Friday, September 4, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Anyway, here's to all our servicemen, serving and retired, living and not, and to everything they have and continue to do for our country.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
So listening to Lewis Black on the way home yesterday normally makes me laugh - and there was plenty of that, don't get me wrong. But as I listened to his audio book, he talked about what an effect his brother had on his life. His brother died of lung cancer in the 90's. My mother passed away in the 90's as well. It wasn't lung cancer. And as insidious as cancer is, so is Lou Gehrig's disease.
She never complained about pain that I could ever remember. Of course, neither my father or mother ever did (ok, when dad hit his thumb hammering a nail, there was plenty of swearing, but by god, I never ever remember him missing a day of work from being sick). They were both children of the Great Depression. Being in debt was never an option. When I bought my first house for $130,000, my father shuddered at the thought of being in so much debt.
My mother was born in a little town in Pennsylvania. Her brother died in the Jonestown flood when he was just a boy. She had sisters from her father's first wife and from his second. She was the first in her family to go off to college, and she never looked back.
She enjoyed her time living in NYC, even though she thought of them as snobs. She worked during WWII degaussing ships (for those of you who didn't know, that meant demagnetizing them after they'd been out at sea so they wouldn't attracted the mines that were set off by the big magnetic field a ship acquires from the friction of its travels).
She was an expert at hearing aids and how to test them - her papers on the subject are still available in archives online.
I guess this has turned into a memoriam more than I had set out to do.
What I was trying to say was - I miss her still. She was my moral compass. Through college, I called her every single day. Ok, sometime during college, I cut back to a few times a week.
When she got sick, it was devastating. She took to alcohol to control the pain, but no one but me saw it. No one but me did anything about it. No one but me seemed to understand the pain of what she was going through. She could no longer control so many of the things she took for granted, nor overcome the limitations to her brain that came from both diseases. She was proud of the accomplishments she had made in the work world, but she was more than happy to give them up to raise 3 sons.
Although I know she will always be with me, her life impacted me in ways I will never comprehend. Just as my father's ultimate work ethic affects me to this day. They both completed advanced degrees and were voracious readers, but were happy to help me with an elementary school science project or talk about my day at school.
I miss them both dearly, every day, but I also know that in every way, they wish me only the best and want me to be supported like they were here in the flesh and happy as I want to be.
So close to Mother's Day, I just wanted to let all the mothers out there know how much your son's love you, whether they have the ability to show it now, or in the future. They will always love you.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Although there was *stiff* competition from annoying, whiny blogster/rumor monger Perez Hilton (why ask that question - did you want to out someone that doesn't agree with you or were you just looking for a handjob, err, handout?), I have to give it to Time Warner cable in a little town in North Carolina called Wilson.
The Wilson city government had gown to TW and asked them for faster broadband access for locals and businesses - they refused, saying it would take too long for them to recoup the expenses (2-3 years). So in the great American spirit, Wilson adapted and overcame.
They ran their own fiber network throughout the town, using municipal bonds and Stimulus money, and now provide 10 to 100 Megabit up and download speeds for less than the standard TW broadband costs. They compare all-in-one packages at $100 for their speeds to the $137/month introductory costs for TW.
Read all about it here.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
So I'm letting you know that it's a good service - it will download your My Documents, Pictures, or whatever you need backing up every night and not cost you a dime. Your only expense is if you want more space.
So try it out - it's on me.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
So GM and Segway decided to combine products - making a Segway that's too big to use on the sidewalk, and making a car that would provide you no protection in an accident in the city. Brilliant or not? You decide.
Link to BBC News article
Friday, April 3, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
The Darwin Award each year goes to someone who does humanity a great favour by taking themselves out of the gene pool.
Yes, it's that magical time of year again when the Darwin Awards are
bestowed, honoring the least evolved among us.
Here is the glorious winner:
1. When his 38-calibre revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California, would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And now, the honorable mentions:
2. The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat-cutting machine and, after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company, expecting negligence, sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine, and he also lost a finger. The chef's claim was approved.
3. A man who shovelled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
4. After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn't discovered for 3 days.
5. An American teenager was in the hospital recovering from serious head wounds received from being hit by an oncoming train. When asked how he received the injuries, the lad told police that he was simply trying to see how close he could get his head to a moving train before he was hit.
6. A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount
of cash he got from the drawer... $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]
7. Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he'd just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
8. As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he
replied, "Yes, officer, that's her. That's the lady I stole the purse from."
9. The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan, at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn't open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren't available for breakfast. The man, frustrated, walked away. [*A 5-STAR STUPIDITY AWARD WINNER]
10. When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline and plugged his siphon hose into the motor home's sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he'd ever had.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Normally, I take great care to keep my cool and not sweat the little things. However, yesterday proved to be a little much. The rent for my investment property, which I've been trying to sell for over 2 years now, is late yet again.
I had to work over 12 hours, trying to get a server problem inline. This only made my oncoming sinus infection win and leave me helpless today, home, sick.
On the way home last night, a pickup truck towing a trailer had tie-down straps swinging into my travel lane (luckily not scratching up my car afterall). Hopefully, MSP tracked them down past my exit and made them secure their load properly.
All this, 20 hours before I need to take my precious Tapestry to her surgery tomorrow.
I'm ok - I'll go to the Dr. in a few hours and get some antibiotics, and Tapestry will have her surgery in the morning and feel much, much better. Getting there may be a pain in the ass, but everything will be fine - as she so many times has impressed upon me - the universe will provide.
PS - The picture is of American Idol judge Paula Abdul having a bad day - just for clarification.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Watching part of season 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica, reminded me of a poem from Randall Jarrell - made an impression on me then, and still does. Hope you get beyond the immediate meaning to listen to its strength and hear what's going on in the poem.
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
"A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the foetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose." -- Jarrell's note.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Since I'm currently on the job search, I recently saw this one - coming in at around $105,000/yr (150,000 Aus)...what do you think?
SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian state has launched a global search for candidates for "the best job in the world" -- earning a top salary for lazing around a beautiful tropical island for six months.
The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars) and includes free airfares from the successful applicant's home country to on the , 's state government announced on Tuesday.
In return, the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, soak up the sun, snorkel the reef, "maybe clean the pool" -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
The winner, who will stay rent-free in a multi-million dollar three-bedroom beach home complete with plunge pool and golf buggy, must be an excellent communicator and be able to speak and write English.
"They'll also have to talk to media from time to time about what they're doing so they can't be too shy and they'll have to love the sea, the sun, the outdoors," said acting state Premier Paul Lucas.
"The fact that they will be paid to explore the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, swim, snorkel and generally live the Queensland lifestyle makes this undoubtedly the best job in the world."
Lucas said the campaign was part of a drive to protect the state's 18 billion Australian dollar a year tourism industry during the tough economic climate caused by the global financial meltdown.
While the campaign has elements of some reality television shows, a candidate's looks will not be a prime requirement, Tourism Queensland chief executive Anthony Hayes told AFP.
"No, I don't think beautiful is what we want, I think charismatic is what we want," he said. "The reality is we are looking for a fantastic communicator.
"What we want this person to do is travel throughout the Great Barrier Reef and just try every experience, every adventure they can find and report back via blogs and video to tell the world why Queensland is a great place to come for a holiday."
Tourism Minister Desley Boyle said some people might question whether it was risky to let an unknown person become an unofficial tourism spokesperson for the state.
"I think the biggest risk will be that the successful candidate won't want to go home at the end of the six months," she said.
"This is a legitimate job which is open to anyone and everyone."
Applications are open until February 22. Eleven shortlisted candidates will be flown to Hamilton Island in early May for the final selection process and the six month contract will commence on July 1.
Job-seekers can apply on .