Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I've done a complete 180 on 180s.

So, I found a pair of "180s" ear warmers in the lost-and-found at our shop a few winters ago. Not to sure about the whole ear-muff thing, I washed them up and immediately threw them in a corner. But in a pinch one January I put them on for a winter bike ride and EUREKA!(latin:I have found it!) I was able to kiss sore throats and sinus infections goodbye! They are that good. Don't get the crappy imitations though because, well, they are crappy imitations. Depending on the time of year you can pick them up for between 8-15$.


Monday, September 22, 2008

DING DONG!!! The Witch is Dead!!!

Philip Schoonover,the CEO of Circuit City, was fired/forced to step down by shareholders this week. Schoonover was the jackass who fired 3,400 of Circuit City's most experienced employees because "they made too much money". Understandably, this crushed employee morale and helped lead to a 11% drop in sales this past quarter alone. How does it feel, Phil?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Mass Exodus

From time to time I turn to the Bible for comfort and religious guidance. I mostly stick to the parts quoting Jesus as he seemed to be compassionate and level-headed. Jesus was a "cause guy" and I dig that about Him. But then I get to the parts of the Bible that they somehow never covered in Sunday school and I have the shit scared out of me. Take this little, chicken noodle soup for the soul, passage for example:

20 “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money".
--Exodus 21:20-21

Got it. I'm glad we have the whole legality thing cleared up when it pertains to beating another human being with a club. But what's even scarier is how "Christians" will try to put a positive spin on the whole passage like this joker-->Link. Oh, I get it noowww. They weren't really slaves, per se, but willing employees. I like how these "defenders" debate the semantics of slavery and completely ignore the fact that the Bible is condoning physical abuse. Still need a little more guidance concerning your responsibilities in the slave trade? Read on...

"When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl's owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment". (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

Wow! Polygamy too? This is definitely the band wagon that I want to jump on. Not.
No wonder they called this part of the Bible "Exodus"...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Same Planet, Different Worlds

"Live simply so that other's may simply live." -Ghandi

Note: The second photo was taken by South African photographer Kevin Carter during the famine in the Sudan. This heartbreaking photo of a collapsed girl on the way to a relief station is entitled "Wanting a meal" and won him a Pulitzer Prize. Three months after receiving the award Mr. Carter committed suicide. He was 33.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Engineer Gets 110 MPG Out Of '87 Mustang

I normally won't comment on anything related to the state of Ohio but this is the exception. Click this LINK to hear about an important invention that will probably be sabotaged by an oil-company spy.
So a guy(Doug Pelmear)in his garage can figure out something like this but highly paid engineers at automotive and energy companies can't? I wonder how many inventions/modifications have been shelved as it just might cut into oil profits. I thought this quote was interesting:
"I'm an optimist, and I think people need to know there is hope out there," Pelmear told the Toledo Blade. "That's why I decided to enter the X Prize race. I could have sold this [technology] off, but then people might not have seen it."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ode to George

He was crude, lude and rude but he sure will be missed...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A World Not Worth Living In...

While we focus our attention on rising gas prices, the "Presidential Election" and Heidi Klum being given a "Peabody Award" Link, it's only natural that a little thing like the extinction of Frogs and Bats might slip under the national radar. Both populations have been declining from loss of habitat but now they both have a fungal disease which is threatening their very existence. And of course the fungal disease is being attributed to the rise in global temperature. Even if you never really liked frogs and/or bats I bet that you like the fact that they eat more than their body weight in bugs everyday.

But I for one like frogs and bats, God Dammit!!! I used to catch (and release) frogs as a boy and I've always felt ever-so-grateful to the bats flying around my head because I knew that I wouldn't be attacked by mobs of mosquitoes. So even if you don't like those creepy frogs and spooky bats could you please do me a personal favor so I might want to continue to live on this planet? Could you please not drive to the store in a Hummer while you pass a bus full of people using mass transit? When you produce a product could you do it responsibly? Could you not have a family of three live in a 4000sq. ft. house? Maybe you could build your house in the city rather than woods or wetlands? And, ironically, when you go to visit our remaining natural wilderness could you please not drive a fucking 8-mpg Winnebago to get there? What's it going to take for some of you to get on the fucking bandwagon and help the cause?!? The extinction of dogs, maybe? Or how about horses? Birds? Man? Do you honestly want to see your children or grand children live in a world where they will never get goose pimples from a bat flying outside their window or hear the chorus of frogs on a warm, spring night?

Maybe you don't give a shit about that. If that's the case then at least do it for yourself. With warmer temperatures and more insects in the air that means Malaria will be coming around soon. It's already spreading in America's south. Maybe West Nile Virus, I heard that's pretty fun to contract. And don't forget that Ebola, Impetigo, Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever like it when it's hot out.

We are Americans. And as Americans we produce 25% of the world's pollution even though we account for 5% of the human population. We have to do something or at least try to do something for bats, frogs, our kids, ourselves, our planet and our future as a species. And if you still don't care about the world we may live in then I leave your heart with one more bit of information for it to ponder. The Koala Bear is on it's way out the door as well...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

John F Kennedy

The assassination of President John F Kennedy. We have all seen the grizzly video of him being shot to death. So much so that we forget sometimes that he was a human being who was murdered and not just our president being assassinated. Most of us have accepted the Warren Commission's finding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and was solely responsible for the murder of JFK. "Conspiracy Theorists", a label given to people that disagree with the Warren Commission's report, have rightly said that we should not trust the report as it was basically a government report which was written by a government trying to protect itself. Now the internet is providing the public with more information, or clues, as to what really happened. Below are two YouTube videos that have put me into the "Conspiracy Theorists" camp.
The first video video has been referd to as, "The Speech that got JFK Assassinated":

Eerie, huh? Who exactly was he warning us of? It makes you suspect of some of the things that are going on today...

The second video raises questions about the governments handling of his security:

So here's another question: where have these audio and video tapes been?

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Sorrow of India

As if the world's food supply wasn't precarious enough, there is a ghastly epidemic of suicides among India's farmers. By one estimation, over 160,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1997 although the official estimate is an average of 10,000 per year since the early 1990s. Crop failures, free trade policies, indebtedness, little irrigation and lack of governmental support have led a seemingly hopeless situation for the farmers. To compound the situation, most of the suicides have taken place in only four states which has psychologically devastated India's agricultural region.
Here is a link if you would like to learn more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

America Waves...

This LINK will take you to my very own internet radio station! Well, it's more of an internet playlist, actually, of musical artists on KIAC. The site allows you to check out artists of all styles and compose your own listening page. It's a great way for up-and-coming artists (even Willie Nelson!) to get some exposure for a nominal fee. But if you just want to listen and maybe set up your own page it's absolutely free! Check it out!

P.S. My personal favorite is "America Waves" by Emile Millar. He wrote the song after watching a documentary covering a family's coping with the death of their son in the Iraq war.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Public Urination

I was perusing my local Craig's List for musical instruments when I came across an ad for an electronic keyboard. The price for the 3 year-old keyboard was absurdly high, higher than if you purchased it new, but that's not what sparked my ire. The ignition came when I saw the attached photo diplaying the keyboard leaning against an outdoor storage unit. I decided to pseudo-inquire about the keyboard and learned that it has been stored inside the locker, "for the past year or two". That means that the ELECTRONIC keyboard had been subject to temperature extremes ranging from -20 degrees to say 110 degrees along with gooey humidity. This kind of alarmed me since we have had two computers die on us after storing them for only a few months in our basement. The best part was that the seller said that she had lost the power adapter so I wouldn't be able to turn it on in order to test it(?????) unless I went out and purchased my OWN adapter.
That really pissed me off so I placed my own Craig's List ad warning others about the pitfalls of an over-priced electronic keyboard that had been subjected to humidity and dizzying temperature extremes. One Craig's Lister replied and thanked me for the observation as he was considering purchasing it. But another was not so thankful and let me know it. Here is her reply...

from:jean nel(deleted)@sistermoonglo@(deleted)

"Oh for Chrissake, not EVERYONE is a price specialist like you morons.

Most people on CL don't do extensive price checks.

Cut the person a break, so what??

Go to hell you loser CL police..."

Needless to say, I was crushed. I try to do Jean a favor and this is what she gives me! So I then poured myself a Diet Pepsi, sat back and responded to her in that warm, fuzzy way that I am so noted for...

"Hi Jean and thanks for answering my Craig's List ad. I also appreciate your summer-traveling advice recommending that I go to hell. But I must say, Jean, that I have no intention of visiting the state of OHIO anytime in the near future especially with gas prices being what they are!
However, you completely missed the BIG PICTURE concerning the criticism of the CL post. The ELECTRONIC keyboard (which is a fairly delicate ELECTRONIC gizmo), had been stored for months in an OUTSIDE storage unit thus subjecting it to sub-zero temperatures, humidity and extreme temperature variations. Would YOU recommend buying it?
As for the price--Don't you think people should check things out before they post or buy? All you have to do is GOOGLE it and you have results in seconds. Try it now, you might learn something. I'm not a "PRICE SPECIALIST" but I do know what a fair asking price is and I don't want to see people (who are not internet savvy enough to use google) get ripped-off. People have every right to sell an item for whatever they want but others have the right to call them out on it if they are trying to price gouge, sell potentially defective/dangerous merchandise or are some con artists out of Nigeria. But I guess I should just keep my mouth shut and let people lose their money because it upsets your fascist principle of "anything for a dollar".
So please, Jean (or sistermoonglo or whatever the hell you call yourself), go piss up a rope and try thinking about things before you have another one of your spastic/knee-jerk reaction fits. Remember, Jean, we are only here to help you.

(The Official Observers and Overseers of Craig's List Acquisitions)"

I guess I don't know what to think about this whole stupid experience. Craig's List is a great tool for us common folk but some of the stuff that goes on can be disheartening whether it be Nigerian scam rackets, sexual predators or a person just trying to sell you complete junk. My only advice is to research any product for sale and only deal locally. Oh, and if you have any rope you'd like to sell, please post it on Craig's List so Jean has something to urinate up.

Verdict? Jean sucks!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

There's Improv Everwhere!

Improv Everywhere causes scenes of chaos and joy in public places and that's all I'm going to say about it. Just watch the videos below...

Every boys dream...

Poking fun at "The Man"...


Improv Everywhere performers are unpaid, uncorporated, and unwashed volunteers. I'm a member and you can be one too! Sign up and join a local chapter today!
Click here: Improv Everywhere

Verdict? Improv Everywhere Rocks!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Charity Begins at Home

A local news station recently featured the St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores in our town. The spokesman for "St. Vinny" said that because of the sluggish economy, donations were less than usual and that contributions of household goods like would be greatly appreciated. This call-to-arms led me to a day of closet/basement rummaging where unworn clothes were washed, unused items were located and dust bunnies were dusted. "Hot Damn!"--altruism and spring cleaning in one karmic bundle!

So I make the call to the donations office and a very nice lady asks me what kind of items I would like to donate. I rattle off the list--bed frame, new speaker stands, clothes, vacuum cleaner, computer monitor etc. She then tells me that all these items were acceptable and asks if a Wednesday pick-up would be good for me. I said it was and asked for a time. "Well we can't give you a time", the nice lady tells me. "If you can't be there then leave the items in your driveway or porch before 8:30am and they'll pick it up between then and 5pm". Hmmm, so I have to go "redneck" for a day and leave all the stuff in my driveway even with this April showers thing going on. But it's for charity, right?
So I agree to have it picked up and spend a good chunk of time Tuesday night hauling the items up from the basement and covering everything in plastic for the next days pickup. I'm then in and out of the house Wednesday and notice that the items are still there and I start to become a little anxious considering we are supposed to receive an inch of rain the next day. At 3:30 I call the nice lady and she assures me that the items will be picked up by 5pm and not to worry. Well, it gets to be 4:45 and I start to worry. I decide to call the nice lady again but I get an automated recording that says that their office closes at 5pm and won't I please call some other time? Ahhh! The nice lady cut-out of the office early!
The time is now 5:20 and I call again only this time I leave a message basically asking what's going on with my pickup and should I leave it out again tomorrow even though the April shower thing will be in full swing. As soon as I hang up the phone the truck pulls into the driveway. Hurray! Relieved that I won't have to blog St. Vincent, I start to get that altruistic glow all over again...
But what's this? The driver pulls away and leaves most of the stuff in the driveway!!! He takes the clothes and the vacuum but leaves all the other items! I then start to over think the situation. Maybe his truck is full and he has to come back? Did he not the think the other items were for pickup? I leave the nice lady another message asking why the man left me with all the stuff that I am trying to get rid of and do NOT want to haul into the basement again. Oh, the horror...
While I'm scratching my head trying to figure out what to do with this stuff I notice some papers sticking out of our mailbox. One of the papers was a rejection letter that the driver filled out. There were several boxes on the form that he COULD have checked (unrepairable items, needs cleaning, weather damaged, etc..) but he checks-off the "Items Not in Demand" box. But attached to this paper is a donor/tax deduction receipt that the nice lady printed off which lists, "4 bags of misc, 1 bed frame and two-speaker stands" as my donated items. WTF? They originally tell me that they need these items but now they say they don't!
So I guess that the driver felt that people do not need a bed frame to sleep on, a stand to put their speakers on, a computer monitor to see what they're typing or a printer to print what they've typed. Either that or it was the end of the day and the driver felt that the light weight items were more in demand than the heavy ones. No demand for the bed frame, huh? I guess that's why I CARRIED that thing for a half mile to my house when I found it so that my mattress wouldn't be on the floor. And don't they use those twin-bed frames at their homeless shelters for people to sleep on? No one could use a 20" computer monitor, right? I guess that's why I bought a monitor similar to it from St. Vincent when I first moved to town. Yet when I was in St. Vincent this past weekend I saw the same jig-saw puzzles, porcelain figurines and tea sets that have been sitting on the shelves for the past three years. But then again knick knacks are a little easier to load onto a truck...
So the gist of the story is that even a charitable institution/business is more than capable of not following through on a deal. Even though they depend on people like me for free merchandise they have no problem with sifting through the donation and leaving the rest of it in your driveway even after they agree to collect it. I try to give to them and this is what they give me!

By the way, if you are the type of person who likes to have your mattress on a frame or your speakers on a stand then please email me for my address. It's all still sitting in my driveway...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Hope of Nader

Ralph Nader has tossed his hat in the Presidential arena for a third time. Some say that this is for the good and some say it's for the bad. A "Spoiler" some call him. Some incorrectly say that a vote for Nader is a wasted vote (a truly wasted vote is a vote that wasn't cast) as he has no hope of being elected president...

No hope? On the contrary, Ralph Nader's entire life has been fueled by hope and hope is what drives his campaign. It was hope for a better America that drove him to fight for legislation that has made our lives livable. He was instrumental in implementing the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, Mine Health and Safety Act, Consumer Product Safety Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and dozens of other essential laws that impact our daily lives. He has started or helped start over fifty organizations that provide hope for Americans such as Congress Watch, Clean Water Action Project and Freedom of Information Clearinghouse. The man's hope has provided us essential laws that allow us freedom and safety and yet he has never been elected to a governmental position.

He hopes that people recognize all his accomplishments. He also hopes that voters recognize that he actually practices what he preaches. He doesn't own a car because he feels it would be hypocritical since he's taken on auto companies and big oil. He buys his off-the-rack suits for $90 because he has preached for both individual and governmental fiscal responsibility. He hopes that voters will recognize that he has been the candidate for real change long before Obama wrote, "The Audacity of Hope". He hopes that although he has never been elected in a government election, that people will recognize that he has more legislative and political experience then the ex-first lady/carpet-bagger senator offered in Clinton. He also hopes that people will remember that a position challenging wars can be just as patriotic as supporting wars. Unlike McCain who has based his whole campaign on his personal war achievements and current support of the Iraq war.

So, what if the planets align and people decide not to vote for the lesser of two-evils and actually vote their convictions? Let's say that a shocked congress that is afraid of losing their own jobs to an independent get behind President Nader. His vision, his hope is now being parlayed into Presidential action. What would it look like? Well, we now have the secured borders that we hoped for and NAFTA has been revised to be fair to all three countries not just two. Corporations that ship jobs overseas no longer receive goverment tax breaks and grants. Our economy is flourishing as we now operate under a philosophy of "Fair Trade" and not a "Free Trade".
We are now the leader in environmental technology which has created thousands of high-paying tech jobs while drastically curbing our CO2 emissions. With the implementation of "Universal Health Care" all Americans have health care and the burden is now lifted off of U.S. corporations, allowing them to become more competitive in foreign trade. The nation's collective psyche is less strained now as it watches it's soldiers permanently returning from the Iraq war. We now no longer have troops in Iraq, Bosnia and...ah, fuck it. Maybe it IS too much to hope for...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

At Last! last.fm!

Boy, I sure like music. Do you like music? Wow, really?--then hold my hand and let me take you on an e-ticket ride! The name of the ride is www.last.fm where we can gorge ourselves on tons of free music!

In all seriousness, last.fm is a great place to be. Just enter a band, album or song in the search bar and you'll see a list of possible matches. Make a selection and then you'll be directed to the bands page with a list of songs. Just press the link and you've got yourself the tune! It's that easy. Most songs are the full length and only a few are the 30 second demos. There are also links to vendors if you wish to purchase the cd.
Best of all, you don't have to download any goofy software to be able to listen. You don't even have to enable 'cookies'. What's also nice is that they list bands that are in the same genre as the one you have selected. My musical tastes are all over the map and I have found every band that I did a search on. Another good sight for exploring new music is Pandora.com which will play music streams based on your musical tastes/preferences.

So set aside a few hours, keep your hands inside the car at all times and take last.fm for a ride!

Verdict? last.fm rocks!

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Life Span of a Logitech Z-5500 Speaker System...

When it worked, my Logitech Z-5500 speaker system provided me with great joy. BLISS! if you will. I had it piped into my computer and when I played music I would hear notes, octaves, trebles and crescendos that I never knew existed! When playing war games like "Medal of Honor", the mortar explosions and rifle shots were so life-like and powerful that I would have ARMY basic-training flashbacks. But now my audio beloved seems to be nearing the end of her two-year life cycle and now my world has become much colder. And much darker...
TWO YEARS?!? Give me a fucking break! Of course the sub-woofer has to blow after 26 months----2 months after the warranty expired. Dammit! The worst part is I don't know what exactly is wrong with the system. The Woofer? The Amp? The System Control Panel? And after researching this little problem it seems that I'm not alone. The sub-woofer seems to be the Achilles Heel of this otherwise work of art. Dammit! I got a GREAT deal on mine but normally this thing goes for around $300 new. Could I at least get 4 years out of it? I look on Craig's List and see Yamaha and Bose speakers for sale that are over 30 years old!
By the way, if you have ANY suggestions regarding this problem please feel free to chime in as any and all help would be appreciated. I'm on the Logitech forum as well:
Logitech Forum
Verdict? Logitech sucks!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Panera revisited...

This is in reference to my "Panera's Frozen Goodness" post from 1-9-2008(see below).
The quote from Panera's home page simply states,"Enjoy bread baked from fresh dough every morning". When I first read this I took it as implying that you should be enjoying their bread which is baked from fresh dough every morning. Which of course, as I stated, is rather hard to do when the dough is made in a centralized location, shipped by truck to the store, kept in a cooler until it is then baked that night.
But now I see their loophole. The statement, "Enjoy bread baked from fresh dough every morning" can also be taken another way. That you should be enjoying their baked bread every morning. In other words, you should be purchasing and eating their bread every morning. Ahhhh, now I get it!
Nice doublespeak there, Mother Bread, you got me on that one.
You can check it out for yourself at this link: Panera and watch the animation which tells you to enjoy their bread.

Verdict? Panera sucks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Panera's Frozen Goodness!

Ever see those BIG Panera trucks that roll down the highway? Guess what's in them? Your bread, that's what. If you look on there web site they have a photo of their bread loaf with a caption reading, "Enjoy bread baked from fresh dough every morning". What they don't tell you is that the dough was made in a centralized location then shipped to local stores in semi-trucks where it is THEN baked. The dough arrives during the day then baked at night and then sold to you the next day.
But what about those yummy cookies and cinnamon rolls? The dough for their pastries is shipped frozen before it is topped with glazing, nuts or whatever and then baked.

Verdict? Panera sucks!