Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I love my HDTV, I am writing this on a new laptop while sipping coffee from an automatic grind, drip coffee maker. Technology and modern convenience are necessary evils in this forward-thinking, evolving world. I get it.
But sometimes I mourn the loss of the Cowboy. Not the kind that melted down in the run-up to the NFL playoffs. The real Cowboy.
The guy that didn't need a GPS to know where to poke the cows. He knew instinctively where to go and what perils lie ahead. We don't have instincts like that anymore.
The real cowboy knew the forecast by gut and by watching the horizon... not The Weather Channel, which was still 180 years in the future. Honestly, his forecast might have been more accurate.
Everything he needed was in his saddlebag. Rope, soap, beans and bacon, jerky, a kettle, flint rock, ammunition, coffee, cigarettes, salt, a good sharp knife, maybe a Bible, and certainly a flask of whiskey. The essentials. No shampoo, no Blackberry, no 16 year old scotch, no pager.
He spent his time alone with his cattle. There was always enough time (and quiet) to think. His true love was likely the memory of a woman. His commitment was to his herd and the horizon.
His idea of luxury was a hot bath in the next town, which might be two weeks away. His best friends were ranch folks and the occasional friendly Indian. His idea of mass transportation was a stagecoach, and his only communication was a telegraph wire. No cell phone, no text messages.
Just a man, his horse and the great outdoors.
There are cowboys today, but they're not the same. Real Cowboys are as extinct as purple sage and unowned land. They died when barbed wire and highways appeared.
Ironically, to those who enjoy today's advanced technology, it's popular to call those simpler times. I would argue they were infinitely more complex and difficult.
Back in the day, it was common to find an occasional feral horse, saddle still on. That usually meant that somewhere, a cowboy had thrown his last rope and gone to meet his maker.
What I wouldn't give to have him back.
Friday, December 26, 2008
For the girls, the most popular names were:
I'm a rebel, I'm more likely to look at the list of popular names and choose something completely different.
Big shopping day! Although this is one of the worst holiday shopping seasons in recent history, I have a feeling it isn't over. I might head out and see what kind of bargains are available today... which is being billed Black Friday, The Sequel.
I hope your Christmas was as great as mine was!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Right after our kids' bedtime, we decided to rendezvous at a local dive called Ethyl's. It was crowded with a couple of Christmas parties, the music was really loud and it was entirely too smokey to enjoy.
There was also a hint of a possibility of sobriety checkpoints near Ethyl's, so we did the only sane thing - went to a place closer to home.
A bowling alley.
We hung out in the lounge* right under the wall of plaques commemorating members of the '300 club.' Ironically, we were poking fun at the names on the plaques while we WERE IN A BOWLING ALLEY DRINKING ON A FRIDAY NIGHT.
After a pitcher or three, it was nearing two of the guys' strict midnight curfew, so at 11:55 we were out the door.
And I'm all like "wow, you guys are pussies to have to be home so early." Like saying this somehow made me feel superior.
Yes, this is what it's come to. A bunch of 40-somethings trying to find a place where the music isn't quite so loud, the smoke not so thick, where we could stay out of trouble and avoid the cops.
And be home in time to keep the peace.
By the way, we still had fun, even though it didn't conclude as per normal - dining at 4 am at the Casa de Waffle.
*doesn't "bowling alley lounge" invoke an interesting mental picture? Can you almost smell the cigarette smoke, stale beer, Tombstone pizza and rental shoes?
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Day one, I have 35-40 friends. I can't believe I know so many people who are also slowly wasting away to nothingness in front of their computer screens.
If you, too, wish to forget what your family looks like, go to Facebook and join. But be careful. If you get email on your mobile device and have a bandwidth limit, joining Facebook might put you over.
I have a slogan suggestion. Facebook... because I had forgotten all the reasons I stopped talking to these freakin' people in the first place.**
*Sounds like an insult that a librarian would use.
** I kid. I love my friends.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Today started with crappy roads and cold weather, which made the task of transferring the baby seat and driving both vehicles out so the van could get serviced rather dicey.
Then the session of one of my bigger clients, which was a very full page of several hard-to-read promos, was running a quarter-hour late.
I began the daunting task of bringing all of my billing in-house, which involves heavy levels of data entry and client contact. I did some banking and balanced the books, which is never a positive experience. (Why is it you never err in the positive? This time I was off less than 2-grand.)
The van wasn't finished on time so we ended up leaving it overnight, which isn't at all convenient.
The baby was very fussy today, as he struggled with teething and sinus congestion. He also had a diaper blow-out.
Not exactly a great day by any measuring stick!
And yet, at the end of it, I looked in the mirror and remembered I* got a haircut today. It's odd that such a simple event made such a positive impact. I look younger, it's easier to take care of, and it was a chance to socialize with the "barber"... the usual small talk about weather, the stock market and Christmas.
But it made my day. Renewing and invigorating, haircuts are.
*No, that's not a picture of today's haircut.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I need to remind myself I'm here on business. (98 percent pleasure, 2 percent business)
It's kind of Emily's and my gift to each other for Christmas.
Mobile Blogging from here.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Meanwhile the fans are wondering if they'll have a job tomorrow. Many of them have already lost one.
I'm a huge fan of baseball and capitalism, but the timing of this deal couldn't have been worse. New jobless claims are at the highest level in 34 years and people are struggling to find ways to pay their mortgage. How, then, will they pay a higher price for baseball tickets?
Look, when most CEOs are making substantially less than many baseball players and are being excoriated for their greed and ineffectiveness, paid huge sums of money while the consumer absorbs the shock, I wonder what color of lipstick MLB will use to dress up this pig.
This is a high, inside pitch to baseball fans. Somebody should warn the pitcher before the benches clear.
Monday, December 08, 2008
My Dad has been warning me for a while that the paradigm of "normal" in this country will soon change. For a while I've been skeptical and pretty dismissive of his words. I am now changing my tune a little. Economically, all bets are off.
First of all, it's popular to criticize big business for greed and profiteering, (oil companies, banks, corporate employers) but it's important to maintain perspective. I agree, the exorbitant lifestyles of some of the CEOs, and the grotesque levels of profit made by the investors (stockholders) is a bit much, but I'm still a fan of profit. I don't blame someone for hopping on an elevator going up, and if a salary and benefits are offered to a CEO, it's personally irresponsible to decline it.
Unfortunately, stockholders and CEOs have been so bent on taking profits, there is little buffer for bad times. Those banks and corporations are the first to experience exigency when the economy degenerates. The popular recourses are now bankruptcy, layoffs and restructuring, which leaves employees in an unkind position. I fear that we as a public haven't even begun to understand how lengthy and severe this economic depression will be.
In our current economy (and the world economy as well), we've seen the first effects, drop in demand. Orders for raw materials have spiraled to serious, unprecedented lows. Consumer demand is dropping in most categories. Layoffs have begun, but we haven't even scratched the surface. As the impact filters down, business models are being jettisoned.
Deflation will be the next word of the day... and not for good reasons. The supply of money will dry up and the government cannot keep printing it. Prices will go down, and without a corresponding consumer confidence boost, they will not spur sales as intended. More companies will suffer losses, cut jobs and close their doors.
The biggest investment any of us have, our homes, have dropped in value precipitously. We (many of us, myself included) sit on a product that is worth less than we owe. This bubble-burst has been the elephant in the room for several years, as we saw 10, 20, and in some areas, 30 percent increases in real estate prices PER YEAR. Those of us who paid those prices are now left sitting on the edge with a stiff wind blowing. (and if you bought a home between 2000 and 2005, this is probably you)
Reality is now coming home to roost, my friends. I think we are living in VERY interesting times.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
It had to be done. They knew too much and were acting all nervous and chatty toward the end of the night. Dr. Mike and I arranged for the "cleaning crew" to stop by and "tidy things up."
The holidays can be harsh.
Monday, December 01, 2008
- Do you also get a feeling of comraderie and synergy with the person in the car in front of you when your turn signals are blinking at exactly the same time and rate? It's like we're in the same positive chi aura. That, or we're both driving Chryslers.
- Do you also feel bad when the Chinese restaurant delivers more fortune cookies than you need, indicating you're a big, fat, overeating hog? Is it really that unusual for one person to order Sesame Chicken, Kung Pao Shrimp AND Peking Duck?
- Do you also wonder about what the hell kind of future lies ahead if Dippin' Dots will be our ice cream? (and how goddamn far into the future do I have to wait before I witness someone actually making a Dippin' Dots purchase?)
- Are you also afflicted with an itchy rash on your arms after assembling and lighting a Christmas tree? I think I'll invent something called Tannen Balm* to ease the pain.
- Do you also have a love/hate relationship with bumper stickers? I would never put one on my vehicle, but I am amused by the sarcastic, offensive ones, while completely put off by the "my son is an honor student" ones, and the latest rage, the stick figure family stickers.
- Are you also having writer's block in YOUR blog world? I mean, look at the shitty material I came up with for this post. Surely it gets better from here.
*FUCK! I thought I had another Dave Original, but when I google "tannen balm" there are seven results. I swear I started this blog about 5 years too late.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
To me, this demonstrates how the government is failing its veterans. God bless him for serving, and let's get this guy some psychological support, huh? He should be in the "play with the grandchildren" mode, not the "let's kill some folks" mode.
I was once the final gasp of the Morris family name, its final resting place wherever my ashes were to be scattered.
But now the lineage lives on. This is the current crop, including my daughter Courtney, my son Grayson and my granddaughter Chloe. What a handsome group!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
We snapped this picture right after the baby was born and Courtney doesn't even look like she's just been through labor. She only "pushed" for about 25 minutes!
Chloe Elizabeth Morris was born at 4:42 pm at a weight of 7 lbs 8 oz, 21 inches long.
Unfortunately, she looks a lot like the piece of shit sperm donor. Oh well looky there, I was going to try to keep this post positive.
It was discovered afterward that Courtney had been hemmoraging internally and things got a little tense. She had surgery and it's still to be determined if she'll need a transfusion. (she lost quite a bit of blood)
She seems to be better this morning.
Friday, November 14, 2008
My daughter Courtney is having her baby today, so I'm in Columbia for the festivities! She's working on it, but the baby isn't in a huge hurry right now. I think within a couple of hours we'll be welcoming Chloe Elizabeth into the world.
I'll post pictures soon. My official guess: 7 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches. (I just used Courtney's birth numbers) I'll let you know.
So my son Grayson is going to be a 7-month-old uncle. He's pretty stoked!
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Kramer the cat was lying on his side. Grayson was straddling him, holding him by the front leg and the scruff of the back of his neck, and had Kramer's head in his mouth. Mmmm, fur.
Kramer was being very patient. He's a great, baby-friendly kitty. Maybe it's his old age.
I considered naming this post differently. Something about eating... something. Use your imagination.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Keith: I officially hate all niggers!I wonder what Keith thinks about Obama's white half.
Me: Dude, you're a fucking idiot. Don't ever text me again.
Keith: Whatever u say nigger lover. Peace out
Me: Burn those bridges dude. Light the flame. Just don't text me again.
It wasn't the first racist thing he'd texted me, but until last night, I ignored and deleted them. Keith is young and somewhat ambitious, but he was obviously raised in an atmosphere of racism. The sad thing is, he has a one-year-old daughter who, it seems, will be raised in similar circumstances.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I'm starting to get some anxiety too. I'm really, really busy with work and I'm going way too long between forays out into the real world. (ah, the life of someone who works from home.)
Parenting is great. One minute life is fantastic, the next... you're questioning what the hell you're doing. At the end of the day, it all balances out.
And now after Em's been up half the night with our boy, I'm handling the second half. As I type, the horizon is beginning to turn orange. I love early morning, and I don't see the sunrise often enough. That is the gift Grayson has given me today!
There's your update. My blog used to be a busy place, but lately it's pretty quiet. If there was an emoticon that was a wrinkled smile, a touch of depression, an little excitement for the future and a little "oh god what did I do" all combined I'd use it here.
Edit for night two: (and by night two, I mean night two of this blog entry, but about night 6 of not getting even close to 8 hours of sleep) Dang I would love to get 8 hours of sleep. Just one night of 8 continuous hours of sleep. One.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Saturday, October 18, 2008
- Anytime IF you're shopping at Home Depot, Sam's Club or Auto Zone.
- At men's clothing stores IF you're intoxicated at the time, but it's never OK to try anything on. (right Dr. Mike?)
- At girly stores (Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy's, etc.) IF you're intoxicated AND shopping for Easter/Valentine's/Birthday for a woman AND you don't make eye contact with the other guy.
- Liquor store. (without restrictions)
- Adult movie/bookstore IF you're shopping for a halloween costume AND you have a female escort. (Again, no eye contact with the other guy)
- Bait/Tackle shop. (without restrictions)
- Sporting goods store. (both of you MUST make a purchase)
There are no other known instances when shopping with another guy is considered appropriate.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I thought about a Weight Watchers frozen chicken dish but it was freezer burned. (expired in February) I searched high and low for a frozen pizza, nothing. There aren't even any tortilla chips in the house I could eat with salsa.
So I was forced to improvise. While Emily is out playing Bunko and probably enjoying a full selection of appetizers, I made myself a sandwich.
Yes, it's an egg sandwich. With cheese. And pepperoni. And mayo.
I feel like it's pretty inventive. What's more, it tastes pretty good! No complaints here.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Yes Blogarita, there IS a Mystic Pizza, the actual restaurant after which the movie was named. The film (Julia Roberts' first) was shot on location in Mystic. You can have Mystic Pizza delivered anywhere in the US, although it's pretty expensive. I'd say on a scale of 1-10, their pizza is about a 6. Very good, (not great) but the ambience and novelty more than makes up for it. There is an old saying about pizza and sex... but I don't want to reference it in the same post as Seaman's Inne.
We stopped at one of the many roadside fish stands yesterday, and had lobster rolls and clam fritters, two things you can't find anywhere back home. It is clear to me that, where my diet is concerned, I will have to write this week completely off.
As we enjoyed our lobster rolls, Grayson enjoyed fresh Elephant.
C, in answer to your question, we were here during Christmas last year and took the Mystic Seaport tour. The old whaling ships are fascinating to walk through. We went below deck and found that the fishermen must have been really short. At 6'3", I had to duck almost the entire time.
We took Grayson for his first trip to the beach yesterday. He got to play in the sand a little, but given his tendency to put everything he touches in his mouth, we didn't let him play for long.
Speaking of, he got his first tooth today! His right-middle tooth on the bottom is poking through and he definitely has the teething attitude.
Tomorrow is the wedding (the reason we're here) and Monday we leave for home. I miss being able to do anything we want anytime we want, but Grayson has been a total joy on this trip. He's a great little passenger and he makes us smile a lot. I can't wait to take him on our next trip, especially as he starts being able to remember the things we do with him.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Yesterday, we took a break and hit a little cafe' called the Olympia Tea Room near Watch Hill in Rhode Island. We sat in their sidewalk seating area and watched the boats. We gulped down a double order of raw oysters-on-the-halfshell, then walked around the shopping area with Grayson until it started getting dark.
We're staying in Mystic, Connecticut at the Hyatt Place. It's a nice suite hotel with plenty of room for all our stuff. (traveling with a 6 month old, you have to take everything - the hotel staff thought we were moving in.)
We'll check in again later.
Oh and by the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY Grayson, who is 6-months old today.
Monday, October 06, 2008
This is a test post from another iPhone blogging service called cellspin. This is a picture of a guy named John who, in person, looks JUST like Toby Keith.
UPDATE: it appears cellspin cuts off the picture instead of resizing it to fit, thus you see only half of me. (although it IS my best half) I'm not sure how to fix something like that, so I'm pretty sure the application is worth what I paid for it. (free)
Uploaded by www.cellspin.net
Only after I downloaded the program was I made aware you cannot upload photos to Blogspot blogs. I paid 10 bucks and I'm very disappointed.
UPDATE: After registering the product and posting this, the owner of the software company visited the blog to follow up. (click the comment link) I appreciate that kind of service, and it does lift my opinion of iBlogger. After working with it a little, the program is very functional and useful. Its only shortcoming is the inability to post photos.
[Posted with iBlogger from my iPhone]
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Only 24 more to go.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Em had class tonight so Grayson and I had lots of time together this afternoon. I think he's showing signs of teething - he was pretty cranky and needed direct contact a lot, so I ended up holding him most of the evening. He sat on my lap and we watched television awhile, but mostly he just watched what I was doing.
I didn't get much work done, but there won't be many nights like this. Good times...
Monday, September 29, 2008
But this is a weight-loss contest. I must say I'm completely prepared... considering I am a fat bastard that could exist totally on undigestible materials.*
Last night was weigh-in and measurement time, and today was Day One. My diet today?
Breakfast - I cut a fart and ate it. Then I choked down a spider web and chased it with a shotglass of diet tonic water. (which was actually vodka but why does Emily have to know?)
Lunch - Marmoset jerkey and a soup of toenails 'n barley.
Dinner - Considering the stock market freefall today, I had to fight the urge to eat an entire skillet of Hamburger Helper, which is great depression food. Instead, I had rubber bands in (low sodium) teriyaki sauce. (and much more "tonic")
Dessert - distilled water. (Gilbey's brand)
Day one wasn't so bad. I'm feeling a little weak.
*I wonder why nobody's thought of the idea. Eat nothing but marbles for twelve weeks. You get a full feeling while subsisting on the ugly brown fat.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
After the concert Saturday night on the way home, I realized I had done something I probably would never have the chance to do again. The Eagles won't tour forever, Frey will be 60 this year. Just to see a band that was so influential during my childhood was a very moving experience. It made me feel old and young at the same time.
Of all the concerts I've seen (and that number is in the hundreds) this competed with Garth Brooks for the best. They were DEAD on with everything. Vocally the guys are all still near the top of their games. The audio experience was perfect. The projection screen in back added nice depth and meaning to the music. Meisner, Felder and Leadon are missing and it's not exactly the same without them... but they are still The Eagles.
And I will never forget the night.
The crowd was into the show, but this guy (who happened to be a row in front of us) stole my heart. He was utterly enveloped in the music, oblivious to everything around him except to occasionally turn around to prod his friends into standing and swaying.
More often than not, people like that get weird looks... but I think they've got it right. I actually wish the rest of us were more like him.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I'll let you know!
UPDATE 8:45 pm: Mike technically won. They played Hotel California fifth. Witchy Woman and I Can't Tell You Why are among the first set of 10 songs. The sound is amazing and the guys sound 25 years old. In oh, Lyin' Eyes is on, gotta run...
UPDATE 9:45 am, 9/21/08: During the previous three paragraphs and after writing about two more fairly lengthy ones on this post, my iPhone browser had crashed about five times, so I gave up. Hey Apple, STOP airing commercials about the "total internet," and how much better Mac products are than PC/Vista until you can get a simple browser to function reliably on your platform.
I'll write more later tonight from my never-crashed-once Vista laptop, and I'll post pictures as well.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Em was Dr. Christmas Jones, wearing scrubs and a santa hat, and I was an extra from one of the pool scenes, wearing swim trunks and a T-shirt. Yeah I took the easy way out - although halfway through the night I put on my second 'costume' by applying gold paint to my left middle finger.
Em came home early and I grabbed a ride home later. I must have gotten the flu at the party because two hours after I got home and passed out on the couch, I woke up and had to run to the restroom. I haven't puked in forever.
The flu sucks.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Monday, September 08, 2008
It made me miss my old pickup. The Toyota Tundra is a really nice truck, but got really bad mileage. I'd prefer the Tacoma if forced to choose one.
Last weekend I made my famous Skidmark Chili. It was probably the best batch I've ever made, with just the right mixture of savory, sweet and hot. It's very chunky and features five kinds of meat.
Dr. Mike printed up a shirt to commemorate the event.
Yeah that's right. I'm smooth.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I hate to ask her to do that kind of thing - nobody wants to look at someone's oozing, laced-up incisions. Her reply: "Eh, I'll probably have to change your diaper some day, so what's the difference?"
Sometimes Vi can be quite the beyotch.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
R.I.P. Jerry. He was 71.
If you love good picking, you won't find much better than this. It's under 2 minutes and I think you owe it to yourself.
If you're too young to remember his early movies and singing career, you would probably recognize him as opposing Coach Red Beaulieu in The Waterboy.
He was the voice of about 5000 movie trailers, countless commercials, nearly all the big awards shows and was a hero of mine.
R. I. P. Don.
Here's his website. And here are a couple of videos you'll enjoy.
I wonder how much bitching there will be when people get back home and find out they didn't have to leave after all. You can never please all the people all the time. I am very happy for the folks of N.O., good for you guys! Let's hope you are out of the woods for the rest of the season.
Now on the heels of Gustav come Hanna and Ike, both threatening to wreak havoc along the eastern seaboard over the next two weeks. This pattern is definitely a boon for TWC.
Otherwise our weekend was one big BBQ/party/family fest. Not very restful, but definitely worthy of the label "among the best-ever Labor Day weekends."
*I love New Orleans and hope it remains forever as a monument to human ingenuity and sticktoitivness. I just hope they finish the work on those levees... I can't believe three years after Katrina they still aren't completely shored up and strengthened.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I agree. As a business owner whose website is Flash-based, (therefore can't be viewed on the iPhone) I find it disingenuous. It's not cool to exclude plug-ins as important as Flash or Java and advertise your product as having full access.
My suggestion to Apple would be to bury the hatchet with Adobe and put the user first. If the iPhone is to be truly revolutionary, it needs to be able to do most of what a laptop can. Don't get me wrong, this phone is a real move in that direction, but there are other smartphones who do support Flash and CAN display my website.
I'm also disturbed by the vague manner in which Apple releases iPhone bug fixes. The description they provide for the software update is simply "bug fixes." At a time when your product fails to function as promised and is portrayed negatively in the headlines daily, it's time to be up-front about exactly which bugs are being fixed, and what kind of experience a user can expect with the new release.
The Mac vs. PC commercials are also a little puzzling to me. I've considered getting a Mac on several occasions and I'm closer now than ever to taking the plunge. But I don't understand the portrayal of Vista as being prone to crashing... I am pretty sure I have never experienced a Vista crash, and I'm a heavy user. It may be a resource hog, and like previous Windows releases, people may not have immediately adjusted to it, but it works fine for me.
It's incumbent upon a company to portray its product in as positive a light as possible and to demonstrate superiority over its competitors. It's also incumbent upon them to be honest and open. I think Apple is pushing it a little.
The iPhone has an opportunity to be the revolutionary tool it's being touted as, and I'm confident Apple will fix the issues and provide a very fulfilling experience for its customers.
By the way, I've had more than a few dropped calls on my new iPhone... and I'd really love to be able to open my company's website.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Watching political coverage of this morning's announcement that Sarah Palin is John McCain's choice for VP, I've heard the term "hockey-mom" so much I want to puke.
Hockey-mom, soccer-mom, etc. are completely irritating nicknames. If I were a mother I would feel completely insulted.
And as I was writing this, there were two more HM references on the cable news channel I watch in the recording studio. God, STFU with hockey-mom already!
Can't send email through Outlook with Charter
Hopefully this will save you time. Charter practices port blocking. (see the bottom of this article for possible solutions that may work for you)
There are a lot of good reasons to practice port blocking - it cuts down on spammers, viruses and worms, adware/spyware, etc. The negative side effect is, sometimes it prevents certain services from working. For instance, email services and programs use a port (think of it as a tunnel through a wall) to send email. The normal port they use is 25, so Outlook defaults to that port anytime you set up an email address.
Charter blocks that port to prevent people from spamming through their system. (think of it as a guard at the tunnel) Fine, no problem. But they need to be open about that to their customers.
Three mornings ago I opened my laptop and discovered I couldn't send email. At that time I had no idea what port blocking was so I figured it was a temporary thing. When the problem persisted, I called Charter and over the course of two days, talked to three different "tech support" people. (in quotes to convey irony) They ran down their litany of canned solutions, probably straight from a cheat sheet list.
Even though I explained the problem in detail multiple times, they persisted in pointing their finger at Outlook, my computers and my router. (although ALL of them were afflicted with the same symptom at the same time)
Finally, it occurred to me that perhaps the port was the issue, and that Charter had made some sort of change. A quick internet search answered my question. The odd part, none of their tech support people, even their "supervisor of tech support," (even BIGGER quotes) had adequate knowledge to help me fix the problem. Google did.
This is rookie work from a company who provides a substantial percentage of Americans with internet service. They cost me at least a half-day of work.
Here's a solution that may work for you if you're having the same problem. Navigate accordingly:
Tools>Email Accounts...>View or change existing email accounts. Choose the account you'd like to edit and click "change." Click "more settings," then click the "Advanced" tab. The number next to "Outgoing server (SMTP)" is probably 25. Try changing it to either 587 or 2525. Port 587 worked for my Earthlink account, 2525 for my business accounts.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'll let that sink in.
...(checking my watch, drumming fingers, hum dee dum)...................
Okay, so this morning we're sitting at the Rendezvous having coffee and we're trying to think of an acceptable team name. Some of the ideas I contributed (which were all declined):
The Fighting Tampons
The Tight Ends
The Girth Seekers
See, it's just hard for me to wrap my mind around a female fantasy football league without the crude references.
So any ideas for Emily's team name? Do tell.
Monday, August 25, 2008
They will soon be able to use nanoparticles to direct chemicals to cancerous tumors.
"Cancer researchers have been trying to figure out a way to better deliver drugs, such as those used in chemotherapy, to cancer cells without blasting surrounding cells as well. Last week, scientists at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., devised a way to use single-walled carbon nanotubes as targeted medicinal delivery vehicles."This is an exciting development. I predict that in only a matter of ten to twenty years, as data and research capabilities increase exponentially, we will have cures for many or most diseases - including aging.
Is that red plastic foreign material in your Hot Pocket or are you just happy to see me?
"Nestle Prepared Foods Company is recalling about 215,660 pounds of frozen stuffed pepperoni pizza sandwich products, known as Hot Pockets Pepperoni Pizza, because the product might contain small pieces of hard red plastic and other foreign material, which pose a risk of serious injury to consumers."Part of my health regimen has always been to avoid Hot Pockets at all costs.
Is there a fairly simple surgical procedure that can cure diabetes? One doctor thinks so, but he's met with skepticism from his peers.
"In one experiment, he rerouted the upper part of the small intestine of animals that were diabetic (but not obese) so that food did not enter that part of the gut. Sure enough, those rats were cured of diabetes. Next, he compared gastric bypass in obese rats with a "draconian diet" to see whether the operation's effect on diabetes was solely linked to the animals' weight loss. "The operation was more powerful than the diet," he says. Finally, he did a similar comparison between surgery and insulin-boosting meds. Again, the operation won out."Does this mean I can eat Laffy Taffy by the pound again?
Ever wonder how men think of their age? This guy hits it pretty much on the head.
"I have this theory about men and aging. We have two ages: the age we really are, and the age we are in our heads. Most men are almost always about 31 or 32 in their heads — just ask them. Even Mr. Burns from “The Simpsons” is 31 in his head. One of the most universal adult male experiences is of standing before a mirror and saying, "I'm sorry, but there's been a horrible mistake. You see, that's not really me in the mirror there. The real me is tanned, throws Frisbees, and kayaks the Columbia River estuary without cracking a sweat."I look about three or four years younger than I am. I'm OK with that, but I seriously hate how the sun damages us over the years. I would look another five years younger without Sol's toll.
It's possible we've found an HIV cure.
What an incredibly complex and daunting task. If this works, it could be the most phenomenal medical accomplishment yet. I hope these guys find their financing.
I am also fascinated by the idea that miniature robots, nanobots mere microns across, will soon propel themselves through our bloodstream with a programmed destination and set of orders to kill specific viruses, diseases and mutant cells.
Saturday I answered an ad for a 2001 Honda Accord EX with less than 50,000 miles, priced at $2,930. (I figured it might be too good to be true but hey, I've never shopped Craigs List before)
Here is the response I received: (feel free to skim, it won't take long to get the gist of the note)
Hello and sorry for my delay, I`m Sgt. Harold Topping. The 2001 Honda Accord EX 6 CYL is in perfect working condition. This vehicle engine runs very, very smooth. This detailed vehicle makes the exterior look like it just came off the assembly line. The car has only 49,883 highway miles. VIN # [number redacted] ·
mirrors.· Power door
Here are the pics of the car : [link redacted]
(if the above link does not work copy and paste it into a new
web browser window)
As I know that my current situation is pretty special I want the deal closed only through eBay's Buyer Protection Program in order for you to be 100% protected. You will make the payment to eBay and they will hold the money until you receive the car. ONLY AFTER you receive the car and you inspect it(for 10 days) eBay will release the payment to me; in this way we are both
protected. Anyway i am sure that if you will don`t be satisfied about the car i will surely find another buyer in your area and there will be no need for you to ship the car back. I am located in Zagreb, Croatia and I was sent here to improve the military relationships between USA and Croatia. One months ago, my wife moved here with me and brought the car with her, but now we have to sell it back in the United States because we can't register it here; it has US specs and
everything, and registering it here in Europe will take for ever. My final price on it is US 2,930 $. If you will take it for this price, I am willing to handle the shipping. It will be shipped from here by plane with US Air Military Cargo so it will not cost me anything. You will get it to the nearest airport in your area and then it will be trucked forward to your place. You will receive the car in about 3 max 4 business days. Please get back to me asap if you decide to buy, and include in your e-mail your full name and address where you want it shipped so I can start the deal with eBay. You will receive all the transaction payment and shipping details from them.
Thank you and have a great day,
Sure I may be missing out on the car purchase of a lifetime, but I am pretty sure I'm just avoiding being bilked for $2,930.
The moral of the story - be careful with ads on Craigs List. If they don't list a phone number and the deal appears too good to be true, it's probably a scam. (the car in question blue books for three times that amount)
Craigs List is the latest breeding ground for the scam artists who live off of the misplaced trust of their victims. If they don't work harder to reduce the scammers, (as eBay did) their reputation will suffer.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Why is it people grind meat into hamburger, then mix stuff into it to make it stick together again?
It's called a steak. Try it sometime.
The news media spent a week talking up the latest Bigfoot sighting, only to find out it was a hoax. A hoax? Who could have predicted that? I've seen him a bunch of times eating beef jerky on TV.
Fill a rubber gorilla suit with road kill, put it in a freezer and Katie Couric shows up. Which is why I get my news from Comedy Central.
Also in the news lately, a baby whale in Australia strayed away from its mother and was being tracked by marine biologists in boats. The whale had been attacked by sharks, hadn't eaten in days and wasn't coping well.
So they put it down. Veterinarians decided it couldn't survive on its own.
But couldn't the whale have just been left alone so we could all imagine it found its mother and lived happily ever after so we wouldn't be crying uncontrollably on our keyboards while our ice cream melts and the computer's low battery light blinks urgently in the night?
Sometimes I think our two vehicles are unwitting toys in a huge Smash-Up Derby.
As I was wiping off the front of the van after a wash a few days ago, I discovered it had been hit. Less than three thousand miles on it and it's already in the body shop.
Damn, that's all.
I'd love to have one of those dash cams and get the license plate of the person who hit the van. It would be lovely to send Officer Friendly to visit them and extract the $1,600 it's going to cost to fix the grill and bumper.
I'm a freak about taking care of a vehicle. I keep them clean, change the oil when it's needed and repair the least little thing that breaks. You pay a lot for a car so you might as well keep it ship shape.
Here are a few tips. You shouldn't have to touch the outside of your car unless you're washing it. Rubbing up against it causes scratches, and sitting metal or hard plastic items on the hood harms the paint.
The cups they give you at McDonalds leak, so if they're left in the cupholder, expect a sticky mess. (While we're on the subject of cupholders, they aren't change repositories.) Leaving bug juice on your car long-term will cause permanent marks. The trunk isn't a mobile storage space.
Don't get me wrong, I still leave shit in the trunk and an occasional cup in the cupholder. My bad!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I'm pretty sure I can help. For those of you finding my blog* by searching the term "firm stool," here are two links that may help:
*I show up 5th on the list out of 2,600,000 results. Wow...
Every time I've traveled to Mexico I've been disappointed with the flavor of the food. We've Americanized to the extent that real, authentic Mexican cuisine seem a little flat. I wonder if we've done the same to Chinese food.
Mmmmm, I love me some Chinese. I'm calling Number One now. Or maybe New China. Eh, their menus are identical.
As an aside, if anyone knows the recipe for Ta-Chin Chicken, I'd love you forever. It's a dish they served in Columbia MO at place called Wang's Mandarin House, and I can't seem to find it anywhere... it's a crispy chicken dish with onions, green peppers and a delicious spicy brown sauce.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I set our Tivo to record it after hearing enough hubbub to peak my interest. I LOVED what I saw and like any good series, it made me want to watch all episodes from the pilot forward.
If you haven't seen it, the show is set in the dawn of the 60's at an advertising agency called Sterling Cooper. This appeals to me for a number of reasons... I was born only a few years later, and I'm in the advertising business. The series is only kind of about advertising, though, with the plot focused mostly on the lives of the characters.
Its period accuracy feels a little stereotypical, sort of like it's been filtered by our optimized memories and the movie Pillow Talk... but that is part of the appeal, and exactly what the producers were shooting for. Everything from clothing to family structure (bread-winning father, stay-at-home wife, well-behaved children) is staged perfectly to make the show sort of feel like a caricature of itself. (a la Sopranos, and not surprising since writer Matthew Weiner is a Sopranos alum)
Back in the early 60's men were men, kids were less dependent on television and did better in school, and life seemed easier. Unfortunately women were relegated to mostly support jobs and housewivery, and lots of molds were yet to be broken. Both the positive and negative social aspects are accurately portrayed and sometimes accentuated for effect.
I really look forward to Sunday nights, much the same way I did during the run of The Sopranos. 9 pm central, AMC.
"You learn you're gonna get a refund on your income tax. That's not a lucky break, that's not a coincidence. That's God letting you know you're on his mind. He's directing your steps, orchestrating even the smallest details of your life."No, I think it means you've been having too much deducted from your check every week.
And didn't athiests also receive the $600 stimulus checks? What is that, a bribe from God? Hush money? C'mon, Joel. We need answers.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Last night we enjoyed a delicious barbecue at Mike & Paula's with another couple, Wendy & Chris. On the way home, we discussed how those barbecues have changed since we had the baby. Before, we probably would have remained on the patio, built a fire and made smores, consumed copius amounts of Shreks and lied to each other until about 2 am. Now when the baby yawns, we head home to put him to bed.
Apparently the party continued after we left, because at about 9:30 I got two text messages from Mike and Chris, advising me to check my lawn.
Oh boy, payback from the time we TP'd Mike's yard.
It turns out these bastards were too lazy to do an actual TP, and performed a virtual one... which involves little more than saying you did it.
I'll tell you what though... a virtual TP-ing is pretty effective. It made me look, and just for a moment, believe. That's all they needed.
Two huge beef patties, cheese, more cheese and 6 slices of bacon. That's probably 1/3 pound of hog. They don't even bother to offer healthy toppings like lettuce or tomato. Hell no.
Just the name Baconator brings to mind arterial clogs, hypertension, stents and other such things. I'm pretty sure you'd need to pop statins like they were Skittles prior to consumption.
Steady, Dave. Steady...
Friday, August 15, 2008
Today I bought a 12-cell battery for it, which gives me a full six hours of use per charge. I've never gotten better than two to three before, so it's quite an improvement.
Eventually everything will run on batteries, including vehicles, and they will charge automatically just by setting the appliance near the charger base. (or parking the car in the garage)
Let me tell you something... anyone who works in broadcasting of any kind does so (at least partially) for the ego stroke. This video project is quite a departure for me. Em's Dad is an attorney and we're putting together a series of three television commercials for his practice.
I'm doing it in high definition. I rented lights, bought a microphone and software for the project and am feeling pretty good about it. I'll let you know how it came out. It's strange - at this point in my life, ego is no longer a thing. I like that.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
High speed internet is of great importance to my business. When I lay down a voice over session in the recording studio, the audio gets delivered via the internet to a waiting client. Because I upload hundreds of megabytes of audio every day, connection speed is big.
I paid $250 a month for years for faster business-level access. Now, because of the competitive nature of the market, I have five times faster service for less than 1/3 that amount. Here's the screen shot of a speed test of my Charter service taken moments ago:
If you don't know much about the internet, that's 96th percentile in the US. Wanna test your own internet speed? Try Speakeasy's speed test.
The future of high speed internet is fiber optic, with Verizon's FIOS offering up to 50 mbps... but fiber optic isn't available on a wide scale, and build-out is expensive and slow.
WiMax and LTE are duking it out for mobile carriers. Theoretically, you soon may need little more than your mobile phone to handle all of your internet needs, with speeds of LTE looking to reach around 320+ mbps. (20x my current speed)
For now I'll take the 16 mbps I have. Oh, and the iPhone gets about 1.2 mbps via AT&T's 3G. Soon those numbers will sound very slow... and we'll all be computing on a cloud with no need for a PC.
Violet loves when I talk tech.
I wonder if we're losing the ability to laugh.
During the course of the new movie Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller's character is repeatedly labeled "retard." The character is not really retarded, mind you.
So now people are protesting the movie. That's fine, protesting is a good thing. How else will you let people know how you feel? But understand that in this country, there exists no "right" to not be offended.
Making fun of ourselves (and each other) is a cornerstone of comedy. I like comedy. It tends to be funny.
The other day as I was giving my son "eskimo kisses," it occurred to me that I might not be able to use that term much longer, for fear of offending Inuits, Aleuts and others. (even though the term Eskimo seems in no way offensive)
Are we becoming so politically correct that we're harming the cause?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
But beach volleyball? Really?
I understand the fascination with Misty May... but c'mon.
And whatever happened to the discus? This is something I can relate to, considering I'm an ace frisbee thrower. It's the same thing, right?*
Why not billiards? Darts? Bowling? (and subsequently, the pitcher-beer-slam.)
Beer pong? Quarters? Hello? Let's make this fun.
Scrabble? I could totally kick some ass. Gold medal for Dave.
*I know, I know. Frisbee is to discus as snorkeling is to deep sea diving.