Thursday, January 31, 2008

Verizon Fios strike 2

Well, If you have visited my blog in the past, chances are you read one of my rants over Comcast. Comcast and I have not gotten along to well. Things like removing channels from my lineup (like Cspan2) and then increasing my rate - just burns me up.
So when I heard that my apartment complex was getting FIOS I was really psyched to switch. I would be getting a much faster internet at about $5 more per month, and then the added benefit of FIOS TV CHEAPER than Comcast and with more channels! Well, over the past two weeks now, I've been really disappointed in what FIOS has to offer me.
First... I learned that back when I first learned about FIOS, the price for internet was around $35 per month. This was around May of 2006 (if not later). Well, now that it's here, guess what I learned... Those prices are no longer available. Now, the slowest FIOS connection is a whopping $43! Yikes! That's a pretty big price increase in a short amount of time there Verizon. So, I thought about it and decided my current DSL is fast enough for me. and I'm only paying $30.
Second... So I decide to keep my DSL, and just get the TV plan. I go online, and start checking prices. yes... Their TV package is only $43 and it would give me MANY more channels than what I currently get with Comcase where I pay $57 a month. GREAT! So tonight, I put aside some time to sign up. I got a letter the other day from FIOS and found out they want to charge me a $29.99 installation fee... but if I order online it says the $30 fee is waived - great! Odd, but great! Well, when I punch in my phone number, I learn that the ONLY way I can order the TV, is if I ALSO order their $43 internet! WHAT?! Sure enough, after talking to an online rep, that seems to be the case. (the online rep was not very helpful at all).
So now, I'm trying to figure out all these complicated pricing plans on their website...
One page, tells me I can get TV and Internet for LESS than $85 per month... But when I hit the order form, it tells me Internet and TV cost $86 - huh? Then I learn that I also HAVE to rent the settop box for an additional $4 per month! Now see, that's just wrong. It's like selling someone a car, then saying "but if you want wheels, that will cost you extra". GRRR...
Then, I learn that even though, the $30 installation fee is waived, I'll be charged a one time $20 "processing fee"!? What? Why?!
Finally, I think, this is way too confusing for me online, I need to talk to someone over there. I can't find their phone number online (their contact page doesn't work for me for some reason). So I asked the online rep for a phone number. After punching in all the several buttons in order to speak to the right person, I finally get a live person, who tells me "oh, you need to call the special FIOS phone number". GRRRRRR.....
Again, I push all the buttons, and proceed to be put on hold for an estimated 8 minutes because there are 80 people in front of me! wow! the next prompt comes on and tells me I'll be on hold for 9 minutes because there are now 78 people in front of me - huh? less people, but my wait time went up? Grrrrrr.
Finally... I hung up the phone.
Now, after crunching the numbers I'm realizing, that it's almost a complete equal pay...
$57 cable + $30 internet = $87 for Comcast and DSL (including taxes and fees) - versus -
$86 internet and TV + $4 settop box + $2 fee = $92 for FIOS! PLUS TAXES + FEES
So, my dreams of dumping Comcast have been dashed on the rocks now.
I'm bummed.
FIOS - you lost a customer before I even had a chance to sign up. :(

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

geek graffitti

via wooster
If you are not familiar with code, this wont be that funny...

Monday, January 28, 2008

My electronics projects...

Wow! I just found out that I've been getting traffic to my blog via a link on "Evil Mad Scientists" website (Thanks EMS!) So I figured I better throw a post up real quick with a bit of an explanation.
About a week ago, I sat down and put together an electronics project that I first saw on EMS's website (via the makezine blog) called the "dark detector". It was a slightly more complicated "Throwie" made popular by GRL. I'm not too crazy about making "throwies" and then just throwing them outside as a sort of digital graffiti. It's not very enviro-friendly either. BUT... I found the perfect use for them... as a nightlight in my bathroom. With a fresh coincell battery, these little LED lights are pretty bright! They tend to last a good 3 weeks or so until they become so dim as to not really be much good. I've also found that if I use a red LED, it doesn't mess with your "nightvision" so at 3am as I stumble in to the bathroom, I don't have to blind myself with the overhead light.
Then I saw EMS's "Dark detector"... it was perfect (or so I thought). I thought I could put one together and this way, if it only comes on at night time, I'll increase the life of the battery by about 100%! The instructions were clear and easy for me to understand. I had a little difficulty actually ordering the parts... I emailed a friend from "the hacktory" who sent me some links and recommendations on the parts list, it was just what I needed (thanks Josh!). Everything went together smoothly and I was very happy with the end project. I also modded it slightly by adding a battery holder which makes it easy to swap in a new battery when needed, and also makes a good magnetic base. My ONLY complaint... the IR sensor is not sensitive enough. It only shuts the LED off when it's in direct sunlight, or if the incandescent lightbulb is shining on it. My bathroom has no windows, and is not bright enough during the day to trigger the IR sensor. So the circuit has not really suited my intended purpose. I would imagine it would work great though if this were to sit on a windowsill - which I may make another one for another project I've got brewing in my mind.
I'd love to figure out how to modify this too to work with some rechargable AA batteries - or even go solar with them!
So... all in all, thanks EMS for posting this project... I look forward to trying out (at least) 2 more projects of yours... the BristleBot is AWESOME! and I've currently got the LED Micro-Readerboard 2.0 project waiting for me...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

movie review: there will be blood

Movie review time...
There Will Be Blood (imdb)...
Yep, that's what there will be alright, if this film wins for best picture at the academy awards. There are not many films that I really dislike, but this movie made it to that category.
I'm almost going to use the "hate" word when describing this movie.
If it makes any sense, the acting was superb! Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing (as he almost always is) as were some of the other actors... the boy (even though he maybe only had about 3 words of dialog) was also good, and the Preacher (Paul Dano - who I could have SWORN was the actor who starred in the short lived TV show "Joan of Arcadia" but apparently I'm wrong, that was actor Chris Marquette) was also fantastic. BUT... the movie just wore on and on. What pushed it into the "hate" category for me was the music... it was this improve jazz type music with violins, and at one point some sort of jungle drums... the music was horrible!
The movie had two moods... gloomy and gloomier. When a movie has the same "tone" for the entire length of the movie it makes for a LONG 2 hours.
Well, I could probably continue to bash this movie, but I think you get the point here.
Apparently my friend and I are in the minority on this movie as I think it's up for 8 Academy Award nominations! I honestly don't get it.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Hampshire Voting Sham

more info here:

Australia ufo on google Earth?

This is a neat article I found today... it shows what "appears" to be a triangle ufo over the sands in Western Australia. What's neat about it is that if you have google earth, you can see it too. (Note: google earth is free and awesome!). In one of the screenshots of the article you can see the longitude and latitude coordinates, so just type those into google earth and it will zoom right to that spot. 30 30'36.50S 115 33'52.00E <- you can copy and paste that and it should work. (another note: the same images are not used on the web based google maps.)
My personal opinion... this is not a ufo at all, but some sort of man made mark in the soil. The article claims they are lights at the corners, but I'd say they are light colored sand. IF it were an object that was airborne, then there would have been a shadow. Still, if I lived in Australia, I'd be in my truck right now trying to find that section of land to see for myself.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bird poops in mouth

I'm really ashamed to admit that this video clip made me laugh!

Texas UFO's

So, I didn't really post about this UFO story when I first became aware of it. At first glance, it just sounded like a few locals saw some funny lights... But just now I got my email update and it's like someone just let the you-know-what hit the fan... Turns out initially the military denied there were any planes in the area (even though witnesses said they saw 2 jets chasing one of the said ufo's). Well, surprise... today the military just announced "oops, we were wrong, we did have jets in the are, we didn't think you were talking about those jets."
You know, this is what fuels so many ufo buffs, is the fact that you can never seem to get a straight answer from "the authorities".
Anyway, I'm curious about this sighting now and found this blog post that contains part of the news article. Jim has a theory to "debunk" it all, but it seems to go against what the witnesses saw, so it sounds like Jim is barking up the wrong tree. (no offense Jim).
I too have seen the flares that Jim talks about, and I admit, when I first saw them they freaked me out! But after about 5 minutes of watching them, and realizing that we were near an air force base, we realized they were flares.
The thing that interests me about these sightings too, is that one of the witnesses is/was a pilot. You'd think a pilot might be able to tell the difference between a military jet and a ufo.
Interesting story though.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

We the robots

I don't remember where or how I stumbled upon this web comic but it's fantastic. The art is simple but so expressive - only a very talented person can pull that combination off.

I've been checking in the past few "episodes" and just now went back into the archives and figured I'd start with the very first comic... then I went to the next page and it's a good thing I didn't have any milk in my mouth cause it woulda come out my nose.
But... This second comic answers the AGE OLD question of "where did God come from?"...
So now, you've got a really talented comic artist and a genius philosopher too - what a combination! :)
PS> I hope God has a sense of humor ;)
PS2> To give credit the artist's name is Chris Harding.
PS3> Some of the comics are NSFW or Kids.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

FedEx small rant

There should be a term for a "small rant" more like a 'pip' or a 'squeak'. :)
So just a few days before Christmas I ordered some electronics projects for myself. I had a nice long week vacation there and I thought it would be the perfect time to do a quick project. After I placed the order, I learned that the warehouse that ships the items was also on vacation over that week! ugh. Then there was a problem with them being out of stock etc... The day that I emailed them and asked why have I not heard from them in about a month, and that I wanted to cancel my order - magically - my order shipped that same day. So, it's coming via FedEx to my apartment (hopefully today). No one will be there because I'm at the office today. Simple (I thought) I'll just call FedEx and ask them to bring it to my office instead and if there is any additional price cost, I'd pay for it. Well... not so simple. The woman was nice on the phone, but bottom line was that she said there is no way that I can do that, because their "contract" is with the company that shipped the items, and not with me (who paid for the shipping!).
But, this is a good example where common sense is not valid in the corporate world. They would rather send an employee out to a building to deliver a package where they KNOW that no one will be there to sign for it. Then, they'll leave a sticker or something, then have to drive back to their office, and then I'll have to drive to the office (probably during business hours) and pick it up myself. So ALL that driving and inconvenience because it's not their "policy".
Are you listening FedEx?
Probably not.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Another great meeting today for MakePhilly. I believe it was the 12th meeting. Not only was it a good topic, but it was also one of our BIGGEST turnouts ever! We all thought last month was a big turnout at 60+ people, but this month we had 80+ people RSVP. I didn't bother to do an official headcount, but there were lots of people. To be honest, I kinda prefer the smaller meetings but having so many creative people show up is also a positive so I'm not complaining.
It was a cool topic. We had Don Miller give a presentation on 8-bit video art. Don (who reminded me of a young Mark Mothersbaugh) is also known as "No Carrier" for his video performances. In a nutshell... he has self taught himself to hack the old Nintendo game system to create new and visually dynamic video art. This form of art goes hand in hand with a new (gaining popularity that is) type of music called chiptunes. These guys (I've not seen a woman yet, but they could be out there) use old video games to create music (generally electronica, trance type music). What Don does is provide a sort of music video to accompany these performances. At this meeting he joined up with Dino Lionetti (aka Cheap Dinosaurs) who provided the music and keyboards.
Don gave a really in depth explanation in how the Nintendo games can be hacked to do what he does. I'll be honest, a lot of what he said went over my head, but it was still cool because I had a vague idea what he was talking about. Things like: bits, bytes, sprites, color pallets, color cycling, rom chips, etc...
After his presentation, he was kind (and cool) enough to provide all the software and basic graphics to anyone who brought a PC laptop to the meeting. Where the "maker challenge" was to create your own hack of the art on some of these old Nintendo games (Like Mario, and Bomberman).
In addition to that, we had a couple other musicians show up who brought a few pieces of equipment. I saw these really COOL new pieces of equipment from Korg called a Kaossilator. He had another one next to it, but I forget the name of that one. These are like small laptop trackpads that let anyone create a musical sound, and includes some loops. The guy looked like he was really enjoying himself! I might have to see about getting one of these things someday just to play on. A bit pricey though around $200.

So, in my renewed interest in electronic music this stuff made for a really interesting and fun meeting today.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Nikola Tesla

Small book review here...
Tesla - Man out of time. (google books)
I just finished this book a couple days ago (YAY! I actually FINISHED a book! That's rare for me).
Overall I enjoyed the book and liked learning about a Nikola's life. I have two small complaints... The author got stuck in a loops about 3/4 way through the book. Tesla was troubled with financial problems through-out his life. The author kept bringing this up after every new topic she discussed. It got to be cliché after a while and I could predict when she was going to start talking about how difficult he had it. At the same time she would talk about him being impecciably dressed, eating at fine restaurants, living in an expensive hotel, etc... so I never fully understood the whole "financial troubles" part. Unless it was just that, he would get large amounts of money, then just spend it all til he was broke, but he always seemed to have an income. My other complaint is that I wish a little more time was spent explaining some of his inventions and patents. The book tended to treat a lot of stories like "mystical secrets" which does make for interesting reading, but after it was over, I wish I could say that I learned more specifics about his inventions.
Bottom line: REALLY interesting guy this Tesla was. History has tended to have swept him under the carpet for some reason. Tesla made some WILD claims at times, but mixed in with those wild claims were also wild truths, so it's difficult (like with many geniuses) to separate the fantasy from fiction. One other thing that I found interesting, was the government conspiracy part late in Tesla's life (well, after he died I guess). The book just briefly touched on this, and I bet that would have made for additional interesting topics.
OH, and in case you are worried, the book is not very technical at all. It won't explain what electricity is and all that. It's more about the man and his life than a technical explanation.
Check it out.
For a good overview of Nikola Tesla - Good ol' wikipedia to the rescue :)
You can also see some of Tesla's original patents via google's patent search engine! Google rocks! I wonder if the sketches in these patents are from Nikola himself.

Unofficial Mike Colameco

So it's been a while since I posted an "unofficial" Mike Colameco show/recipe. To be honest, I stopped watching it because I kept seeing the same shows over and over. (again, I think the show stopped airing new episodes in 2005 and they are just repeats).
I went over to mike's official website here and did actually find this show listed in his recipe list - BUT! it was JUST for the Shrimp Creole recipe.
So below is my notes/recipe based on watching the show. Mike doesn't give out measurements on his show (which I like), so where you see them below, it's MY guess as to how much mike used. If you don't see measurements feel free to use as much or as little as you like.
The main show was about two restaraunts in Harlem - I missed the name of the first restaraunt, but the second was called "Justins."
The main dishes he prepared afterwards were:
Blackened Bluefish (yes, bluefish!)
fork, mashed potatoes
Collard Greens
and Shrimp Creole
bluefish - 2 fillet's
blackened spices - lots
butter and oil
Mike used a cast iron frying pan
Fry until a good "blackened" look on fish (my note: blackened spices are supposed to burn and turn black! They burn very quickly, and it's not a sign that the fish or meat is being overcooked. You can make your own blackened spice mix (I have) but it's also easy to purchase. Just google "blackened spices" and you'll find a ton of spice mix recipes. Lately I've been using the brand named "Phillips").

Collard Greens
remove center rib and julienne (thin)
olive oil
"lots of" garlic (4-5 cloves?)
hot pepper (looked like a red chilli pepper) minced, seeds removed.
saute in a frying pan

small round potatoes
salted water
simmer until tender
mash with fork and olive oil some salt (skins on)

Creole Shrimp
"trinity" = red and green pepper, 1/2 onion, 3 celery
hot pepper
asian rice cooker - 2-3 cups (you don't have to use the rice cooker, but I also recommend one!)
(Ver blanc sauce - optional - mike mentioned this and I may have misunderstood him - I never heard of it. Mike said it would be too "heavy" so he didn't use it.)
scallops (10? small to medium sized)
Shrimp (his official site said 2 pounds, but it looked like much less than that to me in the show. I would guess maybe 12 decent sized shrimps)
olive oil in pan
blackened spices
Sauté "trinity" to "crunchy" in a separate frying pan.
Sauté Shrimp and scallops also in frying pan of oil, butter and a little of the blackened spice mix.
make a "well" of rice in center of serving plate
Trinity in center, shrimp and scallops around the ring of rice.

NOTE: to me, the Shrimp Creole is a meal in itself and the fish, potatoes, and greens was a second meal. I guess Mike was feeling hungry that day :)

Friday, January 18, 2008


It's popping up online now that Chess Champion Bobby Fisher has passed. No details (yet) as to why. I know Bobby had some controversial views but as a chess player I don't think anyone can match him.

photo used under CC (thanks Leo)

Go Dennis!

How are people not responding to this message? I don't get it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

909 rythm composer

I saw this website somewhere in my travels and thought it really cool... Someone took the sounds from an old Drum kit (a Roland TR-909 to be specific) and made a web program out of it. Really cool! It's just fun to play with. I'm not sure if the "save" feature works (kinda doubt it), so don't go spending hours working on a beat only to find out later you can't save it. It makes me miss my old drum machine. I remember it was a roland, but I don't think it was this model, but it was something similar. I sold it after not using it for a long time for a few bucks, when I thought that the technology has so outdated it, yet now, looking back, I'd wish I kept it just for fun. Ah well.

feeling 10x better today. I took off work yesterday (slow day) and spent most of it reading and sleeping in bed. Woke up this morning and the cold was practically gone. Awesome!

I thought there was something else but I can't recall now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Sorry for lack of daily posts... been struggling with a cold these past few days. I know, a "cold" is just sniffles and coughs, but man it seems to just zap any strength or gumption to just do small things.
So here's just some small random thoughts...
I just learned (at the end of the day) that today (Jan 15th) is the "birthday" of wikipedia! And get this... it's only been online for 7 years! I think wikipedia is awesome and it's usually the first place I turn to when I want to know something.

I haven't had time to follow up on this but apparently there is a lot of buzz in the UFO world about some sightings in Texas, I'll look into this later.

Kucinich is blocked from a televised "debate" on MSNBC. So the media has pretty much narrowed our choice down to 3 people, all of which support the "war/occupation".

I don't know the story behind this, but someone posted up the video of Tom Cruise spouting off about Scientology. It appears to have been heavily edited to make Crusie look like a loon. I'm not saying he's not a loon, I'm just saying that any video clip that's been edited like that will make anyone appear to be a loon. I had to laugh though... at one point I thought he sounded exactly like how George Bush sounds during his press conferences! :)
The Scientologists have a lot of legal power so this video may not be on the website for long (it was pulled from youtube).

Apple made some big announcements today. The new laptop looks awesome! I probably wouldn't buy it, but it looks awesome.

Thats enough for now...
Off to bed for me (debating on taking Nyquil or not). That stuff sends me into lala land.

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Now see, as I consider myself a nerd/geek I should have known this. Thanks to the Book of Joe (great blog) I learned something new today (actually I learned a few things new today).
Find out who coined the term NERD first! Hint: It's not who-ville you expect it would be.
Book of Joe: Origin of Nerd.


(Click to enlarge)

UFOs and Dinosaurs

A neat story over on the USAToday website about Ray Stanford, who is an "amateur" dinosaur footprint tracker in DC. Towards the end of the story there is a small tie-in with some UFO stuff.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

win one for the little guy

I just read this article over on the and it instilled a little bit of hope in me for "doing the right thing".

In a nutshell, this guy got scammed while trying to sell some old video games through Craigslist. The "buyer/scammer" had sent him a fake money order. When he tried to cash it through his bank, the bank turned around and started closing his accounts! When he tried to get some sort of answers from his bank (wells fargo) he was met with indifference and not a lot of help. Rather than just chalk it all up to a lesson learned (well he did that too), he documented all of his emails and aol IM chats with the scammer and filed several police reports. Then, due to his documentation, and his report, it actually led to the arrest of the scammer who is now doing time.
Read the (rather lengthy) article here on the

I find it funny that a bit of coincidences have popped up around this.
I had pretty much given up on ebay about 4-5 years ago. I had just heard of so many scams, programs that help bidders unfairly win an auction, etc. It just wasn't worth it for me. Well, about 2 weeks ago, I found myself on ebay. Sure enough, I bid (and won) an item (a toy). So now my fingers are crossed that I'll actually get the item I paid for, and that it's in decent condition. My lesson learned (I was scammed once before with ebay) is basically to never bid on an item unless you are willing to loose that money completely.
My fingers are crossed.
(oh and the other coincidence was that a buddy of mine just asked me the other day about ebay because he wants to sell a bunch of his old CD's).

Totally unrelated...
I encourage you to go read this sad blog post over on my Sister's blog.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

quick post

Sorry for the "quietude" on the ol' blog here. Just haven't had much to say lately.
I'll throw this out real quick though...
First regarding blog posts... it is surprising how it can slip away so very easily. First one day, then another goes by without a post. Then it seems like other things fill the void and take up your attention, and the blog gets pushed further away. So it really is a matter of making an effort to keep things updated on a regular basis. I've enjoyed reading other people's blogs only to have them fade away like this. I guess that's the nature of blogs.
The underlying question (for me anyway) is "what's the point". But I tend to find myself answering that (since I'm asking myself the question I guess that's logical)... The point for me is to get my thoughts out of my head and just out them "out there".
Moving on...

I've also been a bit bummed at some of the political stuff that's going on. I'm seeing now that the candidates that I agree with (for the most part) are NEVER going to be elected. I'm realizing that the majority of ALL PEOPLE (in the US anyway) don't think like I do, and don't have the same (what I consider) moral standards. And those few of us who do think this way, will never reach a position of power where we can make a difference. So that's got me a bit bummed. I fear we're going to be stuck in this war/occupation forever now, and there is no way out out than a complete bankruptcy of America, much the same thing that happened to the USSR.
I'm still not even sure now if I'm going to go back to my previous ways of thinking of just bowing out of the whole political stuff. I've not made up my mind yet though.

Enjoy your day!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Google buys Grandcentral

I hope I don't regret this decision later on, it was a moment of weakness that I had where I dropped my guard of protecting my personal information from a corporation (and an online corporation at that!). But, at this point I still trust Google to "not be evil".
A long time ago, I heard of a web application called "grand central". I'm not sure I can describe it to a "T" but in a nutshell (from what I understand so far), it lets you assign a sort of "Grand central phone number" for yourself. Actually, it's really hard for me to describe what it's practical use is because I've only just learned about it myself. Here's a good nutshell description from their website:
Based in Fremont, California, GrandCentral provides an innovative web-based voice communications platform that helps you manage all your phones and phone numbers through one simple interface. You get a single phone number that forwards to all of your phones, giving you one number for life.

It's funny... I signed up for this because I think it's something cool! Yet, I have phoneaphobia... I HATE picking up and using the telephone. I hate answering them, and I hate using them. I have a cell phone but never use it except for rare occasions. So I'm not sure how (or even if) this grand central program will help me but it's fun learning about it.
It is in "private beta" right now, but I signed up and they invited me within 24hours to join, so I guess they'll take anyone at this point :)
Check it out at
I didn't make it clear did I, this is a new company that GOOGLE has "acquired" recently. That's what makes me trust them to give them my name and phone number (I think I had to give them my address and age too).

NOTE: Right now it's all FREE to use and try out... I suspect (like skype) they'll move to some sort of fee once they figure out how to get people hooked :)

testing google presentation documents

First Book Mooch!!

Hooray, I just got my first bookmooch! I had joined this group several months ago after being frustrated with I had "released several books into the wild" only to have them disappear forever. I had the feeling that the public places I had released them at, that some worker with no love for books, just picked up my book and threw it in the trash.
I can NOT bring myself to recycle a book that I've read. So bookmooch was my next try. Granted, it may have taken so long because I only entered 2 books, but still.
There's also another cost involved in shipping the book to someone else, but if you use "media material" via the USPS it's only like 2-3 dollars. Plus that feeling that hopefully someone will enjoy the book as much as you did.
So, I'll post back again, if I hear anything from the person that requested my book. In the meantime if you have any books that you'd like to get rid of, try joining bookmooch.

Note: I think those illustrations on the front page of bookmooch are just plain creepy, I wish they'd change that.


Magnets and wheels - oh my!
(note: there is a lot of buzz that this may be a hoax - or it may not be)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

I fell for it...

Well, I was able to put it off for only so long, but I finally fell into the trap of repeated requests for my money... Yep, I just donated money (not a lot) to a presidential candidate. I believe that money should not be involved with a presidential race, but I finally caved in and said "well, that's how it really works - money talks". It wasn't so much that it was the repeated emails asking me for money (I kinda knew that was going to happen), but rather it was seeing the guy that I want to win on TV tonight. Dennis Kucinich was on Bill Moyers Journal on PBS tonight. Actually, so was my other favorite - Ron Paul. The show is on the PBS website already, check it out here to see Dennis. I really like what Dennis says and this is my small way in helping out. Dennis is NOT able to participate in the debate by ABC in tomorrow nights debate. On the Moyers show, they both talk about how the mass media (often times funded by corporations who would be hurt financially if Dennis (Or Ron) were to be elected President) are not being fair to the American people by putting Dennis or Paul in their debates. Dennis goes on to point out that there is very little difference in the three "main" democratic candidates, so therefore it's not much of a debate.
I know he's an extreme long shot, and that the money I just donated would have been better spent in the grocery store, but one can hope.
Peace through Strength.
Good Luck Dennis. See the ad he wants to run during the debates. (Note... I HOPE they change that background music with the electric guitars. That's bad.)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Another UFO

Wow, the UK seems to be a hotbed of ufo activity lately...
WHERE are the photos though? (The one shown for the article is just a photo and not a photo of the actual ufo seen). If you can stand there for 15 minutes to watch a craft go by, doesn't that give you time to run in the house and grab your camera?

article here on "express and star"

PS> At least they dropped the "Dorito" name of this ufo and are now calling it an "arrowhead". Again, what's wrong with just "triangular"? oh well.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Dropping out of Electoral College...

Wow... this is huge!
This was over on a website (that I suspect is legit, but with the intertubes one never can tell for sure) about how Maryland is ditching the Electoral College (as it stands now) and opting for a "popular vote". At first glance this is awesome news. It means your vote really does count now (as long as it's not hi-jacked via diebold). BUT there are downsides here too... I don't have time to list them all, or even think too hard about it all, but basically this means the most popular guy wins. After you read the article, be sure to read the responses, they are really great.
One misconception many people have is that we (America) is a Democracy... It's not it's a Republic. "One nation, under God, and to the Republic..." (ok, I just now tried to find this on wikipedia and now my brain hurts. There doesn't seem to be a clear cut answer here. Looks like I have homework now.)
I was excited to read this (never was much of a fan of the Electoral College because (the way I understood it) it made it nearly impossible for a third party or independent candidate to win.

Read the article here:

I'll end this post with a great quote I just found on wikipedia:
  • The strongest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter.
-Sir Winston Churchill

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

movie time

Two quick movie reviews here...

Knocked up (imdb)>
I wasn't sure about this movie. I had heard some bad things about it, mostly in how raunchy it is. Plus the idea of this guy getting a girl pregnant just didn't seem like anything new would be told in this story. This is kind of a wishy washy review, because there were some parts and even one-liners that really cracked me up, and there were also parts that I found depressing and just not entertaining at all. But after all was said and done, I had to give the movie a favorable rating on my netflix queue (4 out of 5). If you can deal with some of the teenage raunchy sex talk, then give the movie a shot. MY Biggest complaint though... there is NO WAY in real life that a really beautiful woman like Alison Scott (Katharine Heigl) would ever hook-up with a shlub like Ben Stone (Seth Rogen). I know the differences between the characters were played up in the movie, but still, i think it was over done.

Stone Reader (imdb) >
I'm amazed I ever got to see this movie. I put it on my netflix queue almost 2-3 weeks ago and just got it yesterday. THREE times in a row, netflix shipped the dvd to me and when it arrived I opened it only to find the dvd cracked and unplayable. I think at one point, they took the same exact dvd that I sent back, and simply shipped it back to me. Shame on you netflix. But, finally, they shipped the movie to me from another distributor (in Ohio) and it arrived in one piece.
I just finished watching the movie about 10 minutes ago.
It's a documentary about a book and the search for the author who wrote the book. If you have a love affair with books I'm sure you will appreciate this movie. It does tend to drag a little at times, and some of the books being discussed are outta my league (classics like Hemingway, Dickens, Sallinger, etc are talked about or referenced, none of which I've ever read). But as a person who loves books myself, I liked the movie. I don't suppose many people will hear about this movie (small indy documentary) but if you can get your hands on it, try to watch it.

In other news...
I'm ending my week and 2 day vacation today. It's going to be tough to go back to work tomorrow, but I guess I'm ready to. I think this is the longest time I've ever taken off of work before. I usually take a vacation only when I have someplace to go or visit, this time I didn't have any destination. I took a couple day trips which were nice, but I gotta say, I also enjoyed just not doing anything. (except TV, lots of web surfing, movies, and blog entries).
So if my blog posts tend to drop off now you'll know why :)

David Blaine Street Magic pt 3

I had to laugh when I saw this today :)
Warning: The language is not safe for work or kids.

If you liked it, here is part 1 and part 2

Now go look in your refrigerator.

Best UFO photo ever?

That was the headline for this news article, so I had to take a look. (
Immediately, I thought - It's a bird. Probably a Kingfisher if I had to guess, but I don't know if kingfishers are in Britain.
But here's the part that gets me... as a photographer, the whole idea is that you are looking at what you are taking a photo of, yet Kevin Barbery claims he never saw it when he was taking the photo. Cmon... I mean it's in the center of the shot, how could you not see it? Unless it were a bird (or bug?) that flew into the frame at the last minute that is.
Sorry Kevin, I'm not buying this one.

PS> Happy New Year everyone!