Friday, November 30, 2007


That's right. This is the end of National Blog Posting Month. I no longer need to post every single day. I'm going to try to keep to every week day, though. I wonder if I have it in me. Let's see if we can keep the momentum going. I'll close the month with a laugh, a brag, and warm toasty waffles.

The Laugh: I was giving Josh a snuggle last night and we were talking about something that had disappointed him. Still, it had turned out well, all things considered, and I told him to count his blessings. We began to count in unison. One. Two. Three. "I'm counting my blessings," I told him. "Are you?" "No." He said. "I'm counting sheep."

The Brag: Maya just got the results from the first part of the Math Competition in her class. She came in third place in the calculator event and FIRST in the mental math! Woot! There are three more events. She can pick one out of all the ones in which she finishes in the top three. She'll represent her class in the school wide competition in that event. If she wins that, she'll go on to the district event.

The Waffles: Today was waffle day at work. Every month or so, they set up a few waffle makers, make up some batter, and put out fresh fruit and juice for us. Then you make your own waffle creation. It's not exactly on my diet, but the aroma was too good and I succumbed. I made a pumpkin spice waffle with caramel sauce. At least I left off the whipped cream. Yummy!

Read More......

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Too Disorganized to Organize

This is a lame cop-out post. I have miles to go before I sleep. So, I shouldn't be writing at all. But I promised myself I'd do a post a day for the month. And it would certainly be lame to fall short just now. Some of the overloading is my own doing. I need to get more organized. I've been listening to Covey and trying to get my mind around his concept of a Fourth Generation Planner. The basic idea is to extend your TODO list from daily to weekly. Decide what roles you play that are important to you like father, husband, employee, mentor, member of the community, etc. Then figure out what things you want to do to fulfill those roles for the week. Place the ones that have to happen on specific days first. Then place the others. THEN you can break those things down into a daily list. It sounds easy. So why can't I do it?

Read More......

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Two More to the List

OK. I forgot about my experiences with FedEx while we were on the run from the fires. That was another customer disservice nightmare. And as of yesterday we can add a local heating company to the mix.

Our furnace has been off since we evacuated. I shut off the gas and the pilot before we left. She-who-is-wise wants to have a professional give it a tune-up and relight it. Unfortunately, the weather is now cold enough at night to need heat. So, I did some searching and found a local guy who got good reviews on and set up an appointment.

I had to work from home that day because they all give a window of times. Well, he missed the first time, but he called to let me know. I went from 9-1 to 2-4. At 3:50, my phone rang again. He was on an emergency job. He wasn't going to be able to make it. Apparently, it is possible to have a heating emergency in a restaurant that trumps a home with no heat. He wanted to reschedule me to the following day. Grrrrrr. I explained that I had to stay home from work one day already and couldn't really do it again. He felt badly about this and said he would come by when the emergency was over and he would give us a discount. Would 7 or 8 work? Fine. I asked him to call my cell before he came and one of us would bail out of rehearsal and get home to let him in.

At 9 p.m. he still had not called. So, we bundled under the blankets for another night. Had he called, been super apologetic, and offered to do the work for free, I might have given him another shot. But he stood us up three times in one day, the last after finding out he made me miss work for nothing. You'd think he would at least call.

That's the mildest of my bad customer service stories. Tune in next time for FedEx, as that one seems like it is complete. Each of the other three has gotten additional info since I last posted.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Texas is Scary

I heard a news story this morning that reminded me that Texas is another world. Before you read any further, listen to the 911 tape. At first, it starts out amusing. Mostly because you can't picture that it could go where you think it is going to go. The guy starts out by reporting a robbery in progress at a neighbor's house. It turns weird when he says "I got a shotgun. Uh. Do you want me to stop 'em?" The rest of the call is about the 911 operator trying to keep this guy from going out there and shooting. It ends with the 911 operator ordering the man to put the shotgun down and lay on the ground so that the arriving officers know he is not a threat and warning him not to shoot anyone else because there are plainclothes officers on the scene.

Here's the story. Two men rob a house in broad daylight. A neighbor sees it and gets angry and grabs his shotgun. The 911 operator tries to talk him out of going for a confrontation. The man is of the mindset that if he goes outside to get more information, he will have no choice but to bring his shotgun, yet he refuses to wait in his house, even though he knows officers are on the way. Since the police don't arrive quickly enough for him, he goes out and takes matters into his own hands. He shoots and kills both burglars.

His mindset is scary. "If I don't shoot them. They will get away with a crime. I can't let that happen." His neighbors seem to support him.

"We stand behind the man for protecting his neighbors and his own home," neighbor Lauren Malone said.
If you watch the video clip, another neighbor says "It's a war." In Texas, 'stuff' is more important than 'life', unless that life is not yet born.

Read More......

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Death of Customer Service

I am sure I've ranted about this before. I may have to dig through the archives for links. But it is no secret. Wanting customers to be happy seems to be a thing of the past for many companies these days. I have three stories from the last few weeks alone that have my blood boiling. And when I rant, I rant long. So, I'll be breaking each story into its own post. The three targets of my ire? Hewlett Packard, Kodak, and Manhattan Beach Toyota. HP is annoying for its absolute hypocrisy. "Making the computer personal again" my fanny. Kodak is typical, but still disappointing. And the Toyota dealership took advantage of us while we were distressed over the wild fires and in an urgent situation. They probably screwed us the most. When all is said and done, we can vote. Maybe I'll do a "Who screwed me more" poll.

Read More......

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Truly Blessed

We were at YMCA Family camp for Thanksgiving again. We always have such a good time there. And, in spite of the fact that it is the ymCa, the religiosity is kept to a minimum. The camp director read an Emerson poem instead of a benediction. Maya sang a variant on "Simple Gifts" in which we revised the lyrics.

Tis a gift to be simple.
Tis a gift to be free.
Tis a gift to be with friends and family.
And when we come together in a place that is dear,
We make special memories that last through the year.

After that, each table does their own blessing. We were sitting with some new and open-minded friends and it was decided that Josh would lead us in prayer.

"Thank you for good cheerment. Thank you for justice and willing of turkey."

Amen, Josh. Amen.

Read More......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Easy Way to Help

A friend forwarded me this breast cancer link. It's one of those sites that makes a donation for every X clicks. In this case, they are giving free mammograms to those who cannot afford them. They aren't getting the click thru traffic they wanted. So they are on a pace to give fewer than their maximum. I'm guessing they are hoping people will purchase stuff once on their site. I just clicked the free button and ask you to do the same. Thanks!

Read More......

Friday, November 23, 2007

Home Stretch

There's only one week left to NaBloPoMo and I have managed to keep with it. This is easily the longest blogging streak this blog has had. I still need to find a way to write the longer posts that are in the backlog. Perhaps I'll break them into chunks. Who knows. But thanks for supporting me this far. It's been a lot of fun.

Read More......

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Feel Good About The Bad Parts of Our History Day!

I know. I should just be full of the good wishes of the season. I should
be thankful for what I have. And I am. I have a great wife. I have a
great family. I have a great home. I have great friends. I have a great
job. I was lucky enough to be mostly spared from the fires. So,
everyone, have a Happy Thanksgiving and appreciate what you have as I
appreciate all of you. I'll rant about our whitewashing of history
another day.

Read More......

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It Shouldn't Be This Hard To Help

Yesterday, I went to give blood. I became eligible again on November
15th, but hadn't had time until yesterday. The closest blood drive to me
was also one of the biggest. It was the San Diego Blood Bank's Chargers
Blood Drive. You could donate blood, meet your favorite players and
watch live entertainment. I figured it would be crowded and busy, but I
also figured it would be well staffed. Still, I didn't have a ton of
time, so I figured I would call and make sure I could work it into my
lunch break. I asked if they had openings for walk-ins. Yes, they did.
But could I just walk right in? Could I do this on my lunch hour?
Absolutely. Great! I'm on my way.

It took me 10 minutes to drive to the drive, which I thought was pretty
good. Until I tried to park. Sorry. This lot is full, but you can go to
the other side of the convention center. No worries. Same distance.
Other side. I got to the other side and saw a man waving an orange flag.
Can't park here. Convention center is full. You need to park down the
street at the mall. I should have realized I was screwed at that point
and cut my losses. Of course, I didn't. I went to the mall and circled
for ten minutes until I found a just vacated spot. Then I walked the ten
minutes back to the convention center and headed over to the
registration desk. There was no line. Perhaps I overreacted? I was told
you take walk-ups? Ah. Thank you. She gave me a program for the
entertainment, a list of rules for donating, and a number. 1090. I was
then told to head to the ballroom for the seating area. The white board
in front of the corral said "Numbers 680 and lower". Uh-oh. The
volunteer there looked at my number. Apparently, I had about a two hour
wait before my group was called. Once that happened, I'd go to another
room to get typed and blood pressured. Then I'd get questioned about
whether or not I had traveled anywhere that would disqualify me. Then I
would go to a final holding area where I'd get put on a table and
drained a pint. Crap. I was looking at three hours minimum. If I had
thought to bring work and a cell phone, I'd have called the office and
toughed it out.

I went back to the front to see if they had any appointments for later.
Maybe I could come back. Nope. They weren't doing appointments. All
right. Could I keep my number and just walk right in if I came back and
had missed the call? She couldn't promise me anything. I could certainly
come back, but I might have to wait two more hours then.

I left and walked the 10 minutes back to my car and then had to fight
lunch traffic to get out of the mall. I wasted about 90 minutes and all
so I could fail to help anyone. How very satisfying. I'll clearly have
to find a smaller scale event after the holiday.

Read More......

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Warning! Danger Will Robinson!

This morning, a friend forwarded me a couple of interesting and troubling security articles. Safe surfing may no longer be enough. And given that we are just dropping into online shopping season, I thought some of this info might be good to have.

The first item, found on Wired, is a new twist on an old hack. Malicious users are embedding encrypted redirect functions in flash banners. You don't need to click the banner. You just have to visit a site that displays it. It then redirects your browser to an anti virus software site where software is installed seemingly no matter what you do. Security providers are working on fixes for this, and I'm curious if changing your flash settings will help. Any security workers out there want to comment?

The second item, from Network World, seems a little less easily classified. The article is vaguely written. The gist is that a math error on a chip could create serious security vulnerabilities. The author references the math error that plagued Intel chips back in 1994. I think he is saying that if such a math error occurred on newer chips, it would be exploitable. I'm not sure whether or not he has found said vulnerability. But this bears watching.

And, finally, in the "are they really that stupid" category, we have the NSA. In another Wired
story you can read about the government's new cryptography standards. The standards themselves are a good thing. The component of the standard the NSA is championing is less so. The NSA wants us to adopt an algorithm into which they have a back door. That way, they have a skeleton key to decrypt the messages from the 'bad guys'. Who decides who the bad guys are? They do. Well, them and the President. And of course, they would never use it on law-abiding citizens. And there is no way they could be infiltrated by a terrorist or industrial spy. So, none of us should lose the slightest bit of sleep over it. Right?

I'm pretty sure the crypto community at large will reject NSA's approach, but how many need to adopt to worry us?

Read More......

Monday, November 19, 2007

"The Mist" is Closing In

I know Halloween is behind us and that is usually horror movie season. But isn't that just like Stephen King? Just when you think the terror is over, bang! That's when he gets you. I have a feeling that his latest offering, The Mist is no different. Follow that link for trailers, a synopsis, and other behind the scenes goodies. Those of you who know me know I don't go for the mindless gore sort of horror movie. That's why this one appeals to me. The kind I go for deal with the way the people react to what is going on. "The Mist" seems like a cross between "Lord of the Flies" and "Pitch Black". Something is out there and the trapped people know neither what it is nor how far it has spread. Can they escape? Can they even survive? From the trailer, there appear to be enough people left alive to create some interesting dynamics. This is not the usual handful of survivors to be picked off one at a time. I'm sure some will be picked off. Probably several. But it appears to be more about how easily they turn on one another as the situation breaks down. It's as much a study in human nature as it is a horror film.

This, to me, is King's strength. Can he scare the bejeezus out of you? Sure he can. Look at "The Shining". I had nightmares for weeks! But he can also create morally challenging situations and make his characters squirm through them like in "The Green Mile" or "The Dead Zone".

In "The Green Mile" you have what appears to be an innocent man convicted of murder. He certainly doesn't seem capable of violence. But he is black and in the South. And he is a giant. He also has the power to heal others by taking their suffering into himself. The main characters are on the horns of a dilemma. Their job is to carry out his execution. But how do you kill someone who is gentle and innocent? Beyond that, he has the potential to save so many lives.

In "The Dead Zone" a man gains the power to see into the future, seemingly unerringly. He warns people and those who listen are saved or helped in some way. How can he be sure he'll always be right? How can anyone who listens? And what happens if the only way to prevent loss of life is to take someone else's life? Is killing one to save others morally good? These are the kind of questions I like to see people struggle with.

Which brings us back around to "The Mist". If the world is ending and everyone is going to die, does it matter how you treat others before you go? Do you have the right to force your beliefs or morality on them?

I know a few of you out there are far more avid horror buffs than I am. So, who is going to go out and see The Mist by Stephen King? Don't worry. Whether or not I get paid for this ad doesn't depend on how many of you say yes. :)

Read More......

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wanna Be Depressed?

Then rent Beyond the Gates. The original title it was released under was "Shooting Dogs". It's not a new film, but we only just picked it up. It tells the story of a technical college in Rwanda that turned into a refugee camp before the 1994 Rwanda massacre of the Tutsis by the Hutus. The movie was grim, distressing, and brutal. But I also felt it was manipulative, in a way. I am not trying to suggest that the Tutsis deserved what they got. The massacre was brutally savage, and that is made abundantly clear in this film. Where it falls apart is that it suggests that the Tutsis have always been victims of the Hutus and this is just a bubbling over of a long standing repression. The history is much more complex than that, but the focus of the movie seemed to be "Hutus are, and always have been, evil savages." I am incredibly sympathetic to the Tutsi plight, but I would have been even more so with more of a nod to history and an understanding of the motivations of the other side.

Read More......

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Songza sounds like it must be a song pizza or something, doesn't it? But it is not. It's another online jukebox. This one allows you to search for and play specific songs by specific artists. The twist is that it searches the internet for the songs. So, it may find people covering the songs or other variations on the content. Thus far the interface is pretty limited. You can search by keywords. There is no distinction between artist or song title keywords. The search results are sorted by 'quality'. Quality is measured by the number of people who have rated the sound quality of the track with a thumbs up or down. When you click on a selection, you have four options; play, rate, share, or add to play list. Play and rate are pretty self explanatory. Play list is too, but it does not seem to save from session to session. I have yet to determine if it is possible depending on cookie settings, but there is no login mechanism to allow you to save. The share feature seems to be the interesting one. Clicking on that gives you an assortment of options for how to share the song. You can send it to a friend, watch it on YouTube (if it exists there), embed it on your web site, or just link to it. Still, if you need to hear a particular song RIGHT NOW, this may not be a bad way to go. I'll be watching this one with interest.

Read More......

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Funny On Leave

Since I'm actually blogging again, I haven't had time to find pointless funny videos. If something occurs to me, I'll likely just post it. But as a 'bit', it feels played out to me. It was a way to keep my blog active at a time when I couldn't spend any time on it. I'm sure I'll find things. In the meantime, look for a second post today (Ooooooh!) as I don't think a post about not getting a post counts as a post. And now, before I go, let me just say a word that I feel has been under represented in this update. Post.

Read More......

Thursday, November 15, 2007

38 Questions Meme

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

2. What were you doing at 0800?
Running on an elliptical machine.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Taking out the trash and recycles.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
I landed a great part in "Guys and Dolls"

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Sometimes you need someone to say "No. Don't do that!"

6. How many beverages did you have today?
So far, about 3 litres of water and a can of Pepsi

7. What colour is your hairbrush?
Why do I need a hairbrush. I don't have any hair.

8. What was the last thing you paid for?
Eating too much Mexican food. ;-)

9. Where were you last night?
At the theater checking up on a show that opens Friday

10. What colour is your front door?
Not sure what color I'd call it. I suppose pale yellow with dark green trim?

11. Where do you keep your change?
In my pocket.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Sunny and warm.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavour?
Coffee and Heath Bar

14. What excites you?
Seeing the kids I work with grow and improve

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Again, what hair?

16. Are you over the age of 25?
I hope so. Otherwise I had my daughter when I was 15!

17. Do you talk a lot?
I've been told so, which must mean I don't. Otherwise, how could they have gotten a word in edgewise to tell me so.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?
Nope. I don't watch much TV period.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
I know several Stevens, though all of them go by Steve.

20. Do you make up your own words?
Frequently. If I can't find the right word, I may verbize a noun to get my point across.

21. Are you a jealous person?
A bit. I try not to let it rule me too much.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’
April. That could be a fun meme. How far through the alphabet can you go naming someone you know personally.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’
Kevin aka Uncle Slug

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
For calls, it would be she-who-keeps-us-organized. But I did get a text message from Aunty Sam this morning.

25. What does the last text message you received say
"Birthday girl"

26. Do you chew on your straw?
Only on rare and bizarre occasions.

27. Do you have curly hair?
Not on my head.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
The kitchen to do the dishes.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
Nobody. If they get to that point, they get ousted from my life. Karma was.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
4 mini gingerbread dudes.

31. Will you get married in the future?
I hope not. That would mean something bad happened to the marriage I already have.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
I'm not sure if I have seen a movie in the last two weeks. The most recent movie I enjoyed was "Wild Hogs"

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
I like lots of people. If you mean romantically, well, just my wife.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
An hour ago, but I have to finish them.

35. Are you currently depressed?

36. Did you cry today?
Nope! Nor yesterday.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
Because barbie2be is my friend and I appreciate her not tagging anyone. That kind of consideration deserves to be rewarded.

38. Tag 5 people you want to do this survey.
I'm going to follow barbie2be's example and not tag anyone. If any of my readers want to do it, they can either volunteer to blog it or just do it in the comments.

Read More......

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Guy's Only Doin It For Some Doll

Actually, not just some doll, but a very specific doll. You see, I was in a production of "Guys and Dolls" as I'm sure I mentioned. Well, some real romance has come out of the fiction. And I was there! Well, sort of. Sky Masterson is getting married. Not to Sarah Brown, of course. She's all wrong for him. Nope. He fell for a different Mission Doll. They started dating a little over a year ago. I knew that Cathy liked someone in the cast, but she pooh-poohed all my guesses. It turns out my first guess had been correct. It was Bob, our magnificent romantic lead. I still razz her over the fact that she LIED to me. But that's neither here nor there. Or, that was then, this is now. Choose your favorite cliche.

Last Friday night, we had a karaoke party for a friend who was visiting from out of town. It was a last minute thing and Bob and Cathy were gracious enough to alter their plans to join us. What can I say? That's what we theater nerds do when we get together. We break out the CDs and sing show tunes. And you thought my last cliche was bad. Don't worry. I lowered the bar to help ease the guests who were feeling self-conscious. I made a sight-unseen attempt at Highway to Hell. I rocked. But this is not about me. It's about romance.

Bob got in the queue and sang "Always and Forever" to Cathy. She leaned over while this was going on and said, "This is a big deal." Things were too crowded for her to elaborate assuming she had time, which she didn't. Bob, that sly dog, made sure to leave some instrumental at the end so he could dance with his lady love. It was sweet and touching. If it sounds cheesy, that's just because my writing is not doing it justice. But trust me. It was incredibly romantic. Earlier today, Cathy filled me in on why it was such a big deal. He proposed when they got home! He had the evening planned out. They had gone to dinner and a show. He amended his plan to fit in Lori, our friend from out of town.

So, I just want to be the twenty-seventh (or so) to congratulate them both. They have both been through a lot and each deserves the other. So it's nice to see them get their happy ending. Cathy is now giddy and walking on air. Ok, she's usually giddy, but she is even giddier now. Congratulations again!

Read More......

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holiday Fatigue

I'm exhausted and it hasn't even started yet. I'm looking ahead to Thanksgiving and then Hanukkah and the Christmas and it is all too much already. There are other things I want to do with my time, but it seems already to be spoken for. I know. This makes two holiday whines in rapid succession. I should just pop a Valium and pipe down. I think it is partially a 'fire hangover'. Our lives were thrown totally out of whack by the fires. And now that we are just about settled back into a rhythm, it's time for the holiday chaos to ensue. Anybody else out of sorts? Or is it just whiny old me?

Read More......

Monday, November 12, 2007

How Kind Do You Have to be to a Volunteer?

As many of you know, I do community theater. We are all volunteers. Nobody gets paid even a little bit. Our compensation is the satisfaction of a job well done and a couple tickets for our friends to see our work. So what do you do when people want to volunteer their time, but their skills and/or standards don't meet your quality standards? How do you tell people who have a "this is good enough" attitude, especially when it isn't good enough, that they have to let someone else help? Not the most fun seven hours I've spent. But the show will be ready on Friday.

Read More......

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Bit Like...

Christmas! Yes. You thought the ellipsis above might be a misleading tease. You expected a play on that old chestnut. But no. I really said Christmas. Now, I know the stores are trotting the holiday merch out earlier and earlier, so it does not surprise me to see all manner of decorations already available. However, I was driving down the street and saw not one, but two houses already fully decorated for Christmas! Come on, people! We haven't even celebrated the fictionalized, romanticized accounting of how we took the Native Americans to the cleaners. I have yet to have my tryptophan-hindered, post-Turkey-gorging hike. Do you really need three giant, inflatable, light-up snow globes on your lawn obscuring your house from view? I wish my camera was working so I could take a picture for you. I may have to retaliate and start decorating for St. Patrick's day. You know. Beat the rush.

Read More......

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Who knows what Rolling Stones song that is from? That's right. Shattered. It's also a fitting reference to my morning. There was a broken switch in our kitchen light and ceiling fan. I had made one unsuccessful attempt at fixing it and discovered that I needed to replace a specialized piece. Well. I had that piece and today was the day for the repair. I made one minor miscalculation. I should have removed the bulbs and the glass shades that surrounded them. That way, when the housing slipped and fell, it might not have been too heavy for the wires that were the only things between it and the ceramic tiles. Shadoobie! That's what I said when it hit the floor and shattered. Honest.

Read More......

Friday, November 09, 2007

Friday Funny the 13th - Jason Lives

He's not in this video or anything, but he lives. Somewhere. Today's funny is another classic. It's something that James over at Aces Full found when he was working at the BCC Media Center. It's a Lenny Bruce cartoon called "Thank You Mask Man". Put your headphones on as there is some language.

Read More......

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Definition of Irony

In case you haven't heard, racist idiot Don Imus is coming back to radio. To make room for his show, WABC has fired Ron Kuby, a civil rights lawyer, who had a popular talk show. My favorite quote from the article I saw is this one: "He gets my job, and I'm told about the high price he paid," Kuby continued, his voice rising in disbelief. "He's paid? What about me? The press release ought to say, `Ron Kuby has paid a high price for Don Imus' mistake.' He gets $20 million, an eight-month vacation and my job." I can't add anything that tops that.

Read More......

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm a Moron - Therefore You Can Trust Me!

At least that seems to be the premise behind a web site that was advertised in my Google ads. I'm probably not supposed to make fun of the advertisers, but sometimes I can't help myself. I'm not sure what switch I tripped, but I got a block of "Get Rich Quick" links. Most are not worthy of comment, but is begging me to mock it. Apparently, this guy has gotten burned frequently. These bitter experiences now make him uniquely qualified to tell you which ones are legit. Because, you know, fool me 37 times, shame on you. You can't get fooled again. Sounds like this guy decided he'd had enough of being beaten and it was time to be a joiner. Wonder how much he gets for each person that signs up. Personally, I like the little pop-up that is not a pop-up on the page. "Get The Free SECRET Scam Report Before They Stop Me From Revealing The Truth." Wow! He is in possession of true facts so startling that people want to shut him up. What's more, they somehow have the means of suppressing the truth! I'd write more, but I have a link to follow! Hurry, before THEY take away your computer!!!

Read More......

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What About Tigers and Bears?

While I can't speak of those, I can speak of lions. The mountainous variety. It appears the fires have roused one from his normal habitat. He was spotted (no that would make him a leopard) at Maya and Josh's school on Sunday. That means recess and lunch are back indoors again until they figure out where it is. I told the kids that if they were outside they should stay with a group and then make sure they are right in the thick of the group as it's going to pick off the stragglers if it goes after anyone. Mind you, I can't imagine a mountain lion creeping up on a noisy elementary school recess, but it's not worth the risk, however slight. The story was pretty well covered on our local news. If you click on the video link, you'll get to see the kids school and their principal. You'll also get to see dramatic footage of a completely different mountain lion. I want to know how they got the camera on his head.

Read More......

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stories From the Fire - Tragic Loss

All of the losses in the fire were tragic. Some were more tragic than others. This is a story of one of those losses. It's easy to argue after the fact over whether it was avoidable or not, but no amount of second-guessing can bring back the dead. The casualty numbers were very low for a fire of this magnitude, but even with low casualty numbers, somebody is going to know someone who died. Sadly, she-who-has-had-a-pretty-rough-go did. One of her coworkers at Rincon Middle School lost her life in the fire. This article gives a decent account. For those who are wondering, they lived in an area that was overrun in about 15 minutes time. All we can do is speculate, but the best guess is that they thought they had a minute or two to grab a couple last things. They were wrong. And lest you think they had a lot of time, their next door neighbors did not have time to evacuate either. They survived by huddling in their swimming pool. Imagine sitting in 52 degree water and watching your house burn to the ground.

The principal of their school, John Centofranchi, was really excellent in the face of crisis. He kept in touch with all his teachers during the fires and sent out word to them when the first rumors of Vicky's death surfaced. He kept on top of the story and made sure they heard the confirmation from him before it hit the airwaves. He also did a tremendous job of making sure there were support personnel on hand to help students and teachers deal with the grieving process. The teachers had a meeting the day before students came back where all the rumors about what happened were dispelled. While I am saddened by the loss, it is comforting to know that the students and teachers are in such capable hands and are well supported as we try to rebuild our community.

Read More......

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fall Back

I am not a fan of daylight savings time. I'll grant you, it made today into a very productive day. I was up early and accomplished all kinds of stuff. The extra hour was good for that. However, we now start the season wherein it is dark when I leave for work and it is going to start getting dark when I leave. I may have to go out for lunch just so I can see the sun. Gone is my ability to do yard work after I get home. Admittedly, I didn't do a lot of that, but I liked having the option. Where do you all stand on DST?

Read More......

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Friday Funny 12 - NOW on Saturday!

Not a new clip, but I heard Frank Caliendo has a new series coming out. He's an amazing impressionist and he always cracks me up. I hadn't seen this routine before, but it's a good one.

Read More......

Friday, November 02, 2007

The NEW Fantstic Four

While we were in Denver, Uncle Joe had a Halloween party for a few of his friends and invited us along. We had packed costumes for the kids, but not for me. Joe gave me the option of being a leprechaun or a 20's detective. Josh felt I should be "20 detectives", but the outfit didn't fit me. So, I went with the leprechaun. She-who-didn't-want-to-play avoided the whole thing, but I thought the combination of costumes: Joe, Maya, Josh, and I made for a fun super team. I present to you, "What If The Fantastic Four Were From Europe?"
The NEW Fantstic Four
Click the photo to go to the whole Flickr set.

Read More......

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Right. I'll Do It.

My friends have convinced me to sign up for National Blog Post Month or nablopomo for short. By signing up for this, I have agreed to make a post each day for the month of November. That means I have to do weekends, too. And Thanksgiving. What do I get if I succeed? The same thing if I don't. NOTHING! So, why am I doing it? No clue. Possibly because I am susceptible to pressure from friends. Maybe I'm just a girl who can't say no. Except for the girl part. Perhaps I am hoping to kick start my blog into regularity. Think of it as fiber supplements for my blog. Click on the badge below if you want to sign up. Know what I get if you sign up? That's right. NOTHING!

Read More......