Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sex Workers AND Sex Slaves

As I caught this on Sean's site. It rang so true and it will likely lead me to write other blogs about people who are so convinced they know what is best for everybody!

Courtesy of sexartandpolitics:
There is no doubt that humans are trafficked and coerced into performing acts, sexual and otherwise, that demean, degrade, and dehumanize them. There are also humans who perform acts, sexual and otherwise, consensually and for a living. Driving the sex trade underground and utilizing resources to find, arrest, and prosecute individuals who are not being coerced “for their own good” is a waste and takes the focus off those people who are victims of the sex trade.
Thanks Sean and Danny for the wake-up!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Conservative VS Liberal

I heard this on KWHL, my preferred local Anchorage, AK radio station's morning show this last week. I was laughing because for me, typical of any good satire (Note the word SATIRE, please look it up), much of it seems to ring a little true. Before I posted it, I wanted to try and do a bit of "Due Diligence", locate the original source, and be able to give proper credit where it was due.

This turned out not to be as easy as one might think. This list, with several modifications, has been spreading like wildfire across the Internet. Sadly, there are as many conservatives who think it gospel as there are liberals who cannot chuckle and find the humor in it and must argue and discount each and every line vehemently.

So here it is with my best effort list of credits to follow:

A conservative atheist just doesn’t go to church.
A liberal/progressive atheist doesn’t want anybody else to be allowed to go to church, either.

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn`t buy one.
If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn`t eat meat.
If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

If a conservative sees a foreign threat, he thinks about how to defeat his enemy.
A liberal wonders how to surrender gracefully and still look good.

If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

If a black man or Hispanic are conservative, they see themselves as independently successful.
Their liberal counterparts see themselves as victims in need of government protection.

If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

If a conservative slips and falls in a store, he gets up, laughs and is embarrassed.
If a liberal slips and falls, he grabs his neck, moans like he's in labor and then sues.
You can probably look at the list and see how much effort would be required to "Google" it and actually get results for the list as opposed to results for the individual points. I really have to thank my buddy Kender for Caoilfhionn's post on his blog, Kender's Musings. Caoilfhionn did what so many bloggers fail to and credited his source Carolyn Hileman at The Voice. If you can, please check out the comments on both these blogs and see what else is there. I know it's hard to believe, but you may actually learn a little something along the way.

I hope you remembered to smile!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Putting the spare cycles on my computers to good use

From their Page at:

How Grid Technology Works
Making a difference has never been easier! Grid technology is simple and safe to use. To start, you register, then download and install a small program or "agent" onto your computer.

When idle, your computer will request data on a specific project from World Community Grid's server. It will then perform computations on this data, send the results back to the server, and ask the server for a new piece of work. Each computation that your computer performs provides scientists with critical information that accelerates the pace of research!

To learn more about World Community Grid's current research, please link to our Research area.

World Community Grid runs on software called BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at University of California, Berkeley, USA with funding from NSF (National Science Foundation).

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Anchorage business owners Tweetup to help fire victim

The Alaska Journal of Commerce posted a story by Gina Romero about the Tasty Tweets event I have blogged and literally spammed Facebook and Twitter about. Though I have never met Ryan Stanley in person, I do consider him a friendly acquaintance if not at least a friend. As I read his, and other updates on the morning of June 1st this year, I could not believe when he was "tweeting" about his house burning down. At first, I even thought it was some sort of metaphor for something else going on. As we found out later and saw the pictures, the family tragedy became all too real. Here's an excerpt from the article:
If you are on Twitter and follow other Alaskans, you may have noticed a series of tweets about a bake sale and Tweetup, called Tasty Tweets, set for Aug. 29 at Bella Boutique in Anchorage.

Valette McLay of Anchorage is an avid Twitter user. She helped spearhead Tasty Tweets, a bake sale and Tweetup for fire victim Ryan Stanley of Juneau. Photo/Gina Romero/For the Journal
It is the latest in a series of Tweetups - using Twitter to organize real-live meet-ups - that have been held in Anchorage since January, said John Proffitt, who is creator of, a Web site to inform those interested in local social media events.

Proffitt, who is known among Alaska's Twitter users, has organized a majority of the local Tweetups.

"I feel a kinship with many of the people I meet online, especially those I choose to follow on Twitter, and organizing these events lets me pay back that community for the affinity I have for the group," he said.

Ryan Stanley said he also feels a kinship with people in Alaska's online community. Stanley, who lives in Juneau, said he uses Twitter specifically to connect with Alaskans. Although he has not been able to attend the Anchorage Tweetups, Stanley said he stays involved with the group by looking at photos and by reading posts about the events.

"For the largest state in the union, it is the smallest state in the union. It's, I guess, a kind of unique thing you get to have a community that is spread out over such a large distance," he said.

Stanley is a social media super user. Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeed are a few of many ways he stays connected. He uses Twitter to network with Alaskans, Facebook for national and international contacts, and FriendFeed to interact with his professional circle.

His social networks are linked, so that one post goes to a variety of people. On the morning of June 1, 2009, a series of posts went out that touched many of Stanley's followers.

"OMG. I'm standing here watching my house burn. Unbelievable."


"Holy Crap."

"RIP Pink House."

Stanley posted these in the early morning hours as he watched fire destroy his home and everything inside. The fire, determined as intentionally set, originated in the laundry room of his neighbor's apartment-style dwelling on Basin Road, Fire Marshal Dan Jager said. Since then, Stanley, his wife, Laura Hosey, and 3-year-old daughter, Meadow, have been trying to rebuild their lives.

You can read the rest of the article here:

As I keep asking, please help in anyway you can.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tasty Tweets

The Anchorage, Alaska Twitter community is coming together to volunteer its time and money to help out a friend — one we’ve never even met in person. Please join us in a random act of kindness. Help us get the word out about the August 29 Tasty Tweets Bake Sale via your nearest bulletin board, your blog, Facebook and more!

More news is coming soon, but for now, set your calendars for home-baked goods and a good cause:

Sat, Aug 29
1:00pm – 4:00pm
Bella Boutique / 2601 Spenard Rd / Anchorage, AK

We have more than 13 bakers preparing to fire up the ovens, break out the sugar and create cookies, cakes and pies, plus we’ll have coffee from Kaladi Brothers — you name it, the sweets will be ready for consumption and carry-out. And the plans include some fun stuff, too.

If you are interested in helping out, tweet a message to @Valette or send e-mail to

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Say NO to Alaska Railroad Herbicide Spraying!

Here was the email I received and felt strongly enough about to reprint it. ACAT is a great organization with one of their biggest goals being the cleanup of US Military waste and pollution left behind in so many villages and communities throughout Alaska. Please help me to help them.

Join ACAT and support them.

ACTION ALERT -- August 2009

Say No to Alaska Railroad Herbicide Spraying!
Protect Water Quality, Salmon, and Community Health!

On July 15, 2009, the Alaska Railroad Corporation applied to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to spray a toxic mixture of herbicides along 90 miles of the railway system from the rail yard in Seward to Indian. The herbicide mixture includes the herbicide glyphosate and Agridex, a petroleum-based surfactant. The proposed herbicide spraying threatens salmon streams, drinking water sources, berry-picking areas, and neighborhoods in close proximity to the Railroad.

Please take action! Your voice can make a difference!


WHITTIER: Monday, August 10—City Council Chambers, P-12 Building (intersection of Whittier Street and Glacier Avenue) from 4:00-6:30 PM

SEWARD: Tuesday, August 11—Seward Marine Center/RM Rae Education Building at 125 3rd Avenue from 4:00-6:30 PM

ANCHORAGE: Wednesday, August 12—Marriott Downtown Hotel at 7th and I Street from 4:00-6:30 PM

Talking points:

  • Chemical control of weeds is unnecessary and harmful.
  • Citizens of Alaska must insist on the use of safe, effective, non-toxic alternatives that will provide healthy jobs.
  • The herbicide glyphosate is associated with harm to human health including endocrine, reproductive, and developmental effects. The petroleum-based surfactant Agridex contains a proprietary combination of chemicals including at least two that are considered as likely to cause cancer.
  • Alaskans have spoken—people have successfully opposed the spraying of herbicides since the 1980s! In 2006, when the Railroad last applied for a permit to apply herbicides, strong public opposition prevented DEC from issuing the permit. Letters and resolutions of opposition were written by tribes, municipalities, and Borough governments including: Native Village of Eklutna, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Kenai Peninsula Borough, Denali Borough, City of Seward, and Municipality of Anchorage.
Submit written comments: If you can’t participate in the public hearings, submit written comments no later than September 15 to Stephanie Stewart, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. Email:; Phone: (907) 269-7644; Fax: (907) 269-7654

Please contact Alaska Community Action on Toxics for more information at (907) 222-7714; email; or visit our website.

Please DONATE. Join us as a member of Alaska Community Action on Toxics (ACAT) at $35/year, volunteer, or consider an additional financial contribution to support our work. Thank you.

Mission: to assure justice by advocating for environmental and community health. We believe that everyone has the right to clean air, clean water, and toxic-free foods.

Friday, August 7, 2009

History 101

Got this in an email today and it had me giggling right-away. Hope you find it just as entertaining!
For those that don't know about history... Here is a condensed version:

Humans originally existed as members of small bands of nomadic hunters/gatherers. They lived on deer in the mountains during the summer and would go to the coast and live on fish and lobster in the winter.

The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer. These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

1. Liberals, and
2. Conservatives.

Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminum can were invented yet, so while our early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That's how villages were formed.

Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

Other men who were weaker and less skilled at hunting learned to live off the conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q's and doing the sewing, fetching, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Liberal movement..

Some of these liberal men eventually evolved into women. The rest became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy liberal achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs, and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that conservatives provided.

Over the years conservatives came to be symbolized by the largest, most powerful land animal on earth, the elephant. Liberals are symbolized by the jackass.

Modern liberals like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard liberal fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note: most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury attorneys, journalists, dreamers in Hollywood and group therapists are liberals. Liberals invented the designated hitter rule because it wasn't fair to make the pitcher also bat.

Conservatives drink domestic beer, mostly Bud. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, rodeo cowboys, lumberjacks, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, police officers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

Liberals produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Liberals believe Europeans are more enlightened than Americans. That is why most of the liberals remained in Europe when conservatives were coming to America . They crept in after the Wild West was tamed and created a business of trying to get more for nothing.

Here ends today's lesson in world history:

It should be noted that a Liberal may have a momentary urge to criticize or point out any perceived irregularities and angrily respond to the above before forwarding it.

A Conservative will simply laugh and be so convinced of the absolute truth of this history that it will be re-posted or forwarded or immediately to other true believers and as well as more liberals just to tick them off.
Awww, Come-on? This would be humor folks, you know? Funny?

hehe - I know, I am hopeless...

Friday, July 31, 2009

Because sometimes, things are too funny not to share

The End of the World by Fluid

I can never get enough of this flash video. It's been around since the just after Y2K and I make a point to share it whenever I can. The link is in the title, but here it is again...

As an after thought, this one will probably freak you out a bit...

You can thank me later!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Debate about my blog "Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?"

After posting this, a online debate ensued. I've made every effort to remove identifying info about my detractor. Those who took part in it, and know us both saw the exchange. It is a prime example of the overwrought blind emotion on the subject I cautioned against. Apparently, rather then feed me examples of places or information bolstering a counter-point, it was easier to attack my intelligence, sources, and research abilities.

Here's the exchange:

Me (Original Blog Post): Is the US Temperature Record reliable?- I'm concerned about how emotionally charged the Global Warming issue is...

GlobalWarmer2: @BigDaveGrizzly Climate change is not measured by temperature. Temperatures may be included in some studies as one factor.

Me: @GlobalWarmer2 It has been a major focal point for most arguments. C02 being another and full of as many holes.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2 Vast majority of legitimate scientists and peer-reviewed data say warming is serious. 90% united on that.

GlobalWarmer2: @BigDaveGrizzly Temp is injected into the argument because it's tangible & understood by laypeople.Scientific argument is not easy to grasp.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist @GlobalWarmer2 I could go on all day on that. Many are recanting now as a lot of the base science for it is being disproved.

GlobalWarmer2: @BigDaveGrizzly Like who?

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist @GlobalWarmer2 Claude Allegre, one of France's leading socialists/among her most celebrated scientists

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2 You need to read a little more widely, my friend. You are living in a small box, if you think that's true

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2 Please don't just quote me verbatim the lead of one random article. Do some real research and we can talk.

Me (in response to "Like who?" above): @GlobalWarmer2 @GlobalWarmerJournalist With only 140 characters, difficult to list, but check this out...

Me (in response to the personal attack as it begins): @GlobalWarmerJournalist I am offended by your comments. That is the very emotional response I caution against. I do my research.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2 Now your authority is a list of several dozen names on Wikipedia? is that what you're offering as evidence?

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist I rarley take things personal and in fact, assume by your response I am better read in this area than yourself...

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2 My friend, I have reported on and edited coverage on this for 20 years (NPR, Discovery, CS Monitor, ARPN)

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist The list was a response to the question of who r Pro Global Warming Scientists who have recanted based on reviewing the science.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist Those are great credentials reporting on flawed scientific data. Not completely wrong, but not based on proper scientific method

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly @GlobalWarmer2...and all i can tell you is this is not a serious debate in in the scientific community.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist In fact, it's becoming a more serious debate within the scientific community now as the data it is based on is being reexamined.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly I'm not going to argue the point. It's a Wikipedia list. Need i say more. Do some real research.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist So, you must have photographic memory & can recall all information you have ever read precisely?Wiki is best I can do this hour.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly hint: take that list, find out who gets research grants from big oil, or GM, or any other company and then get back to me.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist I can say the same for many scientists who defend global warming. Without their grant monies and funding, they'd be out of work.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly I don't need a photographic memory to speak with some authority on a topic I have been reporting on for 20 years.

Me (obviously annoyed now): @GlobalWarmerJournalist Without your resume I obviously am completely clueless and have no idea how to conduct research as your first response implied...

Me (still annoyed): @GlobalWarmerJournalist And of course, no one could ever have given you bad information. And there is no way your resources may have been in error.

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist All I am noting is, if using a proper scientific method, there is a great deal of room for debate. To suggest otherwise is wrong

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @bigdavegrizzly baseline starting point: the most authoritative report: IPCC report based on the work of some 2500 scientists/130 countries.

Me (in response to the IPCC Report): @GlobalWarmerJournalist Which was called into question. Rather than report only facts and findings, it was a collaborative effort including politicians.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly I've been reporting on it for 20 years, not 2 days, So any bad info has long since gone out in the wash.

(I guess I only ever thought about this for the last two days of my life and have never done any other research on it?)

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist The bad info has been repeated and perpetrated as fact. Only recently has the science been proven either inconclusive or flawed.

GlobalWarmerJournalist: @BigDaveGrizzly I give up. You clearly don't know much about this. Do some real research-or don't. Its all there should you decide to. night

Me: @GlobalWarmerJournalist goodnight

Did I just win that exchange? Wonder why he kept at me, rather than citing arguments against my data and examples?

We live in such a loving and understanding society, don't we?

Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?

I've made no secret about my suspicions about Global Warming and my concern on how emotionally charged the issue is. Unfortunately, when emotion takes over, science and common sense can often fly right out of the window. Now, I am not saying that we should not use our finite resources more wisely, even more conservatively. I am also not denying that less pollution has to be a good thing. What I am arguing with is the way these excellent points are being side-stepped or derailed by the sense of over-wrought urgency to fix this all yesterday because we're "ALL GONNA DIE" and the over-bearing attitude of the Global Warming (My bad, they changed it to "Cliamte Change") doomsayers. They are willing to push this bad information at the cost of jobs, the economy, and livelihood of all of us just because they think they are doing something good for Mother Earth. And woe to any individual who disagrres because, after all, "The debate is over!".

I received an email about the following from my Dad. I Googled the Author, Anthony Watts and according to both Wiki, and his own Blog site, he is a meteorologist and former Global Warming proponent. He, as a Scientist, decided to start doing his own research and found, as I did, much of the science used to argue for Global Warming is flawed. Here is the Executive Summary for the attached PDF showing an issue with a majority of the "1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service" used to gather/report historical temperature means and climate change data. Read the attached PDF and check out the website at for all the data and form your own opinion.

Again, here is a reprint of his Executive Summary:
"Global warming is one of the most serious issues of our times. Some experts claim the rise in temperature during the past century was “unprecedented” and proof that immediate action to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions must begin. Other experts say the warming was very modest and the case for action has yet to be made.

The reliability of data used to document temperature trends is of great importance in this debate. We can’t know for sure if global warming is a problem if we can’t trust the data.

The official record of temperatures in the continental United States comes from a network of 1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service, a department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Until now, no one had ever conducted a comprehensive review of the quality of the measurement environment of those stations.

During the past few years I recruited a team of more than 650 volunteers to visually inspect and photographically document more than 860 of these temperature stations. We were shocked by what we found.

We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations – nearly 9 of every 10 – fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.

The errors in the record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7º C (about 1.2º F) during the twentieth century. Consequently, this record should not be cited as evidence of any trend in temperature that may have occurred across the U.S. during the past century. Since the U.S. record is thought to be “the best in the world,” it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.

This report presents actual photos of more than 100 temperature stations in the U.S., many of them demonstrating vividly the siting issues we found to be rampant in the network. Photographs of all 865 stations that have been surveyed so far can be found at, where station photos can be browsed by state or searched for by name."
- Anthony Watts
Now, I am not arguing against common sense. I am cautioning against radical and emotionally charged decisions and taxes based on bad data. With The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) in Congress, we really should know the real story before things get too out of hand.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Did you hold on your Vista deployment? Good Call!

This was posted originally in November of 2006 @
"EXCLUSIVE |Microsoft has set November 30 as the release date for Vista (and Office 2007) to business customers and January 30, 2007 as the date for the official launch to consumers and The World At Large."
Though there was a great deal of excitement, the release fell hard and flat... Vista just had too many issues for the average consumer, and at that time, required new hardware for the most part. Now, some of us happily did our due diligence and with some custom policies and the SP1 for Vista, most real issues were resolved other than the obscure driver issue. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the damage had been done and most of their customers had forced MS to extend support for Windows XP Pro far past any date MS had hoped for.

From a business stand point, despite a grudgingly accepting home/retail market place. Vista was just not gonna happen anytime soon. Most Professionals also knew Windows 7 was on the horizon and low and behold here it is. At this point, there is very little business case to spend money in the current economy to migrate to an OS with less than 6 months until its replacment is released. Realistically, most should not even consider going to Windows 7 until the first Service Pack is released, but who knows what lessons were learned from Vista that may make that less an issue here.

Check here for a CNN article on Windows 7 and the holiday release plans...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Air Travel Fun!

Under normal circumstances, I love to travel. I yearn for visiting new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new things. If enough time passes, I even like revisiting places I enjoyed and looking for what I have missed.

Let's not forget the people. I so like some people, and have so little use for others. The "little use" group grows by leaps and bounds, but, the other group, the ones I like, that group grows as well, though much more slowly. Sometimes, the people I like can take me back to places I really have no other interest in. This happens very often.

All that said, there are some things about travel today that make it so much more less enjoyable.

First, "TSA" is a huge part of what is wrong with travel today. Requirements are inconsistent between sites, even for sites within the same airports. There is far too much latitude and inference afforded to the TSA agents. This portion of the John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (Lord Acton) quote, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" comes to mind. When people who have not been prepared to handle power have it handed to them, results tend to vary. Police officers and prison guards undergo a much more intense screening process and some of these individuals who cannot handle it still seem to get through and cannot cope. TSA's screening process is not as near thorough. Some of them seem to have little else to do than "spin-up" at the slightest sign of anything they do not not understand. Others have decided they are now the software police, or an extension of the DEA. Watching them "spin-up" like giddy school girls at the thought of flexing those authoritative muscles is, well, disheartening. We won't even go into the range of individuals working for TSA. The entire TSA structure and guidelines needs revamped.

My second issue with travel now is with the airlines. Baggage Charges. Far less personal service. They no longer issue your boarding passes for other airlines when your trip requires some code sharing, so if there is any issue with advanced check-in online, you may lose your seat if the first flight is delayed. Certainly, some are better than others but if an airline was to charge me $20 to $50.00 more for the ticket, but not charge me for the added services, they'd have a loyal customer. This nickel and dime garbage for "incidentals" is completely out of hand. Charging for meals, each piece of your baggage, etc. By the time you've paid for the meal and 2 bags roundtrip, you've added $100 to the cost of flying. is the $12,000 to $15,000 or so more money they take in, or lose for passengers that don't use the services really that big an issue financially? This cannot be much over 5% of their gross income for a full flight. Alaskal Airlines rocks with the baggage thing at least. No charge for the first one and they like their loyal passengers. Sometimes, they don't charge for any bags. Nice!!!!

Finally, the airports themselves. I understand I am no longer the spry lad I once was. But come one Chicago O'Hare? Gimmie a friggin' break here!!
  • Signs pointing the wrong directions to get to the other terminals? No, really, they do, or they take you outside security. (Ever seen one of those boarding passes they give you for chnaging planes inside, but labeled No Good for security? Good luck with that one Ralph!)
  • No internal mass transit between terminals?
Now, I did eventually get where I need to go, but thank you for a 4 hour layover. Had it been much tighter, I would have never made it. I did notice, as a major hub, their internal signs and transit SUCK! for short layovers when you change arilines. If you're actually coming from or going to the airport, getting around is much easier.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sitting in Albany, NY

After a long week in training, I'm hanging out here in my hotel and contemplating the nightlife here in bustling Albany, NY. Sponge Bob is on TV and that just struck me as a sad statement to be making. It is about dinner time, but I am confident I'll find some way to resolve that issue here quickly.

So far, for a larger city and being the state capital, it sure looks like they roll up the sidewalks for the weekend.

I've got friends coming into town tomorrow, but I am looking for some entertainment for this evening. I have until Sunday in the early AM to locate some form of my own brand of trouble. We'll have to see what the weekend brings.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mike!

I'm sitting here in my Chicago hotel room, goofing off for the weekend, while on my way to New York for the week. I had decided it was a good time to catch up on my email, blog reading, My Spacing, Facebooking, etc. Facebook reminded me that it's my buddy Mike's birthday. I went to his page and posted "Happy Birthday!". I saw an update later and I found this post by our mutual friend Kender. It made me laugh so hard, I thought it important to share it with you all.

Here's the message he posted
"I was going to send you birthday wishes but in this time of political correctness and sensitivity I am uncertain if wishes may be against your religion and I wouldn't want to offend you in any way shape or form so until such time as the right to offend is codified into law, as opposed to the right to not be offended which is all BUT codified into law I want you to know that IF you are not offended by well wishes upon the day you mark your birth into this world that they are indeed sent your way by me. If however these wishes offend you they were not only NOT sent but they do not and have never existed in any way shape or form."
- Kender McGowan
Too much and I love it... Kender, thanks again for the chuckle and Happy Birthday Mike! (By the way Mike, you are still very much a youngster, but one of the more learned youngsters I know.)

Please check them out and follow them if you like what you see. Both of these guys have their own blog sites here:
Mike - South Texian -
Kender - Kenders Musings -

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Some Funny in the Midst of Hectic

(Thanks Marianne! L & R AK)

As I pack and otherwise prepare for my 8:00 AM flight to Chicago, (Due at 6:00 AM in the airport in pursuit of a First-Class Upgrade) I opened an email from a friend of mine. She, like I, "Lives the Life" as many of us call being a member of the biker community. It's a bit more complex than just owning a motorcycle and hanging out, but that's a topic for a different day.

A little 10-year-old girl was walking home, alone, from school one day, when a big man on a black motorcycle pulls up beside her. After following along for a while, turns to her and asks, "Hey there little girl, do you want to go for a ride?"

"NO!" says the little girl as she keeps on walking.

The motorcyclist again pulls up beside her and asks, "Hey little girl, I will give you $10 if you hop on the back."

"NO!" says the little girl again as she hurries down the street.

The motorcyclist pulls up beside the little girl again and says,"Okay kid, my last offer! I'll give you 20 Bucks "and" a Big Bag of Candy if you will just hop on the back of my bike and we will go for a ride."

Finally, the little girl stops and turns towards him and Screams Out...

"Look here Dad!" "You're the one who bought the Honda instead of the Harley... YOU RIDE IT!!"

Oh, Come one now!! Where did you think this was going? I did say "Funny" in the title!!

Note: For the record, several of my "brothers" ride Honda. We tease 'em, but we love 'em.

Friday, April 17, 2009

You have got to be kidding me???

Well, not that anything should surprise us in this day and age of frivolous lawsuits and such, but I could not believe the following.

I am one of those water buffalo types that consumes a lot of water on a regular basis. A normal day finds may drinking about a full gallon of water. Sometimes, to break up the blandness, I'll add some Crystal Light or other sugar-free mix to my Nalgene bottle. I was feeling especially economical at a recent shopping trip and went for the generic Safeway brand "Shake N' Run" instead.

(Side note: When I get bored, I read; I read everything, signs, instructions, labels, etc. This being a Friday, and me being overdue for a vacation, and it having been a long several weeks at the office, I am ready to get out of here and concentrating is difficult.)

I made the mistake of reading the "Directions" on the packet of lemonade I was about to mix into my water.
Take a sip from a 16.9 fl oz bottle of water (500ml) if bottle is filled to the top. Empty contents of one packet into the bottle of water. Shake well until dissolved. Packet can be mixed into a 20 fl oz bottle of water for a lighter flavor. Also great when made with tap water.
Now, overall, pretty basic instructions, but I'm a smart-ass and was mentally retorting as I read.
  • "Take a sip from a 16.9 fl oz bottle of water" - What if it is 16.8 fl oz, or 17? Why does it have to be 16.9? What about that whole sip thing? I guarantee one of my "sips" is about quarter bottle! I AM a very big man! What then?
  • "Packet can be mixed into a 20 fl oz bottle of water for a lighter flavor" - Really? Not a 18 fl oz bottle? What about a 32 fl oz bottle that is not full? I mean come on, gimmie some options here! I feel so restricted!
  • "Also great when made with tap water" - Really? Tap Water? Is there a special container that I need to use? Should it be filtered? Is it okay to include ice?
I know, I warned about the smart-ass thing, right? Well, I did manage to get through this brain wracking dilemma and enjoy my sugar free drink mix.

For those of you still concerned, I opted for the partially full 32 fl oz Nalgene bottle with an appropriate number of ice cubes to chill it to MY specifications.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Pope Visits Alaska

The Pope took a couple of days off to visit the rugged mountains of Alaska for some sightseeing. He was cruising along the campground in the Pope Mobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods. A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a 'Vote for Obama' hat and a 'Save the Trees' T-shirt, was screaming while struggling frantically and thrashing around trying to free himself from the grasp of a 10-foot grizzly.

As the Pope watched in horror, a group of Republican loggers with 'Go Sarah' T-shirts came racing up. One quickly fired a 44 magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached up and pulled the bleeding, semiconscious Democrat from the bear's grasp. Then using long clubs, the three loggers finished off the bear and two of them threw it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured Democrat in the back seat.

As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. 'I give you my blessing for your brave actions!' he told them. 'I heard there was a bitter hatred between Republican loggers and Democratic environmental activists, but now I've seen with my own eyes that this is not true…

As the Pope drove off, one logger asked his buddies 'Who was that guy?'
'It was the Pope,' another replied. 'He's in direct contact with Heaven and has access to all wisdom.'
'Well,' the logger said, 'he may have access to all wisdom, but he doesn't know squat about bear hunting! By the way, is the bait still alive, or do we need to go back to Massachusetts and get another one?'
Okay, Okay - But I am still laughing!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A short rumination on "Clashes dominate conservative author’s visit"

I posted the following comment on Facebook,

"Too bad their tolerance does not extend to those that disagree with them. Higher level education systems have long been a hotbed for the liberal agenda. All Mr. Horowitz is asking for is a politics free education environment.

The problem is, who "monitors" that? Unfortunately, it sounds like more "Big Brother" to me. As much as I agree, the enforcement concerns me."

Although the protesters certainly had a right to air their side out front, I believe allowing them inside to disrupt the event was a poor decision. It seems that the old philosophies of "changing the channel" or "going somewhere else" have flown the coop. Now seems to be a philosophy more like, "You must agree with me, or you cannot be allowed to say your piece."

As insomnia sets in at this fine hour (2:20 AM Friday morning here in Anchorage, AK), it occurred to me that what he is really asking for is, for the professors themselves, along with the colleges to show a bit of self control. The issue is not that the professors don't deserve to exercise "Freedom of Speech", but that their classrooms may not be a suitable place.

Now, I am not one of your overly emotional guys. Although I can get very angry, normally, once emotion enters the discussion, am I quite ill prepared. But, let's make a few assumptions:

  1. 1. A good majority of the people who did not want to go to war in the 60's and 70's could avoid military service by going to school. Being full-time students helped them "dodge the draft".
  2. Women, at that time, were not a big part of our military, and most stayed behind and blamed the war and the government for their separation. Many often "Dear John'd" their fighting man in lieu of a man who stayed behind. I am extrapolating here, a majority of the men they spent their time with were liberal anti-war types.
  3. Most college professors are in fact college graduates themselves. (hehe I know)
  4. Is it safe to assume by the end of the 70's, the majority of college graduates were likely liberal and anti-war as were most Professors?
  5. Most graduates for the last 40 years have come up through a very liberal leaning education system producing more liberals?
I am talking in big generalities here and realize there are many exceptions. I think my logic is sound and may explain the nature of politics today and why the conservatives seem to be more in a minority than ever before. Mr. Horowitz goal is a great one. he is trying to separate the politics from education much like many have striven to separate the religion from education.

I really believe all three realms (education, politics, and religion) should be kept separate. I have no idea how to safely achieve that. What I caution against is to keep a watchful eye on what is done in an effort to obtain such a lofty goal. Keep in mind what freedoms we were all so ready to give up to be safe when we found terrorists were not just knocking on our door, but had walked on in and sat down.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Justice is served?

"The Justice Department asked a judge Wednesday to toss out the corruption conviction of former Sen. Ted Stevens because prosecutors withheld evidence from his defense team.

The department is abandoning a hard-fought victory that had turned into an embarrassment. The prosecutors who handled the trial have been removed from the case and their conduct is under investigation.

The case cost Stevens the Alaska seat he had held since 1968."

The above opener was believed by many to be an April Fool's prank. At the time of the trial, I was "screaming" foul at the top of my lungs. I want to stress here, I am neither a Stevens supporter, nor detractor. My issue is with how this case, like many others, was handled by the US Government. Often, they are in such a hurry to prosecute, they often drop the ball or worse.

Although many will never be convinced he is anything but guilty, I choose to look at it otherwise. If Stevens was so guilty, why couldn't the prosecution win without cheating? In fact, the entire case was based on Stevens purposely hiding any gifts and work paid for by VECO. When asked if during his deposition, Bill Allen stated "Ted Stevens would pay bills presented to him." This bit of information was withheld from the defense team throughout the trial.

The fact was, VECO never billed for a lot of the work in question. Another point is, Ted's wife paid the day-to-day bills and Ted was not even at the home during most of the renovations. (He spent a great deal of that time in Washington, DC.)

Why the timing? Convenient this case came to a head just prior to the election. Funny how, even with the conviction, Stevens opponent won by a very narrow margin. There is no doubt the conviction was a factor.

Apparently, the concept of "innocent until proven guilty" was lost on the prosecution, the jury, and even the judge. In any other court case, with the 4 counts of misconduct by the prosecution, the case would have never gone on long enough for a conviction. This political "witch hunt" was a major injustice.