Tuesday, November 30, 2004

More Stupid Criminals/Stories

Bad joke gets better for police
A man walked into a La Vista gas station Sunday and joked that he had a gun - but what happened next left the police laughing.
La Vista Police Chief Bob Lausten said the man, 22, entered the Sinclair gas station at 84th Street and Park View Boulevard about 6:15 p.m.
The man's joke didn't alarm the clerk. She was his mother. However, another customer was alarmed. He called police.
Officers sped to the scene and found the suspected robber and a friend outside their car in the station parking lot.
Officers detected the smell of marijuana coming from the car. A search turned up a quarter pound of marijuana and $603. The men were arrested for drug possession.
Jailed in Sarpy County, the two men, both on parole, realized a conviction would land them back in prison.
So they used a jail telephone to call a girlfriend and persuaded her to claim the marijuana was hers. She had no criminal record, and the men assured her she would, at most, stay in jail overnight.
The woman went to the police station and told her tale. Police knew immediately the story was false because inmate phone calls are recorded at the Sarpy County Jail.
She was arrested for false reporting.

Lotto con-man hits legitimate jackpot
IN an ironic twist of fortune, a former lottery con-man who served time for once claiming his winning million dollar ticket was stolen, hit the jackpot in one of Romania's biggest pay outs ever, officials said.Stelian Ogica, who was sentenced in 2001 to three years imprisonment by a Bucharest court for attempted swindle, won one billion leis ($42,172), lottery officials aid.
When Ogica was released from prison in early 2003 he continued to play the lottery.
His persistence paid off.
"This time I wrote my name and address on the tickets so there would be no confusion," said Ogica. "I knew I was going to win."

Merry Chrismukkah: Cards Combine Holidays
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Every December, Zack Rudman and his wife send out cards with winterscapes and generic holiday greetings.
Finally, though, the Kansas City lawyer found a variety that seemed to better suit a Jewish man and an Episcopal woman with two young children as familiar with the menorah as mistletoe. It screams "Merry Chrismukkah!"
Across the country, two holidays that once seemed to share little more than a calendar page are increasingly being melded on greeting cards aimed at the country's estimated 2.5 million families with both Jewish and Christian members.

You're Drunk...who You Gonna Call?
CANBERRA (Reuters) - An Australian phone company is offering customers the chance to blacklist numbers before heading out for a night on the town so they can reduce the risk of making any embarrassing, incoherent late-night calls.
A survey of 409 people by Virgin Mobile, a joint venture of The Virgin Group and Optus, found 95 percent made drunk calls.
Of those calls, 30 percent were to ex-partners, 19 percent to current partners, and 36 percent to other people, including their bosses.
The company also found that 55 percent of those polled would grab for their phone first the next morning to check who they had drunkenly dialed, compared with just eight percent who went for the headache pills first.

Jeopardy To Get New Champion Tonight

The soft-spoken software engineer Ken Jennings, who is Jeopardy!'s longest-running champ, could finally get beaten and booted off the pre-taped show tonight after a record 75 appearances, according to numerous Web reports.
With $2.5-million in his back pocket, the 30-year-old Jennings has earned the title of highest-earning player ever on a syndicated quiz show.
Yesterday, a two-minute audio clip was circulated on the Web, including the question that is reported to have stumped this king of quiz. Sudbury, Ont.-native Alex Trebek, Jeopardy!'s host, can be heard saying, "The category is business and industry, and here is the clue, ladies and gentlemen: Most of this firm's 70,000 seasonal, white-collar employees work only four months a year?"
The theme song starts. "You have 30 seconds," says Trebek. "Good luck."
Well, if the trivia pundits are correct, Jennings finally chokes.
A contestant named Nancy guesses H&R Block. Jennings writes FedEx.
Trebek yells, "Nancy, you're right!" The crowd groans, long and loud.
Sounding like the cat who swallowed the proverbial canary, Trebek wraps up the final minutes of the show: "Nancy Zern, congratulations! You are indeed a giant killer. A new Jeopardy! champion at $14,401!" Then the host continues. "All good things have to come to an end, don't they? Well, too bad for Ken. But he's going home with a lot of money -- $2½-million [U.S]. Congratulations young man."

Monday, November 29, 2004

Ballot For Future HOF'ers Revealed

I have a problem. I am not a Pete Rose fan. Pete Rose was not in his prime in the years I grew to love baseball. I have not been an advocate for his reinstatement to the league so he can be put in the Hall of Fame. That being said, I have a problem with one name in particular who is on the ballot to potentially become a Hall of Famer. Darryl Strawberry. Pete Rose bet on baseball games. There has never been any evidence Pete Rose intentionally did anything to throw a ballgame. They called him "Charlie Hustle" because of the way he played the game. He continue to say to this day (all though most would say his word doesn't mean much anymore) that he never bet AGAINST the Reds (the team for which he played). What Pete Rose did was against a Major League Baseball Rule...A clear violation...but on the whole, gambling on games is legal in the U.S. Whether Pete Rose placed all his bets legally or through a bookie, I do not know, but making bets on sports is as much a pastime as the games themselves in the good ol' U.S. of A.

On the Other hand, Darryl Strawberry was suspended from baseball on three separate occasions for drug related incidents (1995 and 2000 for testing positive for cocaine and in 1999 following an arrest on a possession charge). He also served 11 months in prison after his playing career was over in 2002-03 for violating probation on a cocaine possession charge. What Strawberry did was against baseball & society laws. Cocaine is not a legal substance anywhere in America. He was caught using it on at least three occasions while he was playing. Obviously this would effect the way he actually performed in a game. You could argue his "problem" affected the outcome of many more games than Pete Rose ever did. Yet, Strawberry is eligible for the HOF.

His 335 career homers, 1000 RBI, 221 stolen bases, 898 Runs & 257 average in a 17 year Major League career may or may not be enough to get him in, we'll see. But should he even be on the ballot if your not going to let Rose be there too? To be honest my personal opinion is that a player should be judged in whole by what he did ON THE FIELD. This would mean that Pete Rose's betting, unless found to affect his actual on field play, would be dismissed while Strawberry's drugs would be considered (he tested positive for drugs during an actual season, therefore effecting his on-field performance). In other words, I think they have this one backwards.

Afghans Celebrate Freedom By Playing Golf

This story needs no commentary other than to say we are obviously winning the war on terror...lol:

QARGHA, Afghanistan (Reuters) - At a resort that became a battlefield, Afghans teed off Friday in their country's first open golf tournament in more than 30 years.
As is still the way in Afghanistan, the first shot of the day at the Kabul Golf Club went to the local militia commander, applauded by his men with shouldered Kalashnikovs.
But organizers say they hope their tournament, contested by 40 local caddies in a picturesque valley just outside the capital, will help bring a new era in which the only risks are from golf balls, not bullets, flying down the fairways.
The club describes itself as the best and only course in Afghanistan and promises "golf with an attitude."
Hazards are unorthodox, from the bombed out club house below the dramatic first tee on a ledge high up the valley, to the odd spent shell or scurrying lizard.
Club pro Mohammad Nazir Popal insists there is no danger, even though the nine-hole course became a battlefield in the 1990s when rival Mujahideen factions fought among themselves over overthrowing a Soviet-backed regime.
The club was forced to close because of the fighting and then when the Taliban swept to power all hope of playing golf, which the hardline Islamic regime associated with wealthy Western diplomats, was lost.
It reopened this year, but only after it was thoroughly checked for mines and other unexploded ordnance.
A lack of water means there is not a patch of grass to be seen and the greens are actually "browns" made from oiled sand, yet the course has become popular with a few dozen hardy souls among Kabul's 2,000-strong foreign community.
The Kabul Golf Club might not be the smartest in the world, but it is certainly affordable, with a green fee of $10 and annual membership just 7,500 afghanis ($160).
A surrounding park is also attracting fresh interest. Former refugee Zabir Sidiq is rebuilding a restaurant and nightclub overlooking the course, which he visited as a young child.
"In the past there was a lot of killing going on here," he said. "Right now we are trying to fix up this area and give people some hope to understand a better life."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Get Your "Politically Incorrect" Questions Answered

this website allows you to post and get answered to questions you may have been afraid to ask for fear of being villified as "Politically Incorrect."

Y?, the first and only site of its kind, gives you a way to ask people from other ethnic or cultural backgrounds the questions you've always been too embarrassed or uncomfortable to ask them. If you have the courage to ask, Y? will evaluate your question, consider it for posting and try to get someone from that background to answer. If needed, we'll get an expert to weigh in.
Y? The National Forum On People's Differences has no agenda or cause, other than to get people talking across their differences - a running dialogue Y? believes most of us would like to see occur but that has yet to fully unfold through the conventional media.

Who Lives In A Pineapple Under the Sea?

I Took my Brother Joey (13 yrs old), my son Ryan (4 yrs old) and my Cousins boy Nathan (8 yrs old) to see the Spongebob Movie this past weekend. It ranked 2nd at the box office Just barely behind National Treasure and just ahead of The Incredibles (Which I took my son to see last night). I was actually mildly surprised the humor wasn;t a little MORe crude than it was. Sometimes when my son is watching Spongebob on Tv I cringe a little when I hear some of the things said/done in the cartoon. I found the movie somewhat humorus and only had that "he didn't need to see/hear that" feeling a couple times (beleive me, I thought it would be much worse in a 90 minute movie). The older kids, Joey and Nathan, Both thought the movie was a little slow for them and gave it a C+ in school grade terms. My son Ryan predictibly loved it. When the movie ended he screeme dand clapped for his "heroes" Spongebob & Patrick.

As for The Incredibles, the whole family went to that one. My Wife, Marsha, Fell asleep through most of it..as did the 9 month old (Logan). I watched the whole thing but was torturously bored through the first 45-50 minutes until it picked up a little. Of course Ryan liked the action in the last 1/2 hour. As a kids movie it was a little long (about 2 hours). The story took a long time to develop and Ryan got antsy at about the 45 minute mark. Luckily, the story picked up shortly thereafter and held his attention. this was his reward for getting a haircut so I'm glad he liked it.

If Golf Scores Lower, Check The Ball

If your out playing a round of golf with your buddy and he has, "the best round of his life" & wipes you out for a few bucks, be sure to check out his golf ball. It may be loaded...with nanochip technology. Of course when they come out I'll be first in line to get one!

Buffalo, N.Y.-based NanoDynamics has come up with a golf ball that can correct its own flight path so it flies straighter than conventional balls. The ball won't shift 45 degrees in midair, but the design of the ball--and the materials it's made of--serve to better channel the energy received from the club head and thus correct a wobble or slight drift.
"It also behaves much more controllably on a putting surface, which is how we hope to get interest on the pro circuit," said Keith Blakely, CEO of NanoDynamics. "It has a reduced tendency to break. It doesn't pop or jump or roll."

The ball, which is expected to hit stores in the spring of 2005 and cost $7 to $8 apiece, is one of a slew of nanotechnology products aimed at the increasingly obsessive sports market.

Froogle "Wish-List" For Mom

Google released a new feature called the "wish-list" which allows you to go to multiple online retailers and add items to your list. With a click of a button your list is published on the web. When anyone asks, "ahat do you want for Christmas?" just point them to the list!

Want one of your own? Just go to Froogle, search for a few things from thousands of online merchants, and click 'Add to list' for any item you want to add to your Shopping List. You'll need to sign in to your Google account or create one if you haven't already (if you have a Gmail account or Groups 2 login, you already have a Google account). If you want to share items, just click the 'In Wish List' checkbox and whammo, you now have a web page of your holiday wish list to share with friends and family. This year maybe I'll get iPod socks instead of argyle!

Sign O' The Times: Artest Cup for Sale

Just another sad commentary on the society we live in. How did it get to be like this? The Cup that hit Ron Artest which ignited the Pistons-Pacers brawl was up for sale.

An item purported to be the cup thrown from the stands at Pacers player Ron Artest last Friday night was on eBay for less than 24 hours after bidding went out of control.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Artest, Union Should Taqke Punishment Like Men

Someone asked me today if I had written anything on my blog about the Ron Artest suspension as a result of the Pacers-Pistons brawl this past weekend. My response was, "everything that can be said about it, is being said." With that out of the way I do have one thing to say...I would like (just one time) for a player or the players union to stand up and say, "nope, we're not appealing the suspension because (insert player name here) got exactly what he deserved."

Today the players union filed the official appeal of Artest's suspension. Saying the penalty is excessive & that a suspension of about 35 games would have been more appropriate for Artest, Union Director Billy Hunter asked for an arbitrator to reduce the suspensions. My opinion is that Ron Artest should stop acting like a baby boy and accept his punishment like a man.

Let's face it, this is not about Artest wanting to play in the NBA...remember earlier this season he was benched by his coach because he asked for a couple weeks off to go promote his new rap CD. This is 100% about the $5 million he is going to lose as a result of the suspension. If he can get it reduced by 1/2, he stands to gain $2.5 million of his salary back. The proof this is all about the money is in Artest's actions. In his first public appearance since the brawl, Artest appeared on NBC's "Today" show wearing a shirt and hat with the logo of his CD label. In the interview he said "I don't think it was fair -- that many games. I respect David Stern's decisions, but I don't think I should have been out for the whole season." Of course he also went on to mention his new CD no less than three times. The only thing he should be repeating right now is his apology to the guy he attacked. ESPN has reviewed the tapes and come up with an angle of footage that clearly shows who in the crowd threw the cup that hit Artest as he lay on the scorers table. Guess what? It wasn't the guy Artest went after. In fact, Artest ran right by the guy who threw the cup and hit some guy who did absolutely nothing.

One of Artest's arguements was that the action that continued after he went into the stands was purely self defense. that very well may be, but none of it would have been necessarry had Artest not jumped into the stands to begin with which was, coincidentally, a cowardly move. Why was it cowardly? Well just moments prior Ben Wallace, an NBA thug in his own right who is a big, nasty, SOB, practically decapitated Artest with a shove to the face & neck and Artest backed down. then, after being hit with this cup goes after a guy 1/2 his size in the crowd. Talk about picking your fights.

Seventy three game suspension including his $5 million salary for a repeat offender who is constantly getting in trouble in the NBA...I got no trouble whatsoever with that. Next time it should be for life.

Help For Men Who Can't Get Dates

Is it just me or does this seem to be the wrong way to start off a relationship?

Meredith, 28, works by day at a top investment bank in New York. But for the past few months she has also been moonlighting at a different trade -- accompanying men, too busy or too shy to meet women, to bars to make connections.

Meredith works for Wingwomen.com, a three-month-old service aimed at men who are tired of trying to figure out the best way to approach that attractive female across the room. For a fee starting at $150, they offer the company of a girl whose charms might help attract others.
"Normally, you might go out ten times before you meet one girl," said Brandon, a 28-year-old investment banker who has used the service several times. "With Wingwomen, I met four girls and went home with two phone numbers in a single night."

Meredith's job is to start up a conversation with any woman the client wants to get to know. Then the ball is more or less in his court. If things are moving along smoothly, wing women are experts at leaving the chattering pair alone. At a recent after-work cocktail party at Bogart's, a bar in midtown Manhattan, Meredith was hard at work helping a client find that special someone. The client spotted a group of good-looking prospects and Meredith worked her magic. "Hey, do you guys know if there's a private party in the back?" she said nonchalantly to the women. "Are you part of that group?" With the conversation under way, Meredith went in for the kill. "I'm sorry, this is my friend...," she said, introducing her client. In an instant, the ice was broken.

Janitor/Small Business Owner Leaves Millions to School

So as we complain about being broke and never having enough money (all the while spending, $75 a month on cell phones, $50 for cable, a hundred or so on fast food, etc.....), remember this gentleman who saved pennies at every turn...eventually ammassing 2.3 million befor ehe died, then leaving it all to a small college.

GREAT FALLS, Montana (AP) -- When Genesio Morlacci left $2.3 million to a small college here, many people were astonished at the wealth amassed by a man who operated a dry-cleaning shop and later worked as a part-time janitor in retirement.
But to those who knew Morlacci well, his bequest came as no surprise.

"He was a fellow who felt that if you didn't need it, you shouldn't buy it," said Joe Marra, his former attorney. Morlacci died last month at age 102. The University of Great Falls has announced that his endowment will generate roughly $100,000 a year for scholarships
Morlacci, a widower, did not have any children. He gave the college nearly all he saved through work, investments and old-fashioned thrift -- he was known to remove worn collars from his shirts, then sew them back on, with the frayed side down.
Morlacci believed the government and too many people spent beyond their means, Marra noted. "He was quite critical of the young people who needed, in his eyes, instant gratification,"

No NASCAR For Marysville

Have I mentioned how much I love the Government in the VERY "blue" state of Washington? Let's see, build a NASCAR track, bring money & jobs into the economy, create a sense of excitement in the community, attract other businesses associated with NASCAR, build MUC NEEDED soccer fields and recreation areas on the grass where the Parking would be & include a road project that will alleviate traffic situations for all but two or three weekends a year -OR- dump the whole idea and let Costco, Wal-Mart & other big box stores pave over the entire area to have massive parking lots and have traffic congestion every day of the year?

In one of the worst arguements I've ever heard, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen D-Camano Island, said she's happy that the idea has been dropped. Haugen said it's absurd to be talking about spending millions on a racetrack with the state facing a $1 billion budget shortfall. "I'm certainly glad that they're not wasting any more money" studying this, Haugen said.

I wonder if she's ever hear the saying "insanity means doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Let's see, we are running at budget shortfall every year...year after year...how can we fix that? Maybe bring in some tourism/TAX dollars, fill up those hotel rooms & restaurants, maybe attract some out-of-staters to move into the area. Nah...that would bring in to much money and we like our billion dollar shortfall...we need to protect it.

For Snohomish County and Marysville, the deal fell apart because International Speedway Corp., or ISC, would not sweeten its end of the bargain. They tried to get ISC to either pony up more than its initial $50 million offer or provide some kind of guarantee that NASCAR's most-popular racing series, the Nextel Cup, would come to Marysville. That's against NASCAR policy.
For ISC, the overall $250 million price tag was at least $100 million more than other tracks it has built in recent years - even much bigger ones.
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen said he thinks Snohomish County and Marysville may have come to a decision too quickly, saying they should have taken time "to have some Thanksgiving dinner."
"I'm disappointed that they made that decision now," he said. "It just seems to me a little quick to pull the plug. To me it's never over until you're absolutely certain there is no way to make it happen."

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Do you or your Pet need a Date?

That's right, you can go to datemypet.com and select either a match for you, your pet or both! Hopefully no humans are dating animals in this experiment!

Hunt From the Privacy of Your Own Home.

Now that's an idea! This guy is taking advantage of the net to allow Hunter's (aimed at targeting disabled hunters) to hunt on his ranch in Texas live via the web! What a world we live in.

A Texas company is considering letting web users use a remote-controlled rifle to shoot down deer, antelope and wild pigs.
For a small fee users will take control of a camera and rifle that they can use to spot and shoot the game animals as they roam around a 133-hectare Texas ranch.
The Live-Shot website behind the scheme already lets people practise shooting at targets via the internet.

Each remote hunting session will cost $150 with additional fees for meat processing and taxidermy work.
Species that can be shot will include barbary, Corsican and mouflon sheep, blackbuck antelope and wild pigs.
Already the Live-Shot site lets people shoot 10 rounds at paper and silhouette targets for $5.95 for each 20-minute shooting session. For further fees, users can get the target they shot and a DVD recording of their session.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Just Another Reason Why People Hate Microsoft

I used to think Disney was the Evil Empire. I've decided to join the rapidly growing crowd who thinks this is actually Microsoft (with sincere apologies to my buddy Robert Scoble). I had another in a long line of fun experiences with the company tonight (sense the sarcasm?). After making my way through the maze that is their website, I finally came across the information I needed to cancel my subscription to MSN Premium Internet Software. Something I didn't realize was still billing my credit card until my wife asked me about it last night. At some point I must have gotten roped into some offer and Microsft has laughed to the bank everytime they've billed my card, I'm sure. Especially considering I've never even used this "software" I was supposedly subscribed to.

According to the website you can: Contact Accounts and Billing Support for help with your subscription, such as an explanation of your bill, general sales information, or how to cancel your account. IMPORTANT: Due to security reasons, we can not perform some account and billing support functions through chat or email. If you would like to reset your password or request a credit/refund/adjustment, please contact support by phone or chat. If you wish to update your credit card, please contact support by phone. For all other issues, you may contact support by any method below.

So I figure rather than wait on hold like in past Microsoft experiences I would just use the chat option. Surely this can't be a "security reason" they are talking about in the disclaimer. I mean all they have to do is access my account and hit the cancel button. So I click the internet chat button and easy as pie I am connected to "Sue" my internet chat robot/I mean person who talks like a robot. Here is a transcript of the conversation:

ME: I would like to Cancel my Subscription to MSN Premium Software
Sue: If I am understanding you correctly you said you would like to cancel your MSN premium software subscription
Sue: MAy I have the phone # this account is assigned to, the full name and the billing address
ME: Sure it is blah, blah blah
Sue: Thank you. Now all you need to do is call 800-494-2962 and let them know you would like to cancel your subscription. They are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
ME: You mean I gave you all this info and you basically can;t do anything for me?
Sue: For Security reasons cancellations must be handled by telephone only
ME: So why did you need me to give you this information about myself?
Sue: To give you access to the phone # you need to call to cancel your subscription
ME: The Damn phone # is posted on your website, I'm looking at it right now
Sue: Is there anything els eI can do for you today?
ME: You haven't done anything yet, why start now.
MSN CHAT: The adminitrator has ended the conversation

After this highly productive time with my MSN Robot I figured it's late at night, what better time to call Microsft than the present? Surprisingly I got an answer right away...

Thank you for calling Microsft support this is NICR (name I can't remember) how may I help you?
ME: I would like to cancel my account
NICR: Are you not enjoying your subscription?
ME: I don;t know when I signed up for it, but I know I haven;t used it even once yet.
NICR: You haven't used it yet? I don;t even have a button for than reason (I'm not lieing here, this is what she actually said).
ME: Well, I just need it to stop charging my card
NICR: OK, can I get your phone # associated with the account
ME: blah blah
NICR: Sorry, that number doesn;t come up, can I get the e-mail account and last 4 digits of the CC # you used?
ME: Sure it is npthree2003@MSN.com and XXXX
NICR: Great, got it. OK, I just need to transfer you to the person who can cancel that for you...can you hold just two minutes?
ME: Sure (crappy hold music ensues)
NICR: Hello...I hate to do this to you, but the siftware dept is closed for the evening, they closed at 1 am, you just missed them by three minutes, haha. I can give you your ticket number so you can just call up and cancel it tomorrow.
ME: I just was told by tour online person they are open 24/7, how can they be closed?
NICR: Oh, they probably meant technical support...would you like your ticket number?
ME: Sure give me the ticket #
NICR: xxxxxxxxxx, can I be of any more assistance?
ME: You haven't been any yet, so why start now :(
NICR: Again I apologize sir. Thank You for Calling Microsoft.

The moral of the story is, if you EVER get any type of offer from the Evil Empire (AKA: Microsoft), immediately shut down your computer and walk away! Do not look into the light! They will suck you in. Run away!

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Set for May 6th Opening

My favorite book of all time (I'm not even a science-fiction fan) is set to become a real live movie on May 6th, 2004.

In the mean time, DON'T PANIC, Here's a link ot the official trailer. Here's the jist of the plot: Earthman Arthur Dent is having a very bad day. His house is about to be bulldozed, he discovers that his best friend is an alien and to top things off, Planet Earth is about to be demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass. Arthur's only chance for survival: hitch a ride on a passing spacecraft. Arthur sets out on a journey in which he finds that nothing is as it seems: he learns that a towel is just the most useful thing in the universe, finds the meaning of life, and discovers that everything he needs to know can be found in one book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Flying Overseas? Book your Travel There too!

Consumer Tip: Slow to respond U.S. sites may be overcharging for the cheapest fares. If your loooking to travel overseas, try booking your travel through a foreign based travel site!

The three major U.S. online travel sites fare worse than their European counterparts in finding the cheapest international air fares, according to a study released Friday.
When compared with 20 travel sites in seven countries, the U.S. sites of Expedia Inc., Orbitz Inc. and Travelocity.com LP fell behind travel sites for Belgium, Denmark and Germany.

The best performer was a little-known Belgian site, Travelprice, which provided the lowest price 49 percent of the time, according to the report (here in PDF form) from Consumer Reports WebWatch, a Yonkers, N.Y.-based project of the Consumers Union.
"For Americans wondering if better online travel deals are available outside the U.S., this project demonstrates that the answer is clearly yes," the report states. "It's also clear bargains await U.S. shoppers who can successfully deal with the language and currency issues."

Not All Companies Are Outsourcing

Keep this in mind if you are shopping for a PC during this Holiday season!

With demand for its desktop PCs growing, Dell last week unveiled plans to build a third U.S. manufacturing facility, in North Carolina, to open next fall. The plant will build computers for Dell's commercial and consumer customers on the East Coast.
Dell's other U.S. manufacturing plants are in Lebanon, Tenn., and Austin, Texas.
About 700 new jobs will be created in the first year, and that number will scale to more than 1,500 in five years, Dell officials said.

3Com Going Back to Core Switch Business

In a related story, my ex-girlfriend who cheated on me wants me back! Well, not really, but you get the idea. How can 3Com look a potential customer in the eye and say, "we're back, we're better than before and we won't leave you this time...really!" 3Com basically screwed any core customers it had in the 90's when it just left them for dead (read: holding the bag) and abondoned all efforts at the core switching market. Basically 3Com took your best friend to the prom and now wants you to pay for the limo!

After quitting the core LAN switch market in the late 1990s, 3Com hopes to make up for ground lost primarily to Cisco Systems Inc. in large-enterprise networks by employing a combination of lower prices, better performance and a future-proof architecture.
"This is 3Com's way of redeeming themselves for abandoning the switch market a few years ago. 3Com has some real dedication to the core-switch market. The amount of research and development they're putting into the new product line really demonstrates their commitment," said 3Com user Mark Berkheimer, IT manager at the Susquehanna Area Regional Airport Authority, in Middletown, Pa.

Oh Canada! Our (Future) Home and (Immigrant) Land!

In a scene right out of grade school and the "it's my ball and if I can't play I'm taking it with me" category, some U.S. citizens are turning to Canada after Dubya won the White House for four more years. My response? "Don't let the border crossing arm hit you on the a$$ on the way out of the country. " The more Far Left Liberals we can drive out of here, the better.

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) -- Rudi Kischer wants to help those Americans who have the post-election blues after U.S. President George W. Bush's second-term victory.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, immigration lawyer plans seminars in three U.S. cities -- Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles -- to tell Americans frustrated with Bush's re-election that the grass is greener north of the border.
And that's not just an allusion to Canada's lenient marijuana laws.
"We started last year getting a lot of calls from Americans dissatisfied with the way the country is going," Kischer says. "Then after the election, it's been crazy up here. The Canadian immigration Web site had 115,000 hits the day after the election -- from the U.S. alone. We usually only get 20,000 hits."

Canada suddenly has utopian appeal for many left-leaning Americans. Its universal health care, gay rights, abortion rights, gun-control laws, drug laws, opposition to the Iraq war, ban on capital punishment and ethnic diversity mirror many values of the American left.

Liquor & NASCAR, Just Don't Swear On It.

I love the fact that Earnhardt junior can't shat SH%& in happiness on a live interview unintentionally but NASCAR has decided its ok to have a n entire car decked out with a Hard Liquor logo...like Crown Royal. Moral: Don't get excited and let a swear word slip out, but it's ok to Have a couple drinks of Liquor to celebrate....just don't drive home....lol!

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Tougher times for auto racing teams chasing sponsorship dollars are driving Nascar to hard liquor.
This week, the racing circuit announced it will allow teams to accept sponsorship deals from hard liquor advertisers. Spirits company
Diageo (Research), which had approached Nascar more than a year ago about a sponsorship, will sponsor a car for its Crown Royal whisky next season.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

From Last to Third...A Look at The Also-rans

A Buddy of mine, Todd Yeager, recently took the time to do an interesting look into the also-rans of the presidential election. I found the information very interesting and wanted to share it here:

Here is something I wrote up. I've always been interested in third party, and minor party politics. There are usually interesting stories behind those folks that decide to make an impossible run at the White House. 2004 was no exception...

2004 Final Election Results
George W. Bush -------------59,742,448 ---50.956%
John F. Kerry ---------------56,285,595 ---48.001%
Ralph Nader -------------------503,283 -----0.429%
Michael Badnarik ---------------399,981 -----0.341%
Michael Peroutka ---------------148,904 -----0.127%
David Cobb ---------------------107,076 -----0.091%
Leonard Peltier ------------------21,616 ------0.018%
Walter Brown --------------------10,280 -----0.009%
James Harris ----------------------6,933
Roger Calero ----------------------4,705
None of These Candidates ---------3,646
Thomas Harens -------------------2,395
Bill Van Auken ---------------------2,191
Gene Amondson -------------------1,928
John Parker ------------------------1,452
Charles Jay --------------------------880
Andy Andress ------------------------763
Earl Dodge ---------------------------137
Write-in votes --------------------------?

(Many states disregard write in votes, many others simply count them as "write in" votes -but don't designate to whom-... thus my list only includes candidates that actually appeared on at least one state ballot. 100,000+ write-in votes were likely cast... many for "none of above" or fictional charters or the dead... though certainly many thousands of votes were made for eligible office holders that did not appear on any ballot. John Joseph Kennedy is a good example of a write-in candidate. He actually campaigned in several states, did lots of radio and cable TV interviews... and appears to have scored a few hundred votes for his effort. But, I have no idea how many votes he actually did receive... as again, many states don't bother to track these results... so, I've not included Kennedy or the other write-in candidates.)

Who are they? From last place, to third place....

Earl Dodge - Has run for President six times (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004) and Vice President two times (1976, 1980)... all for the Prohibition Party. In 2000, he was only on one state ballot (Colorado), and received just 208 votes total, his party's worse showing to that time (Dodge received a high of 8004 votes in 1988). This pathetic showing led to a rift in the tiny party. Don Webb, the National Chairman, led an anti-Dodge faction intent on making Gene Amondson the party nominee. Webb claimed that Dodge acted illegally when he held the Prohibition Party National Convention... in the Dodge livingroom. Dodge claimed he was the legitimate nominee.The dispute was never resolved, mainly because the pro-Dodge and anti-Dodge sides lacked the financial resources to take the issue to court. Eventually Gene Amondson ran as the Concerns of People Party nominee.The Prohibition Party dates to 1872, making it the oldest third party in the nation. The party peeked in 1892, when it received 271,058 votes (2.3%). The Prohibition Party, obviously, supports the prohibition of alcohol. It also supports making tobacco illegal. It largely holds to extremely conservative, Christian-right, views.

Stanford (Andy) Andress - Andress appeared on the ballot in only one state... Colorado, where he received all of his 763 votes. His wife ran as VP on the unaffiliated ticket (which is not legal). Andress took advantage of very liberal third party ballot requirements in Colorado. He put forth no noticable campaign... his main goal in running may have been to promote his self published book, 'The Civil War: The Sound of Thunder.' Finding a picture of Andress proved to be quite difficult.

Charles Jay - Ran as the nominee for the Personal Choice Party, after withdrawing from the VP slot on the Libertarian ticket. Jay is a boxing writer and manager. His VP was former -and now current- porn star, Marylyn Chambers. The Personal Choice Party has many Libertarian ideas, and is especially interested in legalizing gambling. Jay also made boxing deregulation an important part of his campaign (something Bush and Kerry avoided even discussing). Jay was the Personal Choice Party's first ever nominee... and he appeared on only one state ballot (not surprisingly... Colorado).

John Parker - Parker was the nominee of two party's... Workers World Party, and the much smaller, Liberty Union Party of Vermont. This former school teacher is a militant communist. Parker's VP, Teresa Gutierrez, is a lesbian that likes to call business owners, "capitalist pigs." It's believed she is on CIA watch lists because of her numerous trips to Cuba.The Workers World Party has been active since the early 1950s, when it was an issue orientated group that mainly supported Soviet actions around the world. The Party fielded its first Presidential candidate in 1980. In the 1996 election, the WWP was on 12 state ballots and received 29,100 votes.The WWP is staunchly Stalinist, and it calls for "direct action" over elections. It has many-many front groups... such as International ANSWER and Alliance for Global Justice (antiwar groups)... and it uses Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark as a spokesman for many of these groups.John Parker "campaigned" in several states... those these stops mainly consisted of heckling Kerry or Bush during their speeches. Parker appeared on two state ballots (Colorado and Vermont) and received 1,452 votes (this includes several write-in votes).

Gene Amondson - The "anti-Dodge" candidate of the Prohibition Party... Amondson technically ran as the Concerns of People Party nominee. He appeared on two state ballots (Colorado and Louisiana). Despite his clear victory over Earl Dodge... control over the Prohibition Party remains undecided.Leroy Pletten was Amondson's running mate. Pletten notes that he was "elected *twice* to the board of directors of his condominium owner's association."

Bill Van Auken - The nominee of the the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP was founded as the Workers League in 1966, changing its name in 1994. The SEP is a communist, anti-Stalinist group. The SEP failed to field a Presidential candidate (or any candidate) in 2000... and it appeared the party might die. However, the 2003 California recall election allowed the SEP to field a gubernatorial candidate... and after receiving 6,700 votes (good for 14th out of 135)... the party decided to enter the 2004 Presidential race (and as many other national races as it could).Van Auken appeared on five state ballots (CO, IA, MN, NJ WA)... and the SEP fielded five candidates for the US Congress.Van Auken is a writer, specializing in left-wing political theory. His VP is a retired auto worker.

Thomas Harens - Harens is a former state legislator from Minnesota. This liberal Democrat is the founder of the Christian Freedom Party... which interestingly enough, has no members (not even Harens himself). Harens appeared on only one state ballot... Minnesota. Though he denied it, it is pretty clear that Harens only goal in running for President, was... to draw conservative Christian votes away from George Bush in an attempt to help John Kerry win the state. It turned out Kerry didn't need the help... though Harens still gets his 12th place finish in the 2004 Presidential race.

None of These Candidates - Nevada has a law that requires a "none of these candidates" option to appear on the ballot. The vote really has no value, as the 'real' candidate with the most votes, wins... even if the "none of these candidates" option were to have the most votes. But, it is on the ballot... and 3,646 people in Nevada voted for it... good enough for 11th place in the 2004 election.It's likely such an option... had it appeared on all ballots... would have been the leading 3rd party finisher in 2004.

Roger Calero - Calero is not eligible to be US President. He was not born in the USA, and in fact... is not even a citizen (he is here with a Green Card). His VP is also not eligible... as she is only 24 years old. This was a publicity stunt of the Socialist Workers Party, one they commonly use.The SWP is a hard-line Marxist party, that is very-much pro Fidel Castro. In a confusing twist... the SWP fields two Presidential candidates. It's 'main' candidate is Roger Calero... who appears on 5 state ballots. However, in states where a candidate must actually be Constitutionally eligible... the SWP used James Harris. He appeared on 9 state ballots. Together, the two combined to get 9,328 votes.

James Harris - Harris was the 'backup' Constitutionally eligible candidate of the Socialist Workers Party. He was the 'main' candidate of the party in 1996. Harris is a textile worker with a long history with the SWP. He took a leave from his job to campaign... which mainly entailed walking picket lines with striking workers. Harris' VP, Margaret Trowe, works in a pig slaughtering plant.

Walter Brown - Brown was the nominee of three party's... Socialist Party USA, and the much smaller Natural Law Party of Michigan and the United Citizens Party. Brown is a former attorney, professor, mailman, laborer, WWII vet, city councilman... and he was a state senator in Oregon for 13 years (as a liberal Democrat).The SP-USA is actually staunchly anti-Communist. The group was founded in 1900, and was once an extremely powerful third party (it took 12% of the vote in 1912)... holding many elected offices in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s (many congressmen, mayors and state officials). The party is not militant... and is more liberal democrat then it is socialist.Brown appeared on 8 state ballots. The party was split when it was learned Brown was personally pro-life... which cost him the California ballot.

Leonard Peltier - Peltier was a beneficiary of Walter Brown's pro-life 'problem'... as he received the support of disenchanted Socialist Party USA voters in California. This support, along with support from the Peace and Freedom Party, allowed Peltier to qualify for California's ballot. This was the only state ballot Peltier appeared on... and the only state he received votes in.Peltier, a Native American with a 6th grade education, was unable to vote for himself... as he is currently serving back-to-back life sentences in Leavenworth Federal Pen for murdering two FBI agents in 1975 (they were killed, execution style). Several movies and documentaries have been made covering this incident. But on the plus side, at least as the Socialist Party USA sees it... Peltier is pro-choice... both personally ~and~ politically.Peltier originally had designated his attorney, Barry Bachrach, as his VP. But, party officials balked and instead nominated Janice Jordan. Jordan is an advocate of slave reparations... and she supports releasing scores of so-called 'political' prisoners (including Peltier).

David Cobb - Cobb was the Green Party nominee. Not only did he have to defeat 3 contenders out for the slot in a series of state primaries and caucuses... but he also had to convince members at the National Convention to even have a nominee. Many Green Party members advocated no nominee at all, as they feared hurting John Kerry. But by promising to not campaign in battleground states... Cobb was able to win the nomination.Cobb appeared on 27 state ballots, enough to have won the Presidency had he carried each of those states (the first 3rd party candidate on this list that had that chance). Over 30% of his votes came from California... and, he did in fact pull several votes from so-called battleground states. Though, no where near enough to impact the race.The Green Party won several city races in election 2004, as well as a few state wide races. Cobb received over 100,000 votes (0.1%)... good enough for 6th place.

Michael Peroutka - Peroutka was the nominee of the Constitutional Party... as well as the much smaller, Alaskan Independence Party, Independent American Party, and the American Independent Party of California. The CP is a far right conservative party that believes the Constitution is founded on the Bible. The party is pro-gun, anti-war... and it focused on the gay marriage issue in 2004.The CP, behind Peroutka, tried to pursued a 'big name' to run for President... but likely because conservatives didn't want to hurt Bush's chances... were unsuccessful in the attempt.Chuck Baldwin, a well known radio talk show host in conservative Christian circles, was the VP nominee.Peroutka appeared on 36 state ballots. He did well, for a minor canidate, in several smaller 'right leaning' states (Alaska, Utah, Idaho, etc). And he also did extremely well in Ohio... picking up 11,614 votes.

Michael Badnarik - Badnarik won a hard fought victory to win the Libertarian nomination. He's a hard-core party loyalist. Badnarik has refused to pay Federal taxes for many years, he refuses to get a drivers license... he even refuses to use zip codes. He is extremely anti-war, and extremely pro-guns.Badnarik got on every ballot... except for New Hampshire and Oklahoma. He raised a great deal of money, far more then any other 3rd party candidate. He was able to run national TV ads, and was a major candidate in every way... but one. Votes. Badnarik was not able to accomplish his main goal... beat out Nader for 3rd place in 2004. On the plus side though, he did beat out the 14 contenders that finished behind him... combined.His VP was Richard Campagna... or Dr. Richard Campagna. Though he got that Ph.D. from 'American College of Metaphysical Theology'... for $249 (anyone can get one for that price). To be fair though, Campagna is an intelligent man. He's fluent in six languages, and does hold six 'real' degrees (including degrees from Brown, Columbia and St. Johns).

Ralph Nader - As the Green Party nominee in 2000, Nader was on 44 state ballots and finished with close to 2.9 million votes. In 2004, he ran largely as an Independent (appearing as a Reform Party candidate in some places)... and appeared on 35 ballots. Still, he was the top 3rd party finisher with his 507,934 votes. Peter Camejo was Nader's VP. It was not Camejo's first time on a national ticket. In 1976, he was the Socialist Workers Party nominee... receiving over 90,000 votes on 30 state ballots. Camejo joined the Green Party in the mid-90s. He ran for governor of California in 2002, and came in third place with over 382,000 votes (5%). He did well enough in 2002... and again in the 2003 recall... that he was part of the debates. Nader picked Camejo... a 'big' name in Green Party circles... in hopes of gaining the Green Party nomination (which would have put him on the ballot in close to all 50 states). The effort failed, mainly because the Green Party was more interested in a Kerry victory, then they were in getting votes for their own party

First Woman Qualifies for PBA Event

With the PWBA (Professional Women's Bowling Association) folding, I think this will be the first of many tournaments a woman will qualify for. It could definately help generate some sponsorship money. In this day and age I would think companies would line up out the door to sponsor a semi-major co-ed professional event.
Liz Johnson became the first woman to qualify for a PBA Tour event Wednesday when she finished fourth in the PBA Tour Qualifying Round of the PBA Uniroyal Tire Classic at Freeway Lanes in Wickliffe, Ohio, the PBA announced.

Johnson, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo, finished with a nine-game total of 2,074 and finished as the top amateur of the day with a 230.44 average. The top five non-exempt PBA members and the top amateur move on to the 64-person, single-elimination match play event starting Thursday.
"This is pretty exciting," Johnson said. "I came in here with no expectations. It was actually a last-minute decision to enter. I started off bad out of the gates, but I focused and got better game by game. I'm pretty happy with the results."
Johnson started the day with a 153, but came back to average 255 over the next six games, including a high of 278 in game four. After a 177 in Game 8, she sealed the deal with a 214 in the final game of the night.
Johnson was an 11-time winner in the Professional Women's Bowling Association. She won the 1996 U.S. Open on the way to winning the 1996 Rookie of the Year.

More Stupid Headlines

Norwegian Mistakenly Burns Cash for Heat
OSLO, Norway - A Norwegian who felt a bit chilly after a night on the town and decided to stoke his fireplace didn't really have money to burn. It just turned out that way. What he realized too late was that the paper he used to start the blaze was a stack of bills, worth about 15,000 kroner (US$2,400), the regional newspaper Avisa Nordland reported Thursday. "I came home late at night after a party, and wanted a beer before I went to bed," he told the newspaper. "It was cold in the living room, but there was a glow in the wood stove." So the man, identified only as being his 50s, grabbed a handful of paper next to the stove and tossed it in. "I discovered too late that the envelope of money had fallen onto the floor with the kindling paper," he said. He said the cash had been payment for an artwork he had sold earlier in the day.

Man Allegedly Tries to Swap Pot for Tires
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A man who unsuccessfully tried to barter with marijuana was arrested for stealing two auto tires after the deal was rejected, Roseville police said. Joshua Dean Williams, 20, and another man allegedly tried the pot-for-tires swap at a Sears Auto Center, said police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther. When the sales clerk refused, one of the men swung at the worker with a baseball bat, Gunther said. The worker avoided being struck and threw a rock at the car, shattering a window. The suspects grabbed two tires and drove off, Gunther said. The duo returned to the store about an hour later looking for the worker who broke their window, said Tim Thompson, assistant manager of the tire shop. The two fled after workers recognized them, but police were able to nab Williams and arrest him on suspicion of robbery, Gunther said. Williams was being held in the Placer County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. The second suspect was still at large.

Newborn Twins Named Yasser and Arafat
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - When Safra Hassan went into labor Thursday, she told her husband she wanted to name their child Yasser after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites), who died hours earlier. It was only in the delivery room at Gaza's Shifa Hospital that Hassan, 32, discovered she was carrying twin boys. "I looked at my husband and I said, we will call them Yasser and Arafat," she told The Associated Press. "I'm so proud that the name of Yasser Arafat will be in my house every day, just as the name of Yasser Arafat will be in every Palestinian house forever." Safra Hassan said naming her infants for Arafat was a small gesture compared to the sacrifices he made in pursuit of Palestinian statehood. "I hope that my children will grow up in peace and will witness Yasser Arafat's dreams become reality," she said.

Woman's Road Rage Targets Wrong Car
CHEHALIS, Wash. -- A Chehalis woman who was angry at her ex-boyfriend for seeing another woman rammed the wrong car when she tried to get even with him, police said. he 43-year-old woman from Curtis, west of Chehalis, ran a Chevrolet Sprint off the road at about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, police said. Police said the woman was stunned to see the man who got out of the car was not her boyfriend, but instead a volunteer firefighter. "Oh My God, Oh My God. That's not my boyfriend," she reportedly told a Washington State Patrol trooper. The woman had mistaken the red 1987 Chevrolet Sprint for her boyfriend's maroon 1988 Chevrolet Spectrum, police said. The woman was jailed on suspicion of vehicular assault.

Thief, Thief Go Away, Come Again Another Day

Ok, I know our jails are crowded, but this is kind of ridiculous. There must be more to the story:

ALBANY (Reuters) - An Albany man turned himself into police after seeing himself on TV news robbing a bank but was turned away by officers who told him to come back the next day, police say.
Albany resident Darrell Lewis, 40, surrendered to police hours after his November 1 holdup of a downtown bank but was told to come back the next day to be arrested.
Lewis went to a different station the following day and was charged with robbery, Albany police spokesman Jimmy Miller said.
The incident has prompted an internal investigation

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Handgun Stops Man From Driving Drunk

Now that is friendship at its finest!

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Taking to heart the credo that friends should never let friends drive drunk, a man shot out two tires on his pal's car to keep him from driving under the influence.

Alas, the move backfired when the incensed driver got out of his car, pulled a knife and attacked his friend, according to a report by Bloomington police.

Police arrested the driver, David Woodward, 39, of Indianapolis, on a preliminary charge of battery after the fight early Sunday. Woodward could not be reached for comment Monday.