suffer the lost MPG for a 4WD any time the weather looks like it is now.

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Friday, February 25, 2005

Snow blahs

Think the snow is a pain where you are?

Imagine shoveling your driveway -- I own a snowblower, but am not using it -- so I am shoveling the driveway.

At 3:30 in the morning.

After cutting paths for walking, and clearing the drive for the cars, I pause and reflect at how serene this scene is, with the snow still falling, and the pale moon showing itself throught the clouds.

Just then, Murphy gets his dig in, as the snow plow finally shows up to plow in the top of my driveway.

And people wonder why I get by on ~4 hours of sleep...

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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Media Bias: Why this headline?

Scott at SPEED OF THOUGHT ponders:
Judge Prolongs "Right-to-Die"
...instead, how about...
Judge Prolongs "Right-to-Live"

Works for me.
BTW: All the information you need about this story is at BlogsforTerri.

Indeed, I wonder the same thing! Any takers??

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Call for help

OK, I have been trying to resolve this for some time, with my own meddle and the help of Blogger's Help, to no avail.

Its not the tools used in Blogger itself, it is how my Blog is rendered where I am getting problems reported. Specifically:

IE 6.0/SP2
Netscape 7.5/Win: Neither of these browsers display the home page of the blog correctly. The last post on the home page, particularly if it is long posts, get truncated in order to somehow sync with the right-hand table-frame. In effect, the length of the main column is determined by the length of the right-hand column. Generally speaking, the right column is usually shorter than the main column. This affects the results of any search done on my Blog for a particular post (unless the result goes direct to the post) and especially the archives.

Netscape 7.5/Win: That nifty quick exist exit (located at the end of each post) won't display on Netscape. At all... it displays on other browsers (IE, Opera) so it's not the pic itself.

Those are the problems that I am aware of; the first one affects my own viewing of my site at work; frustrating.

Anyone have any ideas?

Anyone have any general suggestions for style (while I am pretty good under the hood with web coding, I never claimed to be a design-guy, from an artisitic point of view)?


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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

History of the Republican Party

I am very glad I didn't miss Sean's excellent piece on the Republican Party:

Many, perhaps even most, ordinary Democrats and Republicans have no idea of the relative histories of their parties. They know only what has been fed to them by a media intent on showing Democrats in only the best light, and by a school system even more biased.

Democrats believe that their party has always been the "party of civil rights"; that theirs was the side that fought against slavery, and for equal rights, citizenship, and the right of blacks to vote, even women's suffrage. In fact, they have been on the wrong side of every single one of these civil rights issues, and more--much more.

The fact that ordinary Democrats believe that their party is the party of civil rights, though incorrect, is grounds for a significant amount of forgiveness. Their hearts are in the right place (on this issue) and they are, after all, being duped by a gigantic system designed to do just that. I myself was once among their number.

Read the rest of the documented, informative, and debated piece by Sean at Everything I Know Is Wrong. This is one of those pieces that ought to be required reading for all!

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I am happy to say I am back, and hopefully will regain my routine before more time passes. I was unable to post much of anything last week, in part because the only hotel available to me for my trip was without a high-speed connection, so my time was limited by costs.

My feed list was overflowing with unreads... a good reason to trim the many blogs I thouoght were interesting but haven't given any time to read in quite sometime. On the other hand, there are always gems to be found, so perhaps I'll save the prunning for another day.

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Monday, February 21, 2005

Yep, I made it home

Got home late Friday afternoon from my Texas trip. Of the usual 101 things to do around the house, the number seemed to magically quintuple. Today, of course, was a federal holiday.

Which federal holiday, you ask? Why Washington's Birthday!

"But Charlie," you exclaim, "don't you know it's PRESIDENTS DAY?"

Ah, I know that's what the popular belief leads you to believe. Consult my archive, here, and learn the truth!

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Road trip, continued

Seen on the t–shirt of the bartender at a local watering hole:

Or at least it seems that way

Another gal, a waitret*, wore a shirt that read:

Don’t hate me because
I am beautiful…Ok, hate me.

I spent time last night at Jesters, a local place, and I had my fill of $1 draughts. It was a local beer, and it was very flavorful (you can keep your Coors Light, thank you very much). Must be something in the local water, though. Years ago I used to be able down a lot more than I did last night. Some might suggest I am out of practice, or worse (gasp) that I am getting old. Nah…must be the water…. With the drinks, meal and tip to the bartender, I spent about $22, so that was about 6 beers. Definitely the water, right??

This will be the last night of my excursion. A pretty successful trip overall. Had things gone a little better (or perhaps, a little worse?) I would be planning a visit to the Pacific-rim office to conduct similar training in person, but somehow I am not counting on being lucky enough to go to Hawaii.

I used to thrive on business travel. Back in the day, I traveled up to 80% per year, and for 2 years those destinations included Vermont, Ohio, and Bermuda. Don’t envy me too much about Bermuda: in those days I traveled without my much-better-half and was a work-aholic in the hopes of being able to bring her back for a proper vacation someday.

First thing I remember
Was askin’ papa, “Why?”
For there were many things I didn’t know
And Daddy always smiled; took me by the hand,
Sayin’ “Someday you’ll understand.”

Well I’m here to tell you now
Each and ev’ry mothers son
You better learn it fast
You better learn it good
Cause “Someday” never comes
For a year I spent 50% of my time in Jacksonville, Fl. That was a nice run, but sadly I worked for a badly managed project. The company, one of the world’s largest distribution companies, was adopting SAP as their corporate BPR application.

When I started with them, I should have seen the writing on the walls: they had just replaced their lead accountant on the project – never a good sign in such a project. I was hired to produce and manage the training for the Financial Information modules of SAP; since my background was in multi-currency accounting and financial applications, all I needed was SAP specific training and I’d be well on my way.

After 4 months, I finally was given permission to attend one such 3-week training class. A few weeks later, the manager who hired me was spun off to another division. My new manager, a former colleague in the training group, had decided my energies would be better spent working in an area I had no qualifications in. In the meantime, I was jetting to the Financial Office in Jacksonville to map out their processes so I could adapt the training to their needs once the SAP application was delivered. This became increasingly difficult to accomplish, especially since I wasn’t getting the training I needed on SAP!

Not surprisingly, by my 54th week, I was let go. I saw the end was near, but I never guessed they’d can me the week before Thanksgiving! On the upside, the corporate office issued a press release just 6 months later stating they were writing off the project and taking a huge loss. Despite my vast ego, I can’t suggest their firing of me led to the project’s demise, but it’s clear it was doomed even before I got there.

I enjoyed traveling because I managed to make each trip a moneymaker for me. Per diems, especially with government travel, allow a fairly generous stipend to spend on food. Plan it right, and that cash goes a long way:

* Get a hotel that serves breakfast
* Grab a light lunch
* Find a tavern or other watering hole that offers happy hour buffet.

Following those tips, suddenly you have the bulk of your $35 meal budget for drinks. And I haven’t even begun to add in the saved costs of gas and tolls for commuting to my office!

I also enjoy finding local eateries. Every town has the usual array of fast foods, so what’s the point? I like small, out of the way places for at least one meal. The best place my hosts can recommend for me tonight is the Texas Long Horn Roadhouse, which they admit, is a franchise as well, but one where I can at least enjoy a true, local meal. So we’ll see what happens tonight.

But things are decidedly harder these days for my much-better-half than they were in the past, and this trip, albeit 4 days, puts unfair weight on her shoulders. Add to that I miss the boys, too. As much as I enjoyed being the so-called Road Warrior, I have to hope that another trip isn’t on my schedule for at least another few months.

Who knows? Someday I may be able to score a trip to somewhere fun, and bring the whole fam along. Maybe, just maybe, ‘someday’ will one day come…

* I referred to the gal as ‘Waitret’ in honor of Texas Gubernatorial Candidate Richard “Big Dick” Kinky Friedman’s song of the same name, one that he performed with his band, The Texas Jew Boys. An artist, writer, guitar player, singer and songwriter, Kinky is a truly a modern day Renaissance Man (although from what I’ve read of his campaign platform, he may not yet be ready for the Texas Governor’s office).

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Doubled Standard, yet again

A lot of chatter this week about of NY Congressman Charles Rangle calling President Clinton the 'N' word. Not only the 'N' word, but also the 'R' word. I am speaking of course of the phrase 'Red Neck.' Rep. Rangle mentioned used this term on a radio broadcast with Steve Malzberg.

Now I realize there are those that will think Red Neck doesn't deserve the moniker of 'N' word, and they would be right. Many people proudly call themselves Red Neck, and that's their right. In many ways, there is nothing 'wrong' with the term, but in many other ways there are those who are offended by it.

Simply put, this is an issue that shouldn't be an issue. Was what Rep. Rangle said offensive? To some, yes. Should he be shunned, banned, or otherwise penalized for saying it? No, unless the people particularly offended are his constituents. The rest of us can be offended in our own way, but it shouldn't be a major issue. What Rep Rangle said is no more 'offensive' than what Sen. Trent Lott had said about a colleague on the occasion of the elder man's birthday. Sen. Lott should not have been shunned (even by many in the Republican party), nor forced to step down as Senate Leader (despite my doubts at how effective he was in the position), and neither should Rep. Rangle be forced to step down from any of his positions (this, in spite of a laundry list of misgivings I have on the man and his office). Neither man said anything with the intent of hate, or even mean spiritedness, and neither one should be punished. Oddly, only one man was given a chance to rectify his statement.

In short, if you say something that can be possibly, remotely considered by some as racist, and your are Republican, you are dead meat in the Main Stream Media. If you're a Democrat, you get a free pass.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Who ever thought I'd have to stoop so low?

La Quinta Corporation
909 Hidden Ridge, Suite 600
Irving, TX 75038
To whom it may concern:

I had the opportunity of staying in one of your properties recently. In the room's bathroom was a sticker with the following words:


This was meant to alert guests to the raised platform that the bath tub/shower sits upon. While no one would confuse me with a plumber by trade, I understand enough about space and plumbing to know this is to conserve the overall square footage in each room.

However, I stand just abou 6' tall, and that is not an unusual height for a man. I mention this because due to the raised platform I had to stand stooped over in order to fit in the shower. One would think a clearance of 6' is at least typical in a hotel room, even in the shower.

One could be mistaken, I suppose, as well.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Road Trip

For the first time in about 5 years, I am on a business trip. This is hardly an amazing event for most business travelers, but whereas I used to travel on average 80% of the time, not having been in a plane for so long was an unusual experience.

I come to you from Killeen, Texas, home of Fort Hood, the largest Army Depot in the world. I’d state specifically what I was doing here, but while it isn’t exactly a matter of national security, it would take far too long to describe the particulars. I am conducting 2 days of training on a logistics software program customized for Defense.

I could have flown to within 5 miles of the base, but that would have been a third flight, with a 90 minute lay over in Austin for an 80 mile drive. And hey, who can handle 80 miles with no effort better that yours, truly?? So I got to see some of the Texas country side: big, flat, largely rural.

Heard at Chicago Airport

Passenger: Is that clock right?
Ticket Clerk: Yes.
He: Are you sure? Isn't it an hour off?
Clerk (she): This is Central Time
He: But isn't it the same time across the country at the same time?

Up in the Philadelphia metro area, there are SONIC Drive-Ins, but these are unique in that they are slightly different from your run of the fast-food-mill drive-thru in that they can take food orders from either the right or left window of your car. Down south, apparently, they are modeled not unlike the classic ARNOLD’S from Happy Days or American Graffiti days. So while I am longing for some local fare (and especially some beer from local micro-brew), I ventured to Sonic for dinner. The novelty of being waited on in my car was fun, but I hope to do better tomorrow.

Speaking of Happy Days, I find it sad that ABC re-ran the Happy Days 30th Renuion over the weekend. Not that the show was bad -- I missed it the first time around and was pleased to relive a show so engrained in my youth -- but that ABC has such a lack of programming they felt a need to re-run the show a week later.

So, any comments about AudioBlogging?

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Audio Post

this is an audio post - click to play

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How to ruin a perfectly good work-out

The other day, Kathleen questioned the need of a gym instructor getting in your face as being productive in a workout. What she may not have realized is that some of us need the encouragement more than others.

After TKD this evening, I was approached by a small waif.

SHE: Mr. Charlie? Do you want to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?

Now the lass was hardly taller than 3', blonde hair, and was named Courtney. OK? Who is gone say no to her???

And she was holding a box of Caram'l DeLites.


Well, that's what went through my head, but then my wallet was open before I could utter those words.

They call it Fat Tuesday, and it truly was for I scoffed the whole box before getting home.

Lets see... 140 cal, 60g Fat.... that's for 2 cookies. Multiplied by 7... good thing I'm fasting tomorrow!

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Um, Maybe because you work here?

My son earns coupons for free personal pizzas from Pizza Hut, so monthly we're stopping by for dinner.

Tonight I saw a sign at the counter, describing how orders come into the store from the Internet. Making conversation with the counter gal, the following ensued:

ME: Hey, maybe next time I'll order online!
SHE: What do you mean?
ME: (pointing to sign) Maybe next time I'll place my order on the Internet
and pick it up.
SHE: Wow, I never saw that...

(Pausing now to note the gal was wearing a badge that displayed her
name and 'asst. mananger')
SHE: ... I wonder why I never tried that myself?

ME: Um, Maybe because you work here?
SHE: Oh yeah, that's right. Oh your order is ready!
ME: Perfect timing!!

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Monday, February 07, 2005

Wait! Loss?

All hands e-mail:

If you are interested in joining our annual weight loss contest this year, please let me know. The contest period is approximately four months starting February 14th and ending June 6th.

The cost to join is $10.00. The weight loss is based on the percentage of lost weight (e.g., Initial weight of 150 and ending weight of 140, the 10 lbs represents a loss of 6.6% (or .066)). The person with this highest percentage wins. Depending on the number of participants, the winnings are distributed as follows: 1 to 5 = 100% to the winner; 6 to 9 = 70% to 1st place and 30% to 2nd place; and 10 and over = 60% to 1st place, 25% to 2nd place and 15% to 3rd place.

After the initial weigh-in, we will have weekly weigh-ins each Friday before 8am in my office. No one except me will know your initial weight, weekly weight loss, etc. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please respond to this message.

Am I tempted to scam this?? Believe it. I could load up this weekend, drink copious bottle-fulls of water Monday morning, and get weighed. Then go back to normal afterwards, and fast the last weekend.

Hey, its for money, and that effort isn't exactly despicable to win cash. But, alas, I'll let this opportunity pass by.

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Friday, February 04, 2005

Notable Notes

  • Rob at Say Anything had several good posts worthy of reading. In particular is one about Janeane Garafolo and her comparison of Iraq's free election to the murderous Nazi regime. This simply bolsters my opinion that so many prominent people on the Left are hate-filled, yet they claim to speak for their party with little dissausion from the rest. (sorry Rob, I can't seem to locate yoru trackBack URI)

  • A lot of noise this week from those opposed to modifying Social Security. Folks, this is a no-brainer. Anyone can tell this Ponzi scheme is doomed to fail. Lest there be any doubt, it would take one a few clicks to present quotes from notable Democrats over the years who have said there is a pending Social Security crisis, so lets not play the 'Republican's are making it up' card, it simply won't work.

    President Bush has said he would entertain any ideas to make the system last; to date, his opponents have chided him and claimed there is no crisis looming. I suppose if you have no ideas to offer, you simply pretend there is no problem to deal with.

  • Last night I ended up reading a lot about what has been dubbed by HundredPercenter as the Adolescent Blog Wars. In a nutshell: a 13 year old blogger named Austin lifted a photo (apparently without citing credit, at least at first) from Blogs for Bush. Austin got the notariety that many bloggers covet, in that Instapundit linked to his site (and thus a 13 yera old got tons of traffic). Jordon from Cheese and Crackers took it upon himself to berate Austin with a slew of profanities. Others chimmed in, apparently mostly defending the lad. In the end, the boy's parents stepped in and have shuttered his blog.


    Should the kid have taken pics without credit? Of course not. But he's a kid. He might possibly have the same G.I. Joe's in his closet, so I am willing to give him a break, especailly since he did give credit after a time. Jordon was fine for interveneing on behalf of Matt at Blogs for Bush, but only to a point. Austin dealt with things political and topical but never misrepresented he was a teenager Check Google's cache). That being the case, had Jordon came at my son in such an abusive manner, I would have been enraged.

    Yes, I know what Austin had done was wrong, but Jordon's response is inexcusable. Considering how unprofessional and discourteous he was in this entire incident, I'll wage Matt will no longer delegate such matters to others in the future.

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Thursday, February 03, 2005

A definite influence

Saw this on NewsMax:

Citizens United

These are billboards being bought by Citizens United.

Many people I know were more influenced by Hollywood then by the debates or campaigns themseleves. Case in point, when Sen. Kerry lauded the commedians who chastised the President in such a foul manner, claiming those views were representative of 'middle America', several people I know who were at best 'on the fence' were decidedly voting for President Bush. They were simply turned off by the profanity.

Personally, I am often troubled by the numbers of people who rely on actors or commedians to help them decide for whom to vote. I prefer to review the issues and let the candidates own positions influence my decisions.

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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Check those stats

WHOA! Lookie here! I went from a reptile to mammal overnight!

I love the TTLB ecosystem, but obviously his server gets a little over-heated now and then.

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Almost forgot!

Today is the second anniversary of the Shuttle Columbia disaster.

A look back in the archive shows I managed to note the moment by cell-phone, which when I think back at what was happening that month, it seems pretty amazing I managed to find the time to do it. Some things you blog about, other things you choose not to blog.

Another hallmark moment, not unlike the Challenger.

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Cell Phones

When I was in the middle of my blackout last month, I did what most people do under such circumstances: I went cell phone shopping.

My old phone, a SonyEricsson T-306 was getting pretty beat up.


I was off-contract, the hands-free kit broke (damned device-dependent jacks), and the battery had started to fail after 6 hours of stand-by. It was time to upgrade. AT&T Wireless was acquired by Cingular, but I stopped at the formers shop at the Mall anyway. I had reservations about Cingular, and still do. Some years ago I had some reasons why I decidedly did not like Cingular, but I can't recall what they are.

I went to Verizon, and they had no phones at all that weren't for some money up front. I can understand a more-advanced phone costing some money, but the idea that I would sign a contract for 2 years and not get any options on a free phone (even if its a bottom-shelf in features) struck me as odd. So with no other providers that work in my rural area, I went to AT&T's shop and later on, I walked out with a new toy:


A Motorola V-180. OK, I admit it, I like the looks of flip-phones. I had one years ago and despite sitting on it when the door was opened (crack!), several times (crack-crack--Crazy Glue worked, surprisingly well), I liked it. So I splurged (oooh! $29 with a $29 rebate… er, sorta) and got it.

Unfortunately, the old chip was incompatible with the new phone, so all of my phone numbers had to be rekeyed by hand; brilliant move: make a chip, but don't support it, even if it looks identical in design.

Further, the Cingular wireless web plan I am currently paying for won't let me access my e-mail. What's up with that? I can (and have) accessed WAPBlogger, but that's not enough. I have another week to either get Cingular to show me how to configure this phone or trade it in.

If I could design the perfect cell phone, it would have a certain set of features. Here are mine:

  • Speakerphone
  • Voice-recorder
  • Calculator
  • Simple date planner (preferably, sync-able. Along with the address book)
  • Multiple alarms, with recurrence, and schedule (as in: ring alarm Mon – Fri at 4:00 AM; ring Sat & Sun at 6:30)
  • Durable case
  • Easy to use wireless web (less ads, more web)
  • More than one game (Bejeweled) that doesn't cut out after 2 mins of play. Shades of 'Crippleware'. The old Sony had 6 games. Granted, I don't buy a phone exclusively for games, and I only played one game with any regularity (1-2x a month, maybe?), but having no choice, and a crippled one at that, is silly. Of course, I could d/l a game, but why am I paying for that too?

    And the number 1 feature:
  • BETTER COVERAGE FOR MY HOME. I know, the plight of those living in rural communities, but this is lame. The phone will ring, but I can't hear nor be heard, so it's useless.

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