Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Love Her or Hate Her, This You Must Read

Hi All!

Ann Coulter wields an amazingly sharp pen.

This piece is at least entertaining, I don't care WHO you are or HOW you think!

I won't force it on you by reprinting here. But trust me, it is a rapier of wit and wisdom.

Teaser: "Windmills can't even produce enough energy to manufacture a windmill."


My History With Modems and Heavy Drinking

Hi All!

I've gone out on a big limb by convincing my in-laws to move from dial-up internet to DSL.

As a cable internet subscriber of several years, this move is a baby step. They are getting supposedly 512K speed versus their dial-up which is typically 42K, so things should go over 10 times as fast. Still WAY slower than what I use, but plenty good enough for them, and half as expensive.

I got them set up with US Family which uses Qwest for DSL. The customer self-installable modem and software has arrived in the mail.

Tonight, "I'm goin' in..."

It should be simple, but for some reason, since about 1991, I have lost my knack for making computer related things happen without much head and heartache. This curse is especially strong when doing things I've recommended to older relatives -- I convince them to dip their toes in the frightening waters of modern technology and sit and scratch my head when it's time to install.

That REALLY gives them confidence (sarcasm). After confirming their worst fears with my ineptitude I deserve the extra "support calls" I get when the toaster doesn't brown as well or the TV remote doesn't work right a week after I sweated for an hour in hooking up a printer. Suddenly, everything that goes wrong points to me as a prime suspect.

It's at times like this that I don't wonder whether than my parallel career of heavy drinking has killed a bunch of brain cells. I guess the trivia storage area is the last to go, ''cos I still got that goin' for me, FWIW -- I mean, "for what it's worth".

I keep forgetting that saving bandwidth and "save a bit, save a byte" mentality that led to old internet acronyms like FWIW, IMHO and ROFL and "smileys" are more a way to show off your 1980 computer savvy than the need to save space in cyberspace.

From 1979 to 1995 and somewhat beyond, I made a decent living making computers and software do the impossible ... or at least, improbable. I could not only trick up the hardware but the software as well, and I worked damned hard and did amazing things considering that I was a business major with all of one computer class (FORTRAN 101 - that was REALLY useful -- not).

My first experience with the magical MODEM (Modulate/Demodulate) device was at the College of St Thomas in 1972. There were a few "dumb" workstations at the library and demand always exceeded supply. When I was lucky enough to get a chance, it was required to dial a number on a regular phone and listen for a whistle and quickly seat the handset into a dealy with double rubber cups. After a simple log-in procedure, I had some huge, mysterious compter at the U of M working for me, harnessing the vast power that is now contained the cheapest of watch calculators.

All of this power at the blazing speed of 300 bits of information per second (ideally, with a really clean phone line).

By the time I was in da data bidness a few of my bolder clients invested several large in circuit boards and software to work with the radical new Racal Vadic 300/1200, which, due to the breakup of Ma Bell's monopoly provided 4 times the speed as well as being able to work with the traditional 300 modems. These $2000 devices eliminated the acoustic coupler, plugging right into the phone line and able to be dialed with software.

My modem-enabled clients included legal and brokerage firms which needed access to remote main frame computers for case law lookups and securities quotes. However, that was not the main reason that all of my clients eventually were required to have modems, like it or not.

You see, I found that I could connect to my customers for programming work without leaving the comfort of my basement office. I sold a $5000 package that included modem, a communications board in the computer, software and setup. In light of how dreadfully slow 1200 and later 2400 baud was, the old mini-computers were totally text based. Fancy graphics consisted of making cleverly arranging regular typewriter characters -- later by graphic character extensions which allowed programmers to draw boxes and highlight input fields.

What I am trying to say is that considering what was demanded, 1200 was fine and 2400 was a luxury.

It was good for both my clients and good, but not quite as good to me to have this remote access -- especially those who were 100 miles away, let alone 10 miles away at rush hour or 1 mile away in a blizzard. No suit required, no driving, work when you want and complete opportunity to "inspire" my work with gallons of booze.

Mind you, this was pre-internet. Once the web became more accessible and modem technology got speeds up to 56,000 the cat was out of the bag.

With that, the invention of the PC and MS-DOS and the total 180 degree turn from the hardware outrunning the software to the software driving the hardware, my goose was cooked.

My market rapidly dried out and I was not intellectually (soberly) capable of switching gears to the PC fast track.

Oh, I DID, to a great extent. The last years of my business were spent "migrating" clients from their old Wang mini-computers to PCs using conversion software that allowed the propriety Wang BASIC-2 language to work on these crude new beasts.

As my clients advanced from simple Wang Word Processing to Word Perfect and Wang-Calc to Visi Calc, I was left in the dust. I was simply and totally burned out and could not adapt, even though I saw what was coming. Rather than embrace the progress, I embraced my addiction.

The wistful effort of career change through running for public office drowned, along with my health.

Where I once confidently waded in to any technological challenge with excitement and success, I now am actually frightened by the prospect of installing a "plug-and-play" modem for my wife's parents.

When my kids ask for help with EXCEL and WORD and POWERPOINT and all those other scary things, I feel like an idiot -- not just feel like it -- am.

Now that I've set myself up for yet another technological defeat, things will probably go as slick as a greased hog. I'll let you know.


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Here Comes Flash - A Clinton Lyrical Interlude

Hi All!

My muse is buried under all the snow. Here are the lyrics to an early 70's Kinks song which for years I have never been able to hear without thinking of William Jefferson (Bill) Clinton.

Scene: A party political broadcast -- Mr. Black and his followers

He comes on smooth, cool and kind,
But he wants your body not your mind.
He's got style, personality,
But he's the devil in reality.
He'll make you laugh, make you smile,
And make you feel good for a while.
Wicked smile, decadent grin,
He likes school girls, nuns and virgins.
His skin is soft but his mind is hard,
He'll lead you on then he'll tear you apart.
He'll treat you rough and he will make you cry,
And you will kiss sweet innocence good-bye.
And once you're in there'll be no getting out,
So look out, look out, look out, look out.
He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil.
He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil.

He's got wit he's got charm.
But when he gets rough he'll break your arm.
He's got taste, manners and grace,
But when he gets tough he'll slit your face.
He'll buy you jewels, expensive clothes,
Then his mind'll go and he'll bust your nose.
He's a joker and a clown
But he'll pervert you and drag you down.
He comes on smooth, cool and kind,
But he wants your body not your mind,
He is just the devil in disguise.
He will drag you down and he will make you cry,
And once you're in there will be no getting out.
So look out, look out, look out.
Look out, look out, look out.
He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil.
He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil. He's evil.

"He's Evil" from the album "Preservation Act 2", 1974 by The Kinks. Song and words by Ray Davies

Ah, let's throw in a lyric that minds me of Slick Willie's distaff half. A stretch, perhaps but suitably scary.

God save the queen
The fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-bomb

God save the queen
She ain't no human being
There is no future
In England's dreaming

Don't be told what you want
Don't be told what you need
There's no future, no future,
No future for you

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
'Cause tourists are money
And our figurehead
Is not what she seems

Oh God save history
God save your mad parade
Oh Lord God have mercy
All crimes are paid

When there's no future
How can there be sin
We're the flowers in the dustbin
We're the poison in your human machine
We're the future, you're future

God save the queen
We mean it man
We love our queen
God saves

God save the queen
We mean it man
And there is no future
In England's dreaming

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future,
No future for me

No future, no future,
No future for you
No future, no future
For you

"God Save the Queen" from "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols", 1977, written by John Lydon.

I really DO believe that Hillary has no future as the President, much less the Democratic Party Nominee.

It won't be the conservatives that bring her down -- they say "Revolutions eat their young." Hillary ain't young and the Democratic Party ain't no revolution, but in this relatively polite time, her destruction will be as close as it gets.


Monday, February 26, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes

Friday, February 23, 2007

Early Adopter - I'm for Rudy

Hi All!

It pains me no end that the next president will take office in 2009 and we already have to start lining up behind candidates.

The first candidate that I ever worked seriously and meaningfully for was Ross Perot. Maybe if he didn't go nuts he may have won -- I really thought he was just what the country needed. As it is, I sat at a somber Perot election night event and watched my man hand over the country to the Team Slick Willarly Rodham-Clinton for 8 endless years.

But times change and the election cycle has come to 24/7/365 , so I might as well get behind someone.

Of the announced and potentials, I would rank my gut preference in this order: Gingrich, Tancredo, Romney, Guiliani, McCain, Brownback, Hagel.

The Perot experience taught me that it is more important to win than to be the best choice. So I have officially signed on with Rudy, which is no more than filling out a web form and prepare for the avalanche of run-raising mail, calls and emails. Unfortunately for Rudy, all I have to offer is my best personal regards and the quite disputable power and reach of my influence on the electorate.

So much can change in the next 20 months, including my body assuming room temperature.

So with the grim reaper stalking me, I need to move fast. Rudy is my man.

If I am around for election day and any Democrat wins, I will be sad for staying alive for nothing.


Did You Know? An Amazing 6 Minutes

Hi All!

This video is guaranteed to give you pause.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Keillor Pops Bolt Over Giuliani Videe

Hi All!

As previously noted, our mean old cranky bard of the liberals has got his undies in a bundle over the clip I posted here a couple of days ago. It's funny, Garry! C'mon!

Today his nasty little smear job made it into the Red Star.

By the way, isn't it odd that his Star Tribune writing is not available on their site? Had to surf around for a copy and found a free of registration one from Arizona.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Donald Stalks Rudy in Drag!

Hi All!

Our favorite old maid, Garrison Keillor, has taken a shot at Rudy Guiliani for making a little spoof video for a "roast."

Keillor tut-tutted it, which proves to me that the Old Scout doesn't have any sense of humor beyond his own.

See for yourself and tell me what you think,


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Take THIS, Jon Stewart

Valentine's Day in Olden Times

Hi All!

When I was a grade school urchin, Valentine's Day was quite the big deal. In those days, the 60's, kids weren't required to give EVERYONE a valentine. No, the girls and boys could pick and choose and it could be ecstatic or devastating, depending on who gave you a card and who snubbed you.

I still have a scrapbook with several years of valentines glued in. As I went over them, the memories flooded back -- the agonies and the ecstasies of peer opinion.

From High School to about the 10th year of my marriage, I tried to outdo myself every Valentine's Day -- elaborate home-made cards, mushy love letters, dozens of red roses, chateau briand and red wine at The Lex.... sigh.

One of my favorite valentines was a thumb-flip little book that was entitled "My Heart Pants for You." When you rifled through to animate it, a guy with valentine pants pulled them down and mooned.

Sad to confess, VD hasn't done much for me for the last decade or so. Like so many traditional holidays, everything is over-commercialized, spread out and watered down.

Sadder still, I just ain't that romantic anymore, and it's something you can't force.

For those whom this "Saint Valentine's Day" still holds excitement and romance, more power to you. Me, I'm gonna go on-line and print out a card and make Tuna Helper for dinner.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kinks Plus Simpsons and The Kinks

Hi All!

Totally uninspired to write, I wandered over to my favorite internet grazing pasture and rooted up some tasty videes. Here are two from two of my most favorite cultural icons. Enjoy!


Guest Columist Ben Stein - Right On

The Lynching of the President
By Ben Stein
Published 1/25/2007 1:49:40 AM

So there I was, lying in my bed in Malibu with my dogs, watching Mr. Bush's State of the Union speech. I thought it was darned good. Realistic, gracious, modest, sensible. I happen to think we should get out of Iraq yesterday, but I thought Mr Bush put forward his case well. And Congress responded graciously and generously on both sides of the aisle.

Then, whaam, as soon as the speech was over, ABC was bashing him, telling us how pathetic he was, how irrelevant he was, how weak he was, how unrealistic he was.

Right after that, Jim Webb gave a very short speech biting Bush's head off -- but not making any concrete proposals about anything. No network person mentioned how simple minded and unrealistic he was.

Then, tonight, the next night, I walked into the kitchen where my wife had left the radio going with NPR to amuse the cats. NPR was having a call-in show talking about the State of the Union. The first speaker I heard was a country music legend, Merle Haggard, who said he had never seen things so bad in this country. Then a legion of anonymous callers chimed in with similar thoughts.

And suddenly it hit me. The media is staging a coup against Mr. Bush. They cannot impeach him because he hasn't done anything illegal. But they can endlessly tell us what a loser he is and how out of touch he is (and I mean ENDLESSLY) and how he's just a vestigial organ on the body politic right now.

The media is doing what it can to basically oust Mr. Bush while still leaving him alive and well in the White House. It's a sort of neutron bomb of media that seeks to kill him while leaving the White House standing (for their favorite unknown, Barack Obama, to occupy).

How dare NPR ask a country singer who hates Bush to spew venom at Bush? Merle Haggard is a truly great singer and musician, but he's just one old guy. There are plenty of country singers who love Bush and would campaign for him right now. And in what sense is Mr Haggard an expert on the state of the union?

The truth is that we are in a huge economic boom. We are coming off a mammoth real estate explosion that put the most Americans in history in their own homes. We have totally full employment. After decades of stagnation, real wages are rising. Gasoline prices are way, way down. The nation is wealthier than it has ever been (although this is very unevenly distributed). Opportunities for subsidized higher education are better than they have ever been.

Most important of all, who would have ever been rash enough on September 12, 2001 to say there would not be one major or even minor successful terrorist incident against the U.S. homeland in over five years? Who would have thought we would escape without more massive terror? But we have, and it is a foolhardy person who would say that's an accident. Bush may not have done it by himself, but he had something to do with it.

True, we are mired in a war without end, costing us far too may great young and old Americans and too many limbs and wrecked families and vastly too much money. But we all know we're getting out soon. It was a huge mistake, but I'd like to see a President who did not make immense mistakes. Compared with the mistakes of Truman and FDR and Kennedy, Iraq is a mistake, but not worse than theirs.

True, we have virtually no federal oversight of corporate looting and executive suite misconduct, but we didn't have any under Clinton either. The rich get away with murder. That's what happens in the real world. Bush is to blame, but all politicians cater to the rich, and Hillary will and Barack Obama will, too. It's nauseating and I fight it constantly, but that's life.

My point: let's be aware that Bush has presided over a lot of success in addition to substantial failure. My second point: no one elected the media to anything. If we let them lynch the man we elected as President we are throwing out the Constitution with the war in Iraq. In the studios and newsrooms, there is a lynch mob at work. Let's see it for what it is. We have a good man who has made mistakes in the Oval Office. He's the only President we have, and I trust him a lot more than I trust unelected princes of the newsroom.

Am I the Same as a Holocaust Denier?

Hi All!

I haven't had many good ideas of my own lately -- they're all taken. So my posts today will borrow heavily from others.

It seems like the heat being generated by the global warming debate is starting to threaten the environment more than CO2.

It's hard to add much to the many perfectly sound arguments on the "bad guys", ie. the unwashed, unconverted skeptics.

Dennis Prager had a very good piece today. you can read the whole thing here.

In response to the latest hysterical liberal outburst of Ellen Goodman (trying to be obnoxious enough to be the next Molly Ivans) Prager wrote:

[Goodman's screed] "is only the beginning of what is already becoming one of the largest campaigns of vilification of decent people in history -- the global condemnation of a) anyone who questions global warming; or b) anyone who agrees that there is global warming but who argues that human behavior is not its primary cause; or c) anyone who agrees that there is global warming, and even agrees that human behavior is its primary cause, but does not believe that the consequences will be nearly as catastrophic as Al Gore does.

If you don't believe all three propositions, you will be lumped with Holocaust deniers, and it would not be surprising that soon, in Europe, global warming deniers will be treated as Holocaust deniers and prosecuted. Just watch. That is far more likely than the oceans rising by 20 feet. Or even 10. Or even three."

Count me as a type "b", as are scores of clear thinking, rational layman and even a few honest climatologists.

Which are you? IMHO, if you are "none of the above" you need to pull your head out.


Friday, February 09, 2007

If the Race Were Held Today

Hi All!

It soooo way too early to be worrying about the 11/2008 election but I guess I'm resigned to the fact that campaigning never takes a break anymore.

I wish we could vote today, because we'd have a New York, New York race (link might require registration to work).

I'd tell you who I'd vote for but its a secret. Hint: It's likely not the one with the powdered-over lip mole.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Prince Really DOES Hold his Guitar That Way

Hi All!

I am still bummed that some "Universal Publishing Group" has scoured the halftime show off the face of the internet. And the commerical. And the press conference. Cheap bastards. Cheap bastard Prince?

Well here is a neat video from the R&R Hall of Fame Awards where Prince displays the way he often holds his guitar. I still think he pulled a fast one, but maybe it was just an unfortunate shadow.

If you just want to see the "move" point the slider to 2:25 and you will see just how "naughty" the silhouette really was. Much ado about nothing.

And at the very end he does that "throw the guitar to a roadie" thing. Silly me thought he was upset when he did it at halftime, but if that was his "real" glyph guitar it is at least 20 years old and worth a mint.

I guess if Prince wants to hoard the video which I'm sure we will be able to pay for soon that he probably would be too cheap to throw away a perfectly good , rare antique

If you are one of the 10 or so people left who hasn't watched a YouTube video, here are detailed instructions:

1. If you use dial-up stop right here unless you are going to the mall for a couple of hours. For broadband, continue.

2. Press the big right pointing triangle-thingy in the middle of the picture to start loading.

3. If the videe plays straight away without interruption, congratulate your Internet Service Provider and enjoy. If the red line as not staying ahead of the slider and things are stop and go, press the pause button (II) and wait until the red progress report is far ahead. Then press play.

4. To quit, just press pause and go somewhere else.

5. To jump to a spot, like 2:25 (remaining) move the slider with your mouse.

This is my first shot at embedding a video in a blog post, so forgive me if it doesn't work and let me know in the comment section, would you?

Note on the video the excitement on Dani Harrison's face as Prince does justice to dad George, the late great Beatle's great song. I think Clapton actually did the solo on the original but George was a great guitar player in his own right.

And another pretty good mini-superbowl performance at the Grammys with some singer named Beyonce... and isn't that the Prince wannabe Justin Timberlake shown applauding at the very end?


Why Don't Conservatives Buy Global Warming?

Hi All!

I read a great piece by Mark Steyn which is just the latest example of the conservative view on the spectre of "Global Warming" which is so much in vogue with liberals.

It made me wonder anew, why it is that one political philosophy is pitted against another on an issue that should be simple scientific fact or not.

My short and sweet answer to the conservative/liberal dichotomy is to look at the personalities of the two sides.

Liberals are emotion-driven, worriers, gloomy naysayers, pessimists.

Conservatives are logical, sunny common-sense optimists.

Global Warming is not a proven scientific fact, and the scientific community is not of one conclusion regarding what is more properly termed "climate change."

Here is a snip from Steyn:

"As we say in the north country, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. And if you don't like the global weather, wait three decades. For the last century or so, the planet has gone through very teensy-weensy warming trends followed by very teensy-weensy cooling trends followed by very teensy-weensy warming trends, every 30 years or so. And, even when we're in a pattern of "global warming" or "global cooling," the phenomenon is not universally observed — i.e., it's not "global," or even very local. In the Antarctic, the small Palmer peninsula has got a little warmer but the main continent is colder. Up north, the western Arctic's a little warmer but the eastern Arctic's colder. So, if you're an eastern polar bear, you're in clover — metaphorically, I hasten to add. If you're a western polar bear, you'll be in clover literally in a year or two, according to Al Gore."

Here is another observation by MIT meterologist Richard Lindzen:

"I think it's mainly just like little kids locking themselves in dark closets to see how much they can scare each other and themselves. And there's a lot of confusion in this and, you know, at the heart of it, we're talking of a few tenths of a degree change in temperature. None of it in the last eight years, by the way. . . . [I]f there's anything that there is a consensus on, [it is that we] will do very little to affect climate. . . . And I think future generations are not going to blame us for anything except for being silly, for letting a few tenths of a degree panic us. And I think nobody is arguing about whether our climate is changing. It's always changing. Sea level has been rising since the end of the last ice age. The experts on it in the IPCC have freely acknowledged there's no strong evidence it's accelerating."

In Minnesota today, there is a warming trend happening right now. The lows are up to single digits below zero and the highs are in the single digits above zero. As long as the wind doesn't blow too hard, we're on our way to Spring.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Prince Super Bowl Vanishes from YouTube

Hi All!

This just happened. Was going to watch the Super Bowl show one more time and as it was loading I perused some feedback comments which were mostly quite favorable. Went I went back to watch, the clip had been removed due to copyright infringement.

And so goes one of my only criticism of Prince. He surrounds himself with "Business People" who have conned him into thinking that the little bit he gets from these legal vultures after they finish digging their grimy hands in the till is worth closing himself off to millions of extra money-paying fans.

Cripes the video wasn't even that good -- Everything Prince/Superbowl related is now deleted by YouTube.

Prince, just because you grew up in Minnesota don't mean you have to squeeze every penny like a penurious Swede.


The Arrogance of Power

Hi All!

Now that Price is out of my system for now, and my blog traffic had it's best few days since its inception in 4/2004, I will probably chase half of my new audience away with this post.

For some reason, it is assumed that one who loves hard rock, punk and Britpop, etc. cannot possibly be a Republican. What they ignore is that many of we Republicans have a strong Libertarian bent. All the right-wing talk shows I have ever heard use hard driving chords and lyrics as bumpers and parody songs. So it is not a stretch that a conservative like me and millions of others can love such as Prince.

Being Arrogant and Powerful is OK when you are an entertainer, and Prince could certainly be adjudged to fit the bill. That's ok for a performer.

It is NOT OK for a politician who claims to work in the best interests of the USA.

When I first entered politics in 1994 as a candidate for the Minnesota House, one of the first pieces of advice that I took to heart and hold to this day was given my political mentor Speaker Steve Sviggum. He told us rookies that if we were lucky enough to be elected, that we must be very aware the temptation to embrace the arrogance of power.

I tried twice and didn't quite make it. I DID work for the Speaker for a quick cup of coffee and I observed what happens first hand.

Many if not most politicians bring arrogance into office with them. What disturbed me was seeing newcomers who I knew from running fall into the trap, losing their fervor and looking askance at their principles.

Arrogance of Power gave control of the US Congress to the Democrats. It damned near makes me weep to see what became of the Party of Reagan and the Contract With America of Gingrich.

I know there will be many who disagree, but neither of those guys were arrogant. Reagan was free of it. Newt appeared to be arrogant by being brave and forceful and politically courageous. I'm not sure if that's arrogance or selflessness.

The best example of what is to me, the most uncxious expressions of political arrogance are Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi is demanding an Air Force One-type of plane to ferry her entourage across country from D.C. to San Francisco. She is asking for 42 business class seats, a meeting room a state room and 14 crewmembers. FOURTEEN for 42? The way I figure is that you need two pilots, so the rest would be cabin staff at a ratio of less than 4 to 1.

To get this, she is reported to have threatened military funding if she doesn't get her jet.

After 9/11 the Speaker got a jet and Hastert and DeLay certainly used it. But it was far more modest, in keeping with the lesser position than the President and Vice President.

I won't supply example for Madame Clinton who lives and breathes arrogance. To think this woman has a better than even chance of being the next president scares the crap out me. Maybe it WON'T be so dad for my liver disease to take its course soon -- I can't imagine living in my country with a venal imperialist plotter.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Last Prince Super Bowl Post - "Promise"

Hi All!

I have spent a few hours reading dozens of reviews on news and blog sites and no one article "noticed" everything I did.

For example, when the billowing sheet created that big silhouette and Prince strick a particular pose with the guitar I wondered aloud whether he hadn't put one over on the censors.

I predict that this "naughty bit" will become bigger news as the day goes on. I'd like to think it was totally intentional -- that would be just like Prince.

Here is the full halftime show.

By the way, few seemed to have noticed that the opening chords of "1999" led into "Baby I'm a Star." I still kinda wonder about the 3 minute Foo Fighter cover, good as it was.

Of the many reviews I've seen, this is the best play-by-play coverage -- seriously, check it out.

Oh, and a great photo montage with another link to the full video.


Prince Super Bowl Purple Rainout on Further Review

Hi All!

Ok, I warned you that I was live-blogging yesterday and was posting even as the stage was being dismantled.

As a fan, I tend to be hyper-critical, as I want so much for others to see what great taste I have. It drives my family crazy.

"Hey, you gotta hear this, you gotta see this -- just look for a minute!" Bad habit - Prince doesn't need Wog to draw rabid fans.

The reviews are all over the internet and are about 99.9% glowing, so I guess I put a "damper" on the celebration with my tepid review.
I look forward to watching it again and again today -- I haven't checked but I'm sure it's on YouTube already.

As for feeling sorry for my "man" getting caught in a monsoon, I guess it beats freezing your nards off in Minnesota.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Purple Rainout

Hi All!

Darn it.

You have to admit that the half-time show went as well as it could in the monsoon, but it was probably 50% of what would have been.

Worst part of all was an apparent guitar malfunction at the end. Seemed like the pickup dropped off (there was an audible thump) and the solo at the end was barely audible -- and, I think -- cut short, after which Prince seemed to have hurled his guitar at a roadie in disgust.

But that's a live-blog for ya -- guess the tape will need to be reviewed. Fascinating song choices in between the start and finish -- the guy don't play it predictable or safe!

Commercials dreadful except, so far, the Blockbuster ad with the mouse, the video game where the bad guy turns nice for Coke, the check-out lane romance involving various flavors of Dorittos and Catie and Laura's sentimental favorite -- the dog that gets to ride on the fire engine in the parade after the world treated him like a fire hydrant.

Back to the game, which is actually quite entertaining!



Crunchy Cold

Hi All!

It is ridiculously, unfathomably, excruciatingly and witch teat, monkey's bum cold here in Flyoverland, Minnesota.

Just ask the National Weather Service:



When I was younger, I, like most BS-ers from Minnesota liked to brag about our indifference to the White Fang Cold we endured every year.

As I have aged, I much less look forward to spitting in Jack Frost's face (it would just freeze onto my beard).

My parents left at the beginning of December for a Southwestern U.S.A. road trip. They say they will be back by March, but if this keeps up they have the option of leeching food and shelter from the numerous friends and relatives that were sane enough to get out of this frozen hell.

To my infinite credit, if I must say so myself, I managed to stack all the accumulated crap in our attached double garage into the tandem double garage behind it and for the first time in countless years, two cars can sleep in relative comfort.

The sounds our cars make when left outside in these conditions remind me of the horrible shrieks emitted by bunny rabbits when our goofy dachshund/terrier/border collie/black lab concoctions, Stan and Ollie, lay fang to them.

Metal on metal as the oil pump fruitlessly tries to force thick maple syrup into the cylinders. The automatic transmission bands spinning freely and vainly until they can catch a bit of hydraulic mush to make the reluctant gears engage.

As tempted as I am, I will not make this a global warming post, but just for giggles I'll blithely toss this one off:

Global Warming? My Ass!

Speaking of which, perhaps our current weather torture is partially due to the absence of Prince, who is usually good for a few degrees warming when he is staying at home. Miami's got all the luck today...if it don't rain....which it might.

Good luck little purple phenom, if it rains on your "Parade" (fans get it - album name, duh!) it is your fault for being a snow bird and not being here with a crock of chili and a vat of hot cider with the furnace going full blast and a zero percent chance of rain. I'm no meteorologist but right now it is -9 degrees F with a stiff wind making it feel sub 40. It ain't gonna rain, and I fear not being bit by a mosquito.

Hey, today was the last day of our Winter Carnival!


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Hey, If Biden Can Get Away With It...

Hi All!

If you are a regular reader of this blog I will not have to explain this to you, but for those in Rio Linda, a Democrat candidate for President spoke in a condescending, even (gasp) RACIST way about Obama -- the "right" kind of colored folk for the Liberals.

I shell dwell no more on this story -- look it up if you need the details on what this jerk actually is getting away with saying.

Well, here is my stab at Political Incorrectness:

The NWS predicts wind chill factors of -45 to -55 degrees below zero by early Monday.

The question occurs, "Why do illiterate tribes people from the jungles of Laos to the deserts of Somalia migrate to this godforsaken place?"

Oh yeah, "To seek a better life." Yah Shuur! And by gum they found it in Minnesota, "The Welfare State."

The preceding is a desperate cry for attention. Hope some of you "get it" 'cos I don't. If nothing else, enjoy the picture. The garden sure doesn't look like that outside today in this frigg'n iceberg.


Wog v. Technology

Hi All!

It has been awhile since I ranted about how impossibly frustrating and difficult it is to get things to work just right with Windows.

Am I gonna rush out and "solve" my problems with "Vista"?

Not on a bet. I've bled on the edge of every Microshit offering since DOS 1.0 and with age comes wisdom.

I don't live on the bleeding edge no more.

Windows XP has been out for years and still frustrates endlessly.

To think that I made my adult living from pounding square technology pegs into round organizational holes when multi-user mini-computers walked the earth...

About half of my waking hours in the last 24 has been spent trying to do something for my in-law's email handling that should have been sooooooo simple.

Unfortunately, they have dial-up which is like listening to radio on a home-made crystal set.

In the course of several years, I have set up email accounts with various free services and their changing ISPs, always trying to maintain transparency, ie, anyone who has their uraddresse (a little German lingo there -- means: original address) can still get mail to them, even though it passes through what is now up to 4 "hidden" accounts. Think of an email as a baton passing along in a relay race and having been handled 4 times from start to finish.

Still, should be easy.

Still, it was not, is not.

Here is why I am REALLY feeling stupid right now. Even dumber than I look.

The reason I didn't make millions by being a computer consultant on the goddamned ground floor was because I was -- am -- too honest.

I promise the world for a song and I eat the overtime in making the improbable possible. Did it for years.

Worse, I don't cheat people. I could have made a mint on Y2K, but I assured my clients that every application I had put on their system was ready for it, as any decent programming in the 70's anticipated.

Even so, several clients hired "consultants" to "evaluate" their "Y2K readiness" because they believed the headlines more than their trusty old Wog.

A couple of clients actually got conned into new systems, several got needless "upgrades" and all spent alot of money on that scam that stayed free of MY wallet.

So now I spend a dozen hours beating my head on the wall just trying to make email access clean and easy for my wife's parents. And I beat myself up about it and I make it known that I am beating myself up over it.

Too late, I've realized that I should just accept the fact that I CAN figure this stuff out and the "client" doesn't need to know how, as long as I act like I am an expert and bill accordingly.

For now, here is $1000 worth of advice (at least): If you get something to work OK in Windows, DON'T TOUCH IT!

It occurs to me that I had clients in the past who didn't trust me because I worked so hard for so little.

If God gives me a chance to get back in the game, I will not repeat my mistakes. I will earn what I am worth. And just perhaps, I will have financial independence again.


Excited About The Superbowl -- Halftime Show

Hi All!

Finally, after 4 tries, "Minnesota" will "win" the Suberbowl. Prince is gonna kick ass. So far the rumours indicate he will do "Let's Go Crazy" and "Purple Rain", at the end of which huge purple fireworks display will close the show.

There is a commercial from Pepsi plugging the show which really shows what a "regular guy" Prince Rogers Nelson of Minneapolis can be. I have not seen it on TV (don't watch enough?) but if you haven't seen it either, watch it HERE!

I could write a long post about my feelings about Prince. Suffice it to say that he is one of the biggest things to come out of the Twin Cities. Weird? As in "Genius."

I found a pretty good (and very profane) post on this site which really struck a chord with me. As a pop-rock/punk sort of guy people have accused me of adoring Prince just 'cos I'm a "homer." Somewhat guilty as charged but the incredible talent this man has been blessed with transcends place of birth.

In case you don't follow the link, here is a snip of what Rob Shock, a British punk rock fan living in California has to say and I perfectly agree:

"Friends. I didn’t come here to talk about how American the Super Bowl is. I don’t think I have to. I do think I should end every sentence with a preposition at. I’m here to talk about Prince, who just happens to be the featured performer of this year’s Super Bowl Half Time Show. But Rob, you say. You are a bad punk rock motherfucker. Why would you care about Prince or anything he stands for? And I say, shut the fuck up! How dare you end a sentence in a preposition, and how dare you question Prince? There is no one more punk rock than Prince, you fucking moron! I know you think I’m off my rocker, but think about it. Prince does whatever the fuck he wants. He doesn’t give a fuck. He’s Prince! When he’s tired of his name, he just changes it to a symbol and says, “There, Fuckers! Try and pronounce that!” And just when we think we got the whole symbol thing figured out, he says, “Guess what? I’m Prince again, Bitch!”

In all seriousness, I think all the fluff and image thing with Prince has kind of detracted from his musicianship. When you think of great guitarists whom do you think of first? I can probably guess correctly that Prince isn’t near the top of your list, but he should be. He’s outstanding at the guitar and plays it like no else does. If you ever listen to a Prince song and hear that shredding solo in the bridge, be sure that that’s no hired studio musician. That’s Prince playing every note. So when you watch the Half-Time Show, between commercial segments of course, try and look past the perm, the blouse and the stiletto shoes and pay just a bit of attention to his guitar work. Okay, so he may not be punk rock, but I still think he’s a bad motherfucker.

Now that’s, uh, American?"

If you have a broadband internet connection you might enjoy this YouTube clip from Prince's Super Bowl "press conference"

Enjoy the Show!