Tuesday, January 31, 2006

People are strange, when your a stranger 2

I forgot to post the latest challenge on Sunday... (so you have to HURRY to do this one before next sunday).

StrangeChallenge #2:
Leave a pen or pencil somewhere it usually isn't...
point value = 2

Again, no guidelines, think small, or think big... bottom line... think.
Did someone find your pen or pencil? Do you think about it and wonder if someone did find it? Do you miss that pen or pencil?

Last week's challenge

PS> If you have an idea for a challenge, post it in the comment area, and maybe I'll use it for an "official" challenge.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Bad Sunday

As great as my last Sunday was yesterday was almost the opposite. I know this was probably just a case of bad timing, but it really got to me... During the church service, there is a moment when it is open to the floor for people to state their concerns and or celebrations. One woman stood up, and made a plea for the congregation to continue to donate to their "pantry" for a program where they give food out to a local charity (head start) that feeds those who have a hard time making ends meet. Apparently the pantry was empty and when the charity called to see if they could come pick up the food, she had to turn them away. So, this of course bothered me, and I made it a point to find out how to donate to this (she didn't explain how). After a few more announcements, the pastor then said, "...and by the way, did anyone notice tha choir's new robes?" and went on to explain how someone had donated the new robes to the choir. (which to me looked exactly like the old robes.)
Man, did this burn me up. Here you have the church failing to support a charity of feeding the hungry, and in the next moment they turn around and say 'look at my new clothes'. It pretty much ruined the rest of my day. I know... it was just poor timing, but I wish it didn't happen that way.
After the service, a group of us get together to discuss the day's sermon. It really became clear to me that I don't belong here. I initially agreed to the invite to join, because I thought it was a further way for me to learn, but yesterday didn't sit right with me either. Several of the leaders of the church attend this along with one retired minister. The topic was prayer. One of the church elders, went on to say that he has never prayed for his enemies - and didn't even know how. This also hit me kinda hard, because I'm looking up to these men and women for answers and turns out they are almost as confused as I am. I do feel bad though, because I think I snapped at him to one of his questions. The pastor made an analogy that prayer was like a door. (a good analogy if you ask me). The same gentleman said how he didn't understand the analogy... he said, "ok, if prayer is the door, and the door opens what's on the other side?" No one was answering so I sort of blurted out "God". As soon as I said it I regretted the tone that I said it in. So I think I might check out the "sunday school class" next time, which is held during the same time as the discussion group. Maybe I need to start off with some more biblical teachings before getting into discussions groups.
One other point to mention before getting off this topic... during the sermon, the pastor pointed out that the diciples had only asked Jesus one pointed question "how to pray". This struck me as odd too. I need to look into this one too... It seems to me, if I were walking around with the Big Man himself, I'd be like a 4 year old asking "why" and "how" until he'd probably whack me with a stick.
I'll end this on an up note: I watched a comedian last night on Comedy Central Jim Gaffigan. At one point he got into some relgious jokes that cracked me up. I have some sort of metal problem with comedians though... I can watch a comic for a half hour to an hour, and not even 10 mintues after the show, I can't recall one joke! Strange. The one item I do remember Jim saying was... What if Jesus was a bad carpenter? "Look buddy, I know you're the Messiah and all, but right now you're building me a shed... get to it!" - hee hee.
I'll expand upon this... Do you think Jesus did his stint as a carpenter before or during his calling? Wouldn't that be a conversational piece too... While you're having company over for dinner one night... "See those cabinets over there? They were built by God." Or can you see it from the guests point of view of George and Martha? "Do we have to go over to Jim and Sheryl's tonight? All they do is go on and on about how their kitchen was built by God..."
Ok... I better stop, before I get myself in trouble :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tea and Politics

I was all fired up this morning after watching a good interview on C-span with Molly Ivins. But by the time I am writing this I've been distracted...
I just got a new shipment of TEA from Adagio. I decided to go with some new flavors a little more mainstream, so I went with some flavored and one "weird" one... I got a medium jar (4oz? I think) of Peach, a medium container of Vanilla (pictured above), a small (2oz) of Mango, and one wierd one called Dragonwell Requiem (which had very high ratings for the black teas). I also got another of their "ingenuiTEA" tea pots for work. When I opened the box, I was flooded with the smells of all the tea's combined. Mmmmm. The Mango is very strong smelling, and the vanilla is incredible (I hope they taste just as well).
I'll be sure to post back a review of these flavors.

Ok, a little bit more on the Molly Ivins... I originally saw Molly on a discussion panel with Bill O'Reilly and Al Franken (yes on c-span) and what a circus that was! She was overshadowed by the events between Al and Bill, but I was impressed with what I heard of Molly. I never got one of her books, but I think I will now. She's a "straight shooter" woman from Texas, and writes a syndicated column for various newspapers across the country.
She fielded several phone calls and answered each one well. It was also a bit funny, because she said last time she was on c-span the "kooks" were calling in, so this time she came in prepared for a battle, and she was thrown off due to the "intelligent" callers.
I encourage you to take about 30 minutes to watch her interview (1/27/06 on the Washington Journal). It's streamed via RealPlayer.
One quote that stood out was this one:

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.

As Molly responded, she paused and said something to the effect that she thought that quote may have been from a fictional character. After looking the quote up this morning, there's an interesting story behind this. Read it hear on Snopes.com.

TGIF!!! Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Book of Joe

I don't know why I've never blogged about this before... This is another website I check on an almost daily basis... http://www.bookofjoe.com. You never know what you'll find, but it's usually some new neat gadget, or a book, or occasionally a rant or opinion. I most enjoy his gadgets, and his style of writting/blogging.
On today's post, he's talking about a new species of fish that has been discovered... (Read my recent post about new species). This fish is odd in several ways; It's one of the smallest fish, and apparently only lives in one small place in the world, and loves highly acidic water! Why they photographed this little fishy out of water an on some guy's ugly finger, I'm not sure. It's a neat discovery though.
Add the book of Joe to your daily rotation, I think you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Cross Sell & Politics

I read a good blog today on my sister's blog "Blanket in the Grove" (In the advertising business we call this a "cross sell"). Not only do I find her thoughts interesting, but the topic overall is a bit scary to consider also. Topic Nutshell: The Gov recently subpoena'd a bunch of internet websites (search engines) to release the search strings for their customers in an attempt to find perverts and terrorists. Google so far is the only one I'm aware of who is fighting back and saying "whoa, wait a minute". I find it an interesting twist on individual privacy and relating to the fourth amendment in regards to corporations... In that, the government is not allowed to come into my home grab my computer and look through it to see what items I've searched for... But who's rights are being challenged if they go into a corporation and ask to see their records of my search. I have to hope someone like google will resist or challenge the request. By using certain corporate or business services I'm in effect giving up some of my rights.

ok, I'm on a roll now...
I was going to try to refrain from posting another link I found via boingboing but this one I have to mention... "Future American Layers protest Attorney General's speech"
Here's the original info from a blog of all places...
Some of the comments are interesting too... I was surprised to read the one about NPR in that they sort of mis-represented the protest during their coverage of the event. That's troubling.

I was watching a little cspan this morning before work, and they were doing some call ins about the domestic spying issues. Several people brought up this line: "If you are doing nothing wrong, what's the big deal if the Gov spys on you?" - Ugh. On the surface this argument makes logical sense, but you have to think through it one or two more steps to realize this is bad. My biggest fear is that the majority of people will not think through those additional few steps and start trusting the Gov without question.
In regard to the above... the Quote from Ben Franklin is seeming to pop up more and more on an almost daily basis:

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Ben Franklin

What a mess.
(forgive any typos... I'm just letting this one fly)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Science or art

A really "trippy" simulator for your computer (a small java applet) that simulates a ripple tank - In other words, what would happen if you dropped a pebble into a fishtank with the ripples? What would happen if you dropped two pebbles? I got some really neat patterns by playing with the various settings on this one. I have no idea what the practical use is for these (other than to play with). I dug around a little on the website, and then discovered a whole bunch of these various science simulators... I'll def have to come back and mess with the magnetic ones... magnets fascinate me. (Source: Digg.com).

Monday, January 23, 2006

Urban Promise

Yesterday (Sunday) was an incredilbe day for me. I finally got my butt to church (after getting a postcard from the pastor asking where I was - a sure sign you better get your butt to church!). Man, am I glad I did. Our normal pastor was out that day (holiday?) so we had a guest preacher Bruce Mains from Urban Promise. I have heard of Urban Promise before though I can't describe what they really do or are at the moment. All I know is that they help people.
Bruce gave am amazing sermon, that was passionate and full of life. (This idea of being passionate about something always strikes me, If you are passionate about used pizza boxes, I'd probably be impressed). Bruce gave a great sermon on having a "hunch" about becoming more active in church and or community. But... the real higlight was a group of singers from the Urban Promise (4 guys and 2 women)... This group was FANTASTIC! I was completely blown away by their talented singing, their ability to be so loud with no PA system, and the "passion" with which they sang. I wish I could tell you more about them (names, name of the group, etc...) but unfortunately there was not much information given out in the bulletin. I did make sure to speak a few of them afterwards to tell them how much I appreciated their music (and bought CD - that they will mail to me). When I get their CD, I'll be sure to post more about them. I went to the Urban Promise website as well, and there was no mention of the singing group :( When I get more info, I'll be sure to post a follow up.

Then after leaving church, I was starving, and didn't want the same old "hamburger" or fast food choice. I wanted something new. I decided to go to a local chinese restaraunt but then saw in the same shopping center a new japanese restaraunt. Bingo! So I went in, sat down and ordered 3 rolls (I was hungry!) A spicy Tuna (I've had before), An Oshinko Roll (had no idea what it was), and and Ebi Avacado Roll (again had no idea what that was). I figured out what Ebi was = Shrimp... so that tasted very much like a california roll. The Oshinko I had to ask what it was... She said it was a pickled radish. (I looked it up on the web, and most links say it's a Chinese Pickled Cabbage), but this didn't look like Cabbage, so I think she used a radish. (Daichon?). A good meal! And I got some tea with it, which I was able to recognize from my previous green tea sampler pack from Adagio Tea, was Genmai Cha Tea... Green Tea, with toasted rice, and popcorn. Pretty good, and distinct. I think I impressed the waitress when I told her I tasted rice.
Then I came home, and took a nice long afternoon nap.
The perfect Sunday :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

People are strange, when your a stranger

I think I might have mentioned this crazy idea in one of my earlier blogs, that this was something I was going to do starting on the new year. I had this kooky idea of coming up with a list of things to do once a week. Things you normally wouldn't do, Things that have no point what-so-ever. Then, I chickened out because after I thought about it, it was a stupid idea. I thought 'people have enough things to do in their everyday life, to spend doing something silly.' But, after thinking even more about it, I thought... 'why not!' So, no pressure on you my gentle readers, think of these as an open challenge. If you are goal orientated, you get one point (or more) for each item you do. At the end of the year add up all your points, and you'll win... well... nothing. But you'll have a lot of points, and bragging rights to say, yeah, I took time out of my busy schedule to something odd, for no apparent reason and look at all these points. There's got to be meaning in here somewhere...
So... Onward to the first challenge! (before I use up my alotted ellipses for this blog...)

Walk around with only one shoe on.
Point Value = 2

(no other rules - try it for only 2 minutes or see how long you can stand it - does your world seem out of balance? Does your world seem IN balance now?)

FYI> ellipsis |i?lipsis| noun ( pl. -ses |-s?z|) the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues. • a set of dots indicating such an omission.

PS> If you have an idea for a challenge, post it in the comment area, and maybe I'll use it for an "official" challenge.

I'll tag each of these challenges with "strangechallenge" so if you should happen to miss a week, or come in at week 15 and want to see what some of the other challenges have been, you can do a word search.
tag: strangechallenge

Friday, January 20, 2006

Feeling Creative?

Here's a link I discovered while surfing LaughingSquid.com (cool artsy, techy, group located in San Francisco, CA).
Feel like painting? Inspired by Jackson Pollock?
I never used to like his art, but as I look at it more and more, I am beginning to understand and appreciate his work.
Here's the link to a website where you can get a feel for what it's like (and how fun it is) without getting your hands messy... http://jacksonpollock.org/
See if you can create a better masterpiece than mine above ;)

For a glimpse at his real paintings online here's a link to google images - though the little thumbnails don't do it justice... his paintings were large.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Money and politics

I was going to post these two items separately, but then I thought... Money and Politics - they go hand in hand.
I found this post the other day on NPR (national public radio). I've heard Dave Barry's name mentioned several times in the past, and I know he has a book or two out there, but I am unfamiliar with his work. After reading this excerpt by him regarding money, I will have to keep an eye out for this book. I learned a bit about this whole "dollar bill" thing a while ago, and after hearing the logic behind our monetary system, I admit I'm still a bit shell shocked. His one line about those of us who have a stash of Beef Jerky and Guns are the only one's who are truly wealthy rings a bell, as I still have a stash of fresh water under my sink, and a bag of Beef Jerky (though I'll probably eat that soon - and I don't own any guns - unless toy guns count).
It's a bit long to read on a webpage, but check it out... Both funny and scary.

I'd love to go into the conspiracy theories regarding the "eye in the pyramid" on the back of the dollar, but that's another post in itself.

I came upon this link via my good old standard boingboing. Maybe I'm dating myself here, but this bit about a "text adventure" was pretty funny. I remember getting some books that were "text adventures" then on my glorious commodore 64 I had a text adventure of the "hitch hikers guide to the galaxy." Anyway, check out this link if you are familiar with text adventures... http://www.defectiveyeti.com/archives/001561.html
(note: one curse word - not appropriate for children).
Oh... The topic... It starts off with:

Iraqi Invasion: A Text Misadventure
Revision 88 / Serial number 54892

Oval Office
You are standing inside a White House, having just been elected to the presidency of the United States. You knew Scalia would pull through for you.

There is a large desk here, along with a few chairs and couches. The presidential seal is in the middle of the room and there is a full-length mirror upon the wall.

What do you want to do now?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

creepy crawlies

I found this info today on the web, talking about 27 NEW species discovered in some caves in California. It's incredible to think about new species of animals (insects) being discovered in our modern times, and in a populated area like California of all places. If you told me there was a new bug discovered in the jungles of the Amazon, that wouldn't shock me as much. Here's a link talking about the new species and the study that took about 3 years...

On a semi related note, this idea of finding new species reminded me of a post I saw a few weeks back on boingboing. It was a technique used to "stabilize" the famous "Zapruder" film of the assassination of JFK. It is a pretty cool technique and really does make a difference to the shaky footage. Well, someone used this same technique to un-shake-ify the famous footage of bigfoot walking away.

I was really interested in bigfoot and Nessie back when I was a kid... it was probably my first introduction to "alternative viewpoints" regarding the scientific community. At one point, I thought that's what I wanted to be when I grew up... someone who would travel the world looking for undiscovered (or "imaginary" animals)... a "cryptozoologist" if you will. :)
Anway, check out the link on the insects in the cave for some 'edumacation' then click on over to this link to see the bigfoot footage (it's a strange gif file that takes some time to load in your browser be patient). By the way... All these years I thought bigfoot was a "He" check out this footage and tell me if you think it's a "She"!
If you are interested, here's the link to the stabilized Zapruder film - Warning it's not edited and is not for the squeamish. (you'll need quicktime to view it)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Trunk Monkey

A friend just showed me these videos on google video... short and kinda funny :)
Trunk Monkey

Monday, January 16, 2006

Baseball stats

I remember reading about this issue several years ago (2?)... I had watched a DVD where a woman (a bluegrass singer who loved baseball) had on this neat little pager like device that would instantly update the score (and I think when someone was on base). I thought this would make a good present for my Bro-in-law who is a big baseball fan. When I went on the internet to try to find one for sale, I soon discovered that the devices were "outlawed". Apparently the MLB league sued the company that produced these pager devices under a copyright violation. They claimed that the scores (as they were being played) were considered copyrightable material. In general, numbers or statistics are NOT copyrightable. But because of the deep pockets and better lawyers, the MLB won the case, and shut down these pager companies. Today, I found this small article on the web that talks about the MLB possibly shooting itself in the foot with their claims. Read the article here on Techdirt. I don't know how I feel about this, but I really think the MLB has overstepped it's bounds. On the one hand I understand their argument, that it's a form of broadcasting copyrighted material, but on the other hand, I don't think they would loose any money from this venture if a third-party broadcast live score updates. Just another example of Corporatocracy.

Martin Luther King Jr

I am sitting here at work (did not have the day off) and was listening to NPR radio, and they did a spot on MLK day... They mentioned something that I had never heard of before... Today is supposed to be a "Day of Service". I just googled it, and sure enough, there is an official MLK website and they have a tag line "Make it a day on, Not a day off" (needs work in my opinion).
So, since I'm stuck here at work, I thought I would blog this message as my way of doing a service, to educate others about this.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I was Tagged - now you have been too

I checked my sister's blog the other day and saw that I was one of the lucky four to be tagged... So I'm keeping the ball rolling:

Four jobs I've Had in My Life:
> Bakery helper
> Carpenter
> Land Surveyor
> Graphic Arts

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over, and Have
I don't like watching movies more than once... but...
> Weird Science
> Real Genius
> Lord of the Rings (all three)
> Any Abbott and Costello

Four Places I have Lived
> House
> Apartment
> Tent
> Hospital

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch
> The Daily Show
> MythBusters
> Survivor - a guilty pleasure
> America's Test Kitchen

Four Places I have been on Vacation
> Cancun, Mexico
> Bay Area, California
> Upstate NY
> Myrtle Beach, SC

Four Websites I Visit Daily
> Blanket in the Grove
> BoingBoing
> Makezine
> Google

Four Favorite Foods
> Sautéed Scallops in a balsamic Vinegar reduction with spinach
> Spaghetti with white clam sauce
> Mushroom Cheesesteaks with Fried Onions
> Hoagies

Four Places I would Rather Be Right Now
> Sleeping in bed
> In a tree
> On a mountain
> By a lake

People I tag (to do this next)
> Lady Arden
> HimThatWas
> DRD (if he had a blog ;) Perhaps a guest spot?
> Any one else that reads this
(let me know if you do - and no tag backs)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Ugliest Shoes ever...

[update: 7/26/08: Sadly the link I've listed below has been pulled. If you are interested, here's an updated instructable (with a slightly nice result).]

I've stumbled upon this idea on the web a few times in the past and it always strikes me as a good idea, but after seeing a photo of them, these have got to be the ugliest things ever - though they are almost crossing over that line of ugly to cool. Even so, it's a good idea and I like the fact that they are homemade and recycled old tires. The how-to article is funny to read also... http://www.instructables.com/
I wonder if there are other materials that these could be used for... Cardboard? Disposable cardboard "shoes" that could be used once then recycled... Leather? Sort of a crude moccasin? A sheet of silicon? squishy but might be really comfortable? Other?

By the way, the instructables.com is a cool website, you never know quite what you'll find.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Adagio Tea

I finally got the banner ad posted on my blog (you may need to scroll down a bit to see it). As I posted before about Adagio Tea... This coupon gives you $5 off coupon and in return I'll get "credits" towards buying more tea. I've enjoyed this new tea pot, and have enjoyed tasting these new (and a bit strange) tea flavors. I've had 4 different green teas so far: Hojicha (pictured above) so far one of my favorites as there is a certain sweetness to it, and it's similar to "normal" tea. Genmai cha (very unusual) it has toasted rice and bits of popcorn in it! It's so different I'm not sure if I like it or not. Green Pekoe - very "vegetably" almost tastes like spinach but sweeter, I like this one when it's brewed lightly and not too strong. Citron Green - a very good tea with lemon/lime flavors added, A close call with this one being my favorite.
I still have 4 more white tea samples to try yet, (not to mention the MANY varieties on their website!). So check it out, and don't forget the $5 coupon below. I have not recieved any spam from them either. One more thing, they have an active message board, a tea muse section, and even a section on cooking with tea.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Country Boys

I just finished watching a really good documentary series on PBS. It was a 3 part series broken into 1 hour shows shown on Mon, Tues, and Wed nights at 10pm. The series was riveting. It's hard to describe and put into words... I'll do it anyway... Basically followed the lives of two young men (Cody and Chris) around 17 years old. They were going through tough times but kept going. The series followed their decisions for a period of years condensed down to a 3 hour "movie". Like I said, It doesn't lend itself to words. BUT... something I've never seen PBS do before and that is really cool of them to do... the night after the show premiers, they put the episodes up on the internet where you can watch them for free. They are also broken into smaller segments so you don't need to watch all 3 hours in one sitting. Try to watch this if you can...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Second generation TV...

Just a strange thought that popped into my head this morning...
As I mentioned before, I've been on this merry go round of a planet for almost 4 decades now... I was thinking this morning about how much TV I watch and that it's TOO much. I thought about how much TV my dad watches and it also is too much... Then I wondered if that was a "learned" behavior, or how much of a choice I have in this. I thought back to when I was a kid and would spend time watching Speed Racer cartoons, and Gilligan's Island reruns, and how much I enjoyed it. So TV was something I grew up with. It was part of my childhood... Part of my learning... Etc...
Then it struck me, I'm really only the second generation of TV watchers. My parents were the first generation. Our kids are only the third generation... I think we have a lot to learn yet about TV. How is it useful, how is it hurtful, what other ways will TV change in the future, etc...
I was talking to my friend over lunch about this and he said "we're the first generation of computer users" - wow! Look at how much computers have changed (improved) in our generation. This led us both to suggest that there will be a melding of TV and computers in the future (It's just starting to happen now! With Apple selling TV shows to be viewed in itunes or on your ipod).
It was just something that struck me that TV is such a "young" technological breakthrough. I wonder how long it will last in it's current form.
Something to think about... While watching TV of course...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Robots and Tea

This Saturday morning, I sit here at my computer just checking some of my daily websites, and came across another interview with Theo Jansen who I blogged about his amazing "wind robots" before (or as he calls them "Beach Animals"). It's a short interview, but every time I see this guy's creations, and learn a little more about him, I admire him even more. Mixing science and art... perfect :)
In addition to reading the interview, I looked at the homepage of the website and it looks pretty interesting. I will be adding this website to my "daily websites".

“When the weather was beautiful I thought it was a waste of time to sit in front of the computer” - Theo Jansen

I recently discovered a new website (Simply Recipes- it's actually just a blog) that led me to this website about tea via a banner ad...
I have always wanted to taste tea using fresh tea leaves as opposed to the bags of tea that have sat on the grocery store shelves for who knows how long.
I'm not usually the type person who clicks on banner ads, and then orders an item from a website that I know very little about. But after doing a little digging, and feeling safe with placing an order online, I did. I was "suckered" in by good design basically... The website itself is very nicely designed; easy to navigate, very nice use of colors, nice photographs, and a touch of humor. Then I saw this small single serve "tea pot" (you might get two small cups of tea out of it, but I usually drink tea in a mug). It's a really incredibly simple design to brew a fresh cup of tea easily and with little mess. I watched a small video clip (or flash animation) and thought 'I gotta get one of these' (it's cheap too for about $24 and that includes about $10 worth of sampler teas). I placed my order and the very next day I got it via fedex. It works great, and the sampler teas are great. Two especially stood out... The "Genmai cha" and the "Citron green". The Genmai when I opened it gave me a bit of a shock... it had "things" in it, they almost looked like small grubs! But I tasted one, and was very surprised that it was toasted rice (there are also bits of popcorn!). I just finished my first cup of this and it was very good. I have not tried the Citron green yet, but the smell of this tea is amazing.
I know... I'm hyping this website up a lot and after all it's just tea right? But after wondering myself, why I was very enthusiastic about this website, I figured it out... I'm almost 4 decades old! I've been eating and drinking all my life, so when I discover a new taste or smell that I've never experienced before in my 4 decades of eating and smelling, it really surprises me and teaches me that there are things out there that I have not yet discovered yet.
When you place an order you can email your friends and family a $5 gift certificate... If you would like me to email you one of these gift certificates email me and I'll send you one.
{removed - see the banner ad on the side now}

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


There was nothing on TV last night (still no new LOST episodes!)... So I flipped over to watch some C-span. I caught some interesting "hearings" about what is now being talked about on all the news stations (and internet). Jack Abramoff. I'm still unclear on all the details, and who was charged with what, and who did what, but the hearings that I saw were interesting. You can watch them on Cspan now There's a part one, and part two... Part two is the one I saw (and not all of it) as it was 3 hours long! But if you want to skip to the good part go to 1:29:00 to see the interview with Italia Federici (that's a woman's name). She was stuck in the hot seat and either she's very intelligent, or not so bright... I think she may be very intelligent because she was able to frustrate both Senators McCain and Dorgan and yet she never really said the "wrong" thing that would incriminate herself.
I wrote down some of the key players:
Senator John McCain - R - Arizona - Indian Affairs Committee Chairman
Senator Byron Dorgan - D - North Dakota - Indian Affairs Committee Vice Chairman
Italia Federici - Council of Republican for Environmental Advocacy - President
Jack Abramoff - Former Lobbyist
Steven Griles - Former Deputy Interior Secretary - Bush Administration
Michael Rossetti - Former Interior Department Counsel - Bush Admin.
Cspan commentators:
Michael Crowley - New Republic Senior Editor
Matthew Continetti - Weekly Standard reporter

whew... lots of people to keep track of...
In a nutshell here's what I got out of it... Abramoff was a lobbyist for a bunch of American Indian tribes who wanted to build Casino's. Abramoff was trying to help them get these casino's built (and at times hinder other Indian casino's who might compete with his clients). He would 'encourage' the tribes to donate/give LARGE sums of money to Italia's environmental group... and in return (this is the tricky part) She would speak to those in the Interior of Bush's Admin, to put in a word about certain issues.
Basically, here's some money, now see if you can make something happen in the gov, so that we can build some casinos. The whole thing just "stunk" of corruption. Each one on the hot seat would plead and swear that THEY were telling the truth, yet it was in direct conflict with what the other person would say was the truth. So obviously someone was lying.
Even if you are not interested in all the political mumbo-jumbo it's interesting to watch these people squirm on the hot seat. The one guy Griles, reminded me of that Seinfeld episode where George had eaten some spicy Kung-Pow Chicken, and was all red and sweating, when they asked him if he stole some baseball equipment :)

I wish I could give you the exact link to open the realplayer video off of the cspan website, but I can't figure out how. (if anyone knows post it in the comments). Just go to Cspan.org and look for: C-SPAN Special: Jack Abramoff & the Tribal Lobbying Investigation, Part 2

PS> You know you must be getting old, when the commentators on Cspan look like they just got out of high school. Even though they looked young, these guys knew their stuff!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Manly Man

I wanted to blog briefly about a new project I started... I'm knitting myself a scarf of all things. I thought it would be neat to have a Harry Potter scarf (yes, I'm a nerd and a geek) and thought, why not try to do it myself. My mom and sister both know how to knit (very well too!) and I wondered how difficult it is to learn. At first glance, to watch them knit or crochet it looks like plain ol' "magic"... they twirl their fingers around a string using one or two sticks, and out the other end comes something of beauty and usefulness. So, with a quick lesson from my mom, I was able to get motivated.
I got my yarn, a couple of sticks (still can't call them knitting needles), and went online for some tutorials to start. Within an hour or so, I was ready to give up, and go buy a stupid scarf. (I don't even wear scarfs). But then something clicked, and I started to get it. I've since had to destroy my first attempt as I was doing something wrong, and couldn't figure out what (kept adding a stitch). But now I've got the beginnings of a scarf going. I don't know if I'll ever do this again, but it is an interesting experience and it's creative as well. There's something really cool to me to be able to make something with your hands that has a use. It strikes a note of being anti-corporate that I like too.
Now I'm off to go drink some beer, watch some football, burp, and kill a small helpless animal to compensate for this scarf making business.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

happy new year

Happy New Year!
Starting my year off right!
Visited a book store (and bought 2 books)
Slept late
Watched several episodes of Mythbusters on a Mythbusters marthon today.

Hope your year is starting off right as well.