Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Zemanta for Blogger

Blog better using ZemantaImage by chucks via Flickr

I am starting an experiment with a new plug in to help with my blogging. The plug in is called Zemanta and is supposed to search for relevant links, images, videos and keywords that you can add to your blog posts with the click of a button.

Zemanta is available as a plug in for Firefox, which is the browser I use most of the time. It is also available as a plug in for Internet Explorer and as a bookmarklet for Google chrome and Safari browsers.

Just to see how it impacted one of my earlier posts, I edited my post on Barbara Boxer's desire to be addressed as Senator. It allowed me to bring in related articles and links. There is also a "reblog" button on the post that allows others to easily quote and link to your postings.

I found out about Zemanta while reading Blogger Buzz on my Blogger dashboard. So far it looks like it will be simple to use. I am sure there will still be a lot of manual linking and such, but it does look like it will be a time saver. There are a lot of features, and it will work with a lot more than just the Blogger platform. Check it out and let me know what you think.
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Music Monday-The Temptations "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"

I was visiting the blog of my friend Intrepid Ideas and he paid his tribute to three icons who passed away in the past few days, Farrah Fawcette, Michael Jackson, and Billy Mays. He also brought into the discussion Elvis Presley, Luther Vandross, and Eddie Ruffin of the Temptations.

By bringing up the Temptations, it brought to mind an event from about 20 years ago. I was out with a couple friends at a comedy club in Greenbelt, MD. The comic (an African American) brought me and two more of the whitest white guys up to the stage. His instructions to us were to just follow his moves. Then he announced, "Ladies and Gentleman, The Temptations!" "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" blasted from the speakers. I am sure it was quite a site to see the three of us bumping into each other trying to keep up with him.

So, in memory of that night, for Music Monday, "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" by The Temptations.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

EPA Suppresses Internal Report

As if we needed further proof that the whole global warming, climate change hysteria is nothing more than a left wing attempt to further grow governmental control into our lives is the report that the EPA has suppressed an internal report that is skeptical of global warming because it did not conform to the wishes of the current administration.

The report states that the scientific data that the EPA is using in their effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is at least three years out of date. The report states that ocean and solar cycles are responsible for fluctuations in global temperatures. (What a concept that the sun could be responsible for warming the Earth.) The author of the report also states that he sees no reason to try to regulate carbon dioxide emissions at this time. The report also says that the EPA has ignored recent scientific findings such as the fact that global temperatures have been declining for the past 11 years.

It is disturbing that a supposedly independent government agency would suppress a report that could have potentially had an impact on the outcome of a bill as important as the recent climate bill. That it would suppress the report because it did not conform to the desired results the administration wanted is further proof that the people need to take back control of the government.

Reasons I Love Minor League Baseball

I have always been a sports fan. As a kid, I remember going to Washington Senators games with my father. It was always special to be at the ballpark. Back in those days, we basically had two choices locally, the Washington Senators or the Baltimore Orioles.

These days it is so expensive to try to take a family out to a ball game. I consider myself fortunate that the choices have improved greatly since I was a kid. In addition to the Orioles and the Washington Nationals, there are probably four or five minor league teams in the area, one of which is in my home town of Bowie. It's a good thing too, because my son loves going to the games, and the cost of a minor league ticket is so much more affordable than the big league teams.

Aside from the financial aspect of the cheaper ticket price, there are a lot of other reasons why I prefer minor league ball over the majors these days. It is such a family friendly atmosphere, and that is so important. You don't hear a lot of taunting or heckling at a minor league game like at the big league level. There is always something going on before the game and between innings to keep you entertained. Here are just a few of them.
Recently, prior to a Baysox game, the Chesapeake and Potomac Baseball Club gave an exhibition of vintage baseball. It was kind of cool to watch baseball how it was played in the 1860's. No gloves and totally different rules. They had an announcer explaining the different rules during the exhibition.
Another thing that I like is that ordinary people get to have the opportunity to go out on the field for a ceremonial first pitch. Here a young man with Downs Syndrome got to participate in the activity. I am sure it was a thrill for him because I know how I felt when my son got to go out on the field several years ago to throw out a pitch. He was so excited.
Then there are all of the between inning activities. Here, three kids from the crowd get to participate in a horse race.
The sumo wrestler challenge is one of my son's favorite activities. While this is going on, he is usually pretending to sumo me by jumping on top of me.
Another, and certainly not the last nor least reason, it the friendliness of the Baysox front office staff. They get to know a lot of the fans, and here one of them takes the time out of their busy game day schedule to pose for a picture with my son.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

House Passes Climate Bill

Speaking of stupid people, a significant blow to liberty and the American standard of living was delivered yesterday with the House of Representatives passing the American Clean Air and Energy Act.

The United States is currently suffering through tough economic times. This bill will make it tougher, but the left wing ideologues only care about their agenda. Obama himself has said that a cap and trade system will "necessarily cause electricity prices to skyrocket."

In addition, we can also expect that gasoline prices will rise much more than it would have without this legislation. The costs of all goods and services, including necessities, will go up as companies will pass those costs on to consumers. With unemployment currently at 9.4% and expected to top 10%, this bill will add to unemployment as companies will ship jobs overseas to countries where they will not be subject to the same caps on emissions.

I also like how the mainstream media is portraying only the GOP as claiming that this is nothing more than a huge energy tax. To quote John Dingell (Dem-MI), "Nobody in this country realizes that cap and trade is a tax, and it's a great big one." So much for Obama's pledge to not raise taxes on 95% of working families. Sure he is not raising "income" taxes but a tax is a tax regardless of what the tax is on.

If alternative forms of energy were viable, that would be one thing. I am all for giving tax incentives for companies to explore and develop those alternatives. However, until those alternatives are viable, it makes no sense to destroy the existing forms of energy that have made this the country the greatest known to man.

To those 44 Democrats that chose common sense over party politics, I congratulate you on taking a stand. To the 8 so called Republicans who voted for this bill, and essentially led to it's passage, I say you might as well pull an Arlen Specter and switch your party affiliation over to the Democrats. There is no way that conservative or moderate could in good conscience vote for such a radical left wing piece (of shit) legislation. Mark Levin has posted the names and phone numbers of the RINO's that voted for the bill encouraging people to call and voice your displeasure with their actions.

Let's hope that common sense will reign in the Senate and that this garbage will not make it to the desk of President Obama. If not, it may be time to start looking for a country that values liberty because the USA as we know it will cease to exist.

I Hate Stupid People

As I have mentioned before, I have a part time job on the weekends delivering pizza. Most people who order for a delivery are pretty cool. They understand that we are using our own vehicles and that we are providing a convenience service for them. Those people usually give a reasonable tip, some give even more than I would normally expect. For instance last night, I gave one gentleman $15 change. All I had was one $5 bill and ten $1 bills. He did not want the $1's so he gave me all ten for a tip. Not bad for a $25 delivery.

The people who "get it" are usually expecting you to show up at their door. When you knock on the door, they answer quickly and come to the door with cash in hand. Occasionally you have to knock a couple of times. Then you get those people who don't seem to have a clue, like the family who ordered a delivery, sat in the basement where they could not hear the doorbell or knocking, and would not pick up the phone when you called to tell them you were at their front door. Idiots!

Last night, my final delivery was to one of those people. It was nearly 10pm and had a delivery to an apartment complex. I climbed the two flights of stairs to the top floor of the building. I knocked on the door and waited. I knocked a second time and waited. So I took out my cell phone, dialed the number on the delivery slip. I told the person who answered (you would be surprised how many people don't answer) who I was and I was at the front door of their apartment.

Their response? "Oh you are there? We aren't back yet." WTF?! If you are not home, why the hell would you call to have a pizza delivered to your house? If you are already out, why wouldn't you call and place a carry out order instead? God, I hate stupid people. My guess is these folks voted for Barack Obama.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett & Michael Jackson RIP

It is a rather sad day for me today. Two entertainment icons from my youth passed away today, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.

Farrah lost her battle with cancer, passing away today at the age of 62. She came to prominence with her starring role in the television series "Charlie's Angels." She left the show after only one season to try her hand at movies.

I think every guy my age had the poster pictured here hanging on their bedroom wall. I know I did. Over 12 million copies of the poster were sold. Legend has it that her curls in the poster spelled out the word sex. Those curls also led women everywhere to try to emulate her hair style.

Before I came to know her in her Charlie's Angel role, she caught my attention in a Noxema commercial with NY Jets quarterback Joe Namath. Broadway Joe is giddy when he exclaims "I'm so excited, I'm gonna get creamed!" Watch the commercial below to see why.

As I left the parking garage at work this evening at 6pm, I turned the radio on to listen the Mark Levin Show. Levin started the show, not with his usual rant, but with the announcement that TMZ was reporting that Michael Jackson had just passed away from an apparant massive heart attack at the age of 50.

Michael started his career as the youngest member of the Jackson 5 at the age of 11. He would go on to an immensely successful solo career being dubbed "The King of Pop." As the MTV world exploded on the scene, Michael took full advantage of the medium with several elaborate music videos. His "Thriller" video was a masterpiece and remains the most popular music video of all time. The "Thriller" album remains one of the best selling disc of all time.

I was a big fan of the Jackson 5 and Michael's solo work. Late in his career, his life became shrouded in controversy and allegations. I confess, I lost interest in continuing to follow his career. I prefer not to think about that Michael Jackson, but instead will remember Michael as seen below performing "Billie Jean."

I guess part of the reason it is particularly sad for me is that I guess it sort of reminds me of my own mortality. Especially the death of Jackson. He was only two years older than I am. Farrah & Michael, may you both RIP.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Barack Obama's First Positive Action

There has not been a lot during President Obama's tenure thus far that I have agreed with. OK, so far there has been nothing, until this:

I hate flies. Maybe even more than liberals.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What a Bitch!!!

Brigadier General Michael Walsh was testifying before Senator Barbara Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee when he had the audacity to refer to her as "Ma'am." Oh my goodness. How dare he? Not to worry. Senator Boxer made sure to chastise the general and tell him in no uncertain terms that he should refer to her as "Senator."

If I could say one thing to her at this time it would be, "Get over yourself, bitch!" Sure, it is proper to address her as "Senator," but there is nothing wrong with the way that General Walsh addressed her. The general was following the military protocol of addressing "supposed" superiors as "Sir" or "Ma'am." It in no way diminishes her role as a Senator. I would also remind her that it is people like General Walsh who have fought and died for this country so she could be free to earn that title she worked so hard for.

To General Walsh, all I can say is you are a better man than me (actually, all our military are, but that is another story.) Thank you for your service. The incident also serves to remind me why I do not think that I could have ever made it in the military. Had it been me instead of General Walsh, I might have replied with "Fuck You, Senator!" How is that for addressing you by your proper title?
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Music Monday-Johnny Cash "A Boy Named Sue"

Since Sunday is Father's Day, this week's Music Monday selection is a song about the relationship between a father and his son. OK, maybe not the most ideal relationship, but sometimes tough love is needed to help your kids make it in this world.

The other reason that this song is relevant for Father's Day is that when I was a kid, my father used to listen to Johnny Cash. The great thing about listening to some of these old songs on vinyl was that they were uncensored. There was no bleep when Johnny sang "I'm the son of a bitch that named you Sue" like when it played on the radio. As a young kid I thought that was kind of cool.

Here is Johnny Cash performing "A Boy Named Sue" during a performance at San Quentin penitentiary. This is some good shit.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Case of Mistaken Identity

I am sure everyone has had the experience of answering the telephone and having it been a wrong number. Most of the time you don't get a return call, but every now and then you run across somebody who is convinced they have the correct number. No matter how hard you try, you just can't convince them they are wrong.

Well with all of the various forms of communication, there are so many more ways for this to happen. Yesterday, I was sitting in my office when I felt my Blackberry Storm vibrate and signal I had a text message. I did not recognize the number, but responded in case it was somebody I did know. Here is the exchange of text verbatim:

Txt: Come back

Me: Where?

Txt: Room

Me: who is this?

Txt: Jamie

Me: I do not know a Jamie

Txt: Bitch stop playing

At this point I did not respond and received no other text messages from this person. I thought they finally figured out that I was not the person they thought I was. I was wrong. This morning I received the following texts:

Txt: Where u at

Txt: U got to come get me

Txt: Txt me now

Me: You got the wrong number

Txt: This is jamie bitch

Txt: This is jamie bithch

Txt: Young get the fuck up and come 2 super 8 an get me

Txt: What the fuck u going i need u 2 come now asap

Me: Dude u r shit outta luck cuz I don't know who the fuck u r

Txt: Bitch its jamie stop the dum shit young what the fuck

Txt: Bitch its jamie stop the dum shit young what the fuck

Me: Look you dumb fuck. I keep telling u that I don't know who the fuck you are but you are just too stupid to get it. I am not who u think I am

That was a little over an hour ago, and I have not gotten another text from Jamie. I can only surmise that Jamie and this mystery person were in the Super 8 yesterday and probably had some sort of disagreement. Mystery person left and poor Jamie is stranded at the Super 8. Let's hope that Jamie finally got a clue and was able to get in touch with the right person.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Music Monday-Keith Carradine "I'm Easy"

Last week, David Carradine passed away. He was best known for his role in the television show "Kung Fu." I can't say that I ever saw the program, though I was always a fan of martial arts films. With the passing of David Carradine, it reminded me of a song from the 1970's movie "Nashville" performed by his half brother Keith Carradine. It was a song that I used to enjoy playing on the guitar. Here is Keith Carradine with "I'm Easy."

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jon & Kate Plus 8

Let me preface this post with a bit of disclaimer. I mean no ill towards Jon & Kate Gosselin or their kids. I wish them nothing but the best.

My question is, other than to generally wish good will towards all, why should we care about Jon & Kate Gosselin?

Like a lot of couples, Jon and Kate Gosselin have had to resort to fertility treatments in order to have a family. Her first pregnancy resulted in twins. When they decided to expand their family, the next pregnancy resulted in sextuplets. Their lives have since become the subject of a reality television series, Jon and Kate Plus 8.

This is where my problem with Jon & Kate begins. When did we as a nation get to the point where the lives of our fellow citizens has become entertainment? I do not understand where the fascination is in watching the daily struggles of a large family. To me, entertainment is supposed to be an escape from my everyday world.

I do not want to get into all of the tabloid sensationalism surrounding the family these days. To me that is just part of the problem. My only hope is that these folks can work out whatever problems they have and go back to being a "normal" family outside of the spot light.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Music Monday-The Monkees "I'm a Believer"

When I was a kid, I loved the Monkees television show and their music. This particular song was written by Neil Diamond and hit #1 on the Top 40 charts on December 31, 1966 and stayed at #1 for seven weeks.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.


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