Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I suffer from procrastinations sometimes... well probably more than sometimes. It is a horrible disease that leaves your apartment a mess, you dishes in the sink, your paper files stacked in teetering piles, boxes in your apartment that you have not unpacked (in 10 years), and on and on. But, little did I know that the power of procrastination could be used for good! I just found this link (from a stanford college professor no less!) that talks about how to procrastinate to your own betterment. So if you are surfing the web right now, when you should be writing that important paper, or making a phone call, or doing the dishes, read more here at Structured Procrastination.
one of my favorite quotes from that website:
If all the procrastinator had left to do was to sharpen some pencils, no force on earth could get him do it.

In other news...
I found a really cool website. It's especially useful for bloggers, and or photographers, or anyone who wants to post an image to the web to show someone.
It's FREE - it's simple! - No signup even!

And one more for today...
Yet another website to look at your blog (or someone elses) in a new light. Something a little difficult to measure - Readability. I was a little surprised at how well I scored. Considering I'm not a writer, I don't run spellcheck, and I just throw my thoughts on this blog without a lot of drafts and forethought. (hmm, how many mistakes did I make in this paragraph!?)
Check it out here:

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

net neutrality

I've been hearing a lot of buzz lately about Net Neutrality. I have a vague idea of what this means, but I hope to look into it more. The way I understand it (which I may be wrong), is that the internet as we know it may be under "attack" in the near future... by corporations. It's funny... I was on the web before it was the web. There were NO photos or pictures at the time. Just good ol' ascii text. During those early days, there was a large subculture (the well) who wanted things to remain open and free, a sort of wild west of the internet. When the corporations started getting on the whole "internet" thing people started getting worried. Well... I believe we're only a few steps away to it all being either government or corporate controled. Every day "we" loose a little more, and give up a little more in the guise of features, security, or speed.
Net Neutrality is the new line in the sand... For example... I have my home internet access through Verizon. I also am enjoying the new Skype free calling. Well, If I use Skype to call long distance, then guess who is losing money on my phone call... Verizon. So what's to prevent Verizon, from putting a "block" on all skype traffic? Nothing. You see the dilemma? Pretty soon, the company that you pay to access the internet will someday have control over what you can and can not read or use. Kinda lame.
I don't know what the answer is. Because it seems to point to government stepping in. So, more laws, more limitations, more lobbying, etc... I miss those old wild west days of the internet. Yet I also admit that I don't know what I'd do without Google. So, hopefully there will be a middleground.

xmen and a day off

It's Tueday morning. I should be getting ready for work (well probably about an hour ago really) but I'm trying to stretch my vacation as long as possible.
I got to see the x-men 3 movie this weekend. I won't go into details as it really was just a "bubble-gum" movie. A typical hollywood summer movie. But, that being said, I was entertained for about 2 hours. I kept trying to remind myself that this was a movie based on a comic book so try not to be too judgemental. The effects were very well done. There were some really cheesy "love" scenes that made it feel like a bad soap opera. But, I liked looking at the lights on screen. Also, we tried out a new movie theatre. The one we would usually go to (when our favorite movie theatre isn't playing the particular movie we want to see that week) has really gone down hill. What kills it is their prices for drinks and popcorn. $3.30 for a bottle of water. and $4+ for popcorn. It cost almost $9 for a medium popcorn and a medium soda. Rediculous. So, we'll probably head to this new theatre now. Bonus points for being closer to home, and for self-serve "add-your-own-butter"! Downside... seats are made for people no taller than 4'-6" and weigh 75lbs. Felt like airplane seats. oh well.

On other fronts, My weekend was mostly spent trying to fix thngs. We came out of the late movie (1am) and I found my truck wouldn't start. Dead battery! Why can't they make a warning light for when your battery is starting to go!? But a nice guy came up to us and said "is it a stick?" I said yes. He said why don't we just push start it? - My friend and I both kicked ourselves for not thinking of this. It's probably been about 20 years since I push started a vehicle. One other thing the guy said was that it was easier to push start it in reverse! I had never heard of that before, but he was right. Lower gear ratio. So, I went up with my friend to get a new battery (at around $100). And HOPE that it was just a dead battery and not something like a bad alternator. I guess time will tell.
Then we drove around a couple of places for my friend to find a new stove. His stove blew out friday night. Ugh. Then yesterday (since I have the curse of having a "pick-up" ;) I helped him out again by picking up his new stove from the store and dropping it off at his place. Really wasn't a big deal and I was glad to help :) Especially since he helpped me out too by taking me up to get the new battery.
So a weekend of broken things and new things. Now... I'm really late for work (again).
gotta run.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Decider says, "you do it"

Hmm, a lot of what this article talks about is just barely going over my head, but even a layman like myself can sense something a little "fishy" here.
As I see it in a nutshell... The Decider had a "super power" as the President to allow some companies to not report what was on their books if it seemed to give away too many secrets regarding "national security".

But in this new memo titled (get this):
Assignment of Function Relating to Granting of Authority for Issuance of Certain Directives: Memorandum for the Director of National Intelligence.

He basically gave this "power" to John Negroponte the Director of National Intelligence. The Decider transferred this power without explanation.

Read the full article here (maybe it makes more sense than my nutshell version).

Maybe he just wanted more time to go fishin for 7lb perch?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Another cool link

Wow. This is my blog website viewed as a graph...

I found this cool applet program here:

Here's a description of it, and you can see some of the larger websites (must have taken forever to process). Note: The link at the bottom for the applet is "broken". Use my link above.

glow in the dark mushrooms

Only in Japan...
I found this article on a blog via the delicious website. What an amazing thing nature can be. I don't know why, but bioluminescence fascinates me. I remember when camping in Virginia I found some tree bark that was glowing! I thought maybe I'd had one too many beer's (back when I drank beer ;) But upon close inspection, and confirmation from others, these pieces of tree bark were in fact glowing. I remember looking it up as to why, but it's been so long that I forgot.
Anyway, read this short article and check out the amazing photo. It makes you wonder how many other plants could give off light.

Well, enjoy the long weekend.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

LOST season finale

So did you watch it? I did. What a great episode. Answered a lot of questions and left you with about a 2:1 ration of new questions. New characters, new cliffhangers, just what a finale should do... leave you wanting more so you'll tune in next season.
And, for all us geeks, they dropped another new clue for the internet game. A new "fake commercial" with a new link to
I've already solved this next clue (with the help of one of the fan sites). So now I'm eager to see when or how they will deliver the next clue. I hope we will not have to wait until next season.
I also stayed up WAY past my bedtime to watch the Jimmy Kimmel show to see the interview with one of the "charaters" from the Hanso Foundation. I was a bit disappointed. It was so "hoaky" in that it looked like Jimmy hired some actor to play the role in a room behind the studio. The desk was wobbly, they had two people in lab coats walking past the camera "trying to look busy" but looking rather rediculous. The actor did a good job, but I have to wonder now if this was just a "bit" by Kimmel, or was this really part of the lost game. I don't think there were any new clues offered, so I think it was just a bit.

On another note...
I found this article via boingboing and it's pretty funny. I loved the bit about the James Bond car and Speed Racer! Read this if you've ever rented a car before.,70968-0.html

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

the hanso foundation

A quick post here...
I CURSE the creators of LOST (the tv show), and whoever came up with this online "game"! I have wasted so many hours over the past few days digging deeper and deeper into this "experience". Just today, I found a whole new set of clues and websites all connected to this game. It is blowing my mind that someone went to this much effort and why. Is it all just a marketing ploy to sell a book? Is it ever going to end? Is it just meant to get us die-hard LOST fans through the summer season until the next season of LOST airs? Ugh.
I've got about 50 webpages of bookmarks to now weed through looking for more clues.
I have to say though, as frustrating as it is, I'm still having fun. thanks LOST.
I will also admit that many of these clues are beyond me, so I have been depending on a few fan websites that are tracking the game. Things like anagrams, binary code, ascii translations, web code, etc... BUT sometimes I do figure out a clue on my own and it's very satisfying :)
I'm off tonight (before the season finale) to buy the book at my local bookstore.
Good luck if you choose to delve into this mystery.
If you do, let me know in the comments and maybe we can share clues.
3 25 5 14

Gas and safety

Like many of you I've been thinking of the high gas prices and wondering what I can do to get better gas mileage. I was driving to my mom's and on a major highway when I remembered a few years ago (80's?) when all (or most) of the speed limits were 55 mph, and the reason was two-fold... For safety reasons, AND to increase your gas mileage. Funny, in today's gas crunch you don't hear the President talking about this like you did back in the 70's or 80's.
So, I was cruising along the highway trying to go 55 in a 65 zone. Needless to say, ALL the other cars were whipping past me. I thought for safety reasons, maybe I should up my speed, so I pushed my cruise control up to 60. Still, people were zooming past me. Then I went up to 65 (not really thinking about the gas thing anymore). STILL people were zooming past me in the slow lane. Then I realized (or wondered) to what extent should we hold car companies responsible for making cars that go 120 miles per hour!? On one hand I am all for personal responsibility. But I also think there may be limits... What possible reason could there be to go 120 miles per hour in an SUV? I'm trying to think of an analogy to guns here, but am having difficulty... It's like buying a gun that could shoot a bb sized pellet, OR could also shoot armor piercing white phosphorus rounds, and leaving it up to the "responsible user" to only buy the ammunition he or she needs. How many accidents are caused on the highways because someone was zipping through traffic doing 80?
So... My answer... ALL cars (except police, military, ambulances, and rescue vehicles) should come with a device that limits the speed to 55 mph. Period. Saves on gas, cuts down on accidents, saves lives, and no speeding tickets ever. Probably less traffic jams too, since everyone must go the same speed.

This article is what reminded me of my thoughts, so apparently someone is thinking along the same lines as myself...

tag: politics safety cars gas

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

IRS Mess done!

I had a letter from the IRS arrive yesterday that was good news! I bet not many people can say that can they :) If you don't recall my previous posts, I few months ago around the beginning of April, I recieved a letter from the IRS that claimed I owed them an ungodly amount of money! (over $20,000!!!) After picking myself up off the floor and reading the letter, I realized why they were claiming I owed this much. They basically doubled my income from 2004, and then added on thousands of dollars as "penalty and interest". It was such an obvious mistake that it worried me that something like this could happen. As much as everyone I talked to assured me this would not be a big deal, I was still worried. After going to the internet to see of others had gone through something similar to me, I found a bunch of horror stories that did nothing to help calm my nerves. But, I thought, 'it's a mistake. I'm honest', so if I just persevere I should be able to see this through. Luckily I had (have) an accountant for the tax year of 2004, who agreed to help me write my response letter to the IRS. I am very thankful for that letter. It was worded professionally - whereas my letter probably would have sounded something like:
IRS: You owe us a ton of money.
Me: Nuh-uh
I also had a boss that was nice enough to agree to write a letter that supported my initial tax forms or income claim. I did read on the internet that ALL correspondence should be signed and notorized, so I also asked my boss to do this as well. She agreed with no problem.
So, I think that this combination of things led to a quick (it doesn't seem quick as it's been about 2 months) solution. I also think that since I was organized with my papers, and was efficient with my response, that I was able to end this with basically one letter (that said "nuh-uh").
So that is a LOAD off my mind! In the case that someone out there has done an internet search because they have similar problems, let this be the one story that offers encouragement, and tells you that things do sometimes work out the way they are supposed to. The mistake was corrected, and all is well.

Now, onto real important news!
I while back when google introduced the ability to set up a personal search term to search all of the worlds news outlets for certain keywords. I of course created a search for "UFO" because I was curious how many ufo's are spotted in the world (and made it onto a newspaper). Turns out... not that many. The biggest thing that comes up in my search results are computer games that have UFO's in them. But another item that pops up almost monthly, and had brought me and my friend a great deal of entertainment, is from a "newspaper" or web news outlet called "India Daily". There is a person (no byline) who writes these incredibly detailed reports of these outlandish UFO technology reports. (example). BUT... the other day there appears to be a real UFO sighting in South Africa. A UFO crashed in the ocean while a Rugby match was happening - ie: lots of witnesses of the same event. This current newspaper report is already starting to claim things like "maybe it was a tornado". But other eye-witnesses claim they saw a fireball crash into the water - seems hard to mistake that for a tornado.
I'll keep my eye on this one.,,2-7-1442_1937431,00.html

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Code movie

I just saw the movie tonight. Perhaps I shouldn't even blog about this since it's 2am and I'm dead tired, but I'll keep this short.
I really enjoyed this movie. Mind you, I may not be the best judge though... I LOVE the subject matter of this movie. Religion, conspiracy, codes, clues, etc... My mind is spinning (and I'm loving that dizzy feeling). I do think the movie was about 20 minutes too long (very few movies should go beyond 2 hours). Tom Hanks did a good job, as did Audry Tautuo, and of course Gandalf - er I mean Sir Ian Mckellan - was fantastic. If I had not read the book, perhaps I would have been confused by all the different characters, but I did pretty good in keeping up with the story. It's been several years since I've read the book, so I can't really start making comparisons. Some things I remember, and others not at all. I learned two new items - the part about the last supper painting where you switch Mary to the other side of Jesus, and that Constantine was a Pagan? Gotta look into that more. I can also understand why the Catholic Church has banned their members from seeing the movie. It's not very flattering.
Bottom line... A good story.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Cost of a penny

A bit of useless information for you via neatorama via Somethings of interest...
A penny now cost the US mint 1.23 cents to make and nickle now costs 5.73 cents.
But, what gets me... is the paragraph at the end of the article... Last year the Mint's coin making profit was $730 million! What? the Mint makes a profit on the money that it makes for us citizens? Why does this government agency need to make a profit? What happens to this profit at the end of the year - does it go back into research and developement? Does a big CEO walk away with a nice fat paycheck and a new boat? Wait, don't tell me... If it's like other US government agencies (The post office, the Motor Vehicles office) they are now probably a private controled entity.
What can you do. Time to start saving those zinc pennies and start melting them down for a profit I guess.

PS> regarding the new music post from yesterday... I'm really liking the new single from the REd Hot chili peppers called Dani California. I've not listened to all the songs yet, but it's a good album so far.
And I figured out why I like the new single from the yeah yeah yeah's called "gold lion" - It sounds exactly like one of my favorite 80's band... Siouxsie and the Banshees. If I remember the name of the song I thinkg it was called "Peek-a-boo".

And a quick update on the Lost Experience... A new commercial on Wednesday night's show with a different website address...
I made pretty good progress with this website today at lunch. What boggles my mind is that these "web games" are being sponsored by some big name companies. As a conspiracy nut myself, how cool would that be to be eating at say Taco Bell and seeing a little Hanso logo on the paper wrapper! One of the websites that I ended up investigating was the Chrsyler website. There was a link to download a huge 200+ page brochure for all the new 2007 vehicles. I assume this is real and not part of the lost show. I was most impressed with the Police Dodge Charger Fleet cars... very cool looking. I'll try to post a photo on Monday.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Music!

I've been in a bit of a musical "rut" lately. That's not a complaint really, because I still have been enjoying the white stripes, citizen cope, and imogen heap... but it's been some time since I've heard a decent song on the radio that has inspired me to purchase on itunes. Well, I just found some! And, I splurged and bought the entire album (funny, what do you call it now when you buy the complete "album" off the web, it's not a vinyl record album anymore, it's not a CD...?)
Anyway, here's the three I just purchased...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers new double album - Stadium Arcadium

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show me your bones

The Raconteurs - (yes, Jack White from the White Stripes is in this group - I don't recognize the other names, but I assume they are also from other bands.) I don't like all of Jack's stuff, but I do admire him because he always seems to be working on something new.

Also related to music... Napster is back to offering free music! well, sort of... Lets just say there are quite a few strings attached...
1) You need a PC (no macs!)
2) you can "stream" and listen to the music only 5 times, then you must purchase it
3) your purchased music will only play on that computer (unless you rip a cd)
4) It will not play on an ipod.
5) you must sign over your first born
But other than all that, you can listen to a song for free! (kinda like this thing on my desk called a "radio" that doesn't have any strings attached - just a plug).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

free phone calls!

Yes, with your computer and an internet connection, you can make free phone calls to anywhere in the world - cellphones, landlines, any phone! All you need is a free skype account. Note, this is in beta, so there may be glitches, and it's apparently a trial period only lasting until the end of 2006. So chat it up now while you can. The paranoid person in me wants to know "what's the catch"? I tried the service out yesterday and called my home phone. It worked with no problems and a clear connection. I did have trouble at the beginning though, because I didn't realize (I didn't read the instructions) that you had to enter the country code. So to call someone in the USA you must dial 011+1+area code+phone number... like this 0111555-5555. Incredible technology and the fact that it's free is awesome. I've read that this new skype technology is catching on in the third world contries where phones in general are hard to find and expensive for service. (not sure how a computer and internet service is cheaper than that, but it's what I've heard anyway).
So check it out!

PS> I suppose the paranoid person in me should list a disclaimer... I don't know what the catch is - if any. I should also mention that Skype used to be made by a former file sharing company, who has since been bought out by ebay.

PS2> In order for the best experience, your computer needs a microphone, and I highly recommend a pair of ear phones.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

And so it begins...

Anyone happen to catch "Mr. 24 percent's" address to the nation on TV last night? I admit I missed it, but caught some of the re-run on good ol' C-span. One item that "stood out" to me, is the Preesident's suggestion to use new "biometric" ID cards. See... this is how it starts. Everyone (thanks to the media) is "afraid" of all these immigrants flooding in and causing all kinds of problems, so of course, we want to "monitor" these people as best we can - in the name of security - of course. Yet, this is how it will start, soon 11 million people in the USA will have new "Federal ID cards with biometric data (and I'm sure RFID chips). Then the next step, is that we'll have to ALL use these cards so that the law enforcement community can all use the same software. So it's just a matter of time that we'll all be card carrying members of the good ol' usa. Papers please.
In other 1984 news...
An article on boingboing caught my attention, in that Newspapers have been warned from an inside source to quickly go out and buy all new cellphones for the reporters. Turns out the NSA wiretap issue is apparently being used to screen the reporters phones to find out who the "leaks" are coming from.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Biden for president?

I just checked my delicious website that I have to search for tagged items with "cool", and found just a short post that Senator Biden is running for 2008 Presidential election. I don't really consider myself a republican (or really a democrat but I suppose I lean to the democrats), but I've seen Senator Biden speak before, and I like what he has to say. I just went to his website and a few items that pop out are: Eliminating Tax breaks for the wealthy, eliminating tax breaks for the billion dollar profitable oil companies, and increasing awareness for the situation in Darfur and Sudan. Can't argue with those.
2008 will be a good year! Anything to get rid of the Bush legacy.

(I HOPE that between now and 2008 that I will not regret posting this topic ;)

Friday, May 12, 2006

evil Diebold?

I have expressed my fear and spite for the Diebold company before, and it just seems to get worse... The latest bit of info regarding how easily the machines can be hacked with just a few minutes of "personal time".
The attacks described in Hursti’s report would allow anyone who had physical access to a voting machine for a few minutes to install malicious software code on that machine, using simple, widely available tools. The malicious code, once installed, would control all of the functions of the voting machine, including the counting of votes.

Read the full post at

When will the people in charge realize that these machines are not safe for democracy!? Is it because they don't care? There must be a reason that these machines are still used today, when the average joe can look at these problems and realize something is not right.

LOST the experience

I mentioned in my previous post that I've had a cold all week... (I 've finally made the turn and am feeling a little better today). On Wed night, I stayed up to watch one of my favorite shows... LOST. As the show was progressing (and it was a good show this week), I was zoning out during the commercials, then all of a sudden one of the commercials caught my attention. It was towards the end, and mixed in between the other commercials, but if you were not paying attention you could have missed it. It was for a "fake" company that is now part of an online "alternate reality" game that involves LOST. I don't know where this game will take the typical viewer, and I hope it's not just a marketing ploy as there are sponsers involved too (Sprite?, Verizon, Anyway, if you taped the episode, you can watch again for the commercial and the website they mentioned. If you don't want to sit through that simply start here...
(You will need to update your FLASH player if you don't have the latest version - the website will tell you.)
(if you want the first hint I'll tell you here... If you don't want any hints, stop reading now!)


still here?
ok, After the splash screen loads, go ahead and read some of the text and take your time. At some point, you'll here "static" look up at the clock... it says "OB:EY" click on that and you'll be taken to another website. ( You'll see some "squares" floating then one at the top will highlight... click on this 4 times. next one... click on this 8 times...
ok, that's enough hints! Go play it yourself. If you get stuck (I did) go to this website and it will tell you all of whats going on (it also spoils the fun of you finding out for yourself)

I got stuck because I think they removed a link from the main hanso website. There was supposed to be a "contact" link there, that was going to show me a phone number to call. I had to go the thelostexperince to find this phone number. I wonder if "they" are deliberately changing the website and the hints as time goes on?

Still, I give a TV show a lot of credit for escaping the little box and making it onto the internet.
Kudo's to LOST.

-Alvar Hanso

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Sorry for the lack of posts over the past couple days. I've been hit with a "spring" cold. I suppose I've had worse, but this one has knocked me off my feet. Just the usual symptoms. I did finally break down and take a half a dose of Nyquil lat night... woohoo! What a drug that is. I have to laugh everytime I think of Nyquil... I once saw a comedy bit by I think it was Louis Anderson talking about Nyquil and how they should change their tag line to:
The night-time sniffly, sneezing, coughing, fall down on the kitchen floor in a coma cold medicine.
I woke up in the middle of the night and had to figure out where I was :)
But, It did it's job well, I got a good nights rest.
I think tonight, I'll just go with a nice relaxing tea before bed.
Just out of curiosity, we all seem to have a "ritual" when it comes to getting rid of colds... One friend of mine just takes massive amounts of vitamin C and asprin, another friend takes the Nyquil Night and Daytime. I tend to take the stuff called "Cold-Eeze" lozenge that has zinc in it. In addition to the Vitmain C, And Asprin. I try to stay away from the "drugs" unless I really need them. So, what do you find works for a common cold? Post your therapies in the comment section. (What is a Hot Totty anyway?).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Magic Man

Did you happen to catch David Blaine in his water bubble last night on TV? I did. I saw Blaine's first TV special and was blown away! His street magic (or close-up magic) was like none I'd seen before. In addition to some mind blowing tricks he would throw in a cheasy stunt that usually worked just as well due to his skill in pulling it off. I recall the one where he seemed to pull the head off of a chicken, that freaked out a bunch of girls watching him... then he magically made the chicken head reappear. (It was a simply little rubber chicken head, and he would just fold down the neck of the real chicken). I did some "investigating" into his tricks on the internet and found a bit of a spoiler... (don't read this if you don't want it spoiled either... a lot of his street shots are filmed out of context, and some are simple guesses - ie... he will walk up to a stranger and tell them to think of a number from 1-100. Odds are what, a 100 to 1 that he'll guess it. So they film all 99 guesses until he gets that one person that he happens to guess right).
Well, at some point in David's career he decided to throw these death defying stunts into the mix. Some have flopped (the block of ice was a bit of a joke). But I gotta give him credit for last night's stunt. He spent 7 days in a bubble of water submerged. Then for the finale of the show, he attempted to break the record for the longest period of time to hold your breath (9 minutes!!!) well he didn't make it, but went for 7 minutes 8 seconds instead! Unbelieveable. No trick. So, if you get down to it... what's the point? I don't know either... fame, fourtune, just because he can? regardless, it made for intersting TV for about 7 minutes and 8 seconds.
Personally, I'd like to see him go back to the card tricks and street magic.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Gas Mileage

I'm trying not to complain too much about these gas prices, but of course I'm concerned and angry (I guess that's the right word?) that I have to pay more at the pump every time I fill up. But I try to also say that this is a good thing, because without these high prices to motivate others to come up with alternatives to old dead dinosaurs, we'll never move on.
But I found this article today that was interesting about how the car companies come up with their MPG. I was amazed at the amount of differences! I can see how they could never get it perfect, but 46-50% error?! Wow.
I'll have to keep this in mind when it comes time to buy my hybrid :)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sticking it to the man...

Maybe because it's late and I need to seriously get some sleep (1:30 am), or maybe it's because I love to see someone go up against "the man", but this struck me as too funny. I will warn you, that there is a lot of information to go through to "get the joke" in that there are several videos, and some comments, and the lead up to explain what was going on. What I also found amusing was how one gentleman actually stood up to the police and confronted them on their "scare tactics". (I did this once or twice before, and it's not the smartest thing to do - I admit, but I feel good about sticking up for my rights - I'll explain later...)
Anyway, in a nutshell, a group in NYC got together and played a huge prank on the employees of one particular "Best Buy" store. The antics and confusion that followed over a simple "prank" are too funny. It's a bit of a social commentary too about the times we live in, when a simple prank starts to raise fears of "civil rights violations, theft, cults, etc..."
So go to this website and check out the story. Bravo on a well done performance.
(If nothing else go to the video of the Agent Natty - I laughed out loud on this one).

So back to my little brush with "the man"... My buddy and I went on one of those all night fishing trips where you go out on a "party boat" to catch flounder or blues. This was back some years ago when I used to drink more than my occasional beer on new years eve now ;) We attempted to bring a cooler of some beer onto the boat (which is standard on these trips) and were told that due to a recent event that got out of hand, the captian was banning all beer (Except of course the beer THEY sold on the boat). So, only a little upset, my buddy and I went back to the parking lot and downed 2 or 3 beers before we got on board :) This actually turned out to have been a dumb stroke of luck as you'll soon see... So after a night of fishing, we arrived back at the dock around 4 am? (it was late - or early depending on how you look at it). We were quite sober and the only beer we had that night were the 2 or 3 we had about 6 hours ago in the parking lot. We left the dock and started the drive home. There was one bridge off the island, and guess who was there to do a D.U.I. stop on every vehicle leaving the island? Yep... the police. So, I started to get miffed at being detained in long lines to get off the island cause all I wanted to do was go home and go to bed. Finally, it gets to be my turn... I stop at the "check point" where I'm asked for my license, registration, and insurance... I hand it to the officer. As he's looking at it, I had to open my big mouth! I politely ask a simple question... "Is this legal?" Well... my buddy nearly got out of the truck and walked home without me, and was a bit surprised I would ask such a thing. Needless to say the officer was not thrilled with my line of question, so what did he do? He flagged me as one of the possible "drunks". I was not in the least worried about passing the sobriety test, but I was a bit scared now, as I was pulled out the main line, and asked to pull over to the side where another officer proceeded to ask me the usual "have you been drinking" questions. I decided at this point, I better "play the game" and not ask anymore stupid questions. So after being truthful about telling him I had 2-3 beers about 6 hours ago, he still pulled me out (well, asked me to get out) of the truck, and proceed to give me the field sobriety test... Walk a straight line, say the alphabet, the whole nine yards. Well, after it was clear I was not drunk, the officer gave me my ID back and said I was free to go. So, off I went. The next day, I scoured the internet to find out if what in fact happened did violate my rights. Short answer - YES I was detained unlawfully. Long Answer - No, I was given a random DUI check point test which the Supreme Court has ruled as being a "legal" violation of the IV amendment against "unreasonable searches and seizures" in that the "inconveience" of being stopped outways the benefit if they catch someone who in fact is driving under the influence. (look it up if you don't believe me ;)
Anyway, this post turned out to be WAY longer than I intended, but I hope you enjoy the prank, and my little brush with "the man" story :)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Maker Faire Photos

I've FINALLY gotten around to posting some of the photos I took while at the maker faire. Since I was on a roll, I also added a flickr "badge" to my sidebar on the right (you may have to scroll down to see it). These are some of my photos I've taken and uploaded so it's not just the makerfaire.
Since I have a free account on flickr, I'm limited to about 24 photos per month, so next month I'll post some more.
AND I may soon be purchasing a new digital camera! So I hope to add to this flickr account more often. (hmm, might just have to upgrade to a paid account?).
Anyway, enjoy some of the cool gadgets.

Friday, May 05, 2006


It's Friday! This week went fast for me - a good thing I suppose. Last night in my watercolor class it was frustrating as usual. I picked another difficult object (an avacado), and by the end of the class was completely frustrated. I ended up giving it another shot in the remaining 10 minutes of class and it turned out much better. I then realized that alot of my 'end-of-class' attempts usually turn out better than the ones I spend a full two hours on. I don't know if it's because I spend two hours learning how NOT to do it, or if I become faster or looser knowing that I only have 10 minutes left? Regardless I'll have to look into this more. On a sad note, it was the second to last class. I had hoped to have signed up for some summer courses, but they only offer tuition based classes for the 7 weeks of summer. (at $150 a pop - a bit too steep for me!). So, I'll have to use some self discipline to attempt some painting on my own.
I also have a large desire to learn how to weld! I think this was sparked from the maker faire, and from seeing other workshops on the web (usually in the San Francisco area) to learn how to weld. I'm going to do some searching in my area to see if I can't find something close to home.
And, I have Sunday to look forward to... My family and I will be heading to the art museum to look at an Andrew Wyeth exhibit. Really looking forward to this.
Well, I suppose I'll wrap things up for the week.
Have a Great weekend!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

immigration problem solved?

I was just sitting here watching the Daily show, when Jon Stewart announced something that I thought was another one of his jokes... That Mexico has just legalized drugs! Well, very small amounts, and for personal use only (where do you buy them from then?). BUT... maybe Jon spoke too soon. I just googled this to try an confirm it with a real news source, and found that the President of Mexico has refused to sign the bill - which apparently has surprised a lot of people. Well, if the bill does pass, this will probably solve the immigration problem... The mexican's will be coming to the USA to do hard work, and the American's will be going to Mexico to be lazy and sit around and get high all day. (This is sarcasm by the way, in case you couldn't tell).
News item from Reuters

In other political news...
The NYT is reporting that the Bush Administration has just released a report that says there actually could be something to all this global warming mumbo jumbo.
Read more here (you may have to register with the NYT)

One more...
You should go to to check out the new apple commercials... Staring John Hodgkins (sp?) and they are pretty funny :)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

An interesting blog...

I don't think I've talked about this before, but some time ago, I stumbled upon a link to this man's blog. It's an interesting read, and he's a good writer (though he likes to use the word "ire" a lot ;). What makes this blog of interest more than the next blog is that he is homeless. He blog's from a public library that has internet access. Check it out here (great title for a blog too) View From the Sidewalk.

On an unrelated note:
I happenned to catch a new PBS series last night that was pretty good. It's called "Texas Ranch Hands". In a nutshell it's a reality show, but there is a mix of education in there. I have seen other PBS shows like this and they are always pretty good. My favorite was the colonial house and the stone age recreations. They gather a bunch of people, from various walks of life, then put them in this situtation that usually means a BIG change to their lifestyle. It's funny to watch their fun and enthusiasm get sucked out of them when they realize there is hard work to maintain a "comfortable" lifestyle. Check out the website on here...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Steven Colbert

Truthiness is the Word for today.
This past weekend, Steven Colbert of the "Colbert Report" was a guest speaker at the White House Press Corp Dinner. How they picked him I'll never know, I'm actually surprised. Well, I missed the televised event on C-span, but thanks to the internet I can see his speech. If you are a fan of Steven or The Daily Show, you should check this out. My only regret is that they did not show more of the President's reaction - from what little I saw, he didn't even smile.
If you are short on time, you should only watch "part 3" which was Steven's video-tape of his bid for the recently replaced White House Press Secretary (Tony Snow from FOX won the new position - gee, a FOX news reporter telling us what the president meant to say - there's a surprise). Go to You Tube to check out the video(s).

on another note: Today (monday may 1st) is supposed to be a big boycott day where all of the illegal immigrants are supposed to stay home and not go to work today to show how important they are to the workforce. 1) I have not been affected by this. 2) If you are illegal, wouldn't this be a good way to get caught?
More importantly! When do US legal citizens get a day off? I say tomorrow (May 2) become National Legal Citizen Workers Day and we all get the day off to protest (or go to the mall for some good sales!?)