Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If you look at the complete process...

It's pretty amzing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, buy it, and bring it home ....



... is considered to be less effort than what it takes to just wash the spoon when you are done with it!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pencil Politics

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Vindicated ... somewhat

As many of you may already be aware, I am an amputee as of Dec 2003 (as a result from trauma received during a fall in June 2001).  One of the good things that has come out of this experience is the ability to provide support/mentoring for other amputees or those soon to be amputees.  I am also the webmaster for, a website the promotes the Ertl procedure of amputation (overview of procedure).  While I don't work for any surgeons or medical facilities, I do maintain close email contact with both my surgeon (Will Ertl) and his cousin (Jan Ertl).  When I receive inquires for the surgeons, I normally reply back to the sender (with a bcc to the surgeon) letting them know I have forwarded their message accordingly.  I have no control over the length of time it takes the surgeon to get back with either me or the original sender.


Two days ago a friend from Croatia emailed to let me know that an individual in an internet forum was attempting to locate Dr Jan Ertl (the forum site is hosted by Heather Mills).  I went to the site and found the thread in question that was originally started in early August of this year.  I recognized the information of the original posting individual as one that I had recently had several email messages from/to, and had even called him to chat about his situation. 


The thread started out with this individual (let's call him "Bob") inquiring from the forum readers if anyone had the contact info for Dr Jan Ertl.  That inquiry included:

....the information on is NOT good enough. I have emailed though their site a few times with no results


One of the readers (Freddy) provided the suggestion of:

When I clicked on webmaster I got this email address. Did you email him?


The response from "Bob" was:

Yup Freddy I've tried that 3 times now and all you get back is -- "I've forward your email to Jan Ertl. --webmaster Ron King". the ONLY thing i have not done though the Ertl site is make an appointment with one of his brothers and then drill them for Jans location and contact info and I bet that would go over like a lead zeppelin but thank you for your efforts


As I have already stated, I have no control over the speed and timing of the responses from the surgeons.  But, since "Bob" mentioned my name, I felt the need to share my side of the story.  So, I entered into the thread with this:

Quick note from webmaster Ron King:
I maintain the website at the request of the Barr Foundation. I do not work for any of the Ertls, or the medical facilities where they are practicing. Also, I have no control over the speed at which they reply to email messages that I forward to them. All I can do is continue to forward the info as often as requested.


Jan has been away from an active practice for quite a while and I believe he is preparing to enter back into practice, however I am not able to share that location until everything is confirmed.


I thought, at least I get to put my side of the situation out there for whoever cares.  What I didn't expect was "Bob" posting one additional post for the rest of the world to see:

Hi Ron,
This is an old post and I'm the one you helped hunt down Jan, I have talked to both you and Jan since I last posted here. However I would like to tell everyone else here on the boards that RON was a great help to me and is a fabulous person to talk to if anyone ever needs information on the Ertl procedure or anything amputation related for that matter. Ron has always responded to my questions and has been a great help to me personally in my quest to get an Ertl amputation. Thank you Ron for you wisdom and information and you do a great job keeping up the Ertl web site.


I don't believe "Bob" meant for his message with my name in it to "tarnish my reputation".  However, I did take it as somewhat of a personal slap, especially considering how powerless I am in regards to getting information back from the surgeons.  As such, you have no idea how much that final message from "Bob" meant to me.  He could have just let it look like I was just trying to "save face", but he took the time to share with all the forum readers (and it really is a very active amputee forum) that I am one who strives to help others in their time of need. 


"Bob", if you actually follow the links in some of my emails to you, THANKS!!!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Amber Alert info

In a previous post I shared how to have your cell phone help you (Have you got an ICE?), this post I want to share how to have your cell phone help others.


Unless you have been hiding under a rock since before 2002, I would think you are already aware of the AMBER Alert system.  Please read this entire post, or at least jump to the bottom for IMPORTANT info.



Where and why did AMBER Alert first start?
The AMBER Alert System began in 1996 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered.


How does it work?
Once law enforcement has determined that a child has been abducted and the abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, law enforcement notifies broadcasters and state transportation officials.


How effective has it been?
AMBER Alert has been very effective. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of over 200 children nationwide.
Over 84 percent of those recoveries have occurred since October 2002 when President Bush called for the appointment of an AMBER Alert Coordinator at the first-ever White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children


What are the criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts?
Each state AMBER Alert plan has its own criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts. The PROTECT Act, passed in 2003, which established the role of AMBER Alert Coordinator within the Department of Justice, calls for the Department of Justice to issue minimum standards or guidelines for AMBER Alerts that states can adopt voluntarily. The Department's Guidance on Criteria for Issuing AMBER Alerts follows:

  • Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place
  • The child is at risk of serious injury or death
  • There is sufficient descriptive information of child, captor or captor's vehicle to issue an Alert
  • The child must be 17-years-old or younger
  • It is recommended that immediate entry of AMBER Alert data be entered into the FBI's National Crime Information Center. Text information describing the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the child should be entered, and the case flagged as Child Abduction.

Will my carrier charge me for receiving Wireless AMBER Alerts?

No. The carriers who are participating in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative have entered into an agreement with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that requires them to provide these alerts at no additional cost to consumers. Your wireless phone must be capable of receiving text messages (virtually all recent models qualify) and your service plan must include basic message receipt capability. If you have any questions, you should contact your wireless carrier.



How can your cell phone help others?

Please visit to sign up for free notifications of Amber Alerts in your area. 


When you input your cell phone number, you will be taken to signup page specifically for your cellular service provider.  You are only signing up for Wireless Amber Alerts, your number will not be shared with any third party or used for other purposes.


You can see how the system works here


If your loved one was abducted, wouldn't you want to know that thousands of individuals in your specific area are alerted about it?

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

'tis a fine tide fer scuttlin' documents

Yo-ho, today`s test o' th' Document Imagin' system recovery o' deleted items be a complete success. After scuttlin' a wee number o' parchments from th' system, I enlisted th' help o' a salty sea-dog and a JimLad to help me recover them from Davy Jones` locker.


If you are wondering what the above said, here it is in today's english:

Today's test of the Document Imaging system recovery of deleted items was a complete success.  After deleting a few documents from the system, I asked a couple of other IT members to help me recover them from the back-up tapes.


Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day (Sept 19 each year)


For some more fun, you can read several previous TGP blog entries that have been translated into "pirate speak" here: TGP - Talk Like A Pirate version.


For help in talking like a pirate, visit these links:

Video - How to talk like a pirate

Pirate Speak

Pirate translation page

My pirate name is:
Shark Tooth Brody

Every pirate is a little bit crazy. I, though, more than just a little bit. Two things complete my pirate persona: style and swagger. Maybe a little too much swagger sometimes -- but who really cares? Arr!

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Live or Memorex ...

....quotes from the past that ring true today!

I didn't check these quotes at Snopes for accuracy, because I really don't care. I agree with the sentiment of the thoughts:

It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers. In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late.

Accordingly, I am readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I will, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact."

- Robert E. Lee, 1863

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale, and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

- President Abraham Lincoln

Sent via my Windows Mobile device
(which may explain why it was short)
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Pop quiz time!

OK faithful readers, I've decided to spring a pop quiz on you.  It is an "open internet" test, so Google and Wikipedia are allowed as reference material.


One single question:

What fun thing is scheduled for next Wednesday, Sept 19?

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Monday, September 10, 2007


Aliens are coming to abduct all the good looking & sexy people.
You will be safe, I'm just leaving this quick post to say goodbye!
Sent via my Windows Mobile device
(which may explain why it was short)
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Sunday, September 09, 2007

From Spam to Scam

The previous post indicated I ended up assisting with the spamming of those in my address book by a phishing attempt by a new networking website.  Now I would like to share about another internet user that wasn't sucked into a scam that would have cost him a G4 Powerbook.


MyNameIsJeff had offered up a 19 day old G4 Powerbook on EBay which attracted the attention of scammer Scont06MyNameIsJeff recognized the scam and proceeded to pull a reverse-scam on Scont06.


Long story short: Scont06 shelled out considerable amount of $$$ thinking he was getting this:                                 When he actually got this:


Long story long:

If you would like to read about the entire process, you can follow these links:

     Building the P-P-P-Powerbook

     Sending if off

     Getting through customs

     The scammer responds

         Complete story in single PDF file

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Friday, September 07, 2007

I didn't mean to spam you... - See below why this text isn't linked to the website


I've been on the Internet for a dozen yers and have very rarely been taken in by phishing schemes, but this site's deceptive practices were too good. It spammed everybody in my address book after telling me it would just look for people who had already signed up. Nowhere in the fine print does it say it will do this. This site deserves to wither and die.


Most social network sites have some sort of address book lookup feature. However, reputable ones report back who is and isn't on the service, and then give you the choice to email some, all, or none of the contacts that aren't. Quechup saves you time by skipping that bothersome "obtaining consent" step.


Some of the bloggers who have written about this have had commenters respond that there is a disclaimer about the invitations. A quick review of the privacy policy and terms of service make no mention of this practice. Below is the actual text you receive before beginning the address-book search:

Congratulations! Welcome to Quechup. Find out which of your friends are already members. Choose the address book with the most contacts and we'll search for matches so you can add them to your friends network and invite non Quechup members to join you. By inviting contacts you confirm you have consent from them to send an invitation. We will not spam or sell addresses from your contacts. See our privacy policy.


In the strictest possible interpretation, yes, it does say they will invite non-members. Anybody who has used address book search on another social network, though, will be expecting the opportunity to select which addresses are invited. The only way to prevent someone from receiving a message from Quechup is to remove them from your address book before starting the search: That just isn't acceptable, as far as I'm concerned.


As evidenced by the large number of intelligent individuals currently issuing apologies for accidentally spamming everyone they've ever known, I'm going to declare this one a deceptive practice. The average user - indeed, even the above average user - is unlikely to interpret the "warning" to mean "We will send an invitation to everyone in your address book without any further action on your part." It's deceptive, it takes advantage of users' good faith, and it's creating a lot of headaches.


If you were one of the many individuals in my address book who received spam from using my address book .... I am extremely sorry!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You might have a problem if...

... you need to sue a police department to get your porn collection back!


A man recently convicted of secretly videotaping a woman and a teenage girl sued the investigating police department for the return of a huge porn collection taken during the investigation.


His lawyer has described the collection as unrelated to the peeping case, and as such should be returned to him.  "There's absolutely no legal foundation for them withholding perfectly legal adult-oriented material," attorney Jon Rankin said. Rankin also advised the video colection alone is likely worth $10,000.


Link to news story

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Lifehouse Everything Skit

This was sent to Renee via email...

She shared with me...

I'm sharing with you...

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