Friday, February 29, 2008

Take Back the Mic - Dont sleep

Wow! I'm SO glad I found this link tonight.
I hopped over to when I read a brief description of the video and then watched the youtube video. Fantastic!
So I'm going to shut up now, because "DNA" (Derrick Ashong) can speak so much better than I. What I have done though is gather three of his youtube videos here in this one spot. I recommend that you watch them in order (about 5-7 minutes each). Then Check out the website (I think there is a law against an immigrant becoming a president, but if it were not for that, I'd vote for Derrick.)
Enjoy... oh and one more thing...
Yes We Can...
Sorry - I realized I really should set up this first video... I'm going to copy/paste the words from OpenCulture's site:
Let’s set the scene: A reporter selects a young Barack Obama supporter at a rally and starts peppering him with questions about the candidate. And it all feels like a staged effort to demonstrate that the mobilized youth has no real handle on the issues. He’s just blindly buying the hype. Without wasting time, the reporter leads the young man into a conversation on the complexities of health care. It’s the perfect setup. But then it suddenly becomes clear that the reporter chose the wrong kid (who is a naturalized immigrant, by the way) to play the fool.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Firefox Chrome

This post is more for me actually - so if none of this makes any sense, feel free to ignore.
Firefox is my browser of choice.
But there is ONE thing about it that really bothers me...
I use my menu bar a lot to keep bookmarks. (I use the book marks too).
But when you try to drag a url icon into a folder on the menubar, a little "tool tip" pops up that blocks the folders that you are trying to read.
Sometime back - I discovered via that you can edit a lot of firefox's appearances! And guess what one of those was... yep, to turn that annoying tool tip off. So every time I get a new version of firefox, install it on a new machine etc... I find myself always on google trying to find what that feature is called, and where on lifehacker I saw it. So this post is so that I can now search my own blog for this info at some later time.
Keywords: Firefox chrome tool tips lifehacker gawker tweak about config

how to tweak:
All this "advanced config" talk got you worried? Fear not, my friend. Here's the deal: Firefox's configuration is a long list of keys and values. To view this list, type about:config into the Firefox address bar. Then, enter the name of the key you want to update in the "Filter" field. The list will narrow to only the entries that match your keyword as you type, as shown. (I'm not including the graphic here.)

(The key, of course, is knowing the key. More on that below.) To modify the value of a key, double-click on the value field and update the entry. To see your changes, restart your browser. Easy as pie.

Got it? Good. Let's get to tweaking.
here's the change to the tooltips:
All versions: I have an irritating Firefox problem on my Mac. When I try to drag a bookmark into one of my bookmark toolbar folders, the tool tip gets in the way and prevents the drop from working. Argh! Like you, I already know what all the buttons on my browser chrome do, so the tool tips aren't necessary. To turn them off, set the key value to false. Bonus is, it solved my Mac's bookmark drag and drop problem.

* Key:
* Modified Value: false

original link to the lifehacker article.
Now, I hope when I need this info again I can find it :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pete Seeger

I'm currently watching (yes, watching, downloading songs from itunes, and bloggin = multitasking) a show on PBS tonight called "American Masters" with the focus on Pete Seeger (wikipedia). Really neat show, Really cool guy. It's funny... If you had asked me just prior to seeing this show, if I could name one Pete Seeger song, I would not have been able to do it. I'd heard his name before, and knew that he was a singer from the 60's/70's but I knew nothing about him. What amazes me is that as the show is playing a LOT of his songs, I know a ton of them! Perhaps because some have been re-recorded, but still. They just played this one song called "Bring 'em home" about the war in Vietnam. It almost gave me the chills because if you just substituted the word Iraq with Vietnam it would be the same song with the same meanings.
In a small way... this show makes me sad though... Where are the "Pete Seegers" of 2008? Why are the songs today so purely pop and bubblegum? Why does it seem like musicians now have no real voice or influence like they did back then? I have to wonder is it because of the singers and songwriters today that may have different frames of mind, or is it because we as consumers of music don't want to listen to that sort of thing anymore.
Anyway... If you can catch a re-run of this show on PBS I encourage you to watch it. If not, here's the link to PBS's website for Pete.

Most Amazing Radio Control Helicopter


Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Can someone help me out here?
To quote a famous movie line "Do you understand the words comin' outta my mouth?"
I don't usually like to get too personal here with my blog but today I'm gonna break that a little.
I had a bad day.
Not for what most people would claim as legit reasons for having a bad day (losing something important, something broke, job stress, family problems, etc...) No, my bad day was caused by a combination of my thoughts and other people's thoughts.
3 times today - I've been completely misunderstood. I'm not really talking about like someone mis-hears something I said, or misinterprets a statement. What I'm talking about are people not understanding my point of view. My logic.
I consider myself a logical person. I like to play chess (the epitome of logic if you ask me).
A few days ago, I got into a debate online on a message board with someone regarding copyright issues and Creative Commons. I thought (mistakenly) that if I just pointed out their mistake (nicely) that they would correct the mistake. I believe someone misused some photographs by posting them to a blog and not giving the photographer any credit.
To me, it seemed just "common sense" that perhaps the blogger just overlooked.
(yes, one of the photos was mine, but I never brought that fact up, I didn't want to seem petty... at the same time, I wanted to get my due recognition for taking the photo).
I also have not taken the position of making a demand either ie: Either you give me credit, or take my photo off your website. I admire this particular blog.
But I still felt I was "right".
So I made an "anonymous" post suggesting that "perhaps" you may have violated the license agreements...
Well, rather than admit to his mistake, he proceeded to debate the issue with me. Fine... I always enjoy a good debate. Plus, I thought, if I could just clearly lay out my logic, he would understand. Not so. Instead he argued his logic (which to me seemed borderline crazy).
I've pretty much just dropped the debate, because I realized no matter what I say, he won't listen. He believes he's right, and won't give the photographers credit. I'm not willing to take it to the next step by getting nasty.
Then this morning, my good friend emails me some more anti-global warming arguments. He and I have had a GOOD LONG debate on this issue via email. Again... it seems so clear to me... If I just present him with the "facts" then he'll understand. No so. For every fact I present, he presents an opposite one (usually from a person who works for the big oil company).
Then the last issue was something that came up at work. Again, I presented my points, and did not make one bit of headway.
So tonight... I'm just wondering... is it me?
Do my blogposts make any sense to anyone? Am I going a little crazy here?
Perhaps I don't know how to debate with people... I don't believe in raising my voice to get my point across (I do though sometimes if I get heated, but I try not to). Maybe I don't know how to communicate well?
So PLEASE - I'm beggin here...
If you find this post on the intertubes... leave me a comment to tell me I'm not crazy.
That some (even if it's a small piece) of what I say actually makes sense to you. A simple "your not crazy" will suffice.
Now I think I'm gonna go wrap myself in a blanket and go rock in the corner now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Why I love the Internet

So the other day, I sign onto my flickr account (I check usually once a day sometimes more). I see in my list of contacts that my sister has posted some family photos of a museum they visited. Cool right? (yes).
So I wondered, "how far is the museum from their house?"
Onto Google maps to check.
I enter the address, and then "Get driving directions".
Not too far, about an hour or so.
So then I switch to "satellite view" on the google map... mainly just because it's a cool feature.
Nothing really jumps out at me as being unusual, it's just your typical suburban sprawl scene.
So I start to scroll out and take in a larger view.
I get to the point where I can see all of the San Francisco Bay Area (and more).
When I happen to see two little white specks out in the ocean off the coast of San Franciso.
Hmm... what's that?
So I start to zoom in.
Sure enough... they are small islands.
Huh, I never knew they were there.
So google maps tells me they are called the Farallon Islands, and it looks like there is one or two man made objects on the island.
So I go back to google search, and type in Farallon Islands to see what info I can find out.
Wikipedia to the rescue!
I learn a bit of the history about them. They were one time a HUGE industry for people sailing out and collecting eggs, then coming back to SF to sell them. There was actually a violent "battle" between the "egg collecting companies" and the "lighthouse companies" where two people lost their life. (Who knew that egg collectors and lighthouse people were so violent?)
And then I see something about Nuclear dumping site... Wait, What?!
Yep... and LOTS of it.
Approx - 47,500 of those 55 gallon drums were just dumped there!
WOW! Why have I not heard of this before?
So less that 30 miles away from SF is a huge nuclear dump site!
So... not that I'm happy to learn about this nuclear dump, but this is a great example of how I love the intertubes. That "train of thought" or rather "Train of links" would have never come about had it not been for the internet. That's really awesome when you stop and think about it for a minute.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I HATE Bill Moyers...

Did that headline get your attention? :)
No... I don't really hate Bill Moyers. In fact, I admire his dedication and in the few short weeks that I've been watching his show on PBS I've learned a lot (Bill Moyers Journal). The reason for my over-the-top headline above is that after the show is over, I'm ready to punch a hole in the wall. I forget what the other shows name that is also like this (60 minutes, or 20/20, something like that) it has a similar effect. They produce a show about how something is really bad and needs to be fixed, but offer not one solution as to how to go about doing that. So after the show is over, you've learned how something needs to be done, but just feel angry and frustrated that you don't know how to fix it. Usually it's a topic that's so broad too as to make a clear path even more confusing (such as world hunger).
So last nights show was about Earmarks. I'll post this link which will take you to his main page that deals with "this week's" show but depending on when you read this post it may not be talking about earmarks (ie: There is no "permalink" to the show topic until it hits the archives page - you should fix this pbs.). Oops, I might have spoken too soon... this might be the permalink here to the show about earmarks called "Mr Heath goes to Washington".
I'll warn you though, if you watch it, you too will want to punch a wall after seeing how our government system works in regards to wasteful spending and borderline corruption. Mr. Heath points out that basically these government officials are doing nothing illegal but that it's just the way the system works - (which in my opinion - SHOULD be Illegal!).
The second half of his show was an interview with Sarah Chayes (permalink here). Her story was interesting as well (and still frustrating) talking about the failed policy of our government's involvement in Afghanistan. I'll nutshell it for you... our government has put a corrupt leadership in place in Afghanistan, with NO checks to see where our MILLIONS (Billions?) of dollars are going (straight into their pockets).
The thing this Show (Bill Moyer's Journal) has taught me... if you want to become rich... get into politics. But the only way I can see it... you've got to have no morals, or conscience to do this though.
Lastly - one sidenote: I realize this is the sort of show that borders on propaganda. It is presented in a "news format" but clearly only provides one side of the story.

Ok, I'm off to learn more about:
Oh and this renews my support for Larry Lessig in his new Change Congress campaign. (once it actually starts that is).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Internet geek links

No really, I was going to post this when I saw it on boingboing today, but I just stopped over to Laughing Squid, and they have three (count em THREE) awesome posts in a row. So check these out...
How to speak geek (ugh, I knew almost all of these!)

How To Speak Geek

This one is better though... How to behave on an internet forum.
(I really like the animation on these too, reminds me of the IT Crowd (if you are a geek you've GOT to rent the IT crowd.)

How To Behave On An Internet Forum

Then there is this great comic over on xkcd today:

and Finally...
One of my internet heros (Lawrence Lessig) has just released a new website ( and it appears he "MIGHT" try to run for Congress. Larry is behind the whole "Creative Commons" movement - or i should say "was" behind it. He's put aside his passion for "CC" and is moving on to something a bit more challenging... getting rid of corruption in congress - no easy task! :)
I wish him all the best! The video below is about 10 minutes long, but it is IMPORTANT that you watch it. This is the sort of movement I can get behind, but the cynic in me fears it will never change. I hope I can be proven wrong!


I finally just figured it out!
I was talking politics with a friend of mine, and we were talking about the differences of the Reps and the Democrats. We both agreed that the Reps tend to be for "big business" or corporations, etc... Then it hit me... We as Democrats are not in the "club"! The only thing that makes sense to me now is that when a person registers to be a Rep, they are sent a letter in the mail something like this :
Hello Mr. X,
Thank you for your decision to become a member of the Republican party. Attached is your new ID card, your secret decoder ring, and a job offer for a corporation less than 10 miles from your home. This job offer is a guaranteed position for a CEO level position with a guaranteed income of $1,000,000 or more. Do not worry about lack of experience or even knowledge on the product(s). Most CEO's don't have the knowledge or experience.
Thanks again, and welcome to the party... and don't forget, you must now vote for Republicans now - no matter what we do, and you can't tell any Democrat or Independent about this letter.
That is all
Mr. Reppy
The head of your local Republican party.

That's gotta be it! Fess up now Reps! I've discovered your secret!

"Yes We Can"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama on a roll!

I'm listening to Obama right now in the background as I type this. He's now the predicted winner of Wisconsin! WOOT! I'm excited to see him taking a clear lead with the last 8 primaries. I continue to wish him luck. Yes WE can!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Black Fire Percussion

This stuff I really admire! Reminds me of my days as a "bander". We had one guy who could make those tom-toms sing when he wanted to... and best of all he always had a sense of humor about his rhythms. Hard to describe what I mean by humor... an example would be... we would have band practice and would practice marching to a certain beat. Then on the day of the parade we would start out and just every now and then "Animal" (that was his nickname from the dude from the muppets) would just slip in some off the wall rhythm or beat as we were marching. We would all know he did it and we all would just smile - except for the band leader ;)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Wow... what a week for me over here. I'm SO GLAD it's now Friday night and I've got 2 days to recoup. I had some things I wanted to blog this week, but could never quite find the time, so I'll throw a few things out there now...

Another interesting ufo photo coming out of the UK the other day in Portsmouth. At first glance it's pretty impressive, but as I look at it, I'm pretty sure I know what it is... It's a reflection of one of the streetlights from the lens itself. IF it were that foggy of a night (which it appears to be from the photo) and that particular ufo were up in the air at a distance, it would be MUCH more faint, or possibly not visible at all. Yet, this "object" appears to be clear as day. Anytime you mix a camera, with lousy lighting conditions, and a long timed exposure, you are setting yourself up for a "false positive" :)
Still neat photo though... Read more here at the

I know... EWwww... who wants to talk about armipts. I do :)
So for the longest time, I've been using a deodorant made my "Degree". (This is the praise part) I really like it! It keeps me dry, and practically 100% odor free. Then, about 7-8 months ago, I noticed when I went to the local shoprite, that I couldn't find my brand. There were other degree products for men, but not the one I usually get which is called a "soft solid". Hmm, I thought the store must just be out of stock. But I waited and waited, and pretty soon I realized somethings wrong here. I went on the Degree website, and sure enough, not a mention of the "soft solid for men" (It's still available for women). Odd. I even called their customer service to ask, and sure enough was told that they discontinued it. RATS! About 4 months ago (I'm estimating these times) I was walking through Wegmans, and low and behold MY deodorant! So I bought about 5 sticks of it, knowing it would be off the shelves eventually. Well, I am now down to one stick left, So for the past few months, I've been using a different Degree stick, and it's not as good :( So, last night, I look at my last remaining stick and read the ingredients... the "active ingredient" (get ready for this one) is: Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex GLY (try saying that 3x fast!) with an amount of 18.5%. So I check the newer deodorant and sure enough it's only 17.8% of AZT (I'm not spelling that out again!). So, off to google...
I was curious if I could find another brand that had this same amount of AZT... guess what I found... Degree has a "NEW" deodorant now called "clinical protection"... They've got a pretty spiffy website up that highlights all the "new" things that make this brand superior to all the others. Things like "Prescription strength without a prescription" (huh?) Patented encapsulated fragrance technology (lol - "fragrance technology"? Give me a break.) Then the marketing department threw in a few more buzz words like "advanced formula, Trisolid, clinical protection, etc..." and all that topped off with an endorsement by some football guy that I never heard of.
So get this... here's the "SHAME ON YOU" part for Degree (which is owned by Unilever)...
I find the ingredients list for the women's version of this new clinical protection on and it's the SAME EXACT Ingredients list as my men's "soft solid"! (except for one small inert ingredient)... And here's the kicker... My deodorant was maybe around $4 or so for 2.7 ounces... the "NEW" clinical protection is now about $4+ for only 1.7 ounces! (that's for a bulk pack of 4, it may be more if you buy it individually.)
So... bottom line...
Unilever phased out one of their other products, took it off the shelves for a little while, then slapped a new name and sticker on a 33% smaller sized container, and now are charging more money for it! Nice Unilever. You should be ashamed of yourself.
And yes... I realize I may be the only person on the planet who has ever read the ingredient's list on a stick of deodorant.
Disclaimer - I'm no scientist or chemist. As I mentioned, they technically changed the ingredients by one item (maybe because I'm comparing the woman's brand with the men's brand?), but I think you get my point.
So after a little more digging, I've learned that the women's soft solid is still on the market, and that Unilever also makes a DOVE deodorant with the same AZT 18.5% (again for women).
So... the next time you see me and you happen to catch a wiff of some "lavender fields" or some other flowery scent... you'll know why... cause I'm cheap, and I don't like being "scammed" by a corporate greed machine.
UPDATE: 2/16/08 - Ok, I guess I should apologize a little here. I got back from the store a little while ago, and turns out the men's "Clinical protection" does have more AZT in it than the womens. So comparing apples to apples - my old deodorant had 18.5% and the new clinical has 20% - That is a pretty big jump. At the same time though... for a single container of the men's they were charging $7.99 for 1.7 ounces! And more marketing slime... the deodorant is in a cardboard box, that APPEARS to be the same size as all the other deodorants (2.7oz).
I decided to experiment... I bought the DOVE brand that has the same 18.5% (actually it smells pretty good, and not "girly" but the packaging is a little on the feminine side, but who cares.) And then I saw "Old Spice Red Zone" with 19% AZT. So, I'll have to see which one I like better.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Congressman Wexler nails Rice

I know... I have not been posting many "written" posts lately. Seems like there is never enough time lately. At some point I will drop some words of wisdom here soon (or at least more ramblings of a madman :)

I do wish to post one quick "wordy" post...
A few days ago, I was flipping through the channels and I saw some sort of Senate hearing on C-span. The man speaking was Bernie Sanders the Senator from Vermont... he was GRILLING the man being question (I don't know his name or title, but it was his job to respond to questions regarding the new budget put forth by the Bush administration for 09). It was an amazing round of questions and such fancy verbal footwork by the man on the stand so that he avoided every single attempt at Senator Sanders questions - until eventually Sanders' time expired. I HOPE I can find some video footage of this exchange. All I can say is that Sanders is my new favorite hero in the Senate right now. You can read some of the MASSIVE cuts that the Bush Administration is making in order to fund their "occupation" here on Bernie's website. Sidenote: I just saw that Bernie's "favicon" is a COW :) He's def my new hero!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Officer "dude" goes berserk on a 14yo

As one of the youtube commenter's points out, Officer Rivieri(sp?) will forever have a new nickname now of "dude".

Monday, February 11, 2008

Daft Punk at Grammy

This came as a big surprise to me today when it arrived in my email inbox. I learned that Daft Punk performed live at the Grammy Awards last night. I've only just recently discovered daft punk and I'm hooked. There are certain songs that are pure digital pop or as I like to call them "bubblegum pop" music, but there is just something about their beats and digital effects that I love. Admittedly it is probably their heavy use of the Vocoders... I'm a sucker for vocoder music. (Vocoder is a type of synthesizer that alters the human voice into different effects that usually makes it sound like a 1980's computer). Well, much to my surprise this fringe electronic pop group made their first TV debut last night (in their 14 year career). I thought it was great except for one thing... Kanye. I'm sorry, but every time I see a live performance of Kanye, I think he's a horrible performer. He can't sing or hold a note worth a "dang". He thinks if he name drops a few big name designers in his song (like Christian Dior, or Louis Vuitton) that it makes him cool? To me, he ruined a perfectly good Daft Punk performance. Oh well.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


I'm curious if anyone else has heard of this "movement"? I've only heard a little buzz going around the internet about this, and have not heard anything anywhere else.
It all started after the video leaked to the internet with Tom Cruise looking a bit like a mad man speaking about Scientology. The above video popped up blatantly challenging Scientology.
I'm not condoning the video (or Scientology) in the slightest, but what has me curious is the way they are going about using youtube to spread their message.
Today (I'm writing this at about 12:45am on Sunday) could be a day of protests. The video called for it, but it will be interesting if anyone follows through with it. I'll watch the intertubes for any buzz over the next few days...

Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy

Quick movie review...
I just got back from seeing "Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show". I was a little hesitant over seeing this one, but my friend and I are both fans of Vaughn's work, so we figured we'd give it a shot. I wasn't sure what to expect really, as my friend pointed out, it's been a REALLY long time since either of us watched a "comedy movie" and thinking back it was probably with Eddie Murphy. It seems like "Comedy Central" has killed the "comedy movie", it's kinda like "why would I want to pay $9 for a ticket when I can watch the same stuff on TV?"
Well, we both liked this movie.
It started off a little shaky, I wasn't sure where the movie was going at all. It seemed to be some stand-up jokes, mixed in with some personal stories about these guys that I'd never heard of before. But... after a little while, I started to enjoy the movie. Overall MOST of the comedians were really funny. Lot's of crude stuff too, so if that bothers you, then stay away from this one. I mean, it's not horrible, but it's definitely R rated.
I was surprised to see that there were not a whole lot of people in the theatre though. I'm afraid that unless this movie starts getting some "word of mouth" praise it will quickly head to DVD (which might not be a bad thing, because I can see this being a hit on DVD) but still.
So, if you like Vince's style of humor, Ever wondered what happed to "Ralphie" from that movie that they play every Christmas called "A Christmas Story" (you know the one, where he shoot's his eye out), or just want to see a bunch of funny stand up comics, then you should check this movie out.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Trajan = movie font?

Who knew? I never noticed before, but now I'll see it everywhere I guess...

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Wow... I've been really busy this week, sorry for the lack of daily posts :(
I'm going to try and throw a few thoughts up now just as the new season of "Survivor" is about to start. Should be an interesting season - if you're a fan.

Super "duper" Tuesday>
Steven Colbert had a fantastic clip on his show last night talking about Super Tuesday. Basically he was trying to understand "who won - Barack or Hilary"
The answer... it depends on what your definition of "won" is - totally confusing!
I'm also disheartned (again) by learning how the process works as far as the delegates. It SOUNDS like due to these so called "super delegates" that the entire process of the people voting is basically pointless, because the "super delegates" do not have to abide by the people's votes, they can swing the nomination one way another! GRRR.

reminder to myself...
I want to post about having one of my photos in my Flickr account chosen for an online "map" website. It's a bit of a long story, so no time for it now.

Maybe I should wait to announce this...
I started a NEW blog tonight! Just what I need right?
Check it out (though there is not much up there right now)

ok... Survivor is on! Gotta run!
Peace and Hope!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Super Tuesday

Did you vote yet? I did... I don't really believe in it, but in the slim chance that "my vote counts" I figured what the hey, I can spare 3 minutes to push a button.
I wasn't even sure if I would vote today, because "my candidate" has dropped out. But when I thought about it I had a couple reasons for pushing the button...
1) I've heard mentioned on the internet something to the effect of "are you tired of 20 years of our country being controlled by the same two families?" - yes I am tired of that. I also don't like the idea of passing our leadership amongst the same folks back and forth. Lets give someone new a chance.
2) The war is a big issue for me: Hillary voted for it (I know, I'm not gonna get into a debate here, as to whether she had false information, etc...). I'm also aware that technically Obama was not in office to cast his initial vote (I'm not crazy over the fact that Obama has since supported all of the funding bills).
3) I'm not thrilled that Hilary is so closely tied with Corporate America (I heard she was on the Board of Walmart!) Not to mention all the lobbyist money flowing her way.

Then, just the other day, I heard that Obama is also a geek-minded candidate... Apparently (I don't have the facts here - sry) he either had a meeting with or was endorsed by Larry Lessig. I admire Lessig and some of the things he stands for, so I figure Obama can't be all that bad.
And THEN I learned that Shepard Fairey released some awesome work in support of Obama. When a Graffiti artist steps up, then count me in! (I'm joking). But it is an awesome poster! (note: You can download a PDF file of this poster on Shepard's website!)

Funny story when I went to vote this morning. I've never voted before in a primary. I stepped into the "gym" (my voting location is in a gym!) and proceeded to give my name to the several elderly folks running the booth. After I signed in, a man at the table asked me "democrat or republican?" to which I responded "democrat" - then he pushed a yellow tablet to me and told me to sign here... It wasn't til after I voted, that this sorta bothered me. I thought the whole voting process is supposed to be "private"? I started to get upset... then I thought it ironic... here I am concerned that my privacy was somehow violated, yet, I put up a poster of Obama in the back window of my truck! :)
Still, in the voting area, I had to sign my name to it, and tell the man sitting there how I was going to vote - where as a poster in the window is still somewhat anonymous.

Go out and vote today - if you want change, hope, and progress. If you don't want these things... then please stay home :)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Supe_bowl thoughts

Supe_bowl >
Wow! What a game! I'm not even that big of a football fan, but I was on the edge of my seat with this game. I really didn't care who won the game, but I initially was rooting for the Patriots, only because I thought it would be great for them to win on a 19-0 record. (note: The Patriots were trying to "trademark/copyright" that stat 19-0 so that others could not make T-shirts, hats, etc... I guess they won't be going for that now). But then when I went over to my dad's I learned that there was some controversy over the coach of the Pats... Apparently (I don't know the whole story) he's been accused of "cheating" and some how learning of the other teams plays. Um... I'm sure they're a great team and all, but if they got their 18-1 record by cheating, then that's really lame. So we were now both rooting for the Giants.

Supe_bowl Ads >
I was not impressed at all! What a huge waste of 2.7 million dollars for 30 seconds!!! One of the ones that bothered me the most... The talking baby for E-trade. Sure it was cute and funny at first - but rates about 0 for originality... it's not the first time we've seen a digitally altered baby that talks. But then the part that really bothered me... at the end the baby vomits! What are these high paid ad exec's thinking of when they said "Hey! I know! Let's associate our product with baby VOMIT!"

Supe_bowl spelling >
I'm spelling "you know what" differently because I don't want to be sued by the NFL. They have tried to crack down on "fair use" of their product. You can't use that word "Supe_bowl" because they "own it". AND they even made an attempt to buy "The Big Game" when people stopped refereing to the supe_bowl by "the big game". That's jut wrong! Not to mention, their crackdown on Supe_bowl parties... did you know it's "illegal" to show the game on a tv larger than 55"? ugh. Read more on TechDirt.

Friday, February 01, 2008

FIOS update

So a quick update to my Verizon Fios story.
I was really bummed when I learned that the Fios was not going to be a good deal for me to get. So last night, I made one last effort to call them and try to speak to someone who could give me some straight answers.
First I was connected with "Suzy" who had a heavy Indian accent. It was all I could do to understand her. I said, "I hope you can provide me some answers, because I am really confused, and frustrated, and have been getting different answers, rates, limits, and prices via their website." So Suzy, asked me for my phone number (which she should of had, because it's an automated process, but whatever)... so Suzy punches in my phone, and to my amazement, she tells me that I am not eligible for Fios!
me: what?! Then why is it that I have a letter here from Verizon that says it's available, and when I put my phone number into the website, it tells me I am able to get Fios?
Suzy: hold on, I'll try again... pause... Oh, Ok, yes, you are eligible.
me: (not out out: oh, this is just starting off great!)
I proceed to ask her about the rates, and if I can get JUST the fios TV package.
Suzy: Yes, you can sign up for just the TV
me: Then why does your website tell me I can only order the internet/phone package?
Suzy: You must have clicked on the wrong button.
Me: (Mentally, reaching threw the phone lines to grasp her neck in my paws) NO... I did NOT hit the wrong button.
Then I ask her about the other "hidden costs" such as having to purchase a settop box, for an additional $5 a month...
Suzy: No, you do not have to do that.
Me: Then why did your website tell me I did?
Suzy: Um, uh,
At this point, I loose all confidence that Suzy has less of a clue than I do.
I ask Suzy to speak to the next level of "customer support"... Suzy asks "What do you mean"
OMG! You mean, you work in customer service, and you are not familiar with the term "next level"? I say, "well, some companies have different levels of customer service, there is the person you get when you first call in - which is you, then there is either a "level 2" or an "executive customer service rep" or some even call it a "manager" or a "supervisor".
Suzy is now frustrated with me and says "oh, I'll get my supervisor".
I get put on hold for a short amount of time.
Hello, this is James...
YES! I can understand him - no accent! I later learn he's from Texas.
James was VERY helpful to me. He took his time and explained some of the technical questions that I had. He didn't get upset with me asking "dumb questions". He confirmed that Suzy was totally off base on many of her answers.
Bottom line:
The only way Fios is going to save me money, is if I get the total package deal of phone/internet/tv. It will cost close to $115 (if I remember right). So now I just need to sit down, crunch some more numbers, and hopefully I'll be able to save money - and finally rid myself of Comcast.
I am still uneasy about trusting one company, and one thin fiber-optic wire to take care of ALL my communication. IF something were to happen to the service, the wire, etc... I would not be able to call anyone, use the internet, or watch tv. That scares me. But if the price is right... I'll consider it.

New animal discovery

So... you thought you've seen it all huh? You've been to the zoo, you've watched "Animal Planet", maybe even read a few magazines like National Geographic, but then along comes the news this morning, that a new mammal has been discovered in Tanzania.
I gotta say, it's a cute and creepy looking bugger... When I first saw it, my impression was that there was some connection to a bat. But is actually related to an elephant (among others).
I think discoveries like this are amazing. It's a nice reminder to say "there is stuff out there that we don't know yet." Which for me, is good news.