The Web has thousands of halfway-decent blogs. This is one of them, from Tucson, AZ. [More].
End of Blog Countdown
0 days to go.
RSS & More
Current Visitors: 132
"Reducing corporate productivity for 4,397 days."
Sunday, 31 December, 2006
Two articles, based on the same AP/AOL poll:
- Bright outlook prevails for 2007.
Looking ahead, optimism reigns in the United States, according to the poll. Seventy-two percent of respondents feel good about what 2007 will bring for the country, and 89 percent are optimistic for themselves and their families, it found.
- Americans see gloom, doom in 2007.
Another terrorist attack, a warmer planet, death and destruction from a natural disaster. These are among Americans' grim predictions for the United States in 2007.
And doesn't this make you proud to be an American?
25 percent anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ [in 2007].
Here's what I got from eMusic this month:
- Boys, Flowers, Miles - Antje Duvekot
I got this based on a recommendation from Esther Golton. Of course I skipped the 14 "talk" tracks.
- Bret Dennen - Bret Dennen
I really like this guy.
- So Much More - Bret Dennen
Yes I do.
- In My Own Time - Karen Dalton
A dead singer who supposedly has a cult following. Very unique voice, that's for sure.
- Firecracker - The Wailin' Jennys
Folksy music with some banjo
- Musique Pour La Salle A Manger - Yogitea
My second Yogitea album. Great falling-to-sleep music. I think this one is dedicated to sales managers.
- Dog Duos - David Grisman
Just three songs to round out the 65 downloads. The duo with Mike Seeger is most excellent.
Not an eMusic member?
Auld Lang Syne
There are hundreds of songs associated with Christmas. But only one is associated with New Year's: Auld Lang Syne.
"Auld Lang Syne" is a poem by Robert Burns, although a similar poem by Robert Ayton (1570-1638), not to mention even older folk songs, use the same phrase, and may well have inspired Burns.
In any case, it is one of the best known songs in English-speaking countries - although, like many other frequently sung songs, the melody is better remembered than the words, which are often sung incorrectly, and seldom in full...
"Auld Lang Syne" is usually sung each year on New Year's Eve (Hogmanay in Scotland) in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and English speaking Canada at midnight and signifies the start of a new year...
The tune to which Auld Lang Syne is universally sung is a pentatonic Scots (or possibly Northumbrian) folk melody - probably originally a sprightly dance in a much quicker tempo.
My 2007 Predictions
As is my custom, I'm posting my 2007 predictions.
- There will be a major disruption at Disneyland (or maybe Disneyworld). Perhaps a terrorist threat.
- Housing prices throughout most of the country will continue to increase, but prices in California will drop significantly.
- An American League team will win the World Series. I'm thinking Boston or Cleveland. Definitely not the Yankees.
- A famous American author will die. I hope it's Ann Coulter rather than Kurt Vonnegut.
- To the surprise of everyone, Karl Rove will be gone by the end of the year. He will either die or resign in disgrace -- possibly a marijuana conviction.
- Bush's popularity will continue to decline, and nothing will change in Iraq.
Several high-level members of the Bush administration will be indicted or resign.
- Cheney will have some health problems, but will remain in office at least through July.
- The U.S. will have a few terrorist attacks, but the attackers will all be U.S. citizens.
- Spam will continue to increase, and account for at least 85% of all email.
- There will be an attack on the White House, and a woman will be involved.
- A large company (Google?) will release a new inexpensive ebook reader that will revolutionize the publishing business.
- In December, look for another War on Christmas, with Bill O'Reilly defending.
- A well-known female celebrity will die. Either Britney Spears, Anna Nicole Smith, or Paris Hilton.
- Gas prices will reach an all-time high, yet consumers won't complain.
- Users will realize the Microsoft Vista is really no improvement over Windows XP.
- The US Post Office will increase the price of postage, but they'll offer some type of stamp that eliminates the need to buy "make-up" postage.
- Evel Kneivel will attempt to make a come back, but it won't be very successful.
- The U.S. will experience a renewed interest in chess, due in large part to a female.
- Tony Blair will either die, or leave office in an embarrassing scandal -- possibly involving another man.
- Condi Rice will be involved in a scandal involving a Middle Eastern king (or maybe the wife of a king).
- In the U.S., Dollar coins will become very popular. So popular that the mint can't keep up with the demand.
- 2007 will be remembered as the 'Year of the Banjo.'
- A plane will crash on the East Coast, killing hundreds. Terrorism will be suspected, but the ultimate cause will be a mechanical problem.
- A tornado in Iowa will leave thousands dead, and corn prices will reach an all-time high in the summer.
- Al Gore will announce that he's running for president, but will withdraw for some reason.
- There will be some type of scandal involving a Major League baseball player. Maybe several baseball players. This will happen after the season ends.
- There will be a serious problem with Chinese imports -- something involving clothes, I think.
- Microsoft Office 2007 will not be a huge success, as most users wait for the next release.
- Google's stock price will rise, Microsoft's will be flat.
- A virus-related scandal will rock MySpace, and most users will move to some other "social" site.
- It will be revealed that Osama Bin Laden has been dead for at least four years. Bush will take credit for it.
- The leader of a large church will resign in disgrace.
- The best-selling novel of 2007 will be written by an author that no one has heard about.
New Year’s Superstitions
At Snopes: New Year's Superstitions.
A few examples:
Stocking Up: The new year must not be seen in with bare cupboards, lest that be the way of things for the year. Larders must be topped up and plenty of money must be placed in every wallet in the home to guarantee prosperity
Black-Eyed Peas: A tradition common to the southern states of the USA dictates that the eating of black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will attract both general good luck and money in particular to the one doing the dining. Some choose to add other Southern fare (such as ham hocks, collard greens, or cabbage) to this tradition, but the black-eyed peas are key.
Laundry: Do not do the laundry on New Year's Day, lest a member of the family be 'washed away' (die) in the upcoming months. The more cautious eschew even washing dishes.
Faith healers in the news:
Mohammad Jamal, 50, was arrested on Friday after residents alerted the local police that he had killed his 22-year-old daughter by setting her on fire with the help of his two sons, said Javed Shah, an area police chief.
- In Sweden: Faith healer gets five year sentence for rape.
A faith healer has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexually abusing seven women, including two girls under the age of 15. He was also found guilty of raping one of the girls when she was 14 years old. The women were lured to various different locations on the pretext of having their souls healed.
- In Italy: Pavarotti gets warm hand of help.
Opera star Luciano Pavarotti has turned to an Italian faith healer, renowned for the extraordinary heat said to emanate from her hands, to help him recover after surgery for pancreatic cancer during the summer.
2007 is shaping up to be the year of the Faith Healer. If you'd like to learn about the world of faith healing, enroll in the Randy Clark School of Healing & Impartation. Here's a testimonial:
"...I just finished attending Randy Clark's healing school and people were getting healed from everything from terminal cancer to eyes, back pain, knee problems, anything..."
But, so far, no amputated limbs have been restored.
Saturday, 30 December, 2006
Ding-Dong, Saddam Is Dead
Convicted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein died with fear in his eyes yesterday. The tyrant showed no remorse for killing millions of his own people, instead cursing the Western world in a last act of defiance, witnesses said.
Moments later he was dead and his executioner and government officials danced around his body in jubilation.
The deposed leader, 69, shuffled to the gallows about 2pm Melbourne time carrying a copy of the Koran. Hands bound behind his back and his ankles shackled, he asked guards to loosen his manacles but refused to let authorities cover his head with a black hood.
Then he was led to the trapdoor of the gallows, where, five minutes later, he died in "the blink of an eye". Among his last words was a Muslim profession of faith: "There is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet."
Does he get the 72 virgins?
Friday, 29 December, 2006
Friday Open Microphone
Is this Friday? I think so.
Check out his banjo playing: Shaky Pudding. Unfortunately, it cuts out after 1:12.
About Schmidt Vs. About Schmidt
I saw the movie About Schmidt soon after it was released on DVD. I recently picked up Louis Begley's novel, About Schmidt. I started reading it a few days ago, and it didn't seem at all familiar. So I paused my reading after about 50 pages and watched the movie again.
Of all of the book-to-movie adaptations I've ever seen, About Schmidt is by far the least true to the book.
Here's what the book and the movie have in common: Both are about a retired guy. His wife died recently and his daughter is getting married. That's it! They have completely different plots and completely different characters. Even the main character, Schmidt, is different.
It would be interesting to know the story about how the screenplay came to be so different -- and what Louis Begley thinks about it.
In any case, the novel was about 10 times better than the movie. My only complaint is is a quirk in Begley's writing style; he doesn't use quotations marks -- which can sometimes be confusing. Next I'll read the sequel, Schmidt Delivered.
My result, according to this American Accent Quiz:
You are correct, sir! I am from Missouri.
The Seven Wonder of [fill in your state name]. For example, the 7 Wonders of Arizona are:
Hoover Dam, Meteor Crater, Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Arizon-Sonora Desert Museum, Mission San Xavier del Bac, and the Painted Desert.
Each "wonder" has a link to a Googlemap, which links to a Wikipedia article.
Onward To 1984
"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened-that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."
From the Bush Administration: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us.
Just how many different ways has the Bush Administration tried to hide once-public information sources from the public record? Help us count the ways.
- The Department of Defense has suddenly classified the numbers of attacks in Iraq for September through November of this year -- after providing the figures for every month since the war began. Why classify the information now?
- In 2005, after a government report showed an increase in terrorism around the world, the administration announced it would stop publishing its annual report on international terrorism.
- After the Bureau of Labor Statistics uncovered discouraging data about factory closings in the U.S., the administration announced it would stop publishing information about factory closings.
- When Bush's Department of Education found that charter schools were underperforming, the administration said it would sharply cut back on the information it collects about charter schools.
- In 2003, the EPA bowed to White House pressure and deleted the global warming section in its annual "Report on the Environment."
Related: Top Ten Orwellian Moments of 2006.
Book Burning Scheduled
It's happening next month: The Great Minnesota Book Burning.
On January 27th, 2007 we will be holding a symbolic book burning in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area. All known White Patriots are welcome to attend, and are encouraged to bring degenerate books suitable for throwing into the fire. We will be filming and recording this event for NSM Radio/TV, and possibly using some of the footage for an upcoming Music Video for the song Burn the Books by Achtung Juden (released on the NSM Record Label).
Come Join with us in this Historic Event, as we torch degenerate books such as the Talmud, and other anti-American and/or anti-White books.
He’s Working Hard
Presidential news: Bush taking more time to craft Iraq plan.
President Bush worked nearly three hours at his Texas ranch on Thursday to design a new U.S. policy in Iraq, then emerged to say that he and his advisers need more time to craft the plan he'll announce in the new year.
How long does it take to decide to send more bodies over there?
Protecting Content With Windows Vista
Peter Gutmann -- who seems to know what he's talking about -- writes: A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection.
Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost.
These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.
He makes some excellent points.
Ape And Human
A summary of research conducted in the 1930s by W.N. Kellogg: The Ape and the Child.
Suppose an anthropoid were taken into a typical human family at the day of birth and reared as a child. Suppose he were fed upon a bottle, clothed, washed, bathed, fondled, and given a characteristically human environment; that he were spoken to like the human infant from the moment of parturition; that he had an adopted human mother and an adopted human father . . . . The experimental situation par excellence should indeed be attained if this technique were refined one step farther by adopting such a baby ape into a human family with one child of approximately the ape's age.
Page 1 of 16 pages