Thursday, November 30, 2006

On Target

When I was visiting my sister during the Thanksgiving holiday, we traveled to a small town that had a Target store. What caught my attention was that there was a huge target painted around the store's entrance, and the bullseye directly on the doors. I'm not saying that their customers have a depth perception problem, but there were outlines of bodies on various parts of the target were people had missed the entrance. It didn't help when the greeter at the door screamed "Bullseye!" as you entered the store.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas in CA

is looking to be more of a sure happening. My sister has arranged for tickets, free ones at that. I talked with my brother-in-law about picking me up at the airport. So far, it all looks good. I wish that I could stay longer but we'll all have a good time in spite of the short stay. Now I just need to figure out presents and how much of a hassle the security will be. I don't think I'll take my laptop. The battery will be dead long before I reach the half way point. ::: sigh ::: Flying used to be fun.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Brazil Model Who Battled Anorexia Dies

Here we are in one of the most prosperous time in the world's history. We almost celebrate this fact with shows about obesity in the world. At the same time, we have women who are starving themselves to death in the name of beauty and fashion.

I worry about my daughter and my sisters and my female friends who sometimes get carried away about how they look and how much they weigh. And then you read or heard about a story like this: "Brazil Model Who Battled Anorexia Dies".

The only good thing that I learned from this story is that some fashion shows are now starting to ban models with body-mass-index less than 18. A BMI of 18.5 or less is considered underweight!

Please, please, take care of yourself. I much prefer a woman with the warmth of a little plumpness than an icy cold stick figure of death.

Here's a calculator to figure your Body-Mass-Index.


The three greatest inventions in the world are the wheel, fire and coffee machine! In fact, if we did not have the espresso coffee maker, men with tiny cups in South America would have nothing to drink. And there is nothing worst than an empty cup of coffee. Well, almost nothing. Having a bag of ungrounded coffee bean and no water would be close. Have you ever awakened to the smell of whole beans? Just not the same as that intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed Cappuccino. I'm assuming that you don't work in a coffee warehouse. And if you do and are waking up while on the job, you obviously are not sampling your company's wares.

But what of the rest of us? It's a new century and we no longer need to be has-beans. It's time to learn how to "expresso" ourselves! And how do you learn about expresso and cappuccino machines? is a great source to get grounded in! The Coffee Guide Team has put up guides on the different types and latest styles of coffee machines, ways to compare prices, and help in choosing popular models from leading brands. You can even buy online. I wonder if this team has coffee breaks? How wired are they at the end of the day? Oh well, they have put together a great site. From what I understand, it only took them two hours to do three days worth of site building. Got Coffee?

You can't have it your way...

Share least, not in Spain. As Burger King was about to release their new Double-Cheese Bacon XXL, the Health Ministry of Spain is working to stop BK from advertising it's 971 calorie monster. Apparently, Burger King had signed an agreement to not promote huge serving meals as part of a "Spanish initiative against obesity". The mind is weak and we don't want to tempt anyone into overeating now do we?

Credit Card Search Engine

If you want to lose my business, just start to overcharge me or put small fees in my bill. Make me feel that my years keeping my business with you and not with your competitors means nothing. This is how a couple of my credit card companies are treating me. The game is that they raise the interest rates, then I have to call to lower them. In doing so, I have to listen to a spiel on some other service that they want me to pay for. Forget it! So I have located a search engine focuses only on Credit Cards. And the site is organized into credit cards for Low Interest, Balance Transfer, Cash Back, Airline Miles, Gas, Rewards, Student, Business, Fair or Average Credit, and for Bad Credit. This is a great financial site to bookmark! We all need some leverage with our greedy credit card companies.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Christmas Season was Officially Started ...

... by the mobs of people kicking and fighting and shooting so they can plunk down $600 (plus tax of course) for one of the 400,000 Play Station 3 released yesterday. Yeah, Yeah, supply and demand, realistic graphics never seen seen the release of PSP 2, gotta have, gotta have ... until the next hottest gaming system arrives. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No Rube Goldberg Here

Thank goodness that PPP opportunity for a Rube Goldberg has been filled. I had my device almost completed, almost ready to stun the world with its unbelievable complexity in taking a simple candle and popping up a $100 bill. A device so ridiculously convoluted that members of congress said, "Its almost as good as we are! Someone call a committee!" Thank goodness that hard work is its own reward. That's what was on the poster: "Missing: Hard Work! Reward if found!" There was a number but it was too much work to write it down.

Sure, I had a few slight setbacks in the design but nothing that a fire extinguisher and a call to 911 couldn't fix. But alas, you will never see that breathtaking video --- breathtaking not because of the odor -- breathtaking because ... its what we do to live; inhale, exhale, watch breathtaking videos and repeat. Rube Goldberg, I'd salute you but I first need some rope, a couple of wheels, a fan, a candle, a vacuum cleaner, a few balls, some farm animals, ....

PSP3, completely with problems

There are over 8,000 games for the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation. Today, a spokesperson for Sony said that 200 have problems running on the PS3. Some have no sound when played while others freeze up. These problems were found only after Sony had its sellout launch on Saturday. After three years of designing, didn't they test for these legacy issues? Ahhh, that's what consumers are for!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sleep Safe, Your Government is On Duty

Thank you, thank you, to the US Federal Attorney for making sure that BetOnSports won't take any more bets from any one in the United States. Of course, this is just the civil case and they still working on criminal prosecution. Thank you, for keeping legal gambling from interfering with our America ways. Thank goodness, BetOnSports didn't try to become a 51st state. That would have really muddy that waters, wouldn't it.

U.S. Settles Case Against BetOnSports

When To Toss It

While I'm putting this post for all to read, this is more for my own reference. I have items in my fridge and I have no clue when to throw them out. AOL had an article today that answered my very questions. Here is their recommendations (which surprisingly includes makeup:

soda, regular-
Unopened: In cans or glass bottles, 9 months from “best by” date.
Opened: Doesn’t spoil, but taste is affected.

diet soda (and soft drinks in plastic bottles)-
Unopened: 3 months from “best by” date.
Opened: Doesn’t spoil, but taste is affected.

coffee, canned ground-
Unopened: 2 years.
Opened: 1 month refrigerated.

juice, bottled (apple or cranberry)-
Unopened: 8 months from production date.
Opened: 7 to 10 days.

Unopened: 1 year.*
Opened: 4 to 6 months.*

maple syrup, real or imitation-
Unopened or opened: 1 year.

soy sauce, bottled-
Unopened: 2 years.
Opened: 3 months.*

* After these times, color or flavor my be affected, but the product is still generally safe to consume.

peanut butter, processed-
Unopened: 2 years.
Opened: 6 months; refrigerate after 3 months.

tuna, canned-
Unopened: 1 year from purchase date.
Opened: 3 to 4 days, not stored in can.

Unopened: Indefinitely.
Opened: 2 to 3 months from “purchased by” date. (After this time, color or flavoring may be affected, but the product is still generally safe to consume.)

salad dressing, bottled-
Unopened: 12 months after “best buy” date.
Opened: 9 months refrigerated.

olive oil-
Unopened/Opened: 2 years from manufacture date. (After this time, color or flavor may be affected, but the product is still generally safe to consume.)

Unopened/Opened: 42 months

Unopened/Opened: 2 years.

metal polish-
Unopened/Opened: at least 3 years.

wood polish (Pledge)-
Unopened/Opened: 2 years.

Unopened: 2 years.
Opened: 3 to 4 months.

foundation, oil-based-
Unopened/Opened: 2 years from date of manufacture.

foundation, water-based-
Unopened/Opened: 3 years from date of manufacture.

Unopened/Opened: 2 years.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Curse the Dark, or Light a Flashlight

Let me help you see the light, especially now that daylight savings time has made things a little bit darker. And there is nothing worse than being caught in the dark. Ever grabbed for a flashlight when you need it most and not have it there where you need it? Fortunately, there is no reason not to have flashlights handy when you can get good deals at They have all the best brands such as SureFire, Streamlight, and Pelican. You might not be familiar with them, but many Police, Firefighting, military, and hunters do know about them. For home use, you can use something smaller like LED flashlights or even the handy hands free light. You can have a lot of fun with their night vision equipment. Got gifts? Well, now you have a source for some great socking stuffs (and I don't mean feet). With all the dieting going all, you can call this your 'light' Christmas. Your special someone already has a enough flashlights? Well, don't despair because OpticsPlanet also carries flash light accessories such as extensions, gloves, glass globes for lanterns, pouches and beamfilters (to name but a few). Buy enough and you can get discount pricing, as well as FREE UPS on order over $29.95.

Recall of Acetaminophen

Quality control did its job and caught metal flakes that were in those generic Acetaminophen tablets. When they find something that dangerous, the FDA has to be notified. As a result, the FDA has issued a recall on that popular headache medicine. Its not as worrisome as the news makes it sound. Still, it is good to know we have policies in place just in case.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"script unresponsive" in Firefox 2

I was finally able to get my Airset site working in Firefox 2. The culprit was this option in Firefox:
javascript.options.strict = true

Click this link to see how to turn it to false. Doing so fixed the 'script unresponsive' error that I was getting. This page describes this setting and has a link to a page describing the tests Mozilla performed with it:

Hope this helps you!!!

HealthCare Organizational Management

Successful management of Healthcare is like that of any successful business. People must be dealt with in effective manner, problems have to be solve efficiently and without undue cost. Fortunately, Phillips DiPisa Thought Leadership Library maintains a library with important subjects such as "hospital succession management, the role of the Chief Medical Officer, and diversity in healthcare workforces". As a leading health care executive recruiting firm, their articles focus on what you would think is common sense in build a strong workforce: train your people, promote qualified candidates from within, creating effective plans for your organizations, etc. Yet, many organizations neglect the basics and lose talented people as a result. So checkout these articles. I think that you will find they apply very well in many businesses besides healthcare as well. What better way to tackle the bottom line than with a strong workforce.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Do you have your Daddy's smile ...

...and does he want it back? Apparently we all have unique facial expressions that weren't learned. Rather they were inherited from our parents according a recently study that included blind people.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Meaning of Flowers

As a guy, I do not usually give too much thought behind the meaning of flowers. I give them as a meaning of my express of love or appreciation or of the occasion. But what we think as givers isn't necessarily the same as what our recipients think or feel about our gift. Fortunately for us, ProFlowers (whom I use a lot) has put a guide to Flower Meanings on their web site. To call this guide comprehensive is an understatement! I just wanted to say "I love you" with a rose. But like the word 'love', each different rose conveys a unique meaning. It's almost overwhelming. It makes me feel an unrefined oaf. "Pretty Lady, here pretty flower. hee hee hee" Which plant covers unrefined? Weed? Perhaps, sugar?

flight pattern visualizations

If you didn't know that these were flight patterns, you would almost thinking that you were looking at modern art. But they are simply our race across the sky. A visualization of our sojourns to work, to play, to bad times, to good ones.

No Grunting Allowed

I've been a a few gyms with tough but common sense rules: no throwing weights, no extreme yelling, etc. But one gym has a "no grunting allowed" rule. And one violator was escorted out by police for issuing a grunt while hoisting 500 pounds. Never mind 500 pounds, I've grunted after learning the ridiculously high admission price at some of these fancy gyms!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Blockbuster vs Netflix

With my budget, I haven't bothered with cell phones or cable or satellite TV. But I do enjoy movies, so I settled for a membership to Blockbuster Online. Three movies out at a time and I can pick up two additional movies a month at the local store. Three movies can last me a good while. With my schedule, I can watch a half hour here, ten minutes. It's like having an extra long commercial break (known as my life) in between viewings. Yet, even with my lengthy view time, there seems to be a longer time getting my next movie from Blockbuster. Sometimes it has gone as long as ten days. When I complained to them about this, I got three movies the very next day ... THE VERY NEXT DAY. Since then it has returned to slow delivery schedule. My friends that have Netflix seem to have quicker turn around times. So I was considering a move to Netflix ... until a couple of days ago. I got an email and then a notice in my movie about Blockbuster's new policy. I can now return my online movie to a local store and pick up a new movie while waiting for my next movie to be shipped. Definitely something that Netflix can't compete with. Let's see how good of a deal this works out to be. Ok, Blockbuster, you have my business for a little while longer.

Christmas in CA

My sister Annette lives in California. We last saw each other four years ago while we took care of my mother's estate. Since then she keeps threatening to kidnap me from my jobs so that I can visit her and her family. But you know that you can't kidnap the willing. So I've been thinking about a surprise visit. My company is closed during the week of Christmas. Southwest airlines has an Internet special rate for flights on Mondays and Thursdays. My flight would be $360, well almost $400 with all the extra governmental charges. Since Monday is Christmas day, perhaps I can show up on her doorstep with a Christmas bow plastered to my forehead. (I'll tell her that I was in India and my third eye blossomed.) That would be cool, wouldn't it! My excitement has died down considerably though as I worked the numbers for my budget. The way my life has gone lately, there are too many unknowns at the moment that might extort funds from me.

My sister Simonne lives in Tennessee. Her and her husband are planning to be in California with Annette during Christmas. I told her about my plan but not about the financial obstacles. She mentioned that her husband would be driving back to Tennessee with their daughter after Christmas. She wondered if the two unused return tickets would be available for my use. What a great idea! We'll know later if this is possible. Annette might be in for a Christmas surprise yet. Fortunately, she doesn't know about this blog!!!! Shhhh, don't tell her!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

web apps and browsers

I discovered something today as I was trying to post into Blogger and running Google's spreadsheet application. They don't like you to be signed on under different email addresses. I created a GMail address to test GMail and the Google's doc/spreadsheet apps. But I use a yahoo address for my Beta-Blogger account. But if you open both apps in one browser (in my case, Firefox 2), which ever email address is used last sign onto the application becomes the default email for both apps. Which means you lose access to one or the other. My fix? I had to open Internet Explorer for the spreadsheet and use Blogger from within Firefox. What a pain until I figure that out. Hopefully this will help you...

Christmas Planning

One major item on my to-do list today is planning everyone's gift. I am using Google's online "Docs & Spreadsheets". This way it doesn't matter where I am, I can access my spreadsheet at home or at work or even shopping if the store has Internet access. The thing that I like about using Google's apps is that I can share my document or spreadsheet with other people. They can read-only or have access make changes. This helps planning considerably. Hope you find this help!

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Real Day Off

While working my second job tonight, one of my co-workers told me about his family. His main job is that of soldier. He is one of the few people that I work with that has an excellent work ethic. I am fortunate to know him because if he had a higher rank, he wouldn't be working a second job at D's. At his pay level, he needs that second job to take care of his wife and four children. And because of it, he made a request of me tonight that was a bit of a dilemma. He is scheduled off this weekend but wants, rather, has a strong need to work it. So he asked if he could work in my place. I work these additional jobs to get through the financial hangover of my divorce. But the hassle and cost of working this job are coming close to not equaling the payout. Are his young family's needs greater than mine at this point? After some thought, I believe they are. So I agreed. Of course, any changes in schedule have to go through the manager who was not in such agreement. His concerns are with the business. My army friend only has a couple of weeks experience and this is a payday weekend. Yet, I don't know how, we were able to convince our manager to go along with the switch. And tomorrow will be my first weekend off! By 'off', I mean that I have no other schedules to meet. I had last weekend off so that I could spend time with great friends. This weekend will be different because it will be me alone and I haven't had that in months! I seemed to have lost 'me' while trying to meet everyone's needs. This weekend is a much needed recover time.

Video Game Scams

The stores don't even have Wii or Playstation 3 yet but the scams to sell these hot items have started. Sony put out a warning about Web sites that are promoting pre-orders on discounted or bulk shipments of the Playstation 3 game system. These promotions are not connected with Sony in any legitimate way. I understand that Nintendo is having the same problems with these illegal web sites.

who's right on this one?

I just read about a study that concluded certain anti-smoking ads may cause teens to smoke. The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, concluded youngsters 12 to 17 years of age were less likely to see smoking as harmful after viewing the ads produced by Philip Morris USA. A spokesman for the company said, "We have found nothing through our research to indicate that the study's conclusions are valid." The study appears in the December issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

dream jobs

There is a book about dream jobs that I haven't had the chance to read yet. But I was thinking about unusual jobs that you probably don't hear very much about.

Lobster Repair Technician: Do you think that lobsters at the restrurant look that well all the time? Imagine the tussle they get into trying not to become the next dinner --- eye stalks get ripped off, legs get pinched off. And someone has to put them back together in a sellable fashion.

"Correct Me If I'm Wrong" Consultant: Ever talk with someone and they say "Correct me if I'm wrong." Suddenly you find yourself burdened with the responsibility of being a know-it-all. If so, why not make money with this consultancy is thrust upon you.

Pip Finder: Though she seems ageless, Gladys Knight has been around for quite a while. Her backup singers are always able to keep up and must be replaced. This is your job to find Pips to go "whoo-whoo".

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Drive-In Movies

I spent my high school years nestled in the curves of the White Mountains of New Hampshire in the small town of Gorham. Even though there was less than three thousand people in the town, we had a drive-in movie theater perched on top of Gorham hill. The drive-in was like a huge, white flag, just inviting people from the surrounding counties to stop and visit --- which they did. It would open just after Memorial day and close just before Labor day every year. I have a lot of fond memories of my friends and my family making a big deal out of going there. It wasn't so much about going to see the movie as it was about socializing and building kinship.

A few years ago, when I returned to Gorham to bury my mother, I found that the drive-in had also passed on. Its remains had been covered by streets and new houses. The only thing left are the fond memories of those who shared its cinema glow. I miss those days.

Power of Silence

The saying goes that it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Of course, this doesn't apply to blog but there is a lot to be said in the power of being silent when in the presences of others. Apparently, one religious leader has used this idea very effectively in building his cult. By his silence and his gaze, he is able to easily wield power over his congregation. I guess this is better than a lot of religious leaders who guilt everyone into following them. Still, how exactly does he do this?

My Muscle ... Car

Using the term, muscle, loosely, we have my muscle car in the making and my arm muscle. (I enlarge the text on my arm so that you can read it.) While you will not see me in any Muscle Cars competition any time soon, you can watch the "Muscle Car Marathon which will air Nov. 24 at 9am EST on Speedtv". Yes, I am getting paid for this piece so, like any good commercial, let me say that this post sponsored by

NBA's New Basketball in Foul Trouble?

NBA switched from the traditional leather basketball to one made of microfiber composite. Since then players have been complaining that it bounces more erratically and takes more effort to get the same distance. So physicists at the University of Texas-Arlington have done some preliminary testing and have found differences between the two types of basketball. But these tests are preliminary. The methodology of the tests and the samples are questionable at the moment. So probably more testing will be done. Of course, I would think that the NBA didn't change balls without doing substantial testing beforehand. So what has changed between the prototype balls and the ones in current use?