Friday, March 30, 2007

OK, I'm a little too plugged in, maybe ...

I read this article in The Chronicle today while sitting on the CalTrain about a guy who is videoing his whole life, 24/7. Kind of a tired idea, but it has generated some buzz for the novelty factor. The guy's name is Justin, and they are running a live feed here.

I checked it out and find it somewhat interesting, I have to admit. Being that I am online 12+ hours a day it's a little fun for me to see live action internet type stuff. I also like that they're in San Francisco, like me. Good times.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quote Of The Day

George Jean Nathan

"Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Knut = Cute

Unless you live in a cold, dark, and non media news outlet friendly cave you have probably heard of little Knut the Polar Bear in the Berlin Zoo.

If not, well, here's an introduction. Knut is a captive-born polar bear that was rejected by his mother at birth, along with his brother. The brother died after 4 days and the zoo keepers separated Knut from his mother and have since raised him. What a story, a saga even.

Anyway, Knut was instantly plastered all over the news outlets across the internet, and a certain someone close to me (the Magyar) actually used Knut as a gchat icon, which meant that I had to see even more of him every day. Now, I am one who as a rule generally shies away from the overly cute. I don't know why, but I just do. Not my schtick. However, after about 2 weeks of seeing Knut in gchat icon form and then form time to time in news reports I have to admit it: Knut is pretty damn cute.

Upon closer inspection the equation is pretty simple: baby animal (white baby animal) + some pics with various toys = one cute little bear. Instant media success. You can find more pics of Knut via Google here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not Interested

Because I work in Sales I hear the words "not interested" more often than I would like. Fair enough. If I've shown the product, given you the pitch, and you're still just not gonna buy from me, then I can understand your position. Sometimes (unfortunately) people just don't want to buy something no matter how much it makes sense business-wise. I usually try to sniff these folks out beforehand, to avoid wasting both our times, but it doesn't always work. That's life.

What makes me snicker though, are these folks I call up, and before I can even introduce myself or what we do here, they tell me they're not interested. One has to ask logically, "how can that be?" I've yet to tell you anything, and yet you're not interested? What, pray tell, are you not interested in? Talking on the phone? Why'd you take the phone call?

Granted it's a great way to shut me down before I even get ramped up, and you're probably a piker to begin with, but you should at least do yourself the favor of listening to what I have to say before you tell me you're not interested in it. It just doesn't make sense to tell someone you're not interested when you don't even know what it is they're offering you. If nothing else, you should come up with a more grammatically and logically proper way to shut down the other person.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Bad Things Happen

On a completely random note: You know who got shafted in life? Ron Goldman. I don't know why this guy popped into my head, but I looked him up on Wikipedia, just to get the more or less full story.

Basically, here's this dude that was working the LA Life, i.e. he was a struggling model/actor with a service industry job, and he swings by Nicole's place and -BAM- dude gets filleted. Sucks for you, man.

Things like this kind of freak me out. They make me really wary of life in general. Crazy shit happens just like that. One day you're an aspiring actor/nice guy, and the next day you're dead. Caught int he middle of some botched robbery/love triangle. RIP Ron Goldman.

My Issue with Anarchists

I saw the above video from, you can see the link here. It reminds me of my cardinal issue with Anarchists: they have no clue as to how the real world operates. They are as idealistic and mislead as the Neocons they oppose so vehemently.

Why do I say this? Because you wanna know what real anarchy looks like? Try Sarajevo. Try Kosovo. Try Eastern Africa. Now, in all honesty, I have not been to any of these places. I am, however, a real student of history and a lover of data in all its forms, so I've read up on these situations. The picture I get is not a pretty one: total chaos with no rule of laws, no semblance of order whatsoever.

The mere fact that these folks were able to get together and hold their little rally is proof enough that what we have today in America, while not perfect, is a hell of a lot better than what anarchy could provide. For one, nobody got shot. In true anarchy these folks would be preyed upon by someone bigger and stronger than they, and there would be no recourse for them. So, the dude with the camera would likely be beat down, and his camera stolen. The women would be raped after the dudes they were with were pummeled and most likely summarily executed. That's anarchy, people. The complete lack of organization and order in your day to day life.

I can accept that you are unhappy with the current political situation in the US. I can accept that you are against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. You are not alone in these sentiments, as a simple scan of any newspaper would reveal. However, putting on a black bandanna and burning soldiers in effigy is not the way to posit your ideas in the right arena. In all honesty, the way I see it is that to take that tack is just a vain way to be part of some "underground" scene. You're not really going to affect change, and deep down anyone with any sense in their heads can see that. There's no large party of anarchists plotting to overthrow the government. In fact, wouldn't it be oxymoronic for anarchists to be organized? What you're left with is a group of people who are disenfranchised and looking for something to complain/rebel against. The government is a big, easy target to find and so they rally around.

Get a life, people.

Friday, March 23, 2007

More 'Genius' Ideas to Thwart Evil Telemarketers

This one is actually quite funny, but only because George is singing to the theme song for The Greatest American Hero.

Paintings By Brandon Bird

A coworker of mine turned me on to this guy's site; I think the artwork is awesome! I invite you to go to Brandon's Site directly. What makes the work interesting ot me is that he takes pop icons (from Christoper Walken to Chuck Norris and Noam Chomsky) and puts them in interesting situations, which are somewhat surreal. You can see some of my favorite works form his page posted below.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Commentary Right On Point

I'll try not to get too political here, but this article I recently read on the LA Times website makes a great point, one that I've pondered in the past.

For all their talk about how noble and great the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are, why are there no Bushies over there in either of those locales? It just speaks to the point that either a) this war is pointless and everyone (GW included) knows it and/or b) the class divide in America is so great that a war like the present is essentially a war for the rich being fought by the poor.

Notable passages excerpted below:

The president tells us Iraq is a "noble" war, but his wife, his children and his nieces and nephews are not listening. None has enlisted in the armed services, and none seems to be paying attention to the sacrifices of military families. Until Jenna's trip to Panama, the presidential daughters performed community service only when mandated by a court after they were cited for underage drinking. Since then they have surfaced in public during lavish presidential trips with their parents, bar-hopping outings in Georgetown and champagne-popping art openings in New York.


The presidential nieces and nephews also have missed the memo on setting a good public example. Ashley Bush — the youngest daughter of the president's brother, Neil, and Neil's ex-wife, Sharon — was presented to Manhattan society at the 52nd Annual International Debutantes Ball at the Waldorf Astoria. Her older sister, Lauren, a runway model, told London's Evening Standard that she is a student ambassador for the United Nations World Food Program, but she would not lobby her uncle for U.S. funds. Her cousin, Billy Bush, chronicles the lives of celebrities on "Access Hollywood."
"Uncle Bucky," as William H.T. Bush is known within the family, is one presidential relative who has profited from the Iraq war. He recently sold all of his shares in Engineered Support Systems Inc. (ESSI), a St. Louis-based company that has flourished under the president's no-bid policy for military contractors. Uncle Bucky told the Los Angeles Times that he would have preferred that ESSI, on whose board he sits, was not involved in Iraq, "but, unfortunately, we live in a troubled world."

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Jerry Seinfeld Fires Back

I never call people at home (or if I accidentally do, I apologize and then hang up), so this doesn't really apply to me, but I can understand the sentiment. Then again, Jerry, there's just a dude on the other side of the line doing a job. A simple "no, thank you." followed by an abrupt hang up would suffice.

Big Dog Sales Manager

Yet More Google Wackiness

Frequent readers of this blog, or heck, new ones now, will know that I am a big fan of 'The Google'. I have a personalized homepage, amongst other services (like, say, this blog), and when I discovered that we now have themes available to us I was like a kid in a candy store. Who doesn't like to put some custom color on their monitor?

From the Google Blog:

Today we're releasing six themes for the personalized homepage that try to solve these challenges: a city, a teahouse (super cute -- this one is my favorite), a winter scene, a sky, a beach and a bus stop. All of our themes are dynamic: they change with your own local time of day, current weather conditions or season. If you add the beach theme, for example (changes with time of day), it will ask you for your Zip code and adjust itself to match your local sunrise and sunset times. So if you happen to be stuck in a windowless office, you can at least crack open a cold one and watch the sun set over your desktop.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Saga of a Dead HD

So last week my Hard Drive died, and for anyone that has ever experienced this it's a royal pain in the ass. I depend on my computer very much, being that I am in the tech sector, a writer, and I don't like cable TV at all. It is not uncommon for me to spend 14+ hours a day in front of a computer.

Naturally when this happened I at first went back to Apple to see what they could do. The tech there in Palo Alto was nice enough; he informed me that he could provide me with a replacement HD the same as the one that had just failed for about $300, parts and labor and that it would take 7 - 10 days. While he explained this he also mentioned that it might be worth my while to investigate 3rd party (outside) vendors to see if it wouldn't be possible to upgrade the HD at a comparable cost. To his Sales credit, he did ask if I wanted to speak to a Salesperson on the floor there about a new laptop (and I was tempted, but declined).

So I began investigating my options that night. A new Mac laptop was gonna set me back about $2k for anything worth my while; and after some investigation I determined that a new 80 gig HD installed was gonna run me somewhere in the neighborhood of $260 from All Things Macintosh on Potrero Hill in San Francisco. I had to evaluate my usage of the computer (mainly net cruising & word processing) against my desire for something new and shiny, and in the end I just went for the new HD.

So far I've had no problems. The peeps at ATM were really cool, and they were super helpful. I Yelped them. :) This could have been a much harrier experience, but it went fairly smoothly. As a bonus: while taking my lap top to the ATM offices I took myself on a self guided tour up and down Potrero Hill, which if you haven't seen it, has absolutely amazing views of downtown SF.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pride & Prejudice: Or, The Sales Floor Drama

In Sales it's a day by day competition that drives us to excel. If you can't handle that atmosphere, then you're not going to do well in Sales. Some atmospheres (Sales floors) are cut throat, others are more lax, but there will always be competition and numbers don't lie. There's money out there, and you're all vying to be the one to take it. Welcome to the game.

Whenever new people come onto a Sales floor they're immediately in the midst of the crew. It's almost a little unfair to people because the learning curve can be quite steep, but there again it's just the nature of the business. On our particular floor we're rather close knit and more of a team than a gang of thieves looking to stab each other in the back. I guess you could say that's our "corporate culture".

Some people come to our offices and they just blend in rather naturally. This is due in large part to their personalities, professional experiences and ambitions. Other folks, well, they just rub the team the wrong way. I suppose it's the same with any office, really, but in an open air Sales floor such as we have in my office the impact of someone who doesn't keep the hive humming is particularly pronounced.

So, given the already competitive nature of the Sales floor and the particular format we adhere to, there is a level of competition and pride that abounds at our work. Competition to succeed and pride when you do succeed. Part of the pride comes from doing your job well; this means finding the good lead, following up on it, and closing the account. It kind of goes without saying that to not close your own accounts is a little amateurish. It can be expected in newbies, but eventually anyone worth their salt will be able to do it their selves, or they shouldn't be here in the first place. There should still be the sting of lack of accomplishment in that 'victory'.
Pyrrhic at best ...

It's exceedingly taxing on morale in my office when "Sales Professionals" I work with are given full compensation for work they did not see through to completion. OK, so you got a lead, but you didn't close it. You wouldn't be able to close it, and that's why someone else had to step up to the plate for you. I know it's best for the firm, and I can't argue with that logic, but I don't like having to suffer my own defeats while others get paid for what is essentially their lack of ability.

Also, when those same parties gloat in their 'accomplishments' it steams me up even more. Too much pride on my part? Possibly. But, as someone once said: "A man's got to know his limitations." Operative word being man.

Ted Rives: If I Ran The Internet

Originally came across this video at Tyler's blog, and I thought I'd repost it here.

I love the new success of video in web 2.0, and will post more on that in the next post. It's revolutionary stuff. I couldn't find the transcribed lyrics so I transcribed and posted them after the jump. Click through if you want to follow along.

If I controlled the Internet
You could auction your broken heart on eBay
Take the money, go to Amazon
Buy a phonebook for a country you've never been too
Call folks at random till you find somebody that flirts really well in a foreign language.

If I were in charge of the Internet you could mapquest your lover's mood swings
Hang left at cranky, right at preoccupied, u-turn on silent treatment
all the way back to Tongue Kissing and Good Loving.
You could navigate and understand every emotional intersection.

Some days I'm as shallow as a baking pan
but i still stretch miles in all directions
If I Owned The Internet
Monster and
Friendster dot com
would be one big website.

That way you could listen to cool music while you pretend to look for a job and you're really just chatting with your pals! heck,
If I ran the web -- you could email dead people.

They would not email you back.

but you'd get an automated reply.
their name in your inbox, that's all you wanted anyway
and a message saying, hey it's me...
I MISS YOU. Listen you'll see being dead is, dandy
now you go back to raising kids and waging peace and craving, candy.

If I designed the internet, would be a loop. of a boy. in an orchard.
With a ski-pole for a sword, trashcan lid for a shield shouting
now follow me ok?
Grandma dot com would be a recipe for biscuits and spit bath instructions (1, 2, 3)
that links with...
Hot Diggity Dog dot com that is my grandfather
they take you to
Gruff ex-cop on his forth marriage dot dad
he forms an attachment to
Kinda ditzy but still sends gingersnaps for christmas dot mom
who downloads
The Boy In The Orchard
The Emperor of Oranges
who grows up to be
the guy who usually goes too far
so if I were Emperor of the Internet, I guess I'd still be mortal huh?

But at that point, I would probably already have the lowest possible mortgage
and the most enlarged possible penis
so, I would Outlaw spam on my first day in office,
I wouldn't need it!
I'd be like some kind of Internet Genius.
and me? I'd like to upgrade, to deity and maybe just like that.

I'd go wireless.
ehhh? Maybe GOOGLE would hire this
i could zip through your servers and firewalls like a virus
until the world wide web is as wise as wild and as organized
as I think a modern day miracle slash oracle can get, but
ohhhew weeeeee, you wanna bet
just how wack and un-PC your Mac or PC's gonna be when I'm rocking hot shit hot shot GOD dot net

I guess it's just like life. It is not a question of IF you can, it's do ya...
We can interfere with the Interface
We can make you've got hallelujah the national anthem of cyberspace.
Every lucky time we log on.

You don't say a prayer,
You don't write a psalm,
You don't chant an ommmmmmm
You send one blessed email

Whoever you're thinking of
daddle a da da daa daa didaddle-la-daddle-la-daddle-la-da daddle da
dot com.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

An Example of Ingenuity and the Good Things Capitalism Can Accomplish

Saw this article on the Reuters network and thought it was great. Here's a guy taking old mortar shells, implements of war that killed thousands of folks, and making something that is genuinely artistic. I think this is inspirational. I like how his son, who works with him, saw it:

"We take these objects of war and turn them into objects of pleasure," says his son Mehany, 22, who works proudly beside his father. "Maybe, this is a message for the world."

I second that emotion.

Web 2.0: The Machine is Us/ing us

A coworker sent me this video, and I liked it. It speaks a lot to how I use computers today, as more than just a box to mash my fingers against and more as a linking system, a way to reach out and expand myself into the world and vice versa (this blog is a perfect example).

Win Ben Stein's Column

Saw this originally posted here, and wanted to repost, as I really thought it was interesting. Ben Stein's the guy from Ferris Bueller's Day Off with the old "Bueller, Bueller, Bueller ..." line. He also had his own TV program, which I thought was very entertaining back in the day.

Terribly Exciting
By Ben Stein
Published 3/12/2007 12:09:31 AM

A few days ago, a man from a slick new magazine about business sent me an e-mail. He wanted me to do a column for him about what was "new, hot and exciting -- or terrible -- in business today." The only catch was that he did not want me to complain about the rich. This is what I sent him:

Here is what's new and hot and exciting (or terrible) in the world of money today:

The average wage of the American worker adjusted for inflation is lower than it was in 1973. The only way that Americans have been able to maintain their standard of living at the middle and lower ends has been to send more family members to work and to draw down savings or go into debt or both.

The most sought after jobs in the United States now are jobs in finance in which basically almost no money is raised for new steel mills or coal mines, but immense sums are raised to buy companies, recapitalize them -- which means pay the new owners immense special dividends and other payments for going to the trouble of taking over the company. This process results in fantastically well-paid investment bankers and private equity "financial engineers" and has no measurably beneficial effect on the economy generally. It does facilitate the making of ever younger millionaires and an ever more leveraged American corporate structure.

An entire new class of financial entity has been created called "the hedge fund." It is new not in the sense that there were not always funds that hedged by selling short or buying assets uncorrelated with other assets. The new part of this phenomenon is that it is based on a demonstrably false premise: that these entities can consistently outperform wide stock indexes. They have not and cannot, and yet their managers and employees for a time are paid stupendously well.

As with the private equity function, the main effect is to siphon money from productive enterprise into financial manipulation. Or, to put it another way, to siphon money from Main Street to Greenwich or Wall Street.

Starting MBA's at hedge funds, which are basically gaming enterprises, get paid multi-six figure sums. Starting teachers in the state of Florida get paid $28,000 a year.

Here's what else is new and exciting (or terrible) in money: there is real poverty among the soldiers who fight our wars. There are fist fights to get children into $30,000 a year kindergartens and pre-schools in the right neighborhoods in Manhattan. There are 40 million Americans without health care insurance. There are almost 40 million baby boomers with no savings for retirement. There is a long waiting list for Bentleys at the dealership in Beverly Hills.

There are soldiers' wives selling blood to buy toys for their kids. There is a man selling non-functioning body armor who threw a $10 million Bat Mitzvah for his daughter.

In Brentwood, where the houses start at $3 million, the housewives complain about what a terrible country America is. In Clinton, South Carolina, where the textile mill closed fifteen years ago and there is real hardship, the young men still believe in America and their fiancees at Presbyterian College wait for them while they fight in Iraq.

This is a small part of what's new and exciting (or terrible) in America in the world of money right now.

I never heard back from the man at the slick new business magazine.

Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He also writes "Ben Stein's Diary" for every issue of The American Spectator's monthly print edition. You can now subscribe to Ben Stein's Diary for just $1.95 per month. Click here to subscribe. And to subscribe to the full magazine, click here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

VoIP Sucks

When you work for a tech firm and your whole day is spent on the phone trying to convince people that your product is worth their time and money you need to come across the line in a clear fashion. I can handle the delivery and pitch, but I expect my company to provide me with a decent line. So far our provider has really dropped the ball this week, and I get more instances of "who are you?" and "what did you say?" than I'm comfortable with. It sucks.

I can only speculate as to how many sales we lose because of this stupid shit.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunday: Man Day

Spent Sunday lunch at The Magyar household, enjoying traditional Eastern European fare. For those of you that don't know what that means, it's basically potatoes, cabbage and some sort of meat. In this instance it was fried chicken. Very delicious, and not like the fried chicken I'm used to here in the states. It was leaner, and not breaded. I'll say this: Hungarians eat well. Of course, that's when there's not a Soviet commander in some building ordering rations of all supplies.

Speaking of rations, the food was pretty good and I had quite the appetite, so I requested seconds. This resulted in Mama Magyar referring to me (in Hungarian) as a "real man." Don't know how I feel about that exactly, but so it goes. If you like food and eat a lot of it, you're a real man in Hungary. Grrr! My testicles swelled with pride, and then I ate two portions of dessert as well.

So we had a nice lunch, after which we met up with some more Magyars to suck back some traditional Hungarian brandy (the specific name of which I can't recall). The stuff was essentially futyulos; if you've never had Futyulos, it's a cross between kerosene and Everclear, with some sort of fruit flavor beneath the burn. In this instance we were offered Pear and Plum, both of which I was encouraged to try and which resulted in me getting just a wee bit tipsy.

So at this point we were having a very Hungarian day and I wanted to go plow fields and hunt wolves and what not, but the girl had other plans. There were pub quizzes to be taken, so off we went to Berkeley.

In Berkeley we met up with Jon, her old friend, and his lady. They have an awesome loft in this old converted hangar (at least, that's what it appeared to be to my untrained architectural eye). Jon had a genius idea to barbecue in the loft citing the high ceilings and sky lights which he opened. People were skeptical, but I applauded Jon for his foresight and ambition. Grilling indoors? We've got adequate ventilation and drive, what's to stop us?!

Cut to 30 minutes later when we've placed a tri-tip on the grill and the thing is smoking like mad. Smoke alarms start to go off and general panic ensues. Jon and I make a quick assessment of where the smoke alarms are located, and we get to work. Jon takes care of the down stairs culprit and I go upstairs only to realize that the smoke alarm is located near the ceiling, about 8 feet from the roof of the bathroom (already 8 feet tall).

Not wasting any time, and putting our team work instincts to use, Jon boosted me to the roof of the bathroom (he's like 6'6", so this was a no-brainer) and then he handed a tall chair up to me, so I could rip the battery out of the alarm. Disaster averted, no authorities were summoned. I even got to use a Metal Gear Solid move in getting down from the bathroom roof by hanging off the ledge and reducing the drop distance from 9 feet to about 3. Yeah, go ninja me!

After this little episode we sped off for the pub quiz at The Albatross. In the mean time Magyar got some disappointing news and was a Grumplestilskin, but she tried her best to wear a smile through it all. The Albatross is an awesome place and we had a great time, despite the fact that our team fared pretty poorly at the quiz itself.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Unanswered Questions

You know, I make a lot of calls a day (200+ a day, typically). I've complained and discussed secretaries here a few times before, so this is not new territory for me.

Sometimes I'll call these guys up, and I get the secretary right off the bat. OK, fair enough. I realize that they have a function in the business (typically to weed out guys like me ...), and they're just doing a job. Again, fair enough. But what I don't get is when they ask me 20 questions just to turn around and tell me that he's not there! What's up with that?!

Me: "Hi, this is Wes calling for X."

Them: "Um, who is this?"

Me: "This is Wes from the X Company."

Them: "Where are you calling from?"

Me: "San Francisco. Is X available?"

Them: "What is this regarding?"

Me: "I just have some questions I need to run past him if he's there."

Them: "Oh, he's not in, would you like to leave a message?"

Seriously. Why did we have to have that little dance? You could have saved us both a lot of time by just letting me know, from question 1 that he was not in the office. I realize that you might be screening me, but this is a terrible way to do that. It just wastes my time, your time, and potentially a client's.

Warriors ... Come Out and Plaaaaayyy!

Went to see the Warriors play the Nuggets in Oakland last night, it was a lot of fun. If not so much for Baron Davis and the local team support, I really wanted to see Alan Iverson play before he retires. Speaking of Iverson, not only did I get to see him play, I got to see him dunk on us (which, although cool, is a little embarrassing at the same time).

Any trip to the Oakland Colosseum/Arena is always fun. You never know what you're gonna get. I've never been to an NBA game before, nor have I ever been to the Oakland Arena. I've been to the Black Hole for Raiders games (right next door), which is totally an experience any football fan should try some time. I have to say that the Oracle Arena was pretty nice. The monitors were big and the whole place was very clean, very orderly. In fact, I'd say it was better maintained than the Colosseum altogether.

Oh, and for those who don't get the post title, I've provided a convenient clip from The Warriors courtesy of YouTube.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Damn. One More Reason I Love My Mac

Originally posted here.

We're not exactly sure what Apple's impact test procedures are for MacBook Pros, but a bullet in the side makes quite the statement. A mugging victim in Brazil avoided a trip to the ER thanks to his trusty bodyguard, a seemingly bulletproof MBP. According to the image holder (who isn't the victim or MBP owner), the lappy continues to function, although it isn't clear to what extent. Obviously, popping caps to to the top, bottom, or not-so-centered spot on the side might result in a less a heroic outcome, not to mention a busted machine. As far as brawn goes, MBP ain't no Toughbook, but at least it took one for the team.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

As If You Needed Another Reason to Use Google

Google, already a website that I use daily (homepage, chat, email, search) has upped the ante once again.

I love maps, and I love the spatial data contained in them. That's uber dorky, I know. For a long time I've used for any directions I may need somewhere, and now they've made the site better by adding a traffic function to it! Apparently this came out a little while ago and I just never noticed it until recently. I don't drive much, so that's partly an explanation (as if I had to justify myself :P).

Anyway, if you use Google Maps for directions, now you can see the traffic before you step out the door. Even better, if you have a BlackBerry or similar such phone with web browsing you can get this info on the go! Neat!

Since we're on the topic of maps, I'm going to direct you to Wikimapia (which is also linked to the right). Wikimapia follows int he same vein as Wikipedia in that you can add and edit places. It's a beautiful marraige of open source community driven input and maps. Yay!

Tucker Carlson: Officially Out of Things to Say

Tucker Carlson, everyone's favorite bow tied political pundit, has officially run out of clever things to say. The announcement was made yesterday on his television program, when he recalled an instance where Ann Coulter described him as gay. In the same breath Tucker told everyone that he had children (implying that Coulter's statement about him was not only a slur but also a damn dirty lie (imagine that, Ann Coulter being less than honest!)) and that he was somehow 'tougher' than John Edwards because he was not making a big deal out of it.

Tucker, you're done, dude. When you resort to "I was once called a name and I didn't care!" your writing has hit a new low. You're supposed to be a politico, making with the clever speak, the good stuff, and now you're just boasting about your thick skin in the face of Ann I'm-Actually-A-Man Coulter's quips? There's a lot more that you could be doing with your time, and I think those kids you mention benefit more if Daddy actually tried for once. Hell, I don't even watch your programme but I'd like to see you up your game a little just so that you live up to that oh-so-pretentious little bow tie of yours (yes, two mentions in one post).

BTW, when you're having Pat Robertson (who -- everyone -- speaks to G*d) agree with you, you're not keeping the best of company.

Article below:

Monday, March 05, 2007

John Edwards and Prayer

I was reading an article about John Edwards and how he thinks that Jesus (from the Bible, not the taco joint on Mission/22nd) would be 'appalled' at the state of America today. I'm not going to wade into that whole debate, but it's a valid assumption. I mean, Jesus, as far as the Bible tells us, was a pretty mellow dude who espoused love and tolerance -- two things America is in short supply of these days (so it seems).

Anyway, what really caught my eye was this little tidbit from that article:

Edwards also said he was against teacher-led prayers in public schools, but he added that "allowing time for children to pray for themselves, to themselves, I think is not only OK, I think it's a good thing."

I had to really agree with that. I think a small time devoted to personal reflection & introspection would benefit a great many young people. In fact, I could see that under the right circumstances it could inspire an entire generation of people who didn't mindlessly recite prayers out of rote but instead took time to reflect on themselves, others and the world itself. It wouldn't be tied to any one faith, so everyone could basically 'pray' about whatever. Meditate, even. Now there's an idea.

So Easy a Caveman Could Do It

I love the GEICO caveman commercials. I think they're very funny. There's a tongue-in-cheek cleverness to them, and the campaign has evolved in a somewhat organic fashion (there's something like a storyline/narrative going on in them). The end product is a fun character set that still gets the product across. Case in point: Thew and I were considering being the GEICO cavemen for Halloween this last year (but it never happened, for one reason or another).

When I saw this article I had to laugh. Pretty good stuff. I wonder what the ad agency that came up with this campaign is getting?

Geico Cavemen Make Way To New Television Series

March 5, 2007 7:30 a.m. EST

Maira Oliveira - All Headline News Reporter

Los Angeles, CA (AHN) - The popular Geico "cavemen" may soon have a permanent spot on television.

On Friday, ABC announced they have ordered a pilot for the hairy, uncivilized men. Fourteen pilots are currently in the planning stages and shooting is scheduled to begin this spring. The pilot is also being written by the advertising copywriter who created the cavemen for the insurance ads.

The two cavemen characters were made popular by Geico commercials. In the ads, the insurance company's pitchman insists their website, loaded with information, is easy enough for a caveman to use.

The comedy will follow the cavemen as they "struggle with prejudice on a daily basis as they strive to live the lives of normal thirty-somethings in 2007 Atlanta."

"Cavemen" will reportedly be the title of the new series.

As a bonus, I am also linking my favorite GEICO commerical from YouTube. Good times.

So Good, I Had To Post It

Spent Sunday at 'church' in Half Moon Bay, i.e I went to Cameron's. Those who don't know Cameron's should just check my review for the skinny:

user photo
Wes T.

Written: 153

02/20/2007 5 stars

Cameron's is an awesome pub in Half Moon Bay. If ever you've spent time on a British Isle then you have seen this place in some shape or form. From the fire place and exposed beams to the beer selection, to the fairly tasteless (but doused in vinegar) food, this place is very authentic.

The beer selection is quite good. They have a club where if you drink a beer from each letter of the alphabet, you get prizes. Rewards for drinking -- it doesn't get much better than that. Oh, and there is trivia everywhere. Great to drink with.

The food is a little blah, but they have a lot of it, and honestly, British food is not supposed to be particularly outstanding. I like the prime rib sandwiches, myself. Service is a little weak, but that's because the servers are all high school girls. Why that is, I dare not ask. Draw your own conclusions. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the work demographics in Half Moon Bay and nothing at all with pederasty.

They have a game room in the back, complete with shuffle puck, darts and pin ball. The bad thing about this is that people will bring in their kids (why on Earth people bring kids to pubs is beyond me) and those kids will hog these novelties. Little bastards ...

Also went down to the beach afterwards, saw the mighty Pacific breaking in little, tight tubes. It was pretty amazing. The ocean really is an amazing force. We had watched a video about Mavericks that afternoon, and there it was, just up the coast from us. It wasn't breaking, of course, but you could see it there, waiting ...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

San Diego Swap Meet

Here's a little video that I shot in San Diego a way back. Eric and I were hanging out at the swap meet, checkin' the wares. There was a lot of useless knick knack peddling going on. Low budget estate sale, you might say.

Anyway, the weather was great, I had the camera, and I shot this film to make use of the function. As you can see, Eric was a little disappointed that there was no Chi-Mo van parked next to a scuzzy tent pushing questionable porn on VHS (no DVDs - cash only).

Friday, March 02, 2007

More Ghost Riding

Because, loyal readers, you know I love all things hyphy.

One of my coworkers said that this video is a rather sad socio-political statement. I'm inclined to agree but I take a more observational stance; if you wanna know who's fighting the war, where they're coming from, and what's popular in America these days here's your answer.

Personally, I'm also of the persuasion that they're in the midst of IEDs and snipers, so let the boys have their fun. Leave the intellectualism for your coffee shop, Pierre.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Why Didn't I Have Teachers Like This?

OK, so this post topic is not the most original, but I had to ask it. There have been a spate of cases like this in the past couple of years, the one that stands out in my mind was a cute blonde in Florida (I believe).

Anyway, I was as horny as any other 13 year old in middle school, and yet in lovely Ruidoso we only had your (what I presumed to be, but are apparently not in parts of the South) run-of-the-mill old lady/men teachers who were not sexually attractive in the least, and even then never made a move on me. (For better or worse, I suppose ...)

CLINTON, S.C. (WLTX, AP) -- Authorities say a 23-year-old female middle school teacher was arrested Wednesday, accused of having sex with five boys in locations including the school, at a motel, in a park and behind a restaurant.

Clinton Public Safety Director John Thomas says some of the 14- and 15-year-old victims were students at Bell Street Middle School in Laurens School District 56, where Allenna Williams Ward taught. Others went to a different school.

Investigators say there could be more victims.

Warrants show Ward is charged with 11 counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and six counts of lewd acts on a minor. The incidents occurred between November and earlier last month.

Thomas says police began investigating Ward after a note containing inappropriate messages was given to school officials on February 22. According to investigators, the note was passed during class to one of the boys, then thrown in the trash.

School district officials say they held an emergency meeting and fired Ward from her job. Thursday morning, bond was set at $110,000.

Saluda School District 56 issued the following statement on Ward's arrest.