Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Da Vinci Code, Idiots and Vicodin

Hello everyone. It's been a while and it will be little longer I'm sorry to say. I'm currently on vacation. :) I've only had time to do the occasional quickie movie review over at Now On Video.
But don't fret, I have something for you. As some of you regular readers may know, I have been blogging for around 7 or 8 years now so I have compiled quite a collection. Most of them are lost forever on random websites. Luckily (for me, for you, I'm not quite sure) I still have access to some. I will be transferring a few of my favorites here to blogger on slow days like these. Some may still even make sense. Enjoy my very first blog on MySpace and MSN Live Spaces entitled;

"The Da Vinci Code, Idiots and Vicodin" (Originally posted on MSN Spaces and MySpace March 18th, 2005.)

There was a book I read many years ago titled, "Amusing Ourselves to Death" by Neil Postman. I found it very thought provoking. Neil wrote about how he believed that entertainment and education do not go hand in hand and that he feared that the line dividing those two would become irreversibly blurred in the near future.

Well, I think he's right but feel it's already too late to do anything about it.

There have always been movies that cover historical events and take a vew liberties with the artistic license in order to make it interesting. In an educated society this wouldn't be an issue. I think though, that it is safe to say that we do not live in an "educated society." How many idiots don't you meet everyday? How many people don't you speak to on a daily basis that massacre the English language? How many morons don't you hear argue that Marijuana isn't "really a drug" and doesn't do any damage?

These films and novels are released to consenting and supposedly "intelligent" adults that are supposed to find it easy to tell the difference between fact and fiction. The problem with this is that the retelling of certain events through entertainment media has replaced the actual facts within those idiot minds with a complete disregard for research into historical accuracy.

Don't tag me as a religious freak but Cardinal Bertone made a great point about Dan Brown's "the Da Vinci Code."

“I ask myself if a similar book was written, full of lies about Buddha, Mohammed, or even, for example, if a novel came out which manipulated all the history of the Holocaust or of the Shoah, what would have happened?”
Even the Holiest of followers does not have faith in the general intellectual capability of the social mass. Then again, historically religious groups have shown a great amount of skepticism when it comes to their own followers freedom of thought. In response to the Cardinal's complaint the book publisher Doubleday released this statement;

“The ideas put forth in ’The Da Vinci Code’ have been circulating for centuries; this novel explores them in an accessible work of fiction. Doubleday certainly respects Cardinal Bertone, the Vatican and their desire to clarify any factual errors they feel may have been made in ’The Da Vinci Code’.”
Everyday I hear more about people getting defensive when you wish them a Merry Christmas or say "Bless You" when they sneeze. It’s funny, foreign religions are coming into this country more “Typically American” then American’s themselves. “I have a religion, you better respect it and restructure your language and educational system to abide by it.”

Remember in old movies how they used to inform the viewer right at the beginning that it was loosely based on actual events in big bold letters? They don't even bother doing that anymore do they? Now it takes a Cardinal’s public complaint to get a week little letter a little over a week later. Would that disclaimer have made a difference?

Well, I'm almost done reading "Honeymoon" by James Patterson and while I'm recovering from my wisdom tooth extraction I will be reading the Da Vinci Code.

After all I am just another in the flock of Idiot Minds even worse off all jacked up on Vicodin. _______________

Turns out the dentist never gave me that Vicodin after all. My wonderful wife let me by myself a PSP though to keep myself entertained/distracted during the recovery. What do you think of the blog? A little out of touch and a bit spastic wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Deals: 12-23-08

I found a few good deals today.

New Egg

PS3 DualShock 3 $43 with free shipping. Watch movies on your PS3? This will do.

16GB Sandisk Cruzer $30 with free shipping. This is a good deal, and a good brand if you need a flash drive.
CyberPower UPS $60 with free shipping. EVERY computer should have a UPS.
Whistler XTR-550 $60 with free shipping for all you speeders out there.

Dell Business

Dell has a 1.5 TB Seagate Hard Drive for $130 shipped. That is a HUGE deal for those of you that need plenty of storage space!

GameFly Used Games
DMC4 $13TimeShift $10
Ninja Gaiden II $15Haze $10
GTA IV $20NBA Ballers: Chosen One $5
Conan $8LOST: Via Domus $8
Fifa Street 3 $8Blacksite: Area 51 $10
LOST: Via Domus $8Dark Sector $10
Blacksite Area: 51 $10Enemy Territory: Quake Wars $10
Call of Juarez $10MX vs. ATV Untamed $10
Dark Sector $10The Club $10
Stuntman: Ignition $10Transformers: The Game $10
Univers at War: Earth Assault $10Lair $13
Unreal Tournament III $10Soul Calibur IV $22
Viking: Battle for Asgard $10Battlefield: Bad Company $25
Supreme Commander $10LEGO: Indiana Jones $25
Blazing Angels 2 $13GRID $28
John Woo's Stranglehold $13Warhawk $30
Dynasty Warriors 6 $15
Top Spin 3 $15
Ace Combat 6 $20
Battlefield: Bad Company $25
LEGO: Indiana Jones $25

Paid Forward?

As an eternal skeptic, I am VERY particular about those that I choose to help. Why help starving kids in Africa when there are starving kids right here?

I know that sounds evil but look at it this way. Either way, you are helping a starving kid. Chances are, unfortunately, that this starving local kid will survive to live a better life than those in poverty in 3rd world countries.

Why does this matter or why would it make a difference?

I think of it like grass growing on two lawns. On one side of the fence there is a healthy lawn with a small dry patch. On the other, there is dirt and rock with a small little patch of grass miraculously growing in the rough.

On the nice lawn there is a dry patch with a tiny little blade of grass. If I water that blade, it will grow and that blade, though it will never come in contact with the patch in the rough lawn, may eventually help improve the entire lawn that may spread and support that rough lawn in the long run.

I am not saying we should turn our backs on hopeless causes, I just don't think spitting at an inferno is going to make much of a difference. That and the off chance that someone might actually be making a profit off the suffering of these innocent people keeps me from sending money their way.

When I actually SEE change and good causes making a difference, then I make the effort. Child's Play for example. Children's Hospital's. You donate a gift and ship it right to them straight from Amazon. I have done my share of good deeds in the past but I usually restrained myself from any monetary donations. I just can't trust people. They can be so evil. This year though it was different. I found a charity I trusted and donated with the best intentions.

I am not really liked at work. Not on a personal level but because of what I do. It comes with the responsibility and I deal with it well. Oddly enough, the year that I do more than I ever have for others, this happens.

There is an employee that I deal with a lot. They are a...point of contact, so to speak. Just yesterday they asked me to come to their office. I expected a Christmas card or something like that and that is exactly what I received. I don't expect anything nor do I feel I deserve anything. But this time I was really surprised with what I found in that card. I opened it and my first surprise was the humongous amount of signatures in it. Nearly everyone in her department signed it. This struck me as amazing because these are the same people that I frequently have to lay the law down with. Aside from that, $80 in cash fell out of it.


I was flabbergasted. What!?! Never in my entire career have I received a gift like that. Just for doing my job and doing a job that makes people dislike you sometimes.

A little part of me feels that this happened because of the stuff I have been doing lately. A big part of me wants to donate it. This isn't my money. Another little part of me knows though, that we really are going to need that money soon. After speaking about it with my wife I decided just to be graceful and grateful. I can't help but feel I owe the world $80.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie Group is Now Online

Now On Video is Now OnLine. :) Have a movie to review? Drop me a line and you'll be added as a contributor. Like I mentioned before, NO RESTRICTIONS, NO TABOO GENRES. I only ask that you respect each others opinions.

If you would like to become a contributor, just post the e-mail address that you sign into blogger with so I could add you as a "team member."

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Maximize Your Mileage

I drive a Hybrid.

My car manufacturer recently sent me an e-mail with more than just ads. It had a list of helpful tips that really do work and I could see making a notable difference.

Now I know that gas has greatly reduced in price, but if you don't do it for your wallet, do it for the Earth and your children that have to live in it yeah?

Click to read these tips you really should follow.
  • When you drive a little faster, you burn considerably more fuel. Slow down and increase your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
  • Once you're out on the highway at cruising speed, use your vehicle's cruise control. You'll burn less fuel if you do.
  • Slow down for hills. Maintaining your speed up a hill means opening your vehicle's throttle, which burns more gas. On down hills, use gravity to help increase speed and improve fuel economy.
  • Accelerate only when you have to, and only as much as you need to. Avoid jackrabbit starts, bring your vehicle to speed with a light right foot, and maintain smooth progress on the road. In other words, never FLOOR it.
  • For slowing down or stopping, get off the gas as soon as you can. Use your brakes when you need to, but allow the other forces working on your vehicle to help slow you down. This one is hard to get used to but I have learned to do it a lot. Don't be competitive with other people. If you see traffic slowing down. Let go of the gas right away and let friction slow you down with time. You won't get there any faster if you step on the gas.
  • Whenever you can, keep your windows closed to decrease drag. For climate control, use your vehicle's air conditioning. It's the lesser of two evils.
  • Roof racks and rooftop containers have extremely negative effects on a vehicle's fuel efficiency. Remove them when not in use.
  • Tire maintenance is essential for a safe drive. Perform regular air-pressure checks and adjustments to help minimize tire wear and increase your gas mileage. Don't forget the spare.
  • Keep your oil clean. Change your oil and oil filter at the proper mileage/month interval. Remember to use the proper grade motor oil and a reliable oil filter.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Question to Followers

Remember that Monday Movie Meme I used to do?

Well I am considering creating a entire blog around movie reviews. New and old, but preferably old and obscure to bring cult favorites into the limelight.

My intention is to create a GROUP SUPPORTED blog where ANYONE who chooses to participate could post a review in WHATEVER FORMAT they like. If you chose to be active and the site grows in popularity you could even post a Google ads in your review to get some change tossed at you. (As long as the ads aren't overbearing.)

The key word here is participation. I can keep my part of the bargain. I will work hard to promote and maintain this blog if you guys will assist with the content and activity.

Will you?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Simple Things In Life

Negativity comes naturally for me. I am not an intentionally negative person though. How does this make any sense you ask?

Well for one, I am not a bitter pessimist. I consider myself a logical pessimist. I am not the type that kills peoples hopes and dreams for the sake of doing it. I offer words of warning from life experiences and what I see as more likely to occur.

Like everyone else in the world, I have had my share of disappointments. I have taught myself to expect the worst. Yes, this can be extremely difficult and occasionally painful, but this is the way I have learned to cope. I expect the worst and I am never disappointed. In fact, more often than not I am pleasantly surprised by the results of whatever concern I had.

Its easier for me to be happy about a glass half full when I expect it to to be completely empty or even shattered.

Living a life like this is not for everyone. I don't recommend people try it if they are happy the way they are. It works for me though sometimes it takes its toll. When a series of unfortunate events come one after another and my negative suspicions are proven correct, the way I see the world gets very, very dark.

During these dark times I take little mental brakes. That is not a typo. I literally take mental BRAKES.

I stop.

I'm at work and I feel like I can't take any more so I just stop. Breathe. Then I continue. I'm driving to work and traffic is driving me insane. I keep driving but mentally, I stop my train of thought. I look around the world to see the beauty in all things surrounding us.

You mothers and photographers may know exactly what I am talking about. I find little things that I like to see and just envelope myself in them.

The oversize trailer hauling gigantic rubber tires that are wider than the lane the semi is driving on.
An interesting cloud configuration.
Huge tractors digging up Earth as if they were angry metal dinosaurs.
A lush green tree swaying in the middle of an urban jungle.
A flock of birds changing direction faster than humanly possible.
The little splashes of water that come off the back tire of a car in the freeway after a heavy rain.
The sound of the wind on a big, full tree.
The light of a huge planet shining down upon us as we trample people over a faÇade of a sale at Wal-Mart.
Sorry, sometimes a little bit of that negativity slips through. ;)

As we work through our week and struggle through our daily strife's remember that life is a gift that we must share. The world doesn't revolve around us. We revolve around IT.

Don't pass that red light because you're "in a rush."
Don't cut in front of a slow moving grandmother with a walker just because you can't wait.
Don't yell at the barista just because you were stupid enough to become addicted to caffeine.
Don't treat your kids roughly because they embarrass you at the mall.
Don't ignore them if they are throwing a tantrum annoying everyone else either.
Don't flash your lights at the car in front of you doing 85 mph just because you want to go 86.
Don't make someone do simple tasks for you simply because you are too lazy to learn how to do them on your own.
Take deep breaths, often.
Remind your loved ones of what they mean to you.

Don't wait to feel bad about not getting to say goodbye. Be around more often instead to say Hi.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Blurbs - The Truth in Numbers

My taught me this and I thought I would pass it on.

A curious blend of Psychology and Numerology I like to call Pnumchology. Yeah. Say that twice with a mouthful of milk.

  1. Pick your favorite number from 1 through 9.
  2. Multiply it by 3.
  3. Add 3.
  4. Multiply it again by 3.
  5. You will get a 2 digit number.
  6. Add both digits together then click on Read More to find out which of these historical characters your Psychological Profile is most like.

  1. Albert Einstein
  2. Nelson Mandela
  3. Gandhi
  4. John F. Kennedy
  5. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  6. Maya Angelou
  7. Bill Gates
  8. St. Peter
  9. Jeffrey Dahmer
  10. Barrack Obama

Dahmer? Really? You are a sick, sick person. Perhaps you should speak to a therapist.

Meme: Phocus - Candy

UPDATED: 12-16-08 Thanks to everyone who played along. Click READ MORE to see the full picture. :)

OK, here is an easy one if you know me, tough if you don't. This is a crop of a photograph of a retail box of one of my favorite candies. :) I will upload the complete picture once enough people have guessed.

Click Read More to read the rules.

In this particular Meme you can do 1 or 2 things.

1. You can just play along and guess at what the picture is of in the photo above.


2. You can guess and play along on your page too by taking a picture of something you find interesting, cropping it almost beyond recognition and uploading it with a small hint on your own page. Then just come back here to post the link to that blog so we can all play and get to know each other in the process.

Are you game?

Rainy Days

When I was a kid, I used to love the rain.

At school, it meant indoor activities. Sometimes we wouldn't do ANY work and would just talk or play little games.

I remember even playing indoor spelling baseball. The teacher would give us a choice of difficulty level (1, 2, 3 or 4) and we would have a time limit to correctly spell a word on the chalkboard. If we got it right, we would go to another corner of the room depending on the difficulty of the word. If we made it home, we could pick a prize out of the "prize box."

The darkness outside would make the classroom environment exciting. Riding the bus as it blew through puddles and soaked the pedestrians was a great way to end a fantastic school day.

At home I would make origami boats and float them down the gutter until they got stuck under the tire of a curbed vehicle (most likely driven by someone's wife ;) or I would just sit in the kitchen watching the water pile up and splash in the corner of our backyard walkway.

I remember my mother's answer to my question regarding the origin of rain. She told me that it was God's tears. Even at this young age, that answer seemed highly unlikely and illogical. It only served to confuse me and I believe eventually played a significant part in the process that led me into the atheist life I would eventually come to lead in my teenage years.

The idea of a crying God devastated me. I locked myself in the bathroom, stood on the toilet and stared out the window. This was my safe place. Our bathroom window faced a wall and you could barely see the house next door. I like this window during rainy days because you could stare out of it looking up at the sky, protected from the raindrops by the screen. You could "smell" the rain. I distinctly remember the scent being a combination of grass and metal screen. I'm sure I ended up with a dirty nose more often than I can remember.

Now an adult, as a homeowner, commuter and family leader, my simple joys have been eradicated.

I still like the rain. I still like the smell as long as you aren't anywhere near garbage or pavement but I worry.

I worry about the roof on my home. Water erodes roof tile.
I worry about the flooded roads and hydroplaning. Water hates cars.
I worry about the driving skill of all those people in SUV's that pretend they can handle like sports cars. Humans think water is weak.
I worry about my dog. He doesn't really know how to take care of himself in the rain. Water likes plants, sill dogs, not so much.
I worry about my wife. She drives really well and very careful, but the people that work near her do not. Neither do the engineers behind the crash-happy Metro link trains that pass right by her work everyday.
I worry about my brother-in-law that has to ride the bus and walk for two hours every day. Water hates students.
I worry about those fancy houses on the hills. Their million dollar losses will mean increased fees for the rest of us taxpayers.

I worry about global warming. Who's igloo is this raining on me today? We must hate water to do this to the Earth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Enjoy this Cackle on Me

My brother sent me a joke this morning and I thought it was worth sharing with some minor modifications. I hope you all have a great day!

Ralph came home drunk one night, slid into bed beside his sleeping wife, and fell into a deep slumber. He awoke before the Pearly Gates, where St. Peter said, "You died in your sleep, Ralph."

Ralph stunned, replied: "I'm dead? No, I can't be! I've got too much to live for. Send me back! PLEASE YOUR HOLINESS."

St. Peter said, "I'm terribly sorry but there's only one way you can go backeth and that is as a chicken."

Ralph was devastated, but begged St.. Peter to send him anyway, at least to a farm near his home. The next thing he knew, he was covered with feathers, clucking, and pecking the ground. A rooster strolled past and Ralph immediately tensed. "So, you're the new hen, huh?" he asked. "How's your first day here?" "Not bad," replied Ralph the hen nervously, "but I have this strange feeling inside. Like I'm gonna explode!"

"You must be ovulating," explained the big red Cock. "Don 't tell me you've never laid an egg before?"

"Never," said Ralph.

"Well, just relax and let it happen," says the randy rooster. "It's no big deal." Ralph did, and a few uncomfortable seconds later, out popped an egg! Ralph was overcome with emotion as he experienced motherhood. He soon laid another egg -- his joy was overwhelming.

As he was about to lay his third egg, he felt a smack on the back of his head, and heard his wife yell.....


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Digital TV Coupons

For those of you in the U.S. that have somehow missed the bombardment of advertising for the Digital TV conversion...

Go to and apply for up to 2 $40 coupons good for the purchase of a digital TV to standard converter box. It can take a few weeks to get them so apply for them while you still can. I haven't heard anything about any expiration on the offer itself though the coupons DO expire after 90 days.

Get these coupons. Buy the box and hook it up to your standard definition Television (or even HDTV if you don't have cable or an HD antenna) and you never have to worry about missing commercials again.

Really, why else would you think they make it seem as if it would be a disaster if your T.V. went blank next year?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Neither Lacking nor Slacking

If you have noticed that the quantity of blog posts on this page have slowed a bit, don't worry. I'm not out of ideas. I have too many actually. Some have unfortunately been lost forever by my inability to type whilst driving. :)

I have recently had an influx of responsibilities both at work and in the home. I will be back up to speed soon. I will continue to post just as I have been the past few days but don't expect to see 3 to 4 posts a day like a few months ago at least for a few more weeks.

My wife and I have some major projects at home, work has become increasingly hectic and I have also taken on a few side projects. So please don't stop following just yet. I promise to post a few doozies before year's end. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Do You Play Spurts?

(This was originally going to be a really short blurb because its such a busy day then I couldn't stop typing.)

I was on the can. Don't picture that.

I was reading a newspaper like I guess men are supposed to when they are in the restroom. I wasn't touching the paper though it was just hanging on the handicap balance bar. Yes I used the handicap stall WHAT?!? You'll never see me parking in one of their spaces.

As I read the paper that someone left hanging there I read what I can only assume was the sports section. Surprised?

They were talking about a boxer named Oscar De La Hoya. Apparently they erected (*snicker) a bronze statue of him just outside the Staple Center in Los Angeles. The controversy was that he has never won a fight there and some people are complaining. I'm not even really sure if they hold fights in the Staples Center. There are two other statues there. Wayne Gretzky (a long time Los Angeles Kings hockey player) and Magic Johnson, the worlds most famous AIDS victim who also played for the Los Angeles Lakers Basketball team. Neither of those two sports greats ever played there in the Staples Center and no one seems to be complaining about them.

Apparently the company who paid for the statue and worked hard to get it erected (*snicker2) is associated with Golden Boy promotions which belongs to...Oscar De La Hoya. So, some of the protesters claim this is self promotion. Aren't they all though?

Personally I don't care either way but it got me thinking. Why don't people in L.A. like Hockey?

How does this possibly make any sense? Well the Los Angeles Times article claimed that the Hispanic community which is so proud of their (not our L.A.) "Golden Boy" overlook these little nuances because they are so in love with him. No mention of the millions of dollars he has given to charities and hospitals in the Los Angeles area. They also go on to say that Hockey will never be as popular as Basketball or Boxing in the Southern California area.

I'm not a fan of any but considering that Hispanic folk here in Los Angeles go ape-shit over soccer, I can't for the life of me understand why they don't like Hockey.

They have goals. Usually 1, 2 or 3 in an entire game. Just like soccer.
They have a guy who's sole purpose is to block the goals. Just like soccer.
They go back and forth incessantly. Just like soccer.
Fans are insane. Just like soccer.
The good players are all foreigners (ay Canada?) Just like soccer.
The players are known for fighting. Just like soccer.

The rules are pretty similar though for obvious reasons, like terrain and equipment, some specific ones had to apply.

You would think at least the brainwashed Americanized Hispanics would be mad into Hockey, but no. The last time I went to a Mighty Ducks game (years ago) I was the brownest face in the audience.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Deals: 12-5-08

Hamilton Beach 4.5 Quart All Metal Stand Mixer $100!
Sharp 1100 Watt stainless steel microwave $80

16GB Mark 2 Memory Stick Pro Duo for $70!!!!! This a GREAT effin' deal!

Sony Progressive scan DVD player $40

Samsung 1080p (32" $950) (37" $1,100)
Samsung 1080p (40" $1,300) (52" $2,300)
Samsung 1080p 120Hz (40" $1,600) (52" $2,500)
Sony XBR 1080p 120Hz (40" $2300) (52" $3,500)

Toshiba Laptop $450! Athlon 64 X2 Dual-core with 2GB RAM and 160GB HD Wireless/Bluetooth/DVD-R/Vista Premium
Sony Vaio $900 Centrino 2 with 4GB RAM and 320GB HD Wireless/Bluetooth/DVD-R/Vista Premium

LG 20X Dual layer DVD-R with Lightscribe $40

24" Samsung widescreen LCD 1080P for your PC $450

4th Gen 16GB iPod Nano $187

Logitech 5.1 X-540 PC surround sound speakers $60. I have these and they are great!

360 Left for Dead $53
360 Too Human $35
360 Gears of War 2 $55
360/PS3 Call of Duty: World at War $55
360/PS3 Midnight Club: Los Angeles $40
360 Last Remnant $55
Wii Sonic Unleashed $45
Wii Skate it $45

360 Wireless network adapter $90

360/PS3 Star Wars: Force Unleashed $40
Wii Sonic and the Secret Rings $15
Polk Audio floor standing loudspeakers $100
Griffin PowerDock 2 for iProducts $29

Used Games

XB0x 360 - Just Cause $22

PS3 Dark Sector $13
PS3 Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit $18
360 Frontlines: Fuel of War $13
360 Mass Effect $20
PS3 Need for Speed: Pro Street $15

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meme: One Word

Dangit! You caught me on the can! I've been tagged. This one is pretty interesting.

Rules: You must answer each question with only one word.

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Where is your significant other? Office
3. Your hair color? Miscellaneous
4. Your mother? Neurotic
5. Your father? Manly
6. Your favorite thing? Wife
7. Your dream last night? Bloggable
8. Your dream/goal? Success
9. The room you’re in? Lab
11. Your fear? Failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Climbing
13. Where were you last night? Class
14. What you’re not? Social
15. One of your wish-list items? Gears
16. Where you grew up? Ghetto
17. The last thing you did? Work
18. What are you wearing? Badge
19. Your TV? Crisp
20. Your pet? Smart
21. Your computer? Which
22. Your mood? Resentful
23. Missing someone? Wife
24. Your car? Smart
25. Something you’re not wearing? Panties
26. Favorite store? Electronics
27. Your summer? Hot
28. Love someone? Wife
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? Meh
31. Last time you cried? Silence

Oh and I'm out of tagees so feel free to talk amongst yourselves. :) It's your party and you can play if you want to.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Foreign Lunacy

That title is in no way intended to insinuate that foreign countries are crazy. It is a play on the term, "Foreign Policy." See what I did there? Eh?? Nudge nudge.

Though this doesn't have to do with the way foreigners are, it DOES have a lot to do with our borders. No, don't shut our borders to them.

Shut our borders to their businesses.

Yes I understand this would cause many worldwide businesses to be up in arms at the anti-competitive American capitalist policies but we are dangerously close to a depression here.

The U.S. is a great consumer. Most of what U.S. citizens consume happen to be foreign products. We really need to match that balance or perhaps even surpass it.

How do we go about doing this?

  1. Tax the crap out of foreign companies that want to sell products in the U.S. Most foreign countries do the same to ours which is one of the reasons why American businesses fail on foreign soil. *coughJapancough Tax the import, sale and even production of these brands here in the U.S. Money is being sucked out of the country by these corporations. We need to slow it down before they bleed us dry.
  2. Tax the crap out of our own companies that want to look to foreign countries for employment. American companies should NOT legally find it financially feasible to hire cheap labor. Make it MORE expensive for them to do so. This would FORCE them to hire American workers who would keep the money in the U.S. and spend it here feeding the Economy beast.
  3. Give tax breaks to those companies who abide by those policies quickly and provide affordable alternative energy vehicles ready for mass production. Not "in the works" plans or other B.S. delays that GM has tried in the past.
  4. Give tax breaks to citizens who purchase American products.
  5. Readjust purchase tax. Readjust? The most dramatic of all changes would be this one for the tiny little products you buy every day. COMPLETELY REMOVE ALL GOVERNMENT, CITY AND STATE TAXES OF ANY AMERICAN MADE PRODUCTS. How could you possibly compensate for the loss? Toss the difference onto the already lower price of the foreign products. Its not as much as you think, less than a dollar for every 10 but it might just be enough to make a difference.

...and so on. I'm sure you can imagine many similar perks along this same train of thought.

Deleting YOU

I have an address book. I have many actually. Until recently they were spread out across many different mediums. My PDA, a spreadsheet, my e-mail client at work, a web e-mail client and address book for each e-mail address I had and one on my cell phone.

Until recently (thanks iPhone & Blackberry) I consolidated.

This is just the way I work. I don't forward text messages or e-mails that I don't first edit, change or at the very least reformat for the viewers ease. With these relatively good habits I have one that people seem to dislike. I tend to delete people.

When I do this, there is no animosity or malintent. (I seriously thought that was a word!) I use MySpace (or used to use) for MySpace reasons. I would post blogs and comment on others. I would upload pictures and comment on others. I would create and moderate groups. Basically, I would participate heavily.

Many people would add me, then never say a word. This would annoy me to no end. The whole point of MySpace, Facebook, Friendster and other social networks like those was to communicate with each other. A majority of people though, would only use it for their own entertainment. They would snoop around your stuff, add you to see your pictures and never acknowledge your existence or even respond to your direct questions.

I wouldn't get mad. I would simply delete them. Why invite someone to the poker table if they aren't going to play? Imagine a 4 person bridge game with one of the players not participating and instead just staring at you, crunching on ice and wiping orange Doritos on your tablecloth.

So here on blogger the day has come for me to do the same. This is not a threat and there aren't any hard feelings. If I write things that don't interest you, no problem! I'm not hurt or offended in any way. I don't want you to be stuck or feel obligated to continue following me. I know we are all busy adults and when pressed for time, there truly is only a small circle we can truly dedicate ourselves to.

This habit is what has traditionally helped me maintain a sense of community in whatever group or blog I create. Some of you who have followed me for years know exactly what I am talking about.

I will never privatize this blog, but I do intend to keep my fellowship slim so I can give attention to those more active participants. I'm more of a conversationalist looking for a fireside chat than I am a public speaker at a conference never taking questions. (A fireside chat with the occasional verbal fist fight. ;) )

So if the day comes and you find yourself not being followed by me, please don't be hurt or angry. It just means I've noticed that you have been busy and I thought it would be best for the both of us to start reading other people.

We'll always have Salem.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Spammer McAsshole

Let me tell you about Spammer McAsshole. Mr. McAsshole is a guy in my contact list. I have never met señor Spammer. I don't know what this McAsshole looks like or what kind of car he drives. All I know is that he calls my phones from different numbers every day. McAsshole sends me e-mails from different addresses. Sometimes they repeat, sometimes they don't. S. McAsshole likes to warn me about my fictional warranty expiring on my car.

When they do repeat, my spam filter doesn't catch them or the Do Not Call list I signed up for years ago didn't do its job, then I add his information to this contact. That way, I recognize Spammer McAsshole for who he is and disconnect the call before I pick up to answer to an answering machine.

These machines Spammer McAsshole uses detect how long it takes you to answer, any background noise or if it is a data line or fax machine #. If you pick up, chances are you will get more calls from Captain McAsshole because he will know you are a live person on the end of that line. If you disconnect, I would imagine Spammy doesn't get any usable data.

Whether I change anything or not, its really gratifying when I see that name ringing on my phone. That gives me permission to file a complaint with the Do Not Call registry. If you get a call like this, file a complaint here. Do some good and don't be a McAsshole!

Here are two numbers I frequently get called from.

(215) 230-9706
(505) 986-8704

Deals: 12-1-08


Another great group of deals from Amazon. ALL WITH FREE SHIPPING!

If I wasn't saving up money, I would be broke.

Rock Band 2 is $43.95

Newegg also has some great deals.

XBox 360 Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Game of the Year Edition $40 free shipping.
Turtle Beach Ear Force X4 Wireless Headphones for those nighttime gamers that don't want to wake up the kids. $140 with free shipping.

Here's one I would LOVE if I were a rich college student in a small dorm.

Sony Bravia Micro Home Theater System. $400 with free shipping. Considering this is from Sony, its a steal. That subwoofer alone...

Oh and I just found this one on the Best Buy website! Get it while you still can! A 1,000 Watt Sony 5-Disc XM Ready, Progressive-Scan Home Theater System.

$150. You read that right. $150!!! If you are low on funds...this is the one to get.