Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm a PC

Apple has been squelched in the UK for dishonest advertising. Apparently their characterization of iPhone's "full access" to the web has rubbed some Brits the wrong way, and they've taken their complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

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

Hockey: it's more than a sport, it's an insult

Now I have another term to be sick of.

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!

Palin for VP

John McCain has chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

I probably beat a lot of web services to this news, even as I sit here in my robe at my kitchen table. Gotta love New Media...

Charter: "We got innernet"

A search term that will help folks get to this article:

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.

Good luck.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Femme Fantasy Football

Emily is involved in a fantasy football league.

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

And now on the health beat...

At age 44, I'm more in-tune with health studies, stories and issues than ever. I'd like to live to at least age 200, and knowledge will be my catalyst. (and scotch, but that's another story) Here are a few news stories that have floated to the top lately:

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.

Dregs List

I'm searching for a reasonably priced, used vehicle for my daughter. Her '94 Taurus is on its last leg, so I'm using Craigs List to shop around.

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] ·
A/C.· Alloy
wheels.· Anti-lock
brakes.· Anti-theft
system.· Automatic
transmission.· Cruise
control.· Leather
seats.· Power
seats.· Power
mirrors.· Power door
locks.· Power
windows.· Power

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,
Harold Topping

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

For those keeping track

Olympic medal count courtesy of the NY Times. There is a natural advantage for the home country, but China is doing substantially better this year (in medal count and total # of gold) than anytime in modern history.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dollar store thoughts

I don't understand Viagra commercials. They feature guys making romantic dinners for their women, dressing up in the tuxedo from their wedding, sitting in a hot bath overlooking the ocean, etc. Look, you just took a boner pill. Strike while the iron's hot.


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?

Pet peeve

People who form nicknames for others (or themselves) using the first syllable of the person's first name, followed by "ster." Example, Davester.

Secondary peeve for usage of the suffix "meister." It's all sooo early 90's.

Crash, bang, crack 'em up, put 'em back again

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

Sampling of stools

I get at least 2 or 3 hits per day on my blog Googling the term "firm stool." A while back, after a trip to Mexico, I openly discussed being in search of a firm stool, and apparently I'm not the only one.

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:



You're welcome.

*I show up 5th on the list out of 2,600,000 results. Wow...

How you say... bland?

As I was watching the Today Show crew discussing and sampling different Chinese cuisine this morning I wondered... is Chinese food in China any better than Mexican food in Mexico?

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

Mad Men

There is something beguiling about this AMC television series.

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)

The characters possess zero realization that the world in which they are cozy is about to change dramatically. With the Kennedy era on the horizon, the cold war shifting into high gear and Woodstock and hallucinogens lurking in the not-too-distant future, it makes the 20/20 hindsight of the viewer feel even more delicious. The entire country is on a precipice... and nobody knows.

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.

Apparently God is the IRS

This morning on televangelist Joel Osteen's program:

"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

Text me a beer

Ah, drunk friends.

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.

Extra saturated fat, please

Where fast food is concerned, my favorite restaurant is Wendy's. Tonight as I watched a commercial for the new "Baconator," I wondered why they couldn't have come out with this sandwich back when I didn't give a shit about my health.

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

Batteries (included)

I bought a new laptop a couple of weeks ago. With a Vista 64-bit operating system and processor operating at a speed of almost 3 gigabytes, half a terabyte of storage and 4 gigs of ram, it runs cooler and much more efficiently than previous laptops, which allows me to run resource-hogging audio and video software.

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)

Video killed the radio star...

Today I conducted my first video shoot. I am producing a commercial that I will play no part in - no voice, no on-screen appearance, no apparent presence at all.

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

It IS the size of the pipe

If you don't give a crap about high speed internet, what I'm about to say will bore you to tears.

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.

Is the term "special" offensive as well?


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

Just as I feared...

Violet is an Olympics watcher. Actually I don't mind so much, it's kind of interesting.

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.

Monday, August 11, 2008

A lighter shade of Violet

On a road trip recently, I asked Violet the ultimate survival question: If you were forced to live off the land and could carry with you only what could fit in a one-square-foot backpack, what would you put in it?
Trying to be serious, my answers: A length of rope. A bag of salt. Two really sharp knives. Several spear tips. A piece of canvas.

Her answers: an iPod that could perpetually charge itself. A bottomless bottle of water. A magic lighter that would never run out of fuel.

So I changed my answer. I'd carry keys to the condo I had hidden out in the woods with a hot tub, satellite and internet.

We like to have those real chats.

Download me straight to hell...

Recently I began receiving a daily newsletter from a website called It's a Christian radio site I've never visited, so clearly I couldn't have put myself on their email list.

And yet I now get this daily, annoying newsletter... from The Lord.*

I can't seem to force myself to put it on my spam list. I mean, how could anyone ask Norton to filter God? If he's real, he's clearly a 'safe sender.'

Besides, he may be trying to email me my PIN.

Friday, August 08, 2008

And then there were eight

Happy 08-08-08! Let's all have a Scotch!

This day only happens every 100 years, (just like 07-07-07 last year) so I say we all take the rest of the day off.

Isn't there something cosmic about this day? There are eight planets in our solar system. There's GOT to be something to that, right?

Probably not? Well, at least we still have Scotch.

Are you going to finish your bacon?

More Gaffigan hilarity. He talks a lot about food. I wonder if there is such a thing as a bacon Hot Pocket...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Snatch the pebble from my hand

It is a common occurrance for lesser minions to approach me (the Insult Master) asking for advice. Below, exerpts from email exchanged this morning between a master and his apprentice.
Letter to me:

Dear Douche Nozzle, I need some advice. (blah blah blah, yada yada, nothing important)
My response:

... about the nickname "douche nozzle," when did you talk to the guys I went to high school with?"
From the underling:

"Douche nozzle" is our current nickname. We rotate them. We're looking for new creative nicknames though, can you come up with anything interesting to fuel our juvenile need?

So far, we're rotating "fuck tard", "douche nozzle" "ass clown" "ass crack" and the old mainstay..."moron". We have a lot of salespeople who fit the above descriptions so any help would be greatly appreciated.
My (clearly the Sensei) response:

In a few short lines, you've summarized many of my very favorite nicknames of all time. Douche nozzle only scratches the surface when compared to "ass hat," "ass clown" and "fuck-tard." Have you tried "bitch-lips" or "ass-face?" Those are old but tried-n-true.

A couple of the more hard-core ones I like are "dick with ears" and "turd with corn." Those are limited edition, and you must be highly selective about the company you use them in. They also burn pretty quickly, so use them sparingly. If you show 'em respect and love, they'll always serve you faithfully.

Also, never forget the good old stand-by, "_______-for-brains." You can insert anything topical, such as "offshore oil," "Olympic steroids" or even "McCain."

Then there are the insult lines that aren't necessarily nicknames, but serve similarly. Example - "Stay in the truck." I use this one occasionally with Emily when we're discussing something I know a lot about but she knows little. If you want to make a particularly poignant point, add "with the windows rolled up and the radio blaring." Again, a little goes a long way. Restraint is a gift, grasshopper.
Finally, his response:

This is a manual for all that need to be truly insulting. We've created a file with this as our prime tutorial!
Indeed, young one. Indeed. Now lift the hot coal-filled cauldron between your bare forearms, then go tell the world what you've seen here.

(Kung Fu was a freakin' awesome show, (1972-1975) we watched it every week. If anyone wants to get me the series on DVD, I wouldn't turn it down.)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dr. Mike and Paula and Ella and now...

Anna is on the way today! Dr. Mike and Paula entered the hospital before 6 this morning and the baby will be here soon. You can follow along via Paula's blog.

Anna will share her birthday with my daughter Courtney.

Happy birthday Courtney

It's hard to believe it was 19 years ago at Boone Hospital in Columbia that we welcomed your smiling face.

When I talked to you on the phone earlier this morning, you called me something you haven't for years... Daddy. (I've been Dad for 6 or 7 years now)

I can't wait to see you later tonight for dinner!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

They went that-a-way

How hard can it be to not get in a stampede?

What is it about third world or developing nations that makes their citizens prone to stampeding? Why the rush... I mean seriously. Is there a big sale down at The Wal Marts' Jakarta supercenter? (no, in this case it was the rumor of a landslide)

I've seen John Wayne stop a thousand stampedes. All it takes it shooting a gun into the air. Haven't the people in India seen movies?
I just don't get it. 150 people dead, many children. What a waste.

The only similar event we have here would be the wedding dress stampede. Have you seen these people?

Who's marrying these gals anyway?

Yes, I'm a coarse, harsh bastard. That's life, okay? ;)

Saturday, August 02, 2008

You know what grinds my gears?

The Olympics are an obnoxious, monumental waste of money.

I wonder how many lives could be positively affected by the money China will spend hosting the Olympics this year. Estimates put the figure at around forty billion dollars.* Imagine that. As a race, would we really rather spend that money on a garish, gaudy, wasteful display than help feed or heal those in need?

Does anyone really care about the Olympics, anyway? Isn't it really just a dated, steroid-strewn path to the front of the Wheaties box? Television ratings are generally fairly low... it's amazing that NBC can afford to pay billions just for the right to cover the events.

I say keep the Olympics but conduct them in existing facilities. Make them about sports and national pride, not buildings and audacious displays of pretension.

And why not give out pyrite medals?

*The Iraq war costs more than twice that every year. Imagine that, too.

He said nipple

So what do you think a baby bottle nipple would look like after three or four thousand spins in a garbage disposal?

As I fed leftovers into the disposal today, I heard a lot of excess noise. I asked Em if she knew what that might be... she said she noticed the noise earlier in the day but didn't know what was causing it. I grabbed a flashlight and this is what I found:

Actual photo of the nipple after the garbage disposal. Are these made out of flubber? Not a nick on it.

That's my job

One of my fatherly duties is weekend breakfast. We usually eat a hot breakfast of some kind; pancakes, eggs/bacon/potatoes/toast, omelettes, waffles... weekend mornings are always fun.

Now that Grayson is here, I'm honing my Mickey Mouse pancake skills. (With all due respect to Disney's copyright.) I used to make them for Courtney all the time, but it's been a while. Here's this morning's effort, with blueberry pancake batter:

Em and I had to split his, since he's still on the bottle. I hope he learns who Mickey Mouse is, since it would be a real bitch trying to make a Bob the Builder cake.

My folks (mostly Mom and Grandpa) made me Mickey cakes as a little boy. It's one of my great childhood memories.

I feel safer in the water already

Sitemeter causing blogs to crash

Last night as I was trying to load my blog, it kept crashing Internet Explorer 7. I rebooted, figuring it was some kind of fluky thing. Nope, it's a big problem.

It appears IE 7 is the only browser affected, I had no problem loading it via Safari and Foxfire. I removed the Sitemeter link to my front page (had to do it through Safari) and I'm in business again via IE 7.

Sitemeter changed their code yesterday without an announcement or, apparently, any testing.

I can't even load Sitemeter's main page on IE 7. There are no notices of any kind or any acknowledgement of problems on their site... prompting me to rename the service:

Gotta love Photoshop!