Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Public Forum statement from Douglas County, Oregon

The following was sent to me in the form of a scanned image from a newspaper in Oregon.  I think the author is on to something:

Don't help people sit on their rears

I have a question, not only for Douglas County, but for the entire state of Oregon.  Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job.  I work, they pay me, I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as they see fit.  In order for me to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test, which I have no problem with.


What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.  Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check, because I have to pass one to go earn it for them?


Please understand, I have nothing against helping people get back on their feet.  I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sit on their butt.  Could you imagine how much money the state would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

Leonard Wilson


While the state would be expending additional expenses to administer the urine tests, I'm sure the ROI would be quite short considering all the checks that wouldn't be distributed.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Talk about an "E ticket" ride!

Since the 1950s, E Ticket (or E ticket ride) has referred to an unusually thrilling, interesting, most-interesting, or most-expensive situation. It derives from the tickets used at Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks until the early 1980s. Park-goers bought tickets in different denominations, from A through E, with E tickets being the most expensive and reserved for the newest, most expensive or popular rides and attractions.


Here is one ride that would, without a doubt, be an E Ticket ride:

click the play button start the video

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Treadmill video ... redone

In August I posted a link to a music video with treadmill chorography (link to post).  Here is a video of four high school kids recreating it for a talent show: 


Being the geek I am, I put both videos side-by-side and sync'ed them up as close as I could. Other than a few slips, they mimicked the original almost perfectly, especially considering it was a 'one take' chance. I believe the treadmills were a slight percentage slower, but they had several different models, which probably accounted for that problem.


Note, the 'jacket tug' appeared to be mirror-perfect
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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Tulsarama 2007

From one of the various RSS feeds I follow, I found out about an interesting event to happen in Tulsa on 15 June 2007 ... the unearthing of a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere (among other things)!


When Oklahoma was 50 years old, the citizens of Tulsa were having a "Tulsarama!" festivities and buried a brand new gold and white Plymouth Belvedere during their Golden Jubilee Week.  The car was to act as a time capsule, and was buried approximately 100 feet north of the intersection of Sixth Street and Denver Avenue. 


Along with the car, there are several other items reported to be in it, including:

  • A Douglas Aircraft Co. aerial map of Tulsa airport facilities and aerial photographs of the area.
  • A statement from the Tulsa Council of Churches, a prayer for the greatest good for the next 50 years, a history of churches in Tulsa by then-Tulsa World Religion Editor Beth Macklin and a directory of area churches.
  • Flags with 48 stars that flew over the U.S. Capitol, the state Capitol, the County Courthouse and City Hall.
  • A sound-motion-picture print of "24 Hours of Progress," produced by the Oil Information Committee of the American Petroleum Institute.
  • A case of Tulsa-manufactured motor oil, furnished by Sunray DX Oil Co.
  • A five-gallon can of gasoline. (some reports indicate 10 gallons)
  • Microfilmed records of guesses of Tulsa's population in 2007.
  • The contents of a "typical" woman's handbag, including tranquilizer pills, 14 bobby pins, a compact, a tube of lipstick, two combs, a package of gum, a plastic rain hat, pocket-size facial tissues, an unpaid parking ticket, cigarettes and matches, and $2.73 in bills and coins.

As part of the "Tulsarama!" festivities, citizens of Tulsa were asked to guess what the population of Tulsa would be in the year 2007. The guesses were then recorded on microfilm and sealed in a steel container buried with the car. When the car and artifacts are excavated, the person whose guess is closest to Tulsa's 2007 population is to be awarded the Belvedere (or next of kin).


You can read more about this at Tulsarama 2007 or

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Maryland man wants to Become Illegal

Becoming Illegal (From a Maryland resident to his senator)

      The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
      309 Hart Senate Office Building
      Washington DC, 20510

      Dear Senator Sarbanes,

       As a native Marylander and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

       My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. citizen to illegal alien stem from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill's provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

       Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I'm excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

       Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year. Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as "in-state" tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

       Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver's license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

       If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative. Thank you for your assistance.

       Your Loyal Constituent,

       Pete McGlaughlin

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Another cool shirt option

If I had only 25% of the cool shirts that I have found on the internet, I would need a huge storage closet (or many drawers).  Some of the previous shirts include the Home of the Free, Amputee humor & EKG.


The shirt at the right can be found at ThinkGeek.comBlogito, ergo sum, in latin, is translated to I Blog, Therefore I am.


One of my favorite pieces of this shirt is the Comments (0) underneath the latin phrase.  Being that most of my blog entries don't receive comments, that part really struck home with me.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Great marketing ploy!

Cingular Wireless is in the process of creating a crash course in 'texting' for parents to better understand what their children are doing with their cell phones.  Cingular plans on hosting a series of TXT Bees at various high schools around the country to encourage parents to start communicating in the "language" of teens.  It will be in a game-show format, pairing the teens with their parnest to compete for a $5,000 scholorship, as well as a $5,000 donation to the high school.


"Texting has become an entirely new forum for young people to communicate with each other," said Cristy Swink, executive director of messaging, Cingular Wireless. "To many parents, this new language of text messaging may often seem irrelevant or appear to be unfathomable. Through our TXT2 Connect campaign and TXT Bee events, we are helping parents interact with their kids through text messaging in a fun environment. For some parents, this may be the first time they've ever tried to text. Once they see how simple it is, we are hopeful it won't be the last."


Sounds like Cristy Swink has come up with a great way to push for more use of "texting", an option that is often abused by various individuals (and found after the fact when the bill arrives)


What's next?  A TXTing Merit Badge from the Boy Scouts? article article (where I originally heard about this)


TXT2Connect-tutorial.pdf: Cingular's "Parent's TXT Tutorial" guide

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Monday, January 22, 2007

Car for sale

For Sale: Batmobile
One of the four original Batmobiles will be auctioned off this February in London. I can't believe it's expected to sell for only $150,000.


Scenario: Civil war breaks out in parts of the Middle East and things look pretty hopeless. Suddenly, the Batmobile busts in, with its cigarette lighter jet engine and sweet tail fins. POW, BAM, ZAP! Everything is better.


I beg of you, richer-than-me people: someone good and just must purchase this super vehicle. If it were to fall into the wrong hands...we would be doomed. What is $150,000 when weighed against world peace?





Curb weight        5500 lb

Wheelbase         129 in.

Length              225 in.

Width (Front)       84 in.

Width (Rear)       79 in.

Height              48 in.

Fins                 84 in.



Engine              390ci, V-8

Transmission        B&M Hydro Automatic (2nd transmission)



Layout              Front engine/rear drive

Tires Used          Firestone Wide-Oval, Mickey Thompson and US Royal

Wheels              15x7 single rib Rader cast-alloy five spoke

Second Frame      1966 Ford Galaxie lengthened 11 inches 



Exterior color               "Velvet Bat-Fuzz Black" from Metalflake, Inc.

Trim color                   3/4" Fluorescent Cerise 

Safety belts                 Cumming & Sander impact safety belts

Emergency Bat-turn lever  Ansen "T" handle in "Candy Red"

Power Accelerator T-Arm  Ansen "T" handle in "Candy Silver"

Gas tank                    Moon Aluminum tank

Parachute info              2 Deist parachute packs with a 10ft. in diameter parachute

License plates              4 quantity: TP-6597, BAT-1, 2F-3567, ZEF 451

Steering wheel             Around '67 the wheel was changed to a '58 Edsel

Car stereo                  Duo-Stereophonic tape deck w/ 6 Muntz speakers

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

New atrocities uncovered in Iraq!

These stories or photos never seem to make it to the papers.  But after exhaustive internet research, I have found the following unreported US military atrocities which have occurred in Iraq:


Armed American troops force Iraqis to See-Saw until they talk!


Iraqi child bites GI in self-defense after obvious torture!



GI forces Iraqi child to hang by fingertips!


GI falls asleep on-duty while using Iraqi child as body armor!


GI overhead to say "Talk or I'll tickle you until you pee!" ... More evidence of failed US Intelligence policy


Clear evidence of forced labor by troops!


And last, but certainly not least:

Iraqis are grateful the American Forces didn't open fire during soccer game!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Zero Tolerance = Mental Midgets (long post, but worth it)

Mental Midget: <from>

   (a) A person of extremely low I.Q.. Prone to being clueless in all aspects of life

   (b) A person who is narrow-minded or has limited knowledge or insight to anything

         outside his or her immediate life


I receive a weekly mailing from After reading this week's issue, I just had to share some information that was highlighted in that mailing (with links to external sources for confirmation):


This school won't be going to the dogs: While John Cave (age 14) may be deaf, that didn't deter him from wanting to attend public school.  Simba, John's trained assistance dog, isn't allowed to join him though.  Assistance dogs such as Simba are trained to provide assistance in the areas requiring the ability to hear, such as fire and smoke alarms and cars.  John's parents believe that the boy and his dog need to be together at all times so that they can bond and learn to work effectively together. School administrators have deemed that Simba isn't permitted at the school, and even called in the local police to enforce their beliefs.  The school appears to be forcing the issue, even though state law states public facilities cannot bar disabled people with service dogs and federal law requires facilities to change policies banning service animals. story


Honesty doesn't pay: It appears that Ryan Morgan (age 13) would have been been better off just minding his own business when he heard a rumor about a gun in the boys' restroom.  Instead, he found the pellet gun and turned it in to the vice principal.  Was the reply from the principal a "thank you" or pat on the back? Nope, the response was a suspension.  After a meeting between school officials and the parents, the school board responded by dropping the idea of expelling Ryan in exchange for him to be homeschooled.  The school board isn't willing to comment on the case except that the "purposeful possession of weapons is a serious offense and deserves careful consideration by the administration and the school board".  ... Careful consideration should also include intent! story and article


I can't believe he did that: A student was recently suspended for "inappropriate physical behavior interpreted as sexual contact and/or sexual harassment." Finally, something that was worth being suspended for, right?  Well, what if the suspension was handed down to a 4 year student who hugged a teacher's aid, and during the hug his face was pressed against her breasts.  After the boy's father shared this event with the local media, the offense had been changed to "inappropriate physical contact" and references of sexual conduct or sexual harassment were dropped from the boy's file.  The parents aren't satisfied with the 'reduced charges' and are continuing their efforts to get this completely removed from his school records.


I understand the mindset behind the Zero Tolerance rules that have had to be implemented at the schools.  However, I also understand there are supposed to be intelligent adults in leadership positions within the schools to enforce the rules, or provide leniency where applicable.  Trained service animals should be allowed ... found weapons need to be turned in .... and 4 year olds are committing sexual harassment!  Heads need to be used more than just for hat racks.

<rant mode=off>

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

A post just for Brent

One of the blogs I visit on a daily basis is Law & Disorder, which is maintained by a Des Moines, Iowa police officer who claims his name is Brent (names not changed to protect the innocent).  I was reviewing my address book yesterday and noticed one of the email addresses I have for Brent ended with a domain.  Being the ever-curious fellow that I am, I had to visit the website associated with the domain to see what it contained.


What I found was the website for the City of Des Moines (DOH!), which looks like a very nice site.  I did notice something on the page I thought humorous and decided would make for great "blog fodder".  They have, in bold font, The Vision for the city:

We aspire to be the city of choice for ourselves and future generations - beautiful, clean and safe.


We will achieve our vision through a healthy economy, strong businesses, vital neighborhoods, excellent schools, a vibrant downtown, and extensive recreational and cultural opportunities.


We will preserve our City's friendly, hometown atmosphere and celebrate the diversity of its people.


We require innovative governance that is accessible, accountable, and efficient with a system of funding that is fair, affordable, and stable.

What struck me as particularly funny was the comment of a system of funding that is affordable, especially considering the first two Quick Links shown directly below this statement to be:

Yep, just after mentioning being affordable, the initial items listed in The Quick Links just happens to be links to online payments for speeding and parking tickets!  What is really cool is the fact you can buy a "City of Des Moines Used Parking Meter" from the Online Store! (I wonder if you can request to buy the one that was the cause of your parking ticket?)


You know, you just can't make this stuff up!
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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Writer's Block -or- Apathy?

I was getting ready to write up a short and simple "sorry I haven't posted anything lately" message and mention how when I review my morning reading websites, each time I see my website (reviewed for comments) I feel like I need to post something. Then I thought about a short post on how I keep up with my morning read websites.  So here goes:


Both Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox 1.5 support tabbed browsing.  This means both applications allow you to have multiple websites open within the single browser instance (instead of several windows of each program open).  If you have several sites you like to view, you can bookmark/favorite them within a single folder.  Then when you want to view visit all the pages at the same time, right click on the folder and choose the appropriate option. 


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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Year in Review

Instructions: Go to the FIRST BLOG of each month for the past year. Copy and paste the LAST SENTENCE of each blog. That is your Year in Review.


Jan. 2006: This segment shows what 911 operators and police officers have to deal with every now and then: WMV file


Feb. 2006: Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing!


Mar. 2006: Time to get some rest and head back to Oklahoma early in the morning.


Apr. 2006: Long story short: I have been swamped and blogging didn't make it high enough on my priority list!


May 2006: Silence can be a golden thing ... now if I could just get some replacement co-workers!


Jun. 2006: Have a great weekend!


Jul. 2006: While we were getting ready for my biking trip, we downloaded our trip pictures to our computer and I remembered why I wanted a copy of it … to use as a blog entry.


Aug. 2006: Sounds unusual and it is, but well worth one look at least.


Sep. 2006: I have my old design backed up, but thought I would throw this out here for comments.


Oct. 2006: I advised it was much much worse!


Nov. 2006: So, if you are close to either of these locations, you might think about attending.


Dec. 2006: The rest of the day has been spent on the computer, watching videos with the girls or helping review Sarah's research paper on the French Revolution. 

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