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Aug 30, 2006
A couple years back, I chopped down my deck and burned it up in the fire pit. Well actually, I've been burning it in the fire pit for the last two years and just finished burning it last Saturday, but that's not the point.
We took down our deck off the front of the house. It went up to our main floor on the second story of our house about 10 feet off the ground or a little over 3 meters.
I left the landing at the top of the steps attached to the house and put a railing up where the stairs and rest of deck had been so that the dogs and kids would not take a step into free fall.
The Christmas after I took the old deck down we found a package on the landing one day shortly before the holidays. Some delivery driver, might have been Fedex, might have been USPS or UPS or whatever, had taken the box and thrown it 15 feet into the air, up and over the railing, to leave the parcel on our landing, instead of simply leaving the parcel on the ground by the ground level door.
Its that time of year again. Its college recruiting season and I'm not talking about sports. Its this time of the year that Seniors are heading back to college, maybe just having completed an internship or worked a summer job.
Its this time of the year that they have to wind things up, get serious and stay serious and convince college recruiters that they are ready to go pro.
College seniors need every advantage they make, take or find. Hard work in college will not guarantee a job or a successful career. Past performance is not an indicator of future success.
Its necessary to establish contacts with people that may be acquaintences or drinking buddies or members of some club and make plans to stay in contact after college. Its time to forge alliances and prepare to tackle the world as a group. Hitting the job boards, finding a good recruiter or head hunter, getting the right connections and information that provide insights and tips into opening position takes almost as much work as it will take to finish two more semesters of school.
Monster.com can help people find jobs, but they don't always provide the best market place for a fresh college graduate. Sometimes college graduates need to take advantage of their fresh perspective and seek to start their career where employers are looking for just the right candidate straight out of school. An entry level job search can start at College Recruiter dot com.
Many schools have job boards and tools to help, but not all schools receive equal notice about opportunities. In addition to entry level postings they also offer internship postings as well. With many paid intersnships becoming the norm, an internship can be reclassified as what it really is, a short term contract job. This is more and more becoming the norm in the work place for all levels of people regardless of experience. Its not that uncommon for a graduating senior to take a summer internship after they graduate and then work to turn that into a full time job or a stepping stone to that entry level job or move.
Technorati Tags: entry level job, college senior, college recruiter
I'm stuck between a mail place and a recycling spot. My mail lady just ran over my garbage. To be more precise, she just rammed my recycling bin with her mail delivery vehicle, while she was talking on her cell phone.
I think she did it on purpose.
I live in a cul de sac(circular dead end in the street of a US subdivision sometimes referred to as the American purgatory). The mail lady drives a standard issue USPS mail delivery vehicle with the drivers side on the right side of the vehicle, which is the opposite side for the US. She stops-and-goes through the cul de sac travelling counter clockwise around the circular end dropping off mail in the mail boxes planted on posts on the street curb.
If she has a package to deliver, she'll drive up my long 40 foot drive way, honk her horn and wait 60 seconds, hoping someone will come out and relieve her of the burden of her delivery. If no one comes out then she will either toss the package out the window onto the ground or she will sometimes actuall get out, walk up to our stairs and toss the package up the stairs before she drives away.
This is standard treatment for everyone in the subdivision. She doesn't get out of the truck unless absolutely required to do so.
Thursday is my garbage and recycling day. I load up the trash and pull the garbage and recycling bin down to the street and set them on the curb. I have 2 recycling bins where I put all the recyclables, cans, bottles, jars, plastics all mixed together. The bins are about 16 inches tall and 2 feet wide.
I have to put the recycling bins in front of the garbage cans otherwise the recycling truck won't pick them up. He can't see the bins if they are hidden behind the garbage cans.
The mail lady keeps telling me to tuck them out of her way though so that she can blissfully drive through the cul de sac at optimum speed.
I can't please both. If I do what the mail lady says, the recycling guy won't pick up the recycling. If I do what the recycling guy requires, the mail lady has to turn her steering wheel a little harder to the left.
Today, my garbage and recycling were out ready for the pick up tomorrow morning. The mail lady comes by and drops off my mail. She rams my recycling bin with her bumper leaving bottles, cans and debris strewn across the cul de sac and drives away.
She doesn't stop to say, 'I just had an accident and spilled recyclying trash all over the street'. Doesn't say anything.
Now I wanted to talk with her today to warn her that we had a 2nd break in within our sub division in the middle of the day and she should be careful. I hoped to stop her as she dropped the mail off but I was a little slow. So I see her take out my garbage at Mach 1, and I jog down 2 doors and catch up with her at a different neighbors mail box. I say, "Hey, did you just run over my garbage? Why didn't you stop and tell me or something."
She replies, "I was talking on my cell phone with someone and had intended to drive down the street aways and then come back because its hard to turn around there."(in the cull de sac where there's a nice big circle as opposed to a block down the street where there's a skinny little street)
She gives me her spiel about she can't see in front of her truck (despite the fact that she could have looked where she was driving before she got too close to see, what if it had been a little kid or pet or something?)
I warn her about the break ins and tell her to be careful. Then I walk back up the street and pick up my garbage.
Just for all the USPS lovers and defenders out there, please understand that I worked for the USPS myself for 4 years and took an early retirement. I worked hard and very long hours with lots of people that weren't half this lazy. What she is doing is partly an attempt at efficiency, but hard work has to fill the efficiency gap when things come up and running over your customers garbage is bad for business.
I'll lay odds that the recycling guy will miss my recycling bin in the morning!
Technorati Tags: USPS garbage accidents, USPS cell phone accidents
Aug 29, 2006
I'm 34 years old (in September at least) and I've owned more than 30 freakin can openers in my adult life. Old fashioned can openers drive me nuts. The electric can openers, last about 3 months and then they get screwed up, if they don't spill and short out or something, which has happened to 2 of my can openers.
The hand held side crank can openers always get stripped out. There's something about that peculiar cutting angle that strips out the gears and makes the things worthless.
I'm going to try one of these side One Touch Can Opener wonders next. Since it cuts from the side and not over the lip on the top, it shouldn't receive the type of stripping pressure that foils old fashioned hand cranked can openers. Plus it runs on double aa batteries so I can throw it in the drawer and keep the clutter off the counter and not have some big box taking up space somewhere.
As I was writing the previous post about getting some guard gnomes, my neighbor sent me an email talking about another break in within our sub division. This is the 2nd break in in 5 days.
So this evening I made a half walk around the neighborhood, letting other neighbors know and encouraging them to keep an eye open for suspicious behavior and report it if they saw it. This time someone did see a car and gave the description to the police, I won't say more as there's some speculation that there may be at least one person that lives somewhere near by that is involved or atleast targeting homes or something.
One thing is for sure, we certainly have lots of neighbors with guns! I suspect that if we have any more break ins the neighbors are going to started armed patrols or something.
Technorati Tags: burglary, break-in
So last week we had a break-in in the neighborhood. I printed up some flyers to pass around the subdivision of about 200 homes. I walked from house to house dropping off the flyers and talking to my neighbors letting them know what happened. We shared some ideas about how to keep the subdivision safe and our property values high.
Since this is Georgia maybe, the most popular idea was to keep a handgun close, but for myself I think lighting the place and neighborhood up is a better way to go. Street lamps can be rented from the electric company here for $13 per month.
One of the less known ways to protect your home is to purchase a gnome contingent. Few people realize that garden gnomesgarden gnomes are ten times more fierce than a pit bull and can bellow louder than a coon dog when a burglar enters your property.
So I looked around today for a properly fierce looking garden gnome.
Here were my top four picks:
This mean little bugger has some kind of burglar beating stick and he lights up the yard.
This gnome is some sort of spider-gnome cross bread that seems to be sliding down out of your trees like a gninja, and he's got a ferocious led lantern bomb for a weapon.
Then there is this giant gnome. He's like almost 3 feet tall and pushes a wheel barrow around with him to collected the feet that he severs off of burglars with his gnome teeth.
Finally, and this may be my favorite, this pair of gnomes hiding under a mushroom, may not look like much, be their giants too measuring in at 3 feet. That's not their thing though. What makes them very useful against burglars is that they have a flourescent sprinkler system built into the mushroom. You attach a garden hose and a gallon or more of flourescent fluid, and when a burglar trips a gnome motion detector device, it starts up and hoses the burglar down with fluorescent fluid, so that he can't be missed!
I even going to save a little dough on my gnome security system because I found the coupon code 'gnome-bloggers' for 10% off.
Technorati Tags: garden gnomes, security system, attack gnomes
Aug 28, 2006
"Brett" looks like:
This is what the name "Harry" looks like in Japanese:
It is pronounced "HARII". (Consonants are pronounced more or less the same way as in English. "A" sounds like a in father, but shorter. "I" sounds like ee in meet, but shorter. Double vowels like "II" are held for twice the duration of single vowels.)
Technorati Tags: Brett Japanese, Harry Japanese
I've been putting together a Trailfire Trail, which is a web 2.0 service that lets you comment on any web page anywhere on the net and store your comments, like a post it note in the trailfire que. You can then create a feed off of it or share the trail with your blog readers or email it or whatever.
To give you an example, if you follow my trailfire Trail you will see my favorite Viral Videos ranked from best to worst on a five point scale. There are over 100 and some viral videos here and the trail will start you with the best and work back from there.
If you want to learn more about Trailfire, see my review over at Maven Mapper's.
Technorati Tags: viral video, trailfire, maven mapper
by Scott Ott
(2006-08-26) — Just hours after Iran opened a new plant capable of making plutonium “for peaceful purposes”, U.S. President George Bush assured his Iranian counterpart that any B-2 bombers that appear over Tehran in the near future would also serve peaceful purposes.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cut the ribbon on the new heavy-water nuclear plant Saturday as part of a month-long Iranian tribute to the effectiveness of the United Nations.
Mr. Bush hailed Iran’s “transparent diplomacy” and said, “I called President Ahmadinejad today to congratulate him, and I told him that if he happens to notice one of them Stealth bombers going over his town at about 600 miles per hour, he can be assured that the pilot has only the best intentions in his heart for world peace.”
“There’s nothing like the B-2 when it comes to giving peace a chance,” Mr. Bush added.
Technorati Tags: B-2 flights, peaceful purposes, iran
My hose reel got me again. For years I've been fighting a war against my hose. It started in the years shortly after I bought my first home. I couldn't afford a hose reel in the first couple years, and the hose I bought from Wal-Mart sat in the yard in the hot Illinois sun, bubbled up and popped.
So I bought a new hose and bought a hose reel to keep it wrapped up. The first reel I bought had a hand crank and I applied to much force and cranked the reel into oblivion by accident. I then spent several years going from one hose to hose reel after the next.
When I moved into my current home, I had a new issue develop. I have great water pressure! Now this is good for lots of reasons, but its hell on hoses. I had to buy a high pressure water hose to handle the water pressure that comes out of the faucet. Then I had to buy a new hose reel. This time I bought a big boxy contraption. It wound up the heavy duty hose and held it just fine.
The hose is fine, but the crank on this thing is seeking revenge against me for my murderous destruction of that early hose reel. I twisted off the crank years ago, and this distant cousin of that long lost hose reel is seeking revenge from my flesh.
Every time I crank this thing, no matter how careful I am, I end up slicing up my fingers on various protrusions or rough edges on this thing. Some of them I've been able to file down, but some just don't get better.
Ahh! but relief is in sight. I'm a gadget lover and more so lover of all things automatic. Anything that saves me a minute of work over and over again gives me another minute of my life to enjoy that much more thoroughly.
Now there's an automatic Hose Reel. It winds up automatically. Now you may say that I'm a little lazy, but if I have to wind up a hose lets say 1 time per week every week of every summer (GA summers are about 7 months long, that's 28 minutes per year. Multiply that by 40 years assuming I'll live to 74 at least and that 1120 minutes of my life spared or about 18 hours. I've basically given my life an additional day saved from this individual tedium. A day to spread out on the important things in life.
Here are a few of the models available. I usually opt for the 2nd option, the crate storage looking thing:
Now my first thought was that's a great idea, but its got to be powered by electricity or something and putting a plug to my hose reel didn't sound that smart. I WAS WRONG of course. The thing is propelled by water power so no electricity. That's why I'm not an engineer obviously.
I was looking around on YouTube and realized that I'm not the only one that has this issue with hose reels. Sharon Stone has many of the same issues and for whatever crazy Youtube reason actually took a look at this product at some sort of party or something.
Technorati Tags: automatic hose reel, sharon stone
well at least based on a survey some questions didn't really hit the mark for me. Like immigration. I think immigrants do enhance the country but am completely against illegal immigration. Make it easier to come here illegally, but don't allow illegal immigration. There were others, but the overall result seems to come close. Its too bad that there is no such thing as a political party that represents either liberals or conservatives or anything in between. Democrats and Republicans are both power hungry first and label themselves as the wind blows.
|Your Political Profile:|
|Overall: 40% Conservative, 60% Liberal|
|Social Issues: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal|
|Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
|Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal|
|Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal|
|Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal|
First off as I start this true account, please do not loose heart or worry for my soul. This is one small chapter in my life and the later chapters are currently unaccounted for and the final chapters unwritten.
When I was a young boy, I went through what I would call a phase in my life. During this phase, my younger brother and I used to go to church. I was probably 10 years old and he would have been about 8. A Baptist church bus would come through the neighborhood soliciting church goers. Knocking on doors on Sunday morning trying to round up people to go to church.
They would pick up a few families, but mostly single moms and kids (moms and kids not necessarily together. For my brother and I we went alone. I would not say that we were pious or anything like that. We went for the possibility of winning the Watch!
You see the solicitors would tell us about the free watch we could win if we went to church. Now in this day and age, it strikes me as absurd that I might consider letting my own children ride a bus to church without me, but these were different times and an underpopulated area of the middle west. To say I was innocent would be an understatement. Back then I don't even think I knew what a child molester was or what they might do. The concern never entered my mine.
Now we went to church every Sunday and tried to recruit our friends to come on occasion as well. We were sometimes successful and this increased our odds of winning the Watch. We'd go to a large church auditorium filled with hundreds of church goers in a church less than a mile from the Illinois River.
My brother and I would take a nickel or two or a dime and sometimes a quarter for the offering. We'd get in an old white or blue bus, the type that looks like a school bus and may have been retired from the school system long ago. We'd go to church and listen to the sermon and attend the Sunday School service and learn the psalms.
I was even Saved during one of these Sundays. Years later I would be saved again in a much different way but not in this installment.
Now, after much church going in case you are curious for a ten year old boy, much church going consists of 4-7 back to back Sundays of church going giving away your coins and not winning the Watch. My brother and I began to grow a little tired of the church going life.
We missed a couple Sundays, possibly over sleeping or going on a trip or a sleep over at our relatives house or a holiday or something. I don't recall exactly.
The church bus and the solicitors would still sweep through the neighborhood. The solicitors probably knocked on our door on those days that we missed, but I don't think we or our family were home. So a few weeks of no church went by and we started to write off the possibility of winning the watch, plus I'd already been Saved.
We told our parents that we didn't really want to go anymore. Our friends had mostly stopped going as well and the religious fervor just wasn't there.
The solicitors came knocking one morning around 7 am or so and woke my father up. Now my father was typically not the easiest person to wake up, and today as an adult, neither am I. He could then and I can now sleep through about anything. When I was in the military, I was asleep in the field(I was working on shifts and had the day shift to sleep.) We went through a mock battle in the middle of the day while I was sleeping outside on a cot in the pleasant Death Valley sun. One of the observers drew a card and I was to be blown up with a grenade. A grenade simulator was set up and set off a few short feet from my cot, and I was dead, but I didn't wake up. I don't even remember it. I slept right through it and learned about it late when I woke up with a good days rest and a bit more of a tan.
So the solicitors had come and knocked and woken my father up. He told them that we weren't interested and didn't want to go to church any more in so many words.
A week went by and Sunday rolled around again and the solicitors must have forgotten or were persistent or something and they came knocking again. Now this time, my father had worked too hard all week and hadn't gotten much sleep the night before nor the night before that and again he was awoken by knocking on the door at 7am on a Sunday.
Now my family has a genetic trait that predisposes us to slight fits of rage and exaggeration, usually combined. My father reacted by yanking the door open and telling the solicitors to get the hell of his porch and not come back again. They got the hell of the porch and did so in a hurry for two reasons. 1. My dad was standing there in his tidy whities &
2. He was holding a chrome plated 357 Magnum with an 8" barrel
The solicitors never woke my Dad up again, we never rode the church bus again and I bought all of my watches after that once I took a job the next year and started making money.
I'll pick up this story in a future installment and describe how that same 357 almost killed me, but I was fortunately Saved and my life was spared thanks to the power of Nuke-lear technology.
Aug 27, 2006
OK, now after my last post about the Chinese auditor that ate himself to death. I'm inclined to think about my own health and fitness.
I've lost 28 pounds since last year, shortly after a different Chinese auditor threatened my life and I soon after entered into a new profession.
I've been living with less stress(obviously), eating better, running and walking for exercise and doing some light upper body workout as well. I'm thinking about getting into body building as well, but I'm not a gym type of person so it has to be something I can do from home. I still need the information and details about what to do, how to do it and so on. I can't afford a personal trainer for this yet, so I turn to the internet for my body building information, and of course like everything on the internet you have to double/triple check your sources and vet the concepts and recommendations all the time.
I can live with that though. Its good practice to question what you read and get to the bottom of things through multiple sources. So I'm starting with a Bodybuilding Forum and I'll move on fromt there. I like to find a good forum or two to kick off research these days as it gives you a chance to dialogue with people so that you can start to weed out things that sound like crap from good advice. I think its useful to have a forum as you can practice putting things into your own words and start building up some competence at applying the concepts that you've learned or acquired. Plus, sometimes if you weren't able to discern the crap from the facts, if you regurgitate it in a conversation on a board, someone else will chime in and point out the error of your ways and help you tighten things up a bit.
Technorati Tags: bodybuilding, discussion boards
Having had much personal experience working with auditors from China, I can attest that I have not found a 'good auditor' there yet. In fact I haven't found an honest auditor or an auditor that was not corrupt from China and this includes my work with auditors from one of the Big 4, whom I will not name here. In fact the last auditor from China that I spoke with threatened my life, so take that as you will.
I suspect that there could be an exception that makes the rule that 'Good Auditor' is an oxymoron in China, however I have not found a good auditor yet. It was definitely not for a lack of trying on my part. In fact if anyone knows a good auditor form Hong Kong Revenue, I would very much appreciate an introduction as I would like to help HK Revenue with a little issue of back taxes. :)
Now I was reading a very funny article (true story from Oddly Enough at Reuters: Auditor a glutton for punishment) about a 25 year old auditor for the Chinese Government. He was working for a department that was supposed to be responsible for cleaning up business and thus he was to audit businesses and department and root out corruption. Some of the obvious requirements for the job included not wining and dining with the companies or groups under audit so as to remain separate from those groups and not suffer influence.
Now this young auditor trying to live up to the requirements of the job, FAILED MISERABLY. And I emphasize this as his failure sent him to an early grave. Now he was not murdered or anything that violent even though it is possible for auditors to be put in dangerous situations as I can attest. No this young auditor decided to accept the invitations to wine and dine and he died by eating and drinking himself to death on the dime of his audit targets. Not only was he not cleaning up the corruption he drowned in it and his vice killed him.
It gets even more surreal. The group of auditors that he worked with decided to take some time to grieve his death. They did this by going on a couple month tour of the country side where they might enjoy some massage parlors. Obviously they shirked the option to buckle down and get to work and prove their department was not as corrupt as the dead auditor. They instead bring into question their own integrity.
Good luck finding a good auditor in China!
Technorati Tags: chinese oxymoron, good auditor, china, business
Aug 25, 2006
Many people are starting to come to terms with the new telephone technology known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Its basically a technology that allows an individual to do what the phone company does today. You plug a phone into your computer or into your broadband network, and your voice is sent over the internet to a switch at a phone company location or another computer where its turned back into a phone signal.
Huhhh. don't worry, think of it as a way to bypass the old phone lines and the taxes and things that go with them and setup a phone line with all the extras for a flat monthly fee for all calls, typically $25 per month, and no more worries about long distance on the home phone.
All those upgrades that phone companies try to sell you are typically thrown in as part of the flat package so even better!
Pluto lost its planetary status. The political organization of scientists known as the International Astronomical Union voted it out of the solar system.
They've come up with a new definition for a good planet and Pluto doesn't make the grade.
The new definition:
So say goodbye to the 9th planet, and don't forget to update your kids in time for school!
Technorati Tags: Pluto, dwarf planet, pluto image
Aug 24, 2006
There's more talk continuing to surface about PayPerPost.
Dan Rua wrote a very good article that sums up some of the forces shaping the discussion from the elite bloggers that are making a great deal of money from sponsors and adsense revenue to some of the new bloggers making money up front with PayPerPost.com.
Dan also kicked it off into Digg and so now the discussion moves there. Last I saw the article had 15 diggs and growing. It will be interesting to see how the debate shapes up. Let me say that if you are stopping in and you write freelance for PayPerPost on occasion or regularly, if you drop me your blog address, I will double check your blog and link to you from mine for a reciprocal link.
I write with PayPerPost on occasion and enjoy it very much. If we new writers and bloggers support each other with reciprocal links, we'll benefit our own blogs and fortunes and we'll also give a better bang for the buck to the advertisers paying for our services at PayPerPost thus raising the value of our service and possibly raising the premiums that we'll receive for our services!
Keep up the good work everyone!
If you want to make money blogging then check out PayPerPost for money on the front end and Adsense for money on the back end
Someone broke into my neighbors home today. It happened in the middle of the afternoon. We live in a cul de sac at the end of the street. I was home all day as were at least 3 other neighbors and none of us saw anything.
The burglars stole a couple things of loose change probably a few hundred dollars in loose change that is.
Its kind of a rude awakening when someone breaks into your house or car and we are close friends with our neighbors so this touched a little too close.
That said we are looking at some practical steps so that it won't happen again and if it does so that we are prepared.
1. We're sending the change to Kroger. Our bank is out of state, so we take our spare change every couple years to Kroger, cash it in and use the cash to buy that weeks groceries. No change in the house, means no change to steal.
2. We destroy the stupid visa checks as soon as they come in the mail. The credit card companies do everything they can to get you to spend more, and that includes sending 'convenience checks'. Well guess what, they are convenient for theives too!
3. We have an alarm and we are keeping it turned on. This burglar went in during the middle of the day. The house had an alarmed (turned off) but there were signs and stickers, they didn't sweat it and busted in through the door. Our alarm will be on. Alarm systems are not cheap. We bought ours last year after several people that worked for my company started to threaten my life and my family.(I was a whistel blower against my company regarding their tax issues) Seriously think about the investment. It adds to the value of your home and helps protect you in other emergencies including fires, and injuries and things.
4. We have a loud barking dog. Now we just got our yearly letter from the county. Every year a different neighbor complains to the animal shelter about the dogs in the neighborhood. 3 out of 4 homes in our sub division has at least one dog. So we all receive a letter telling us that we are on probation for ten days. Even homes that don't have dogs get put on probation. Well I'd rather be on probation for a loud dog(the dog is a house pet and doesn't live outside) than make it a little easier for a burglar.
5. Turning the inside lights off. One of my other neighbors is a deputy sherrif. He tells me that its actuall wise to turn off your interior lights while you are sleeping. You know how to get around your house, the burglars do not. If you light things up, it makes it easier for them. Leave the lights off inside and they will trip and fumble and bumble around and that might give you enough time to call the police or protect yourself.
6. Don't leave the expensive stuff in plain site. Close shades and things so that expensive things can't be seen from the window.
7. Simple stuff, Close and lock the doors and don't leave stuff outside that might be stolen.
8. Watch your neighbors houses and keep an eye out. If something doesn't look right or you don't recognize someone. Do something about it. Call the authorities, call your neighbor do something.
9. Tell your neighbors if something happens. If a burglary does occur, tell your neighbors and the people in your subdivision. If everyone is forewarned there is a better chance that the burglars might get spooked away by nosy neighbors, or might get caught if they try something again. Tomorrow, I'm distributing flyers around the rest of the subdivision to let everyone know that this is occurring in our neighborhood and to tip them off so that the burglars will find it a little harder next time.
10. The police suspect teenagers in this situation for several reasons I won't mention here. I think its important for everyone to look out for and protect teenagers. They often need our help and this sometimes means that we need to protect them from themselves before they do something that might hurt themselves or others. Breaking into property is something that some teenagers experiment with as they are maturing. Some grow out of it and some get into lots more trouble or worse. If you see teenagers doing something they are not supposed to, talk to them or their parents about it or talk to the authorities. Stop them from ruining their life chasing a cheap thrill. We all make mistakes when we are young, and sometimes teenagers just need a reminder (gentle sometimes and sometimes stern) to help tip the balance between doing something that is stupid and choosing not to do something because it is stupid.
Many people have been following the recent public dispute between Tom Cruise and Paramount pictures. Despite the fact that Tom Cruise made this studio almost $100 million dollars per film over the last few years and was consistently profitable for them for the last 14 years, they very publicly fired him this week after refusing to offer up $10 million to be used by his production company for overhead.
Now from an accountant's perspective a company that lets go of a product line that brings in $100 million in profits year in and year out because they didn't want to throw an additional $10m in expenses towards that line for maintenance or investment seems crazy.
The studios balked at Tom's ever increasing public image and acts of slightly strane behavior. However, lets be honest the guy is a superstar and probably prone to some megalomania. Notable other superstars such as Michael Jackson and Mel Gibson have done crazier things to be sure.
Plus, I'm sure there's no good will between Tom and Viacom, who also owns Comedy Central's South Park. How would you like it if you worked for a company and it started making cartoons about you being secretly gay and then making fun of your religion.
OK, so I'm not trying to take Tom's side here, but the recent split with Paramount was not really over money. The numbers showed that both sides should have continued happilly printing twenty dollar bills for the next 30 years or so.
The real reason why Tom left Paramount came about due to his desire to save the Blogosphere from Advertising!
Tom knows about marketing and media and knows the power of the blogosphere both the good and the bad. He's recently learned that the blogosphere is increasingly being used to promote products instead of soley conveying educational and information content to readers scouring the internet looking for something very very important.
Tom had read many reports about a new trend in the blogosphere. Blogging for dollars. One company had been demonized in particular for tihs trend, PayPerPost.com founded by Ted Murphy. PayPerPost.com sponsors Bloggers to freelance paid editorials, reviews and more about products and services through its concept of putting ads on blogs.
Now Tom Cruise and many other people think that promotion of products and services, but not movies is very very evil. And so Tom is rumored to be considering a public campaign to wipe out this service and return the internet back to the people free of advertising.
Technorati Tags: grain of salt, Tom Cruise, payperpost, Ted Murphy
Aug 23, 2006
A number of news organizations are reporting on two rattlesnakes found at a movie theatre in Arizona. One rattler was in the theatre preparing to watch Snakes on a Plane and the other was found out in the parking lot, which is not to uncommon for Arizona.
The news is trumpeting the possibility that a prankster set the snakes loose for the showing of 'Snakes on a Plane' but some authorities are refuting the prank saying that the snakes slithered to the theatre on their own.
Both reports sound like the making of an urban legend. No one is refuting the fact that the snakes were there, just on how they got there. I didn't plan on seeing the movie before and with the potential for some jackass to let a rattler or viper or something loose in a theatre its a slam dunk certainty that I won't go now.
As for the possibility that a pair of rattlers slithered to the same theatre and one decided to go into the building and happened to make it into the theatre where snakes on a plane was showing, well that doesn't sound like a coincidence to me. I could understand the snakes showing up in the parking lot, but not getting into the theatre just so that they could here Samuel L Jackson say his $36 million dollar line, "I've had it up to mother fucking here with these mother fucking snakes on this mutherfucking plane" Leave it to Samuel Jackson to make the word motherfucker into the yada yada yada of this decade
My brother-in-law and his wife were married in Hawaii in August of 2000 and their anniversary just rolled by. We packed up and flew there for the wedding with my son Corbin, who was 2 at the time and it was a pretty good adventure all in all. We went to a pig roast on the beach, a Lua, went swimming in the ocean, hiked up Diamond Head and went to a look out post previous manned by Ernest Hemmingway and one of the locations where part of his novel From Here to Eternity was written from and written about. We went on a tour of Pearl Harbor and went downtown through some tourists areas (which later helped me quite a bit when I played Tony Hawk 5 or 6).
Its was a long trip, but we spent almost 2 weeks there with my wife's family. The marriage was on a point jutting out into Pearl Harbor. The entire shebang went pretty well.
I'd even recommend the concept to someone. You can take a nice honey moon somewhere, but taking the whole family and kicking off a vacation for them as well made a nice touch.
Technorati Tags: Hawaii Wedding
Aug 22, 2006
Well apparently Osama bin Laden's reputation is taking a nose dive in the world if that's possible. It would seem that he's infatuated with Whitney Houston and even considered exercising his perogative to have Bobby Brown murdered such that he could marry Whitney himself and put her up in a suburb of Khartoum.
All of this comes from a very reliable source, an ex-mistress of Osama, or former sex slave?, who also happened to be a soap opera writer for Days of Our Lives.
Who else could think of a story to describe a terrorist as her former sugar daddy who discussed his rules of marriage and racism and murder in regards to an American idol, while he plotted to attack America in a terrorist campaign. Are these the days of our lives???
I'm considering moving either next summer or the year after that. This promises to be a different kind of move for my family and I. In the past we'd pack up and move under corporate relocation plans, but these days I work as a consultant with my own company and I don't have a large moving firm at my disposal, which is just fine in my book.
I've experienced many bad moves with the corporate firms mostly because they work on contract and aren't really concerned with the people they are moving. I've had to fire realtors, career counselors, recruiters, trainers, and a few movers and hire my own out of pocket when the 'free' corporate movers started to cost me personally more than what they worth to the company that paid them.
So this time around I'm going to sub contract the work myself. I plan to box everything up myself ahead of time, and have it shipped to a storage location at my destination. Once we have our final home ready, we'll have it brought in and unpacked. Now, I got fleeced last year when I rented a uHaul to go to a different state and hall back a motorcycle that I had purchased. They swapped trucks on me at the last minute and this negated the special I had signed up for and when I got the final charge back on my credit card an extra $400 had been added on.
So this time, I need to find some directories and companies that have done some of the practical leg work for me, and allow me to go in and pick the best and most practical options.
So far the best directory that I've found for this mission is Self Storage Directory - Moving.bz Pronounced Moving Beez I think.
They have a number of services from moving information to links to movers and even a self storage directory, which is one of my main goals.
Well, look I'm sad to say that the SciFi Channel is shutting down Stargate SG-1 after the conclusion of the 10th and current season.
I am a huge science fiction fan, but came late to the party for this show. I got caught up in SG-1 about 4-5 years ago after watching several marathons of the show and then watching 4 episodes per Monday night for several years. I got hooked.
The show has been drooping off over the last 2 seasons, so I'm sad to see it go, but also feel like its being put out of its misery. I tried but could not get into the spinoff Stargate Atlantis, which was created without the key hook that SG-1 had. That hook was the connection of the real world to secreted away heroes that go off to do battle in other galaxies and planets through a worm whole on a daily basis.
It was this connection to the real world that made it all the more exciting to watch. Stargate Atlantis doesn't have the strength of that connection and suffers for it. Its rumorred that MGM is hoping to shop the show around to other networks and is setting up downloadable shows to ipods and other devices.
Maybe with a new network the show might be able to recreate some of its former freshness and humor, much of which has trailed off after Richard Dean Anderson slowly exited. The other cast members were key as well, but the combination of the group made the show great.
Aug 21, 2006
I love to hike, I love archaeology, and I'm fascinated with the mountains and desert. I've been dreaming about exploring the Peruvian Andes and Incan ruins since I was a little kid.
I've been working to get into better shape physically, and I'm hoping that I will be able to take a 3 week tour of the Andes with a significant amount of time spent at the Incan ruins. Now, I personally have an aversion to calling travel agents when I'm scoping out an idea. If it gets complicated I'll call, but I like to do my own research first and book it myself if I can. When you want to go on a tour of Incan civilizations Expedia or Orbitz don't really give you what you need to make it happen.
http://www.infohub.com/ is a different story. You can pick a region of the world, and activity types and it will find you tons of packages and tours and places that fit the bill with a few simple queries. My dream tour of the Andes would cost somewhere between $1500 - $2500 and would put me there for 3 weeks, double the money and double the time might even be an option I'd consider if my wife would let me get away for 6-8 weeks. :)
I was looking over my wife's shoulder while she was surfing the internet on Sunday and came across an article about a man in India. Now this is a normal man according to accounts, but he has a special feature that is extremely rare. He has 2 fully functional penises or is it peni or penisies??? Not sure what the plural should be there.
Now, one would think that a man gifted in this way might a. never leave the house as he tag teams himself or b. might become the most successful male porn actor the world has ever known or c. happily covort with woman after woman providing a unique pleasure that can not be found any where in the world without a mechanical device.
So what does our would be hero do? He decideds to get married and does he or his bride to be appreciate the gift? No, he decides that he will cut his penis off for his future bride. Now this isn't quite like the German man that had a second penis sewn on by doctors and then went home to show his wife and she left him. His case was actually almost stranger. His original penis lets call it penis number 1 got cut off in an accident. Doctor's created a new penis (penis number 2) from his own skin and some spare parts. Penis number 2 worked great, he even had a child with penis number 2, but he wanted something more. So he convinced doctors two make a bigger better penis, which they did creating penis number 3(penis number 1 existed with testicles attached, just wasn't much left of the apple stem). So he goes home to his wife to show him what is now penis number 3(visible penis number 2) and she packs her bags and leaves. The doctors had wanted to insure that the organ was accepted so they did not chop off number 2 as they waited for the results of number 3. The German show off thought that 2 penises might be better than 1 and showed his wife, but she looked at it from the perspective that 2(or 1 and a half) might be company but three was definitely a crowd, and so she bailed out on her penile prone hubby.
Now, the gent from India was exceptional as he was born this way with two peni that work.
Now, I'll admit that typically when a man decides to cut his penis off for his bride, its a one time deal. You cut it off and there are no replacements, it doesn't grow back like a starfish leg. When its gone its gone, but this guy has a spare! Still, its a very serious potentially life threatening operation as the penis is fully functional and cutting it off involves 'rewiring' the various components (I was a terrible biology student, focussing on atoms and valences and things more.) Let's summarize by saying that he could lose more than he intended and what he intended was considerable.
Some of you might think that two peni is too much for any single man to control. After all its difficult enough for a man to make a rational decision when one brain has to compete with a smaller more primal brain, but this chap has a three way debate going on and the majority ruling could be expected to come from his pants. Somehow his upper brain has overcome the odds and has brought on a verdict that will make the current minority the majority or at least put him on equal ground.
My question becomes what is he going to do with his extra penis? Will he donate the organ to a needy recipient? There was that Russian dude a while back that had a working penis fashioned out of his forefinger as I recall. I'm sure there is probably some Eunich somewhere that could use a penis. Or maybe he'll have his duplicate manhood stuffed and mounted somewhere for his future bride to use when he's on a business trip. Might he sell it at auction to the bidder than can get the most funds up? Then I start to wonder, if this guy is dumb enough to have his dick chopped off, is he at least smart enough to keep the larger of the 2 peni? Or is his bride to be so anti-penis that she's requiring him to keep the smaller of the 2, she'll then keep the stuffed chopped off second locked away somewhere, where she can use it against him.
Did I just say that? Maybe they are a little more perverted and she's planning on literally strapping on Ulysses (name of a fictional penis chopped off and stuffed in the book
Schroedinger's Cat) and servicing him? Which raises the question? Is a man gay if he gets laid by his wife with his own penis?
AHHHHHH- too many conundrums too many questions. I'm leaving the fool to his own poor choices.
Aug 20, 2006
The weekend has been here and is almost gone and I've been blogging from the couch. Usually, I blog from my desk or sometimes I sit at an island in our kitchen, but when the weekends here, I'm either on the couch or outside in a chair blogging, blogging, blogging.
Now laptops are a bit of a misnomer. They can work on your lap, but lets face it not for extended periods of time, unless you want to iron your legs or something. Dell's may be under a recall, but I haven't found a laptop yet that doesn't get hot when its on your lap. This will either burn you or heat up the laptop and cause a crash (nuh nuh nuh nuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuhnuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh ~ the sound of me drowning out Apple users)
So I put my laptop on a TV tray to keep the laptop cool and keep me from getting carpal tunnel. If you are going to blog from the comfort of your own couch, or lounge chair, or (can) get a Table Mate or get a set, so that you don't have to do what I do (Lug the dumb things around the house from one room to the next not to mention sharing it with your spouse or room mate)
Aug 19, 2006
Well Boy George is finished with his community service and is officially reformed now. There are several reports that are sourced from his manager or publicist indicating that he worked hard and made lots of friends with his fellow workers, the sanitation department, but not necessarily the media.
Personally, I'm glad the spectacle is over, and glad that New York hasn't rolled the stocks back into the city square where people can throw rotten tomatoes at offenders. Boy George's experience may have benefited George, but it did not display New York in a favorable light. When a lesson in humility turns into a a public display of ridicule there's something wrong with the system. The punishment intended to fit the crime, but due to outside circumstances some brought on by the fourth estate, it didn't make a good fit in the end.
Aug 18, 2006
My wife went back to school a week ago. This week her students joined her. She teaches first grade and this is her second year of teaching.
As a husband of a teacher, I've learned a couple things. First, schools are political animals and this year the politics hit home full force. Its tough for teachers to navigate the politics of a large school while trying to focus on helping their kids or students learn.
Second, I've learned that teachers spend a lot of their own money. Now my wife gets a small allowance from the school and she gets a discount card to Office Depot for a few points off of her purchase, but that's about it. Everything else she needs comes out of her own pocket or gets handed down from other teachers.
One of the things that most people don't think about when it comes to teaching is the furniture that teachers have to buy, make, refurbish, paint, and take care of as they move from school to school or grade to grade or class to class. Kids, especially small kids, like to have a fun colorful environment and its not easy to find furniture that is fun and colorful and affordable.
As many of my readers are teachers, administrators or students in college studying to become teachers, you might check out this source for furniture and other teaching related aids. Its not too difficult to find the lite school supplies but finding safe, colorful and durable furniture that's another thing all together. Doing all this on a teacher's salary? Well now that takes creativity!
So here's a little help .. . see this link for School Furniture
There are lots of deviants in the world, but this has got to be a strange one on any scale.
A former Oklahoma judge, Donald Thompson, has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for exposing himself and using a device made famous by Mike Myers known as a penis pump.
The former judge served on the bench for almost 23 years, and had been a state legislator before his service as a judge.
His court reporter testified that she say Thompson expose himself over a dozen times during a trial between 2001 and 2003. He was also alleged to have used a penis pump in at least 4 trials during that period. One of those trials covered a case where an infant had been shaken to death.
The jury was recorded asking about a wooshing noise coming from the judges bench, but the judge denied hearing any sound.
Investigators later found semen samples on the carpet near the bench and on the judges robes.
There has not been any talk about whether the judge's activities may have jeopardized any of the trials that he presided over during any of these situations.
I can never find coupons when I need them. I'm not talking about the coupons in newspapers either. I'm talking about when I buy something on the web and I get to the check out screen and they ask me if I know a promo code or have a coupon code or whatever.
I might do a quick google search to see if I can find something, but I usually miss the boat and pay full price feeling like I got the short end of the stick.
So I finally found a place that bundles coupon codes, online coupons, or coupons by store in one place.
Here's Amazon's offers to kind of give you a feel for how it works.
Donovan Garcia avoided death by chocolate this Friday morning.
Donovan wasn't trying to avoid a cake, icecream, Chocolate confectionaries or even a restaraunt. No Donovan was trying to avoid dying in a vat of chocolate after he fell in while trying to get some of the ingredients un-stuck. Now , it might sound like something out of a slapstick movie, but it took Donovan almost 2 hours to get out.
He said, "I felt like I weighed 900 pounds." This was probably more like falling into a vat of boiling tar than jumping into a lake of chocolate to eat until satiated. The chocolate was 110 degrees. Local fire officials weren't able to pull him out initially. He was stuck, and so using their brains and maybe a couple lessons from home economics, they thinned out the chocolate by adding cocoa butter!
Donovan was treated for minor injuries after his brush with death by chocolate. Its questionable when he will need another chocolate fix.
Just a reminder the Roast of William Shatner is coming up on Comedy Central this sunday. It should be a hilarious if not over-emphasized affair. William Shatner is idolized by many but has definitely worked hard over the years appearing any many TV shows and movies.
The guy is if nothing else a survivor. If you are looking to catch up with some of Shatner's work, there is a new DVD fan club offering some of the harder to find DVD's.
You can check outh their offer and Get Your Free Sci-Fi Movie From William Shatner!
In addition to his long acting career, Shatner broke new ground as an actor/investor in Priceline.com. During the internet boom he took payment for several ads in the form of stock from Priceline and subsequently benefited enormously from the run up of the stock when he looked like an investment hero and then lost an enormous amount as the stock dropped during the bust. Many investors of the time suffered major tax claims from stock options and after the bust did not have the actual cash to pay the tax bill after the valuation of the stock dropped out from underneath of them.
So make sure you have your communicators and ray guns set to stun, sit back and get ready to hear Betty White talk about her sexual escapades with good old Billy and let see where this takes us.
Aug 17, 2006
I perform a lot of blog reviews and give a lot of blog advice and often times I learn a great deal from the questions asked. I've found a site called Apogee that hosts a Search Engine Optimization Glossary or SEO Glossary.
They have definitions for a lot of terms that come up in the course of blogging, web optimization, blog optimization, and even more.
Just to give an example, they provide definitions for some words that I've heard and understood in context but never had a solid definition:
Link Farm Long Tail Keywords Made for Adsense (MFA)
Title Tag Cost Per Click Slurp
Note. These links would be an example of Deep Linking - also a word defined in their glossary. So fi you get stumped in a message board somewhere, this would probably be a good resource to check on for a quick definition.
Well, its August and that means its almost too late again to book a trip to Las Vegas for CES, and so that's what I'm up to this week. I've tried lots of travel websites and I'm always on the lookout for a site that will give me a better deal than the last.
This year I've come across a site called EscapeU.com, wihch offers a
Travel Discount and many of the same committments offered by the likes of expedia and Travelocity.
They seem to be partnered with the Discovery Channel Stores and even offer up a $10 off coupon for use at the Discovery Channel Stores, which might be useful as I'm going through the airpor next January and by a gift at the last minute!
Will you hook up your team of dogs to your car with an empty tank?
Or will you hitch a mule or horse up to your hummer? (they do have those handy towing rings on the front and back bumpers.)
For those of you that have a need for speed, will you ride your Dog Rocket to work?
Some people think that we can't all go electric, but maybe we just need to find BIGGER batteries!
Aug 16, 2006
I started doing a little freelance writing sponsored by PayPerPost.com around the beginning of July. And I've really had a great time with it. At first, they were a new company so I went slow and worked to learn the ropes of working as a freelance blogger. PayPerPost basically offers blog advertising to companies or websites that are looking to spread the word out across the blogosphere.
I was looking for sponsors and so a match was made. Its worked out great so far. I've found some good sponsors and written about some great new topics that have helped refresh my blogs significantly. I think my enthusiasm for bloggin has increased as well and this is coming across in my writing again and this is increasing the numbers of readers, subscribers and visitors that are reading my writing. So to my readers, thank you very much for reading and coming back for more!
Now, I'm not trying to brag or anything, but for my fellow bloggers if you are interested in finding sponsors, I would recommend payperpost. You do need a paypal account. Payperpost pays via PayPal, and they do Pay! I've received about $80 to date, and have about $150 more coming over the next 30 days or so (they pay 30 days after a sponsorship posting.) Now my PayPal account didn't used to receive much action, but its definitely a nice thing to wake up in the morning with an email from PayPal saying "PayPerPost, Inc just sent you money with PayPal."
Nothing gets you charged to write like that!
So I've been enjoying myself and if the increase in readers is any sign, so have you. I promise to continue keeping things fresh and interesting and always value comments online or via email.
There is one overall constant in my life that keeps me moving forward. I don't stop learning. I read as much as I can whenever I can. I also continue to take classes, seminars, courses and training that will help keep me fresh.
For the last week or so, I've been very excited to be taking some classes that are teaching me how to use Adobe's Studio 8. Studio 8 includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks and more.
I searched and searched for online classes that would help me get a handle on Dreamweaver, but all the courses I found were for Dreamweaver MX - the 2004 version. Finally, I opted to by a DVD training video from Total Training, which had a good reputation and came with a great reference from Doug Deprenger, of MySecurePC .
Total Training offered both individual classes for each software title and a few bundles. I spent a day or so trying to configure the best package, and ultimately decided to go initially with the Studio 8 Bundle. It was expensive, but all in all cheaper in total than the online courses that I had looked for and Studio 8 covered the latest version of the software. Well, last night around 3am I finished the first DVD rom of a 7 DVD set. It was the first half of the Dreamweaver portion of the training. This first part helped me solidify my Dreamweaver foundation. I have owned Dreamweaver for about 2 months and have been working during that time to translate my Frontpage and general HTML and CSS skills over to Dreamweavers software. The class got me caught up and taught me some great things that I hadn't found yet. I'm looking forward to the last half of the Dreamweaver class.
Then I get into Flash programming! I can't wait to start Flash as I have a backlog of demand for this service from my clients. So enough catching up for now, its back to work studying!
OK, so I'm teasing and I'm actually talking about Real Estate. I'm seeing a lot of news spots and a lot of articles about the changes in the real estate industry.
I moved from Boca Raton to the Atlanta suburbs in 2002, and at the time both areas were going through a boom. My friends in South Florida started reporting that the boom was over a year ago, but I'm not hearing about a bust there yet.
We've experienced a slower, steadier boom in the Atlanta area with average appreciation at a stable 6% (give or take 2-3 points for age of home and specific burb area).
Our home has appreciated at about 7% per year since 2002. We've dont a lot of significant work to the home with a major remodel of the kitchen, a massive 2nd story deck with full patio underneath, sidewalks and rear patio, a new laundry room, tiled floors, new roof, air conditioner, heater etc. etc. etc. :)
Our equity has gone up and we have not taken any out. So that's the scoop here. I've heard lots about busting markets in Southern California, specifically in San Diego.
In general, I'm hearing about cooling in the housing market but not a bust. I am hearing about a lot of busting of the commercial real estate market. You certainly will not have much difficulty finding office/warehouse space anywhere in Atlanta!
Aug 14, 2006
National University of Lesotho scientists released the results of a recent
analysis that revealed the presence of female hormones in beer. Men should take
a concerned look at their beer consumption. The theory is that beer contains
female hormones (hops contain phytoestrogens) and that by drinking enough beer,
men turn into women.
theory, 100 men drank 8 pints of beer each within a 1 hour period. It was then
observed that 100% of the test subjects:
apologize when obviously wrong.
excessively without making sense.
down while urinating.
testing was considered necessary.
Just received this notice through Bear Action Network Against Non- Alcoholic Products And Nutritious Turkey Stuffing
aka Bananan Pants (Where's a good acronym when you need it?)
One thing that goes right along with going back to school is crazy t-shirts. Not too many people fill up their wardrobe with crazy t-shirts only, but almost everybody in college or high school has one somewhere.
Here's a place that offers up Department specific crazy t-shirts: Visit Major Fashion
Here are a few examples of what I'm talking about
So after going on every ride we could hit yesterday, we decided to get a picture drawn of us to cap off the day. We had to wait in line for about an hour before it was our turn, but we were pretty well finished by that time anyway. There were three people in front of us when we got into line, but that wasn't very obvious for the first 20 minutes. Things looked promising until one of the people in front of us had to have their own drawing restarted after the airbrush gun malfunctioned and splattered black ink across a painting 99% done.
In the end we were both happy with the picture and it did cap off the day perfectly!
This picture of the picture is a little washed out due to the flash from my camera as I tried to take a picture of the picture in my son's room while he was sleeping and the room was dark. :)