Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cyber moving day

I'm officially moving my blog to my very own domain name.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Search engine blindness

Yahoo! has been accused of releasing information to the Chinese government which led to the a Chinese dissident being imprisoned for eight years.

Google is releasing a Chinese version of their site that will censor search results (in spite of their "don't be evil" motto).

Today, Google produced a video commenting on Michelle Malkin. Michelle Malkin pointed out that Danish Imams had fabricated some offensive cartoons about the Muslim prophet Muhammed and blamed the cartoons on the Danish newspaper that previously printed a series of 12 cartoons. In the video, Google said it is not clear how much of Malkin's theory is true.

What? Michelle Malkin provided links to news organizations to back up her statement. How does Google not know how to verify this information? Do the people at Google not know how to click on links? First, the three pictures did not run in the original Danish newspaper; they should be able to verify that through their own search engine. Second, there is absolutely no doubt that one of the fabricated pictures taken from a French newspaper story about a pig calling contest and had nothing to do with Islam or Muhammed until the Imams claimed it did.

I'm sick of both Yahoo! and Google at this point. (Yes, I know Google owns blogger who hosts this blog. I'm working on it.)

By the way, if you are concerned about Yahoo! helping to jail Chinese citizens, you can call their media relations at (408) 349-3300.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Carolyn remembered

Carolyn Frances Whitaker was born February 21, 1948 in Denver, CO. Her parents were John Ward and Violet Marie Hitchell Ward. Early in her life Carolyn lived in Chula Vista, CA, Platte, SD, and Orange, CA. She was the fourth child of five. The year that she spent in Platte with her grandmother was especially significant in her life.

Carolyn graduated from Orange (CA) High School in 1966. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Irvine in 1973, specializing in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Carolyn was employed by Rockwell International on the Space Shuttle program in the 1970's in Environmental control and Life Support Systems.

Carolyn also did environmental airport noise consulting for J.J. Van Houten and Associates, and thermal engineering for TRW Systems. She became a registered Professional Engineer in Mechanical Engineering in 1978.

Carolyn married Will in 1975. They have one daughter, Bonnie, who was born in 1978. The Whitakers Lived in Diamond Bar, CA and Rancho Cucamonga, CA between 1975 and 1994.

In 1985, Carolyn made a career change. She earned a Master of Arts degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling from Chapman University. She was licensed as a Marriage, Family, and Child counselor in California. She also was a Certified Trauma Counselor. Carolyn worked as a counselor in several clinics and also established a private practice.

With a move to Tucson, AZ in 1994 Carolyn became a Certified Professional Counselor and Certified Marriage and Family Therapist in Arizona. She worked as a Mental Health Counselor for Palo Verde Hospital, and was also in private practice. Later she did substitute teaching in the Marana Unified School District.

Carolyn's varied interests have included Making clothes, painting, and writing. She taught sewing classes at Stretch & Sew in the 1980's.

Carolyn became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1990. Her callings in the church included ward librarian, in-service teacher where she trained other teachers, stake missionary, and primary teacher. Recently, she served a mission at the Tucson West Family History Center assisting members of the Church as well as many who are not members of the church who were interested in searching their genealogical roots.

Carolyn was diagnosed with cancer in the lower abdomen in late 2005. After a short struggle with the cancer, she passed away on January 31, 2006. Carolyn is survived by her husband Will Whitaker. She is also survived by three siblings: James Ward of San Diego, Alice Nelson of Redding, CA, and John Ward of Centennial, CO. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother Thomas Matthew Ward. Other survivors include her daughter Bonnie Harper and son-in-law Kevin Harper, and their children Margaret, Matthew and Andrew.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Road Trip!

My brother and I are driving to Tucson for our Aunt Carolyn's funeral. Someone told me that sounds like a plot for an indie film.
(overdub in a deep husky voice)"Two brothers on a journey of discovery. All they have is a car, an iPod - and each other..."

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


My aunt Carolyn died this morning of complications of colon cancer. The news shocked me; I didn't even know she was sick.

When I was growing up, we would visit her family in California a couple of times every year. I still associate her with Disneyland and Knott's Berry farm.

She is survived by her husband, daughter and grandchildren. May God bless you Carolyn.

Sucking the joy out of life.

An environmental group is now claiming that "new car smell" is toxic. According to them new car interiors have dangerous levels of chemicals.

We know their claim is true from all the new car owners who are vearing off the road after being overcome by toxins and collapsing behind the wheel. Wait, that isn't happening. Somehow our society has survived decades with new car smell - this silent killer (insert scary music here: da da da dum!). Thankfully these people warned me before I drove my new Elantra any more. At least I'll take precautions now, like sticking my head out the window whenever I'm driving. Or maybe not.

I feel sorry for these people. They go through life looking for hidden dangers and can't even enjoy one of the smaller pleasures in life - that new car smell.

An EPA advisory group thinks Teflon causes cancer now.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Why are they scared?

Blogging is getting more and more influential. Each side of the blogosphere has had an impact. Senator Trent Lott had to resign as majority leader when he made a comment in support of Strom Thurmond that sounded as if he was supporting segregation. Had not blogs on the the left made a stink, it would have died down.

CBS was made to look foolish when memos it used in a news story criticial of President Bush were proven to be false within hours of the story airing thanks to the guys at Powerline Blog.

Most recently (and perhaps most dramatically) the liberal government in Canada was ousted in the last election thanks to Captain's Quarters, an American blogger, who exposed political corruption in the Great White North.

So what happens when people become influential and others feel threatened. The threatened people insult them. Makes you wonder, if three successful lawyers like the guys at Powerline are "afraid of dealing with people in real life", what does that make people who draw cartoons for a living?

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Which sports car are you?

I'm a Mazda Miata!

You like to soak up the sun, but your tastes are down to earth. Everyone thinks you're cute. Life is a winding road, and you like to take the curves in stride. Let other people compete in the rat race - you're just here to enjoy the ride.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Honeybun is a Lamborghini Murcielago!

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

OK, that isn't embarrassing for me.

Liberals are anti-democracy.

Despite liberal claims that republicans and President Bush are fascists, it turns out that liberals are anti-democracy.

The biggest example is the abortion issues. Liberals frequently refer to polls they claim show that Americans want abortion to remain legal. Yet they are afraid to let people vote on it. Liberals rely on the Supreme Court to keep abortion legal.

Liberals are also against freedom of speech. That is, they are against freedom of speech for people with whom they disagree. University of North Carolina at Greensboro recently tried to punish a libertarian campus group for ,ironically, protesting the university's restrictions on free speech. The university dropped all charges only after wide attention was drawn to their unconstitutional actions. documents case after case of colleges trying to silence conservative students. The motto of too many universities is "free speech for me but not for thee."

Need another example? Check out Zombietime's photo essay about the Walk For Life demonstration in San Francisco on January 21. He documents an organized effort of leftist groups that were trying to disrupt the march to silence the conservative march.

Now there were a few extreme right protestors - both sides have their wackos. But they extreme rightists weren't the ones trying to keep a liberals from stating their message. It was liberals who were trying to prevent conservatives from exercising their right to demonstrate. My favorite photo is the one where the police officer is explaining to an anacharist why exactly Christians are allowed to display their messages. Clearly he doesn't understand the freedom of speech protects the expression of other view points.

Canceling Daniel

NBC has cancelled "The Book of Daniel", the TV show about a drug addicted Episcopal priest whose family includes a drug dealing daughter and promiscuous son. The show also characterizes Jesus as a sidekick to Daniel.

Do you think there are producers working for NBC that are scratching their heads and wondering why a show that addresses "spiritual issues" isn't being watched?

It amazes me how these networks completely misunderstand their audience.

Disney and Pixar

Steve Jobs became even richer yesterday when Disney announced it is buying Pixar (Jobs is founder and CEO) for $7.4 billion. Yes, with a "B".

I suppose it had to. The only Disney's own animated studios haven't put out a hit movie since "The Lion King". The days of "Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast" are long gone. Anyone remember the debacle that was "Brother Bear"?

In the mean time Pixar has had hit after hit. They ignore the PC pandering and put out hits like "Toy Story", "Monsters Inc." and "The Incredibles".

The only way this will be successful is if Disney stays away from Pixar's creative decisions. If day Disney pushes a Pixar movie with an environmental message is the day we see Pixar's first flop.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Jerks in Italy

Why is "protesting" now a synonym for jerk? Yesterday, anti-globalization protestors took the Olympic torch from an athlete running the torch in Italy.

In the past, protesting meant drawing people's attention to your cause. Now it seems to mean demonstrating how much of an ass you are. Why do these people think that will change anyone's mind. The only thing it proves is that anti-globalization is the position of selfish people. Who wants to join that movement?

Monday, January 23, 2006

Keep your loved ones close

I flipping stations on the way home from work tonight and landed on Art Bell. If you don't know, Bell hosts a late night show that focuses on the paranormal. I'm not a fan of the show but this one caught my attention.

Art was describing the events that led to the death of his wife, Romona, earlier this month on January 5th. They were travelling in their RV and Romona began having problems with her athsma. In Laughlin Neveda, they stopped at an RV park. Art stayed up with his wife through the night while they waited for the medication she took to work. Finally, Romona told him she was feeling better and they went to bed early in the morning.

They went to bed and he put his arm around her and said "I love you." She said "I love you too." I'm sure you've guessed those were the last words they said to each other.

Art woke up at about 1:30 PM alone in the bed. He went out into the living room part of the RV and found his wife's body on the couch. The best guess is that shortly after Art fell asleep, Romona got up and went into the living room to use a nebulizer treatment. The coroner said she either fell asleep or passed out before dying. She was 47.

Art said the coroner sent him a letter with some advice for people on how to treat their loved ones. The coroner said that he sees many people who wish for one more minute with their loved one to say the "I love you" that they didn't say the last time they parted. This is why I never leave the house or let Honeybun leave without giving her a kiss saying those words. I'm serious - every time.

No more Sixpence

I found out tonight that Sixpence None the Richer is apparently sixpence not together anymore. The good news is that lead singer Leigh Nash is going solo and will have an album out this year. Woohoo!

She even has a blog where you can hear a demo of a song that will be on the album.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

iPod additions

Just updated the iPod with Death Cab for Cutie, Mazzy Star, and Steve Taylor.

Death Cab for Cutie is one of those 10-year overnight sensations. That is, they've been putting out indie releases for years and have just had their first release on a major label.

The Mazzy Star album is "So Tonight That I Might See" released in 1993 - easily their best. If you like a psychadelic style, you need to check them out. I had the cassette tape when it first came out but never got around to buying the CD. Well, thanks to an iTunes gift card for Christmas, it was time.

The gift card also got me the Steve Taylor "Meltdown" album from 1983. Steve Taylor was a "Christian" act. He had a long solo career spanning into the late 90's. He is certainly a Christian but he never was an evangelizer. His music was generally social commentary from a Christian perspective with a lot of humor thrown in. His biting wit frequently targeted so-called Christian beliefs he disagreed with. For instance his "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good" from the album I Predict 1990 mocked abortion clinic bombers. (If you know where I can get a copy of that one on CD, let me know.)

was his first full length album. Taylor was "alternative" before alternative was cool. Probably why I'm such a fan of the genre.

Great idea that will never happen wants to pass legislation requiring legislators to know actually read the bills they vote on. They call it the "Read the Bills Act".

It is a great idea doomed to failure. No one in congress is going to pass a law creating more work for themselves.

Then again, this group is against the Patriot Act so maybe the idea isn't that good after all.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Testosterone deficiency

Thursday night was my first class of the new semester. The class is technical editing. Many people in the program warned me to not take any other classes while I'm in this one. Supposedly it is challenging and time consuming.

There are only seven students in the class. I am the only man. Yep, six other women. I'm not sure why the technical communications program has so many more women than men. Yes, there is a writing component but this program is also heavy in technological courses like html and xml coding, mulitmedia authoring - things that women generally aren't known to flock to.

Then there is the problem that men are outnumbered by women in college these days. It sure is evident in my program. Where did all the men go?

Monday, January 16, 2006

Unexplained mysteries

I actually spell checked my last post using Blogger's spell check before I sent it. Yes, amazing I know.

My question is how does a spell checker on a blogging site not know the words "blog" and "blogging"? That would be like MS Word not knowing how to spell "word processor."

The best stories are the ones you make up

I think I brought the flu back from New Mexico with me. What to do when you're sick?

A. Watch daytime TV.
B. Blog.
C. Drink IBC.

Since A is worse than being sick, I'm going with B & C. I'm pretty sure medical experts agree that IBC rootbeer shortens the duration of the flu by at least 3 to 4 minutes.

As for blogging, I see the New York Times published a fake photo today (hat tip Powerline Blog). The caption claims to show the remains of a missile that destroyed from a home in Pakistan. This is supposedly the result of an airstrike from a Predator Drone the happened on January 13th that is getting protests from Pakistani citizens. Yahoo News changed their caption to claim it is "unexploded ordinance". The catch here is that the attack was from a predator drone which doesn't carry ordinance. American Thinker has a through debunking of claim.

Is this another case of "fake but accurate" reporting that CBS news invented with the forged Air National Guard memo?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Made it

Got to Las Cruces in one piece. At least the drive back should be a few hours shorter.

Thinking big thoughts

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On the road.

I made it to the sprawling metropolis of Walsenburg. Watch out for the traffic jams here.

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At the terminal

On the bus now. Words you won't hear at a Greyhound terminal - 'Now boarding business class.'

I'm at the Greyhound station.

I'm at the Greyhound station. Doesn't give me much confidence that a sign over the door to the loading area says 'Las Cuces'

The Odessey Begins

So last week our Saturn blew its engine and we need to get a new car. Honeybun was still in Las Cruces, NM with my in-laws helping her sister with our new nephew. Of course she has our Envoy there. I've been without a car for a week now. Thankfully Honeybun found a great deal on a new Hyundai Elantra down there (she's a great deal maker).

So this morning I'm taking a Greyhound bus down to Las Cruces and Honeybun and I will drive both vehicles back on Friday. I'll see if I can blog a bit by cell-phone with a few pics to document my trials and tribulations. I believe Dante designated a 14-hour bus ride as the third circle of hell...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Kicked off Vick

Today, college star Marcus Vick was kicked off the Virginia Tech football team he led to the Gator Bowl this past season. The time cited his repeated legal (i.e. criminal) problems and his unsportmanslike conduct during the Gator Bowl when he stomped on an opposing player's calf.

This story quickly follows the news the another former college star Maurice Clarett has been arrested for armed robbery.

I find stories like this fascinating. Marcus Vick is a young man who is following in his older brother's footsteps - seemingly on a guaranteed track to a lucrative NFL contract. Yet he is self destructing similar to Terrell Owens. Maurice Clarett was a hot prospect who also seemed assured of a profitable NFL contract yet couldn't keep himself out of trouble.

They have the ability, their failings can only be the result of flaws in their character. Shakespeare could have written plays about these guys.

It's all Bush's fault

Now that the unemployment rate is down to 4.9%, I wonder if President Bush will keep getting blamed for a horrible economy?