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Monday, May 31

Pick one... 

Pick the saddest phrase out of the following:

1) Whenever I wasn't working this weekend, I was mostly either eating, sleeping or being extremely lazy.
2) One of the happiest things I've been looking forward to lately is my new TiVo.
3) I'm cleaning my house so that the plumber won't judge me too harshly when he fixes my sink.

It's not so bad -- I went bowling and karoke-singing Saturday and Sunday. But still, I'm hoping that things pick up soon. More than hope -- I'm working on some things (and I don't mean going through my three-foot high stack of unread magazines or six-foot high stack of newspapers).


Monday, May 24

Yea! Media Cross-overs 

It's nice to know that what goes around comes around. BBC is announcing a UK version of The Apprentice.

I suppose "The Apprentice" is a good enough concept to make it overseas. However I haven't heard of the "rich dude" the Beeb found to oversee this show.

Curse you spammers 

I know the increasing tide of spam is the bane of all e-mail users' existences, but the latest stuff I'm getting is absurd.

It's no surprise that I have several e-mail addresses. I've taken care not to publish or actually use some of them, so they should remain relatively spam-free. That was the case of my address until last week. After months of non-activity, this e-mail address is suddenly deluged in spam. Not only is it spam, but it's viral -- each e-mail address contains a .scr or whatever. And it's every message that includes an iffy attachment.

I know it's a common tactic for spammers to send out messages to computer-generated combinations of letters coupled with a domain in the hopes of hitting a legit address. I've seen it happen on several of my other accounts. This is the first time that I've seen such a deluge of pap laden with virii.

Booknotes:For the first time in a while, I read two totally new books. The first was The Sweater Letter detailing the investigation of a suspicious hunting accident in Ontonagon County. The investigation by the Michigan State Police showed that the husband killed his wife and tried to make it look like an accident.

Aside from some jarring asides that don't add much to the narrative, I thought it was a decent page-turner detailing a rural homicide investigation.

The other book I read was Stone and Anvil from the Star Trek: New Frontiers range of books. I had been putting reading it off because it's the latest in a series of books by author Peter David that I haven't read. However, getting into it was really easy and it was a pretty enjoyable read.

And like they say on Reading Rainbow: These and other great books should be available at your public library. Or Whichever.


Monday, May 17

Failed advertising 101 

You never know what you're going to find on the Internet, and I'm not talking about some perverted Web site that your co-worker thinks is "funny."

I was filtering through my junk e-mail box on Yahoo! Mail when this ad from State Farm Insurance loaded on the page:

Scary Suze ad

In case you're not a fan of PBS, this is money "guru" Suze Orman. I don't know all that much about her -- except Orman and the other members of her same self-help cabel takes over PBS during pledge-drive times (showcasing piles of unpleasantness over the normal, high-quality of PBS programming).

*deep breath* Anyway, I already don't care for this woman, but this advertisement takes the cake -- why would you want advice from a woman with those eyes? A friend just said she looks like a cultist, but I'm thinking about the unblinking eyes of Steve Forbes.

Bottom line -- I'm thinking State Farm has made a mistake here. I have absolutely no desire to click through on this ad.


Sunday, May 16

Drip, drip, drip ... 

I've been struggling off and on for the past few weeks with a leaky faucet. I've been really been busy doing other things - so I haven't really dedicated all that much time to the effort.

However, I'm currently trying to get the handles off of the base and they're wedged on extremely tight. I'll keep plugging away at it, but home repair apparently isn't my forte.


Saturday, May 15

We are the champions 

My luck at games of chance is pretty lousy. I guess given the odds that a lot of people have the same luck. Saturday, however, was my lucky day.

I was at the rally in support of U.S. troops in South Range this afternoon. I was primarily interested in seeing how the turnout was (last year's event was pretty awesome). That, and there would be a pig roast afterwards. (I am after all, not someone who turns down a good meal.)

So while I'm waiting for my friends and dinner to be served, I put my $5 in the raffle for 6 tickets. Dinner is good (potato wedges with ranch seasoning rock). After a while we jet to the movies (but not before Erin and Garrett do an a cappella organ solo).

My friends and I are about to go see a movie (Eternal Sunshine, again). Just as we're about to go into the theater, I get a phone call. I won the 50-50 raffle with my share totaling $144.

While I'm enjoying the thrill of winning, the gentleman who told me the news asks if I want to give it to the troops. What could I do? I don't want to be selfish (and be seen as selfish), but I'd like to have a few of those dollars. Plus supporting the troops was the reason for the event after all.

Ultimately, I give $100 back and opt to keep about $44. I hope that I'm not being greedy in wanting to keep some of the money.

Edit: Needed to remove weird text-wrapping from e-mailed post.


Wednesday, May 12

No. 2 with a bullet 

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I was bemoaning my dramatic drop in Google rankings? I suppose it's worth noting that I'm back on page 1 in a recent update (instead of page 8 or whatever).

Now, I'm right behind Gimpysoft for the top spot. I guess it was much ado about nothing, but it's nice to be back.

Notes: got an overhaul thanks to Google. I actually found out about it on National Public Radio. The new interface and commenting function is pretty neat. I also like how the profiles include statistics about the posts.

This, by the way, is my first post using the new blog-by-email function.


Thursday, May 6

Having the last laugh 

The "Friends" finale is airing right now on WLUC-TV 6. About 20 minutes in -- it's funny, but it's not really knocking my socks off. However, the kicker was pretty good. Ross and Rachel are having a tete-a-tete after a night of romance.

Ross cracks wise about a co-worker who gave him an advice book as a joke that -- ahem -- helped him out in his time of need. "Who's laughing now?" he asks.

America, Ross. America.

Testing a new feature 

Hopefully you've noticed the addition of headlines from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. It's my pleasure to present the latest coverage from CBC reporters on my Web site. Click on a headline and the story will open in a new browser window.

Given the tremendous impact the United States has on the rest of the world, it's refreshing to look at news outlets from the around the world (including the CBC and British Broadcasting Corp.) for information from a different perspective.

Comments? Questions? Drop me a message: send a message to "headlines" at my domain name --


Monday, May 3

New challenges 

There's a lot afoot at work -- we've got two new editors at work (Nancy and Mary Ann). Things are going to be hectic as everyone gets up to speed.

I produced my first news section Friday. That was a challenging 9 hours of work, but we made it through alright.



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