Hic! - pilot maroons drunken passenger on island
Get Smart - CIA couple outed by 5-year-old son
Hey, Flipper! - British woman marries dolphin
New Bubble Breaker High Score: 1002!
It is raining again today. Following a two-day hiatus, rain has returned to heighten the threat of flooding. The rainfall is fairly light, yet it is continuous and predicted to last for several days. Six inches of rain are predicted for this area during the next 48 hours!
I wish everyone a very Happy New Year!
Friday, December 30, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
ET? - couple claims abducted/probed by aliens
Sieg Heil - prison term for Hitler voice mail
Don't Stand So Close - middle school bans touching
It has been dry since early yesterday morning. There is another storm predicted for Saturday. Rivers in Northern California are swollen. They are at their highest level in seven years. The RV park at the Sacramento River here was evacuated yesterday afternoon. The county park there is closed. The picnic tables are partially under water. The river is lapping at Woodson Bridge. Another storm would undoubtedly bring about severe flooding in this area. I pray that this storm does not arrive.
I have DirecTV here at the office and at home. DirecTV recently added XM satellite radio--72 channels of music and no Howard Stern--at no additional cost to subscribers. When I read that XM's competitor, Sirius, is paying Howard Stern $500 million for five years of his vile spew, I could not contain my disbelief and had to re-read the article to ensure I had read it properly. Certainly, this will ultimately result in the financial ruin of Sirius! I cannot possibly imagine that anyone will subscribe to Sirius in order to gain access to Howard Stern--certainly not in numbers sufficient to keep the company financially sound!
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Don't Soil Yourself! - funniest news of 2005
Phone Home! - boyfriend charged in swallowed cell-phone case
The rain continues! Flood warnings have been issued for this area! Laura is researching alternate routes for her return home this evening, since Woodson Bridge, over which she travels to cross the Sacramento River, is expected to be closed! This is very unusual! The rain appears to be abating at the moment (9:30 AM), but only time will tell the tale!
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Stop Thief! - thief steals Christmas Eve church offerings
Unwrap Me! - landlord rescues bound tenant Christmas Morning
It was difficult going back to work this morning! It was (and still is) raining heavily. It is not particularly cold (59 degrees when I arrived at the office at 8:15 AM), but it is certainly wet and dreary!
Saturday was a day spent lounging, watching movies, and snacking. The weather allowed grilling, so Laura grilled a couple of thick top sirloin steaks perfectly. I poached Brussels sprouts and white mushrooms. I sautéed white onions in extra-virgin olive oil, added the Brussels sprouts, the mushrooms, and seasonings and produced a delightful companion to the steaks.
Christmas Day, we went to Harvest Christian Center at 10 AM, anticipating a large attendance for the 10:30 AM service. By the time the service began, the church was filled well beyond its seating capacity. It was a glorious service.
Sunday afternoon, Mother visited. We dined on poached gulf shrimp with spicy cocktail sauce, spicy chicken breast strips with spicy dipping sauce and cool ranch sauce, small croissants stuffed with crab and bleu cheese, and champagne. We then watched Shrek 2. It was a lovely day.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Never Too Young - police nab fourth-grade counterfeiters
Say "Cheese" - thieves identified by photographs they took of themselves
Arf! - dog listed as defendant in drug-deal lawsuit
Merry Christmas! With only two days until Christmas, I wish to take this opportunity to wish everyone Merry Christmas! I pray that all who are traveling arrive safely. While you enjoy the company of family and friends, delightful dining, and loving gift exchange, keep in mind the true celebration: Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas!
Thursday, December 22, 2005
The One That Didn't Get Away - trout with two mouths caught in Nebraska lake
Go, Granny, Go! - robbers mess with wrong lady
Good Kitty - tigers kill smuggler trying to hide among them
Rain, rain, and more rain! The weather report is, "Rain today, dark tonight"! I realize that we need the water, but a dry day or two would certainly be a welcome respite from all this rain! I suddenly felt great shame for complaining: I thought about the victims of hurricanes and other natural disasters; I thought about our brave soldiers fighting in Iraq and elsewhere; I thought about New Yorkers suffering from the transit strike; I thought about hunger and suffering in underdeveloped countries; I thought about victims of crime, terrorism, and oppression. I felt great shame. How fortunate I am! How God has blessed me! What, after all, is a little rain!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Frosty, Is That You? - neighbors build giant snowman in Anchorage
I read in the news this morning that today is Jane Fonda's birthday. I cannot imagine what makes this newsworthy, but there the story was--just under the story of Elton John's "wedding." Yikes! This all gave me pause to reconsider my choices of online news services. Fortunately, the Fox News Channel has (thus far, at least) made no mention of the event. Hopefully, they shall not. I really doubt that I possess the intestinal fortitude to view Hanoi Jane in a party hat, blowing out the candles on her birthday cake!
The timing of this event is interesting, however, in that it follows my recounting of the tale of the juvenile sea sprite!
It is raining yet today, albeit lightly. Yesterday afternoon, the rain was so heavy for a period of about fifteen minutes that the DirecTV satellite signal disappeared!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Wake Up! - sleepwalking defense clears man of three rapes
What Is That Noise? - Eminem music used as U.S. torture device
Monkey Business - Chimp's painting fools art experts
New Bubble Breaker High Score: 958
I received a telemarketing call this morning. (Thanks to the National Do Not Call Registry, such calls are rare.) The caller wanted to send me a fax detailing the "...beautiful Web site..." that had been designed for California Technologies. He would not accept the fact that I am a Web designer as justification for my disinterest in his proposal. I regaled him, therefore, with the story of the juvenile sea sprite:
The juvenile sea sprite spends its formative days searching the ocean floor for a suitable rock or piece of coral to which to attach itself and make its home for life. To facilitate this process, the juvenile sea sprite is provided with a rudimentary nervous system. When the juvenile sea sprite locates a suitable rock or piece of coral and attaches itself, it no longer needs its brain, so it eats it.
The telemarketer was obviously entertained by the story of the juvenile sea sprite, since he did not disconnect until the story was completed--at which time he sighed softly and gently returned his telephone handset to its cradle.
Monday, December 19, 2005
The Naked Plumber - plumbing problem leads to naked man
That's Not Santa - man stuck in restaurant chimney
The rain has arrived. It was foggy Saturday, but it was dry. The baby back ribs roasted nicely on the grill, and Laura stayed dry while tending to them. A potato salad accompanied them, and the leftovers will be enjoyed tonight!
For brunch on Saturday, we had a DiGiorno Supreme pizza. We generally have pizza on Friday evening, but we were not sufficiently hungry at that time. Laura makes perfect pizza: She preheats the oven, places the pizza directly on the oven rack, and bakes several minutes short of the recommended time. The crust browns perfectly using this methodology, and the toppings are cooked to perfection. She lets the pizza rest on a wooden cutting board for five minutes before slicing.
Early (while we were sleeping) Sunday morning, the rain arrived. It rained all day and night, and it is raining still. Fortunately, it is a fairly light rain, and it is not particularly cold.
Although a good deal of time was spent playing Bubble Breaker over the weekend, I was unable to best Friday's score of 900.
Friday, December 16, 2005
It IS Delivery! - the Robin Hood of pizza delivery guys
YOU Do the Dishes! - man kills family after argument over household chores
The HORROR of it all: It is foggy and cold and gloomy, and RAIN is predicted for the weekend! How can this be? We have pig ribs awaiting their fate on the grill. Whatever shall we do? I shudder to think of Laura barbecuing in the RAIN, but it is altogether likely that she will be required to do so! Yikes! The HORROR of it all!
I have become most enamored of "Bubble Breaker," a new game included in Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. There are game-play options, but there are no rules or help available--adding, undoubtedly, to the attraction the game holds for me. A bit of research using Google indicates that the game has quickly developed a large following. The only salient game-play hint I found suggests keeping matching bubbles at the bottom of the screen together as long as possible.
My high score is currently 478. I must go. I must play!
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Don't Bet on It - 19-year-old bank robber hooked on Internet gambling
Don't Go Fly a Kite - fly a kite, go to jail
It is another beautiful day today. I became most fearful late yesterday afternoon, when the sky suddenly filled with threatening clouds. Today, however, the clouds are gone, and the sun is shining brightly!
Laura has been busy this week: She is the wardrobe manager for Harvest Christian Center's annual Children's Christmas Play. She washed and ironed all the costumes and created a beautiful scroll, on which she wrote scripture in shorthand. She maintains the costumes and helps the children dress. The general comment at last night's performance was that the shorthand looked like Hebrew. There will be a second performance of the play tomorrow evening. I shall attend this performance. As it is each year, the play is a great success, playing to capacity audiences.
CALLER update: The CALLER from earlier this week finally darkened my doorway this morning. She said she bought a modem at Staples and was unable to install it. I repeated to her my installation charge of $30.00. She reluctantly agreed, said she had her computer with her, and left to fetch it. Horror of horrors: Her "computer" was an elderly Gateway that was enormous and incredibly heavy. After a bit of investigation, I determined that it was a 386 with 8MB of RAM, a 40MB HD, no CD-ROM drive, and Windows 3.1! Great Scott!
I explained tactfully that this old beast was without value and asked her how such an ancient device came into her possession. She said she had purchased it at a yard sale for $50. She said she got "...the whole deal...keyboard, mouse, screen, and all the books and stuff." I was amazed. I felt great compassion for her. I explained that none of what she had bought was of any value whatever. Once she understood this she asked, "Well, what do I do now? I have to get online!" I determined that she could not afford a new system. I gave her a list of the minimum system requirements she would need for Internet use and wished her well.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The Real Thing - Coca-Cola rival will include cocaine ingredient
The Big Thing - 500-pound man accused of fast-food scam
The Big Bite - lion bites woman at zoo
It is sunny and beautiful again today. This weather is amazing for mid-December! There will be pig ribs on the grill Saturday, I guar-an-tee!
Last evening, I made Garlic Chicken Linguine--one of Laura's favorites. It is particularly simple to produce and is uncommonly scrumptious. I simply shred leftover grilled chicken, add to a skillet containing a vast quantity of minced garlic, La Conda Ranch extra-virgin olive oil, and two Cayenne peppers, toss in cooked linguine, and sauté for 5 minutes on medium-low heat. At the table, a liberal sprinkling of crushed red peppers and grated Parmesan cheese complete the dish.
I realize that you are all waiting impatiently to hear an interesting story. Unfortunately, nothing interesting took place here yesterday!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Bad Dog! - boy gets nose back after dog eats and swallows it
Bad Fish! - man punches out shark to save son
Bad Booze! - moonshine kills 14
The sun is shining brightly. It is a beautiful day. Hopefully, this weather will last through the weekend. We have some lovely baby back pig ribs that are calling out to be cooked slowly on indirect heat on the grill. Saturday would be a perfect day for pig ribs and Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale!
This conversation took place yesterday: ME: California Technologies. CALLER: I'm looking for a modem. ME: I have Lucent internal V.92 modems in stock at $24.95. CALLER: Wal-Mart has modems for $19.95, but they are all out. ME: When I do not have any they are $19.95 also! CALLER: So the ones you have are $24.95? ME: Yes. CALLER: Is that installed? ME: No. Installation and configuration would be a half-hour labor charge of $30.00. CALLER: That makes the modem over fifty dollars! Wal-Mart has them for $19.95! ME: If you pay Wal-Mart $19.95 for a modem they do not have there will be nothing to install, so your only cost would be $19.95. CALLER: Why do you want to charge over fifty dollars then? ME: I have the modem in stock and I can install it! CALLER: If I put it in myself can I buy one for $19.95? ME: Yes. CALLER: Okay. I'll be right there. ME: I will be right here.
24 hours later, I am still waiting for this creature to darken my doorway!
Monday, December 12, 2005
Are You Talkin' to Me? - taxi driver bites off customer's fingertip
I do crossword puzzles online. Some people gamble and play violent games online. I do crossword puzzles. On Monday, I do four crossword puzzles (NY Times, USA Today, and two at the Toronto Star); on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I do three crossword puzzles (USA Today and the Toronto Star; on Saturday and Sunday, I do the two crossword puzzles at the Toronto Star.
I neglected to do any crossword puzzles over the weekend. This sometimes happens when I find myself otherwise occupied. Today, I have eight crossword puzzles to do--the four Monday puzzles and the four from Saturday and Sunday.
While Jamie Foxx and Bianca Jagger impatiently await Governor Arnold's decision regarding Stanley Williams' clemency, I will be doing crossword puzzles. I must go now and begin this!
Friday, December 09, 2005
Desperately Seeking Chelsea - White House jumper wanted Chelsea Clinton
Drunken Bunnies - Playmates arrested after flight lands
Bad Santa! - man in Santa suit drops his pants at mall
In the "just when I thought I had seen everything" department: When I arrived at my office this morning, my attention was drawn to a vehicle parked at the curb--just out of Web cam view, unfortunately. This vehicle wore the paint scheme of the General Lee of "The Dukes of Hazzard." It was not the paint scheme itself, however, that made me question the accuracy of my vision. It was the vehicle to which the paint scheme was applied that caused me to stare in disbelief: The vehicle was an elderly Nissan 4-door sedan!
I am a fan of "The Dukes of Hazzard" (the television show, currently being rerun on CMT at 4 PM and 8 PM Pacific Time daily--not the abhorrent movie version!) and can certainly understand an avid fan's desire to pay homage. The choice of car, however, is a disgrace! What next, I wonder--a Batmobile created from a Ford Pinto? Yikes!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Rehabilitation - inmate steals van three minutes after release
Crime Does Pay - rapist wins legal aid to study what made him commit crime
Good Cop, Bad Cop - officer tasers partner during argument over soft drink
The sun is shining! (see Web cam) It is a beautiful day, and the weatherman predicts this weather will last through the weekend. Can you say, grilling weather?
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is in a private meeting in Sacramento this morning, hearing final testimony from both sides in the clemency hearing for Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams, who killed four people 26 years ago.
Williams is scheduled to die December 13, but with clemency he would spend life in prison without parole instead.
Schwarzenegger's decision will be announced shortly. I believe he will deny clemency. I believe he should deny clemency.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Hey, Pizza Man! - customer gives pizza man his own card
Philomena, my new HP iPAQ hx2970 Pocket PC, is awesome! Those interested can use the link for a full review. I will limit this post to a few salient observations.
Philomena operates under Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0. This new version has considerable improvements and enhancements over previous versions -- particularly regarding security and wireless technology.
Philomena's case has rubberized sides. This makes her easy to grasp firmly and comfortably. Her 1440ma battery is removable. Extra batteries -- including a 2880ma battery -- and a battery charger are available. CF and SD slots are included for increased storage capacity. The touch screen is soft and comfortable and eases handwriting. The wireless antenna is fully contained within the case, yet signal strength is stellar.
Philomena is calling out to me. I must go.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Is That You, Chupa? - the mystery beast of Borneo
Philomena has arrived! I am salivating copiously, longing to feel her power throbbing in my hand, but I must wait! First, I must charge her battery. I am quivering with anticipation, my pulse is rapid and irregular, my vision is blurred, and my right hand clutches at her and must be restrained by my left. Soon, she will be ready to be put into service!
I took advantage of the beautiful weather yesterday and grilled a large chicken. I cut a whole roasting hen in half and gave it a very spicy dry rub. I grilled the halves for fifteen minutes on each side on high, charring the skin and melting away the fat. I then placed the grilled halves on a baking sheet and placed in the oven for two hours at 200 degrees. It was incredible. Steamed spaghetti squash accompanied it.
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sleep Tight - and don't let the bedbugs bite!
We have beautiful sunshine again today. It was cold this morning (49 degrees in the office at 8 AM), and there was frost on RAMMMMM's windshield, but the sun quickly raised the temperature. It was beautiful here all weekend.
I find the level of violence in today's video games very disturbing. I recall enjoying "Space Quest," "Leisure Suit Larry," "King's Quest," etc. There was a certain level of violence in these games, of course, yet it was not realistic and always promoted good over evil. Even truly violent games such as "Doom" allowed the player to represent a good force fighting evil. The moral was sound.
Much of today's video-game violence is disturbingly realistic. More disturbing is the glorification of the triumph of evil over good! The player often is put in the position of car thief, drug dealer, murderer, etc., and the player's score is advanced by how well he performs criminal acts. The moral is unsound.
There are greater limitations and restrictions placed upon the content of television programming than there are placed upon the content of video games. This is very disturbing, in particular given the age group of the market audience these games attract.
Friday, December 02, 2005
No, Rocky! - squirrel pack kills dog
SUNSHINE! The sun is shining brightly (look at the Web cam image!), there is no wind, it is warming (65 degrees at 8:30 AM and quickly rising!), and this weather is predicted to last through the weekend. There will be grilling done here tomorrow! I am envisioning flames licking at thick, juicy top sirloin steaks, and this has caused me to salivate copiously!
Our computers and cameras have names. I feel that naming them enhances their functionality greatly and gives them personalities, as it were. My current ASUS A600 Pocket PC (Laura will become her new master December 6) is named Penelope. The HP hx2790 Pocket PC, which will replace Penelope, will be named Philomena.
The other "girls" are: Phaedra, my main office system; Pandora, my secondary office system; Liberty, my office system dedicated to DOJ background checks; Persephone, Laura's system; Phoebe, my laptop; Monique, my Nikon D1 digital camera; and Nikki, Laura's Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera.
It is now 9:35 AM, and the temperature has already reached 71 degrees! YES!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Happy Birthday! - tycoon spends $10 million on 12-year-old daughter's birthday
I received an email complaint last evening from a woman who said our city is unfriendly. She said she was shopping on Market Street, stopped for lunch and received poor service. She said that when she returned to her car she found that she had been given a parking citation. She used the Corning Chamber of Commerce Web site to send her scathing message. As webmaster of that site, I received a copy of her message.
I politely explained to her that she was lost, since Corning has no Market Street and does not issue parking citations.
I have not received a reply.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Divorce - woman wins 10,000-year settlement
The sun was shining when I awakened this morning! It disappeared an hour later, but it was beautiful while it lasted. It is dry but cold and overcast. More rain is predicted.
Laura has been suffering from a cold since Friday. She is much recovered today -- due, to a great extent, to the wonderfully restorative turkey soup I made last evening! She took a goodly portion of this delightful soup to work with her this morning to enjoy for lunch. While eating soup last night, her sinuses cleared, sweat beads appeared on her brow, and her fever broke. Never underestimate the curative power of turkey soup -- particularly when it is replete with Jalapeños, Habaneros, and garlic!
I was notified that the new HP hx2790 Pocket PC shipped yesterday. It is estimated to arrive here December 6. When it arrives, I shall, of course, make it the subject of that day's post!
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Burger Madness - Ronald MacDonald robs Wendy's!
Brrrrrr! It is warm here in my office, but it is cold outside! It snowed in the foothills last night, only a few miles from here. Watching cars covered with snow drive by on my Web cam makes me shiver!
If you have not already determined this: I am a warm-weather lover! I loathe wearing heavy clothing. I could never live somewhere that has long, cold winters. I know people who prefer the cold weather, and I am completely amazed by this preference. There are times here that it becomes a bit too hot (110 degrees and higher), but even on those days I am much happier than I am on cold, wet days such as today!
The weatherman says we may get some sunshine this afternoon. I hope this is one of those rare times when he is correct!
Monday, November 28, 2005
It's Tough Being a Superhero! - Spiderman arrested
Whew! It is difficult returning to work after four days of relaxation! Following four days of warm, sunny weather, relaxing at home, it was difficult indeed to look out the window at the rain and convince myself it was time to return to work! It appears that our beautiful weather is gone -- replaced by this dismal, wet, cold, windy weather. This was inevitable, but it was such a rude awakening this morning seeing that winter weather had arrived!
We simmered the turkey carcass for six hours yesterday. Tonight, we will add vegetables, turkey, herbs, and spices and produce approximately eight quarts of premium turkey soup. Seven quarts will go into the freezer in one-quart containers. It is a wonderful feeling knowing all that delightful turkey soup awaits our dining pleasure. The eighth quart of soup will be enjoyed tonight -- a perfect meal for such foul weather! There is a beautiful 3-pound London Broil waiting to be grilled tomorrow evening, along with giant white mushrooms, Jalapeños, and asparagus.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving! My brother, Phillip, (I have another brother, Jeffrey, who lives in Southern California) arrived here yesterday from Santa Cruz with his wife, Susan, and sons, Alex and Dillon. Laura and I had planned to have my mother here for Thanksgiving dinner, but she is now preparing Thanksgiving dinner at her house. We shall visit there later. Without a guest for dinner, the quantity of hot peppers in our dressing has been increased greatly! We enjoy heat levels in our food that others would consider abusive.
The dressing is made and awaits only a final baking prior to serving. The turkey is in the oven. It is time to relax! Laura bought me a jug of Cabo Wabo Reposado Beach Party Pack. I graciously share it with her, giving her the blue agave glass and taking the autographed Sammy Hagar red guitar glass for my own use. Ah, what a palatable nectar this is!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Don't Shoot! - man holds up bar with a ham sandwich
Where's the Fire? - man takes fire trucks for joy rides
I enjoyed a bottle of Sierra Nevada 25th Anniversary Ale with my perfect (charred nicely on the outside and rare on the inside) top sirloin steak last night, and what a treat it was! As I mentioned in a previous post, this brew was produced in limited quantity and given to employees as part of the 25th anniversary of the company. Each employee was given six 24-ounce bottles. It is not available to the public. It is a wonderful India Pale Ale brew, and the relative unavailability makes it all the tastier!
It is warm again today, and this wonderful weather is predicted to last another week or more. What glorious weather this is!
While driving to the office this morning, my alertness and quick response saved RAMMMMM from being struck by a Lincoln Navigator. The woman driving the Navigator was ignorant of my presence, devoting her attention to the conversation she was having on her cellular telephone. She did not appear to realize that she had nearly crashed into me. There is no conversation so important that it cannot be delayed until it can be made safely in a parked vehicle.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
These Shoes Were Made for Sneakin' - shoes made specially for sneaking across border
Cold Turkey - frozen turkey saves couple from burning car
It is a particularly quiet day here at my office. I enjoy quiet times such as this. The entire city seems quiet. Traffic on the main street is very light, and there are only a few parked cars. Generally, at this time of day, traffic is heavy and parking spaces are few. This morning on the way to my office I noticed that the gas station near my house was doing a brisk business. Apparently, many are traveling to celebrate Thanksgiving elsewhere.
I will be closing early tomorrow and will remain closed until Monday morning. Laura is working a half day tomorrow and has Friday off as well. It is beautiful weather during the day and chilly at night. We will be grilling some top sirloin steaks, giant white mushrooms, and red bell peppers tonight. I shall also make a batch of garlic/broccoli mashed potatoes. I am drooling copiously in anticipation!
We will be attending a special service at Harvest Christian Center tomorrow night.
Thursday morning, we will begin the preparations for Thanksgiving dinner. We shall have turkey, asparagus, Cajun dressing (toasted sourdough bread cubes, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, onions, red bell peppers, Jalapeño peppers, Habanero peppers, chicken stock, and various herbs and spices), cranberry sauce, and Almaden Chardonnay. Over the weekend, we will make a huge batch of turkey soup.
Well, now that I have worked myself into a feeding frenzy, I shall have a Fuji apple and a Diet Pepsi!
Monday, November 21, 2005
Stop Snoring! - sleep apnea may double risk of stroke and death
Following intensive research (and considerable fretting over Laura's safety -- realizing the risk that she might be tempted to engage in Mah Jongg play once she has Penelope with her during her commute), I have decided upon the new HP iPAQ hx2790 Pocket PC. This device runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0, which affords significant improvements and enhancements over Penelope's Microsoft Windows Mobile 2002. Wireless Internet has not been possible with 2002 and should work flawlessly with 5.0.
One of the most innovative features of the hx2790 is the biometric fingerprint scanner. This level of security ensures that personal information remains personal.
The hx2790 was not available yet when I pre-ordered it from my HP distributor. It is expected to arrive here December 6. Penelope -- an ASUS A600 -- has served me well for over three years. She shall doubtlessly serve Laura well now.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Tomorrow is the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., and what a party it will be! I am greatly anticipating this event, as one might well imagine.
Admission to the party will be limited to Sierra Nevada employees, spouses, and guests. A special brew -- 25th Anniversary Ale -- has been produced especially for this event. This special production is extremely limited and will not be made available for sale to the public. Distribution will be limited solely to employees, as a gift in the form of a case of 24-ounce bottles for each of the more than 400 employees!
The menu is astounding; I am salivating uncontrollably as I view it.
To be passed: Butternut Squash Samosas, with cilantro mint dipping sauce; Mushroom and Goat Cheese Bundles, with filo pastry; Shrimp Toasts, with Thai dipping sauce; Spiced Crab with Artichoke and Parmesan, served warm on garlic toasts.
Downstairs: Cheese Display - three tables, three themes, featuring California, Spanish, and English cheeses, with fall fruits and sliced breads; Korean BBQ Beef - staff will be slicing marinated grilled beef and instructing guests how to wrap with lettuce and herbs, two dipping sauces (sweet chili and peanut); Mims Desserts - bite-sized sweets and delicious cakes.
Mezzanine: Chicken Marsala - a sauce with tomato, Indian spices, toasted cashews, and coconut; Chicken Ragout with Pancetta - Italian style, with fresh herbs; Rice Pilaf - with spices and crisp fried onions; Mushroom Risotto; Roasted Autumn Vegetables - preserved lemon and fresh thyme; Roasted Pork Loin - with fall fruits; Roasted Garlic Potatoes; Market Green Salad - a salad display with choice of two dressings (sherry wine vinaigrette with pomegranate and Pointe Reyes blue cheese dressing.
There will be live music, a dazzling array of Sierra Nevada ales and lagers, and fine California wines.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Spammer Goes to the Slammer - Weaselboy sentenced to six years for spamming/scamming
Spam is abhorrent. It clutters our in boxes. The best anti-spam techniques are imperfect. I use Microsoft Outlook 2003. It does a good job of detecting spam and moving it to the Junk E-Mail folder. Sometimes, a valid email will be sent to the Junk E-Mail folder, so it is necessary to view the contents of that folder to ensure that no valid email is missed. This methodology is preferable, I feel, to ISP spam filters, since valid email may be deleted by ISP spam filters, leaving one without knowledge of its existence.
In an ideal world, of course, no anti-spam, anti-virus, or anti-spyware techniques would be necessary. This is not an ideal world, however, and spam, viruses, and spyware are constant threats to all computer users.
It is very encouraging to see stiff prison sentences given to those who are convicted of sending these threats.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Texas Town Changes Name to "Dish" - residents get free satellite service for 10 years
Sheriff's Hot Line Misprint sends calls from retirees to sex line
Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 is now available. Its enhancements and added features make my current Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 2002 seem very dated. Add to this the annoyance of a broken on/off button (other buttons power the device on, but only leaving the device idle will power it off), and it would seem that this is a perfect time to upgrade.
I have a fear, however, and it causes me to hesitate: Laura takes possession of Penelope (my Pocket PC) upon her arrival after work and plays Mah Jongg feverishly, stopping only when her fingers begin to cramp. My fear is if I replace Penelope and give her to Laura, Laura might easily fall prey to the lure of Mah Jongg while she is commuting. The vision of her engaged in gameplay at 60 miles an hour is extremely frightening. My lust for a new device is at odds with my concern for Laura's safety. Whatever shall I do?
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I was watching the latest update on the saga of David Ludwig and Kara Beth Borden on Fox News this morning. A client entered my office, looked at the television for a moment, turned to me, and said, "Home-schooling."
"I beg your pardon," I said. "Home-schooling," she repeated. "They were home-schooled, and that is an unhealthy way for kids to grow up." I knew this lady was a school teacher, so I assumed that she considered home-schooling a threat to her career. I ignored her remark. "How are you this morning," I said, "and how may I be of service to you?" "You're a Republican, aren't you?" she asked. "Of course," I said, smiling. "I knew it," she said. "Only Republicans watch Fox News. I watch CNN." "Ah," I said. "No doubt that is where you learned of the evils of home-schooling." I smiled, assuming this would end the discussion. It did not.
"Republicans are ruining this country," she continued. "Republicans are for big business, so they're pro-war, 'cause war is good for business. Republicans want lower taxes so they can shrink the federal government and make people more dependent on local government. Republicans want to allow religion into schools where it doesn't belong. They want to take away our freedom of speech and do away with National Public Radio and the National Endowment of the Arts by doing away with the tax money that makes these programs possible. They support home-schooling because it does away with jobs for teachers and makes it possible to lower taxes. The oil companies are getting rich because Republicans have us in a war where we don't belong."
She would most likely have continued for hours had I not taken control and said, "I am certain you recall war protesters during the Vietnam era burning their draft cards in protest." "Of course," she said, a confused look upon her face. "Well, you have the opportunity to protest similarly," I said. Still looking confused, she said, "How's that?" "Burn your voter registration card," I replied.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
A Girl Named Moon Unit - top 10 celebrity children bizarre name poll
It is sunny and warm (66 degrees at 8 AM), but it is very windy -- 40 mph-plus! Generally, when it is windy early in the day the wind abates in the afternoon. Public Works employees are affixing Christmas trees to the street light poles, and the wind is making this task an unpleasant one.
Scientists Decipher Squirrel-speak - huh?!?
Speaking of San Francisco, the NRA is preparing a lawsuit against the San Francisco gun ban. I predicted the NRA would do this when I first heard of the ban. It is very encouraging to see that my prediction will soon be realized. San Francisco is dangerously out of control. In the absence of a controlled earthquake, the NRA will hopefully bring about a resolution to this insanity.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Giant Jellyfish Menace Japan - Look out, Godzilla!
Corning is preparing for its annual Hometown Christmas. The event will take place this Saturday and will feature arts and crafts booths, food vendors, a visit from Santa, a live Nativity scene, and a lighted parade. Hopefully, this wonderful weather we are enjoying will continue.
Although this event has taken place prior to Thanksgiving for many years, I believe that a date after Thanksgiving would be more appropriate. I often hear others opine similarly. Most of the store windows along Solano Street are adorned with Christmas decorations. I adhere strongly to tradition, however, and have Thanksgiving decorations in my window. Following Thanksgiving, the Christmas decorations will appear there. I will enjoy the parade, however.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Huge Meteorite Found in Kansas - be careful, Dorothy!
What a beautiful day this is! It is sunny and very warm, with a gentle breeze. There will be some grilling (teriyaki chicken breasts and giant shrimp!) done here this afternoon, I guarantee.
We watched Finding Neverland. What a wonderful movie!
I have been thinking about San Francisco, their new anti-gun legislation, and the 9th Circuit Court: The most reasonable and judicious remedy would be for California to return San Francisco to Mexico -- on the condition, of course, that San Francisco be physically severed (an induced earthquake would be efficacious) from California and positioned as an island in the Sea of Cortez.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Can Your Cat Make You Crazy? - a scientific study!
Granny's Got a Gun! - and she uses it!
Today is Veterans' Day. Most businesses are closed for this holiday, but here I am, slaving away. The weather is beautiful, and it is my expectation to leave at 2 PM and enjoy the balance of the day eschewing the glow of the monitor and enjoying the glow of the sun.
This morning, I serviced a notebook that exhibited signs of infestation. I installed anti-spyware and anti-virus applications, which detected and removed 468 spyware/adware objects and 12 viruses/worms. People who create and spread these threats are vermin, and I am greatly pleased whenever I read of the capture of one of these creatures. Common decency prohibits me from opining upon what I consider to be appropriate punishment for such abhorrent individuals.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Sushi Time! - a 382-pound yellowfin tuna, caught off the waters of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, on Thursday, October 13.
The saga continues: HotFax MessageCenter had this pleasantry awaiting my listening pleasure when I arrived at my office this morning: "Hello? I guess you're not there." (The voice mail date/time was last night, 10:52 PM, so her assumption was correct.) "This is Debby. I was there yesterday about the Internet. I got hooked up through Netscape and everything worked fine for a long time but now everything's messed up. Can you call me please?"
She left no telephone number, but through the miracle of Caller ID, it was displayed by HotFax MessageCenter. I made a cup of hot tea with raw clover honey, settled into a comfortable slouch in my chair, and returned her call.
"Hello." It was after 9 AM, but the sound of her voice indicated that my call had awakened her. "Good morning, this is David from California Technologies, returning your call." "Oh, yeah," she said. "I got Netscape hooked up yesterday." "That should compliment your Wal-Mart computer," I interjected. There was a long silence. "Anyway, something happened, and now everything's messed up." I asked her to detail what she meant by "messed up," and her response indicated that her system was suffering from a severe spyware infestation. I told her this and said that I had time this afternoon to remove the spyware and install protection against future threats. I told her the charge would be $60. "I just bought this computer. It's under warranty." "Explain your problem to Wal-Mart," I suggested. "I went there last night, and they said they couldn't help." "I can help," I said, "and the charge for this service is $60." "That's nuts," she said. "Have a nice day," I said and returned the telephone to its cradle.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
A lady came to my office this morning to inquire about Internet access. She said that she and her husband had just bought a computer at Wal-Mart. I cringed and gave her an overview of the various plans we offer -- dial-up, DSL, and wireless. She asked me what could be done to keep her teenaged daughter from "...going places we don't want her to go." I said that what her daughter chose to do or not do on the Internet would follow as a direct result of how well her daughter had been raised and what moral values she had developed.
"What do you mean by that?" she asked. I replied, "Your daughter will be guided on the Internet by the same moral values that guide her throughout her daily life." She shrugged and said, "Isn't there some way to just put contols on where she goes on the Internet?" "Yes," I said. "You tell her what is expected of her. If you employ software control upon her Internet use, she will be unduly restricted by the key-word restrictions used by software control. The Internet can be an incredible research tool and a great benefit to her for homework, but restricting her search results would be very counter-productive."
"So what are you saying?" she asked. I was amazed but longed for her $15 sign-up fee, so I continued. "You have had many years to impart to your daughter what is expected of her. If you have done this well and properly, you need fear nothing from her Internet usage. The basic operative principle here is respect." "She is a good girl and always does what I tell her," she replied, inappropriately sternly. "Just because you have her attention does not mean you have her respect," I said.
She shook her head so violently from side to side that I feared greatly that it would surely leave her body. Then, she departed.
The sun is shining. It is 68 degrees. All is well.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
"A guy witnesses an accident." Get your morning's laugh here!
The rain stopped during the night, and it is 61 degrees but seems much colder because of the wind. Brrrr.
I am pleased that the rain has stopped for now, since this presents a greater potential for a good voter turnout for today's election here in California. As I mentioned in a previous entry, I vote absentee and recommend this highly. It costs 74 cents to mail my absentee ballot, but RAMMMMM would guzzle more than 74 cents worth of fuel to travel the six blocks to the polling place.
The sun is peeking out from the clouds! The wind appears to be abating. The Web cam is active on my desktop as a 30fps live video feed, which allows me to monitor the weather from the relative safety of my desk.
It seems that this month is passing quickly. Soon, it will be Thanksgiving. If someone is addicted to Thanksgiving leftovers, can he quit cold turkey?
Monday, November 07, 2005
In case you have not noticed the Web cam today, the rain is here. It is still fairly warm (high 60s), but it is definitely wet here!
There will be no grilling tonight! Catfish is on the menu tonight, and it shall be cooked indoors! Wild rice will accompany the catfish. I am salivating at the thought; I have had only an apple today and am ready for a nice meal!
Today was spent removing some particularly nasty Trojans and a quantity of spyware from two clients' systems. I am weary from the travail. Regardless of how much I deal with worms, Trojans, viruses, spyware, and adware I always find it draining and loathsome work. It wearies me unduly.
6:40 PM Update: When I left my office at 4 PM, the rain was falling so violently that RAMMMMM's wipers were barely able to keep the windshield clear. It is still pouring, and if this continues much longer there will be significant flooding. The flooding here is not generally dangerous, but it can certainly be inconvenient!
The wild rice is cooking in the rice cooker and smells wonderful. It is time to put a dry rub on the catfish. Yum!
Sunday, November 06, 2005
This morning was breezy but not particularly cold. We departed for church sans jackets and were comfortable. We shopped at Sav-Mor Foods following church. Beautiful, ripe avocadoes were on sale at three for a dollar! We bought six. There were about thirty cases of avocadoes on display! We found an incredible London Broil -- nearly four pounds -- at only $2.68 per pound. We had intended to cook a cross-rib roast today, but this London Broil called out to me! I showed it to Laura, and she said, "That's beautiful, but we will have to grill it; we can't cook it like a roast." "Oh, yes we can," I assured her.
While Laura stowed our purchases, I sipped a frosty beverage (Smirnoff, orange juice, and lime juice) and made a batch of guacamole, with a quantity of hot, fresh salsa and two of the avocadoes. We enjoyed the guacamole with some Mission Salsa Roja tortilla chips, smoked turkey sandwiches, and Sierra Nevada Celebration Ales.
The London Broil was seared on all surfaces in some La Conda Ranch extra-virgin olive oil. A cup of California Merlot joined the meat, along with baby red potatoes, a quartered Maui onion, celery, baby carrots, onion soup mix, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Cajun seasoning. It has been cooking since 2 PM and should be ready at 7 PM. It smells wonderful!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
We vote absentee. I have done so for about 30 years, and Laura began doing so several years ago. I much prefer the comfort of my home or office, with research information at hand, to the polling place. Laura is voting today. She has been very tardy and must now take her ballot to the polling place in order that it is received in time to be counted.
I cast my ballot two weeks ago. I was doing so at my office and was interrupted by a client who asked what I was doing. I thought it was obvious, but I told her that I was voting. She told me, "Only people who can't make it to the polling place are supposed to vote absentee." A discussion followed, during which it became apparent that not only did this lady have no clear understanding of the absentee voting process, she had no understanding whatever of the measures. Her voting "strategy" employed using a pamphlet sent out by our Governor, casting her vote in direct opposition to Arnold's suggestions. I said, "All things considered, California would be better served were you to stay in bed on election day." She frowned and said, "Voting is a right that cannot be taken away." "Actually," I said, "voting is a privilege that can be taken away. At that point, she grimaced and turned the discussion to her computer. Her description of the problems she was experiencing indicated to me that her computer was infected with spyware. I told her this and quoted an estimate for the removal of the spyware. She thanked me and left. She returned the following day with her computer. There were no political discussions.
Generally, we have pizza on Friday nights. We enjoy pizza, beverages, and a movie or two on Fridays, because (in part) preparation and cleanup are minimal, and relaxation and entertainment are primary. Since we had so much pizza earlier in the week, it was decided that we would seek an alternate -- albeit similarly "easy" -- meal. We happened upon Country Crock Macaroni and Cheese at Safeway. We had seen this product advertised on television. We generally eschew such prepared foods but decided to try it. We added a large kielbasa and a large jug of Smirnoff to the shopping cart. We grilled the kielbasa and put the tub of macaroni and cheese in the microwave for five minutes, as directed. With a spicy horseradish mustard dip for the grilled kielbasa and a healthy sprinkling of chrushed red peppers on the macaroni and cheese, all was very tasty. I recommend Country Crock Macaroni and Cheese.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Where is the storm that was predicted? Yesterday was windy and chilly, but there was no rain. Today, the wind is gone, and the sun is shining. I am not complaining, since I loathe rain and cold weather. Hopefully, we will be grilling this weekend!
RAMMMMM was dangerously thirsty for fuel this morning; in fact, he has been dangerously thirsty for several days. The lines at the gas station near my house have been discouragingly long, however. This morning, the needle on RAMMMMM's fuel gauge cried out to me, demanding attention. Never underestimate the power of prayer: As I departed my parking space in front of my house, I thanked God for facilitating access to the fuel pumps. When I turned the corner and the gas pumps came into view, I was thankful (but not surprised) to see that the path to the pumps was clear. There were no vehicles ahead of me!
The credit card processing system at the pumping station was inoperative. I went inside to pay and was asked for my driver's license. I displayed it but said, "Think about this, if you will: Had the machine been operative, it would not have asked to see my driver's license." The clerk admitted that this was a valid observation.
Fuel prices remain high here. Premium was $2.89 per gallon this morning. $40.00 worth of this precious fluid moved the needle of RAMMMMM's fuel gauge barely 1/3 of the distance between E and F. RAMMMMM was dangerously thirsty.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
DogCatRadio.com - "The radio station all pets enjoy!"
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005
We enjoyed the remaining half of the Safeway deli pizza for dinner last night, and it was very nearly as good reheated as it was when freshly cooked Monday night. We enjoy cooking -- particularly grilling meats, fish, seafood, and vegetables -- but we enjoy a nice pizza at times. This was a particularly delightful pizza.
I have received several emails inquiring about the hideous empty building across the street, asking just how hideous it is! Well, by any standard, it is most hideous indeed. Only the addition of a gargoyle atop this building is requisite to complete it as a true paradigm of hideousness.
You shall now have the opportunity to view this monstrosity for yourself, but be warned before you cast your eyes upon it: It is truly frightening to behold!
THERE! I warned you! Click upon the image of this horrid structure if you dare!
Legends concerning this building are many; common decency does not permit recounting them. Suffice it to say that the attic, it is said, is home to thousands of bats, and cats and dogs cross the street to avoid passing near the building!
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
While shopping at Safeway on Sunday, we picked up a fresh pizza from the deli there. Laura had volunteered to work at the Harvest Festival, beginning at 7:30 PM, so we decided that a pizza prior to her departing for the event would be a great choice for dinner, rather than eating late following her return. The pizza was called "The Works" and was HUGE! We ate and ate and ate, and there was half remaining when we could eat no more. It was easily the best non-delivery pizza I have ever eaten! It was also an incredible bargain at only $7.00!
We have made a discovery, certainly, and will enjoy Safeway deli pizzas often in the future. A Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale was an excellent accompaniment.
The Harvest Festival was a great success! The weather was perfect. Over 4,000 people enjoyed this Christian alternative to Halloween. This event is presented each year by Harvest Christian Center. There were games, music, cookies, and lots of candy. The event is an example of Harvest Christian Center's dedication to the salvation and spiritual growth of the youth of this area.
It is overcast today and 63 degrees at 8 AM. It is entirely possible that our beautiful weather will soon be a fond memory.
Monday, October 31, 2005
Cannon's Emporium is no more, and now there is yet another empty building on Solano Street -- directly across the street from my office. It was sufficiently unattractive when it was occupied -- painted a depressing dark-rust color -- but it is all the more unattractive now that it is vacant. It is a very large building, this fact certainly contributing to its obvious and dismal emptiness.
A drive along the six-block business district of Solano Street gives one the impression that there are more empty buildings than occupied buildings. This may not, in fact, be the case. I have not taken the time to count and determine whether the majority are empty. It certainly does appear, however, that the majority are empty. Three other empty buildings border the empty eyesore.
Interestingly, the vast majority of empty buildings are on the opposite side of Solano Street from my office. This makes my side of the street, in general, and this block, in particular, appear thriving; it certainly makes an unattractive and depressing view from my front windows, however. For this reason, I have my Web cam pointed away from the empty buildings -- pointed toward a thriving pharmacy and busy intersection.
Sunday, October 30, 2005
I enjoyed an extra hour of sleep this morning, having remembered to set (at least a few of) the clocks back an hour last evening. This morning was a beautiful, warm, sunny morning that became a beautiful, warm, sunny day.
Following a spirit-filled church service at Harvest Christian Center, we shopped at Safeway. We lounged earlier and attended the late service, we were famished, and the sushi offering in the deli section called out to us.
Following the storage of our purchases, we enjoyed some ebi, California rolls, pickled ginger, soy sauce, wasabi, and California Chardonnay. The warmth provided by the sun and the gentle breeze provided by the open doors increased the pleasure of the dining.
We put a spicy dry rub on some beautiful top sirlion steaks and a marinade on some giant shrimp yesterday, and they will be going on the grill in a few minutes, along with some ears of corn. A penne salad with pesto dressing will accompany this, along with some California Merlot. Choosing a movie will follow this feast. We have a fairly large selection of DVDs we have not previously watched from which to choose.
Later: Dinner was excellent. Laura grilled, while I kept our twin male Bengal cats occupied. At one point, Zeus (my cat) became so focused upon escaping whever Laura opened the rear door to tend to the grill that it was necessary for me to lure him into the workout room with kitty treats and sequester him there until Laura completed the grilling. Thor (Laura's cat) was otherwise occupied--nibbling upon the napkins on the dining room table--until he recognized the sound of kitty treats exiting their container, at which time he quickly joined Zeus.
It has been a particularly glorious day. Hopefully, this beautiful weather will continue as predicted and provide an excellent evening for tomorrow's Harvest Festival.
Friday, October 28, 2005
I awakened at 6 AM this morning to the sound of rain. It has been raining lightly all morning, although it is rather warm (68) and calm. This is the type of rain I prefer. The ground is able to absorb and use the water. The trees, flowers, and plants have the dust washed from their leaves. It is predicted that this afternoon will be warm and sunny. When this happens, everything will look clean and fresh, and the birds will sing.
This morning, a client brought her computer to my shop, saying that her daughter had been using it last evening when her anti-virus software detected but could not remove a worm. She asked me why I had Thanksgiving decorations in my store window, suggesting that Halloween decorations would be more appropriate at this time. I explained to her that Halloween is a festival that celebrates death and Satan and directed her to The History of Halloween. She was extremely interested and asked for the use of one of my high-speed wireless Internet systems so that she might read this article.
She read the article with great interest and thanked me for directing her to it. She said she intends to share it with her daughter this evening.
I recommend the article to anyone interested in learning about the history of Halloween.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Icon Wars! What your computer does when you're not looking!
The sun is shining brightly, and it is already 72 degrees at 8:31 AM! Yesterday's dreary weather has passed, and the weather is once again wonderful. I drove my Ramcharger to the smog station this morning at 7:30 AM and walked the six blocks to my office. It was a very pleasant walk.
Hopefully, this beautiful weather will last through next week as predicted. Monday evening is the annual Harvest Festival at Harvest Christian Center, and it is anticipated that over 4,000 young people will attend this event. Excellent weather would certainly be a benefit to this event!
A gentleman came to my office and inquired about a computer that his son had brought "to town" for repair. I told him that his son had not brought it here and suggested that he inquire at the only other computer store in the area. He replied, "I went there first, and they don't have it. What do I do now?" I replied, "First, you must buy a new computer. Then, you must promise yourself never to allow your son to take your car 'to town' for repair!"
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Welcome to my blog! I am pleased that you visited and hope that you find the experience interesting.
The issue for today is the weather: We have been enjoying beautiful weather, with afternoon temperatures in the 80s, until today. Today is chilly, windy, and damp. I realize that I should not complain--particularly given the truly horrid weather that has been visited upon other areas lately--but I shall! I truly miss the warmth of the sun and loathe wearing heavy clothing.
The weather is predicted to be warm again Friday and through the weekend and the first few days of next week. I await this with great glee.