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John's Blog

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sad News

The Quotable Lennie Briscoe
Uniform: Drove up the block, like a bat out of h-e-double hockey sticks.
Lennie: What precinct are you from, Sesame Street?

Crappy news; the passing of Jerry Orbach. He was the heart and soul of L&O, which hasn't been the same since he left. I find myself watching the re-runs on TNT rather than watching the new ones; Dennis Farina just isn't cutting it for me. I usually hate "tribute" shows, but let's hope the L&O folks find a way to pay their respects by working an acknowledgement into the show.
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"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them."
Malcolm Forbes
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History Lesson

History of Things That Never Were
Every time I think I have too much free time, I run across a site like this which puts things more in perspective. I'm a big fan of history and minutia, but I must admit this is a bit much for me. This site has detailed histories and timelines of 352 fictional events, such as TV series, movies, books, comics, and games. Interesting, yet somehow freightening. I think I'll stick to "real history", like you will find here where they have a study of Advertising in America from 1850 through 1920.
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Good Taste Optional

Edible Lubricant Taste Test
It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it...why can't it be me? Ratings of both the taste and the warming effects of edible lubricants! Plenty of other "adult" and embarrassing products available as well. I'm kinda partial to the Jenna Jameson Pubic Trimmer which comes with 10 of her favorite designs!

And while I'm rolling around in the gutter, here's a story from my old stomping grounds that I missed when it happened that I just stumbled upon: The Strange Case of the Hanover High Shocker. In May of 2000, it was reported in the local paper that thirty-four students who had attended Hanover High School in Pennsylvania had their pictures taken for the school yearbook giving an obscene gesture. Geesh, we just tried to sneak in the occasional finger back in my day!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Paper Dolls

GWB Action Figure
Get out your sissors, and download these fully working oil well and cowboy action cut-out dolls!
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Get Your Butt Moving

Dying Drunk Gets An Earful And Awakes From Coma
A funny link found on Fark. The dude had tried to drink himself to death and was near death in a coma, until his boss yells "Get your ass back to work!" at him. The ultimate example of tough love, I guess.

I loved the joke from the comments section, and can't wait to use it as a prank on the call-out line at work: A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well. "What's the matter?" he asks. "I have a case of Anal Glaucoma," she says in a weak voice. He asks: "What the hell is Anal Glaucoma?" She responds: "I can't see my ass coming into work today."
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"To appreciate nonsense requires a serious interest in life."
Gelett Burgess
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Ah, The Good Old Days

From THE ONION: Where Have All The Mattress-Sales Visionaries Gone?
"Just try to get a modern mattress salesman to scream at you. With these guys, it's all courtesy, predictable prices, and an organized showroom."
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Looking Back

Year In Review
The onslaught of the "best of" and "top ten" lists continues as 2004 winds down to an end. Here's a good trivia test from The NY Times.

And in case you missed the top Google searches you can check it out. I'm pretty sure that when they invented this technology, they didn't envision having Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, and Orlando Bloom as the top searches of the year. Orlando Bloom?? I thought he was the guy who did the 7-Up commercials.
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Saturday, December 25, 2004

Seasons Greetings

A nice, relaxing holiday, so far. Loaded up the car and did the pilgrimage to PA which was a nice change of pace. I've always thought it odd that as I grow older, so many times the parent/child roles seem to be reversed with the exception of when I stay at their house. Somehow, I feel like I'm 15 whenever I stay there, no matter what the circumstances, through nobody's fault but my own.

I was subjected to watching "Wheel Of Fortune" while I was there, something I haven't seen for many years. What the heck happened to that show? It used to be "spin the wheel/solve the puzzle"; simple formula, simple game, but it worked. Now it's gussied up with all kinds of bells and buzzers which I guess speed up the pace of the game for our short attention span this was such a slow paced and intellectually challenging game? And what really ticks me off is the cavalier way that they were buying vowels. In the "good 'ol days" you only bought a vowel when you were in a "balls to the wall" desperate situation. And who was that "fembot" flipping the letters; what happened to Vana White? When did they replace her with a blond robot?

I found myself reading a book that was given to me as part of our Secret Santa gift exchange at work. A pretty cool book containing ironic quotations and paradoxical wit and wisdom. An interesting read, but I was falling asleep reading it, when the back cover flap fell open to reveal a picture of the author who bears an uncanny resemblance to a corporate person at work who I'm none too fond of. I almost let this ruin the book for me, but I got over it....just have to make sure I don't look at that picture.

My Christmas present (iPod) came in very handy for the road trip. Got to listen to some tunes, and some podcasts that I had downloaded. I had downloaded Leo Laporte's Tech Guy show; forgot how much I enjoyed listening to him. Also reminded me what a train wreck G4/TechTV has become. And for some reason in the music mix I did for the road, I had included "Black Coffee In Bed" from Squeeze. Probably because I used to think it was a cool song that I hadn't heard for a long time, and it probably will be a long time before I listen to it again. The lyrics keep repeating about the "stain on my notebook" left from a coffee cup. I kept thinking "why the 'f did you put a coffee cup on a computer?" and if so why are you stupid enough to whine about it? I'm sure I'm missing the point of the song, but I must delete it from the playlist anyway.
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"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
Margaret Mead
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Christmas Links

The History Of Christmas Trees
A cool article, except that I discovered that Christmas trees were introduced into this country by German settlers in Pennsylvania as early as 1747, and it wasn't until after Queen Victoria made them cool in the mid 19th century that most Americans got over their perception of them as pagan symbols. Dang; my ancestors were responsible for Christmas trees. Please accept my apology.

Other items of interest: How To Tell If You've Been Really Bad

Porn Bread Christmas Recipes
" Remember, yeast is cheaper than Viagra."
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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Holiday Fun

MP3 Downloads
In the event you need some seasonal music to get you in the mood for the holiday, this site has a ton of stuff. Nothing gets me more in the mood for fun and festivities than the "Dragnet Christmas"!

Perhaps you would rather stroll down memory lane by viewing this recap of A Very Brady Christmas which is a whole lot less painful than the original show.
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"Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not."
Thomas H. Huxley
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Academic turns city into a social experiment
Although I generally hate mimes, I couldn't help but chuckle when I found this link on Boing Boing. To discourage bad or irresponsible behaviors, this city has hired mimes who then mock those who have done bad things. God, this would come in handy at work; I could just see my own personal mime who could mock those customers who go ballistic for no good reason. This idea might have potential. Or perhaps, I could just Rent-a-midget to spice things up at work!
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Enlightening Thoughts

FROM: A Perfect Anomaly
• Leo Tolstoy, author of ‘War & Peace’ flunked out of college.
• Albert Einstein was four years old before he could speak and seven before he could read.
• Beethoven’s music teacher told him, “As a composer, you’re hopeless.”
• Thomas Edison’s teacher said he was “..too stupid to learn anything new.”
• And what about the newspaper editor who fired Walt Disney? He was reported saying that Disney had no creative ideas left. Yet he has won more Oscars than anyone.
• Winston Churchill failed the 6th grade
• Twenty-three publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book.
• In 1962, an infamous Decca Records executive told the Beatles to “Go back to Liverpool!” because he was sure that “groups with guitars were out.”
• Where basketball would be if Michael Jordan gave up after getting cut from his high school basketball team as a sophomore?

In life, your will to overcome adversity and persevere is what defines you. So whatever you face in 2005, remember these success stories and maintain your will to “press onward and upward". Be inspired by both your successes and your failures, remembering to appreciate and experience each moment.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Holiday Party Ideas

Raspberry Gummi Shot Glasses
Nice; looks like a good way to serve jello shots for those holiday parties. And if you are looking to make baked goods that will get some attention, these cupcakes will be a big hit at parties as well!
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"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it."
Mary Wilson Little
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Last Minute Gift Idea?

Mr. Limpy
"Whether you dance with it, play with it, pack it, or just need a good paperweight, contrary to any experiences you may have had, the uses are limitless." From the folks who brought you the fleshlight, so you know it's probably NSFW.....but I'd like to work there if it is! And in the same mode, here's a trend that we can only hope catches on....Pornaoke!
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Political Linkdump

And The Survey Says.....
This really shouldn't be a surprize, but when surveyed about their awareness of The Supreme Court, about two thirds of the people surveyed had ZERO awareness of who is serving on the court. Given the results of the last election, why should that surprize me?

And let's hope that this tidbit ("White House Considering Product Placement Deal") is someone's idea of a joke, but I'm afraid it seems all too plausible.

And from the "what else can go wrong?" department.

And since other bloggers said it first (and better), two rants that really hit the mark: The fruits of an unneeded and mismanaged war

I Miss Republicans
No, seriously. Remember Republicans? Sober men in suits, pipes, who'd nod thoughtfully over their latest tract on market-driven fiscal conservatism while grinding out the numbers on rocket science. Remember those serious-looking 1950's-1960's science guys in the movies -- Republican to a one. They were the grown-ups. They were the realists. Sure they were a bummer, maaaaan, but on the way to La Revolution you need somebody to remember where you parked the car......

How did they become the party of fairy dust and make believe? How did they become the anti-science guys? The anti-fact guys? The anti-logic guys? I'm not talking McCain, Hagel, Snowe, or Lugar, here, the cool hard-ass Republicans who still operate in the real world. I'm talking specifically about the guys running the party right now.
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Monday, December 20, 2004


Single-serving coffee can heats itself
Nestlé has had this in Europe for awhile, but I guess if Wolfgang Puck puts his name on it people will try it. I have every expectation that it will be nasty, but for some reason I'm sure I'll get some as soon as it comes out just for the novelty of it!
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"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."
Steven Wright
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Why Do I Blog?
The results of a websearch, looking for "I blog because * * * ". I'm glad to see that most people have a reason. I'm still working on my excuse. Force of habit as much as anything I guess.
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Weird Stuff

The Wallet-Man
I caught this story from Weird US on The History Channel not too long ago, and see it as a link on the Weird NJ web page. It took place in the mid 19th century not too far from here, and it involves a guy who was convicted of murder, then executed and skinned; they sent his skin to be made into leather and used it to make wallets, purses, and lampshades! Nice to see the Weird NJ guys get some recognition!
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Saturday, December 18, 2004

Holiday Gift Recap

Dunk Mug
From the "Crap that I wish we carried at work department", here is a cool mug that allows you to store cookies so you can dunk them as you drink! It even comes in left handed and right handed versions; freaking genius! Too bad it's sold out until January.

And in the event your "geek jones" and "sweet tooth" both need a fix; there's probably no better way to satisify both at the same time as with a Gingerbread CPU!

If you are looking for even more "geek gifts" you may wish to check out this site which has quite a few to choose from, even though I find the "New Jersey & You; Toxic Together" t-shirt a bit offensive. But you could always make your own toys with common household materials, as this Science Toys website details.
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"I worry that the person who thought up Muzak may be thinking up something else."
Lily Tomlin
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My Miserable Christmas
In the spirit of Scrooge, you can share your bad holiday stories, or just read other's woes! (This site might be too dark even for me!) And if you you are in the mood for more bad stuff, perhaps these Santa Sex Stories might be just what you are looking for!
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Apprentice Recap
Our long national nightmare is over; The Apprentice three-hour finale is finally behind us. Despite The Donald's hype ("not really sure who I'm going to pick this year") the outcome really wasn't much of a surprize. So to stretch this out into an elongated spectacle was cruel and un-necessary. As The New York Times review says "Whoever decided that an extra hour would be a good thing should be Mr. Trump's next layoff."

Please, no more Omarosa....ever. And despite the rather photogenic casts of the first two seasons, it looks like season three is charting new ground. The two teams ("The Booksmarts" & "The Streetsmarts") both look like they contain some rather plain looking (read: ugly) people. And after letting two of my favorite contenders get to almost the end (Kevin, this year and Troy, last year) and firing both of them for the the opposite reasons (too much schooling/too little schooling) this structure has me scratching my head and making me think that perhaps the show has Jumped The Shark, although the votes on this site don't seem to reflect that, even though the comments do.
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Thursday, December 16, 2004

Getting In The Spirit Of Things

It's A Wonderful Life
Now that I'm in the holiday spirit, thanks to the South Park Christmas Special ("Woodland Critter Christmas" was another classic), here's a time efficient and hartwarming version of "It's A Wonderful Life" done in 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies!
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Today's Rant

Wow; I see my posts become less & less frequent. Today is my first day off in a week and my butt is kicked. I'm sick as a dog, my head hurts, I'm hacking, wheezing, and sniffling. There's nothing like a hacking/blowing fit when you are dealing with a customer at work to cut things short; perhaps this is the only good thing about a cold. A nice quiet day off would have been nice, but that is not to be. To compound my misery, my home improvement project gone bad has come back to haunt me today. A few weeks ago, in an attempt to spruce up our master bath, which had a counter and floor that were a chocolate brown color, I bought press-on floor tiles in an attempt to "lighten-up" the room. After realizing that I really needed to remove the old tile and put new tile down to do the job right, and if you are doing that you might as well replace the counter-top and cabinets, it suddenly metamorphosed into a bigger project that I had the time, patience, or the ability to tackle. So my installation guy is here today cutting tiles (much noise) and doing the floor, while the dog is whining (more noise) because I've got her confined in the kitchen. And then 'da wife has turned the phone ringer in my office to a deafening volume level, so that every time the phone rings my head is ready to explode! Just call me Mr. Cranky!
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"If life gives you lemons, make some sort of fruity juice."
Conan O'Brien
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The Best Stuff

Lists: 2004
An annual end of year phenomena, a compilation of those "best-of" lists that always make the rounds.
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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Assorted Junk

Perhaps this might be a nice follow-up to the Grover PWP that we did at work. Would really piss off all the red state/rightwing nut cases that are protesting the lack of the work "Christmas" in our advertising.

Too tired and sick the past few days to find the time and energy to post. I'd have to say that this site says it best. But the information that I found here gives me hope.

In the event that you plan to do any shopping, two things to consider. Some classic bad gift ideas and an "expose" on that Gap Door Greeter.
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"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."
Al Franken
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Krugman: Borrow, Speculate and Hope
Let's hope that all the talk of privitization of social security is just a case of the neocons throwing crap against the wall to see if it will stick.

"Once you realize that privatization really means government borrowing to speculate on stocks, it doesn't sound too responsible, does it? But the details make it considerably worse......There is, by the way, a precedent for Bush-style privatization. One major reason for Argentina's rapid debt buildup in the 1990's was a pension reform involving a switch to individual accounts .....So Mr. Bush intends to emulate a plan that helped set the stage for Argentina's economic crisis.

If Mr. Bush were to say in plain English that his plan to solve our fiscal problems is to borrow trillions, put the money into stocks and hope for the best, everyone would denounce that plan as the height of irresponsibility. The fact that this plan has an elaborate disguise, one that would add considerably to its costs, makes it worse. "
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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Joining The Cult

Well, it looks like I've joined the cult and drank the cool aid. After taking step one with getting an iPod, and being impressed by their fit, finish, and the attention that Apple pays to design and execution, I was one step closer to accepting the possibility that having a Mac around the house wouldn't be such a bad thing. The wife uses one at work, and for years has been singing their praises, and wanting to get one for those days she works from home, but we never quite got around to it. Since the two computers we have now weren't worth the hastle of upgrading to use with the iPod, and since the Windows machines that I would have wanted (something either Sony, running Windows Media Center, capable of running Half-Life2, or preferably all of the above) seemed more than what I wanted to spend right now, I opted for a iBook G4.

I tried to buy this last week, but the Apple store didn't have the larger HD on hand, and kept trying to push last years model, or the new one with the smaller HD. This wouldn't have worked, since I'll be sure to clog up the drive with a ton of apps....that I just happen to have.....gotta love free software. Since I then ordered it on-line, I've been following it's progress via FedEx like a kid tracking Santa with radar. Except, Christmas came early, since according to the tracking info, yesterday it was in Anchorage, and was going to be dropped off Monday morning at 10:30, but the good 'ol FedEx guy dropped it off at 9 this morning. Figures, it would come on a day that I had planned with a full agenda (bought new sink and vanity for bathroom update, 1 doctor appointment, 1 dentist visit, food shopping and laundry). Finally got to sit down and play with both toys late in the afternoon. Just sitting here now shoveling my CD collection into the iPod, surfing the web, and watching TV.

I'm amazed at the stupidity that I'm seeing on the boob tube. You might just ask, why not turn it off, but then I wouldn't be multitasking as many things, and somehow my life wouldn't seem as full. A commercial just came on for a movie that features at least three blurb/reviews from Larry King. That's the best they can do? The movie must really suck.... I remember (not really) The Who doing an album called "The Who Sell Out". They have apparently turned into those that they used to make fun of, since they seem to have given JC Penney the use of "Let My Love Open The Door" for their Xmas commercials; I'm not sure what value that ads to the commercials except to remind us that "The Who" has seen better days, just like JC Penney. And while I'm picking on retailers, please call the irony police, since I keep seeing commercials for The Wal-Mart Literacy Fund. What, they want their customers to read? Gee, they might find out the ugly truth about Wal-Mart's labor and business practices; seems risky to me!
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"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence."
Robert Fripp
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Shut Up!

A cool link courtesy of J-Walk that features a pdf file that you can download, and print out business card sized handouts to tell those annoying a-holes who don't know how to use a cell phone in public!
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Monday, December 06, 2004

Separated At Birth?

Awful Plastic Surgery
Were Courtney Love and Jocelyn Wildenstein separated at birth?
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"I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up."
Tom Lehrer
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Sunday, December 05, 2004

More Humbug!

It looks like the time and energy needed to make even the simple "re-blogging" posts seems to be missing from my agenda recently. Yesterday was one of the first of those busy days at work where we we wind up doing a seven figure volume, so you really begin to feel wiped out from all the running around and "stuff". When you do get the occasional time off, I find myself collapsing into a heap more than I might be inclined to do during the rest of the year. Kinda sucks the joy out of the holiday season. My favorite op-ed hottie, Maureen Dowd, expresses her distaste for the Christmas season in today's column; since she's so relevant on everything else I'll forgive her for trashing the Robosapien, since if I didn't have to sell it, I'm sure I'd feel the same way too! Apparently Target has just the gift I need to lift my spirits.

I did have the time and energy to get a much needed haircut. I made the mistake of going to a local place that is convenient to avoid the hastle of scheduling an appointment with the person who usually cuts my hair at the mall. A big mistake! I've been having it cut short since the summer, and I wanted to keep that look this time as well. The first question she asks me is "What number cutter?" How the hell should I know? When I get my oil changed, does the mechanic ask me what wrench to use? Sure, when I go to the doctor's office, I expect to be a participant in the decision making process, but when I get a haircut, I expect to be a consumer. This may not be the best attitude, since she then grabs a razor and proceeds to shave my neck and the back of my head and ask "Is this what you had in mind?" Well, if I were joining the Army, I'm sure I would have been pleased with the length, but it was a bit shorter than what I had in mind. Next time, back to the mall!
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Road & advertising signs
Call me silly, but I love this stuff. Managed to watch "Scary Movie 3" last night as evidence of my mind turning to mush.
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"Deep doubts, deep wisdom; small doubts, little wisdom."
Chinese Proverb
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Dog Shoes

Oh yeah; I'd stand about a zero percent chance of getting our hound into these!
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Friday, December 03, 2004

Ride Me

Dublin Bus Posters
Nice to see that there are still countries that can handle sex in a mature fashion, without all the moral outrage.
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Breaking News

Bush arrested in Canada for war crimes
Damn, I really wanted this is to true. It's a very well done fake page, right down to a URL that looks like the real deal.
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"You're never too old to become younger."
Mae West
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Game Time

Another inevitible shopping post, this one about one of my favorite subjects to mock, good 'ol Wal Mart. This site has a game where you get points for sighting the following as you shop: Family Sharing Cigarette In the Parking Lot, Man with Nascar gear on, Woman giving birth in aisle or check-out lane, Person in camouflage, Person changing oil on vehicle in parking lot, and many other opportunities to score points!
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Thursday, December 02, 2004


Ok, it's not what you were thinking. Yes, men are pigs and I'm among that group as much as anybody, but now that we've got that out of the way that's not what this is about. No, I'm fessing up to my lust for gadgets. Ironically enough, I had just started to write this and The Today Show is doing a story on the same subject. Adding to the irony is that Kat Schwartz is doing the segment (and isn't she a hottie?) but this isn't about me being a pig. I would say that I have a one track mind, but apparently the train is leaving on two tracks.

When the newspapers hit, the first thing I do is to pull out the BestBuy & Circuit City ads. I become like a kid in a candy store, pouring over every page. The people in The Apple Store must be tired of seeing me there during my lunch hour, particularly since they have to mop up the drool after I leave. This problem may become better or worse now that I've caved in a bought an iPod. I know there are pros and cons but the market dominance of the iPod and the "double discount" days at work made this an easy choice. Next on my must have list becomes this cool JBL dock/speaker system for it. Oh yea, and a new computer as well since my laptop is getting maxed out for space, and my desktop system isn't really worth the hastle to update to WinXp. The seductive call of The Apple cult almost has me convinced to buy a powerbook. I'll get off the fence soon, but since shopping for this kind of stuff is the only shopping that I enjoy, the process might drag on for a bit longer. I finally did a search for the "moto-razor" phone that Cingular has been tauntingly featuring in their ads, and despite my lust for this item, my sticker shock just moved that item much farther down my "must-get" list.

Some other iPod links from my bookmarks to check out:
iPodlounge: All Things iPod
How To: Podcasting
Motorola and Apple Collaborating on PhonePod?
iPod Vs. The Cassette
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"If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?"
Steven Wright
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Robot Grunts Ready For Duty?

Since I haven't done any robot posts in a long time, here's one for good measure. Some of the pictures remind me too damn much of something out of "The Terminator" but an interesting article nonetheless. You might be able to do the same with a Robosapiens for a whole lot less.
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Wednesday, December 01, 2004


Miles Davis FROM: Fussy Fortunes
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HOLIDAY BLUES: Stores boycotted for replacing 'Christmas'
The leader of this silly protest says he expects his campaign to take several years before it gets results. Yea, right I'd expect this to be pretty slow to catch on as well. Get over it Red States...there "are" other holidays out there. For example, did you know that there were only 7 shopping days left until Chrismukkah? I didn't think so either; boy it really sneaks up on you!

On a related note, our PWP plush toy at work this year is Grover. So far he isn't a big seller and I had attributed it to the fact that he was probably more important to the older generation than the kids today. Not the worst thing, but nothing motivates a parent more than a kid whining for something; our sales of iPods reflect that! But perhaps, the problem might be a bit more serious. Grover Is Bitter: The Sad Story Behind That Loveable Smile exposes the monster behind the myth; "a monster cowering in the face of his own insecurities, a monster so unsure of himself he wouldn't even watch his own performances, and a monster who ultimately allowed his own weaknesses to overcome him and nearly ruin his career."

Continuing on a shopping theme, Sheila Chilcote-Collins has compiled a great list of The Top 25 Weirdest Items You Can Purchase Through Amazon!. For me, it's a toss up between the "Christmas Story Leg Lamp" and "The Little Book Of Farting" as my favorites. Though I think I'll wait untill I can find it as a "Books On Tape" selection before I get it.
|| JM, 11:09 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link:

Political Linkdump

Things To Be Thankful For This Holiday Season
I'm going through withdrawl since I haven't posted anything political for awhile. I'm too burned out to express my rage, and since there are so many others who do it better, some op-ed links to ponder:
TBogg: I hate it when Stuttering George goes out of the country and embarrasses us
Too Controversial??!!
The Future of the Democratic Party
MAUREEN DOWD: Blood Is Thicker Than Gravy
Iraq Adopts Terror Alert System From The Onion, so it must be true!
|| JM, 11:02 AM || link || (0)||comments|| Email this link: