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    Wednesday, December 26, 2007

    The 50 Most Loathsome People In America

    Every year, the venerable Buffalo Beast releases a ranked list of the most loathsome people in America .  Yearly I wait with bated breath to find out which of my favorites have made the list; this year, being the beginning of election season, was a shoo-in to be a fun read.   Some of the highlights this year include Larry Craig (he of the Wide Stance fame), Brittney Spears (famous for being... what?  Previously attractive?), Hillary Clinton (famous for failed heath care plan, being married to Bill) and Fred Phelps (infamous gay basher, all around pathetic scumbag). 

    Take a look at the article and laugh.  Bonus:  you don't have to click on ten different pages to get the whole list.  50 cretinous individuals, one handy page.  America.  What a country.


    I don't know what the heck it is yet, but I'm definitely going to go see it.  I do know that someone I know is actually in the movie, and pretty much everything that I've seen has made me more apt to see it in the theater, if just to figure out what the blank is going on in the movie.

    I didn't see 30 Days Of Night (yet), but I will see it on video most definitely.

    I did see Into the Wild, and I might just do a review for a friend online so that you can see it.  We will see.

    But I am seeing Cloverfield.  Hi, TJ!

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Oh, How Far We've Come

    I so enjoy discussing race relations.

    An Arapahoe County employee was arrested Tuesday and faces a charge of misdemeanor harassment on allegations that he left two nooses — one holding a dead squirrel — where a black county employee could see them.

    The suspect, Peter Lee Massaglia, 51, is employed in the weatherization department for Arapahoe County, the same department where David Frazier works.

    Frazier said he found a noose placed around the rearview mirror in an unassigned work truck in late September. A month later, he found a dead squirrel with a noose around its neck in a workshed.

    Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said he could not talk about specifics of the arrest because the arrest warrant affidavit was sealed by the district attorney's office.

    But Robinson said Massaglia was taken into custody Tuesday and arrested on a $1,750 bond.

    Massaglia faces a charge of harassment, a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by six to 18 months in jail. The charge was bumped from a Class 3 to a Class 1 misdemeanor because the harassment was race-related.

    Denver Post, stand up and be counted.

    My girlfriend, an astute thinker on hate crime, wondered aloud to me today exactly how someone gets the idea to start hanging nooses with dead squirrels around the workplace.  Is that something that someone goes home and brags about to their wife or friends?  "I sure showed that guy!"

    Funny, but in a way, not.

    Sadly, this is the kind of mentality that Senator Obama is going to run into in the south during his run for the presidency.  Nobody will say it, but I will.  I hope that I'm wrong.  I doubt that I will be, though.

    Thursday, December 13, 2007

    The Wide World Of Sports: The Thrill Of Victory, And The Agony Of Disclosure


    The grandfather of Kevin Everett, Junior Nico, told 2 On Your Side's Scott Levin Wednesday night that Kevin is planning on returning to Buffalo to walk out on the field for the December 23rd game.

    On Tuesday, we learned that Kevin's story is being told by Sports Illustrated.

    Via WGRZ Buffalo.

    The doctor that probably saved Everett's life is a guy named Dr. Andrew Cappuccino.  He saved him using a bizarre method that involved partial hypothermia.
    God, I hope they call that method the Frozen Cappuccino (I'm claiming that, right now) in the future.  They really should.

    Now, the agony of disclosure.

    NEW YORK (AP) -- Seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte were the first names to emerge Thursday from the Mitchell report. reported Brian McNamee, a former trainer for the Yankees and Clemens, told investigators he supplied Clemens and Pettitte with steroids and that information is in the report. The Web site cited an unidentified source close to the trainer.

    "After we read the report, we will have something to say," said Randy Hendricks, the agent for Clemens and Pettitte.

    The Los Angeles Times reported in 2006 that Clemens and Pettitte were among the players former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, according to a federal agent's affidavit. Clemens and Pettitte have denied the allegations. On Wednesday, Pettitte said "I've not heard a word from anyone" about former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell's investigation.

    Citing two lawyers familiar with the investigation, The New York Times reported McNamee also provided information about retired first baseman David Segui. On Monday, Segui admitted he used steroids and purchased shipments from former New York Mets clubhouse attendant Kirk Radomski.

    That's via Yahoo, and that's brilliant.  Brilliant.

    And... baseball loses.  Again.  Except for the Colorado Rockies.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    A Definitive Response To 6 Sneaky Ways to a Better-Looking Partner

    Many years ago, I knew a woman that I'll call Jill.  Jill was an attractive woman, more intelligent than most, who was at heart, a nice and relatively well meaning person with an interesting personality and a decent person.  She was a good cook, a loyal individual, and a snappy dresser.  In short, she was a great catch for just about anyone.

    Unfortunately, she had one major flaw. 

    I'll call it "The Cosmo Factor".

    Everything that she knew about men she seemed to cull from the pages of women's magazines.  Cosmopolitan, Elle, and others were a continual staple of her reading diet.  If she wanted to know how to impress a man?  Cosmo had an article with the goods.  Why did men leave their girlfriends?  The answer was in Allure.  Any and all answers to all of the burning questions surrounding the classic, awesome, and continual Battle Of The Sexes could be found in a pop culture magazine geared towards women.  Each magazine contained to the gospel to her.  None of her male friends had the courage to tell her how wrong those periodicals were, though... much to our detriment.

    Eventually, we drifted apart.

    Enter 2007.  To my horror, I read an Internet article titled 6 Sneaky Ways to a Better-Looking Partner , and God help me, the first person that I thought of was her.  Here's the intro, via Yahoo.

    Pride may be one of the Seven Deadly Sins, but your lover's lack of pride in how he looks can be even deadlier - to your love life, that is.

    Sure, dedication, intelligence, and a sense of humor are what really stir the chemistry between you, but that doesn't mean you don't want your partner to feel like they're on top of their game, looks-wise.

    After all, a confident partner is a sexually motivated partner, and sometimes an extra dose of sensuality is all a relationship needs to go to the next level. But beware: Goosing your loved one into taking better care of himself can be dicey territory, and even the most polite suggestion that "maybe you need to lose a few pounds" can lead to somebody sleeping on the couch for a week.

    The solution? Sneaky partner upgrades, the kind that are good for his or her health, as well as their libido. So if you want to motivate your partner to dress sharper, eat better, and get their butt down to the gym, you need to take a stealth approach. Here's how to save their ego - and perhaps your love life.

    As I read this, I stifled a scream.  Please, not the return of women again trying to change their men.  Aren't divorce rates high enough in this country and others?  Isn't the level of resentment, among men and women, high enough, finally?  Doesn't anyone believe that men can read?

    So, for this article, I award this comment on the article 6 Sneaky Ways to a Better-Looking Partner:

    You have failed.

    At no time in recent memory, has an article failed more than this one.

    Please, never do this again.

    Surely Not All Australian Judges Are This Stupid

    ...but frankly, I have no idea.  Apparently, 10 years old is old enough to consent to sex in northern Queensland.

    A judge's decision not to jail nine men guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl in an Aboriginal community has triggered outrage in Australia.

    The offenders were either placed on probation or given suspended sentences for the 2005 rape in the Aurukun settlement, in northern Queensland.

    In her ruling, Judge Sarah Bradley told them that the victim "probably agreed to have sex with all of you".

    BBC News spreads foreign news, word.

    Don't care if she agreed to have sex with all of them or not; that's one of the more stupid stories I've seen this year.  How can a 10 year old know the difference between right, wrong, and sex at her age, anyway?  I'm sure that she'll grow up to have a perfectly balanced personality.  Nice.  What a system.

    Wednesday, December 05, 2007

    Landlord Tenant Law FYI

    Because I'm always interested in passing on invaluable information, Consumerist has posted a list linking to the landlord/tenant law for every state in the union .

    Worth a bookmark, people, especially in light of present real estate economics.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    Sean Taylor

    Can anyone explain the murder of professional football players this year?  First Darrent Williams, then Sean Taylor.  Well, at least in Sean's case, the police have found who they think are the murders and are acting accordingly.

    MIAMI (AP) -- Three men charged with murdering Sean Taylor were denied bail Tuesday, a day after thousands of mourners attended the funeral for the Washington Redskins safety.

    Charles Wardlow, 18, Jason Mitchell, 19, and Venjah Hunte, 20, all face charges of unpremeditated murder, home invasion with a firearm or another deadly weapon and armed burglary. They will remain in Miami-Dade County jail.

    A fourth suspect, Eric Rivera, 17, is being processed at a juvenile detention center in Miami-Dade County, jail officials said. He faces the same charges as the others, and a lawyer said there is a fifth suspect that police are seeking.

    Taylor, 24, died Nov. 27, barely 24 hours after he was shot in the bedroom of his home a few miles from where he grew up. Police say he was a victim of a botched burglary by the suspects.

    Probable cause affidavits for Mitchell and Rivera said the two confessed to participating in armed burglary. According to the reports, Mitchell and Rivera admitted entering the home and said someone had a gun and shot Taylor, but they didn't identify who. Police and attorneys also have said some of the young men confessed, though they wouldn't elaborate.

    Via Yahoo.

    I guess that this wouldn't be a bad time to once again bring up Darrent, and mention that it would be nice to find the guys that gunned down the football player in the neighborhood shockingly close to where I live, thanks.  I know it's hard, but for God's sake, they were at a club.  There's must have been a brazillion witnesses.  Seriously, now.

    Saturday, December 01, 2007

    Absolute Proof That Not All Americans Are Stupid

    Figures that the latest proof that Americans are not all completely ridiculous comes from a librarian.

    Storytime ceased abruptly when the picture book Eileen Issa was reading her 2 1/2-year-old son surprisingly ended with two men marrying and smooching.

    The tale about a disgruntled queen who demanded that her son marry a princess looked like the average children's book to the mother of two when she scooped it up along with about nine others at the Lower Macungie Library. She had no idea the book has been the subject of a federal lawsuit and controversy in other parts of the country.

    ''I saw them at the altar and I said, 'This can't be what I'm thinking,''' Eileen Issa said, recalling illustrations of the prince holding hands with and kissing his new husband. ''I was sick.''

    Since that day, Issa and her husband, Jeff, have demanded that the library take it out of circulation.

    Wait.  You haven't read the good part yet.

    Kathee Rhode, the library's director, said censoring books based on subject matter is the duty of parents, not the library. She said the library strives to provide material representing a spectrum of views and ways of life.

    ''That's what a public library does, and you make the choice,'' Rhode said. ''We certainly want parents to make that decision for their children -- not one parent making that decision for all children.''

    Hold on.  Maybe I misread that.

    Kathee Rhode, the library's director, said censoring books based on subject matter is the duty of parents, not the library. She said the library strives to provide material representing a spectrum of views and ways of life.

    ''That's what a public library does, and you make the choice,'' Rhode said. ''We certainly want parents to make that decision for their children -- not one parent making that decision for all children.''


    I can't believe that I saw that.  We certainly want parents to make that decision for their children -- not one parent making that decision for all children?  That looks suspiciously like common sense.

    I applaud. 

    Lower Macungie Library.  Today, you win at being the quintessential American institution. 

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    I Haven't Posted A Game In A While

    No people, I haven't forgotten about you.  As you can probably tell, I've been changing a lot of things here at POW lately, and my other blog, Single Dads, is really taking off and taking just a bit too much of my time.  Don't worry, I quit a job to make more time for my first readers who inspired me to continue writing in the first place.

    So, in short, I'll give you this compelling game via Boing Boing, and say, Play it!

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Hack Your Food

    Lifehacker, that wonderful website with so many hints on how to do things in oh-so-many wonderful and simple ways, came up with a list of top ten food and drink hacks.  Among the highlights:

    6. Bake no-knead bread

    5. Build a fire with chocolate and Coke

    2. Chill a Coke in two minutes

    I have a personal favorite, which I like to call bringing back two day old bagels.  All that you require is a two day old bagel (meaning hard) and a cup of coffee.  The secret?  Put your bagel in the microwave, with the coffee (or a cup of water, if you prefer), and heat on high for 15-45 seconds.

    Your bagel will soften enough to slice and toast, and bonus, if you used coffee for your recipe, it will warm that up a little too.

    See?  I'm not so boring.

    Saturday, November 24, 2007

    Two More Drugs To Avoid?

    More good news for children this Christmas season. According to a news report released today, apparently the Food and Drug Administration believes that the flu drugs made by Roche and GlaxoSmithKline might have the unfortunate side effect of giving children neurological problems including hallucinations and convulsions. Fortunately, the government is considering warning labels on these items. How appropriate.

    I am not a humorless individual, and quite often I can see the underlying humor in a lot of bad news. Unfortunately this is not one of those times. In my new role as an occasional entrepreneur, I think that someone could make a fortune on creating a website where a parent or other interested party could search and locate certain products such as:

    • Toys proven to not contain lead,
    • Medications that have been proven not to harm children, and
    • Child safety items that don't harm children in any way.

    I would, as a single parent would sign up for such a Internet site with great relish, indeed.

    There are other items that I think would go well in a website such the one I propose, but at the moment, the news that proven influenza medications might make certain children convulse in their beds has dampened my ability to consider additional consumer products that might go on such a site. I will, however, claim "dibs" on such an idea.

    I've Got The Gotta Go Into Bankruptcy, But The Debts Are Still There Blues

    People, people, people.  You might as well accept the fact that you really want to avoid credit cards.  Don't think that bankruptcy will help you, either.

    It's not as easy to get a Chapter 7 bankruptcy anymore due to recent legislation that was bought and paid for by the banking industry. In most cases you'll have to pay back some part of your debt under a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. The banks weren't happy with just forcing almost everyone into a Chapter 13 bankruptcy in which they have to repay all of their debts through a payment plan and are now going after people who already filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and trying to collect on debts which have been legally bankrupted away.

    That's from American Consumer News.  Consider reading the whole article.

    I'm going to tell you a story about credit cards that you might not believe and might find difficult to conceive.  Did you know that there was a time in the last fifty years that credit cards didn't exist?  No, really, it's true!  There was NO such thing as credit cards!  Wow!

    Strangely enough, people still were able to buy things with money.  Oddly, when people couldn't afford things they didn't buy them.  Shocking.

    As it turns out, a fine way to spend yourself into bankruptcy is to buy things that you can't afford, which is exactly what credit cards allow you to do.  If you can avoid the trap that credit provides, then your chances of overspending decrease significantly.

    The message seems pretty clear, doesn't it?

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Confirmed: The RIAA Is Concentrated Evil

    In another sign that the present way that the government does business is literally for sale, Gizmodo has a story on a particularly odious bill addition.

    In a ridiculous display of just how much you can get done in government if you have enough money, a new bill on the House floor states that if colleges don't police their networks and do the RIAA and MPAAs bidding as well as buy into services such as Napster for their entire student body, they'll lose all their federal funding. Yep, that means if a college doesn't want to hand over names to the RIAA they'll lose things like their Pell grants, depriving thousands of low-income students from financial aid.

    Ah.  Greed.  There really isn't much more to say than that.

    Tuesday, November 06, 2007

    Red Red Wine Makes Me Feel So...Ow.

    Is it possible that science has finally created the device to predict the dreaded red wine headache?  Can a cure (besides not drinking it) be next?

    BERKELEY, Calif. - The effects are all too familiar: a fancy dinner, some fine wine and then, a few hours later, a racing heart and a pounding headache. But a device developed by University of California, Berkeley, researchers could help avoid the dreaded "red wine headache."

    Chemists working with NASA-funded technology designed to find life on Mars have created a device they say can easily detect chemicals that many scientists believe can turn wine and other beloved indulgences into ingredients for agony.

    Via Yahoo.

    The thing that I really liked about this particular article was that chemist working with NASA-funded technology created the mentioned device, thereby proving that scientific advancement can be achieved through space travel, which stands to reason.  If man can fly to the moon and dock with orbiting space stations with shuttles that are using 20 year old technology, then surely they can detect the part of red wine that can be evil incarnate.  So drink up, wine lovers! 

    Baby Needs A New Pair Of Shoes

    Priorities. When it comes right down to it, I have only three of note: first is myself, then is my family, finally would be work and friends. Why does this single dad mention that?

    This single dad mentions that because at the moment, the my inner space is a touch out of whack. If you were wondering why I haven't written as much lately, it's not because of writer's block; it's because item no. 3 from above has finally begun to intrude on my primary concerns. In short, I've been a very busy dad lately, meaning, yes, I'm working too much.

    I would imagine that this is a common problem with parents generally, and possibly single dads - especially, ones that are highly motivated by the thoughts of their children' present and future - in particular. We must make money to pay for added responsibilities. Child support, alimony, clothes, health care… all of that costs money. Tack on other items like college planning, private schooling, and other optional items, and suddenly, it might never seem to be enough. So, if you're like me, then you must work, and work like a dog sometimes, to pay for it.

    Lately, though, I have been noticing little warning signs: not writing as much as usual, not sleeping as well, appetite fairly suppressed, and I realized that work and life are out of balance. I started writing on this website because it was something that I enjoyed, and because I wanted to leave my daughter little reminders of how I was thinking when she was a baby. That's a me thing, and to shirk that in even the smallest thing means that am not looking out for myself. Hence, it's time to take a step back.

    Goodbye, part time job. Oh, how so painfully well I knew ye. Guess I'll have to find some other way to drop a little extra in the college fund.

    Come to think of it, I suppose that I just got my daughter a new pair of shoes last month, and they were pretty inexpensive.  I bet she'll make the rest of the year just fine.

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    And The Winner Is... Netflix

    Just because I have them as a sponsor (gaze left), doesn't mean that you have to think that they are the absolutely greatest, but certainly recent results have borne out that Netflix has conquered Blockbuster in the Great Video Wars.  From Consumerist:

    We're ready to call Netflix the winner of this battle of the video war, based on Blockbusters remarkably sad third quarter numbers and the flood of pissed off emails we've been getting from Blockbuster's (former) customers.

    Blockbuster managed to lose $35 million in the third quarter, and its customers have been writing in to complain about benefits being cut from their "Total Access" packages.

    That, to me, sounds kind of bad for Blockbuster.  I wonder what will go in all of those stores, given that most of the mini-malls that have Blockbuster already have a Starbucks in them?  Personally, I like Netflix, even though at the moment I have no time to actually watch movies.  I hope for that to change relatively soon, though.  However, don't let that stop you, who I'm sure have loads of time just piling up in your garage.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    The World Series Is Over

    And now, with a quick annoucement that I tried to post three days ago, but it seems that Blogger dropped a post on me:
    Congratulations to the Boston Red Sox.

    But, as today, we have the Rockies Rally, I'm still happy for my team and our fans.  The Colorado Rockies, a team that no one thought would do anything of note, and certainly not reach the World Series, did our city proud.  To the Rox, the loss might be bitter at the moment, but this team has many of the pieces in place.  You, and we, will be back, and soon.  We believe in you! time, improve that batting average in the city.  Also, over week off playing baseball was probably too much.  But, I digress.  You still rock.

    Sunday, October 28, 2007

    A Halloween Shout Out To My Fans

    I haven't done a shout out to my fans for a while, so while I'm in the midst of doing yet more changes (as you can tell by the various updates on my sidebars), I figured that I'd do a little shout to some of the fans that I've got out in the world. So, hello to:

    Colorado:  Denver, Westminster, Fort Collins, Grand Junction (Go Rockies!)
    Massachusetts:  Randolph, Lawrence, Woburn, Boston (those New England Patriots are crazy good, aren't they?)
    Tennessee:  Madison
    British Columbia:  Victoria
    Ontario:  Newmarket, Hamilton
    Arizona:  Phoenix
    Nevada:  Las Vegas
    California:  San Luis Obisco (Hi, Kim!), San Francisco, Mountain View (say hello to Google, everyone!), and Upland
    Ohio, Urbana, Columbus, Perryburg
    Juarez, Mexico (been there, done that.  If you go to college in Texas, this is a stop for you)
    Washington:  Redmond and Seattle (waves to MSN)
    Florida:  Leesburg, St. Petersburg (I dated a girl from there, a long, long, time ago), Miami, Melbourne, Sanford, and Vero Beach
    Georgia:  Augusta and Hot-lanta
    Minnesota:  Minneapolis
    New York:  Manhattan, Huntington Station, Saratoga Springs, Mastic
    Tel Aviv(!)
    London, Loughborogh, Glascow
    Paris (oh, how I must go to the Louvre )
    Bredene and Brussells
    Indiana:  South Bend and Bloomington
    Bangalore and Calcutta (no, I'm not kidding)
    Providence, RI
    Texas:  Carrolton and Dallas
    Gatton and Sydney, Australia
    Pittsburgh and Erie
    Virginia:  Richmond
    Orland Park and Oak Brook, Illinois
    and finally... Kansas City, Kansas. I have relatives there.  I love you all.

    Thanks for all your continuing support, people.  I, and POW, appreciate it.

    Friday, October 26, 2007


    As you might recall, I'm a big fan of ghost stories and Halloween in general.  Yes, I do believe in them, but they don't scare me.  I don't find movies like House On Haunted Hill... realistic enough.  I do realize that's a strange choice of words given the subject matter.
    So, in honor of Halloween, I found this little slideshow (by the way, I do HATE slideshows, but meh,) on 15 Famous Freaky Ghost Pictures from KNBC, in Los Angeles.
    Go ghosts!  In the meantime, it's the weekend, and the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.  Go out there and show the world that Halloween is not just for children and candy anymore.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    You Can Certainly Tell That There's Never Been A World Series In Colorado

    Obviously, the Colorado Rockies are rookies when it comes the mad crush of ticket demand generated by the World Series.

    DENVER (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies suspended World Series ticket sales Monday after overwhelming demand crashed their computer system.

    "Right now we're shutting the system down," club spokesman Jay Alves announced outside Coors Field, drawing boos from fans. "We expect to be online at some point."

    "We're as frustrated and disappointed as they are," Alves said.

    Alves had said last week that the Rockies were prepared for any computer problems.

    On Monday, there were 8.5 million attempts to connect with the computers in the first 90 minutes after sales started, he said, and only several hundred tickets had been sold before the system had to be shut down.


    Were I the person in charge of coming up with the online system used to sell World Series tickets, probably the first thing that I would do is find the largest ticket selling organization that I could, and then mimic their e-commerce solution as fast as possible.  That there were 8.5 million requests/hits in 90 minutes isn't the slightest bit shocking.  The poor Rockies crashed their own site, effectively fashioning their own Denial of Service attack.

    As I speak, the streets around Coors Field are closed as hundreds of fans are clamoring the ticket offices looking for tickets.

    Ah, I love baseball in October.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    Be Bold!

    The Colorado Rockies are going to the World Series?!


    Ah, yes. Yes, it's sweet indeed.

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Have I Seen The Future Of Vampire Movies?

    I simply must see the movie 30 Days of Night.

    The IMDB page.

    The trailers.

    The Graphic Novel.

    See it, I must. I shall.

    Another Life Lesson For Your Children (And For You)

    I find it funny how a rut can begin and how quickly familiarity can breed contempt.  Even a person that spends time on the ever-changing Internet (like myself) is not immune from the boredom that everyday life can bring.  So, I have found myself considering that topic, and how I might teach my daughter how to avoid the tedium the everyday world can bring.  As is not particularly unusual, I caught myself learning something new as well.

    Perhaps you might have perceived that I'm quite the reader.  Exercise for the brain is really what opening up a book and reading really is.  Not to say, all books are particularly enjoyable - they aren't.  Some are awful, at least by my estimation.

    But not all are.  On occasion, a good book will remind you of something that you can use everyday; there's a lesson there that can make you a better person, parent, and teacher.  And today, I remembered this some lines from this poem " If" by Rudyard Kipling:

    "If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools"

    …and so on.

    There's a lesson to be learned here, that I believe is similar to a quote that Joy Behar attributes to Rush Limbaugh in the worthwhile book Got What It Takes? Successful People Reveal How They Made It To The Topby Bill Boggs.  That is, be bold.  BE BOLD.  Mostly I can get behind that theory.  Very few people accomplish things of note without some measure of risk and hard work. 

    For my daughter and myself, I will reinterpret that slightly. 

    The real lesson is this: in whatever you decide to do, sure, be bold, but don't let that be an excuse to be stupid.

    Yes, I think that's a good plan for us all.

    What bold thing have you done today for your children or yourself?  Perhaps today, more than any day, is the perfect moment to try something radically different.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Compare And Contrast, For Your Amusement

    Two famous people.  Two audiences whose popularity are worldwide.  Two equally powerful American political parties.
    Today, for your consideration, from
    "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"
    Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.
    1/2 of the prize
    b. 1948
    DEUTSCH: "Let's wipe Israel off the earth." I mean, what, no Jews?

    COULTER: No, we think -- we just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.

    DEUTSCH: Wow, you didn't really say that, did you?

    COULTER: Yes. That is what Christianity is. We believe the Old Testament, but ours is more like Federal Express. You have to obey laws. We know we're all sinners --

    DEUTSCH: In my old days, I would have argued -- when you say something absurd like that, there's no --

    COULTER: What's absurd?

    DEUTSCH: Jews are going to be perfected. I'm going to go off and try to perfect myself --

    COULTER: Well, that's what the New Testament says.

    DEUTSCH: Ann Coulter, author of If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans, and if Ann Coulter had any brains, she would not say Jews need to be perfected. I'm offended by that personally. And we'll have more Big Idea when we come back.


    DEUTSCH: Welcome back to The Big Idea. During the break, Ann said she wanted to explain her last comment. So I'm going to give her a chance. So you don't think that was offensive?

    COULTER: No. I'm sorry. It is not intended to be. I don't think you should take it that way, but that is what Christians consider themselves: perfected Jews. We believe the Old Testament. As you know from the Old Testament, God was constantly getting fed up with humans for not being able to, you know, live up to all the laws. What Christians believe -- this is just a statement of what the New Testament is -- is that that's why Christ came and died for our sins. Christians believe the Old Testament. You don't believe our testament.

    DEUTSCH: You said -- your exact words were, "Jews need to be perfected." Those are the words out of your mouth.

    COULTER: No, I'm saying that's what a Christian is.

    DEUTSCH: But that's what you said -- don't you see how hateful, how anti-Semitic --

    COULTER: No!

    DEUTSCH: How do you not see? You're an educated woman. How do you not see that?

    COULTER: That isn't hateful at all.
    I suppose you should read the whole transcript.
    Ann Coulter.
    ...and that is probably the last time I will ever write your name, Ann.  May you soon be regulated to the political discourse dustbin that you so obviously deserve. 

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Office In A Thumb Drive, yet another of my favorite websites ever, put out an excellent article on how to turn your USB thumb drive into a mobile, primary office
    With very little work and no money aside from the original expense of the drive itself, you can easily turn a thumb drive into your primary workspace — complete with the software and settings, reference material, and documents you uses the most.
    How nice.  With the six (all good) ideas that they mention in this article, you are pretty much set.  Web pages like this are the reason that I started POW in the first place - here's a nice reference point for safekeeping.  Don't forget, many flash drives now contain simple word processors, anti-virus, and other valuable software preinstalled.
    It's hard to believe that just a few years ago my primary computer had 4 GB.  Now you can buy a thumb drive with that much for next to nothing.  I have one, and feel like I have the whole world under my thumb.  There's your pop culture reference of the day, people. 
    Heady times, my friends.  Read the article.

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    Grade Your Website (And Justify Your Existence)

    Over at How To Change The World, Guy Kawasaki ( you know, the Mac guy) tossed out a post about a tool called Website Grader. This free tool gives your website a SEO "grade" based on a few criteria that you enter into the site. Being that I'm always interested in the reach that my website has, I entered in this site's information and was given, within minutes, a score and a few items where I can improve my site reach to my audience.

    It would seem that I have a lot of room for search engine optimization improvement. In other words, my scores were…lacking. I definitely will be working on that presently behind the scenes. Successful networking is certainly something that I am all about these days.

    How are you working on SEO? Feel free to email me, or drop me a note in the comments.

    Saturday, October 06, 2007

    Popular Podcasts On POW

    Last night, I had this crazy dream that I added some of my favorite and more popular podcasts to this blog.  Imagine my surprise when I actually got up this morning and did it, changing my sidebar yet again.

    Yes, I've added podcasts.  Not my own, mind you (I'm not that crazy yet), but if you have an iPod or some other device that can accept podcasts, a few of the more popular ones are located on the right hand side of this page.  They'll change frequently.  Let me know if there are any particular podcasts you'd like to see listed, and I'll try to put them up.  Enjoy!

    Tuesday, October 02, 2007

    Another New Widget - Blogrush

    You might have noticed yet another change to my sidebar.  I've added Blogrush, a blog syndication tool featured in Business Blogging Tips.  I've only had the Blogrush widget on my blog for a couple of days, but the service seems to be getting updated continually and I'm wondering if it will be effective in generating additional readers for this here website. 
    You see, I've been feeling ashamed because I've been devoting so much of my time to my other projects that I feel as though you, my first readers, deserve a little more love.  I like to improve your experience, so I'm always looking for little updates.
    Take a look at it, and if you feel so inclined, put it on your own site and tell me what you think.

    Black Power + Gay Pride > Mental Disorders

    One might think that the combined cultural power of racism and homophobia would doom a fairly large portion of the population that was both black (or African-American...oooh, I hate that term almost as much as the phrase Oriental) and gay to depths of depression and other mental problems that would doom them to their own private hells.

    Not so fast, says the Science Blog. Turns out that black gay men and lesbians have fewer mental disorders than similarly situated whites.

    According to a study conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health among lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations, blacks and Latinos do not have more mental disorders than whites. Based on the theory that stress related to prejudice would increase risk for mental disorders, researchers typically expect that black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals face prejudice related to both racism and homophobia and therefore would have more disorders than their white counterparts. Contrary to this expectation, however, the Mailman School study found that black lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals had significantly fewer disorders than white individuals.

    There's an interesting finding. The first thing that comes to mind is this: perhaps homosexual blacks feel more culturally accepted in society than white homosexuals? Is that possible?

    It's a valid question. If you are expecting a enlightened and well reasoned response, I honestly don't have one. But it's still curious.

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Mining The Internet Gold Mine, From 1 to 5000+

    Wow.  Mashable, which I've written about before, has finally lost their minds and complied over 5000 resources to do just about anything that you want on the web.
    There is way, way too much good stuff there to write about in this small space.  Suffice it to say that it would be quite clever of you to take a look at the article.
    In other news, you might notice that the look of this site has been changing quite a bit lately.  I've added widgets from MyBlogLog, LibraryThing - where you can see the latest books that I've read - and Criteo, which shows blogs that might be similar to mine.  I figured that it might be time for a change up.
    I suspect that I'm really going to change this blog up a little bit more, as I've feeling a bit mischievous of late. 

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    I'm Not Going To Write About Them

    If you watch baseball, you know who the hottest team in the National League right now.  They might be a team that I might find entertaining and interesting to watch.  Unfortunately, I won't be writing about them, because I fear repercussions.  After all, there were repercussions, seemingly, in this case (where the Denver Nuggets were the victims of my curse - this has happened twice) and in this case, where the Arizona State Sun Devils felt my fearful wraith.
    I refuse to take any chances.
    Therefore, I'll wait until the playoffs begin.
    That is all.
    We are all behind you, and you inspire us.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Something That I Didn't Know About The Housing Crisis

    The news is full of information about the problems in the housing market, but the most interesting thing that I've read so far is something that I read in a recent article about the current crisis in foreclosures - that might have an impact on you, gentle and harried adults that you are (or might be):

    According to the most recent foreclosure numbers released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the U.S. is embroiled in the worst foreclosure crisis in recorded history. More than 14 percent of subprime borrowers are defaulting, and prime borrowers are beginning to follow suit.

    MBA Report Summary


    • The foreclosure rate recorded in the last quarter has increased beyond the highest point seen in the history of the MBA survey, which dates back to 1953.
    • 14.82 percent of subprime borrowers are currently behind on their home loans.
    • The highest percentage of foreclosures are on homes with 2/28 adjustable rate mortgages.
    I found this on Homeguide123.  Shockingly, though, this is not the part that I'm referring to in the title.
    These lines are the ones that shocked me.

    'Many blame subprime lending for our current real estate crisis, but rampant speculation, even by those with great credit, played a leading role,' said O'Toole in a press release. 'The subprime market took the first hit as those borrowers had the least to lose when they walked away. Now that nearly half of foreclosures represent non-owner occupied properties, it is clear that speculators are walking away too.'

    It is true that non-owner occupied properties have been hitting the auction block in record numbers. Of the 9,477 properties auctioned in California last month, 44.3 percent of them were speculator owned properties.

    Another shocker: 90.3 percent of the homes were bought or refinanced in 2005 and 2006.

    90.3 percent of the homes were bought or refinanced in 2005 or 2006.
    I rent.  I'm very glad that I do at this point. 
    Mid-2008 is sounding like a pretty good time to buy, however.

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    No Respect - No Respect For These Google Products At All, I'll Tell Ya

    With all apologies to Rodney Dangerfield, here's a good list of a bunch of Google products that simply get no love.
    But how many people do you think would discuss being able to set up customised RSS feeds in Google News? Or being able to download source code in Google Code? How many people would know that Google offers various possibilities for users to help improve their products?

    Here are some Google services that need a lot more loving (cue Barry White music) :  I think that I like their website.
    Everyone here knows that I love me some Google stuff.  Google has it's own category there on the side of the page.  Here's your chance to take a look at some of the things that I'm always writing about.


    Friday, September 14, 2007

    The Best Example That Hope Lies With The Kids That You’ll Read All Day

    On occasion, and sadly, not often enough, I derive enormous amounts of pleasure from snippets that I read on the Internet.  Most articles that you read about kids consist of the doom and gloom about teenagers - how kids are on drugs, or teens are robbing liquor stores and putting it on YouTube, or students are shooting up high schools and colleges, or kids are apathetic general.  You know the familar refrain.

    This story is most definitely not about any of those topics.

    This is a story about the best of our kids.

    The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

    The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

    "It's my last year. I've stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.

    They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

    Wait.  There's more.

    "The bullies got angry," said Travis. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We're glad we got the response we wanted."

    David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

    He told the bully that didn't matter to him and shouldn't to anyone.

    This bit of good news comes via Fark from the Chronicle Herald - in Nova Scotia.  The only beef that I have with this is that it didn't occur in the United States, so I could wave an American flag as I write.

    Life imitates John Hughes.  Can real life have mid-80's new wave music playing in the background?

    Today's Hope For Humanity Award is hereby given to high school students David Shepherd and Travis Price.  The world can learn a lot from you two kids.  I applaud.

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    9-11 - Six Years Later, The Wrong And The Right

    Today is the anniversary of 9-11, which some Americans consider to be the most significant event in their lives .

    WASHINGTON (AFP) - Six years after the September 11 attacks on the United States, most Americans view the plane hijackings that killed around 3,000 people as the most significant historical event of their lives, according to a poll released Monday.

    Eighty-one percent of those surveyed said they see the attacks as the most significant historical even of their lifetimes, with more people on the east coast -- 90 percent -- choosing this view compared to 75 percent on the west coast.

    The Zogby International telephone poll surveyed 938 people between September 6 and 9 and has a three-percentage point margin of error.

    Thank Yahoo.

    First, I'd like to say that 9-11 is most certainly NOT the most significant event of my life.  Number 1: Birth of my daughter.  Number 2:  Meeting my significant other.  3.  Birth of my nieces.  So.  To me, 9-11 is significant, it just pales in comparison to those events.

    What I find notable about 9-11, however, is what events have happened since.  Here's my list.
    - One completely justifiable war (against the Taliban)
    - One completely un-justifiable war (against Iraq)
    - The wasting of an enormous amount of pro-American sentiment
    - The pillaging of Bill of Rights and the Constitution
    - The utter decimation of the health care system
    - Virtual destruction of the public school system nationwide
    - The creation of the Homeland Security Agency

    When I think about how much money has been spent on the war on Iraq, I think of how the Taliban could have been completely wiped off the face of the planet, or how Osama could have been found, or how schools could have been improved, or how a national health care system could have been created.

    The saddest thing about 9-11 is what has occurred since then.  We have wasted a lot of time, money, and lives.  9-11 is one of America's greatest catastrophes... and the aftermath is one of our greatest disasters.  We should be ashamed.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Put Emmy In To A Box

    Today I'm faced with a challenge.  First I'll present the news, then the challenge.
    LOS ANGELES -- There are dozens of surprises among the more than 400 Emmy nominees, but none quite like the one we can't name in this story.

    It's in the Original Music and Lyrics category, a holiday-themed music video that aired last December on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" with an off-color title. Performed by Justin Timberlake and "SNL" cast member Andy Samberg, the fake music video describes packaging a certain part of the male anatomy in a gift box and presenting it to a loved one.

    We'll just call it "(Blank) in a Box."

    I've seen the SNL skit, and it is funny, quite.  Now for the challenge: how do I put a cap up of this not-so-safe for work video on this family website?
    Oh, I know.
    Below is the video.  It is NOT SAFE FOR WORK.

    Friday, September 07, 2007


    .and boy, does Mashable have them in the article 50 Great Widgets For Your Blog.
    Here's a few that I found interesting:

    MyBlogLog's Recent Readers - this widget can easily be called a hit amongst blog owners; its popularity even managed to convince Yahoo into buying MyBlogLog. The widget lets you see the avatars of recent visitors to your blog, provided they're also members of MyBlogLog.

    PollDaddy - PollDaddy lets you create beautiful polls in no time, and display them at your blog.

    aStore - similar to AuctionAds, only for Amazon. Create a mini-store on your site and receive profit when someone buys an item through your store.

    Yahoo! For Good - create a charity badge and ask for donations for a worthy cause.

    A few of these I already knew about, but I'll be honest, many of them I didn't.  Of course, some of them would just clutter me up more than I'd like. 

    However, don't be surprised when a couple of these show up here.  Take a look at Mashable - it's a fine website for blog owners.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Shockingly Useful Websites

    Yes, I know, I'm in a posting mode.  I'll have you know that I'm spending a lot of time elsewhere at the moment - it's on the freelance gig still.

    However, I couldn't let this get by without saying something:  I found a decent little post about websites: 40 Unusual Websites You Should Bookmark, from .

    If you're long time makeuseof reader at one point or another you may have seen several of these websites before. We have covered lots of lists and round-ups but this one is quite different: it lists undiscovered webservices that are original, rather unique, unusual, useful, free, and must-be bookmarked type. You won't find any collaboration, storage or ToDo service here. Enjoy!

    Honestly, I've seen a few of these before, but there are definitely some gems in there, so take a look at it.

    An Oldie, But A Goodie

    I can't remember if I had posted this before, but an article title on Fark reminded me of it.  The Fark article title?

    "Oh my God, there was this study where kids ate lots of food colors and preservatives and they were all like "WEEEEEEEEEE." Gonads and strife, gonads and strife, gonads and strife"

    So, without too much fanfare:
    The Inspiration.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    More On Television

    television.gif Yet another post on television. Sorry, but it's a must. Thank MSNBC for this article.

    CHICAGO - Watching television more than two hours a day early in life can lead to attention problems later in adolescence, according to a study released on Tuesday.

    The roughly 40 percent increase in attention problems among heavy TV viewers was observed in both boys and girls, and was independent of whether a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder was made prior to adolescence.

    What struck me about this was that it immediately shook a core tenet of my personal beliefs, in that perhaps the reason that so many kids are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD is not that psychiatrists (or is that psychologists? I can never keep that straight) can make money off of the drugs that the end up prescribing the kids, but maybe, just maybe, the kids develop these disorders more now because we parents end up using the television as the babysitter altogether too much.

    Another reason to toss the television, I'm afraid. Nature. I'm really becoming a fan of nature. Can we make going outside a spectator sport?

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Reading Is Fundamental

    This year I have read an average of a book a week - probably the happy result of both deciding to get more into reading for information and entertainment and the decision to read on my commute into downtown.More...

    Apparently, this volume of reading activity puts me among the most voracious readers in the country.

    According to an AP poll, basically no American reads any books anymore. Well, the "typical person" claimed to have read four books, with half of respondents claiming to have read fewer and half claiming to have read more.

    Thank Gawker for this news; then go read the AP poll via CNN.

    Since January 1, no joke, I've read 34 books.  I'd post them all if I had an attractive web-friendly plug in that presented all of the titles in a multimedia format.  If anyone happens to be aware of one of these let me know.  I'm quite sure, though, that my voracious reading habits are probably part of the reason why child education drives me occasionally batty.  Reading is part of what creates an educated population.
    Reading is fundamental, people.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    I'm Feeling Hobbesian Today

    Wow, it's been a busy couple of months.  Very.  I've been spending an awful lot of time over at my brother blog, Single Dads, for the last few weeks - for reasons that soon will become clear. 
    Don't let this get you, though.  I don't intend to go anywhere.  In fact, you, gentle reader, are bound to see quite a bit more posting in the future.
    In the meantime, here's a beautiful thing I found while searching the webs, especially if you are a Calvin and Hobbes fan (I am)... all of the Calvin and Hobbes comics linked on one handy webpage .  Thanks, Marcello!
    Go get them quick.  I suspect this page won't be available for very long.

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Financial Quote Of The Day

    ...yes, that said Financial Quote of the Day.  Believe it or not, I'm not kidding.
    Like many who have jobs and kids, I am one of those that actually has a 401(k).  Unlike many that have jobs and very young kids, though, I have taken the bizarre (and poverty inducing) step of actually starting a 529 plan for my little honey's college education.  I figure that hey, if she doesn't go to college, I'll buy a boat, and give it my daughter's name or something.  But I do believe in being prepared, thanks to a little peach of a post that I caught some time ago.
    Lately, though, I've been a little in the dumps, because I actively LOOKED at what my various little investments were doing, in light of the recent ups and downs in the stock market.  Ugh.
    Then came this article on the market from the Washington Post, which actually not only handed out some good advice, but provided the title to this here post, above.  Here's a bit from the article:
    The recent stock market plunge has whiplashed many investors and left them wondering what to do about their portfolios.

    But in times like these, don't panic. Instead, you want to think about the three D's, says Erik Davidson, a chartered financial analyst and senior director of investments at Wells Fargo Private Bank in Denver.

    Good advice in there, but the key thing that the article mentioned was this gem of a phrase:
    Whatever you do, "have a programmed approach that keeps you buying during the downturns," Seely said. "Think about something other than what the market did today."
    Think about something other than what the market did today.
    I like the cut of that phrase, and I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.


    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    Don't Say "Take This Job And Shove It"

    It's time.  You're fed up with your job, you've found another gig, and want to give your two weeks notice?
    But resignation time shouldn't be bridge-burning time, so wikiHow's got some advice on how to quit professionally and with grace.
    That's Gina for you.  Posted there and on wikiHow.
    You know what's amazing about posts like this?  Timing.  Wow, they are good.

    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Google: We're In Ur Store, Mappin' Ur Stuff

    I haven't made a post about Google in a while, so imagine my surprise when I saw how you can be an independent contractor for them , especially since it's not April Fool's Day.  Requirements include the power of speech and a camera.  From the FAQ:
    1. Why should I become a Google Business Referral Representative?

      Joining the Google Local Business Referrals (LBR) program is a great way to earn some money while connecting people to the businesses in your neighborhood. The information you collect could be seen by millions of people who use Google every day. And you'll be helping the businesses you refer attract new customers while also making it easier for people in your community to find the products and services they're searching for.

    2. What will I be doing as a representative?

      As a Google Business Referral Representative, you'll visit local businesses to collect information (such as hours of operation, types of payment accepted, etc.) for Google Maps, and tell them about Google Maps and Google AdWords. You'll also take a few digital photos of the business that will appear on the Google Maps listing along with the business information.  After the visit, you submit the business' info and photo(s) to Google through your Local Business Referrals Center, and we'll pay you up to $10 for each listing that is approved by Google and verified by the business.

      All you need to be a successful Business Referral Representative is a passion for helping local businesses succeed, a love for the Internet (some knowledge of Google is great, too), and access to a computer and a digital camera.

    Say again?  Google will pay me for taking some pictures of some local businesses?
    Wow.  Where do I sign up?
    By the way, I found this via Reddit, so you'll probably never see this article again, so take some notes. 
    Seriously, I'm thinking that Google is:
    - Rich as all get out, and
    - Preparing for world domination.

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    Deadbeat Dads Drive Me Crazy

    When you are a single parent, frustration is a constant companion, which is oddly enough why no single parent should be lonely for even a minute. Besides the usual complaints:

    - your ex, and the mother/father to your children,

    - money,

    - the nagging feeling that you're doing something wrong as a parent

    - money,

    - seeing the job as a barrier to seeing your children,

    - money,

    - finding new companionship,

    - the legal system,

    - and money,

    there are a host of other irritations. Some are much, much worse than others. I'm no exception to that particular mental state.

    Lately, though, my biggest source of irritation is deadbeat dads - that is, those dads that have to pay child support for their children, sometimes with one woman, sometimes with several - and don't.

    I realize that child support is expensive. I pay it myself. Apparently, though, a lot of fathers seem to believe that they DON'T have to pay it. The way that I see it, this just makes my job as a responsible father much, much harder.

    Single mothers, when told that I am a single dad, look at me with guarded suspicion. The legal system looks at me sideways, because I could always just "leave" and leave my daughter high and dry… even if that's something I could never do. I am deemed to be possibly be not as good of a parent in part because of my testosterone level. The prejudice against fathers who want as much custody of their kids as possible is hard enough; add the stereotypical deadbeat dad into the emotional mix, and it creates an unfavorable position for me.

    I'm a man working two jobs and a freelance position - none of which I necessarily do for my health. I participate in several community events and donate to several charities. My daughter has never been in any compromising position in my care, ever. I've never even just paid the minimum for child support for my daughter simply because I felt that I could afford a touch more - I give more when I can. I know child support is oppressive, Lord, do I know. I know that child support awards are unfair. I know that the system is bent against fathers. But so what? Work on changing the system if you like or if you can, but concentrate on helping the kids, first, because as dumb as the system might be, you still have your kids to worry about. Pay up, or negotiate.

    In short, there's nothing that I can't stand more than a dad who can't, or won't, go out there and bust butt to make sure that their kids are being raised well when Dad isn't around.

    Deadbeat dads of the world, get with the program, or get out of the middle of the road. You're slowing us down. And I promise, with my schedule, I definitely have someplace important to be.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Well Played, Ms. Calhoun

    The funniest quote of the week comes from Patricia Calhoun, editor of the Westword, Denver's weekly alternative newspaper, during a trial where the weekly was sued by some guy named Steve Horner (who, naturally, lost) who decided that ladies' nights at bars were a violation of his civil rights and newspaper advertising those promotions were violating state civil rights laws:

    "I'm running to the ladies room." Turning to Horner, she added, "You don't object, do you?"

    Thank the Rocky Mountain News for this.  Then thank Fark for the hat tip.

    I'm not sure what's wrong with that guy, and in fact, I don't even like bars (who wants to be the old guy in the club?!), but I have a feeling that cheap drinks at Denver bars probably won't help his attitude.

    Keeping Lethal Animals In Your House Just Might Leave A Mark

    A MAN who lived in his own "zoo" of lizards and insects was fatally bitten by a pet black widow spider — then eaten by the other creepy-crawlies.

    Police broke in to Mark Voegel's apartment to find spider Bettina along with 200 others, several snakes, a gecko lizard called Helmut and several thousand termites had gorged on his body.

    Neighbours alerted police after becoming alarmed by the stink.

    And horrified officers were met by a nightmare scene.

    Interesting story, indeed.
    Victim:  Are you trying to tell me that keeping a bunch of dangerous spiders, venomous snakes, and poisionous frogs and toads in my house is a bad idea, somehow?
    Observer with common sense:
    Ah.  The thing that I love most about the world is a diversity of ideas.  Mostly bad ones, but ideas nonetheless.

    Wednesday, August 01, 2007

    First Google Checkout, Now This

    You might remember a previous post about Google Checkout, the service that competes with Paypal and thus has caused rifts between two Internet giants - Google, and eBay.
    Look for a launch announcement by Amazon this week or next of a new web service around payments, adding to their S3 (storage), EC2 (virtual server) and other services. They've been quietly testing the service, which will compete with PayPal and Google Checkout, for a few weeks. It is an extension of the existing Amazon Payments , which allows third parties selling items on Amazon's extended network to receive payments from buyers.
    Techcrunch for the win.
    Have you been getting the feeling that Amazon is slowly, but surely, sneaking up on us all?
    I love the competition, personally. 
    Things are about to get ugly up in here.

    Friday, July 27, 2007

    Can I Start A Bottled Water Company?

    Yep, I've been on a sporadic hiatus.  Between holidays, working two jobs and doing freelance work (expect yet another announcement soon, as I started this project a few weeks earlier), visits, and everything else, my posting has been going down... this in spite of ReaperCat, drunken astronauts , Lindsey Lohan, and the newest Harry Potter book.  How I've been able to keep from posting is beyond me.  I must have been asleep.
    But what finally makes me post again this week?
    PepsiCo Inc. will spell out that its Aquafina bottled water is made with tap water, a concession to the growing environmental and political opposition to the bottled water industry. According to Corporate Accountability International, a U.S. watchdog group, the world's No. 2 beverage company will include the words "Public Water Source" on Aquafina labels.
    Via CNN.
    Seriously, I'm all about the importance of water.  I live in a pretty high altitude, where water just... leaves.  It's here, then it's not, and if you don't hydrate, well, you've got problems.  But I am most certainly NOT a fan of bottled water.  Why?
    Think about this.
    Water and plastic.
    First, it's lukewarm.  Then it travels.  The water and the plastic bottle heat up.
    Then it arrives at it's destination, and goes into a freezer, where it suddenly becomes cold.
    Then it goes into another location.  It's hot again. 
    Then it's cold again.
    After who knows how many iterations of hot and cold this water becomes, one seriously has to think, what is the chemical impact on the water actually in this plastic (meaning made from petroleum products) bottle by the time you drink it?  Have you ever gotten a bottle of water that tasted... different?  I have.
    And speaking of petroleum, I'm not crazy about that either.
    So I don't buy bottled water anymore.  Love me some tap water, though.  Apparently, so does PepsiCo.  So do yourself a favor.
    1.  Buy a metal water bottle.
    2.  Turn on your faucet and fill it up.
    3.  Think of the $1.09 you just saved versus buying the bottled stuff.
    4.  Profit.
    Sure, South Park fans, I added a step.  But at least now you know how to get the "Profit" part of the plan.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Unblocking The iPhone

    An article in Gizmodo on the efforts to unblock the iPhone comes with the best photoshop that I've seen all month.
    First, the article:

    Apparently, the amazing code wizards at the iPhone Dev Wiki have been able to partially unlock the iPhone using a new application called iASign. It won't fully unlock the iPhone for use with other companies, but the hack will allow you to use any existing Cingular/AT&T Pre-paid/MVNA SIM so you don't have to get a two-year contract with AT&T. We are now testing this, but if confirmed the benefits are great.

    Then, the photoshop.

    "YAHOOOOO! You're all clear, Kid. Now let's blow this thing and go home."

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Something Useful From The Government

    ...and it's on the Internet.  Who would have guessed that?

    Overlooked and difficult to find, there are hundreds of thousands of U.S. government web sites that can help you accomplish a variety of tasks. At the right federal .gov destination you can locate historical documents, keep tabs on Congressional happenings, view presidential paperwork, and a whole lot more.

    One of these days, I'm going to write a poem - not like one of those godawful poems that you used to write when you were a sophomore in high school - but a detailed, loving poem as a celebration of the wonders of Lifehacker.  Ah, Lifehacker, how I love thee.

    Personally, I've used the CIA World Factbook quite a bit in the past.  Not that I travel that much... well, at all, but if I WERE to go to, say, Guinea-Bissau,I like to know what the most important local imports are that year.

    10 Instant Life Improvements? Surely You Jest

    Apparently, jest they do NOT.

    Many of our problems come from within our own minds. They aren't caused by events, bad luck, or other people. We cause them through our own poor mental habits. Here are 10 habits you should set aside right away to free yourself from the many problems each one will be causing you.

    Thank for this article.  Then read the article in its entirety.

    I especially liked this suggestion:

    Don't hang on to the past. This is my most important suggestion of all: let go and move on. Most of the anger, frustration, misery, and despair in this world come from people clinging to past hurts and problems. The more you turn them over in your mind, the worse you'll feel and the bigger they'll look. Don't try to fight misery. Let go and move on. Do that and you've removed just about all its power to hurt you.
    This sounds like the most intelligent thing that I'll read all week, and this week I've read some amazing things.

    You mean that I shouldn't ruminate over that girl that I dated in the 11th grade whose best friend I took to the Homecoming Dance?

    I think I'll sleep well tonight.

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    Who Wants Good, Inexpensive Wine?

    The connoisseurs may cringe, the snobs may even sob, but the judges have spoken: California's best chardonnay costs less than $3.  Charles Shaw Chardonnay, better known as "Two Buck Chuck," beat hundreds of other wines and was named the top prize in a prestigious tasting competition in California.
  Hat tip: Fark.
    Can't beat that with a stick.  Go get your wine on, 21 and over adult crowd.

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    One Of The Talks I Hope To Give My Daughter

    …and I don't mean that one that you're probably thinking.

    I devote a lot of time thinking about things that I'll tell my three year old daughter when she gets older, and lately, the topic that has crossed my mind quite a bit regards drugs. In our Paris, Lohan, Nicole, Britney crazed society, it probably doesn't take too much of a mental leap to figure out why.

    But the key thing that has crossed my mind is this: most parents probably do not spend the brain power considering how to approach the subject of use and abuse of substances, controlled or otherwise, with their kids.

    I don't want to be one of those parents, so after considering the question, I believe there might be a decent discussion out there on the subject. My proposal to answer the question "What would you say to your child about drugs?" is this:

    "Honey, let me tell you something about drugs. I'm ashamed to say that I've ever taken them, but in the past I have. Really I have. But over time, I've come to some conclusions. Someday, someone that you think is attractive, perhaps someone that's rich, , or powerful, or that you admire, will offer you drugs. And you might be curious, and you might think that perhaps if you do what they do or offer, you'll be as attractive, rich, or powerful as they are."

    "This is not the case. Those people that are rich or beautiful or whatever WILL NOT feel as good as you feel the next day after they have made the offer. You will be smarter than them for not following along with the crowd. You will not be panicked, you will not be depressed, you will not be ashamed, and they will be."

    "I'm not saying that this will happen today, or even tomorrow, but eventually it will happen, and when it does, just try to remember what I'm saying right now, and don't do it."

    I don't know if that is the smartest thing that I could say, and I have no idea if it would work, but I think those are very close to the words I'd utter.

    And if that didn't work, I'd try again with something else.

    In my humble opinion, that is what any Dad would do.

    Thursday, July 12, 2007

    No Relationship At All. Nope. None.

    It's been a long time.  My home connection is still on the fritz.  I hope to have it fixed today, as it's now costing me money.
    I will, however, make my return with this nugget of information on the looming terrorist threat:
    WASHINGTON - A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al-Qaida has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.
    Aaaack!  Everybody panic!
    June 22, 2007

    Two-thirds of Americans Disapprove of the Way
    George W. Bush is Handling His Job as President

    Over two out-of-three Americans say they disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president according to the latest survey from the American Research Group.

    Among all Americans, 27% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 67% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 29% approve and 64% disapprove.



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