Friday, December 29, 2006

Snow - got enough of it?

Joke about Jerks

Don't forget to enjoy some humor from time to time, this item I remember from 5 years ago and it still leaves you smiling


As Barbara says in her post,
Though constantly wronged by those about us, our hands are tied as seeking to get even is frowned upon in our society -- we're supposed to be civilized! Consequently, tales of vengeance appeal to a wide audience. ...

Think Outside the Box

You are driving along on a wild stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus:
  1. An old lady who is about to die.
  2. An old friend who once saved your life.
  3. The perfect man (or) woman you have been dreaming about.

Which one would you choose, knowing that there could only be one passenger in your car?

This is a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually was used as part of a job application.
  1. You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or
  2. you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back.
  3. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again.

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer.

WHAT DID HE SAY? - Think for a minute

He simply answered:

"I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital.

I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."

Sometimes, we gain more if we are able to give up stubborn thought limitations.

Think "out of the box."

(this msg from an email I received about 5 years ago)

Thursday, December 28, 2006


(Somebody wrote that this was too damned long and too damned funny, but its too good to keep under wraps.)
  • Minnesota became the 32nd state on May 11th, 1858 and was originally settled by a lost tribe of Norwegians seeking refuge from the searing heat of Wisconsin's winters.
  • The state flag of Minnesota consists of a blue background upon which sits a design best described as "how a 7-year-old city girl would draw a picture titled "Life on the Farm".
  • Minnesota gets it's name from the Sioux Indian word "Mah-nee-soo-tah", meaning "No, really, they eat fish soaked in lye".
  • The state song of Minnesota is "Someday the Vikings Will... Aw, never mind"
  • The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota covers 9.5 million square feet and has enough space to hold 185,000 idiot teenagers yapping away on cell phones.
  • Madison, Minnesota is known as "The Lutefisk Capital of the World". Avoid this city at all costs. ("Lou T. Fisk" picture to the right)
  • "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" was set in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was Mary's first real acting job since leaving the "Dick Van Dyke Show". The show, about a single woman's struggle to find happiness in the big city, was originally titled "Life Without Dick", but that was changed for some reason.
  • The state motto of Minnesota is, "Where even a man who wears a feather boa can grow up to be Governor."
  • Downtown Minneapolis has an enclosed skyway system covering 52 blocks, allowing people to live, work, eat, and sleep without ever going outside. The only downside to this is that a Norwegian occasionally turns up missing.
  • Cartoonist Charles M. Shultz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was the only artist to accurately depict the perfectly circular heads of Minnesota natives.
  • The Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota produces 6 million cans of Spam a year, even though no one actually eats it.
  • Water skis were invented in 1922 in Lake City, Minnesota by Ralph Samuelson. Sadly, he drowned shortly afterwards, as the motorboat hadn't been invented yet.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota was originally named "Pig's Eye", after French Canadian whiskey trader Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant . Its "twin city", Minneapolis, was known as "Pig's Colon".
  • The stapler was invented in Swingline, Minnesota by a chubby, mumbling man named Milton in 1899. The city was mysteriously destroyed by fire later that year.
  • Pelican Rapids is home to a 16-foot-tall concrete pelican, which subsists on a diet of 4-foot-long concrete fish.
  • In 1973, Olivia, Minnesota erected a 25-foot tall fiberglass corn cob to celebrate its rich, agricultural heritage. Then in 1974 it was eaten by a 50-foot statue of Babe the Blue Ox.
  • Yes, Minnesota has a LOT of problems with statue cannibalism.
  • Minnesota license plates are blue & white and contain the phrase "Blizzards on Independence Day - You Get Used To It."
  • Frank C. Mars, founder of the Mars Candy Co. was born in Newport, Minnesota. His 3 Musketeers candy bar originally contained three bars in one wrapper, each filled with a different flavor nougat - chocolate, Spam, and lutefisk.
  • The first fully automatic pop-up toaster was invented in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1926, Minnesota's stringent bread-control laws currently only allow residents to own semi-automatic toasters.
  • Tonka Trucks continue to be manufactured in Minnetonka, Minnesota, despite the thousands of GI Joe dolls killed by them annually in rollover accidents. No airbags, no seat belts. These things are DEATHTRAPS, I tell ya!
  • Author Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and was famous for writing the "Little House" series of books, as well as inventing the "Spam Diet" - which consists of looking at a plate of Spam until you lose your appetite. Much like the " Lutefisk Diet".
  • The snowmobile was invented in Roseau, Minnesota so as to allow families a means of attending Independence Day picnics.
  • Singer Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. All gay men are required by their religion to make a pilgrimage there at least once in their lifetimes.
  • Minnesotans are almost indistinguishable from Wisconsinites. The only way to tell them apart is to ask if they voted for Mondale.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

New Job

This is just a short note to let you know that in late October, I started working at VerizonWireless.

I am working in the Technical Development group, largely involved with the data side of the wireless network. If you've connected to the internet via your mobile phone or used some of the services that the data network supports, like VCast, you'd be touching the technology that I'm involved with.

Please keep in touch, whether we have business or personal dealings. I will continue to write here and in my technology blog, and I appreciate your comments.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Excellent story on Escape Pod

Check out Ulla at Escape Pod! A variation on War of the Worlds.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Music, AIDS, Conservatism ...

A number of posts this week have me wondering about the state of affairs of the world...

First, Scott Adams and "Why is Music Legal" today really had me smiling, in that "If the plural of goose is geese, why isn't the plural of moose meese?" sort of way.

Don’t forget – music is a gateway drug to harder stuff. Music attracts dancing. Dancing attracts alcohol. Alcohol leads to unwanted pregnancies. Unwanted pregnancies lead to abortion. If you believe life begins at conception, you have to believe that music kills babies.

This last bit of logic is like the humorous Tequila post from last month (link here)

But I digress... back in the early part of the last century, some people actually believed that music was bad for people, leading up to "Elvis" and those hips. Actually, it may have been the conservatives amongst us who were upset about it, and more to the point, they were frightened because they couldn't get their viewpoints foisted upon us, i.e. those with minds open for a lifetime of learning. Truthfully, I myself have a real problem with the lyrics in rap music, but the music itself is particularly popular with kids, and then the baby and bathwater things comes up.

Wil Wheaton reminded everyone that yesterday was World AIDS Day.

Over the years, I've just assumed that, as a species, we were moving toward eliminating or at least reducing the spread of HIV and AIDS. It turns out that I am wrong. For example, I didn't know that people in the UK know less about HIV transmission now than they did five years ago. Here in the US, our good pals in the religious right have been frighteningly successful in keeping people ignorant and afraid, and replacing facts with agenda-driven propaganda. This is real scary, because nothing helps spread a disease quite like ignorance, and AIDS doesn't care about your race or class or religion; it just wants to kill people.

Books like The Immortals by Tracy Hickman or Darwin's Children by Greg Bear touch on these same human issues and give us a frightening picture of what can happen.

As it turns out, yesterday Greg Bear noted in his blog that "that anyone who's been in power too long, starts to stink. And anyone who plans to keep our system a one-party system forever ... needs to spend some hard time in the ol' woodshed." I edited his comment for space, but I want to say that I agree with his point and this hard line conservatism is at it's core, what's been wrong with the last few years. Even in church, and the "you have to be on a mission" attitude ... I'm just saying, is this what Jesus really wanted?

Because this is what is all comes down to, the use of the religion, especially in these conservative circles, to accomplish the group's goals, to be in power, to have the most members, to have the most money, to have the most followers, to have the most votes.

What was that Golden Rule again? from Golden Rule Radical, some excerpts:

Christianity - In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets. Jesus, Matthew 7:12

Buddhism - Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. The Buddha

Confucianism - One word which sums up the basis of all good conduct....loving-kindness. Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself. Confucius, Analects 15.23

Islam - Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself. The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi

Judaism - What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it. Hillel, Talmud, Shabbath 31a

Wicca - An it harm none, do what you will

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension -
Buckaroo Banzai: Hey, hey, hey. Don't be mean. We don't have to be mean because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

I added the last one, there, it's not really at that golden rule website... I guess here is the final summation of what I would like to ask any person on a "mission" - after you've accomplished your great mission

What then?