Friday, September 29, 2006

Cheap Shot Vindicated

Hi All!

I have patronized Cheapo since all they sold were used records. I rode my bike from Merriam Park to Dinkytown and spent hours flipping through used elpees. At least I THINK they were in Dinkytown -- maybe 7-Corners -- I shopped a couple of places around there as well, but I don't think they were Cheapo but I KNOW they are long long gone gone, unlike Cheapo.

Cheapo made it big. They franchise all over the golldarn country and there are a bunch of them in the Twin Cities, including a shop which inhabits a building in which I spent a fair piece of my youth carrying out groceries, cashiering and stocking shelves for Applebaum's. Paid my way through Cretin High and The College of St. Thomas starting at $1.65/hr and finishing my 5-year career at $4.95/hr.

Applebaums morphed into Rainbow Foods and eventually 80 N Snelling at Ashland, Applebaum's store #4, was abandoned. Cheapo and other shops moved in. The place burned almost to the ground several years ago, but out of the ruins, the building was restored on the old foundation.

The point I'm getting at is that the location has a very strong nostalgiac effect on me whenever I go to Cheapo Discs and flip through the jewel cases looking for buried treasure, just as I have done since I was a 13-year-old rock music freak.

The ghosts of the past, and all the great and not so great stories come flooding into my consciousness when I pass through the door.

Thus, it was with shock and dismay that I was rebuffed yesterday. Rebuffed trying to exchange 3 discs which sucked bigtime and which I thought were returnable for store credit.

This scruffy little stocking-capped bearded hep cat gnome of a clerk took the corporate line with me. You see, I was trying to return 3 discs that themselves were acquired on store credit from an original purchase.

I can see the point of the policy. A guy with a CD burner could simply keep exchanging discs forever and build a nice library at little cost, although it's easier and usually cheaper to fetch tunes on the web.

However, I specifically asked the clerk who took my original returns if I could return my newly acquired ones and was told I could.

The snotty little Mac student (I would guess - at least he looked and smelled like one) gave me a different impression to say the least.

Call me emotional and you'd be right. I plopped the discs on the counter and jocularly said I wanted to return these suckwad CDs and try for better luck. When he said he couldn't do it I actually teared up a bit, mumbled something about spending $1000/year there and intending never to darken their doors again.

I felt so violated. This was MY store! How could MY store treat me so badly after I had worked so hard keep the shelves stocked, the aisles of cans, bottles and boxes neatly faced up, the floors mopped when junior dropped the jar of pickles.

The door I passed through thousands of times pushing double decker two wheelers of properly bagged groceries through the slush to little old ladies' cars and once in awhile getting a quarter tip (once in a blue moon, that is) for my efforts.

The place where the Wild Man (produce manager) managed to hopelessly clog the monster garbage disposal with a cat that had been hanging around the dumpsters. I think he was inspired by the conquest of a mouse. I watched as he dangled it by its tale and it made a little "eek" when he let go of it and the disposal motor barely slowed. Mouse puree'. I wrote that story up and Tom Barnard read it on air about 25 years ago. Will have to dig it up and post. Pretty good story, that.

For the rest of the day it gnawed at me. I finally went to their website and sent a bitch email to the store.

Lo and behold, the manager ain't so "cheapo" after all. I have been invited back to complete the transaction. Have to make an extra trip and think they should give me a gift certificate or something but I'm not gonna press my luck.

Hope the elf is working so I can turn my snotty little nose up at him.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Torii and Obi Come Through

Hi All!

Pestered Obi's re-accessable site for some signs and a half dozen appeared at my house. No recogntition, thank you, instructions -- but I got signs! Now to find locations.

Saw the Twins take the next step toward the Western Division Championship. What a great tribute year for Kirby. I saw him in "Game Six" at the peak of his greatness -- now I will be behind home plate on Wednesday with my boys who were too young at 4 and 1 to remember to see the Twinkies take 1st place after Detroit loses and we win on Tuesday.

Great stuff!


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Where's Obi?

Hi All!

I had the pleasure of meeting our GOP 4th District candidate, Obi Sium, on a few occasions at Keegans Trivia Night

I once mentioned to him that he was preaching to the converted, few of which actually live in CD4 but he apparently over-estimated the influence of the few of we minor league bloggers.

He also once mentioned that he was retiring but too busy to do much door knocking, preferring to harass people at freeway entrances like some "will work for food" bum.

Obi got some priceless ink during the primary in which he was challenged by a nutcase with a nice, anglo name.

Since the primary, Obi seems invisible. Last week I went to his website and ordered a lawnsign. 6 days later, no sign. I even offered to pick one up and install it myself.

Tonight, his campaign website seems to be down.

This is NOT the way to run even a Quixotic campaign.

I love the guy. Conservatives, rare as we are in CD4 need to know about him.

And how could a good Democrat, embracing diversity and with the chance of setting Congressional precedent by voting for an Eritrean immigrant made good possibly support Betsey (under God) McCollum, who is about as St Paul and White Bread as they come?

Oh Yeah, they are all working for Ellison. The CORRECT type of Rye Bread.

I don't mean to get on Obi. Several of us ought to help him out. Best I can do is show a sign, drop lit in my neighborhood and try to energize the pathetic GOP SD66 BPOU (Did I say "pathetic"? Mere words cannot describe how punchless this little clique is.

However, Obi, if you should read this, accept help that is offered. I'll pick up a sign for myself and a dozen more and I'll get them planted. Just the small, easy to install ones, thank you.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Twins and trivia

Hi All!

Despite the fact that my Buzztime venue has about 40 tv monitors I didn't DARE change any of them to the trivia channel. Not even my favorite little monitor in a far corner where nobody needs to watch it since there is a nice plasma right next to it.

So I got a game board, signed in and kept pressing answer 3. Scored a few points, even though I didn't have any idea what I was answering.

However, the Twins v. the Bosox was worth missing Buzztime. There was a drawing every time the Twins scored, and through 7 innings, they had a grand total of 1, to Boston's 2. Then Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer out of the ballpark, and I won 3 tickets to a Twins game next week!

I haven't seen a Twins game at the Metrodome since "Game Six" when Kirby Puckett stole the show and stole the series from Atlanta. I figuratively died and went to heaven that special night and I know that I will never have a similar experience at a Twins game, even if they go all the way this year.

So I am giving the tickets to my kids.


PS. After the game a few heavy trivial hitters showed up and we combined to put our venue in the top ten out of a few thousand venues for three games in a row until the clock struck 11 and we had to reluctantly head for home.

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Daily Chuckles

Hi All!

Heard a couple of good ones today. One is current, the other from 1870's.

Moslems do not recognize Jews as the Chosen People. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the Leader of Christainity. Baptists do not recognize other Baptists at Hooters.

And, from Horace Greeley:

"All Democrats are not rascals, but all rascals are Democrats."


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Best Day Ever

Hi All!

Ah, I can be so sarcastic.

So much to write about this day.

Thank God for the Simpsons.

180 degree attitude change.

I've said this perhaps 100 time during the past 17 or so years, but I will venture to say"

"Best Simpsons ever."

See, 'cos I bought a drum set yesterday.

How 'bout them Vikes?

There is a God. He came through in the end, even though I was late to St. Agnes.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Plagiarizing Myself

Hi All!

This is pretty lazy, as it was written for another the Roseville E-Democracy forum, but it ain't a bad story. There has been a dust-up over the recent levy wool pulled over we taxpayers' eyes and I have stuck my fat dumb ass into it, so this is my peace offering:

To correct a bad typo in a previous post on the levy topic, my kids went through Falcon Heights Elementary and RAMS K-8, not 5-8. Geez.

Anyhow, there is nothing to help one take a vacation from thinking about things too much than a good old fashioned Friday Night HS Football Game.

I crammed a giggling gaggle of 8 assorted RAHS and CDH frosh into the Trooper and bussed them to the Big Game at good old O'Shaunessy Stadium. It makes me a bit wistful to see how CST, as we called it in my day, has been transformed. Same goes for Cretin. Hardly recognize the places anymore, but the old familiar buildings are still buried in there somewhere.

I guess the biggest change that I regret is "letting the girls in."

At Cretin, we had plenty of Derham Dollies sharing classes and lunch on the commons. At CST we had the Caties. Going co-ed robbed these places of their very soul. OK, there, I've gotten it off my chest for the billionth time.

Anyway, It wasn't much of an even game, but the RAHS players and fans deported themselves with class -- well, there was a late unsportsmanlike conduct call but boys will be boys.

I dropped the girls off and visited a friend until halftime, when I was able to drive around the parking lot barricade and put the Trooper right next to the main gate and saunter in free of charge.

What a beautiful night. What a blast. What memories of the days when my friends played football there in the '70s.

The main stands (now the ONLY stands, as the far side bleachers are gone) used to be the place our family needed to go if the Ruskies dropped the Big One. Even in my college days, the casks of "POTABLE WATER" and boxes of "FREEZE DRIED" powders were still stashed under the stands.

But I digress.

The point of this is that if we are participating in this discussion forum we all share the same hopes. We will differ on how to achieve them, but let us never forget that we are all on the same page as good citizens who care about the future of our community.

Peace, and


A Couple of Quick Jaeger Schotz

Hi All!

What a day, what a day. What a day.


Well, it's a perfect Autumn evening and the Roseville Raiders are playing the Cretin Raiders at good old O'Shaunessy Stadium and I'm loading up the station wagon with 6 cute girls and a case of Buckhorn. Huh? Oh, sorry. Flashback.

Truth is that I am going to be Mr. Transportation and if the admission isn't too outrageous I might actually take in the epic tilt, else find a nearby Buzztime venue and sip on a cranberry juice, generously iced, until it's time to pick up my charges for the return trip.

My neato handicaped placard will come in handy tonight, let me tell ya. This game is gonna be huge. I get to feel like some sort of big shot as I barge into the best spot in the lot.


Our family's benevolent insurer has a program called "Blueprint for Health." and we are continually pestered by their telemarketers. My stock, tongue firmly in cheak excuse is along the lines of where were they 30 years ago when there was faint hope?

Catch me on the right day at the right time and open the box of chocolates. When this afternoon's nice lady telemarketer asked for Laura I told her that I killed her and buried her in the back yard and slammed the receiver down. She didn't call back. Should I be watching for a man in blue at the door tonight?

What a day. Oh Lord, what a day.


Wog vs. The Machine

Hi All!

With apologies to Kennedy, I just realized that one of my problems is with convention, authority, "Da Man", whatever.

Oh, I've played the game to my advantage many times and come out a "winner" more often than not.

Right now, it seems as though my luck may well have run out.

I am embroiled in so many "situations" with large, impersonal, powerful entities that it's hard to keep them straight hour to hour, let alone day to day.

Here's just a sampler of the classifications of windmills I am currently engaged with tilting at: Life and Auto Insurance, Credit Card, Bank, Credit Union, Lawyers, Unions, eBay, Brokerage ...

... and most daunting of all, family relationships.

Perhaps that's why God is keeping me alive. I am enduring hell on earth.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wog's Daily Balance Sheet

Hi All!

Perhaps I should have made the subject "Wog's Daily P&L Statement." Been awhile since I learned accounting.

You see, the thing is, is that since my "bad troubles" I have pledged to brighten the day of as many people as possible each and every. It's good therapy. Lately I have had to face the fact that I also piss a lot of people off each and every...

So, to rationalize, I have modified my outlook to try to brighten the day of more people than I darken the day for.

I would much prefer a 100% rating on the former, but another piece of the puzzle of my therapy too often leads to the latter.

It is sometimes disheartening that so few read my blog. Yet it is therapeutic for me to sit down and write things down. Something to remember me by, for better or worse.

Alright, I'm getting depressed.

Today was one of those many "last straw" days for me, in so many ways that I won't bore you with them.

Suffice it to say that I was cured by sharing a nice evening on the patio of the Legion on Taco Night with the apple of my eye and the apple of my good friends' eyes.

After a minor setback after returning home and getting ready for early bed, I found the need to do Buzztime trivia at a nearby haunt. Turns out to be Karaoke Nite, which usually annoys me but I was game, and made a fool of myself trying to do "Suffragette City." Surrounded with nice people, my spirits were lifted considerably.

Even my ten-millionth faux pax didn't spoil it.

You see, there were a couple of young, strapping fellows sitting next to me. 5 comely, yet seemingly overfed young ladies came up to the mike to do a song.

"Cattle call." escaped my loose lips.

The guys shared the joke and actually engaged me in conversation as they were interested in how the trivia game worked.

After the girls were done with the song, two of them re-joined my two new friends.

I am such an ass.

But they were cool and there were no negative repercussions. I was ready to go and gallantly surrendered my spot to one of the young ladies.

So I got away with one. So it was a good day.

I shall try once again to be a better boy tomorrow. But that's a politicians promise. I yam what I yam.


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Biggest Election Surprise?

Hi All!

I have to put question marks on these last two posts because maybe Ellison isn't just a Libertarian, just a bad citizen, and maybe this next bit of news should not be a surprise.

The GOP endorsed candidate for Attorney General managed to hold off a certifiable crazy lady who runs for everything and actual won something a few years back.

Jeff Johnson managed to scrounge up 79,081 votes to Sharon Anderson's 59,120. A convincing 57% to 43% win.

Johnson, with the full backing organizationally and financially as a serious candidate for an important statewide office had a serious challenge from a strange person who did not do much more than file.

I don't want to "get it" but I do. Same goes for the Ellison win.


Keith Ellison, Libertarian?

Hi All!

Leave it to the multitude of pundits on the amazing facets of this man's ascent to Congress (as the poor GOP candidate hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of coming close in November).

Here is what might be a different take on Keith Ellison. He doesn't feel particularly obligated to pay parking fines, file tax returns, make campaign reports. He is a sticking it to Da Man! Isn't someone who does not feel bound by the silly strictures of the oppressive Government called a "libertarian?"

I am a libertarian at heart, but I have never dared take such bold action as this, the first Muslim in the US Congress has bravely done.

So let's stop arguing that the 5th District CD should be quarantined as being full of insane people. Give Congressman-to-be Ellison his due!

Here is a nice article from the Washington Post that will fill you in on this hale fellow well met.



Saturday, September 09, 2006

Roseville School Levy Baffles With Baloney Sausage

Hi All!

I should put a thousand words of disclaimer and caveats on this, but I would still get in trouble anyway. So what the hey.

From the first I heard of the new 7-year levy for Roseville School District 623 my cynicism, well honed by experience, kicked in big-time.

The levy will be snuck past under our noses on the PRIMARY ballot next Tuesday. That is but the very first sign of trouble. Quite disingenuous, or not, depending on the motive.

After a summer of flying under the radar screen, the imperial powers at B-2 Headquarters offered we poor taxpayers, worn out from Labor Day Weekend and catching back up at work, a "Hearing."

As I adjudged by the coverage in the Roseville Review containing some incredibly arrogant-sounding quotes from those at the tippy top of the top-heavy school administration, we were being granted a great favor for the opportunity to waste a perfectly nice evening beating our heads against a wall and suffer condescending scolding for being nasty, uncaring cheapskates who don't care about kids.

I wanted to go. I should have gone. I even came home from a trip earlier than needed with a mind to put in the useless effort. As I dined at my Legion club and enjoyed the company of our seasoned citizen patriots, I decided to let it go. I was glad I did at the time, but not anymore.

A nice young lady dropped off a flyer about an hour ago in support of the levy. That was the last straw. With perhaps 20% of registered voters showing up next Tuesday, of which perhaps 10% are informed about it, the levy is a slam dunk. A fait accompli.

Why a lit drop was needed is beyond my understanding. If anything, it will rile a few people up, present company included.

My three kids went through the Roseville Schools from K-8. My saintly wife has worked for the District for 10 years in a very tough job at very poor pay, albeit with blessedly generous health benefits.

The thing with me is, that I need to speak out when I see that need.

I intend to take the argument for this levy apart piece by piece, but I didn't go to the hearing and I haven't visited The Superintendent's Office, so I will be happy to admit I am wrong, but the contrary evidence is, well, very evident.

There is a Ten Fast Facts web page, a masterpiece of dissemblation which cries out for critical picking apart, but that will take much work and research to get my counterpoints straight.

However, the brochure in front of me is easy pickings.

It's a load of propaganda, of course, but that's to be expected if you are making a case for your cause. What gets under my skin are a couple of observations that are not all that obvious.

The banner in the fold-out cheers, "More Money for Classrooms, with No New Taxes."

Well, technically, a new 7-year tax levy is a new tax on the very face of it. But I split hairs.

The piece was prepared and paid for by the "Commitment to Community Committee." which does not seem to be registered with the Finance and Disclosure Board so there is no way to find out how the brochure was prepared and paid for. You won't find any evidence of it on the web, either.

The "convenient" internet link provided is:


Whew! A person could get repetitive stress syndrome from THAT one!

I've already saved you the time with the above hot-link so save yourself the trouble. The way I got there was by Googling "Ehlers Roseville Levy" Still too many keystrokes but I wasn't trying to be 100% efficient.

Bottom line on this brilliant smoke and mirrors levy is that somehow Peter will rob Paul to replace the still-in-force existing levy with an extra $2.1 million at no additional cost to the property over-taxed payers.

Just click your heels three times...

Well, since it will be a done deal, all one can do is follow up and compare the seemingly false promises to what is actually delivered in the next 7 years -- unless we need to replace THIS one after a few.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Hatch Photo Found!

Hi All!

A loyal reader (all 5 of you) will be familiar with my travails concerning Microsoft, Politics and Life in General.

I tried like the dickens to get a copy of the photo of Hatch frenching the dog that appeared in my print version of the Stribunal.

Googled it to death after hitting a dead end at the Stib website. I am convinced I have missed the forest for the trees and would welcome being set straight on how to do it.

No luck until I googled "Hatch Ad" which took me to the campaign website and bingo!


I wonder if that is his mutt. I love my Stan and Ollie to death and they can lick me from head to toe, but the lips are off-limits. "Not the FACE! Not the FACE!"

Other family members are more receptive, but it's just a "thing" with me. As an urchin I feared "girl germs" and "dog germs" in equal measure.

I shall caption this still from the ad as "The Bacon Breath Moment." One of these days my brilliance will catch on....


PS. On further review, it seems that Rover might not be too receptive to Hatch's advance. Cripes, what a phony.

Why I Pay to Get the Strib

Hi All!

I am a bit lazy, uninspired and needing to haul a trailer load up north today, so I'll just shoot a fish in a barrel.

Ah, my beloved Minneapolis Star Tribune

I am a bit old-fashioned in needing to find a newspaper or two on my doorstep each morning. I subscribe to the Strib and the Pioneer Press . I always read the Strib first to get my dander up and follow up with the warm blanket of my "hometown" paper in order to settle back down

I can't "read the paper" on the internet. Heresy.

I'll just throw two darts at today's publication of "The Newspaper of the Twin Cities' Liberal Elite."

Front page news is that global warming is even WORSE than was thought. Yawn. This coming the day after learning that Exxon has found a motherlode of new fossil fuel a few miles under the ocean floor and that we might not need to disturb the Alaskan caribou after all.

Even the New York Times gave Exxon's exciting discovery, made possible with new technology, a short paragraph on the Business Page. An alert reader of this blog will have noted my prescience regarding oil and nuclear power versus "try to squeeze water from rocks" inefficient , expensive and downright pathetic attemps to replace the stuff we have in great abundance with great technology and relative cheapness. Wind power and bio fuels? A great welfare plan for farmers and that's about all.

Dart two: Coverage of Mike Hatch's first TV ad. It is a pretty straightforward piece by a great political writer, albeit a die-hard leftie, Dane Smith.

Hatch, this bette noir of mine, is a piece of work. The ad demonstrates that a dog loves him and that he boldly defended the Conceal and Carry law.

My old buddy Bud once responded to a couple of young ladies trying to cut in line leaving the drive-In theater, who, thwarted at their attempt to barge ahead, gave Bud the middle finger salute.

Bud casually looked over and asked, "Is that how many friends you had 'till your dog died?"

So Mike Hatch has, perhaps, one friend. Good health to old Rover. I can picture Hatch kicking the poor beast as soon as they had a good take and pulling the Binaca out of his pocket to get rid of the bacon breath.

As Attorney General, Hatch is charged with defending Minnesota Law. Minnesota Law allows a permit to carry a handgun. Hatch's office defended the State against attempts to repeal. Um, that's his JOB! It's not as though he had a choice to fight the lawsuit, but here he is patting himself on the back for being forced to do his job.


I have just enough faith left in our fragile and abused democracy that this bad actor will be over and done with the November. Governor Pawlenty should smoke him.

Still, I have to hedge my bet. Sometimes I am smart enough to be careful what I wish for.

Confounded trying to get the picture from the website. It's hilarity but I give up.

Time to head for The Lake.



Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bloody Marketing Genius

Hi All!

To follow up on the Def Leppard post, I had little success finding the extra tracks on the web so I caved in and got the Wal*Mart bonus disk for $5.99. 4 Great songs with self-indulgent English Rahk Stah prattle interspersed. Effing rock and roll whores, but the covers of "Search and Destroy" and "Space Oddity" are at least somewhat worth the price.

Why they did Tom Petty's "American Girl" is beyond me!

Turns out there are DIFFERENT bonus tracks depending on whether you shop at Target or Best Buy, so if you want all the covers, you have to buy 4 CDs.

Did I call them whores?

Give'm credit where it's due. Bloody ******* Genius. Bloody good music.

Never fancied them until now but they sure gave the people what they wanted in the Metal Days of the '80s. Now they are pouring some sugar on me. God bless'm

Fun Fact: Their drummer has one arm. I guess I am the last person in the world to know that but one is never too old to learn.


Look Out Honey 'Cos I'm Using Technology

Hi All!

This morning, as I performed my daily ritual in the smallest room in the house, having read along with Tom Barnard the Strib story about the kid killed for a sports jersey (a "read-between-the-liner" if I ever saw one) I heard a new spot for Apple PowerBook.

Take it out of the box and plug it in. Done.

How true. How very true. I am not quite a true convert to Apple, but when I think of the years of my life wasted trying to make Bill Gate's messes of operating systems to work... ah, don't get me started.

Ok, just a current example. Having paid $49 for Microsoft "OneCare" (which can be had at CompUSA for $19 today) I have been rewarded with a scolding about my "counterfeit copy" which, even if were TRYING to screw old Billy out of $79, I shouldn't need to pay him for the XP virus. There has GOT to be some smart lawyer cooking up the mother of all class action lawsuits. Count me in.

Sooooo, I have a nifty utility that removes the scolding and it goes away--UNLESS you reboot the computer. It comes back, I run the utility, it comes back, I run the utility.

Why am I rebooting anyway?

Good point. Well, as I compose my literary pearls and stop to think of the best adjective or how most to push someone's button, I rest my finger on the SHIFT key for longer than 8 seconds.

Up comes a screen asking what I want to do about "Filter Keys."

I've tried "OK".


I've tried "CANCEL"

The result is always the same. Mouse and keyboard actions are all futzed up (oh, I am being SO restrained just now).

So I reboot and up comes Nanny scolding me for my nasty copy of XP.

I've written before what a revelation it was to get my first Apple and having it working just the way I need on the first boot.

They ain't perfect, them geniuse in the Apple Corps, and the Powerbook ain't as "intuitive" as they claim (albeit years of wrestling with MS DOs 1.0 thru XP has, perhaps, made me COUNTER intuitve) but their product is so far better than MS has ever done, that ... Adjectives and analogies escape me.


Rested the finger on the SHIFT key again. Time to get this posted, hopefully, and reboot and re-run the removal utility and reboot again.

Nice day outside.

Think I'll go for a walk.


PS. Before I dismount from my high horse, I must mention that the people who I depend on for this blog must have been fired from Microsoft for incompitence.

Blogspot -- Type, publish and pray.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Downloading, Ripping, Burning, Streaming, Capturing, Rock 'n Roll'n

Hi All!

Once I become obsessed with something I grit my teeth and jump fearlessly out of the trench into the full fury of enemy fire.

The Rooskie music download site seems to be legit and I got my rubles' worth.

Today I took things a step further. It's one thing to download a file, but how to save a free sample that only plays but is not savable?

Ask Google and ye shall receive. I'm too smart to start feeling smug, but I think I have figured out how to get any tune I want at little or no cost. Do I feel guilty? HECK NO!

Trust me, the day is coming soon when we will be able to save music, video, whatever on free, advertiser-supported bases -- just like radio and tv.

Won't say what all I captured today as with my luck a copyright lawyer might happen upon this lonely blog.

Suffice it to say that I am rocking out at this very moment with new and exciting music. Rock and Roll lives!

And I guess it's ok to recommend that new Def Leppard album of popular and obscure 70's covers of Bowie, Kinks, T Rex, Sweet, Faces and most interesting of all, David Essex. You see, I bought a copy when it came out but "someone", ahem, lost the disc and all I had was an empty jewel box. Now it's got a perfectly legal, 50 cent copy in it. Thank God the Cold War is over.


PS. Just found out that Wal*Mart, of all places, has a special version with 4 extra songs. Surf's Up!

Wog the Food Critic

Hi All!

At the end of this busy Labor Day I happened to be in the vicinity of an eating establishment that I have passed by for years. I have read good things about them, so I thought to give them a try at last.

Holy Guacamole!

Walked out with a thimble-full of ground turkey with Heinz Chili Sauce mixed in, and a large-ish burrito with a half can of black beans and a half can of diced tomatoes. The tortilla shell was pretty good, I must admit. But the "cheese" in the optimistically monikered "Bean and Cheese Burrito" must have been that rare delicacy from the Ecuadorian Valley, the aptly named, "invisible unobtainium."

I guess that's why the pile of crap cost $6.00. With the quote, "Chili" unquote the tab came uncomfortably close to $9.00.

Cheapskate that I am I forced myself to choke it down. We'll see if the wee hours brings gastro-intestinal revenge.

Chalk another one up for "fool me once." And to think that the Buzztime venue I had just left has perfectly wonderful little tiny but tasty Buffalo wings at a fraction of the cost. Not that I am about to start indulging in THOSE! Crappy food is relative. It's just easier to digest when less costly.

Hankering for a dollar value menu item at McDonalds about now.


PS. Not only did I manage to dodge The Fair this year for about the second time in my life, but the only food I EVER consumed there were the 25 cent Peter's Wieners. the 10 cent Pepsi's and the 5 cent all-you -can drink milk. I think I forked over 75 cents of mad money for a turkey burger once, as the booth was right next to the milk place. Guess what year. I guess it was about 1969. Sigh......

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Fear of Downloading

Hi All!

Heard a nifty tune on The Current tonight and got it in my mind to fetch a copy off the internet.

What an adventure! Oh, it's easy if you want to pay, but I didn't want it THAT badly.

As is my wont, I became obsessed with getting that stupid song download for free. My Googling took me all over the globe. Many links were gone or the mp3 file was deleted, so obviously someone representing the artist is keeping up with the pirates.

The disturbing aspects of this sailing of uncharted web waters are the strange pop-ups that get past the pop-up blocker and the re-directs to multiple naughty sites.

I finally stumbled upon a Russian download site that costs but is way cheaper than the domestic suppliers like iTunes. Provided all the credit card and personal info, of course. My take on that is if someone wants to steal your identity there ain't much you can do about it. If elected, I would have kept my number listed in the phonebook, as the fruitcakes will find you anyway so let's just let it all hang out.

Did I say cheaper? For a couple of hundred rubles that converted to one US Dollar I got two full albums. Downloaded them right to my afore-written-about Sansa rather than put them on the hard drive of the PS. If there is mischief in those files I can just reformat the Sansa and my PC will be safe.

Still, I worry about all the surfing I did. I might have more viruses than a Bankok child prostitute. Not to worry, I have Microsoft virus detection/protection.

Shit. Now I AM worried. The worst virus ever written is Windows XP.


Why Am I Still Amazed?

Hi All!

It finally happened. Office Depot's ad features a pretty well-configured PC with monitor and three-in-one printer for less than $100. I knew it would happen, but that is still quite amazing to me. One could come up with endless comparisons, but in my experience I have made $1500/month simply by selling a service contract for a 1980's $100K Wang system that was not NEARLY as powerful as this $99.99 consumable PC.

If only we could solve our energy problems so effectively! I doubt that it's for lack of trying and some day we will weave gold from straw, but in the meantime I can't believe that we are ignoring existing improved technology to get at our own oil and develop more nuclear power. Surely power plant technology has improved since that last nuke was built 33 years ago. Perhaps not as far as with electronics, but why we tilt at windmills we have existing sources that are there for us to use.

Ironically, in another ad is touted a little toy of a Sandisk Sansa music box marked down from $129 to $79. I am starting to take Karma for granted, as just yesterday I found one of these little suckers in my kid's room. He had loaded it with tunes and lost the cable so it was ready for the trash.

Curious, I googled the cheap little device and printed the owner manual, put a AAA in it, found that the cable for my digital camera fit and soon had reformatted the thing and put on Neil Diamond's "Hell Yeah" tune. With the little Sansa and a pair of noise-isolating in-the-ear Sennheiser head phones I had old Neil sitting in the room with me, strumming his tune with perfect acoustics.

The song got to the Sansa thus. Kid downloads to Apple for 99 cents. Emails the song to my GoogleMail account. I open the attachment on my PC and save to disk. Then I burn it to a CD. Then I drag and drop it to the Sansa, which appears as a normal disk drive when plugged into the USB port.

And to think I still have 500 or so LPs mouldering away in the basement, many if not all of which could fit into that little device that I can close my hand around.

What a world!

Incidentally, the Sennheiser ear buds were $80 (well worth it, as you don't have to crank the sound to drown out ambient noise -- can even use them mowing the lawn at a less-than-deafening volume), the Sansa was $70 on E-bay for a total of $50 more than a complete PC system. Ah well, Alex spent $300 for an Ipod to plug into my $800 Apple laptop. Everything is relative, I guess.