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Thursday, March 31, 2005

On 2nd Thought, It Makes Sense...

So, Hilary Swank, fresh off her Oscar win, jets off to New Zealand and promptly gets fined $163 for bringing an orange and an apple into the country. She appealed it to no avail, stating that after 20 hours on a plane, she forgot she had the offending fruit with her.

At first glance, this seems really stupid, and under further review it seems like an obvious cash cow for the government when its revealed that thousands of visitors to New Zealand get nailed with fines every year for bringing fruit into the country.

However, the article also states that the country has these extremely strict quarantine guidelines in effect to limit the damage from incoming insect pests. Apparently, its successful in keeping the pests from entering the country and thereby saving the country billions of dollars in damage to crops and livestock that wreak havoc in other parts of the world.

So, all in all, a freaky law that actually makes sense. Considering the SARS scare from the other year that was developing into a global scare, keeping close tabs on what is let into the country makes a lot of sense...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

A Conundrum or Just Plain Old Stupidity?

Yahoo! News - Online Gamer Stabbed for Selling Cyber-Saber

So, one guy stabs to death another guy that sold his 'saber'. The thing of it is, the 'saber' never really existed. It is a weapon used in an online game. That's it. A game piece, in a virtual world...

How people are so into this stuff that they are spending hundreds of dollars on virtual product that doesn't even really exist is truly unbelievable. Now, somebody actually murders somebody else over it. People are out of their minds...

Now the courts have to weigh in on it. The murder should be pretty obvious, but this started when the dead guy sold the other guy's game saber that never really existed. So, the dude goes to the cops and finds out there is no protection for virtual items even tho his buddy had just made $800 out of thin air (which means somebody else out there paid eight C notes for nothing real). Finding he had no recourse for his buddy selling what he 'owned' (but actually didn't in the real world laws), he lost patience and stabbed the guy to death, even tho he had offered to give him the money.

This is just plain stupid. It's one thing to get ripped off by the con artists that haunt "feEBAY" and the crooks behind Paypal, but at least that's over tangible goods (well, most of the time. A woman just sold her name! She will be paid 15 grand to legally change her name to an online betting casino's website...whatever, that's another story). In this case, there was a murder committed over a non-existent item! Just sad. When will people start using that God-given grey matter between the ears?!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Dodge Charger Reborn...

...THE classic muscle car of choice...(well, personal choice :)

...and the NEW Dodge Charger. Just doesn't have the same kick-ass look, if you ask me. Besides, this looks like a family sedan, for cryin' out loud...

I can see why they may use this as a police car, cause in the end, it's whats under the hood that counts. Still, couldn't they have come up with better design? oh well...still like to test drive one, though :)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

That is NOT a Kidney Bean!

This is why I always stir my chili first...

Yahoo! News - You Want Fingers with That?

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A diner at a Wendy's fast food restaurant in San Jose, California, found a human finger in a bowl of chili prepared by the chain, local officials said on Wednesday.

"This individual apparently did take a spoonful, did have a finger in their mouth and then, you know, spit it out and recognized it," said Ben Gale, director of the department of environmental health for Santa Clara County. "Then they had some kind of emotional reaction and vomited." (No Shit, Sherlock!!!)

Local officials launched an investigation after the incident on Tuesday night and the medical examiner determined on Wednesday that the object was a human finger.

Officials are trying to determine if the finger came in the raw materials Wendy's used to prepare the chili, Gale said.
Wendy's International Inc. corporate office did not immediately return a call for comment. Wendy's is the third-largest hamburger chain.

....oh man...ewww, just, um, ewww....that is wrong on so many levels. I think this is worse than that batter-coated, full fledged chicken head found in the McDonald's chicken McNuggets......oh well, always look before you eat

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

But a Crown Vic is easy to spot!

Yahoo! News - Many Police Depts. Drop Crown Vic Suit

CHICAGO - Dozens of police departments in Illinois who joined a lawsuit alleging that a popular police cruiser is unsafe have dropped out because they said Ford Motor Co. threatened to stop selling them the cars.
Officials said switching from the Crown Victoria Interceptor to another vehicle would cost them tens of thousands of dollars, and the specially built police cruiser is still favored by many departments.
"I think it's coercion by Ford," said Trisha Murphy, a plaintiffs' attorney involved in the lawsuit.
Jim Feeney, an attorney for Ford, said approximately 120 police agencies in the state have dropped out of the lawsuit and more are planning to. He said the automaker just wants the departments to decide if they really want to sue.
"The bottom line is either they are serious about the lawsuit and the claims in the lawsuit or they're not," he said. "If you think the vehicle is unsafe — we don't — but if you do, don't expect us to supply you vehicles."
The Crown Victorias have been the focus of legal battles since 2002, when municipalities around the country began alleging in lawsuits that the vehicles explode too easily in rear collisions.
Since 1983, at least 15 police officers nationwide have died in fiery crashes after their cruisers were hit from behind
Officials in some communities have decided to stay committed to the lawsuit. The community of Northlake, for example, has decided to convert its small fleet of Crown Victorias to Chevrolet Impalas.
"It just rubs me the wrong way that they can try and push everybody around," Mayor Jeffrey Sherwin said

.....I hope this doesn't affect the local PD in any way...I'll want to know if they switch, so I'll know what to look for :) To quote Rockford - "When did the Feds switch to Chevys?"

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Back Again...

Well, long time, no post. Finally starting to feel better from that flu, and I didn't even get the worst of it. Nasty thing going around, hope it stays clear of me for a while...

The Comic fan in me is starting to get excited...Sin City opens in 10 days and I am barely able to wait...then today, Xmen 3 movie confirmed the new director and opening day (May 26/06), so let the rumors and gossip on the message boards I frequent kick into high, Brian Singer has started shooting Superman Returns, due out June '06. So this year we get Sin City (probably going to be the best of the lot if you like dark film noir like I do), Batman Begins (trailer looks good), Fantastic Four (jury still out for me - this looks like it could go either way), and V for Vendetta and Serenity (from the Firefly TV show) in the fall...then next year we get X3 (yeah!), Superman Returns (interesting), Hulk 2 (really?), Watchmen (better get it right) Plus, word is that Punisher 2, Nick Fury, Preacher, and a Wolverine movie (better not mess this one up!) are all in the works. Cool for me, but having this as a hobby soaks up a lot of time on the net reading all the rumors...kinda fun though :)

Ok, so what else is new? Having some time off sick, I got to watch some TV I hadn't been able to see for a while. Always liked the show CSI, but working nights, I wasn't able to watch. However, I found Showcase and Spike networks are burning through reruns of the show, along with CSI Miami, so I've been able to watch some of these eps. I like the original CSI the best, as the characters are more interesting and in a weird way seems more grounded. CSI Miami is more 'cop show with forensics' instead of the more science/profiling focused CSI. Still a cool show tho, and David Caruso is fun to watch even if he tends to state the obvious too often :) Still, the actor who plays Grissom on CSI is my favorite character to follow. He's all about the evidence, rarely letting conjecture or personal feelings get involved in the cases. Still, stuff does get to him, which is why he rides roller coasters :) Also, the actor who plays Grissom, William Peterson, was also the actor in the movie Manhunter, and was excellent in that movie about profiling. I remember we watched that movie in my college profiling class and then discussed. It was petty interesting. Speaking of college, the forensics class I took was my favorite. Got to do and learn some cool stuff. (you could smash a pane of glass and I could put it back together and tell you what side you were standing on when you broke it...or you could fire a few rounds through a window and I could tell you which bullet was fired first and the impact order...then there's blood splatters telling the tale of where the victim and attacker were during the old fave 'blunt object' attack...smoke and burn marks telling the tale of where a fire started...I could go, that was a cool class :) That's probably why I enjoy the CSI shows. However, considering my job experience with video, I laugh my ass off every time they get a video clip on the show, take it to the lab guy, and get a perfect picture of a face, or a face via a reflection (!), or a license plate. I don't think so, people. Maybe, just maybe, if you're NASA, but it doesn't work that way in the real world...

Speaking of the real world, time to get back to mine...

Monday, March 14, 2005


...So the other day, I was cruising the Yahoo Launch Music site and went to the Chris Ledoux page. There was a link for 'Chris Ledoux Radio', so I started that. Had a really solid mix of good songs, with more Ledoux songs than others. However, this one song came on I hadn't heard in years, and with the first few guitar strums, I instantly recognized it from a long time ago, and quickly started an audio recording program I have on my computer and recorded the song to MP3 while it played. I had a weird deja vu moment - I was back in my old bedroom in 1990 dashing for my old tape deck to tape it off the radio. Only this time it was more high tech ;-) Anyway, great song...good memory...

Now I'm standing at the crossroads in life, and I don't know where to go.
You know you've got my heart babe, but my music's got my soul.
Let me play it one more time, I'll tell the truth and make it rhyme,
And hope they understand me.

Now I lay me down to sleep...
I pray the Lord my soul to keep...
If I die before I wake...feed Jake,
he's been a good dog,
My best friend, right through it all...
if I die before I wake...
Feed Jake...
(Feed Jake, by The Pirates of the Mississippi, 1990)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Cowboy Up

Well, that was an ugly week. This nasty flu bug going around took out my boss big time which resulted in me being on call answering phones 24/7. Still am too, all weekend to boot. (Nothing quite like being woke up at three in the morning -repeatedly). Then on Friday night, I started not feeling right. Luckily, it doesn't seem to be the real bad thing going around, but a head cold and mild sore throat isn't exactly a good day out either. At least it doesn't seem to be getting worse - no fever and no stomach problems, so maybe I'll dodge the worst of it. So far, I've been able to Cowboy Up and keep going, but it's been a hard run, and hence the lack of blogging. The crew should be back tomorrow, so I think I'm going to take a sick day and try to get a good night's sleep for the first time in a while. To quote Seinfeld from that Kenny Rogers Roasters episode, "I am on NO sleep!", that was a funny episode. Also had that famous line from Newman about broccoli - "Vile Weed!" Classic.

Well enough of that. (and no, I don't want any cheese with my whine ;-) On to some music highlights of the week...
Toby Keith's new one, 'Honky Tonk U' is a cool song with a Waylon Jennings vibe. However, an even better tune is Dierks Bentley's new song, "Lot of Leavin' Left To Do." I wasn't a big fan of his first few singles, however, if he puts out more like this, he'll have a new fan. Of course, with the obvious Waylon sound, it's no wonder I like the tune. (Two new tunes with a Waylon vibe - don't know what's up with that, but it's all good). I heard Dierks' new tune while driving in my truck today. Turned it up and loved this great lyric:

"I guess the Lord made me hard to handle
So lovin’ me might be a long shot gamble
So before you go and turn me on
Be sure that you can turn me loose
‘cause I still got a lot of leavin’ left to do"

Apparently, its from his new album due out May 10. That makes 3 new tunes I've heard this weekend that got my attention and possibly would have led to an impulse buy. However, the fact that the albums aren't due out for a couple of months squashed that. I probably wouldn't have bought Toby Keith's anyway, even tho the tune is good. However, Dierks tune was good enough it may have made me purchase the album on that one alone. By the time May rolls around, it won't be high on my priority list. I had to go to the net to find out about the album and hear the tune again. The other one was a new group called the Road Hammers, led by Jason McCoy. Saw their new video on CMT, but have no idea when the album will be out. I understand that they want to build attention to the new song and album, but by having the single lead the album by two months is a bit much. Hmmm, good songs that you can't buy yet - couldn't have anything to do with this whole downloading thing I keep hearing about, could it? 'course that's a whole different story as the record companies continue to alienate they're own customers. I pop a disc into my computer with the intent to listen to it, and it won't let me unless I let it install some new software. Um, how 'bout NO!?! Had to play it through my playstation. Oh well, they can't stop the sound from coming out of the speakers (what is this, 1985? Mix Tape anyone? just kidding :) Speaking of which, I read an article lately about trying to play legally bought and downloaded songs on one's IPod. I guess the format you download a song in is designed not to be able to be transferred to a portable device. However, I learned that if you burn it to CD and then rip it back, you can transfer it to the format of your choice. A bit ridiculous, no?
Anyway, carry on...

Friday, March 11, 2005

Open mouth, insert foot...

Yahoo! News - Smooth Talker Apologizes
OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian member of Parliament charged with improving ties with the United States apologized on Thursday for saying "let's embarrass the hell out of the Americans in front of other countries."
The gaffe by Marlene Jennings came exactly two weeks after Canada's Liberal government irritated Washington by refusing to join the U.S. missile defense system.
Jennings -- the parliamentary secretary for Canada-U.S. relations -- reports directly to Prime Minister Paul Martin, who came to power in December 2003 saying he wanted better relations with Washington.
"I would apologize to the members in this House that my comments were a little bit exaggerated. I apologize," she told the House of Commons elected chamber of Parliament.
Jennings, who is herself half-American, accused the United States on Tuesday of refusing to adhere to trade treaties it had signed with Canada. One way to strike back, she suggested, was to shame Washington internationally.
"Let's embarrass the hell out of the Americans in front of other countries that they are attempting to negotiate with on new binational trade agreements ... let's just do it on the public scene," she told a parliamentary committee.
The opposition Conservative party, which says the Liberals have a history of needlessly antagonizing Washington, demanded that Martin fire Jennings for making her remarks at a time when the United States is blocking imports of live Canadian cattle.
"The Liberals have once again shown their anti-American bias ... This strategy is like poking someone in the eye and then asking them for a favor," Conservative legislator Diane Finley told Parliament.
Last November Martin kicked MP Carolyn Parrish out of the Liberal caucus after she stomped on a George Bush (news - web sites) doll on a satirical TV show.

...huh, I guess no one has a sense of humor anymore...what seems to be forgotton here in this overzealous PC BS, is what if what she said was true about the US refusing to adhere to trade treaties? Isn't somebody here missing the point?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Sad News...

Yahoo! News - Country Singer Chris LeDoux Dies at 56

"CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Chris LeDoux, a world champion bareback rider who parlayed songs about cowboys he knew on the rodeo circuit into a successful country music career, died Wednesday from complications of liver cancer. He was 56.
LeDoux died Wednesday in Casper, according to Judy McDonough, spokeswoman for Capitol Nashville, LeDoux's recording company."

...Always one of my favorites...there were few of my playlists that didn't have a Chris Ledoux song on them. Just goes to show how you gotta Live, cause it never goes on long enough. So here's to a dying breed, and a real life Cowboy...Vaya Con Dios...

"Now there's one less tornado in Texas
And a saddle that's empty tonight
There's one hell of a cowboy in Heaven
At that big rodeo in the sky
Ohh that big rodeo in the sky"
(One Less Tornado, by Chris Ledoux from the album Horsepower)

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Finger or Itchy Nose?

During the Bachelorette Finale, (make no mistake - I didn't watch this crap, I read about this on the net - Big difference ;-) did the guy flip her off after she shot him and his proposal down? I hope, can we get this typical dredge of lazy TV programming off the air? Whatever happened to shows that you actually wanted to tune into week to week? Oh well...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Sitting in front of a computer, thinking I'd rather be here... Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wacky HTML

I've played around with my Blog settings a bit. Anyone can now post comments, you don't need a blogger account. You can post anonymous, leave a name, or login. Keep in mind, you can't go back and edit your comments unless you post the comments under a Blogger account login...

Then, to see how it worked, I posted a comment on the last post. Then I deleted it and posted something else. That process was rather buggish, and when I came back later it showed the same comment posted 4 times. I think it was my bad, tho...besides, I'm too tired to worry about it, so they can stay put...

If you haven't already, you gotta check out the trailer for the upcoming movie Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It's out April 29, and it looks like a riot. It looks like its staying true to the classic book too, from what I've read on it. I wasn't familiar with the original work, but I gotta see this flick. This wasn't even on my radar till I tripped over it on another site. Looks like maybe a sleeper hit along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean. April is bookended with two movies I can't wait to see - Sin City on April 1 and now Hitchhikers Guide on April 29....something to look forward to for a change, I guess...

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Still Learning...

Well, last night I setup and figured out Blogger's Hello program for pictures. Now I can post pics on my blog. Then this morn, I figured out how to edit the HTML to add links to the sidebar on my tho this stuff is HTML 101, its new to me. Eventually, I'll figure out enough to get my own website going...

Watched an ep of Extreme Makeover, Home Edition on Sunday night (I know, I know, but it was either that or the Oscars...Booooring!). They remodelled the home of this family where the Mother and Father were both deaf and raising two sons. The older son was healthy, but the younger son was blind and autistic. Somehow, this family was making a go of it and seemed remarkably well adjusted. The older son had to carry quite the load as main communication conduit for the family, but he didn't seem to mind the responsibility. Anyway, the two hour show followed the team's rebuild efforts to improve this family's life and home during a week while they sent the family on vacation. The put in all kinds of technology to help them communicate and keep tabs on the younger son, who in the past had managed to find the keys and wander off. They put computers and camera's in several rooms so that they could sign to each other throughout the house. A lot of cool stuff was done...

Sure, the show tends to lean into self-congratulatory territory a little and tries a little too hard to be emotional, but it is nice to see a makeover / reality show that acutally improves lives and puts money to good use instead of the usual disgusting reality fare. I've watched a few episodes and it's usually pretty fun to watch them put in cool and useful things designed to help the particular family that week. The one show in Texas, they even brought in Randy Travis, and he sang at an impromptu show to raise money and was even shown working on the house. On this show, they brought in deaf actress Marlee Matlin who helped organize a scholorship for the older son so that he could go to college. It was a pretty cool show, and reminded me of how I still want to learn sign language. I have no use for French, but sign language would be a very useful second language...